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"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
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"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
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[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
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From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
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“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Saturday, June 7, 2008

AHLUS SUNNAH WAL JAMAAH

ORIGINAL SOURCE

The Meaning of Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jamaa'at
Translated and Prepared by Abu 'Iyaad as-Salafee


Sunnah

In the language: "a path/way or a course" [1]

Its usage in the Sharee'ah: "the guidance which the Messenger and his companions were upon in terms of knowledge, belief, speech and action. This is the Sunnah, the following of which is obligatory, whose adherents have been praised, and whose abandoners have been rebuked [2]. The term 'sunnah' is also used for the various acts of worship and beliefs, just as everything which is contrary to it is termed 'bid'ah' (innovation)" [3]

Jamaa'ah

In the language: "is from Ijtimaa' (a gathering, where people come together, i.e. a unification) and this is the opposite of separation, dispersal. The Jamaa'ah are a people who have united together on a certain matter/affair". [4]

Its usage in the Sharee'ah: "They are the salaf[5] of this Ummah, from among the Sahaabas (companions) and the Taabi'een (successors of the Companions) and whoever follows them in goodness till the Day of Judgement. They are those who unite themselves upon the Book and the Sunnah and upon their leaders (i.e. their scholars) and those who travel upon that which the Messenger, His Companions and those who followed them in goodness were upon". [6]

Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah

"They are those who hold on to the Sunnah of the Messenger, the ones who unite themselves upon that and they are the Companions of the Messenger, the Scholars of Guidance, who follow the Companions and whoever travels upon their path in terms of belief, speech and action until the Day of Judgement[7], while remaining steadfast upon this adherence. They avoid innovating and innovations in whatever place or age/era they may be. They are the ones who will remain uppermost, aided (by Allaah) until the Day of Judgement."

So Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah have been described with sticking to the Sunnah and [in all circumstances] avoiding/disregarding the invented matters and innovations in the Deen (religion)[8].

By the word Jamaa'ah the totality of muslims is not meant, nor those who are largest in number or the great majority[9]. This is because the Messenger mentioned that the Taa'ifat ul-Mansoorah[10]is a single group from among the seventy three groups.

Other Terms for the Ahl us-Sunnah

The Ahl us-Sunnah have also been named with other terms and descriptions which have been reported from the Messenger or from the scholars who guide themselves by the Ahl us-Sunnah. So they have been called Ahl us-Sunnah without the annexation of Jamaa'ah. They have also been called Al-Jamaa'ah alone which has been reported from the Prophet by Mu'aawiyyah who said: The Messenger said: "Indeed this Ummah will split into seventy three sects and all of them are in the Fire except for one and that is the Jamaa'ah" [11]

As-Salaf as-Saalih[12] and Ahl ul-Athar

The phrase 'As-Salaf as-Saalih' (The Righteous Predecessors) is synonymous with Ahl us-Sunnah. The Ahl us-Sunnah has also been named 'Ahl ul-Athar' (The People of Narration) meaning: Followers of the Sunnah transmitted from the Messenger and his companions.

Ahl ul-Hadeeth

They have also been named 'Ahl ul-Hadeeth (the People of Hadeeth) as they take from the Sunnah of the Messenger that which has been reported, and what is contained therein of knowledge/cognizance, and are the followers of his guidance outwardly and inwardly. The Ahl us-Sunnah, therefore are the Ahl ul-Hadeeth with respect to this meaning.

The naming of the Ahl us-Sunnah, At-Taaifatul Mansoorah, and Al-Firqat un-Naajiyyah with Ahl ul-Hadeeth is a matter which is elaborate and extensive in the view of the Salaf of this Ummah because it is a requirement of the various texts, of the description of the actual state of affairs and of factual evidence. This has been established from Ibn Al-Mubaarak, Ibn Madeenee, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Imaam Bukhaaree, Ahmad ibn Sinaan and others besides them (radiallaahu-anhum)[13].

