The Religion is what came from Allaah and His Messenger, not the opinions of men (Sh Fawzaan)

Imam Barbahaaree said:

The Religion is only what came from Allaah the Exalted and Most High. It was not left to the intellects of men and to their opinions; and knowledge of it is what comes from Allaah and from His Messenger (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam)

Sh Fawzaan explained:

His saying, “It was not left up to the intellects of men and their opinions.”

The Religion is not what men deem to be good or what they hold as their opinion, because this is not the Religion of Allaah. This is the Religion of the people, which they have newly invented. As for the Religion of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, then it is what He legislated.  As for that which the men hold as their opinion, based upon their own opinions, this is not the Religion of Allaah the Perfect and Most High.  Rather it is just a religion of whoever holds that opinion. So nothing can be ascribed to Allaah from the Religion except that which He legislated upon the tongue of His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. And as for what others besides Him legislated, then it cannot be ascribed to Allaah, rather it can only be ascribed to whoever legislated it, and Allaah is free of it.  He the Most High said:

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاء شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ

Do they have partners who legislate for them religion which Allaah has not permitted (Sooratush-Shooraa (42), aayah 21)

His saying, “And its knowledge is with Allaah and His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam.” The affairs of the Religion are towqeefiyyah (depend upon text); there must be proofs from Allaah and His Messenger with regard to the affairs of the Religion. The matter is restricted to what occurs in the Book and the Sunnah from the affairs of the Religion. And newly introduced matters and innovations are abandoned, that which Allaah has not sent down any proof for – even if their people hold them to be religion, and they draw closer to Allaah through them, then we turn no attention to these things and we do not believe in them, because the Religion of Allaah is what He legislated and His Messenger.

Because the Religion is based upon knowledge which came from Allaah and His Messenger. And do not follow the desires of the people and the opinions of the people and what they declare to be good and what they follow each other upon, and it has no basis in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of His Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Just as he `alayhis-salaatu was-salaam said:
“Whoever introduces into this affair of ours that which is not from it, it is rejected.”

And in one narration:
“Whoever does an action which our affair is not in accordance with, it is rejected”[1]

So the person who wishes that his action be righteous and be beneficial, then he should adhere to two matters:

The first matter: is that he makes his Religion pure for Allaah and free from shirk.

And the second matter: ittibaa` following the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, free of innovations and newly introduced affairs.

A person will indeed find many things which contradict what is correct in the `aqeedah, matters which contradict what is correct in matters of worship, many of them; (because) the people have desires, and have their own aspirations, and they have  their own opinions and they have their own ways (which  they follow). So we do not follow the people, rather we present whatever the people are upon to the Book and the Sunnah. So whatever conforms with the Book and the Sunnah then it is the Truth, and whatever contradicts these two then it is false and futile.

(Translated by Abu Talhah rahimahullaah)

Following the Book and the Sunnah is the Path to Unity – Sh Fawzaan

And this is a protection against differing and splitting. As for when we invent new methodologies and paths and ways which oppose the Book and the Sunnah, then indeed we will be destroyed, as He the Perfect and Most High said:

 وَأَنَّ هَـذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ 

And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become pious. [6:153]

And:

 خطّ التبي ع خطَّا مستقيمًا ، و خط عن يمينه و شماله خطوطًا مِعوَجّة ، و قال للمستقيم : هذا سبيل الله. و قال للمعوجة : هذه سُبل و على كل سبيل منها شيطان يدعو الناس إليها 

The Prophet (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam) drew out a straight line, and he drew divergent lines to the right and left of it. And he said regarding the straight line, “This is the path of Allaah”. And he said regarding the divergent lines, “These are the paths, and upon each path from them there is a devil which calls the people to it.”[1]

This is an explanation of the noble verse by the Prophet (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam), and an explicit clarification that whoever leaves clinging to the Book of Allaah then he has gone along with the devil and along the divergent paths.

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[1] Ahmad: (1/435); ad-Daarimee: ‘al-Muqaddimah’ (202).

[from wujoob-ut-tathabbut min al-akhbaar wa ihtiraam il-‘ulemaa – ‘The Obligation of Verifying the Reports and Honouring the Scholars’ by Sh Saalih al-Fawzaan hafizahullaah.

Translated by Adnaan ibn Salman and Nasser ibn Najam]

Holding fast to the Rope of Allaah

The Call to Hold Fast to the Legislation of Allaah and His Book

Then He the Most High said:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا 

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur.aan) … [3:103]

This is a command from Allaah for us to hold fast to the Rope of Allaah – with the meaning that we hold fast to the legislation of Allaah.

And the Rope of Allaah is the Qur.aan, and it also means Islaam, and it means the Covenant. So the Rope of Allaah here means Islaam and the Qur.aan and following the Messenger (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam).

So when a person holds onto this he is saved, like the drowning person when he is the depths of water and he holds onto a rope by means of which he is saved from drowning, then he has taken the means. Likewise we, in our lives and in the arena of trials and evils, when we hold onto the Rope of Allaah we will be saved. And the Prophet (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam) said:

 فإنه من يعش منكم فسيرى اختلافا كثيرا ، فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين من بعدي ، تمسكوا بها وعضّوا عليها بالنواجذ ، وإياكم و محدثات الأمور 

“For indeed he who lives long from amongst you, then he will see great differing, so upon you is my Sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly guided and directed Caliphs after me. Hold onto it and bite onto it with your molar teeth, and beware of newly invented matters…”[1]

And he (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam) informed:

 أنها ستكون فتن ، قالو: و ما المخرج منها يا رسول الله ؟ قال: كتاب الله 

“Indeed there will be trials”. They said, ‘And what is the way out from them O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said, “The Book of Allaah.”[2]

And he (sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam) said:

 إنني تارك فيكم ما إن تمسكتم به لن تضلوا بعدي: كتاب الله و سنتي 

“Indeed I am leaving amongst you that which, if you hold onto it, then you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah.”[3]

This is the Rope of Allaah.

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[1] Reported by Abu Daawood (5/460), and reported by at-Tirmidhee (5/2676) and he said: this is a good authentic hadeeth, and Imaam Ahmad: (4/126,127), and Ibn Maajah (1/43). [Abu Daawood: ‘as-Sunnah’ (4607); ad-Daarimee: ‘al-Muqaddimah’ (95)].

[2] at-Tirmidhee: ‘Virtues of the Qur.aan’ (2906); Ahmad: (1/91); ad-Daarimee: ‘Virtues of the Qur.aan’ (3331).

[3] Reported by Imaam Maalik in al-Muwatta. (2/3/899); and al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (1/93), and he said its chain is authentic; and al-Albaanee quoted it in as-Saheehah (4/1761).

[from wujoob-ut-tathabbut min al-akhbaar wa ihtiraam il-‘ulemaa – ‘The Obligation of Verifying the Reports and Honouring the Scholars’ by Sh Saalih al-Fawzaan hafizahullaah.]