And like this, it is incumbent upon us to look at the actions of the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, and many of the people especially the students of knowledge during this time period are heedless of these specifics and some of them go to extremes.
So you find some of the youth intending to grow their hair long believing that this is the Sunnah of the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him. Yes I say this is from the actions of the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, but there is no proof that this is better. Rather the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, announced as is found in Sahih Muslim, ‘Shave it all or leave it all’.
Therefore if the hair is grown long then it is not a Sunnah of worship rather it is only a Sunnah of custom. So if a person continues to shave his head his entire life it can not be said that he is opposing the Sunnah of the Prophet because the Prophet grew his hair his entire life; with the exception being during the Hajj and Umra because he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to shave his head during this time.
And you know the hadith that appears in Sahih Bukari and Muslim where the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Oh Allah forgive those who shave their heads, oh Allah forgive those who shave their heads, oh Allah forgive those who shave their heads, they said and those who cut their hair short oh Messenger of Allah, and he said ‘and those who cut their hair short. But those who only cut their hair short receive a lesser reward, and to shave the head in more virtuous.
Therefore if the person grows their hair long out of habit or because this is just his natural disposition then there is nothing preventing this, but as for the one who intends by this to get closer to Allah because the Prophet, peace and blessings are upon him, grew his hair long then we say verily this is in opposition to the Sunnah of the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him. And there is a detail that attention has to be given to, by the one who grows his hair long because the Prophet peace be upon him grew his hair long, so he believes that he is following the Prophet peace be upon him by growing his hair long. But I say with all frankness that he is opposing the Prophet. But his opposition is not apparent rather it is hidden on the inside. So from what is apparent it seems that he is following the Prophet by growing his hair long, so what is the opposition?
The opposition: It is obligatory upon us to pay attention to the statement of our Prophet peace and blessing be upon him, ‘Verily Actions are (judged) by intentions, so each man will have what he intended. Thus, he whose migration was to Allah and His Messenger, his migration is to Allah and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.’
So the one who goes out with the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, as a mujahid then the apparent is what? The apparent is that he is a mujahid in the path of Allah; but in reality he went out for some worldly gain or to marry a woman therefore he opposed the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, in his intention.
So will he be rewarded as a mujahid, when he opposed the best of the mujahids; opposed him in what, in his intention, the answer is no. Now the one who grows the hair on his head long, emulating his Prophet, his example is like the example of the mujahid that went out with the Prophet as a mujahid, but his intention was opposed to the intention of the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him. (So the question may be) how is this related to the one who grows his hair long?
We say to him: Do you know that when the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, grew the hair on his head long that his intention with this was to get closer to his Lord? If you believe that then your action is a blessing and if you don’t believe this then you opposed the Messenger in his intention. He did not seek to get closer to Allah by loving honey, and he did not seek to get closer to Allah by hating lizard meat, and also he did not seek to get closer to Allah the Mighty and Majestic by growing his hair long!! So you seek to get closer to Allah (by growing your hair long)? Then you have opposed the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, in the strongest condition from the conditions of worship.
The first condition: The intention must be sincerely for the face of Allah the Blessed and Exalted. The second condition: It must be in accordance with the action of the Prophet.
You are in accordance with him in his action, but you opposed him in his intention. As relates to the Fajr prayer, both the Sunnah for Fajr and the Fajr prayer itself both are two rakats. So if a man prayed the two Sunnah rakat for Fajr with the intention that they were obligatory, was he in accordance with the Sunnah?
The answer is no.
And from the misguidance of the Qadianis is that they believe the two Sunnah rakats for Fajr are obligatory. So when they pray these two rakats the appearance is as though they are in accordance with the Messenger peace and blessings are upon him. But their heart and their intention opposed the Messenger peace and blessings are upon him. So the one who prays the two Sunnah rakats of Fajr with the intention that they are obligatory, this one is like the one who opposed the Messenger in his intention but agreed with him in the appearance. And the appearance doesn’t have any value because the deeds are by the intentions. And the meaning of the hadith is the righteous deeds are only by righteous intentions.
Therefore if we don’t know that the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him, sought to get closer to Allah by growing his hair long then it’s not permissible for the Muslim to seek to get closer to Allah by something that the Prophet peace and blessings are upon him did not seek to get closer to Allah with; this is innovation in the religion.
As you all know the hadiths that warn with a severe warning against innovation in the religion. Whoever invents something into this affair of ours that is not from it then it is rejected. Therefore this is a newly invented matter because the person seeks to get closer to Allah by something that the Prophet did not seek to get closer to Allah with, peace and blessings are upon him. And this is the nature of the innovator, because they bring actions that the Prophet peace be upon him, did not seek to get closer to his Lord with.
And like that, we distinguish between the Sunnah of worship that which we emulate the Messenger in and between the Sunnah of custom, that which we have a choice to do it or to leave because it is only a Sunnah of habit. Sheikh Albani continues may Allah have mercy upon him.
This point, it is incumbent that we separate between this and that; meaning our following the Messenger peace be upon him, is in the affairs of the religion not in the affair of the worldly life.
And in this there are mistakes, severe mistakes from some of the ignorant people, those who do not separate between the Sunnah of habit and the Sunnah of worship.
The Sunnah of worship does not accept anything extra and for this reason the Messenger peace be upon him said, ‘every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the fire’.
The Sunnah of custom accepts an increase and it accepts a decrease and it accepts everything, because it’s a custom. I will strike for you one example from the Sunnah of custom, from the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him.