Sunnah

The Real People

It is reported that ‘Abdullāh b. Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
I asked my father, “Who are the [real] people?” He replied, “The [real] people are none but those who say ḥaddathanā and akhbaranā (those who report ḥadīth).”

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm article 3438.

Will Allah Punish Me for Praying? [Bidah]

Imām Sa’īd b. Al-Musayyib – Allāh have mercy on him – once saw a man praying more than two rak’ah after sunrise the beginning of Fajr, making many bows and prostrations, and so he forbade him. The man said, “O Abu Muḥammad, is Allāh going to punish me for praying?” Sa’īd said, “No, but He will punish you for contradicting the Sunnah.”

Al-Bayhaqī, As-Sunan Al-Kubraa 2:466. graded ṣaḥīḥ by Shaykh Al-Albānī. See Irwā Al-Ghalīl 2:236.

Shaykh Al-Albānī writes:

This is one of the superb answers given by Sa’īd b. Al-Musayyib – Allāh have mercy on him. It is a strong weapon against heretics (mubtadi’ah) who recommend many different types of religious innovation in the name of them being dhikr and prayer. They then criticize the followers of the Sunnah for criticizing them, and accuse them of censuring dhikr and prayer, when in fact [Ahl Al-Sunnah] are only criticizing the contravention of the Sunnah in matters such as dhikr and prayer.

Knowing a Man by his Moves

It is reported that Al-A’mash – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
They (the Salaf) never used to ask about [the religious condition of ] a man after knowing three things about him: where and upon whom he entered, where and with whom he walked, and the close company he kept.

Meaning: Knowing these things about a man is more than sufficient for knowing whether he is following the right path on the Sunnah or not.

Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah article 419.

Ignorant Piety

It is reported that Imām Muḥammad b. Sīrīn – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

There were people who abandoned knowledge and sitting with the scholars, and [instead] took to their chambers and prayed until their skin dried [from exertion in worship]. Thereafter they began to contradict the Sunnah and thus were destroyed. By Allāh, never does a person act without knowledge, except that he spoils and corrupts more than he fixes and rectifies.

Al-Aṣbahānī, Al-Targhīb wa Al-Tarhīb 3:98

Asking for less refutation [signs of Ahl Al-Bidah]

It is reported from Al-‘Abbās b. Al-Walīd that ‘Uqbah said:

I was once with Arṭa’ah b. Al-Mundhir when one of the people in the gathering said, “What do you say about a man who sits with the followers of the Sunnah and mixes with them, but when the followers of Bid’ah are mentioned he says, ‘Spare us from mentioning them, do not talk about them?’” Arṭa’ah said, “He is one of them, do not let him confuse you about his condition.” I felt this was strange, so I went to Al-Awzā’ī – and he used to clarify these matters when they came to him. He said, “Arṭa’ah is right, the matter is as he said; this person forbids talking about [Ahl Al-Bid’ah], so how can [people] be on guard against them if they are not exposed?”

Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimishq 8:15.