The Signs Of Ahlul-Bid’ah – The People Of Innovation

Imaam Abu ‘Uthmaan Ismaa’eel ibn ‘AbdurRahmaan as-Saaboonee [d.449AH]
Taken From His Great Book ‘Aqeedatus-Salaf As.Haabul-Hadeeth
Published By: Masjid Ibnu Taymeeyah

148. The signs of Ahlul-Bid’ah are not hidden but are apparent. Their most apparent sign and trait is their intense enmity and hatred for the carriers of the ahaadeeth of the Prophet, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam). They look down at them and they name them Hashwiyyah, Jahalah, Dhaahiriyyah and Mushshabihah because of their different beliefs regarding the ahaadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam) ; that it does not contain knowledge, and that knowledge which the shaytaan gives them as a result of their corrupt minds, the whisperings of their darkened breasts, the misgiving notions of their hearts which are devoid of any good and their speech and invalid proofs. In fact they are nothing more than untenable and false doubts.
“They are the ones who Allaah has cursed. So He has made them deaf and blinded in their vision.”[1]

“And whomsoever Allaah disgraces, none can honour. Indeed Allaah does what He wills.”[2]

149. Al-Haakim Aboo ‘Abdullaah al-Haafidh, informed me from Aboo ‘Alee al-Hussain ibn ‘Alee al-Haafidh, who heard from Ja’far ibn Ahmad ibn Sinaan al-Waasitee, who heard from Ahmad ibn Sinaan al-Qataan, who said:

“There is no innovator in the world except that he hates the People of Hadeeth. Whenever a man innovates, the sweetness of the ahaadeeth is removed from his heart.”[3]

150. Al-Haakim informed me from Aboo al-Hussain Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Handhalee, who heard from Aboo Ismaa’eel Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel at-Tirmidhee, who said:

“I and Ahmad ibn al-Hasan at-Tirmidhee were with the Imaam of the Religion Aboo ‘Abdullaah Ahmad ibn Hanbal when Ahmad ibn al-Hasan said to him, ‘O Aboo Abdullaah! They mentioned to Ibn Abee Qutailah, in Makkah, about the People of Hadeeth. So he (Ibn Abee Qutailah) replied, ‘The People of Hadeeth are a bad people’.’

Ahmad ibn Hanbal stood up and shook the dust off his clothes and left, saying, ‘Zindeeq (heretic), Zindeeq, Zindeeq,’ until he entered his home.”[4]

151. Al-Haakim Aboo ‘Abdullaah informed me from Aboo Nasr Ahmad ibn Sahl al-Faqhee in Bukhaara, who heard Aboo Nasr ibn Salaam al-Faqhee say:

“There is nothing more difficult upon the heretics and more hated to them than the listening and transmitting of ahaadeeth, with their asaaneed.”[5]
152. I heard al-Haakim say, that he heard the Shaykh Aboo Bakr Ahmad ibn Ishaaq ibn Ayyoob al-Faqhee say whilst he was debating with a man:
“‘Such a person related to me…’ (i.e. he related a hadeeth to the man).
The man replied, ‘Leave this relating business, up to where will you relate from.’ So the Shaykh responded by saying:

‘Stand O unbeliever, it is not allowed for you to enter my home after this.’

He turned to us and said:
‘I have never said this to anyone before him, not to enter my house, except him.’”[6]
153. I heard Aboo Mansoor Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Hamshaad the scholar az-Zaahid, raheemahullaah, say that he heard Aboo al-Qaasim Ja’far ibn Ahmad al-Muqree ar-Raazee say that it was read over ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Abee Haatim ar-Raazee and I was listening, that he heard his father the Imaam of his country Aboo Haatim Muhammad ibn Idrees al-Handhalee ar-Raazee say:

“The traits of Ahlul-Bid’ah are that they battle with the people of narrations. A trait of the Zanaadiqah is that they name the people of narrations as Hashwiyyah, intending by that the relegation of the narrations. A trait of the Qadariyyah is that they name AhlusSunnah as Mujabbirah. A trait of the Jahmiyyah is that they name AhlusSunnah as Mushshabihah. A trait of the Rawaafidhah is that they name the People of Hadeeth as Naabitah or Naasibah.”[7]

154. It is all from party spirit, as there is no name for Ahl us-Sunnah except the name Ahlul-Hadeeth (The People of Hadeeth).

