Do Muslims really follow the Intended Way or Course of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him)?

After analysing and studying the Quran, one is either convinced of the veracity of its message and claims of being the word of God or not. That is one’s prerogative. There is no compulsion in this matter (2:256)[1]. It is for none but God to judge everyone according to one’s sincerity and faculties of understanding (68:7)[2]. However, within the Muslim communities - there are many who claim to follow the Quran, who attempt to expound on the Quran’s message using subjective narratives and sources,[3] often overlooking the Quran’s perspective on this matter.

The Quran claims to be the true, best explanation and the source of guidance sent down from God – the Exalted and Supreme.

They cannot put any argument to you without Our bringing you the truth [bil-Haq] and the best explanation [Arabic: Ahsan Tafseer]. (Quran 25:33 transl: Abdul Aleem).

God has sent down the most beautiful of all teachings [Arabic: Ahsan al-Hadeeth]: a Scripture that is consistent and draws comparisons; that causes the skins of those in awe of their Lord to shiver. Then their skins and their hearts soften at the mention of God: such is God’s guidance. He guides with it whoever He will; no one can guide those God leaves to stray. (Quran 39:23 transl: Abdul Aleem).

God asserts that the Quran is complete and fully detailed:

The day will come when We raise up in each community a witness against them, and We shall bring you [Prophet] as a witness against these people, for We have sent the Scripture down to you explaining everything [Arabic: tib'yānan likulli shayin], and as guidance and mercy and good news to those who devote themselves to God. (Quran 16:89 transl: Abdul Aleem).

[Say], ‘Shall I seek any judge other than God, when it is He who has sent down for you [people] the Scripture, clearly explained / fully detailed / well distinguished [Arabic: al-kitāba mufaṣṣalan]?’ Those to whom We gave the Scripture know that this [Quran] is revealed by your Lord [Prophet] with the truth, so do not be one of those who doubt. (Quran 6:114)

Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) only followed the Quran as the revelation from God:

When Our clear revelations are recited to them [Arabic: tutlaa 'alayhim aayaatunaa bayyinaatin], those who do not expect to meet with Us say, ‘Bring [us] a different Quran, or change it.’ [Prophet], say, ‘It is not for me to change it of my own accord; I only follow [Arabic: in attabi'u illaa] what is revealed to me, for I fear the torment of an awesome Day, if I were to disobey my Lord.’ (Quran 10:15 transl: Abdul Aleem)

The Quran was revealed to the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) in stages (25:32-33).[4] The messenger of God is meant to be obeyed by his people (4:64).[5] The faithful believers anticipated for God’s revelation via the Prophet (47:20).[6] Even the opponents of the Prophet expected him to receive revelations afresh (7:203).[7] Since the Prophet judged or ruled by what God has revealed (6:114),[8] the one who obeyed the Messenger had, in fact, obeyed God Almighty (4:80).[9]  The Quran is the only legacy that is contemporaneous from the ministry of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the first believers (15:9).[10] The Quran has reached the contemporary Muslims from the earliest followers, en masse - a task ordered by God Almighty. (22:78),[11] (6:19).[12] The earliest Muslims were expected to learn and teach solely from the scripture – Quran (3:79).[13] This method of teaching is in line with the way of the Prophet (6:105)[14]. Indeed an excellent example to follow (33:21).[15] Needless to say, the Prophet received inspirations outside the Quran (which some refer to as un-recited revelations), but to claim that these inspirations were faithfully narrated centuries later after the demise of the Prophet being either authorised by God or the Prophet for Mankind’s guidance and redemption, is unwarranted (45:6).[16]  Thus, God is the witness to the fact that, the only source of divine guidance that reached us from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), to be followed and conveyed to others - is nothing other than the Quran.

Say, ‘What counts most as a witness?’ Say, ‘God is witness between you and me. This Quran was revealed for me to warn you [people] and everyone it reaches. Do you really bear witness that there are other gods beside God?’ Say, ‘I myself do not bear witness [to any such thing].’ Say, ‘He is only one God, and I disown whatever you join with Him.’ (Quran 6:19 transl: Abdul Aleem).

