Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim was-salaat was-salaam `ala Rasulillah

 

Part XII. Proofs From The Noble Sunna For the Probativeness of the Sunna (Continued)

11. Anything that he did not himself bring but which people innovate after him according to their whims and caprice, or to serve their lusts, is an innovation in the Religion (bid`a) which is completely rejected

A mass-narrated hadith states that the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- said: "There shall dawn upon my Community exactly what dawned upon the Israelites, as near [in resemblance] as a sandal-span. If the Israelites had a man openly commit incest with his mother then there shall also be someone who does this in my Community. Truly the Israelites divided into seventy-two sects and my Community shall divide into seventy-three - all of them in the Hellfire except one group." They asked: "Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?" He replied: "[Those that follow] that which I and my Companions follow."1

Another version states that the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- said: "Truly the people of the Book divided into seventy-two sects and this Community shall divide into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Fire except one - the Congregation. There shall come out of my Community people in whom unspeakable lusts run amok, the way a dog drags its owner here and there. There shall be not one nook or cranny except they enter it."2

Close to this is the hadith that states: "There shall come a temptation (fitna) which shall not leave one house of the Arabs intact except it shall enter it."3

Another version states that the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- said: "You shall embark on the practice of the People of the Book [that went] before you as closely as a sandal-span, not missing a step of the way, nor shall their way be any different from yours." A man among the people said: "O Messenger of Allah, will they even worship the calf of the Israelites?" The Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- replied: "Yes, and the calf of my Community is So-and-So."4 (wa `ijlu ummati fulan)

A Companion-narration or mawquf report from Hudhayfa al-Yamani states: "The first thing you will lose from your Religion is humility (khushu`) and the last, prayer (salat). You shall certainly undo the bonds of Islam one by one. Women shall be praying while in menses. You shall certainly walk the road of those that came before you as closely as the arrow-feather and the sandal-span, not missing a step of the way, nor shall their way be any different from yours. In the end two out of many [wayward] sects shall remain. The first shall say: `What are these five prayers? Surely those that came before us went astray. Allah - Almighty and Exalted -- only said: {Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night} (11:114). Do not pray except three prayers!' The other sect shall say: `The faith of the believers in Allah is just like the faith of the angels. There is not, among us, a single apostate nor dissimulator!' It shall be right that Allah raise them together with the Antichrist."5 Although the chain of this narration is not raised up to the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him --, nevertheless its status is that of a Prophetic hadith as it pertains to unseen matters which are not subject to the Companion's opinion and which he can only have said upon hearing them from the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him --.

The Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- said: "My similitude and that of the message Allah sent me with is that of a man who came to his people and said: 'O my people! I have seen the [enemy] army with my own two eyes, and I am warning you of the naked truth, so save yourselves!' Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled when night came, proceeding stealthily until they were safe, while another group disbelieved him and stayed where they were until morning. At that time the army came upon them, destroying and trampling them. This is the similitude of those who obey me and follow what I have brought [= the Qur'an and the Sunna], and the example of those who disobey me and disbelieve the truth I have brought."6

The Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- is also related to say: "There are six types whom I have cursed and whom Allah has cursed as well as every Prophet that ever was:

- He who adds something to Allah's book;
- He who denies Allah's foreordained Decree (qadar);
- He who imposes himself upon others through tyranny, elevating thereby those whom Allah abased, and abasing those whom He elevated;
- He who treats as licit what Allah has made forbidden;
- He who treats as licit those of my Family (`itra) whom Allah has made forbidden;
- He who abandons my Sunna."7

The Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- is also related to say: "Knowledge (al-`ilm) consists in three matters and whatever else is superfluous: An unabrogated (muhkama) verse of Qur'an; a firmly established (qa'ima) Sunna; or a just inheritance law (farida)."8 Something similar is related mawquf from Ibn `Umar.9 Imam Malik ( said: "A ruling is one of two kinds (al-hukm hukman): a ruling brought by Allah's Book, and a ruling stipulated by the Sunna." He also said: "And the opinion of a mujtahid for it may be that he shall be granted success." He also mentioned the pretender, and disparaged him.10

The Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- also said: "Whoso innovates in this matter of ours [= the Religion] what does not belong to it, it is null and void."11

NOTES

1Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn `Amr by al-Tirmidhi (hasan gharib), Muhammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi in al-Sunna (p. 23), and al-Hakim (1:129=1990 ed. 1:218), all with weak chains for this wording which comes only through `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zyad al-Afriqi, who was declared weak by some but fair in his narrations by others. However, al-Lalika'i declared this hadith sound (sahih) in his Sharh Usul I`tiqad Ahl al-Sunna (1:100) and it was included - with its variant versions - by al-Kattani in his Nazm al-Mutanathir (p. 45-47). The second half of the hadith beginning with the words "Truly the Israelites divided..." is often quoted as a stand-alone narration and is the subject of a monograph by al-San`ani.

2Narrated from Mu`awiya by Abu Dawud and al-Hakim (1:128=1990 ed. 1:218) with a sound chain as he stated and al-Dhahabi concurred.

3Narrated from `Awf ibn Malik al-Ashja`i, `Umayr ibn Hani', and - mawquf -from Abu Hurayra by Nu`aym ibn Hammad in al-Fitan (1:50, 1:57, 1:238).

4Narrated from Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman by al-Tabarani in Musnad al-Shamiyyin (2:100).

5Narrated by al-Hakim (4:469=1990 ed. 4:516) who declared its chain sahih and al-Dhahabi confirmed it.

6Narrated from Abu Musa al-Ash`ari by Bukhari and Muslim, but Bukhari omits the last sentence.

7Narrated from `A'isha by al-Tirmidhi, al-Tahawi in Sharh Mushkil al-Athar (9:84-86 #3460-3462=4:366-367), Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (13:60 #5749), al-Hakim (1:36, 2:225, 2:525, 4:90), Ibn Abi `Asim in al-Sunna (#44, #337), and al- Tabarani, all with weak chains as stated by al-Dhahabi ["hadith munkar"] in his notes on the Mustadrak, al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa'id (1:176), al-Arna'ut in his edition of Ibn Hibban, and al-Albani in his edition of Ibn Abi `Asim. However, al-Tirmidhi declared as "more correct" the same hadith narrated through a mursal chain from Zayn al-`Abidin `Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn `Ali, from the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him -- so the hadith is weak but not "condemned," and Allah knows best.

8Narrated from `Abd Allah ibn `Amr by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim (4:332=1990 ed. 4:369), al-Daraqutni in his Sunan (4:67-68 #2), and al-Bayhaqi in his (6:208 #11942), all with weak chains because of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Rafi` al-Tannukhi and `Abd al-Rahman ibn Zyad ibn An`um. However, the narration is deemed acceptable by Abu Dawud, Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (1:458), al-Qurtubi in his (5:56), al-`Azim Abadi in his commentary on al-Daraqutni, and Ibn Qudama in al-Mughni (6:162).

9Cf. Ibn Hazm in al-Ihkam (8:509-510), and al-Dhahabi in the Siyar (Arna'ut ed. 15:61) and Tadhkira al-Huffaz (3:807). Ibn Hajar in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib (6:159) related that Sufyan al-Thawri said that none of the people of knowledge considered this narration raised up to the Prophet -- Allah bless and greet him.

10Narrated from Ibn Wahb by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid (4:266).

11Narrated from `A'isha by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad.