Commandments Of The Imams Of Ahle Sunnah Concerning Following The Sunnah And Avoiding Bid’ah


by ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Hameed al-Athari

1. Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (R) said:

“O’ people, you must seek knowledge before it is taken away, for indeed when its people (the scholars) die, it wll be taken away. And beware of bid’ah, innovation and sophistication, and adhere to the ancient way [i.e., the way of the Prophet (S)].” [Al-Bidaayah wan-Nahy ‘anha by Ibn Waddaah]

2. Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (R) said:

“Do not perform any act of worship that was not practiced by the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, for the earlier generation did not leave any room for the latter to add anything (to the religion). Fear Allah, O’ readers, seekers of knowledge, and follow the patho of those who came before you.” [Narrated by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah]

3. ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood (R) said:

“Whoever wants to follow an example, let him follow the example of those who have passed away, the Companions of Muhammad (S). They were the best of this ummah, the purest in heart, the deepest in knowledge, the least in sophistication. They were people whom Allah chose to be the Companions of His Prophet (S) and to convey His religion, so imitate their ways and behaviour, for they were following the Straight Path.” [Al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah]

And he (R) said:

“Follow and do not innovate, for everything has been taken care of, and you must follow the ancient way (i.e., of the Salaf).” [Ad-Daarimi in his Sunan]

4. ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (R) said:

“People will continue to adhere to the correct way so long as they folow the footsteps [of the Prophet (S)].” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah]

And he said:

“Every bid’ah is misguidance, even if people think it is good.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah]

5. The great Sahabi Abu ad-Darda’ (R) said:

“You will never be misguided so long as you follow the footsteps [of the Prophet (S)].” [Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah]

6. Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (R) said:

“If religion were based on opinion (what people think is common sense), then we should wipe the bottom of the khuff (leather slippers) rather than the top, but I saw the Messenger of Allah wiping the top of them.” [Ibn Abi Shaybah in Al-Musannaf]

7. ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (R) said:

“No bid’ah is introduced but it will spread further and no Sunnah is neglected but it will dimminish further.” [Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah]

8. It was narrated that ‘Abbaas ibn Rabee’ah said: I saw ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (R) kissing the Black Stone and saying,

“I know that you are only a stone and can neither do harm or bring benefit. If I had not seen the Messenger of Allah kissing you, I would not have kissed you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

9. The just caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (R) said:

“Stay within the limits of the people, because they stayed within the limits on the basis of knowledge, and because of their deep knowledge they did not transgress limits, even though they had the means to go as far as they wanted. If there was any virtue in going beyond the limits, they could have done that if they wanted to. If you say that innovations were introduced after they died, they were only introduced by people who went against their guidance and preferred a way other than theirs. They (the salaf) explained their way and made it clear to everyone, and they said enough about it. Whoever tries to outdo them, is going to extremes, and whoever falls short in that is lacking. There are people who fell short and were negligent, and there are people who tried to surpass them and went to extremes. Theirs is a middle path between these two extremes, and it is a straight path.” [Quoted by Ibn Qudaamah in Lum’at al-‘Itiqaad al-Haadi ila Sabeel al-Rashaad]

10. Imam al-Awzaa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“You must follow the footsteps of those who came before, even if the people reject you. Beware of personal opinions even if people make them attractive. The clear way is that of the Straight Path.” [Al-Khateeb in Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadeeth]

11. Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The more the innovator increases his efforts in innovation, the further away he becomes from Allah.” [Al-Bia’h wan-Nahy ‘anha by Ibn Waddaah]

12. Hassaan ibn ‘Atiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“No people introduce innovation into their religion but an equivalent amount of Sunnah will be taken away.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah]

13. Muhammad ibn Seereen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“They used to say: so long as he is following the footsteps (of the Salaf), then he is on the right path.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah]

14. Sufyaan ath-Thawri (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Bid’ah is dearer to Iblees than sin, because a person may repent of sin but he cannot repent of bid’ah.” [Al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah]

15. ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Mubaarak (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Be one who relies on the narrations (from the Salaf) and accept of people’s opinions that which may explain the hadith to you.” [Al-Bayhaqi in Sunan al-Kubra]

16. Imam Ash-Shaafi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Every issue of which I spoke in a manner that goes against the Sunnah, I retract it during my lifetime and after my death.” [Al-Khateeb in Al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih]

It was narrated that Ar-Rabee’ ibn Sulaymaan said:

“One day Ash-Shaafi’i narrated a hadith, and a man said to him, ‘Do you accept that, O’ Abu ‘Abd-Allah?‘ He said, ‘If I narrate a saheeh hadith from the Messenger of Allah and I do not accept it, then bear witness that I have lost my mind.’” [Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah]

17. It was narrated that Nooh al-Jaami’ said:

“I said to Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him), ‘What do you say about the philosophical issues that people have innovated?‘ He said, ‘That is just the words of philosophers. you should adhere to the way of the Salaf, and beware of every newly invented thing, for it is an innovation (bid’ah).” [Al-Khateeb in Al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih]

18. Imaam Maalik ibn Anas (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The Sunnah is like the ship of Nooh (Noah). Whoever rides in it will be saved and whoever hangs back and does not get on board will be drowned.” [Miftaah al-Jannah fil-I’tisaam bis-Sunnah by As-Suyooti]

And he said:

“If ‘ilm al-kalaam (philosophical rhetoric) were (beneficial) knowledge, the Sahaabah and Taabi’oon would have spoken of it just as they spoke of the rulings of Islam. But it is falsehood and points to falsehood.” [Al-Baghawi in Sharh as-Sunnah]

It was narrated that Ibn al-Majishoon said:

