“Warning from Innovations and the People of Desires” from “Fadlul-Islām” of Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb―notes from Imām Ibn Bāz

These are the final pages of the book from page 52 to 55

Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullah) said:

Al-‘Irbād bin Sāriyah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave us a moving admonition that made our hearts tremble and our eyes shed tears. So, we said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! It is as if it was a farewell sermon, so instruct us.’ He replied:

“I instruct you to have taqwa of Allah (fear Him and be dutiful)and to hear and obey the ruler even if the one in charge of you is a slave. Those who live for long among you will see great differences, so upon you is to cling to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me―bite on to that with your molar teeth. And beware of the newly invented matters, for indeed every innovation is misguidance.”

Abu ‘Īsā At-Tirmidhi said it is hasan-sahīh. (Reported by Abu Dawūd, no. 4607, At-Tirmidhi, no. 2676, Ibn Mājah, no. 24, Ahmad in Al-Musnad, no. 4/126, Al-Hākim, nos. 328-333 and he said it is sahīh and Adh-Dhahabi agreed 1/95-97, and authenticated by Al-Albāni)

And Hudhayfah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Every act of worship which was not practised by the Companions of Muhammad (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) then do not do it―for indeed the early ones did not leave out any speech (or matter) for the later ones. So fear Allah, O people of recitation (and knowledge)! And take the path of those who have preceded you.” (See Al-Lālikā’i 1/95, no. 119)

Notes

By Abu Khadeejah

Imām Ash-Shātibi (d. 790 AH, rahimahullāh) wrote a chapter heading in his tremendous work Al-I’tisām (1/121, Maktabah At-Tawheed print) entitled: “That which has been reported from the Salaf As-Sālih among the Sahābah and the Tābi’een, may Allah be pleased with them, concerning the censure of innovations and its people.” Then he goes on to narrate a body of narrations which include the following:

‘Umar bin Al-Khattāb (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “O people! The Sunnah has been laid down for you, and the obligations have been established for you―and you have been left upon clarity ―but you [still] stray with the people away to the right and the left.” Then he clapped one hand against the other and said: “Be warned from being lost and deviated away from the verse of stoning such that a person says, ‘We don’t find the punishment in the Book of Allah.’ Indeed the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) stoned and we stone [the adulterers]…” (Al-Muwatta of Mālik, pp. 824, 241, with a saheeh chain of narration. Also similarly in Al-Bukhari, no. 6829)

In a narration, Hudhayfah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “O reciters (and learned ones)! Be steadfast upon the Straight Path for indeed you have taken a great lead, but if you divert to the right or left, you will stray far away.” (Bukhāri, no. 7281)

And through another chain of narration, it is reported that: “Hudhayfah entered the Masjid and stopped at a circle of [studying] people so he said, ‘O reciters of the Quran [and leaned ones]! Follow the right path and if you follow it you will have taken a great lead but if you veer to the right or to the left then you will stray far away.’” (Ibn Nasr in As-Sunnah, no. 90, Ibn Battah in Al-Ibānah, no. 196, Ibn Waddāh in Al-Bid’ah, no. 13, Al-Harawi in Dhammul-Kalām, no. 483 and its isnād is saheeh)

Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Follow the Āthār and do not innovate for indeed you have been sufficed.” (The narration is authentic through various chains of transmission: Az-Zuhd of Wakee’, no. 315 and from him Ahmad in Az-Zuhd, 2/110, Abu Khaythumah in Al-‘Ilm, no. 54, Ibn Nasr in As-Sunnah, no. 81 and others)

Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) stated: “There is not a year except that the year that comes after it is worse than it. I do not say it is a year followed by a year with less rain, or a year followed by a year with less crop nor a leader followed by a worse leader. Rather it is due to the disappearance of your scholars and your virtuous ones. Then there will appear people who will judge matters according to their opinions so they will destroy Islam and harm it.” (Ibn Waddāh in Kitāb Al-Bid’ah wan-Nahiy ‘Anhā (1/17), Ad-Dārimi in As-Sunan (no. 194), Al-Haythaimi in Majma’ Az-Zawā’id (no. 849), Ibn Hajr declared the isnād as good (jayyid) in Fathul-Bāri (13/26-27).

