Posts Tagged ‘Usool as Sunnah’

Some Sayings from the Salaf Concerning Allah سبحانه وتعالى ‘s

Attributes and their Ijmaa’ (Consensus) Concerning the

Falsehood of Ta’weel Part 3

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحت الله وبركاته

الحمد الله

(Continued from previous part) End of his words, may Allaah have mercy upon him. And Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-’Aleem Abul-Hammaam of Jaami’atul-Azhar said, after addressing the issue of

interpolating Istawaa (He ascended) to mean istawlaa (He conquered):

“… And from this is the danger of ta’weel (i.e. that it necessitates the consideration of Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم to have lied) and Ibn al-Qayyim explains that it (ta’weel) is more evil than ta’teel, which is merely, ‘denying the Divine Attributes and rejecting their being established with the Self of Allaah (Dhaat), the Most Perfect because it (ta’weel) contains both tashbeeh, ta’teel and also  playing and fooling with the texts as well as having a bad opinion of them. The Mu’attil (denier of the Attributes) and the Mu’awwil (one who interpolates them) have shared (with each other) in the denial of the realities of the Names and Attributes but the Mu’awwil has exceeded in his playing and fooling with the texts and having a bad opinion of them and also ascribing to the one who speaks with them — that he speaks with their apparent (meanings), that he is astray and leads others astray. Therefore, they have combined in (falling into) four dangers:

(i) Their belief that what is manifest and apparent from the words of Allaah and His Messenger is impossible and is falsehood, therefore they have understood them to be tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) from the very beginning.

(ii) They have denied the reality of their meanings on the basis that this is such an understanding that does not befit them and nor does it befit the Lord, the Most Perfect.

(iii) Ascribing to the speaker, the perfect in knowledge and elucidation (bayaan) and the perfect in giving advice, and that is Allaah, the Most Perfect, the opposite of elucidation (bayaan), guidance (hudaa) and giving direction (iirshad). This (i.e. resorting to ta’weel) necessitates that they are more knowledgeable than Him, more eloquent and clear (in speech) than Him and greater in giving advice to mankind.

(iv) Playing with the texts (of the Book and the Sunnah) and putting an end to their sanctity and sacredness.  Let alone:

(v) That the Mu’awwil (one who resorts to ta’weel) is not pleased with, for Allaah the Exalted, what the most knowledgeable of Him amongst the people, and he is the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم was pleased with for Him.

(vi) That this ta’weel, had Allaah desired it for Himself, then He would have ordered it in His Book or upon the tongue of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and then ta’weel of the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, would have been obligatory, a necessary part of the religion, the neglect of which would be forbidden and whoever abandoned it would have been sinful. And this is in addition to the fact that when Allah, the Most High, has not permitted it then doing it would he a mistake and it would be a manner that is blameworthy and forbidden, due to what it implies, (that is): its being a form of correcting and rectifying Allaah, the Most High, and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.

(vii) That the Mu’awwil of the Attributes of Allaah, in fleeing from tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) and fearing it, has been ignorant of a great reality and this is the impossibility of there being any likeness between the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, and the attributes of His servants since there can be no likeness between the Attributes of the Creator and the attributes of the creation ever. And this is due to the fact that Allaah has informed that there is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, and that He is Unique (Ahad) and that there is no equal to Him. And the Mu’awwil (in resorting to ta’weel) is a liar (kaadhib) since the reality differs from what he says in its entirety and is also a denier (mukadhdhib) because he has rejected Allaah with respect to His saying: “There is nothing like Him.”

And he is a pagan (mushrik) and a disbeliever (kaafir) due to associating some of the servants of Allaah with some of the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High.

(viii) That this Mu’awwd of the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, in fleeing from tashbeeh and in fearing it, the mighty difference between the Attributes of the Creator, the Magnificent and Most High, and between the attributes of the weak and incapable servants has become hidden from him.

(ix) And ta’weel makes the texts (of the Book and the Sunnah) lose their characteristic reverence and prestige since this ta’weel has not depended upon an authentic text from the Sharee’ah and not a single one of the scholars of the Salaf have spoken with it.

(x) And likewise this ta’weel is in contradiction with the fact that Islam, being a practical religion, is compatible and in harmony with every age and era. And it also contradicts the fact that Allaah, the Most High, has described the Qur’aan as being a discourse (Hayaan), an explanation (tibyaan) for every single thing, and something made easy for remembrance, and in whose aayaat reflection and contemplation has been requested. And for this reason Abul-Qaasim ibn Mandah said in his hook ‘Ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahmiyyah,’ “To the Ashaabul-Hadeeth, ta’weel is a form of rejection (takdheeb).”

Taken from “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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Some Sayings from the Salaf Concerning Allah سبحانه وتعالى ‘s

Attributes and their Ijmaa’ (Consensus) Concerning the

Falsehood of Ta’weel Part 2

Imaam al-juwaynee (d. 438H) said, “Know, that for a brief period of time, I was confused about three matters:

(i) The issue of as-Sifaat (Allaah’s Attributes)

(ii) The issue of al-Fawqiyyah (Allah being above His creation)

(iii) The issue of al-Harf (the Word) and as-Sawt (the Voice) about the Glorious Qur’aan.

I used to be confused about the different sayings, which are found in the contemporary books with respect to these matters, (confused as to) whether ta’weel (manipulative distortion) and tahreef should be made of the Attributes. Whether to take them as they are and halt at their meanings, or whether to affirm them without ta’weel, ta’teel, tashbeeh or tamtheel. But I found in the texts of the Book of Allaah, Most High, and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, a great clarity about the reality of these Attributes, and likewise with respect to affirming al-’uluww (the highness of Allaah) a!-Fawqiyyah, al-Harf and as-Sawt. Then I found it in the books of the later Scholars, from the mutakallimoon (the People of theological rhetoric and innovated speech) their making of ta’weel (of Allaah’s Attribute) of al- Istiwaa (Allaah ascending above the creation) by saying that it meant qahr (His dominance) and isteelaa (His conquering); ta’weel of (Allaah’s Attribute) of an-Nuzool by saying that it meant His command descends; ta’weel of (the Attribute of) al- Yadain (the Hands of Allaah) to mean His Power or His Favour; and ta’weel of al-Qadam (the Foot of Allaah) to mean the fine reward with their Lord — and the likes of this. Along with this, I found that they claimed that the Speech of Allaah, tile Most High, meant a speech existent in His Self (qaa’im bidh-dhaat) with word, but not with Voice. They claimed that these words are a mode of expression from the meaning existing with Himself!

From those who held to these sayings were a group of people, who had high status in my heart, such as a group of Ash’aree Shaafi’ee Scholars — and I am upon the madhhab of ash–Shaafi’ee, may Allaah be pleased with him, knowing the obligation of my Religion and its rulings. So I found the likes of these great Shaikhs adhering to the likes of such statements, and they were my teachers, and I had complete faith in them, their nobility and their knowledge. However, despite all this, I found my heart having a hatred for such ta’weel such that I could not find any tranquility and peace with it. It caused my chest to feel constricted, rather than causing it to expand. And I used to fear affirming the Attributes of al-’uluww, al- Istiwaa and an-Nuzool, fearing that it would imply hasr (limiting and encompassing Allaah by His creation) and tashbeeh (resembling Allaah to His creation i.e., anthropomorphism). However, despite this, when I studied the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, I found in them texts pointing to the reality of these meanings. I found that the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم clarified that which came from his Lord, as well as describing Him with them. And know, without any doubt at all, that he صلى الله عليه و سلم used to have present in his noble gatherings the Scholar and the ignorant person, the one with sharp intelligence and the not so sharply intelligent, the Arab and the non-Arab. However, I did not find anything by which he followed up such texts with which he used to describe his Lord, neither with another text, nor with anything that would cause the meanings to be removed from their haqeeqah (real meaning) or cause ta’weel to be made of them; such as the ta’weel of my Shaikhs and Scholars from the mutakallimeen

(the People of theological rhetoric arid innovated speech). Such as their ta’teeel of al-Istiwaa to Isteelaa, and their ta’weel of an-Nuzoot (Allaah’s descending) to mean that His Command descends and other such things. And I did not find that he صلى الله عليه و سلم used to warn the people from having faith in what was apparent in his speech describing His Lord, whether it was concerning al-Fawqiyyah (Allaah being above His creation), or al-Yadain (the Hands of Allaah), or other than them. And there is nothing recorded from him which proves that these Attributes have another inner meaning, other than what is apparent from their meaning…”

Then Imaam al-Juwaynee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentions some aayaat and ahaadeeth concerning al-Fawqiyyah and al-Istiwaa, then he continues:

“So when we came to know this, and came to hold this as our ‘aqeedah (belief), we were then preserved from the doubts of ta’weel, the blindness of ta’teel (divesting Allaah totally or partially of His Attributes) and the foolishness of tashbeeh and tamtheel (likening Allaah to His creation). We then affirmed for Allaah the ‘Uluww (Highness) of our Lord, the Most Perfect, and His Fawqiyyah and that He ascended (istawaa) over His ‘Arsh (Throne) in a manner that befits His Majesty and Greatness.

So the truth is very clear in this and the chest will readily accept this, for indeed tathreef (distortion of the text) is rejected by the correct and sound intellect, such as tahreef of Istiwaa to Isteelaa (conquering) and other than this. Likewise wuqoof (affirming the wording of the Attributes, but halting at their meanings) is also blindness and ignorance, since we know that our Lord described Himself with these Attributes that we may come to know Him by them. So, in our knowing Him, we do not halt at affirming the wordings of the Attributes, whilst negating what is intended from their meanings. Since He did not describe Himself to us by these Attributes, except that we may affirm what He has described Himself with, not that we halt at them. Likewise tashbeeh and tamtheel are also foolishness and ignorance. Thus, the one whom Allaah, the Most High, causes to agree upon the affirmation (of His Attributes), without tahreef, takyeef and wuqoof, then he has indeed agreed upon what is intended for them, if He, the Most High, wishes.”

Then he, may Allah have mercy upon him, explains the reason why Ahlul Kalaam (the People of Theological Rhetoric and Innovated Speech) felt that they were forced to make ta’weel of Istiwaa to Isteelaa, so he said: ‘And Allaah expanded my chest about the state of those Shaikhs who made ta’weel of al-Istiwaa to Isteelaa … and it is my belief that they do not understand the Attributes of the Lord, the Most High, except with what befits the creation. Thus they do not understand al-Istiwaa of Allaah as it truly befits Him … so this is why they distort the words from its proper context and deny what Allaah has described Himself with. And we shall mention the explanation of that if Allah wills. And there is no doubt that we and they (i.e., the ‘Ashariyyah) agree upon affirming the Attributes of at-Hayaat (Life), as-Sam’ (Hearing), al-Basr (Seeing), al-Ilm (Knowledge), al-Qudrah (Power), al-Iraadah (Will) and al-Kalaam (Speech) of Allaah. And we certainly do not understand the Attribute of Life of Allaah to mean with the likes of such organs that are established in our bodies. Likewise, we do not understand the Hearing and the Seeing of Allaah to imply that there are limbs. So, just as they say, His Life is not like ours, nor is His Knowledge and Seeing, rather they are Attributes in a way that is befitting to Him, not befitting us.’ Then we, likewise, say, ‘His Attribute of Life is known but its kaifiyyah (the nature of how it is) is unknown. His Knowledge is known but its kaifiyyalt is not. Likewise, His Seeing and Hearing are known and there is no implication of there being organs and bodily-parts in any of this, rather all these Attributes are in a way that befit Him. Likewise is the case for His ‘Ayn (Eye), Fawqiyyah, Istiwaa and Nuzool. His Fawqiyyah is known, it is established just like the reality of His Hearing and the reality of His Seeing are also established. They are known but their kaifiyyah is not. Then, similarly, His Fawqiyyah is known and established in a way that befits Him, but the kaifiyyah is not. Likewise, His Istiwaa (Ascending) over the ‘Arsh (Throne) is known, but the kaifiyyah is not explained by implying movements or transmission which befit the creation, rather His Istiwaa is in a manner that befits His Greatness. Thus, His Attributes are known from the direction of sentence and affirmation, but are unknown from the perspective of how they are and setting limits. So the Believer is clear about the Attributes from one perspective and blind from the other. The Believer is clear from the perspective of affirmation and existence (of the Attributes) but blind from the perspective of their kaifiyyah and limits. And this is the way by affirming what Allaah, the Most High, has described Himself with, and by negating tahreef, tashbeeh and wuqoof. This is what the Lord, Most High, intends for us concerning His Attributes … that we recognise them, have eemaan in them being haqeeqah (real) and negate any tashbeeh to them, not to deny for Allaah His real Attributes by tahreef and ta’weel. Indeed, there is no difference between Allaah’s Attribute of al-Istiwaa and as-Sam’ and between His Attribute of an-Nuzool and al-Basr – since each occurs by a text.

So if they say to us about al-Istiwaa, ‘You have made tashbeeh!’ Then we reply to them about as-Sam’, ‘You have made tashbeeli and have described your Lord with organs!’ So if they say, ‘No organs and bodily parts, rather it is in a manner that befits Him.’ Then we reply about al-Istiwaa and al-Fawqiyyah, ‘There is no confinement nor limitation, rather it is in a manner that befits Him.’ So whatever is necessary concerning the Attributes of Life, Hearing, Seeing and Knowledge and not making any tashbeeh to them, then such is also necessitated regarding Allaah’s Attributes of Ascending, Descending, al-Yad (Hand), aI-Wajh (Face), al-Qadm (Foot), ad-Dahak (Laughing) and Ta’ajjul (Amazement). So just as they do not imply for Him any organs we do not imply for Him any limbs nor anything that befits the creation. And it is not from justice and fairness that they understand the Attributes of Ascending, Descending, Face and Hand to imply resemblance to the creation, and therefore they think that they must resort to ta’weel and tah’reef, (yet they do not do so for the other Attributes such as Life, Hearing and Seeing.) So those possessing justice and fairness will understand what we have said, have ‘aqeedah in it, accept our sincere advice and will take as the Deen of Allaah the affirmation of all His Attributes, negating from them any tashbeeh, ta’teel, ta’weel or wuqoof.

