Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem,
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا
Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allâh and the Last Day and remembers Allâh much. (Al Ahzaab: 21)
AHL SUNNAH WAL JAMAAH: TRUTH & MODERATION
M Ziyaad R
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious Most Merciful
This is a very brief article, an exerpt from my ongoing research on this topic.
The sahabi Ibn Abbaas (Radi Allahu ‘anhu) said regarding aayah 106, aal imran:
يقول ابنُ عباس – رضي الله عنهما – في تفسير قوله – تعالى -: ﴿يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ﴾ [آل عمران: 106]، “فأمَّا الذين ابيضت وجوههم، فأهل السنة والجماعة، وأمَّا الذين اسودت وجوههم، فأهل البدع والضلالة”
“شرح أصول الاعتقاد”، للالكائي، (1/54).
“Those whose faces will be bright will be Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah and those whose faces will be dark will be Ahlul-Bida’ah and deviation.”
[Sharh us sunnah; Also recorded in Tafseer Ibn Kathir and Tafseer At-Tabari]
MEANING OF ‘SUNNAH’ AND ‘JAMA’AH’
Imaam Hasan al Basri (rahimahullah) said:
“The SUNNAH is – by Him besides whom there is no god – between the 2 extremes of negation and indulgence. Therefore, hold fast to it – may Allah show you mercy. The followers of the Sunnah have been few in preceding generations and they will be few in the people that are left; those who did not opt for the indulgent in their indulgence nor with the innovators in their innovations, rather stayed on the Sunnah until they met their Lord. Be like them”
Hafiz Abu Muhammad Abd Al Rahman Bin Ismail (Abu Shamah) rahimahullah said in his book “The Novel and the Innovations” while speaking of the necessity to remain with the JAMA’AH:
“What it truly means is to hold fast to the Truth and follow it, even if those adhering to it are few and its opponents are plenty. For it is Truth that the preceding Jama’ah held fast unto, at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). We pay no attention to the great numbers after them holding falsehood as true.” [Ibn Abil Izz Al Hanafi, Sharh Aqeedah Al Tahawiyyah]
THE JAMA’AH IS WHAT AGREES TO THE TRUTH
الجماعة ما وافق الحق ، وإن كنت وحدك
The great Companion ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) (died in the year 32 H) told his student, ‘Amr ibn Maymoon, “Verily, the majority of the people are the ones splitting away from the Jamaa’ah! Verily, the Jamaa’ah is what is in accordance with the Truth, even if you were alone (i.e. the only one upon the Truth).” It was reported by al-Laalakaa’ee inSharh Usool Ali’tiqaad (no.160), and Ibn al-Qayyim quoted it in I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een(5/388).
EXAMPLE OF THIS:
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said in I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een (5/389):
“All of the people were in contradiction (to the Truth) in the time of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, except for a small group. They were the Jamaa’ah themselves (of that time). The judges, the muftees, and the Caliph of that time and his followers were all in opposition (to the Truth). It was Imaam Ahmad by himself (and the few who supported him) who was the Jamaa’ah!”
What matters is that the Jamaah holds on to the truth, and the truth is what the Prophet and his sahaba were upon.
Imam Abu Ishaaq ash-Shaatibi said:
” وَالْآثَارُ فِي هَذَا الْمَعْنَى كَثِيرَةٌ جَمِيعُهَا يَدُلُّ عَلَى الِاقْتِدَاءِ بِهِمْ وَالِاتِّبَاعِ لِطَرِيقِهِمْ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ، وَهُوَ طَرِيقُ النَّجَاةِ حَسْبَمَا نَبَّهَ عَلَيْهِ حَدِيثُ الْفِرَقِ فِي قَوْلِهِ: “مَا أَنَا عليه وأصحابي
The reports that confirm this idea are many; all of them indicate that one should take them (Sahaba) as an example and follow their way in all situations. It is the way of salvation, as was pointed out in the hadeeth that speaks of the division of the ummah, in which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“… what I and my companions are following.”
[al-I’tisaam, 3/307. See also Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh by Mullah ‘Ali al-Qaari, 1/374]
WHO DO WE TURN TO?
The words of the great scholars I’m quoting below are crystal clear:
Shaykh Abdul Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d 561H) – rahimahullah – said:
“As for the the Saved-Sect it is Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and there is no name for Ahlus-Sunnah except one – and that is Ashaabul-Hadeeth”
Imaam Tirmidhi (رحمه الله) informs us that:
“According to the people of knowledge, the Jamaa’ah refers to the people of jurisprudence, learning and hadeeth”
[Tirmidhi, hadeeth no. 2256]
To end, let us ponder over this ayaah, an obligation upon every Muslim. One must seek the truth and hold on to it.
“And hold fast, altogether, to the Rope of Allah and be not divided”. (3:102)
Let us strive to follow the words of our beloved prophet, Muhammad (saw) and achieve our purpose!