Reply to common arguments of Hadith Rejectors
Reply to common arguments of Hadith Rejecters (Part1)
The previous articles in this series have given us a clear picture of the Importance of Sunnah and Hadith, and how Islam would have (Naudubillah) been incomplete without it. The articles are a tiny little compilation from the massive library of scholarly work on the subject. Insha‟Allah, we believe these articles would be enough for a person genuinely seeking answers to his doubts regarding the matter of Hadith and their importance. But as for a person who has closed his heart already, instead of reflecting on the points made, he only comes up with silly arguments regarding various issues ranging from authenticity of Hadith to making claims that some Hadith classified as Saheeh contradict the Quran, etc, etc. And this has always been the case of people who deny the clear proofs. That‟s a really easy strategy used by even the Jews at the time of Prophet (SAS). They would continuously keep raising questions like “Who brings the revelation?” “who were the people of cave?” “what is ruh?” “why is it sometimes a boy is born and sometimes a girl?” “will we be raised after we are dust and bones?”. They want to keep you busy answering their questions so that you never get time to make your own point. No matter how many arguments you answer, they will always keep coming with more. So throughout these articles, we concentrated on highlighting the necessity of Sunnah and Hadith. But now, we will be answering some of the arguments that Hadith rejecters usually come up with. Again, the intention is not to answer them, because if they haven‟t understood it in previous articles, there is little chance they will understand now. These answers to their arguments are only to show how false are their claims and how silly are those arguments, and how little is their knowledge on the subject of compilation and preservation of Hadith.
Argument 1: How should I believe that Sunnah is preserved?
First and foremost, one needs to understand that Allah commands us in the Quran to follow the messenger (SAS). And that not following the messenger takes one out of Islam.
But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee (Prophet Muhammad [SAS]) judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. (Translation of Qur’an 4:65)
…And whoever disobeys God and His Messenger, for him there is surely the fire of Hell, to abide therein forever.(Translation of Qur’an 72:23)
So if Allah has made it compulsory on us to follow the messenger, then there MUST be a way that his statements, actions, approvals and character description must have been preserved. If someone claims that these are not preserved till date, then Naudubillah, he is alleging that Islam does not give complete guidance for someone to enter jannah.
The question arises, where is the Sunnah of the Messenger (SAS) recorded authentically? Now the fun begins. The Hadith rejecter wants to reinvent the wheel himself. He doubts the classification done by scholars like Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, etc. And he does so because he is completely, in the sense, COMPLETELY unaware of the procedure by which Hadiths were compiled and preserved. As a simple test, ask him what part of the compilation procedure has a loop hole. Ask him to give a better procedure. Forget all that, just ask him to name any 5 peoplefrom Tabe‟een who he thinks are weak narrators but scholars classified them as strong. They cannot. They just cannot. They will only do what they do the best. They‟ll change the line of argument and start a new one.
Don‟t worry. The thing is, it is not obligatory upon every Muslim to reinvent the wheel and classify things as saheeh, weak, fabricated, etc. Allah does not burden the common man with these things. He does not leave them misguided either. This work is of the scholars. Scholars, who know the deen in and out, and have spent years and years studying various aspects of it, not like these Hadith rejecters who think they have all the knowledge in the world because they probably know Arabic and have read a few books here and there.
The Saheeh classification of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim are unanimously agreed upon by Ijma (consensus) of scholars. Apart from that, even the authenticity of other Hadith collections and application of Hadiths can be verified by referring to works of other scholars.
We have had great contemporary scholars, al-hamdulillah, to whom we can refer back to in the past. We have major scholars, who passed away in recent times as well, like Allamah Ibn Baaz, Allamah Naasirud-Deen al-Albaani, Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen, and many others – may Allah have mercy on them all. And we have major scholars who are alive today like Allamah al-Fawzaan, Shaikh ar-Rajihi, Shaikh Saaleh aal-Shaikh, Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Aal-Shaikh, and others.
What is obligatory upon a Muslim is to have a basic fiqh (understanding) of Aqeedah, ie. belief. One must know the names and attributes of Allah, what is tawheed and what nullifies Tawheed, so that he cannot be fooled. Don‟t forget that whatever these scholars say is with EVIDENCE from Quran and Sunnah only, and not out of their own minds. But it is the ego of Hadith rejecters that stops them from accepting the fact that someone else is more knowledgeable than them.
For people who are genuinely seeking knowledge, here is the link to basics on Usool-al-Hadith by Dr.Bilal Philips.
It is really amazing to know how much care was taken by these scholars and their students is compiling and preserving the Sunnah. It is easy to reject the work of these great scholars reclining on a couch in luxury homes reading a few articles here and there on Google. It is only after one contemplates their pain and efforts, will one understand its real value.
Argument 2: Hadiths were written 250 years after death of Muhammad (SAS).
First of all, it is a very western ideology that anything that is not written down is bound to be forgotten or changed with time. We need to understand that the Arabs were absolutely amazing memorizers. One cannot doubt the memorization of the narrators, because it is the same people through whom even the Quran came to us. The Quran was not compiled into a single book until the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (ra). People had bits and pieces written here and there, but there was nothing in a book form. Same was the case with Hadith. Famous memorizers among the Sahaba
include Abu Hurayrah, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Aisha Siddiqa, Abdullah ibn Umar, Jabir ibn Abdullah, Anas ibn Malik and Abu Sa‟eed al-Khudri. Each had memorized over 1000 hadith word by word. The list continues in the era of Tabi‟een and tabe‟tabe‟een and so on.
But even if talk about writing down the Hadith, we know from history that they were being written even at the time of Prophet (SAS) himself. We find numerous Hadith in these regards.
We suggest seekers of knowledge to read the second chapter “Compilation” (just 12 pages) from the Usool-al-Hadith of Dr. Bilal Philips for further understanding. For sake of convenience we have uploaded the 2nd chapter separately. It available at the link below:
Some manuscripts who‟s originals are still available in libraries deserve special mention here,
– Hamman bin Munabbih was one of the students of Abu Hurayrah (RA) (died in 53Hijri/678AD), and his saheefa is still in existence today (Berlin and Damascus), and has been translated into English too. It contains 138 hadith, virtually all of which are also found in either Saheeh Bukhari or Saheeh Muslim or both. This shows that even though there is a gap of 200 years between these scholars and Abu Huraira (RA), the Science of Hadith preservation is so comprehensive that there is no chance of missing any authentic narration.
– Another work from that time is al-Muwatta composed by Maalik ibn Anas (d.801AD)
– One other important point to be seen is in student written Musnad of at-Tayaalisee (died in 813AD) in Khuda Oriental Public Library of Patna. At the time, they used to write down the names of people to whom these books would be passed. This book bears the names of more than 300 male and female students of hadeeth, who had read it at different periods. Among them are found the names of great traditionists such as ath-Thahabee, al-Mizzee, and others. The Hyderabad edition of the musnad has been published on the basis of this manuscript. This shows the degree of desire to learn the Sunnah knowledge.
In addition, al-Azami has produced a list of 437 scholars who had recorded Hadith and all of them lived and died before the year 250 A.H. See “Studies in Early Hadith Literature – Muhammad Mustafa Azami” for more details.
So what really happened after 200 years?
If Hadith were written and passed right from the time of the prophet (SAS), then why do we refer collections of Hadith that were compiled after such a long time? So here‟s the answer. The four Imams lived between 80AH to 241AH. Imam Abu Hanifa lived from 80-150AH. Imam Shaafi also lived from 135-188AH. The only imam who lived between 200-300AH was Imam Hanbal who lived from 164-241AH. Imam Bukhari lived from 194-256AH. It was also between 200-300AH that the other great Imams such as Imam Muslim, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhee, Nasaa‟i lived.
Till that time, there were many personal collections of hadiths which were transmitted with at most care to make sure that hadiths are transmitted through verifiable channels.
The methods of transmission were as follows:-
1. Samaa: Reading by the teacher.
2. Ard: Reading by the student.
3. Ijaaza: Permission to transmit.
4. Munaawalah: Grating books.
5. Kittabah: Correspondence or distance learning.
6. I‟laam: Announcement.
7. Wasiyyah: Bequest of books.
8. Wajaadah: Discovery of books.
On further reading we understand that during the initial three hijri centuries there was a system which was more or less like modern day copyrights system. One was not recognized as a hadith narrator unless he had permissions to transmit hadiths from his/her teacher. Thus even methods like „Wajaadah‟ were not recognized as way of learning hadiths.
So hadiths were always transmitted, followed and implemented but recognized as authentic only when it came through the strict copyright laws now included in „Science of Hadiths‟. After nearly 175 hijri the only change was that scholars improved on this by better selection methodologies, and utilized the combined knowledge of the predecessors to compile masterpieces such as Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. They also organized these Hadiths properly into musnads, sunans, jamis, mujams, mustadraks etc. so that they could be unanimously agreed upon as authentic and there would be very less need to check for the their authenticity anymore, especially for lay man when Islam was entering every house from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In short, what really happened after 200 years was only refining and organizing of Hadiths.
But probably Google is not the place where the arrogant Hadith rejecter could learn about this history. He makes this argument out of sheer ignorance on this topic.
Conclusion for this article
Here the conclusion is much simpler than that other articles. If someone has a disease (doubts regarding authenticity) he/she must either:
- Become a Doctor (study science of Hadith) OR
- Go to a Doctor (refer scholars of Hadith) OR
- Remain sick and die with it.
Choice is yours…
Conclusion & References
Alhamdulillah we have come to the end of the article series on Hadith: The Integral part of Islam. It is now time for everyone to reflect upon what we have learnt in the past few weeks.
The warning from Allah is very clear and anyone who has doubts about importance of Sunnah must think deeply about the following Aayat.
But no, by the Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make thee (Prophet Muhammad [SAS]) judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against Thy decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction. [Translation of Qur’an 4:65]
…And whoever disobeys God and His Messenger, for him there is surely the fire of Hell, to abide therein forever. [Translation of Qur’an 72:23]
From this we understand that sidelining the Sunnah takes one out of the fold of Islam and ultimately ends one in hell-fire.
There are people who say:
“We believe only in the Sunnah which supplements Qur‟an and the rest we reject” or “We believe in Sunnah but there are no more authentic hadiths remaining” or “Sunnah was applicable only for time-being” or “We accept only famous hadiths (Mutawaatir)” or “Sunnah is secondary and may be sidelined” or “Sunnah is impossible to follow due to ritualism” or “We accept only those Sunnah which logically appeal to us”.
These are only ways to indirectly reject the Sunnah. These people use such statements only to cover themselves from their true identity. If we ponder, it effectively means the same as being Sunnah rejecters. So whichever way you take if the end result is the same, it only makes a person Kaafir (disbeliever) for rejecting the Qur‟an itself. Having said that, we also take into account the context in which one rejects the sunnah. In the words of Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Salih Ibn Uthaimeen:
“Denying (Sunnah) could be of two types: a denial with regards to interpretation or a denial of rejection. If it is a denial of rejection, in the sense that one might say, “Yes I realize that Prophet (SAS) said this but I reject it and don‟t accept it”. Then the person is a kaafir (disbeliever) and has committed apostasy. Thus it would be impermissible to pray behind him. If, on the other hand, it is the denial of interpretation, then he is granted a respite, if the interpretation is possible and warranted by the language, and he knows the sources of Islamic Law and its resources. In this case it is not an act of kufr, but rather under the category of those who innovate incorrect practices in the religion (if his interpretation is such)…”
(Source: Taken from Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al Munajjid‟s reply to a question at the following link http://islamqa.com/en/ref/245/reject%20sunnah)
Thus if someone reads and understands the ayah of Qur‟an like “Obey the Messenger” and still denies the authority of Sunnah in any sense by giving the ayah a new meaning (which the language itself does not suggest at all), like, by saying “Obeying Allah is obeying Messenger” etc then he is doing an act of Kufr. The same is supported by Sheikh Al-Fawzaan ()
But for people who have erred in past and now realize the truth by the mercy of Allah. They must not get disappointed. The doors of mercy of Allah are wide open. Allah mentions:
And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)” [Translation of Qur’an 20:82]
Similarly the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Allah accepts the repentance of His slaves so long as the death rattle has not reached his throat.” [Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (3537); classed as hasan by al-Albaani.]
The fact that Allah has given you life till now means that you are being awarded with enough time to make good the actions you did in ignorance or even arrogance. Also you must ask for forgiveness sincerely. The scholars mentioned the conditions of repentance.
1– Giving up the sin immediately. 2– Regretting what has happened in the past. 3– Resolving not to go back to it. 4– Making amends to those whom you have wronged, or asking for their forgiveness.
(Refer to Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al Munajjid‟s write-up on the same athttp://islamqa.com/en/ref/books/23 )
We pray to Allah that He may guide us to the straight path; the path of Muhammad (SAS), the Sahaba and the righteous Salafs (Salaf-us-Saalih). We pray to Allah that He may keep our feet strongly grounded in the Manhaj of Salaf and protect us from fitnas of deviant sects and kuffaar. May Allah guide us, make us pious, chaste and give us satisfaction.
Further reading on the topic:
– Authority of Sunnah and Hadiths by Scholars of Islam http://abdurrahman.org/sunnah/index.html
– “The Hadith Is Proof In Itself In Belief And Laws”, by Shaykh Nasir A-Deen Al Albaanee http://abdurrahman.org/sunnah/thehadithisproofitself.pdf
– “A critical Analysis of the Modernists and Hadeeth Rejecter”, by Sajid A Kayum http://qsep.com/books/modernists.html
– “Usool ul Hadith”, by Dr. Bilal Philips http://scanislam.com/books_files/Hadith/Usool-ul-Hadith/Usool-al-Hadith.pdf
– “Studies in Hadith Methodology and Literature” by M. M. Azami http://www.amazon.com/Studies-Methodology-Literature-Muhammad-Mustafa/dp/9839154273/
– “Studies In Early Hadith Literature” by M. M. Azami http://www.amazon.com/Studies-Hadith-Literature-Muhammad-Mustafa/dp/0892591250
Reply to common arguments of Hadith Rejecters (Part2)
In the previous article, we saw how ignorant the Hadith rejecters are when it comes to their knowledge of even the basics of Usool al Hadith and its history. (We even got a live demonstration of it when this latest Hadith rejector came out with all his frustration on ScanIslam Crew‟s facebook note). In this article, we will Insha‟Allah look at the two common arguments they switch to, when they are left speechless in response to the previous articles.
Argument 3: These Hadith go against common-sense
Hadith rejecters usually quote some authentic Hadith and say “it doesn‟t seem logical”. Not sure why they use such arguments when they claim to accept Allah is As-Sami (The All Hearer), Al-Basir (The All Seeing), Al-Hakam (The Judge), Al-Adl (The Just), Al-Khabir (The All Aware), Ar-Raqib (The watchfull), Al-Hakim (The Wise) and much more. After proving the authenticity of Hadith to someone, if the person responds with this kind of an argument, then it raises the question whether he/she really believes Allah is All Wise? And If yes, then why do you want a logical response to every instruction in Islam? When we accepted Musa‟s (AS) stick turning into a serpent, and we accept Sulaiman (AS) speaking to bird, just because ALLAH SAID SO. Then why this dual policy of rejecting the Hadith ONLY because it does not fit his/her logic?
Argument 4: Quran is protected by Allah, while Hadith are bound to get corrupted with time
Assuming that the Hadith rejecters makes this claim from Surah Al-Hijr, where Allah says,
“Indeed, We have sent down the Zikr, and indeed, We will be its guardians.” [Translation of Quran 15:9]
The word Zikr, has been used in the Quran for referring to many things, like the Quran itself, the complete deen in general, the remembrance of Allah, the messenger of Allah (SAS) and even the Friday Prayers. So when Allah promises to protect the Zikr, it includes the Quran, the understanding of the Quran in the example of Messenger (SAS), the prayers, and all aspects of the deen. In short, Allah will protect EVERYTHING necessary for the deen till the last day.
The thing is, Quran can never get protected unless its meaning is protected as well. If we leave Quran to be freely interpreted, then even those terrorist organizations are legislated to kill Jews and Christians wherever they find them, because that is how they understand the Quran.
Allah says in the Quran,
“Indeed, upon Us is its collection, and its recitation. So when we have recited it, follow its recitation. Then upon Us is its clarification” [Translation of Quran 75:17-19]
See how Allah separately addresses the “clarification” of Quran in the 19th Aayah. The recitation of Quran is one thing, and its clarification is another. You cannot take the words of Quran and interpret it according to whims and desires.
Once the Quran is clarified to the messenger (SAS), how does it get clarified to rest of us till the end? Yes, we have already seen in previous articles how the Prophet‟s (SAS) statements, actions, approvals and character description are all part of revelation. We have already established that one of the role of Messenger (SAS) was to EXPLAIN the Quran. This is what the Hadith rejectors don‟t agree to, though they have never been able to answer the Aayat of the Quran which we quoted in Article-3.
“… And We revealed to you the message that you may explain to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.” [Translation of Qur’an Surah 16:64]
One of them even went to the extent of redefining Arabic language and to give new meanings of few words, only to get humiliated badly. That is the level to which these people can fall.
Argument 5: Quran is complete guidance. So there is no need of Hadith.
This argument is based on the some of the below Aayat of the Quran.
Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from (one who is) Wise and Acquainted. (Translation of Qur’an 11:1)
We have explained (things) in various (ways) in this Qur’an, in order that they may receive admonition, but it only increases their flight (from the Truth)! (Translation of Qur’an 17:41)
And We have explained to man, in this Qur’an, every kind of similitude: yet the greater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude. (Translation of Qur’an 17:89)
Ok, Quran is the complete guidance, with everything explained in detail. So what?? Hasn‟t the Quran guided us completely to follow the messenger? Doesn‟t the Quran explain us in detail how the life of messenger (SAS) is nothing but a revelation? Of course it does. And it does it convincingly for any open hearted person. And that is the role of Quran.
The Quran talks about different Prophets and their tribes. It talks about Yajood and Majood. It talks about people of the cave, it talks about the companions of Elephants. Yet, Quran is not a history text book. Allah only speaks about the history that He out of His ultimate wisdom knows can remind people and bring them to faith. The Quran talks about various geographical aspects of Allah‟s creations. Yet, the Quran is not a complete geography text book. It is only for reminding the people and bringing them to faith. In the same way, the Quran is complete when it comes to guiding someone to faith. If this book of Allah cannot remind someone and bring him/her to faith, then nothing else can. But what after that? What follows true faith is practice. And this is where Quran asks us to look at the example of Prophet. To live our lives in accordance with what he said, did, approved and forbade.
Dual policies of Hadith Rejecters when they say Quran is enough for them
The hadith rejecters horribly end up contradicting their own claim of “Quran being enough” when they have to look to various options outside Quran when it comes to practicing Islam. And we personally have encountered hadith rejecters of different shapes and sizes at scanislam
Some look to the biographies of Prophet for this – Funny, they doubt the work of Imam Bukhari and Muslim, but not of these authors of biography. Some even refer to dictionaries written as late as this century to understand the same Quran. Some rightly look at classical Arabic dictionaries, but completely forget the fact that even the classical Arabic was preserved through the same science of Hadith which they reject.
Some say it is learnt from Sunnah of Jews and Christians – Wow! What is bound to be more erroneous? Sunnah of the last Prophet to mankind with all these awesome Usool al Hadith techniques? Or the Sunnah of earlier prophets which was anyways intended for their limited period? They are ready to take from a 2000 year old Bible which in Quran‟s word itself is corrupted and its words have been changed, but they don‟t want to take it from the Hadith of the Prophet (SAS). That‟s Super-contradiction!!
Hadith rejecters find themselves in a fix even in matters as simple as lunch and dinner. They readily enjoy Allah‟s gift of sea foods. How in the world can they prove an un-slaughtered fish to be Halaal without using the Hadith, when Quran straight away forbids us from eating dead
animals (Quran 5:3). With only Quran, they cannot even prove how animals like dogs and cats are prohibited as food. (Wonder if they‟ll start taking hot-dogs a bit seriously after reading this)
Further, they have some funny disputes among themselves, when it comes to law enforcement. There were two Hadith rejecters who were debating with each other whether the punishment of cutting off the hands of thieves is maximum punishment, or a minimum. The funny part is, these educated illiterates were unsure from where the hand needs to be cut off, wrist or elbow or shoulder? This is the pathetic state of these self-declared Aalims.
Some are even more disgusting. One of them told us, “There is no specific method to offer Salaah. I can pray even standing on my head”. Another one told us, Quran only advices not to drink alcohol. It is like a warning on cigarette packs.” (Super! What a justification to following ones nafs and desires).
These people are so helpless without Hadith that they cannot even explain important terms like Ar-Riba (which leads to major sin) and which day is day of Jumaa? (which was earlier called Arooba).
Naudubillah. May Allah protect us from this fitna which is nothing but doubts and confusion and ultimately following one‟s own nafs.
“… They follow nothing but a guess (zann) and that which the souls desire…” (Translation of Quran 53: 23)