The Albaani Site

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Innovations | 4 | The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم Censured Innovation Universally, All Innovation in the Religion

Continuing from the the last post.

“The point from this hadith is that it gives us a new benefit which was not mentioned in the previous one, and this is how it is obligatory on every researching faqeeh of the Sunnah to collect and gather all of the hadiths reported concerning an issue so that by doing so he has a complete case without any deficiency.

[So] here the Prophet عليه السلام tells us by saying, “For surely, he who lives from amongst you will see much differing,” … it’s as though someone asked [him a question] but the reality is that no-one did … because Allaah عز وجل inspires His Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to answer before someone asks … it’s as though a questioner said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! When we see this differing which you are informing us about by your saying that, “For surely, he who lives from amongst you will see much differing,” what should we do, O Messenger of Allaah, when we see this much differing, what should we do?’

So he عليه الصلاة والسلام answered them without being asked as we just said, [saying], “It is upon you to be upon my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs,” to the end of the hadith.

Thus, salvation from any division and from any difference which occurs between the Muslims is to turn back to the path of the first believers, since he عليه السلام said in a clear, Arabic tongue, that when you see the differing, “It is upon you to be upon my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

So do the Muslims who fall into a disputed issue today go back and comply with this order of his عليه السلام and other [such orders] that have been mentioned in the Quraan and the Sunnah? [That] when you see some differing, “It is upon you to be upon my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs,” [do the Muslims comply with this today?]

Unfortunately, the answer is that few are the ones who [actually] do that amongst the Muslims, and they are the ones who greatly aspire after two things which cannot be split or separated, and they are, firstly, knowing the Sunnah which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was upon and then, secondly, to crave after implementing it themselves and then amongst those who[se company] they enjoy and then those who live around them and so on.

[So] now we are discussing one issue which is that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم censured innovation universally, all innovation in the religion–so have the Muslims stood by this universal censure of every innovation connected to worship in Islaam or have they differed concerning it?

The reality is that they have differed, because I believe that the students of knowledge amongst you, in fact, even those of you who listen to knowledge [being imparted even though you may not be dedicated students of knowledge and who do so] in compliance with the narration reported from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal, may Allaah the Most High be pleased with him, who said, ‘Be a scholar, or a student, or someone who listens to knowledge, but don’t be the fourth and end up being destroyed.’

So you are either students of knowledge or at the very least you are from those people who sit in the gatherings of knowledge so you must have someday heard that statement that is made on such occasions, ‘Whatever the Muslims hold to be good is good,’ and in addition to that some of them say, ‘No, my brother, in Islaam there are good innovations, so how can you say that, ‘Every innovation is misguidance?’

It is obligatory that the Muslim who really wants to comply with the verse we are in the middle of explaining [understands] this point, [the verse being], “So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work …” [Kahf 18:110]–so the innovations which are foreign/have been added to Islaam have nothing whatsoever to do with Islaam, and [thus] naturally, have nothing whatsoever to do with righteous work [as mentioned in the verse].

So a Muslim who tries to get closer to Allaah عز وجل with something Allaah has not legislated on the tongue of His Messenger [should know that] that action is not righteous and as a result it is an action which you cannot hope to be saved by on the Day of Resurrection.”

Are the Ash’aris from Ahlus-Sunnah?

Questioner: The next question is, “Are the Ash’aris from Ahlus-Sunnah? And what is out stance towards the modern-day Ash’aris?”

Al-Albaani: I do not share [the view of] some of the noble scholars of the past and present that we say about a group from the [many] Islamic groups that it is not from Ahlus-Sunnah due to its deviation in one issue or another from what we hold to be religion before Allaah تبارك وتعالى, and thus, the exact same answer as was given to the previous question applies to this one, i.e., about an Islamic Jama’ah or Jamaa’aat when its manhaj is clinging to the Book and the Sunnah upon the manhaj of the Salaf as-Saalih but who deviated in some issues in thought or writing and thus left the manhaj which they [i.e., the Salaf] were pleased with as their religion and aqidah, if it is like that then we say they are from Ahlus-Sunnah.

As for those amongst them who proclaim, as we hear from some of the later Ash’aris, that, ‘‘The madhhab of the Salaf is safer, but the madhhab of the Khalaf is more informed and is more precise.’’ At that time we say: they have left the fold of Ahlus-Sunnah.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 305.

Questioner: … the issue of the Ash’aris, can we say that the Ash’aris are from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah?

Al-Albaani: The just answer is that they are from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in many things and not from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in a few things.

Questioner: Jazaakallaahu khair.

Al-Albaani: Wa iyyaak.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 327.

Questioner: Our Shaikh, in this time the Ash’aris and other deviant groups have surfaced and some of our brothers are asking: are the Ash’aris from Ahlus-Sunnah? And some of our brothers, whose hearts have absorbed love of them, speak to other individuals amongst them [i.e., the Ash’aris], so we find these brothers rush to declare these youth to be disbelievers, those who hold this belief, so what is your advice in this?

Al-Albaani: Yaa akhi, I think [in previous discussions] we [already] finished the topic of declaring Muslims to be disbelievers [takfeer], inshaa Allaah, [and we said] that it is a dangerous, a very dangerous issue, and that it is not allowed to rush into it except after questioning the aqidah of this person who it is intended to declare to be a disbeliever. In the previous sitting we mentioned that the proof must be established even if he shows or expresses it about himself on his own tongue, we have to establish against him the proof that this is disbelief is in opposition to the Book and the Sunnah.

So it is dangerous and severe, rather an imitation of the Khawaarij of the past, that we rush to declare to be disbelievers our Muslim brothers who share with us the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and who pray our prayer, fast our fast, and face our Qiblah, these positive things which they share with us, it is not right that we squander that and give it no weight just because we see some deviance in them.

For a surety it is obligatory on us to help them away from their misinterpretation, from their deviation. As for us straight away just saying that these people are disbelievers or have apostatised from their religion, then this is not the condition of a righteous Muslim who is acquainted with the Book and the Sunnah [questioner starts saying something] … be patient …

[Now] as for whether the Ash’aris or the Maaturidis are from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. I say that they are from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah in many things related to aqidah but in other aqidah issues they have deviated away from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, either towards the Jabariyyah or towards the Mu’tazilah and so on. So as long as they do not adopt the methodology we call to in following the Book and the Sunnah upon the manhaj of the Salaf as-Saalih then without doubt they will leave, in many [issues] or a few, the Straight Path which the Salaf as-Saalih and those who followed them in goodness were upon.

I don’t hold that we should say that they are not from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah whatsoever, because they in reality are as Allaah said even though it was concerning another occasion, “They had mixed [i.e., polluted] a righteous deed with another that was bad. Perhaps Allaah will turn to them in forgiveness.” [Tawbah 9:102]

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 673.

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