Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Abul Hasan Malik – reading from the works of Shaikh Muhammad ibn Hadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) – gave a khutbah under the heading “Boycotting the People of Innovation and Desires.”
Addressing those who leave the path of the Salaf to compromise with ahlul-bidah, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Hadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) said:
Some of them try to make excuses (for leaving Ahlus-Sunnah [The Saved Sect] and joining Ahlul-Bid’ah) (saying), “If I don’t do this, I’ll find some harm in the University. Maybe, I will not get accepted.” Or “maybe I won’t get my Masters.” Or whatever it may be from their statements. If I don’t do these things, the organization that I am with, I will find some harm within my organization.
But the reality is opposite to what they say. The truth is that no harm was going to come to them. They construe things. And the door of ta`weel (interpretation) is expansive. Once one starts making interpretations, how far can one go. No harm has come to him, but he imagines this. He puts it in his mind [convinces himself] that if he doesn’t do these things [compromise with ahlul-bidah], some harm will come to him and he’ll be destroyed.
May Allaah have mercy on our pious predecessors who understood the likes of these things, and therefore were extremely firm against it. Because this kind of person [who desires to leave the truth for falsehood, sell his religion] is dangerous to others, if he remains upon the Sunnah. He becomes a proof for everyone who wants to deviate. That individual, with his excuses and falsehood, becomes an excuse for everyone who tries to deviate and intends to deviate from the straight path. They use him as a hujjah (evidence, proof). This is IF he remains upon the Sunnah, but the majority of those – the likeness of whom we have mentioned – end up becoming like the people of desires.
Abu Bakr al-Marroodi, the companion of Imam Ahmad ibni Hanbal [d.241H], mentioned about Ahmad ibni Hanbal [The Imam of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah in his time] that Yahya ibnu Ma’een (the great imam of hadeeth) entered upon Imam Ahmad ibni Hanbal and gave him salaams. Imam Ahmad did not return the salaams to Yahya ibni Ma’een.
Imam Ahmad did not return the salaams to Yahya ibni Ma’een. Yahya ibni Ma’een was a great Imam of hadeeth, from the leaders of the People of Hadeeth, but at the time of the fitnah when the people were falsely saying, “The Qur`an is created,” Yahya ibni Ma’een was from those who when threatened [with beating], he gave in and said, “The Qur`an was created,” not believing it, but he said it so he wouldn’t be beaten. And because of this, Imam Ahmad lam yarud ‘alaihi salaam (did not return the salaam to him).
[Now, I want to make mention of this, ikhwaan, I’m going to tell you a story to show you who Yahya ibni Ma’een was. Someone came to Ahmad ibn Hanbal and said, “I have some narrations; in them are errors (mistakes), so can you point them out for me. What did Imam Ahmad say? “It is upon you to go to Abu Zakariyah (who was Yahya ibnu Ma’een). For indeed, he knows the error in hadith. So this is an imaam – a great scholar of hadith, and imam of the Sunnah – whom Imam Ahmad originally told the people to go to beyond the shadow of a doubt. So do not be in doubt who this man was.]
Shaikh Muhammad ibn Hadee continued: “And who is like Yahya ibn Ma’een? But the point is this: he gave salaam to Imam Ahmad, and Imam Ahmad did not return the salaam. Imam Ahmad took an oath that he would never speak to those who spoke in the fitnah of the [deviated, invented belief] of the creation of the Qur`an. So he was fulfilling his oath, ikhwaan. Yahya Ibnu Ma’een was from those mutaa`awaleen. So Imam Ahmad did not give him the salaam. Listen to [read] this story; in it are so many benefits.
So Yahya began to make excuses for himself before Imam Ahmad ibni Hanbal. He said, “Ya Aba ‘Abdillaah (O father of ‘Abdillaah) Hadith ‘Ammaar. (What about the hadith of ‘Ammaar ibnu Yaasir?)”
‘Ammaar was the companion of the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), who when the mushrikin (polytheists) beat him and punished him and told him to deny the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), he denied the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) [on the tongue only]. Then, he went to the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and told him what happened. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said to him:
“How do you find your heart?” He said: mutama`inna bil eeman (strong in faith). Then the Prophet told him: fa idha ‘addu fa ‘udd (if they do the same thing to you, then do the same thing again).
We have to listen to the fiqh that Imam Ahmad extracted from this affair. So Yahya ibnu Ma’een brought this narration to Imam Ahmad as a hujjah (evidence) to defend himself. And he mentioned the ayah:
Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith… (An-Nahl 16:106)
After mentioning that ayah and the narration of ‘Ammaar, Imam Ahmad did not respond to him and he turned his face away from him – toward the wall. He didn’t respond and looked away from him, so Yahya left and said, “Uff” [an expression of disgust]. Yahya said, “We make excuses and he doesn’t accept them from us. And Allaah said: Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith… (An-Nahl 16:106)”
Then he sat outside the door of Imam Ahmad. He didn’t leave. He waited until Abu Bakr Marroodi (the narrator of this narration) left the house of Imam Ahmad, and Yahya asked him, “What did Ahmad say? Did he say anything?” Abu Bakr Marroodi said, “Na’aam (yes)!” Yahya asked, “What did he say?”
Marroodi said: I heard him say: Hadeeth ‘Ammaar. Hadeeth ‘Ammaar. [Meaning are you going to use the the hadeeth of ‘Ammaar?] Then Ahmad mentioned the ayah: Whoever disbelieved in Allaah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith… (An-Nahl 16:106)
Imam Ahmad was rejecting Yahya’s use of this hadeeth and ayah as a hujjah (proof) for his actions.
Listen to (read) what Imam Ahmad extracted from this narration. He said,
“As for ‘Ammaar, what comes in the narration is: Ammaar said: ‘I passed by the mushrikeen (polytheists), and I found them cursing you and belittling you. So I forbade them and rebuked them for doing this. Then they beat me.’
But as for you, when they told you they were going to beat you, you gave in. They didn’t actually beat you; they just said they were going to beat you, and you answered (gave in). You were not beaten. They said they were going to beat you, and you gave in.
(In other words, as for ‘Ammaar, he was actually beaten. And then after the suffering that he couldn’t take any more, then he said this. As for you, you didn’t even get beaten. They threatened you, and you said “khalaas” (that’s it, I’m giving in).)
So Yahya ibnu Ma’een said [this ikhwaan, is Insaaf (justice)]:
“Lillaahi Darruk, ya Aba ‘Abdillaah” (Allaah has given you success, oh Abu ‘Abdillaah). “Murr, ya Aba ‘Abdillaah” (Do as you must do, oh Abu ‘Abdillaah). This was Yahya ibnu Ma’een, whom Imam Ahmad had just refused to give salaam and shunned.
If someone says a word about us – even if it is the haqq (truth) regarding us – we turn from them and curse them and speak evil of them. But the imams of the Sunnah “Murr, ya Aba ‘Abdillaah.” Where are we from these individuals of the Salaf-us-saleh. Yahya said, “Do as you must do, oh Abu ‘Abdillaah, for I do not know of anyone under the heavens more knowledgeable (having greater fiqh in these affairs) than you Imam Ahmad. This is after Imam Ahmad turned away from him, and refused to return the salaam to him.
Look at the difference: ‘Ammaar was beaten after he rebuked them. And the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: if they repeat this, you say the same thing. But as for you, it was said, “we’re going to beat you, and you answered (gave in) immediately.”
So as for these who leave Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah and leave the people of guidance, and say, “They’re going to harm me if I don’t do this, that or the other. So they go [give in] immediately; no harm has even touched them yet. They haven’t even spoken out first, and then found some harm. They just shut up (gave in) immediately. So they sell their religion for the dunya (wordly life). So look at the justness and fairness of Yahya ibnu Ma’een, who said to Ahmad, “Say what you need to say.” This is the true fiqh of the religion of Allaah.
So these people have sold the religion for the dunya for (a reason) that they only imagined, due to their weakness. They sell their Religion. So nothing remains from them from the Deen, and their dunya will not be established for them. So they go with the people of bid’ah and hizbiyah, and become soiled with the filth of bid’ah and hizbiyah, and have left their brothers and the scholars and have become of those people of bid’ah.
Ash-Sha’bee (rahimahullaah) narrated that the Salaf used to say:
“Do not ask anyone after three matters: who he enters and leaves with; whom he walks down the street with; and whom he sits with.”
So if you see who a man walks with, whom he sits with, and whom he companions, what do you want to know about him after that?
Article originally from brother Maher Attiyeh