I have a question which has perplexed me for some time now. In many Hadiths we find an imperative to remain firm upon the sunnah, never to abandon the sunnah, to ensure that one is constantly upon the sunnah etc.
My question is, what does “remaining upon the sunnah” mean beyond the rhetorical level? How can I know at a specific level that I am upon the sunnah?
For example, does it mean practising every single sunnah you know and if you neglect just one sunnah, you are no longer upon the sunnah? Does it mean that you practice the vast majority of the sunnan that you know? Does it mean you practice a fraction of the sunnah? How much of the sunnah that I know do I have to practice to know that I am firm upon the sunnah?
Jazakallahu Khayran for resolving this problem for me, it has caused me some ambiguity for quite some time now.
The general meaning would be to be firm on every sunnah that pertains to one’s life, and not to replace it with any act of bid’ah (innovation).
If a person does lack in his/her practice on the sunnah, he should at least intend to implement every sunnah.
One will be considered to be ‘upon the sunnah’ to the extent of his implementation of the sunnah…
This could also be relative to the environment one lives in. In an area or era in which there is total disregard for the sunnah, one who adopts a fraction of the sunnah could also be considered as ‘being on the sunnah.’
The vital part is that we should always aspire to be within the sunnah and far from bid’ah.
Lastly, some Hadiths that encourage practicing on the sunnah, may also refer to just one single sunnah. [Like a particular sunnah that has been abandoned]
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar