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Al Sunnah has become known over time to mean many things: Al Tariqah [Method, path, habit (tradition)] Al Hikmah [Sayings, actions and consent of Muhammad (saw)] Al Qadha [The divine fate] Al Shari'ah [Way of Life] Al Aqeedah [The Belief] Ahl ul Haq [People of truth] Ahl ul Islam [People of Islam] Ahl Tawheed [People of Tawheed] Nafilah [Recommended] Ibn Taymiyyah said: "It becomes a duty upon a Muslim if someone asks (what should I call myself), to say: I am not shukayli, nor kurfandi, I am a Muslim and I follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah. [At that time there was a man called Shukayl that people followed and called themselves Shukayli], we will never divert from the names that Allah (swt) gave us, to a name innovated by people and their parents, which Allah never permitted them." (He quoted an ayah from Baqarah.) [Majmou' Al Fattawa ibn Taymiyyah vol.3 p.415] Among Ahl Al hadith, Sunnah means: "What has been attributed to the Messenger Muhammad (saw) sayings, actions or consent, or description of the way he looks or his character, or his biography whether before missionhood or after missionhood." So they make Ta'assie (resemble him) in everything, even his movements (e.g. the way he moved, walked etc) Among Ahl ul Usul, Sunnah means: "What has been attributed to the Messenger Muhammad (saw) specifically on what has never been mentioned in the Qur'an, rather has been mentioned by the Messenger as elaboration of the Qur'an." They take the sunnah as the second source of revelation after the Qur'an Imam Shafi'i said: "The Shari'ah is the Sunnah." Among the Fuqaha (Ahnaf), Sunnah means: "The Sunnah is anything that has been proven to be from the Messenger Muhammad (saw) that is not fard, nor waajib. (i.e. nafilah, etc)" AL SUNNAH
The Sunnah has been mentioned in two ways - Specific - General Generally, sunnah means those who are opposite to the Shi'a, however we do not mean the Shi'a of the time of Imam Ali (ra) in the past, they were from Ahl Al Sunnah, we are speaking about the raafidah of today. So when we say Ahl Al Sunnah, we mean those who believe that the first caliph was Abu Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman, then Ali. Whereas the raafidah, speak about the twelve Imams etc. for this reason it is a healthy thing to distinguish between Ahl Al Sunnah and the Shi'a. Specifically, by Sunnah we mean the opposite to Ahl Al Bid'ah, e.g. Sufis, Murji'a, ash'aris etc. The khawaarij are opposed to the Sunnah, on a specific term Imam Muhammad ibn sireen said: "Muslims never before used to distinguish between anybody, until the Fitnah occurred (bid'ah that began in the time of Imam Ahmad, where the people began to say that the Qur'an was creation of Allah (swt).). they never used to ask about isnad, until the Fitnah of the Qur'an (whether it is creation or not). After that they used to say: "tell us who is you narrators? Who from among you is Ahl Al Sunnah, we will take your hadith, if they are people of bid'ah we will not take it."." Imam Al Shatibi said, "The sunnah is mentioned as opposite to the bid'ah." Imam Shafi'i said: "Sunnah, is what I follow, and what I see Ahl Al Hadith follow." We should note that the deviant sects are not kafir, but are Muslims from Ahl Al Qiblah. And everyone from Ahl Al Sunnah is Ahl Al Qiblah, but not everyone from Ahl Al Qiblah is Ahl Al Sunnah.. The Prophet (saw) said: "My Ummah will divide into 73 sects, all are in the hellfire, except one which will be saved." They asked "who is the saviour sect?" he (saw) said: "Al Jama'ah". Those in hellfire will not be in hellfire forever, but Ahl Al Sunnah will not be accounted for their belief provided their deeds were good. Umar ibn Khattab (ra) said: "Be careful of the people of ration, they are the enemy of the Sunnah, they are so tired they do not want to memorise hadith, they will become misguided…"
In 'Fath ul Bari', it is explained that this is enough to reject ration, Islam is not ration, and we cannot take it as an evidence. Abdullah ibn Umar, and Ali ibn Abu Talib said: "The hawa for the one who is enemy to the Sunnah, is Haq, even if you strike his neck he will think it is haq." [Kitab ul Sharh p.112] A man came to Abdullah ibn Umar and kept saying "do you think, do you think?…" Abdullah ibn Umar said: "leave 'do you think?' in Yemen, here we speak about the Sunan" It has been said that: "The Sunnah is the prerequisite to everything" [Darimi - Darimi compiled most of the Mawqouf Ahadith] Abdullah ibn Mas'oud and ubay ibn ka'b said, "Stay with the Sunnah, it is better than ijtihad in bid'ah" [Darimi, vol.1 p72] Abdullah ibn Abbas said: "There will never come a year for the people (except that) whenever they innovate, they kill one Sunnah, until there comes a time when all bid'ah become prevalent and Sunnah is (rare)…" ibn Sireen said: "Whenever a man takes a bid'ah, (inevitably) he must leave the Sunnah." [Darimi] Qadi Iyaad said: "I met the best people, all of them people of Sunnah, they forbid munkar and bid'ah," Abu Bakr Ayyash said, "People will sit down to people who give talks and they don't deserve to be listened to, they will sit many people, but the man of Sunnah, Allah will elevate his status and reputation, and the man of bid'ah - no one will remember him." [Tirmizi] Abu Dharr said: "Three things (you should not let people take it away from you) to command good and forbid evil, to follow the Sunnah and jihad for the sake of Allah." [Darimi vol p.532] Umar ibn Khattab said: "One day there will be people who debate with you the ayat and shubuhat, free them with the Sunnah, the people of Sunnah are more knowledgable on the book than anyone else."[Darimi] Sa'eed ibn Jubayr said on the ayah ('on the day of judgement, some peoples faces will be bright …):
