الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد
From the great principles of Islaam is that the Muslim adheres to the Book and the Sunnah, Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “From the principles of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah in deduction of proof is to follow what has come in the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), inwardly and outwardly.”
The importance of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and its association with the Qur’aan is something that each of us should pay great attention to in seeking to follow it in our day to day lives, since it is guidance which we have been instructed to follow, and it is that which will unite the Ummah, and bring about its success, Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Innovation is correlated with splitting just as the Sunnah is correlated with the Jamaa’ah (united body). So it is said: Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah (the people of Sunnah and the united body) just as it is said: Ahlul Bid’ah wal-Furqah (the people of innovation and splitting)”
The Understanding of the Term ‘Sunnah’ and What is Meant by it
The Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is often linguistically termed as his ‘path’ (i.e. way) or ‘tradition’ – When discussing the technical understanding of the term ‘Sunnah’ Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “The Sunnah is the path which is traversed, so that comprises holding firmly to that which the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his rightly guided Caliphs were upon by way of beliefs and actions and statements – and this is the complete Sunnah. It is due to this that the Salaf from long ago would not designate (the term) ‘Sunnah’ except upon that which comprises all of that, and that has been reported from Al-Hasan (Al-Basree) and Al-Awzaa’ee and Al-Fudhayl bin ‘Iyaad.”
Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaami (rahimahullaah) stated when discussing the different meanings in the technical understanding which the scholars give to the Sunnah:
“So the scholars of Usool designate the word Sunnah upon the statements of the Messenger (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) and his actions and his (tacit) approval, and they may designate it upon the actions of the companions such as Abee Bakr and ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallaahu ‘anhumaa) in gathering of the Qur’aan, and the act of ‘Umar (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) in registering the accounts of the treasury and the like of that, and it is likewise the madhab of a group from the people of Hadeeth.
The scholars of Fiqh may designate ‘the Sunnah’ upon the way that is undertaken in the religion – other than an obligation or necessity, and from their well-known phrases in the definition of the Sunnah is: ‘The Sunnah is that which the one who carries it out is rewarded for it and the one who leaves it is not punished.’
The majority of the scholars of Hadeeth designate ‘the Sunnah’ as that which opposes bid’ah (innovation), so it is said: ‘So and so is upon the Sunnah’ – if his action and his religious conducts are in agreement with that which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came with. Just as it is said: ‘So and so is upon bid’ah (innovation)’ – if he is in opposition to his guidance and his Sunnah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam).
Likewise from their designations of the term ‘Sunnah’ is: that it may include his praiseworthy attributes and his noble mannerisms and his reputable way of life and that which he (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) was well-known for amongst his people – even before his being sent forth (as a Prophet) by way of truthfulness and trustworthiness, because all of that an individual can derive benefit from in affirming his Prophethood (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam).”
Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) said when discussing this issue: “Indeed the Sunnah that has this level of importance (i.e that of its being a source together with the Qur’aan) in the legislation, then it is but the Sunnah which is established from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) through knowledge based methods and authentic chains of narration that are known with the people of knowledge of hadeeth and its men. It is not what is found in the depths of various books of Tafseer and Fiqh and At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb and heart softening narrations and admonitions and other than them, since in them are many ahaadeeth that are weak and disclaimed/denounced and fabricated, and some of them are from that which Islaam is free of.”
As has been mentioned, the term ‘Sunnah’ is also used to denote an opposition to bid’ah (innovation), Ash-Shaatibee (rahimahullaah) said: “And it (the term: Sunnah) can be designated as: an opposition to bid’ah (innovation), so it is said: ‘so and so is upon the Sunnah’ if he acts upon that which is in conformity to what the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was upon.”
Evidences From the Qur’aan in Relation to Following The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and His Sunnah
He, The Most High, said:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
((Certainly Allaah conferred a [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting unto them His Verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah, while before that they had been in manifest error.)) (Aal-‘Imraan: 164)
He, The Glorified and Most High, said:
مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ
((He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allaah.)) (An-Nisaa: 80)
He, The Mighty and Majestic, said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلَا تُبْطِلُوا أَعْمَالَكُمْ
((O you who believe; obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.)) (Muhammad: 33)
He, The Most High, said likewise:
وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا
((And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided.)) (Al-Nur: 54)
He, The Most High, said likewise:
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا
((And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain [from it].)) (Al-Hashr: 7)
Evidences from Some of the Authentic Ahaadeeth in Relation to Following The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and His Sunnah
The authentic ahaadeeth that mention following the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his Sunnah are a great many, from them are the following:
On the authority of Abee Hurairah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
((All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except for whoever refuses)) It was said: ‘And who will refuse O Messenger of Allaah?’ he said: ((Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me; then he has refused.))
