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Is it allowed in Islam to critically analyze the lives (events and happenings etc, discussed in the Quran, hadiths or accepted as historical facts) of Prophets, specially Muhammad (Peace be upon him)? If it is allowed are there any recommended approach, cares and precautions specified in Islam?

  • @ashes999 I never thought about exact definition of critical analysis. So, on top of my head an Unbiased researching, questioning, reasoning, to provide/understand logical, rational and scientific explanation of an event. – Umer Hayat Sep 11 '12 at 9:24
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In a sense, your question doesn't make sense. Allah says:

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Translation: Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow [...] (Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 21)

And in Surah Yusuf:

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Translation: There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. [...] (Surah Yusuf, verse 111)

These verses make it pretty clear that the lives of the prophets (all of them) are here for us to learn and benefit from. And there is no way that we can accomplish that without critically analyzing their lives an extracting lessons from them.

This would include things in the Qur'an, as well as books of ahadith.

However, there is one caveat; rasulullah said:

[...] Do not prefer me over other prophets (like Moses) [...] (Saheeh Bukhari)

That is to say, we do not say that any prophet is better or worse than any other. This is despite rasulullah also saying:

[...] I will be the leader of the children of Adam on the day of resurrection [...] (Saheeh Bukhari)

Also, prophets need to be treated respectfully, because they are divinely sent by Allah -- even if we don't always understand everything about their lives.

Wallahu a'lam.

  • @ " your question doesn't make sense ... " So, This might make question very specific and narrow but just to give you a more concrete idea, this thing came to my mind when a friend presented this question that why Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) married Hazrat Ayesha (My Allah be pleased with Her when she was under age. Being a Muslim we know that He (PBUH) was a perfect man and everything He(PBUH) did was an order from God. So, is it OK to raise Question about him like this or should we consider each and every act by him right and perfect by default. – Umer Hayat Sep 11 '12 at 17:55
  • This is why I asked you what you meant by "critically analyze." As Muslims, we are encouraged to ask and understand everything, although understanding is not required -- submitting to Allah is. Of course, it's okay to raise questions like this (in appropriate gatherings of knowledge) and seek knowledge! – ashes999 Sep 11 '12 at 18:17
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According to Shia Islam yes. There is no limit about asking any question about God, any prophet, any wife of prophet, any Caliph, any war or any of 12 Imams of Shia.

Only if contains insult it has problem and it is recommended the asker first increase his knowledge about their life.


Reference:

Asked from online answering service of Official website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

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