It does not need us to explain that the first and foremost primary source of the Sacred Law (Shari’ah) is the Holy Qur’an – the Book of Allah. It is through the clear and explicit commands and teachings of the Holy Qur’an that we are obliged to follow the Messenger of Allah. This is because, without the Messenger of Allah it is merely impossible for anyone to understand the Qur’an; its explanations and meanings, and it is also impossible to learn the detailed rulings of each and every obligation in Islam.
Therefore, the Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah certainly form the second source for the Sacred Islamic Law – the Shari’ah, as these are the one and only means of gaining information as regards the Messenger of Allah; his commands; his sayings; his actions; his explanations and commentaries on the verses of the Holy Qur’an, all of which are necessary for us to know in order for us to understand the Holy Qur’an.
Now, we quote a few of the many verses from the Holy Qur’an, in which on innumerable occasions we have been commanded to follow in the footsteps of the Messenger of Allah. Thus, making it obligatory upon us to follow his teachings.
I. “O believers! Obey Allah and His Messenger and turn not away from him after hearing him…” [Surah:8 – al-Anfal, Verse:20]
II. “And obey Allah and His Messenger and dispute not with one another, otherwise you will show timidity…” [Surah:8 – al-Anfal, Verse:46]
III. “And We did not send any Messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah’s will.” [Surah:4 – al-Nisa’, Verse:64]
IV. “O beloved! Say, ‘O people! If you love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you…” [Surah:3 – Al-e-Imran, Verse:31]
V. “then, O beloved! By your Lord, they shall not be Muslims until they make you judge in all disputes among themselves…” [Surah:4 – al-Nisa, Verse:65]
VI. “O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those who have power of command amongst you, then again if there may arise any difference amongst you, refer it to Allah and His Messenger…” [Surah:4 – al-Nisa’, Verse:59]
VII. “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and let not your deeds go waste.” [Surah:47, Muhammad, Verse:33]
VIII. “He who obeys the Messenger, then verily he has obeyed Allah…”[Surah:4 – al-Nisa’, Verse:80]
IX. “O beloved! Say: ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger.’ then, if they turn away, surely Allah loves not the infidels.” [Surah:3 – Al-e-Imran, Verse:32]
X. “And what the Messenger gives you, take it and what he forbids you, and abstain from it…” [Surah:59 – al-Hashr, Verse:7]
XI. “Surely you have an excellent example for your guidance in (the life of) the Messenger of Allah…”[Surah:33 – al-Ahzab, Verse:21]
It has been clearly established and proven from the above-quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an that it is incumbent upon each and every Muslim to follow the Messenger of Allah, and his teachings.
Therefore, all of the law and orders enforced by the Messenger of Allah are incumbent upon us to follow in the same way, as it is obligatory upon us to follow every Divine command that is transmitted to us by the Holy Qur’an, as the command of the Messenger of Allah is indirectly the command of Allah the Most Exalted.
One Fundamental Question:
After having understood all of what has just been explained, we should contemplate and ponder carefully upon a question that is posed: “Is this command of following the Messenger of Allah as reiterated by many verses of the Holy Qur’an (as mentioned above) only related to when the Messenger of Allah was physically alive in this mundane world, or does this apply till the Day of Judgement?”
If – Allah forbid! – this Divine command was specified only to the physical life of the Messenger of Allah, then this would quite simply, in other words, mean that acting upon the Qur’an, following the teachings of Islam is also limited and specified to the blessed era of the Messenger of Allah. This is because to follow the teachings and sayings of the Messenger of Allah were made incumbent upon every single Muslim, only for the fact that without this, it is impossible for anyone to follow the teachings of Islam and the Qur’an. Thus, when it has been commanded to follow Islam, Qur’an and its teachings till the Day of Judgement, then it has been proven that to follow the Messenger of Allah and showing obedience to him is also a command that shall not cease till the Day of Judgement.
One Great Proof for the Authentication of Ahadith
When it has been clearly understood that to follow Islam and the Qur’an is till the Day of Resurrection, and that it is impossible for anyone to have knowledge and thus act upon the laws and rulings of Islam and the Holy Qur’an without following and imitating the Messenger of Allah, then another fundamental question arises: According to rational thinking, the language, the common law and the Sacred Islamic Law it is always the commands and orders that are followed. Thus, where are those commands and orders enforced by the Messenger of Allah, whose obedience, imitation and following the Qur’an has made obligatory upon us? This is because the demand to follow without having any laws, commands and orders (to follow them) is merely against logic and the Sacred Law itself!
Therefore, when even today the Qur’an demands us to follow, imitate and obey the Messenger of Allah, it is necessary that the laws, orders and commands of the Messenger of Allah are present before us (so that we can ‘follow’). It is apparent that the laws and commands of the Messenger of Allah are not those that have been given by Allah in His Book – the Qur’an, as it is quite sufficient as an obligation upon us to follow these Divine commands. So, we must believe after having stated all of this, that the laws and orders of the Messenger of Allah, whose following and obeying has been made obligatory upon as, are separate to those Divine commands that are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.
After this introduction, we need not say that the collection of the commands, laws, sayings, actions, explanations to the Qur’anic verses and Sacred laws that have been transmitted to us from the Messenger of Allah are called “Ahadith”.
From this we understand the importance of Ahadith, and its status in Islam. No one would deny its importance, only such a foolish person who denies obedience to the Messenger of Allah – Allah forbid!