Prayer Time

  |      |      |   The Message of Islam:

All the praises and thanks be to Allah Alone. Prayers and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been accepted as an important source of Islamic law, next in importance to the Holy Qur’an. This status of the Sunnah has remained unchallenged and undisputed throughout the centuries. There have been many differences among Muslims in their juristic opinions, but the authority of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet(peace be upon him) was never denied by any jurist. Leaving aside some scattered individuals who separated themselves from the main stream of the Muslim population, nobody has ever refused to accept the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Allah's peace be upon him) as a sacred source of the Islamic law.

The position is still the same, but some non-Muslim orientalists and some of their followers have tried, during the last century to cast some doubts about the authority or the veracity of Hadith and to develop a suspicious attitude towards the Sunnah. That is why some Muslims who are unable to study Islam through its original sources, when they read such books, often become a bit skeptical in the subject.

The first misconception which is leveled against the Prophet’s Sunnah is that religion is complete solely with the Quran and without the Sunnah. Some self-claimed scholars denied the necessity of the Prophet’s Sunnah and believed that the Quran alone can act as a sufficient reference point to respond to Muslims’ needs. They also claim that the Sunnah is not part of religion but only unnecessary surplus. Moreover in their opinion, the Sunnah is not considered the second source of Islamic legislation as religion is complete only with the Quran away from the Sunnah.

To support their claim they cite some evidence such as saying that the Prophet did not explicitly state that the Sunnah is the second source for legislation. They also say that the verse which says:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ

“ Today I have completed your religion ” (Q5:3).. which was revealed towards the end of the Prophet’s life is an evidence to the sufficiency of the Quran as the Sunnah- according to their claim- did not exist at that time and was only collected later and according to their stance if religion and its completion was based on the Sunnah, the previous verse should not have been revealed.

They also cited some other Quranic verses to support their claim such as;

مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ

 “We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered”. Q6:38. And

أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

“ Is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe”. 29:51.The Quran also encompassed all the intricate details of all matters and therefore does not need any other explanatory source, God says in the Quran:

وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

“And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims. Q16:89.

So they wonder if the Quran was all encompassing to all matters and did not leave out any details, why there would be a need for the Sunnah? This question indicates their denial of the Sunnah as an authentic source of legislation.

Their claim can be debunked through a number of points, There are numerous Quranic verses which explicitly advocated for holding tight to the Prophetic Sunnah and Prophet Muhammad himself stated numerously that true guidance lies within following his Prophetic Sunnah and therefore commanded Muslims to abide by it and warned those who go against it. The Quran is the first source of legislation from which theology, juristic rulings and ethics are taken along with the second source of legislation which is the Sunnah. Allah bestowed the Muslim nation with the ability to preserve its religion and secure it from fabrication or alteration through mass memorization of the Quran throughout the Ummah which guarantees its authenticity and validity and same goes for the prophetic hadiths which went through a meticulous process of filtration and a specific scientific methodology was adopted to guarantee the accuracy and truthfulness of the reported Prophetic traditions.

The meticulous care for the Prophet’s sunnah aimed at preserving this great heritage from alteration and change and for this reason Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) was surrounded with a kind of preservation that was not given to any other prophet. The narrators of the prophetic traditions have transmitted to us the sayings of Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) in all matters big or small and even in the intricate details which might seem insignificant. They have transmitted the details of his different states in eating, drinking, waking up, sleeping, standing, sitting to an extent that the one who reads closely the books of the prophet’s sunnah can’t help but feel that the narrators did not leave anything out without documenting it.

The Muslims’ care for preserving the Prophet’s sunnah is a well-known matter that can be easily traced through history and civilization and one can’t help but wondering how this evident fact is being denied by some self-claimed scholars and what kind of logic they used to arrive to such grave conclusions. Isn’t it a known fact that the one on whom the Quran was revealed is the one who is the carrier of the sunnah? Is not the carrier of the Sunnah –Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) - is the one who was described with honesty and truthfulness who does not utter a word out of his own desire? Aren’t the narrators of the Quran are the same ones who narrated the Sunnah and were highly praised in the Quran for their righteousness and well manners. How come the deniers of the Prophetic sunnah which was transmitted through the companions of the Prophet(may Allah be pleased with them) accept their narration of the Quran while denying their narration of the Sunnah?

The Prophet’s companions and followers of later generations followed the same methodology in memorizing, preserving and documenting both the Quran and the Sunnah. They placed primary importance to the Quran as the first source of legislation but did not neglect the prophetic sunnah which is placed as the second source of legislation. Those who deny the prophet’s sunnah fell into the mistake of doubting one of the special gifts which God bestowed the Muslim nation with which is the gift of (isnad) or chain of narration. This gift was the reason for preserving the Quran and the Sunnah from alteration and change. Those who deny the Sunnah belie the Quran in which God promised to preserve both the Quran and the Sunnah, Allah says:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian. Q15:9.

There are numerous Quranic verses which proof that the Prophet’s Sunnah is the second source of Islamic Sharee‘ah. The revelation came down to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) with the Sunnah as it came down to him with the Qur’an. The proof of that is the words of Allah, may He be exalted ;

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ *  إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ

“ Nor does he speak of (his own) desire * It is but a revelation revealed ” Q53:3-4. 

Allah, may He be exalted, has enjoined upon the believers complete submission to the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his hadith and rulings, to the extent that He, may He be glorified, swore by His divine self that whoever hears the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), then rejects them and does not accept them, has nothing to do with faith at all. He, may He be glorified and exalted, said:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“ But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission ”Q4:65. 

It was narrated that the reason of revelation for this verse is that a group of people went to the Prophet saying “O Muhammad we love our lord” so God revealed this verse which indicates the Prophet’s love as the gateway for attaining God’s love.

Hence there was consensus among the scholars that whoever denies that the Sunnah constitutes shar‘iah evidence in general terms, or rejects a hadith of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him – knowing that it is the words of the Prophet (lettings and peace of Allah be upon him) – is a disbeliever, who has not attained even the lowest level of Islam and submission to Allah and His Messenger. 

Imam Is-haaq ibn Raahawayh (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Whoever hears a report from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he accepts as being sound, then rejects it, not by way of dissimulation (when he has no choice because of a threat), is a disbeliever. End quote 

As-Suyooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said: You should understand, may Allah have mercy on you, that whoever denies that the hadith of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) constitutes shar‘i evidence – whether he denies a report that speaks of something that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said or did, if that hadith fulfils the conditions stipulated in usool al-hadith – has committed an act of disbelief that puts him beyond the bounds of Islam, and he will be gathered (on the Day of Resurrection) with the Jews and Christians, or with whomever Allah wills of the disbelieving groups. End quote.  Miftaah al-Jannah fi’l-Ihtijaaj bi’s-Sunnah (p 14) .

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah: The one who denies that we should follow the Sunnah is a disbeliever, because he is expressing disbelief in Allah and His Messenger, and rejecting the consensus of the Muslims. End quote.  Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (vol. 2, 3/194) .

As for the verses which warn us against disobeying the Prophet(peace be upon him) were revealed to indicate the total misguidance and the miserable destiny of hell fire for those who deny the Prophet’s sunnah. Allah says in this regard,

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

" It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error. " Q33:36.

However, the Quran did not explicitly stated in details all the issues pertinent to Islamic law and Shari’ah matters such as praying, fasting, pilgrimage etc.. as these issues were briefly mentioned in the Quran and left the details to be explained through the Prophetic sunnah. Is not this decisive evidence regarding the importance of the Prophetic sunnah as a valid and authentic source of legislation after the Quran?

The verses that they previously quoted do not actually invalidate the authenticity of the Sunnah but they rather confirm it. For example in the verse of ;

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion”. Q5:3. The word religion here means both the Quran and the Prophetic sunnah as they both form the revelation on which religion was based. This means that the verse does not indicate that the Quran alone is the source of legislation and the evidence is that the Quranic revelation lasted after the revelation of this verse and other numerous verses which were concerned with important issues like usury were revealed. Even if we assumed that religion in this verse solely means the Quran, this understanding does not invalidate the authenticity of the Sunnah but rather confirms its authenticity as an explanatory source of the Quran as there is no completion of the religion without explaining it.

The other verse which they mention says:

مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ

“We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” Q6:38.

The word kitab here means the preserved tablet in which Allah has registered all matters pertinent to His creation and does not mean the Quran. Even if we assumed that the kitab in this verse refers to the Quran, the understanding would be that the Quran encompasses all matters of religion whether explicitly through the texts of the Quran or through explaining them via the Prophetic Sunnah.

Their use of the verse:

أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

 “And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe.”Q 29:51.  is a wrong reference because this verse was addressing the polytheists when they said “If Allah had shown some miracles through Muhammad” so Allah replied that His book is miraculous in nature and it is sufficient in itself for people to believe in the Prophet’s message. This means that the verse has nothing to do with the Quran being sufficient to Muslims in all aspects without the Sunnah as they claim.

As for the verse:

وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

“And We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.” Q16:89 this verse means that the Quran was revealed to clarify everything in religious matters in terms of having an overview of the major maxims as for the intricate details of these maxims, they are clarified through the Prophetic sunnah. For this reason Allah commanded Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) to explain for people that which was revealed to them through his sayings, deeds, approvals and disapprovals. This simply means that benefitting from the Quran would be impossible without referring back to the Prophetic sunnah.

Allah says:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

“And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. Q59:7

This verse warns those who solely depend on the Quran for understanding the textual doctrine. Another verse denies the faith of those who does not abide by the Prophet’s rulings, Allah says:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

 “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. Q4:65 and it is well known that the Prophet’s ruling was not an application of an existing verse in the Quran but rather was his own judgment.

Therefore from the above mentioned we can clearly see that the Sunnah is the second source of legislation after the Quran and that Allah’s religion is in no way complete without the Sunnah as it stands side by side with the Quran. Those who deny the Sunnah should meticulously read the mentioned evidences which if they accept , their claims for denying the Sunnah do not stand and if they remain adamant in their position, they would be in a total disagreement with the Quran as they claim that religion was complete without the Sunnah.

We ask Allah, The most High to guide us to his path.

 

 

 

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