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Quran and Sunnah

Authority of the Sunnah Part-2: Hadith=Revelation Q&A

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Authority of Sunnah
Part 1
| Part 2 | Part 3  | Part 4

The first post raised multiple issues and comments, so I will try to summarize a few of the main points here insha’Allah with some responses.

Do Hadith have chains of narration unlike Quran?

The Quran was required to be memorized word for word, down to items we can not explain. We do not label verses of the Quran as weak or follow a chain of narration.

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Response: Actually, the Quran has chains too. It is the highest form of mutawaatir transmission.

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi writes in his book, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran, “The primary method of transmission of the Qur’aan has always been and always will be oral. Each generation of Muslims learns the Qur’aan from the generation before it, and this chain continues backwards until the time of the Companions, who learnt it from the Prophet (saw) himself. As ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab stated, ‘The recitation of the Qur’aan is a Sunnah; the later generations must take it from the earlier ones. Therefore, recite the Qur’aan only as you have been taught.’ This is the fundamental principle in the preservation of the Quran.

Also it should be noted that while different companions did have written copies of the Quran, it was not compiled into one mushaf until the rule of Abu Bakr (ra). He appointed Zaid bin Thabit to oversee this compilation. The compilation process itself had rules and regulations. For example, Abu Bakr told ‘Umar and Zaid, “Sit at the entrance to the Masjid. If anyone brings you a verse from the Book of Allah along with two witnesses, then record it” (History of the Quranic Text, M.M. Al-Azami, p. 80). Ibn Hajar commented on this that it meant two witnesses whose memory was backed by the written word, or two witnesses to testify the verse was written verbatim in the presence of the Prophet (saw). Since Zaid was a scribe of the Prophet (saw) himself, he was able to compare his material only to others of equal standing (and not second or third hand copies) (Azami, p. 82). His compilation was not limited to the written word only, but also what was in the breasts of men (i.e. memory).

Azami further explains the concept of mutawaatir, “Tawatur .. refers to gathering information from multiple channels and comparing them, so that if the overwhelming majority agrees on one reading than that gives us assurance and the reading itself acquires authenticity. While no scholarly consensus exists on the number of channels or individuals needed to attain tawatur, the gist is to achieve absolute certainty… But in a matter as weighty as the Quran how can we accept one scrap of parchment and a few Companions’ memories as sufficient grounds for tawatur? Suppose that in a small class of two or three students a professor recites a short, memorable poem and we, directly after the lecture, individually quiz every student about it; if they all recite the same thing then we have our absolute certainty that this is what the professor taught. The same can be extended to the written word or any combination of written and oral sources, provided of course that no collusion has occurred between the players… Allah personally vouches for the Companions’ honesty in His Book…” (p.84).

Also the different modes of recitation (qira’aat) of the Quran show that the Quran has chains as well. Yasir Qadhi wrote, “When the Companions spread throughout the Muslim lands, they took with them the variations they had learnt from the Prophet (saw) … [They] taught these variations to the Successors (tabi’oon), who taught them to the next generation, and so on. … Since the Companions spread over the various parts of the Muslim world, each region started developing a specific type of recitation. Again, all of these various recitations had originated from the mouth of the Prophet (saw)…” (p. 184-185).

The Uthmaani mushaf codified one standard recitation for the people to make it easier as more and more nations accepted Islam. The one we are most familiar with today is actually referred to the narration of Hafs ‘an ‘Aasim (i.e. the narration of Qur’an from Hafs, on the authority of ‘Aasim). [ref p. 136 of the same book]

To learn about how the chains of hadith were compiled, then it takes study way beyond the scope of this kind of article. Someone interested in taking a serious look though, at the preservation of hadith through both writing and memory can refer to the following sources:

But Hadith are not infallible like the Quran, are they?

Hadith are not infallible, if Quran is open to interpretation and reinterpretation then why do people hold Hadith to be more sacred? Sciences of hadith are complex – which is why one hadith never only ever has one explanation, and just because a hadith is sahih doesn’t mean it does not have errors in it.

And

How is authenticity established? The Muslimmatters position seems to be claiming that the early scholars, such as Bukhari, are as infallible in their collecting as the Prophet was in his receiving revelation. Although I have no doubt as to Bukhari’s (and others’) great intellect and piety, they are not prophets. Consequently, their method of collecting cannot be considered infallible and beyond question.

Response: Long answer – read the books listed above, and then see if you still have the same contention. Short answer –

Allah (swt) has commanded us to pray, give zakat, make hajj, fast, obey the Prophet (saw), and follow his sunnah. None of the details of how to do any of this is actually explicit in the Quran. Moreover, Allah (swt) has promised us in His Book that He will not place upon us a burden greater than we can bear.

If we have no way of actually verifying the authenticity of hadith in a scientific/logical manner, then that means we have no real assurance on how to actually establish the commandments of Allah, and therefore we are being commanded with something that is beyond our scope, and thus Allah (swt) lied in His Book (audhubillah).

Or, we do have a way of verifying it, but it might not be something all of us fully understand right off the bat. It is a (detailed) science, that must be studied. While it is true that there will be some disagreements and differences, it is not fair to be as dismissive as in the comment quoted above.

And it is not that the Quran is ‘open to interpretation’ and the hadith are not or anything like that. There is a certain methodology to how tafseer is made of the Quran (you can refer to the book Usool al-Tafseer by Bilal Philips) and likewise there is a scholastic method to interpreting and applying the hadith for different situations.

Lastly on this point, one of the main ayaat used to establish the fact that Allah (swt) will safeguard the Quran from error is, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (15:9). The Arabic word used for message here is dhikr and the scholars have said this refers to both the Quran and the Sunnah, because without the Sunnah the message is incomplete – you simply cannot understand the meaning of the Quran properly without referring to the Sunnah. So there is in fact a promise from Allah for it to be safeguarded.

How do we deal with conflicts between the Quran and Hadith?

We are allowed to question hadith. When there is discrepency between Quran and Hadith which is supposed to take precedence?

Response: There is no real short answer here, but it is really a question that is answered by studying Usool al-Fiqh.

An authentic hadith can never contradict the Quran. It is only our limited knowledge, lack of understanding, and overall lack of study of the Arabic language, of the contexts of revelation, of the abrogating and the abrogated, of the general texts and the specific texts, and other subjects that causes such confusion.

But the Hadith cannot abrogate Quran?

Additionally, Muslims are not required to follow hadiths .. a hadith should not abrogate a Quranic verse ..

Response: These issues are not for us to decide. The command to follow the Prophet (saw) comes numerous times in the Quran. We don’t know how to follow him without hadith.

Regarding the abrogation issue, refer to Chapter 4 of The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah by Jamal Zarabozo and insha’Allah the answer will be made clear there.

Why Hadith Ahaad vs. Hadith Mutawaatir?

Only the mutawatir inspires conviction and precludes the possibility of lying and doubt in the transmission of Hadith.

And

The vast majority of hadith are Ahad and , although sahih, are not considered on par with the Quran and Mutawatir.

Response: When someone studies the methods of compilation (outlined in the books listed towards the beginning of this post), they will see that there is in fact no doubt in regards to acting upon ahad narrations. For more information the following can be referred to,

Concluding Remarks

It is truly sad to see the way in which we are so quick to discard our Prophetic legacy. The scholars of the past used to sweat and tremble while narrating hadith out of fear of making a mistake. Some, like Imam Maalik would dress themselves in special and beautiful clothing and perfume themselves before narrating hadith of the Prophet (saw). The Companions would be quick to write down his words, to spend the night memorizing them. Scholars used to travel on horseback across entire countries, embarking on journeys that took months at a time to simply track down one narration. They did this because this is the crux of our deen, and is essential to maintaining its true message. We are all claimants to the ‘Quran and Sunnah’ yet we do not take care to actually give proper respect to the narrations containing Sacred Knowledge.

It’s interesting that the Prophet (saw) actually said, “I do not want to see any one of you reclining on his couch and, when he hears of my instructions or prohibitions, saying ‘I don’t accept it; we didn’t find any such thing in the Book of Allah.”

It is one thing to have doubts and questions, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I must admit, that my own passion for this subject comes from having these exact same doubts when I first started ‘practicing’ and was told to just follow the Quran and not worry about the hadith. It’s also why I am so passionate about recommending the books above. To be true to yourself, and true to your relationship with Allah, it is not enough to just raise the question. The next step of objective research and study must be undertaken. No one is saying to become a scholar of the sciences of hadith, but by at least reading the introductory texts on this issue in English, one can appreciate the science and dedication of its scholars. When the issue of hadith compilation and preservation is really studied, one realizes that the isnaad system we have is a miracle which, to me, eclipses any of the ‘scientific’ miracles of the Quran in terms of boosting my emaan.

Here is a challenge then, to the readers of this article: If you do have doubts or objections on hadith, are you seriously willing to try to study this subject in order to address them? Ultimately, our stance on this issue is between us and Allah, but what I fear most is being questioned about whether I did everything in my capacity to learn about it as much as I could, or if I just read random stuff haphazardly and made conclusions on the issue. It is ok to raise the doubts here on the blog, but at the end of the day, this is not the place to get those questions truly answered. It’s gonna take a little old fashioned reading :)

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Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters and Qalam Institute. He teaches Islamic seminars across the US including Khateeb Workshop and Fiqh of Social Media. He has served in varying administrative capacities for multiple national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow his work at ibnabeeomar.com.

91 Comments

91 Comments

  1. Gohar

    March 7, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    In response to brother Amad’s last comment in part 1:
    I hate what Mr Lang has written, and i have spent the last two years thinking about it trying to rebut him in my own mind. Unfortunately, it seems to be such a recent book that it raised questions not addressed (and showed flaws) in the books that preceeded it such as Zarabozo/S.hasan/Azimi. If i am able to post a summary, beleive me, it is in the hope that my shaken faith in hadeeth may be restored.

  2. Jamshed

    March 7, 2008 at 2:06 PM

    Mashallah, that was a good post :)

  3. WM

    March 7, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    Lang is seven or eight years old (his book, that is!)

    Unless you are well-grounded in hadith (I am not), you can’t begin to address the claims of any author. I had a look at the index of Lang and he seems to cite Schacht and Juynboll a lot. That is worrying.

  4. Mezba

    March 7, 2008 at 3:21 PM

    Good article, however:

    1) Quran as we have it today is correct. There can be NO dispute about any of its authenticity. Same cannot be said for every Hadith.

    2) Those who say stick to Quran only are wrong. However hadith has to be explained in light of Quran, and the spirit of Islam as a whole.

    3) Not every part of the Quran (or Hadith) has to be taken literally, ALL the time, for application of Shariah. Umar (r) suspended punishment of theft (amputation) during a time of severe drought in the kingdom.

    4) Even if context, literal text of Quran AND hadith are agreed, Islamic ruling (and thus Shariah) can STILL change according to time and place. For example Umar (R) ruled 3 divorces as final divorce while Ali (R) ruled it only as one divorce with punishment due on the husband for uttering it. Both got their laws from the same sources but had two interpretations.

    5) In the zeal for Quran and Hadith, often they are taken very literally, BUT the other two pillars of Shariah, Ijma and Qiyas, are forgotten.

    6) Some hadith are not Prophetic but uttered by Muhammad while acting as a husband, man or leader. For example the decision that every Medinite man was to take a Meccan immigrant as a brother was an administrative decision taken only for one point of time, it was not a Prophetic instruction, even though it is a hadith.

  5. Asim

    March 7, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    Mezba,

    Regarding point 6 in your response: Had you been alive in the era of the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wa sallam), would you have considered it all right say this to the Prophet on receiving an order from him: “Ya Rasool-Allah, I elect to not do what you just told me to do, as I think you have just ordered this thing while acting as a regular human being, rather than in the capacity of a Prophet of Allah”?

    If the answer is in the affirmitive, could you please cite any sound narration where an actual Sahabi made this distinction in the Prophet’s commands?

    Wassalam

  6. ~W~

    March 7, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Assalamu Alaykom,
    I did not initially want to participate in this discussion, because I know that many will start throwing accusations at me, but knowing that your site is read by many, I wanted to dioscuss some statements, so that the readers have a chance to know another point of view.
    First I would like to discuss your following statement:
    “Lastly on this point, one of the main ayaat used to establish the fact that Allah (swt) will safeguard the Quran from error is, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (15:9). The Arabic word used for message here is dhikr and the scholars have said this refers to both the Quran and the Sunnah, because without the Sunnah the message is incomplete – you simply cannot understand the meaning of the Quran properly without referring to the Sunnah. So there is in fact a promise from Allah for it to be safeguarded.”

    I strongly disagree with this statement.

    FIRST, the word dhikr in 15:9 refers to the Quran.

    Evidence: 1. from the Quran itself
    54:17, 54:22, 54:32, 54:40
    وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

    50:45
    نَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
    38:1
    ص وَالْقُرْآنِ ذِي الذِّكْرِ
    among many other verses.

    2. From Scholars:
    Scholars, past and present, have interpreted the word dhikr to mean the Quran:
    This is from Tafsir Ibn Kathir : “And they say: “O you (Muhammad) to whom the Dhikr (the Qur’an) has been revealed! Verily, you are a madman! “Why do you not bring angels to us if you are of the truthful” We do not send the angels down except with the truth, and in that case, they (the disbelievers) would have no respite!) (9. Verily, We, it is We Who revealed the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’an) and surely We will guard it (from corruption). Ref: http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=15&tid=26836

    I checked out also Tabari, Qortobi and AlJalalin and all these Tafaseer state that the meaning of dhikr in this verse is the Quran.

    Second,
    You wrote “you simply cannot understand the meaning of the Quran properly without referring to the Sunnah.”
    Are you saying that Quran is some kind of a puzzle? How can it be a “guidance” if it was a mystery and difficult to understand?
    Most of the Quran is very clear and self explanatory, including what is halal and what is haram, and exactly how worship Allah. Fasting and Hajj are completely detailed in the Quran. As for prayer, there are many references to the details of prayer as well, but the exact method to pray was transmitted from the Prophet salla Allahu alyaihi wassalm, to us through generation after generation of Muslims.Prayer is a mutawatir act. Almost none of us looked at a Hadith book to know how to pray.

  7. ~W~

    March 7, 2008 at 6:18 PM

    The other statement I disagree with is that we have two revelations.

    God has told us about one revelation, and that is the Quran.

    6:19
    قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادَةً قُلِ اللّهُ شَهِيدٌ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنُ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ
    Say: “What thing is the most great in witness” Say: “Allah is Witness between you and I; this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach….”

    12:3
    نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ
    We relate unto you the best of stories through Our revelations unto you, of this Qur’an

    42:7
    وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَى وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ
    And thus We have revealed to you a Qur’an in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns and all around it, and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling of which there is no doubt, a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire
    So from these verses it is clear that the word wahi is related to Quran.

    In addition, the Prophet alayhi assalatu wassalm, was ordered to recite the Quran in many verses.
    You referred to the verse that mentions reciting the Quran “and” Hikma, and you said that Hikma is the Hadiths. But in Arabic the verse is to recite Quran “wa” Hikma, and here “wa” is not used to mean “and” but rather to mean ” that is” , so Hikma (literally wisdom) here is descriptive of the Quran.

    • p4rv3zkh4n

      January 14, 2015 at 5:51 PM

      “And We did not appoint the Qiblah on which you were earlier but that We might know the people who follow the Messenger as distinct from those who turn back on their heels.” (2:143)
      In this verse, Allah azzawjal attributed the previous command of facing Jerusalem to Himself although that order is not found in the Qurʾān. The order of facing Jerusalem during prayer was given to Muslims by the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wasalam with no references to any verse of the Quran. Still, this order was later mentioned by Allah as His OWN order:
      “We did not appoint…” instead of the words: “The Prophet did not appoint…”
      This verse clearly proves that:
      a. The Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wasalam used to receive some revelation apart from the Qurʾān.
      b. These revelations were from Allah, as Allah azzawjal clearly attributed such command to Himself.
      c. The orders based on such revelation were as compulsory on the Muslims as the other orders in the Quran.

      We know that initially during the stay at Makkah and during first one and a half years at Medina the Muslims used to pray facing Baitul Maqdas (i.e. Jerusalem) and later it was ordained to pray facing the Ka’ba as categorically told in Qur’an 2:144.

      This is solid evidence that the earlier order was given by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on the authority of a revelation which did not form a part of the Qur’an. This is what Hadith is, only another kind of revelation!

  8. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    March 7, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    As salaamu ‘alaykum Asim,

    I don’t have the exact sources with me but you may be familiar with the famous narration in which the Prophet (saw) gave advice on date farming and the advice he (saw) gave did not work out well, and he (saw) mentioned that he was just giving a personal suggestion and that experts in date farming would know better than he about such a thing.

    Second, we know that the Prophet (saw) would always take shura’ as an example for future leaders and occasionally (the examples I know are all military related) he (saw) would end up following others’ advice in preference to his own first opinion.

    It is my understanding that the concept mentioned by Mezba has been used prominently by different faqihs, especially in terms of economic rulings or criminal rulings. Obviously, the Prophet (saw) was the ruler of Madinah and he (saw) had to make all the decisions a ruler would. These were still binding on the companions at the time, but are not necessarily standards for all time.
    For example, if the Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever develops a piece of land that is laying unused then it belongs to him” then future mujtahids from different schools differed over whether this was a rule for all times or whether it was a rule laid down by the Prophet (saw) as the governor of the Islamic territory at the time and therefore not binding for all time.

    This should not be an excuse for laymen to disregard hadith they don’t like, but it is a consideration for qualified mujtahids in deriving fiqh rulings and it has been traditionally.

    In fact, like much of the questions or concerns raised in this and the previous post, these are not really questions of hadith or its authenticity or authority, but questions of usul-fiqh and how all of the different hadith and ayaat are taken together to come up with Islamic rulings (fatawa).

    Allaah knows best.

  9. ~W~

    March 7, 2008 at 6:48 PM

    One more statement,
    “The command to follow the Prophet (saw) comes numerous times in the Quran. We don’t know how to follow him without hadith.”

    Fisrt of all the Quran was not sent down as a book from which people could read, rather it became known to the people through the speech of the Prophet. The disbelievers actually demanded that a book comes down so they can read it, so they will not be dependent on the Messenger for knowing the words of God, or so they will not have to listen to and obey the messenger , but God said the only way to the Quran is through the Prophet as a messenger :
    17:93
    أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَى فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَؤُهُ قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي هَلْ كُنتُ إِلاَّ بَشَرًا رَّسُول
    or thou have a house [made] of gold, or thou ascend to heaven – but nay, we would not [even] believe in thy ascension unless thou bring down to us [from heaven] a writing which we [ourselves] could read!”
    Say thou, [O Prophet:] “Limitless in His glory is my Sustainer!” Am I, then, aught but a mortal man, an apostle?”

    The Prophet lived his life according to the Quran, he was ordered by God to deliver the Quran as a guidance from God to the people. The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wassalm, left the Quran among us so that we know how to follow his path to God.

    25:27- 30
    وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا يَا وَيْلَتَى لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا

    The Day that the wrong-doer will bite at his hands, he will say, “Oh! would that I had taken a (straight) path with the Messenger!”Ah! woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend!”He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!”Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”

  10. Asim

    March 7, 2008 at 7:51 PM

    Jazaak Allah Khair brother Abu Noor!

    Wassalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakaatuh.

  11. Abu Abdurrahman

    March 7, 2008 at 8:50 PM

    Bismillah…

    @mezbah

    I hope I will be excused for keeping this rather short and to the point, as I have a dissertation deadline looming and work and a lesson to prepare for. Briefly though:

    Although may seem semantical to laymen – like us, it is emphatically incorrect and inaccurate to stae that the shariah changes from place to place, time to time. Rather it is fiqh which changes. So the fiqh of certain aspects of the deen may be specific to certain circumstances – how to deal with particular genres of people; what to do when faced with exceptional difficulties in a particular era or under a certain situation…be it ‘Isha salah coming in exceedingly late in the Northern hemisphers of the globe, or application of cetrtain hudood under extinuating circumstances – as was in the case of Umar radiAllahu ‘anhu (what a strange example coming from muslims living in a non-muslim country!) ALL of these are examples of fiqh being at times dependent on the circumstance, and ALL of thes are examples of how the Shariah stays exactly the same and totally unchanged. The Shariah is built and composed of many qawa’id or legal maxims around which it may be said that the ahkam, or physical rulings of the deen revolve. So the ruling is one thing in the shariah – but when placed in a particular situation of unusual strain and difficulty – as judged by qualified scholars and the likes of you and me – thenthe principle of al mushaqqah tajlib al tayseer kicks in And the Difficulty facilitates Ease in the Shariah.

    Secondly, while it is correct to concede that the texts are not ALWAYS taken on their literal meaning – however the prinicple is that ALL texts are to be taken together and understood in light of each other, and the ruling be deduced (istinbat) by those able and qualified in doing so. And the meaning is genrally held on its apparent meaning, unless there be a corrobarating proof to move it from its principle meaning, which of course can be done – but only after a proof is brought for that to be shown to be the case.

    Lastly, I recall reading the point that the ahaadeeth are to be understood in light of the Quran – and that is actually not fully out of line from the truth or the spirit of the deen at all, however it might be equally poignant here to point out, that in reality the sources of legislation as being the Quran and the Sunnah – thus the
    Quran is to be understood in light of the Sunnah, and the sunnah in light of the Quran. Not one to the exclusion of the other. They are an organic whole.

    And Allah knows best.

    Cases of Ijma’ are never overruled by hadeeth or verses of the Quran in terms of their (ijma’s) principle stand point. Ijma’ itself is santioned by the Quran and the Sunnah – if it were not for that – it would not have been a hujjah (decisive legal proof). Qiyas is only performed in matters where there is no existing nass (scritural text) on the matter, and thereby an extenson of the existing rule is made to the susidary due to the strong common ‘illah (rason d’etre) joining the two.

  12. inexplicabletimelessness

    March 7, 2008 at 8:58 PM

    As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    Excellent article mashaAllah! :) Baarak Allahu feek!

    To brother Mezba: You mentioned:

    “However hadith has to be explained in light of Quran, and the spirit of Islam as a whole.”

    Yes, both should be understood hand in hand. But who determines what the “spirit” of Islam is? Do we interpret the “spirit” of Islam to mean western humanist philosophies, do we understand it to mean Arab culture, do we understand it to mean democracy, do we understanding it to mean theocracy, do we understand it to mean dictatorship or fascism?

    The thing is: who would know what the “spirit” of Islam is OTHER THAN the ONE Who revealed the Message itself: Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the Creator of the entire universe, the One Who sent Prophets and Messengers for our guidance.

    Furthermore, Allah the Most High sent our beloved Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wassalam as a role model, example, guide, and teacher for us all. If we truly believe Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wassalam DID NOT speak from his own desires regarding the Deen, we would NEVER see the hadeeth uttered by his mouth to be ‘away from the spirit of Islam.’

    The problem arises when we view the Qur’aan and ahadeeth as mutually exclusive and two different subjects altogether when in fact, their purpose is to guide us to the worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and to be good people on this temporary Earth. The problem comes when we fail to realize that the Qur’an and Sunnah are BOTH divinely inspired.

    And Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala truly knows best.

  13. suhail

    March 7, 2008 at 10:03 PM

    Mezba

    Regarding your point that Umar(RA) abolished the hadd punishment then it is a wrong citation. There are two reasons.

    1) The narration in itself is weak.

    2) The punishment of theft is not amputation everytime. Sometimes it is lashes, sometimes it is decided by the judge as tazir or it is hadd punishment depending on the case. So your using the narration of Umar(RA) of not cutting the hand doesn’t apply to the abrogation of hadd because he didnt abrogate anything but he judged based on the case which is in the bounds of sharia.

