THE OBEDIENCE OF THE MESSENGER


Chapter 1, Hadith & Seerah, The Authority of Sunnah / Sunday, August 17th, 2008

It is in this background that the Holy Quran insists repeatedly on ‘the obedience of the Prophet’ so much so that it is mentioned side by side with, the obedience of Allah,

Say, ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger but if they turn their backs Allah loves not the disbelievers’.

And obey Allah and the Messenger so that you may be blessed. (3:132)

O those who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. (4:59)

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger and beware. (5:92)

So, fear Allah and set things right between you and obey Allah and His Messenger if you are believers. (8:1)

O those who believe, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn away from him, while you are listening (8:20)

And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel with each other, and so lose heart (8:46)

Say, ‘Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, then, if you turn away, upon him rests what is laid on him, and upon you rests what is laid on’you. If you obey him, you will be guided’. (24:54)

O those who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not make your deeds vain. (47:33)

So, establish salah and pay zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger (58:13)

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn your backs, Our Messenger has only to deliver the manifest message. (64:12)
In these verses ‘the obedience of the Messenger’ has been ordered as an obligatory command. There are other verses in which the results of the ‘obedience of the Messenger’ have been described. Here again the ‘obedience of the Messenger’ has been combined with ‘the obedience of Allah’:

And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, Allah shall admit him in the Gardens underneath which rivers flow. (4:13)
The same words have been repeated in 48:17 also.

And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, – they are in the company of those whom Allah has blessed. (4:69)

All that the believers say, when they are called to Allah and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is that they say, ‘We hear, and we obey: ‘It is these who are successful. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and has awe of Him – it is these who are the winners. (24:52)

And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has won a great success. (33:71)

And the believers, men and women, are friends of each other, they bid the fair and forbid the unfair; they establish salah and pay zakah and they obey Allah and His Messenger. These are those upon whom Allah shall have mercy; Allah is All – Mighty, All Wise. (9:71)

If you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not diminish you anything of your deeds.(49:14)
The Holy Quran has also made it clear that ‘the obedience of the prophet’ is not a new principle, nor is it limited to the Holy Prophet Muhammad . The same principle applied to all the fomier prophets who came before him:

And we sent no messenger, but that he should be obeyed by the leave of Allah. (4:64)
It is also clarified by the Hoiy Quran that the prophets are the spokesmen of Allah’s pleasure. Hence, the obedience of the prophet is actually the obedience of Allah Himself.

And whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys Allah. (41:80)
As the obedience of the Holy Prophet 4t has been stressed by the Holy Quran and has been combined with the ‘obedience of Allah’ in the same way his ‘ disobedience’ has been warned against and is combined with the ‘ disobedience of Allah’:

And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits, He shall admit him to Fire where he shall remain for ever. (4:14)

And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error. (33:36)

And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, for him there is the fire of Jahannam. There they shall remain for ever. (72:23)

And whoever makes a breach with Allah and His Messenger, then Allah is severe in punishment. (8:13)

Did they not come to know that whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger, for him there is the fire of Jahanna.’n.? (9:63)
Thus, both positive and negative aspects of the ‘obedience’ have been dealt with in the Holy Quran and the ‘obedience of the Holy Prophet’ in each one of these verses has been mentioned separately, alongwith the obedience of Allah:
It is noteworthy that whenever the ‘obedience of Allah’ is mentioned in the Holy Quran, it is always followed by the obedience of the Prophet’ which has never been missed even in a single verse. There is no verse in the entire Book where the ‘obedience of Allah’ has been mentioned alone with no reference to the ‘Obedience of the Messenger’.
On the contrary, there are some verses where only the ‘obedience of the Messenger’ has been mentioned, and there is no reference to the ‘obedience of Allah’:

And establish salah and pay Zakah and obey the Prophet, so that you may be blessed. (24:56)

And if you obey him (the Prophet), you shall find the right path. (24 : 54)

On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that the earth might be levelled with them. (4 : 42)

