Sunnah vs. Hadith

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

‘Sunnah’ means practice and ‘hadith’ means narration, report or incidence. Generally not much distinction is made between these two terms. Both are thought to be solely related to prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his companions. Common perception is that the ‘hadith’ books contain the sayings of prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his companions and the ‘sunnah’ is the actions of the prophet also described in those books.

There are seven recognized hadith books in a major sect of Islam (Sunni sect) which are considered mostly ‘sahih’/authentic grade. These books narrate incidences and events about prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his companions. In another major sect of Islam (Shia sect), there are four popular hadith books. While some of the hadiths are agreed upon or common in both sects, majority of the sectarian hadiths are rejected by the other sect.

In this post we will see what Allah mentions in Al-Quran about His Sunnah/Practice, the sunnah of the prophets and that of the people. We will also review what is the status of man-written hadith books according to Al-Quran.

4:26 يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Allah intends to make clear to you and guide you to the sunnah/practice of the people before you; and to turn to you. And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.

A key practice of the prophets of God, is stated in below ayat:

3:79 مَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَن يُؤْتِيَهُ اللَّهُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحُكْمَ وَالنُّبُوَّةَ ثُمَّ يَقُولَ لِلنَّاسِ كُونُوا عِبَادًا لِّي مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلَٰكِن كُونُوا رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ

It is not for a man whom is given the Book, and Wisdom, and the Prophethood; should say to people. “Be you my servants rather than Allah’s”. On the contrary (He would say) “Be you the servants of the Lord. For you teach the Book and you have studied it.”

The prophet (pbuh) would never ask the people to consider him as their master and people become his servants, but would ask people to be focused on Allah and study and teach Allah’s Book.

7:2 كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلَا يَكُن فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِّنْهُ لِتُنذِرَ بِهِ وَذِكْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

A Book revealed to you (O’ Messenger), it should not cause any tightening in your chest,- that you warn (the people) with it, and it is remembrance for the believers.

The sunnah of the messenger (pbuh) is to remind and warn people with the Book of Allah. Any account of the messenger in which he tells some thing about Allah without a reference to the Book of Allah, therefore cannot be true.

27:92 وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ ۖ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

And that I recite the Quran, and if any one accept guidance, he does it for the good of his own self, and if anyone goes astray, say “I am only a warner”.

The sunnah of the messenger (pbuh) described in Al-Quran is to recite the Quran to people and let those who want to take guidance from it, take guidance. Those who would like to take their guidance from any where else, they are to go astray and messenger clearly warned them.

Obligation vs following practice (Farz & Sunnat):

We have heard that certain items are mandatory (Farz) in Islam (often referred as pillars of Islam). Then there are others which may not be mandatory (Farz) but are practice of the messenger (Sunnah of the prophet) and therefore are near mandatory. Other than these two, there are ‘Nafal’ (additional) for getting extra benefit.

However, in Al-Quran only one thing is mentioned with the word ‘Farz’ (mandatory) which is Al-Quran itself. Meaning all instructions and orders in Al-Quran are Farz (mandatory). The prophet follows all orders of Al-Quran and following these orders become sunnah/practice of the messenger (pbuh). However, not all things touted as sunnah in the society are actual ‘sunnah’ of the prophet. The source of sunnah and where it is established is actually stated in Quran as discussed further in this post.

28:85  إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَىٰ مَعَادٍ ۚ قُل رَّبِّي أَعْلَمُ مَن جَاءَ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَمَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

Surely He, Who has ordained as mandatory the Qur’an for you, will definitely restore you to a place of return(To a place you are accustomed to). Say. “My Lord knows best who it is that brings true guidance, and who is in manifest error.”

Quran is mandatory on the messenger with all his do’s and don’ts and therefore in his sunnah to all believers.

As for the ‘Nafal’ (additional), the striving and making efforts in Al-Quran during the night is stated to be the additional effort, worth doing as per below ayat:

17:79 وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا

And in some hours of the night, strive with it (Quran), This is additional for you, so it may be that your Lord will raise you to a standing position of praise.

Perception: All practices of Islam e.g Salat, Hajj, Umra, funeral prayers, Traweeh prayers, Aitekaaf etc we got from prophet Mohammad (pbuh). If we don’t take guidance from the hadith books which describe how prophet Mohammad performed rites of Islam, we will be left with nothing in Islam.

The practice of Salat, Hajj, Umra, Aitekaf etc. had been established in the Holy Mosque (Masjid ul Haram) for all times i.e even before prophet Mohammad’s time. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) and Ismail (a.s) were tasked to cleanse the sacred House of Kaaba to establish these sunnah/practices (2:125). The cleansing required of the House of Allah is that people had been fed notions that at some point in time, this House was littered with Idols, therefore was not the guidance for mankind during those times. These notions needed to be cleansed and the fact stated in Quran to be reiterated, that the House of Allah had been the guidance for man-kind in all times. After these false notions are cleansed in people’s mind, they are able to receive guidance from the House of the Lord. The ayat of Quran is true for all times, past and present, and there could never be idols in the House of Allah.

The hadiths books in existence today are not the source of sunnah established in the House of the Lord , as prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was not the originator of these practices. When Allah orders mankind to take guidance from the House of Allah (3:96) it is evident that the sunnah/practices of Salat, Hajj, Umra, Tawaf, funeral prayers, Traveeh prayers, Aitekaf i.e activities going on in the Sacred mosque are all preserved for guidance of mankind by divine means. People in all times can refer to the sunnah established in the Holy mosque without being concerned about who is in-charge of the mosque, as Allah confirms that the people in-charge of this Mosque are ‘mutaqqin’ i.e those who take guard (8:64). All prophets and messengers in all times have performed these practices according to the divine system established there. The source of the procedural books and booklets on Salat, Hajj and Umra is the system already preserved at the Holy mosque. The evidence of this sunnah/practice established in the Holy mosque is given in ayahs of Quran, where Allah orders the prophet to follow the religion of Ibrahim (16:123), the prophet confirms that he does not bring any new doctrine in the religion (46:9), Allah informs the prophet (pbuh) that nothing is said to him that has not been said to messengers before him (41:43) and asks the prophet (pbuh) to follow the guidance of prophets passed before him (6:90). From where the prophet and all mankind is instructed to take this established guidance, is in ayat 3:91 which states that the first House of the Lord is the guidance for mankind.

41:43 مَا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

“Nothing is said to You (O’ Messenger) that was not said to the messengers before you: verily your Lord has at His command (all) forgiveness as well as the most grievous penalty.”

The ayat very clearly states that the messenger (pbuh) does not get any doctrine and order which the messengers before him did not get. Nothing new or additional was said to him. The messenger states that he does not bring any new doctrine or practice different from previous messengers before him. 

46:9 قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

“Say (O’ Messenger) “I am no bringer of new doctrine among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a warner open and clear.”

Allah inspired the messenger (pbuh) to follow the religion of Ibrahim (a.s) in ayat 123 of Sura 16:

16:123 ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Then We inspired thee (O’Mohammad), Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the true in faith, and he was not from the polytheists.”

The context of below ayat 6:90, is that, Allah mentioned earlier prophets by their names, and then asked messenger Mohammad (pbuh) to follow the guidance they had received.

6:90 أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۖ فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ ۗ قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا ۖ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَالَمِينَ

Those were the people who received Allah’s guidance: Thus follow them in their guidance; Say: “No reward for this do I ask of you: This is no less than a message/reminder for all worlds.

An important point to note is that Allah’s order is to follow guidance of the previous prophets which they had received from Allah, and not imitating their physical forms i.e how they dressed, their hairstyle or their dressing preferences.

3:96 إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

The first House appointed for mankind is that at Bakka/Makkah: Full of blessings and of guidance for all worlds.

Again to summarize, the sunnat/practice which is established in the House of the Lord and the sacred Mosque, is not dependent upon the hadith books in existence today. Hadith books are not source of this sunnah established in Masjid-ul-Haram. The procedure booklets describe the procedure of Salat and Hajj from the sunnah already established and not from hadith books.

Muslims have utmost respect for the messenger Mohammad (pbuh) and the term ‘hadith’ is a sensitive matter for them although majority of Muslims have little knowledge of the science of ‘hadith’. The knowledge of hadith for most of them is mostly some popularly circulating selected ‘ahadith’.

The hadiths were not written in the messenger (pbuh) era, but a couple of hundred years after his death. . The scholars of hadith are aware that even the authentic ahadith don’t capture the actual words of Mohammad (pbuh) but the essence of what he said in the words of the narrators of the hadith. General public, more or less take it for granted that prophet has actually said the words or acted as mentioned in the ‘hadith’ books. On the basis of ‘hadith’ books many religious injunctions are passed by the scholars as well.

There are also people who don’t believe in the existing ‘ahadith’ books as a reliable source of information which can be the basis of religious injunctions. Majority of these people are not refuting or disregarding the prophet Mohammad (pbuh), but the hadith books which were compiled by people couple of hundred years after prophet’s death. To them the account of prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in these books may or may not be accurately captured by people who collected this information relying on oral transmission for a period of time approx. 200 years. Especially so when the account of the messenger in these hadith books is against the personality of messenger (pbuh) described in Al-Quran. A major question for them is , can we trust the authenticity of these reports, as they were originally oral traditions and after about 200 years of prophet death, were collected by some individuals who made up their own criterion of selecting about 3% and rejecting 97% of ‘ahadith’ in circulation at that time. For the compiler of hadith books, the major criteria for authenticating hadith is from the chain of narration. The chain of narration is considered certification of hadith. Later on, an additional knowledge-base of people (ilm ul rijjal) was created with the help of which an individual person the narrator of hadith, was determined to be either truthful or otherwise. From the knowledge of the science of communication in modern times, we know that distortions in communication are bound to happen when passed on from person to person even within the same room and within a span of short period of time. Also, in today’s time, if we attempt to determine a person to be truthful or otherwise, its difficult to do so, even with the help of expensive lie detecting machines.

For majority of Muslims, the belief in the man-written ahadith books however is made an obligatory part of belief as if the authors of these books were immune from making errors and whatever is in these books is accurate. The frequently quoted perceptions in advocacy of hadith books and response to them, are given below:

  1. Quran states in 16:44 that Allah sent the messenger (pbuh) to explain the Quran to people. So, if we don’t have account of the messenger (pbuh) in Hadith books, then how can we know what the messenger explained from Quran.

All messengers and prophets explained from Al-Kitab/the Book (2:213) and asked people to revert to Book of Allah and stop mixing orders of Allah with other things. If the intention was that the prophet (pbuh) was to explain the Quran with some additional information, then as the world was to continue without any live prophet later on, God would have commanded to record his words and prophet would have made efforts to do that too. It would not have been left on the discretion of later people who have not themselves reached the prophet to do so. If that is not so, then it means that prophet did not explain outside of Quran and there was no need for him to order recording of his lectures/actions/deeds. Instead Quran states that prophet does not write anything, making sure that no prophet of Allah should leave any of his writings behind (29:48). The Book of Allah is meant to be the only written Word for divine guidance of mankind in their religious injunctions.

Also, it is clearly understood by the scholars of ‘hadith’ that the hadith in existence don’t represent the actual words of the prophet (pbuh) but the intention. However, actual words are so important in divine matters that Allah has kept the institute of ‘Salat’ to preserve the actual words of Al-Quran.

The below ayat states that Allah has sent a detailed book to people, then why there should be a need to ask for further judgements on it.

6:114 أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

Say. “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah? – and He is Who has sent unto you (people) the Book, explained in detail.” The people whom we gave the Book, know fully well, that it has been sent down from your Lord in truth. Thus you, never be of those who doubt.

If Al-Quran was not sufficient for people then Allah would not ask this question specifically, ‘Is the Book, not sufficient for them?’, so that they seek other means.

29:51 أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to you the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is mercy and a reminder to those who believe.

2: Messenger’s function is to provide explanation of Quran (16:44), he is not merely a postman. Hadiths record the explanation provided by prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Without hadith we cannot have the explanation provided by the prophet.

16:44 بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ ۗ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

(We sent them) with Bayyinat/Clear Signs and Zubur/Pieces; and We have sent down unto you the Zikr/remembrance that you explain clearly to people what is sent for them, and that they may reflect on it.

16:64 وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۙ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And We sent down the Book to you for the express purpose, that you should make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe.

In the above ayahs, Allah informs that the purpose of the messenger (pbuh) is to provide explanation of the Quran to people. If the assumption is that the explanation, the prophet (pbuh) provided of the Quran is something outside the Quran saved in Hadith books, then please note anything which is man written is bound to have a lot of contradiction in it. Allah provides the explanation of the Quran within Quran. Below ayahs explains how the messenger provides explanation of Quran:

10:37 وَمَا كَانَ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنُ أَن يُفْتَرَىٰ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلَٰكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ مِن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

And this Al-Quran / The Reading is not that can be produced from other than Allah, but it is a confirmation of what is between his hands and the explanation of Al-kitab/The Book, there is no doubt in it from the Lord of the worlds.

17:41 وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لِيَذَّكَّرُوا وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلَّا نُفُورًا

We have explained things thoroughly in this Qur’an, so that they may receive admonition, but it only increases their hate/flight.

Al-Kitab is the perfect book. The other books in the world cannot be perfect. Is it logical to assume that the imperfect books can explain the perfect Book while the imperfect books are bound to contain lot of discrepancies? The best of explanation (tafseer) is contained within Allah’s Book.

25:33 وَلَا يَأْتُونَكَ بِمَثَلٍ إِلَّا جِئْنَاكَ بِالْحَقِّ وَأَحْسَنَ تَفْسِيرًا

And no example do so they bring to you but We bring to you the truth and the best tafseer / explanation.

The below ayat states that anything not from Allah and man written, is bound to contain a lot of contradiction.

4:82 أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا

Do they not consider/ponder The Quran (The Reading) if it had been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradiction.

The following ayat informs how the messenger explains a topic from Quran. The believers who are asked by Allah to ponder over ayahs of Quran are expected to use the same procedure to get explanations from Quran and not to seek explanation from man made books frozen in time.

16:101 وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَا آيَةً مَّكَانَ آيَةٍ ۙ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُفْتَرٍ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

When We substitute the place of one ayat with another ayat and Allah knows best what He reveals ,- they say, “You are but a forger”, but most of them do not understand.

The above ayat informs about the prophet’s method of providing explanation from the Quran for clarification of a certain topic. The topic was explained from ayahs from various chapters (sura), not necessary in their original order in the Book. For example ayahs related to a topic are scattered in various chapters of Quran, which needs to be collected and reviewed in order to get understanding of the topic. So when by this method the topic is clarified and if it were not according to the wishes of the people, they would say that the messenger (pbuh) made this up.

3: Lets say that the prophet explained something from Quran which was not known to masses before. If we don’t keep a record of that explanation, then obviously this explanation will not reach the people who come in times when prophet is no more in the world.

There a lot of things which are discovered in Quran which were not known before nor the prophet informed the people. The scientific knowledge about the Universe and human body was discovered when the World was ready to receive the information. Quran instructs not to be hasty with Quran and not to mix other things with it and to ponder on its ayahs. Then Allah clarifies His ayahs provided they are not mixed with non Quranic instructions. We cannot consider man written hadiths books and explanations/tafseer as divinely inspired, as Hadith and Tafseer literature of yore is filled with bizarre explanation of the Universal phenomenon, such as the orbit of sun and earth being held over cow’s head etc. Allah’s prophets’ major emphasis is always not mixing anything with Allah’s orders and His Word. The responsibility of providing guidance is on Allah, provided we sincerely don’t mix man made literature and explanations with Allah’s Word even when it is assumed to be prophet’s sayings. Same is the case with Bible. It is man written but its followers assume its contents are inspired by God, although lot of unscientific, lascivious and contradictory information can be found within Bible as a manifest sign that this book cannot be inspired by God.

4. The messenger should have said other things than Quran. Where are these sayings recorded?

The messenger would recite ayahs from Al-kitab to make clear to them in what they are differentiating. Even then people would say bring a reading other than this (Al-Quran). However, there is nothing else to be brought other than this Quran which is inspired on the messenger. (Cannot bring any other reading or book). Sura Al-Haqa says, if the messenger would have said things about Allah, Allah would have cut off his jugular vein.

69:40-48 إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تُؤْمِنُونَ وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ

(69:40-46) That this is verily the saying of an honourable Messenger; it is not the saying of a poet: Little is you believe! Nor is it the saying of a soothsayer: little is it that you take heed! It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. And if he (the messenger), had said sayings concerning Us, We assuredly had taken him by the right hand and then severed his jugular vein.

What the messenger says in the capacity of messenger of Allah is Al-Quran i.e the official message from Allah to the believers. There is a personal life of the messenger as well, in which he says things and conducts life as a human. Interference in his personal life and seeking hadiths of this personal life causes pain and misery to the messenger as stated in below ayat 33:53. So it is evident that his true followers would never do it i.e seek information about his life and his home and record these as hadiths.

