Extracted from the Book – One Ameer, One Jama’ah by Imran N. Hosein (c) 1997
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, the Compassionate, the Merciful. And may Peace and Blessings of Allah (SWT) be bestowed on His unlettered Prophet, Muhammad (SAW), who was sent by Almighty Allah (SWT) with Al-Huda (the Divine Guidance) and Deen Al-Haq (the way of life which is established on Divinely Revealed Truth) that it might prevail over the totality of life, private as well as public, life here as well as life hereafter. Its basic function in respect of life in this world is to be a force for liberation of mankind from oppression. And its basic function in respect of life hereafter is to be the means of salvation and fulfillment of the very purpose of life. Allah, Most High, also sent Deen Al-Haq so that it might prevail over all rivals. All these functions of Deen Al-Haq were fulfilled in the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). And after the death of the Prophet (SAW), the noble struggle and mission of ensuring that all the functions of Deen Al-Haq continue to be fulfilled, now devolved upon the Ummah.
Allah, Most High, emphatically declared to the believers that the life (i.e., the Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is a perfect concrete model for them to follow if they are to attain salvation and the fulfillment of the purpose of life hereafter, and if they are to succeed with their mission in this life:
Certainly you have in (the life) of the Messenger of Allah a beautiful model (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day (i.e., who looks with hope to Allah and to the Final Day) and who engages much in the remembrance of Allah (Al-Ahzab 33:21).
That Prophetic model has two basic dimensions — an individual/personal dimension and a collective/public one. The first dimension would be that which relates to the Prophet´s life in his personal and individual affairs and in his personal relationship with Almighty Allah (SWT) and the believers, etc., while the second would be that which relates to his conduct as the head of a community which he established. In order to conform with the Prophetic model, Muslims must organize their lives in accordance with both the dimensions of the life of the Prophet (SAW), the individual as well as the collective. Only those who thus model their lives in accordance with the Sunnah, individually as well as collectively, can look with hope to Almighty Allah (SWT) and to the Last Day.
Whatever is authentic as Sunnah is, of necessity, in conformity with the Qur´an. Hadrat Ayesha (RAA), the mother of the believers, declared of the Prophet (SAW) that “his natural disposition or nature was an embodiment of the Qur´an.” The Companions of the Prophet were, of course, assured that conformity with the Sunnah implied, ipso facto, conformity with the Qur´an. This was so because the Prophet (SAW) was physically present in their midst. For us, however, who live in the post-Prophetic period (i.e., when the Prophet is no longer physically present in our midst), the Qur´an has become the primary source of guidance, and this is why we have used the above quoted Qur´anic verse to establish the abiding importance of the Sunnah. And this underscores the need for the penetration of the Qur´anic guidance so that it may function as the very foundation and structure of the Muslim society.