This is what Allaah intended from us concerning this. Since all these Attributes (that they affirm), and all the others (that they make ta’weel of) come from a single place, and that is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Thus, when we affirm one set of Attributes without ta’wee!, but make ta’weel and tahreef for the others, then we are like those who believed in one part of the Book, but disbelieved in another part. And this is sufficient and clear, if Allaah, the Most High, wills.”

Taken from “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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Some Sayings from the Salaf Concerning Allah سبحانه وتعالى ‘s

Attributes and their Ijmaa’ (Consensus) Concerning the

Falsehood of Ta’weel Part 1

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحت الله وبركاته

الحمد الله

Al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H) said, “I asked az-Zuhree and Makhool about the aayaat pertaining to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah), so they said, ‘Leave them as they are.”

Al-Waleed ibn Muslim (d. 194H) said, “I asked Maalik, al- Awzaa’ee, Laytb ibn Sa’d and Sufyaan ath-Thawree, may Allaah have mercy upon them, concerning the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said, ‘Leave them as they are without asking ‘How?”

lmaam Ahmad (d. 2.41 1] said, “These ahaadeeth should he left as they are … ‘We affirm them and we do not make any similitude for them. This is what has been agreed upon by the scholars.”

Nu’aym ibn Hammaad (d. 228H) said, “Whoever makes tashbeeh (resemblance) of Allaah to his creation has committed kufr (disbelief). And whoever denies what Allaah has described Himself with has also committed kufr. Indeed, all that Allaah has described Himself with, or what His Messenger has described Him with — then there is no tashbeeh in it at all.”

Imaam at-Tirmidhee (d. 279H) said, “It has been stated by more than one person from the People of Knowledge about such ahaadeeth, that there is no tashbeeh (resemblance) to the Attributes of Allaah, and our Lord, the Blessed and Most High, descends to the lowest heaven every night. So they say, ‘Affirm these narrations, have eernaan (faith) in them, do not deny them, nor ask how.’ The likes of this has been related from Maalik ibn Anas, Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Ibn ‘Uyainah and ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, who all said about such ahaadeeth, ‘Leave them as they are, without asking how.’ Such is the saying of the People of Knowledge from the Ahlus-Sunnah wal- Jamaa’ah. However, the Jahmiyyah oppose these narrations and say, ‘This is tashbeeh!’ However, Allaah the Most High, has mentioned in various places in His Book, the Attribute of al-Yad (Hand), as-Sam’ (Hearing), and al-Basr (Seeing), but the Jahmiyyah make ta’weel of these aayaat, explaining them in a way other than how they are explained by the People of Knowledge. They (the Jahmiyyah) say, ‘Indeed, Allaah did not create Aadam with His own Hand,’ they say that Hand means the Power of Allaah.”

Al-Khattaabee (d. 338H) said, “The madhhab of the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) with regard to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah) is to affirm them as they are “alaa dhaahir’ (with their apparent meaning), negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them, nor takyeef (asking how they are).”

Imaam as-Saaboonee (d. 449H) said, “Indeed Ashaabul-Hadeeth (the Scholars of Hadeeth — those who hold fast to the Book and the Sunnah), may Allaah protect their lives and shower mercy upon those that have died, bear witness to the tawheed of Allaah and to the Messenger-ship and Prophet-hood of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. They know their Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, by the Attributes which He has spoken of in His Revelation, and by what He has sent down, or testified to, by His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. They do not believe in tashbeeh (resemblance) of His Attributes with the attributes of the creation. They say, ‘Indeed, He created Aadam with His own Hands, as He, the Most Perfect, textually stated: “O Iblees! What prevented you from prostrating to one whom I have created with My Own (Two) Hands.’

So they do not distort the words from their (proper) context, by carrying the meaning of Yadain (the two Hands of Allaah) to mean ni’matain (two bounties) or quwwatain (two powers) – which is the tahreef (distortion) of the Mu’tazilah and the Jahmiyyah, may Allaah destroy them. They do not ask how these Attributes are, nor do they resemble them to His creation… Allaah, the Most High, protected Ahlus-Sunnah from such tahreef, takyeef and tashbeeh, and favoured them with knowledge and understanding.”

Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d. 458H) said, “The proof for the futility of ta’weel is that the Sahaabah, and those who followed them from the Taabi’een, understood them (the Attributes) ‘alaa dhaahir (upon their literal meaning), and they did not take recourse to ta’weel, nor did they move away from the dhaahir meaning. If ta’weel were permissible, then they would have preceded us in it…”

Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr (d. 463 H) said, “Ahlus-Sunnah are agreed in affirming all the Attributes of Allah which are related in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, having eemaan (faith) in them and understanding them ‘alal-haqeeqah. (in a real sense) not ‘alalmajaaz (metaphorically). How they are is not to be asked. However, the Jahmiyyah, the Mu’tazilah, and the Khawaarij all deny them and do not carry them ‘alal-haqeeqah; claiming that whoever affirms them has made tashbeeh (resemblance), and they claim that whoever recites them (as they are) is a mushabhih (a person doing tashbeeh).”

Ibn Qudaamah (d. 620fl) said, “The way of the Salaf is to have eemaan (faith) in the Names and Attributes of Allaah that He has described Himself with in His Revelation, or upon the tongue of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, without increasing nor decreasing in it, nor exceeding the limits, nor explaining them (i.e. like the Mu’tazilah), nor making ta’weel of them in a way that opposes the Dhahir (apparent) meaning.”

Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said, “From eemaan (faith) in Allaah is eemaan in what He has described Himself with and what His Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم described Him with without tahreef (distortion) and ta’teel (denial and negation), and without takyeef (asking how) and tamtheel (likening them)…”

Taken from “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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On the Prohibition of Sitting with People of

Innovation, Listening to them, Arguing with the

m to Abandon then and those who Associate with


بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of mankind.”

Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d. 333H) said, “There is consensus (Ijmaa’) among the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een as regards dissociating and cutting-off from the Innovators.”

Al-Qurtubee (d. 671H) said, “And when avoiding the people of sin has been established, as we have just explained, then avoiding the People of Innovations and Desires is foremost (i.e., more befitting).”

Al-Baghawee (d. 535H) said, “And the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een, their successors and the Scholars of the Sunnah passed away while they were upon this, united and unanimously agreed upon having enmity towards the People of Innovation and fleeing from them.”

Al-Baghawee also said, “And the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has informed about the splitting of this Ummah and the appearance of desires and innovations within it. And he ruled that deliverance would be for the one who followed his Sunnah and the Sunnah of his Companions رضي الله عنهTherefore, it is necessary for the Muslim when he sees a man engaging himself with anything from the desires and innovations, believing in them, or belittling anything from the Sunnah, that he flees from him, disowns him and leaves him — dead or alive. So he does not give salaam to him when he meets him and nor does he respond to him if he salutes first (and he should continue doing this) until this person abandons his innovation and returns to the truth.”

Ibn Qudaamah (d. 620H) said, “The Salaf used to forbid sitting with the People of Innovations, looking into their books and listening to their words.” 231 Imaam al-Laalikaa’ee (d. 418H) said in Sharh Usoolil-I’tiqaad, 1/114, “What is related from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم with regards to the prohibition of debating with the Innovators.” Aboo Daawood (d. 275H) has a chapter in his Sunan, 4/197, “Chapter: Turning away from the Innovators and having hatred for them.” Al-Bayhaqee (d. 458H) said in Al- I’tiqaad, p. 236, “Chapter: Prohibition of Sitting with the Innovators.” Imaam an-Nawawee (d. 676H) mentions in Al- Adhkaar, p. 323, “Chapter: Disassociating from the People of Innovation and the People of Sin.” Ibn ‘Abbaas (d. 68H) said, “Indeed the most detestable of things to Allaah are the innovations.” Al-Hasan al-Basree (d. 110H) said, “Do not sit with the people of innovation and desires, nor argue with them, nor listen to them.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said, “I met the best of people, all of them people of the Sunnah and they used to forbid accompanying the people of innovation.”

Ibraheem ibn Maysarah (d.132H) said, “Whoever honours an innovator has aided in the destruction of Islam.”

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d. 161H) said, “Whoever listens to an innovator has left the protection of Allaah and is entrusted with the innovation.

Imaam Maalik (d. 179H) said, “How evil are the people of innovation, we do not give them salaam.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said, “Whoever sits with a person of innovation, then beware of him and whoever sits with a person of innovation has not been given wisdom. I love that there was a fort of iron between me and a person of innovation. That I eat with a Jew and a Christian is more beloved to me than that I eat with a person of innovation.”

Al-Layth ibn Sa’d (d. 175H) said, “If I saw a person of desires (i.e., innovations) walking upon the water I would not accept from him.” So Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee then said, “He (al-Layth) has fallen short. If I saw him walking in the air I would not accept from him.”

Ath-Thaabit ibn al-Ajlaan said, “I met Anas ibn Maalik, Ibn al– Musayyah, al-Hasan al-Basree, Sa’eed ibn Jubair, ash-Sha’bee, Ibraaheem an-Nakha’ee, Ataa’ ibn Abee Ribaah, Taawoos, Mujaahid, ‘Abdullaah ibn Abee Mulaikah, az-Zuhree, Makhool, al-Qaasim Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan, Ataa’ al-Khurasaanee, Thaabit al-Bunaanee, al-Hakam ibn ‘Utbah, Ayyoob as- Sakhtiyaanee, Hammaad ibn Muhammad ibn Seereen, Aboo ‘Aamir – and he had actually met Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq (radhiyallahu anhu), Yazeed ar-Riqaashee, and Sulaimaan ibn Moosaa — all of them were ordering me (to hold on to) the Jamaa’ah and forbidding me from the People of Desires (i.e., Innovators).”

