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One Does not Become a Believer Unless He Refers to the Messenger for Judgment and Submits to his Decisions

Allah said,

﴿ فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them,) Allah swears by His Glorious, Most Honorable Self, that no one shall attain faith until he refers to the Messenger for judgment in all matters. Thereafter, whatever the Messenger commands, is the plain truth that must be submitted to inwardly and outwardly. Allah said,

﴿ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُواْ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ حَرَجً۬ا مِّمَّا قَضَيۡتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمً۬ا

(and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) meaning: they adhere to your judgment, and thus do not feel any hesitation over your decision, and they submit to it inwardly and outwardly. They submit to the Prophet's decision with total submission without any rejection, denial or dispute. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Urwah said, "Az-Zubayr quarreled with a man about a stream which both of them used for irrigation. Allah's Messenger said to Az-Zubayr,

« اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك »

(O Zubayr! Irrigate (your garden) first, and then let the water flow to your neighbor.) The Ansari became angry and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Is it because he is your cousin' On that, the face of Allah's Messenger changed color (because of anger) and said,

« اسْقِ يَا زُبَيْرُ ثُمَّ احْبِسِ الْمَاءَ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَى الْجَدْرِ، ثُمَّ أَرْسِلِ الْمَاءَ إِلى جَارِك »

(Irrigate (your garden), O Zubayr, and then withhold the water until it reaches the walls (surrounding the palms). Then, release the water to your neighbor.) So, Allah's Messenger gave Az-Zubayr his full right when the Ansari made him angry. Before that, Allah's Messenger had given a generous judgment, beneficial for Az-Zubayr and the Ansari. Az-Zubayr said, `I think the following verse was revealed concerning that case,

﴿ فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them.)''' Another Reason In his Tafsir, Al-Hafiz Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin `Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim bin Duhaym recorded that Damrah narrated that two men took their dispute to the Prophet , and he gave a judgment to the benefit of whoever among them had the right. The person who lost the dispute said, "I do not agree.'' The other person asked him, "What do you want then'' He said, "Let us go to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq.'' They went to Abu Bakr and the person who won the dispute said, "We went to the Prophet with our dispute and he issued a decision in my favor.'' Abu Bakr said, "Then the decision is that which the Messenger of Allah issued.'' The person who lost the dispute still rejected the decision and said, "Let us go to `Umar bin Al-Khattab.'' When they went to `Umar, the person who won the dispute said, "We took our dispute to the Prophet and he decided in my favor, but this man refused to submit to the decision.'' `Umar bin Al-Khattab asked the second man and he concurred. `Umar went to his house and emerged from it holding aloft his sword. He struck the head of the man who rejected the Prophet's decision with the sword and killed him. Consequently, Allah revealed,

﴿ فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith).

﴿ وَلَوۡ أَنَّا كَتَبۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ أَنِ ٱقۡتُلُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ أَوِ ٱخۡرُجُواْ مِن دِيَـٰرِكُم مَّا فَعَلُوهُ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ‌ۖ وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ لَكَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ وَأَشَدَّ تَثۡبِيتً۬ا وَإِذً۬ا لَّأَتَيۡنَـٰهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّآ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا وَلَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ صِرَٲطً۬ا مُّسۡتَقِيمً۬ا وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ‌ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا ذَٲلِكَ ٱلۡفَضۡلُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ عَلِيمً۬ا

(66. And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes,'' very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their conviction;) (67. And indeed We would then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves.) (68. And indeed We would have guided them to the straight way.) (69. And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) (70. Such is the bounty from Allah, and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower.)

Most People Disobey What They Are Ordered

Allah states that even if the people were commanded to commit what they were prohibited from doing, most of them would not submit to this command, for their wicked nature is such that they dispute orders. Allah has complete knowledge of what has not occurred, and how it would be if and when it did occur. This is why Allah said,

﴿ وَلَوۡ أَنَّا كَتَبۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ أَنِ ٱقۡتُلُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ

(And if We had ordered them (saying), "Kill yourselves (i.e. the innocent ones kill the guilty ones)) until the end of the Ayah. This is why Allah said,

﴿ وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ فَعَلُواْ مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِۦ

(but if they had done what they were told,) meaning, if they do what they were commanded and refrain from what they were prohibited,

﴿ لَكَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ

(it would have been better for them,) than disobeying the command and committing the prohibition,

﴿ وَأَشَدَّ تَثۡبِيتً۬ا

(and would have strengthened their conviction), stronger Tasdiq (conviction of faith), according to As-Suddi.

﴿ وَإِذً۬ا لَّأَتَيۡنَـٰهُم مِّن لَّدُنَّآ

(And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them from Ladunna) from Us,

﴿ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا

(A great reward), Paradise,

﴿ وَلَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ صِرَٲطً۬ا مُّسۡتَقِيمً۬ا

(And indeed We should have guided them to the straight way.) in this life and the Hereafter.

