First: Is it important to follow AlSunnah?
A: Whoever obeys the prophet so he has obeyed Allah and whoever turns away then We (Allah) have not sent you (Prophet Muhammad) over them a guardian.
Translation of: Ayah (line - verse) 80, Surat (Chapter) AlNisa' (4:80)
Words: Ata' = He has obeyed, Hafeedh = Guardian - Responsible (for them).
Q: Is AlSunnah important in Islam?
A: No, by your God, they will not believe (have Faith) until they make you (Prophet Muhammad) a judge in the dispute that broke out among them; And then they do not find in themselves any objection to what you judged and they accept it a full acceptance.
Translation of: Ayah (Line, Verse) 65, Surat AlNisa'.
Words: Yu'min = Have faith, Hatta = Until, Yuhakkim = Make judge, Sharjar = Dispute that broke out, Baynahum = Among them, Yajid = Finds, Anfus = Selves, Haraj = Objection, Kadha = Judged, Yusalim = Accept, Tasleem = Full acceptance.
Q: Why should Muslims follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah (Prophet's sayings and actions)?
A: (Allah says) Certainly you already had in the messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) a good example (a role model) for whoever had been looking forward to (meeting) Allah and the Last Day and he remembered Allah a lot.
Translation of: Ayah 21, Surat AlAhzab. (33:21)
Words: Uswah = Example - Model, Hasanah = Good, Yarjou = Looks forward, AlYawm AlAkhir = The Last Day - Day of Judgment, Thakara = Remembered, Khatheera = A lot.
Q: In Islam why is it essential to follow the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad?
A: Say (command to Prophet Muhammad) if you do love Allah then follow me (Prophet Muhammad) - Allah will love you and forgive you your sins and Allah is Most-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Translation of: Ayah 31, Surat AlImran.
Note: In Islam we have also Interpretive Judgment (= Ijtihad) and Fatwah (= formal legal opinion). The Judgment and the Fatwah should be based on or derived from the Qur'an and/or the Prophet's sayings and actions which are authentically gathered and recorded.
An example of authentic gathering and recording is "AlBokhari's" as indicated by AlSheikh AlSha'rawi in his "Khawatir (Thoughts of) AlSheikh ElSha'rawi on the interpretation of Ayat AlQur'an, Juze' Amma".
Words: Kuntum Tuhiboun = You do love, Etabbe'ouni = Follow me, Yuhbibkum = Will love you, Yaghfir = Forgives, Thonounbakum = Yours sins.
Q: As Muslims are we allowed to follow other than the Qur'an and the Prophet's Sunnah (the
Prophet's authenticated sayings, actions
and way of life)?
Note: Only those who lived at the time of the Prophet Muhammad like the Prophet's family members during the Prophet's life and his companions would have known the Prophet's Sunnah.
A: And obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) but if you turn away then indeed upon Our (Allah's) Messenger is only the clear delivery* of the Message.
Translation of: Ayah 12, Surat AlTaghabun.
Words: Atee'ou = Obey, Tawallaytum = Turn away, AlBalagh = Delivery, AlMubeen = The clear - The unmistakable.
Q: In whose company will be those whom Allah will select to be witnesses over the others on the
Day of Judgment?
A: And who obey Allah and His Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) then they are with those upon whom Allah had bestowed His Grace among the prophets, the strictly veracious (truthful = Siddiqeen)*, those who bear witness (shuhada')** (to the truth) and the righteous (morally excellent) people and how excellent are those as companions.
Translation of: Ayah 69, Surat AlNisa'. (4:69)
* Marked by truth like the veracious Mary (Maryam) the mother of Jesus (Issa) peace be upon him.
** Allah will select witnesses (Shuhada' (different from martyrs called also 'Shuhada') from among Muslims.
Note: To be on Allah's Straight Path research if your way of practicing Islam is similar to what the Prophet Muhammad used to practice. The Prophet Muhammad was the last of Allah's Messengers and the Religion of Islam was completed during his life.
Words: Yute' = Obey, An'ama Allah = Allah bestowed His Grace, Sidiqqeen = Strictly veracious, Shuhada' = Those who bear witness - Witnesses, Saliheen = Righteous people - Virtuous people, Hasuna Ulaika Rafeeqa = How excellent those are as companions.
Q: Why is the minimum reward of those who obey Allah and His Prophet Muhammad is so high - they will be with the prophets as mentioned
in Ayah 69 in Surat AlNisa' (see above)?
A: That Bounty is from Allah and Enough is Allah as All-Knowing.
Translation of: Ayah 70, Surat AlNisa'. (4:70)
A side note: Having the name of Sunni nowadays does not really mean that a Muslim is actually following the way (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad.
For example taking revenge (that aims at spreading terror among all - Muslims and non-Muslims) by beheading - not with swords but with knives hostages (even not taken in actual combat with the enemy)
Also the BBC report). May Allah guide us all to Him and the Way of His Prophet.
Words: AlFadhl = Bounty - Favour - Graciousness, Kafa = Enough.