Role of Messenger (SAS)

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Articles in this Series :

 –  Introduction to ‘Hadith: The Integral Part of Islam’
- Article 1: What are Hadeeth and Sunnah?
- Article 2: Is Quran the only form of Revelation to Mohammad (SAS)?
- Article 3:  Role of Prophet Muhammad (SAS)
- Article 4: Importance of Sunnah, Hadith & Scholars
Article 5: Referring to Messenger (SAS), on the issue of Hadiths
- Article 6: Reply to common arguments of Hadith Rejecters (Part1)
- Article 7: Reply to common arguments of Hadith Rejecters (Part2) 
- Conclusion & References 


Article 3: Role of Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him

The usual claim of those who take Hadiths and Sunnah lightly is that the Messenger’s role was only to deliver Qur’an and nothing more than that. As their evidence they quote, Surah 5:92, Surah 24:54 and Surah 64:12. However they (usually) purposely try and avoid the ayahs in Qur’an itself which describe the mentioned ayahs in greater detail. Also as our assumption is that the reader understands and believes that Qur’an is uncorrupted and direct word of Allah revealed to Muhammad (sas), we will explore the role of Muhammad (sas) from Qur’an itself.

Role as explainer of Qur’an

 (We sent them) with Clear Signs and Books of dark prophecies; and We have sent down unto thee (also) the Message; that thou mayest explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may give thought.
(Translation of Qur’an Surah 16:44)

And We have not sent down to thee the Book except that thou mayest explain to them that concerning which they have created differences and as a guidance, and a mercy for a people who believe.
(Translation of Qur’an Surah 16:64)

These verses show that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent to explain the Quran. It doesn’t just mean to “proclaim”. To proclaim is to ‘baligh’, as one can see from the word’s usage in Surah 5:67. However, here the word is “litubayyina”, which means to explain just like how it is used in Surah 14 Verse 4:

 We sent not an apostle except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Now Allah leaves straying those whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases: and He is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom.

Role as Law establisher and commander under guidance of Allah:-

“Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper.” day: “O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Apostle of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no Allah but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Apostle, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided.”
Translation of Qur’an 7:157-158) 

The part of heading for this ayah “Role as Law establisher and commander” is clearly evident from ayah 157 and the part “under guidance of Allah” is evident in ayah 158. However it must be noted that as the act of commanding, forbidding etc are attributed to Messenger (sas); it definitely does not relate to Commands in Qur’an, as Qur’an is in the words of Allah. Thus this actually refers to the commands recorded in authentic Hadeeths.

Role as Teacher

Even as We have sent unto you a messenger from among you who recites unto you Our signs and who sanctifies you and teaches you the book and wisdom and teaches you what you did not know
(Translation of Qur’an 2:151).

Allah has verily shown grace to the believers by sending unto them a messenger from among them who recites unto them His signs and sanctifies them and teaches them the book and wisdom, although before they were in flagrant error.
(Translation of  Qur’an 3:164)

Thus we can see that the above ayah classifies Messenger (sas)’s role into four parts:
1. Reciting the signs.
2. Purifying or Sanctifying people.
3. Teaching the book.
4. Teaching the wisdom.

These four functions have been described as the purpose for which Allah has sent the Messenger, and Allah’s guidance to man will be fulfilled and completed by all and not by one only. All these functions are therefore part of Allah’s guidance through the person of the Prophet (sas).

The purpose of sending the Messenger is, apart from “reciting His revelations, ” firstly to “purify” them, for the proper understanding of the Book and “wisdom,” and the ability to put them into practice, is unattainable unless a purification of the heart, the centre of the will and intentions, has not been achieved. This purification consists of the influence of the Prophet’s (sas) personality, and his continual exhortations to the believers by word and example in the light of the Qur’an to purify their thoughts and deeds. The next stage after this purification is the “teaching of the Book,” that is, to explain and demonstrate the implications of the Book, and to apply it to the circumstances of human life in the most excellent way. Finally, the “teaching of wisdom” refers to the development into a science of certain subjects treated in general in the Qur’an, such as spiritual science, moral science, the science of the Shari’ah, of government etc., regarding all of which we can find valuable guidance both theoretical and practical from the Prophet (sas). These four main functions of the Prophet have been instituted and carried out by the command under the guidance of Allah Himself, and constitute an integral part of Allah’s message to mankind. To state that only the first function is of permanent significance is simply to flout the Word of Allah.



Next Article in the Series
 Importance of Sunnah, Hadith and Scholars, as mentioned in Qur’an