Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 07 : Point 04B
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Continuation of Point 04 : The author Imam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said,
“And know, may Allaah have mercy upon you, that the Religion is only what came from Allaah, the Exalted and Most High. It was not left to the intellects of men and to their opinions; and knowledge of it is what comes from Allaah and from His Messenger.
So do not follow anything based upon your desires and therefore depart from the Religion and leave Islaam. There will be no excuse for you, since the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam explained the Sunnah to his nation, and he made it clear to his Companions and they are the Jamaa`ah, and they are the Main Body. And the Main Body is the Truth and its people. So whoever contradicts the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam in anything of the affairs of the Religion he has disbelieved.”
[ Note: In this audio, explanation of the only second paragraph from the above is covered. For the First Part Click Here]
The Explanation (Transcription of above Audio):
His saying, “So do not follow anything based upon your desires” – do not follow anything based upon your desires and your personal wishes, but rather your desires and wishes should follow whatever comes from Allaah and His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. So that you do not desire except what came from Allaah and His Messenger and you do not wish for, except that which came from Allaah and his Messenger, this is the path of salvation. If you were to follow your desires, you would become one of those who follow their desires and who do not follow the Revelation which has been sent down. He, the Most High, said:
So if they (the people of shirk) do not respond to you  then know that they are merely following their desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desires without guidance from Allaah. Allaah does not guide a people who are disobedient wrong-doers. (Sooratul-Qasas (28), aayah 50)
And He, the Most High, said:
So pass judgement between them with that which Allaah sent down; and do not abandon acting upon that in favour of their desires, so that they lead you astray from the Truth that has come to you. (Sooratul-Maa·idah (5), aayah 48)
And He, the Most High, said:
Then, after the previous Prophets, We have placed you upon a clear Way with regard to the Religion so follow it and do not follow the desires of those ignorant ones who do not know. They could be of no avail to you against Allaah at all. And the wrong-doers are just allies of each other; and Allaah is the Guardian Lord of those who are dutiful to Him. (Sooratul-Jaathiyah (45), ayaahs 18-19)
So therefore you are between two affairs, either you will follow the correct Religion or otherwise you will be following desires. There is no third case.
His saying, “and therefore depart from the Religion and exit from Islaam.” Whoever follows his desires, then he departs from the Religion, even if it be something that occurs in the distant future. To begin with he is lax about disobedience and about desires. Then the following of desires grows in seriousness until he exits from the Religion, so that his religion comes to be just whatever he desires. Just as He, the Majestic and Most High, said:
Do you see the one who takes whatever he desires as his object of worship, and Allaah misguides him knowing that he will not be guided, and He seals his hearing and his heart and He places upon his sight a covering. (Sooratul-Jaathiyah (45), aayah 23)
So al-hawaa, desires, this is another object of worship (ilaah), and shirk is not restricted to just the worship of an idol or an object that is worshipped. Rather there is something else, which is al-hawaa, desires. So a person may perhaps not worship the idols, and trees and rocks and not worship graves, however he follows his desires. So he is a slave and worshipper of his desires, so it is upon the person to beware and not to follow except that which conforms to the Book and the Sunnah.
His saying, “Because then there will be no excuse for you, since the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam explained the Sunnah to his nation, and he clarified it to his Companions.” There will be no excuse/plea/argument for the one who opposes and instead follows his desires, because he went astray after the affair has been made clear and after having knowledge.
Do you see the one who takes whatever he desires as his object of worship and Allaah misguides him, knowing that if guidance were to come to him he would not follow it. (Sooratul-Jaathiyah (45), aayah 23)
He is not an ignorant person, rather he knows and he is aware of the Book and the Sunnah, and he knows and he is aware of the sayings of the People of Knowledge; however they do not agree with his desires, so therefore he abandons them and instead he takes on whatever actually agrees with his desires. This is misguidance, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. So following desires is very dangerous, so therefore it is upon a person that he should beware of the following of desires. Allaah the Majestic and Most High said to his Prophet Daawood `alayhis-salaatu was-salaam:
And do not follow your desires so that they lead you astray from the path of Allaah. Those who stray from the path of Allaah will have a severe punishment on the Day of Resurrection, because of their abandoning Allaah’s commands. (Soorah Saad (38), aayah 26)
And Ibnul-Jawzee rahimahullah has a book in a large volume which is entitled ThammulHawaa (The Blameworthiness of Desires) and in it he brought evidences and sayings of the People of Knowledge and wise sayings which warn against the following of desires. So what is obligatory upon the person is that he takes caution against his desires because he may be saved from the worship of idols and rocks and trees and graves and he may know towheed and know the Sunnah; however he may not be secure from the following of desires, and this is a tremendous calamity. So it is upon the Muslim that he should beware of the following of desires, and rather his desires should follow on from that which came from the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, just as occurs in the hadeeth that he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “None of you truly believes until his desires follow on from that which I came with.”
