Obedience to Ulool-Amr

QOne of the criteria you had mentioned for evaluating Deen of a person was that he or she should believe that:
"Other than the Prophet himself, there is absolutely no one who is perfect enough to be right all the time and whose words or actions could be followed on his own authority, without strong support form the Qur-aan and Sunnah."

But according to the Qur-aan, Ulil Amr (those charged with authority) can also be obeyed in their own right and on their own authority, as per the following verse:
[Yusufali 4:59] O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you (Ulool Amr). If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.

ABismillaahi Walĥamdulillaahi waŝŝalaatu wassalaamu ‘alaa rasoolillaahi.

Brother, the answer to your questions is contained in the very verse that you have quoted. This verse of Soorah An-Nisaa is precisely teaching the criteria I had mentioned. Let us look at the verse carefully and reflect on its contents.

The verse commands believers to obey Allaah, (Who must be obeyed in His own right because He is the Creator, Owner, and Master). Then the verse repeats the command and says, “Obey the Messenger” (who should also be obeyed in his own right as the Messenger of Allaah, because Allaah sent him and ordered us to obey him. He also told us, “Whoever obeys Messenger, he in fact obeys Allaah). In both of these segments the command “obey” (Atee’oo) was repeated, because obedience to both was on their own authority and in their own right, One as the Creator and the second as His Messenger. Then the verse continues: “and those charged with authority”. For this segment the command ‘Obey’ has not been repeated, indicating that the obedience to ulool-amr (those charged with authority), although necessary for the existence of an organized community, is subservient to the obedience to Allaah and His Messenger. The obedience to ulool-amr must only be in matters and orders that are in line with and supported by clear injunctions from Allaah and His Messenger. The ulool-amr cannot demand obedience in their own right or on their own authority, but only in compliance of the teachings of the Qur-aan and Sunnah with clear support from them. That is why the word ‘obey’ (Atee’oo) has not been repeated for them. Had obedience to ulool-amr not to be constrained within the provisions of the Qur-aan and Sunnah, the style would have been different: Either It would have only one ‘obey’, i.e., “Obey, Allaah, the Messenger and ulool-amr” ; or, obey for all three parties, “obey Allaah, obey the Messenger and obey uloo-amr”, Not, “Obey Allaah, obey the Messenger, and ulool-amr from among you.”

The constraint upon the obedience to ulool-amr is further clarified and emphasized by the next segment of the verse, “If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger”. That is: if their a difference of opinion between rulers (ulool-amr) and ruled (common people) or any segment of the Ummah, then the matter must be referred only to Allaah and His Messenger (Qur-aan and Sunnah). In other words, it must be decided and settled according to the Qur-aan and Sunnah that are the basis of Deen. There is no mention of ulool-amr this time because their opinion or order is not on the basis of their own authority but rather it is acceptable only when it is clearly supported by the provisions of the Qur-aan and Sunnah.

Hence those who believe in Allaah and Last Day must not accept any human being’s opinions or orders unless and until they are clearly and strongly supported by the Qur-aan and Sunnah.


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