The Realization of Prophet's statement: You will certainly follow the sanan (way) of those who came before you!

The following hadeeth is a warning - not an allowance:

Aboo Sa'eed al-Khudree (radiallaahu 'anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: You will certainly follow the sanan (way) of those who came before you, like the feather (of the arrow) exactly resembles the feather - such that if they were to enter the hole of a lizard, you would certainly enter it. They said: Oh Messenger of Allaah! The Jews and the Christians? He said: Who else? [Bukhari, Muslim]  

Shaikh Rabee' Bin Haadee Al Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) said: "So Ahlul Bid'ah have fallen into this evil, and have followed the previous nations in regards to altering the meanings of text, and lying and spreading falsehood. So there is a great similarity between Ahlul Bid'ah and those people. And the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) had already informed us that they would follow them." [From Al Mawqiful Saheeh Min Ahlul Bid'ah, pgs. 22-24] 

Here are some examples how people of Bid'ah are imitating the Jews and Christians: 

1- Christians worship Jesus, son of Mary; sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummaah (such as the Sufis) worship Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), making du'aa to him, seeking refuge in him, giving him the status and rights that only Allaah Ta'aala deserves. [Refuge in Allaah is taken from these acts of shirk!]  

2- Christians say "Jesus is son of god"; sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummaah (such as the Sufis) say, "The Prophet was created from the Noor of Allaah." [Refuge in Allaah is sought from this statement of shirk!]

3- Jews and Christians took their rabbies and monks as lords besides Allaah (Surat At-Tawbah, ayah 31) by obeying them in making halal "haram" and haram "halal." Sadly, the Sufis and others from the people of Bid'ah from this Ummah take their "shaikhs" as lords besides Allaah in obeying them in making "haram" what Allaah made halal, and making "halal" what Allaah made haram. [Refuge in Allaah is sought from this shirk!]

4- Christians and Jews invoke other than Allaah, seek refuge in other than Allaah, take oaths by other than Allaah, and rely on other than Allaah. Sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummaah (such as the Raafidah and Sufis and Barelwis and Deobandees) are doing the same, directing acts of worship to other than Allaah; they direct acts of worship (such as du'aa, seeking refuge, seeking deliverance, slaughtering, taking oaths, reliance) to Hassan, Hussein, Zainab, Fatimah, al-Badawi, 'Abdul-Qadir Jilani, etc... [Refuge in Allaah is taken from these acts/statements of shirk!]  

5- Christians bury their Popes in Churches; sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummaah (such as the Sufis) bury Muslims in masaajid. [Refuge in Allaah is taken from this bid'ah that leads to shirk!]

6- Jews began suicide bombing; sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummaah (such as the Khawarij, Ikhwanul Muslimeen) imitate them [check the chronology, and you will see the Jews did this first]. [Refuge in Allaah is taken from this major transgression!]

7- Christians celebrate Jesus' birthday; sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummah (such as the Sufis) celebrate the Prophet's birthday. [Refuge in Allaah is sought from this bid'ah that is often accompanied by many other transgressions, and sometimes accompanied by shirk!]

8- Baptists sing in their churches; sadly, some people of Bid'ah from this Ummah (such as the Sufis, Ikhwanul Muslimeen) sing anaasheed. [Refuge in Allaah is sought from this bid'ah!] 

Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) listed some benefits of the hadeeth narrated by Aboo Sa'eed al-Khudree. Here are some of them:

The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) informed that his ummah (nation) would not leave aside anything which the Jews and Christians do, even something slight.

- It contains a proof showing that shirk will occur in this ummah because it was found in the previous nations before us, and there will be in this nation those who do it following these previous nations.

- Shows the occurrence of shirk in this nation, in blind imitation of those nations that came before this nation.

- Shows one of the signs of his (sallallaahu 'alaiyhi wa sallam) prophethood, in that he informed us of something before it actually occurred, and then that matter occurred just as he told us.

- Shows a warning against imitating the kuffaar (disbelievers).

- Shows a warning against that which the kuffaar fell into from shirk with Allaah, and matters other than this from those things which Allaah, the Most High, has forbidden. [From Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan's SharH of Kitab at-Tawheed]  

The Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Whoever imitates a folk is but among them." [Refer to al-Jaami'us-Sagheer (2/167), reference to Aboo Daawood from the hadeeth of Ibn 'Umar, and reference to at-Tabaranee al-Awsat from the hadeeth of Hudhayfah.]

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