Sunnah (Arabic: سنة, custom, customary practice, traditional standard ') Pl sunan ( سنن ) is a term that describes the customs, traditions, values ​​and norms of the various Arab tribes referred to in pre-Islamic times, in the course of formation but of Islam received a religious meaning by the sunnat abbreviation for the more -to-follow on - nabī, the " practice of the Prophet ( Mohammed = ) " was. In this sense, the Sunnah is particularly used in the Islamic jurisprudence and tradition science. Over time, various shifts in the meaning of the term has shown. The associated verb is استن سن, DMG sanna / istanna, sth prescribe sth introduce '.

Sunnah in the Qur'an

In the term Sunnah is a altarabisches word that was already known in pre-Islamic times ( ǧāhilīya ). The meaning is commonly given as " established practice " or " practice". In the Koran the word Sunnah appears 16 times, it will be settled in the Medinan period of the proclamation used. The content is almost all the way to a " steady " ( so 33:62 ) patterns of action of God, which always came to fruition when the people of certain offenses, especially the non-recognition of previous prophets are guilty. This action pattern is referred to ( " the ancients procedure ( God ) " ) as the sunnat Allah ( " God's method " ) or sunnat al - auwalīn.

The fundamental for the later Islamic concept of a practice of the Prophet ( sunnat to - nabī ) can be found in the Koran is not, however, already enshrined in the Koran is the Islamic law formative idea of sunna Madiya, the Sunnah, which thereby has binding force that they earlier was used. The Arabic verb Mada, from which the participle Madiya is derived, contains, as Meïr Bravmann has shown both meanings, the antecedence and binding. On the sunnat al - auwalīn, based the approach God with earlier peoples, it is found in Sura 8:38, which says: wa - qad MADAT sunnat al - auwalīn.

Sunna, Sira and Hadith in nachkoranischen use

Another meaning of Sunnah is: " use ", " common practice " in general, and may vary by region. Already in Muwatta Malik ibn Anas ʾ of which is " Sunna of the people of Medina " groundbreaking part of Islamic jurisprudence. In all centers of the Islamic world was spoken at the beginning of the second Muslim century ( 8th century ) of the " sunna with us " (al- sunna ʿ indanā ) and of the " sunna in our opinion " (al- sunna fī ra ʾ Yina ) etc., without having to have it fall back on the Sunnah of the Prophet. The antonym to Sunnah is bid'ah ( heresy ).

Sira ( سيرة ) "Procedure ", " behavioral and lifestyle ": Even in the earliest sources of Islamic literature is another concept which is close to the meaning of Sunnah appears. Often both terms - as it has pointed M. M. Bravmann (1972 ) - used together: " the Sunna of the Prophet and his Sira ". In these cases, Sira must be distinguished from the " biography of the Prophet " as a literary genre, also called Sira, which has the Vita Muhammad on the subject ( Ibn Ishaq ).

In addition to the Quran, the Sunnah of the Prophet is the second most important source of Islamic law. ash- Shafi'i (d. 820) has defined in its systematization of Islamic jurisprudence the importance of Sunnah as a source of law as sunnatu 'l- Nabiyy ( سنة النبي ) accurately; there are hadiths that with an unbroken chain ( isnad ) of narrators traced back to the Prophet. But it was not until Ahmad ibn Hanbal († 855 ), who is trying to establish a connection between the Sunna of the Prophet as a source of law and the Koran text; Here he took up Sura 33, verse 21 back:

" In the Messenger of God you guys have a nice example ... "

The Sunna as a second source of law

The Sunnah of the Prophet is considered according to the Qur'an is as the second source of Islamic law and as the highest personal instance in the Muslim community ( umma ). His authority - in addition to the revelation - is emphasized several times in the Koran text:

" O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear it! "

See also Sura 5, verse 92; Sura 24, verse 54 and sura 64, verse 12

The one who follows the Sunnah of the Prophet is, Sahib al - sunna, which thus consequently also preserves the harmony in the Muslim community; early as the second century Muslim ( 8th century AD) has numerous representatives of the hadith sciences in this sense as Sahib al- Sunna wal- Jama ʿ a صاحب السنة والجماعة, DMG Sahib ʾ s- sunna wa - ʾ l - ʿ ǧamā a referred to.

