¡ O you who believe! Advance not before God and His Messenger, and reverence God. Truly God is Hearing, Knowing.
1 Advance not before God and His Messenger sets the tone for this sūrah. In the immediate context, it enjoins Muslims to avoid coarse manners in the presence of the Prophet, reminding many of those who had recently joined the Muslim polity that he was more than a tribal leader. Some also interpret it to mean that one should not contradict the Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet (IK). More broadly, it indicates that people should not follow their own opinions rather than the teachings of the Prophet (Q) or allow personal desires to take precedence over the commands of God and the Prophet, as in a famous ḥadīth of the Prophet, “None of you truly believes until he loves me more than his father, his children, and mankind all together.”