The foundation which the Jamaa’ah is built upon is the Companions of Muhammad ﷺ – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 04 : Point 3A
Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

Imaam al-Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said,

And the foundation which the Jamaa`ah is built upon is the Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, may Allaah have mercy upon all of them. And they are the Ahlus-Sunnah walJamaa`ah, the People of the Sunnah and the United Body upon the Truth. So whoever does not take from them then he has gone astray and innovated, and every innovation is misguidance, and misguidance and its people will be in the Fire.

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The Explanation (Transcription of above Audio):

His saying, “And the foundation upon which the Jamaa`ah is built upon” – who are the Jamaa`ah who have this status? They are the Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and those who come after them from the Taabi`een (their successors) and from the successors of the Taabi`een, and the most excellent generations. They are the Jamaa`ah and whoever follows them from the later peoples, they are the Jamaa`ah; those whom it is obligatory upon the Muslims to be with, whatever harm comes upon him and whatever threats and whatever blame and whatever attacks – he should still have patience upon that and he should bear it, as long as he is upon the Truth. So he should not deviate away from the Truth, rather he should have patience upon whatever befalls him, otherwise he will just be a target for those people with evil intentions and the callers to evil and the callers to misguidance.

He the Most High said:

And the first and foremost ones from the Muhaajireen (the Muslims who emigrated from Makkah) and the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madeenah who gave them shelter) and those who followed them upon good. Allaah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.[1] (Sooratut-Towbah (9), aayah 100)

And He the Most High, when He mentioned the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar in Sooratul-Hashr, He said:

And those who come after them they say, O our Lord forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Eemaan and do not place any ill feeling in our hearts towards those who truly believe. O our Lord, you are Compassionate, Merciful. (Sooratul-Hashr (59), aayah 10)

So the one who comes later he follows the earlier one from the people of the Truth and good even if there is a long period of time between him and them, he adheres to what they were upon no matter what it costs him, he should have patience.

His saying, “the Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam” – from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar because they were the ones who accompanied the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and they fought jihaad along with him and they aided him and they bore the Religion and they conveyed it to us; so they are the intermediaries between us and between Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. So those people who abuse the Companions or belittle them, they only want to demolish Islaam; however they come with this ploy. So when they speak against the Companions and they devalue them, then what will remain at that time from the intermediary that is between us and the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam? Their intent is to cut off the connection with the first and foremost ones from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar so that the nation will go astray; otherwise what else could lead them to abusing the Companions? Did they have any dispute with the Companions with regard to money or something else? Have the Companions caused them any personal harm when there are many centuries between them and the Companions?

So what led them to this is hatred in the hearts, because the Companions they are the ones who bore this Religion. So they want to cut off the link between the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his nation so that this Religion falls. This is their intent.[2]

His saying, “and they (the Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) are the People of the Sunnah and of the Jamaa`ah (the United Body of the Muslims upon the Truth).” The Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and those who came after them, those who followed them upon good, they are the People of the Sunnah, meaning the people of the correct path; and it is the ‘Sunnah’ which we have explained in this book (the Sunnah referring to the path that which the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his Companions were upon).

And they are the true Jamaa`ah; but as for the uniting of others besides them, upon false and futile matters then they are not called the Jamaa`ah even if they are many in number.

You think that they are all together but their hearts are actually divided.
(Sooratul-Hashr 59, aayah 14)

So the Jamaa`ah is whoever is upon the Truth. So the person who says, “I am with such-and-such hizb (party); this group is a jamaa`ah and you people say, “Adhere to the Jamaa`ah” and they are a jamaa`ah.” So we say to them, “Who said to you that those people are the Jamaa`ah. The Jamaa`ah is those who are upon the Truth; whoever is upon the Sunnah, they are the Jamaa`ah.”

His saying, “So whoever does not take from them (the Companions radiyAllaahu `anhum) then he has gone astray and has innovated.” Whoever does not take his Religion from the Companions, those who are the conveyers of the Book and the Sunnah, then he is not upon the Truth. So if they are attacked and accused then what they convey is nullified, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. And the intent of the enemies of Allaah and His Messenger is indeed to nullify Islaam, however they came with this filthy trick in order to cause a separation between the later people and the early people from the Muslims, so that it will be easy for them to devour the later people and easy to chew them up. But as for if the people tie themselves to the first Jamaa`ah and to the Book and the Sunnah then that will never be easy for them to do, indeed it will be impossible for them to chew them up by the permission of Allaah. His saying, “then he has gone astray” – meaning he has strayed away from the Truth and become lost.

“and he has innovated”– Innovation is whatever is from the matters of worship or from matters of creed and beliefs or from sayings and it does not have a proof from the Book and the Sunnah (that is an innovation). He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,

“Whoever does an action which our affair is not in accordance with, it is rejected.” [3]

And in a narration,

“Whoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not from it then it is rejected.” [4]

And he said,

“And beware of newly introduced matters for every newly introduced matter is a bid`ah (an innovation) and every innovation is misguidance” [5].

So innovation is whatever has been introduced into the Religion and it is not from it. And how can it be known that it is not from it?

