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From the Manhaj

Consists of eleven points that are detrimental to the basic methodology (manhaj) of the Muslim.
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And what is required is to call the Muslims to stand steadfast upon the Religion of Allāh, and to uphold His Sharīʿah and to co-operate in doing good, and to fear Allāh. By this, their ranks will unite and their word will be one, and they will be a single body, a single building and a single army in opposition to their enemies.

Proceeding Upon Knowledge

Imām al-Bukhārī (d.256H) – raḥimahullāh- said:

‘‘Chapter: Knowledge comes before speech and actions, as Allāh – the Most High – said:

‘‘So have knowledge that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and seek forgiveness for your sins.’’
[Sūrah Muḥammad 47:7]

 So He began with knowledge before speech and actions.’’1


Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān – hafiẓahullāh- said:

‘‘Allāh – the Majestic, the Most High – orders us to verify any news that reaches us concerning a group or party from amongst the Muslims, when an evil news reaches us which necessitates fighting or opposing this group.  Allāh – the Majestic, the Most High – orders us not to be hasty and rush into this affair, until we have verified the matter.  Allāh the – the Most Perfect – said:

‘‘O you who believe!  When a wicked person comes to you with some news, ascertain and verify it, unless you harm someone in ignorance and then afterwards have regret for what you have done.’’
[Sūrah al-al-Ḥujurāt 49:6]

 Meaning: if some news reaches you about a group or party from amongst the people, concerning an action they have done which deserves to be fought against, then do not be hasty about the matter, nor announce war against them, nor attack them – until you have verified the authenticity of the report.’’2

Imām Muslim related in the introduction to his Ṣaḥīḥ(no. 5):

Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu) states that the Prophet said: ‘‘It is enough to render a man a liar that he relates everything he hears.’’

Safeguarding the Tongue

Imām al-Nawawī (d.676H) – raḥimahullāh- said:

‘‘Know that every person must safeguard his tongue from speaking, except that speech in which there is maslahah (benefit).  Whenever speaking and abandoning speech are of equal benefit, then the Sunnah is to remain silent.  For indeed speech which is permissible sometimes leads to that which is ḥarām (prohibited) or makrooh (detested).  Indeed this happens in most cases, or is a preponderant habit – and there is no better substitute for safety.  Al-Bukhārī relates in his Ṣaḥīḥ (11/308) as does Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ (no. 47), from Abū Hurayrah – raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu – that the Prophet said: ‘‘Whosoever believes in Allāh and the Last Day should either speak good or keep silent.’’  The authenticity of this ḥadīth has been agreed upon, and in it is a clear text that a person must not speak unless what he intends to say is good and that the benefit of it is clear to him.  However, if he is in doubt as to whether or not there will be any clear benefit, then he must first reflect and consider.  If he is in doubt, then he does not speak until the benefit of doing so becomes clear.’’4

Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Ghunaymaan – ḥafiẓahullāh- said:

‘‘It is obligatory upon all those who speak about an affair from the affairs of the Religion, that they do so purely for the sake of Allāh, sincerely for the truth.  And that they overcome their soul and strive against following their desires, not inclining towards worldly matters, such as love of being praised, seeking fame and reputation, gaining a large following, and other such matters.  So one who seeks to gain any of this, will only gain the vanities of this world.’’5

Unifying the Ranks

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz – raḥimahullāh– said:

‘‘There is no doubt that it is obligatory upon the Muslims to unify their ranks and to unite their word upon truth and to cooperate in goodness and piety against the enemies of Islām – as Allāh the Most Perfect ordered them with His statement:

‘‘And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allāh and do not become divided.’’
[Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:102]

And likewise, Allāh has warned the Muslims against splitting-up, as occurs in His – The Most Perfect’s – saying:

‘‘And do not be like those who differed and split-up after the clear evidences came to them.’’
[Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:105].

