Maʿānī al-ʾAkhbār > The meaning of the saying of him, peace be upon him: «The dissimilarity among my nation is a mercy»
Hadith #1

حدثنا علي بن أحمد بن محمد - رحمه الله - قال: حدثنا محمد بن أبي عبد الله الكوفي عن أبي الخير صالح بن أبي حماد، قال: حدثني أحمد بن هلال، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن عبد المؤمن الأنصاري، قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: إن قوما رووا أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قال: " إن اختلاف أمتي رحمة "؟ فقال: صدقوا، قلت: إن كان اختلافهم رحمة فاجتماعهم عذاب؟ قال: ليس حيث ذهبت وذهبوا، إنما أراد قول الله عز وجل: " فلو لا نفر من كل فرقة منهم طائفة ليتفقهوا في الدين ولينذروا قومهم إذا رجعوا إليهم لعلهم يحذرون " فأمرهم أن ينفروا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ويختلفوا إليه فيتعلموا ثم يرجعوا إلى قومهم فيعلموهم، إنما أراد اختلافهم من البلدان لا اختلافا في دين الله، إنما الدين واحد.

1. We were told by Ali bin Ahmad bin Muhammed, may Allah grant him mercy, that he said: We were told by Muhammed bin Abi Abdillah al-Kufi, from Abu’l-Khair, Saleh bin Abi Hammad, that he said: I was told by Ahmad bin Hilal, from Muhammed bin Abi ‘Umayr, from Abdul-Mu’min al-Ansari, that he said: I said to Abu Abdillah, peace be upon him: There is a people who narrate that the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family, said: «Indeed, the dissimilarity among my nation is a mercy». Then he said: They spoke true. I said: If their dissimilarity isa mercy, then is their gathering a punishment? He said: It is not as you and they went. He only indicated the saying of Allah, Exalted and Glorious is He: «Were it not that (it should be that) it separated, from every division of them, a group to gain knowledge of religion and warn their people when they return to them, that they might be cautious.» (9:121) He commanded them to separate themselves (and head) to Allah’s Messenger, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family, and frequently be in his presence that they might learn and then return to their people to teach them. He only indicated their dissimilarity in terms of lands, not a dissimilarity with regards to the Religion of Allah; the Religion is only one.