The Messenger is more than just a Delivery-Man

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بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

If the Messenger’s job was only to convey what is in the Quran and that is it. Why do we need  Muhammed (pbuh) a Human to do that? Couldn’t a Angel come down and deliver the message of the Quran? Couldn’t Allah just give every Bidoun a copy of the Quran? Why do we need a Human, if he is only to deliver the Quran? Hadith-rejecters assume all a Muslim has to do is read the Quran and they will understand what the verses of the Quran mean.  According to Hadith-rejecters the job of the Messenger is to recite the verses of the Quran, repeating what the verses is saying and nothing else. So if someone was struggling with a verse understanding it. The prophet’s job is not to explain the Quran. Even though Allah says in 16:44 and 16:64 and numerous other verses that prophet Muhammed is here “to explain, teach the verses” of the Quran.

If Allah taught prophet Muhammed (pbuh) what the verses of the Quran mean, what makes you people THINK that you don’t need a teacher to teach you? If all the prophet (pbuh) had to do to understand the Quran is to read the verses. Why then does Allah say in this verse 53;5 HE is the one that teaches the prophet what verses of the Quran mean?

Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed. He was taught by one Mighty in Power” [Quran53:3-5]

“A Return to the Sunnah- The Text”

Muhammad Nasirud Deenn Albani says:

Allah the exalted said in his book:

2:213 Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over the Scripture except those who were given it – after the clear proofs came to them – out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

And Allah the mighty and Majestic said:

And We sent down the Book to thee for the express purpose, that thou shouldst make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe. (16:64)

Allah also says:

Then We put thee (O Muhammed) on the (right) Way of Religion: so follow thou that (Way), and follow not the desires of those who know not. [Quran 45:18]

The messenger (pbuh) knew Allah and obeyed his Lord. Allah witnessed to that saying:

Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him. [Quran 53:3-4]

From that which Allah ordered his slave and his messenger with, was that he should propagate and explain to the people that which was revealed to him by his lord. He, the Most High says:

O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith. [Quran5:67]

The messenger did indeed completely propagate all the revelations from his Lord without the slightest deficiency; Allah bears witness to that and also the believers. Allah says:

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. [Quran 5:3]

If He had left Mankind to pass judgements upon actions and sayings themselves, then judgement would change from person to person and in different times and it is not possible for a human to pass a definite and unchanging ruling. Since that is the case, HE has made it binding upon the servants to obey him and to obey the messenger and warned them against disobedience and placed the guidance in his Book and the Sunnah of his Prophet.

HE, The Most High, says:

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path. [Quran 33:36]

Allah, the Most perfect says:

He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), has indeed obeyed Allah [Quran 4:80]

Say: “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad SAW) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah’s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way).” (24:54)

The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “ He who obeys me enters Paradise and he who disobeys me has refused.”

The truthful and trustworthy Messenger (pbuh) also said: “ I have left amongst you two things. You will not go astray as long as you hold to them: The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his messenger”.

From What has preceded it becomes clear that it is obligatory to refer back in Judgement to the Book (Quran) and the Sunnah ,if we desire the correct way. Allah has ordered that matters be referred back to Him and His Messenger when there is a disagreement and difference, so that the final judgement is of the Book and the Sunnah.

Allah says:

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.[Quran 4:59]

This verse explains that disputes and unknown matters are reffered back to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his Messenger . this being a sign of truthfulness and the proof of Imaan: while he who does not refer back to the Book of Allah and SUNNAH in disputes and take judgement from them, then he is not a believer in Allah and the last day. Perhaps the clearest proof of this great matter which is counted as the crux of Imaan is Allah’s saying:

But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. [Quran 4:65]

