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Sunnah, Ahadiths- Their importance and authenticty.

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    Sunnah, Ahadiths- Their importance and authenticty.

    Asalaam ualikum W'r W'b all;

    It has turned into a recent trend to make an issue on the status of ahadiths in Islam. I have taken some excerpts from the book "The Authority of Sunnah" by Justice Maulana Muhammad Taqi Usmani to answer some of the misconceptions flying around in the forum. "The Authority of Sunnah", by the way is an excellent book (only 100 pages in length) and clears away many doubts. It is encouraged that everyone give it a read, Insha'llah.

    If you're someone who finds it hard to accept Ahadiths for whatever reasons, or thinks that the Sunnah is just something which isn't obligatory but only something which the Prophet(PBUH) did, then the following might be a important read for you.

    Just to clarify, this post is not open for debate. I'm only sharing knowledge which I haev come across and do not wish to debate.

    Chapter 1: Why is Sunnah the secondary source for Islamic Law
    (This chapter will deal with the importance of Sunnah. It is necessary that we establish that following the Prophet(PBUH) is a must before we proceed to anything else)

    Read entire chapter here, I have only tried to include the very important bits for emphasis.
    -Start Excerpt-

    The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has been accepted as an important source of Islamic law, next in importance only to the Holy Qur’ân. This status of the sunnah has remained unchallenged and undisputed throughout the centuries. There have been many differences among Muslims in their juristic opinions, but the authority of the Holy Qur’ân and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was never denied by any jurist. Leaving aside some scattered individuals who separated themselves from the main stream of the Muslim population, nobody has ever refused to accept the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as a sacred source of the Islamic law.

    Definition of Sunnah:

    The Sunnah has been defined by the scholars of the science of Hadîth as follows:

    “A word spoken, or an act done, or a confirmation given by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

    “Confirmation” in this definition is termed in Arabic as Taqreer. What is meant by this term is like somebody said something, or acted in a particular manner, and his saying or act came to the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and he either confirmed it in express words or remained silent without given any indication of disapproval. Such silence, being an implied approval of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is also included in the term Sunnah.

    As the Sunnah, with all its three kinds (saying, act and confirmation) relates to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), its true status in Islamic law cannot be ascertained without ascertaining the status of the Holy Prophet (PBH) himself.

    The status of the Holy Prophet(PBUH)

    The prophets are not sent merely to deliver the word of Allâh. They are also required to explain the divine Book, to interpret it, to expound it, to demonstrate the ways of its application and to present a practical example of its contents.

    The Holy Quran Says:
    • Allâh has surely blessed the believers with His favor when He raised in their midst a Messenger from among themselves, who recites to them His verses and makes them pure and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, while they were, earlier in open error. (3:164)

      He (Allâh) is the One who raised up, among the unlettered, a Messenger from among themselves who recites the verses of Allâh, and makes them pure, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom. (62:2)


    The same functions were attributed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the prayer of Sayyidna Ibrahim (AS) when, according to the Holy Qur’ân, he prayed:
    • Our Lord, raise in their midst a messenger from among themselves who recites to them Your verses and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom and purifies them… (2:129)


    These are the terms of reference given to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) which include four distinct functions and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been entrusted with all of them:
    • Recitation of the Verses of Allâh.
    • Teaching the Book of Allâh.
    • Teaching the Wisdom.
    • Making the people pure.

    Thus, the Holy Qur’ân leaves no ambiguities in the fact that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not supposed to merely recite the verses and then leave it to the people to interpret and apply them in whatever manner they like. Instead, he is sent to “teach” the Book. Then, since teaching the Book is not enough, he is also required to teach “Wisdom” which is something additional to the “Book.” Still, this is not enough, therefore the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has also to “make the people pure,” meaning thereby that the theoretical teaching of the Book and the “Wisdom” must be followed by a practical training to enable the people to apply the Book and the Wisdom in the way Allâh requires them to apply.

    These verses of the Holy Qur’ân describe the following functions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH):
    • a) He is the authority in the way the Holy Book [the Qur’ân] has to be recited.
      b) He has the final word in the interpretation of the Book.
      c) He is the only source at which the wisdom based on divine guidance can be learned.
      d) He is entrusted with the practical training of the people to bring his teachings into practice.


    These functions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) can never be carried out unless his teachings, both oral and practical, are held to be authoritative for his followers, and the Muslims who are given under his training are made bound to obey and follow him. The functions (b) and (c), namely, the teaching of the Book and Wisdom require that his sayings should be binding on the followers, while the function (d), the practical training, requires that his acts should be an example for the Ummah, and the Ummah should be bound to follow it.

    A large number of the verses of the Holy Quran have commanded us to obey and follow the Prophet(PBUH). While doing so, the Holy Qur’ân has used two different terms, namely the “itaa’ah” (to obey) and “ittibaa’” (to follow). The first term refers to the orders and sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) while the second relates to his acts and practice. By ordering the Muslims both to “obey” and to “follow” the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the Holy Qur’ân has given an authority to both his sayings and acts.

