Quran & Hadith

Sep 8th, 2006, in News, by

The validity or otherwise of the hadith tradition and its relationship to the Quran and how Muslims understand their faith.

This post has been created due to the female circumcision thread having gone substantially off-topic. Hopefully, within the spirit of the site, commenters can make some reference to the situation in Indonesia and within Indonesian Muslim organisations such as NU, etc, vis-a-vis their understanding of the hadith tradition.

212 Comments on “Quran & Hadith”

  1. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Just a little history about Hadith, if this is what you want to follow just go ahead:

    Out of the books that the majority of Muslims believe in as being authentic, Sahih Bukhari is presented as being the MOST authentic. However a analysis of the history of the books shows that it is anything but authentic. Imam Bokhari the collector of the narration lived in a period over 230 years after the death of the prophet. Out of the 600,000 Hadith (narrations) that he collected, which were initially attributed to the prophet, he threw out as fabrication 592,700 of them and kept only 7300 as being genuine. They further reduce to 2762 Hadith after repetition.
    The margin of error in these numbers is so great, that any rational inquirer can see that accepting the book of Bukhari as containing all authentic Hadith or even a majority of authentic Hadith is stupidity. Yet the majority of Muslims unquestionable accept it as “gospel” truth!

    There are many scientific and logical errors and contradictions in the Book of Bukhari, as well as the other books. Some examples:

    The prophet according to Bukhari in one of the narration tells his companion Abu- Dharr Ghafari that the sun goes around the earth, in the apparent description that he gives (Hadith 421, pg. 283, vol. 4 of M.Muhsin Khan’s translation of Sahih Bukhari).

    This erroneous view was very popular at the time Bukhari compiled his collection. However this is absurd, we know today that the earth rotates around the sun, proven by scientific evidence. Al Quran not only corrected this erroneous notion but also gave an accurate description of a round earth centuries before scientists discovered it.

    According to Hadith no disease is contagious [Adwa]. This as we all know is inaccurate. What about the common cold and viruses like Ebola etc. [Hadith 649, page 435, volume7]

    Books of Hadith contain many home-remedies, according to ideas prevalent at that time, which are scientifically absurd. The Hadith mentions there being a cure for every ailment in black cumin seed [Hadith 591, pg.400, vol 7]. This is evidently not true. Can it cure cancer or AIDS, not to mention even the common cold? Hadith suggests that we drink “camel-urine” to recuperate after an illness [Hadith 590, pg.399, vol.7]. This is disgusting, naturally speaking. Urine is toxic stuff. Al Quran places extreme importance on cleanliness and clean eating (tayyab). The Hadith mentions that “fever” is from the “heat of hell” [Hadith 621,622, page 417, vol 7]. Atrocious!

    The Hadith books insult the prophet by giving him a contradictory personality. In one instance it mentions that the prophet ate with a leper and in another it mentions that he refused to meet with a leper who had come to take allegiance at his hand and accept Islam. He told the man to leave and accepted his allegiance in absentia.

    The famous Hadith about the fly: “If a fly falls into the vessel of any of you, let him dip all of it (in the vessel) and then throw it away [and use the material in the vessel], for in one of its wings there is a disease and in the other there is a healing [Bukhari, Hadith 673, pg. 452, vol 7]

    According to Hanbel 6/136, 192,213, the prophet “Never urinated in a standing position.” However Bukhari in his “authentic” book of Hadith says that the prophet indeed urinated in a standing position. (Bukhari 4/60-64)

    According to Bukhari 56/152 and Hanbel 3/107, 163; the prophet recommended that people drink camel urine to recuperate after an illness Later on when the same people killed the prophet’s shepherd, he commanded that they be seized, their eyes taken out and their hands and feet cut and left them thirsty in the desert. This does not fit in with the personality of the prophet presented in Al Quran. Al Quran says that the prophet was compassionate. How could the prophet recommend the drinking of camel’s urine, considering the importance that the Koran gives to hygiene?

    Al Quran commands believers not to make any distinction between any of God’s messengers (Quran 2:285 and many other places), yet according to Bukhari’s books of Hadith (Bukhari 97/36), the prophet contradicted the Koran saying that he was the “most honorable” among all the messengers. Not only this, the books of Bukhari make the prophet even contradict himself by saying in a different Hadith (Bukhari 65/4,6 and Hanbel 1/205,242,440) that we should not make any distinction between the messengers and that he was not better than even Yunus. Could the prophet have contradicted Al Quran? Could the prophet of Allah have contradicted himself? The books of Hadith in fact insult the prophet by attributing to him things he never said or did.

    According to the books of Hadith, a woman is compared to a black dog or a monkey (this Hadith pre-dates Darwin but it refers to women only) Bukhari 8/102 and Hanbel 4/86. Al Quran on the other hand honours women and lifts up their status contrary to what is contained in the Hadith. A woman is called bad luck in the hadith (Bukhari 76/53). Also, according to the collection of Muslim (Sahih Muslim), most of the people in hell were of the feminine gender! According to Bukhari, “Women are naturally, morally and religiously defective.” Therefore, according to the standard of Al Quran, no Muslim should accept such prejudiced Hadith as issuing from the lips of the prophet of God.

    According to Bukhari (Book of Jihad, 146) and Abu Dawd 113, the prophet gave permission to warriors to kill women and children in war. Indeed these people are attributing tyranny to a prophet held in honor by Allah, and described as having mercy for the people. Al Quran says, even about the people that attack us first, that we should quit fighting if they offer peace, leave alone killing women and children. According to the standard of Al Quran, the prophet could NEVER have asked his warriors to kill women and children.

