18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Authority of the Sunnah

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Preserve knowledge by writing.” [Ibn Abd al-Bir, quoted in Authority of Sunnah by Muhammad Taqi Usmani]

In addition to memorizing ahadith, the Companions of the Prophet (radi Allahu anhum), on his encouragement, also wrote them down. Many manuscripts are from that era. The statements of the enemies of Islam, that ahadith were not written down till three centuries after the death of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), are just another attempt to discredit the Sunnah and thus render Islam ineffective.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has taken upon Himself the protection of the Quran. As it is the last book to be revealed, none will be able to tamper with it or change it till the Day of Resurrection. Allah’s promise of preservation of revelation extends to the Sunnah as well, since the Sunnah is required in order to live by the Quran. For example, the obligation to pray is mentioned seventy three times in the Quran, yet its details are not elaborated therein. These are all available from the Sunnah.

In the Quran, whenever obedience of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is mentioned, it is always coupled with obedience to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). There is no ayat of the Quran where obedience of Allah has been mentioned alone, without simultaneously enjoining obedience of His Messenger.

“And obey Allah and the Messenger so that you may be blessed.” [3: 132]

“Say, ‘Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; then, if you turn away, upon him rests what is laid on him, and upon you rests what is laid on you…’” [24: 54]

The prophets are the spokespeople of Allah, therefore, obedience or disobedience of what they bring is obedience or disobedience of Allah. We would not know what the will of Allah is except through the intermediary i.e. the Messenger.

“And whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys Allah.” [41: 80]

“Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, refrain from it.” [59: 7]

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