How strong is the Hadith in Ahmad commanding the Muslims to remain united and not divide

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful Most Kind

Short Answer

There are several Hadith narrations in Ahmad commanding the Muslims to remain united and not divide. I think you may be referring to narration 23145, since that wording most closely matches your question. This Hadith is weak in itself. However, it is strengthened by numerous similar narrations.

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ الرَّازِيُّ، قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ زَكَرِيَّا بْنَ سَلَّامٍ يُحَدِّثُ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ رَجُلٍ قَالَ: انْتَهَيْتُ إِلَى النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ: أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالْفُرْقَةَ، أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْجَمَاعَةِ، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالْفُرْقَةَ. ثَلَاثَ مِرَارٍ

Ishaq bin Suleiman al-Razi said, I heard Zakaria bin Salam narrating from his father, from a man who said, I came to the Prophet ﷺ who said: O people be with the majority. I warn you against division. O people, be with the majority. I warn you against division. He repeated it three times. (Musnad Ahmad, 23145).

The Hadith narration above commands us to remain united and not divide. However, it is a weak narration because two of the narrators are not well known (Majhool). This is according to Imam al-Haythami. Other Hadith scholars felt one of the narrators is little-know not two. In either case it renders the Hadith weak.

رَوَاهُ أَحْمَدُ وَفِيهِ زَكَرِيَّا بْنُ سَلَّامٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ وَلَمْ أَعْرِفْهُمَا. (مجمع الزوائد ومنبع الفوائد)

It was narrated by Ahmad. It (the chain) includes Zakariyah bin Salam from his father. However, I did not know them. (Imam Noorud-deen al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawaid).

So, according to Imam al-Haythami Zakariyah and Salam are both little-known. Therefore, they render the Hadith weak. Such narrators are often referred to as Majhool.

Strengthened through others

Although this particular narration commanding us to remain united and not divide is weak, it is supported by numerous other Hadith narrations and thus strengthened. More importantly it is strengthened by the Quranic verse prohibiting division.

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

Hold firmly to the rope of Allah together, and do not be divided (into factions). (Surah Ali Imran, 103).

The concept of a Hadith narration being strengthened through other Hadith is very important. Anyone speaking about the authenticity of Hadith must be familiar with it. Otherwise, he or she may give the impression that a Hadith is weak or even rejected when it is not.


Nobody should be misled by the fact that the above Hadith commanding us to remain united and not divide is weak. The obligation to remain united as an Ummah is well established in the Holy Quran and authentic Hadith narrations. As is the obligation to refrain from dividing.

We live in an age where many groups are trying to divide us. They present themselves as religious purists. But they are doing the work of the enemies of Islam. One of the greatest goals of Islamophobes is to keep us divided.

Such groups misrepresent many of the Quranic verses and prophetic Hadith that oblige unity in the Ummah. Therefore, it is important for Muslims to understand this issue correctly so they work to unite the Ummah and not further divide us. Nor stand idly by whilst people attempt to destroy us from within.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (15.03.24)