Many times I hear people say (there are four ways to follow Islam) and many similar things, and that the four Madhahib (Al Malikiyah, Al Hanafiyah, Al Shafi'iyah, and Al Hanabalah) are these four ways the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) showed for different practices. Now, the practices found in these Madhahib (not all) come from weak or fabricated Ahadeeth, for example the wiping the neck in wudu' according to the Hanafiyah, and putting the hands to the side in Salat, which most maliki's today do, and is not in accordance to the Muwatta' which says that:
The Prophet placed His hands right over left in salat
and there are many other examples from the other Madhahib. The fact is, is that there is one God, One Humanity, One religion, and one way to follow that religion. Now I am not saying that that one way doesn't have diverse ways, and more then one way to do things. It just isn't four for all the practices. An example of a practice that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) did in two different ways is the Takbiratul Ihram, He raised His hand either to the length of His ears or His shoulders. So my question is What is the origin of the concept of there being four ways to do things?