The necessity of Sunnah to understand The Qur'an and Parables on that .4- 7
Adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet (P.b.u.h) ..8- 15
Praise be to Allah of whom we ask help, forgiveness and guidance, and in whom we seek refuge against our own wrongdoings. "He who Allah guides there is none to lead astray and he whom Allah misguides there is none to guide."
SUNNAH: Literally means a clear path or a beaten track. It has also been used to imply normative practice, or an established course of conduct. It may be a good example or a bad example and individual, a sect or a community may set it.
The word Sunnah is mentioned in the Quran as continuing custom or follow way.
We have passed away before you. (Al-Imran: 137)
The Role of Sunnah Towards The Qur'an
Allah, The Blessed and Mighty, chose Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) as His Prophet and picked him to deliver the final message. The Qur'an was revealed to him and commanded him to obey all what He had ordered him to do, that is, to expound His message to the people. Allah says, We have revealed to you the Reminder (The Qur'an) to expound to people what was revealed to them ().
The declaration mentioned in the verse contains two orders:
1.Declaration of the word and its arrangement. It is the communication of the Qur'an and its non-concealment, and its pursuit to Mankind just as Allah, The Blessed Almighty, has revealed to the heart of the Prophet (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) which is the intent of His saying, O Messenger proclaim what is revealed to you from your Lord (5:67).
Sayyida (Lady) Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) is reported to have said, "Whosoever says that Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) concealed something which he was commanded to communicate, is a great calumny against Allah." Then she read the above-mentioned verse. (Bukhari and Muslim have stated it.)
And according to the narration of Muslim: "If the Messenger of Allah (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) had concealed something which he was commanded to communicate, he would have concealed the saying of The Almighty:
Behold, thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favor: Keep your wife to yourself and fear Allah. But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest; you did fear the people, whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. (33:37).
1.The explanation of the meaning of the word or sentence or verse for which man needs an explanation, most of which bear reference to 'Mujmal (comprehensive) verses or 'Ammah' (general) verses or 'Mutlaq' (unbounded) verses.
Then comes the Sunnah and clarifies the sentences and specifies the verses called 'Ammah' and defines what is 'mutlaq' that is, in reference to the saying (Qaul) of The Prophet (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him), his deed (Fi'l) and the act he confirmed (Iqrar).
The necessity of Sunnah to understand The Qur'an and Parables on that
Allah says the male thief and female thief cut off their hands () is a fitting example of that. The thief in it is general like the hand.
The oral tradition explains the first of them and restricts it by 'as-sareq' (the thief) who steals something worth a fourth of a Dinar according to the saying of the Prophet (SAW) There is no cutting - of the hand - unless the thing stolen is worth a fourth of a Dinar or more (Bukari & Muslim) the two shaikhs have recorded this Hadeth.
Again, the other is explained by the action of the Prophet (SAW) or the action of his companions and his confirmation. They used to cut the hand of the thief from the wrist as is known in the work of Hadeeth. The oral tradition explains the hand mentioned in the verse on Tayammum (dust ablution) And rub therewith your faces and hands (5:6) is also the palm of the hand as is stated in a Hadeeth Tayammum is the wiping of the face and the hands recorded by the two shaikhs and Ahmad and others from a tradition reported by Ammar bin Yasir (may Allah be pleased with them).
There are other verses that cannot be completely understood except through Sunnah. They are:
It is whose who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong, 'dhulm' that are (truly) in security for they are on (right) guidance (6:82).
The companions of the Prophet (SAW) understood the word 'dhulm' in its general sense to mean every wrong doing, even if it be little. On this account the verse is regarded as dubious and they said, "O Messenger of Allah, which of us did not involve his faith with obscurity?" He (SAW) said; It is not that. It is only the 'shirk. Have you not heard what Luqman said: Verily, 'shirk' is a very great sin (dhulm) (31:13). The two shaikhs have recorded it with others.
