The Infallibility of the Prophets
When it is said that the Islamic ‘aqeeda consists of the belief in Allah (swt), His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgement and qada wal- qadār, the good and bad of which is from Allah (swt). This does not mean that there are other things which the Muslims are not obligated to believe in. Rather, it means that this is the basis and there are other thoughts which relate to the ‘aqeeda, such as the infallibility of the Prophets which comes under the belief in the prophets. The evidence of the infallibility of the Prophets is a rational evidence and not a textual evidence because the proof of the prophethood of a Prophet and the message of the messenger to whom he has been sent is rational, established by a perceptible miracle.
Although the Islamic belief is said to consist of belief in Allah (swt), his angels, his books, his messengers, the day of judgement and al-Qada wal-Qadar both good and bad are from Allah (swt), it does not mean that nothing else must be believed in. Rather these concepts only form the basis of belief, as there are other thoughts that are linked to the Aqeeda, like the infallibility of the prophets, which fall within the category of belief in the prophets.
Evidence for the infallibility of the prophets is rational and not based upon aural reports. This is because the validity of the prophethood of the prophet and the message of the messenger to whom they are sent is rational and is proven by the tangible miracle. The prophet's infallible nature necessitates it to be rational because it is one of the requirements to verify the prophethood of the prophets and messengers. The mind necessitates that the prophets and messengers are infallible, as it is a pre-requisite for the role of the prophet and messenger in propagating from Allah (swt).
If it were possible to raise doubts about the infallible nature of the prophets even in one issue of law, consequently this would give rise to the emergence of skepticism and vacuums in every other issue. Hence, at that point both the case for prophethood and messengerhood would be meaningless. The evidence that a person is a prophet or a messenger from Allah (swt) means that he is infallible in everything he propagates.
Thus, by necessity he is infallible in his propagation, and the disbelief in this is disbilief in the message that he brought and the prophethood which he was sent with. Therefore, it is necessary that each and every prophet and messenger is infallible from error in the propagation as this is one of the attributes of the prophets. The mind necessitates that these characteristics are present in each and every prophet and messenger.
As for the infallibility of the prophets and messengers from carrying out actions contrary to the prohibitions and commands of Allah (swt), rational evidence requires that they are categorically infallible from the al-Kabair (major sins). Hence, they can not undertake any al-Kabair because this would mean committing sins. Both obedience and sinning are indivisible. Thus, if it were possible for the prophets to sin in their actions, this would also be true in their propagation. However, this contradicts both the prophethood and messengerhood. Therefore the prophets and messengers are infallible from the al-Kabair, just as they are infallible in propagating the message from Allah (swt).
As for infallibility from the minor sins (al-Saghair), there is a difference of opinion between the Ulama. Some say that they are not infallible from them because they do not constitute sinning and others say they are infallible from the minor sins (al-Saghair) because they constitute sinning.
However, the reality is that the prophets are infallible from everything definite that has been both commanded and prohibited for them. In other words, all the Faraids [pl: Fard] (compulsory obligations) and Muharramat [pl: Haram] (prohibitions). They are also infallible from leaving the Wajibaats (compulsory obligations) and from carrying out Haram (prohibited) actions, whether it is a major or a minor sin. In other words, they are infallible from everything and anything called, or confirmed to be a sin.
This is with the exception of the Makruhat, Mandubat which are different, as they are not infallible from these and neither would this constitute a contradiction with the role of prophethood or messengerhood. Thus it is permissible for them to carry out a Makruh action and to leave a Mandoob action, because neither action constitutes a sin. Likewise it also permissible for them to carry out some Mubah actions and abstain from others, as neither categories in all their aspects fall within the concept of sin. These are the pre-requisites and attributes of the prophets and messengers that the mind necessitates.
However, infallibility only becomes an integral part of the characteristics of the prophets and messengers after they receive revelation and become prophets and messengers. Prior to this they are bound by the same laws as the rest of mankind, because as previously mentioned, infallibility is for the prophethood and messagehood only.
Each and every Muslim must believe in revelation, as it is an integral aspect of belief. However, the evidence for revelation is not rational, rather it is accepted on the basis of authentic narrations. This is because since revelation does not have a tangible sensation or reality, the mind cannot substantiate its validity. Therefore every attempt to prove revelation by means of the intellect will be incorrect, as it is not possible to use the mind to prove something without a reality.
