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One of the thing that convinces me the Islam is indeed the true religion is because of the fact that the prophet (SAW) himself abided by all rules that were given to other believers. I have found some exceptions though with proof for example the prophet (SAW) was allowed any woman who willingly gave herself to the prophet (SAW). I believe he was also allowed more than 4 wives but I do not have reference for it. My question is

Did the prophet (SAW) fully abide by all the laws that were preached in Islam? I am asking this because I read in Sahih Bukhari that the prophet (SAW) did pee while standing Bukhari 224 and Muslim 523 (we Muslim are not allowed so, so why did he do it?). Also we are asked not to face kabah if we are in the bathroom, but the Prophet (SAW) himself did this link, fifth paragraph. Knowing that he is more intelligent and wise, why did he himself do these violations?

At another place I read that Sahabas were waiting for him for Isha prayer but he did not show up. They slept and woke up but he still did not show up, they slept again and then woke up and then the prophet (SAW) showed up with his beard wet Bukhari 542,543.

So this makes me ask this question, Did the prophet (SAW) strictly adhere to the rules that are imposed on all the people? For example we are told to pray even when we are bed ridden and cannot stand. Did he himself do so? Did he never miss a prayer? It is possible he woke up late one morning or was sick? Did he always lead the prayer? Did he ever combine two prayers for his ease? Are there any evidences that he took the hard route to fulfill his religious duties and not the easy one?

  • It would be really nice if you could quote the hadis so we can go back and read the reference. – islam101 Sep 19 '12 at 2:44
  • added three links, will need one more – muslim1 Sep 19 '12 at 3:54
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    We are allowed to pee standing. – Abdullah Sep 19 '12 at 7:13
  • @Abdullah how about the direction of bathroom. In my experience, we never make the bathroom facing kibla at our homes. We even make it slanted just because otherwise it would be facing kabah. But my question is in general. Did the prophet himself scritly abide by all these tough rules? Do we have evidence of it? My links may be mentioned but the question is certainly broader. – muslim1 Sep 19 '12 at 11:10
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The short answer to your question is yes, Rasulullah (the apostle of Allah) did everything he taught his ummah to do. He was a leader who lead by example.

The long answer to your question is, it's complicated. Very complicated. Therefore, permit me to indulge in a sample of the complexity belied by your question.

Perhaps the best and simplest basis to answer your question is this ayah:

enter image description here

Translation: There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (example) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often. Surah Al-Ahzaab, verse 21

There is also a long hadith in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, the beginning of which states:

Yazid ibn Yabnus said, "We went to 'A'isha and said, 'Umm al-Mu'minin, what was the character of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, like?' She replied, 'His character was the Qur'an. (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad by Imam Bukhari)

Both of these sources make it very, very clear that Rasulullah did everything he was commanded. He examplified the very methodology of the Qur'an through his actions; that is why hadith have such a lofty and elevated status in Islam. They prevent people from just interpreting verses any way they desire; they lock down the meaning with concrete examples.

As for being hardcore, Aisha narrates:

'A'isha reported: Never did Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) make a choice between two things but adopting the easier one as compared to the difficult one, but his choice for the easier one was only in case it did not involve any sin, but if it involved sin he was the one who was the farthest from it amongst the people. (Saheeh Muslim)

This exhibits one of the most interesting characteristics of Rasulullah: he wanted ease for the ummah. He knows the practicality of our human existance. Islam is a very humane religion; it deals with people on their reality, not just on someone's ideas of what people should be like. And note, that he always chose the easier permissible alternative; he never chose a haram route. He never said "I can't pray five times a day, I have to work," or other statements that people make today, claiming that Islam is "too hard."

As to the fiqh, you ask a question which can be rewritten as: how can there be a hadith saying rasulullah prohibited X, but he did it himself? This is a very deep question. As I've already shown, he's our living example. We turn to the books of usool ul-fiqh, the science of deriving fiqh, for our answer.

There are many reasons that, although a hadith or ayah may say something, we do not implement it exactly. These reasons can include:

  • A text is specific to Rasulullah only. This includes things like Allah permitting him to marry seven women simultaneously, although the norm for the rest of us is up to four.
  • A text may be for a specific case only. In the case of Rasulullah urinating standing, the context of the hadith tells us that this is because he was in an area that was essentially a trash dump. In many other ahadith, we see him urinating while squatting.
  • A text may be superseded/abrogated. There are two ayaat in Surah Baqarah about a woman's 'iddah from being widowed. The earlier ruling indicates one year, while the second ayah, which was the final ruling until the Day of Judgment, indicates four months and ten days.
  • A text by itself may not be enough to derive the ruling. For example, the Qur'an says, pray morning and evening. It does not indicate when and how to make takbeer, rukoo', sujood, etc. To determine these things, you need to collect a wealth of different ahadith, and sort through them.

No doubt, these are a small set of reasons which may contribute to us not apparently following a text indicating some ruling; there are many, many more reasons. Ultimately, Allah says:

enter image description here

Translation: And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the people of the message if you do not know. (Surah An-Nahl, verse 43)

We don't try to derive fiqh or necessarily understand ahadith about rulings ourselves. When in doubt, ask a scholar or imam who you believe has taqwa and whom you can trust.