There occurs in the hadeeth of Al-‘Irbaad bin Saariyah: The Messenger of Allah gave us a profound sermon due to which tears came to our eyes and our hearts were filled with fear. So a person said: “O Messenger of Allaah; it is as though this is a farewell sermon, so what do you enjoin upon us?” He said:
((I counsel you to fear Allaah and to hear and obey even [if it be to] an Abyssinian slave (becomes your leader). For indeed; those of you who live [long] after me will see a great deal of differing. So upon you is my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. Hold onto it; and bite onto it with your molar teeth. And beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a misguidance.))
On the authority of Jaabir bin ‘Abdillaah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would say in his sermons:
((Indeed the best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad))
The Status of the Sunnah
The Qur’aan is the source of reference in every aspect, in belief and in legislation, similarly the Prophetic Sunnah is like the Qur’aan in that regard, because it is revelation from Allaah, The Most High.
He, The Mighty and Majestic, said:
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ
((It is naught but revelation that is inspired)) (An-Najm: 4)
Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said: “This is proof that the Sunnah is revelation from Allaah to His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), just as He, The Most High, said:
وَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ
((And Allaah has sent down to you the Book and the Hikmah)) (An-Nisaa: 113)”
In the well known hadeeth reported by Abu Dawood, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
((I have indeed been given the Qur’aan and something like it along with it.))
Hassaan bin ‘Atiyyah said: “Jibreel (‘alaihis salaam) used to descend to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) with the Sunnah, just as he would descend to him with the Qur’aan, and he would teach it to him just as he would teach him the Qur’aan.”
The status of the Sunnah in Islaam is discussed in more detail by Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) who said: “Indeed the Noble Book of Allaah has denoted; just as the Sunnah of His trustworthy Messenger (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) has also denoted; and the consensus of the people of knowledge – all without exception from the companions and those after them have denoted; that the Sunnah is the second source from the sources of Islaam in assertion of rulings/regulations. So the first is: the Mighty Book – it is the first source, then following it comes the second source – and it is the established Sunnah from the Messenger of Allaah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam). For it is indeed a proof by the consensus of the people of knowledge, a proof in the assertion of the rulings and making clear the halaal and haraam and a proof in clarifying the Tafseer of the Book of Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, as well as the intent of Allaah with regard to His Speech – The Glorified.
Then the third source; is the consensus of the people of knowledge, the consensus of the Salaf (predecessors) of the Ummah, consensus that is definitive – since it is definitive proof.
These three sources – the scholars of Islaam are unanimous upon them.”
Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaami (rahimahullaah) said: “So the Sunnah therefore is one of a pair with regard to the Qur’aan, and it is revelation like unto it and is closely attached to it and can hardly be separate from it, and the Qur’aan can barely be understood as is necessary for it to be understood except by returning back to the Sunnah in many of its aayaat – especially the aayaat of Ahkaam (rulings/regulations).”
Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi al-Madkhali (hafidhahullaah) said: “The texts of the Sunnah are to be assigned the status of the Noble Qur’aan in Ahkaam and beliefs and a clarification of that which the Qur’aan is distinguished by in terms of position. Therefore this shows us the necessity of following the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and of taking his statements and his actions and his (tacit) approvals (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) – and this is a must. No one can do without that – from anything which the Messenger of Allaah (‘alaihis salaatu was-salaam) taught us, and it is necessary that we respect the texts of the Sunnah and that we assign it – in rulings and in beliefs the status of the Qur’aan.
The Qur’aan is a miracle; unique and distinguished over the Sunnah in that worship is conducted by way of it in the prayer, and that it is a miracle which the Jinn and mankind have been challenged with, so they have not come with a Soorah like unto it, yet despite that in rulings and beliefs the Sunnah is like the Qur’aan.
((I have indeed been given the Qur’aan and something like it along with it.))”
