How do we refute the one who says that there is currently no Saved Sect at present because just like it is not necessary for there to be Jihād and fighting in every time period, there does not have to a faction of the Saved Sect present during every time period?
Shaykh Sulaymān ibn AbdIllah Abul-Khayl:
The answer to that is in the Prophet’s statement: ‘There will always be or never cease to be a group amongst my Ummah following the truth and given victory.’ His words ‘there will always be’ are proof of this group’s existence during every period in time until the final hour. If it were not for the existence of this victorious group, this religion would have been lost and there would be no one attending to and guarding the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and applying them to all affairs. In the tradition of Mu`āwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān, he said: ‘The Jews split up into seventy-one sects, the Nazarenes split up into seventy-two sects – meaning according to their desires – and this nation will split up in to seventy-three sects – meaning according to their desires – all of them are in Hell except one...’ Then he mentioned what we said before, after which he said: ‘And in my nation men will appear who have desires that make them rabid like a person with rabies, not leaving any vein or muscle uninfected.’ Therefore, this claim and these kinds of comments are born from erroneous desires that exist in some people like the blood flow in their veins, to the point where they have absorbed them and they have fused with their blood, their minds and their thoughts.
Their judgement of whether something is true, therefore, is based on them alone. In fact, they blow their own bodies to bits in obedience to these desires, deviations, violent passions, and evil detriments. The Prophet, as we mentioned before, did not die until he had clarified for people everything they need know for their present lives and after lives – both obligations and prohibitions alike – and will keep them away from all the things that disturb the happiness of their living in every place and time.