And Allah knows best.

Sources:

  • Usool ul-Fiqh class (live and recorded), circa 2006-2010
  • Fiqh of Salah course, circa 2007
  • Adab and akhlaaq course, circa 2008
  • Good answer but sorry it lacks what I asked for. I asked for Real events / evidences that proved the prophet choose the difficult path and not the easy path + he obeyed by all the rules. Did he ever miss a prayer? Was he ever late? Did he follow all basic rules/etiquette in Islamic. I mentioned some violations above. Arguably he had not respect facing Kaba? – muslim1 Sep 19 '12 at 15:11
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    Your question addressed a generality of did rasulullah practice what he preached, and that's what I interpreted and answered. If you're asking several questions in one, then your question is poor quality, and needs to be split to address these issues separately. He clearly chose the easy path and fulfilled all the laws of Islam correctly. – ashes999 Sep 19 '12 at 15:15
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There are some things (very few) in which the ruling for the Prophet (saws) was different than for the rest of the Ummah. Most of these things, in fact, are not concessions to him, rather they are stricter on him. For example, the standing in prayer at night for him was fard, whereas for us it is at the status of being recommended only. Meaning, to miss it, any night, was a sin for him. It is the same with some other prayers of the day, the ones that he never ever missed, for example the sunan rawatib after Dhuhr - one time he was occupied in state matters and the time for offering them had passed. But he made them up later - for us, we don't make up sunnah prayers.

Wives: The other exception I can think of is the number of wives - at one point he had more than 4 wives. However, if you examine the situation carefully, this was more a responsibility than a privilege, given that most of his wives were old and widowed.

Otherwise, the Prophet (saws) personally adhered to every single rule in Islam in the most perfect manner possible. He didn't seek out loopholes or make exceptions for himself.

Examples: As for your examples of relieving himself, facing the Ka'bah, drinking while standing, etc. - those examples are to drive home the point that while it is not recommended to do those things, it is not forbidden. And this is a mercy to the believers.

Your example about the 'Isha prayer was an incident meant to demonstrate the latest possible time at which 'Isha can be offered. This happened only once, as far as we know. Same with combining prayers while not travelling - we have precisely one report that he (saws) did this. All these instances are to make room for us and to not constrict things.

He (saws) was a Prophet of Allah; he was held to a much higher standard than the rest of us and he fulfilled it (saws).

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According to Shia Islam Prophet Muahmmad (SAWW) was infallible and fully adhered to all rules of Islam including all Mustahab and Makruh rules.

In the Shari'ah (Islamic Constitution) deeds and actions are divided into five classes:

Fardh or Wajib: فرض او واجـب An obligatory duty the omission of which is Islamicly punishable.

Mus'tahab: مسـتـحب An action which is rewarded, but whose omission is not punishable.

Mu'baah:: مـباحAn action which is permitted but legally is indifferent.

Mak'rooh: مكـروه An action which is disapproved by the Shari'ah but is not under any penalty.

Haram: An action which is forbidden, and Islamicly punishable. (Reference)


References:

Infallibility of the Prophets (Part I) (Part II) (Part III)

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This is a great link that I believe that answers one of your questions. http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=15025&CATE=239 I was raised with the belief that the prophet was PERFECT. The role of a prophet is difficult and hard. Prophet is a messenger from Allah. He doesn't have an easy way out or path, and the last prophet strictly adhere to the rules that were imposed on all the people. Allah wanted us to follow a PERFECT role model. If he was imperfect and made mistakes, how can he go visit Allah? The prophet was the only one who went to see Allah, not even the angels were able to go that far. Allah wouldn't let such a common man stand before him. This makes the prophet special and beloved by all. I suggest you don't believe everything you read. There is a lot of non-sense on the internet. My 10th grade Islamic teacher said, that the prophet made mistake in his prayer when he was leading prayer once. I was really shocked that a teacher would say such a thing about the last prophet. I greatly admire tahir ul qadri's speeches. Maybe he has some English speeches about the prophet. In one of his speeches, he says the prophet was made from a special mud/clay from the rest of us. I think it was angel Gabriel (if I’m not mistaken), was ordered to get the clay from madinah which then the prophet was created. It was a beautiful video! Hope I helped to some degree. And all the best on gaining knowledge about Islam.

  • @ashes999 I think you did a good job of explaining the problem and I agree with your points. I suppose I didn't have a strong refernce - based even though my iman and faith is strong. – Nightgem Sep 19 '12 at 21:01
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    sunnah.com/urn/809070 <-- hadith about an incident in which the Prophet (saws) made a mistake in prayer. There are also other ahadith about a time the Prophet (saws) made a mistake in the number of raka'ats in prayer once, and the Companions (raa) asked him if Allah SWT had revealed a change (the answer was no). Perfection of character doesn't mean he never made any mistakes. Also mistakes are different from sins. Asserting that the Prophet (saws) is made of "a different mud/clay" is a matter of ghaib and needs evidence to assert. Is there any? – Ansari Sep 20 '12 at 2:04

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