What is the Sunnah?
The Sunnah refers to the practices and teachings of the final prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
Along with the Qur'an, the Sunnah is also a part of divine revelation. Allah revealed the Qur'an and the Sunnah to His final prophet Muhammad peace be upon him to guide mankind back to the straight path, with the message of Islamic monotheism.
The final prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, conveyed the revelation from Allah completely and without error. Thus, the Qur’an and Sunnah are authentic and valid foundations of Islam, both of which Allah surely preserved.
The Sunnah explains the Qur’an and serves as a commentary on it. Additionally, it adds some rulings to those mentioned in the Qur’an.
It is essential to follow both the Qur’an and Sunnah, for Allah has commanded us to obey Him and His messenger, Muhammad peace be upon him.
Allah says in the Qur’an (English interpretation of the meaning):
'O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger . . .’ [Qur’an, chapter 4: verse 59]
'He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah . . .' [Qur’an, chapter 4: verse 80]
Moreover, there is proof in the Sunnah itself justifying the importance of the Sunnah and adhering to it.
Abu Dawud also reported from al-’Irbaad ibn Saariyah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that “the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) led us in prayer one day, then he turned to us and exhorted us strongly . . . (he said), ‘Pay attention to my sunnah (way) and the way of the Rightly-guided Khaleefahs after me, adhere to it and hold fast to it.’ " (Saheeh Abi Dawud, Kitaab al-Sunnah)