Category Archives: Quranists/ Hadith Rejectors

WAS THE SALAAT A PRACTICE “INVENTED” IN ‘ABBASID ERA?? – A Response to the Deviant Contention

There exists quite a fantastic assertion amongst some that claim a Qur’an-centric approach that the ritual prayer was never prescribed by the Qur’an in any form whatsoever nor did the Prophet ever teach such a prayer.
     
Some others ascribe the ritual Salaah as prayed today as a later invented practice with Persian Zoroastrian influence which did not take canon until 787 CE. (approximately 150 years after the death of the Prophet).

They allege:
     
“The later Persian Imams built upon this tale and formulated the current Namaaz. They received strong support from the Persian Zoroastrian mother of (Abbasid) Khalifa Haroon Rasheed, Khaizran (d. 789 CE). Haroon’s Zoroastrian viziers, the Baramika, were only too happy to join hands with the royal mother, Khaizran. So, it was she in concert with others who “canonized” Namaaz according to the desires of the Criminal Imams in (787 CE). Her main philosopher was Imam Al-Khalil bin Ahmad Shikoh, the first ever compiler of Arabic to Persian dictionary, Al-‘Ain”  [1]
       
The term ‘salaat’ is henceforth variously rendered by them in a manner which completely departs from any reference to ritual prayer and new meanings are pinned to well established Arabic words and phrases of the Qur’an which deal with verses which are traditionally understood as referring to prayer.
  
AN ASSERTION WITHOUT WARRANT:
     
Despite there being no Qur’anic support for such baseless claims, there is also absolutely no historical proof that a mass invention of ritual prayer ever took place which introduced this practice into Muslim thought. The latter claim will remain the focus of the remainder of the article.

Such an assertion would require one to accept that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) never offered such a ritual prayer as part of God’s ordained religion nor did the earliest Muslims to whom the Prophet preached the Qur’an. Furthermore, for one to accept the stupid assertion, one would need to concede the possibility of a mass conspiracy which introduced this practice en masse from the late 8th century onwards which subsequently erased any record of the invention from all recorded history.

HISTORICAL PROOF:
 
It is well appreciated by academic scholarship, that there exists a dearth of Muslim sources in the first centuries of Islam. To make use of later Muslim sources to challenge the assertion above would easily be dismissible on the grounds that the late Muslim sources only reflected the later change.
     
However, what is less well known and seldom appreciated is the existence of relevant earlier Non-Muslim sources which exist within decades of the end of the Prophet’s ministry which would strongly refute any assertions of a late invented practice. These Non-Muslim sources are much earlier than the Muslim sources and were not always complimentary to the conquering Arabs who were oft seen by them as aggressors, oppressors, marred with vice and referred to as ‘Saracens’.  [2]

In fact, the criticism against ‘Muhammad’s’ conquerors at times was so intense in some early writings within Non-Muslim sources, that there would be no perceivable reason or interest for them to have attributed any Godly ritual to their aggressors whom they called the ‘Saracens’ (the Arab Muslims).

However, despite such a vitriolic portrayal of the conquering Muslims, an early polemic Christian source in the form of a Coptic homily written within approximately a decade of the Prophet’s death (640’s CE) whilst strongly remaining critical of both the Jews and the ‘Saracens’ (Arab Muslims), confirms that they both fasted and prayed. This is despite the fact that the homily deemed other acts of the Saracens as ‘ungodly’.  This source is much earlier than the Muslim sources and the unfounded assertions which place the ‘alleged’ invented practice of prayer as canonised around 787 CE.

The date of the Non-Muslim source (c. 640s CE) is within the time period after the Prophet’s death where arguably many of the Prophet’s closest contemporaries would still have been alive.

“As for us, my loved ones, let us fast and pray without cease, and observe the commandments of the Lord so that the blessing of all our Fathers who have pleased Him may come down upon us. Let us not fast like the God-killing Jews, nor fast like the Saracens who are oppressors, who give themselves up to prostitution, massacre and lead into captivity the sons of men, saying: “We both fast and pray.[3]
         
Given that both fasting and praying was a revered act of worship for the Christians, there would have been no credible interest to invent such a claim on behalf of the ‘Saracens’ if it was not in fact an assertion made by the earliest Muslims and a practice they engaged in.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

There is clear evidence in the earliest Non-Muslim sources within approximately a decade of the Prophetic ministry which confirms that the earliest Muslims both prayed and fasted. There would be absolutely no perceivable interest for aggressed Christians to invent such Godly rituals and attribute them to the ‘Saracens’ (Arab Muslims) who they saw as oppressors.
 
There is absolutely no credible academic warrant or historical proof for the belief that ritual prayer was invented by later generations of Muslims in the late 8th century.

Furthermore, given the strong controversy amongst the earliest Muslims on many political and theological matters which has even given rise to much sectarian bloodshed, the requirement to fast and pray has always remained a bedrock belief amongst all practicing Muslims.

REFERENCES:

[1] AHMED, SHABBIR, Islam: The True History and False Beliefs, The Imamist Conspiracy of Namaaz, Page 146

[2] Whilst mainly carrying a negative nuance, the meaning of the term ‘Saracens’ has changed over a period of time. However, in the context of 7-8th century, it most likely referred to the new Muslims of Arabia. An 8th century polemical work by St. John Damascene, a Syrian monk and priest (born 600’s CE) is known to criticise the ‘Saracens’ as following a Prophet named Muhammad.

“…They are also called Saracens, which is derived from the destitute of Sara, because of what Hagar said to the angel: ‘Sara hath sent me away destitute.’

DAMASCENE. ST. JOHN, Derived from a Translation by Rev. G.N. Warwick of the The Patristic Society, The Fount of Knowledge, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Page 40.

Highlights marked in bold red are my own insertions. They have no bearing on the original text other than they emphasise relevance to the topic at hand. These are merely illustrations and have solely been utilised for educational and explanatory purposes.
 
[3] HOYLAND. R. G, Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam (Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam), Homily on the Child Saints of Babylon (640’s)

Difference between Hadith Narrations & the Gospels

Some Christian apologists when trying to describe the Gospels to the Muslims, claim that the Gospels are much like the Hadiths, and the Hadith-Rejectors too hold the same opinion as the Christians in this matter and deem Ahadith barrations to be unreliable, in that the Gospels were written-collected by men, and are based on the sayings-teachings of Jesus (‘Eesa Maseeh alayhissalaam) just as the Hadiths are with the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Now indeed there are some similarities between the two, but the similarities all come to an end after what we have already posted above, because there are also many differences between the two, and these differences are very important.

The main difference between the Hadiths and the Gospels is that in regards to the Hadiths, we know who actually collected the Hadiths, and we know who passed them on, and we know who actually made the original statement that was passed on. So for example person A said something, then person B heard it and he decided to pass it on and tell other persons C-D-E, and then they passed it on to others and so forth. Basically throughout the chain of transmission of the hadith, we know who is who, we know who is passing the story, and we know from where the original story came from, there is a complete line of transmission.

This is very crucial, because it means the reports are not anonymous, the reports are coming from people we know, names and persons we can identify, we know where they lived, when they were born, when they died and so forth. Again this is very important because if you know the person, you also know if they’re reliable or unreliable, for example someone who is reporting the Hadith, a person in the chain, could have been known as a liar, as someone unreliable, someone who would make things up, and therefore we know if he is passing or narrating a Hadith that we can question the authenticity. Vice versa the person narrating the Hadith can also be known as a truthful person, someone reliable etc, and therefore we know the Hadith he passing is reliant, or it’s highly likely that it is reliant.

In the case of the Gospels, we have none of this, we literally don’t know who was passing the stories, they’re all anonymous. Even the supposed collectors Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, were not Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John! The Gospel accounts are all anonymous accounts written-collected by persons-authors we don’t actually know, and they are narrating stories-incidents from people we don’t know either, the entire chain of transmission in the Gospels is unknown and anonymous.

Basically in the Gospel account we have the source as Jesus, and then we have person A-B-C-D-E passing on the stories-teachings of Jesus, but we have no idea who these sources A-B-C-D-E are, whether they’re reliable people and so forth, we literally know nothing about them. The only person who we can say with some confidence who we know about was Paul, and yet he barely wrote anything about the life-sayings-teachings of Jesus, and oddly enough in his own writings we can see that he was at odds with the actual disciples of Jesus and their beliefs, in fact he abolished the Law and taught exactly the opposite of Jesus’ teachings.

So when it comes to the Gospel of Mark, and we read all these stories and sayings of Jesus (‘Eesa alayhissalaam), we are reading accounts that have been passed by people we don’t know, and they were collected in a book called Mark by an author we don’t know either, though there is much speculation about who the exact author is. On the other hand when it comes to the Hadiths, when we read a story about the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), we know exactly who passed on the story and who narrated it, we have a complete line of transmission of the people who heard the saying, and who passed the saying, and who it got passed to, and we know whether these people are sound people or not.

All of this is obviously crucial, let us give an example, let’s say you heard a news story, and it’s a very big news story but there is no source, you’re not likely going to believe it are you? Especially in this day and age when there are all kind of sources-websites on the internet that sometimes report some very crazy stories, which you then find out are false, but most times you yourself know to doubt and not believe certain news stories coming from certain organizations-websites because you know they’re not reliable. And you’re also aware of organizations-websites-persons that are reliable, and so you can trust what they’re saying because you know who they are etc. So it’s very important to know your source, if you don’t know your source then as you can see you have some big issues.

Now take the same simple logic and apply it to the Gospels and Hadiths (for some strange reason people often don’t like to use this simple logic, acting like we’re dealing with some other realm), it’s important to know our sources, who we’re dealing with, who’s passing on the story, whether the person passing is it is a reliable person, or an unreliable person.

In conclusion, the Hadiths are a far more reliable and trustworthy collection of sayings-teachings than the Gospels, to put it simple, in news terms, nobody would ever accept the Gospel as a source of information because it has no sources, all of its sources comes from anonymous sources, basically people we don’t know, and that my friends is not a proper source of information you can get anything from, let alone the actual teachings of God.

ADDENDUM

There is no appropriate comparison between the Muslim’s authentic Hadith and the Christian Gospels when it comes to their authenticity. Let no Muslim be fooled by this. The only similarity that one can point out between the two is that they both speak about the lives of a certain individual. I would say that the major difference between the two is the reliability of their preservation. Muslims don’t believe that those who transmitted or collected the Hadith were inspired by God like how Christians believe for their Gospel authors. And hence there can be errors and mistakes in Hadith and we don’t rule out that. And also there are ways to solve this problem and this is in no way a threat to the reliability that we have in authentic Hadith as a whole (isnad and matn). But for the Christian Gospels we should expect to not find any errors since those who transmitted them are supposed to be directly ‘inspired’ by God. But sadly we have numerous errors in Gospels and in Bible as a whole.

Related Reading: Difference between Ahadith Narrations & Historical Reports

A Response to Doubts raised by Maududi on the Science of Hadith Verification

Maududi expounds his views extensively on hadith and the science of hadith verification in his book Tafhimaat (vol.1, p.359–362 / Islamic Publications Limited, Lahore 2000 CE). Under the heading, ‘Maslak-e-Eitidaal (The Moderate Position)’, he says,

“…Rather our intention is to clarify that those (the Muhadditheen) who have criticized or praised individuals were after all human. They too had human weaknesses. Is it necessary that those whom they have declared as trustworthy were trustworthy beyond doubt and trustworthy in all their narrations… Moreover, to accurately ascertain each individual’s memory, good intention and self-restrain, etc., is further difficult…

It is due to this and similar reasons that the knowledge of isnad, Jarh and Ta’deel cannot be considered correct in its entirety. This material is reliable to the extent that it helps in the research of Prophet’s Sunnah and Aathaar and it may be given due consideration, but it is not of the status that it may be relied upon completely.”

On page, 356-57 he writes,

“The first thing that is examined in judging a narration is the  status  of  the  narrators.  In  this  regard,  each  and  every narrator  is  examined through various manners, whether he is  a  liar,  careless  in  narrating  narrations,  sinner  or  heretic, dubious  or  weak  in  his  memory,  whether  his  condition  is unknown or his condition is known. By all these conditions the  status  of  the  narrators  were  examined  by  the Muhadditheen,  and  they  thus  presented  a  glorious collection  on  Asmaa’  ar-Rijaal  (the  study  of  the  narrators) which  are  beyond  doubt  invaluable.  But  what  amongst  this is  not  prone  to  mistakes?  Firstly,  it  is  difficult  to  accurately know  the  biography  of  the  narrators,  their  memory  and their  other  inner  qualities.  Secondly,  those  people themselves  who  formed  an  opinion  about  them  were  not free  from  human  weaknesses.  Nafs  (desires)  accompany everyone  and there  is  a  strong  possibility  that  personal opinions  interfered  in  forming  an  opinion,  good  or  bad, about individuals…

Clarification

Firstly:  The science  of hadith and isnads (chains of narrators) is one of  the  special  characteristics  of  this  ummah.  No  other nation  paid  attention  as  this  ummah  did  to  the chains  of  narration  through  which  their  books and  their  religion  were  transmitted.  This  is why  the  texts  of  other  nations  were subjected  to  distortions  and  fabrications, and it became impossible for them to know  the  pure  religion  and  to  find  out  about  the  stories  of  the Prophets in a sound and authenticated manner.

