SUNNAH OF CONSULTATION
O Allah (The Exalted) bless our liege-lord and master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), the Unlettered Prophet, and the family of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) just as You blessed our master Abraham (upon whom be peace) for You are Praiseworthy, the Mighty.
Our Beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) always gave advice in the light of the Holy Qur’an. When a revelation came to him, he told the companions and they would write it down. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) explained the verses in depth until the Ummah understood the purpose of the revelation from Almighty Allah. When people would ask questions the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would answer them with love and make them understand even when the Companions asked the same question repeatedly. When giving advice you should do it the way our Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) did by explaining and not rushing. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “The death of someone who dies without the leader of a group over him is as if he had died in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.” i Allahu Akbar! The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “He who obeys me obeys Allah (The Exalted), and he who disobeys me disobeys Allah (The Exalted). He who obeys the leader obeys me, and he who disobeys the leader disobeys me.” ii The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Hear and obey, even if the ruler placed over you is an Ethiopian slave with amputated extremities.” iii No matter who your ruler is, as long as he is a pious Muslim and has knowledge of Islam and fears Allah (The Exalted), you should obey him even if the person is disabled. The purpose of his authority is Islamic unity, which could not be realized if obeying him were not obligatory. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “He who helps another to argue without right remains under the hatred of Allah (The Exalted) until he gives up.” iv Allahu Akbar! It is offensive to contend against the words of anyone with authority over one or talk back, oppose, rebut, or disobey such a person in anything lawful, the prohibition applying to such people as a follower with his leader, son with parents, student with his teacher etc. all of this is very ugly behaviour and deserves disciplinary action, since each of these is obliged to obey the one over them. ‘Ali bin Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said that “Dispute brings about destruction.” v Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as saying: “A nation does not go astray after being on the right guidance until they start argumentation.” vi We should not argue with our leaders (Ameer) in lawful matters. As long as they are knowledgeable and fear Allah (The Exalted) and are aware of the environment. We should obey them whether we understand or not. In the battle of Ahzab (trench), Salman Farsi (may Allah be pleased with him) suggested to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to dig a trench around Madinah. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) thought of it as a good idea and agreed to go ahead with it. Salman Farsi (may Allah be pleased with him) was a new Muslim. This proves that it is the Sunnah to consult with others. Allah (The Exalted) consulted with the Angels when creating Nabi Adam (upon whom be peace). This is mentioned in the Qur’an, does Allah (The Exalted) really need to make consultation with anyone? This also proves that consulting is a great matter and should be bought into practise even for minor things. Be it in the home or at work, bring Sunnah alive to be successful.
‘Ali Abu Rabati (may Allah have mercy upon him) states, ‘I was accompanied by Abd-Allah Maruzi, he said, ‘During our journey one of us should be the leader, now tell me are you my leader or vice versa?’ I said, ‘You are the leader.’ He said then listen, ‘What ever I ask from you, you will obey.’ I replied, ‘What ever I hear I will obey.’ He commanded me to bring a bag and I bought it. He placed all my clothing and goods it the bag and placed it on his back and began walking. I said ‘There is a lot of goods, let me at least carry my own as you will become very tried, however, he kept giving the same answer’, ‘You choose me as your leader and have no right to over rule my command.’ One night it rained, all night he stood with a blanket over my head and did not let one drop fall on me (he himself was soaked) and when I tried to say something he would repeat ‘I am the leader and you are a follower.’ I was crying inside and wished I did not choose him to be my leader.” vii ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that, “When people gather for consultation/meeting and there is someone called Muhammad ad he is not invited there will be no blessings for them in this meeting.” Viii
Manners of advice 1. All-important decisions that a person has to make should be reached through careful consideration. Whether domestic, business, religious or otherwise. To make consultation is really an order of Almighty Allah and the practice of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). It is therefore one of the high-ranking deeds of a Muslim’s life and offers great blessings, reward and success. However, it is essential to follow the example of our Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in making consultation and to adhere to the simple etiquette taught by him. 2. Firstly, an Ameer (chairperson) is appointed. The Ameer will then mention whatever has to be discussed and will request for opinions of others present. 3. Only those who are requested to do so should speak. Nobody else will have the right to speak simultaneously or to interrupt in any way. 4. The Ameer can ask each one in turn for an opinion or he may just call upon a few for this. 5. A person who is asked for an opinion should have a clear conscience and be very sincere. 6. If a person’s opinion happens to be different to that of another’s he must not make unfair remarks or humiliate anybody but must simply state his own idea with perhaps a reason or two to support his suggestion. 7. If someone sincerely wishes to talk about an important and relevant matter he must obtain the permission of the Ameer before doing so. 8. The Ameer will finally make the decision. This will be done according to his discretion guided by the thoughts Almighty Allah places into his heart (Insha-Allah). 9. It is important to understand that in Islam our total reliance is solely upon Almighty Allah at all times. 10. Once a decision has been given, everyone is obliged to strictly abide by it. If for some reason a decision fails to produce the desired result, nobody must complain because only Almighty Allah knows best. 11. If someone’s suggestion was not followed he must never complain even if later it apparently appears that he was correct.
- The consultation is concluded with Supplication and there should be no other small meetings thereafter to criticise the pros and cons of what had previously transpired.
May Allah (The Exalted) give the ability to make consultation before making any decision and follow the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Ameen.
i Hakim ii Bukhari iii Reliance of the Traveller, p. 644/5 iv Hakim v Al-Kabaair by Muhammad ibn Uthman Ad-dahabi vi Tirmidhi and ibn Dunya vii Faizan-e-Sunnah viii Kanzul Ummal, Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 11, p. 165 & Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 3, p. 165Download Now