In accordance with a command from Allah, the Prophet (saas) would consult with the faithful and seek their opinion. This was commanded in the following verse:
… So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter. Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. (Surah Al 'Imran: 159)
After canvassing the opinions of the faithful, the Prophet (saas) would come to a decision and place the outcome in the hands of Allah. One important fact that must not be lost sight of is that all decisions are known beforehand by Allah. Allah has decreed every decision and its outcome. It is an act of worship on all believers to consult and then arrive at a decision. Knowing that, the Prophet (saas) would consult the faithful before coming to a decision, though, while leaving the outcome of that decision to Allah, he knew that Allah would produce the most beneficial outcome from it.
Consulting with others is an approach that can bring about the most auspicious results for Muslims. In the first place, anyone who consults others demonstrates better morality by acting modestly. For instance, the Prophet (saas) was the wisest of the community of the faithful, and had the greatest foresight and understanding. Despite that, however, his consulting those around him and asking their opinion, enquiring how they would resolve a particular matter, shows what a modest person he truly was.
The faithful must display humility in all matters, not thinking that they know better than everyone else. They will gain great benefits from consulting with others. By adopting this manner of the Prophet (saas), they will come to resemble him, and will earn the good pleasure of Allah and the faithful by practicing the humility and affection that he showed the believers. They will also avoid pride of their own intelligence. In the Qur'an, Allah has revealed that: "… Over everyone with knowledge is a Knower..." (Surah Yusuf: 76) meaning that a person can arrive at better results by not relying on his own intelligence alone but by making use also of the intelligence, ideas and accumulated experience of others. Instead of one mind, he will actually possess the number of however many people he consults. The Prophet reminded the faithful that they ought to consult one another in these words:
"Every people who seek the pleasure of Allah and consult with one another are guided to the best course in their affairs."27
Every path shown to mankind by Allah in the Qur'an, and all behavior displayed by the Prophet (saas), are the most auspicious and best. Consulting others is one such example. It is therefore most important to be familiar with Allah's commandments and to know the character of the Prophet (saas) well to perform our religious obligations as well as possible, and to be of good moral character.