Commented Al Haarith Ibn Katheer (d.774h) – Rahimu’Allah – commented upon  this verse “ Just this earth rendering oath is suuficient to cause the mountains to fall to the ground and for the believers jugular vein to tremble in terror and his limbs to shake with fear and for the hearts to rise to the throats and the eyes to roll up in the sockets. The most High Just of all judges has sworn by Himself that no one believes until HE makes the Messnger (pbuh) judge in all affairs. So whatever judgement he has passed then it is obligatory to submit to it, outwardly and inwardly, since it is the truth and what is there besides the truth except misguidance”

And the messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “I have not left anything which Allah has ordered you with except that I have ordered you with it, nor have I left anything which he forbade you except that i have forbidden you from it” (Related by Imam Shafi in his Sunan |1/14| and or Risaalah |pages,87,93|, Al Bayhaqee quotes it in his Sunan |7/76| from Ash Shafi. Related also by Al- Khateeb Al Baghdadi in Al-Faqeeh Wal Mutafaqqih |1/93| and by Tabari. It is declared Sahih by Shaikh Albani and Ahmad Shaakir in his Notes in Risaalah)

Is There a problem with returning to the Sunnah?

Imaam Albani says “ There is no doubt that it is binding upon callers to Allah the exalted to be from among the zealous of the people in obeying Allah the exalted and the swiftest of them in undertaking implementations of His rules and regulations. So if  they are differing in understanding Islam , then it is obligatory upon them to rule by what Allah commanded in terms to reurning to the Sunnah”.  This is because it is that which explains and clarifies the Quran and explains its general points and specifies its absolute, as is pointed out in the statement of Allah:

With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad SAW) the reminder and the advice (the Quran), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought. [Quran 16;44]

And there is the statement of Allah:
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.

So this noble verse clearly states that the one who is a true believer must refer the issue of difference back to Allah in his Book (Quran) and to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in his Sunnah, since referring back to these two will resolve the difference. So the text of this Noble verse obligates the callers to refer to the honourable Sunnah.
(Reference: Muhammad Nasirud Deenn Albani “A return to the Sunnah” 19 to 22 and 26)

 

Explicit references to the functions of the prophet other than delivering the Quran

Dr Ahmad Shafaat says:

In several verses, the Qur’an describes several functions of the Prophet which one cannot justifiably reduce to a simple delivery job. Thus in 2:129 Abraham and Ishmael pray:

Our Lord, and raise in their midst a messenger from among them who would recite for them your signs and teach them the book and the wisdom and sanctify them (or make them grow). You are the one mighty, the wise [Quran2:129]

Several verses then state that the roles described in the prayer of Abraham and Ishmael were fulfilled by the Prophet Muhammad:

Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you who recites unto you Our signs and who sanctifies you (and/or helps you grow) and teaches you the book and wisdom and teaches you what you did not know [Quran 2:151]

God has verily shown grace to the believers by sending unto them a messenger from among them who recites unto them his signs and sanctifies them (and /or helps them grow), and teaches them the book and wisdom, although before they were in flagrant error [Quran 3:164]

He it is Who has raised among the unlettered ones a messenger from among them who recites unto them his signs and purifies them (and /or helps them grow), and teaches them the book and wisdom, although before they were in manifest error (62:2). (See also 2:231 and 4:113, where it is said the Prophet teaches the book and wisdom).

Prophets collectively are also given book and wisdom,

When God made a covenant with the prophets (saying), Behold, that which I give you of a book and a wisdom … (3:81; see also 4:54).

