Obey God & the Messenger
By Brother Naveed (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Many people site the Quraanic Verses that command us to Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger, and say that Obeying Allah and obeying the Messenger are two different things - Obeying Allah is to obey the Quraan and obeying the Messenger is to obey the books of Hadith. They point that if obeying the Messenger was the same thing as obeying Allah's Quraan, then Allah would have only said Obey Allah. These people say that Allahs inclusion of obey the Messenger implies that the Messenger is saying EXTRA things outside of the Quraan that we must obey.
The thing that many proponents of Hadith forget is that Allah does not leave it to speculation as to what the people are to obey. The Ayaat do not end at Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but they continue to include what the duty of the Messenger is:
And obey Allah and obey the messenger and be cautious; but if you turn back, then know that only a clear deliverance of the message is (incumbent) on Our messenger <wa ma_ alar rasu_li il lal balaghul mubin (5:92)
And Allah has made for you of what He has created shelters, and He has given you in the mountains places of retreat, and He has given you garments to preserve you from the heat and coats of mail to preserve you in your fighting; even thus does He complete His favor upon you, that haply you may submit. But if they turn back, then on you devolves only the clear deliverance (of the message) <wa ma_ alar rasu_li il lal balaghul mubin. (16:81-82)
And if you (o people) reject (the truth), nations before you did indeed reject (the truth); and nothing is incumbent on the messenger but a plain delivering (of the message) <wa ma_ alar rasu_li il lal balaghul mubin.(29:18)
And obey Allah and obey the messenger, but if you turn back, then upon Our messenger devolves only the clear delivery (of the message) <wa ma_ alar rasu_li il lal balaghul mubin.(64:12)
Say: Obey Allah and obey the messenger; but if you turn back, then on him rests that which is imposed on him and on you rests that which is imposed on you; and if you obey him, you are on the right way; and nothing rests on the messenger but clear delivering (of the message) <wa ma_ alar rasu_li il lal bala_ghul mubin. (24:54)
Now, if we look at these Ayaat, we notice that Allah has clearly pointed out the duty of the Messenger, i.e. that he must DELIVER the Clarity <Balaghul Mubeen. We have seen that the Clarity or the Message of the Messenger is the Quraan. Here we will look at another important term used in the Quraan. This term is Balagha, meaning the reaching, or delivery of the Messenger.
The word Messenger is derived from the word Message. A Messenger delivers a Message. To Obey the Messenger would thus mean to obey the message he is delivering. We have seen in the previous chapters that the Messenger is teaching, preaching, explaining and living by the Quraan.
Here again we will see that his delivery <Balagha is the Quraan:
Here is the <haza is a delivery <balaghu for Humans; let them take warning therefrom, and let them know that He is One God; let the People of Understanding take heed (14:52)
This Ayah points to IT <haza, meaning THIS IS (pointing to the Quraan itself) is the delivery of the Messenger. This is further clarified in the following Ayah:
Before this We wrote in The Zabur, after the Zikar: My righteous servants shall inherit the earth. Verily in this is a message <Balaghan for the servants of Allah (21:105-106)
However, some people says that 21:106 is pointing to 21:105 and not to the Quraan. They still have no answer to 14:52. However, we will not pursue this further as Allah does not leave His Message to speculation, but He Defines what He means. Let us continue to read the Quraan:
O Messenger! Proclaim <Baligh what is sent down to you <ma Unzila Ilaika from your Lord. If you do not, you would not have fulfilled and proclaimed His message: and Allah will defend you from people. For Allah Guides not those who Reject (5:67)
Here the Balagh is defined as that which is being sent down on the Prophet from Allah <unzila. We have seen in the previous chapters what was being sent down was nothing but the Quraan. However, a sick heart might still insist that there was EXTRA something that was sent down and that EXTRA something is in the Hadith books. Thus we continue to read the next Ayah after 5:67, where Allah further explains the nature of what was being sent down:
Say: O people of the Book! You have no grounds to stand upon unless you stand fast by The Torah and The Injeel and all the rest that has come down to you from your Lord. It is what is SENT DOWN to you that increases in most of them their obstinate blasphemy. But sorrow you not over people without faith (5:68)
Here what is being sent down on the Prophet is compared with the Torah and the Injeel, i.e. it is the Quraan. It is further explained that Allah has sent down<anzala the Book with the Prophets:Mankind was one single nation, and Allah established Prophets giving glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent down <anzala The Book in Truth. (2:213)
It is He Who sent down <nazala to you, in Truth, the Book (3:3).
