In one of your earlier response You’ve written that it is forbidden to pray during menstruation, since it is a part of the Sunnah. But You don’t seem to hold forbiddance of gold, silver, saffron for men and anal sex as a part of Sunnah straightaway even though the forbiddance of these things have also got the complete consensus among the Muslims all over the world.
Can you explain your difference in your stance?
My dear brother, in one of my earlier responses to a related question1, I had explained my concept of Sunnah in some detail. I would request you to take another look at that response.
In my referred response, I have clarified that obviously it is not merely the consensus of the Muslim scholars on a particular issue, which makes that issue a Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). There can be a number of things, on which there is a complete consensus of the Muslim scholars, yet which clearly are not a part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). ‘Consensus of the Muslim scholars’ is only one of the conditions for an issue to be considered a Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), not the only condition.
Furthermore, I have also explained in my referred response that some of the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh), even though they are transmitted through the practical perpetuation of the Companions of the Prophet and the subsequent Muslim generation and even though they enjoy the complete consensus of the Muslim scholars, are still not a part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). For instance, one of the points that I had mentioned in this connection was:
The Sunnah, being an independent source of religion from the Qur’an, does not entail any actions of the Prophet (pbuh), which were performed and promoted by him among his followers, in accordance with any of the directives of the Qur’an. Thus, the Prophet’s flogging those guilty of fornication, amputating the hand of those guilty of theft and fighting those guilty of rejecting his call are all beyond the scope of Sunnah, as all these actions were, in fact, an implementation of the various directives of the Qur’an.
Keeping this point in perspective, it should be clear why I do not consider the ‘prohibition’ of using gold, silver etc. to be part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). In my understanding, the related directives of the Prophet (pbuh) are, in fact, an application of the Qur’anic directive relating to refraining from extravagance and arrogance.
In another point, I had written:
All such acts and directives of the Prophet (pbuh), which are based upon and sometimes a clarification of man’s inherent knowledge – human nature – are also not a part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), as they are, in fact, not a part of the Shari`ah, but that of man’s nature.
The prohibition of anal sex, in my understanding, belongs to the category of natural prohibitions.
It should, however, be kept in mind that I do not have much of a difference of opinion regarding the prohibition of the stated issues. My difference of opinion relates not to the prohibition per se, but to the placement of this prohibition in the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).
I hope this helps.
October 30, 2001