Al-Barbahāri: “The Sunni is he who all the traits of the Sunnah come together in him”


Our Shaykh, I want an explanation for the statement of Al-Barbahāri:

“The Sunni is he who all the traits of the Sunnah come together in him”, what’s the meaning of “traits“?

Is it the foundations of Ahlsunnah wal Jamā’ah?


What’s intended with traits of the Sunnah in the speech of Al-Barbahāri, may Allah have mercy upon him, is the foundations of the Sunnah which a person would not be of its people if he was to deviate from a trait (i.e a foundation) of it.

And the usage of traits of the Sunnah meaning foundations of the Sunnah, is well known in the speech of the Salaf.

You will find the Imām of Ahlussunnah Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allaah have mercy upon him, in his “Usūl Us-Sunnah”, say:

“The foundations of the Sunnah with us are:
Holding on to what has come from the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ …”

Then after mentioning some foundations said:
“And from the incumbent Sunnah which would make a person not be from it’s people if he left a trait from it -not accepting it and believing it- is: belief in the Predecree, it’s good and it’s bad..”
[End of speech]

Whereby he used traits of the Sunnah intending its foundations.

And Imām Ahmad clarified that whoever left of a trait (i.e a foundation) would not be from Ahlussunnah.

And this is exactly what Imām Al-Barbahāri, may Allah have mercy upon him, established.

And this contains a dismantling rebuttal of the establishments of the people of Muwazināt and Hamal Al-Mujmal ‘Alal Mufasal and other innovated Tamyee’ī principles which oppose the speech of these Imāms and the other Imāms of the Salaf and those that tread in their path which is established upon the Book and the Sunnah.

Like the [wrongful] statement:
“Whoever was a Sunni then opposed a single foundation from the clear foundations of the Sunnah; is not considered by doing so to have exited the realm of the people of the Sunnah.”

Answered by:
Shaykh Abu Hatim Yusuf Al-‘Inaabi Al-Jazaa’iree – may Allah preserve him.


Answered on:
28th, Rabee’ Al-Aakhir, 1438H

Translated by:
Abu ‘Abdirrahman ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmed Ash-Shingaani