Whoever Obeys Allah and His Messenger Will Be Honored by Allah

Allah then said,

﴿ وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ‌ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا

(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) Consequently, whosoever implements what Allah and His Messenger have commanded him and avoids what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, then Allah will grant him a dwelling in the Residence of Honor. There, Allah will place him in the company of the Prophets, and those who are lesser in grade, the true believers, then the martyrs and then the righteous, who are righteous inwardly and outwardly. Allah then praised this company,

﴿ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا

(And how excellent these companions are!) Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

« مَا مِنْ نَبِيَ يَمْرَضُ إِلَّا خُيِّرَ بَيْنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَة »

(Every Prophet who falls ill is given the choice between this life and the Hereafter.) During the illness that preceded his death, his voice became weak and I heard him saying,

﴿ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ‌ۚ

(in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, the Prophets, the true believers (Siddiqin), the martyrs and the righteous) I knew then that he was being given the choice.'' Muslim recorded this Hadith. This Hadith explains the meaning of another Hadith; the Prophet said before his death;

« اللَّهُمَّ فِي الرَّفِيقِ الْأَعْلَى »

(O Allah! In the Most High Company) three times, and he then died, may Allah's best blessings be upon him.

The Reason Behind Revealing this Honorable Ayah

Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "An Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah while feeling sad. The Prophet said to him, `Why do I see you sad' He said, `O Allah's Prophet! I was contemplating about something.' The Prophet said, `What is it' The Ansari said, `We come to you day and night, looking at your face and sitting by you. Tomorrow, you will be raised with the Prophets, and we will not be able to see you.' The Prophet did not say anything, but later Jibril came down to him with this Ayah,

﴿ وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ

(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets), and the Prophet sent the good news to the Ansari man.'' This Hadith was narrated in Mursal form from Masruq, `Ikrimah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. This is the version with the best chain of narrators. Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded it with a different chain from `A'ishah, who said; "A man came to the Prophet and said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes, when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait until I come and look at you. When I contemplate about my death and your death, I know that you will be with the Prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise.' The Prophet did not answer him until the Ayah,

﴿ وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ وَٱلصِّدِّيقِينَ وَٱلشُّہَدَآءِ وَٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ‌ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ رَفِيقً۬ا

(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the true believers, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) was revealed to him.'' This was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi in his book, Sifat Al-Jannah, he then commented, "I do not see problems with this chain.'' And Allah knows best. Muslim recorded that Rabi`ah bin Ka`b Al-Aslami said, "I used to sleep at the Prophet's house and bring him his water for ablution and his needs. He once said to me, `Ask me.' I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I ask that I be your companion in Paradise.' He said, `Anything except that' I said, `Only that.' He said,

« فَأَعِنِّي عَلى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُود »

(Then help me (fulfill this wish) for you by performing many prostrations.)'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Amr bin Murrah Al-Juhani said, "A man came to the Prophet and said, `O Allah's Messenger! I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah, pray the five (daily prayers), give the Zakah due on my wealth and fast the month of Ramadan.' The Messenger of Allah said,

« مَنْ مَاتَ عَلى هَذَا كَانَ مَعَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، هَكَذا وَنَصَبَ أُصْبُعَيْهِ مَا لَمْ يَعُقَّ وَالِدَيْه »

(Whoever dies in this state will be with the Prophets, the truthful and martyrs on the Day of Resurrection, as long as - and he raised his finger - he is not disobedient to his parents.)'' Only Ahmad recorded this Hadith. Greater news than this is in the authentic Hadith collected in the Sahih and Musnad compilations, in Mutawatir form, narrated by several Companions that the Messenger of Allah was asked about the person who loves a people, but his status is not close to theirs. The Messenger said,

« الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب »

(One is with those whom he loves.) Anas commented, "Muslims were never happier than with this Hadith.'' In another narration, Anas said, "I love the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that Allah will resurrect me with them, even though I did not perform actions similar to theirs.'' Allah said,

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ ٱلۡفَضۡلُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(Such is the bounty from Allah) meaning, from Allah by His mercy, for it is He who made them suitable for this, not their good deeds.

﴿ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ عَلِيمً۬ا

(and Allah is sufficient as All-Knower), He knows those who deserve guidance and success.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ خُذُواْ حِذۡرَڪُمۡ فَٱنفِرُواْ ثُبَاتٍ أَوِ ٱنفِرُواْ جَمِيعً۬ا وَإِنَّ مِنكُمۡ لَمَن لَّيُبَطِّئَنَّ فَإِنۡ أَصَـٰبَتۡكُم مُّصِيبَةٌ۬ قَالَ قَدۡ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىَّ إِذۡ لَمۡ أَكُن مَّعَهُمۡ شَہِيدً۬ا وَلَٮِٕنۡ أَصَـٰبَكُمۡ فَضۡلٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لَيَقُولَنَّ كَأَن لَّمۡ تَكُنۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ مَوَدَّةٌ۬ يَـٰلَيۡتَنِى كُنتُ مَعَهُمۡ فَأَفُوزَ فَوۡزًا عَظِيمً۬ا فَلۡيُقَـٰتِلۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَشۡرُونَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۚ وَمَن يُقَـٰتِلۡ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَيُقۡتَلۡ أَوۡ يَغۡلِبۡ فَسَوۡفَ نُؤۡتِيهِ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا

(71. O you who believe! Take your precautions, and either go forth (on an expedition) in parties, or go forth all together.) (72. There is certainly among you he who would linger behind. If a misfortune befalls you, he says, "Indeed Allah has favored me in that I was not present among them.'') (73. But if a bounty comes to you from Allah, he would surely say ـ as if there had never been ties of affection between you and him, "Oh! I wish I had been with them; then I would have achieved a great success.'') (74. So fight those who trade the life of this world with the Hereafter, in the cause of Allah, and whoever fights in the cause of Allah, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward.)