Sa’eed ibn ‘Aamir said, “I heard my grandfather, Ismaa’eel ibn Khaarijah speaking, saying, “Two men from the People of Desires came to Muhammad ibn Seereen (d. 110H) and said, ‘0 Aboo Bakr, can we narrate to you a hadeeth?’ He said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘Then can we recite an aayah to you?’ He said, ‘No. Either you stand (and leave) or I will stand (and leave).’ So the two men stood and left. Some of the people said to him, ‘What harm would it do to you if they recited an aayah?’ He said, ‘I disliked that they read an aayah to me and then distort it, so that this falls into my heart.”

Al-Awzaa’ee (d. 157H) reports from Yahyaa ibn Katheer (d. 129H) that he said, “If you meet a person of innovation along the path, then take a path other than it.” 241

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said, “If a man comes to a person to consult him and he directs him to an innovator, then he has made a deception of Islaam. Beware of going to a person of innovation for they divert (people) from the truth.”

Isma’eel at-Toosee said, “Ibn al-Mubaarak said to me, ‘Let your company be the poor and needy and beware of sitting with a person of innovation.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said, “Do not sit with a person of innovation — for I fear that curses will descend upon you.”

Aboo Qilaabah (d. 104H) said, “Do not sit with them, do not mix with them for I fear that they will immerse you in their misguidance and confuse you in much of what you know.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said, “Do not sit with a person of innovation. Allaah has rendered his actions futile and has taken the light of Islaam from his heart.” 246 He also said, “Do not feel safe about your deen with a person of innovation. Do not consult him in your affairs and do not sit with him, for whoever sits with a person of innovation Allaah will make him inherit blindness.”

And he said, “Verily, Allaah has angels who look for the gatherings in which remembrance is made, so look and see with whom is your sitting. Let it not be with a person of innovation for Allaah does not look at them. And a sign of hypocrisy is that a man stands and sits with a person of innovation.”

Ibn Battah (d. 387H) reported from ‘Abdullaah ibn as-Sariyy who said, “It is not the Sunnah with us, that the People of Desires should be argued with but the Sunnah with us, is that we do not talk to a single one of them.” 249 He also reported from Hanbal ibn Ishaaq ibn Hanbal that he said, “A man wrote a book to Aboo ‘Abdullaah (Imaam Ahmad) رحمه اللهseeking permission to write a book in which the refutation against the People of Innovation is explained and for meeting with the people of theological rhetoric (Ahlul-kalaam) to dispute with them and to present arguments to them. So Aboo ‘Abdullaah wrote a book back to him saying in it, ‘That which we used to hear and found whomever we met from the People of Knowledge upon, is that they used to detest speaking and sitting with the People of Deviation. The affair lies in submitting to and Stopping at whatever is in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم, not in sitting with the People of Deviation and Innovation, seeking thereby to refute them, for they will only confuse you and they themselves do not return. So safety, if Allaah wills, is in abandoning sitting with them and not disputing with them regarding their innovations.”

Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said, “It is not possible for a person of the Sunnah to support a person of innovation except out of hypocrisy.”

‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar as-Sarkhasee, the Scholar of Khazar, said, “I ate with a person of innovation and that reached Ibn al-Mubaarak who said, ‘I never spoke to him for thirty days.”

Aboo Daawood as-Sijistaanee (d. 275) said, “I said to Aboo ‘Abdullaah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, ‘If I see a man from the Ahlus– Sunnah sitting with a man from the people of innovation, should I abandon speaking to him?’ He said, ‘No. You should first inform him that the one whom you saw him with is a person of innovation. Either he will cease speaking to the innovator, so continue speaking to him, or if not, then regard him to be like him.” Ibn Mas’ooj said, “A person is like his friend.”

Hammad ibn Zaid (d. 179H) said, “I was with Ayyoob, Yoonus and Ibn ‘Awn (when) ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubaid, and he was a Mu’taziliyy, passed by them and gave them salaam and stopped – but they did not return the salaam to him.”

When Sulaymaan at-Taymee (d. 143H) became ill he cried intensely and it was said to him, “What makes you cry, the apprehension of death?” He said, “No, but I passed by a Qadariyy and gave salaam to him — and I fear that my Lord will hold me to account for it.”
Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qurtubee said, “Do not sit with the People of Qadar (i.e., the Qadariyyah, those denying Qadar) and do not argue with them. And when Hammaad ibn Salamah (d. 167H) used to sit in a gathering he would say, “Whoever is a Qadariyy, let him stand and leave. Something similar to this has also been reported about Taawoos, Ayyoob, Sulaymaan at- Taymee, Yoonus ibn ‘Ubaid and others. Al-Qaadee said, “And this is Ijmaa (consensus) of the Sahabah and the Taabi‘een (i.e., regarding fleeing from the People of Innovation).

