Usool as-Sunnah – Humaydi (d. 219AH)

Posted on October 15, 2006. Filed under: Texts |

Usool as-Sunnah
by: Imam Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubair al-Humaydi (d. 219AH)


Biography of the Author

Name and Lineage:

He is Abdullah ibn az-Zubair ibn ‘Eesa ibn ‘Ubaydullah ibn Usaamah, Abu Bakr, al-Qurashi al-Asadi al-Humaydi al-Makki, Shaykh of the Haram, and the author of al-Musnad.

His Teachers:

He narrated hadith from Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyad and Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah – and he did so with frequency and he excelled – and Wakee’ and ash-Shafi’ee, and others.

His Students:
Bukhari narrated the first hadith in his Saheeh from him. His students also include adh-Dhuhlee, Abu Zur’ah ar-Razi, Abu Haatim ar-Razee, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Idris al-Makki, his scribe, and many besides them.The Scholars’ Praise for Him:
Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal said, “We consider Humaydi an imam.” Abu Hatim said, “The most reliable of people (in narrating) from ibn ‘Uyaynah is al-Humaydi. He is the head of his companions (students), and he is a reliable Imam.” Ya’qub al-Fasawee said, “We narrated from al-Humaydi and I did not meet anyone more sincere to Islam and its people than him.” Al-Haakim said, “When al-Bukhari would find a hadith with al-Humaydi, he would not go beyond it to others.” Harb al-Kirmani, al-Lalaka’i, ibn Taymiyyah, and others described him as an Imam in the Sunnah.

His Writings

The references for the biography of Imam al-Humaydi do not tell us the names of his works as they ought to, but of them, the following can be found:

  1. Al-Musnad
  2. Ar-Radd ‘Ala an-Nu’man (Refutation of an-Nu’man)
  3. At-Tafsir
  4. Ad-Dala’il (Signs)


[The Foundations of the Sunnah]
Bishr ibn Musa narrated to us, saying: al-Humaydi narrated to us, saying:

[Belief in the Divine Decree]

The sunnah, in our view: is that a man must believe in the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it, the sweetness of it, and the bitterness of it, and to know that what what befalls would not have missed him, and what missed him would never have touched him. And that all of that is decreed by Allah, ‘Azza wa Jall.

[Belief is Speech and Action, It Increases and Decreases]

And that belief (emaan) is speech and action. It increases and decreases. Speech does not benefit without action, nor do action or speech benefit without (proper) intention, nor do speech, action, or intention benefit except with the Sunnah.

[Praising the Shabah, may Allah be pleased with them all]

Invoking mercy upon all of the companions of Muhammad (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam), for Allah ‘Azza wa Jall said, “And those who come after them say Oh our Rabb, forgive our brethren they were our predecesors in faith” (Hashr: 10). Thus, one will not have belief except by seeking forgiveness for them. Whoever insults or belittles them or even a single one of them, then he is not upon the Sunnah. And he has no right in the fay’ (spoils). More than one has informed us: from Malik ibn Anas that he said, ” Allah Ta’ala, divided the fay’ between the poor emigrants, those who were driven out of their homes” and then said, “and those who come after them say oh our Lord forgive us and our brethren” (Hashr: 8-10). And whoever does not say this concerning them, then he is not from those for whom there is fay’.

[The Quran is the Speech of Allah The Exalted]

The Quran is the speech of Allah. I heard Sufyan [ibn Uyaynah] saying, “The Qur’an is the speech of Allah, and whoever says it is created is an innovator. And we have not heard anyone saying this.”

[The View of Sufyan regarding Belief (Emaan)]

I heard Sufyan saying, “Iman is speech and action, it increases and decreases.”

His brother Ibrahim ibn Uyaynah said to him, “O Abu Muhammad, do not say that it decreases.” So he got mad and said, “Be quiet o fool, rather it decreases until there is nothing left of it.”

[The Believers seeing their Lord on the Day of Judgement]

And affirmation of ar-Ru’yah (seeing Allah) after death.

[Affirming the Attributes]

And (affirming) what is stated in the Quran and the Hadith such as: “The Jews say Allah’s Hand is tied up” (5:64). And such as, “And the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand” (39:67) And what is similar to this from the Qur’an and the Hadith. We do not add to it nor explain it. We stop where the Quran and Sunnah stop, and we say, “The Most Merciful rose over the Throne” (20:5). And whoever claims other than this is a Jahmi and a denier of Allah’s Attributes.

[The difference between Ahlus Sunnah and the Khawarij]

And that we do not say as the Khawaarij do, “Whoever commits a major sin has commited disbelief.” And we do not declare a person a disbeliever because of a sin that they commit. Kufr is only in abandonding the five concerning which Allah’s Messenger(sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) said, “Islam is built upon five: Bearing witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam), to establish prayer, to give zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make Hajj to the house (Ka’bah).”

[When is the proof established on the one who leaves the pillars of Islam, or some of them?]

As for three of them, then do not dispute the one who abandons them: 1) The one who does not give the testimony of faith, 2) nor does he pray, 3) nor does he fast for none of these are delayed from its time nor does it suffice one to make them up after deliberately neglecting to perform them at their time. As for zakah, whenever he gives it, it suffices him, while he is sinful in withholding it.

And as for Hajj, then for whoever it is obligatory and he is capable of performing it, then it becomes binding on him, but it is not binding on him in that very year such that he is no other choice. Whenever, he performs it, then he has fulfilled it, and he is not sinful in delaying it as he would be in delaying zakah for zakah is the right of poor Muslims which he has withheld from them, and hence he is sinful until it reaches them. As for Hajj, it is between him and his Lord, whenever he performs it, it is fulfilled. If he dies while he is able to perform it without having performed Hajj, he asks to be returned to the Dunya to perform Hajj, and it is obligatory on his family to perform Hajj on his behalf, and we hope that would fulfill it on his behalf, as if he had a debt and it was repaid on his behalf after he died.

[End of the risalah and all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.]

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