There is a concept that all sayings and acts of our Nabi ﷺ are not compulsorily to be followed; only such sayings and acts of our Nabi ﷺ are compulsorily to be followed which, if not followed, implicate the defaulter into sin. If no sin is the result, our Nabi’s ﷺ acts/sayings are not to be followed compulsorily. According to this concept, Deen consists of following only such sayings/deeds of our Nabi ﷺ, which have been commanded for by our Nabi ﷺ and which, if not followed, inflict the defaulter with sin. This concept of ‘Deen’ is erroneous. Deen is not basically about calculating the number of sins and pious deeds. Deen is a way to cultivate Allah’s love in our hearts; Deen is a way to live our lives with consultation with Allah; Deen is the way to get closer and closer to Allah. Sins are those acts which pull us back on the way to Allah; pious deeds are those acts which push us forward on the way to Allah. In other words, it is not enough to avoid sins on the way to Allah; by avoiding sins we stay where we are on the way to Allah; it is the pious deeds which push us forward on the way to Allah. It means it is not advisable to follow our Nabi ﷺ to avoid only sins; such a approach is not in line with what Deen stands for i.e. to cultivate Allah’s love more and more. That is why human beings are advised by Allah to follow our Nabi ﷺ in his ﷺ acts and sayings, whether or not non-following of such acts/sayings involves sins. Allah says:
“Say, [ Muhammad ﷺ ] "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” (al-imran-31)."
This verse defines what is nature of Deen; it implies spirit of Deen is to cultivate Allah’s love and to get Love from Allah in return. Secondly this verse describes the way to cultivate Allah’s love and get Love from Allah is to follow our Nabi ﷺ. The word ‘itba,a’ used in this verse means to follow every act/saying of our Nabi ﷺ whether or not it has been commanded for (for details https://secondriseofislam.blogspot.com/2016/10/itbaa-e-nabi-second-name-of-deen-1.html). In other words, what ever we do to cultivate Allah’s love in our hearts and to get Allah’s Love in return is pious deed and as such is part of Deen, if such deed is done following our Nabi ﷺ.
In short, Deen is not only following such acts/sayings of our Nabi ﷺ which, if not followed, implicate the defaulter into sin but also Deen consists of our Nabi’s ﷺ all acts/sayings whether or not non-following of such acts/sayings involves sin, and whether or not such acts/sayings have been commanded by our Nabi ﷺ.