by Ruhaifa Adil
“Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If you (really) love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran: Chapter 3, Verse 31]
The Sunnah is the way of the last messenger, Prophet Muhammad (sa) . As Muslims, we have been enjoined to follow not only the teachings of the Quran but to emulate and follow everything the Prophet (sa) said, did or accepted. Once Ammar (ra) said to Ayesha (ra), “O mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.” Aisha said, “Have you not read the Quran? Verily, the character of the Messenger of Allah was the Quran.” Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 1342, Sahih
If we also want to make the Quran our character, we need to follow the Prophet (sa). In today’s day and age it can be a challenge, but we must strive to follow the Prophet’s example because that will certainly lead us to Jannah, which is what we are here in this world to earn.
Here are 5 ways to help you follow the Sunnah!
1- Make sure you are following authentic information.
One of the biggest dilemmas for our Ummah today is the overload of unauthenticated information. We have started to rely so much on learning online, that we do not stop to check whether the information we are reading is correct or not.
As Muslims it is imperative that we make sure that we are not attributing anything that the Prophet has not said, as he said, “Telling lies about me is not like telling lies about anyone else. Whoever tells lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.” Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1229.
Even though one may follow an incorrect hadeeth or tell it to others unintentionally, we need to be responsible Muslims and always check our sources.
One of the best online resources for searching authentic ahadeeth is www.sunnah.com. You can cross-reference what you have heard or learnt here to make sure you are not following something incorrect. Alternatively, one can learn from teachers and scholars and www.qutor.com is a good place to look for Quran classes for kids and adults.
2- “We hear and we obey”
Do not pick and choose your Sunnah. When you hear something that the Prophet (sa) used to do and you have verified it to be true, then follow it immediately. Let not your nafs (ego) come in the way, and do not let Shaytan or other people deter you.
“The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination.” (2:285)
3- Make good friends
A person is known by the friends he keeps. Hang out with people who love the Prophet(sa) as much you do. Having this support and the reminders that come with it is a great treasure for any Muslim. The Prophet (sa) has said “Man is on the religion of his friend, so let every one of you examine whom he befriends.” (Tirmidhi, reliable)
4- Learn about the Sahaba
The Sahaba were successful in emulating the Prophet (sa) in every way. Read about them and gain inspiration from them. They were humans just like us and if they can do it, then so can we! Reading about their love for the Prophet(sa) and the lengths they went to in order to emulate him will inspire you as well.
5- Seek reward from Allah
When it becomes difficult to follow the Prophet, keeping in mind the challenges that the society today places for the Ummah, then be patient and remember that your reward is only with Allah! Do not seek acceptance or appreciation in this world from others. Be steadfast and know that you will be with the ones you love on the Day of Judgement; if you love the Prophet (sa), you will insha Allah be rewarded with his company in the hereafter.
Ruhaifa Adil is a mother of four, a practising Muslimah, an avid reader, and a passionate writer. She works primarily as a trainer for mothers and teachers, advocating a multi sensorial, learner-centred approach, which she has learnt through her work as a remedial specialist for children with dyslexia. She is also an author of English textbooks, based on the teachings of the Quran (currently under editing), and creative director of a Tafseer app for kids.