Statements of the Salaf in Following the Sunnah

Statements of the Salaf in Following the Sunnah
أقــوال السلــف فــي الاتبــاع

Compiled and translated by Abbas Abu Yahya

People of the Sunnah

1- Ibn Abbas -RadhiAllahu anhumma – said:

Regarding the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:

《يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ »

«فأمّا الذين ابيضّت وجوههم فأهل السّنّة والجماعة وأولو العلم. وأمّا الّذين اسودّت وجوههم فأهل البدع والضّلالة»

‘As for those whose faces will be illuminated then they are the Ahl-ul Sunnah wal Jammah and the people of knowledge. As for those whose faces will be blackened then they are the people of Bida’ and misguidance.’

[Usool al-Itiqaad 1/72]

2 – Abdullaah bin Mas’ood –RadhiAllaahu anhu- who said:

«من كان منكم مستنّا فليستنّ بمن قد مات،
محمّد كانوا أفضل هذه الأمّة: أبرّها قلوبا وأعمقها علما، وأقلّها تكلّفا. اختارهم
اللّه لصحبة نبيّه ولإقامة دينه، فاعرفوا لهم
فضلهم واتّبعوهم على أثرهم وسيرتهم فإنّهم كانوا على الهدى المستقيم»

 ‘Whoever from amongst you wants to follow, then he should follow the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- since their hearts were the most righteous in this Ummah, the deepest in knowledge, the most natural, the most correct in guidance and were in the best condition.  The Companions were people whom Allaah chose to be with His Prophet and to establish His religion.  So know their excellence and follow them in their footsteps, for indeed they were on the correct guidance.’

[Ighatha Allafan 1/159 & by Ibn AbdulBarr in ‘Jamia Bayaan al-Ilm wa Fadleehi’2/97.]

3 – Hasan al-Basari (d. 110 A.H.) -Rahimullaah- said:

«السّنّة، والّذي لا إله إلّا هو بين الغالي والجافي،
فاصبروا عليها رحمكم اللّه، فإنّ أهل السّنّة
كانوا أقلّ النّاس فيما مضى، وهم أقلّ النّاس فيما بقى:
الّذين لم يذهبوا مع أهل الإتراف في إترافهم، ولا مع أهل البدع في بدعهم، وصبروا على
سنّتهم حتّى لقوا ربّهم، فكذلك إن شاء اللّه فكونوا»

‘As for the Sunnah – I swear by Him, Whom there is none other worthy of worship – it is between being extreme and lax so be patient upon it – may Allah have mercy upon you- since indeed the people of Sunnah were the fewest of the people from what has preceded from time, and they will be the fewest in that which remains. Those who do not follow the people of extravagance in their opulence nor the people of Bida’ in their Bida’, but are patient upon their Sunnah until they meet their Lord,  so that is how you should be Inshaa Allaah.’

[Ighatha Allafan 1/70]

4 – Hasan said about the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ.

<< Say: ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me and Allaah will love you >> [Al-Imraan: 31]

قال: «وكان علامة حبّه إيّاهم اتّباع سنّة رسول اللّه صلّى اللّه عليه وسلّم»

وفي موضع آخر: «فقد جعلت علامة حبّهم اللّه اتّباع رسوله»

‘He said it was a sign of them loving Allaah in that they would follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

In another place: ‘Indeed what has been placed as a sign of loving Allaah is following His Messenger.’

[Usool itiqaad 1/70]

5 – Muhammad bin Sireen said:

كانوا يرون أنّه على الطّريق ما كان على الأثر

‘They (the Companions) would regard someone on the correct way as long as he was upon the Athaar (narrations)’

[Sunnan Darmi 1/66 no.140]

6 – Umar bin AbdulAziz Radhi Allaahu anhu said:

«سنّ رسول اللّه صلّى اللّه عليه وسلّم وولاة الأمور بعده سننا، الأخذ بها تصديق لكتاب اللّه،
واستكمال لطاعة اللّه، وقوّة على دين اللّه، ليس لأحد تبديلها ولا تغييرها، ولا النّظر فيما خالفها.من اقتدى بها فهو مهتد، ومن استنصر فهو منصور،
ومن خالفها واتّبع غير سبيل المؤمنين ولّاه اللّه ما تولّى وأصلاه جهنّم وساءت مصيرا»

‘The Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallamestablished the Sunnah and likewise so did the leaders in authority after him Adhering to the Sunnah is truthful affirmation with certainty of the Book of Allaah, and the Sunnah is perfection in being obedient to Allaah, and strengthens the Deen of Allaah. It is not allowed for anyone to replace and change it, nor researching into that which opposes the Sunnah. Whoever follows the Sunnah then he is guided, whoever takes aid with the Sunnah then he is successful, and whoever opposed the Sunnah and followed a path other than the path of the believers then Allaah leaves him to follow what he follows and leads him to the Hell Fire, and what an evil refuge it is.’

[ Ightha 1/159]

7 – az-Zuhri Radhi Allaahu anhu said:

«كان من مضى من علمائنا يقولون:
الاعتصام بالسّنّة نجاة والعلم يقبض قبضا سريعا،
فعيش العلم ثبات الدّين والدّنيا،
وفي ذهاب العلم ذهاب ذلك كلّه»

‘Those who preceded from our scholars used to say:

Adhering to the Sunnah is being saved, and knowledge is taken away quickly, so knowledge whilst alive is continuance for the Deen and the Duniyaa, and the going away of knowledge is the going away of all of that which preceded.’

