The Obligation Of
(Peace and Blessings be upon him)
Who Reject It
By The Great Scholar
‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn ‘Abdillaah
Former Mufti Of Saudi Arabia
Died 1420 AH
The Obligation Of Acting Upon The Sunnah Of The Messenger, on whom upon be peace and blessing, And The Unbelief (Kufr) Of Those Who Reject It. – Page 1
The First Fundamental – Page 2
The Second Fundamental – Page 6
Guidance & Mercy Lies In Following The Sunnah – Page 11
Explanation Of The Hadeeth, “Let me not find one of you reclining upon his couch..” – Page 14
A Mention Of Some Of The Reports From The Companions, And The Taabi’een, And Those Who Followed Them From The People Of Knowledge, Concerning Honouring The Sunnah And The Obligation Of Acting Upon It – Page 17
The Story Of Aboo Bakr & ‘Umar Regarding Those Who Refused To Pay The Zakaat – Page 17
The Statement Of Ibn ‘Umar, “Are we commanded to follow ‘Umar or to follow the Sunnah?!” – Page 20
The Statements Of The Imaams Regarding The Sunnah – Page 22
The Explanation Of The Aayah, “So let those who oppose the Messenger’s commandment beware..” – Page 23
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.
The Obligation Of Acting Upon The Sunnah Of The Messenger, on whom upon be peace and blessing, And The Unbelief (Kufr) Of Those Who Reject It (1)
All Praise is for Allaah, the Lord and Nurturer of the whole of creation, and the final outcome is in favour of those who have ‘Taqwaa’ (those who are fearful of and dutiful to Allaah), and may Allaah extol and grant peace and security to His Slave and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, the one sent as a mercy to the creation and the one who is a proof upon all of the servants, and to his true followers and his companions who conveyed the Book of their Lord, Glory and Exalted Be He, and with complete preservation of the meaning of wordings, may Allaah be pleased with them and cause them to be pleased, and may He make us from those who follow them upon good.
To proceed: Then the scholars of the early and later times agreed by consensus (ijmaa’) that the fundamentals which are accepted and counted for establishment of rulings, and for clarification of what is permissible and what is forbidden are:
1. This treatise is taken from “Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa maqaalaat mutanawwi’ah” (“Collected Verdicts And Various Essays”), vol.1, p.211, and it was published in the journal of ‘al-Buhoothul-Islaamiyyah’, no.5: Muharram/Jumaaduth-Thaaniyah, 1400 AH; and it appeared in small publication from “Ar-Ri’aasatul-‘Aammah” in the year 1400 AH, Saudi Arabian Printing Company.
What occurs in the Mighty Book of Allaah which is not approached by falsehood from before or behind. And then the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger, on whom upon be peace and blessing, the one who does not speak from his desires, rather it was Revelation inspired. And then the consensus (ijmaa’) of the scholars of the Ummah. And the scholars differ with regard to the other fundamentals, the most important of which is ‘al-Qiyaas’ (analogy), and the majority of the people of knowledge hold that it is a proof as long as its accepted conditions are present. Then the proofs for these principles are more than can be counted, and are more well-known than for there to be a need to mention them.
As For The First Fundamental
Then it is the Mighty Book of Allaah. The Speech of our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, proves, in many places in His Book, the obligation of following and adhering to this Book and halting at the limits it lays down. He, the Most High, said:
“Follow that which has been sent to you from your Lord and do not follow others besides Him, little is that you take admonition” (2)
2. Al-A’raaf 7:3
And He, The Most High, said:
“And this is a blessed Book which We have sent down to our Prophet Muhammad, on whom upon be peace and blessing, so follow it and fear and be dutiful to Allaah so that you may be shown mercy.” (3)
And He, the Most High, said:
“There has come to you from Allaah a light and a clear Book, by which Allaah guides those who seek His good Pleasure to the Path legislated by Him leading to salvation. And He brings them out of the darkness of Unbelief and Shirk and into the light of Islaam, by His permission, and He guides them to the Straight Path.” (4)
3. Al-An’aam 6:155
4. Al-Maa’idah 5:15-16
And He, the Most High, said:
“Those who disbelieved in the Qur’aan when it came to them (will be punished for their unbelief), and it is certainly an honourable and mighty Book. Falsehood cannot approach it from before or behind it. Is is Revelation sent down by the All-Wise, the One deserving of all praise.” (5)
And He, the Most High, said:
“And this Qur’aan has been revealed to me so that I should warn you thereby and whomever it reaches.” (6)
And He, the Most High, said:
“This Qur’aan is a clear message for the people, and that they may be warned thereby.” (7)
And the Aayahs with this meaning are many.
