I was shown a verse of the Quran and from that, we formed the basis of an argument against those who play with words and reject in part or whole the legacy of the Prophetic practice of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.)
"They wish to separate between Allah and his Messenger."
The Women 4:150
There are other possible translations use the word distinguish, or something similar, instead of separate. The point being there are those who wish to separate the two. Some classical commentary follows:
Ibn Al-Jawzi (may Allah show him mercy) states in "Tafsir Zad al-Musayr fi 'Ilm Al-Tasfir" the following:
"There are two opinions: 1) The Jews believed in Musa, Uzar, the Torah and rejected Isa, the Gospel, Muhammad and the Quran.
2) It was said to Ibn Abbas that the Jews and Christians believe in the Torah and Musa but reject the gospel and Isa. Whilst the Christians believe in the Gospel and Jesus then reject Muhammad and the Quran."
Qatada said, "They wish to fragment the belief in God and the belief of the Messenger; faith is not correct like this..."
Imam Nasafi (may Allah show him mercy) states in "Tasfir Mudarik Al-Tanzil wa Haqaiq Al-Tawil" that: "On the final part (they mean), "Meaning a religion between faith and disbelief, yet there is no medium between these. "Those are disbelievers." (the Women 4:150) They are total disbelievers because disbelieving in one (prophet or message) is disbelief in all of them."
Imam Tabari (may Allah show him mercy) states in "Jama' Bayan fi Tafsir Al-Quran" said:
"This passage was revealed concerning the Jews and Christians. The Jews believe in Musa and the Torah but reject in Isa/Jesus and the gospel. Whilst the Christians believe in Isa and the gospel but reject Musa, the Torah, Muhammad and the Quran; both of them reject Muhammad and the Quran. So Allah explained that belief is not is partial and believing in part of the religion is taking this way." (Disbelieving in part means disbelief in it all).
Imam Qurtubi (may Allah show him mercy) states in "Jamia li ahakm Al-Quran":
"The text of the Almighty states that those who distinguish between Allah and his Messenger are disbelievers; because Allah, the Almighty, made it an obligation upon people to worship him according to the explanation on the tongue of the Messenger. If they renounce the Messenger, rejecting their law or do not except it from them then they have rejected that which they their obedience committed them to accept. So they reject their Maker, the Almighty, rejecting the Maker is disbelief, so that causes them to leave the commitment of obedience and worship; likewise separating between his Messenger in matters of faith is disbelief."
Who are they?
This passage (4.150) really struck a chord in me and I wanted to share some thoughts, hopefully they will benefit someone. It states that they want to separate God from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Messenger is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and those who want to separate him from God are the disbelievers. The commentators have referred to the Jews and the Christians; as many of them rejected the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during his lifetime. This passage takes a new meaning when we understand that there a groups of modernists and other more radical groups who seek to "reform" (deform) Islam. Part of this process is throwing out just about everything except the Quran; everything else is under scrutiny and ultimately rejected. These "modern" groups wish to throw out the Hadith/Prophetic practice completely, they want to separate the Quran on one side and the hadith on the other. This is not just dangerous this is a disaster for anyone who believes that this method can bear anything except bitter and rotten fruit. They accept what comes from God but not his Messenger; in that they accept the Quran but not the hadith/prophetic narrations. We will now see how dangerous this is...
Rejecting the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
So when someone rejects the Messenger (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) they reject all that he came with. This is one of the definitions of disbelief; when someone rejects anything that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came with; with the condition that it is definitive/Qat'i. In other words, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, to its authenticity.
Now, those people who reject the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are not just rejected him but also rejecting whatever he came with. This includes his sayings, actions or silent approval (this is the definition of hadith) including those that came through mass transmission; by which we know that there could not be such a lie fabricated by so many people and all their stories be the same.
Just to confirm, rejecting the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) means that someone is rejecting Allah (mighty and majestic). Even if someone believes in God and do not believe in a Messenger (of their time) then they are still disbelievers. The Messenger of our time is Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Hadith a source of Law
Their ways may have changed but the refrain remains the same! Someone told me about how he was having a debate with someone online about the subject of Islam reform. He was explaining to a pro-reform (deform) guy that some of his statements constituted to disbelief. From which he responded by saying that he was a Christian and not a Muslim! If he was not Muslim why did he care then? The answer is simple this is part of the strength of the Muslims is sourced from; the Prophetic narrations/hadith are a great source of blessing, knowledge and guidance for us.
