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Islamic Ideology ( 15 Feb 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Role of Hadees in the Formation of Sharia


By Maulana Nadeem ul Wajidi

(Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi,


There has always been a section among the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) which follows Quran but has its differences with Hadees.  This group is called ‘Munkereen e Hadees’, people who do not accept Hadees.  Fourteen hundred years ago when there was no sign of such a group, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had prophesied that this will happen. Hadees has it, “I do not wish to see any of you sitting comfortably and to any of my Hadees saying, I do not know. I have not seen it in the Book of Allah which is enough for me”. (Tirmizi: 37/5, Raquam ul Hadees: 2663) So there is no surprise if someone refutes a Hadees today as it is the proof of the ‘truth’ of Prophet (pbuh)’s prophecy.


As far as ‘arguments’ are concerned everybody has his own powerful argument to prove his point. Common people may not know the realities but the scholars do know the content of the given argument and whether it is true or not. Take the example of this very ‘article’. The arguments here have been mentioned by the author without any proof of being right and just. He does not know how wrong it is to mention some ‘Ayats’ just to prove his point and not mentioning the part which may refute his claims.


Let us take a look on the people refuting Hadees and their claims so that the integral relationship of Quran and Hadees comes to light.


If Quran is a text, Hadees is an explanation. If principles have been described in Quran, Hadees has the development of its components. People who say, they will understand’ what Sharia is only through Quran are misguiding themselves. No doubt, Quran is the primary and real source but many of the Ayats in it are unclear and vague which need description and explanation. For example the order of Namaz in Quran is not clear. It neither has the numbers of ‘Rika’ats nor the description of how to offer it. It does not also mention the appropriate time of Namaz.  Same is the case with ‘Zakat’. It neither mentions exact quantity of amount when Zakat becomes a ‘farz’ nor is there any particular amount mentioned to be disbursed. Other orders of Sharia do also fall in the same category. Quran Kareem has the laws in it but its practice or implementation requires further elucidation and explanation. This is where Hadees comes into picture. Hadees carries explanations and clarification of every command in the Quran.


Had Sahaba Keram not been in the service of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) all through his life time and had they not asked and enquired the descriptions and explanations of every command of Quran, how would practicing them have been possible. Either all of us would have practiced as per our own knowledge and understanding or making our illiteracy an excuse would not have practiced at all. Contrary to it Sahaba Keram assembled all the details and descriptions given by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in a way that the world got shocked of the strong management  and  security of every word which Prophet (pbuh) described. Could Sahaba Keram have wasted any single moment of their lives for a meaningless job?


They certainly knew that it is not possible to understand the orders revealed in the Quran by Allah unless explained and described by Rasool (pbuh) or till they themselves do not see Prophet (pbuh) practicing the commands himself.


Sahaba Keraam (RA), Muhaddeseen (experts in Hadees) and Fuquaha (jurists) dedicated their lives in understanding, explaining and describing Fiqh (jurisprudence) but then came such a sect which described all the hard work to be worthless, saying that Quran has all the necessary descriptions and guidelines and none of its exhortations require any explanation from Nabi Kareem (pbuh).


This sect has three kinds of views:

 First, Prophets are nothing more than messengers. It is the ‘message’ which is important and the necessity is to understand the message. Messenger’s duty ends with the message. No one either Sahaba Keram or anybody else is bound to follow him.

Second, following Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and obeying his commands was a duty for the Sahaba Keram. No one else is bound to follow them.

Third, following Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s actions and practicing his commands is a duty for the Ummah but because these Ahadees have not reached us through any reliable source these need not be practiced.

This sect, ‘Munkereen Hadees, in common parlance, have some proofs with them as well. They say God has revealed ‘the Book’ in such an easy to understand language that no Hadees is needed to understand it. Allah says, “And We have certainly made the Qur'an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?”(Al-Quan: 17)


No doubt Quran is easy to explain, understand and to preach but it does not mention that the Book has been made easy to follow Deen. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has been addressed as, “[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them.” (Al-Nahl: 44) It means Quran Kareem is a ‘text’ and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is its explainer. Prophet (pbuh) is the explainer of the commands and secrets hidden in Quran. Munkereen-e-Hadees also says that Quran has described itself as ‘Mubaiyenaat’ meaning thereby ‘open and clear’.  They say it means there is nothing hidden and it is a proof that Hadees is not needed to understand Quran. It is an old and useless argument although in various places Allah has described His Ayats with the adjective of ‘Mubaiyenaat’ but it does not mean that a lay man will understand Quran and will practice it.


Anyone who has tried to understand the Quran without the help of scholars has got misguided on every step. On certain occasions these people could not understand the Ayat as these were beyond the understanding of common human beings and these Ayat seemed to contradict their ‘observations’ and ‘experiences’. Some people tried their intellect and got misguided and some took their steps back with an understanding that ‘Mubaiyenaat’ does not mean what they are taking it to be.