Many of the scholars have named them (the Ahl us-Sunnah) in a similar manner and have introduced their books, compositions and compilations with this name. For example the book: [Aqeedat us-Salaf Ashaab ul-Hadeeth] (The Aqeedah of the Salaf, the Companions of Hadeeth) of Imaam Isma'eel Saaboonee 449 H.

Also see Majmoo ul-Fataawaa of Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah 4/9, 95 where he has named the Ahl us-Sunnah with Ahl ul-Hadeeth.

Al-Firqat un-Naajiyyah

And also: the 'Firqat un-Naajiyah (The Saved Sect) ': this is the one which is rescued from the Fire due to its adherence to the Sunnah of the Messenger. This (term) has been taken from the hadeeth: "And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, seventy-two will be in the Fire and one in Paradise and that is the Jamaa'ah"[14]

At-Taa'ifat ul-Mansoorah

And this is why many amongst the Salaf and the Scholars of the Deen name the Ahl us-Sunnah with 'Al-Firqat un-Naajiyyah' and those who are clearly upon the Truth with 'At-Taa'ifat ul-Mansoorah' (the Aided Group) . These are the ones whom the Messenger himself has named due to his saying: "There will never cease to be a small group (Taai'fah) from my Ummah clearly upon the Truth until the Hour is established"[15]

Al-Jamaa'ah

They are also called 'The Jamaa'ah' and sometimes 'Ahl ul-Jamaa'ah'as has preceded.

The (word) Jamaa'ah, which is the Jamaa'ah of the Ahl us-Sunnah, those who come together and unite themselves upon the Truth, is taken from the word Ijtimaa' (an assembly, gathering) and that is the opposite of Furqa (separatedness, disunity). The word Jamaa'ah contains the meaning of 'Ijmaa' which is 'Ittifaaq' (unanimous agreement) the opposite of which is 'Ikhtilaaf' (disagreement). The Ahl us-Sunnah have been described as those who have united themselves upon the Usool ud-Deen[16], have agreed upon them and have united upon the scholars of the Deen.

Ahl ul-Ittibaa'

They have also been described with 'Ahl ul-Ittibaa'' (The People of Adherence and Imitation) because it is from their way: to follow the Aathaar (tracks) of the Messenger outwardly and inwardly, to follow the path of the first and foremost of this Ummah from among the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar[17] and to follow the advice of the Messenger when he said: "You must follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me. Hold onto it (my Sunnah) and bite onto it with your molars. Beware of the newly invented matters for every bid'ah is misguidance... "[18]
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Footnotes:

1. See [Mukhtaar us-Suhhaah] p. 317 and Ibn Mandhoor's [Lisaan ul-Arab] 13/220 -228

2. See [Al-Wasiyyat ul-Kubraa Fee Aqeedatu Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah] p23, [Sharh Aqeedat ul-Waasitiyyah] by Muhammad Khaleel Kharraas p.16, and [Sharh Aqeedat ut-Tahaawiyyah] p.33.

3. See [Al-Amr bil-Ma'roof wan-Nahee anil-Munkar] by Ibn Taymiyah p.77.

4. See [Lisaan ul-Arab] 8/53-60.

5. Salaf : Its meaning in the arabic language is 'those who precede, have gone before'. Its usage: a word used by the earliest scholars for the first three generations of muslims and those who are upon their way in accordance with the hadeeth of the Messenger which is reported by Bukhaaree: "The best of generations is my generation, then those that follow them, then those that follow them". Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah) d. 769 (150 H.) said: "Adhere to the athar (narration) and the tareeqah (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and beware of newly invented matters for all of it is innovation" [Reported by As-Suyootee in Sawn al Mantaq wal-Kalaam p.32] By clinging to their way, holding on to their beliefs and understanding them as they did, worshipping Allaah in His Oneness, upon the Authentic Sunnah of the Messenger in the manner of the Companions one is guaranteed success in this life and security from the Fire in the next life. When questioned by his companions about those who will be saved from the Fire, the Messenger replied: "They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon" [Reported by Tirmidhee from Amr ibn al-Aas - Hadeeth Hasan] All the great scholars from the earliest to the later times have advised clinging to the way and methodology (manhaj) of the Salaf and adherence to it as it is the only means of deliverance. Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) says: "There is no fault/criticism for the one who manifests/proclaims the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from him by unanimous agreement (Ittifaaq) because the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf is nothing but the Truth (Haqq)" [Majmoo al-Fataawaa 4:149]

