In the verse of An-Nisa’ (Women) in particular (O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you...to the end of the verse) more than one indication that the Apostle - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- has an obedience conferred on him by Allah in what emanates from him, such as clarification of the Scripture or other than that, because:
Firstly: He repeated the factor and joined His obedience to his.
Secondly: That He joined ‘those charged with authority’ to the Apostle by means of the conjunction “waw”, and did not repeat the factor when mentioning ‘those charged with authority’, this is an indication that ‘those charged with authority’ do not have an independent obedience, and do not have legislation emanating from them, but they are to be obeyed in what they take charge of, and what they undertake, within a framework from the religion which Allah formulated, whether Quran or Sunnah.
Ibn Al-Qayyim said, clarifying that: "Allah commanded to obey Him and obey His Messenger, and repeated the verb informing that, obedience to the Apostle is due independently without proffering that which he was commanded on the Scripture. Rather when he orders, his obedience is necessary in absolute terms, whether what he was commanded was in the Scripture or not, as he was given the Scripture and like it doubled. He did not order obedience of ‘those charged with authority’ independently, but rather omitted the verb and made their obedience within the obedience to the Apostle. Thus, signalling that they get obeyed subsequently to the obedience of the Apostle. Whoever among them orders obedience to the Apostle, his obedience becomes necessary, and whoever orders the contrary of what the Apostle came up with has neither listening to nor obedience, as was authenticated after him - peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- that he said: "(no obedience to any creature in disobedience to the Creator) (1).
Thirdly: What the Almighty made clear among that which the believer must follow in a situation of conflict, of the necessity to refer to Allah and the Apostle, as the reference to Allah is understood to mean to refer to His Holy book, from the time of its revelation to the day of resurrection, so too is the reference to the Apostle from the time of his endowment to the day of resurrection , because the description of the message did not recede from him by him joining the Most High Companion, and because he is a clarifier to the Holy book and an exhibitor of Allah’s intention from it (2).
Al-Tabari said, pointing to that in his interpretation of the verse of Al-Ma’idah (which is a command from Allah to obey His Messenger, during his life in what he ordered and what he prohibited, and after his death, by following his Tradition, because Allah generalised the command of his obedience, and did not specify in that a situation without another; so it is generalised – until He specifies that -which must be premised) and so said Al-Razi (3).
In the verse of An-Nisa’, from the facets I have mentioned what indicates the confirmation of generalisation of obedience to the Apostle, and the duty to obey him in all the rulings, and therein signals from the Holy Quran and its clarification, what overthrow the statement of he who says: the necessity of obedience of the Messenger is in what was revealed to him of the Quran only, because he who says this despite these many verses, points out to himself that effectively he has no knowledge of the language and its secrets, the Quran and its references, which makes he who says so far removed from the truth and correctness; due to his ignorance of the styles of the eloquent Arabic Holy Quran.
Al-Razi (4) said in his interpretation of the verse of An-Nisa’ a precise word, which has its importance, and is worth looking at and considering. Where he said, after mentioning the principles of the law (Shari’a) acquired from the verse, and stated that it embodied most of the principles of jurisprudence, then said in this statement: (as far as the Scripture and the Tradition were concerned, they were referred to by His saying, the Almighty: (Obey Allah and obey the Messenger). If it were said: isn’t the obedience to the Apostle obedience to Allah, then what is the meaning of this conjunction? We would say: Al-Qaadhi said: the benefit in that is making clear the two indications; the Scripture indicates the command of Allah, then we know from it, inevitably, the command of the Apostle. And the Tradition indicates the command of the Messenger, then we know from it inevitably, the command of Allah. So, it was confirmed from what we have mentioned, that His saying: (Obey Allah and obey the Messenger) indicates the necessity to follow the Scripture and the Tradition).
Going back to all the commands in which the association of obedience of the Apostle with that of Allah was stated- in these verses, which I have mentioned as examples from the two types – is associated with persuasion in reward and promise of good recompense, or threat for his disobedience.
All this makes the command in (obey) for obligation, where it was surrounded with associations from persuasion and intimidation, and does not admit recommendation, unlike its formulation when devoid of associations. Some of the speakers and jurists say of its implication in recommendation, and the majority of scholars say it serves obligation, because it is a command from above to below, and the in the doctrine of Al-Ghazali cessation in it. Commands in these verses, came in conjunction with associations that make it purely for obligation, a single statement.
It remains after this, that I point out to what is acquired from the recurrence of the association of the command to obey the Messenger with obeying Allah in every occasion, and that was stated in many verses of the Quran, some of which I mentioned as examples, as proof that Allah wanted from all that generality of obedience to the Apostle in all that is issued from him.
Ash-Shaatibi said (8): Also, Allah has said in His book: (O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you), and said: (And obey Allah and His Messenger) in many places, and its repetition shows indicates generality of obedience, in what he came up with as that which is in the Scripture, and that which is not, as that which is in his Tradition).
(1) – I’laam Al-Muwaqqi’een (2 / 89), and the Statement was narrated by Ahmad (4/426, 432).
(2) –see: The Sunnah and its place in legislation by Abbas Hamada, pp. 53-58.
(3) –see: Al-Fakhr by Razi (3 / 255).
(4) – Al-Fakhr by Razi (3 / 249).
(5) –The interpretation of Al-Manar (5 / 180).
(6) –The interpretation of Al-Fakhr by Razi (3 / 246).
(7) – Ruĥ Al-Ma’aani (5/65).
(8) – The Congruences: (3 / 42).