Lessons from Hadith Shareef ~ The Meaning of Sunnah and its Importance
Adapted from a Majlis of Moulana Naeem Motala
(22/06/2016 After Fajr /Ramadan 1437) Musjid e Noor ~ Durban ~ South Africa
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: ”كل أمتي يدخلون الجنة إلا من أبى ”
قيل: ومن يأبى يا رسول الله قال: ” من أطاعني دخل الجنة، ومن عصاني فقد أبى” (رواه البخاري)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah Radhiallahu Anhu reported: Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Everyone of my Ummah will enter Jannah except those who refuse”. He was asked: “Who will refuse?” Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Whoever obeys me, shall enter Jannah, and whosoever disobeys me, refuses to (enter Jannah)” ~ [Bukhari]
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Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala has indeed favoured mankind by sending them the best of creation and the most perfect example of His message, Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. To protect, preserve and emulate the Sunnah way of life of such a lofty and distinguished role model, is our pathway to success, in this world and the hereafter. One of the scholars of the past, Imam Malik Rahmatullah Alayh said: “The Sunnah is like the ark of Nuh (Alayhis Salaam). Whoever embarks upon it achieves salvation and whoever rejects it, is drowned”
What is the meaning of Sunnah سنة ? In Arabic, Sunnah means a ‘pathway’. Be it our Aqeedah (beliefs in Allah), our speech, our actions, our Akhlaaq (character), our Ma’mulaat (daily routines), or our Mu’asharaat (social ethics)’… “As Seerah Wa-Tareeqah” is a complete way of life for every Believer. We should never say : “It is only a Sunnah!”… This way of life of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, is Akmal اکمل (most perfect), Ajmal اجمل (most beautiful) and As-hal اسہل (most easy) …
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam gives glad tidings to those who comply with the Sunnah من أحب سنتي فقد أحبني، ومن أحبني، كان معي في الجنة … “Whoever gives life to my Sunnah certainly loves me, and whoever loves me is with me in Paradise.” [Tirmidhi].
Those who reject the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and oppose him, are warned of Allah Ta’ala’s wrath, disapproval and punishment. Once, a man ate with his left hand in the presence of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, whereupon he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ” كُلْ بِيَمِينِكَ Eat with your right hand.” The man said: ” لا أسْتَطِيعُ I cannot do that.” Thereupon Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, ” لا اسْتَطَعْتَ May you not be able to do that (eat with your right hand).” It was Kibr (pride) that held him back from following the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and he was never then able to raise his right hand to his mouth to partake of food again [Muslim].
The Obedience of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is the Obedience of Allah Ta’ala
The Sunnah is undoubtedly indivisible from the Qur’aan, and Ulema have mentioned that Allah Ta’ala has commanded the Believers to “Obey Allah and the Messenger” in more than twenty-five Ayaats in the Quraan Shareef. Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala states :
قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُول
Say, “Obey Allah and the Messenger ~ Surah Al Imraan 3:32
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ
Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins ~Surah Al Imraan 3:31
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُو
And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from ~Surah Hashr 59:7
وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُون
And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy ~ Surah Al Imraan 3:132
مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ
He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah ; ~Surah An Nisaa 4:80
Therefore, it is compulsory for every believer to obey and follow in the footsteps of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. The obedience of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is, in fact, the obedience of Allah Ta’ala. Obedience to Allah Ta’ala and His Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam is an indication of one`s love for Allah. If a person claims he loves Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala, then he must follow the Sunnah way of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, the result of which will be, that a person will (1) gain the Muhabbah (love and recognition) of Allah Ta’ala (2) Allah Ta’ala will forgive his sins (3) Allah Ta’ala will grant him Najaat (salvation) in the Aakhirah (hereafter).
Preserving and Protecting the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam
Obeying, respecting and loving Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, in addition to imitating his lifestyle and abiding by his Sunnah, are responsibilities that all Believers must try to fulfill. We should hold onto whatever Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has commanded us to do and bring that particular instruction into action (obey and follow him), and whatever Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam has prohibited us from, then we should refrain from those things.
Sahaba Radiallahu Anhum and the Salaf-e-Sauliheen (pious predecessors) would see every Sunnah (action) of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and they would without hesitation emulate him at every opportunity. When Hazrat Umar bin Khataab Radiallahu Anhu was on Hajj, he came to stand before the Black Stone of the Kaabah and addressed it with these words, “O Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, no doubt, you are but a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone … Had I not seen Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam kissing you, I would not have kissed you” [Bukhari]. Apart from kissing this stone from Jannah as an act of worship and an expiation for sins, Hazrat Umar bin Khataab Radiallahu Anhu adopted this act of obedience as an expression of love for the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar Radiallahu Anhu (the son of Hazrat Umar bin Khataab Radiallahu Anhu) was noted for his love and obedience to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. No one followed in the footsteps of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam more closely than Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar Radiallahu Anhu. He diligently continued to demonstrate this love for Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam even after his demise. Once, he embarked on a hajj journey, accompanied by a group of people and whilst walking, suddenly lowered his head. There was no branch nor tree but he lowered his head. After sometime, despite not having the urge to urinate, he goes to a specific spot and pretends like he is relieving himself. His travel companions asked him why is he doing such things, to which he replied : “When I travelled with Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam during his lifetime, I observed him coming past this particular tree and there was a branch here and he lowered his head. And similarly, when passing by this particular spot he relieved himself … and so my love for the Messenger of Allah causes me to imitate and follow this example”.
Hazrat ‘Irbaad bin Saariyah RadhiyAllahu Anhu narrates: Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam preached to us one day after Fajr with utmost eloquence which caused the eyes to tear and the hearts to tremble. A man then said: “Definitely this is the advice of a person bidding farewell, hence what do you command us with O Messenger of Allah?” He (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “I command you with Taqwa (the fear of Allah) and I advise you to obey the Ameer (leader) of your time (even if it were a slave) … for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. Whosoever reaches that era from amongst you then hold on to my Sunnah (Fa alaykum bi sunnati) and Sunnah of the rightly guided Khulafa (Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique RA / Hazrat Umar Farouk RA / Hazrat Uthmaan Ghani RA / Hazrat Ali Murtadha RA) and save yourself from innovations because every innovation will lead you astray. Bite upon it (the Sunnah) with the molars (i.e. cling on to it)”. [Tirmidhi].
From these incidents, we can understand that Believers should surrender one’s freedom of opinion and action before Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and adopt the Sunnah in one’s daily life. Whether the Sunnah makes any sense to us or not, whether we understand the wisdom behind any particular Sunnah or not, it is the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and should be revered. The Sunnah is an ultimate guidance that links a person to Allah Ta’ala, but the reality is such, that by us rejecting this divine institution, we have taken ourselves down the slippery road of destruction and misery.
Naqshe qadam Nabi ke he Jannat ke raaste ~ Allah se milate he Sunnat ke raste
نقش قدم نبی کے ہیں جنت کے راستے
اللہ سے ملاتے ہیں سنت کے راستے
A person will reach Jannat by following the footsteps of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam,
A person will reach Allah by following the path of Sunnah
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