    Al Quran describes accurately, the shape of the earth as being rounded (Quran 39:5), and the cause of night and day as being the rotation of the earth. The Hadith and similar writings however contain mythological concepts, which are then by hook or by crook attributed to the prophet. The most famous commentary of Al Quran, that by Ibn Kathir (2/29 and 50/1) makes extensive use of the Hadith as explaining Al Quran. In that spirit, Ibn Kathir suggests that the earth is “carried on a giant bull.” When the bull shakes its head, an earthquake results. As stated earlier, Bukhari’s book of Hadith states that the sun revolves around the earth.

    According to Hanbel 4/85, 5/54, the prophet ordered that all black dogs be killed because they were devils. Inspired by that Hadith so called “Muslims” kill hundreds of dogs all over the world and consider them unclean.

    Al Quran, on the other hand talks about the sleepers in the cave (sura 18) as having a dog, inside their dwelling place and allows meat killed by hunting dogs. There is nothing in Al Quran, which even remotely suggests that dogs are unclean as pets. Indeed Al Quran states that God has subjected animals to be of use to humankind.

    Al Quran states that,” Vision cannot comprehend God, who comprehends all vision,” yet the Hadith of Bukhari 97/24 and 10/129 says that to prove his identity to Muhammed, God showed the prophet his thigh.

    Al Quran mentions with absolutely no ambiguity that the punishment of adultery or fornication is 100 lashes (Quran 24:1-3); which is half in the case of slave girls (50 lashes) and double in the case of the wives of the prophet (200 lashes) if they were to become guilty. The Hadith, contrary to this mention “stoning to death,” as being the punishment of adultery in the case of married couples. This is completely against the commandment of Allah in Al Quran, which makes no distinction between married or unmarried in the case of adultery.

    The Hadith is definitely borrowed from a similar ruling in the Old Testament. It contradicts Al Quran. Could the prophet have issued a ruling contrary to the ruling of Allah in Al Quran?
    There is no verse on stoning adulterers in Al Quran. Hadith forgers knew about this so they inserted another Hadith which claims that a verse on stoning existed in Al Quran but it was eaten by a goat and so vanished from the earth (Ibn Maja 36/144; Ibn Hanbal 3/61;5/131, 132, 183;6/269). The Hadith also tells of a “planet of the apes” type story in which the prophet helped stone a monkey guilty of adultery whom the other monkeys had caught in order to bring it to justice. Why do they attribute such fairy tales to the prophet? Could not God protect his book from the goat? Al Quran suggests halving or doubling the punishment for adultery, how can you kill someone (stone to death) half or double?

    Al Quran states that God is the protector of true believers, yet the Hadith states that the
    prophet was bewitched by a Jew and for many days, he didn’t know what he was doing (Bukhari 59/11, 76/47; Hanbel 6/57 and 4/367). This Hadith goes completely against Al Quran, which counters in many places the claim of the unbelievers that the prophet was bewitched.

    Al Quran talks of itself as being the only message that God intended the prophet to convey (Quran 42:52, 14:52;69:44;6:19 etc.). The Hadith of Muslim quotes the prophet as saying (Muslim, Zuhd 72, Hanbel 3/12,21,39) that no one should write anything from him other than Al Quran. This particular Hadith is in harmony with Al Quran, but then another Hadith contradicts not only Al Quran but this Hadith. The prophet is quoted as asking, in Hanbel 2/162, Amr bin As, his companion to write everything he spoke.

    Al Quran states that those who forbid things even though God has allowed them, are committing a great sin. Yet the followers of Hadith have forbidden (haraam) the use of silk and gold by men, even though Allah never forbade these in Al Quran. Contrary to that Allah specifically allows them (Quran 7:30-32, 42:21;22:23; 35:33). The Hadith in keeping with its reputation of contradictions, even contradicts this forbidding law by stating that the prophet allowed a “gold ring” to be worn by one of his companions and forbade the others! Could the prophet have invented laws not in Al Quran? Could he then have been partial in implementing those laws?

    Al Quran only prohibits the meat of one animal, the pig. Certain sects in Islam however, based on the authority of the Hadith forbid clams, shrimp, crab etc. Why are they attributing against God a lie if they are submitters?

    According to Al Quran, division into sects is the work of evil, and is the result of following man made ideas like the Hadith (Quran 23:52-56 and 6:159) Division into sects can never be a mercy as claimed by some schools of thought.

  2. Mohammed Khafi says:

    By Dr Aisha Musa

    Hadith are such an integral part of traditional Islam in all its variations, that when someone suggests that the Qur’an alone should serve as the source of religious law and guidance for Muslims, the idea is usually met with shock and amazement. So, those who advocate following the Qur’an alone must address the issue of hadith.

    The Arabic word “hadith,” means a story, or saying. Any story, or saying, from anyone. For traditional Muslims, it has come to mean specifically a story or saying told about, or attributed to the prophet Muhammad.

    Discussions of hadith have traditionally focused on the question of authenticity. This is true of discussions among those who advocate following hadith and between them and those who advocate following the Qur’an alone. God willing, we will see how this focus on the question of authenticity has overshadowed other crucial questions about hadith.

    For traditional Muslims the focus on authenticity is an attempt to insure that people can judge the veracity and reliability of hadiths, in order to determine which are valid as sources of law and guidance.

    Early Muslim scholars took great pains to compile biographical information on the people who allegedly narrated and transmitted the hadiths in order to determine those who were to be considered reliable from those who were not. Only reports passed on by supposedly trustworthy individuals are to be considered authentic, and hence valid. The question of whether or not Muslims have always be true to their stated standards is a separate issue that I will not address here. What is important here is the fact that the question of authenticity is of primary importance in their understanding and acceptance of hadith.

