Infallibility of the Prophets in the Quran and Hadith 2

Infallibility of the Prophets in the Quran and Hadith 2

The Mighty in Power has taught him.
The above verses not only proves that the Prophet did not err or sin, but also testifies that all his speeches were revelation (either directly or indirectly). These verses unequivocally clears the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) from EVER saying ANYTHING of his (PBUH&HF) own desire. That includes his (PBUH&HF) tradition and the Quran. For those who argue otherwise, don't forget that the tradition is used in ANY interpretation of the Quran; and in matters of Jurisprudence (Fiqh), as well as in other areas. If the tradition is corrupt because you claim that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is a sinner (May Allah forgive us!!, then the interpretation of the Quran is also corrupt!!! Fear Almighty Allah in your reasoning! For those who claim that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is sinless in the delivery of the Message of Almighty Allah, and that includes the Hadith, then you have already admitted what the Shia say!!! It is unanimously agreed that the Sunnah of the Prophet covers the Prophet's sayings, actions, and thought/satisfaction. Since the Sunnah are reflections of the Prophet's actions, he (PBUH&HF) is then sinless in the actions as well.
Allah also said:
"Have We not caused thy bosom to dilate? And removed from thee thy burden? That which weighed down thy back? And exalted the esteem (in which) thou (art held)?..." (1)
I will not personally comment on the above verse, but here's what Abdullah Yusuf Ali, a Sunni translator of the Quran, has to say in his footnotes to the verse: "(This is also) the prayer of Moses (asking for the expansion of the breast). The breast is symbolically the seat of knowledge and the highest feelings of love and affection, the treasure-house in which are stored the jewels of that quality of human character which approaches nearest to the divine. The holy Prophet's human nature had been PURIFIED, EXPANDED, and ELEVATED, so that he became a Mercy to all Creation. Such a nature could afford to ignore the lower motives of ordinary humanity which caused shameful attacks to be made on him. Its strength and courage could also bear the burden of the galling work which it had to do in DENOUNCING SIN, SUBDUING IT, and protecting Allah's (SWT) creatures from its oppression.
It is indeed a grievous and galling burden for a man to fight single- handed against sin. But Allah sends HIS GRACE and aid, and THAT BURDEN IS REMOVED, or converted into joy and triumph in the service of the One True God. The Prophet's virtues, the magnanimity of his character, and his love for mankind were fully recognized in his lifetime, and his name stands highest among the heroic leaders of mankind. The phrase used here is more comprehensive in meaning that used for various prophets..." [End of quote from A. Yusuf Ali]
Do I need to say more? Let us see if Allah said any more: "It is He who has sent His Messenger with the GUIDANCE and the Religion of Truth..."(2) "And the unbelievers say: Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord? But thou art truly a warner and for EVERY nation there exists a GUIDE." (3) A Messenger, who rehearses to you the Signs of Allah containing clear explanations, in order to lead forth those who believe and do righteous deeds from the depths of Darkness into Light."(4)
The above verses of Quran testify that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) was a Guide sent to lead forth people from the depths of Darkness into Light.(5) And that he (PBUH&HF) is a warner(6) and one of the guides for people.(7) Sin is darkness, and as such, how can the Prophet was sent to move people from darkness into light when he himself is sitting in the darkness?! May Allah protect us from slandering His Prophet (PBUH&HF). Similarly Quran informs us that the Prophet has come to us to sanctify and cleanse us and to teach us wisdom: As We have sent unto you a messenger from among you who recites unto you Our revelations and cleanses you, and teaches you the Scripture and wisdom, and teaches you that which you knew not.(8)
Allah did bestow a great favor unto the believers when He sent among them an Messenger from among themselves reciting unto them the Signs of Allah sanctifying them and teaching them the Scripture and Wisdom while before that they had been in manifest error.(9) See (2:129, 62:2) which also testify that one of the missions of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was to cleanse the true believers. Then how could a prophet purify others of wrong-doings if he himself were not pure? How could Allah send an impure and sinful person to cleanse others? How could a man teach others wisdom if he had no wisdom to distinguish right from wrong; or worst still, if he had no willpower to resist from doing wrong? The Prophet was to teach people the Book of Allah; this means that he KNEW the Commandment of Allah. He was to purify them and teach them wisdom. This means he himself had wisdom and purity. Witness to the perfection of his character is found in Quran where Allah states: "And most certainly you are on sublime morality (exalted standard of character)."(10) A man committing mistakes does not deserve such compliments. All these verses clearly prove two things:
1.
The authority of the Holy Prophet upon the believers was unlimited and all-comprehensive. Any order given by him, under any condition, in any place, at any time, was to be obeyed unconditionally.
2.
Supreme authority was given to him because he was sinless (Ma'soom) and free from all types of errors and sins. Otherwise, Allah would not have ordered us to obey him with no questioning or doubt.

Infallibility of the Prophets (Part II)
In this part, we discuss the logical support for the infallibility of the Prophets, and we then provide some traditions from Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih al-Tirmidhi with regard to the issue of infallibility.
Reason and Logic
Apart from the analysis of the character of a prophet historically or as a character from the Quran, such character can also be judged within the confines of reason and logic. As such, the obvious question is: Is it rational and/or realistic for a Prophet sent by the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe to be a sinner? Let's find out: First, when Almighty Allah sends forth a Prophet, He (SWT) distinguishes him from all the creatures by cleansing him from evil and sin, so that he may serve as an example. Indeed, Almighty Allah asserts: "You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah AN EXCELLENT EXEMPLAR for him who hopes in Allah and the Final Day, and who remember Allah much."(11) As such, a man that has been chosen by the Creator of the Universe to represent Him (SWT) on the Earth, CANNOT be of an evil nature, nor can he be a sinner that commits ignoble acts. If the Prophet is sent to advice humanity to do good deeds, then he himself commits sins, do you believe that he will serve as an outstanding example to be followed? That would be like an Imam of Mosque who waves his right hand saying: "Don't drink beer!" while a holds a beer can in his left hand!!!
Second, if the Prophet (PBUH&HF) enjoins righteousness and forbids evil when he himself is a sinner who commits evil, he has gone against what Allah said in Quran that: O you who believe! why do you say that which you do not act? It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not act.(12) Based on the above verse of Quran, if prophet was a sinner, he should not have preached others in the first place!! As such, a sinful prophet faces a dilemma: If he does not preach, he has disobeyed the order of God who has ordered him to convey the message.(13) On the other hand, if he preaches, he again has disobeyed God where Allah states "O you who believe! why do you say that which you do not act? It is MOST HATEFUL in the sight of Allah that you say that which you do not act.!!!"
Didn't Almighty Allah reprimand the Jews by saying: "Do you enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (to practice it) yourselves, and yet you study the Scripture? Will you not understand?"(14) Clearly, a Prophet CANNOT order a layman to perform prayer on a timely basis, when the Prophet himself forgets to pray, and when he remembers, he prays without ablution (Wudu)!!!(15) Purified be the Representatives of Almighty Allah from such false accusations! Third, a prophet that sins is a repulsive character. We, as humans, detest a person who comes to us and says don't do this and don't do that, yet he himself commits wicked acts. He automatically becomes repulsive to us, and we cannot stand to listen to him anymore. Similarly, if Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) was cruel to a blind man, which he WAS NOT, how can he ask us to have good manners? (NOTE AGAIN: The blind man's story is not related to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) as some Sunnis state; it was a chapter revealed to reprimand Uthman Ibn Affan, who was the one who frowned in the face of the blind man. Please see the earlier article which was exclusively in this regard).
Do you seriously believe that a Prophet of Almighty Allah was a sinner and so offensive? Why do you follow him then? I, personally, will NOT believe in a man who claims to be sent by Almighty Allah, the Creator of the Universe, and then sins and behaves in a manner that is not even befitting of a beast! Forth, was Almighty Allah so incapable as to make His (SWT) prophets and messengers sinless? Why would Almighty Allah even bother to send a sinning prophet to be an example to a community? If sin is something that even the prophets and messengers cannot avoid, then what is the purpose of sending a religion to the mankind any way? Does God expect the ordinary people to follow his instructions when his own deputies cannot? Fifth, a prophet or messenger is an interpreter of Allah's commands. As such, if the prophet is the first to violate these commands, who among the Ummah will abide by these commands? Or if he is in a state that deprives him of his mental faculties causing him to err, then he will MISinterpret the commands of Almighty Allah. If that happens, then surely Almighty Allah is playing a game with His creation! For He (SWT) sends them a man to interpret the religion for them, yet this man is subject to magical spells, as the Israelites reports claim, and mental hallucinations that cause him to become unaware of his own behavior!