And whoever makes a breach with the Messenger after the right path has become clear to him, and follows a-way other than that of the believers, We shall let him own what he chose and shall admit him in the Jahannam, and it is evil as a returning place. (4:115)
The reason for so much stress upon the ‘obedience of the Prophet’ is that the ‘obedience of Allah’ cannot be carried Out except through the ‘obedience of the Prophet’. Allah does not address each and every individual to tell him what He requires from him, as the Holy Quran puts it:

And it is not possible for a human being that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation, or from behind a curtain, or that He should send a messenger and he reveal by His leave what He wills. (42:51)
Therefore Allah conveys His injunctions only through His prophets, and his obedience cannot be carried out except by the obedience of the messengers. So, when a prophet bids something or forbids something, he does not do it in his private capacity, rather, he does so in the capacity of a messenger of Allah. When Allah Himself has given an express command ‘to obey the Messenger’, the obedience of the Prophet is actually the ‘obedience of Allah’, though in an indirect manner. This point has been clearly established by the Holy Quran in the following words:

And whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys Allah. (4:80)
So, whenever only the ‘obedience of the Messenger’ has been mentioned in the Holy Quran it includes, without saying, the ‘obedience of Allah’ because the Messenger does not say anything
the capacity of a Messenger unless he is guided by a revelation from Allah:

And he (the Prophet) does riot speak out of his own desire, It is not but a revelation revealed (to him) (53:3)
Looked at from this angle, the obedience of the Prophet represents the obedience of Allah and the reference to the former always includes the latter. That is why the Holy Quran in some verses deemed it sufficient to refer to the obedience of the Messenger only, for the practical way to obey Allah iS Only to obey the prophet.
On the ;ontrary, the Holy Quran did not deem it sufficient to refer to the ‘obedience of Allah’ without referring to the ‘obedience of the Messenger’, to remove even the remotest excuse for ignoring the ‘obedience of the Prophet’ .and to leave no doubt whatsoever in the fact that the ‘obedience of Allah’ is not complete unless the ‘obedience of the Prophet” is fully observed with all its implications,

And whoever makes a breach with the Messenger after the right path has become clear to him, and follows a-way other than that of the believers, We shall let him own what he chose and shall admit him in the Jahannam, and it is evil as a returning place.
(4:115)
The reason for so much stress upon the ‘obedience of the Prophet’ is that the ‘obedience of Allah’ cannot be carried out except through the ‘obedience of the Prophet’. Allah does not address each and every individual to tell him what He requires from him, as the Holy Quran puts it:

And it is not possible for a human being that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation, or from behind a curtain, or that He should send a messenger and he reveal by His leave what He wills. (42:51)
Therefore Allah conveys His injunctions only through His prophets, and his obedience cannot be carried out except by the obedience of the messengers. So, when a prophet bids something or forbids something, he does not do it in his private capacity, rather, he does so in the capacity of a messenger of Allah. When Allah Himself has given an express command ‘to obey the Messenger’, the obedience of the Prophet is actually the ‘obedience of Allah’, though in an indirect manner. This point has been clearly established by the Holy Quran in the following words:

And whoever obeys the Messenger, thereby obeys Allah. (4:80)
So, whenever only the ‘obedience of the Messenger’ has been mentioned in the Holy Quran it includes, withiout saying, the ‘obedience of Allah’ because the Messenger does not say anything in the capacity of a Messenger unless he is guided by a revelation from Allah:

And he (the Prophet) does riot speak out of his own desire. It is not but a revelation revealed (to him) (53:3)
Looked at from this angle, the obedience of Viie ProphetJ represents the obedience of Allah and the reference to the former always includes the latter. That is why the Holy Quran in some verses deemed it sufficient to refer to the obeuiience of the Messenger only, for the practical way to obey Allah is only to obey the prophet.
On the contrary, the Holy Quran did not deem-i it sufficient to refer to the ‘obedience of Allah’ without referring to the ‘obedience of the Messenger’, to remove even the remotest excuse for ignoring the ‘obedience of the Prophet’ and to leave no doubt whatsoever in the fact that the ‘obedience of Allah’ is not complete unless the ‘obedience of the Prophet” is fully observed with all its implications.

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