However, the order to unify the Muslims and to unite their word upon the truth and to hold fast to the rope of Allāh, does not necessitate that they should not censure wrong beliefs and practices – whether from the Ṣūfīs or from other than them. Rather what the order to hold fast to the rope of Allāh necessitates is: to order the good, forbid the evil and also to clarify the truth – with clear Sharīʿahevidences – to whomsoever is misguided or has a mistaken opinion, until they unite upon the truth and turn away from that which opposes it. All of this is included in His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

‘‘And help you one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression.’’
[Sūrah Maa‘idah 5:2]

And His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

‘‘Let there arise from amongst you a group of people calling all that is good, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, they are the ones who shall be successful.’’
[Sūrah Ālī ʿImrān 3:110]

And when the people of truth withhold from clarifying the mistakes of those who have erred or are mistaken, then they will not have achieved what Allāh ordered them with, as regards calling to goodness, ordering the good and forbidding the evil. So the person in error will remain upon his error, and the person acting in opposition of the truth will remain upon his opposition. And this is contrary to what Allāh – the Most perfect – prescribed, with regards to sincere advice, cooperation upon goodness, ordering the good and forbidding the evil – and Allāh alone is the One who grants success.’’6

Knowing the Causes of Disunity

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān – ḥafiẓahullāh- said:

‘‘The reasons for disunity are many.  From amongst the main causes are: Firstly: Opposing the manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf; the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) and those who follow them.  So the Salaf had a manhaj that they traversed; a manhaj in ʿaqīdah (beliefs), a manhaj in daʿwah (calling to Allāh), a manhaj in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, a manhaj in how to judge between people.  This manhaj – in every case – was based upon the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of our Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam).’’

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz – ḥafiẓahullāh – was asked: What solutions can you propose for saving the Muslim Ummah from differences and nationalism and sticking to madh′habs.  And how is it possible to re-unite the Ummah?  The Shaykh replied:

‘‘My solution in regards to this important question is to call the people to unify and single out Allāh alone with worship, to act sincerely for Him, to cling to His Sharīʿah (law) and to beware of all that contraḍīcts it.  And this is what will unite the Ummah upon truth and remove differences and ta’assub (bigoted blind following) towards a particular madh′hab.  And what is required is to call the Muslims to stand steadfast upon the Religion of Allāh, and to uphold His Sharīʿah and to co-operate in doing good, and to fear Allāh.  By this, their ranks will unite and their word will be one, and they will be a single body, a single building and a single army in opposition to their enemies.  However, if everyone sticks to his own madh′hab, or to his own Shaykh, or his own opinion – in opposition to the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ(Righteous Predecessors) – then this is what leads to splits and differences.”8

Following the Salafus-Saalih

Imām al-Aṣbahānī (d.535H) – raḥimahullāh– said:

“The sign of Ahl al-Sunnah is that they follow the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ, and abandon all that is innovated and newly introduced into the Religion.”9

Ibn Taymīyyah (d.728H) – raḥimahullāh– said:

“There is no defect in spreading the madh′hab (way) of the Salaf and ascriibng oneself to it, rather it is obligatory to accept this by agreement.  Indeed the madh′hab of the Salafīs nothing except the truth.”10

Imām al-Dhahabī (d.748H) – raḥimahullāh – said:

“It is authentically related from al-Dāraqutnī that he said: There is nothing more despised by me than ʿilmul-kalām (innovated speech and rhetoric). I say: He (i.e. al-Dāraqutnī) never entered into `ilmul-kalām, nor argumentation. Rather, he was a Salafī (a follower of the Salaf).”11

Imām as-Samʿānee (d.562H) – raḥimahullāh– said:

“al-Salafī: this is an ascription to the Salaf and following their ways, in that which is related from them.  Ibn al-Atheer (d.630H) said in al-Lubaab fī Tahdheebul-Insaab (2/162), commenting upon the previous saying of as-Samʿānee: “And a group were known by this ascription.”  So the meaning is, that the term Salafī, and its ascription to them, was a matter known in the time of Imām as-Samʿānee, or before him.

