The Essence Of Islam

A'udhu billah-imin-esh-shaytan-ir-rajim

Resulullah 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' stated: "When fasad (mischief, instigation, disunion, tumult) runs rife among my Ummat (Muslims), a person who abides by my Sunnat [1] will acquire blessings equal to the amount deserved by a hundred martyrs." Scholars affiliated with any one of the four Madhhabs [2], (which are, namely, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali,) are called Scholars of Ahl as-Sunna [3]. The leader of the scholars of Ahl as-Sunna is al-Imam al-a'zam Abu Hanifa [4]. These scholars recorded what they had heard from the Sahaba-i kiram [5], who, in their turn, had told them what they had heard from the Messenger of Allah 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam'.

The earth is populated by three groups of people today:

1–Disbelievers. These people say that they are not Muslims. Jews and Christians are in this group.

2– The Sunni Muslims. These people exist with an ever-increasing population in every country.

3– (Hypocrites called) Munafiqs [6]. They say that they are Muslims. With respect to iman [7] and some acts of worship, they are not comparable to the Ahl as-Sunnat. They are not true Muslims.

Our Prophet 'sall-Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam' stated, "A person whom Allahu ta'ala loves very much is one who learns his religion and teaches it to others. Learn your religion from the mouths of Islamic scholars!"

A person who cannot find a true scholar must learn by reading books written by the scholars of Ahl as-sunna, and try hard to spread these books. A Muslim who has 'ilm (knowledge), 'amal (practising what one knows; obeying Islam's commandments and prohibitions), and ikhlas (doing everything only to please Allahu ta'ala) is called an Islamic scholar. A person who represents himself as an Islamic scholar though he lacks any one of these qualifications is called an 'evil religious scholar', or an 'impostor'. An Islamic scholar is a guard who protects Islam. An impostor is Satan's accomplice.

[1] sunnat: i) act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta'ala, done and liked by the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) as an 'ibada (there is thawab if done, but no sin if omitted, yet it causes sin if continually omitted and disbelief if disliked; the Sunna; i) (with fard) all the sunnas as a whole; ii) (with the Book or Qur'an al-karim) the Hadith ash-sharif; iii) (alone) fiqh, Islam.
[2] madhhab: all of what a profound 'alim of (especially) Fiqh (usually one of the four-Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali) or iman (one of the two, namely Ash-ari, Maturidi) communicated.
[3] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[4] imam: i) profound 'alim; founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) caliph.
[5] Sahaba: if a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi. Plural form of Sahabi is Sahaba or As'hab. The word Sahaba-i kiram includes all those great people each of whom has seen the Prophet at least once. The lowest of the Sahaba is much higher than the highest of other Muslims. If a person has not seen the Prophet but has seen or talked to one of the Sahaba at least once, he is called Tabi'. Its plural form is Tabi'in. In other words, the Tabi'in are the successors of the Sahaba. If a person has not seen any of the Sahaba but has seen at least one of the Tabi'in, he is called Taba'i Tabi'in. The Sahaba, the Tabi'in and the Taba'i tabi'in altogether are called the Salaf-i salihin (the early savants).
[6] munafiq: one in the disguise of a Muslim but disbelieves Islam, but believing in another religion; a hypocrite.
[7] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.