“Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.” [Quran 53: 3-4]
In this article, we will briefly look at evidence in support of the authority of the Sunnah and the necessity of obeying and following Prophet Muhammad as presented in his Sunnah.
Second: Evidence from Authentic Hadeeth
The ahadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allah indicating Hujjiyyatus Sunnah are numerous, and scholars typically categorize them into sets giving evidence to the various aspects of the issue, like: that it is an obligation upon all Muslims to follow and live according to the Sunnah, that the Sunnah is also a revelation from Allah, that it has an authority similar to that of the Quran, that it legislates rulings and laws independently from the Quran, etc. The following set presents a collection of such ahadeeth.
The Messenger of Allah said: “He who turns away from my Sunnah is not of me.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
“I have left you with two things, you will not go astray if you hold on to them; the Book of Allah and my Sunnah, and they shall never be separated until the Hawdh (Pond).” [Authentic Hadeeth, reported by Al-Hakim and others]
“Adhere to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs. Bite on to it with your molar teeth, and beware of newly invented matters, for verily every bid’ah (innovation) is a going astray.” [Abu Daawood and Tirmithi]
“I have left you upon clear proof, its night is like its day, no one deviates from it except he who’s bound to doom, and whoever amongst you lives for long will see great controversy. So stick to what you know from my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Orthodox, Rightly-guided Caliphs, cling to that with your molar teeth.” [Ahmad]
“Soon it will be that a man will recline on his settee and when he is told a saying of my hadeeth would say, ‘Between us and you is the Book of Allah. What we find allowed therein, we allow, and what we find prohibited therein, we prohibit.’ But indeed, what the Messenger of Allah has forbidden is similar to what Allah has forbidden.” [Abu Daawood and Tirmithi]
“Verily I have been given the Book [meaning the Quran] and something similar to it with it [meaning the Sunnah]" [Abu Daawood]
“Whoever obeys me is obeying Allah and whoever disobeys me is disobeying Allah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
“No one would have complete belief until and unless his desire coincides and be together with what I brought to you [my Suimah] ." [At-Tirmithi]
“Whoever takes me as an example, he is of me, and whoever avoids my Sunnah is not of me.” [Ahmad]
Third: Evidence from Ijmaa
Ijmaa is the consensus or agreement of Muslims or Muslim scholars. And Muslims were in the past and are still in agreement today that the Sunnah has authority over Muslims such that they are obliged to follow and are prohibited from disregarding it. This fact was repeatedly stated and stressed by the major scholars throughout the history. Ibn Hazm stated that it is not known that any person, who may be called a scholar, has ever disputed the authority of the Sunnah. Imam Ibnul Qayyim stated that “Muslims are in consensus that anytime a Muslim recognizes a Sunnah in relation to any issue then he has no way but to accept it, practice it and implement it.”
Similarly, all major Muslim scholars have stated their consensus about the validity of Hujjiyyatus Sunnah and the necessity of following it for one’s faith to be valid, correct and authentic.