Episode (7): The Outweighing (1/2)
The outweighing of these definitions is the second one, which includes the statements of the companions and their actions in the Sunnah, but taking into account that when the Sunnah is designated and defined, diverted to his Sunnah - peace be upon him -, while assigning it to that which emanated from the companions, comes rather constrained. Thus, it is said (the Sunnah of the upright successors) or (the upright Sunnah) and the reason for this shift in weight is the following:
1 – That Allah – the Almighty and Majestic – endorsed the companions and the followers in the Holy Quran, so He said: (The vanguard (of Islam)- the first of those who forsook (their homes) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) those who follow them in (all) good deeds,- well- pleased is Allah with them, as are they with Him: for them has He prepared gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever: that is the supreme felicity.) (1).
Ash-Shaatibi says: "the Sunnah of the companions - may Allah be pleased with them – is one to rely and refer to, in evidence for this: Allah’s tribute to them without exception (2), and their compliment with justice and what is due to it, such as His saying, Almighty: (you are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind) (3), and His saying: (Thus, have We made of you a nation justly balanced, that you might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves)(4).
2 - That the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him - urged to take after them, he said: (You ought to follow my Tradition and that of the rightly-guided, upright successors; bite upon it with your back teeth ..)(5).
He also said: (The Children of Israel split following seventy-two sects, and my nation diverged to seventy-three, all of them in the fire except one, they said: which one is it, O Messenger of Allah? He said: that which my companions and I follow).
Our predecessors have realized the value of this Prophetic guidance, therefore decided to embrace as Sunnah, the words of the companions and their actions:
Ibn Abd Al-Barr narrated, based on his reliance on Maalik ibn Anas, he said: Omar bin Abdul Aziz said: “The Messenger of Allah- peace be upon him – and the guardians after him, instigated a set of examples to follow; adopting them amounts to trust in the Book of Allah, refinement of obedience to Allah and strength in the way of the religion of Allah. Whoever followed them, is surely guided, and whoever called upon them, is surely triumphant, and whoever violated them; has surely followed a path other than that becoming to people of faith, and Allah left him in the path he has chosen, and cast him in the Hell Fire; and what an awful refuge! "(6).
Ad- Daarimi related, based on his reliance on ‘Awn bin Abdullah bin ‘Utbah bin Mas’oud - may Allah be pleased with him – that he said: "I would not have liked that the companions of Mohammed - peace be upon him - did not disagree; if they agreed on something then one man left it, he forsook the Sunnah, and if they disagreed then one man followed the opinion of someone, he followed the Sunnah. "(7).
Ibn Abd Al-Barr narrated, based on his reliance on Saleh bin Kisan, who said: "I met with Az-Zuhari, while we were seeking knowledge, we said: let us compile the Sunnahs (precedents): so, we did write down what came from the Prophet - peace be upon him - then he said: let us write down what came from his companions for it is Sunnah. I said: It is not of the Sunnah, therefore we do not write it down, and he wrote and I did not, therefore he saved while I wasted."(8).
This is what prompted Imam Al-Bayhaqi to combine in his book "As-Sunan Al-Kubra" that which came from the Prophet - peace be upon him - and that which came from his companions and followers as their words and deeds, as if the Sunnah for him encompasses: the Mrfu’(narration attributed directly to the Prophet), Mawquf (narration attributed to the companions) and Maqtu’ (narration attributed to the followers).
(1) Chapter At-Taubah / 100.
(2) ie: without exception.
(3) Chapter Al-‘Imran / 110.
(4) Chapter Al-Baqarah / 143.
(5) Narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, Kitab As-Sunnah, the section on the necessity of the Sunnah, No (4607). Al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, Kitab Al-‘Ilm, the section of what came in the adoption of the Prophetic Sunnah and avoidance of innovations, No (2676), and said: sound and authentic. Ibn Majah in his Sunan; Introduction: section on following the Sunnah of the rightly-guided, upright Successors, No (42, 43).
(6) Jaami’ Bayan Al-‘Ilm (2 / 1176 No. 2326), and narrated by Al-Khatib in Al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (1 / 435 No. 455).
(7) Sunan Ad-Daarimi, Introduction, section on differences among jurists (1 / 151).
(8) Jaami’ Bayan Al-‘Ilm (1 / 333 No (442), with an authentic chain of narration, and narrated by Abdul Razzaq in his Musannaf (11/258-259).