Sunnah refers to all that has been reported of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), whether the reports are sayings, actions, or tacit approvals. It is the second source of Islamic legislation that comes right after the Qur’an. This is affirmed by the scholars’ consensus.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore states the following: Hadith or Sunnah are words, actions, consents and characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). There are many Qur’anic verses that command us to obey Allah and His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad. Obeying the Prophet means following everything that he has commanded and abstaining from everything that he has forbidden. There are also many verses in the Qur’an that convey to us the Prophet’s task of clarifying what is unclear to us in the Qur’an. Examples of such verses are these:

(O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the Messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.) (An-Nisaa’ 4:59)

(Whoso obeyeth the Messenger obeyeth Allah, and whoso turneth away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them.) (An-Nisaa’ 4:80)

(And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal.) (Al-Hashr 59:7)

(Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah knoweth those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them.) (An-Nur 24:63)

(With clear proofs and writings; and We have revealed unto thee the Remembrance that thou mayst explain to mankind that which hath been revealed for them, and that haply they may reflect.)  (An-Nahl 16:44)

(But nay, by thy lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission.) (An-Nisaa’ 4:65)

These Qur’anic verses clearly command us to obey the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Obeying him means to follow his Sunnah. Even though it is undeniable that there are a number of hadiths that are weak or even fabricated, the stress here is to follow his Sunnah. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would not speak or act independently without guidance from Allah.

There was never any argument among the scholars past and present on the status of Sunnah as the second source of Islamic law after the Qur’an.

Those who deny the status of Sunnah as the second source of Islamic law, or who reject it altogether, are actually denying the Qur’an as well. This is because the Qur’an commands us to obey and follow the Prophet through his Sunnah. Thus the consensus among the scho
lars is that those who reject the Sunnah as the second source if Islamic Law are considered as apostates. Their status as Muslims will be automatically revoked.