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What Does the Qur'an Say About Hadith and Sunnah?

The Qur'an does not order following of Hadith or any specific 'Sunnah' of Prophet Muhammad. God enjoins us to study His revelations for guidance which in their divine form is complete and do not require external books to add details. The word 'Hadith' has been mentioned in the Qur'an 28 times and the word 'Sunnah' has been mentioned 16 times; not a single time does it refer to the recorded sayings or actions of Prophet Muhammad.

'Hadith' is a noun word based on the trilateral root letters Ha-Da-Sa ح د ث, literally meaning 'a statement', 'saying', or 'speech'. This word has been used in the following verses of the Qur'an with the given meanings stated below:

  • Verse 4:42: - “THEY CANNOT HIDE FACTS / INFORMATION FROM GOD” - يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَعَصَوُا الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّىٰ بِهِمُ الْأَرْضُ وَلَا يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثًا
  • Verse 4:78: - “THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND FACTS / INFORMATION” - فَمَالِ هَٰؤُلَاءِ الْقَوْمِ لَا يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ حَدِيثًا
  • Verse 4:87: - “WHO IS MORE TRUTHFUL THAN GOD IN SPEECH / INFORMATION” - وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثًا
  • Verse 4:140: - “STAY AWAY FROM THEM UNTIL THEY CHANGE THEIR SPEECH / CONVERSATION” - فَلَا تَقْعُدُوا مَعَهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ
  • Verse 6:68: - “TURN AWAY FROM THEM UNTIL THEY CHANGE THEIR SPEECH / CONVERSATION” - فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ
  • Verse 7:185: “WHICH SAYINGS / STATEMENT AFTER THIS DO THEY BELIEVE?” - فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ
  • Verse 12:6: “TEACHES YOU THE INTERPRETATION OF EVENTS / NARRATIVES” - وَكَذَٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ
  • Verse 12:21: - “TO TEACH HIM THE INTERPRETATION OF EVENTS / NARRATIVES” - وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ
  • Verse 12:101: - “TAUGHT ME THE INTERPRETATION OF EVENTS / NARRATIVES” - رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ
  • Verse 12:111: - “IT IS NOT A FALSE SAYING / NARRATION” - مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَىٰ وَلَٰكِنْ تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ
  • Verse 18:6: - “IF THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN THIS INFORMATION / MESSAGE” - فَلَعَلَّكَ بَاخِعٌ نَفْسَكَ عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِمْ إِنْ لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَسَفًا
  • Verse 20:9: - “HAS THERE COME TO YOU THE STORY / INFORMATION OF MOSES” - وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ
  • Verse 23:44: - “WE TURNED THEM INTO HISTORY / STORIES” - فَأَتْبَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ بَعْضًا وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَحَادِيثَ
  • Verse 31:6: - “THOSE WHO UPHOLD BASELESS NARRATIONS / SAYINGS” - وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ
  • Verse 33:53: “WITHOUT STAYING FOR CONVERSATION / SPEECH” - فَإِذَا طَعِمْتُمْ فَانْتَشِرُوا وَلَا مُسْتَأْنِسِينَ لِحَدِيثٍ
  • Verse 34:19: - “WE TURNED THEM INTO HISTORY / STORIES” - فَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَحَادِيثَ وَمَزَّقْنَاهُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ
  • Verse 39:23: “GOD HAS REVEALED THE BEST STATEMENT / NARRATION” - اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُتَشَابِهًا مَثَانِيَ
  • Verse 45:6: - “WHICH NARRATION / STATEMENT AFTER GOD AND HIS REVELATIONS DO THEY BELIEVE? - فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَ اللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ
  • Verse 51:24: “HAS THERE COME TO YOU THE STORY / INFORMATION OF ABRAHAM'S GUESTS? - هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ
  • Verse 52:34: - “LET THEM PRODUCE A STATEMENT / SPEECH SIMILAR TO IT” - فَلْيَأْتُوا بِحَدِيثٍ مِثْلِهِ إِنْ كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ
  • Verse 53:59: - “DO YOU THEN WONDER AT THIS NARRATION / STATEMENT?” - أَفَمِنْ هَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ تَعْجَبُونَ
  • Verse 56:81: - “ARE YOU DISREGARDING THIS NARRATION / STATEMENT? - أَفَبِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَنْتُمْ مُدْهِنُونَ
  • Verse 66:3: - “THE PROPHET DISCLOSED SOME INFORMATION / SAYING TO HIS WIFE” - فَذَرْنِي وَمَنْ يُكَذِّبُ بِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ
  • Verse 77:50: - “WHICH NARRATION / STATEMENT AFTER THIS DO THEY BELIEVE?” - فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ
  • Verse 79:15: - “HAS THERE COME TO YOU THE STORY / INFORMATION OF MOSES?” - هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ
  • Verse 85:17: - “HAS THERE COME TO YOU THE STORY / INFORMATION OF THE SOLDIERS?” - هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْجُنُودِ
  • Verse 88:1: - “HAS THERE COME TO YOU THE NEWS / INFORMATION OF THE OVERWHELMING EVENT?” - هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْغَاشِيَةِ

In particular, verse 31:6 in the list above is interesting as it specifically states there are people who 'uphold baseless Hadith':

Among mankind, there are those who uphold baseless Hadith (Ha-Da-Sa ح د ث) to mislead others from the path 
of God without having knowledge, and they take it as mockery. These will have a humiliating punishment. (31:6)

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْتَرِي لَهْوَ الْحَدِيثِ لِيُضِلَّ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَيَتَّخِذَهَا هُزُوًا أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ

Notice how the verse states that the baseless Hadith do not only mislead from the path of God, but also enable these people to make a mockery of religion. As such they earn the wrath of God. Furthermore, verses 4:87 and 39:23 refer to the Qur'an as the 'most truthful' and 'best' Hadith. This superlative form of referring to the Qur'an indicates God's emphasis on following His revelations instead of the baseless Hadith. If God wanted to confer approval or authority to Hadith other than his revelations, He would have mentioned them in a similar regard, either in the same verses or elsewhere in the Qur'an. Instead, the other references to 'Hadith' show that diverting from God's words and delving into baseless Hadith is disapproved by God and leads people astray.

The word 'Sunnah' is a noun word based on the trilateral root letters Sa-Na-Na س ن ن, literally meaning a 'way', 'path' or 'example'. This word has been used in the following verses of the Qur'an with the given meanings stated below:

  • Verse 3:137: - “MANY ARE THE WAYS / PATHS THAT CAME BEFORE YOU” - قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ
  • Verse 4:26: “GUIDES YOU TO THE WAYS / PATHS OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE YOU” - يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ
  • Verse 8:38: - “IF THEY RETURN, THEY WILL INCUR THE WAY / EXAMPLE OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS” - وَإِنْ يَعُودُوا فَقَدْ مَضَتْ سُنَّتُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
  • Verse 15:13: - “THIS WAS THE WAY / EXAMPLE OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS” - لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَقَدْ خَلَتْ سُنَّةُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
  • Verse 17:77: - “THE WAY / PATH OF THOSE BEFORE YOU OF OUR MESSENGERS. YOU WILL NOT FIND A CHANGE IN OUR WAY / PATH” - سُنَّةَ مَنْ قَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنْ رُسُلِنَا وَلَا تَجِدُ لِسُنَّتِنَا تَحْوِيلًا
  • Verse 18:55: “EXCEPT THAT THE WAY / EXAMPLE OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS COMES TO THEM” - سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا
  • Verse 33:62: “THIS IS THE WAY / PATH OF THOSE BEFORE YOU. YOU WILL NOT FIND A CHANGE IN GOD'S WAY / PATH” - سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ فِي الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا
  • Verse 35:43: - “WERE THEY EXPECTING OTHER THAN THE WAY / PATH OF THOSE BEFORE THEM? YOU WILL NOT FIND A REPLACEMENT FOR GOD'S WAY / PATH. YOU WILL NOT FIND A CHANGE IN GOD'S WAY / PATH - فَهَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَّا سُنَّتَ الْأَوَّلِينَ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّتِ اللَّهِ تَحْوِيلًا
  • Verse 40:85: - “SUCH IS GOD'S WAY / PATH ESTABLISHED FOR HIS SERVANTS” - سُنَّتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي قَدْ خَلَتْ فِي عِبَادِهِ
  • Verse 48:23: “SUCH IS GOD'S WAY / PATH OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS. YOU WILL NOT FIND CHANGE IN GOD'S WAY / PATH” - سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلا

It can be seen from the above that the word 'Sunnah' in the Qur'an never refers to the recorded actions or saying of Prophet Muhammad. In most cases, it refers to the 'way / path of God' as the Sunnah of God, similar to how the word 'Hadith' refers to the 'statement / narration of God'.

There are verses in the Qur'an which state 'Obey God and the messenger' as a compound injunction for following the message of the messenger. Does this expression suggest that God is authorising a separate 'Hadith' or 'Sunnah' of Prophet Muhammad's actions or sayings? From the Qur'an, this expression can be understood to refer to obedience to God's commandments through the messenger, hence 'God and the messenger' is a single reference to God's Will as administered through His messenger. This can be seen in the following verse of the Qur'an, where those who indulge in unjust practices of usury are warned of 'war from God and the messenger':

If you do not, then be warned of war from God and the messenger. (2:279)

إِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ

In the above verse, the war is expressed as coming from 'God and the messenger', whereas the physical war would come from the messenger alone. Since the messenger would be fulfilling the Will of God, 'God and the messenger' refers to a single authority. The following verse shows that responding to the messenger's call is the same as responding to God, since the messenger's call is the call to God. Consequently, those who responded to the messenger had responded to 'God and the messenger':

Those who responded to God and the messenger after suffering defeat, those who do good and remain conscious of
God, will have a great reward." (3:172)

الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا أَصَابَهُمُ الْقَرْحُ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا مِنْهُمْ وَاتَّقَوْا أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ

In the following verse, we can similarly see that a proclamation would be made physically by the messenger, yet it is referred to collectively as coming from 'God and the messenger'. The treaty obligations being dissolved is also referred to in this verse as being administered by 'God and the messenger':

A proclamation from God and the messenger to the people on the day of pilgrimage, that God and the messenger 
dissolve treaty obligations with the disbelievers. (9:3)

وَأَذَانٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ

In the following verse, those who supported the messenger in war are said to have supported 'God and the messenger'. Notice how they are said to have migrated to 'God and the messenger', whereas clearly the migrants could only physically migrate to the messenger:

Those who left their home and migrated to God and the messenger, then is overcome by death; their reward will
surely be with God. (4:100)

مَنْ يَخْرُجْ مِنْ بَيْتِهِ مُهَاجِرًا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ

Similarly, the verse below states that by helping the messenger, these migrants effectively 'help God and the messenger'. God of-course does not need any help but this expression is used to show how helping the messenger in God's cause fulfills God's Will:

The poor migrants who were driven from their homes and possessions, who seek God's favour and approval, 
the ones who help God and the messenger, these are the ones who are truthful. (59:8)

لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنْصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

The following verse refers to those who fight the messenger as fighting against 'God and the messenger'. In other words, fighting the messenger is effectively the same as fighting against God's message and amounts to a similar kind of offence:

The punishment for those who fight God and the messenger and seek to make corruption in the land... (9:1)

إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ

From the above verses, we can see that 'Obey God and the messenger' cannot be taken separately to refer to a 'Hadith' or 'Sunnah' other than God's revelations. Obeying the messenger means obeying God through the Qur'an because the messenger's sole purpose was to convey the message of God, as can be seen in the following verse:

The messenger's sole duty is conveying of the message: God knows what you reveal and what you conceal. 
(5:99)

بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى الَّذِينَ عَاهَدْتُمْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

The messenger did not create any laws by himself other than those that were authorised by God through His revelations. The following passage of the Qur'an shows that even the messenger would be punished by God if he created laws by himself without God's authority:

This revelation is sent down from the Lord of the worlds. If the messenger said anything against Us, We 
would seize his right hand and cut off his artery, and none of you could have saved him. (69:43-47)

تَنْـزِيلٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الأَقَاوِيلِ أَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ فَمَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ
حَاجِزِينَ

Similarly, the passage below shows that the Prophet feared punishment of the Hereafter if he was to change or add to the revelations in any way. In the same passage, it is stated that the Prophet only followed what was revealed to him:

When Our clear revelations are recited to them, those who do not wish to meet Us said: 'Bring a Qur'an 
other than this, or change it'. Say: 'It is not for me to change it of my own accord, I only follow what is
revealed to me. I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the punishment of a Great Day.' (10:15)

وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ قَالَ الَّذِينَ لا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا ائْتِ بِقُرْآنٍ غَيْرِ هَذَا أَوْ بَدِّلْهُ قُلْ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أُبَدِّلَهُ مِنْ تِلْقَاءِ
نَفْسِي إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ إِنِّي أَخَافُ إِنْ عَصَيْتُ رَبِّي عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

The verses below further state that the messenger only followed what was revealed to him:

Say, 'I do not say to you that I have treasures of God, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I 
am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.' (6:50)

لْ لا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ عِنْدِي خَزَائِنُ اللَّهِ وَلا أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ وَلا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ إِنِّي مَلَكٌ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الأَعْمَى وَالْبَصِيرُ
أَفَلا تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
When you don't bring them a revelation, they say: 'Why do you not forge it?' Say: 'I only follow what is
revealed to me from my Lord.' These are clear proofs from your Lord and a guidance and mercy for those who 
believe. (7:203)

