An innocent question but pregnant with sinister implications. Today we are seeing again a rise of those who reject the Hadith of the Prophet and claim to follow only the Quran directly.

Why is this a big deal? Because when you remove the Sunnah, you are basically removing the entirety of the Shari’ah. The Sunnah is the key through which you open the door of the Quran. Without that you can only speculate what’s inside and nothing more than that. We’ll let the Quran itself answer the above-mentioned question.

But even before even going to the Quran, tell me this – Does the Quran specify that it was revealed upon someone called Muhammad? Does it tell us who was this man receiving the revelation from the Most High? Was he a pure Arab or a migrant Jew? Is it the same Muhammad who settles in Madinah or was it someone else? How do you KNOW?

One of our teachers, Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu, in his commentary of Riyadhus Saliheen mentioned:

The Sunnah does not need the Quran to explain what it says. Nowhere in the Quran do you see the Quran explaining what the Prophet’s ﷺ words meant. Rather the Quran needs the Sunnah for explanation and elaboration. Whoever tells us that he can extract the rulings directly from the Quran without referring to the Sunnah, even the most ignorant of the people can tell you that such people are merely playing around. This was the case with one of the first groups that broke away from believers, this is their approach – to focus on the Quran without referring to the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.

You get the root of the command from the Book of Allah. But how to fulfill it and what are its details? That is explained in the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.

Why then did Allah say for us to refer to the people of knowledge?

Why did Jibrîl have to teach the Prophet ﷺ?

Why did the Prophet ﷺ teach and clarify questions?

The first step to fight the religion of Allah is to attack the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. Check history and you can see where the Orientalists have attacked. They know that they can’t touch the Quran for it has been established and preserved. They can’t criticize it for the Quran is restricted. Allah has blessed the Ummah with men who have become places of preservation and dedicated their lives for the Book of Allah.

 

From the Quran – a Record of the Revelation Given to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) 

Allah says in the Quran:

“Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.
It is only a Revelation revealed.” [Surah Al-Najm, 53:3-4]

In another place Allah says:

“And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad (ﷺ) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’ân)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.” [Surah Al-Nahl, 16:44]

Allah tells us:

Move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Qur’an.
Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.
So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.
Then upon Us is obligated its clarification [to you]. [Surah Al-Qiyamah, 75:16-19]

Allah makes three promises here in the Quran:

  1. Allah will collect or preserve the Quran.
  2. Allah will see to it that it is properly recited.
  3. Allah will explain or clarify it

What other explanation of the Quran do we have but the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ upon whom the Message was revealed.

Qatadah reported:

 I said [to the Prophet’s wife], “O Mother of the Believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.” Aisha said, “Have you not read the Quran?” I said, “O course!” Aisha said, “Verily, the character of the Prophet of Allah ﷺ was the Quran.” [Muslim]

Allah commands us in Surah Muhammad:

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds. [Surah Muhammad, 47:33]

Allah didn’t say, ‘Obey Allah and His Messenger ﷺ’; rather Allah puts even more emphasis by saying, ‘Obey Allah AND Obey the Messenger ﷺ.’ The last part of the  ayah is very clear in terms of the result for those who reject or miss out on either of the two parts separately.  The ways (Sunnah) of the Messenger (ﷺ) are the ways of Allah.

Let’s say that even this isn’t clear enough for some and is not water-tight for them. Allah further commands us:

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away – We have not sent you over them as a guardian. [Surah Al-Nisâ’, 4:80]

And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. [Surah Al-Ḥashr, 59:7]

Certainly, did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error. [Surah Âl ‘Imrân, 3:164]

What does the Messenger ﷺ do after Allah’s instructions to him?

  1. He recited to the people Allah’s revelations.
  2. He shows them how to be purified.
  3. He teaches them the Book.
  4. He teaches them wisdom.

