The Quran: Sufficient as a Source of Islamic Legislation
Dr. Ahmed Subhi Mansour
(The Book Which Was Confiscated by the Governments of Libya and Egypt in the Nineties)
In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
At the beginning of the nineties, I faced a severe battle against extreme poverty and against traditionalist adversaries. My adversaries included the Sufis, the Salafis, the Sunnis, and the Azharites; as well as their religious, educational and da’wah institutes, both in Egypt and internationally. Additionally, I bore the brunt of the heavy-handed repressive, and ever watchful Egyptian governmental agencies which sought me out, and hunted me down like prey.
I was – and remain – against the way people are implementing Islam. Naturally, they denied me of my sustenance, and plagued my life with continuous terror, which they inflicted shamefully. However, if the peaceful thinker was to go to prison, especially Egyptian prisons, even if it be for a few weeks, the experience will never leave him. He continues to bear the experience and memories inside of him no matter h to bear the experience and memories inside of him no matter how long he lives. He remains recollecting the memories, especially if he was, like me, not of much material wealth, and not knowing what will happen to his children if the authorities were to return him to the depths and darkness of their prisons. He even knows what awaits him from the prison guards, most of whom are extremists, and are his adversaries in religion who see their efforts against him as their opportunity of revenge. Just like the supposedly moderate sheikh Sayyid Saabiq (who is the sheikh of the Muslim Brotherhood), when he gave a fatwa in his most famous book Fiqh al-Sunna (The Jurisprudence of the Sunna) with regard to the apostate; and they see me as a fervent apostate. My adversaries are those among the religious extremists and the corrupt, tyrannical politicians. Yet, even though they dispute with each other, they agree on one thing: pursuing and persecuting me.
The idea of imprisoning me for the third time with any charge possible, allowed them to realise their dream of getting rid of me for good, so my blood will be spilt among the masses of prisoners. It was also an evil habit of Egypt’s National Security to apprehend me every so often to frighten and terrorise me, especially with the real possibility of a National Security official extending my stay for one extra night in their unofficial prisons, in which they gather victims to torture (as is their usual daily routine). Most of the victims are extremists who long for revenge and jihad, and my presence among them realized everyone’s dream of being rid of me. I experienced these utopian prisons only for 2 days in 1988, however, God Almighty spared me the worst of the adversities therein.
Extreme poverty, coupled with state terror and the threats of extremists, didn’t in any way stop my productivity nor my insistence on continuing the peaceful struggle to reform the Muslims with Islam. And the evidence rests in the fact that this book was internationalized in 1991 after an incident which I haven’t yet mentioned; most of the details are known to those who took it upon themselves to print and publish this book. Further details were disclosed in al-Ahraam al-Araby newspaper by the journalist Ilhaam al-Majeely close in time to the occurrence of the events:
As far as I know, an enlightened Muslim in Germany wrote to The Scientific Institute for the Studies and Research of The Green Book in Libya suggesting that they publish my books. He also informed them of my battles with the Sunnis and of my weekly essays in the Ahrar Newspaper. At the time, Gaddafi was at the fore of the anti-traditionalist Sunni movement, whilst my adversaries in Egypt were making up stories about relations between him and myself. Yet not one of them thought about the implications of such a claim: for how is it that I endure poverty in Egypt? And why is it that I don’t emigrate to one of the Libyan universities so that I may live a nice and easy life along with my associates and students.
They fail to understand that the free thinker can never be a pawn for any oppressive ruler. An oppressive authority could resort to printing a book of mine out of need, or could even exhort others to publish it – only if that was in its interests. However, its own scholars can’t come up with a similar work. This is what happened with some of my books which proved the incompatibility between Islam and extremism. Example, the Egyptian authorities celebrated my book The Punishment of Defection – which I wrote after the imprisonment of my friend Dr. Faraj Fawda, which shows with clear cut proofs that punishing the defector with death contradicts Islam. Thus, it was published many times because the punishment of defection was proposed by terrorist organizations to the Egyptian authorities and encouraged them with attempts of assassination. For this reason, the criticism of the sheikhs of al-Azhar against this book was moderate. Indeed, in 2002 they issued a fatwa that the punishment of the defector is not death, but merely that he is required to repent.
The case was the same with Gaddafi’s government in Libya which saw that some of my books might strengthen the cause of the mad general in the way of culture, research, and in the media. In any case, this exceptional encounter was set from the beginning to be a relationship between two opposing ideologies. They are the ideology of repression/despotism, and enslavement which doesn’t expect from the cultured writer to be anything but a puppet pulled by its strings. However, the free thinker elevates himself from such limitations because he reads history objectively, and has applied his reasoning to it, and he sees how the striving pen is eternalized and always succeeds against the sword of transgression. These two ideologies can never agree with each other.
An high-ranking Libyan official phoned me, and we agreed that I should author for them a book entitled The Qur’an: Enough as a Source for Islamic Legislation, and after two weeks exactly, I had completed it, then I gave it to them. The renowned journalist al-Majeely, who followed up this affair with me given his links with the Libyan leadership, said at the time that Gaddafi had read the book and he liked it, so he agreed to it being published on the condition that its title is changed to “Why The Qur’an?”, and on the condition that the name of the author should be “Dr. Abdullah al-Khalifa”. I agreed, so long as they didn’t change anything in the main body of the text. It was then agreed that publishing the book would take place in Cairo so that it would be distributed in Egypt first. A woman working at the publisher’s printers was taken aback when she read a page from the book so she informed an investigator from the National Security. They then held back all the copies of the book and sent one copy to Al- Azhar. It was then agreed that the book should be confiscated if they found outthat I was the real author of the book. They then actually transported every copy of the book to dump them near the border. Soon after, the book was published in Libya, however, a Libyan Sunni group oversaw its publishing. This inevitably led to Gaddafi agreeing to confiscate the book because the fashion of rejecting the Sunna had waned with him, and he became busied in other amusement. So too, had everyone else become too busy to remember my financial entitlements which we had agreed upon.
Here lies the book before you, dear reader, after fourteen years of seizure. A clear proof is presented to you herein, so that no claim to ignorance can be made. After reading this book, the facts will be made clear, whilst ignorance will wane, then there will be one decision to make willfully and knowingly: either disclaiming Bukhari and others like him and supporting God Almighty and His honourable messenger, or, supporting Bukhari and the other imams of hadith in their injustice towards God The Most High and His honourable messenger. Every one of us is free in what he decides, and he will be accountable before God on the Day of Resurrection about what he chose for himself, then, he will find his reward either as an eternity in paradise, or, an eternity in the flames.
This is a grave affair, and an even graver responsibility.
Have a happy New Year.
Ahmed Subhi Mansour
The purpose of this book is not to accuse the reader, rather, it is to converse with him with the belief that in the heart of every reasoning Muslim lies the natural Islamic inclination to truth. And if it so happened, that on this natural inclination, hereditary beliefs should accumulate which contradict the truth, then the noble Qur’anic verses are guaranteed to purify this inclination that it may return to its original purity, as it used to be in the prophet’s days, in the Islamic Golden Age.
For this reason, the author calls on the reader to turn with him through the pages of God’s book, and to reflect on its noble verses, seeking guidance for himself and for all the Muslims.
The author’s aim is to leave the Qur’anic facts speak for themselves. All that the author does is to choose a title which represents the true Qur’anic meaning, which will be found in this book, and to seek help from the verses themselves, for some of them clarify others. Further to this, the author keeps love in his heart for all the Muslims who are united by love for the Qur’an, and he prays to God Almighty to guide him and to guide all the brethren of Islam to what He loves and to that which pleases Him.
God Almighty is the One from whom help is sought.
The Noble Qur’an is the Only Source in Islam
1) The Qur’an is the only book for the Muslim.
2) The Qur’an hasn’t left anything out.
Some of us make easy work of believing in books other than the Qur’an and reverentially equating them to the holy Qur’an. Some of us see that belief in the Qur’an alone is enough, but see no harm in believing in other books with the Qur’an which the imams wrote and ascribed to the prophet (peace be upon him!). However, if we were to reflect on the mighty words of God in the honourable Qur’an, we would become sure that the Qur’an is the only book to which the Muslim must hold fast to the exclusion of other books. We would also become sure that the Qur’an is not in need of these human authored books; for the Qur’an has left nothing out, and it came down clarifying everything, and in it came the details of everything needed in clarity and precision.
The Qur’an is a reminder, it is wisdom, and it leads to the straight path. It is the truth in which there is no doubt. And in the end, the Qur’an is the only source in Islam, this is what should be. Let us now review the verses of God in this subject.
1) The Qur’an is the only book for the Muslim.
– There is no god but God, and there is no book for the Muslim except the Qur’an, the Book of God.
God the Almighty has said, “…There is none beside Him as Lord and Master, and He never permits any partners to share in His kingship. You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord’s scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it. (18:26-27).” Thus, God alone is the Lord and Master who never permits any partners to share in His kingship; the Qur’an is the only book that was revealed to the prophet, nothing shall abrogate its words, and the prophet didn’t find another book other than the Qur’an to which he referred. The prophet didn’t find other than God as a god and lord. “Say, “No one can protect me from God, nor can I find any other refuge besides Him. (72:22)” The prophet, too, didn’t have a source to which to refer except the Qur’an, “You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord’s scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it. (18:27).” If the prophet himself referred only to the Qur’an, then what of us ourselves?
– God is sufficient for the believer as a lord, and the Qur’an is sufficient as a book.
With regard to God Almighty being enough for the believer as a lord, He says “Is God not sufficient for His servant?... (39:36)” God alone is the creator, and God alone is the provider/sustainer, “…Is there any creator other than God who provides for you from the heaven and the earth?... (35:3)” For this reason, The Almighty must suffice the believer as a lord “Say, “Shall I seek other than God as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things?”... (6:164)”
So long as God is sufficient enough for the Believer as a lord, then so too is the Book of God sufficient enough for guidance and legislation, The Almighty says “Is it not enough of a miracle that we sent down to you this book, being recited to them?... (29:51).”
It should be noticed that the honourable verses which concern God’s being sufficient as a lord, and the Quran as a book, all take the form of questioning in the negative, that is, negating those who take gods with God and books alongside the Book of God. The Lord of Might has made clear that the Quran is enough, and that it is a mercy and reminder for the believers, “Is it not enough of a miracle that we sent down to you this book, being recited to them? This is indeed a mercy and a reminder for people who believe. (29:51).” It is from God’s mercy on us that He imposed on us one book, which is easy to understand, it’s protected from edition, and He made it plain and clear. It has a beginning and an end, and it doesn’t ask us to refer to other books authored by humans who are just like us, and who are capable of making mistakes, forgetfulness, susceptible to prejudice, and even disobey. Moreover, these books contradict one another, and there is neither a beginning to their books nor an end.
– The Qur’an is the truth in which there is no doubt, and all else is conjecture, and conjecture should not be followed.
The Almighty speaks on the Qur’an: “This scripture is infallible; a beacon for the righteous. (2:2)” The Qur’an has no scope for doubt or uncertainty, the facts of the Qur’an are absolute, and the authors of all other books admit that the truth of the facts therein are relative which are likely to be true or false; and anything which is likely to be either true or false is classed as conjecture. The true religion of God is not based on anything except certain truth in which there is no doubt, so that humans will not have a case against God on the Day of Resurrection. For this reason, God has assured the protection of His Book from any human edition or ineffectuality, “Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it. (15:9)” The Almighty says with regard to His wise Book, “Those who have rejected the Qur’an’s proof when it came to them, have also rejected an Honorable book. No falsehood could enter it, in the past or in the future; a revelation from a Most Wise, Praiseworthy. (41:41-42)”
As to more inferior human religions, they are highly susceptible to conjecture and doubt. For this reason, He commands us to follow the truth in which there is no doubt, and to avoid assumptions which arise from conjecture. The Almighty says concerning assumptions which arise from conjecture, “…Those who set up idols beside God are really following nothing. They only think that they are following something. They only guess. (10:66)” The Almighty also says concerning legislation based on conjecture, “The idol worshipers say, “Had God willed, we would not practice idolatry, nor would our parents, nor would we prohibit anything.” Thus did those before them disbelieve, until they incurred our retribution. Say, “Do you have any proven knowledge that you can show us? You follow nothing but conjecture; you only guess. (6:148)” The Almighty says comparing following truth and following conjecture, “Most of them follow nothing but conjecture, and conjecture is no substitute for the truth… (10:36).” The same phrase is used in chapter 53, “… They follow conjecture, and personal desire, when the true guidance has come to them herein from their Lord. (53:23)”, “…They only conjectured. Conjecture is no substitute for the truth. (53:28).”
God The Great speaks truth! “Conjecture is no substitute for the truth.”
However, the problem is that the great majority of humans disregard the truth and follow conjecture, The Almighty says speaking to the honourable prophet, “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess. (6:116)” Our problem, as Muslims, is that we believe the scholars of hadith
who assure [us] that the great majority of hadith
attributed to the prophet (peace upon him!)
are dependent by virtue of their being handed down from generation to generation with accuracy. However, they admit that [these ahadith
] can contain conjecture, and not complete certainty. In spite of this, some of [those scholars] instruct us to follow conjecture even though it is no substitute for truth.
May God guide us to the straight path!
Attention should be drawn to the fact that God Almighty has described His Exalted Self that He is The Truth, and He described the bringing down of the Qur’an ‘with truth’, and He described the Qur’an itself as being the truth. Concerning God’s describing truth, He, The Truth, says, “Such is God, your rightful Lord. What is there after the truth, except falsehood? … (10:32)”, and “This proves that God is the truth, while any idol they set up beside Him is falsehood… (31:30)”. Concerning the Qu’an’s being brought down ‘in truth’, The Almighty says, “Truthfully, we sent it down, and with the truth it came down… (17:105)”. Concerning the description of the Qur’an that it is the truth, The Almighty says “What we revealed to you in this scripture is the truth… (35:31)”, and “Absolutely, this is the narration of the truth… (3:62)”. Indeed, God Almighty describes the Qur’anic truth as being the absolute certain truth, He says “This is the absolute truth. (56:95)”, and “Surely, it is the absolute truth. (69:51).” So, if God has endowed us with the truth, then how can we take hearsay alongside it, [especially seeing that] there is no scope for conjecture in the true religion?
– The Qur’an is the only hadith in which we must believe.
God Almighty has described the Quran as hadith, and He challenged the polytheists to bring a hadith like it, The Almighty says “Do they say, “He made it all up?” Instead, they are simply disbelievers. Let them produce a Hadith like this, if they are truthful. (52:33-34)”. He described the Qur’an as the best hadith “God has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe there from, then their skins and their hearts soften up for God’s message. Such is God’s guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided)… (39:23)”. So, if God Almighty has honoured us with the best hadith, then why should we take other hadith in its place?
Our Lord has made it clear that all truth is [found] in the hadith of God, i.e. the Qur’an, “…Whose hadith is more truthful than God’s? (4:87).” God Almighty has threatened those who lie about His hadith in the Qur’an, “Therefore, let Me deal with those who reject this Hadith; we will lead them on whence they never perceive. (68:44)”. Our Lord has confirmed that faith is not to be placed in anything other than His hadith, i.e. the Qur’an, He says at the end of chapter 77, “Which Hadith, other than this, do they uphold? (77:50).” The same meaning was repeated when He said “Have they not looked at the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all the things God has created? Does it ever occur to them that the end of their life may be near? Which Hadith, beside this, do they believe in? (7:185).”
This is an open invitation for us to reflect before the inevitable appointed time comes to pass. Indeed, God Almighty has made faith in the Qur’an alone equal to believing in Him alone. Just as one should not believe except in the hadith of the Qur’an alone, then, so too, one should not believe except in God alone. And just as the believer suffices in God alone, then, so too, is the hadith of theQur’an sufficient as hadith. Such ideas have been conveyed in His saying, “These are God’s revelations that we recite to you truthfully. In which Hadith other than God and His revelations do they believe? Woe to every fabricator, guilty. The one who hears God’s revelations recited to him, then insists arrogantly on his way, as if he never heard them. Promise him a painful retribution. (45:6-8).” This refers to he who turns away from God’s verses, and instead holds fast to hadith other than the Qur’an, which the Qur’an [itself has] called ‘baseless hadith’, The Almighty says “Among the people, there are those who uphold baseless Hadith, and thus divert others from the path of God without knowledge, and take it in vain. These have incurred a shameful retribution. And when our revelations are recited to the one of them, he turns away in arrogance as if he never heard them, as if his ears are deaf. Promise him a painful retribution. (31:6-7).” And when The Lord of Might says “Among the people,” He establishes the fact that this verse is applicable to any community, in any time, and at any place.
– The written revelation which came down to the messenger consists of chapters and verses of the Qur’an only.
God has challenged the polytheists to produce a single chapter like the Qur’an, “If you have any doubt regarding what we revealed to our servant, then produce one sura like these… (2:23),” and “If they say, “He fabricated it,” say, “Then produce one sura like these…” (10:38).” This evidence shows that what God Almighty revealed to the honourable messenger consists of chapters (suwar), and there are no chapters except in the Qur’an. So, the Qur’an is the only written revelation which came down to the messenger (peace upon him!).
– On the Day of Judgment, people will be questioned about their faith in the Qur’an.
On The Day of Resurrection The Almighty will say, “O you jinns and humans, did you not receive messengers from among you, who narrated to you My revelations, and warned you about the meeting of this day?… (6:130).” Thus, the messengers used to narrate the revelations of God which He brought down to them.
The Almighty says about the people of the Fire, “Those who disbelieved will be led to Hell in throngs. When they get to it, and its gates are opened, its guards will say, “Did you not receive messengers from among you, who recited to you the revelations of your Lord?… (39:71).” That is, the messengers used to recite the verses of God, and whosoever turns away there from, he will enter the Fire and our Lord will resurrect him blind, “He will say, “My Lord, why did you summon me blind, when I used to be a seer?” God will say, “Because you forgot our revelations when they came to you, you are now forgotten.” We thus requite those who transgress and refuse to believe in the revelations of their Lord… (20:125-127).” We are thus required to believe in the verses that came down to the prophet, and there are no verses of revelation outside the Quran, thus, the Quran and nothing but the Quran.
– There is no equal to the Qur’an just as there is no equal to God The Praised.
The Almighty says about His Self, “…There is nothing that equals Him. He is the Hearer, the Seer. (42:11).” And He says about His Book “Say, “If all the humans and all the jinns banded together in order to produce a Qur’an like this, they could never produce anything like it…” (17:88)” therefore, there is no equal to the Qur’an, just as there is no equal to God!
God is one in His Self and in His attributes, and there is no one like Him from among His creations, “Proclaim, “He is the One and only God. The Absolute God. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him.” (112:1-4).” It isn’t within the capability of any creation to create one chapter like a Qur’anic chapter, “…then produce one sura like these… (2:23),” and “…then produce one sura like these… (10:38).”
There is no equal to the Qur’an, and there is no chapter which is equal to any chapter of the Qur’an. In spite of this, they claim that God revealed to the prophet the Qur’an ‘and its equal alongside it’, so where is this ‘equal’ thing if God Almighty has denied its existence?
2) The Quran hasn’t left anything out.
– The Qur’an clarifies the Qur’an; it is an inherently clear book.
The Almighty says, “Those who conceal our revelations and guidance, after proclaiming them for the people in the scripture, are condemned by God; they are condemned by all the condemners. As for those who repent, reform, and proclaim, I redeem them. I am the Redeemer, Most Merciful. (2:159-160)”.
The Book of God is an inherently clear book, and its verses are described as clarifications, i.e. in order to understand them one needs only to read, study, think, and reflect. The One who made the Book clear and made its verses clear is our Lord, who says “…after proclaiming the revelations for the people in the scripture…”, and the One who said about His Book; “We made the Qur’an easy to learn. Do any of you wish to learn? (54:22)”, and “We thus made this (Qur’an) elucidated in your tongue, in order to deliver good news to the righteous, and to warn with it the opponents. (19:97)”, and “We have thus clarified it in your language, that they may take heed. (44:58)”.
All that is required of us is to read the Qur’an, and if we read it, then its verses will speak for themselves for they don’t need anything from us except to read them and not to ignore them and be silent. For this reason, God Almighty makes silence and suppression (of verses) the opposite of proclamation, which is why God Almighty threatens those who silence or suppress the verses of God which He made clear in His book, “Those who conceal our revelations and guidance, after proclaiming them for the people in the scripture, are condemned by God…”
God says about the people of the book, “God took a covenant from those who received the scripture: “You shall proclaim it to the people, and never conceal it.”… (3:187)”. Thus did God explain to humans that the Book is to be proclaimed and not silenced or suppressed, i.e., it should be studied and read. Thus, whenever we read the Book, its verses speak for themselves for whoever wants to ponder over them.
The verses which speak about the Qur’an’s being a clarifying and clear book are too many to be examined, and in spite of this, some of us still believe that the book of God is obscure and ambiguous and is in need of exegesis. Keeping in mind that God says about His book “Whatever argument they come up with, we provide you with the truth, and a better understanding. (25:33).” So the best understanding of the Qur’an is in the Qur’an.
Even Ibn Kathir admits at the beginning of his loquacious exegesis that the best understanding is to understand the Qur’an with the Qur’an.
– The Quran didn’t leave anything out, and was brought down to clarify everything, it came down with the details for everything we need.
He says, “…We did not leave anything out of this book… (6:38),” and “…We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything… (16:89),” and “…This is not fabricated Hadith; this (Qur’an) confirms all previous scriptures [and] provides the details of everything… (12:111).”
The person who believes in the Quran is in no hurry to accuse the Book of God with deficiency or ambiguity making it in need of clarification, or that it came to us sketchy and thus it’s in need of someone to give the details.
Thus, the one who believes in the Qur’an, believes God’s assertion that He did not leave anything out of the Quran and that it came down clarifying and detailing everything.
And just so that no one manipulates the Qur’an’s intended meaning with their evil desires or bad intentions so that they say ‘where is such and such a thing mentioned in the Qur’an?’ – they must grasp the concept of the Qur’an’s logic before they are quick to accusations.
The Almighty says “…We did not leave anything out of this book… (6:38),” tafreet
means to omit
or, leave out
a crucial and important thing. For example, we don’t find a problem regarding the method for prayer or the number of its units. If God (The Knower of the past, future, and present!)
knew that we would face a problem with regard to prayer, then He would have made clear to us its method, the number of prayers, and its times with detail. However, He only brought down the Qur’an clarifying what we actually need in the present and the future, He brought down the Qur’an with truth and with the law “God is the One who sent down the scripture, to deliver the truth and the law… (42:17).” There is no scope for addition for which we have no need. Had the Qur’an been revealed detailing for us the prayers while we already know what it is and have been practicing it since our childhood, then that would have been somewhat flippant; and there is no scope for flippancy in the Book of God “By the sky that returns (the water). By the earth that cracks (to grow plants). This is a serious narration. Not to be taken lightly. (86:11-14)”.
Thus, the Qur’an has not left out anything for which we have a need.
The Almighty says “…We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything… (16:89),” Tibyaan
means to clarify something which requires clarification and explanation. Yet, something which is inherently clear doesn’t require elucidation, lest any excessive explanations amount to curiosity and mere prattle for which we have no need.
God, Most Glorious, revealed His Book with straightforward verses in which is no scope for nonsense or addition. For this reason, the Qur’an clears up what it has to clear up, and everything that requires clarification and elucidation has been clarified and elucidated in the Qur’an. And something which doesn’t require elucidation is in no need to be elucidated, especially in a Book whose verses have been detailed from a Most Wise, Most Cognizant.
For this reason, elucidation in the Qur’an is connected to guidance, mercy, and good news for the Muslims, “…We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything, and guidance, and mercy, and good news for the submitters. (16:89)”. Thus, the explanations of the Qur’an are a “guidance” for the one seeking guidance amongst a mass of ambiguity and uncertainty. The explanations found in the Qur’an are also a “mercy” for the one seeking guidance because it makes known to him/her what was unknown, and it guarantees him/her security and divine mercy as well as good news.
The details of the Qur’an are also connected to guidance and mercy, The Almighty says “We have given them a scripture that is fully detailed, with knowledge, guidance, and mercy for the people who believe. (7:52)”. Therefore, the Qur’anic details which include everything are a guidance and a mercy for those who need these details. And if it so happened that such things were clear and didn’t require detailing or clarification, then it would be futile to clarify what is already clear.
Exalted is God above futility!
We humans are prone to convert any details in our communication to unnecessary blather and mere loquaciousness for which there is no need and cannot, practicably, be put to use; and this is exactly what the details of the Book avoid, for it only provides the details we actually need. For this reason, the details of the Qur’an are connected to precise laws, and God says in this regard, “A.L.R. This is a scripture whose verses have been perfected, then elucidated. It comes from a Most Wise, Most Cognizant. (11:1)”.
The Almighty says about divine knowledge “We have given them a scripture that is fully detailed, with knowledge, guidance, and mercy for the people who believe. (7:52)”.
For this reason, the believers who research and study the whole Qur’an and who find it sufficient, they are the only ones who understand the Quran. Regarding this God says “… We thus explain the revelations for people who know. (7:32),” and “…We thus explain the revelations for people who reflect. (10:24),” and “…We thus explain the revelations for people who understand. (30:28).” He also says “A scripture whose verses provide the complete details, in an Arabic Qur’an, for people who know. (41:3)”.
As for those who don’t know, they are the ones who challenge the Qur’an’s assertions, disbelieving its clarity and not believing that it details everything; they say ‘Where is the number of units of prayer mentioned in the Qur’an?’ or, ‘Where is the method for prayer mentioned in the Qur’an?’ or, ‘How should we perform the pilgrimage?’ Some of them mock and say ‘Where are the days of the week mentioned in the Qur’an?’ The Almighty says “As for those who constantly challenge our revelations, they have incurred a retribution of painful humiliation. (34:5).” He refers to them in this verse in the past tense
, so what of the present? He says “As for those who consistently challenge our revelations, they will abide in retribution. (34:38)”.
We pray God Almighty that we do not be of those who challenge His revelations!
– The Qur’an is the remembrance which came down to the prophet (peace upon him!).
The Almighty says “We did not send before you except men whom we inspired. Ask those who know the scripture, if you do not know. We provided them with the proofs and the scriptures. And we sent down to you the dhikr
, to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them, perhaps they will reflect. (16:43-44).” People misunderstand God’s saying “…And we sent down to you the dhikr
, to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them…”
That’s because they cut off this part of the verse from what precedes it, so they make this as their proof of the existence of another source alongside the Qur’an. They believe that there is another dhikr
which has been sent down to the prophet with which he clarified the Qur’an which was sent down to the people. If we really want to understand the verse correctly, we must reflect on the Qur’anic context. God says about the previous prophets “We did not send before you except men whom we inspired. Ask those who know the scripture, if you do not know. We provided them with the proofs and the scriptures…” that is, God Almighty sent the previous prophets to the People of the Book, and He sent with them the proofs and scriptures, then He directs the reference to the prophet and says “…And we sent down to you the dhikr
…”, i.e. the Qur’an, “…to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them…”, i.e. to make clear to the People of the Book what was previously revealed to them of the proofs and scriptures perhaps they will reflect.
The word ‘people’ in the phrase “…to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them…,” doesn’t necessarily mean all people in general, rather, it means – taking into account the context of the verse – the People of the Book to whom was revealed the previous Divine Scriptures, however, after some time, they disagreed about the scriptures and they edited parts of them.
The use of the word ‘people’ in reference to a particular
group of people mentioned in the context occurs frequently in the Qur’an, e.g., “Those who when the people say to them, “People have mobilized against you; you should fear them,” this only strengthens their faith… (3:173),” and “Joseph my friend, inform us about seven fat cows being devoured by seven skinny cows, and seven green spikes, and others shriveled. I wish to go back with some information for the people.” Clearly, the word people in these two examples doesn’t refer to all people in general, rather, it refers to a specific group of people mentioned in the context
With regard to God’s saying “…And we sent down to you the dhikr, to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them…” the intended meaning for the word ‘people’ is the People of the Book, because the verse speaks about the previous prophets and what God has brought down to them of books and of proofs. Thus, ’ahl al-dhikr are the people who have knowledge of the previous divine books.
The verse points out one reason out of many with regard to the book’s revelation, “…And we sent down to you the dhikr, to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them…”, thus, the Qur’an’s purpose here is to make clear for the People of the Book the truth that can be found in the previous divine scriptures even though they underwent editions, modifications, suppression and secretion, and God says regarding this, “O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from God, and a profound scripture. (5:15).” God says about the role of the Qur’an in clarifying the truth for the Children of Israel, “This Quran settles many issues for the Children of Israel; issues that they are still disputing. (27:76)”, He also says “We did not send before you except men whom we inspired. Ask those who know the scripture, if you do not know. We provided them with the proofs and the scriptures. And we sent down to you this message, to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them, perhaps they will reflect. (16:43-44)”.
These two verses (16:43-44), have been explained by another two verses in the same chapter, God says “By God, we have sent (messengers) to communities before you, but the devil adorned their works in their eyes. Consequently, he is now their lord, and they have incurred a painful retribution. We have revealed this scripture to you, to point out for them what they dispute… (16:63-64)”. All this confirms that the Qur’an is the dhikr which came down to the prophet to make clear for the People of the Book what came down to them before, and to point out for them what they dispute, we can thus infer form this the following: that which came down to the prophet is one Book, one dhikr (remembrance), one Qur’an, which has no equal and there is nothing alongside it.
The Qur’an has often been described in the Qur’an as dhikr, e.g. “…you simply deliver this reminder for all the people. (12:104)”, and “This is a reminder for the world. (38:87)”, and “Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it. (15:9)”, and “This too is a blessed reminder that we sent down… (21:50)”. God says confirming that the dhikr of God is only the Qur’an, “When you read the Qur’an, we place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter an invisible barrier. We place shields around their minds, to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears. And when you preach your Lord, using the Qur’an alone, they run away in aversion. (17:45-46)”.
The polytheists used to flee from the prophet because he used to mention his Lord using only what was found in the Qur’an. The Almighty says, “…And when you preach your Lord, using the Qur’an alone, they run away in aversion.” The evidence here is the word “alone” which can refer to God and the Qur’an together. It is a literary miracle that the word “alone” is suffixed with the singular pronoun which can refer either to God or His Book; this confirms that the Muslim is he who suffices with God “alone”, and with the Qur’an “alone”, or even he who suffices with God and His book “alone.” As for the one who worships other than God, then he prefers that his sources and his gods be numerous, “…And when you preach your Lord, using the Qur’an alone, they run away in aversion.” This is what the verse makes clear.
We ask of God guidance for us all!
– The Qur’an is complete, perfect and requires nothing else alongside it.
The Almighty says, “The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient. (6:115)”. The word of God has been made complete for us with the Qur’an, and none can abrogate His word.
He says “…Today, I have completed your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed Submission as the religion for you… (5:3)”, in light of this, God’s blessing on us has been perfected with Islam and He has decreed for us the religion upon the completion of the Qur’an’s revelation.
He also says “If all the trees on earth were made into pens, and the ocean supplied the ink, augmented by seven more oceans, the words of God would not run out… (31:27)”.
There is no maximum limit to the words of God which do not run out. The Qur’an is a multiple-meaning book with different meanings being repeated therein, and it clarifies things and details them with wisdom and knowledge. Sometimes, the word “qul” (which means “say”), confirms a meaning which has already been mentioned in the Qur’an so that anything the prophet said is found in the Qur’an itself and not from his own opinion or outside the Qur’an.
If God wanted His words to be non-ending for us He would have done so, and in which case if all the trees in the world were pens and if all the seas were ink, God’s words would still not run out. However, God’s mercy has willed that He bring down to us one complete, perfect, clear, and fully detailed book; and He has ordered us to find it sufficient.
For this reason, finding the Qur’an to be sufficient is a mercy, “Is it not enough of a miracle that we sent down to you this book, being recited to them? This is indeed a mercy and a reminder for people who believe. (29:51)”. God Himself is witness over the fact that His book is enough, the Almighty says, “Say, “God suffices as a witness between me and you. He knows everything in the heavens and the earth. Surely, those who believe in falsehood and disbelieve in God are the real losers.” (29:52)”.
– The Qur’an is God’s Straight Path and anything else is a departure from the Straight Path.
In the opening chapter of the Qur’an we call God and we say “Guide us in the right path.” The right path is the Qur’an; God says about His Book, “This is the straight path to your Lord. We have explained the revelations for people who take heed. (6:126)”.
The Almighty says commanding us to follow the Qur’an with the exclusion of all else, “This is My path - a straight one. You shall follow it, and do not follow any other paths, lest they divert you from His path. These are His commandments to you, that you may be saved. (6:153)”. God Almighty has commanded us to follow the Qur’an, His Straight Path, and has prohibited us from following any other paths so that the Muslims don’t become divided and so that they don’t stray far from His Path. What God warned us about has already happened, because the Muslims chose to believe in hadith
falsely attributed to the prophet (peace upon him!)
, and they dispute over the chains of narration. The ‘science of hadith
’ attempts to amend those narrations and the chains of narration. The Almighty has already said, “…and do not follow any other paths…”
; what is interesting here is that the scholars of hadith
establish these narrations and these chains of narration based on routes, or paths so that they say a certain hadith
is from the chain of so-and-so, and that a narration came via “so-and-so’s path;” that is, once they strayed off the Path and left it behind, they followed other paths and they forgot God’s saying “…do not follow any other paths, lest they divert you from His path…” These are the routes, paths, and chains which the ‘science of hadith
’ establishes, which has caused endless division and dispute. True is what the word of God Almighty warned us about.
God Almighty warned us about division and said to the messenger (peace upon him!), “Those who divide themselves into sects do not belong with you… (6:159)”, that is, He commanded him to disown those who divide themselves.
The prophet, on the Day of Resurrection, will announce his innocence from those who left the book of God and forsook it in place of other sources and beliefs to which God gave no authority. The Almighty says, “The messenger said, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Qur’an.” We also set up against every prophet enemies from among the guilty. Your Lord suffices as a guide, a master. (25:30-31)”.
The Quran alone is the Straight Path.
It is ‘geometrically’ impossible for there to be more than one book which is described as the ‘Straight Path’. Geometry establishes the fact that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points; there cannot be more than one straight line between two points. Thus, there can only ever be one line which is described as the Straight Line, or the Straight Path. There is only one Straight Line or Straight Path in God’s religion, no more. And since the Qur’an is the complete and perfect book of wisdom, it requires no other book with it.
Even though we implore God in our prayers to guide us to the Straight Path, we are customarily unaware of the meaning of the Straight Path. That is because the devil made clear his objectives of removing us from the Straight Path and turning it into many different paths, “He said, “Since You have willed that I go astray, I will skulk for them on Your straight path.” (7:16)”.
Lord, guide us to the Straight Path!
– The Qur’an is wisdom.
The Almighty says, “He is the One who sent to the gentiles a messenger from among them, to recite to them His revelations, purify them, and teach them the scripture and wisdom… (62:2)”. It is a common belief that the book is one thing and wisdom another; their proof for this is that the conjunction “and” denotes a difference between the book and wisdom.
However, the fact is that the use of the conjunction “and” in the Quran can used be for purposes of clarification, elucidation, and preference, but not for difference. The proof for this is God’s saying, “We gave Moses and Aaron the Statute Book, a beacon, and a reminder for the righteous. (21:48)”. The Statute Book, the beacon, and the reminder are all descriptions of the Torah. In another place, The Almighty says about the Torah whilst talking about Moses and Aaron, “We gave both of them the profound scripture. (37:117)”. So the Torah, or the profound scripture, is the same as The Statute Book, the beacon, and the reminder. The conjunction here is thus being used to clarify and detail one thing, but not for difference.
God Almighty says to Jesus, “…I taught you the scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel… (5:110)”. He also says about Jesus, “He will teach him the scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel. (3:48)”.
In light of this, the scripture, and wisdom are descriptions for the Torah and Gospel; and this doesn’t mean that God Almighty taught Jesus four separate and different things, and the proof is God’s saying about Jesus “When Jesus went with the proofs, he said, “I bring to you wisdom… (43:63)”. The ‘wisdom’ referred to here denotes the Gospels which Jesus brought. This verse sums up the above two verses regarding the scripture, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel. Therefore, wisdom is the book of God.
Regarding the final prophet, there are in the Quran many successive instructions in chapter 17, which begin with God’s saying “You shall not set up any other god beside God…” all the way to His saying “You shall not walk proudly on earth…” then, at the end of these Quranic injunctions, the Almighty says “This is some of the wisdom inspired to you by your Lord…” (17:22-39)”. So, wisdom is the verses of the Quran, and the Quran is wisdom, for it is the speech of the Mighty, the Wise. The One who made it a perfect book, “…This is a scripture whose verses have been perfected, then elucidated. It comes from a Most Wise, Most Cognizant. (11:1)”.
Wisdom is one of the many descriptions of the Quran and it is synonymous with the book itself. The use of the word ‘wisdom’ is the same as the use of other words like ‘the Statute Book’ and ‘the light.’
Our last proof, that wisdom is the Quran, is God’s saying “…Remember God’s blessings upon you, and that He sent down to you the scripture and wisdom to enlighten you with it
… (2:231)”. Now, if wisdom constituted a thing other than the Quran, He would have said ‘and that He sent down to you the scripture and wisdom to enlighten you with them
.’ However, because wisdom is
the Quran, He said “…to enlighten you with it
…”, proving that they are indeed one and the same thing, which is why the pronoun refers to them both in the singular.
The Quran, the Prophet, and the Messenger
1) The difference between the prophet and messenger.
People misunderstand the instruction to obey and follow the messenger, that’s because they misunderstand the difference between the meanings of ‘the prophet’ and ‘the messenger.’
‘The prophet’ is Muhammad bin Abdullah; the man himself, in his life, in his private affairs, in his social relations with those around him, and in his human conduct. Owing to his human conduct, he was susceptible to rebuke from God Almighty. For this reason, he used to be rebuked in his capacity as a prophet, e.g. “O you prophet, why do you prohibit what God has made lawful for you, just to please your wives?… (66:1)”. God Almighty also says on the subject of the prisoners of war of the battle of Badr, “No prophet shall acquire captives, unless he participates in the fighting. You people are seeking the materials of this world, while God advocates the Hereafter… (8:67)”. God also says to him, “Even the prophet cannot take more of the spoils of war than he is entitled to. Anyone who takes more than his rightful share will have to account for it on the Day of Resurrection… (3:161)”. And when he sought forgiveness for some of his relatives, our Lord said to him “Neither the prophet, nor those who believe shall ask forgiveness for the idol worshipers, even if they were their nearest of kin, once they realize that they are destined for Hell. (9:113)”. Concerning a very hard battle the believers fought, the Almighty says “God has redeemed the prophet, and the immigrants (Muhãjireen) and the supporters who hosted them and gave them refuge (Ansãr), who followed him during the difficult times. That is when the hearts of some of them almost wavered… (9:117)”.
The Almighty also said, instructing the prophet to be reverent of Him, and to follow the revelation, and to trust in Him, and in prohibiting him from obeying the disbelievers, He said “O you prophet, you shall reverence God and do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites. God is Omniscient, Most Wise. Follow what is revealed to you from your Lord. God is fully Cognizant of everything you all do. And put your trust in God… (33:1-3)”. All this is addressing him as a prophet.
The Quranic discussion about the relationship between Muhammad (peace upon him!) and his wives – who are the mothers of the believers – also addresses him as a prophet, “O prophet, say to your wives, “If you are seeking this life and its vanities, then let me compensate you and allow you to go amicably. (33:28)”, and “The prophet had trusted some of his wives with a certain statement… (66:3)”. The Quran was addressing the mothers of the believers, however, it didn’t say ‘O wives of the messenger’, rather, it said “O wives of the prophet, if any of you commits a gross sin, the retribution will be doubled for her. This is easy for God to do. (33:30)”, and “O wives of the prophet, you are not the same as any other women… (33:32)”.
The discussion about his relationship with the people around him also addresses him as a prophet, “O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen their garments… (33:59)”, and “The prophet is closer to the believers than they are to each other, and his wives are like mothers to them… (33:6)”, and “O you who believe, do not enter the prophet’s homes unless you are given permission to eat… (33:53)” and “…Others made up excuses to the prophet: “Our homes are vulnerable,”… (33:13)”, and so on. In light of this, ‘the prophet’ is Muhammad the man, in his behaviour, in his private and public social relations, for this reason, he was addressed as the prophet to follow the revelation.
However, when the prophet speaks with the Quran, he is the messenger who should be obeyed for the sake of God, “We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed in accordance with God’s will… (4:64)”, and “Whoever obeys the messenger is obeying God… (4:80)”. The prophet Muhammad as a human was the first to obey the Quranic revelation, and the first to implement it on himself. Whenever the prophet himself was ordered to follow the revelation, the instruction came to obey the messenger, that is, to obey the prophet when he spoke using the message, i.e. the Quran, “Say, “Obey God, and obey the messenger.”… (24:54)”. There does not occur a single instance in the Quran of God saying ‘Obey God, and obey the prophet.’ This is because obedience is not due to the prophet who is a human, but it is due to the message, i.e. the messenger, i.e. the word of God Almighty which was revealed to the prophet, and which the prophet was the first to obey. Not forgetting to mention that there does not occur a single instance in the Quran of the messenger being rebuked.
The word ‘prophet’ has a single defined meaning, it is: the man who was chosen by God from among the people to inform him of the revelation so that he becomes a messenger. As for the word ‘messenger,’ it has – in the Quran – many meanings, they are:
1. to signify ‘the prophet:’ “Muhammad was not the father of any man among you. He was a messenger of God and the final prophet… (33:40)”.
to signify Gabriel: “This is the utterance of an honorable messenger. Authorized by the Possessor of the Throne, fully supported. He shall be obeyed and trusted. Your friend is not crazy
. He saw him at the high horizon. (18:19-23)”.
3. to signify the angels: the angels who record our works, “Do they think that we do not hear their secrets and conspiracies? Yes indeed; our messengers are with them, recording. (43:80)”.
4. to signify a runner (someone who carries a letter or message from one person to another): like Joseph’s saying to the king’s messenger ‘go back to your lord’ in the verse “The king said, “Bring him to me.” When the messenger came to him, he said, “Go back to your lord…” (12:50)”.
5. to signify the Quran or the message: intertwined with this meaning is the meaning of ‘the message-bearing prophet’ who speaks with the revelation and that goes for all the instructions which endorse obeying God and His messenger. All these verses point to obeying the word of God which He brought down to His messenger, and the messenger was the first to speak the revelation, and the first to practice it.
This final signification of ‘the Quran,’ means that the messenger of God is present among us, even to this day, and that is the book of God which God will preserve till the Day of Resurrection. We can understand this from God’s saying “How can you disbelieve, when these revelations of God have been recited to you, and His messenger is among
you? Whoever holds fast to God will be guided in the right path. (3:101)”. That is, so long as the book of God is being recited, the messenger is present among us, and whoever holds fast to God and His book, God has guided him to the Straight Path. This remains valid at any time, and in any place so long as the Quran is preserved; and it will remain preserved and will serve as a proof for the creation till the rising of the Hour.
The word ‘messenger’ in some Quranic verses signifies the Quran itself with the utmost clarity, as in His saying “…Anyone who gives up his home, emigrating to God and His messenger, then death catches up with him, his recompense is reserved with God… (4:100)”.
This verse sets out a general and continually-applicable law, which remains applicable even after the death of Muhammad (peace upon him!). Thus, emigration for the sake of God and His messenger – i.e. the Quran – continues to be possible even after the death of the prophet Muhammad, so long as the Quran (or message) remains.
Sometimes, the word ‘messenger’ can only signify the Quran specifically without any other meaning; “That you people may believe in God and His messenger, and reverence Him, and observe Him, and glorify Him, day and night. (48:9)”.
The word ‘messenger’ here signifies the word of God only, and does not signify Muhammad the messenger at all. The proof for this is that the pronoun which is suffixed to the word ‘messenger’ occurs in singular form, thus God says “…and reverence Him, and observe Him, and glorify Him, day and night.” The use of the singular pronoun means that God and His messenger (i.e. His words) are not two separate entities rather, they are one and the same thing, for He did not say ‘and reverence them both, and observe them both, and glorify them both, day and night.’ Glorification is due only to God Almighty, alone. And there is no difference between God Almighty and His words, for God Almighty is one in His essence and in His attributes, “Proclaim, “He is the One and only God…” (112:1)”.
He says, “They swear by God to you, to please you, when God and His messenger are more worthy of pleasing… (9:62)”.
If the messenger in this verse signifies the prophet Muhammad, He would have said ‘are both more worthy of pleasing.’ However, the messenger here signifies the word of God only, which is why ‘God and His messenger’ are referred to in the singular, which means ‘God and His words’.
So, the prophet is Muhammad the man, in his private and public life. As for the messenger, he is the prophet when he utters the Quran and delivers the message “O you messenger, deliver what is revealed to you from your Lord… (5:67)”.
Whenever God orders the prophet to follow the revelation, He orders us all to obey God and the messenger, i.e. the message. There isn’t a single instance in the Quran where God says ‘the sole duty of the prophet is to deliver the message,’ rather, He says “The sole duty of the messenger is to deliver the message… (5:99).” Therefore, delivering the message is associated with the message, just as ‘the prophet’ is associated with the human side of the messenger in his life, his conditions, and his relations.
– The words of the messenger, and the words of the prophet.
We now know that ‘prophet’ signifies Muhammad the man (peace upon him!), in his life, in his private and public relations, and in his conduct as a human being. As for the messenger, he is the prophet Muhammad when he utters the message and delivers the revelation.
Muhammad the man (or the prophet) had his words with his wives and with his friends, and he had his conduct as his being a leader, a teacher, and a head of state. Muhammad the messenger had his words as his being a messenger upon whom the revelation of God came down that he may deliver the message to the people. So, what is the difference between this and that? Let us start with Muhammad the messenger and his sayings.
The sayings of the messenger:
The intense hatred expressed by the polytheists towards the Quran must be noted here, for they tried to make the messenger change the words of the Quran and substitute them. However, the prophet used to reject this request by expressing his fear of God’s awesome retribution, we read “When our revelations are recited to them, those who do not expect to meet us say, “Bring a Quran other than this, or change it!” Say, “I cannot possibly change it on my own. I simply follow what is revealed to me. I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the retribution of an awesome day.”
Say, “Had God willed, I would not have recited it to you, nor would you have known anything about it. I have lived among you a whole life before this (and you have known me as a sane, truthful person). Do you not understand?” (10:15-16)”. They wanted him to speak about the religion without using the Quran whilst ascribing it to God, but he refused fearing the retribution of a Great Day.
But the polytheists never gave up, they decided to clampdown and trick the prophet that they may reach some kind of compromise, but he was warned “Do not obey the rejecters. They wish that you compromise, so they too can compromise. (68:8-9)”. However, they persisted in their struggle and they had almost influenced the prophet, but God’s preserving His revelation was quicker than their scheming. The Quran describes this in the clearest terms: “They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend. If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit. Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us. (17:73-75)”.
The reader is urged to study, at leisure, these verses so that he/she may reach the conclusion that the polytheists urged the prophet to speak about the religion outside the Quran whilst ascribing it to God, but they failed because God Almighty preserved the Quranic revelation despite the schemes of the polytheists. There is a testament in the Quran about the prophet being innocent, and which confirms that he never spoke about God’s religion except using the Quran, the word of God, and that he never invented anything against God, this testament is: “A revelation from the Lord of the universe. Had he uttered any other teachings. We would have punished him. We would have stopped the revelations to him. None of you could have helped him. (69:43-47)”. Thus, had the prophet spoke about God something which God didn’t say, God would have punished him a severe punishment which would have been witnessed by the people in the prophet’s time, and they wouldn’t have been able to prevent this punishment to protect the prophet because He said “None of you could have helped him.” Now, seeing that this punishment never took place, we can be sure that the prophet delivered the complete message in his time and didn’t fabricate anything about God.
Religion is for God. God is the One who reveals it through the revelations, and it’s a duty on the people to yield to the revelation no matter how much it conflicts with their desires. The messenger is the one who receives the revelation then he delivers it with all his power, and he does not have the right to add to it or to take anything away. The Almighty says about the last prophet (peace upon him!) “Had he uttered any other teachings.” This is said so as to exempt the prophet from speaking about God’s religion as a human being. It must be noted, however, that God has ordered him to say such-and-such a thing, this is the real meaning of the oft-occurring word “say” in the Quran.
The word “say” is one of the most important Quranic words. It occurs in the Quran 332 times, it indicates that there are specific things that God ordered the messenger to say to the people.
The Torah foretold of the final prophet who would be born of the progeny of Ishmael, “The Lord, your God will raise a prophet from among you, from among your brothers, like me; you will hear of him. I will raise for them a prophet from among their brothers like you, and I will put my words into his mouth then he will speak to them about everything I entrust them to do.
The evidence here, is that the previous divine books foretold of the final prophet to whom the revelation is revealed instructing him to ‘say this and that’; which then becomes a part of the written revelation, or, in the words of the Torah, “and I will put my words into his mouth then he will speak to them about everything I entrust them to do.”
