Oasis of the Sunnah

• The Importance of Keenness on the Sunnah, Following it, and Calling to it (First issue)

By: Shaikh (Dr.) Abd as-Salam Barjas, may Allah have m - 2012-09-10

The best thing a Muslim can strive take care of is following the statements of the Prophet, implementing them in his life as much as he can.  That is because the goal that a Muslim strives towards is being guided and reaching paradise.

            Allah said, “If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance.” [24:54]

            Allah also said, “And follow him so that you may be guided.” [7:158]

            And, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day.” [33:21]

            This last ayah includes a great principle in that it shows that we must take the Messenger as an example.  This means we take his statements, actions, movements, and general life as an example.  An example of Allah’s Messenger is only taken by those who hope to meet Allah and the Last Day.  That is because his faith, fear of Allah, hope in Allah’s reward, and fear of Allah’s punishment encourages him to take Allah’s Messenger as an example.

            The honor and rank of a believer is measured by how well he follows the Prophet.  Whenever a believer seeks out the Sunnah more, he increases in rank and level.  That is why the Salaf from among the successors of the Prophet’s Companions, may Allah have mercy on all of them, they made one’s level of following the Sunnah the criterion and standard when judging who to take knowledge from.  Ibrahim an-Nakha`i said, “They (meaning, the Salaf) used to approach a man to take knowledge from him, and would take three things into account.  First they would look at his prayer, then at the voluntary acts of worship that he would do, then to how he carries himself, and then they would decide whether or not to take knowledge from him.”

            One of the scholars said, “One of the signs of love for Allah, is following he who Allah Loves (Prophet Muhammad) in his manners, actions, orders and traditions.  This is the truth, and it taken directly from Allah’s Book, when Allah said, “Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’”[3:31]”

            Al-Hasan al-Basri and others said about this ayah, “Allah made following the Sunnah of His Messenger the sign that they love Him.”

            There are many texts from the Qur’an, Sunnah, and statements of the Sahabah and Tabi`in which encourage acting in accordance with the Sunnah, and urge holding fast to it.  Among the most famous of these ahadeeth is the authentic hadeeth of al-`Irbadh bin Sariyah, when he said, “Allah’s Messenger gave us a sermon which caused the eyes to tear, and the hearts to become scared.  We said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger, this is the speech of one who is parting, so please give us advice.’  He said, ‘I advise you to fear and obey Allah, and to hear and obey, even if an Ethiopian slave were to be put in a position of power over you.  Whoever lives after me will see much different, so follow my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs after me; bite onto it with the molar teeth.’

            The Prophet’s statement, “You must follow my Sunnah.” Meaning, my path which I am on that I have explained to you, be they in creed and belief, or in actions of worship; be they obligatory or voluntary.  When the term Sunnah is used, it means the religious way that the Prophet tread in his worship, dealings, manners, movements, and life.  `Urwah bin az-Zubair said, “The Sunan, the Sunan – meaning, follow the Sunan – because the Sunan are what raise the religion.”

            Ibn `Umar used to follow the orders, statements, and general condition of Allah’s Messenger.  He would be so keen on following the Sunnah that some feared for the state of his mind.

            Az-Zuhri said, “Our scholars who passed used to say, ‘Following the Sunnah is salvation.’”

            Following the Sunnah has more benefits than can be counted.  Among then that a person who is dedicated to the Sunnah will achieve and reach the level of belovedness by Allah, that Allah spoke about when He said, in the hadeeth qudsi, “My slave will keep coming closer to Me until I love him.  When I love him, I will be the hearing with which he hears, the sight with which he sees, the foot with which he walks, and the hand in which he uses; if he asks Me I will grant him, and if he seeks my refuge, I will grant him refuge.

            Among them is that mend the shortcoming in the obligatory acts of worship.  The Prophet said, “The first action the people will be held accountable of on the Day of Resurrection is prayer.  Allah will say to the angels, ‘Look to the prayer of My slave, are they complete or lacking’, if they are lacking Allah will say, ‘Look to the voluntary actions of my slave’, if the slave has voluntary actions, Allah will say, ‘Make up my slave’s lacking obligatory prayers with the voluntary prayers that he performed.

            Among the benefits is that one who holds fast to the Sunnah in the end of times will have a great reward.  Proof is contained in the hadeeth of `Utbah bin `Uzwan that the Prophet said, “Days of patience are approaching you; the one who holds fast in those times will have the reward of fifty of you.” They said, “O Allah’s Prophet, [do you mean fifty] of them?” The Prophet responded, “No, but rather [fifty] of you.


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