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Sunnah
Sunnah
(sunnah, سنة, Arabic: [sunna], plural سنن sunan [sunan]) is the verbally transmitted record of the teachings, deeds and sayings, silent permissions (or disapprovals) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, as well as various reports about Muhammad's companions.[1][2] The Quran
Quran
(the holy book of Islam) and the sunnah make up the two primary sources of Islamic theology
Islamic theology
and law.[1][3] The sunnah is also defined as "a path, a way, a manner of life"; "all the traditions and practices" of the Islamic prophet that "have become models to be followed" by Muslims.[4] In the pre-Islamic period, the word sunnah was used with the meaning "manner of, acting", whether good or bad.[5] During the early Islamic period, the term came to refer to any good precedent set by people of the past, including the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[5] Under the influence of Al-Shafi'i, who argued for priority of Muhammad's example as recorded in hadith over precedents set by other authorities, the term al-sunnah eventually came to be viewed as synonymous with the sunnah of Muhammad.[5] The sunnah of Muhammad
Muhammad
includes his specific words ( Sunnah
Sunnah
Qawliyyah), habits, practices ( Sunnah
Sunnah
Fiiliyyah), and silent approvals (Sunnah Taqririyyah).[6] According to Muslim belief, Muhammad
Muhammad
was the best exemplar for Muslims,[7] and his practices are to be adhered to in fulfilling the divine injunctions, carrying out religious rites, and moulding life in accord with the will of God. Instituting these practices was, as the Quran
Quran
states, a part of Muhammad's responsibility as a messenger of God.[8][9] Recording the sunnah was an Arabian tradition and, once people converted to Islam, they brought this custom to their religion.[10] The word "Sunnah" is also used to refer to religious duties that are optional, such as Sunnah
Sunnah
salat.[11]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Concept 3 Basis of importance

3.1 Providing examples

4 Types of Sunnah

4.1 Sciences of Sunnah

5 Sunnah
Sunnah
and hadith 6 Sunnah
Sunnah
in Shia
Shia
Islam 7 Sunnah
Sunnah
Salat 8 Alternative views on sunnah 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Etymology[edit] Sunnah
Sunnah
(سنة [ˈsunna], plural سنن sunan [ˈsunan]) is an Arabic word that means "habit" or "usual practice".[12] Sunni
Sunni
Muslims are also referred to as Ahl as- Sunnah
Sunnah
wa'l-Jamā'ah ("people of the tradition and the community (of Muhammad)") or Ahl as- Sunnah
Sunnah
for short. Some early Sunnî Muslim scholars (such as Abu Hanifa, al-Humaydî, Ibn Abî `Âsim, Abû Dâwûd, and Abû Nasr al-Marwazî) reportedly used the term "the Sunnah" narrowly to refer to Sunnî Doctrine as opposed to the creeds of Shia
Shia
and other non- Sunni
Sunni
sects.[3] Concept[edit] According to Fazlur Rahman, Sunnah
Sunnah
is a behavior concept. This concept could be applied on mental and physical acts; in other words, sunnah counted as a law of behavior. This behavior belongs to conscious agents who can possess their acts. Besides, sunnah counted as normative moral law. Sunnah
Sunnah
also means the actual practice which gains the status of normative and comes to be considered obligatory.[13] Basis of importance[edit] Among the Quranic verses quoted as demonstrating the importance of hadith/sunnah to Muslims are

Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger,[11][14][15][16]

Which appears in several verses: 3:32, 5:92, 24:54, 64:12[17]

Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination or desire.[18][19]

"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.[20]

"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."[9]

The teachings of "wisdom" have been declared to be a function of Muhammad
Muhammad
along with the teachings of the scripture.[21] Several Quranic verses mention "wisdom" (hikmah) coupled with "scripture" or "the book" (i.e. the Quran), and it is thought that in this context, "wisdom" means the sunnah.[citation needed] Surah 4 (An-Nisa), ayah 113 states: "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."[22] Surah 2 (Al-Baqara), ayah 231: "...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."[23] Surah 33 (Al-Ahzab), ayah 34: "And bear in mind which is recited in your houses of the revelations of God and of wisdom".[24] Therefore, along with divine revelation the sunnah was directly taught by God. Modern Sunni
Sunni
scholars are beginning to examine both the sira and the hadith in order to justify modifications to jurisprudence (fiqh). The sunnah, in one form or another, would retain its central role in providing a moral example and ethical guidance.[citation needed] For Muslims the imitation of Muhammad
Muhammad
helps one to know and be loved by God: one lives in constant remembrance of God.[6] Providing examples[edit] In addition there are a number of verses in the Quran
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 "to understand the context, as well as the meaning of verses".[11] 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.[25][26][27]

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. [ Quran
Quran
16:64][28]

For example, while the Quran
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".[26] Types of Sunnah[edit] There are three types of sunnah:[3]

Sunnah
Sunnah
Qawliyyah - the sayings of Muhammad, generally synonymous with “hadith”, since the sayings of Muhammad
Muhammad
are noted down by the companions and called “hadith”.[3] Sunnah
Sunnah
Fiiliyyah - the actions of Muhammad, including both religious and worldly actions.[3] Sunnah
Sunnah
Taqririyyah - the approvals of the Islamic Prophet regarding the actions of the Companions which occurred in two different ways:

When Muhammad
Muhammad
kept silent for an action and did not oppose it. When the Islamic Prophet showed his pleasure and smiled for a companion's action.[3][29]

In the terminology of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), sunnah denotes whatever though not obligatory, is "firmly established (thabata) as called for (matlub)" in Islam
Islam
"on the basis of a legal proof (dalîl shar`î).[3] Sciences of Sunnah[edit] 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 ancillary[30] 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.[31]

Unlike the Quran, the Sunnah
Sunnah
was not recorded and written during the Prophet's lifetime, but was systematically collected and documented beginning at least two centuries after the death of Muhammad
Muhammad
(i.e. the ninth century of the Christian
Christian
era).[1] According to scholar Khaled Abou El Fadl, "the late documentation of the Sunna meant that many of the reports attributed to the Prophet are apocryphal or at least are of dubious historical authenticity. In fact, one of the most complex disciplines in Islamic jurisprudence is one which attempts to differentiate between authentic and inauthentic traditions."[1] Sunnah
Sunnah
and hadith[edit] Muhammad
Muhammad
O. Farooq states that while Sunnah
Sunnah
and Hadith
Hadith
are not the same, since the time of Imam Al-Shafi‘i
Al-Shafi‘i
(the founder of the Shafi‘i school of jurisprudence), "there has been rather broad agreement that Hadith
Hadith
must be the basis for authentication of any Sunnah." So the "particular textual source for Sunnah
Sunnah
is Hadith."[32] The Saudi Arabian Islam
Islam
Question and Answer (Supervised by Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid)[33] states that while: *the two terms are sometimes used synonymously (the words, actions or approval that are narrated about the Islamic prophet Muhammad; the name of the group “Ahl al-Hadeeth” which can also be called “Ahl as-Sunnah”; books such as “Kutub al-Hadeeth” which can also be called “Kutub as-Sunnah”).[33] *they also can have different meanings ( Sunnah
Sunnah
refers in a general sense to the affairs, i.e. the path, the methodology and the way of the Islamic prophet Muhammad; and to "adhering to Islam
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).[33] In the context of biographical records of Muhammad, sunnah often stands synonymous with hadith since most of the personality traits of Muhammad
Muhammad
are known from descriptions of him, his sayings and his actions after becoming a prophet at the age of forty. Sunnah, which consists not only of sayings, but of what Muhammad
Muhammad
believed, implied, or tacitly approved, was recorded by his companions in hadith. Allegiance to the tribal sunnah had been partially replaced by submission to a new universal authority and the sense of brotherhood among Muslims.[34] Early Sunni
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
Muhammad
spread.[citation needed] Classical Islam
Islam
often equates the sunnah with the hadith. Scholars who studied the narrations according to their context (matn) as well as their transmission (isnad) in order to discriminate between them were influential in the development of early Muslim philosophy. In the context of sharia, Malik ibn Anas
Malik ibn Anas
and the Hanafi
Hanafi
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". Sunnah
Sunnah
in Shia
Shia
Islam[edit] Shia
Shia
Islam
Islam
does not use the Kutub al-Sittah
Kutub al-Sittah
(six major hadith collections) followed by Sunni
Sunni
Islam, therefore the Sunnah
Sunnah
of Shia Islam
Islam
and the Sunnah
Sunnah
of Sunni
Sunni
Islam
Islam
refer to different collections of religious canonical literature. The primary collections of Sunnah
Sunnah
of Shia
Shia
Islam
Islam
were written by three authors known as the 'Three Muhammads',[35] and they are:

Kitab al-Kafi
Kitab al-Kafi
by Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni al-Razi (329 AH), Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih
Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih
by Ibn Babawayh
Ibn Babawayh
and Tahdhib al-Ahkam, and Al-Istibsar
Al-Istibsar
both by Shaykh Tusi.

Unlike Akhbari
Akhbari
Twelver
Twelver
Shiites, Usuli
Usuli
Twelver
Twelver
Shiite scholars do not believe that everything in the four major books of the Sunnah
Sunnah
of Shia Islam
Islam
is authentic. In Shia
Shia
hadith one often finds sermons attributed to Ali
Ali
in The Four Books or in the Nahj al-Balagha. Sunnah
Sunnah
Salat[edit] Main article: Sunnah
Sunnah
salat Salât
Salât
as- Sunnah
Sunnah
(Arabic: صلاة السنة) are optional prayers performed in addition to the five daily compulsory Salât
Salât
prayers. Some are done at the same time as the compulsory prayers, some are done only at certain times, e.g. late at night, and some are only done for specific occasions such as during a drought. They are called Sunnah
Sunnah
because how they are practiced is based on stories, narrations, interpretations, traditions of Muhammad
Muhammad
by his companions. Alternative views on sunnah[edit] According to the view of some Sufi Muslims who incorporate both the outer and inner reality of Muhammad, the deeper and true sunnah are the noble characteristics and inner state of Muhammad. 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.[36] They argue that the external customs of Muhammad
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.[9] and Khuluqin Azim or 'Exalted Character'[37] in the Quran, real sunnah cannot be upheld. According to some scholars, sunnah predates both the Quran
Quran
as well as Muhammad, and is actually the tradition of the prophets of God, specifically the tradition of Abraham. From surah 17 (Al-Isra) ayah 77, "(This was Our) way with the messengers We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways."[38] A broad form of sunnah was already being practised by the Christians, Jews
Jews
and the Arab descendants of Ishmael, the Arabized Arabs or Ishmaelites, when Muhammad
Muhammad
reinstituted this practice as an integral part of Islam. Both sunnah and Quran
Quran
are equally authentic and the former includes worship rituals like salat, Zakat, Hajj, fasting (sawm) during Ramadan as well as customs like circumcision.[39] See also[edit]

Islam
Islam
portal

Bid‘ah Categories of Hadith

References[edit]

