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And they used to urge (people) to (follow) what the
Messenger (swallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his
Companions, radiyallaahu anhum, were upon * due
to His saying:

“And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and
follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you
away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that
you may become Al-Muttaqoon (pious).”
al-An’aam 6:153


* And this is where the source of the salvation of
every Muslim lies: in clinging to the Sunnah upon the
way of the Companions of the Messenger (swallallahu
alayhi wasallam), in all matters. The texts supporting
and requiring this are numerous and amongst them

On the authority of Aboo Naajih al-Irbaad ibn
Sariyyah, who said, “The Messenger of Allaah gave us
a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and
tears came to our eyes. We said, “0 Messenger of
Allaah, it is as though this is a farewell sermon, so
counsel us.” He said, “I counsel you to fear Allaah and
to give absolute obedience even if a slave becomes
your leader. Verily he among you who lives (long) will
see great controversy, so you must keep to my
Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the rightly guided
Khaleefahs, bite onto it with your molar teeth. Beware
of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is
an innovation and every innovation is a going astray,
and every going astray is in Hell-fire.” Reported by
Aboo Daawood and at-Tirmidhee, who said that it was
hasan saheeh.

The Prophet (swallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “He
who turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.”
Reported by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim.

Aboo Hurairah said that Allaah’s Messenger
(swallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “All of my Ummah

will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” It was
said, “Who will refuse?” He replied, “Whoever obeys
me enters Paradise and whoever disobeys me has
refused.” Reported by al-Bukhaaree.

The Prophet (swallallahu alayhi wasallam) said,
Indeed this Ummah will split into seventy three sects
and all of them are in the Fire except for one, and that
is the Jamaa’ah.” Reported by Ibn Abee ‘Aasim in Al-
Kitaab was-Sunnah (1/33), al-Albaanee said, ‘Hadeeth

The Prophet (swallallahu alayhi wasallam) also said,
“And this Ummah will split into seven three sects,
seventy-two will be in the Fire and one in Paradise and
that is the Jamaa’ah.” Reported by Aboo Daawood in
his Sunan in the ‘Book of Sunnah’ (no. 4597).

Aboo Umaamah reports that the Prophet (swallallahu
alayhi wasallam) “My Ummah will split up into
seventy-three sects, seventy-two in the Fire and one in
Paradise.” We said, ‘Describe them to us.’ He said,
“As-Suwaad al-A‘dham (the Main Body).” Reported by
al-Laalikaa’ee in Sharh Usoolil-I’tiqaad and Ibn Abee
‘Aasim in as-Sunnah.

The Main Body here does not refer to the great
majority of people in every age and era. Rather this is
specific for the era of the Companions and the
Taabi’een. And furthermore, that person is from the
Jamaa’ah who agrees and conforms to the truth.

‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (d. 32H) said, ‘The Jamaa’ah
is whatever (agrees) with the Truth. Even if you are
alone.’ Reported by Ibn Asaakir in Taareekh-Dimashq
with a saheeh isnaad.

Ishaaq ibn Raahawaih (d. 238H), the teacher of Imaam
al-Bukhaaree, said, ‘If you were to ask the ignorant
people about the Main Body they would say, ‘The
majority of people.’ They do not know that al-
Jamaa’ah is the Scholar who clings to the narrations
from the Prophet (swallallahu alayhi wasallam) and
his way. So whoever is with him (the scholar) and
follows him, then he is al-Jamaa’ah.’ Reported by
Aboo Nu’aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaah.

In the era of the Companions and their Followers, the
Taabi’een, the Main Body in that time were upon the
Truth. This was due to the fact that people were in
nearness to the time of the Messenger (swallallahu
alayhi wasallam) and the Messenger (swallallahu
alayhi wasallam) attested to the credibility of the best
of generations.

As for those who came after them then the fact that
they are many is not to be considered due to the
generality of the texts which give evidence that evil will
increase and spread amongst the people, the Ummah
will split into seventy-three sects and that Islaam will
return as something strange.

Imaam az-Zuhree (d. 125H) said, ‘The people of
knowledge who came before us used to say, ‘Salvation
lies in clinging to the Sunnah.’ Reported by ad-
Daarimee (no.96).

Imaam Maalik (d. 179H) said, ‘The Sunnah is like the
Ark of Noah. Whoever embarks upon it reaches
salvation and whoever refuses is drowned.’ Quoted by
Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo’ ul
Fataawaa (4/57).

And Al-Haafiz as-Suyooti quotes in his book, Al-Amr
bil-’Ittibaa wan-Nahi anli-Ibtidaa’, the following
narrations from the Salaf:

Abul-Aaliyah (d. 90H) said, ‘You must stick to the
original state of affairs which they were upon, before
they are divided.’

‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (d. 32H) said, ‘Moderation
upon the Sunnah is better than exertion in

Al-Awzaa’ee (d. 158H) said, ‘Have patience upon the
Sunnah, and stop where the people stopped (the
Companions) and speak with what they spoke with
and hold back from what they held back and travel
upon the path of the Salaf us-Saalih, for verily, what
sufficed them will suffice you.

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d. 161H) said, ‘No word or
action will be correct until it conforms with the

Taken from the book, The Life Of Imaam Of Hadeeth al-Bukhari and Of The Great Scholars From Whom He Narrated

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