The  scholars  of  hadith  have  striven  hard  and  reached  a prominent  position  in  that  field,  as  Allah  has  honoured  them  with efforts  to preserve His religion and the Sunnah of His Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)

Muhammad ibn Haatim ibn al-Muzaffar (rahimahullah) said,

“Allah  has  honoured  this  ummah  and  favoured  it  over others  by  blessing  it  with  the  isnaad.  No  other  nation  has  this blessing,  and  they  do  not  distinguish  between  that  which  was revealed  in  the  Tawrah  and  Injeel  and  was  brought  by  their Prophets, and that  which  was added to their books of narrations transmitted  from  inauthentic  sources.  This  ummah  narrates hadith  from  a  trustworthy  individual  who  was  known  at  his own  time  for  sincerity  and  honesty,  from  another  of  similar character,  and so on until the end of the chain of narrators. Then they  researched  very  carefully  to  find  out  who  had  the  stronger memory  and  was  more  precise,  and  who  spent  more  time  with the  one  from  whom  the  report  was  transmitted,  and  who  spent less  time,  then  they  would  write  down  the  hadith  from  more than  twenty  chains  of  narration,  so  that  they  could  be  sure  that they had eliminated  any  mistake or error from it,  and they  wrote it  exactly  as  it  was  narrated.  This  is  one  of  the  greatest  blessings that  Allah  has  bestowed  upon  this  ummah.  We  ask  Allah  to inspire us to thank Him for this blessing and we ask Him to make us  steadfast  and  to  guide  us  to  that  which  will bring  us  closer  to Him  and  make  us  adhere  to  obedience  to  Him.” [End  quote  from Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadith (40)]

Secondly: They are the best people who strove the most to ensure that their judgement and transmission of hadith was done on the basis of honesty  and sincerity,  and  they  were  the  ones  who strove the most to avoid  errors  and  mistakes  to  the  extent  that  they  set  the  highest example  of  fairness  and  avoiding  favoritism  when  it  comes  to preserving the religion of Allah. 

So we see ‘Ali ibn al-Madini  ruling that his father was da’eef (weak),  and  he  knew  that  this  ruling  regarding  his  father  would guarantee an end to his position as a scholar, but  that  did  not  prevent him from stating his opinion concerning him.

Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi (rahimahullah) said,

“None  of  the  people  of  hadith  should  show  any  favoritism with regard to the science of hadith, whether it is to his father or his  son.  ‘Ali  ibn  ‘Abd-Allaah  al-Madini,  who  was  a  prominent scholar  of  hadith  in  his  time,  never  narrated  even  a  letter  to suggest  that  his  father  was  strong  in  hadith,  rather  what  was narrated from him was the opposite of that.” [End  quote  from  Sharaf  Ashaab  al-Hadith  (41)]

Ibn Hibbaan said in al-Majrooheen (2/15),

“Ali  ibn  al-Madini  was  asked  about  his  father  and  he  said, ‘Ask  someone  else.  They  said,  ‘We  asked  you.  He paused  then  he  raised  his  head  and said,  This has  to  do with religion;  my  father  is  da’eef (weak).” 

Yahya  ibn  Ma’een (rahimahullah) spoke about a friend of his whom  he  loved,  and  al-Husayn ibn Hibbaan narrated that he said of Muhammad ibn Saleem al-Qaadi,

“By Allah, he is our friend, and he is dear to us, but there is no way  to  praise  him  and  I  do  not  recommend  anyone  to  narrate from him or encourage others to do so.” and he said, “By Allaah, he heard  a  great  deal  and  he is  well  known, but he  does not limit himself  to  what  he  heard,  rather  he  includes  things  that  he  did not  hear.”  I  said  to  him,  “Should  he  be  narrated  from?”  He  said, “No.”                                   [See, Tareekh Baghdaad (5/325)]

Jareer ibn ‘Abd al-Hameed said concerning his brother Anas, “He should not be narrated from. He tells lies when he talks to people.”           [Al-Jarh wal-Ta’deel (2/289)]

Imam  al-Bukhari (rahimahullah) narrated  a  great  deal  in  his  Sahih  from  his Shaykh,  Muhammad  ibn  Yahya  al-Dhuhali  in  spite  of  the  harm  that he  was  subjected  to  as  a  result  of  a  misunderstanding  between  him and the Shaykh who forsook him. But that enmity did not prevent him from accepting and narrating his hadith.

They  would  accept  hadith  from  those  who  held  different opinions and beliefs to their own – if it was proven that (the narrator) was  honest  and  sincere.  The  fact  that  a  narrator  was  a  follower  of bid’ah did not prevent them from judging him on the basis of fairness, because  they  paid  heed  to  the  Words  of  Allah,  “O  you  who  believe! Stand  out  firmly  for  Allaah  as  just  witnesses;  and  let  not  the  enmity and  hatred  of  others  make  you avoid justice.  Be  just,  that  is  nearer  to piety,  and  fear  Allah. Verily,  Allaah  is Well  Acquainted with  what  you do.” [Surah al-Maidah 5:8]

Yahya ibn Ma’een (rahimahullah) was asked about Sa’eed ibn Khuthaym and he said,

“He  is  a  Kufi  and  there  is  nothing  wrong  with  him;  he  is trustworthy.”
It was said to Yahya, “Is he Shi’i?”
He said, “A trustworthy Shi’i, a trustworthy Qadari.” [Tahdheeb  al-Kamaal  (10/414)]

Abbaad  ibn  Ya’qoob  al-Rawaajini  al-Kufi  was  a  fanatical  Shi’i,  but despite that Ibn Khuzaymah said in his Sahih (2/376), “The  one  who  is trustworthy  in  his  narration  but  dubious  in  his religious commitment, ‘Abbaad ibn Ya’qoob, told us… ”

Thirdly:  Just  as  they  understood  the  seriousness  of  tarnishing people’s  honour  unlawfully,  they  also  understood  the  seriousness  of speaking  badly  about  any  of  the  narrators,  because  it  could  affect  the issue of accepting or rejecting the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from  them.  Muhammad  ibn  Sireen (rahimahullah)  said,  “This  knowledge  is  the (foundation  of)  religion,  so  watch  from  whom  you  learn  your religion.”  [Narrated by Muslim in the Introduction to his Sahih]

Ibn Daqeeq al-‘Eid said,

“The  honour  of  the  Muslims  is  a  pit  of  Hellfire.  Two  groups are  standing  at  the  edge  of  this  pit;  the  muhadditheen  and  the judges.”         [See: Tadreeb al-Raawi (2/369)]

Such great  piety  and  awareness  must  inevitably have  a  great  effect  of fairness  and  seeking  to  be  right  when  judging  narrators.  This  is  what was  stipulated  by  the  scholars  for  everyone  who  wants  to  examine narrators and pass judgement concerning them.

Al-Dhahabi said in al-Mooqizah (82),

“Judging narrators requires a great deal of piety and freedom from  whims  and  desires  and  bias,  along  with  complete experience in the science of hadeeth and the faults and narrators thereof.” 

Al-Mu’allimi (rahimahullah) said in al-Tankeel (1/54),

“The  imams  of  hadith  are  knowledgeable  and  careful, andthey  strive  to  avoid  mistakes,  but  they  differ  with  regard  to that.”  

Fourthly:  Yes,  none  of  them  is  infallible  and  it  is  possible  that  there may be mistakes in what some of them say. It is also possible that the cause  of  some  of  these  mistakes  may  be  love  or  hate  for  someone. Some  things  of  that  nature  did  indeed  happen,  for  no  human  being can  be  entirely  free  of  that.  But  that  should  not  be  a  reason  for doubting all of their judgements, and this is for the following reasons:

1  – Because these are a few mistakes when compared with the great  legacy  that  the  leading  scholars  of  hadith  and al-jarh  wa’l-ta’deel  have  left  behind,  the  vast  majority  of which  is  based  on  honesty  and  fairness,  so  it  is  unfair  to overlook that because of a few mistakes.

2  –  Because  the  scholars  highlighted  these  mistakes  and pointed them out in their comments. Whatever the motive was,  whether  it  was  enmity,  envy  or  a  difference  of madhhab, they would reject unfair judgements and would issue fair judgements concerning a specific narrator.

Hence none of the scholars accepted the view of Imam Malik (rahmatullah alayh) concerning  Muhammad  ibn  Ishaaq,  the  author  of  al-Maghaazi,  that he  was one of the  fabricators,  when  they  realized  that  this  statement was  based  on  resentment  and  personal  reasons;  rather  they  judged him  as  “hasan  al-hadith”  (i.e.,  a  good  narrator)  and  the  leading scholars  of  hadith  used  his  reports  as  evidence.  And  they  did  not accept the view of al-Nasaa’i concerning Ahmad ibn Salih al-Masri, or the  view  of  Rabi’ah  concerning  Abu’l-Zinnaad  ‘Abd-Allaah  ibn Dhakwaan. [See, al-Raf’ wa’l-Takmeel (409-432)].

Abu Hatim al-Raazi (rahimahullah) said,

“There has never been in any nation since Allah created Adam (alayhissalaam), safekeepers  who preserve the  legacy of the Messengers except in this  ummah.  A  man  said  to  him,  “O  Abu  Hatim,  perhaps  there were  narrations  which  have  no  basis  and  are  not  sound?”  He said,    “Their scholars will recognize the sound from the unsound. So  they  preserved  this  science  (of  hadeeth)  so  that  the  people who  came  after  them  were  able  to  distinguish  between  reports and  preserve  them.”  Then  he  said.  “May  Allah  have  mercy  on Abu Zur’ah; by Allah he strove very hard to preserve the legacy of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).”        [Sharaf Ashaab al-Hadith (43)]

You should understand that Allah has  preserved  this religion  by  His  grace  and  blessing  and  that  the Sunnah  has  been  preserved  as  Allah guaranteed  to  preserve  His  religion.  So  it  is not  possible  for  the  scholars  to unanimously agree to authenticate  a weak narrator  or  to  criticize  or  condemn  a sound narrator. Rather you will inevitably find  that  truthfulness  and  fairness  are very  apparent  in  the  views  of  the  majority of scholars and in most issues of religion.

Imam  al-Dhahabi  (rahimahullah)  said  in  al-Mooqizah (84),

“The  same  Imam  may  be  more  generous  or  more kind  with  regard  to  a  report  that  is  in  accordance  with  his madhhab  or  the  madhhab  of  his  Shaykh  than  with  regard  to other  reports  that  say  the  opposite.  But  it  is  only  the  Prophets who are infallible.  But this religion  is  supported and protected by Allah, may He be  exalted,  and  its  scholars  will  never  agree  on  misguidance, either deliberately or by mistake. So no two scholars will agree on classing  a  weak  narrator  as  sound,  or  a  sound  narrator  as  weak. Rather  their  differences  will  be  with  regard  to  how  strong  or weak a narrator is.  The  one  who passes such judgements speaks on  the  basis  of  his  own  effort,  strength  and  knowledge.  If  it  so happens that  he  makes a  mistake in  judging,  then  he will have  a single reward. And Allah is the source of strength.” 

Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said in al-Baa’ith al-Hatheeth (1/11),

“As  for  the  words  of  these  imams  who  took  on  this  task  (of examining  hadith),  they  should  be  accepted  without questioning  or  mentioning  the  reason  because  of  their knowledge  of  it  and  their  deep  understanding  of  this  field  and because  of  their  being  known  to  be  fair,  religiously  committed, experienced  and  sincere,  especially  if  they  agree  unanimously that a narrator is weak, or matrook (to be ignored) or a liar and so on.  The  skilled  muhaddith  will  not hesitate  to  agree  with  them  when they  take  a  decision  of  that  nature because  of  their  honesty, trustworthiness  and  sincerity.  Hence  al-Shafi’i (rahimahullah) said  in  many  instances  when commenting  on  Ahadith,  “None  of  the scholars would regard this hadith as sound,” so he would reject it and not quote it as evidence on that basis.” 

