In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
Sharh as-Sunnah: Point #4 All affairs have been made clear by the Sunnah and Jamaa’ah
By Shaykh Rabee’ bin Haadee al-Madkhali may Allah preserve him
This is the shaykh’s explanation for the fourth point in the book entitled “Sharh as-Sunnah” by the great Imaam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn ‘Alee ibn Khalaf al-Barbahaaree 329 AH.
Imaam al-Barbahaaree (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
4: “’Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allah have mercy on him, said, ‘There is no excuse for anyone going astray thinking that he is upon guidance. Nor for abandoning guidance thinking it to be misguidance, since the affairs have been made clear, the proof established and the excuse cut off.
That is because the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah have consolidated and safeguarded all of the Religion. It has been made clear to the people, so it is upon the people to comply and follow.”
The author did not transmit a chain of narrators for this statement. This statement has been narrated by Abu al-Qaasim at-Taymee in the Book of Hajj in “Bayaan al-Muhajjah” 2/444 (number 460) and he attributed it to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. He also did not provide the chain of narrators.
Ibn Battah collected this statement in “al-Ibaanah al-Kubraa” 1/322 with a chain of narration by way of al-Awzaa’ee that it reached him that ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab said it. However this chain is “munqati'” (disconnected).
Therefore, this narration is not attributed to ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, as you can see.
However, whenever there is a person who wants and loves the truth but maybe he falls into error, if he was from the Mujtaiheen (those who strove hard in searching for the truth), then the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
إذا حكم الحاكم، فاجتهد، ثم أصاب، فله أجران، وإن حكم واجتهد، فأخطأ، فله أجر
“When a judge utilizes his skill of judgement and comes to a right decision, he will have a double reward, but when he uses his judgement and commits a mistake, he will have a single reward.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
The judge who commits a mistake will have one reward and that is because of his diligence (in searching for the truth), and Allah pardons him for his mistake. Allah taught His slaves to call upon Him and to say:
رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَاۚ
“Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error” [Baqarah: 286]
If a person was ignorant and he loves and wants the truth but he doesn’t find anybody who can guide him to the truth nor is he able to find it himself, like one who is new to Islaam or one who lived far in the desert away from the people of knowledge, then they are excused by Allah for their ignorance. This is what the scholars have explained. Allah said:
وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ ٱلرَّسُولَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعۡ غَيۡرَ سَبِيلِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِۦ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصۡلِهِۦ جَهَنَّمَۖ وَسَآءَتۡ مَصِيرًا
“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination.” [Nisaa: 115]
As for the person who is ignorant but he loves the truth then this threat is not applicable to him. Rather this threat is for those do not want the truth and follow their desires.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله