This may be interpreted as meaning that the first self-evident assumption we have to make is that Reality exists, and the second is that consciousness exists without which we cannot be aware of reality. In particular it refers to the greater reality of which we are normally aware only a small part, because our capacity for awareness is limited. The Messenger is, therefore, described as a Lamp through which the Light of Allah shines.
As shown above, this argument is 'flawed' in the foundation that the messengers are the only way to know GOD, and therefore it is not representing the 'reality' we exist in here on Earth. Also, this testimony is a 'Sunni' innovation that has not been derived from the book of GOD for us to speak about, but has been related through the narrations of hadith (specifically the hadith of Abu Huraira).
"O Prophet! Surely We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a Warner, and as one inviting to Allah by His permission, and as a light-giving lamp." 33:45-46
There is no doubt that the 'prophet' is a light which is being shone to bring man out of the darkness...That has indeed been the function of all prophets sent time and time again, to guide mankind out of the darkness and to do so with a scripture that is revealed to them:
"The people used to be one community when GOD sent the prophets as bearers of good news, as well as warners. He sent down with them the scripture, bearing the truth, to judge among the people in their disputes..." (2:213)
Owing to sin and the consequent expulsion of man from Paradise, he has lost contact with God and the divine spirit within him (59:19). He therefore, lacks inner guidance which consciousness, conscience and will should provide. But God in His Mercy sends Messengers to guide man. These are those who still retain contact with the Spirit and with God (95:4-6). The Prophet is in complete submission to Allah and has the task of conveying the revelation he receives. Belief in these revelations is, therefore, connected with belief in the Prophet - the two go together. The message or Word of God remains remote unless demonstrated in the life of a human messenger. That is why we are required to make no distinction in purpose between God and the Messengers (4:150-151).
The expulsion of man from paradise would also include these same 'messengers' of whom the author is speaking (unless they are non-human)...Therefore, the messengers have found grace with GOD not through 'other' messengers to guide them, but by walking the path of GOD themselves and showing righteousness.
"When he saw the sun rising, he said, "This must be my Lord. This is the biggest." But when it set, he said, "O my people, I denounce your idolatry. "I have devoted myself absolutely to the One who initiated the heavens and the earth; I will never be an idol worshiper." (6:78-79)
In the story of Abraham is a lesson for us all...Man may at any time (even on the remotest island) find the path to GOD by using the 'senses' with which we have been bestowed.
"You shall not uphold what you have no knowledge of. The hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them." (17:36)
The mission of the Prophet Muhammad, as that of other Prophets, was the transmission, explanation, demonstration and application of the Quran.
"O Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Sustainer; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people." 5:67
"And We have revealed the Book to you which has the clear explanation of everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." 16:89
"Surely We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between people by means of that which Allah has shown you; and be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous." 4:105
"And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you;" 5:48
All the above verses verify that the prophet was to 'deliver, apply, and judge' in all matters according to the Book. What we do not find is support for the claim the author has made of 'explanation' of the Book. Especially since 16:89 quoted above makes the Book an 'explanation' for all things (and not the prophet).
"Whoso obeys the Messenger he has obeyed Allah; and he who turns away - We have not sent thee as a warder over them." 4:80
"Verily, you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. " 33:21
" Thus have We sent amongst you an apostle of yourselves, to recite to you Our signs, to purify you and teach you the Book and Wisdom, and to teach you what ye did not know; " 2:151 also 62:2, 2:231
"But nay, by thy lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission." 4:65
"Allah was surely very gracious to the believers, when He sent amongst them a Messenger from among themselves (or of their own), who recite to them His revelations, and causes them to grow (or be purified), and teaches them the Scripture and Wisdom, although they surely were before his time in manifest error. " 3:164
"We have revealed to you the Reminder that you may make clear to men what has been revealed to them, and that haply they may reflect. 16:44
"And We have not revealed to you the Book except that you may make clear to them that about which they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe." 16:65 The Prophet is to make clear.
These are all 'excellent' verses being used to prove the case that the prophet and messengers did not rule except by the word of GOD Alone.
Where the prophet is told to 'judge' amongst the people (4:65), has already been clarified by the author by using (4:105) above to show that the only instrument for judging amongst the people is the book itself.
Also, 16:65 could not have been better placed to make our case.
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you; and if ye dispute (quarrel or argue) about anything, refer to Allah and the Messenger, if ye (in truth) believe in Allah and the Last Day; that is better and fairer in the end." 4:59
Note: The third authority, Uli-l-Amr, not Ahl-ul-Bayt (the Prophet's family) as some people think, do not have the right to settle controversies or disagreements independently, but must follow Allah and the Messenger.
This is where a 'jump' in logic has been made which we need to stop at. The author has done a superb job of introducing all the verses above which show that the prophet can only judge by the Book, and that he was to simple 'deliver' this message to mankind as well as live in its application...Yet, the author has disregarded all this information and moved on to an 'assumption' that 'Obey the Messenger' means something beyond what has already been stated, and that it involves in some form or manner the idea of legislation. Remember, according to 16:89, 16:44, 16:65, 4:65, 4:105, and 5:48, the author has already shown that the prophet was only authorized to 'deliver' the Book, and 'judge' with the Book...Therefore to obey the messenger can only mean to 'obey the message' or else a grave contradiction is created in the words of the Book.
"Whoever obeys the messenger is obeying GOD. As for those who turn away, we did not send you as their guardian." (4:80)
"And when there comes to them a matter of security or fear they broadcast it; but if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority amongst them, then those of them who can think would know it; but were it not for Allah's grace upon you and His mercy you would have followed Satan, save a few." 4:83
Muslims follow the Prophet because he is an example of one who had surrendered to Allah according to the verse :-
"Say: Verily, my worship and my sacrifice, and my living and my dying belong to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. He has no partner. This I am commanded, and I am foremost of those who surrender (unto Him)" 6:163-164
Yes, there is no doubt at all that the messenger of GOD is a 'great' example for all to follow and learn how to apply the law in their lives...Yet, we find that this is the case with ALL GOD's messengers who walk in the light of GOD:
"A good example has been set for you by Abraham and those with him. They said to their people, "We disown you and the idols that you worship besides GOD. We denounce you, and you will see nothing from us except animosity and hatred until you believe in GOD ALONE. "However, a mistake was committed by Abraham when he said to his father, "I will pray for your forgiveness, but I possess no power to protect you from GOD." "Our Lord, we trust in You, and submit to You; to You is the final destiny." (60:4)
As the example of Abraham has been recorded in the Book, so has the example of Mohammed been recorded to show us 'what' this good example is:
"The messenger of GOD has set up a good example for those among you who seek GOD and the Last Day, and constantly think about GOD. When the true believers saw the parties (ready to attack), they said, "This is what GOD and His messenger have promised us, and GOD and His messenger are truthful."This (dangerous situation) only strengthened their faith and augmented their submission." (33:21-22)
The doings and saying of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) are known as the Sunna and constitute the third foundation of Islam after Allah and the Quran.
A great 'leap-of'-faith' has just been made with the above statement with no foundation whatsoever!. The definition for 'Sunnah' is being given not from the Book of GOD, but from the teachings of the Sunni scholars who deem it to be such.
In-fact, the word Sunna is used in the Quran to simply mean 'way':
"Tell those who disbelieved: if they stop, all their past will be forgiven. But if they return, they will incur the same fate as the way (Sunna) of their previous counterparts." (8:38)
Even GOD has a 'Sunnah', and what better way for all to follow that that of GOD Himself:
"...You will find that GOD's way (Sunna) is never changeable; you will find that GOD's way (Sunna) is immutable." (35:43)
These can be regarded as the interpretation and application of the Quran for the nature of the people, the conditions, the times and place in which the Prophet found himself. They are not, therefore, necessarily universal and eternal truths. But because he had to deal with people of various degrees of intelligence and mental and spiritual sophistication, the material in the Sunna also varies, or it may have several levels of meaning, or the meaning or intent of an item may not be easily understood.
We have already discussed the issue of 'interpretation/explanation'. The Book is the explanation of all things, and the prophet was merely to deliver and to live according to these commands. The definition being given above is once again flawed and misleading in this regards.
An interesting point to note is that the author speaks of the 'Sunna's having 'multiple levels of meanings' and not being easily understood...I must ask, if it is acknowledged as not being clear and having multiple meanings, then how can it be thought of as explaining the Book when it needs explanation itself!.
The Sunna is found in (a) the Quran because Muhammad (saw) practiced it. (b) the practices of muslims in so far as they were instituted by the Prophet (saw) and are handed down to us unchanged over the centuries. (c) Because of their importance for religion, Muslims recorded these traditions in great detail and much research was done by Islamic scholars to establish their genuineness. There is a complete science devoted to this subject. These records are known as the Hadith. They are equivalent to the New Testament, which are also records by third parties. But because the teaching was more important than the history, the Hadith consist of a collection of separate episodes rather than a continuous narration. As in the case of previous scriptures they are judged by the Quran. That which is found to be in conformity with the Quran is accepted and that which contradicts it is rejected. Other things may not be clear but not incompatible with the Quran and judgement can be reserved.
Overlooking the error is using the word 'Sunna', we find a number of elements being introduced at this stage which need to be broken down:
a) The Sunna is found in the Quran.
The life and actions of the prophet which are significant have indeed been recorded in the Holy Book. This was shown above with the examples of Abraham and Mohammed both being related for us to identify with. We agree with the author on this point.
b) The practices of Muslims insofar as they were instituted by the prophet.
This point seems to encompass anything and everything that the writer would like to place in it. First of all, there has been no supporting evidence for this statement using GOD's Book (to the contrary, the verses used showed the Book to set the law and the prophet to judge by it). We therefore reject this statement for being a) vague, and b) unsupported.
c) The Science of Hadith.
We are now introduced to a new science called 'Hadith' which the author uses to support his claims. This science we are told is akin to that of the 'New Testament'. Perhaps the author forgot that the teachings of Christianity derived from the New Testament (son of GOD, Trinity, Jesus is GOD) have all been 'outlawed' in the Book of GOD and are considered a gross blasphemy!.
What is interesting here is that the author mentions that the Hadith 'must conform with the Quran' and that what does not conform may be held in reserve judgement. If this is the case, then there seems to be nothing 'scientific' about this method which at the end is made to be compared to the Book! (i.e. all the careful tracing of narrations is invalid if it contradicts the Quran to start with).
However, Islam, unlike Christianity and other religions, makes a distinction between Allah, the source, the Word of God and the Prophet, who is a messenger. There is, therefore, a distinction between that which is revealed to Muhammad (saw) and that which comes from his own opinions, between what arises in the higher more objective consciousness which is infallible and what arises in the ordinary mundane mind which is fallible. The Prophet was a man ("Say: I am only a mortal like you" 18:110) and to prevent his deification by his followers, as in the case of Jesus, his fallibility is recorded in the Quran itself (e.g. 80:1-12). This prevents the distortion of the message by making the messenger into an object of worship. The Quran, therefore, takes priority over the Sunna.
This is a 'murky water' area the author has stepped into...We are first told that there is a 'science' called Hadith which records the Sunna of the prophet and has been in-place for generations (as long as it does not contradict the Quran mind you!), but in the same breath, we are now told that the prophet was a 'man' and that some of his actions were not divine, but were fallible. What we are not told in this case is 'how' people who follow the 'Sunna' are taught to distinguish between the opinions of man, and between divine instructions. The only clue given at the end was 'The Quran takes priority over the Sunna'!.
We ask the author: 'if you keep coming back to the Quran for authentication and verification, then why have you left it to start with?'.
The Prophet (saw) is reported to have said: -
"My words do not abrogate Allah's words, but Allah's words abrogate mine and some of His abrogate others."
This is an example of 'Hadith' which is related to the prophet but has not been recorded in the Holy scripture.
"Some of my Sunna abrogate others just as some parts of the Quran abrogate others."
The science of Sunna may have 'abrogation', but this is a false statement when directed at the Quran (6:34, 6:115, 18:27).
"I am only a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it, and when I command you about a thing out of my personal opinion, keep it in mind that I am a human being."
Obviously, the Prophet gave instructions or made statements according to the needs of the time and as conditions changed these instructions and statements also changed. Thus the apparent contradictions in the various reports can be resolved by understanding them in the context of the conditions to which they relate. Some of the reports appear to be very naive, simplistic, superstitious and sometimes even immoral and according to hostile critics, depraved. But it is necessary to understand that many of the reports about the Prophet are inventions by people who wished to establish their own importance or cater for their own prejudices or the interests of a ruler or merchant. Others are in metaphorical language. Much was reported about things that were overheard without knowing the full context and circumstances. The Prophet also spoke according to the level of understanding of his listeners and had to do what he could with the human material (relatively primitive) at his disposal and in the conditions that he faced. The Prophet cannot, therefore, be judged only by his words or actions without considering these other two factors, or from the point of view of other times and places. This, of course, also means that it is not wisdom to imitate the Prophet without understanding in these modern days. The religion was brought to facilitate human development and should not be used to obstruct and fossilize it.
What we are told above does not add any comfort to the 'science' of Hadith & Sunna which already had a weak foundation and no support from the Book to start with. We are now introduced with an even more alarming admission from the author: 'many of the reports about the Prophet are inventions by people who wished to establish their own importance'. If the author sees the Hadith as having 'multi meanings', and is 'not easy to understand', and 'having to be referred back to the Quran' for validity, and that 'much of it is fabricated'...Does this add comfort or fear for its followers?.
There are about 65 criteria by which Hadith are judged. Some of these are as follows :-
Each Hadith has two sections - the text (matn) and the chain of reporters (isnad). The Hadith are then classified according to (1) Authority - the Prophet, Companion or Successor. (2) Links whether it is continuous, supported, broken, hurried, hanging, perplexing. (3) The number of reporters - consecutive, isolated, scarce, strange, rare, strong or famous. (4) The manner of reporting - "on the authority of", "he narrated to us", "he informed us", "I heard". (5) The nature of the text and transmission - what authority the reporter had, how reliable he was, did the text include inappropriate or unlikely expressions e.g. vulgarities, contradiction of Quranic teachings, whether it contains interpolated opinions, or is it a rendering by the narrator rather than the original. (6) Hidden defects - e.g. only part of something may have been heard giving a wrong impression or a word or context was misunderstood. (7) Trustworthiness of reporters, reliability of memory - sound, good, weak, fabricated. The causes of fabrication were given as political differences, doctrinal sectarianism, heresies, inventions by storytellers, ignorance, racial and sectional prejudices, self-interest, conversion of proverbs. Thus we see that Hadith literature varies greatly in quality and reliability.
This is all very 'overwhelming' to hear how many filters and tests this science adheres to...Yet, what we are not told is that a) the prophet has no authority beyond the words of GOD, and b) the author raises doubts as to the validity of 'many' Hadiths which have undergone this same complex screening method (i.e. the filters do not stop lies, but rather give them authenticity).
But though this is far more than was done for the New Testament, we find that there are still different versions of the same event, and differences of opinion as to the importance of various Hadith and about which should be accepted. There are many contradictory Hadith, some even contradict the Quran, some are obscure or trivial. Very little is said about the meaning, circumstances or context in which something was said and done, and what the mood or intentions were, what the explanation for some obscure remarks was, how it was understood by different people, whether it was clear, ambiguous, literal, metaphorical or symbolic, whether it was an instruction, statement, example, suggestion, observation, humorous, a consolation, a rebuke, what level of understanding it was meant for, what it applied to and whether it had universal application or was something confined to a certain time, space or people, applied to specific cases or general ones. But there appears to be an esoteric or little known, mostly verbal chain of transmission in which the meaning, significance and application of the hadith are better understood.
Very impressive sounding words, yet in the heart of it we read again: 'There are many contradictory Hadith, some even contradict the Quran'...
There are several different collections of Hadith, which were written down only many years after the death of the Prophet and all witnesses. Things get distorted in proportion to the length of the chain when passed verbally from person to person, and the quality and piety of the people involved. The chain of transmission of some Hadith does not contain people of known veracity. Sectarians have selected, added and subtracted things to suit their own prejudices or interests, and the sects have their own sets of Hadith, which differ from those of other sects.
It seems that the author is not himself convinced of what he is writing: 'Things get distorted in proportion to the length of the chain when passed verbally from person to person'. We are also told that each 'sect' has different sets of Hadith to suite their own needs...So, they do not even agree amongst themselves on this 'science' that they have followed and preferred to the clear instructions given to them by GOD through the messenger?.
There are about 700,000 Hadith attributed to the Prophet. Of these more than 90% were rejected by early Muslims as not authentic or doubtful. Malik accepted 500, Hanbal 40,000, Bukhary 7275, Muslim accepted 4000. Each of these collectors accepted as true sources people whom the others rejected. Muslim is said to have rejected 434 persons accepted by Bukhari and Bukhari rejected 625 persons accepted by Muslim. Some reports were accepted from witnesses who had known the Prophet for only a day or from children as young as 8 years old. Yet it was well known that there were liars and hypocrites among the people who professed Islam as the Quran states (9:101-102, 63:1-2) The choice was no doubt also affected by their own preferences and prejudices. However critics of the various collections of Hadith are prone to the same failings.
This is getting muddier indeed. Out of 700,000 hadiths, 90% were being rejected as being not authentic or doubtful'!. Early Muslims it seems had no problem in lying or inventing stories about GOD or His messenger...yet we are told this is a 'science'?. What is again alarming is that the collectors of Hadith did not even agree amongst themselves as to who was trustworthy and who was not in being a narrator!. So, if you followed Bukhari you would get certain laws in the religion, whereas if you only followed Muslim you would get something quite different.
In any case, since the Hadith contain the interpretations and applications of the Quran for the particular times when the Prophet lived, they are regarded by some people as having less relevance in other times and places, particularly our own times where the conditions of life have changed quite dramatically owing to the development of science, technology, organization, education and commerce. These have shrunk the world and made it into a single place where all are much more inter-dependent. However, they still have value in showing us under what circumstances some of the Quranic verses were revealed, how they were understood by the Prophet and his companions, and as examples of how the Quran could be adapted and applied.
The author seems to be close to outright rejecting all the Hadiths as being 'less relevant' today, and would like them kept for their 'historic or contextual' value. What the author fails to mention is that the Hadith actually provide LAWS which most Islamic states adhere to as if they were adhering to the laws of GOD (stoning adulterers, killing apostates, cutting hands of thieves, circumcision, counting the testimony of 1 man as equal to 2 women, allowing slavery, forbidding women from praying during menstruation, forbidding gold & silk for men, forbidding certain foods, etc..).
According to a Hadith, the Prophet left his followers as guidance two things :- the Quran and his Sunna (the traditions or sayings and doings of the Prophet). Another variation says that the two things that he left were the Quran and his descendants, the Ahlul Bayt. This, among other things, gave rise to two streams of Islam - the Sunnis and the Shiahs. Each has its own separate collection of Hadith. Some Muslims are not happy with the divisions in Islam and its imprisonment in tradition while times have changed, leaving Islam maladapted. They assume that if the importance of the Hadith were to be reduced then sectarianism would come to an end, Muslims would unite, become free of the weight that disables them, and once again march forward as in the past. It is thought by some that the corruption of Islam is the result of increasing abandonment of the Quran in favour of doubtful Hadith. Indeed, the Quran itself warns us :-
Use a Hadith to justify the Hadith!. It is interesting that both the Sunni & Shia can only refer to a 'Hadith' to give themselves legitimacy...Apparently the Book making 'all thing clear' did not cover these points for them?.
"Thus have We appointed unto every Prophet an adversary - devils of humankind and jinn who inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile. If thy Lord willed they would not do so. So leave them alone with their devising that the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter may incline thereto, and that they may take pleasure therein, and that they may earn what they are earning." 6:113-114
This sounds like a 'prophecy' if ever there was one...Will the Muslims not then take heed?.
"On the day (of Judgment) when the wrong-doer gnaws his hand he will say: Ah would that I had chosen a way together with the Messenger! Alas for me! Ah, would that I had never taken such a one for friend! He verily led me astray from the Reminder (Quran) after it had reached me. Satan was ever man's deserter in the hour of need. And the Messenger says : O my Lord! Lo! Mine own folk make this Quran of no account." 25:27-30
The messenger who is said to be the 'source' of Hadith & Sunna is telling his people on the day of judgement: 'My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran'. And we are still being told that Hadith is a part of GOD's religion!.
"When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad) they say: We bear witness that thou art indeed Allah's messenger, and Allah bears witness that the Hypocrites are lying. They make their faith a pretext so that they may turn men from the way of Allah. Verily, evil is that which they are wont to do." 63:1-2
What is the message here?. That the people who bear witness that Mohammed is the messenger (i.e. the 1st pillar in Sunni Islam) are in-fact bearing the testimony of the hypocrites!. Would anyone in their right mind continue to recite the Sunni 'Shahada' after knowing this?.
"So judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce you from some part of that which Allah has revealed unto you." 5:49
Can it ever be any clearer than this?.
The above criticisms gave rise, among other things, to a "Quran only" movement which reject all Hadith. But the problem is that people would still differ about the interpretation and application of the Quran, and specially so when no Hadith offered any guidance. The number of sects could well increase. Sectarianism, as the verses above indicate, depends also on taking as authorities Leaders and Books other than Muhammad (saw) and the Quran, not just different collection of Hadith. This could be regarded as Idolatry or Shirk in so far as they are not sent by Allah but treated as if they were.
Would the author rather people stay on the path of Hadith & Sunna to avoid 'disunity & sectarianism', or would the author be more interested in doing what is 'right' in the eyes of GOD?.
The 'Quran Only' is a contradictory slogan which is being used to 'label' any who call for a return to Islam as Submission to GOD Alone and no other...The word is contradictory since only the 'framework of law / legal principles' can be derived from the Quran, while all else is derived from the life around us...That is the 'Sunna' of GOD.
On the other hand, a consensus may be reached that:- Muslims must use their faculties (Aql); are allowed to reach different opinions; but that these should be held tentatively not rigidly because Allah knows best; and that it is He who will eventually decide; and that they should then settle their affairs by mutual consultation and agreement as the Quran requires (17:36, 5:48, 3:159, 5:48). There is also a Hadith that states that an Islamic community (one that adheres to the Quran) can never reach a wrong consensus. This is because they will ask for, and obtain, the guidance by Allah himself.
What is the message here by the author?. That he is willing to compromise on the issue of Hadith & Sunna to be replaced with consultations and open discussion of affairs. If this is the case, then all we who call for the rule of the Book of GOD will welcome such an understanding as that is the only thing we have wanted all along...
The early Muslims recorded the outer life of the Prophet in great detail hoping that by imitating this they could also attain an equivalent inner spiritual state. But not a great amount is known about the motives behind every action. Therefore, when histories of his life came to be written we find great variations in the account by different people because they insist on interpreting his actions according to their various inclinations and attributing motives from their own imagination. We have highly admiring accounts as well as very hostile, denigrating and cynical ones. Some thought that he was no more than a bandit raiding caravans with an eye for young girls while others thought he was a master of strategy. Some thought that he should be judged by the mores and culture which were current in Arabia in his times and others saw him as introducing revolutionary social and psychological changes from a system based on personalities and tribal loyalties to one based on ideas and loyalties to an ideology. He had to deal with indeterminate transitional times where the old system was being destroyed and the new system had to be constructed. The whole direction of history had to be changed.
Yes, this is amongst some of the problems the hadith followers have created...They depict the messenger of GOD from being 'demonic' to being 'saintly'...All this of-course could have been avoided had they simply stuck to the 'authentic' narrations of his life contained in the Book of GOD.
Others see things at a still more fundamental level - his task was to introduce a completely new attitude and consciousness, from a subjective to an objective way of living, a revolution that is not yet complete. From an Islamic point of view the prophet (saw) was no ordinary man. This is shown by the existence of the Quran, which is in itself a masterpiece of literature, contains a sophisticated teaching, new heights, widths and depths of which come to light from time to time. It is also shown by the great successes against great odds that the Prophet achieved. This being the case it is unjustifiable presumption to judge the Prophet by the ordinary standards that apply to ordinary mortals. Therefore, all judgments, particularly when they go against the moral code contained in the Quran, are rejected. He was himself an exemplar of the Quran. Indeed, the Quran itself indicates in 18:61-83 how a person led by Allah differs from others. There is sufficient evidence in the Hadith to show that because his task was to raise the level of morality of a relatively primitive and barbaric people his actions and the actions he allowed were often not to his own high standards but he often had to compromise in order to accommodate the level of understanding of his followers. The materials one works with limit what can be done. Had he insisted on the standards his followers could not reach or maintain, he would not have had any followers, and no transformation would then have been possible.
The author writes: 'his actions and the actions he allowed were often not to his own high standards but he often had to compromise in order to accommodate the level of understanding of his followers'.
I am amazed that such a claim can be made against the prophet which contradicts what GOD has told us:
"If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit. Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us." (17:74-75)
The promise was to preserve the Quran not the Hadith (17:46). The Quran was to be regarded as the Prophet's only miracle, though he is reported to have performed several. Miracles are no proof of the truth of the teaching and give no understanding. Both the Quran and the Hadith insist that Muhammad (saw) was a human being who was fallible. Therefore, the Sunna cannot be infallible. On the other hand, Muhammad (saw) was known to be truthful and trustworthy even before his mission began, and he was guided and corrected by Allah after his mission began. Allah speaks to mankind only through prophets (2:213, 12:109, 6:125, 16:2) and we are to make no distinction between Allah and the Prophets (4:150-151). The Prophet was in complete Surrender to Allah (6:163-164). Therefore, he did not follow his own subjective opinions. He is said to have been "The Quran in Action." His life is an interpretation and application of the Quran. The Quran itself uses the word "sunna" several times for itself ( e.g. 12:111). The Quran is the best Hadith (39:23). When, therefore, we speak about the Sunna of Muhammad, this may be regarded as referring to "Quran in action" to differentiate it from the Quran as a Book or Recitation or as a theory, thought or teaching. Thus, though all genuine religion is Islam, the Sunna of Muhammad differs from that of Jesus or Moses.
Linking Mohammed to being 'truthful & honest' is meant to imply that the Sunna cannot be otherwise. Yet the author already made clear that 'much' of the Hadith was dubious or fabricated, as well as the people reporting them may have not fully understood what was really being said.
Some people point to the following verse as implying that Islam should be based only on the Quran:-
"And when you recite the Quran We place between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter a hidden barrier. And we place upon their hearts veils lest they should understand it, and in their ears a deafness, and when thou makest mention of thy Lord alone in the Quran, they turn their backs in aversion." 17:45-46
But this refers to Allah not the Quran. Allah also sent the Torah and Injil.
Mentioned 'GOD Alone' has been clearly set as a 'criteria' for distinguishing people who believe in Him from those who associate other with Him:
When GOD ALONE is advocated, the hearts of those who do not believe in the hereafter shrink with aversion. But when others are mentioned besides Him, they rejoice (39:45).
The Quran, moreover, points to nature and the Universe, to human history and to human faculties and expects us to use these. Obviously we are to learn from these. It tells us to seek knowledge and follow only that of which we have knowledge, not speculation and conjecture (17:36, 10:37). The Quran does not, in fact, contain a complete Legal system, nor an Economic, Political or Cultural system, nor a Cosmology or other sciences and crafts. It contains a developmental system and requires human beings to act as vicegerents in the service of Allah using the faculties given by Him.
