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Further Remarks on the Importance of the Sunna According to the Qur’an and Traditions


God decrees in the Qur’an:

It is not for any believer, man or woman, when God and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair. Whosoever disobeys God and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error. (al-Ahzab, 33.36)

...Those who indeed believe in Our signs, those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find written down with them in the Torah and the Gospel, enjoining on them the good, and forbidding them the evil, making lawful for them the good things and making unlawful for them the corrupt things, and relieving them of their loads, and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him and succor him and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him – they are the prosperers. (al-A‘raf, 7.156–7)

God’s Messenger declares:

The best of words is the Book of God and the best of ways to follow is the way of Muhammad. The worst of affairs is innovations (against my Sunna). Each innovation is a deviation.211

God’s Messenger declares:

Everyone of my Umma will enter Paradise, except the one who rebels. ‘Who is the one who rebels, O Messenger of God?’ they asked. He replied: ‘Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise; whoever disobeys me means that he rebels.’212

God’s Messenger declares:

The like of me in respect of my Umma is the like of the man who has lighted a fire. Insects and butterflies flock into it. I hold you by the skirts [of your garments to keep you away from the fire] but you pull yourselves into it.213

God’s Messenger declares:

Let me not find any of you seated in their armchairs, who when something I ordered or something I forbade is reported to them, respond: ‘We have no knowledge of it. So, we follow whatever we find in the Book of God.’214

God’s Messenger declares:

Take care! Surely I have been given the Book and its like together with it.215

God’s Messenger declares:

Those who outlive me will witness many controversies. You must follow my way and the way of the rightly guided successors (Caliphs) who will guide to truth. Hold fast to it and cling to it stubbornly with your teeth. Refrain from newly invented things (in religion). Each thing newly invented in religion is an innovation and each innovation is a deviation.216

God’s Messenger declares:

I have left to you two precious things – you will never go astray as long as you hold fast to them – the Book of God and the Sunna of His Prophet.217


211. Muslim, “Jumu‘a,” 43; Nasa’i, “‘Iydayn,” 22; Abu Dawud, “Sunna,” 5.

212. Bukhari, “I’tisam,” 2.

213. Muslim, “Fada’il,” 17,18; Bukhari, “Riqaq,” 26.

214. Abu Dawud, “Sunna,” 5; I. Ma’ja, “Muqaddima,” 2; Tirmidhi, “‘Ilm,” 10.

215. Abu Dawud, “Sunna,” 5.

216. Tirmidhi, “‘Ilm,” 16; Abu Dawud, “Sunna,” 5; I. Ma’ja, “Muqaddima,” 6.

217. Imam Malik, Muwatta’, “Qadar,” 3.