Quran Kareem clearly states, through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “Say, "I am only a man like you ...”


So, they say obeying one among us seems to be ridiculous. First thing, we obey so many people in our lives who are like us. It means even among us, the ordinary people there are people who deserve respect and obedience.  All this is an afterthought made up by Mushrikeen of Mecca. They used to think like this and sometimes used to express it hence their demand from Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for miracles. In reply to this Prophet (pbuh) sometimes used to say, with the order of God, that he is a human being like them.


If on the one hand God has described, adjectives like ‘command’, ‘authority’, and ‘power’ for Himself on the other hand He has commanded to follow prophet Muhammad’s instructions and practices.


Do Munkereen Hadees have any answer to, when God says, “Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you...”(Al-Imran: 31) – “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Al-Nisa: 59) “He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away – We have not sent you over them as a guardian.” (Al Nisa: 80) “When Allah and His Messenger have decided something, it is not for a believing man or a believing woman to do anything, they [thereafter] have no choice in that matter. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.” (Al- Ahzab: 36) "So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you." (Al-Hashr: 7), "He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: But if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds)." (Al-Nisa: 80), "And obey Allah and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy."(Al-Imran: 132), "Say: "Obey Allah and His Messenger": But if they turn back, Allah loveth not those who reject Faith."Al-Imran:32), "....for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure)..." (Al-A'raf: 157), "The answer of the Believers, when summoned to Allah and His Messenger, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will attain felicity." (An-Nur: 51)


The above-mentioned few Ayats have been mentioned as examples, otherwise there are many other Ayats which clearly testify that along with Allah, it is necessary to obey His Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also.  Obeying Rasool (SAW) is the way of getting Allah’s mercy and His proximity. Following the orders of Allah without practising Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s life and obeying what he said, is meaningless. If Quran is everything the command of ‘obeying the commands and practicing what Muhammad (pbuh) practiced’ has no standing. And it is not a doctrine thought of later.  Quran Kareem itself has mentioned it time and again as ‘a must’. Quran says, ‘whatever Prophet (pbuh) says is based on ‘revelation’. "Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire." It is no less than inspiration sent down to him:" (An-Najm: 3&4) And so, scholars have called both Quran and Sunnah as ‘revelation’. Book of Allah is ‘recited revelation’ which is recited in Namaz and Hadees of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is ‘non-recited revelation’ which is not recited in Namaz. God has described ‘Hikmat’ (wisdom) along with ‘the Book, Quran. Many of the Ulema say that this ‘wisdom’ (Hikmat) is used in Quran for Ahadees. “Certainly did Allah confer [great] favour upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom.....” (Al-Imran: 164)


All the Ulema and researchers say that ‘wisdom’ (Hadees) is something else other than Quran which can be called ‘secrets’ of deen and ‘orders’ of Sharia. This is what Ulema call “Sunnah”. Imam Sha’fai (RA) says, “Allah talks of Kitab (the Book) that is Quran and then Allah says ‘Hikmat (wisdom) and I have heard from the scholars of Quran that it is Sunnah. Before this ‘Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s birth has been described as “Kindness and Benevolence” for the entire Ummah.


Accepting Imam Sha’fai (RA)’s version, Dr. Mustafa Al-Saba’i writes that Imam Sha’fai (RA) certainly takes ‘wisdom’ or Hikmat’ as Sunnah and it is not right to name anything other than Sunnah with ‘the Book’ specially when Allah is calling ‘Prophet’s birth’ as a kindness and Benevolence’ for the Ummah. It proves that following Sunnah (Hadees) is as much necessary as following Quran. (Al-Sunnah w Mkanetaha Fi Tashriul Islami: 69)


Even in a practical sense, accepting and following Quran without accepting and following Sunnah seems absurd. None of the commands of God in Quran are clear and easy to understand and Hadees has its descriptions, so how will one be able to follow the Book unless he takes help of Hadees. Quran asks us to observe ‘Roza’ (fast) in the month of Ramazan. What is ‘Fast’? How to observe it? Many similar queries have not been answered in Quran but all these things are there in Hadees. Quran commands ‘complete ‘Haj’ and ‘Umrah’ but ‘how’ with what rights and rituals’ is not clear.

]Not only Haj and Umrah but ‘Nikah’ (Marriage), ‘Talaq’, (Divorce), business, and various other such things have been commanded to perform without describing any ritual of performing them. Hadees has the answer of every ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and all such other questions. So for the Muslims it is Hadees which has to be followed to understand God’s commands. Hadees makes and lets us understand the secrets of revelations. The people who seek all answers from Quran do not know the importance of the second most important scripture for Sharia.