For Salafi Islam: A Guide to the Blessed Path to Allah

Andrii Zvorygin yN-PH2196 mtH2a1 & GPT4
attender of Glad Tidings Fellowship, Tara, ON

1 Disclaimer:

Our exploration is deeply rooted in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, reflecting the understanding of the pious predecessors (Salaf as-Salih). Allah says, ”And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran 3:103) We pray for clarity and adherence to the pure teachings of Islam.

2 Introduction:

Continuous devotion to Allah isn’t a transient act but demands us to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in all aspects of life. Allah mentions in Surah Al-Ankaboot (29:69), ”And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) embodied true devotion to Allah, underscoring sincerity (ikhlas) in every action. Our journey isn’t about mere perfection but in earnestly seeking His mercy and forgiveness. ”Whoever treads a path seeking knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the path to Paradise.” (Hadith, Sahih Al-Bukhari)

3 Trusting in God’s Provision:

”Allah is the best of providers” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Jumu’ah 62:11). Every creature, great or small, finds its sustenance from Him, as Allah declares, ”There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance depends on Allah” (Qur’an, Surah Hud 11:6). As believers, when we fully submit to Allah with a sincere heart, He opens doors we never imagined: ”Whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out, and He will provide for him from where he does not expect” (Qur’an, Surah At-Talaq 65:2-3). This trust and dependence on Allah is not limited to material provision; it extends to spiritual sustenance and guidance. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ”Show mercy to those on earth, and the One above the heavens will show mercy to you” (Hadith, Sunan At-Tirmidhi). Thus, our righteousness is deeply interwoven with our compassion and mercy towards all of Allah’s creation. To tread this path is to place our complete trust in Allah’s wisdom and decree.

4 Recognizing the Divine Beyond and His Signs Within Creation:

In the vast tapestry of existence, Allah’s omnipresence reminds us of His intimate understanding of our deepest thoughts. ”We have created man, and We know the promptings of his soul,” (Qur’an, Surah Qaf 50:16) is a testament to this intimate connection. Creation, while reflecting Allah’s divine attributes, does not stand as a partner but rather as a manifestation of His will. This emphasizes the profound principle of Tawhid: that there is no god but Allah. Every nuance of His creation, ”And within the land are neighboring plots and gardens of grapevines and crops and palm trees...” (Qur’an, Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:4), ”Whithersoever you turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing, all-Knowing.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:115). We’re called upon to uphold the values He cherishes, ”Indeed, Allah commands justice, good conduct...” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Nahl 16:90). Navigating our existence means balancing between recognizing Allah’s signs in all creation and upholding the pure monotheistic principles. We are reminded: ”And those who are patient, seeking the face of their Lord...” (Qur’an, Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:22). Every act of kindness and respect we exhibit is our testament to Him. As we immerse in the divine essence both within and beyond, we hold steadfast to the teaching: ”So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it,” (Qur’an, Surah Az-Zalzalah 99:7). Thus, by cherishing creation and seeing it as part of Allah’s singular essence — without equating it to Him — we truly embrace the profound depths of Tawhid.

5 Service, Respect, and Love: Emulating the Divine Commands

Allah, in His boundless wisdom, instructs us not to dominate but to serve. He cautions, ”And do not think you are superior,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Fajr 89:11-12) prompting us to humility. Service stems from recognizing Allah’s sovereignty, understanding that all power truly belongs to Him: ”For the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran 3:189).

Respecting the free will of others is paramount. As Allah, the Most Wise, granted man free will, we are admonished against transgression: ”Do not transgress; indeed, Allah does not like transgressors,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:190). Our interactions are to be guided by fairness and justice, as Allah declares: ”Allah commands justice and good conduct,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Nahl 16:90).

Marriage is a sacred bond, described beautifully: ”And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them,” (Qur’an, Surah Ar-Rum 30:21). Our spouses are our garments, and we are theirs, signifying closeness, protection, and mutual understanding.

Moreover, family ties are deeply revered. Allah advises us, ”And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs [that bore you],” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Nisa 4:1). The bonds of kinship are to be held in the highest regard, reaffirming the significance of family in Islam.

Our neighbors, irrespective of their beliefs or backgrounds, are also to be treated with kindness and respect. The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the rights of neighbors so much so that he said, ”Gabriel kept recommending treating neighbors with kindness until I thought he would assign a share of inheritance,” (Hadith, Sahih Al-Bukhari).

The love for all creation, an embodiment of our love for Allah, is evident in His command: ”There is not an animal [that lives] on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but [forms part of] communities like you,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-An’am 6:38). Thus, every creature, every facet of nature, is a manifestation of Allah’s artistry, demanding our respect and care.

6 Embracing Forgiveness, Love, and Acceptance in Light of the Qur’an and Sunnah:

Allah’s Boundless Mercy: Our understanding of Allah’s attributes begins with His absolute monotheism (tawhid). Among His attributes is His boundless mercy. He declares, ”My Mercy encompasses all things, so I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakat and those who believe in Our verses.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-A’raf 7:156). This divine mercy is a guidance for believers to adopt in their interactions with others.

