Quran and Hadith: Which One To Follow?

Quran is above the Hadith

In the name of Allah, ar-Rahman ar-Raheem

The Holy Quran is the highest law (7:2-3), the most perfect, infallible word of Allah without any error (4:82, 10:37). It is complete (6:115) and explains everything clearly (16:89), detailed (6:114), no falsehood in it (41:42) and guarded by Allah (15:9). It is the last divine revelation confirming the previous books. It is the highest, the most supreme, absolute source in Islam.

The hadith, on the other hand are the recorded sayings of the Prophet by chain of narrators not guaranteed to be protected by the Allah the Most Knowing Most Wise. We use the hadith to assist us in interpreting the Quran. Hadith is interchangeably used with the term Sunnah.

Both, are of course, very important sources in Islam. We use the Quran as the source of decisions and judgement in virtually every aspect of life. The Hadith is used to interpret the Quran and demonstrate its teachings in a practical way. However, proper methods or methodology must be applied when using the Quran and Hadith.

Sadly, today there is a very dangerous misconception among Muslims: Most Muslims believe that the Quran and Hadith are of the same authoritative status. Most of them think that it is okay to refer to the Ahaadith (sing.: hadith) without referring to the Quran. Even worse, Islamic scholars themselves make judgements based on Ahaadith without any support from the Quran! 

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
And the Messenger cried out: O my Lord! Surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing.
(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:30)

The verse above clearly demonstrates the situation today. I believe we have forsaken the Book of Allah and we no longer return to it. Yes, we read the Quran, but most of the time we read the book without understanding it. We usually turn to hadiths, quotes from various sheikhs, books of traditional imams but we rarely, ever, quote from the Quran. 

In this article, I am calling all Muslims to return to the Quran by using the Quran as the first and foremost guidance in Islam. Any source that contradicts the Quran cannot be accepted. Quran acts as the supreme constitution in our daily lives, and used as yardstick to measure the truth of anything.

I am not calling Muslims to take the other extreme, which is accepting only the Quran and entirely rejecting all other sources like hadith. I am not promoting the ‘Quran only’ ideology like what Rashad Khalifa, Sam Gerrans, and their followers are doing. If hadith conforms with the Quran, then please accept it. 

I am not calling Muslims to leave or abandon the school of thought they are currently in. Eihter you are Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya, Ibadi, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’e, Hanbali, Ja’fari, Zaydi, you can still follow that school of thought as long as they follow the Quran. If they don’t follow the Quran, then don’t follow them. One shouldn’t blindly follow and strictly confine to any sect in Islam. Sectarianism (being divided into parties and factions like the Sunni-Shia split) is absolutely forbidden in Islam. The problem here is that each sect sometimes try to say they are right without solid reason.

We must come to realise that we should put the Quran as the highest and most absolute, not anything else. Here’s why:
a) The Quran tells to follow Allah and Rasul.
b) The Quran is protected by Allah, unlike the Hadith. 
c)  The Quran gives a sense of unity.
d) The Quran is the only Book you can trust.

This is quite a sensitive subject to some. I hope we can all keep an open mind when going through this article. If we are sincere to the truth, Allah will guide us. If you find anything in this article to be conflicting with your views, I’ll be happy to discuss about it. Who knows I might be wrong?

The Quran is the highest law in Islam.

Allah said in the Quran:

{كِتَابٌ أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلَا يَكُنْ فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِنْهُ لِتُنْذِرَ بِهِ وَذِكْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ {2 
{3}اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۗ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
[This is] a Book revealed to you, [O Muhammad] – so let there not be in your breast distress therefrom – that you may warn thereby and as a reminder to the believers. Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow guardians (auliyaa’) besides Him, how little do you mind.
(Surah Al-A’raaf, 7:2-3)

Further Allah said:

ا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلً
O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.
(Al-Nisa, 4:59)

It is clearly stated that in these verses that we have to return to Allah and Messenger, which is by returning to the Quran and not anything else.

Some might say that following the Messenger means following his Sunnah. I am not in disagreement with them. They are right!

