“The forerunners, the first of the Muhajirun and the Ansar,
and those who have followed them in doing good,
Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.
He has made ready for them gardens with rivers flowing under them,
timelessly forever without end.
That is the great victory.”
(Surat at-Tawba: ayat 101)
As-Salaamu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullah.
A’udhu billahi min ash-shaytanir-rajim,
The point we are going to move towards is to examine al-Muwatta of Imam Malik. But we want to arrive at a way of looking at it that removes from it what is already built into your education, your modernised, modernist education, which is a false view of the very essential matters that you must understand in a salafi manner. We want to remove the pre-judged, not the prejudiced in the ordinary sense of having a bad opinion, but a pre-judged view of what is, for example, such a thing as al-Muwatta of Imam Malik and what is the teaching of Malik.
Before we go into the details, in order that there is no confusion, in order that I make quite clear from where this is all coming – we have been taught something in this modernist version which is not what the Muslims were taught, and have been taught, for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. We have an idea that has been given to us by a whole set of our so-called ‘ulama who have completely changed the salafi picture. And I include in this the people who call themselves the Salafi Movement, because it is one of the aspects of the re-writing of Islamic ‘aqida and the re-writing of the real, traditional view of the kitab wa sunna. So that the slogan ‘Kitab wa Sunna’ politically already represents a position that is in fact utterly inimical to it, so that many who hold to it are in fact in a deep, haram, political commitment.
Let us take one word. Let us take this word ‘madhhab’. And ‘madhhab’ is not a difficult word. It is from ‘DhHB’ so it could not be more simple, it is one of the first words that the ‘Ajami’ learns when he starts arabic. Dhahaba is a root – ‘he went’, and so his ‘way’ became his ‘school’. ‘The way he took’, is existential, is human, is lived behaviour, and this becomes a school, and this implies an intellectual position. When you come to the time of the gathering of the hadith among the great muhaddithun whom we honour and respect, I am not speaking against them, please understand this, something happened. At each stage of these crystallisations and formalizations there was a price to be paid.
The picture of ‘madhhab’ changes through the historical periods. But they have been different stages of a process and these are part of it, but we must understand that in it, in these things, the struggle to maintain the salafi teaching of Islam came up against new cultural events that made it difficult. And so a kind of portmanteau effect began to take place in the learning, in the intellectual approach of the scholars. But my point which we made all through yesterday, was that we do not consider Islam as sustained by scholars – it is sustained by fuqaha, by people who pass legal judgement, who govern, and who control the social nexus of the Muslims in all aspects of life.
The word madhhab we see quite clearly indicates ‘this is the direction he took.’ It is the line he took, it is the line of Malik – what we find is that these great men were defending this primal material. And what has been presented to us is that there are different madhhabs as if between the madhhabs there was, as it were, a fine legal point of difference. As if the difference between the Hanifiyya and the Shafi’iyya is over certain particular points of law – laws of ‘waqf’, laws of trading, laws of divorce, and so on. This is the first picture of madhhab which suggests therefore some unity of madhhabs with peripheral, tertiary differences. Now that is the official, modernist viewpoint. What you find that the modernists say is, “All the madhhabs are the same really, and we do not argue among ourselves about the madhhabs.” And they say this as if they had achieved some marvellous objectivity – an objectivity nowhere demanded in this primal order to follow Kitab wa Sunna. On the contrary what is demanded is a meticulous commitment to a particular way, and not to allow anything to get in its way. So there cannot be from that point of view, four ways. There is one, primal salafi way!
The modernists say all the madhhabs are really the same. Now they are saying this while politically they are dumping the madhhab – which means dumping legal judgement and execution of judgement and Islamic authority and political power. Because the modernist movement was spawned by freemasons within the Islamic community – Jamalud-din al-Afghani, Muhammad ‘Abduh, Rashid Rida, were completely enmeshed in their commitment, which was openly to subvert the Islamic ethos. And every trouble that we have today is traced back to them. All the tragedy of egypt is traced back to them, and all the useless wasted blood from the Ikhwan al-Muslimun – despite the many noble and genuinely committed men in it – they are victims of this ludicrous misreading of the Islamic ethos, ending up with people who are journalists making tafsir of Qur’an, riddled with errors. I want you to hold different concepts of madhhab and stretch one past the other to see the changing view of it. We have to understand the changes that have happened within our own umma, and of which we are the inheritors.