How does the Prophet ﷺ purify and teach? What is the wisdom being taught? Where exactly can you find these explanations and details which the Prophet ﷺ has set down in word and example and passed on to us through his Companions? How do we know what the Prophet did in response to the ayat after they came to him? Keep in mind that the rules recorded in the Quran are directly from the words of Allah; they do not convey  the words of the Prophet ﷺ to his community. Think about it!  Through the Quran we know the precise words of the Revelation sent down personally to the Prophet (ﷺ), but without the Hadith we do not know how he purified and taught his people, how he explained and applied the ayat to them. We can keep finding many, many more ayat in the Quran which give authority to, and talk about, the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ. For those looking for the truth this should suffice to force them to think and research the loopholes of what they believe in.

It was narrated from Al-Miqdâm ibn Ma’di Yakrib that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Verily I have been given the Quran and something similar to it along with it. But soon there will be a time when a man will be reclining on his couch with a full stomach, and he will say, ‘You should adhere to this Quran: What you find it to say as permissible, take it as permissible, and what you find it  to say as forbidden, take it as forbidden.’ But indeed, [I tell you] whatever the Messenger of Allah ﷺ forbids is like what Allah forbids.” [al-Tirmidhi]

 From the Hadith — a Record of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) Sunnah [Way of Life]

Now, take for example, the most basic of what Muslims are required to do:  the five Pillars of Islam? Shahadah –  Salah –  Zakah – Fasting –  Hajj

For example, how would we know when to pray, how to pray, what to recite when praying— where do we get all this information?  Nor, for example, does the Quran give us details on the exact places of Hajj, how to do it and even when to do it. So, can we do our Hajj in the Vatican, then?

Now, consider those who quote the ayah of the Quran where Allah proclaims:

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. [Surah Al-Mâ’idah,  5:3]

They say that we don’t actually need the ahadith because Allah has perfected the religion. But what is the day on which Allah perfected the religion?  The 9th of Dhul Hijjah, 9AH. And, how exactly do you know this date? (From examining the Hadith, of course.) Also, nowhere does Allah restrict Islam to being perfected by the Quran alone, whereas, as we saw, the mentions of obeying the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) are abundant. Since he is not alive for us to consult today, we know his exemplary conduct and teaching, his Sunnah, as they are preserved for us in the Hadith accounts.

Our beloved Prophet has already prepared us to expect people of this sort who would call for rejecting the Sunnah.

Narrated Al- Miqdâm ibn Ma’di Yakrib: The Prophet ﷺ said:

Beware! I have been given the Qur’an and something like it, yet the time is coming when a man replete on his couch will say: Keep to the Qur’an; what you find in it to be permissible treat as permissible, and what you find in it to be prohibited treat as prohibited. (Sunan Abi Dawud)

 

From our Hadith Scholars – an Understanding of our Islamic Sources

Imam Ahmed in his Musnad records a hadith where the Prophet ﷺ forbade writing down his words, but the very same Imam went on to collect around 40,000 ahadith and wrote them down. A contradiction, you say? Not really. If we actually read the narration, the Prophet ﷺ then told them not to write down these events at the time, but to spread orally his instructions, his way, his Sunnah. Had writing down been permanently prohibited, he would have closed off all means of making known the Revelation by prohibiting both the written and the oral transmission of the Sunnah. There are two other hadith reports that are quoted by “Quran only” advocates, reports that speak of this prohibition, but both are weak in narrative (isnâd) status.

This prohibition to write down the Hadith was —if we consult the Prophetic timeline— at the very start of the Madinan period. The Prophet ﷺ later allowed this collection in writing, on down the line, once the Quran had been established in the hearts of the people.

To say that ahadith began being documented only two hundred years after the Prophet ﷺ is just plain ignorant. Can those who doubt the early attention to preserving the Prophet’s history in word and deed explain why the likes of Abu Bakr, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Abu Hurairah, Abdullah Ibn Amr and Anas Ibn Malik, etc. each had his own collection of the Prophet’s ahadith writen down!