Allah says: When you travel on earth, there is no blame on you to shorten your prayer, for fear the unbelievers will persecute you (4:101). It is obvious from this verse that fear is a pre-requisite for the shortening of prayers. Some of the Prophet's companions asked him: "Why do we shorten our prayers while we feel safe?" He said: It is a charity from Allah, so accept it (Muslim).
Allah says: The carcass and it's blood are forbidden to you (5:3). In explanation of this verse, the corpse of locusts, fish, the livers, spleen of blood are lawful. So the Prophet (SAW) said: He has made two dead things and blood lawful: the locusts and the fish, the liver and the spleen.
Baihaqi and others have recorded it as 'marfu' type of hadeeth as also 'mauquf' type. The 'isnad' od 'mauquf' is authentic and it is as good as 'marfu' tradition, since it is not stated in the form of a 'ra'y' (decision based on one individual's judgement not on Qur'an and Sunnah).
Allah says: I find not in the message received by me by inspiration any (food) forbidden to be taken by one who wishes to, unless it is dead meat or blood poured forth or the flesh of swine, for it is an abomination, or what is impious (meat) on which a name has been invoked other that Allah's (6:145).
The Sunnah has forbidden many things not mentioned in the verse mentioned above, as for example in the saying of the Holy Prophet (SAW): All predatory animals with tusk and every bird with claw are forbidden for consumption. There are other traditions, which have forbidden the consumption of such animals as the Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said on the Day of Khayber: Allah andHis Messenger have prohibited the consumption of domesticated asses, for they are filth. The two shaikhs have reported it.
Allah says: Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah, which He has produced for His servants, and the things clean and pure (which he has provided for sustenance) ().
The Sunnah, too, has forbidden some adornments, and this is evident from the Prophet (SAW) who is reported to have met some of his companions, and had a silk garment in one hand, and gold in the other, and said: These are prohibited to Muslim males, lawful to females. The hadeeths in their interpretation are many and well known in both the authentic collections of hadeeths, and others and the like of many examples well known to scholars familiar with hadeeth and Islamic Jurispudence.
From what has been stated above, O Muslim Brethren, you can see the importance attached to Sunnah in Islamic Law. When we divert our intention again to the exaples mentioned beside others not mentioned, we are certain that there is no way to understand the Qur'an correctly except in association with the interpretation of the Sunnah.
In the first example, the understanding of the 'sahabah' of 'dhulm' mentioned in the verse is on its general sense, despite the fact that the (May Allah be pleased with them) were, as stated by Ibn Mas'ud: "The best of this community, most pious, profound in learning, least of dissimulation." Yet with all that they erred in their understanding of that.
Were it not for the Prophet (SAW), who held them back from their mistaken notion, and made them take the step in the right direction in that the correct meaning of 'dhulm' in the context is shirk (association of partnership with Allah), we too would have followed in their wrong thinking. Allah, The Blessed and The Most High saved us from that wrong notion by the grace of the right direction of the Prophet (SAW) and his Sunnah.
In the second example - with Allah's guidance - if not for the hadeeth mentioned above, we would have been in doubt at least with regard to the shortening of prayer (qasr-as-salat) during a journey while secure - if we did stipulate the condition of fear as obvious in the verse - till the companions saw the Prophet (SAW) shorten the prayers when it was safe and secure.
In the third example, if not for the hadeeth, we would have forbidden ourselves the consumption of good things made lawful to us: locusts, fish, liver, and the spleen.
In the fourth example, if not for the hadeeths, some of which we have mentioned, we would have considered lawful what Allah has made unlawful through the dictum of the holy Prophet (SAW) like predatory animals, and the birds which have claws.
And so in the fifth example, if not for the hadeeths in regard to this question, we would have considered lawful what Allah prohibited through the words of His Prophet (SAW) like gold and silk.
It is for this, some forbearers (as-salaf) say that 'Sunnah' pronounces judgement of The Book (al-Qur'an).
Adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet (P.b.u.h)
Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings of Allaah be upon the Master of the Prophets and Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.
The Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to teach the Sunnah to his companions in word and deed, and urged them to follow it, as he said in his hadeeth: Adhere to my Sunnah and Whoever neglects my Sunnah does not belong to me. Abd-Allaah ibn Masood (may Allaah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: There is no Prophet whom Allaah sent to any nation before me, but he had disciples from among his nation, and companions who followed his Sunnah and obeyed his commands. (Narrated by Muslim, no. 71).
Some aspects of the Sunnah are waajib (obligatory) and some are mustahabb (encouraged). The Muslim should follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether it is waajib or mustahabb, as long as it is proven in sound reports. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) used to spread the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) among people and they called people to follow it.
The proper number of Takbeeraat during prayer is Sunnah
Ikrimah said: I prayed behind an old man in Makkah (i.e., Zuhr) and he said Takbeer twenty-two times. I said to Ibn Abbaas that the man was a fool. He said, may your mother lose you! The Sunnah of Abul-Qaasim (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was to say Takbeer five times in each rakah, plus the Takbeer for ihraam and for standing up for the third rakah. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 746).
It is Sunnah for a traveler to shorten his prayers if he misses praying a prescribed prayer with an imaam
Moosaa ibn Salamah al-Hudhali said: I asked Ibn Abbaas, how should I pray if I am in Makkah and I do not pray with the imaam? He said, two rakahs is the Sunnah of Abul-Qaasim (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). (Narrated by Muslim, no. 1111).
When drinking, one should pass the vessel to ones right
Anas ibn Maalik said: the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to our house and asked for something to drink. We milked a ewe then added some water from this well of mine. We gave it to the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he drank. Abu Bakr and Umar were to his left, and a bedouin was to his right. When the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) finished drinking, Umar said, here is Abu Bakr, O Messenger of Allaah, pointing to him. But the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave the cup to the bedouin, not to Abu Bakr or Umar. The Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Those who are on the right, those who are on the right, those who are on the right. Anas said, This is Sunnah, this is Sunnah, this is Sunnah.
(Agreed upon; this version narrated by Muslim, 3785).
Sitting muftarishan in prayer is Sunnah
Abd-Allaah ibn Abd-Allaah narrated: I used to see Abd-Allaah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) sitting with his legs crossed when he sat (to recite Tashahhud during the prayer). I was a mere youngster, and I did the same, but Abd-Allaah ibn Umar told me not to do that. He said the Sunnah is to put your right foot upright and to fold the left foot beneath you [this is what is meant by Iftiraash or sitting muftarishan Translator]. I said to him, You do not do that. He said, My legs do not let me [i.e., because of old age or sickness]. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 784).
Sacrificing a camel whilst it is standing up and its left foreleg is tied is Sunnah
Ziyad ibn Jubayr said: I saw Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) come to a man who had made his camel sit down so he could slaughter it. He said to him, Make it stand up with its foreleg tied, for this is the Sunnah of Muhammad (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1598).
Hajj al-Tamattu is Sunnah
[Hajj al-Tamattu: this is when the pilgrim enters ihraam for Umrah only, performs Umra, finishes ihraam and then later enters a new ihraam for Hajj Translator].
Muhammad ibn al-Muthannaa and Ibn Bashshaar said, Muhammad ibn Jafar told us, Shubah told us: I heard Abu Jamrah al-Dubai say: I wanted to do Hajj al-Tamattu, and some people told me not to do that. I went to Ibn Abbaas and asked him about it, and he told me to do it. Then I went home and slept, and someone came to me in my dream and said, An accepted Umrah and Hajj Mabroor [Hajj done in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and accepted by Allaah]. I came to Ibn Abbaas and told him about what I had seen (in my dream) and he said: Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, the Sunnah of Abul-Qaasim (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). (Narrated by Muslim, 2183, and by al-Bukhaari, no. 1465).
Doing the prayer before the khutbah on Eid is Sunnah
Taariq ibn Shihaab said: the first person who put the khutbah before the prayer on Eid was Marwaan. A man stood up and said to Marwan, You have gone against the Sunnah. Abu Saeed said, This man has done what he was supposed to, for I heard the Messenger of Allaah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, Whoever sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand [by taking action], and if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out], and if he cannot, then with his heart [by feeling that it is wrong], and that is the weakest of faith. (Abu Eesaa said: a saheeh hasan hadeeth, 2098).
