I kindly invite all of you to read the latest article at www.htspub.com. It deals with an extremely important and relevant topic of discussion.
It is indeed very sad to see 'community leaders' amongst Ahl us-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah telling believers that all they need to know is the six pillars of faith, as recorded in the first hadith in Sahih Muslim, and that everything beyond that is not necessary.
We then have to ask this question. If we mitigate the importance of creed then how is it possible for orthodox believers to know more about Allah and thereby draw closer to Him? If the promise of salvation by faith alone, i.e. that Allah wants to have a relationship with humanity and He has promised that He will never turn away from them (see Al-Baqarah 2:256 for one example) then how can the believers be expected to strive and struggle to seek His pleasure? What about the promise of seeing Him (Al-Qiyaamah 75:22-23 and Yunus 10:26)? These are massively important creedal points that need to be at the forefront of the minds of believers.
We need to constantly be thinking of what Allah has done for us, continues to do for us, and what He still has in store for us. Why should the teaching and preaching of salvation, especially, and the doctrine of seeing Allah in the Hereafter be played down, or even ignored, for the sake of not offending the people of innovation? This is nothing short of treachery towards the common believer.
It is also sad that amongst Ahl us-Sunnah we have scholars who have decided to re-interpret the ahadith regarding the division of the Ummah into 73 sects by saying that the saved sect is the entire Ummah, i.e. Ahl us-Sunnah and the people of innovation and heresy, while the 72 other sects are the Jews and Christians. This was never said by the first three generations or even those who came after, so it is an interpretation that is to be rejected absolutely. Even Shaikh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, of whom so many people nowadys claim affiliation, states that the saved sect (al-firqatu an-najiyyah) is Ahl us-Sunnah wa'l Jama'ah (Al-Ghunya p.143) and then goes on to discuss and describe the remaining 72 sects in quite some detail. They are not the Jews and the Christians. One may also refer to classical works on heresiography such as Kitab As-Shari'ah by Imam Abu Bakr Al-Aajuri and Al-Milal wa An-Nihal by Imam ash-Shahrastani.
With Allah alone is every success. As a layman I can only advise believers to take their deen seriously and to learn Arabic at any and every opportunity. Don't let anyone, regardless of their intention, take you for a ride and waste your time because they don't want to offend some individual or organisation. It is your right to know who the standard bearers of this Deen are and to know what they have said. Even more so, it is your right to know who Allah is and what He has promised you, and with that you can draw closer to Him. (see Al-Baqarah 2:186)
May Allah show us all truth as truth, and help us follow it, and show us falsehood as falsehood and help us avoid it, amin!