The following is a transcription of some wise words from our beloved Shaykh ibn al-'Uthaymin from the summer course (2000) he holds every year in 'Unayzah. A brother from Madinah transcribed these words from tape and sent them to me. It contains some excellent advice and exonerates some who have already relayed similar words and who were then described as having lied upon the Shaykh.
Please pray for the Shaykh's well being as his health is still fragile. Please carry on making STRONG du'a for the Shaykh in sujud, asking by Allah's names and attributes, by your good deeds, which urgency in your du'a taking full advantage of the awqat ul-ijabah as I cannot imagine a greater musibah now than losing the Shaykh. Also, exhort all the brothers you know to do this, not to mention praying for our brothers in Palestine in the rest of the 'ummah, and the rulers in the same manner.
Here is the kalam of Shaykh 'Uthaymin, transcribed, by a brother from Madinah, from the taped lecture Alaykum bi's-Sunnah that was delivered during this summer’s dawrah in Unayzah. The tape is part of his sharh of an-Nawawi's 40 ahadith, in the sharh of the hadith of Irbad ibn Sariyah (no.28). The brother has also provided a quick translation [slightly modified].
From his [the Prophet's, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam,] statement:
"Whoever lives amongst you will see much differing, so adhere to my Sunnah."
It can be learnt that if parties (ahzab) within the 'ummah emerge in increasing numbers then one should not affiliate himself to a party (hizb). In the past, many groups have appeared; Khawarij, Mu'tazilah, Jahmiyyah, Shi'ah, even Rafidah. Then there appeared, later on Ikhwanis, Salafis, Tablighis, and all those like them. Put all of them to one side and take [the path] ahead. Which is what the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, guided to, "Adhere to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs." No doubt, it is obligatory for all Muslims to adopt the way of the salaf as their madhhab, not affiliation to a specific party (hizb) named, "The Salafis". It is obligatory for the Islamic 'ummah to adopt the way of the salaf as-salih as their madhhab, not bigotry to those called "the salafis". Pay attention to the difference: There is the way of the salaf, and there is a party (hizb) called "the salafis".
What is the objective? Following the salaf. Why? The salafi brothers are the closest sect to that which is right, no doubt, but their problem is the same as others, that some of these sects declare others as being misguided, they declare them to be innovators and as being sinners. We don't censure this, if they deserve it, but we censure handling this bid'ah in this way. It is obligatory for the leaders of these sects to get together and say, "Between us is the book of Allah, and the sunnah of His messenger, so lets us judge by them and not according to desires, opinions and not according to personalities. Everyone makes mistakes and achieves correctness no matter what he has reached with regards to knowledge and worship. Infallibility is [only] in the religion of Islam."
In this hadith the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, guided to the way in which a person secures himself. He doesn't affiliate him to any sect, only the way of the salaf as-salih, to the Sunnah of our Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and the rightly guided caliphs.