It was declared saheeh (authentic) by an-Nawawi in al-Arba`een (the 40 hadeeth) and he said, “We have it narrated to us in the book al-Hujjah with an authentic chain of narration.” 
And the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam did not leave anything except that he clearly explained it to his nation, to the extent that one of the Companions said, “Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam did not pass away and there was a bird flapping its wings in the air, except that he had mentioned to us some knowledge concerning it.”  He did not leave anything from that which mankind have a need of, from that which will draw them closer to Allaah and distance them from disbelief and misguidance except that he made is clear. And he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“I am leaving amongst you that which if you hold onto it, you will never go astray after me; the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah” 
He left his nation upon clear white evidence; its night is just like its day. And when Allaah had completed through him the Religion, and perfected the favour by means of him, then he moved on to his Lord after he had conveyed the clear Message, and clearly explained the Sunnah to his Companions. And he said in the address of the Farewell Hajj, “Have I conveyed the Message?” So they said, “We bear witness that you have indeed conveyed the Message and have acted sincerely. He said, “O Allaah bear witness.”  (Sooratun-Ni0saa· (4) aayah 65)
His saying, “And they are the Jamaa`ah and they are the Main Body.” His Companions sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam they are the Jamaa`ah, meaning they are the foundation of the Jamaa`ah, then those who followed them, then those who followed them. Just as he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“The best of you is my generation, then those who followed them, then those who followed them.” 
The Companions and Taabi`oon and the Atbaa`ut-Taabi`een, and they are the most excellent generations, they are the Jamaa’ah. And whoever comes after them, then he follows on from them. They follow on from the foundation which the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam were upon. He, the Most High, said:
And the first and foremost ones from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and those who follow them upon goodness. (Sooratut-Towbah (9), aayah 100)
They are the Jamaa’ah whom Allaah has commanded us to be with, and whom the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam commanded us that we should be with, and whom he forbade us from separating from. And they are as-Sawaadul-A`zam, the Main Body, who are upon the Truth and upon guidance. So those people who declare that the Salaf were ignorant or unaware and who belittle their status, and those who say, “They were men and we are men,” and who say, “There is nothing to prevent us from introducing new things, and we are not bound to follow the Salaf and the sayings of the Salaf,” – this is misguidance, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. This is to separate the later part of this ummah (nation) from its first part. And if its later part indeed becomes separate from its first part it will be destroyed; and they want that the nation should be destroyed, so they bring this trick, and it is the separation of the later people from the first part of the nation. There are to be found now, people who warn against the way of the Salaf and who warn against turning back to their sayings, and who say, “That was a time that has gone by.” So they warn against what the Salaf were upon, and encourage originating new things in the Religion.
The Religion is a matter depending upon texts, and it is ittibaa`, it is to follow, it is not to innovate or originate new things. Originating new things can only be in the field of manufacturing and of worldly benefits. But as for the Religion, then nothing may be newly introduced in it after the passing away of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam; because laying down Legislation came to an end with the passing away of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. So there is nothing upon us except al-ittibaa`, to follow, and that we do not introduce anything new from our selves and say, “This is what is fitting for this time.”
Imaam Maalik rahimahullah said, “Nothing will rectify the latter part of this nation, except that which rectified its first part.”  That which rectified its first part was the Book and the Sunnah. So nothing will rectify the last part of this nation except for the Book and the Sunnah and following the guidance of the Salafus-Saalih (Pious Predecessors).
And his saying, “And the Main Body is the Truth and its people.” – As-Sawaad, the Main Body, they are the people of the Truth, and its people, those who cling onto it. And the meaning of as- Sawaadul-A`zam, the Main Body, it does not mean merely the majority of the people/a large number of people. The meaning of as-Sawaadul-A`zam, the Main Body, is those who are upon the Truth, even if they are few in number yet still they are as-Sawaadul-A`zam, the Main Body, even if they be a single man . Whoever is upon the Truth he is the Main Body. We do not look to see where the majority of the people is (what they are upon), rather we look at what they are upon. So majority/a large number may be upon misguidance.
