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YET, WE ARE INDEBTED TO THEM




By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

It is unhealthy for anyone to talk as if we haven't gained anything from our parents and the past scholars in our society, despite their errors in some areas of 'aqeedah and 'ibaadah. Those people tried their best and we owe them some respect and not outright condemnation. We can condemn all that they did without basis from the Sunnah with wisdom and due respect. While condemning evils, emphasis should be placed on the evils being condemned and not the personality of its perpetrator. How to get the evil corrected should be our priority and not attack on personality. Then, we should laud whatever those past scholars did that are in conformity with the Sunnah without compromising the foundations of the shari'ah. 

We should not deceive ourselves, by the Will of Allaah, many of us are Muslims today because they were conscious Muslims and they tried their best to raise us in Islamic way (based on what was clear to them). They laid some good foundations for us. In most cases, the elementary  knowledge of Islãm they imparted in us later made the understanding of the Sunnah easier for us. I was listening to a lecture of our Ustadh, Abu Naasir, Ibrahim Abdulrauf حفظه الله on 'khushoo' (calmness) in solaah', and he remarked that preparation for the arrival of time of solaah is an attribute of a good Muslim. He mentioned how elders in our community then, used to prepare for solaah long before the arrival of its time. 

As small as I was then, I witnessed this practice from my grand parents. We used not to know the time of solaah was near until we see the old men and women coming out with their kettles and long miswaak (tooth cleaner). This is an important sunnah that many of us have abandoned today. Especially our women, it is hard to find them using miswaak these days. It is as if the miswaak is for men alone. The knowledge of the people of the past might not be as much as we have it today, but they tried their best. We can always raise some excuses for them in their areas of mistakes. Their case should be visited with mercy and sober reflections. They deserve our du'a, and not outright castigation. May Allaah forgive their shortcomings and accept them as His true servants.

Many of those who teach us Sunnah today are from these past scholars, they passed through their schools and tutelage. They learned from them Arabic and some other beneficial aspects of knowledge that aided their understanding of the Sunnah. Many of those who went through these past scholars are now doing very well in the da'wah of Sunnah. May Allaah keep them firm upon the truth.

I must confess that part of what assisted me to get to know the Sunnah and the path of the salaf is the poem I learnt long time ago from one them (Baba Oniwasi Agbaye رحمه الله). The poem explains the sactitity of following the path of the Companions رضي الله عنهم. It built the love of the Companions رضي الله عنهم in my heart. Anytime I come across any verse or hadith on the need to stick the Sunnah and the path of the salaf, the poem comes to mind. The poem made me to hate to follow anything that lacks basis from the Qur'an, Sunnah and the trustworthy scholars (people of hadith). With the poem, I was able to understand that we can only practise Islãm correctly by following their path. The poem mentioned the ten (10) Companions رضي الله عنه given glad tiding of paradise and their enviable and explary qualities. The poem reads thus:

ونشهــد أن اللــــه خص رسولـه ** بأصحابه الابرار فضلا وأيـدا

فهم خير خلق الله بعـــد نبيهم ** بهـم يقتدى في الدين كل من أقتــدى 

وأفضلهـم بعــد النبـــي محمـد ** أبو بكر الصديق ذو الفضل والندى 

لقد صدق المختـار فـــي كل قوله ** وآمن قبل النـاس حقا ووحـدا 

وفــاداه يـوم الغـار طوعا بنفسه ** وواساه بالأمـــوال حتـى تجردا

ومن بعده الفـــاروق لاتنس فضلـه ** لقد كان للإسلام حصنا مشيدا 

لقد فتح الفـاروق بالسيـف عنــوة ** كثيـر بــلاد المسلمين ومهدا 

وأظهر ديـــن الله بعـد خفائـه ** وأطفأ نـار المشركيــن وأخمـدا

وعثمان ذو النورين قد مات صائما ** وقد قـام بالقـرآن دهــرا تهجدا 

وجهزجيش العسر يوما بمـــاله ** ووسع للمختــار والصحب مسجدا 

وبايع عنه المصطفى بشمــــاله ** مبـايعة الرضوان حقا وأشهــدا 

ولاتنس صهر المصطفى وابن عمه ** فقد كان حبرا للعلوم وسيــــدا

وفــادى رسول الله طوعا بنفسه ** عشيــــة لما بالفـراش توسـدا 

ومن كـــان مولاه النبي فقد غدا ** علي لـــه بالحق مولى ومنجدا

وطلحتهم ثـم الزبير وسعدهـــم ** كـذا وسعـيد بالسعـادة أسعدا 

وكان ابن عوف باذل المال منفقـا ** وكان ابـن جراح أميـنا مؤيـدا 

ولاتنس بـاقي صحبـه أهل بيته**  وأنصاره والتــابعين على الهـدى 

فكلهـم أثنـى الإلـه عليـهـم ** وأثنى رسول الـله أيضـا وأكـدا

(عبد العزيز المحمد السلمان، كواشف الجلية عن معاني الواسطية،٧١٥-٧١٦)

I love this poem more yestetday when we were reading Sharhu Sunnah of Al Imaam Al-Barbahaare رحمه الله and we got to where the Sheikh was saying said:

فمن قدم أبا بكر وعر وعثمنا وعليا على جميع أصحاب رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ولم يتكلم في الباقين إلا بخير ودعا لهم, فقد خرج من التشيع أوله وآخره

Then, whoever places Abubakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali above all other Companions of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), and does not say about other Companions except that which is good, and supplicates for them, he is free of shiism from its begining to its end (See Sharhu Sunnah, pg 402)

On this Sheikh Fawzaan said:

والذي يتكلم في الصحابة أو في أحد منهم يكون من أهل الضلال

"And whoever talks ill of the Companions or any of them will be one of the misguided" (Sharhus Sunnah, pg 402)

May Allaah guide us aright.

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