Episode 4: A pause with the false allegations of the orientalists and the illusions of the occidentalists (2-4)
The use by the Holy Quran and the hallowed Sunnah of the word Sunnah, in the linguistic sense, does not mean that the linguistic meaning (the way), (the practice) or (the habit) is what is meant, in the law, by Sunnah. This word has shifted from its linguistic meaning to the conventional meaning (Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him - encompassing his utterances, actions, endorsements, physical and moral attributes...), and it is in this sense a legislative source, inseparable from the Holy Quran, one does not get dissociated from the other.
This conventional meaning for the word Sunnah was set and known in the beginning of Islam, while the Prophet - peace be upon him- was among his companions - may Allah be pleased with them - and the matter is not as alleged by Dr. Ali Hasan Abd Al-Qaadir in succession to the orientalists, that this conventional meaning for the Sunnah was set in the late second century AH.
Among the linguistic meanings, which the enemies of Islam focus on in their definition of the Sunnah, its meaning contained in the sense way. Then they define the Sunnah as: the practical process, or the practical Sunnah. As to his words, accounts and qualities - peace be upon him – they are not of the Sunnah, and setting the term Hadith or Sunnah on that is, in their view, but a terminological novelty from the orators, unbeknown to the language, and is not used in its literature. Thus alleged Mahmoud Abu Rayah(1) in his book (Lights on the Mohammedan Sunnah)(2) in succession to Dr. Tawfeeq Sidqi(3).
In that, too, the engineer Dr. Mohamed Shahrour(4) says in his book (The Book and the Quran: A Contemporary Reading): (What has been termed the Prophetic Sunnah is but the life of the Prophet - peace be upon him - as a prophet and a human being, who lived his life in reality, even at the heart of it, and not in a world of illusion).
Elsewhere he says: (from here comes the wrong definition, in our view, of the Prophetic Sunnah that it is all that which was issued by the Prophet - peace be upon him – from utterance, action, command, forbiddance or endorsement. Knowing that this definition for the Sunnah is not that of the Prophet - peace be upon him - himself, and is therefore subject to discussion and give and take. This definition was a cause in the mummification of Islam, knowing that the Prophet - peace be upon him - and his Companions did not define the Sunnah in this way, and the actions of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab confirm this)(5).
(1) Mahmoud Abu-Rayah: an Egyptian writer, who was affiliated to Al Azhar in his early youth. When he moved to the secondary Azhar stage, he failed to pass more than once. He worked as corrector of typographic errors at a newspaper in his hometown, then a clerk at the Municipality until he was made to retire. Among his collections, in which he slandered the Sunnah and the Companions: ‘Lights on the Sunnah’ and ‘The Tale of the Mohammedan Discourse’, and ‘Sheikh Almudheirah (Abu Hurayrah)’. See: ‘The Sunnah and its Stance in Legislation’ by Dr. As-Sibaa’i p. 466.
(2) Lights on the Sunnah, p. 39.
(3) Dr Tawfeeq Sidqi: He is Dr Mohamed Tawfeeq Sidqi; a physician at the Prison Services in Cairo. He wrote articles in the magazine Al-Manar, entitled "Islam is the Quran alone". He died in 1920. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Ridha interpreted his work in the magazine Al-Manar, volume 483/21 and subsequent ones. See: the magazine Al-Manar, volume 11/774.
(4) Mohammed Shahrour: A contemporary Syrian writer. He holds a doctorate in engineering from the National University of Ireland in Dublin. His works include: ‘The Book and the Quran: A Contemporary Reading’, and ‘Islam and Belief: A System of Values’, and ‘The State and the Society’.
(5) The Book and the Quran: A Contemporary Reading. p. 546-548.