33:53 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتَ النَّبِيِّ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامٍ غَيْرَ نَاظِرِينَ إِنَاهُ وَلَٰكِنْ إِذَا دُعِيتُمْ فَادْخُلُوا فَإِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَانتَشِرُوا وَلَا مُسْتَأْنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ يُؤْذِي النَّبِيَّ فَيَسْتَحْيِي مِنكُمْ ۖ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۚ وَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُنَّ مَتَاعًا فَاسْأَلُوهُنَّ مِن وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَطْهَرُ لِقُلُوبِكُمْ وَقُلُوبِهِنَّ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَن تَنكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ عَظِيمًا

O you who believe! Do not enter the prophet’s houses,- until permission is granted to you,- for a meal, (and then) not to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter; and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without showing fondness for hadith/ narrations/vain talks. Such (behaviour) persecutes the Prophet. He is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth. And when you ask (his ladies) for anything of value (Prophet’s hadith), ask them from behind a screen. That makes for greater purity for your hearts and for theirs. Nor is it right for you that you should persecute Allah’s messenger, or that you should marry his spouses after him at any time. Truly such a thing is in Allah’s sight an enormity (sin).

In the past similar pain has been caused to prophet Moosa (a.s) with the collection of sayings and actions in stories from Jewish and Christian sources which are referred to Israelites/’Isra’iliyyat ‘.

33:69 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ آذَوْا مُوسَىٰ فَبَرَّأَهُ اللَّهُ مِمَّا قَالُوا ۚ وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهًا

O you who believe! Do not become like those who persecuted Moosa, but Allah cleared him (Moosa) of their sayings,  and he was honorable in Allah’s sight.

Those people who get inspired and fascinated with the supposed golden words are even termed as enemy of the prophet.

6:112 وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ

And likewise ,We have made for every Prophet the shayateen/satans of mankind and the shayateen/satans of jinkind an enemy, some of them inspire golden words (as sayings of prophets) on some, for the purpose of delusion, and if your Lord had willed they would have not done it, so leave them and what they have invented.

5. If you don’t have ahadith then how would you pray/Salat and perform Hajj as these procedures are not in Al-Quran:

A very frequent question. There is a difference between Sunnah and Hadith. Sunnah means practice. The practice of ‘Salat’ and ‘Hajj’ have been established in the Masjid-ul-Haram by Allah for all times. All prophets before messenger Mohammad (pbuh) have established Salat and Hajj by the established sunnah at the House of Allah. This sunnat does not originate from the hadith books. The books about procedure of Salat and Hajj are written from the procedures already established at Kaaba and not from the Hadith books.

The people who ask this question assume that the procedure of salat is in hadith books. Little they know that it is not and from hadith books you would have conflicting ways to pray. Still different sects and schools of thought have variations in prayer method, although all are supposed to come from the prophet (pbuh). To circumvent this problem the sectarians say that prophet prayed with all these different methods. Then the question arises, if the prophet used to pray salat with these different methods then his sunnat practice is to pray with all different methods. Then why do people stick to the way their particular sectarian Imam has instructed them to do so. This is a manifest sign that these people pay lip service to following the prophet (pbuh) while in effect they are just following the teachings of the particular sect in which they were born. While in previous post on this site, it is explained how Quran gives the procedure of salat and all prophets before prophet (pbuh) were praying salat with this method. Quran informs in the most succinct way to take guidance from the House of Lord and take the ‘Mussala’ i.e the system of salat from there.

3:96 إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

The first House appointed for mankind is that at Bakka/Makkah: Full of blessings and of guidance for all worlds.

2:125 وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

And when We made the house a place of reward and safety for people, and you take from the standing position of Ibraheem, the ‘Mussalah’ / prayer performed. And We covenanted with Ibrahim and Ismaeel that both of you purify My house for those who go around and those who intent upon (do Aetikaf) and those who bow and prostate.

The sunnat of salat/hajj was established before prophet (pbuh). This sunnat is established by God and mankind is to take this guidance from the first house established by God.

6. So if everything is to be deduced from Quran then why prophets and messengers were sent to people? Wasn’t the book enough for the mankind to take guidance?

The mission of the messenger of Allah is to release humanity from the heavy burdens and the shackles that are upon them (7:157). He demonstrated this by implementing the divine values decreed in the Book of Allah. But the mis-guided ones, hatched up concepts and doctrines and injected them among the people which resulted in completely changing the ‘Message’ brought by the messenger and instead replaced it with man-made ritualistic and myopic religion.

The prophets were sent repeatedly to mankind to revert them again and again towards the Book of God, as people had a tendency to add and mix things to the book of Allah per their desires. Every messenger who addresses the nation of submitters via Quran, his first message is ‘don’t add any associater with Allah’. Yet people do not to take the pure form of Allah’s order, they always mixed something with it. That is why Allah says in 12:96, majority of those people who believe in Allah, don’t do so without associating others with it. With these additional teaching other than the Book of Allah, people are divided into different groups and sects. Allah asks all the people who adhere to the Book of Allah, to come to the common Kalima/Word of Allah. The common Kalima in all the sects is the Quran.

3:64 قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَىٰ كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلَّا نَعْبُدَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَلَا نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ

Say O people of the Book, come to a Kalima/Word that is equal between us and you, that we serve none except Allah, that we associate nothing with him and that we do not take from among ourselves Lords other than Allah. If then they turn back say you bear witness that we are muslims / submitters.

If the people have one common Word of Allah with them, there will be no sects in Islam. Its is however the other teachings and other books with the Book of Allah, which divides people into different sects. Satan has made their bad acts alluring to them so these sectarian teachings looks very alluring to the people who keep adhering to their sects.

30: 32 مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا ۖ كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ

Those who split up their Din/Judgment, and become Groups/Sects,- each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!

However, those who do so and adhere to their sectarian teachings, they don’t have any association with the messenger (pbuh)

6:159 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

Surely those who differred in their Din/Judgment and become sects/groups, you (messenger) doesn’t have anything to do with them, surely their affair is towards Allah, then He will tell them with what they used to do.

The sunnat/practice of the messenger (pbuh) is as given below:

27:92 وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ ۖ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

And that I  recite the Quran, and if any one accept guidance, he does it for the good of his own self, and if anyone goes astray, say “I am only a warner”.

Also it is the practice of the messengers to make manifest those parts of the Al-Kitab which normally religious leaders hide from the masses.

5:15 يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ ۚ قَدْ جَاءَكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

O people of The Book! There has come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in The Book, and passing over much: There has come to you from Allah a light and a perspicuous Book.

Allah asks the question, isn’t the Book enough for them:

29:51 أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And is it not enough for them that we have sent down to you the Book which is rehearsed to them? Verily, in it is mercy and a reminder to those who believe.

7: Hadiths explain the Quran. Hadith books describe the way that Prophet (pbuh) has explained Quran and conducted his life as per instructions in Quran. People can follow him from the account given in hadith books.

The above perception would have been correct if really the explanation recorded in Hadith Books would be actually what the prophet (pbuh) has explained. However, sadly the hadith collectors had not reached the prophet themselves and they recorded the sayings and actions of prophet and his companions from human commentary approx. couple of hundreds years after him. The collectors of these hadith have made some criteria for filtering authentic hadith from fabricated ones as well. In fact Quran warns of exactly these two things i.e listening from people who have not reached the messenger and making criteria for filtering them in below ayat. Actually these people who do so, become ‘jews’ in the eyes of the Lord because the explanation they provide is deviant from the actual Spirit of the Word of Allah:

5:41 يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ لَا يَحْزُنكَ الَّذِينَ يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْكُفْرِ مِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قُلُوبُهُمْ ۛ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُوا ۛ سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ سَمَّاعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ آخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ ۖ يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ مِن بَعْدِ مَوَاضِعِهِ ۖ يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَٰذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَاحْذَرُوا ۚ وَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يُطَهِّرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ ۚ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

O Mesenger! let not those grieve you, who race into unbelief. among those people who say “We believe” with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; and among the Jews,- people who are listeners to lies,- they listen from other party who has never reached you. They change the words from their places. they say, “If you are given this, take it, but if not, avoid!” If Allah intends to indulge any in fitna/temptation, you have no authority in the least for him against Allah. For such – it is not Allah’s will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment.

Why Allah does not like these people who do the above mentioned acts, because it changes the intent of the message to some thing else and reduces its intended impact on people. Quranic orders are for all times but when a certain hadith explains an ayat in Quran in a certain context than the actual intention of the ayat is reduced to a very limited scope. People consider that ayat for a certain people in older times and do not feel much obligation to act on it as it was related to some people in the past.

8. We need to depend upon Hadith literature to get the correct explanation of Al-Quran

Quran is ‘Furqan’/the criteria for truth and false hood. With this criteria every other idea/philosophy/book will be examined whether to be true or false. If the criteria itself depends upon some other explanation then it can not be a criteria for the thing it depends upon. So if Furqan depends upon hadith literature for its explanation then logically it cannot be Furqan/criteria for the hadith literature. Therefore it is false to assume that Quran depends upon hadith for its explanation, as a ‘Furqan’ it simply cannot.

A counter question arises, does the collection of Ahadith has explanation of each ayat of Quran?

It does not, because in their opinion each ayat does not need explanation from prophet.

9. We don’t find explicit details of doing things in Quran i.e going to washroom, Istanja, duas and small details. Hadith provide these details.

Al-Quran mentions an incident of the cow in sura Baqara (2:67-71). In this incident prophet Moosa (a.s) communicated an order of Allah to his people, to slaughter a cow. Apparently this should be a simple thing to do, as obviously it was not the first time they were slaughtering a cow. But instead they adopted an attitude of over inquisitiveness. They started asking a lot of questions about the cow, and even stated their frustration at some point that things are getting confusing for them and they need more and more details about the order, as according to them, Allah’s order was missing in details. In the end, when they finally did what they were asked to do, they ended up doing it in such a way which was very cumbersome for them.

Can we relate this incident in our lives as well. There are a number of things we do in our lives which are fairly normal e.g taking a bath, dining, sleeping and relieving our selves. Do we really need to ask a lot of questions about how to carry out these activities from religious point of view. The religious ‘masail’ books contain a lot of detailed instructions for simple activities. Seems like people who wrote these were watching the prophet (pbuh) even in his most private time to obtain these detailed instructions, while ayat 33:53 gives a clear message to companions not to indulge unnecessary in prophet’s private life. When we relate the incident mentioned in the hadith of Cow in Quran, we can understand that the religion does not put too much obligations on people in terms of everyday ordinary matters. It is when the people become over inquisitive and over zealous, they impose un-necessary hardships on themselves.

The messenger while communicating the spirit of the Book to people relieves them from these self imposed hardships (7:157) by governing them with the ayahs of Quran while cancelling the non Quranic orders and ideas.

For those who ask for futile details:

5:101 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ وَإِن تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا حِينَ يُنَزَّلُ الْقُرْآنُ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

O ye who believe! Don’t ask questions about things which, if made clear to you, may cause you trouble. But if you ask about things when the Qur’an is being revealed, they will be made clear to you, Allah will forgive those. for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.

5:102 قَدْ سَأَلَهَا قَوْمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَصْبَحُوا بِهَا كَافِرِينَ

Nation before you did ask them, and then they were rejecters with them.

10. The Qur’an specifically says in a number of verses to ‘follow the prophet’ e.g 3:32 and 4:80 and as Hadith have the account of prophet and his actions in life, therefore rejection of the Hadiths will make it impossible to follow the prophet as instructed in Quran:

3:32 وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

And obey Allah and the Messenger; that you may obtain mercy.

4:80 مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ ۖ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

He who obeys the messenger, obeys Allah. But if any turn away, then We have not sent you as a watcher over them.

4:69 وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا

And whoever obeys Allah and the messenger, thus will be in the company of those on whom is the naimat/reward of Allah,- of the prophets, the truthfuls, the witnessers/testifiers, and the righteous (who do good). Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!

The above ayahs advise to follow the messenger (pbuh) and state that those who follow Allah and the messenger are with those who have been blessed by Allah. People assume that Quran has orders of Allah and the Bukhari Sharif (representative of Hadith books) has orders of the messenger. So following the prophet as depicted in Bukhari Sharif means following the messenger of Allah.

4:150 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُوا بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا

Those who reject Allah and His messengers, and wish to differentiate between Allah and His messengers and say ‘We believe in some but reject some’, and they wish to take a course midway between that.

So what is actually happening and the ayat 4:150 exactly points out to it, people are made to believe that Quran is Allah’s word and ‘hadith’ is messenger’s sayings and practice, which makes them different books. This is how people differentiate between Allah and his messengers. They also reject sectarian hadiths, one sect of people would not accept the hadith of other sects. Also for hadith collection there are criterion made, on the basis of which hadith are accepted and rejected and the criteria varies between different sects.

When Quran says follow the prophet it means follow the prophet of Allah in Al-Quran, not the prophet’s personality described in man written and compiled book. This topic is detailed in below link to a post:

33:21 لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

Without doubt for you, in the Rasool/Messenger of Allah is most beautiful pattern, who has hope in Allah and the last day and frequently remembers Allah.

People read the above ayat in Quran and then try to find the best practice of the messenger in man written books. The best practice of the messenger should be sought in Quran. The best practice of the messengers is stated in Al-Quran in ayat 60:4, is not to idolize anyone and get rid of idols in one’s psychology. If your parents insists that you include others beside Allah for divine guidance, then don’t obey them in this order but deal with them nicely and ask forgiveness for them.

60:4 قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۖ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

Indeed there is for you, the most beautiful practice (Uswatun Hasana) in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: surely , We are clear of you and of whatever you serve besides Allah: We have rejected you, and there has begun, between us and you, enmity and rancor forever, unless you believe in Allah and Him alone, except saying of Ibrahimm for his father, Certainly I will ask forgiveness for you and I have no authority from Allah in anything for you, Our Lord! On you is our trust, and towards you we depute/represent, and towards you is our determination.

11: The believers are those who have been following the same mainstream Islam for 1500 years. Some one who forms a different belief, is deemed to be following a different path and Quran ayat 4:115 says that those will be doomed to fire.

4:115 وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا

If anyone opposes the messenger after guidance has been clarified for him, and follows a path other than that of believers, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,- what an evil refuge!

Do the mainstream sectarian Muslims assume that they are the believers while those who adhere to sects and sectarian teachings are categorically described to have nothing to do with the messenger. When we testify (give ‘shahada’) of the messenger (pbuh), ‘I bear witness that Mohammad (pbuh) is a messenger of Allah’, are we witnessing the messenger of Allah as Allah described him in Al-Quran or are we giving witness of a historical figure of Mohammad (pbuh) from sources other than Al-Quran? Please note that there are no sources as reliable as Al-Quran and ayat 23:69 warns about people not recognizing their messenger? If we are holding on to a personality of the messenger which is different from what is described in Al-Quran, then we are not witnessing for the messenger of Allah but a different personality of messenger which is a historical figure. In order to believe in the correct personality of Mohammad (pbuh), we need to believe that personality of messenger which is depicted in Al-Quran. Some people are so much into the alternate personality of the messenger of history, that when ayahs of Quran are presented to them about true personality of messenger (pbuh), they just refuse to believe in those ayahs.

The messenger of Quran does not like people to be infatuated with the hadiths about his household. Those people who read this ayat and still like to peak and indulge in hadiths about the private life, household and wives of the prophet (phuh), are definitely causing him anguish and are opposing the messenger.

33:53 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَدْخُلُوا بُيُوتَ النَّبِيِّ إِلَّا أَن يُؤْذَنَ لَكُمْ إِلَىٰ طَعَامٍ غَيْرَ نَاظِرِينَ إِنَاهُ وَلَٰكِنْ إِذَا دُعِيتُمْ فَادْخُلُوا فَإِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَانتَشِرُوا وَلَا مُسْتَأْنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكُمْ كَانَ يُؤْذِي النَّبِيَّ فَيَسْتَحْيِي مِنكُمْ ۖ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۚ

O you who believe! Do not enter the prophet’s houses,- until permission is granted to you,- for a meal, (and then) not to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter; and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without showing fondness for hadith/ narrations/vain talks. Such (behaviour) persecutes the Prophet. He is ashamed to dismiss you, but Allah is not ashamed (to tell you) the truth.

12. Muslim Ummah will loose the explanations provided by prophet (pbuh) if it were not for the hadith books?

Was prophet supposed to arrange and write down his explanation of Quran? If it was not supposed to be ,then this is the way it should be because Allah says that Quran is explained by Him and people should ponder over it. There are hadiths which state that prophet refrained people from writing down his sayings. So there is obvious wisdom in it that hadiths should not be written down. If this was the case that hadiths should be available to explain Quran, then prophet should have laid extreme emphasis is getting his sayings written down and ensuring it is canonized and Allah would be protecting the hadith as well. It is definitely not that the prophet (pbuh) and his companions were myopic and could not see that if explanation is not written down by them and canonized for later generations, the later generations will loose them. It would not be left for some people to verify and compile hadiths after couple of hundred years from hundreds of thousands of forged hadiths.

Quran is clear in that Allah is protecting his Kalima/Word only and not man written account of the prophet for the guidance of mankind.

In traditional Islam, many ayahs which really need explanation, they are without explanation from hadith, e.g ‘kalalah’, huruf muqatiat, etc. And adadith exists which counter the text of Quran, e.g Quran says that the Universe was created in six periods of time, while hadith says Allah created universe in seven days, an obvious contradiction in Bukhari.

45:6 تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَ اللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Those are the ayahs of Allah, which We rehearse to you in Truth; then in what Hadith/narration they will believe after Allah and His ayahs?

55:1-2 الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ

(Allah) Most Gracious! has taught AL-QURAN.

