Imām Aḥmad said: Islām is the Sunnah and the Sunnah is Islām
Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn mentions in Sharḥ Uṣūl al-Īmān: Islām is that which was sent to the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) in totality and it is that which necessitates that when a person calls himself a Muslim and he is a person who has submitted himself, with complete submission to Allāh with sincerity
The Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: He who turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.
Imām al-Zuhrī (d.124H), one of the teachers of Imām Mālik said: The people of knowledge who came before us used to say that “salvation lies in clinging to the Sunnah”.
Imām Mālik said: The Sunnah is like the ark of Noah, whoever embarks upon it reaches salvation and whoever refuses is drowned.
The Sunnah has many connotations, the most common: Islām and others such as ʿaqīdah (creed) and manhaj (methodology)
The Sunnah is restricted:
- To a place – if the Messenger restricted a certain act of worship to a place, than we restrict it to a place and we do not take it outside of that place and if we were to take it outside of that place than we have opposed the Sunnah or fallen into innovation in the religion.
An example of this: Hajj – it is performed only in Makkah. One cannot perform Hajj in any other place.
- To a time – if the Messenger performed a certain act of worship in a certain time than we do not take it outside of that time.
An example of this: Ẓuhr – it is prayed at a certain time (likewise for all the prayers). It is not accepted when prayed at another time.
Another example is: fasting in the month of Ramaḍān – this obligatory fast is restricted to this time.
- To how the Messenger did it.
An example of this: how the prayer is to be done. It is done in the manner that the Prophet told us.
- To the number – the number of the act of worship must remain the same.
An example of this: The Ẓuhr prayer is four rakaʿāt and ʿAṣr is four rakaʿāt.
- To the type of worship.
An example of this: Allāh has ordered us to sacrifice for ʿEīd al-Aḍḥá and He has specified certain animals like sheep, camels and cows. If a person comes and says he will sacrifice a mouse then the type of worship was changed and is not accepted.
6. The reason for performing the action.
An example of this: If Allāh withholds the rain, Allāh has legislated the rain prayer.
Bid’ah (innovation): That which is introduced into the religion. The acts which have no proof from the Qurʾān or Sunnah. Bid’ah causes separation and it causes something of the sunnah to be lost.
The meaning of al-Jamaʿāh is mentioned.
The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: Upon you is my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs, hold onto it with your molar teeth.
and he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: Beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is misguidance.
Abū Khadījah goes on to advise with aiding TROID, to aid the daʿwah by giving from their wealth. Donate, help the daʿwah and seek the reward from Allāh.