"That means the best deed is to be on Ahl Al Sunnah Wal Jama'ah" Abdullah ibn Abbas said about that ayah that "Those people whose faces will be bright will be Ahl Al Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, and those whose faces will be dark will be Ahl Al Bid'ah and Firqah." Al Sunnah in the Shari'ah means: 1- AL SEERAH & AL TARIQAH The path and tradition. This is divided into two: - Praised Tradition - Sunnat ul salaf Al Mahmoudah Allah (Swt) said: "Allah wishes to make clear to you and to show you the ordinances of those before you; and (He does wish to) turn to you (In Mercy): And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise" [EMQ 4: 26] Ibn Abbas said: "The path of those who are good sunnah, and those before" These people are the salaf that we follow, the Salaf us Saaleh - Dispraised Tradition - Sunnat ul Salaf Al Mazmoumah Allah (swt) said: "If you stop saying the kufr, Allah forgives everything before, but if you go back..." [EMQ 8:38] Allah (swt) said: "We did send apostles before you amongst the religious sects of old, But never came an apostle to them but they mocked him. Even so do we let it creep into the hearts of the sinners. That they should not believe in the (Message); but the ways of the ancients have passed away." [EMQ 15: 10-13] These are the dispraised salaf, we call the Salaf ut Taaleh, (deviant predecessors) 2- THE DIVINE FATE - QADHA ULLLA Also - THE ALMIGHTY TRADITIONS (THE SUNNAH OF ALLAH) Allah (swt) said: "Such is the way of Allah in days gone by, and you shall find no change in the ways of Allah." [EMQ Fath: 23]
3- AL HIKMAH Hikmah Means fiqh, but when Allah mentions it in conjuction with "qur'an" or "Kitab"… it means Sunnah. Allah (swt) said: "Our Lord, send among them a Messenger from them who shall recite to them Your verses and teach them the Kitab and Hikmah, and purify them; You are the Mighty, the Wise." [EMQ 2: 129] Allah (swt) said: "As We have sent among you a Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) from yourselves, to recite to you Our verses and to purify you, who will teach you the Kitab and Hikmah, and teach you that of which you have no knowledge." [EMQ 2: 151] Allah (swt) said: "When you have divorced women and they have reached the end of their waiting period, either keep them in kindness or let them go with kindness. But you shall not keep them, being harmful, in order to transgress. Whoever does this wrongs himself. Do not take the verses of Allah in mockery. Remember the favor of Allah upon you, and what He sent down to you from the Kitab and Hikmah to exhort you. Fear Allah and know that He has knowledge of everything." [EMQ 2: 231] Allah (swt) said: "Allah has surely been gracious to the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves to recite to them His verses, to purify them, and to teach them the Kitab and Hikmah, though before that they were in clear error." [EMQ 3: 164] Allah (swt) said: "But for the Favor of Allah to you (Prophet Muhammad) and His Mercy, a party of them intended to lead you astray, but they only lead themselves astray, and they did not harm you a thing. Allah has sent down to you the Kitab and Hikmah and He has taught you what you did not know. The Bounty of Allah to you is ever great." [EMQ 4: 113] In the tafsir, ibn Abbas said: "Kitab and Hikmah means Qur'an and Sunnah." 4- Al WAHIE Sunnah means Al Wahie, and wahie means the deen, this was understood by the sahabah explicitly. Wahie is of two types: - Qur'anic Wahi - Prophetic Wahie
Allah mentioned both in the following ayat, "And recite of what has been revealed in your own home, of the verses of Allah and the Wisdom. Allah is the Subtle, the Knower …" [EMQ 33: 34] And He (swt) said: "He is the one who sends from among them someone illiterate, and he recites to them." [EMQ 62: 2] The Prophet (saw) said: "I left you two things, that as long as you hold firm to them after me, you will never be misguided, the book of Allah, and my Sunnah." [Muwatta' Imam Maalik, p.899 H.1395] Mu'az ibn jabl narrated about when he went to Yemen, The Prophet (saw) said: "If you face a question in the issue of judging, what will you judge by?" Mu'az said: "by the Qur'an", the Prophet (saw) said: "if you do not find an answer (explicitly)?" "by the sunnah" "what if you do not find in there?" "I will exhaust utmost effort (make ijtihad.)" [Darimi p60 H.168] Abdullah ibn Umar said to Jabir, "O Abu Sha'fah you are from the faqih of basra, do not give fatwa except Qur'an or Sunnah, if you follow anything other than that, you will be doomed and you will misguide others." Abu Salamah said to Hasan Al Basri, "There is nobody in basra that I wanted to meet except you, but I changed my mind when I heard you gave fatwa from your ration, …" [darimi] Imam uza'I narrated: "Jibreel used to come down with the sunnah to the Prophet (saw) the way he came down to the Prophet (saw) with the Qur'an." [darimi 587] 5- AL SHARI'AH The Messenger (saw) stood and made khutbah: "Fear Allah, and listen and obey even from an abyssian slave, after me you will see many disputes and many innovations, be careful of the innovation, every innovation is misguidance, …" [Tirmizi 2600] 6- OPPOSITE OF BID'AH The Prophet (saw) said: "Be careful from the innovation in the deen, every innovation is misguidance." [Bukhari vol13, p149] And Aisha narrated the Prophet (saw) said:
"whoever does any deed not based on our teaching, it is sin" [Bukhari] 7- NAAFILAH 8- USUL UD DEEN
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