The sole duty of the Messenger

Here is a thread on Refuting Quranists and Modernists Page

where they said: “For when the Qur’an makes statements like “nothing but …” they should not be taken in an absolute and literal sense but some common sense should be used in interpreting them.”

And here is my reply:
“Please do not take the following verses out of context. The point I wish to make is the structure of the sentences (in Arabic) :

” NOT (something) EXCEPT (something) “

Like : LA Illaha ILLA Allah ( NOT there is a god EXCEPT Allah)

then read the following :

5:92 And obey God and obey the messenger, and be aware. If you turn away then know that it is the duty of the messenger to deliver clearly (annama (ONLY) AAala (UPON) rasoolina (OUR MESSENGER) albalaghual (THE DELIVERY) mubeen (CLEAR)).

5:99 The messenger is only to deliver (Ma (NOT) AAala (UPON) alrrasooli (THE MESSENGER) illaa (EXCEPT) lbalaghu (THE DELIVERY)). And God knows what you reveal and what you conceal.

24:54 Say: “Obey God, and obey the messenger.” But if they turn away, then he is only responsible for his obligation, and you are responsible for your obligations. And if you obey him, you will be guided. The messenger is only required to deliver clearly. (ma (NOT) AAala (UPON) alrrasooli (THE MESSENGER) illaa (EXCEPT) lbalaghu (THE DELIVERY) almubeena (CLEAR))

16:82 So if they turn away, then you are only required to deliver clearly. (fa-innama (THEN ONLY) AAalayka (UPON YOU) albalaghu (DELIVERY) almubeenu (CLEAR))

29:18 “And if you disbelieve, then nations before you have also disbelieved.” The messenger is only required to deliver clearly. (wama (AND NOT) AAala (UPON) alrrasooli (THE MESSENGER) illa (EXCEPT) albalaghu (THE DELIVERY) almubeenu (CLEAR))

16:35 And those who set up partners said: “If God had wished it, we would not have served anything besides Him; neither us nor our fathers; nor would we have forbidden anything without Him.” Those before them did the exact same thing; so are the messengers required to do anything but deliver with clarity? (fahal (THEN IS THERE) AAala (UPON) alrrusuli (THE MESSENGERS) illa (EXCEPT) albalaghu (THE DELIVERY) almubeenu (CLEAR))

36:17 “And we are only required to give a clear delivery. Wama (AND NOT) AAalayna (UPON US) illa (EXCEPT) albalaghu (THE DELIVERY) almubeenu (CLEAR)”

64:12 Obey God and obey the messenger. And if you turn away, then it is only required of Our messenger to deliver clearly. (fa-innama (THEN ONLY) AAala (UPON) rasoolina (OUR MESSENGER) albalaghu (THE DELIVERY) almubeenu (CLEAR))

So debating about what “Albalaghu alMubeenu is” would be the next step . Don’t forget 33:21 “oswatun hasanatun” Of course from the Quranist perspective the Good Example is believed to be contained in the Quran, not in the Bukhari collection. “

Answering the Submitter’s claims re 9/128-129

Been having some discussions with the Submitters about the so-called ‘false verses’. I must say, the reasons they give are sorely disappointing. One reason in particular is the thematic incongruence of 9/128-129. In other words, 9/128-129 doesn’t fit the ‘flow’ of the chapter. Lets see a few verses before 9/128-129:

9/123: O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that God is with those who fear Him.
124: Whenever there cometh down a sura, some of them say: “Which of you has had His faith increased by it?” Yea, those who believe,- their faith is increased and they do rejoice
125: But those in whose hearts is a disease,- it will add doubt to their doubt, and they will die in a state of Unbelief.
126: See they not that they are tried every year once or twice? Yet they turn not in repentance, and they take no heed.
127: Whenever there cometh down a Sura, they look at each other, (saying), “Doth anyone see you?” Then they turn aside: God hath turned their hearts (from the light); for they are a people that understand not.

So this is talking about fighting those who oppose peace and justice. The coming of the sura shows the coming of a cogent message which has different reactions from the believers and the hypocrites. Now lets see 9/128-129:

128: Now hath come unto you an messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.
129: But if they turn away, Say: “God sufficeth me: there is no god but He: On Him is my trust,- He the Lord of the Throne (of Glory) Supreme

Why is this problematic? It’s talking about the messenger’s role in the experience of revelation. The messenger helps to comfort the believers during those trying times.

