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|. by Nobody: 7:24pm On Sep 11, 2015|
Compilation: Aboo Aamir Al-Atharee
All praise to Allâh the Lord of the worlds; I bear witness that Allâh Alone is worthy of worship, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
We live in an era where there is a rejuvenated call to following the methodology of the early generations of Muslims, and this call – all praise to Allâh – has seen a kind of acceptance in some Muslim communities all over the globe save some places where heretical practices are still commonplace. The development is such that the general populace have shown the desire to know the kind of people that constituted Al-Quroon Al-Mufaddalah (the Glorious Generations) of Islam.
Thus for the English audience we present some of the necessary things that should be known about these pious early Muslims, and why it is their methodology Muslims must strive to follow to earn safety.
In this write-up, we rely heavily on the work Ash-Shaykh Saleem bn. Eid Al-Hilaalee – may Allâh protect him – that is entitled: Limaadhaa akhtar'tu man'hajas-Salafee ['Why I have Chosen the Methodology of the Salaf'].
We ask Allâh to make it beneficial to all the Muslims in general. It is Allâh alone that grants success.
What does the term Salaf mean?
Lexically, the word Salaf means those who have preceded in terms of knowledge, faith, honour and goodness.
Ibn Manzur, the Arabic lexicographer, said in the classical Arabic lexicon, Lisaanul-Arab [9/159], as thus:
'…also As-Salaf are those who were before you amongst your forefathers and relatives; who are older than you are and more honourable. This is why the first epoch of the Taabiuun (who came after the Sahaabah) are called As-Salafus-Sâlih.'
This lexical meaning of the word Salaf also comes into open in the statement of the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – to his daughter, Faatimah, the Flower, may Allâh be pleased with her; he said to her when she became sad after her father told her he was about to die:
'What a good Salaf (predecessor) I am to you.' [Al-Bukhaari (7285); Muslim (2450/98)].
Technically however, the word Salaf, when it is absolutely used, refers to the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam, while the Taabiuun who came after them also share in the appellation, from the perspective of those who came after them too.
Al-Qal'shaani said in Tahrirul-maqaalati min shar'hir-risaalah :
'The Salafus-Saalih were the first epoch (of righteous men) those who were endowed with knowledge, took to the guidance of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam, and guarded his Sunnah. They were the people whom Allâh chose as the Companions of His Prophet and to entrench His Deen. Allâh was pleased with them as Leaders of the Ummah. They strove in the path of Allâh in the utmost and they tried their best to bring benefit to the Ummah, and they all made efforts with their souls to earn Allâh's Pleasure.'
Allâh – the Mighty and Exalted – praised them in His Book where He said:
"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves…" [Al-Fat'h: 29].
And where He said:
"(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking bounties from Allâh and to please Him. And helping Allâh (i.e. helping His religion) and His Messenger. Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say)." [Hashr: 8]
In the Verse above, Allâh mentioned the Muhaajirun (Emigrants) and the Ansaar (Helpers) after which He praised and showed pleasure to those who followed them. And He threatened, with punishment, in another Verse, those who might oppose them and take other than their path; He said:
"And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the Right Path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, we shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in hell – what an evil destination." [An-Nisaa: 115].
"…and follows other than the believers' way…"
The 'believers' when the Verse above was revealed were none other than the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam. Thus it is their way that ought to be followed in understanding the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah of His Messenger – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam.
Therefore, these people, the Companions of the Prophet, should be followed in what they brought (from the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam), and what they did in their time with respect to the matters of the Deen must be emulated; while forgiveness should be sought for them just as Allâh enjoins the Muslims who would come after them to do:
"And those who came after them say: "Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful." [Hashr: 10].
The term, Salaf, was not new to the scholars of old. For instance, Al-Imaam Al-Bukhaari reported in his Sahih that Raashid bn Sa'd said:
'The Salaf used to prefer stallion because it was more courageous and daring.' [The Book of Jihaad, Chapter 50].
