Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah 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 these characteristics are: -
1 - They attach great importance to the Book of Allaah; its memorisation, [correct] recitation and its explanation (tafseer). They attach great importance to the Hadeeth; through their knowledge and understanding of it and their distinguishing the authentic from the weak and false ones. This is because they [i.e. the Qur'aan and the authentic Hadeeth] are the root source for acquiring knowledge of their Religion. Furthermore, they couple their knowledge with action, according to the level of their knowledge.
2 - They enter into the Religion completely. They have faith in all of the Book; having faith in the textual promises and threats; in those texts that affirm [Allaah's Perfect Names and Attributes] and those that negate [any deficiency or resemblance to Him]. They combine having faith in Allaah's Pre-Decree along with affirming the fact that the slave possess free will and choice of action. They also combine knowledge along with worship, strength along with compassion and mercy, and utilising the necessary worldly means along with pious abstention from that which will be of no benefit in the Hereafter (zuhd).
3 - They follow the Sunnah and abandon innovations. They shun sectarian divisions and differences in the Religion.
4 - They follow the guidance of the trustworthy scholars - the Companions and those who traverse their path - following them in knowledge, actions and calling to Allaah. They keep away from those who oppose their path.
5 - They adhere to the balanced position. So in matters of beliefs, they hold a balanced position between those sects that go to extremes and those that fall short of what is required. Likewise, in actions and conduct (sulook) they adhere to a middle position between those who exceed the limits and those who fall short.
6 - They strive to unite the word of the Muslims upon the truth, and to unify their ranks upon Tawheed and adherence (ittibaa) and to stay clear from all avenues that lead to divisions and differences between them. From this standpoint, they do not distinguish themselves from the rest of the Muslims - in matters concerning the fundamentals of the Religion - with any other name, except that of the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah. Likewise, they do not form allegiance (walaa) or enmity ('adaa) with anyone upon a bond other than Islaam and the Sunnah.
7 - They call to Allaah, to enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, Jihaad, rejuvenating the Sunnah, reviving the Religion, and establishing the Prescribed Law of Allaah and His Rule, in every matter, large or small.
8 - They exercise fairness and justice. So they observe the right of Allaah the Most High and do not look towards their own self-interests or that of their group's. This is why they do not exploit others, nor wrong them, nor do they belittle the excellence of those who possess it; no matter who they may be.
9 - They possess uniformity in understanding, and a similarity in their stances, even though there may be a great distance between their respective lands and times. This is from the fruits of them possessing a single source and a single methodology for acquiring [knowledge of the fundamentals].
10 - They show kindness (ihsaan), mercy (rahmah), and good manners (husnul-khulq) towards all people.
11 - They are sincere to Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, and are sincere towards and give sincere advice to the Muslims leaders and the general body of Muslims.
12 - They are concerned with the affairs of the Muslims; aiding and assisting them, observing their rights and seeking to prevent harm or injury from reaching them.