The Islamic tradition, therefore, combines the Qur'an and Sunnah to be followed at a scale as the guarantor of the unity of Muslims and brings this idea in the description of the last speech of Muhammad during the so-called farewell pilgrimage to the expression:

"I leave you with something clear and Significant; if you hold fast to it, you will never go astray: God's Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet. "

Criticism of the Sunna

The inner-Islamic critics of the Sunnah make several weaknesses in the Sunnah. First, it is problematic that not the exact wording of the tradition is known. Since the reports usually only the contents were gradually not reproduced verbatim, they are not trustworthy. This is especially problematic because the people were always miteinfließen also their understanding of what is heard during playback. Thus would result in contrast to the Koran not only difficulties in interpretation of the text, but the text base itself offer grounds for doubt and uncertainty. Last is derived from the assumed late written fixation of ḥadīṯe and partly erroneous transmission, that it was at least not perceived in the early days as an essential part of religion, otherwise there will be efforts to secure the material had been taken. It also urge to the question of why the contents of the sunna was not revealed in the form of the Qur'an, which was established there was the sense of two different revelations.

Particularly harsh criticism practiced by modern critics also on the conditions of ʿ ilm ar - riǧāl as an auxiliary science, as this is very prone to error for several reasons.

Critics of the concept also refer to different possible interpretations of the verses that are used to legitimate the Sunna as a second source of law. Instead, attention is drawn to other passages in the Qur'an that suggest a ban on imitation Muḥammad after understanding the Sunnah opponents, such as Sura 6 verse 38

Reform proposals

The proposals for reforming the Sunnah are diverse; they range from the requirement for rigorous abolition, to more minor changes - such as a stronger involvement of the substantive component of a hadith in assessing its authenticity, which was so firmly traditionally made mainly on the quality of the isnads.

The most radical rejection of the sunna of the so-called ʾ ahl al- qur ʾ ān was formulated, which accounted for the application of the sunna as one of the main reasons for the difficult situation of the Islamic countries in the 20th century. It was formed in Lahore inter alia, ʿ Abd Allāh Ğakrālawī, but soon splintered into several groups already on. She tried to demonstrate that all essential points of faith from the Koran could be derived alone. Larger distribution and effects, critics have found, as such, accepted the need for the Sunnah, but they put on a more secure foundation or they wanted to weaken their significance somewhat.

An influential flow, which sought, among other answer to this question was the Salafiya. Even though she was very differentiated in itself, as a common concern was still in the devaluation of taqlid, of following the rules of a particular school of law, against the ijtihad, the independent determination of rules of law based on the Koran. In close connection with this, there was a much more skeptical assessment of the authenticity of much of the hadith material and thus, in effect, an appreciation of the Koran. The reformist thinkers and religious scholars Rashid Rida (1865-1935) claimed for himself due to iǧtihād the right to assess the sources of new and comes to the conclusion that only aḥādīṯ ʿ Amaliya quite relevant were, in addition, by way of mutawātira, so from a particularly large group of people must have been handed down. A similar assessment was also Sir Saiyid Ahmad Khan, who likewise did not reject the Sunnah in its entirety, but rejects most of the traditions as untrustworthy.

Sunna as a valuation category in Fiqh

In fiqh, the term is also sunna as religion legal assessment category ( hukm ʿ ī Šar ) used for actions. He serves in this case as a synonym for the terms Mandub ( " recommended " ), mustahabb ( " desirable " ), taṭauwu ʿ ( " voluntary service " ) or nafl ( " on the duty going beyond good work "). The execution of such a sunna act to be rewarded in the afterlife, but draw the non- performing no negative consequences.