While explaining that, Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar – rahima-hullah – said the word Salaf in the statement refers to the Companions of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and those who came after them. What also vindicates that view is the fact that Raashid bn Sa'd – the reporter of the statement – was a Taabi'ee (a pupil of the Companions of the Prophet), and Salaf, to a Taabi'y, is without doubt the Companions of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam.
Similarly Al-Bukhaari reported: The Chapter Illustrating that the Salaf used to save food, meat and others in their houses and on their journeys [The Book of Food, Chapter 27].
What Al-Imaam Al-Bukhaari implied by the word Salaf were the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam.
He (Al-Bukhaari) also said: Az-Zuhree (Al-Imaam Ibn Shihaab) said with regard to bones of dead animals such as elephants' and others:
'I met a people, scholars among the Salaf, who would comb their hair with them and collect their oil in them; they did not see anything wrong in that.' [Book of Ablution, Chapter 67].
|Re: . by Nobody: 7:25pm On Sep 11, 2015|
[b]Al-Imaam Az-Zuhree – rahimahullah – was a Taabi'ee therefore those whom he meant by Salaf were the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh - salaLlaahu alaihy wa sallam.
As for Al-Imaam Muslim, another collector of Sahih, he said in the preface of his Sahih in the route of Muhammad bn Abdillah – rahimahullah – who said: I heard Aliyy bn Shaqeeq say: I heard Abdullâh bn Al-Mubaarak – rahimahullah – say in the gathering of people:
'Leave the hadith of Amr bn Thaabit [a Raafidi] for he used to vilify the Salaf.'
The Salaf being referred to above were the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh.
Al-Imaam Awzaa'ee – rahimahullah – said:
'Be patient over the Sunnah; stay where the people (Companions) stayed; say what they said and refrain from what they refrained from and follow the path of your Salafus-Saalih (the Pious Predecessors), sufficient for you is what sufficed for them.' [Al-Aajooree reported it in Ash-Sharee'ah p.58].
Also from the perspective of time, the term – Salaf – is used to indicate the best of generations (in the history of Islam); the generations that were worthy of emulation. Those were the first three generations that were confirmed to be on goodness upon the tongue of the best of men, our Prophet, Muhammad – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam. He said:
'The best of people is my generation then those who follow them then those who follow them. Then will come people whose testimonies will go before their vows and their vows before their testimonies.'
[The hadith was reported by many collectors at all levels: Bukhaari, Trimidhi, Ibn Hibbaan, etc.]
It is pertinent to note that even though the first three generations of Islam constitute the best of Islam, yet there were some evil people in those generations. For instance, hypocrites were existing in Madeenah even when the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – was alive. And thus when he died, many of heretical thoughts such as those of Khaarijiyyah (Al-Khawaarij), Raafidah (Shiah), I'tizaal (Mu'tazilah), Ir'jaa, etc, reared their heads. This is why it is important to qualify the people to be emulated even in those generations, thus they must be those whose understanding (of the Deen) conformed to the methodology and understanding of the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh. But one important phenomenon at the point in time was that the bulk of the scholars then were on the path of the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh thus the people of Bid'ah were easily found out and exposed to the people in the light of the Qur'ân and Sunnah.
The three generations were the best if they were to be compared to the successive generations. Things began to worsen as years passed by. This is even a confirmation of what Anas bn Maalik – may Allâh be pleased with him – heard from the Messenger of Allâh that the successive years of Islam would be worse, in terms of knowledge and understanding of the Deen, compared with the earlier years. True is the speech of the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam.
Thus as there were Salafus-Sâlih (Pious Predecessors), there were also Salafut-Tâlih (Evil Predecessors). The Companions of the Messenger of Allâh – and those who followed their way among the Taabioon – constitute the former; while the heads of heretical thoughts like Abdullah bn Ubayy, Abdullah bn Saba', Jahm bn Safwaan, Ma'bad Al-Juhani, etc, constitute the latter. As Muslims ought to follow the way and manner of the former, they must try their utmost to see the latter as evil people whom those who might represent their thoughts in the present time must be avoided. And how plenty are they in our own time!
