The Foundations And Concepts of Islam
"And We have also sent down to you (O Muhammad) the reminder, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought."
The Sunnah is the second source of the religion of Islaam. It means all that is reported from the Prophet – with well-connected and authentic chain of transmitters – of his sayings, deeds, confirmations and qualities. It is also a revelation from Allaah to His Messenger Muhammad, for the Prophet did not speak of his own desire. Allaah says,
"Nor, does he speak of (his own) desire, it is only a Revelation revealed. He has been taught by one mighty in power (Gabriel)."
The Prophet only conveys to people what he is commanded to convey. Allaah says about him,
"I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner."
The pure Sunnah is the practical implementation of the rules, beliefs, acts of worship, kinds of relationship and manners that Islaam enjoins. The Messenger of Allaah exemplified what he was commanded, explained it to the people and commanded them to do like he did. He says, for instance, "Pray as you see me praying."
The All-Mighty Allaah has commanded the believers to emulate him in all his deeds and sayings in order that their faith might be complete. He says,
"Indeed, in the Messenger of Allaah, you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allaah much."
The prophets noble companions transmitted his sayings and deeds to those who came after them, and these also transmitted them to those who came after them. It was then recorded in the books of Sunnah. The Sunnah transmitters had been strict with those from whom they transmitted it and would make a condition that they be contemporaries of those from whom they themselves reported that Sunnah, till the chain of transmission would be connected right from the narrator to the Messenger of Allaah. They also made it a condition that all the men involved in the transmission must be trustworthy, just, sincere and people of integrity.