What is Sunnah?

The literal meaning of Sunnah is way, (trodden) path, nature, principal, and law. Terminologically, the word Sunnah means what the Prophet Muhammad said, did, or conducted. Conduction is responding silently and not rejecting. Hadiths are the interpretations of the Quranic verses. They explain the divine secrets that are briefly given in the verses and decree on subject, which there is no mention of it in Quran.

Pray at stated times! command is in brief; details are left to the hadiths. The number of reqats (a series of ritual movements form part of the namaz) in namaz (ritual of worship centered in prayer), the way of the ritual were not given in details. If that is so, in the absence of Sunnah, Pray at stated times! command would be useless. Pray as I do pray (Hadith)

In the same way, give zakat (alms)! commands full explanation and details are fixed stand by Hadiths.

The author of the Nur collection Bediuzzaman uses the expression First interpretation of the Quran for Hadiths. The answers about Islamic Jurisprudence of the Messenger of Allah are first complementary rulings of the Divine Law, just as the explanations about verses that were given by him (pbuh) are first commentaries. The interpretations (of the Quran and Sunnah) of him are the first interpretations. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) led his community for this matter as he had guided them in every incident.

Whenever any news comes to them, related to (public) security or alarm, they go about spreading it (without ascertaining if the news is true or not without thinking about whether it is beneficial or harmful to spread it). Whereas if they would but refer it to the Messenger and to those among them (in the community) who are entrusted with authority, those from among them who are competent to investigate it would bring to light what it is really about.(An- Nisaa Surah, 4:83)

Every objective is reached by following a different path. The way to be rich and the way to become an erudite are different from each other. For the first, specific conditions of economy have to be applied and successful people in the field have to be taken as a model. For the second, one should become a student of the erudite people.

It is only possible to reach the divine truth by following the people who are entrusted with authority in the field.

Self- evidently truth and Reality lie in the prophethood and in the hands of prophets. (Flashes, 17th Flash)

In a verse which offers affection of Allah (swt) with the condition of following Sunnah (states), Say (to them, O Messenger): If you indeed love God, then follow me, so that God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. (Al-i Imran Surah, 4:31)

Our Prophet is an exceptional human who is loved and is given consent by God. Ones love of God who does not abide our Prophets (Sunnah) is subject to be in the abstract.

When this is the reality, abiding only to Quranic verses and excluding Sunnah is leaving to take after the one who is loved by God.

If one starts to comment Quran with his own mind instead of consulting to the light of Hadiths, would be the way of his own, not Allahs Messenger. Moreover, the consequences of this way are not known for sure.

The intention of comprehending Quran is to live and to make others live it. At this point, the most competent guide is the prophet of Allah (pbuh). Let us read the realities from the Quranic Verses;

Whatever the Messenger gives you accept it willingly, and whatever he forbids you, refrain it. Keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety. Surely God is severe in retribution. (Al- Hashr Surah, 59:7)

He does not speak on his own, out of his own desire; that (which he conveys to you) is but a Revelation that is revealed to him. (An-Najm Surah, 53:3-4)

He who obeys the Messenger (thereby) obeys God (An- Nisaa Surah, 4:80)

When we say, Ittibaai Sunnah (following Sunnah), we understand following the way of Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and being in the right path

Let us ask, What will a believer do if he would have reached to Al-asri Saadah (age of happiness, when Prophet Muhammad has lived)? He would definitely follow the Messenger of Allah on every matter, wouldnt he?


Today, abiding to his Sunnah word for word bears the same meaning.

In the Risale-i Nur Collection, Sunnah is divided into three main groups: The sources of the Noble Prophets Illustrious Practices (Sunnah- Saniyyah) are three; his words, his acts, and his conduct. (Flashes, 17th Flash)


That is to say, our Prophets holy (practices) Sunnah are consist of heavenly lightening sentences come out from his blessed language, his acts, and his exclusive morality which he lays out with his conducts.

A Muslim starts to imitate the Prophet (pbuh) of prophets with farz (necessity religious duties). Allahs commands are farz, at the same time they are Sunnah because the Messenger of Allah practiced them. That is to say, a believer, who literally follow Allahs commands and refrain from forbidden corresponds farz part of the sunnah.

A believer, who fulfills his necessity religious practices, perpetuates his spiritual progress with nafil (voluntary) prayers. When it is said voluntary, it is understood prayers, which are not religiously necessary or vacib (duty secondarily incumbent on a Muslim).

The Sunnah of namaz (stated prayers) while considered voluntary prayers, there are many other voluntary prayers such as (early) Morning Prayers, Tahiyye-i mescit (benefaction prayers), (late) Nighttime Prayers.

Adat-i Hasana (consuetude of benefactory acts) are humane acts of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) such as eating, drinking etc All of them are good examples to humans. If a believer tries to do his everyday actions just as the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did, he would find a prosperity source and have chance for tranquility in his worldly affairs.

One who makes it his practice to follow the Practices of the Prophet (pbuh) transforms all his acts into worship, and makes his whole life fruitful and yielding of reward. (Flashes, 11th Flash)

When the concern is our Prophets practices of conduct, these give us a magnificent picture, which embellished with Takwa (To protect ones self from all sins), muhabbat (ones spirit being fond of ), all the branches of morality, and the strongest possible human character.

Hearts having filled with love and fear of Allah is considered in this group.

I (pbuh), who love Allah at most amongst you, and I, who fear from Him at most. (Hadith)

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