Saturday, July 23, 2011

Definition of Jamaa'ah


In the language: "is from Ijtimaa' (a gathering, where people come together, i.e. a unification) and this is the opposite of separation, dispersal. The Jamaa'ah are a people who have united together on a certain matter/affair". [1]

Its usage in the Sharee'ah: "They are the salaf[2] of this Ummah, from among the Sahaabas (companions) and the Taabi'een (successors of the Companions) and whoever follows them in goodness till the Day of Judgement. They are those who unite themselves upon the Book and the Sunnah and upon their leaders (i.e. their scholars) and those who travel upon that which the Messenger, His Companions and those who followed them in goodness were upon". [3]


1. See [Lisaan ul-Arab] 8/53-60.

2. Salaf : Its meaning in the arabic language is 'those who precede, have gone before'. Its usage: a word used by the earliest scholars for the first three generations of muslims and those who are upon their way in accordance with the hadeeth of the Messenger  which is reported by Bukhaaree: "The best of generations is my generation, then those that follow them, then those that follow them". Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah) d. 769 (150 H.) said: "Adhere to the athar (narration) and the tareeqah (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) and beware of newly invented matters for all of it is innovation" [Reported by As-Suyootee in Sawn al Mantaq wal-Kalaam p.32] By clinging to their way, holding on to their beliefs and understanding them as they did, worshipping Allaah in His Oneness, upon the Authentic Sunnah of the Messenger  in the manner of the Companions one is guaranteed success in this life and security from the Fire in the next life. When questioned by his companions about those who will be saved from the Fire, the Messenger replied: "They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon" [Reported by Tirmidhee from Amr ibn al-Aas - Hadeeth Hasan] All the great scholars from the earliest to the later times have advised clinging to the way and methodology (manhaj) of the Salaf and adherence to it as it is the only means of deliverance. Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) says: "There is no fault/criticism for the one who manifests/proclaims the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from him by unanimous agreement (Ittifaaq) because the way (madhdhab) of the Salaf is nothing but the Truth (Haqq)" [Majmoo al-Fataawaa 4:149]

3. See [Al-I'tisaam] by Ash-Shaatibee 1/23 and [Sharh Aqeedat il-Waasitiyyah] by Haras p.16-17 and [Sharh Aqeedat it-Tahaawiyyah] p.33
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