What Does “Whoever Turns Away from My Sunna Is Not from Me” Mean?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


What does “Whoever abandons my sunna, he is not from me” mean?

Does it mean you are sinful, or in what context, or does it just mean you use the sunna as a guide, etc?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

There are various Prophetic narrations containing this statement. Some are mentioned below:

Three groups of people went to the homes of the Prophet’s wives to inquire how his worship was. When they were informed, they seemed to deem the worship little. They said, “How do we compare to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace)? Allah has made it such that he has no past or future sins.” One of them said, “As for me, I will stand the entire night in prayer forever.” Another said, “I will fast every day from here on.” Yet another said, “I will remain celibate and never marry.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) then came to these men and said, “Are you the ones who said such and such statements? By Allah, I am the most fearful of you of Allah and the most conscious of Him; yet, I fast and break my fast, I pray and I sleep, and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my way (Sunna), he is not from me.” [Bukhari]

The Meaning of  “Turning Away from My Sunna”

Imam al-Munawi (Allah have mercy on him) mentions that the meaning of “Whoever turns away from my sunna…” means whoever abandons my sunna and turns away from it, deeming it to be insignificant and merely due to laziness or neglectfulness. “…is not from me” means they are not on my way or my path and are not of my true followers. [Munawi, Faid al-Qadir]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he went on to study at Darul Uloom Seminary in New York and completed his studies at Darul Mustafa in Tarim, Yemen. There, he completed the memorization of the Qur’an and his study of the Islamic Sciences. Throughout his years of study, he was blessed to learn from many great scholars: al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz, al-Habib Kazhim al-Saqqaf, al-Shaykh Umar bin Husayn al-Khatib, and others. Upon returning, he joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.