Difference between Hadith and Sunnah ?
Hadith: The words, actions and tacit consent of the Blessed Messenger are known as hadith. These are captured in texts.
Sunnah: The lived, practiced and established way of the Blessed Messenger, not necessarily captured in the text.
Why are hadith Important?
Allah says in Quran,
وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا – 4:115
And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.
Also Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz r.h said:
No one should change or alter the prophetic way or consider the opinion of those in opposition. Whosoever follows the Sunnah is guided, and whosoever seeks help by it will be amongst those who win. Whosoever opposes it and follows a path other than that of the believers Allah will assign to him that which he turns to and roast him in Hell, and that is an evil arrival.
There is a beautiful poem which summerises why we need to loveand Obey Prophet SAW
"Do you disobey Allah when you claim to love Him? By my life, this is a strange example! If your love had been true, then you would have obeyed Him. The lover obeys the one he loves."
Is there command in Quran to Obey Prophet SAW and follow the Sunnah?
Yes, there are many ayah in Quran which calls us to obey Rasul Allah SAW.
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ – 3:164
- Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves,reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error (Al e Imran, 164)
Also allah says,
فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَالنُّورِ الَّذِي أَنزَلْنَا ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ – 64:8.
- So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Qur’an which We have sent down. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَوَلَّوْا عَنْهُ وَأَنتُمْ تَسْمَعُونَ – 8:20
- O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn from him while you hear [his order].
مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ ۖ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا – 4:80
- He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah ; but those who turn away – We have not sent you over them as a guardian.
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا – 4:64
- And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah . And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا – 33:21
There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.
Levels of Ittiba e Sunnah:
Ittiba of the Amaal of the Prophet pbuh: A person looks at the way they are living their life and they do everything just as the Prophet pbuh asked them to do, like eating, drinking, sleeping, etc.whatever action/amal/activity a person does, is as per the Sunnah. This person searches for a Hadith for every action they do, and then do amal on it. The Salaf saliheen were particularly very close about this. Once, a person was presented with a watermelon, and he refused and said first tellme how the Prophet pbuh had eaten a watermelon. So they would delay their actions to first find out how the Prophet pbuh had done it. We do several tasks every single day, we should try to find outfrom an Alim/Alimah how to perform them as per the Sunnah (sitting, taking a bath, eating, drinking,sleeping, etc.). and if we can learn these things, then at least 80% of our daily activities will be asper the Sunnah and very few specialized things will be left, and we can then make niyyah of finding out how to do those in a Sunnah way too and then our whole life will be as per the Sunnah model.The Sahabah used to enjoy doing ittiba e Sunnah. Once a sahabi went to a region in Persia and while they were all eating food, a morsel fell on the floor, he picked it up and brushed it, and the person next to him said that what are you doing? If something falls down in this city, you shouldn’t pick it up and eat it, that’s bad manners. You should just leave it. The Sahabi then said “should I leave the Sunnah of my beloved for the sake of these fools?” So they would enjoy the Sunnah!
Ittiba of the Adaab/Akhlaaq of the Prophet pbuh Controlling their anger, having mercy/forgiveness in their treatment of others, meet people with an open heart and a smiling face, they forgive other people. This level is about adorning and beautifying the character as per the Sunnah. Many people are able to dress and have Sunnah habits, but are not able to control their anger, forgive other people, have forbearance (hilm) with their family members, good akhlaaq, don’t engage in silah rehmi, etc. so their ikhlaaq are not then in accordance with the Sunnah. And if you behave this way, then we will cause those around us to go away from the Deen because our
appearance will be as per the Sunnah but not our ikhlaaq.
Ittiba of the Ahwaal of the Prophet pbuh: Ahwaal is the kefiyat and state of the heart of theProphet pbuh; the feeling of the love for Allah swt, fear of Allah swt, khashyah of Allah swt, awareness of Allah swt, the feelings he had in his Salah.
The person who is able to master points1 and 2, is then blessed with this by Allah swt. This is the level of the kaamileen, that they are able to reach ittiba at all 3 levels.
SIGNS OF LOVE FOR THE PROPHET S.A.W
- Emulating him s.a.w
- Preferring his s.a.w wishes over his own
- Being angry solely for Allah
- Mentioning him s.a.w often
- Yearning to meet him s.a.w
- Showing respect, humility and abasement when he s.a.w is mentioned
- Loving the people who love him s.a.w including ahl-e-Bayt, Sahabbah (ALL of them)
- Hating people who hate Allah and the Prophet s.a.w
- Loving the Qur’an
- Compassion for the Ummah
Salam and Darud on our dear Prophet.
Ya Allah! Grant Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم Al-wasilah (a high and special place in Jannah) and Al-fadheelah (a rank above the rest of creation) and raise him to a praised platform which you have promised him.Ameen.