    Many of those who advocate following the Qur’an also focus on the question of authenticity when debating the use of hadiths. They do so by challenging the authenticity of all hadiths and thereby, the validity of following them. Their challenge to the authenticity is of hadith is based primarily on the fact that the first so-called “sahih,” or “sound, authentic” collections of the hadith were written over 200 years after the death of Muhammad. Encouraged by the work of prominent, non-Muslim western scholars have also questioned the authenticity of hadiths on the same basis, those who advocate following the Qur’an alone assert that hadith should not be followed because they are late fabrications, with no connection to Muhammad.

    In response to the original challenge posed by non-Muslim scholarship, Muslim scholars have worked diligently to uncover the earliest possible written sources of hadith and have some which they date to the middle of the second century after hijra, about 100 years before the writing of the so-called sahih collections. This together with early histories which talk about the first generations of Muslims writing and relating hadiths, leads scholars sympathetic to hadiths to conclude that even without actual physical specimens of written hadiths from those early generations, it is reasonable to accept that hadiths had been transmitted both orally and in writing from the beginning.

    The historical record has not provided clear evidence that can prove or disprove the early transmission of hadiths. So, each side accepts and argues the information that best supports its view; and the authenticity debate rages on.

    But is authenticity the real question we should be addressing? Does it deserve to be the central focus in the discussions of hadith? Let us now turn, God willing, to the other questions that are often overshadowed by the question of authenticity.

    The Qur’an poses a number of questions related to hadith. By considering them, God willing, we can put the question of authenticity in it’s proper perspective.

    Among the questions the Qur’an poses in relation to hadith are:

    “In which hadith after this will they believe?” (al-A`araaf [7]:185).

    “These are God’s revelations we recite to you in truth. Then, in which hadith after God and His revelations will they believe?” (al-Jatheya [45]:6).

    We understand the import of these questions from yet another question posed in the Qur’an:
    “Shall I seek other than God as a source of law and judgment when He is the One who has sent down the Book to you in detail?” (al-An`am [6]:114).


    “What is wrong with you? How do you judge? Do you have another book which you study?” (al-Qalam [68]:35-36).

    These are the real questions that deserve to be the central focus in the discussions about hadith. If we answer these questions in the negative (i.e. “No, I shall not.” and “None.”), then we see that the question of authenticity does not merely become secondary-it becomes moot.

    If we seek only God and His revelations as a source of law and guidance, and do not believe in any hadith other than God’s revelations, it makes no difference if a hadith is authentic, or not. The Qur’an does not ask if hadith is authentic. The Qur’an asks if it is “other than God and His revelations.” Even if we have absolute proof that a hadith came from the messenger, even if we may have heard it directly from the lips of the messenger, with our own ears, it is still “other than God and His revelations.” Therefore, in light of 6:114 and 45:6 it is invalid as a source of law and guidance.

    Not only are hadith, even authentic hadith, invalid as a source of law and guidance, they can be a source of misguidance. It is obvious that hadith with negative content, such as those that call for stoning adulterers, are a source of misguidance. But what about hadith with positive content?

    Mainstream Muslims of all schools of thought insist that hadith are necessary for a number of reasons. Among the most important reasons, is that without hadith we cannot properly understand the Qur’an. Hadith, they say, shed light on the Qur’an. But God tells us that the Qur’an is light (4:174, 42:52). Can the hadith shed light on the Qur’an which is light?

    Can the moon shed light on the sun? No, for the moon only reflects the light cast by the sun. Likewise, any light in found in any hadith from the messenger is no more than a reflection of the light in the Qur’an.

    The moon is only visible when our side of the earth is turned away from the sun. When the sun is above us, the moon is no longer visible. But if the moon moves between us and the sun, we find ourselves in the darkness of an eclipse. During an eclipse, the moon which reflects the light of the sun when we are turned away from the sun, now cuts us off from the light of the sun.

    For a believer, the Qur’an is as the sun which never sets. Hadith, any and all hadith, are as the moon. If we turn toward the hadith, we turn away from the Qur’an. If we let the hadith come between us and the Qur’an, we will find ourselves in the darkness of a spiritual eclipse, cut off from the light of the Qur’an.

    Dr. Aisha Y. Musa received her Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Harvard University. Professor Musa is fluent in English and Arabic, and has working knowledge of Persian, French and German. Since 1993, she has been the Islam Section Leader at CompuServe Information System Religion Forum, where she leads, and moderates discussions on Islam. She is currently an assistant professor of Islamic Studies in the Religious Studies Department at FIU.

  3. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Why The Row Over Anti-Hadith but

    Silence On Quran Illiteracy?

    “excerpts from “Open Letter To The Nation’s Leaders And Intellectuals” written by Dr. Kassim Ahmad from Malaysia.”


