Responding to this issue in detail, we would like to cite the explanation of Dr. Hatem Al-Haj, Professor of Fiqh, who said:
Allah said, “If your Lord had so willed, He would have made mankind one people, but they will not cease to differ, except those on whom Your Lord and Sustainer has bestowed His mercy, and for this did He create them.” (11: 118-119).
Human beings are diverse and different in their mental capabilities, world views, perceptions and thoughts. All of this is a catalyst to having multiplicity of opinions and judgments. When the constitution in the USA which was written only about 200 years ago by humans is interpreted by the Supreme Court, the judges split in their interpretation and it is usually 5/4 or 6/3 division. Difference of opinion is not equal to dissension and doesn’t necessarily lead to it if the intentions are sincere and the methodology of deduction is sound and the ethics of disagreement are observed.
Let us follow those parameters to avoid that hated and forbidden dissension. Allah said, “And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” (Aal `Imarn 3:105)
Let us cherish the intellectual freedom of our religion, and let us cherish the lack of papal hierarchy.
There are several benefits for the healthy disagreement and variety of opinions which always existed in our Ummah since the time of the Sahabah. Of those benefits is to protect the religion from human fallibility when people agree on something that is wrong and of them is to stimulate the great intellectual discourse with the subsequent intellectual vitality which all resulted in this great fiqhi heritage of ours.
The disagreement over the covering of the face and whether it is mandatory is an old one, and though the majority believes it is not, the other position can’t be discredited and the legitimacy of doing so is a matter of consensus. Men and women are different and equity is what Allah prescribed, but their roles will continue to vary.
The media may not say the truth at times and may spin it at other times, so don’t base your opinions about your fellow Muslims on what you watch on FOX news. Having said this, there is extremism within us. There is also laxity, which is to me the bigger problem. The way to address both sides is by referring all matters to Allah and his Messenger, as Allah said, “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” (al-Nisa` 4:59)
The people who are most capable of referring matters to Allah and His Messenger are the trustworthy scholars deeply grounded in knowledge; Allah said, “…if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly).” (Al-Nisa’ 4:83)