Let us look at the various roles of the Prophet described in these verses:

  1. Reciting signs of God. This can be properly understood as delivering the Qur’an.
  2. Sanctifying people and/or helping them grow. This must surely involve more than delivering the Qur’an. To purify people and help them grow must have needed a great deal of teaching in different ways in order that they could overcome the special difficulties they faced in the path of moral and spiritual development. (As an interesting observation on the side, it may be noted that no other prophet is said in the Qur’an to perform this role.)
  3. Teaching the book. The book in the Qur’an may sometimes have a meaning wider than the Qur’an. It represents divine knowledge symbolically conceived as written in the form of a book in heaven. This is supported among other verses by 3:48, where it is said of Jesus that God “will teach him the book and the wisdom and the Torah and the Injil” (see also 5;110, 43:63). It is natural to understand here the “book” as something different from “the Torah and Injil”. It probably represents the divine knowledge of which particular books such as the Torah, Injil and the Qur’an are particular representations. It is like the pen (qalam) mentioned in 96:4-5:Read, for your Lord is bountiful; He taught with the pen: Taught man what he did not know.
  4. It is at once clear that in these verses the “pen” is not any particular pen. Similarly, it should not be surprising if in some passages the book is not any particular book. Hence receiving the book is not receiving a book consisting of a number of statements. It means receiving a certain type of knowledge. Jews and Christian are thus people of the book (singular) even though their books (plural) are not the same. Thus we may say that the Torah, Injil and the Qur’an are books that are manifestations of the book. They are related to the book in the way my and your pens are related to the pen. All this finds further support in the words:And unto you (O Muhammad) We have sent down the book in truth confirming whatever of the book is before it …(5:48).Notice how the same word the book (al-kitab) in the singular is used for that which is sent unto Muhammad and that which was sent down before it. Clearly, the Qur’an, the Torah, and the Injil are not the same books but they are manifestations of the same book (although, admittedly, the Torah and the Injil did not remain so).But even if we identify the book with the Qur’an in the above verses, teaching the book is more than delivering the Qur’an. The following verse makes this fairly explicit:And We have sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the dhikr that you may explain to humankind what has been sent down unto them that haply they may reflect (16:44)Here dhikr is sent down to Muhammad and therefore it is some type of divinely inspired knowledge and this dhikr is to be used by the Prophet for explaining what has been sent down to them, which is most naturally to be interpreted as the Qur’an. The distinction between the function of delivering the Qur’an and explaining it could not be clearer. No matter how this verse is interpreted it is worded in such a way as to show that the Prophet’s role was more than simply delivering the Qur’an. Another verse pointing in the same direction reads thus:We have indeed sent down unto you (O Prophet) the book in truth that you may judge between people by what God shows you. And do not be a pleader for the treacherous (4:106).Once again we see a clear mention of two distinct processes: sending down of the book unto the Prophet and then judging the people on its basis by what God shows him.Once again we see a clear mention of two distinct processes: sending down of the book unto the Prophet and then judging the people on its basis by what God shows him.But the above verses not only go against the Qur’an-only people. They also go against the traditionalists. For, they clearly give the Qur’an a definitely central position in the message of the Prophet and his judgments.

Teaching the wisdom. Are the book and the wisdom the same things? Since they are mentioned together it is natural to think that they are not.

The Qur’an is certainly full of wisdom. It is called wise (36:2; see also, 3:58, 10:1. 31:2 ) and in 17:39 it is said about some verses in the Qur’an or the Qur’an as a whole that “this is a part of the wisdom with which God has inspired you (O Muhammad)”.

In some verses the Qur’an may be the focus as a manifestation of wisdom. For example,

And remember what is recited to you in your houses of the signs of God and (of ) the wisdom (33:34)

Here wisdom is part of what is recited and therefore the reference could be to the Qur’an. Similarly,

And remember God’s grace upon you and that which he sent down on you of the book and the wisdom whereby He exhorts you (2:231; see also 4:113).

Once again hikmah is part of what is sent down on the community and it is possible that the reference is to the Qur’an. If we keep in mind what was said earlier of “the book” and the “open”, it is possible to think that in case of “wisdom” also the Qur’an speaks of two levels: “wisdom” in general and specific manifestations of it. The meaning of the verse can then be expressed as follows: remember the Qur’an which is a manifestation of the book and a manifestation of the wisdom. In this way the book and the wisdom can be two different things but both are manifested in the same Qur’an.

While the book cannot be said to be given to any body – only to a prophet or a community through him – wisdom is something that can be given to any body, whether prophet or not. This is seen from 2:269: “He gives wisdom to whom he will and he unto whom wisdom is given has truly received abundant good”. Nothing in the context of this verse suggests that the reference is to prophets or messengers. Also, Luqman is not explicitly said to be a prophet or a messenger. But he is given the wisdom: We gave Luqman the wisdom, (teaching him), give thanks to God. (31:12).

In 2:251 we read about David that “God gave him the kingdom and the wisdom and taught him whatever he willed”. Here wisdom is given as something that is not directly related to the book of David (the Psalms). In 54:4-5 the Qur’an speaks of “effective wisdom” (hikmah balighah) referring to some reports (anba’) not necessarily identical with the Qur’an. In 16:125 the Prophet is asked to call people to the way of God with hikmah. This certainly does not mean that all he should do is to recite the Qur’an. Hikmah is here clearly something distinct from the Qur’an.

When we keep in mind all the verses in the Qur’an, it becomes clear that hikmah is something that is manifested in the Qur’an but is not limited to it or to any book. That does not mean that there is some wisdom that is not found in the Qur’an and we should look for it in the Sunnah. The correct way to understand this is that the Qur’an embodies all the wisdom but we need the Sunnah to understand it fully.

Imam Shafi`i in his al-Risala stated: “So, God mentions his book, that is the Qur’an, and wisdom, and I have heard from those who are knowledgeable in the Qur’an – those whom I agree with – say that wisdom is the traditions of the Prophet. This is the same as the word [of God himself]; but God knows better! Because the Qur’an is mentioned, followed by wisdom; then God mentions his favor to humanity by teaching the Qur’an and wisdom. So, it is not possible that wisdom means other things than the traditions of the Prophet … “. Here Imam Shafi`i’s argument, not understood by some Qur’an-only Muslims proceeds as follows: the Prophet according to the verse cited (2:129) taught the Qur’an and wisdom which are mentioned together. So wisdom is distinct from the Qur’an. Now where is this extra-Qur’anic wisdom that was taught by the Prophet found?. Of course, in the prophetic traditions! This conclusion is logical. Shafi`i’s words “God knows better” probably apply only to the opinion of some knowledgeable people that “this is the same as the word [of God]”.

Although Shafi`i’s conclusion is perfectly reasonable and should be accepted, it needs to be qualified by two comments. First, only about the authentic traditions of the Prophet, not necessarily identical with any particular known collection of Hadith, can we be confident that they reflect the hikmah mentioned in the Qur’an. Second, the fact that the prophetic traditions reflect the divine wisdom does not mean that they contain some wisdom not found in the Qur’an. The prophetic traditions simply provide more of the same wisdom that is found in the Qur’an and as part of the context of the Qur’an they help us to more fully understand the Qur’anic wisdom.

Some think that teaching hikmah was done by the Prophet through the Qur’an while tazkiyah was done through the Sunnah. However, a sounder view seems to be that the two functions of the Prophet overlap and both are performed by both the Qur’an and the Sunnah. (Reference: Ahmad Shafaat http://www.islamicperspectives.com/HadithProject2.htm)

Sheikh Ibn Baz says the following:

In the early Islam, a Muslim sect denied the Sunnah because of their false accusation against the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions); they are Al-Khawarij, (separatist group that believes committing a major sin amounts to disbelief) The Al-Khawarij considered many Sahabah as Kafirs (disbelievers). They claimed that they only rely on the Qur’an, because of their ill-thinking about the Sahabah. Likewise, Al-Rafidah (a Shiitic group) said that they would only accept the narrations that are reported through Ahl-ul-Bayt (members of the Prophet’s extended Muslim family) and deemed the other narrations to be unauthentic.

