|AUTHOR:||Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee|
|SOURCE:||Al-Asaalah Magazine (Issue no. 11) [2nd Year, Dhul-Hijjah 1414H]|
Question: What are the foundations by which the Islamic world of today can be set anew?
Answer: I believe that what has been reported in the authentic hadeeth provides an explicit answer for this sort of question and its likes, which have become manifest in this present era. And it is his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: "When you involve yourselves in interest bearing business transactions, and you hold on to the tails of cows, and you are pleased with agriculture (i.e. the land) and you abandon making Jihaad in the Cause of Allaah, Allaah will send humiliation down upon you. He will not remove it from you until you return back to your Religion." [As-Saheehah (no. 11)] Thus, the principal foundation is returning back to Islaam.
This matter has also been indicated by Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) in a reported saying of his that ought to be recorded in golden ink. And it is his saying: "Whosoever introduces into Islaam an innovation, which he deems is good, then he has claimed that Muhammad has betrayed (the trust of conveying) the Message. Read the saying of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic: 'This day I have completed your Religion for you, and I have perfected My favor upon you, and I am pleased with Islaam as a Religion for you.' [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 3] So whatever was not (part of) the Religion on that day, is not (part of) the Religion on this day. And the last part of this ummah (nation) will not be rectified, except by that which its first part was rectified by."
So just as the condition of the Arabs during the Days of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah) was not rectified except by the coming of their Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with revelation from the heavens - which aided them in this world and which will save them in the next - then the foundation that the good Islamic well-being must be set upon in this time, is nothing else but the return to the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.
In spite of this, this matter needs a little bit more of articulation, due to the vast number of Islamic groups and parties that are present on the arena and which claim for themselves to be upon the way by which Islamic society and Muslim rule can be actualized.
We know from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that the way towards actualizing this (goal) is only one - and it is that which Allaah has mentioned in His saying: "And this is My straight Path, so follow it. And do not follow the (other) paths for they will separate you from His Path." The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained this to his Companions. Thus, one day he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) drew a straight line for them on the ground and then drew short lines on the sides of it. Then, while his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) noble finger moved up and down the straight line, he recited the afore-mentioned ayah. Then he pointed to the lines that were drawn on the sides of the straight line and said: "This is the Path of Allaah and these are the (other) paths. At the top of each of these (other) ways, there is a devil calling towards it." [An authentic hadeeth as was graded in Dhilaal-ul-Jannah fee Takhreej-is-Sunnah (16-17)]
Furthermore, Allaah ascertains, in another ayah, what He has stated in the previous ayah along with the Messenger of Allaah's (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explanation in the afore-mentioned hadeeth. Thus He says: "And whosoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance has been clearly explained to him, and follows a way other then the way of the believers, We will turn him to what he has chosen and land him in Hell - what an evil destination!" [Surah An-Nisaa: 115] In this ayah there is profound and extensive wisdom, for Allaah, the Most Perfect, has connected the"Way of the Believers" to what the Messenger came with. The Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has (also) indicated this point in the hadeeth about the splitting up of the ummah into sects. So when he was asked concerning the one saved sect, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded:"That which (adheres to what) I and my companions are upon today." [As-Saheehah (no. 203)]
So what then is the wisdom behind Allaah's mentioning of "the Way of Believers" in this ayah? And what is the significance in the Messenger of Allaah's linking of his companions to himself in the previous hadeeth?
The answer is: These noble companions were the ones who received the two revelations (i.e. the Qur'aan and Sunnah) from the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), having that explained to them by him (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) directly, without there being any intermediary. But what is the condition of those that came after them? There is no doubt that the matter is as the Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: "Verily, the one who is present sees that which the one who is absent does not see." [Saheeh Al-Jaami': (no. 1641)]
This is why the Eemaan (Faith) of the first Companions was much stronger then the Eemaan of those who came after them. And this is what Allaah's Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) alluded to in the mutawaatir hadeeth: "The best of mankind is my generation, then those after them, then those after them." [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree] So based upon this, a Muslim cannot depend solely on himself to obtain the understanding of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. Rather he must seek help to understand the two of them by turning back to the noble Companions, for they are the ones who received that from the Prophet, having it explained at times by his sayings, at other times by his actions, and at other times by his silent approval.
Therefore, from the great necessities is that we must link 1) the call to the Qur'aan and Sunnah to 2) the Way that the righteous predecessors (As-Salaf-us-Saalih) were upon, acting upon what has been stated previously in some ayaat and ahaadeeth. Such as when Allaah mentioned the "way of the believers" and when the noble Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions mentioned that the understanding of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah is based upon what our first predecessors (Salaf), from the Sahaabah and those who followed them in righteousness, were upon.
And here there occurs a very important question, which many of the Islamic groups and parties have been neglectful about. Indeed it is: "What is the way towards gaining knowledge of what his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) Companions were upon from the understanding and practical application of this Sunnah?"
The answer is: There is no way of finding that out, except by returning to the science of hadeeth, the science of Al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel (science of declaring hadeeth reporters reliable or unreliable), and the application of its principles and its terms. This is such that the scholars are able to know what is authentically reported on the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from what is not authentically reported on him (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
In order to conclude this answer, we say - in clearer words - to the Muslims who strongly desire to return the glory, honor and power back to Islaam, that you must realize two things:
As for the first, then it is that you must incorporate and return into the minds of the Muslims, the Religion of Islaam that is purified from all that has entered into it, which was not part of it on the day when Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, revealed His saying: "This day I have completed your religion for you, and I have perfected My favor upon you and I am pleased with Islaam as a Religion for you." [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 3] And returning to this matter, in this day - as it was during the first times - requires intense and extreme efforts on the part of the Muslim scholars in the different regions of the world.
The second thing is that: The persistent and serious labor (to rectify the ummah) must be made complete with this purified knowledge. So the day that the Muslims return to the understanding of their Religion, as the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) understood it, and they then work in accordance with applying this pure Islaam, which is based on correct actions in every aspect of life, then it is on that day that the Muslims will celebrate the victory of Allaah.
This is what I was able to say in this response, which was quickly put together. I ask Allaah for us as well as for all the Muslims, that He gives us the correct understanding of Islaam based in light of His Book, the authentic Sunnah of His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and that which our righteous predecessors (As-Salaf-us-Saalih) were upon. And we ask that He grants us the ability to act upon that. Verily He is the One who hears and responds.