The Holy Prophet of Islam, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) has very much insisted upon conforming to the Sunnah i.e. Tradition / Saying / Actions of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), as it says in one Hadeeth:
“Whoever revived anyone of my Sunnahs, which was dying out, will receive from the recompense of the latter.”
Both will be rewarded equally, while the numbers of people practicing the revived Sunnah multiplies the rewards of the person who revived the Sunnah.
Hadhrat ‘Amr bin ‘Auf reported that the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) giving congratulations, says:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ لَيَأْرِزُ إِلَى الْحِجَازِ كَمَا تَأْرِزُ الْحَيَّةُ إِلَى جُحْرِهَا وَلَيَعْقِلَنَّ الدِّينُ مِنَ الْحِجَازِ مِعْقَلَ الْأُرْوِيَّةِ مِنْ رَأْسِ الْجَبَلِ إِنَّ الدِّينَ بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا وَسَيَعُودُ كَمَا بَدَأَ فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ وَهُمُ الَّذِينَ يُصْلِحُونَ مَا أَفْسَدَ النَّاسُ مِنْ بَعْدِي من سنتي
“The religion will shrink back to the Hijaz as a snake shrinks back to its hole, and the religion will seek refuge in the Hijaz as the mountain goat seeks refuge in the mountain top. The religion began few in number and will return to the state in which it began. Blessed are the few, for they will set right the corruptions caused in my Sunnah by people after my death.” (Tirmizi)
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said:
إِنَّكُمْ فِي زَمَانٍ مَنْ تَرَكَ مِنْكُمْ عُشْرَ مَا أُمِرَ بِهِ هَلَكَ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي زَمَانٌ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْكُمْ بِعُشْرِ مَا أُمِرَ بِهِ نَجَا
“Verily, you are in a time when one who leaves a tenth of what he has been commanded is ruined. Then, there will be a time when one who practices a tenth of what he has been commanded is saved.” (Tirmizi)
This Hadeeth is very encouraging for those whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), Most High, has granted the grace to act upon His religion in any degree. They should not give up their action, considering it to be small and scanty. It is usually a very great deception of the Shaitaan (Satan). One should continue to act upon the Sunnahs as much as one can. Who knows which act of ours might please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) whereby we might succeed and reach the destination safely.
We should be staunchly cultivating the Sunnah, because Hadhrat Malik reported that the Holy Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) has said:
تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ أَمْرَيْنِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا مَا تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِمَا كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَسُنَّةَ نَبِيِّهِ
“I have left you with two matters which will never lead you astray, as long as you hold to them: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Prophet.” (Al-Muwattaa)
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah Ibne Mas’ood has also said:
مَنْ سَرَّهُ أَنْ يَلْقَى اللَّهَ غَدًا مُسْلِمًا فليحافظ على هَؤُلَاءِ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ حَيْثُ يُنَادَى بِهِنَّ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شرع لنبيكم صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم سُنَنَ الْهُدَى وَإِنَّهُنَّ مِنْ سُنَنِ الْهُدَى وَلَوْ أَنَّكُمْ صَلَّيْتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ كَمَا يُصَلِّي هَذَا الْمُتَخَلِّفُ فِي بَيْتِهِ لَتَرَكْتُمْ سُنَّةَ نَبِيِّكُمْ وَلَوْ تَرَكْتُمْ سُنَّةَ نَبِيِّكُمْ لَضَلَلْتُمْ وَمَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يَتَطَهَّرُ فَيُحْسِنُ الطُّهُورَ ثُمَّ يَعْمِدُ إِلَى مَسْجِدٍ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْمَسَاجِدِ إِلَّا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِكُلِّ خُطْوَةٍ يَخْطُوهَا حَسَنَةً وَرَفَعَهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً ويحط عَنْهُ بِهَا سَيِّئَةً وَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنَا وَمَا يَتَخَلَّفُ عَنْهَا إِلَّا مُنَافِقٌ مَعْلُومُ النِّفَاقِ وَلَقَدْ كَانَ الرَّجُلُ يُؤْتَى بِهِ يُهَادَى بَيْنَ الرَّجُلَيْنِ حَتَّى يُقَام فِي الصَّفّ
