HOME

TheInfoList




In
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, ''Sunnah'' ( ar, سنة, ) are the traditions and practices of the
Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, c ...
,
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
, that constitute a model for Muslims to follow. The sunnah is what all the Muslims of Muhammad's time evidently saw and followed and passed on to the next generations. According to classical Islamic theories, the sunnah are documented by
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
(the verbally transmitted record of the teachings, deeds and sayings, silent permissions or disapprovals of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
), and along with the
Quran The Quran (, ; ar, القرآن , "the recitation"), also romanized Qur'an or Koran, is the central religious text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious t ...

Quran
(the book of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
), are the divine revelation ('' Wahy'') delivered through Muhammad Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.7 that make up the primary sources of
Islamic law Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral codes taught by religious traditions. Different religious systems hold sacred law in a greater or lesser degree of importance to their beli ...
and belief/theology. Differing from Sunni classical Islamic theories are those of
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Muslims, who hold that
the Twelve Imams The Twelve Imams ( ar, ٱلَأَئِمَّة ٱلْٱثْنَا عَشَر, '; fa, دوازده امام, ') are the spiritual and political successors to the Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o ...
interpret the sunnah, and
Sufi Sufism ( ar, ٱلصُّوفِيَّة), also known as Tasawwuf (), is mysticism in Islam, "characterized ... y particularvalues, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions". It is variously defined as "Islamic mysticism",Martin Lings, ...

Sufi
who hold that Muhammad transmitted the values of Sunnah "through a series of Sufi teachers." According to Muslim belief, Muhammad was the best exemplar for Muslims, and several verses in the Quran declare his conduct exemplary, and enjoin his followers to obey him. Sunnah provides a basis not only for major laws and rituals in Islam like how to pray
salat Salah (Arabic: , pl salawat, romanized: , ( in construct state) 'prayer'), also known as ''namāz'' ( fa, نماز) and also spelled ''salat'', are prayers performed by Muslims. Facing the qibla, the direction of the Kaaba with respect to t ...

salat
, but for "even the most mundane activities", such as the order in which to cut fingernails or the proper length of a beard. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.1 In the pre-Islamic period, ''sunnah'' was used to mean "manner of acting", whether good or bad. During the early Islamic period, the term referred to any good precedent set by people of the past, including both Muhammad, and his companions. In addition, the Sunnah of the Prophet was not necessarily associated with hadith. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.10-12 The classical meaning that now prevails was introduced later in the late second century of Islam, when under the influence of the scholar Al-Shafi‘i, Muhammad's example as recorded in
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
was given priority over all other precedents set by other authorities. The term ''al-sunnah'' then eventually came to be viewed as synonymous with the ''sunnah'' of Muhammad, based on hadith reports. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: 10-12, p.14 Recording the ''sunnah'' was also an
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
n tradition and once they converted to Islam, Arabians brought this custom to their religion. The ''sunnah'' of Muhammad as based on hadith includes his specific words (''Sunnah Qawliyyah''), habits, practices (''Sunnah Fiiliyyah''), and silent approvals (''Sunnah Taqririyyah'').Nasr, Seyyed H. "Sunnah and Hadith". ''World Spirituality: An Encyclopedia History of the Religious Quest''. 19 vols. New York: Crossroad Swag. 97–109. In Islam, the word "''sunnah''" is also used to refer to religious duties that are optional, such as ''
Sunnah salat A Sunnah prayer ( ar, صلاة السنة) is an optional or supererogatory salah Salah (Arabic: , pl salawat ''Salawat'' ( ar, صَلَوَات, ') is a special Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first ...
''.


Definitions and usage

' ( , plural ' ) is an
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
word that means *"habit" or "usual practice" (USC glossary); also *"habitual practice, customary procedure or action, norm, usage sanctioned by tradition" (Wehr Dictionary); *"a body of established customs and beliefs that make up a tradition" (Oxford Islamic Studies Online); *"a path, a way, a manner of life" (M.A.Qazi). *"precedent" or "way of life" (pre-Islamic definition,
Joseph Schacht Joseph Franz Schacht (15 March 1902 – 1 August 1969) was a British-German professor of Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle ...
and
Ignác Goldziher Goldziher image from a book Ignác (Yitzhaq Yehuda) Goldziher (22 June 1850 – 13 November 1921), often credited as Ignaz Goldziher, was a Hungarian scholar of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing ...

Ignác Goldziher
). Its religious definition can be: * "the Sunna of the Prophet, i.e., his sayings and doings, later established as legally binding precedents" (along with the Law established by the Koran) (Hans Wehr); * "All of the traditions and practices of the Prophet" of Islam, "that have become models to be followed" by Muslims (M.A.Qazi); * "the body of traditional social and legal custom and practice of the Islamic community" (Encyclopædia Britannica); *"the actions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad" (Oxford Islamic Studies Online). Islam Web gives two slightly different definitions: *"the statements, actions and approvals (or disapprovals) of Prophet Muhammad", (definition used by "legal theorists"); *"anything narrated from or about the Prophet... either before or after he became a prophet, of his statements, actions, confirmations, biography, and his physical character and attributes," (used by scholars of hadith). It was first used with the meaning of "law" in the
Syro-Roman law book The Syro-Roman law book (or Syro-Roman code) is a compilation of secular legal texts from the eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in ...
before it became widely used in Islamic jurisprudence.


