The Unique Position of Quran in Islam (Part 3)

Part 3 – The Judgement of The Messenger

Traditional Islam tells us that, since Quran tells us to follow Nabi Muhammad’s judgement, we need books of Hadith that record his words, deeds and abstentions. They base this on the following verse:

فَلاَ وَرَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
So no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in whatever dispute between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with full submission. (4/65)

Thus, it is very clear that the judgement of the messenger is of the utmost importance as it is tied to having faith and submission to Allah.

The Quranist Response:

Chapter 4 Verse 65 above does indeed tell us to accept the messenger’s judgement fully. However, it does not tell us where the messenger’s judgement may be found. Certainly, no books of hadith nor even the narrations by the companions are mentioned. This is why it is paramount for us to read The Quran holistically and not quote lone verses without grounding them in context.

So How Does The Messenger Judge?

The Quran actually tells us how the messenger judges and these statements may be found in Chapters 4 and 5 which explicate and detail the system. These verses are as follows:

(105:إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَا أَرَاكَ اللَّهُ وَلاَ تَكُنْ لِلْخَائِنِينَ خَصِيمًا (النساء.
We have sent down to you the Book in truth, that you mightest judge between men, based on what Allah shows you: so be not an advocate by those who betray their trust. (4/105)

There are a few things to notice in the above verse

  1. The book is mentioned, referring to The Quran. There are no other sources of judgement mentioned.
  2. The book is sent down for the purpose of judgement. Hence, we govern our lives according to it.
  3. The messenger judges based on what he is shown. This is a living process. His experience cannot be replicated hence we must also be shown signs in our own horizons and selves (41/53) in order to do the same.

Here is the other verse:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنْ الْكِتَابِ وَمُهَيْمِنًا عَلَيْهِ فَاحْكُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ عَمَّا جَاءَكَ مِنْ الْحَقِّ لِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مِنْكُمْ شِرْعَةً وَمِنْهَاجًا وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ (المائدة: 48).
To you We sent down the book in truth, confirming what is between its two hands from the book, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to you. To each among you have we prescribed a disclosure and a methodology. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you: so strive as in a race towards the good. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute (5/48)

A few things to notice from the above verse:

  1. Once again the book is mentioned. So the centre of this process is The Quran.
  2. The Quran confirms what is between its two hands from The Quran itself, hence a self-reference is alluded to. This also guards the teachings of the book.
  3. The messenger is told to judge by what Allah has sent down and not to follow their vain desires. This means that the opposite of The Book is vain desire. There is no other source mentioned here.
  4. To each of us is given a disclosure of life and a method. This confirms the position of 4/105 above which says ‘based on what is shown to you by Allah’ (bimaa araka Allah). Hence judgement is based on experience.
  5. Having differences has no issues as long as strive towards the good. This is very much like 4/105 again which talks about making things whole.

From the above, we can see quite clearly that the judgement of the messenger does not necessitate books of Hadith but rather centralises The Quran itself as well as a living process of observation.

Next: Part 4 – The example of the Messenger

About Farouk Peru 24 Articles
Quranist Unified Network

1 Comment

  1. Knowledge has never been easier with the advancement of technology.
    Making understanding the quran which is self explanatory within reach by people who is in search of the truth. And by that squashing all extra quranic text making them absolete.

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