In the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) and elsewhere, with following wording from
Al-Bukhari, it is reported on the authority of
Abu Idris Al-Khawlany that he heard
Hudhayfah ibn Al-Yaman say,
People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about the good, but I used to ask him about evil, fearing that I would fall into it. I said, "O Messenger of Allah! We were living in ignorance and evil, and then Allah brought us this good. Will this good turn to evil?" He said, "Yes." I asked, "Will there be good after that evil?" He said, "Yes, but in it there will be Dakhan (i.e. Hidden evil)." I asked, "What will the Dakhan be?" He said, "People will follow a Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet) other than mine and be guided by other than my guidance. You will approve some of their actions and disapprove others." I asked, "Will there be evil after this good?" He said, "Yes. There will be invitations from the gates of Hell, and those who respond to them will be thrown into it." I said, "O Messenger of Allah! Describe them for us." He said, "Yes, they will be people with the same complexion as ours and speaking our language." I said, "O Messenger of Allah! What would you tell me to do if I find myself there?" (Part No. 3; Page No. 136) He said, "You should stay with the Muslim community and its leader." I said, "And if there is no community and no leader?" He said, "Detach yourself from all these groups, even if you have to bite (i.e. Eat) tree roots until death comes to you and you are in this state."
The time does not refer to this specific time, in fact, it is general and refers to any time and place, from the time of the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them), the Time of Fitnah and the rebellion against
`Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him).The meaning of detaching from people at the time of division is mentioned by
Al-Hafizh Ibn Hajar (may Allah be merciful to him) in Fatah Al-Bary as narrated from
Al-Tabary, who said, "When the people do not have an Imam (ruler) and split into sects, do not follow any of these groups. Detach yourselves from all of them if you can, through fear of falling into evil. When there is a group that is following the Truth, you should join them, help to increase their number, and cooperate with them in truth, because this group in this situation is the group of Muslims for that person in that place."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.