Follow the Sunnah only

Follow the Sunnah only

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:4)

This Aayah (Verse) of Quraan embodies a clear statement that the religion has been completed and so has no need of addition and deletion, and our noble Messenger (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) said: “There is nothing that Allah ordered you with except that I have ordered you with it, and there is nothing that Allah forbade you from except that I have forbidden you from it”. (al-Bayhaqee and others)

And the Prophet (SallAllaa-hu Alaihe WaSallam) said: “There is nothing that will take you closer to Jannah (Paradise) but that I have enjoined it upon you, and there is nothing that will take you closer to Jahannum (Hell) but that I have warned you from it.” (Musnad ash-Shaafi’ee and others)

So, the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) fulfilled the trust placed upon him by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) completely, explaining the religion to the people in its inward and outward form, making clear the lawful from the prohibited, the encouraged from the discouraged, even to the extent that he taught us the manners of going to the toilet, the manners of having sex with our partners etc.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says in His Book: “And We have revealed to you a Book explaining everything.” (16:89)

He also says: “We have neglected nothing in the Book.” (6:37)

So, in the Quraan is explained the principles of the religion, Tawheed (Oneness of God) in all its various categories, even to the extent that it teaches us the manners of sitting in circles, visiting other people’s houses, the correct clothing etc.

The Importance of Sticking to the Sunnah
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says: “Indeed you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for the one who hopes in Allah and looks to the Last Day.” (33:21)

He also says: “so if you obey him (i.e. Muhammad), then you will be guided.” (25:54)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ aalaa)’ s Messenger (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) said: “I have left behind me two things, if you cling to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allah and my Sunnah.” (al-Haakim)

And he also said: “and you will live to see great difference, so cling to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs after me, even if it be with your teeth.” (Bukhari)

The Taabi’ee, the Imam, az-Zuhree commented: “Clinging to the Sunnah is to be saved, as Imam Maalik said, ‘like the Ark of Noah’, he who embarked upon it was saved, and he who did not was destroyed.” (ad-Daarimee)

In these narrations is clear evidence that the way of salvation and safety is to closely follow the Sunnah of our Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam), and not to deviate from his path, not accepting the guidance of another individual, nor accepting a corrupted form of the Sunnah. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says: “And whosoever contends with the Messenger after guidance has been made clear to him, and follows a way other than the way of the believers, We shall leave in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell, what an evil destination!” (4:115)

The Religious actions shall become corrupted
We are taught in the revelation that the Religious actions shall become corrupted and this corruption would become the norm, so much so that the people who follow the Sunnah would become as strangers, and those that call to purifying the Sunnah would be slandered and reviled. The Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) said: “Islam began as something strange, and it shall return as something strange as it began. So, “Tooba” (a tree in Jannah) to the strangers.”

It was asked: “Who are the strangers?”

He replied: “Those that purify and correct what the people have corrupted of my Sunnah.” (Tabaraanee)

And what is this corrupt-ion? It is none other than innovation, introducing into the pure religion of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) new ways of worshipping Him that He has not taught, blemishing His religion with our whims and desires, something that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) Himslef condemns: “Or do they have partners that legislate some religion which Allah has not given permission for?” (42:21)

Hadhrat Abdullah ibne Mas’ood lament: “How will it be when the trials overcome you, in which the young grow old and the old grow senile. And the people take the Bid’ah as the Sunnah, and when it changes they say: the Sunnah has changed.”

It was said: “When will this be O Abu Abdur Rahmaan?”

He replied: “When your speakers are many and your scholars are few, and the wealthy ones are plenty and the trustworthy ones are few.” (ad-Daarimee)

How true this statement is today, that the innovations have become so widespread in the religion that the people have taken then to be the Sunnah. And when Ulamaa speaks out against these innovations he is condemned by the people because to them it seems that he is changing the Sunnah. To Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) we complain of the ignorance of our times!

Only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has the right to tell us how to worship Him: “Follow that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and do not follow as Friends and Protectors other than Him.” (7:3)

From the Tafseer of this Aayah, we learn that this Aayah embodies a categorical statement that the privilege to tell people how to worship Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) belongs to Allah (Subhaan-ahu Wa Ta’aalaa) Alone. And how could it be otherwise when the true meaning of Ibaadah is to worship Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) in a way which He is Pleased with and not according to our desires.

and who is more astray then the one who follows his own whims and desires devoid of revelation.” (28:50)

In this regard, the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) said: “I warn you of the newly invented matters (in the religion), and every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.” (an-Nasaaee)

The Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) used to say at the beginning of his lectures: “And the best speech is the Speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters (in the religion).” (Muslim)

He commanded us: “Whosoever does an action which we have not commanded then it must be rejected.” (Muslim)

And also he said: “Whosoever introduces into this religion of ours that which is not part of it then it must be rejected.” (Ahmad)

One of the great Ulamaa said: “And in this Hadeeth is a clear evidence that every action which is not legislated in the Shari’ah must be rejected’ (Jaami al-Uloom of ibn Rajab 1/120)

So every Bid’ah that is introduced in the religion has to be rejected because only Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and His Messenger (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) have the right to legislate in the Shari’ah of Islam.

