Question: O’ Eminent Shaykh, the Messenger said, “My Ummah will break up in to seventy three sects” - so is this number specific or not?
Answer: This (number) is not of the specific type because the sects are very many. If you read the books about the sects, you find that there are a lot of sects. But, and Allaah knows best, these seventy three (sects), are the basis of the sects. Then from this, many sects sub-divided.
And the contemporary sects now, the ones in opposition to the group of Ahlus Sunnah, so (they are) extensions of these sects and branches from them.