Hence, as mentioned earlier, the evidence for revelation is not intellectual, rather it is established on the basis of authentic narrations. The Definite text of the Quran verifies that the messenger Muhammad (saw) recieved revelation. Allah (swt) says,
كَذَلِكَ يُوحِي إِلَيْكَ وَإِلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ اللَّهُ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
"Likewise Allah, the Honourable, the all-wise, reveals to you and to those before you." [TMQ Shura: 3]
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِنْ أَمْرِنَا
"And likewise we have revealed to you an invigorate thing by our command."[TMQ Shura:52]
وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى، إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
"And he doesn't utter from his own desire. Indeed it is a inspired inspiration" [TMQ Najm: 3]
إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ
"Undoubtedly, O prophet! We have sent revelation to you as we sent it to Noah and the prophets after him." [TMQ Nisa: 163]
وَاتَّبِعْ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ وَاصْبِرْ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ
"And follow that which is revealed to you and have patience until Allah decrees and He is the best of judges." [TMQ 10:109]
The revelation that descended on the messenger (saw) had three states, all prophets before him recieved the revelation through these only and not another. These states are all categorised under the revelation which Allah (swt) explains in the Quran. He says,
وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ وَحْياً أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولاً فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ
"And it is not fit for any man that Allah should speak to him but through revelation, or that the man may be at the other side of the veil of grandeur, or by sending messengers and inspiring whom he wills." [TMQ Shura: 51]
That is, Allah (swt) only communicates with man through inspiration, through verbal contact via a veil or by sending messengers. The revelation that descended upon the messenger (saw) had two states. He (saw) informed about them when he was once asked, "How does the revelation come to you?" He (saw) replied,
أَحْيَاناً يَأْتِينِي مِثْلَ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَيَّ فَيُفْصَمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ عَنْهُ مَا قَالَ وَأَحْيَاناً يَتَمَثَّلُ لِيَ الْمَلَكُ رَجُلاً فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُول
"Sometimes it comes like the clattering or the jingling of a bell which is severest on me and when it leaves me, I have absorbed everything. And sometimes the angel comes to me in a form of a man and speaks to me and I am aware of what is being said." [Bukhari]
These two states are as follows:
Firstly- the angel inspires the prophet (saw) by indication and without using words or language. The revelation is inspired into the mind of the prophet (saw), just as he (saw) said,
إن روح القدس نفث في روعي أنه لن تموت نفس حتى تستكمل رزقها وأجلها فاتقوا الله أيها الناس وأجملوا في الطلب
"Gabriel inspired in to me that no soul shall die until it has completed its Rizq and its Ajal. Therefore fear Allah swt O people and acquire the means/do good?"[Extraced by AlHakim]
Also the messenger (saw) whilst dreaming had visions that he received from Allah (swt) both in the states of consciousness and sleep. Some of it was inspired to him whilst he was awake and he would have certain visions in his dreams all of which were revelation. As the mother of the believers, Aisha (ra) said,
أول ما بُدئ رسول الله - صلى الله عليه وسلم - الرؤيا الصادقة في النوم فكان لا يرى رؤيا إلا جاءت مثل فلق الصبح
"Firstly, the messenger (pbuh) began seeing true visions in his sleep. Every vision he had was true as clear as the morning."
The messenger (saw) would also feel that some form of revelation was about to come, but it didn't come. Aisha (ra) narrated that Harith ibn Hashim (ra) asked the messenger (saw), "O messenger, how does the revelation come to you?" The messenger (saw) said,
أَحْيَاناً يَأْتِينِي مِثْلَ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَيَّ فَيُفْصَمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ عَنْهُ مَا قَال
"Sometimes it comes like the clattering /jingling of a bell which is severest on me and when it leaves me, I have absorbed everything." [Bukhari]
All these variations i.e. inspiration, dream, revelation without talk and everything similar constitute one state and fall within the saying of Allah (swt),
"Nothing but revelation" [TMQ Shura: 51]
Because linguistically when the verb "to reveal to someone" is used it means to indicate or shake ones head. Thus Allah (swt) reveals to him and inspires him. Allah (swt) says,
وَأَوْحَى رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ
"And your lord inspired the bee", [TMQ Nahl: 68]
Thus the inspiration to the bee is its inspiration and the innate knowledge within the bee’s heart.
The second state is the revelation inspired by means of oral communication from the angel. It is channelled aurally to the prophet (saw) after he learns through some decisive evidence that this is revelation and the message bearer is the angel, i.e. Jibril. Allah (swt) says,
نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الأمِينُ، عَلَى قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ
"The trusted spirit has descended with it. On your heart that you may warn."[TMQ Shuara: 193]
In other words, Allah (swt) sends Jibril who speaks with the messenger who simultaneously both hears and preserves his words. The prophet (saw) said, "And sometimes the angel comes to me as a man and he talks to me and I am conscious of what he is saying."
كان النبي r بارزاً يوماً للناس فأتاه رجل فقال له: ما الإيمان؟ قال: أن تؤمن بالله وملائكته وبلقائه ورسله وتؤمن بالبعث. قال: ما الإسلام؟ قال: الإسلام أن تعبد الله ولا تشرك به وتقيم الصلاة وتؤدي الزكاة المفروضة وتصوم رمضان. قال: ما الإحسان؟ قال: أن تعبد الله كأنك تراه فإن لم تكن تراه فإنه يراك. قال: متى الساعة؟ قال: ما المسؤول عنها بأعلم من السائل، وسأخبرك عن أشراطها: إذا ولدت الأَمَةُ ربتها، وإذا تطاول رعاة الإبل ألبهم في البنيان في خمس لا يعلمهن إلا الله، ثم تلا النبي r: ]إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ[ الآية، ثم أدبر، فقال: ردوه. فلم يروا شيئاً. فقال: هذا جبريل جاء يعلم الناس دينهم
Abu Hurrayrah narrated that the prophet (saw) was with the people one day when a person came and asked him (saw), "What is Emaan?" He (saw) said, "It is the belief in Allah (swt), his angels, in the meeting with him (swt), his messengers and the resurrection." He asked, "What is Islam?" He (saw) said, "Islam is that you worship Allah (swt) and do not commit Shirk, establish the prayer, pay the enjoined Zakat and you fast in Ramadan." He said, "What is Ihsaan?" He (saw) said, "That you worship Allah (swt) as if you see him, and if you can not see him, surely he sees you." He said, "When is the hour?" He (saw) said, "The one questioned about it knows no better then the questioner. I will tell you of its signs. When the mother will give birth to her Master and when the shepherd will build tall buildings. It is one of the five things that no one will know them except Allah (swt)." Then the prophet (saw) recited the Ayat, "Indeed Allah has the knowledge of the hour." Then the man turned and left. The prophet (saw) said to the Sahaba (ra) call him but they didn't see anything. He (saw) said, "This was Jibril, he came to teach people their Deen." [Bukhari]
There are a number of incidents mentioned in Ahadith in which Jibril (as) descended and talked to the prophet (saw) who would listen. This was a form of revelation for the messenger, as the angel would tell the messenger the meanings in the form of a talk/conversation. The revelation by words and meaning is restricted to the holy Quran. As for revelation by meaning, the messenger (saw) would express this by using his own words, through application i.e. his actions, or by silence and this is the Sunnah.
