The Hadith- Sunnah (Prophet Mohammad's teachings) further
explains the Qur'anic injunctions. Thus, the Sunnah stands as another important source of the Shari'ah, second in authority
only after the Holy Qur'an which stands for Allah's Commands. Thus Muslims should take the Hadith- Sunnah as a source of Islamic
Law as it has been advocated by the Holy Qur'an itself:
"And We have sent down unto you also the Message that you
may explain clearly to man what is sent for them, and that they may give thought."
Thus, one of the Prophet (PBUH)
duties was to interpret the Qur'anic injunctions.
"Obey Allah and obey the Prophet and render not your actions in
"Whoever obeys the Messenger, he indeed obeys Allah."
Similarly, the Prophet (PBUH) has stressed
the importance of his Sunnah. During the course of Khutbah al Wada'ah (Farewell Sermon) the Prophet (PBUH) is reported to
"I leave behind two things, if you hold fast unto them you shall never go astray: the Book of Allah and
He also asked his Companions to convey others what they have learned from him saying:
'anni" (relate my saying to others)
Furthermore, he implored his Sunnah to uphold his way of life saying:
bi sunnati' (follow my example)'.The Holy Qur'an forbids ignoring or opposing any of the explanations or commands given
by the Prophet (PBUH):
"And as for him, who opposes the Messenger after guidance has been made clear, follows a
path other than that of a believer."
Qur'anic revelation and the precepts of the Prophet (PBUH) constitute the
primary sources of Islamic Law.
Generally the Holy Qur'an lays down the broad aspects of the Law and Shari'ah obligations
which cannot be fulfilled without resorting to the Sunnah of the Prophet the Prophet (PBUH). For instance, the Holy Qur'an
orders Muslims to pray but does not provide its specific timings; also it does not explain the way Muslims should pray. The
details are found in the Sunnah. Again, the Holy Qur'an allows one to bequeath a share from one's estate to any person and
does not stipulate the maximum limit for such a bequest. The Prophet (PBUH) is the one who fixed its maximum limit at one
third of one's estate only.
In other words then, the Prophet (PBUH) interpreted the verses of the Holy Qur'an and explained
their meanings and implications to his companions to apply them in their lives. In the process he (PBUH) also made provisions
for those aspects of the Law which were not specifically provided for in the Holy Qur'an. Likewise, all rules pertaining to
Fasting, Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mekkah) and Zakaat (compulsory charity) were laid down by the Prophet (PBUH).
It is noteworthy
to mention that in the Hadith literature there exist specific laws which have not been addressed by the Holy Qur'an. For example,
the Prophet (PBUH) prohibited his followers from indulging in mut'ah (temporary marriage) at the time of the Battle of Khaybar.
Also, the consuming of donkey meat and the meat of any carnivorous animal was declared by, while no mention of such prohibition
is expressed in the Qur'an (God did not mention it in the Sunnah on purpose for us to resort to the Sunnah).