The modernists said all the madhhabs are really the same, that there are just peripheral differences. Having got everyone to agree to this, they then indicated that the differences of the madhhabs were of a ridiculous, divisive nature. You see, there is a dishonesty, a deception, a hypocrisy in their line – in the line of Rashid Rida, in the line of Muhammad ‘Abduh. There is a deceptiveness because they are saying, “All the madhhabs are the same, there are peripheral differences. So why have you divided all this – it is so unnecessary, we do not need the madhhabs, we want to go beyond that,” to what they call the salafi position. Now having said that, they then rush to quote the hadith about “differences in my community are a mercy,” and they say, “But look! Do you see how wonderful it is that we are tolerant and we have all these different madhhabs and so it is all ‘all fine’.” And at the end of the day, you look round and there is no government using any of these madhhabs to make any legal decision about anything. And then you find that the people who are calling for this new salafi Islam in which you get a joining of what is apparently strange, but which we will see later is absolutely inevitable, the joining of two apparently totally contradictory movements – the wahhabiyya of the peninsula, and the modernists of egypt and the subcontinent with Maudoudi. And you find them strangely united, although apparently totally opposite, these two positions, but with one politique, which is monopoly capitalist and which is totally kafir and has ended up with political alliances with the deadly enemies of Islam.
Having done this strange juggling with madhhab they then move on, by some kind of analysis of a primal Islamic ethos which they have said is political, and then say ‘so we need an Islamic state’ and they start to sketch for you an Islamic state that has never existed on the face of the earth by their definition, (which is nothing other than the modern, western, 18th century-based, structuralist, institutionalist, masonic, state bureaucracy), which is to them an ideal because it has never been historically achieved. How is it that they are not calling you to the salafi model? And what is the salafi model? It is Madinah al-Munawwara.
Now we find that the word madhhab has been reduced and taken out of the political sphere and redefined as a matter of legalities and details of ‘ibada, and we then find that we are asked to see them – ‘all the same but there is some slight difference, so there is almost really nothing different but the movement of a finger in the latter part of the prayer between one madhhab and another, so really, what is all the fuss about that?’ And as they are saying that, if you do this in Makka the guards of the Ka’ba, come and catch your finger because they say it is a bid’a. They are saying intellectually one thing and politically behaving in this abominable way in another. And that is the exact relationship they have to madhhab.
Now we look at another possibility, which is that in this primal sense madhhab is a way that is taken, and we will say that really there is only one way and I will go further and say there has been only one way. And that is the way of the primal community of Madinah al-Munawwara, in the first days of The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, of his Companions, radhiallahu ‘anhum, of his tabi’in and tabi’in of tabi’in. And there was the model functioning in all its tremendous, extravagantly full social splendour. We are not idealists, we are not people who have never had this on the face of the earth.
We are not utopians who long that one day the chains of man’s suffering will be broken. We are realists who have seen demonstrated the second great miracle of The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, which is the transformation of his desert people, his ansar and muhajirin, into an illuminated city, which is itself the proof of Islam and the demonstration to the world that men are not disgusting, they are not broken, they are not sinful, they are not cursed, but that they are noble, that they are khalifs on the earth and that Allah has chosen them because they are the crown of His creation and they were given a way by which they can live – that is something tremendous. And it happened! And where did it happen? Madinah al-Munawwara!
Now you must understand this if you are to understand all that comes later, because otherwise we say that if we do not take Madinah and accept Madinah then we reject the effective power and position that was accorded to The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi was sallam, because everything that was sent down on him, and everything that he gave us in instruction, was demonstrated, and had to be of its nature something that worked! So if you reject Madinah and the impeccable nature of this wonderful phenomenon, then you reject the validity of the Islamic phenomenon itself, and therefore also, you reject the Qur’an because it declares it, it promises, and in the ayat that we heard read, it announces it!
We are not going to look very pedantically at this pathway that takes us to Imam Malik. But we are not coming now to Malik as the leader of the Maliki ‘madhhab’. What we are going to find out when we examine this whole matter, is that these four so-called ‘madhhabs’ have each produced a political reality, and because the dominant one is Hanafi, if you examine the Hanafi madhhab from this perspective that I am taking, you will see that the Hanafi madhhab created, cooperated with, was acceptable to, and responsive to, the urge to empire. And Hanafi teaching is irrevocably identified with the Moghul Empire, with the ‘Uthmaniyya, over everything else. So you will find that its character is for empire, for bureaucracy, for portmanteau legalism.