The Hadith Qudsi is regarded as Sunnah because although its meaning is revealed from Allah (swt), its words are from the prophet (saw). The words of the Hadith Qudsi are not from Allah (swt) because the words that are from Allah (swt) are specifically for the Quran and this is proven by its inimitability. Although the Sunnah comes in the forms of inspiration, dream and is cast directly in the heart, it also comes both in wakefulness and as a dialogue between Jibril and the messenger (saw).
The Quran is only revealed through the messenger (saw) because its words are from Allah (swt). There are numerous Ayats detailing the revelation of the Quran. Allah (swt) says,
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآَنًا عَرَبِيًّا
"And we have revealed the Quran to you in Arabic" [TMQ Shura:7]
وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ هُوَ الْحَقُّ
" And what We have revealed to you (O Muhammad [saw]) of the Book, it is the (very) truth " [TMQ Fatir: 31]
The book referred to is the Quran and “min” here is to indicate representation.
وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآَنُ لِأُنْذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَنْ بَلَغَ
“This Qur'ân has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach " [TMQ An’aam: 6]
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَذَا الْقُرْآَنَ
" We relate to you (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam]) the best of stories through Our Revelations to you, of this Qur'ân" [TMQ Yoosuf: 3]
وَاتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ كِتَابِ رَبِّكَ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِه
" And recite what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam]) of the Book (the Qur'ân) of your Lord. None can change His Words, " [TMQ alKahf: 27]
It is the Quran. There are other Ayats as well, which mention the revelation in general including the Sunnah. For example, Allah (swt) says,
وَإِنِ اهْتَدَيْتُ فَبِمَا يُوحِي إِلَيَّ رَبِّي
" if I remain guided, it is because of the Revelation of my Lord to me” [TMQ As-saba: 50]
And He (swt) says,
إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ
" Verily, We have sent the Revelation to you (O Muhammad [saw]) as We sent the Revelation to Nûh (Noah) and the Prophets after him" [TMQ Nisa: 163]
And He (swt) says,
وَاتَّبِعْ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ
"And follow that which is revealed to you from your Lord. Verily, Allâh is Well-Acquainted with what you do" [TMQ Ahzaab: 2]
These two mentioned states are have both been discussed in the texts, The third state is mentioned in His (swt) saying,
اوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ
"Or from behind a veil "[TMQ Shura: 51]
This is what happened with Musa (as). This Ayat is indicating to the incident in which Allah (swt) spoke to Musa (as) from behind a veil. That is, just as the veiled person speaks with some dignitaries and with people of distinction. He speaks from behind a veil and although one hears the other person’s voice, he does not see him. This is the manner in which Allah (swt) spoke with Musa (as).
Such an incident only occurred once with the prophet (saw) during the al-Isra wal-Miraj, which has not only been mentioned in an authentic Hadith, but has also been indicated by Sura al-Najm. Allah (swt) says,
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى . عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى . ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى . وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى . ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى . فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى . فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى
"It is only a Revelation revealed.He has been taught (this Qur'ân) by one mighty in power [Jibril].One free from any defect in body and mind then he (Jibrîl) rose and became stable.While he [Jibrîl)] was in the highest part of the horizon, Then he [Jibrîl] approached and came closer, And was at a distance of two bows' length or (even) nearer. So (Allâh) revealed to His slave [Muhammad [saw] through Jibrîl [as]] whatever He revealed." [TMQ Najm: 4-10]
With the exception of this event i.e. al-Isra wal-Miraj, the revelation descended upon the prophet (saw) in the form of an inspiration and through a messenger.
Anyway, all the types of revelation are forms of evidence. The communication between the angel and the messenger by talk or indication/illustration is a clear revelation. The inspiration and visions are clear revelations and Allah (swt) speaking to the prophets is also a form of revelation.
This revelation is a categorical proof as it has been reported in the most authentic and definite texts of definite meaning.
It is not befitting to call the Messenger (saws) a Mujtahid
The opinion that our master Muhammad (saw) made ijtihad in certain rules and he made an error in his ijtihad which Allah (saw) then corrected means that our master Muhammad (saw) conveyed the Shari’ah to people from his ijtihad and not a revelation. And that he is not ma'sum (infallible) in some of what he conveyed to the people from the Shari’ah of Islam. Rationally & from the Shari’ah point of view this is invalid (batil). Indeed our master Muhammad (saw) is a Prophet (nabiy) and a Messenger (rasul) like the rest of the Prophets and Messengers, protected from committing mistakes in that which he conveyed about Allah (swt), which is a definite protection proved rationally (daleel 'aqli). Furthermore, there are shari'ah evidences that are definite in their meaning that the Prophet's (saw) conveyance of the Message (risala), in general and specific aspects, was only from revelation. And the Messenger (saw) did not convey the ahkām except from revelation. He (swt) said in Sura al-Ambiya:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أُنْذِرُكُمْ بِالْوَحْيِ
“Say (O Muhammad (saw)): “I warn you only by the revelation” '[TMQ Ambiya: 45]
That is, tell them O Muhammad (saw) that I warn you with the revelation that has been revealed to me. In other words my admonition/warning to you is restricted to the revelation. And He (swt) said in sura al-Najm:
وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى . إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
“Nor does he speak of his own desire. It is only an revelation that is inspired” (Surah Najm: 3-4)
The expression 'wama yantiqu' is from the general form (sighat al-'umum). So it includes the Qur'an and Sunnah. There is nothing in the Book and Sunnah that makes it specific to the Qur'an. So it remains general that is, everything he has conveyed from the shari'ah is a revelation that has been revealed. It is not correct that it be specified to say that what he conveyed is only from the Qur'an. Rather, it should remain general and inclusive of the Qur'an and the hadīth.
