THE HOLY PROPHET IS A LEGISLATOR
There is a difference between one who knows the law and a
Legislator. One who knows the law refers to that person who is
aware of the complete and partial aspects of law. With this he should
have the ability to solve a problem from law. An example of this is
an attorney or an advocate. These persons are only knowers of the
law no matter how intelligent they may be.
These persons do not have even the right to make a single change to
any law. They are not permitted to change any law that has already
been established by the Judiciary, even though they may have the
expertise to do so. They draw evidence from laws already
established, to make an argument for their case, which debate
sometimes for weeks and months, but they cannot change the actual
law, and cannot even change the context of such law.
An example of this in Islam is the Ulama, who have the knowledge
of the fundamentals and principles of Shariah (Islamic law). They
have such expertise, that they can solve problems presented to them
to an extent, where they are able to firmly answer the objections
made on Islamic issues. They however have no right to change any
established Islamic law. They cannot change the actual law and
cannot even change the context of such law. As for the Legislator,
who must be worthy of being a special personality, he may change
the law when he wants, whatsoever he wants either by himself or by
the authority vested in him by the actual maker of the law.
An example of this in present times is the Ruling Emperor, who has
the right to make any law and to change any law when and how he
deems necessary. The second example is that of the Minister, who on
the authority of the Emperor or King, may make or change any law.
Now that we have understood the meaning of the terms Knower of
Law and Legislator, now let us examine the same in the light of the
Shariah, and search to find whether the Holy Prophet Muhammad
is only the possessor of knowledge, or is also a Legislator through
the permission granted to him by Almighty Allah. There are a few
views in this debate:
1. The Prophet is a Legislator through the permission of
Allah: In the light of the Qur’an.
2. The Prophet is a Legislator through the permission of
Allah: In the light of the Hadith.
3. The Prophet is a Legislator through the
permission of Allah: In the light of authentic
4. What were the views of the Ummah before this Era.
IN THE LIGHT OF THE QUR’AN
If we make research from the Qur’an, then we will find much
information relating to this. Even if we browse through the Qur’an,
we will find evidence of this. When reciting the Qur’an, we will find
verses that say, Obey Allah and His Apostle, Whomsoever disobeys
Allah and His Prophet, are sinners and tyrants, whose destination is
Hell. None have doubt in the fact of Almighty Allah being the Sole
Controller and Legislator. It is evident that Almighty Allah is the
Creator, Bestower, Cherisher etc, but it is also clear that it is also
compulsory to obey the Prophet . It must thus be accepted, that just
as Almighty Allah changes, commands and specifies, through His
permission and His Bestowing, the Holy Prophet also has the
control over everything, and this is in actuality, the meaning of a
Legislator. With the exception of these general explanations, let us
also examine a few specific points.
Almighty Allah says, “O Beloved You say! If you love Allah, then
obey Me. Allah will make you His beloved.” Every person knows
that the meaning of obedience, is this, that one should follow every
command that has been given, and to practice accordingly. From this
verse, it is evident, that we have to obey any command that is given
by the Prophet . This shows, that the Prophet has been blessed
with the right to give any command He wishes to the Ummah. This is
the meaning of a Legislator. Almighty Allah says, “Whomsoever
does contrary to the command of the Prophet after the truth has been
made apparent, and who go on the path of any other than that of the
believers, We will then turn him in the direction to which he has
gone and will place him in hell. This is a bad destination.”
To go against the command of the Prophet , here means to refute or
go against anything He says, or act against anything He commands.
It is for this reason, because His every command, is the law of Islam
and He whose every command is the Law of Shariah, is definitely a
Legislator, and not only a Knower of the Law. It is as follows in
Surah Noor: “For those who act against the command of the Prophet,
they should fear that they are not caught up in corruption and that a
painful torment does not befall them.” The warning for those who act
against the command of the Holy Prophet , is for this reason, that to
act in any way against Him is to act against the Shariah, and this is
only the right of a Legislator, and not that of only a Knower of Law.
IN THE LIGHT OF HADITH
Hadith No.1: The Prophet said,” I have left two things with you.
For as long as you remain firm on this, you will not go astray. (They
are) the Qur’an and my Sunnat.”