It is Ar-Rehman who gives knowledge of the Quran. Provided you approach the Quran with a purified heart. With the contamination of psychological idols in one’s heart, there will be no knowledge and Sprit of Al-Quran transmitted to any one. The responsibility of providing guidance is on Allah to one who seriously shuns the idols in his psychology. The first statement of Kalima- tauheed is that ‘there is no idols but Allah’. So, one should carefully search his soul not to idolize any human, in order to start receiving guidance from Allah and Al-Quran.

92:12 إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا لَلْهُدَىٰ

Surely, on Us is the guidance

13: If they say that Hadith is corrupted then how can they verify that the Quran is not corrupted while both are passed down to us from same previous generations.

Answer: Because of the challenge in Quran that its’ content cannot be changed and there is no evidence of any sura added spuriously in it. While we know that weak and false hadith had been added to the collection of ahadiths.

And we know Allah has guaranteed to protect his ‘Kalima’ only and not man-written account of the prophet for the guidance of mankind.

Below is the copy of some points from a blog post whose link is given below, which states that if Quran would have been passed on to Muslims with the same methodology as of hadiths, what would you may have expected with Quran:

https://islamquran.quora.com/A-detailed-explainer-Why-Quran-and-not-Hadith

“IF THE QURAN HAD BEEN TRANSMITTED AND COMPILED IN THE SAME MANNER AS THE AHADITH

1. There would be an alleged ‘sanad’ (support) or an ‘isnad’ (supporting) with every Quranic verse.

2. The Quranic verses would have been arguably collected by fallible compilers representing a completely different sectarian, socio-political milieu, centuries after the death of the prophet.

3. The compilers would have allegedly travelled many miles to other individuals who had never met the prophet but claimed they possessed isolated Quranic verses based on hearsay, allegedly passed on to them through numerous generations through primarily oral tradition.

4. The majority, if not all the Quranic verses would be based on what one companion had heard and not corroborated by any other.

5. Different students of the later compilers would have captured different variants of the Quranic verses and argued over its veracity.

6. The Quranic verses would have been canonized much later into a recognized corpus arguably after the death of the initial fallible compilers.

7. There would arguably been a classification of Quranic verses such as ‘Sahih’ (sound) verses, ‘Hasan’ (good) verses, ‘Da’if’ (weak) verses and ‘Maudu’ (fabricated / forged) verses.

8. There would have arguably been disagreements of the links of isnad of the Quranic verses and terms such as ‘Musnad’ (supported), ‘Muttasil’ (continuous), ‘Munqati’ (broken), ‘Mu’allaq’ (hanging), ‘Mu’dal’ (perplexing) and ‘mursal’ (hurried) would have been applied to them.

9. There would have been vociferous exchanges and disagreements regarding the reliability and trustworthiness of the reporters of the Quranic verses.

10. There would arguably be ‘sectarian’ Quranic Books with different compilations and verses.

11. There would have been raging debates of the authenticity of the Quranic verses and the corpus throughout Muslim history.

Thank God the Quran was NEITHER transmitted NOR compiled in the same manner as Ahadith”

14. If we don’t have hadith, every body would develop his own explanation of Quran. We see that that people who adhere to Quran alone have many different explanations and beliefs so which explanation can one follow?

7:52 وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And we have come to them with a Book, which We explained in detail with knowledge,- a guidance and a mercy to the believing nation.

Allah has made good explanation which exists within the book and has given intelligence to mankind.

There are hadiths with absurd explanations of universe etc, which should open people eyes about blind hadith followers. Why would Allah ask believers to ponder in Quran if things are explained in Hadith books and people are not allowed to use their intelligence.

4:82 أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ۚ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا

Do they not ponder The Quran/The Reading, if it had been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy/contradictions.

Allah does not ask believers to divide into groups whether be Quran-alone or sectarians. He demands not mixing any thing with Him and his orders. He does not allow idolizing any personality. He has provided a Book for guidance and invokes his Spirit/messenger in psychology/nafoos of people. A key to recognize the true explanation of ayahs of Quran is that, the explanations of any ayat should not be in contradiction with other ayat of Quran. If it does, then there is a problem in explanation and a more pondering is required in explanation of that ayat.

15. Quran asks to make the messenger a judge even for believers personal matters. How would we know that the messenger judged between matters of believers which came during his time and how we can take guidance from his judgements without consulting hadith books?

Quran says unless they get you as judge between them they cannot attain faith.

4:65 فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

Thus no, by your Lord, they will not believe, until they make you judge in disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance when you have decided the matter, but accept it with the fullest conviction.

People have Taurat with Allah’s orders in it but they turn away from the orders of Allah. What they turn away to, is something other than Allah’s orders.

5:43 وَكَيْفَ يُحَكِّمُونَكَ وَعِندَهُمُ التَّوْرَاةُ فِيهَا حُكْمُ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ مِن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۚ وَمَا أُولَٰئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

And how can they can make you (Mohammad pbuh) a judge? As they have the At-Taurat/the Law with them, in it is hukum / order of Allah. Then after that they turn away and they are not with the believers.

The sunnah of the messenger is not to seek any judge when a detailed book is sent down on them.

6:114 أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا ۚ وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ

Say. “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah? – and He is Who has sent unto you (people) the Book, explained in detail.” The people whom we gave the Book, know fully well, that it has been sent down from your Lord in truth. Thus you, never be of those who doubt.

So, again Allah’s messenger judges with Quran and so the believers who follow his sunnah, should seek the particular injunction in Quran and act in their particular situation according to judgement given in the Quran.

5:45 وَأَنِ احْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَاحْذَرْهُمْ أَن يَفْتِنُوكَ عَن بَعْضِ مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ ۖ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَن يُصِيبَهُم بِبَعْضِ ذُنُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ النَّاسِ لَفَاسِقُونَ

And Judge/order among them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile you from any of that (teaching) which Allah has sent down to you. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their sins it is Allah’s intention to put them into difficulty. And certainly the majority of the people are Fasiqeen/evil doers.

The messenger was a judge among the people, but his judgements and decisions were not by his own self, but he governed by the Book of Allah so people following his practice should do the same.

16. What is the harm in believing in hadith. Some hadiths can actually be true as people can write true account. Not all of it can be false.

The biggest problem that Hadith create is that they compromise the authority of Quran. Some Hadith which are considered Sahih, state that companions read Quran in different ways. E.g 43:61 وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ, which means that ‘indeed he (prophet Essa a.s) is the knowledge of the Hour’. But due to a certain continuous chain of Hadith, the hadithers also accept that some Sahaba recited this ayat like Wa Innahu la alamul Sa’aa, i.e ‘indeed he is a sign of the hour’.

It means that Matuater ahadith has gained the supreme power of compromising Quran. A different Quran is acceptable to them due to a hadith. Another hadith states that Quran was revealed in seven dialects. Can a different dialect mean a different word? Who they are befooling? Can they change the words of Allah on the pretext of different dialects?

And even then, now they except ten recitations of Quran even when the hadith says seven Qirat. How absurd ?

Another damage Hadith does is to divide Muslims into different sects. All sects pay lip service to the word ‘Hadith’ however, they reject other sect’s Hadiths.
The Hadith prophesizing about the Muslim Umma to be divided into 72 sects and only one of these sects will be the guided one, actually gives legitimacy to sectarian Muslims to keep clinging to their sect believing that by a stroke of great luck they are fortunate enough to be born in the right sect. This Hadith gives them the legitimacy to actually cling to their sect while rejecting below ayat of Quran:

6:159 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ

Surely those who differred in their Din/Judgment and become sects/groups, you (messenger) doesn’t have anything to do with them, surely their affair is towards Allah, then He will tell them with what they used to do.

17: Whatever is said by the prophet pbuh is a Wahi from Allah therefore the Hadiths which describe prophets sayings is also inspired from Allah.

53:3-4 وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ

Nor does he say of (his own) desire, It is only the Wahi/inspiration sent to him.

The above ayat refers to Al-Quran which is Wahi and inspiration from Allah on the messenger (pbuh). However, in Quran Allah has admonished the prophet (pbuh) for some of his actions, which clearly states that if everything that prophet says and does, was a Wahi then there would not have been a need for admonishing the prophet.

9:43 عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنكَ لِمَ أَذِنتَ لَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَتَعْلَمَ الْكَاذِبِينَ

Allah forgave thee! Why didst thou grant them until those who told the truth were seen by thee in a clear light, and thou hadst known the liars?

If everything said by the prophet be a revelation from God, then the below ayat would not identify the objection of unbelievers as to why the messenger (pbuh) has not selected the revelation by himself, as the assumption is, whatever he speaks is considered as revelation from Allah. Allah has identified Quran which is the revelation that the messenger brings, and not everything he said as a human being:

7:203 وَإِذَا لَمْ تَأْتِهِم بِآيَةٍ قَالُوا لَوْلَا اجْتَبَيْتَهَا ۚ قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ مِن رَّبِّي ۚ هَٰذَا بَصَائِرُ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

If you don’t come to them with a revelation, they say. “Why don’t you yourself chose it be (a revelation)?” Say. “I but follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. This is (nothing but) enlightened perception from your Lord, and Guidance, and mercy, for those who have faith.”

18. In Surah Al-Hashr, it is stated: “..So take what the messenger assigns to you and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you..” (59:7), Therefore this implies that whatever the Hadiths gives us as teaching we should accept and whatever they prohibits, we should refrain from.

59:7 مَّا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنكُمْ ۚ وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

Whatever Allah has bestowed over His messenger from the people of the cities, it is for Allah and for the messenger and for the relatives and for the orphans and for the needy (who are reduced to poverty) and for the sons of the way, so that the wealth may not circulate only amongst the rich of your people and whatever the Messenger gives you so take it and whatever He forbids you about it, so forbid and take guard from Allah. Surely Allah is strong in punishment.

The context of the ayat is for amount of wealth distributed by messenger among the distributees and not for the teachings he is propagating.

Even if it considered for his teachings, what messenger gave the people, is the Quran. He never gave the people those other books these people get their inspirations from.

50:45 نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ ۖ فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ

We know better what they say; and you are not a compeller over them. So remind (them) with the Qur’an those who fear My Warning!

6:114 أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا

Say. “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah? – and He is Who has sent unto you (people) the Book, explained in detail.”

6:19 قُلْ أَيُّ شَيْءٍ أَكْبَرُ شَهَادَةً ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ شَهِيدٌ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ ۚ وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنُ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ ۚ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ مَعَ اللَّهِ آلِهَةً أُخْرَىٰ ۚ قُل لَّا أَشْهَدُ ۚ قُلْ إِنَّمَا هُوَ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنَّنِي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ

Say what thing is greatest evidence, say Allah is witness between me and you and this Quran is inspired to me to warn all of you with it and whoever propagates. Do you surely bear witness, that with Allah there are other gods, Say I do not bear witness, say surely He is one God and surely I am exempted from what you associate (with Him)

Quran ask messenger to say in above ayat that this Quran is inspired on me so that I warn you with it.

Messenger(pbuh) gave Al-Quran to people and at the same time forbade other books for the purpose of divine guidance.

28:49 قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِكِتَابٍ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ هُوَ أَهْدَىٰ مِنْهُمَا أَتَّبِعْهُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Say ,so come with a book from the nearness of Allah, which is more in guidance than both of them. I would follow it, if you are truthful

34:44 وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُم مِّن كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا ۖ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِن نَّذِيرٍ

And We have not given them books from which they study. And before you We have not sent towards them from the warner

16:64 وَمَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۙ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And We did not sent down the Book to you except that you should make clear to them those things in which they differ, and that it should be a guide and a mercy to those who believe.

Thus it is clear from the above ayahs, that the messenger passed judgement among the people by the Book of Allah and the differences and disputes were resolved by Allah’s Book as well, and not any other book or opinion.

19. Clergy is the expert in religion. Ordinary people should not attempt to understand Quran and religion on their own. Ordinary people if they try to take guidance on their own from Quran, they will go astray because it requires a lot of knowledge of fiqh, tafseer and what not. The Ulama provide the role of guidance for the ordinary people. When you are sick you go to doctor, similarly for understanding religion you should go to clergy who are expert in religious matters.

The above is the perception propagated by the clergy and common people accept it. We need to verify it with Quran. Lets review ayahs in Quran below:

3:7 اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Follow, the revelation given unto you from your Lord, and follow not, as Aulia /(spritual) protectors, other than Him. Little among you pay heed to admonition.

The below ayat informs that the majority of clergy eat people’s money and they restrict them from the path of the Lord. The path to the Lord is via His Book and majority of Ulama sits in that way and hinder from it.

9:34 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

O’ you who believe surely the majority from Ahbar / the scholars and Rohban / the terrorists definitely eat the wealth of the people with falsehood and they oppose about the way of Allah and, those people who hoard gold and silver, and they do not spend it in the way of Allah, then give them the tidings of the grievous punishment.

On the day of Judgement the ordinary people would regret following their Saadat, their chiefs their big political and religious leaders who lead them astray.

33:67 وَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلَا

And they would say. “Our Lord! Verily We obeyed our Syeds/chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us as from the (right) Path.

The Ulama make sharia/Fiqh of in the religion. This sharia is absolutely not authorized by Allah and he terms them as His partners that people have made:

42:21 أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Do they have partners, who have established for them ways in religion (Shariat) without the permission of Allah? Had it not been for the decree of Judgment, the matter would have been decided between them (at once). But verily the wrong-doers will have a grievous Penalty.

Ulamas belong to sects which are not allowed by Allah and they also issue fatwas/rulings and give the impression to general public that by acting upon the fatwa the responsibility of the their action will be on the scholar issuing the fatwa. This is not allowed by Allah as stated in below ayat and termed person doing that as Kafir/Coverer of Allah’s order.

29:12 وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّبِعُوا سَبِيلَنَا وَلْنَحْمِلْ خَطَايَاكُمْ وَمَا هُم بِحَامِلِينَ مِنْ خَطَايَاهُم مِّن شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ

And the people who did Kufr/covered said to the people who believed. “Follow our path, and we will certainly bear the burden of your faults.” and they shall not be bearing the burden of their faults. Certainly they are liars.

The impression that a lot of knowledge is required to understand Quran e.g grammar, fiqh, logic and what not. But in fact Quran states that not even the Arabic language is necessary. It is guidance and cure for the people who believe in it. For those who believe in all other things and mix all sort of things and depend upon scholars to spoon feed it to them, would not be able to get the Spirit of Al-Quran.

41:44 وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا أَعْجَمِيًّا لَّقَالُوا لَوْلَا فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ ۖ أَأَعْجَمِيٌّ وَعَرَبِيٌّ ۗ قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاءٌ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ

And if We have made Quran/Reading, non-Arabic, they would have said. “Why are not its ayahs explained in detail? “What! Non-Arabic or Arabic?” Say. “It is a Guidance and a Healing for those who believe; and for those who believe not, there is a deafness in their ears, and over them is blindness, and They are those who are being called from distant place.

20: There is Ijtihad of the Muslim Ummah on Hadith literature. The Majority of Ummah cannot err on this important matter of Hadith of the prophet.

Please take guidance from Quran. Quran never says that majority of the Muslims would be on the correct path. On the contrary it says that majority of the people who believe will be associating others with Allah.

12:106 وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ

And the majority of them, do not believe in Allah  without associating with Him!

Also, it says that majority will always be unthankful and following the majority will lead you astray.

6:116 وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

If you were to follow majority of people on earth, they will lead you away from the way of Allah. They follow nothing but conjecture. they do nothing but fabricate.

The people who follow the prophets have been less in number in all times except for prophet Yunus as informed by Quran.

Ijtihad of Ummah has no standing against what is decreed in Quran.

25:30 وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا

And the Messenger will say, O my Lord! Surely, my people took this Al-Quran and abandoned it.

And the messenger (pbuh) is surely going to complain to Allah that his nation took the Quran, and left it while paying lip service to believing in it.

Examples of Hadith:

Does Hadith literature really explain the Quran or add to confusions, lets see some examples to see if we are better off without this kind of explanation:

Explanation of Universal phenomenon:

The ayat 36:38 informs about the sun movement around its orbit.

  1. (36:38) And the Sun runs its decreed course. That is the decree of (Allah) the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing.

Bukhari (Ref: 4.421), narrated Abu Dhar:

The Prophet asked me at sunset, “Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?” I replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.”

He said, “It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates itself underneath the Throne, and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course, but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west. And that is the interpretation of the statement of Allah.”

Character assassination of the prophet:

2. Bukhari (Ref: 9.130) Narrated Anas bin Malik:                   

Allah’s Messenger used to visit Um Haram bint Milhan and she was the wife of Ubada bin As-Samit. One day the Prophet visited her and she provided him with food and started looking for lice in his head. Then Allah’s Messenger slept and afterwards woke up smiling[…]

To approach women during their menses, for sexual purposes, is forbidden in the Qur’an. It is impossible to imagine that the Prophet was unaware of this injunction in the Qur’an and yet Mr. Bukhari, it appears, has been able to unearth the most intimate private affairs of the Prophet.  He claims the authority of Hazrat Aisha in order to make it look authentic.

Bukhari (Ref: 1.298); narrated Aisha:

4. The Prophet and I used to take a bath from a single pot while we were junub [the unclean state after sexual intercourse]. During the menses, he used to order me to put on an izar (dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me. While in itikaf (see note below) he used to bring his head near me and I would wash it while I used to be in periods (menses).

