Whom should we trust?
Cont’d from page 1
The point is that God gave us the freedom to choose what we eat
and how we eat, beyond the prohibited categories of food. When we
are not satisfied with what God enjoined us to do, what does that
make us? To make additional laws over and above God’s commands
to regulate our lives whether it is related to food, dress, or practices
of religion, is to be unappreciative of God, to say the least.
Furthermore, how can anyone rely on the accuracy of hadiths when
some of them are full of contradictions, nonsense, blasphemies and
lies against God and the prophet? How could recordings attributed
to Muhammad be free of misrepresentations, political and social
bias and distortions? Why should we put our trust in 43 volumes
of what Bukhari wrote down when God’s book is free of all
that, proven and fully protected, and only one volume?
Are all hadiths false?
Probably not. However, the real question is what do we do with
the hadiths. They may give us some historical perspective, but are
they also useful for our religious guidance? God tells us in the
Quran that His revelations are the best hadith (39:23), that He
made the Quran complete and fully detailed. It is sufficient for
our salvation (6:114). God also repeated several times in the Quran
“We made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to
So the argument that hadiths complement the Quran has no basis,
nor do we need hadiths to understand the Quran (12:111). It is in
fact tantamount to saying that God
does not know what He is talking about,
or suggesting that the prophet has defied God’s commands:
This [Quran] is the utterance of an honorable messenger.
Not the utterance of a poet; rarely do you believe.
Nor the utterance of a soothsayer; rarely do you take heed.
A revelation from the Lord of the universe.
Had he [Muhammad] uttered any other teachings.
We would have punished him.
We would have stopped the revelations to him.
None of you could have helped him. [69:40-47]
Indeed it is in one of the reported hadiths that Prophet Muhammad
asked his followers not to write down anything from him, except
the Quran, the revelations of God. Muhammad’s request is in
line with the Quranic teaching above. Knowing that he was a strict
follower of the Quran, because otherwise God would punish him, we
can assume that he probably made such a request. This is a demonstration
of the use of a hadith of the prophet for historical purposes. There
is nothing wrong with refering to hadiths as long as we do not use
them as a religious source and spiritual guidance beside the Quran.
We have to keep in mind how the hadiths were compiled and the process
of their supposed “authentication.”
Bukhari, the hadith compiler
Bukhari included in his book a collection of over 6,000 hadiths.
There are reports that he had heard or had access to more than 600,000
hadiths in his lifetime. He admittedly used extensive methods to
test the authenticity of the hadiths
and to sort them out. Basically he
accepted about 1% of the hadiths he encountered. He found the rest,
the 99% of them, to be unreliable or not worthy of publication.
If this is the case, the people who rely on hadiths are at the mercy
of Bukhari. They trust his judgment and his work more than they
trust in God and His revelations, about what is good and useful
to them for their guidance.
How reliable was Bukhari? How did he manage to pick the “genuine”
hadiths from his collection of over 600,000 hadiths? Is it possible
to achieve this overwhelming task physically in one’s lifetime?
It is reported that Bukhari lived 62 years. Had he spent a mere
hour per hadith for compilation, checking the authenticity, and
for recording it, he would require 600,000 hours total. This translates
into more than 68 years! Assuming that he started collecting hadith
at birth; if he did not sleep, did not eat, did not do anything
else but work, he still would not manage to complete his work before
he died. Therefore it certainly defies logic, especially considering
the reported instances where he supposedly traveled to places that
sometimes took days, or weeks to check the authenticity of a given
Quran: God’s authentic book
In any case, the truth is that we have the Quran, the word of God.
It is a protected book that no falsehood can enter. It does not
have any contradictions, nor any nonsense. We cannot say the same
thing for the hadiths.
Why do they not study the Quran carefully? If it
were from other than GOD, they would have found in it numerous contradictions.
Cont’d on page 4