Sunnah and Hadith Understanding Guide BOOK Writer: Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez Reviewed by -Burhan Uddin


Sunnah and Hadith have played a leading role in making Islamic civilization universal. The role of Hadith and Sunnah in uniting Muslims from all around the world in a universal culture is undeniable. Although the Usul scholars have described the Sunnah as the second source of the Shari’ah after the Qur’an, the Sunnah is not the only second source of the Shari’ah. There are many more aspects of Sunnah.

The messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) purified the people of Jaziratul Arab through divine revelation and wisdom and brought them from the darkness of ignorance to the light of the Quran. Undoubtedly, the unique examples that he has put forward in doing so is not only valuable for Muslims but also valuable for all humanity and the address of liberation. This is why Sunnah is essential not only for Muslims but also for humanity. But for the last 100 years, we have been arguing a lot about Sunnah and Hadith because we do not understand this precious resource properly. Today, the most discussed and debated topic in the entire Muslim Ummah is Sunnah and Hadith, be it in the academic field or the media. Why is the Muslim Ummah debating this issue so much? What is the reason behind this?

I think the loss of Usul is causing all these problems. There is a lack of Usul and Mythology to understand Sunnah and Hadith among the Muslim. Dr Mehmet Garmez, a leading Turkish scholar, has done an excellent job for the Muslims, especially the Muslim youth, to understand the Hadith and Sunnah properly.

How can we understand the Sunnah and Hadith properly? I was surprised to read the book because I got all the answers about the Sunnah and Hadith. What was in my mind since my life? It is not a book but a milestone to understand Islam properly.
There are three central part of the book, and the first one is the introduction.

This is not an ordinary introduction; in this introduction, he has very meticulously explained the reasons for the controversy over Sunnah and Hadith. After highlighting the reasons for the controversy, he divided the reasons for the controversy into two parts. Writer classified the introduction like this, Sunnah and Hadith debates in the Islamic world; in this part, he summarized the main reasons behind the debates about the Hadith and the Sunnah. He stated that to make an end in this debate; it is needed to ”Not to close the door of Ijtihad in Hadith as it is in jurisprudence (Fiqh), and continue on our path by evaluating the isnad and textual criticism in the light of the basic principles of Islam and under the leadership of the Qur’an”. By saying this, Dr Görmez open a new door to understanding the Sunnah and Hadith.

Another part of the introduction is about the discussions of Sunnah and Hadith in Turkey. In this part, he portrayed a different perspective and opened a new arena for understanding the Sunnah and Hadith. In my opinion, Prof. Görmez has prepared the mind and psyche of the reader to study the significant part of the book very well by identifying the problems in the introduction of his book.

In the significant part of the book, he divided the book into two. First one is ‘‘Understanding Guide of Sunnah and second one is understanding Guide of Hadith.’’ Why he divides the Sunnah and Hadith? He stated in the introduction of this book, ‘‘contrary to what is widely known today, in the first two centuries of Islam, Sunnah and Hadith were seen as two separate things. Generally, Hadith was considered one of the sources of Sunnah’’.
“ In this book, we have chosen the method of presenting Sunnah and Hadith separately from each other by following our previous Usul scholars and jurists”.
The ‘‘example principle’’ has been adopted in understanding Sunnah and to understand the Hadith the ‘‘wholeness principle’’ has been taken as the principle.

In the first chapter of the book which is about the Understanding the Sunnah, in this part, it has been discussed about the principles of understanding the Sunnah correctly and the place of Sunnah in the religion, but not in the classical meaning. Sunnah; What does it mean for world humanity, what does it mean as an example for establishing Islamic civilization and the Muslim Ummah, what kind of resistance has Islam built up against changes, this kind of principles that would help to understand Sunnah properly have been discussed.

Besides, in the first chapter, its obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him) will be possible not by taqlid and tashabbuh (similarities), but by taking him as an example. These related issues have also been discussed.

In the second chapter, it’s about understanding the Hadith. In this part, it has been discussed that the Hadith should be understood in the light of the universality of Islam. In addition to this, it is necessary to know the the reason for the utterance of Hadith, to consider the gradualism and realities of riwayet (tradition) with meaning and correct determination of the illet-hikmah and Maqasid within this it is needed to be aware of the terminology of the Prophet are also discussed. As well as to all these issues, it has also described how we can understand the Hadith which has been described with stories, similes, numbers, weights and measures, angels, satan mutashabih, targib and tarhib, tibb-i nabevi (Medicine of the Prophet), fitan and malahim, ahkam and akhlak (Ethics).

In the brief discussions of both chapters, the main thoughts about that principle to understand the Sunnah and Hadith are highlighted. This book can be considered as an introductory book about the methodology to understand the Sunnah and Hadith with a new perspective.

In my point to view, this book will open a new era to understand Islam correctly, because of the lack of Usul and methodology, there is chaos in the field of knowledge, especially to understand the Quran and Sunnah, which is dividing the Muslim communities many parts. I believe that this book will help us all to make an internal integrity.