    The Obedience of the Messenger(PBUH):

    Lets read and ponder over the following:

    Say: Obey Allâh and the Messenger, but if they turn their backs, Allâh loves not the disbelievers. (3:32)

    And obey Allâh and the Messenger so that you may be blessed. (3:132)

    O those who believe, obey Allâh and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. (4:59)

    And obey Allâh and obey the Messenger and beware. (5:92)

    So fear Allâh and set things right between you, and obey Allâh and His Messenger if you are believers. (8:1)

    O those who believe, obey Allâh and His Messenger and do not turn away from him, while you are listening. (8:20)

    And obey Allâh and His Messenger and do not quarrel with each other, and so lose heart. (8:46)

    Say: Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger; then, if you turn away, upon him rests what is laid on him, and upon you rests what is laid on you. If you obey him, you will be guided. (24:54)

    In these verses, “the obedience of the Messenger” has been ordered as an obligatory command. There are other verses in which the results of the “obedience of the Messenger” have been described. Here again the “obedience of the Messenger” has been combined with “the obedience of Allâh:”

    And whoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger, Allâh shall admit him in the Gardens underneath which rivers flow. (4:13)

    And whoever obeys Allâh and the Messenger, they are in the company of those who Allâh has blessed. (4:69)

    All that the believers say, when they are called to Allâh and His Messenger that he may judge between them, is that they say, “We hear and we obey”: it is these who are successful. Whoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger and fears Allâh and has awe of Him: it is these who are the winners. (24:52)

    As the obedience of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been stressed by the Holy Qur’ân and has been combined with the “obedience of Allâh,” in the same way “disobedience” of him has been warned against and is combined with the “disobedience of Allâh:”

    And whoever disobeys Allâh and His Messenger and transgresses His limits, He shall admit him to Fire where he shall remain forever. (4:14)

    And whoever disobeys Allâh and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error. (33:36)

    And whoever disobeys Allâh and His Messenger, for him there is the fire of Jahannam. There they shall remain forever. (72:23)

    And whoever makes a breach with Allâh and His Messenger, then Allâh is severe in punishment. (8:13)

    Did they not come to know that whoever opposes Allâh and His Messenger, for him there is the fire of Jahannam? (9:63)

    Concluding point for today: Thus, both positive and negative aspects of the obedience have been dealt with in the Holy Qur’ân and the “obedience of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)” in each one of these verses has been mentioned separately, alongwith the obedience of Allâh.

    It is noteworthy that whenever the “obedience of Allâh” is mentioned in the Holy Qur’ân, it is always followed by the “obedience of the Prophet” which has never been missed even in a single verse. There is no verse in the entire Book where the “obedience of Allâh” has been mentioned alone with no reference to the “obedience of the Messenger.”

    Insha'llah we'll pick off from here tommorow, it would be easier for all of us if this study is done in parts. If you're up for it, you're encouraged to go ahead and read the entire chapter and the book, Insha'llah and that will clear up your mind. I sincerely hope some of us can benefit from this thread, Insha'llah.

    WalikumSalam W'r W'b.

    #2
    wa'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatahu brother,

    Masha'Allaah, a very timely thread indeed.

    JazaakumAllaahu khaira.

    &peace

    -----------------
    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

    Comment


      #3
      Mahiwal, thank you for sharing.

      However, our talk was on the authenticity of HADITH, not the authenticity of SUNNAH.

      I would like to make it clear for the record, that I do not disagree with this article, but it still confuses me why I've been taught all along that Sunnah is optional and worthy to follow, but not mandatory, while the Quran is mandatory to follow, when the Quran orders one to follow Sunnah.

      But remember, the Quran does not say, follow the Hadith. It says follow the Sunnah, and given the diffrentiation between the two that I and Nescio have explained, this makes complete sense, why the Quran would never use the word Hadith.

      perhaps I've been misled in thinking that sunnah is not on the same level as farz improtance-wise. But that still doesn't change my position that we ought to question hadith before blindly believing in what we see in some sources here and there.

      Furthermore, for the record, I have not REJECTED all the hadith, but I have only quesitoned some which seem to have contradictions surrounding them. I have a right to do that as a muslim. Everyone does.

      Thank-you for sharing the article, Mahiwal.
      I believe in dragons, good men, and other fantasy creatures.

      Comment


        #4
        Asalaam ualikum W'r W'b;

        PyariCgudia, let me quote myself:
        This chapter will deal with the importance of Sunnah. It is necessary that we establish that following the Prophet(PBUH) is a must before we proceed to anything else
        And yes, I had noticed that many people had stated something about the Sunnah not being mandatory hence it was necessary to first establish this as a base. We'll deal with the authenticity of Sunnah soon enough.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Mahiwal:

          This chapter will deal with the importance of Sunnah. It is necessary that we establish that following the Prophet(PBUH) is a must before we proceed to anything else
          before we continue we have to agree on what does "following the prophet" mean?

          what does "obey/follow the prophet" mean!
          If I say to you: "obey your father", does it mean that you too should drink tea at 7 o'clock because your father likes drinking tea at 7 o'clock, or does "obey your father" mean that you follow him in his morals/decency/humbleness etc?????

