Holding Fast to the Qur’an and the Sunnah
Sheikh ‘Abdul Bari ath Thubayty
August 23, 2013 ~ Shawwal 16, 1434
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Praise be to Allah. Praise be to Allah, Who has urged His servants to hold fast to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. I praise Him, Glorified be He, and I thank Him. He is the Owner of all Grace and Favours. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, Who has no partners, and Who has given His servants refuge from the evil of people and jinn. I also bear witness that our master and prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the leader of the believers and the guide to the true religion. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his Household and Companions in times of ease and in times of hardship.
O Muslims! I advise you and advise myself to fear Allah, for that is the best provision for the Day of Resurrection. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.” [Surah Ale ‘Imraan: 102]
Amidst all these dreadful calamities and trials that have befallen the Muslim nation, the enormous differences of opinion, and the widespread bloodshed, one can only wonder, “What is the way out of all these disasters? How can we extinguish the raging fires of trials, put an end to the escalation of hate, and safeguard the possessions gained by the nation?”
Allah, Exalted be He, says: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His verses clear to you, that you may be guided.” [Surah Ale ‘Imraan: 103]
Holding fast to the Qur’an and the Sunnah is the greatest obligation and most sublime pillar in Islam. The Muslim nation can only obtain virtuousness and gain salvation by holding fast to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, just as a drowning victim would hold on to a lifebuoy for fear of death. Islam alone can reconcile discordant hearts, extinguish the fiery sparks of enmity and remove grudges from hearts. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “And He has united their (i.e. believers’) hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them…” [Surah al Anfaal: 63]
Holding fast to Allah’s strong handhold is a shield against deviation and misguidance, as it unites the entire ummah (Muslim nation) under the banner of true monotheism: “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” It fosters solidarity, dispels greed, and brings down false slogans. It also helps us face the cunning evil and conspiracies of the enemies.
Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “There are three things that Allah likes for you and three things that He disapproves for you. He likes that you should worship Him Alone, without associating anything with Him (in worship), that you hold fast to the Rope of Allah and not be divided among yourselves, and that you offer advice to your rulers. He disapproves for you useless talk, asking too many questions, and squandering wealth” [Reported by Muslim]
Allah, Exalted be He, says: “. . . and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together. . .” [Surah Ale ‘Imraan: 103]
The war between the tribes of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj in Al-Madinah had raged for one hundred and twenty years even though they shared a common ancestor. However, with the advent of Islam, people’s souls were refined, the arrogance and sectarianism prevalent in the days of al-jahiliyyah (period of ignorance before the advent of Islam) were put to an end, and people became brothers, thanks to Islam.
When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, delivered the sermon about the war booty before Al-Ansar in the Battle of Hunayn, he said, “O people of Al-Ansar! Did I not find you astray, but Allah guided you to the right path through me? Did I not find you destitute, but Allah made you free from want through me? Did I not find you divided, but Allah brought you together through me?” Every time the Prophet asked them in this way they said, “Allah and His Messenger are more benevolent.” It is for this reason that Allah, Exalted be He, says: “. . . but Allah has united them . . .“ [Surah al Anfaal: 63]
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (Radiallahu Anhum) said, “Ties of kinship may be severed and Allah’s favours may be denied, but if Allah brings hearts together, nothing can ever disunite them.” Then he recited, “. . . If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. . .” [Surah al Anfal: 63]
Once a man asked ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Radiallahu Anhu) “What has become of you?” He answered, “By Allah’s grace, we have become brothers.”
Why should they not then become brothers when they worship one Lord, have one Prophet, and face the same qiblah (direction in prayer)?
To affirm the importance of this general rule, Islam has made available for us all the means that consolidate the basis for union and reinforce the bonds of solidarity among us. Performing congregational prayers, for example, affords people a chance to get together five times a day. They stand in rows wherein their bodies, feet and shoulders draw near each other. The same gathering takes place during the Friday Prayer every week and on the ‘Eid Prayer twice a year. By the same token, zakah represents a form of social solidarity and reflects a form of compassion and sympathy. Fasting during the month of Ramadan also unites the nation through the good deeds that a Muslim does in the day and the night. In addition, hajj provides an annual opportunity for people from different countries and nationalities to meet together. During the hajj, when a Muslim meets his fellow Muslim from a distant or a neighbouring country, they greet each other and both can enjoy the glorious feeling of brotherhood and love.
