Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 56: Point 98 (Start of Volume 2)
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And know that the scholars did not cease refuting the saying of the Jahmiyyah until in the Khilaafah of Banul `Abbaas, the lowly and despicable folk (Ruwaybidah) spoke concerning public affairs. And they spoke against the narrations from Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. And they adopted analogy and opinion and they declared those who disagreed with them to be disbelievers.
Shaykh Fawzan’s Explanation:
His saying, “And you should know that the People of Knowledge did not cease refuting the saying of the Jahmiyyah,” the Jahmiyyah; a definition of them has preceded already that they are the followers of Al-Jahm ibn Safwaan who propagated the foul saying that the Qur’aan is a created thing and who openly proclaimed negation of the names of Allaah and His attributes and he had the saying of Al-Irjaa` (taking actions out of eemaan) and he had a foul madhhab (path).
So his followers are called the Jahmiyyah as an ascription to al-Jahm. And from the worst, most ugly of their sayings is the saying that the Qur’aan is a created thing and denying the names and attributes of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, and distorting the speech of Allaah and the speech of His Messenger with falsehood; explaining it and distorting it with falsehood. So they (Jahmiyyah) are the most dangerous of the sects and the most ugly of the sects.
And therefore, the People of the Sunnah and the People of Knowledge did not leave them alone, rather, they rebutted their doubts and refuted their sayings and demolished them. And this is present in the books of the People of Knowledge. From them is the refutation of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal rahimahullaah upon the Jahmiyyah and this is present and is printed. And from them is the refutation of `Uthmaan ibn Sa`eed ad-Daarimee upon Bishr al-Mareesee al-`Aneed and it is printed also. And from them is Bayaanu Talbeesil-Jahmiyyah of Shaykh ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah and from them is Ijtimaa`ul Juyoosh Islaamiyyah `alaa Ghazwal Mu`attillah w’al Jahmiyyah of Ibnul Qayyim.
His saying, “until in the Khilaafaa (caliphate) of Banul `Abbaas (`Abbaasids),” in the Khilaafah of Al-Ma`moon who was from the Banul `Abbaas, evil occurred. And those who are not suitable to speak, spoke. They spoke with regard to knowledge and with regard to the fundamentals; those who are not suitable to speak. And if a person speaks about something other than his own speciality, then the affairs will be corrupted. So it is essential that no-one speaks about the affairs of the religion and of knowledge except the people who are specialised in it and the People of Knowledge.
So the affairs will not be rectified by chaos; by everyone speaking and claiming to have knowledge as is present now from those muta`aalimeen (pretenders to knowledge); those who ruminate (think deeply) upon questions of `aqeedah and speak about eemaan and what is the reality of eemaan. And they speak about things which they have no right to speak about at all. They have no knowledge and they do not learn with the scholars. Rather, they just learned by themselves and they rely upon their own understandings and they start laying down principles from themselves and from their own understandings. So, the affair is very dangerous.
His saying, “so then in the Khilaafah of Banul `Abbaas, the Ruwaybidah (the lowly, despicable folk) started speaking about amaril `aammah (affairs of the masses and the people).” This occurs in a narration; meaning this will be from the signs of the Last Hour that public affairs are spoken about by those who are not known for `ilm (knowledge). This is the Ruwaybidah (the lowly, despicable folk) and their speaking is one of the signs of the Hour. So it is not right that such a person should speak about the public affairs and about the general matters, which affect everybody. No-one should speak about that except for the People of Knowledge; those who are firmly grounded in knowledge. And this should not be entered into by everyone just as He, the Most High, said:
وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ ۖ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ
And if some matters relating to public safety or fear come to them, they broadcast it, and if only they had referred it back to the Messenger and to those in charge with authority amongst them, then the reality of the matter would be known to those who are able to verify and deduce. (Sooratun-Nisaa·(4), aayah 83)
So public affairs affecting the nation (ummah) are not to be spoken about except by the people who are specifically qualified to do so.
His saying, “And they spoke against the narrations of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam.” They interfered even in the Ahaadeeth, they make attacks upon them and they write works and declare things authentic and declare things weak. And they are not known for knowledge and they did not learn knowledge and they are not from the narrators of hadeeth nor from the Imaams of hadeeth. So they are therefore, Ruwaybidah; these lowly despicable folk. They stand up and they start speaking about the most dangerous thing, which is the science of hadeeth and the knowledge of narration.