Finally, one should be content with the blessing that Allah has bestowed  upon  this  ummah  by  means  of  this  noble  branch  of knowledge, and do not get carried away with doubts about the sahih ahadith.  Reason  dictates  that  we  should  not  reject  the  efforts  of thousands of sincere scholars throughout the centuries on the basis of a  few  mistakes  here  and  there.  To  appreciate  the  science  of  Hadith verification,  one  must  strive  to  read  the  numerous  books  on  the subject,  and  one  cannot  help  but  be  astonished  by  the  huge  efforts that  were  put  into  verifying  a  single  hadith

Even  the  Orientalist Margoliouth said, “The Muslims may boast about their science of hadith.”

Authority and Significance of Hadith in Islam [A Point for Hadith-Rejectors to Ponder]

The Example of Allah’s Messenger is part of Islam and will be  protected  till  the  Last  Day.  Allah  says, 

Indeed,  in  the Messenger of Allah  (Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) you have a good example to follow,  for  him  who  hopes  in  (the  Meeting  with)  Allah  and  the Last Day and remembers Allah much.”  [Surah al-Ahzab 33:21]

Islam  is  a  universal  religion,  and  its  teachings  are  for  all mankind  and  for  all  ages;  and  as  long  as  people  need  to  be guided,  the  example  of  the  Prophet  will  be  preserved. 

“We  have not  sent  you  (O  Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  except  as  a  Messenger  to  all mankind,  giving  them  glad  tidings  and  warning  them  against sin.” [Surah Saba 34:28]

Rather,  the  very  purpose of  sending a  human Messenger was for  people  to  take  him  as  an  example  in  their  day  to  day  lives,

“Say,  ‘If  there  were  on  the  earth,  angels  walking  about  in  peace and security,  We should certainly  have  sent down for them from the heaven, an angel as a Messenger.” [Surah al-Isra 17: 95]

Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam received revelations besides the Qur’an. Allah says, 

“Verily,  it  is  We  who  have  sent  down  the Dhikr (revelation), and surely We will guard it.” [Surah Hijr 15:9]

Anyone who believes in Allah  as the Supreme Rabb, must agree that the guidance which Allah has sent  will be  protected  as  long  as there  is  a need for it which in case of Islam is until the last day. The question remains –  Is Qur’aan the only guidance that has been revealed by Allah  as  the  hadeeth-rejecters  contend  or  has  the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  received revelation  from Allah  that  is not part of the Qur’aan??

The  Qur’aan itself  refers  to  revelation  being  received  from Allah  that  is  not  found  in  the  Qur’aan  and  hereunder  are  few examples:

i)  Allah says in the Qur’aan,

“And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction  towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to  test  those  who  followed  the  Messenger  (Muhammad).” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:143]

This verse shows that Allah had  assigned the previous Qiblah of the Muslims but there is no verse in the Qur’aan designating Jerusalem as the previous Qibla. This means  that  there  has  to  be  an  alternative  form  of  ‘Wahy’ (revelation)  apart  from  the  Qur’aan  through which  Allah  revealed  the  previous command  of  facing  towards Jerusalem.

ii)  “And  (remember)  when  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  disclosed  a matter in confidence to one of his wives (Hafsah), so when she  told  it  (to  another  i.e.  Aa’isha),  and  Allah  made  it known  to  him,  he  informed  part  thereof  and  left  a  part. Then  when  he  told  her  (Hafsah)  thereof,  she  said,  ‘Who told  you  this?’  He  said,  ‘The  All-Knower,  the  All-Aware (Allah) has told me.” [Surah at-Tahrim (66): 3]

The  verse  says,  “Allah  made  it  known  to  him,”  and yet,  there  is  no  verse  in  the  Qur’aan  that  makes mentions this.

iii) “It  is  for  Us to collect it (i.e. the Qur’aan) and to give you (O Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  the  ability  to  recite  it  (the  Qur’aan).”  [Surah al-Qiyamah 75:17]

The Qur’aan as it has been collected is not in the same order  in  which  it  was  revealed,  and  while  it  is  for  Allah  to collect  the  Qur’aan  there are  no  verses  in the Qur’aan that mention the  arrangement  of  the  verses. This  information is found in the Sunnah.

iv)  The Qur’aan mentions the call to the prayer (adhan), “And when you proclaim the call for Salaat, they take it (but) as a mockery  and  fun.” [Surah al-Maidah 5:58] and, 

“O  you  who believe!  When  the  call  is  proclaimed  for  the  Salaat  on  the day of Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah.” [Surah al-Jumu’ah 62:9] 

These  verses  testify  that  Adhan  is  part  of  the  religion of  Islam  but  there  is  no  verse  in  the  Qur’aan  that prescribes  the Adhan for the believers. This order is found in the other revelation – the Sunnah.

These are some proofs that show that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did indeed receive revelation apart from the Qur’aan; and since this  revelation  constitutes  beneficial  guidance,  it  will  be preserved.

The Sunnah is in itself a Revelation from Allah

Allah  repeatedly  makes  mention  of  the  revealed  ‘al-Hikmah‘ in  the  Qur’aan.  He  said,  “Allah  has  sent  down  to  you  the  Book (the  Qur’aan),  and  al-Hikmah,  and  taught  you  that  which  you knew not.” [Surah an-Nisa 4:113]

“He,  it  is  Who,  sent  among  the  unlettered  ones  a  Messenger from  among  themselves,  reciting  to  them  His  Ayaat,  purifying them,  and  teaching  them  the  Book  and  the  Hikmah.” [Surah  al-Jumu’ah 62:2]

“And  remember  (O  you  members  of  the  Prophet’s  family), that  which  is  recited  in  your  houses of  the Ayaat of  Allah  and  the Hikmah.” [Surah al-Ahzab 33:34]

These verses show;

(i)  Al-Hikmah is revealed by Allah

(ii)  It is part of the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) duty to teach the Hikmah

(iii)  It  is  something  recited  and  remembered  in  the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) household.

There  is  nothing  in  status  and  position  that  can  be  mentioned alongside  the  Qur’aan  apart  from  the  Sunnah  of  Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  This  honor  cannot  be  given  to  conventional wisdom  inherited  from  the  past  or  even  to  the  books  given  to previous  nations.  At  the  time  of  the  Sahabah, such  ‘wisdom’  was not given any consideration as the following incidents testify…

Imran bin Hussain said, “The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Haya’ does not bring  anything  except  good.”    Thereupon,  Bashir  bin  Ka’b  said, “It is written in the wisdom paper: Haya leads to solemnity; Haya leads to tranquility (peace of mind).”

Imran said to him, “I am narrating to you the saying of Allah’s Messenger  and  you  are  speaking  about  your  paper  (wisdom book)?” [Saheeh al-Bukharee (8/138)]

When Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)  came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), he said, “We hear the narrations  from the Jews, which sound pleasing to  us, so should we not write some of them?” Whereupon he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Do you want to be baffled as the  Jews and the Christians  were baffled? I have brought to you (guidance) bright and pure and if Prophet Moosa (alayhissalaam) was  alive  now  there  would  have  been  no  alternative  left for him  but to follow me.” [at-Tirimidhi]

Therefore,  Imam  Ash-Shafiee  (rahimahullah)  says explaining the verse about Hikmah,

“So Allah  mentioned His Book, i.e.,  the  Qur’aan  and  (He also mentioned)  Hikmah. I have heard  that those who are learned in the  Qur’aan  –  whom I approve – hold that Hikmah is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah.

This  is  like  what  [Allah  Himself]  said  but  Allah knows  best! For the Qur’aan is mentioned [first], followed by Wisdom; [then] Allah  mentioned  His  favor  to  mankind  by  teaching  them  the Qur’aan  and  Wisdom.  So  it  is  not  permissible  for  Hikmah  to  be called  here  [anything]  save  the  Sunnah  of  the  Messenger  of Allah.  For  [Hikmah]  is  closely  linked  to  the  Book  of  Allah,  and Allah has  imposed  the  duty  of  obedience  to His Messenger,  and imposed on men the obligation to obey his orders.

So,  it  is  not  permissible to regard  anything  as  a duty save that set  forth  in  the  Qur’aan  and  the  Sunnah  of  His  Messenger. For [Allah],  as  we  have [just] stated, prescribed  that the belief in His Messenger shall be associated with the belief in Him.” [Ar-Risala]

Furthermore, Book and Hikmah are not the same because at no  place  is  the  word  ‘Hikmah’ used  for  the  Book  or  the  word ‘Book’  used  for ‘Hikmah’.  They  are  two  separate  and  distinct entities.

The  Qur’aan  needs  to  be understood as  Allah meant it to be  understood. Allah  says, 

“It  is  for  Us  to  collect  it  and  to  give you  (O Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the ability to  recite  it  (the  Qur’aan).  And when We have recited it to you, then follow you its recital. Then it is  for  Us (Allah) to make it clear to you.” [Surah al-Qiyamah 75:17-19]

This verse indicates that both the text of the Qur’aan as well as its explanation have been sent from Allah.

Allah  also  says,  “And  We  have  also  sent  down  unto  you  (O Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam )  the  reminder  and  the  advice,  that  you  may explain  clearly  to  men  what  is  sent  down  to  them  and  that  they may give thought.” [Surah an-Nahl 16:44]

This  verse  mentions  that  the message requires explanation,  and  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  is  the  one  assigned  to provide  it.  This  explanation  is  not  only  needed  by  people  at  the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but by all subsequent generations until the last  day. Rather, the more the distance in age from the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  the  more  the  need  to  solve  differences  in understanding by reference to the original state of affairs.

Furthermore,  this  verse  also  gives  instructions  about  the order  in  which  the  Qur’aan  should  be  understood.  First  the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) explains  Allah’s  revelation  clearly  to  mankind  and then  they  give  thought.  People  are  not  free  to  let  loose  their thoughts  and speculate  about  the  message of the  Qur’aan whilst ignoring the teachings of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

According  to  Hadeeth-rejecters,  ‘God  Himself  states  in  the Qur’aan  that it  is He  Who explains the Qur’aan. This means that the  Qur’aan  explains  itself.’  But why  then  have  the  Hadeeth-rejectors not sufficed themselves with the text of the Qur’aan and have  written  huge  volumes  discussing  and  explaining  the Qur’aan?

Because there are  verses in  the Qur’aan that explain each  other,  and  there  are  verses  that  require explanation from the Sunnah.

The  Qur’aan  can  only  be  correctly  understood  in  light  of the  Sunnah. One  of  the  most  important  duties  with  which Allah’s  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was  sent with was  to  convey  the  Qur’aan to mankind and to teach it.  Allah  says, 

“Indeed,  Allah  conferred  a great  favor  on  the  believers  when  He  sent  among  them  a Messenger  (Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  from  among  themselves,  reciting unto  them  His  Verses,  and  purifying  them,  and  teaching  them the Book (Qur’aan) and Hikmah while before that they had been in manifest error.”  [Surah aal-Imran 3:164]

“And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the Reminder  and  the  Advice  that  you  may  explain  clearly  to  men what is sent down to them.”  [Surah an-Nahl (16): 44]

i)  The  Sunnah  explains  the  commands  of  the Qur’aan  in  details.  For  example,  Allah  commands  His believing  slaves  in  Surah  al-Baqarah 2: 43, “…establish As-Salaat and give Zakaat…” 

Details of the command to establish the Salaat are not found in the Qur’aan such as the required number of daily prayers,  the  units  of  prayers  (rak’ah)  and  the  recitation  in each  mode of  prayer  as  well  as  the  manner  of  performing the  prayer  from  the  beginning  to  the  end,  etc.  All  these guidelines are to be taken from the Sunnah. Similarly,  Allah  commands  in  Surah al-Jumuah 62: verse 9,  “When  the  call  is  proclaimed  for  the  Salaat on the day of Friday…”

The  words  of  the  call  to  prayer  (Adhaan)  is  known from  the  Hadith.  Likewise,  all  issues  of  Zakaat  e.g.,  the minimum amount on which Zakaat becomes payable, the percentage paid, the kind of wealth, goods and animals on which Zakaat is obligatory, etc. are clearly explained by the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Other important acts  of  worship like fasting and Hajj are  touched  upon  briefly  in  the  Qur’aan  and  for  detailed injunctions Muslims are to refer to the Hadith and the Sunnah of the Messenger and the rightly guided Caliphs.

Another example is the Qur’aanic punishment for the thief.  “Cut  off  the  hand  of  the  thief,  male  or  female,  as  a recompense  for  that  which  they  committed…” [Surah al-Maidah 5:38]

This  verse  prescribes  the  punishment,  but  the  Sunnah designates  what  is  the  minimum  amount  when  it  is applied.  The  Messenger  of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam    said,  “The  hand  of  the thief  shall  be  cut  off  if  he  steals  a  quarter  of  a  Dinar  or more.”  [Saheeh al- Bukhari]

Note: The manner in which the hadeeth-rejectors explain this verse  provides  beneficial  insight  into  their  methodology and contradictions.

Rashad Khalifa (the Hadith-rejector) translates this verse as,
The thief,  male or female, you shall mark their hands as a  punishment  for  their  crime,”  and  then  comments,
“The practice of cutting off the thief’s hand as decreed by  the  false  Muslims  is  a  satanic  practice  without Qur’aanic basis.”    [Rashad Khalifa’s Translation]

Therefore,  the Qur’aan itself does not have Qur’aanic basis (!) when  the  hadeeth-rejectors  dislike  something  in  it. Rashad  Khaleefah  used  mathematical  calculations to interpret cutting as marking.

Ghulam Perwez (another Hadith-rejector says about this verse, “As to a thief, man or woman, such restrictions should be imposed  on  them  which  render  them  incapable  of committing such crime.”

He comments, “The literal  meaning  of  the  text  is ‘cutting off the  hands.’ When the Divine Order of Rabubiyyat is established, every  person  will  be  guaranteed  means of livelihood.

If  anyone  commits  a theft  under  such circumstances  he deserves  the  highest punishment.” [Perwez’s Translation]

We  can  see  that  after  all  the prolonged  argument  by  the  Hadeeth-rejecters that  the  Qur’aan  explains  itself  and  is  in  no  need  of the Hadith and Sunnah  to  clarify  it,  we  find  Perwez  adding  non-Qur’aanic  clauses  to  the  Qur’aanic  law  to  limit  the circumstance  under  which  this  punishment  is applied.

ii)  The  Sunnah  establishes  a  meaning,  when  a number  of  meanings  are  possible. The  Qur’aan prescribes, “Cut off the hand of the thief, male or female…” but  does  not  clarify  what  hand  means.  The Hadith and the Sunnah explains the hand to mean ‘from the wrist down’.

The  Qur’aan  explains  the  ruling  and  manner  of Tayammum as, “…But if you are ill  or  on  a journey or any of  you  comes  from  answering  the  call  of  nature,  or  you have  been  in  contact  with  women  and  you  find  no  water, then  perform Tayammum (dry ablution) with clean earth and rub there with your faces and hands.”

The  Sunnah  explains  that  hands  in  this  verse  mean only  the  palms.  The  word  ‘hand’  could  have  multiple meanings  but  the  Sunnah  specifies  the  appropriate meaning for each ruling.

Another  example  is  the  Saying  of  Allah,  “And  those (means hoarding up) gold and silver, and spend it not in the Way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment.”

Apparently,  this  verse  means  that  any  kind  of  hoarding  or collection  of  money  that  is  not  spent  in  the  Way  of  Allah will  doom  one  to  the  painful  torment  but  the  Sunnah clarifies  that  Kanz  refers  to  the  wealth  on  which  Zakaat has not been paid.

iii)  The  Sunnah  can  specify  exceptions  to  a  general rule. In  Surah  al-Maida 5: 3,  Allah  says,  “Forbidden  to you  (for  food)  are:  al-Maytatah  (the  un-slaughtered  dead animals), blood…” 

The  general  rule  in  this  verse  prohibits  all  Maytatah and all forms  of  blood but the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)   made exceptions to this rule. He    said, “We were allowed two dead animals and two (kinds of) blood. As for the two dead animals, they are fish and locust. As for the two bloods, they are liver and spleen.” [Quoted from Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

iv)  The Sunnah also gives additional injunctions in a number of issues. Allah  says,  “Those  who  follow  the  Messenger,  the Prophet  who  can  neither  read  nor  write  –  he  commands them  for al-Ma’roof  (the  prescribed);  and  forbids  them from al-Munkar (the prohibited); he allows them as lawful at-Taiyibaat (i.e. all good), and prohibits them as unlawful al-Khabaaith  (i.e.  all  evil),  he releases  them  from  their heavy  burdens  (of  Allah’s Covenant),  and  from  the  fetters (bindings)  that  were  upon  them. So  those  who  believe  in  him (Muhammad  sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  honor  him,  help  him, and follow  the  light  which has  been  sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.”  [Surah al-A’raf 7:157]

A  number  of  religious  injunction  thus  emanate  from the Sunnah like the prohibition of the flesh of the donkeys, dogs,  beasts  with  canine  teeth  and  birds  of  prey.  He  made  wearing  gold  and  silk  Halaal  for  the  women  and Haraam for the men, etc.

v)  Inadequacy  of  language  alone  to  understand Qur’aan. There  is  no  scope  for  anyone  with  all  his  Arabic scholarship  to  understand  the  glorious  Qur’aan  without Hadith and Sunnah. The Sahabah were the most knowledgeable in the language  in  which  the  Qur’aan  was  revealed  at  a  time when Arabic was not blemished by the incorrectness of the colloquial  language  or  their  grammatical  mistakes.  Yet, they  erred  in  understanding  the  verses  when  they  relied on language alone, and following are some examples…

a)  Allah  says  in  the  Qur’aan,  “It  is  those  who  believe and confuse not their belief with Dhulm (wrongdoing), for them  (only)  there  is  security  and  they  are  the  guided.” [Surah al-An’am 6:82]

When  this  verse  was  revealed,  the  Sahabah understood  ‘Dhulm‘  in  its  wider  sense  meaning  ‘all wrongdoing’  and  this  caused  much  concern  because  no one  is  free  from  wrongdoing.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  explained that ‘Dhulm‘ in this verse refers to Shirk.

b) “…eat and drink  until  the white  thread  of  dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread.” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:187]

This  verse  describes  the  time  when  the  fast  begins.  A companion  understood  this  verse  literally  and  slept  with two  threads  under  his  pillow  to  determine  when  the  fast should  begin.  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) explained that the black and white  thread  actually  refers  to  the  white  streak  of  dawn and the darkness of night.

Detailed book?

The  hadeeth-rejecters  maintain  that  the  Qur’aan  is  a detailed  Book  that  does  not  require  any  other  source  to supplement  it  –  not  even  Sunnah.  Despite  this  we  have seen  how  Ghulam Parwez added additional clauses to the order  of  cutting  the  thief’s  hand.  Furthermore,  the Hadeeth-rejecters  seriously  contradict  themselves  when they  author  detailed  volumes  explaining  and  deliberating upon  the  Qur’aan  and  propose  additional  clauses  and conditions to the Qur’aan’s orders.

Another  example  of  this  is  Rashad  Khaleefah’s comment  on  the  verse,  “Those  who  eat  Riba  (usury)  will not  stand  (on  the  Day  of  Resurrection)  except  like  the standing  of  a  person  beaten by  Shaytan  leading  him  to insanity.”

Rashad Khaleefah says,

“It  is  an  established economic  principle  that  excessive interest  on loans can utterly destroy a whole country. During  the  last  few  years  we  have  witnessed  the devastation  of  the  economies  of  many nations  where excessive  interest  is  charged.  Normal  interest  –  less than  20%  –  where  no  one  is  victimized  and  everyone is satisfied is not usury.”

The 20% condition is not mentioned in the Qur’aan.

To  emphasize  that  the  Qur’an  does  not  need supplementary  explanations,  the  Hadeeth-rejecters quote, “We have neglected nothing  in  the Book,  then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered.” [Surah  al-An’am 6:38]

“And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’aan) as an exposition of everything…” [Surah an-Nahl 16:89]

For  the  correct  understanding,  we  refer  to  the complete  verse,  i.e., “There  is  not  a  moving  (living) creature  on  earth,  nor  a  bird  that  flies  with  its  two  wings, but  are  communities like  you.  We have neglected nothing in  the  Book,  then  unto  their  Lord  they  (all)  shall  be gathered.” [Surah al-An’aam 6:38]
One  interpretation  is  that  ‘the  Book’  in  this  verse refers  to  the  preserved  tablet  in  which  Allah has  recorded everything that occurs, and this is similar to another verse,

“And  no (moving)  living  creature  is  there  on  earth but  its provision  is  due  from  Allah.  And  He  knows  its  dwelling place  and  its  deposit  all  is  in  a  Clear  Book  (al-Lawh  al-Mahfoodh).” [Surah Hud 11:6]

Even  if  one  interprets  ‘the  Book’  to  be  the  Qur’aan then Allah has not neglected to mention in it the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) duty as  the  example, teacher  and explainer  of  the  Qur’aan and obedience to him is ordered in seventy verses. 

While  ‘the  Book’  does  not  contain  details  of  the prayers  and  fasting,  it  did  not  neglect  to  direct  the believers  towards  the  example  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  where  it can be found. And the same explanation holds good for the other  similar  verse,  i.e.,   

“We  have  sent  down  to  you  the Book (the Qur’aan) as an exposition of everything…”

Allah’s  Protection  for  the  Dhikr  includes  all  the  Deen

Allah  says, 

“Verily,  it  is  We  who  have  sent  down  the  Dhikr (revelation), and surely We will guard it.” [Surah Hijr 15:9]

The  word, ‘Dhikr‘  has  been used in the  Book  of  Allah to  refer  to the  Qur’aan,  the Deen  in  general, the remembrance of Allah, the  Friday prayer (62:9) and Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as in the verse, 

“Allah  has  indeed  sent  down  to  you a Dhikr (reminder). A Messenger who recites to you the verses of Allah.” [Surah  at-Talaaq 65:10-11)]

Therefore,  Allah  promised  to  protect  the  Qur’aan,  its understanding, the  example  of  His Messenger, the actions of the Khulafa e Rashidin, the examples of the Imams of the Madhabs, the Ijma’ of the scholars the Prayer and all  aspects of  the Deen which collectively are ‘the Dhikr‘. The text of the Qur’aan will not be protected if its understanding which is contained  in  the  Sunnah  is  not protected.

Furthermore,  if  anyone  wants  to restrict  the  meaning  of  ‘Dhikr‘  to  the Qur’aan  then  they  need  to  present  a proof.  A  segment  of  Munkireen  al-Hadeeth argues  that  Qur’aan  was  the  only  revelation  and hence  Dhikr  exclusively  refers  to  the  Qur’aan.  This argument has  already been  replied to  earlier with  examples  that the Qur’aan itself refers to a revelation apart from it.

Another  group  of  Munkareen  al-Hadeeth  claims  that  the additional  guidance  received  by  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was  for  his period  only.  This  is  a  false  argument  because  the  latter generations  who  do  not  have  a  living  Messenger  amongst  themselves  are  more  in  need  of  the  guidance  and  explanations that was revealed apart from the Qur’aan. This group also claims that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself did not undertake any measures to preserve  the  hadeeth,  the  like  of  which  was  undertaken  to preserve  the  Qur’aan.  We  will  shed  light  on  the  issue  in  the following pages.

To  summarize,  the  insistence  of  Munkareen  al-Hadeeth  that  the Dhikr which Allah had Promised to protect, is only the Qur’aan is not based on any sound proof but upon their assumption and conjecture.

Preservation of Hadith

From what has preceded, we have seen the significance of the Hadeeth and Sunnah as  a  source  of  the  Deen  and  it  is  only  a  natural  consequence  that  the study  of  Hadeeth  has  been  a  constant  pursuit  since  the  beginning  of Islam to the present time.

The Companions of the Prophet    eagerly observed what he said  and  did,  and  memorized  it  faithfully. Some of  them  even recorded Hadeeth by writing in ‘saheefahs’.

The  Ahadeeth  were  passed  down  from  generation  to generation  among  the  most  trustworthy  of  individuals  in  a tremendous  effort  that  not  only  preserved  the  exact  words  of  the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but also the entire chain of narration and the condition of the narrators (memory, period, beliefs, etc.).

This  manner  and  meticulousness  by  which  Ahadeeth  have been  preserved  is  unique  and  unparallel  in  literary  history,  and  one needs  to  study  the  science  of  hadeeth-verification  in  order  to  truly appreciate it.

To  get  a  good  overview  of  how  Islamic  texts  were  preserved we start  by  understanding  the  methodology of the compilation  of  the Qur’aan  so  that  it  can  be  compared to the  methodology of Hadeeth compilation.

Compiliation of the Qur’an

Allah  says,  “He,  it  is  Who,  sent  among  the  unlettered  ones  a Messenger  (Muhammad)  from  among  themselves.” [Surah  al-Munafiqun 63:2]

Being  mostly  unlettered,  the  primary  mode  by  which  the Arabs  preserved  their  knowledge  like  poetry  and  history  was  by memorization. When the Qur’aan was revealed it too, was memorized by the Sahabah and in addition some of the sahabah were assigned by the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi was   to write down the Qur’aan.

