The position of Rasoolullahﷺ in Islam – 3

All knowledge begins with Adab – an attitude of respect for knowledge and everything and everyone related to it. Adab is like the preparation of the soil for planting. Without preparation the best seed will perish. So also with knowledge, especially the knowledge of Islam. Without Adab we may get the words, but never the Noor, the meaning, or the transformation.

Allahﷻ set the rules of behavior with Rasoolullahﷺ very strictly and said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تُقَدِّمُوا۟ بَيْنَ يَدَىِ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ – يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَرْفَعُوٓا۟ أَصْوَٰتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ ٱلنَّبِىِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا۟ لَهُۥ بِٱلْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَـٰلُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

Hujuraat 49: 1-2    O believers! Do not proceed ˹in any matter˺ before ˹a decree from˺ Allah and His Messenger. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. O believers! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak loudly to him as you do to one another, or your deeds will become void while you are unaware.

In our context since Rasoolullahﷺ is not with us, this means that in any matter we refer to the Qur’an and Sunnah for a ruling. And when we come across a text, we don’t contradict it with our opinions but accept the text with submission. It means that we don’t disregard or ignore what Rasoolullahﷺ may have decreed and don’t use our selfish desires to contradict that.

That is the meaning of raising your voice over the voice of the Rasool and putting yourself ahead of Allahﷻ and His Rasool. The punishment for that is complete wiping out of all deeds. Imagine how terrible it would be that we spend our whole life doing all kinds of good deeds and acts of worship and charity but because of loose talk and disrespect towards Rasoolullahﷺ it is all wiped out and we have nothing when we meet Allahﷻ.

That is why the Persian poet said:

با خدا دیوانہ باش و با محمدﷺ ہوشیار

In our so-called worldly matters where we feel free to decide whichever way it suits us, Allahﷻ specifically commands us to obey the Qur’an and Sunnah.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ فَإِن تَنَـٰزَعْتُمْ فِى شَىْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

Nisa 4: 59    O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. Should you disagree on anything, then refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day. This is the best and fairest resolution.

This is one of the many Ayaat which remind us that this life is the preparation for the Aakhira. It shows that no aspect of our lives is outside the purview of Islam and that everything that we say or do has the potential to take us to Jannah provided we do it as Rasoolullahﷺ did it.  Study Seerah.

The big danger is when we are tempted to say, ‘In my opinion’, when we are faced with an Ayat of the Qur’an or a Sahih Hadith of Rasoolullahﷺ. Make Istighfaar and seek Allahﷻ’s protection from Shaytaan when such a thought comes, because ‘In my opinion’, is the door to disaster. There is no place for any contradictory personal opinion when we have a text – the Qur’an and Sunnah. That is the fundamental rule in Islam. I advise myself and you to be very careful with our language. We enter this Deen by saying some words. It is equally easy to leave the religion if we say the wrong words. So, let’s think and weigh our words before we speak.

Ask yourself why Allahﷻ emphasized the Messengership of Rasoolullahﷺ so much and so many times if he was merely a ‘postman’ as some people like to say. Let me assure you that to show the slightest disrespect to Rasoolullahﷺ by using terms that are not suitable to his exalted rank, or to make fun of him or criticize him or denigrate his importance is not only a sign of gross ignorance but Kufr and takes one out of Islam.

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِٱللَّهِ وَءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَرَسُولِهِۦ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِءُونَ

لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا۟ قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَـٰنِكُمْ إِن نَّعْفُ عَن طَآئِفَةٍ مِّنكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَآئِفَةًۢ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا۟ مُجْرِمِينَ

Tawba 9: 65-66    If you question them, they will certainly say, “We were only talking idly and joking around.” Say, “Was it Allah, His Revelations, and His Messenger that you ridiculed?” Make no excuses! You have lost faith after your belief. If We pardon a group of you, We will punish others for their wickedness.

Allahﷻ warned us about people who ridicule Allahﷻ and His Messengerﷺ:

وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ يُكْفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا۟ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا۟ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِۦٓ إِنَّكُمْ إِذًا مِّثْلُهُمْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ جَامِعُ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقِينَ وَٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا

Nisa 4: 140    He has already revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s Revelations being denied or ridiculed, then do not sit in that company unless they engage in a different topic, or else you will be like them. Surely Allah will gather the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Jahannam (Hellfire).

To those who want to separate the Messengerﷺ from Allahﷻ and say that they accept the Qur’an but don’t accept Ayaat in the Qur’an which emphasize the importance of following the Sunnah and obeying Rasoolullahﷺ, He said:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُوا۟ بَيْنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَيَقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُوا۟ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا – أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ حَقًّا وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا

Nisa 4: 50-51    Surely those who deny Allah and His messengers and wish to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers, saying, “We believe in some and disbelieve in others,” desiring to forge a compromise, they are indeed the true disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment.

Allahﷻ declared Rasoolullahﷺ to be the Last and Final messenger and the Seal of the prophets. For those who love and respect Rasoolullahﷺ and are keen to obey and follow him, Allahﷻ promised great goodness:

ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ ٱلرَّسُولَ ٱلنَّبِىَّ ٱلْأُمِّىَّ ٱلَّذِى يَجِدُونَهُۥ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِى ٱلتَّوْرَىٰةِ وَٱلْإِنجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُم بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَىٰهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْخَبَـٰٓئِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَٱلْأَغْلَـٰلَ ٱلَّتِى كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ بِهِۦ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَٱتَّبَعُوا۟ ٱلنُّورَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُۥٓ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ

قُلْ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا ٱلَّذِى لَهُۥ مُلْكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ ۖ فَـَٔامِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ٱلنَّبِىِّ ٱلْأُمِّىِّ ٱلَّذِى يُؤْمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَكَلِمَـٰتِهِۦ وَٱتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

A’araf 7: 157-158   “˹They are˺ the ones who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whose description they find in their Torah and the Injeel. He commands them to do good and forbids them from evil, permits them what is lawful and forbids them what is impure, and relieves them from their burdens and the shackles that bound them. ˹Only˺ those who believe in him, honor and support him, and follow the light sent down to him will be successful.  Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ O humanity! I am Allahs Messenger to you all. To Him ˹alone˺ belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except Him. He gives life and causes death. So, believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, who believes in Allah and His Revelations. And follow him, so you may be guided.

My brothers and sisters, today the root of our problems lies in not following the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Qur’an orders us to follow the Sunnah because the Sunnah explains the Qur’an. When we don’t do this, we lose confidence in our Deen and run around fearfully apologetic, trying to be what we are not. Those who lose their identity are left with nothing because they lost what they had and what others have can never be theirs no matter how much they pretend.

To be confident in your own identity and to meet others in their own identities respectfully and with understanding is the secret of effective relationships. Allahﷻ honored us by connecting our identity to the blessed and exalted identity of Rasoolullahﷺ. May Allahﷻ help us to understand this and uphold it and be called by it when we meet Him.