The status of the Sunnah and its position with regard to the servant coming close to his Lord by way of it is illustrated by Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) who said: “The shortest means to Allaah is by: adherence to the Sunnah and standing with it outwardly and inwardly, and the continuance of being in a state of neediness to Allaah, and to intend His Face alone in statements and actions, and no one has arrived at Allaah except from these three (ways), and no one has been cut off from Him except due to his cutting off from them – or from one of them.”
The Hikmah (Wisdom) that is Mentioned Along with the Qur’aan in Various Aayaat is the Sunnah
Shaikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaami (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed Allaah has mentioned the Hikmah (wisdom) in several aayaat of the Mighty Book – associated with The Book, and from that in which there is no doubt is that the intent by the Hikmah in those aayaat indicated to is: the Prophetic Sunnah. From those aayaat is His saying, The Most High:
رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
((Our Lord, send amongst them a Messenger from themselves who will recite unto them Your Verses and teach them the Book and the Hikmah and purify them. Indeed You are The All-Mighty, the All-Wise.)) (Al-Baqarah: 129)
And His saying, The Most High:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
((Certainly Allaah conferred a [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting unto them His Verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and the Hikmah, while before that they had been in manifest error.)) (Aal-‘Imraan: 164)”
Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed Allaah sent Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) with the Hikmah which is his Sunnah.”
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “The Hikmah in the Book of Allaah is of two types, single, as well as coupled (associated) with the Book. So the singular has been explained as being Prophethood, and it has been explained to be knowledge of the Qur’aan…As for the Hikmah that is coupled with the Book, then it is the Sunnah, Ash-Shaafi’ee said likewise as did other than him from the Imaams, and it has been said that it is judgment (ruling) with the revelation, whilst its Tafseer of being the Sunnah is more comprehensive and more renowned.”
Ibn Rajab (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever said the Hikmah is the Sunnah; then his statement is true, because the Sunnah explains the Qur’aan, and makes clear its meanings, and it incites following it and acting upon it.”
In Following the Sunnah lies Prosperity and Success
Ibn Qudaamah (rahimahullaah) said: “In following the Sunnah is: blessing of conformance with the legislation, and of the pleasure of The Lord, The Glorified and Most High, and a raising of the ranks, and the tranquility of the heart, and the calm composure of the body, and the abasement of Satan, as well as proceeding upon the straight path.”
Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “So every individual that follows the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), then Allaah is The One Who suffices him and The One Who guides him and The One Who aids him and The One Who provides for him.”
Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “There can be no prosperity for the servants or any guidance or salvation in the life of this world and the Hereafter except by veneration of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His trustworthy Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), in belief and in statement and in action – and having uprightness upon that and having patience upon it until death.”
Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadi (hafidhahullaah) said: “So whoever wishes for salvation, then this is the path to salvation; the Sunnah is the vessel to salvation, not (by way of) distortion or misinterpretation in the Attributes of Allaah or denial or making resemblance or likening (i.e. the Names and Attributes of Allaah). Rather we believe in that which has come from the texts in respect to the Attributes of Allaah, and that which has come in the ahaadeeth pertaining to Paradise and Hell-Fire and the bridge (over the Fire) and the scales (that weigh the deeds) and the grave and that which is in it by way of bliss and that which is in it by way of punishment.
Likewise the rulings and regulations, we do not misinterpret, we do not give precedence to opinion, we do not give precedence to the opinions of men over the texts which have come in the Book of Allaah and in the Sunnah of the Messenger in the domains of halaal and haraam and in politics and other than it. So this is the guidance which everyone from the Muslims must adhere to, so if they adhere to it; they apply the saying of Allaah, The Most High:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
((And hold firmly to the rope of Allaah all together and do not become divided.)) (Aal-‘Imraan: 103)” 
The Shaikh said likewise: “Indeed; prosperity in the life of this world and prosperity in the Hereafter cannot be attained except by whosoever holds onto the Book and the Sunnah with the molar teeth.”
The Outcome of Abandoning or Turning Away from the Sunnah
Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “You will not find anyone that left off some of the Sunnah; that the endorsement of which is necessary – as well as action (upon it) except that he fell into innovation, and you will not find a person of innovation except that he has left off something from the Sunnah.”
