Hold fast to the Jamaat and its Imam


حُذَيْفَة بْن الْيَمَان يَقُولُ كَانَ النَّاسُ يَسْأَلُونَ رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم عَنِ الْخَيْرِ وَكُنْتُ أَسْأَلُهُ عَنِ الشَّرّ مَخَافَةَ أَنْ يُدْرِكَنِي فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ إِنَّا كُنَّا فِي جَاهِلِيَّةٍ وَشَرّ فَجَاءَنَا اللّٰهُ بِهَذَا الْخَيْرِ فَهَلْ بَعْدَ هَذَا الْخَيْرِ مِنْ شَرّ قَالَ نَعَمْ قُلْتُ وَهَلْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ الشَّرّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ قَالَ نَعَمْ وَفِيهِ دَخَنٌ قُلْتُ وَمَا دَخَنُهُ قَالَ قَوْمٌ يَهْدُونَ بِغَيْرِ هَدْيِي تَعْرِفُ مِنْهُمْ وَتُنْكِرُ قُلْتُ فَهَلْ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ الْخَيْرِ مِنْ شَرّ قَالَ نَعَمْ دُعَاةٌ إِلَى أَبْوَابِ جَهَنَّمَ مَنْ أَجَابَهُمْ إِلَيْهَا قَذَفُوهُ فِيهَا قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ صِفْهُمْ لَنَا فَقَالَ هُمْ مِنْ جِلْدَتِنَا وَيَتَكَلَّمُونَ بِأَلْسِنَتِنَا قُلْتُ فَمَا تَأْمُرُنِي إِنْ أَدْرَكَنِي ذَلِكَ قَالَ تَلْزَمُ جَمَاعَةَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَإِمَامَهُمْ قُلْتُ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُمْ جَمَاعَةٌ وَلَا إِمَامٌ قَالَ فَاعْتَزِلْ تِلْكَ الْفِرَقَ كُلَّهَا وَلَوْ أَنْ تَعَضَّ بِأَصْلِ شَجَرَةٍ حَتَّى يُدْرِكَكَ الْمَوْتُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى ذَلِكَ.

Hazrat Huzaifara bin al-Yaman narrated, “The people used to ask Allah’s Messengersa about good, but I used to ask him about evil for fear that it might overtake me. Once I said, ‘O Allah’s Messengersa! We were in ignorance and in evil and Allah has bestowed upon us the present good; will there be any evil after this good?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘Will there be good after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it would be tainted with dakhan [i.e., little evil].’ I asked, ‘What will its dakhan be?’ He said, ‘There will be some people who will lead [people] according to principles other than my tradition. You will see their actions and disapprove of them.’ I said, ‘Will there be any evil after that good?’ He said, ‘Yes, there will be some people who will invite others to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it [by them].’ I said, ‘O Allah’s Messengersa! Please describe those people to us.’ He said, ‘They will belong to us and speak our language.’ I asked, ‘What do you order me to do if such a thing should take place in my life?’ He said, ‘Adhere to the Jamaat of Muslims and their Imam.’ I asked, ‘If there is neither a Jamaat nor an Imam, [what shall I do]?’ He said, ‘Keep away from all those different sects, even if you had to bite [i.e., eat] the root of a tree, till you meet Allah while you are still in that state.’”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab ‘alamatin n-nubuwwati fi l-islam)

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