5. Fussilat 41:41-42.
6. Al-An’aam 6:19.
7. Ibraaheem 14:52.
Then there are authentic ahadeeth from Allah’s Messenger peace and blessings be upon him which command clinging to the Qur’aan and adherence to it, and which prove that whoever adheres to it is upon guidance, and whoever abandons it is upon misguidance. So from that is what is established from him peace and blessings be upon him, that he said in his peace be upon him on the Farewell Hajj:
“I am leaving amongst you that which is such that you will never go astray as long as you adhere to it: The Book of Allaah.”
Reported by Muslim in his ‘Saheeh’.
There also occours in ‘Saheeh Muslim’ from Zayd bin Arqam may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet peace be upon him said:
“I am leaving amongst you two weighty affairs. The first of them is the Book of Allaah which contains guidance and light, so take the Book of Allaah and hold on to it.”
So he peace and blessings be upon him encouraged the people and urged them with regard to the Book of Allaah, then he peace and blessings be upon him said:
“And my family, I remind you to keep your duty to Allaah with regard to my family; I remind you to keep your duty to Allaah with regard to my family.”
And in one wording he peace and blessings be upon him said regarding the Qur’aan:
“It is the Rope of Allaah, whoever clings to it will be upon guidance, and whoever abandons it will be upon misguidance.”
And the ahadeeth with this meaning are many.
Then the consensus (ijmaa’) of the people of knowledge and Eemaan, from the Companions and those who came after them, upon the obligation of adhering to the Book of Allaah, and judging by it, and referring to it in disputes, along with the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger peace and blessings be upon him, satisfies and suffices such that there is no need to prolong the mentioning of the evidences reported regarding this affair.
As For The Second Of Three Fundamentals Which Are Agreed Upon
Then it is whatever is authentically narrated from Allaah’s Messenger peace and blessings be upon him. So the Companions of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, and those who came after them from the people of knowledge and Eemaan have true Faith (Eemaan) in this fundamental proof (i.e. the Sunnah) – they use it as a proof and they teach it to the Ummah. So they wrote many works upon it, and they clarified this in the books of the fundamental principles of Fiqh (Usoolul-Fiqh) and in the sciences of Ahadeeth (al-Mustalah). The evidences for it are too numerous to be enumerated.
So from that is what occours in the Mighty Book of Allaah with regard to the command to follow and obey him peace and blessings be upon him. And this was directed to the people of his peace and blessings be upon him time and to those coming after him peace and blessings be upon him. This is because he is the
Messenger of Allaah to all of them, and because they are all commanded to follow and obey him peace and blessings be upon him, right up to the establishment of the Hour, and because he peace and blessings be upon him is the explainer of the Book of Allaah; and he was the one who clarified, by his words, actions and tacit approvals, whatever was left general in it (i.e. the Qur’aan). So if it were not for the Sunnah, the Muslims would not know the number of rak’ahs, the specific characteristics and the obligatory duties of the Prayers. They would not know the detailed rulings relating to Fasting, and the Zakaat, and the Hajj, and the Jihaadd, and the commanding of the good and forbiddance of evil. They would not know the detailed rulings relating to dealings and prohibitions, and what has obligated in that regard from prescribed punishments and penalties.
So from the Aayahs occouring in this regard is His saying, the Most High, in Soorah Aali ‘Imraan:
“And obey Allaah and the Messenger so that you may be shown Mercy.” (8)
And His saying, the Most High, in Sooratun-Nisaa:
8. Aali ‘Imraan 3:132
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, and those in authority amongst you. And if you differ about anything then refer it back to Allaah and the Messenger, if you truly believe in Allaah and the Last Day. That is best and finer in its final outcome.” (9)
And He Glory be to Him the Most high said, also in Sooratun-Nisaa:
“And whoever obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allaah, and whoever turns away from obedience to him then We have not sent you as a keeper over him.” (10)
So how would it be possible to obey him peace and blessings be upon him, and to refer whatever the people dispute about to the Book of Allaah and to the Sunnah of His Messenger, if it were the case that his Sunnah cannot be used as proof, or if it is not wholly preserved? Upon this saying it would be the case that his Sunnah cannot be used as proof, or if it is not wholly preserved. Upon this saying it
9. An-Nisaa 4:59
10 An-Nisaa 4:80
Would be the case that Allaah has referred His servants to something that does not exist, and this is an extremely futile statement, and is from the greatest of Unbelief in Allaah, and is harbouring evil suspicions with regard to Allaah.
And He az wa jal said in Sooratun-Nahl:
“And We sent down to you [i.e. Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him] this Qur’aan as a reminder to them, so that you should then explain to them what has been sent down to them, and that they may reflect.” (11)
And He also said in it:
“And We did not send the Book down to you, O Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, except that you should make clear to them that which they differ about, and as a guidance and mercy for people who truly believe in it.” (12)
11. An-Nahl 16:44
12 An-Nahl 16:64
So how could Allaah Glorified be He the Most High entrust to His Messenger peace and blessings be upon him, the duty of explaining what has been sent down to them if it were the case that his Sunnah is not to be found and is not a proof?!
