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Several hadith (oral traditions concerning the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad) indicate the importance as sources of Islam not only the Quran (the revelation of God to Muhammad, infallible but containing compressed information), but also of the Sunnah (a detailed explanation of the everyday application of the principles established in the Qur'an, based on hadith). One of these hadith quotes Muhammad as saying (in his Farewell Sermon):
|“||I have left with you two things which, if you follow them, you will never go astray: the Book of God and the sunna of His Prophet.||”|
John Esposito explains the importance of the Quran and the Sunnah in Islam: "the Prophet Muhammad is seen as the 'living Quran,' the embodiment of God's will in his behavior and words. Sunni Muslims ... take their name from sunnah, meaning those who follow the example of the Prophet." Prof. Fatih Okumus refers to Muhammad as "the walking Qur’an," with the Sunnah giving an example to follow.
Both Sunni and Shia Muslims agree on the general importance of following both the Quran and the Sunnah. However, they may disagree as to whether some hadith or tradition forms part of the Sunnah in the first place. As the sayings and deeds of Muhammad were reported via many different sources, there was disagreement about what constituted sunnah, and how that affects what should be shariah.[clarification needed]
|“||Yazid b. Hayyan reported, I went along with Husain b. Sabra and 'Umar b. Muslim to Zaid b. Arqam and, as we sat by his side, Husain said to him: [...] Zaid, narrate to us what you heard from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). He said:
The Hadith al-Thaqalayn holds special importance for Shi'a Muslims, because they perceive it to provide support for the succession of Ali (a member of Muhammad's own family, or Ahl al-Bayt) rather than Abu Bakr (who was not a family member). Shi'as view the Hadith al-Thaqalayn as a clear indication that Muhammad wished to keep the matter of leadership within his own family. It is based on this claim that the Shi'as reject the first three Sunni caliphs.
Versions of this hadith (with slight variations) are cited in many Sunni collections. Among these are:
- Al-Jami'li-Akhlaq al-Rawi, an 11th-century collection by Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi[full citation needed]
- Sunan al-Daraqutni, a tenth-century collection by Al-Daraqutni[full citation needed]
- Sira al-Nabawiyyahbiography of the Prophet by Ibn Hisham[full citation needed] , an eighth-century
This hadith is considered sahih (authentic) by the following Sunni scholars:
- Hakim al-Nishaburi[full citation needed]
- Ibn Abd al-Barr[full citation needed]
- Ibn Hazm[full citation needed]
The Sunnis generally accept this hadith, but narrowly define sunnah as the sayings and deeds of Muhammad. From a Sunni viewpoint, the Shi'a definition of sunnah is too broad; it includes Muhammad's "implicit approvals" and even the sayings of imams other than Muhammad.[better source needed]
In the ninth century Al-Shafi‘i took the view that the Quran superseded sunnah, and that sunnah could not supersede the text of the Quran. In this he rejected versions of the above hadith which claimed equal weight for the Quran and the Sunnah. (See Shafi‘i.) Others, notably Ibn Kathir in his book Al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya, took the reverse position that sunnah, being a later revelation, should take precedence over the Quran.
Shi'as reject the hadith of the Quran and Sunnah, deeming it to be a fabrication designed to distract from another saying of Muhammad — the Hadith al-Thaqalayn — by replacing the latter's specific and pointed reference to Muhammad's Ahl al-Bayt with a generic reference to the sunnah.
- Recep Dogan (2013). Islamic Law, with the Quran and Sunnah Evidences (from a Hanafi perspective). FB Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-9857512-4-1.
The Prophet (pbuh) recommended these two sources to Muslims in his last sermon; "I am leaving you two trustees which, if you hold on to them you will never deviate from the straight path; they are Allah's book, the Qur'ān and His messenger's Sunnah." (Ibn Majah.)
- Umar F. Abd-Allah (2013). Mālik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period. Brill. p. 95.
In Malik's hadith, the Prophet states, "I have left with you two things which, if you follow them, you will never go astray: the Book of God and the sunna of His Prophet" (Muw., 2:899).
- Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (2003). The Approach of Armageddon?: An Islamic Perspective: a Chronicle of Scientific Breakthroughs and World Events that Occur During the Last Days, as Foretold by Prophet Muhammad. Washington, D.C.: Islamic Supreme Council of America. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-930409-20-0.
I have left among you two matters by holding fast to which, you shall never be misguided: Allah's Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet.
- John Esposito (2010). The Future of Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-19-516521-0.
- Fatih Okumus (2008). "The Prophet As Example". Studies in Interreligious Dialogue. 18: 82–95.
- Ahmad, Abu Umar Faruq (2010). Theory and Practice of Modern Islamic Finance: The Case Analysis from Australia. Boca Raton, Florida: BrownWalker Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-59942-517-7.
- Subḥānī, Jaʻfar (2001). The Doctrines of Shi'ism: A Compendium of Imami Beliefs and Practices. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-86064-780-2.
- "Sahih Muslim, book 44: The Book of the Merits of the Companions, hadith 55". Translated by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
- "Muwatta Malik, book 46: The Decree". Sunnah.com. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I have left two matters with you. As long as you hold to them, you will not go the wrong way. They are the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet."
- Vol 1 p111, 1983 ed.
- Vol 4 p.245 #149
- vol6 p.8-10
- As stated in his book Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol 1 p 93
- As stated in his work Tamhid, vol 24 p 331
- As stated in his work al-Ihkam vol 6 p 243
- Mohammad Hashim Kamali (1999). "Law and society: the interplay of revelation and reason in the Shariah". In John L. Esposito (ed.). The Oxford History of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 107–154, 118. ISBN 978-0-19-510799-9.
- Syed Mohammed Ali (2004). The Position of Women in Islam: A Progressive View. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7914-6095-5.
- Syed Mohammed Ali (2004). The Position of Women in Islam: A Progressive View. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-7914-6095-5.
Ibne Kathir (1966) crystallizes this extreme opinion and says, 'The Sunnah prevails over the Quran; the Quran does not prevail over the Sunnah.'
- Musa, Aisha Y. Hadith as Scripture: Discussions on the Authority of Prophetic Traditions in Islam, New York: Palgrave, 2008.
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