But people say that not only the Book was sent down but also an EXTRA revelation known as al-Hikma (The Wisdom) was also sent down. They site some Ayaat from the Quraan to this effect. One of them is related here:
For Allah has sent down <anzala to you the Book and the Wisdom and taught you what you knew not (4:113)
We will, inshaAllah deal with Al-Hikma later in another chapter. But for now, we will site a couple of Quraanic Ayaat to show that the Book is INCLUSIVE of the Hikmah, and the Al-Hikma that is being sent down is the Quraan:
Those who conceal what Allah has sent down<anzala in the Book , and purchase for them a miserable profit - they swallow into themselves nothing but fire; Allah will not address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor purify them : grievous will be their penalty (2:174)
Here we notice that the warning is ONLY given for concealing the Book, and not the Hikmah. Does this mean that those who conceal the Hikmah in the books of Hadith will not be punished No, but the answer is that The-Book is inclusive of the Hikmah and concealing the Book would automatically conceal the Hikmah.
Because Allah sent down<nazala the Book in Truth, but those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a schism far (2:176)
If Hikmah is separate from the Book, then it means that it would be ok to seek causes of dispute in the Hikmah as it is ONLY the Book that is mentioned above. Here, I digress. Let me get back to the word Balagha.
There is no point in dwelling on speculations when one has the weightiest evidence
Say: What thing is most weighty in Evidence Say: Allah is a Witness between me and you; this QURAAN has been revealed to me by inspiration that with it <BIHI I may warn you and all whom it reaches <BALAGHA (6:19)
Here the Messenger clearly establishes what his BALAGHA is It is the Quraan. Thus to insist without proof that the Messenger was supposed to deliver something else besides the Quraan is to oppose the Quranic verdict itself that he was to deliver the Message of the Quraan only.
But the argument does not end here. People point out that Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger should mean that obedience to the Messenger is separate from Obedience to Allah. This is absurd, as the Messenger does not have any authority except for the reason that he is SENT by Allah. Had Muhammad not been a Messenger of Allah would people obey him The answer is NO. Thus Obedience to the Prophet is BECAUSE he is the Messenger of Allah. Thus the two are NOT mutually exclusive obedience - one is highly dependent on the other. It is the same as saying eat an apple and eat its nutrition. Here is further Evidence from the Quraan that they are the same:
And an announcement from ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that ALLAH AND HIS MESSENGER are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore, if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve (9:3)
Now, did the people hear Allah giving this announcement of immunity The answer is No!. It was only from the LIPS of His Messenger, Muhammad, that they heard this announcement of immunity. Yet it is supposed to come from both Allah and His Messenger. Or do people think that one announcement came from Allah and ANOTHER came from the Messenger Allah does not speak to all the people. What He does is that He chooses a human being as His instrument and communicates through that instrument.
Who among the companions of the Prophet ever heard any of Allahs commandments from Allah DIRECTLY NONE!. How can they OBEY Allah then In that case, according to your twisted logic all Allah had to do was say Obey the Messenger as it is ONLY through the LIPS of the Messenger that they are hearing the Quraan.
The following Ayah again establishes that Obedience to Allah and His Messenger is ONE and the SAME thing:
O you who believe! Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger and do not turn back from HIM <anhu while you hear (8:20)
Here the believers are identified to be those who were listening to the Messenger who delivers the Quraanic laws to them, as the singular pronoun anhu (from him) indicates. This confirms that Allah and His Messenger are not two separate sources of law to be obeyed, but that the source of Divine law to be obeyed is ONLY Allah and ONLY the people are able to hear these divine laws through the LIPS of His Messenger.
