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Topic initiated on Saturday, April 25, 2009  -  9:18 AM Reply with quote
question about authority of sunnah and hadith

Bismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim.

Assalaam alaykoum.

I am about 4 1/2 years in Islam. I have been concentrating on learning the Qur'an's directives for my life.
I have expressed to my husband my difficulty in absolute belief in abdolute authority of the sunnah and hadith. This upsets him greatly so I cannot talk to him about it to try to learn more and come to terms with my beliefs. He says that when I question sunnah and hadith, I do not believe the Prophet pbuh.

When I have mentioned it to any Muslim friends, generally they become very agitated and tell me I MUST accept all sunnah of the Prophet pbuh and the hadith as authentic and on the same level as the Holy Qut'an without questioning.

Here is the problem I am having:
Firstly, according to Allah swt, as Muslims we are to accept the Qur’an given to Mohamed pbuh as our one and only hadith - [6:114-115] "This being so, should I seek a judge other than Allah. whereas He has sent down to you the Book with full details? And the people whom We gave the Book (before you) know that this Book has been sent down to you with the Truth from your Lord; so you should not be of those who have doubts. The Word of your Lord is perfect in regard to Truth and justice; there is none who can make any change in His decrees for He hears everything and knows everything.

[12:111] "There is an object lesson in these stories of the former people for those, who possess common sense. That thing which is being sent down in the Qur'an is not a forgery, but (is absolutely genuine and) it confirms the previous Scriptures, gives details of everything, and is a guidance and blessing for the Believers."

[39:23] "Allah has sent down the best of discourses, a Book all whose parts are uniform in style and whose themes have been repeated over and over again. Those who fear their Lord are filled with awe when they hear it, and then their bodies and their hearts soften and turn to the remembrance of Allah. This is Allah's guidance, whereby He guides to the Right Way whomever He wills; and the one whom Allah does not guide has no guide whatever."

Secondly, if I am to believe the hadith, then both Muslim and Ibn Hanbal have reported that the Prophet pbuh said that no one should take anything from him except the Qur’an. Here is the quote in English:

"Abi Saeed AlKhudry may God be pleased with him reported that the messenger of God may God exalt him & grant him peace had said, 'Do not write anything from me EXCEPT QURAN. Anyone who wrote anything other than Quran shall erase it.'" !!!

Zayd Ibn Thabit (the Prophet's closest revelation writer) visited the Khalifa Mu'aawiya (more than 30 years after the Prophet's death), and told him a story about the Prophet. Mu'aawiya liked the story and ordered someone to write it down. But Zayd said, "The messenger of God ordered us never to write anything of his Hadith." (Reported by Ibn Hanbal)

Now to my own thoughts on this: I am not sure that what is regarded as hadith and sunnah would hold up in a court of law. I think it may be here-say, no matter what the intention of those relating the stories. We all hear the same news in a different way. This is clearly shown in a game called “Telephone”. A quote or some other statement is written on a piece of paper. The leader is the only one to have the paper and know its contents. With all participants sitting in a circle, the leader whispers the statement verbatim into the first person's ear. The statement is repeated to each participant in turn. When it comes full circle, the last person says the statement aloud for all to hear. Then the paper is read aloud by the leader. I have never experienced the two statements being the same.

I am not trying to say I am right and others are wrong. I am not trying to start an argument. I am only trying to investigate and study the Holy Qur’an, and what I am learning in my journey through this life to the next life, insha Allah, Paradise for me.

[17:36] "Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge for you shall be questioned for (the use) of your eyes, ears and minds."

Is there anyone to carry on an intellectual discourse with me? Does any other Muslim have the same thoughts/problem?

Until I am convinced otherwise, I plan to stay true to studying the Qur'an alone for my growth in Islam and study sunnah and hadith for what historical information I may gain.

Allan knows best. Alhamdoulilah I place my trust in Allah my Lord.

Jazak Allah khair.

Your sister in Islam,

Posted - Sunday, April 26, 2009  -  10:34 AM Reply with quote
salam (peace)

Welcome to Studying Islam

Dear sister. We appreciate your concerns. Insh'Allah you will benefit from our courses

Introduction to the Hadith


and Understanding the Sunnah


During and after your study you can discuss your concerns with the moderators and send in your queries.

Posted - Thursday, April 30, 2009  -  3:39 PM Reply with quote

Assalaam alaykoum.
.........I have been concentrating on learning the Qur'an's directives for my life..............
Sister Narjis,

Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah.

How are you learning?

Are you learned in Arabic language?

Even if you are an Arab and speak Arabic at home I dont think the language spoken today is the same as the language of the Prophet and his companions.

How do you think you could derive the Fundamentals of Religion (usulu-d-din)?

Perhaps you depend on the assertion of someone.

And if this person on whom you are dependant says that he takes it from The Book of Allah, without studying the commentary of The Qur'an on the basis of prophetic traditions, and reflects over it, nor what the companions (Sahabah), and the following generations narrated, which is transmitted to us from the authorities whom the critics chose. do you think you will succeed in learning the Qur'an's directives for your life?

The Sahaba did not learn the Qur'an like children, but studied it with meaning. One who does not follow in their footsteps, speaks on his own accord.

What is obligatory, is submission to the Messenger (SAW) carrying out his saying and accepting his saying with satisfaction and belief without contradicting it with false ideas called 'opprehensive faculty' (Ma'qul) bearing doubt or complaint, or offering the opinions of men and the garbage of their intellect. We unite with The Prophet (SAW) in judgement, submission, obedience and compliance, just as we have unison with Allah, glory be to Him, by worshipping Him by humility, submissiveness, repentance and reliance.

In short, what is obligatory on all MUslims is that they do not separate between Qur'an and Sunnah; whereas, it is obligatory to take both of them and to formulate the law on both of them.

This is a safeguard for them, so that they won't fall right or left; and that they won't fall back in error as explained by The Prophet (SAW):
"I leave behind me two things. You will never go astray if you hold fast to them: The Qur'an and my Sunnah."

The Sunnah which has an important bearing on Islamic Law is only the Sunnah confirmed by scientific channels, and authentic chains of narrations known to the learned in regard to hadeeths and the background of the narrators.

Here is an example of the verses that cannot be completely understood except through Sunnah:

"It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong, 'dhulm' that are (truly) in security for they are on (right) guidance" (6:82).

The companions of the Prophet (SAW) understood the word 'dhulm' in its general sense to mean every wrong doing, even if it be little. On this account the verse is regarded as dubious and they said, "O Messenger of Allah, which of us did not involve his faith with obscurity?"

He (SAW) said; It is not that. It is only the 'shirk'.Have you not heard what Luqman said: "Verily, 'shirk' is a very great sin (dhulm)" (31:13).

Note:Shirk is to disbelieve in the oneness of Allah, or to offer any form of worship to other than Allah.

In the above example, the understanding of the 'sahabah' of 'dhulm' mentioned in the verse is on its general sense, despite the fact that the (Allah be pleased with them) were, as stated by Ibn Mas'ud: "The best of this community, most pious, profound in learning, least of dissimulation." Yet with all that they erred in their understanding of that.

Were it not for the Prophet (SAW), who held them back from their mistaken notion, and made them take the step in the right direction in that the correct meaning of 'dhulm' in the context is shirk (association of partnership with Allah), we too would have followed in their wrong thinking. Allah, The Blessed and The Most High saved us from that wrong notion by the grace of the right direction of the Prophet (SAW) and his Sunnah.


Is there anyone to carry on an intellectual discourse with me?

Jazak Allah khair.

Your sister in Islam,

We shall only be too glad if you give us an opportunity for discussion Insha Allah.

Your brother in Islam,

Edited by: aboosait on Thursday, April 30, 2009 3:42 PM

Posted - Sunday, May 3, 2009  -  6:20 AM Reply with quote
Assalaam alaykoum, Brother Aboo,

Thank you so much for your kind reply. As for my learning, I have been taking the courses available at Studying Islam. I am very happy and pleased with what I have accomplished thus far, insha Allah, it is pleasing to Allah swt. My intention is to continue with more courses.

I have not yet taken the Intro to Hadith nor Understanding Sunnah courses. I intend to take them after the 3 I am currently signed up to take.

Let me ask you this, I have read that the ahadith were compiled about 200 years after the death of our Prophet Mohamed pbuh. Is this true?

And what about this hadith: "Do not write down anything of me except the Quran. Whoever writes other than that should delete it" (Ahmed, Vol. 1, page 171.....also Sahih Muslim) What is your opinion of this?

I will not go farther since I am still just a "learner" of Islam. As for Arabic, I am just a student of Arabic. If I had the monetary resources, I would attend a university or college to advance my learning of this beautiful language. For now I use an English-Arabic dictionary to search out multiple word meanings and multiple English "translation"/commentaries on the meaning of the Qur'an. I realize I am limited in my understanding of Qur'anic Arabic, but I am trusting in my Allah swt to increase my understanding and learning in this area.

Al-Qamar 54:17 Allah swt tells us he has made his Qur'an easy for us to understand, learn, and remember (from over 16 different "translations"). I believe and trust my Allah swt in this. Alhamdoulilah, Allah has made the Qur'an so.


Your sister in Islam,

Posted - Tuesday, May 5, 2009  -  5:30 AM Reply with quote

Assalaam alaykoum, Brother Aboo,

Thank you so much for your kind reply........

....... As for my learning, I have been taking the courses available at Studying Islam.....

.... My intention is to continue with more courses.......

.........And what about this hadith: "Do not write down anything of me except the Quran. Whoever writes other than that should delete it" (Ahmed, Vol. 1, page 171.....also Sahih Muslim) What is your opinion of this?..........


Your sister in Islam,

Sister Narjis,

Wa 'Alaykum assalam wa Rahmatullah.

Thank you for the feedback.

Jazakallahu khair.

I hope Insha Allah you will find answers to all your questions in the course.

In the meantime, here is the answer to the question which I have quoted from your post.

Answer: Of course the Prophet (Sws) never urged the companions to write his sayings and even forbade them from doing so in the beginning for at that time people could mix the Qur’an with his sayings which is not Qur’an.

Later on he allowed some people to write some of his sayings if they wanted to.

But we must be sure of the fact that the Prophet (sws) never went against the Qur’an or the Sunnah (established practice).

It is also equally important to know that the Qur’an requires us to follow the Prophet (Sws) unquestionably.

It is only the lack of reliability that we do not consider the Hadith a basic course of the religion.

Who would dare to go against the Prophet (Sws) if he gave his own opinion and required them to follow it? His understanding of the Qur’an and his practice on its directives are surely error free.

For if he erred the Almighty would correct him and thus his ijtihaad is also secured and approved by the Almighty.

Wa s salam

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