The position of Rasoolullahﷺ in Islam – 4

There are several ways to guide. The most reliable way is to give the person a compass to find direction, a map with details of the route and a guide to take them to their destination. That is what Allahﷻ did. He gave us the compass, the Qur’an, a map, the Sunnah, and the guide, Rasoolullahﷺ. The one who rejects any of these is rejecting guidance. Abu Huraira (R) reported: Rasoolullah  said, “Everyone from my nation will enter Jannah except those who refuse.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who will refuse?” The Prophet said, “Whoever obeys me enters Jannah and whoever disobeys me has refused.” (Sahih) Bukhari

About obeying Rasoolullahﷺ, Allahﷻ set a unique standard and declared:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا۟ فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا۟ تَسْلِيمًا

Nisa 4: 65    But no! By your Rabb, they will never be ˹true˺ believers until they accept you ˹O Prophet˺ as the judge in their disputes and find no resistance within themselves against your decision and submit wholeheartedly.

As we know, sin is culpable only when it is committed, either by speech or action. Not when you think or feel disobedient or rebellious. Except in the case of Rasoolullahﷺ. With his rulings, Allahﷻ declared that the condition of Imaan (faith), not just a sin but a boundary condition, is to accept his ruling in any matter and not only to do that visibly but also internally and to do that wholeheartedly without any resistance to it in our hearts.

That is the reason it is so important to know Rasoolullahﷺ and to love him more than we love any other human being. Only then can we develop the trust that is necessary to accept whatever he told us, because we know that his source of knowledge was superior to ours, that he always wanted the best for us and that whatever he told us, he had been guided to say. Allahﷻ said:

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ – إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْىٌ يُوحَىٰ

Najm 53: 3-4   Nor does he speak of his own whims. It is only a revelation sent down ˹to him˺.

This reinforces for us that what comes from Rasoolullahﷺ is always beneficial and important and so must be followed. Allahﷻ declared very simply and powerfully without any reservations or boundaries:

مَّن يُطِعِ ٱلرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ ٱللَّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـٰكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

Nisa 4: 80   Whoever obeys the Messenger has truly obeyed Allah. But whoever turns away, then ˹know that˺ We have not sent you as a keeper over them.           

Allahﷻ declared the fundamental principle of obedience to Rasoolullahﷺ.

وَمَآ ءَاتَىٰكُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَىٰكُمْ عَنْهُ فَٱنتَهُوا۟ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلْعِقَابِ

Hashr 59: 7    Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. And whatever he forbids you from, leave it. And fear Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment.           Allahﷻ commands – Do whatever he tells you and stay away from whatever he forbids you. This blanket statement shows that Rasoolullahﷺ can never command anything that is contrary to Allahﷻ’s wish.

Abu Hurairah (R) said: I heard Rasoolullah say: What I have forbidden for you, stay away from it. What I have ordered you [to do], do as much of it as you can. For verily, it was only their excessive questioning and disagreeing with their Prophets that destroyed [the nations] who were before you. [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

The principle therefore is to do what Rasoolullahﷺ ordered, to the best of our ability but to stop totally whatever he forbade. He didn’t tell us to stop to the best of our ability. Stop totally and instantly. When Allahﷻ revealed:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَا ٱلْخَمْرُ وَٱلْمَيْسِرُ وَٱلْأَنصَابُ وَٱلْأَزْلَـٰمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ فَٱجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

Ma’aida 5: 90    O believers! Intoxicants, gambling, idols, and drawing lots for decisions are all evil of Satan’s handiwork. So shun them so you may be successful.

The Sahaba immediately stopped drinking wine. They didn’t ask for time or argue about it. They obeyed. This is the secret of their success. Obedience.

Narrated Anas bin Malik (R): I was serving Abu ‘Ubaida, Abu Talha and Ubai bin Ka’b (RA) with a drink prepared from ripe and unripe dates. Then somebody came to them and said, “Alcoholic drinks have been prohibited.” (On hearing that) Abu Talha (R) said, “Get up. O Anas and throw it out! So, I threw it out.

Narrated Anas: While I was waiting on my uncles and serving them with (wine prepared from) dates, and I was the youngest of them, it was said, “Alcoholic drinks have been prohibited.” They said (to me), “Throw it away.” So, I threw it away.

Alcohol is not called the Mother of all Evil, for nothing. It is the worst of all addictions and impossible to cure. Alcoholics Anonymous says that even someone who has managed to overcome his alcohol addiction for 20 years, will get hooked if he takes just one drink. Yet the Sahaba, many of whom consumed alcohol daily and habitually, left it instantly without any argument or the need for any enforcement. Contrast this with what happened in America. “The Prohibition era was the period from 1920 to 1933 when the United States prohibited the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. The alcohol industry was curtailed by a succession of state legislatures, and finally ended nationwide under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified on January 16, 1919. The Eighteenth Amendment was passed in 1919 with a 68 percent supermajority in the House of Representatives and 76 percent support in the Senate and was ratified by 46 out of 48 states. But Prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933.”

