The Salaf with the Sunnah
Excerpted from Ash-Shifaa
© Madinah Press 1991
Translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley
A man from Khalid ibn Asid’s family asked `Abdullah ibn `Umar, "Abu `Abdu’r-Rahman! We find the Fear Prayer and the prayer at home in the Qur’an, but we do not find the travelling prayer." Ibn `Umar said, "My nephew, Allah sent Muhammad to us when we did not know anything. We do as we saw him doing."
`Umar ibn `Abdu’l-`Aziz said, "The Messenger of Allah made a Sunnah and the people in command after him made sunnas. To adopt them is to confirm the Book of Allah and to act on them is to obey Allah and strengthen the deen of Allah. It is not for anyone to change the Sunna or alter it or to look into the opinion of those who oppose it. Whoever follows it is guided. Whoever seeks help by it will have victory. Whoever opposes it and follows other than the path of the believers, Allah will entrust him to what he turns to and will roast him in Jahannam, which is a bad ending." [See Qur’an, 4:115]
Al-Hasan ibn Abi’l-Hasan said, "A little action following a sunna is better than a lot of action following an innovation."
Ibn Shihab said, "It has reached us that some of the people of knowledge said, ‘Holding fast to the sunna is salvation.’"
`Umar ibn al-Khattab wrote to his governors telling them to learn the Sunna, the shares of inheritance and the dialects, saying, "People will try to argue with you (i.e. by using the Qur’an) so overcome them with the Sunna. The people of the Sunna have the greatest knowledge of the Book of Allah."
When `Umar prayed two rak’ats at Dhu’l-Hulayfa [the miqat for the people of Madinah on their way to Hajj], he said, "I do as I saw the Messenger of Allah doing."
When `Ali joined the hajj and `umrah together, `Uthman said to him, "Why do you do this, when you know that I have forbidden the people to do it?" He replied, "I do not abandon a sunna of the Messenger of Allah for the statement of anyone."
`Ali said, "I am not a Prophet nor have I received revelation, but I act according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad as much as I can."
Ibn Mas`ud used to say, "Doing a little of the Sunna is better than striving hard in innovation