This is the foremost and basic demand of the Faith. If the person who regards Allah as his Lord and accepts Allah's Messenger as his guide and leader. is true in his belief, he can never have the attitude that he should give his own opinion and view precedence over the decision of Allah and His Messenger, or -should adopt an independent opinion in the matters, and pass his own judgments without caring to find out whether Allah and His Messenger have given any guidance in those matters or not, and if they have given it, what it is. That is why it has been said "O believers, do not go `in advance' of Allah and His Messenger. " That is, "Do not go ahead of them, but follow behind: Do not precede them, but be subordinate to them. " This Command is, in its application and effect, a step further to verse 36 of AI-Ahzab. There it was said: `It does not behoove a believing man and a believing woman that when Allah and His Messenger have given their decision in a matter, they should exercise an Option in that matter of theirs", and here it is said that the believers should not decide their matters themselves by their own initiative, but should look for guidance in Allah's Book and His Prophet's Sunnah concerning those matters.
This Command it not confined only to individual matters of the Muslims but it also applies to their collective affairs. This is in fact the fundamental article of the Islamic Law, which can neither be set aside or ignored by a Muslim government, nor by a Muslim court, nor by a parliament. A tradition has been reported in Musnad~Ahmad, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, with authentic chains of transmitters, saying that when the Holy Prophet was sending Hadrat Mu'adh bin Jabal to the Yaman as a judge, he asked him: "By what will you decide the matters?" He submitted: "By the Book of Allah. " The Holy Prophet said: "If you do not find the Command concerning a matter in the Book of Allah, what will you turn to?" He replied "To the Sunnah of Allah's Messenger. " The Holy Prophet asked "If this also fails you?" He replied: "Then I shall exert and find out a solution by myself. " Thereupon the Holy Prophet placed his hand on Hadrat Mu'adh's chest and said: "Thank God Who has helped His Messenger's deputy to adopt the way that is approved by His Messenger. " This giving of precedence to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger over one's own exercise to find out a solution and to turn to them first to obtain guidance is the
Thing that marks the distinction between a Muslim judge and a non-Muslim judge. Likewise, in the matter of legislation also there is absolute consensus that the first and foremost source of the law is the Divine Book and after it the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. Even the consensus of the entire Ummah cannot go against or remain independent of them, not to speak of the individual Muslims reasoning and endeavor to interpret the law.
That is, "If ever you adopted an attitude of independence as against Allah and His Messenger, or gave priority to your own opinion and view over their Command, you should know that you have to deal with that God Who is hearing whatever you utter and is even aware of your secret intentions. "