Following the Sunnah

Love of the Prophet (SAW) and what he did (his Sunnah) was above the sahabas’ own desires.  For them, and therefore for us, the greatest honour was found in following the sunnah.

The Prophets’ were sent to direct us to Allah, but they did this with their actions as well as their theology.  The kalimah of tawheed means to worship Allah alone and to free ourselves of following our own desires or other idols.  True freedom can only therefore be found in following the Prophet (SAW) in his words and actions as this leads to pure tawheed.

In his chapter on following the sunnah Imam al-Haddad brings various points which I shall summarise here:

  1. Start every action with bismillah – it puts light and blessings in your actions.
  2. Try to never do a habitual action without first forming a good intention.
  3. Start actions with the right i.e. putting on clothes, shoes, entering buildings.
  4. Strive not to acquire luxury but to be modest.
  5. Utter words of goodness and remember that what is impermissible to say is impermissible to listen to.
  6. Think before you speak.
  7. Do not delve into matters which do not concern you.
  8. Do not do things in haste.
  9. Do not rise from a gathering without saying, Subhanaka Allahumma wa bihamdika ashhadu an la ilaha illa anta. Astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.
  10. Sleep on your right hand side facing the Qibla and recite the well known duah and surah before sleep.
  11. Limit your sleep and rise in the night for worship.  As Imam al-Ghazali says, it is enough for a person to sleep 8 hours a day to know that if he lives to 60 years that he has spent 20 years sleeping i.e. 2/3 of his life.

In addition, he brings many more points.  This chapter is one of the longest but most important chapters in his book.  I really advise people to purchase the book and try to implement the lessons he brings.  This really is a manual on how to live your life.

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