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The Foundations of Ibadah
  Ittibaa' (Imitating) : A Necessary Condition of Ibadah
Source: The Book of Worship
Article ID : IBD010004  [23472]  

As for Ittibaa' then that is also one of the meanings of the testimony that "Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah" in that one's Ibaadah should be in agreement with and in accordance with what the Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) came with.

Every form of worship which is introduced and invented and which the Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) did not come with is false and rejected, not being accepted from the one who acts upon it even if he has Eemaan and Ikhlaas.

The Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) said as is recorded by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Saheeh about the perfection and comprehensiveness of his Guidance: "By Him in Whose Hand is my soul. I have not left a single thing which brings you closer to Paradise and distances you from Hellfire except that I have commanded you with it and I have not left a single thing which brings you closer to Hellfire and distances you from Hellfire except that I have prohibited you from it "[1]

In the two Saheehs of Bukhaaree and Muslim the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) says: "Whoever introduces something into this affair of ours something which does not belong to it will have it rejected"[2]

Muslim adds in his Saheeh from Aa'ishah that the Prophet (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) also said: "Whoever does an action which we have not commanded will have it rejected"[3]

Furthermore, one's Ibaadah should be performed in accordance with the manner of the Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) and that is his proven, authentic Sunnah. Abu Daawood in his Sunan reports from Ibn Eesa: "Whoever does an action in a way different from ours then it is rejected "[4]

Fudayl ibn Ayyaad, one of the taabi'een (second generation of muslims), said regarding the verse {...that He may test you, which of you is best in deeds}[5], "The most sincere and the most correct" So those who were around him said "And what is the most sincere and the most correct? "He replied "Action, if it is correct but not sincere will not be accepted and action, if it is sincere but not correct will not be accepted until it is both sincere and correct. Sincere means that nothing but the Face of Allaah is sought and correct means that it is in conformity with the Sunnah."

The great Imaam Sufyaan ath-Thawree (rahimahullaah) said "No word is accepted without action and no word and action are accepted without intention and no word action and intention are correct unless they are in accordance with the Sunnah."

From the abovementioned hadeeths you should know - Brother and Sister Muslim - that:

1. The Messenger's guidance is complete and perfect, nothing has been omitted. Abu Dharr (radiallaahu-anhu) said: "The Messenger (sallallaahu-alahi-wasallam) did not even leave a bird flapping its wings in the sky except that he gave us knowledge regarding it"[6]

2. Anything introduced into the religion which was not present at the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) and his Companions (radiallaahu-anhum) will be rejected. Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) said: "Whoever introduces something into Islaam and considers it to be something good has claimed that Muhammad (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) was treacherous to his trust of Messengership"[7]

3. Any action (of worship) which is performed without the command of Allaah or His Messenger (sallallaahu-alahi-wasallam) will be rejected.

4. Any action which is performed in a manner other than that of Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) will be rejected.

The matter has been made clear for us in the Saheeh of Muslim who reports from Jaabir ibn Abdullaah (radiallaahu-anhu) that the Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) used to say in his sermon for a particular need: "The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance."

So it is incumbent - O Brother and Sister muslim - that you make your Ibaadah bound and fettered with these three conditions - Eemaan, Ikhlaas and Ittibaa' - and be zealous that your worship is in accordance with the Sunnah as those who abandon it are greater than those who cling to it. If not then scattered dust... scattered dust... scattered dust!!!


1 Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah and Ahmed
2 Reported by Imaam Muslim
3 Reported by Imaam Muslim
4 Reported by Abu Daawood
5 [Hud 11:7]
6 Reported by At-Tabarani in 'Mu'jam al-Kabir'
7 Reported by Imam ash-Shatibee in 'al-I'tisam'.


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