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Hadith:When a man follows the Sunnah, it will be said of him, “Innovation!”


When a man follows the Sunnah,
it will be said of him, “Innovation!”

Khutbat al-Jumu`ah


Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani


Masjid al-Iman, Oakland Calif.


February 14, 2003

[this is a  partially edited transcript. Please excuse any mistakes.]

O Muslims, Believers! We are in a situation that we must not be afraid of Shaytan. Because Allah swt said:

إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ

inna Allah ma` alladheena at-taqaw walladheena hum muhsinoon” – “Allah is with those who are pious and sincere, those who do good” [16:128].

If you do good, Allah prevents Shaytan from harming the believers. Allah prevents anyone to hurt His servants

Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ  

Ya ayyuhalladheena aamanu ittaqullah wa koonu ma` as-sadiqeen” – “O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are trustworthy (in word and deed).”  [9:119]

Be with the trustworthy persons. They don’t fear anything. It means that Allah is saying, “I will support you, I will back you.” And the Prophet (s) told us that whoever is with Allah must not fear anyone.

And he (s) told us about the signs of the time we are in today and I would like to quote a hadith of the Prophet (s) which describes what we have mentioned in many other ahadith before, and shows what is going on today. From it we must understand that this is one of the signs of the Last Days we are approaching. If anyone tells you this world will live forever they are wrong.

You are Muslims believing in what the Prophet (s) brought. He said the dunya is ending and he brought its signs. We believe the Day of Judgment is coming, the end is coming. When Jibreel asked him about the Day of Judgment the Prophet (s) told Jibreel (as) he doesn’t know when it will happen but he will give its signs.

One of the signs, and we discussed this many times, but one of the signs that we see today among us, is that the Prophet (s) said.

حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن عثمان قال :حدثنا أحمد بن ثابت ……… عن عبد الله  بن مسعود قال:

كيف أنتم اذا ظهر فيكم البدع  و عمل بها حتى يربو فيها الصغير و يهرم الكبير و يسلم فيها الاعاجم  حتى يعمل بالسنة فيقال :”بدعة

قالوا متى ذللك؟ يا أبا عبد الرحمن ! قال: ” إذا كثرت أمراؤكم وقلت أمناؤكم وكثرت  قراؤكم و قلت فقهاؤكم وتفقه لغير الدين وابتغيت  الدنيا بعمل الآخرة <!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> [1] <!–[endif]–>

 “`An ibn mas`ud qaala kayfa antum idha dhahara feekum al bida` wa `umila biha hatta yarbu feeha as-sagheer wa yahrum al-kabeer.”

Ibn Mas`ud said, “How will it be when the innovation is prevalent and the child will be raised in it and the elder will have already become white-haired in it.”

It means the young will have been raised in it and the old will have already learned it.

We are in that now. A lot of ideologies are coming up today, telling us that whatever came before us was wrong.

…wa yusallim feeha al-`aajim” – “…your affairs or your leadership will be given to the non-Arabs,” the foreigners will control you. There will be different people, other than people of the grassroots controlling you. You see someone out of nowhere becoming a leader. One who knows nothing about the religion becomes a leader, controlling the Muslim countries or Arab states. And he said, “hatta ya`malu ar-rajulu bis-sunnati fa yuqaalu bida`tun.” – “when a man follows the Sunnah, it will be said of him, ‘Innovation.’” <!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> [2] <!–[endif]–>

It means the people will be acting according to the Sunnah of the Prophet and the others will tell them bida`tun.

That was foretold 1400 years ago.

Today if you do anything according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) they tell you “bida`, bida`.” Are we seeing this or not?

You cannot move anywhere except they tell you “bida`!”; they tell you “haraam!” they tell you “shirk!”, “kufr.”  There is a group of people among the Muslims, who if they don’t like what you do, say “bida`, bida`.”

You go to any mosque, you can hear that word easily. Are you hearing it or not? [Yes.]

And the Prophet (s) mentioned that 1400 years ago. And he (s) said when that happens that is from ashraat as-sa`at – Signs of the Last Days. We never heard that “bida`, bida`” before, when we were young we never heard it used like that. But the new generation all say that, they were raised in it. They are in that hadith now. Everything they are learning from those who said “bida`, bida`,” and they go on the street and tell everyone this is bida`, this is haraam.

That is one of the most problematical issues we are facing today.

They said [addressing Ibn Mas`ud], “Ya Aba Abdur Rahman, when will that happen?” He said, “idha kathurat umara`akum– “when your leaders will increase”. Today there is not one person now without a different amir. You don’t find three without an amir. You don’t find one without an amir. Look on the Internet. Everyone has become his own amir. Each one makes a verdict, a fatwa.

…wa qallat umana’ukum.” – “And your trustworthy ones will decrease.” “…wa kathurat qura’ukum. Wa qallat fuqaha’ukum.” – “And the number of your Qur’an reciters will increase and the number of their fuqaha will decrease.”

It means they won’t have any knowledge of hadith or fiqh. Only memorizing Qur’an. That is a sign and today we see it. There are so many people memorizing Qur’an. He was not saying that is bad, but it is a sign. Today we see that everywhere, people sending their children to learn the Qur’an, but “qallat fuqaha’ukum,” – “your scholars of fiqh have decreased.” There is no more ‘ilm, no more fiqh. No one is learning the meanings of Qur’an, no one is learning the hadith, no on is learning the reasons for revelation of each verse.

…wa tafuqahu li-ghayri id-deen.” – “and they will study [intensively] other than the religion.” They will learn Qur’an and leave learning fiqh and increase in secular science to learn something other than religion.

That is what we are seeing. In the time of the Sahaba or the Umawi dynasty or the Abbasid dynasty, people were running after Islamic knowledge. Today that is no longer true – it is finished. Now they are running to study secular knowledge and leaving religious study. You can be balanced, studying both in equal proportions.

wabtughyat id-dunya bi `amal il-akhira.” – “People will seek work of dunya and leave work of akhira.” No one will be interested in akhira and everyone will be interested in dunya.

That hadith reflects what we are seeing today. Everything to us and our new generation – everything is becoming bida`, as the Prophet (s) mentioned.

And in another hadith describing the signs of the Last Days:

حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن عثمان ……عن أيوب عن أبي قلابة عن معاذ بن جبل قال: تكون فتن يكثر فيها المال ويفتح فيها القرآن حتى يقرأه المؤمن و الكافر والمرأة  و الرجل والصغير والكبير فيقرأه رجل فيقول“قرأته علانية فلا أرانى أتبع فيقعد في بيته

و يبنى مسجدا في داره ثم يبتدع بما ليس في كتاب الله  ولا سنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فإياكم و ما ابتدع فانه ضلالة

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 “`an abi qilaba qaala mu`adh takunu fitanun”Abi Qilaba said that Mu`adh said, “there will be too much confusion, disturbances,” – “yakuthuru feeha al-maal” – “there will be too much money.”

You see today a lot of money in the hands of people. Billions of dollars around the world. People before had something. Before, in the time of the Prophet (s), they used to eat two or three dates a day. The Prophet (s) was tying his stomach with a rope and a stone, in order not to feel the hunger. That is the Prophet (s) of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Messengers (s). Is anyone doing that today? If you don’t have hundreds of different types of food on the table you don’t eat. If you don’t have that you say, “This is not a rich table.”

Now listen to what I am coming to in this hadith.

“…wa yuftahu feeha al-Qur’an” – “…the Qur’an will be opened.” He did not say, “wa yuhfadhu feeha al-Qur’an.” (the Qur’an will be memorized). It means when you open the Qur’an and you want to go through it; you are not studying it. You want to see the meaning. And if you don’t learn the hadith that explain the Qur’an and learn what the Sahaba say about each of the ayats, and seerat an-Nabi, the life of the Prophet (s), you cannot understand the Qur’an. He said “yuftahu feeha al-quran,” not yuhfadhu (memorize) or yudras (study). Some people go through it, to see what is there.

That is skimming, going through it quickly. Look at what comes next. That will explain to you what is happening today.

…hatta yiqra’uha al-mu’min wal-kaafir.” – “until they read it: both the believer and the unbeliever.” [another narration has: “until they read it: both the beliver and the hypocrite”] They only read it today. They don’t seek out its deep meanings, to become an `aalim. They are not struggling to understand it. The Muslims will read it and even non-Muslims will read it. Are you seeing this today? Yes, this is what we see today.

Before, there was no way for someone other than a Muslim to touch a Qur’an. If you went to a Muslim country, it was not allowed if you didn’t have wudu; you could not touch the Qur’an. Now it is available on every shelf and they can look at it. They open the Qur’an and they skim through it and look for what they are seeking. They skim for it looking for a meaning they desire [to support one argument or another].

“Those who are not believers in Islam will be reading the Qur’an.” That is a sign of the Last Days that the Prophet (s) mentioned to his Sahaba and his Sahaba mentioned to us.

“…wal marra’atu war-rajul was-sagheeru wal-kabeer.” – “…the woman and the man and the old and the young.” Everyone will be reading the Qur’an.

