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What is the meaning of following complete sunnah..

Whenever I talk about practicing Sunnah, I am asked the question that if you have to follow the complete Sunnah e.g.: using Miswaak, uncovering ankles, covering heads, etc. then don’t even travel in the car or in the airplane to go to far off places, use a horse or a camel, as Nabi (SAW) used to travel on horse or camel, and don’t use the electricity and electrical appliances, etc. They say that these things are advancements, and similarly toothbrush and toothpaste are advancements of Miswaak, and the Sunnah clothes were only a tradition at that time, etc. Please provide with a definition of what practices are regarded as Sunnah and what things do change with time. Mufti sahib please provide a befitting reply for these types of questions.

What is the meaning of following complete sunnah..
We should inculcate the ways of the prophet peace be upon him to the best capacity of ours in our lives in clothing and other aspects of life. There is a difference between the actions of the prophet peace be upon him and his method of using certain elements of this world. For example, when he received as a gift a garment from Rome he wore it. From this we understand that the garment, which is manufactured in the factories of non-Muslim, is allowed to wear. The prophet peace be upon him mounted on a ride to journey which indicates that doing such a thing is permissible with planes and trains etc. there is nothing wrong with the development or adoption of different methods to do the same things that were done during the time of the prophet peace be upon him. To assume that since he traveled on horses, camels we must also travel on the same things is due to ignorance. All the new innovations in clothing would also be monitored to see if they fit the criteria of the prophetic way of life or not and based on that the permissibility of its use will be determined. Traveling on a plane or in a train is sunnah because the prophet peace be upon him traveled on something that was faster than both of these things when he went for the divine ascension known as ‘miraj’

In conclusion, in all the innovations whether from the line of clothing, traveling, etc. we would look at whether or not there is any prohibition in the prophetic traditions regarding these things and based on that the judgment will be issued. Same thing applies with respect to using the brush vs.
‘miswak’ such that by using the brush the sunnah of using ‘miswak’ will be fulfilled but the scholars will have different views that using ‘miswak’ separately is important and its reward will be different than using the brush. From this we learned that we should follow the people of knowledge and what ever they consider to be in accordance with the prophetic way of life is correct and vice versa.

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This answer was collected from Shariahboard.org. It was established under the supervision of the eminent faqih of our era, Hazrat Shah Mufti Mohammed Navalur Rahman damat barakatuhum.

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