Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 03 : Point 02
Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
The author (Imaam al-Barbahaaree) rahimahullaah said,
“So from the Sunnah is adhering to the Jamaa`ah. And whoever desires other than the Jamaa`ah and departs from it, then he has thrown off the yoke of Islaam from his neck, and he is astray leading others astray.”
The Explanation (Transcription of above Audio):
His saying, “So from the Sunnah is adhering to the Jamaa`ah’ (the United Body of the Muslims upon the Truth). Since that is the case, and since Islaam is the Sunnah and the Sunnah is Islaam, then the Sunnah is of different types. So from the Sunnah is adhering to the Jamaa`ah – meaning adhering to the United Body of the Muslims, and what is meant by the Jamaa`ah here is the United Body of the Muslims who are upon the Truth .
As for the jama`aat, the groups which are not upon the Truth, then these are not called the true Jamaa`ah. Every jamaa`ah which gathers upon misguidance or upon a methodology contrary to Islaam or upon a way contrary to Islaam, then it is not called the true Jamaa`ah, that which is required and praiseworthy.
So the Jamaa`ah, the United Body, which is meant here, they are the people of the Truth and this does not necessitate that they must be numerous, rather even if it is a single person upon the Truth then he will be called the Jamaa`ah, the United Body.
So the Jamaa`ah is those who are upon the Truth, whether its people are few or whether they are many. So you adhere to whoever is upon the Truth and you do not contradict the Jamaa`ah which is upon the Truth, rather you should be with them upon the Truth. So whoever splits from the Jamaa`ah, the United Body, then explanation of this will follow.
And, “Adhering to the Jamaa`ah” means not departing from it and not conflicting with it. 
His saying, “And whoever desires other than the Jamaa`ah and splits from it then he has thrown off the yoke of Islaam from his neck’ – this is the text of a hadeeth:
“Whoever separates from the Jamaa`ah by the amount of a hand span then he has thrown off the yoke of Islaam from his neck.” 
This is a severe threat. So if the splitting away is with regard to `aqeedah (creed and belief) such that he comes to worship other than Allaah then this is kufr (disbelief). And if the splitting away is less than that then it will be misguidance. So splitting away from the Jamaa`ah, there is no good in it. And there occurs in the hadeeth: “Adhere to the Jamaa`ah for the Hand of Allaah is upon the Jamaa`ah” .
And when the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam informed Huthayfah ibn alYamaan of the trials and tribulations that would occur and the splitting that was going to occur, Huthayfah said to him, “What do you command me with if that reaches me?” So he said, “That you should adhere to the Jamaa`ah (United Body of the Muslims upon the Truth) and their ruler.” 
So the Jamaa`ah will not be except by way of two matters:
The first matter: is that the person is upon the methodology, the way, of the Book and the Sunnah. Its methodology is not the math.hab (the way) of so-and-so, nor the saying of so-and-so rather the Book and the Sunnah.
The second matter which comprises the Jamaa`ah: is that it has an imaam (a Muslim ruler) who leads it and to whom it refers back. It is not possible for a Jamaa`ah to unite without an imaam; there must be a ruler for it to turn back to, and therefore he said to Huthayfah, “Adhere to the Jamaa`ah of the Muslims and their ruler.” So then he (Huthayfah radiyAllaahu `anh) said, “What if they do not have a United Body nor a ruler?” Then he (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “Then avoid all of those sects.”
He ordered him to avoid all of the sects, so he should not be except with the United Body of the Muslims and he should not be with the jama`aat, the different groups, other than the Jamaa`ah of the Muslims, rather he should remain alone upon the Truth until death comes to him while he remains upon that.
So this shows that a person should not be with the jama`aat, the groups, which conflict with the true methodology and they will not be the Jamaa`ah except with two conditions; that their methodology is the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology, the way, of the Pious Predecessors and (secondly) that they have a Muslim ruler who leads them and they refer back to. So there will be no religion except with the Jamaa`ah, United Body of the Muslims, and there will be no Jamaa`ah except with the ruler and there will be no ruler except with hearing and obeying. This is the methodology of the Muslims and this is the Sunnah which he rahimahullaah explained.
So this contains a prohibition of isolated and irregular opinions and conflicting acts and that a person should adhere to the Jamaa`ah as long as they are not upon misguidance.