At  the  time  of  the  Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) death,  all  of  the  Qur’aan  had been verified  and written  on  various  materials  like  cloth,  stone,  date-palm  leaves,  etc.,  and  remained  scattered  as  loose  fragments  in  the possession of various Sahabah. 

It  had not been compiled in the form of a book because during the  lifetime  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the  Qur’aan  was  continually  being revealed,  and  the  order  of  the  verses  is  not  chronological.  There  was also  no  pressing  need  for  it  because  of  the  large  number  of  accurate memorizers and reciters of the Qur’aan.

During  the  Caliphate  of  Abu  Bakr  as-Siddeeq (radhiyallahu anhu),  many memorizers  of  the  Qur’aan  were  killed  in  battles  and  a  collective decision  was taken to compile the Qur’aan in a single book  in order to preserve  it.  The  enormously  significant  task  was  given  to  Zayd  ibn Thaabit (radhiyallahu anhu)  who began to collect the Qur’aan from what was written on palm  stalks,  thin  white  stones  and  also  from  the  men  who knew it  by heart.

Zayd  ibn  Thaabit (radhiyallahu anhu),  despite  being  a  memorizer  of  the  Qur’aan himself,  was  methodical  in  his  compilation  and  would  not  agree  to write  down any verse until  two of the  Sahabah testified  that  they  had heard  it  from  the  Messenger  of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  In  this  manner,  the  entire Qur’aan  was  verified  and  written  on  leather,  and  remained  with  Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) until his  death  and  then  with  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) until  the  end  of  his  life,  and then with Hafsah (radhiyallahu anha) the daughter of Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and the wife of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

At  the  time  of  Uthmaan  ibn  Affan (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  Islamic  empire  had spread  far  and  wide  and  people  were  being  taught  to  recite  the Qur’aan in seven different dialects (the Qur’aan was revealed in seven dialects).  This  began  to  cause  confusion  in  far  off  provinces,  and  a decision  was  taken  to  make  an  official  standardized  copy  from  the manuscript of Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and limit the people to its recitation.

More  copies  were  made  from  this  copy  known  as  ‘Mushaf Uthmaan,‘  and  sent  to  different  parts  of  the  Islamic  empire. 

This Mushaf was unpointed (i.e., it had no diacritical marks). The addition of diacritical marks to the Mushaf happened in the era of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwaan to ease recitation.

Compiliation of the Hadith

Like  the  Qur’aan,  the  sayings  and  actions  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  were preserved  primarily  at  the  time  of  the  Sahabah  by  memorization  and they  were  also  noted  down.  This  was  due  to  encouragement  and direction  by  the  Messenger  of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)    himself,  who  said, “May  Allah make radiant the man who has heard what I said and has preserved it in  his  memory  until  he  conveys  it  to  another.  Perhaps,  the  one  he conveyed  it  to  has  a  better  understanding  than  him.” [At-Tirmidhi] He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also said, “Convey from me even a single verse. You may relate from the  Children  of  Israel  without  objection.  Anyone  who  deliberately tells a lie against me will have prepared his seat in Hellfire.” [Bukhari]

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  also  made  clear  the  necessity  of  accurately preserving  and  transmitting  Hadeeth  when  he  warned,  “Lying  about me is not like lying about anybody else. Whoever lies about me let him take  his  place  in  Hell.” [Agreed upon] So  serious  was  this  matter  that  at the  time  of  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  lying  about  him  was  punishable  by death.

Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “People say that I  have narrated many Ahadeeth. Had  it  not  been  for  two  verses  in  the  Qur’aan  I  would  not  have narrated  a  single  Hadeeth  and  the  verses  are, “Verily,  those  who conceal  the  clear  sign  and  the  guidance  which  We  have sent  down…” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:159-160]

No doubt, our Muhajir (emigrant) brothers used to be busy in the  market  with  their  business  (bargains);  and  our  Ansari  brothers used to be busy with their property (agriculture). But I used to stick to Allah’s Messenger    content with what will fill my stomach and I used to  attend  that  which  they  used  not  to  attend  and  I  used  to  memorize that which they used not to memorize.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari (3/118)]

Famous  Memorizers  of  Hadeeth  amongst  the  Sahaba h included  Abu  Hurayrah,  Abdullah  Ibn  Abbas,  Aa’isha  Siddeeqa, Abdullah  Ibn  Umar,  Jabir  Ibn  Abdullah,  Anas  Ibn  Maalik  and  Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhum). Each of them memorized over a 1000 Ahadeeth.

Famous  Memorizers  of  Hadeeth  amongst  the  Tabieen included  Sa’eed  Ibn  al-Mussayab,  Urwah  Ibn  Zubayr,  Saalim  Ibn Abdullah  Ibn  Umar  (the  son  of  Abdullah  Ibn  Umar)  and  Naaf’i  (the servant  of  Abdullah  Ibn  Umar).

Writing Hadith

References to writing the Hadeeth can be found in various narrations some examples are mentioned below:

1.  Abdullah  ibn  Umar  ibn  al-As  stated  that  they  used  to  record everything  they heard  from  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) until  they  were  warned that  the  Prophet  was a  human  being  who  may be  angry at  times and  pleased  at  times.  Abdullah  stopped  writing  Ahadeeth  until he asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about it, who said, “Write (my hadeeth),  by  the  One,  in  Whose Hand is my soul, nothing leaves it  (the  Prophet’s  mouth)  save  the  truth.” [Saheeh  Sunan Abu  Dawood (2/695)]

2.  Al-Bukhari recorded  in  his  Saheeh  that  Abu  Hurayrah (rashoyallahu anhu)   said, “One  can  find  none  of  the  Companions  of  the Messenger  of  Allah  relating  more  Ahadeeth than  me,  except  Abdullah  ibn  Amr (radhiyallahu anhu) because  he  used  to  record  the  hadeeth while I did not do so.”

3.  Al-Bukhari  recorded  that a man from Yemen came to the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  on the day  of  the  conquest  of  Makkah  and asked him if he could get the Prophet’s speech  recorded  and  the  Prophet  approved  and  told  someone,  “Write  it  for the father of so and so.”

Al-Azami  in  his  work  Studies  in  Early  Hadeeth Literature  (p.34-60)  has  listed  and  discussed  some  fifty Companions  of  the  Prophet  who  wrote  Ahadeeth.  He  listed eighty-seven  of  the  scholars  covering  the  late  first  and  early second centuries who recorded hadeeth.

Then  he  listed  from  the  early  second  century  scholars,  251 people  who  collected  and  recorded  hadeeth.  Thus  al-Azami  has produced  a  list  of  437  scholars  who  had  recorded  Ahadeeth  and all  of  them lived and died before the year 250 A.H. Many of them are  from  before  the  time  of  Umar  ibn  Abdul-Azeez (rahimahullah) who  is credited  with  having  been  the  first  person  to  ask  for  the compilation/collection of hadeeth.

Al-Azami said,

“I  have established in my doctoral thesis Studies in  early  Hadeeth Literature that even in the first century of  the  Hijra  many hundreds of booklets of hadeeth were in circulation.  If we  add another hundred years, it would be  difficult  to  enumerate  the  quantity  of  booklets  and books,  which  were  in  circulation.  Even  by  the  most conservative estimate they were many thousands.” [Studies  in  Hadeeth  Methodology  and  Literature  (p.64)]

He also demonstrated in his Ph.D. thesis the reason why none or very few of them are still in existence today “These  books  were  not  destroyed  nor  did  they perish,  but  (they)  were  absorbed  into  the  work  of  later authors.  When  the  encyclopedia-type  books  were produced  scholars  did  not  feel  the  necessity  to  keep  the early books or booklets and so slowly they disappeared.” [Studies  in  Hadeeth  Methodology  and  Literature,  p.64]

Saheefah Hammaam ibn Munabbih

“Of the earliest collections of hadeeth one in particular deserves closer attention.  This  is  the  Saheefah  of  Hammaam  ibn  Munabbih (rahimahullah).  It  is actually  a  written  collection  of  hadeeth  that  the  Companion  Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) dictated to his student Hammaam.

Since  Abu  Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu)  died  around  58  A.H.  (or  some  48  years after the  death of the Prophet) this collection must have been dictated to Hammaam sometime from that date…

Imam  Ahmad  Ibn  Hambal (rahimahullah) incorporated  the  entire  work except two hadeeth into his famous Musnad.

Al-Sulami  (a  muhaddith),  on  the  other  hand,  continued  the passing  on  of  this  collection  as  an  independent  work.  It  was continually  passed  on  until  the  9th  century  which  is  the  date  of  the Berlin manuscript, one of the four manuscripts of this work that is still in existence.

Since  Ahadeeth  in  Ahmad’s  Musnad  are arranged  according  to  the  Companions  who narrated  the  Hadeeth.  It  is  very  easy  to  find all  of  the  hadeeth  from  Hammam  on  the authority  of  Abu  Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) in  that collection.

Other  books where  the Ahadeeth are arranged according to Fiqh topics also incorporated a great deal of this Saheefah.

A  study  of  Saheeh  al-Bukhari  and Saheeh  Muslim will  demonstrate  the following.  Out  of  the  137  Ahadeeth  in  the Saheefah of Hammaam: 29 are recorded by both al-Bukhari and Muslim 22 others are recorded by only al-Bukhari 48 other are recorded only by Muslim. Thus  99  of  the  137  hadeeth  may  be  found  in  either  Saheeh  al-Bukharee or Saheeh Muslim

It  is  interesting  to  note  that  all  of  the  following  works  that contain  many,  if  not  all,  of  the  hadeeth  of  this  saheefah  are  now published:  al-Bukhari’s  al-Jaami  al-Saheeh,  Muslim’s  Saheeh, Ahmad’s  Musnad,  Abdul  Razzaq’s  Musannaf,  Ma’mars  Jami  and even  Hammam’s Saheefah.  All of  these collections  may be  studied  to see that even the wordings of the hadeeth have not been changed from the time of Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) to the time of al-Bukharee.”

“Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan – The “Reformer” of Western Dajjalic History Textbooks was In reality a Modernist-British Agent

As part of the cultural campaign against Muslims in India, modern books published in India, whether educational or otherwise, generally present inaccurate and false information regarding the British occupation of the Indian Subcontinent, the War of Independence 1857 and the formation of Pakistan. Information about the past is presented in a twisted manner, so some people who are presented as heroes in history were actually British agents, who understood the colonialist agenda and acted as tools. They took to constantly deceiving Muslims, using Islam as a disguise, as is the case of colonialist stooges in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan today. Thus, whilst the Indian Subcontinent was under British occupation, the British groomed collaborators who stood by their side, distorting Islam in order to legitimize British occupation.

When the British invaded the Indian Sub-Continent, they started buying off the rulers, princes and the leaders of different regions to strengthen their foothold. For this purpose, the East India Company spent 90,000 Pounds Sterling annually as a political bribe, which when adjusted for inflation is similar to the huge amounts colonialists spend on buying up agents today. The total number of regions in the Indian Subcontinent was 635 and many rulers of these regions submitted to the British, helping them to establish a colonialist system that was completely in British hands. The rulers who refused to compromise and showed resistance, were fought and removed by force.

Those who were allies of the British and betrayed Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Muslims are known in some cases, such as Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq, but many are not known. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan is on the list of the people who openly supported the British, sided with them, protected them from Muslim resistance and furthered their agenda. It is tragic that such people are presented as “heroes” of the Muslims, when in fact they helped the British to subjugate the Indian Subcontinent and brainwash the Muslims, making them think that the British were their allies and benefactors. These people were very valuable to the British as they were local and so made it easier for them to present the colonialist agenda and have it accepted by the others.

The British were well-aware of the fact that if they did not divide the strongly unified population of the Indian Subcontinent, they would neither dominate the region nor exploit the immense wealth of the Indian Subcontinent, which had been their motivation from the beginning of their occupation. Muslims and Hindus had lived together peacefully and prosperously under Islamic Rule for over eight hundred years, for Islam looks after the affairs of the non-Muslim citizens, the Ahl udh-Dhimma magnificently. The first thing the British did was to sow discord between them for the British were horrified by the Hindu support of the Muslim resistance. Thus, the British began to turn the Hindus against the Muslims, and encouraged them to view Muslims as enemies rather than providing them support.