But Muhammad would never speak anything that is against or outside the parameters of the Quran. That is because Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and his job is to deliver the Message clearly and explain it, not make his own laws:-

{وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ {3} إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ {4
Nor does he speak out of desire. It is nothing but Revelation revealed.
(Surah An-Najm, 53:3-4)

The following verse further strengthens the argument:

وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ ۙ قَالَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا ائْتِ بِقُرْآنٍ غَيْرِ هَٰذَا أَوْ بَدِّلْهُ ۚ قُلْ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أُبَدِّلَهُ مِنْ تِلْقَاءِ نَفْسِي ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ ۖ إِنِّي أَخَافُ إِنْ عَصَيْتُ رَبِّي عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
And when Our clear communications are recited to them, those who hope not for Our meeting say: Bring a Quran other than this or change it. Say: It does not beseem me that I should change it of myself; I follow naught but what is revealed to me; surely I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the punishment of a mighty day.
(Surah Yunus, 10:15)

Quran tells you to obey Allah and His Messenger because Messenger carries the message of Allah i.e. the Quran. Therefore, it is nowhere possible that Messenger says different things from the Quran.

Muhammad also does not possess the treasures of God, and does not know the unseen and he is not an angel. How could he possibly be making his own laws? He follows nothing but revelation:

قُلْ لَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِنْدِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ ۚ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Say: I do not say to you, I have with me the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel; I do not follow aught save that which is revealed to me. Say: Are the blind and the seeing one alike? Do you not then reflect?
(Surah al-An’aam, 6:50)

وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ….
…and whoever did not judge by what Allah revealed, those are they that are the unbelievers.

(Surah Al-Maaidah, 5:44)

Muhammad pbuh cannot make decisions that are against the Quran, because to do so would be declared as an unbeliever.

Syeikh Imran Hossein, world renowned Islamic scholar is in a strong opinion (ijtihad) that “The Quran sits in judgement on the Hadith and not vice versa

Syeikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: “The Quran is similar to a constitution and the Hadith assists one in interpreting the Quran and putting it into practice.” [1]

Hadith is to merely assist one in interpreting the Quran, not adding to the Quran!

This quote by Syeikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is very true, since if you notice all the fundamental commandments in Islam, like Tawheed, Aqeedah, Solat, Zakat, Fasting, Hajj, Penal Code, witnesses, are all already ordained in the Quran.

The Hadith are often used to demonstrate fiqh stuff like how to pray, how many rakaats, how to perform Hajj, and they differ greatly in different school of thoughts.

The Hadith also usually only simplifies what is in the Quran like the famous Hadith of Jibril that sets out the five pillars of Islam, six pillars of Iman, and the meaning of Islam, Iman, and Ihsan. It’s not that these things aren’t in the Quran, they are.

Hadith also usually explain historical events during the lifetime of Muhammad.

As you can see ahaadith are just meant to be demonstration of fiqh, simplify the Quran, demonstrate the teachings, and understand the historical events during the livelihood of Muhammad.  Muhammad pbuh is in no position to ordain any laws or rulings against the Quran. Any hadith contradictory or does not has its basis in the Quran, or even does not make sense to the nature of Quran, cannot be certified as ‘sahih’ (authentic).

This is also the ijtihad of famous scholar Syeikh Imran Hossein, his teacher Maulana Dr. Muhammad Fazlur Rahman al-Ansari, Muhammad Shaikh and others. Syeikh Imran Hossein explains this in precise detail in his book “Methodology for the Study of the Qur’an”.

The Quran is the Protected Book of God, unlike the Hadith.

Most Muslims believe that as long as it is in the Sahih al-Bukhari, it is indisputably sahih. How true is this?

Although both al-Quran and Hadith are important sources of Islam, authenticity is a very important factor to consider. If not, the Muslims will be misguided like how Paul misguided the Christians. One must always keep in mind that the Holy Quran is a book protected by Allah.

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Surely We have revealed Al-Zhikr (Quran) and We will most surely be its guardian.
(Surah al-Hijr, 15:9)

The Quran is the protected book of God. And no one will be able to change it:

لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ ۖ تَنْزِيلٌ مِنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ
Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One
(Surah al-Fussilat, 41:42)

The Quran is guaranteed to be protected by Allah. But the Hadith has NO GUARANTEE that it is protected by Allah. Ahaadith are not invincible, they are not infallible and they are subjected to the danger of being corrupted. And there were a lot of munaafiqun trying to distort Islam during and after the time of Muhammad pbuh.

Some people may argue that the authentic hadith compiled by Imam Bukhari and Muslim are indisputably authentic because all ahaadith compiled by Imam Bukhari and Muslim are sahih and have undergone serious scrutiny through scientific methods by Hadith scholars.

