Has Allaah Promised To Safeguard The Sunnah As He Did With The Quraan?
A Doubt And Argument Raised:
Some deviants claim that we must only follow the Quraan, leaving aside the Sunnah. In support of this false claim, they give reference to the following verse:
“Verily, it is We Who have sent down the dhikr [i.e. the Quraan] and surely, We will guard it [from corruption].” [15:9]
Here they claim that Allaah has guaranteed to preserve the Quraan, yet He (swt) did not do so for the Sunnah. If the Sunnah (as they claim) were a proof like the Quraan, Allaah would have guaranteed to preserve it as well.
A Refutation To Such A Claim:
That Allah guaranteed that He would preserve the “dhikr” is not limited to the Quraan alone; rather “dhikr” refers to Allaah’s Shariah as a whole, with which He (swt) sent His Messenger (saw), so it is more general than referring to just the Quraan or just the Sunnah. This is indicated by te following verse:
“… So ask the people of the dhikr if you know not.” [16:43]
Meaning, ask the people of knowledge, the scholars of Allaah’s Religion and Shariah. Just as Allaah preserved the Quraan, we can say for certain that He (swt) also preserved the Sunnah.
Ibn Hazm refutes those who claim that the word dhikr in the above verse is in reference to the Quraan only (excluding the Sunnah). He says:
“This is a false claim that is not supported by any proof whatsoever… Dhikr is a word that refers to all that Allaah revealed to His Messenger (saw) in terms of the Quraan or revealed Sunnah through which the Quraan is explained. Allaah says:
“… And We have also sent down unto you [O Muhammad] the reminder (dhikr) and the advice, that you may explain clearly to people what is sent down to them…” [16:44]
Therefore the Messenger of Allah (saw) was charged with the duty of explaining the Quraan to people, and in the Quraan are found many general commands, such as the command to pray, to fast, to pay zakaat, to perform Hajj, and so on. All of which were clarified in detail by the Prophet (saw).
If the Prophet’s clarification of those commands was not preserved or not guaranteed to be free of fabrications, then we would not have benefited in the least from those general commands; hence most commands that we must follow from the Quraan would have, in effect, become invalidated (meaning that we would have no way of knowing how to execute those general commands), and consequently, we would not have known what Allaah intended by those commands.”
[Taken from “The Sunnah And Its Role In Islamic Legislation” By Mustafa As-Sibaa’ee, Pp. 221-223]