Another group followed their course, whose view is still frequently repeated from time to time. This latter group is called Qur’aniyun (Muslims who reject the Sunnah claiming to follow the Qur’an only). They only use the Qur’an as the source of legislation. They believe that the Sunnah is not authentic, because it was written long after the Prophet’s death. They justify their beliefs by claiming that a person may naturally forget things and make a lot of mistakes and that books may contain errors. This is in addition to many other fables and false accusations which they raise against the Sunnah. They claim that they take precautions; therefore, they only follow the Qur’an. Accordingly, they have deviated from the right path, lied, and are guilty of major Kufr.

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) commands people to obey His Messenger (peace be upon him), and to follow the teachings he (peace be upon him) brought. Allah (Exalted be He) called the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a revelation in the following Ayahs (Qur’anic verses): By the star when it goes down (or vanishes). Your companion (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not followed or obeyed, his commands and prohibitions will be of no value.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered the conveyance of his Sunnah. When he used to deliver a sermon, he usually asked the attendants to convey it. This means that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) should be followed and obeyed by the whole Ummah (nation). We have to obey the Messenger (peace be upon him) exactly as we have to obey Allah (Exalted be He). Anyone who ponders on the Noble Qur’an will find this principle clear. Allah (Exalted be He) says in His Noble Book in Surah Al-`Imran: And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers. And obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you may obtain mercy. In this Ayah, Allah joins obedience to the Prophet to His obedience. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you may obtain mercy. He also makes His mercy conditional upon obedience to Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him), so He says in Surah Al-`Imran: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): “If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Obey Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم).” But if they turn away, then Allâh does not like the disbelievers.

He (Exalted be He) also says in Surah Al-Nisa’: O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), if you believe in Allâh and in the Last Day.
That is better and more suitable for final determination. Allah (Exalted be He) orders obeying Him and makes obeying His Messenger (peace be upon him) an independent command and repeats the verb Ati`u (obey) with regard to obeying the Prophet (peace be upon him). He says: O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) He then says: …and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. He did not repeat the verb Ati`u (obey) with regard to those who are in authority because obeying them is subsequent to obedience to Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Muslim rulers must be followed as long as their commands are in harmony with the ordinances of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Allah, then, has drawn attention to the fact that the main obligation is to obey Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). He (Exalted be He) says: (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) Allah (Exalted be He) did not say: “and to those of authority among you”, but he says: to Allâh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) This denotes that referring the controversial issues should be to Allah (Exalted be He) and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Scholars said that referring controversial issues to Allah (Exalted be He) means referring them to the Qur’an

while referring them to the Prophet (peace be upon him) means referring them to the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his life and to his Sunnah after his death.

This means that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is an independent source that should be followed. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), has indeed obeyed Allâh Allah (Glorified be He) says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allâh In the Ayah that precedes this one, Allah says: So those who believe in him (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Qur’ân) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful. Allah promised success to those who follow the Prophet (peace be upon him). So those who believe in him (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Qur’ân) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful. Allah mentions that success is for those who follow the Prophet (peace be upon him). This shows that those who deny the Sunnah and do not obey him (peace be upon him) will not be among those who achieve success. He (Exalted be He) then says: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O mankind! Addressing the Prophet (peace be upon him) to declare: Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allâh – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), who believes in Allâh and His Words [(this Qur’ân), the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also Allâh’s Word: “Be!” – and he was, i.e. ‘Isâ (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), عليهما السلام], and follow him so that you may be guided.”

Allah (Exalted be He) connects guidance to the following of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This shows that it is obligatory to follow the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says in another Ayah: Say: “Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allâh’s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way).” Allah (Exalted be He) also says in Surah Al-Nur: And perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you may receive mercy (from Allâh). He singled out his obedience with His saying: and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) that you may receive mercy (from Allâh). He (Exalted be He) also says at the end of Surah Al-Nur: And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah – legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. 

