UNDERSTANDING COMPREHENSIVE ITTIBA’ (FOLLOWING THE SUNNAH) IN OUTWARD AND INWARD ACTS, AND ITS EFFECT UPON THE UMMAH
Praise be to Allah, the One Who gathered you to face Him, by the guidance of His Beloved, The Chosen One, Muhammad ﷺ, the guidance which encompasses everything which He is pleased with, which He loves from us, which He has legislated for us upon his noble hand ﷺ from amongst the external states and deeds, and internal states and characteristics of the heart; which are beloved to Allah are from the Prophet’s guidance and performing them is sunnah and part of following him.
It is no one’s authority to separate between the outward acts of worship and the inward matters of the heart from love, longing and exaltation. Are these not part of following him? Who says that the outward acts are part of following his example but the inward acts are not? No by Allāh! Rather the inward acts are greater in weight to the Lord and loftier in reward to Allāh.
For loving him ﷺ is ittiba’ (part of following the sunnah), longing for him ﷺ is ittiba’, exaltation of him ﷺ is ittiba’, praising him ﷺ is ittiba’, sending blessings upon him ﷺ is ittiba’, gathering for remembrance is ittiba’, recitation of poetry in praising him ﷺ is ittiba’; so who then wants to separate the acts of ittiba’ from each other? Who then wants to lead others to believe that ittiba’ is merely outward forms of deeds bereft of internal meanings?! We did not find this in any of the lives of the companions nor the tabi’in (the generation of Muslims after the companions) and those who followed them in righteousness… did any of the companions say, “I shall follow you in the commands and prohibitions without having longing nor humility before you nor love for you (O Prophet)?”
– extracted from Sayidil Habīb Umar Bin Hafidz’s speech on 11th Rabi’ul Awwal 1438H, Masjid Āl Al-Bait, Oman. Click on the link below to listen to full speech.