Sunnah and hadith

Sunnah and hadith (the words, actions or approval that are narrated about Muhammad and which are believed to document Sunnah) are sometimes used synonymously, but not always. *For example, the group known as "Ahl al-Hadeeth" is also sometimes called "Ahl as-Sunnah"; books such as "Kutub al-Hadeeth" are also sometimes called "Kutub as-Sunnah", (according to the Saudi fatwa site "Islam Question and Answer"). In the context of biographical records of Muhammad, ''sunnah'' often stands synonymous with ''
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
'' since most of the personality traits of Muhammad are known from descriptions of him, his sayings and his actions from hadith. *Examples of where they are not used interchangeably but have different meanings are when Sunnah refers to the general affairs, i.e. the path, the methodology and the way of Muhammad; and to "adhering to Islam in the manner prescribed, without adding to it or introducing innovations into the religion", which hadith does not; fuqaha' scholars use the word "Sunnah" when explaining the ruling on doing a specific action as being mustahabb (liked or encouraged), which they do not with hadith). According to Seyyed Nasr, the hadith contains the words of Muhammad, while the sunnah contains his words and actions along with pre-Islamic practices of which he approved. In the context of sharia,
Malik ibn Anas Malik ibn Anas ( ar, مَالِك بن أَنَس, ‎ 711–795 CE / 93–179 AH), whose full name is Mālik bin Anas bin Mālik bin Abī ʿĀmir bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārith bin Ghaymān bin Khuthayn bin ʿAmr bin Al-Ḥārith al-Aṣbaḥī ...
and the
Hanafi The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِي, translit=Ḥanafī) is one of the four traditional major Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree b ...
scholars are assumed to have differentiated between the two: for example Malik is said to have rejected some traditions that reached him because, according to him, they were against the "established practice of the people of
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, ), commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the second Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam and the Capital city, capital of the Me ...

Medina
".


''Sunnah Salat''

In addition to being "the way" of Islam or the traditional social and legal custom and practice of the Islamic community, sunnah is often used as a synonym for ''
mustahabb ''Mustahabb'' () is an Islamic term The following list consists of notable concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philo ...
'' (encouraged) rather than ''
wajib ' ( ar, فرض) or ' () or fardh in Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; se ...
''/''
fard ' ( ar, فرض) or ' () or fardh in Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; se ...
'' (obligatory), regarding some commendable action (usually the saying of a prayer).


Ahl as-Sunnah

Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
Muslims are also referred to as ''Ahl as-Sunnah wa'l-Jamā'ah'' ("people of the tradition and the community (of Muhammad)") or ''Ahl as-Sunnah'' for short. Some early Sunnî Muslim scholars (such as
Abu Hanifa Abū Ḥanīfa al-Nuʿmān b. Thābit b. Zūṭā b. Marzubān ( ar, أبو حنيفة نعمان بن ثابت بن زوطا بن مرزبان; – 767 CE), known as Abū Ḥanīfa for short, or reverently as Imam Abū Ḥanīfa by Sunni Musl ...

Abu Hanifa
, al-Humaydî, Ibn Abî 'Âsim, Abû Dâwûd, and Abû Nasr al-Marwazî) reportedly used the term "the sunnah" narrowly to refer to Sunni Doctrine as opposed to the creeds of
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
and other non-Sunni Islamic sects. Sunnah literally means face, nature, lifestyle, etc. In the time of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
's companion, newly converted Muslims accepted and rejected some set of creed by using reason. So many early Muslim scholars started writing books on creed entitled as 'sunnah'.


In the Quran

The word "Sunna" appears several times in the Qur’an, but there is no specific mention of sunnah of the messenger or prophet (''sunnat al-rasool'', ''sunnat al-nabi'' or ''sunna al-nabawiyyah''), i.e. the way/practice of Muhammad (there ''are'' several verses calling on Muslims to obey Muhammad—see below). Four verses (8.38, 15.13, 18.55) use the expression “''sunnat al-awwalin''”, which is thought to mean "the way or practice of the ancients". It is described as something "that has passed away" or prevented unbelievers from accepting God. “''
Sunnat Allah In Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the first ...
''” (the "way of God") appears eight times in five verses. In addition, verse 17.77 talks of both the way of other, earlier Muslim messengers (
Ibrahim Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenant ...

Ibrahim
, Musa, etc.), and of "our way", i.e. God's way.
his isthe way (''sunna'') of those whom we sent s messengersbefore you, and you will not find any change in Our way (''sunnatuna'').
This indicates to some scholars (such as Javed Ahmad Ghamidi) that sunnah predates both the Quran and Muhammad, and is actually the tradition of the prophets of God, specifically the tradition of
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...

Abraham
.
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...

Christians
,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
and the Arab descendants of
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of ...
, the or
Ishmaelites In the Abrahamic religions, the Ishmaelites ( he, ''Yīšməʿēʾlīm''; ar, بني إسماعيل ''Bani Isma'il'', "sons/children of Ishmael") were a tribal confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes o ...
, when Muhammad reinstituted this practice as an integral part of Islam.


History/etymology

According to historians (particularly
Daniel W. Brown Daniel W. Brown is the author of the books ''A New Introduction to Islam'' (in its 3rd edition as of 2017), ''Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought'' (1999). As of 2020 is under contract to write ''Muhammad Iqbal'', (Makers of the Muslim W ...
), the classical Islamic definition of Sunnah as the customs and practices of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
(only) was not the original one.