It is true that ahaadith have undergone serious scrutiny and the scientfic methods of traditional hadith scholars really are good. Imam Bukhari, Muslim and other traditional Hadith imams have made a great job of compiling ahaadith. But one must always keep in mind that they are normal humans, and they are not Prophets!

Not all ahaadith in Sahih al-Bukhari are authentic

It should be known that a number of scholars and hadith scientist themselves have pointed out the weak and fake ahaadith in the work of Imam Bukhari. Among them are: Fazlurrahman (1919-1988 ), Abu Hasan al-Daruquthni (306-385 H), al-Sarkhasi (died 1098), Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), Muhammad Rasyid Ridha (1865-1935), Ahmad Amin (died 1945), Muhammad Ghazali (died 1996), Mohammed Amin, Maulana Mohammad Akram Khan, Dr Mohammad Omar Farooq and others. They aren’t Shia or Quran only Muslims, most or all of them are in fact Sunni and they do not totally disregard all ahadith.

Properly trained hadith scholars generally are well aware that the hadith in collections such as Bukhari vary from highly reliable to relatively unreliable. Instead it is Muslims who have been brought up to believe that they must accept what they are told without critical thinking who are prone to believe that if a hadith is in Bukhari, it must be accurate and true.

A number of reasons why Hadith compilations of Bukhari aren’t escapable from falseness (I’m not saying we should disregard Bukhari’s work completely):
1. The method of preservation of Hadith
2. The time of compilation of Hadith
3. Hadith scholars themselves acknowledge the capablity of hadith being wrong
4. No guarantee from Quran
5. Contradictions between Quran and ‘authentic’ Hadith
6. Bukhari rejected 99% of Hadith. How can you be sure the remaining 1% be right also?

Method of Preservation of Hadith

The Method of preservation of ahaadith itself is not 100% reliable. A hadith is made up of two components: Sanad and Matn

Sanad is the the chain of narrators and Matn is the content. Sanad is marked with red and Matn

Sanad is marked with red and Matn is marked with green

As you can clearly see that the Sanad is made up of numerous narrators in a chain. That is 1,2,3,… 8 narrators in this particular hadith! That is a lot, and they aren’t like all heard the hadith first hand but in a chain that means A says to B, then B says to C, then C says to D and on and on.

How can anyone absolutely proof that all the narrators are speaking the truth without any mistake?

Instead, the Quran uses double preservation method. It is not only memorised by huffaz, it was also written during the time of Muhammad Rasulullah saw. So if anybody written the Quran incorrectly, the huffaz will point it out. If the huffaz siad it incorrectly, the written Quran and other huffaz will point it out.

The time of the compilation of ahadith

Imam Bukhari compiled (not written) and scrutinised ahaadith only 250 years after the death of Muhammad Rasulullah saw. That’s a long time- 2 and a half centuries! How can anyone be so sure so who was lying, who was not, who had good memory, who had not, especially when he never met those narrators personally as they were living in different times!  Yet Muslims around the globe are putting absolute trust on him that his compilation is without a doubt- “authentic”.

The Quran on the other hand, was compiled during the Caliphate of Sayyidina Uthman into mushaf only within 20 years after Muhammad Rasulullah’s death.

Hadith scholars themselves acknowledge the capablity of hadith being wrong

This is self-evident since hadith scholars have to come up with a very scientific way of verifying any hadith. This means that they have acknowledged it from the first place that any hadith can contain error, distortion, mistake, or corruption.

On the other hand, all Muslims are in unanimous agreement (they all agree) that the Quran cannot be wrong and you wouldn’t have to use any method or even attempt to verify any verse in the Quran.

No guarantee from Allah

As mentioned earlier, there aren’t any guarantee that the ahaadith are protected by Allah. In fact, if you look in the Quran whenever Allah says ‘Sunnah’, Allah refers to His Sunnah, not Prophet’s Sunnah. And when Allah says ‘Hadith’ in the Quran, Allah refers to Hadith of the Quran, not hadith of the Prophet.

للَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُتَشَابِهًا مَثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ
Allah has revealed the BEST HADITH, a book conformable in its various parts, repeating, whereat do shudder the skins of those who fear their Lord, then their skins and their hearts become pliant to the remembrance of Allah; this is Allah’s guidance, He guides with it whom He pleases; and (as for) him whom Allah makes err, there is no guide for him.

(Surah Az-zumar, 39:23)

Even this verse says that the Quran is the best hadith (speech) but Muslims still think that Hadith books (non-Quran) are at par (same level) with the Quran!

