"One who holds steadfast to my Sunnah at the time of the mischief of my ummah will get the reward of one hundred martyrs." How should this hadith be understood?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“One who holds steadfast to my Sunnah at the time of the mischief of my ummah will get the reward of one hundred martyrs.”(Ibn Adiy, al-Kamil fid-Duafa, 2:739; al-Mundhiri, at-Targhib wat-Tarhib, 1:41; Tabarani, al-Mu’jamul-Kabir, 1394; al-Haythami, Majmauz-Zawaid, 7:282.)

The hadith above is sometimes misunderstood, causing some doubts and hesitations:

What is meant by the hadith is the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) as a whole but people sometimes think as if only one sunnah will gain man the thawab of one hundred martyrs. Such an understanding is contrary to the meaning that the hadith expresses. It is contrary to the principles imposed by the religion. For instance, a person who uses miswak cannot get the reward of one hundred martyrs just for using miswak. However, a person who makes the Sunnah of the Prophet as a whole a guide for himself can get the thawab mentioned in the hadith.   

To sum up, “to follow a sunnah” and “to follow the Sunnah” are completely different things.

Everybody who practices the sunnahs gets the reward of one hundred martyrs based on their own degrees.

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"One who holds steadfast to my Sunnah at the time of the mischief of my ummah will get the reward of one hundred martyrs." Is this statement a hadith? If it is a hadith, how should it be understood?

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