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Can the Sunnah override the Quran?

By: admin

Question

In one of your earlier response, you wrote that Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) cannot override the ruling of the Quran. The Quran asks the believers to rush to mosque when the call for prayer is announced on Friday. But the Muslim woman are allowed to pray in their house by the ‘Sunnah’. Is this not an evidence that Sunnah can override the Quran?.

Thanks.

Regards

Answer

The Sunnah is the practical application of the Qur’an, hence it cannot override it. The Qur’an and Sunnah are complimentary to one another and cannot stand against one another. They are naturally interwoven into the fabric that is called Islam. The very foundation of the Sunnah, which is the practice of Islam, is the Qur’an.

As it regards the prayer, it should be appreciated that everyone is expected to congregate at the mosques on Fridays. There is no difference in this summons to prayer to either men or women.

O ye who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of congregation, haste unto remembrance of Allah and leave your trading. That is better for you if ye did but know. – Al Jumu’ah 62:9

Of course there are exceptions to the rule such as for persons who are unable to attend due to medical reasons or other dire circumstances. This accommodation is also extended to women who have duties (e.g. children) that require them to attend to their homes.

It is clear that the Qur’an has set the foundation for everyone to join in on the prayer. The implementation of going to the Friday prayer is actually the Sunnah and the mention of it in the ahadith is the historical account of what the Prophet said regarding the alleviation for those with the proper excuse not to attend. As can be clearly seen, each of the sources compliment the other; not negating the other. The hadith you have mentioned does not disallow any person or group of people from coming to pray. It is actually emphasizing the Qur’anic mandate for all (both sexes) to come to pray but elaborates on the point to give relief to those who cannot make it to the mosque for good reason.

I hope I have clarified the issue.

God knows best.

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