I just watched the program, Khawater Shaab this evening. Ahmad al-Shughairi also talked about this issue. Sometimes, there are conflicts from the arguments about branch matters which would bring everyone into enmity and vengeance. For e.g about the intention before the performance of salat services whether it is a sunnah to be recited aloud or in silence. Or whether it is an innovation to stand while reading the marhaban in memory to the mawlid al-rasul event. Whether it is a sunnah or an innovation to read the talqin or teaching the "dead" few lessons just after the body being buried.
There are also fractions in the discussion on the issue such as whether the merit of Yaasin recitation would be received by the soul of the death. This is from my personal experience... As far as I know, the majority Twelver Shi'a Muslims also recite the Yaasin for the dead besides the al-Fatiha like the traditional Shafi'ie Sunnah Muslims. Other things in traditions which I guess shared with "them" from the tabi'ien era is like thrusting the hand on the hump on the new grave of related people or family members. I actually prefer to be known as a Muslim. Only an orthodox Muslim. Not a Muslim of any group whether "Sunnah, Ibadhi or Shi'a".
At this point, we could see a difficult edge where if these matters are not discussed; the "religion" would be stiff. There would be no more researches in order to find the closest practices to the sunnah of prophet Muhammad s.a.w which also means no academic researches for religious practices. However, when the issues being discussed; there would also be arguments, objections and those who defend certain practices. Later, fanaticism would manifest out of these arguments, objections and defending activities. They are firm in their opinion whether to defend certain practices or to reorganize. From here, the elder groups and younger groups like what we had discussed in previous post took form. So, this fits the warning of Allah Ta'ala in the Quran and what has been narrated in the hadith reported from prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
We should also bear in our mind in our effort to understand the hadith and several verses from Quran pertaining this issue. We are not prohibited from discussing and researching religious matters for e.g the essential of religion, the branches of religion, the decision-making related to the way of life and differences of opinions. We are determined by the religion itself to discuss and talk about these since the God the Highest commands us to think, to ponder and to use our mind. However, it is prohibited to force our opinion on others or by using the force enforcing our opinions on others and looking at others who are not of the same opinion as our enemies! It would be more disgusting if these conflicts are to be made a background for political brawls or to defend the position of certain groups like what I could see now! It also includes labeling others as infidels as the result of the previous.
"Indeed those who divides their "divine law" and makes them turning into groups; you are not with them in anything! Their affair is only left to the God! Then He will herald them on what they used to do" - Surat Al-An'am 6:159
In the verse above, the God mentions that prophet Muhammad s.a.w is not from any of the side of any group or the sect which has divide itself from one another although all of them claim that they are closer to prophet Muhammad s.a.w in term of practices and sunnah. This is not only intended to "Sunnah" Muslims but also to "Shi'a" Muslims because Shi'a Muslims also have the "Sunnah" as according to their standards. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w only siding with those who are united with one another. United here does not mean the unity in term of forcing the opinions on one another. United here means respecting one another as prophet Muhammad s.a.w as according to the hadith still mentioning about 73 fractions. But all of these 73 fractions are still his nations.
It means: "Behold that the messenger of the God had once stand in front of the public and said... 'Indeed from the people of the scriptures before you, they would be 72 fractions and my nations would split into 73 groups. The 72 would be cast into the Fire but the ones which would be put into the paradise are the jama'a". - Abi Dawud
In our history, there are the Khawarij groups, the Shi'a groups, the Mu'tazilites, the Ash'arite, the Maturidi and those claim themselves as the Ahl Sunnah wal Jama'a. There are movements like Muslim Brotherhood, Tabligh, Sufi Brotherhood and so on. If fanaticism of the group is at its peak, everyone of these would claim that only their group is the righteous one. Others are all wrong!!! While if we make a new analysis, we could make a conclusion that in each of these group; there are rights and there are also errors since most of them are the result of opinions. Though the door to exchange opinions is closed with extremism and fanaticism, there still is a space for observation to correct whatever errors that we have and to be in accordance with whatever is right as the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w says:
"My nations would never assemble on deviation"
Which means, no one decides the "general" path that they follow is the strayed path! As for me, the schism between "Sunnah" and 'Shi'a" is the most pathetic thing that ever happened in the history. There were also the partition of "Shi'a" groups when some became the "Khawarij" groups. Those especially of "Sunnah" and "Shi'a" are so ego till they would kill one another because of differences in furu' matters. There are also accusations on one another for e.g on monotheism issues based on over-generalization and it becomes nauseating when it is mixed with worldly political matters... repeated... and repeated...
Even now, when I am returning to the path of Muhammad s.a.w and ancestors. I still have to be careful and not to take "anything" from preachers in any side as the final word of the God. I refuse to be within all of these groups too if all of them keep accusing one another with suspicion but only remaining as a Muslim, a follower of Muhammad s.a.w path and a servant in service under the Glorious God the Highest.
Sealed with prayer for mercy, peace and love, amin!