Types of Sunnah
The Sunnah of the Prophet include the statements and actions of the Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam)
For the better understanding of Sunnah we have to first shed some light on the various types of Sunnah of the Prophet . The Sunnah of the Prophet . include the statements and actions of the Prophet . Certain acts not performed by the Prophet but performed in his presence and were tacitly approved by him also forms part of the Sunnah.
There are many deeds that the Prophet could have easily performed as acts of worship, yet he explicitly did not perform. If these acts were meant to be performed and if they would have brought the Muslims closer to Allah, the Prophet would have been commanded to perform them and he would have performed them. Anyone who does perform such acts, thinking that he is getting closer to Allah by performing the same, he is performing an innovation. An example could be performing the call to prayer before the Eid prayers - the Prophet never did so although there would have been some purpose in doing it, he could have easily done so.
There are some actions that the Prophet did not perform for some constraining reason. For example, the Prophet did not gather together the Qur'an (although his companions did so after his death). This was because there was a preventive reason that kept him from doing so; that is, the Qur'an was still being revealed during his lifetime so it was not possible for him to gather it all together before his death. Once that preventive reason has been removed, then there is no harm in performing that act.
There are two kinds of Sunnah:
1. Sunnat-e-Muakkadah which is also called Sunan-ul-Huda which is a regular, emphasised practice of the Holy Prophet .
Sunnat-e-Muakkadah is the injunction of Shariah which was regularly fulfilled by the Holy Prophet but was occasionally missed so that it might not become obligatory for his Ummah or that act which has been emphasised upon by the Shariah.
The believer who fulfils Sunnat-e-Muakkadah will earn reward but in case he abandons it without any cogent reason, deserves condemnation. It is sinful to develop an habit of its abandonment which will render him a disobedient transgressor and he will also deserve the torment of hell though its sin is less than that of abandoning a Waajib act.
Some Muslims scholars maintain that the abandonment of Sunnat-e-Muakkadah is near to a Haraam act and its abstainer might be (Allah forbid) deprived of the intercession of the Holy Prophet .
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: the one who abandons my Sunnah will not enjoy my intercession on The Day of Judgement.
2. Sunnat-e-Ghair-Muakkadah which is also called Sunan-ul-Zawaa-id and also Mustahab and Mandoob irregular, non-emphasised but praiseworthy practice.
Sunnat-e-Ghair-Muakkadah is that injunction of Shariah which has not been emphasised upon but ignoring it is an undesirable act. However, no chastisement has been specified to this effect. Fulfilment of Sunnat-e-Ghair-Muakkadah will earn believer reward whereas its habitual abandonment invites Divine anger.
Page created: 29/06/2008
Page last updated: 29/06/2008
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