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Monday, March 31, 2014

Basics in Understanding the Religion of al-Islam

The intended audience of this post is not one who does not believe nor has not interest in believing that the Qur'an was spoken by the very God, ALLAH, who created the universe, and everyone and everything in it, and who alone deserves submission, obedience, dependence, and worship. Similarly, the one who believes in the validity of the Qur'an, but doubts the authenticity of all hadeeth, believing that they are not credible references to the words and teachings of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, will also not appreciate this; however, if someone in the latter category can be convinced of the authenticity of what has been preserved of the Sunnah in Hadith, by virtue of what ALLAH has said in the Qur'an, then this person will have benefitted, InshaALLAH.
ALLAH has said in his book:
                                                                                     { من يطع الرسول فقد أطاع الله}
This means in English, “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah . . .”
(an-Nisa'a 4:80). 
This statement of ALLAH among others is enough for the one who accepts all of the Qur'an. The one who accepts the Qur'an should also accept that the book of ALLAH comes with the clarification that everything the prophet, peace be upon him, taught about the religion was something revealed to him by ALLAH. The Most High has said,
                                                                                { وما ينطق عن الهوى إن هو إلاّ وحيٌ يوحى}
 Which means, "Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only a Revelation revealed” (al-Najm, 53:3-4). The apparent meaning of which is that whatever he teaches of religion, be it the Qur'an or otherwise, is something he was told by ALLAH through the Wahi (revelation). A noteworthy concept is that all Qur'an is Wahi, but not all Wahi was Qur'an. The difference between the two is that the Qur'an is what ALLAH said himself in Arabic, verbatim, whereas the other Wahi are general rulings and lessons, but not explicitly ALLAH's speech, but none the less, ALLAH is the source. Allah has said,  
            {فلا وربك لا يؤمنون حتّى يحكمُّوك فيما شجر بينهم ثمّ لا يجدوا في أنفسهم حرجاً مـمّا قضيت ويسلموا تسليم}
which means in English "But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you [Muhammad] judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission" (al-Nisa'a, 4:65), and ALLAH has said more in the same chapter regarding this. Recall that the Qur'an is complete, and ALLAH will judge by all that is in it, for or against all people's actions since he revealed it to his prophet, peace be upon him. It can then be understood, that Allah would preserve what he instructed his prophet to teach. ALLAH said about his book, 
{إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ}

Which means in English, "Surely, We have sent down the reminder, and We will most surely be its guardian" (al-Hijr, 15:9). The apparent meaning here is that ALLAH will guard his speech in a perfect way, and mankind has witnessed no change in what ALLAH said in the Arabic language since it came to the earth over 1400 years ago. Similarly, because ALLAH ordered mankind to make the prophet a judge of their affairs, it must be understood that ALLAH will also preserve the Sunnah such that men can maintain it to a certain degree of authenticity; scholars of Hadith have taken this initiative for centuries, and the later muhadithoon have always refined the work of their predecessors.
It should be understood now that the Qur'an and the Sunnah is to be used as guidance. The ones who best understood these texts are the first three generations of Muslims. This teaching comes from prophet.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ "خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ قَوْمٌ تَسْبِقُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَأَيْمَانُهُمْ شَهَادَتَهُمْ "
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best people are those of my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then, there will come people whose witness will precede their oaths and whose oaths will precede their witness.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari 6065, Sahih Muslim 2533;Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi (authenticity agreed upon) according to Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim)
There is much more to this topic than what has been stated here. Readers are implored to seek proper understanding, and success is only from ALLAH.