He, the Most High, said:
And if you were to obey most of those people who are upon the earth, they will lead you away from the Path of Allaah. (Sooratul-An`aam (6) aayah 116)
And He, the Most High, said:
And most of the people, no matter how eager you are, will not be Believers. Soorah Yoosuf (12) aayah 103)
And He, the Most High, said:
And we did not find most of them to be true to their covenant, of worshipping Allaah alone and obeying him, rather we found most of them to be disobedient sinners. (Sooratul-A’raaf (7) aayah 102)
And He, the Most High, said:
And many of the people are disobedient ones. (Sooratul-Maa·idah (5) aayah 49)
So do not be fooled by a large number of people/the majority of people, and it is not to be followed unless it is upon the Truth. Whoever is upon the Truth then he/it is the Jamaa`ah whether they are few or many. So the discerning factor is: what they are upon; is it Truth or falsehood. So if it is the Truth, then they are the Jamaa’ah, even if there is only a single person upon it; and if it is falsehood (that they are upon) then it is misguidance, even if the majority or most of the people are upon it.
His saying, “And whoever opposes the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam in anything from the affair of the Religion then he has disbelieved.” – he has committed disbelief; this carries a possibility of referring to major disbelief, al-kufrul-akbar, (disbelief that he has left Islam); and it carries a possibility of referring to lesser disbelief al- kufrul-asghar (that which is called disbelief but it does not take a person outside the fold of Islam); in accordance with the level of his opposition. So his saying that he has committed disbelief, it doesn’t mean that he has committed kufr and left the Religion altogether always. This maybe the case, however it maybe lesser disbelief. What is important is that conflicting with the Salaf is kufr, disbelief. It may be major disbelief; it may be lesser disbelief in accordance with the level of the opposition to them.
Or that what is meant is that if he opposes them at the beginning of his affair with something slight, then in gradual stages he becomes worse until he departs from the Religion altogether. So his affair leads him to disbelief, if his opposition continues, his affair leads to major disbelief, so that then he exits from the Religion altogether. (So that) Satan leads him gradually, and desires, and his soul that is prompted by evil, until he departs from the Religion altogether. 
Points discussed by Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah:
- A person who follows his desires:
- departs from the religion
- is a slave of his desires and commits shirk
- has knowledge of the Book, the Sunnah and the sayings of the scholars but abandons them, so has no excuse
- Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam clearly conveyed the Message
- The meanings of the Jamaa`ah and as-Sawaadul-A`zam
- Those who belittle the Salaf
- The Religion is to follow; it is not to innovate
- Laying down Legislation ended with the death of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam
- “Nothing will rectify the latter part of this nation, except that which rectified its first part.”
- The majority of people is not to be followed unless it is upon the Truth
- Conflicting with the Salaf is kufr which may be major disbelief or lesser disbelief
- Opposing the Salaf can gradually lead to major disbelief
 Translator’s Note: addressed to the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam
 Reported by Ibn Abee `Aasim in as-Sunnah, al-Hasan ibn Sufyaan in al-Arba`een and al-Bayhaqee in alMadkhal ilaa Sunanil-Kubraa and others.
Translator’s side point: As for Shaykh al-Albaanee rahimahullaah then he said with regard to this hadeeth in his checking of as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee `Aasim and likewise in his checking of al-Mishkaat (no. 167), the chain of narration is da`eef . It contains Nu`aym ibn Hammaad and he was weak. And al-Haafiz ibn Rajab quoted other weaknesses for it disagreeing with an-Nawawee for his declaring it saheeh so refer to his book Jaami`ul-`Uloom wal-Hikam. Then some of them such as the grandson of Muhammad ibn `Abdil-Wahhab rahimahullaah, Sulaymaan ibn `Abdillaah, he said in regards to this narration, “This chain of narration is authentic as anNawawee said, however Ibn Rajab said declaring it saheeh is something far-fetched from many aspects which he mentioned, and some people criticised that.” He said (Sulaymaan ibn `Abdillaah), “I say that its meaning is authentic/correct for certain, even if its chain of narration is not authentic. And the origin of it occurs in the Qur·aan in many places. Then he quoted a number of aayahs in that regard, such as His saying, He, the Most High:
“So no by your Lord they will not believe until they make you (Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) judge in whatever disputes occur between them.”
