“…… the gentile prophet (Muhammad), whom they find written in their Torah and Gospel. He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them.” 7:157
The traditional Muslims claim that Prophet had the power to authorize the good things and prohibit the bad things.They cite the above verse in support of their claim.
But as will be shown here, they are in fact manipulating 7:157 in order to elevate the prophet to the status of being a Law Maker besides God. It must be said that if we study one ayat in isolation, such as 7:157, it may well seem that the prophet is spoken of as a Law maker in the Quran, however, if we study all the related verses together the picture becomes totally different.
To study 7:157 we must also study 66:1 and also 6:114. Immediately, the message in 6:114 stands out clear; God is the ONLY source of law. In addition, in 66:1 we read how God reprimands the prophet for once prohibiting an item that was NOT prohibited by God. This makes the issue beyond dispute: the prophet does not have the authority to prohibit except what is prohibited by God.
As a result, the meaning of 7:157 now becomes very clear, the prophet will invite his people to do righteous acts, enjoins them from evil and prohibits them from bad things, all in accordance to what is given to him in the Quran by God, and nothing else.
We must always remember that any messenger from God is a medium through which God’s commands are transmitted to the people. God does not come down to communicate with the people in person. God gave the Quran to Muhammad, and the Quran came out of Muhammad’s mouth, so Muhammad is commanded by God to do the above in accordance to the law given in the Quran and not in accordance to Muhammad’s own desires.