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Bite Size 15 The status of the Sunnah in Islamic Legislation

Bite Size 15

The status of the Sunnah in Islamic Legislation


Muhammad Amaan al-Jami

Translated by

Abbas Abu Yahya


The Shaykh said in his explanation of how the Sunnah came to explain the Qur’aan:


Indeed the Noble Qur’aan dealt with this pillar with some aspect of elaboration in the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۡ
لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ أَيَّامٗا مَّعۡدُودَٰتٖۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٖ فَعِدَّةٞ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَۚ

<< O you who believe! Observing As-Saum(the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious). [Observing Saum (fasts)] for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days. >>

up to where Allaah said:

فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٖ فَعِدَّةٞ
مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ

<<So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Saum (fasts) that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Saum (fasts) must be made up] from other days. Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. >>

and Allaah said in explaining this clarification:

وَكُلُواْ وَٱشۡرَبُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡخَيۡطُ ٱلۡأَبۡيَضُ مِنَ ٱلۡخَيۡطِ ٱلۡأَسۡوَدِ مِنَ
ٱلۡفَجۡرِۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّواْ ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱلَّيۡلِۚ وَلَا تُبَٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمۡ عَٰكِفُونَ فِي ٱلۡمَسَٰجِدِۗ تِلۡكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ فَلَا تَقۡرَبُوهَاۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَٰتِهِۦ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ

<<and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum(fast) till the nightfall. And do not have intimate relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allaah, so approach them not. Thus does Allaah make clear His Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, verses, laws, legal and illegal things, Allaah’s set limits, orders, etc.) to mankind that they may become Al-Muttaqûn(the pious )>>.


After this Qur’aanic clarification, what remains are the rulings mentioned by the Sunnah, which are singled out only in the Sunnah. From them is the ruling on the one who had relations with his wife during the day while he was fasting, then what is upon him? !

From those rulings is he who ate or drank forgetfully during the day in Ramadan, what should he do? !

From those rulings is about the person who does not stop lying, giving false testimony and acting upon it, while he is fasting.  What is the gravity of his sin and disobedience, and is his fast correct or void.


The Sunnah clarified the expiation for the person who had relations with his wife in Ramadan.  Likewise, it explained for the person who ate or drank forgetfully, that it is upon him to complete his fast.  Since indeed it was Allah who fed him and gave him drink, and gave him this charity, which does not harm his fast!!


The Sunnah brings a text about the person who does not stop giving false testification and acting upon it, and calls to it, then Allaah has no need of a person leaving his food and his drink.

A group from the people of knowledge said, and this is not belittled, that lying and what is similar to it corrupts Fasting, which is taken from the apparent Hadeeth, indicated to previously, this is a Hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon, even though the majority of the people of knowledge differed with them in this issue, the research of this issue is well known in the books of Fiqh.

All we want to say here is that the Sunnah partakes in explaining Ahkam (Rulings), even in this subject of fasting, which the Qur’aan has elaborated. The Sunnah clarifies it as in the saying of the Messenger –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam-:

أوتيت القرآن ومثله معه

‘I was given the Qur’aan and the like of it with it.’ And that is the pure Sunnah. Likewise the saying of the Messenger –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam-:

إن ما حرم رسول الله كما حرم الله وما أحله رسول الله كما أحله الله

‘Indeed what the Messenger of Allaah made Haram, is like what Allaah made Haram, and what the Messenger of Allaah made Halaal is like what Allaah made Halaal.’ Or as the Messenger of Allaah –Alayhi as-Salat wa Salam- said.

[Taken from ‘Manzilat Sunnah Fee Tashree al-Islaami’ by Muhammad Amaan al-Jami p.36 – 38]