Meaning of "Take What The Messenger Gives You"


Omeed Gül


Take What the Messenger Gives You
Take What the Messenger Gives You

Shias and Sunnis, and other Hadith followers usually take this portion of the verse and quote that part only, out of context, in an attempt to deceive people that the messenger has forbidden more things not found in the Qur'an. They do this to form a completely different meaning than the one intended by God to serve their own personal agenda and to manipulate people.

This is a small part of a whole verse quoted in isolation, out of context. The verse in full form is in the context of a war and reads:

"Whatever gains God has turned over to His messenger from the inhabitants of the villages belong to God, the messenger, kinsfolk, orphans, the needy, and the traveler. This is explained so that you do not just circulate it among those of you who are rich, take what the messenger gives you and abstain from what he forbids you. Be mindful of God, God is severe in punishment." (Qur'an 59:7)

It is clear that the portion: "take what the messenger gives you and abstain from what he forbids you" is referring to the booty of war recovered which the messenger will distribute to those in need.

God says the following with regards to deceivers who take portions of God's verses, then deliberately hide or twist their meanings for vain gains:

"Among them is a group who distort the Book with their tongues so that you think it is from the Book when it is not from the Book. They say, 'it is from God', but it is not from God. They tell a lie against God and they know it." (Qur'an 3:78)

Even if one were to follow along with their misunderstanding that this part is referring to absolutely everything the messenger forbade and permitted, then the "messenger" does not forbid or command anything other than what is found in his "message", the Qur'an, and what is against the Qur'an is against the messenger:

“Messenger (رسول / Rasul)! Proclaim everything that has been sent down to you from your Lord - if you do not, then you will not have communicated His message (رسالة / Risala) ” (Qur’an 7:2)

"This [Qur'an] is sent down from the Lord of all the worlds. If [the Prophet] had said anything against Us, We would certainly have seized his right hand and cut off his artery, and none of you could have defended him." (Qur'an 69:43-47)

The occasion when the Prophet forbade himself or someone something outside of the Qur'an is also reprimanded:

"Prophet, why do you prohibit what God has made lawful to you, in your desire to please your wives? Yet, God is forgiving and merciful..." (Qur'an 66:1)

Another verse that is claimed to support following hadiths and sunnah is the fact that the Qur'an says that Muhammad is an excellent example for the Muslim community:

"Certainly, the messenger of God is an excellent example for whoever seeks God and the Last Day, and remembers God frequently." (Qur'an 33:21)

The context of the verse is a battle where Muhammad’s courage and devotion to God serves as an excellent example for the believers, both at the time of the revelation, as well as for future generations since the Quran is timeless. This “excellent example” provided by the prophet during a battle has simply nothing to do with the fact that you would have to follow questionable Hadiths attributed to Muhammad and written down two centuries after his death.

A very simple proof that traditional Muslims quote 33:21 completely out of context is the following verse where “Abraham and those with him” are also said to be “good examples”:

"Certainly, there is for you a good example in Abraham and those with him when they said to their people, "We disown you and the idols that you worship besides God. We denounce you, and you will see nothing from us except animosity and hatred until you believe in God alone." (Qur'an 60:4)

Does 60:4 imply that we should follow the hadiths and sunnah of “Abraham and those with him”? We obviously do not have hadiths and sunnah of “Abraham and those with him”. The good example provided by “Abraham and those with him” is no other than the example narrated by the Qur'an itself; by the way, verse 60:4 mentions a mistake that he made regarding praying for his father’s forgiveness.

Muhammad and Abraham are therefore both shown providing good (and sometimes bad) examples in the Qur'an and this is certainly not a hint that we should follow the hadiths and sunnah of the prophet other than what is mentioned in the last revelation. Again, we are witnessing that the religion of Islam manipulates the meaning of the Qur'an to claim we should. It is not what the Qur'an says.

The Qur'an provides numerous times the clear command to “follow God and follow the messenger”.

For example:(3:32) Say: “Obey God and the messenger”; and if they turn away, then indeed God does not love the disbelievers.

"These are God’s limits; and whoever obeys God and His messenger, he will admit him to gardens below which there are flowing streams." (Qur'an 4:13)

Look no further than the Christian world when it comes to unquestionable beliefs, the trinity became one after after centuries of persecuting and killing whoever would not believe in it. In a similar way, the religion of Islam has brainwashed Muslims to believe that hadiths that were written down (for the earliest ones) about two hundred years after the prophet passed away are perfectly authentic and reliable as long as a chain of supposedly reliable witnesses has been identified. Just like it is the case for trinity in Christian circles, every Muslim is taught from childhood that such hadiths are unquestionable; anyone who does not believe in them is considered an infidel.