His saying, “And they adopted analogy and opinion and they declared anyone who disagreed with them to be disbelievers.” What is meant by qiyaas (analogy) here is al-qiyaas ul-baatil (false analogy). As for al-qiyaas us–saheeh (correct analogy) then that is from the underlying fundamental evidences with the People of Knowledge.
However, false analogy such as drawing analogy between the Creator and the creation or making analogy between a matter and another matter, which has no connection to it and does not have a common underlying factor. The like of that is false analogy. Because al-qiyaas (analogy) is joining a matter (far·`a) which we do not find a text for, joining it to a matter which there is a text for (asl) and so applying a ruling to it on account of there being an underlying factor (`illah), common to both of them. So if there is no `illah (common underlying factor) common to both things then it will be a false and futile analogy.
[Point Number 98 continued]
So the ignorant, the inattentive and the ones having no knowledge entered into their saying. So therefore they entered into disbelief without knowing. And the ummah was ruined in a number of ways, committed disbelief in a number of ways, committed heresy in a number of ways and went astray in a number of ways and it split and innovated in a number of ways.
Except for those who remained firm upon the sayings of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and upon what he was upon and what his companions were upon who did not go beyond what they had been upon and did not overstep their affair. Whatever sufficed them sufficed him and he did not wish to turn away from their way and their position. He knew that they were upon the correct Islaam and the correct true faith (eemaan). So he followed them in his religion and found peace. And he knew that the religion lies in following; taqleed and that those who are meant to be followed are the companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam.
Shaykh Fawzan’s Explanation:
His saying, “So the ignorant people, the inattentive ones and the one having no knowledge entered into their saying.” Meaning, the door was opened for everyone. They began speaking about the affairs of knowledge right until now as you know on account of these satellite channels and this speech and this chaos with regard to knowledge has reached the extent that the common masses of people speak about the matters of knowledge and they raise doubts about the matters of knowledge. They raise doubts about the Islamic rulings. They raise doubts about the verdicts of the Imaams.
And as has preceded, they declare those who disagree with them to be disbelievers to the extent that they declare the earlier Imaams to be disbelievers and to being ignorant people and to the extent that some of them say, “I am a person and Ahmad ibn Hanbal was a person. We are men and they were men. Maalik was a man and I am a man!” This is the level that the situation has reached with them that there is no special distinction for the saying of the Imaams.
His saying, “To the extent that they committed disbelief in a way which they did not know.” They committed disbelief in a way that they did not know. So a person may say a saying of kufr (disbelief) and he does not know that it is a saying of disbelief on account of his being ignorant. So he says that which is disbelief and he promotes disbelief and he doesn’t even know that it is disbelief (kufr) on account of his having entered into something which he is not proficient in. So the danger is very great for him and for the nation (ummah). If the danger were just restricted to him; the one who is speaking, it would be easier but the problem is that this spreads throughout the ummah (nation).
His saying, “So the ummah (nation) became ruined through a number of different ways and committed disbelief in a number of different ways,” meaning, they confused and deceived the ummah (nation) and they entered weaknesses into it until there came to be from them those people who adopt sayings of disbelief and they say, “these are sayings of scholars” just as they say about the saying of Al-Jahm and the Mu`tazilah to the extent that they write in the newspapers, then they say about the true scholars (`ulemaa), “you people, you restrict the truth to just yourselves and you throw away the sayings of the Imaams such as Ibn Seenaa and Ibn `Arabee and Al-Jahm Ibn Safwaan. And those people are scholars who have their value.”
His saying, “and they committed heresy in different ways and went astray in different ways and they split and they innovated in different ways.” All of these calamities were on account of the ignorant people entering into the matters of knowledge and on account of having little fear of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. So when they had very little fear of Allaah, they entered into these matters. And therefore one of the Salaf said: “Their wara`(piety) was very slight so that is why they spoke.” As for a person who fears Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, then he doesn’t enter into anything if he is not proficient in it and not from its people, in particular the affairs of the religion.
His saying, “Except for those who remained firm upon the sayings of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and upon what he was upon and upon what his companions were upon and do not step beyond any of them.” They were not secure from these calamities, from disbelief and deviation and misguidance and diverting from the correct way and from mutual enmity and from cutting off ties with each other. No-one was safe from these calamities except those who adhered to that which Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his companions were upon just as he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“And my nation will split into 73 sects, all of them will be in the Fire except for one. They said, “Who is it, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Those who are upon that which I and my companions are upon.”
His saying, “And who found sufficiency in whatever sufficed them,” and it is the Book and the Sunnah and that which the Salaf-us-Saalih (the righteous predecessors) were upon, from the companions and the taabi`een and the most excellent generations and the Imaams. However, the problem lies in those people who say, “They were men and we are men. And their speech has no distinction over our speech.”
His saying, “And he knows that they were upon the correct Islaam and upon the correct eemaan (true faith).” Just as He, the Most High, said:
وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ
And the first and foremost ones from the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and those who followed them upon goodness. (Sooratut-Towbah (9), aayah 100)
He `alayhissalaatu wassalaam said:
“Adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided orthodox Khulafaa after me.”
So whoever wants salvation then this is the path to it. And the one who does not want salvation will have whatever he chooses for himself but the harm is not restricted to him; rather, he will also carry the sins of the people along with his own sin. He, the Most High, said:
لِيَحْمِلُوا أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ أَلَا سَاءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ
So they will carry their burdens of sin completely on the Day of Resurrection and they will carry from the sins of those whom they misled also without knowledge. Indeed what an evil burden they will bear! (Sooratun-Nahl (16), aayah 25)
There is no doubt that the companions and the most excellent generations are the ones who were upon correct Islaam and the correct religion. So how can you abandon them and go instead for those for whom there is no guarantee that he is upon the correct religion and that he is upon the truth?
His saying, “So this person followed them in his religion and was at peace.” Qalladahum; meaning he followed them, ittaba-’ahum.
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ
… and those who followed them upon good. (Sooratut-Towbah (9), aayah 100)
So what is meant by taqleed here is ittibaa`; following.
His saying, “And this person knows that the religion is just in following and that the ones to be followed are the companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam.” As we have mentioned, what is meant by taqleed here is correct taqleed; following, which is ittibaa` just as Yusuf `alayhissalaam said:
إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُون
وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَائِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ
I have left the religion of a people who do not truly believe in and worship Allaah alone and who deny the Hereafter. And I have followed the religious way of my forefathers; Ibraaheem and Ishaaq and Ya`qoob. (Soorah-Yusuf (12), aayah 37 and 38)
So ittibaa` (following) of the righteous predecessors (Salaf-us-Saalih), this is the truth and there is no blame at all for following them. Indeed blameworthiness is only for those who follow the people who are not deserving of being followed and who take as an example those who are not befitting to be taken as examples.
 Reported by Imaam Ahmad in the Musnad and by al-Bazzaar in his Musnad and by at-Tahaawiyy in Sharh Mushkil ul-Aathaar from a hadeeth of Anas that he said: Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Before the Last Hour, there will be years of deception in which a liar will be believed and a truthful person will be taken to be a liar and in which a treacherous person will be trusted and in which a trustworthy person will be taken to be treacherous. And in it the Ruwaybidah will speak. So it was said, “Who are the Ruwaybidah?” So he said, “The little evil one who speaks about the public affairs.”
Al-Haafidh ibn Katheer said in an-Nihaayah fil-Fitan w`al-Milaahim; its chain of narration is good.
Translator’s side point: As for one of the verifiers of the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad; Shuayb al-Arna`ut, he said in his checking of the Musnad of Ahmad, the hadeeth is hasan, this particular chain is weak as it contains Muhammad bin Ishaaq who is hasan in hadeeth but he was a mudallis and he reports it here, he just says, “from”, he doesn’t say that he directly heard it from his Shaykh, he said, “from him”.