Note: Aitikaf is seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allah and Quran has a prohibition for intercourse with women during Aitikaf.

Bukhari (Ref: 1.299) Narrated Abdur Rahman bin Al-Aswad:

5. Aisha said: “Whenever Allah’s Messenger wanted to fondle anyone during her periods (menses), he used to order her to put on an izar and start fondling her.” Aisha added “None of you could control his sexual desires as the Prophet.”

Contrast this with specific Qur’anic injunction: 

(2:222) They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is a vulnerable condition, so let women alone at such times and go not unto them till they are cleansed. And when they have purified themselves, then go unto them as Allah hath enjoined upon you.         

6.

46: 9قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ 

Say (O’ Mohammad) “I am no bringer of new doctrine among the Messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear.” 

When the messenger (pbuh) clearly says that he doesnot know what will happen to him and to you people, then how come there are so many hadiths when the messenger is telling people about happenings in future and happening in the hereafter.

7. Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection.”

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدٌ الْمَقْبُرِيُّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَا مِنَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ نَبِيٌّ إِلاَّ أُعْطِيَ مَا مِثْلُهُ آمَنَ عَلَيْهِ الْبَشَرُ، وَإِنَّمَا كَانَ الَّذِي أُوتِيتُ وَحْيًا أَوْحَاهُ اللَّهُ إِلَىَّ فَأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَكْثَرَهُمْ تَابِعًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏”‏‏.‏

Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 4981
In-book reference : Book 66, Hadith 3
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 6, Book 61, Hadith 504
  (deprecated numbering scheme)

Comment: Quran clearly says that all prophets were given Al-Kitab. The above Hadith is implying previous prophets were given miracles and only Mohammad (pbuh) was given a revelation of Book, which is incorrect per Quran.

8: Bukhari Vol.4, Book 055, Hadith # 635.
Narated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, “Solomon (the son of) David said, ‘Tonight I will sleep with SEVENTY ladies each of whom will conceive a child who will be a knight fighting for “Allah’s Cause.’ His companion said, ‘If Allah will.’ But Solomon did not say so; therefore none of those women got pregnant except one who gave birth to a half child.” The Prophet further said, “If the Prophet Solomon had said it (i.e. ‘If Allah will’) he would have begotten children who would have fought in Allah’s Cause.” Shuaib and Ibn Abi Az-Zinad said, “Ninety (women) is more correct (than seventy).”

Character assassination of prophets of Allah. Implying multitude of wives and concubines for prophet. Sleeping with 70 women in one night, some one with really lascivious mind would have thought of forging this hadith.

Projecting Un-hygienic, uncouth false personality of the prophet :

9. Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 537: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said If a house fly falls in the drink of anyone of you, he should dip it (in the drink), for one of its wings has a disease and the other has the cure for the disease.

10. Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 65, Number 366: Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet said, When you eat, do not wipe your hands till you have licked it, or had it licked by somebody else.

Absurdities

10. Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 87, Number 124: Narrated Abu Qatada: The Prophet said, A good dream is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan. So whoever has seen (in a dream) something he dislike, then he should spit without saliva, thrice on his left and seek refuge with Allah from Satan, for it will not harm him, and Satan cannot appear in my shape.

11. Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 21, Number 245: Narrated Abdullah : A person was mentioned before the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and he was told that he had kept on sleeping till morning and had not got up for the prayer. The Prophet said, Satan urinated in his ears.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 54, Number 516:

12. The climate of Medina did not suit some people, so the Prophet ordered them to follow his shepherd, i.e. his camels, and drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they followed the shepherd that is the camels and drank their milk and urine till their bodies became healthy. Sahih Bukhari 7:71:590

13. Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, ?If anyone of you rouses from sleep and performs the ablution, he should wash his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out thrice, because Satan has stayed in the upper part of his nose all the night.?

14.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 5, Number 277:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, The (people of) Bani Israel used to take bath naked (all together) looking at each other. The Prophet Moses used to take a bath alone. They said, ?By Allah! Nothing prevents Moses from taking a bath with us except that he has a scrotal hernia.? So once Moses went out to take a bath and put his clothes over a stone and then that stone ran away with his clothes. Moses followed that stone saying, ?My clothes, O stone! My clothes, O stone! till the people of Bani Israel saw him and said, ?By Allah, Moses has got no defect in his body. Moses took his clothes and began to beat the stone.? Abu Huraira added, ?By Allah! There are still six or seven marks present on the stone from that excessive beating.?

15.

Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 33:

Narrated Usama bin Zaid:

The Prophet said, ?After me I have not left any affliction more harmful to men than women.?

16.

Breast Feeding an adult male in Islam:  

Sayyida A�isha (Allah be pleased with her) reports that Sahla bint Suhayl came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and said: �O Messenger of Allah! I see on the face of Abu Hudhayfa (signs of dislike) on the entering of Salim, who is an ally, (into our house). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: �Suckle him.� She said: �How can I suckle him as he is a grown-up man? The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) smiled and said: �I already know that he is a young man.  � (Sahih Muslim, no: 1453)

Very popular notion about the sectarian Sunni Muslims is a hadith that Allah’s messenger’s said he is leaving behind two weighty things, Alla’hs Book and his ‘Sunnah’. However the authentic version of this hadith in ‘Sahih Muslim’, mentions ‘Ahle-Bait’ instead of ‘Sunnah’. However, majority of the Sunni sect because of deep rooted bias with Shia sect, will not propagate the authentic version of this hadith but rather stick to the alternate version.

17. Hadith Saqlain: (Prophet saying he is leaving two weighty things behind him)

The text of the report transmitted by Ahl-e Sunnah in Sahih Muslim, Sahih Timidhi and Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal is as such: “The Book of Allah and my progeny (‘itrah)” This is the famous version of the tradition found in their books.

Muslim says:) Zuhayr ibn Harb and Shuja’ ibn Makhlad narrated to me from ‘Ulayyah that he said: Zuhayr said: narrated to us Isma’il ibn Ibrahim, from Abu Hayyan, from Yazid ibn Hayyan, who said: “I, Husayn ibn Sabrah and ‘Umar ibn Muslim went to see Zayd ibn Arqam. When we sat down with him, Husayn said to him, ‘O Zayd, you have been greatly fortunate. You have seen the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benedictions, heard his speech, fought with him in battles and have prayed behind him. Indeed, O Zayd, you have been enormously fortunate. Narrate to us what you have heard from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and benedictions be upon him.’

“Zayd said: ‘O brother, by God, I have become aged and old and I have forgotten some of what I used to remember from the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benedictions. So accept what I narrate to you and as to what I don’t, trouble me not regarding it.’ Then he said: ‘One day the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benedictions, addressed us near a pond called Khumm between Makkah and Madinah. He praised God and extolled Him and preached and reminded (us). Then he said, “Lo, O people, I am only a human being and I am about to respond to the messenger of my Lord [i.e. the call of death]. I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you. The first of the two is the Book of Allah. In it is guidance and light. So get hold of the Book of Allah and adhere to it.” Then he urged and motivated (us) regarding the Book of Allah. Then he said, “And my Ahlul Bayt (family). I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahlul Bayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahlul Bayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahlul Bayt”‘” ….

 شاهده حديث سلمة بن كهيل عن أبي الطفيل أيضا صحيح على شرطهما (حدثنا) أبو بكر بن اسحاق أبو بكر بن إسحاق و دعلج بن أحمد السجزي قالا : أنبأ محمد بن أيوب ثنا الأزرق بن علي ثنا حسان بن إبراهيم الكرماني ثنا محمد بن سلمة بن كهيل عن أبيه عن أبي الطفيل عن ابن واثلة أنه سمع زيد بن أرقم رضي الله عنه يقول: نزل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بين مكة و المدينة عند شجرات خمس دوحات عظام فكنس الناس ما  تحت الشجرات ثم راح رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عشية فصلى ثم قام خطيبا فحمد الله و أثنى عليه و ذكر و وعظ فقال ما شاء الله أن يقول ثم قال : يا أيها الناس إني تارك فيكم أمرين لن تضلوا إن اتبعتموهما وهما كتاب الله و أهل بيتي عترتي ثم قال : أتعلمون إني أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم ثلاث مرات قالوا : نعم فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه.

Al-Hakim says:) Narrated to us Abu al-­Husayn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Tamim al-­Hanzali in Baghdad, from Abu Qallabah ‘Abd al-­Malik ibn Muhammad al-­Raqqashi, from Yahya ibn Hammad; also narrated to me Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Balawayh and Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Ja’far al-­Bazzaz, both of them from ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal, from his father, from Yahya ibn Hammad; and also narrated to us Abu Nasr Ahmad ibn Suhayl, the faqih of Bukhara, from Salih ibn Muhammad, the hafiz of Baghdad, from Khalaf ibn Salim al-­Makhrami, from Yahya ibn Hammad; and Yahya ibn Hammad narrated from Abu ‘Uwwanah from Sulayman al-A’mash, from Habib ibn Abi Thabit, from Abu al-­Tufayl, from Zayd ibn Arqam, may God be pleased with him, who said: “The Messenger of Allah , may God’s peace and benedictions be upon him and his progeny, while returning from his last hajj (hijjat al-­wada’) came down at Ghadir Khumm and ordered (us) towards the big trees, and (the ground) underneath them was swept.

“Then he said, ‘I am about to answer the call (of death). Verily, I have left behind two precious things amongst you, one of which is greater than the other. The Book of Allah, the Exalted, and my ‘itrah (kindred). So watch out how you treat these two after me, for verily they will not separate from each other until they come back to me by the side of the Pond.’ Then he said ‘Verily, Allah, the Almighty and the Glorious, is my master (mawla) and I am the master of every believer (mu’min).’ Then he took ‘Ali, may God be pleased with him, by the hand and said, ‘This (‘Ali) is the master of whomever I am his master. O God, love whoever loves him and be the enemy of his enemy.'”

(Al-Hakim adds:) “This hadith is sahih in accordance with the conditions of sihhah laid down by the Shaykhayn (al-­Bukhari and Muslim), although they have not recorded it in its full length.”

Shia hadith

Just a few examples given below to give a taste of what can be expected in these books:

[1] Chapter: The Imams know when they will die, and they only die by their choice. ( AlKafi vol.1 p.258 )

[2] Chapter: The Imams have knowledge of the past and future; and nothing is hidden from them. ( AlKafi vol.1 p.260 )
[3] Alkileeni reported that Jabir asked AbuJa`far p.b.u.h : “Why `Ali ibn Aby Talib was named Amir-ul-Mumineen?” AbuJa`far replied : “Allah named him so, and He revealed in His Book ” And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed and made them testify as to themselves (saying): Am I not your Lord, Muhammad my messenger and `Ali Amir-ul-Mumineen ?…” ( AlKafi vol.1 p.412 )

[4] “Abu Baseer reported that he said to Imam Ja’far, “O Abu Abdullah(Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq) What is Mus-haf Fatimah?” He replied “It is a Qur’an containing three times what is found in your copy of the Qur’an; yet by Allah, it does not contain even a single letter from your Qur’an. ( AlKafi vol.1 p.457 )

[5] hadith in Al-Kafi, volume 5, book of marriages:

1. Ali Bin Ibrahim, from Ismail Bin Muhammad Al Makky, from Ali Bin Al Husayn, from Amro Bin Usman, from Al Husayn Bin Khalid, from the one who mentioned it, from Abu Al Rabie Al Shamy who said,

‘Abu Abdullah (asws) said to me: ‘Do not buy anyone from the Sudanese, and if it was inevitable, so (buy) from the Nubians, for they are from those for whom Allah (azwj) Mighty and Majestic Says [5:14] And with those who say, We are Christians, We made a Covenant, but they forgot a portion of what they were reminded with. But, they would be remembering that Covenant and they would be coming out with Al-Qaim from us, a brigade from them; and do not marry anyone from the Kurds, for they are a species from the Jinn, the cover having been Removed from them’. (Al Kafi – V 5 – The Book of Marriage Ch 27 H 2)

[6]. A number of our companions, from Sahl Bin Ziyad, from Musa Bin Ja’far, from Amro Bin Saeed, from Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al Hashimy, from Ahmad Bin Yusuf, from Ali Bin Dawood Al Haddad, (It has been narrated) from Abu Abdullah (asws) having said:

‘Do not marry (the people of) Al-Zanj (a coastal region of Africa) and Al-Khazar, because for them are wombs which evidence upon other than loyalty’. He (asws) said: ‘And the (people) of Al-Hind (India), and the (people) of Al-Sind (Pakistan), and (people of) Al-Qand (Afghanistan), there are no noble ones among them, meaning Qandahar’

[7](Al Kafi – V 5 – The Book of Marriage Ch 27 H 3)

Muhammad reported from Ahmad, from ibn Mahbub, from Jamil ibn Salih, from Aban ibn Taghlib, from Abu Abdullah i.e. Al-Sadiq (upon whom be peace), who said, I asked him about the earth, ‘Upon which does it stand forth? To which he replied: “It stands forth upon a whale.” I asked: “Upon which does the whale stand forth? To which he replied: “Upon water.” I asked: “Upon which does water stand forth?” To which he replied: “Upon a rock.” I asked: “Upon which does the rock stand forth?” To which he replied: “Upon a bull’s smooth horn.” I asked: “Upon which does the bull stand forth?” To which he replied: “Upon the ground.” I asked: “Upon which does the ground stand forth?” To which he replied: “What an idea? Therewith is lost the knowledge of the men of knowledge.” [Al-Kafi by Al-Kulayni, vol. 9, p. 89, hadith declared as sahih/authentic by Al-Majlisi in his ‘Mir’at Al-‘Uqul]

Non Physical Fighting- 4, Badr, Ohad stages

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This post is a succession of the series of posts about ‘Non-physical fighting’ which reviews verses in Al-Quran normally thought to be regarding physical war-fare. We have previously seen that believers are expected to be constantly engaged in ideological fight with those who are bent on violence and blood-shed on earth.

Some people ask, why did the older generations before us glorify holy wars and did not abstain from warfare and physical killing in the name of religion. Is this something new being propagated to stay away from physical fighting. Allah asks the same question in below ayat so that the present generation (in all eras) can learn from the past generation’s mistakes and take heed.  

11:116 فَلَوْلَا كَانَ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ أُولُو بَقِيَّةٍ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْفَسَادِ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّمَّنْ أَنجَيْنَا مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَاتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مَا أُتْرِفُوا فِيهِ وَكَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ

Why were there not, among the generations before you, persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting from fasad/mischief in the earth – except a few among them whom We saved (from harm)? But the wrong-doers pursued the enjoyments which were given to them, and they were criminals/sinful.

In this post we will be primarily looking at those ayahs which are thought to be related to traditional wars in Islamic history at the time of prophet (pbuh) i.e Badr, Ohad and Hunain.

The Covenant:

2:26-27  إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ  الَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ

Allah does not shy away from citing the example of a mosquito, or anything above it. As for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. As for the rejecters, they Say: What does Allah intend with this example? He lets many stray by it, and He guides many, but He does not let let any stray with it except the fasiqeen/evil-doers. Those who break Allah’s Covenant after it is ratified, and who cutoff what Allah Has ordered to be joined, and do violence on earth, they are the losers.

Many times we hear people quoting a part of above ayahs that Allah guides lot of people with Al-Quran and at the same time many people are mis-guided with Quran. But misguided are only those who are Fasiqeen (wrong doers) as per above ayahs. Those fasiq’s who break the covenant of Allah. The covenant of Allah is stated in below ayat 2:84, which categorically asks Bani-Israeel not to shed their blood with physical fighting. The examples of fight in Quran are cited for believer’s ideological fight with violence mongers on earth. However these people who are bent upon physical fighting as Holy wars, cannot accept that the fighting examples cited by Allah are for ideological fight in which you are prohibited to shed blood and kill the nafs/psyche only of rejecters. When they break the covenant of not shedding blood and become fasiq who get misguided by Al-Quran into raging violence and blood shed on earth in the name of Jihad and Holy wars. 

2:84 وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ

And when We took a covenant with you, not to shed your blood and do not expel your souls/selves from your circles then you confirmed and you are witness to it.

It is expected that Allah will test the believers with their wealth and their nafs (psyche). They will  constantly be hearing painful statements and insults from people who have the Book and people who join others with Allah. 

3:186  لَتُبْلَوُنَّ فِي أَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ وَلَتَسْمَعُنَّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا أَذًى كَثِيرًا ۚ وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

Certainly you shall be tested in your wealth and in your nafs; and you shall certainly hear from those who were given the Book before you and from those who joined partners (with Allah) a lot of annoying things. And if you persevere patiently, and take guard,- then surely that is of the strengthened resolve.

Earlier on this site, we have discussed that Allah created and established His laws in the Universe. He sent the code of conduct for humanity to follow in the world and sent his messengers and prophets to explain His ‘Word’ to mankind. People after getting knowledge about Allah’s message, differed among themselves and formed themselves into many differing religions and schools of thoughts.  Allah’s message to mankind is that they are to do good and lead peaceful life in the world and not to engage in violence and temptations in the world and they will be judged in the hereafter for their deeds. However, deviant schools of thoughts developed who made it appear a virtuous act of forcing one’s belief system on others by use of force. Allah’s messengers were sent repeatedly to direct people to revert to Allah’s Word and leave alternative teachings.
Allah’s book tells us that majority of the people in the world are not on the right path as majority don’t take their guidance from the Book of Allah. A person who is born in a particular religion and school of thought, initially accepts the ideas and beliefs of the environment in which he is born. Then at some point in life, he is presented with the ayahs/signs of Allah. If he accepts the divine message, then this journey on Allah’s straight path starts. The people in his environment wants him back in their system of belief. They try their best however when they don’t succeed they say what Allah has described in ayahs 2-142-143.