    The time may have come for us to do a final reckoning with ourselves, our people, and the international community. Never in the history of mankind have we faced such total collapse as we do today…. Where has morality gone? Where on the face of this earth is a group or groups of moral human beings?… There is a limit to human endurance of suffering without protest; that limit has been passed!
    When a group of our people in Malaysia wants to bring back the Quran to the hearts of the populace today, this is the significance and the implication. For a thousand years, Muslims have strayed so far away from God’s teachings and lived in such ignorance that they are powerless to destroy the evil perpetrated before their eyes. Western civilization too has strayed far away from the teachings of the prophets, including Moses and Jesus…. Both East and West must return to God’s teachings, particularly the Quran, His final, complete, perfect, and detailed scripture.
    Alas, when Jema’ah Al-Quran Malaysia (Quranic Society of Malaysia or JAM) was formed precisely for this mission, a number of our leaders and intellectuals leapt up and protested. “Anti-Hadith group! Anti-Hadith group!” they screamed in accusation. What? Bringing the Quran to the people so that they would understand, this is anti-hadith? So, letting the people remain Quran illiterate, as in the past five hundred years in Malaysia, is acceptable?
    I write this open letter to the nation’s leaders and intellectuals in all communities in the hope that we can study this matter calmly and rationally, without hurling accusations and threats and creating an atmosphere of animosity and tension. It is with a sense of responsibility and humility that I ask this, for it is not a matter involving religious ritual, but one of life and death for our people.
    In 1986, this writer published a book, Hadis – Satu Penilaian Semula (its English translation, Prophetic Traditions, A Re-evaluation will also be published, God willing) with the intention stated above. Many of the hadith compiled by Bukhari, Muslim and others that we use today, according to this writer’s study, are in conflict with the teachings of the Quran. I give instances in three areas:
    One, adulation of or unquestioning acceptance of the teachings of a leader. Since this principle was instilled, Muslims have feared others besides God; they have been afraid to question leaders. Hence they became slaves of the leaders, whereas the Quran exhorts us to free ourselves of all forms of subservience, except to the One God….
    Two, prohibiting the use of the rational mind. Generally, Muslims are taught not to use their minds in religious matters. This teaching is spread through some false hadith. Purportedly, the use of the mind in religious matters would lead us astray. If the mind may not be used in religious matters, why may it be used in other matters? Are religious and secular matters to be kept separate? Indeed, this is what has paralyzed the intellects of Muslims in comparison with others. The minds of Muslims have been dead for a thousand years, killed by these false hadith. On the contrary, the teaching of the Quran give the mind a noble place. God deems human beings who do not use their minds worse than animals! (7:179) God bars those who do not use their minds from the fold of the faithful. (10:100)
    Three, suppression of creativity. It is evident that for a long time, Muslims have not been creative. Since the thirteenth century when Islamic civilization began to decline, modern scientific discoveries and technological inventions have been made by others, particularly those who hold that human beings may know and may create progress. In the early days, Muslims were highly creative because they adhered to the Quran’s dynamic teachings, which urge Muslims to work and strive for success in this world and the next. But since they turned to the teachings of the hadith, their creativity declined, for these false hadith teach resignation to taqdir (divine pre-destination) or fatalism. Purportedly, good and evil are from God. The Malay proverb, “If you are fated to gain a cupak (a small measure of rice) you will not gain a gantang (a big measure of rice),” reflects this world-view.
    All three teachings from certain false hadith are clearly in conflict with teachings in the Quran. The Islamic education system from the village pondok (rural religious seminary) right up to the Azhar university, based on rote learning and unquestioning acceptance, teaches that hadith cannot possibly be in conflict with the Quran. This would be true of hadith that are really from the Prophet. But history tells us that the hadith compilations by Bukhari and others were made between 200 and 250 years after the Prophet’s death. These compilations are the responsibility of Bukhari and others, not of the Prophet. The Prophet’s responsibility as God’s messenger was to convey the Quran….
    Some religious leaders label as apostates those who adhere to the Quran, accusing them of being anti-hadith. According to certain hadith, apostates are punished by being put to death. Are they not aware that leaders of Christian Church during the Middle Ages in Europe also put to death apostates from Christianity? Thus, this is not punishment under God’s law, but one from the age of ignorance which entered the hadith through the Torah (Old Testament), which had been tampered with. (Refer to Deut. 13:5-10) Do our people know that according to the teachings of the Quran, one is given full freedom to choose one’s religion? Thus, killing someone for religion is totally forbidden by God and is a great sin.
    The study of the hadith has been developed into a complex one in Islam from the 9th to the 15th century. The early hadith scholars established a method of sifting out the weak hadith and retaining only the genuine ones. However, we must realize that knowledge develops, and one of the conditions for development is freedom to criticize. No philosopher, scientist or scholar is free of weaknesses, and one of the ways of overcoming weaknesses is through scientific criticism. We have seen the weaknesses of the method used by the early hadith scholars in the existence of many hadith which are in conflict with the Quran in Sahih Bukhari (Bukhari’s compilation of hadith that are regarded as genuine) and others.
    Now we need to review the definition of sahih or authentic hadith. Does it mean confirmed as genuine only on the basis of isnad (chain of narrators) or also on the basis of matan (meaning of text)? Between isnad and matan, which is the more important? As we are talking about the sayings and doings of the Prophet, the term sahih must be based on matan which is in line with the Quran, for the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad could not possibly be in conflict with the teaching of the Quran.
    It is clear why we need to do a re-evaluation. Every Muslim believes in the Quran and puts it above all other teachings. Our problem is the Quran-illiteracy of Muslims whose language is not Arabic, and of Arab Muslims whose language is Arabic. They do not know which of the hadith taught to them are in conflict with the teachings of the Quran and which are not. Many false teachings have been slipped into the hadith by foes of Islam in those days (the Jews, the Christians, the Persians) to undermine Islam from within. If Muslims wish to be great again, and surely they do wish it, re-evaluating the hadith on the basis of the Quran and understanding and practicing the teachings of the Quran are unavoidable conditions.
    Certainly, when this re-evaluation is carried out, certain changes and adjustments will need to be made in our beliefs and practices. As these changes are made to correct and improve, we need not fear making them. In fact, we should welcome them. What we should fear is going on practicing wrong traditions after knowing them to be so.
    But these few changes and adjustments involve major matters:
    One, we must reject adulation of leaders. We must bow only to God. All human beings are equal–none higher or lower than the other. This will rekindle the spirit of jihad (struggling in God’s cause) among Muslims….
    Two, we must reject taqlid (un-questioning acceptance of human authority). We must use our minds to gain knowledge. We read all books, but critically. We learn from all teachers, but without forgetting our critical faculty. In this way, we shall inherit only the good from our ancestors; the bad we shall cast aside. Thus will the Islamic intellect blossom again.
    Three, we must reject fatalism. Our fates as individuals and as a nation is shaped by ourselves, not by taqdir (divine predestination). The law is: those who strive will attain; those who do not strive will not. Man cannot know his capacity until he tries. The Omniscient God knows everything from beginning to end, but man does not know what God knows. This change will revive the creativity of Muslims; and science, philosophy, art and technology will bloom again in the Islamic world.
    These are the three major changes we must make as individuals and as a people when we re-evaluate the hadith on the basis of the Quran and when we return to the Quran. Is this impossible? I think not. The best ways of making these changes can be discussed and decided by our leaders and intellectuals.
    As we have seen, the anti-hadith allegations hurled at us are the result of ignorance or misunderstanding on the part of the people and a handful of leaders who fear for their position and authority. These can be overcome through sincere and fair discussion. We all declare ourselves to be Muslims. What, then, prevents us from holding talks to find an amicable solution based on truth? If both sides are sincere, adhere to the spirit of brotherhood among the faithful, and base the talks on the Quran, as God commands, there is no reason why we cannot solve this problem.
    We have no intention of topeopleing the ulama (religious scholars or leaders) or wresting away their positions. We only want the Muslims, including the leaders and the intellectuals, in our country to adhere truly to the Quran.
    Some claim that this problem need not be re-opened as it was solved long ago. These people are like ostriches, burying their heads in the sand and saying there is nothing to worry about since they can see nothing! Islamic communities all over the world as well as in our country are bogged down with problems they cannot overcome. Why? Because we live in darkness. How could we see in the dark? We need to get out of the darkness by using a bright torch. That torch is the Quran.
    As I stated in the beginning of this letter, the time has come for Muslims and mankind in general to return to God’s teachings. Our society, both national and international, is hit by crisis after crisis; the only way we can overcome these is by returning to the teachings of the Omniscient God, i.e., the Quran. Such is the importance of the Quran to us and to the world.

