Our Call is to Correct What People Have Corrupted, by Shaykh Muhammad al-Anjaree (hafidhahullaah Ta’aala)
[The following are notes – not verbatim – from this highly beneficial Scholarly Lesson and Advice]
After beginning with the name of Allaah, and praising Allaah, and asking Allaah to send His peace and security upon the noblest of His Messengers, our Prophet Muhammad, then Shaikh Al-Anjaree greeted the Muslims with the greeting of Islaam – as-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa baarakatu – before beginning:
كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ
You [true believers in Tawheed, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad, and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma’roof (Tawheed and all that Islaam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islaam has forbidden), and you believe in Allaah… (Aali ‘Imran, ayah 110)
Allaah, Ta’aala, said:
وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّة ٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَأُوْلَائِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islaam), enjoining Al-Ma’roof (Tawheed and all that Islaam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islaam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful. (Aali ‘Imran, ayah 104)
Allaah, Subhanahu wa Ta’aala, has made the goodness of this nation in its commanding of the good and forbidding of the evil.
Commanding the good means commanding with the Religion, with Tawheed – that Allaah be singled out with worship – and the correct Manhaj and the Sunnah. And forbidding the evil means that they forbid Shirk, Bid’ah, and sins, and whatever is contrary to this Religion.
So the good comes about with enjoining of the good and forbidding the evil. And this is what Allaah, Subhanahu wa Ta’aala, commanded us with. So this Ummah is commanded to enjoin the good, and this was the duty carried out by the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the Sahaba (radiallaahu Ta’aala ‘anhum), who called to good and called to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
The Sahaaba called to good, and they likewise forbade all evil, all that the Religion prohibits, such as Shirk, Bid’ah, and the rest of the evil – everything that runs contrary to this Deen.
The flag-bearers, banner-carriers of the Sunnah are the carriers of this Religion, and they are those who command with the Sunnah and forbid Bid’ah, and the sahaaba (radiallaahu Ta’aala ‘anhum) carried out this role and were the carriers of this banner, and this is clear from their narrations.*
It is reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas (radiallaahu ‘anhumma) said: “By Allaah, I do not think that anyone will be more pleased with my death than Shaytaan.” It was said, “How is that?” He replied, “An innovation is invented in the East or the West, and a man brings it to me. When it reaches me, I crush it with the Sunnah.”
They [the Sahaaba] called to revival of the Sunnah, and from forbidding evil is to demolish innovations (heresies).
So when it reached ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiallaahu ‘anhu) that Sabeegh ibn ‘Asl had come up with some tafseer of the Qur`an off the top of his head, from Soorat an-Nazi’at, ‘Umar told him: If you were MuHaliqqa (bold-headed, like the Khawaarij), I would have cut off your neck. Meaning (he would have done that) to preserve the religion, the Sunnah, the methodology of Prophethood. This was their eager concern.
Ordering the good – the Sunnah – and forbidding evil – bid’ah.
The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) described these people of truth, these people of strangeness in his saying: Glad tidings is for the strangers.
He was asked: Who are the strangers? He (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: They are a righteous people amongst many evil people. Those who disobey them will be more than those who obey them.
So these are the strangers. The sahaba (radiallaahu ‘anhum) were like this. As was indicated by the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in his saying: Islaam began as strange, and it will return strange as it began. So glad tidings to the strangers. [Saheeh Muslim, no. 145] He was asked: Who are the strangers? He (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: They are a righteous people amongst many evil people. Those who disobey them will be more than those who obey them.
Obey them in what?
Meaning those who obey them in their call to the Sunnah and clarifying the truth and seeking to kill off – refute – bid’ah and falsehood.
The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah, and the people act upon it, then for him will be the reward for all those who act on it. [Ibn Majah]
This is the Sunni who commands the Sunnah – commands the good – and forbids the evil.
Whoever revives a Sunnah – from the Prophet’s Manhaj, his path – and calls to the Sunnah, and the people act on it, so he receives the reward of all those who act on it without their reward reducing. This Sunni is the one who enjoins the good and forbids the evil. And this is a bounty from Allaah, Who bestows this upon whomever He wishes.
And opposite to this: Whoever calls to bid’ah, he will incur the sin of all those who act on it, without their sins reducing. So therefore, it is a right upon the people of the Sunnah – callers to the truth – to carry out this role, and call to the Sunnah, and strive to uproot innovation (heresies).
The true person of the Sunnah strives to uproot bid’ah. A person truly upon the Sunnah calls to the revival of the Sunnah. A person of bid’ah calls to revival of bid’ah. The Sunni encourages people upon the Sunnah and upon crushing bid’ah.
