Follow up response to Hadith Issue

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Follow up response to Hadith Issue


As salaamu alai kum fellow Muslimsworldwide members. Ramadan Mubarak.
I appologize for addressing a topic a day unlike the regular Jummah
postings, but it seems that the "M.W.W. bonus" stirred up some anger
within in the mailing list. Many readers responded praising the
article, appreciating the information and the Quranic citations it
provide. On the other hand, others were offended and said openly that
Islam says read, understand and follow the Quran, but also follow the
teachings of his messanger, including Mohammad (pbuh) who was the
last messanger in Islam. I am not in the position to say "follow
this, dont follow that" , but others also said in the emails I
recieved, if one is very concerned, pray to Allah swt, ask and beg
for His guidence and have faith that He will provide you with the
strength to believe. On an ending note, just an example why hadith's
are necessary to beleive and to follow is that in the Quran, it is
told "pray" but it was never told "how" to pray, while in Hadith the
proper way of offering namaaz is written clearly including Ablution
and all that follows. I leave you with an article on Hadith's, i
understand that article is quite lengthy, it may clear up some of the
confusion that happened.Unfortunetly i am unaware of the author of
the article.
Allah Hafiz
May Allah Guide us every step of the way
M. Editor

Summary of Hadith Rejecters' Claims

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

1. B) Qur'an is sufficient and does not need any further explanation.

2. Hadith is the same as the gospels of Christianity. Indeed the time
between death of Messenger Muhammad, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam,
and the
compilation of Sahihs was almost the same as that between the
departure of
Jesus, Alayhis salam, and compilation of the Bible. How can Muslims
one but accept the other?

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

4. The Messenger, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, may have elaborated
items like mode of salah. Such hadith is probably from the Messenger,
Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and should be obeyed. But what about
hadith that contradict the Qur'an.

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

6. Allah has protected only the Qur'an -- not Islam -- from

7. Allah expects from His slaves exclusive servitude. When Sunnis
talk of
Quran and Sunnah, the Qur'an is undermined for its exclusivity is

"If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger he is indeed on a clearly
path." [Al-Ahzab, 33:36]
"He that obeys Allah and His Messenger has already attained the great
victory." [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
devoted the best of their minds and talents to their study. They
both the words and meanings of the Qur'an through the Prophet, Salla-
alayhi wa sallam, and made an unprecedented effort in preserving them
the next generation. The result: The development of the marvelous --
unparalleled -- science of hadith, one of the brightest aspects of

What does it mean to believe in a Prophet except to pledge to follow
And so the teachings of the Prophet, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam,
always guided this Ummah. No body, in his right mind, could or did
this practice. Then something happened. During the colonial period,
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 Ahmed Pervaiz), and Turkey (Zia Gogelup), who
questioning the authenticity and relevance of hadith. It was not that
genius had found flaws in the hadith study that had eluded the entire
for thirteen centuries. It was simply that the pressures from the
Western civilization to conform were too strong for them to
withstand. They
buckled. Prophetic teachings and life example -- Hadith -- was the
in this process and so it became the target.

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

They call themselves as ahle-Qur'an or Quranists. This is misleading.
their distinction is not in affirming the Qur'an, but in rejecting the
Hadith. The ideas of munkareen-e-hadith evolve into three mutually
contradictory strains. The first holds that the job of the Prophet,
Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was only to deliver the Qur'an. We are
follow only the Qur'an and nothing else, as were the Companions.
hadith is not needed to understand the Qur'an, which is sufficient for
providing guidance. The second group holds that the Companions were
to follow the Prophet, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, but we are not.
third holds that, in theory, we also have to follow the hadith but we
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
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." [An-Nahal, 16:44]. And this: "Allah did
confer a
great favor on the Believers when He sent among them a Messenger from
themselves, rehearsing unto them the Signs (Verses) of Allah,
them, instructing them in Scripture, and teaching them Wisdom. While
that they were in manifest error." [A'ale Imran 3:164].

How can anyone hold the second position (limiting the Prophethood to
years) yet profess belief in Qur'an, while it says: "We did not send
except as Mercy for all creatures." [Al-Anbia, 21:107] And, "We have
sent you except as a Messenger to all mankind, giving them glad
tidings and
warning them against sin." [Saba, 34:28]

The third position seems to have avoided these obvious pitfalls, yet
reality it is no different. Consider statements 1, 4, and 7 in the
of hadith rejecters' claims. So hadith undermines Qur'an's
exclusivity, yet
would have been followed blindly at the time of the Prophet, Salla-
alayhi wa sallam. Ahadith cannot be followed because they are not
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
its importance, associating it with eternal success and failure? What
we think of a communication that repeatedly emphasizes a certain act
never explains how to perform it? There are only two possibilities.
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
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
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-el Haraam [the continuous practice at Mecca since the time of
Abraham]," says one proponent, "specifically the 'place of Abraham
(moqaam 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
find praying at Muqame Ibrahim? 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,
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.'" [Al-Anfal 8:35] )

The Reliability of Resources

To accept one and reject the other source on the basis of reliability
(statement #2) also defies reason, unless we received the Qur'an
from Allah. But we have received both Qur'an and Hadith through the
channels. Same people transmitted this as the Word of Allah, that as
word of the Prophet, Salla-Allahu alayhi was sallam. Even the verse
that Qur'an will be protected came to us through the same people.
what logic can anyone declare that the channels are reliable for
Qur'an and
unreliable for Hadith? On the contrary the Quranic promise of
must apply to Hadith as well for there is no point in protecting the
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 (#6)
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" [A'al-e-Imran, 3:85]. How are we to
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

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 (#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, Salla-Allahu alayhi wa
sallam. Abd-Allah ibn Amr ibn al-'As, Radi-Allahu unhu, sought and
was given
the permission to write everything he heard from the Prophet, Salla-
alayhi wa Sallam, who said: "By the One in Whose Hands is my life!
proceeds from here [pointing to his mouth] is the truth." He produced
Sadiqa, which contained more than six thousand ahadith. Anas ibn
Radi-Allahu unhu, who spent ten years in Prophet's household, not only
recorded the ahadith but also presented them to the Prophet, Salla-
alayhi wa sallam, and got corrections. Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu
unhu, had
many volumes of his collections and even produced smaller
compilations for
his students. Prominent Hadith scholar Dr. Mustafa Azami has shown in
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
conservative estimate there were many thousands."

Of course most of these books do not exist today. They were simply
into the encyclopedic collections that emerged in the third century.
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, Radi-Allahu unhu. It contains 138 ahadith.
Muhaddithin knew that the ahadith of this Sahifa had been absorbed
Musnad Ahmed and Muslim collections, which have been published
since their third century debut. After the discovery of the original
manuscript it was naturally compared with the ahadith in Muslim and
Ahmed that were thought to have come from that Sahifa. And what did
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
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

Saheeh and the Gospels

Regarding comparison of Saheeh with Gospels (#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
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
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
study of some scientific phenomena mentioned in the Qur'an and his
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.
account of history of hadith compilation contains many errors, for
the claim that the first gathering of hadith was performed roughly
years after Hijra or that no instructions were given regarding hadith
collection. He questions about a dozen or so entries in Bukhari that
thinks deal with scientific matters. Even if all that criticism were
would it be sufficient ground to throw away the 9082 total entries
unique ahadith) in Bukhari? He himself does not think so, for he
"The truth of hadith, from a religious point of view, is beyond

The Hadith Regarding the Sun

But even his criticism is of questionable value. Consider the hadith
the sun: "At sunset the sun prostrates itself underneath the Throne
takes permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then a time
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
course the sun runs in relation to the Earth." Bucaille fails to
the real message of this hadith. It was not meant to teach astronomy.
clear message is that sun is a slave of Allah, moving always through
Will. The hadith brings out that message very powerfully so that even
most illiterate bedouin would understand it fully. Moreover Bucaille
know better than to criticize the implied notion of sun's rotation
earth. Even today the astronomers, when calculating the time of
sunrise and
sunset, use a mathematical model in which the sun revolves around the
If that is acceptable for scientific work as it makes calculations
why is it questionable, when it makes communication easier?

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

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

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