  4. Ismail says:

    I have studied the al-Quran, and all the relevant traditions( sira bin ishaq, al-tabari and indeed the hadit bukhari and Muslim) and I have found them completely flawed, today for the first time in recent histroy, Muslims study the hadit and the seem to arived at a rather disturbing conclusion that it’s a complete hogwash practical non-sense, but perhap this shows that Islam is incoherent in itself, cause a sizable portion of its traditions are from this sources and 90% of the Islamic world will rely on them for several years to come inspite of the near-evil they represent.

    i do believe that there is no such thing as moderate Islam, the Al-Quran in itself can not stand without this text (sira bin ishaq, al-tabari and indeed the hadit bukhari and Muslim) because they contextualise the Quran which in itself has no structure, chronology and no aparent style – off course all this can’t be seen by self deluding Muslims who want to hold on to it’s assumed devine inspiration, its violence is open ended its demand has no time line. it’s an appalling “holy book”.

    i do believe reformations of Islam is not the question because its not possible, but i do believe that if the Quran is subject to rational thinking and it propositions examined carefully and if its moral demand and cultural inference are unaccepted ( I believe they are unacceptable), then we should help humanity get away from it, because in its current trend it will distroy the world. just look arround you, look at Aceh.

  5. RS says:

    It is with great interest that I read above posts regarding hadiths. I do not however think that God’s book (Quran) has any need to be chronological or a textbook for college. Holy scriptures do not have to be in a nice package. They are like a lock, and humans are allowed a key. If one wishes to open it, it can be done. Hence i absolutely disagree with Ismail’s post.

    As for the question on reevaluating the hadiths. I want to join a formal group or chapter somewhere in USA, which can rationally discuss the issues raised in the first three posts here. I am also of the opinion is that what has hurt Islam the most are the sahih, but seemingly illogical hadiths.

    Sahih means genuinely transmitted. I do not think all are actually factual in nature. There are too many contradictions, and some are outright strange to humans to accept today or at any time.

    There needs to be a dialog between people, and a calm discussion. Only then can we seek guidance from the One True God.

  6. Mohammed H Khan says:

    I think we cannot reject all hadiths. Allah has ordered us in the Quran, which He has called a fully detailed scripture, to obey the prophet (pbuh) along with obeying the Quran. Again the Quran has also been taught us by the prophet (pbuh). We should save ourselves from the harm of those sayings which are corrupt and/or fabricated and run contrary to the teachings of the Quran.

  7. yusuf says:

    Assalamu’alaikum wR.wBr.
    I am a super dha’if man, insha’Allah a godd Muslim. Everyone in Indonesia proudly say that the nation has the largest number of Muslims — I would prefer say “Muslims”. The largest “group” (organization) being the Nahdlatul Ulama (the NU), founded in 1926 (Muhammadiyah, 13 years earlier). I have found, to my DELIGHT, a written PROOF (based on serious study/research by several scholars foreign and local) that those who founded the NU were the greatest LIARS! They LIED to the Ummah!

    NU, I would prefer spell it out as “Naar Ulama”, the majority of its proud members, young and old, are ahl BID’Ah and practitioners of SHIRK! Shalwat NARIYAH is their favortite, making it a weekly ritual to chant at their local Mushola or masjids. Another sickening one is the “YASSINAN” (chanting of the Surah YASSIN) when someone is dead, also at burial sites, at the house of the one who died from day 1 to day 7, complete with MEALS prepared by the host! Day 100 and Day 1000, they do the chanting again, paying the Ulama (called Ustad in Jakarta or Kiyai in Central Java) and/or young santris who perform the ritual!

    ALL hadiths regarding YASSINAN are FALSO and/or DHA’F! So, these largest group of “Muslims” are indeed INGKAR SUNNAH, meaning, against the Prophet s.a.w. teaching and ruling! Yet, they dare claim Ahl Sunnah wal Jama’ah! Shameful!

    Their love for “klenikan” (paganistic rituals which are SHIRK in nature), surprisingly similar to the bad elements among the crooked Jews’ (NOT ALL JEWS are evil!) favorite of doing same paganistic ritual (the Kabalah). Therefore, no wonder, Gus Dur’s love for the ZIOINIST! He’s the member and probably the co-founder of the Shimon Perez Foundation.