Allah (Exalted be He) says that anyone who disobeys the commands of the Prophet (peace be upon him) will be in great danger and may be exposed to ordeals; deviating from the truth, Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), misguidance, or they may be inflicted with a painful torment. We seek refuge in Allah (Exalted be He) against all these things. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says in Surah Al-Hashr: And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allâh; verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment. These Ayahs and others to the same effect confirm the obligation of following and obeying the Prophet (peace be upon him). They also show that guidance, mercy, happiness and good final end are only achieved by following and obeying him (peace be upon him). Anyone who denies the Sunnah, subsequently, denies the Qur’an. Anyone who says that they follow the Book of Allah and not the Sunnah, commits a mistake and Kufr because the Qur’an declares clearly the obligation of following the Prophet (peace be upon him). Anyone who does not follow his guidance, is not complying with the Qur’an but is actually denying it, because the Book of Allah clearly commands us to obey and follow the Messenger (peace be upon him), and warns us against disobeying him (peace be upon him). So, anyone who claims that they believe only in the Qur’an, not the Sunnah, is telling a lie, because the Sunnah is part of the Qur’an and obeying the Prophet (peace be upon him) is part of the teachings of the Qur’an.

So, it is not permissible to separate both sources. A person cannot be a follower of the Qur’an without following the Sunnah and vice versa. They are correlative and cannot be separated from each other.

Among the Hadiths that are authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the report related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who obeys me, obeys Allah, and anyone who disobeys me, has disobeyed Allah. Anyone who obeys the ruler, obeys me, and anyone who disobeys the ruler, has disobeyed me. It is related in Sahih Al-Bukhari (may Allah be Merciful with him) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: All my Ummah (nation) will enter Paradise, except those who refuse. It was said, “O Messenger of Allah! Who will refuse?” He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys has refused.” These Hadiths are clear proofs that those who disobey the Messenger of Allah, subsequently,

disobey Allah (Exalted be He) and those who disobey Allah refuse to enter Paradise. It is recorded in Al-Musnad (Hadith compilation), Sunan Abu Dawud, and Sahih Al-Hakim with good chain of transmission on the authority of Al-Miqdam Ibn Ma`d Yakrib Al-Kindy (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: I have been given the Book and (something) like it. The Book refers to the Qur’an while “and (something) like it” refers to the Sunnah; the second Divine revelation. Shortly, a satiated man leaning on his couch speaks about one of my Hadiths, thus saying, “Between you and me is the Book of Allah whatever lawful we find in it, we will regard as lawful, and whatever unlawful we find in it, we will regard as unlawful.” In another wording: A time is about to come when a satiated man will recline on his couch and speak of my Hadith, (which includes) my prohibitions and orders, saying: Here is the Book of Allah (a judge) between you and me; what you find therein we will follow. Verily, what the Messenger of Allah has forbidden is the same which Allah has forbidden.There are numerous Hadiths to the same effect.

It is obligatory on the entire Ummah to revere the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), acknowledge its status, and abide by its teachings because it is the source which explains and demonstrates the Qur’an; it clarifies the allegorical, defines absolute matters, and specifies the general ones. Anyone who reflects upon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet knows this fact, because Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’ân)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.

Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the one who explained to the people what has been revealed to them. If his Sunnah is not considered and cannot be used in argument, how could he explain to the people their religion and the Book of their Lord? This is a manifest error. Thus, it is known that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the one who explained the Book of Allah and its hidden meanings. Allah (Glorified be He) says in Surah Al-Nahl: And We have not sent down the Book (the Qur’an) to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم), except that you may explain clearly unto them those things in which they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a folk who believe.

Thus, He (Glorified be He) explains that He sent down the Book to the Prophet (peace be upon him), so he may decide the disputable matters among people. If his Sunnah is not explained to the people and cannot be used as a proof, this meaning will be futile. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says that the Prophet explains to the people what has been revealed to them and also settles their disputes.

