“It was the task of these Friends of Allah in every age to repel from His Religion the harm of those who would hijack it by means of innovated beliefs and deviant doctrines. We were warned that this would take place…”

The Beautiful Sunna

by Gibril F Haddad

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim. Al-Hamdu lillah Rabb al-ʿAlamin.

Blessings and peace on the our liege-lord Muhammad and upon his Family and all his Companions, Amin.

{Glory to You, Allahumma! We know nothing except what You teach us. You are the all-Knowing, Most Wise.}

Allah Most High described Islam as the Perfect Religion: {This day I have perfected your Religion for you} (5:3). He has decreed that it shall be preserved intact until the end of time: {It is We Who sent down the Remembrance and it is We Who will certainly preserve it} (15:9). To this end He has created for the Last Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, a following of Rightly-Guided Caliphs and truthful inheritors. He has named them {Those who are firmly grounded in knowledge} (3:7, 4:162) and has elevated them in degree above the ignorant and the transgressors by saying: {Are those who know and those who do not know equal?} (39:9), {and Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks} (58:11). And the Prophet said: “The Scholars of knowledge are the inheritors of the Prophets.”

Allah Most High has made those inheritors of Prophetic knowledge the means whereby He guards His Remembrance and His Religion from manipulation and change forever. In a mass-transmitted (mutawatir) report the Prophet said, upon him blessings and peace: “There shall not cease to be a group in my Community who shall overcome and stand for truth until the end of time.” He declared them invulnerable to the wrong of their enemies when he said, in another narration: “That group shall remain in charge of the Command of Allah Most High, unharmed by those who oppose them, until the coming of the Command of Allah.” In the chapter of his Sahih in which he cites this hadith, Imam al-Bukhari states: “These are the People of Knowledge.” The Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, is also related to say, in praise of the succeeding generations (al-Khalaf):

“From every succeeding generation its upright folk shall carry this knowledge in turn. They shall repeal from it the distortions of the extremists (tahrif al-ghalin), the misinterpretations of the ignorant (ta'wil al-jahilin), and the pretenses of the liars (intihal al-mubtilin).”

Imam Jamal al-Din al-Hubayshi (712-782) said: “This narration is a proof that the Ulema of Ahl al-Sunna are all upright, and there is no higher honor than the commendation of the Prophet himself!”

Allah Most High proclaimed for His Friends (awliya') protection from fear and grief when He said: {The Friends of Allah! Truly no fear shall there be for them nor shall they grieve} (10:62). The assembly of those Friends of Allah Most High are the elect of the true adherents of Islam in its pristine beauty and strength known today, as in former times, as Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamaʿa or the People of the Way of the Prophet and the Congregation of his Companions and the People of Knowledge. Al-Tabari defined the Jamaʿa as “the greatest mass” (al-sawad al-aʿzam). Al-Bukhari said in his Sahih: “The Congregation are the People of Knowledge” (Ahl al-ʿIlm), i.e. those upon whom Allah bestows the light of His guidance, “Knowledge” meaning, as Imam Malik defined it, “not memorizing many things, but a light by which Allah guides whomever He will.” In their ranks are found the Truthful and Trustful Saints (al-Siddiqin), the Witness-Martyrs (al-Shuhada'), the Righteous (al-Salihin), the Substitutes (al-Abdal), and the great Imams of scholarly endeavor (ijtihad). These are the Victorious Group mentioned by the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, in the hadith cited above, through whom the Umma is guaranteed never to fall into error.

It was the task of these Friends of Allah in every age to repel from His Religion the harm of those who would hijack it by means of innovated beliefs and deviant doctrines. We were warned that this would take place by the hadith of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace: “My Community shall divide into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Fire except one: the Congregation.” Another version states: “All of them in the Fire except one: [Those that follow] that which I and my Companions follow.” In the same sense did the Prophet say, upon him blessings and peace: “My Companions are trustkeepers for my Community” and “Mankind makes up one portion (hayyiz) and I and my Companions make up one portion [counter-balancing it].”

The mortal division the Prophet spoke of, upon him blessings and peace, is in the foundations of belief, not in the branches of the Law, since the latter is a blessing. This struggle was explicitly mentioned in the hadith: “Truly Allah has, for every innovation plotted against Islam, a Friend (wali) from among His Friends to defend it and say its proofs.”

This e-group, "Principles of the Sunna," is intended as a forum of education and knowledge on the principles of the Qur'an and Sunna and its sciences according to the methods of the main two Schools of doctrine (Ashʿari and Maturidi), the Four Schools of Law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafiʿi, and Hanbali), and the Sufis to the intention that our maniyya not come to us except we are believing in Allah and the Last Day in the way of His Prophet and his Friends so that He may place us among {those who have not changed in the least} (33:23) and count us among the servants of the true inheritors of the Seal of Prophets. To this may He help us and grant us success, Amin!

Blessings and peace on the Prophet, his Family, and all his Companions.

Hajj Gibril
[SP Fri Feb 4, 2005]