    So successful is the MIND CONTROL conducted by the bad element leaders among the NU that the Nahdliyyin (follower of it) always do without question MANY bid’ah practices and the “klenikan”!

    The can recite Al-Qur’an flawlessly since childhood, yet MOST do not UNDERSTANd the meaning of the ayats! Therefore, fallen into Satan’s trap to do the BID’AH and paganistic sickening rituals!!!!

    I HAVE PROOF of such undertaking, I saw by myself in remote areas of West Java and Central Java.

    So, how dare those bad elements among the NU call themself Muslim???? Shame on them!

  8. derrick koay says:

    Well, may be the world will be at peace if there were no Muslim religion. US World Trade Center will never get collapsed and many innocent lives can be saved… Unfortunately, it does not happen this way.

  9. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Well what can I say Derrick, thank you so much for your masterfully thought out comments. They have contributed so greatly to the the subject. You must be feeling really tired after that, may I suggest that you take a nice break, a nice long one . . . Unless you of course you have any further enlightening comments or statements to make.

  10. Parvita says:

    Mohammed Khafi: I am always interested in your thoughts as I follow your postings in several blogs in Indonesia Matters.

    I am one of the non hadith follower, simply because God said that those who have faith believe in Qur’an and the books before (not after. And I never finish Qur’an (here they say Khattam) because everytime I read it, there are different enlightment that I get so I find it so full I don’t have time to read the hadith or other books. It is like, I have directions from God, why follow manmade directions?

    If there were no hadith, there would be only one kind of Moslem. But just like any other religion, it is highly politicized for some groups needs. But why are there so little number of people that just follow Qur’an only? I mean, there is no such thing that I found in the Qur’an that says about 5 times prayer and how to do them and what to say during the prayer. Instead, I found things in the Qur’an what to say in prayers. There is no such ridiculous story that said that Muhammad went 50 times to ask God so that the prayers would be only 5x a day instead of 50 times a day. There is no such thing saying that women during her menstruation are not allowed to pray. So where did this all come from? The 5x prayer is good, actually, for togetherness, especially when you do it in jama’ah.

    Pardon me for my questions, but I would like to know what you think of this (how can I discuss with you personally, not through this public forum, as it might raise lots of controversy?).

    Derrick, I think if George W. Bush didn’t exist, the whole world would be a much better place to live.

  11. Mohammed Khafi says:


    Nice to hear from you, please feel free to contact me at mohdkhafi@yahoo.co.id , I am not in Jakarta at the moment but should be back in a week or so.

  12. 1ndra says:

    Excellent review MK.
    But yes, we should follow some hadith that are really shahih and not following the one that arent.
    If Allah forbid Muhammad to do like five pray time and other acts than Quran mentions then then there’re no shahih hadiths exist.

  13. Mohammed Khafi says:

    1ndra said:

    But yes, we should follow some hadith that are really shahih and not following the one that arent.

    If that should be the case why does Allah give us these verses in Al Quran:

    “In which hadith after this will they believe?” (al-A`araaf [7]:185).

    “These are God’s revelations we recite to you in truth. Then, in which hadith after God and His revelations will they believe?” (al-Jatheya [45]:6).

    We understand the import of these questions from yet another question posed in the Qur’an:

    “Shall I seek other than God as a source of law and judgment when He is the One who has sent down the Book to you in detail?” (al-An`am [6]:114).


    “What is wrong with you? How do you judge? Do you have another book which you study?” (al-Qalam [68]:35-36).

    If Allah wanted us to do all those things not mentioned in Al Quran, His complete, perfect, and fully detailed book, He would have told us in Al Quran. One of the verses says that: Your Lord does not run out of words, if all the oceans were ink he could have used then all, and the same again!

    If you want to follow the traditions please feel free but don’t do them because you think they are from Allah, because they are not! As soon as you think they are from Allah, you are taking sources other than Him for you guidance, you are holding up other besides Him, and technically that is commiting Shirk.

  14. 1ndra says:

    Well, there’s some pray/deeds act that arent mentioned but we are doing those.
    How about ‘sholatlah sebagaimana aku sholat’?


    Take a look at 33:21 >

    ‘Sesungguhnya telah ada pada (diri) Rasulullah itu suri teladan yang baik bagimu (yaitu) bagi orang yang mengharap (rahmat) Allah dan (kedatangan) hari kiamat dan dia banyak menyebut Allah.’

    For me it means, he is a good example for Islamic acts and behaviour.

  15. Mohammed Khafi says:

    I agree with you 1ndra that The Prophet is a good example of Islamic acts and behaviour, but for me that means The Prophet as described in Al Quran and in valid historical documents such as “The Charter of Priviliges” issued to the Monastery of St Catherines.

    The Hadith were only collected 250-300 years after The Prophets death, Isnad to me is a joke, with no scientific basis, and to prove that just look at the Hadith! There are so many things which contradict Al Quran, womens rights, human rights, science, and most importantly the character of The Prophet himself. The Hadith are the greatest tool for the enemies of Islam to use against us.

    Our presentday courts release people when witnesses are unable or unwilling to testify and bear witness directly in front of the court, because they consider it heresay. Yet suprisingly most Muslims are willing to accept what they are told is the testimony of The Prophets Hadith transmitted over a 250 or 300 year period by word of mouth and then collated by a collection of people who were invariably in the employ of powerful and rich rulers of their countries, who used the Hadith for politically motivated purposes.

    Just look at recent history we are still not clear on what happened with Gestapu and the subsequent bloodbath, unless we have forgotten some see those events as one of the worst genocides of the 20th century!, our modern politicians still capitalise on communist paranoia! Those events only took place 41 years ago, the stories which are told now of the events are already hopelessly corrupted by the power of the victors, what hope do you have of stories being transmitted over 250 or 300 years with any chance of them being a true representation?

