Virtues and obligation of following Sunnah

Contents of this page

Allah (swt)'s order to follow the Sunnah in the Quran.
Hadith on the importance of following Sunnah
The warning against discarding the sunnah
The statements of Sahaba (RAA) Ullima about following the Sunnah.
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Allah (swt)'s order to follow the Sunnah in the Quran.

"Say (O Muhammad): ‘if you (truly) love Allah, follow me! Allah will then love you and forgive your sins.’ And Allah is All Forgiving, All Merciful."} (Sura Al Imraan ayah #31) note: This ayah makes it very clear that if anyone claims to love Allah (swt) they have to follow the sunnah and only then will Allah (swt) love them and forgive them.  Many people today say we love Allah and they talk against the sunnah and the Ullima have said that anyone who does this is a liar and does not love Allah (swt) or they would follow the beloved prophet of Allah (SAW), as it is an order od Allah (swt) to do so.

"Say: If it be your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, your kindred, the wealth you have gained, the commerce in which you fear decline, or the dwellings in which you delight – are dearer to you than Allah or His Messenger and striving in His cause – then wait until Allah brings about His decision. And Allah guides not the rebellious." (Surah Taubah ayah #24)

"The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves." (Surah Al-Ahzaab33 ayah # 6) note: These last two ayat show us we have to love Allah (swt) and his Prophet (SAW) more than we even love ourselves!  And the true love for Rasulullah (Saw) is to follow his sunnah!

We can see how much dissension exists today among the Muslim Ummah. This has obviously, been caused by straying away from the Quran and Sunnah. Many Muslims have been very negligent of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Muslims seem to think that they have an option when it comes to obeying Muhammad (SAW). They mistakenly estimate obedience to him as being admirable and rewardable, but as being optional only. They say, "We will simply follow the Quran and leave the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). However it is obvious from the Quran that we must obey Muhammad (SAW).  Allah (swt) says "It is not fit for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger has indeed strayed in a clear deviation." (Surah Al-Ahzaab ayah #:36)

"Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever evil befalls you, is from yourself. And We have sent you (Muhammad) as a Messenger to humanity, and Allah is sufficient as a witness. He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allaah, but he who turns away, then We have not sent you as a watcher over them. (Surah An-Nisa Ayat # 79-80)

"And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens under which river flow, to abide therein and that will be the great success. And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, and transgress His Limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein, and he shall have a disgraceful torment." (Surah An-Nisa ayat #13-14) note:  Here we see Allah (swt) has made obeying Rasulullah (SAW) a condition for being admited inot Junnah!

"Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah you have a excellent example (to follow) for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much." (Sura #33 ayah #21) note:  Allah (swt) has made Rasulullah (SAW) as our example not any sports figue or president of any country, so then why do we spend out time trying to emitate the kufar instead of folowing the best example, the sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW)!  The sunnah of Rasulullah (SAW). We are ordered in the Quran to obey the sunnah in our life 24 hours  a day not just in what we feel like.  Islam is a full way of life and it is only complete when you brng the sunnah in your life. "Whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allaah; verily, Allaah is severe in punishment." (Sura #59 ayah #7)

"Let those who oppose the Messenger’s order beware of a fitnah (trial) to befall them, or a painful torment to be inflicted upon them." (Sura # 24 ayah #63) note: SubhanAllah here Allah (swt) has warned us of a painful torment that will be inflicted upon those who oppose the sunnah!  So let those who talk against the Sunnah beware and the promise of Allah (swt) is true!

"Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is no less than revelation sent down to him." (Sura #53 ayah #3-4) note:  Here Allah (swt) has made it clear that the hadith of Rasulullah (SAW) and what he has ordered are not from him but from Allah (swt) and thats why we have to follow them! Muhammad (SAW) did not come up with his own laws and regulations; anything that Muhammad (SAW) had commanded us to do in Islam came from Allah (SWT). As Allah (SWT) says in this next ayah....
"And similarly, We sent not a warner before you (Muhammad) to any town but the luxurious ones among them said, ‘We found our Fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps. (The warner) said, ‘Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?" (Sura # 43 ayah #23-24)

"But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) faith until they make you (Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." (Sura #4 ayah #65) note: From this ayah we see it is clear that we can NOT have true faith in Islam unless we except and Sunnah and follow it!

"O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who are in authority. If you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger if you believe in Allaah and the Last Day. This is better and more suitable for final determination." (Sura #4 ayah #59)

"Obey Allaah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with each other), lest you fail and your strength depart; and be patient – surely, Allaah is with those who are patient." (Sura #8 ayah #46)

"And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them." (Sura #3 ayah #105)

Allah (swt) refers to the succesful as those who say "We hear and we obey." And such are the successful. And whosoever obeys Allaah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW), fears Allah, and revers Him -–such are the successful.} (Sura #24 ayat #51-52)
May Allah (swt) make us from those!

