Allah commands the believers to obey His command (which lies in adherence to the Quran) and to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). He goes on to say that whoever follows these two, achieves Paradise. Allah promising paradise to us is a dream come true. When we hear the two conditions, we think “Ah that is easy”. But when it comes to actually doing it, we fail. What is interesting to note is that following the Qur’an is never a problem. We gladly accept it as the truth and no matter how much we err, we keep coming back to it. The problem lies in following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).
Back In Time…
Let’s go back in time. The Meccan Arabs never had an issue in believing in one God. Rather, they were already on the Abrahamic religion (with major deviations of course). They had issues in following The Prophet (peace be upon him), who happened to be one among them and that led them into straight into the pit of pride, arrogance and disbelief.
Now let us relate this scenario with our lives and derive some meaning from it.
Do we believe in Allah? Yes!
Do we have any problem in adhering to the Fardh He has laid down for us? No
Do we follow the Sunnah? No!
That’s the problem. Think about it – you are at work, juggling between a thousand tasks and the prayer time comes up. You pray ONLY the Fardh and resume your work. Why? Because it’s JUST Sunnah!
“There’s no sin in skipping it,” we conveniently say. Is that just the 21st century excuse of not following the Prophet in action?
If you observe the lives of the Sahabba, you’ll see a common pattern. They would jump to do what is “JUST SUNNAH” for us. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) would eat 3 dates for Iftar and 3 dates for Suhoor, they would follow even if they had more.
If he would unmount a camel, they would immediately follow suite. If he would pray 2 Rakah, they would pray 2 Rakah. If he would go for I’tikaf, they would rush after him.
Have you ever thought why?
Because they would consider it an honor and duty to follow him. They had understood what it means to FOLLOW him. Back in those days, Sunnah was considered as something they HAD to do because they wanted to be in the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Never once did any Sahabbi think that it’s OK not to pray the 6 rakat of Zuhr because they were not Farz!
This trait kept them glued to the straight path to a point that many among them were promised paradise while they were still alive.
If we are to be counted in the Ummah of Muhammed (peace be upon him), we must act in a similar way. Following him doesn’t just mean acknowledging that he was the Prophet of God. It also means to manifest it through action and to do everything the way he did!