Looking at all the places where the word “say” occurs in the Quran, we note the following:
1. The most frequent occurrence of the word “say” is in discussion with the different human and religious groups:
a. there are discussions with the polytheists; e.g., “Say, “Roam the earth and note the consequences for those before you.” …(30:42)”
b. there are discussions with the people of the book; “Say, “O followers of the scripture, let us come to a logical agreement between us and you… (3:64)”
c. there are discussions with the hypocrites; “They swear by God, solemnly, that if you commanded them to mobilize, they would mobilize. Say, “Do not swear. Obedience is an obligation… (24:53)”
d. there are discussions with the believers; “Say, “Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you…” (6:151)”
e. there are discussions with all of humanity; “Say, “O people, I am God’s messenger to all of you…” (7:158)”
2. The word “say” also occurs in response to the questions of the believers; “…They also ask you what to give to charity: say, “The excess.” …(2:219)”
3. The word “say” also legislates and defines belief, worship and supplication; “Proclaim, “He is the One and only God…” (112:1)”, and “Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak…” (113:1)”, and “Say, “My Lord has guided me in a straight path - the perfect religion of Abraham, monotheism…” (6:161)”
4. The word “say” can be repeated in the same verse, “Say, “Shall I accept other than God as a Lord and Master, when He is the Initiator of the heavens and the earth, and He feeds but is not fed?” Say, “I am commanded to be the most devoted submitter”… (6:14)”
5. The word “say” is also used in the following ways, The Almighty says, “O people, you shall reverence your Lord, and fear a day when a father cannot help his own child, nor can a child help his father. Certainly, God’s promise is truth. Therefore, do not be distracted by this life; do not be distracted from God by mere illusions. With God is the knowledge regarding the Hour (end of the world). He is the One who sends down the rain, and He knows the contents of the womb. No soul knows what will happen to it tomorrow, and no one knows in which land he or she will die. God is Omniscient, Cognizant. (31:33-34)”. Similarly, “They ask you about the end of the world (the Hour), and when it will come to pass. Say, “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. Only He reveals its time. Heavy it is, in the heavens and the earth. It will not come to you except suddenly.” They ask you as if you are in control thereof. Say, “The knowledge thereof is with God,” but most people do not know. Say, “I have no power to benefit myself, or harm myself. Only what God wills happens to me. If I knew the future, I would have increased my wealth, and no harm would have afflicted me. I am no more than a warner, and a bearer of good news for those who believe. (7:187-188)”.
If we were to think about every verse in which the word “say” occurs, we would become certain that the Quran always provided the prophet with many answers that he needed on any subject so that he would not have the capacity, opportunity, or even the authorisation to speak about God’s religion from his own opinion. Especially seeing that God Almighty had prohibited the prophet to speak about the religion from his own opinion, or that he should falsely ascribe words to God. This then means that the words of the messenger and his hadith are to be found in the Quran itself among its verses, especially among the verses which contain the divine command of “say” which contain all the information that the prophet and the Muslims needed.
The prophet himself used to warn with the Quran, “And preach with this (Quran) to those who reverence the summoning before their Lord… (6:51)”. He also used to remind with the Quran, “…Remind with this (Quran), lest a soul may suffer the consequences of its evil earnings… (6:70)”, and “…Therefore, remind with this Quran, those who reverence My warnings. (50:45)”. The prophet also used to give them good news with the Quran, “We thus made this (Quran) elucidated in your tongue, in order to deliver good news to the righteous, and to warn with it the opponents. (19:97)”. He used to strive against them too using the Quran, “Therefore, do not obey the disbelievers, and strive against them with this, a great striving. (25:52)”.
The prophet (peace upon him!) had the ‘conduct of the Quran’, and it was rightful of him to have the conduct of the Quran, “You are blessed with a great moral character. (68:4)”. Conduct in the Quranic sense is the religion itself. Is there a religion greater than the religion of God?
The sayings of the prophet:
Outside the revelation, Muhammad (peace upon him!) was a judge, a leader, a soldier, a husband, a friend, and a member of his community. He was exemplary in all these capacities. He was a well spoken, eloquent man. He succeeded in making the call to Islam, and in setting up a state. He faced many political and personal difficulties in his life, but he conquered those difficulties and was successful in the end owing to his talents, and his exemplary decorum. Of course, his human weakness sometimes overcame him and affected his own self and those around him; his sayings and his actions outside the Quranic revelation sometimes went against the revelation.
The Quran mentions some sayings of the prophet; it praises him for some and rebukes him for some, a few examples follow:
- In the battle of Badr, the Muslims mobilized in their small number to face a caravan, but to their surprise, a big army had come out to face them which was greater in number and much better equipped. So the Muslims had hated to engage them out of fear, the Quran paints a picture of the scene, “When your Lord willed that you leave your home, to fulfill a specific plan, some believers became exposed as reluctant believers. They argued with you against the truth, even after everything was explained to them. They acted as if they were being driven to certain death. (8:5-6)”. The prophet, who was their leader, encouraged his friends, God recorded this saying of his and mentioned what the prophet said in a good way, “You told the believers, “Is it not enough that your Lord supports you with three thousand angels, sent down?” (3:124)”. The prophet said to them in that situation ‘is it not enough that your Lord supports you with three thousand angels?’ This is a hadith of the prophet, who was the leader in the Battle of Badr, the Quran mentions this in praise.
- In a few other severe battles, the hypocrites became sluggish in mobilizing, whereas a few destitute believers came to the prophet to ask him if they can mobilize with him because they didn’t have any means of transport, or any provisions. The prophet then apologised to them saying “I do not have anything to carry you on.” The Quran explains this incident: “Not to be blamed are those who are weak, or ill, or do not find anything to offer, so long as they remain devoted to God and His messenger. The righteous among them shall not be blamed. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. Also excused are those who come to you wishing to be included with you, but you tell them, “I do not have anything to carry you on.” They then turn back with tears in their eyes, genuinely saddened that they could not afford to contribute. (9:91-92)”. The prophet said to them in that situation “I do not have anything to carry you on.” This is a hadith of the prophet which is specific to that time and place.
- Regarding the case of Zayd’s marriage and divorce, whose wife later got married to the prophet (peace upon him!), God says regarding this “Recall that you said to the one who was blessed by God, and blessed by you, “Keep your wife and reverence God,” and you hid inside yourself what God wished to proclaim. Thus, you feared the people, when you were supposed to fear only God… (33:37)”. God had ordered the prophet to make Zayd divorce his wife and then to marry her himself after the divorce so that the prophet could practically and publicly dispel the pre-Islamic ignorant notion that one’s adopted son’s wife is the same as the wife of one’s real biological son, and in doing so, he established the precedent that a man can marry the divorced wife of his adopted son if they are completely through with each other. The prophet should have said to Zayd ‘Divorce your wife.’ But he was apprehensive so he said the exact opposite, so the Quran came down rebuking the prophet and reminding him of what he said and why he deserved rebuke from our Lord “Recall that you said to the one who was blessed by God, and blessed by you, “Keep your wife and reverence God,”…”, so, the hadith of the prophet here would be “Keep your wife and reverence God.” The prophet said this to Zayd bin Haritha, and this hadith is also bound to the time and place in which it was said.
The above examples demonstrate that the prophet in his every day life and in his many social relations said and did many things. These sayings (or hadith) were bound to the time and place in which they were said, and which cannot be applied to any successive time because the exact same occurrences (involving the same people and conditions) can never happen again. History is history; we can only derive lessons and warnings from it.
The recorded life history of the prophet contains many hadith and sayings which have been attributed to him in both the Medinan and Meccan periods; it is merely history, it contains truth and errors, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the religion of God Almighty. As for the narrations found in the Quran about the prophet Muhammad, then these are wholly true and cannot be distorted. Belief in these Quranic narrations is the same as belief in the Quran itself.
The sayings of the prophet inside the Quranic revelation which the Quran narrates are lessons for us, we believe in them just as we believe in every other word of the Quran.
The sayings of the prophet outside the Quranic revelation which the oral traditionalists recorded centuries after the death of the prophet as part of his life history are to be considered as history which can be either true or erroneous, and either reliable or fraudulent, and which are not a part of the religion at all.
As for the sayings of the messenger, then that is the message, i.e. the Quran, or the religion of God, which the messenger has delivered without adding anything or taking anything away. It is sufficient, detailed, and clear. The prophet was among the first people to obey and practice this revelation.
This is the truth of the human greatness of Muhammad the prophet, peace upon him!
– The sole duty of the messenger is to deliver the message.
This Quranic phrase has become an [Arabic] proverb, despite this, we don’t give it the attention it deserves with regard to our religion. The Quranic rule regarding this subject is always to limit the role and importance of the messenger to merely delivering the message; “The sole duty of the messenger is to deliver the message… (5:99)”, and “…but if they turn away, your sole mission is to deliver this message… (3:20)”, and “…If you turn away, then know that the sole duty of our messenger is to deliver the message efficiently. (5:92)”, and “…Your sole mission is delivering the message… (42:28)”.
To deliver the message is to deliver it whole, without adding anything or taking anything away. The above verses clearly limit the responsibility of the messenger to merely delivering the message as it is.
To deliver the message is to inform the people of the Quran’s contents, be it warnings, good news, guidance, or enlightenment; “O prophet, we have sent you as a witness, a bearer of good news, as well as a warner. Inviting to God, in accordance with His will, and a guiding beacon. (33:45-46)”. These descriptions of the prophet as a witness, a bearer of good news, a warner, and an inviter, all fall under the definition of delivery. Once the messenger delivers the message, he becomes a witness against his people.
To be a witness against someone isn’t the same as being a witness for someone. If one is a witness against someone, then one is in dispute with that person. However, if one is a witness for someone, then one supports that person’s case and serves as an advocate.
The Quranic text describes the prophet as a witness against his people on the Day of Resurrection, i.e. he will dispute those who were in defiance, we read “We have sent to you a messenger as a witness against you… (73:15)”, and “Thus, when the day (of judgment) comes, we will call upon a witness from each community, and you (the messenger) will serve as a witness against these people. (4:41)”, and “The day will come when we will raise from every community a witness from among them, and bring you as the witness against these people. We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything… (16:89)”.
The Quran mentions the messenger’s testimony against his people on the Day of Resurrection in the following verse “The messenger said, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.” (25:30)”. Thus, his responsibility is to deliver the Quran to the people, but since they abandoned the Quran and took hold of other books, they deserved to be disowned by the messenger on the Day of Resurrection.
One of the signs that they have abandoned the Quran is that they accuse it of ambiguity and say that it requires the words of men to explain and clarify it. They also say that it doesn’t clarify things properly, and even though it is described as “a clarification for all things”, they insist that it requires further elucidation. Due to this, the testimony of the messenger on the Day of Resurrection is going to be one of opposition to their claims confirming that the Quran came down clarifying everything, “The day will come when we will raise from every community a witness from among them, and bring you as the witness against these people. We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything… (16:89)”.
In some verses discussing the delivery of the message, the messenger’s responsibilities of delivery and of warning were down-played, however, the importance of God’s fulfillment of judgment are stressed, “…your sole mission is to deliver (the message). It is us who will call them to account. (13:40)”, and “If they turn away, we did not send you as their guardian. Your sole mission is delivering the message… (42:48)”, and “You shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder. You have no power over them. As for those who turn away and disbelieve. God will commit them to the great retribution. To us is their ultimate destiny. Then we will call them to account. (88:21-26)”. The messenger of God only did what he was told to do. We read the Quran, but we do not reflect on it, and most of us desert it. We pray to God for guidance!
– The messenger used to govern using the Quran alone.
The prophet was a ruler responsible for a state, and he was a leader of his nation. People used to seek his governance in their affairs and problems. He thus governed and settled their disputes in his capacity as a messenger who uttered the laws of God as they were.
The Quranic principle is that all governance rests with God in matters of dispute, and every side must be content with God’s rule. The Almighty says “We thus reveal to you an Arabic Quran to warn the central community and all around it, and to warn about the Day of Summoning that is inevitable. Some will end up in Heaven, and some in Hell. (42:7)”, and “If you dispute any part of this message, the judgment for doing this rests with God. Such is God my Lord. In Him I trust, and to Him I submit. (42:10)”. He also says “Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed? (6:114)”. So, governance, or judgment rests with God [which is to be found] in His book which was revealed with full detail; and it was the messenger of God who used to speak the book and deliver it to the people (peace upon him!). Supporting this statement is the following verse “…If you dispute in any matter, you shall refer it to God and the messenger… (4:59)”.
The Quran has made it clear to us that the messenger used to govern and rule using the Quran alone, so no-one can say that Muhammad died (peace upon him!) and left words other than the Quran with which we govern and rule. Even after the death of the prophet and his absence from us, the Quran is still present among us for those who seek its guidance and for those who wish to govern and rule by it. However, the hypocrites believe otherwise, because they only used to seek the messenger’s judgment when they were in the right. But if they were in the wrong they would turn away from the messenger’s judgment despite the fact that they claim to be Muslims who should ally themselves with God and His messenger. The Quran makes clear their situation and says “They say, “We believe in God and in the messenger, and we obey,” but then some of them slide back afterwards. These are not believers. When they are invited to God and His messenger to judge among them, some of them get upset. However, if the judgment is in their favor, they readily accept it! (24:47-49)”.
The Almighty also says “When they are told, “Come to what God has revealed, and to the messenger,” you see the hypocrites shunning you completely. (4:61).” They used to shun the messenger because he used to judge among them with what God revealed only. When God said “When they are told, “Come to what God has revealed, and to the messenger,” (4:61)” it doesn’t mean that there is another source beside what God has revealed because the messenger is the one who speaks with what God has revealed, and he governs and rules thereby.
A few verses from Chapter 24 confirm this “When they are invited to God and His messenger to judge among them, some of them get upset. (24:48)”, and “The only utterance of the believers, whenever invited to God and His messenger to judge in their affairs, is to say, “We hear and we obey.”… (24:51)”. Now, if the messenger was something else [as a separate entity] from the word of God, the verb [in these verses] would have appeared in the dual and God would have said ‘When they are invited to God and His messenger for the two of them to judge among them…,’ and ‘The only utterance of the believers, whenever invited to God and His messenger for the two of them to judge in their affairs, is to say…’.
But because God is the only judge and because the messenger is the one who speaks only the word of God, the verb occurs only in the singular and the pronoun suffixed to it refers back to only one [thing, God,] there is no god but Him, He says “…to judge among them…”. God says “God has proclaimed: “Do not worship two gods; there is only one god. You shall reverence Me alone.” To Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth and therefore, the religion shall be devoted absolutely to Him alone. Would you worship other than God? (16:51-52)”.
The prophet (which isn’t the same as the messenger as we have come to know), was a human being and he was tricked by the hypocrites. This occurred when one of the hypocrites stole a shield but some people found out and so the thief’s family felt shame because of what he did. So he and his family planned that he should put the stolen shield in an innocent Jew’s house at night. Then they went to the prophet in the morning claiming to be innocent. So the prophet was tricked and he even defended the thief; thus, the thief became innocent and the innocent became a thief. This is a story which happens in every time and place; where a criminal who committed a crime escapes accusation whilst the innocent person is jailed unjustly. The Quran mentions this story and transforms it from a historic incident which was specific to that time and place and to the people involved, into an affair relevant to all people in any time and place. In the beginning, God Almighty admonished the prophet instructed him to judge with the Book and warned him from being an advocate for the traitors; “We have sent down to you the scripture, truthfully, in order to judge among the people in accordance with what God has shown you. You shall not side with the betrayers. (4:105)”, that is to say that God sent down the scripture truthfully so that the prophet can judge among the people according to what God has shown him in the Book itself; judgment is sought from the Book. And because the prophet forgot to do so, he was told to ask for forgiveness in the following verse “You shall implore God for forgiveness. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. (4:106)”. Then, [in the verse after that], he was prohibited from defending those traitors who conspired to claim that a criminal was innocent, and to accuse the innocent “Do not argue on behalf of those who have wronged their own souls; God does not love any betrayer, guilty. They hide from the people, and do not care to hide from God, though He is with them as they harbor ideas He dislikes. God is fully aware of everything they do. (4:107-108)”.
Thereafter, The Almighty says “Here you are arguing on their behalf in this world; who is going to argue with God on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection? Who is going to be their advocate? (4:109)”, i.e., can anyone help them on the Day of Resurrection or intercede on their behalf? Then, the following verses lay down the principle of personal responsibility “Anyone who commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores God for forgiveness, will find God Forgiving, Most Merciful. Anyone who earns a sin, earns it to the detriment of his own soul. God is Omniscient, Most Wise. Anyone who earns a sin, then accuses an innocent person thereof, has committed a blasphemy and a gross offense. (4:110-112)”. That is, every person is responsible for their own sins, and if they sought forgiveness, then God will forgive them and if not then they will be taken to account for what they did and no-one will argue or intercede on their behalf on the Day of Resurrection, “…The transgressors will have no friend nor an intercessor to be obeyed. (40:18)”.
Moreover, The Almighty says to the prophet “If it were not for God’s grace towards you, and His mercy, some of them would have misled you. They only mislead themselves, and they can never harm you in the least. God has sent down to you the scripture and wisdom, and He has taught you what you never knew. Indeed, God’s blessings upon you have been great. (4:113)”. That is, they tried to trick the prophet but the revelation came down and exposed them and everything went back to normal, and this is how the prophet’s affairs took place; according to the Quran. Because that’s how he used to judge and speak; using the Quran and nothing but the Quran.
– “Obey God, and obey the messenger.”
The Almighty says “You shall obey God and the messenger, that you may attain mercy. (3:132)”. He also says “O you who believe, you shall obey God, and you shall obey the messenger, and those in charge among you… (4:59)”. So, are we obliged to obey one, or two, or three [entities] in our religion? We are obliged to obey only One, He is God. We obey His commands which the messenger utters, or whoever utters [God’s] commands after the death of the prophet. The fundamental legislative principle which is derived from the Quran is that no creation is obeyed in disobeying the Creator. Obeying the prophet – whilst he was alive – was on the basis of obeying God only, we understand this from God’s saying “O you prophet, when the believing women (who abandoned the disbelievers) to seek asylum with you pledge to you that they will not set up any idols besides God, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor fabricate any falsehood, nor disobey your righteous orders, you shall accept their pledge, and pray to God to forgive them… (60:12)”.
The evidence in this verse is God’s saying “O you prophet…”, for had He said “O you messenger…”, the prophet’s being obeyed would have been unconditional because it would be obedience to the message, i.e., the word of God. But because God spoke to him as a prophet, He restricted the prophet’s being obeyed to righteousness, and so He said “…nor disobey your righteous orders…”. Thus, obeying the prophet [means] obeying God the [One who revealed the Quran]. The prophet himself was the first person to obey the message. Similarly, “…those in charge among you…” should be the first people in obeying God, and if not, then they shouldn’t be obeyed if it means disobeying the Creator (He is praised!).
The Almighty says “We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed in accordance with God’s will… (4:64)”, and “Whoever obeys the messenger is obeying God… (4:80)”. This is why every prophet went to his people as a messenger with a message with which he used to speak to them, requesting them to obey him on the basis of this message, ““I am an honest messenger to you. You shall reverence God and obey me…” (26:107/108, and 125/126, and 162/163),” however, he did not say “I am an honest prophet to you.” And despite the fact that the Quran demands one to hold one’s parents in the highest regard, it makes an exception to this rule when the parents try to mislead their children, “We enjoined the human being to honor his parents. But if they try to force you to set up idols beside Me, do not obey them… (29:8)”.
Obeying the messenger [means] obeying the Quran which God revealed to the messenger; and the messenger, or the Quran, is still among us.
– “Follow the light which was revealed to him.”
One doesn’t place one’s belief in Muhammad the person (peace upon him!), rather, in what was revealed to Muhammad; “Those who believe and work righteousness, and believe in what was sent down to Muhammad - which is the truth from their Lord - He remits their sins, and blesses them with contentment. (47:2)”.
We don’t follow Muhammad the person (peace upon him!), however, we follow the light that came down with him, i.e. the Quran; this is what the Quran itself says “…Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones…”. [It should be observed], that the text could have read ‘Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow him,’ however, one shouldn’t follow a human being, rather, divine revelation.
Muhammad (peace upon him!) was the first person to take a hold of the revelation and follow its guidance, and this is how The Almighty instructed him “Follow what is revealed to you from your Lord… (6:106)”, and “Follow what is revealed to you, and be patient… (10:109)”, and “Follow what is revealed to you from your Lord. God is fully Cognizant of everything you all do. (33:2)”, and “Once we recite it, you shall follow such a Quran. (75:18)”, and “We then appointed you to establish the correct laws; you shall follow this… (45:18)”. [Muhammad’s] lord also instructed him to proclaim that he follows the revelation “…I only follow what is revealed to me… (46:9)”, and “…Say, “I simply follow what is revealed to me from my Lord.”… (7:203)”.
If the prophet followed the revelation, then we should be the first people to follow the revelation after him. The Almighty says whilst addressing both us and the prophet “This scripture has been revealed to you - you shall not harbor doubt about it in your heart - that you may warn with it, and to provide a reminder for the believers. You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord; do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed. (7:2-3)”.
These noble verses are at the beginning of the Chapter [entitled] The Purgatory. In this chapter, God Almighty prohibits the prophet from having doubt, or being ashamed about delivering the Quran and to warn with it. It also teaches us and serves as a reminder, “This scripture has been revealed to you - you shall not harbor doubt about it in your heart - that you may warn with it, and to provide a reminder for the believers.” Then came to the believers specific instructions to follow the Quran alone, “You shall all follow what is revealed to you from your Lord…”, [then there came] a clear prohibition from following other than the Quran, “…do not follow any idols besides Him…”. Thus, this matter is clear and is not open for debate; follow the Quran to the exclusion of everything else.
[This raises] the typical question [in many people], and that is ‘So what about following the prophet?’ The simple answer is ‘[In order to follow the prophet, one must] follow the Quran which the prophet himself followed.’ Or it is even to follow the messenger, i.e. the message, i.e. the Quran.
There is a hidden marvel in God’s prohibiting us thus: “…do not follow any idols besides Him…”, because using sources other than the Quran means that you have made them equal to God and His Book; this constitutes setting up idols along side God, despite the fact that God is enough as an ally for the believer, and the Quran is enough as a book.
God’s saying “…do not follow any idols besides Him. Rarely do you take heed.” establishes a solid fact about humans, which is that most humans follow conjecture and falsehood, “If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess. (6:116)”.
But despite this numerical majority who follow conjecture and desire, they bear no weight in the face of the Quranic truth: “Proclaim: “The bad and the good are not the same, even if the abundance of the bad may impress you…” (5:100)”.
Furthermore, one of the worst human traits is that they rarely take heed “…except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few…(38:24)”.
2) Did the prophet have legislative [rights]?
The prophet neither had legislative [rights] nor did he know the unseen. The believer must believe that the prophets were the best people to bear the responsibility of the message, were this not the case, God wouldn’t have chosen them “…God knows exactly who is best qualified to deliver His message… (6:124)”. The responsibility of carrying the message boils down to delivery only, “The sole duty of the messenger is to deliver the message… (5:99)”.
The prophet’s limited role in merely delivering the message as it is without addition or deletion is emphasised in the fact that we ourselves can infer its meanings by pondering over the book; this is the people’s responsibility once the prophet delivered to them the message. The Quran proves this inference, God says “This is a scripture that we sent down to you, that is sacred - perhaps they reflect on its verses. Those who possess intelligence will take heed. (38:29)”. The verse could have read ‘This is a scripture that we sent down to you, that is sacred - perhaps you (Muhammad) reflect on its verses.’ However, reflection is the responsibility of the people, just as delivering [the message] is the responsibility of the messenger.
The Quran confirms our responsibility to reflect over the book, The Almighty says in the form of a negative question, “Why do they not study the Quran carefully? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions. (4:82)”, and “Why do they not study the Quran carefully? Do they have locks on their minds? (47:24)”. And on the Day of Resurrection, their regret will be intense because they did not reflect over the Quran, so it will be said to them “Why do they not reflect upon this scripture?... (23:68)”.
God Almighty has described the Quran as enlightenment for the people, that is, it is a call for them to reflect on it. And it made clear to them that the prophet has got nothing to do with them once he fulfills [his role as the] deliverer of the message, we know this from reading God’s saying “Enlightenments have come to you from your Lord. As for those who can see, they do so for their own good, and those who turn blind, do so to their own detriment. I am not your guardian. (6:104)”.
The Almighty says to the prophet “…Say, “I simply follow what is revealed to me from my Lord.” These are enlightenments from your Lord, and guidance, and mercy for people who believe. When the Quran is recited, you shall listen to it and take heed, that you may attain mercy. (7:203-204)”. Thus, we must take heed to the Quran so that we may see, and reflect on its verses.
There is no doubt that the prophet (peace upon him!) was among the most diligent people. He used to hold back from rushing to give an answer whenever he was asked something concerning religious matters. The Quranic fact confirms that if the prophet was ever asked anything, he used to wait for the answer to come down in the revelation, God says “They ask you about” such-and-such, “Say” such-and-such.
The two words ‘They ask you’ and ‘they refer to you’ [always occur] with the word ‘say’ in the Quran. By this, we can be sure that the prophet was only required to deliver the message as it is. They used to refer to the prophet, but the prophet used to await [the response from] the revelation. Then the answer would come from the Lord of Might “They consult you concerning women: say, “God enlightens you [regarding them]… (4:127)”. He didn’t say to [the prophet] ‘They consult you concerning women. Say ‘I shall enlighten you’’. Rather, He says “…God enlightens you…” Also regarding inheritance, the people referred to the prophet about a person who had no children and left wealth, so he waited for the response from God Almighty, and He said “They consult you; say, “God advises you concerning the single person who has no children and has left wealth… (4:176)”, He didn’t say ‘I shall advise you’.
