Previously, we spoke about the history of attacking the Sunnah and the stages which the Sunnah has been through. During our speech, we mentioned some of the sects which denied and attacked the Sunnah. Here, we shall mention in detail those who attacked the Sunnah anciently and recently, but let me first draw your attention that the attackers of the Sunnah belong to different sects and groups, and their denial of the Sunnah is of different degrees:
1- Some of them have denied the entire Sunnah such as the Rafidah (a Shi`ah group denying the caliphates of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and `Umar ibn Al Khattab and making accusations against them and many other Companions of the Prophet) and like Ghulam Ahmad Berwiz who established (The society of the people of the Qur'an).
2- Some of them have denied the Sunnah but only approved the frequent practical Sunnah, such as Salah, Zakah, fasting, and Hajj (pilgrimage), which is the creed of Al Mu`tazilah (a Muslim sect) and many of the people who recently deny the Sunnah.
3- Some of them admit the Sunnah, but they do not hold the single narrations as a proof in the matter of creed such as many of the logicians.
4- Some of them do not have a fundamental or a criterion, but they deny this or that Hadith because it is contorary to his or her reason or whim, or because of something in themselves. (1)
Some may ask: Why should we speak about these sects?
Although the stances of those sects from the Sunnah and from the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were quite clear, they have a great impact in the disparity of the Muslim nation into parties and groups. From this standpoint comes the importance of studying these sects because of the following:
First, although these sects were old and their founders were not important, but the point is: these sects exist in our time. If we examine some of these past sects such as the Kharijite (Those who believe only in the Qur'an), we will find that it has other examples in our modern time. Likewise, Al Mu`tazilah whose ideas are still vivid and some of those, who are fascinated by the West, use them day and night. Accordingly, they began to glorify reason and use it in the texts of the Shari`ah, the Qur'an and the Sunnah, so when they find something in harmony with their reasons, they accept it; otherwise they reject it or interpreted it in a way that harms the creed of Muslims. Moreover, they accuse those who hold the Qur'an and the Sunnah as proofs of deterioration and solitude.
They want to deviate from the Islamic Shari`ah, but they did not dare frankly to do it. So, they found that covering behind these opinions is the best mean to achieve their goal, so they resorted to glorifying these ideas in order to achieve their far goals.
Hence, the importance of studying these sects shows up to explain their destructive ideas and opinions which are contrary to the reality of Islam and to show how those people who follow their steps adopt and spread these ideas in modern times. Let it be known that no current sedition or a claim but appeared long time ago because there is an heir to every people and Allah has said the truth when He said: "So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike." (2)
Moreover, it is important to reveal the mask of these movements and destructive ideas which some people adopt these days. Furthermore, it is important to uncover their dangerous role in attacking and defaming Islam (represented in attacking the Qur'an and the Sunnah) from one side and spreading division and difference in the rows of the nation from another side, so we have to expose their thoughts and reality to the people to be aware of them.
(1) See: Qadaya Manhajiyyah Wada`awiyyah p. 62.
(2) Surat Al Baqarah: 118.