  • According to God in the Quran, Prophet or Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) followed only the Quran [as religious guidance].

    Are we, Muslims following anything else besides the Quran?

 

  • The Prophet warned and taught only by the Quran.

    Are we, Muslims using anything else [as religious sources] besides the Quran to teach and warn?

  • The Prophet sought no one else as a source of rules and commands other than God- the all Wise and Knowing.  Are we, Muslims seeking any other [religious] sources of rules and commands other than God? 

If we are, then sadly, we are not following the intended way and course of the Prophet or Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him).

And the word / decree / declaration [Arabic: kalimat] of your Lord has been completed / fulfilled / perfected [Arabic: tamma] with truth and justice; there is no changing His words / decrees. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (Quran 6:115).

 

And Allah knows best



[1] There is no compulsion in religion: true guidance has become distinct from error, so whoever rejects false gods and believes in God has grasped the firmest hand-hold, one that will never break. God is all hearing and all knowing. [transl: A.Aleem]

[2] Your Lord knows best who strays from His path and who is rightly guided.[A.Aleem]

[3] Giving extra-Qurnic sources unwarranted authority besides or above, what Muslims accept as the word of God i.e.Quran. God states: What is the matter with you? How ill you judge! Have you any book wherein you learn. (Quran 68:36-37 transl: M.Shafi)

[4] The disbelievers also say, ‘Why was the Quran not sent down to him all at once?’ We sent it in this way to strengthen your heart [Prophet]; We gave it to you in gradual revelation. They cannot put any argument to you without Our bringing you the truth and the best explanation. [ transl: A.Aleem]

[5] All the messengers We sent were meant to be obeyed, by God’s leave. If only [the hypocrites] had come to you [Prophet] when they wronged themselves, and begged God’s forgiveness, and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found that God accepts repentance and is most merciful. [A.Aleem]

[6] And the believers say, .Why has a (new) Surah not been revealed?. Then, once an operative Surah is sent down, and fighting (in Allah‘s way) is mentioned in it, you notice those who have disease in their hearts, looking to you like one who is faint because of death. So, destruction is very close to them. [transl: T.Usmani]

[7] When you do not bring them a fresh revelation, they say, ‘But can you not just ask for one?’ Say, ‘I merely repeat what is revealed to me from my Lord: this revelation brings you insights from your Lord, and guidance and mercy for those who believe, [A.Aleem]

[8] [Say], ‘Shall I seek any judge other than God, when it is He who has sent down for you [people] the Scripture, clearly explained?’ Those to whom We gave the Scripture know that this [Quran] is revealed by your Lord [Prophet] with the truth, so do not be one of those who doubt.[A.Aleem]

[9] He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah ; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian. [transl: S. International]

[10] Indeed, We have sent down the Reminder (Qur'aan) and indeed We are most certainly guardians to it. [transl: M.Shafi]

 

[11] And strive for God as He should be striven for. He has chosen [for] you—and has placed no hardship for you in the religion—the creed of your father Abraham. He named you muslims aforetime, and herein, that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and that you may be witnesses for mankind. So perform the prayer and give the alms, and hold fast to God. He is your Master. How excellent a Master, and how excellent a Helper! [transl: Study Quran]

[12] Say, “What thing is greatest as testimony?” Say, “God is Witness between you and me. And this Quran has been revealed unto me, that thereby I may warn you and whomsoever it may reach. Do you truly bear witness that there are other gods beside God?” Say, “I bear no such witness.” Say, “He is only One God, and truly I am quit of that which you ascribe as partners unto Him.”[Study Quran]

[13] It is not for any human being, God having given him the Book, judgment, and prophethood, to then say to the people, “Be servants of me instead of God.” Rather, “Be sages, from having taught the Book and from having studied.” [Study Quran]

[14] This is how We explain Our revelations in various ways- though they will say, ‘You [Muhammad] have been studying’- to make them clear for those who know. [A.Aleem]

[15] The Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often. [A.Aleem]

[16] These are the verses of Allah which We recite to you in truth. Then in what statement after Allah and His verses will they believe? [S. International]