The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was the best of men and a model for us to follow. There is no happiness except through following his example. Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, tells us:
“Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read not write, whom they find written about in the Torah and the Gospel that is with them – he (the Prophet) commands them to do what is right and forbids them to do what is wrong, and he makes lawful to them the good things of life and forbids them the bad things” (Surah Al-Araf:157)
After his coming, peace be upon him, no-one will enter Paradise except through following his example. His blessed Sunnah (way) is like the ship of Noah, whoever boards it will be saved. Allah tells us:
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (Surah A-Ahzab:21)
The Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, told his companions in a sermon that filled their hearts with fear and their eyes with tears:
“Verily he among you who lives (long) will see great controversy, so you must keep to my sunnah and to the sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs – cling to them stubbornly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray is in Hell-fire.’” (Recorded in al-Tirmidhi)
The month of Ramadan is a blessed time in which to revive the pure traditions of our blessed Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, within ourselves, our homes and our societies. In terms of general traditions which the fasting Muslims must uphold, they include what is authenticated by sahih hadith. Among these is that the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:
“Ten things are from the natural disposition. Cutting the moustache, allowing the beard to grow, inhaling water, cutting the finger and toe nails, washing the knuckles, clipping the hairs of the armpit, shaving the pubic hairs, and being prudent in the use of water.”(Recorded in Sahih Muslim)
It also recorded that the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, prohibited the dragging of one’s lower garments on the ground. In a hadith recorded in Muslim he told us: ‘Allah will not look at the one who drags his garment on the ground out of vanity’, and in another hadith he further warned that ‘What is below the ankle is in the fire’.
The authentic books of hadith also establish what the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, prohibited. Among them are: drinking whilst standing; blowing into a drink; eating and drinking from gold or silver plates; men wearing gold and silk although this is allowed for women; loud wailing; plucking off the grey hair; fasting of Friday by itself; selling surplus water and tattooing.
On matters of worship, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forbade prayer between the fajr prayer and the rising of the sun; between the asr prayer and the setting of the sun; offering prayers to graves; and sleeping before the esha prayer.
Among his established traditions is that he, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, used a small stick (siwak) to clean and polish his teeth. He said that cleaning the teeth withsiwak purified the mouth and earned the pleasure of His Lord. Other traditions include offering two rakah in prayer of salutation to the mosque; entering the mosque with the right foot and leaving with the left; and wearing the right shoe first and taking off the left shoe first. He, peace be upon him, also enjoined that a visitor should seek permission before entering by knocking or greeting three times, and if permission is not granted, they should then go away.
O Allah, help us to follow the way of our Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, in all our affairs and revive his traditions. Ameen.