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The Noble Quran: its Virtue and Status as a Source of Legislation

The Noble Quran is Allahs Word through which He expressed His commands and teachings. It is raised above any possible description. The Noble Quran was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and was accepted by the believers as being the essence of truth. Moreover, the believers maintain that it is the Word of Allah and not the words of any of His creatures. Thus, whosoever claims that it is the words of a human being becomes a disbeliever.

Allah described the Quran in the following verses: "And verily, it is an honourable well-fortified respected Book (because it is Allhs Speech, and He has protected it from corruption). Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it: (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allh). (41:41,42). The Quran was also described by Allah in this verse: "(This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail from One (Allh), Who is All-Wise Well-Acquainted (with all things). (11:1)

In fact, the verses of the Noble Quran are very accurate, clear and obvious; they are perfected by the All-Wise and detailed by the All-Aware. This Quran will remain a miraculous Book with regard to the rhetorical, legislative, scientific, and historical aspects. It will remain unchallengeable in these and other aspects till the end of the world. It is preserved from the least kind of distortion; as Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qurn) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). (15:9)

The world as a whole has not got such a conclusive and comprehensive book as the Noble Quran, that contains all kinds of goodness, all the methods for guiding humanity to the straight path and all the means of happiness for humankind in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "Verily, this Qurn guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allh and His Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him)) who do deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise). (17:9)

The Noble Quran was revealed by Allah to his Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) in order to lead the people out of the darkness of ignorance and polytheism to the light of guidance and monotheism. He [exalted and glorified be He] said: "(This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of belief in the Oneness of Allh and Islmic Monotheism) by their Lords Leave to the Path of the All-Mighty, the Owner of all Praise". (14:1)

Through the Noble Quran, Allah [exalted and glorified be He] recovered the eyes blinded from seeing the truth, the ears deafened from listening to the truth and the hearts sealed and hindered from assimilating the reality. Through the Noble Quran, Allah promised happiness for Muslims in this world and in the Hereafter if they recite it in the way ordained by Allah, understand its Surahs and verses; comprehend its sentences and words, consider the limits of Allah included therein; follow its orders; refrain from its prohibitions; adjust their way of life in accordance with the legislation included therein and apply its principles and values to themselves, their families and communities. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "Those (who embraced Islm from Ban Israel) to whom We gave the Book [the Taurt (Torah)] [or those (Muhammads (peace be upon him) companions) to whom We have given the Book (the Qurn)] recite it (i.e. obey its orders and follow its teachings) as it should be recited (i.e. followed), they are the ones that believe therein. And whoso disbelieve in it (the Qurn), those are they who are the losers). (2:121)

The well-known companion, Ibn Abbas, said that this verse means: "Those are the people who follow the Noble Quran in the way it should be followed. They regard the unlawful included therein as unlawful and the lawful as lawful. They do not change the words from their (right) places."

The companion of the Prophet, Qatadah, said: "The reference in the verse is to the companions of Muhammad (peace be upon him) who believe in the Book of Allah [i.e. the Noble Quran], confirm this belief in their hearts, consider its lawful as lawful and its unlawful as unlawful and act according to the teachings included therein".

That is why the Jinn were impressed with the Noble Quran when they heard it. Their hearts were filled with its love and they hastened to call their people to believe in that Glorious Book. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "Say (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)): "It has been revealed to me that a group (from three to ten in number) of jinn listened (to this Qurn). They said: Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation (this Qurn)! It guides to the Right Path, and we have believed therein, and we shall never join (in worship) anything with our Lord (Allh). And He, exalted be the Majesty of our Lord, has taken neither a wife nor a son (or offspring or children). (72:1-3) In another instance, Allah described the reaction of the Jinn when they heard the recitation of the Noble Quran. He [exalted and glorified be He] said: (They said: "O our people! Verily, we have heard a Book (this Qurn) sent down after Ms (Moses), confirming what came before it: it guides to the truth and to a Straight Path (i.e. Islm). O our people! Respond (with obedience) to Allhs Caller (i.e. Allhs Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him)), and believe in him (i.e. believe in that which Muhammad (peace be upon him) has brought from Allh and follow him). He (Allh) will forgive you of your sins, and will save you from a painful torment (i.e. Hell-fire)." (46:30,31)

