The Distinguishing Signs of the People of Sunnah – Shaykh Saaleh al Fawzan
ًQuestion: Eminent Shaykh, this questioners asks: “What are the distinguishing signs of Ahlu Sunnah wal jamaa’ah?”
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and peace and salutation be up on our prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.
The distinguishing signs of the People of Sunnah are many – and all praises and thanks be to Allah.
The most distinguishing being: Acting upon the book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and the soundness of their creed from ideological deviations and the deviations that some sects have been exposed to.
Ahlu Sunnah wal jamaa’ah are upright, upon the Book and the Sunnah. They act upon what the preferred generations were upon; the companions, tabi’een and those who followed them in righteousness. In accordance with the statement of the Prophet’s saying: “Upon you is my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, cling to it and bite onto it with your molar teeth, and be aware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a misguidance”
They act upon the Book and Sunnah and what the Salaf of this ummah were upon. They avoid Innovation and newly invented matters, they avoid false misinterpretations of the names and attributes [of Allah]. They affirm the names and attributes [of Allah], in accordance to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, peace be upon him, they do not distort, make resemblance or negate [the names and attributes of Allah] as Allah says: “There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Ash-Shura 42:11)