The Sunnah: a source of law

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Executive Summary


What is the legal status of the Prophetic Sunnah?  In the modern age, many both within and outside the Muslim world have sought to question the nature of the Prophetic Sunnah.  Whether that has been by arguing that as a corpus it isn’t authentic or reliable, to others that have rejected it in totality.

Presented here is a translation of chapter 11 from Part 2  of Kitāb al-Tawḥeed by Professor Muḥammad ibn Abdullah al-Massari, may Allah preserve him.

In this chapter, Professor al-Massari conclusively shows that the Prophetic Sunnah is an independent source of law. There are several legally binding rules that are referred to by the Qur’ān, but the original order itself, emanated from the Prophetic Sunnah.  That is evidenced solely by recourse to the Qur’ānic text.

The Qur’ānic text is an explicit categorical revelation that has been sent down from Allah upon the final Messenger Muḥammad (peace be upon him).  Its recitation is considered as worship and its style inimitable.  Yet revelation should not only be understood as being limited to that of the Qur’ān.  The Prophetic Sunnah is also a revelation from Allah, consisting of the total sum of his words, deeds and acknowledgements or approvals.

Taken holistically, the waḥy (revelation) is both the Qur’ān and the Prophetic Sunnah, each being authoritative and equally binding.

T1-Legal-status-of-the-Sunnah.pdf (18 downloads )

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