    JK
    Suhail

  14. Umm Reem

    March 7, 2008 at 10:29 PM

    I strongly disagree with this statement. FIRST, the word dhikr in 15:9 refers to the Quran.

    As a rule, for any language, one word can have more then one meaning and a word can have different implications as well. We all know that!

    If ‘dhikr’ only means Quran, then what does this mean:
    “So ask people of ‘dhikr’, if you know not” (Nahl:43)

    Does it mean that if we don’t understand anything, then we should run to any hafidh (i.e. people of Quran) for the answer? This will be the case if we restrict the meaning of ‘dhikr’ to Quran alone.

    From Scholars
    “ Therefore, a priori, it cannot be stated that dhikr in, ‘We reveal the ‘dhikr’ and We, verily are its Guardian’, is referring only to the Quran. In fact, it will be argued, in this verse dhikr is either referring to both the Quran and the sunnah or only the sunnah. This is true because it is inconceivable that only the wording of the Quran would be preserved. Preserving the Quran must imply preserving both its wording and meaning. But, as was shown earlier, the meaning of the Quran is captured in the sunnah of the Prophet; that is, its meaning cannot be [understood] without the sunnah. Therefore, in this verse wherein Allah promises to preserve the dhikr, it is possible that He is speaking about both the Quran and the sunnah or just the sunnah by itself. The important point for the discussion here is that the sunnah is definitively included in what Allah has promised to preserve.” [Jamal Zarabozo, Authority of Sunnah, pg. 170]

    Ibn Hazm said, “There is no difference of opinion from anyone among the specialists in language or of the sharee’ah that all of what Allah revealed is [referred to as] the sent down dhikr. And all of the inspiration is preserved with certainty by its preservation by Allah. Anything that Allah preserves with His preservation will not have anything lost from it. Nor will anything ever be distorted of it except that there will appear clear proof showing the falsehood [of that distortion].” [Ibn Hazm, vol. 1, p. 109]

    Logical argument (again from Jamal Zarabozo): “Allah orders Muslims to follow the sunnah of the Prophet. If Allah did not preserve the sunnah, the true sunnah would have been lost and Allah would be ordering Muslims to follow something that they could not possibly follow. This would not be consistent with what is known of the mercy, wisdom, and justice of Allah. Therefore, logically speaking Allah must have preserved the sunnah.”

    Besides, as I presented to the readers before, Allah azzawjal didn’t promise to preserve the Arabic language. So is it possible that, lets say, 100 years from today Arabic language disappears, then what about Quran??!!!

  15. Umm Reem

    March 8, 2008 at 12:12 AM

    Are you saying that Quran is some kind of a puzzle? How can it be a “guidance” if it was a mystery and difficult to understand?

    So, if a new convert opens a Quran, does it become guidance to him/her? Okay, let’s say s/he learns to read It (verbatim) then would it become a guidance for him/her? It is not a mystery or difficult to understand!

    In fact, Allah azzawjal called Quran a guidance for the entire mankind. Mankind include all the humanity right? Then why is it that there are many who have read Quran, cover to cover, yet they refute Islam. Allah azzawjal Himself also said about Quran:

    “…Verily, that which has been sent down to you (Muhammad SAW) from your Lord increases in many of them their obstinate rebellion and disbelief. So be not sorrowful over the people who disbelieve.” (5:68)

    “We have explained (things) in various (ways) in this Qur’an, in order that they may receive admonition, but it only increases their flight (from the Truth)!” (17:41)

    So, it is a “guidance” to those whom Allah chooses to guide, and then it is a guidance when it is read and understood properly with its proper ‘explanation’!

    there are many references to the details of prayer as well, but the exact method to pray was transmitted from the Prophet salla Allahu alyaihi wassalm,

    the details of the prayer are not described anywhere in the Quran, how to start the prayer, when to raise hands, what to read in qiyaam, what to say in ruku’ or sujood, or after sujood, tasleem, none of this is mentioned in Quran and all the details are only taught by Prophet Muhammad sallAllahu alihi wasaalm.

    Where did he learn it from? Did he, sallAllahu alihi wasalm invent it on his own? (iyyadhobillah)

    If not, and if he was told by Allah azzawjal, then that answer your other point:
    The other statement I disagree with is that we have two revelations.

    None of the verse that you quoted, fetter the revelation to Quran alone. No one denies that Quran is a revelation. However, the ayahs quoted in the article, about facing Jerusalem during prayer being obligatory and having intimacy during Ramadan nights, do show that there was revelation being revealed to Prophet, sallAllahu alihi wasalm and didn’t become part of Quran. There are many other verses too that further proves this fact. (please read the recommended books)

    …to us through generation after generation of Muslims.Prayer is a mutawatir act. Almost none of us looked at a Hadith book to know how to pray.

    exactly…the main method of ‘sunnah’ being passed to us is from generation to generation…just like the method of prayer was passed to us, so is the rest of the sunnah. Be it mutawatir or non-mutawatir.
    Almost none of us ever had to open hadith book to know that punishment of the grave is real, or dajjal will appear before the day of judgment etc.

    Whether or not we had to open the hadeeth book for something, cannot be the criteria to know what is acceptable and what is not because for someone who grows up in a very knowledgeable family may never have to open any hadeeth book for even minute issues because s/he may learn it from his parents & grandparents, whereas, someone who educates himself or herself about Islam may have to open up the books of hadeeth to even verify the method of prayer!

  16. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    This discussion is fairly overcomplicated and need not be so.

    So that the argument isn’t circular, let’s just focus on the Qur’aan at this point.

    ~W~, do you concede that two groups of people from the same group / culture can look at the same set of words and come to entirely different conclusions? How about two groups of people from different cultures, or different levels of education? Is this possible?

    Siraaj

  17. Amad

    March 8, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Not to gang up on the sister (?) ~W~, I’d like to know, just as an observer (excuse me for being a bit slow if you have already made this clear):

    (1) Do you consider Hadith to be a source for religion or not AT ALL?

    (2) If the answer to (1) is that you do consider Hadith to be a source for religion, is your issue with hadith based on the mutawatir vs. ahad issue, is it based on accepting hadith only when it is consistent with aql, or what?

    Knowing where you are coming from will allow others (not me because I am not knowledgeable in this subject) to properly discuss the matter with you inshallah.

    w/s

  18. Abu Abdurrahman

    March 8, 2008 at 4:50 AM

    “as judged by qualified scholars and the likes of you and me – thenthe principle of al mushaqqah tajlib al tayseer kicks in And the Difficulty facilitates Ease in the Shariah.” It should in fact be “judged by scholars – and NOT the likes of you and me (unless there are no scholars at all present to validate the condition as being a mushaqqah [extreme difficulty]”

    The NOT was missing

    Apologies

    wassalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah

  19. me

    March 8, 2008 at 4:51 AM

    man im so confused now..i had no problems in believing hadith..infact anything rcorded by imam bukhari in his book of hadith as authentic…now im having so many dooubtss….next time i see a hadith..ill question to myself whether is it 100% authentic..thanks to this hadith discussion…daamn!!!!!!!!!!:( i mean even in these comments..sumone mentioned how umar bin khattab RA didnt apply the hadd punishment for stealing..but then sumone said hey thats a weak narration..WTH man??
    im not a scholar…im just a lay person..like majority of the muslims..how the heck r we supposed to kno anything??immm sooo confused now man..what do i do?!?!

  20. me

    March 8, 2008 at 4:59 AM

    u kno what seriously…i hate all of u who contributed towards my confusion…!!!!!

  21. ~W~

    March 8, 2008 at 5:19 AM

    Assalmau Alikom,
    I consider Mutawatir Sunnah (Hadiths and Acts) to be a source of Religion. I accept Hadiths that are consistent with the Quran. I do not place Sahih Al Bukhari at the same level of the Quran.

    I do not intend to go into lengthy discussions of on this post, I just wanted to draw attention to a different point of view. I did not comment on the first post, but when I read , on this post, the answer to the question
    “But the Hadith cannot abrogate Quran?” I felt I had to write to this forum.
    In my opinion, taken from the opinion of many scholars, the answer is a clear “No”. Instead this post gave a vague answer, as if to imply that a Hadith can cancel out a Quran verse or has more authority.

    Lastly, I would also like to point out that the post has implied that Quran and Hadith documentation are the same. But this is not the case. The Quran was written down under the supervision of Rasool Allah himself, and was then collected in one book by Abu Baker, while the men who memorized it directly from Rasool Allah were still alive.
    Ahad Hadiths (that make up the great majority of Hadiths by the way) were not collected during the rule of the rightly guided Caliphs , but much later (around 200 years later), totally depending on a chain of oral narration whose members were dead except for the last one or two narrators. So you have a stark difference in authenticity of Quran vs Hadiths.

    PS I am a woman.

  22. WM

    March 8, 2008 at 7:06 AM

    “Ahad Hadiths (that make up the great majority of Hadiths by the way) were not collected during the rule of the rightly guided Caliphs , but much later (around 200 years later), totally depending on a chain of oral narration whose members were dead except for the last one or two narrators. So you have a stark difference in authenticity of Quran vs Hadiths.”

    In that case ignorance is the problem. You think Bukhari compiled his sahih out of thin air. You can’t even tell us what the difference is between an ahad and a mutawatir hadith. At what point does a hadith become mutawatir?

  23. WM

    March 8, 2008 at 7:27 AM

    “Ahad Hadiths…[began to be] collected around 200 years later”

    100% bona fide rubbish. And also double-standards; ahad ahadith were collected at the same time as the mutawatir ones.

    “totally depending on a chain of oral narration whose members were dead except for the last one or two narrators.”

    Almost exactly like the Qur’an, basically.

    What these posts should do is inspire a new generation of brothers/sisters to study hadith!

  24. Charles

    March 8, 2008 at 7:59 AM

    “as judged by qualified scholars and the likes of you and me – thenthe principle of al mushaqqah tajlib al tayseer kicks in And the Difficulty facilitates Ease in the Shariah.” It should in fact be “judged by scholars – and NOT the likes of you and me (unless there are no scholars at all present to validate the condition as being a mushaqqah [extreme difficulty]”

    Such a position is no different from the Catholic Church in which the pope and the priests are the arbiters of what is true. In effect, this position creates a clergy of scholars.

    Another perspective to consider is something called “The Wisdom of Crowds,” a book by James Surowiecki, in which he recounts a study by Galton in which around 800 people, including butchers and non-butchers, guessed the weight of an ox. You would think that the butchers would be the most expert at guessing the weight, but it turns out that averaging the guesses of all was the best, coming to within a pound of the actual weight. For crowds to work well in arriving at an answer, they must have diversity of opinion, independence of opinion, be decentralized, and have a way of aggregating the answer. That last factor might be a problem in Islamic studies, but even so, “The Wisdom of Crowds” shows that under the right circumstances a collective wisdom that includes scholars and non-scholars is wiser than that of scholars alone. And it also shows the problem of relying only upon scholars (and others) who accept only particular schools of thought.

  25. Joyhamza

    March 8, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    salaam alaikum,

    to brothers and sisters at muslimmatters.org: I believe insha’Allah you have done enough to make your points and this debate should stop here as it is now diluting things a lot and people of knowledge and people of otherwise are getting mixed up.

  26. brnaeem

    March 8, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    AA-

    I’m afraid you really need to revisit your interpretation of the ayat (Hijr:9) where you take Dhikr to reference Hadith, in complete contradiction to the established traditional tafseers, that understand it as the Quran.

    Using Zarabozo in contrast to Ibn Kathir and Jalalayn (you can add Ibn Ashur to the list as well, I just checked his tafseer and he makes no mention of hadith wrt to this ayah) makes for a very weak argument.