‘Seeming contradictions’ between Quran and authentic hadith

As to my humble view, if anyone takes the book of Sahih al-Bukhari and read it from beginning to end, you can make a long list of ahaadith that clearly seems to contradict the Quran. You can search on the web to find such hadith, but I’m not gonna list it here.

Scholars argue that no hadith actually contradict the Quran. One of the salaf (earliest Muslim generations) said a very important thing about hadith literature that “Hadith are a source of misguidance to those who do not take them from its people (muhadditheen)” Muhadditheen are hadith scholars and experts. They study the sciences of tradition (ilm al-hadith).

I respect that argument. But so far, to my knowledge, no scholar has ever been able to explain the seemingly clear contradictions between hadith and Quran.

Note: I say ‘seemingly clear’ contradictions because to the scholars they only seem to be contradictory, but for the normal (even learnt) Muslims, THEY ARE CLEARLY AND BLATANTLY CONTRADICTING THAT YOU WILL ASK YOURSELF “HOW COULD THE PROPHET SAY SUCH THINGS?” But in all due respect, I do respect their argument.

But doesn’t that make it more dangerous to follow hadith, since one has to really, really, really, understand the context of a hadith, the situation, the time Prophet said a hadith? Shouldn’t we be prohibited from approaching ahaadith since it can be a source of misguidance? 

Isn’t it 100% safer and simpler to follow the Quran since it is already complete, detailed, made easy (54:17,22,32,40), and has no contradictions at all.

‘Seeming contradictions’ among authentic hadiths

There are ‘seemingly clear’ contradictions among hadith themselves in Sahih al-Bukhari. Mohammed Amin has explained it best in his article, “How reliable are Hadith? Some are contradictory.” Have a look, only simple math is used to show the contradictions.

Unlike the Quran, no verse contradicts with another. They are all in perfect harmony like the stars in the sky. Even if they contradict, scholars would be able to explain them unlike the contradictions in ahaadith.

Imam Bukhari rejected 99% of the ahaadith he collected

Yep, Ninety-nine percent. He collected 600,000 ahaadith and rejected 592,725 ahaadith. He only endorsed 7,275 ahaadith to be authentic. You can make logical arguments here- Since 99% of ahaadith are rejected, what guarantees the remaining 1% to be truly reliable too? Many munafiqs were trying to infiltrate Islam by forging false and fake hadith.

NO VERSE has ever been rejected from the Quran. To say such thing, would be contradicting to verse 15:9 of the Quran.

Weak hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari

Al-Daraqutni was an eminent Muslim scholar and muhaddith. Ad-Daraqutni was born in the year 918 in the Dar al-Qutn quarter of Baghdad, where he got his nisba al-Daraqutni.

In his Kitab al-Tatabbu’, al-Daraqutni argues for the weakness of 78 hadiths in al-Bukhari, 100 in Muslim, and 32 in both based on isnad and matan criticism.

I found this video that uses simple logic and basic kindergarten math to explain that the age of Aisha RA could not possibly be 9 when she was married to the Prophet. Have a look. It’s only 5 minutes. This cannot possibly be a sahih hadith, but it is written in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

No one can guarantee that Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim are 100% the words of the last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad pbuh. Bukhari, Muslim, and all hadith scientists are strictly humans and they are inescapable from error! 

So how do we know which hadith is authentic and which is not? Is it safe to refer to hadith? That’s why it is always best to refer to the Quran FIRST then only refer to the Hadith. It is the smartest and safest way. Isn’t Quran the best hadith (39:23)?

Conclusion: If you find something in your research and your studies that you deeply feel clashes with what you find in the Holy Qur’an than you should take what is certain; that being the Holy Qur’an.

Split and separation among the ummah

Do you know that Sunni Muslims have their own compilation of hadith that they deem as sahih, and the Shia Muslims have their own compilation of hadith they deem sahih? They have been taking advantage over hadith to justify themselves, who is right, who is wrong.

Sunnis have the 6 hadith books including Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Sughra, and Sunan ibn Majah or Muwatta Malik.

Shiites on the other hand has 4 hadith books including Kitab al-Kafi, Man la yahdhurudu al-Faqih, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, and Al-Istibsar.

We see today Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (Shia) fighting relentlessly over each other. And they have caused nothing but war, destruction, famine, and death, especially in countries neighboring to them like Yemen and Syria. Yet, both Saudi and Iran consider themselves to be Muslims, but they kill their own brothers! The war between Sunni and Shia isn’t something new, it dated way back to the civil war during the time when Sayyidina Ali was the Khalifa.

