Allah – beginning with the name of – the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise is to Him who guided the believers to the truth. And may His blessings and salutations be upon our master Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) the seal of the Prophets and the coolness of our eyes.
Disputes are three categories. Disputes relating to necessities of the religion (daruriyat al-din). Disputes relating to the essentials of creed (daruriyat ahl al-sunnah). Disputes which are considered a mercy.
Examples of the first category are belief in angels, the revealed books, the previous Prophets and similar cardinal points in the religion of Islam. The one who rejects these beliefs is a disbeliever.
An example of the second category is that all the companions of the Blessed Prophet of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) are upright (u’dul). Rejection of these essentials is innovation. The person who holds such beliefs is termed an innovator and not a disbeliever.
An example of the third category is the four Sunni schools. Or differences of opinion on matters of jurisprudence relating to certain contemporary issues. Or different methodologies of propagating Islam. These differences are a mercy.
The Blessed Prophet of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said “A man is upon the religion of the one he befriends, so one should look at whom he befriends.”
[Narrated by Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi]
For detail on this subject you should take out time and read ‘Sabil al Najah fil Hub fillah wal Bughdh fillah’, written by Imam Yusuf bin Isma’il al Nabhani. If you cannot read Arabic then take out time and have a scholar or an advanced student of knowledge read and explain the book to you.
This is aside from reading and studying books on the correct creed like the text of Imam Abu Ja’far Tahawi, or the epistle on monotheism of Imam Ibrahim Bajuri.
Allah knows best.
Shaykh Muhammad Asrar Rashid