After a believer takes the major decision of ‘migration in belief‘ from his previous belief system to the belief system as prescribed in Quran ( see previous post ‘migration in belief’ ) and continuing his spiritual journey towards Allah, a believer will grow in his belief and understanding of the spirit of ayahs. This will show in his behavior with disbelievers when engaged in ideological fight with them. 

48:29  مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. You will see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking grace from Allah and (His) good pleasure. On their faces are their marks, the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurat; and their similitude in the Injeel, like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great reward.

In the initial stage of spiritual journey towards Allah, a believers feels left alone in the world as he does not relate to the religious beliefs of his close community any more. He also listens a lot of annoying things from the associaters around him. The believer in initial stages may not have answers to many questions to respond to them. This situation may bring him into a depressive state. At this time the messenger (invoked in one’s psyche/nafs) consoles the believer and Allah sends unseen forces to help the believer in upholding the Word of Allah against the word of unbelievers. 

9:40  إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا ۖ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَىٰ ۗ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

If you people won’t help him, Allah did indeed help him, when the unbelievers drove him out. He was the second of the two when; they two were in the cave (deep in despair), and he said to his companion, “Have no fear, for Allah is with us”. Then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you people did not see, and made the sayings of the rejecters lowly and the Word of Allah is exalted one for Allah is Exalted in Might, Wise.

Early in their spiritual journey when the believers are supposedly not that strong to take on, stalwarts of unbelief in ideological fight, Allah helps them. Badr means ‘early or spontaneously’. The below ayat is referring to an early stage of believers when they were helped by Allah and got victory over the rejecters.

3:123  وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِبَدْرٍ وَأَنتُمْ أَذِلَّةٌ ۖ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

And Allah had helped you with Badr/forthwith, when you were weak; thus take guard of Allah; so that you be thankful.

For those people who are stuck with false beliefs and dogmas and unable to submit to the message of God, Al-Quran cites the examples of them as having yokes stuck in their necks. ‘Banan’, means finger tips, fixed things and also grips. So the angels are asked to strike at the necks where they have fixated yokes and also to strike their fingers/grips on false- hood on which the rejecters are holding tight. The angels help the believers in their ideological fight by making them stead fast in their beliefs and striking the very foundations of belief systems of the unbelievers. 

8:12  إِذْ يُوحِي رَبُّكَ إِلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ أَنِّي مَعَكُمْ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ۚ سَأُلْقِي فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعْبَ فَاضْرِبُوا فَوْقَ الْأَعْنَاقِ وَاضْرِبُوا مِنْهُمْ كُلَّ بَنَانٍ

Remember your Lord inspired the angels, “I am with you, so you make the believers persevere. I will instill awe in the hearts of the rejecters, thus you strike above the necks and strike among them all the fixed ones/grips.”

Thus with an early and forthwith help from Allah, believers are encouraged and as per ayat 48:29 keep on gaining spiritual strength by the will of Allah. However, getting understanding of the spirit of ayahs is not an instantaneous process. It comes with the will of Allah only, and for some it may take a lot of time to make them impatient. 

20:114  فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۗ وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يُقْضَىٰ إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ ۖ وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

High above all is Allah, the King of the Truth! be not in haste with the Qur’an before it’s inspiration to you is completed, but say, “O my Lord! advance me in knowledge.”

The above ayat 20:114 should be a reminder to believers that even the messenger (pbuh) cannot be hasty with Quran before the spirit of it, is inspired on him. Therefore there is no way that believers can force their way in getting spirit of Quran until the time decreed by Allah.

The below ayahs informs about another stage when believers have achieved some intellectual maturity and knowledge. It seems at this stage some of them become over-confident and assume that they can take on any unbeliever in ideological fight. Some of them even get tempted to do it as a show off of their knowledge to gain admiration of people. They get some initial successes which makes them keep going at it, however, forcing your way in understanding of ayahs without spirit of Allah is tantamount to making your voice louder than the prophet (pbuh) and in this way, those who do it,  would end up conflicting with each other and are then faced with one distress after another.

3:152-3 وَلَقَدْ صَدَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ إِذْ تَحُسُّونَهُم بِإِذْنِهِ ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فَشِلْتُمْ وَتَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ وَعَصَيْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا أَرَاكُم مَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ مِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الدُّنْيَا وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ ۚ ثُمَّ صَرَفَكُمْ عَنْهُمْ لِيَبْتَلِيَكُمْ ۖ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا عَنكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ ذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ تُصْعِدُونَ وَلَا تَلْوُونَ عَلَىٰ أَحَدٍ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ فِي أُخْرَاكُمْ فَأَثَابَكُمْ غَمًّا بِغَمٍّ لِّكَيْلَا تَحْزَنُوا عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا مَا أَصَابَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

Allah did indeed made true His promise to you when you, with His permission overwhelmed them,-until you lost courage and disputed in the order, and disobeyed after He brought you in sight of what you covet. Among you are some who are after the World and some who desire the Here-after. Then He diverted you from them in order to test you, and indeed He forgave you, for Allah is full of grace to those who believe. When you were climbing up, without turning back to anyone, and the messenger was calling you from behind, there did Allah gave you one distress after another so that you do not grieve for what had escaped you and for (the ill) that had befallen you, for Allah is well aware of all that you do.

Believers cannot force the spirit of the Word and when they would forge ahead and engage in ideological fight with rejecters before the proper time, then they are bound to be defeated. After defeat they will be facing grief and in their grief a party of them may start thinking that all this spiritual journey so far may have been wasteful and even false. 

3:154  ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن بَعْدِ الْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُّعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَائِفَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ وَطَائِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ظَنَّ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ ۖ يَقُولُونَ هَل لَّنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّهِ ۗ يُخْفُونَ فِي أَنفُسِهِم مَّا لَا يُبْدُونَ لَكَ ۖ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَّا قُتِلْنَا هَاهُنَا ۗ قُل لَّوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ وَلِيَبْتَلِيَ اللَّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

After the distress, He sent down calm on you which encompassed slumber on a party of you, while another party was stirred to anxiety, moved by wrong suspicions on Allah due to ignorance. They said. “Do we have any thing (any say) in the order?” You (the Messenger) tell them. “Indeed, the order is fully for Allah.” They hide in their nafs/psyche what they do not reveal to you. They say  “If we had anything to do with this Order, We would not have been killed here.” Say. “Even if you were in your homes, those for whom fight is written, would be brought to their places “; but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts, for Allah knows well the secrets of the hearts.

After the distress and defeat in ideological fight, causes some of them to go to their pre-belief assumptions and some of them may start doubting the messenger. They think they should have some leeway in understanding of Allah’s Orders. Some start doubting why we had to fight in that manner. At that stage to some of them, Satan was able to dissuade for the time being, however, they were forgiven by Allah. 

3:155 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوْا مِنكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ إِنَّمَا اسْتَزَلَّهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ بِبَعْضِ مَا كَسَبُوا ۖ وَلَقَدْ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

Those of you who turned back on the day the two accumulations met,-it was Satan who caused them to falter, with some (evil) they had earned and certainly Allah forgave them for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.

Hunain

There may come yet another stage and situation, when believers would have gained a lot of spiritual strength, knowledge and maturity and they would be in good number as well. That would make them over confident and they would take the opposition lightly, at that time they would face unexpected defeat from their opposition. 

9:25  لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ ۙ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ ۙ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْئًا وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُم مُّدْبِرِينَ

Indeed, Allah had helped you in many places and on the day of ‘Hunain’ your great number elated you, but they availed you nothing and the land despite its vastness became constrained for you and you had to retreat on your backs.

Then after their defeat due to their over confidence, Allah would help them and punished the rejecters.  

9:26  ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنزَلَ جُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُ الْكَافِرِينَ

Then Allah poured His calm on the messenger and the believers and sent those forces which ye did not see and punished the rejecters thus is the reward of the rejecters.

 

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Halal and Haram food

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

The topic of lawful and unlawful food is an interesting topic. Normally vegan food which is not harmful for human consumptions is not controversial in this regard. The differences occurs mostly in the opinions about, which animals are lawful to eat and which are not. In addition, if a certain method of killing the animal is not followed then even the lawful animal would become unlawful to eat. We will review in this post the injunctions about lawful and unlawful food in Al-Quran.

5:87  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

O you people who believe! make not Haram/forbidden, the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, and you commit no excesses, for Allah loves not those who transgress.

The above ayat states a principle that the good things are not to be declared unlawful by people, which means that all good food is lawful unless there is a clear injunction by Allah against eating it.

In absence of clear injunction of Allah, if any body persuades or creates doubts about a certain food, his advise is not to be considered.

6:150  قُلْ هَلُمَّ شُهَدَاءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ يَشْهَدُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَ هَٰذَا ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَلَا تَشْهَدْ مَعَهُمْ ۚ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ وَهُم بِرَبِّهِمْ يَعْدِلُونَ

Say, “bring forward your witnesses who witness that Allah did forbid it, then If they give (such) witness, you (the messenger) do not witness with them, nor follow the desires of those who treat our ayahs/signs as falsehoods, and those who don’t believe in the hereafter, for they hold others as equal with their Lord.

It seems that the fascination of declaring food, haram and halal was prevalent in the times of the messenger as well. Therefore Allah asks the messenger (pbuh) to challenge those people who do that, to bring their witnesses. Allah orders the messenger that when these people give such witness, you don’t witness with them as these people equate Allah’s orders with others’ orders.

6:114  فَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

So eat of the sustenance which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good; and be grateful for the favors of Allah, if it is He whom you serve.

The below ayat warns that majority of people will mislead in matters of lawful and unlawful food. Therefore you should make efforts to find out what Allah has clarified about lawful and unlawful food from Allah’s ayahs.

6:119  وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ

Why should you not eat of, on which Allah’s name has been pronounced, when He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you – except to which you are compelled to, But many mislead without knowledge due to their desires, Verily your Lord knows best, the transgressors.

The messenger proclaims that he does not find any thing unlawful for eating except that it be a carrion or flowing blood or swine flesh or other than Allah’s name is proclaimed on it.

6:145  قُل لَّا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ ۚ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say. “I do not find in what is inspired to me, any thing forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be dead meat, or blood flowing forth, or the flesh of swine,- for it is unclean or, transgression.  (Food) which  has been celebrated, for some one other than Allah”. But (even so), if a person is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- your Lord is Oft-forgiving, most Merciful.

In below ayat, it is written down on people, which methods of killing makes an animal forbidden for eating. These methods are:

1- An animal which is already dead before it is killed for eating is carrion and is not allowed. Flowing/spurting blood (دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا ) is not allowed to be consumed. The blood which remains in the muscles of an animal after it is killed for eating, is not flowing blood and therefore is not a problem. About the pigs, the forbidden part of it is the meat ( لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ).  Some times long lists of apparently harmless food items are circulated touted as ‘haram’/forbidden, because they may contain certain chemicals/enzymes from pig products. Only pig meat is declared haram, therefore we should not worry ourselves to death by comparing these lists for non meat items. Also, there is no indication in Quran that pig is to be hated as a creature. They deserve mercy like all other animals and not hate. 

5:3  حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُوا بِالْأَزْلَامِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ ۗ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ ۚ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ

Forbidden to you (for food) are; dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked a name, other than Allah’s; and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; and that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless you are able to purify it; that which is slaughtered on fixed altars; (forbidden) also is the division by raffling with arrows (prospective). That is impiety. This day those who reject have given up hope from your Deen/judgment so fear them not but fear me. This day I have perfected your Deen/judgment for you and completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam/Peace as your Deen. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allah is indeed Oft-forgiving, most Merciful.

The above ayat informs about the methods of killing that would make even a lawful animal, unlawful to eat. These methods are given below:

  1. If the animal is killed by strangulation
  2. If the animal is killed by a violent blow for example by bolt stunning gun.
  3. If the animal is killed by falling down e.g from a height
  4. If the animal is gored to death or fallen prey to predatory animals except if you are able to purify and salvage it before it dies.
  5. If the animal is slaughtered on fixed places of altar, for example where personalities are celebrated for divine qualities e.g mausoleums/(mazars) of celebrated saints.  
  6. Distribution of the meat of an animal on flying arrows means, If the animal is killed and its meat distributed for a superstitious future benefit or avoidance of loss. E.g a black goat or chicken killed and its meat distributed for avoidance of bad omen, evil eye, presumed future hurts/injuries etc (animals slaughtered as sadaqa). 

5:4 يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ ۖ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۙ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

They ask you (the messenger) what is lawful to them (as food). Say. lawful to you are (all) good things and what you have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner taught by Allah to you, thus eat what they hold (catch) for you and remember the name of Allah over it. And take guard of Allah; for Allah is swift in taking account.

When the trained hunting animals catch lawful prey for you, you are to proclaim the name of Allah on it before eating. 

The four legged cattle which graze are lawful animals for eating except those who are killed by methods mentioned in ayat 5:3. 

5:1 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ ۚ أُحِلَّتْ لَكُم بَهِيمَةُ الْأَنْعَامِ إِلَّا مَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ غَيْرَ مُحِلِّي الصَّيْدِ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ

O you people who believe! fulfill your obligations. For you are made lawful the cattle except for those which are read unto you. But when you are in Ahram, hunting/game is not lawful . Verily Allah gives orders of what He intends.

The ‘Anaam’/animals, mentioned here are those cattle who graze vegetation that comes out from earth i.e they are not carnivorous predatory animals (please see ayat 32:27). However, not allowed to hunt during the state of ‘Ahram’/pilgrimage garb.

32:27  أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَسُوقُ الْمَاءَ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الْجُرُزِ فَنُخْرِجُ بِهِ زَرْعًا تَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ أَنْعَامُهُمْ وَأَنفُسُهُمْ ۖ أَفَلَا يُبْصِرُونَ

And do they not see that We do drive water to parched soil (bare of herbage), and produce therewith crops, providing food for their cattle/animals and themselves? Have they not the vision?

The good/tayyab food on which Allah’s name is remembered, you should not refrain eating from it. 

6:119 وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ

Why should you not eat of, on which Allah’s name has been pronounced, when He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you – except to which you are compelled to, but many mislead without knowledge due to their desires, Verily your Lord knows best the transgressors.

Note that nobody even the messenger and prophets have the right to declare any food item as lawful or unlawful. Only Allah can pronounce the regulation. Messengers and prophets explain the injunctions to people from the Book. Therefore any order related to the lawfulness or unlawfulness of food, attributed to messengers, prophets or imams, if not backed up by Al-Kitab, is not credible. The satans are those people who are described in ayat 6:112 as those who are greatly inspired by golden words of personalities. 

10:59  قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ لَكُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ فَجَعَلْتُم مِّنْهُ حَرَامًا وَحَلَالًا قُلْ آللَّهُ أَذِنَ لَكُمْ ۖ أَمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ تَفْتَرُونَ

Say. “Do you see what things Allah hath sent down to you for sustenance? Yet you hold forbidden some things thereof and (some things) lawful.” Say. “Has Allah indeed permitted you, or do you invent (things) to attribute to Allah?”

16:114  فَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

So eat of the sustenance which Allah has provided for you, lawful and good; and be grateful for the favors of Allah, if it is He whom you serve.

16:116  وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَٰذَا حَلَالٌ وَهَٰذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لَا يُفْلِحُونَ

But say not – for any false thing that your tongues may put forth,- “This is lawful, and this is forbidden,” so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper.

5:96 أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ ۖ وَحُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَرِّ مَا دُمْتُمْ حُرُمًا ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

Lawful to you is the hunting of water-game and its eating,- This is the benefit for yourselves and for the travelers; and forbidden is the pursuit of land-game when you are in Ahram/pilgrim garb. And take guard from Allah, to whom you shall be gathered.

The sea food i.e meat obtained from sea or rivers (water) is lawful to be eaten as long it is fresh. 

16:14  وَهُوَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ الْبَحْرَ لِتَأْكُلُوا مِنْهُ لَحْمًا طَرِيًّا وَتَسْتَخْرِجُوا مِنْهُ حِلْيَةً تَلْبَسُونَهَا وَتَرَى الْفُلْكَ مَوَاخِرَ فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

It is He who has made the sea subservient, so that you may eat fresh meat from it, and that you may extract therefrom ornaments to wear; and you sees the ships therein that plough the waves, that you may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that you may be grateful.

6:118 فَكُلُوا مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِن كُنتُم بِآيَاتِهِ مُؤْمِنِينَ

So eat of which Allah’s name has been pronounced, if you believe in His ayahs/signs.

22:36 وَالْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَاهَا لَكُم مِّن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ ۖ فَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا صَوَافَّ ۖ فَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوبُهَا فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْقَانِعَ وَالْمُعْتَرَّ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ سَخَّرْنَاهَا لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

The sacrificial animals, we have made for you as among the symbols from Allah. In them is (much) good for you. Then pronounce the name of Allah over them lined up. When they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat you thereof, and feed the needy contended and the ones who asks . Thus have We made animals subject to you, that you may be grateful.

