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The Sunnah: The Second Form Of Revelation


All praise is due to Allah. May peace and blessings be upon his servant and messenger Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). As for what follows… Allah says in His Book:

This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. - Surah Al-Maidah: 3

Amongst the Believers there is no doubt about this way of life called Islam. It is without a doubt a complete way of life. The Creator of the heavens and the earth has not left anything out of this glorious Deen (way of life) of his. As the above verse states that this religion is perfect and complete. However, something new has come in fairly recent years from the Shaytan concerning the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). It has been suggested by him to the hearts of some of the Muslims that the Qur'an, as Glorious as it is, is sufficient enough alone as guidance for Mankind. Meaning that the Sunnah, or way of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is something that can be left off, or abandoned. Without a doubt this is a growing disease that has no place in this wonderful way of life of ours.

In order to address this issue we must ask ourselves an important question. How do we worship Allah? Do we worship Him any way we want? Is there a correct Minhaj (Methodology) to worshipping Allah? Is it sufficient for us to say and do whatever it is that we feel is worship and then call it worship and it will be accepted as such? Let us consider what Allah says in the Qur'an:

O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and make not vain your deeds!

Let us examine, if we may, the above verse.

Firstly, Allah is addressing the Believers at this particular time.

Secondly, Allah states that he is to be obeyed. No sane person would doubt this, for it is the word of Allah. However for some unknown reason there appears to be some ambiguity about the statement that follows it.

Allah also states that the Messenger is to be obeyed as well. Now, from the outset I would say once again that no sane person would doubt that the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alihi wa sallam) is to be obeyed as well, however there appears to be a breach not in the acceptance of the verse but in understanding what is actually being ordered.

We have established that the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is to be followed, however we must ask ourselves a question once again. In his infinite wisdom, Allah knew when he revealed this verse that the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) would soon die and that his Ummah (nation) would carry on after his death. Understanding this, we must ask the question of how do we understand this verse of the Qur'an after the death of Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). Is it no longer applicable? Of course it is! The Sunnah is the explanation of the Qur'an. It is the Qur'an in practice.

O Muslim reader, you must know that the Qur'an and the Sunnah do not contradict one another, rather they complement one another. When Allah says in this verse that the Messenger is to be obeyed, he is not only talking to that Honorable group of Muslims that accompanied the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) during his lifetime. He is speaking to all of the Muslims that will come up until the Last Day. Similarly, no one is ready to conceive the notion that when Allah Says (which means in English) O ye who believe! that the only ones who believe are the Muslims who were with the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) at that time and no one after them believed and no one else will ever believe! This would be grossly limiting the Qur'an in a way that was not understood by the Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) himself.

Beware Abdullah! The Shaytan is crafty! He may then try to sway your thinking from another angle. He may say that the Qur'an is simple to understand and that it needs no explanation. For it is true that Allah says:

We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember - Surah Al-Qamar:32

However, although the Qur'an is easy to understand, it does need to be explained so that it is properly understood. Allah says in His Book:

And when We have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Jibreel Gabriel]) then follow its (The Qur'an's) recital. Then it is for Us (Allah) to make it clear (to you) - Surah Al-Qiyamah:18,19

Surely if the Qur'an had to be made clear to the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam), then how much more so to you and I? Is it logical at this point to assume that the Qur'an needs no explanation when Allah says:

…And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the Reminder, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought -Surah An-Nahl:44

In this verse Allah is exhorting the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) to not merely recite the Qur'an but to expalin it as well. Obviously , some explanation is required even to the most pious of men.

Truly the list of proofs can go on and on. However, I will list just a few Insha Allah:

…(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. -Surah An-Nisaa:59

Once again, if we try to leave off the importance of the Sunnah, then how do we implement this verse of the Qur'an? Allah orders us to refer our differences to him. This means for us to seek our answers from the Qur'an. He also attaches The Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) to that particular order when He stated for us to refer to Him. If we leave off the Sunnah then this part of the verse has no meaning, and I seek refuge with Allah from that!

Whoever obeys the Messenger, has obeyed Allah-Surah An-Nisaa:80

How can we allow the Shaytan to "explain away" these clear proofs from the Book of Allah?

Say (O Muhammad): If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins -Surah Ali-Imran: 31

How can the Muslims of today follow the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and not refer to his Sunnah? How can we say that we love Allah and not try to follow the methodology of his Prophet? It doesn't make sense O my Brothers in Islam! It is only the whispers of the Shaytan. Allah says:

So fight you against the friends of Shaytan (Satan):ever feeble indeed is the plot of Shaytan (Satan) -Surah An-Nisaa:76

Finally I would like to conclude with a Hadeeth (saying) from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) that was collected by Imam Malik in his Muwatta. The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: "I have left behind two matters. Those who hold fast to them will never go astray: The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger".

The reason that many of the Muslims are going astray today is because they are not only leaving off the Sunnah but they are leaving the Qur'an as well! Know for a certainty O Brother Muslim, that if you are not giving the Sunnah its rights, then you are not giving the Qur'an its rights. And I seek refuge with Allah from that! Don't forget your Shahadah:

I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship as a God except Allah; and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

Without the Sunnah then the second statement of your Shahadah also has no meaning. And I seek refuge with Allah from that! I glorify you O Allah, and I praise you. I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except you. I seek your forgiveness and repent to you.

As-Salamo Alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu!

By Abu Abdir Rahmaan

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