And this is what the second ayah emphasises on when he (swt) says,
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
“It is only an revelation that is inspired” [TMQ Najm: 4]
As for the specification of what he (saw) conveyed from Allah (swt) in terms of legislation, and other rules, beliefs, thoughts and stories and the seperation of the styles and means and affairs of the world such as the agricultural activities, industry and sciences etc from it, This specification occurred due to two reasons: Firstly, Some of the texts [nusoos] revealed regarding them have specified them to legislation. He (saw) said regarding the subject of pollinating the date palm:
أنتم أدرى بأمور دنياكم
“You are more knowledgeable in the affairs of your dunya” [Extracted by Muslim]
And he (saw) told the Muslims in the battle of Badr when they asked him: Is this revelation from Allah (swt) or is it a matter of opinion, war and strategy? He (saw) replied:
هو الرأي والحرب والمكيدة
“It is a matter of opinion, war and strategy” [Extracted by Alhakim]
These texts have specified the revelation to things that are other than the affairs of the world and whatever is by way of war, opinion and strategy.
As for the second matter which specifies the revelation to legislation, beliefs and rules etc, it is clear from the topic of discussion. That is because he (saw) is a messenger and the discussion is in what he (saw) has been sent with and not anything else. So the subject of discussion has been specified, and the general address (sighat al-'umum) remains general, however only in respect to the subject which was addressed in generality and it does not bring together all subjects. Yes, the consideration is for the generality of the wording and not for the specificity of the cause (sabab) (al-'ibra bi 'umum al-lafz la bi khusus al-sabab). However what is meant by the cause/reason (sabab) is the incident for which the Qur'an was revealed. The topic is not specific to it rather it is general to all the incidents, so the subject is not regarding the particular incident rather all the incidents and it is pertaining to the subject of discussion and not in all subjects. The subject matter of revelation is the warning (indhar) that is, legislation and rules. He (swt) said:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أُنْذِرُكُمْ بِالْوَحْيِ
'Say: “I warn you only by the revelation”' [TMQ Ambiya: 45]
And He (swt) said in sura Sād:
إِنْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ إِلَّا أَنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ
“Only this has been revealed to me, that I am a plain warner" [TMQ Sād: 70].
These verses show that what was intended is what he (saw) brought from the beliefs and rules and anything he (saw) had been ordered to convey and warn people of. That is why it does not include the means and styles or the instinctual behaviour which are part of his natural disposition such as the manner of walking, pronunciation, eating etc..
They are regarding the matters related to the beliefs and shari'ah rules and not the means and styles and other things of a similar nature which do not come under beliefs and rules. Therefore, whatever the Messenger (saw) brought, regarding what he (saw) has been ordered to convey in all matters that relate to the actions of the servants and the thoughts, is a revelation from Allah (swt).
The revelation includes the sayings, actions and silence of the Messenger (saw), because we have been ordered to follow him.
And He (swt) said:
وَمَا آَتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا
“Whatsoever the Messenger (saw) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it” [TMQ Hashr: 7]
And He (swt) said:
لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (saw) you have a good example to follow” [TMQ Ahzaab :21]
Thus, the speech, action and silence of the Messenger (saw) is a shari’ah evidence. They are all revelations from Allah (swt).
The Messenger of Allah, our master Muhammad (saw) used to receive revelation and convey what he brought from Allah (swt), and resolve matters according to the revelation and did not deviate from the revelation. He (swt) said in sura al-Ahqaf:
إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ
“I only follow that which is revealed to me”[TMQ Ahqaaf: 9]
And He (swt) said in sura al-A'raf:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ مِنْ رَبِّي
“Say: "I but follow what is revealed to me from my Lord” [TMQ A’raaf: 203]
I.e I do not follow anything except what my Lord has revealed to me. Generally, all of this is explicit, clear and evident. Everything that relates to the Prophet (saw) in terms of what he has been ordered to convey is only revelation. The legislative life of the Prophet (saw) in clarifying the rules to the people proceeded on this manner, he (saw) used to wait for the revelation in many of the ahkām such as in the case of zihar (injurious assimilation-pre-islamic type of divorce), li'an (imprecation) and the like. He did not state a hukm (rule) on an issue or perform an act of legislation or remain silent legislatively except on the revelation from Allah (swt). Sometimes the Sahabah (companions) used to confuse the ruling on an action of the servants with an opinion concerning a thing, or a means or style. So they would ask the Messenger (saw): is that a revelation O Messenger of Allah? Or is it a matter of opinion and mashura (advice)? If he said it was revelation they would remain silent because they knew that it was not from the Prophet (saw) himself. But if he (saw) told them: no, it is an issue of opinion and mashura (advice) they would discuss with him and perhaps he (saw) would even follow their opinion as in Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. And in matters other that what he conveyed from Allah (swt) he used to say:
أنتم أدرى بأمور دنياكم
“You are more knowledgeable in the affairs of your dunya”
As reported in the hadīth concerning the pollination of the date palm. Had the Prophet (saw) said something pertaining the legislation without revelation he would not have waited for the revelation to state the hukm (ruling). And when the Sahabah asked him whether a statement was a revelation or opinion, he (saw) would have either replied to them from his mind or they would have discussed with him the matter without asking him whether it was a revelation or not. Therefore, nothing emanated from his (saw) sayings, actions, and silence except if it came via revelation from Allah (saw) and not from his own opinion. He (saw) never made ijtihad and ijtihad is not allowed for him (saw) according to the shari'ah and rationally also. As for the shari'ah, the verses of the Quran explicitly indicate the restriction of everything that relates to the revelation:
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أُنْذِرُكُمْ بِالْوَحْيِ
Say (O Muhammad (saw)): "I warn you only by the Revelation” [TMQ Ambiyaa’: 45)
إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ
“I only follow that which is revealed to me” [TMQ Ahqaaf: 9]
وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى
“Nor does he speak of his own desire” [TMQ Najm : 3]
As for the rational reason, it is because the Prophet (saw) used to wait for the revelation in many rules despite the urgent need to clarify the ruling of Allah (swt). If ijthad was allowed for him he would not have delayed in giving the ruling but he would have performed ijtihad. Because he (saw) used to postpone giving the ruling until the revelation was sent down. This indicates he did not make ijtihad. It also indicates that it was not allowed for him (saw) to make ijtihad. Had it been allowed he (saw) would not have put off giving the ruling despite the need to do so. Also, it is obligatory to follow the Prophet (saw). If he exercised ijtihad it would be possible for him to make a mistake. If he made a mistake we would be obliged to follow him so the matter would necessitate/entail that we follow a mistake which is not valid because Allah (swt) did not order to follow a mistake. Furthermore, the Messenger (saw) is infallible (ma'sum) from making mistakes in the conveyance of the Message. It is absolutely impossible on his (saw) part to make a mistake in the conveyance of (Allah's Message). Since allowing the Messenger (saw) to make a mistake negates the (concept of) Messengership and prophethood. So the affirmation of Messengership and Prophethood determines that the Messenger is not allowed to make mistakes. Regarding the conveyance of the Message it necessitates that he is protected from making mistakes in the conveyance. So it is impossible on the part of the Messenger (saw) to err in what he conveys from Allah (swt). Consequently, it is not allowed on his part to exercise ijtihad. Everything conveyed by him from the rulings, in his (saw) saying, action and silence is revelation from Allah (swt) and nothing else.
It should not be claimed that Allah (swt) will not allow him (saw) to remain on the mistake. And that he (swt) will swiftly clarify it to him (saw). Because the mistake in ijtihad when it occurs from the Messenger (saw) becomes fard on the Muslims to follow until the clarification comes. Then this clarification would have reestablished another ruling different to that of the first ruling. The Muslims would be ordered to follow this ruling and leave the former ruling which is a mistake. This is invalid, it is not possible on Allah's (swt) part the He (swt) order the people to follow a mistake and then order them to leave it and follow the correct one. Similarly, it is not allowed on the part of the Messenger (saw) that he conveys a ruling and then say to the people that this ruling is a mistake because it is from me, and the correct ruling is what has come to me from Allah (swt), and inform them that they should leave the first ruling because it is a mistake and inform them of the correct ruling.
It should not be said that this is a rational evidence for a shari'ah matter, which is not allowed. Because the shari'ah matter requires a shari'ah evidence, since the shari'ah matter whose daleel has to be only a shari'ah evidence is the shari'ah rule. As for beliefs, their evidence can be rational or a shari'ah evidence. The subject whether the Prophet (saw) is a mujtahid or not is from the beliefs and not from the shari'ah rules. So its evidence can be a rational or shari'ah evidence.The fact that it is not allowed for the Messenger (saw) to be a mujtahid is proven by the rational evidence and the shari'ah evidence. It is one of the beliefs.
It should not be claimed that the Messenger (saw) actually made ijtihad in various rules and that Allah (swt) did not recognise his ijtihad, and that He (swt) corrected the messenger’s (saw) ijtihad and revealed verses which clarified the correct opinion. That should not be claimed because the Messenger (saw) did not exercise any ijtihad in conveying any rule of Allah (swt). Rather what is proven by the Qur’anic text and the sound sunnah is that he used to convey to the people from revelation. He did not convey anything in terms of legislation, beliefs, rules and the like, except if it had come via the revelation and that he would wait until the revelation for a particular incident was not revealed.