When we examine this you will find that each madhhab produces a political phenomenon. What we will find is that the teaching which Malik protected and defended and presented to the umma, was a teaching whose result was this: a dynamic tension between the amir and the fuqaha who were the bastions, the guardians of the laws of God, who approved it, who made it happen and who pleaded the case and who insisted on the case to the point of persecution, to the point of torture, to the point of assassination. And when leadership, when the nidhamiyya slipped out of their hands beyond an acceptable limit after their unconditional opposition to anything that was against what Allah had decreed in law – they would find that once the dialectic between the two could not function, they would withdraw and make hijra.
And that principle which is at the basis of the salafi phenomenon is hijra from Makka to Madinah, hijra from an impossible situation to a possible situation, at the core, repeated again and again in this path of those men who held to this teaching which made possible the Islamic phenomenon – nothing else! Irrefutable proof, again and again and again, of a repetition of the primal, salafi experience. That is what we can show to you in this way of those people who followed Malik.
So we have the first element which is the dynamic tension, the dialectic between amirate and fiqh, between nidhamiyya and judgement according to the Islamic law of the salafi situation of Madinah. And then you have the impossible moment, you have the barrier point, because everything is in motion – there is no ‘fixed point’ there is no Islamic state, there is Islamic governance! Do you understand the difference? There is not an institutionalised stasis – it is not Moghul, it is not Istanbul. It is a dynamic thing and it is a moving thing, and it changes its character by the men involved in it. And then there is a point beyond which they cannot accept it, and they pull out, and they make hijra. But this is not the end of the case because they are obliged to ‘iqamah as-salat’, they are obliged to establish the deen, they are obliged to impose the deen. They are obliged to fight, until the people say, “La ilaha illa’llah!” So what happens is that wherever they make hijra to, there they establish honourable governance.
This pattern can go from a city, from a country – it can shrink down to a group. It can be nomadic, it can be a civilisation. It is a totally functional, social reality the minute two people are there and not one – which is what Islam is.
Not only that, but then by the nature of this tremendous burden that has been placed on them, which they cannot bear, which God has told them they cannot bear, in the Qur’an, but they have to take on, they then have to up and carry it and deposit it – which is jihad! They gather their strength from where they have made hijra, they prepare, by study, by intensification of knowledge, by plunging into the depths of the Qur’an, by invocation of Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala, and repetition of the blessed ayats of the Qur’an, by calling on Allah, by His Blessed Names, and by practising war. Then when they can no longer contain this energy, they burst out of their ribats and make jihad and conquer the place in the name of Allah and His prophet and reestablish justice – social justice! This is the Islam that I can demonstrably show to you, documented, again and again, by those people who have held to this primal way. And it can not be shown outside the people who have rejected the ‘amal of Madinah.
Now we come to the evidence – now we become a court. We will go over the material step by step, and examine it, and we will see the proofs to which there are no answers. Because this argument is not new – I am not presenting you new material. The material I have was assembled a thousand years ago. And it is a record of five hundred years completely in accordance with the social pattern I have described to you, the social rhythm, and change that I have described to you. Now after that first five hundred years then the same pattern repeats itself again and again among the people who followed this teaching of the ‘amal of Madinah. And it is to be found in the Fulani jihad of ‘Uthman dan Fodio in Northern Nigeria. It is to be found again and again in North Africa.
So that a whole different flavour, a whole different experience, a whole different historical path is to be found where these people went – which is not tinged by the curse of empire, and power structure, and dunya beyond the limits, as is to be found in the middle east, in the ‘Uthmaniyya, in the Moghul, and at those points where this teaching was stifled and smothered at certain points in the Maghrib. How are we to try and judge them? That this deen of Islam coming from The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, is one of deep, deep brotherhood, and the foundation of that brotherhood is an uncompromising love of our Prophet, blessings of Allah and peace be upon him, and his Companions, all of them, because if you do not have that trusting and unprejudiced love and commitment and involvement with all of them, then you will take into your own hearts, conflict and divisiveness, right at the very beginning of your journey. When we speak of the sahaba, remember we are speaking of those men that God has praised. Do not forget this. Unconditionally honoured above all of the human creation.
