Abdur-Rahmaan al-Awzaa’ee (d. 157H) rahimahullah says, “Hold fast to the narrations of the salaf, even if people were to abandon you. Beware of the opinions of the people, no matter how much they beautify it with their speech” [al-Khateeb al-Bagdadee in his excellent book Sharafu Ashaabul-Hadeeth, page 7].
Muḥammad ibn Sirin says, “They used to consider themselves on the [right] path as long as they followed al-athar (guidance of the Sunnah and Salaf as passed down in the narrations)” (Al-Lalika-i, Sharḥ Usool I’tiqad Ahlsunnah wal Jama’ah, 1/120).
Abdullāh b. Al-Mubarak says, “Let it only be the narrations (sunnah) that you rely upon, and take from reasoning and opinion that amount that will help you to understand and explain ḥadīth.” (Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jami’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm wa Faḍlihi, 3/329).
Ibn Abi Dawud as-Sijistaani rahimahullah, in the Mandhumah Ha-iyya says, “Cling to the Rope of Allah and follow guidance (sunnah). And do not be a person of innovation so that you may be successful”.
‘Uthmān b. Ḥāḍir says, “I said to Ibn ‘Abbās: ‘advise me.’ He replied, ‘It is upon you to be upright, follow al-athar, and beware of innovating [in religion].’” (Ibn Battah, Al-Ibana Al-Kubra, 1/214).
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