None object to the fact of the Qur’an being the law of Shariah.
However the Prophet also kept His Sunnat the law of Shariah. It is
therefore only proper that we accept the Prophet as a Legislator.
Hadith No.2: Imam Abu Dawud narrated a Hadith from Hazrat
Irbaaz bin Saaria , in which the Prophet said, “Listen! By Allah!
I have commanded certain things, and forbidden certain things.
Verily these (commands) are equal to that of the Qur’an.”
Hadith No.3: Imam Bukhari, Muslim and Nasa’i narrated the
following Hadith on the Authority of Hazrat Ibn Ab’bas , “If I had
not thought that it would be inconvenient for my Ummah, then I
would have commanded them to pray Esha at that time, in other
words at half the night.”
Hadith No.4: The Holy Prophet said, “Do not drink things that
intoxicate. I have made all intoxicants Haraam.”
When we read all these Ahadith carefully, we will find that those
who have only accepted those things to be Halaal which have been
made Halaal by Allah, and those things to be Haraam, which have
been made Haraam by Allah, and do not accept that to be either
Halaal or Haraam, which has been made Halaal or Haraam by the
Prophet , how hard the torment has been sent upon them.
The Prophet has further stated, “All those things, which I have
made Halaal, and all those things which I have made Haraam, are
equal to that which Almighty Allah has made Halaal and made
Haraam.” Can any person who has no authority over making laws
make such a statement? This shows that the Prophet has been
blessed with the opportunity of making laws, through the permission
of Almighty Allah.
TESTIMONY OF SAHABA-E-KIRAAM
The proof of testimony of Sahaba-E-Kiraam in this matter is so vast,
that all of them cannot be quoted here, but a few of them are being
quoted for your perusal.
1. It is on the narration of Hazrat Abu Hurairah, that a certain
Sahabi came into the Court of the Prophet and said, “I have been
destroyed.” The Prophet asked what had happened, and He replied
by saying, “I had sexual intercourse with my wife while fasting
(during Ramadaan)” The Prophet said, “Can you free one slave?”
He replied in the negative. The Prophet then asked if he had the
strength to keep sixty (60) fast continuously, and He replied in the
negative. The Prophet then asked if he had the means to feed sixty
poor people, and he replied in the negative. Just then someone
presented some dates. The Prophet asked Him to donate this to the
poor. He replied by saying that there was none more deserving in
Madinah, than his family. On hearing this, the Holy Prophet
smiled so much that his Blessed Teeth began to show. He then said,
“Feed it to your family.”
2. It is narrated in Tabrani, Musnad Abu Ya’laa etc. on the
Authority of Hazrat Haarith bin Usaama bin Nu’man bin Basheer
and also personally from Hazrat Khuzaima that the Prophet
said, “If Khuzaima gives testimony contrary or in agreement to
anyone, then his testimony alone is acceptable,” Whereas the Holy
Qur’an states, “Make two just persons from amongst you testators
(witnesses),” But the Holy Prophet made the Testimony of Hazrat
Khuzaima alone, equivalent to that of two witnesses. This alone is
proof, that the Holy Prophet is a Legislator.
VIEWS OF PIOUS PREDECESSORS
It is in the Sunan of Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah and the Musnad of
Imam Tahtawi etc. on the authority of Hazrat Khuzaima, that, “The
Prophet specified the duration for masah on the leather sock to be
that of three days and if someone had to ask, then He would have
definitely changed it to five days.”
1. Imam Abdul Wahab Sha’raani has mentioned in his Mizaanush
Shariatul Kubra, that Almighty Allah has given the Prophet the
authority to command whatever he wishes from His side.”
2. Imam Ahmed Khateeb Qastalaani states in Mawahib as follows:
“It is from amongst the uniqueness of the Prophet , He could
change any law of the Shariah with whichever law He desired.”
3. Imam Zirkaani states, “There is no specification in commands.
He could change anything which he wished with anything He
wished, by making it specific.”
These are some of the quotations of the learned predecessors, which
prove that the Holy Prophet has been blessed with the authority to
make and change laws as He wished. If anyone wishes to note the
belief and the thoughts of the present Ummah, then they should
peruse Aala Hazrat’s Al Amn-o-Ulaa etc.