First century of Islam

;"Ancient Schools" Prior to the "golden age of classical Islamic jurisprudence", the "ancient schools" of law prevailed. The golden age, starting with the creation of the
Hanafi The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِي, translit=Ḥanafī) is one of the four traditional major Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree b ...
,
Maliki The ( ar, مَالِكِي) school is one of the four major madhhab A ' ( ar, مذهب ', , "way to act") is a school of thought within '' fiqh'' (Islamic jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Sc ...
, Shafi'i,
Hanbali The Hanbali school ( ar, ٱلْمَذْهَب ٱلْحَنۢبَلِي, al-maḏhab al-ḥanbalī) is one of the four major traditional Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves o ...
, etc. schools of fiqh in the second century of Islam, limited sunnah to "traditions traced back to the Prophet Muhammad himself" (''sunna al-nabawiyyah''). But the ancient "regional" schools of law, located in several major cities of the new Arab empire of Islam --
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
,
Kufa Kufa ( ar, الْكُوفَة ), also spelled Kufah, is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَا ...

Kufa
,
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
, Syria, etc., Burton, ''Islamic Theories of Abrogation'', 1990: p.13—had a more flexible definition of sunnah than is now commonly used. This being the "acceptable norms" or "custom", Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: 11 which included examples of the Prophet's Companions, the rulings of the
Caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
s, and practices that "had gained general acceptance among the jurists of that school". ;Sunnah without Muhammad Examples of the use of non-Muhammadan sunnahs at this time is found in a (non-Muhammadan) tradition/hadith comment *on the difference in the number of lashes used to punish alcohol consumption, Caliph
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
reported that (Muhammad and
Abu Bakr Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Uthman ( ar, أَبُو بَكْرٍ عَبْدُ ٱللهِ بْنِ عُثْمَانَ; 573 CE23 August 634 CE) was a Sahabah, companion and, through his daughter Aisha, a father-in-law of the Prophets and messengers in I ...
ordered 40 lashes,
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
80) — "All this is sunna"; Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: 10 *on
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
's deathbed instructions on where Muslims should seek guidance: from the Qur’an, the early Muslims (''
muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in Islam as the '' ...
'') who emigrated to Medina with Muhammad, the Medina residents who welcomed and supported the ''
muhajirun The ''Muhajirun'' ( ar, المهاجرون, al-muhājirūn, singular , ) were the first converts to Islam and the Islamic prophet Muhammad's advisors and relatives, who emigrated with him from Mecca to Medina, the event known in Islam as the '' ...
'' (the '' ansar''), the people of the desert, and the protected communities of Jews and Christians ('' ahl al-dhimma''); hadith of Muhammad are not mentioned. ;Sunnah without hadith In al-Ṭabarī's history of early Islam, the term "Sunnah of the Prophet" is not only used "surprisingly infrequently", but used to refer to "political oaths or slogans used by rebels", or "a general standard of justice and right conduct", and not "to specific precedents set by Muhammad", let alone hadith. An early theological writing by
Hasan al-Basri Abu Sa'id ibn Abi al-Hasan Yasar al-Basri, often referred to as Hasan of Basra (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle Ea ...
(''Risala fi'l Qadar'') also is "empty of references to specific cases" when mentioning Sunnah of the Prophet. Daniel Brown states that the first extant writings of Islamic legal reasoning were "virtually hadith-free" and argues that other examples of a lack of connection between sunnah and hadith" can be found in: *''Kitāb al-Irjāʾ'' of al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, *the first letter of
Abdallah ibn Ibad ʿAbd Allāh ibn Ibāḍ al-Tamīmī ( ar, عبدالله بن اباض التميمي; died c. 700) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: ...
to
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam ( ar, عبد الملك ابن مروان ابن الحكم, ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam; July/August 644 or June/July 647 – 9 October 705) was the fifth Umayyad caliph, ruling from April 685 un ...
, *and the ''Risāla'' of
Abu Hanifa Abū Ḥanīfa al-Nuʿmān b. Thābit b. Zūṭā b. Marzubān ( ar, أبو حنيفة نعمان بن ثابت بن زوطا بن مرزبان; – 767 CE), known as Abū Ḥanīfa for short, or reverently as Imam Abū Ḥanīfa by Sunni Musl ...

Abu Hanifa
addressed to ʿUthman al-Battī."8
8
''Kitab al-ʿalim wa'l-mutaʿāllim,'' ed. M.Z. al-Kawthari (Cairo, 1368 A.H.), 34-38 According to one source (Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi and Karim Douglas Crow), early Sunni scholars often considered ''sunnah'' equivalent to the biography of Muhammed ('' sira''). As the ''hadith'' came to be better documented and the scholars who validated them gained prestige, the ''sunnah'' came often to be known mostly through the ''hadith'', especially as variant or fictional biographies of Muhammad spread.


al-Shafi'i

Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī (150-204 AH), known as al-Shafi'i, argued against flexible sunnah and the use of precedents from multiple sources, emphasizing the final authority of a
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
, so that even the Qur'an was "to be interpreted in the light of traditions (i.e. hadith), and not vice versa." While the sunnah has often been called "second to the Quran", hadith has also been said to "rule over and interpret the Quran". Al-Shafiʿi "forcefully argued" that the sunnah stands "on equal footing with the Quran", (according to scholar Daniel Brown) both being divine revelation. As Al-Shafi'i put it, "the command of the Prophet is the command of God" Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.8 (notwithstanding the triumph of this theory, in practice the schools of fiqh resisted the thorough application of hadith and fiqh was little changed from the days before Al-Shafi'i). Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.18-20 This, though, contradicts another point Shafi made which was the sunnah was below the Quran. Sunnah of Muhammad outranked all other, and "broad agreement" developed that "hadith must be the basis for authentication of any Sunnah," (according to M.O. Farooq). Al-Shafiʿi's success was such that later writers "hardly ever thought of sunnah as comprising anything but that of the Prophet", and sunnah was often considered synonymous with hadith.


Systemization of hadith

While the earliest Muslim lawyers "felt no obligation" to provide documentation of hadith when arguing their case, and the Sunnah was not recorded and written during Muhammad's lifetime, (according to scholar
Khaled Abou El Fadl Khaled Abou el Fadl ( ar, خالد أبو الفضل, ) (born October 23, 1963) is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law where he has taught courses on International Human Rights, Islamic jurisprude ...
), all this changed with the triumph of Al-Shafi‘i and a "broad agreement" that Hadith should be used to authenticate Sunnah, (according to Mohammad Omar Farooq), over the course of the second century, Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.12 when legal works began incorporating Prophetic hadith.9-30> Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.11-12 Hadith was now systematically collected and documented, but several generations having passed since the time of its occurrence meant that "many of the reports attributed to the Prophet are apocryphal or at least are of dubious historical authenticity," (according to Abou El Fadl). "In fact, one of the most complex disciplines in Islamic jurisprudence is one which attempts to differentiate between authentic and inauthentic traditions."


Classical Islam

Islam jurists divide sunnah into that which has no legal consequences --''al-sunna al-ʿādīyah'' -- (the "personal habits and preferences" of Muhammad); and that which is binding on Muslims -- ''al-sunna al-hudā''. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.62 The literalist Zāhirī school disagrees holding that there was no sunnah whose fulfillment is not rewarded or neglect punished, Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.63 while classical Islam holds that following non-binding ''al-sunna al-ʿādīyah'' is meritorious but not obligatory. Sufis see the "division between binding and non-binding" sunnah as "meaningless". Muhammad is ''
al-insān al-kāmil In Islamic theology :''See Islamic schools and branches for different schools of thought; see aqidah for the concept of the different "creeds" in Islam; see Kalam ''ʿIlm al-Kalām'' ( ar, عِلْم الكَلام, literally "science of dis ...
'', the perfect man, ''labib-Allah'' beloved of God, an intercessor, a "channel of divine light". Imitating his every action is "the ultimate expression" of piety. or in the words of :
Know that the key to joy is following the sunnah and imitating the Prophet in all his comings and goings, words and deeds, extending to his manner of eating, rising, sleeping and speaking. I do not say this only in relation to requirements of religion ʿibādāt''.html"_;"title="Ibadah.html"_;"title="'Ibadah">ʿibādāt''">Ibadah.html"_;"title="'Ibadah">ʿibādāt''_for_there_is_no_escaping_these;_rather,_this_includes_every_area_of_behavior_[''Adat.html" ;"title="Ibadah">ʿibādāt''.html" ;"title="Ibadah.html" ;"title="'Ibadah">ʿibādāt''">Ibadah.html" ;"title="'Ibadah">ʿibādāt'' for there is no escaping these; rather, this includes every area of behavior [''Adat">ʿādāt''].


Modernist Islam

In the 19th century, "social and political turmoil" starting with the decline of the Moghal empire, caused some Muslims to seek a more humanized figure of Muhammad. The miracle-performing "larger than life" prophetic figure was de-emphasized in favor of "a practical model for restoration of the Muslim community," a virtuous, progressive social reformer. Nasserist Egypt, for example, celebrated the "imam of socialism" rather than the cosmic "perfect man". Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.65 One who argued against the idea of sunnah as divine revelation, and for the idea that Muhammad's mission was simply to transmit the Quran was
Ghulam Ahmed Perwez Ghulam Ahmad Parwez ( ur, ; 1903–1985), widely known as Allama Parwez, was a pioneer of Quranist Quranism ( ar, القرآنية; ''al-Qur'āniyya'', also "Quranic scripturalism")#DWBRTMIT1996, Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic ...
(1903–1985). He quoted the Quranic verse "The messenger has no duty except to proclaim he message" (Q.5:99) Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.69 and pointed out several other verses where God corrects something Muhammad has done or said (8:67),(9:43), (66:1), thus demonstrating Muhammad's lack of supernatural knowledge. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.70 This era of rapid social and technological change, decline of Muslim power, and replacement of classical madhhab by Western-inspired legal codes in Muslim lands, Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.111 also suggested a turn away from the "detailed precedents in civil and political affairs," called for by traditional Hadith, "for if worldly matters require detailed prophetic guidance, then every age will require a new prophet to accommodate changing circumstances". Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.64


Islamic revivalism

With de-colonialization in the late 20th century, a new
Islamic revival Islamic revival ( ar, تجديد'' '', lit., "regeneration, renewal"; also ', "Islamic awakening") refers to a revival of the Islamic religion. The revivers are known in Islam as ''Mujaddids''. Within the Islamic tradition, ''tajdid'' has been ...
emerged. Activists rather than theorists, they sought "to restore Islam to ascendency", Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.109 and in particular to restore
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...
to the law of the lands of Islam it had been before being replaced by "secular, Western-inspired law codes" of colonialism and modernity. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.109, 111 Like modernists, revivalists "vehemently rejected" Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.110 ''
taqlid ''Taqlid'' (Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, tr ...
'' and were not particularly interested in the classical schools of law (''
madhhab A ' ( ar, مذهب ', , "way to act") is a school of thought within ''fiqh'' (Islamic jurisprudence). The major Sunni madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. They emerged in the ninth and tenth centuries CE and by the twelfth century ...
''). But revivalists like
Abul A'la Maududi Abul A'la Maududi ( ur, , Abul Alā Mawdūdī – alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi, Mawdudi; – ) was an Islamic scholar, Islamism, Islamist ideologue, Muslim philosopher, jurist, historian, journalist, activist and scholar active ...
and Mustafa al-Siba'i support for "the authority of Sunnah and the authenticity of Hadith in general" was "unwavering", Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.112 as was their opposition to "Hadith denialism". At the same time they agreed that restoring ''relevant'' Sharia required "some reformulation" of the law, which would require a return to sources, which required agreement on how the sources were be to be "interpreted and understand" and reassessment of hadith. This involved examining hadith content (''matn'') for its spirit and relevance "within the context of the Sharia as a whole" according to the method of scholars of Islamic law ('' fuqaha'') and weeding out corrupted hadith inconsistent with "reason, with human nature, and with historical conditions". Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.114-5
Shibli Nomani Shibli Nomani ( ur, – ; 3 June 1857 – 18 November 1914) was an Islamic scholar In Islam, the ''ulama'' (; ar, علماء ', singular ', "scholar", literally "the learned ones", also spelled ''ulema''; feminine: ''alimah'' i ...
,
Abul A'la Maududi Abul A'la Maududi ( ur, , Abul Alā Mawdūdī – alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi, Mawdudi; – ) was an Islamic scholar, Islamism, Islamist ideologue, Muslim philosopher, jurist, historian, journalist, activist and scholar active ...
,
Rashid Rida Muḥammad Rashīd ibn ʿAlī Riḍā ibn Muḥammad Shams al-Dīn ibn Muḥammad Bahāʾ al-Dīn ibn Munlā ʿAlī Khalīfa (23 September 1865 or 18 October 1865 – 22 August 1935 CE/ 1282 - 1354 AH), widely known as Sayyid Rashid Rida ( ar, س ...

Rashid Rida
, and
Mohammed al-Ghazali Sheikh Mohammed al-Ghazali al-Saqqa (1917–1996) ( ar, الشيخ محمد الغزالي السقا ), was an Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the st ...
being proponents of this effort. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.113


Alternatives to classical hadith based sunnah

Although "most writers agree", including skeptics, that "sunnah and hadith must stand or fall together", some ( Fazlur Rahman Malik,
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Jāvēd Ahmed Ghāmidī ( ur, ) (born April 07, 1952) is a Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's L ...
) have attempted to "establish a basis for sunnah independent of hadith", Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.82 working around problem of hadith authenticity raised by modernist and Western critics, Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.101 while reaching back to pre-al-Shafiʿi meaning of Sunnah. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.101, 103


"Living sunnah"

In the 1960s, Fazlur Rahman Malik, an
Islamic modernist Islamic Modernism is a movement that has been described as "the first Muslim Ideology, ideological response to the Western cultural challenge" attempting to reconcile the Islam, Islamic faith with Modern culture, modern values such as democracy ...
and former head of Pakistan's Central Institute for Islamic Research, advanced another idea for how the (Prophetic) sunnah—the normative example of the Prophet—should be understood: as "a general umbrella concept" but not one "filled with absolutely specific content", or that was static over the centuries. He argued that Muhammad had come as a "moral reformer" and not a "pan-legit", and that the specifics of the sunnah would be agreed upon community of his followers, evolving with changing times as a "living and on-going process". He accepted the criticism of Western and Muslim scholars that the content of many hadith and isnad (chain of transmitters) had been tampered with by Muslims trying to prove the Muhammad had made a specific statement—but this did not make them fraudulent or forgeries, because if "Hadith verbally speaking does not go back to the Prophet, its spirit certainly does". Instead these collections of ahadith of al-Bukhari and al-Muslim's were ''
ijma Ijmāʿ ( ar, إجماع) is an Arabic term referring to the consensus Consensus decision-making or consensus politics (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') is group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on prop ...
'' (consensus or agreement of the Muslim scholars—which is another classical source of Islamic law). Doing so they follow the spirit of the Prophet's mission, and "resurrect" the legal methodology of the pre-Shafi'i "Ancient schools". But just as second and third century Muslims could re-formulate hadith and law around a prophetic spirit, so can modern Muslims—redefining ''
riba The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a professional body Regulatory colleges are legal entities in Canada charged with serving the public interest by regulating the practice of a profession. Most regulatory colleges are establ ...

riba
'' and replacing medieval laws against bank interest with measures that help the poor without harming economic productivity.


