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Whose Sunnah?

The word 'Sunnah' which is used in the Quran, means the way of doing things or methodology. Millions of Muslims today have been brought up to believe that all Muslims should follow the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad.

The root word for the word sunnah is the following:

Siin-Nun-Nun = to clean (the teeth), seize with the teeth, establish the law, follow a path, form. sinnun - tooth. sunnatun/sunanun - line of conduct, mode of life, behaviour, example, dispensation. masnun - formed, made/moulded into shape, polished, shiny and bright (face).

The singular word ‘sunna’ (law, way), in all its 14 occurrences in the Quran, also appears always in a negative setting, usually in reference to God’s law or Sunnat Allah, which is manifested as the divine law of requital when it involves human actions (8:38, 15:13, 17:77, 18:55, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23; cf. 3:137, 4:26, 6:34, 6:115, 10:64, 18:27). Exemplified by sunnat al-awalyn (the law/enactment of previous generations, 8:38, 15:13)3, it inflicted a penalty on the transgressing ancients as a consequence of their rejection of the messages to follow God’s law.

It is but the same strictly immutable natural law of cause-and-effect that governs the whole Universe and life without being interrupted by any interference (cf. 2:7, 13:11). This consistent Quranic use of the word sunna, solely in conjunction with God, confirms God’s sunna as the only valid sunna and hence obliquely denounces belief in any other ‘sunna’ as shirk. And this explains why the Quran never uses ‘sunna’ in connection with Muhammad or any other messenger.

Rather the followers of man-made sunnah, including “Muhammad’s sunnah”, receives a stern warning in this verse, which uses the exact word ‘sunna’ to depict, elliptically, the moral penalty they deserved: Are they now but looking for the sunnah inflicted on the ancients? For no change will you ever find in God’s sunnah, nor will you find any deviation in God’s sunna. 35:43. The message is simple: if you play with fire, you will get burned, through natural law, in the same way as your predecessors!

As we have read earlier in the article, the Sunnah of God is the only Sunnah: "Such was the Sunnah of God for those who have passed on before. You will find that there is no substitute for the Sunnah of God." 33:62

In all the Quran, there is no reference or mention of a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. Please check the verses mentioned here to verify:

3:137, 4:26, 8:38, 15:13, 17:77, 17:77, 18:55, 33:38, 33:62, 33:62, 35:43, 35:43, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23, 48:23

Peace and Respect!

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