The soundness of the Prima-Qur’an view

They are invited to the book of Allah to settle their dispute”. Qur’an 3:23)

This article will show you the soundness of the Prima-Qur’an method Allah-willing

This method is internally cogent and consistent and other methods in jurisprudence are hard-pressed to find any flaws in this methodological approach.

The Qur’an mentions that the people of the book were invited to the book of Allah to settle their dispute.  Can you imagine that this is a criterion given for Christians and Jews and yet Muslims are not to uphold the same criterion?

The Qur’an is that which unites all Muslims regardless of world view.   No Muslim group can jump out the gate with their methodological principles until there is some common ground.  In this case, the common ground would be the Qur’an. What exactly does the Qur’an permit and not permit?

In this case, We are going to take aim at two issues here:

  1. The idea that the Sunnah is equal in weight to the Qur’an.
  2. The idea that the Sunnah can abrogate or override the Qur’an.

Now we are not seeking to dispute the Sunnah (words, deeds, actions, treaties) of the Blessed Messenger (saw) as a source of law.

It is very clear that the Sunnah of the Blessed Messenger is an authoritative source of law for us as Muslims.

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah, but those who turn away-We have not sent you over them as a guardian.” (Qur’an 4:80)

We are simply saying that it is not equal to the authoritative weight of the Qur’an.

Our argument to prove points 1 & 2 above is as follows:

You will never find any instance or example internally in the Qur’an (common agreed-upon point of reference) where the Blessed Prophet (saw) corrected Allah (swt), overturned a decision of Allah (swt). There is not a single reference at all for this.

However, we do have the following internal evidence within the Qur’an (common agreed-upon point of reference) where Allah (swt) corrected the Blessed Messenger (saw), overturned a decision by the Blessed Messenger (saw).

Let us start off with something very powerful from Allah (swt).

“This [Qur’an] is sent down from the Lord of all the worlds. If [the Prophet] had said anything against Us, We would certainly have seized his right hand and cut off his artery, and none of you could have defended him.” (Qur’an 69:43-47)

ALLAH!!!

Now can you imagine the Blessed Prophet (saw) being known as Rasulullah, Habibullah, Nabiullah and Shafiullah that even this blessed being esteemed as He (saw) is that the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Might, did not leave out from his revelation that he would cut off his aorta valve!

This is if he said anything against Allah (swt).  So we know from this verse that it is impossible for the Prophet (saw) to have said anything contrary to what Allah (swt) said!  This text alone is sufficient to prove points 1 & 2 above.

However, we can give more internal evidence.

“O Prophet! Why are you holding something to be forbidden which Allah has made lawful to you? You seek to please your consorts. But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 66:1)

Anyone familiar with what is considered the historical context of this verse knows the Blessed Messenger (saw) swore of honey for a period of time to please some of his jealous and envious wives. Yet, Allah (swt) has scolded the Blessed Messenger (saw) telling him to not make forbidden that which Allah (swt) has made permissible!

We will never find a single example internally within the Qur’an in which the Prophet (saw) corrected Allah (swt), advised Allah (swt), or overturned a decision given by Allah (swt).  Not once!

Yet another example:

“Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who argues with you concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah. and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things). If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact, they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is one that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again). But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered,- (It is ordained that such a one) should free a slave before they touch each other: You are admonished to perform: and Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do. And if any has not (the wherewithal), he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones, this, that you may show your faith in Allah and His Messenger. Those are limits (set by) Allah. For those who reject (Him), there is a grievous Penalty.” (Qur’an 58: 1-4)

As many of you may know regarding what is considered the historical context of these verses Khawlah bint Tha‘labah (r.a) went to the Blessed Messenger (saw) to complain about her husband. Many times it is reported that the Blessed Messenger (saw) gave his verdict about the matter.

Now, this should give us pause.

Here we have the case of this woman who even after hearing the decision of the Blessed Messenger (saw) continued to argue with him!  In other words, the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) wasn’t good enough for her!  That’s right.  She didn’t say simply say, “Yes oh Messenger of Allah, thank you!”  No!  This woman went to the highest authority of justice and wisdom that there is. She took her pain directly to Allah (swt)!

So Allah (swt) took the side of the woman over the side of the Blessed Messenger (saw)!

Which again is another clear cut example of  1 & 2 above.

“It is not for a believer, man, or woman when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in plain error.” (Qur’an 33:36)

Now in light of the above verses if Khawlah bint Tha‘labah (r.a) had not received a response in which Allah (swt) responded to her she would have been sinful for disobeying the Messenger of Allah.

So this lets us know that when the Blessed Messenger (saw) decrees something it is absolutely authoritative unless Allah (swt) has stated otherwise.

We will never find a single example internally within the Qur’an in which the Prophet (saw) corrected Allah (swt), advised Allah (swt), or overturned a decision given by Allah (swt).  Not once!

In fact, this historical narrative shows that the Blessed Messenger (saw) was indeed a messenger of Allah (swt) and not a messenger of his own design and making.

