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Hadith on Sunnah: Avoiding Innovation

📖Sunan Abi Dawud 4607
Narrated Irbad ibn Sariyah: AbdurRahman ibn Amr as-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr said: We came to Irbad ibn Sariyah who was among those about whom the following verse was revealed: “Nor (is there blame) on those who come to thee to be provided with mounts, and when thou saidst: “I can find no mounts for you.” We greeted him and said: We have come to see you to give healing and obtain benefit from you. Al-Irbad said: One day the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) led us in prayer, then faced us and gave us a lengthy exhortation at which the eyes shed tears and the hearts were afraid. A man said: Messenger of Allah! It seems as if it were a farewell exhortation, so what injunction do you give us? He then said: I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error.

  • This Hadith narrated by Irbad ibn Sariyah talks about a meeting where he was visited by AbdurRahman ibn Amr as-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr, who came to seek his guidance and healing. Irbad then shared an experience where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave a lengthy exhortation to his companions after leading them in prayer. In response to a question about the exhortation being a farewell message, the Prophet emphasized the importance of fearing Allah, hearing and obeying, and following his sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. He also advised against innovation, stating that every novelty is an innovation and every innovation is an error.  This Hadith teaches us several important lessons, including the importance of seeking guidance and knowledge from knowledgeable and righteous individuals, the significance of the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings and the importance of following his sunnah and the examples of the rightly-guided caliphs, and the dangers of innovation and deviation from the established path of Islam. It also reminds us of the importance of fearing Allah and obeying His commands, regardless of the person’s social status or background.