Necessity to Obey & Follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) : pdf , mirror
Sunnah Sources (Draft 0.5) :
Notes: (Just an attempt, & I accept this must need further improvement & correction, but we should atleast try our best honestly in an unbiased way.)
1. Qur’an Criterion : Sunnah for which foundation, reference, order, hint is found in the Qur’an & which is within the scope of a general order of the Qur’an & is compatible with the Qur’an & has nothing contradictory with the Qur’an. The Qur’an which has been perfectly preserved & protected by ALLAH has the solutions.
2. Amal Standard : Sunnah which is actually practiced, established & is transmitted via practical adherence of a sizeable population of religious Muslims & is found in practice in major Muslim territories & is compatible with the Qur’an & has nothing contradictory with the Qur’an. Amal that is similar to a practical action common with Bible or a way of acting of Jews, Christians, or Arabs of pre-Islamic times, requires strict verification. Similarly, Amal found in a specific region only, or not found in some major Muslim territories & claimed to be Sunnah requires strict verification. Amal common with the amal of other religious communities today must be investigated & rejected if its basis is not found in Islam. Amal that is established & proven to have been followed in early Islamic Caliphate but suspended today just because of corrupt leadership since this kind of Amal can be implemented from a position of authority & cannot be done by individuals or masses without authority, must be studied to get closest to the actual practice & must be implemented again. Amal that is proven not to have been followed during early Islamic Caliphate, whether personal amal or community amal, but having been started somewhere in history at a later period, should be suspended or not presented as an Islamic amal but may be tolerated if it is something not forbidden in Islam.
3. Hadith Standard : All Hadith must be compatible with the Qur’an & must have nothing contradictory with the Qur’an & must meet all Matn Analysis & Isnad Analysis standards. Levels of strength include : Mutawaatir in word, Mutawatir in meaning, Actually practiced by a sizeable population of Muslims, Legal Hadith, practicable Hadith… etc. Hadith that is similar to something mentioned in Bible or some other religious scripture require strict verification. We must focus on legal Hadith 1st. Gathering all related Hadith together, trying to find out the context or situation in which the Hadith is reported to have been said, what is the scope & range of Hadith, was it just for a specific person/persons for a specific time or was it meant to be a regulatory Hadith to be followed in all times to come regardless of circumstances in their time, & what is the actual action of a sizeable population of Muslims regarding the Hadith, how many people actually followed the Hadith through the ages i.e. was the Hadith backed by parallel & continuous amal or not. Hadith on some issues like virtues of personalities, places or against certain personalities should not be enforced on other sects as this is a major area where Hadith fabrication also took place. Then Matn analysis techniques should be applied seriously on all Hadith, because isnad of a Hadith too could have been fabricated or changed.
*Trying to understand & follow the Sunnah with the acceptance that we may be needing further improvement or correction & that a claimed Sunnah may even be non-regulatory or even unauthentic is what we can & should do, without claiming to be following the exact Sunnah or claiming any sect’s stance on Sunnah is perfect, & with further effort & unbiased research, we can get closer & closer to Sunnah. Minor or small differences in performing Sunnah should be tolerated, but if there is a decisive evidence in favor of 1 way or if some group performs a Sunnah or a part of that Sunnah in a way that violates basic principles of the Qur’an, it should be convinced in a friendly manner to the better method. More work must be done on Amal, more work must be done on Hadith. Life is a test for us too, so test is more interesting & challenging, & with more challenges come more opportunities to strive for a higher rank in the hereafter. Will you choose the wrong way to simply join any sect, or will you choose the proper way of not asserting other than the truth & be a truth seeker?