Ramadan 1433 H
I am just posting some information about our creed which is known as the Ahl Sunna wal Jama'a and the orthodox standard of our creed as compared to the Mu'tazila and Shi'a Muslim creed. Since I am officially of Hanbali school now because I received the kitabs from Saudi da'awa departments when I went for Mecca to "revert" and also perform pilgrimage with my mother who is a loyal Shafi'ie jurisprudence follower. I would like brothers and sisters to know that there were tasawwuf practitioners amongst the orthodox Hanbali jurisprudence adherents and they were not as hostile to other Muslims of difference jurisprudence schools as the Wahhabi movement followers. I am just pasting the standard one and not of my country's definition yet because the majority of my country men are the Shafi'ie jurisprudence followers while some of Indian descent are of Hanafi jurisprudence.
Our country also has Shari'a court in parallel with Civil court. Maybe brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are interested to see the challenges, prospects or opportunities for Shari'a applications in policy and decision-making because it can be observed in parallel or in co-operation with the Civil ones when Muslims live among the non-Muslims. Just to clear the confusion about Sharia as an uncivilized system. It is a divinely revealed system of life and nature. I am sure those who are involved in the legal field would understand this because my lecturer for European law subject and thesis supervisor who was a civil attorney also mentioned about the divine law. She is not religious anyway but a feminist researcher. When I discussed this with a Jew friend, he also mentioned about the same thing based from Ibnu Maimun (Spanish Jew teacher) exegesis of their scriptures regarding the part of Genesis on the Noach covenant with the God and this is passed orally to his children and descents of human-being.
The explanation about the creed is given by Dr. Sulayman b. Qaasim al-Eid regarding on the meaning of the Sunnah. Sunnah has many meanings. In my personal understanding, the Sunnah generally refers to traditions of prophets and messengers of Allah. Specifically, it refers to the traditions inherited from our noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w. So, this is my personal understanding. I am not a teacher as I always strongly emphasize in some of the posts for brothers and sisters to please avoid spreading anything out of here without consulting your "qualified and certified" teachers as I was also a non-Islamic "philosophical" studies student which is not really a beneficial field of study. However, I could detect the origin of some "weird" practices by others through those experiences, hehe. Let us see what is the standard one by academic level of Shari'a studies about the Sunnah.
Linguistically, the Sunnah refers to clarification, way or road and a normal custom. In Islamic sciences Sunnah has few terminological or technical meanings too for example:
1. In Fiqh (Jurisprudence), it refers to something preferred or if performed, the person is rewarded but if left, it is not sinful. I guess in jurisprudence, everyone should acknowledge this and why there are differences in schools of jurisprudence is because they follow different kinds or angles of Sunnah which was practiced by people during the Medina period.
2. For Usul al-Fiqh, Sunnah refers to one of the agreed upon portions of proof used in Islamic jurisprudence. There are also two kinds of Sunnah as for example in salat services of worshiping component.
3. In Hadith, Sunnah means anything which is connected to the prophet Muhammad s.a.w in terms of his statements, actions, his silence and things he accepted because he is our greatest teacher and prophet.
4. In Aqidah (creed), Sunnah refers to matters which opposed innovation. This is the practice of the Hanbalis or the Salaf followers. Regarding on innovations, there are discussions about this and I am sure there would be polemics about certain things such as the special events among those who follows the neo-Salafi movements and the Wahhabi movements or with those who are not attached with any movements but simply identify their selves with Islam and only as the Ahl Sunna wal Jama'a. Also conflicts with followers of other schools of jurisprudence because the Hanbali muqallidin actually could not exercise his own legal decision-making unless if he knows at least 5000 traditions.
What does al-Jama'a means? This noun could be divided into four meanings:
1. Al-Ijtimaa' which means the opposite to separation and a collective assembly.
2. Al-Jama' means the name of a group of people.
3. Al-Ijma'a referring to agreement upon a ruling.
4. Al-Jama'a refers to a large number of people.
What does Islamic meanings for al-Jama'a?
1. The companions of prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
2. The scholars of guidance.
3. A group upon the truth, without separating.
4. The group of Muslims, the Sawaad al-'Azam.
5. The Muslim rulers and those who they place in charge of the affairs.
6. A group from amongst the people who agreed upon something example the congregation of a mosque.
Ahl Sunna wal Jama'a
Ahl Sunna wal Jama'a in this note refers to:
1. The companions of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w and those who follow them in term of guidance.
2. The specialists and practitioners of hadiths.
3. The people of narrations or athari, usually among the Hanbalis who refuse to interpret anything about the God mentions about Himself from Quranic texts nor trying to fit any philosophical meanings to it if there is no evidence in the Sunnah but simply leaving it just like that and this is used in "debate" by others to accuse the Hanbalis as "imagining" the God resembles His creatures with "mass". In this part, I believe that if the God says that He is as that or as this in the Quran, then it is it! No more interpretation no more long-winding "philosophical" talk whether the God is in form of spirit or mass. He is only the God or Allah. I don't know if I am also in the category of mujassim by having such a believe, lol. I asked some people who accused us about the God with the "mass" and they answered me that the God exists as spirit. I just asked myself is this what the God tells about Himself in the Quran and in the Sunnah? I read what the honorable Sheikh Muhammad Metwalli Sha'arawi wrote in the "Miracle of the Quran" that the God is not framed in the time and in the space. Spirit is still framed within time and space and those of "philosophical" studies were developed from theories which is of no base from our scripture, namely the Quran and the Sunnah of prophet Muhammad s.a.w. How dare these people said things which Allah never ascribe to Himself yet accuse others with what others never imagine about Him...
4. The righteous predecessors.
5. The saved creed and victorious group of people.
Rules Regarding the Method of the Ahl Sunna wal Jama'a Understanding the Issues of Creed
1. The Quran and Sunnah is the sources in which to turn back to.
2. Neglecting to enter into rhetoric or philosophy, and being sufficed with the Quran and Sunnah.
a. The Salaf were careful as to only gain beneficial knowledge.
b. The Salaf followers forbid every type of innovation.
c. The Salaf followers wrote refutations against the innovators
3. The Sunnah is a proof, including reports with only one route (khabr ahad).
4. Relying on the understanding of the Companions and those who followed after them.
5. Submission for that which comes from the revelations. While believing it is completely acceptable to the mind (al-'Aql).
6. The negation of putting forward the understanding of innovators, or the mind before the texts.
7. In order to understand the texts, we must look at all the texts. Don't single one out without seeing others to explain it.
8. Understanding the Motashabeh verses with the Mohkam verses. It must come from the Quran itself and not from other works.
I can't stop listening to simple Surat al-Baqara recitation by Sheikh al-Kaadouli until I did not sleep this whole night, hehe. I also listened to recitations of Mr. Bousenna Abdel Monaim from St. Etienne Mosque in France. I am envious to see them memorizing the Quran and I only could memorize some parts of it which makes me hate myself. Have a nice week end and wishing brothers and sisters beneficial holy days. We can fast optional fast too before the 10th of Dzulhijja and if we had already substituted the past Ramadan fasting that we had left then it is mustahab to fast. Learn as much as possible the meanings of Qurban in the near coming 'Aidul Adha in order to seek closeness to the God. I am praying for the increasing faith in our heart and may Allah protect us from deviation. Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa aali Muhammad. Walking for the musalla salaat al-Fajr at the first point, alhamdulillah : )
Sealed with prayers of mercy, peace and love, amin!