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Questions About Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah

Last updated: 25th June 2005
Question ID: #543
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It is an established fact that all things are recognised by their name, even Allah (swt) first taught names to the father of Mankind Adam (as). Your sect also has names such as Sunni, Ahl' ul Sunnah or Ahl'ul Sunnah wa al Jamaah. Direct us towards any such verse of the Qur'an wherein any of these names have been indicated.

If these titles cannot be located in the Qur'an could you produce this title from any hadith of the holy prophet (s)? Produce any such 'mutawatir' 'marfuu' or 'saheeh' narration from your books with a complete source (meaning the name of the book, version number, page number, edition etc) wherein the names Sunni, Ahl'ul Sunnah and Ahlul Sunnah wa al Jamaah have been mentioned by the holy prophet (saww) as a sect of Islam.

If these are not to be found in the hadeeth, then at least come up with an exact date, month and year of hijrah from the history of Islam when these names were adopted as your identity.

What were you famously known as before adopting these names?

Why have you forsaken your previous title?

According to your sect, an introduction of any new thing to Islam constitutes bid'a, therefore to effectuate such an introduction is also a bid'a, so who was the person responsible for introducing this bid'a?

Could you provide decisive evidence with regards to the meanings of Sunni, Ahl Sunnah and Ahl'ul Sunnah wal Jamaah?

Which one is the most ancient of the three titles?

Which one of the three titles do you consider the best?

Why are the remaining two of lesser merit? Which one of those two is the least and what is the reason behind it?

Bismihi Ta'ala

The term Ahlussunnah wal Jama'ah is used for those people who strictly base their doctrines upon the Qur'an, Sunnah, and Ijmaa (Consensus of Sahaabah or Tabi'oon). It is a term used to differentitate from the many deviant sects that formed from the first century of Islam until present day.

The term Ahlussunnah wal Jama'ah is derived from a combination of Qur'anic Verses and Sound Narrations. A verse of Surah al-Nisaa states: "Whomsoever opposes the Rasool after guidance has become manifest (Sunnah), and follows a way other than way of the believers (Jama'ah), then we will turn him towards al the deviant ways he wishes to turn but the result will be Jahannam. Such a bad abode."

The term Ahlussunnah wal Jama'ah has been derived from this verse, for the very reason that the Ahlussunnah wal Jama'ah do not oppose the way of the Rasool or his rightly guided companions in their doctrines.

The Ahaadith that indicate this term are many. It would be difficult to encompass all of them at this moment. Here are some of the Ahaadith related to his term: Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam is reported to have ordered the people to follow his way and the way of the rightly guided Caliphs. Also, in some Narrations, the Companions of Rasoolullah have been described as perfect role models for salvation, because their way of life would not contradict the teachings of Allah and his Rasool.

Also, many Ahaadith speak on the Jama'ah, and that whosoever seperates from them wil become prey to Shaytaan.

We may conclude from this that the term Ahlussunnah wal Jama'ah is not a term which is newly introduced, in fact it is derived from a combination of many sound verses of the Qur'an and Ahaadith.

It seems from the question that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding in this regard. Not every single detail of Shari'ah must be explicitly expressed or declared in the Qur'an and Sunnah. Sometimes, rulings are derived from indications, and implications of verses or ahaadith. For this reason, a whole science, known as Usool al-Fiqh is established in order for a Scholar to recognise and identify the correct sources of Islamic Law and methods to deduce rulings from those sources. Some rulings are deduced from Dalaalat al-Nass, Ibaarat al-Nass, Ishaarat al-Nass, and Iqtidhaa al-Nass. This isn't the place to discuss this in-depth.

If the rulings of Sharia'ah were so clear cut and explicit for every individual of this Ummah to understand according to his or her discretion then there would be no sound Islamic Learning. Neither would there be the need for Jurists or Muhadditheen whom exerted all efforts and abilities and spent their entire lives struggling to deduce rulings from the Sound Sources of Islamic Law.

There is need for great understanding. May Allah bless us all and grant us understanding of the Deen. Aameen

Answer last updated on:
31st March 2006
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 01