Sheikh Mustafa al-Azami has demolished this ‘Quran only’ argument in his PhD thesis at Cambridge University by tracing nearly 52 prominent Sahaba who wrote down ahadith [i] during the lifetime of the Prophet ﷺ .

It is famously said that to preserve the honour of Al-Mustafa, Allah brought forth 2 Mustafa’s:  Sheikh Mustafa Sibai’ and Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Azami. Their works are immensely beneficial and should be read by all to better understand the importance of the Sunnah and its preservation.

Furthermore, the Prophet ﷺ himself dictated ahadith to his scribes. He gave Mu’adh Ibn Jabal a document containing rules regarding Zakah and Charity when he sent him to Yemen. The letters of the Prophet ﷺ famously sent out to the political leaders around the Arabia of his time are too well known for any of us today seriously to pursue any more this ‘Quran only’ line of argument.

If not the Hadith, then How the Quran?

Be it written or be it in oral transmission – we have both the Quran and Sunnah preserved through a chain of narration. The Quran and its varying modes of recitation, like Hafs, etc., each has its own transmission chain tracing it back to the Prophet ﷺ. Likewise with the Sunnah. Our teacher Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu, before even being admitted into the Islamic University of Madinah had memorized the Quran and 300 ahadith with each complete chain of narrators. He mentions further how in Madinah, his teacher, Sheikh Abdul Muhsin al-Abbad memorized not just the 6 Books of Hadith but also the Musnad of Imam Ahmed, the Muwatta of Imam Malik and others – ALL INCLUDING their chains of narrations (isnâd) reaching all the way back. What then about the great scholars of the past who were celebrated for their memories?

Touching upon the detailed and legendary Sciences of Hadith that our 1400 years of scholarship has meticulously built —thus authenticating the words of the Prophet ﷺ— would go over the heads of those who ignorantly reject his Sunnah. The accomplishments of this specialist science are intricate and mind-boggling in an age which depends upon computer modeling.

Before even trying to go there, let them explain away the above-quoted ayat of the Quran, and then we can talk about the hadith which they quote to support their case. Oxymoronic isn’t it? Quoting something as proof in your argument when you yourself don’t consider it as definitive proof.

A Mutawatir type of hadith is considered to be the strongest category in terms of the Science of Hadith. Mutawatir (مُتَواتِر) means ‘successive.’ A successive narration is one conveyed by multiple streams of narrators in such large numbers at all levels of the chain of narrators —all the way back to the source— that it’s impossible that the narrators could have conspired to come together to lie about it.

The foremost question that now arises is that if you reject ahadith on the premise that they were narrated by humans —and they could err— then where do you think the Quran came from? Allah didn’t reveal the Quran in the form of a physical book personally handed down from the sky, but rather as speech to be preserved on the tongues, and in the hearts, of the Sahaba. How has this Quran —which you want to follow exclusively— reached you, if not through the very Sahaba whose memories you reject as lacking adequate trustworthiness!

Hand-in-Hand

To summarize, Allah tells us about His Prophet,

Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.
It is not but a revelation revealed,
Taught to him by one intense in strength…

 [Surah an-Najm, 3-4]

We can say that the Quran is a massive collection of mutawatir ahadith in and of itself. Accordingly, the Sunnah cannot be rejected without rejecting the Quran along with it!  Instead, the two logically go together, hand in hand.

The Quran is a Mutawattir Hadith and the Sunnah is a Wahiy (revelation) from Allah, The Most High.  Let that last point sink in and that alone should be more than enough to stop the uninformed talk of excluding the Sunnah as part of the Guidance brought to us by our beloved Prophet (ﷺ).

