Allah commanded His Apostle (saws) to commit a public act that served immediately: ..
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
In Medina, Allah's disciples typically obeyed each new restriction as soon as it was revealed, but sometimes a new law didn't 'sink in' properly until the followers had seen it working in practice.
Where necessary, to speed things up, Allah commanded His Apostle (saws) to commit a public act that served immediately thereafter as binding precedent, putting a halt to further debate. For example: New Law: Sura 33:4-5 revokes the 'equal status' traditionally enjoyed by 'adopted sons' in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance; DIY Precedent: Sura 33:37 explains why the Prophet (saws) had to wed the ex-wife of Zaid (previously regarded as his own 'adopted son'). I want to know of other episodes from the life of the Prophet (saws) where this "hands-on, DIY" approach was used to create a "quick-fix" binding precedent. Can you help?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Whenever a law, or command, or a rite of worship was revealed by Allah Subhanah in the Glorious Quran, more often than not, the Messenger of Allah (saws) would be the first person to put that command into practice. It was none but the Messenger of Allah (saws) who offerred the first prayer and then taught it to the believers, the first fast, the first Jumuah sermon and prayers, the sermon and the prayer of the two Eids, the element of 'zakah', the implementation of the forbiddance of 'riba', the first implemtation of the 'hijaab' unto his family, etc.
The examples which you have specifically mentioned are concerning the breaking of specific social accepted norms which were prevalent in society at the time the Quran was being revealed. Such is the stigma and force in a society of some unlawful social practices or illegal rituals of worship, that unless and until the leader or the Prophet himself does not put an end to them, it would be very difficult for the society to accept its violation/allowance. Two amongst those social norms prevalent during those times were that an adopted son was treated exactly like one's own biological son, or that the society considered it a taboo to marry the divorced wife of one's adopted son. The mere revelation of breaking these socially accepted norms would not suffice for the community to whole heartedly accept/reject what was prevalent in the society, but after the Messenger of Allah (saws) was commanded to practice it, the believers would have absolutely no doubt left regarding the prohibition/permissbility of the act in accordance with the revealed Shariah Law.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab Verses 37-38:
Behold! Thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favor: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife and fear Allah." But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her with the necessary (formality) We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them: and Allah's command must be fulfilled.
There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah has indicated to him as a duty. It was the practice (approved) of Allah amongst those of old that have passed away and the command of Allah is a Decree Determined.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is only ones. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brothers and well wishers in Islam,
Members of Islamhelpline