Basics- [Revising And Revisiting The Most Important Fundamentals: (Muhammad is The Messenger of Allaah)]
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] Is The Messenger of Allaah.
What Does “Muhamad is The Messenger of Allaah Necessitate?”
What does “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” necessitate? It necessitates belief in everything he [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] has stated, obey him in everything he has commanded, keep away from everything he has forbidden and worship Allaah only based on what Allaah and Muhammad have legislated. To testify that Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is the Messenger of Allaah necessitates a testification regarding his Messengership. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ – We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah’s Permission]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verse 64]
This is the purpose regarding which Allaah sent the Messengers, to be obeyed. It is not enough to say, “I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger”, but rather this testification necessitates that one follows the one who has been sent, obey his command, keep away from what he has forbidden and believe in everything he has stated. This is the true establishment of the statement “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”, because the Messenger brought three affairs- commands, prohibitions and news, so whoever testifies to Muhammad’s Messenger ship must believe in everything Muhammad has stated.
The testimony that Muhammad is Allaah’s Messenger necessitates that he is followed just as the testimony that “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah” this statement necessitates that one establishes pure Islamic monotheism and sincerely devotes all the religion to Allaah alone.
Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is a Messenger of Allaah and a Messenger’s most important task is to convey the words of Allaah. Allaah said: [وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ – The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message)]. [Surah An-Noor. Aayah 54]
Indeed, the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] did convey the message clearly. There is no good except that he has guided the Ummah to it and there is no evil except that he warned the Ummah against it. Therefore, whoever testifies that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” must submit to everything Muhammad has conveyed. Allaah said:
[وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا – And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)]. [Surah Al-Hashr. Verse 7]
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 65]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ – It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision]. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 36]
So, the Messenger must be obeyed in what he has commanded and whoever obeys him has obeyed Allaah. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ – He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allah]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verse 80]
Allaah [The Exalted] said: [قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ – Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you”]. [Surah Aal Imraan. Verse 31]
The scholars refer to this verse [i.e. Verse 31, Surah Aal Imraan] as the verse that puts a person to trial regarding his (or her) claim, so whoever claims that he loves Allaah, then let him put himself to trial based on what will manifest evidence regarding his truthfulness in this matter. (1)
Question: How Do We Approach Our Customs When Striving to Follow The Sunnah?
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “It is obligated on every Muslim that he does not depend on custom; rather he presents it to the pure Islamic legislation (to be judged), so whatever the Islamic legislation affirms is permissible and whatever it does not affirm is impermissible. The customs of the people are not proof to determine the lawfulness of anything. All the customs of the people in their countries or tribes must be presented to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] for judgement, so whatever Allaah and His Messenger made permissible is permissible, and whatever they forbid, then it is obligatory to abandon it even if it is the custom of the people”. (2)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The customs cannot make something that is not legislated (in the divine revelation) as something legislated, because of Allaah’s statement: [وَلَيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرُّ بِأَن تَأۡتُواْ ٱلۡبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا – It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 189], despite the fact that it was something they took as their custom and considered it to be an act of righteousness. Whoever takes something as a custom and believes that it is an act of righteousness, then it should be presented to Allaah’s divine legislation [i.e. to be judged]”. (3)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said, “Extremism in related to customs is stringent adherence to old customs and not diverting to what is better than them. As for if the customs are equal in benefit [i.e. the ones judged to be permissible by the divine legislation], then a person remaining upon what he is upon would be better than going along with the new (or emerging) customs”. (4)
How Do We Approach The Modern Worldly Sciences When Striving to Follow The Sunnah?
Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [may Allaah preserve him] said:
The Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said: Verily, the creation of each of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days as a drop [of water, semen], then he is a clot for a similar period, then a morsel for a similar period…. [An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadeeth. Hadeeth 4]
It is well known that during that era the companions of the Prophet did not know these stages (of development of the human being in the womb) through experimental knowledge, vision (i.e. by way of the naked eye) or other than that; rather it was simply (a statememt of the Prophet) which they (believed and affirmed). They were scholars by way of the revelation sent down to the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and not by way of experimentation.(5)
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
“We do not say, ‘We do not give consideration to anything stated by the people in the subject matter regarding medicine, astronomy and the celestial bodies’, however, we do not accept everything they say. If what they say opposes the Book and the Sunnah, then indeed we do not accept their statements; (rather) we take (i.e. believe and affirm without any doubt) that which is conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah, and we say, ‘An era will come in which the people will bear witness to the falsity of those statements of theirs – at present – that are in opposition to the Book and Sunnah and (bear witness) to the correctness of that which has been conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah”. (6)
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
Indeed, that which is stated by the astronomers about the celestial bodies, their sizes and the distance between them, and that which is said about the earth (i.e. by the geologists etc) is categorized into three affairs: (a) That which is supported by the sound knowledge-based proofs (i.e. the Qur’aan and Sunnah), therefore it is accepted. (b) That which the knowledge-based proofs (i.e. the Qur’aan and Sunnah) declares to be false, therefore it is rejected. (c) That which there is no proof to either accept or reject it, therefore it is unproven until a person from the people of knowledge [i.e. upright scholars of Ahlus Sunnah] examines it to show whether it should be accepted or rejected. As for accepting it without (sound) investigation and observation, but merely accepting it by blindly following them [i.e. the astronomers, geologists etc], then this is impermissible because of the numerous mistakes that occur as a result of that, and speaking -without knowledge – about Allaah and what He has created. (7)
Also read here by Shaikh Abu Iyaadh Amjad Rafiq [may Allaah preserve him] regarding the two definitions of science: http://www.aboutatheism.net/articles/juvtbpd-understanding-the-two-definitions-of-science-and-scientific-enquiry.cfm
The Statement Muhammad Is The Messenger of Allaah Necessitates a Rejection of Bidah
[i.e. Newly Invented Matters In The Religion]
Worshipping Allaah is not to be carried out except based on what Allaah and the Messenger have legislated. Allaah is neither to be worshipped based on desires nor newly invented matters in the religion, and because of this there are numerous narrations reported from the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] that warns against newly invented matters in the religion and forbidding them. One of those great narrations – which the scholars consider to be one of the fundamental principles of the religion – is the statement of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], “Whoever initiates in this affair of ours [i.e. the religion of Islam] what is not part of it will have it rejected”. [Bukaari 2697 and Muslim 1718]. In another version of this narration, the Prophet said, “Whoever does a deed [i.e. an act of worship] that is not based on this affair of ours [i.e. Islam], it will be rejected”. [Muslim 1718].
When the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] used to give a khutbah, he used to say, “To proceed, indeed the best of speech is Allaah’s Book and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters in the religion and every newly invented matter in the religion is an innovation in religion”. [Saheeh Muslim 867]
Read more here by Shaikh Abu Iyaad [may Allaah preserve him] regarding the false claim that there is a good bidah- Parts 1-8: http://www.bidah.com/articles/ezaqa-the-notion-of-bidah-hasan-good-innovation-destroyed-part-1.cfm
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] also stated in the hadeeth reported by Irbaad Bin Saariyah [may Allaah be pleased with him], “Verily, the one who lives amongst you will see a lot of differing, so adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Khulafaa Al-Mahdiyyeen Ar-Raashideen. Follow and adhere to it with your molars [ie. Strictly adhere to it], and beware of newly invented matters in the religion, because indeed every newly invented matters in the religion is an innovation in religion and every innovation in the religion is misguidance”. [Reported by Ahmad 17144. Abu Daawud 4608. Ibn Maajah 42]
Allaah [The Exalted] stated about the Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]:
[مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمۡ وَمَا غَوَىٰ-Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred]- Meaning, that is because the Daal [misguided person] is one whose knowledge is corrupted and the Ghaawiy [astray one] is the one whose intent is corrupted. Also, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] described his four khulafaa [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali] with the words “Raashideen and Mahdiyyeen”, because the Raashid [i.e. The one who is steadfast upon the right path and is firmly established upon it] is the opposite of the Ghaawiy [The one who strays from the right path or conduct], and the Mahdee [The one guided to the path of truth and yeilds obediently to it] is the opposite of the Daalun [the misguided one, especially in knowledge and creed]. (8)
Obedience to The Messenger Leads to Unity And Bidah Is The Cause of Splitting And Blameworthy Differing
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ وَلَا تَنَـٰزَعُواْ فَتَفۡشَلُواْ وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡۖ وَٱصۡبِرُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute [with one another] lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Saabireen [the patient ones, etc.]. [Surah Al-Anfaal. Verse 46]
[وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥ – And obey Allah and His Messenger]- Meaning, obey Allaah and the Messenger in that which you have been commanded and adhere to this path in all circumstances. [وَلَا تَنَـٰزَعُواْ – and do not dispute (with one another)]-Meaning, do not dispute because it will cause your hearts to become disunited; [فَتَفۡشَلُواْ – lest you lose courage]; [وَتَذۡهَبَ رِيحُكُمۡۖ – and your strength depart]- Meaning, (If you do not obey Allaah and His Messenger, and you start disputing), your resolve will depart. You will lose your strength and the promise you have been given that you will be aided -due to obedience to Allaah and His Messenger- will be withdrawn.
