In the previous article, we had studied the obligation of Muslims to obey Allaah and His messenger and issues connected therewith. In this article, we shall study the nature of responsibility given to the prophets / messengers in conveying the message given to them.
Certain verses of Surah Al-a'raaf sufficiently describe this subject, which are quoted and explained below. We shall study the events relating to the following messengers, peace be upon all of them : Nooh, Hood, Swaalih, and Shu'aib.
Each of the above messengers of Allaah asks his people, towards whom he was sent, to worship / serve Allaah, other than Him there is no god. The verses number are: 59, 65, 73 and 85. This is one of their foremost duties - to call towards Allaah. The topic of their being messengers of Allaah is also raised in various manner, in verse No. 61, 67, 75 and 87 and affirmed by them or the believers.
Each of the above messengers describes his role as two-fold:
Nooh (peace upon him) in verse No. 62 said:
7:62 "I convey unto you the messages of my Lord and give good counsel unto you, and know from Allaah that which you know not."
Hood (peace upon him) in verse No. 68 said:
7:68 "I convey unto you the messages of my Lord and I am for you a trust-worthy adviser."
About Swaalih (peace upon him) it is said in verse No. 79 :
7:79 "And (Swalih) turned from them and said: O my people! I did deliver my Lord's message unto you and gave you (good) advice, but you love not good advisers."
About Shu'aib (peace upon him) it is said in verse No 93.:
7:93 "So he turned from them and said: O my people! I did deliver my Lord's messages unto you and gave you good advice; then how can I sorrow for a people that rejected (truth)?"
The additional words in each of the above verses, besides mentioning their role as a Conveyor of the Message of Allaah and as an Advisor, are:
From the description of the two roles which the messengers attribute to themselves, it is clear that they had two things to speak:
One of the messengers Hood (peace upon him) describes himself as an advisor who is trustworthy, that is a trustworthy advisor. The arabic word used for trustworthy is "ameen".
When we look for the contexts in which the word "ameen" occurs in Qur-aan, relating to this study, we find the same used in the following contexts.
In surah Ash-shu'ara-a, each of the above-mentioned messengers whose mention we find in Surah al-A'raaf, Nooh, Hood, Swaalih, Loot, Shu'aib (peace upon them) say to their people: "Indeed I am a trustworthy messenger unto you." (Verse No.s 107, 125, 143, 162, 178).
In surah Ad-dukhaan verse 18, Moosa (peace upon him) also repeats the words : "Indeed I am a trustworthy messenger unto you."
The Book of Allaah, with which came the trustworthy spirit, unto trustworthy messengers, who are trustworthy advisors.
Therefore, the advice, hadeeth, coming from the trustworthy messengers could only be in conformity with the trust placed by Allaah - His words - Qur-aan - and an explanation of the same and definitely not something contrary to it.
We find this exemplifed in the case of messenger Shu'aib's (peace upon him) in surah al-A'raaf, which is explained below:
7:85 "And unto Midian (We sent) their brother, Shu'aib. He said: O my people! Serve Allaah. You have no other God except Him. Indeed a clear proof has come unto you from your Lord; therefore, give full measure and full weight and wrong not mankind in their goods, and work not confusion in the earth after the fair ordering thereof. That will be better for you, if you are believers.
7:86 " Lurk not on every road to threaten (wayfarers), and to turn away from Allaah's path him who believes in Him, and to seek to make it crooked. And remember, when you were but few, how He did multiply you. And see the nature of the consequence for the corrupters.
7:87 " And if there is a party of you which believes in that wherewith I have been sent, and there is a party which believes not, then have patience until Allaah judge between us. He is the Best of all who deal in judgment."
In the first verse above, Shu'aib (peace upon him) says : " Indeed a clear proof has come unto you from your Lord " (referring to the Word of Allaah which he conveyed unto them) and then says : " therefore ....... ........ ....... ", do this and don't do that, as commanded in the Word of Allaah.
The words of the three verses, (beginning from the words "He said ....) though words quoted by Allaah, constitute hadeeth (as we call the messengers' words) that relate to Shu'aib (peace upon him), because that is what the messenger said, referring to the message of Allaah, which he already has conveyed. So he says : " Indeed a clear proof has come unto you from your Lord, therefore........."
a confirmation of his statement in the earlier verse No. 85
As we see from the lengthy advice (verse 85 to 87), it is nothing but similar commands which we find elsewhere in Qur-aan, which, Shu'aib (peace upon him) repeats in his own words referring to the message of Allaah, which he has already conveyed and he asks them, saying therefore, to obey the words of Allaah. The advice, the hadeeth of Shu'aib ('Alaihis-salaam), as we could see, is not made up of matters that contradict or deride the verses of Qur-aan, which we often encounter in the hadeeth attributed to our prophet (peace be upon him).
We have seen in the previous pages, as to how so many of the verses of Qur-aan have been targeted for ridicule and contradiction, and then such things passed on to us as something that must be done because the prophet taught so, such-and-such companion said that, such-and-such follower reported that and such-and-such imaam holds that view, etc.
