ON THE TEN BASIC SECTARIAN DIVISIONS WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE SEVENTY-THREE SECTS THAT ARE MENTIONED IN THE TRADITION [HADITH] OF THE PROPHET (ALLAH BLESS HIM AND GIVE HIM PEACE).
The following are the ten basic divisions, from which the seventy-three sects have arisen:
The People of the Sunna constitute one single group or denomination [ta’ifa]. The Khawarij are subdivided into fifteen sects. The Mu`tazila are made up of six distinct sects. The Murji`a account for twelve sects, and the Shi`a for no fewer than thirty-two. The Jahmiyya, the Najjariyya, the Zirariyya and the Kullabiyya represent only one sect each, while the Mushabbiha are made up of three sects. This gives us the grand total of seventy-three sects, which tallies exactly with the reported statement of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).
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