Sunnah from practice not hadith

Some of the most basic and important features of the sunnah – worship rituals like ''
salat Salah (Arabic: , pl salawat, romanized: , ( in construct state) 'prayer'), also known as ''namāz'' ( fa, نماز) and also spelled ''salat'', are prayers performed by Muslims. Facing the qibla, the direction of the Kaaba with respect to t ...

salat
'' (ritual prayer), ''
zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving to the Muslim Ummah treated in Islam as a religious obligation, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (''salat ...

zakat
'' (ritual tithing), ''
hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ ' "wikt:pilgrimage, ''pilgrimage''"; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a Far ...
'' (pilgrimage to
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
), ''
sawm Fasting in Islam (known as ''Sawm'', ar, صوم; . Or ''Siyam'', ar, صيام; , also commonly known as Rūzeh or Rōzah, fa, روزه in non-Arab Muslim countries) is the practice of abstaining, usually from food, drink, smoking, and sexual ...
'' (dawn to dusk fasting during
Ramadan , type = islam , longtype = Islam, Religious , image = Ramadan montage.jpg , caption=From top, left to right: A crescent moon over Sarıçam, Turkey, marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan. Ramadan Quran reading in Bandar Torkaman, I ...
) – are known to Muslim from being passed down 'from the many to the many' (according to scholars of fiqh such as Al-Shafi'i), Burton, ''Islamic Theories of Abrogation'', 1990: p.16 bypassing books of hadith, (which were more often consulted for answers to details not agreed upon or not frequently practiced) and issues of authenticity. Modernist
Rashid Rida Muḥammad Rashīd ibn ʿAlī Riḍā ibn Muḥammad Shams al-Dīn ibn Muḥammad Bahāʾ al-Dīn ibn Munlā ʿAlī Khalīfa (23 September 1865 or 18 October 1865 – 22 August 1935 CE/ 1282 - 1354 AH), widely known as Sayyid Rashid Rida ( ar, س ...

Rashid Rida
thought this "the only source of sunnah that is beyond dispute". Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.41 S.M. Yusuf argued "practice is best transmitted through practice", and a more reliable way to establish Sunnah than hadith. He also believed that the passing down of practice from generation to generation independent of hadith explained why early schools of law did not differentiate between sunnah of the caliphate and sunnah of the prophet. According to
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Jāvēd Ahmed Ghāmidī ( ur, ) (born April 07, 1952) is a Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's L ...
, another Modernist, this passing down by continuous practice of the Muslim community (which also indicates consensus, ''
ijma Ijmāʿ ( ar, إجماع) is an Arabic term referring to the consensus Consensus decision-making or consensus politics (often abbreviated to ''consensus'') is group decision-making processes in which participants develop and decide on prop ...
'') was similar to how the Qur’ān has been "received by the ''ummah''" (Muslim community) through the consensus of the Prophet's Companions and through their perpetual recitation. Consequently, Ghamidi sees this more limited Sunnah of continuous practice as the true sunnah – equally authentic to the Quran, but shedding orthodox sunnah and avoiding problematic basis of the hadith.


"Inner states"

Sufi thinkers "emphasized personal spirituality and piety rather than the details of fiqh". Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.33, foot note 38 According to the view of some who incorporate both the outer and inner reality of Muhammad, the deeper and true sunnah are the noble characteristics and inner state of Muhammad -- ''Khuluqin Azim'' or 'Exalted Character'. To them Muhammad's attitude, his piety, the quality of his character constitute the truer and deeper aspect of what it means by sunnah in Islam, rather than the external aspects alone. They argue that the external customs of Muhammad loses its meaning without the inner attitude and also many hadiths are simply custom of the Arabs, not something that is unique to Muhammad.


Basis of importance

The Qur'an contains numerous commands to follow Muhammad. Among the Quranic verses quoted as demonstrating the importance of hadith/sunnah to Muslims are
Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger,
Which appears in several verses: , , ,
Your companion uhammadhas not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from
is own In linguistics, a copula (plural: copulas or copulae; list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a word or phrase that links the subject (grammar), subject of a sentence (linguistics), sentence to a subject complement, such as the word ''is ...
inclination or desire.
"A similar (favour have ye already received) in that We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge.
"Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah."
The teachings of "wisdom" (''hikma'') have been declared to be a function of Muhammad along with the teachings of the scripture. Several Quranic verses mention "wisdom" (''hikmah'') coupled with "scripture" or "the book" (i.e. the Quran) -- ''al-kitāb wa al-ḥikma''. Mainstream scholars starting with al-Shafi'i believe ''hikma'' refers to the Sunnah, and this connection between Sunnah and the Quran is evidence of the Sunnah's divinity and authority. D.W. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.55 * -- "For Allah hath sent down to thee the Book and wisdom and taught thee what thou Knewest not (before): And great is the Grace of Allah unto thee." * -- "...but remember Allah's grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you." * -- "And bear in mind which is recited in your houses of the revelations of God and of wisdom". Therefore, along with the Quran, the ''sunnah'' was revealed. Modern Sunni scholars have examined both the ''sira'' and the ''hadith'' in order to justify modifications to jurisprudence (''
fiqh ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence. Muhammad-> Sahabah, Companions-> Tabi‘un, Followers-> Fiqh. The commands and prohibitions chosen by God were revealed through the agency of the Prophet in both the Quran and the Sunnah (words, dee ...
''). Hense, the imitation of Muhammad helps Muslims to know and be loved by God. Another piece of evidence for the divinity of the Sunnah—according to its supporters—are verses in the Quran that refer to revelations not found ''in'' the Quran. For example, there is no verse mentioning the original direction of
prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity or a deified an ...

prayer
(the ''
qibla The qibla ( ar, قِبْلَة, links=no, lit=direction, translit=qiblah) is the direction towards the Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱل ...

qibla
'') in the Quran, but God in the Quran does say He appointed the original qibla (). D.W. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.56 Other events mentioned in the Quran that already happened without Quranic command or description include a dream in which Muhammad would enter Mecca (); Muhammad's marriage to Zayd's ex-wife (); and the dispute over the division of spoils after the
Battle of Badr The Battle of Badr ( ar, غَزْوَةُ بَدِرْ ), also referred to as The Day of the Criterion (, ) in the Quran, Qur'an and by Muslims, was fought on Tuesday, 13 March 624 CE (17 Ramadan (calendar month), Ramadan, 2 Anno Hegirae, AH), ...

