‘Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me’
May 21 2021 12:46 AM
Nimra Mosque
Nimra Mosque in the holy city of Makkah.

Anas, radhiallah ‘anhu, reported that: “Three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and asked how his worship was. When they were informed, they considered their own worship to be insignificant and said: ‘Where are we in comparison to the Prophet when Allah has forgiven his past and future sins?’ One of them said: ‘As for me, I shall offer prayer all night long.’ Another said: ‘I shall observe fasting perpetually, never to break it.’ Another said: ‘I shall abstain from women and will never marry.’ The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then came to them and said: ‘Are you the people who said such things? I swear By Allah that I fear Allah more than you do, and I am most obedient and dutiful among you to Him, but still, I observe fasting (sometimes) and break it (at others); I perform (optional) prayer (at night sometimes) and sleep at night (at others); I also marry. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah (i.e., my way) is not from me.’” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
Anas also reported: “A few of the companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, inquired from his wives about his worship when he would be alone. When they found out, one of them said: ‘I shall abstain from women and will never marry.’ Another said: ‘I shall never eat meat.’ Another said: ‘I will always offer the night prayer and shall never sleep.’ Later, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, ascended the pulpit, praised and thanked Allah, and then said: ‘Why are some people saying such things? I perform (optional night) prayers (sometimes) and sleep at night (at others); I observe fasting (sometimes) and break it (at others); and I marry. So whoever turns away from my Sunnah (i.e., way) is not from me.’”
“A few of the companions” in the narration means that there were between three to nine of them, and their asking: “Where are we in comparison to the Prophet when Allah has forgiven his past and future sins?” means that since they did not have this assurance that He  had, then it followed that they would have to exert more effort in order to try to attain it; however, he  explained to them that one may do the things that these men wished to refrain from and still be fearful of Allah and obtain a great reward.
The second narration of this story includes different things that the companions stated that they will abstain from, which proves that they were more than three in number.
Also, the speech of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in the first narration reflects that he spoke to them directly, whereas the second one indicates that he  spoke generally, without directing his speech to them in particular. It may be that he first spoke to everybody in the congregation and explained that such abstention is impermissible, and then spoke to the men concerned in private, addressing them personally so as not to expose their identity to others, which may have caused them embarrassment.
The fact that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, took an oath was in order to show these men that despite him being forgiven by Allah, he  did not do what they planned to do, which was to exaggerate in their worship, and that reward from Allah could be attained without such exaggeration; this is because he who is moderate in his worship is more likely to continue whereas those who exaggerate will eventually become too weak to continue and give up.
His saying: “…my Sunnah…” did not refer to the Islamic categorisation which refers to recommended acts rather than obligatory ones. Rather, it refers to his complete manner in life and his approach to every matter. He  instructed them that the one who worships in any way other than his is not from him, meaning, that he does not follow him; here, he  was alluding to the methods that monks have, who innovated extreme ways of worship for which they have been dispraised by Allah.
The one who worships in a way other than that of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam has not left the fold of Islam if he did it in ignorance or was mistaken in his interpretation of the Sunnah, but if he does it due to wishing to deliberately shun the way of the Prophet  and thinks that his way and method is better, then he has committed an act of disbelief.
The following are some of many benefits that we can extract from this narration:
lThe recommendation of imitating the ways of one’s seniors and following in their footsteps, and that if one is unable to find out about their way of doing things by means of inquiring from men, then it is permitted to inquire from women, provided that nobody will be subjected to temptation.
lThe virtue of marriage and an encouragement of it.
lOne may do righteous deeds openly and inform others about them, provided he feels secure from thereby becoming arrogant.
lDeeds that are Islamically permitted may become recommended, disliked or prohibited, according to one’s intention.
lImaam At-Tabari said: “This narration refutes the claim of those who forbid eating lawful foods and wearing permissible clothing, claiming that it is better to use harsh clothing and refrain from eating good food.” But, Imaam Ibn Hajar added to this saying: “The fact of the matter is that the one who gets himself accustomed to always consuming fine things (i.e., food and clothing) may become too habituated to them and therefore cannot live without them, and consequently, when he is deprived from them, he may commit prohibitions in order to attain what he is accustomed to. On the other hand, refraining from them from the perspective of prohibiting them for oneself contradicts the saying of Allah in the verse of Surah Al-A’raaf (which means): “Say: ‘Who has forbidden the adornment of [i.e., from] Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?...” [Qur’an 7: 32]
* The good deeds that are continuous are the dearest to Allah, even if they are few.
