We will consider hadith 5 and hadith 6 together. Hadith 5 is very brief – an example of the eloquence of the Prophet peace be upon him and his ability to be brief but profound. In this hadith, the Prophet peace be upon him tells us that Islam describes a definable path, and that veering off this path, by introducing elements onto it is not acceptable.

Because of its brevity, the hadith does not outline specifically what that path is, or the different ways “innovations” can be made, and hence rejected. But in their collectivity, the 42 ahadith in this collection do.

That brings us to hadith 6: Islam prescribes what is permissible and impermissible in a clear fashion. But several issues will arise that will appear ambiguous to many people (though by implication clear to some). Constantly living on the edge is not good for your heart. As goes the heart, so does the person as a whole. This notion of checking where we are is the embodiment of taqwa or piety.

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab once asked Ubayy ibn Ka’ab about taqwa or piety. Ubayy gave him an example: “what do you do when you walk in a path full of thorns?” ‘Umar’s response was that he was very careful where he tread and Ubayy said, “that is piety.”