8th Aralık 2008

Hadith And Sunna

posted in ENGLISH ISLAM |


In Chapter 2 of this book we saw that the Quran was a self-sufficient source for Islam and that there was no need for any additional source. In this chapter we shall be studying the way the hadiths were collected and assembled. The hadiths were not dictated by the Prophet and were not intended to be shaped into book form. Consequently, it cannot constitute a companion volume to the Quran. With reference to their self-contradictory and illogical character, and their inconsistency with the Quran, we shall refer you to Chapters 6, 7 and 8.
















The literal meaning of hadith is ‘word.’ It means primarily a communication or narrative in general whether religious or not, and it has the particular meaning of a record of actions or sayings of the Prophet and his companions; while the word Sunna means ‘path followed, trodden path, custom.’ According to the usual explanation, Muhammad’s sunna comprises his deeds and sayings as well as his unspoken approval. (For the use of the concept of sunna, see Chapter 16.) The sunna that the Quran refers to will also be examined in this chapter. The words hadith and sunna are often used interchangeably in nearly all publications since patterns of behavior are expressed in words. For instance, Dr. Subbi es Salih, from the University of Lebanon, explains this in the following manner: “The experts on traditions have acknowledged that hadith and sunna have been interchangeably used in books. Both concepts refer to a word, an act, a statement or an attribute of the Prophet.” This is also applicable to the present book.

We propose to go back to the days of the Prophet before starting to examine the hadiths and return to our own day. The hadith scholars themselves admit that the Prophet did not allow scribes to take down his sayings. Two authoritative books on hadiths, Muslim and Musnad by Ýbni Hanbal, founder of the Hanbali religious sect, make the following comment: “Take down nothing other than the verses revealed. Anyone that may have written any of my sayings, let him destroy it” (Muslim, Sahih-i Muslim Kitab-ý Zühd, Hanbal, Musnad). The hadith quoted by Darimi is as follows: “The companions of the Prophet asked him permission to take down his sayings. They were refused” (Darimi, es-Sunen). The hadith transmitted by Alm Hatib is as follows: “While we were engrossed copying the hadiths, the Prophet came and asked what we were doing. We are copying your sayings, we replied. Is your intention to create a book other than God’s Book? People that preceded you swerved from the straight path because they dared write books other than God’s Book” (Al Hatib, Takyid). And Tirmizi had this to say: “We asked permission to copy the sayings of God’s messenger, but he refused to give it” (Tirmizi, es-Sünen, K. Ilm).

In books on hadiths and in books claiming to be the source of the established religion, it is explicitly acknowledged that the Prophet had prohibited the copying of his sayings, and the reason was to prevent the mixing up of the verses of the Quran with his own sayings. According to the traditionalists, the hadiths should have as much authority as the Quran; they are suggested to be the source of religion as much as the Quran. If this is so, in fact, how come then the Prophet prohibited the copying of his sayings? Why did he tolerate gaps that were likely to occur in the revealed religion, the adulteration of his sayings during the process of their transcription, or the omission of his words? The Quran speaks of copying with the use of pen, of committing to paper one’s will and debts owed. This being the case, is it possible that the Prophet should prohibit the transcription of his sayings were they to be considered another source of Islam? Had he forestalled the copying of a source of religion, wouldn’t he have been instrumental in causing Islam to remain incomplete? As we shall be seeing in the forthcoming pages, the number of contrived traditions is considerable. Had the hadiths constituted another source of Islam, the Prophet would certainly have dictated them and spared the interpolation of an infinite number of sayings reported to have been uttered by him. As far as the source of Islam is concerned, we well know that the Quran is self-sufficient. The first person who was aware of this fact was the Prophet himself. Committing traditions to paper was far from being his wish. The Prophet, who was well advised in every respect, had banned the copying of his sayings as he knew that the human character was inclined to idolize prophets and was liable to sow dissension. Today, we are in a position to appreciate once more the foresight of the Prophet. The very fact that he had forbidden the transmission of his sayings is enough to convince those who are wary.



