Compiled, Translated & Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
This is a series of articles on the Modern Mu’tazilites.
The Scholars of Hadith Make no Distinction Between Sunnah and Hadith
The scholars of Hadith do not make the distinction Amin Ahsan Islahi made between the Sunnah and Hadith because the Sunnah ie his practical life (according to the definition of the modern rationalists) was not only based on his daily life ie his actions but rather it also includes his statements and conversation, which was an integral part of the Sunnah.
Imam Qadi Ayad said in explanation of the hadith مَنْ سَنَّ فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً
“He who introduced some good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their’s being diminished in any respect.” [Sahih Muslim no.1017]
“This ‘Sanna’ means a way or path, path of the Sunnah, a nahj i.e. methodology.” [Mashariq al-Anwar [2:223]
Likewise and similarly the books of hadith not only preserved or collated the statements of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam but they also included the practical and daily life of the Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam. This is evident from the numerous scholars of hadith and the respective books they compiled and collated. For example the well known books of Sunan, like Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Nasai, Sunan Ibn Majah, Sunan Darimi and Sunan Daraqutni are just a few examples which contain everything of the Messenger of Allah Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam from his statements, speech and actions.
The scholars of hadith would use both the Sunnah and Hadith interchangeably and synonymously and there was no problem with this and nor did any of the other scholars object in fact they were all agreed with this method.
Imam Ibn Athir asserts the usage of the word Sunnah in hadith has a specific meaning and it means a way, path and biographical characteristics. [al-Nihayah 
The clearly shows the earlier scholars interchanged between the hadith and Sunnah and understood both terms intrinsically. The later scholars of the science of hadith transmission also understood Sunnah and Hadith to mean the same thing.
The late Syrian scholar of jurisprudence, the head and supreme of the Syrian Ikhwan al-Muslimin-The Muslim brotherhood and the leader of the Islamic Social Front, Shaikh Mustafa Siba’i, said the Sunnah according to the scholars of hadith technically means and entails the speech, action, tail approvals, natural characteristics, mannerisms and biographical aspect of the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) before and after his prophethood and thus in this regard according to some of the scholars of hadith sunnah and hadith are synonymous. [al-Sunnah wa Makanatuha Fi Tashari’a al-Islami [pp.47]
These are not even points of difference amongst the earlier scholars that the whole Ummah and especially the scholars of hadith are agreed; the Sunnah is established via authentic narrations which are in turn based on trustworthy and reliable transmitters and narrators of the very same hadith.
According to the celebrated scholar of jurisprudence, Imam Shatibi he said based on the understanding of the scholars of the principles of jurisprudence, they defined the Sunnah as something which refers to what the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) SAID which was not part of the text of the Quran but rather something the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) said from his tongue in explanation of some aspect or point of the Quran and according to the jurists the Sunnah is something which is established from the Messenger of Allah (Sallalahu Alayhi Wasallam) other than what is obligatory or mandatory. [al-Muwafiqat [4:4, 47]
We have quoted various scholars and we will continue to do so in further parts to show that this recent intellectual fraud under the cloak of rationale and modern free thinking has no basis amongst the earlier scholars. The earlier scholars; the Asha’irah. Maturidiyyah and the Mu’tazilites reject Khabar al-Ahad and gave precedence to theological rhetoric and philosophical thinking over the divine texts which led to their misguidance and deviation.
Over the years the modern free thinking progressives have developed further steps and demonstrated their bold ideas such as hadith having no basis in Islam especially in explaining the Quran and the general rulings.
The ploy and calculated sustained deviation of these modern mu’tazilites is that they say to the masses we accept and follow the Quran and Sunnah whereas their understanding of the Sunnah is totally contrary to ours.