[Darmi 1/5 no. 96]

8 – Abdullaah bin Daylami said:

” إنّ أول ذهاب الدين ، ترك السنة ، يذهب الدين سنة سنة ، كما يذهب الحبل قوة قوة ” .

‘Indeed the first thing that will go away from the Deen is leaving off the Sunnah, the Deen will go away by a Sunnah at a time, just like a rope when it is stretched loses its strength bit by bit.’

[Sharh Asool Itiqaad – Laalkaaee 1/104]

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

«اسلكوا سبيل الحقّ ولا تستوحشوا من قلّة أهله»

‘Follow the path of the truth and do not feel sad and lonesome due to the small number of its people.’

[ al-‘Iteesaam 1/34]

10 – Abu Uthmaan al-Hayri who said:

«من أمّر السّنّة على نفسه قولا وفعلا نطق بالحكمة، ومن أمّر الهوى على نفسه قولا وفعلا نطق بالبدعة، قال تعالى: وَإِنْ تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا»

‘Whoever commands the Sunnah upon himself in statement and actions then he speaks with wisdom, whoever commands desires upon himself in statements and actions then he speaks with Bida’, Allaah Ta’ala said: <<If you obey him you will be guided>>’

 [al-‘Ietisaam 1/96]

11 – Ibn al-Qayyim said:

«كان عمر- رضي اللّه عنه- يهمّ بالأمر ويعزم عليه فإذا قيل له: لم يفعله رسول اللّه صلّى اللّه عليه وسلّم انتهى»

‘If Umar Radhi Allaahu anhu would be concerned with a matter and would certainly want to carry it out,  and it would be said to him: the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- did not do this,  then Umar would refrain.’

[Igatha 1/136]

12 – Ibn al-Qayyim said that some of the Salaf said:

«لو نظرتم إلى رجل أعطي من الكرامات حتّى يتربّع في الهواء
فلا تغترّوا به، حتّى تنظروا كيف تجدونه عند الأمر والنّهي وحفظ الحدود»

‘If you witnessed a person who was given miracles (signs of Allaah) so much so that he sits crossed legged floating in the air then do not be deceived by him until you see how is this person when it comes to commands and prohibitions and limits of the religion.’

[Igatha 1/24]

13 – Imam Ahmad said:

” إني لأرى الرجل يحيي شيئاً من السنة فأفرح به”.

Indeed when I see a man revive something from the Sunnah I am delighted by that.

[Seera Alaam 11/335]

14 – al-Imam al-Awazai -alayhi rahmatullah – said:

ندور مع السنة حيث دارت

‘We revolve and follow the Sunnah where ever it goes.’

[Sharh Usool al-Iteeqad no.47]

15 – Ibn Katheer said:

ﺃﻫﻞ ﺍﻟﺴﻨﺔ ﻭﺍﻟﺠﻤﺎﻋﺔ ﻳﻘﻮﻟﻮﻥ ﻓﻲ ﻛﻞ ﻓﻌﻞ ﻭﻗﻮﻝ ﻟﻢ ﻳﺜﺒﺖ ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﺼﺤﺎﺑﺔ :ﻫﻮ ﺑﺪﻋﺔ ﻷﻧﻪ ﻟﻮ ﻛﺎﻥ ﺧﻴﺮﺍ ﻟﺴﺒﻘﻮﻧﺎ ﺇﻟﻴﻪ !!

‘Ahl ul Sunnah wal Jammah state that every action and statement not established by the Companions is a Bida’ because if it had been good they would have preceded us in it!!’

[Tafseer Ibn Katheer 7/282]

16 – Al-Awazaai said:

ﺍﺻﺒﺮ ﻧﻔﺴﻚ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﺴُّﻨَّﺔ،ﻭﻗﻒ ﺣﻴﺚ ﻭﻗﻒ ﺍﻟﻘﻮﻡ،ﻭﻗﻞ ﺑﻤﺎ ﻗﺎﻟﻮﺍ،ﻭﻛﻒﻋﻤﺎ ﻛﻔﻮﺍ ﻋﻨﻪ،ﻭﺍﺳﻠﻚ ﺳﺒﻴﻞ ﺳﻠﻔﻚ ﺍﻟﺼﺎﻟﺢ، ﻓﺈﻧﻪ ﻳﺴﻌﻚ ﻣﺎ ﻭﺳﻌﻬﻢ،ﻭﻻﻳﺴﺘﻘﻴﻢ ﺍﻹﻳﻤﺎﻥ ﺇﻻ ﺑﺎﻟﻘﻮﻝ،ﻭﻻ ﻳﺴﺘﻘﻴﻢ ﺍﻟﻘﻮﻝ ﺇﻻ ﺑﺎﻟﻌﻤﻞ،ﻭﻻ ﻳﺴﺘﻘﻴﻢ ﺍﻹﻳﻤﺎﻥ ﻭﺍﻟﻘﻮﻝ ﻭﺍﻟﻌﻤﻞ ﺇﻻ ﺑﺎﻟﻨﻴﺔ ﻭﻣﻮﺍﻓﻘﺔ ﻟﻠﺴﻨﺔ

‘Be patient upon the Sunnah, stop where the Salaf stopped, and say what they say, and refrain from what they refrained, and follow the path of your righteous Salaf, since that is sufficient for you what was sufficient for them. Al-Eemaan cannot be upright except by statements, and statements cannot be upright except with actions, and Emaan, statements and actions cannot be upright except with intention and in agreement with the Sunnah.’

[al-Hileeyah Tahdheeb 2/291]

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