Hadith on the importance of following Sunnah

Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: "All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except those that refuse.Those who were with him (the Sahaabah) said, "And who will refuse?" He (SAW) said: Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me will have refused." ( Sahih Al- Bukhari )

Abu Dawud also reported from al-’Irbaad ibn Saariyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that “the Messenger of Allaah  (peace be upon him) led us in prayer one day, then he turned to us and exhorted us strongly . . . (he said), ‘Pay attention to my sunnah (way) and the way of the Rightly-guided Khaleefahs after me, adhere to it and hold fast to it.’” (Sahih Abi Dawud, Kitaab al-Sunnah).

"There will be a man with full stomach, reclining on his pillow, who will hear a command from me and say, "Let the judge between us (in this matter) be Allah's Book:  we obey whetever we find in it."  [Know that] indeed, I have been given the Book and, with it, that which is similar to it (the Sunnah)." (Ahmad, Abu Dawud Vol. IV, p. 200, Saheeh ul-Jaami, Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, Vol. I, p. 488)

Al-Tirmidhi reported from Abu Raafi’ and others that the Prophet (SAW) said: “I do not want to see any one of you reclining on his couch and, when he hears of my instructions or prohibitions, saying ‘I don’t accept it; we didn’t find any such thing in the Book of Allaah.’” Abu ‘Eesaa said: This is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. (See Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Shaakir edition, no. 2663).

 Al-’Irbaad ibn Saariyah(RAA) reportedthat the Prophet  (peace be upon him) said: “Would any of you think, reclining on his couch, that Allah would only describe what is forbidden in the Qur’aan? I tell you, by Allah, that I have warnedand commanded and prohibited things that are as important as what is in the Qur’aan, if not more so.” (Reported by Abu Dawud, Kitaabal-Khiraj wa’l-imaarah wa’l-fay’).

Anus (RA) reported that Rasoolullaah (SAW) said:["Whoever possesses three qualities will taste the sweetness of Imaan.
1. That Allaah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else.
2. To love a person only for Allaah sake.
3. And To hate to revert to disbelief, after Allaah had saved him from it, as he would hate to be thrown into the fire."] (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
And Anus (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:
"None of you will have faith until he has more love for me than for his parents, his children, and all humanity." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Al-Irbaadh bin Saariyah reported that Allaah’s Messenger gave the Companions (Sahaabah) an exhortation one-day after the fajr Prayer which caused their eyes to shed tears and their hearts to quiver. So a man said, "This sounds like a final exhortation, so counsel us, O Allaah’s Messenger (SAW)." He (SAW) said,"I counsel you to fear and revere Allaah, and to listen and obey (your Muslim ruler) – even if an Ethiopian slave becomes your leader. Those who will live (after me) will see much dissension (among the Muslims); so adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah (way) of the rightly guided successors after me; cling to that with your teeth. Beware of novelties (in the Deen), for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is a deviation (from the true guidance). "
(At-Tirmidthee who reported it to be (authentic) Sahih)

The warning against disgarding the sunnah

Allah (swt) makes it clear in his book "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger, and make not vain your deeds!" (Sura Muhammad, ayah #33)

"But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment." (Sura An-Nisáa ayah # 14)

The staments of Sahaba (RAA) and of Ullima about following the Sunnah.

Ibn Mas`ud (RAA) used to say, "Doing a little of the Sunna is better than striving hard in innovation."

Al-Hasan ibn Abi’l-Hasan (RH) said, "A little action following a sunna is better than a lot of action following an innovation."

Ali (RAA) said, "I am not a Prophet nor have I received revelation, but I act according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad as much as I can."

Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (RH) said: "Whoever rejects a statement of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) is on the brink of destruction."

Imaam ash-Shaafi (RH) reported a concensus among the scholars of the Sahaabah, the Taabi`oon and their followers that:  "If a sunnah of Allah's Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, becomes manifest to a person, he does not have any choice but to follow it, regardless of what other people say." [Quoted in Ar-Risaalah at-Tabookiyyah of Ibn ul Qayyim]

Shafi' (RH) said: Allah  has imposed the duty on men to obey His book as well as the sunna of His Apostle. For He said in His Book: "O our Lord, raise up amongst them an Apostle, one of themselves, to recite to them Thy signs and to teach them the Book and Wisdom and to purify them. Verily Thou art All-mighty, All-wise (Sura #2 ayah #123)."

Al-Shafi’(RH), may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “I do not know of anyone among the Sahaabah and Taabi’een who narrated a report from the Messenger of Allaah  (peace be upon him) without accepting it, adhering to it and affirming that this was sunnah Those who came after the Taabi’een, and those whom we met did likewise: they all accepted the reports and took them to be sunnah, praising those who followed them and criticizing those who went against them. Whoever deviated from this path would be regarded by us as having deviated from the way of the Companions of the Prophet  (peace be upon him) and the scholars who followed them, and would be considered as one of the ignorant.

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