Praise be to Allaah.
Anyone who calls people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not of the misguided groups, rather he belongs to the saved group mentioned in the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“The Jews split into seventy-one groups and the Christians split into seventy-two groups. My ummah will split into seventy-three groups, all of which will be in the Fire except for one.” He was asked, “Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Those who follow the path which I and my companions are on today.” According to one report: “They are the jamaa’ah.”
What this means is that the saved group is the group (jamaa’ah) which adheres steadfastly to the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them), i.e., believing in and worshipping Allaah alone (Tawheed), obeying His commands and heeding His prohibitions, and adhering steadfastly to that in word, deed and belief. These are the people of truth, the ones who call to right guidance, even though they may be scattered throughout the world, with some in Arabia, some in Syria, some in America, some in Egypt, some in the African countries, some in Asia. They are many groups, but they are known by their ‘aqeedah and their deeds. If they follow the path of Tawheed and belief in Allaah and His Messenger, and they adhere steadfastly to the religion of Allaah which was brought by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then they are Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah and the saved group, even though they may be scattered in many parts of the world. But at the end of time they will be very few in number.
In conclusion, the guideline concerning this issue is whether or not they adhere to the truth. If there is a person or a group which calls people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and advocates belief in Tawheed and adhering to the Sharee’ah, then they are the Jamaa’ah and the saved group.
But those who call to anything other than the Book of Allaah, or anything other than the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then they are not part of the jamaa’ah; rather they belong to the misguided and doomed groups. The saved group is those who call people to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, even though they may be groups here and there. So long as their aim and their belief is the same, it doesn’t matter if one is called Ansaar al-Sunnah, and another is called al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen, and so on. What matters is their ‘aqeedah (belief) and their actions. If they adhere steadfastly to the truth and to Tawheed, and they are sincere towards Allaah and follow the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in word, deed and belief, then names do not matter. But they have to fear Allaah and be sincere in that. If some of them are called Ansaar al-Sunnah, and others are called al-Salafiyyeen, or al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen, or whatever, it doesn’t matter so long as they are sincere and adhere steadfastly to the truth by following the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah, and judge according to them, and adhere steadfastly to them in belief, word and deed. If any group errs in some way, then the scholars have to warn them and guide them to the truth if there is clear evidence.
The point is that we must co-operate in righteousness and piety, and deal with our problems with knowledge, wisdom and good manners. If any of these groups or others makes a mistake that has to do with ‘aqeedah, or something that Allaah has commanded or forbidden, they should show them the shar’i evidence in a gentle, wise and polite manner, so that they will follow the truth and accept it, so that they will not be put off from it. This is what all the Muslims should do, co-operate in righteousness and piety, and advise one another to follow that; they should not let one another down in such a way that the enemy may take advantage of them.