From that which distinguishes Ahl al-Sunnah, those upon the way of the Righteous Salaf, is that have firm and unwavering conviction in the absolute completion and perfection of the Shari’ah, in all respects, in belief, worship and methodology. This itself is founded up clear and manifest revealed texts. This cannot be said about the innovators and those who introduce and persist upon what has no basis either in its foundation, or in its details and particulars, from the Book and the Sunnah. For their tongue of disposition necessitates that the Shari’ah is deficient and is in need of completion.
Allaah, the Exalted said:
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
And I created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone). (51:56)
To this end, Allaah revealed Books and sent Messengers and Prophets to mankind who came with legislations that inform and instruct them as to how to worship their Lord. The deen of all Messengers of Prophets is Islaam and whilst they are all upon a single united creed as it relates to faith and monotheism, their legislations varied, because they were suited and appropriate for a given people, time and place. Then Allaah sent the last and final Messenger, Muhammad, whose message is universal. As such, the legislation that he was given was perfected, completed and universal.
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا
This day have I perfected your religion, completed my favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (5:3)
Ibn Katheer commented upon this verse:
This is from the greatest of the favours of Allaah, the Exalted, upon this ummah in that He perfected their deen for them so that they are not in need of any deen besides it, and nor of any prophet besides their Prophet – may the prayers and peace of Allaah be upon Him. And for this reason Allaah, the Exalted, made him the seal of the prophets and sent him to the men and jinn.
Thus, there is no halaal except what he made halaal and there is no haraam except what he made haraam, and there is no deen except what he legislated. And everything he informed about, it is true and the truth, there is no lie in whatsoever or any discrepancy, just as Allaah, the Exalted says,
“And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth (sidq) and in justice (adl)” (6:115),
meaning truthful in the information and just in the commands and prohibitions. So when He perfected the religion for them, the favour upon them became complete.
The completion of this favour is something that the Jews themselves recognized. Tariq bin Shihab narrates:
The Jews said to Umar (bin al-Khattaab), “Indeed, you recite a verse in your Book which if it had been revealed to us, the gathering of the Jews, we would have taken that day as a day of celebration!” He (Umar) said, “And which verse is that?” and they said,
“This day have I perfected your religion, completed my favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:3).
Umar said, “By Allaah, indeed I know the day upon which it was revealed to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and the hour in which it was revealed. It was revealed to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on the evening of the day of Arafah on the day of Jumu’ah. [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim].
This is an evidence to show that the Messenger (alayhis salaam) had indeed fulfilled his trust and conveyed the entire message with no deficiency or shortcoming therein. Ibn Amr narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (alayhis salaam) said:
There was not any Prophet before me except that it was a duty upon him to direct his nation to every good he knew for them and to warn them from every evil he knew for them. [Reported by Muslim in his Sahih]
The Messenger (alayhis salaam) also said:
I have not left anything which brings you closer to Paradise or distances you from the Fire except that I have informed you of it. [Related by Ibn Kathir in his tafsir of Surah Kahf (18:17)].
The Messenger (alayhis salaam) also said:
By Him in whose hand is my soul, I have not left anything which brings you closer to Paradise and distances you from the Fire except that I have commanded you with it and have I left anything which brings you closer to the Fire and distances you from Paradise except that I have prohibited you from it. [Related by Ahmad and Ibn Khuzaymah].
And the companion Abu Dharr al-Ghifaree stated, with what explains what has preceded:
The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left us whilst there was not a bird flapping its wings in the sky except that he mentioned knowledge regarding it to us. [Reported by al-Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir (no. 1647)].
The Messenger (alayhis salaam) spoke severely and constantly of the newly invented matters and innovations in the religion, even though there was not any innovation present.
Jaabir bin Abdullah narrates:
When the Messenger (alayhis salaam) would deliver a sermon, his eyes would be come red, his voice would be raised, and his anger would be severe, as if he was admonishing an army… and he would say, “To proceed, indeed the best speech is the speech of Allaah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad and the worst of affairs (in the religion) are the newly-invented matters, and every innovation is misguidance.” [Reported by Muslim].
All of this was perfectly understood and known by the Companions which is why there occurs from them, warnings from the newly-invented matters and the advice to suffice with what is in the Sunnah, and such statements of the Companions will be presented in other articles.