The 7th right of Rasoolullahﷺ is that his judgment must be accepted in all matters without any resistance in the heart.
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا
Al-Ahzaab 33:36 No believer, neither man nor woman, has a right, when Allah and His Messenger decide a matter, to have any choice in their matter in issue. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error.
Allah closed all doors to personal opinions and differences when it comes to the decisions of Rasoolullahﷺ in any matter. Allah declared that this is His ruling, to emphasize the position of Rasoolullahﷺ and to support his authority. This is not oppression or blind obedience but the basic requirement of having accepted that Muhammad is the Messengerﷺ of Allah and is guided by Him in all matters. Allah stated very clearly:
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْىٌ يُوحَىٰ
Najm 53: 3-4 Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation that is inspired (revealed – Wahi).
Therefore, if Rasoolullah rules in a matter, then that ruling is guided by Allah. Anyone who accepts Allah as his Rabb and Muhammadﷺ as the Rasool of Allah and the recipient of Wahi (Divine Revelation), will automatically accept his rulings because he understands who Muhammadﷺ is. This is a sign of obedience with understanding. The one who does not obey is the one who is blind because he doesn’t understand the fundamental principle of Islam; the declaration of faith: La ilaha ill Allahu Muhammadur Rasoolullahﷺ. To accept the rulings of Rasoolullahﷺ without question is logical, reasonable and the sign of intelligence and faith. The two are not mutually exclusive in Islam.
In any situation, be it religion, your career, marriage, culture, yourself in terms of self-confidence or any other aspect of life, nothing can be achieved by those who are in perpetual doubt. A firm conviction that is free from doubt is the basis of self- confidence. Dithering doubters are too caught up in their own to-be-or-not-to-be arguments to ever make an impact or take any decisive action in life. They lose all opportunities, often to those who are not as talented as they are, only because the other person is not wallowing in self-doubt.
Islam doesn’t prevent us from asking questions. In fact, Allah encourages us to think, reflect and ask. But once that is done, and we have satisfied ourselves, Allah tells us only those are successful who believed and thereafter didn’t doubt. That is a question which we must therefore ask ourselves, ‘Do I still have doubts about Allah, His Messengerﷺ, His Message (Qur’an), my meeting with Him and the Hereafter?’ The answer is not academic, but fundamental and critical to our everlasting life. Let us see what our lives say about our faith. Because when we meet Allah it is not our tongues which will speak, but our body and its parts which will bear witness to what we made them do. Let us repent and change our lives and take the toxicity out right away.
ٱلْيَوْمَ نَخْتِمُ عَلَىٰٓ أَفْوَٰهِهِمْ وَتُكَلِّمُنَآ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَتَشْهَدُ أَرْجُلُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَكْسِبُونَ
Ya-Seen 36: 65 This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.
About those who came to the faith and remained steadfast, Allah said:
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ
Hujuraat 49: 15. Only those are the believers who believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful.
I suggest that we therefore settle these questions for ourselves. Are we going to die? Are we going to meet Allah? And if so, what in our lives is proof of this belief? What in our lives must change if this most critical meeting is to be good for us? Actions are the most reliable proof of belief. So let us look at our actions. Then Allah ordered:
وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
Al-Hashr 59:7 And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammadﷺ) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.
This is a blanket authority to Muhammadﷺ to rule anything he wished and an admonishment to us to accept it without question. This is evidence that Rasoolullah was Divinely guided and that what he ruled was based on Revelation to him – Wahi ghayr matlu3 – which we know as Hadith. This was one of the many ways in which Allah showed His trust in His Messengerﷺ and ordered us to do likewise. I quoted the Ayah (Najm-3/4) earlier. Allah ordered us to unquestioningly accept his rulings in all matters and promised His punishment for those who don’t. Finally, in one of the most powerful Ayaat of the Qur’an, Allah took an oath by Himself and said that the condition of being, and remaining Muslim is to accept the rulings of Rasoolullahﷺ not only without question but with complete submission in the heart.
فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىَ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُواْ فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيمًا
An-Nisa 4:65 But no, by your Rabb, they shall not be (deemed to be) believers unless they accept you as judge in their disputes, and then find in their hearts no adverse feeling against what you decided but surrender to it in complete submission.
