Imaams of the Sunnah: Vanguards of Islamic Aqeedah
The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,on his deathbed, gathered the people around him and said, “I have left two things that you shall not go astray after them so long as you stick to them: the Book of Allah and My Sunnah.” After the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, moved onto the company of His Lord, the job of defending Islam, its people, it’s lands and it’s beliefs was left to the companions and the inheritors of the Prophets, the scholars. And as Muhammad alShareef mentioned in one of his khutbahs, “And from the depths of the Ummah’s men and women, Allah ta’ala – from His mercy to the Ummah of Muhammad – raised up warriors that would stand in the face of the most vicious of the enemies of the Sunnah.” Amongst these warriors were legends like great fuqahaa and the muhadditheen which many of us should know off the top of our heads like Imaam Maalik (d. 179 AH) and Imaam Al Bukharee (d. 256 AH). One of the signs of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah is that they have their Imaams defending the sunnah, generation after generation in eacha nd every generation, agreeing with each other in their beliefs and methodology, and transmitting only those beliefs that were transmitted to them from the previous generation, preserving the methodology of the previous and the earliest generations and leaving off any and every type of innovation or deviation in this regard, with the earliest Imaams beiong the Sahaaba (Companions) and the initial Imaam being the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Imaam of the Imaams. One such attempt to numerate and chronicle these legendary warriors who defended the Sunnah (islamic aqeedah) was made by Imaam al Laalikaa’ee (d. 418 AH).
I took the following translation from an appendix found in the book “Explanation of the Creed” by Imaam al Barbahaaree (d. 329 AH), translated by Aboo Talha Dawood Burbank. Dawood Burbank starts the appendix by stating:
The following is a translation from Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah of Imaam al Laalikaa’ee (d. 418 AH), checked by Dr. Ahmad Sa’d Hamdaan (vol. 1, pp.29-49):
Chapter: A mention of those described as being the Imaams of the Sunnah, Da’wah, and guidance to the correct way after the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – the Imaam of Imaams.
The chapter is then mentioned and arranged according to superiority of the generations, the companions being first and the rest being last, and according to the cities.
The Appendix is divided into many parts based on the area and time of the Imaams. First one being the companions then the Imaams from each era from an area that Imaam al Laalikaa’ee mentions.
Allah Knows Best
Taabi’een from the People of Madeenah
The People of Makkah
The People of Shaam and Arabian Peninsula
The People of Egypt
The People of Koofah
The People of Basrah
The People of Waasit
The People of Baghdaad & Mawsil
The People of Khurasaan
The People of Rayy and Tabaristaan