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…”
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.”
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.”
This is the Rope of Allaah.
 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)].
 at-Tirmidhee: ‘Virtues of the Qur.aan’ (2906); Ahmad: (1/91); ad-Daarimee: ‘Virtues of the Qur.aan’ (3331).
 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.]