Because of all this, the Quran is superior to all the previous divine books. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "And verily, it (this Qurn) is in the Mother of the Book (i.e. Al-Lauh Al-Mahfdh), with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom)." (43:4) In another verse He [exalted and glorified be He] said: "And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) the Book (this Qurn) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures)." (5:48)

The commentators of the Noble Quran said that the superiority of the Noble Quran to the rest of the divine books though all of them are from Allah results from many things. The first advantage is that the number of its Surahs is more than the number of the Surahs in the other divine books. It is reported in a sound Hadth that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was privileged with Srat Al-Fatihah and the concluding verses of Srat Al-Baqarah. On the other hand, a famous Muslim scholar, Ad-Darami, narrated in his book of hadith on the authority of Abdullh bin Masd (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "The long seven Surahs of the Noble Quran are equal to the Torah, the Miun Surahs are equal to the Gospel, the Mathani Surahs are equal to the Psalms and above all this, the Noble Quran is superior to all divine books". The Muslim scholars, Imm Ahmed and At-Tabarani, narrated on the authority of Wathilah bin Al-Asqa that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "I have been given the long seven Surahs instead of the Torah, I have been given the Miun Surahs instead of the Psalms, I have been given the Mathani Surahs instead of the Gospel and I have been privileged with the Mufassal portion". [Musnad Al-Imm Ahmed 2/107].

The long seven Surahs are six, starting from Srat Al-Baqarah and ending with Srat Al-Arf. The scholars differed regarding the seventh long Surah, whether it is Al-Anfl and At-Taubah together, as there is no Basmalah to separate between them and thus making Al-Anfl and At-Taubah as only one Surah, or it is Srat Yunus. The Miun Surahs are those containing one hundred verses, each, or more. The Mathani (oft-repeated) Surahs are of less than one hundred verses. They are called Mathani because they are repeated again and again more than the seven long Surahs and the Surahs containing one hundred verses. The Mufassal portion contains the short Surahs that come next to the Mathani Surahs. There is a disagreement among the scholars as regards the beginning of the Mufassal Surahs. Some said that they start from Srat As-Sft and others said that they start from Srat Al-Fath. A third group said that they start from Srat Al-Hujurat, and others said that they start from Srat Qf. This last opinion is preferred by the two scholars i.e. Ibn Kathr and Ibn Hajar. There are other opinions in this regard. However, they agreed that the end of the Mufassal Surahs is the last Surah of the Noble Quran, i.e. Srat An-Ns.

The most important characteristic of the Noble Quran is its miraculous style. Though all the divine books are miraculous; narrating the news of the unseen and detailing the rulings and judgements; however, they do not contain the extraordinary method by which the Noble Quran is distinguished. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "And Verily, it (this Qurn) is in the Mother of the Book (i.e. Al-Lauh Al-Mahfz), with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom). (43:4). There is another proof confirming this fact in the Noble Quran and that is in Allahs [exalted and glorified be He] saying: (You [true believers in Islmic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind)" (3:110). The famous Muslim scholar, Al-Hafidh Ibn Kathr, said that the Muslim Nation achieved this priority by virtue of the blessings of the Noble Quran, which Allah [exalted and glorified be He] preferred to all the revealed books, made it superior and Muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) of them and to abrogate and conclude them all. It is also worth mentioning that the other revealed books were revealed at once and not gradually in stages like the Noble Quran, which denotes the great care and interest attached to the Quran and to the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom it was descended. Every time a portion of the Noble Quran was revealed, it was equivalent to the revelation of a complete book from among the previously revealed ones. [Fadil Al-Qurn (The Virtues of the Noble Quran) by Al-Hafidh Ibn Kathr. pp. 102,103]

This blessed Book, i.e. the Quran, stated many of the cosmic scientific facts proving the existence of Allah. Allah the Almighty said: "And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?" (21:30) The Quran also urges us to benefit from every conceivable thing in this life. He [exalted and glorified be He] said: "Say: "Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth,"" (10:101) In another verse Allah the Almighty said: "And He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply." (45:13)

Therefore, it is the duty of Muslims to contemplate the miracles of the universe, enjoying the fruits of these mighty powers which Allah has put in the stores of His heavens and His earth.

