The Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaah

Excerpt from Weekly Khutbah, Volume 3 (2015-2016)

For the last two Khutbahs, we have discussed the concept of true Muslims briefly. Today let’s makes an extended discussion as many of us lack knowledge about this field. What do we mean by true Muslims or in other words true Sunnis? Can Muslims who are just following the Sunnahs be termed as Sunnis? And what distinction do we have among the other sects.

Mentioned previously, on the Day of Judgement, there will be 73 sects within the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and 72 of them will be thrown to Hell-fire.

It was narrated from Mu’awiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan (Radi Allahu Anhu) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this Ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the Jamaah (main body of Muslims).”

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith 4597 & others. Classed as Sahih by Imam al-Hakim Rahmatullah Allaih (1/128).

So what did the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mean by the word ‘Jamaah’- meaning the main body of the Muslims and what it takes to be part of that group? We need to know this because all of us need to endeavor to be part of that group so as to achieve Jannah ultimately, In Shaa Allah.

The word ‘Jamaah’ refers to none other than the Muslims who falls under the ‘Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaah’ or the Sunni Muslims. In order words, this is the sect most of us are following around the world- the only sect which will be admitted to Jannah. As per Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’at, they are the real Muslims and true followers of Prophet Mohammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) – meaning: ‘Ahle Sunnah’, and 4 Khulafa-e-Rashideen (Radi Allahu Anhum) – meaning: ‘Jama’ah’.

These are the Muslims who always take the ‘neutral’ side in Islam, meaning- they neither falter in their Imaan nor do they go extreme. They always crave for the Straight Path following the Aqeedah, thus being the best among the Ummah of Prophet Mohammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Allah mentions of us of being a ‘balanced nation’ in His Holy Book:

Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.
Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 143 (2:143) Translation: Yusuf Ali

We were not made to spend the whole day praying to Allah for forgiveness in the Masjid, leaving out the duties and rights of our families, neither were we created to completely forget about our Lord- being more mindful of the affairs concerning this Dunya. Allah appointed us as a ‘balanced nation’ thus He wants us to strive in leading a balanced life- taking both religious and daily duties into account. In fact, one time, there were Sahabahs, who came to the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), seeking his permission for praying to Allah leaving all worldly duties but ultimately got denied by him. The Hadith goes like this:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu): A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) asking how the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever.” Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 5063

The best way of living is to look into the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and learn his ways of leading life. Islam is not always about prayers, fasting and giving Zakah. It also includes having marriages, family, friends and being just towards relatives and neighbors. We can also look into how the best of the Sahabahs led their lives and how they followed the Sunnahs- they were never extreme at any point as Allah has praised the ways of the Sahabahs in the Quran:

And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.

Surah At-Tawbah, Ayah 100 (9:100) Translation: Sahih International

We need to love all the Sahabahs equally irrespective of the fact that the level of Imaan between them may vary- they are also human beings and we are no one to judge them, they achieve what they could in their lifetime to the fullest and we all need to appreciate it. However, Shias only acknowledges Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu) as their leader and also their Prophet. To them the ones who were made Khalifahs before him- Abu Bakr As-Siddique (Radi Allahu Anhu), Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (Radi Allahu Anhu) and Uthman Ibn Affan (Radi Allahu Anhu) all did injustice to Allah in being Khalifahs after the death of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). They sometimes even make up their own Hadiths which have no root to Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu) and speak it out to their people. In a gist, they are deceivers to the religion of Allah and they need to be brought back to the right path by Sunnis. Imam Ibn Hazm (Rahmatullah Allaih) even commented Shias of not being Muslims. Furthermore Imam Ibn Taymiya (Rahmatullah Allaih) considered them to be more heretical than Jews, Christians and many polytheists, considering Shiites more harmful to the Muslim community than groups such as the Crusaders and Mongols. They even sometimes accuse the Quran in being called the ‘book of Uthman’, Nauzubillah.

Islam should be made simple as it is the religion which leads to the Straight Path. Let’s not invent ‘facts’ and make them look original. Some of us may argue that Shias are also people of “La Ilaha Ill-Allah” and if they utter this Kalima before death they will achieve Jannah. It has been mentioned in one Hadith:

Narrated by Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (Radi Allahu Anhu), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) say: “If a person’s last words are Laa Ilaaha Ill-Allah, Paradise will be guaranteed for him.”

References: Musnad of Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullah Allaih), Hadith 21529; Abu Dawood, Hadith 3116. Classed as Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 687.

Now, notice that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) did not mention when such person would be entering Jannah upon uttering “La Ilaha Ill-Allah” right before his death. On the Day of Judgement, a person can be sent to Hell-fire and then be admitted to Jannah based on his Imaan. Our aim for Jannah should be as such that no Hell-fire would touch us on the Day of Judgement. Because even a fraction of Hell-fire is more disdaining than any pain in this world. Hadiths state:

Anas Ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “The most privileged people in the world from the people of the Hellfire will come on the Day of Resurrection to be dipped in the Hellfire, then it will be said: ‘O son of Adam, did you see any good? Did you get any blessing?’ He will say: ‘No, by Allah, my Lord!’ Then the most miserable people in the world from the people of Paradise will come on the Day of Resurrection to be dipped in the Paradise, then it will be said: ‘O son of Adam, did you see any hardship? Did you have any distress?’ He will say: ‘No, by Allah, my Lord! I did not once see hardship or distress.’