Still not satisfied? Well lets have a look at 8/1. Why 8/1 when we were talking about chapter 9? Because they are the same chapter! There’s no basmalah in between them! 8/1 says:

They ask you about the bounties Say, “The  bounties is for Allah and the Messenger.” So fear Allah and amend that which is between you and obey Allah and His Messenger, if you should be believers

So this is the opening of the subject! Allah and His messenger are both mentioned in 9/128-129. 8/1 opens the subject and 9/128-129.

So much for thematic incongruity….

Why I over-analyse everything

I remember going to a Qur’an study circle (within a few days of reverting/converting) where there was no Qur’an present because (I was told) “it is too holy and we mere mortals cannot attempt to try to understand it” So that is why we have the Ahadith, so I was told. So the Scripture that had initially brought me to Islam (The Sublime Qur’an) was something I shouldn’t have been reading in the first place?! Something didn’t add up. And then my investigation started!

I think that the ahadith have a purpose, (which I will not go into here), and certainly for people who don’t know which hadiths are from the Qur’an and which ones are not, it must be terribly confusing. I heard a lot of weak/false/fabricated ahadith when I was first converted, and some of the more knowledgeable sisters at University were keen to point out that Ahadith could be either weak, strong, authentic etc, so I guess I learned early on to check what is in the Qur’an and what isn’t. I have heard some woppers of hadiths in my time, honestly, some of the most strange and most bizarre superstitions that people actively make place for in our beautiful deen, and (in my own opinion carelessly / heedlessly / disrespectfully) abrogating God’s final message to mankind. Alhamdulillah, having not been born into the religion with no dogma/pre-conceptions/falsehood already ingrained, it was fairly simple to “sort the wheat from the chaff” to use a very English expression, if I may!

So I guess I got into the habit (early on) of cross referencing or checking against the Master. So much so, that I found many many interesting topics. I remember reading about Hypocrites and Shirk and then suddenly I was seeing a lot of questionable practises everywhere, at university in the prayer rooms, and in islamic lectures; especially what I perceived to be “Shirk” – ascribing partners to God or outright worship of the Prophet, or discussing scholars as if the scholars were their “gods”. I carried on reading the Qur’an and the more I read, the more I believed that I was being warned. Not just about evil and the Shaytan, but also the ones who went astray when they didn’t obey the Message they were sent and corrupted it by adding / concealing /abrogating /twisting / disregarding / disobeying. It particularly struck me as odd when a lot of the lectures aimed at showing Christians that the Bible’s own words were telling people that Jesus never claimed to be God, but then when it comes to the Qur’an and what the Qur’an’s own words say, people are happy to do what they claim the Christians did and follow the hearsay / tradition / superstition and disregard the Scripture.

Nearly all the Muslims I’ve met in real life say the Sunnah+Ahadith is the 2nd divine source of guidance, the 1st being the Qur’an. But the Qur’an never mentions a second divine source.  “Sunnah”  is mentioned in the Qur’an (Sunnat’Allah). Ahadith are mentioned in the Qur’an. (The links show the verses that those words appear in). The Ahadith collection of Bukhari is not mentioned at all. It became apparent to me that God has given us instructions about the BEST hadith (see 39:23) to follow, which is the Qur’an, and asks us “which hadith other than THIS will you follow?” I fear the Day when I will be asked about all my actions and why I did them (or did not). From what I have learned, it is not going to look good if I say “because Scholar A said this and Sheikh B said that” in case it is seen that I am taking OTHER than God as my Lord. The Qur’an warns us not to take religious scholars/sheikhs/imams/priests/rabbis as our Lords. The Qur’an says Obey God and Obey the Messenger. The Messenger’s sole duty is to clearly deliver the message. So by obeying the Qur’an, I am obeying the Messenger, insha’Allah.

I fear God and I do my best to avoid the unforgiveable sin of commiting Shirk, insha’Allah.  I just want to worship Allah alone as instructed in the Qur’an (and previous Scripture) and obey the instructions. (Here is a good article on Reading and interpretation).

I have found there is a misperception that if you do not “accept” Bukhari’s Ahadith collection, then this is rejecting the Prophet/Messenger so it means we are not obeying the Messenger so we are not obeying God.

I am not “unwilling to accept” ahadith which correspond exactly with the Qur’an. Nor do I have a problem with “good advice” in general. I do however have a problem with ahadith / hearsay / gossip that are falsely attributed to the Messenger and labelled as divine guidance, as this does not respect him as the Servant, Messenger and Prophet like he ought to be respected, in my opinion. And I will not knowingly attribute anything falsely to God or lie about God, insha’Allah.  I like to think that, by not deviating from the Message the Prophet brought, that God protected/guarded, this is the best way to support and obey him, which is to obey God. The Qur’an tells us what to ignore, and also tells us to verify before we accept. The Qur’an is a book in which there is NO doubt, unlike the ahadith which are claimed to be weak, strong, authentic, fabricated, baseless etc which makes it surplus to requirements. Even the “strong” and “authentic” ones are questionable when you look into the “Science of Hadith” (see Wikipedia’s article on Criticism of Hadith) and what criteria/conjecture are used for determining/speculating about the authenticity. Even if the authenticity was not highly questionable, it still remains that there is no authority given in the Qur’an for judging by anything other than the Qur’an itself and the Qur’an warns us about fabricated/baseless ahadith and conjecture.

It is my belief that there are many ways in which we are tested. I am trying to pass the Test, insha’Allah. We know from what the Qur’an says about the Shaytan, who will come and try to make people stray from the right path, making their doings seem goodly to them. I guess this is why I tend to (over)analyse everything to make sure it is “bona-fide” and not Shaytan’s trickery. Insha’Allah.

If the Qur’an (the divine guidance) was from any other than God then it would be full of contradiction. And there is NO contradiction in the Qur’an. It is only in the “reported” sayings and actions of Rasulallah that there are contradictions, so therefore how can this be divine guidance from God? (don’t forget the reports are just that, and look at the newsreaders today and what they report – is it always accurate? no of course not – often propaganda, conjecture and bias with a socio-political agenda) I am not saying I believe ALL ahadith are conjecture / misreports. But I am saying that I believe that if they are NOT conjecture then they WILL be found in the Qur’an, and the Qur’an clarifies. So that’s what I try to establish, insha’Allah. The “sects” or schools of thought in Islam have one thing in common: the Sublime Guarded Qur’an. So how better to make sure I am NOT in a sect than by following the one common denominator? And of course because God commanded us to and to NOT follow conjecture.

see also
Why Quranism is not a sect – Justifying the Quranist / Quranism labels

Quranists and the term ‘Quranists’

Quranic Fundamentalism

Prophetic “Sunnah” in the Quran 

A summation of the messenger’s sunna

Josh asked a great question on QD today. Bascally he asked for a list of the messengers actions in the Quran. I have no such list myself but the first verse which hit me was 21/107:

And We have not sent you, except as a mercy to the worlds (21/107)

The ‘you’ here isnt limited to Muhammad either but works for all readers who have achieved this status. Be that as it say, it does seem to be the summation of who Muhammad was.

If the Messenger were free of fault…

If the Messenger and Prophet Muhammad were free of fault, then why would Allah SWT create a “what-if” scenario in chapter 69 (al Haqqah)?

69:38 I swear by what you see
69:39 What you do not see.
69:40 This is the utterance of an honorable messenger.
69:41 It is not the utterance of a poet; rarely do you acknowledge.
69:42 Nor the utterance of a soothsayer; rarely do you take heed.
69:43 A revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
69:44 Had he attributed anything falsely to Us.
69:45 We would have seized him by the right.
69:46 Then, We would have severed his life-line.
69:47 None of you would be able to prevent it.
69:48 This is a reminder for the righteous.
69:49 We know that some of you are deniers.
69:50 That it is a distress for the ingrates.
69:51 It is the absolute truth.
69:52 Therefore, you shall glorify the name of your Lord, the Great.

Not to mention all the other occurrences where the Prophet was forgiven or accused of a sin.

The Sunna IN the Quran

Joseph Shaer linked us to a very interesting discussion in Quranology Discussions. It’s about obeying the messenger which is textually speaking, obeying Allah.

I like to add, the messenger delivered a set of instructions for us as well. It’s all in the Quran though. Have a look at 2/21-39. That’s the messenger’s first address to us.