Studying the word “they ask you” in the Quran, we come to know of the following facts:
- The people used to ask the prophet about new things in legislation, but the prophet used to wait along with them for the new legislative ruling which came down in the Quran, an example of this is when they asked questions about the spoils of war “They consult you about the spoils of war… (8:1)”.
- They also used to ask the prophet about new clarifications concerning affairs which the Quran had already spoke of before. Now, the prophet could have given an answer by deduction and comparison, however, he didn’t (peace upon him!). God revealed the following verse in Mecca “Say, “My Lord prohibits only evil deeds, be they obvious or hidden, and sins, and unjustifiable aggression… (7:33)”. Thus, sins were prohibited in Mecca, thereafter, the prophet was questioned about the ruling of alcohol in Medina. And even though it was known to be sinful, the prophet didn’t conclude or clarify (even though he was the best person to do so). Rather, he waited for the reply from God Almighty “They ask you about intoxicants and gambling: say, “In them there is a gross sin, and some benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their benefit.”… (2:219)”. And seeing that the consumption of alcohol is a big sin, it was given a general prohibition in Mecca, then it was given a specific prohibition in Medina.
- Indeed, the prophet was even asked about things which were already mentioned in the Quran, but yet still, the prophet didn’t just repeat the verses that had already been revealed, but he waited for a reply which would confirm what has already been revealed. For in Mecca, verses had already been revealed which encouraged benevolent treatment of orphans, e.g., “Therefore, you shall not forsake the orphan. (93:9)”, and “Do you know who really rejects the faith? That is the one who mistreats the orphans. (107:1)”, and “Wrong! It is you who brought it on yourselves by not regarding the orphan. (89:17)”, and “Feeding, during the time of hardship. Orphans who are related. (90:14-15)”, and “You shall not touch the orphans’ money except for their own good, until they reach maturity… (17:34 and 6:152)”. Thereafter, verses were revealed in Medina which confirmed good treatment of the orphan, e.g., “They donate their favorite food to the poor, the orphan, and the captive. (76:8)”, and “…and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy… (2:177)”. In spite of this, they still questioned the prophet about orphans, but the prophet waited for the reply and didn’t just read to them the many verses encouraging the rights and good treatment of the orphan. So then God Almighty revealed “…And they ask you about the orphans: say, “Bringing them up as righteous persons is the best you can do for them. If you mix their property with yours, you shall treat them as family members.”… (2:220)”. This reply confirms what has already been revealed about caring for the orphan. The prophet was asked once again about the orphans of the women, then the revelation came down confirming what had already been made clear regarding looking after the orphans and their mothers, “They consult you concerning women: say, “God enlightens you regarding them, as recited for you in the scripture. You shall restore the rights of orphaned girls whom you cheat out of their due dowries when you wish to marry them: you shall not take advantage of them. The rights of orphaned boys must also be protected as well. You shall treat the orphans equitably… (4:127)”. This response points to what was already revealed in the scripture regarding the care of orphans and vulnerable children, verses which the people were already reading and reciting.
- Furthermore, there is a confirmed Quranic fact which the Quran repeats, which is that the prophet has no knowledge of the future, and doesn’t know when the Hour will occur, nor does he know what will happen to him or the people. Concerning this, read what God Almighty says: “Say, “I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of God. Nor do I know the future…” (6:50)”, and “Say, “I do not know if what is promised to you will happen soon, or if my Lord will delay it for awhile”. He is the Knower of the future; He does not reveal the future to anyone. Only to a messenger that He chooses… (72:25-27)”, and “If they turn away, then say, “I have warned you sufficiently, and I have no idea how soon or late (the retribution) will come to you. (21:109)”. And can there be anything clearer than what God Almighty says “Say, “I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a profound warner.” (46:9)”?
Despite all this, there are many other verses which confirm that knowledge of the Hour lies with God alone “With God is the knowledge regarding the Hour (end of the world). He is the One who sends down the rain, and He knows the contents of the womb. No soul knows what will happen to it tomorrow, and no one knows in which land he or she will die… (31:34)”, and “With Him is the knowledge about the Hour (end of the world)… (41:47)”, and “Most Exalted is the One who possesses all sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them. With Him is the knowledge about the Hour (end of the world), and to Him you will be returned. (43:85)”.
All of these are verses which confirm that the prophet had no knowledge of the future, and that the knowledge of the Hour lies with God alone. Only one verse was enough to make this clear, however, people asked the prophet many times about the Hour, but despite this, he never hastened to give an answer using the verses which had already been revealed. Rather, he waited for the revelation, and the revelation always used to come down with the same answer, which is that the knowledge of the Hour lies with God alone and that the prophet doesn’t know the future.
People asked the prophet about the Hour but he never hastened to give an answer even though he knew that the Quran would not give an answer which contradicts previous revelations, and that the answer will be the same as what has already been confirmed and oft-repeated. The prophet waited for the answer, then God Almighty revealed: “They ask you about the end of the world (the Hour), and when it will come to pass. Say, “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. Only He reveals its time. Heavy it is, in the heavens and the earth. It will not come to you except suddenly.” They ask you as if you are in control thereof. Say, “The knowledge thereof is with God,” but most people do not know. Say, “I have no power to benefit myself, or harm myself. Only what God wills happens to me. If I knew the future, I would have increased my wealth, and no harm would have afflicted me… (7:187-188)”. This is more than enough clarification.
However, they questioned him further about the Hour but the prophet still waited for an answer, then God replied and revealed “They ask you about the Hour, and when it will take place! It is not you (Muhammad) who is destined to announce its time. Your Lord decides its fate. Your mission is to warn those who expect it. (79:42-45)”. Note that God says to the prophet “It is not you (Muhammad) who is destined to announce its time.” The knowledge of the Hour was restricted to God “Your Lord decides its fate.” Similarly, the prophet’s role was restricted to giving a warning “Your mission is to warn those who expect it”.
All this happened in Mecca, but once in Medina, the people asked the prophet about the Hour, but yet still, the prophet waited for an answer from God: “The people ask you about the Hour (end of the world). Say, “The knowledge thereof is only with God. For all that you know, the Hour may be close.” (33:63)”.
The prophet could well have replied, for he had many verses to refer to, but he used to wait for the answer, because the revelation used to come down with the known answer in advance. Then, the people would ask the prophet the same question but the prophet would wait for the answer. Then, the same answer would be revealed, but then, other people would ask him the same question. But he would still wait for the answer – which he already knew – until the revelation came to him, and so it went. And had the prophet the right to figure out the answer for himself, he would have responded to those questions with the first answer that was revealed to him.
Even though these Quranic facts haven’t been revealed in futility (God be exalted from futility!), and notwithstanding all the authentications which have been repeated and confirmed that the prophet didn’t know the future, or that he didn’t know anything about the Hour, or its time, or its events; despite all this, people ascribed to the prophet after his death tens of hadith about the signs of the Hour and its events, and about intercession, and about the conditions of the inhabitants of paradise and the inhabitants of hell. These hadith which have filled the ‘Sahih’ books, only serve to strengthen the wonder of the Quran, because we can now understand why the Quran corroborated those facts many times in advance; to establish those facts in advance.
These erroneous hadith are a test to us before God Almighty; we can either believe the Quran and reject hadith, or we can believe hadith and reject God and His Quran. There is no middle path, there is no third alternative. We ask God for guidance and security!
Let us now return to the issue of legislation. The people used to ask the prophet about things to which he was able to give the answers outside the Quran, but despite this, the prophet didn’t rush to give the answer based on his own opinion, or based on his knowledge; he always waited for the Quranic revelation. The people had asked the prophet about the phases of the moon, and it was common knowledge that the phases of the moon were used to know the date. The Arabs were used to using the lunar months so that they could figure out the time of the month, this was common practice in the Arabian Peninsula. They used to practice hajj according to the phase of the moon, they did this before the revelation of the Quran and even in the prophet’s time (peace upon him!). Thus, when the prophet was questioned about the phases of the moon, he could have given them an answer based on his own opinion, however, he waited for the revelation: “They ask you about the phases of the moon! Say, “They provide a timing device for the people, and determine the time of Hajj.”… (2:189)”. They also asked the prophet about intercourse while women are menstruating, and we can all agree that the prophet, with his good taste and graceful sensitivity, would have known that menstruation is a bother to women, and he would have known that it is best to abstain from intercourse during this time. Despite this, the prophet didn’t give his own opinion, but waited for the revelation, until God Almighty said “They ask you about menstruation: say, “It is harmful; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it”… (2:222)”.
In one incident, a woman came to the prophet asking about the legitimacy of zihaar
, after her husband claimed her to be like his mother, i.e., he swore not to have sexual relations with her because she was like his mother. But the prophet never had any answer for her, so he waited, as usual, for the revelation. However, the woman couldn’t bear to wait, so she argued with the prophet, but that’s expected for someone in her position. But when she didn’t get an answer from the prophet, she looked to the sky and complained to God Almighty about her situation. Then, the Quran came down clarifying that situation, legislating the affair “God has heard the woman who debated with you about her husband, and complained to God. God heard everything the two of you discussed. God is Hearer, Seer. (58:1)”.
The true legislator is God Himself. As for the messenger, then he is the one who delivers the revelation as he received it. If the prophet had the right to legislate, then there would have been two sources in the religion. In which case, that second source would have been worthy of God’s protection just as He protected the first source. But that was never the case. And since the very beginning, the prophet’s sole responsibility was to deliver the message, and legislation was not one of his responsibilities.
Furthermore, so long as the revelation was still being revealed, and so long as the legislative laws hadn’t yet been completed, then there could not be any scope for legislative deduction, or interpretation. And once the revelation and religion had been completed, then so too ended the prophet’s role after he gave the trust and delivered the message.
Had the prophet legislated and defined the religion based on his opinion, that would have constituted another source alongside the Quran. Even if that happened, the companions (sahaaba), the followers (tabi’een), and the imams wouldn’t have had the scope to contrive laws after the prophet had done so, nor would they have the right to ‘explain’ the Quran after the prophet had done so. But what really happened is that the companions, their followers, and the imams legislated, and they ‘explained’ the Quran. Thereafter, people came who ascribed some of these laws to the prophet, not only to ensure their proliferation, but also to make the prophet holy. But they couldn’t understand that what they were doing contradicts the Quran. And thus began what is now known as the ‘other’ sources alongside the Book of God.
The prophets deduction was in application, not in legislation.
The prophet couldn’t come up with new laws. However, he had to figure out how best to obey God, and how to apply His laws, and execute His commands. And even in these things, the prophet was ordered to consult the believers about the affairs. Would the way he applied the laws be suitable for the believers who came after him? The way he chose to apply the legislative texts is subject to his limits as a human, as well as being subject to the condition of his time and locality, and those people around him. [All these factors] are definitely different to our conditions, therefore, the way he chose to apply the laws in his time and for his time, is not applicable to us or to anyone who came after him.
Example, God says “You shall prepare for them all the power you can muster, and all the equipment you can mobilize… (8:60)”. The way that the prophet went about applying this verse in bearing arms and militarisation to comply with this verse, is restricted to the conditions of his time. So should we practice what he did in our times? Or should we do that which is most suitable for our times?
Deducing the meaning of the Quran is a religious duty; it’s called reflection.
If we were to reflect on the Quran using systematic principles in our search for guidance without any preconceived whims, we would succeed. And any resulting inferences should be ascribed to us and not to the religion of God Almighty. And if we erred in our inference then that error should be attributed to us, and in which case, the religion has nothing to do with that error. We are all humans who are capable of committing error, which is why it was important for God’s religion to be separate and protected from human error, and so that God’s religion may remain high above human whims. God has promised to protect His religion until the coming of the Hour, so that it may serve as proof against their erroneous inference, and their lies about God and His messenger.
Seeing that the Quran is protected with God’s power, they couldn’t corrupt its words or its text. So they lied about God and His messenger through their exegeses and hadith. Imagine if God hadn’t protected His Quran from their desires. In that case, the imams’ custodianship thereof would have erased every verse from the Quran which negates the prophet’s perfection, his knowledge of the future, and his power of intercession. And they would have also erased many other verses which establish the upright Islamic principles based on the utmost freedom of belief, freedom of thought, the right of total justice, and the necessity of consultation in the form of direct representation, i.e. democracy; these are all forgotten, nonexistent, Quranic facts which we have tried to make clear, but the imams/sheiks rise against us even though all our evidence is from the Quran. Indeed, if they were able, they would publicly proclaim their disbelief in it. But they can’t, so instead they can only persecute me, curse me, and insult me that they may cover up their weakness of ignorance, and their hatred towards what God Almighty has revealed. Such is the Quran, which God Almighty has brought down for us as a pure, clear and protected religion, with His power, up until God’s proof will be established on the Day of Resurrection.
– The limits of people’s legislative deduction in the Quran.
The word ‘ijtihaad
in its technical meaning, is an invention of the Abbasids. And we are forced to use it because of its prevalence. The equivalent Quranic term would be ‘tadabbur
’, which means that a reader should read and reflect on a verse until he understands the intended meaning. That is because the Quran is a multiple-meaning book in which are similarites and repetitions of meaning, as well as elucidations thereof. Its verses shed light on eachother, and they do not contradict one another. This fact is pointed out alongside the instruction to reflect on the Quran, God says “Why do they not study the Quran carefully? If it were from other than God, they would have found in it numerous contradictions. (4:82)”.
Reflection is a mental activity which the reader of the Quran performs encouraged by its verses which promote thinking, reasoning, opening one’s eyes, knowledge, and understanding. The Quran uses some derivatives of the word ‘ijtihaad’ based on the same roots, e.g. “Those who criticize the generous believers for giving too much, and ridicule the poor believers for giving too little… (9:79)”. [The derivative word used here] refers to one’s financial capacity, also the Almighty says “They swear by God, solemnly… (24:53)”. This Quranic usage gives a more precise, and more graceful meaning to the word ‘ijtihaad’, even more so than its meaning invented in the Abbasid era.
The question remains, where do the limits lie in deducing conclusions from God’s legislation? When is this allowed, and when is it disallowed? God Almighty says “They follow idols who decree for them religious laws never authorized by God… (42:21)”. And despite the emphatic attack by this verse on legislating what God doesn’t permit, the verse establishes the existence of permissible legislation for it is other than that which God didn’t permit. Unfortunately, some of them don’t know the limits of deduction so they deduce things which are not permissible, or they even stopped thinking where thought was required. They themselves say that ‘there is no ijtihaad if [the subject is mentioned in the] text.’ However, the Quranic text – like any legislative text – requires ijtihaad/interpretation/deduction on how that text is implemented in reality. But they added texts which are attributed to the prophet, then they made them – along with other texts – additional sources in Islam alongside the Quran. These texts have become hindrances for the real and correct ijtihaad/deduction; these texts have no basis, and they make them holy, even though they contradict the Quran. Let us give an example of this:
God Almighty names in the Quranic text all the people who cannot marry eachother “Do not marry the women who were previously married to your fathers - existing marriages are exempted and shall not be broken - for it is a gross offense, and an abominable act. Prohibited for you (in marriage) are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, the sisters of your fathers, the sisters of your mothers, the daughters of your brother, the daughters of your sister, your nursing mothers, the girls who nursed from the same woman as you, the mothers of your wives, the daughters of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage - if the marriage has not been consummated, you may marry the daughter. Also prohibited for you are the women who were married to your genetic sons. Also, you shall not be married to two sisters at the same time - but do not break up existing marriages. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. Also prohibited are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you. These are God’s commandments to you. All other categories are permitted for you in marriage, so long as you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain your morality, by not committing adultery… (4:22-24)”.
Thus, the prohibited categories in the Quranic text are as follows;
1. the mother
2. the daughter
3. the sister
4. the aunt (father’s sister)
5. the aunt (mother’s sister)
6. the brother’s daughter
7. the sister’s daughter
8. the suckling ‘mother’, or, nurse
9. the suckling mother’s daughter
10. the wife’s mother
11. the daughter of the wife with whom the marriage has been consummated
12. the wife of the biological son
13. to be married to two sisters at any one time
14. the woman who is married to someone else, only if the contract is dissolved
15. the father’s wife
Thus, we have fifteen prohibited categories in marriage.
The Quran was careful to make clear the details, exceptions, and precautions so we can have the complete picture. Some of the above mentioned prohibited categories were temporarily made exceptionally lawful because the marriages had already taken place before the revelation of the verse. However, those were the only exceptions and any other case was prohibited. Regarding marrying the father’s widow or his divorcee, the Almighty says “Do not marry the women who were previously married to your fathers - existing marriages are exempted and shall not be broken…” Also, regarding marrying two sisters at once, the Almighty says “…Also, you shall not be married to two sisters at the same time - but do not break up existing marriages…”, these exceptions were made clear even though there were only a few specific cases at the time of the revelation of the Quran. However, the Quran included those few cases and clarified them because the Quran is that book which clarifies everything and was revealed to detail everything.
The Quran even]makes clear the prohibition of the wife’s daughter: “…the daughters of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage - if the marriage has not been consummated, you may marry the daughter…”
The Quran also makes clear the prohibition of the son’s wife “…Also prohibited for you are the women who were married to your genetic sons…” That is, he must be the biological son of the man and not merely adopted. Which is why God Almighty ordered Zayd bin Haritha (who was the prophet’s adopted son) to divorce his wife Zaynab bint Jahsh so that the prophet could marry her after the divorce.
The Quran also made clear the prohibition of marrying a woman who is already married, only if she was to lose her freedom and become a slave, in which case, the contract of marriage would be dissolved after having completed her post-marriage interim, then she can get married, “…Also prohibited are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you…”
Once the Quran had enumerated all the prohibited categories and gave a detailed discussion, God said “…These are God’s commandments to you…”, that is, these categories of marriage are prohibited thus should be observed, this is a sweeping yet detailed instruction. Thereafter, God says “…All other categories are permitted for you in marriage…”, that is, all other categories not mentioned in those three verses are permissible for lawful marriage and have not been prohibited under any circumstances.
Thus the Quran has enumerated the prohibited categories of marriage in a whole, legislative, and preventative enclosure. And whatever lies beyond that enclosure, is lawful in marriage.
To be more precise, we cannot, in this case, derive further legislation from these verses only in implementing the text as it is. This is so especially seeing that it is a whole, legislative, and preventative text to which nothing can be added, nor can anything be taken away from it, lest we transgress God’s law.
However, the scholars have used analogy to prohibit a man from marrying a woman and her aunty at the same time based on God’s prohibition of marrying two sisters at once. They also prohibited marrying the sister of one’s suckling mother, or nurse, they did this by analogy based on God’s prohibition of marrying the suckling mother, or nurse, or her daughter. They then drew up hadith on this subject (which more than anything resemble the texts of their jurisprudence and scholars’ rulings), and they invented the following principle: “the immediate female relatives of the suckling mother, or nurse, are prohibited just as if they were one’s own blood relatives.”
They also added: “a man cannot marry a woman and her aunty at the same time.”
– here lies the contradiction with the book of God.
If a man wanted to marry his wife’s aunty then the Quran has allowed that because his wife’s aunty doesn’t fall under any of the prohibited categories in the Quranic text, rather, she falls under the lawful category
in accordance with what God said “…All other categories are permitted for you in marriage…”, however, the books of jurisprudence make this Quranic permissibility unlawful.
If a man wanted to marry the sister of the woman who suckled him, then the Quran has made that lawful, but their jurisprudence has made it unlawful. This clearly means that they make unlawful what God has made lawful and they ascribe such prohibitions to the messenger, but the messenger is innocent from that (peace upon him!).
All women are lawful in marriage except those who have been specifically mentioned and explicitly defined in the text. But this whole, and preventative definition wasn’t enough for them, so they added other prohibited categories thereby transgressing the limits of what God had said: “…All other categories are permitted for you in marriage…” Further to this, they say to us that “there can be no ijtihaad if there exists a text [in the Quran about the subject in question],” and they fabricated texts which they pass off as being holy even though these texts contradict the Quran, and they prevent us from questioning these texts.
This is merely one example of prohibited ijtihaad which the first generations committed and which they passed off as being holy. And there are other examples of this type of prohibited ijtihaad which transgress the bounds of the whole and preventative Quranic texts; going into detail on this subject lies beyond the scope of this book.
The scholars should have turned their attention to those areas in which ijtihaad is permissible. We note that the legislative verses of the Quran are limited in scope and number, for they are less than two hundred verses and make up approximately one thirtieth of the Noble Quran, despite this, the Lord of Might saw these verses as enough. With those verses, the religion was rendered complete, and the blessing of Islam was completed with the completion of the Quran, “…Today, I have completed your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed Islam as the religion for you… (5:3)”. Having read this verse, it cannot be possible to say that the books of jurisprudence and hadith rectify a deficiency found in the Quran; God the Mighty, the Wise, is too great to bring down a deficient book which requires humans to complete it. The Quranic legislative verses are limited in number and scope, this means that Quranic legislation has left a wide, open margin for human movement in the way of development and deductions in accordance with the changing times. But this must be in the general Quranic legislative framework which aims to achieve justice, equal rights, equivalence, and it should aim to make things easy, as well as protecting rights, and life. Quranic legislation has come in whole and preventative texts governing certain issues like marriage, diet, and with specific quorums for inheritance. It is required of us to deduce how best to implement these texts in the best way; we are not required to oppose it either by adding to it, or distorting it.
Moreover, Quranic legislation expects people’s customs and common knowledge to implement its detailed laws, and to formulate from those customs and from common knowledge Islamic rules in a noble, humane, and upright Islamic framework which are well-known in every time and place being derived from justice, freedom, peace, generosity, easiness, compassion, gentleness, and tolerance.
It is possible to implement these upright Islamic principles in society amicably, according to sound customs and its suitability for the age in which the people are living – only insofar as the Quran permits such human codification. Under this category of codification would fall everything else like civil laws, traffic regulation, import and export, immigration, and so on. Every human law in which can be found Islamic principles is indeed Islamic legislation which God Almighty has permitted. So too can the details of Quranic legislation be applied according to customs and common practices in every age. This is so that the Noble Quran gives scope for social and human progress, and so that Quranic legislation remains above the time and place; so, for example, something that was appropriate in the Abbasid era wouldn’t be appropriate for ours.
Example, the Almighty says “Divorced mothers shall nurse their infants two full years, if the father so wishes. The father shall provide the mother’s food and clothing equitably… (2:233)”. The Quran didn’t set an amount of money in Dirhams or Dinars, rather, it used the word “provision”, thus including in its scope both monetary and social factors. The Quran expects people to implement its laws according to their practices which should give human life a high value and to apply those laws with upstanding customs using money and other means of livelihood. And an appropriate amount for the condition of the nursing mother and her situation and the situation of society. Thus, people should establish laws that suit their times in the framework of those customs which the Quran points out in its detailed legislation: this is the real ijtihaad in serving the Quranic text.
It is noted that in the discussion of marriage and personal affairs, the Quran frequently expects people to implement its law according to their known practices, that is because marriage is one of the oldest human institutions which people have known through their custom. And it still is a blessed way of life in God’s religion. When the Quran came down, Muhammad the messenger of God had already got married legitimately according to pre-Islamic Arab custom. Before Islam, the Arabs were not completely void of any righteous practices. Thus, the Noble Quran didn’t mention anything to us about the method of the marriage contract. However, many verses were revealed correcting some common mistakes relating to marriage, the relationship between the couple, divorce, and the post-divorce interim.
Detailing the places where the Quran expects us to implement its laws according to common practices "" href="#_ftn25" name="_ftnref25">, there are opportunities (which the Quran has defined) for the literal implementation [of its laws] without the slightest change or substitution, e.g., the prohibited categories of marriage, not prohibiting any foods that have been made lawful, and the specified quorums in inheritance.
Moreover, there is the possibility of people implementing their laws according to their customs and practices in regard to social authority and how a Muslim should behave in light of his righteousness and his fear of God – the Quran has allowed all this – e.g., attestation, and charity.
Also, there is the issue of the method of consultation which isn’t found in the Quran; but the Quranic legislative text is limited in scope and quantity which gives much space for social evolution in realising justice, equality, and ease of living. This gives Quranic legislation relevance and applicability in every time and every place. There is also the issue of consultation in regard to the best way of implementing the text or codifying common practices. Any [body of] legislative laws which a society reaches through consultation whilst abiding by the spirit of the Quran with the aim of realising equality and justice, and preventing injustice, is indeed Islamic legislation which God Almighty permits.
The purpose of sending messengers and revealing books, was to let people establish justice, God says about this “We sent our messengers supported by clear proofs, and we sent down to them the scripture and the law, that the people may uphold justice… (57:25)”. (God the Great spoke truth!)
of the prophet was the Quran alone.
The Sunna does indeed constitute legislation, and it is the system, or method, or way of doing things. With these two meanings, the word sunna in the Quran is attributed to God, and to His legislation, and to His way in dealing with humans, whether they be polytheists or believers.