It has been reported that the Mesenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said about the strangers: They will be a people who rectify what the people have corrupted from my Sunnah after me.
Imam at-Tirmidhi said it is hasan-saheeh. [Although some scholars of hadeeth have said it is not authentic,] the meaning of this is correct. The strangers are those who rectify what people have corrupted from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) after his passing. So, this is the description of the strangers, that they rectify what the people have corrupted. Fasad (corruption) comes about as a result of bid’ah – no doubt. Bid’ah results in corruption – no doubt!
A person upon the Sunnah calls to the Sunnah, and seeks to benefit the people with what is beneficial in their beliefs, sayings, actions, and methodologies, and strives to rectify what people have corrupted.
So these are Al-Ghuraabah (the strangers). They are the people of the Sunnah, those who revive the Sunnah of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and who revive the Prophet’s Methdology, and bring back to life what has been killed from his Sunnah.
Because in the hadeeth, the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah... This being the opposite of killing off a Sunnah.** Then the Sunni comes and he revives it, brings it back to life (after learning it, he practices it, becomes firm upon it, and teaches it to others). This is their role.
And this is why Imam Ahmad (rahimahullaah Ta’aala) said about them (those who call to the Sunnah and its revival) in the introduction of his book Ar-Rad ‘alal Jahmiyyah (The Refutation upon the Jahmiyyah):
“All praise is for Allaah, Who leaves a group after the Messengers from amongst the people of knowledge who negate the changes, distortions of those who go to the extreme. And the changes of those who are ignorant. [This group] is those who call people from misguidance to guidance, and are patient upon harm. How many are they who have gone astray whom they helped bring back to guidance? How many are those [whose eeman] have been killed by Iblees whom they have helped give life to again? How beautiful is their effect upon the people, and how ugly and vile is the effect of the people upon them?“
Imam Ahmad described these callers to the Sunnah by saying about them.
How beautiful is their effect upon the people, and how ugly and vile is the effect of the people upon them?
How ugly is the effect of those who raise the banner of bid’ah upon the people of the Sunnah.
The people of the Sunnah are the strangers, those who repel the false distortions, the false tafseer, and refute the changes. The strangers correctly interpret and understand the Qur`an and Sunnah, and the Names and Attributes of Allaah. Those who carry this duty are the Awliyya` of Allaah, the beloved and obedient servants of Allaah.
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah Ta’aala) said: “Those who establish the duty of preserving what was inherited from the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – and safeguard it from any addition or deletion – are from the greatest of the awliyya` of Allaah; they are of the beloved servants of Allaah and His party.“
So this is the duty and role of Ahlus-Sunnah, who revive what Ahlul-Bid’ah have killed off.
If a Sunni is asked: what do you call to?
He [the Sunni] says: I call to the religion of the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – reviving it and reviving the Prophet’s Sunnah – and to crushing Bid’ah so as to make the truth clear from innovations (bid’ah), distortions and false interpretations.
Allaah, The Most High, consoled His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُل ٌ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُوا عَلَى مَا كُذِّبُو
Verily, (many) Messengers were denied before you (O Muhammad), but with patience they bore the denial… (Al-An’aam, ayah 34)
This shows us that this path that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his companioions proceeded upon is a path that requires patience. So, oh person who carries the banner of the Sunnah, you need to remember this and that you are a stranger.
You will have to bear harm, just as Imam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) said: How beautiful is their effect upon the people, and how ugly and vile is the effect of the people upon them?
The person upon this path needs sabr. The people need from you that you have sabr.
Imam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever proceeds upon the Straight Path that the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his companions were upon, let him make himself get used to trouble from the ignoramuses and Ahlul-Bid’ah, such as them belittling him, attacking him, warning against him.”
This is the path of the ghuraba, the strangers, Ahlus-Sunnah, those who want to revive what the people kill off from the Manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah.
So you need to have sabr upon that. You will receive attacks from Ahlul Bid’ah, which is normal that it will happen, just as Imam Ahmad, Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahumullaah) said.
Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Ahead of you there lie days of patience, during which being patient will be like grasping a hot coal… ***
Meaning the one who clings to the Sunnah, the methodology of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his companions (radiallaahu ‘anhum).
Translated by: Abu Talha Dawood Burbank (rahimahullaah)
Source: Lesson Our Call is to Correct What People Have Corrupted, by Shaykh Muhammad al-Anjaree (hafidhahullaah), via salafiradio.org