Imām Al-Barbahārī said: “Fear Allah and be dutiful O servant of Allah. Upon you is to attest, submit, surrender and be pleased with what is in this book. And do not conceal this book from anyone from the people who face the Qiblah, for perhaps Allāh will return through it the confused one from his confusion, or the person of innovation from his innovation, or the misguided one
from his misguidance, and so he is saved by way of it. So fear Allah – binding upon you is the first and ancient affair, and that is what I have described for you in this book. So may Allah have mercy upon a servant, and upon his parents, who reads this book, spreads it, acts upon it, calls to it and uses it as a proof. For it is the religion of Allah and the religion of the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alahi wassallam).” (Point 113)
Ash-Shaikh al-‘Allāmah Sālih Ibn Fawzān Al-Fawzān explains this statement as follows:
His saying: “Fear Allah and be dutiful O servant of Allah. Upon you is to attest and submit..” Upon you is to attest to its truthfulness and do not reject anything from what is stated in this book because it is taken from the Book and the Sunnah, so upon you is to submit to it and not hesitate in taking from it and to follow without laziness.
His saying: “…and surrender” meaning do not introduce anything from yourself – and this does not to refer to the surrender [and the claim ignorance of] the meanings of the Attributes of Allāh that the mufawwidah are upon.
His saying: “…and be pleased with what is in this book” of that which is from the principles (usūl) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah. This is not a praise or recommendation for his book as some of the explainers of this book think, rather it is an encouragement to take what has been mentioned in it. He is encouraging you to take that which he has stated in it from the sound foundational principles (usūl) of the Book and Sunnah. That is because he has not come with anything from himself nor has he introduced anything from himself at all.
His saying: “And do not conceal this book from anyone from the people who face the Qiblah..” Meaning: make this book widespread and distribute it amongst the people of the Qiblah, i.e. amongst the Muslims so that they may benefit from it – because that is from the spreading of beneficial knowledge, and from enjoining the truth. And likewise it is imperative that the beneficial and useful books are spread and especially the seminary and foundational works. The older the work, the closer it is to the truth because it is closer to the most excellent of generations.
His saying: “..for perhaps Allāh will return through it, the confused one from his confusion..” This is benefit attained in spreading the beneficial books, that Allah may return by them the confused one from his confusion or the misguided back from his misguidance, because some people are ignorant, so if the truth is made clear to them, they will follow it. That is the benefit in publishing and spreading books. As for the deviant who follows his desires, then these books will never benefit him, instead he may be put to even more tribulation.
His saying: “..or the person of innovation from his innovation, or the misguided one from his misguidance..” So there is for you reward in making widespread this book and those similar to it – not specifically or only this book but all beneficial books and particularly books of ‘Aqeedah. It is imperative that they are published and spread, and distributed among the people instead of distributing the books of misguidance, and the books of the da’wah of misguidance. Spread these books among them, because many people are ignorant. If the truth was made clear to them, they would accept it and follow it.
His saying: “So fear Allah – binding upon you is the first and ancient affair..” Meaning, hold to the affair as it was in the beginning. That is what Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam), his Companions and the virtuous generations were upon. “Ancient”, meaning the old affair. In this is a warning from that which emerged of evil and fitan (tribulations). So when you see differing, and you see many different sayings, then you must look to that which the Righteous Salaf were upon, and hold fast to that, because that is the truth.
His saying: “..and that is what I have described for you in this book.” Meaning, that which he mentioned from the foundations (usūl) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah, and what he (rahimahullah) explained and what he expanded upon in his speech.
His saying: “So may Allah have mercy upon a servant, and upon his parents, who reads this book, spreads it, acts upon it, and calls to it..” That is [this book] and what is similar to it from beneficial works. It is obligatory that beneficial books are distributed and spread. The one who spreads them and distributes them receives the reward of spreading knowledge, and taking people out of the darkness and into the light. Most of the people have fallen into misguidance because these books haven’t reached them. Instead the books of the people of misguidance and the deviated sects reach them – and they think those books are the truth. So if these foundational books were given attention and distributed amongst the people, Allah would surely guide through them whoever He wills from His creation.
We find some explainers of this work criticise the author and say: “This is recommendation for his own book.” We say in response: No. This is not a recommendation for his own book, rather it is an encouragement to adhere the Salafi Manhaj that is being mentioned in this book and in other similar books.
(Source: It’hāf Al-Qārī bi Ta’liqāt ‘alā Sharhis-Sunnah lil-Imām Abī Muhammad Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Alī Ibn Khalaf Al-Barbahārī (rahimahullāh) of Shaikh Sālih Al-Fawzān, vol. 2/94-97).
A note on the evil-doer infected with bid’ah and misguidance: So how evil and wicked is the person of desires who uttered in mockery of the Salafi Manhaj: “Here they come quoting from their Bible, Al-Barbahārī.” This statement is a belittlement and revilement of Imām Al-Barbahārī (d. 329H may Allah have mercy upon him), a mockery of this tremendous work in the Creed, as well as making fun of the People of Sunnah (ahlus-Sunnah) who read this book, teach it and quote from it in their da’wah. May Allah protect our communities from the people of the desires, sick hearts and evil intent.