          In other words, does "follow the prophet" mean that we do exactly everything what he did, or does it mean that we follow him in his morals/decency/humbleness/patience etc (=all of which can be found in the Quran).

          I'll stop here because this discussion is already going on in that other thread.
          Why so serious ... ?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by NeSCio:
            before we continue we have to agree on what does "following the prophet" mean?

            what does "obey/follow the prophet" mean!
            If I say to you: "obey your father", does it mean that you too should drink tea at 7 o'clock because your father likes drinking tea at 7 o'clock, or does "obey your father" mean that you follow him in his morals/decency/humbleness etc?????

            In other words, does "follow the prophet" mean that we do exactly everything what he did, or does it mean that we follow him in his morals/decency/humbleness/patience etc (=all of which can be found in the Quran).

            I'll stop here because this discussion is already going on in that other thread.
            No its a simple as obeying the orders of the Nabi (saw).....just as you would obey the orders of your parents. Dont be so patronising and assume that people will blindly emulate all that the Nabi (saw) did, beacuse if you think that is what the hadeeths are about, you have either not read them or are misquoting them.

            [This message has been edited by Alpha1 (edited July 09, 2002).]

            Comment


              #7
              yes! but my parents don't obey me to drink tea at 7. they obey me to follow them in their morals/decency/principles etc
              Why so serious ... ?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by NeSCio:
                yes! but my parents don't obey me to drink tea at 7. they obey me to follow them in their morals/decency/principles etc
                ??????????

                So when they say to you "beta aik pani ka payala le auo" you will simply stay put and say your following thier essence????????

                If the Nabi orders you to do something, you will say no?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Alpha1:
                  ??????????

                  So when they say to you "beta aik pani ka payala le auo" you will simply stay put and say your following thier essence????????

                  If the Nabi orders you to do something, you will say no?
                  I won't stay put! because one of their principle is to "respect elders" so i will get them water!

                  the Nabi hasn't ordered me to follow Bukhari as a source of information. He has ordered to follow the Quran
                  and the Quran doesn't say that I should follow Bukhari
                  Why so serious ... ?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you refuse to follow the Nabi then your not even following the essense or anything.

                    There are plenty of examples, one is where the Nabi started praying the night-prayer, but did not ask the rest of us to do the same.

                    There are other examples where he did something and asked us to do the same.

                    Its not about blind emulation, its about following his (saw) orders.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by NeSCio:
                      I won't stay put! because one of their principle is to "respect elders" so i will get them water!

                      the Nabi hasn't ordered me to follow Bukhari as a source of information. He has ordered to follow the Quran
                      and the Quran doesn't say that I should follow Bukhari
                      Bukhari is not asking you to do anything, he has not invented anything. He has relayed information to you. From what you are saying, you do not know what the Nabi has ordered you to do or not do since you have denied all hadith.

                      You agree that the Qur'an tells you to follow the Nabi. You then say that following does not mean emulating - agreed to an extent. Why then, does obeying not mean following the orders of the Nabi? If you insist that Bukhari has lied, then please provide the evidence.

                      [This message has been edited by Alpha1 (edited July 09, 2002).]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I say again, Bukhari is not a source of information, it is a book of jurisprudence. I suggest you do a little reasearch on it before you make wild statements about it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Nescio, I've said it before, and i'll say it again, please dont base arguments and then debate when you dont have knowledge about a certain subject. Following the Prophet(PBUH) is clearly explained as it says that the Prophet(PBUH) taught us the book and the wisdom and left his example for us to follow (as the article states up there), and this is exactly what we're supposed to follow.

                          Your drinking tea argument is an argument just for the sake of it, and like I said before this thread is not open for debate. If you must argue before you've read the entire article, then open another thread. And if you will not change your mind whatever is shown to you, then please say so now.

                          Mahiwal.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I wish I could atleast try to lead my life the way Hazrat Muhammad (saw/pbuh) did. That would have been the height of humanity. Alas!!!!

                            Originally posted by Alpha1:
                            No its a simple as obeying the orders of the Nabi (saw).....just as you would obey the orders of your parents. Dont be so patronising and assume that people will blindly emulate all that the Nabi (saw) did, beacuse if you think that is what the hadeeths are about, you have either not read them or are misquoting them.

                            [This message has been edited by Alpha1 (edited July 09, 2002).]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You know, Mahiwal stated at the beginning that she didn't want to make a debate out of this - another thread is opened up discussing the same thing .

                              Nescio has raised a good point. He's asking what does "obeying the prophet" mean?

                              What does it mean?

                              In many countries, some communities force their men to grow beards calling it part of the Sunnah and thus mandatory.

                              Now if Sunnah is what the prophet DID AND SAID, then he DID grow a beard. Thus, is an action like that MANDATORY, because it would be part of the sunnah as an ACTION done by the Prophet?

                              Mahiwal, if you wish, you can redirect this discussion any time to the original thread on Sunnah vs. Hadith put up by Husnain.
                              I believe in dragons, good men, and other fantasy creatures.

                              Comment

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