وَإِذَا لَمْ تَأْتِهِمْ بِآيَةٍ قَالُوا لَوْلا اجْتَبَيْتَهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ مِنْ رَبِّي هَذَا بَصَائِرُ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say: 'I am no different from the other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I only
follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a plain warner.' (46:9)

قُلْ مَا كُنْتُ بِدْعًا مِنَ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ

Since the injunctions of God from the Qur'an are the same as the injunctions of the messenger, it follows that in order to 'Obey the messenger' today, God's teachings need to be sought through His revelations alone. God makes His revelations complete in guidance such that other sources of holy authority are unnecessary and can distract from God's intended message. The following verses of the Qur'an highlight how God's revelations are complete, clear and self-explanatory:

We have revealed the Book to you which has clear explanation of everything, and a guidance, mercy and good
news for those who submit. (16:89)

وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَى هَؤُلاءِ وَنَـزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً
وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
Shall I then seek a judge other than God? When it is He who has revealed to you the Book fully detailed? 
(6:114)

أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنْـزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلا وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَـزَّلٌ مِنْ رَبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَلا
تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ
We have sent down to you the Book containing your message. Do you not understand? (21:10)

لَقَدْ أَنْـزَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَابًا فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ أَفَلا تَعْقِلُونَ
He Who imposed the Qur'an upon you will certainly bring you back home again. Say, 'My Lord knows best who 
has brought true guidance and who is plainly misguided.'(28:85)

إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ قُلْ رَبِّي أَعْلَمُ مَنْ جَاءَ بِالْهُدَى وَمَنْ هُوَ فِي ضَلالٍ مُبِينٍ
This is how We explain the revelations in various ways. (6:105)

كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ وَلِيَقُولُوا دَرَسْتَ وَلِنُبَيِّنَهُ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
See how We explain the revelations, perhaps they may understand. (6:65)

انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ
In this way, We clarify the revelations for a people who think. (10:24)

كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
These are signs of the Scripture, and a clear Qur'an. (15:1)

الر تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ وَقُرْآنٍ مُبِينٍ
What is wrong with you, how do you judge? Do you have another book which you study? In which you find 
whatever you want? (68:37-38)

أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ
This Book has been sent down to you, let there be no anxiety in your heart about it, so that you may use it
to give warning and remind the believers: 'Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord. Do not follow 
other masters beside Him. Seldom you take heed. (7:2)

كِتَابٌ أُنْـزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلا يَكُنْ فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِنْهُ لِتُنْذِرَ بِهِ وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Thus We elaborate the verses, that some may say: 'You are learned', and that We may make it clear to a people
who understand." (6:105)

وَكَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ وَلِيَقُولُوا دَرَسْتَ وَلِنُبَيِّنَهُ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
Have you considered those who were asked to accept judgement from the Book of God? When they are asked to 
accept judgement from the Book of God, some of them turn their backs and walk away. (3:23)

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا نَصِيبًا مِنَ الْكِتَابِ يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى كِتَابِ اللَّهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّى فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ وَهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ
Mankind was a single community, then God sent Prophets to bring good news and warning and He sent to them 
the Book with truth, to judge between them in their disagreements. However, they argued in rivalry after clear
verses had come to them. (2:213)

كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ وَأَنْـزَلَ مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ
وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلا الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ
This is a blessed Book which We have sent down; follow it and be conscious of your Lord, so that you 
may receive mercy. Lest you say, 'Books were sent to communities before us: we were not aware of what they 
studied', or, 'If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would have been better guided than them.' Now your 
Lord has brought you clear evidence, guidance, and mercy. Who could be more wrong then someone who rejects God's 
revelations and turns away from them? We shall repay those who turn away from our verses with a painful 
punishment." (6:155-157)

وَهَذَا كِتَابٌ أَنْـزَلْنَاهُ مُبَارَكٌ فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَنْ تَقُولُوا إِنَّمَا أُنْـزِلَ الْكِتَابُ عَلَى طَائِفَتَيْنِ مِنْ قَبْلِنَا وَإِنْ كُنَّا عَنْ
دِرَاسَتِهِمْ لَغَافِلِينَأَوْ تَقُولُوا لَوْ أَنَّا أُنْـزِلَ عَلَيْنَا الْكِتَابُ لَكُنَّا أَهْدَى مِنْهُمْ فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ
مِمَّنْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ وَصَدَفَ عَنْهَا سَنَجْزِي الَّذِينَ يَصْدِفُونَ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَصْدِفُونَ
We have made the Qur'an easy to understand. But is there anyone who will pay heed? (54:17)

