WHICH HADITH WILL THEY BELIEVE NOW?
Reference is made to Verse 185 of Sura The Purgatory; ‘hadith’ means ‘word’ in Arabic. As a matter of fact, it made allusion to the hadiths (words, sayings) that were to be ascribed to Muhammad with a view to disparaging the integrity of the uniqueness of the Quran. The transmitters of the hadiths might have used other synonyms to express the same thing such as agval (words), ahbar (news, messages) or hikma (wise saying); the tacit consensus among the transmitters of the hadiths on the use of this word is one of the miracles of the Quran.
111 – It is not a word (hadith) invented, but a confirmation of what was sent before it, a detailed exposition of all things and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe. 12 Joseph, 111
In this verse, the fact that the Quran is not a word invented, and that it is a detailed exposition of all things is stressed; a fact to which the traditionalists have remained blind. The Quran states that the Quran is not a fabricated word (hadith).
6 – Following after them in grief, if they believe not in this word (hadith). 18 The Cave, 6
What is meant by the expression ‘in this word’ is the Quran. The verse indicates that the lack of faith in the Quran will sadden Muhammad. The Prophet never told anybody to take down his sayings. Had his sayings constituted a source for Islam, he would have had his sayings copied and would have been in distress to see his words fall on deaf ears. The only hadith (word) that the Prophet fought for was the Quran. The Quran makes no reference to any hadith other than itself. Had the words of the Prophet been a second source of Islam next to the Quran, this would have been declared in more than one verse of the Quran. There is not a single verse on the issue and the use made of the word ‘hadith’ in the Quran is strong evidence of the adulteration of the concept of hadith.
6 – These are God’s signs that We recite to you truthfully. In which word (hadith) other than God and His signs do they believe? 45 Kneeling, 6
Such is the question asked by God. The meaning that is obtained from the answer that comes out of the behaviour of the traditional defenders of Islam and the imitators of Sunni and Shii madhabs, is:: “We believe in Bukhari, Muslim, the sayings of the Twelve Imams, Abu Davud and b. Mace.”
87 – And whose word (hadith) can be truer than God’s? 4 The Women, 87
34 – Let them produce a word (hadith) like this, if they are truthful. 52 The Mount, 34
Claiming that in the famous book of hadiths of Abu Davud it is pointed out that the Prophet was entrusted with the Quran and similar hadiths, they try to engage in a rescue operation to save the sayings of the Prophet. However, this wish fulfillment falls short of the mark. For the sayings of Muhammad cannot be equated with the Quran, let alone the fact that the bulk of the sayings ascribed to the Prophet is larger than the Quran. Moreover, the hadiths, representative of the traditionalist mind, conflict with the above verse.
6 – Among the people, there are those who spread frivolous words (hadiths) to mislead others from the way of God, and take it in vain. For such there will be a humiliating penalty. 31 Luqmaan, 6
In verse 7 of the same sura we read: “When our signs are rehearsed to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not as if his ears are deaf announce to him a grievous penalty.” If those who turn a deaf ear to the sayings of the Quran because of their sectarian fanaticism were to read these verses not merely for the pleasure of the built-in melody of the recital but to try to understand the meaning, they will surely be in a position to understand better what we are trying to clarify. The word hadith with reference to the Prophet is used in the Quran on two instances:
53 – “Enter not the Prophet’s houses until leave is given you for a meal …and when you have taken your meal; disperse without tarrying, lost in a hadith (word).” 3 The Parties, 53
3 – When the Prophet disclosed a hadith in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it, and God made it known to him… 66 Prohibition, 3
The use made here of the word hadith is not related in some way or another to Sunni and Shiite sectarian opinions. The fact that the word hadith in these verses is used merely to refer to the sayings of Muhammad are of great importance for our discussion. God, the prescient, uses the word hadith not in a Sunni and Shiite religious context, but to refer to the Prophet’s own words. Moreover, in both instances, the word hadith is use in a bad sense. On the other hand, the word sunna is used in the Quran in the combination – sunnatallah meaning ‘the way of God.’ (We shall see this in Chapter 16.)
The word idjma (general agreement in opinion and decision of legalists) and its derivatives, considered to be another source of Islam, again has a negative connotation. This is evidence that the Quran also repudiates ijma just like in the case of sunna and hadith. (For the derivatives of ijma, see 3 The Family of Imran, 157; 3 The Family of Imran, 173; 7 The Purgatory, 48; 10 Jonah, 58; 10 Jonah, 71; 12 Joseph, 19; 17 The Children of Israel, 88; 20 Taha 60; 20 Taha 64; 22 The Pilgrimage, 73; 26 The Poets, 38; 26 The Poets, 39; 26 The Poets, 56; 28 The History, 78; 43 Vanity, 32; 54 The Moon, 44; 54 The Moon, 45; 70 The Heights, 18; 104 The Backbiter, 2.)