The ‘Hadith’ Debate

Muslims believe that the religion of Islam includes the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad. They insist that Verses in the Quran endorse the sayings and teachings of the Prophet. ’Nor does he speak of [his own] desire’ (53:3). ‘Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow; for him who hopes for [the meeting with] Allah and the Latter Day, and remembers Allah much’ (33:21). I do believe in the Revelations of the Quran and in the perfect example of the Prophet. However, I do not believe that everything the Prophet said and did was inspired by the Almighty.

We know from the Noble Quran that our beloved Prophet made mistakes; are we to conclude that God made these mistakes? ‘O Prophet! Why do you forbid [for yourself] that which Allah has allowed to you; seeking to please your wives? And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’ (66:1). ‘Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another’ ‘Nay, [do not do like this]; indeed it [this Quran] is an admonition’ (80:10/11). If everything the Prophet said was a divine revelation; why did God admonish the Prophet and show him the correct way?

The Quran is emphatic that there is only Allah’s Sunnah; not the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad. ‘[This was our] Sunnah with the Messengers We sent before you, and you will not find any alteration in Our Sunnah’ (17:77). ‘So no change will you find in Allah’s Sunnah, and no turning off will you find in Allah’s Sunnah’ (35:43). ‘That has been Allah’s Sunnah with those who passed away before. And you will find no change in Allah’s Sunnah’ (48:23). Would our beloved Prophet base his life on teachings and practices not consistent with the Noble Quran?

The Quran is the only authoritative and sufficient collection of all that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. ‘Certainly, We have brought them a Book [the Quran] which We have explained in detail with knowledge – a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe’ (7:52). ‘Allah has sent down the best Al Hadith, a Book [the Quran], its parts resembling each other [and] oft-repeated’ (39:23). ‘These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you (O Muhammad) with truth. Then in which Hadith after Allah and His Ayat will they believe?’ (45:6). ‘And recite what has been revealed to you [O Muhammad] of the book of your Lord. None can change His Words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him’ (18:27). ‘Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr [the Quran] and surely, We will guard it’ (15:9).

If Muslims believe it their duty to follow the ‘good example’ of Prophet Muhammad; shouldn’t they consider the ‘excellent example’ of Prophet Abraham? ‘Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him’ (60:4). ‘Certainly, there has been in them an excellent example for you to follow; for those who look forward to [the Meeting with] Allah and the Latter Day’ (60:6). In fact, it’s just not Prophet Abraham but also ‘those with him’ who make for an ‘excellent example’. What’s implicit is that even when ordinary ‘Muslims’ adhere to God’s Commandments, they are considered an ‘excellent example’.

We strive in the path of Allah and we endeavour to emulate the ‘Muslim’ qualities of our beloved Prophet; not mimic him.


About Husein M
I have created this blog in order to bring new informed ideas with the view that it would promote an educated discourse amongst progressive British Muslims.

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