Are the Prophets Responsible for Following the Law (Sharia)?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

Were/are Prophets subject to the Sharia?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

Yes. The Prophets have four essential qualities. They are

  1. true in word (sadiq),
  2. trustworthy in their actions (amin),
  3. conveying of all they are commanded to convey (tabligh), and
  4. exemplars of intelligence and are brilliant (fatana). [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

The Prophets Following Divine Guidance and Law

The trustworthiness (amana) of the Prophets (peace be upon them all) is, “Allah guarding their outward and inward from any contravention of the Divine Command–whether of prohibition, dislike, or even anything that is improper.” [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

Anything the Prophets did that would appear to be otherwise is contextually understood to be the right–and best–choice from them. [Ibn al-Himyar, Tanzil al-Anbiya’]

This is because Allah Most High tells us, “Whoever obeys the Messenger has truly obeyed Allah.” [Quran, 4:80]

And, “Whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. And whatever he forbids you from, leave it. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is severe in punishment.” [Quran, 59:7]

Thus, if a Prophet disobeyed Allah’s Command, while Allah commands us to take them as exemplars and to obey them unconditionally, it would entail the absurd. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.