If it does not have a daleel, a proof, then it is not from the Religion, because Allaah the Majestic and Most High says:

This day have I completed your Religion for you [6]
(Sooratul-Maa·idah (5), aayah 3)

So the Religion is complete, and all praise is for Allaah; it does not accept any additions. So it is just upon us to come to know of the Religion which Allaah the Mighty and Majestic completed, and to cling to it and that we abandon whatever is besides it from additions and from things which people deem to be good introductions and from supplements and from other than that, because these things only take people farther away from Allaah the Majestic and Most High. And there will follow a clarification that: No people introduce an innovation except that its like (a like amount of it) will be taken away from the Sunnah.[7]

So this is the correct and straight path, adhering to the Jamaa`ah, adhering to the Sunnah and abandoning innovations.

His saying, “And every innovation is misguidance” – so there is no such thing as bid`ah hasanah, ‘good innovation’, as some people say. Rather all innovations are misguidance by the textual statement of the hadeeth of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam when he said,

“For every newly invented matter is an innovation (bid`ah) and every innovation is misguidance.” [8]

So innovations in the Religion, there is nothing good from them at all, rather all of them are misguidance and this is the speech of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam who did not speak from desires.

His saying, “And misguidance and its people will be in the Hell Fire” – Misguidance and the people of misguidance will be in the Fire, either on account of their disbelief or on account of sin. So innovations are not of one level only. Some of them are kufr, disbelief, such that its person will be forever in the Fire, such as seeking aid from the dead and making supplication to the dead and making sacrifice to other than Allaah and making vows to other than Allaah – so these are innovations which are disbelief, kufr. And likewise denying the Names of Allaah and His and Attributes as is said by the Jahmiyyah, those who deny the Names and Attributes. So this is kufr, disbelief, and Allaah’s refuge is sought, because they describe Allaah as not having names or attributes; so in that case He would be nonexistent! Because that which exists must have attributes and the one who has no attributes does not exist. And therefore the Imaams judged that the Jahmiyyah are disbelievers, those who said that the Qur·aan is a created thing. So they made the Qur·aan which is the Speech of Allaah and His Revelation and that which He sent down, they made it a created thing, such as the rest of the created things. And they said Allaah does not speak so therefore they likened Him to an inanimate object; and one who does not speak cannot be a god/one deserving of worship. He the Most High said:

And the people of Moosaa in his absence made out of the jewellery of the Copts a calf in bodily form which produced a mooing sound. Do they not then see that it could not speak to them and nor could it guide them upon the way? (Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 148)

So this shows that the one who does not speak cannot be an ilaah, one deserving of worship; whereas the Jahmiyyah say Allaah does not speak, so therefore He would not be one deserving of worship, High and Exalted is Allaah above what they say. And there occurs in Soorah Taahaa:

Do they not see that it cannot respond to them with any saying and it does not possess any power to harm or benefit them. (Soorah Taahaa (20), aayah 89)

Meaning the calf – if they were to speak to it, it could not respond to them, so therefore was it befitting that it could be one deserving of worship? [9] And Ibraaheem `alayhissalaam said to the worshippers of the idols:

So ask them if they are able to speak.

So they said to him:

You already know that they (these idols) can’t speak.

So then he said to them:

Then will you worship besides Allaah that which cannot benefit you at all and cannot harm you. Uff (word of anger and disgust) to you and to that which you worship besides Allaah! Do you have no intellect which prevents you from this? (Sooratul-Anbiyaa· (21), aayahs 66-67)

Allaah, the Majestic and Most High says:

And your Lord said, call upon Me, I will respond to you.
(Soorah Ghaafir (40), aayah 60)

He described Himself that He says and He speaks. So the one who does not speak He is not one deserving of worship. So therefore many of the Imaams declared the heads of the Jahmiyyah to be disbelievers, but not their blind followers or those who were just followers, those to whom the Truth had not become clear, but rather they were just blindly following upon ignorance. Those people are a case for examination and the matter must be clarified to them, and then if they persist, then judgement that they are disbelievers will be passed.

Foot notes:

[1] Translator’s side point: In tafseer of this aayah ‘And the first and foremost ones’ the people of tafseer such as at-Tabaree and those who came after them like al-Baghawee, as-Sam`aanee, Ibn Katheer and others mention a number of different sayings with regard to who are those actually meant by ‘the first and foremost ones’ (from the Muslims). Amongst what at-Tabaree brings, he brings with an authentic chain of narration from the noble Taabi`ee Sa`eed ibnul-Musayyib that he said, “The first Muhaajireen (referred to here) they are the ones who prayed towards both qiblahs” meaning the ones who accepted Islaam before the qiblah was changed, so they prayed toward Jerusalem then when the qiblah was changed they prayed towards Makkah afterwards.