However, the distressing disunity and deep discord that pervades the large body of the Muslim nation today makes the heart of the observer ache and causes it all the more pain. Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Satan has despaired of being worshiped by those who perform prayer in the Arabian Peninsula, but (has not lost hope) in creating dissension among them.”
Hateful dissension and odious discord naturally result from following whims and personal interests and seeking to establish one’s sense of one’s value and importance. Indeed, discord, dissension, and hateful disagreement testify to ignorance and injustice. They only serve to thwart the Muslim nation’s progress and development, dissipate its energy, and preclude it from attaining its hopes and achieving its goals. The ultimate outcome will be total disgrace, shameful retreat, and a horrid end.
The Holy Qur’an warns Muslims against dissension that only serves to split ranks and lead to the destruction and downfall of nations. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “. . . and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart . . .“ [Surah al Anfaal: 46]
It was narrated by ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Prophet ﷺ said, “I heard a man reciting a Qur’anic verse in a certain way, and I had heard the Prophet reciting the same verse in a different way. So I took him to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and informed him of that. Then I noticed the sign of disapproval on his face, and he said, ‘Both of you are good-doers, so don’t differ, for the nations before you differed, and so they were destroyed (because of their differences)” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah. . . .” [Surah al An’aam: 159]
Therefore, the Prophet ﷺ would dissociate himself from any person who seeks to cause differences among Muslims, destroy their unity, and split them into disputing groups. It is only due to disagreement and dissension that Muslim lands have been conquered, their riches have been plundered, and everything they hold sacred has been desecrated. It is due to disagreement and dissension that Muslims have been alienated from one another and have taken up arms against one another, and that Muslims have come to love or hate others for other than Allah’s sake. This may ultimately lead some of them to consider fighting other Muslims permissible because they believe that the other groups adopt erroneous and invalid concepts.
It is for this reason that Islam forbids fellow believers to fight one another. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as is the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours” pReported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim] ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (Radiallahu Anhum) said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, the following was his will (i.e. the Prophet’s) to his followers: “Do not revert to disbelief after me, by striking the necks of one another” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Shedding blood unjustly is a very serious matter indeed, and a single drop of blood that is shed in this way is bound to lead to evil and far-reaching consequences. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.” [Surah an Nisaa’: 93]
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “A believer will continue to guard his faith [and thus hope for Allah’s mercy] as long as he does not shed blood unlawfully” [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
May Allah bless you and me with the Great Quran and make us benefit from its verses and wise words. I have said what you have heard and I ask forgiveness of Allah for myself and for you. Ask Allah for forgiveness. He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah for His blessings, and all forms of gratitude are due to Him for His bounties and graciousness. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Who has no partners on the earth or in the heavens, and I bear witness that our master and Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, who was unequalled in his prayer by day and by night. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon him and upon his household and Companions.
O Muslims! I advise you and advise myself to fear Allah. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” [Surah al Ahzaab: 70-71]
It becomes thus clear that holding fast to the strong rope of Allah is a fortified fortress and a solid sanctuary. It is the only way to bring Muslims together, unite their ranks, and maintain their strength and power. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “ . . you should establish religion, and make no divisions in it (religion). . . .” [Surah ash Shura: 13]
It was in this context that Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines King ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul-Aziz took the historic stance that was reflected in the words in which he stressed the importance of Egypt’s stability and safety as well as the necessity of maintaining unity, renouncing violence, and repulsing sedition. It is a well-known fact, servants of Allah, that when the voice of dissension becomes louder and manifestations of division emerge, Muslims ought to refer their judgement to the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Moreover, their scholars and the people of good sense and judgment amongst them ought to sincerely seek the assistance of the Lord in an effort to mend the situation, bring about unity and renounce prejudice and fanaticism.
This is indeed a lofty objective and the way of the faithful and sincere advisors. The Muslim nation should obey the word of truth and listen to the voice of reason in order to protect itself from a sweeping trial which leaves tolerant people utterly confused and which may even lay waste to everything. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Verily, those who are Al-Muttaqun, when an evil thought comes to them from Shaitan, they remember (Allah), and (indeed) they then see (aright).” [Surah al A’raaf: 201]
He also says: “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.“ [Surah an Nisaa’: 59]
O Servants of Allah! Ask Allah to bestow His peace and blessings on the Messenger of Guidance, as Allah has commanded you to do so in His Holy Book. Allah, Exalted be He, says: “Allah sends His salutations upon the Prophet and also His angels (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your salutations upon him and salute him with the Islamic way of greeting.” [Surah al Ahzaab: 56]
O Allah! Bestow Your peace on Muhammad, his wives, and his offspring, as You bestowed Your peace on Ibrahim, his wives, and his offspring. You are All-Praiseworthy and All-Glorious. O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on Muhammad, his wives, and his offspring, as You bestowed Your blessings on Ibrahim, his wives, and his offspring. You are All-Praiseworthy and All-Glorious.