Reference: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2807

It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (Radi Allahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) observed: None shall enter the Fire (of Hell) who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of Iman and none shall enter Paradise who has in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride.

Reference: Sahih Muslim, Hadith 165

None of us know and never can imagine how Hell-fire is going to taste so the best way to avoid it is avoiding it completely by following the Quran and the true Sunnahs and remain a ‘balanced nation’.

Now, speaking of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), there are also some Muslims who claim him to be equal to Allah, Nauzubillah, being created from the Light of Allah. Now, that is extreme as well- being no better than the Shias. We need to believe that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was in fact the best among us and the most ideal human being of all times but at the end of the day even he was created like the way were created and even he is a human being like us. Allah instructed Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in the following manner:

Say (O Muhammad): “I am but a man like you: It is revealed to me by Inspiration, that your Allah is one Allah: so stand true to Him, and ask for His Forgiveness.” And woe to those who join gods with Allah,-

Surah Fussilat, Ayah 6 (41:6) Translation: Yusuf Ali

Many people within in the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jammah believe that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is in fact Hadhir Nadhir which means an entity being able to see and be present everywhere and that’s why whenever we recite Darood Sharif in Mawlids, he will be present in front of us. Astagfirullah, such thoughts are based on the wishful innovations of ignorant people, not to mention that Mawlids are also Bidahs in Islam. These are qualities of Allah, not the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Many people has based this misinterpretation on the following Hadiths:

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Whoever recites Durood at my grave, I hear it myself. And whosoever recites it from a distance, angels present them to me.”

Reference: Baihaqi

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah Almighty has appointed a group of angels who travel the world, and in my Ummah, whoever sends salutations to me, those salutations are presented to me by these angels.”

Reference: Ibn Hibban

Notice that in the above-mentioned Hadiths, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentioned that Allah has angels appointed to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), who bring the Darood recitations to the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)’s grave but the ignorant people spread the notion that the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) appears in front of them spiritually upon hearing the recitation of the Darood Sharif. The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was a human being just like us and he never possessed any supernatural power unless he was given permission to perform a miracle like travelling the heavens during his Miraj or having the authority to split the moon etc. Let’s not get diverted from the true teachings of Islam for the sake of these people.

Let’s start acquiring knowledge, that way we will be receiving protection from such dangerous people. Acquire the required knowledge and start seeking for better lecturers who are true to their Deen. The Quran has mentioned:

Indeed, those who were given knowledge before it – when it is recited to them, they fall upon their faces in prostration,

And they say, “Exalted is our Lord! Indeed, the promise of our Lord has been fulfilled.”
And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur’an increases them in humble submission.

Surah Al-Isra, Ayahs 107-109 (17:107-109) Translation: Sahih International

Go by the Sunnah, remove the batin (internal) sins like arrogance, greed for power or wealth, jealousy. Learn the Quran and Hadiths so that we can rectify our superstitions and navigate the diseases of the hearts and thus be better Muslims. Wearing Taweez makes us religious- this is a wrong thought and Taweezes are associated with shirks so need to be aware when people recommend these to us. For those who think the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) will be the one to save us from Hell-fire, that too is a form of shirk. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) will intercede on our behalf but the one to save us ultimately is the one and only Allah (Subḥānahu Wa Ta’Ala). There are a lot of fake pirs or fakirs among us those who claim of having supernatural powers and ask us to worship them. Do not be deceived, Allah is the only one to be worshipped. That’s why we should be with the Al-Muttaqin.

Ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu Anhu) said “They are the believers who avoid Shirk with Allah and who work in His obedience.” Ibn Abbas (Radi Allahu Anhu) also said that Al-Muttaqin means, “Those who fear Allah’s punishment, which would result if they abandoned the true guidance that they recognize and know. They also hope in Allah’s mercy by believing in what He revealed.”

Reference: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Al Muttaqin are those who are the closest to Allah and sometimes they too receive blessings in the form of having supernatural powers. That doesn’t mean they are meant to be worshipped. Allah gave them that power so as to test them to see what they do with their powers. Sometimes people turn themselves into pirs so as to acquire wealth from their followers, others keep it within themselves and praise the All-Mighty for His rewards and blessings. So when we hear about these people let’s not get thrilled or overwhelmed rather let’s thank Allah for in showing us yet another of His miracle and with this I (the Imam) will be ending this week’s Khutbah.


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May Allah reward us for our dedication towards Islam, Ameen. Let’s all be a part of a well-refined Muslim Ummah!


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