There is something which has arisen amongst some of the youth, which is testing people with specific individuals or personalities, so if you agree with them then you are from Ahl-us-Sunnah, and if you oppose them then you are an innovator. So what is your advice concerning this?
My advice is that whoever agrees with the Book and the Sunnah, then he is from Ahl-us-Sunnah, without looking into personalities, except for Muhammad sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam. So we only follow the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam.
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ
Certainly, there is a good example for you in the Messenger of Allah … [33:21]
And as for other than him, then whoever follows him (the Messenger) then we take him as an example to follow, and whoever opposes him (the Messenger), then we oppose him. So the one whom we take as an example to follow is the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam.
And for this reason Shaikh-ul-Islaam rahimahullaah said: Whoever claims that there is specific individual whom it is obligatory to follow, other than the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam, then he is asked to repent. And if he does not repent then he is to be executed, because he has affirmed that there is someone other than the Prophet sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam who is to be followed.
The only person who should be followed is someone who himself follows the Messenger sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam.
And we are not to test people regarding specific individuals or personalities, rather we should only test then with the Book and the Sunnah, and ittibaa’ (following) the Messenger sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam.
[words unclear] If you wish to test people with someone, then test them with the Messenger sallAllaahu’alaihiwasallam, because he is the one whom it is obligatory to follow and to take as an example.
(Translated by Adnaan ibn Salman)