“I heard Maalik say, ‘ Whoever introduces an innovation into Islam thinking that it is good is implying that Muhammad betrayed his mission, because Allah (SWT) says:

“So, whatever was not part of the religion on that day, cannot be part of the religion today.'” [Al-I’tisaam by Imam Ash-Shaatibi]

{…This day, I have perfected your religion for you…} (Qur’an 5:3)

19. Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Imam of Ahl as-Sunnah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The basic principles of Sunnah in our view are: adherence to the way of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, following their example and forsaking bid’ah, for every bid’ah is a going astray.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool Ahl as-Sunnah]

20. It was narrated that Al-Hasan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“If a man who met the early Salaf were to be brought back to life today, he would not recognize anything of Islam” – and he put his hand on his cheek, then said, “apart from this prayer – By Allah, anyone who lives in these strange times and did not meet the righteous salaf, and sees the innovator promoting his bid’ah and the one whose main concern is wordly gains calling others to join him; but Allah protects him from that and causes him to long for the righteous salaf, asking about their path and following their footsteps, and he follows their path, he will be compensated with a great reward. Be like that, in sha’ Allah.” [Al-Bia’h wan-Nahy ‘anha by Ibn Waddaah]

21. How beautiful are the words of the scholar Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (may Allah have mercy on him) who said:

“Follow the path of guidance, and do not worry about how few are the people who follow it. Beware of the paths of misguidance, and do not be decieved by the large numbers of those who doomed.” [Al-I’tisaam by Imam Ash-Shaatibi]

22. ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (R) said to a person who asked him about something and said, “Your father forbade that”:

“Is the command of the Messenger of Allah more deserving of being followed, or the command of my father?!” [Zaad al-Ma’ad by Ibn al-Qayyim]

He (R) was one of the strongest of the Sahaabah in denouncing bid’ah and following the Sunnah. He heard a man sneezing and saying “Praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah.” Ibn ‘Umar said to him:

“This is not what the Messenger of Allah taught us to do. Rather, he said, ‘When any one of you sneezes, let him praise Allah (by saying Al-Hamdu Lillaah).’ He did not say, ‘and send blessings upon the Messenger of Allah.'” [At-Tirmidhi in his Sunan with a hasan isnad]

23. Ibn ‘Abbaas (R) said to a person who opposed the Sunnah by quoting the words of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (R):

“Soon stones from heaven will be sent down upon you (as a punishment). I say to you, ‘The Messenger of Allah said,’ and you say, ‘Abu Bakr and ‘umar said’.” [‘Abd ar-Razzaaq in Al-Musannaf with a saheeh isnad]

Ibn ‘Abbaas (R) spoke the truth when he described Ahl as-Sunnah in the following terms:

“You will always see a man of Ahl as-Sunnah calling people to the Sunnah and forbidding bid’ah.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah]

24. Sufyaan ath-Thawri (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“If you hear that a man in the east is a follower of the Sunnah, then send salaams to him, for Ahl as-Sunnah are becoming very few.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah]

25. Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Whenever I am told of the death of a man among Ahl as-Sunnah, it is as if I have lost one of my limbs.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah]

26. Ja’far ibn Muhammad said: “I heard Qutaybah (may Allah have mercy on him) say,

‘If you see a man who loves Ahl al-Hadeeth, like Yahya ibn Sa’eed, ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Mahdi, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh…’ – and he mentioned others; ‘he is following the Sunnah, and whoever goes against them, know that he is an innovator.'” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah]

27. Ibraheem an-Nakha’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If the Companions of Muhammad had wiped over a fingernail (in wudoo’), I would never have washed it, seeking virtue in following them.” [Abu Dawood in his Sunan]

28. It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Mubaarak (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Know that death nowadays is an honour for every Muslim who meets Allah adhering to the Sunnah. Verily, to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. It is to Allah that we complain of our Alienation, the passing away of our brothers, the lack of support and the emergence of bid’ah. it is to Allah that we complain of the great calamity that has befallen this ummah because of the passing away of the scholars and Ahl as-Sunnah, and the emergence of bid’ah.” [Al-Bia’h wan-Nahy ‘anha by Ibn Waddaah]

29. Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Allah has slaves through whom He will revive the land. They are the followers of the Sunnah.” [Al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl as-Sunnah]

30. How true are the words of Imam Ash-Shaafi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) when he described Ahl as-Sunnah in the following terms:

“When I see a man among the scholars of hadith, it is as if I have seen a man from among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah.” [Al-Khateeb in Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadeeth]

31. Imam Maalik set out an important rule which sums up all that we have quoted from the Imams. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The last generations of this ummah can only be reformed by that which reformed its first generations. What was not part of the religion then cannot become part of the religion now.” [Ash-Shifa’ by Al-Qaadi ‘Ayaad, vol. 2, p. 88]

Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah) said:

“Adhere to the Athaar (narrations) and the Tareeqah (way) of the Salaf and beware of newly invented matters, for all of it is innovation.”

[Reported by As-Suyootee in Sawn al-Mantaq Wal -Kalaam, p. 32.]

These are the words of some of the Imams of the righteous Salaf, Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. They are the most sincere of people, the most caring towards their ummah, the most knowledgeable of what is in their best interests and will guide them. They enjoin adherence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (S), and they warn against newly-invented matters and innovations. They tell us – as the Prophet (S) taught them – that the path to salvation lies in adhering to the Sunnah and teachings of the Prophet (S).

Source

One Response to “Commandments Of The Imams Of Ahle Sunnah Concerning Following The Sunnah And Avoiding Bid’ah”

  1. reviene pillay Says:

    people in cape town are being misled.it has to be stoped.most of them dont know the truth behind the whole thing

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