Battle of Badr
(); all "definitive proof that besides the Quran other commands came to the Prophet by the agency of waḥy," according to revivalist
Abul A'la Maududi Abul A'la Maududi ( ur, , Abul Alā Mawdūdī – alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi, Mawdudi; – ) was an Islamic scholar, Islamism, Islamist ideologue, Muslim philosopher, jurist, historian, journalist, activist and scholar active ...
. Yet another piece of evidence offered is that "Prophet witness" is "the chief guarantee" of what is divine revelation. In other words, "Muslims only know the Quran is revelation because of Muhammad's testimony to this fact. If prophetic word is not to be trusted, then the Quran itself is open to suspicion." Since the Quran is not, the Sunnah must be trustworthy.


Alternative view

The minority argument against the Sunnah of the prophet being divine revelation (''waḥy'') goes back to the ''ahl al-Kalam'' who al-Shāfiʿī argued against in the second century of Islam. Their modern "
Quranist Quranism ( ar, القرآنية; ''al-Qur'āniyya'', also "Quranic scripturalism")#DWBRTMIT1996, Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.38-42 comprises views that Islamic law and guidance should only be based on the Qur'a ...
s", the modern successors of the ''ahl al-Kalam'', argue that the sunnah falls short of the standard of the Quran in divinity. D.W. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.52 Specifically because #with the exception of the ''ḥadīth qudsī'', sunnah was not revealed and transmitted verbatim, as was the Quran; it was often transmitted giving the sense or gist of what was said (known as ''bi'l-maʿnā''); #the process of revelation was not "external, entirely independent of the influence of the messenger"; it bares the "personality" or "mentality" (''baṣīrat'') of Muhammad; #unlike the Quran, it was not "preserved in writing" until over a century after Muhammad's death, which opens the question of how much corruption and/or error entered the writings and why, if it was divinely revealed, eternal truth, orders were not given to the earliest Muslims to write it down as they were for the Quran.Abu al-ʿAlā Mawdūdī, ''Tarjumaān al-Qurʾān'' 56, 6 Manṣib-i-risālat nambar (1961): 193; quoted in D.W. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.53 D.W. Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.52-3


Providing examples

According to John Burton, paraphrasing Al-Shafi'i, "it must be remembered that the Quran text are couched in very general terms which it is the function of the sunnah to expand and elucidate, to make God's meaning absolutely clear." There are a number of verses in the Quran where "to understand the context, as well as the meaning", Muslims need to refer to the record of the life and example of the Prophet. It is thought that verses 16:44 and 64 indicate that Muhammed's mission "is not merely that of a deliveryman who simply delivers the revelation from Allah to us, rather, he has been entrusted with the most important task of explaining and illustrating" the Quran.
And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the reminder and the advice (the Quran), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.
And We have not sent down the Book (the Quran) to you (O Muhammad), except that you may explain clearly unto them those things in which they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a folk who believe. uran 16:64/blockquote> For example, while the Quran presents the general principles of praying, fasting, paying zakat, or making pilgrimage, they are presented "without the illustration found in Hadith, for these acts of worship remain as abstract imperatives in the Qur’an".


Types of sunnah

Sunnah upon which ''fiqh'' is based may be divided into: * ''Sunnah Qawliyyah'' - the sayings of Muhammad, generally synonymous with “
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث , pl. aḥādīth, , , , literally means "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally means "tradition") in Islam refers to what the majority of Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or ...

hadith
”, since the sayings of Muhammad are noted down by the companions and called "hadith". * ''Sunnah Fiiliyyah'' - the actions of Muhammad, including both religious and worldly actions. * ''Sunnah Taqririyyah'' - the approvals of Muhammad regarding the actions of the Companions which occurred in two different ways: ** When Muhammad kept silent for an action and did not oppose it. ** When Muhammad showed his pleasure and smiled for a companion's action. It may be also divided into sunnah that is binding for Muslims and that which is not.
Ibn Qutaybah Abū Muhammad Abd-Allāh ibn Muslim ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī al-Marwazī or simply Ibn Qutaybah ( ar-at, ابن قتيبة, Ibn Qutaybah; c. 828 – 13 November 889 CE / 213 – 15 Rajab 276 AH) was an Islamic scholar of Persian people, Persian or ...
(213-276 AH) distinguished between: #Sunnah "brought by Gabriel"; Brown, ''Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought'', 1996: p.18 #sunnah from "Muhammad's own ra'y and is binding, but subject to revision"; #"non-binding sunnah", which Muslims are not subject to "penalty for failure to follow". In the terminology of ''
fiqh ''Fiqh'' (; ar} ) is Islamic jurisprudence. Muhammad-> Sahabah, Companions-> Tabi‘un, Followers-> Fiqh. The commands and prohibitions chosen by God were revealed through the agency of the Prophet in both the Quran and the Sunnah (words, dee ...
'' (Islamic jurisprudence), sunnah denotes whatever though not obligatory, is "firmly established (''thabata'') as called for (''matlub'')" in Islam "on the basis of a legal proof (''dalîl shar`î'').