That was described at the beginning as “takunu fitanun.” – “There will be many trials and confusion.” And people will be reading the Qur’an in order to understand what is going to come.

At this time what must you do?

And the Prophet said, when this happens, what do you have to do? “Fa yaqra’uha rajulun, wa yaqulu qara’tuhu `alaaniyyatan fa laa araanee uttaba`u fa-yaq`udu fee baytihi  fa yabnee masjidan fee daarihi  thumma yabtadi`u bi maa laysa fee kitabillahi wa laa sunnati rasulillah salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam fa iyyakum wa ma abtad`a fa-innahu dalaalatan.” – A man reads the Qur’an and he says, ‘I read it in public and no one followed it.’ So he sits in his home, and he builds a mosque in his house and then he begins to innovate in the religion what is not found in either the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him. So beware of him and what he innovates, for certainly it is misguidance.” <!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> [4] <!–[endif]–>

And here is the problem. “Thumma yabtadi` bi maa laysa fee kitabillah wa laa sunnati rasulillah.” – “and then he begins to innovate in the religion what is not found in either the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him.”

When you do not follow a teacher or a guide to teach you the Qur’an, you will understand it incorrectly and begin to innovate what is not in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah of the Prophet (s). That is what we see today. They sit behind the computers, in their little rooms, reading the Qur’an and making fatwa without knowledge.

Those who read Qur’an without `ilm, because there are no `ulama to guide them, will be innovating, sitting in their mosque, in their rooms, innovating and making mistakes. This is what the Prophet (s) foretold a long time ago. I will not go to the 3rd hadith. These are from the signs that the Prophet (s) mentioned to us.

There will be young people, sitting in their homes, when their homes become a masjid, innovating, they have no `ilm and they think they know something and they begin to innovate things.

[In a later explanation: They sit in rooms – they have rooms in their houses where they have their computers, full of Qur’an, with CDs and so on. Then they open the Internet and begin to chat. Again they go through rooms – chat rooms. These rooms and webpages are called “masjid of the internet,” “internet mosque,” and so on. They begin to chat with others in the “room” and they quote from the Qur’an here and there to support their fatwa, saying this action is bida`, this one kufr, this one haraam, this one shirk. Then someone else, will enter the discussion and reject that with another argument and verse, and so on, each misguided and each misguiding.]

This is from the signs that the Prophet (s) mentioned. Now there is no more trust, no one to trust. You don’t know where to go any more. That is why he said, in another hadith, that you must be by yourself.

He said in another hadith that when confusion begins to fill the earth the one sitting is better than the one standing, the one standing is better than the one walking, the one walking is better than the one riding… <!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> [5] <!–[endif]–>

Sit at home and be by yourself. Take care of your family and children. Nothing is coming out of what is happening today except confusion. Your benefit is to obey Allah and the Prophet (s).

We must not be part of a political discussion or a political view; of a problem here or there. It is better for us as individuals, who cannot change anything, to keep quiet. We are not leaders. We are individuals. If the Arabs and Muslim countries can change anything, let them. They cannot. Can you? [yes] Ok. Show me that you can change anything. <!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> [6] <!–[endif]–>

You can only make a change by praying in your heart asking Allah to solve the problems that we are facing. Man ra’ minkum munkaran fal yughayirru bi-yadihi fa in lam yastai`, fa bi-lisaanihi fa in lam yastati` fa bi-qalbihi wa dhaalik ada`af al-imaan.” – “He who amongst you sees something abominable should modify it with the help of his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue, and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of faith.” <!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> [7] <!–[endif]–>

If instead of these wrong demonstrations they are making, if we all go to a stadium, all of us and all together 100 thousand, 200 thousand, we ask, “O Allah let us live in peace with everyone else.”  Allah will give peace to everyone.

إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ

inna Allaha la yughayyiru ma bi-qawmin hatta yughayyiroo maa bi anfusihim”Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).” [13:11]

We are fighting. Two mosques here cannot agree on anything. Do you think that Arab and Muslim countries are going to agree with each other? If two mosques cannot meet and come together on a common ground to agree, do you think nations will? You want to go to demonstrations, go see what you can change.

You want to demonstrate, go to Allah. Instead of demonstrating to people, demonstrate to Allah and say, “Ya Rabbee we are coming to You, we are asking.” Don’t you think Allah will grant that request, if all are coming sincerely, like in Arafat, 3 million people raising their hands, saying “O Allah let us live in peace.” Everyone. Everyone is Allah’s creation. Everyone is a human being. Allah swt will send peace to everyone. May Allah forgive us. May He make us understand that we are in the Last Days. More events are coming to show the correctness of the predictions of the Prophet (s) and that is what we are seeing day after day.


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© As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–> كتاب السنن الواردة في الفتن وغوائلها والساعة واشراطها المقرى الدانى تحقيق ادريس المباركفورى دار العاصمة الرياض صفحة 618

اخرجه نعيم بن حماد (ق5  ب رقم 52) الدارمى فى سننه (1/64) وابن وضاح في البدع(ص89) وابن عبد البر في جامع بيان العلم وفضله(1/188) وأبو نعيم في الحلية(1/136)والحاكم في مستدركه (4/514) و ذكر الذهبي أنه على شرط البخارى و مسلم .وأخرجه  عبد الرزاق في مصنفه(11/359 رقم 20742 (

….و يتخذ سنة فان غيرت يوما قيل هذا منكر….. و هكذا ورد عند الجميع  في أولهو هو موقوف و اسناده باجتماع الطرق صحيح و الحديث أورده الألباني في صحيح الترغيب(1/47 رقم 106

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[2]<!–[endif]–> Arabic: “`An ibn mas`ud qaala kayfa antum idha dhahara feekum al bida` wa `umila biha hatta yarbu feeha as-sagheer wa yahrum al-kabeer; wa yusallim feeha  al-`aajim hatta ya`malu bis-sunnati fa yuqaalu bida`tun. Qaalu matta dhalik? Ya aba `Abdur Rahman. Qaal: idha kathurat umara`akum wa qallat umana’akum wa kathurat qura’ukum. Wa qallat fuqaha’ukum wa tafuqahu li-ghayi id-deen. Wabtughyat id-dunya bi-`amal il-akhira.”
Adh-Dhahabi classified it as sahih according to the conditions of Bukhari and Muslim. As-sunan al-waridatu fil-fitani wa ghawaa’iliha was-sa`ati wa ashraa’itiha, Abi `Amru `Uthman bin Sa`eed al-Muqri` ad-Daani, 444 H., tahqiq/commentary and takhrij Ridaa’ullah al-Mubarakfuri, Published Daar al-`Asima, Riyaadh, Saudi Arabia, in 6 volumes, p. 619.

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[3]<!–[endif]–> حدثنا أبو خليفة وأحمد بن داود المكي قالا ثنا أحمد بن يحيى بن حميد الطويل ثنا حماد بن سلمة عن أيوب عن أبي قلابة عن يزيد بن عميرة عن معاذ بن جبل قال تكون فتن يكثر فيها المال ويفتح فيها القرآن حتى يقرأ الرجل والمرأة والصغير والكبير والمؤمن والمنافق فيقرأه ولا يتبع فيقول والله لأقرأنه علانية ولا يتبع فيقصد مسجدا فتبتدع كلاما ليس من كتاب الله ولا من سنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فإياكم وإياها فإنها بدعة ضلالة فإياكم وإياه فإنها بدعة ضلالة فإياكم وإياه فإنها بدعة ضلالة

رواه اللاكائى في شرح أصول اعتقاد أهل السنة(1/89 رقم 117) و أخرجه ابن وضاح في البدع و النهى عنها (ص 26) و الحاكم في المستدرك(4/466) و قال الحاكم: “هذا حديث صحيح على شرط مسلم”. و هو أيضا عند عبد الرزاق في مصنفه (11/363 رقم20750) و أبي داود في سننه (5/17 رقم 4611) و أخرجه الدارمي في سننه (1/67) من طريق آخر ….و اسناده صحيح.

تقدم هذا الحديث باختلاف يسير في الألفاظ  ورد في كتاب السنن الواردة في الفتن وغوائلها والساعة واشراطها المقرى الدانى تحقيق ادريس المباركفورى دار العاصمة الرياض صفحة  623.

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[4]<!–[endif]–> Ibid, p. 642. al-Hakim graded it sahih on the condition of Muslim.

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[5]<!–[endif]–> Before the Last Hour there will be afflictions like patches of a dark night in which a man will be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening, or a believer in the evening and unbeliever in the morning.  He who sits during them will be better than he who stands, and he who walks during them is better than he who runs.  So break your bows, cut your bowstrings and strike your swords on stones.  If people then come in to one of you, let him be like the better of Adam’s two sons (i.e. death is better than getting involved in the fitna). Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab al-fitan wa al-malahim #4246.

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[6]<!–[endif]–> Sulaiman bin al-Mughira narrated that `Abdallah ibn `Amr ibn ul-`Aass said, “There was a time when people used to say, ‘Walk away from what you can do noting about, remain silent regarding what is not your concern, and conserve your words the same way you keep away your savings.’”

<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[7]<!–[endif]–> Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 1, #79.

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