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Assalamualaikum and Hello to all,

Considering that

1) the Prophet's (SAW) sunnah is from Allah (as evidenced in sources such as those described in this example: https://islamqa.info/en/answers/77243/the-saheeh-sunnah-is-wahy-revelation-from-allaah).

2) and that we know that the Prophet received the Quran via Gabriel reading the Qur'an to him,

was there an analogous process for his receiving of Allah's instructions to do or say the Sunnah? Or was there some other mechanism or process through which Allah got his prescription for human conduct to be conveyed via the Prophet?

Thank you.

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The sunnah was received the same way as wahy' (refer for example to What is the difference between 'Wahi' and 'Ilham'?) or maybe even by fitrah or ilham, but Allah knows best.
There's no specific difference. You may read for example:

  • He said, "Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laythi related to me from Malik ibn Anas from Ibn Shihab that one day Umar ibn Abdal-Aziz delayed the prayer. Urwa ibn az-Zubayr came and told him that al-Mughira ibn Shuba had delayed the prayer one day while he was in Kufa and Abu Masud al- Ansari had come to him and said, 'What's this, Mughira? Don't you know that the angel Jibril came down and prayed and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed.' Then he prayed again, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed. Then he prayed again, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed. Then he prayed again, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed. Then he prayed again, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed. Then Jibril said, 'This is what you have been ordered to do.' Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz said, 'Be sure of what you relate, Urwa. Was it definitely Jibril who established the time of the prayer for the Messenger of Allah?' " Urwa said, "That's how it was related to Bashir ibn Abi Masud al-Ansari by his father." (Muwatta' Malik)

  • The Prophet (ﷺ) was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet (ﷺ) used to recite the Holy Qur'an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare). (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Ahadith like those above make clear that Jibreel () thought our prophet () how to apply the order of the qur'an and he was studying and revising the qur'an with him.

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