Every Muslim has to believe in all the ahaadeeth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – if they are saheeh – and not reject any of them, because his ahaadeeth and his Sunnah are revelation (wahy) from Allaah. Whoever rejects the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has rejected revelation from Allaah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“By the star when it goes down (or vanishes).
Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred.
Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.
It is only a Revelation revealed.
He has been taught (this Qur’aan) by one mighty in power [Jibreel (Gabriel)].
One free from any defect in body and mind then he (Jibreel — Gabriel in his real shape as created by Allaah) rose and became stable”
Allaah has commanded the people to obey His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He has enjoined this in many verses of the Qur’aan, of which we will quote some. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): “Obey Allaah and the Messenger (Muhammad).” But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:32]
“He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad), has indeed obeyed Allaah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them”
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination”
“And perform As‑Salaah
(Iqaamat‑as-Salaah), and give Zakaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad) that you may receive mercy (from Allaah)”
And there are many similar verses.
The one who rejects the Sunnah is a kaafir and an apostate.
Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his essay Miftaah al-Jannah fi Ihtijaaj bi’l-Sunnah:
Note that whoever denies that the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether it describes his words or deeds, so long as it meets the conditions outlined by the scholars, may be quoted as evidence, is a kaafir and has gone beyond the pale of Islam; he will be gathered with the Jews and the Christians or whomever Allaah wills among the kaafir sects [i.e., on the Day of Resurrection].
Those who want to restrict themselves to the Qur’aan only are called al-Qur’aaniyyoon. This view of theirs is an old view which the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against in more than one hadeeth, as we shall see below. Among the soundest evidence that this view is false is the fact that those who say this do not really follow what they say.
How do these people pray? How many times do they pray each day and night? What are the conditions and details of zakaah? What is the nisaab (threshold of wealth) for paying zakaah? What is the amount that must be paid? How do they do Hajj and ‘Umrah? How many times do they circumambulate the Ka’bah? How many times do they go back and forth between al-Safa and al-Marwah?
There are many other issues the details of which are not narrated in the Qur’aan, rather they are mentioned in the Qur’aan in general terms, and the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained them in detail in his Sunnah.
Would these people refrain from acting upon these rulings because they are not narrated in the Qur’aan?
If their answer is yes, then they have passed judgement against themselves that they are kaafirs, because they have denied a basic principle of Islam that no Muslim has any excuse for not knowing and on which there is unanimous consensus among the Muslims.
If they reply that they do not refrain from following these rulings, then they have demonstrated that their view is false.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said – after quoting the verses that enjoin following the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) –
These texts enjoin following the Messenger even if we do not find what he said specifically referred to in the texts of the Qur’aan. These verses also enjoin following the Qur’aan even if we do not find what is said in the Qur’aan specifically mentioned in the hadeeth of the Messenger.
So we must follow the Qur’aan and we must follow the Messenger. Following the one implies following the other, for the Messenger conveyed the Book, and the Book commands us to follow the Messenger. The Book and the Messenger do not contradict one another at all, just as the Book does not contradict itself. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Had it been from other than Allaah, they would surely, have found therein many a contradiction”
And there are many ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which state that it is obligatory to follow the Qur’aan and that it is obligatory to follow his Sunnah, for example, the hadeeth in which he said: “I do not want to find any one of you reclining on his pillow, and when he hears of something that I have commanded or forbidden, he says, ‘Between us and you there stands this Qur’aan, whatever we find is permissible in it we will take as permissible, and whatever we find is forbidden in it we will take as forbidden.’ For I have been given the Book and something like it with it; it is like the Qur’aan or more.” This hadeeth is narrated in the books of Sunan and Musnad from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with a number of isnads from Abu Tha’labah, Abu Raafi’, Abu Hurayrah and others.
In Saheeh Muslim is it narrated from Jaabir that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in his Farewell Sermon: “I am leaving behind among you something which, if you adhere to it, you will not go astray after that. It is the Book of Allaah.” The version narrated by al-Haakim says “The Book of Allaah and my Sunnah.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2937).
In al-Saheeh it is narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Awfa that it was said to him: Did the Messenger of Allaah leave a will? He said, No. It was said, How then is it prescribed for people to make wills when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not make a will? He said, He made a will in which he enjoined (adherence to) the Book of Allaah.
(Narrated by Muslim, 1634)
The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah explains the Qur’aan, as it explains the number of prayers, how much should be recited in them, which should be recited out loud and which quietly. It also explains the amounts of zakaah to be paid and the threshold at which zakaah becomes due; the rituals of Hajj and ‘Umrah; how many times one should circumambulate the Ka’bah, go between al-Safa and al-Marwah and stone the Jamaraat, etc.
When any Sunnah is proven to be saheeh, the Muslims are agreed that it is obligatory to follow it. There may be something in the Sunnah which a person thinks appears to go against the apparent meaning of the Qur’aan and add to it, such as the Sunnah which explains the threshold of stealing at which the hadd punishment becomes due, and the Sunnah which stipulates that the married adulterer is to be stoned. This Sunnah must also be followed, according to the view of the Sahaabah and those who followed them in truth, and all the groups of Muslims.
Adapted from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 19/84-86
That which was brought by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is true just as the Qur’aan is true.
You should not forsake your family; rather you should treat them kindly and strive to call them to follow and accept the Sunnah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’aan) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided”
“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.
But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not; but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do”
And Allaah knows best.