 If you are killing the animal yourself for eating or sacrifice such as during Hajj, then while killing them you have to proclaim Allahs’ name on them. If you did not kill the animal yourself nor witnessed its killing then you have to proclaim Allah’s name on the animals when eating. 

The food on which Allah’s name is not remembered, is not allowed to be eaten. 

6:121 وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ ۗ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ

Eat not of which Allah’s name has not been pronounced. That would be impiety. But satans inspire their protectors to argue with you. If you were to obey them, you would indeed be mushrikeen/associaters.

22:34  وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا لِّيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ ۗ فَإِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوا ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ

To every people did We appoint rites, that they may remember the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals/cattle. Your God is One God. submit to Him (in Islam). and give the good news to those who humble themselves,-

3:93 كُلُّ الطَّعَامِ كَانَ حِلًّا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسْرَائِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ التَّوْرَاةُ ۗ قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِالتَّوْرَاةِ فَاتْلُوهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for itself, before the Taurat/Law was revealed. Say. “Bring the Taurat/Law and recite it, if you are truthful.”

All good food was lawful to children of Israeel, except that there were certain foods that Israel on their own, had made unlawful for himself before the Taurat/law was made clear. Israel is the one who as per ayat 17:03 was in the ark of prophet Nooh (a.s) i.e among the first generation of people with the prophet. They considered certain good food unlawful for them following traditions which was otherwise good and lawful and no prohibition of it was in Allah’s book (Taurat). So after Taurat (the ayahs of the Book containing explicit orders 3:7, 5:43) was clarified for them by the prophet, they should have let self imposed restrictions to go away.  

6:148  سَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا لَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا أَشْرَكْنَا وَلَا آبَاؤُنَا وَلَا حَرَّمْنَا مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ ذَاقُوا بَأْسَنَا ۗ قُلْ هَلْ عِندَكُم مِّنْ عِلْمٍ فَتُخْرِجُوهُ لَنَا ۖ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا تَخْرُصُونَ

The people who set up partners (with Allah) shall say, “Had Allah willed, we would not have established partners with Allah, nor would our forefathers, nor would we prohibit anything.” Thus did those before them lied, until they incurred our retribution. Say, “Do you have any knowledge that you can show us? You follow nothing but conjecture; and you only make guesses.”

The people who share others’ orders with Allah’s orders, bring forth strange logics in matter of declaration of lawful and unlawful things, which they do on their own accord without authority from Allah. Their logic is that what they are doing  is as per will of Allah. In other words, Allah would have prevented them to do what they are doing, if it were not consented by Allah. 

Regarding haram and halal, people say absurd things and make a long list of haram items, so Allah says sarcastically how do you make such absurd statements ?Allah forbids in declaring halal and haram food without an authority from Him i.e from The Book. The following ayahs show the tone of anger and sarcasm by Allah to those who do the same in issuing strange fatwas in matters of declaring food lawful or otherwise:

6:143-144  ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزْوَاجٍ ۖ مِّنَ الضَّأْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْمَعْزِ اثْنَيْنِ ۗ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۖ نَبِّئُونِي بِعِلْمٍ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ  وَمِنَ الْإِبِلِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ اثْنَيْنِ ۗ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۖ أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ وَصَّاكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا ۚ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا لِّيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Eight pairs: from the sheep two, and from the goats two; say, “Is it the two males that He forbade or the two females, or what the womb of the two females bore? Inform me if you are truthful!” Of camels a pair, and oxen a pair; say, has He forbidden the two males, or the two females, or (the young) which the wombs of the two females enclose? – Were you present when Allah ordered you such a thing? But who does more wrong than one who invents a lie against Allah, to lead astray men without knowledge? For Allah does not guide the nation of wrongdoers.

In a sarcastic way, emphasizing the absurdity of the people who issues fatwas of haram and halal foods, Allah directs more detailed questions to the proponents of those prohibitions. These verses in a linguistic way expose those who follow man-made fabrications based on an assumption that, “Allah’s Word is not detailed.” and details are provided in books other than Allah’s book.  Allah informs us that His word is sufficiently detailed, and there is no limit for details if one wishes to ask more by asking further un-necessary questions.

6:140  قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ قَتَلُوا أَوْلَادَهُمْ سَفَهًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَحَرَّمُوا مَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ افْتِرَاءً عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ قَدْ ضَلُّوا وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ

Losers are those who slayed their children with foolishness, without knowledge, and forbade food which Allah has provided for them, inventing (lies) against Allah. They have indeed gone astray and indeed they are not guided.

The partners of Allah are those who glorify the ware fare and encourage people to willfully send their off-springs to be killed in false holy wars. They are the same people who issues fatwas of the legality of food for which they cannot present evidence from Allah’s book. 

5:5  الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۖ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلٌّ لَّهُمْ ….

This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them.

The day on which you realize that you have to take directions from Allah’s book and leave the restrictions on food which are not based on Allah’s book, all good tayyab foods becomes lawful to you. Also, the food of the people of the book is lawful to you and your food is lawful to them, so this point should not become a constraint in socializing with them. Please note that people of the book are those who adhere to the Book of Allah, not other books which are not given by Allah e.g Bible.

6:136  وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ نَصِيبًا فَقَالُوا هَٰذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَٰذَا لِشُرَكَائِنَا ۖ فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَائِهِمْ فَلَا يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَىٰ شُرَكَائِهِمْ ۗ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

Out of what Allah has produced of tilth and cattle, they assigned Him a share. They say, according to their fancies. “This is for Allah, and this” – for our “partners”! but the share of their” partners “does not reach Allah, while the share of Allah reaches their “partners” ! evil (and unjust) is what they order.

Some food and animals are reserved for some saints and during the ritual of ‘nazar’ portions of these foods are segregated and names of Allah and the partners (supposed saints) are proclaimed on these portions of foods. 

6:138 وَقَالُوا هَٰذِهِ أَنْعَامٌ وَحَرْثٌ حِجْرٌ لَّا يَطْعَمُهَا إِلَّا مَن نَّشَاءُ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَأَنْعَامٌ حُرِّمَتْ ظُهُورُهَا وَأَنْعَامٌ لَّا يَذْكُرُونَ اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا افْتِرَاءً عَلَيْهِ ۚ سَيَجْزِيهِم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ

And they say that such and such cattle and crops are taboo, and none should eat of them except those whom – so they say – We wish; further, there are cattle forbidden to ride, and cattle on which, the name of Allah is not pronounced; – inventions against Allah’s name. Soon will He requite them for their inventions.

There are some animals which are Halal, however they don’t slaughter them because they consider them to be Haram. Some animals used for riding are reserved for processions and they are not used for riding. They give ‘Nazar’ on some food items and only caste members can eat from ‘Nazar’ its not open for all public to eat. These people are exposed in above ayat. 

16:56  وَيَجْعَلُونَ لِمَا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ نَصِيبًا مِّمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ ۗ تَاللَّهِ لَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنتُمْ تَفْتَرُونَ

And they assign, to those they do not know, a portion of their sustenance! bestowed by Allah. , you shall certainly be called to account for your false inventions.

In ayat 2:219 , Quran informs us that khmar/intoxicants have big sin in them and in ayat 7:33, it states that big sins are forbidden. 

2:219 يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا ۗ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ

They ask you concerning intoxicants and gambling. Say. “In them is great sin, and some profit, for people; but the sin is greater than the profit. They ask you concerning what they should spend? Say “pardon/overlook”, likewise Allah clarifies His ayahs/signs to you so that you may ponder.

7:33 قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالْإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُوا بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

Say. my Lord has indeed forbidden shameful acts, whether open or secret; sins and unjust trespassing; and that you associate partners with Allah, for whom He has sent down no authority; and that you say things about Allah that you do not know.

‘Al-Amana’, the Trust

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Ayat 33:72 in Al-Quran mentions a trust (amana). In this post we will see from Al-Quran, what is this trust that is mentioned in this ayat.

33:72 إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

Indeed we offered ‘the trust’ to the heavens and the earth and the mountains; but they refused to undertake it, being afraid there-of, but ‘the man’ undertook it;- He was indeed unjust and ignorant.

What was this trust that God entrusted to man which is mentioned in above ayat?

The ayat immediately following 33:72 explains that because of this ‘trust’/’amana’ which was accepted by man, Allah is to take accountability of man i.e rewards of good deeds and penalty for wrong doings. The accountability comes with the ability and responsibility i.e intelligence to judge and free will to act. Therefore this ‘trust’ which is mentioned in ayat 33:72 should be the ‘free will’ which is granted to humans by Allah.

33:73 لِّيُعَذِّبَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ وَيَتُوبَ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

So that Allah punishes the hypocrites, men and women and the associaters, men and women, and Allah turns in mercy to the believing men and women, for Allah is forgiving, merciful.

Life forms in the Universe other than Earth

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Till now we don’t know for sure of life forms existing on any place other than the planet earth in the universe. However, the sheer size of the universe, does not preclude the possibility of finding planets  similar to earth where life can possibly exist. 

42:29  وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاءُ قَدِيرٌ

And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through both of them and He has power to gather them together when He wills.

The above ayat from al-Quran informs us that there are creatures scattered in both the skies and the earth. So, it means that in addition to earth there are life forms existing else-where in the universe. 

55:29 يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

Of Him, seeks every creature in the heavens and on earth. He is in a splendor every day.

The above ayat tells us that every one in the heavens and earth ask from their one Lord sustainer.

39:68 وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۖ ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَىٰ فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنظُرُونَ

The trumpet will be blown, when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except whom Allah wills (to exempt). Then a second one will be blown, when, behold, they will be standing and looking on!

The above ayat informs of the time when soor/trumpet shall be blown. At that time everyone in the skies and on the earth will transform to a different state.

The blowing of trumpet is a metaphor used in Quran when some-thing transforms to another form. For example, Quran tell us of blowing of ‘Spirit’ into Adam’s body form, which transformed him to a new being. Similarly, when the Soor/trumpet will be blown, the forms of everyone on the earth and skies will be transformed to a different state.

24:41 أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالطَّيْرُ صَافَّاتٍ ۖ كُلٌّ قَدْ عَلِمَ صَلَاتَهُ وَتَسْبِيحَهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ

Have you not seen that whosoever is in the skies and in the earth, praise for Allah and the birds (pray) in the rows. Everyone knows his salat/prayers and his praise, and Allah knows with what they do.

Those who are in the skies and those on earth praise for Allah by acting on the nature instilled by Allah in them. For the humans and Jinns who are endowed by intellect and free will, they praise Allah by appreciating his Grandeur and the bounties he has provided for them.

42:5 تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِن فَوْقِهِنَّ ۚ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

The heavens to be almost rent asunder from above them and the angels celebrate the praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth. Behold! Verily Allah is He, the Forgiving, Merciful.

The angels seek forgiveness for those on earth. Implies the creatures in other parts of the universe don’t carry the free will and responsibility that humans and Jinns have. Asking forgiveness makes sense for those who are responsible for their deeds.

1:2 الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

The praise is for Allah, the Lord/Sustainer of all the worlds.

Allah is the lord and sustainer of all worlds. Worlds is used as plural, implying that in addition to the world that we live in, there should be other worlds inhabited by other creations of God.

Quran says that all living things are created from water. Scientists as well, know that if they are able to find water in any other planet in the universe, chances of finding life there would be very high. So the search is ongoing for finding planets inhabiting water.

21:30 أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا ۖ وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ ۖ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

Do not the rejecters see that the skies and the earth were joined together before We split them asunder. We started from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?

Hajj procedure in Al-Quran

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In previous posts we had learned that the first ‘House’ established for man-kind by Allah, is in ‘Bakka’ (Makkah). This House is guidance for all believers. The systems of ‘Salat’ and ‘Tawaf/Hajj’ have been established in this House for all times.  The guidance which mankind is to take from this House of God, is to follow the sunnat/practice of the system of ‘Salat’ and ‘Hajj’ established at this House of the Lord. These systems are already established at the House for those who want to take guidance.

3:96-97  إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ  فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

Without doubt, the first House appointed for mankind is that at Bakka (Makkah); blessed and of guidance for all worlds. In it are clear ayahs / signs, the standing position of Ibrahim; whoever enters it attains security. And for Allah is pilgrimage of the House on people, those who can afford the journey, but if anyone denies, surely Allah is not in need of any in the worlds.

It is upon mankind to do pilgrimage of the House of Allah, whoever has the capacity to perform Hajj. 

The purpose of Hajj is the training of nafs, i.e self control in difficult situations. People have to exercise restraint and control their anger and impulses, while being out of their comfort zones and showing empathy towards their brethren who are in similar difficult situations. 

The system of Hajj is established in Makkah for all times. The months of Hajj are known to believers. They were known to believers in the past as well. So, anyone who makes an intention of performing Hajj, should align himself to the task with no bickering, fighting and unnecessary argumentation in these months. The goal is to get closer to Allah.

2:197  الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

The months of Hajj/Pilgrimage are known, so whosoever imposes Hajj / Pilgrimage (on himself) in them, he should not commit obscenity nor commit immoralities and no bickering in the Hajj / Pilgrimage. And what you do from goodness, Allah knows it. And take provision, so surely the best of the provisions is to take guard and take guard from Me O’ you who posses the core (of Knowledge/Spirit of the Book)

Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) is the Imam/leader for the mankind. He has been ordered to purify the House for the ‘salat’ and ‘tawaf’ around this House (2:125). People who intend for the Hajj would seek many means of transportation to plan their arrival to the sacred place. 

22:27  وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ

“And proclaim the Pilgrimage to mankind. They will come to thee on foot and riding from all remote places.”

When pilgrims actually reach the starting place of Hajj known as ‘Miqat’ they attain the state of ‘ahram/hurum’. Hurum state forbids them killing any animal or even insects within the ‘Haram area’ i.e the places of Hajj. As a large number of pilgrims visit the place every year, this stipulation is necessary in order to preserve the place and its flora and fauna.

5:95  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْتُلُوا الصَّيْدَ وَأَنتُمْ حُرُمٌ ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَهُ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ يَحْكُمُ بِهِ ذَوَا عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ هَدْيًا بَالِغَ الْكَعْبَةِ أَوْ كَفَّارَةٌ طَعَامُ مَسَاكِينَ أَوْ عَدْلُ ذَٰلِكَ صِيَامًا لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهِ ۗ عَفَا اللَّهُ عَمَّا سَلَفَ ۚ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَيَنتَقِمُ اللَّهُ مِنْهُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انتِقَامٍ

O you people who believe! Do not kill the game/hunt when you are in Ahram/pilgrim state. If any one does so intentionally, the compensation is an offering similar to the animal killed, brought to the Ka’ba, as adjudged by two just honest men among you; or the atonement is the feeding of the indigents; or its equivalent in fasts. That he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah forgave what was past. For the one who repeats, Allah will avenge from him and Allah is exalted, Lord of retribution.

For the pilgrims intending Hajj, keeping sanctity of this sacred place and all its symbols such as ‘Safaa’, ‘Marwa’, ‘tawaf’, etc, is important. The people of various groups and sects will come there with a common cause of getting good pleasure of Allah. At Hajj, the pilgrims are not to show acrimony with any group even if they have problems and hatred with that group before Hajj. In all matters of piety and righteousness, pilgrims are ordered to co-operate with one another and not to co-operate in any matter of rancor, hatred and sin.

5:2  يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحِلُّوا شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ وَلَا الشَّهْرَ الْحَرَامَ وَلَا الْهَدْيَ وَلَا الْقَلَائِدَ وَلَا آمِّينَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرِضْوَانًا ۚ وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُوا ۚ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ أَن صَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ أَن تَعْتَدُوا ۘ وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

O you people who believe! Do not violate the sanctity of the symbols of Allah, nor of the sacred month, nor of the gift (animals for sacrifice) nor the garlands (crowd formation of garland shape around Kaaba in Tawaf), nor the people resorting to the sacred house, seeking the bounty and good pleasure of their Lord. But when you are clear (of the sacred precincts and of pilgrim garb), you may hunt and let not the hatred of some people in preventing of the Sacred Mosque, lead you to transgression. Co-operate in righteousness and piety, but do-not co-operate in sin and rancor. Fear Allah, for Allah is strict in punishment.

Allah has bound everyone’s hands in the valley of Makkah from fighting in the sacred valley. So whoever succeeds in reaching the valley, then he should not fight and argue with those present there.    

48:24  وَهُوَ الَّذِي كَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ عَنْهُم بِبَطْنِ مَكَّةَ مِن بَعْدِ أَنْ أَظْفَرَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا

And it is He Who has restrained their hands from you and your hands from them in the belly of Makkah, after that He made you successful over them, and Allah sees well all that you do.

After attainting the condition of ‘Hurum’ i.e abiding by the ‘Ahram’ they need to do ‘tawaf’ of the House. This is the first step of the ‘Hajj’ process.

22:29  ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ

Then they should end their uncleanliness and they should complete their vows, and they should circumambulate the Ancient House.

15:87  وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِّنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ

And We have bestowed upon thee the Seven repeated ones and the Grand Al-Qur’an.

