الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعينOver a period of one thousand and 4 hundred years, Muslims have been divided into 73 major groups and innumerable subgroups. Everyone claims that what he believes is Sahih Iman and he belongs to the Naji group. This is a strange phenomenon. People do not understand that with so many divergent beliefs, how can they claim to be on the right path of Islam. Surely, among all these innumerable groups, there is one group who are on the right path.It is in Hadith - Thawban (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) reported that the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : 'There will always remain a group of people from my Ummah who will be triumphant on truth (حق). Those who will oppose them or abandon them, will not be able to harm them. This will continue until the Command of Allah (Qiyamah) arrives. (Bukhari, Muslim)
We have identified this group in this book in the light of Quran and Sunnah. It is an important read for all Muslims in the world.
QURANIC VERSES AND AHADITH RELATED TO SAHIH IMAN
(i) It is in Quran اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ - صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ [ (O'our Lord) Lead us to the straight path. The path of those on whom you have awarded your bestowal; and not the path of those who have been subjected to Your Wrath; and the path of those who have gone astray. ( Al-Fateha 6-7)
(ii) It is in Hadith - Ibn Omer (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated : the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said - Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) will never let this (my) Ummah agree upon misguidance and the hand of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is over the group (of Awliya Allah), so follow " السواد الأعظم " (the Pious Group of Believers - Awliya Allah / Shuyookh of Ihsan) and whoever dissents from them departs to Hell]. (Tirmidhi - book 4, Hadith 2167, al-Hakim)
(iii) It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : 'Perform the five times salah, fast during Ramadan, give zakat from your wealth, follow the true scholars of Deen, then enter your Lord's Paradise.' (Mishkat)
(iv) It is in Hadith - Narrated by Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, "Whoever said "There is no God but Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) (and Mohammad صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم is His Apostle)" and has in his heart good (Sahih Iman) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell. (Bukhari)
(v) It is in Hadith - Narrated by Abu Dhar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, "Gabriel (علیـــه السلا م) said to me, "Whoever said there is no God but Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) (and Mohammad صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم is His Apostle)" among your followers and died, will enter Paradise." The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) asked. "even if he has committed illegal sexual intercourse or theft?" He replied, "Even then." (Bukhari - Book #54, Hadith #445).
CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE ABOVE QURANIC VERSES AND AHADITH
In Hadith mentioned at # 2 above, some people translate Arabic term 'السواد الأعظم' as 'largest Group, or the group of large number of Muslims. This translation has created a lot of confusion among Muslims. And every sect started claiming that they are السواد الأعظم (Ahle Sunnah wal Jama'a - the largest group). Even Salafis, the Sky God worshipers also claim to be Ahle Sunnah.
Who are as-Sawad al-Azam (السواد الأعظم)
The Arabic word الأعظم is generally used to describe 'the importance and greatness', rather than 'largeness'. Thus, the term 'السواد الأعظم' denotes the preeminence or importance of the Group, rather than its largeness in terms of the number of people in it.
Like we say الإمام الأعظم (Imam al-Azam) or الغوث الأعظم (Ghawth al-Azam), or الوزير الأعظم (Wazir al-Azam). Similarly 'السواد الأعظم', means 'greatness or preeminence of the Group.
When we look at the wordings of the Hadith, it says, follow السواد الأعظم (Sawad al-Azam); meaning follow the most pious group who have been awarded with Allah's ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) bestowal. The Quranic verses (Al-Fateha 6-7) lead us to this understanding.
For following a Group, all its members should be pious. If we take the meaning of السواد الأعظم (Sawad al-Azam) as the largest Group, then it is evident that all its members will not necessary be pious. How can we follow a group which is a mix of deviants, Fasiqeen (wrongdoers) as well as some good believers?
With the above understanding, only the group of Awliya Allah /Sufi Shuyookh of Ihsan qualify to be السواد الأعظم (Sawad al-Azam) as all its members are pious by the grace of Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ).
We are not talking here about 'fake Sufi babas' and 'illiterate peers' who hunt needy people and run their 'spiritual shops' to make a fast buck.
Some people may argue that some famous Scholars of Islam have translated the Arabic term السواد الأعظم (Sawad al-Azam) as Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’a.