For us to throw all that out would be another disastrous move. Like the abandoning of the four schools of jurisprudence (in some places not all) in many places it has made us stumble from misunderstanding to misunderstanding. Fiqh means to understand and without fiqh we cannot understand the legacy of the Prophetic tradition.
Speaking without knowledge
Modernists of this ilk talk about Islam without knowledge of jurisprudence, Arabic, principles of jurisprudence, Arabic rhetoric or any other kind of Islamic knowledge. All they know is how to speak English and read translations or even worse that they know the Arabic Language and explain everything according to their understanding; which is mostly (99.999%) erroneous.
Just because someone is an Arabic speaker does not mean that they can draw ruling from the Quran directly. As we would not dream of speaking about brain surgery after reading a book; then going into a operating theatre to perform an operation!
Be serious, do you really expect me to listen to someone who has a "feeling" and goes with that "feeling" to form a ruling. No way!
We need to think clearly, when they want to throw out the hadith they accuse God of not sending someone to explain the Quran; and that they know better than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)! And even worse than that they know better than God! This on its own is insanity and it does not matter how many times that we explain to them, they do not refrain or reflect.
It's only arrogance that causes people not to change their minds. This should be enough for any rational person but those who understand Islam emotionally will always misunderstand it; because Islam is not understood in the way that we understand it; it is taught in the way the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was taught by God! So this is God's way taught through the prism of Prophethood. This is not an easy matter; disbelief is not an easy matter.
The Quran came from the same sources
The whole point of the passage is that how can progressive/modernists groups only accept the Quran yet reject the one to whom the Quran was revealed to, the one who the Quran was sent to, the one that was the way station between God and the world; then they reject what he had to say!! Anyone who does this is not just lost but is astray.
What is the point of sending a book without sending someone to explain it? Every single manufacturer of a new product have product launches, where they have people who know the product well explain it to others. So if this is how people in the world act; where do you think that they learnt this from??
The whole point, the whole focus, of the religion is to rectify the human being to the Prophetic example. If you throw out the Prophetic example then what are you left with? How can you say that you are trying to be a good person with it, on whose example are you following? Your own? Most people think they are good but in reality they are not; the best way is to compare yourself with the Prophetic example. Then and only then will you find yourself trying to aspire to greater acts and excellent moral conduct. You cannot do this according to your own mind which could be wrong or could be right.
This also proves that the are not reading the Quran because it states:
"You have had a good example in God’s Messenger for whosoever hopes for God and the Last Day." The confederates 33:21
The passage that this post is based on continues:
"They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment." The Women 4:151
If you meet someone like this, know that their logic is flawed but it can be hard to break down their arguments without knowledge. So my advice is avoid talking about it but if they are adamant then do not remain in their company. Why, because they want to take your belief from the Messenger and be like them, true disbelievers.
Know that is a process of trying to take Muslims out of Islam by attacking each process one by one thus stripping it of anything of value, is an old ploy. It can be traced about the occupation of Muslim lands by foreign forces; this process started by attacking the four schools of law, then the schools of belief/theology and continues today with modernist/progressive groups attacking hadith. We just have to hold strong, don't lend them our ears, refute if we can and pay no attention their nonsense.
The Sura of the Star should be enough for anyone, "Your companion is not astray, neither errs, nor speaks he out of his whims. This is naught but a revelation revealed. He was taught by one Mighty in Power." (The Star 53:2-5)
Is not this passage enough to know that the Prophet's (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) have a special station in Islamic law?
Also note this Quranic passage in the Women (4:65):
"No, By your Lord! Never shall they become believers, unless they make you the judge in the disputes that arise between them, then find no discomfort in their hearts against what you have decided, and surrender to it in total submission."
Is this not about making the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) a judge between our affairs and how else can we do this without following the hadiths? The truth is clear.
Here are other links to related to this subject:
How Hadith/Prophetic narration was gathered
Quranic passages on the obedience to Allah (mighty and majestic) and his Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him
Was the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent to all nations?