It is true that the merits of the Noble Quran may never end. It is the Book that cultivated the love of justice and consultation in the hearts of the Muslims and made them hate injustice and despotism. The motto of those who follow the Quran is: the strong faith, self-denial, altruism and mutual mercy.

A Muslim should dedicate his time to the Noble Quran, reciting it, understanding it, acting according to its instructions and memorizing it. This is the attitude of the believers, described by Allah [exalted and glorified be He] in the Quran as follows: "Verily, those who recite the Book of Allh (this Qurn), and perform prayer (Iqmat-as-Salt), and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them their reward in full, and give them (even) more, out of His Grace. Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense)." (35: 29,30)

In these two verses Allah the Almighty praises those who recite His Book and combine their recitation with contemplation and feeling. Undoubtedly, feeling and sensitivity lead the one reciting the Noble Quran to act according to the rulings of the verses he recites.

For this reason Allah the Omnipotent combined the recitation of the Noble Quran with the establishment of prayer, spending secretly and publicly from the blessings of Allah and then with the hope for trade-gain that will never perish. The believers believe that the reward of Allah [exalted and glorified be He] is better than the property they spend. Moreover, they engage in the trade that will be the reason for getting their reward and more from the Grace of Allah, as verily He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Ready to appreciate, the One who forgives the shortcomings and rewards the good deeds.

Thus, it is imperative to read the Noble Quran with contemplation in order to comprehend the Quranic statements accurately. However, if the reader is unable to understand anything from the Noble Quran, he has to ask the people specialized in the field. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "So ask (you, O pagans of Makkah) of those who know the Scripture [learned men of the Taurt (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] if you know not)." (16:43) Studying the Noble Quran is recommendable at all times. On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "No people who gather in one of the Houses of Allah [i.e. the Mosques] reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, but tranquillity will descend upon them, mercy will envelop them, the angels will surround them, and Allah will make mention of them amongst those who are with Him. Whoever is slowed down by his actions will not be hastened forward by his lineage." [Sahh Muslim, Hadth no.2699]. It is not a must to recite the Quran in the mosque in order to attain reward. This is confirmed by the Prophets Hadth: "No people gather together remembering Allah the Almighty without the angels surrounding them...," So, if they gather in a place other than the mosque and recite the Noble Quran and remember Allah, they will obtain the same reward as gathering and reciting the Quran in the mosque. The phrase "the House of Allah" in the Hadth is not restricted to a specific place, rather it denotes what the people are accustomed to. Based on this, gathering for reciting and studying the Book of Allah and learning the basics of religion as well as comprehending the rulings and wisdoms interspersed in the verses in any place, whether it is the mosque or any other place, is rewarded with the best reward. However, gathering in the mosque is better than gathering in any other place, because of the blessings and the virtues of the mosque which are not found elsewhere.

On the authority of Abdullh Ibn Masd (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "He who reads a single letter from the Book of Allah will have one good deed as a reward, and every single good deed will be equated to ten good deeds. I do not consider "Alif-Lm-Mm" as only one letter but "Alif" is a letter, "Lam" is another letter, and "Mm" is a third letter" [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi, Hadth no.3075]

On the authority of Uthmn bin Affn (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The best in reward among you is the one who learnt and memorized the Noble Quran and thereafter taught it to other people" [Sahh Al-Bukhri, Hadth no. 4793]. This is a concrete evidence of the virtue and blessing of learning the Noble Quran and teaching it. It also encourages the believer to study and memorize the Book of Allah. A famous Muslim scholar, Sufyn Ath-Thauri, was asked about the best thing for the Muslim to do; to fight in the cause of Allah or to read the Noble Quran. He said that it is better for the Muslim to read the Noble Quran because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The best among you is the one who learnt and memorized the Noble Quran and thereafter taught it to other people". Furthermore, Imm Abu Abdur-Rahmn As-Salmi stayed in Al-Kfa mosque for forty years teaching the Noble Quran. Whenever he remembered the above mentioned Hadth he said that this Hadth was the main reason behind his stay in the mosque teaching the Noble Quran.

