However, the later peoples do not have this excellence - that they heard the Qur'aan and the Sunnah direct from his mouth - nor did they see how he (S) followed the texts of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah his practice, and from the wisdom is his (S) saying: "Being informed is not like seeing for yourself."
So those who did not see him are not like his Companions
who saw him and heard his words directly and saw how he acted. Today there is a
very nice saying which some people are distinguished by - but it would be nicer
if put into practice. They say in their speeches and lectures, "that it is
upon us to make Islaam take practical shape upon the earth." However, if we
do not understand Islaam, and understand it according to the understanding of
the Salafus-Saalih, then we cannot put this saying into practice. But those who were able to do that were the Companions of the Messenger (S) due to the two reasons that we have mentioned:
a) That they heard his words directly and therefore their retention of it is better than ours;
b) Then there are affairs which need explanation through his (S) action, and they saw that.
I will give you a very clear example. There are some aayaahs in the Qur'aan which a Muslim cannot understand unless he knows the Sunnah, which explains the Noble Qur'aan, as Allaah ta'aalaa says:
WA ANZALNAA ILAIKADH-DHIKRA LITUBAYYINA LINNAASI MAA
NUILA ILAYHIM (We have revealed the Reminder to you in order that you may
explain to the people what has been revealed to them).
Allaah ta'aala's saying:
AS-SAARIQU WAS SAARIQATU FAAQTA'OO AIDEEHIMAA. (The male
and the female thief: Cut off their hands).
Let us produce the Seebawaih (a great scholar of the
'Arabic language of early times) of this age and let him explain this aayah.
Language wise he will not be able to define the 'saariq' (thief) nor the 'yad'
(hand). Who is the thief whose 'yad' is to be cut? What is the 'yad' that should
be cut? He cannot answer! In the language anyone who steals even an egg is a
thief, and the 'yad' goes right up to the shoulder. The answer lies in the aayah
mentioned previously : WA ANZALNAA ILAIKADH-DHIKRA. The answer is found in the
explanation of the Messenger (S) for the Qur'aan. That explanation is found in
the practice - for this and for many other aayaahs. He who reads the 'science of
Usool' finds that there is 'General and Particular', 'Unrestricted and
Restricted' and 'Abrogating and Abrogated' texts - comprehensive words under
which come tens if not hundreds of texts, general texts restricted by the Sunnah
- and I will not prolong this further in order to answer the rest of the questions.
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