* The method of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is the very best one, whereby he would sometimes eat in order to preserve his strength, and fast at other times; he would also sleep at night sometimes in order to have the strength to pray at night on other occasions; also, he would marry in order to fulfil his desires, save himself from following his lusts, maintain his chastity, and increasing the number of Muslims.
* A warning against exaggeration in the matters of the religion because this leads to one stopping the deeds that he is performing. Also, one who exaggerates in acts of worship will eventually become apathetic, which may cause him to stop his obligatory acts of worship and not only the optional ones that he performs. Also, one who only performs the obligatory deeds is also in great danger; if he loses interest, he may abandon worship altogether; so the best way is to be moderate.
lFinally, There is an indication in this narration that knowing Allah and His rights and commandments is of a higher rank than simply worshipping Him without it, and that the deeds of the heart are essential for practicing servitude to Allah.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

Loving and glorifying the Sunnah
Do you truly love the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam? A fundamental of our religion, and a tenet of our faith, is to love him. 
Allah Says what means: “Say [O Muhammad]: ‘If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and Jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [Qur’an 9: 24] 
Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh said: “This verse is enough of an evidence to prove the obligation of loving the Prophet  because Allah dispraised in it those whose wealth, family or children are dearer to them than the love of Allah and His Messenger  describing them as defiantly disobedient at its conclusion.”
Love of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, branches from Allah’s love of him; our love of the Prophet is due to the fact that Allah loves him, and because Allah sent him to us as His Messenger, as well as the fact that Allah instructs us to make him dearer to our hearts than our own souls. He Almighty Says what means: “The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves…” [Qur’an 33: 6] 
This means that the believer should love the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, more than he loves his own self. 
This love entails full obedience, submission and acceptance; it also entails favouring the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, over oneself, one’s family and one’s wealth, and to surrender to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the controlling direction that one has over himself.
The influence that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, should have over us is greater than that which a master has over his slave, or a father has over his child. We should have no control over ourselves except in acting in accordance with the way he directed us to. 
It is for every Muslim to prove his love for him, which can be determined according to the following narration of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “There are three qualities; whoever has them will taste the sweetness of faith: To love Allah and His Messenger more than anyone else…” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] 
One will never taste the sweetness of faith except after achieving this, as he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said in another narration: “I swear by the One in whose Hand my soul is! None of you will truly believe until I become dearer to him than his child, his father and all of mankind.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
This love is not simply an emotion that is confined to the heart, but rather it has implications and effects. This love makes the slave achieve a rank that he would not otherwise achieve by means of his bodily deeds, as in the narration of Ibn Mas’ood, radhiallah ‘anhu, who said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! When will the Hour (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) come?’ He  replied: “What have you prepared for it?” The man said: ‘Only my love of Allah and His Messenger.’ The Messenger of Allah then said: “You will be with those whom you love.”” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
It is not as important to know when the Hour will occur as it is to prepare for its arrival, and this is the reason why the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, drew this to the attention of the man by asking him that question.
Anas, radhiallah ‘anhu, said: “After being blessed by embracing Islam, we never rejoiced at anything as much as we did about this answer of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to that man. I love Allah, His Messenger, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and hope to be with them (in the Hereafter) even if I cannot perform the good deeds they did.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
The Companions had great love for the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, to the extent that they would face arrows that were being fired in his direction to shield him. They would risk their lives for him and sacrifice everything for his rescue. ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, radhiallah ‘anhu, said: “There was no one dearer to me or more glorified than the Prophet; I could never look him directly in the eye due to the extent of my glorification, and if someone were to ask me to describe him, I would not be able to, as I never looked at him for long enough to be able to describe him.” [Muslim]
When Abu Sufyaan, radhiallah ‘anhu, was still a disbeliever, he asked Zayd ibn Thaabit, radhiallah ‘anhu, who was taken as a hostage and being brought out by the people of Makkah to execute: “Do you not wish that Muhammad was in your place and that we killed him instead, while you could go to your family and be with them?” He replied: “I swear by Allah! I would rather be here facing this than have him even being pricked by a thorn.” Upon hearing this, Abu Sufyaan, radhiallah ‘anhu, said: “I never saw a people who love a man more than the Companions of Muhammad love him.”