Al-Hafidh Ibn Kathr in his book titled "Fadil Al-Qurn" (The Virtues of the Noble Quran) pp.126, 127 said that the main idea of the above Hadth is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) described the best of the Muslims as the one who learns the Noble Quran and thereafter teaches it to other people. Ibn Kathr stressed that these are the qualities of the believers who follow the Messengers (peace be upon them all). The believers are those who are perfect in their personality and who endeavour all the time to make others attain perfection and thus obtain benefit for themselves and for others. This description of the believers is contrary to the description of the disbelievers who neither benefit anyone nor let others strive to obtain their own benefit. Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the Path of Allh, for them We will add torment over torment because they used to spread corruption [by disobeying Allh themselves, as well as ordering others (mankind) to do so]." (16:88) In another verse Allah said: "And they prevent others from him (from following Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) and they themselves keep away from him, and (by doing so) they destroy not but their ownselves, yet they perceive (it) not." (6:26) The most correct interpretation of this verse is that it was revealed concerning those who prevent people from following the Noble Quran and at the same time refrain from following it. Thus, they combine both belying the Quran and hindering people from following it. Allah the Omnipotent said: "Who then does more wrong than one who rejects the Ayt (evidences, verses, etc.) of Allh and turns away therefrom?." (6:157) This is the description of the disbelievers, which is in contradiction to the description of the believers who strive to perfect themselves and try to make others attain perfection as mentioned in the Hadth of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Allah described this kind of people in this verse: "And who is better in speech than he who [says: "My Lord is Allh (believes in His Oneness)," and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allhs (Islmic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims."" (41:33) This kind of person mentioned in the verse combines the qualities of inviting people to the way of Allah, through proclaiming Adhn (the call to prayer) or by any other means, such as teaching the Noble Quran, the Hadth of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), the Islamic law, and other branches of knowledge. These rites are performed for the sake of Allah and for the performance of good, in word and deed. Thus, none will be better than such kind of person.

As Allahs Mercy envelops those who recite His Book and follow the commandments included therein, it also overwhelms those who listen to it. Allah the Almighty said: "The believers are only those who, when Allh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qurn) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); Who perform the prayer (Iqmat-as-Salt) and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise)." (8:2-4)

Abdullh bin Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to me: recite the Quran for me. He asked: Messenger of Allah, (how) should I recite to you whereas it has been sent down to you? He (the Noble Prophet) said: I desire to hear it from someone else. So I recited Srat Al-Nis till I reached the verse: (How then shall it be when We shall bring from every people a witness and bring you against them as a witness?) I lifted my head, or a person touched me to attract my attention, and so I lifted my head and saw his (the Prophets) tears falling. [Narrated by Al-Bukhri, Hadth no.4582 and by Muslim, Hadth no.800, and by Ab Dwd, Hadth no.3668]

Imm An-Nawawi said that there are a lot of benefits in this Hadth. The first one is the virtue of listening to the Noble Quran attentively; weeping while listening to it and pondering over the meanings of its verses. The second benefit is the virtue of asking others to recite the Noble Quran for the person, which is more impressive than reading by oneself.