One of the Innovators asked Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (d. 131H), “0 Aboo Bakr, may I ask you about a word? 257 He turned away and indicated with his hand, “No, not even half a word. Ibn ‘Awn (d. 150H) said, “Whoever sits with an innovator is worse than them.”

Ibn Haanee an-Neesaabooree said, “I witnessed Aboo ‘Abdullah, meaning Imaam Ahmad, on his way to the mosque and a man from the skeptics (innovators) gave him salaam. He did not return salaam to him and the man gave him salaam again. Imaam Ahmad pushed him away and did not return salaam to him.”

Aboo ‘Uthmaan as-Saaboonee (d. 449W) said, “And they avoid the People of Innovation and Misguidance, having enmity for the People of Desires and Ignorance. They hate the People of Innovation who introduce into the Deen that which is not from it. They do not love them, they do not accompany them, they do not listen to their words, nor sit with them or argue or dispute with them regarding the Deen. And they protect their ears from listening to their falsehoods, which if they pass by the cars and settle in the hearts, harm the hearts and bring corrupt ideas and whisperings upon them.”

Abul-Jawzaa 261 (d. 83W) said, “That apes and pigs live next to me is more loved by me than if one of them (i.e., People of Desires) lives next to me.

Taken from, “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin رحمه الله

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The Distinguishing Signs of Ahlus-Sunnah

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

Abu Uthman as-Saaboonee (d.449H) رحمه الله said, “And one of the distinguishing signs of Ahlus-Sunnah is their love for the Imams of the Sunnah, its Scholars, its helpers, and its close allies, and their hatred for the leaders of innovation who call to the Hell-Fire and who direct their associates and companions to the home of torment destruction. Allaah, the Sublime, has adorned the hearts of Ahlus-Sunnah, and the light of their hearts with love for the Scholars of the Sunnah, as a bounty from Him, Whose Magnificence is perfect and Sublime.

Al-Hakim Abu ‘AbduLlah al-Haafidh, may Allaah make him and us reside in Paradise, informed Us: Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Fadl al-Muzakkee narrated to us: Ahmad ibn Salamah (said): Abu Rajaa Qutayhah ibn Sa’eed read his Kitab-ul-Iman to us, and at the end of it there occurred, “So when you see a man loving Sufyan ath-Thawri, Malik ibn Anas, al-Awza’i, Shu’bah, Ibn al-Mubarak, Abul-Ahwas Shareek, Waki’, Yahya ibn Sa’eed and ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Mahdi, then know that he is a person of the Sunnah.” Ahmad ibn Salamah رحمه الله said, “Then I added, underneath that in my script, ‘…and Yahya (ibn Yahya), Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq (ibn Ibrahim) ibn Raahawaaih…’ When we stopped at this passage (of the book) the people of Nisabur looked at us and he (Qutayhah) said, “Those people hate Yahya ibn Yahya.” So we said, “What is Yahya ibn Yahya?” He said, “A righteous man, Imaam of the Muslims. And Ishaq ibn Ibrahim is an Imaam (of the Muslims) – and in my estimation Ahmad ibn Hanbal is greater than all of those whom I have mentioned.”

And I met those whom Qutayhah رحمه الله mentioned (about whom he said) that whoever loves them then he is a person of the Sunnah, from among the Scholars of Ahlul- Hadeeth, whose model they emulate, by whose guidance they seek to guide themselves and in whose group and rank they count themselves. And in following the narrations (and sayings of these scholars) they find (i.e., are led to) another group of (righteous scholars), amongst them: Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi’i, Sa’eed ibn Zubayr, az-Zuhri, ash-Sha’bi, at- Taimee and those after them such as al-Laith ibn Sa’d (al-Misree), al-Awza’i, Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah al-Hilaaiee, Hammaad ibn Salamah, Hammed ibn Zaid, Yunus ibn ‘Ubaid, Ayyub as-Sakhtiyaanee Ibn ‘Awn and those similar to them. Then after them, the likes of Yazid ibn Harun (al-Waasitee), ‘Abdur-Razzaq (ibn Hammam as-San’aanee), Jarir ibn ‘Abdul-Hameed (ad-Dabbee) and then those after them such as Muhammad ibn Yahya adh-Dhuhlee Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj al-Qushayree, Abu Dawud as-Sijistani, Abu Zur’ah ar-Razi, Abu Hatim (ar-Razi) and his son, and Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Waarah (ar-Razi), Muhammad ibn Aslam at-Toosee, (Abu Sa’eed) ‘Uthman ibn Sa’eed ad-Darimi (as-Sijzi) and (Imaam) Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Khuzaimah (an- Nisaburi) the one who used to be called ‘Imaam of the Scholars,’ and al-Muqirri was the Imaam of the Scholars during his era arid time, and Abu Ya’qub Ishaq ibn Isma’il al-Bustee, (al-Hasan ibn Sufyan al-Faswi) — and my grandfather by way of my father, Abu Sa’eed Yahya ibn Mansoor az-Zahid ah-Harawi and (Abu Hatim) ‘Adi ibn Hamdawaih as-Saaboonee and his two sons, the Swords of the Sunnah, ‘Abdullah as-Saaboonee and Abu Abdullah Rahman as-Saaboonee and others besides them from the Scholars of the Sunnah, who hold fast to it, aid it, call to it and are the most gentle with and compliant to it.