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) stated: “Whoever ponders over the world; and of the evils that occur within it, then he comes to know that every evil in the world – its reason is opposing the Messenger and parting from obeying him, and that every good in the world – is but due to obeying the Messenger. Likewise the evils of the Hereafter and its pains and its punishment is but necessary consequences of opposing the Messenger and its essential ramifications, hence the evil of the life of this world and the Hereafter return back to opposing the Messenger and that which follows on from it. So if mankind was to obey the Messenger – as he should be obeyed; then there would be no evil upon the earth at all. This is just as it is known in regard to the universal ills and calamities that occur upon the earth, then likewise is the case in the evils and the pains and the distress that afflicts the servant within himself, it is but due to opposing the Messenger. Otherwise obedience to him is a fortress which – whoever enters it, then he is from the safeguarded ones, and a cavern which – whoever takes refuge at it, then he is from those granted deliverance.
So it is known that the evils of the life of this world and the Hereafter are but ignorance of what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came with, as well as exiting from it, and this is a clear proof of the fact that there is no salvation nor any prosperity for the servant except by way of his exertion in understanding what the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came with in cognizance, and undertaking it in action.”
He said likewise: “Whoever has sound judgment of intellect knows that the corruption of the world and its ruination truly stems from affording precedence to opinion over revelation, and to desires over rationality. These two corrupt foundations do not become consolidated in the heart except that its destruction too becomes consolidated – nor into the Ummah except that it corrupts its affair in the most complete denigration.”
The dangers of opposing the Sunnah or turning away from it have been spoken about extensively by the scholars, from them was Shaikh Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) who said in this regard: “Indeed the Salaf of the Ummah have been succeeded by those who came after who forfeited the Prophetic Sunnah – and disregarded it due to principles which some of the scholars of rhetoric took to embrace, as well as fundamentals purported by some of the scholars of Usool and the blind following Fuqahaa.
From its outcomes was the aforementioned disregard which gave rise – with its spell of period to: doubt in a large portion of that, as well as a rejection of another portion from it due to its opposition to those very principles and fundamentals. So the aayah was changed with these people, thus instead of their returning with it back to the Sunnah and of their litigation (judgment) to it; they instead inverted the affair, and returned with the Sunnah to their fundamentals and their principles. Thus, whatever from that was to be in agreement to their fundamentals – they accepted, otherwise they rejected it. So with that the complete connection between the Muslim and the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) became severed, and in particular the later ones from amongst them. So they came back ignorant of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and of his belief and his way of life and his worship and his fasting and his standing (in prayer) and his Hajj and his rulings and his verdicts, hence if they were asked concerning anything from that, they answer you either with a hadeeth that is weak – or having no basis to it, or with that which is in such and such school of thought.
Therefore if there is agreement upon its being in opposition to an authentic hadeeth – and they are indicated to it, they do not take note, nor do they accept returning back to it due to the doubts – which there is no possibility of their mention now, and the reason for all of that is those principles and fundamentals that are referred to.”
Statements of the Salaf and the Scholars of Islaam with Regard to the Sunnah
From the great many statements of the Salaf and those that came after them pertaining to the importance of the Sunnah and of adhering to it are just some of the following statements:
Imaam al-Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah) said: “Know – that Islaam is the Sunnah, and the Sunnah is Islaam, and one of them cannot be established except with the other.”
Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullaah) said: “The people are in agreement upon the issue that for whosoever a Sunnah from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) becomes clear to him, it is not for him that he leaves it for the statement of anyone from the people.”
Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever adheres to the Sunnah, and the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) are safe (unharmed) from him, and then he dies; then he will be with the Prophets and the Siddiqeen and the martyrs and the righteous, even if he had shortcoming in action.”
Ibn al-‘Ataa (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever binds himself with the etiquettes of the Sunnah, then Allaah will illuminate his heart with the light of understanding, and there is no station that is more noble than in following the beloved one in his commands and his actions and his mannerisms.”
Sahl at-Tusturee (rahimahullaah) said “No one introduced anything into knowledge except that he will be asked concerning it on the Day of Resurrection. So if it complies with the Sunnah – then he is safe, and if not – then no.”
Ibn Khuzaimah (rahimahullaah) said: “It is forbidden upon the scholar that he should oppose the Sunnah after his knowledge of it.”