 

[i]   These 52 Sahaba are:

– Abu Umamah                     – Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari       – Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq

– Abu Bakra Al-Thaqafi       – Abu Rafi’                             – Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri

– Abu Shah                            – Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari          – Abu Hurairah

– Abu Hind                            – Ubay bin Ka’b                      – Asma bint Umais

– Usaid bin Hudhair            – Anas bin Malik                    – Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib

– Jabir bin Samura                – Jabir bin Abdullah            – Jareer Al-Bajali

– Al-Hasan bin Ali                – Rafi’ bin Khadeej                – Zaid bin Arqam

– Zaid bin Thabi                    – Subai’a Al-Aslamiyya         – Sa’d bin Ubada

– Salman Al-Farisi                – Al-Sa’ib bin Yazeed             – Samura bin Jundub

– Sahl bin Sa’d                       – Shaddad bin Aws                 – Sham’oun Al-Azdi

– Al-Dhahhak bin Sufyan    – Al-Dhahhak bin Qais           – A’isha

– Abdullah bin Abi Awfa    – Abdullah bin Al-Zubair         – Ibn Al-Abbas

– Ibn Umar                             – Abdullah bin Amr                 – Ibn Mas’ud

– Itban bin Malik                   – Ali bin Abi Talib                    – Umar bin Al-Khattab

– Amr bin Hazm                   – Fatima Al-Zahra                     – Fatima bint Qais

– Mohammad bin Maslama             – Mu’adh bin Jabal              

– Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan           – Al-Mugheerah bin Shu’ba           

– Maymoonah                       – Al-Nu’man bin Basheer                – Wathila bin Al-Asqa’

[Dirasat fil Hadith Al-Nabawi 1/92-142]

 

Mohammad Zahid

Born Najdi, Bred Hijazi, Brought Up Nawabi. Life is just a transit and we pass away as strangers, a legacy left behind is all that matters. Currently pursuing a master’s in information technology at the International Islamic University Malaysia as well as working as a Project Manager for an Islamic Crowdfunding platform. An ardent interest in Islamic History especially the Seerah of our Beloved Prophet. Aspire to revive the legacy of our forgotten heroes through sparking the interest of the people in the Seerah and learning life lessons through it just as the Sahaba had done for their kids. An ever-expanding appetite for books, hard to appease. Founder of InkOfFaith.com. Currently residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 Comments

  • quran karim

    March 14, 2019 - - 6:55 am

    Quran Majeed contains numerous events of several Prophets that are full of wisdom and teach us the realities of life and how to face the hurdles within the laws of Sharia. Not only this, by reading these astonishing events we can develop a spirit to observe patience in the difficult times of our life.

  • J

    November 26, 2019 - - 2:46 am

    It’s important, though, that we don’t beg the question. To prove the importance of the ahadith, without even being aware we’re doing it, we Muslims too often cite the ahadith themselves. I hear others do it; I’ve caught myself. It’s an easy trap to fall into and a sure way to lose credibility when supporting a point of view to those not knowledgeable of Islam.

  • YUSUF UMAR

    April 3, 2020 - - 8:37 am

    In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
    Teacher of Quran, twist and true context
    For years, religious leaders/scholars have been convincing the majority that a “qualified” third party is needed to explain Quran for us. They have been claiming that Quran readers cannot understand it on their own, and that “valid credentials” are needed to be able to promote its message. Such credentials are always measured by the scholars’ own standards. Personal agendas for authority and power are mainly the underlying forces for decision making while the controlled majority is in a silent mode to hear and obey what the select group of leaders would issue for them.

    Idolizing Muhammad and the accommodation of volumes of innovated Hadith and Sunna books to explain Quran has set the initial step of “follow the leader” scheme. It has been proclaimed that Quran alone is not enough as a source of law and “Hadith and Sunna” have become an official source of laws and Sharia’a besides Quran.. The “follow the leader” scheme started to work effectively because the overwhelming amount of man-made information has become a burden for anyone to go through, sort out, or get a good grip of. It has become impossible to draw conclusions and uphold definite commands when there are mountains of contradictory words and rulings. The brain-wash that a “qualified” religious specialist and leader is to be followed instead of God and His words has been passing down for generations and until now.