Shaykh al-Albānī – ḥafiẓahullāh– said:

“However, there are some who claim knowledge who deny this ascription, claiming it has no foundation, saying, “It is not permissible for a Muslim to say, I am Salafī.”  And it is as if he is saying, “It is not permissible for me to say, I am following the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ in what they were upon in ʿaqīdah, worship, and manners!”  And there is no doubt that the likes of this denial – if that is what is meant – implies that he is disassociating himself from the correct Islām that the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ were upon.  Thus, it is not permissible for a Muslim to disassociate himself from being ascribed to the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ.  If, however, he freed himself from any other nisbah (ascription), then none of the people of knowledge could accuse him of sinfulness or disbelief.  However, the one who refuses calling himself with this name Salafī, then it should be seen, does he attribute himself to a particular madh′hab – whether in matters of ʿaqīdah, or fiqh?  So perhaps he will call himself an Ashʿarī, or a Maatureedee, or he may be from Ahlul-Ḥadīth, or a Hanafī, Mālikee, Shaafi’ee, or Ḥanbalee – from those matters which enter into the term Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamāʿah.  Despite the fact that the one who ascribes himself to the Ashʿarīmadh′hab, or the four well-known madh′habs, then he has ascribed himself to those who are not free from making mistakes as individuals – even though there are from them scholars who attain what is correct.  So why O why do they not reject the likes of these ascription to individuals who are not protected from mistake?  However, as for the one who ascribes himself to the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥcollectively – then he ascribes himself to that which is protected from mistakes.”12

Censuring Evil

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz was asked about the correctness of the statement: “We should unite upon that which we agree, and excuse each other for that in which we disagree.” The Shaykh – may Allāh protect him and continue benefiting the Muslim Ummahwith him – commented:

“Yes! It is obligatory to cooperate in that which we agree, by aiding the truth, calling to it and warning against that which Allāh and His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) have prohibited. As for excusing each other for that in which we differ – then this is not to be taken in an absolute sense, but rather in a general one. Thus if the difference involves a particular issue of ijtihād (independent reasoning) wherein the proofs are deep and detailed – then it is obligatory not to censure or reproach one another. However, if it opposes a clear text of the Book and the Sunnah, then it is obligatory to correct the one who has opposed the clear texts, but with wisdom, beautiful admonition, and debating in the best possible manner, acting upon the statement of Allāh the Exalted

“And help you one another in righteousness and piety, but do not help one another in sin and transgression.”
[Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:2]

And His – the Most Perfect’s – saying:

“The Believers – men and women – are protectors to each other, they order the good and forbid the evil…”
[Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:71]

And the statement of Allāh the Mighty and Majestic:

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful admonition, and argue with them in ways that are better.”
[Sūrah al-al-Naḥl 16:125]

And he ﷺ said: “Whosoever sees an evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do this, then with his tongue, and if he is unable to do this, then with his heart. And that is the weakest of īmān (faith).” 13  And he ﷺ said: “Whosoever directs a person to do good, will have a reward similar to the one who does that good.” 14  And the āyāt and aḥādīthwith this meaning are plenty.” 15

Repelling Mischief and Mischief-Makers

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz – ḥafiẓahullāh– says:

“About nameemah (tale-carrying): Hudhayfah (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu) relates, that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “The tale-carrier will never enter Paradise.” 16  And from Ibn ʿAbbās (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu) who related that the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) passed by two graves and said: “The two inmates of these graves are being punished, but not for any great matter.  As for the first, he used to spread gossip and carry tales, whilst the other never protected himself from being soiled by his urine.” 17  Thus, tale-carrying is prohibited and is included amongst the great sins.  And nameemah(tale-carrying) is: “Conveying the words of some people to others in order to create mischief amongst them.” 18 19

Shaykh ʿAlī Ḥasan al-Ḥalabī – ḥafiẓahullāh– said:

“Tale-carrying is a foul disease; when it enters the heart, it corrupts it, and when the heart is corrupt, the rest of the body becomes corrupt and one’s actions are destroyed.  How many people there are today whose evil actions have been made alluring to them by their devils. Such that they think that their deeds are free from blemish!  How many there are today who think that tale-carrying is a good and righteous action which they are carrying out!  However, these people who move about amongst the worshippers of Allāh – the Most Perfect – spreading mischief, falsehood and leading the hearts astray, then the sincere Muslim should not give them any chance to operate, but should rather turn away from them and keep away from them!  This is the least punishment possible for these people.  The sickness of tale-carrying only finds place in hearts that are filled with the love of this world, the hearts of those who use the Religion for lowly and despicable ends – and we seek the refuge of Allāh from that.” 20

