Compiled, Translated and Annotated
Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
ʿĀṣim Aḥwāl said, Abuʾl ʿĀliyyah said to us:
Learn Islam and when you’ve learnt it, do not turn away from it. And follow the Straight path, for that is Islam. Do not deviate to the right or to the left of the Straight Path. Upon you is the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, just as the people [Ṣaḥābah] were upon, before the killing of their Ṣaḥābah [i.e. ʿUthmān] and what they did after that [i]. For indeed we had read the Qurʾān 15 years before the Ṣaḥābah were killed and before what these people did after that. So, I warn you from these desires that sow the seeds of enmity and hatred amongst you.”
ʿĀṣim Aḥwāl said: I informed al-Ḥasan [al-Baṣrī] what Abuʾl ʿĀliyyah had said. He replied, “He spoke the truth and advised you with it”. Then I narrated this to Hafṣah bint Sirīn and she said, “You are family, have you narrated this to Muḥammad?” [ii] I said, “No”. She said, “Narrate this to him.”
[Imām Muḥammad b. Naṣr al-Marūdhī, al-Sunnah, 68-69 no.18. Khalid b. ʿUthmān said, it is Ṣaḥīḥ Maqtuʿa, [meaning that it is authentic but the type of report is Maqtuʿa i.e. from a Tabʿī]. He references it to al-Maʿmar, al-Jāmʿi 11:367; LālikāʿI, Iʿtiqād Ahl al-Sunnah no.17; Abū Nuʿaym, al-Ḥilyah 2:218; al-ʿAjurrī, al-Sharīʿah no.19, 21 and Ibn Baṭṭah al-Ibānah 1:96. He shows all the narrators are trustworthy. (Cairo: Dār al-Athār, 2003)
In the Iʿtiqād Ahl al-Sunnah of al-Lālikāʿī the report is, “Learn Islam and when you’ve learnt it, do not turn away from it. And follow the Straight path, for that is Islam. Do not deviate to the right or to the left of [the straight path of] Islam. Upon you is the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ, which the Ṣaḥābah were upon, So, I warn you from these desires that sow the seeds of enmity and hatred amongst you.” [Lālikāʿi, Sharḥ Uṣūl Iʿtiqād Ahl al-Sunnah Waʾl Jamāʿah no.17, 40. The researcher, Dr. ʿImād Qadrī graded it Ṣaḥīḥ and traces it to ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf no.20758; Abū Nuʿaym, al-Ḥilyah 2:218; Ibn ʿAdiyy, al-Kāmil 3:163. (Cairo: Dār al-Gad al-Jadīd, 1438/2017).
In the Kitāb Sharīʿah of al-ʿĀjurrī he brings it in the second chapter, mentioning the command of the Prophet ﷺ to the Ummah to hold onto the Jamaʿāh and warning them from dividing into sects. (Kitāb Sharīʿah, 1:284). The researcher, Dr. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb b. ʿUmar b. Sulaymān al-Damijī graded it its chain Ṣaḥīḥ. He traces it to ʿAbd al-Razzāq, Muṣannaf no.20758 in summarised form; al-Marūdhī, al-Sunnah, 8, Ibn Waḍāh, al-Bidʿah Waʾl Nahya ʿAnhā, 32-33; LālikāʿI, Sharḥ Uṣūl 1:56 no.17; Ibn Baṭṭah, al-Ibānah al-Kubrā no.115, 138. (al-ʿĀjurrī, Kitāb Sharīʿah. 1:300 no.19. (Riyadh: Madār al-Waṭan Lil-Nashr, 1437/2016) 4th Edition).
Ibn Baṭṭah transmits it his al-Ibānah al-Kubrā, 1:113 no.146. The researcher Al-Ḥamdān fails to mention any tracing or a grade for it. (Ibn Baṭṭah, al-Ibānah al-Kubrā. (Beirut: Dār al-Lūʾlūʾ, 1439/2018) 2nd Edition). Ibn Baṭṭah also brings this report in the same chapter title as the of al-ʿAjurrī.
[i] – This is what the Khawārij did after that period, in terms of reckless killing, rebelling against the legitimate Muslim rulers, killing innocent people and making takfīr of the Muslims.
[ii] – He is the great Imām, Muḥammad b. Sirīn from the Salaf, well known for his stance against the people of innovation and desires.
This anecdote and advice of the Salaf advising to stick to the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ and not to deviate from the straight path. Abuʾl ʿĀliyyah talks about the Khawārij and their killing of ʿUthmān RaḍīAllāhu ʿAnhu, their enmity for him and making takfīr and opposing all those who loved and revered him. He rebukes their actions and their methodology by describing it as desires. The harms of these desires were splitting the unity of the Muslims and breaking away from the Jamāʿah of the Muslim body.
We also learn how the Salaf were uniform and in agreement in such matters of Creed and Manhaj. All the aforementioned eminent Salafi Ahl al-Hadith scholars quote this account in the beginning of their respective Creed manuals, thereby giving weight to its content. Furthermore, the same Ahl al-Ḥadīth Salafī scholars place the account under the chapter of being united with the Muslim body and staying away from dividing into sects and groups.
Abuʾl ʿĀliyyah adds, such ideas and ideologies that opposes the path of the companions, not only are they deviation, but they will also sow seeds of hatred in the Muslim Ummah. This is what we see, the oblivious individual, in addition to being weak in his knowledge and comprehension, is vehemently ardent in misguiding and confusing the Sunni Muslims. Individuals like Bro Hajji, are a 3D epitome and prime example of what the Salaf warned us from, they are nothing except concubines of the Khawārij, standing or sitting. They opened the doors for the worshippers of grave, the Rawafidh and sowed seeds of doubting the understanding of the illustrious Ṣaḥābah.
The statement was profound – it led ʿĀṣim Aḥwāl to inform Ḥasan al-Baṣrī who endorsed the advice. Āṣim Aḥwāl then informs the daughter of Muḥammad b. Sirīn, who advices him to inform her father. This aspect of the account highlights how the eminent Salaf valued advice from their predecessors and hence its great importance. The Salaf named in this account were mounts of knowledge and all of them warned us from the Khārijī renegades, just like we see today.
Unbeknown to these off-the-shelf renegades, hurling labels like Madkhalis, Murji’s and institutional one thing or another, while being dreary, pathetic and unwanted shrieks does not and In-shāʾ-Allāh will not harm us and neither is it new for us. We have heritage and a rich history that extends to the Salaf, a little further than the walls of their front rooms and videos. Will they have the audacity to label 5 of the Salaf, Abuʾl ʿĀliyyah, ʿĀṣim Aḥwāl, al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, Hafṣah bint Sirīn and Muḥammad b. Sirīn? as Madkhalis, waste papers institutionalised bootlickers?
It is embarrassing to see Bro Hajji relying on substandard research and mediocre arguments. I have the displeasure of seeing a short clip today, and this poor individual was struggling to read basic technical terms and names in English, yet he wants to cause confusion on issues which are well over his job description.
Let, these words of the Salaf be an admonition for Bro Hajji and his sympathisers.