Let me now turn to the tradition which is often quoted to support this fallacious view. The details of the tradition are as follows:
The Arabs of Madinah used to fecundate their palm-trees in order to make them more fruitful. This operation was called Ta’bir which is explained by E.W. Lane as below:’
“He fecundated a palm-tree by means of the spadix of the male tree, which is bruised, or brayed, and sprinkled upon the spadix of the female; or by inserting a stalk of a raceme of the male tree into the spathe of the female, after shaking off the pollen of the former upon the spadix of the female” Read more... (933 words, estimated 3:44 mins reading time)
Another point of view often presented by some westernized circles is that the authority of the Holy Prophet (SAWS)is, no doubt, established by the Holy Quran even for all the generations for all times to come. But the scope of this authority is limited only to the doctrinal affairs and the matters of worship. The function of a prophet, according to them, is restricted to correct the doctrinal beliefs of the Ummah and to teach them how to worship Allah. As far as the worldly affairs are concerned, they are not governed by the prophetic authority. These worldly affairs include, in their view, all the economic, social and political affairs which should be settled according to the expediency at each relevant time, and the Prophetic authority has no concern with them. Even if the Holy Prophet (SAWS) gives some directions in these fields, he does so in his private capacity, and not as a Messenger. So, it is not necessary for the Ummah to comply with such directions. Read more... (828 words, estimated 3:19 mins reading time)
We have so far studied the two types of the Prophetic authority, first being the authority to make new laws in addition to those contained in the Holy Quran, and the second being the authority to explain, interpret and expound the Quranic injunctions.
But before proceeding to other aspects of the Prophetic authority, another issue should be resolved just here. Read more... (1489 words, estimated 5:57 mins reading time)
Before concluding this discussion, it is pertinent to answer a question often raised with reference to the explanation of the Holy Quran. The question is whether the Holy Quran needs any one to explain its contents? The Holy Quran in certain places seems to claim that its verses are self explanatory easy to understand and clear in their meanings. So, any external explanation should be uncalled for. Why, then, the prophetic explanation is so much stressed upon? Read more... (492 words, estimated 1:58 mins reading time)
To be more specific, I would give a few concrete instances of the explanations of the Holy Book given to us by the Holy Prophet (SAWS). These examples will also show the drastic amount of what we lose if we ignore the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAWS):
1. The Salah (prayer) is the well-known way of worship which is undisputedly held as the first pillar of Islam after having faith. The Holy Quran has ordered more than 73 times to observe it. Despite this large number of verses giving direct command to observe the Salah, there is no verse in the entire Book to explain how to perform and observe it. Read more... (1246 words, estimated 4:59 mins reading time)
The second type of authority given to the Holy Prophet (SAWS) is the authority to interpret and explain the Holy Book. He is the final authority in the interpretation of the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran says:
“And We sent down towards you the Advice (i.e. the Quran) so that you may explain to the people what has been sent down to them and, so that they may ponder.” (16:44). Read more... (347 words, estimated 1:23 mins reading time)
A number of verses in the Holy Quran establish the authority of the Holy Prophet (SAWS) as a legislator or a law-maker.
Some of those are reproduced below:
1) The Holy Quran says:
“And My mercy embraces all things. So, I shall prescribe it for those who fear Allah, and pay Zakah (obligatory alms), and those who have faith in Our signs, those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet whom they find written down in the Torah and the Injeel, and who bids them to the Fair and forbids them the Unfair, and makes lawful for them the good things, and makes unlawful for them the impure things, and relieves them of their burdens and of the shackles that were upon them. So, those who believe in him, and honor him, and help him, and follow the light that has been sent down with him – they are the ones who acquire success” (7:157) Read more... (1746 words, estimated 6:59 mins reading time)
The verses of the Quran quoted in the previous chapter, and the natural conclusions derived there from, arc sufficient to prove the authority of the ‘Sunnah’ of the Holy Prophet (SAWS). Its being a source of Islamic law stands proved on that score. Yet, the Holy Quran has not only stressed upon the ‘obedience of the Messenger’ as a general rule or principle; it has also highlighted the different shades of authority in order to explain the scope of his obedience, and the various spheres where it is to be applied. Read more... (122 words, estimated 29 secs reading time)