, or custom of the polytheists was to be arrogant with truth and to scheme against the believers, and God’s custom with them, or His sunna
, was to strike them with their own evil schemes, “They resorted to arrogance on earth, and evil scheming, and the evil schemes only backfire on those who scheme them. Should they then expect anything but the fate of those who did the same things in the past? You will find that God’s system
is never changeable; you will find that God’s system is immutable. (35:43)”.
The polytheists used to force the believers to emigrate, this is why it was God’s habit to destroy them or punish them, He says “They almost banished you from the land to get rid of you, so they could revert as soon as you left. This has been consistently the case with all the messengers that we sent before you, and you will find that our system never changes. (17:76)”.
It was God’s habit, or His practice, or His sunna, to defeat the polytheists before the believers if the believers were true to their faith, “If the disbelievers ever fought you, they would turn around and flee. They have no Lord and Master; they have no helper. Such is God’s sunna throughout history, and you will find that God’s sunna is unchangeable. (48:22-23)”.
The hypocrites had conspired in Medina against the prophet and the Muslims, and God had threatened them that He would treat them like He treats the polytheists, “Unless the hypocrites, and those with disease in their hearts, and the vicious liars of the city refrain (from persecuting you), we will surely grant you the upper hand, then they will be forced to leave within a short while. They have incurred condemnation wherever they go; (unless they stop attacking you,) they may be taken and killed. This is God’s eternal sunna, and you will find that God’s sunna is unchangeable. (33:60-62)”.
This is the sunna, which means system, or method, or way of doing things; it is used in reference to God and in reference to the way He deals with the polytheists.
Sunna can also mean legislation. The Arabs derive a verb from this noun and use this verb with “law” as the verbal object, e.g. ‘to legislate a ruling.’ The following verse uses this meaning “The prophet is not committing an error by doing anything that is made lawful by God. Such is God’s sunnasince the early generations. God’s command is a sacred duty. (33:38)”. In this verse, we find “God’s sunna” is synonymous with the two words “made lawful” and “God’s command” which God has made a sacred duty. Thus, the sunna of God – with the meaning of legislation – is a compulsory divine command which must be executed.
Let us not forget the other meaning of sunna which is ‘a way of doing things’ or ‘system,’ and the Quran describes God’s sunna as irrevocable.
The prophet was obliged to carry out God’s sunna, i.e. His laws and commands, even if he felt embarrassed to do so. The following verse was revealed in relation to Zayd bin Haritha, and in relation to his marriage and divorce from his wife “The prophet is not committing an error by doing anything that is made lawful by God. Such is God’s sunnasince the early generations. God’s command is a sacred duty. (33:38)”. This verse was revealed because the prophet was embarrassed to carry out God’s sunna, i.e. His command, or His law. We understand from this verse that the sunna is God’s law, and the prophet was the first to carry out this sunna, thus we see the prophet as an example in obeying God’s sunna, i.e. His laws, or commands. Every believer must know that there isn’t a difference between that which is a sunna and that which is obligatory, because they are both God’s law which must be executed. So, prayer, charity, and the pilgrimage (for the capable) are all the sunnas of God, and are compulsory.
What we have inherited from the prophet in regard to the method of salat, the traditionalist scholars have labeled it “the practical sunna.” They stress that it is necessary and obligatory, and that it is absolutely immutable; this is a sound opinion. However, they erred when they attributed to the messenger oral traditions which they called the ‘oral sunna.’ The only oral sunna of the messenger is the Quran, that which is found therein, and the many quotes following the command “Say...” They also erred when they contradicted themselves by saying that there’s a difference between that which is a sunna, and that which is obligatory. They made some things obligatory, like the five prayers, and they made the Sunna superfluous to the main obligatory prayers. However, we have come to know, as outlined above, that the sunna is obligatory and there is no difference between it and between the Quran. Nor is there a difference between these two words in the spoken language, e.g. ‘to legislate a ruling.’
After this clarification, they continue to question, “Doesn’t the prophet have a Sunna?” But then the questioner should read the discussion above entitled “The Sunna of the prophet was the Quran alone.” But in bewilderment they then question, “Didn’t the prophet have a Sunna outside the Quran?” The answer to this is in the Quran, God says “The messenger of God has set up a good example for those among you who seek God and the Last Day, and constantly think about God. (33:21)”. God Almighty didn’t say “The messenger of God has set up a good sunna…,” rather, He said “a good example.”
Therefore, the sunna belongs to God, because it consists of His laws and commands. As for seeing the messenger as a prime example, then that concerns the way in which he implemented God’s sunna and His commands.
It would be useful if we better our understanding of the above verse (33:21), and the context in which it was used. The verse was revealed commentating on the Battle of the Parties in the 33rd chapter titled “The Parties.” The people of Medina – when they were under siege – were split into two factions: the first of which were the hypocrites and their ilk who failed to stand firm “The hypocrites and those with doubts in their hearts said, “What God and His messenger promised us was no more than an illusion!” (33:12)”. The second of which were the believers who stood fast and persevered “When the true believers saw the parties (ready to attack), they said, “This is what God and His messenger have promised us, and God and His messenger are truthful.” This (dangerous situation) only strengthened their faith and augmented their submission. (33:22)”. The messenger of God was an example to them in the way of bravery and perseverance, thus God Almighty describes his stand like this: “The messenger of God has set up a good example…” There were some believers who sought to be brave like the prophet more so than others, regarding these the Lord says “Among the believers there are people who fulfill their pledges with God. Some of them died, while others stand ready, never wavering. (33:23)”.
In light of the above, seeing the messenger as a prime example in the above verse (33:21), is restricted to the context of a certain event and a specific situation. This is further strengthened by God Almighty instructing the messenger Muhammad and the believers to follow the lead of Abraham and those who were with him when they disowned their own people “A good example has been set for you by Abraham and those with him. They said to their people, “We disown you and the idols that you worship besides God… (60:4)”, and “A good example has been set by them for those who seek God and the Last Day… (60:6)”. God Almighty specifies the stand that those believers made whose lead we must follow, He specifies their stand thus: “They said to their people…”, He did not, however, ask of us to follow them absolutely, in every respect.
To see someone as an example and to imitate them, would be to follow them. However, taking someone as an example and imitating them shouldn’t be absolute except in following the Book of God. Just as God Almighty instructed us to imitate the prophet in a specific situation, then so too did He instruct the prophet himself to imitate the guidance of the previous prophets “These are the ones guided by God; you shall be guided in their footsteps… (6:90)”. Note that the Almighty didn’t say “you shall be guided by them,” rather, he said “…you shall be guided in their footsteps…” Nor did He instruct the final prophet to imitate or follow Abraham, rather, He instructed him to follow the religion of Abraham: “Then we inspired you (Muhammad) to follow the religion of Abraham, the monotheist; he never was an idol worshiper. (16:123)”.
To seek leadership would be to seek it in God’s law, and in the sunna of His messenger; this is what the prophet himself did. The prophets were leaders from whom we should seek leadership in the situations that they found themselves, and about which God spoke in the Quran; He alone knows best about them and about their private lives.
The sunna of the messenger is the Quran, God’s law.
We ask God Almighty that we should live and die by the messenger’s sunna!
- “Take what the messenger gives you, and abstain from that which he bans you, and fear God.”
Some people misinterpret this verse, knowingly, to suit themselves so that they can change its meaning and take it out of its context. They then use this as evidence of the legality, or applicability of other sources which they have added to the Quran. In order that we may understand the true meaning of God’s saying “Take what the messenger gives you…”, we must read the verse from the beginning, it will then be seen that the verse is actually talking about spoils, i.e., spoils which are restored to the public treasury without war or combat, God says “Whatever God restored to His messenger from the (defeated) communities shall go to God and His messenger (in the form of a charity). You shall give it to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. Thus, it will not remain monopolized by the strong among you. You may keep the spoils given to you by the messenger, but do not take what he enjoins you from taking. You shall reverence God. God is strict in enforcing retribution. (You shall give) to the needy who immigrated. They were evicted from their homes and deprived of their properties, because they sought God’s grace and pleasure… (59:7-8)”.
Thus, the verse is speaking about spoils and how they should be distributed to the poor and the needy with the exception of the rich. The verse is essentially saying to the believers “Take whatever the messenger gives you of the spoils, and whatever he prohibits you from that which isn’t yours, abstain from it.” The following verse then makes clear the rights of the immigrants and the poor with regard to the spoils by virtue of their having left their homes and properties.
Despite being well-off, it was an evil habit of the hypocrites to be satisfied with Islam as long as that suited their financial interests. God even prohibited the prophet from being intrigued by their wealth and children (9:55 and 9:80). And even though they were well-off, they used to vie with the poor for the acquisition of charity and state welfare, God Almighty said of them “Some of them criticize your distribution of the charities; if they are given therefrom, they become satisfied, but if they are not given therefrom, they become objectors. They should be satisfied with what God and His messenger have given them. They should have said, “God suffices us. God will provide for us from His bounties, and so will His messenger. We are seeking only God.” Charities shall go to the poor, the needy, the workers who collect them, the new converts, to free the slaves, to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of God, and to the traveling alien. Such is God’s commandment. God is Omniscient, Most Wise. (9:58-60)”.
Thus, these verses of the chapter entitled Repentance (chapter 9), indicate the intended meaning of God’s saying “…take what the messenger gives you…” Thus, the believer should be content with what the messenger gives him: “…They should have said, “God suffices us. God will provide for us from His bounties, and so will His messenger… (9:59)”. Whereas the hypocrite would have been greedy and desired that to which he has no right, and he would have persisted with his greed.
God has already made clear those who deserve the spoils in Chapter 59: “Whatever God restored to His messenger from the (defeated) communities shall go to God and His messenger (in the form of a charity). You shall give it to the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. Thus, it will not remain monopolized by the strong among you. You may keep the spoils given to you by the messenger, but do not take what he enjoins you from taking… (59:7)”.
He even defined the groups who deserve charity in Chapter 9: “Charities shall go to the poor, the needy… (9:60)”.
In both of the above subjects, the discussion was about what the messenger gives to the believers, and that they should take what he gives them and be content with it, and that they should not take what he prohibits them. Let us now remind ourselves, that the messenger (peace upon him!) only used to judge among the people with the Quran, this includes the distribution of spoils and charities according to what has been revealed in the Wise Book.
It could be said in opposition to the above that there need not be a specific incident to which a verse relates, i.e. a verse can be taken out of its context and read in an absolute manner. Therefore, even if the verse was speaking about spoils, when God said “…take what the messenger gives you and abstain from that which he prohibits you…”, it would now be seen as a general instruction to take whatever the messenger gives us, and to abstain from that which he prohibits us.
One can easily reply to this objection by simply understanding the meaning of the word messenger in the Quran, and that one must obey him because he instructs us using the Quran. The messenger, as shown above, is either 1. the prophet of God when he speaks with the Quran, or 2. the Quran itself after the prophet’s death. Thus, the messenger has come to us with the Quran and we must hold fast to it, God Almighty says “We have revealed the scripture through you for the people, truthfully… (39:41)”, so this is the book that has come down to the messenger for us, and this book is what the messenger has given us, and we must take it and hold fast to it. As to that which the messenger has prohibited us, “…and abstain from that which he prohibits you…”, then this refers to writing religious texts other than the Quran, and to erase anything written down about the religion outside the Quran.
Ahmed, Muslim, al-Darami, al-Tirmidhi and al-Nisa’i all narrated via Abu Saeed al-Khudri that the messenger said “Do not write anything about me except the Quran, whoever has written anything about me other than the Quran, then let him erase it.” Al-Darami (who was the teacher of al-Bukhari) reported via Abu Saeed al-Khudri that some people “Asked the prophet permission to write things down about him, but he didn’t give them permission.” Al-Tirmidhi reports via Abu Saeed al-Khudri that some people said the following: “We asked permission of the prophet to write things down, but he didn’t give us permission.”
Muslim and Ahmed both narrate that Zayd bin Thabit (a famous transcriber of the Quran) entered upon Mu’awiyah, then he asked Zayd about a hadith and ordered someone to write it down, then Zayd said to him that “the messenger of God ordered us not to write anything of his speech,” so Mu’awiyah erased it.
[in the field] of oral traditions, gave preponderance to hadith which prohibited writing down hadith, especially seeing that it doesn’t make sense that the prophet would prohibit something then, conversely, instruct that it be done. Moreover, and this is most important, when the prophet died, he didn’t leave for his friends any compiled book except the noble Quran.
Some have tried to reconcile these two opposing viewpoints by insisting that the prophet prohibited writing down any of his speech because it was his intention that the hadith didn’t get mixed up with the Quran.
This is a claim which breaks down before the Quran’s miraculous linguistic style which far surpasses the speech of man, and with which God Almighty challenged the Arabs to produce a single chapter like it. Such is the Quran which the Arabs could never match, so how could any one of them fear that it would get mixed up with something else?
What is certain is this: the messenger of God never left anything behind him except the Quran.
Bukhari himself admits in his books of hadith that the prophet never left any compiled book except the Quran, Ibn Rafi’ narrates: “Shaddad ibn Mu’qal and I entered upon Bin Abbas, then Shaddad ibn Mu’qal said to him “Did the prophet leave anything?” Bin Abbas replied “He didn’t leave anything except that which is between the two covers,” meaning the Quran.” He also narrates: “We entered upon Muhammad ibn al-Hanifa, then we asked him “Did the prophet leave anything?”, he replied “He didn’t leave anything except that which is between the two covers.””
He also confirms that the prophet forbade writing anything other than the Quran, and that the Caliphs who came after him followed in his footsteps and they also forbade writing the hadith or narrating them.
Abu Bakr The Veracious gathered the people after the prophet’s death and said “You speak about the prophet sayings in which you differ, and those to come after you will differ even more, so don’t speak anything about the messenger of God. So whoever asks you about him, then say “Between us and yourselves lies the book of God, so legalise what it has made lawful, and prohibit what it has prohibited.” Al-Dhahabi narrates this in his book The Reminder of the Protectors. Also, Bin Abdul Barr al-Bayhaqi narrates that Umar The Criterion said “I had wanted to write down the sunna, but then I remembered a people who came before you who wrote similar books, they then rushed to those books and abandoned the book of God. And by God, I will never tamper the book of God with anything.” Another version of the narration says “I will never mix up the book of God with anything.” Furthermore, Bin Asakir narrates the following, he said “Umar ibn al-Khattab didn’t die until he sent for the friends of the messenger of God, he then gathered them from the furthest places and said “What are these hadith that you have spread about the messenger of God in the furthest of places? You shall stay with me here; nay, by God, you shall not leave me so long as I am alive.” So they didn’t leave him until he died.”
Al-Dhahabi narrates in The Reminder of the Protectors that Umar ibn al-Khattab apprehended Abu Mas’ud, Abu al-Darda’, and Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari, he then said “You have proliferated the hadith about the messenger of God.” Umar had detained them in Medina, then Uthman let them go.
Bin Asakir narrated that Umar said to Abu Huraira: “You shall forsake the hadith about the messenger of God or I will come after you to Doos (Abu Huraira’s homeland).” Umar also said to Ka’b al-Ahbar: “You shall leave the hadith which was transmitted to you from the first one (i.e. Abu Huraira) or I will chase you to the Land of Monkeys.” Uthman ibn Affan dealt with these two in the same way.
After the death of Umar, Abu Huraira began to proliferate the hadith further, for he now had no-one to fear. Abu Huraira used to say “I narrate to you hadith, which, if I were to have narrated them at the time of Umar, he would have hit me with a stick .” And in Lashj’s narration he said “…he would have hit my head with a stick…” Moreover, al-Zahari narrates that Abu Huraira used to say “We weren’t able to stay ‘The messenger of God said…’ without having Umar apprehend us.” He continues “So did you expect me to narrate these hadith to you while Umar was alive? By God, had I done so, I would have been certain that sticks would strike my back, that is because Umar used to say “Make yourselves busy with the Quran, because the Quran is the word of God.””
Rashid Ridha in the Lighthouse comments on the above “Had Umar’s life been longer than Abu Huraira’s, those many hadith would not have reached us.”
All this should be enough for us to prove that 1. the prophet only came with the Quran and forbade us from accepting anything else, 2. even his most famous friends followed his footsteps and held fast to the Quran and nothing else, 3. the compilation of those hadith which are attributed to the prophet was (and still is), an act of defiance towards the prophet and it even contradicts his instructions which they themselves narrate in their books, 4. these compilations are in opposition to both the laws of God Almighty, and the precept of his noble prophet. These compilations only began in the 3rd century AH, 200 years after the death of the prophet.
Thus, we ask ourselves, if those hadith were a part of Islam, as they claim, despite the prophet’s prohibition of their being written down, is that not an accusation against the prophet that he fell short in delivering the message? And is it at all reasonable to suggest that the Islamic message should be deficient, and remain that way until some people decided, in the Time of Tribulations, that they wanted to redress this supposed deficiency?
What we believe is this: that the prophet (peace upon him!), had delivered the message completely, and that message is the Quran, and he forbade anyone from writing anything else. As for hadith, they reflect the real condition of ‘Muslims’ and their beliefs, and they also reflect the colossal disparity between true Islam and the ‘Muslims.’
A Study of Bukhari;
The Most Important Book of the Secondary Sources
How did the second source arise?
The convention is that God, brings down to every prophet a whole, complete, and detailed book. However, it isn’t long before the devil compels men to corrupt the religion of God with manipulation and with forgery. Then, he compels them to create other sources which are considered divine; naturally, these people are to be considered enemies of the prophets. God Almighty says “We have permitted the enemies of every prophet - human and jinn devils - to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications. This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions. Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed? … (6:112-114)”. Thus did the hypocrites of Medina begin to scheme against Islam in this way.
The hypocrites used to enter upon the prophet presenting to him their obedience and allegiance, then once they left, they would scheme against him; God says about this “They pledge obedience, but as soon as they leave you, some of them harbor intentions contrary to what you
say. God records their innermost intentions. You shall disregard them, and put your trust in God… (4:81)”.
We understand from God’s saying “…some of them harbor intentions contrary to what you say…” that the hypocrites used to forge sayings about the prophet which he didn’t say, or, as the hadith philologists put it, they used to present fabricated hadith which they attributed to the prophet; that is to say, the hypocrites began telling lies about the prophet during his life.
Furthermore, the hadith philologists agree on the soundness of the following hadith: “Whoever lies about me has assigned for himself his position in the fire.” Some of them issue a slightly different version: ““Whoever lies about me intentionally has assigned for himself his position in the fire.” They have classed this particular hadith as mutawaatir, and the number of mutawaatir hadith is no more than ten in number (and that’s being optimistic). The important thing is that having agreed upon the soundness of this hadith, they have consequently proved that the lies against the prophet began during his life, or else he wouldn’t have spoken this hadith warning those who lie against him.
We understand from God’s saying: “They pledge obedience, but as soon as they leave you…” that these hypocrites were known to the prophet. The reality is that the hypocrites were of two types in the prophet’s time:
The first type were known to the prophet and he was instructed by God not to be intrigued by their wealth and children, nor should he pray for any one of them that passes away, nor should he maintain his grave (9:84-85); for amongst these were those who forged hadith about the prophet.
The second type were more belligerent, and more dangerous. God Almighty has promised this type of hypocrite that He will punish him twice; once in this world and once in the hereafter, and he will suffer awesome punishment. This very dangerous type was unknown to the prophet. The Almighty says of them “Among the Arabs around you, there are hypocrites. Also, among the city dwellers, there are those who are accustomed to hypocrisy. You do not know them, but we know them. We will double the retribution for them, then they end up committed to a terrible retribution. (9:101)”.
Regarding the known hypocrites, the Almighty says “They swear by God that they never said it, although they have uttered the word of disbelief; they have disbelieved after becoming submitters…” God decrees a single punishment for them if they don’t repent, “…If they repent, it would be best for them. But if they turn away, God will commit them to painful retribution in this life and in the Hereafter… (9:74)”.
As for the second type whom the prophet doesn’t know, God has promised to punish them twice, “Among the Arabs around you, there are hypocrites. Also, among the city dwellers, there are those who are accustomed to hypocrisy. You do not know them, but we know them. We will double the retribution for them, then they end up committed to a terrible retribution. (9:101)”.
We therefore come to the understanding that the difference between the two groups is that God Almighty can redeem the first type of hypocrites “…If they repent, it would be best for them…” As for the other type, of whom the prophet has no knowledge, God has decreed that they will remain in aversion and disbelief till the end of their lives. This is why God has issued an unconditional judgment that He will punish them twice; once in this life, then once in the hereafter where a terrible punishment awaits them. Even after God Almighty said “…then they end up committed to a terrible retribution.” He mentioned yet another group of hypocrites in Medina who had mixed good actions with bad actions, He then points out that He can accept their repentance: “There are others who have confessed their sins; they have mixed good deeds with bad deeds. God will redeem them, for God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. (9:102)”.
Thereafter, He mentions another group of hypocrites in Medina, and He then points out that He can forgive them “Others are waiting for God’s decision; He may punish them, or He may redeem them. God is Omniscient, Most Wise. (9:106)”.
Therefore, the only type of hypocrites among the prophet’s friends in Medina whom God decreed would remain in disbelief without repentance were those who insisted on hypocrisy, and of whom the prophet had no knowledge. This is the group that lived only to scheme against Islam for their whole lives during the prophet’s time, and after his death (peace upon him!).
If the hypocrites among the prophet’s own acquaintances lied about him, and forged sayings about him while he was alive, then what of those who were addicted to hypocrisy and lived only to be hypocrites? His Majesty says of these: “Among the Arabs around you, there are hypocrites. Also, among the city dwellers, there are those who are accustomed to hypocrisy. You do not know them, but we know them. We will double the retribution for them, then they end up committed to a terrible retribution. (9:101)”.
This group was present among the prophet’s friends (and according to hadith philologists, anyone who befriended the prophet or met him in his life is defined as his friend). This undeniably means that among the narrators of the hadith, there were publicly known hypocrites who were known to the prophet. They never ceased scheming against Islam. And there were some who were addicted to hypocrisy and felt secure because no-one could know of their hypocrisy: “…You do not know them, but we know them….” And who knows, some of the most famous friends of the prophet could have belonged to this group; knowledge of this lies with God alone.
Even though it’s impossible for us to name these individuals (especially seeing that God didn’t even tell the prophet who they were), we can still discover their narrations which manifest their hatred for the great prophet. And these narrations were handed down through the generations until they eventually found their way to being composed in what have now become known as the Sahih books. And those who collated the hadith, and sifted through and established their chains of narration, all agreed upon the fact that the friends of the prophet were all the same. Moreover, they didn’t look into the body of the text of hadith to see whether it conforms with the Quran or not. And if we wanted to consider the Quran as the only source of the prophet’s sunna, and the religion and law of God, then we must put the oral narrations of hadith in their rightful place, and that is: a record of human history of the prophet and the Muslims, and a record of their culture and ideology; whether this so happens to agree with the Quran or not.
Thus, it is most upsetting that among these narrations there should be found slander about the great prophet which only serves to vilify his biography, for he had spread the word of faith, and established both a nation and a state, and who also had a tremendous affect on the history of the world (peace upon him!).
Below, we discuss Sahih al-Bukhari in a brief study of his work so that we may get to know, in all seriousness, what they consider to be the ‘second source.’
A comparison of the prophet’s life between the Quran and Sahih al-Bukhari:
At the outset, the reader should note that this author doesn’t agree with the common belief that Sahih al-Bukhari is the second most sound book after the Quran. Even if Sahih al-Bukhari was true word-for-word, we could still never compare it to the mighty book of God. Because at the end of the day, Bukhari was only human, and all humans can make mistakes, and they are liable forget, and they can even disobey. As for those who attribute qualities of holiness to Bukhari which prevent him from making mistakes, then they, knowingly or unknowingly, are, in effect, raising him to the level of divinity.
It is not the author’s intention to make a comparison between Bukhari and the Quran, for the author sees Bukhari as nothing more than a historian. Rather, it is the author’s intention to survey the chasm which lies between the Quran and Sahih al-Bukhari with regard to the prophet’s life.
We then leave the reader to draw his/her own conclusions. No doubt, the reasonable Muslim reader pledges his allegiance to God, and to His messenger, and to His book, in which we can find the true biography of the noble prophet. Our worship is based solely on the Quran, and we can get closer to God with it, which is why we must believe in the lofty picture which the Quran draws about the prophet’s life, and at the same time reject and disbelieve in the narrations of Bukhari and anything else which contradicts the Quran, be it the word of men or their books.
May Almighty God guide us to the straight path!
How did the prophet spend his day?
