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Can a true religion have division?

One of the sad truths of our world is religious division. There is understandable division between differing faiths—Jews, Muslim, Christian, Hindu. Divisions also occur within faiths—sects that believe core principles but reject leadership and practice.Christianity contains hundreds of denominations, all with different ways to interpret the practice of faith.

But the Koran says that any true religion cannot be broken up in sects.

As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did. Surah 6:159

The Koran specifically targets the Jewish faith with that statement.

We did aforetime grant to the Children of Israel the Book the Power of Command, and Prophethood; We gave them, for Sustenance, things good and pure; and We favoured them above the nations. And We granted them Clear Signs in affairs (of Religion): it was only after knowledge had been granted to them that they fell into schisms, through insolent envy among themselves. Verily thy Lord will judge between them on the Day of Judgment as to those matters in which they set up differences. Surah 45:16-17

These schisms within other faiths, the Koran says, will cause the Lord to judge them on their differences.

The Koran claims that any religion that divides itself up, Allah wants no part of it. During the time of Muhammad’s life, Islam was unified. However, after Muhammad’s death, factions emerged. Islam, today, has many sects:
  • Sunnis
  • Shi’ites
  • Sufis
  • Kahrijites
  • Wahhabis
  • Ismailis
  • Zaidis
  • Fatimids
  • Nizari
  • Alawis
  • Druze
  • Baha’i
If Muhammad’s claim is true about divisions, then the Islamic faith fails to live up to its own criteria.