There is no question that God is bigger authority than the prophet. However this hadith is difficult to understand

Volume 6, Book 60, Number 226 : Narrated by Abu Said Al-Mualla

While I was praying, the Prophet passed by and called me, but I did not go to him till I had finished my prayer. When I went to him, he said, “What prevented you from coming?” I said, “I was praying.” He said, “Didn’t Allah say” “O you who believes Give your response to Allah (by obeying Him) and to His Apostle.” (8.24) Then he added, “Shall I tell you the most superior Sura in the Qur’an before I go out of the mosque?” When the Prophet intended to go out (of the Mosque), I reminded him and he said, “That is: “Alhamdu-lillahi rabbil-’Alamin (Surat-al-fatiha)’ which is the seven oft repeated verses (Al-Mathani) and the Grand Quran which has been given to me.”

Doesn't this imply that prophet comes before God? How do I understand this.

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    I don't follow your argument. Prayers can be interrupted in an emergency: You don't finish your prayers if the house is burning down around you. Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 16:20
  • @MoziburUllah 1 'there was no emergency in this case, or was it. 2. so you mean if my father calls me while I am praying, I can break the prayer? No according to this hadith, you have to break it for the prophet only.
    – muslim1
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 16:30
  • If your father was calling you because he had found out there was some emergency? We don't know why the Prophet called to the man, the reason has not been recorded. Being the Prophet one can assume he had reason. To me, it simply means that it is permissible under certain circumstances to break someone prayer. That sometimes prayer can be used to not be mindful of Allah. Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 16:57
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    @MoziburUllah the hadith does not quote emergency or does it? The question is open to be answered.
    – muslim1
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 17:16

2 Answers 2


We have to consider the context of the hadith. The Sahabah were keen on praying the obligatory prayers in congregation behind Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume the prayer being offered by Abu Said was a naafil (voluntary) one.

Take note, the Messenger(saw) didn't call him without a purpose. As we can see he had some beneficial knowledge to give Abu Said.

Addressing the issue of breaking a voluntary prayer:

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If your parents call you when you are praying, it is obligatory to answer them, on condition that the prayer is not an obligatory one. If it is an obligatory prayer, it is not permissible to answer them, but if it is a naafil prayer, you should answer them.

If one can break their voluntary prayer to respond to their parent's call, then what about breaking your voluntary prayer to respond to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)?

I don't see how this situation or that ayah you quoted proves that Prophet Muhammad was a bigger authority than Allah.

And Allah knows best.

References and more details can be found at IslamQA ref# 151653

  • 1
    I disagree with the part [he] didn't call him without a purpose. As we can see he had some beneficial knowledge to give Abu Said. The narrator says he went to the prophet after the prayer. The prophet complained. Then he said, he is going to tell something to him before he go out of mosque. Then the prophet forgot and the narrator reminded him. I don't see any urgency or emergency anywhere. Or did I miss something?
    – muslim1
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 22:37
  • I don't see where urgency or emergency was stated as a condition in that hadith or in the ayah Prophet Muhammad quoted to Abu Said. It was a point that Mozibur brought up as an example probably referring to obligatory prayer. Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 1:08
  • @Abdul-Rahman: No, there isn't. I was simply stating that as it was the Prophet asking the man to break his prayer then its most likely he had some reason to. The inference being that one can use ones reason to break a prayer, as the quote by the Shaykh shows. As you've pointed out its most likely to have been a voluntary one. I used an illustration that if there was an emergency...thats all. Commented Dec 10, 2012 at 7:46

There is no comparing between God and His messenger: God is God and a messenger is a messenger. Allah has, however, clearly said to obey His messenger. So if the prophet saw a man praying and called him, even while he knew that he was praying, he called him for a purpose; this doesn't mean that the prophet is greater.

I don't quite understand what you mean by the prophet being greater. If you mean it literally, then Allah is obviously greater. The prophet is just a prophet who follows his God.

If the prophet knows that it's forbidden to call someone during his prayer, then he shouldn't call him. However, since even the obligatory prayer can be remade or redone, my personal opinion would be to obey and listen to him; if he called me, it's presumably because he had a very good reason for doing so.

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