The reader can guess the answer to this question, and he/she will find that answer in the Quran. Since the revelations started to the prophet, he left behind him an easy life and embraced a difficult life, full of strife and hard work. This is indicated by the fact that amongst the first revelations to him were “O you covered one
and warn. (74:2)”, and “O you cloaked one. Meditate during the night, except rarely. (73:1)”. That is to say, that since the revelation came down to the prophet he was occupied with delivering the message, and striving in the path of God, as well as meditating at night. Thus, there would have been no time for rest which is a right for every person. The prophet then moved to Medina by which time he had reached his 50th
birthday, but life only got harder. This is because he was now responsible for establishing a state, and seeing a nation develop, as well as being in charge of the community. Moreover, he was facing the schemes of the hypocrites inside Medina, as well as combating the polytheists, both with the tongue and by the sword. On top of all this, the revelation continues to come to him, he then conveys it to the people while at the same time trying to lay the foundations for the Medinan community – he was successful in all this (peace upon him!)
. During the ten years which he spent in Medina, till the point of his death, he was victorious over all his enemies who attacked him, following this, people began to embrace the religion of God in throngs. Despite all this, he never stopped his persistent habit of meditating at night (peace upon him!)
. He also had his devout friends with him who were knights by day, and worshippers of God Almighty at night (may God be pleased with them!)
The reader should be in agreement with all the above, indeed, any reasonable person from any religion can see that someone who established a state from nothing, and who spread the message of truth stimulating therewith an entire nation, would have devoted all his time completely to God and His religion, and he would have used every minute of his life to ensure that God’s message was the highest, and the disbeliever’s message the lowest.
Let us put our critical faculties to one side and look for the answer to the above question in the Quran.
At the beginning of the revelation, God (most praised!) said to the prophet “O you cloaked one. Meditate during the night, except rarely. Half of it, or a little less. Or a little more. And read the Quran from cover to cover. We will give you a heavy message. (73:1-5)”.
Thus the prophet obeyed God and did what he was told in Mecca, and he continued to do so in Medina.
His friends were with him who also meditated during the night, and prayed and read the Quran at night. However, the situation in Medina wasn’t the same as Mecca because the prophet was now responsible for the newly established Islamic state, with all the burdens and preparations of a newly emerging state occupying all of his time, both internally and externally. His friends also became occupied in trying to make a living and at the same time striving to consolidate the foundations of the newly emerging state the enemies of which are on a constant lookout for its weaknesses, who were both on the inside and outside. In view of this, staying up at night meditating became too much of a burden for them, because it would hinder their performance during the day.
Which is why the last verse of Chapter 73 was revealed in Medina to slacken things up for them; God Almighty says to the noble prophet “Your Lord knows that you meditate during two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or one-third of it, and so do some of those who believed with you. God has designed the night and the day, and He knows that you cannot always do this. He has pardoned you. Instead, you shall read what you can of the Quran. He knows that some of you may be ill, others may be traveling in pursuit of God’s provisions, and others may be striving in the cause of God. You shall read what you can of it, and observe the contact prayers (Salat), give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and lend God a loan of righteousness… (73:20)”.
It is the author’s opinion that this verse relates to us much praise for the prophet and the believers who were with him. At the beginning of the verse, God acknowledges the prophet by saying “Your Lord knows that you meditate during…”, and can there be a greater testimony than that of God’s as He sees the prophet implementing what his Lord told him to do as he meditates during two thirds of the night? Moreover, God’s testimony of the prophet, being in the 2nd
person, is made with the particle of intensification ’inna
so as to corroborate the 2nd
from God to the prophet as a means of honouring him. Thereafter, God continues His direct reference to the prophet “Your Lord knows that you meditate during … and so do some of those who believed with you…”
The verse then goes on to confirm that a group of the believers used to meditate at night with the prophet. However, God was aware of their newly acquired burdens in Medina, and because He knew that they would get ill if they continued to push themselves to their limits, He slackened things up for them by instructing them to read a little Quran instead, all the while, continuing with their obligatory daily prayers and giving charity.
So, the prophet used to spend his day in devoted to the struggle, delivering the message, and tending to his emerging Medinan State. He used to spend his night in meditation and servitude, and his friends were with him; this is what the Almighty says in the Quran, so this is what we must believe if we truly love God and His messenger, and if we believe in His book and defend the prophet from any harm which defames his great life history.
Now, if we were to seek the answer to the same question (“How did the prophet spend his day?”) from the narrations of Bukhari, we would get a very strange and different answer.
We find in Bukhari the narration of Anas: “The prophet used to visit his women in one night, and he had nine women.”
In another more detailed narration from Anas, he says “The prophet used to visit his women in one hour of the day and the night, and there were eleven of them.” The narrator said “I said to Anas “Did he have the energy?”, [Anas] said “We used to say that he had the power of thirty [men].””
Naturally, this is a very different answer than that which we find in the mighty book of God. We understand from Bukhari that the prophet used to ‘visit’ his women – that is, sleep with them – then the narrator became surprised, so he felt compelled to ask Anas if the prophet had the energy to do so. The answer was even more surprising because, as we learn, the prophet’s friends used to follow him around and say that God gave him the power of thirty men in intercourse. We understand that the prophet’s main aim was to ‘visit’ his women, and his friends’ main aim was to pursue him in this activity and to be proud of it. It bewilders one to comprehend exactly how they measured this supposed ‘sexual power’ to the measure of ‘thirty men.’ We seek refuge in God from this sheer absurdity.
The following narration of Bukhari is attributed to Aisha, she says “I perfumed the messenger of God, then he visited his women, then he entered the state of ihraam
.” Another narration says “I used to perfume the messenger of God, then he used to visit his women, then he entered the state of ihraam
, and he would smell of perfume.”
Now, should we believe the Quranic narration about the prophet and how he used to meditate at night with his friends and how they were occupied with the struggle, or should we believe these human narrations? We leave that to you to decide, dear reader. There is no power except in God!
Did the prophet sleep with his women whilst they were on their menstrual cycle?
The answer we expect from you, dear reader, is a resounding no; thus we are in agreement about this. The author wishes to apologise for the brash wording of the above question, however, no other suitable wording could be found.
We all believe that the prophet was among the best
, and of the most civilised and well behaved people. Thus, we do not expect such things from someone on this level. Especially seeing that God Almighty has said “They ask you about menstruation: say, “It is harmful; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by God. God loves the repenters, and He loves those who are clean.” (2:222)”.
God didn’t only say “…you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women…”, but He also added “…do not approach them…”, corroborating the prohibition. We believe that the prophet practiced this sunna, the true sunna of the prophet was in implementing the Quran. God Almighty “…loves the repenters, and He loves those who are clean.” The prophet was at the forefront of those who are clean.
Clearly, dear reader, we all believe in this. However, when one reads the ‘Chapter of Menstruation’ in Sahih al-Bukhari, one is taken aback upon reading strange narrations under an even stranger title, ‘The Chapter of Sleeping with a Menstruating Woman.’
One of which is a hadith attributed to Aisha: “The prophet and I were washing in the same tub next to each other, then he would instruct me to put on the izaar, then he would have intercourse with me. [In another instance] he would take his head out while he was secluded in the mosque, then I would wash his head while I was menstruating.”
Another narration of Aishas’ says “If any one of us was menstruating and the prophet wanted to sleep with her, he would order her to put on the izaar whilst she was menstruating, then he would sleep with her.”
She (reportedly) adds “Which of you can control his sexual drive like the prophet controlled his sexual drive?”
Furthermore, the hadith of Maymunah states “If the prophet of God wanted to sleep with one of his women, he would instruct her to put on the izaar while she was menstruating.”
With these narrations, Bukhari makes the Mothers of the Believers (i.e., the wives of the prophet) witnesses to the fact that the prophet used to sleep with them while they were menstruating. Bukhari then falsely attributes to Aisha a knowledge of the prophet’s ‘sexual power,’ for he reports her to have said “Which of you can control his sexual drive like the prophet controlled his sexual drive?”!!
In another narration, Bukhari makes out that the prophet used to stay in women’s company and never used to leave them even when they were menstruating. Bukhari attributes to Um Salama the following hadith: “Whilst I was lying down with the prophet in the woods, I began to menstruate, so I got changed and I took the clothes of my menstruation. He then said “Are you menstruating?” I said “Yes.” He then called me so I lied next to him in the woods.”
It is as if the prophet had no responsibilities to be concerned about, or he had nothing to do except lie in the woods with his wives even while they were menstruating. We seek refuge in God from this fabrication!
Still, there is more. Bukhari claims that Aisha said “The prophet used to lie on my lap while I was menstruating and he would read the Quran.”
Is it to such an extent that there are no other places for the prophet to go except to revert to the lap of his wife? Are there no mosques? Did he not meditate at night with the believers?
The author refuses to place any further titles relating to the subject matter.
Other narrations of Bukhari deviate into very dangerous ground. They vilify the prophet’s life story to such an extent that the author is too ashamed to give a title to them. These narrations go beyond limits and claim that the prophet had extra-marital affairs. The author would have liked very much to overlook this sick misdemeanour, which runs like poison through Bukhari’s text, because the prophet of Islam is to be deemed far above such lowly actions. This should serve as a reminder of the great chasm which lies between the Quran and Sahih al-Bukhari, especially seeing that there are those who believe it to be the most important secondary source after the Quran.
1) Let us begin with those hadith in which Bukhari reckons the prophet used to spend time alone with foreign women.
We read the hadith of Anas: “A woman came to the prophet from among the Ansar, he then spent time alone with her. Then he said “By God, you are among the most beloved people to me.””
This narration expects the reader to imagine what happened in that period of time in which the prophet was left alone with that woman, and which ended with a word of love. Although, the quick-witted reader would ask questions; hypothetically, if this supposed encounter actually took place, then how did Anas, the narrator, know what the prophet said therein, if indeed the prophet was alone with her?
On the same page that this hadith occurs on, Bukhari narrates another hadith in which the prophet prohibits a man to spend time alone with a woman, the hadith says “A man shall not be left alone with a woman except with one of her family members present.” This is an intended contradiction which occurs on the same page in Sahih al-Bukhari,whichforces the reader to think that the prophet prohibited something then practiced it himself. He said “A man shall not be left alone with a woman…”, but then he spends time alone with a woman and says to her “By God, you are among the most beloved people to me.”
Should we believe that the prophet (peace upon him!)
would do something like this? We seek refuge in God
2) Moreover, Bukhari traces the source of another hadith to Anas which claims that the prophet spent time alone with Um Sulaym al-Ansariyah, the narration says “Um Sulaym used to lay down a mattress for the prophet then he would take a siesta at her house on that mattress. When the prophet sleeps, she would gather his hair and sweat then put it in a bottle, then she would put it in a bag.”
Bukhari expects us to believe that the prophet’s houses, which hosted many guests, were not enough for him, and that he would leave his women after ‘visiting’ them to go and take a siesta at another woman’s house. Then, while he was asleep, that woman would gather his hair and sweat. Exactly how was she able to do this? It is Bukhari’s intention that we figure out the answer for ourselves. We seek refuge in God from such obscenities!
3) Thereafter, Bukhari confirms this erroneous supposition with the hadith of Um Haram which says “The messenger of God used to enter upon Um Haram bint Milhan and she would feed him. Um Haraam was under the servitude of Bin Abu al-Samit. Then the messenger of God entered upon her and she would feed him. Then she began to groom his hair. Then the messenger of God slept and he woke up laughing. She said “What makes you laugh, messenger of God?…””
We understand from this that the prophet had made it a habit to frequent this married woman, and the narration points out that he used to enter upon her in the absence of her husband. Bukhari tries to paint a picture of this situation in which any sense of morality and decorum are virtually nonexistent between the prophet and Um Haram, to such an extent that he would actually sleep on her lap, whilst she grooms his hair
. After eating and sleeping, the prophet wakes up from his sleep laughing, then a long conversation takes place between him and Um Haram, and we can be sure her husband wasn’t present at the time else he would have participated in the discussion.
The rhetoric of the narration contains many sneaky hints which are intended to let the reader have doubts about the prophet’s morality. The narration says, “The messenger of God used to enter upon Um Haram…”
Note the choice of words used; “enter upon a woman” as opposed to saying “pay a visit,” because the phrase “enter upon a woman” carries, [in Arabic], an blatant sexual connotation. It is used here in such an obvious way that it cannot escape one’s notice. Then he says of the woman “Um Haraam was under the servitude of Bin Abu al-Samit.
Here lies a clear indication that this woman is married but there is no mention of her husband in the narration, so that the reader can understand that the prophet used to enter upon this married woman in the absence of her husband. Bukhari’s mentioning her marital status is most clearly an interjection to the text which has no place in the context of the narration, that is to say, it has been inserted in to the narration for the sole purpose of establishing an illicit atmosphere to the alleged incident
. To further assure the reader that what the prophet is doing is prohibited and not permitted, Bukhari makes the name of the woman “Um Haraam”
so that the illegality of what the prophet is doing crosses the reader’s mind. Finally, the narrator, in all impudence, attributes actions to the prophet which one wouldn’t expect from a person of good moral standing, let alone a person of great
moral standing (peace upon him!)
This is how the narrator described how Um Haram fed him, and groomed his hair, and how he slept at her house, then they woke up laughing, then they conversed. We seek refuge in God from this fabrication against his messenger.
This isn’t the only such incident as narrated by Bukhari. For he gives many supposed narrations of this sort, albeit told in different ways so that their intended meanings will find their way to the reader’s mind. (See Sahih al-Bukhari; vl. 4/ppg. 19, 21, 39, 51; vl. 8/pg. 78; vl. 9/pg. 44.)
4) Bukhari is not content with all the above…
He narrates a hadith from some people which says “We went out with the prophet (May God send on him peace and blessings!) until we reached a wall (i.e. a garden enclosed by a wall) which was called al-Shawt. Then we reached two walls and sat between them. The prophet then said “Sit here.” He entered, and came across [a woman called] al-Jooniya, she was brought down to the courtyard in the house of Umayma bint al-Nu’man bin Sharaaheel, and she had a maid with her. Then when the prophet entered upon her (May God send on him peace and blessings!), he said “Give yourself to me.” She replied “Does the queen give herself to commoners?” He then put his hand over her mouth to shut her up. She then said “I seek refuge in God from you.””
Upon closer inspection of this forged narration, we see a frantic desire on Bukhari’s part to accuse the prophet that he had tried to rape a foreign woman who was brought to him, and that she refused him and insulted him with contempt. The narrator makes out that the prophet intentionally went to a pre-arranged place, and that his friends waited for him outside. Then the woman (al-Jooniya), who is the victim, was presented to him. We understand from the story that she has been kidnapped, and has been brought forcibly. Then, supposedly, the narration tells of the prophet entering upon the woman, having been prepared by her maid, for that pre-arranged meeting. However, this imaginary narration establishes that the woman isn’t lawful for the prophet, which is why he asks her to ‘give herself’ to him without anything in return. But the woman refuses his request with rejection and insult by saying “Does the queen give herself to commoners?” She is cursing the prophet in his face, according to Bukhari. But instead of getting angry at this insult, he insists on raping her, he then approaches her, and she seeks refuge in God from the prophet, as if he is a devil from whom refuge is sought! However, this whimsical falsified Bukharian drama suddenly falls apart before the mind of the conscious reader: if the narrator of this story admits himself to having waited for the prophet outside, then how was he able to describe in detail the conversation that took place behind those walls?
5) Bukhari’s narrations never cease to use foul language, or vile expressions which have, apparently, come from the prophet’s mouth. Bukhari does this so as to complete the picture that he paints of a man obsessed with women and sexual activity, which he so readily ascribes to the biography of the prophet, by day and by night.
Bukhari ascribes to the prophet a hadith in which the prophet tells a story relating to the Children of Israel, he says “There was a man among the Children of Israel called Jurayj (George). While he was praying, a slave-girl came to him and called him, he said “Should I reply to her, or should I pray?” She said “Lord! Don’t put him to death until you show him the faces of the whores.””
A respectable man finds it hard to use the word ‘whores.’ Then what of the messenger of God (peace and blessings upon him!)? It is the author’s opinion that the aim of this weak wording is to show the prophet uttering such a distasteful word, in any way possible.
Another similar supposed hadith which Bukhari narrates (the authenticity of whose he admits his doubt) is titled “On those who play with young boys, if they perform sexual acts with them, they should not marry their mothers…” The hadith found under this title contains words which give the impression that it was fabricated in the Abbasid era; an era of abnormal depravity. [Paedophilia and homosexuality] were virtually unknown in the Arabian Peninsula all the way until the end of the Umayyad Dynasty. One Umayyad is reported to have said that if it weren’t for the Quran reporting the practices of the people of Lot, he wouldn’t have believed that such acts were even possible. Bukhari narrates this hadith and voices his skepticism about its authenticity, so then why did he narrate it?
Bukhari’s text is teeming with such provocative sexual insinuations which he attributes to the prophet, e.g. “Let not any one of you copulate with his woman at the end of the day, if, during the day, he beat her like a slave.”
What exactly do we learn from such useless advice?
Another hadith speaks of when it is necessary to bathe after copulation: “If [a man] ‘sits’ on [a woman’s] four spread [limbs], then he ‘expends his energy on her,’ then he must bathe.”
Adolescents should not be exposed to this type of hadith.
Bukhari makes these type of sexual hadith revolve around ‘the Mother of the Believers,’ Aisha, e.g. “The preference of Aisha over other women, is as the preference of thareed over all other types of food.”
Additionally, an alleged conversation took place between the prophet and Aisha, in which she says “If you descended unto a valley and there were shrubs which have been grazed, and other shrubs which hadn’t been grazed; which of the two would you graze your cattle on? He said “On that which hasn’t been grazed.””
Bukhari adds: “She intended to mean that the messenger of God hadn’t married a virgin other than herself.”
However, the worst of these bare-faced hadith, has to be a hadith, in which occurs a word which Bukhari relates, although, the author dares not repeat it here. The author leaves it to the reader to look up the word for him/herself, it says: “When Maa’iz ibn Maalik came to the prophet, (May God send on him peace and blessings!), the prophet said to him: “Perhaps you kissed, or wooed, or saw [a woman]?” He replied “No, I ……… her.” Upon which, the prophet ordered that he be stoned.”
The punishment of stoning is a punishment never authorised by God. Once again, Bukhari attributes to the prophet such distasteful and vulgar words which are not alluded to in any respectful manner.
Do we expect a community leader to use such vulgar words? Then what of the noble messenger, of whom our Lord said “You are blessed with a great moral character. (68:4)”?
We seek refuge in God from the lies against the messenger of God.
6) They take their fabrications against the messenger (peace upon him!)
so far as to claim that he permitted sex outside marriage, and that he forbade marriage. Bukhari attributes the following to the prophet: “If any man and woman agree to live together for three nights, then if they so choose they can increase [the number of nights], or they can leave one another.”
This obviously means that if a man likes any woman, then he may live with her for three nights then they have the freedom to extend that period or, he may leave her after such an experience.
The words in this false hadith were specifically chosen to encourage sex outside marriage. He says: “a man and woman,” “agree,” “live together,” “three nights,” “choose to increase,” and “leave one another.”
The word in the hadith
“any” makes an unconditional legislative rule that allows any man and any woman to copulate outside marriage.
Moreover, there is a hadith in which Bukhari claims that the prophet forbade legal marriage. He narrates that the prophet gave a speech on the pulpit, then he said “The tribe of Hisham ibn al-Mughira have asked my permission to wed their daughter to Ali ibn Abu Talib: but I refuse, I refuse, I refuse. Only if Ali ibn Abu Talib wants to divorce my daughter, and marry their daughter. She is a part of me; what upsets her upsets me, and what harms her harms me.”
Now, it could be said that the prophet has a right to get upset if Ali bin Abu Talib wanted to get married again whilst being married to the daughter of the prophet, Fatima. However, the hadith that Bukhari narrates, says that the prophet, as a messenger, forbade that marriage. And it says]that he announced this on the pulpit in a mosque whilst giving a sermon to all the Muslims. Thus, this hadith is given legislative status; legislation which forbids legal marriage. We don’t believe the prophet of God did this.
7) Furthermore, we see hadith which totally obliterate any sense of respect of the prophet’s privacy down to the most personal things, as well as his wives’ privacy, the Mothers of the Believers. We read hadith of the following kind;
A hadith which has been attributed to Aisha: “The prophet and I were washing in the same tub, using a pitcher called a mifraq.” Another hadith attributed to Bin Abbas: “The prophet and Maymuna used to wash in the same tub.” There is another hadith in which Maymuna says the following: “I prepared water for the prophet to wash himself. He then washed his hands two or three times. Then he poured water over his left side. Then he washed his privates, then he wiped his hand on the ground…” Another hadith: “The prophet washed himself from impurity, then he washed his privates with his hand then…”
Bathing oneself isn’t a complicated procedure. Nor is it something new which people never used to know about before; everyone knows how to wash themselves. However, these narrations want us to envisage the prophet naked in these situations with his women. We also find a peculiar hadith, which Bukhari fabricated, he reports that someone said “Aisha’s brother and I entered upon Aisha. Her brother then asked her how the prophet used to wash. She then called for a tub full of water. She then washed herself, and poured water over her head. There was a curtain between us and herself.”
Bathing has never been so complicated! Fortunately for them, Aisha volunteered to practically show them how to do it, in public!
Consequently, the supposed curtain becomes redundant in this story, which, if it weren’t so pitiful, would make one laugh. The real motive of Bukhari is to make the prophet and his wives, the Mothers of the Believers, appear naked in our mind’s eye. We seek refuge in God from these sick slanderous narrations.
Bukhari didn’t even leave the prophet’s prayer in his house except that he defiled it with sexual references, which attack his honourable home. These narrations, once again, revolve around Aisha, they attribute sayings to her like: “I was sleeping before the messenger of God, and my legs were stretched out in front of him. Then, when he prostrated, he signaled to me, then I retracted my legs. Then, when he stood up, I stretched them out.” Another version of the same narration: “The messenger of God used to pray and I was before him.”
The narration of Urwah states that]: “The prophet was praying whilst Aisha was lying down before him on their bed.”
Would any of us allow someone to ravage their personal secrets of their home and spouse, just as Bukhari has done to the prophet’s household? Traditional scholars have argued that such intimate details were necessary for the sake of education and legislation. But what kind of teachings are to be found in such humiliating narrations, which ravage the inviolability of such an honourable household? And what is Bukhari’s infatuation with the Mother of the Believers, Aisha?
Fabricating the ‘False Hadith’ against Aisha.
Whenever the ‘False Hadith’ is mentioned to someone, they immediately think of Aisha’s being accused of infidelity. She was made innocent when some verses from Chapter 24 were revealed, which spoke on the subject. If ever one tries to debate this subject with Muslims using verses of the Quran or credible historical accounts, he is opposed as if this myth about Aisha constitutes an article of faith.
A brief summary of this fable follows
. If the prophet wanted to travel, he would randomly choose which of his wives were to accompany him by casting lots. At the time of the battle of Banu al-Mustalaq, the lots were cast in Aisha’s favour. Upon the army’s return from the battle, Aisha lost her earrings. So, she went down to look for them, meanwhile, the army thought that she was still in the howdah. Aisha returned to find the army had already left. So she slept there until Safwan ibn Mu’til al-Salami came along and carried her on his camel, they then proceeded to Medina. The hypocrites then accused her of doing something illicit with him, and Muhammad then became upset with them both. Then, verses from Chapter 24 were revealed declaring her innocence (24:11 and 24:26). Despite this, this hadith has remained a stain on Aisha’s reputation, which conjures up sick mythical narrations about her. Some orientalists have used this hadith as an opportunity to desecrate Aisha’s honour, and at the same time, accuse the prophet of having fabricated those verses of the Quran which declare her innocence. Such is the honour that Bukhari brings to us and to our upstanding religion!
Truth of the matter is, Aisha is described by the Quran as the ‘Mother of the Believers.’ She has nothing whatsoever to do with the ‘False Hadith’ which is mentioned in Chapter 24.
This ‘False Hadith’ was based on the false assumption that ‘if the prophet went out to a battle, he would cast lots to choose which of his wives would accompany him.’ However, the Quran denies that he used to take any of his wives with him to battle. God Almighty says to the prophet about his mobilising for the battle of Badr, which was one of the first battles: “When your Lord willed that you leave your home, to fulfill a specific plan… (8:5)”. Here, ‘home’ means ‘wife.’ For further clarification, the Almighty says about the same battle “Recall that you (Muhammad) left
when you set out to assign to the believers their positions for battle… (3:121)”. That is, the prophet left his family – meaning wife, or, wives – to line up the believers for battle.
Therefore, since the first battle, the prophet didn’t take any one of his wives with him.
In the Battle of the Parties (5 A.H.), Chapter 33 was revealed, in which came the command for the wives of the prophet to put up a screen. Also, the command to reside at home and not leave it was categorical: “You shall settle down in your homes, and do not mingle with the people excessively, like you used to do in the old days of ignorance. You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and obey God and His messenger. God wishes to remove all unholiness from you, O you who live around the Sacred Shrine, and to purify you completely. (33:33)”. Thus, how can it be, that God instructs them to stay at home, then the prophet takes one of them to accompany him in the battle of Banu al-Mustalaq?
Leaving women in the towns far away from battles, was an Islamic tradition which the prophet upheld, so that the only people who stayed behind were women, children, and old men.