Praying two rakahs after each Tawaaf is Sunnah
Ismaaeel ibn Umayyah said: I said to al-Zuhri that Ataa was saying that the prescribed prayer was sufficient and there was no need to do two rakahs after Tawaaf. He said: The Sunnah is better. Abul-Qaasim never did Tawaaf seven times around the Kabah but he prayed two Rakahs afterwards. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Baab salaa al-Nabi (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) li subooihi rakatayn.)
Keeping the khutbah short and hastening to stand at Arafaah is Sunnah
Saalim said: Abd al-Malik wrote to al-Hajjaaj telling him not to differ from Ibn Umar concerning the (rituals of) Hajj. Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) came at on the Day of Arafaah, and I was with him. He called at the pavilion of al-Hajjaaj, who came out wearing a wrap dyed with safflower. He said, What is the matter, O Abu Abd al-Rahmaan? [Ibn Umar] said, Let us go, if you want to follow the Sunnah. [Al-Hajjaaj] said, Now? [Ibn Umar] said, Yes. Al-Hajjaaj said, Wait for me, while I pour water on my head, then I will come out. So Ibn Umar waited until al-Hajjaaj came out, then he walked between me and my father. I said, If you want to follow the Sunnah, keep the khutbah short and hasten to stand at Arafaah. He looked at Abd-Allaah and when Abd-Allaah noticed that, he said, he is telling the truth. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, no. 1550).
Going from Muzdalifah to Mina at daybreak is Sunnah
Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Yazeed said: We went out with Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him) to Makkah, then we came to Muzdalifah and prayed the two prayers [Maghrib and Ishaa], each with its own Adhaan and Iqaamah, and we ate dinner between the two prayers. Then he prayed Fajr when dawn came and some were saying that dawn had come and others were saying that it had not come. Then he waited until the day got brighter, then he said: if the Ameer al-Mumineen [Uthmaan] moves on towards Mina now, he will be following the Sunnah. I am not sure which came first, Abd-Allaahs comment or Uthmaans setting out for Mina. He kept reciting Talbiyah until he reached Jamrat al-Aqabah and threw the stones on the Day of Sacrifice (Yawm al-Nahr). (al-Bukhaari, 1571).
In cases of divorce the Sunnah should be followed
Chapter: the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them at their Iddah (prescribed periods), and count (accurately) their Iddah (periods) [al-Talaaq 65:1]. We should count the days and know how many days have passed at any given time. The way of divorcing according to the Sunnah is to divorce a woman when she is taahir (pure, i.e., not during her period or post-natal bleeding) and without having had intercourse with her since she became taahir, and the divorce should be witnessed by two witnesses. (Saheeh al-Bukhaari).
Dividing ones time equally among co-wives is Sunnah
Anas said: It is part of the Sunnah, if a man marries a virgin after having married a previously-married woman, he should spend seven nights with her, then divide his time equally (among the co-wives). And if he marries a previously-married woman after having married a virgin, he should spend three nights with her, then divide his time equally (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4813).
When departing this world
Ibn Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that when the deceased was placed in the grave [Abu Khalid said on one occasion: when the deceased was placed in the lahd (niche) of his grave], the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, Bismillah wa Billahi wa ala millati Rasool-illah (in the name of Allaah and by the help of Allaah and on the religion of the Messenger of Allaah). On another occasion, he said: Bismillah wa Billahi wa ala Sunnati Rasool-illah (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (in the name of Allaah and by the help of Allaah and on the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). (Abu Eesa said: this is a ghareeb hasan hadeeth with this isnaad. 967).