Sciences of Sunnah

According to scholar Gibril Fouad Haddad, the "sciences of the Sunnah" (ulûm as-Sunna'') refer to:
the biography of the Prophet (''as-sîra''), the chronicle of his battles (''al-maghâzî''), his everyday sayings and acts or "ways" (''sunan''), his personal and moral qualities (''ash-shamâ'il''), and the host of the ancillarySee al-Siba'i, As-Sunna wa Makanatuha fi at-Tashri' al-Islami (p.47). hadîth sciences such as the circumstances of occurrence (''asbâb al-wurûd''), knowledge of the abrogating and abrogated hadîth, difficult words (''gharîb al-hadîth''), narrator criticism (''al-jarh wat-ta`dîl''), narrator biographies (''al-rijâl''), etc., as discussed in great detail in the authoritative books of al-Khatîb al-Baghdâdî.


Sunnah in Shia Islam

Shia Islam Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanis ...
does not use the ''
Kutub al-Sittah Qutb, Qutub, Kutb, Kutub or Kotb ( ar, قطب), means 'axis', 'pivot' or 'pole'. Qutb can refer to celestial movements and be used as an astronomical term or a spiritual symbol. In Sufism, a Qutb is the perfect human being, ''al-Insān al-Kāmil ...
'' (six major ''hadith'' collections) followed by Sunni Islam, therefore the Sunnah of Shia Islam and the Sunnah of Sunni Islam refer to different collections of religious canonical literature. The primary collections of Sunnah of Shia Islam were written by three authors known as the 'Three Muhammads', and they are: *''
Kitab al-Kafi Kitab ( ar, کتاب, ''kitāb''), also transcribed kitaab, is the Arabic, Urdu and Hindi word for "a book". It may refer to: Entertainment *''Kitaab'', a 1977 Hindi language movie *''Kitab (play), Kitab'' Kitab (play), (play), a 2018 Malayalam ...
'' by
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ya'qub ibn Ishaq al-Kulayni al-Razi (Persian language, Persian: ar, أَبُو جَعْفَر مُحَمَّد ٱبْن يَعْقُوب إِسْحَاق ٱلْكُلَيْنِيّ ٱلرَّازِيّ; c. 250 Islamic cal ...

Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni
al-Razi (329 AH), *'' Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih'' by
Ibn Babawayh Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (Persian language, Persian: ar, أَبُو جَعْفَر مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱبْن بَابَوَيْه ٱلْقُمِيّ; –991), commonly referred to as Ibn Babawayh ...
and ''
Tahdhib al-Ahkam Manuscript from ''Tahdhib al-Ahkam'' ''Tahdhib al-Ahkam'' ( ar, تَهْذِيب ٱلَأَحْكَام فِي شَرْح ٱلْمُقْنِعَه) ''(Tahdhib al-Ahkam fi Sharh al-Muqni'ah)'' (lit. ''Rectification of the Statutes in Explaining t ...
'', and *''
Al-Istibsar ''Al-Istibsar'' ( ar, ٱلِٱسْتِبْصَار فِيمَا ٱخْتَلَف مِن ٱلْأَخْبَار; ''Al-Istibsar fi-ma ikhtalafa min al-Akhbar'' lit. ''Reflection Upon the Disputed Traditions'' or ''The Perspicacious'') is a Hadith ...
'' both by
Shaykh Tusi Shaykh Tusi ( fa, شیخ طوسی), full name ''Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Hassan Tusi'' ( fa, ابو جعفر محمد بن حسن طوسی), known as Shaykh al-Taʾifah ( ar, شيخ الطائفة) was a prominent Persian Persian may refer to: * ...

Shaykh Tusi
. Unlike Akhbari Twelver Shiites, Usuli Twelver Shiite scholars do not believe that everything in the four major books of the Sunnah of Shia Islam is authentic. In Shia ''hadees'' one often finds sermons attributed to
Ali Ali ibn Abi Talib ( ar, عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب, ; 13 September 601 – 29 January 661) was a cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad, who ru ...

Ali
in
The Four Books ''The Four Books'' ( ar-at, ٱلْكُتُب ٱلْأَرْبَعَة, '), or ''The Four Principles'' (''al-Uṣūl al-Arbaʿah''), is a Twelver Shia term referring to their four best-known Hadith collections, ''hadith'' collections: Most Shi ...

The Four Books
or in the
Nahj al-Balagha Nahj al-Balagha ( ar, نَهْج ٱلْبَلَاغَة '; "The Peak of Eloquence") is the best-known collection of sermons, letters, and sayings attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of the Islam, Islamic prophet, Muhammad. It ...

Nahj al-Balagha
.


See also

* Bid‘ah * Categories of Hadith *
Sharia Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action ...


References


Notes


Citations


Further reading

* * * Hamza, Feras, "Sunna", in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014, Vol II, pp. 610–619. *


External links


The Sunna as Primordiality by Sheikh Abdal Hakim MuradThe Meaning of "Sunna" in the Qur’an
Qur'anic Studies
Sunnah and Hadith
Center For Muslim–Jewish Engagement
Legislative Authority of Sunnah
{{Authority control Islamic terminology Sunni Islam