As for hearing and obeying the rulers, then that is a must except when they command with disobedience to Allah. ‘Ubādah bin Sāmit (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Listen to the ruler and obey him when it is hard for you and when it is easy for you, whether you are pleased or displeased, and when others are given preference over you, and when he consumes your wealth and beats your back.” (Ibn Abī ‘Āsim reported in As-Sunnah no. 1026, and Ibn Hibbān in his Sahīh no. 4062. Declared sahīh by Al-Albāni in Dhilāl Al-Jannah and At-Ta’līqāt Al-Hisān.)

Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullah) said:

Ad-Dārimi (rahimahullāh) said: Hakeem Ibn Al-Mubārak informed us saying: ‘Amr bin Yahyā told us saying: I heard my father narrating from his father who said:

“We were sitting at the door of Abdullah bin Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) before the Dhuhr prayer. So when he came out, we would walk with him to the Masjid. Then Abu Mūsā Al-Ash’ari (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) came along and said: ‘Has Abu Abdur-Rahmān (Ibn Mas’ūd) come out to you yet?’ We said: ‘No.’ So he sat down with us until he came out of his house. When he exited, we all stood and Abu Mūsā said to him: ‘O Abu Abdur-Rahmān! I just saw in the Masjid an affair that I found to be reprehensible but I did not see, alhamdulillāh, except that which was seemingly good!’ Ibn Mas’ūd said: ‘What did you see?’ He replied: ‘If you are alive until we reach, you’ll see it. I saw in the Masjid groups of people sitting in circles waiting for the Prayer. In each circle, there was a man with stones in his hand, and he said to them: ‘Say Allahu Akbar a hundred times.’ So, they repeated Allahu Akbar a hundred times. Then he said: ‘Say Lā ilāha illallāh a hundred times.’ So, they repeated Lā ilāha illallāh a hundred times. Then he said: ‘Say Subhānallāh a hundred times.’ So, they repeated Subhānallāh a hundred times.’ Ibn Mas’ūd said: ‘So what did you say to them?’ Abu Mūsā said: ‘I didn’t say anything to them. I was waiting for your opinion or waiting for your command.’ Ibn Mas’ūd said: ‘Rather, you should have told them to count their sins instead, and assured them that their good deeds will not be lost.’

So then he walked on and we walked on with him until he reached one of those circles and stopped and said: ‘What is this that I see you doing?’ They replied: ‘O Abu Abdur-Rahmān, these are stones with which we are counting the Takbeer, the Tahleel and the Tasbeeh.’ He said to them: ‘Rather, you should count your sins! And I assure you that you will not lose any of your good deeds!

Woe to you, O Ummah of Muhammad, how quickly you have hastened to your destruction! Here are the Companions of your Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) still widespread―and here are his garments still not worn out―and his utensils that have not yet broken. By the One in whose Hand is my soul, either you are upon a religion more guided than the Religion of Muhammad (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) or you have opened a door of misguidance.’

They said: ‘By Allah, O Abu Abdur-Rahmān! We did not intend except good.’ He replied: ‘And how many people intend good but never attain it. Indeed Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) narrated to us that there will be a people who will recite the Qur’an, but it will not pass beyond their collarbones. I do not know, but perhaps most of them are from among you.’ Then he turned away from them.”

‘Amr bin Salamah said: “I saw most of them who were sitting in those circles fighting against us on the day of the battle of Nahrawān alongside the Khawārij.”

(Reported by Ad-Dārimi in Al-Muqaddimah, Chapter: The Dislike of Following Opinions, no. 210)

And Allah’s aid is sought and to Him, we complain. And may Allah extol the mention of our leader, Muhammad in the highest company of Angels―and likewise his family and his Companions.