Seeking permission to enter three times is part of the Sunnah
Abu Saeed said: Abu Moosa sought permission to enter upon Umar. He said, Assalaamu alaykum, may I enter? Umar said, That was once, then he kept silent for a while. Abu Moosa again said, Assalaamu alaykum, may I enter? Umar said, That was twice, then he kept silent for a while. Abu Moosa again said, Assalaamu alaykum, may I enter? Umar said, That was three times. Then Abu Moosa went away. Umar asked the doorkeeper, What happened? The doorkeeper said, He went away. Umar said, bring him back. When he came back, Umar said, What is this that you have done? Abu Moosa said, It is the Sunnah. Umar said: is it? Then he said, I did not know this (Abu Eesa said: a saheeh hasan hadeeth, 2614)
Ibn Abbaas recited al-Fatihah aloud during a Janaazah (funeral) prayer in order to teach people the Sunnah: Talhah ibn Abd-Allaah ibn Awf said: I prayed the Janaazah prayer behind Ibn Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), and he recited the Opening of the Book (i.e., he recited al-Faatihah aloud). He said: (I did that) so that they might learn that this is Sunnah. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1249)
The imams denounced those who go against the Sunnah.
Al-Tirmidhi narrated in his Sunan that one of the scholars of the madhahib said: Salat al-istisqa (prayer for rain) should not be done, but they should make dua and then leave, all of them. Abu Eesa said: this is against the Sunnah.
Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his Saheeh:
Chapter on following the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
Ibn Awn said: there are three things which I love for myself and my brothers: this Sunnah that they should learn about it and ask about it; the Quraan, that they should seek to understand it and ask about it; and that they should leave people alone unless it is for a good reason. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari,Kitaab al-Itisam bil-Kitab was-Sunnah).
Let those people fear Allaah who think of the Sunnah as unimportant and say it is only the matter of externals and does not matter, and they go against it deliberately, thinking that this proves how moderate and reasonable they are, as they claim. They are doomed and lost, for the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is most dear to us. Even if a particular aspect of the Sunnah is mustahhab (encouraged) rather than waajib (obligatory), is there not a reward for us in following it? Do we have so much hasanah that we do not need to seek more?
O my brothers and sisters, may Allah have mercy on me and on you, strive to follow every proven Sunnah that you learn from your Prophet (saas) (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and do not neglect it, for it will benefit you on a Day when neither wealth nor sons will be of any avail. Adhere to the Sunnah and teach it to your children. Revive it in the midst of those who are unaware of it, so that you may be among the most blessed of people through the intercession of Muhammad (saas) (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). O Allah, help us to follow the Sunnah. Cause us to live in accordance to the Sunnah and to die adhering to the Sunnah. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
In general, the word Sunnah means habit, practice, customary procedure, or action, norm and usage sanctioned by tradition. In specific, any time the word Sunnah is mentioned, it is to refer to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). Here it means his sayings, practices, living habits. The Hadith are reports on the Sunnah.
The two major legal sources of jurisprudence in Islam are the Quran and the Sunnah.
The Sunnah may confirm what is mentioned in Qur'an, interpret and explain it, specify what is meant by some general verses, limit and restrict the meaning of some verse in it, or may explain something that has been revealed in Qur'an.
The Sunnah has a high authority in Islam; and Allah in many places in the Qur'an orders the Muslims to follow the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.).
Sunnah cames to clarifies the sentences and specifies the verses called 'Ammah' and defines what is 'mutlaq' that is, in reference to the saying (Qaul) of The Prophet (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him), his deed (Fi'l) and the act he confirmed (Iqrar). The necessity of Sunnah to understand The Qur'an and Parables on those verses. Again, the other is explained by the action of the Prophet (SAW) or the action of his companions and his confirmation.
Imam Malik Al-Muwatta, Norwich Eng: Diwan press, 1982.
Siddiqui Abdul Hammed The life of Muhammed 1999, Kuala Lumpur. Islamic Book Trust.
al-Bukhari Sahih, Translation of the meanings of, 1980, Arabic-English Sahih al-Bukhari, Madinat al-Munawwarah: Maktabat al-Salafiyah,.
Lahore Ahmad Hassan, , Sunan Abu Dawud, English translation with explanatory notes, 1984, Pakistan: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf.
The Holy Quran Abdullah Yusuf Ali, New Revised Edition, Amana Corporotion, Brentwood, Maryland, U.S.A.