“Say: “If you do love God, then follow me.” God will then love you,
and forgive your sins. God is Forgiver, Merciful. “
The above Quranic words instruct us to follow the messenger. It is thus claimed that we cannot follow the Prophet Muhammad unless we follow his hadith and sunna.
To verify this claim we must read other related Quranic verses and not just 3:31 in isolation.
In the following verses we read that the Prophet was given a clear command to follow the Quran which was being revealed to him and nothing else:
“Say, “I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me (Quran). I am no more than a clear warner.” 46:9 (also in 10:15).
“And We brought down to you the scripture, truthfully, confirming what is present of the scripture, and superseding it. So rule among them in accordance with what God has brought down (Quran), and do not follow their wishes away from the truth that came to you.” 5:48
Thus, to follow Prophet Muhammad is to follow what he followed which is the Quran and nothing else.
In 4:174 we read that the Quran that has been brought down to us is described as a “light”:
“O people, a proof has come to you from your Lord; We have brought down to you a clear light.” 4:174
The genuine believers who obey the words of god in the Quran will follow “the light” (Quran) that was brought down upon the messenger and no other source:
“Those who follow the messenger, the gentile prophet ……… Those who have believed in him, respected him, supported him, andfollowed the light (Quran) which was brought down with him; they are the successful ones.” 7:157
To conclude, all the above Quranic words confirm that to follow the messenger is to follow the Quran and nothing else.