The Quran, in numerous verses, attacks and denigrates the People of the Book for having had themselves fragmented into sects instead of remaining united.
6:159As 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.
21: 93 But (later generations) cut off their affair (of unity) one from another: (yet) will they all return to Us.
23: 53But people have cut off their affair (of unity) between them into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself.
30: 32Those who split up their Religion and become (mere) Sects each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!
38:2 But the Unbelievers (are steeped) in Self-glory and Separatism.
45: 17 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 Judgement as to those matters in which they set up differences
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 4.803Narrated byHudhaifa bin Al Yaman & 9.206
The people used to ask Allah's Apostle about good, but I used to ask him about evil for fear that it might overtake me. Once I said, "O Allah's Apostle! We were in ignorance and in evil and Allah has bestowed upon us the present good; will there be any evil after this good?" He said, "Yes." I asked, "Will there be good after that evil?" He said, "Yes, but it would be tainted with Dakhan (i.e. Little evil)." I asked, "What will its Dakhan be?" He said, "There will be some people who will lead (people) according to principles other than my tradition. You will see their actions and disapprove of them." I said, "Will there be any evil after that good?" He said, "Yes, there will be some people who will invite others to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it (by them)." I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Describe those people to us." He said, "They will belong to us and speak our language." I asked, "What do you order me to do if such a thing should take place in my life?" He said, "Adhere to the group of Muslims and their Chief." I asked, "If there is neither a group (of Muslims) nor a chief (what shall I do)?" He said, "Keep away from all those different sects, even if you had to bite (i.e. eat) the root of a tree, till you meet Allah while you are still in that state."
Al-Tirmidhi HadithHadith 171Narrated byAbdullah ibn Amr
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: There will befall my Ummah exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra'il, so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah one who will do that, and if the people of Isra'il were fragmented into seventy-two sects my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: Allah's Messenger, which is that? Whereupon he said: It is one to which I and my companions belong.
Transmitted by Tirmidhi.
Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 4579Narrated byAbuHurayrah
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects; and the Christians were split up into seventy one or seventy-two sects; and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects.
*** Muhammad was correct - for a change - in predicting the division of his followers ***
From the earliest days after the death of Muhammad, his followers split into very many sects. Most of these sects dissolved into oblivion; others persisted into modern times, yet more have had their influences continue; the following are only a sample:
1Kharijites/Secedres: Who were the very first to split from 'mainline Islam' who believed that Ali should have been made Khalifa instead of Mua'wyia. Their ideas were puritanical, democratic and violent. The Wahabis of Arabia are their followers except that are not democratic but very violent and fundamentalist.
2Murji'ites/Those who postpone (Judgement till the Last Day). They were men who did not take life too seriously and were tolerant of human frailties and weaknesses; they believed that even a fornicator or a thief would not be debarred from Paradise if they believed in the unity of God. Their beliefs were the exact opposite of the Kharijites.
3Shi'a/Party: While the Kharijites actually went against Ali, the Shi'a believe that Ali should have been the legitimate Khalifa and he and his two sons Hassan and Hussein are venerated as martyrs to 'Islam'. They are the believers in the legend of the Mahdi (similar to the Messiah) and the doctrine that there is an infallible Imam (Religious Leader) in every age to whom alone God entrusted the guidance of his servants and hence rejecting the principle of the concensus of the community. The Imam of the Shia becomes like the Pope in Catholicism: Divinely ordained, divinely inspired and the true successor of the prophet.
4Mutazilites/Modernists: who claimed the right to judge revelations in the light of reason and the tenets of philosophy. The title means (Those who have withdrawn). This movement originated in the philosophical and theological ideas of Wasil bin Ata (699-749) which took roots especially under the Abbasid Caliphate of the ninth century. They held the belief that reason must play a role in the Muhammadan's encounter with Allah. They even went against orthodox teachings by declaring that the Quran was created and that the dogma of predestined humanity is neither moral nor logical.
5Ahmadiyah: The most recent sect in 'Islam' as founded in 1908 by Gulam Ahmad al Qadiani in India. It has revolutionary concepts which challenge most of the theological interpretations of the Quran by the other sects since it disapproves of Jihad, does not accept that Muhammad is the last prophet, the mediaeval Ulama need not be followed in the interpretation of the Quran and Hadith, etc.
6Qadarites: They rejected the precept that Man is pre ordained and believe that he has Free Will.
***The above are only the more important sects among tens more. The followers of Muhammad did not fare any better, than those of Moses or Jesus. They too fell into divisiveness, internal blood letting, 'brotherly' hatred and mutual destruction.
They too turned out as 'human' as the followers of other religious leaders and were and are not in any way superior to the very people that both Muhammad and his Quran denigrated and insulted for having fallen into exactly the same trap ***