Hence in the light of what has preceded we can now give the formal Shari’ah definition of Bid’ah: “A newly invented way (in beliefs and actions) in the religion, in imitation of the Shari’ah, by which nearness to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is sought, not being supported by any authentic proof, neither in its foundations nor in the manner in which it is performed.” (al-I’tisaam 1/231 of ash-Shaatibee)

In what has preceded is ample evidence for any fair-minded Muslim that all Bid’ah is blameworthy, and in fact a major sin. But unfortunately the Muslims are in such a state today that the words of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and His Messenger (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) are no longer enough to convince them. And certain groups of people have come up with a new belief to assist them with the destruction of Islam.

The sayings of the Sahaabah (Companions) of Prophet (SallAllaa-hu Alaihe WaSallam):
Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar states: “Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people regard it as good.” (ad-Daarimee)

This narration is enough to demolish the concept of a bid’ah to be allowed to practice. So who do we choose to follow, Hadhrat Ibne Umar or these modern day scholars and intellectuals who are projected by media.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibne Abbas said: “Do not sit with the people of innovation, for verily their sittings are a sickness for the hearts.” (ash-Shari’ah pg 65 of al-Aajurree (d.360)

Hadhrat Mo’aaz bin Jabal used to say whenever he sat in a circle of knowledge: “And I warn you of what is innovated, for all that is innovated is misguidance.” (ash-Shari’ah pg.55, also Abu Dawood with similar wording)

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood said: “Follow the Sunnah of Muhammad and do not innovate, for what you have been commanded is enough for you.” (ad-Daarimee)

Hadhrat Huzaifah bin al-Yamaan said: “Every act of worship that the Sahaabah did not do, do not do it.” (Abu Dawood)

Is this not enough? That the Sahaabah tell us to follow the way of Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) and not to make up new ways of worship?

“Whomsoever Allah guides to the truth, none can misguide him, and whomsoever Allah misguides, none can guide”! (Muslim)

The sayings of the Second and Third generation scholars:
Hasan al-Basree said: “Do not sit with the people of innovation, do not debate with them or listen to them.” (ad-Daarimee 1/121)

Abu Aaliyah said: “Learn Islam. Then when you have learned Islam, do not turn away from it to the right or to the left. But be upon the Straight Path and be upon the Sunnah of your Prophet and that which his Sahaabah were upon. And beware of these innovations because they cause enmity and hatred amongst you, but stick to the original state of affairs that was there before they divided.” (al-Hilya of Abu Nu’aym 2/218)

Sufyaan ath-Thawree: “Innovations are more beloved to Shaitaan (Satan) than sin. Since a sin may be repented from but an innovation is not repented from.” (Sharh Usool I’tiqaad of al-Laalikaa’ee (d.414) no.238)

This is because the innovator believes that he is doing something good and therefore sees no need to repent.

He also said: “So cling to the original state of affairs.” (al-Hilya 6/376)

This means to stick to the Way of Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) and his Sahaabah.

Imam al-Awzaa’ee said: “Patiently restrict yourselves to the Sunnah, stop where the (Sunnah-following) people stopped, say what they said, avoid what they avoided. Take to the path of the Salaf, for indeed what was sufficient for them was sufficient for you.” (ash-Shari’ah pg. 58)

Ibraaheem al-Masayrah said: “He who honors an innovator has assisted in the demolition of Islam.” (Sharh Usool I’tiqaad 1/139)

The sayings of the later Imams:
Imam Abu Hanifah said: “Stick to the narrations and the way of the Salaf, and beware of the newly invented matters for all of it is innovation.” (Sawnul Muntaq of as-Suyutee pg.32)

Imam Malik said: “He who innovates an innovation in Islam regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) has betrayed his trust to deliver the message, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says: ‘this day have I perfected for you your religion’. And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today.” (al-I’tisaam)

He also said: Imam Ahmad said: “The fundamental principles of the Sunnah with us are: avoiding innovations and every innovation is misguidance.” (Usool as-Sunnah of Imam Ahmad pg.1)

Imam Bukhari said: “I have met more than a thousand scholars.(then he mentioned the names of the more prominent in each of the lands that he travelled in) and I found that they all agreed on the following points: they all used to prohibit Bid’ah – that which the Prophet and his Sahaabah were not upon, because of the saying of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), ‘and hold fast to the rope of Allah and do not separate’” (Imam Bukhari’s article on belief as quoted in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad 1/170. From amongst the scholars he met were: Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu Ubaid al-Qaasim, ibn Ma’een, ibn Aasim, ibn Abee Shaybah.)

What I have narrated here is just a small number of the many narrations that I have in front of me from various books, I have tried to quote as best to my ability only authentic narrations, and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) knows best. It is good to know that the early Imams were prolific in writing and warning against Bid’ah.

So once this topic becomes clear, a truth that none can deny, then know that all these innovations in the religion are a clear denial of the above mentioned Aayaat and Ahaadeeth, for none were done by the Sahaabah.

I leave you with the Hadeeth of the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam): “So he who follows my Sunnah has been guided, and he who follows the innovations has been destroyed.” (Ahmad)

And our Lord the Most High is the One that guides to attaining the truth.



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