His saying, “then he has thrown off the yoke of Islaam from his neck” – it used to be the custom of the Arabs that they would put a cord or heavy rope upon the sheep, upon their necks so that the sheep would not become separate and become lost and become eaten by the wolves, and these ropes would be connected by a single rope which joined them together to safeguard them. So the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam likened adhering to the Jamaa`ah to this matter, for the Jamaa`ah is the rope which protects from those things which bring about destruction; just like the rope, which is upon the necks of the sheep, protects them from the wolf and from being lost.
His saying, “and he is misguided, misguiding others” – meaning misguided himself away from the path, misguiding other people. So he is misguided himself and misguiding other people who take him as an example and follow him. He the Most High says:
And whoever contends with the Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him and then he follows other than the way of the believers, then We will put him upon the path he has chosen and enter him into Hell Fire and what an evil destination. (Sooratun-Nisaa· (4),aayah 115)
So what is obligatory upon the Muslim is to follow the path of the Believers and not to be at variance with them and not to isolate himself away from them
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh al-Albaanee rahimahullaah mentioned in his notes to Mishkaat alMasaabeeh, Volume 1, page 61, the statement of `Abdullaah ibn Mas`ood radiyAllaahu `anhu in that regard, that he said, “The Jamaa`ah is whatever conforms to the Truth even you are alone.” Shaykh alAlbaanee said this is reported by Ibn Asaakir in his Taareekh Dimashq, volume 13, page 322 part number 2, with an authentic, a saheeh chain from him.
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee hafizahullaah said on this same point, “He (alBarbahaaree) encouraged adherence to the Jamaa`ah, and the Jamaa`ah is al- Firqatun-Naajiyah, the Saved Sect, as proven by his sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam saying in the hadeeth of Mu`aawiyah radiyAllaahu `anhu when he mentioned the splitting of the Ummah that it will split into seventy-three sects, all of them being in the Fire. So they said, ‘What is it, O Messenger of Allaah?’ So he said, ‘It is the Jamaa`ah.’ This was the narration of Ibn Maajah and it is the most authentic of the narrations and it is more authentic than the narration of at-Tirmithee (when Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam was asked which one was the saved one he said) ‘That which is upon the like of what I and my Companions are upon today.’ Even though there is no difference between the two sentences with regard to the meaning, so each one of them emphasises the other one.
“So the Jamaa`ah is, to mention it in brief, the Companions and the Taabi`een and those who followed them upon good, those who are upon that which the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam was upon and his Companions. This is the most precise and the most excellent and the most comprehensive and all-inclusive definition that it is possible to give to the Jamaa`ah. And there are some people who limit the Jamaa`ah to the time of the Companions, or limit it to the time of the rightly guided Khulafaa·, or the like of that. This is a restriction of something very wide, which Allaah has made wide, because Allaah the Exalted and Most High says, “And the first and foremost from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and those who follow them upon good, Allaah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.” So what is meant by the Jamaa`ah is: whoever is upon the methodology in any time and in any city, whoever is upon the methodology which the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his Companions were upon in their sayings and actions and creed and belief, then he is from the Jamaa`ah and whoever splits from that and isolates himself from it, then he has split from the Jamaa`ah. And there occurs a severe threat upon those who split from the Jamaa`ah, that he has isolated himself, and whoever isolates himself will do so and be in the Fire, and whoever separates from the Jamaa`ah by a hand span then he has thrown off the yoke of Islaam from his neck.”
 Reported by Imaam Ahmad and at-Tirmithee and Ibn Khuzaymah and Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim and others as a hadeeth of Al-Haarith al-Ash`aree radiyAllaahu `anhu and it was declared to be saheeh by Imaam at-Tirmithee and ibn Khuzaymah and ibn Hibbaan and al-Haakim and others.
Translator’s side point: It was declared saheeh by Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee rahimahullaah.
 Reported by Imaam Ahmad and al-Humaydee and at-Tirmithee and an-Nasaa·ee in his Sunan alKubraa and Ibn Hibaan and al-Haakim and others besides them from the hadeeth of `Umar radiyAllaahu `anhu with wordings which are close to each other. At-Tirmithee said the hadeeth is ‘hasan saheeh ghareeb, (good, authentic, singular) with this chain here’. And it was declared saheeh, authentic, by Ibn Hibaan and al-Haakim and ath-Thahabee agreed.
Translator’s side point: It was declared authentic by Shaykh al-Albaanee.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (no. 3411) and reported by Muslim (no. 1847) as a hadeeth of Huthayfah radiyAllaahu `anh.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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