This indicates that following his Sunnah is obligatory:

It is worth mentioning that this obligation does not apply exclusively to the people living during his time and to his Sahabah but to them and to those who will come after them until the Day of Resurrection, because the Shari`ah (Islamic law) is applicable to all the people at all times until the Day of Resurrection. Indeed, he is the Messenger of Allah to all people. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And We have sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): not but as a mercy for the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Allah (Glorified be He) says: And We have not sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind He is the Messenger of Allah to the entire world: Jinn (creatures created from fire) and humans, Arabs and Non-Arabs, black and white, rich and poor, rulers and subjects, until the Day of Resurrection. There is no prophet after him, because he (peace be upon him) is the seal of all the prophets and messengers. Therefore, his Sunnah should explain the Qur’an and refer to what is hidden therein.

His Sunnah also includes rulings that are prescribed by Allah but not mentioned in the Qur’an, such as the details of the Five Obligatory Daily Prayers, Zakah (obligatory charity), and breastfeeding. For example, the Qur’an only mentions the mothers and sisters by breastfeeding in the category of breastfeeding that affects marriageability, but the Sunnah mentions the rest of the list. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: What becomes Haram (forbidden for marriage) through breastfeeding is (the same as) that which becomes Haram through blood ties The Sunnah also reveals independent rulings, such as the prohibition of combining in marriage between a woman and her paternal aunt or her maternal aunt. It mentions independent rulings that are not mentioned in the Qur’an regarding: crimes, Diyah (blood money), expenditure, Zakah, Sawm (Fast), Hajj, and so on.

It happened that some people said in the knowledge session of `Imran ibn Al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them), “Do not talk about Hadith and speak to us about the Qur’an.”`Imran (may Allah be pleased with him) got angry and said, “Have it not been for the Sunnah, we would not have known that the Zhuhr (Noon), `Asr (Afternoon), and `Isha’ (Night) Prayers each consists of four Rak`ahs (units of Prayer), and the Maghrib (Sunset) Prayer consists of three” and so on.

The Sunnah explains the details of Salah and the rest of the rulings.

I am telling you that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said so and so and you say: Abu Bakr and `Umar said!” When Imam Ahmad (may Allah be merciful to him) was told that there was a group of people who did not follow the teachings of Hadith and sought the opinion of Sufyan Al-Thawry, he said, “I wonder at a group of people who are certain of the Sanad of Hadith (i.e. Of the authenticity of Hadith being reported from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him) and then seek the opinion of Sufyan.” Allah (Exalted be He) says: And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah – legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them. When Ayyub Al-Sakhtiyany (may Allah be pleased with him) heard of a man calling to follow the Qur’an and abandon the Sunnah, he said, “leave him for he is astray.”

This means that the Salaf (righteous predecessors) witnessed such incidents of denying the Sunnah. They faced different groups adopting these strange beliefs, which arose as a result of the Al-Khawarij. They denied the actions of the Khawarij, accused them of deviation, rejected their attitude and warned against them. However, the Khawarij’s denial of Sunnah was not as strong as the denial that has recently come to being. Indeed, the Al-Khawarij thought ill of some of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with all of them), but this recently emerging group have committed a deniable act and major sin because they claim that the entire Sunnah cannot be used as evidence.

Even more, they defamed the Sunnah as well as its narrators and narrations. One of the Arab leaders declared this belief many times and, thus, has caused others to be led astray since he himself is misguided. This group is called Al-Qur’aniyun; its members are found in Muslim countries like Egypt and some other countries. They belied and ignored the efforts made by the scholars of Hadith because if they have known the Qur’an well, they would have glorified and followed the Sunnah, but they are ignorant of the indications of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Consequently, they have been misguided and have led the people astray.

(Reference: Fatwas of Ibn Baz Part No.25: page No.9 to 23  http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/fatawaDetails.aspx?View=Page&PageID=4896&PageNo=1&BookID=14)

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