    We know that there are no premises in Quran to support any of the claims the religious leaders have been propagating. In fact, such claims contradict how God is describing His scripture and do not align with many clear commands. God directly informs us, all humans, that He has taught us and equipped us to distinguish things (55:4), and He commands us to use our brains, eyesight and hearing to study, reflect, analyze, and judge for ourselves (17:36, 2:148) . He directly asks all humans to read Quran from cover to cover (73:4), study it (47:24), meditate with it (17:79), and increase their knowledge (20:114). He praises the thinkers and the knowledgeable (29:49, 3:191), and He links reflecting and examining resources to seek knowledge with the right faith (3:18), wisdom, good vision, good logic, and intelligence (39:18, 38:20, 38:45, 2:269, 13:19). He commands all humans, not just an exclusive group, to follow Quran (7:3, 6:155), proclaim Quran (3:187), and to remind with Quran (6:70, 50:45).

    Additionally, God declares that the message in Quran is for all the people (81:27, 38:87) and Quran is the only source of religious guidance (18:27). He also states that He made Quran easy to learn (54:17, 54:22, 54:32, 54:40). He emphasizes that it is made of straightforward teachings except for some allegories that our salvation doesn’t rely on (3:7). He proclaims it to be in perfect Arabic tongue without any ambiguity or contradictions (39:28, 4:82). He thus proclaims Himself as both Author and Teacher of Quran (10:37, 55:1-2). He also narrates examples and displays scenes from the past and the future to teach us that no soul is responsible for another (53:38), and we are equally accountable for our own deeds (64:7) as we return to Him individually, not in the company of our scholars or idols (6:94). With all of these commands, teachings, and descriptions, why would any sane mind consider a third party besides God to learn Quran when God’s words are revealed and taught in black and white by Him? The scholars’ claims are blasphemies and reflect nothing but their own sick hearts and their own disbelief.

    Our generation has been fortunate to witness and take an active part in a revolutionary reform against all these traditional concepts that have been ruining minds and nations for decades. We have been blessed to be first in line for a lengthy liberation process. The mental barriers between us and Quran have been gradually removed by God’s grace. God has blessed us with a confirming messenger to take us back to the true teachings of Quran and open our eyes to recite the word of God by ourselves without fear, hesitance or need for any mediators. Our trust in the clarity and simplicity of the words of Quran and in our equal ability to dwell on its meanings has been rebuilt after years of brain-wash, manipulation, and deception. Blessed with the proofs of the Quran’s divine authorship, we appreciate and value its words including the ones that tell us that God is the entity that explains it through the recitation, and that no human, messenger or scholar or leader, is commanded to explain it for us. Quran is a book of clear and straightforward teachings from the Supreme Author and Teacher to purify and progress our souls. When it is RECITED, God’s teachings are revealed, delivered, taught, clarified, and explained to us:

    Muhammad Forbidden from Explaining the Quran
    [Quran 75:16] Do not move your tongue to hasten it.
    [Quran 75:17] It is we who will collect it into Quran.
    [Quran 75:18] Once we recite it, you shall follow such a Quran.
    [Quran 75:19] Then it is we who will explain it.

    [Quran 7:3] You (the command is expressed in plural tense for humanity in the Arabic text) shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed.
    [Quran 6:155] This too is a blessed scripture that we have revealed; you (the command is expressed in plural tense for humanity in the Arabic text) shall follow it and lead a righteous life, that you may attain mercy.

    [Quran 27:91] I am simply commanded to worship the Lord of this town – He has made it a safe sanctuary – and He possesses all things. I am commanded to be a submitter.
    [Quran 27:92] And to recite the Quran. Whoever is guided is guided for his own good, and if they go astray, then say, “I am simply a warner.”