Indeed, the scholars and Imams were right in translating the term that way, because the real Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’a are Awliya Allah/Sufi Shuyookh of Ihsan. By following their foot steps, others can also try to be within the category of real Ahle Sunnah.It is in Quran - أَلَا إِنَّ أَوْلِيَاءَ اللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ - لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ [Behold the friends of Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی ! On them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. These are they, who have believed in Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی and are mindful of (close to) Him and (have consequently abstained from everything evil). To them tidings come ( from Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی ) of a happy life both in this world and in Hereafter. The word of Allah - سبحانہ و تعا لی is never revoked. This in itself is a great felicity" (Younus - 62-64).
Awliya Allah are chosen people. Their Group is the only group which is referred to as السواد الأعظم (Sawad al-Azam) in the following Hadith.
It is in Hadith - Ibn Omer (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated : the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said - Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) will never let this (my) Ummah agree upon misguidance and the hand of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is over the group (of Awliya Allah), so follow " السواد الأعظم " (the Pious Group of Believers - Awliya Allah / Shuyookh of Ihsan) and whoever dissents from them departs to Hell]. (Tirmidhi - book 4, Hadith 2167, al-Hakim)
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) has commanded that everyone of us should follow that Group and whosoever dissents, will be thrown in Hell fire. People who follow this group are naturally part of Sawad al-Azam. There cannot be two opinions in this regard.
The following Hadith will clarify how Allah's ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) hand is on the Group of Awliya Allah.
It is in Hadith - “Whoever takes a Wali of Mine an enemy, I will wage war on him; and My slave will not perform any act with which he draws closer to Me, more beloved to Me then when he fulfills what I have ordained on him; and My salve will keep drawing closer to Me by performing the Nawafil (voluntary acts of worship) until I love him, and when I love him, I will be his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his legs with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him; and if he seeks refuge with Me, I will grant him refuge” (Bukhari).
The emphasis on "Wali of mine" in the Hadith shows that Awliya Allah are chosen people and their Group should be followed by all of us.
It is a sad state of affairs that people belonging to innumerable deviant groups claim they are Ahle Sunnah, and all others should follow them. .Awliya Allah walk on the path of Ihsan. Allah ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) gives them vision and understanding with which they can see the facts of things. They are pious and knowledgeable. They help in purification of minds of the people (Tazkia Nafs), correct people’s notions, educate them about the inner values and significance of Islam and draw people’s attention towards Divine signs and secrets in the cosmos. They follow Prophet Mohammad’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) foot steps in propagation of Sahih Iman. And we all need to follow them to ensure our Salvation.
The Ahadith mentioned in the beginning of the book also emphasize the importance of Iman (in heart) over deeds (by limbs). However, we should not think that being Muslims, we can do sins or committing sins is allowed in Islam (Astaghfirullah). Be careful, it should be known to everyone of that habitual sinners generally walk on the outer ring road of Islam, bordering Kufr.
If a person commits a sin repeatedly thinking that since many people are doing it in Muslim society, therefore it is allowed, then he is inviting himself the trouble of going out of Islam. Islam does not allow wrong doings. If you commit a sin and think that it is allowed in Islam, then you have invited a serious and bigger trouble for yourself.
Separating religion from day to day life or deliberately insisting on committing sins or making fun/mockery of established laws of Sharia or making fun / mockery of real Muslims are very serious issues that should not be taken lightly. The angels are recording every action. Watch out, you will not even know when you were declared as non-Muslim by Allah's ( سبحانہ و تعا لی ) appointed angels.
When a person commits the sin and considers that what he has done is wrong, deplorable and he should not repeat it or correct himself as soon as possible, then he remains Muslim.
INFORMATION ABOUT SAHIH IMAN
Islamic beliefs of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'a are as follows:
Iman - They follow Imam Asha'ri and Imam Maturidi in Islamic Creed/faith (Aqeedah /Iman).
Islam - They follow Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafi'i, Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh).
Ihsan - They follow Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqu (RU) and Hazra Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RU) in Islamic Ihsan (تَصَوُّف ).The famous Salasil (Orders) of Ihsan attributed to Hazrat Abu Bakr and Ali (رضئ اللھ تعالی عنہم) are (i) Qadri, (ii) Naqshbandi, (iii) Chishti, (iv) Suharwardi, (v) Shazli, (vi) Badawi, etc.RELATED BOOKS(iii) Factual Tawheed