As an addition to what occurs here, this hadeeth also occurs as a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu, reported by Ibn Maajah (4,042) and by Al-Haakim and by Imaam Ahmad also and declared hasan by Shaykh Al-Albaaniyy in As–Saheehah (1,887) because it has a number of chains which support it. He also authenticates a hadeeth of Aws ibn Maalik radiyAllaahu `anhu with a similar wording, reported by al-Bazzaar and at–Tabaraaniyy and he brings that in As–Saheehah (2,253).
 Translator’s side point: As for the explanation of Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah then he said, literally the beginning here that, “the people of knowledge continue rebutting the saying of the Jahmiyyah until it was the Khilaafah of Banul `Abbaas,” he was here narrating the condition that was present and the Khilaafah of Banul Abbaas, the beginning of it was upon good but then the affairs changed after the year 200 when the Khaleefah Al-Ma`moon accepted the call of the Mu`tazilah and became convinced that the Qur’aan is something created and he called the People of Knowledge to accept this innovation and to accept this saying, which is kufr (disbelief).
So, therefore fitnah; tremendous trial occurred, which continued from the year 200 onwards and for 12 years of the Khilaafah of Al-Ma`moon and Al-Mu`tasim and Al-Waathiq until the Khilaafah was taken on by Al-Mutawakkil `ala-Allaah and then the People of the Sunnah and the Jamaa`ah and the carriers of hadeeth had some respite then and it was the People of Falsehood who were then curbed of doubt.
However, after Al-Mutawakkil passed away, after that time then the Khaleefas began to lose their authority and the Khilaafah became just a name without any reality. They became an outer form without a true reality behind it and that was because the Turks gained ascendancy and they took hold of the reality of authority and came to actually control the Khulafaa·. They could bring whoever they wanted and appoint him and they could kill this one as they wished and then after that authority passed away from the Turkish people and passed to Banu Booyaa. [Translator’s side point: Banu Booyaa ruled roughly from the year 325 AH till about the year 450 AH.]. Then to Al-Jaraakisaa (the Circassians) until the Khilaafah was ended in the year 656.
And then the saying of `Umar radiyAllaahu `anhu was realised that he said,
“We are a people who used to be the most humiliated people but then Allaah gave us strength and honour through Islaam so whenever we seek to attain honour by other than that which Allaah gave us honour through, then Allaah will humiliate us.”
[Reported by Al-Haakim in his Mustadrak and he declared it authentic from `Umar and likewise Ath-Thahabee agreed.]
Then Shaykh Ahmad finished by saying, “Except for the fact that the Ahlus-Sunnah W`al-Jamaa`ah and the people of hadeeth and the people of true `aqeedah have not ceased to be established upon their `aqeedah, not being harmed by whoever opposes them. And therefore, he (meaning the author; al-Barbahaaree rahimahullaah) therefore made an exception by saying, “Except for those who remained firm upon the saying of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his command what he was upon and his prohibition…” to the end of the saying.
 Checking has preceded and the hadeeth as we had before was reported by at-Tirmithee and al-Haakim and others and declared hasan by Shaykh Al-Albaaniyy.
 Hadeeth being part of the famous hadeeth of `Irbaad ibn Saariyah radiyAllaahu `anhu, reported by Ahmad and Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah and being declared saheeh by Shaykh Al-Albaaniyy.
 Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah makes a point here, he said the point of slight objection to a wording, he said, the author’s saying here, “and you should know that the religion is just taqleed,” the point of objection is to be raised against here for the wording because taqleed means to follow without a proof. So if he had said the deen is ittibaa`; used this word, the religion is to follow the Book of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and the Sunnah of His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam upon the understanding of the Salaf of this ummah from the companions and taabi`een and those who followed them upon good from the bearers of hadeeth and narrations. This wording would’ve been what is correct because it conforms to what Allaah has commanded with in His Book when He said:
وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
And this is My straight way so therefore follow it and do not follow the divergent paths, which will take you away from His path. He has enjoined you with that so that you are a people who are dutiful to Him. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 153)
And He says:
اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
Follow what is being sent down to you from your Lord and do not follow any others besides Him in disobedience to Allaah. Little it is that you take admonition. (Sooratul-A`raaf (7), aayah 3)
So ittibaa`; following for the Salaf, those who were before us; upon the narration, upon proof, upon the Book and the Sunnah, this is the truth and Allaah is the one who grants success.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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