“You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind.
You enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency
and you believe in Allah.”
(Surat Al ‘Imran, ayat 110).
This is the first necessary element of your Islamic experience. He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:
“My Companions are like stars –
you can guide your way in the dark by any of them.”
The first element of the Islamic experience is the phenomenon of The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, coming at the end of the chain of Messengers as the final Messenger whose message is for all mankind. “Rahmatu li’l-’alamin”, he is The Messenger and the mercy for all the worlds. And then that Allah gave to him Companions of this high calibre that we bless all of them and love all of them and anyone defined by that name is in our hears in unquestioned love.
Qadi ‘Iyad, radhiallahu ‘anhu, says:
“The Prophet’s Companions supported him in firmly establishing his shari’ah during his lifetime and after his death. They succeeded him in protecting it and keeping it in good custody”.
So we have an unconditional recognition that the teaching was preserved.
“In numerous revealed texts Allah has indicated explicitly how He granted them excellence above others, commanding that they also be taken as examples to be emulated. And he gave severe warning against following paths other than theirs. He brought them to make their home in Madinah, the homeland of His Revelation, the ultimate refuge of His deen and the place where His shari’ah was instituted and established, the land to which His angels came down, the place of the hijra of The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, the place in which His book was revealed, the land where the legacy of all His messengers was brought together to live forever, the place where all good was joined together. The cave of iman and wisdom, the golden mine of the shari’ah and sunna, the radiant lamp of guidance by the light of which the regions of the East and West were illuminated. The unending fountainhead of knowledge from which all rivers, valleys and tributaries draw their water.”
“Allah then caused the Companions to be succeeded in each generation by followers of thorough truthfulness and justice.”
In other words, the light that came from this amazing, wonderful blessing of the existence of our Messenger, was so powerful that it affected not only this generation but the following ones, because the light was so strong from him and then from them.
“Progeny of guidance and most excellent character. Gnosis and knowledge and discernment. From among them He chose the Imams of the Muslims and set up from among them great people of learning, regarding the world and the deen. They clarified for the world what had been difficult to understand. They followed closely these aspects of the sunna which were well established and by means of their discernment and authentic ijtihad” – and this word ijtihad we will examine in greater detail later – “They arrived at rulings for those matters for which there were no explicit revealed texts. They extended by analogy those rulings of the shari’ah which they understood so that they applied to other matters also”.
In other words, what our Messenger gave us was something alive that could function. Whatever was brought by existence, by creation, that was new, we would have the means, the technique, the science and the people – the people, who could work out how to deal with it. Now, if it did not happen then, it could not happen later. It had to have happened then, and it did happen then, and we have the record of it happening then, we have the proof of it. And the end product of Islam, remember, is not a machine, is not a culture, and not like the freemasons say – architecture and jugs and vases and carpets and music. It is men! The Prophet made men! And where there are men then there are women of equal worth and quality.
Qadi ‘Iyad says:
“They did not deviate from the centre of the path of careful examination, and did not follow the side-roads that lead astray. They did not arbitrarily establish misguided personal opinions as the authority in their deen” – this was to be the special contribution of the modernists – “They were not filled with indifference and negligence like the godless, nor were they obstinate and headstrong. Rather, they followed in the footsteps of those who had gone before them. They followed closely the paths of the earlier generations in holding fast to the foundations of the shari’ah.”
“No harm came to them from the contrary opinions of those sects who opposed them, or from discordant controversies of those who unyieldingly adhered to their whims and their passions and were ultimately drowned in them.”
In other words all the sects and all the breakaways and all the intellectualisations in the early days did not stop these men from holding to this primal teaching.
“Only that person attains true success who follows closely the footsteps and the acts contrary to the course of those who take flight from following.”
In other words, those who kept to this straight path, they had the success, because they followed the ones before them. He has said in this book that he has written: “I have gathered together the basic material that tells the lives of these men, because unless I tell you the lives of these men you are not going to understand why this is it, and everything else is not it.”
