The Quran calls the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) Hikmah which means wisdom. The Quran warns us:
“That Day, those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish they could be covered by the earth and they will not conceal from Allah a single statement” (An-Nisa: 42).
The importance of following the Sunnah
1. One day the Messenger (peace be upon him) gave us a moving talk and said ”I told you to be pious! Obey and listen to your leader even if he is an Ethiopian slave…you must…follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my guided successors and hold it firmly with your teeth” (Bukhari).
2. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said “my example is like that of rain which falls on three types of ground; some falls on very fertile land and produces lush green vegetation, some falls on hard rocky land and here water gathers in a pool and people drink from it, and some falls on barren land, here there is neither growth nor pooling of the water. The first piece of land is an example of a person who has understood my message, benefits himself & others. The second plot is an example of a person who himself does not benefit but people benefit from his knowledge. Whilst the third plot is an example of a person who neither benefits himself nor others benefit from him”(Bukhari).
3. Whilst doing the tawaff of the Kaaba Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) turning to the black stone said “Whatever Rasul-ullah did is good, I know you are only a stone, if I had not seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) kissing you I would not have kissed you either!
4. What is the inheritance for a Grandmother? Abu Bakr asked one day, who knows it? Mughira said “1/6th”. Abu Bakr asked who else can bare witness to this? Muhammad ibn Muslima said that he had also heard it from the prophet (peace be upon him).
5. Abu Musa Al-Asharie (may Allah be pleased with him) knocked on Umar’s door 3 times but there was no reply so he went away. Umar called him back and asked him why he went after knocking 3 times, Abu Musa said that I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say if there is no response after the third time go away.
The value of following the Sunnah
The Prophet (peace be upon him) is our saviour — FOLLOWING THE SUNNAH SAVES YOU FROM RUINS.
6. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed about a house that had burnt down in Madina. He (peace be upon him) said the fire is dangerous always put it out before going to sleep.
7. Abdullah ibn umar was wearing a red cloak and the Prophet (peace be upon him) showed a dislike of it, as soon as Abdullah ibn umar got home he threw it in the fire.
8. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said that mine and your example is that of a man who lights a fire and immediately flies and moths begin to fall in it. He propels them away but they keep coming back into the fire. Similarly I hold you back from your waist preventing you from falling into the fire.
9. Similarly a disciple who had built a small dome over his house and the messenger of God (peace be upon him) had expressed his dislike of it so the disciple pulled it down.
10. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a golden ring on the finger of a disciple he pulled it off and threw it away. The man walked off embarrassed when someone told him to pick it up, he said what the prophet (peace be upon him) disapproves of cannot be taken, no matter what it’s worth.
11. A man was eating with his left hand and the Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered him to eat with his right hand, he said I can’t, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said “you won’t” from then on his hand was paralysed.
Why Follow the Sunnah?
- It’s the truth, reality, good and blissful
- Opens doors of Divine obedience and closes the door of Divine wrath
- Represents the best moral values for human society
- It encourages and motivates you to compete in good things
- The Sunnah answers lots of our questions
- It teaches us how to perform our religious duties properly
Learn to respect authority
“I tell you to do five things; Be with a group, listen and obey your leader, migrate if necessary and take part in Jihad” (Hadith).
Can you imagine a nation without a leader, a workplace without a boss, or an army without a general? It would be chaotic. Structure creates order; without it no progress can be made. You must learn to respect those in authority over you. Honour those who have lived longer than you because they possess a wealth of knowledge. Listen to them and develop yourself. Until you have learnt to take orders you will never be qualified to give them.
The Prophet (may peace be upon him) understood this very well and has ordered his followers to show respect to those in authority. Are you speaking words of doubt about your own organisation (or mosque)? Are you belittling those in authority over you? Stop it now! True, they are not perfect (perhaps that’s why they can tolerate you). If you rebel against every instruction you are given, don’t complain when those around you rebel against your words and opinions. The law of reciprocity states that if you want to be treated with respect, you must respect others. That includes those you don’t agree with, or even like.
Pray, “O Allah! Help me to respect the authority for I know that my success depends upon my attitude toward those you have placed in leadership over me. As I honour them, I believe You will honour me”.