155. I see that the Ahl ul-Bid’ah, by attaching these names to Ahl us-Sunnah, are following the behaviour of the unbelievers, may Allaah curse them, who were present in the time of the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam). They sought to harass him by calling him names. Some of them would say that he is a magician. Some would say a sorcerer. Some would say a poet. Some would say a madman, a charmer, a fabricator or a liar. The Prophet, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), was far and free from those abuses. He was merely a Messenger, Mustapha, and a Prophet, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam).
“See how they can make similitudes for you. So they have gone astray and they will not be able to find the (straight) path.”[8]
156. Also the innovators, may Allaah destroy them, seek to attack and try to cause controversy over the carriers and transmitters of his ahaadeeth, those who seek to follow him and seek guidance through his Sunnah. They are known as the People of Hadeeth. They labeled them as Hashwiyyah, Mushshabihah, Naabitah, Naasibah or Jabariyyah. The People of Hadeeth are far (protected) from these labels, being free, pure and clean from them.
They are not anything, other than the people of the complete Sunnah; the approved way; the level path and the decisive proofs. Allaah, The Most Majestic, has given them the tawfeeq to adhering to His Book, His Revelation and His Message, they follow the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), through his narrations in which he ordered with good for his Ummah, by way of speech and actions, and in which he kept them from evil. He (Allaah) helped them to follow his, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), Seerah and achieve guidance by attaching themselves to his Sunnah. He made the ones who adhere to it his closest allies.
He (Allaah) opened their hearts to love him and the aa’immah of His Sharee’ah and the scholars of the Ummah. One who loves a people, then he will be with them on the Day of Resurrection, as the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), said:
“A man will be with those whom he loves.” [9]


f o o t n o t e s
1 Sooratul-Muhammad (47):23
2 Sooratul-Hajj (22):18
3 Related in al-Ma’rifah (p.4) and also related by al-Baghdaadee in Sharf Ashaab ul-Hadeeth (p.7) with a Saheeh isnaad.
4 Related in al-Ma’rifah (p.4) and also related by al-Baghdaadee (p.74)
5 Related in al-Ma’rifah (p.4) and also related by al-Baghdaadee (p.73-74)
6 Also related by as-Subkee in at-Tabaqaat (3:10). Its isnaad is Saheeh
7 [Ibn Abee Haatim also mentions it in his Usoolus-Sunnah wa ‘Itiqaad ud-Deen (p.21-22), al-Laalakaa’ee (2:179) and adhDhahabee in Mukhtasir al-‘Uloom (256). The isnaad is Saheeh.
8 Sooratul-Furqaan (25):9
9  Related by al-Bukhaaree (6168), Muslim (2640), Aboo Daawood (5127) and at-Tirmidhee (2505-2507).]
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The Signs Of Ahlus-Sunnah – The People Of The Sunnah

Imaam Abu ‘Uthmaan Ismaa’eel ibn ‘AbdurRahmaan as-Saaboonee [d.449AH]
Taken From His Great Book ‘Aqeedatus-Salaf As.Haabul-Hadeeth
Published By: Masjid Ibnu Taymeeyah

157. One of the signs of AhlusSunnah is their love for the Aa’immah (Imaams) of the Sunnah, the scholars, its friends and allies. They show enmity to the leaders of Bid’ah, who are calling to Hell and leading its followers to the place of failure. Indeed Allaah, The One free from all deficiencies, has adorned the hearts of AhlusSunnah and enlightened them by instilling a love for the scholars as a favor from Him, The Most Majestic.
158. Al-Haakim Aboo ‘Abdullaah al-Haafidh, may Allaah house him and us in Paradise together, informed me from Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem ibn al-Fadl al-Muzakkee, who related from Ahmad ibn Salamah, who related that Aboo Rajaa Qutaibah ibn Sa’eed read to us from his book al-Eemaan. (It was written at the end of the book):

“If you observe a man loving Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.161), Maalik bin Anas (d.179), al-Awzaa’ee (d.157), Shu’bah (d.160), Ibn al-Mubaarak (d.181), Aboo al-Ahwas (d.179), Shareek (d.177), Wakee’ (d.197), Yahya ibn Sa’eed (d.145) and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Mahdee (d.198) then know that he is from AhlusSunnah.”

