This is a translation of a booklet titled “Manzilat-us-Sunnah fil-Islaam” (The Status of the Sunnah in Islaam) of Imaam Muhammad Naasir-u-Deen Al-Albaanee, may Allaah have mercy on him. The source for this booklet was a lecture he gave in Doha, Qatar during the month of Ramadaan, 1392H. The talk was later transcribed and published. This book can be downloaded in Arabic at www.sahab.org.
This treatise clarifies the position of the Sunnah in Islaam, in that it bears the same status as the Qur’aan when it comes to deriving religious rulings and laws. So one cannot possibly understand and implement the Qur’aan in the absence of the Sunnah, rather they go hand in hand. Imaam Al-Albaanee gives several examples for this.
The author then goes on to explain what is meant by Sunnah in his discussion, in that it refers to only the authentic Sunnah, and not the weak and fabricated hadeeth. This is a very important treatise, defining a key principle of the Salafi Manhaj, which consists of following the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, along with the understanding of the Salaf (i.e. Sahaabah, Taabi’een, Atbaa’ at-Taabi’een). This treatise is also a refutation of the deviant groups that rely on the Qur’aan alone, such as the Qur’aaniyoon, etc.
Quotes from the Book:
“It is unfortunate that there can be found some contemporary tafseer writers and authors that have taken the view of making permissible what has been mentioned in the last two examples, such as the permissibility of eating predatory animals and wearing gold and silk, relying upon the Qur’aan (as proof) only! In fact, there can be found in this present time a group that call themselves the Qur’aaniyoon, who interpret the Qur’aan according to their desires and intellects, without seeking assistance for that in the authentic Sunnah. Rather, the Sunnah, according to them, is subordinate to their desires. So whatever part of it conforms to their desires, they affirm it, and whatever doesn’t conform to their desires, they throw behind their backs (rejecting it).”
“From what has been stated previously, it becomes clear that there is no way for anyone, even if he be a scholar of the Arabic Language and its disciplines, to understand the noble Qur’aan, without seeking assistance in that from the Prophet’s Sunnah in speech and action. This is since he will never be more knowledgeable of the language than the Companions of the Prophet, those who the Qur’aan was revealed to in their language. And (at that time) the language was not blemished with the errors of the non-Arabs and the slang of the common people, but in spite of that, they still erred in understanding these previously mentioned ayaat, when they relied on their knowledge of the language only.”
“In summary: It is an obligation upon all of the Muslims to not differentiate between the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, with regard to the obligation of accepting both of them together and establishing Laws based on both of them. Indeed this is the guarantee that will prevent them from drifting to the right and the left, and from returning to deviation.”