Episode (5): The Sunnah terminologically (1-2)
Definition of the Sunnah in terminology differs, according to differing
objectives of the scholars from their research, depending on their respective
specialities. In the following, its definition with orators, fundamentalists and
The Sunnah in the orators' terminology:
Orators have multiple definitions for the Sunnah, of which are:
1 – It is his sayings - peace be upon him -, his actions, endorsements, natural and ethical qualities, and all of his accounts; whether before or after the mission.
This is what is widely known to the majority of orators; as if the Sunnah for them is concerned with the Marfu’ (narration attributed to the Prophet specifically) Statement only, while the Mawquf (narration attributed to a companion) and Maqtu’ (narration attributed to a successor) are not.
Perhaps the basis of these orators, for the adoption of this definition is: the naming of the Prophet - peace be upon him – of all that which he came up with, in reciprocity of the Quran with the Sunnah, such as his utterance in his sermon during the Farewell Pilgrimage: (O people, I have left two matters with you. As long as you hold to them, you will never go astray: the Book of Allah and my Sunnah) (1).
Based on this definition, many of the orators attribute to their books in the field of Statements the term “sunan”, such as: Sunan Abu ‘Isa Al-Tirmidhi, deceased in 279 AH, Sunan Imam Abu Dawood As-Sijistani, deceased in 275 AH, Sunan Al-Nisai, deceased in 303 AH, Sunan Ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, deceased in 273 or 275 AH .
This Statement was narrated by Maalik in Al Muwatta’ Communication, Kitab
Al-Qadar (Book of Destiny), p.: 561, ed.: Ash-Sha’b. Zarqaani said in his
interpretation of the Muwatta’ (4 / 246): "His communication is authentic, as
Ibn Uyaynah said" and has been documented by Ibn Abd Al-Barr in At-Tamheed
according to the Statement of Abu Hurayrah and that of Amr ibn Awf, and said:
"This is a reputed Statement of the Prophet - peace be upon him –the scholars
dispose of a reputation, which would almost obviate the chain of narration",
refer to: (Fatḥ Al-Maalik with the arrangement of At-Tamheed of Ibn Abd Al-Barr
on Malik’s Muwatta’ (9/282- 283), and narrated by Al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak (No.
931), and authenticated and converged by Adh-Dhahabi".