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Obligation Not Necessitated by Messenger’s Order Merely

Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (may God’s mercy be upon him), reported from his father Amir al-Muminin (A), saying:

Much clamour was raised about Merry the Coptic (Umm Ibrahim), regarding her Coptic cousin who used to visit and frequent to her. The Prophet then said to me: Take this sword and go forth. If you find him near her kill him. I said: O Messenger of Allah, shall I be at your orders on dispatching me, executing your orders with no objection, or that the attendant sighting what is unseen by the absent? The Prophet (S) said to me: “Rather, the attendant can see what is unseen by the absent.” Then I went forward girding myself with a sword, when I saw him with her. I unsheathed the sword, and as approaching him, he realized my intention (to kill him). So he fled toward a date-palm and climbed it. Then he threw himself down falling on the back of his neck, with his legs being dispersed, turning to be castrated and his male organ being mutilated, losing whatever men usually have. He said: I then sheathed the sword, returning to the Prophet (S) telling him of all these occurrences. He (S) said: Praise belongs to Allah Who turns evil away from us, Ahl al-Bayt.
In his comment on this report, al-Sharif al-Murtada said: The rules contained in this report being to indicate that any act or practice can never be obligatory merely it was commanded by the Messenger of Allah, since had it been so, there would have been no necessity to revise or inquire about it. Further the rules’ advantage and occurrence in their due time indicate their not requiring this obligation.39

In Tabaqat al-Atibba’ wa al-Hukama’, Ibn Juljul reported from Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas that he said: I became sick and was visited by the Messenger of Allah (S) who said to me: Call in al-Harith ibn Kildah, as he is the man who can cure you. Then the Messenger of Allah gave his orders to bring the physicians so as to inquire them about the remedies they had.40


39. Al-Murtada's al-Amali, vol. I, p. 77, 78.

40. This book was published by the French Scientific Institute for Eastern Mounments in Cairo.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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