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Hadeeth Pt1

There are times - too often sadly - when believers forget the true purpose of Religion and Faith. They become entirely submerged in the apparent intricacies and complexities of ritual worship so that they lose sight of the purpose of them. At every fundamental level Religion is conferred upon Man by his Creator in order to remind him of his origins/destination and thus is essentially a call to return to the Right Path ordained for him. Religion does not constitute minefields of spiritual instructions - to be performed with mathematical exactitude. This is especially so with Al-Islam it being fashioned by Ar-Rahman at a time when Man had attained a degree of spiritual insight/maturity/training by virtue of the Earlier Revelations and his overall religious experience. Thus was Man ready to recieve the Final Formulation of Statements/Directives/News from Al-Khaaliq in the shape of Al-Qur'an

This Last Testament required no miracles or accompanying proofs to authenticate/validate its Source - Man had progressed sufficiently in order not to need supernatural interventions/signs. Religion, then, is about Man worshipping his Creator through sincere remembrance - Libaas-At-Taqwa, the Garment of Allah-Consciousness being the most beautiful/prized of gifts from HIM - and active work in every field of his endeavour.

The Prophets (pbuh) were not Law-Givers - they were Messengers Divinely-Appointed to convey the Truth. They were the Witnesses before Man - their utterrances/works/ways constitute the examples which he is required to adopt. Never has Al-Hakeem imposed unreasonable demands upon his most stubborn of creatures - HE Knows him. Thus, religion over the course of time became lighter/easier/simpler. Concepts were/are more than enough in which to inspire/elevate/inform/enlighten/il luminate/enliven/awaken Man - these ideas would flow into/out of him and his world/existence would be/has been transformed.

Additional material, then, in the form of Ahadeeth do not proceed from the Divine - thus, they may feature in some ways in the life of individuals/nations. But, they cannot ever be seen as Divinely Inspired Words which must, of necessity, be followed/adhered to. If that were the case, then Islam would have more than one Final Book - it would have many. Since we know that is not the case we must, therefore, free ourselves intellectually/spiritually/emotiona lly from the notion that to question Hadeeth is to question Al-Qur'an itself. That mind-set has left this once great creative/innovative Nation in bitter fragments. Allahu 'Alam.


Surah 3 Al-Imran, Verse 7
HE it is Who has bestowed upon you from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves - and these are the essence of the divine writ - as well as others that are allegorical.....those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the Divine Writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out (what is bound to create) confusion, and seeking (to arrive at) its final meaning (in an arbitrary manner) but none save Allah knows its final meaning......"

This Ayah is self-explanatory - yet if one were to expound upon it very briefly it may be summed up thus: Ayaat-Allah relating to the Realm of the Seen - wherein Man and Laws applicable to his day-to-day activities/conduct are clearly stated with no ambiguities - are in stark contrast to Ayaat-Allah which deal with Al-Ghayb, those infinite sectors of the Ultimate Reality which are expressed in allegorical/metaphorical/figurative terms (such as the true nature of Time, the Angels, The Last Day, Heaven and Hell and so on) cannot be properly comprehended - they therefore cannot be interpreted literally.

Allah The Beautiful's Divine Promise to preserve HIS Book - Al- Qur'an - intact, is known to most Muslims. However, most Muslims have come to regard the Hadeeth as equal to Al-Kitaab. Yet, nowhere has Allah SWT stated that HE intended to preserve in their exact form ALL of the sayings/doings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Al-Qur'an is the Definitive/Final Word of Allah SWT. It reveals both HIS Will and Way. The Hadeeth are the statements of mortal men and women reporting that which they saw or heard, the Prophet saying or doing.

The probability or possibility of errors/mistakes, of fabrications/inventions or of misinterpretations/misrepresentatio ns cannot be overlooked or denied. This fact has been highlighted many times already by others, yet still the heavy reliance/dependancy upon the Traditions continues on unabated. New and succeeding generations are required to constantly evaluate explanations of Qur'anic Ayaat according to Hadeeth and the scholars of the past.

I emphasize this supremely important point here because Al-Kitaab is not a Book set in the historical past nor is it static/stationary - Revelation, by its very definition, means just that - Revelation. Thus, it is forever evolving/unfolding/revealing new hitherto unknown truths about the nature of Creation and all it contains. Its Ayaat, therefore, cannot ever be said to have been completely understood or that new approaches/interpretations are no longer needed. Unfortunately, that is the very attitude which has been adopted by the majority of Muslims - with the disastrous consequences now confronting us. Al-Qur'an has been explained by preceding generations of scholars - end of. Having compelled all thought/enquiry to cease, virtually all intellectual/spiritual movement in the Ummah has shut down. This sad truth very ably explains why the Ummah is in the hapless state it is - it has imposed its own standards upon Al-Qur'an, so that now it no longer speaks to them nor reveals its inner secrets.

I must add, that I do not dismiss the Hadeeth literature, neither do I deny its importance to the Muslim Community. What I am striving to point out is the inadmissability of giving the Hadeeth equal weight to Al-Qur'an. They are not equal.

The Hadeeth contain many contradictions. They not only contradict each other on many issues, they also contradict Al-Qur'an in many instances. The absolute truth is that the Sahi Hadeeth - ie., the authentic sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) - are to be found nowhere except in Al-Qur'an itself. The Prophet (pbuh) never spoke from himself, he but uttered whatever he was commanded to utter by Allah SWT. It must also be borne in mind that the great body of Hadeeth literature we have before us today were compiled a long time after the death of the Prophet (pbuh).


Surah 7 Al-A'raaf, Verse 188
QUL: It is not within my power to bring benefit to, or avert harm from, myself, except as Allah may please. And if I knew that which is beyond the reach of human perception - Al-Ghayb - abundant good fortune would surely have fallen to my lot, and no evil would ever have touched me. I am nothing but a warner, and a herald of glad tidings to people who will believe.

Verse 203
And yet, when you do not produce any miracle for them, some (people) say: Why do you not seek to obtain it (from Allah)?
QUL: I only follow whatever is being Revealed to me by my Rabb: this (Revelation) is a means of insight from your Rabb, and a Guidance and a Grace to people who will believe.


Surah 10 Yunus, Verses 15-16
And whenever OUR Messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, those who do not believe that they are destined to meet US (are wont to) say: Bring us a discourse other than this, or alter this one.
QUL: It is not conceivable that I should alter it of my own volition; I only follow what is Revealed to me. Behold, I dread, were I (thus) to rebel against my Rabb, the suffering (which would befall me) on that awesome Day (of Judgment)

QUL: Had Allah Willed it (otherwise) I would not have conveyed this (Divine Writ) to you, nor would HE have brought it to your knowledge. Indeed, a whole lifetime have I dwelt among you before this (Revelation came to me) will you not, then, use your reason?

Verse 49
QUL: It is not within my power to avert harm from, or bring benefit to, myself, except as Allah may please. For all people a term has been set: when the end of their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor hasten it.

Verse 109
And (as for yourself, O Muhammad) follow but what is being Revealed to you, and be patient in adversity, until Allah shall give HIS Judgment: for HE Is the Best of all judges.


The Hadeeth literature apparently informs the believers about the personal/private life of the Prophet (pbuh). This flatly contradicts Al-Qur'an :


Surah 33 Al-Ahzab, Verses 32-34
O wives of the Prophet ! You are not like any of the (other) women, provided that you remain (truly) conscious of Allah....be not over-soft in your speech, lest any whose heart is diseased should be moved to desire (you)...speak in a kindly way.

And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance ; and be constant in prayer...render the purifying dues...pay heed to Allah swt and His Apostle :....Allah only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome, O you members of the (Prophet's) household, and to purify you to utmost purity.

And bear in mind all that is recited in your homes of Allah's messages and (His) Wisdom........."


Given the above Commandments of Allah SWT to the noble wives of the Prophet (pbuh) is it then reasonable - or even acceptable - to believe in the reports contained in the Traditions that these wives spoke openly and repeatedly about their most private moments with their holy and blessed husband? The wives of the Prophet (pbuh) are described as the Mothers of the Faithful - 33:6 - for this reason, they were not permitted to marry after the death of the Prophet. Do mothers ever speak about their most intimate moments to their offspring, relatives, friends, co-religionists or compatriots?

It simply defies belief that ANY of the wives of the Prophet (pbuh) would/could ever have uttered even one word remotely connected to their physical marital relations with their holy husband (pbuh). Ayeshah (rda) is widely claimed to be the main source of these sayings, but, even the Prophet himself is reported to have made statements about his personal life with his wives.

Do these purported sayings not directly contravene Allah SWTs Commands for believers to observe modesty - in terms of attire/language/conduct - at all times? Discussing ones private life hardly constitutes modesty, rather, it conflicts and even defies it. The following is but one example :


Sahih Al-Bukhari,
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 6:
Narrated Anas:

The Prophet.. used to go round (have sexual relations with) all his wives in one night, and he had nine wives.


One may reasonably ask - for what reason/purpose was the above Hadeeth related? How does such information benefit Muslims? One may go further and ask, - are such reported sayings even true? Allah The Beautiful states that the Prophet (pbuh) is the (spiritual) Father of the Muslim Community - Surah 33, Verse 6 - do fathers, who are also Prophets, discuss matters of an intimately personal nature? Pray, what kind of example would that be setting for his followers? I suggest that such sayings as are found in the Compilations cannot really be accepted or taken seriously.

Let us, now, examine additional "Laws" which scholars are fond of propogating/instituting - for instance, that a woman is not permitted to pluck her eyebrows. This directive is nowhere mentioned in Al-Qur'an but is to be located in the Traditions -


The report which states that "the woman who plucks the eyebrows or who has that done is cursed" was narrated by al-Bukhaari (4886) and Muslim (2125), from the Hadeeth of Abd-Allaah ibn Masood (may Allaah be pleased with him).


Yet conversely, Allah SWT has Commanded the children of Adam (pbuh) to beautify themselves for every act of worship - 7:31 - this is regarded as meaning places of worship, ie., Masaajid. I believe - tentatively - that Allah SWT - Who is All-Embracing and All-Perfect in HIS Beauty - does not restrict women in any way. Allah SWT permits women to beautify and groom themselves, providing they remain within the stated boundaries/limits, and do not seek to exploit their charms in order to decieve, mislead, entice, seduce or corrupt.

In what way is the plucking of eyebrows deemed to be akin to altering Allah SWT's Creation? If we take this argument to its logical conclusion, it means that human beings are not permitted to do anything, because most human activity is related to improving, developing, beautifying or changing in some way or other the Self, near of kin, and ones environment - which necessarily results in Allah SWT's Creation being different to what it originally was. However, "different" may not lead to destruction, it may lead to delight and thus to the Pleasure of Allah SWT. The actions of believers are based upon their intentions - and only Allah The Beautiful knows with what intent a woman had her eyebrows (or nails) shaped or used perfume - or for what purpose a man dyed his hair.

The second question relates to modesty. How do Muslim men acquire the knowledge that Muslimahs have plucked eyebrows? Are these men not supposed to lower their gaze upon seeing a Muslim woman? One has to be either very close, in the physical sense, or gazing intently at a woman, to arrive at the conclusion that her eyebrows have been shaped. Furthermore, a woman who wears the head-scalf ordinarily has it concealing some part of her forehead, in these instances then, sometimes even the eyebrows cannot be properly seen from afar. So, if a Muslim man is following the instructions of Allah SWT and the life-example of the Prophet (pbuh), his head would be lowered in order to observe modesty of behaviour - and he would NEVER know whether a woman's eyebrows are/were plucked or not.

I have provided only 2 examples to reveal some of the absurdities contained in the Ahaadeeth because of time constraints, it would not be possible to list all the contradictions, neither would it serve any useful purpose. I have simply highlighted the above 2 because these seem to me to represent both the silliest and the most serious.

In addition, the Hadeeth relies very heavily upon the reports of some Companions as opposed to others. For example, Abu Hurayrah (rda) is constantly referred to, his statements abound in the Collections. Yet, the reports about the Prophets' (pbuh) saying/doings by the Companions who were closest to him, and who remained with him throughout his life, are very few in comparison. Bilal (rda), the first Mue'zzin of the Muslims, is not as frequently mentioned, nor is Abu Bakr (rda) and so on. I do not question the validity of these Reports nor the sincerity of the transmitters, I simply question the heavy dependency upon the Hadeeth by the scholars - of both past and present.

Allah SWT States in Al-Qur'an that it is intended for "people who think" 12:101
Al-Kitaab describes itself as self-explanatory. Thus, it does not require supplementary proofs/evidences/miracles/etc. in order to prove its Source/Origins or authenticity. It does not need masses of self-contradictory tomes to explain/interpret it. To assert that Ahadeeth explains or amplifies or elaborates upon Al-Qur'an is in direct conflict with Allah SWT's Statement that the Qur'an explains itself and is, therefore, easy to follow/understand - 54:40, 47:24.


Surah 2 Al-Baqarah, Verse 286
O our Rabb! Lay not upon us a burden such as YOU did lay upon those who lived before us! O our Rabb! Make us not bear burdens which we have no strength to bear!


Surah 22 Al-Hajj, Verse 77-78
O you who have attained to Faith! Bow down and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Sustainer, and do good, so that you might attain to a happy state!

And strive hard in Allah's cause with all the striving that is due to HIM: it is HE Who has elected you and HAS LAID NO HARDSHIP ON YOU IN (ANYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO) RELIGION. (And made you follow) the Creed of your forefather Abraham.
It is HE Who has named you - in bygone times as well as in this (Divine Writ) "those who have surrendered themselves to Allah" - AL-MUSLIMEENA - so that the Apostle might bear Witness to the Truth before you, and that you might bear Witness to it before all Mankind.
Thus, be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and hold fast to Allah. HE Is your Lord Supreme: and how Excellent is this Lord Supreme, and how Excellent this Giver of Succour!


Allah SWT lifted from the Muslim Community the many Laws which HE had imposed upon Ahl-Al-Kitaab. Allah SWT has not placed any religious burdens upon the Ummah - on the contrary, HE has made Islam easy for People of Faith. Yet, according to the rules of deduction employed by scholars, many new laws were introduced over the course of time, so that each succeeding generation of believers has become increasingly encumbered with this huge volume of Statutes. As a consequence Muslim rulers, governments and the masses as a whole have all but abandoned that which Al-Qur'an contained, and instead, followed one or other Sect/scholar/school of thought, or simply turned away from Islam altogether. This has ocurred because of Ordinances being derived from some of the reported sayings/doings of the Prophet (pbuh) as narrated in the Traditions - or because of misinterpretation of Al-Qur'an.

In fact, there are very few Laws in Islam - these relate to the economic, spiritual, physical, social, intellectual, financial, etc., life of a Muslim or the Muslim Community. There are no burdens, no hardships, no difficulties. Islam is easy to follow because Al-Kitaab is easy to understand. Al-Qur'an does NOT require the Traditions to either substantiate or prove its authenticity.

Finally, we acknowledge with deep gratitude that the Ahadeeth were compiled by great men of Islam - and their hard work/contribution to the life of this once great Nation can never be disregarded, denied or dismissed. However, I believe it was never the intention of Imam Al-Bukhari and the other outstanding Compilers for their works to be seen as equal to - or even superseding - Al-Qur'an.

Believers must bear in mind that only Allah SWT is Perfect and Infallible - HE is the only rightful Law-Giver. Muslims must never depart from this fundamental truth and ought to be watchful - for blindly following Sects/scholars/schools of thought are forms of Shirk - this is that which destroyed Ahl-Al-Kitaab. They accorded their rabbis and monks - 3:4, 9:31 - the right to create/institute/abrogate Statutes based upon the Oral rather than the Written Law.


Surah 25 Al-Furqaan, Verse 30
And (on that Day) the Apostle will say: O my Rabb! Behold, my people have come to regard this Qur'an as something (that ought to be) discarded!

Surah 4 An-Nisaa, Verse 82
Will they not, then, try to understand Al-Qur'an? Had it issued from any but Allah they would surely have found in it many a contradiction!

 

Allahu 'Alam

 
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