This present time, is a time wherein, innovations have spread so much that it is looked upon as being a Sunnah by the ignorant and majority of the common people. Sunnah to them is something alien, and their whole corrupted belief is built upon these innovations. It is as if that the Sunnah has been buried. When a knowledgeable person who follows the correct creed in this present time talks of anything being from the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), then he is looked upon as if he is the one introducing new matters in the religion.
He is rebuked by the followers of innovations for this and when he does not act upon these innovations, then he is considered as if he is abandoning a Sunnah. How strange, but true !
This fitnah was prophesized and narrated by a companion of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) as being said by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam).
It is authentically reported from Ibn Masood (radhiAllaahu anhu) as a saying of the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), that he said:
ﺎﻴﻧﺪﻟا ﻞﻤﻌﺑ ةﺮﺧﻵا , ﻪﻘُﻔُﺗو َ ﺮﻴﻐﻟ ﻦﻳﺪﻟا " لﺎﻗ " : اذإ ﺖﺒﻫذ ﻢﻛؤﺎﻤﻠﻋ , تﺮﺜﻛو ﻢﻛؤاﺮُﻗ , ﺖَّﻠَﻗو ﻢﻛؤﺎﻬﻘﻓ , تﺮُﺜَﻛو ﻢﻛؤاﺮﻣأ , ﺖَّﻠﻗو ْ ﻢﻛؤﺎﻨﻣأ , ِﺖَﺴِﻤُﺘﻟاو
اﻮﻟﺎﻗ : ﻰﺘﻣو كاذ ؟
ءﻲﺷ " ﻞﻴﻗ : ﺖﻛﺮﺗ ﺔﻨﺴﻟا ؟ " ﻒﻴﻛ ﻢﺘﻧأ اذإ ﻢﻜﺘﺴﺒﻟ ﺔﻨﺘﻓ مﺮﻬﻳ ﺎﻬﻴﻓ ﺮﻴﺒﻜﻟا , ﻮﺑﺮﻳو ﺎﻬﻴﻓ ﺮﻴﻐﺼﻟا , ﺎﻫﺬﺨﺘﻳو سﺎﻨﻟا ﺔﻨﺳ , اذإ كﺮﺗ ﺎﻬﻨﻣ
“How will you be when a fitnah (calamity, i.e. innovation) engulfs you such that the adult will grow old (with it) and the youth will be raised upon it, and the people will take it as a Sunnah? So when any part of it (i.e. the innovation) is abandoned, it will be said: Have you abandoned the Sunnah?
They said: When will that be?
He said: (It will be) When your scholars have passed away, your reciters have increased, your Fuqahaa have become few, your leaders become many, your trusted ones decrease, the worldly life is sought after by (doing) the works of the Hereafter, and knowledge is sought for a reason other than the Religion.”
[Reported by ad-Daarimee (1/64) with two chains of narration, the first of which is authentic while the second is hasan. It is also reported by al-Haakim (4/514) and others]
Shaykh Naasiruddin al-Albani (rahimahullaah) said regarding this hadeeth:
, ﺔﻨﺴﻟا ! ﺎﻨﻳد ً ﻊﺒَّﺘُﻳ , اذﺈﻓ ضﺮﻋأ ﺎﻬﻨﻋ ﻞﻫأ ﺔﻨﺴﻟا ﺔﻘﻴﻘﺣ , ﻰﻟإ ﺔﻨﺴﻟا ﺔﺘﺑﺎﺜﻟا ﻪﻨﻋ ﻰﻠﺻ ﻪﻠﻟا ﻪﻴﻠﻋ ﻢﻠﺳو ﻞﻴﻗ : ﺖﻛﺮُﺗ ﺪﻗ ﻖﻘﺤﺗ ﻲﻓ ﺮﺼﻌﻟا ﺮﺿﺎﺤﻟا , ﻦﻣو ﻚﻟذ ةﺮﺜﻛ عﺪﺒﻟا نﺎﺘﺘﻓاو سﺎﻨﻟا ﺎﻬﺑ ﻰﺘﺣ ﺎﻫوﺬﺨﺗا ﺔﻨﺳ , ﺎﻫﻮﻠﻌﺟو ﺖﻠﻗ : اﺬﻫو ﺚﻳﺪﺤﻟا ﻦﻣ مﻼﻋأ ﻪﺗﻮﺒﻧ ﻰﻠﺻ ﻪﻠﻟا ﻪﻴﻠﻋ ﻢﻠﺳو قﺪﺻو ﻪﺘﻟﺎﺳر , نﺈﻓ ﻞﻛ ةﺮﻘﻓ ﻦﻣ ﻪﺗاﺮﻘﻓ
"I say: This hadeeth is one of the signs of his (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam)’s Prophethood and the verity of his Messengership, for indeed every one of its portions has become actualized in this present time. From them is the spread of various innovations, which the people are tested with, such that they have taken them as a Sunnah and (part of the) Religion to be followed. So when the real Ahlus-Sunnah turn away from them towards the Sunnah, which is authentically established on the Prophet (sallAllaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), it will be said: 'Has the Sunnah been abandoned?'"
Source: “Qiyaam al-Ramadaan” (The Night Prayer) by Shaykh Naasiruddin al-Albani (rahimahullaah), pages 4-5.
I ask Allaah, that He the Beneficent, awakens in our hearts and intellects a sincere yearning to become acquainted with His Deen. To understand and comprehend, to memorise and implement, to convey and disseminate, in a manner not inconsistent to the methodology employed by our Righteous Predecessors (as-Salaf as-Saaliheen), thus ensuring our deliverance from the above mentioned tribulation which was foretold by the noble Companion (may Allah be pleased with him) of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).