As for the verses that are cited by those who say that the Messenger (saw) actually made ijtihad, and in which they assume ijtihad took place. There is not one ayah in which ijtihad took place. For example, His (swt) saying:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land ”[TMQ Anfāl: 67]
And such as His (swt) saying:
عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْكَ لِمَ أَذِنْتَ لَهُمْ
“May Allâh forgive you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam]). Why did you grant them leave (to remain behind)” [TMQ Tawba: 43]
And like His (swt) saying:
وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ مَاتَ أَبَدًا وَلَا تَقُمْ عَلَى قَبْرِهِ
“And never (O Muhammad (saw)) pray (janazah) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave” [TMQ Tawba: 84]
And like His (swt) saying:
عبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى . أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَى
“(The Prophet (saw)) frowned and turned away, because there came to him the blind man” [TMQ ‘Abasa: 1-2]
And other such ayats and hadīth, This is not due to his (saw) exercising ijtihad regarding a ruling and conveying it to the people. Rather, it is by way of a mild rebuke for undertaking actions which are contrary to what is more befitting for the Messenger (saw) to do. The Messenger (saw) did not convey a specific ruling to the people and then the ayah came to clarify the error of the ruling which he has conveyed and clarify the mistake in his ijtihad and demand that he (saw) convey the correct opinion regarding this ruling. Rather the truth of the matter is that the Messenger (saw) undertook an action in applying a Shari’ah rule from the rules of Allah (swt) which had previously been sent down in the revelation and the Messenger (saw) had already conveyed it to the people. The Messenger (saw) acted in a manner contrary to what was more befitting for him to have done in accordance with this ruling. Thus, he was mildly reproached for this contrariety. This mild reproach is not a legislation of a new ruling. So the ruling has already been revealed, and its application had been ordered and the Messenger (saw) had already conveyed it. Thus, in these incidents mentioned in these verses he (saw) undertook an action in accordance with what Allah (swt) had ordered, except that his (saw) performance of this action was contrary to what was best, thus he was mildly rebuked for this. Thus, the verses are verses which mildly rebuke the Messenger (saw) for undertaking what was contrary to the best action. They are not verses which legislate new rules which had not been legislated earlier. And nor do they correct an ijtihad, or legislate another ruling which is at variance with the ruling the Messenger (saw) had already made ijtihad for. From the Shariah and rationally it is allowed for the Prophets and Messengers to do what is contrary to the best because the meaning of doing what is contrary to the better is that it is a permissible (mubah) issue, However, some actions are better than others. Or, there is a matter which is preferable (mandub) but there are actions which are better than others. Thus, it is permissible for a person to live in the city or in the village. But living in the city is better than living in the village for the one who wishes to see to the matters of ruling and accounting the rulers. If he lives in the village he has done contrary to what is best. Giving sadaqa openly or discreetly is a preferable matter (mandub) but giving sadaqa secretly is better than giving it publicly. If he gives it in public, he has acted contrary to what is best. So, it is allowed for the Messenger (saw) to undertake what is contrary to the best, rather it is allowed for him to do everything that is not considered sinful. He (saw) infact undertook what was contrary to the best so Allah (swt) mildly censured him for it. The one who thinks deeply about these verses that they cite will find that the wording of the verse, its understanding and meaning indicates this.
Thus, His (swt) saying:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land'” [TMQ Anfāl: 67]
indicates that the taking of prisoners had already been legislated on the condition that a severe slaughter (ithkhan) took place before it. Which is supported by the ayah:
حَتَّى إِذَا أَثْخَنْتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ
“Smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly on them (that is, take them prisoners)” [TMQ Muhammad: 4]
Thus, the ruling of taking prisoners was not revealed in the ayah:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom)” [TMQ Anfāl: 67]
Rather, it was revealed before that in sura Muhammad which is called the sura of fighting (sura al-qital). It was revealed before sura al-Anfal. Thus, it is in this sura of fighting that the ruling of taking prisoners was revealed. He (swt) said:
فَإِذا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَثْخَنْتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّى تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا
“So, when you meet (in jihad), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly on them (that is, take them prisoners) Thereafter (is the time) either for generosity (that is, free therm without ransom), or ransom, until the war lays down its burden” [TMQ Muhammad: 4]
So the rule of taking prisoners had been revealed and was known before the revelation of:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ
“It is not for a Prophet...”[TMQ Anfāl: 67]
In this verse there is not a single legislation for prisoners. And in the wording there is no legislation for prisoners to be found. Rather, it is only an address to the Messenger (saw) that he should not have taken prisoners until he had inflicted a severe slaughter (ithkhan). What is meant by ithkhan is killing and creating intense fear. There is no doubt that on the day of Badr the Sahabah killed a great number of people and that they won the battle. It is not a condition of inflicting a severe slaughter in the land that everyone should be killed. Then after killing a great number they took a group as prisoners. This is permitted from the ayah in sura Muhammad which is the sura of fighting and from this ayah as well. It indicates that after inflicting a severe slaughter (ithkhan) it is allowed to take prisoners. So this verse has come to indicate a clear indication that the capture of prisoners was allowed according to the ruling of this ayah. So it is not correct that the Messenger (saw) made ijtihad regarding the ruling of prisoners of war when he took prisoners and the verse came to correct his ijtihad. And nor is it the case that the capture done by the Messenger (saw) in Badr was a legislation and the ayah came to clarify his mistake. Likewise this capture was not a sin or a breach of the rule that had been revealed. However, it indicates that the Messenger (saw), in applying the rule of taking captives as mentioned in sura Muhammad:
حَتَّى إِذَا أَثْخَنْتُمُوهُمْ
“Smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them” [TMQ Muhammad : 4]
In this incident i.e the battle of Badr, it was better if the killing was greater so that the ithkhan was more evident. Thus, the verse was revealed to mildly reproach the Prophet (saw) for applying the ruling in a manner which is contrary to what is best. It is the censure of an action undertaken by him to apply a previous ruling, it is not the legislation of a ruling and nor is it the correction of an ijtihad. As for His (swt) saying at the end of the ayah:
تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الْآَخِرَةَ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“You desire the good of this world, but Allah desires for you the hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise” [TMQ Anfāl: 67]
This is the conclusion of the rebuke in the ayah. that is, you have taken prisoners before doing your outmost to inflict a severe slaughter (ithkhan) hoping to get ransom for those prisoners i.e by taking captives you desire the transient things of the world, from the ransom (fidya) which is the consequence of taking them captive. And Allah (swt) wishes to strengthen His (swt) deen by killing them in the battle, not by taking them prisoners. The issue is the taking of prisoners and desiring the good of this world is a result of the capture, it is not a mild rebuke for taking ransom. Rather, it is only a mild rebuke for taking captives before inflicting a severe slaughter. It completes the meaning of the ayah which began with this meaning from its very beginning:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَى حَتَّى يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الْآَخِرَةَ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world, but Allah desires for you the hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise “[TMQ Anfāl: 67]
As for His (swt) saying:
لَوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
“Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe punishment ('azaab) would have touched you for what you took” [TMQ Anfāl: 68]
It is not a promise of a punishment from Allah (swt) for taking ransom as some would imagine. Rather, it clarifies the consequences that could possibly result from taking prisoners before doing ones outmost to inflict asevere slaughter, such as losing the battle and Muslims being killed by the Kuffar. This is the great punishment; it is not the punishment of Allah (swt). that is, if it were not that Allah (swt) knew that you would be victorious, then for taking prisoners before doing your outmost to slaughter the Kuffar, your enemies would haves killed you and defeated you. The Qur'an has used the word 'azaab (punishment) for killing in war. He (swt) said:
قَاتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ
“Fight against them so that Allah will punish them (yu'azzibihum) by your hands” [TMQ Tawba: 14]
It cannot be that it means the punishment of Allah (swt), because the address is general to the Messenger (saw) and the believers. Because if the ayah, as they contend, is considered to be correcting an ijtihad then it is a mistake that has been forgiven for which they do not deserve to be punished by Allah (swt). If it is considered a mild reproach for acting contrary to what is best, as is the reality in this case, then it does not merit any punishment from Allah. It is not at all possible that it means the approaching of a punishment from Allah (swt), Rather the meaning is that your enemies would have killed and humiliated you. As for the hadīth reported regarding the cause of this ayah being revealed, and regarding its stories, they are isolated reports (khabar ahad) which are not admissable as evidence for the aqeeda. Permitting or not permitting ijtihad on the part of the Messenger (swt) is from the creedal issues.