Such incidents greatly affected the disbelievers and caused many of them to embrace Islam.
A man from the Ansaar came to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and said: “You are dearer to me than myself, my child, my family and my wealth, and I feel as if I am dying when I do not see you.” Then he began to cry. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, asked: “Why are you crying?” The man replied: “I remembered that we will die and you will die, then you will take your place in Paradise with the other Messengers and Prophets, while we, if indeed we do enter Paradise, will be lower in rank than you, and thus we will not be able to see you in Paradise.”
Note how much they loved him; they were worried about not seeing him, despite the fact that they may also be in Paradise.
The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did not comment on his words until Allah revealed the following verses which mean: “And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions. That is the bounty from Allah…” [Qur’an 4: 69-70] Thereupon the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, summoned him and said: “Glad tidings to you!” [Al-Bayhaqi]
Once, a female companion was waiting at the approach to Al-Madinah for the return of the Muslim army from the battle of Uhud. She was informed that her husband, brother and father were killed, but her only reply was: “What happened to the Prophet?” They told her that he, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, was fine and unharmed, but she insisted to seeing him so that she would be sure that he was truly safe. When she did see him, she remarked: “Any affliction, after seeing that you are safe, is minor.”
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

The second source of legislation
The Sunnah (the actions, sayings and confirmations of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, is the second source of Islamic legislation and must be in complete agreement with the first source (i. e. the Qur’an). 
The term Sunnah comes from the root word ‘sanna’, which means to pave the way.
Sunnah can be used to describe a path that people follow. In Islamic terminology, Sunnah applies to a prophetic way which includes references to the Prophet’s sayings, actions, approvals, physical features and character traits.
His actions pertain to anything he did, as authentically reported by the Companions. His silent approvals on different issues meant he didn’t oppose or mind what he saw, heard or knew of the actions or sayings of his Companions. Sunnah also includes everything authentically narrated concerning the Prophet’s physical features and his traits.
The Qur’an and the Sunnah complement each other. Without the Sunnah, Islam is not complete, likewise without the Qur’an, Islam is not complete. 
Actually, Sunnah is so important that without it one cannot fully understand the Qur’an and Islam, or be able to apply it to his life. Both of these sources guide us to the right path. 
The Qur’an is the word of Allah, whereas the Sunnah is its practical interpretation. Sunnah also gives a full account of the life of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
The Qur’an principally deals with basics. It is the Sunnah which gives the details and necessary explanations of Qur’anic injunctions. For instance, Allah Says in the Qur’an what means: “…Establish the prayer…” [2: 43] But it does not specify how the prayer has to be performed. 
Even after knowing the details, it may not be possible to follow the divine injunctions contained in the Qur’an. For not everything can be properly understood by words alone. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, demonstrated before the believers how the prayer was to be performed.
Thus, not only did the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, inform the believers of the divine injunctions, but he also put these teachings into practice in all matters pertaining to religion and daily life. He, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, himself practiced these injunctions scrupulously. His practice was not a private matter; it had the status of a detailed interpretation and application of the Qur’an. 
Importance of the Sunnah
The Qur’an repeatedly reminds us of the importance of the Sunnah, enjoining us to strictly follow the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. 
Allah, Almighty, Says what means: “…And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from…” [Qur’an 59:7] 
Allah also Says what means: “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..” [Qur’an 4:65)
Again, Allah Says what means: “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.” [Qur’an 33:36]
According to many verses in the Qur’an, the Muslim is bound to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. No one remains Muslim if he does not accept the Prophet’s Sunnah.
The Sunnah is nothing but a reflection of the personality of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who is to be obeyed at every cost. 
