The Obligation of Adhering to the Sunnah
Abu Najeeh al-Irbaad ibn Saariyah (radi Allahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) gave us a profound admonition that frightened the hearts and caused the eyes to shed tears. So we said, “O Messenger of Allah, it is as if it is a farewell admonition, so advise us.” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “I advise you with having fear of Allah, The Mighty, The Majestic, and hearing and obeying even if your ruler was a slave. For surely, he who lives from amongst you will see much differing, so it is upon you to be upon my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Bite on to it (i.e. the Sunnah) with your back molar teeth, and beware of newly invented matters for surely every innovation (Bid’ah) is misguidance.”
[Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi - Classed as Hadith Hasan Sahih]
From the Benefits of this hadith:
- The enthusiasm of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in admonishing his Companions, since he would give them effective exhortations that frightened the hearts and caused the eyes to shed tears.
- It is appropriate that the person departing leaves his Companions with an effective profound admonition since the farewell admonitions are not forgotten.
- The advice of fearing Allah, The Mighty, The Majestic. This is the advice of Allah to the first and last (of the people) due to His statement, The Exalted (interpretation of the meaning): “We have advised the people of the Scripture before you and you that you all fear Al1aah.” [an-Nisaa 4:131]
- The advice of hearing and obeying the rulers, and Allah has ordered, that in His statement (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Obey Allah, obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you.” [an-Nisaa 4:59] This command is conditional in that he is not obeyed in disobedience to Allah. lf he orders you to commit a sin then do not listen to him. There is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to Allah.
- The enthusiasm of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). Just as he was enthusiastic in conveying the legislation to them at times, he also admonished them with exhortations that softened and affected the hearts.
- The preacher should give admonitions that are effective in their style and method of delivery, but this is conditional that he does not bring any unauthentic or fabricated ahadith since some preachers bring unauthentic and fabricated ahadith claiming that it aids in swaying the hearts. Even if this is beneficial, there is still harm in it. It is established on the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) that he said: “Whoever relays a hadith on me knowing that it is a lie then he is one of the liars.”
- There is no advice more virtuous and complete than the advice to fear Allah, The Mighty, The Majestic.
- The advice of hearing and obeying the rulers even if they were slaves.
- Adhering to the Sunnah of the Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) especially when difference and division occurs. Due to this he said, “So it is upon you to be upon my Sunnah.”
- It is appropriate to have severe adherence to the point that it (i.e. the Sunnah) is bitten onto with the back molar teeth so that it does not slip away from the people.
- A warning from newly invented novelties, and the intent here is innovations in the religion. As for innovations in the world, then they are examined. If there is benefit in it, it is not warned from. As for this occurring in the religion, it is obligatory to warn from it due to what it causes of division in the religion of Allah, separation, and the Ummah (Muslim nation) neglecting itself.
- Every innovation is misguidance. There is no such thing as good innovations as some scholars claim. Rather, all innovations are misguidance. So whoever thinks an innovation is good, then it does not extend pass two affairs: Either it is not an innovation and he thought it was an innovation, or it is not good and he thought it was good, or it is an innovation and good, and this is impossible due to his statement “For surely every innovation (bid’ah) misguidance.”
And Allah Knows Best!