Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah Shaykh Naasir ibn ‘Abdul-Kareem al-‘Aql /1. From Mujmol Usool Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah Fil-‘Aqeedah (pp.27-29)
Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (those who follow what the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companions were upon; with respect to beliefs, actions and guidance) are the Saved-Sect in the Hereafter and the Victorious and Aided Group in this world. Despite the distance of (time and place) between them, they possess certain characteristics which distinguish them from others. From them are:-
: They attach great importance to the Book of Allaah; its recitation, memorisation and understanding its correct tafseer (explanation). Likewise they attach great importance to the Hadeeth (Prophetic narrations), by their knowledge and understanding of it, and their distinguishing the authentic narrations from the weak and false ones. These two – the Qur’aan and the authentic hadeeth – are the root source of acquiring the ‘aqeedah (beliefs) and ahkaam (rulings). Furthermore, they couple their knowledge with action, according to the level of their knowledge.
: They enter into the Religion completely. They have eemaan (certainty of belief) in all of the Book, having eemaan in the textual promises and threats that are mentioned in it. They also have eemaan in those verses affirming Allaah’s Attributes and those that negate any resemblance of Allaah to His creation. They combine having eemaan in al-Qadr (Pre-Decree and Predestination) along with affirming the fact that the slave possess free will and choice in action. They also combine knowledge along with worship, strength along with mercy, and utilising the necessary worldly means along with having zuhd (renouncing the world).
: They follow the Sunnah (Prophetic guidance) and abandon innovations in the Religion. Likewise, they shun sectarianism and ikhtilaaf (differences) in matters of Religion.
: They follow the guidance of the trustworthy Scholars; the Sahaabah (Companions), and all those who traverse their path – following them in matters of beliefs, actions and da’wah (calling to Allaah). They keep away from those that oppose the path of the Companions.
: They adhere to the middle position. Thus, in matters of i’tiqaad (beliefs), they hold a middle position between those sects that go into extremes. Likewise, in acts of worship and sulook (conduct), they adhere to a middle position between those who exceed the limits and those who fall short.
: They strive to gather the word of the Muslims upon the truth, and to unify their ranks upon tawheed (to single out Allaah alone for worship) and ittibaa’ (following the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Companions and the Pious Predecessors of this Ummah), and seek to eliminate all avenues that lead to differing and splitting between them. From this standpoint, they do not distinguish themselves from the rest of the Muslims – in matters concerning the usoolud-deen (fundamentals of the Religion) – with any other name, except that of the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah. Likewise, they do not form walaa (love, loyalty and allegiance) or ‘adaa (enmity and disalliegence) with anyone, upon a bond other than Islaam and the Sunnah.
: They call to Allaah, and towards enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, Jihaad, reviving the Sunnah, reviving the Religion, and establishing the Sharee’ah (Prescribed Law) of Allaah and His Rule, in every matter – large or small.
: They have insaaf (fairness) and ‘adl (justice). So they observe the right of Allaah – the Most High – when dealing with people. When doing so, they neither look towards their own self-interests, nor that of their group. This is why they do not exploit others, nor do them wrong, nor do they belittle those who deserve esteem whosoever they may be.
: They possess a uniformity in understanding, and a similarity in their stances – even though there are great distances between their respective lands and times. This is from the fruits of them possessing a single source for the Religion, and a single unified methodology for its acquisition.
: They possess ihsaan (kindness), rahmah (mercy), and husnul-khalq (good manners) towards all people.
: They show naseehah (sincerity) to Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, and are sincere and give sincere advice to the Muslim leaders and the general body of Muslims.
: They are concerned with the affairs of the Muslims, aid them, fulfil the rights towards them, and prevent any injury from reaching them.
From Al-Istiqaamah Magazine