Therefore, it is the duty of every Muslim to recognize the status of the Noble Quran and act upon its rulings. It is also ones duty to abide by the rites of religion during listening to the Noble Quran and to follow the way of the Salaf (Righteous Muslim Predecessors who are the ideal to follow) in reading the Noble Quran. They are the guiding stars that should be followed and imitated in every aspect of life. They (i.e. the Salaf) were the best examples to be followed in their perfect submission to Allah and in their understanding of the meanings of the Noble Quran. They had strong belief in Allahs saying: "And truly, this (the Qurn) is a revelation from the Lord of the lamn (mankind, jinn and all that exists), Which the trustworthy Rh [Jibrl (Gabriel)] has brought down Upon your heart (O Muhammad (peace be upon him) that you may be (one) of the warners, In the plain Arabic language)." [26:192-95]

It is true that the Noble Quran, its words and meanings, is from Allah. It is the divine legislation for all people and creatures; the first and the foremost reference for religious matters for Muslims; the judge solving all the problems in all affairs. It is worth mentioning that the rulings in the Noble Quran did not descend all at once, but came gradually, during the time of the Message. Some of these rulings aimed at strengthening the heart and the faith of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), and some aimed at supplying the Muslim Nation with knowledge and action. Still others were revealed on the occasions of some events that happened to Muslims in their daily lives in different times and places. Whenever something happened, certain portions of the Quran were to be revealed to give ample clarification about Allahs judgement with regard to that event. These included juridical cases and historical events that used to take place in the nascent Muslim community during the era when legislation was in its formative stage. An instance of that was the case regarding alcohol drinking

Imm Ahmad narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Madnah at a time when people were drinking wine and earning money by means of gambling. When they asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about that, the following verse was revealed: "They ask you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit"" (2:219) When this verse was revealed, people understood that the verse did not include a clear prohibition, rather it described the harm and the sins incurred by them, both. They continued drinking alcohol till a day when a man from the immigrants led the Maghrib (sunset) prayer and, having drunk alcohol, committed a lot of mistakes in recitation. Then, another verse, which is somehow more strict than the above was revealed. Allah the Almighty said: "O you who believe! Approach not the prayer when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter)." (4:43) People, however, continued to drink alcohol, except before prayers, in order to come to the prayer in their full senses. Then the following verse was revealed: "O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansb, and Al-Azlm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitns (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaitn (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allh and from the prayer. So, will you not then abstain?". (5:90)

When this last verse was revealed all the Muslims said: "We abstain O our Lord". Some people asked the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) about the ruling regarding those who were used to drinking alcohol and practicing gambling and died before that prohibition. Then, the following verse was revealed: "Those who believe and do righteous deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate (in the past), if they fear Allh (by keeping away from His forbidden things), and believe and do righteous deeds, and again fear Allh and believe, and once again fear Allh and do good deeds with Ihsn (perfection). And Allh loves the good-doers)." (5:93) Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to his Companions: "If it was made unlawful for them, they would have abstained from drinking alcohol and practicing gambling, as you did." [Musnad Al-Imm Ahmad (Imam Ahmads Compilation of Hadith), 2/351,352]. Anas bin Mlik (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he was the cupbearer in the house of Abu Talhah. When alcohol was prohibited, an announcer was ordered (by the Prophet) to declare its prohibition among people. Abu Talhah asked Anas to go out to investigate the matter. When Anas told him about the prohibition of alcohol, Abu Talhah ordered Anas to spill all the alcohol they had. Anas said that the streets of Madnah were streaming with alcohol because all the people spilt out their alcohol, which was known as Fadkh. Some people talked about the fate of those who used to drink it and died before it was made unlawful. Then, this verse was revealed: "Those who believe and do righteous deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate (in the past), if they fear Allh (by keeping away from His forbidden things), and believe and do righteous deeds, and again fear Allh and believe, and once again fear Allh and do good deeds with Ihsn (perfection)." (5:93)