 Wakee` reported this narration in az-Zuhd, Imaam Ahmad in the Musnad and Ibn Sa’d in Tabaqaat… (and others) from a narration of Aboo Tharr radiyAllaahu `anhu. Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn `Abdillaah said in TayseerulAzeezil-Hameed, “Its chain of narration is good.”
Translator’s side point: Shaykh al-Albaanee said it was saheeh, authentic, in his checking of Ibn Hibbaan.
 This is reported by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak `alas-Saheehayn and by al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa and by al-Aajurree in his book ash-Sharee`ah from a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Abbaas radiyAllaahu `anhumaa. Translator’s side point: The chain of narration of al-Haakim was hasan, sound, and Shaykh al-Albaanee mentioned that in his checking of al-Mishkaat.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree in his Saheeh (no. 67) and Muslim (no. 1671) as a hadeeth of Aboo Bakrah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no. 3450) and in Muslim (no. 2535), as a hadeeth of `Imraan ibnul-Husayn radiyAllaahu `anhu .
 This is reported from him by a number of people such ash-Shaatibee in al-I`tisaam and Ibn `Abdil-Haadee in Tanqeehit-Tahqeeq. And perhaps Imaam Maalik took this point of benefit from his teacher Wahb ibn Kaysaan, for indeed Ibn `Abdil Barr reports in at-Tamheed from Imaam Maalik that he (himself) said, “Wahb ibn Kaysaan used to sit for us, and he would never get up until he had said to us, “Know that nothing will rectify the latter part of this nation, except what rectified its first part.”
 Aboo Nu`aym said in Hilyatul-Awliyaa· that a man asked Imaam Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh “Who is the Main Body (as-Sawaadul-A`zam)?” So he said, “Muhammad ibn Aslam (that is at-Toosee) and his Companions and whoever follows him.” Then he said, “A man asked Ibnul-Mubaarak, ‘O Aboo Abdir-Rahmaan! Who is the Main Body (as-Sawaadul-A`zam)?’ So he said, ‘Aboo Hamza as-Sukkaree.’” Then Ishaaq said, “Meaning at that time it was Aboo Hamza, and in our time it is Muhammad ibn Aslam, and whoever follows him.” Then Ishaaq said, “And if you were to ask the ignorant people, ‘Who are the Main Body?’ they would say, ‘(It means) the majority of the people.’ And they do not know that the Jamaa`ah is a scholar/Person of Knowledge, adhering to the narrations of Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his way. So whoever is with him and follows him, then he is the Jamaa`ah, and whoever opposes him in that regard, he has left the Jamaa`ah.” Then Ishaaq said, “And I have not heard a scholar for fifty years who is more knowledgeable than Muhammad ibn Aslam.”
 Translator’s side point: Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said, “The like of this phrase occurs a number of times in the speech of the author rahimahullaah, and it is to be taken to have one of three meanings:
1. Either it is to be taken to mean, that he (the author) intends a person who denies something that is a fundamental point of the creed and belief of the Religion and he denies it. Then he has disbelieved,
2. Or he intended that his deeds may lead him into disbelief.
3. Or that he intended disbelief which is lesser than major disbelief, meaning rejecting (Allaah’s) favour. And it is not the case that everyone who goes against something which the Companions of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam were upon departs altogether from the Religion, for this is not from the `aqeedah of the AhlusSunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. For indeed Anas ibn Maalik said when he came to Madeenah at the end of his life, ‘I do not recognize anything from that which I reached except for the Prayer and you are spoiling that as well.’ (This narration was brought by Imaam al-Bukhaaree) and in one narration, ‘and have you not spoiled what you have spoiled from it?’ Meaning: you pray them out of their due times; however he did not declare them to be disbelievers. And no one takes this saying of his from the people of the Sunnah to mean that the people who were in his time had become disbelievers.
So therefore his saying, ‘Whoever contradicts the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam in anything from the affairs of the Religion has committed kufr,’ it is to be taken to have one of the meanings that we have already mentioned because the `aqeedah of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah is that they do not declare disbelievers any one from the Muslims based upon a sin, unless it is major shirk that he has committed, or that he has denied a ruling which is agreed upon, or that he has mocked the Religion or its people or the like of that, those things which are mentioned amongst those things that break a person’s Islaam. And they do not declare anyone to be a disbeliever based just upon a sin, even if it is a major sin, even if he persists upon it and dies upon it, because the texts of the Book and the Sunnah indicate this creed and belief. (Irshaadus-Saaree fee Sharhis-Sunnati lil- Barbahaaree)
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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