Hold Fast to the Book and the Guidance: By Ibn Abee Dawood (died 316H)

Hold Fast to the Book and the Guidance: By Imaam Abu Bakr Ibn Abee Dawood as-Sijistaanee (died 316H) 

(“Sharh al-Mandhoomatil-Haa’iyyah” of Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan in explanation of the poem “Al-Haa’iyyah” of Ibn Abee Dawood, Part 2)

Ibn Abee Dawood as-Sijistaanee (rahimahullaah), the composer, stated in the first line of poetry:

“Cling to the Rope of Allaah and follow guidance, And do not be a person of innovation so that you may be successful.”

Shaikh al-Fawzaan: So the composer (rahimahullaah) begin his poetry by saying: “Cling to the Rope of Allaah”, i.e. hold fast O Muslim to the Rope of Allaah, and that is the Qur’aan and Sunnah. And this is taken from the saying of Allaah, the Most High:

“And hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allaah and be not disunited.” [Aali ‘Imraan:103]

And also the saying of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam): “Whoever from you lives for long will see a great deal of differing, so stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me. Hold to it tightly, and bite on to it with your molar teeth. And beware of newly introduced affairs [into the Religion] for every newly introduced affair is a bid’ah (innovation) and every bid’ah is misguidance.” [1]

So this particular line of poetry is taken from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and it commands with holding fast to the Rope of Allaah. And the Rope of Allaah is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of the Messenger (G), or to put it another way, we say: The Rope of Allaah is His Revelation that He revealed upon His Messenger, whether it be Qur’aan or Sunnah.

The author’s saying: “Cling to the Rope of Allaah.” Meaning: hold fast to it, just as He, the Most High, said: “And hold fast to the Rope of Allaah.” And the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) said: “Allaah is pleased for you with three affairs: That you worship Him and not associate anything with Him in worship. That you hold fast to the Rope of Allaah, altogether united and do not be divided. And that you give sincere advice to those whom Allaah has placed over your affairs.” [2]

From these three is to hold fast to the Rope of Allaah because it protects from separation, division and differing. Differing and division does not take place except due to the absence of clinging to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) just as what occurred with the People of the Book even though Allaah sent to them the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel). However, when they abandoned holding onto the Rope of Allah, they divided and differed.

For this reason, He said:

“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.” [Sūrah āli-Imrān (3):105]

This is the way of the people of the Book, they abandoned the book of their Lord, so they separated. This is the inevitable result for anyone who does not take his religion and his ‘aqīdah from the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam). Therefore, the end-result is differing and separating.  Allāh, the Most High, said:

“And verily, this religion of yours is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your

duty to Me. But they (men) have broken their religion among them into sects, each group rejoicing in its belief.” [Sūrah al-Mu’minūn (23):52-53]

Each of them invented for themselves a madhhab (doctrine) and a manhaj (methodology), in which they opposed others. So from that, great tribulations occurred and much evil from which there was no protection, except by holding fast to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam); and that is the ‘aqīdah, by which Allah (the Majestic) gathers the people together. Allāh, the Perfect and Most High, has mentioned:

“And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allāh is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers. And He has united their (i.e. believers’) hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allāh has united them. Certainly, He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Sūrah al-Anfāl (8):62-63]

It is not the giving of plentiful gifts that brings the hearts together, nor is it the abundance of wealth, rather, these matters increase the hearts in disaffection and mutual hatred, no matter how much wealth is spent, it will not bring about harmony between the hearts. That which brings about harmony between the hearts and brings them together is the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. And Allāh, the Most Perfect and Most High, has warned us, from that which the previous nations fell into of division after the proofs had come to them, so much so that Allāh, the Perfect and Most High, has stated in a verse, where He said:

“And the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) differed not until after there came to them clear evidence (i.e. Prophet Muhammad (sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam) and whatever was revealed to him).” [Sūrah al-Bayyina (98):4]

Therefore, they had no excuse for what they did! This is because Allāh explained that for them! However, they abandoned this clear proof and evidence, and so they divided and split.

He, the Most High, said:

“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.” [Sūrah āli-Imrān (3):105]

He, the Most High, further stated:

“Allāh sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allāh by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allāh guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.” [Sūrah al-Baqarah (2):213]

For this reason, the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) used to say when standing for the prayer at night: “O Allah, the Lord of Jibrāīl, Mikā’īl, and Isrāfīl! The Originator and the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth! The Knower of the Unseen and the Seen! You are the One who will Judge between your servants in that which they differed! Guide me regarding that which they differ to the truth, by Your Permission. Indeed, You guide whomsoever You Will to the straight path.” [3]

This is a mighty supplication, by way of which Allāh protects the Muslim from desires,  tribulations and evil.

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[1] Abu Dawood, no. 4607, at-Tirmidhee said “The hadeeth is Hasan-Saheeh.”, no. 2676, Ibn Maajah, 42-43, Ahmad, 4/126,127, ad-Daarimee, 95, Ibn Abee Aasim in As-Sunnah, 1/17,20, at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer, 617,624, al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 1/95, from the hadeeth of al-‘Irbaad bin Saariyah (I).

[2] Collected by Muslim, 10, 1715, from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radi Allaahu ‘anhu), and the wording is: “Indeed Allaah is pleased for you with three affairs… He is pleased for you that you worship Him alone and that you do not associate with Him partners in worship. That you hold fast to the Rope of Allaah altogether united, and do not be divided… And He hates for you: gossip mongering, plentiful questioning and wastage of wealth.”

[3] Reported by Muslim, no. 200, 770.

 

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