And likewise the saying of He az wa jal in Sooratun-Noor:
“Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away, then he is only responsible for the duty placed upon him and you for the duty placed upon you, and if you obey him you will be rightly guided. The Messenger’s duty is just to clearly convey Allah’s Message.” (13)
And He Glorified be He the Most High said in the same Soorah:
“And establish the prayer and pay the Zakaat, and obey the Messenger that you may be shown mercy.” (14)
And He said in Sooratul-A’raaf:
13. An-Noor 24:54
14. An-Noor 24:56
"Say: O Mankind! I am sent to all of you as the Messenger of Allaah. He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He. It is He who gives life and gives death. So believe in Allaah and in His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet who believes in Allaah and His words, and follow him in order that you may be guided." (15)
So these Aayahs contain a clear proof that guidance (al-Hidaayah) and mercy (ar-Rahmah) lie in following him, peace and blessings be upon him, so how can that come about if his Sunnah is not acted upon, or if it is said that it is not authentically to be found, or that it is not to be depended upon?!
And He, az wa Jal, said in Sooratun-Noor:
15. Al-A'raaf 7:158
"So let those who oppose the Messenger's commandment beware lest some tribulation [Kufr, Shirk or Bid'ah] afflict them or they suffer a painful punishment in the life of this world." (16)
And He said in Sooratul-Hashr:
"And whatever the Messenger gives you then accept it, and whather he forbids you from then refrain from it." (17)
And the Aayahs with this meaning are many, all of them proving the obligation of obeying him, peace and blessings be upon him, and of following what he came with, just like the evidences that have preceded showing the obligation of following the Book of Allaah and clinging to it and obeying its commands and prohibitions. And these two [i.e. the Book and the Sunnah] are two inseparable fundamentals, whoever denies one of them has denied and rejected the other, and that is Kufr
(Unbelief) and misguidance, and is to exit from the fold of Islaam by consensus (ijmaa'
) of the people of Knowledge and Eemaan
Then the ahaadeeth from Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him showing the obligation of obeying him, peace and blessings be upon him and following what he came with and the prohibition of disobeying him are 'mutawaatir' [reported by many narrators at every level of
16. An-Noor 24:63
17. Al-Hashr 59:7
transmission]. And this applies to those in his peace be upon him's time and those who come after him until the Day of Resurrection.
From that is what occours in the two 'Saheehs
' from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
"Whoever obeys me has indeed obeyed Allaah, and whoever disobeys me has indeed disobeyed Allaah."
And there occours in the 'Saheeh
' of al-Bukhaaree from him, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
"All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except those who refuse" It was said: "O Messenger of Allaah, and who would refuse?" He said: "Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me has refused."
And Ahmad, Aboo Dawood, and al-Haakim report with a 'Saheeh
' (authentic) chain of narration from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma'dee Karib, from Allaah's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, that he said:
"Indeed I have been given the Qur'aan and its like along with it. Beware for the time is coming when a man will sit replete upon his couch and say: 'Adhere just to this Qur'aan, whatever you find to be permissible in it, then hold it as permissible. And whatever you find to be forbidden in it, then hold it as forbidden'."
18. Al-Bukhaaree no.2957 and Muslim no.1835
19. Al-Bukhaaree no.7280
And Aboo Dawood and Ibn Maajah report with a 'Saheeh
' (authentic) chain of narration from Ibn Abee Raafi from his father from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, that he said:
"Let me not find one of you reclining upon his ocuch when an affair which I have commanded or forbidden comes to him and he says: 'We do not know. We will just follow what we find in the Book of Allaah'."
And from al-Hasan ibn Jaabir who said: I heard al-Miqdaam ibn Ma'dee Karib, may Allah be pleased with him, say:
On the day of Khaybar Allaah's Messenger peace and blessings be upon him declared some things forbidden, then he said: "The time is coming when one of you will be sitting on his couch and a narration from me is narrated to him (and he doesn't believe me) and he says, 'Between us and you is the Book of Allaah. So whatever we find to be permissible in it, then we will hold it to be permissible and whatever we find to be forbidden, then we will hold it to be forbidden.' Indeed whatever Allaah's Messenger has decleared to be forbidden is like what Allaah has forbidden."
It is reported by al-Haakim, at-Tirmidhee, and Ibn Maajah with a 'Saheeh
' (authentic) chain of narration.
And the ahaadeth are 'mutawaatir' (narrated by many people at each level of transmission) from Allaah's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, which mention that he used to conusel his Companions in his Khutbah that those who were present should convey the message to those who were absent, and he would say to them:
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