Prayer for Forgiveness: Being aware of our innate shortcomings as humans, we consistently turn to Allah, reciting, ”Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we forget or err.” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:286). This plea for Allah’s forgiveness is a profound reminder of our duty to exercise forgiveness towards our fellow Muslims.

Mandate to Kindness: Upholding kindness is a clear command from Allah. ”And those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good - those will have the good consequence of [this] home.” (Qur’an, Surah Ar-Ra’d 13:22). This verse illuminates the path for believers, showing kindness even when faced with adversity.

Love for the Sake of Allah: The true essence of love in Islam is loving for the sake of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated, ”None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” (Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim). This Hadith emphasizes the importance of sincere and selfless love among believers.

The Call to Forgive: As we ardently seek Allah’s forgiveness, we’re also instructed to forgive others. ”Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an, Surah An-Nur 24:22). In emulating this divine attribute, we draw nearer to His grace and mercy.

Our path in Islam, illuminated by the Qur’an and Sunnah, directs us to manifest Allah’s teachings of mercy, love, and forgiveness. This not only solidifies our relationship with Him but also establishes a foundation of unity and brotherhood within the Ummah. Embodying these divine characteristics, we align ourselves more closely with the pure and unadulterated essence of faith.

7 Prioritizing Divine Guidance: Navigating Through Salafism

Qur’an Above All: Allah’s words stand paramount. He reminds us, ”This is the Book about which there is no doubt,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:2). While the interpretations of the righteous predecessors offer invaluable insight, they must always be aligned with the Qur’an’s teachings. No understanding should overshadow the text’s clear directives on the path to paradise.

Sunnah – The Prophetic Way: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, ”I have left among you two matters by holding fast to which, you shall never be misguided: the Book of Allah and my Sunna.” (Hadith, Maliks Muwatta). Thus, the Sunnah is the primary source of guidance after the Qur’an.

Role of the Salaf: The righteous predecessors serve as models due to their proximity to the source. Their interpretations are taken to understand the primary sources better, not to replace or supersede them. Allah warns, ”So do not set up rivals for Allah,” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:22). The teachings of the Salaf guide us closer to Allah, not to become idols in themselves.

Beware of Blind Following: Respect the scholarship of the Salaf but avoid blind allegiance to any particular interpretation. Every believer is accountable for their understanding and actions. Allah says, ”And they will say, ’Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.’” (Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahzab 33:67).

Discerning Whisperings: Every believer is accompanied by angels, one recording good deeds and the other recording misdeeds. Beyond this, one must be vigilant against the insidious whisperings (waswas) of Shaytan. To discern the spirits or intentions behind such whisperings, one can test them by asking if they come in the name of Allah and if they testify that Muhammad is His prophet. Allah advises, ”And if an evil suggestion comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an, Surah Fussilat 41:36). This act of affirmation and seeking refuge in Allah helps in discerning between divine inspirations and misleading influences, guiding believers on the path of righteousness.

Continuous Search for Knowledge: The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged seeking knowledge, stating, ”Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim.” (Hadith, Ibn Majah). Continuously referring to the primary sources and consulting various scholars is vital for a holistic understanding.

Maintaining Unity: While there may be minor differences in understanding, the core teachings and beliefs derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah remain consistent. Embrace the wisdom of the Salaf and the diversity in understanding that has existed within Islamic scholarship. This diversity, rooted in sincerity and upholding the Qur’an and Sunnah, is a strength that allows for growth and rich discourse.

In conclusion, Salafism seeks an authentic practice of Islam. While valuing the guidance of the righteous predecessors and recognizing the need for discernment against potential misguiding influences, allegiance must foremost be to the Qur’an and Sunnah. This balanced approach will help followers remain clear and convicted in their path of faith.

8 Closing: Holding Mercy and Love Until Our Final Moments

Awareness of Mortality: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said, ”Frequently remember the destroyer of pleasures - death.” Every soul shall undoubtedly taste death, as the Qur’an reminds us, (Qur’an, Surah Al Imran 3:185). Thus, our time in this world is finite, and with every breath, we are a step closer to meeting our Creator.

Continuous Preparation: The true wise are those who, in their daily lives, keep the Hereafter in perspective and strive in preparation (Hadith, Riyad as-Salihin). It’s not just about the acts we perform, but the state of our heart — a heart that holds mercy, love, and compassion for every being until the very end.

Life as a Trust: Our lives are a trust from Allah, and with this trust comes the responsibility to cherish and uphold the values of love, mercy, and kindness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) conveyed, ”The merciful are shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth, and the One above the heavens will be merciful to you.” (Hadith, Tirmidhi).

Facing Our Personal Day of Judgment: While the ultimate Day of Judgment awaits all (Qur’an, Surah Al-Haaqqa 69:18), our personal reckoning commences the day we depart from this world. Did we leave with a heart full of love and mercy? Were we a source of comfort and compassion to Allah’s creation? Our aspiration is to be among those fortunate souls to whom Allah lovingly declares: ”Enter My Paradise in peace.” (Qur’an, Surah Qaf 50:34).

In conclusion, our journey on earth is transient. Yet, the impact of our actions and the state of our hearts carry eternal significance. May we continuously strive to saturate our hearts with love and mercy, so when our appointed time arrives, we meet Allah with a soul that resonates with His divine attributes of compassion and love.