“When you said to the one whom Allah has blessed and you have favored, “Keep your wife and be mindful of  Allah” while concealing within yourself that which Allah was about to disclose. In doing so You feared people, whereas it is  Allah whom you should fear. So, when Zayd divorced her, We married her to you. We do not want believers to have restrictions concerning their adopted sons’ wives after they divorce them, for Allah’s God’s command must be carried out.” (Qur’an 33:37) 

Now while one may ultimately conclude from this that Allah gave to the Blessed Messenger (saw) that which was intended to give him without this verse he would have no indication of this. The sunnah of the Prophet (saw) was to advise Zayd to stay with his wife.   Allah (swt) has overridden the decision.

While we are at it I think it is an appropriate time and place to bring up on of the most used and abused text of the Qur’an.

Nor does he speak out of desire.” (Qur’an 53:3) 

I would honestly say this has to be the single most abused text of the entire revelation.

It is this very verse that is unjustifiably used (and abused might I add) to claim that every action, deed, saying, of the Blessed Messenger (saw) had divine sanction behind it.

We feel that the context of this verse is completely ignored by many fellow traditionalists.

“I swear by the star when it goes down. Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed.” (Qur’an 53:1-4)

The ‘It’ is in reference to the wahyu (revelation) of the Holy Qur’an.

The ‘It’ does not refer to the ‘words, deeds, actions, and treaties‘ of the Blessed Messenger (saw).

The Arabic text is: In huwa illa wahyun yooha

If Allah (swt) willed he could have used a verse in which the terms wahyu(revelation) and ilham (inspiration) in conjunction together.

If Allah (swt) so willed he could have juxtaposed the words wahyu and ilham together in a verse.

And your Lord inspired the Bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men’s) habitations; (Qur’an 16:68)

And the verse “He does not speak of his desire” is so badly abused and the claim is that every single thing that came out of the Blessed Prophets mouth was a revelation.

Well, didn’t the prophet have conversations with his wives? So if he said something like “Oh Aisha! I am thirsty so could you give me some water.” Is this revelation? Or if he said, “I need to go take care of something and I’ll be back in 5 minutes.

Is this revelation? Think about it! He was a human being as well as a Messenger of Allah. Surely he had daily conversations with people.

To me dear respected readers, those who have followed Prima-Qur’an: Ibadi perspectives on Islam for some time, this has to be a very big oversight on behalf of some of our respected scholars.

The inability to not being able to distinguish the following:

1) Muhammed (saw) the human being

&

2) Muhammed (saw) the Messenger of Allah (saw).

Take for example the following text from our Muslim brothers/sisters that call themselves ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah‘ or ‘Sunnis‘.

“I am only a human: if I command you to do something in your religion, then take it; but if I tell you to do something based on personal opinion, then [realize] that I am only human,”  (Sahih Muslim 4357)

“Yet if I inform you of something from Allah, then do it, for indeed I will never convey an untruth on behalf of Allah Mighty and Majestic,”  (Sahih Muslim 4356)

“After arriving in Medina, the Prophet (saw) passed by some people who were fecundating some date palms, so he asked them what they were doing. When they told him, he said, “I don’t think that will provide any benefit,” or in another narration, “It would be better if you didn’t do that.” So they refrained from doing it, and that year the crop was not as good. They mentioned it to him (saw), and he replied: “You know better of your worldly affairs.” (Sahih Muslim  4358)

Unfortunately, many of our scholars do not seem to make this distinction.

It is challenging enough to get the layman to understand the differences between that which is compulsory, which is stressed or strongly recommended when it comes to the Sunnah.

The challenge now is that when the Sunnah has become mass transmitted practice or written down in the form of hadith it is no longer being regulated by the divine authority. It now becomes a human endeavor.

As the Muslims have split into various theological and sectarian factions we have no choice but to weigh the various oral traditions in light of the Qur’an.

They are invited to the book of Allah to settle their dispute”. (Qur’an 3:23)

It is the Qur’an that regulates and gives authority to the Sunnah; not the other way around.

“It is not for any human being  that Allah should give him the Book, and the wisdom and the Prophethood that he should then say to men: ‘Be devoted to me rather than Allah, but rather (he would say): Become men of Allah by spreading the knowledge of the divine writ, and by your own deep study of it.”  (Qur’an 3:79)

You will never find any instance or example internally in the Qur’an (common agreed-upon point of reference) where the Blessed Prophet (saw) corrected Allah (swt), overturned a decision of Allah (swt).

The Qur’an totally dominates the Sunnah and regulates its characteristics and behaviors. It is never the other way around.

We will give more examples:

“May Allah pardon you, [O Muhammed]; why did you give them permission [to remain behind]?  [You should not have] until it was evident to you who were truthful and you knew [who were] the liars.” (Qur’an 9:43)

So now we as Muslims have a choice to make.

Either the following text is a clear contradiction within the Holy Qur’an thus disqualifying it as a revelation …..

