Obeying the Prophet Muhammad (S) -

Shaad Ahmed

"Say (Oh Muhammad): ‘If you (truly) love Allah then follow me, so that Allah may love you and forgive your sins.’ And Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate." (3:31)

Alhumdu’lillah the above ayah is very clear. If we claim to love Allah, who we, as Muslims, are to love more than everyone, then we have to obey what Prophet Muhammad (S) has told us so that Allah may love us and forgive our sins.

We have to obey Muhammad (S) and love him more than ourselves. Allah says concerning the love we are required to have for Him and Muhammad (S) (what means):

"Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, your kindred, the wealth you have gained, the commerce in which you fear decline, or the dwellings in which you delight -- are dearer to you than Allah or His Messenger and striving in His cause -- then wait until Allah brings about His decision. And Allah guides not the rebellious." (9:24)

"The Prophet has a higher claim on the believers than [they have on] their own selves." (33:6)

There should be nothing in our lives dearer to us than Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (S). Anas (R) reported that Rasulullah (S) said, "Whoever possesses three qualities will taste the sweetness of Iman. 1) That Allah and His Messenger are dearer to him than anything else. 2) To love a person only for Allah’s sake, and 3) To hate to revert to disbelief, after Allah had saved him from it, as he would hate to be thrown into the fire." (Bukhari and Muslim)

Anas (R) reported that the Prophet (S) said, "None of you will have faith until he has more love for me than for his parents, his children, and all humanity." (Bukhari and Muslim)

When we love somebody, then desire to obey and follow them. We do not hesitate to implement their wishes. As Muslims, we have to love Muhammad (S) more than anyone except for Allah and we must obey what Allah and Muhammad (S) have told us to do and not to do.

Allah has told us (what means):

"Allah knows best with whom to place His Message." (6:124)

We know that Allah chose Muhammad (S) for this purpose, and it is important that we abstain from that which the Prophet (S) forbade us and preserve what he has commanded for us.

There are numerous proofs in the Quran and the Sunnah that indicate the obligation to obeying Allah and His Messenger (S).

Irbaad ibn Saariyah (R) reports that the Messenger of Allah (S) gave the companions (Sahaba) an exhortation one day after the Fajr Prayer which caused their eyes to shed tears and their hearts to quiver So a man said, "This is as if it is a final exhortation, so counsel us, O Rasulullah(S)." He (S) said, "I counsel you to fear Allah and to hear and obey even if an Ethiopian slave becomes your leader, since he who lives will see much division(many differences). So keep to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided successors after me, cling to that with your teeth. Beware of novelties for every novelty is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray" (Tirmidhi)

We can see how many differences there are today amongst the Muslim Ummah, and this, obviously, has been caused by straying away from the Quran and Sunnah. Many Muslims have particularly been negligent of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (S). Muslims seem to think that they have an option when it comes to obeying Muhammad (S). They mistakenly estimate obedience to him(S) as being admirable and rewardable, but as only being optional. They say, "We will simply follow the Quran and leave the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (S). However it is obvious from the Quran that we have to obey Muhammad (S).

"It is not fit for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His  Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and Messenger has indeed strayed in a plain manner." (33:36)

Allah is telling us that we have no right to disobey the decisions of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (S). We can not neglect to obey the Prophet Muhammad (S), because Allah is telling us to obey Prophet Muhammad (S) as well as Allah.

"And We have sent you (Muhammad) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allah is sufficient as a Witness. He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then We have not sent you as a watcher over them." (4:79-80)

"Say (Muhammad), ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger, but if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers." (3:32)

"And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow, to abide therein, and that will be the great success. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, and transgress His Limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein, and he shall have a disgraceful torment." (4:13-14)

We can see that if we do obey Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (S) that we will be admitted to Paradise, but if we turn away and refuse to obey then Allah is saying He does not like the disbelievers, and the place for such people is the Hellfire.

"Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much." (33:21)

"And whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment." (59:7)

"Let those beware who oppose the Messenger’s order! In case some fitnah(trial) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted upon them." (24:63)

Allah is giving us clear warnings about disobeying what Muhammad (S) has commanded us. There is no better example for us than the Prophet Muhammad (S), and we have to take what he has given us, and we have to abstain from what he (S) has forbidden us.

"Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is no less than revelation sent down to him." (53:3-4)

We can see that we are obliged to obey what Prophet Muhammad (S) has commanded us. As the ayah above indicates, he (S) did not speak of his own desires but he spoke what was revealed to him by Allah. It is not as if Muhammad (S) came up with his own laws and regulations, but anything that Muhammad (S) had commanded for us to do regarding Islam came from Allah.

Allah says (what means) :

"And similarly, We sent not a warner before you (Muhammad) to any town but the luxurious ones among them said, ‘We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps. (The warner) said, ‘Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following.’" (43:23-24)

Many people of the Muslim Ummah today do things because they have seen their ancestors doing them, and the above translation of the ayah shows us we can not follow something just because our ancestors were doing it. We need to base our actions on what we have in the Quran and Sunnah, because the best and true guidance comes from the Quran and the Sunnah.

"But no, by your Lord, they can have no (real) faith until they make you (Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction." (4:65)

"O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who are in authority. If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is better and more suitable for final determination." (4:59)

"And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with each other), lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient." (8:46)

It is clear that the way to avoid disputes amongst ourselves is to refer to what Allah and Muhammad (S) have commanded us, and we can do this through the Quran and the Sunnah.

 "And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves  after the clear proofs had come to them." (3:105)

We can not settle for somebody’s analogy when a clear proof from the Quran or the Sunnah is available. Imam Shafi brought the point that just as we can not settle for tayummum when water is available for purification, we can not settle for the saying of some individual about a religious matter when there is something in the Quran and the Sunnah on that matter.

Imam Abu Haneefah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi, and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal all stressed the importance of referring to the Quran and the Sunnah in all matters, and to reject all opinions that are in contradiction with the Quran and Sunnah. No matter who may have given you their opinion, we need to reject their saying if it is not in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah.

Imam Abu Haneefah said, "It is not permitted for anyone to accept our views if they do not know where we got them from." He also said, "We are mortals: we say one thing one day, and take it back the next day." In addition, he also said, "When I say something contradicting the Book of Allah the Exalted or what is narrated from the Messenger (S), then ignore my saying."

Imam Malik has proclaimed, "Truly I am only a mortal. I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinions. All that agrees with the Book and Sunnah, accept it, and all that does not agree with the Book and Sunnah, ignore it."

Imam Shafi said, "For everything I say, if there is something authentic from the Prophet(S) contrary to my saying, then the hadeeth of the Prophet(S) comes first, so do not follow my opinion (in such a case)." He also said, "Every statement on the authority of the Prophet(S) is also my view, even if you do not hear it from me."

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, "Whoever rejects a statement of the Messenger of Allah(S) is on the brink of destruction."

Allah says (what means):

"The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah and His Messenger, to judge between them, is that they say, "We hear and we obey." And such are the successful. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, fears Allah, and keeps his duty, such are the successful." (24:51-52)

When somebody comes to us with an ayah from the Quran or an authentic hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (S), we should not come up with our own interpretations or excuses rather we should hear and obey Allah and His Messenger.

Insha’Allah we will take the time to study the seerah (biography) of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (S) so we can see how he lived his life, and the effort he put into spreading the true religion of Islam. Insha’Allah we can also take time to study ahadeeth as well. The Sunnah is an integral part of Islam, because as we can see we must obey Muhammad (S). In order to obey what he (S) said, we need to know what he said.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet(S) said, "All of my Ummah will enter Paradise except those that refuse." Those who were with him (the Sahaba) said, "And who will refuse?" He(S) said, "Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me will have refused." (Bukhari)

Alhumdu’lillah the hadith above is self explanatory. Insha’Allah we will be among the people who will obey the Prophet Muhammad (S), and not among those who will refuse.

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