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Obeying the Messenger

by Maulana Yusuf Motala (Author), Mufti Aasim Ali Rashid (Contributor, Translator)

This book emerged from an outpour of love for Prophetic ways and pain of seeing Muslims discarding those same ways. It was initially published some fifty years ago under the guidance and supervision of Hazrat Shaykh al-hadith Mawlānā Muḥammad Zakariyyā -may Allah enlighten his grave.

Two key factors contributed to Shaykh Yūsuf starting this book. The first was a dream in which he was directed to do some work related to the necessity and obligation of obeying the Messenger ﷺ. The second was the emphatic instruction of his shaykh, “It is my sincere instruction to you that you must not spare any effort in propagating the lifestyle of the Prophet  and his Companions.

About the English Version

The work of translating and annotating this book commenced in the lifetime of the esteemed author (raimahu’Llāh). He was updated about its progress, saw printouts of the manuscript, and prayed for its completion. The work was completed after he departed this world. May Allah shower His Mercy upon him.
Below are some features of this English version:


  • Translation seeks to convey the author’s message and sentiment while maintaining a native English style and sentence structure. From this perspective, it is not a word-for-word translation of the Urdu text.
  • Translation of verses, hadiths and other texts has been provided by the translator after consulting with various tafsīr literature, hadith commentaries, and other works. Though efforts were made to convey the meaning, message, and context of the Arabic text, scholars are requested to inform the translator of any inaccuracies or concerns; may Allah reward them.
  • Wherever the author has quoted or paraphrased a passage from another work, English translation was carried out using the original source text rather than the author’s Urdu translation. This was to avoid loss of information and inaccuracies that occur in ‘translation of a translation’.


  • The erudite author has compiled this book from many sources. Wherever possible, the original source was located and cited. Citations and notes provided by the author in the original work are marked: [Shaykh].
  • The eminent author has decorated his book with quotations from many great Muslim personalities. Brief biographical notes have been provided to familiarize the English reader with their background, status, achievements, and legacy.
  • Simple explanations have been provided for many Arabic terms.
  • Some geographical notes are provided for key places.

References and citations have been provided for all hadith, tafsīr and other sourced information in this book, as far as the source could be found. Takhrīj of hadiths is presented in a minimalist manner, and the status or details of narrations are given where it was felt necessary.

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