One of the styles was language education, using the Urdu language. Soldiers were taught Urdu and an Urdu college was established by the British so-called ‘Governor’, General Wilson, on 10th July 1800. Although this date was altered upon his instruction to 4th May 1800, the date that the heroic Muslim rulers of Mysore, Haider Ali Sultan and Tipu Sultan, suffered defeated at the hands of the British and their lands were taken over. A number of Muslim and Hindu writers were recruited for the college. Books written in foreign languages, steeped in Kufr culture that was alien to Islam, were translated into Urdu. This was during the period of intellectual decline of Muslims, so the books written in this era are a representation of the Western enslaved mentality of the Muslims. Urdu writers who fulfilled the intention of the British through prose were richly rewarded. For example, Moulvi Nazeer Ahmed (the La-Madhabi scholar) wrote the first Urdu novel, Mir’aat-ul-Uroos, in which he held Queen Victoria in great esteem and praised her excessively. He was gifted a gold watch by the British and a generous sum of money.

Then in Fort William College, an Urdu-Hindi dispute began. The British were successful in convincing Hindus that the Muslims had never cared about them. They claimed the Muslims were now using the Urdu language to subjugate them, even though the language that had been widely spoken previously had been Urdu. The name of this language had changed in history; Lashkari, Hindwi, Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu-e-Mu’alla and at last Urdu. Throughout, however, the writing script remained the same as that of the Arabic language and Arabic had a strong influence on Urdu. The British encouraged the Hindus to break away Hindi in a Dev Nagri, Sanskrit, script of writing and Fort William College was not only the scene of the origin of the conflict, it nurtured it. “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan began to study this conflict. Meanwhile, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk delivered speeches in Hindustan, which strengthened the growing division between Hindus and Muslims, benefitting the British. This dispute led to a physical altercation between Muslims and Hindus, with the Muslims who died within it, praised as martyrs. The hidden agenda of the British, aided by Hindu bigotry, ultimately led to Urdu becoming a pivot for the Muslims. The energies of the Muslims that were supposed to be used against the British occupation, then started being consumed in defending and promoting the Urdu language.

This language division had a parallel in the British efforts for political division. Initially, “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan tried to distance the Muslims from politics. However, the British realized that hatred towards them still existed and rebellions kept on arising. So, they set up a political party called Congress in 1885 at the house of an English “Sir” A.O. Hume. Its aim was to provide a platform to the public where they could vent their frustration and discuss the problems they were facing as a society. However, the leaders of the party were still under the control of the British government. This provided the government with an opening to yet again create dispute between Hindus and Muslims. The top positions in Congress were given to Hindus, with Muslims left to feel that it was a Hindu dominated party. Syed Ahmad Khan advised Muslims to stay away from Congress and then in 1906, the Muslims set up their own party called ‘All India Muslim League’. Thus the Hindus that had previously accepted Muslim political leadership, now were divided from the Muslims.

The British then encouraged another type of division to beguile the Muslims, which is the separation of their Deen from life’s affairs of Muslims. In the field of education, they took steps to ensure the separation of Islamic knowledge from worldly knowledge. Before the British occupation, schools and other educational institutions taught both Islamic and worldly knowledge, side by side, in generous proportions; thus, Arabic, Persian, philosophy, medical studies, astronomy, arithmetic, geometry and poetry were taught besides Qur’an and Sunnah. Moreover, before Muslim rule, there is no evidence to suggest that these subjects were taught in such an organized fashion in any institute. People who studied from these institutions were the ones who ran the affairs of the citizens, for they attained the common government positions. These people also became biographers, engineers, doctors and teachers. The British set upon this hundreds of years of legacy, and set up a separate school to provide religious education exclusively in Calcutta and a separate college for other subjects. Now, the people who studied from the secular schools, where no importance was given to knowledge about Islam, went on to obtain posts in government. And the ones who studied from religious institutions were confined to the four walls of the mosques.

Consequently, the Muslims became divided into being religious or secular. Along with this, different sects and religious groups were set against each other in sectarian conflict. Naïve scholars wrote books against each other’s sects, which were published by the British from publishing companies that were set up, during the era of Fort William College. Ulema began arguing and issued Fatawas (verdicts) declaring others Kuffaar on the basis of difference of opinion which is allowed in Islam. This was in addition to attempts to make Muslims apostatize from Islam, so the British also created mischief of the Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiyani Dajjal and Barelwi movement by Ahmad Raza Khan, both these movements along with “Sir” Syed had same mentality of serving the British Interests while upright Ulamas of Delhi and Deoband fought for freedom. Thus the Muslims became entangled in sectarian issues and lost focus from the main project of expelling the British occupation and restoring the Islamic ruling.

It was within this context that “Sir” Syed showed his true colours. “Sir” Syed Ahmed Khan displayed a strong sense of loyalty towards the British during the 1857 War of Independence, saving the lives of twenty Europeans and then further guarding their houses at night wearing armour. The people whom Sir Syed saved and protected were not ordinary English people, rather they were the rulers of Bijnaur. It is just like a pro-American Muslim safeguarding the top brass of Americans who occupy Afghanistan today. If Sir Syed saved the lives of the Muslims who were being killed by the British, his name would have rightly gone down in history as a true Muslim hero. However, as a reward for his loyalty, the British gave “Sir” Syed a dress of honour worth 1000 rupees and a political pension of 200 rupees every month.

In 1875, “Sir” Syed set up an institution called MAO School in Aligarh. He deceitfully convinced the Muslims that since they lacked modern and scientific education, they were regarded as disgraceful and inferior. Therefore,  they must advance in the scientific field. English and Science were given special attention in Aligarh. By 1887, the government allowed the school to develop into a college, whose inauguration took place on 18th January 1887, conducted by the British governor “Sir” Luton. The college was not only funded by the British, special teachers from England were brought there to teach. Under the supervision of the Scientific Society which was established by so-called “Sir” Syed, articles preaching Dajjalic Western Culture published in Europe were translated into Urdu and then published here. These articles contained literature that attacked the very foundations of Islamic thoughts, civilization and culture. The British aimed to promote their ideas, thoughts and concepts through Urdu writings to the people who were unable to understand English. Thus, the British focused the people of the Indian Subcontinent upon the Western personality as a standard through both Urdu and English literature.

The British were aware that until the Muslims detached themselves from their Islamic concepts, beliefs, lifestyle and the Qur’an, they will not wholeheartedly accept British occupation of the Subcontinent. Consequently, it was necessary for Islam to be explained and broken down in a way that would be favourable to the British occupation. “Sir” Syed, being a loyal agent of the British, did not hesitate in undertaking this task and presenting Islam, the Qur’an and Sunnah as mere theory. He laid a premise that the Qur’an is the Word of the Creator and the universe is the Action of the Creator. Therefore, it is not justified for the Creator to have contradiction between his word and deed. Then, he accepted flawed assumptions with regards to scientific principles regarding the universe and began to explain the Qur’an accordingly. He would accept Ayaat that complied with his scientific assumptions and if not, would give the Ayaat meanings from his own mind. Consequently, he headed on a path that is destructive in both this world and the hereafter and called others to it. He failed to accept or give regard to the fact that the standards he brought above the Qur’an and using as a basis for explanation, were merely scientific assumptions and theories, that would keep on changing over time because of new discoveries.

Thus, according to him, Angels were not a specific creation of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, rather powers made by Allah سبحانه وتعالى to help run the system of the universe. And since the existence of Jinn has not been proven by science, they are not a creation. He believed that the picture presented to Muslims regarding Jannah and the Jahannam was wrong and that in fact the peace and blessings of this world would be Jannah, whilst its trials and tribulations world be Jahannam. He openly rejected the miracles of the Prophets and Messengers in his books ‘Tafseer-ul-Qur’an’ and ‘Khutbat-e-Ahmadia.’ According to him the miracle of Musa (alayhissalaam) of twelve springs emerging from the rock he hit with his staff, is nothing but wrong explanation of Qur’an by the Ulema. In his book, ‘Tafseer-ul-Qur’an’ he writes that the Islamic Ulema made a glaring mistake in the Tafseer of the Ayah فَقُلْنَا اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ. According to him this Ayah never meant “And we said, hit the rock with your staff.” He stressed that the word ‘اضْرِبْ’ means ‘walk’ and the word ‘بِعَصَاكَ’ means ‘with your staff’ and ‘الْحَجَرَ’ means ‘mountain’. Thus the Ayah is conveying a meaning “And we said, walk on the mountain with your staff” and hence it does not describe a miracle. So according to him, Musa (alayhissalaam) walked on the mountain with his staff and found twelve springs at a certain place. For deriving his desired meaning, he completely changed the rules of Arabic. In Arabic, the meaning of ‘اضْرِبْ’ is ‘walk’ but if ‘ب’ is used as a preposition after ‘اضْرِبْ’ so the meaning will be changed into ‘hit with’, so according to this grammatical rule ‘اضْرِبْ بِعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ’ means ‘hit with your staff on rock’ instead of ‘walk on the mountain with your staff’. Secondly, the word ‘الْحَجَرَ’ means ‘rock’ but as to how Sir Syed took its meaning as ‘mountain,’ even he himself couldn’t justify. Similarly, he denied the incident of Isra’a and Miraj. Sir Syed did not view Sunnah as a reliable source and consequently justified his opinion. He believed that Ijtihad was not a method of understanding the conventional meaning of Islam so that any Islamic ruling which conflicted with Western ideas, should either be elucidated and changed, or removed from the religion.

As for the war of Independence 1857 that took place because of the Muslim spirit of freedom struggle and their growing resentment towards the British, “Sir” Syed labeled it as a ‘riot’ and ‘sedition.’ In his pamphlet, ‘Asbab-e-Baghawat-e-Hind’ (Causes of the Hind Sedition), he made it clear that Muslim were guilty of sedition. In this pamphlet, he told the British that the Muslims were in favour of their rule, but rebelled because they had not been given any seat or position in government circles. So, he played along with the British plan to engage Muslims within the British rule, rather than act to uproot it and he himself took a government position.

“Sir” Syed also wrote a book called ‘Loyal Muhammadans of India’. It had three volumes and was published in the years 1860-61. Throughout the book, he proved his loyalty towards the British. In this book, he wrote, “I am extremely angry with the Muslims who rebelled and were defiant against the British and consider them bad because this outbreak by the Muslims was against the People of the Book, the who are our religious brothers, believed in the Messengers, accepted Allah’s rules and keep Allah’s revealed books with them which are part of our fundamental beliefs. Therefore, whenever Christian blood was shed, Muslim blood should have been shed too. And whoever stands against this and are ungrateful to the government, which is not tyrannical, have gone against their religion. They are extremely worthy of being angry with.

“Sir” Syed seized every opportunity in giving a favourable opinion about the British. After the War of Independence 1857, Queen Victoria appealed to the Muslims for forgiveness and asked them to excuse the British for the mass murder that took place. “Sir” Syed told the Muslims in Muraadabad that it was absolutely necessary to thank her. So a ‘Dargah Hazrat Shah Balaqi’ was suggested and on 28 July 1859, 15,000 people were gathered. To attract more people, food arrangements were made and after ‘Asr Prayer, “Sir” Syed made a collective Dua. Some of the content of this Dua is as follows: “Oh Lord! You have shown mercy to Your people and the people of Hindustan by placing upon them just and equitable rulers and for this we thank You. In the preceding years, we had to face a curse of the absence of such rulers owing to our wicked deeds but now You have compensated it and provided us with such just and kind rulers. We thank You for this blessing of Yours from the core of our hearts. Oh Lord! Accept our gratitude! Ameen! The Indians who were caught into this unfortunate catastrophe, You molded the hearts of our rulers to be merciful to these Indians for the Queen issued an appeal seeking forgiveness just because of Your inspiration. We not only thank You but also pray for the Queen Victoria, wherever, she might be. Oh Lord! Accept our Dua! Ameen!” The cunningness, treachery and deceit against Muslims and Islam is obvious in these words. This Dua is a proof of the loyalty of “Sir” Syed to the British but the tragedy is that such a personality is presented to us as a role model to our Children in School text books while pious personality like Aurangzeb (rahimahullah) are antagonized.

In reality, the decline of the Muslims began with a decline in the comprehension of Islam and its wrong implementation. “Sir” Syed suggested a wrong way to come out of this decline. In his flawed understanding, the Muslims can make progress only by following the British blindly in science, inventions and their thoughts related to life, without adopting the systems springing from the complete Deen of Islam. In fact, we fell behind West, because we did not adopt Islam as  a complete way of life. Therefore, if we want to be a progressive Ummah, we must first revive by holding fast onto our Islamic Aqeedah, instead of following the West. Moreover, if science and technology is the only way to success and if Islam mandates that the path to enlightenment is progress and evolution as envisaged by ‘Sir” Syed, then why didn’t Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم spread Islam and conquer through science and technology?? How did the Khulafa-e-Rashideen establish the golden era of Islam without the inventions and discoveries of the Industrial Revolution?? If science was so central to human existence, then wouldn’t the prophets and messengers have been scientists, or at least invented something for mankind??