Nor does he speak out of desire.” (Qur’an 53:3) 

O Prophet! Why are you holding something to be forbidden which Allah has made lawful to you? You seek to please your consorts. But Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 66:1)

May Allah pardon you, [O Muhammed]; why did you give them permission [to remain behind]?  [You should not have] until it was evident to you who were truthful and you knew [who were] the liars.” (Qur’an 9:43)

OR  as the position of Prima-Qur’an to understand the difference between:

1) Muhammed (saw) the human being

&

2) Muhammed (saw) the Messenger of Allah (saw).

In fact what I feel many Muslim and Christian theologians fail to recognize is that no human being, Prophet, or otherwise can truly be an example for us unless they make mistakes and errors in judgment and learn from them.   It is after all part of the human experience.  That is after all the teaching of Adam and Eve (upon them both be peace).

It is the teaching not of perfect infallible human beings devoid of the human experience; So that we can reach this idea of the Insān-i Kāmil – ‘The Perfect Man‘, far from it. The teaching is about a: Loving God that forgives when we err and guides when we stray.

Often our theologians have imposed their own ideas upon the text and made them say things they didn’t say to begin with.

An example (and in relation to this post). This example is for educational purposes and it is not intended to slight any of our respected scholars.

“That Allah may forgive you of your errors that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favour unto you, and may guide you on a right path,” (Qur’an 48:2)

This verse perhaps has been manipulated as well.

http://www.islamawakened.com/quran/48/2/

*Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri*  has translated the above as:

“So that Allah forgives, for your sake, all the earlier and later sins (of all those people) of your Umma ([Community]* who struggled, fought and sacrificed by your command), and (this way) may complete His blessing on you (outwardly and inwardly) in the form of Islam’s victory and forgiveness for your Umma (Community), and may keep (your Umma) firm-footed on the straight path (through your mediation).”

This seems like quite an abuse of the text.

* Note:  I understand the people of Sufism to be lovers of Al-Haqq (The Truth) and not people who manipulate the religion. So I am suggesting that this is perhaps an oversight on behalf of our respected Shaykh Tahir-ul-Qadri.

Or it is perhaps that the apparent meaning is that the Blessed Messenger (saw) committed minor infractions.  Perhaps due to the theological inclinations of respected Shaykh Tahir ul Qadri, it was his intention to have this be interpreted in another manner.

Once a person understands the theological underpinnings that some have concerning the infallibility of prophets perhaps it becomes crystal clear why he would want to make the text conform to a certain understanding.

May Allah (swt) bless him and bless us.  May Allah (swt) guide him and guide us.

The translation of the respected Shaykh clashes with translators from such a diverse  and disparate background as (Yusuf Ali, Pickthall, Muhsin Khan, Sahih International, Aisha Bewley, Dr. Ghali, T. B Irving, and Muhammad Asad)

The Arabic text is: Liyaghfira laka Allahu mataqadd

We leave that to you the reader to reflect upon.

In continuing with our presentation we have, even more, verses to ponder upon.

And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it]and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.” (Qur’an 18:23-24)

Again anyone who knows the historical context of these verses knows that a group of Jews came to the Blessed Messenger (saw) with a series of questions. According to this historical narrative, the Blessed Messenger (saw) told these people to come back tomorrow. However, there was no answer from Allah (swt) to the Blessed Messenger.  This was so until the above revelation came to the Blessed Messenger (saw) rebuking him and reminding him.

Again this totally refutes the idea that everything the Blessed Messenger (saw) did and said was a revelation!

I believe that the two points, in the beginning, have been soundly refuted.

The idea that the Sunnah is equal to the Qur’an in weight. 

The idea that the Sunnah can abrogate or override the Qur’an.

They are invited to the book of Allah to settle their dispute”. (Holy Qur’an 3:23)

As the Holy Qur’an is the point of reference to settle disputes I believe that no one can make an effective challenge to the Prima-Qur’an position in this regard.

No one can prove internally in the Qur’an (common agreed-upon point of reference) where the Blessed Prophet (saw) corrected Allah (swt), or overturned a decision of Allah (swt).

This is very important because other methods in jurisprudence have to use extraneous or tangential sources to make their case.  To say that the sunnah can abrogate the Qur’an or is on an equal footing with the Qur’an is not a case anyone can make using the Qur’an as the primary source of evidence.

It is based upon legal theories and presuppositions of the jurist.  It is based upon concepts imposed upon the Qur’an and not based upon anything cogent and consistent within the Qur’an.

The soundness of the Prima-Qur’an methodology is internally consistent, cogent, and airtight.

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah, but those who turn away-We have not sent you over them as a guardian.” (Qur’an 4:80)

Both are authoritative as guidance for Muslims.

However, as the concluding verse shows Allah (swt) is in total control over all things.

“This [Qur’an] is sent down from the Lord of all the worlds. If [the Prophet] had said anything against Us, We would certainly have seized his right hand and cut off his artery, and none of you could have defended him.” (Qur’an 69:43-47)

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