In reality, there is not one court of justice in the world that would give any credit to a testimony that has been passed down orally for two hundred years before it was eventually written down. Why wasn’t that testimony written down right away to begin with if it is that reliable?

Everyone has a strong tendency to follow the crowd blindly, and this is why people fail to see how impossible and ridiculous such a claim is.

Do any of the many verses of the Quran which command to “Obey God and the messenger” tell us to “follow God and the hadiths and sunna which were going to be written down 200 years after Muhammad passed away”? Of course not.

On the contrary, such verses tell us that:

- (1) When Muhammad was alive, the believers had the obligation to obey him in every way.

- (2) Now that Muhammad is dead, we have to obey God and the messenger’s perfect teachings and hadiths that are perfectly preserved directly in the Qur'an, and certainly not the unreliable fables written down 200 years or more after his death.

The Qur'an conveys the prohibition of any book other than the Qur'an in an even stronger manner:

(69:40) Indeed this [Qur'an] is the utterance of an honorable messenger;

(69:41) Not the utterance of a poet; [but] rarely do you believe.

(69:42) And not the utterance of a soothsayer; [but] rarely do you take heed.

(69:43) It [this Qur'an] is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.

(69:44) and had he uttered on our behalf any sayings,

(69:45) We would have seized him by the right hand;

(69:46) Then, We would assuredly have severed the main artery [of his heart].

Muhammad would have been destroyed if he had asked for his own sayings (other than those already part of the Quranic revelation) to be considered as part of the divine revelation:

(17:73) "They almost diverted you (O Muhammad) from what we revealed to you; If you had invented on our behalf anything else, they would have assuredly considered you as a friend.

(17:74) And If it were not that we strengthened you, you would certainly have slightly leaned towards them.

(17:75) We would then have made you taste double [the punishment] in this life, and double [after] death; You would then have found no one as a protector against us."

Similarly, If we look at the context of verse 4:80, one of the many verses where believers are enjoined to “obey God and the messenger”, we see in 4:82 that the message of the Qur'an was the only thing Muhammad delivered and followed, because it is a message without any contradiction:

(4:80) Whoever obeys the messenger, has surely obeyed God; to whoever turns away: We have not sent you as a guardian over them.

(4:81) And they say: “[We pledge] obedience!” Then, when they are no longer in your presence, a group among them plots during the night against what you say. But God records what they plot during the night. So turn away from them and put [your] trust in God. God suffices when it comes to trust

(4:82) Why do they not reflect upon the Qur'an? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions.

The verse does not tell us to reflect about the Qur'an and hadiths delivered by the prophet Muhammad, but simply to reflect about the Qur'an because it is a message without any contradictions, unlike any message delivered by any human being, including the prophet Muhammad.

This implies that the religious message that the last prophet delivered was the Qur'an, the whole Qur'an, and nothing but the Qur'an. Muhammad’s own imperfect sayings would have at times interfered with the flawless divine revelation. We will prove in the next section quoting the Qur'an that even though Muhammad was a messenger of God, he was a very imperfect man; Even if we had had authentic hadiths from him written at the time he was alive (other than those cited by the Qur'an), following them and some of their mistakes would have been a scenario of disaster for the Muslim world.

Now that the prophet Muhammad is dead, we still can obey him following all the authentic hadiths and examples found in the Qur'an, which is the only authentic and reliable collection of hadiths that was left to us. This is why every time we obey Muhammad reading the Qur'an and follow his good example, we obey God directly since he is the one who designed the Qur'an and chose which hadiths of messengers (and human beings in general) should be used as examples (4:80).

Furthermore, the language of the Qur'an is very specific and we are never told to “follow God and follow Muhammad” literally, but instead to “follow God and follow the messenger”. This is because when the prophet was alive Muslims had to follow him directly as a messenger who was reciting and following strictly the perfect Arabic Qur'an. When the prophet died, the Qur'an replaced Muhammad as a messenger since we find many of the last prophet’s authentic sayings and actions, as well as those of so many humans (messengers or not) of the history of mankind. In addition, we are left with a complete revelation which stands as a testament for the human race; it is fully detailed, and it is therefore a perfect messenger.

