History of Sunnah

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History of the Sunnah -I: At the time of the Prophet
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22/09/2010

Muslims were, early on, aware of the significance of the Sunnah and its authority. They, one generation after the other, were keen to preserve the Sunnah because they saw that as a part of the preserving of the last revelations man is ever to receive. Their efforts were unabated, and the remarkable job they did is unparalleled in the experience of any other religion or civilization.

At the time of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ):

One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) clearly taught the Companions may Allaah be pleased with them the importance of his Sunnah, its place in Islam and their role in saving it, teaching and conveying it to others around them and to those who would come after them. In so doing, he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) followed an effective methodology, which will be briefly outlined below:

1. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) emphasized the importance of seeking knowledge and teaching it to others. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim (male and female)." [Ibn Maajah] Also, he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whosoever pursues a path to seek knowledge therein, Allaah will thereby make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allaah (mosques), reciting the Book of Allaah and studying it among themselves, without tranquility descending upon them, mercy enveloping them and angles surrounding them, and Allaah making mention of them to those (angels) who are with Him." [Muslim]

2. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) always had a center for teaching. Most of the time, it was the mosque.

3. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) was soft in his dealings and always facilitated things and made them easy for others. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) was merciful and humble and made himself readily available.

4. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) never pushed people into anything. Instead, he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) gradually taught them and led them to change. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) always motivated them to follow his example and be their best.

5. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) would not continuously teach or work with them, but he would give them enough breaks to avoid overstressing or boring them.

6. He sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) spoke plainly and clearly and he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) talked to people at their level of understanding and intellectual ability. Whenever appropriate, he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) spoke to people in their own...
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