As for what was revealed by Allah (swt) in the Quran:
عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْكَ لِمَ أَذِنْتَ لَهُمْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَتَعْلَمَ الْكَاذِبِينَ
“May Allâh forgive you (O Muhammad (saw)). Why did you grant them leave (for remaining behind; you should have persisted as regards your order to them to proceed on Jihâd), until those who told the truth were seen by you in a clear light, and you had known the liars?” [TMQ Tawbah: 43]
It does not indicate ijtihad because the ruling that the prophet (saw) was permitted to excuse whomever he wished was revealed before this ayah. Allah (swt) says in Sura An-Nur:
فَإِذَا اسْتَأْذَنُوكَ لِبَعْضِ شَأْنِهِمْ فَأْذَنْ لِمَنْ شِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ
“So, if they ask your permission for some affairs of theirs, give permission to whom you wish from them” [TMQ Nur: 62]
And this surah was revealead after Sura Al-Hashr in the battle of the trench, and the ayah
عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْكَ
“May Allâh forgive you” [TMQ Tawbah: 43]
was revealead in Sura At-tawbah, and it was revealed in the context of the battle of Tabuk in the ninth year Hijri, so the ruling was well known and the ayah of Sura an-Noor clearly indicates that the prophet (saw) is permitted to excuse those who ask him for permission (to stay behind).
However in the incident for which the ayah of sura al-Tawbah was revealed, i.e the expedition of Tabuk and the preparation of the army of 'usra (hardship), It would have been better if the Messenger (saw) did not grant the hypocrites (munafiqin) permission to stay behind. When he (saw) gave them the permission in that very incident, Allah (swt) mildy rebuked him for this action, i.e He (swt) rebuked him (saw) for undertaking an action that was contrary to what was better. The ayah does not correct an ijtihad and it does not legislate a ruling which is different to the ruling the Msseneger (saw) had made ijtihad for concerning the same incident. Rather, it is a mild rebuke for something that was conrtrary to what was best.
As for His (swt) saying:
وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ مَاتَ أَبَدًا وَلَا تَقُمْ عَلَى قَبْرِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَفَرُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ
“And never (O Muhammad (saw)) pray (janazah) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave. Certainly, they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger, and died while they were fasiqun (transgressors)” [TMQ Tawbah: 84]
It came after His (swt) saying:
فَإِنْ رَجَعَكَ اللَّهُ إِلَى طَائِفَةٍ مِنْهُمْ فَاسْتَأْذَنُوكَ لِلْخُرُوجِ فَقُلْ لَنْ تَخْرُجُوا مَعِيَ أَبَدًا وَلَنْ تُقَاتِلُوا مَعِيَ عَدُوًّا إِنَّكُمْ رَضِيتُمْ بِالْقُعُودِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ فَاقْعُدُوا مَعَ الْخَالِفِينَ . وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ
“ If Allah brings you back to a party of them (the hypocrites), and they ask your permission to go out (to fight), say: “Never shall you go out with me, nor fight an enemy with me; you agreed to sit inactive on the first occasion, then you sit (now) with those who lag behind. And never (O Muhammad (saw)) pray (janazah) for any of them (hypocrites)...”' [TMQ Tawba: 83-84]
Allah (swt) has clarified in the ayah;
فَإِنْ رَجَعَكَ اللَّهُ إِلَى طَائِفَةٍ مِنْهُمْ
“If Allah brings you back to a party of them (the hypocrites)” [TMQ Tawba: 83]
That the Messenger (saw) should not allow them to accomany him in his expedetions. And this was in order to humiliate and disgrace them so that they do not get the hounour of making jihad and going out (to fight) with the Messneger (saw). And He (swt) in the ayah that comes immediatly after:
وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ
“And never (O Muhammad (saw)) pray (janazah) for any of them (hypocrites)” [TMQ Tawba: 84]
Announced (just) another thing to humiliate them. This took place during the campaign against them in order to destroy them. So this ayah, the ayah before it and the ayah after it clarify the rules regarding the hypocrites and the manner in which they should be treated by showing them contemp, humiliating them and lowering them them from the status of the believers. There is nothing in the ayah which indicates that the Messenger (saw) made ijtihad regarding a ruling. The verse came showing the contrary. Rather it is the preliminary/opening legislation with respect to the hypocrites. It is in line with the other verses regarding the hypocrites repeated in the same Sura. Nothing appears in it, whether explicitly, by way of indication, by wording or understanding, or giving cause for any semblence (shubha) (of such a meaning) that it corrects an ijtihad or draws attention to a mistake. As for what has been narrated regarding the reason for revealing this verse in terms of reports, they are solitary reports (akhbar ahad) and are not admissable as evidence for 'aqeeda and nor can they contradict the definite text which restricts the Meseneger's (saw) conveyance of rulings to that what he (saw) brought through revelation and nothing else. He (saw) did not follow anything but the revelation. Let alone that these ahadīth should make 'Umar bin al-Khattab (ra) try to prevent the Messenger (saw) praying the janazah. So either he wanted to prevent him from doing an action legislated as a ruling or he wanted to prevent the Messenger (saw) from undertaking a worship according to a legislated shari'ah rule and the Messenger (saw) was silent about it. Then he (saw) reverted to 'Umar's opinion after the revelation of this ayah, This is not allowed in respect to the Messenger (saw). Acting upon this hadīth contradicts the fact the Mesenger (saw) is a Prophet, so the hadīth is rejected in terms of meaning (dirayatan). The hadīth indicates that the Messenger (saw) gave his shirt to 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and that he tried to pray (janaza) for him though he was the head of the munafiqin. 