Skip to main content

The Place of the Sunnah in Islām

Shaykh Abū al-Ḥasan Mālik Ādam

A rebuttal against the ignorant imams who say that one should focus on the Qurʾān and leave the Sunnah for later. 

There are some ignorant imāms who say that one should focus on the Qurʾān and leave the Sunnah for later. They think that the Qurʾān is more important than the Sunnah. They fail to realise that Allāh has commanded us in the Qurʾān to follow the Prophet’s Sunnah (peace be upon him) when He said, “Whoever obeys Allāh and His Messenger has achieved the greatest achievement.” And He also says: “Whatever the Messenger gives you take it and whatever he has prohibited you from then leave it.” In the Qurʾān Allāh commands us to take from the Sunnah, a direct commandment from Him to obey his Messenger (peace be upon him)! And where would one find out about what Allāh’s Messenger (peace be upon him) has commanded and what he has prohibited except from his Sunnah, except from the Aḥādīth.

There are many instances in the Qurʾān where Allāh has commanded us with a general āyah. But it is through the Messenger of Allāh (peace be upon him) that we come to know the detailed meaning of these commandments. For example, Allāh has said in Sūrah al-Maʾidah, “Forbidden for you for food is blood and all dead meat.” But the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained to us that the blood that is ḥalal for us is liver and spleen, and that it is ḥalal to eat dead locusts and all kinds of dead fish. How could one know this except through the Sunnah? Without the Sunnah, one would think that all blood and all dead meat are ḥaram. The Prophet (peace be upon him) came to explain the Qurʾān and he did so through his Sunnah.

These imāms claim that the people of the Sunnah have flung the Qurʾān behind their backs and only look to the Sunnah. But they are mistaken for we know that Allāh says that the Qurʾān is the criterion between right and wrong and that He revealed it to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in order to lead the people from darkness to light. Never would we discard the Qurʾān; we cling to it with our molar teeth. We don’t prefer the Sunnah and fling the Qurʾān aside. We cling to both because we know that one explains the other!

Published: May 26, 2001
Edited: December 4, 2023


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Most Popular: Last 30 Days


Digitally Detoxing in Ramaḍān

Dr. Abū Wāʾil Musa Shaleem

The Charitable Example of Ibn ʿUmar in Ra…

Dr. Abū Wāʾil Musa Shaleem