(16) What kind of interpreter is that? Exalted be Almighty Allah from such allegations against His Prophet (PBUH&HF)! sixth, for those among Sunnis who say that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is sinless or infallible ONLY in the delivery of Allah's (SWT) message, and other than that, just like any other man, he (PBUH&HF) sins and makes mistakes in many things, such assertion is full of logical holes. For instance, Sunnis narrated that once the Prophet gave advice on agriculture, and people did it, but they suffered a big loss by following that advice!! Then Prophet told them that what he said was his personal advice and not revelation!!! (which is, by the way, in contradiction with the verse: "Nor does he (prophet) speak out of his desire. What he says is nothing but revelation that is revealed.) (17) How do we know which of the Prophet's sayings are from Almighty Allah, and which are his personal sayings? He (PBUH&HF) may say something which the companions take as Allah's command, but it may be that he (PBUH&HF) was only expressing his OWN opinion. If that happens, then all of Allah's laws will be in chaos and disarray! That is why, even the Prophet's OPINION has to conform with Allah's orders, for fear of misinterpretation by the people. In fact the Prophet had a perfect reason and his Ijtihad was in perfect compliance with the Allah's orders and satisfaction and that is why Quran orders us to obey WHATEVER he states without condition.
Also, how can we understand which acts of the Prophet are wrong, and which are right? What is the measure for us? Isn't a part of this measure the practice of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) himself? Since the practice of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is considered to be one of the sources of deriving the rules of Islam, we cannot evaluate the Prophet's actions by the rules which are derived from his actions! As such all the actions of the Prophet should have been protected. Seventh, for the Prophet (PBUH&HF) to be chosen to deliver Allah's (SWT) message (one of which was the Quran) and be himself a sinner, will cast doubt on the authenticity of the Quran. When the Prophet (PBUH&HF) recites a verse from the Quran, how do we know that that verse is indeed from Almighty Allah, and not a side effect from the hallucinative episode that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was allegedly experiencing as a result of the magical spell cast upon him?! That would mean that Allah's (SWT) Book will be distorted by the same man who was sent to deliver it!
Eighth, just imagine what impossible situation would have been created if any prophet begin to exhort his followers to commit a mistake or sin. The wretched followers would be condemned to the displeasure of Allah in any case. If they obey the Prophet and commit that sin, then they have disobeyed the command given by Allah and thus are disgraced. If, on the other hand, they disobey the Prophet, they again have disobeyed the command of Allah about obeying the Prophet. So, it appears that a fallible prophet could bring nothing but disgrace and condemnation to his people.
Ninth, a punishable sin will cause sadness and depression to the soul of the believer. The believer who sincerely loves Almighty Allah is angered and depressed by the sin he has committed. Feelings of sadness begin to roam the mind, and the believer will lose confidence many times. Feelings of doubt are evoked in the sense that the believer feels that Almighty Allah may not support him at a certain point in time as punishment for what he has rendered. This doubt is NOT in the sense that he feels Almighty Allah is not merciful enough to forgive him; rather, it is the doubt about what will happen if Allah ever decides to retaliate for what he has done.
With the above in mind, a prophet should NOT be a sinner, because that would entail that he loses confidence at certain stages in his mission. If doubt strikes the soul of a prophet, you can be assured that his mission is in jeopardy. Also, from a political and psychological standpoint, doubt automatically translates into disaster. On the other hand, it is a known historical fact that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) never displayed any doubt in his mission, and thus he could not have been guilty of sins. Having doubt could not have only undermined his mission, but it would also have undermined his credibility among the believers.
Tenth, a Prophet is a teacher by virtue of his prophethood. If a teacher errs when he is supposed to be sent DIRECTLY by Almighty Allah as a mercy to mankind, then he will need a more knowledgeable and a more virtuous teacher to guide him and to punish him in the case that he violates the limits of God; which means that the Prophet himself will need an unerring teacher sent by God, and so on, ad infinitum. Thus, it cannot be except that the Prophet MUST be the number one teacher and the highest in virtue among his own people, and that he be sinless and infallible to begin with.
As for the Imams (divinely appointed Caliphs), the same argument applies, but they are NOT prophets or messengers. They are, however, successors and vicegerents to the Seal of Prophethood. As such, if these Imams are to guide the Ummah of Muhammad (PBUH&HF), they also must have the same qualities that the above argument illuminates. Please see the next article which is exclusively about the infallibility of Imams.

Continue in article: Infallibility of the Prophets in the Quran and Hadith 3

NOTES:

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1. (94:1-4)

2. (9:33)

3. (13:7)

4. (65:11)

5. (65:11)

6. (27:91)

7. (13:7)

8. (2:151)

9. (3:164)

10. (68:4)

11. (33:21)

12. (61:2-3)

13. (5:67)

14. (2:44)

15. (as Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic version, v1, p123; and v1, p37)

16. (See Sahih Bukhari, Arabic version, v7, p29)

17. [53:3-4]