Not Dishonouring the Muslims

The Prophet said: “Whoever accuses a Believer of something that is not true, then Allāh will make him dwell in the pus flowing from the inhabitants of the Fire, and he will not leave until he retracts from what he has said.” 21

The Prophet (ʿalayhis-ṣalātu was-salām) said: “Do you know who the muflis (bankrupt one) is?  The muflis from my Ummah is one who comes on the Day of Judgement having performed Prayer, fasting, and giving zakāt (charity).  However, along with all of this, he had abused this person, and slandered that person, eaten the wealth of this person, and unlawfully spilled the blood of that person.  These people will take from his good deeds.  If, however, his good deeds become exhausted, then their sins will be put upon him and he will be thrown into the Fire.” 22

Honouring the Scholars

Shaykh Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān – ḥafiẓahullāh– said:

“In our times we hear those who speak against the honour of the scholars, accusing them of being foolish and ignorant, and not perceiving the affairs, nor understanding it – as they say – and this is a very dangerous matter.  So if you lose your trust in the scholars, then who will lead the Ummah, and to whom will verdicts and rulings return to?  And I believe that this is poison from our enemies, and it has deceived many who do not truly understand matters, and those who have an intense emotional zeal, yet are ignorant.  So the poison of accusing the scholars overtakes them due to their ignorant zeal and passion, though the reality is indeed different.  The noblest thing in this Ummah are the scholars, so it is not permissible to accuse them or to label them with ignorance, foolishness, deception, or hypocrisy, or being government scholars, or other than this.  This – O worshipper of Allāh – is very dangerous indeed…I am not saying that the scholars are infallible and that they do not make mistakes, rather, it is only the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that are infallible – and the scholars do make mistakes.  However, the cure is not to broadcast their mistakes publicly, or to dishonour them in gatherings, or from the pulpits – never is this permissible!  The cure is not by this method.  Allāh – the Most High – said:

“When you were propagating it with your tongues and uttering it with your mouths, that which you had no knowledge of.  Yet you considered it a trivial matter, whilst it was most severe in the sight of Allāh.”
[Sūrah al-Nūr 24:15]

We ask Allāh to grant us goodness and safety.  So it is obligatory to beware about this matter, and to honour each other – especially the scholars – since they are the inheritors of the Prophets, even if you see in them some shortcomings.” 24

Shaykh Ibn Bāz – hafiẓahullāh– said:

“It is obligatory upon every Muslim to safeguard his tongue and not to speak, except with knowledge.  So the saying about someone that he has no understanding of the state of affairs, is a saying dependant upon knowledge; and it is not to be said, except upon knowledge – until one has the ability to be able to give a ruling that such a person has no understanding of the state of affair.  If this saying is based upon mere opinion, and not upon a (Sharīʿah) proof, then indeed this is evil and it is not permissible to say.  Judging that a scholar giving rulings has no understanding of the state of affairs is dependant upon proof, which only the people of knowledge can establish.” 25

Pre-Occupying the Soul

Ibn Qudāmah (d.620H) – raḥimahullāh– said:

“Whosoever abandons the remembrance of Allāh and pre-occupies himself with that which does not concern him, he is like one who has the ability to acquire jewels, but instead only acquires a handful of dust.  This is indeed a great waste of one’s life.” 26

Imām al-Dhahabī  – raḥimahullāh– relates:

Ibn ’Awn (d.151H) – raḥimahullāh – said:

“Remembrance of people is a disease, and the remembrance of Allāh is a cure.”  Then Imām al-Dhahabī – raḥimahullāh – said: “Indeed, by Allāh!  It is very strange how we ignore the cure, and race towards the disease.  Allāh – the Most High – said: “So remember Me, and I will remember you.”
[Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:152]


“The remembrance of Allāh is greater.”  And He said:

“Those who remember and whose hearts find tranquility in the remembrance of Allāh.  Indeed in the remembrance of Allāh do hearts find satisfaction.”
[Sooratur-Ra’d 13:28]

However, this will not be achieved, except by the grace of Allāh.  And whosoever persists in supplication, and in knocking that the door, it will be opened for him.” 27

Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751H) – raḥimahullāh– said:

“Your life in the present muʿmīnt is between the past and the future.  So what has preceded can be rectified by tawbah (repentance), nadam (regret), and istighfār (seeking the forgiveness of Allāh).  And this is something that will neither tire you, nor cause you to toil as you would with strenuous labour.  Rather it is an action of the heart.  Then as regards the future (then it can be corrected) by withholding yourself from sins.  And this abandonment is merely the leaving of something and to be at ease from it.  This is not an action of the limbs which requires you to strive and toil.  Rather this is a firm resolve and intention of the heart – which will give rest to your body, heart, and thoughts.  So as for what has preceded, then verily you rectify it with repentance.  And as for the future, then you rectify it with firm resolve and intention.  Neither one of these involves any action, or exertion of the limbs.  But then your attention must be directed towards your life in the present – the time between the two times.  If you waste it, then you have wasted the opportunity to be from the fortunate and saved ones.  If you look after it, having rectified the two times – what is before it and after it, as we have said – then you will be successful and achieve rest, delight, and ever-lasting bliss.  However, looking after it is harder than that which comes before and after it, since guarding it involves keeping to that which is most befitting and beneficial for your soul, and that which will bring it success and well-being.” 28


[1] Related by al-Bukhārī (1/192)
[2] Wujoobut-Tathabbut fil-Akhbaar wa Ihtiraamil-’Ulamāʾ(p. 22-23)
[3] Arba’oon Ḥadīthan fid-daʿwah wad-Duʿāʾt(p. 63)
[4] Kitābul-Adhkaar(p. 812)
[5] Al-Hawá(p. 20)
[6] Tanbīhāt fī Radd ʿalá man Ta‘awwalis-Sifaat(p. 31-32)
[7] Wujoobut-Tathabbut fil-Akhbaar wa Ihtiraamil-’Ulamāʾ(p. 18)
[8] Quoted from al-Mujallatul-Buhoothul-Islāmiyyah(no. 18)
[9] Al-Hujjah fī Bayānil-Maḥajjah(1/364)
[10] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá(9/149)
[11] Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubʿalāʾ(16/457)
[12] Al-Asaalah magazine (no. 9/p. 87)
[13] Related by Muslim (2/21) from Abī Saʿīd al-Khadree (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu)
[14] Related by Muslim (13/38), from Abū Masʿūd al-Anṣārī (raḍī Allāhu ’anh)
[15] Tanbīhāt fī Radd ʿalá man Ta‘awwlis-Sifaat(p. 14-15)
[16] Related by Muslim (1/2) and by Aḥmad (5/396)
[17] Related by al-Bukhārī (1/212) and Muslim (1/3)
[18] Related by al-Bukhārī in al-Adabul-Mufrad (no. 425), al-Bayḥaqī in his Sunan al-Kubrā (10/246) and others.  Its chain of narrators is ḥasan(good).
[19] Al-Mindhaar(p. 151-152)
[20] Shakhsiyyatul-Islāmiyyah(p. 60)
[21] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by Aḥmad (no. 5385) and others, from Ibn ʿUmar (raḍī Allāhu ʿanhu).  It was authenticated by Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī in al-Ṣaḥihah(no. 438)
[22] Related by Muslim (8/18) and Aḥmad (2/303) from Abū Hurayrah.
[23] Shakhsiyyatul-Islāmiyyah(p. 34-35)
[24] Wujoobut-Tathabbut-fil-Akhbaar(p. 45-46)
[25] The words of the noble Shaykh in Rābitatul-’Ālamul-Islāmiyyahmagazine (no. 313).
[26] Minḥājul-Qaasidīn(p. 127)
[27] Siyar Aʿlām al-Nubʿalāʾ(6/396)
[28] Al-Fawaa‘id (p. 151-152)

Published: June 12, 2007
Edited: August 11, 2022

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