    Also, I’d be interested in everyone’s thoughts on Amin Islahi’s work on hadith science where he bases his thoughts off Khatib Baghdadi’s classical work Al-kifayah fi Ilm Riwayah. He comes up with some very interesting conclusions while regularly quoting Bghdadi’s work.

  27. Joyhamza

    March 8, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    I got the following quote of Shaykh ibn Hazm in shaykh Jamaal’s book which seemed very much hitting the nails. Let me quote from the book:
    …………………………………………………………………

    In fact, the strongest view is that dhikr in, “We reveal the reminder (Ar., al-dhikr) and We, verily, are its guardians” (al-Hijr 9), is referring to Allah’s promise to preserve both the Quran and sunnah. On this point, ibn Hazm noted,

    “There is no difference of opinion from anyone among the specialists in language or of the shareeah that all of what Allah revealed is [referred to as] the sent-down dhikr. And all of the inspiration is preserved with certainty by its preservation by Allah. Anything that Allah preserves with His preservation will not have anything lost from it. Nor will anything ever be distorted of it except that there will appear clear proof showing the falsehood [of that distortion].
    ……………………………………………………………

    [The Authority and Importance of Sunnah : Pg: 170-171]

  28. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 11:58 AM

    Salaam alaykum,

    So ~W~, your methodology is as follows:

    1. Tawaatur narrations are acceptable.
    2. Narrations which are “consistent” with the Qur’aan are acceptable.

    My questions:

    1. What does it mean when you say a narration is “consistent” with the Qur’aan? Can you give an example of a narration that is inconsistent with the Qur’aan, in your view?

    2. What is your view on mutawaatir ahadeeth which are “inconsistent” with the Qur’aan (by your definition of consistency).

    3. As per criterion #2 of your methodology, do you accept Ahaad narrations which are “consistent” (in your view) with the Qur’aan?

    Siraaj

  29. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    “Using Zarabozo in contrast to Ibn Kathir and Jalalayn (you can add Ibn Ashur to the list as well, I just checked his tafseer and he makes no mention of hadith wrt to this ayah) makes for a very weak argument.”

    Actually, argument by authority makes for a very weak argument.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist :)

    Siraaj

  30. Umm Reem

    March 8, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    “Using Zarabozo in contrast to Ibn Kathir…”

    What is amazing to me is that Ibn Kathir is being referred here, and the fact that his entire tafseer is BASED on ahadeeth is being ignored.

    Why in the world, would he base his entire tafseer on ahadeeth, had he not believed them to be an ‘authority’…think!!!

    Secondly, I have asked those who are fettering the meaning of ‘dhikr’ to Quran alone, need to explain to me two things (see my previous comments):

    a. Is there a possibility that Arabic language can disappear in future?
    b. Can I go to any ‘hafidh’, if and when I don’t understand something about Islam.

    Without these answered, there is no point in keep going in circles.
    wAllahu ta’ala ‘alam

  31. Amad

    March 8, 2008 at 1:08 PM

    I’d like to see the detractors answer the questions posed by Siraj and UmmReem, and also like to hear about the response to the apparent contradiction in relying upon Ibn Kathir, which is FULL of ahadith (yes both Ahad AND Mutawatir).

    Interestingly, the questions posed are not being answered but more doubts cut and pasted.

    “Me”: be patient. The attacks on hadith didn’t start yesterday… they have been going on since the time of the Jahmi from early Islam. And these attacks are the MOST dangerous and most lethal way to destroy the deen, UNLESS of course if not corrected by knowledge and FACTS. As I said before, if you give up authority of sunnah to Logic FIRST and the “acceptable” mutawatir hadith SECOND, you can pretty much come to WHATEVER ruling you want. And that is what the enemies of Ahl Sunnah Wal Jamaah want. And we know that the successful firqah (sect) will be the Ahl Sunnah Wal Jamaah inshallah. If we didn’t allow this forum for discussion, these doubts would be disseminated (as they already are) at other forums and blogs to the unsuspecting minds. We will succeed inshallah, the Ahl Sunnah always have.

    w.s

  32. brnaeem

    March 8, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    AA- All,

    Whoah, hang on a sec here people. Who said I was attacking hadith? Kindly re-read my last comment.

    I am simply stating that you really aren’t helping your argument by using such a dubious interpretation (Dhikr=hadith) that is only backed by Zarabozo/Ibn Hazm.

    Secondly, when I first stated that Ahad and Mutawatir are different, it was in response to Br. Amad’s statement that the Quran and Hadith are considered equally authentic.

    Surely, you acknowledge that the Quran and Mutawatir hadith are on a different level of authenticity than Ahad hadith, right?

    Shouldn’t we keep that distinction in mind when discussing authenticity?

  33. Amad

    March 8, 2008 at 2:05 PM

    Brnaeem, I wasn’t referring to you in my comment.

  34. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    Umm Reem and Amad,

    To be fair to the one arguing against Umm Reem, her point about ibn kathir using ahadeeth is not relevant to what the reference of brNa’eem – his point is that ibn kathir, who is using ahaad and mutawaatir hadeeth (and a criterion you agree with) does not come to the same conclusion you are in defining dhikr to mean “hadeeth”.

    This is why I pointed out the weakness in his argument – he’s arguing by authority to make his point, ie my authority is better than yours, therefore my argument is better than yours, which is, of course, a fallacy.

    Secondly, even if one were to concede that “dhikr” can have multiple meanings, that doesn’t prove that the meaning you’ve ascribed to it is one of them. Therefore, your argument is better served if it can show that the meaning you are giving to “dhikr” is one of those meanings (I would be happy to help with that, if you like).

    Thirdly, even if you proved that dhikr refers to the sunnah, you are answering one group of people – those who reject the Qur’aan outright. It doesn’t address people who accept and reject hadeeth based on a different set of parameters than you do, such as sister ~W~

    Just so everyone is clear here, I’m 100% on the side of Umm Reem et al, all I’m calling for is a bit more intellectual rigor behind our arguments so that insha’Allah, the points that are brought forward are strong and conclusive, rather than what they’ve been thus far.

    Siraaj

  35. Amad

    March 8, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Go ahead Siraj… You can add your help. :)

  36. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 3:46 PM

    Alright, firstly, let’s be clear about the terms used – Sunnah and Hadeeth have been used interchangably in this discussion, and that’s a mistake. A person may say, “I believe we have to obey the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim (his Sunnah), but I don’t believe his Sunnah has been preserved well (collecting of hadeeth).”

    Umm Reem’s statement was as follows:
    “Lastly on this point, one of the main ayaat used to establish the fact that Allah (swt) will safeguard the Quran from error is, “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (15:9). The Arabic word used for message here is dhikr and the scholars have said this refers to both the Quran and the Sunnah, because without the Sunnah the message is incomplete – you simply cannot understand the meaning of the Quran properly without referring to the Sunnah. So there is in fact a promise from Allah for it to be safeguarded.”

    I honestly would not have used this ayaah for a proof because it requires some thought to arrive at the conclusion that the Sunnah has indeed been protected. If we go Umm Reem’s route, then one has to prove that dhikr means both the Qur’aan and the Sunnah is protected, and dhikr may refer to the Sunnah as well, but I personally cannot be 100% sure of that, and I think that this has been brought up by others.

    However, that doesn’t mean this ayaah can’t be used to prove that the Sunnah is preserved, it just requires more thought, and Umm Reem’s conclusion is a result of that thought – if we assume “dhikr” only refers to the Qur’aan, the next sentence relates to its preservation.

    Does the preservation of the Qur’aan only relate to the words? Or does it also relate to the meaning of the words? Is the Qur’aan, as some say, “easy”, thus requiring no explanation (ie, anyone can understand it)?

    The answer is no, it does need explanation, and Allah subhaana wa ta’aala makes this clear to us in Suraat an-Nahl, verse 44:

    “…and we have also sent down unto You (O Muhammad ) the Reminder and the advice, that You may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.”

    If the men who understood the Arabic and context of revelation, if the best generation (the sahaba) needed the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim to “explain clearly” both the reminder AND “the advice” (both of which were “sent down” to Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim), then clearly, we need that explanation even more, 1400 years later.

    Therefore, both the words and the explanation of the Qur’aan by Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim are REVELATION (both are sent down), and both the words of the Qur’aan, and the explanation of the Qur’aan by Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim must necessarily be protected in order for it to BE a means of guidance (which is the point of the revelation, to guide people to what is good).

    And, by the way, that ayaah from nahl can be used to say, see, dhikr only refers to the Qur’aan (and if they did, they’d shoot themselves in the foot, because then, what’s “the advice”, and what’s all this about explaining both to them?).

    Personally, I would have preferred to use an ayaah such as al-Jumu’ah:2

    “He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them his verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book, and Al-Hikmah. and Verily, they had been before In mainfest error;”

    Very nice ayaah – not only is Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim “reciting to them his verses”, he’s also “teaching them the Book” and “Al-Hikmah”. Reciting and teaching the book, and teaching al-Hikmah. What’s is al-Hikmah, I wonder?

    But wait, is this “Al-Hikmah” thing revelation? Doesn’t seem clear from the ayaah above, so maybe it’s not preserved. Doubt not, and read al-Baqarah:231:

    …”and treat not the Verses of Allâh as a jest, but Remember Allâh’s Favours on You, and that which He has sent down to You of the Book and Al-Hikmah, whereby He instructs you.”

    Here, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala clearly states HE is the one who sent down both the Book AND Al-Hikmah, therefore Al-Hikmah IS revelation. To claim that it was not preserved would be tantamount to claiming some sort of legislation which Muslims are supposed to follow or understand was lost.

    If what I’ve written isn’t clear, or there are gaping wide holes in what I’ve stated and/or concluded, please feel free to point it out so that I do a better job reasoning and explaining, insha’Allah.

    Jazakallaah khayr for reading all this :)

    Siraaj

  37. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    Third paragraph should say, “…both the Qur’aan AND the Sunnah, and dhikr may refer to…”

  38. Umm Rumaysah

    March 8, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    As salaam ‘alaykum,

    Perhaps this link can shed some light on the discussion

    Uloom al Hadith- Status and Authority of the Sunnah in Islam by Navaid Aziz

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6605793443213165751&hl=en

  39. ~W~

    March 8, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Assalamu Alaikom Siraag,
    To answer your questions
    1. What does it mean when you say a narration is “consistent” with the Qur’aan? Can you give an example of a narration that is inconsistent with the Qur’aan, in your view?

    I mean it contradicts verses in the Quran.
    example:
    Bukhari Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17:
    Narrated ‘Abdullah:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”

    Quran:
    5:54 “O you who have attained to faith! If you ever abandon your faith,”” God will in time bring forth [in your stead] people whom He loves and who love Him – humble towards the believers, proud towards all who deny the truth: [people] who strive hard in God’s cause, and do not fear to be censured by anyone who might censure them: such is God’s favour, which He grants unto whom He wills. And God is infinite, all-knowing.”

    2:256 “There shall be no compulsion in religion …”

    24:2 The woman and the man guilty of fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.

    2. What is your view on mutawaatir ahadeeth which are “inconsistent” with the Qur’aan (by your definition of consistency).

    There are none.

    3.3. As per criterion #2 of your methodology, do you accept Ahaad narrations which are “consistent” (in your view) with the Qur’aan?
    If they repeat what’s in the Quran, then they are redundant.
    I prefer to follow “Ahsan Alhadith”.

  40. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 4:57 PM

    So now, let’s assume you believe the Sunnah is preserved, but you’re not so sure about the books of hadeeth themselves – did the collectors do a good job? Did they label as strong ahadeeth that were in fact weak or baseless?

    There are two points from which, the majority of time, we hear about defects, one of which is in the chain (isnaad), the other of which is in the text itself (matn).

    Regarding the chain of narrators, we know that in order for a hadeeth to be acceptable, we must, at a minimum, have narrators that are both upright, practicing Muslims as well as known for protecting narrations well (with strong memory, and/or writing it down, etc).

    If is established that a hadeeth has been transmitted by people considered upright and reliable in terms of memory / recording, then the burden of proof actually falls on the one calling the hadeeth weak, and not the opposite. Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says in the Qur’aan:

    “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins.”

    Those Muslims from 1200 – 1300 years ago are our brothers and sisters in Islam – in order for us to suspect them, we need to prove that there is a reason to suspect them. If there is no reason to suspect either their character, the way they acquired, recorded, and / or transmitted the hadeeth, then it should be accepted, unless there is proof in any of that to conclude otherwise – you are innocent until proven guilty.

    Likewise with the text – to doubt what is transmitted again needs proof, showing if some or all of the text has problems, all other factors considered equal.

    So my point is, in order to say this hadeeth is bad, or that one is bad, the one claiming a hadeeth is bad needs to do so by showing why it is bad, since the default is to trust trustworthy people and not doubt them unless we have cause to do so.

    Siraaj

  41. ~W~

    March 8, 2008 at 5:03 PM

    The above comment was my last contribution to this discussion. As I stated before, I just wanted the readers to have a chance to know another point of view.
    I would like to thank all contributors for keeping this exchange of ideas civil.

    Wassalmu Alaikom

  42. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 6:11 PM

    Walaykum as salaam sister ~W~,

    Jazakallaah khayr for your response. Your problem appears to be with the concept of abrogation. My response is as follows:

    Regarding the Sunnah, I have 2 base assumptions at play:

    1. Allah subhaana wa ta’aala can abrogate His own legislation.

    “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?” [2:106]

    2. Both the Book (the Qur’aan) and the Hikmah (The Sunnah) of the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallim is Revelation from Allah subhaana wa ta’aala.

    “He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them his verses, purifying them, and teaching them the Book, and Al-Hikmah. and Verily, they had been before In mainfest error.” [al-Jumu’ah:2]

    “…and treat not the Verses of Allâh as a jest, but Remember Allâh’s Favours on You, and that which He has sent down to You of the Book and Al-Hikmah, whereby He instructs you.” [al-Baqarah:231]

    If the Sunnah (al-Hikmah) is just one form of legislation from Allah subhaana wa ta’aala, then it is conceivable that Allah subhaana wa ta’aala abrogates His own legislation in the Qur’aan through His own legislation in the Sunnah (as both are established as revelation).

    The same goes for the concept of qualification – some parts of revelation are general, and some are specific. For example, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says:

    “Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the Fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: That they may celebrate His praise.” [2:221]

    but later, Allah subhaana wa ta’aala partially abrogates and makes a qualification:

    “(Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture before your time, when you have given their due Mahr, desiring chastity not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girl-friends. And whosoever disbelieves in the Oneness of Allah and in all the other Articles of Faith, then fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers.” [5:5]

    So again, it is possible for Allah subhaana wa ta’aala to both abrogate (the case of the adulterer) and / or qualify (apostasy) one type of revelation with another type of revelation. It’s entirely up to Him to decide how He wants to do it.

    Siraaj

  43. Siraaj

    March 8, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    “Such a position is no different from the Catholic Church in which the pope and the priests are the arbiters of what is true. In effect, this position creates a clergy of scholars.”

    Not a valid response – the Catholic Church’s priests believe they have a divine connection with God and speak on His behalf, the pope going as far as to abrogate law himself.

    What you were trying to refute would be likened to visiting a doctor if you were sick, or a mechanic if your car broke down. The call was for academically qualified individuals to sift through the information and make educated judgement calls, not laypeople. Would you let any random joe shmoe perform surgery on your body?

    Siraaj

  44. Nazia

    March 8, 2008 at 7:00 PM

    If someone believes in the Quran and mutawaatir ahadeeth, then wouldn’t it compel us to follow ahad ahadeeth as well because it has come to us through Quran and mutawaatir to follow the Sunnah?

    Especially since the hadeeth scholars of the past have developed such a thorough and rigorous system to verify their authenticity?

  45. Nazia

    March 8, 2008 at 7:07 PM

    The answer is no, it does need explanation, and Allah subhaana wa ta’aala makes this clear to us in Suraat an-Nahl, verse 44:

    “…and we have also sent down unto You (O Muhammad ) the Reminder and the advice, that You may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.”

    Br. Siraaj,

    I think the point you made only makes sense if you use Muhsin Khan’s translation. In Saheeh International, it translates “dhikr” as “Message” instead of “the Reminder and the advice”, so then you’d be back to UmmReem’s argument of proving “dhikr” means both.

  46. amad

    March 8, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    ASA,
    A few of my general thoughts:

    1) While neither “side” has muhaditheen among their ranks, it is quite obvious that those bringing up doubts about hadith have demonstrated very little knowledge about the science of hadith itself.

    2) Those who are sincere to their deen (as Br. Charles demonstrated) have used this post as a spring-board in making a commitment to increase their knowledge of this matter via the books recommended. This can only allow for more intelligent and factual decisions and discussions. I hope all the detractors take the opportunity to learn. If indeed our aql is so strong, then it cannot hurt can it??

    3) I am nearly certain that those who have raised doubts don’t even understand the basic, let alone technical differences between ahad and mutawatir. The proof is in the pudding (comments) for unbiased individuals.

    4) No evidence has been provided why mutawatir should be taken over ahad? The SAME men who were in the ahad chain were also in the mutawatir chain. If you reject a sound ahad chain, as Br. Siraj mentioned, what are you saying about the rijaal in this? And if you reject these rijaal (men) as not being reliable, then how can you put many unreliable rijaal to accept mutawatir? In any case, my point in raising this is not to argue on this specific issue, but to provide a simple example of the many inconsistencies and contradictions in accepting one form of narration to the other. That is why most people who have jumped on the mutawatir train have eventually jumped off the hadith train altogether.

    (5) I promise you, all those who are affected by this misunderstanding of the deen, that you will eventually leave all hadith.

    In the end, I remind you again that safety is in what the Ummah has pretty much agreed upon, all the 4 Imams, and all the great scholars that came after that have taken (including the ahl-rayee and the ahl-hadith, the asharis, the atharis, etc.)… it cannot be that the Ummah messed up, and it took over a 1000 years for laymen today to figure it out! That just doesn’t make sense. Just like we are SO careful about our health (looking for the best doctors possible), we should be even MORE concerned about our Islamic health, relying on the EXPERTS, not the untrained Joe or Moe. So lets jump back on the ahl-sunnah train!

    Pls excuse me for the length of the comment.

    w/s

    P.S. Inshallah we will have a post on mutawatir and ahad in the future, summarizing some points of benefit and knowledge in lay terms. Not to make us scholars but to be able to see right through the doubts.

  47. Abu Abdurrahman

    March 8, 2008 at 9:13 PM

    Bismillah..

    Amad bhai’s last comment kind of summed it all together I guess.

    I’m sure this point must have been made several times during this discourse already..but let us assume that the meaning of Dhikr in the ayah in surh al Nahl is the Quran. I say to you “agreed!” But bring me the proof (or even the saying a credible people scholars of the classical age) to say that we’re restricting the meaning solely to the Qur’an’s wording in exclusion to the meaning of the Qur’an.

    There are loads of other points that could be made, but perhaps it’s better to be left here, or at least that I leave it to our experts.

    Wallahu a’alam.

    Ps @ Charles – there is a big difference between the example given that can be found within the Catholic community and that of the case mentioned above:

    (i) as can be seen historically, the ‘scholars’ amongst the people of the book, generally speaking, were the ones that allowed interpolation to occur in their scriptures and in fact choreographed them. The Quran censures them for doing that. On the other hand Both the Quran and the Prophetic traditions inform us that the exact opposite is and will be the case of this ummah (nation) in general: the ulema’ will and are the best of this ummah; whereas the ‘ulema’ of previous nations were at times amongst the worst.

    (ii) the institution of the layman having to rely on people of knowledge is something sanctioned within the Quran itself (and the sunnah likewise). A better example than that of a butcher and non-butchers would perhaps be that of a lawyer (who has no acquaintance with cognitive sciences) and a brain surgeon – could the two take each other’s roles? What would happen if a lawyer went into the operating theater and picked up the scalpel thinking he would have a go at it? And what are the chances of the Doc (with no experience of courtroom dealings) defending someone in a court of law? The idea is to get oneself out of the situation of this dependence if when (and if) one can. But that will not be an obligation on everybody, as God charges not any soul with more than they are able.

    And Allah knows best

  48. Siraaj Muhammad

    March 8, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    Salaam alaykum Nazia,

    Good call, that is correct =) However, given that, you’re still left with a bit of an instability – although the Sunnah is revelation sent down, one can be specific and differentiate one type of revelation from another, and I don’t feel yet (perhaps there’s evidence elsewhere) that would show it means both the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

    In any event, follow the evidences below, and I think those will make for a stronger argument, rather than trying to prove dhikr means both. To make the point a bit more clearly, what happens in Nahl if you change dhikr to “Qur’aan” – does the sentence remain true? It does. That’s why, it’s not certain to others that it means both. Not that it has to – there’s ample evidence everywhere else that guarantees that both are sent down as revelation, not just the Qur’aan.

    Siraaj

  49. Charles

    March 8, 2008 at 10:58 PM

    Thanks for the responses. I have received the two books and will read them–not quickly. I’ll need to think about what’s being said. One thing I’m curious about, however, is in the book “The Authority of Sunnah.” Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani states that the mutawatir in words are only “very few in number” (page 81) while mutawatir in meaning are many.

    Why is that? That is, the words of the Quran have been preserved. Why not the words of hadith? The only answer I could think of is that different sources started with different words on the same events or the same concepts. But, somehow I would have felt more comfortable if the words, like in the Quran, had been preserved so that all the transmissions on a particular event or concept had the same words. Perhaps all that can be said is that’s the way it is, but still, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

  50. brnaeem

    March 9, 2008 at 3:25 AM

    AA- Amad,

    “3) I am nearly certain that those who have raised doubts don’t even understand the basic, let alone technical differences between ahad and mutawatir…
    4) No evidence has been provided why mutawatir should be taken over ahad? ”

    I initially brought up this distinction and I have yet to get a satisfactory answer from anyone. Your comment can lead one to believe that there is no difference between the two types of hadith. That simply isn’t the case.

    For starters, the mutawatir hadith provides a qati proof while the khabar wahid hadith is zanni proof (at least that is the case in Hanafi Usul, can’t speak for the others). It seems that your methodology would do away with these types of distinctions and that is betraying the tradition we all adhere to.

    As a point of clarification, my doubt (and even that of others like Sumera and Organic from the first post, as I understood them) is not with the *institution* of hadith. I unequivocally accept Hadith/Sunna as part of the Usul of our religion. My problem is with the elevating of the hadith to a status that is unfounded in our tradition.

    Your usage of Dhikr to mean Hadith is but one example of going against centuries of accepted understanding. (Siraaj, I don’t agree that my argument is based on ‘my authority vs your authority’ – there is an overwhelming majority that supports one interpretation vs the lone Ibn Hazm – the same Ibn Hazm whose methodology has been documented to go against mainstream Ahl-Sunnah, eg. he claimed the permissibility of female prophets)

    “all the great scholars that came after that have taken (including the ahl-rayee and the ahl-hadith, the asharis, the atharis, etc.)”

    Interesting that you bring up the Ahl-Ra’y. Do you know what their stance was wrt to ahad hadith? Abu Hanifa and his followers actually gave precedence to other sources (such as general principles) over ahad hadith.

    But I think this may be getting way over our heads as Amad correctly mentioned none of us are hadith scholars.

    I’m just trying to clarify one point – that doubt when it comes to individual hadith is a reality that Ulema have always acknowledged and taken into due consideration when deducing rulings. To think otherwise is simply wrong.

  51. Charles

    March 9, 2008 at 8:45 AM

    Another question: It’s my understanding that the Quran is considered revelation only when it’s in the original Arabic. All translations are not considered to be the Quran or revelation. Rather, by their very nature of being a translation, they are interpretations of the Quran. If that’s accepted, how can mutawatir in meaning be considered revelation? Are they not interpretations of the Prophet’s sunnah?

  52. Nafees

    March 9, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    I started to write a short post but it soon became long, sorry for the length…

    In the Name of Allah Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

    Let us go back to the basics…

    1. Why do we believe in Allah?

    We believe in Allah because we have found His existence as described in the Qur’an undeniable, completely natural, and, utterly rational:

    “In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are Signs for people of intellect: those who remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You did not create this for nothing. Glory be to You! So guard us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Al-Imran 3:190-191)

    2. Why do we believe in the Qur’an?

    The Qur’an is word of Allah, it is manifest miracle in and of itself, it does not need third party corroboration or a science to determine its validity because we determine its truth simply by reading it. This is a truth that no Muslim can argue with this fact. Allah himself promised the validity of the Qur’an:

    “We have sent down the Reminder, and We will preserve it” (Al-Hijr 15: 9)

    3. How was the Qur’an revealed?

    The Qur’an tells us itself in many places, that it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw):

    “… Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets.” (Al-Ahzab 33: 40)

    “Those are Allah’s Signs which We recite to you with truth. You are indeed one of the Messengers”.(Al-Baqarah 2:252)

    4. What does the Qur’an say about the Prophet Muhammad (saw)?

    It states clearly that we cannot be Muslims without following Muhammad (saw):

    “Whoso obeys the Messenger obeys Allah” (An-Nisaa’ 4:80).

    “So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believeth in Allah and in His words and follow him that haply ye may be led aright” (Al-A’raf 7:158)

    “Whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, where such will dwell for ever. That will be the great success” (An-Nisaa 4:13).

    “Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you” (Al-Imran 3:52).

    5. How can we obey the Prophet Muhammad (saw)?

    By following his example and acting upon his teachings. If the Qur’an was the complete guidance in and of itself, then why would Allah asks us to obey Prophet Muhammad (saw). In fact the Prophet’s (saw) example and teachings are the manifestation of Allah’s revelation as related to the actions of man. The Qur’an is the Allah’s advice to mankind, the example of the Prophet (saw) is this Allah’s advice acted upon. Allah made the Prophet (saw) an ideal human to emulate and copy, we need the Prophet’s (saw) example and guidance to know how to put what the Qur’an says in practise in our own lives. When Aishah, the Prophet’s wife, was asked about his manners, she said:

    “His manners were the Qur’an.” “He was a Qur’an walking on earth” (Ahmad).

    6. How do we know of Prophet’s example and teachings?

    Through the observations of his companions. Initially these companions related these observations through to others by oral tradition. The Arabs of the time placed a great emphasis on tradition without corruption, more so than those in western cultures. However to ensure that even the oral tradition was not corrupted, early Muslims would always relate from who they heard a specific saying or action (hadith) from, thereby forming a chain of narration (isnad) tracing all the way back to the Prophet’s original statement. The science of this practise was later codified and documented within the first two centuries of Islam by Muslim scholars. There is not a single personality in history that we can reliably determine what they said and did more so than the Prophet Muhammad (saw). So advanced is this science of hadith, that even today, modern wested historians can still cannot compete with the almost unbelievable degree to which the early Muslims scholars placed on determining the authenticity of hadith

    Not all reported sayings of the Prophet were true, some were not as reliable as others. The early Muslim scholars classified each hadith according its authenticity and then further developed of a science to determine the reliability of the isnad. Different scholars held different standards in terms of classifying authenticity, but all Sunni scholars agree that amongst the most authentic and authoritative books of hadith are Bukhari and Muslim (although authentic hadith can be found in other collections as well).

    7. If different hadith scholars had different standards, and we know that hadith can be of varying authenticity how does a layperson determine which hadith is authentic and which is not?

    A layperson cannot very the authenticity of hadith him or herself. The reason for this is that because of their inadequate knowledge of the Islam and sciences of hadith, a layperson will to tend to accept or reject those hadith that would conform to his natural inclinations rather than an objective standard of a scholar.

    The above statement at the crux of the issue being discussed: if lay people like ourselves found every hadith we read in conformance to our current worldview then we would never dispute the authenticity of hadith!

    As such only the scholars of hadith can dispute authenticity of such and such hadith, this because they have trained to be objective and are well versed in the sciences of classification and authentication.

    8. But what is a person to do if he or she finds a authentic hadith that does not confirm to his understand of Islam or his current worldview?

    Talk to a trusted scholar about your concern, if his or her answer is not acceptable then look into yourself: you have accepted the core principles of Islam, the truth of Allah, the Qur’an, the great character of our Prophet Muhammad – now if there is a some hadith you find uncomfortable then recognise the limits of your understanding, we cannot possible know everything, and often things that we do not understand makes us feel uncomfortable; this does not necessarily mean a hadith is wrong, it could be we do not have the knowledge and experience yet to understand the it yet:

    “…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah 2:216)

    TO SUMMARISE:

    To be a Muslim you must follow both Allah and His Prophet’s example (hadith). The Qur’an and the hadith are complementary, each explaining each other. The early scholars of Islam identified the most authentic hadith using an unparalleled method of verification. Amongst best hadith collections are Bukhari and Muslim. The authenticity of an hadith can only be determined by a scholar. If you reject Hadith you reject Islam, as obeying the Prophet’s command is also obeying Allah.

    Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, “All my nation will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” The Companions asked, “Who dare to refuse, O Prophet?” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise; and whoever disobeys me is showing refusal” (Al-Bukhari).

    Allah Knows Best.

  53. Manas Shaikh

    March 9, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    I have have nothing to say on the issue except that the hostility that I see here- and the contempt for other’s opinion- pains me.

    Please remember that Allah (SWT) asked us not to be proud and think low of other group of Muslims. Because the other group may be better in Allah’s eyes.

    I am very sorry if I hurt anyone, but please keep Allah’s and His prophet’s gentleness in mind while conversing.

  54. Amad

    March 9, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Manas, which hostility and contempt? Feel free to email me if you find a particular comment or part of comment that bothers you. You know how to reach me.

    Br. Charles, here is something Sh. Haytham sent me with regards to your question:

    Charles does not seem to have a correct understanding of Mutawaatir in meaning.

    Mutawaatir in meaning is not an interpretation if the Prophet ASWS’s Sunnah.
    It is that a particular meaning is repeated so frequently in the Sunnah that it becomes undoubted. Even though each individual hadeeth which brings it forth is not Mutawaatir.

    For example, “Islam encourages cleanliness” is a Mutawaatir meaning in the Sunnah. There is no Muatwaatir Hadeeth which says: Islam encourages cleanliness. But when we look at the Sunnah as a whole, we find this meaning repeated over and over.
    This is the understanding of Imam AlKhateeb alBaghdaady, the first scholar from Ahlussunnah to introduce the concept of Tawaatur into Ilmul of Hadeeth, may Allah SWT forgive him.

  55. Amad

    March 9, 2008 at 3:51 PM

    salam

    Everyone should read Nafees’s lengthy comment.

    Br. Naeem, a few more questions for you (and jazakallahkhair for keeping up your respectfulness in all of this):

    1) Do you agree that the 4 Imams did not make a distinction between Ahaad and Mutawatir in that they both warrant belief and action? If not, please provide evidence.

    2) If your answer is yes to (1), then do you believe it is fruitful to bring up the technical issues of differentiation between the two types of hadith on a public forum to drive a wedge of doubt between the two? I am not saying you are or that this is your intention, but what then is the intended consequence?

    3) I mean it is one thing for scholars to discuss what the implications of these technicalities could be on a ruling or two, but don’t you feel that the average layman is not in a position to reject hadith based on what is mutawatir or not? Think about it. Next time a scholar issues a ruling on a certain thing, should we be asking/thinking whether this SCHOLAR is using a mutawatir or ahad hadith??

    4) Whether the hadith is at the status of Quran in its form of revelation (they are different types of revelation), or is at a lower status; does that have any practical implications for the average Muslim? I mean if it is part of the Usool, and has to be accepted for its authority, then what is the point of the attempts to lower its status? Think about the harms of creating this doubt (and I know your intention is not to create doubt about the institution of hadith but people WILL see it as such): it will make people think twice about taking hadith. Is that where want things to go?

    5) You know well that many Muslims on the blogosphere are exploiting these technical differences to disregard hadith either completely or partially; the partial that’s left being what’s consistent with their own aql. Isn’t that a fair assessment of what is going on? How are lay people in a position to take a hadith they don’t like (like the angelic curse one for instance), post about it and then say how they disagree with it, and a chorus of other lay people join the fun in discussing and sometimes mocking the hadith or even disrespecting the sahaba? Were these doubts not disseminated, do you think people would dare take such a stance on what is LIKELY INDEED a statement of the Prophet (even if there is the slightest of doubts). Is that a risk that we should/could take?

    All my points are related to the practical consequences of the issues brought up, I’d like you to ponder over that.

    To everyone else: Our goal at MM is to not make people scholars of hadith or discuss its technicalities, but to defend its status and affirm its authority. Precisely because of the attacks on it in the blogosphere. If we remained silent, the issue wouldn’t just go away, those who are creating doubts would continue to do so unchecked. What we are saying here is nothing different from what the vast majority of Ummah has agreed upon. Whoever says otherwise needs to bring evidence from the Imams of this Ummah– we are all ears.

  56. Charles

    March 9, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    I understand the notion of mutawatir, as least as presented in the book “The Authority of Sunnah.” My point was to address the notion of whether or not it was revelation–not whether it was “undoubted” or “authentic” or authoritative. In doing so, I made a comparison between translations of the Quran and hadiths. Both are interpretations, one of the Quran, the other of the Prophet’s sunnah. Of course, if various hadiths transmit the Prophet’s words, all exactly the same, that would not be interpretation. Perhaps that could even be extended to behavior. But the fact that “meanings” are transmitted frequently, i.e. mutawatir, does not preclude them from being interpretations. That is, because these hadiths do not have the same exact words, then they have moved into the realm of interpretation. Mutawatir hadiths that have exactly the same words are in the status of “transmitted” memory. Having different words for the same meaning puts them into the category of “schema” memory, by which I mean that the meaning has been assimilated into the local understanding, or interpretation, of what Prophet Muhammad did or said.

    Again, my focus is not whether these hadiths should be considered authentic, undoubted, or authoritative. It makes quite a bit of sense that when the meaning is frequent, that it becomes authoritative.

    Rather it is on their status as revelation. Translations of the Quran are not revelation because they are not the exact words of Allah, and thus cannot have the exact same meaning. Whether or not we want to call some hadiths interpretations, doesn’t the same principle apply? That is, hadiths that do not record the exact words of Prophet Muhammad cannot be considered revelation. And if hadiths differ on the words, then only one could be considered revelation, although we wouldn’t know which one. Allah preserved the Quran down to the very letter. To be considered revelation, shouldn’t the same standard of preservation be required?

  57. Charles

    March 9, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    One clarification: I am not challenging the notion of the Prophet’s sunna as revelation. My point is that to consider specific hadiths as revelation, shouldn’t the same level of preservation as that of the Quran be required? If not, why not?

  58. Manas Shaikh

    March 10, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Br. Amad

    I was not talking specifically about anyone or any one comment. Many comments (some of them seem quite knowledgeable- from either side) have it embedded in them unfortunately.

    May Allah forgive all of us.

  59. brnaeem

    March 10, 2008 at 3:13 AM

    “Br. Naeem, a few more questions for you (and jazakallahkhair for keeping up your respectfulness in all of this):”

    May Allah bless you as well.

    “1) Do you agree that the 4 Imams did not make a distinction between Ahaad and Mutawatir in that they both warrant belief and action? If not, please provide evidence.”

    Yes, but with the understanding that Ahad hadith contain an element of doubt, which as I mentioned in my last comment was acknowledged by Abu Hanifa and his students.

    “do you believe it is fruitful to bring up the technical issues of differentiation between the two types of hadith on a public forum to drive a wedge of doubt between the two? I am not saying you are or that this is your intention, but what then is the intended consequence?”

    The fact that this technical issue (difference b/w Mutawatir and Ahad) is creating doubt in this forum is not the fault of the issue nor with the one bringing it up. That this issue can possibly lead someone to fall into doubt with the entire institution of hadith points to a bigger problem (with that individual) that cannot be blamed on this technical discussion.

    “but don’t you feel that the average layman is not in a position to reject hadith based on what is mutawatir or not?”

    Please Amad, rejecting a hadith and classifying it as doubtful are two entirely different things. Please stop equating those of us who are merely pointing out the doubtful nature of some hadith with those who are calling for its outright rejection.

    “4) Whether the hadith is at the status of Quran in its form of revelation (they are different types of revelation), or is at a lower status; does that have any practical implications for the average Muslim? I mean if it is part of the Usool, and has to be accepted for its authority, then what is the point of the attempts to lower its status? Think about the harms of creating this doubt (and I know your intention is not to create doubt about the institution of hadith but people WILL see it as such): it will make people think twice about taking hadith. Is that where want things to go?”

    Sorry habibi, but I can’t buy into this logic. I know you say it with the sincerest of intentions, but that doesn’t make it right. Tariq Ramadan called for a moratorium on hudood punishment citing a similar logic, but I’m quite sure you didn’t accept that.

    Let’s not change or cover-up our tradition out of fear that ‘it will make people think twice about taking hadith.’

    And, yes I do believe that there is an introduction of *change* when you state that Hadith are preserved in the same way as the Quran. That simply is not factually correct. Charles made some valid points in this regard with his recent comments.

    I love Hadith and I love my Prophet (saw), but that doesn’t necessitate me equating them with the word of Allah (swt).

    “Precisely because of the attacks on it in the blogosphere. If we remained silent, the issue wouldn’t just go away, those who are creating doubts would continue to do so unchecked.”

    Keep up the good work bro, but do it within the limits of our deen. Just because others are going to the extreme of denying the hadith shouldn’t mean that we go to the other extreme of equating it with the Quran.

  60. Amad

    March 10, 2008 at 9:14 AM

    salam Br. Naeem:
    There is no doubt and no difference of opinion among the Imams of this Ummah that the authority of Quran and Sunnah is EQUAL. And there is no doubt that pretty much the same people transmitted and preserved the two revelations. And there is also no doubt that it was done in a very similar way. Of course, the level of Allah’s words and the importance of preserving each word and each sequence vs. the Prophet’s words is not at the exact same level. But practically the implications have never been different for the great scholars between authentic hadith (regardless of its ahad/mutawatir status) and the Quran.

    What you mentioned from Abu Hanifa/students is a relative level of doubt. On an absolute level, this relative difference has again no practical implications for the average Muslim. I have challenged you to find me a statement from the 4 Imams or other great Imams who use this relative difference in doubt to suggest a different level of authority.

    Please Amad, rejecting a hadith and classifying it as doubtful are two entirely different things.

    I am still trying to understand the practical implications of this classification for the average Muslim.

    By the way, I have read Tariq Ramadan’s book on Muslims in the West, and I really enjoyed it and recommend that everyone read it. I don’t remember the specifics about the one issue you pointed out, but a scholarly attempt to understand issues vs. a free-for-all is vastly different. And also I think we all recognize that while he is great thinker, he is not a muhadith by any means. And here we are talking about the sciences of hadith. Furthermore, as a person of knowledge (as Ramadan is), he has more right to discuss this issue than any layman.

    Finally, as for Br. Charles’s points (which are very good mashallah), I have a response but I was waiting for something even better from a person of knowledge on it.

    jazakallahkhair
    w/s

  61. Amad

    March 10, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    Br. Charles, here is some more from Sh. Haitham:

    Brother Charles said previously: “how can mutawatir in meaning be considered revelation? Are they not interpretations of the Prophet’s sunnah?”.

    The answer is: No, they are not interpretations of the Prophet’s Sunnah, they are from the Prophet’s Sunnah.

    Now for those who believe that the Sunnah is revelation, they should have no problem believing that Mutawaatir meanings are revelation, because they are from the Sunnah.

    His latter posts seems to be talking about the Sunnah in general, not just the Mutawatir in meaning.

    In any case, please remember that the meanings of Quranic verses are also a revelation. Not just the words. If we arrive at the correct meaning of a Quranic verse, then we can say that this correct meaning is revelation.

    Similarly, the meanings of the Sunnah are revelation. The correct meaning of a Prophetic tradition is a revelation.

    So in this sense, both Quran and Sunnah are held to the same standards.
    ————

    If I may add a quick example. So, if in a statement, the Prophet (S) said: “Leave the house”. Someone could have transmitted it as the Prophet (S) said: “Depart the house”. What is being transmitted is not an interpretation, but the meaning. Interpretation would involve saying, “The Prophet(S) talking about his house was referring to leaving the mercy of his obedience”.

    Obviously this is a made-up an example. But I hope the example is clear. As long as the exact meaning is being conveyed, or statement with words in different order but again conveying exactly the same thing, then the meaning is revelation as was the Prophet (S)’s words or actions when he did them.

    Similarly, we might say, as a translation, Allah tells us to obey Allah and obey the Prophet (S). Allah didn’t say it in English or with those words, but this is the meaning and this meaning is a revealed meaning, because without revelation we wouldn’t be saying that. Of course with Allah’s Words being uncreated and eternal, it is good to add, Allah says, what means, etc. etc.

    w/s

  62. Umm Reem

    March 10, 2008 at 4:57 PM

    I love Hadith and I love my Prophet (saw), but that doesn’t necessitate me equating them with the word of Allah (swt).

    So what was hadeeth then? Prophet’s own ‘originated’ statements from his ownself, from his own mind?

    Just because others are going to the extreme of denying the hadith shouldn’t mean that we go to the other extreme of equating it with the Quran.

    If the source of the Quran and the hadeeth is the same, then what is the problem with equating the ‘authority’ of both? (since it is the same authority!!)

    People seem to be stuck at the very idea of recognizing ‘hadeeth/sunnah’ as a revelation!
    “The other statement I disagree with is that we have two revelations. God has told us about one revelation, and that is the Quran.”

  63. Charles

    March 10, 2008 at 6:07 PM

    Br. Amad, please give my thanks to Sh. Haitham for giving these responses. I want to make sure I understand completely what he is saying and where the boundaries are, so let me add one more thing based on his comments:

    If I may add a quick example. So, if in a statement, the Prophet (S) said: “Leave the house”. Someone could have transmitted it as the Prophet (S) said: “Depart the house”. What is being transmitted is not an interpretation, but the meaning. Interpretation would involve saying, “The Prophet(S) talking about his house was referring to leaving the mercy of his obedience”.

    Obviously this is a made-up an example. But I hope the example is clear. As long as the exact meaning is being conveyed, or statement with words in different order but again conveying exactly the same thing, then the meaning is revelation as was the Prophet (S)’s words or actions when he did them.

    Similarly, we might say, as a translation, Allah tells us to obey Allah and obey the Prophet (S). Allah didn’t say it in English or with those words, but this is the meaning and this meaning is a revealed meaning, because without revelation we wouldn’t be saying that. Of course with Allah’s Words being uncreated and eternal, it is good to add, Allah says, what means, etc. etc.

    If I combine and rephrase his examples, would it be plausible to come to this example?

    In a hadith, the Prophet (S) said: “Leave the house”. Someone could have transmitted it as the Prophet (S) said: “Depart the house”. The Prophet (S) didn’t say it in those exact words, but this is the meaning and this meaning is a revealed meaning. So, the meaning of the Sunnah is revelation, while the individual hadith, like a translation, is not.

    I hope I’m not being too nitpicky, but let me explain with some background. In Christianity, most conservative Christian scholars agree that the original manuscripts of the Bible are not available, but that God has preserved the meaning in the manuscripts that are available. I questioned that position and asked, If God preserved the meaning, why didn’t He preserve the original manuscripts? On the other hand, if Allah has preserved the meaning of the Sunnah although not the words of the hadith, then the logic of the Christian argument for the meaning of the Bible being preserved is quite strong. For me, the similarity in the logic is disturbing, and that’s why I am so cautious on this topic and why I am asking for sufficient detail so as not to misunderstand what is being said here.

  64. Sunie

    March 11, 2008 at 8:42 AM

    If we taught a person perfect knowledge of the Arabic Language, then handed him the Quran and gave him these instructions: “extract all the beliefs, laws, principles, and establish an Ummah, and you are not allowed to use the hadith compilations”

    He would say: “Umm.. ok….. but… ummmmmm. uhhhhhh.. y’a’neee. uhhh….. umm……” and he would be left clueless.

    The Hadith deniers don’t have any ground to stand upon. May Allah guide us all to the straight path. Ameen.

  65. Umm Reem

    March 11, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    One quick thing:

    For those who have doubts about the ahad ahadeeth, and want to clarify this issue with the mutawatir vs. ahad hadeeth, should read this book:
    “The Hadith is Proof Itself in Belief & Law”
    by. Shaikh Nair Ad-din Al-Albani

    I don’t have time to summarize the main points from it, if someone else can-jazahu/ha Allahu khair :)

  66. WM

    March 11, 2008 at 12:11 PM

    I love Hadith and I love my Prophet (saw), but that doesn’t necessitate me equating them with the word of Allah (swt).

    Wa maa yantiqu ‘an il-hawa etc…

  67. Abu Muhammad

    March 11, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    @Charles

    “In Christianity, most conservative Christian scholars agree that the original manuscripts of the Bible are not available, but that God has preserved the meaning in the manuscripts that are available.”

    Circular argument. If the original manuscripts are not preserved (and authors are unknown) then from where do they infer that God preserved the meanings? Either from the text which is known to be unreliable or from another source? The other source usually is said to be the holy spirit, which again is only known about from the unreliable manuscripts.

    Anyhow.

    The ahadith were acted upon by the companions of the Prophet in his presence. And if the Prophet was not present, Allah is always watching and He mentioned in the Quran that He is pleased with the companions of the Prophet.

    “On the other hand, if Allah has preserved the meaning of the Sunnah although not the words of the hadith, then the logic of the Christian argument for the meaning of the Bible being preserved is quite strong.”

    The xtian argument as mentioned above is invalid. So it follows that ‘the is meaning preserved’ argument is also a fallacy.

    The Quran is the Speech of Allah, so it was preserved as the Speech of God. It was a requirment for it to be preserved to that level of precision.

    The Sunnah was preserved as the speech, actions and approval of the Prophet. The meaning, and in many cases the exact speech, is preserved because it was transmitted exactly like that from the origin of the narration. The xtians make up their meanings and usually try to implicate the holy spirit.

    As for difference of interpretation, then that is another discussion.

  68. Amad

    March 11, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    From Sh. Haitham:

    Brother Charles, the example of “Leave the house” was given by brother Amad, not by me. He started his comments with “If I may add …”.

    Regarding your comment about the Bible.

    There is no “similarity in logic” between the Sunnah and the Bible.

    Christians are ordered to believe that the Bible is the truth in spite of the numerous irreconcilable disagreements in relating the same event.

    They are asked to believe in the many contradictions to reality (scientific facts, historical facts, even simple math) that are in the Bible.

    With the Sunnah, the logic is different. One of the methods of disregarding a narration is the presence of irreconcilable disagreements between accounts of the same event. This is known as a Mudhtarib narration.

    Contradicting reality is another reason for disqualifying a narration from being authentic.

    Needless to say, such decisions are only to be made by major scholars whom have been guided by Allah SWT to utilize such methods to preserve of the Sunnah.

  69. Gohar

    March 12, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    I think Jeffrey Lang more or less admitteed that the proofs for having to follow the sunnah are too strong to counter succesfully.

    However, he would argue that the isnaad system (and the even more unreliable rijaal system upon which the isnaad’s authenticity is based) is just too unreliable. He therefore argues that a system other than isnaad is needed to verify which hadeeth are valid and which are not. He suggests using the text of the hadeeth, and then accepting it if it does not contradict known islamic priniples.

