What is the established sunnah of the Prophet (saws)?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

As salam o Aleikum,

In your answer to Question 56 sent on Aug 3, it was said,  "And today, if one says that he does not believe in either the collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Nahajul Balagha, or any other scholar of Islam, and believes only in the Holy Quran and the unanimously accepted and established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), it would be more than enough for his guidance." From my study of Islamic sects, I believe that there is no unanimously accepted Sunnah of the prophet (atleast for the current generation of Muslims). What I learn of Sunnah is what I saw in Mosques and in Muslims around me. What a Shi'ite or a Sunni or a Wahabi or whoever sees of Sunnah is what he's seen ofpeople around him and learnt as the authentic Sunnah. How do I realize what exactly is the authentic Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad(sm)?


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




What is the established sunnah of the Prophet (saws)?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


The truth of the matter is that almost all the sects of Islam are unanimous in the major aspects of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).   All agree that there are five obligatory prayers, all agree on the number of rakahs of the prayers, all agree on the way the prayers have to be prayed,   all agree on the time and manner of the obligatory fasts,   all agree on the payment of the zakah,  all agree on the time and manner of the hajj, etc. There might be small differences in some matters, but these differences do not affect one’s imaan and belief in Islam.  If some believers fold their hands in their prayers with the intention that they are following what the Prophet (saws) did, and some believers keep their hands straight with the intention that they too are following the Messenger of Allah (saws), Allah will Insha Allah accept their deeds according to their intentions.


The major differences between the sects of Islam is in the History of the Muslims!    They differ mostly on what happened after the Messenger of Allah (saws) died and who became the Khalifa or Ameer ul Mumineen after the death of the Prophet (saws).   Islam was completed, the Glorious Quran revealed,  and the Sunnah of the Messenger (saws) was established in the Prophet’s lifetime itself! It should not matter in one’s imaan and faith whether Hadrat Abu Baqr was chosen the Khalifa,  or whether the believers chose Hadrat Ali.   These noble companions themselves did not have any political ambitions, nor was there any animosity between these pious slaves of Allah.    Their mission was always to serve Allah and His Messenger (saws) and the Cause of Islam. They were more interested in earning the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, rather than the transient glory and kingdom of this world.      These supposed differences and animosity between the noble companions were fabricated and created many years after their deaths by unscrupulous people for their own political gains.   


The Sunnah of the Messenger (saws) was established and seen and learnt by his companions, who in turn passed it on to their companions and descendants.   That is how the Sunnah was established and practiced by the believers through time.    Scholars like Bukhari, Muslim,  Tirmidhi, etc.  only collected this data and preserved them in a book form for the reference and benefit of future generations. And this was done at least 300 years after the death of the Prophet (saws).  Thus to believe that one prays his prayers in a particular manner, or fasts in the prescribed way is only because it is mentioned in Muslim or Bukhari is incorrect.    No believer waited 300 years after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws) for Bukhari to collect the ‘hadiths’, before establishing prayer, paying zakat, or fasting, etc.  These were practiced during and after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws) by the believers, and passed on generation through generation.  


The true deen of Islam does not change, no matter what the differences are:  simply because we have the Holy Quran intact amongst us,  and until the end of time Insha Allah.    And the foundation remains the same as it was:  that there is no god except Allah Alone, and Mohamed (saws) is the slave-servant and Last Messenger of Allah.


One of the biggest criteria to determine whether something can be part of the Sunnah or not is to determine first and foremost if the act is in conformity with the guidance of the Holy Quran, simply because the Messenger of Allah (saws) lived the Quran in all aspects of his life.    To understand the Sunnah, it is a precondition that one must have knowledge of the Glorious Quran.   That way he will never be mis-guided.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32: Prophet,  tell the people, “If you sincerely love Allah,  follow me.   Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful.”  Also say to them, “Obey Allah and His Messenger.”  And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation,  warn them that Allah does not love those,  who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,







Copyright © 2022 Wister All rights reserved

Privacy  |  Feedback  |  About Wister  |  Volunteer Wister  |  Ask a Question  |  Widget