the Commands and Avoid the Prohibitions

Sheikh Dr. Taqiud Deen Al-Hilali (1407H)

Do the Commands and Avoid the Prohibitions

Sheikh Dr. Taqeedeen Al-Hilali (1407H)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

كَانَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ يُحَدِّثُ أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللهِ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ يَقُولُ: ” مَا نَهَيْتُكُمْ عَنْهُ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ وَمَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِهِ فَافْعَلُوا مِنْهُ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ ,، فَإِنَّمَا هَلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بِكَثْرَةِ مَسَائِلهِمْ، وَاخْتِلَافِهِمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ “

Abu Hurairah (Radi Allahu Anhu) used to say I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: Whatever I prohibited you from then avoid it. “Whatever I commanded you to do then do it as much you can. Without a doubt the previous nations before you were destroyed as result of their excessive questioning and differing with their Prophets.”[1]

The general meaning of the hadeeth:

This hadith serves as a guiding principle among the principles of Islam. Many Muslims fall into danger due to their negligence, or their misunderstanding of this hadith. The Prophet (ﷺ) has divided the commands and prohibitions into two categories. Prohibited on us under all circumstances without exception. This means it is Haraam , so we must  avoid it and stay clear of it. There is absolutely no justification allowing us to do it.

Many people disobey the Messenger of Allah by not avoiding what He(ﷺ) has prohibited. Some people knowingly practice the prohibitions following their evil desires. This is something that is shameful and hated. We hope that their intellect will overcome their whims and desires. Other people try to scrutinize what Allah has forbidden based on misconceptions. Hence, they do sinful deeds without regret, or any concern. These kinds of people are the worst of sinners, and rarely do they repent.

The second category includes Allah’s commands. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Do them as much as you are able. This is similar to the statement of Allah, “ Allah doesn’t burden a soul beyond its capacity.”[2:286] This means that every obligation a person doesn’t have the ability to do can leave it off. In fact, every requirement that is extremely difficult to meet becomes null and void on you. This is why it is allowed for the sick person and the traveler to break their fast during Ramadan. It is disliked for a sick person and a traveler to fast if it causes them trouble.

The Prophet (ﷺ) explained why in his statement, “The previous nations before you were destroyed due to their excessive questioning and differing with their Prophets.” Here He (ﷺ) explained that questioning things not mentioned in the Quran and in the Sunnah beyond need led to their destruction. This kind of questioning can imply extreme enquires in matters in order to show your knowledge in an affair, or show the public the person being asked is unable to answer. Moreover, asking questions involving he said and she said to spark debates that lead to fighting, disputing and enmity causes destruction.

The guideline the Salaf used when being asked about matters unfound in the Quran and the Sunnah was to make sure the incident happened first. Then they would strive to answer it correctly. They would say, “This is my opinion in this matter. If it is correct then it is from Allah and if it incorrect then it is on me. Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) are free from this error.

Taken from the Explanation of Imam An-Nawawi’s 40Hadith

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar 1443©

[1] Al-Bukhari (7288) Muslim(130)

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