The voting for Prohibition showed that people really appreciated its harm and wanted to save society from it. Millions were spent on enforcement; thousands of people were incarcerated but after 13 years the nation gave up and permitted it again. A change of heart can’t be enforced. It is from within. Allahﷻ sent us to succeed. He showed us the way to succeed. And told us that His Messengerﷺ was someone we must follow in every aspect of our lives to succeed. That is why Allahﷻ gave him a life which has something for us to learn in every situation that we may be in. If you are a ruler and want to rule with justice and compassion, study the Seerah of Muhammadﷺ. If you are an employee and want to earn the trust of your employer, study the Seerah of Muhammadﷺ. If you want to be the best father, husband, teacher, military or civil leader, friend, or neighbor, study the Seerah of Muhammadﷺ. Allahﷻ cited Rasoolullahﷺ as the best example and ordered anyone who believes in the Aakhira to study the Seerah.

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلْيَوْمَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

Ahzab 33: 21   Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah often.

If you read the description of the Day of Judgement, it is something terrifying and to be feared. Likewise, the meeting with Allahﷻ which is inescapable and inevitable and given our lives, something to be feared. Except for those who have a special status. Those who loved and followed Rasoolullahﷺ. They will look forward to that day and that meeting with anticipation of protection from the horrors and reward of obedience. The icing on the cake is that those who live emulating Rasoolullahﷺ will also become the most beloved, respected, and influential people in society, just as he was. His life is proof-of-concept that Islam works for those who use it.

ٱلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلْإِسْلَـٰمَ دِينًا

Ma’aida 5: 3    Today I have perfected your faith for you, completed My favor upon you, and chosen Islam as your way.

This is the Deen that Rasoolullahﷺ brought. The Deen that Allahﷻ chose for us and sent His Beloved Messengerﷺ to teach us. Rasoolullahﷺ brought one Deen. Islam didn’t come in different flavors and varieties to suit our desires. Our desires must be trained to subject themselves to the Will of Allahﷻ. Islam is complete and good for all time. Anyone who wants to change Islam or to ‘improve, reform, restructure, or make it more or less in any way has left Islam because by their speech and effort they are saying that what Allahﷻ declared is false. The Deen is not complete and must be altered.

For those who seek closeness to Allahﷻ, He declared that they should emulate Rasoolullahﷺ. Not just obey but to emulate. Emulation is the sincerest demonstration of love. And Allahﷻ said He loves the one who emulates Rasoolullahﷺ. Do we want Allahﷻ to love us? Think about that. Ask yourself what is the value of becoming someone that Allahﷻ loves? If we as believers and hopefully Mu’mineen, were given this option for a price, what would we pay? Allahﷻ not only gave it to us free but with the additional benefit of the opportunity to become the most beloved, influential, respected, and powerful person in your community.

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

A’al Imraan 3: 31   Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Our relationship with Rasoolullahﷺ is a relationship of immense love emanating from our immense gratitude for his guiding us to Islam. This love is not a personal thing. Neither is it optional. It is essential and a critical part of our belief because love is the basis of trust and trust is the basis of guidance. The one who loves Rasoolullahﷺ will obey him and so will be guided to Jannah.

Anas ibn Malik (R) reported that Rasoolullah  said, “None of you has faith until I am more beloved to him than his children, his father, and all of the people.” (Hadith Sahih, Muttafaqun Alayhi – Bukhari & Muslim)

Finally, Allahﷻ stated very clearly and warned us about our attitude toward Himself and Rasoolullahﷺ and set metrics for us to measure ourselves.

قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَآؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَٰنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَٰجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَٰلٌ ٱقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـٰرَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـٰكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَجِهَادٍ فِى سَبِيلِهِۦ فَتَرَبَّصُوا۟ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِىَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِۦ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلْفَـٰسِقِينَ

Tawba 9: 24    Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ If your parents and children and siblings and spouses and extended family and the wealth you have acquired and the trade you fear will decline and the homes you cherish˹if all these˺ are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and struggling in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His Will. Allah does not guide the rebellious people.

Not only are we required to love Allahﷻ and Rasoolullahﷺ but more than we love all those things which Allahﷻ blessed us with and love for whom is permissible and rewarding. Yet, when it comes to Allahﷻ and His Messengerﷺ, Allahﷻ declared that we must love them more and prove that love by struggling in His path. Failing this, Allahﷻ promised His punishment. May Allahﷻ save us from His punishment. I remind myself and you that everything we have will end. Every relationship will end. Except the relationship with Allahﷻ and His Messengerﷺ. These will go with us, and I ask Allahﷻ to make them our greatest assets when we meet Him and become the means for us to gain everlasting success and Jannah.

Narrated Anas bin Malik (R) A man asked Rasoolullah about the Hour (i.e. Day of Judgment) saying, “When will the Hour be?” Rasoolullah  said, “What have you prepared for it?” The man said, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His Rasool.” Rasoolullah  said, “You will be with those whom you love.” We had never been so happy as we were on hearing that saying of Rasoolullah (i.e., “You will be with those whom you love.”) Therefore, I love Rasoolullah, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that I will be with them because of my love for them though my deeds are not like theirs.

I ask Allahﷻ to fill our hearts with love for Rasoolullahﷺ. And to make us walking talking models of his life. I ask Allahﷻ to fill our lives with the Baraka of the Noor of the Seerah of Rasoolullahﷺ so that our lives become full of goodness and grace and means of benefit for all those with us.