Category: Books sutras and myths
In Islamic terminology, the term hadith refers to reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, or of his tacit approval or criticism of something said or done in his presence.
The intended meaning of hadith in religious tradition is something attributed to Muhammad but not found in the Quran.
We have provided this explanation on the site so that it is clear why, on careful examination, we have decided to exclude all Hadith.
Arguments against the Hadith given by scholars
Among the scholars who believe that even sahih ahadith suffer from corruption or who proposed limitations on usage of ahadith include early Muslims Al-Nawawi, Wāṣil b. ʿAṭāʾ, Ibrahim an-Nazzam, later reformers Syed Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Iqbal; and scholars from the West such as Ignác Goldziher and Joseph Schacht. According to Bernard Lewis, "in the early Islamic centuries there could be no better way of promoting a cause, an opinion, or a faction than to cite an appropriate action or utterance of the Prophet." This gave strong incentive to fabricate hadith.
According to Daniel Brown, the major causes of corruption of Hadith literature are:
- political conflicts,
- sectarian prejudice, and
- the desire to translate the underlying meaning, rather than the original words verbatim.
Other criticism made of ahadith include
- that the primary tool of orthodox ʻilm al-ḥadīth (Hadith studies) to verify the authenticity of ahadith is the hadith isnad (chain) of transmitters. But in the oldest collections of ahadith (which have had less opportunity to be corrupted by faulty memory or manipulation) isnad are "rudimentary", while the isnads found in later "classical" collections of ahadith are usually "perfect".
- that whatever the motive, there are indisputable contradictions in ahadith, meaning some sahih ahadith must be wrong.
- That ahadith are a major source of Islamic law that involve the honor, property and lives of Muslims, and that although sahih ahadith are defined as "authentic" — rated above hasan (good) and daif (weak) ahadith — this class of ahadith do not provide "certainty of knowledge" needed for law making. Mutawatir ahadith (meaning reports from "a large number of narrators whose agreement upon a lie is inconceivable") do meet that criteria, but their extreme scarcity limits their use in development of Islamic law.
The unequivocal instructions in the Qur'an
Hadith, Arabic Ḥadīth (“News” or “Story”), are second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam.
The criticism of Hadith thus revolves primarily around the authenticity of hadith reports and whether they are attributable to Muhammad, as well as theological and philosophical grounds as to whether the hadith can provide rulings on legal and religious matters when the Quran has already declared itself "complete", "clear", "fully detailed" and "perfected".
Because of Quranic injunctions to Muslims to follow the instructions of and to imitate the behavior of Muhammad, in Muslim political or religious disputes (especially during the early era of Islam) temptation was strong to fabricate hadith as a "polemical ideological tool" in favor of the fabricator's political/religious position.
But what is often over-looked is that the Qur'an itself gave very specific instructions that it alone was revealed instruction, and that it can stand alone. Hadiths are not needed
Qu’ran- Surah Al An’am translated by Sahih International
6:116 And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah . They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.
6:118 So eat of that [meat] upon which the name of Allah has been mentioned, if you are believers in His verses.
6:119 ……..And indeed do many lead [others] astray through their [own] inclinations without knowledge. Indeed, your Lord - He is most knowing of the transgressors.
perhaps of especial interest, the Qur'an also states that those who bear false witness will be very very harshly dealt with on their Judgement Day........
It may be worth knowing that nowhere is stoning mentioned or advocated in the Qur'an, or beating one's wife, and that there are extremely strict instructions to use tolerance when dealing with people of other faiths and beliefs.
Killing anything is wholly and totally prohibited.
Furthermore there is an irony that cannot be ignored in the following very famous Hadith!
A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said:
O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. The Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don't do to them.
—Kitab al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 146
“None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
—An-Nawawi's Forty Hadith 13 (p. 56)
“Seek for mankind that of which you are desirous for yourself, that you may be a believer.”
—Sukhanan-i-Muhammad (Teheran, 1938)