We hear a lot of questions today concerning the sunnah or hadeeth of the prophet, peace be upon him.
But one particular question is regarding the validity of the teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him, referred to in Arabic as "hadeeth". Some would offer adherence only to the Quran, while disregarding or even outright denying ahadeeth altogether.
Excellent question and to this we set our hand to bring to the English language what our scholars have passed on to us over the last two decades, inshallah. Before beginning of course, we will be following the hadeeths of the prophet, peace be upon him, by beginning this task saying:
Bismillah, Al Hamdulillah, was salat was salam ala rasoolulah. Allahu 'Ali (meaning: In the Name of Allah, all Praise is to Allah, the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our prophet, Muhammad. Almighty God is the Ultimate Knower of all). May Allah guide me and all of us ameen.
Let us begin by defining the Arabic word 'hadeeth' in simple English terms, for the average layman, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Sometimes in transliteration to English this word is spelled 'hadith'.
'hadeeth' simply refers to a story (plural is 'ahadeeth') or stories being passed along in the form of narration whether spoken or written. When used in the context of Islamic studies the word refers to the sayings, actions, approval, disapproval and teachings of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
All of the actual sayings of Muhammad, peace be upon him, had to be transmitted in the form of hadeeth, as he was illiterate and could neither read, nor write in any language. His companions heard from him directly or indirectly from other companions and then relayed what they heard from him on to others, who in turn, relayed it on to future generations and this continued right up to the present day.
One who is skilled in the science of hadeeth is referred to as muhadith. The study of ahadeeth is one of the most sophisticated of all sciences in Islam and has influenced how other forms of investigation have developed throughout the last 14 centuries.
It would seem logical at this point to also offer the meaning of the word "Quran" to the English language as well.
I would contend, it is impossible for anyone using true logic, given the facts and evidences of today's world, to have any doubt whatsoever in the validity of Al Quran being True and being from Al Mighty God. That being said, the contents of the Quran in textual form (in Arabic) leave no option for any opposing opinion regarding the clear reference to following Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the one to interpret the Quran's meanings and usage in the every day life of a true believer.
I would also contend, The Quran is without doubt, from the True Creator and Sustainer of the universe, and as such must be taken into consideration in its entirety especially when referring to itself. That being said, it would be totally outside the pale of true logic to consider on the one hand, Quran is absolutely flawless and without any contradiction, and then on the other hand when referring to something as essential as logic itself, the Quran would falter in its directive to accepting prophet Muhammad, as the one and only to give definitive instruction to this Narrative of Almighty God.
The very fact that today, more than any time in the history of Islam, some non-Muslims and even some Muslims themselves are making the claim, that the Quran is to be understood as a stand-alone Directive from the very Creator, without inference to parallel clarification and additional instruction from the one to whom the Quran was revealed is, in itself a testable evidence against any such accusation.
Consider a few very simple, yet basic facts supporting this conclusion:
1. The Quran states there are verses within the Quran the are clear and the basis for understanding the very foundation and pillars of Islam, while at the same time making to obvious there are verses contained within about which, people with ill intent will try to give meaning, while those of understanding will admit freely, they believe in it, all of it, and acknowledge only Allah has full Knowledge as to these meanings. [Al Imran verse 7]
> Today we find the very people who argue in favor of "Quran Only", try to give new meaning to this verse, based on their own desire and claim a whole new meaning for this verse by continuing to read on where a full stop has always been understood for the last 1,400 years.
2. The same folks who argue against hadeeth of our prophet, peace be upon him, attempt to use verses out of context to support their obvious misconceptions while ignoring other very clear evidences within the Quran and even plain logic itself.
> Authentic hadeeth state that in the Last Days, there will be those who will claim they only follow the Quran. Thus, their actions have already been confirmed and defined in the very source they deny.
3. Verses in Quran tell the believers to take Muhammad, peace be upon him, as the best of role models for themselves.
> How could one logically follow this train of thought and then delete all of the information about the one they are supposed to use as a role model?
4. Other Quranic references speak directly to Muhammad, peace be upon him, giving him answers to questions being asked from different groups and individuals, often giving only a word or two in the way of reply and leaving the reader with clear understanding to refer now to the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, for more clarification.
> Examples include even the most basic of instructions for believers in regards to preforming worship, i.e.; purification, salat, women's rights, inheritance, times of fasting, rites of hajj, collection and distribution of zakat and even instructions for the recitation and preservation of the Quran itself.
5. Al Quran tells the reader to follow Muhammad, peace be upon him, to make him your guide, to accept his judgments in all matters of dispute, to obey him.
> How could any of this be possible without knowing who he was, what he did, what he said and how he lived?
To sum up, the Quran tells us it comes as an oral Arabic Recitation from our Creator and Sustainer, offering all of us a complete and total way of life, not only to us but to every generation of every nation anywhere in the universe, all based on the way the Creator Himself has ordained.
How could anyone acknowledge and accept such a profound statement to be coming from an illiterate, uneducated, unsophisticated person living his entire life in the desert of Arabia, who could neither read nor write, and then accuse the very method by which it reaches us today to be invalid?
Lastly, if someone claims to believe in Al Quran, they must believe in hadeeth.
Al Quran is HADEETH.
May Allah Guide us all to His Straight Path and grant us His Mercy and Forgiveness and join our hearts for His sake, ameen.
Any good in this is from Allah, and the mistakes are from myself, and may Allah Forgive me and guide to do better, up to my last breath, ameen.
Your Brother in Islam,
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