If the Qur'an does provide plenty of good examples of Muhammad’s behavior and exemplary character, Muslims conveniently forget that it also points at the fact that Muhammad (and other messengers) made several substantial mistakes:

(80:1) He (Muhammad) frowned and turned away.

(80:2) When the blind man came to him.

(80:3) But what makes you know, if he doesn’t wish to purify himself,

(80:4) Or to be reminded, so the reminder would benefit him?

(80:5) As for the wealthy;

(80:6) You gave to him your attention,

(80:7) Even though it is not up to you if he purifies himself.

(80:8) but as for the one who came to you full of eagerness,

(80:9) And was fearful,

(80:10) You ignored him.Muhammad’s above regrettable behavior is the same as we see every day in real life: People have a very strong tendency to be impressed and respectful of wealthy, powerful or seemingly highly educated people, regardless of their real human qualities; on the contrary, they look down on people with real human qualities who do not have a high social status.

(33:37) Recall that you said to the one who was blessed by God, and blessed by you, "Keep your wife and reverence God," and you hid inside yourself what God wished to proclaim. Thus, you feared the people, when you were supposed to fear only God. When Zeid was completely through with his wife, we had you marry her, in order to establish the precedent that a man may marry the divorced wife of his adopted son. God's commands shall be done.

(66:1) O you prophet! Why do you prohibit what God has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? God is Oft Forgiving, Merciful.

In 33:37, Muhammad made a catastrophic mistake as he knew about God’s command regarding the right to marry the wife of an adopted child after a divorce, but did not divulge it because he was more afraid of people than God! A similar sin is mentioned in 66:1, as Muhammad prohibited what God had made lawful, seeking to please his wives.

In spite of several verses of the Qur'an showing that Muhammad was just an imperfect human being just like everybody else, lots of Muslims who do not study the Qur'an carefully either claim that:

1. Muhammad was infallible;

2. alternatively, those who are more in phase with the Qur'an and who understand that it is impossible to deny the fact that Muhammad made substantial mistakes claim that such mistakes were all outlined in the Qur'an and that the prophet was otherwise perfect. By inventing such a lie, they imply that we can rely on the various hadiths collections that have been classified as “sahih” (authentic) by Sunni scholars. The problem with such a theory is that the Qur'an proves it wrong. Let us judge for ourselves:

(48:1) Indeed, we have granted you (second person singular = O Muhammad) a clear victory.

(48:2) So that God may forgive you (second person singular = O Muhammad) your past sins, as well as what will follow [i.e. your future sins], and complete His favor upon you, and guide you in a straight path.

Only three surahs (5, 9, 110) were revealed after surah 48. Anyone can read those three suras and will not find any specifics regarding Muhammad making mistakes. This means that Muhammad’s future sins mentioned in 48:2 are sins in addition to those already specifically mentioned in the Qur'an. If anyone had witnessed Muhammad making the types of mistakes or sins that are referred to in 48:2, and had reported or even written strictly what he had said or done, people who believe that the hadiths of the prophet are the equivalent of Quranic truths meant to be followed after his death could have easily been misled on a number of occasions, as they would have been influenced by the mistakes of an imperfect man.

Furthermore, let us imagine that some hadiths were correctly reported despite a gap of at least two centuries between the time they were uttered and the time they were written down, we do not necessarily know their exact context, and we may therefore misunderstand them as well.

This is to avoid such types of confusion that God decreed that the Quran alone is to be followed (17:46). It is also why God ordered Muhammad to alert people that he was a fallible human being just like anybody else:

(18:110) Say, (O Muhammad): "I am no more than a human being like you...."

(7:185) Have they not looked at the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all the things that God has created? And does it ever occur to them that the end of their life may be near? Then, in which Hadith (= saying/word), other than this (Quran) do they believe in?

(12:111) Verily, there is a lesson to be drawn from their stories for men who possess intelligence. This (Quran) is not a fabricated Hadith; On the contrary, it confirms that which came before it, it provides a detailed explanation of everything, as well as guidance and mercy for people who believe.

(31:6) Among the people, there are those who uphold baseless Hadiths to divert from the path of God without knowledge, and take it (the Quran) as a mockery. These have incurred a humiliating retribution.

(39:23) God has revealed [herein] the best Hadith; It is a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). It makes the skins of those who fear their Lord shiver; in the end, their skins and their hearts soften up at God’s remembrance. Such is God's guidance; which He bestows upon whomever He wills. As for whomever God lets go astray, there is no guide for him.