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy was exposed by Allah (swt) after the battle of Bani al-Mustaliq, his son came to the Messenger (saw) to find out if the Messenger (saw) had taken the desicion to kill him so that he may himself kill his father. Allah (swt) revelaed sura al-Munafiqin after the battle of Bani al-Mustaliq and He (swt) said to the Messenger (saw) regrading it:
هُمُ الْعَدُوُّ فَاحْذَرْهُمْ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللَّهُ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ
“They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allah curse them! How are they denying the Right Path” [TMQ Munafiqoon: 4]
And He (swt) told him with respect to it:
فَطُبِعَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ
“Therefore their hearts are sealed” [TMQ Munafiqoon: 3]
And He (swt) told him:
وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لَكَاذِبُونَ
“Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed liars” [TMQ Munafiqoon: 1]
And then the Messenger (saw) came after this and gave his shirt to the head of the hypocrites and tries to pray (janaza) for the head of the hypocrites and then 'Umar (ra) prevents him. This contradicts the ayāt. The ayah of sura al-Tawba was revealed in the ninth year (AH) after sura al-Munafiqin by a number of years. So the ahadīth about 'Umar (ra) and the shirt and other such ahadīth contradict the reality of how the hypocrites were treated after the battle of Bani al-Mustaliq and they contradict the verses which were revaled before it regarding the hypocrites. Therefore, they are rejected also from this angle in terms of their meaning (dirayatan).
As for His (swt) saying:
عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى . أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَى . وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّى
“(The Prophet (saw)) frowned and turned away, because there came to him the blind man. But what could tell you that per chance that he might become pure (from sins)” [TMQ ‘Abasa: 1-2]
And the ayāt that follow, they do not indicate any ijtihad..The Messenger (saw) is ordered to convey the Da’wah to all the people and to teach Islam to the Muslims. It is for the Messenger (saw) to undertake both the orders all the time. 'Abd Allah ibn Umm Maktum became a Muslim and learnt Islam. He came to the Messenger of Allah (saw) while he was with the leaders of Quraysh; 'Utbah and Shaybah (the two sons of Rabi'ah), Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, al-'Abbas ibn al-Muttalib, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, al-Walid ibn al-Mughira. He (saw) was inviting them to Islam in the hope that others would embrace Islam if they entered its fold. Ibn Umm Maktum said to the Prophet (saw) while he was in this situation: Oh Messenger of Allah! Teach me to read and teach me what Allah has tought you'. He repeated this not knowing that the Prophet (saw) was busy (speaking) with these people. The Messenger of Allah (saw) did not like the interruption in his conversation and so he frowned and turned away, and so this verse was reveled. The Messenger (saw) is ordered to convey (the Da’wah) and ordered to teach Islam. So he undertook the convayance of the Call and turned away from teaching the one who asked to be tought due to being preoccupied with the convayance of the Da’wah. It was better for him to teach Ibn Umm Maktum (ra) what he had asked for. But he (saw) did not do this so Allah (swt) mildly rebuked him (saw) for that. Since his (saw) turning away from Ibn Umm Maktum (ra) was contrary to the best action, so Allah (swt) mildy rebuked him (saw) for undertaking what was contrary to the best. In this there is no ijtihad concerning a ruling or a correction of an action. It was only the application of Allah's (swt) ruling upon a certian incident which was contrary to the best action for which Allah (swt) mildy censured him.
Thus, there is no indication in the aforementioned verses on the occurance of ijtihad from the Messenger (saw). Since no ijtihad came from him (saw( regarding what he conveyed from Allah (swt), ijtihad is not allowed for him (saw) whether rationally or according to the Shari’ah'. The Messenger (saw) was not a mujtahid and it is not allowed in respect to him (saw) that he be a mujtahid. It was only a revelation revaled to him by Allah (swt) and this revelation (wahy) is either by wording and meaning as in the Noble Qur'an or it is meaning only which is given expression by the Messenger (saw) either with his own words or by his silence which alludes to a ruling or by doing an action and that, all of it, is the Sunnah.