During  Hajj and Umra, the 7 circles around the Kaaba are repeated by pilgrims. Pilgrim should recite ‘prayers/duas’ advised by Allah in Quran as practice of messengers and people. 

18:158  إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا ۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

Surely! Safa and Marwah are among the symbols of Allah, so if any who goes for Hajj or Umra of the House,  It is no sin on him, that he goes round them and whoever voluntarily does good, so surely Allah is He, who is thankful and knowing

After ‘tawaf’ of ‘Kaaba’, the pilgrims perform ‘tawaf’ of ‘Safa’ and ‘Marwa’ the two raised symbols near Kaaba.

After completing Tawaf, pilgrims move to their camps and from there they present them selves in the plains of ‘Arafat’ on the day of Hajj. This is the second and most important step of ‘Hajj’ called ‘Hajj e Akbar’. During that long day of ‘Hajje Akbar’ pilgrims are advised to get rid of any idols/associates in their psychology by identifying them and symbolically stoning them in coming days of Hajj.  

2:198  لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَبْتَغُوا فَضْلًا مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۚ فَإِذَا أَفَضْتُم مِّنْ عَرَفَاتٍ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ عِندَ الْمَشْعَرِ الْحَرَامِ ۖ وَاذْكُرُوهُ كَمَا هَدَاكُمْ وَإِن كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الضَّالِّينَ

There is no blame on you if you seek of the bounty of your Lord (during pilgrimage). Then when you spread from ‘Arafat’, you all remember Allah at the ‘Mash’aril Haram’, and remember Him as He has directed you, even though, before this, you were the strayers.

2:199  ثُمَّ أَفِيضُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Then you shall disperse from where the people dispersed, and seek God’s forgiveness; God is surely Forgiving, Merciful.

From ‘Arafat’ people will move in large numbers towards a place called ‘Muzdalfa’. ‘Muzdalfa’ and ‘Mina’ are two small temporary dwellings close together. In Quran they are referenced as ‘Mash-aril Haram’, i.e sacred place for getting  consciousness of Allah by remembering Him.  In ‘Muzdalfa’, people spend the night under the open sky remembering Allah and also collect pebbles in preparation of ‘Jamrat/ceremonial stoning of so called ‘Satan’.  The staying in Muzdalfa is the 3rd step of Hajj.

It is advisable to do self introspection within oneself for any psychological idols in one’s self and then imagine these idols being broken while stoning them in coming days at ‘Jamrat’. The ‘idols’ residing deep in one’s psyche are mainly emotional attachments named in Quran as ‘Desires’, ‘Longings’, ‘Pride’, ‘Love’ etc.  It is only Allah who can kill the idols in your psychology by His will. The idols mentioned in Quran are detailed in previous post ( https://topicsfromquran.com/2017/08/07/ilahs-false-gods-mentioned-in-al-kitab/)

8:17  فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

It is not you who killed them; but it was Allah who killed them. And you did not throw pebbles when you threw them but Allah did threw the pebbles in order that He might test the believers by a gracious trial. Verily Allah hears and knows (all things).

After spending night in Muzdalfa the pilgrims move to Mina and stone the Jamrat from the pebbles they collected the night before to perform 4th step of Hajj. The symbolic stoning of the three ‘Jamrat’ (commonly known as Satan) is the psychological killing of idols in one’s psyche. The ‘illahs’ and false gods reside in one’s psychology. During Hajj, when one is away from his business activities, there is an opportunity to do self retrospection and identity the idols within oneself. Only by the leave of Allah, the false gods in one’s psyche can be killed. The false gods lives in our psyche and Satan instigates them by playing with our emotions. Pilgrims throw pebbles at Satan as a symbol of casting him away and the false gods he wants us to associate with.

48:25  هُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْهَدْيَ مَعْكُوفًا أَن يَبْلُغَ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا رِجَالٌ مُّؤْمِنُونَ وَنِسَاءٌ مُّؤْمِنَاتٌ لَّمْ تَعْلَمُوهُمْ أَن تَطَئُوهُمْ فَتُصِيبَكُم مِّنْهُم مَّعَرَّةٌ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۖ لِّيُدْخِلَ اللَّهُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ لَوْ تَزَيَّلُوا لَعَذَّبْنَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

They are the ones who rejected and prevented you from the Sacred Mosque and the gifts/sacrificial animals, detained from reaching their place. Had there not been believing men and believing women whom you did not know that you were trampling down and on whose account a crime would have accrued to you without (your) knowledge, that He may admit to His Mercy whom He will. If they had been apart, We should certainly have punished the Unbelievers among them with a grievous Punishment.

The group who dissuades from Hajj as being a ritualistic practice of going to Makkah; they also cut off the connection of the gift of sacrificial animals with the practice of Hajj. Allah would have punished this group, if it were not that some believing men and women are mixed up with this group. Ayas 2:196 and 22:33 establish the connection of gift of sacrificial animals with the practice of Hajj.

2:196  وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۖ وَلَا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ ۚ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ ۚ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ ۗ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

And complete the Hajj and Umra for Allah and if you are prevented, then give it what is easy from the hadiya / gift, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its place. And if any of you is ill, or has an ailment in his head, (He should) in compensation either fast, or give sadaqa, or correcting act; and when you are in peaceful conditions (again), if any one wishes to continue the ‘umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. This is for those whose household is not in (the precincts of) the Sacred Mosque. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment.

After presenting the gift of sacrificial animal, the pilgrims shave their heads. After that the pilgrims go to  Makkah and  circulate the Kaaba seven times and perform Saa’y between hills of Safa and Marwa which is the fifth step of Hajj.  They then drink from Zam-zam well and return to Mina.

Those who can not afford to offer a gift of sacrificial animal, they would compensate by fasting 3 days in Hajj and 7 more when they return home. Those who are unable to shave their heads due to some ailment they have to compensate with Sadaqa or with fasting as described above i.e three plus seven fasts. 

48:27  لَّقَدْ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ رَسُولَهُ الرُّؤْيَا بِالْحَقِّ ۖ لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُءُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ ۖ فَعَلِمَ مَا لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا فَجَعَلَ مِن دُونِ ذَٰلِكَ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا

Allah has indeed fulfil the vision of His messenger with truth,  If Allah wills, definitely you shall enter the Sacred/Forbidden Mosque in security without fear, your heads shaved and (Salah/Prayer) curtailed/shortened. For He knows what you know not, and He made besides that, an opening nearby.

Pilgrims then carry on from Makkah to stay in Mina for two to three days and they again stone the ‘Jamrat’ to each of the three pillars on 11th and 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the sixth step of Hajj.

2:203  وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن تَعَجَّلَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ وَمَن تَأَخَّرَ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ لِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ ۗ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

And remember Allah in the appointed days. Thus if any one hastens in two days, there is no blame on him, and if any one delays, there is no blame on him, if he does it for Taqwa. And take guard of Allah, and know that you will surely be gathered towards Him.

After completing this ritual, pilgrims return to Makkah and perform the final Tawaaf of Kaaba as a ‘Farewell Tawaaf’ in Masjid al-Haram. This marks the end of Hajj.

2:200  فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا ۗ فَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنْ خَلَاقٍ

So when you have completed your rites, remember Allah, as you remember your ancestors,- even more than their remembrance. There are people who say. “Our Lord! Give us (your bounties) in this world!” but they will have no portion in the Hereafter.

After completing the Hajj rites pilgrim should engage in remembrance of Allah. Allah’s remembrance should not be some repetitive chants, but more like intelligent discourse as some one who takes pride in talking about good deeds of his ancestor. 

It is the usual practice of pilgrims to visit the mosque known as prophet’s (pbuh) mosque in Madinah which is about 400 km from Makkah and people witness the same blessings and atmosphere there as well. The atmosphere and blessings surrounding these two mosques are unique in the world. No other mosque in the world can boast of similar blessings which is divinely bestowed on these two mosques. 

17:1  سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

Glory to He who took His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the ‘far-off Mosque’, whose surroundings We blessed,- to show him some of Our Ayats/Signs. for He is the One Who hears and sees (all things).

Notes:

There are three slight variations of Hajj depending upon if you do Umra and Hajj with one ‘ahram’ or separate and if one is resident of ‘Haram’ area. More information in Hajj booklets.  An example booklet link is given below: https://www.iipccanada.com/english_pdf/hajj_pilgrimage.pdf

7 Easy Steps of Hajj

Imam in Quran

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

‘Imam’ means leader, role model or ‘some one in front’. In this post we will see what Al-Quran says about the stature of ‘Imammat’ and who are the ‘Imams’ made by Allah:

17:71 يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ۖ فَمَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَقْرَءُونَ كِتَابَهُمْ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا

The day, We shall call together all human beings with their Imam, thus those who are given their book in their right, will read it, and they will not be dealt with unjustly.

As Imam is a role model who people follow, therefore on the day of judgement, people will be called with whom they were following in the world. So, whoever you will follow in the world will be called in the hereafter with you to testify.

Allah also has appointed some Imams/role models for people. There are also role models for rejecters of Allah who are called the Imams of fire. The description of both these type of Imams is provided in the book of Allah.

2:124 وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

And when his Lord put Ibrahim to trial with (Allah’s) words, thus he completed them. He said. “Surely I have made you the Imam for mankind”, he said “and from my offspring?” He said “My covenant shall not reach the oppressors.”

The above ayat informs that Allah has made messenger Ibrahim (a.s) as the Imam/role model for the mankind. Allah made Ibrahim (a.s) the Imam/leader/role model after testing him with His ‘Words’ and when Ibrahim (a.s) was true to the test, then he was made the Imam. The words of Allah are in His book. So humanity, if they are to follow Ibrahim (a.s) as their Imam, they should follow ‘Words of Allah’ and be true to them.

The personality of Ibrahim (a.s) to be followed is from Allah’s book to ensure that we are following the Imam made by Allah. If we follow the personality of Ibrahim (a.s) from other man made books and historical stories, then we will be following the Ibrahim of history.

The sunnat/practice of prophet Ibrahim (a.s) is called the best sunnat practice in below ayat.

60:4 قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۖ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

Indeed there is for you, the most beautiful practice (Uswatun Hasana) in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: surely , We are clear of you and of whatever you serve besides Allah: We have rejected you, and there has begun, between us and you, enmity and rancor forever, unless you believe in Allah and Him alone, except saying of Ibraheem for his father,  Certainly I will ask forgiveness for you and I have no authority from Allah in anything for you, Our Lord! On you is our trust, and towards you we depute/represent, and towards you is our determination.

The sunnat of Ibrahim (a.s) to be followed as best practice is summarized in above ayat, which is to leave and not to serve any one which your nation serves beside Allah, i.e be primarily focused on Allah alone and don’t befriend those who associate others with Allah. Put your trust and expectations on Allah and always be returning to Him for all matters.

21:71-73 وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً ۖ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

We delivered him (Ibrahim) and Lut to the land which We have blessed for all worlds. And We bestowed him with Ishaq and additionally Yaqub, and We made all of them righteous. And We made them the Imams that they guide with Our order and We inspired towards them, the doing of good deeds and establishment of As-salat/the prayer and giving of zakat/justification and to Us they served.

The above ayahs state that, Ibrahim (a.s), Lut (a.s), Ishaq (a.s) and Yaqub (a.s) were made Imams by Allah. They guided with the ‘Order’ of Allah. So, what we learned is that when Allah make Imams he tests with His Words and those who prove to be true to the ‘Words’ of Allah, they bocome Imams. The Imams guide with the ‘order’ of Allah. The Imams which are made by Allah, their message and their deeds are recorded in Allah’s book to become role model for believers. The Imams are always true to the Words/Kalam of Allah and guide with it. The Imamat is on merit and not based on progeny as prophet Lut (a.s) was not direct descendent of prophet Ibrahim (a.s).

For the believers, these prophets are the Imams/leaders and role models as per their deeds and sayings which are recorded in Allah’s book. If some one has a list of different Imams/leaders assumed to be divinely appointed Imams, which they are adhering to, without an authority in the book of Allah, then the below ayat will apply:

53:23 إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءٌ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الْأَنفُسُ ۖ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُم مِّن رَّبِّهِمُ الْهُدَىٰ

They are but names you have named them, you and your fore-fathers, Allah has sent down with it, no authority. These people follow nothing but conjecture and what their nafs desire; and surely the guidance has come to them from their Lord.

For many people their Imam is just a name on the list of names. They don’t have any guidance or information from Imam to make the Imam their role model in their life. Often times, Imam is a small deity for them. They love and serve the personality of the Imam and not his guidance. While the characteristics of Imams of Allah as described in ayahs are that they guide with Allah’s Words and that their guidance is to be followed not their personality (6:83-90)

Also, Allah has made the Imams of rejecters and described their characteristics traits which should be avoided.

28:4- 6إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِّنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِي نِسَاءَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنُرِيَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ

Truly Pharaoh elated himself in the land and broke up its people into sections, depressing a group among them,  their sons he slew, but he kept alive their women, for he was indeed from the corrupted. And We intended to be Gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them Imams/leaders and make them inheritors. To establish a firm place for them in the land, and to show Pharaoh, Haman, and their hosts, the very things against which they were taking precautions.

Allah intended to make the Moosa (a.s) and his followers in bani-Israeel who followed prophets Moosa (a.s) despite extreme hardship and opposition from a powerful political and religious enemy, the Imams/role models and inheritors of the wealth left by Pharoah and his associates.

32:23-24 وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ فَلَا تَكُن فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِّن لِّقَائِهِ ۖ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ هُدًى لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا ۖ وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ

And without doubt, We gave Moosa the book, so you (the messenger), do not be in doubt from receiving it and We made it a guidance for the children of Israeel. And We appointed, from among them, Imams/leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they persevered with patience and had belief in Our ayahs/signs.

When they persevered in patience and continued to believe in Allah’s ayahs and the book of Allah, Allah made Imams in Bani Israeel.

28:38-39 وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ مَا عَلِمْتُ لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرِي فَأَوْقِدْ لِي يَا هَامَانُ عَلَى الطِّينِ فَاجْعَل لِّي صَرْحًا لَّعَلِّي أَطَّلِعُ إِلَىٰ إِلَٰهِ مُوسَىٰ وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّهُ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ هُوَ وَجُنُودُهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا يُرْجَعُونَ

Pharaoh said. “O Chiefs! no god do I know for you but myself,  therefore, O Haman! light me a (kiln to bake bricks) out of clay, and build me a palace, that I may get information about god of Moosa, although I think he (Moosa) is a liar!”. And he was arrogant in the land, beyond justification,- He and his hosts. they thought that they would not have to return to Us!

Allah has made, the Pharaoh and his cheifs, the Imams inviting to fire. They represent the characteristics of extreme arrogance, combined political and religious leadership, not submitting to Allah’s sovereignty and continued disobedience to Allah’s orders. They are unjust to their subjects, favoring one section of society over others. Any one following these Imams will lead himself to fire.

28:41 وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَدْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يُنصَرُونَ

And we made them (but)Imams/leaders inviting to the Fire; and on the day of judgment no help shall they find.

The imams are made on merit based on the deeds and character. People are not born imams based on birth right. If Allah has made pharoah Imam of fire, it is based on his bad deeds in the world. That does not make him a lieutenant of Allah in anyway. Similar is the case of good Imams made by Allah.

25:7274 وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Those who witness no falsehood, and, if they pass by vain and frivolous talk, they pass by it with dignity. And when they are reminded with the ayas / signs of their Lord they do not fall over them, deaf and blind. And those who say, “O’ our Lord, grant for us the cooling of eyes from our pairs and our offspring and make us an Imam / Leader for those who guard.

Those people who don’t witness in vain and unfounded information and don’t fall on Allah’s ayahs like deaf and dumb without pondering with intellect over them, they are the ones who can hope to become Imams/ leaders of the muttaqin/guarded ones.

46:12 وَمِن قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَىٰ إِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً ۚ وَهَٰذَا كِتَابٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّسَانًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّيُنذِرَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُحْسِنِينَ

And before him, book of Moosa, an Imam/leader and mercy and this book is confirming the Arabic Language, so as to warn those who are oppressors and a good news for those who are good doers.

The book of Allah is also an Imam. It give guidance, the orders of Allah, description and sayings of messengers as role models for mankind. The book of Moosa from before and this (same) book, are Imam/leaders/guides for mankind as well.

The messenger’s (pbuh) practice is a role model for mankind. The messenger as described in Quran not in history books.

33:21 لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

Without doubt for you, in the Rasool/Messenger of Allah is most beautiful pattern, who has hope in Allah and the last day and frequently remembers Allah.

And the messenger (pbuh) declares that this Al-Quran is his path on which he invites. Therefore inviting towards the Quran is the best practice of the messenger (pbuh) as a role model.

12:107 قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Say . “This is my way, on which I do invite towards Allah,- with perception,- I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah! and I am not of the associaters.

Notes:

There is another popular argument for divinity of ‘Imammat’ which is that Allah sent His book and with the book has sent prophets to explain the book to people. Allah never left the book alone, without a guardian and explainer of the book. Therefore a divinely appointed Imam always has to be present in all times with the book in an era in which prophets are not coming.

2:213 كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ ۚ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent prophets with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the book in truth, to judge between mankind in matters wherein they differed; but the people who were given it (the book) did not differ in it except after the clear signs came to them, to wrong one another (mutual animosity). Allah by His will; guided the believers to the Truth, in matters wherein they differed; For Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.

