Qur’an, Sunnah, and the Hadith are the three sacred texts that Muslims value and use for assessing the ethical behavior to be embraced in their societies. The Quran is the supreme of the three sacred texts. It is taken to be literal word of God and is believed to have been given to Muhammad in a revelation. Hadith on the other hand is an account of the sayings of Muhammad and those of his close allies.
This paper seeks to address the importance of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Hadith in relation to Islam’s ethical teachings.
The importance of the Qur’an in relation to Islam’s ethical teachings
Quran is the holly book used by the Muslim religion. They believe it contains God’s real words which Muhammad received from angel Gabriel in a revelation. The religion believes that when they recite Quran, they get peace and comfort. It also creates a close relationship between them and God (Saeed 54). The Quran explains God’s commands regarding what its readers are expected to do and what to avoid. The Muslims believe that the holy book is the basis for true faith and gives the true path that people should follow to get to God. The tales contained in the book teaches some lessons about true faith. They also teach people on how to live a god life.
The holy book gives an account of the Day of Judgment and instructs people to prepare for it. The second life is also an issue observed, and people are being cautioned of hell fire and he paradise. The Quran means recitation and was first heard when it was read in public by some religious leaders. The memorization and recitation of the verses in Quran during daily ritual prayers makes the Muslims remain united (Ghulām 38). It makes a sense of shared brotherhood and sisterhood that is vital in every society. The liturgy of worship remains the same throughout the world.
Quran creates an understanding about what happened in the past and what is to come. It acts as a reference for judgment between those who profess the Muslim faith. According to Stofka (1), in al-Maa’idah 5:3, Allah is Quoted saying that he has perfected a religion for his followers. This means that he has set a good pace for a good religious life and practices for the Muslims.
The importance of the Sunnah in relation to Islam’s ethical teachings
The Sunnah is the other sacred Muslim text. The coming of Sunnah was meant to compliment and explain the Quran. The Sunnah means or contains the words and deeds of the prophets of Allah. In the words of Muhammad saying he has been given the Quran and something like it in it meant the inclusion of Sunnah in the Quran. Any dispute among the Muslims can be resolved based on the reference to Allah (Quran) and His messenger (Sunnah). Sunnah, therefore, plays an important role helping the Muslims interpret the Quran and apply in their daily lives. Sunnah complements the Quaran, which is the primary source of legislation among the Muslims (Stofka 1). They create order among the Muslims and define the ethical and unethical behaviors.
Sunnah is the second source of the Muslim’s code of conduct. It is, just like Quran, a source of jurisprudence. The Sunnah and Quran are used complimentary because one cannot practice Islam unless with reference to the two sacred texts.
According to PAKI (1), sunnah offers a comprehensive explanation of the teachings that are contained in Quran. It is a collection of true Hadiths of the prophet. The sunnah teachings are the ones given to them by the prophet through Allah. He teaches the people the wisdom and purifies them from their corruptness. According to Surah Al-e Imran, 164, as cited in PAKI, states that [Certainly Allah conferred a benefit upon the believers when He raised among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His communications and purifying them, and teaching them the Book and the wisdom, although before that they were surely in manifest error] (1).
One of the most influential teachings of Sunnah is the ‘salat’, the ritual prayers which are done five times a day. It is considered an ethical practice among the Muslims. It is an obligation and the means of doing it is revealed in the Quran (Kemal 2). Salat is said to help the Muslim practitioners stay away from evil. According to the Holy Quran [29:45], it is stated that “Observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) for it prohibits evil and vice.” (1). This fact portrays salat as an ethical practice that helps the Muslim practitioners to avoid evil and vice. Thy all practice it all over the world.
The importance of the Hadith in relation to Islam’s ethical teachings
The Hadith, similar but not identical to Quran and Sunnah in terms of giving the code of ethic, contains narrations about the life of the Prophet and the things he regarded hole to practice. It gives the Muslims the good deeds to follow in their lives as they were approved by the prophet. For instance, the Hadith stresses on unity among the Muslims. The unity with other people and also in the internal life of man is emphasized. Muslims are, therefore, expected to live like brothers. They should make every effort to ensure that all live together. This is evident in most parts of the world. Muslims are more united than other religions. They perform most of their matters of faith together and they help one another. This is not very common in other religions.
The Islamic molarity is meant to make an individual to be an honest and just. The life of Prophet Mohammad is set in the holy Quran to be a good example to follow. The sacred texts were introduced to enable people know the way to live, what to do and what to avoid in life. The Quran, the Sunnah and the Hadith are the main sacred texts that guide the Muslims’ faith, life and ethics. They are important because they define for them the virtues and vices that are in this life.
They advise the Muslims on the acts that are approved by Allah as they were revealed by Prophet Mohammad. The Hadith and Sunnah play also an important role in helping the Muslim believers to understand the Quran. The Muslims have been proven to be a united nation in most parts of the world. They strictly follow the practices taught in the Quran (Rageb 1). Any person who is found to have violated a crucial law in the Quran is severely punished. The ‘salat’ are also practices all over the world by Muslims. This is one of the teachings that are emphasized in the sacred texts.
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Ghulām, Aḥmad. Our Teaching, London: Islam International, 1990. Print.
Kemal, Sandıkçı. The Sunna as the Basis of Islamic Ethical Teaching, London: Islam International, 2012. Print.
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PAKI. Importance of Following the Sunnah, 2013. Web.
Rageb, sergany. The importance of ethics and values in Islamic Civilization, New York: Routledge, 2010. Print.
Saeed, Abdullah. The Qur’an: An Introduction, New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Stofka, Beth. , 2012. Web.