Question: As Salamu alaikum
I know that Rasool Allah SAW was renowned for his truthfulness but when you read some of his authentic ahadith, they sometimes seem contradictory. I assume that it is because of the language, for instance when he says that the one who abandons prayer is a disbeliever, i understand that can be said for emphasis but how does a person know when something is being said for emphasis and when it is to be taken literally or metaphorically even.
Wa alaikum As salaam,
It is for this reason, it is required for a Muslim to study Islam extensively under authentic and reliable scholars. One needs to have a proper and correct understanding of the Arabic language as per its usage in the Holy Quran, Ahadeeth, statements of the Sahabah (companions) and the classical texts written by the early scholars and jurists of Islam. It is through advance and extensive studies in Islam done under the guidance of authentic and reliable scholars one gains the understanding of the texts used in the Ahadeeth and is able to explain its correct message. As for those who are not able to venture into such Islamic studies, they should refer their questions and queries to the reliable scholars of Islam. They should continue to seek knowledge and explanations from these scholars and should not apply their personal opinion and understanding into the matters of Islam.
Most undoubtedly, the Prophet (s.a.w) was indeed the most truthful and all his words and statements serve as teachings for the entire Ummah. However, one must dedicate himself to the study of Islam to gain the correct knowledge and understanding of the blessed words of the Prophet (s.a.w), just as one must do for the Holy Quran and the classical texts of the early scholars of Islam.
And Allah Knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.