I always go to the mosque now, and it is a mosque of Ahl al-Hadeeth. The people in my area say that they are more Ahl al-Hadeeth than Muslims, and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said that the group of his ummah who will enter Paradise is the group that follows the Qur’an and Sunnah. I would like to know more about them.
There follows a brief glimpse at Jamaa‘at Ahl al-Hadeeth in India, so that you may become more keen to stay close to them. It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Muyassarah li’l-Adyaan wa’l-Madhaahib wa’l-Ahzaab al-Mu‘aasirah:
Jamaa‘at Ahl al-Hadeeth is the oldest Islamic movement in the Indian subcontinent. It is based on calling people to follow the Qur’an and Sunnah, and to understand them in the light of the understanding of the righteous early generations, namely the Sahaabah and Taabi‘een, and those who followed them in righteousness. They give precedence to them (the Qur’an and Sunnah) over any other opinion or practice, whether that has to do with beliefs, acts of worship, interactions with others, morals and manners, or politics and social issues, in accordance with the way of the scholars who combined the knowledge of fiqh and hadeeth. They are also opposed to practices and beliefs of shirk and innovation, and myths of all kinds. End quote.
Then they said – discussing the ideas and beliefs of Jamaa‘at Ahl al-Hadeeth:
The belief of Ahl al-Hadeeth is the same as the belief of the righteous early generations, based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. The academic and methodological principles of Jamaa‘at Ahl al-Hadeeth are based on:
Tawheed (affirmation of the Oneness of Allah). Ahl al-Hadeeth believe that Tawheed is the foundation of Islam. They give precedence in their da‘wah efforts to spreading the message of pure Tawheed and instilling it in people’s hearts, whilst explaining the three types of Tawheed, especially Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (Oneness of divinity), concerning which many people make mistakes. They also believe in Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (oneness of the divine Lordship) and what it implies, that sharee‘ah should rule the lives of the Muslims. They are not content only to affirm and implement the Islamic political system; rather they believe that the rules and regulations ordained by Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, should shape the individual’s attitude, conduct and all his worldly affairs, including legislation and promulgation of laws.
Following the Sunnah. Ahl al-Hadeeth focus on following that which is narrated in saheeh reports from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in the light of the understanding of the righteous early generations. Hence they do not believe in rigid imitation that calls for adhering to a particular fiqhi madhhab without asking about the evidence. Rather they call for opening the gate of ijtihaad to everyone who fulfils the conditions of ijtihaad, and they call for respect to the mujtahid scholars who follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in particular.
They give precedence to reports over reason, as they give precedence to sharee‘ah, then they subject reasoning to it, because they believe that sound reasoning is in harmony with the saheeh Islamic texts, hence it is not valid to oppose sharee‘ah on the basis of reasoning or to give reasoning precedence over it.
Tazkiyyah shar‘iyyah, i.e., purification of the soul in the manner prescribed in Islam, using all the means mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah. They object to innovated means of purification, whether they are advocated by the Sufis or others.
Warning against innovation, because they think that innovation is in fact trying to make up what Allah omitted and introducing practices on the basis of one’s opinion and reason. Hence they advocate adhering to the Sunnah and avoiding all types of innovation.
Warning against weak and fabricated hadeeths, because these kinds of hadeeth pose a great danger to the ummah; hence it is essential to examine the hadeeths that are attributed to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), especially with regard to matters of belief and rulings. End quote.
See: al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Muyassarah li’l-Adyaan wa’l-madhaahib wa’l-Ahzaab al-Mu‘aasirah, p. 173-185
And Allah knows best.