[[وَٱصۡبِرُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ – and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Saabireen (the patient ones, etc.)]-Meaning, exercise patience in obedience to Allaah (and obedience to His Messenger), because indeed Allaah will aid you and give you victory. Fear your Lord and humble yourselves to Him. (9)
Al-Allaamah Zaid Bin Haadi Al-Madkhali [may Allaah preserve him] said, “The Mubtadi [the innovator] is the cause for the splitting, because splitting is connected to innovation in religion and unity (upon the sound creed and methodology of the pious predecessors) is connected to the Sunnah. The obligation of refuting the Mukhaalif [the one who opposes the truth] is not lifted from the scholar due to anticipation of harm, unless it is harm he is not able to bear. Then (in this case), Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear. The earth is not devoid of people of knowledge who will carry out refutation against the Mubtadi and the Mukhaalif”. (10)
Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said: The cause of the differences that take place between the callers is the differing in methodologies. And had the callers (may Allaah guide them and grant them success) traversed a singular methodology; and that is the methodology of the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] – that which the Messenger and his companions were upon, then these differences would not have occurred. Therefore, it is obligatory upon all the callers to make their methodology one–upon the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah, and that their call is (carried out) for the sake of Allaah and to make the word of Allaah uppermost. Their call should not be for the sake of desires, raising individuals or parties; rather their call should be sincerely for Allaah’s Face, to make Allaah’s word uppermost, to follow the Messenger of Allaah and to aid his Religion. (So) by way of this the differences will cease.(11)
Read the article in this link: The Splitting and Differing in the Ummah is Due to the Innovations and Innovators: http://www.salafipublications.com/sps/sp.cfm?subsecID=GSC01&articleID=GSC010003&articlePages=2
The Severe Consequences of Opposing The Sunnah of the Messenger
And Allaah (The Most High) said:
لَّا تَجۡعَلُواْ دُعَآءَ ٱلرَّسُولِ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ كَدُعَآءِ بَعۡضِكُم بَعۡضً۬اۚ قَدۡ يَعۡلَمُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمۡ لِوَاذً۬اۚ فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Make not the calling of the Messenger [Muhammad] among you as your calling of one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter [of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger]. And let those who oppose the Messenger’s [Muhammad] commandment [i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.] [among the sects] beware, lest some Fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. [Surah An-Noor. Verse 63]
[فَلۡيَحۡذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِهِۦۤ -And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah, orders, acts of worship, statements) beware]; [أَن تُصِيبَہُمۡ فِتۡنَةٌ – lest some Fitnah befall them]: Meaning: Lest misguidance, calamity in the worldly life or disbelief befall them.
[أَوۡ يُصِيبَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – or a painful torment be inflicted on them]- Meaning, killed (by enemies) in the worldly life or punished in the hell fire in the afterlife. (12)
Imaam Ahmad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said about this verse [i.e. Surah An-Noor. Verse 63], “Do you know what Al-Fitnah is? Al-Fitnah is Shirk. Perhaps if he (i.e. the person) rejects some of his (i.e. the Prophet’s) statements, then something of deviation enters his heart, so he is destroyed”. [Reported by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah Al-Kubraa 97]
Narrated Abu Musa [may Allaah be pleased with him] that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “’My example, and the example of what I have been sent with is that of a man who came to some people and said, O people! I have seen the enemy’s army with my own eyes and I am a plain warner; so protect yourselves!’ Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled at night proceeding stealthily till they were safe, while another group of them disbelieved him and stayed at their places till morning when the army came upon them and killed and ruined them completely. So this is the example of that person who obeys me and follows that truth which I have brought (the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), and the example of the one who disobeys me and disbelieves the Truth I have brought”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. Vol 9. Number: 7283]
The Most Disobedient Person to The Messenger
Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. [Surah al-Hujuraat. Verse 1]
[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ – O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet…] [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Verse 2]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
When it is the case that Allaah forbade (them) from giving precedence to (themselves) over the Messenger, then which type of giving precedence to oneself over the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) can be more severe than giving precedence to one’s intellect over the revelation he was sent with? Many of the Salaf have stated (that this ayah means): ‘’Do not say anything (about the religion) until the messenger speaks and do not act until he commands you.’’