And these sentences (i.e., the aforementioned aqeedah) which have been affirmed in this book constituted the ‘aqeedah of all of them. They never differed with each other about (a single matter from) it. Rather, they (unanimously) agreed upon it and it has never been established about any one of them that he was pleased with whatever opposed it).

And along with that they (unanimously) agreed with their saying about the Ahlul-Bid’ah — that they should be subdued, humiliated and disgraced, banished and driven away. That (one must) keep away from them, from those who associate with them and from those who are intimate with them. And to seek nearness to Allaah by avoiding them and fleeing from them.”

And the Ustaadh and Imaam (i.e., Abu ‘Uthman) said, “And I, by the Grace of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, am a follower of their narrations, seeking illumination by their lights (and I) advise my brothers and my companions that they should not slip away from their sign-post and that they should not follow other than their sayings. That they should not occupy themselves with these newly invented matters from among the innovations, which have become widespread amongst the Muslims (and likewise the detestable things which) have appeared and become popular (amongst the people). And if a single one of these matters appeared upon the tongue of anyone in the times of those Scholars, that they would have forsaken him, would have declared him an innovator, called him a liar and would have attributed to him, every evil and loathsome thing.

Let not my brothers, may Allaah protect them, be deceived by the abundance of the Ahlul-Bid’ah (the People of Innovation) and their large numbers (for verily, the abundance of the people of falsehood and the small number of the people of truth is a sign of the approach of the Day of Truth), since the Chosen Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Indeed, amongst the signs of the Hour and its being close at hand, is that knowledge will diminish and ignorance will be widespread.”

(And knowledge is the Sunnah and ignorance is Bid’ah. And he صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Verily, Iman will retreat to Madinah as a snake retreats into its burrow.” And he صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “The Hour will not be established… … the earth anyone who says, Allaah.”

And whoever holds fast to the Sunnah of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم (today), acts upon it, remains firm upon it and calls to it, his reward is more numerous and plentiful than the one who was upon this ‘aqeedah (i.e., the above-mentioned (aqeedah) at the beginnings of Islami and faith. Since the Chosen Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “He will receive the reward of fifty (i.e. the one clinging to that which the Companions were upon the later times). “ So it was said, ‘Fifty from amongst them? He صلى الله عليه وسلم replied, “No, but rather front amongst you (i.e., the Companions).”

(Abu ‘Uthman said), “I found in the book of the Shaikh, the Imaam, my grandfather, Abu ‘AbduLlah Muhammad Ibn ‘Adi Hamdawaih as-Saaboonee, Abul- Abbas, al-Hasan ibn Sufyan an-Nasawi informed us that al- ’Abbas ibn Sabeeh narrated to them (saying): ‘Abdul-Jabbar ibn Tahir narrated to us (saying): Ma’mar ibn Rashid narrated to me (saying): I heard ibn Shihab az-Zuhri saying, ‘Teaching a sunnah is more superior than two hundred years of worship.”

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn Muhammad ibn Zakariyyah ash-Shaybani – informed us, saying Abdul-Abbas Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman ad-Daghoolee informed us, saying: “I heard Muhammad ibn Hatim al-Madhfaree saying: I heard ‘Amr ibn Muhammad saying: Abu Mu’aawiyah ad-Dareer was speaking to Harun ar-Rasheed, and he narrated to him the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah, “Adam and Musa had a dispute…” so ‘Alee ibn Ja’far said, “How can this be when there exists the gap (of time) between Adam and Musa that (which) there is.” He (i.e., the narrator) said, “So Harun jumped on account of it and said, “He is narrating to you from the Messenger and you oppose him by saying, ‘How?’ And he did not cease saying this until he calmed down and became silent.”

And in such a way, is it necessary for a person to honour and revere the narrations of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم. He should receive them with acceptance, submission and affirm their truthfulness. He should disown and criticise, in the most severe fashion, anyone who takes a path other than this path, which Harun ar-Rasheedرحمه الله took with the one who resists and opposes an authentic narration which he has heard, by saying, ‘How?’ seeking thereby to reject it and to distance himself from it, and does not receive it with acceptance, in the way that everything which has been reported from the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم should he accepted. May Allah, the Sublime, make us amongst those who listen to the Word and follow the best (thereof) and who hold fast, in this world, for the duration of their lives, to the Book and the Sunnah. And may He keep us away from the desires that lead astray, the opinions that waver, and the evils that cause humiliation, as a bounty and grace from Him.

From “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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