Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 05 : Point 3B
Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
[Listen to Point 3A ]
The author rahimahullaah said,
“And `Umar Ibnul-Khattaab rahimahullaah said, there is no excuse for anyone going astray, thinking that he is upon Guidance, nor for abandoning Guidance thinking it to be misguidance, since the affairs have been made clear, the proof has been established and the excuse has been cut off.” 
The Explanation (Transcription of above Audio):
The saying of `Umar radiyAllaahu `anhu “There is no excuse for anyone…” because Allaah has made the Truth clear and He has clarified it in detail in the Qur·aan and in the Sunnah, so there is no excuse for anyone therefore to be upon misguidance, because it is he who has fallen short since he did not seek after the Truth, and he did not ask the People of Knowledge, so the misguidance has come about on account of him himself, so he is the one who has fallen short of what is required.
His saying, “thinking that it is guidance…” – this clarifies that supposing/assuming/thinking wrongly something to be the case; this will not suffice with regard to the Truth at all. And Allaah the Majestic and Most High says:
And (the devils) hinder them from the true path and they (the people of shirk) think that they are upon right guidance. (Sooratuz-Zukhruf (43), aayah37)
So what they consider will not justify and excuse them, so they have no excuse, for they did not refer back to the Book and the Sunnah and become aware of the Truth and distinguish it from falsehood, rather they just followed their desires, and they think that they are guided even though, Allaah has judged that they are guilty of disbelief and misguidance. So a person’s merely thinking that he is upon the Truth does not become an excuse for him, unless nothing from the Divinely sent Revelation which was sent down to the Messengers reaches him. Since what is obligatory upon him is to refer back to the Book and the Sunnah and not just that he remains upon what he thinks and what he considers and upon what other people say to him that it is the Truth. This is not an excuse. And there occurs in the other aayah:
They took the devils as allies besides Allaah and they think that they are rightly guided. (Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 30)
Look how they took devils from mankind and from the jinn as their allies besides Allaah and they followed them and yet they think that they are rightly guided! So do the devils wish good for them? 3] He the Most High said:
And whoever turns away from the remembrance of the Most Merciful then We will appoint for him a devil so he will be his companion. (Sooratuz-Zukhruf (43), aayah 36)
Look at his Saying:
And whoever turns away from the remembrance of the Most Merciful then We will appoint for him a devil…
This is his punishment.
…so he will be his companion. And they… meaning the devils
…block them away from the true path and yet still they think that they are rightly guided.
The followers think that they are rightly guided, so that does not benefit them (at all) and there is no excuse for them in that because the call of the Messengers reached them but they did not accept it.
Rather excuse can only be with regard to matters of ijtihaad, matters where there is room for scholars to make personal deduction, things where ijtihaad is permissible; that a person performs ijtihaad, personal scholarly striving. He strives in accordance with is ability and his capability to research to the extent that he thinks that he is then upon the Truth, then he is excused. As is shown by his saying, sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam,
“If a judge strives and he is correct, then he will receive two rewards and if he strives and he is in error then there is one reward for him.” 
This is with regard to matters of ijtihaad. As for matters which are, towqeefiyyah, dependent upon a direct text, and they are the matters of `aqeedah, creed and belief, then no one has the right to delve into them with personal deduction, rather what is obligatory is to follow the evidence. There is no scope for ijtihaad, personal deduction in them (matters of creed and belief).
His saying, “nor for abandoning guidance thinking it to be misguidance” – the matter is not left up to what the person considers himself and thinks, so that he adopts misguidance thinking it to be guidance or that he abandons the Truth thinking it to be misguidance. What he thinks and considers here will not excuse and justify him because guidance and misguidance have both been made clear by Allaah in the Qur·aan and they have been made clear by the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam in the Sunnah, and the Salaf have explained these two in their lives and their creeds, so the Truth is clear and all praise is for Allaah. And from the Mercy of Allaah is that the Truth is clear in the Book and the Sunnah and the way of the Salafus-Saalih, the Pious Predecessors. There is no obscurity and confusion about it as occurred for the previous nations, when the time became prolonged for them and the Truth became confused for them and the Books became distorted and changed. But as for this nation, then the Truth remains clear and the Book and the Sunnah are both preserved from distortion and change; so therefore there is no excuse for anyone in this case.
