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The Concern of the Salaf for Athaar

Narrations of the Salaf Part 4

The Concern of the Salaf for Athaar

Translated by

Abbas Abu Yahya


1- Sufyaan ibn Sa’eed ath-Thawri  (d. 161 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Indeed the Deen is with the Athaar[1], indeed the Deen is with the Athaar, indeed the Deen is with the Athaar.’

[Athar saheeh: collected by Ibn AbdulBarr in ‘Jama’ Bayaan al-Ilm wa Fadleeyhi’ no. 1458, al-Bayhaqi in ‘al-Madkhal ila as-Sunnan’]

2 – From Muhammad Ibn Sireen (d. 110 A.H.) who said:

‘As long as a person is with the ‘Athaar then he is on the Siraat (correct path).’

[Saheeh; Collected by Darmi no.142, & by al-Laalikaee in ‘Sharh Itiqaad Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamma’ (109, 110) & ‘ash-Sharh wal-Ibaanah’161]

3 – Abdullaah bin Mubarak -Rahimullaah- said:

‘If you are afflicted by al-Qadaa’,[2] then stick to the Athaar.’

[Mukhtasir Shama’il Muhammadeeyah no.351]

4 -Ash-Sha’abni -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Indeed the people before you were destroyed, when there became many paths and they deviated away from the path and left the Athaar, and spoke about the Deen with their opinion so they became misguided and they misguided others.’

[Collected by Ibn AbdulBarr in ‘Jama’ Bayaan al-Ilm wa Fadleeyhi’ no. 2/2026]

5 – Sufyaan ibn Sa’eed ath-Thawri  (d. 161 A.H.)-Rahimullaah- said:

‘If you cannot scratch your head except due to an Athar then do so.’

[Collected in ‘al-Jama’ al-Akhlaaq ar-Rawee wa Adab as-Saama’ p.142]

6 – Malik bin Anas (d. 179 A.H.)  -Rahimullaah- said:

‘There is not a people amongst whom the Athaar become diminished except that following desires increases.  And if the scholars diminish then futility appears amongst the people.’

[Collected by al-Khateeb in ‘al-Faqeeh al-Muttafaqih’ 1/383/390 with an authentic chain]

7 – Shurayh (d. 78 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Indeed the Sunnah precedes your analogy (Qiyaas), so follow and do not innovate, indeed you will not become misguided as long as you adhere to the Athaar.’

[Isnaad Saheeh: Collected by Abu Na’eem in ‘al-Hileeyah’ (8/165)]

8 – From Salmah bin Shabeeb that he said he heard Ahmad bin Hanbal -Rahimullaah- (d. 241 A.H.) saying:

‘The opinion of al-Awaza’ee, the opinion of Malik, the opinion of Sufyaan are all opinions, however the hujjah (proof) is in the Athaar.’

[Collected by Ibn AbdulBarr in ‘Jamia Bayaan al-Ilm wa Fadleeyhi’ 2/2107]

9 – al-Hafidh ad-Dhahabi (d.748) -Rahimullaah- said:

‘Indeed the scholars of the people of Athaar and Fiqh are distinguished in knowledge with precision, distinction and understanding.’

[Seerah ‘Alaam 10/547]

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

‘Then from the way of the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamma’: is following the Athaar (narrations) of the Messenger of Allaah  –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- inwardly and outwardly, and following the path of the foremost of the Muslims from the Muhajiroon and Ansaar, and following the Waseeyah (bequest) of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- whereby he said: ‘so you must adhere to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafah – cling to them with your molar teeth. Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray.’

[‘Sharh Aqeedah al-Wasiteeyah’ p. 255]

11 – Imam Barbahari said:

‘Adhere to the Aathaar (narrations) and the Ahl-ul-Athar (people of narrations) sit with them and from them knowledge is acquired.’

[Sharh as-Sunnah al-Barbahari p.111]

[1] Narrations from the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- or narrations from the Companions -Radi Allaahu anhum.

[2] Al-Qadaa’ is the perfectly precise execution and accomplishment of all things predestined to occur exactly in accordance with Allaah’s previous knowledge, Writing and Will.