O Allah! Be pleased with the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, along with the Prophet’s honourable Household and Companions, and also be pleased with us together with them, by Your forgiveness, generosity, and benevolence, O Most Merciful of all the merciful!
O Allah! Grant power and glory to Islam and Muslims. O Allah! Grant power and glory to Islam and Muslims, subdue disbelief and the disbelievers, and destroy Your enemies – the enemies of Your religion. O Allah! Make this country and all other Muslim countries safe and secure.
O Allah! Make whoever harbours evil intentions towards us and towards Islam and Muslims preoccupied with his own problems, and make his plotting the cause of his own destruction, O All-Hearer of Supplication!
O Allah! Protect Islam and Muslims everywhere. O Allah! Protect Islam and Muslims everywhere. O Allah! Spare the blood of Muslims and preserve their honour and their possessions, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! Protect the Muslims in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria and everywhere, O Lord of the Worlds!
Oh Allah! Unite their rows, gather them around a single word, and bring them together. O Allah! Guide them in their words and their deeds, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! Guide them to success, O Most Merciful of all the merciful!
Oh Allah! Grant victory to Muslims in Syria. O Allah! Grant them victory over Your enemy and their enemy, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! The tyrant of Syria has inflicted unspeakable injustice on his subjects, and his atrocities have exceeded all bounds. O Allah! Destroy him along with his accomplices, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! Destroy him along with those who assist him in his crimes, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! Sow the seeds of discord among them, shatter their unity, and let fortune turn against them, O Lord of the Worlds, the God of Truth!
O Allah! Revealer of the Book, Disperser of the clouds, Defeater of the Confederates! Defeat Your enemy and the enemy of Muslims in Syria, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! Seize their enemy with the seizure of One Who is All-Mighty and All-Powerful, soon, not late, O Most Merciful of all the merciful!
O Allah! Muslims in Syria are hungry, so feed them; they are on foot so provide mounts for them; they are unclothed so clothe them; and they are oppressed, so grant them victory. O Allah! They are oppressed, so grant them victory. O Allah! They are oppressed, so grant them victory. O Allah! Grant them victory, soon, not late, O Most Merciful of all the merciful! O Allah! Be a Supporter, a Helper, and a Protector for them, O All-Mighty! O Majestic! O Most Strong!
O Allah! We ask you for Paradise and every word or deed that brings us closer to it, and seek refuge in You from Hellfire and every word or deed that brings us closer to it.
O Allah! Make good for us our religion, which safeguards our affairs. Make good for us this world in which we live, and make good for us the Hereafter which will be our eternal abode. Make our life an increase for us in all good and our death a respite for us from all evil, O Lord of the Worlds!
O Allah! Be with us and not against us, render us victorious and not defeated, and plan for us and not against us. Guide us and lead us to guidance; and grant us victory over those who have oppressed us.
O Allah! Make us among those who remember You and praise You, who are humble to You, and who often implore You and return to You in repentance.
O Allah! Accept our repentance, forgive our sins, approve our cause, guide our tongues to say the truth, and purify our hearts from envy.
O Allah! Guide our ruler to what You love and accept, lead him to Your guidance, and help him do what pleases You, O Lord of the Worlds! O Allah! Guide all Muslim rulers to act according to Your Book and rule according to Your Shari’a, O Lord of the Worlds!
O Allah! Have mercy on our dead, cure our sick people, and release our prisoners, O Lord of the Worlds!
“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [Surah al A’raaf: 23]
“Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah al Hashr:10]
“Our Lord! Give us that which is good in this world and that which is good in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of Hellfire!” [Surah al Baqarah: 201]
“Verily, Allah enjoins justice and kindness, and giving (help) to kith and kin, and forbids all types of lewd acts, and all kinds of oppression. He admonishes you, that you may take heed.” [Surah an Nahl: 90]
Remember Allah and He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours and He will give you more. Verily, remembrance of Allah is greater than all, and Allah knows what you do.
Translated by Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University