Follow the prophet and messenger - what does it mean ?
(Date written : 01 Jun 2015)
1) The question for this article to answer is what does it mean by FOLLOWING the prophet and messenger, because what we see TODAY, when someone mention SUNNAH of Prophet, a lot have been Assumed about this statement.
2) First and Foremost, in the Quran, there are verses that instruct the Believer to FOLLOW the Book of Revelation :
Al-Baqara : 38
قُلْنَا اهْبِطُوا مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا ۖ فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّى هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَاىَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
● We said, "Go down from it, all of you. And when GUIDANCE (HUDA) comes to you from Me, whoever FOLLOWS (TABI') MY GUIDANCE (HUDAA) - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. ●
Al-Baqara : 2
ذٰلِكَ الْكِتٰبُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
● This is the BOOK (AL-KITAB) about which there is no doubt, a GUIDANCE (HUDA) for those conscious of Allah - ●
Al-A'raaf : 3
اتَّبِعُوا مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِن دُونِهِۦٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
● FOLLOW (ITTABI'U), [O mankind], what has been REVEALED (UNZIL) to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember. ●
3) Secondly, there are verses that INSTRUCT the Believer to FOLLOW the prophet and messenger :
Aal-i-Imraan : 31
قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
● Say, [O Muhammad], "If you LOVE (TUHIBBU) Allah, then FOLLOW ME (FATTABI'UNI), [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." ●
4) But, there are verses that explains what does it MEAN - ie to FOLLOW the Quran and to FOLLOW the Prophet :
Aal-i-Imraan : 79
مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ اللَّهُ الْكِتٰبَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُوا عِبَادًا لِّى مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلٰكِن كُونُوا رَبّٰنِيِّۦنَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتٰبَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ
● It is not for a human [prophet] that Allah gives him the Scripture (Al-KITAB) and AL-HIKMAH and PROPHETHOOD (NUBUWWAH) and then he would say to the people, "Be servants to me rather than Allah," but [instead, he would say], "Be PEOPLE OF THE LORD (RABBANIYYIN) because of what you have been TAUGHT (TU'ALLIMUN) of the BOOK / SCRIPTURE (AL-KITAB) and because of what you have been STUDYING [it] (TADRUSUN)." ●
The verse above CLEARLY explains that TO FOLLOW the prophet is TO FOLLOW the Book of Revelation (Al-Quran) that WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING and been TAUGHT.
The ONLY way for us to FOLLOW prophet is to STUDY and UNDERSTAND AL-QURAN and FOLLOW the TEACHING of Al-Quran.
That is EXACTLY what it means to FOLLOW the Prophet and Messenger.
This is the TRUTH, because All the Prophets are GUIDED by Allah THROUGH INSPIRATION and All the Prophets are INSTRUCTED to FOLLOW what has been INSPIRED to them :
Al-An'aam : 19
قُلْ أَىُّ شَىْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهٰدَةً ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ شَهِيدٌۢ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَأُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ هٰذَا الْقُرْءَانُ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِۦ وَمَنۢ بَلَغَ ۚ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً أُخْرٰى ۚ قُل لَّآ أَشْهَدُ ۚ قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلٰهٌ وٰحِدٌ وَإِنَّنِى بَرِىٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ
● Say, "What thing is greatest in testimony?" Say, "Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur'an was INSPIRED (UHIYA) to ME that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. .. ●
Al-An'aam : 50
قُل لَّآ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِندِى خَزَآئِنُ اللَّهِ وَلَآ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَآ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّى مَلَكٌ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحٰىٓ إِلَىَّ ۚ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِى الْأَعْمٰى وَالْبَصِيرُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
● Say, [O Muhammad], "I do not tell you that I have the depositories [containing the provision] of Allah or that I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I ONLY FOLLOW (ATTABI'U) WHAT IS INSPIRED (YUHA) TO ME." Say, "Is the blind equivalent to the seeing? Then will you not give thought?" ●
Al-An'aam : 106
اتَّبِعْ مَآ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ لَآ إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
● FOLLOW, WHAT HAS BEEN INSPIRED (AUHIYA) TO YOU FROM YOUR LORD - there is no God except Him - and turn away from those who associate others with Allah. ●
We have to FOLLOW the Example or the TEACHING of Prophet because whatever come out from the Prophet who has been INSPIRED, is The BOOK of REVELATION itself!