“If anyone would like to meet Allah tomorrow as a Muslim, he should make sure to offer (Fardh i.e. Obligatory) Salaah (five times) at a place where the announcement for them (Azaan) is made (i.e. in Masjid), for Allah has laid down for your Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam), the paths of right guidance (the Sunnah), which are Guidance (Hidaayah) from one end to the other. Among them (Sunnah) are these (Salaah), too. If you were to offer Salaah in your houses as “so and so”, who offers his Salaah in his house, you would be abandoning the practice (Sunnah) of your Prophet, and if you were to abandon the practice (Sunnah) of your Prophet you would go astray.” (Mishkaat ul Masaabeeh)
The Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) is, in real terms, a ship of salvation and a haven of safety. The Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) urged us to adhere to it and not neglect it. He said:
فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيينَ، عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الْأُمُورِ؛ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ
“you must keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the rightly guided caliphs), those who guide to the right way. Cling to it stubbornly (literally: with your molar teeth). Beware of newly invented matters i.e. Bid’ah (in the religion), for verily every Bid’ah (innovation) is misguidance (going astray).” (Abu Daawood)
When evil and corruption become widespread and innovation and Fitnah prevail, the reward for the one who adheres to the Sunnah will be greater, and the status of those who follow the Sunnah will be higher, for they are living as strangers with the light that they bear in the midst of that darkness and because of their efforts to set the people’s affairs straight.
Hadhrat Tha’labah Al-Khushshani reported that the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) said:
فَإِنَّ مِنْ وَرَائِكُمْ أَيَّامًا الصَّبْرُ فِيهِنَّ مِثْلُ الْقَبْضِ عَلَى الْجَمْرِ لِلْعَامِلِ فِيهِنَّ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ خَمْسِينَ رَجُلاً يَعْمَلُونَ مِثْلَ عَمَلِكُمْ
“……Ahead of you are the days in which patience is like holding onto an ember, for the doer (of righteous deeds) during them is the like of the reward of fifty of those who do the like of what you do.”
It was said:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَجْرُ خَمْسِينَ رَجُلاً مِنَّا أَوْ مِنْهُمْ
“O Messenger of Allah! The reward of fifty men among us, or them?”
لاَ بَلْ أَجْرُ خَمْسِينَ مِنْكُمْ
“No! Rather the reward of fifty men among you.” (At-Tirmizi)
Adhering to the Sunnah means several things:
1- Doing obligatory duties and avoiding Haraam things.
2- Avoiding Bid’ah (Innovations) in actions and beliefs in Deen (Religion).
3- Striving to act upon Sunnah and Mustahab (Recommended) deeds as much as one is able.
4- Calling people to goodness and trying to reform them as much as possible.
It is said:
Undoubtedly, the Sunnah of the Prophet (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam) is written down and is close at hand and easily accessible to the one who seeks it. All we have to do is look for it. If we learn a Sunnah we must act upon it so that it will be true when it is said of us that so and so is religiously-committed. We should pay no attention to those who put us down, despise us, or mock us, etc.
Sunnahs may be obligatory, or they may be Mustahab, or they may come under the heading of good manners or good attitude. The Muslim should do every Sunnah that he is able to, seeking reward.
The religiously-committed person is the one who, every time he hears a Sunnah or say a Hadeeth, rushes to apply it and is very keen to act upon it, whether it is Mustahab (Recomme-nded) or Nafl (Optional).
So, one must adhere to the Sunnah of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe Wasallam) and follow it constantly, and not pay any attention to those who criticize him or blame him for that. Since this the only way to ultimate salvation!