  16. 1ndra says:

    Yes, its hard to surely believe most of those are valid, but we should see the relation/relevance with Quran.
    But, I dont have hadit collections MK, just Quran and its exegenesis, so you know about hadiths better than me.

  17. mustapha saha ali niwaz says:

    I went through these discussions, and came to the conclusion , that Sahih Hadith as exemplary stories, are to be be treated , NOT as sacred texts, rather , as a scientific methodology of preservation of of saying , or doings of the Prophet (SM).

    A Muslim, or any individual , who believes in the Quran , will automatically thirst to know and gain knowledge about the person, his life and works , his doings and sayings. Access to Sahih Bukhari , ,Tirmidhi, Abu dawood will be the ordinary persons , method fo doing so , but the scholars , do and still , have the authority and the responsibility to sift , and search for authenticity and jettison the conflicting Ahadith , from the compilation.

    From 600,000 known hadith , all were disregarded by the learned Imam Buckari, and kept several thousand , as sahih. perhaps the scholars should go back and retrieve those that were binned, and sift through them again , armed with present day methods.

    Perhaps they should simply sift throught he present day compilations , and come up with the rare few. that rings of truth and humanity.

    In any case if it were that only a single hadith remained after rigorous sifting , in these modern times, it would be “actions will be judged according to intention”

    mustapha ..Bangladesh

  18. Wasim Ahmed says:

    Brother Khafi – you are indeed a blessing for Muslims struggling to break down the barriers of orthodox arbitrary Muslim interpretations of Muslim literature based upon Muslim mythology, which have little to no correlation with reality whatsoever. Sorry for that outburst, but I do get incredibly frustrated when attempting to engage in a civilised and rational* discourse regarding narratives of both legitimacy and authenticity to the Quran and hadeeth. (* understanding of course that my interpretation of ‘civilised’ and ‘rational’ may differ from some individuals). But, thankyou for your outstanding contribution to advancing this understanding of Muslim thought with respect to the hadith. It is a shame that in the UK there is no such dialogue occuring.

  19. Bfaqiri says:

    This message is to Mk and to the people that read his posts, and I quote:

    Al Quran states that those who forbid things even though God has allowed them, are committing a great sin. Yet the followers of Hadith have forbidden (haraam) the use of silk and gold by men, even though Allah never forbade these in Al Quran. Contrary to that Allah specifically allows them (Quran 42:21;22:23; 35:33).

    Now I’ve researched all of this supposed info that your using to prove your point and your wronger than wrong can get, and I think it’s you that needs a break.
    Because it clearly states that we WILL be GIVEN “golden bracelets and garments of silk” IN PARADISE YOU, “SCHOLAR” or what ever you take your self as. It doesn’t say that we can wear them in this life.

    So get your facts straight before posting filthy lies like that just to try to give yourself some more of your so called “proof”. Instead of trying to help the people understand more your decieving them with your phony referrences and big talk.

    And I promise you I will find hundreds of more of your “proof” to be decieving. Hopefully this will show people that half of you is BULL**** and the rest of might be legit. Thank you and may Allah bless you.

  20. Zeynab says:

    Salaam Alaikum.
    Just wondering, is Muhammed Khafi the same person as Muhammed Asadi?
    I guess not. But the first article on this page is written by Muhammad Asadi. I read it in his name in another site and even got it saved in my file to post in my discussion forum. If MK and MA aren’t the same, then Asadi’s name should be mentioned in that first article. However, this is an interesting feedback site. I’m a little short of time now. InshAllah will come again to read and write back.

  21. Mohammed Khafi says:


    No we are not the same person, I like you found the article and downloaded it to my PC, but when it came time to post could not find the original on the net to give credit.

    Sorry for any confusion.


  22. Zeynab says:

    Wa’Salaam and peace KH. Thanks for the information. The original article is titled “The Quran and the Hadith.” Hope to post it in my forum, InshAllah. I like Asadi’s arguments and perception on the big fraud of Hadith institution. The only thing on which I differ is: my purpose for trashing the ridiculous contents of Hadith is to protect the reputation of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and bring back the originals of Islam as taught by the Prophet, who was a person of exemplary character and had NOTHING to do with the Hadith conspiracy. Asadi, sometimes, perhaps inadvertently after getting too worked up by the absurd logic of Hadith adherents, tries to downgrade the status of the Prophet in connection with the Quraan which too is against Quraanic dictates.

  23. Fathima says:

    I have not read the entire thread, but I came across it while searching for a specific hadith. I would just like to tell those who are insulting the sunnah, hadith and the Quran, that may Allah show you the right path. Do not question everything that exists in the world, there are some reasons that our brains do not have the capacity to process. This was the habit of the Banu Israel, whom were led astray. The hadith under Al Bukhari are authentic, if you obtain them from the proper books. Al Bukhari’s method of compiling several hadith is extremely rigid, I doubt anyone in this world today would go to those lengths of achieving such highly valid information, with not a single doubt.

    In addition to that, the Quran gives us the guidelines in life, it tells you what you must do, such as telling the believing women to cover up, such as praying, fasting, paying zakat. But it is the hadith and the sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammed that tells us how to go about doing these things. The Quran and hadith supplement and complement each other. They do not contradict each other. Furthermore, before commenting on any hadith, you must first check its validity. There are several false sources out there. Whatever it is, do not insult Islam or any of its practices, or its sources. Remember, there are those in this world who Allah will make blind (metaphorically) towards Islam, no knowledge or great intellect will even help them, for even with that, they cannot see that this world had to have been created by a Supreme Being, and that there is a purpose in this world, and that is to worship Allah. May Allah save us all from the blazing hell ( today, we cannot stand the heat outside, one cannot imagine how it would be in hell), may Allah guide us towards the right path, and let us into Jannah, and save our families and loved ones. Aameen.

