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Are the harams and halals made by rasulullah in the same category with harams and halals made by Allah? Can a rasul give us orders in the name of Allah?

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Yes, whatever the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم has forbade is same as what Allah has forbade. The Saheeh Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is nothing but wahy from Allah himself. There are several evidences in Qur'an and Sunnah for it.

Verily I have been given the Qur’an and something similar to it along with it. But soon there will be a time when a man will be reclining on his couch with a full stomach, and he will say, ‘You should adhere to this Qur’an: what you find that it says is permissible, take it as permissible, and what you find it says is forbidden, take it as forbidden.’ But indeed, whatever the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم forbids is like what Allah forbids.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2664). He said: It is hasan ghareeb with this isnaad. It was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2870)

"Verily I have been given the Qur’an and something similar to it along with it" - The "something similar" is nothing but the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم .

In fact, Allah the Exalted affirms this in Qur'an.

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah .. [Surah An-Nisa 4:80]

And He says:

But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. [Surah An-Nisa 4:65]

So, the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم doesn't make decision based on his intellect or decision. Rather, it was revealed to him.

“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “I warn you only by the Revelation (from Allah and not by the opinion of the religious scholars and others). But the deaf (who follow the religious scholars and others blindly) will not hear the call, (even) when they are warned [i.e. one should follow only the Qur’an and the Sunnah (legal ways, orders, acts of worship, and the statements of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, as the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did)]” [al-Anbiya’ 21:45]

Allah also says in Qur'an regarding the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم :

Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. [Surah An-Najm 53:3]

So, there is no difference between haraam or halal made by Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and that by Allah. Both are same and the one.

He [the Exalted] also says:

And whatever the Messenger has given you - take; and what he has forbidden you - refrain from. [Surah Al-Hashr 59:7]

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A rasul (messenger) or rasulullah (messenger of Allah) is someone who understands the orders of Allah and applies them in social life. A rasul is also the leader of a society, and can make laws according to the Book of Allah. Rasul has authority to make something halal or haram. But a rasul is someone that only governs according to rules in the Book of Allah. So, a rasul will not use his authority to make something haram or halal by an approach or logic that is against the Book of Allah. If he were to do that, he wouldn't had been a "rasul" by definition in the first place.

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَآئِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالأَغْلاَلَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُواْ النُّورَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good clean things and prohibits for them the evil unclean and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they, who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.
Araf 157

This ayat clarifies the authority of a rasul to make laws.

Then, how do we understand the following ayat?:

قُل لاَّ أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوْحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلاَّ أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Say, "I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah . But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful."
An'am 145

In this ayat, Allah orders His rasul Muhammad (pbuh) to say that there was nothing haram other then the ones listed in this ayat. Not only says so, and also orders him to say that he wasn't able to find anything else other than the ones mentioned. Yes, Rasul Muhammad wasn't able to find anything else other than the ones listing in this ayat.

Confused? You should be.
7:157 seems to be contradicting with 6:145. 7:157 says that the rasul has authority to make clean things halal, and unclean things haram. While 6:145 states that there is no haram to be found other than the listed things.

This confusion arises from the general accepted terminology of "haram" and "halal". People think that there is only one kind of "haram" and one kind of "halal". But that is not true. There are a lot of harams made by different authorities.
Some of them are:

  • Harams and halals made by Allah
  • Harams and halals made by rasulullah
  • Harams and halals made by government
  • Harams and halals made by parents
  • Harams and halals made by husband

The first two are our concern under this topic.
People think that there harams made by Allah is the same with harams made by rasulullah. They are both the same kind of haram and there is only one haram category. This seems correct in application, but is a very big mistake in theory (in terms of belief).
For an example, a parent may order his child "Don't eat too much candy" or "Go to you school". These orders cannot be categorized in the same category of Allah's orders. But the child still has to obey these orders of his parents. Again, in this example, orders of the parents are not as strong as the orders of rasulullah. See 33:6.
There is no one whose orders are to be categorized as equal to Allah's orders. It is shirk to think the orders of rasulullah, government or parents equal to the orders of Allah; it is a great sin.

Then, what is the difference between harams made by Allah and harams made by rasulullah?

