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

This second kind of revelation is not contained in the Holy Quran, but the Holy Quran itself not only refers to it frequently but attributes its contents to Allah Almighty. Some verses of the Holy Book are reproduced below which clearly prove that the ‘revelation’ is not confined to the Holy Quran, but there is another kind of ‘wahy’ which does not form part of the “Holy Book”, yet it is the revelation from Allah Almighty:

1. The Holy Quran says:

“And We did not appoint the Qiblah on which you were earlier but that We might know the people who follow the Messenger as distinct from those who turn back on their heels.” (2:143)

In order to understand the verse, it is necessary to know the background in which it was revealed:

In the early days of Madani life, after the Holy Prophet’s migration to Madinah, the Muslims were ordered to direct their faces in prayers towards Baytul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) which had been appointed as Qiblah of the Muslims. Up to Seventeen months the Muslims had been observing the Baytul-Maqdis as their Qiblah. It was after seventeen months that the Holy Quran abrogated the earlier order and the Muslims were required to observe the Holy Mosque of Makkah as their Qiblah and turn their faces towards it while praying. The following verse was revealed to appoint the new Qiblah:

“So, turn your face towards Al-Masjid-al-Haram.” (2:144)

This new order was criticized by some disbelievers and they objected on it as to why the Baytul Maqdis was appointed as Qiblah earlier. The above quoted verse (2:143) was revealed to answer this objection. The answer was that the appointment of the former Qiblah was in order to test the people whether or not they follow the Messenger. To quote the verse again:

“And We did not appoint the Qiblah on which you were earlier (i.e. Baytul – Maqdis) but that We might know the people who follow the Messenger”

Here the appointment of the previous Qiblah has been attributed to Allah Almighty which is a clear indication to the fact that the appointment of Baytul – Maqdis as Qiblah was done by the order of Allah Almighty Himself. But this order is nowhere in the Holy Quran, and there is no verse in the Holy Book which directs the turning of faces towards Baytul-Maqdis. This order was given to Muslims by the Holy Prophet (SAWS) with no reference to any verse of the Holy Quran. Still, this order was mentioned by the Holy Quran in the above quoted verse as the order of Allah: The words: “We did not appoint the Qiblah” instead of the words: “The Holy Prophet (SAWS) did not” are too clear on this point to need more explanation. This statement of the Holy Quran, thus, evidently proves that the previous order given by the Holy Prophet (SAWS) was based on a revelation which did not form part of the Book. And this is exactly the ‘Unrecited revelation’. The verse of the Holy Quran (2:143) quoted
above proves the following facts:

(a) The Holy Prophet (SAWS) used to receive some revelations which are not contained in the Holy Quran.

(b) These revelations were from Allah Almighty, so much so that the orders based on such revelations were attributed to Allah Almighty.

(c) The orders based on such revelation were as binding on the believers as the orders of the first kind of revelations i.e., the verses of Holy Quran.

(d) These orders were sometimes given so as to test whether or not the Muslims follow the Messenger irrespective of the question, that his orders are contained in the Holy Quran or not.

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