The first part of this paragraph contradicts the opening statements where the author told us that GOD only manifests Himself to us through the messengers (now we are told that nature and the universe are also to be looked at!).
However, in the second part the author makes some wild statements with no support (that the book does not contain a legal system or an economic system, or political system). This is clearly being done to 'undermine' the Book and give necessity to the Hadith & Sunna which will save the day. The Book of GOD has been identified as the 'ultimate judge' (6:114) in all matters. Therefore to claim it does not contain legal or economic or political guidelines is not to have read the book at all.
There is a difference between the Quran itself and the interpretation and application of it. We do not only need the Quran but also someone who interprets and applies it. Few people can learn only from books - they usually require a teacher also. Otherwise they may interpret the Quran according to their fantasies and prejudices and select only that which they like. Because all this is well known in all fields, we have educational systems with teachers in all countries.
Again, the author compares the Book of GOD with a 'human' book which it is not...
The principles within the Book of GOD 'justice, fairplay, mercy, righteousness, etc..' are not interpreted according to 'fantasies', but are a part of the clear ethical laws which any layman willing to read the words will clearly understand...It is this which makes the 'foundation' of the message and the main point of communication that GOD continued to send through His messengers.
The Quran tells us :-
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you are in truth believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end." 4:59
Notice that if there is a dispute it should be taken to Allah and the Messenger, but not to the third kind of authority. We can take it to Allah by studying the Quran and through meditation and prayer. How do we take it to the Messenger? Obviously by studying what he had to say on the subject or how he dealt with it. In both cases we also consult those whom we consider authorities e.g. teachers, scholars or leaders of religion, Imams, Sheikhs etc.
Obeying the messenger has been subtly made into obeying the 10% of Hadith that the author has stated were collected after sifting through 700,000 narrations which had dubious origins. Where did the author get this authority to link between 'obey the messenger' and to obey the Hadith & Sunna collections?. Also, the author said that the 10% of Hadith was not all taken by the compilers (some thought this person was worthy, others did not)...So, which book of hadith does 'obey the messenger' tell us is the real one (Bukhari collection, Muslims, Tirmidhi) or ALL of them?. This interpretation obviously opens a Pandora's Box with every people making it to mean what they would like it to mean.
If the messenger has already been established to judge by the book and nothing else (6:19, 16:89, 5:48-50), then how does the author justify this leap of faith that creates a clear contradiction?.
To obey the messenger is to obey the message...To do this, leads to obeying GOD (since the messenger was the one to deliver the word of GOD).
The people who consider themselves "Quran only" are in fact following people like Dr. Khalifa who are a third authority. They form another sect. But the above verse does not consider this third authority to be qualified to settle disputes.
We are back to the use of this 'Quran Only ' phrase with a new addition 'Dr. Khalifa'...Dr. Khalifa to our research appeared with a renowned call to the Quran in the mid-70's early 80's. How he is suddenly linked to 'GOD Alone' is beyond undertsanding since this call has been at the core of GOD's message to humanity since Noah.
It is necessary to point out that the "Quran only" people are quite right about following only the Quran. But they are wrong in supposing that if one follows Muhammad (saw) then this is not following the Quran. To obey the Prophet is to obey Allah. One could go one step further and say "We surrender only to Allah. Therefore, we will not follow the Quran. We will only follow what Allah inspires in us." We will then be free to follow our own fantasies to our hearts content as certain sects do.
This is 'illogical' to say the least. The Book of GOD has been inspired through messengers...For a person to accept the Book, he MUST accept the messenger and vice versa. Therefore, to obey GOD, the messenger is automatically accepted and obeyed as the words he relates from GOD are that which give him authority to begin with!. The author tries to make the two things separate, which they cannot be by their nature of revelation.
Some people object even to the inclusion of the second part of the Shahadah, "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" in the first Pillar and in prayer, on the grounds that we should associate nothing with Allah, despite the fact that both are taught in the Quran. They want the exact words and they do exist in the Quran - the first part of the Shahadah is found in 47:19, and the second is found in 48:29
The problem with the Sunni Shahada is a clear issue of 'what not to say' according to (63:1-2). Why would any person say the words that the 'hypocrites' are accused of using?. Is the love of Hadith so embedded that it overrides all else.
Those who do not believe that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah cannot possibly accept the Quran or vice versa - otherwise they are in self-contradiction. But if they believe it then they must bear witness to the fact. There cannot be an excuse for leaving out the second part of the Shahadah, unless they are Jews or Christians and follow Moses or Jesus. For Muslims: -
This is a clear 'leap-of-faith' once again by the author. He is linking people who follow the Book not reciting the Shahada of the hypocrites (63:1-2) with the statement 'those who do not believe Mohammed is the messenger'!. As we mentioned above, one cannot accept the Book without accepting the messenger as well (this is basic logic). People who follow 'GOD Alone' know that Mohammed is the messenger of GOD and accept him as such.
"The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves.." 33:6
Leaving out the second part of the Shahadah in prayer is usually justified on the grounds that "bearing witness" requires that you must have seen something externally through your eyes. But it can mean affirming one's faith - one bears witness to something one has seen internally by insight. It also means that we live by the instructions, thereby making our life into a witness. If it means having seen something with the eyes, then we must also admit that we cannot bear witness that "there is no god but Allah".
This argument and making a case by the author would not have been necessary if he simply did not follow the teachings of Hadith to start with (that is where the origins of the Sunni Shahada take place). People who follow the book do not bear witness because GOD has said that He 'suffices' as a witness:
"We have sent you as a Messenger and GOD SUFFICES AS A WITNESS..." Sura 4:79
Another objection sometimes raised is that we ought not to associate anything in our prayers with Allah. Therefore, all mention of Muhammad (saw) in prayer ought to be removed. But an examination of the wording in Islamic prayer shows that it is not a prayer TO Muhammad but FOR Muhammad and his people. If this were not allowed then certainly, one could not pray for oneself or others either. Another objection arises because of some Christian arguments:- You need to pray for Muhammad only because he is a sinner and if he is a sinner you cannot follow him. But the answer to this is that prayer to a large extent is done for own good. We do not praise God because He needs it. We praise Him because it produces our own gratitude and joy and reinforces the values that we wish to cultivate. By praying for Muhammad the Muslim aligns himself with Muhammad and his followers. He follows Muhammad who was a man with human limitations. A god cannot be followed and that tops efforts.
GOD tells us not to make a 'distinction' amongst His messengers (4:150), yet the author sees no problem if he mentioned Mohammed or Abraham in the prayers to the exclusion of all others. Our prayers are for GOD and we reverence Him in our thoughts and actions.
Consider the following verses:-
"Say (O Muhammad to mankind): If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is forgiving, Merciful." 3:31
How else can one follow the messenger, but by accepting and following that which he delivered (note: all the commands in the Quran have been given to follow the 'messenger' and NEVER to follow 'the prophet or Mohammed').
"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." 33:21
The example of the messenger is well recorded in the Book as is the example of Abraham.
"Whoso obeys the Messenger obeys Allah, and whoso turns away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them." 4:80
"O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and render not your actions vain." 47:33
"And they say: We believe in Allah and the messenger and we obey; then after that a fraction of them turn away. Such are not believers. And when they appeal unto Allah and His messenger to judge between them. lo! a faction of them are averse. But if right had been with them they would have come unto him willingly. Is there in their hearts a disease, or have they doubts, or fear they lest Allah and His messenger should wrong them in judgment? Nay, but such are evil doers. The saying of true believers when they appeal unto Allah and his messenger to judge between them is only that they say: We hear and we obey. And such are the successful. He who obeys Allah and His messenger, and fears Allah, and keeps duty unto Him, such indeed are the victorious. They swear by Allah solemnly that, if thou order them, they will go forth. Say: swear not; known obedience is better. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do. Say : Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if ye turn away, then it is for him to do only that wherewith he has been charged, and for you to do only that wherewith ye have been charged. If ye obey him, ye will go right. But the messenger hath no other charge than to convey the message plainly." 24:47-54
Again, all the commands are to 'obey the messenger' which MUST be done before one is able to obey GOD.
Thus the Messenger has no powers of compulsion, but only to convey the message of God. He is Allah's agent, and is obeyed as such. If he was not a representative of Allah then we would have to reject his entire history. We would have to suppose that the battles he was engaged in, and all the other political and diplomatic activities he conducted by which Islam was established had nothing to do with Allah but proceeded from his own whims.
The author tries to tie battles and political deals with the issue of salvation in this life and knowing the path we must walk to reach GOD. If the battle the messenger was engaged in was called battle 'x or y' and if the number of soldiers killed were '10,000 or 50,000' will this information make one iota of difference to those seeking guidance from the message and a way to find GOD?. We must be clear that 'history' is an excellent way of looking at the past and understanding the circumstances people were in, but we must NEVER confuse 'history' with 'law' and make the two interchangeable as we see fit.
"By the star when it sets, your comrade (Muhammad) errs not, nor is deceived, nor does he speak of his own desire. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired which One of mighty power has taught him." 53:1-4
Previously, the author told us how Mohamed was just a man and was 'fallible' and that not all he spoke was 'law'. Now we are given a verse to prove entirely the opposite (which is it?). The speech mentioned in 53:1-4 above is the revelation or 'inspiration' which is clearly being given to him to convey.
"Establish worship and pay the poor due and obey the Messenger, that haply you may find mercy." 24:56
"Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger. But if they turn away, lo! Allah loves not the disbelievers (in His guidance)." 3:32
"And obey Allah and the Messenger, that you might find mercy." 3:132
"Whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, where such will dwell for ever. That will be the great success. And whoso disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where such will dwell for ever; his will be a shameful doom." 4:13-14
"Whoso obeys Allah and His Messenger, they are with those unto whom Allah has shown favour, of the Prophets, and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous. The best of company are they." 4:69
How could a reader of the Quran have missed the above verses that link Allah with His messenger.
Perhaps because that reader understood that the 'messenger' is related to the 'message'. Also, it may be because the reader came across all the verses which linked Mohammed with ruling and judging people by the Book and nothing but the book?.
"When our verses are recited for them, those who do not expect to meet us would say, 'Bring a Quran other than this, or change it.' Say (O Muhammad), 'I cannot change it on my own initiative. I simply follow what is revealed to me. I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the retribution of a terrible day.' ...Who is more wicked than one who invents lies about God, or rejects His revelations? The guilty never succeed. Yet, they idolize beside God those who possess no power to harm them or benefit them, and say, 'These are our intercessors with God.' ...such is idol-worship." (10:15-18)
See also the following :- 5:92, 8:1,20,24,46, 9:71, 24:52,54, 33:33,66,71, 47:33, 48:17, 49:19, 58:13, 64:12, 69:10, 71:3, 72:23
It is also necessary to note that the Quran makes a distinction between the Scripture and Wisdom (2:151,231,269, 3:48,79,164, 4:54,113, 5:110 etc.). Having a Scripture is not sufficient. The ability to understand and apply it is also essential.
More murky waters are being treaded...It seems at this stage the author has reverted back to the need for the Hadith & Sunnah and is even implying that this 'extra' revelation is actually justified when looking at GOD's book (this is the same author who first had to use a Hadith to justify the existence of Hadith as a source of law).
The 'wisdom' is merely an 'attribute' of the Book :
“These are of the Wisdom <al-Hikmati>, which your Lord has revealed to you. Take not, with Allah, another object of Worship, lest you should be thrown into hell, blameworthy and rejected” (17:39).
“We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, so that you may use your senses. And verily it is in the Mother of The Book, in Our Presence, High, Full of Wisdom” (43:3-4)
However, it is true that the Prophet was fallible and made mistakes as the Quran itself records in 80:1-4. But Allah Himself corrected him. The Quran insists that Muhammad was a man and so were all other Prophets. The Prophet made a clear distinction between that which came to him by revelation and that which did not. His followers knew this, because he often took their advice instead of insisting on his own ideas when they were not revelations. He was instructed by Allah to consult others:-
Remember, a few paragraphs ago we were being led to believe that the prophet spoke nothing but 'inspiration' and that he did not err...This position seems to have changed once again.
"It was by the mercy of Allah that you did deal gently with them (O Muhammad), for had you been rough and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from around you. But pardon them, and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them on the conduct of affair. As when you have resolved a matter, then put your trust in Allah; verily, Allah loves those who trust (Him)." 3:159
There is, therefore, a distinction between the Word of God (the Quran) and the words of the Prophet. This distinction makes Islam unique among religions. It is, probably, the confusion between these two aspects that led Christians theologians to think of Jesus (as) as both human and divine. Only the Quran is to be taken as infallible. Though they are required to accept the guidance of God, human beings must and are required to live by their own lights also. We also use the opinions of other men, experts in various fields, as guides even though they are fallible, because they are more likely to be true than those of people who have no such expertise. The educational system and the progress of humanity depends on this. The fact that the Quran is infallible does not mean that its interpretation is infallible since this is certainly done by man. The interpretation of the Prophet is likely to be more accurate than that of others. It is for these reasons that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) is regarded as a better example to humanity than someone who is thought of as a god and was not involved in human affairs - someone who was not married and did not concern himself with the economic, political and cultural affairs of the community.
Firstly, the beliefs of Sunnis is not 'unique' amongst other religions as the Jews have also adapted the 'Talmud' to relate the sayings and doings of their holy prophet and respected scholars. The Talmud is used to view the 'Torah' which is regarded as not being able to stand on its own without this 'wisdom'. It should also be mentioned that the Jews are not mentioned favorable in the Book of GOD for their continuos disobedience and twisting of words out of context or hiding verses or not upholding the Torah...Thus the Sunnis should reflect to see if such warnings are not also applicable in their situation.
Secondly, the Quran as the word of GOD is not to be compared to any human text or books where the need for 'teachers' is used to understand information (The Most Merciful in the teacher of the Quran).
Muslims take the Quran as the infallible word of Allah, and accept Muhammad (saw) as a Messenger of Allah. The reason for this acceptance (if it is not merely an un-examined assumption) is that a study of the Quran and the life of Muhammad find some kind of harmony or compatibility with human experiences and inherent human nature. This must certainly have been the case with the early converts who cannot be accused of having been mentally conditioned by their traditions. They, therefore, accept the word of Muhammad (saw) that the Quran is a revelation from Allah, and the word of the Quran that Muhammad is the best example. They also take the word of the Quran and Muhammad that he was a human being who made mistakes, but being a Prophet, was corrected by Allah and forgiven. They accept the word of the Quran that the Quran (its teachings as originally delivered - i.e. its meaning 56:77-80) will be preserved. This promise does not cover the Hadith. The Hadith, though they contain the sunna of the Prophet, are variable in quality, reliability and interpretation. One must be cautious about them but there is no need to reject them all. We know about the history of the Prophet and the revelation of the Quran from these and some also illuminate the meaning of the verses of the Quran.
If the author has been trying all along to link 'obey the messenger' with 'follow the hadith & sunnah', why is he now warning us to use 'caution' in their reliability and interpretation!. Surely an integral part of a religion would have far more validity and a more solid foundation that all people can refer to it without doubt saying: 'this is what GOD revealed"!.
There are many controversies about the meaning of some verses in the Quran that can only be settled by reference to Hadith. Take as an example the case of Quranic phrase "the Seal of the Prophets" (33:40). We have different interpretations of it. Some say "seal" means last Prophet and no more will come. Others say it refers to the fact that religion is complete in Islam, as when a letter is sealed. Others say it is a "seal of approval or authority." and seal refers to the ring used to make the seal. In this case it refers to the fact that Muhammad (saw) confirmed the past Prophets and the religion they taught. Notice that if we interpret the Quran by the Quran then two of the meanings above are confirmed but the third (the Last Prophet) is neither confirmed nor denied. So, in order to settle the dispute we do what the Quran recommends, namely, go to Allah (in prayer or study of the Quran) and the Prophet (since he is dead, nowadays we consult his sunna). When we do the latter we find that several Hadith indicate that the Prophet himself was convinced that he was the Last Prophet before the return of Jesus and that he had laid the last stone in the House of religion. He also indicated that Islam would have inspired reformers from time to time, rather than a series of prophets as the Jews had.
The Quran which the author at least now calls 'infallible' is totally confusing if taken by itself and requires the support of outside sources to understand it. What happened to 16:89 where the Quran is said to make all things 'clear'?.
Also, in the example of 'seal of the prophets' the word 'Khatam' in Arabic is correctly meaning 'seal'. Then why does the author refuse to be satisfied with such a clear meaning verse, and insists to force the word 'final' by referring us to the Hadith?. Is this not an attempt to silence the Quran by forcing outside meanings on otherwise clear words?.
Again, apart from the problem of the reliability of the Hadith, there is still some doubt as to what exactly was meant. Was he referring to Jesus as the word and spirit from Allah? What was meant by descent? He did seem to indicate that it would be a man who would reform religion which would have become corrupted, and so restore Islam. If this is so, how would muslims in so far as they are adherents of the corrupted religion, recognize Jesus and Islam? The new claimants to Prophethood say they are Jesus returned. This does not contradict the Hadith.
The issue of Jesus returning is just one of the many innovations that are being forced on Islam with total disregard to the contradictions they create. The Quran says Jesus is dead and that no man shall live beyond his normal age (verses?), yet with the Hadith we must override such clear words in the belief that a man 2,000 years dead will return to save humanity from itself!.
Some people object to the Hadith on the grounds that the Quran states that it is perfectly clear (26:2, 27:1, 28:2, 36:68, 43:2). Therefore, no other guidance is required. But this is a naive understanding. In fact, the Quran speaks at several levels and also in allegories. It is not clear to those who do not read it correctly, are self-opinionated, have prejudices and a negative attitude to it rather than a receptive one. (See 2:121, 2:146, 3:7, 17:82). We need only examine the questions, disputes and numerous, often hostile, opinions of people who have read the Quran on the Islamic Internet site to see that things are not as clear as the Quran only people suppose.
Again, the words 'Quran Only' are being used to denote something that is in-itself contradictory. Muslims take the law from GOD Alone through His words as delivered by the messenger. Other than the 'law' & 'wisdom' people are to live with their surroundings and not to be trapped in the context of a book.
"Now has come unto you light from Allah and a plain scripture whereby Allah guides him who seeks His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness into light by His decree, and guides them unto a straight path." 5:15-16 Also 3:103
"And We have revealed the Book to you which has the clear explanation of everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit." 16:89 and 6:115
Why would people still resist?.
It makes things plain only for those who believe and ponder, those whom Allah guides and those whose ears and eyes and hearts have not been dulled. Sometimes the following verses are quoted to show that the Quran contains everything: -
"And perfected are the words of your Sustainer with truth and justice; there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing." (6:115)
".. nothing have we omitted from the Book." (6:38).
This refers to the Book in heaven.
Yes, it is agreed that 6:38 refers to a Book in heaven, but the author seems to have overlooked the following verses also:
"Shall I seek other than GOD as a judge, when He revealed THIS BOOK FULLY DETAILED? (6:114)
"And were every tree that is in the earth (made into) pens and the sea (to supply it with ink), with seven more seas to increase it, the words of Allah would not come to an end; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise." (31:27)
This refers to Allah's knowledge. If the Quran contained everything then the Prophet would also have had all knowledge. But this is denied in the Quran (6:50).
Perhaps the author is having a problem finding 'everything' when all he needs to be looking for is the 'law'?.
"He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - the others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking to cause dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah and those who are of sound instruction. Say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed." 3:7
Does this sound as if everything in the Quran is clear to everyone?
It sounds to me as if the essence of the Book (the law) is as clear as day, while the similar verses (obey Allah & obey the messenger) are designed to cause confusion amongst those who did not truly believe.
"And when thou recitest the Quran We place between thee and those who believe not in the Hereafter a hidden barrier, and We place upon their hearts veils lest they should understand it and in their ears a deafness, and when thou makest mention of thy lord alone in the Quran, they turn their backs in aversion. We are best aware of what they wish to hear when they give ear to thee and when they take secret counsel, when the evil doers say: Ye follow but a man bewitched. See what similitudes they coin for thee, and thus are all astray, and cannot find a road." 17:45-48
"And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Quran all kinds of similitudes, but most of mankind refuse aught save disbelief." 17:89
"Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, WHO READ IT WITH A RIGHT READING, those believe in it." 2:121
"Will they then not meditate on the Quran, or are there locks on their hearts?" 47:24
"And when We read it, follow thou the reading; then lo! Upon us rests the explanation thereof." 75:18-19
It is ironic that we find 75:18-19 here in this paper (where GOD says He will explain the revelation) yet all the time we are being pushed into believing that the messenger has this exclusivity!.
