My tuppence worth on Jama’ah

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Islam

Assalamu’alaykum,

Jama’ah. A big word indeed for the Prophet SAW used to say “You must stay with the jamaa’ah, for the wolf eats the sheep that wanders off alone.” Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 847 and classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i. This hadeeth specifically says that it is easier for muslims to fall into sins and falsehood when they are far away or not be in company of people who are practicing the Deen. Indeed being in company with righteous people will definitely help every muslims to correct themselves and improve their deen. But does Jama’ah means that you have to be associated with a particular group and follow and support everything that the group is upon?

What is jama’ah in its true essence? According to the definition, Jama’ah is a group of Muslims who hold firmly to the Qur’an and sunnah onto that which the righteous Salaf were upon in the past (refer hadeeth about the saved group). Abdullah ibn Mas’ud used to say, “The Jama’ah is what matches with the obedience to Allah (swt) even if you are alone.” These definitions demonstrate that Jama’ah is not necessarily have to be a group of people in the same locality. Jama’ah in the true essence means people who are upon the truth!.. who only have allegiance with the truth and nothing but the truth!.. even if they are scattered geographically!

But it is sad to see that many muslims misunderstood the meaning of the Jama’ah to the extant that some of the people used to do takfeer just because other muslims refrained themselves from joining the group. Being too involved in a particular group, thinking that their group is the only group upon the truth and other groups are upon falsehood or other people who are not known to belong to any particular group is upon falsehoood, is indeed wrong and deviated! It is not essential for the muslims to follow anyone in the sense that he accepts everything that he says or does, apart from the Messenger of Allah SAW. As for anyone other than the Messenger of Allah SAW, we may take or leave whatever he says, as Imam Malik said: “The words of everyone may be taken or left, apart from the occupant of this grave,” and he pointed to the grave of the Prophet SAW. (Excerpt from Islam QA)

True believers will only obey Allah and His Messenger SAW. To conclude, let us ponder upon this saying by Shaykh Ibn Baz when he was asked about the ruling on joining Islamic groups and following the methodology of a particular group and not others:

“It is obligatory on every person to adhere to the truth, what Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, not to adhere to the methodology of any group, whether it is the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen or Ansaar al-Sunnah or any other group. He should adhere to the truth. If he joins the Ansaar al-Sunnah and helps them with regard matters in which they are following to the truth, or he joins the Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen and agrees with them on matters in which they are following the truth, without going to extremes or being negligent, there is nothing wrong with that. But if he adheres to their set of beliefs and never deviates from it, this is not permitted. He has to follow the truth wherever it leads him. If the truth is with the Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen, he has to follow it, and if it is with the Ansaar al-Sunnah, he has to follow it, and if it is with another group, he has to follow it. He has to follow the truth, and help all other groups with regard to the truth, but he should not adhere to a particular way of thinking never forsaking it even if it turns out to be false or mistaken. That is wrong, and is not permitted. He should be with the group in every way in which they are correct, and not with them in the matters in which they are wrong.”

May Allah makes it easy for us in understanding this Deen and may He showers us with His blessings in abundance. Ameen.

Wassalamu’alaykum

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