With the foregoing in mind, it will be noted that when the term Salaf is absolutely used, it does not just include everybody in the three first generations but the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh and those who followed them in goodness. In essence, the term can be said to embody those who guard over the correct creed and methodology of Islâm which the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and his Companions were upon before the differing and divisions. And this cuts across all the generations only that the first three generations were attested to by the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – thus they are the standard.
Broadly speaking therefore, Salafus-Saalih are scholars of former and latter generations who filled the annals of Islam with glories that remain unsurpassed in the history of mankind; and they can be said to run into thousands. Below are their levels:
The Sahabah (Companions): Such as Abu Bakr As-Sideeq, Umar bn Al-Khattaab, Uthmaan bn Affaan, Aliyy bn Abee Taalib; the rest of the ten that were given the tidings of Jannah; the rest of those who fought in the Battle of Badr; and those who were with the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – in Bay'atu-Ridwaan (Allegiance of Pleasure), and host of others.
The Muslim belief is that all the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh are trustworthy though they are of varying degrees in terms of knowledge and piety. May Allâh be pleased with them all and may He despise the Shiah – and the modernists – who cast aspersions at the personality of the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh.
Ibn Mas'uud – may Allâh be pleased with him – said:
'Allâh looked into the hearts of the slaves and saw the heart of Muhammad as the best of all the hearts then He chose him for Himself and entrusted him with His Message. Then Allâh looked into the hearts of the slaves after the heart of Muhammad and saw the hearts of his Companions as the best among the rest of the hearts thus He made them the deputies of His Prophet – to fight for His Deen. Thus whatever these Muslims (the Companions) saw as goodness is indeed goodness in the Sight of Allâh, and whatever they saw as evil is evil in the sight of Allâh.' [Recorded by Al-Imaam Ahmad (1/379) and others; it is graded as hasan].
The Taabiuun (Pupils of the Sahaabah): On their lead were Uwais Al-Qar'nee, Sa'eed bn Musayyab, Ur'wah bn Zubayr, Saalim bn Abdillah bn Umar, Ubaydullah bn Abdillah bn Utbah bn Mas'uud, Muhammad bn al-Hanafiyyah, Aliyy bn Al-Hasan Zaynul-Aabideen, Qaasim bn Muhammad bn Abee Bakr As-Sideeq, Al-Hasan Al-Basree, Muhammad bn Seereen, Umar bn Abdil-Azeez, Muhammad bn Shihaab Az-Zuhree, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
The Atbaaut-Taabieen (Pupils of the Taabiuun): On their lead were Maalik bn Anas, Al-Auzaai'yy, Sufyaan bn Saeed Ath-Thauree, Sufyaan bn Uyaynah Al-Hilaalee, Al-Layth bn Sa'd, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
Then those who followed them such as Abdullah bn al-Mubaarak, Waqee', Ash-Shaafi'yy, Abdur-Rahmaan bn Mahdee, Yahyaa Al-Qattaan, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
Then the pupils of the above such as Ahmad bn Hanbal, Yahyaa bn Ma'een, Aliyy bn Al-Madeenee, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
Then the pupils of the above such as Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Abu Haatim, Abu Zur'ah, At-Tir'midhee, Abu Daawud, An-Nasaaiyy, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
Then in the latter generations came the following: Ibn Jareer At-Tabaree, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee, Ibn Abdil-Barr, Abdul-Ghaniyy Al-Maqdsee, Ibn As-Sallaah, Ibn Taymiyyah Shaykhul-Islaam, Al-Miziyy, Adh-Dhahabiyy, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jauziyyah, Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbaliyy, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
Then very much later other prominent figures followed them, such as Muhammad bn Abdil-Wahhaab, Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa'dee, Ibraaheem Aal-Shaykh, Ahmad Shaakir, Muhammad Naasirudeen Al-Albaanee, Abdullah bn Baaz, As-Saalih Al-Uthaymeen, Ash-Shaykh Rabee al-Madkhalee, Muqbil Al-Wada'iyy, etc. May Allâh bestow mercy on all of them.
THE MEANING OF SALAFIYYAH, AHLUS-SUNNAH WAL' JAMAA'AH & OTHER TERMS
The term Salafiyyah is an ascription to the Salaf, and it is nothing but a worthy ascription. As it has been shown here, it is not an innovated thought nor a new school-of-thought. Rather it is a phenomenon that has always been in Islam and which has ensured the passage of Islam, upon the Mercy of Allâh the Mighty Lord, over the periods of time even in the face of massive odds.
To show the worthiness of ascription to the Salaf, Shaykhul-Islâm, Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahuLlaahu, said in Maj'muul-Fataawaa [4/149]:
'There is no fault in a person who exhibits the school-of-thought of the Salaf, ascribes himself to it and seeks honour with it. Rather such must be accepted from him according to the consensus (of the Ummah) because the school-of-thought of the Salaf is nothing but the truth.'
In a nutshell, Shaykhul-Islâm was saying there is nothing wrong in somebody saying he follows the way of the Salaf; in other words that he is a Salafee.
Some people shudder when Salafiyyah is mentioned, they tend to believe that Salafiyyah is a new development embodied in an Islamic group which breaks off from the circle of one Jamâ'ah of Islam; that the movement takes the appellation for itself for a specific understanding and such that it seeks to become distinct within the rest of the Muslims in terms of its rulings and tendencies.
A suspicion such as above is borne out of illusions of some people who hate to hear the precious and magnificent word of Salafiyyah whose root – as it has been shown earlier on – was in the annals of the Ummah. Some people say Salafiyyah is a movement whose flag was raised by people like Jamaaldeen Al-Afghaanee and Muhammad Abdu-hu in the heydays of English colonization of Egypt!
Whoever makes – or transmits – a statement like the above is but ignorant of the historical, etymological and epochal origin of the term Salafus-Saalih. In fact, the early people of knowledge used to call anybody who remained upon the creed and methodology of the Salaf a Salafee. See for instance what the historian of Islâm, the Great Imam, Adh-Dhahabee wrote in Siyar A'alaami Nubalaa [16/457] while reporting a statement from Imâm Daaruqutunee that: 'Nothing is displeasing to me as Scholastic Theology (Il'mul-Kalaam).' Then Al-Imâm Adh-Dhahabee said: 'The man (Imâm Daaruqutunee) never entered into Scholastic Theology (which was a borrowing from the Greek Philosophy) nor argumentation (over matters of the religion); he never ventured into all those, rather he was a Salafee!'
Therefore ascription to Salafiyyah is not an innovation in the religion of Islâm though it was not in use during the time of the Companions (becuase there was no need; the themselves were the Salaf) but from the time of the Taabioon, it became imperative from linguistic and religious points-of-view. Linguistically, the Taabioon would see the Companions as their Salaf, and religiously, as the people whom they should emulate to practise the correct Deen.
To fortify the second reason, scholars of Islam say it became imperative to refer to the Companions as the Salaf during the time of the Taabioon because it was in the latter that some big heretical thoughts and divisions – like Khaarijiyyah, Shi'ah, Qadariyyah, Ir'jaa, I'tizaal, etc – came forth. In the face of the new sects then, Salafiyyah essentially stood out because it was the only means of safety from horrendous thoughts which even made claims to following the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah of His Messenger but upon the understanding of those making the claims.
Salafiyyah says the understanding of the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah of His Messenger must be upon the understanding of the Companions because they were the transmitters of the religion to the successive generations. No Muslim will dispute the fact that remaining upon the Qur'ân and Sunnah according to the understanding of the Companions is safer.
At-Taaifatu Al-Mansuurah (the Victorious Sect) and Al-Fir'qatun An-Naajiyah (the Saved Sect):
The two terms above were alluded to in the statements of the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – when he was talking about the divisions that would – out of the Universal Knowledge of Allâh – come upon the Ummah of Islam. It was as if he was saying that when you see divisions among the Muslims, then the way out is what he proffered as the solution.
On the authority of Abu Hurairah – the Memorizer of the Ummah, the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:
'The Jews divided into seventy-two or seventy-one sects; the Christians, seventy-two or seventy-one sects, my Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects.' [Reported by Aboo Daawud (2/503) and others].
The narration of Anas bn Maalik – may Allâh be pleased with him – has an addition:
'…all the sects would be in the Hell except one; and that is the Jamâ'ah.' [See As-Saheehah 1/356].
Yet there is an addition over that in the hadith of Abdullâh bn Amr, that the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said those who would be safe in the face of the divisions are those upon 'what I am upon today and my Companions.'
The Ahadith above illustrate the following: That in the face of divisions in the Ummah, the entity that will be safe is the one that treads the path of the Prophet and his Companions. In other words, the Fir'qatun-Naajiyyah, in the face of calamities that would befall the Ummah, are those upon the methodology of the Salaf.
As for the term At-Taaifatu Al-Mansuurah, several narrations have come to illustrate it, so also its direct link with the way of the Salaf.
On the authority of Muaawiyah bn Abee Sufyaan – may Allâh be pleased with both; he said: I heard the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – say:
'A group of people, in my Ummah, will not cease to remain upon the command of Allâh; they will not be harmed by those who will despise them or those who will oppose them till the Command of Allâh will come, they will remain on that.' [Recorded by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Also Al-Mugheerah bn Shu'bah – may Allâh be pleased with him – reported that the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:
'A people will not cease to be victorious (in my Ummah) until the command of Allâh will come while they will be on that.' [Recorded by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Imraan bn Husayn – may Allâh be pleased with him – reported from the Messenger of Allaah – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – that he said:
'A group will not cease in my Ummah fighting upon the truth while being victorious against those who oppose them until their last will fight Maseeh Dajjaal.' [See As-Saheehah number: 1959].
There are several other reports wherein the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam –informed of the Victorious Sect such that it can be said that the narrations reach the Tawaatur level, that is a level whereby it is highly impossible it was a falsehood.
A perusal of the narrations talking about the Victorious Sect will indicate that they are the people that will be upon the methodology of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and his Companions. In history of Islam, it has always been like that.
Al-Imaam Al-Munaawee – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – said in Faydul-Qadeer [6/395]:
'There is a clear wonder (in the narrations) because the People of Sunnah have never ceased to be victorious in all the generations even till now. Since the appearance of heretical thoughts in their different forms, such as the Bid'ah of the Khawaarij, Mu'tazilah, Raafidah and others beside them; none of them have been able to achieve a state (all over the Muslims), (and when they seemed to achieve that), their influence did not last long; every time they tended to inflame the populace would Allâh quench their fire with the Light of the Book and Sunnah (of His Messenger). To Allâh be all the praise and glory.'
The People of Sunnah will continue to be victorious (in all their religious endeavours) and they will continue to be hated by the People of Bid'ah. This is what occurs in all the generations. Al-Imaam Ahmad bn Sinaan Al-Qattaan – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – [d.258 hijrah] said: 'There is no person of Bid'ah in life except that he hates the People of Hadith; when a person innovates a Bid'ah, the sweetness of hadith will be taken away from his heart.' [Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee mentioned it in Sharaf As'haab Al-Hadeeth (p.73)].
|Re: . by Nobody: 7:25pm On Sep 11, 2015|
[b]Abu Haatim Ar-Raazi – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – said:
'The sign of the People of Bid'ah is that they attack the People of Narrations (Athar); the sign of the heretics is that they label the People of Athar as People of Trivialities, they tend to destroy the narrations (by their that statement); the sign of the Qadariyyah (those who dispute Allâh's Predestination for His creation) is that they label the People of Sunnah as people that liken Allâh to His creatures; the Raafidis label them as haters of the family of the Prophet.' [Al-Imaam Ar-Raazi mentioned it in his Asl As-Sunnah Wa I'tiqaad Ad-Deen (which was published in the magazine of Salafiyyah University in year 1403 hijrah)].