You have to see the demonstration of the end result which is men of the most extraordinary calibre. And what he unfolds later, is a quite stunning phenomenon. He presents you to a man, a slave, who is a qadi, a slave who becomes a qadi who is controlling and ruling an amir. There is no elitism, there is no racism, there is no preferential treatment, there is no elite, except the elite of knowledge and moral character. It is most extraordinary! And he says, “I will show you this and demonstrate it to you.”
So now we come to the main matter. He says:
“Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah has said, may Allah be pleased with him, ‘Mercy comes down from above upon the mentioning and remembrance of the right-guided.’ Abu Hanifa said, ‘Narrations about the ‘ulama and their excellent qualities are more dear to me than much of fiqh for they are courtesies of our people.’ We have mentioned accounts of the ordeals of those of them who were severely put to trial and the tribulations of those of them who were greatly afflicted, such that it be a consolation for those who undergo trials.”
In other words, he says: “I am telling you about what they suffered, and what struggles they had, in order to strengthen you, because you will carry out this teaching, so you are going to have the same thing.” Now this is a man who was the Qadi of Granada, who governed in Cordoba, who governed in Ceuta and who then made hijra – he himself lived every element of this – he himself then made hijra when the muwahiddun came from Tunisia with their false teaching and drove the murabitun out, and he went into Marrakesh in exile. And so powerful was this teaching that they had to send people to Marrakesh to assassinate him. They had no choice – because it was the truth and they could not bear it. Then he says:
“The fountainhead of all this is Madinah. From here the whole thing burst out, and from there it spread abroad. The entire city of Madinah held to this view and from there it extended in the directions of the Hijaz and the Yemen where it was established by the like of Abu Qurra al-Qadi and Muhammad ibn Sadaqah of Fedaki. These followers of this teaching of Malik of Madinah took root in Basra among the cities of Iraq. It prevailed there through Ibn Mahdi, al-Qa’nabi and others,” – and he mentioned their names.
“Khorasan and the land that lies beyond Iraq”, it went there. So now we come to the next thing. He says it was in Nishapur, it was in Iraq, it was in Iran, he said all the places it went – Syria, Egypt, Tashkent, Tunisia, North Africa, Andalusia, etc. It went to all these places and then conflicts began to arise and as he says:
“People were hunting for the quarry of worldly benefits. They vented their malice against the Madinans and consequently the people of this teaching underwent great trials during this period. Although their numbers were great and the common people followed them.”
Then he says civil disturbance came and the thing changed. He also mentioned the Andalusians particularly and their importance. In other words he is saying this is the school that we are going to examine, this is the teaching, the way that we are going to examine – this way of Malik. And this way of Malik is based on the ‘amal of Madinah. Now he begins to examine exactly what this is. You will realize that we are not talking any more, when we say ‘Maliki’, of madhhab in the sense we have been taught. What I am saying is not ‘Maliki’ of now – ‘Maliki’ of then was Islam itself, without one single piece of unclean matter on it.
He says we must first examine the excellence of Madinah and the Prophet’s prayer for it. He says:
“Anas ibn Malik has transmitted that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Oh Allah! Bless them in the scales, their sa’ and their mudd,’” – i.e. their weights and their measures, and meaning by that the people of Madinah – “It has been transmitted from Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, ‘Oh Allah! Give us blessing in our fruit and produce, give us blessing in our sa’ and our mudd,’ –in our weights and measures – ‘Oh Allah! Ibrahim is indeed your slave, your dearly beloved, and your Prophet and I am your slave and your Prophet. He prayed to You for the sake of Makka and I pray to You for the sake of Madinah with the like of that with which he called upon You for Makka and with what is similar to it, as well as it.’”
“‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said to ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Ayyash, ‘Are you the one who says that Makka is more excellent than Madinah?’ And ‘Abdallah said, ‘Makka is Allah’s haram, His sanctuary. In it there is His house.’ And ‘Umar said, ‘I am not talking in the least about Allah’s haram, or His house, or His sanctuary!’ ‘Umar repeated to him again the same question – and he said, ‘I am not talking about that.’ And he asked the same question again and he said, ‘I am not talking about that!’” In other words, ‘But in Madinah, there was The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and there was the deen of Islam, alive!’
“Ibn ‘Umar has transmitted that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, ‘No person shall patiently endure great difficulties of life or times of sickness in Madinah, or its severity but that I shall be for him a witness and an intercessor on the Day of Rising!’”
