The term sunnah referred to criteria established by tribal ancestors, accepted as normative and practised by the entire community. The early Muslims did not immediately concur on what constituted their Sunnah. So, some looked to the people of Madina for an example. Moreover, others followed the behaviour of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad. Thus, these varying sources, which created differing community practices, were finally reconciled late in the 8th century.
Sunnah is the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims based on the teachings and practices of Muhammad and interpretations of the Quran. So, the word Sunnah is derived from the root, meaning smooth and easy flow or direct flow path. But, the word means a clear and well-trodden path. In the discussion of the sources of religion. Sunnah denotes the practices of Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the Sunnah.
Muslims also seek guidance from the Hadith, which are writings about the life of the Prophet Muhammad. They were remembered by close followers of the Prophet and were later written down. So, they teach Muslims how to live their lives and to understand and follow the teachings of the Qur’an.
When a Muslim follows the example of the Prophet Muhammad as laid out in the Hadith, they are following the Sunnah or customary practices of the Prophet. Thus, these practices may become second nature, for example, the actions Muslims undertake while they are praying.
If a Muslim is struggling to interpret or understand the teachings of the Qur’an or needs advice in their day-to-day lives, they may seek guidance at their local mosque. Therefore, the imam, the cleric or scholar who leads prayers in the mosque, will usually have studied. So, the Qur’an and its teachings in-depth. So, we will have the knowledge and experience to guide or teach other Muslims.
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