What does Sunnah mean?

Do you know the meaning of Sunnah?! Now we will know what should be known about Sunnah. “Sunnah” is an Arabic word that means “tradition”, it also means the way of the Prophet (SAW) that must be followed by all Muslims around the World.

Sunnah is mentioned in Hadith:

  “Whosoever does a good Sunnah will get the reward for it and the reward of others who followed him in doing the same thing until the Day of Judgment. And whosoever does a bad Sunnah will have the punishment of doing it and the punishment of others who followed him in practicing it.” We can also define it as the words, and acts of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), it was saved in the traditional literature.  

The importance of Sunnah:

  To be a true Muslim you have to make the Prophet (SAW) your example. As we know, it is the second source of legislation in Islam after the Holy Quran; so it must be followed by us.   There is no doubt that the best example to be followed is our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and this will be clear if we recite this great Verse: Allah said in His great book (the Holy Quran):

{لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا }

The meaning of this Verse is:

  The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (SAW) is the good example for those who hope for Allah, and the day of Judgement. Allah Almighty has commanded us to obey His rules, and the rules of His Messenger (SAW), as He said:

اطيعوا الله واطيعوا الرسول 

Allah also said in the Quran:

{وما آتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا}

  That confirms obedience to Allah’s Messenger, and avoidance what he forbade. Allah Almighty commands us to obey His rules, and the rules of His Messenger to get His satisfaction. One example of the Messenger sayings is Hadith which talks about all things of life, and illustrates the meaning of some unclear Verses. Hadith also includes the acts of worship such as praying, Fasting, and Pilgrimage.   It is important to say that Sunnah as a word means a religious ruling that is based on evidence whether from the Holy Quran, sayings of our beloved Prophet (SAW), and Ijtihad (juristic reasoning that is independent).  

What is the opposite of Sunnah?

After knowing its meaning, we have to know its opposite. The opposite of Sunnah is “Bid’ah”, Bid’ah is the renewal in the religion, and it was explained by the Prophet (SAW) when he said:

أُوصِيكُمْ بِتَقْوَى اللَّهِ، وَالسَّمْعِ وَالطَّاعَةِ وَإِنْ تَأَمَّرَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ فَسَيَرَى اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا، فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيينَ، عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الْأُمُورِ؛ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ”

The translation of this Hadith is:

  “Follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the righteous Caliphs after me.” The Prophet (SAW) asked us to follow Him and Caliphs after Him, and He didn’t say follow Bid’ah. Finally, we can define Sunnah as whatever the Messenger Muhammad (SAW) said or did to be the way in our life.  
Divisions of Sunnah:
It is divided into 3 divisions that are: 1. Sunnah qawlyah: It is the most reliable type that we take as a reference. As an example of this type the Hadith of the Prophet (SAW):

إن من أحبكم إلي وأقربكم مني مجلسا يوم القيامة أحاسنكم أخلاقا

This Hadith is the words of the Prophet that said directly from Him. 2. Fe’lyyah: It indicates the type of Hadith in which there is an act of the Prophet (SAW), and this act indicates Sharia provisions. This type comes second after the first type. As an example of this Hadith is:

كان رسول االله صلى االله علیه وسلم یصوم حتى نقول لا یفطر، ویفطر حتى نقول لا


3. Taqriryah: Is the third and the last type of it, and it indicates the comments of the Prophet (SAW) on some of the Companions’ actions. See More : Hadith of the day

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