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The Principles of Salafiyyah
  Every Century Will Have its Reviver(s)
Source: Awn ul-Ma'bood (Trans. by Dawud Burbank)
Article ID : SLF020004  [17132]  
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Aboo Daawood said in his Sunan, Awwul-Ma’bood (11/385):

Start of the Book of Battles
Chapter: What is Mentioned about Each Century

Sulaymaan ibn Daawood – Mahryy, related to us: Ibn Wahb related to us: Sa’eed ibn Abee Ayyoob related to me: from Shuraheel ibn Yazweed al-Ma’aafiriyy: from Aboo ’Alqamah: from Aboo Hurairah – as best I know from Allaah’s Messenger, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, who said, "Allaah will raise for this Ummah at the head of every hundred years, he/those who will revive its religion for it." ’Awnul-Ma’bood (11/385-396) of al-Azeemabaadee.

"’At the head of every hundred years …’" i.e., its end or its beginning – when knowledge and the sunnah becomes scarce and ignorance and innovation become widespread – said by al-Qaaree." "He/those who will revive its religion for it …" "i.e., make the sunnah clear from innovation and increase knowledge and aid its people and curb and subdue the innovators." "Al-Alqmaee said in his explanation that the meaning of tajdeed (revival) is revival of action upon the Book and the Sunnah and command in accordance with them – that had been effaced."

"Note: Know that what is meant by the head of the hundred in this hadeeth is its completion. The author of Majma’ul-Bihaar said, "What is meant is one who is alive and a well-known scholar, and at-Teebee said, ‘What is meant by his being raised/sent is one who is alive and a scholar of note when the hundred is completed – this is what occurs in the introduction of Fathul-Qadeer of al-Manaawee and Khulaasatul-Athaar of Muhyee. And as-Suyooytee said in his poem about the revivers , ‘And the condition for that is that the hundred should pass and he is alive amongst the people – known as being a person having standing in knowledge, and propogating the Sunnah with his speech.’

And the author of Mirqaatus-Su’ood quotes Ibn al-Atheer as saying, "And what is meant by the one mentioned is one who is alive, known, famous and pointed out when the hundred finishes. And the clear proof that what is meant by the head of the hundred is their end, not their beginning is that az-Zuhree, and Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others from the earlier and later Imaams are agreed that from the revivers at the head of the first hundred was ’Umar ibn ’Abdul-’Azeez, rahimahullaah, and at the end of the second hundred was Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee, rahimahullaah, and ’Umar ibn ’Abdul-’Azeez died in the year 101 at the age of forty – and his khilaafah lasted for two and a half years, and ash-Shaafi’ee died in the year 204 at the age of fifty-four.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Tawaaliyyut-Ta‘sees, Aboo Bakr al-Bazzaar said, "I heard ’Abdul-Malik ibn ’Abdul-Hameed al-Maymoonee say, ‘I was with Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and ash-Shaafi’ee was mentioned. So I saw Ahmad extolling him, and he said, ‘It is related that the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam, said, "Allaah will provide one at the head of every hundred years one who will teach the people their Religion."’ Ahmad said, ‘So for the first century there was ’Umar ibn ’Abdul-’Azeez and for the second century was ash-Shaafi’ee.’’"

And by way of Sa’eed al-Firyaabee who said, "Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, ‘Allaah will provide for the people in every hundred years one who will teach the people the matters of the Sunnah, and rebut lies from the Prophet, sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. So we looked and saw that ’Umar ibn ’Abdul-’Azeez was at the head of the first hundred, and at the end of the second was ash-Shaafi’ee …

So if you say: what is apparent from the language with regard to the meaning of, ‘… the head of the century …’ (ra‘sul-mi‘ah) is its beginningn not its end – then how can its end be what is meant?

I say: Rather it occurs in the language also that it can mean the end. The author of Taajul-’Aroos, said, "The head of a thing is its extremity, and it is said, ‘Its end.’" I say: And upon this is the hadeeth of Ibn ’Umar, "Do you see this night of yours? Then at the head of a hundred years from it, no-one is alive upon the face of the earth will remain." Reported by the two Shaikhs."

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