SUNNAH - سنة
SUNNAH AS-SANIYYAH - سنة السنية
Literally Sunnah: A way. A Habit. A practice. A rule of action.
The practices of Muhammad (asm) including His ‘ibâdah which comes from the Sharî’ah, which are contained in the Qur'an. Any word, teachings, deeds and sayings, silent permissions or disapprovals of Muhammad (asm) other than what is contained in the Qur'an, adopted as a rule of Islam.
Literally Saniyyah: High. Exalted. Sublime. Grand. Most important and valuable.
Saniyyah is the attribute of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(asm).
“First Matter: The sources of Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm's Sunnah as-Saniyyah are three: his words, his acts, and his conduct. And there are three categories of each of these three: fardh, nawâfil, and laudable practices.
It is imperative to follow those that are fardh and wâjib, and there are penalties and punishment for giving them up. Everyone is charged with following them. As for the nawâfil sort, as laudable (mustahab) by command, ahl al-îmân are again charged with following them, but there is no penalty or punishment for giving them up. However, there is great merit in acting in accordance with them and following them. And to change them is bid’ah, dhalâlah, and a great error. To follow and imitate the Prophet's customary actions and laudable deeds are extremely laudable and in accordance with hikmah, and is beneficial for both personal life and social life and for humankind. For in all his habitual actions are numerous things beneficial for life, and furthermore, through following them, such âdâb and habitual actions become like ‘ibâdah.
Yes, since as both friend and foe agree, the person of Ahmad (asm) manifested the highest degrees of moral virtues; and since as all are agreed, he is the most famous and excellent individual in the human race; and since as indicated by his thousands of miracles, and testified to by al-‘âlam of Islam that he founded and its perfections, and affirmed by the haqiqahs of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm of which he was the herald and interpreter, he was the most excellent Perfect Man and most excellent murshid; and since as the fruit of following him, millions of the people of perfection have advanced through the degrees of attainment and reached the happiness of both worlds; for sure his Sunnah and actions are the finest examples to be followed, and the safest guides and the soundest laws to be taken as principles. Happy is the one whose share of following the Sunnah is great. While those who are lazy and do not follow the Sunnah suffer vast loss, and those who consider them to be unimportant commit a great crime, while if they criticize them, which infers denying them, it is great dhalâlah.” The Eleventh Flash- 11th Subtle Point
“There are degrees in the Sunnah as-Saniyyah: some are wâjib; these may not be abandoned. This sort is described in detail in the Illustrious Sharî’ah. They are muhkamât and can in no way be changed. Another sort is nawâfil, and these are of two sorts:
One sort is the Sunnah as-Saniyyah which concerns ‘ibâdah. They too are described in the books of the Sharî’ah, and to change them is bid’ah. The other sort is called âdâb, and are mentioned in the books of the Prophet's biography (siyar). Opposition to them cannot be called bid’ah, but it is an opposition of a sort to the Prophet's âdâb and means not benefiting from their nûr and true adab. This sort is to follow Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm’s actions concerning general custom, habitual actions and fıtrî acts, which are known through tawâtur. For example, there are numerous Sunnah as-Saniyyah showing the âdâb of speaking, and explaining the principles of the âdâb of eating, drinking, and sleeping, and concerning social relations. The Sunnahs of this sort are called âdâb. One who follows this âdâb transforms his habitual actions into ‘ibâdah and receives significant faydh from the âdâb. Practising the smallest aspect of such âdâb recalls Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, and imparts a nûr to the heart.
The most important among the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are the Sunnahs which are the symbols of Islam and connected with the shaâ’er. Shaâ’er is an ‘ubûdiyyah concerning the community which are general rights of a sort. As the whole community benefits from one person performing them, so the whole community is responsible in their abandonement. There can be no riyâ in the performance of shaâ’er of this sort, and they should be proclaimed. Even if they are of the nawâfil sort, they are still more important than personal fardhs.” The Eleventh Flash- Sixth Subtle Point
“Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm said:مَنْ تَمَسَّكَ بِسُنَّتِى عِنْدَ فَسَادِ اُمَّتِى فَلَهُ اَجْرُ مِاَةِ شَهِيدٍ that is “Whoever adheres to my Sunnah when my ummah is corrupted will receive the reward of a hundred shahîds.” Yes, following the Sunnah as-Saniyyah is certainly most valuable. And especially at the time of the invasion of bid’ahs following the Sunnah as-Saniyyah is even more valuable. And particularly when the ummah is corrupted, to comply with a small matter of âdâb of the Sunnah as-Saniyyah signifies an important taqwâ and powerful îmân. Following the Sunnah directly recalls Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm, and that recollection and remembrance are transformed into the recollection of the Ilahî hudhur. The moment the Sunnah as-Saniyyah are complied with even the least significant dealings, in the âdâb of eating, drinking, or sleeping, such habitual, fıtrî acts become meritorious acts of ‘ibâdah and an act concerning-belonging to the Sharî’ah. For through such habitual actions a person thinks of following Ar-Rasûl Al-Akram ‘Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm and conceives of them as âdâb of the Sharî’ah. Then he recalls that he is the owner of the Sharî’ah. And from that, his heart turns to Janâb-i Haqq, the True Lawgiver, and he gains a sort of sense of the hudhur and ‘ibâdah.
And so, due to this mystery, one who makes it his practice to follow the Sunnah as-Saniyyah transforms all his acts into ‘ibâdah, and may make his whole life fruitful and yielding of reward.” The Eleventh Flash- First Subtle Point
“O nafs! If in a brief life, you want to do something that will profit you infinitely in the âkhirah, and you want every moment of your life to be as beneficial as a life-time, and if you want to transform your habitual actions into ‘ibâdah and your ghaflah into hudhur, follow the Sunnah as-Saniyyah. For when you apply your actions to the rulings of the Sharî’ah, it affords a sort of hudhur; it becomes ‘ibâdah of a sort and yields many fruits for the âkhirah. For example, you bought something. The moment you applied what is acceptable and required by the Sharî’ah, that ordinary act of shopping acquired the value of ‘ibâdah. Recalling the injunctions of the Sharî’ah calls to mind Wahy. And by thinking of the Lawgiver, you are turned towards Allah. And that gives you hudhur. That means, in applying the Sunnah as-Saniyyah to your actions, are advantages like making this fleeting life the means of gaining an everlasting life which produces eternal fruits. Heed the decree: فَآمِنُوا بِاللّٰهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِىِّ اْلاُمِّىِّ الَّذِى يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّٰهِ وَكَلِمَاتِهِ وَاتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ 1 Al-Asmâ Al-Husnâ’s manifestations are diffused within the ordinances of the Sharî’ah and Sunnah as-Saniyyah. Work to be a comprehensive place of manifestation for each of the Names of Al-Asmâ Al-Husnâ’s manifestation of faydh...” The Words ( 372 )
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that I have observed during my journeying in the “layers of darkness” that the Sunnahs, as well as the bounds of Sharî’ah, are like stars that guide us among innumerable ways of dhalâlah in darkness. Deviating from the Sunnah makes one a plaything of shaytan, a mount of wahm, a target of fear, and a mountain of unbearable burdens. Deliverance from such things comes only from following the Sunnah.
I have also observed that the Sunnah are like ropes hanging down from the samâ. Whoever holds fast to even a part of them can be elevated. I have also observed that whoever opposes them and relies on their own or even public mind is like one who desires to obtain the means of travelling through the samâwât spheres in earthly vehicles and is ridiculed like Pharaoh, who said: يَا هَامَانُ ابْنِ ل۪ى صَرْحًا 2 .” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (117-118)