The second: that the term Sunnah has specialized in the era of the Prophet - peace be upon him - as the way – his way - peace be upon him - in conveying what has been revealed to him in terms of the elucidation of the Quran in his own words and style (Statement), action (deed) or endorsement (permission), which are in their indication in lieu of the utterance- which Muslims must follow, they should obey him and comply to him in all what he commands them, forbids them and delegated to them, as Allah the Exalted said: (So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you) [Al Hashr, 7], and as He said: (O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you.)
[An Nisaa, 59].
The verses of the Quran in the obligation to follow the Prophet are many - peace be upon him – in what he commanded and prohibited, and the attestations abounds that the term Sunnah has been added to the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him - and has specialized as the way. Among such attestations is his saying in the Statement of the three folk: (... such is my tradition. So he who does not follow my Tradition, is not from me) (1), and his saying: (keep to my Tradition) (2).
If we go beyond the time of the Prophet - peace be upon him - to the era of the Companions - may Allah be pleased with them - and those who followed them in truth, we would have found that the matter had settled with them that the term Sunnah means the way of the Prophet - peace be upon him – and no other’s, and that if it was mentioned defined by (Al) and not constrained, it does but go for the way of the Prophet - peace be upon him -.
From the attestations which indicated that:
What Ibn Shihab Az-Zuhari narrated from Salem, according to his father Abdullah ibn Omar - may Allah be pleased with both of them - in his story with Al Hajjaj Ath-Thaqafi concerning the time of Friday prayers, Abdullah says to Al Hajjaj:" If you intended to follow the Sunnah, then forward the prayer, "ie: hold the prayer at the time of Hajeer, which is around the middle of the day ". Ibn Shihab said:" I said to Salem: did the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him –do it? Salem said: were they meaning by that but the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him -?" (3).
The quotation of Salem, who is a follower of great trust and one of the scholars of Medina, from the Companions that if they used the term Sunnah outright, they only intend by it the way the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him – and none other. With this clear and seemly testimony, the allegation of those enemies streams, which says that the term Sunnah did only specialize at the end the third century AH.
The third: the statement that the Sunnah is only the continuous Practical Process has no truth to it. It is rather a novel terminology whose nullity is not hidden (4), because we have previously shown that the Sunnah includes the sayings of the Prophet - peace be upon him -, his actions and his endorsements, and this is what the scholars past and present agree upon (5).
If the Sunnah is confined to the continuous Practical Process, many of verbal Statements transmitted from him- peace be upon him - would have been neglected, in all aspects of religion, in the provisions, morals and instructions (6).
And even the Practical Processes the Prophet - peace be upon him - did not persist doing or it has not been proven that he continued doing them would have been neglected, such as fasting the day of Ashura’ (7), the prayers he led people in for three nights of Ramadan only (8) and the different modalities to the opening supplication ( 9).
And setting the (term) Sunnah on the verbal Statements is not a novel terminology as they claim, but is rather a matter that is habitual from the very beginning (10).
The fourth: that the word Sunnah in all the uses - as is clear from the examples we have given – has been specializing by whom it is added to or by what it is described by, or the context in which it appears. One should observe that in all its uses, whether in language, in the Quran, or in the Statements and exploits, and neglecting that leads - as we have seen - to a big confusion.
The fifth: that the terms Sunnah and Hadith were synonymous in the time of the blessed prophecy, and the time of the Companions - may Allah be pleased with them - and the time of the followers and their followers - may Allah be pleased with all of them - and the scholars of the true law (of Allah) are greed on it – this has been previously elucidated - in contrast to the claiming enemies of Islam: that the term Sunnah is other than the term Hadith, and that they should be distinct from each other.
(1) Already documented.
(2) Already documented.
(3) Sahih of Bukhari, the book of Hajj, the chapter pertaining to the combination of two prayers, N (1662).
(4) See: Al Anwaar Al Kaashifah, p. 57.
(5) See: the position of the Islamic group from the prophetic Hadith, p. 68-70. Its author quoted in it seventeen of the scholarly statements, which indicates setting the appellation Sunnah over his words, peace be upon him, his actions and endorsements.
(6) See: A defence over the Sunnah p. 291.
(7) Hadith narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad (1, 241) with the wording: (Fast the day of Ashura’ and differ from the Jews in it ...).
(8) See the Hadith in in Sahih Bukhari, the book of prayer at night, the chapter pertaining to the incitement of the Prophet peace be upon him to the night prayer, No. (1129).
(9) See: the position of the Islamic group from the prophetic Hadith, p. 57.
(10) See: A defence over the Sunnah, p. 291.