The seriousness of the band of Kharijites - the first of the bands to emerge – is that it rejects the command of the Prophet - peace be upon him - with insolence and intrepidity, and contravenes what he came up with. This contradicts what they allege that they believe in him as a messenger from the Lord of the Worlds. The credence in him as a messenger requires his obedience; this is why when the first one of them said to the prophet - peace be upon him -: (Do justice! For you have not done justice!). This saying of his was a justification from him to betray and do injustice, in what Allah has entrusted him of money! How does that reconcile with the claim of this person who says that he believes in him as a messenger from the Lord of the Worlds?! That is why the Prophet - peace be upon him – said to the likes of this man: (Does the One in heaven trust me and you do not?).
These (Kharijites) have rejected the established recurrent Sunan (duties), claiming that they contravene the Quran, such as their rejection of the provision of stoning, their denial of the minimal amount (prescribed amount set by jurisprudence) which warrants chopping off the hand of a thief. They claim that the married adulterer is flogged and not stoned, and that the thief gets his hand chopped off, whether (he stole) a little or a lot.
The Arch scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, says: (They do not see following the Sunnah, which they think contravenes the Quran, such as in stoning, the minimum amount in the case of theft, and other than that. Therefore, they went astray) (1), and this rejection of the Sunnah is not because of their denial of the truth of transmission from the Messenger, peace be upon him, but it is a rejection of the utterance of the Messenger, peace be upon him.
The Arch scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, says concerning that: (The Kharijites made it permissible on the Messenger himself to be unjust and strays in his Sunnah, and did not enjoin his obedience and his following, but believed him in what he conveyed of Quran, without that which he legislated from the Sunnah, which contravenes- as they claim – the evident meaning of the Quran) (2).
Those who came after them from the deniers of the Sunnah were more cunning than them. They did not proclaim as these did by rejecting the Sunnah, but they started to trick for that by various means.
The Arch scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, says: (the majority of the people of heresy outside the Kharijites follow them on this. They see: that the Messenger - peace be upon him - if he stated unlike their discourse, they would not have followed him, as ‘Amr bin ‘Ubeyd tells on the Statement of the truthful trustworthy, but they refute the accusation from themselves melancholically: by denying the transmission, or: by interpreting the transmitted. They sometimes contest the chain of narration, and sometimes the text (of the Hadith). Otherwise, they are neither following nor led by the reality of the Sunnah, which the Prophet - peace be upon him –came up with or even by the reality of the Quran) (3).
Those (people) have erred by refusing the Sunnah, and fell into serious errors, including: they considered Muslims infidels due to sins and evil deeds, and they deemed permissible (to shed) their blood and (take) their money, and made the house of the Muslims a house of war, and their house a house of faith. The reason for this, as the Arch scholar of Islam says, is: (their break away from the Sunnah and their making that which is not a bad deed, a bad deed, and that which is not a good deed, a good deed... In this partakes the innovations which contravene the Sunnah. The one that says it, must prove that which the Sunnah has denied and denies that which the Sunnah has proven, makes good that which it made repulsive, or make hideous that which it made good. This much may be done by some scholars by mistake in certain issues, but the people of innovation contravene the apparent narrated Sunnah) (4).
The noble Companions and those who followed them in truth had faced this band and the likes of it from among the people of innovations, so they denied them their innovations, and warned people against them.
According to Omar bin Al-Khattaab - may Allah be pleased with him – he said: "(The opinionated are the enemies of the Sunan, they failed to memorize the Hadiths, and they slipped out of their grasp to understand them, and they were embarrassed when they were asked to say: We do not know. They opposed the Sunan with their opinion, so beware of them) (5).
According to Abu Qulaabah, he said: "(Do not socialize with the people of whims, and not argue with them, for I trust not lest they submerge you in misguidance, or confuse you in the religion in some of that in which they were confused) (6).
According to Al-Hasan Al-Basri, he said: "(Do not sit with the people of whims, nor debate with them, nor hear from them) (7).
Then Allah - the Almighty - consecrated in each of the eras (someone) who stands up to these stray bands and their words on the lookout, faces their darkness with the light of truth. These are the bearers of the Sunnah. They were made aware by Allah and His Messenger of that which is stated in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and were enlightened by the approach of the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him - in their exposure of misguidance and suspicions, and the more the people of misguidance continued in their stubbornness and despotism in refusing the truth, the more the people of truth widen the response to them and expose their falsehood.
Ibn Al Madini – May Allah have mercy on him – says concerning the Statement of the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him -: (There will always be a group of my nation victorious, upon the truth...), they are the people of Hadith, who committed themselves to the doctrine of the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him - and protect the knowledge. Without them, the Mu’tazilah, the Rafidhah, the Jahamis and the people of Irja’ (postponements) and opinion would have annihilated the people) (8).
(1) Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa (13/208).
(2) Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa (19/73).
(3) Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa (19/73).
(4) Majmoo’ Al-Fataawaa (19/72).
(5) Narrated by Ibn Abd Al-Barr in Jaami’ Bayaan Al-‘Ilm (2001), and Al-Khateeb in Al-Faqeeh Walmutafaqqih (479).
(6) Narrated by Ad-Daarimi (1/120) and Al-Aajuri in Ash-Sharee’ah p.56.
(7) Narrated by Al-Laalkaa’ee in Sharh Usul I’tiqaad Ahl-Assunnah (1/133).
(8) – Miftaahul Jannah, p. 48.