Qur-aan is perfect and nothing has been omitted from the book (6:38). Allaah has called it Imaam (a leader) and Rahmah (Mercy).
11:17 " Is he (to be counted equal with them) who relies on a clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it, and before it was the Book of Moses, an Imaam (leader, example) and a Rahmah (mercy). Such believe therein, and whoso disbelieves therein of the clans, the Fire is his appointed place. So be not you in doubt concerning it. Indeed, it is the Truth from your Lord; but most of mankind believe not."
A verse of Sura al-Ahqaaf (46:12) also calls the book given to us - Qur-aan - as the Imaam (leader) and Rahmah (mercy), as was the Book of Moosa, a leader and mercy before this.
46:12 "When before it there was the Scripture of Moosa, an Imaam (example, leader) and a Rahmah (mercy); and this is a confirming Scripture in the Arabic language, that it may warn those who do wrong; and bring good tidings for the righteous."
May Allaah forgive us, we were not willing to take the word of this Grand Imaam - Qur-aan 'Azweem, without consulting the books attributed to people whom we took as our Imaams. And even if the ruling given by these imaams were contradictory to what the Qur-aan says, still we took the words of our imaams, imposed by our ill-wishers, as true, in preference to the Imaam indicated by Allaah.
From the study of what Qur-aan directs us to do in our prayer, swalah, we come to know that our human Imaams only enforced various deviations, rejection and ridicule of Allaah's words and they differed therein to varying degrees, to create divisions within the Ummah. If these people are not responsible for what is attributed to them, then surely some people from the later generations misused their names to create and enforce differences within the Ummah and to make it earn the displeasure of Allaah.
Despite the differences in the methods shown by the imaams, we are being told that it is fine to follow any of the imaams (and we will still be rightly guided) and that the difference among the imaams is a mercy (rahmah), even though we read in the Qur-aan that Qur-aan is Imaam and Mercy. (In other words, they are telling us : "It does not matter which imaam you follow. It is fine as long as you remain divided and in error".)
An example of this among the People of the Book is their saying:
2:135 "And they say: 'Be Jews or Christians, then you will be rightly guided.' Say (unto them, O Muhammad): 'Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters.' "
We have been kept deeply divided by our enemies on the basis of madhabs, etc. for a long time now. As a result, whenever an enemy traps one of our people in an unfavorable situation or when adversity strikes them, a large part of the ummah remains unmoved about their plight. They think : Well, they are Ahl-i-Sunnah or that they are Shias, or that they are such-and-such misguided people. Allaah is punishing them for their deviating from the religion. Everyone thinks about the other like this and thus we do not help each other in times of trouble. Let us not waste the opportunity Allaah presents for us to get united and become one ummah.
The strategy of our enemies in keeping us always divided is as follows:
Allaah subhaanahu-wa-ta'aala says in Surah al-Mu'minoon :
In surah ar-Room, Allaah asks us to turn unto Him only and fear Him and establish swalaah and not be from those who ascribe partners unto Him, from those who split their religion and became sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!
In surah al-An'aam Allaah says about those people who split their religion and became sects :
6:159 "As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, no concern at all have you with them : their affair is with Allaah, Who then will tell them what they used to do."
6:160 " Whoso brings a good deed will receive tenfold the like thereof, while whoso brings an ill-deed will be awarded but the like thereof; and they will not be wronged."
6:161 "Say: Verily, my Lord has guided me unto a straight path, a right religion, the community of Abraham, the upright, he was not of those who joined gods with Allaah."
In the last verse above, it has been mentioned : "This am I commanded, and I am first of the Muslims."
There is a simple description of 'Muslims' in Qur-aan in Surah al-Zukhruf verse 68 and 69 :
We should fear Allaah and careful not to disobey His signs. Allaah says :
My dear brothers,
Allaah has said :
8:46 "And obey Allaah and His messenger, and dispute not one with another lest you falter and your strength depart from you; but be steadfast! Indeed Allaah is with the steadfast."
On the other hand, as per the above verse, if we: 1. Obey Allaah and His messenger ; 2. Not fall into disputes (or resolve our disputes - since we have already fallen into it.) and 3. Remain steadfast ; then we shall, by Allaah's Leave, see that even with a smaller army and sources we vanquish a bigger army:
2:249 (part): " But those who knew that they would meet Allaah exclaimed : 'How many a little company has overcome a mighty host by Allaah's leave! Allaah is with the steadfast.' "
We come to know from the above verse that smaller companies have overcome mighty companies by Allaah's leave and that Allaah is with the steadfast.
My brothers! Let us not lose any time in reforming our swalah to conform to the Word of Allaah. Only when our prayers are correct, our supplications will be answered. After committing rejection and derision of the word of Allaah, how can we expect Allaah to be pleased with us and to help us. Reforming our affairs is of utmost priority. I once again appeal to you to abandon the petty identities because these divisions and differences will continue to degrade and weaken us. Believe in the signs of Allaah and call yourself as "one from the Muslims". Take immediate steps to reform the prayers. Hold fast to the book of Allaah and remember what is therein.