^ a b c d Abou El Fadl, Khaled (22 March 2011). "What is Shari'a?". ABC RELIGION AND ETHICS. Retrieved 20 June 2015.  ^ Hameed, Shahul (24 November 2014). "Why Hadith
Hadith
is Important". onislam.net. Retrieved 2 September 2015.  ^ a b c d e f g "What is the Difference Between Quran
Quran
and Sunnah?". Ask a Question to Us. Retrieved 20 June 2015.  ^ Qazi, M.A.; El-Dabbas, Maohammed Sa'id (1979). A Concise Dictionary of Islamic Terms. Lahore, Pakistan: Kazi Publications. p. 65.  ^ a b c Juynboll, G.H.A. (1997). "Sunna". In P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam. 9 (2nd ed.). Brill. pp. 878–879. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ a b Nasr, Seyyed H. " Sunnah
Sunnah
and Hadith". World Spirituality: An Encyclopedia History of the Religious Quest. 19 vols. New York: Crossroad Swag. 97–109. ^ Islahi, Amin Ahsan (1989). "Difference between Hadith
Hadith
and Sunnah". Mabadi Tadabbur i Hadith
Hadith
(translated as: Fundamentals of Hadith Intrepretation) (in Urdu). Lahore: Al-Mawrid. Retrieved 1 June 2011.  ^ Quran 3:164 ^ a b c Quran 33:21 ^ Goldziher, Ignác (1981). Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP. p. 231. ISBN 0691072574.  ^ a b c Hameed, Shahul (24 November 2014). "Why Hadith
Hadith
is Important". OnIslam. Retrieved 22 June 2015.  ^ Sunnah ^ RAHMAN, FAZLUR (1 January 1962). "CONCEPTS SUNNAH, IJTIHĀD AND IJMĀ' IN THE EARLY PERIOD". 1 (1): 5–21. JSTOR 20832617.  ^ Okumus, Fatih. "The Prophet As Example". Studies in Inter religious Dialogue 18 (2008): 82–95. Religion Index. Ebsco. Thomas Tredway Library, Rock Island, IL. ^ Quran 24:54 ^ Quran 3:32 ^ "Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger; One or Two Sources?". Detailed Quran. Retrieved 22 June 2015.  ^ Quran 53:2-3 ^ "The Importance of Hadith". Tasfiya Tarbiya. Retrieved 22 June 2015.  ^ Quran 2:151 ^ Muhammad
Muhammad
Manzoor Nomani "Marif al-Hadith", introductory chapter ^ Quran 4:113 ^ Quran 2:231 ^ Quran 33:34 ^ Quran 16:44 ^ a b Kutty, Ahmad (6 March 2005). "What Is the Significance of Hadith in Islam?". islamicity.com. Retrieved 22 June 2015.  ^ "Prophet Muhammed (p) Was Sent To Teach & Explain The Quran". Discover The Truth. May 7, 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2015.  ^ Quran 16:64 ^ source: al Muwafaqat, Afal al Rasul ^ See al-Siba'i, As-Sunna wa Makanatuha fi at-Tashri' al-Islami (p.47). ^ Haddad, Gibril Fouad. "The Meaning of Sunna". Living Islam. Retrieved 21 June 2015.  ^ Farooq, Mohammad Omar (2011-01-01). "Qard Hasan, Wadiah/Amanah and Bank Deposits: Applications and Misapplications of Some Concepts in Islamic Banking". Rochester, NY. SSRN 1418202 .  ^ a b c Saalih al-Munajjid (General Supervisor), Muhammad (2014-02-12). "145520: Is there a difference between the words "hadeeth" and "Sunnah"?". Islam
Islam
Question and Answer. Retrieved 2017-03-23.  ^ Nasr, S. (1967). Islamic Studies. Beirut: Seyyed Hossein Nasr.  ^ Momen, Moojan (1985). Introduction to Shi'i Islam. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 174. ISBN 0300034997.  ^ "Mysticsaint.info".  ^ Quran 68:4 ^ Quran 17:77 ^ Ghamidi, Javed Ahmad (1990). Mizan (translated as: Islam
Islam
- A Comprehensive Introduction) (in Urdu). Lahore: Al-Mawrid. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

Difference between Hadith
Hadith
and Sunnah Hamza, Feras, "Sunna", in Muhammad
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. Musa, Aisha Y. (2008). Hadith
Hadith
as Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 0230605354. 

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Sunna.

The Sunna as Primordiality by Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad The Meaning of "Sunna" in the Qur’an, Qur'anic Studies Sunnah
Sunnah
and Hadith, Center For Muslim–Jewish Engagement

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