The Sunna in the Traditions
The way of the Prophet is the way of God, so following his way means walking in the luminous atmosphere of the Divine Message. For this reason, rejection of the Sunna implies disobedience to God. This is stated by the Prophet himself: Whoever obeys me, obeys God; and whoever disobeys me, disobeys God.13 Such a disobedience results in punishment of Hell:
The whole of my nation will enter Paradise, except those who have rebelled. When asked who rebelled, the Prophet answered: ‘Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise; and whoever disobeys me surely has rebelled.’14
As explained earlier, the Sunna is the link between the Muslims of the past and the future. Only by following the Sunna can the Muslims maintain their unity. Concerning this, God’s Messenger declares:
Those who, among you, survive me will witness many disputes and disagreements. It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to follow my way and the way of my rightly-guided and rightly-guiding successors. Hold firm to that way, cling to it with your teeth.15
Following the Sunna gains much more importance especially when Islam is attacked and the Muslims lose the upper hand in the world. The Messenger states that at a time when the Muslim community breaks with Islam and consequently disintegrates, the one who holds firm to his Sunna gains the reward of a martyr.16
The Sunna being so important and vital in the maintenance of the Islamic life, whether individually or collectively, those who still dare to criticize it should be asked, as the Qur’an asks unbelievers: Where are you headed?
13. Bukhari, “Ahkam,” 1; I. Ma’ja, “Muqaddima,” 1.
14. Bukhari, “I‘tisam,” 2; I. Hanbal, 2.361.
15. Abu Dawud, “Sunna,” 5; Tirmidhi, “‘Ilm,” 16; I. Ma’ja, “Muqaddima,” 6.
16. Abu Nu‘aym, Hilya, 8.200; Daylami, Musnad al-Firdaws, 4.198.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.