    [Quran 3:101] How can you disbelieve, when these revelations of God have been recited to you, and His messenger has come to you? Whoever holds fast to God will be guided in the right path.

    [Quran 2:129] “Our Lord, and raise among them a messenger to recite to them Your revelations, teach them the scripture and wisdom, and purify them. You are the Almighty, Most Wise.”

    [Quran 3:164] God has blessed the believers by raising in their midst a messenger from among them, to recite for them His revelations, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they had gone totally astray.

    Satan is currently furious that his scheme has been exposed by our generation, and that the truth is unveiled and will prevail by God’s will and support. He has developed new approach, exclusively for our group of believers knowing that we are finally engaged in the learning process as qualified students for one Teacher and one easy, perfect, and straightforward source. He has established a Satanic perspective for 55:1-2 mainly to divert us from the clear truth and fill our hearts with confusion and uncertainty. The Satanic twist of 55:1-2 he introduces is that ” The Most Gracious, Teacher of Quran” means God teaches a certain verse or command to each one of us differently. Based on that, not only different understandings/interpretations of a given teaching are quite possible but also are quite welcome!!! So, instead of upholding personal opinions and interpretations of the scholars through his old, “follow the leader” scheme, we are filling up our memories with the different understandings and interpretations of fellow believers through the new twist of 55:1-2! Again, his ultimate goal has been always the same: deviation far from the truth from God, confusion, and uncertainty that lead to regressed souls.

    This Satanic twist is not found in Quran, and it contradicts all the above shared facts that God describes Quran with. The Most Gracious, Teacher of Quran is equivalent to ” it is we who explain it”, in 75:19, and to the essence of 20:114, 5:101, and 69:44-47.

    “The Most Gracious- Teacher of Quran” and “it is we who explain it” are straightforward statements to ENSURE the source of the meanings and teachings. They are to DIRECT us to what is constructed in black and white by God and to KEEP us guarded against different opinions, different sources, and different understandings. God is our Teacher, because the text book is one and it is His.

    There is a crucial difference between understanding the meaning of a verse, and offering a personal perspective or an application for that verse. Understanding a verse means the mental process to comprehend what is expressed by God in that verse. A personal perspective is one’s personal ideas that are combined and offered to create a meaningful relationship to that verse. Personal perspective of a verse doesn’t affect in the least the understanding of the meaning delivered by God. Meanings expressed and delivered by God through His words and verses are not changeable and should not perceived differently. We grow in knowledge and grasp a new meaning when we pay attention to more specific values of God’s words and overcome our personal limitations or, at times, blindness. This doesn’t mean that God’s verses have different understandings, it means something is newly revealed to us in the light of Quran that we have never known or paid attention to before (20:114, 5:101). The words of the Most Gracious establish the absolute, and concrete truth, in an accurate and efficient logic. God states that He authored His teachings without any ambiguity as the absolute truth and the only source of guidance. Hence He is the Clarifier and Teacher.

    In conclusion, Satan is rehearsing his old, “follow the leader” scheme in a modern approach to divert the believers from the absolute and concrete truth established by God’s words in Quran. When God is unifying us under one Teacher (55:1-2), and one text book (18:27) that is easy to learn (54:17, 54:22, 54:32, 54:40), Satan is inviting us to share different understandings and opinions for God’s words and to tolerate different sources. He wickedly confuses understandings and meanings with perspectives and applications. Through 55:1-2, Satan preaches that it is very likely to have “different understandings” for God’s words and teachings! The truth of the matter is that there will be no such thing as Absolute Truth, salvation, divine mercy, or divine justice when there is multiple understandings or meanings for His words aside from allegories. Praise God for teaching us good logic and wisdom. Praise God for blessing us with knowledge and intelligence. Praise God for His absolute truth. Praise God for His straightforward verses that constitute the essence of the scripture. Praise God for the one source, the one text book. Praise Him for His justice, and infinite grace and mercy.

    Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.

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