The Principles of al-Salafiyyah in Surah al-Fatihah: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura’ University in Mecca, wrote:

الصراط المستقيم له أركان دلت عليها سورة الفاتحة ؛ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ (1) الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (2) الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ (3) مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (4) إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ (5) اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (6) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ (7) ـ

There are certain pillars of the Straight Path (al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem) which are indicated in surah al-Fatihah:

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ (1) الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (2) الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ (3) مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (4) إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ (5) اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ (6) صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ (7)

In the name of Allah, al-Rahman, al-Raheem * All praise is due to the Lord of all creation * al-Rahman, al-Raheem * The Owner of the Day of Recompense * You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help * Guide us to the Straight Path * The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor, not those who have warranted wrath, nor the misguided ones.

فقوله تعالى: (إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين) دل على الإخلاص لله سبحانه وتعالى. ـ

Allah’s statement:

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help

indicates sincerity (ikhlaas) towards Allah.

وقوله تعالى: (صراط الذين أنعمت عليهم) دل على المتابعة لما جاءت به الرسل. ـ

And His statement:

صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ

The path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favor

indicates following what the Messengers came with.

وقوله تعالى: (غير المغضوب عليهم) دل على طلب العمل بالعلم الذي جاءت به الرسول، حتى لا نكون على صفة اليهود المغضوب عليهم، بسبب تركهم للعمل بما جاءتهم به الرسل. ـ

And His statement:

غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ

… not those who have warranted wrath …

indicates that one must act according to the knowledge which the Messenger came with. This is so that we do not fall into this characteristic of the Jews, this characteristic or warranting wrath upon them. That wrath is warranted against them due to their abandonment of acting according to what the Messengers came with.

وقوله تعالى: (ولا الضالين) دل على ترك البدعة وأهلها، لأن النصارى هم الضالون ابتدعوا عبادة تعبدوا الله بها لم فرضها عليهم. ـ

And His statement:

وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

… nor the misguided ones.

points to abandoning religious innovations and the those who practice them. For the Christians, who are the misguided ones here, introduced new forms to worship through which they sought to worship Allah which had not been legislated for them.

فهذه أصول الصراط المستقيم : الإخلاص ، المتابعة ، العمل بما جاءت به الرسل صلوات ربي وسلامه عليهم ، الحذر من البدعة وأهلها . وهي أصول السلفية. ـ

So these are the foundations of the Straight Path:

  1. Sincerity in worship,
  2. Following the Messenger,
  3. Acting in accordance with what the Messengers came with, and
  4. Caution against innovations and those who practice them.

and these are the foundations of al-Salafiyyah.

فقد ذكرها رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في حديث أبي نجيح الْعِرْبَاضِ بْنِ سَارِيَةَ قَالَ: “وَعَظَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – يَوْمًا بَعْدَ صَلَاةِ الْغَدَاةِ مَوْعِظَةً بَلِيغَةً، مِنْهَا الْعُيُونُ، وَوَجِلَتْ مِنْهَا الْقُلُوبُ، فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ: إِنَّ هَذِهِ مَوْعِظَةُ مُوَدِّعٍ، فَمَاذَا تَعْهَدُ إِلَيْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ؟ قَالَ أُوصِيكُمْ بِتَقْوَى اللَّهِ، وَالسَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ وَإِنْ عَبْدٌ حَبَشِيٌّ؛ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ يَرَى اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الْأُمُورِ؛ فَإِنَّهَا ضَلَالَةٌ، فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَ ذَلِكَ مِنْكُمْ؛ فَعَلَيْهِ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّينَ، عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ” . ـ

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) has also mentioned these principles in the hadeeth of Abu Najeeh al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah, who said:

One day after the morning prayer, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) delivered a moving reminder and admonishment to us which caused the eyes to shed tears and the hearts to quiver. So one man said, “This is a farewell reminder, so what do you leave for us to do, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “I advise you to have taqwa of Allah, and to hear and obey the Muslim ruler even if he were to be an Ethiopian slave. For any of you who lives after me will see much differing. And beware of the newly invented matters, for they are misguidance. So whoever of you lives to see that, then it is incumbent upon him to hold to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided khulafaa’. Hold onto it with your molar teeth.

فقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : “أوصيكم بتقوى الله” اشتمل على الإخلاص والمتابعة، إذ بدونهما لا يكون العبد متقيا لله! ـ

So his statement (ﷺ), “I advise you to have taqwa of Allah” encompasses both 1) sincerity of worship towards Allah and 2) following the Messenger. For without these two things, there is no way for the slave to live with taqwa towards Allah.

وقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “وَالسَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ وَإِنْ عَبْدٌ حَبَشِيٌّ” أوصاهم بالعمل على لزوم الجماعة، وهي من أهم وصايا الرسل لأقوامهم، وأخطر ما سيواجه هذه الأمة من فتن يكون علاجها بلزوم الجماعة والسمع والطاعة في المعروف لولاة الأمر. ـ

And his statement (ﷺ), “… and to hear and obey the Muslim ruler even if he were to be an Ethiopian slave,” – this is him advising them to act in a way which adheres to the Muslim body. This is one of the most important pieces of advice that the Messengers gave to their peoples. He was alerting them to the trials which would face this Ummah and that the way to deal with and treat these afflictions is to adhere to the Muslim body and to listen and obey the Muslim ruler in any form of goodness or obedience towards Allah.

وقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ” فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ يَرَى اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الْأُمُورِ؛ فَإِنَّهَا ضَلَالَةٌ، فَمَنْ أَدْرَكَ ذَلِكَ مِنْكُمْ؛ فَعَلَيْهِ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّينَ، عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ” فيه التحذير من البدعة وأهلها ، والطريق للسلامة منها! ـ

And his statement (ﷺ), “For whoever of you lives after me will see much differing. And beware of the newly invented matters, for they are misguidance. So whoever of you lives to see that, then it is incumbent upon him to hold to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided khulafaa’. Hold onto it with your molar teeth.” This contains a warning against innovations and their practitioners, as well as mentioning the way to be safe from those things.

فهذه هي أركان الصراط المستقيم، وهذه هي أصول السلفية، وهذه هي وصية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. ـ

So these are the pillars of the Straight Path (al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem), which are the foundations of al-Salafiyyah, and these are the advice of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).

[Arabic original taken from sheikh Muhammad Bazmool’s Facebook page here on August 28, 2017]

See also: Tafsir of Surah al-Fatihah Guide

See here for more from sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: The Means and Objectives of Calling to Allah: Imam al-Sa’di

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