But here’s the magic thing:

Although they have many books of hadith but they have ONLY ONE BOOK OF QURAN. Don’t you see that the solution to their conflict has been right in front of their eyes the whole time?

If they would agree the Quran as their highest source, they wouldn’t have fought and go to war with each other. Instead they would have tried to reconcile their little differences, if they are true believers.

That is why Allah said in the Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنْ تُطِيعُوا فَرِيقًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُمْ بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ
O you who believe! if you obey a party/sect from among those who have been given the Book, they will turn you back as unbelievers after you have believed.
(Surah Ali Imran, 3:100)

We must never confine ourselves to a single party in Islam. We should only confine to Allah and Rasul. We should not obey Ahlu al-sunnah wal-jamaah. We should not obey Shia. We should not obey Ibadi. What we should obey is only Allah and Rasul.

It’s always important that we put this in mind. As long as we don’t understand this, the problem of the ummah will never be solved. Quran must be the primary reference, not sunnis/shia/imams/mullahs/scholars. Only if Sunni/Shia/Ibadi/Ahmadiyya speak according to what has been revealed, then only we should follow them. Each sect will tell you that their own sect is right and they will say that theirs is the truest and purest and other sects are astray or kaafir or both. Allah said those who follow the Quran are the right ones. Choose who you want to listen to.

As I said earlier I am not asking you to leave the school of thought you are in now. But you shouldn’t blindly follow them either. We should always keep an open mind to each other’s view. If they speak according to the Quran, please follow them. If they speak nonsense, leave them.

Don’t you see…

Islam is very simple! We have the Quran as a yardstick to measure the truth of anything! That is ALL we ever need in our whole life. The Quran is complete and is the solution for every problem in the world today.

It is unfortunate that both Sunni and Shia are constantly trying to find each other’s fault, instead of trying to be in agreement. They are trying to pull each other down, instead of trying to help each other…. when all they need is just the Quran.

You cannot trust anyone anymore

Frankly speaking, you cannot trust me.

You cannot trust anybody.

Everyone is trying to deceive each other.

We are living in the world of fitnah.

…وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ…
…And fitna is worse than killing…
(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:217)

But there’s still ONE thing you can trust, and that is…

The Holy Quran

Historical events may be forged and rewritten, scholars may manipulate facts and ideas, people may try to tamper and distort religious texts, the hadith may be questionable of its authenticity, but NO ONE can change the Holy Quran, the one word of Allah, indisputably, the most complete and detailed book that explains everything, which acts as guidance for the sincere truth seekers.

Finally,

Dear readers, don’t you see Muslims are repeating the mistakes that Jews and Christians have made? They made clergy (Rabbis, monks, church, priests) an integral part of their religion and thus divert people from the straight path. 

اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.
(surah at-Tawbah, 9:31)

The Jews depended more on the so-called sayings of their prophets rather than relying on the book Allah has sent down to them. They focused more on the Talmud (oral traditions) rather than the Torah. Because of that, they differed among each other, and cursed by Allah.

The Christians were slave of the church rather than slaves of God. True Christianity (Islam) existed at the time of Jesus (Isa) AS, but then Paul built the church institution and diverted the followers of Prophet Isa from the true path.  Those who opposed the church, opposed Christianity. It was the church that introduced the idea of Trinity as influenced by pagan traditions, after 375 years since the death of Isa AS! The Trinity was never mentioned except after 375 years after the passing of Isa AS. 

It was clergy (Rabbis, monks, church, priests) that diverted the true believers of the Prophet into the believers of Syirk and Kuffar. It is no surprise if Muslim clergy are doing the same thing today.   Muslims today are too obsessed with ahl as-sunnah wa al-jamaah, Sahih bukhari, sahih Muslim, Syeikh so and so, Ustaz so and so. Too obssessed that they forgot their one true source: the Holy Quran.

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
And the Messenger cried out: O my Lord! Surely my people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing.
(Surah Al-Furqan, 25:30)

Is this what we want? To repeat the mistakes of the Jews and Christians and be a slave to people who claim they know everything when what they say is utter nonsense? Why won’t you learn? Why Allah put the history of the Jews in the Quran if you don’t take heed from it? Afala tafakkaruun?

وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ
And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie.
(Surah al-An’aam, 6:116)

O Muslims! It is not same those who can see and those who are blind. Allah wants ease for us. That’s why He sent down the Quran. If Muhammad was the law maker, then surely there’s no need for Allah to sent down the Holy Quran. Allah could have just make Hadith the source of all laws. But Allah doesn’t want us to get confused. That’s why He sent down the Quran as rememberance and guidance for all Muslims, and Allah preserves it, the Quran is complete, detailed, made easy, and free from error. It is the ONLY BOOK in this whole world that Muslims can trust. Hadith is to merely assist one in interpreting the Quran, not adding to the Quran!

We Muslims must come to realise that Quran is above everything else, and validates everything else, not vice versa. Then only we can hope to get guidance from Allah the Most High Most Mighty. 

What is right is from Allah, what is wrong is from me and syaitaan. Allah knows best. May we always be under Allah’s protection. 

[1] Islam: An Introduction pg.215

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5 thoughts on “Quran and Hadith: Which One To Follow?

  1. IGotQuestions says:

    Salaam. Why should we follow the hadith when the only thing protected by Allah (SWT) is the Quran? The hadith were compiled centuries after the Prophets (S) death and are full of contradictions. Can you show me one authentic hadith outlining the prayer from the first step to the last? What about the placement of hands in prayer? The 4 schools and the Shia all disagree on that. Even when it comes to the Wudu they have differences. So, for those who follow the hadiths, whose hadith do we follow? Sunni? Ibadhi? Shia? Ahmadiyya? Each sect has it’s own fiqhi rulings on what’s correct and what’s impermissible. The hadiths just cause confusion and causes disarray within the Muslim community. Return back to the Qur’an. The only thing that has been guaranteed protection by Allah (SWT).

    • Alif Mustaqim says:

      Wa salaamun alayk. In reality, only the Quran is to be followed, not other sources. Quran is what differentiaties between what is right and wrong, and leads us into light, not hadith. I agree with you, we need to return to Allah and Rasul, ie, the Quran, because following Rasul means following what is revealed/sent down to him, and what is sent down is the Quran. But in some cases, we need more input or insight when coming to a decision. That is when we can look at hadith to assist us in coming to a decision, yet must still be based on the Quran. If you know a bit about law, the Quran can be equated to a consitution, while the hadith can be equated to ‘supposed’ case law or statutes.

      So about salat, if im not mistaken, there’s no one singular hadith which explains the solat from beginning till end. Imam Malik (the earliest jurist out of the four imams) used to deduce solat from the common practice of the people of Medina during the late 1st century of hijrah. Though, what i must say is that the pilars of the salat is already stated in the Quran. To me, i think (im not an expert in this field) as long as we follow it, it should be enough. Whether we follow sunni, maliki, syafie, hanbali, hanafi, shia, ibadhi, or ahmadiyya way of praying- i don’t think it doesn’t really matter about the differences. What matters most is the salat itself, our connection to God and the people around us.

      It’s not true, though, that the hadith were compiled centuries after the prophet’s death. There were , in fact hadith written as early as the first century of hijrah, like al-zuhri. Also, there’s the sahifah of hammad bin munabbih, a collection of hadith written by abu hurayrah, believed to be written during the time of the prophet himself, although the prophet used to forbid the writing of hadith. But what is certain is that, the active compilation of hadith started during the time of caliph umar bin abdul aziz, not during the prophet’s time, nor during the reign of the 4 pious caliphs.

  2. IGotQuestions says:

    The Qur’an claims to be fully detailed and explained. Why do you need ahadiths that came centuries later to extrapolate meanings from the Qur’an? What proof do you have that the hadiths are the actual sayings of the Prophet (S)?

    I will stick to the Qur’an, and the Qur’an only.

    • Alif Mustaqim says:

      Assalamualaik, good question. why we need other texts? it is for practical purposes, as i stated above. I dare you to take a book on engineering and i dare you to start create a car engine, and you cannot refer to any other books or any teacher. would you be able to do it?
      How can you know who Ibrahim is by purely looking at Quran only? How can you know what al Lat and Al uzza by looking at Quran only?

      Brother i didn’t say the hadiths are the actual sayings of the prophet. i myself said there are certainly faults in it. what must be done is we study the Quran, and only use hadith to get an ‘idea’ of what the Quran is teaching. if we cannot don’t understand what the hadith is about or how it relates to the quran, then it is better to put aside the hadith for a moment.

      that’s all what im saying, im not telling you to strictly by whatever is in the ahadith. im telling you to have a stricter view in hadith, and focus more on the quran, because it is quran that gives guidance (2:2), not the ahadith.

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