In reality, the truth is that the thoughts and beliefs emanating from Islam, result in scientific progress and advancing in technology is a must. The foundation of the Islamic society that the Prophet built in the state of Madinah became a technologically advanced society very quickly. The Muslims rapidly acquired war weapons, ships, canons, scientists, doctors, philosophers, specializing in fields such as algebra, surgery, medicine, chemistry, mathematics, geometry, astronomy and everything that the West had not even dreamed of at that time. However, all of this was a result of Islamic thinking and the Islamic belief upon which the society was established. This is what “Sir” Syed failed to acknowledge and thus he deliberately led the Muslims down the wrong path. The reality is that the reason for change in the thoughts of that society and progress is a result of this change.

As for as the reality of the Muslim rule of the Indian Subcontinent before the British occupation is concerned, it is presented in a completely distorted manner. The impression given to us of Muslim rule is that it was devoid of knowledge and expertise and was ignorant, illiterate and uncivilized. Till this day, we are told that our Muslim rulers were steeped in worldly pleasures and benefits. However, the Indian Subcontinent was regarded as ‘a bird of gold’ before the arrival of the British here. Prosperity reached to an extent that a man named Abdul Ghafoor had far more assets than the British East India Company. The ‘Jagat Hut’ family of Bengal had far more capital than the Bank of England. The amount of war booty collected after the Battle of Plassey in 1775 amounted to more than the GDP of whole of Europe. According to Captain Alexander Hamilton, there were 10,000 schools and colleges and 70 hospitals in Delhi alone and there were 80,000 schools and colleges in Bengal. Captain Alexander writes in his book, ‘A Case for India’ that in the Mughal era, students were taught medical education in 125,000 institutes. Ibn-e-Batuta wrote that there is a place near Mumbai called Hawaz, where there were two schools for men and thirteen for women and there was not a single person who did not memorize the Qur’an as well as its translation. The biggest steel industry in the world was in the Indian Subcontinent and it was present until 1880. Regarding ship-building, ships were produced in the greatest quantity in the Indian Subcontinent. The imports of the Subcontinent never exceeded its exports. In the area of Thatha, there were 400 great educational institutes. This strong foundation left its effects even under British occupation. In 1835, “Lord” Macaulay made it obvious in one of his speeches which he delivered in British Parliament that the prosperity in the Indian Subcontinent, despite the looting by the British, was not confined to a specific area or a group of people, rather the entire citizenry was generally prosperous. He said that he travelled from corner to corner of the entire of the Indian Subcontinent but he didn’t come across a single beggar or a thief. The population census of 1911 which was carried out by the British is still found in Anarkali’s tomb and states that the literacy rate of the Subcontinent was more than 90%. It then declined to mere 10% according to the 1941 census, owing to the Dajjalic education system of the British. Today if America constructs the World Trade Centre, White House, spacious roads and hundred storey skyscrapers, it is called economic and scientific progress, but the same act of Muslim rulers who built Shahi Fort, Badshahi Masjid, Taj Mahal, Lal Qalaand, Shalimar Garden is associated with their lust for status and worldly pleasures. The architects and the engineers of these masterpieces got their education in the same Muslim institutes, where the arts and sciences of the whole world were taught. These buildings are an obvious proof of the prosperity and the abundance of wealth of the state. Unfortunately, the eyes of “Sir” Syed were blinded with the inspiration of the British, even though the glorious past of the Muslims under Islam exceeds their state without Islam.

So, such are the people who had been deceiving the Ummah in the name of guidance, claiming sincerity to the Muslims but in fact placing their loyalties with the Western colonialists. Today a section of our society is unaware of its bright and matchless history and feels intimidated of the West. One of the obvious reasons is our biased educational system which presents to us those personalities who had a slave mentality as heroes, history will be purified of all these wrong concepts only when people create awareness of such deceitful people who tried to destroy Islam from within.

Traditions of the Prophet are Indispensable to an Understanding of Qur’an

 [Maulana Najeeb Qasmi D.B]             
            
                 بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ    الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Qur’an:  It is the Holy Book which All Almighty revealed to his last prophet for the guidance of the mankind so that he could explain its ordinances and teachings to them by his words and deeds.

Traditions: Traditions of the prophet [Ahadeeth] refer to the sayings, pronouncements, attributes, and practices of the prophet as narrated by his companions or by his holy consorts. They also include his acquiescence in acts done by his companions within his knowledge.

Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the First Interpreter of Qur’an: It is evident from the nature of Qur’an and Hadeeth that the person who was the recipient of wahy was the person eminently fit for interpreting the gospel in the first instance. So how can we understand the Qur’an without a reference to his words and deeds? Allah Almighty Himself has pointed out this fact in the Qur’an. Suffice it to quote two Quranic ayats in this context:

” . . . and We have revealed unto you the Remembrance that you may explain to mankind that which has been revealed for them, and that haply they may reflect” [An-Nahl: 44].

“And We have revealed the Scripture unto you only that you may explain unto them that wherein they differ . . . .” [An-Nahl: 64].

In the above two verses Allah has amply clarified that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the first exegist of the Holy Qur’an and that he has been obligated by Allah Almighty to explain all its ordinances and teachings explicitly to the Muslim community.  We, therefore, firmly believe that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has discharged his obligation very well. The corpus of the sayings and practices of the prophet which has been transferred to us through the companions of the prophet and those succeeding them and those who succeeded them next constitutes the first compendium of the interpretation of Qur’an which is most authentic and most reliable. We, therefore, believe that no understanding of the Qur’an is possible without understanding the traditions of the prophet.

Obedience to Allah is Bound with Obedience to His Prophet

In numerous verses of the Qur’an obedience to Allah is enjoined along with obedience to the Messenger of Allah.  Sometimes believers are exhorted to obey the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This is because the prophet is the carrier of the ordinances of Allah. Without the obedience of the prophet obedience of Allah is not possible. The commands and directions of the prophet have reached us through the compendium off the ahadeeth. If somebody callously denies the authenticity or non-binding character of the ahadeeth he is guilty of demolishing hundreds of ayaat which enjoins the obedience of the prophet. In other words he is saying that what God Almighty has ordered us, that is obedience of the prophet is beyond our competence.

In Ayat 80 of Surah An-Nisa God Almighty has explicitly proclaimed that “One who obeyed the prophet he surely obeyed Allah”.

Similarly in Ayat 31 of Surah Al Imran God Almighty has equated obedience off the prophet to the love of God:  “Say: If you love God then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive all of your sins.”

Allah has promised eternal paradise as a reward for obedience of Allah and his prophet and warned of hell for those who disobey Allah and his prophet: “These are the limits [prescribed by] Allah. Whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will make him enter Paradise underneath which rivers flow, where they will dwell forever. That will be the great success. And whosoever disobeys Allah and His messenger and transgresses His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where he will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom” [An-Nisa: 13-14].

Allah has made Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) an exemplar till the end of the world. That is, the sum of the sayings and practices of the prophet as preserved in the form ofahadeeth is a good example to be emulated by the true believers. “Verily in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much” [Al-Ahzaab: 21].

Obligation of Obedience of the Prophet according to Traditions

The head of all prophets and the last messenger Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself has emphasized the obligation of obeying Qur’an along with following the traditions of the prophet. Obedience of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is impossible without knowledge of the pronouncements and practices of the prophet.  Almost all collections of ahadeeth are replete with statements of the prophet exhorting to his obedience. Out of them only three are quoted here:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “One who obeyed me obeyed Allah and one who disobeyed me disobeyed Allah [Bukhari; Muslim].The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) pronounced: “If I forbid you from doing something desist from it; and when I order you to do something do it to the best of your ability” [Bukhari; Muslim].The Messenger of Allah aphorized: “All members of my community shall enter paradise except those who refuse it“. He was asked O Messenger of Allah who can refuse entry into paradise? He replied: Those who obey me shall enter paradise and those who disobeyed me they refused (to enter paradise) [Bukhari; Muslim].

Consensus of the Community on Obedience of the Prophet

Following the example of the companions of the Prophet during his life time and after his demise, the Islamic community has evolved a consensus on the obligatory nature of following the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) because the companions first tried to find the solution of their problems in the Qur’an then in the traditions (hadith) of His prophet. On this basis the great majority of Muslim theologians have identified two types of wahy:

Wahy matlu [recited revelation, i.e. the Quran proper]. And Wahy ghair matlu [non-recited revelation, i.e. the words of the prophet which though spoken by the prophet nevertheless express the divine intents].

Verses 3-4 of Surah An-Najm speak: “He does not speak at his liking; it is but an inspiration that is inspired.”  In the same way Ayat 129 of Al-Baqarah pronounces: “O Creator of us raise a messenger among them from among themselves who recites to them Your verses and teaches them the Book and wisdom and purifies them.”  Here the Book means Qur’an and wisdom means the sayings of the prophet.

Generality of Qur’anic Ordinances

It is a feature of the Qur’an that its ordinances have been laid down in general and abstract terms.  Even the four pillars of Islam – – salat, siyamzakat, and hajj have been prescribed but their details have not been elaborated.  Now who fills the gap?? For this purpose Allah deputes His messengers to the mankind so that they would elaborate and clarify the ordinances of Allah though their own words and deeds. For instance, Qur’an in many places prescribes qiamruku‘, and sujud.  However, the details of performance of salat have been provided nowhere. Similarly zakat has been made obligatory but the quantum of zakat and other particulars have not been mentioned. All such details have been laid down by the teachings and practices of the prophet.  It follows that if we don’t acknowledge the Sunnah of the prophet as the first and basic source of interpretation of the Qur’an most of the Qur’anic ordinances will become abstract and meaningless. The abstract is operationalized by means ofahadeeth. It follows that Quran can neither be understood nor implemented except through the medium of ahadeeth.

Similarly, in Surah Al-Jum’uah there is a general direction that whenever a call for the salat of Jum’uah is given leave sale and purchase of goods and hurry up to remembrance of Allah. It is only instructions of the prophet that govern the arrangements for the salat of Jum’uah.

In addition many questions relating to Quran have been settled by hadeeth.  Therefore, it is impossible to understand Quran without hadeeth.

A Clarification

Allah has directed us to reflect over Qur’an. But this reflection ought to be done in the light of the words and deed of the first interpreter of the Qur’an Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). On many occasions Allah has directed his messenger to clarify the scripture to the people. It is our firm belief that the prophet has discharged his duty very well. However, it is regretted that some people have declared some ahadeeth interpreting the Qur’an as “weak” and discarding them impose their own arbitrary opinions. This is wrong and unjustified. We must certainly deliberate into and reflect over the Qur’an deeply but not at the expense of ahadeeth. We ought to make an allowance for weak ahadeeth if they are helpful in clarifying problems.  Solutions of the new issues and problems must be found in Qur’an but not by ignoring the supplement of the Quran viz. the ahadeeth of the prophet.

Fallacy I

A fallacy which needs to be demolished here is that some misguided people misinterpreting the wording of certain ayats for instance “Clarification for all things” [An-Nahl: 89] or “Details for all things” [Al-An’am: 154] assert that the solution of every problem is present in the Qur’an and that there is no need at all to take ahadeeth into account.

This is a fallacy which must be combated. On the one hand, it is enjoined on innumerable occasions that people obey Allah and His messenger even obedience of the messenger has been equated with the obedience of Allah. But on the other hand there is provision proclaiming that only Qur’an should be taken into account and nothing else. Had it been so there was no need to impose the obligation of obedience of the prophet.

Fallacy II

Some misguided people taking into account the controversies among the experts on ahadeeth and the jurists regarding the unreliability of certain categories of ahadeeth or non-credibility of certain narrators of ahadeeth have taken a stand on the unreliability of the entire corpus of ahadeeth. This is another fallacy which needs to be demolished.

Such misguided persons must know that Allah has promised to preserve his book till the end of the world. At the same time, Allah has also placed the mission of clarifying and elaborating the Shari’ah on the shoulders of his messenger, which mission he has accomplished with remarkable success. It follows that just as the gospel is preserved for ever similarly the traditions of the prophet supportive of the Hadith shall be preserved for ever, Allah- willing. The preservation of Qur’an does not mean merely preservation of the letter of Qur’an shorn of its meaning.  If the letter remains and meaning is lost then the whole purpose of transmission of Qur’an is lost.

I pray to Allah to enable us to lead our lives in accordance with Qur’an and Sunnah. Aameen!

