His saying, “and they (the Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu
alayhi wa sallam)are the People of the Sunnah and of the Jamaaah (the United Body of the Muslims upon the Truth).” The Companions of Muhammad sallAllaahu
alayhi wa sallam and those who came after them, those who followed them upon good, they are the People of the Sunnah, meaning the people of the correct path; and it is the ‘Sunnah’ which we have explained in this book (the Sunnah referring to the path that which the Prophet sallAllaahualayhi wa sallam and his Companions were upon).
And they are the true Jamaa
ah; but as for the uniting of others besides them, upon false and futile matters then they are not called the Jamaaah even if they are many in number.
تَحْسَبُهُمْ جَمِيعًا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ شَتَّى
You think that they are all together but their hearts are actually divided.
(Sooratul-Hashr 59, aayah 14)
So the Jamaa
ah is whoever is upon the Truth. So the person who says, “I am with such-and-such hizb (party); this group is a jamaaah and you people say, “Adhere to the Jamaa
ah” and they are a jamaaah.” So we say to them, “Who said to you that those people are the Jamaa
ah. The Jamaaah is those who are upon the Truth; whoever is upon the Sunnah, they are the Jamaa`ah.”
From Shaykh Fawzaan’s explanation of Sharh-us-Sunnah of al-Barbahaaree translated by Abu Talhah rahimahullaah.