‘Abdullaah bin Al-Mubaarak (rahimahullaah) said: “Nothing from the light of Eemaan manifests upon anyone except by way of following the Sunnah and keeping away from innovation.”
Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) said: “The Sunnah is the ark of Nooh (Noah), whoever embarks upon it reaches salvation, and whoever stays away from it drowns.”
Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed adherence to the Sunnah safeguards against the evil of the soul and Satan without any innovated methods. Since the path of the Sunnah is (based upon) knowledge and justice and guidance, whilst in innovation there is ignorance and wrongdoing, and in it is the following of conjecture and what the souls desire.”
Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said likewise: “Worship; its basis is upon the Sunnah and Ittibaa (following/abidance), not upon desire and innovation.”
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “Indeed the Sunnah – itself – destroys innovation, and it (innovation) cannot put up resistance against it, and if its sun rises in the heart of the servant; it severs from his heart the fog of every innovation, and eradicates the darkness of every misguidance.”
The Sunnah in Relation to Drinking From the Hawd (Lake) in the Hereafter
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said when speaking of the various occurrences which the people shall encounter on the Day of Resurrection: “From it is the arrival of the people at the Lake and their drinking from it on The Day of the greatest thirst in accordance to their arrival at the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and their drinking from it. Therefore whoever arrived at it in this abode and drank from it and became proficient (therein) – then he will arrive there at his Lake and will drink from it and will be proficient.
For he (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) has two Great Lakes, a Lake in this world – and it is his Sunnah and that which he came with. As well as a Lake in The Hereafter, so those that drink from this Lake in the life of this world – they will be those that shall drink from his Lake on The Day of Resurrection. So there will be the one who drinks and the one who is prohibited and the isolated and the one who will drink amply – and those who will repel them will be him as well as the Angels from his Lake on The Day of Resurrection. For they were the ones who drove their own selves and their followers away from his Sunnah; and so gave preference over it to other than it. Therefore whoever remained unquenched from his Sunnah in the life of this world; and he did not have a drink from it – then in The Hereafter he will be in the severest thirst and under the hottest zenith.”
Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) mentioned when speaking of those that will be prevented from drinking from the Lake and those who will be allowed to drink: “The misleading people of innovation will be prevented from coming to it, those that were contrary to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), those that disbelieved and withdrew, those that abandoned the Sunnah, and went with their desires and their opinions – the deviant ideologies. These are the ones that shall be prevented from the Lake of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), because they exchanged and switched from the guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and no one will come to it except he who was a follower of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in statement and action and belief.”
To Live and Die Upon Islaam and the Sunnah
It was said to Abee ‘Abdillaah Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullaah): “May Allaah give you life upon Islaam O Abaa ‘Abdillaah.” So he replied: “And the Sunnah.”
Abu Bakr al-Marwazee said; I said to Abee ‘Abdillaah Ahmad bin Hanbal: “Whoever dies upon Islaam and the Sunnah – dies upon good?” So he said to me: “Be silent! Whoever dies upon Islaam and the Sunnah dies upon all good.”
Imaam Maalik (rahimahullaah) said: “Whoever dies upon the Sunnah; then let him receive good tidings.”
Mu’tamar bin Sulaimaan said: “I entered upon my father whilst I was in a state of despondency, so he said: ‘What is the matter with you?’ I said: ‘a friend of mine died.’ He said: ‘did he die upon the Sunnah?’ I said: ‘yes’ he said: ‘then do not be sad over him.’”
‘Abdullaah bin al-Mubaarak (rahimahullaah) said: “Know O my brother! Death indeed is an honourable nobility for every Muslim who meets Allaah upon the Sunnah.”
To conclude; Shaikh Muhammad Naasir ud Deen al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) stated: “From that which is regrettable is that most of mankind is in heedlessness of this noble Prophetic instruction! So pay attention O Muslims! And acquaint yourselves with the Sunnah of your Prophet, and act in accordance to it, for indeed in it is your remedy and your honourable strength.”
May Allaah grant us and our families the ability to live our lives upon the Prophetic Sunnah until the very end – upon love for the Sunnah and acting in accordance to it.
 Min Usool ‘Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah p.21
 Al-Istiqaamah 1/42
 Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wal-Hikam p.262
 Refer to Majmu Fataawa Ibn Taymiyyah 18/9-10 for an in depth discussion of this.