The most disobedient person amongst the people and the most severe with regards to giving precedence to him (or herself) over the Messenger is that one who gives precedence to his (or her) intellect or the intellect of another person over the revelation the Messenger was sent with. And when it is the case that Allaah has indeed forbidden them from raising their voices above the voice of the Messenger, then how about raising their intellects above the statements of the Messenger and the revelation he came with? (13)
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
In this great Soorah there are lofty benefits and rulings. The Muslims are greatly in need of understanding (it), being conscious of it and take benefit from it. In the first part, there is a warning against putting oneself forward before Allaah and His Messenger. And that which is obligated on the People of Eemaan is that they are to be followers and not innovators, and that they do not put themselves forward before Allaah and His Messenger.
The people of knowledge say (that this verse means), “Do not speak until you are commanded by Allaah and His Messenger, and do not act until the Messenger acts and legislates; do not put (yourselves) forward before him with either speech or action, (but) be followers of that which has been prescribed for you and that which has been made clear for you in the (Islamic) legislation”. This is the way the people of Eemaan are to be -they do not innovate acts of worship and rulings in Allaah’s Sharee’ah.
[وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيم – And fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing]- Meaning, Allaah hears their statements and nothing is hidden from Him with regards to your state of affairs. He hears the statements of the slaves and He knows their state of affairs. He knows the truth you utter and other than it. He knows what you do, the truth you utter and other than it. The meaning of (this is that): Be mindful of Him and be warned about (disobeying Him) because nothing is hidden from Him. He hears and He knows your state of affairs. Therefore, it is obligated on you to be followers, and not innovators in Allaah’s Sharee’ah. (14)
A Refutation Against The Extremists and Those Who Degrade His Status
Shaikh Abdullaah Al-Bukhaari [may Allaah preserve him] stated:
The statement محمد رسول الله is an affirmation of the Messengership of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] and a refutation against the one who gives him a status above that and thus deifies him, or lowers the rank of his Prophethood and Messengership. (15)
Next topic: The Prayer [As-Salaah]
[Ref 1:An Excerpt From: Explanation of Important Lessons For The Muslim Ummah. page 52. Maktabah Malik Al-Fahad 1436AH. (2015)pages 53–56]
[Ref 2: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 6/510]
[Ref:3: Tafseer Surah Al-Baqarah 2/299]
[Ref 4: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 7/7]
[Ref 5: Sharh Al-Arba’een. Hadeeth 4]
[Ref 6: An excerpt from the ‘Explanation of Bulooghul Maraam’ Vol 1. page 130]
[Ref 7: An Excerpts from ‘Al-Adillah An-Naqliyyah Wal-Hissiyyah Alaa Imkaanis Su’ood Ilal Kawaakib Wa Alaa Jarayaan Ash-Shams Wal-Qamar Wa Sukoon Al-Ard’ page 74. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 8: An Excerpt from Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed. Lesson 4. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 9: Tafseer as-Sadi. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 10: Source: Al Ajwibah Al Mukhtasar Alaa As-ila Al-Ashrati. Pages43-44]
[Ref 11: Al-Ijaabaatul Muhimmah Fil Mashaakil Al-Mulimmah. pages 221-222]
[Ref 12: Zaadul Maseer Fee Ilmit Tafseer’ By Imaam Ibnul Jawzi [may Allaah have mercy upon him]
[Ref 13: Al-Waabil as-Sayyib’ page: 21. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 14: Al-Fawaa-id al-Ilmiyyah Min ad-durar Al-Baaziyyah: page: 391-392; Vol: 4. Publisher: Daar Ar-Risaalah 1st ed 1430AH (Year 2009)]
[Ref 15: Source:المقالات الشرعيّة pages 14-15]