“It has been reported from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah that the one upon whom we ask blessings and peace said, ‘Indeed Madinah is like the bellows of a blazing furnace – it purifies what is in it that is impure, and what is in it that is good and pure stands out brightly.’” – And of course, what was in it was his sahaba, without exception! “And in the hadith of Zayd ibn Thabit, ‘Truly it purifies like fire purifies the impurities of silver.’”
“The one upon whom we ask blessings and peace said in a transmission from Sufyan ibn Abu Zuhair, ‘The Yemen will be conquered and people will come to it prodding their camels to go more quickly, transporting them with their families and dependents and all who obeyed them. But Madinah would be better for them if they only knew.’ And he made similar statements about the conquest of iraq and sham.”
“From Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, ‘The one upon whom we ask blessings and peace said, “By Him in whose hand is my soul! No one leaves Madinah out of the desire to leave it and go elsewhere, but that Allah leaves behind in it one more excellent than he.”’”
So it is nothing but increase! If someone goes out of it with some desire that is not for Allah, then He puts someone even better in it.
“And from Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, from The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, ‘There are angels in the roadways and the mountain passes leading to Madinah. Plague does not enter it, nor will the dajjal.’”
“Malik ibn Anas said: ‘Madinah is surrounded by shahids. Upon the roadways and mountain passes that lead to it, there are angels protecting it. Neither the dajjal will enter it, nor the plague. It is the abode of the hijra and the home of the sunna. In it there are the most excellent of people after The Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with all of them. Allah chose it for him after his death, also, and thus made his grave there. In Madinah there is one of the beautiful gardens of the beautiful gardens of Janna.”
Blessings and peace upon the one who said:
“Between the mimbar and my grave is a garden of Janna.”
And there is the mimbar of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. There is not a single city other than Madinah which has the least of these attributes. And in another transmission he adds:
“And it is from Madinah that on the Day of Rising, true nobles of this umma will be raised and sent forth.”
Hammad ibn Waqid as-Saffar said to Malik:
“Abu ‘Abdallah, which is dearer to you? Living here in Madinah, or in Makka?” So Malik answered, “Right here in Madinah! And that is because Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala chose it for His Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, over all the regions of the earth.”
Ja’far ibn Muhammad said:
“It was once said to Malik, You have chosen Madinah as the place where you live, and have turned away from the countryside and the lands of green pastures and fertility!’ He said, ‘How could I not choose it. For there is not a single pathway in Madinah but that the Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, walked down it, while the angel Jibril, peace be upon him, would descend on him in less than an hour, from within the very presence of the Lord of the worlds.’”
So this is the thing from which it comes this love of Madinah, which is the seal of the love of the deen, and that love of Madinah gives love of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and that gives pure tawhid and a correct path to Allah.
“Abu Mus’ab az-Zuhri said: ‘It was once said to Malik, “How did it come to be that the people of Madinah have such softness in their hearts?” He replied, “Because the people of Makka threw out their Prophet, and the people of Madinah brought him in!”’’
“Muhammad ibn Maslama said: ‘I heard Malik say, “I entered into the presence of the Abbasid monarch, al-Mahdi, and he said to me, ‘Give me admonition!” And Malik replied, “The admonition I give you is that you have taqwa before Allah and Him alone and that you show compassion to the people of the city of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, and to those who lived as his neighbours, for it has come down to us that the Messenger, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, ‘Madinah is the place to which I made hijra and it is the place from which I will be raised up. In it there is my grave. The people of it are my neighbours and it is the obligation by the right of my umma that they protect and preserve me in protecting and preserving my neighbours. For whoever shall preserve and protect them, I shall be for him on the Day of Rising, a witness or an intercessor. And whoever does not observe and keep carefully this, my admonition, regarding my neighbours, Allah will give him to drink, from the clay of his own flesh, a poisonous liquid of madness and perdition.’”
So there we have the first glance at the foundations of this Salafi way, which is based on the importance, predominance and preference of the city of Madinah over all other lands, and its people over all other people, in those first generations. And we will insha’Allah look deeper into it, go further into it, until we arrive at something most inspiring, most enlightening, and that will give us a means in this age to revitalise our Islam in a way that will make all the falseness and unnecessary elements simply fall away. And I am taking you on a path that has in it no controversy, because all this is evidential from our Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, from the Book of Allah, and from these great Sahaba, may Allah be pleased with all of them.