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِنْ مُدَّكِرٍ
The words of your Lord are complete in truth and justice. Nothing can change His words. He is the 
All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. If you followed most of those on earth, they would mislead you from the path of God.
They follow nothing but conjecture; they only tell lies. (6:115-116)

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلا لا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُوَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلا
الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلا يَخْرُصُونَ

The final passage above is interesting because as well as mentioning the Qur'an is complete, it states that most people on earth do not follow the truth and may mislead to falsehood even if they are in the majority. This is important because the belief that 'Hadith' and 'Sunnah' are a divine source of law in religion is rampant among Muslims today. This verse shows that being in the majority gives no protection or credibility for such beliefs and that such people may be believing in falsehood and lies. God has given no permission for Hadith to be an authoritative source of religion. Even in the Hadith, there are reports that Prophet Muhammad forbade his companions from writing down his actions and sayings other than the Qur'an. The six main compilations of Hadith emerged between 180-280 years after Prophet Muhammad passed away - many decades after the Qur'an. This means that the Hadith compilations did not even exist when Prophet Muhammad was alive and were introduced later without permission from the Prophet or God. The fact that they were compiled years after the Prophet's death makes Hadith impossible to verify; this is akin to how it is impossible to verify hearsay that has been around for a long time. As a result, many Hadith have major contradictions with the Qur'an as well as with other Hadith.

In the verse below, Prophet Muhammad is described to have an 'exemplary character' (uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة):

In the messenger of God, there is a good example (uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة) for those who seek God and 
the Last Day and remember God often. (33:21)

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

Does this mean God is authorising a specific 'Sunnah' to follow the personal lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad? There is a clue in the verse, which states: 'for those who seek God and the Last Day and remember God often'. This is because the 'good example' of the Prophet is referring to his good faith and conviction in God and adherence to the revelations. It is not referring to his personal habits, preferences and lifestyle. Further evidence for this is in the verse below, in which Prophet Abraham is referred to as a 'good example' for believers using the same arabic expression (uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة). Notice how the verse mentions that Prophet Abraham's good example is in relation to his conviction in one God and his shunning of idol-worship:

There is a good example (uswatun hasana / أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَة) in Abraham and those with him, when they said to 
their people, 'We are clear of you and of whatever you worship besides God...'. (60:4)

قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ

Finally, the fact that Muslims have abandoned the Qur'an and have been distracted into misleading Hadith and Sunnah closely resembles a passage in the Qur'an. This passage takes the narrative of one of these wrongdoers, who admits on the Day of Judgment that they were wrong to follow those who misled from the path of the Qur'an. The passage continues with the messenger's complaint to God that people had deserted the Qur'an which he bought:

On the Day the wrongdoers will bite their hands in regret and say, 'I wish I had taken the path of the
messenger. Woe to me; I wish I had not taken those ones as a friend. They misguided me away from the message 
after it came to me'. The Satan is always a betrayer to mankind. The messenger will say, 'Oh Lord, my people
deserted this Qur'an'. (25:27-30)

وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلا يَا وَيْلَتَى لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلانًا خَلِيلا لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ
بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلإِنْسَانِ خَذُولا وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا

Notice how the passage above states that being misled away from the Qur'an in this way is inspired by the works of Satan. The Satan is a 'betrayer to mankind'. Hence, following leaders who distract with Hadith and mislead people from the Qur'an is a form of succumbing to misguidance of the Satan.

There is no verse in the Qur'an where God authorises Hadith as another source of religion, or the following of a specific 'Prophet's Sunnah' other than the Sunnah of God. These words in the Qur'an refer to the revelations and God's system. There are verses which show that Hadith are a cause of misguidance and can be used to make a mockery of religion, ultimately earning the anger of God. The Prophet's personal habits, lifestyle and preferences do not form any special 'Sunnah' according to the Qur'an. Imitating the Prophet in these trivial matters can constitute a form of idolatry as God never authorised such idolisation of a Prophet. God makes clear that the Qur'an is complete and self-explanatory and does not require secondary sources such as Hadith for explanations. The compilations of Hadith did not exist at the time of the Prophet and were created in his absence decades after he passed away. Hence, they neither have the authority nor the authenticity to be followed as a divine source of religion. It is impossible to verify Hadith as true given their nature as hearsay presented in written form. At best, the Hadith may only be used for historical purposes, for providing a general background of the times when they were written. However, they must never be taken as an authoritative source of religion and should always be treated with caution, as they can easily contradict with the Qur'an and be totally false.



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