Role of the Sunnah in the Deen of Islam

What is the role of the Sunnah in the deen of Islam?

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) summarized the essence of the religion from its beginning to its end as a moral message, when he (ﷺ) said,

“ Indeed I was sent only to perfect for you the highest of moral character traits.” [1]

And when Aisha (رضى الله عنها) his wife was asked,

"...what was the Prophet’s character like?” “How was his (ﷺ) moral character?” She (رضى الله عنها) said, “His (ﷺ) character was the Qur'an.” [2]

All of the moral attributes which he (ﷺ) displayed, they were manifestations of the message of the Qur'an, he (ﷺ) implemented those messages, the messages of revelation, in his day to day life, in the way that he (ﷺ) dealt with his existence, the way that he (ﷺ) dealt with Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى), in the way that he (ﷺ) dealt with his family, with his children, with his neighbours, with his enemies, in the court, on the battlefield, during hajj, in his prayers and how he (ﷺ) dealt with the creatures around him in the society, how he treated the animals that he rode, the animals which he had slaughtered for food or for religious rites. All of this was a display of the moral character engendered or taught by the Qur'an itself. And this was the Sunnah. The Sunnah was the translation of the Qur'an into living practice. So the Sunnah is a living Sunnah. It represents a way of life, fundamentally a moral way of life.


[1] [Narrated by al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (273) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (45).]

[2] [Sahih Muslim 746(a)]

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