 Manzilah as-Sunnah fee Tashree’ al-Islaami (part of the book: Majmu’ Rasaa-il Al-Jaami) p.174-175 – with abridgment.
 Mawsu’ah Al-Albaanee 1/311 – for the original reference refer to: Manzilah as-Sunnah fil-Islaam p.15
 Al-Muwafaqaat 4/4
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.7280)
 Reported by Ahmad in his Musnad vol 4 p.126-127 and Abu Dawood in his Sunan (no.4607) and reported also by At-Tirmidhee in his Sunan vol 7 p.319-320 – all of them from the hadeeth of Al-’Irbaad bin Saariyah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu). The hadeeth was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (no.4607) and in Irwaa Al-Ghaleel vol 8 p.107 no.2544.
 Reported by Muslim (no.867)
 Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan p.965
 As hadeeth number 4604 and Ahmad (no.17173). The hadeeth was declared Saheeh (authentic) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Dawood (no.4604) and Shaikh Muqbil declared it to be Hasan le-gharihi (Hasan due to other than it) in Al-Jaami’ as-Saheeh fil-Qadr p.385.
 Reported by Ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (no.608) and Al-Lalikaa’ee in Sharh Usool I’tiqaad (no.99) Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned that Al-Baihaqee reported it with an authentic chain of narration, see: Fathul Baari 13/291.
 Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said: “After their taking to adhere to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, they take to adhere to with that which the scholars of the Ummah are gathered together upon (in consensus), and this is the third source which they rely upon after the first two sources; that of The Book and the Sunnah.” (See: Min Usool ‘Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah p.21)
 Hadeeth al-Masaa min Duroos wal-Muhaadaraat wat-Ta’leeqaat p.413-414
 Manzilah as-Sunnah fee Tashree’ al-Islaami p.176
 Ad-Dharee’ah ilaa Bayaan Maqaasid Kitaab ash-Sharee’ah 1/262
 Al-Fawaa-id p.157
 Manzilah as-Sunnah fee Tashree’ al-Islaami p.180
 Iqtidaa Siraat al-Mustaqeem p.80
 Abridged from Tafseer al-Qayyim p.226-227
 Tafseer Ibn Rajab 1/429
 Al-Ihtimaam bi-Sunan an-Nabawiyyah p.45, for the original reference refer to Dham al-Muwaswiseen p.41.
 Al-Qaaidah al-Jaleelah p.221
 Majmu’ Fataawa 2/139
 Ad-Dharee’ah ilaa Bayaan Maqaasid Kitaab ash-Sharee’ah 1/81
 Al-Lubaab p.151
 Majmu’ Fataawa 7/173
 Al-Risaalah At-Tabukiyyah p.48-49
 I’laam al-Muwaqi’een 2/127
 Mawsu’ah Al-Albaanee 1/286-287, for the original reference refer to: Al-Hadeeth Hujjah be-Nafsihi p.35-36
 Sharh as-Sunnah p.67
 Hayaat as-Salaf p.61, for the original reference refer to: I’laam al-Muwaqi’een 1/606
 Hayaat as-Salaf p.59, for the original reference refer to: Sharh as-Sunnah p.126
 Madaarij as-Saalikeen 2/436
 Fathul Baari 13/303
 Fathul Baari 3/114
 Madaarij as-Saalikeen 3/116
 Ta’reekh Baghdad 7/336 Dham al-Kalaam wa Ahlihi 4/124 and Majmu’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyyah 4/57
 Majmu’ Fataawa 10/568 (abridged)
 Mustadrak ‘alaa Majmu’ Fataawa 1/21
 Madaarij as-Saalikeen 1/379
 Ijtimaa al-Juyoosh al-Islaamiyyah p.72
 Ta’leeqaat al-Mukhtasarah ‘alaa Matn al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah p.93
 Manaaqib Ahmad p.177
 Manaaqib Ahmad p.180 and Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa 11/296
 Dham al-Kalaam wa Ahlihi 4/121 (no.880)
 Sharh Usool I’tiqaad 1/75 (no.61)
 Al-Bid’ wa an-Nahi ‘anhaa p.95 and Al-I’tisaam p.66
 Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah 1/236