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Following the Aathaar

Narrations of the Salaf Part 5

Following the Aathaar

Compiled & translated


Abbas Abu Yahya

1 – Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah (d.728) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘What is known by necessity for the one who reflects upon the Book and the Sunnah and what the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jammah agree upon from all the different sects: is that the best of the generations from this Ummah in its actions, statements, beliefs and in all other good virtues are: ‘the first generation then those who came after them, then those after them’, as is established from the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- from many different narrations. And that the first three generations are better than those who came after them in every single virtue: in knowledge, action, Eemaan, intellect, Deen and clarity, worship and that they are foremost in clarifying every problem, and this is not rejected except by the one who is obstinate to that which is known from the Deen of Islaam by necessity, and Allaah has misguided him away from knowledge.’

[Fatawa 4/157]

2 – Muhammad bin al-Hussain said: ‘It reached me that some of the companions of Abu Alee al-Jawzajani asked him: ‘What is the path of Allaah?’

He said:

‘The most correct way, most prospers and most distant from doubt is following the Book and the Sunnah, in statements, actions, in belief and intention because Allaah Ta’ala said:

وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهۡتَدُواْۚ

 << If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance >> [Noor: 54]

He was asked: ‘What is the path to following the Sunnah?’

He answered:

‘Keeping away from Bida’ and following that which the first generations were gathered upon, from the scholars of Islaam and its people, and also keeping away from the gatherings of the people of Philosophy, rhetoric and their people. Adhering to the path of following, and the example, and that is what the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- ordered with the saying of Allaah:

أَنِ ٱتَّبِعۡ مِلَّةَ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ حَنِيفٗاۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ

 << Then, We have inspired you: ‘Follow the religion of Ibrahim Hanifa (Islaamic Monotheism – to worship none but Allaah) and he was not of the Mushrikoon .>> [Nahl: 123]’

[al-Isteeqamah’ by Shaykh ul-Islaam p.102]

3 – al-Awaaz’aaee said:

‘Knowledge is that what came from the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and that which did not come from them is not knowledge.’

[Jamia’ Bayan wal Ilm 1/1067]

4  – Imam Abu Muthaffar Samaani -Rahimullaah- said in his book ‘al-Inteesar li Ahl-ul-hadeeth’ p.79:

‘That the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said when he was asked about the ‘Firqaat an-Najjeeya’ (the saved sect): ‘What I am upon and my Companions.’ Meaning, whoever is upon what the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was upon and his Companions. Therefore, it is necessary to know what the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and his Companions were upon, and there is no way of knowing it except by transmission of narrations, so it is obligatory to return to that.’

[‘al-Inteesar li Ahl-ul-hadeeth’ p.79]

5 – al-Hussain bin Muhammad at-Tayybee -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Indeed if you say: what is your proof that you are upon the correct path, since every single sect claims that they are upon it rather than others?

I say: This claim and affirmation [of being on the correct path] cannot be done by using deficient suspicion and allegations; rather it occurs by transmitting from brilliant scholars of these skills. And the scholars of the people of hadeeth who gathered the authentic hadeeth concerning the matters of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-, his circumstances, his actions, and in all his dealings. Likewise the circumstances of the Companions from the Muhajiroon and Ansaar and those who followed them in goodness.

From those collections of hadeeth were the collections of the Imam Muhammad bin Isma’eel al-Bukhari, Muslim bin Hajjaj and others from the well-known trustworthy ones about whom the east and the west are agreed upon the authenticity of what they brought in their books from the matters of the Prophet –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and his Companions.

Then there are those who took it to extract its meanings, and solve its issues. Like the Imam Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi and the Imam, reviver of the Sunnah Abu Muhammad al-Bagawi, and the Imam Muhideen an-Nawwawi – may Allaah reward them on behalf of the Muslims with goodness – and thankful that they made their efforts for the Deen.  Then after the transmission of the narration one looks to see who adheres to their guidance, and follows their footsteps, and is rightly guided upon their paths in the principles and branches of the Deen, and Allaah knows best with what is correct.

[Explanation of ‘Mishkat al-Masabih’]


6 – Imam AbdurRahman as-Sa’adi said:

‘Indeed it is necessary upon the slave of Allaah to adhere to and follow to what the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- came with.  It is not allowed to oppose the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

Indeed the text of the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is like the text of Allaah, there is no concession for anyone nor any excuse to leave it, and it is not allowed to give precedence to anyone’s statement above his statement.’

[Taken from: ‘Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahman Fee Tafseer Kalam al-Manaan’]

All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace

and blessings be upon our final

Prophet Muhammad, his

family, his companions

and all those who

follow his