Once, when the hypocrites stayed behind, because they didn’t want to mobilise with the prophet in a defensive battle, verses were revealed reproaching and mocking them because they were content with staying behind with women and children: “They chose to be with the sedentary… (9:87 and 9:93)”. Thus, can it be possible that the prophet would make one of his wives accompany him, exposing her to the dangers of war, whilst all the other women are secure in Medina?
So, what is Chapter 24 speaking about when it says: “A gang among you produced a big lie. Do not think that it was bad for you; instead, it was good for you… (24:11)”?
Chapter 24 was among the first chapters to be revealed in Medina, which is why it legislated new social rules to protect the new Islamic community at the time of its founding in Medina. We can visualise Medina at the beginning of the Muslim community; Muslim men and women had come as immigrants to live among the tribes of Aws and Khazraj, there were those who helped the believers, there were those who were of weak faith, there were the hypocrites, and around them were the Jews. The immigrants were living among kind Medinan people who would put other believers before their own selves, and they were living among hypocrites who see the presence of the believers as a burden and they await their chance to hunt them down in such a volatile environment in which were people of different kinds who had all come together in the same place for the first time. There is no doubt, that the immigrants were in need of assistance having left their wealth and homes. They came to Medina possessing nothing save their faith and love for Islam. Additionally, there is no doubt that some of the immigrating women were worse off for they had left their disbelieving husbands seeking freedom of worship. As a consequence, we can be sure that they received help from the believing natives of Medina, who quite readily put other people before themselves. There is no doubt, therefore, that the hypocrites found their opportunity to distort such noble works by spreading false stories about illicit relations between those believing men and women.
Seeing the verses in question as explained above, is based on a realistic historical understanding of the infant Muslim community in Medina, in which time the bonds of brotherhood were made between the immigrants and the natives (Ansar). That is when Chapter 24 was revealed with social legislation to regulate the behaviour of this community. All this was before the battle of Banu al-Mustalaq by a number of years. Therefore, what was revealed in Chapter 24, has nothing whatsoever to do with that myth which Bukhari spoke of, nor is it true that Aisha accompanied the prophet in the army.
The fact is, Chapter 24 speaks about a group in Medina accusing a group of innocent believers. It speaks about a group
, not one single victim, rather, a group of innocent victims
. Chapter 24 isn’t talking about Aisha. If she did have anything to do with the ‘False Hadith,’ the Quran would have addressed the issue explicitly. The Quran has entrusted us with the importance of everything that relates to the prophet’s household and the ‘Mothers of the Believers.’ The Quran has spoken about the ‘Mothers of the Believers’ and the prophet’s household in Chapters 33 and 66, and it spoke to them directly in affairs of much less importance than the supposed accusation of Aisha. However, the Quran in Chapter 24, does not
refer to Aisha in the least, or to any of the prophet’s wives. Rather, it speaks about the believers in general with regard to an incident that shook the entire Medinan community in its early stages
Let us go over the verses of Chapter 24 together:
The Chapter starts with setting out the punishment for illicit sex (which is to be whipped, not stoned). Then, it sets out the punishment for the defilement of innocent women. Then, it covers the issue of spouses accusing one another. Then, the Chapter discusses the incident which degenerated into the famous ‘False Hadith’ from which we understand two things, 1. that the aforementioned punishment of illicit sex and the defilement of innocent women has a direct link to the ensuing discourse about the rumours which spread in Medina at the time, 2. that the incident which is the so-called ‘False Hadith,’ doesn’t concern one of the wives of the prophet, rather, it is a matter which involves a group of believers who wrongly and aggressively accused another group of believers. This sort of behaviour does not befit a Muslim community, to whom the Quranic revelation is revealed. Regarding this, God Almighty addresses all the believers in Medina: “A gang among you produced a big lie. Do not think that it was bad for you; instead, it was good for you… (24:11)”. This is a general address to all the believers. Thus, this ‘lie’ was not bad for the believers, rather, it was good for them. Because by way of this ‘lie,’ the rules which regulate the social life of the Muslims were revealed, so that there is no scope for further rumors and lies.
Thereafter, verse 24:12 speaks about the believers in general “When you heard it, the believing men and the believing women should have had better thoughts about themselves, and should have said, “This is obviously a big lie.” 924:12)”. It is a general accusation which affected the whole Muslim community. They should have rejected it and should have had better thoughts about themselves. The verses continue in the same manner addressing all the believers, that is because the victims were a group and the accusers were a group also. Then the rest of the Muslim community circulated the accusations without thinking or reasoning. The verses say: “Only if they produced four witnesses (you may believe them). If they fail to produce the witnesses, then they are, according to God, liars. If it were not for God’s grace towards you, and His mercy in this world and in the Hereafter, you would have suffered a great retribution because of this incident. You fabricated it with your own tongues, and the rest of you repeated it with your mouths without proof. You thought it was simple, when it was, according to God, gross. When you heard it, you should have said, “We will not repeat this. Glory be to You. This is a gross falsehood.” God admonishes you that you shall never do it again, if you are believers. God thus explains the revelations for you. God is Omniscient, Wise. (24:13-18)”.
Now, because the victims were a group, and the accusers were also a group, the following verse says: “Those who love to see immorality spread among the believers have incurred a painful retribution in this life and in the Hereafter. God knows, while you do not know. (24:19)”. These hypocrites, in spreading rumours about the believers, wish to see immorality spread amongst the believers. God has described them as people who encourage lewdness, and discourage righteousness (9:67), they have been promised a painful retribution in this life and the next.
God prohibits them from following the devil’s footsteps in 24:21. Then, the verse turns its attention to those good-doers who stopped giving to charity because they feared that people would talk ill of them, “Those among you who are blessed with resources and wealth shall be charitable towards their relatives, the poor, and those who have immigrated for the sake of God. They shall treat them with kindness and tolerance… (24:22)”. Seeing that the victims to the incident also involved believing women, God promised the accusers a painful retribution: “Surely, those who falsely accuse married [innocent]
women who are pious believers have incurred condemnation in this life and in the Hereafter; they have incurred a horrendous retribution. (24:23)”.
Let us look closely at the phrase “…married [innocent]
women…” This is the only place in the Quran where the word ghaafil
has been used to mean naïveté
, or innocence. In other places, ghaafil
is used to describe those who turn away from the truth and are oblivious to it. The fact that these good women have been described as innocent, proves that they used to behave with simpleness and pure intentions when interacting with the people. If the Medinan community was free of hypocrites, and free of those in whose hearts is a disease, then such accusations wouldn’t have afflicted these good women. God Almighty defends these good innocent women, and He curses those who defile their honour. Then the Almighty says in 24:26 “The bad women for the bad men, and the bad men for the bad women, and the good women for the good men, and the good men for the good women. The latter are innocent of such accusations. They have attained forgiveness and a generous reward. (24:26)”. Thus, these good women and men have been declared innocent from any iniquity, and because they were a group, our Lord says of them “…The latter are innocent of such accusations. They have attained forgiveness and a generous reward.”
Thereafter, the ensuing verses speak about asking permission before entering peoples’ homes so that rumors won’t spread; because it was customary in the Arabian peninsula to enter homes without the owners’ permission. Then the verses continue with social legislation with regard to dress code and marriage; all this is the ‘good’ outcome which the verse speaks about: “…Do not think that it was bad for you; instead, it was good for you… (24:11)”.
The Question remains; what is Aisha’s relationship with all this?
Nothing! The ‘Mother of the Believers’, Aisha, has incurred the indignation of many because of this fabricated hadith and her supposed role therein. There are even factions of Shiites who are wholly devoted to defiling her honour and sullying her reputation. Moreover, most of the hadith which desecrate the prophet’s honour, are attributed to Aisha. As for those who call themselves ‘the People of the Sunna’
, they defend these hadith and consider anyone who criticises these hadith, and declaring the prophet’s household innocent therefrom, as rejecting the Sunna!
Alas, many still associate this ‘False Hadith’ to Aisha, maintaining a belief in myths and fabrications which they call the ‘Secondary Source.’
Was the prophet capable of being as these hadith claim?
We must declare the prophet innocent from such hadith which speak about his ‘sexual power.’ Although she was older than him, the prophet married Khadija in his youth and remained loyal to her in his life, throughout his youth. Only after this did the prophet marry more wives while he was more than fifty years old, and he didn’t do so out of desire. What is left of a man once he is more than fifty years old, and he carries responsibilities and stress which even the strongest men couldn’t bear? And let us not forget how he used to face his enemies from among the polytheists and hypocrites, and how these challenges differed from conspiracies, to battles, to sieges. Let us also remember how at this age, he was responsible for establishing a state and a nation, as well as making the call to Islam, setting up schools, and preparing leaders. All of this was established by one man in the last ten years of his life. However, the hadith have described the prophet in the last ten years of his life as if he had no other interests except enjoying the company of women and sleeping with them.
The prophet used to become very upset with his people when they mocked his message and rejected him. His main concern was in delivering his message, along with establishing a state and setting up a school which was nurtured with his guidance. So was the prophet really capable of being as the history books claim? The prophet’s wives sought the luxuries of this life, just like all the women in Medina, but then God Almighty told the prophet to give them a choice; either support the prophet or, they are to be divorced. Chapter 33 describes it well when God says in it (addressing the prophet’s wives indirectly): “O prophet, say to your wives, “If you are seeking this life and its vanities, then let me compensate you and allow you to go amicably. “But if you are seeking God and His messenger, and the abode of the Hereafter, then God has prepared for the righteous among you a great recompense.” (33:28-29)”.
The Quran preserves the prophet’s honour, which Bukhari’s hadith have denigrated.
No matter how low a person becomes, he will still refuse that the secrets of his household should be exposed to people, or even that the sexual relationship of his father with his mother is made public. It is a part of Arab culture that they shy away from revealing the names of the women in their families, but at the same time, we don’t see anything wrong in believing in the hadith of Bukhari which slander the prophet’s household and his women, and vilify his honour and his wives’. And which describe them as being naked without clothes before our minds – apologies for such brazen words.
The Muslim who reads this book must choose between two things, not three: either 1. that he comes to the aid of the prophet Mohammed to whom Bukhari has done a great injustice with those fabricated hadith. Bukhari did so with intent and knowledge of what he was doing. This is clear to any analytical mind that has an understanding of the style of writing and compilation. Coming to the aid of the prophet (peace upon him!) involves one thing specifically: the Muslim should speak up, declaring to all people that Bukhari is an enemy of God and His messenger, so that he informs Muslims of this fact and makes it clear to them. And so that he can call them to read and study Bukhari for themselves, so that they see his continuous slander against the final prophet. Or, he can ally himself with Bukhari despite his transgression against the prophet. Or he can even be silent to Bukhari’s injustice towards the prophet out of fear and sheer deference for Bukhari and his reputation. In doing so, he only confirms to himself, as well as to others, that he actually worships Bukhari, for he has deified him, and has remained quiet concerning his injustice towards the messenger of God (peace upon him!).
We are all free to decide whether we want to stand up for the prophet who has been wronged, or side with the unjust Bukhari. And we will all be questioned before Almighty God about our choice and stand. Faith isn’t merely a word which is spoken, nor is it a symbol which one holds up high, nor is it a detail found on one’s identity card or birth certificate. Instead, it is a stand which every person should make for what they believe in; it is with this stand that a person may come to know of what he really believes in, and may come to know of the actuality of where he stands.
With the above in mind, the author poses the following: this book is a book which attempts to expose the side of the Muslim which he/she keeps hidden so that he/she honestly faces the truth herein with themselves, before it’s too late.
The believer who has true faith in God Almighty and the messenger should make his/her stand now
in accordance with the following
: “The prophet is closer to the believers than they are to each other, and his wives are like mothers to them… (33:6)”. If the believer were to become angry if people attack his dignity, and attack the personal secrets of his mother and father, and their personal and sexual secrets, or even if some people tried to disrespect them with many false stories, then, so too, it would be necessary for that believer to get angry when he/she hears stories about the prophet, the honour of whom, Bukhari has so desecrated and who has spread his stories throughout the world for over twelve centuries.
As for the enemy of God Almighty and His messenger who has allied himself with Bukhari and deifies him, he will rush to the aid of Bukhari for he believes that Bukhari cannot make a mistake, and he believes that Bukhari is above the level of the prophets – even they made mistakes and the revelation came down rebuking them at times and pointing out to them their blunders. Due to the fact that this enemy of God rushes to Bukhari’s defences, and that he cannot raise his voice in defence of the prophet, his only recourse is to attack the author of this book and shower him with curses and accusations to distract people from the issue at hand, thus providing him with an escape for himself and his god, Bukhari. But can he escape from the punishment of the Hereafter?
If we wanted to know the extent of the damage which we inflict on the prophet whilst being silent to Bukhari and his ilk, we must read how God Almighty used to defend the reputation of the prophet in the Quran.
Some childish people used to think that they could enter the prophet’s house without asking him permission, but the prophet felt awkward asking them to leave because he was too shy, so God said “O you who believe, do not enter the prophet’s homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But God does not shy away from the truth. If you have to ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier. This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You are not to hurt the messenger of God. You shall not marry his wives after him, for this would be a gross offense in the sight of God. (33:53)”. The physical house of the prophet has disappeared, but the legislation governing his household remains in effect. Thus, the household of an average man is his wife and the rest of his family. As for the prophet, when the Quran said “people of the household”, it meant the prophet’s wives specifically. Read what God said: “You shall settle down in your homes, and do not mingle with the people excessively, like you used to do in the old days of ignorance. You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and obey God and His messenger. God wishes to remove all unholiness from you, O people of the household
, and to purify you completely. (33:33)”.
Thus, the legislation remains in effect in preservation of the sanctity of the prophetic household even after the death of the prophet and his wives. Especially seeing that they are our mothers in Islam, and they are those from whom God wishes to remove all unholiness, and to purify them completely. Then what of Bukhari and those who worship him and deify him who, for centuries, have been trying to attack and vilify the sanctity of the prophet’s great and pure household with their filth and unholiness?!
The true meaning of “prayers on the prophet” and “harming the prophet”.
God Almighty says “O you who believe, do not enter the prophet’s homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But God does not shy away from the truth. If you have to ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier. This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You are not to hurt the messenger of God. You shall not marry his wives after him, for this would be a gross offense in the sight of God. (33:53)”. After this verse, God Almighty issues a warning: “Whether you declare anything, or hide it, God is fully aware of all things. (33:54)”. Then, after this verse, comes the instruction as to who can or cannot mingle with the prophet’s wives (in verse 33:55).
We understand from the context, that whoever doesn’t obey these commands, is not only disobeying God Almighty and His messenger, but he is also harming God and His messenger; this is suggested in the previous verse: “…You are not to hurt the messenger of God…” As for he who preserves the dignity of the prophet and of the Mothers of the Believers, then he truly maintains a good relationship with the prophet no matter what century he lives in.
Whoever doesn’t obey the above commands and abstains from the prohibitions is a guilty person (as the phrase in 33:53 suggests). Then, the following verses make this fact explicit: “God and His angels help and support the prophet. O you who believe, you shall help and support him, and regard him as he should be regarded. Surely, those who oppose God and His messenger, God afflicts them with a curse in this life, and in the Hereafter; He has prepared for them a shameful retribution. Those who persecute the believing men and the believing women, who did not do anything wrong, have committed not only a falsehood, but also a gross sin. (33:56-58)”.
Those in whose hearts is a disease, not only break into the prophet’s house without permission, but they also break into his bedroom with their pens and poisonous narrations. In doing so, they are harming, opposing, and persecuting him by divulging the secrets that he shared with his wives. They recorded these narrations as suited them best in order to desecrate such an honourable personality. The believer supports the prophet, and maintains a good ‘relationship’ with him by holding on to what the prophet held onto, i.e. the Quran, and also defending the prophet from those false rumours which have crept into the religion. Some of us, without knowing, repeats the common phrase “O Lord, support the prophet.
” But at the same time we hold on to the belief of those hadith which desecrate the prophet’s life story.
May God guide us to the truth!
The supposed sorcerer who bewitched the prophet.
In the chapter entitled “The Chapter of Sorcery” Bukhari narrates the following hadith attributed to Aisha: “A man from Banu Zuraiq bewitched the messenger of God, he was called Labeed ibn al-’A‘sam. He was bewitched to such an extent that the messenger of God used to imagine doing something that he didn’t actually do. Until one day (or night), he was staying at my house, then he called and he called. Then he said “O Aisha, I felt as if God has given me the answer to the question I asked him. Two men approached me, one of them sat next to my head, the other next to my feet. Then one said to the other “What’s wrong with this man?” The other one replied “He is bewitched.” The other one asked “Who bewitched him?” The other one said “Labeed ibn al-’A‘sam.” The other one asked “What did he use to bewitch him?” He replied “A comb and the hair found thereon, and dry dates.” The other one asked “Where is Labeed?” He replied “At the Well of Dharwan.”” Then the messenger of God went to the well with some of his friends. He then said “It was as if its water was polluted with henna. And it was as if the fruits of the palm trees there were heads of devils.” I said “O messenger of God, did you not seek to cure your ailment?” He said “God has already cured me. I didn’t want to disturb the people with evil.” So he ordered that the well be buried.”
In another version of the same narration, Bukhari adds some sexual insinuations to the story: “The messenger of God was once bewitched to the extent that he used to think that he ‘approached’
women when in fact he did not. Sufyan added “This is the worst type of sorcery if that is what he used to do.” The prophet said “O Aisha, I felt as if God has given me the answer to the question I asked him. Two men approached me, one of them sat next to my head, the other next to my feet…””, this hadith continues till Aisha asks “Did you not seek to cure your ailment?” He replied “God has already cured me. I didn’t want to disturb the people with evil.” The clear sexual insinuations in this hadith are the words “he used to think that he ‘approached’ women when in fact he did not”, and “this is the worst type of sorcery”, also, when Aisha said “Did you not seek to cure your ailment?” 
To claim that the messenger was bewitched or that he underwent sorcery, is a blasphemy against the religion, as well as doubting the message. Even before Bukhari’s second source came along, the polytheists of Mecca had claimed that the prophet was insane: “And they said, “How come this messenger eats the food and walks in the markets? If only an angel could come down with him, to serve with him as a preacher!” Or, “If only a treasure could be given to him!” Or, “If only he could possess an orchard from which he eats!” The transgressors also said, “You are following a bewitched man.”
God Almighty commentates on these claims: “Note how they called you all kinds of names, and how this led them astray, never to find their way back. (25:9)”.
The Quran repeats the same story in Chapter 17, it says of the polytheists: “We are fully aware of what they hear, when they listen to you, and when they conspire secretly - the disbelievers say, “You are following a crazy man.” (17:47)”. God Almighty also commentates on these claims and says the same thing as in 25:9: “Note how they describe you, and how this causes them to stray off the path. (17:48)”.
And for some reason, the above phrase – with regard to the polytheists’ accusations of the prophet’s alleged insanity – recurs: “Note how they describe you, and how this causes them to stray off the path.” I believe that this repetition was intended as a reply to the accusations of sorcery against the prophet even after his death, including those accusations made by the so-called ‘secondary source.’
God Almighty protected His messenger to deliver the message just as he received it, the Almighty says “O you messenger, deliver what is revealed to you from your Lord - until you do, you have not delivered His message – and God will protect you from the people… (5:67)”.
Thus, how is it possible that God serves as a protector to the prophet whilst that alleged Jew practiced sorcery on him?
The supposed Jew who pawned the prophet’s shield from him.
Bukhari’s hadith says “The messenger of God passed away and his shield had been pawned by a Jew for thirty measures of barley…”
can we possibly believe that the messenger of God was compelled to pawn his shield to a Jew in exchange for thirty measures of barley? Furthermore, can we really believe that the prophet died whilst he was in debt to that Jew who pawned his shield? Where have those major friends of the prophet gone, amongst whom were the immigrants and natives of Medina some of whom were affluent?
Rebutting these false claims is an easy task. Bukhari himself mentions that the prophet had a stable annual income which he earned from owning land in Fadak
As well as this, Bukhari mentions that the wealth of the Jews of Banu al-Nadir was taken as war spoils by the prophet after he had expelled them from Medina: “He would spend of the spoils taken from Banu al-Nadir in maintaining his family according to his sunna
, then he would spend the rest on purchasing weapons and steeds in preparation for battle.” 
Based on this, how is it possible that the prophet would die whilst he was in debt to the sum of thirty measures of barley to a Jew, to whom, it is supposed, he had pawned his shield?
The Quran confirms that the prophet’s house was open to visitors, where they would eat and converse: “O you who believe, do not enter the prophet’s homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations… (33:53)”.
Islamic history invalidates Bukhari’s claim that the prophet was reduced to pawning his last possession to that Jew. The prophet (peace upon him!) had expelled all the Jews from Medina; firstly, he expelled the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa’, then the Jews of Banu al-Nadhir, finally, he expelled the Jews of Banu Qurayzah. The Quran also speaks of the expulsion of the last Jewish tribe in Chapter 33 (verse 26). Thus, Medina remained free of any Jews till the prophet’s death. So where could that supposed well-off Jew have possibly come from who pawned the prophet’s shield?
Bukhari attributes to the prophet the act of stoning an adulterer to death.
Under “The Chapter of Stoning the Adulterer”, Bukhari reports hadith concerning the stoning of the adulterer which are not free of contradiction nor of doubt.
One particular hadith is attributed to Jabir, he says “A man who had become a Muslim came to the messenger of God (May God send on him peace and blessings!). He then told him that he had illicit sex, he then gave testimony against himself and swore by God four times that he was telling the truth. The messenger of God (May God send on him peace and blessings!) then gave the instruction for him to be stoned, then he was stoned because he was married.” Another hadith, narrated by Abu Huraira, speaks of a man who came to the prophet in the mosque, and he asserted to the prophet that he had illicit sex: “The prophet said to him “Are you insane?” He replied “No.” The prophet said “Are you married?” He replied “Yes.” The prophet said “Take him and stone him.”” The narrator adds that he was among those who stoned the man in the prayer area.
Moreover, Bukhari narrates that Anas reported that a man came to the prophet and said “O messenger of God, I have crossed the line so I must be punished. But the prophet didn’t ask him what he had done wrong. The man then prayed with the prophet and when the prayer was done, the man said to the prophet again “O messenger of God, I have crossed the line, so establish God’s law.” He replied “Did you not pray with us?” He said “Yes.” The prophet said “God has forgiven your sins.””
This is a clear contradiction with the other hadith which see the prophet establishing stoning to death as legislation. It also presents itself as a contradiction, because the prophet seems to evade the implementation of the law of stoning to death because that particular man prayed with the prophet and was therefore forgiven.
There is further doubt in another hadith which Bukhari narrates regarding the punishment of stoning, he says “Khalid narrated to us via al-Shaybani, he said: “I asked Abdullah ibn Abu Awfa: “Did the messenger of God stone anyone?” He said “Yes.” I said “Before or after the revelation of Chapter 24?” He said “I don’t know.””” The punishment for illicit sex is mentioned in Chapter 24, and it is lashing, not stoning, as will be detailed below. However, the above hadith (of Khalid) suggests that there is doubt that stoning to death was a punishment before, or even after, the revelation of Chapter 24, in which is found the real punishment for illicit sex, i.e. lashing. Then, Bukhari produces a long hadith attributed to Omar ibn al-Khattab which asserts that stoning to death is the punishment of the married fornicator. Omar says in this hadith: “I feared that such a long time would pass, that people would begin saying “We do not find stoning to death in the book of God.” They will then become misguided by leaving something compulsory ordained by God…” This long hadith which is attributed to Omar ibn al-Khattab, states, in no uncertain terms, that Omar defends the punishment of stoning, and he is opposed to those who reject it. This suggests that the invention of the punishment of stoning to death (as well as its being legislated and attributed to the prophet) was met with opposition in Bukhari’s time, and thus its proponents were quick to defend it, even pre-emptively. However, this ran completely contrary to other narrations
Bin Barzawayhi (a.k.a. al-Bukhari), died in 256 AH. The famous author al-Jahiz lived in Bukhari’s time, he died in 255 AH. Al-Jahiz composed a book entitled The Stingy in which he mentions anecdotes of stingy people, this book gives us a glimpse into the social life of the Abbasid era. He mentions a story about one of his stingy friends: “A baker informed me about one of my friends that he lashed him because he over cooked his bread. For he had said to him “Bake my bread which is placed before me. As for the bread of those who eat with me, make it half the usual measure. As for the children’s and visitor’s bread, put it only so close to the fire as to turn the dough into bread, and so that it holds itself together.” This is what al-Uways charged him to do. But when the baker was incapable of this task, al-Uways lashed him equivalent to the punishment of the free fornicator.” In other words, the punishment for fornication used to be lashing and not stoning. This also indicates that a slave who fornicates would be lashed fifty times, and a free person who fornicates would be lashed one hundred times. This was common practice at the time of the collation of the oral traditions in which lived al-Bukhari and al-Jahiz. We also understand from the many contradictory hadith about stoning, that there were differences of opinion in its jurisprudence. Each side would support their position with hadith which they would ascribe to the prophet (peace upon him!). And if we were to revert to the Quran, we would see that lashing is the punishment for the fornicating man and woman.