The Sunnah was not, as is generally supposed, a thing of which the need may have been felt only after the Prophet’s death, for it was very much needed in his lifetime. The two most important religious institutions of Islam are Prayer and Zakat (obligatory alms giving); yet when the injunction relating to Prayer and Zakat were delivered, and they were repeatedly revealed in both Makkah and Madinah, no details were supplied. ‘Keep up prayers’ is the Qur’anic injunction, and it was the Prophet himself who by his own actions gave details of the prayer by saying: “Pray as you see me praying.” [Al-Bukhari]
Zakat is again an obligation frequently repeated in the Qur’an, yet it was the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who gave the rules and regulations for its payment and collection. These are two examples, but since Islam covers the entire sphere of human activities, hundreds of points had to be explained by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, in word and deed.
The importance of the Sunnah, even as a second source of Islam, was an openly accepted issue by the Companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Whenever they couldn’t find a solution to a problem in the Qur’an, they would refer to the Sunnah. And they were the most diligent in preserving it for those who came after them.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

The effects of using weak Hadith
The term “weak Hadith” refers to any narration which does not fulfil the conditions of authenticity. The scholars of Hadith agree that a “weak Hadith” must not be attributed to the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, by saying: “The Prophet said …”. 
Applying weak Hadith in excellent deeds
Very often when you point to the weakness of a Hadith you hear being cited, someone will immediately say: “But this Hadith is talking about (the reward of) excellent deeds, and it is all right to refer to unauthentic Hadith when talking about excellent deeds.”
It has become a norm amongst the majority of a good number of scholars and students of Islamic learning that it is all right to use weak Hadith when it refers to the reward of excellent deeds. They consider it a fully accepted rule that should not be argued. They also would quote the words of great scholars to support their point.
Before going into detail to refute the arguments of these people, let me point out that they have, in general, misunderstood the sayings of the great scholars of Islam they quote, relative to weak Hadith and how it should be used.
This serious misunderstanding has led to the great epidemic of freely using weak narrations; which certainly may involve lying against the Messenger of Allah, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

Refutation of the claim:
First, we should mention that the rule cited earlier (that weak Hadith can be used in excellent deeds) is not accepted by all the scholars of Hadith. For instance, Abu Bakr Ibn ‘Arabi said: “The weak Hadith should be absolutely avoided and not dealt with.”
Second, we should know that the scholars of Hadith who permitted the use of weak Hadith have set very strict rules applying to their use. Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalaani  said: “There are three conditions that must be fulfilled in order to use the weak Hadith:
a. It is well accepted that the weakness should only be slight. This will help to exclude Hadith reported by liars or accused reporters (of lying) who are known to commit big mistakes.
b. The weak Hadith should be used under already well-established principles and should not bring in ideas of its own.
c. When a weak Hadith is used (after it fulfils the above two conditions), it should not be believed to be said by the Messenger of Allah ; to do so we would be crediting him with that which he did not say.”
For the above conditions to be satisfied, people planning to use the weak Hadith should have the ability to:        
1. Distinguish between the weak and the authentic Hadith in order to fulfil condition (c) above, otherwise they may fall into lying about the Messenger . 
2. Distinguish between the slightly weak Hadith and those which are very weak or fabricated, in order to fulfil condition (a) above. 
What should be very clear to Muslims is that the ability to make the above two distinctions is not possessed except by a very small category of the scholars of Hadith (who can be counted on the fingers).
In particular with reference to item (2) above, only a few of the scholars of Hadith in all of the history of Islam have dealt with it.
Someone might justifiably ask: “Why are we so strict in this matter (of using weak Hadith), when some scholars of Hadith have permitted it?”
The answer to this question was given by a great scholar of Hadith, Mohammad Naassir Ad-Deen Al-Albaani who said: 
“The earlier scholars used to mention the Hadith with their full Isnaad (chain of Narrators), so that any other scholar reading their treatise could know from the chain of Narrators the degree of authenticity of the Hadith.”
We pray that this small introduction to the subject of weak Hadith and using it as proof has helped in clarifying how dangerous this is.
Article source: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/

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