  70. Gohar

    March 12, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    I think Jeffrey Lang more or less admitted that the proofs for having to follow the sunnah are too strong to counter succesfully.

    However, he would argue that the isnaad system (and the even more unreliable rijaal system upon which the isnaad’s authenticity is based) is just too unreliable. He therefore argues that a system other than isnaad is needed to verify which hadeeth are valid and which are not. He suggests using the text of the hadeeth, and then accepting it if it does not contradict known islamic priniples.

  71. Gohar

    March 13, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    I have a couple of further questions and comments that i would welcome others’ views on:

    1) I understand the idea of quran and hadeth both being primary evidences. But what does it mean when we say that the Quran has a higher pecking order?

    2) The verse about taking what the Prophet (peace be upon him) gives us refer to the distribution of bounty. Is it not stretching the verse to argue that it applies to rulings as well. (I’m not disputing the other evidences for following him, by the way. Just asking whether this partcular verse works.)

    3) It doesn’t seem intuitively correct to compare the preservation of quran through our predecessors with the preservation of hadeeth through them. Both have a different context. The Quan was finalisd by the companions. No one after them could introduice a verse even if they made up a false isnaad for it as everyone else would immediately say that they had never heard this verse. In addition, the quran was finalised under the companions, and none of the ordinary muslims from whichever sect would have dared tamper with it (nor would they have been practicaly able to just add a new verse that noone else had ever heard of before).

    Hadeeth on the other hand were scattered in different places and over a long time period and so a manufactured hadeeth would have been many times easier to introduce than a quranic verse. The process of collection continued after the companions and (unlike verses) could not be disputed simply on the basis that others had not heard of that hadeeth, the same context does not apply. We also know that large numbers of our predecesors did manufacture hadeeth for sectarian reasons, and those same people would never have chaged the quran. Perhaps the hadeeth about not reclining on the couch and just taking quran is such a manufactured hadeeth in the same way that the hadeeth regarding abu hanifa being a lamp and one of the other imams being a bad personwas clearly manufactured.

  72. Gohar

    March 13, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    The issue regarding ilm-ul-rijaal according to Mr Lang is essentially this:

    Shuba bin Al Hajjaj was a pioneer in this field. Since he did not enter this field till he was forty, it places the beginning of systematic rijal criticism around 130 A.H., about a century after the beginning of the isnaad system.

    Lang argues that ‘the assesment and reliabilty of hadeeth reports is based on information that is in nature less reliable than the material we are supposed to judge. This is all the more disconcerting since we have every reason to believe the isnad tampering occurred on a massive a scale as text fabricaton.’

  73. ibnabeeomar

    March 13, 2008 at 1:54 PM

    Lang argues that ‘the assesment and reliabilty of hadeeth reports is based on information that is in nature less reliable than the material we are supposed to judge. This is all the more disconcerting since we have every reason to believe the isnad tampering occurred on a massive a scale as text fabricaton.’

    this is responded to in the article above. if this was the case, then it means Allah (swt) has commanded us with something unjust. how do we know how to pray properly if there’s been massive tampering of the texts?

    secondly, to everyone who commented here please read the books listed above in the post, it will answer the vast majority of points brought out.

    regarding this question – I understand the idea of quran and hadeth both being primary evidences. But what does it mean when we say that the Quran has a higher pecking order?

    its answered in detail in zarabozo’s book. he details that in terms of deriving rulings for shari’ah they have an equal weight, however, the quran is obviously something much higher in blessings, we receive rewards for each letter we read, for each verse we memorize, etc. but in terms of strictly deriving rulings, quran and (authentic) hadith are of equal weight. plz refer to the book for more detail.

  74. Charles

    March 13, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Of the books recommended above, which is the most scholarly (and thorough) in terms of considering all perspectives on hadith?

  75. Gohar

    March 13, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    ibnabeeomar, thank you for your reply. In understand the quran vs hadeeth as evidences now.

    I still don’t think Lang’s point is countered by what you have said though, because Lang’s contention is that you CAN still obey the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) hadeeth, but by using a system other than isnaad for verification e.g. looking firstly at the matn to determine its authenticity.

  76. ibnabeeomar

    March 13, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    of the books above, the zarabozo one is probably most thorough. after that, i’d look at the azami book:
    http://islamicbookstore.com/b2912.html

    which goes into most detail about the writing of hadith before they were compiled into books.

    gohar – the problem with looking at matn only is that its subjective, and not scientific at all. by looking at isnad, you have a scientific method to verifying what is authentic and what is not.

  77. ibnabeeomar

    March 13, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    one more book on the conservation of hadith – however i haven’t finished reading this book yet so i cant say 100% how it is,

    http://islamicbookstore.com/b7729.html

  78. Gohar

    March 13, 2008 at 3:03 PM

    On reflection , i am thinking to myself that matn analysis doesn’t get you anywhere as far as isnaad verification, despite its possible faults. Perhaps the best response to Lang is therefore to admit the possible faults with isnaad analysis, but to also argue that there isn’t a better (more objective or more subtle) system than it. and therefore as you said the only way to follow the Sunnah is to believe that Allah will protect the hadeeth as a whole against these possible flaws.

  79. Amad

    March 13, 2008 at 3:17 PM

    Br. Gohar, have you done an in-depth study of the isnad system? Sometimes the best way to give doubts the death-blow is to study the system, and recognize what that system entailed. Don’t depend on Lang’s analysis, do your own (like Br. Charles is attempting to).

    From what little I know, there is no historical system ever designed that was more accurate and more rigorous than the isnad system, and all the associated sciences.

    Think about it… do we know anything more about anyone as we know about the Prophet (S) 1400 years ago and with such surety? His actions, statements, and even his silent consents! That is truly amazing, and that in itself is something that reinforces our deen’s truth.

    Also consider how the majority of scholars, especially the muhaditheen always confirmed this science’s magnificence. You will hardly find a scholar who goes into depths of the hadith sciences, and comes out more unconvinced than he was before. Do we know of any or many (muhadith is a key qualifier)?

  80. Amad

    March 13, 2008 at 3:22 PM

    Also agree with Omar on matn. If people don’t buy the isnad-objective-science, you can forget about people accepting matn-subjective-art. I mean, that’s exactly the problem with most of these modernist opinions. They want to isolate those hadith consistent with “aql”. One’s intellect is highly susceptible to influences of time, and relativity. What could be acceptable today in the mind (“consistent” whatever that means), could be unacceptable tomorrow.

    For example, the hadith of the fly falling into one’s cup should be dipped in completely. Nothing could confirm that as “consistent” so the “intellectuals” ignored it. Until science came to prove that there is an antidote on one side of the fly to the poison on the other. And then suddenly the “intellectuals” found it very worthwhile to quote. Just one example of how the aql has a limit, when competing with revelation.

  81. Umm Reem

    March 13, 2008 at 3:42 PM

    Of the books recommended above, which is the most scholarly (and thorough) in terms of considering all perspectives on hadith?

    I think both of M.M. Azami’s books.

    “Using Zarabozo in contrast to Ibn Kathir and Jalalayn (you can add Ibn Ashur to the list as well, I just checked his tafseer and he makes no mention of hadith wrt to this ayah) makes for a very weak argument.”

    Sorry took me a while to get back to this point, I was waiting for my answer. This chain of narration goes from me to sh. Waleed’s wife, to sh. Waleed Basyouni himself :)

    “As for Sunnah… Waleed says it is well-known that the Qur’aan uses the term ‘dhikr’ to mean Sunnah. That is the tafseer of Ibn Mas’ood (and other Sahaabah) as mentioned by Ibn Al-Qayyim. He mentioned that Ibn Al-Qayyim had access to tafseer that we may not have available now.”

    So, no it is not Zarabozo vs. Ibn Katheer, it is Ibn Katheer vs. Ibn Masood.
    So take your pick.

    Although, I don’t like saying Ibn Katheer vs. Ibn Masood, simply because no where in his tafseer or other books did Ibn Katheer showed any doubts in Sunnah not being preserved.
    As I said before, some things are axiomatic and some mufassareen may not feel the need of stating them.

    Khair, Sh. Waleed further said:

    “Also, we see the term dhikr being used elsewhere in the Qur’aan where it evidently does not mean Qur’aan alone. For example, Allaah says ‘fas’aloo ahladh-dhikri in kuntum laa ta’lamoon’. Here the people of dhikr is not referring to people of Qur’aan alone. it is people of knowledge of the deen… the whole knowledge of the deen which includes the Qur’aan, Sunnah, statements of Sahaabah etc. The ayah that says Allaah will preserve the dhikr, he says, is also referring to the knowledge of the Deen, which includes Qur’aan, Sunnah, etc.

    And as I mentioned, Allaah says
    ‘thumma innaa ‘alaynaa bayaanah’ (Qiyammah: 16-19)

    that the explanation of the Qur’aan is going to be done for us by Allaah, and that explanation is in the form of the Sunnah and so is part of what He preserved, wallaahu a’lam”

    With that, inshaAllah enough information has been made available for people to read and think, and for further research books have been suggested.

    I do ask the readers to please make a sincere du’a to let the truth become clear. It is not from the Sunnah of Allah azzawjal to misguide any who sincerely asks Him for guidance, wAllahu ‘tala ‘alam.

    InshaAllah we should be able to move to the next part :)

  82. gohar

    March 15, 2008 at 3:36 AM

    ASA

    Genuine question please:

    What is the reason and meaning behind the statement that ‘hadeeth cannot contradict the quran’?
    – Does this mean that hadeeth with apparently valid isnaad will be regarded as fabricated, if they seem to contradict the quran? If so, how does abrogation fir in here?
    – Or do we simply mean that such a scenario could never occur?

  83. gohar

    March 15, 2008 at 4:10 AM

    I suppose what i am getting at is this: many can accept the Sunnat, they can also accept hadeet hand the current isnaad system, but they are uncomfortable with allowing a valid hadeeh isnad to abrogate a verse.

  84. Gohar

    March 15, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    We should have the edit facility forour posts on these forums, that way i could delete the above question about kufr here as it is not relevant to the thread?

    The actual question i wish to pose is that i feel far more comfortable following hadeeth than before i started to read your articles, BUT i still do not feel fully comfortable with allowing those PARTICULAR hadeeth whoch seem to abrogate (surely a form of contradiction) quranic verses.

    Edited for you.

  85. Umm Rumaysah

    March 15, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    1- Uloom al Hadith- Preservation of the Sunnah by Navaid Aziz
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9083372055877376065&hl=en

    2- Uloom al Hadith- Examining some proofs of those who reject the Sunnah
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1954594440034930732&hl=en

    3- Uloom al Hadith- Defining basic hadith terminology by Navaid Aziz
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3982699405534429317&hl=en

  86. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Intro to Uloom al-Hadeeth - Navaid Aziz

  87. creative mind muslim

    June 7, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    man I love these posts about the authority of the sunnah mA!!!!!!!! It is very sad when I see people around me disregarding some hadith just because it doesn’t fall in line with what they think is correct. Reading posts such as these has fortified my faith against peoples attempts to break down the deen. All I want is the TRUTH and nothing else and I get so distressed by people giving me wrong information based on their own desires. May Allah guide us to the truth and give us sincerity to ONLY seek and follow what is true even if it goes against what we feel is “correct”. Ameen! I will be sure to pass this knowledge on inshaAllah.

  88. Gohar

    June 9, 2008 at 7:12 AM

    Sh Mubaarakpuri has written an excellent book in reply to a letter sent to him by a hadeeth denying scholar from India. Its available on the darussalaam site called in reply to the mischief of hadith denial, and is an absolute bargain.

    Now rereading my comments/questions above, i say alhamdulillah for the explanation i received on another thread on this site to my above question.

  89. Pingback: Authority of Sunnah Part-3: Status of Sahaba (Companions) | MuslimMatters.org

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