This is another term that is often mentioned alongside Salafiyyah. It should therefore be noted that the people of knowledge have come to the conclusion that Ahlul-Hadith is also the same as At-Taaifatu Al-Mansuurah and Al-Fir'qatu An-Naajiyyah.
The term Ahlul-Hadith, should not be taken in its literal sense to mean those who specialize in the hadith of the Messenger of Allâh, rather its purview is larger than that meaning. Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – said in Majmu'ul-Fataawaa [4/95]:
'We do not mean by Ahlul-hadith those who only heard, wrote and reported Ahadith rather they mean those who strive to protect, know and understand them whether explicitly or implicitly, and who also follow them in that regards; so also are the People of Qur'ân.'
In essence the People of Hadith are also the People of Qur'aan for in some regards, Qur'ân is also 'hadith.' Allâh the Mighty said:
"Allâh has sent down the best hadith, a Book (this Qur'ân), its parts resembling each other in goodness and truth, oft-repeated…" [Zumar: 23].
There are two central elements in the appellation: Sunnah and Jamâ'ah. And that was how the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – described those that would be safe in time of tribulations when they hold to what he – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and his Companions were upon which is the Sunnah, and their being united over that, which makes them the Jamâ'ah.
Thus the People of Sunnah and Congregation are those who remain upon the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allâh and his Companions while they unite over it. It should be noted here that what should be united upon is the way of the Messenger of Allâh and that of his Companions; it is upon that that the much-quested Muslim unity can be forged.
The School of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamâ'ah had been in existence aforetime, and it cannot be ascribed to any individual that came after the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh.
Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – said:
'The School of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamâ'ah had been in existence aforetime; it was in place before Allâh created Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Ash-Shaafi'yy and Ahmad. It was the school of the Companions which they derived from their Prophet. Therefore whoever opposes that is an innovator in the sight of the People of Sunnah.' [Li Maa dhaa…p.65].
Thus it is pretty clear from the above that Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamâ'ah had their origin in the way of the Prophet and his Companions which is essentially what Salafiyyah embodies.
Just One Path!
Just as Islam stands out among the various religions in the world today, so also is Salafiyyah – the way of the Pious Predecessors – the only means of safety in the face of diverse thoughts, collations, formations, groupings, etc, the Ummah is witnessing today.
Ibn Mas'uud – may Allâh be pleased with him – reported: The Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – drew a line for us then he said: 'This is Allâh's path.' He then drew some other lines on its right hand side and left hand side and said: 'These paths; on each of them there is a Shaytân calling people to it.' After that he recited (Allâh's Word [interpretation of the meaning]smiley
"And Verily, this is My Straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate You away from His Path…" [Al-An'aam: 153].
Ibn Al-Qayyim – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – said:
'This is because the path to Allâh is one; that is the path upon which He raised His Messengers and sent down His Books. None can come to Him except through that path. If people were to come via all other paths through various doors, all other paths will be closed against them so also are the doors except this One Path; it is the One that leads to Allâh.' [At-Tafseer Al-Qayyim (pp. 14-15)].
There is no gainsaying the fact that to have the correct belief, creed, worship, manner, call, etc, the way of the Salaf must be adhered to. There should not be any compromise in this regard.
On the authority of Muaawiyyah bn Abee Sufyaan – may Allâh be pleased with both – who said the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:
'Indeed those before you among the People of Scriptures divided into seventy-two sects; verily this Ummah shall divide into seventy-three sects. Seventy-two will be in the Hell and one will be in Jannah; and that is the Jamâ'ah.' [Reported by Ahmad and others; the narration is authentic.]
And the Jamâ'ah is that which conforms to the truth which the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and his Companions were upon even if it were just a single person that is on that.
May Allâh make us among those that will be upon what the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and his Companions – nay the Pious Predecessors – were.
Wa sallahu alaa nabiyyinaa muhammadin wa aali-hi wa sahbi-hi ajmaeen.
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