HOME BLOG QURANIC HADITH FIQH tGFH English Lang. CONTACT hamburger menubar icon

On The Islamic Tradition

And The Unchanging Religion

By Ahmad Valsan

Ed. OmarKN

Tweet #omarkn



{ وَأَنْ أَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ }

{ Set your face towards pure religion (as true monotheist)! }

1 The Term Tradition

First of all the titles and subtitles of this site have to be defined. Concerning the term tradition it has two significations: a general and a specific one. However it does not have the meaning it has acquired today, such as 'customs' and 'usages'.

2 General

In its general meaning, tradition has to be understood in the sense of transmission of an element of the suprahuman level, as explained by René Guénon (Shaykh `Abd al-Wahīd Yahia).1

3 Specific

In its more specific sense the term tradition also signifies the words and sayings reported from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) which have been recorded in the hadith collections.2

So when speaking of the Islamic Tradition we do not only mean the sayings and words of wisdom by the Prophet of islam, but also the entire Islamic religion (Qur'ān, Sunnah, schools of law, spirituality, sanctity, etc.)

4 The Preserved Unchanging Religion

Concerning the Arabic expression "al-Dīn al-Qayyim", it is of quranic origin (Sura 10-105; Sura 30-30; Sura 98-5) and signifies the unchanging Religion in its enduring and universal character.

{ وَأَنْ أَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ }

{ Set your face towards pure religion (as true monotheist) }
Sura 10, verse 105
{Then set your face upright for (complying with the obligations of) the religion as true monotheist (hanīfan - and in accordance to the primordial nature (fitrah) created by Allah in which He has created men.) }

Then Allah said:

{ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ }

{ There is no altering of Allah's creation; that is the right religion (al-Dīn al-Qayyim), but most people do not know. }
Sura 30, verse 30

{ وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ }

{ And they were not enjoined anything except that they should serve Allah, as true monotheists (hunafā') (being sincere to Him in obedience, upright), keeping up prayer and paying the poor-due. This is the true and unchangeable religion (al-Dīn al-Qayyim). }
Sura 98, verse 5

This means to say that the Islamic Tradition is characterised by being preserved from all alteration in its fundamental principles and in its essential doctrine, which has not always been the case with the earlier religions before Islam.

This preservation has been expressively attested by the divine Word in the following terms:

{ إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ }

{ Surely We have revealed the Reminder (meaning the Qur’ān) and it is Us Who will most surely be its guardian. }
Sura 15, verse 9

5 Universal

The universal character of the Islamic Tradition3 has been formulated in the Qur'ān in the following terms:

{ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ }

{ And We have not sent you but to all human beings as a bearer of good news and as a warner, but most men do not know. }
Sura 34, verse 28

6 Tolerance and Indulgence

Another significant characteristic of this Islamic Tradition is the tolerance and indulgence as expressed by the Prophet ﷺ (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) when he said: I have been sent with the indulgent and tolerant monotheism (bu`ithtu bil-hanīfiyah al-samha') a saying which is confirmed by the divine quranic Word:

{ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ }

{ And We have not sent you except as a mercy to the worlds. }
Sura 21, verse 107

7 Conclusion

The conclusion to be drawn from these teachings is that the most knowledgeable being in respect of God can only be the most merciful one in respect to the creatures, in this world as well as in the next and who has the most universal vision of the essential truths. This is, has been and will always be the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

- may Allah spread over him His unifying grace and His peace and over his family and his companions.


- On René Guénon (Shaykh `Abd al-Wahīd Yahia)
- On Tradition

2: More:
- Main hadith page
- Alphabetical Index of Some Hadith

- and 1 hadith:
Whoever revives (ahyā) my Sunnah [by practicing it] really loves me, and who loves me, will be with me in Paradise.
Anas RH1127

3: (It is about) the unfolding of the simple kernel of (Muhyiddīn Ibn Arabi's) legacy, which is what might be called in shorthand here the knowledge of the unity of existence (wujūd: Mahiyya - Asking What It Is?) and the possibility of attaining to a universal perspective.

These knowledges of the real possibility for mankind are true, that is they are from the Truth, and they can be verified by those who single-heartedly pursue them. Which is indeed the invitation to us all, to uncover our true identity by knowing ourselves and consequently knowing God. Peter Young
Ibn 'Arabi - Universal Point of View


Other Titles in English
- The Tradition
- The Unchanging Religion
- The Juste Mean
- The Ten Commandements
- The Spiritual Types of Abū Bakr and Omar
- The Prophet Yūsuf
- Six graces attracting six others

Languages for This Series of Texts

- english
- francais
- deutsch
- svenska
- all pages


go up

* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *