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The Qur'an and Sunnah: A Possible Perspective

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    The Qur'an and Sunnah: A Possible Perspective

    This is an interesting issue. Hadith entails invaluable information about the life, times, general teachings and practices of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as information about the prevalent socio-religious and socio-moral environment. It is the primary and the most authentic source of the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as that of Muslim history of the time of the inception of the Muslim Ummah. Ignoring this aspect of these teachings would be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    However, I reject the idea of blindly accepting all the hadith since, being works of man, some may be contrary to the content entailed by the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The compilation of these books was never sanctioned by the Prophet. Hadith that are clearly contrary to the Qur'an and Sunnah should be rejected without question whatsoever.

    Therefore, it is my humble opinion that we should try to keep the baby, and throw as much of the bathwater out as possible.

    The correct stance, in my opinion, should have considered the following points:
    [list=1][*]The Qur’an and the Sunnah entail the complete content of Islam. Nothing from outside these sources can add, reduce, abrogate or, in any other way, alter the contents of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. It may also be added here that the complete structure of Islam and Islamic teachings, whether relating to Islamic beliefs or the practical aspects in its teachings, is entailed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). The transmission of neither of these sources (neither the Qur’an, nor the Sunnah) is dependent upon the transmission of Hadith. The Qur’an was transmitted by the consensus of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) and the verbal perpetuation of the generation of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as that of all subsequent generations of Muslims. The Sunnah, on the other hand, has been transmitted by the consensus of the Companions and the practical perpetuation of the generation of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as that of all the subsequent generations of the Muslims.
    [*]Hadith, in most cases, is a saying ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh), which may or may not actually be a saying of the Prophet (pbuh). Due to this reason, Hadith should only be accepted as a correct ascription of a saying to the Prophet (pbuh), if it has reached us through reliable sources and if it does not contain anything contrary to the Qur’an, the Sunnah and any established and acknowledged fact.
    [*]If a Hadith is neither contrary to the Qur’an, the Sunnah and any established and acknowledged fact and nor does it add anything to the basic structure of Islam, then it may be accepted as correctly ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh).
    [*]Hadith entails invaluable information about the life, times, general teachings and practices of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as information about the prevalent socio-religious and socio-moral environment. It is the primary and the most authentic source of the Seerah of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as that of Muslim history of the time of the inception of the Muslim Ummah. [/list=a]

    A point of view based on the recognition of these points, in my opinion, would be secure from extremities.

    The Learner

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    They shoot partypoopers, don't they?

    #2


    Comment


      #3
      PP what you have typed is essentially correct (if i am not mistaken) but as to how to tell whether a hadith is reliable or not there is a complete set of sciences to do just that known as ilm ul hadith, usul al hadith, ilm ul rijaal, etc.

      Comment


        #4
        Asif

        Allow me to give a very broad outline, in my opinion, of what should constitute the process of verification and acceptance of a Hadith. We know that the narration of every reliable and honest person is not necessarily the truth. Man is prone to errors of understanding as well as reporting. An honest and reliable person is no less a subject to these errors, as compared to a dishonest person.

        It is primarily because of this reason that a narrative, before being accepted as a true reporting of a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) should be as thoroughly checked vis a vis its contents, as it is checked with reference to its sanad. Thus, a positive decision about the acceptance of a narrative as a true reporting of a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) can only be made if:[list=1][*]The narrative under consideration is not in contradiction to anything contained in the Qur’an or the Sunnah or the established human knowledge and information;
        [*]If the narrative relates to a religious issue then its contents should have a clear basis in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, the two basic and independent sources of Islam. This, obviously, implies that no addition or deletion in the main body of religion is made on the basis of Hadith alone.[/list=a]

        If the narrative falls short on these criteria, even if it is reported by honest and reliable people, then the decision regarding its acceptance would either be deferred till the time that an adequate explanation is given for such a narrative or would be rejected as one wrongly ascribed (possibly due to the element of misperception of a saying or its misreporting) to the Prophet (pbuh).

        The reasons for these checks should be obvious from the foregoing explanation. Nevertheless, to avoid being misconstrued, I would once again like to repeat that the reasons for these checks is that there is no other method of determining whether or not a narrator has accurately narrated a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) or not. I am, therefore, in agreement with those who are of the opinion that no new element of faith can be added to the body of Islam on the basis merely of Hadith.

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        They shoot partypoopers, don't they?

        Comment


          #5
          PP with all due respect we cannot start making our own criteria for which hadith is acceptable and which is not. It is an EXACTING science and requires GREAT Islamic knowledge to be a MUHADDITH.
          Here are JUST a few things you have to know by HEART.

          1. Mastery of the Arabic language and its linguistic sciences sarf, nahw, maani,etc including the Quraishi dialect.
          2.Knowledge of ALL the narrators in a chain of hadith and their reliability etc.
          3.Knowledge of naasikh and mansukh etc etc
          4. Knowledge of usul al hadith etc.
          etc. etc.
          The list is exhaustive. You wouldn't allow a person with no knowledge of medicine except that he'd read a couple of books on medicine to operate on you would you? You'd leave it to the profession surgeons--in the same manner we should leave the classification of hadith (and the details of our deen) to the experts i.e. the classical scholars and muhadditheen and take it from them.




          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Asif:

            PP with all due respect we cannot start making our own criteria for which hadith is acceptable and which is not. It is an EXACTING science and requires GREAT Islamic knowledge to be a MUHADDITH.
            Here are JUST a few things you have to know by HEART...
            Asif

            I agree with you. I never said that those requirements, which you have pointed out, were not pertinent in the process of verification and acceptance of Hadith. If you examine the above, I only gave an outline of the basic logic that faces the experts every time they encounter this conundrum. What I have outlined above is an established method and has been employed substantially.

            I am not asking you to accept what the above post says - that is not what this is all about. As long as it makes a person think about the way in which the sources are used in order to extrapolate Islamic injunctions and the bases for religion, that is enough.

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            They shoot partypoopers, don't they?

            Comment

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