Likewise the great Salafee mufassir Aboo Muzaffar as-Sam`aanee in his tafseer, he mentioned four saying in explanation of this aayah. One of the sayings, he mentioned this same saying as Sa`eed ibnul Musayyib and he mentioned it also from Ibn Sireen and a group. Then he mentioned three further saying as well with regards to who are ‘the first and foremost ones’. The first saying he mentioned was that they are the people of Badr, meaning the people who fought at Badr; they had accepted Islaam by that time, in the second year. The second saying he quotes is that they are the people of Bay`atur-Ridwaan, the people who gave the pledge at the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in Thul-Qa`dah in the sixth year. The third saying he quoted is that the first and foremost ones from the Muhaajireen are the ones who accepted Islaam before the Hijrah, and the first and foremost ones from the Ansaar are those who gave the pledge to Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam on the night of `Aqabah just before the Hijrah, those who accepted Islaam in Madeenah and they came for the Hajj and gave the pledge of `Aqabah to Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Shaykul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah preferred the view that they were those who accepted Islaam before the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, and as it is known that those at the treaty of Hudaybiyyah were one thousand and four hundred and more in number. Likewise Shaykh al-Fowzaan said the same thing in his explanation of al-Waasitiyyah, that ‘the first and foremost ones’ refers to those who had accepted Islaam before the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah in the eleventh month of the sixth year. An evidence for that is an aayah from Sooratul-Hadeed (57), aayah 10:

They are not equal, those who spent in charity before the Conquest (meaning the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah) and who fought…(to the end of the aayah)

[2] Translator’s side point: Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee hafizahullaah said in his explanation, “The author rahimahullaah explained the importance of following and of adhering to this methodology, and that the foundation of that methodology is what we have explained a short while ago, that the foundation of the Jamaa`ah is, after Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, the Companions ridwaanullaahi `alayhim ajma`een (may Allaah be pleased with them all). So whoever makes an attack upon the Companions then he has made an attack upon the whole of Islaam and whoever abuses the Companions then he has abused Islaam and whoever maligns and attacks the Companions, then he has spoken against and accused Islaam and whoever belittles the Companions then he has belittled Islaam. Why is this the case? Because they are the ones who conveyed Islaam to us so if it were not for them Islaam would not have reached us, if it were not for the Companions, Islaam would not have reached us, for Islaam only came to us by way of them. They are the ones who conveyed the Qur·aan to us and they are the ones who conveyed the Sunnah to us and therefore Allaah praised them for that… So whoever claims that they left Islaam, became apostates (the same as the Raafidah Shee`ah say) or that they changed and altered then he is the apostate and he is the one who is changing and altering and he is the one who is making a change in the Religion.”

[3] Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1718) and reported by al-Bukhaaree in disconnected form in his Saheeh from a hadeeth of Aa`ishah radiyAllaahu `anhaa.

[4] Reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (no.2 550) and by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1718) from Aa`ishah radiyAllaahu `anhaa.

[5] This is part of a hadeeth of al-`Irbaad ibn Saariyah radiyAllaahu `anhu, and its checking has preceded. Translator’s side point: The checking of this hadeeth is reported by Imaam Ahmad and Aboo Daawood and at-Tirmithee and Ibn Maajah and it was declared authentic by Shaykh al-Albaanee.

[6] Translator’s side point: This aayah came down on the day of `Arafah on the 10th year of the Hijrah.

(There is) a famous saying from Imaam Maalik: So whatever was not Religion on that day it will never be Religion today.

[7] Hassaan ibn `Atiyyah (from the Taabi`een) rahimahullaah said, “A people never introduce an innovation in their Religion except that Allaah takes away from their Sunnah its like and then He does not return it to them right until the Day of Resurrection.” Reported by ad-Daarimee and Aboo Nu`aym in al-Hilyah and al-Laalikaa·ee in Sharh Usool I`tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah.

Translator’s side point: With regards to this Taabi`ee, Hassaan ibn Atiyyah, Shaykh al-Albaanee said in his notes to al-Mishkaat, “He was a great and noble Taabi`ee who died in the year 130.” Shaykh alAlbaanee said with regard to this report from him, “Its chain of narration is saheeh and its like is also reported as a saying of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu reported by Abul-`Abbaas ibn al-Assam in his hadeeth.”

[8] This occurs in a number of ahaadeeth, from them the hadeeth of al-`Irbaad ibn Saariyah which has just preceded, also a hadeeth of Jaabir reported by an-Nasaa·ee (no. 1578) and also by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Saheeh; and the basis of this hadeeth occurs in Saheeh Muslim (no. 768).

[9] Translator’s note: Of course not!

Points discussed by Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah :

  • Who are the Jam`aah whom it is obligatory for the Muslims to follow?
  • The intent of those who speak against the Companions
  • The meaning of the term Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah
  • The definition of bid`ah, innovation in the Religion
  • Every (religious) innovation is misguidance
  • The people of misguidance will be in the Fire
  • Denying Allaah’s Names and Attributes is kufr, disbelief
  • A refutation of the Jahmiyyah who deny Allaah’s Speech

Transcribed by Umm Safiyyah Madeehah Ahmad. Download PDF of Lesson 04

Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the full Audio Series of Sharhu Sunnah
Sharh-us-Sunnah – Shaykh Saalih Fawzaan – Dawood Burbank [Audio|En]

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