Harams and halals made by Allah:

  • Listed in Quran
  • Independent of geographical location
  • Independent of era
  • Independent of nations
  • Independent of local conditions
  • Independent of people
  • Cannot be wrong
  • Cannot be changed later
  • Cannot be discussed on with Allah

Harams and halals made by rasulullah:

  • Said by rasulullah (Muhammad (pbuh)) who is a mere human like us
  • Depends on geographical location
    E.g.: Orders not to travel from a route, because it is unsafe.
  • Depends on era
    E.g.: Suggests to end fast with date fruit
  • Depends on nation
  • Depends on local conditions
    E.g.: Orders to brush teeth with a special wooden stick found in that place
  • Depends on people
  • Can be wrong E.g.: It is recorded that in some events, the rasulullah realizes that he was wrong, and then changed his decision - we must still obey even if we are sure that they are wrong or erroneous; this is necessary for disciplinary reasons
  • Can be changed later
  • Can be discussed on E.g.: Rasulullah Muhammad (pbuh) was used to taking his decisions by discussing with sahaba (his friends)

Harams and halals made by Allah form our religion Islam. They are absolute rules to save our society from corruption. They are given in Quran. No one has authority to add new ones to the list, or remove any of them.

Harams and halals made by raslulullah are practical solutions to the daily life of his local area according to the Book of Allah, and according to the conditions of this time.
In Quran, in a lot of ayats, you can see the phrase "obey Allah and obey His rasul". When rasul orders us something, it becomes a fard for us to do it. This is the important part, try to understand it: It doesn't become a fard like Allah's orders, it becomes a fard to do it because Allah orders us to do whatever rasul says. We obey the rasul, because Allah orders us to obey him. That's why Allah says "whoever obeys the rasul, in fact, he orders to Allah" in 4:80.

Rasul Muhammad was a successive leader. He governed the nation of Islam successfully for long years until his death. Because of his devotion, determination, success, hardworking and correctfulness, Allah shows him as an example to us in 33:21.

In summary, rasulullah is leader a nation who governs his nation according to the rules of Allah sent to him. Muslims must obey him no matter what because of keeping ordinance of the nation.
If there is no rasul and/or rasul is dead (our situation), we keep following the chain of command, and obey the orders of our government which is governed according to the rules of Allah.

A rasul may make some things haram which are not made haram in Quran. In that case, those things became "harams made by rasulullah". It is fard to stay away from them. Some of these rules are strategically made ones; for example, he may order not to buy sheep from a nearby tribe. Reason may be economical; for example, if he finds out a contiguous disease in milk, he may forbid drinking milk. In that case, drinking milk becomes haram. But we cannot push this order in the format of hadith, like "Don't drink milk, it is haram to you", and consider it as a haram even after 14 centuries. Or, he may order cleaning teeth with miswak (a special wood), when we see someone using teeth-brush we cannot say him "don't use this, use miswak, rasulullah ordered so".
The key point is to understand the true motivations of the rasul, not the apparent surficial reasons. In my examples, what actually ordered were not "not buying sheep", "not drinking milk", "brushing teeth with wood". But they were "keeping the nation strong", "staying away from diseases", and "keeping our bodies healthy". Those who understand these true motivations are the people who really are living according to the Sunnah.

I wrote this long message after seeing that somebody who claims that eating frogs were haram, because rasulullah ordered not to kill frogs, and since we couldn't eat them alive, eating frogs automatically becomes haram...
If you really understood what I tried to explain in my message, after reading a claim like this you should ask this at first: "Why did he forbid killing frogs? What was the true motivation behind this order of his? Were the people massacring the frogs because of the noise they make and he just wanted to stop them?"

I want to end my message with this ayat:

وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَذَا حَلاَلٌ وَهَذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ لاَ يُفْلِحُونَ
And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, "This is halal (lawful) and this is haram (unlawful)", to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.
Nahl 116

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    3 down-votes but no comments? I feel good at times like this, because this is the sign that I'm really annoying some taboos imposed in Islam. – hkBattousai Aug 23 '12 at 21:10
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    Might be because you're asking and answering your own question. It makes it look like you're either opening a discussion (which is a SE taboo) or that you're not looking for an answer; only waiting for people to say what you expect to hear. – Muz Aug 24 '12 at 6:52
  • @Muz SE allows you to answer your question. It is not an unusual thing. – hkBattousai Aug 24 '12 at 8:05
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    To only a small piece of your wrong answer: Rasul DID NOT order to end fast with date fruit. There are so many wrong info in the answer. – Anwar Aug 30 '12 at 13:18
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    Your answer is very long. I started reading but lost interest after a while. This is because I am not sure what your conclusion is. Your question is has a yes-no answer. You better add the yes/no at the top and then explain the reason. This is specially because your answer is really long. – Mohayemin Aug 31 '12 at 10:03

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