  24. Zeynab says:

    Yes Fathima, you sure haven’t read the thread otherwise you wouldn’t sound so naive. It goes without saying, I love the Quraan and I love the Prophet (pbuh). And to protect the Quraan and the Prophet from defamation, it’s incumbent to scrutinize the Hadith and not swallow whatever the clergy feed us with by falsely attributing to the Prophet. Thus, I thank you for your dua. I too pray Allah (The Highest) guide us all. I seek refuge in Allah from the lies and insults to the Prophet (pbuh) that are found in the contents of al-Bukhari Hadith, Ameen.

    Kindly check brother Asadi’s site on Hadith discussions. Just blindly claiming the authenticity of bukhari is too vague an approach. Try to study both sides of the matter before being swept away by superficial emotions.

    Waliakum Salaam. JazekAllah Khair. Allah Bless.

  25. I really recommend Hadith as Scripture by Prof. Aisha Musa. It is written superbly. Without a doubt Prof. Musa shows that the proponents of Hadith as divine authority were the new kids on the block around 800CE as their writings show they were trying to convince the majority of Muslims to accept Hadith as divine. The famous Kitab Jima al-Ilm (The book of the amalgamation of Knowledge) and other works by Imam Shafi are written as a response to other writings which professed the Qur’an alone as divine source and authority. And thus show Qur’an alone was not only present in early Islam, but also dominant among Muslims. It is amazing also to know that no scrap of writing has remained of these Qur’an “alone” scholars. Which in my eyes not only show political influence in the debate (the rulers clearly wanted no traces remained), but also that the arguments supporting Hadith were not as strong as the majority believes. The following of Hadith became dominant as there was no literature remaining that attacked this view.

    This book is important for everyone to read, to widen their knowledge and to know:

    “The role they (the Hadith) have played has been so influential for so long that both Muslims and non-Muslims alike generally assume they have always uncontested authority. However, a survey of Islamic history shows that the Hadith did not always enjoy such widespread acceptance and authority.[…] Ignorance of these early disputes has contributed to the common misconception that opposition to the Hadith as an authoritve scriptural source of law and guidance is a modern-day, Western, Orientalist-influenced heresy,” [Introduction to the book]

    Also for everyone who want to study how the Qur’an only accepts itself as Divine Authority, please read this superbly written book:

    The Authority of Al-Quran by Kashif Ahmed Shehzada

  26. Nuraini says:

    salam,sejahtera ke atas kamu..

    I need severals verse from al-quran regarding successful and its elaboration. I’m afraid to elaborate it in wrong meaning. Would you help me? Just simple but something which can enlighten other people not to give up in any circumstancess in live. Thanks.

  27. Aquaris says:

    Yes Mr Asadi is a firm believer in the Orignal source, that is the Quran, and he is a regular at another good discussion site called http://www.chowk.com

    As far as Hadiths and their collection is concerned, I think, muslim mindset has been stagnant for the last at least 1300-1400 years, and this stagnant mindset needs to reorient itself to the changed environment around it , and then allow whatever their believe system to be, to evolve along it , and their is a dire need to re-research not only on such collections as that of Hadiths, but also on the entire history itself , that is islamic or muslim history if we may call it that.

    For example, the First Caliph Abu Baker, waged “jihad” to collect “Zakat”, where as the third Caliph Umer, deferred Zakat for some time, thus allowing their system to evolve around, the changes in the circumstances of the time, without abandoning or discarding the original, which unfortunately the current muslim mindset resists.

  28. Kharenkathryn says:

    If you believe that the Quran is a revelation of God to Muhammad,for what is hadith? the man made explanation to understand Quran well? Means Quran can’t stand alone.If it’s a guidance to a mankind why it’s hard to understand how will we understand it then?

    And why God will send a Book that is hard to understand by the people as it says it’s a GUIDANCE!

    Problem in this will not be finish,as like of what happened in the Bible it says it is corrupted how and why, where’s the evidence?
    Quran and Hadith itself contrdict or had a conflict to each other where to follow now then?
    If the solution is to remove or re-evaluate the Hadith ….The question is why don’t you all study and base on the Qur’an alone!

    If it’s hard then, use ur mind to think,God gve us freedom gve us mind to think and to choose of what path we want to go in good or in evil…
    And be aware coz Satan is a very good deceiver!

    12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

    13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

    16Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
    19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

    22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

    26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    May God Bless you All……

  29. Barry Prima says:

    Assalamulaikum Mas Kafi..
    As a firm believer in the hadith:
    `There are as many ways to Allah as there are human beings’ (or something like that)’..I absolutely respect your personal right to disregard the hadith and base your islam on the Quran alone.
    However the reasoning you have used to reach to reach this conclusion is very very flawed as far I can see, especially the Koranic ayahs you have used to support your idea. Also as you are preoccupied with Illiteracy of the general public about the quran I also want to ask you before I respond:

    What is your level of literacy in arabic and what is your theological background as far as the study of Islam/Quran is concerned?

    I am not trying to outsmart you or anything. I just find it really strange that you have used the verses to say something which a decent understanding of Arabic and the symbolic/semantic field of the words used in the ayat would not in any way lead you to.

    If you are as I am being lead to believe basing your impressions on translated english quran without regard to the context as non muslims do on this forum, then I find it very very worrying.

  30. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Dr. Aisha Y. Musa received her Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Harvard University. Professor Musa is fluent in English and Arabic, and has working knowledge of Persian, French and German.

    She also rejects Hadith .

    How do you counter her?

    I am a simple engineer, I use my own judgement based on my own readings, it is after all my soul which is at risk, I place my trust in the words of Allah.


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