Sharhus-Sunnah [no3] – Abu Abdur Rahman

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Sharhus-Sunnah [no3]

Class Notes: Part Three [04-11-09] v3.0
Taught by Abu Abdur Rahman

The writer (al-Barbahaaree) may Allaah have mercy upon him, said:
“Point two: And from the sunnah is to hold firm to the Jamaa’ah (main body) so whoever is content with other than the Jamaa’ah and splits away from it has indeed removed the yoke of Islaam from his neck and is astray and sending others astray.”
continued from Part Two of the series:
Al Qurtubee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said in his tafseer of the saying of Allaah:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah, and be not divided among yourselves.” [Surah Aali-Imraan (3) 103]

“This is the Jamaa’ah”
This has been narrated from Ibn Mas’ood and other than him in different wording, but all the meanings are the same or close, because indeed Allaah orders with unity and prohibits us from division. Indeed dividing is destruction and unity is saviour. And, may Allaah have mercy on Ibn Mubarak when he said: “Indeed the Jamaa’ah is the Rope of Allaah, so let the one that is weakened and lost his way adhere to it with his strongest grip.” 1
As for the reality of al-I’tisaam (adhering) to the book of Allaah, then, Ibnul-Qayyim summarises it here saying: “and it is legislating by it without the opinions of men and their analogies, intellect, tastes, revelations and their thoughts. So whoever does not legislate by Allaah’s Book then he has slipped away from this type of I’tisaam (adherence). Because the religion all of it must be adhered to, its rope is knowledge, action, sincerity, seeking aid from Allaah, following the sunnah and being continuous upon this until the day of judgment.” 2
Also Muslim narrates from Abu Hurairah from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he said:

“Indeed Allaah loves for you three, and He hates for you three… (He loves) that you worship him and do not associate partners with him, and that you hold firm to the Rope of Allaah together and that you do not divide…”3

Imaam an-Nawawee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in his explanation of this great hadeeth said: “and as for I’tisaam (adhering) to the Rope of Allaah then it is holding firm to his oath and that is following His Mighty Book and respecting its boundaries and abiding by its manners. The Rope can also be explained as the oath, trust, bond and reason. The origin of the use of this word ‘rope’ by the arabs is their holding firm to the rope when things become difficult and they save by it things which have separated. So the word ‘rope’ has been borrowed for these things. And as for His saying “and be not divided” then it is an order to adhere to the jamaa’ah of Muslims and be united. This is one of the principles of Islaam.4
So Imaam an-Nawawee considered adhering to the main body of Muslims (Jamaa’ah) and the unity of Muslims amongst themselves as one of the principles of Islaam. This principle which he explains has its foundations in the authentic hadeeth and it is from the sayings of the entire Muslim scholars. We will now present some of their sayings in this regard.
What has been narrated by Imaam Ahmed, ad-Daarimee, Ibnu Hibbaan which al-Haakim makes saheeh and ath-Thahabee agreed with this. Shaykh al-Albaanee said its chain is authentic and mentioned it in his Silsilatus-Saheehah:
From Anas (radiyallaahu anhu) from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) who said:

“May Allaah brighten the face of the person who hears this saying of mine and relates it. Perhaps the carrier of this knowledge does not understand it as well. Perhaps the one who relates the hadeeth relates it to one who understands it better than him. Three things which no Muslims chest will hold malice towards are: sincerely working for the sake of Allaah, advising the ones in authority, and holding firm to the jamaa’ah of Muslims for indeed their da’wah encompasses all those behind them.” 5

And what at-Tirmidhee and al-Haakim narrated which ath-Thahabee authenticated and agreed with. Also Ibn Abee Aasim in his Sunnah also agreed with them. Al-Lalakaa’ee also agreed in his Sharh Usool al-I’tiqaad. All of them with a ‘good’ chain of narration:
From Umar Ibn al-Khattaab (radiyallaahu anhu) that he performed a khutbah in Shaam and said: “The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) stood amongst us and said:

“Follow the good from my companions, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then after them lies will spread so much until you find a person rushing to give a false testification even before he is asked for one.

And he will be ready to take oath before he is even asked to. So whoever desires the pearls of al-Jannah then let him hold firm to the Jamaa’ah for indeed Shaytaan is with the lone one and further away from two. So whoever is pleased with his good deeds and sad with his evil deeds then he is a believer.” 6
So in these two ahadeeth are precise instructions to hold firm to the Jamaa’ah of the believers.
And how wonderful are the words of Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee when he said in his treatise after mentioning the above hadeeth: “So what did the Prophet mean when he ordered to stick to the Jamaa’ah. I say, he did not mean anything except one thing. How can it not be except one (jama’ah). So I said if their Jamaa’ah is scattered in a country then no-one can adhere to the body of a Jamaa’ah which is separated. Indeed there are bodies and organisations of Muslim, non Muslims, pious as well as evil communities. But there is no benefit in sticking to such jamaa’ah unless their gathering is upon enjoining halaal and haraam and obedience to Allaah. So whoever says what the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims say then he has indeed held firm to their Jamaa’ah. Whoever opposes what the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims say, then he has opposed their Jamaa’ah which he has been ordered to adhere to.” 7
Evidences from the Book and the Sunnah making splitting and differing blameworthy and warning against such action.

“And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.

On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black; as for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): “Did you reject Faith after accepting it? Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting Faith.”

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ابْيَضَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فَفِي رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

And for those whose faces will become white, they will be in Allaah’s Mercy (Paradise), therein they shall dwell forever.”
[Surah Aali-Imraan (3):105-107]

Ibn Jareer said: Allaah, Most Praised and High means by this, O you who believe do not be like those who divided from amongst the People of the Book. They differed in the religion of Allaah, His Orders and Prohibitions after plain clear guidance came to them from Allaah regarding what they differed in. So they knew the truth regarding it but they deliberately opposed it and rejected the orders of Allaah and negated his oath and trust arrogantly.
So where Allaah says: وَاُوْلئِك لهُمْ this means those who differed and split from the People of the Book after the punishment of Allaah came to them. So Allaah says: O you believers, do not be divided in your religion as they were in their religion and do not do as they did. And do not take their Sunnah as yours such that you too will fall under Allaah’s Punishment as they did.” 8


1 al-Jaami li Ahkaamul–Qur’aan by al-Qurtubee 4/156 (Daarul-Kutub al-Arabi)
2 Madarijus-Saalikeen of Ibnul-Qayyim 3/323
3 Muslim, in the book of Judging 1715. The Shaykh al-Ubaylaan, may Allaah protect him mentions here two of the three liked and disliked only.
4 Sharh Saheeh Muslim by an-Nawawee 12/252
5 Narrated by Ahmed in his Musnad 3/225 and Ibnu Maajah in al-Muqadamah (236), from Anas Bin Maalik. Also narrated from many Companions from them Zayd Bin Thaabit, Jubair Bin Mut’am, Abdullaah Bin Umar, Abee Bakrah and other than them, may Allaah be pleased with them all.
6 Narrated by Ahmed in his Musnad 1/18 and at-Tirmidhee in the book of al-Fitn 2165, and al-Haakim in his al-mustadraq 1/113, all from the hadeeth of Ibn Umar from his father Umar, radiyallaahu anhu.
7 Ar-Risaalah of Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee 474-476
8 at-Tabaree, Jaami al-Bayaan Fee Ta’weel al-Qur’aan, 3/385