Al-Imām Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh)

This chapter contains a warning from innovations―and the fact that it is obligatory upon the people of Islam to beware of them and warned from them. For this reason, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) warned against bid’ah and said: “Beware!” when he was admonishing them.

Al-‘Irbād bin Sāriyah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) gave us a moving admonition that made our hearts tremble and our eyes shed tears. So, we said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! It is as if it was a farewell sermon, so instruct us.’ He replied:

“I instruct you to have taqwa of Allah (fear Him and be dutiful)and to hear and obey the ruler even is the one in charge of you is a slave. Those who live for long among you will see great different so upon you is cling to cling to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me―bite on to that with your molar teeth. And beware of the newly invented matters, for indeed every innovation is misguidance.”

It is a must upon the people of Islam that they are steadfast upon that which Allah has legislated for His servants―and to be aware of what the people have introduced of bid’a. And it was for this reason that Hudhaifah (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Every act of worship which was not practised by the Companions of Muhammad (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) then do not do it―for indeed the early ones did not leave out any speech (or matter) for the later ones. So fear Allah, O people of recitation (and knowledge)! And take the path of those who have preceded you.”

That is because the Sahābah clarified the affairs, and they asked him about every affair so upon you is to submit and proceed upon his methodology. And when Ibn Mas’ūd (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) saw those people in the Masjid in their circles, each circle with a man saying: Glorify Allah a hundred times by counting with stones, he said to them:

“Rather, you should count your sins! And I assure you that you will not lose any of your good deeds. Woe to you, O Ummah of Muhammad! How quickly you have hastened to your destruction! Here are the Companions of your Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) still widespread―and here are his garments still not worn out―and his utensils that have not yet broken. By the One in whose Hand is my soul, either you are upon a religion more guided than the Religion of Muhammad (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) or you have opened a door of misguidance.”

This was from the innovations―and from the affairs that divide the Muslims into sects with each sect saying to its followers: “Do such-and-such and do such-and-such…” Indeed giving sincere advice is obligatory; by informing them what Allah said and what the Messenger said. As for sitting in circles and counting with stones, and telling them to do this and that [in opposition to the Sunnah], then that is from the innovations. For this reason, the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would say in his khutbah: “To proceed: Indeed the best of affairs is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is that guidance of Muhammad and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters and every innovation is misguidance.” (Muslim, no. 867, Ibn Mājah, no. 44).

As for what the people have invented themselves desiring to seek nearness to Allah then that is innovation. So innovation is whatever people do in seeking nearness to Allah by those affairs which Allah has not legislated in the Revelation―that is what is called Bid’ah. So it is obligatory to warn against it ― and it is not allowed to explain it away with classifications―all innovations are misguidance. As for what some people claim that bid’ah is categorised in five categories, then that is an error on behalf of those who assert it.

What is correct is that every Bid’ah is misguidance―and a Bid’ah is whatever is done by the people in seeking nearness to Allah but it has not been legislated by Allah or His Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) such as what the people were doing in the time of Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallāhu ‘anhu)―and other matters that the people have innovated such as celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam); or those who build structures over graves, and those who build mosques over graves, or turn them into places of worship; or those who cement over the graves and inscribe writings upon them―all of these are innovations that the people have invented (without proof from the Quran and Sunnah) so it is obligatory to warn against these affairs. So, it is a must that the believer restricts himself to that which has been legislated by Allah and that which was taught and spread by the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) in the affairs of Religion and worship―and to beware of increasing upon what Allah has legislated. Allah, the Majestic and Most High, said: “This day I have completed for you your Religion and perfected My favour upon you and I am pleased with Islam as your Religion.” (Al-Mā’idah 5:3) Allah has completed the Religion so it is not allowed for anyone to add to it.

We ask Allah for well-being and safety. And may Allah extol the mention of our leader, Muhammad in the highest company of Angels―and likewise his family and his Companions.

(Slightly abridged)

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