Then peoples ignorance of the Quraan is further exposed when in desperation they site the examples of other Prophets like Nuh, Lut, Hud and Salih in the Quraan and say that in Ash Shuara ( Surah 26) people are commanded to obey these Prophets. People say that since these Prophets did not have a book, then to obey them would mean that obedience to Messenger is DIFFERENT from Obedience to Allah. The Quraan refutes this claim as I have shown above already. But in addition, the Quraan confirms that at each time in history Allah has given a Book. Either the Prophets themselves were given Books, or there already was a Book by a previous Prophet to which they were calling the people:
And those to whom We have given the Book rejoice in that which has been revealed to you, and of the confederates are some who deny a part of it. Say: I am only commanded that I should serve Allah and not associate anything with Him, to Him do I invite (you) and to Him is my return. And thus have We revealed it, a true judgment(HUKMAN) in Arabic, and if you follow their low desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you shall not have against Allah any guardian or a protector. We did send messengers before thee, and appointed for them wives and children: and it was never the part of a messenger to bring an Ayah except as Allah permitted (or commanded). For each PERIOD IS A BOOK (revealed). (13:36-38)
In no uncertain terms has Allah announced here that each Prophet had a Book in his time. Prophethood and Book is always tied together:
It is not (possible) that a man, to whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the prophetic office, should say to people: Be ye my slaves rather than Allah's: on the contrary (He would say) Be ye slaves of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly. (3:79)
This Ayah ties Prophethood to the Book. Otherwise, if we take the baseless claim that certain Prophets came without any Book then this Ayah would be limited Only to those Prophets who came with the Book, and therefore those Prophets who came without the Book can still tell people to be their slaves rather than Allahs Further the Quraan explicitly tells us that Allah gave the Book to Nuh and Lut and their Progeny:
We gave him Isaac and Jacob: all (three) guided; and before him, We guided NUH, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, and Aaron. Thus do We reward those who do good; and Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous. And Isma'il and Elisha, and Jonas, and LUT; and to all We gave favor above the nations. (To them) and to their fathers, and progeny and brethren: We chose them, and we guided them to a straight way. This is the guidance of Allah: He giveth that guidance to whom He pleases, of His worshippers. If they were to join other gods with Him, all that they did would be vain for them. These are they to whom We gave the BOOK and the wisdom and the prophecy; therefore if these disbelieve in it We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it (6:84-89)
And certainly We sent Nuh and Ibrahim and We gave to their offspring the (gift of) prophecy and the Book; so there are among them those who go aright, and most of them are transgressors (57:26)
The above Ayaat make it clear that ALL Prophets came with Allahs Message in some form of a Book, and that obedience to the Messenger is obedience to Allahs Words that the Messengers are delivering. Whether these words are preserved or not is another matter. But as far as the Quraan is concerned the Book has been recorded and preserved. And as I have shown before that the revelation delivered by the Prophet Muhammad was nothing but the Quraan, and therefore, to obey the Messenger we must obey the Quraan. Besides, the speculation that obedience to Allah and obedience to the Messenger are separate conflicts with the explicit Quraanic statement that Allah does NOT share anyone in His Law or Hukm:
Surely the Hukm (Law and Judgment) is for none but Allah (12:40)
He does not make anyone His associate in His Hukm (Law and Judgment) (18:26)
The Messenger himself is made to testify that the Law and the Judgment is only from Allah as revealed through the Messenger in His Book:
Shall I seek a Law-giver other than Allah When He it is Who has revealed to you the Book distinctly elucidated. (6:114)
Thus, the proponents of Hadith are only relying on conjecture when they say that obey the Messenger means to obey EXTRA commandments outside of the Quraan; they have no evidence from the Quraan to back up this claim - only conjecture:
Most of them follow nothing but conjecture: truly conjecture can be of no avail against truth. Verily Allah is well aware of all that they do. (10:36)