The Sunnah is indivisible from the Quran, for it is the living interpretation of the Quran by Prophet Muhammad pbuh. The life (Seerah) of Prophet pbuh is defined as Sunnah i. e path, way, Islamic practice or perfect standard. During this period of time..After the death of prophet pbuh companion and those people had remembered the Sunnah of the prophet. As we know like how the quran was engraved and inscribed on slates and leather materials or preservation so were part of the sayings and commands of the prophet pbuh. However the arabians were well kown for their memory and memorization of information such as knowledge of studies, philosophies, lineage and account during those ancient times. And similarly part of the sermons and dialogues of the prophet pbuh were also preserved in the memories of the believers who were his companions and followers then.
However each hadith is counter checked with multiple confirmations and narrations to be claimed as an authentic one based on a list of eligibilities . Just like how other information and histories were preserved and later passed on by the tongue since ancient and medicinal times. Sunnah is compiled by the pious and knowledgeable persons having sharp memory who confirmed their narrations and we weighed and trusted on their reputation and potential that appeared and was observable by the tribes and society. It is mis-statements that it was compiled after 200 yeas of the demise of he prophet pbuh. Here it is important to note that `A’ishah and Abu Hurayrah lived up to between 50 and 60 A.H, `Abdullah b. `Abbas and `Abdullah b. `Umar to around 70 A.H., Abu Said Khudri to between 70 and 80 A.H. and Anas b. Malik to 90 A.H. This is to say that in the second half of the first century of the Hijrah it was still possible to hear a great store of Hadith from those who had seen or heard them directly from the Messenger of Allah himself.
- Over 2000 Hadiths (recorded teachings of Muhammad outside the Qur’an) were transmitted by A’isha r.a .
- 5300 narrations Hadiths collections from Abu Huraira r.a
- Abdullah B. Umar the son of Umar Ibn Khattab, hadiths , with approximately 2600 narrations recorded in later collections.
- Ibn Abbas r.a over 1700 hadith.
- Abu Bakr, his cousin/son-in-law, Ali B. Abi Talib and close advisor Umar Ibn Khattab are the sources for only 142, 536, and 537 Hadiths respectively.
The hadith are wisdom filled guidance and details for the the art of living in acordance to the quran or morever a physical manifestation of the quran itself. It is the teachings of the prophet pbuh who taught and executed perfectly the implementations and orders of the Quran in the best possible manner, hence those teachings are to be viewed on a vast perspective as it will be realised and confronted over prolong period of time. Few of those sayings and and hadith might not be applicable in some specific age or civilization but it is to be considered because it might be purposeful and useful for generations and ages to come. Those sayings were revealed in the light of wisdom to aid and ease the latter generations in their worldly physical and abstract and spiritual affairs. It is moreover a support and extensive help and guidance conveyed as and example by the prophet saw himself. Whatever of it might be applicable should be executed to conduct and reach the rank of and righteous and perfect human and spiritual being.
What might not be applicable should be considered as it might have been and surely will be some wisdom and guidance for former or latter people’s. The quran can be considered the link while the art being the Sunnah (life and conduct) of the prophet. Many a laws and commands need detailing demonstration and proper explanation to be implemented for eg (governance, mannerisms, modesty, righteousness etc). Like how a child when he reads his school books, he grasps it, but to guide him accurately about what the information is and and in what context, the school and and signs teachers to teach students. The child can be educated without without a teacher too but the teacher is strongly necessary for education and teaching so that the child is rightly taught and educated in complete justice. The teacher is a means of support and help for the child to grasp the same Information more accurately and in justice.
“Just as (you have found from this: that) We sent the Messenger to you from among you, who recites to you Our Revelations; who purifies your lives; who instructs you in the Book and in Wisdom and teaches you those things that you did not know”.(2:151)
This was our prophet, a teacher most importantly. One can regulate his education and affairs with knowledge but with and teacher one is more enhanced. The prophets teachings are favours on mankind by Allah for our ease and and betterment during evolution and physically being on earth. Hence Allah commands to beleive follow and obey the messenger and regards it as I complete faith without the belief in the messenger and his teachings. All The teachings of a teacher apart from the syllabus and obligations are not complusory for the students be acquainted or to enact but the teacher still conveys certain information for the betterment of the students and as wisdom and guidance. It is similar with the sunna, the obligations and laws of the quran along with the compulsory acts are detailed and explained while moreover certain guidance is also given for the ease and betterment for mankind and they are not a compulsion upon the people.
It is given as support and guidance for certain wordly affairs. All of these narrations were later compied by scholars and leaders and those of superior authority in the light of knowledge and in the context of the faith. The book called Ahdith literally means sayings included prophet pbuh action saying and practice. Quran has mentioned 91 times to follow the prophet pbuh after Allah’s name some to emphasise to follow the way of prophet pbuh had done indicating that one’s practices and beliefs will be incomplete by the disbelief in the messenger or indifference to his teaching and guidance because the quran are words while the prophet is physical representation of the quran and demonstration of the example of the perfect human being in the consent of God. The prophet is the perfect manifestation of the command of Allah and the quran in the form of a human being. Belief in the messenger and his guidance is the other half of and faith and belief in Allah. Quranic evident from Quran.
“Obey Allah and obey his messenger”
Say: “If you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins.” (Surah Al `Imran: 31)
“You have an excellent model(example) in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab :21)
“You should accept whatever the Messenger gives you and abandon whatever he tells you to abandon. Have taqwa of Allah… (Surat al-Hashr: 7)
O you who believe, obey Allah, the Messenger, and those in command among you. If you disagree about something, refer it back to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best thing to do and gives the best result. (Surat an-Nisa`: 59)
Prophet pbuh delivered last sermon at farewell pilgrimage said..
“Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allah and my Sunnah( guidelines, teachings and practices) which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray.”
From the above reference it’s clear that we must follow prophet pbuh. We don’t have any source of Sunnah except Hadith, a book whose chain of narrations is studied and then confirmed as a hadith, it is a detailed atudy and subject in itself. In quran there are number of rulings and it’s difficult to understand for one who has less knowledge about the religion and quran. So he may not fully benefit from it.
Just one incident of Imam Buhari r.a …In Al-Fawaaid Ad-daraaree, Al-Ajloonee related that Imam Bukhaaree (may Allah have mercy on him) once travelled by boat on a journey to seek out knowledge and that he had taken with him one-thousand dinaar. One of his fellow travellers ingratiated himself with Imam Bukharee, outwardly showing him love and admiration. During the sea-voyage, the man often made it a point to sit in his company. On long journeys, friendships develop faster than normal, and during the course of the time they spent together, Imam Bukhaaree informed the man that he had one-thousand dinaar with him.
The morning after Imam Bukharee spoke about the money, the man woke up and began to cry, scream, rip his clothing apart, and slap his own face, as if he had just been afflicted with a great loss. His fellow shipmates asked him what was wrong, and he refused to answer at first, as if he was still in a state of shock and could not bring himself to speak about his situation. After they continually insisted that he tell them what the matter was with him, he finally said, “I had a bag that contained one-thousand dinars, and I lost it.”
The crewmen who were in charge of the ship began to search the passengers. One by one everyone was being searched, and upon realizing what was happening, Imam Bukharee, making sure that no one was looking, threw his bag of money over the side of the ship. When it was his turn to be searched, nothing was found. When the entire ship and all of its passengers were searched, and when no bag of money was found, those in authority on the ship went back to the man who had made up the story and chastised him for making a false claim and for putting them through so much trouble. As soon as the ship finally reached shore, the passengers began to disembark;meanwhile, Imam Bukhaaree’s old friend went to him and asked him what he had done with the bag of money.
“I threw it into the sea,” Imam Bukhaaree matter-of-factly replied.
“And you are patiently accepting the fact that you have just lost such a huge sum of money?” the man asked in bewilderment.
“O ignorant one,” Imam Bukhaaree said, “Do you not know that I have spent my entire life gathering the Ahadeeth of the Messenger (Sallalaahu alaihi wa Sallam) and that the world now acknowledges my trustworthiness. Would it then have been befitting for me to subject myself to the accusation of theft? And shall I lose the precious pearl (i.e my knowledge and achievements as a scholar) that I have earned over a lifetime over a limited number of dinars?”
Moral: This story teaches us the value of honour and how the Imaams of the past would act so that their honour would never be compromised, even when they had done no wrong. This was for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being that if their character came under scrutiny the work that they had done could also come under scrutiny, and as we know Imaam Bukhari’s work was one of the most important in the history of Islam.
Now the question is why to follow hadith. There are number of ruling and instructions that can not be understood without having any instructions. For example if we buy the machine we get the catalogue book so we easily understand that how to use machine. But to get a better idea we need to see hear and perceive the machine with our senses. That is what is the sunnah actually, the conduct of the prophets life. An example for the human being by a human being itself. Same way Need to know hadith as now prophet pbuh is not with us to guide us only source is to refer hadith for Sunnah (the method). Muhammad pbuh is the perfect role model and teacher for all of us so we should try to live our lives in the same manner that he did.
The Quran cannot be understood and implemented in one`s life without the Sunnah. For example, in the Quran Allah tells believers to be affectionate toward each other, speak good words, and behave modestly. Commanding the right, forbidding the wrong, communicating the moral values of Islam to all humanity are set out as obligatory duties (fara`id). Halal and Haraam criteria comes to know from the lifestyle of the prophet pbuh. Cleanliness has been made obligatory. Fiqha or sharia law need the detail otherwise people may not properly do justice. However, such matters are explained in the Quran in certain ways but Believer learn through the Sunnah how to actually implement all these commands in his lives by means of the practices of the Prophet pbuh. When we read Salah there is no mention in the Quran that to read surah fatiha in every rakah for persons who are unaware , might follow his own method to perform Salah. We know salah is is incomplete without recitaion of a Surah fatiha, lack of understanding of the faith may create differences so to avoid this one needs to follow the prophet pbuh and maintain the unification and oneness of the Ummah(community).
Muslims can only understand and discharge their duties as Allah’s servants by studying the Prophet`s pbuh practices. The first source of information for this is the great hadith compilations of Muslim, al-Bukhari, and other classical-era hadith scholars. The vast collections of his words, deeds, and personal attributes, particularly those displayed during his prophethood, were collected with great care by narrators or reporters whom all islamic scholars and trustworhty leaders considered reliable. So its safe and better to seek knowledge of Hadith with the Quran. Below are some specific circumstances and related hadith:
The Prophet gave Mu’adh instructions for properly applying Islamic guidance and principles if nothing explicit can be found in the Quran and Sunnah.
Harith ibn Amr reported: Some men among the companions of Mu’adh said the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent him to Yemen and the Prophet said:
How will you judge?
Mu’adh said, “I will judge according to what is in the Book of Allah.” The Prophet said:
What if it is not in the Book of Allah?
Mu’adh said, “Then with the tradition (sunnah) of the Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said:
What if it is not in the tradition of the Messenger of Allah?
Mu’adh said, “Then I will strive to form an opinion (ijtihad).” The Prophet said:
All praise is due to Allah who has made suitable the messenger of the Messenger of Allah.
“The loss of the religion starts with the abandonment of the Sunnah. Just as a rope breaks fiber by fiber, so does religion vanish with one by one abandoning the Sunnah.” (al-Darimi)