The above ayat 2:213 states that Allah sent His book and along with the book he sent prophets to explain the book to people. The prophets that Allah sent were men. Why Allah sent men as prophets, as men interact with people of their kind and can explain the Book to people. The preservation of the Book and its Spirit is the responsibility of Allah.

17:95 قُل لَّوْ كَانَ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَلَائِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ مَلَكًا رَّسُولًا

Say, “If there were on earth, angels walking about in security, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger.”

The above ayat explains why a human messenger is sent on earth, because humans dwell on earth. Had the earth been inhabited by angels, then definitely an angel would have been sent to live among them and convey the message of God. So, going back to the above argument on Imamat, the Imam has to be a bashar/human being, with all the qualities of a human/bashar. A human/bashar cannot be invisible to humans, cannot be living for hundred of years in hiding, does not have supernatural powers to communicate with people in some mysterious ways. This kind of super-natural belief of an Imam would make him not a human but a small deity. The purpose of human prophets was to explain the Book to people. An assumed personality of ‘Imam’ which in hiding and with no evidence of interaction with people, is not a belief which Quran teaches. Inspiration of the Spirit of Allah’s Word on humans in a divine manner is the work of Allah beyond the power of a bashar/human. The burden of proof of a belief which cannot be justified from Quran will be on he who harbors such belief. They will have to bring evidence on the day of judgement, from the book of Allah which will be placed with the prophets giving witness from what they conveyed from the book to people.

39:69 وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُم بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

And the Earth will shine with the Light/Glory of its Lord: The book will be placed; the prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward and a just decision pronounced between them; and they will not be wronged.

For the believers, a few points are given below to ponder in order to check if their belief in ‘Imamat’ is as per Quran and sayings of the messenger (Al-Haqqa 69:40):

-The Imams for which Quran has provided authority, are they in their list of their Imams?

-The Imams that they include in their list of Imams, has any authority revealed by Allah in His Book?

Do they believe in superhuman Imam, i.e unable to err, having knowledge of the unseen etc. Quran informs that the messengers of Allah do not have superhuman qualities they are like normal bashar/humans, they can err and they don’t have knowledge of the unseen. (18:110, 6:50, 48:2). Then how a bashar/human Imam who is not mentioned in Quran be able to hear supplications, grant wishes to people who would write requests on pieces of paper and throw them in rivers and take guarantee for the safety of travelers. This sort of belief is definitely not of a ‘bashar’ Imam but more like of a ‘deity’ Imam.

Is the belief on divine appointment of Imams, emphasized in ayat 2:285, which summarizes important pillars of belief i.e belief in Allah, His angels, His books and His messengers:

2:285 آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the believers. All of them believe in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between any of His messengers.” And they say. “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the destiny.”

Similar to the appointment of prophet Ibrahim (a.s) as Imam for mankind in ayat 2:124, Al-Quran mentions appointment of prophet Dawood (a.s) as His Khalifa (vicegerent) on earth (38:26). Is the divine appointment of ‘Khalifa’ also part of their belief system?

For those who believe that the book named ‘Nahjal Balagha’ contains sayings and writings of Hazrat Ali (KAW), states in the letter no. 6, that a person who is pronounced ‘Imam’ by the joint consultation of people will have Allah’s good pleasures on his stature.

The Preservation of Al-Quran (Hafs vs Warsh/other recitations)

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This post is about the preservation of the message of Allah to mankind. We will review few frequently asked question such as; how and where, is the message of Allah preserved? In which form is this message sent to mankind? Can there be different versions of this message?

A popular notion is that the message of Allah is in ‘book’ form and the book is preserved by Allah, letter by letter and dot by dot in all versions of this book existing in the world. Another prevalent concept is that Al-Quran was revealed in seven different ‘ahruf’ and 10 different recitations. The 2nd statement is based on a hadith with not much details about what ‘ahruf’ means and not all scholars agreeing on the extent of differences in ‘ahruf’ and recitations.

Before we delve deeper into this topic, please understand that the word ‘Al-Quran’ means ‘The Reading’. When the message of Allah is read, it is ‘Al-Quran’. When it is written, it is ‘Al-Kitab’. Generally a copy of Quran in paper form is called a ‘Mus-haf’ while Al-Quran does not use the word ‘Mushaf’ itself. General public sometimes use the word ‘Quran’ interchangeably for the written book form, which is technically not correct. Another attribute in Arabic of Al-Quran is ‘Az-Zikr’ which means ‘The Remembrance’ or ‘The Admonition’. (List of attributes of the message of Allah is given in previous post of Al-Kitab on this site : https://topicsfromquran.com/2017/03/26/who-are-ahlal-kitab/)

15:9 إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Indeed, We have sent down the Remembrance; and indeed we are the guardians for it.

Al-Quran confirms that ‘Az-Zikr’ (The remembrance/admonition) is revealed by Allah and He is the one who protects it. This means that the message of Allah which He has sent to mankind is preserved by divine means. Therefore for those who seek this message, it will be accessible to them. This statement in Quran lead some people to believe that the Quran in written form whether in book form or digital format, cannot have any dissimilarity with other written copies. However, Allah has clarified in Quran that the paper form is made by people not by Him. So, Allah will preserve the remembrance/admonition, that He has revealed, and not the paper forms which people have copied. In fact the written individual copies of Al-Quran, or individual recitations, may contain dissimilarities with other copies.

Hafs, Warsh and other versions:

We find that there are different recitations of Al-Quran in exitance today, although the differences in them are minor in nature. The two most popularly known versions are called ‘Hafs’ and ‘Warsh’. They have minor differences with each other which varies from changes in words, harakas and numbering of ayahs, although no difference in the spirt of the message conveyed. ‘Hafs’ recitation is the most widely adopted recitation in the Muslim world with about 95% of Muslims adhering to it. The Warsh recitation is adopted by 3% of the Muslim world (mostly in North Africa) and then remaining 2% subscribing to lesser known recitations.

However only one reading/recitation of Al-Quran is the intended one by God which is persevered in the world for those who seek it. In order to know which one is it, we need guidance from Al-Quran. We know from Al-Quran, that Allah has placed His signs’ at Masid Ul Haram and ordered believers to align themselves towards of Masjid ul Haram (2:150). The place of ‘Ibrahim’ is fixed at Masjid ul Haram (22:26). The believers are ordered to take their ‘Mussala’ from the place of Ibrahim in Masjid Ul Haram (2:125). In this Mosque, the system of salat is preserved. In salat, the recitation from Al-Quran is made and then believers bow and prostate to what they have recited. Allah declared that His house is guidance for all words (3:96). So believers who seek guidance, if they are in doubt about which recitation is the true recitation of Al-Quran, they should seek the recitation which is preserved at Masjid ul Haram and recited in the system of salat established there. The reading of Al-Quran at Masjid ul Haram at the place of Ibrahim (a.s) is the preserved one for guidance of man kind, and is what is popularly known as the ‘Hafz’ version.

3:96 إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

The first House appointed for mankind is that at Bakka( Makkah): Full of blessings and of guidance for all worlds.

6:91 وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ إِذْ قَالُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ بَشَرٍ مِّن شَيْءٍ ۗ قُلْ مَنْ أَنزَلَ الْكِتَابَ الَّذِي جَاءَ بِهِ مُوسَىٰ نُورًا وَهُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ ۖ تَجْعَلُونَهُ قَرَاطِيسَ تُبْدُونَهَا وَتُخْفُونَ كَثِيرًا ۖ وَعُلِّمْتُم مَّا لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا أَنتُمْ وَلَا آبَاؤُكُمْ ۖ قُلِ اللَّهُ ۖ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

They did not value Allah as He should be valued, when they said, “Allah did not reveal from anything to a bashar/human.” Say, “Who then sent down the Book which Moosa brought, with light and guidance for the people?” You made it to pieces of paper, you show something while concealing a lot of it. You were taught what you never knew- you nor your fore-fathers. Say, “Allah (revealed it),” then leave them in their heedlessness, playing.

Allah did not reveal the Book in paper form. It is people who transferred ‘the Book’ on papers. There exists no master copy of Quran in printed form against which a new printed copy can be compared. However still the revelation is preserved for those seeking it. Az-Zikr/the remembrance of the message of Allah is preserved by collective remembrance of protectors/huffaz.

6:7 وَلَوْ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ كِتَابًا فِي قِرْطَاسٍ فَلَمَسُوهُ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ لَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

Had we sent to you a book in papers, even so that they could touch it with their hands, the unbelievers would have been sure to say. “This is nothing but obvious magic!”

The responsibility of collection of Al-Quran and its recitations is on Allah.

75:17 إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ

It is for Us (Allah) for its (Al-Quran’s) collection and recitation.

Notes:

  1. The changes in different recitations in existence today, are not in accent only, they have difference in some words too. However, even with the difference in words, the spirit of the message conveyed is the same. For example in Hafs version, last word of ayat 2:85 is تَعْمَلُونَ meaning ‘you (people) do’. While in Warsh version this word is يَعْمَلُونَ meaning ‘they do’. Although both words are different, the spirit of the message does not change i.e Allah is aware of what people do. (details of the differences are available on internet (one such site is http://muslimprophets.com/article.php?aid=64)
  2. Easy to distinguish sign in recitation comes early in Al-Quran, i.e in ayat 4 of Sura Fatiha, where Hafs version is ‘مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ’ (Owner of the day of judgment) and Warsh version is مَلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ (King of the day of Judgement).
  3. Why early Islamic scholars allowed different readings of Al-Quran. The below article by Mr. Javed Ghamidi (translated by Dr. Shehzad Saleem) sheds some light:http://www.shehzadsaleem.com/variant-readings-of-quran/. Copy of an excerpt from this article is given below:

“The answer to this question is that long before all these scholars, the earliest Muslim authorities had formed the opinion that though it is not essential for the common man to acquire knowledge through the akhbar-i ahad, it is essential for the scholars and the select to accept them and after being satisfied about their isnad, there is no difference in acquiring and adducing the knowledge gained through them and the knowledge that pervades among the common Muslims and which is being transferred from their generations to generations. Imam Shafi’i writes in his celebrated treatise Al-Risalah:

وعلم الخاصة سنة من خبر الخاصة يعرفها العلماء ولم يكلفها غيرهم وهي موجودة فيهم أو في بعضهم بصدق الخاص المخبر عن رَسُوْلَ اللّٰہِ بها وهذا اللازم لأهل العلم أن يصيروا إليه

And the knowledge of the select is the sunnah which is acquired through their reports, which the scholars know and which is not essential for the common man to know. This sunnah is present with all the scholars or with some of them from God’s Messenger (sws) through the information provided by a reliable informant and this is the knowledge which scholars must necessarily turn to.[2]

Thus after the demise of the Prophet (sws), when trustworthy narrators started to state, for example, that while a companion had read the word مَالِك (owner) as مَلِك (king) in verse 2 of Surah Fatihah, and يَكْذِبُوْن in its intensive form as يُكَذِّبُوْن in verse 10 of Surah Baqarah and يُوْصي in its passive form in verse 12 of Surah Nisa’, then this was accepted in scholarly circles in the same way that the reports of his other sayings and deeds were being accepted. The reason for this was evident: if they did not accept these reports regarding the Qur’an, they would also not have any basis to accept reports which depicted the Prophet’s deductions, verdicts, explanations and exemplary character except if they were deemed to be against a Qur’anic verse. The proliferation of variant readings took place because of this opinion of the tabi’un (followers of the companions).” 

The Ant and Prophet Suleiman (a.s)

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Prophet Suleiman (a.s) was granted a kingdom, the likes of which had not been seen in the world before. His kingdom is characterized by peace, control, innovations and developments. Quran mentions that he was taught the logic of flyers (مَنطِقَ الطَّيْرِ/language of the birds or logic of flyers as used in air travel). This ayat lead some to assume that he would also know the language of animals. There is an event mentioned in Al-Quran about ‘ants’ in sura ‘Namal/Ant’. In this post we will review the implication of these ayahs.

In many languages, ‘ant’ is used in allegorical and idiomatic terms to describe an insignificant person vs a powerful person. In every society there exists quite a substantial population of people comprising the lower middle and lower classes which historically had little or no say in matters of the state. Their voice was seldom heard by the upper echelons and ruling class of the society. The general perception of the people in this class is that the ruling/elite class exploits and crushes them under their feet.

27:16-17 وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَانُ دَاوُودَ ۖ وَقَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنطِقَ الطَّيْرِ وَأُوتِينَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِينُ وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ

And Suleiman inherited from Dawood. He said. “O people! We have been taught the logic/language of flyers, and we have been given from all things (blessings). This is indeed a manifest grace. And presented to Suleiman were armies of Jinns and Ins/people and fliers, and they were all kept in order.

The kingdom and control of prophet Suleiman (a.s) was blessed and extended over Jinns (the developed nations), all other people and on the flyers (air force). Then they turned their attention towards the dwellings of the lower class of the society referred as the ‘valley of ants’.

27:18 حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَتَوْا عَلَىٰ وَادِ النَّمْلِ قَالَتْ نَمْلَةٌ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوا مَسَاكِنَكُمْ لَا يَحْطِمَنَّكُمْ سُلَيْمَانُ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

Until, when they reached the valley of ants, one of the ants said. “O you ants, get into your habitations, lest Suleiman and his armies crush you without (even) knowing it.”

A representative of the lower class of the society referred as an ‘ant’, assumed that being insignificant people as they are, they may not have any value in the eyes of the ruler . They (their welfare, rights, freedom) may be crushed by the ruler as historically rulers used to be concerned more with their own plans for grandeur and didn’t care much for the lower classes. Therefore the ‘ant’ advised the fellow ants to get out of sight of the ruler so that he may not get ideas about them and they be persecuted.

27:19 فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًا مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ

So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said. “O my Lord! Direct me that I should be grateful for Your favors, which You bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work righteousness that will please You, and admit me, by Your Grace, to the ranks of your righteous servants.”

Prophet Suleiman (a.s) thanked his Lord, for bestowing the blessings on him and to enable him to hear to the lower classes of the society to be able to do good for them as well. In his Government, there were means established to hear and get opinions from the lower classes of the masses.

Notes:

  1. Animals use different methods of communication however their communication is not by language or ‘words’ as the ‘Nouns’ and words are taught to ‘Adam’ only, by God. Therefore in ayat 27:18, the utterance of ‘Sulieman’ by an actual ant is not possible, indicating that ‘ant’ in the ayat is a reference for some human.

2. A couple of questions may arise such as why in this narration Allah used the example of ants for people and if example of ants is appropriate to use for people. So we see the below ayahs:

17:89 وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَىٰ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا

And We have explained for people, in this Quran, every kind of example. yet the greater part of mankind reject them.

From above ayat 17:89 it becomes evident that it is not unusual for Allah to narrate events with the help of examples so that people can relate with them.

2:26 إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِبَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرًا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرًا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ

Allah does not shy away from citing the example of a mosquito, or anything above it. As for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. As for the rejecters, they Say: ‘What does Allah intend with this example?’ He lets many stray by it, and He guides many, but He only lets stray the fasiqeen/evil-doers.

Ants are wonderful creatures. They built complex structures which can be compared to sky scrappers in an ant scaled city, size wise. The workers ants spend their whole lives doing real hard manual work. Citing of the examples of these wonderous creatures for the hard working low earning classes of humans is not an insult but rather a relatable example.

Other relevant previous posts to this topic are given below:

https://topicsfromquran.com/2018/08/18/prophet-suleimans-invitation-to-queen-of-saba/

https://topicsfromquran.com/2018/06/10/who-are-jinns-as-per-quran/

https://topicsfromquran.com/2018/04/16/age-of-prophet-noah-a-s/

Belief in ‘Hereafter’/Akhirat /Accountability

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

A fundamental concept in Al-Quran is the emphasis on the belief in ‘akhirat’ i.e hereafter. This belief is fundamental in character building of the believers. A gold test to check whether we actually believe in this concept or not will be, in a situation in which we are absolutely certain that we will get away from doing a certain evil thing without any fear of repercussion whatsoever, however, we still refrain from doing that evil thing, with the certainty that we will definitely be held accountable for our deed in the hereafter. If we pass this test, then we do actually have belief in ‘akhirat’.

General observation is that many people when they know that they are not seen by anybody and don’t have fear of being caught, they go ahead in carrying out an evil act, even though they do lip service to their belief in ‘akhirat’.

A very useful tool for the believers in character building is to always be conscious of Allah as if a video of all their actions is being made all the time with the added dimension of what is in their hearts and this video record of their deeds will be on display on the day of hereafter and they will be held accountable for all their deeds. So, if you are able to refrain yourself from doing a bad thing primarily due to absolute belief of your accountability by Allah then you have true belief in ‘akhirat’.

2:62 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

Verily, Those people who believe, and those who are Hood (Yahood), and the Nasara and the Sabians,- any who believe with Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

For people belonging to different groups of characteristics, the fundamental requirement of them is to be conscious to the concept of accountability for all their actions they do in the world, and be conscious of an all powerful and cognizant God, who will make them accountable for their deeds.

A society with majority of people believing in accountability will definitely show signs of goodness, well being and people taking care of others. If a society shows signs of depravity, elevated crimes and degradation of humanity then definitely they don’t have belief in ‘akhirat’, no matter what religious label they put on themselves.