<<فَإِن تَنَٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِي شَيۡءٖ >>
‘If you differ in anything amongst yourselves.’
Abbas Abu Yahya
‘An initial principle of ‘Aqeedah is: Judging by the Book and the authentic Sunnah in every issue of ‘Aqeedah, and adhering to the Book and the Sunnah. This occurs by completely responding to the revelation, and limiting yourself to obtaining the rulings of the Deen – in its principles and branches to the Book and the Sunnah.
And therefore when differences occur one should return back to the Book and the Sunnah, and not reject or oppose the Book and the Sunnah with any interpretations, analogy, opinion or the intellect.
There are many Ayaat, which have been mentioned in the Quran regarding the command of obedience to Allah and his Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and from them is the saying of Allah Ta’ala:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنكُمۡۖ فَإِن تَنَٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِي شَيۡءٖ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيۡرٞ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِيلًا ٥٩
<< O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. >> [Nisa’: 59]
Maymoon bin Mahraan said:
<< if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah>> means refer to Allaah’s Book and to the Messenger, as long as he is alive, and to his Sunnah after his death.’
[Collected by Ibn Battah in ‘al-Ibaana al-Kubra’ no.58,59,85]
It has also been similarly narrated from ‘Atta bin Abi Rabah.
Qurtubi said regarding the saying of Allaah Ta’ala: << refer it to Allaah and His Messenger >> which means: refer back the judgment to the Book of Allaah or to His Messenger by either asking him during his lifetime, or by looking into his Sunnah after his death –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
This is also the saying of Mujahid, al-‘Amash and Qatadah, and it is authentic. Whoever does not hold this opinion then his eemaan is void, due to the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
<< if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day >>
[Tafseer al-Qurtubi 5/261]
Ibn Katheer said regarding the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
<< if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger >> that Mujahid along with more than one from the Salaf said: this means, to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His messenger. This is a command from Allaah –Azza wa Jal- everything that the people dispute about from the principles of the Deen and its branches, that they should return their disputes to the Book and the Sunnah.’
[Tafseer Ibn Katheer 1/518]
[From: ‘Manhaj Imam Malik Fee Ithbat al-Aqeedah’ p.65-66]