People of the Sunnah, Be Kind With One Another
Author: Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbaad
Source: Rifqan Ahlis Sunnah Bi Ahlis Sunnah
Translator: Tarik Preston
All praise is for Allaah Who joined the hearts of the believers together in love, and created a desire in them to join together in unity and harmony, and Who warned the believers against disunity and conflict. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah Who is alone without partner, Who created everything and then proportioned it, and Who legislated (the religion of Islaam) and then made the path easy for us, and was merciful towards the Believers. I (further) bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, who ordered (those calling to Islaam as well as those in positions of authority) to make things easy for the people and to give them good tidings, saying:
“Facilitate things for the people (treat the people in the most agreeable way), and do not make things difficult for them, and give them glad tidings, and do not drive people away (i.e. to make the people hate good deeds)…” 
O Allaah, send peace and blessings upon (Muhammad), upon his good and pure family, and upon all of his noble companions - who have been described by Allaah as being harsh towards disbelievers yet merciful amongst themselves, and upon all of those who follow them with sincerity until the Day of Judgment.
O Allaah! Guide me and guide others through me. O Allaah! Purify my heart of any hatred (for the believers), and guide my tongue to always speak the truth. O Allaah! I seek refuge with you lest I stray or be led astray, or slip or be made to slip, or oppress or be oppressed by others, or to do wrong or have wrong done to me.
Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are those people who follow that which the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) and his Companions were upon, and they refer to themselves as ‘People of the Sunnah’ referring to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam). The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) encouraged strict adherence to his Sunnah saying:
“…Stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs after me. Hold to it and bite down on it with your molar teeth (i.e. strictly adhere to it).” 
Likewise, he warned against contradicting the Sunnah, saying:
“…Beware of newly invented matters (foreign to the true teachings of Islaam) for verily (every newly invented matter) is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is a going astray.” 
The Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) also said:
“…Whoever does not want my Sunnah then he is not from me.” 
The People of the Sunnah are in direct contrast to those from the people of desires and innovation who have followed ways other than that which the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) and his Companions (radi-Allaahu 'anhum) were upon. The 'aqeedah (creed) of the People of the Sunnah emerged with the emergence of the prophethood of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), whereas the 'aqeedah (creed) of the people of desires and innovation emerged after the death of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam). Some of these innovations appeared during the later part of the era of the Companions (radi-Allaahu 'anhum), while other innovations appeared later.
The Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) informed us that those of his Companions (radi-Allaahu 'anhum) who continued to live after his death would see disunity and conflict. He (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) said:
“…Those of you who live after me will see much disagreement…” 
Then the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) directed us to follow the Straight Path, which is adherence to his Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs. And then he (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) warned us against newly invented matters that are foreign to the true teachings of Islaam and told us that they are a going astray. It is incomprehensible and unacceptable (to think) that some part of truth and right guidance was hidden from the Companions (radi-Allaahu 'anhum) and preserved by some people who came after them! Certainly, all of these newly invented matters that are foreign to the true teachings of Islaam are evil because if there had been any good in them the Companions (radi-Allaahu 'anhum) would have preceded them in doing it. Rather they (i.e. newly invented matters) are an evil that many people who have lived after them have been tested with when they deviated from that which the Companions were upon (radi-Allaahu 'anhum).
Imam Maalik said:
“The affairs of the latter part of this ummah can never be made right except with that which made right the affairs of the early generations of this ummah.”
It is for that (important) reason that Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah refer to themselves as ‘People of the Sunnah’ referring to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) while other (deviant sects) are referred to by the names given to their particular innovations. Such as:
- the Jabariyyah,
- the Qadariyyah,
- the Murjiah,
- and the Al-Imamiyyah Al-Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah.
Other (deviant sects) are referred to by the names of the founders of their particular sects such as:
- the Jahmiyyah,
- the Zaydiyyah,
- the ‘Ash’ariyyah,
- and the Ibaadiyyah.
However, it is incorrect to use the term “Wahabiyyah” (i.e. Wahaabis) to refer to the da’wah of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abd-ul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah). The People of the Sunnah during the lifetime of Shaykh Muhammad (rahimahullaah) did not refer to themselves in this way, nor did they do so after his death. That is because he did not invent anything new in the religion of Islaam thereby justifying the naming of any invention after him! Rather, he simply followed the way of the Pious Predecessors, openly proclaiming the Sunnah, spreading it, and calling to it. Furthermore, only those who hate the revivalist da’wah of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abd-ul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) refer to it in that (derogatory) way, hoping to confuse people and turn them away from following the truth and right guidance so that they might continue practicing innovations that contradict the way of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.
Imam Ash-Shaatibee said in his book entitled Al-I’tsaam :
“'Abd-ur-Rahman ibn Mahdee said: ‘Maalik ibn Anas was asked about the Sunnah and he replied: "It has no name other than the Sunnah." Then he recited the verse:“Verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it and follow not other paths, for they will separate you away from His Path…” [Soorah Al-An’am: 153]
Ibn al-Qayyim said in his book, entitled Madaarij As-Saalikeen:
“Some of the scholars were asked about the Sunnah and they replied: ‘It has no name other than the Sunnah.’ meaning that the People of the Sunnah do not refer to themselves by any other name.” 
And Ibn Abd-ul-Barr said in Kitab-ul-Intiqaa:
“A man asked Maalik (Ibn Anas): ‘Who are the People of the Sunnah?’ He replied: ‘The People of the Sunnah are those who have no other name that they are known by. They are not from the Jahmiyyah, nor are they from the Qadariyyah, nor are they from the Raafidah.’” 
There can be no doubt that mutual affection, and compassion and helping each other in righteousness and taqwaa is obligatory upon all of the People of the Sunnah in every time and place.
The conflict and hostility that is emanating from some of the People of the Sunnah right now is very regrettable. It is the direct result of some of them being preoccupied with talking about, warning against and ostracizing others while it is obligatory for all of them to channel those energies not at each other, but towards the disbelievers and the people of innovation who are hostile towards the People of the Sunnah. While being mutually affectionate and compassionate with each other and reminding one another with kindness and gentleness.
I thought that it was appropriate to write some words of advice to all of them and I ask Allaah, the Mighty and the Majestic to make these words beneficial, since all that I want to do is to set right these affairs as much as possible. I can only be successful with the help of Allaah, upon Him I have relied, and unto Him I have turned.
I have entitled this advice People of the Sunnah, Be Kind to One Another. I ask Allaah to give success and guidance to all, and to set right that which has occurred between them, and to bind their hearts together with love. Likewise I ask Allaah to guide them to ways of peace, and to take them out of the darkness and into the light. Verily Allaah is the All-Hearer, the Answerer of Du’aa.
 Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (Eng. Trans. Vol. 8, Pg. 92). Saheeh Muslim (Eng. Trans. Vol. 3, Pg. 944).
 Narrated by Abu Dawood (Eng. Trans. Vol. 3, page 1294). Also narrated by Ibn Abee ‘Aasim and At-Tirmidhee who said that the hadeeth is hasan Saheeh. The hadeeth was also authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abu Dawood (Vol. 3, page 871, #3851).
 See previous footnote.
 See previous footnote.
 See previous footnote.
 Al-I’tsaam (1\79).
 Madaarij As-Saalikeen (3\179).
 Kitab-ul-Intiqaa (Page 35).