A Look at Hadith Rejecters’ Claims

[By Khalid Baig]

Summary of Hadith Rejecters’ Claims

Claim 1 A): We, Quranists, do not make a distinction between obeying Allah and obeying His Messenger, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Anyone who obeys the Qur’an has no other option but to obey the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) too. Had we been living with him, we would have no hesitation in blindly following his orders. We do make a distinction but that is between Allah and Hadith collectors like Bukhari, Muslim, Nassai, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud. We accept Allah’s Word that He has protected the Quran from corruption, but why should we accept the words of these hadith collectors? Are they as infallible as Allah?

Claim 1. B): Qur’an is sufficient and does not need any further explanation.

Claim 2: Hadith is the same as the gospels of Christianity. Indeed the time span between death of Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and the compilation of Sahihs was almost the same as that between the departure of ‘Eesa Maseeh (alayhissalam), and compilation of the Bible. How can Muslims reject one but accept the other??

Claim 3: Dr. Maurice Bucaille finds that Saheeh is as unscientific as the Bible.

Claim 4: The Messenger (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), may have elaborated on items like mode of salah. Such hadith is probably from the Messenger, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and should be obeyed. But what about the hadith that contradict the Qur’an.

Claim 5: The root cause of Muslim decay is their reverence for the hadith.

Claim 6: Allah has protected only the Qur’an – not Islam – from corruption.

Claim 7: Allah expects from His slaves exclusive servitude. When Sunnis talk of Qur’an and Sunnah, the Qur’an is undermined for its exclusivity is lost……etc..etc…

“If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger he is indeed on a clearly wrong path.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:36]

“He that obeys Allah and His Messenger has already attained the great victory.” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:71].

For the past fourteen centuries Qur’an and Sunnah have been the twin undisputed sources of Guidance for Muslims. In every generation, the Muslims devoted the best of their minds and talents to their study. They learned both the words and meanings of the Qur’an through the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and made an unprecedented effort in preserving them for the next generation. The result: The development of the marvelous — and unparalleled — science of hadith, one of the brightest aspects of Muslim history.

What does it mean to believe in a Prophet except to pledge to follow him?? And so the teachings of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have always guided this Ummah. No body, in his right mind, could or did question this practice.

Then something happened. During the colonial period, when most of the Muslim world came under the subjugation of the West, some “scholars” arose in places like Egypt (Taha Hussein), India (Abdullah Chakralawi and Ghulam Ahmad Parvez), and Turkey (Zia Gogelup), who began questioning the authenticity and relevance of hadith. It was not that some genius had found flaws in the hadith study that had eluded the entire ummah for thirteen centuries. It was simply that the pressures from the dominant Western civilization to conform were too strong for them to withstand. They buckled. Prophetic teachings and life example — Hadith — was the obstacle in this process and so it became the target.

Another factor helped them. Today most Muslims, including the vast majority of the western-educated Muslims, have meager knowledge of hadith, having spent no time in studying even the fundamentals of this vast subject. How many know the difference between Sahih and Hasan, or between Maudu and Dhaif ?? The certification process used in hadith transmission?? Names of any hadith book produced in the first century of Hijrah, or the number of such books?? A majority probably would not be able to name even the six principal hadith books (Sihah Sitta) or know anything about the history of their compilation. Obviously such atmosphere provides a fertile ground for sowing suspicions and doubts.

They call themselves as ‘ahle-Qur’an’ or Quranists. This is misleading. For their distinction is not in affirming the Qur’an, but in rejecting the Hadith. The ideas of munkareen-e-hadith (hadith-rejectors) evolve into three mutually contradictory strains.

The first holds that the job of the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was only to deliver the Qur’an. We are to follow only the Qur’an and nothing else, as were the Companions. Further, hadith is not needed to understand the Qur’an, which is sufficient for providing guidance.

The second group holds that the Companions were required to follow the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) but we are not.

The third holds that, in theory, we also have to follow the hadith but we did not receive ahadith through authentic sources and therefore we have to reject all ahadith collections!

Internal contradictions are a hallmark of false ideologies. How can anyone hold the first position yet profess belief in Qur’an while it says:

“And We have sent down unto You the Message so that you may explain clearly to men what is sent for them.” [Surah An-Nahl, 16:44].
And this:

“Allah did confer a great favor on the Believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs (Verses) of Allah, purifying them, instructing them in Scripture, and teaching them Wisdom. While before that they were in manifest error.” [Surah A’ale Imran 3:164].

How can anyone hold the second position (limiting the Prophethood to 23 years) yet profess belief in Qur’an, while it says:

“We did not send you except as Mercy for all creatures.” [Surah Al-Ambiyaa, 21:107]

And,

“We have not sent you except as a Messenger to all mankind, giving them glad tidings and warning them against sin.” [Surah As-Saba, 34:28]

The third position seems to have avoided these obvious pitfalls, yet in reality it is no different.

Consider statements 1, 4, and 7 in the summary of hadith rejecters’ claims (at the beginning of this piece). So hadith undermines Qur’an’s exclusivity, yet would have been followed blindly at the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Ahadith cannot be followed because they are not reliable, yet can be followed for ritual prayers.

Salah And Hadith Rejecters

But we don’t need a favor for hadith about salah (coming from the same books and the same narrators who are declared as unreliable). We need an answer to this question: If the Qur’an is the only authentic source of Guidance, why did it never explain how to offer salah, although it repeatedly talks about its importance, associating it with eternal success and failure?? What would we think of a communication that repeatedly emphasizes a certain act but never explains how to perform it?? There are only two possibilities. Either it is a terrible omission (and in that case it cannot be from God) or another source for the how-to information is provided and it is a terrible mistake for any recipient to ignore that.

(Recently some hadith rejecters have realized the difficulty of their position on salah. But they have made a claim that is even more ludicrous, namely that the Qur’an gives details on how to offer salah. “A careful reading of the Koran reveals that we are to get our Salaah from the Masjid al Haraam [the continuous practice at Makkah since the time of Abraham],” says one proponent, ” specifically the ‘place of Abraham (maqaam e Ibraheem ).'” Let us leave aside all the practical questions about such a fluid answer. Whose Salah?? When?? Are we to follow anyone and everyone we find praying at Maqam e Ibraheem?? How are those offering salah there are to determine proper way of offering Salah?? How do you resolve their differences?? In his enthusiasm in proposing this innovative solution, this proponent even forgot that the Qur’an says the following about the salah of mushrikeen at the Masjid-el Haraam:

“Their prayer at the House of Allah is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands. (Its only answer can be), ‘Taste the chastisement because you blasphemed.'” [Surah Al-Anfal 8:35]

The Reliability of Resources

To accept one and reject the other source on the basis of reliability (Claim 2) also defies reason, unless we received the Qur’an directly from Allah. But we have received both Qur’an and Hadith through the same channels. Same people transmitted this as the Word of Allah, that as the word of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Even the verse claiming that Qur’an will be protected came to us through the same people.

Through what logic can anyone declare that the channels are reliable for Qur’an and unreliable for Hadith?? On the contrary the Qur’anic promise of protection must apply to Hadith as well for there is no point in protecting the words but not the meanings of the Qur’an.

Protection of Qur’an

To say that Allah promised to protect only Qur’an but not Islam (Claim 6) is being as ridiculous as one can get. Let’s ignore the obvious question regarding the point of this Heavenly act. The question is if Islam has been corrupted and its true teachings have been lost, how can anyone claim to be its follower?? Moreover, Qur’an says:

“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost” [Surah A’al-e-Imran, 3:85].

How are we to follow the religion acceptable to Allah if it was not to be protected??

Were Ahadith Written Down for the First Time in the Third Century of Hijra??

The above proves that ahadith must have been protected. Were they?? The very existence of a huge library of hadith — the only one of its kind among the religions of the world — answers the question in the affirmative. To dismiss all that as later day fabrication ( Claim 1A & 2) requires lots of guts — and equal parts ignorance. Were ahadith written down for the first time in the third century of Hijra?? Not at all. Actually hadith recording and collection started at the time of the Prophet, Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) sought and was given the permission to write everything he heard from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa Sallam) who said: “By the One in Whose Hands is my life! Whatever proceeds from here [pointing to his mouth] is the truth.” He produced Sahifa Sadiqa, which contained more than six thousand ahadith. Anas ibn Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) who spent ten years in Prophet’s household, not only recorded the ahadith but also presented them to the Prophet, (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and got corrections. Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) had many volumes of his collections and even produced smaller compilations for his students. Prominent Hadith scholar Dr. Mustafa Azami has shown in his doctoral thesis that in the first century of Hijra many hundred booklets of hadith were in circulation. By the end of the second century, “by the most conservative estimate there were many thousands.”

Of course most of these books do not exist today. They were simply absorbed into the encyclopedic collections that emerged in the third century. One manuscript from the first century was discovered in this century and published by Dr. Hamidullah. It is Sahifa Hammam ibn Munabbah, who was a disciple of Abu Hurairah, (radhiyallahu anhu). It contains 138 ahadith. Muhadditheen knew that the ahadith of this Sahifa had been absorbed into Musnad Ahmed and Muslim collections, which have been published continuously since their third century debut. After the discovery of the original manuscript it was naturally compared with the ahadith in Muslim and Musnad Ahmed that were thought to have come from that Sahifa. And what did they find?? There was not an iota of difference between the two. Similarly Mussanaf of Abd al-Razzaq is extant and has been published. As has been Mu’ammar ibn Rashid’s al-Jami. These recently discovered original manuscripts bear out the Sihah Sitta. The recent appearance of these original manuscripts should bring the most skeptical into the fold of believers.

Saheeh and the Gospels

Regarding comparison of Saheeh with Gospels (Claim 2), let’s listen to Dr. Hamidullah. “The compilation of the Gospels, their preservation and transmission from one generation to the other, has not taken place in the way which governed the books of Hadith… We do not know who wrote them, who translated them, and who transmitted them. How were they transferred from the original Aramaic to Greek? Did the scribes make arrangements for a faithful reproduction of the original? The four Gospels are mentioned, for the first time, three hundred years after Christ. Should we rely on such an unauthentic book in preference to that of Bukhari who prefaces every statement of two lines with three to nine references?”

The Comments of Dr. Maurice Bucaille

Dr. Maurice Bucaille earned the admiration of many Muslims because of his study of some scientific phenomena mentioned in the Qur’an and his testimony based on that study that Qur’an must be the Book of Allah. However he is not a hadith scholar and it is unfair to drag him into this discussion. His account of history of hadith compilation contains many errors, for example the claim that the first gathering of hadith was performed roughly forty years after Hijra or that no instructions were given regarding hadith collection. He questions about a dozen or so entries in Bukhari that he thinks deal with scientific matters. Even if all that criticism were valid, would it be sufficient ground to throw away the 9082 total entries (2602 unique ahadith) in Bukhari ?? He himself does not think so, for he writes: “The truth of hadith, from a religious point of view, is beyond question.”

The Hadith Regarding the Sun

But even his criticism is of questionable value. Consider the hadith about the sun: “At sunset the sun prostrates itself underneath the Throne and takes permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then a time will come when it will be about to prostrate itself… it will seek permission to go on its course… it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the West.”  His criticism: “This implies the notion of a course the sun runs in relation to the Earth.” Bucaille fails to understand the real message of this hadith. It was not meant to teach astronomy. Its clear message is that sun is a slave of Allah, moving (as we grasp from our position on Earth) always through His Will. The hadith brings out that message very powerfully so that even the most illiterate bedouin would understand it fully. Moreover, Bucaille should know better than to criticize the implied notion of sun’s rotation around earth. Even today the astronomers, when calculating the time of sunrise and sunset, use a mathematical model in which the sun revolves around the earth. If that is acceptable for scientific work as it makes calculations easier, why is it questionable, when it makes communication easier??

Also there are other ahadith which clearly demonstrate a scientific fact beyond the knowledge of the times but Bucaille has failed to take notice. For example the hadith about solar eclipse: “The sun and moon are two signs of Allah. They are not eclipsed on account of anyone’s death or on account of anyone’s birth.” (Muslim, hadith #1966]. The eclipse had co-incided with the death of Prophet’s son. A false prophet would have tried to exploit the occasion. A fabricated hadith would require scientific knowledge that did not exist then.

The munkareen-e-hadith think that their beliefs are built on solid rock. Well, it is as solid as wax: The religion based on this idea can be fitted into any mold. For some hadith rejecters that was the motivation. For everyone, that is the inevitable result. But the good news is that their arguments are the same way. On the surface they appear to be solid. But faced with the light of truth, they melt away like wax.