As Muslims, we are taught that we are to follow the Prophet’s Sunnah, his precedent and praxis. The rst steps we learn on how to do this is to pray as he did, give the zakah as generously as he did, fast as he did, perform ḥajj and ʿumrah as he did; that is, by performing the rituals of the faith. Clearly, following the Prophetic Sunnah involves more than just the physical performance of our rituals.
Achieving excellence in following the Prophetic Sunnah was something that the early Muslims sought to achieve, and is revealed in the ḥadīt of a tābiʿī (a person of the generation after the Prophet’s generation who was either too young when the Prophet died or born just after his death) who, wanting to know more about how the Prophet was like, went to his widow Aisha and asked her. Her response was that the Prophet was effectively a ‘Walking Qur'ān.’