`Irbad bin Sariyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: One day Messenger of Allah (PBUH) delivered us a very eloquent Khutbah on account of which eyes shed tears and hearts were full of tears. A man said: "O Prophet of Allah, this is as if it were a parting advice. So advise us". He (PBUH) said, "I admonish you to fear Allah, to listen and obey even if an Abyssinian slave is appointed as your leader. Because whosoever among you shall live after me, will see much discord. So hold fast to my Sunnah and the examples of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold to it fast. Beware of new things (in Deen) because every Bid`ah is a misguidance".[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
This Hadith stresses piety, obedience to the leader, following in the footsteps of the Prophet (PBUH) and the first four noble caliphs. It strictly forbids innovation in Deen.
This Hadith also reveals the prediction of the Prophet (PBUH) that the Muslim Ummah will become a victim of dissension. He also prescribed the right means to counteract it. The remedy that he has proposed for this problem is that Muslims should never deviate from the path laid for them by him and his righteous successors. This is the touchstone for discovering the truth from the mess of different views. All the troubles of Muslims would come to an end if they accept this as the one singular criterion of right and wrong.