His saying, “for the affairs have been made clear” – yes the affairs have indeed been made clear, however it needs research and study, that the person learns and acquires knowledge and takes knowledge from the People of Knowledge. He does not take knowledge from himself or from his like from the ignorant people or from those false claimants to knowledge or just from the books, rather he takes the knowledge from its people, because this knowledge should be taken from the `ulamaa·, the People of Knowledge/the scholars. So knowledge is gained by taking it correctly not just by taking it out of books. The books are indeed only tools for research but they are to be explained by the scholars. And as for reaching the Truth then it is taken from the People of Knowledge and narrated from them, the later generations from the earlier ones.
His saying, “and the proof is confirmed and the excuse has been cut off.” No-one has an excuse. So this Religion has been preserved by Allaah from distortion and from being changed and the Truth has become clear. There is no confusion about it. Contrary to the case with the earlier nations for when the time became prolonged for them, then they distorted and changed their books and they altered them, so therefore the Truth became confused and disappeared. 
 It is reported by Aboo Yoosuf in the book al-Kharaaj and Ibn Shabbah in the Taareekh of alMadeenah and Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanah and, Ibn Hazm in al Ihkaam and others, through different chains of narration from `Umar radiyAllaahu `anhu with it. And it is also reported by Aboo Nu`aym in al-Hilyatul-Owliyaa· from `Umar ibn `Abdil `Azeez rahimahullaah (the famous khaleefah, as his saying).
Translator’s side point: In the checking of Shaykh Khaalid ar-Raddaadee he mentions with regard to this report that it is reported by Ibn Battah in al-Ibaanatul-Kubraa by way of al-Awzaa`ee that he said that it reached him that `Umar ibn al-Khattaab said this saying. Therefore its chain of narration is disconnected. It is also reported by al-Marwazee in (his book) as-Sunnah as a statement of `Umar ibn `Abdil-`Azeez that he said, “There is no excuse for anyone after the Sunnah to be upon misguidance thinking that it is guidance.”
 Translator’s note: Of course not
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (no. 7352) and by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1716) as a hadeeth of `Amr ibnul-`Aas and (also a hadeeth of) Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhumaa.
 Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said in his explanation,
“The author rahimahullaah said `Umar ibnul-Khattaab radiyAllaahu `anhu said, “There is no excuse for anyone to be upon misguidance which he is upon thinking it to be Guidance, nor to abandon Guidance thinking it to be misguidance, because the affairs have been made clear and the proof has been established and the excuse has been cut off.” This is tremendous speech which came from a tremendous man, that man who was the second Khaleefah, `Umar ibnul-Khattaab radiyAllaahu `anhu. And this necessitates that whoever puts himself upon misguidance thinking it to be Guidance or who abandons Guidance thinking it to be misguidance, then there will be no excuse for him with Allaah, since this will not be done except by a person who has fallen short of searching for the Truth in the Book and the Sunnah; so therefore there will be no excuse for him. And therefore he said, “because the affairs have been made clear,” meaning, been made clear in the Book of Allaah and in the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and in action of the Companions and the proof has indeed been established upon the people as is shown by His Saying, He the Perfect and Most High,
So that the people should not have any argument left with Allaah after the sending of the Messengers (Sooratun-Nisaa (4), aayah 165)
“So the excuse has been cut off. So there is no excuse for a person who innovates in the Religion or who goes astray or is ignorant of the rulings after Allaah has made them clear and has made them very clear upon the tongue of His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam with what He sent by Revelation to him in the Book and the Sunnah.” (Irshaadus-Saaree fee Sharhis-Sunnati lilBarbahaaree)
Points discussed by Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah:
- There is no excuse for being misguided for the one who did not seek after the Truth
- The excuse can only be in matters of ijtihaad, after striving to reach the Truth
- There is no scope of ijtihaad in matters of creed and belief
- The Truth is clear in the Book and the Sunnah and the way of the Salafus-Saalih
- Book and the Sunnah are both preserved from distortion and change
- A person must learn from the People of Knowledge, the scholars
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
Listen to the full Audio Series of Sharhu Sunnah
Sharh-us-Sunnah – Shaykh Saalih Fawzaan – Dawood Burbank [Audio|En]
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