Ahmed Emin draws the following chart to represent the garbling of traditions transmitted: “Were we to make an expository display of the hadiths, we would be confronted with a pyramid, the summit illustrating the period of God’s messenger. As we go down we observe the gradual expansion toward the base. Yet, the ideal should have been the reverse; for, the companions of the Prophet best knew what the Prophet uttered. As they were to pass away, the number of those who knew the words uttered by the Prophet would decrease and the pyramid would have changed its position and turned upside down. Yet, we observe that the number of hadiths is even greater under the Omayyads than during the lifetime of the Prophet” (Ahmed Emin, Duhaul Islam). According to some scholars there are over two million hadiths. Two of the most reliable books on hadiths are the one of Bukhari and the one of Muslim. The hadiths contained in the former are reported to have been selected from among 600,000 and in the latter this number is 300,000. The one of Davud contains hadiths selected from among 500,000, the one of Malik Muvatta, founder of a religious sect, contains hadiths selected from among 100,000 and the one of Musnad contains hadiths selected from among 750,000. Given the fact that the prophethood of the Prophet lasted for about 23 years, the number of days he would have acted as prophet would have been 23 x 365 = 8395. If two million is the number representing the totality of the hadiths, the number of hadiths per day would be 200. The result to be obtained after 200 years after the death of the Prophet would be inconceivably misleading. It is alleged that the authors of hadiths used to know them by heart and that they had selected from among them those that had appeared the most reliable to them. In order to declare the exact number of hadiths that someone had in store, he should have written them somewhere and counted; whereas no one can possibly assert that he has in his repertory 600,000 hadiths.



Supposing for an instant that the claim was admitted, the situation would be even more frightful. Muslim declares that he has not included in his book every one of the hadiths alleged to be authentic (Muslim). According to his argument the hadiths are a source of Islam; yet, he leaves out some, though acknowledged to be genuine. According to this logic, Islam would be riddled with loopholes. Given that we cannot be sure of the fact that a hadith left out by Muslim is not omitted by another compiler, this account of traditionalist logic declares itself to be incomplete. Bukhari who announced that the hadiths are a source for Islam, included in his book only 6000-7000 hadiths although he had in his store 600,000, i.e. 1%. The rest, 99% of the whole, did not gain admission, either because he deemed them not trustworthy or irrelevant. Had the hadiths been a source of Islam, we would have been at the mercy of Bukhari and his skill of selection. Had the hadiths been useful, assuming that the 99% left out did not include what was essential, the mentality of those who acknowledge the hadiths to be a source of Islam would have to admit the fact the Islam would irretrievably be lacking in many respects. Given the fact that Bukhari is no more and that there is no one who claims that he has in store the said 99% of the hadiths that Bukhari asserted to have in his repertory which he did not commit to paper or transmit through other means, we should have been considered members of a patchy religion.

Let us try to make an assessment of the 600,000 hadiths in Bukhari’s bundle. Let us assume that Bukhari had nothing else to do in life except deal with hadiths; that he did not sleep, that every one of the hadiths was authentic and that he spared two hours to check whether a particular hadith was authentic or not, testing the dependability of the transmitters chain. The space of time in question would be 130 years. If we consider that there were instances of checking the authenticity of a given hadith by setting off on a journey that sometimes took days, Bukhari’s carrying out this test would take thousands of years. In brief, we can safely assert that Bukhari’s testing the authenticity of the hadiths and his sorting them out is illogical.

The Quran is an established text. We cannot say the same thing for the hadiths. There is no end to unconfirmed reports. As no established text existed, the compilation of hadiths was liable to be mixed with alien elements. We must be grateful to God Who has not put us in a condition in which we would be in need of a source another than the Quran. And thanks to Him we are now the members of a perfect religion. We must divest ourselves from every element alien to Islam, getting rid of hadiths that sow dissension and of hadiths unjustifiably attributed to the Prophet, claiming predominance over the Quran and be illumined by the dazzling light of the Quran, the perfect finished work.



The attitude of the Prophet toward the copying of his sayings was also adopted by the Four Caliphs (Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali) who succeeded him. We shall see in Chapter 11 how the caliphs put a ban on the copying of hadiths and had those committed to paper burned. At first sight, there is nothing surprising in the fact that those who had witnessed events during the lifetime of Muhammad narrated what they had heard and seen to each other. The fact that the companions of the Prophet cross-examined people who claimed to have heard the Prophet say this and that, requiring them to produce a witness, their prohibition to commit to paper the sayings of the Prophet during conversations held in which he was a part, are evidences that show the Prophet’s caution was also maintained by his followers. The four caliphs also had followed suit and prohibited the writing of hadiths despite the fact that they knew many of the sayings of the Prophet, in the wake of his demise. If there is anyone to say the contrary, why not ask him to produce a compilation dating from that date?

Harevi said: “Neither the companions of the Prophet, nor those followers in point of time, the ones that lived after Muhammad was dead, but had conversed with at least one of his companions wrote any of his sayings. They just transmitted them by word of mouth. There is no exception of this outside of one or two instances. Being afraid of their sinking into oblivion, Omar bin Abdulaziz, in a letter addressed to Abu Bakr al-Hazm, wanted him to try to research traditions and have them copied.” The Caliph Yazid bin Abdulmalik who succeeded him after the latter’s decease dismissed Abu Bakr al-Hazim and his collaborators from this job after the death of Omar bin Abdulaziz. Afterward, Caliph Hisham is accepted to have been the first compiler of hadiths of Ez-Zurhi. Mahmud Abu Rayye, who tells these developments in detail, mentions the pressure exerted. “The tabiyyun (those who lived after Muhammad was dead but had conversed with at least one his companions) who were given the task of collecting the hadiths assumed the duty under coercion. The fact that the companions of the Prophet had not undertaken such a task daunted them. ’We felt uneasy as we committed the traditions to paper, but the administrators forced us to this’” said Az Zuhri (Mahmut Abu Rayye, Clarification of Sunna). Ghazzali said that the second generation after Muhammad looked askance at the copying of hadiths, merely advising their memorization (Ghazzali, Iha-yý Ulum-iddin). The first period in which the hadiths were studied individually was the time of the Abbasids. This study, Muvatta, made available toward the end of the second century after the Hijrah belongs to Maliki, the founder of the religious sect Maliki. Ibn Ferhun, on his book entitled Ed dibae al Muzahhab, says that Malik had collected some 10,000 hadiths, revising them on a yearly basis, that very few had been left at the end, and that had he lived a few years more he would have dismissed them altogether. Musnad comes next, the work of Ibn Hanbal, founder of the religious sect ‘Hanbal.’ In the work of Hanbal who died in 241 after the Hijrah, we observe the inclusion of many sayings without a serious approach, and without differentiating between the authentic traditions and the inauthentic ones, based on the ongoing rumors at the time.

Up until the arrival of Bukhari, no effort was spent to sift the traditions classifying them according to their degrees of authenticity. It was Bukhari first who initiated the classification of hadiths according to their degrees of authenticity. However, this study failed to bring it to fruition. The dates of decease of the prominent researchers on hadiths are as follows: Bukhari, 256 A.H.; Muslim, 261 A.H.; Ibn Mace, 273 A.H.; Abu Davud, 275 A.H.; Tirmizi, 279 A.H.; Nesei, 303 A.H. The Shiites have a different collection. The Sunnis and the Shiites refute each other’s compilation. The formation into book form of the collected sayings of Muhammad according to the Shiites is of a later date. The dates of decease of the prominent researchers on the hadiths are as follows: Kulani, 329 A.H.; Babuvay, 381 A.H.; Jafar Muhammad Tusi, 411 A.H.; Al Murtaza, 436 A.H.

If a given statement of Mahmud II, Ottoman Sultan, had not been recorded in a history book and had come down to us by hearsay, how far could we rely on its authenticity? Who would have relied on it to be the authentic utterance of the Sultan, claiming that his words had come down following the direct line in a chain? The time that elapsed since the death of Mahmut II who died in 1839 AD up to now is much shorter than the space of time that separates the death of the Prophet from the date when the first compilation of the hadiths in the form of a book appeared. The time that elapsed between the date of the passing away of the Prophet and some famous books of hadiths was twice as long as this interval of time. For reasons we shall be stating in Chapter 5, at the time of the prominent transmitters of hadiths tens of thousands of hadiths had already been concocted in a way that a sifting was impossible. The fact that these compilations contain innumerable traditions contradictory and conflicting with the Quran, logic and other hadiths, was the method they used show once again the disastrous results of the quest for sources other than the Quran. The simile of the pyramid we mentioned above had been inflated by pseudo-hadiths already. Instead of following the path of the Prophet and of the caliphs and raising objections to the copying of the hadiths, they committed to paper an infinite number of hadiths whose authorship they falsely attributed to the Prophet, giving great harm to the world of Islam along with uttered slandering and abusive statements on behalf and for the love of the Prophet. The pretext of the Christians who deified Christ has been the love they had for him. However, neither the convincing arguments of the transmitters of the hadiths, nor the alleged reasons of Christians could justify their ends.



The word sahaba is used for all Muslim individuals who had the privilege of seeing the Prophet, even from a distance. This definition of Bukhari has received general acceptance. In the well-known hadith compilations, the honesty, the reliability of the memory, and the faith of persons who claim to have heard a certain saying of Muhammad reported were questioned to check the veracity of the allegation or for rejection of testimony. Yet, no one’s lifetime would suffice for the examination as to honesty, reliability of memory and checking of other qualifications of reporters up until the third century AH.

Abu Shame said: “Views on transmitters of hadiths present great diversity; while a particular transmitter is the most reliable one among others for some, for others he happens to be the most accomplished liar.” For instance, he may be a trustworthy transmitter according to Ikrim and Bukhari, but a perjurer for Muslim. This instance may be multiplied. Among these the most striking example may be Bukhari’s refusal to include in his compilation any of the traditions transmitted by Abu Hanifa as he declared him to be one of the most unreliable of transmitters. The founder of the foremost representative and revered figure of traditional Islam happens to be unreliable according to the most prominent compiler of hadiths. The contradictory accounts encountered about hadiths, subject of controversy, among members of the board of examiners, abounds, and are as many as those existing between the hadiths themselves. We refrain from going into detail, as it is useless and may be tiresome.

All these hadiths were first attributed to the companions of the Prophet as the last link in the chain of information, to be eventually traced back to the Prophet. Persons, who came after the companions, also became a bone of contention even though they were ultimately questioned. Nowhere in the Quran do we encounter a passage where it is said that every person who saw the Prophet is a reliable person. Quite the reverse is the case, many of those who confessed to be confirmed Muslims were censured. The Quran states also that the hypocrites had infiltrated the community of true believers. It is said that not even the Prophet knew all of the double-dealers (9 Repentance, 101). One cannot imagine how the hadith imams may have distinguished them, given the fact that not even the Prophet could tell them apart. How can they assert that what they accepted as reliable was, in fact, not worthy of confidence? Can one claim that these people knew what the Prophet did not know, 200 hundred years after his death? The clashes and accusations of infidelity among some of the companions are evidence that the self-styled companions also may not have been trustworthy after all. The mentality that hypothesizes the fact that a companion should be considered ipso facto a reliable source is liable to err. As G.H.A. Juynboll has pointed out, if the assumption that the companions are trustworthy people is challenged, the logic behind the structure of hadiths would go on the rocks. We shall be dealing with this issue when we take up the case of contrivers of hadiths.



The unreliability of hadiths transmitted may be illustrated with a game played among children. Suppose a sentence of ten words is to be transmitted from one ear to the next along a chain of ten students and try to evaluate the result by checking if the initial word spoken in the first ear is exactly the same as the one announced by the tenth in the chain. The transmission of hadiths took place in the course of a space of time of 200 years. And the communication was made over hill and dale by hearsay. Even though we were blindfolded to the reasons for the concoction of hadiths and to assume the chain to have been perfect, and acknowledging the good will of the transmitters, the end results should still be considered doubtful.

A large majority of the public, uninformed of the true state of affairs, believes that the hadiths are the unadulterated sayings of Muhammad as uttered by him. Even the transmitters of hadiths are uncertain of this. A great number of the compilers and Bukhari himself are of the opinion that it is enough to keep the meaning of a transmitted hadith rather than literally committing it to one’s memory. This led to the interpolation of individual opinions into the transmitted sayings of Muhammad; the opinions of those unwilling to confess to themselves their inability to understand them. Given the fact that not every transmitter had an infallible memory capable to implant in his mind all that had been transmitted, he had to rest satisfied with what remained in store, resulting in variant semantic points of view. In spite of this, Bukhari as well as Abu Hanifa and Shafi, heads of the two leading religious sects, have deemed the semantic consideration and hearsay evidence sufficient in their assessment of the true meaning of a hadith.

It is generally accepted by transmitters of the hadiths that the largest congregation the Prophet had addressed in his lifetime was when he delivered his farewell sermon, and it is estimated that more than one hundred thousand people attended it. Yet the sermon, to which more than one hundred thousand people bore testimony, appeared different in written texts according to the reporters; this may demonstrate the production of multiple conflicting interpretations and variants in the hadiths each alleged to have directly originated from the Prophet.

It was said that not the literal rendering of a hadith but its meaning could be transmitted; yet, when there was something omitted in the sentence claimed to have been uttered by the Prophet, the interpretations had been liable to variations. When Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, heard from Abu Hurayra, who had attributed to the Prophet the words: “House, woman and horse may bring bad luck,” she said: “I swear by Almighty God that the Prophet uttered no such thing.” This conviction was widespread during the time of pre-Islamic Arabian paganism but had a different wording: “If there is bad luck, one must look for it in one’s woman, horse or house.” As one can see, this saying attributed to Aisha may be interpreted differently according its wording and context.

All these considerations played a role in the controversies provoked among the transmitters of the hadiths. Many hadiths reported by Muslim were unfounded according to Bukhari and vice-versa. Whereas, among the hadiths transmitted by the founders of the four orthodox religious sects, no distinction was made about their degree of authenticity. The four imams founded their sects disregarding the criteria of the authors of Kutub-ý Sitte (6 renowned hadith books). Of these, Abu Hanifa, the founder of the most prominent of the four sects, blind to his poor knowledge of hadiths, and dodging the hadiths, gave preeminence to his own views for which he was censured by the Imams and was declared an unreliable person by Bukhari.



We saw that the companions of the Prophet were considered infallible, and that without distinction they were judged to be honest people, worthy to be taken at their word. When the books of hadiths began to be committed to paper, neither a companion of the Prophet nor anyone who had seen any of his companions was alive. From the time of the Prophet to the copying of the hadiths six or seven generations had gone by, so that when one transmitted the hadiths he had to go six or seven generations back. Bukhari was the first person who took up this task systematically and the hadiths began to be transmitted without tracing their origin to a particular person. Given the fact that Bukhari lived in the 200s AH, keeping in mind the chain of transmitters of the traditions without any preset system is illogical. Kasým Ahmad, who criticized the transmission of the hadiths, quotes in his book Hadiths and Islam the following names:

1- The Prophet
2- Omar Ibn Hattab
3- Ibn Vakkas
4- Ibn Ibrahim at Taimi
5- Yahya Ibn- Said al Ansari
6- Sufyan
7- Abdullah Ibn Zubeyr
8- Bukhari1- The Prophet
2- Aisha
3- Urvan Ibn Zubayr
4- Ibn Shiab
5- Ukail
6- Al Baith
7- Yahya Ibn Bukhair
8- Bukhari

When the hadiths began to be transmitted, even the link that succeeded the link that had followed the generation after Muhammad had passed away. In other words, persons who could check the reliability of transmitters had already died. Assuming, though illogically, that all the companions were indeed truthful, considering that a good many people of the generation that followed the companions’ age had died when the copying of the hadiths began, the checking of their reliability would still be impossible. Therefore, the criteria that the transmitters had adopted are unfounded and in vain.

On the other hand, it is also impossible to control the reliability of those who were living at the time. For, during the copying of the hadiths, Muslims were scattered over a vast geography. It was not practical for the copiers to reach the last links of transmitters by camel. Moreover, one could never be certain that those who might have reached them were reliable. A short visit and interview would not suffice to reveal the character of a man. How can a phenomenon like religion, which must be based on sound principles, be founded on such subjective criteria?

We see in the hadith ,iImams the sectarian mentality in superman’s garb. This hero is supposed to have in his memory hundreds of thousands of hadiths and be able to conjure them up at any given moment deciding on their veracity. There are people whom he had never set eyes on, persons who had already died when he came into the world; yet, he was confidant that they must have been honest and reliable. He had also the power to establish contact with people on camel back and cover distances that not with a helicopter at his command could he have covered such territory. He also had the genius to distinguish the honest and reliable from the unreliable and dishonest. Yet, these were the qualities attributed to the Imams, transmitters of hadiths. We pass over in silence the legend of spiritual supremacy.



The transmitter of a hadith who rests content with the assumption that all reporters in the chain of transmitters were honest people, without feeling the need to question them, accepts it as correctly transmitted. Such hadiths are called ahad. The most reliable hadiths that comprise these ahad hadiths belong in particular to Bukhari and Muslim and the six books called Kutub-ý sitte. The traditionalist Islamist holds onto his weapon of excommunication in order to have his convictions accepted and declares that anybody who questions the truth of a hadith is declared an outcast. One should bear in mind that both Bukhari and Muslim had repudiated each other’s arguments in the compilation of their respective books. However, traditionalists consider a divine grace the disagreement between learned men on tenuous arguments, while our different opinions will likely send us to hell. The Shiites do not accept any hadith book compiled by the Sunnis. The objections, raised by Al-Mu’tazila, and the Kharidjites, members of the earliest of the religious orders of Islam, to the copying of hadiths and their acceptance as a religious source, the announcement of some theologians (Kelamcýlar) that the hadiths are but suppositions, the controversies of Shafi in Basra because of his recourse to sources other than the Quran, and the quotations of the responses of Al- Murdjia, extreme opponent of Kharidjites, in books on hadiths are examples for the objections raised against the compilation of the hadiths. Those who question the defenders of Islam as put forward in the Quran and challenge the argument that the hadiths should not be considered as a source of Islam, by asking: “Do you consider yourselves pioneers in disseminating such a message, since up until now no one has come up with such a claim?” are ignorant of the events we have mentioned. Ever since their dawn, the hadiths have been an object of strong reservations as to their validity as a source of Islam. However, the central authority hushed up the counter arguments. We are neither the pioneers in this, nor is the claim new. The Islam of the Quran existed from the very beginning without the addition of hadiths. The hadiths were a late attachment and served as something equal to the Quran.



As we saw in Chapter 3, the Quran is a self-sufficient, detailed, explicit book that contains everything that a Muslim should know. The Quran has no need for hadiths. When we are faced with a question that puzzles us, we must look for it in all the verses of the Quran related to the issue and learn all about it. To assess the Quran within the framework of adulterated hadiths is to mystify and pervert it. In order to hear the voice of the Quran without interferences, we must turn our ears solely to the Quran.25/33 – There is not an example they advance to which We do not give you the truth and the best commentary. 25 The Distinguisher, 33

God declares that He provides the best commentary. God’s revelations are complete in themselves without the need for recourse to other commentaries.

The hadiths related to the occasion in which a particular revelation had come down (esbabý nuzul) seem to be even more numerous than other hadiths. The commentaries on the Quran in circulation are replete with hadiths – which have not been subjected to any sifting process as to their authenticity – and interspersed with old Jewish legends. The fact that the reasons given for the revelation in connection with a particular occasion vary considerably among various commentaries and are adulterated with irrelevant stories demonstrates the extent of distortions involved. Ibn Hanbal, a traditionalist and founder of a sect himself said: “There is not a single hadith related to the occasion (esbabý nuzul) on which a particular hadith was revealed.”

The main problem is the confinement of intellects by established religious sects. This is still more relevant when we think about the variety of irrational interpolations. Interpreters of the Quran based on sectarian approaches tried not to deviate from the path indicated by their sects and consequently made false constructions. The infinite variety of contradictory hadiths on the occasions in which revelations were made has been a rich source of exploitation by sectarian commentators. As a matter of fact, several transmitters, to suit their own ends, had coined the majority of these hadiths during their compilation.

In the ‘Introduction’ of Elmalý Hamdi Yazýr’s commentary, there is a private understanding of his with the official authority. In Chapter 5 of this ‘understanding’ it is said that the commentary is in conformity with the body of creeds of the madhab (sect) Hanafiya and of the Sunnis. The ‘ideological commentary,’ according to Mehmet Aydýn, or the ‘sectarian commentary’ we prefer to use, is apparent from the very start of Elmalýlý’s work. No matter how wide his knowledge may be, how far can a commentary produced by those whose intellects are hinged on a sect not sanctioned by God, be dependable? The efforts of those who have tried to interpret the Quran in the light of the hadiths served no purpose other than to lead the seekers of truth down a blind alley; the seekers may have been imams or sheikhs, and the causative agents, hadiths or the occasions when the revelations were made.



The greatest trouble caused to the commentaries on the Quran based on the hadiths related to the occasions on which the revelations were made has been their use by the impious to equate them with Islam. The book of Salman Rushdi’s is an example of this. According to contrived hadiths it is alleged that one day, as the Prophet was engrossed in the recitation of the Quran, Satan penetrated his soul and caused him to praise the divinities Lat, Menat and Uzza and made him utter complimentary words about them; and persuaded Muhammad to recognize these divinities as intercessors with God. Ibn-i Kutayba also confirms this in his hadith book entitled Tevilu Muhtelifi’l Hadis.According to the hadiths, however, the Prophet declared what he had uttered did not originate from him but were the words of Satan. We have witnessed the public censure leveled at Salman Rushdi and Homeini’s anathema that paved the way to diplomatic crises. Nevertheless, no one put the blame on those who had reserved a place for these hadiths, the real culprit.


We observe that there is an escalation of Quran commentaries in the market filled with legends and stories about the occasions on which the revelations had occurred. This approach has made the impression that the verses revealed were restricted to single cases and were confined to a given time bracket. This attitude casts a shadow on the universality and the timeless quality of the Quran. 81 The Rolling, 27, repudiates this approach: “This is a reminder for all the worlds.” And 2 The Cow, 185 states: “…in which was sent down as a guidance for the people.” On the other hand, God gave the reasons for the revelations of particular verses in the Quran when He thought it relevant. For instance, the verses introduced by the phrase ‘They ask you so and so, tell them that….” And when He chooses not to mention anything, it follows that we need not know the whys and wherefores of the revelation in question. Those who considered the Quran insufficient, have regretfully felt the need to have recourse to adulterated commentaries and have caused interferences in the resonant voice of the Quran. One thousand four hundred years ago, the Quran displayed in its vast array of revelations the mysteries lying behind natural phenomena including the roundness of the earth, the movements of the sun and the earth, the barrier between two bodies of flowing water mixing with each other; scientific phenomena discovered only in the course of the last century. The commentators who intended to expound the meaning of the Quran indulged in ridiculous fantasies like the following commentary by Ibn Kathir of Sura The Cow, 29 and Sura The Pen, 1.

“When God desired to create that which He wanted to create, He produced vapor out of thin water. The vapor rose above the surface of the water and He called this rising thing sky meaning heights. Then He solidified the water transforming it into a single mass; afterward He tore it to pieces and within two days, on Sunday and Monday, shaping them into seven unities. The earth He created resting on a fish, the very fish mentioned as Nun in the Sura The Pen. The fish was in the water and the water rested upon rocks; while the rocks stood on a large stone where no vegetation flourished. An angel carried the stone; the angel was upon a rock, which is the wind. The rock is the same rock mentioned by Luqmaan as in the following passage: ‘There was neither the sky nor the earth, the fish moved and the earth shook, mountains came to be implanted on them.’”



Reference is made to Verse 185 of Sura The Purgatory; ‘hadith’ means ‘word’ in Arabic. As a matter of fact, it made allusion to the hadiths (words, sayings) that were to be ascribed to Muhammad with a view to disparaging the integrity of the uniqueness of the Quran. The transmitters of the hadiths might have used other synonyms to express the same thing such as agval (words), ahbar (news, messages) or hikma (wise saying); the tacit consensus among the transmitters of the hadiths on the use of this word is one of the miracles of the Quran.

12/111 – It is not a word (hadith) invented, but a confirmation of what was sent before it, a detailed exposition of all things and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe. 12 Joseph, 111

In this verse, the fact that the Quran is not a word invented, and that it is a detailed exposition of all things is stressed; a fact to which the traditionalists have remained blind. The Quran states that the Quran is not a fabricated word (hadith).

18/6 – Following after them in grief, if they believe not in this word (hadith). 18 The Cave, 6

What is meant by the expression ‘in this word’ is the Quran. The verse indicates that the lack of faith in the Quran will sadden Muhammad. The Prophet never told anybody to take down his sayings. Had his sayings constituted a source for Islam, he would have had his sayings copied and would have been in distress to see his words fall on deaf ears. The only hadith (word) that the Prophet fought for was the Quran. The Quran makes no reference to any hadith other than itself. Had the words of the Prophet been a second source of Islam next to the Quran, this would have been declared in more than one verse of the Quran. There is not a single verse on the issue and the use made of the word ‘hadith’ in the Quran is strong evidence of the adulteration of the concept of hadith.

45/6 – These are God’s signs that We recite to you truthfully. In which word (hadith) other than God and His signs do they believe?
45 Kneeling, 6

Such is the question asked by God. The meaning that is obtained from the answer that comes out of the behaviour of the traditional defenders of Islam and the imitators of Sunni and Shii madhabs, is:: “We believe in Bukhari, Muslim, the sayings of the Twelve Imams, Abu Davud and b. Mace.”

4/87 – And whose word (hadith) can be truer than God’s?
4 The Women, 87

52/34 – Let them produce a word (hadith) like this, if they are truthful. 52 The Mount, 34

Claiming that in the famous book of hadiths of Abu Davud it is pointed out that the Prophet was entrusted with the Quran and similar hadiths, they try to engage in a rescue operation to save the sayings of the Prophet. However, this wish fulfillment falls short of the mark. For the sayings of Muhammad cannot be equated with the Quran, let alone the fact that the bulk of the sayings ascribed to the Prophet is larger than the Quran. Moreover, the hadiths, representative of the traditionalist mind, conflict with the above verse.

31/6 – Among the people, there are those who spread frivolous words (hadiths) to mislead others from the way of God, and take it in vain. For such there will be a humiliating penalty. 31 Luqmaan, 6

In verse 7 of the same sura we read: “When our signs are rehearsed to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not as if his ears are deaf announce to him a grievous penalty.” If those who turn a deaf ear to the sayings of the Quran because of their sectarian fanaticism were to read these verses not merely for the pleasure of the built-in melody of the recital but to try to understand the meaning, they will surely be in a position to understand better what we are trying to clarify. The word hadith with reference to the Prophet is used in the Quran on two instances:33/53 – “Enter not the Prophet’s houses until leave is given you for a meal …and when you have taken your meal; disperse without tarrying, lost in a hadith (word).” 33 The Parties, 53

66/3 – When the Prophet disclosed a hadith in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it, and God made it known to him… 66 Prohibition, 3

The use made here of the word hadith is not related in some way or another to Sunni and Shiite sectarian opinions. The fact that the word hadith in these verses is used merely to refer to the sayings of Muhammad are of great importance for our discussion. God, the prescient, uses the word hadith not in a Sunni and Shiite religious context, but to refer to the Prophet’s own words. Moreover, in both instances, the word hadith is use in a bad sense. On the other hand, the word sunna is used in the Quran in the combination – sunnatallah meaning ‘the way of God.’ (We shall see this in Chapter 16.)

The word idjma (general agreement in opinion and decision of legalists) and its derivatives, considered to be another source of Islam, again has a negative connotation. This is evidence that the Quran also repudiates ijma just like in the case of sunna and hadith. (For the derivatives of ijma, see 3 The Family of Imran, 157; 3 The Family of Imran, 173; 7 The Purgatory, 48; 10 Jonah, 58; 10 Jonah, 71; 12 Joseph, 19; 17 The Children of Israel, 88; 20 Taha 60; 20 Taha 64; 22 The Pilgrimage, 73; 26 The Poets, 38; 26 The Poets, 39; 26 The Poets, 56; 28 The History, 78; 43 Vanity, 32; 54 The Moon, 44; 54 The Moon, 45; 70 The Heights, 18; 104 The Backbiter, 2.)



There is no doubt that there are tens of thousands of hadiths ascribed to the Prophet. Those that contradict the Quran, that introduce additional provisions, and that are self-evidently illogical and unreasonable are surely pure inventions. The hadiths that introduce new things into Islam are evidently the result of a manipulation conflicting with the verses of the Quran that confirm the fact that Quran is an accomplished work that comprises all that a man needs to understand. The remaining hadiths may be authentic provided they do not clash with the Quran. We stress the probability of their authenticity by using ‘may.’ On the other hand, we can identify, up to a certain extent, the authentic ones, without being one hundred percent sure. For those that are authentic and those that are invented originate from the pens of the same authors and date from the same time. A little after 200 AH Bukhari, Muslim and others tried to probe into the hadiths to find out the authentic ones, however without success. Now that we are in 1400 AH, we cannot possibly cope with this task. A saying in perfect accord with the Quran belonging to a Muslim may well have been thought to have been said by the Prophet. We shall see in Chapter 5 the counterfeiters who concocted hadiths in the belief that their action would serve the interest of Islam. These hadiths may well be the sayings of the so-called good-willed people. “Wherever you come across a beautiful saying, don’t be afraid to ascribe it to the Prophet” was often used as an expression by the transmitters and collectors of hadiths. This fact and the probabilities make up our viewpoint. We must beware of recognizing an anonymous saying in perfect conformity with the Quran having no validity in fact and ascribing it to the Prophet. If we are to abide by word of the Prophet, this word must be the Quran He transmitted to mankind. The word pronounced in the Quran is God’s own word although spoken through a man. By complying with the message carried by the Prophet, we shall have conformed ourselves both to the Prophet and to the Quran.



We have tried to describe the attitude of the Prophet in the present Chapter. We shall deal with the outlook on hadiths of the Four Caliphs in Chapter 11. What must be the reason for our desire for going over this with a fine-tooth comb in trying to detect the authentic hadiths while the Prophet, and afterward, the Four Caliphs, had prohibited the transmission of hadiths and even caused them to be burned? Satisfactory information related to the Prophet is already contained in the Quran. Moreover, to dissect them is an impossible task. Having studied the reasons exposed in Chapter 37 the additions brought in Islam, you can see better our defensive argument on the issue. Even though a particular hadith happens to be in perfect accord with the Quran, there still is the likelihood of our falsely ascribing it to the Prophet. For not every word that fits the Quran’s message is the Prophet’s word. The Quran is the Book that guides man to the straight path. Whoever may have said a word in support of it has surely spoken the truth. Some will accuse us for failing to pay due respect to the Prophet. Nevertheless, those who speak of a spell cast on the Prophet, invent absurd suppositions on his sexual life and place the earth on a fish are the ones lacking in respect. How can one trust in the words of these people? To turn a deaf ear to the hadiths is the consequence of respect and love for the Prophet, a confirmation of the fact that God only has the exclusivity of Islam. Just like in the case of Christ, for whose love people went as far as to declare him God, there have been those who have said that they loved the Prophet, but afterward said that he had been under a spell. The prophets desire that we believe in God; they hate to be deified.

The acts of the followers of prophets should be in perfect conformity with the revealed religion. They are displeased with praise as practiced by certain fawning Christians.


This entry was posted on Pazartesi, Aralık 8th, 2008 at 16:10 and is filed under ENGLISH ISLAM. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. 1 On Temmuz 12th, 2014, vidéo exubérante avec de la superbe gorge profonde goulue said:

    Vraiment passionnant : mon petit doigt me dit que ce post devrait intéresser un pote

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