Editor’s note: Abu Adnaan, the latestNigeriaNews.Com.Ng partner blogger, in this article analyses eight fundamental principles of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and why every Muslim should adhere strictly to them in order to have eternal bliss.
Abu Adnaan, a geologist by training, teaches Islamic theology, delivers sermons on different topics ranging from the practice of the pristine Islam, Islamic monotheism, creed and the teaching and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
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Sunnah is the verbally transmitted record of the teachings, deeds and sayings, silent permissions (or disapprovals) of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as various reports about his companions.
Along with the Quran (the holy book of Allah), the Sunnah is made up of two primary sources of Islamic theology and law. It is also defined as ‘a path, a way, a manner of life, all the traditions and practices’ of the Prophet that have become models to be followed by all Muslims worldwide.
In the pre-Islamic period, the word Sunna was used with the meaning “manner of acting”, whether good or bad. During the early Islamic period, the term came to refer to any good precedent set by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
This piece is, therefore, written to enlighten Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide on the need to know and practise unalloyed prophetic Sunnah with a view to be successful here and the hereafter.
These are the eight categories of Sunnah according to earliest scholars of Islam:
1. Sunnatu Qaoliyah (sayings)
This is what the prophet says as regards commanding, ordering, encouraging us to do something and/or prohibiting us from doing something, detests or frowns at it. All these are by way of saying them directly from his truthful mouth.by the virtue of this; we must whole-heartedly try as much as we can to uphold them. May Allah ease our affairs.
2. Sunnatu fihliya (action)
This comprises all the actions, doings and dealings of the prophet and which were as well practiced by his companions.it is best to emulate him and his companions in this regard, may Allah guide us on the path of Sunnah.
This Sunnah should be understood, applied and practiced exactly the way the companions understood and practiced it. May Allah grant us understanding.
3. Sunnatu kussuusiyah (restricted or special)
These are the actions, dealings or doings of the prophet that are solely meant for him only. This is distinguished from *fihliya* (action) in that companions were prohibited or at least detested from doing them.
The examples of this Sunnah include:
(A) Fasting on Saturdays and Sundays by the prophet. Although, the prophet did fast on those days, no companion did that, indicating that it is meant only for the prophet.
(B) Fasting on birth days. We cannot choose to be fasting on our birthdays since no companion did that, instead, they fasted on the Prophet’s birth days (Mondays). That shows that fasting on one’s birth day is only meant for the prophet (Sunnatu kussuusiyah).
(C) Al-wisool (Continuous fasting without sahuur and iftaar).Although the prophet did it, he forbids us from doing it.
(D) The prophet was allowed to marry as many wives as he wishes, but men of this Ummah are not allowed to marry more than four. The lists are numerous. May Allah give us understanding and piety.
4. Sunnatu Taqreeriyah (Deeds that were done by companions but not forbidden by the Prophet)
These are the actions done by people in front of the prophet or in which the prophet was aware and did not rebuke it, forbid, detest or frown at it. This means that the prophet approves it since he cannot see evils and keep quiet. This will automatically become Sunnah on us. May Allah help us.
5. Sunnatu Tarqeeyah (Inaction or abandoned)
These are the things the prophet did not do at all. For instance, the Prophet did not fast a full month except Ramadan, so we must also not fast a whole month except Ramadan (except for expiation of ones sins or mistakes).
He did not refuse to marry because he wanted to be pious, he didn’t perform Tahajud from Ishah to subh i.e all night long). Sunnatu Tarqeeyah also includes what he did at a time but stopped doing it at the other specific times.
For instance, he encouraged Nafils when we enter Masjid, but he and his companions never observed Nafil in the two Eids, he encouraged Adhan and Iqaama during solaah, but he and his companions didn’t do that at the two Eids and during solaatul janaaza (Prayer for the dead).
He ordered us to bend (ruquh) and prostrate (sujuud) during solah, but he and his companions never did that when performing solaatul janaaza (praying for the dead). They are called Sunnatul Tarqeeyah. We have to do them when and where the prophet did them and leave them when and where he left them. They are very many, may Allah give us the respite to obey His messenger.
6. Sunnatu Ghoiru Taabudiyah(not an act of worship)
These are the actions or inactions of the prophet which are not considered to be religiously attached, induced or inclined. There is no any established reward for such actions or inactions. Some of these actions could be for medical purposes and beneficial to body, e.g wearing caps, using turbans, using eye khol or ismad (‘tiro’), licking honey, e.t.c. May Allah give us the beneficial understanding.
7. Sunnatu Taabuudiya(purely an act of worship)
These are actions, inactions, sayings, e.tc of the Prophet which are religious based and attract reward. It could be:
(A) Sunnatu Waajib/Compulsory Sunnah (If you do, you have reward, if you don’t, you will be severely punished) For instance, Growing beard, Nisfu saq (wearing trousers or garments at most, not beyond ankles), Hijab among others. Many of the Sunnah fall into this category.
(B) Sunnatu Mustahabiyah/voluntary (If you do it, you have reward, if you don’t, no punishment). This includes using shiwaak (chewing stick) during every ablutions, e.t.c. May Allah increase us in knowledge and faith.
8. BIDHA/BIDAHI (Innovation/Innovations)
These are not ways of the prophet and his companions. They are fabrications, fallacies and inventions of the misguided people in the affairs of Islam. No single good no matter how tiny can come from this act, since the prophet never approved of it; neither did any of his companions do it.
This is considered to be a serious offence and an affront against Allah and His messenger. All Bidha is regarded as misguidance and all misguidance ends up in hell fire. Only Allah and his prophet have the sole right to legislate in the affairs of religion and anybody that does that is challenging their authority.
The religion of Allah is perfect and complete without any defect, so, there is no room for addition or deletion. People of Bidha are simply disbelieving the Prophet and challenging the book of Allah. May Allah save us from that. May He give us understanding and humility to obey him and grant us good ending, (aameen).
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent our editorial policy