There are many verses which tell us that Allah guides not miscreants e.g. 2:26,258, 5:51 etc.
"And We reveal in the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy for believers though it increases evil doers in naught but ruin." 17:82
"But it (the Quran) is clear revelation in the hearts of those who have knowledge." 29:49
'Clear Revelation'...Remember above where the author could not find any verses to say the Book was clear?. Looks like he managed after all.
It is clear not to the ignorant but those who have knowledge and a receptive heart. This, of course, also applies to the understanding of the verses that mention the prophet (saw).
Some "Quran only" people tell us that because 4:150 tells us not to make a difference between the prophets, therefore, we must not give our allegiance only to Muhammad (saw). This would be Muhammad worship. The fact, however, is that there is a difference between Prophets. All prophets are not equal.
"Of these Messengers, We preferred some above others. Of them are some to whom Allah spake; and We have exalted some of them by degrees; " 2:253 Also 17:55
Prophets are only different as far as GOD is concerned...We are commanded not to make any distinction amongst them, which means we do not say one is better that the others, nor that one has been inspired more, or less, or granted more or less...We give allegiance to GOD (that is why we are here) and not to men or angels.
Muslims were asked to swear allegiance to Muhammad - swearing allegiance to him is swearing allegiance to God and the Quran, and to the other Prophets sent by God. (48:10,18 and 3:81). Muhammad (pbuh) was a universal or world prophet (4:79, 7:158, 34:28).
The verses the author refers to speaks of 'treaties' being made with the messenger and the consequences of breaking such agreements...If people believe that the Messenger had 'absolute' authority as an individual (and not through following GOD's words), then perhaps the following verse will shed some light:
"O you prophet, when the believing women (who abandoned the disbelievers) to seek asylum with you pledge to you that they will not set up any idols beside GOD, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor fabricate any falsehood, nor disobey you in issues of righteousness, you shall accept their pledge, and pray to GOD to forgive them. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful." (60:12)
We are not only told that we should not make a difference between the Prophets (since all are sent by God) but also not between the Prophets and Allah (4:150-151). Obeying the Messenger is obeying God (4:80). Thus the argument that we must obey only the Quran and not the Prophet cannot be upheld. If you obey the Quran then you must obey the Prophet.
Bravo!. The concept of obeying the messenger means obeying GOD has been understood.
The only point of argument among Muslims is whether and which Hadith are genuine and what they mean and to whom they apply. Some Hadith appear to tell us that the Prophet objected to the writing down of his sayings and doings. He wished to differentiate between the inspired words (Quran) and his own opinions (hadith) or perhaps between what was universal and what was only specific to the situation he was in. We do not know exactly what he meant. It could have applied to a particular person or episode. It could have been an advice or order or exception. It is remarkable that the ban on writing should have been written down instead of all the other hadith being erased. Other Hadith imply that he had given additional instructions or explanations that were also to be obeyed and written down. Once the revelation of the Quran was over there was no danger of confusing the Hadith with the Quran. He also said :-
This 'argument' the author speaks of is only found with the Sunnis or Shia. Muslims submit to GOD Alone and therefore do not have these issues as their source is One GOD, One Word.
"Be on your guard about tradition from me except what you know; for he who lies about me deliberately will certainly come to his abode in hell."
"I have indeed brought the Quran and something like it along with it, yet the time is coming when a man replete on his couch will say: keep to this Quran; what you find in it to be permissible treat as permissible, and what you find in it to be prohibited treat as prohibited. But what God's messenger has prohibited is like what God has prohibited."
I find the above 'hadith' to be very appropriate in dealing with this issue: 'look, we found a hadith saying that a people will come who will argue with you like this, just ignore them because the hadith has told us so!'. It's a shame they did not believe the verses where the prophet say's he cannot know the future!.
There are also apparent contradictions between Hadith which forbid innovation in religion and those which approve of good ones. This is mentioned here because it is the Traditionalists who both base themselves on Hadith and reject all innovation, while Modernists wish to reject hadith and introduce innovations.
"To proceed: the best discourse is Allah's Book, the best guidance is that given by Muhammad, and worst things are those which are novelties. Every innovation is error."
"If anyone establishes a good sunna in Islam he will have a reward for it and the equivalent of the reward of those who act upon it after him without theirs diminishing in any respect. But he who establishes a bad sunna in Islam will bear the responsibility of it and the responsibility of those who act upon it after him without theirs being diminished in any respect."
Some people quote those Quranic verses which contain the word "hadith" e.g. 7:185, 31:6, 39:23, 45:6, 52:34, 68:44, 77:50 or "sunna" e.g. 8:38, 15:13, 17:77, 18:55, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23. These, some people suppose, confirm that only the Quran is the correct hadith and Sunna and that none other should be accepted. This cannot, however, refer to the Sunna of those who follow the Quran, like Muhammad (saw). The words "sunna" and "hadith" have a general meaning. And if they are used to refer to the Quran then it does not follow that they cannot be used to refer to some other thing. If we use the word "chair" to refer to one object, this does not exclude another. It is also necessary to reconcile the verses with the other verses in the Quran quoted above. It is an integral part of sectarianism, indeed, its foundation, to select some verses and ignore others or to distort the meaning of words in order to support their own doctrines. Each sect makes a different selection.
Agreed. The verses mentioned previously are enough to make a case against Sunna & Hadith.
In any case it is illogical to try to prove something from the Hadith if you reject them because you would have to say that at least that hadith was true and that others might be also. It is illogical also to deny the Prophet and yet believe in Allah and the Quran. "Quran only" is an assumption which some people make first, and then wish to prove by selecting verses and interpreting them in certain ways.
No such thing as 'Quran Only'. Also, the author again makes the mistake of separating belief in the messenger with belief in the Quran (that is a physical impossibility).
But note the following Hadith:-
"In the times in which you are living anyone who abandons a tenth of what he is commanded will perish; but a time is coming when anyone who does a tenth of what he is commanded will be safe."
Obviously, not too much deviation can be allowed in the beginning of a movement otherwise as time passes the divergence like the arms of an angle become too great. Also, hopefully once the educational foundations are established greater flexibility becomes possible. It seems that the change in times was foreseen.
We hope that our comments on this paper have helped you understand the battles going on for the purification of 'Islam' being back to GOD Alone.
One final reminder as to what the messenger preached with :
"Say (O Muhammad), 'Whose testimony is greater?' Say, 'God is the witness between me and you that THIS QURAN was given to me to preach it to you, and to whomever it reaches.' However, you certainly bear witness that you set up other gods beside. Say, 'I will never do what you are doing; I disown your idol-worship.'" (6:19)
Other articles as well as refutations may be found at http://www.Free-Minds.Org.