Ahmad ibn Salamah, raheemahullaah, said: “With my own writing I added to the list: Yahya ibn Yahya (d.226), Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d.241), and Ishaaq ibn Raahawaih (d.238). When we had completed this list, the People of Neesaaboor looked at us and they said that those people dislike Yahya ibn Yahya. So we said, ‘O Aboo Rajaa! What about Yahya ibn Yahya?’ He replied, ‘A righteous man and an Imaam of the Muslims.’ Ishaaq ibn Raahawaih is an Imaam and Ahmad ibn Hanbal is the greatest of those I have named.”

159. I also attach to this list the following which Qutaibah, raheemahullaah, has mentioned. For whoever loves them is a companion of the Sunnah. They are the scholars of hadeeth who are imitated and with their guidance people are rightly guided. From their group and party are others who are counted amongst them and those whose narrations are followed. You will find another group, more than what has just been mentioned. They are:

Muhammad ibn Idrees ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204) and Sa’eed ibn Jubair (d.95), az-Zuhree (d.124), ash-Sha’bee (d.103) and at-Taimee (d.143). Those after them are:

Laith ibn Sa’d al-Misree (d.175), al-Awzaa’ee (d.157), ath-Thawree (d.161), Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah (d.198), Hammaad ibn Salamah (d.167), Hammaad ibn Zaid (d.179), Yoonus ibn ‘Ubaid (d.139), Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (d.131), Ibn ‘Awn (d.150) and those after them like:

Yazeed ibn Haaroon al-Wasitee (d.206), ‘Abdur-Razzaq ibn Hammaam as-San’aanee (d.211), Jareer ibn ‘Abdul-Hameed ad-Dubee (d.188) and those after them like:

Muhammad ibn Yahya adhDhulee (d.258), Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel al-Bukhaaree (d.256), Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj al-Qushayree (d.261), Aboo Dawood as-Sijjistaanee (d.275), Aboo Zur’ah ar-Raazee (d.264), Aboo Haatim ar-Raazee (d.277), Ibn Abee Haatim (d.328), Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Warah (d.270), Muhammad ibn Aslam at-Toosee (d.242), Aboo Sa’eed ‘Uthmaan ibn Sa’eed ad-Daarimee (d.280), Muhammad ibn Ishaaq ibn Khuzaimah (d.311) who was called the Imaam of the scholars. In my lifetime he is indeed the Imaam of the scholars in his era and time. Aboo Ya’qoob Ishaaq ibn Ismaa’eel al-Bustee (d.303) and al-Hasan ibn Sufyaan an-Nasawee (d.303).

My forefathers from Aboo Sa’eed Yahya ibn Mansoor az-Zaahid al-Harwee (d.292), ‘Adee ibn Hamdawaih as-Saaboonee and his two sons, the two swords of the Sunnah Aboo ‘Abdullaah as-Saaboonee and Aboo ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Saaboonee and many other Aa’immah who adhered to the Sunnah, supporting it, calling to it and following it.
160. The total sum of what has been established in this book is the Creed of all of them. None of them opposed each other in this. On the contrary they were all united upon it and there is nothing established from any of them that they approved of anything which opposed it.
161. They were agreed upon subduing Ahlul-Bid’ah by debasing them, degrading them, keeping them afar, being distant from them, never accompanying them or living with them, and upon seeking a nearness to Allaah, The Most Mighty and The Most Majestic, by avoiding and abandoning them.
162. By the blessings of Allaah, The Most Mighty and The Most Majestic, I am following their narrations seeking enlightenment by their lights. I advise my brothers and companions that they do not be far from their rays and do not follow anything other than their sayings. Do not get involved in these newly invented matters from the Bid’ah which have spread between the Muslims and all other evil matters which have appeared. If one of these innovations appeared on the tongues of one of them in the time of those Aa’immah, they would have abandoned them, accused them of heresy and lies and developed hatred for them.