Meaning - FOLLOWING the Prophet or following his teaching - is FOLLOWING the TEACHING in the Book of REVELATION - Al-Quran.
5) What about the HADITH ?
All sayings and actions by prophet and Messenger Muhammad is GUIDED by Allah and he only CONVEYS what has been INSPIRED to him.
Rejecting prophet as the Messenger of Allah to be our example, to be FOLLOWED is KUFR.
But, ACCEPTING all Hadith as the TRUTH BLINDLY without VERIFICATION with the Words of Allah, is similar like SAYING All Hypothesis of SCIENCE is INFALLIBLE.
Rejecting all the HADITH without verification also is STUPID or Ignorant, because it is like we IGNORE all the EVIDENCES by Sciences, History, Engineering and all other BOOKS written by human being who HAVE KNOWLEDGE. All knowledge has EVIDENCE which satisfy LOGIC. Logic to one person Changes based on the Knowledge that the person has.
We must listen and learn from a lot of people, from a lot of books, from a lot of ULAMA = ULAMA here means People who have Knowledge, but we must FOLLOW the Best :
Az-Zumar : 18
الَّذِينَ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقَوْلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحْسَنَهُۥٓ ۚ أُولٰٓئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدٰىهُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ وَأُولٰٓئِكَ هُمْ أُولُوا الْأَلْبٰبِ
● Who LISTEN to speech and FOLLOW (YATTABI'U) the BEST (AHSANA) of it. Those are the ones Allah has GUIDED, and those are people of UNDERSTANDING. ●
The only thing is - Everything MUST be VERIFIED and Authenticated. Every Information that we received must be verified :
Al-Hujuraat : 6
يٰٓأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا إِن جَآءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌۢ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوٓا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًۢا بِجَهٰلَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلٰى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نٰدِمِينَ
● O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with INFORMATION / NEWS (NABA`), INVESTIGATE / VERIFY (TABAIYYANU), lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful. ●
A lot of HADITH are DHAIF meaning they are Weak.
And some HADITH are believed to be SAHIH as in the Book of Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.
And these are not only the HADITH believed to be SAHIH but there are other Books by other so-called Scholars also like Abu Dawud, At-Tarmizi, Ibnu Majah, etc, believed to be SAHIH.
Those books are written by RESPECTED scholars, yes, but it does not mean it has No Contradiction.
We cannot FOLLOW BLINDLY the so-called SAHIH HADITH from the Book written by Bukhari or Muslim or other so-called Scholars, simply because they are NOT INFALLIBLE.
JUMHUR (MOST) so-called ULAMA say and believe those HADITH are SAHIH, but not IJMA`(ALL) ULAMA.
There are some well-known Ulama who questions the Authenticity of the SAHIH Bukhari and Muslim (please do your own research), as well as other Ulama who questions the Authenticity of the SAHIH Abu Dawud, Ibnu Majah, At-Tarmizi, etc.
In order to AUTHENTICATE whether a HADITH is SAHIH or not, every Hadith must be verified with the 100% NO CONTRADICTION Book of All time, which is the Book of Revelation, and this time, it is the Al-QURAN.
A Hadith is a Narration by someone from someone from someone else (continue..until) which BELIEVED to be from Prophet and Messenger Muhammad PBUH.
The only way to know whether it is SAHIH is to VERIFY the narration with the narration/sayings in the Quran. If it does not CONTRADICT, then it is correct. If the hadith Contradicts with the Quranic verses, then it is WRONG.
Follow the prophet means follow the teachings of the Quran.