6. See [Al-I'tisaam] by Ash-Shaatibee 1/23 and [Sharh Aqeedat il-Waasitiyyah] by Haras p.16-17 and [Sharh Aqeedat it-Tahaawiyyah] p.33

7. See [[Sharh ul-Aqeedat il-Tahaawiyyah] by Abi Izz al-Hanafee p.330 and [Risaa'il fil-Aqeedah] p.53.

8. The term Bid'ah is meant for every belief, speech, action, which is not from the Messenger and His companions and has no precedence from them. This term is relevant in every age and era and will remain so until the Day of Judgement. Allaah has provided every generation with trustworthy ones who will preserve His Deen.

9. Abu Umaamah reports that the Prophet "My Ummah will split up into seventy-three sects, seventy-two in the Fire and one in Paradise" We said. Describe them to us. He said: "As-Suwaad al-A'dham (the Great Majority)" Reported by al-Laalikaa'ee in [Sharh Usool il-I'tiqaad] and Ibn Abee Aasim in [as-Sunnah]. The Great Majority here does not refer to the great majority of people in every age and era. Rather this is specific for the era of the Companions and the Taabi'een. Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood said: "The Jamaa'ah is whatever (agrees) with the Truth. Even if it is only one person" . Ishaaq ibn Raahawaayah (d.238) said: "If you were to ask the ignorant people about the Great Majority they would say: The majority of people. They do not know that al-Jamaa'ah is the Scholar who clings to the narrations from the Prophet and his way. So whoever is with him (the scholar) and follows him, then he is al-Jamaa'ah" Reported by Abu Nu'aym in [Hilyat ul-Awliyaah]. In the era of the Companions and their Followers the Taabi'een the Great Majority in that time were upon the Truth. This was due to the fact that people were in nearness to the time of the Messenger and the Messenger attested to the credibility of the best of generations. As for those who came after them then the fact that they are many is not to be considered due to the generality of the texts which give evidence that evil will increase and spread amongst the people, the Ummah will split into seventy-three sects and that Islaam will return as something strange.

10. The Aided Group: a synonymous term for Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah.

11. Reported by Ibn Abee Aasim in [Al-Kitaab was-Sunnah] (1/33). Al-Albaanee said: Hadeeth Saheeh.

12. The addition 'As-Saalih' means 'righteous'. See footnote 5 which has preceded for an explanation of this point.

13. Ibn Al Mubaarak (rahimahullaah) said: "According to me, they are the Ashaab ul-hadeeth" Imaam Bukhaaree said: Ibn al-Madini said: "They are the Ashaab ul-Hadeeth (People of Hadeeth)" Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: "If the Aided Group is not the Ashaab ul-Hadeeth then I have no idea who it is!" Shaikh Abdul Qaadir al-Jilaani said: "As for the Saved Sect it is the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah and there is no name for the Ahl us-Sunnah except one and that is the Ashaab ul-Hadeeth"

14. Reported by Abu Daawood in his [Sunan] in the 'Book of Sunnah' no. 4597

15. Reported by Muslim, Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah and Al-Haakim - Saheeh.

16. Usool ud-Deen: The Fundamentals of the Religion. This refers to the matters of belief (Aqeedah), including the manner of belief in Allaah Azzawajall and all that is due to him from the meanings of Tawheed regarding His Essence, His Names and His Attributes.

17. Muhaajireen: Those who emigrated from Makkah to Medinah with the Messenger . Ansaar. Those who received the emigrants in Medinah and aided them.

18. Reported by Ibn Aasim in his [Book of Sunnah] Al-Albaanee said: Its isnaad is Saheeh and its narrators, all of them, are trustworthy.