Do not be misled my brothers, may Allaah preserve you, by the numbers of Ahlul-Bid’ah, their size and the number of their groups. Indeed the large groups of falsehood and few in number from the people of the truth is one of the signs of the Day of Judgement, as the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), said:

“Indeed one of the signs of the last hour coming closer, is the diminishing of knowledge and the spreading of ignorance.” [1]
164. Knowledge is Sunnah and ignorance is Bid’ah.
165. He, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), said:

“Indeed, Eemaan will be driven back into al-Madeenah just as a snake returns to its hole.” [2]

166 He, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), said:

“The last hour will not arrive until there remains no one on the earth saying, Allaah.” [3]
167. One who adheres to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), today, acting on it, being firm on it and calling to it, his reward would be more than the one who did this in the beginning of Islaam, as the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), said:
“He will have the reward of fifty.”
They the Companions asked, ‘Fifty of them?’ He replied:
“Rather of you.” [4]
168. He, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), stated that about one who acts according to the Sunnah when the Ummah gets corrupted.

169. I found in a book written by my grandfather, Aboo ‘Abdullaah Muhammad ibn ‘Adee ibn Hamadawaih as-Saaboonee, raheemahullaah, it said he heard from Aboo al-‘Abbaas al-Hasan ibn Sufyaan an-Nasawee, who related from al-‘Abbaas ibn Sabeeh, who related from ‘Abdul-Jabbaar ibn Taahir, who related from Ma’mar ibn Raashid, who related from Ibn Shihaab az-Zuhree, who said:

“Studying of the Sunnah is better than performing worship for two hundred years.”
170. Aboo Bakr Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Muhammad ibn Zakariyyah ash-Shaybaanee informed me from Aboo al-‘Abbaas Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ad-Daghoolee, who heard from Muhammad ibn Haatim al-Mudhfaree, who heard from ‘Amr ibn Muhammad who said: Aboo Mu’aawiyyah ad-Dareer related a story to Haaroon ur-Rasheed, wherein he mentioned the hadeeth of Aboo Hurairah: “…Aadam and Moosa disputed.” [5] So ‘Alee ibn Ja’far said: ‘How is it that they disputed?! What was between them?’ Haaroon jumped up and said:
“A hadeeth is narrated to you from the Prophet, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), and you turn away and ask how?”
He kept on saying that until his anger abated. [6]
171. This is the way a person must glorify the narrations of the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam), accepting them with submission, approval and belief in it. Anyone who treads a path other than the one Haaroon ur-Rasheed trod should be opposed strongly. As an authentic hadeeth which one hears and questions it by saying “how” in a rejective manner [7], is distancing oneself from the hadeeth and not accepting it. It is an obligation to accept all that is reported from the Messenger of Allaah, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam).
172. I hope that Allaah, The One free from all deficiencies, has included us amongst those who listen to advice and follow it’s best/uppermost part and adhere to the Religion during the period of their life in this world with the Qur’aan and Sunnah. I hope that He keeps us away from our misguided whims, meager opinions and from a humiliating calamity, by His Blessings and Bounties.


f o o t n o t e s
1. It is related from Anas from the Prophet, (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam): “Amongst the signs of the last hour is the lifting up of knowledge and the appearance of ignorance.” Related by al-Bukhaaree (81,5577,6808), Muslim (2671), at-Tirmidhee (2315) and Ibn Maajah (4045).
2. by al-Bukhaaree (1876), Muslim (147) and Ibn Maajah (3111).
3. Related by Muslim (148), at-Tirmidhee (2317).
4. Related by Aboo Daawood (4341), at-Tirmidhee (3058), Ibn Maajah (4015) and at-Tabaraanee al-Kabeer (17:289). Its isnaad is Saheeh with the wording: “Indeed days of patience are to come. The adherents in that time will be upon that which you are upon and they will get the reward of fifty of you.”
5. Related by Ahmad (2.398), at-Tirmidhee (2134) and Ibn Abee ‘Aasim (140). The hadeeth has a Saheeh isnaad.
6. It has a Saheeh isnaad. See Taareekh Baghdaad (5:243).
7. TRANSLATORS NOTE – This does not include, the one who asks “how” in order to understand something which is not clear to him, but believing that there is no contradiction or error in that which is authentically reported from the Messenger (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi was-sallam).