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Books- The Constituents of the Divine Assignment- 4th Constituent - Paragraph (3-4): The Honorable Prophetic Sunnah
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

 Many people claim, out of ignorance or wickedness, that the Quran is sufficient (as a religious reference), so there is no need for the Sunnah, and that Allah makes it as an exposition of everything and protects it from any alteration, whereas the Sunnah is not granted that Divine Protection. There are lots of books that were written about these false claims and which contain grave ideas about using only the Quran as a reference without the Sunnah.

 The Prophetic Sunnah by definition is every authenticated saying, deed and approved action of the Prophet PBUH. All of these things are considered Sunnah. If the Noble Quran is the key reference in Islam, the Sunnah is the second reference, and it is but the verbal elaboration and the practical practice of the Divine Instructions mentioned in the Noble Quran.

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 The Quran is the Islamic code for all the fundamentals of Islam and the Divine basic laws that are deemed important to lead an Islamic life and to guide mankind to the straight path. On the other hand, Sunnah is the prophetic method in which the Muslim finds the details of the general rules mentioned in the Quran. Besides, it specifies the abstract concepts in the Quran, regulates what is mentioned in its general sense and it puts forth practical examples from the biography of the Prophet PBUH. Furthermore, the Quran itself defines the mission of the Messenger of Allah PBUH in shedding light on whatever mentioned in the Quran. Allah says:

﴾And We sent not (as Our Messengers) before you (O Muhammad PBUH) any but men, whom We inspired, (to preach and invite mankind to believe in the Oneness of Allah). So ask of those who know the Scripture [learned men of the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], if you know not. With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad PBUH) the reminder and the advice (the Qur'an), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.﴿

[An-Nahl, 43-44]

 In another Ayah in the Noble Quran Allah makes assigning the Prophet PBUH exclusively to this mission clear. Allah says:

﴾And We have not sent down the Book (the Qur'an) to you (O Muhammad PBUH), 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.﴿

[An-Nahl, 64]

 Had it been without the Sunnah, we would not have been able to know most of the Islamic rulings about the delicate details of the acts of worship or Islamic transactions. Whoever reads the books of Islamic Fiqh in its Schools of Thoughts would realize clearly that most rulings are deduced from the Prophetic Sunnah. For example, in the Quran we are ordered to perform Salah, but the number of prayers we should pray, the time of each prayer, how they should be performed and the kinds of prayers like Fard, Nafl, Sunnah and so forth are not mentioned in the Quran, but they are clarified in the Prophetic Sunnah.

 In the Quran Muslims are ordered to pay Zakat, but the details about the kinds of possessions for which Zakat should be paid, the Nisab of Zakat (the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to zakat) and when Zakat should be paid are not mentioned. However, the Muslim will find all these details in the Prophetic Sunnah. The same goes for Sawm, Hajj, Umrah and Islamic transactions, for they are all mentioned in details in the Prophetic Sunnah.

 Based on the aforementioned facts, whoever wants to dispense with Sunnah and consider the Quran a sufficient reference for Islamic rulings, is actually canceling all the Islamic Fiqh and is distorting religion. Such claims that consider the Quran the only reference for the Islamic rulings opposes even the Quran itself, for Muslims are ordered in the Quran to obey Allah and to obey the Prophet PBUH. Allah says:

﴾Say: "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad PBUH) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah's Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)."﴿

[An-Nur, 54]

 Here is another Ayah:

﴾What Allah gave as booty (Fai') to His Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) from the people of the townships, - it is for Allah, His Messenger (Muhammad PBUH), the kindred (of Messenger Muhammad PBUH), the orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), and the wayfarer, in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you. And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.﴿

[Al-Hashr, 7]

 Whoever considers the Quran the only reference in Islam and dispenses with Sunnah, is actually abandoning part of the Ayat in the Quran itself, because we are ordered in the Noble Quran to take whatever the Prophet PBUH gave us and to abstain from whatever he forbad us, as we are originally ordered in the Quran to obey Allah and to obey the Prophet PUBH. Thus, Allah the Almighty is obeyed by following His Quran and the Prophet PBUH is obeyed by following his Sunnah. Allah says:

﴾O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. ﴿

[An-Nisa', 59]

 "Refer it to Allah and His Messenger" means to evaluate it according to the Quran (Allah's Book) and Sunnah. Better yet, obeying the Prophet PBUH is considered in the Noble Quran an important part of obeying Allah. Allah says:

﴾He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH), has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad PBUH) as a watcher over them.﴿

[An-Nisa', 80]

 Besides, we are firmly warned in the Noble Quran about disobeying the Prophet's orders. Allah says:

﴾Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) among you as your calling of one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter (of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger). And let those who oppose the Messenger's (Muhammad PBUH) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.﴿

[An-Nur, 63]

 Moreover, the faith of the one who is not content with the Prophet's judgment is renounced in the Noble Quran. Allah says:

﴾ We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah's Leave. If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad PBUH) and begged Allah's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allah All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful* But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. ﴿

[An-Nisa', 64-65]

 There are so many self-evident and crystal-clear Ayat in the Quran that focus on obeying Allah and His Messenger PBUH. The Prophet PBUH clarified what is outlined in the Quran, he regulated the abstract concepts and he put forth details of what is mentioned in general in the Quran. Furthermore, Allah the Almighty makes it clear in the Noble Quran that the mission of the Prophet PBUH is to clarify the rulings that are Divinely revealed to him in the Quran. As for the Sunnah, it warned us about taking this direction. As if Allah told his Prophet PBUH that the conflict of rejecting Sunnah and taking the Quran as the only reference would appear one day, which makes the following Hadith an evidence of the Prophethood of Muhammad PBUH (because it foretells about this conflict):

((Narrated Al-Miqdam ibn Ma'dikarib: The Prophet (PBUH) said: Beware! I have been given the Qur'an and something like it, yet the time is coming when a man replete on his couch will say: Keep to the Qur'an; what you find in it to be permissible treat as permissible, and what you find in it to be prohibited treat as prohibited.))

 Such claims are against what the Ummah agreed upon unanimously in all its Schools of Thoughts throughout the Islamic history, for the entire Ummah used the Quran and Sunnah as references for Fiqh.

 As for their second claim that the Quran is Divinely protected from alteration unlike Sunnah, it is refuted by Imam Ash-Shatibi when he made it clear that protecting the Quran from alteration includes protecting Sunnah as well. In order to elaborate, consider this example: if the government legislates a law, and then it follows it with a detailed bylaw, what will be the value of the law as long as the government does not protect the bylaw?

 Similarly, when Allah the Almighty assigned the Prophet PBUH to clarify the rulings of the Quran, this means that protecting the Quran entails protecting the Prophetic Sunnah, and neglecting the Sunnah will be like neglecting the Quran. Imam Ash-Shatibi said, "The conservation of the Quran entails being keen on the conservation of His Prophet's Sunnah." Furthermore, conserving the Sunnah is inseparable from conserving the Quran, and this conservation does not mean that no one will try wickedly to change them, but rather it means that their attempts will not succeed. As for the way to protect the Prophetic Sunnah from alteration, it is mentioned in the following Hadith:

((This Knowledge will be transmitted from every just successor who will negate the distortions of the deviated, the plagiarism of the people on falsehood and the false interpretations of the ignoramuses))

[Sunan Al-Baihaqi Al-Kubra]

 Allah the Almighty, provided this Ummah with men of strong will, who are steadfast on the truth and who will sacrifice their lives in the cause of protecting Sunnah from the distortions of the deviated, the plagiarism of the people on falsehood and the false interpretations of the ignorant ones.

((It was narrated that 'Abdullah said: "Whoever would like to meet Allah tomorrow (i.e. on the Day of Judgment) as a Muslim, let him preserve these five (daily) prayers when the call for them is given, for they are part of the ways of guidance, and Allah prescribed the ways of guidance to your Prophet. By Allah, if each of you prays in his house, you will have abandoned the Sunnah of your Prophet, and if you abandon the Sunnah of your Prophet you will go astray. I remember when no one stayed behind from the prayer except a hypocrite who was known for his hypocrisy. I have a man coming supported by two sh3er, until he joined the row (of worshippers). There is no man who purifies himself and does it well, and comes to the mosque and prays there, but for every step that he takes, Allah raises him in status one degree thereby, and takes away one of his sins."))

[Muslim and Ibn Majah]

 Whoever neglects Sunnah will be in a plain error, because Allah the Almighty orders us to take whatever the Prophet PBUH gave us and to abstain from whatever the Prophet PBUH forbade us. Our master Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas has an outstanding quote; he said, "I consider myself as a real man in doing three things, and in the otherwise I am just one of the common people. I never pray and get busy with something else till I finish my prayer, I never hear something from the Prophet PBUH, but I knew for sure that it is the truth revealed to Him from Allah the Almighty, and I never attend a funeral and talk about anything irrelevant to it till it is over."

 The more advanced science becomes these days, the more miraculous sides of Sunnah are disclosed, since the Prophet PBUH does not speak of (his own) desire but it is only an Inspiration that is inspired to him.

 After we talked about Shari'ah as a constituent of the Divine Assignment to mankind, and after we made clear that the Quran and Sunnah are the two main references, there must be a method that helps us know what is right to follow it and what is false to avoid it according to the regulations deduced basically from the Quran and Sunnah.

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