Chapter 24 (in which was revealed the punishment of the fornicators) starts with a verse which calls on those who have open hearts and minds. The Almighty says at the beginning of Chapter 24: “A Chapter that we have sent down, and we have decreed as law. We have revealed in it clear revelations, that you may take heed.” Thus, at the beginning of the Chapter there is an indication and a reminder for us that very important laws shall follow. Then, after this most crucial indication, the Almighty says “The adulteress and the adulterer you shall whip each of them a hundred lashes…(24:2)”. God brought down this warning and indication because He knows that there will come a time after the Quran’s revelation when legislation will be made up about the punishment of fornication which does not occur in the book of God, and which goes against the laws found in the Quran’s clear and self-evident verses. Those who defend that false law fail to take heed of the word of God: “A Chapter that we have sent down, and we have decreed as law. We have revealed in it clear revelations, that you may take heed. The adulteress and the adulterer you shall whip each of them a hundred lashes…(24:1-2)”.
The details of the Quran – which aren’t given the attention they deserve – contain all the legislative details of the punishment of the fornicator.
If the fornicating man and woman are caught in the act by four witnesses, or if it is proven that they have committed the act, then their punishment is 100 lashes to be done in public before a group of believers: “The adulteress and the adulterer you shall whip each of them a hundred lashes. Do not be swayed by pity from carrying out God’s law, if you truly believe in God and the Last Day. And let a group of believers witness their penalty. (24:2)”.
However, it is somewhat difficult to prove if a couple have had illicit sex. A woman can easily be accused of having a bad reputation, or being of an ill nature. The Almighty says “Those who commit adultery among your women, you must have four witnesses against them, from among you. If they do bear witness, then you shall keep such women in their homes until they die, or until God creates an exit for them. (4:15)”. In this case, the punishment is not lashing, rather, it is a preventative measure which is undertaken to quarantine that woman from people, up to the point that she repents or God makes a way out for her.
If a slave girl is forced by her master to sleep with him, she cannot be punished: “…You shall not force your girls into having intimate relations
, seeking the materials of this world, if they wish to be chaste. If anyone forces them, then God, seeing that they are forced, is Forgiver, Merciful. (24:33)”.
If she gets married and is protected through marriage but she still commits fornication, then her punishment is fifty lashes, that is, half of the punishment of free women, “…Once they are freed through marriage, if they commit adultery, their punishment shall be half of that for the free women… (4:25)”. If the punishment for fornication was stoning to death, then how do we apply “half” of that punishment mentioned here in this verse?
The fornicating woman could be a divorcee who is still in the interim period of divorce, and as such, she is, technically, still married, so she has the right to remain in her husband’s house. But that right is revoked if it can be proven that she has had an illicit sexual relationship with someone else, the Quran says “…unless they commit a proven adultery… (65:1),” this is so that the husband cannot falsely accuse his wife of lewdness.
God says about women who are still in the interim divorce period “…Do not evict them from their homes, nor shall you make life miserable for them, to force them to leave on their own, unless they commit a proven adultery. These are God’s laws… (65:1)”. Eviction, in this case, is a punishment in itself which is supplemented to the punishment of lashing.
Quranic details are very clear with regard to the punishment of the fornicators, it even details what should be done in the extremely rare case of one of the prophet’s wives committing this act. In which case, the punishment for her is 200 lashes, i.e., double the normal punishment. However, if she does good works, then her reward is double that of the normal reward. “O wives of the prophet, if any of you commits a gross sin, the retribution will be doubled for her. This is easy for God to do. Any one of you who obeys God and His messenger, and leads a righteous life, we will grant her double the recompense, and we have prepared for her a generous provision. (33:30-31)”. Now, let us suppose that the punishment was stoning to death, how can stoning be doubled?
It is a marvel of God’s clear verses of the Quran that the penalty for fornication has been described as a “punishment,” because for the Almighty has said…Once they are freed through marriage, if they commit adultery, their punishment shall be half of that for the free women… (4:25)”. Thus, the punishment is lashing for the married slave, as well as for the free woman. Even regarding the prophet’s wives, the Almighty says “O wives of the prophet, if any of you commits a gross sin, the retribution will be doubled for her…” Here, God has described lashing as the punishment.
“The adulteress and the adulterer you shall whip each of them a hundred lashes…” then the verse describes the penalty as a “punishment”: “…And let a group of believers witness their punishment
.” And regarding the female slave who is proved to have had illicit sexual relations, the Almighty says “
At the beginning of Chapter 24, just after our Lord had established that the punishment of the fornicators is lashing, there is a mention of a different case: if a husband catches his wife in the act with another man – but he has no witnesses to back up his claim – he must swear by God’s name four times that his wife has fornicated, and that he is telling the truth; then he must make a fifth vow that he incurs the curse of God if he is lying: “As for those who accuse their own spouses, without any other witnesses, then the testimony may be accepted if he swears by God four times that he is telling the truth. The fifth oath shall be to incur God’s condemnation upon him, if he was lying. (24:6-7)”. However, the accused wife can avert the punishment from herself if she swears by God’s name four times that her husband is lying; then she must make a fifth vow that she incurs the wrath of God if her husband is telling the truth: “She shall be considered innocent if she swears by God four times that he is a liar. The fifth oath shall incur God’s wrath upon her if he was telling the truth. (24:8-9)”.
The beginning verses of Chapter 24 demonstrate that God has described the penalty of fornication as a “punishment,” and that if a man accuses his wife of adultery, then she can avert the penalty from herself by making a vow to God that her husband’s accusation is false “She shall be considered innocent if she swears by God four times that he is a liar.”
God has described lashing as a “punishment,” and He has described it thus in a number of different cases, from which we understand that the penalty of all fornicators is lashing, be they married or unmarried. It should be duly noted that God Almighty has described the penalty of fornication the way He did, because He knew that at some point, someone would invent a law which God never authorised which legitimises the killing of a life which God has made sacred. Not only does it stipulate death for the fornicator, but it does so in the most horrendous way, that is, stoning to death! How loathsome are these lies against God and His messenger!
Should we not remember God’s words? “…You shall not kill - God has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand. (6:151)”. He also says “You shall not kill any person - for God has made life sacred - except in the course of justice… (17:33)”. And finally, “They never implore beside God any other god, nor do they kill anyone - for God has made life sacred - except in the course of justice… (25:68)”.
However, it isn’t enough for some of us to advocate taking a life without a life, but some of us are then compelled to put this unjust law in effect, but then some of us are not content with this still, for we then ascribe this law to God and His messenger. We dread to imagine how many people have faced a slow and agonising death by means of being pelted to death with a shower of stones. Those Muslims who carry out these laws, believe that they are doing good, and they believe that they are carrying out God’s laws by stoning the adulterer to death!
The accursed devil laughs much at us!
“Note the one whose evil work is adorned in his eyes, until he thinks that it is righteous. God thus sends astray whoever wills (to go astray), and He guides whoever wills (to be guided). Therefore, do not grieve over them. God is fully aware of everything they do. (35:8)”.
Bukhari attributes lies and contradictions to the prophet.
We have seen some of the false laws that Bukhari attributes to the prophet (peace upon him!). One of which is the law of stoning to death. We have taken care to assess this law for it is still relevant today, and it is still practiced among the Muslims. Let us now also assess some more lies and contradictions which Bukhari attributes to the prophet (peace upon him!).
Generally, all the hadith that Bukhari has narrated (and others like him) which they ascribe to the prophet which concern the ‘signs of the Hour’, the events therein, intercession, and all the things which will happen on the Day of Resurrection, are all in direct contradiction to the Quran; for the Quran confirms on more than one occasion that the prophet doesn’t know the future, nor does he know anything about the Final Hour, or the events therein, or any other details concerning the Hour. This has already been demonstrated in the previous chapter in which many verses were provided demonstrating this. It will be enough to repeat only one of those verses: “Say, “I am not different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a profound warner.” (46:9)”. Thus, if the prophet doesn’t know what’s going to happen to him, or to others, how can we expect him to know about the events of the Resurrection, or his supposed intercession?
Moreover, is it not enough for us that God has said about the prophet regarding his lack of knowledge about the future: “Say, “I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of God. Nor do I know the future…” (6:50)”. He also says “Say, “I have no power to benefit myself, or harm myself. Only what God wills happens to me. If I knew the future, I would have increased my wealth, and no harm would have afflicted me. I am no more than a warner, and a bearer of good news for those who believe.” (7:188)”.
Seeing that Bukhari has ascribed hadith about the Final Hour to the prophet – even though the Quran clearly states that he has no knowledge of the future – Bukhari wants to give us the impression that the prophet is lying, how is this so? The following will demonstrate this.
Read the following hadith of Bukhari about the Final Hour: “The prophet lead the evening prayer for us near the end of his life. Then, when he completed the prayer, he rose and said “One hundred years from today there will be no one left on this earth.”” In another narration, he says “After a hundred years there will be no soul left on earth.” Bukhari attributes to the prophet a saying which states that the Resurrection will occur in one hundred years time. However, Bukhari wrote this hadith 200 years after the prophet’s death. This is how Bukhari drives the reader into thinking that the prophet is a liar.
Bukhari then repeats his tricks in another hadith, he says “There were some strong and stern desert Arabs who were asking the prophet about the Hour. Then he would look to the youngest one of them and say, “If this boy lives a long life, by the time he’s an old man, the Hour would have come to you.”
In another more audacious hadith, Bukhari narrates that a man asked the prophet when the Hour will come to pass “…then, a young boy of Mughira’s passed by and the prophet said “If this boy lives a long life, the Hour will come to you before he’s an old man.”” If that’s the case, the Hour must have already come to pass during that boy’s lifetime without us knowing, or maybe that boy is still alive!
If one was to advocate Bukhari, and believe that he’s telling the truth and that the prophet actually said these things, then one also accuses the prophet of lying. The surest thing to refer to in this situation is the Quran: “They ask you about the end of the world (the Hour), and when it will come to pass. Say, “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. Only He reveals its time…” (7:187)”. Therefore, the prophet never spoke of the future, for only God knows the future “Say, “No one in the heavens and the earth knows the future except God. They do not even perceive how or when they will be resurrected. (27:65)”.
Bukhari also cites hadith whose practical benefits are clearly dubious, for example, “Whoever has seven dates for breakfast every day, no poison will affect him, nor will any magic afflict him.”
He also dares to cite a hadith whilst knowing full well that it contradicts the historic facts mentioned in the Quran “I have been given five things, which no one before me has been given; I have been made victorious by awe, by frightening my enemies for a distance of one month’s journey…” in which case, how are we to understand the prophet’s defeat in the battle of Uhud, and his being under siege by the polytheists in Medina? The Almighty describes the condition of the Muslims in Medina thus “When they came from above you, and from beneath you, your eyes were terrified, your hearts ran out of patience, and you harbored unbefitting thoughts about God. That is when the believers were truly tested; they were severely shaken up. (33:10-11)”. Thus if God had granted victory by frightening his enemies away up to distance of a months’ journey, how is it that the polytheists mounted an attack on Medina and sieged it in the Battle of al-Ahzab (The Parties)?
Furthermore, Bukhari produces hadith which contradict eachother in one subject, then, he ascribes these hadith to the prophet so that the reader may begin to have doubts in his mind with regard to the prophet’s truthfulness. Bukhari then makes sure to make such contradictory hadith concern legislative issues. The examples of this are many; let us look at a few:
Bukhari cites that the prophet prohibited his friends from castration “Ibn Mas’ood narrates “We were on a military expedition with the prophet, but we didn’t have any women with us. So we asked the prophet if we can castrate ourselves. But he prohibited us from doing so.” But then, in the page immediately after this, we read Abu Huraira’s hadith in which the prophet allowed him to castrate himself, Abu Huraira narrates “I said “O messenger of God, I’m a young man and I fear hardship for myself. And I do not have the means to get married.” Then the prophet said “O Abu Huraira, everything is written so it does not matter whether you castrate yourself or not, [it’s up to you].”
And in one page we find two contradictory hadith, “If a dog drinks from your bowl, wash the bowl seven times.” Then, directly after this, Bukhari narrates “In the prophet’s day, dogs used to come and go in the mosque, and urinate, but nobody washed it away.”
Similarly, in one page, we find Bukhari saying “The prophet used to perform ablution at every prayer.” Then, directly after this, he contradicts himself “The prophet prayed the evening prayer but didn’t perform ablution.”
There are many hadith which encourage being early to the Friday prayer; these hadith fill many pages of Bukhari, then, a hadith which contradicts all these hadith is narrated “If prayer has begun, then do not run to it, instead, walk to it. You must be calm. Thus, as soon as you get there, pray. And if you missed any part of it, then complete [what you missed].”
There are many other contradictory hadith in regard to the ‘Prayer of the Eclipse [of the Sun]’ from which we understand that the ‘Prayer of the Eclipse’ should never
Then there are hadith which warn against walking in front of someone who is praying, they instruct the person who is praying to stop praying and fight the one who has walked in front of him because he is a ‘devil’: “If one of you is praying (with a barrier placed in front of you), then if someone walks between you and the barrier, you shall fend him off, if he doesn’t comply, then you shall fight him, for he is a devil.” Also, “If the person who passes in front of someone who is praying knew what this incurs, waiting forty years would have been better than walking in front of him.”
However, on the same page, we see that Aisha is doing the very thing which the above hadith prohibits, she says “I saw the prophet praying and I was lying down on the bed between him and the qibla.” In another hadith she says “I was sleeping before the messenger of God and my legs were in front of him. Then when he prostrated he would wink at me, so I retracted my legs. Then, when he rose, I would stretch them again.” We also see the following hadith of Ibn Abbas “I approached riding a mule. The messenger of God was praying at Mina with no barrier before him. So I walked in front of the congregation which was praying, and I sent my mule to graze. So then it of the congregation; and nobody objected to it.” But then, we read other hadith which see donkeys, sheep, and women walking in front of the prophet whilst he is praying, so which do we believe?
Bukhari also produces entire chapters which contradict other chapters, and which succeed each other.
There is a chapter entitled “The chapter of the horse in whose forehead is goodness till the day of resurrection.” Many hadith fall under this title which speak of the blessing and goodness of horses. Then another chapter follows this one entitled “The Chapter of What Was Mentioned about the Evilness of Horses.” Under this chapter we find hadith like this “Evilness is found in three things: horses, women, and the home.”
Indeed, Bukhari even contradicts himself in the same hadith! Example, “You should not draw bad omens [from anything]. Bad omens are found in three things; women, the home, and the horse.” So how can he prohibit drawing ill-luck or bad omens from anything, then he says bad omens are found in women, the home, and horses? And if we were to practice this “Sunna,” then we shouldn’t enter a single house, nor should we even look at our wives, or any other female relative, and nor should we even look at any animal which lives on this earth!
However, the most extraordinary hadith which Bukhari authors, concerns prayer. He does this to sow seeds of doubt into the hearts of Muslims.
For there are hadith which instruct a woman to pray whilst menstruating, then there are other hadith which prohibit her from doing so.
Then there are hadith which order us to pray after dawn and in the late afternoon, then there are hadith which prohibit this.
There are even hadith which narrate that the prophet used to pray only two units for the afternoon (zuhr
) and late-afternoon (asr
) prayers, even though he was not
traveling nor in a state of fear, “The messenger of God came out to us at noon and he was in a state of ritual ablution. He then made people gain the blessings of his state of ritual ablution by touching him. The prophet then proceeded to pray two units for the afternoon (zuhr
) prayer, and two units for the late-afternoon (asr
) prayer, and there was a she-goat before him.” Also, “The prophet lead the people in prayer. He prayed two units for the afternoon (zuhr
) prayer, and two units for the late-afternoon (asr
) prayer whilst there was a she-goat in front of him, and whilst women and donkeys were passing in front him.”
Then there are other hadith which say that the prophet used to pray four units for the dawn (fajr
) prayer, “The messenger of God saw a man pray two units, then, when he departed, the people gathered around him, then the messenger of God said to him “The dawn prayer is four [units], the dawn prayer is four [units].””
Despite all these inconsistencies, Sunni Muslims still make Bukhari and the books of hadith a source on which they base their understanding of prayer, and how it should be done. But none of them have asked the question: how did the Muslims pray before Bukhari’s birth?
We shall now conclude, for we have worn ourselves out.
1. God Almighty brought down only one source for His religion. But it wasn’t long before people started to add other sources next to it, as well as misconstruing the word of God. However, we now have no excuse against God Almighty, for He has brought down the Quran which will be protected by God from any alteration or edition. He also made it supersede all previous scriptures. He made it perfect, clear, and detailed, and it requires no other text beside it. The verses of the Quran are – and will remain – as a proof against those who accuse the Quran of being deficient, obscure, and in need of human clarification.
2. The proponents of the secondary sources acknowledge that they attribute hadith to the prophet even though the prophet himself prohibited the writing down of such hadith. They also acknowledge that the Golden Age of Islam took place before the collation of those hadith which were collated much later, at a time of much political turmoil, religious division, and intellectual confusion.
Hadith are given levels of ‘soundness’ by their proponents. Some are deemed mutawaatir,which means that they are extremely sound (however, the number of these hadith are counted as less than ten, and that’s being optimistic). Then there’s the classification of ’aahaad, this is the biggest section of hadith. This class is further sub-divided into groups, from the level of complete reliability to forgery. This classification is laughable, for when one attributes a saying to someone, there are only two possibilities; either the person in question said it, or he did not. So if he did say it, then it can be attributed to him 100%. And if he didn’t say it, then it is a fabrication, and therefore it is a lie 100%. There is no in-between.
For example, the following famous hadith: “O Fatima, work! For I cannot avail you anything against God.” Either the prophet actually said this, in which case it’s the prophet’s saying 100%. Or, the prophet didn’t say it, in which case, it’s a lie 100%; there is no gray area. But how can we ever verify this, seeing that it was orally transmitted for over two hundred years before it was written down? Especially seeing that the transcriber did not live in the time of the prophet, nor did he live in the time of the generation who came after the prophet.
Let us look once again at their laughable classification which groups hadith according to veracity; thus, a hadith could be 70% true, or 50% true, or 13% true, in which latter case, it would be deemed da’eef, that is, weak. Such a classification will cause a sad person to laugh! Either the prophet said something, in which case it will be 100% true, or he didn’t say it, in which case it would be 100% false!
However, what the prophet really did say – which is the biggest miracle – is the word of God, the Quran. This is the real hadith which we should believe in alone, and with which we should live our lives alone. The One who brought down the book will take us to account on the Day of Judgment according to what we find therein. As for those people who authored the secondary sources, they are humans like us who will stand with us before God Almighty on the Day of Resurrection.
With the fear of that Day in mind, we beseech the reader to think about what we have discussed in this book, all the while, imploring God Almighty with sincerity to guide him/her to the straight path, leaving behind all previous whims and fancies.
Life is short. The days are passing us by. And death lies in wait for us, yet we do not know when it will dig its claws into us. Each and every single one of us must make his/her stand with regard to this issue so that he/she may be prepared for the encounter with God on the Day of Resurrection.
The dominion of the heavens and the earth, and every resplendent thing that God has created should be enough for us as a sign: is it possible that the exalted Creator should bring down to us a deficient, ambiguous, and abridged book which requires the words of humans to complete it, clarify it, and detail it?
“Have they not looked at the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all the things God has created? Does it ever occur to them that the end of their life may be near? So in which Hadith, beside this, will they believe? (7:185)”
The Almighty speaks truth!
“…So in which Hadith, beside this, will they believe?”
The question remains posed for answering…
 hadith: oral narration, recounting (an event or saying); or, discourse, conversation, speech. Used commonly to refer to the transcribed oral narrations attributed to Muhammad, the most prevalent transcribers being Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, al-Nisa’i [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘narration’ to ‘hadith’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 This is the original Arabic word used in this verse.
 This is the original Arabic word used in this verse. [Translator’s note.]
 In the original Arabic. [Translator’s note.]
 Rashad Khalifa’s original translation reads “…And we sent down to you this message, to proclaim for the people everything that is sent down to them…”
 Significantly modified from the Arabic original, for the sake of clarity. [Translators’ note.]
 Phrase modified for the sake conciseness. [Translator’s note.]
 RK’s translation modified to fit author’s context.
 Omitted the parentheses in verse 81:22 of RK’s translation to fit the author’s context.
 Changed from RK’s original ‘has come to you’ to ‘is among you’ to fit the author’s context.
 The Travel of tathniyah, 18/5, 18.
 Emphasis from the author, not RK. [Translator’s note.]
 Emphasis from the author, not RK. [Translator’s note.]
 Not a part of RK’s translation. RK seems to have forgotten to translate the phrase “shaahidan 3alaykum”.
 RK’s translation changed from “amongst” to “against”, to fit the author’s context.
 An ancient Arab tradition, where the husband would claim his wife to be like his mother and therefore his wife would be unlawful for him. [Translator’s footnote.]
 These are qualities which many Sunni Muslims ascribe to Mohammed. [Translator’s footnote.]
 A strict translation of the Abbasid meaning of this word would be along the lines of ‘to legislate independently by invention.’ [Translator’s footnote.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Significantly reworded from the Arabic; literally it would be “prohibited from weaning is that which is prohibited from relation.” [Translator’s footnote.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Dr. Khalifa’s translation reads “Submission” instead of “Islam”. Islam, however, can be translated as Submission. [Translator’s footnote.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Sunna: custom, practice, tradition. [Translator’s footnote.]
 The original word in the Quran is sunna, translated here as ‘system’ by RK. (Peace on the messengers!). [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘system’ to ‘sunna’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 All of whom were transcribers of oral traditions from the early Islamic era. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 6/page 234; (the publication of Dar al-Sha’b Publishers).
 Changed from RK’s original ‘hidden secret’ to ‘covered one’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘come out’ to ‘rise’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Meaning surely, certainly, indeed. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 4; and volume 1/page 76, the print of Dar al-Sha’b Publishers. (This is the print which will be used for the remainder of this study.)
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 73.
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 A type of loin cloth. [Translator’s note.]
 A reference to the wives of the prophet. [Translator’s note.]
 See ‘The Chapter of Menstruation’ in Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 79.
 The Ansar were the indigenous residents of Medina. [Translator’s note.]
 See Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 48.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 8/page 78.
 That is, she was married to him. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 That is, she was married to him. [Translator’s note.]
 Significantly reworded from Dr Subhi’s Arabic, for the sake of abridged clarity. [Translator’s note.]
 haram: prohibited, forbidden, illegal, illegitimate; um: mother. So, “Um Haraam” can be translated “The Mother of Illegitimacy,” alternatively, “The Woman of Illegitimacy.” [Translator’s note.]
 A reference to God’s description of the moral conduct of Muhammad in 68:4. [Translator’s note.]
 See Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 53.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 4/page 201.
 That is, homosexuality. [Translator’s note.]
 This was said by the Caliph Al-Waleed ibn Abdul Malik in The History of The Caliphs by al-Suyooti, pg. 344. Referenced by Muhammad Abu al-Fadl Ibrahim.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 14.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 42.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 77.
 A type of dish. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 4/page 200.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 6.
 This word in Arabic is nāka (the aortic is yaneeku), which generally means to have sex, however, it can be used with negative connotations which are considered highly distasteful. In Modern Spoken Arabic this word corresponds to our English word of to fuck. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 8/page 207.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 16.
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/pages 47 and 61.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/pages 69-71.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 102.
 A reference to a famous alleged incident, which involved Aisha and her subsequent defilement. [Translator’s note.]
 This story can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 5/page 148; volume 6/page 127.
 Changed from RK’s original ‘were among’ to ‘left’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘people’ to ‘family’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Inserted into RK’s text to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Inserted into RK’s text to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 That is, Sunni Muslims. [Translator’s note.]
 Omitted unnecessary text. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘O you who live around the Sacred Shrine’ to ‘O people of the household’ to fit the author’s context. [Translator’s note.]
 Which corresponds to the Arabic phrase allahumma salli wa sallim 3alaa sayyidinaa muhammad. [Translator’s note.]
 A reference to sexual intercourse. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/pages 176, 178; volume 8/page 103.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 4/pages 49, 50; volume 6/page 19; volume 3/pages 107, 177.
 A place in Arabia. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 4/page 96.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 6/page 184.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 8/pages 204-211.
 Changed from RK’s original ‘You shall not force your girls to commit prostitution’ to ‘You shall not force your girls into having intimate relations’ to fit the author’s understanding. [Translator’s note.]
 Re-worded from the original. [Translator’s note.]
 Changed from RK’s original ‘penalty’ to ‘punishment’ to fit the author’s understanding. [Translator’s note.]
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 39; volume 8/ pages 48, 133.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/page 104.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 7/pages 4 and 5.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 53.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/page 62.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 2/pages 3, 4, 8, 9.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 2/pages 42, 50.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/pages 128, 129; volume 1/pages 29,126.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 4/pages 30, 33.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/pages 81, 84, 85, 86.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/pages 143, 145.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/pages 57, 126.
 Sahih al-Bukhari; volume 1/pages 159-160.