It must be noted that though the usual rule in Islam is that you are not culpable until you speak or act, in the case of Rasoolullahﷺ and his decisions and rulings, Allah said that one must not only accept his decisions and not speak or act against them but must not even have any feelings or thoughts against them or feel any dislike or resistance towards them in the heart. Feelings are the basis of action and actions get results in this life and the next. That is why congruence between thought, emotion, speech, and action is critical to success. Lack of congruence can be confusion or hypocrisy and always results in a loss of credibility and trust. Credibility falls through the gap between talk and walk. Congruence begins with clarity of belief (i.e., thought and feeling) and so the emphasis on getting that clear with respect to the decisions and rulings of Rasoolullah.
If a Muslim continues to doubt and resent something that Rasoolullah ruled, then Allah took an oath by Himself and declared that such people lack faith. What can be more serious than that? This is the reason it is necessary to learn about Rasoolullahﷺ and his rights on us, because quite literally it spells the difference between Islam and Kufr.
Rasoolullah was the first Standard Bearer of Islam. We, his Ummah, have the responsibility to carry the Standard of Islam forward in our world and show people how the way of Islam will lead to a society based on personal and collective accountability to the One from Whom nothing is hidden. A society where justice, compassion, and mercy are the three foundational principles on which is built the architecture of a society that treasures equality, kindness, contribution, and standing up for the rights of others, especially the voiceless and less powerful. To stand against injustice and oppression even when that may not affect them.
This is the crying need of the hour in our world where it’s all about power and delivering what the billionaires want. Politicians will deal with the devil himself if they need to. Democracy and human rights are window dressing. As is climate change, global warming et al. They talk about this stuff but do nothing to stop wars, stop burning fossil fuel or eliminate poverty. We are standing on top of Seneca’s cliff and seem to be on the way down. We have been raised for too long on concepts of conquering, exploiting, and using the earth and its inhabitants to our advantage without giving anything back. We need drastic action, which is to change the way we think, thanks to how we have been raised with our desires as the supreme being to which everything else, including our lives are subservient. We live in a world based on lies to the extent that there is a total breakdown of trust in society. Why is trust important?
Political philosopher Hannah Arendt spelt out the consequences of this institutionalization of lies: “If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer… And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.” The ongoing confusion about Covid and vaccines is a case in point. After suffering for three years and millions of deaths, we still can’t decide if Covid is real. If vaccines are effective, and if we should wear and mandate masks and vaccines? It is like a war zone. And the ‘truth’, whatever it is, is still hidden in the fog of passions. The same distrust applies to our attitude to climate change, global warming, and mass extinction (including our species), issues which are critical to say the least – we don’t know what or who to believe. And so, we do nothing worthwhile or effective. Islam changes that and reboots our system to the truth and reality of worshipping not our desires but our Creator remembering that one day we will answer to Him for all that we did or chose not to do. On that Day we will not be asked, “What happened?” We will be asked, “What did you do?”
In conclusion, to recap: The rights of Rasoolullah on his Ummah are 7:
- Adab wa Ihtiraam: Our attitude of the utmost respect and honor
- Ita’at: To obey him without question
- Ittiba: To follow and emulate him in every way
- Mohabbat: To love him above all things and everyone else
- Ahl-ul-Bayt: To honor and respect him and his family
- Nusrat: To help him in every way: To help his Deen and Message
- To accept his judgment in all matters without any resistance
The rights of Rasoolullah supercede the rights of all other people on us and they are the first of the Huqooqul Ibaad that we will be questioned about. That is why it is essential for us to learn what they are and to examine ourselves, our lifestyles, and choices to ensure that we strive to fulfill them. I will suffice to say that to understand the true position of Rasoolullah in Islam and the scope of his authority is essential if we want to understand Islam itself. This starts from the basic declaration of faith in which if one does not accept him as the last and final Messenger of Allah after whom there is no other, one can’t enter Islam.
When you study the Seerah of Rasoolullah you can’t but help loving this remarkable person who Allah sent to change the world. And who by the help of Allah did precisely that in a short period of 23 years. Truly there is no comparable model in the history of mankind irrespective of time or place. In the words of Alphonse de Lamartine, History of Turkey: “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad?”
It was the responsibility of the Messenger of Allah to not simply talk about Islam but to practice it and demonstrate its beauty by personal example. His ability to create demonstrable models of the Islamic way of life which clearly showed the beauty of the Islamic way is what led to the spread of Islam in the world. It was his students, the Sahaba, who took these lessons which they learnt at his feet and spread them in the known world of their time. It is this responsibility that Allah has given to the Ummah of Muhammadur Rasoolullah. I ask Allah for His Mercy.