We can conclude that alcohol was prohibited gradually and in three stages. The first stage was when this verse was revealed: "They ask you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: "In them is a great sin, and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit"" (2:219). Though this was not a decisive prohibition, those of strong faith managed to give up drinking alcohol. Then, Umar bin Al-Khattb (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "O Allah give us a decisive ruling regarding alcohol". Then, this verse was revealed: "O you who believe! Approach not the prayer when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter." (4:43) Afterwards, Muslims continued drinking alcohol and only avoided it at the times they apprehended that the effect of intoxication would last till the time of prayer. Then, Umar bin Al-Khattb said: "O Allah give us a decisive ruling regarding alcohol". Then these two verses were revealed: "O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al-Ansb, and Al-Azlm (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitns (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful. Shaitn (Satan) wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants (alcoholic drinks) and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allh and from As-Salt (the prayer). So, will you not then abstain?" (5:90) Upon listening to these two verses, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "We have abstained."

The aim of gradual legislation was to purify the Muslim Nation from all bad traditions and abominable habits that opposed the law of Allah and to perfect the Muslims with the virtues of forgiveness, patience, selflessness, love, trust, kind treatment of the neighbours, justice and many other good qualities.

Allah [exalted and glorified be He] is the sole Legislator for His servants. He said: "The decision is only for Allh, He declares the truth, and He is the Best of judges." (6:57) He only legislates that which benefits people and brings about goodness and happiness in this world and in the Hereafter, regardless of whether the wisdom behind the legislation is perceived or not.

The Noble Quran is the first source for legislation, while the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is the second source. Muslim scholars unanimously agreed on the authority of the Sunnah as a source of legislation beside the Noble Quran. Allah the Almighty said: "O you who believe! Obey Allh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad (peace be upon him) and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allh and His Messenger (peace be upon him), if you believe in Allh and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination)." (4:59). In another verse Allah [exalted and glorified be He] said: "With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) the Dhikr (reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qurn)] that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought." (16:44). In a third place He [exalted and glorified be He] said: "And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). And fear Allh; verily, Allh is Severe in punishment." (59:7)

In his book called Ilm Al-Muwaqin An Rabel-lamn [i.e. Informing those who give Fatwas on behalf of the Lord of the worlds of the danger of their position] volume II, p.263, Imm Ibn Qiyim Al-Jawziyah defines the position of the Sunnah with regard to the Noble Quran saying: "The position of the Sunnah with respect to the Noble Quran is of three aspects. The first one is to be in accordance with the Noble Quran in all aspects and as a result the existence of the Sunnah with the Noble Quran in one issue will be of a reinforcing nature regarding the rulings. The second aspect is to be an explanation and manifestation of the rulings included in the Noble Quran. The third aspect of the position of the Sunnah to the Noble Quran is to clarify the obligations about which the Noble Quran kept silent and manifest the prohibitions, which are not explained in the Noble Quran. Bearing all this in mind, we can say that there is no contradiction between the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), rather they complement each other.

Therefore, the role of the Sunnah is to emphasize the rulings of the Noble Quran, explain the texts thereof, expound the abridged, or initiate a ruling that is not mentioned in the Book of Allah. In spite of the important position of the Sunnah, we do not turn to the Sunnah for legislation, except when the ruling is not found in the Noble Quran. It is the Sunnah which explains to us that the number of prayers is five times a day; explains the number of Rakas in every prayer; defines the essence of the alms giving; defines who is obliged to perform it, and the shares thereof. It is the Sunnah that shows us the way of performing Hajj and Umrah, and that the obligatory Hajj is once in ones lifetime. It is the Sunnah which shows the Miqts for Hajj and determines the number of times that Tawf around the Kabah should be performed.

Thus, it is the duty of everyone believing in the authority of the Noble Quran but renouncing the Sunnah to hasten to renew his faith and to return to Allah the Almighty. Allah said: "And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous deeds, and then remains constant in doing them, (till his death)." (20:82)

Both of the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) are revelations from Allah to His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). They are the two sources of legislation, which have guided man to his innate nature and made of him a human being who knows his real role in life, repeating this verse all the time: "All praise and thanks be to Allh, Who has guided us to this, and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allh had guided us!" (7:43)

May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, upon his family and upon his honourable companions (may Allah be pleased with them all)




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