(45:6) These are God’s verses which we to you [O Muhammad] truthfully. Therefore, in which Hadith other than God and His verses do they believe?

(77:50) Then, in which Hadith, other than this (Qur'an), do they believe?

This is why we cannot blindly rely on words of men, even when they are messengers: Only God’s revelation (the Quran) is perfect and does not contain any “contradictions” as witnessed in 4:82. The Quran provides us the only authentic hadiths of past messengers (they usually provide good examples, and sometimes bad ones, proving how imperfect they are), as well as authentic hadiths of all kind of human beings in the history of mankind (kings, soldiers, men, women, believers, disbelievers, angels, satan…).

In addition, when it comes to hadiths collections, we know that the earliest were written down about two centuries after Muhammad passed away. Not only Muhammad’s hadiths could not have consistently provided good examples even if written at the time he uttered them (he was according to the Quran a very imperfect man), it is next to impossible to know what hadiths may be 100% in line with the Quran and which ones are not: They contain numerous contradictions, and the rules that were designed to establish which hadiths are supposedly reliable and which ones are not are rules established by men, not by God.God is the one who teaches the Quran, not Muhammad:

(55:1) The Most Gracious.

(55:2) He is the one who taught the Quran.

God did not need any of Muhammad’s sayings (other than those He chose to be part of the last revelation) to clarify the message of the Quran to mankind after he passed away. The reason is that God Himself is the one who teaches the Quran, which He designed to be fully detailed. It contains all the information we need to inherit the perfect religion.

Muslims claim that the Quran is not fully detailed and that it is impossible to fully understand it, as well as all details of our religion, without additional sources beside the Quran, that is to say without hadiths and sunnah.

It is their opinion. Now, here’s what God Almighty says:

(6:114) Shall I seek other than God as source of law, when He is the One who revealed to you this Book (the Quran) fully detailed! And those whom We blessed with prior revelations (lit. “the Book”) know [for a fact] that it is the truth sent down from your Lord! Therefore, do not be among those who doubt.

God Himself proclaims that the Quran is fully detailed. So who should we believe? God, or Sunni and Shia scholars who claim that the Quran is not fully detailed?

It is easy to prove that many of the so called “Sahih Hadiths” (strong Hadiths) are false because lots of them are in blatant contradiction with the Word of God (The Quran). We will provide a few incontrovertible examples later in the article.

Directly in line with fact that the Quran is fully detailed, the Word of God warns us that there is a category of people who are disgusted when the Quran alone is advocated:(

(17:46) And we cast a veil upon their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears. And when you mention (or remember) your Lord using the Quran ALONE (wahdahu) they turn away their backs in aversion.

When God appointed Muhammad as a messenger, He did not let him speak out of his own desire: He commanded him to recite word for word a number of specific sentences that were destined to guide the human race on the right path; most notably, and no less than 332 times, God commands Muhammad to proclaim specific sentences by saying: “Qul” (Say!/Proclaim!), followed by a specific command that we have to recite and follow faithfully. Such commands obviously indirectly apply to the believers as well every time they read the Quran and are examples of perfectly reliable hadiths, because God himself tells us word for word what we need to say. This is obviously a world of difference when we compare them with the ones that were written down two or more centuries after the revelation of the Quran, not only because it is next to impossible to preserve such hadiths through oral tradition after such an incredibly long period of time, but also because such hadiths are not found in the Quran, and therefore are not part of the divine revelation. Even if rarely some may happen to be correct, we do not need them because the Quran is already fully detailed; they will at best be a repeat of what the Quran already says.

Let us witness an example of such authentic Quranic hadiths of the prophet which enlightens us regarding Muhammad’s mindset following strictly the Quran alone:

(7:203) And whenever you do not bring them a verse (for instance to answer their questions), they say: “Why didn’t you make up one?!” Proclaim (O Muhammad): “I follow exclusively (انما = “only”, “exclusively” = exclusive particle) what is revealed to me from my Lord”! This (solemn proclamation) is enlightenment from your Lord (“your” = second person plural = all Muslims), and guidance and mercy for people who believe.

This proves that Muhammad followed exclusively the verses that were revealed to him, God saying that this should be an “enlightenment from your (second person plural) Lord”, meaning that all believers should follow the example of Muhammad who used to follow exclusively what was revealed to him.

Hadiths contradict the Qur'an in numerous ways and it would take a very long study to provide a full extensive list. However, if you would like to see some examples we've put together, click here.

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