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How Can We Tell What is True Islaam?

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    How Can We Tell What is True Islaam?

    Determining the Right Way

    From al-Hudaa Magazine

    All the Praises are for Allah and Salutation is for the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) and his family and all those that follow him, doing good works until the Day of Resurrection.

    The very first generation of Muslims that lived and established Islăm in their lives with Muhammad (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), the son of 'Abdullah, had glory and triumph that no nation that existed before them or any that came after them achieved. This is a reality which no one denies.
    Thus we find that every conscious Muslim dreams about this reality and so in his own way tries to work for this glory to return within his life and the life of those around him. However, to dream is one thing and the reality is another. The Muslims although they are now the fastest growing nation, are also the most divided. This division was predicted by the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), who said:

    The Jews were divided into seventy one (71) groups and the Christians
    were divided into seventy two (72), any my Ummah (Nation) will divide into
    seventy three (73), each of which would be in the Fire except one...

    Although this prediction is established in the Hadeeth above, yet it is not approved by Islăm. On the contrary, Allah (Subhannah wa Ta'aala) had commanded the Muslims to unite, He (Ta'aala) said:

    Hold fast all together to the rope of Allah and be not divided..
    [Al Qurăn 3:103]

    The division of this Ummah started very early after the death of the Messenger of Allah (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam). After Islăm became strong and its enemies found that they could not defeat it physically, they started to attack it by undermining the faith of the common people and those newly converted to Islăm by introducing new concepts that were alien to the Islăm brought by Muhammad (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam). This wave of attack brought about an almost total standstill to the quest for sound knowledge and facilitated the easy spread of deviant concepts and new innovations in this Deen. The vast majority of Muslims are now totally lost and their understanding of Islăm was very much diluted with deviant ideas which allowed anyone who wanted to captialize on the ignorant to do so with ease. People now lost the correct way and so they did not know what method to use to understand this Deen. Therefore, instead of referring matters of belief ('Aqeedah) to the Qur'ăn and the Sunnah they turned to the books of philosophy which, although written by Muslims, were all affected by the Greek, Persian and other prevalant thoughts of that time.

    Issues of fiqh (jurisprudence) on the other hand were completely restricted to the four Imăms. And so as time went by the people became totally fanatical about their Madh-hab (school of thought). This caused the noble Imăms to be treated by their followers as the prophets ought to be treated (i.e. as if they were protected from errors). Whatever any of them said was taken as totally correct by those who followed them (as if it were revelation). Even if a verse from the Qur'ăn or an authentic saying of the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) was brought as an argument against what the Imăm said, their followers left what Allah or the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said and followed their Imăms. This dangerous state of affairs led to blind following (Taqleed) of humans at the expense of revelation.

    Blind following of other than Allah and His Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) along with widespread ignorance was definitely the major sources of all the division that occurred in the Deen. This was now what Islăm became to the people. And this attitude closed the doors of Ijtihad. Proofs were no longer looked into to understand anything in the Islăm and the Qur'ăn and the Sunnah of the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) which must be used for our guidance now became means for the Muslim of acquiring blessings (Barakah).

    This further led to the state where anyone could now give Fatawas (Legislative rulings in Islăm) and also say anything he felt like saying about Islăm because there was no threat that anyone would ask for proof from the Qur'ăn or the Sunnah. On the other hand the people who were listening to him had no basis to determine whether what they are hearing is correct or not because they themselves have lost any attachment to sources of Islămic law.

    This condition of ignorance and blind following was also predicted by the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam), who said:

    Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people,
    but (this is done) by causing (the death) of the scholars until none of them is left
    alive. People would then appoint ignorant leaders for themselves who would be
    consulted in matters of Religion and they would give Fatawas without Knowledge,
    falling into misguidance, and misguiding others.


    The Solution

    The Messenger of Allah (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said:

    O mankind, I am leaving two things with you, if you cling to them you
    will never go astray. The Book of Allah and my way of life (As Sunnah).

    [Al-Hăkim and Al-Baihaqi]

    This hadeeth is laying the basis for the Muslim if he does not want to go astray. It follows, therefore, that if at anytime someone finds himself going astray, then he is not holding on to one or both of these sources. The problem we face, however, is that every Muslim stands by this claim, that they are holding on to the Qur'ăn and the Sunnah - So how can anyone determine whose claim is correct?

    The Messenger of Allah (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) left this way very clear for us as he said:

    I am leaving you on a clear way, its night is like its day, and none
    turns away from it except that he would be destroyed.

    He told us that the way he left is very clear, and then in the following Ahadeeth he explained for us what it is. He (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said:

    The Jews were divided into seventy one groups and the Christians
    were divided into seventy-two, and my Ummah will be divided into seventy
    three and each of them will be in the fire except one.
    The Companions asked: "Who are they, O messenger of Allah?" He (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said:

    They are those who are on the like of what I, and my Companions are on.

    And in another Hadeeth, he (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) said:

    The best people is my generation then those that follow them,
    then those who follow them.

    In the above hadeeth the Prophet (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) is telling us [that] the way to understand the Qur'ăn and the Sunnah is the way the Sahaabah understood and practised it.

    If the understanding of the Qur'ăn and the Sunnah of any group coincides with the understanding of the Companions (radiallaahu 'anhum) in all issues, then that group would be the one that is on the Truth. It must also be very clear that only one group, of all the groups that are existing, is on the correct way as is explained in the hadeeth.

    The saying of Allah (Subhannah wa Ta'aala) further emphasises that there is only one way. He (Ta'aala) said:

    Whoever opposes the Messenger after the guidance has been clearly
    shown to him, and follows other than the way of the Believers, We shall keep
    him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in hell, and what an evil destination.

    [Al-Qurăn 4:115]

    Who were the Believers during the time the Qur'ăn was being revealed?...

    Were they not other than the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) and the first generation of Believers [the Sahaabah (radiallaahu 'anhum)]?...

    So Allah (Ta'aala) is also making it very clear that there is only one way i.e. the way of the Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam) and his Companions (radiallaahu 'anhum).

    My brothers and sisters, life is short so we must make sure that before we die we secure the key that will take us to Al-Jannah (Heaven). Let us not follow Allah's Religion based on customs and based on our desires, but let us keep an open mind and beg Allah (Ta'aala) to guide us to the Truth that was left very clear for us by Him (Ta'aala) and His Messenger (salallaahu 'alayhee wa sallam).

    May Allah guide us all to the Straight Way of Islăm. Ameen!

    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

    Jazak Allah khair, brother.

    Rabbeshrah lee sadree; wa yassirlee amree; yafqahoo qaulee.