For those Muslims who do not take Sunnah seriously

As Muslims our Iman is not complete without accepting and applying Sunnah in our lives. If you don't agree on this statement, in sha Allah, after reading this article you will change your opinion.

Many Muslims these days take Sunnah extremely lightly. As if it is ok to bunk or ignore an act that was diligently done by The Prophet (pbuh). Well, not knowing about a Sunnah is different, but if we are aware about a certain practice that The Prophet (pbuh) followed then not practicing it is certainly not a wise thing to do. Also know that the Sunnah is the explanation of the Quran. So not applying it in your lives will invariably leave a dent in your Imaan. That's simply because if you claim to love your Prophet (pbuh) then not following his style is not an option! Thus with this article we attempt to highlight why it is important, for us Muslims, to get fully on-board and imbibe how The Prophet's lived, if we were to truly love Rasoolullah.

At several places in the Quran Allah has described obedience to The Prophet (pbuh) as being a part of obedience to Him. But let us start with the following hadith where The Prophet (pbuh) said,

None of you is a believer till I am dearer to him than his child, his father and the whole of mankind. ~ Muslim 1/76 | Ibn Majah 1/1/67 | Nasai 47/29

And then we have this Quranic verse, that leaves no room for ambiguity:
It is not for a believer, man or woman, to exercise their choice in their affairs, when Allah and His Messenger (Prophet Muhammad, pbuh) have decided on a matter. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger  has certainly strayed into clear error. ~ Quran 33:36

This hadith drives the point where The Prophet (pbuh) said,
Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not of me. ~ Nasai 26/22

Crucial Quranic references on importance of applying Sunnah

The Quranic verses cited below should help you get things in better perspective, where Allah commands a strict obedience to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). For this reason, Islam can only be lived through practicing the Sunnah along with the Quran. Therefore, putting forward a claim of turning away from the Sunnah of The Prophet (pbuh) is completely opposite to the essence of the Quran.

The Quran says:
He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah. ~ Quran 4:80

The Quran says:
And whatever The Messenger (Prophet Muhammad, pbuh) gives you take it, and whatever he forbids you abstain (from it), and fear Allah! ~ Quran 59:7 

The Quran says:
Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (pbuh), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is the best (way) and best in result. ~ Quran 4:59

The Quran says:
And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment. ~ Quran 4:14

So if you contemplate various Quranic references shared above it becomes imperative to follow the Sunnah. It is clear that Allah has made obedience to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) a religious duty; resisting or opposing it is a sign of hypocrisy. The Quran in fact emphasizes this:

But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” ~ Quran 4:65

Al-Shaafi (ra) said:
I do not know of anyone among the Sahabah and Taabieen who narrated a report from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) without accepting it, adhering to it and affirming that this was Sunnah. Those who came after the Taabieen, and those whom we met did likewise: they all accepted the reports and took them to be Sunnah, praising those who followed them and criticizing those who went against them. Whoever deviated from this path would be regarded by us as having deviated from the way of the Companions of The Prophet (pbuh) and the scholars who followed them, and would be considered as one of the ignorant.

This video drives exactly that point.

Several benefits of applying Sunnah in our lives 

We won't add a laundry list of Sunnahs for brevity sake, but will highlight three of them that has been scientifically proven to be extremely beneficial for humans. In hindsight if you reflect deeply you will find that every ruling of Sharia is a blessing. If something is recommended it has its own advantage (though we may not understand) and if something is forbidden it is for our own good. So take a look at the ones below which is scientifically proven.

Growing Beard
Some consider this to be a Sunnah but we don't! We consider growing beard to be Fardh (mandatory). Read #11 here to know why. Anyways, even if some claim this to be a Sunnah, growing beard is scientifically proven to be a boon for men. There are many research that supports this. 
  • Here's the latest findings from BBC: Are beards good for your health? It states, "The beardless group were more than three times as likely to be harbouring a specie of bacteria on their freshly shaven cheeks. This bacteria is resistant to many current antibiotics!" It also states "beards fight infection". 
  • Also take a look at beard facts here. A study from the University of Southern Queensland found that beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays, thereby slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer. 
  • An article on MenXP highlights 7 health benefits of having a beard.

Fasting Twice a Week
This is again one of the highly recommended Sunnah. The Prophet (pbuh) used to fast on Mondays and Thursdays. 

Short Afternoon Nap
This is again a recommended Sunnah. 

Implications of not following Sunnah

One of the reasons for the trials and calamities in this world is mainly due to our sins and several acts of disobedience we have committed ― check this article where we have described this aspect in full detail. Don't we see trials, afflictions, earthquakes, unnecessary killings, tyranny and governments of the world oppressing their citizen almost everywhere in the 21st century? The Quran is explicit about this in several places. One of them is narrated here.

And let those who oppose the Messenger's command (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways) beware; lest some Fitnah befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. ~ Quran 24:63

Opposing The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) means not following his Sunnah and whatever The Prophet (pbuh) has asked us to do. The Quran says as it is mentioned above,
Whoever opposes The Messenger after guidance is clear to him and follows a path other than that ... We shall keep him in the path he has chosen and then enter him in Hell. ~ Quran 4:115

The Prophet (pbuh) embodied the best character. He was the living Quran himself. So how can we not follow the one who was the best creation of Allah, the best leader who was sent to us as a mercy to mankind?

And consider this:
Will you pity yourself if Allah denies you the entry in Paradise because the scale of your bad deeds became heavy just for the lack of one good deed?
Imam Malik, one of the greatest scholars of Islam, compared the Sunnah of The Prophet (pbuh) to the ark of Noah (a.s.) and said, "The Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is like the Ark of Noah. Whoever embarks upon it reaches salvation and whoever refuses is drowned."

Does Sunnah mean "it's optional"? 

In the hindsight we all see Sunnah today as "it's optional". Really? The companions of The Prophet (pbuh) never separated between The Sunnah and a Fardh. One of the main difference between the Sahabas and us is that we left every Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because it was just a Sunnah, and Sahabas performed every Sunnah because it was his (pbuh) Sunnah. Watch the following video for more.

Always remember: a practicing Muslim who fears Allah knows he must not cherry-pick which Sunnah to practice and which ones to ignore. Be sensible. You live only once!!

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