I have been following some of the outlines of the so-called ‘Qur’an-ists’ — one of their absurd claims is that elements of Islamic history (when under the Caliphate era) also thought like them such as Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, certain schools of thought & schools of aqidah (e.g. Ahl al-Tawhid wa al-‘Adl). Below is my pointed response to the so-called ‘Qur’an-ists’ (which also acts as a response to Kevin Barret’s interview of the author of “‘Muslims’ Greatest Challenge: Choosing Between Tradition and Islam”:
- What aversion is there to authenticated reports of the path of the Prophet Muhammad (saaw)? Even reports out of this group of reports (sahih/authentic) have been contextualized and have been contextualized/interpreted when compared to known facts. I know that a certain small minority of Muslims in the modern age (post Usmani Caliphate era) have a tendency of rejecting Tawil outright but this has never been part of mainstream Islamic scholarship.
- Qur’an is a mutawatir written compilation (during the Caliph Abu Bakr’s reign). Does one think that human beings back then were not competent to accurately record history? Was it not ancient human beings that recorded the Qur’an? And, speaking of, these were ‘Muslim’ human beings under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr whose first and sincere rule was honesty*.
- The path (sunna) of the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) is an extension of the Qur’an — as the Qur’an states itself that the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) has been sent to explain the revelation, he is the example to be followed, etc. (E.g. see Qur’an 16:44 & 33:21).
- Hadith methodology is simply a written compiling (and filtering) of the living sunna by able people under the Caliphate era.
- The early discussion between Al-Shafi and others was not about questioning the Sunnah (following the Prophet’s way was a given by all Schools of Law and Aqidah of Islam!), rather, it surrounded the discussion of the written compilation of the sunnah, some thinkers of Ahl al-Kalam questioned the written recording and wanted to leave it as a continuing living sunnah (by the way, other thinkers from Ahl al-Kalam belonging to the Ahl al-Tawhid wa al-‘Adl school [so-called Mutazilites] went on to become scholars of hadith such as Abu Said Ismail who was the hadith teacher of the famous Muhaddith Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi). The decision to rigorously record the sunnah in written format was a logically necessary endeavour so as to curb the false reports that were being floated at the time. And it is fitting that this did happen as by the time of the fall of what was left of the Caliphate (in 1924) it was at least impossible to rid this written/recorded corpus, even though the living sunnah was under attack by the colonial powers and its influence.
- Also the compilers used the rule “Whoever tells lies about me deliberately, let him take his place in Hell.”
- The teachings of the Qur’an was lived (sunnah). If this didn’t happen, humanity does not have the Creator’s revealed comprehensive example of optimal/taqwaa (God-Conscious) living. You take out the Qur’an and Sunnah, and you leave out this Creator’s demanded comprehensive living as our Reason tells us that we don’t have all the facts on certain matters or all matters – logically The Creator does, and the Prophet (saaw) lived by the Creator’s guidance. Among using Reason to understand Allah’s creation, we also use it to understand the guidance — and the guidance is the Qur’an and by extension the way/example of the Prophet (saaw) — why? Because the evident revelation of the Qur’an makes this plain**.
- Regarding ‘tradition’ — when Muslims mention tradition it usually means Islamic practice, especially the practice of the Prophet (saaw). So in the Islamic sense ‘tradition’ does not mean something backward (which in the english language it can in many cases connote this). Apart from, the Islamic Tradition produced an unrivaled civilization and system on this planet. This ‘tradition’ is superior by far to the present day tradition of liberalism, secularism, hedonism & capitalism.
- This planet requires the ‘Islamic tradition’ (the greedy powers to be and the world lovers hate it and want to neutralize it which they have thus far) — see Colonial Islam for more — interestingly Lord Cromer saw the coming of the fad of ‘deism’ among Muslims “which will cast aside much of the teaching of Mohammed” to help keep the Muslims from being a threat to the global liberal/secular order.
- Right now, one of our biggest culprits is the present day secular, liberal & capitalist environment and system we’re facing. And the ‘Quranists’ are a product of this liberal/individualistic environment: “Soon there will come a time that a man will be reclining on his pillow, and when one of my hadiths is narrated he will say: ‘The Book of Allah is (sufficient) between us and you. Whatever it states is permissible, we will take as permissible, and whatever it states is forbidden, we will take as forbidden.’ Verily, whatever the Messenger of Allah has forbidden is like that which Allah has forbidden.”
- Also see this article: Are Ahadith a Source of Legislation Alongside the Qur’an?
P.S. Again, in response to “Oh hadith came around 200 years after the Prophet’s death…” Hadith was an attempted written recording of the Prophet’s (saaw) living Sunnah. The Sunnah was continuous, the Sunnah didn’t just emerge 200 years after the Prophet’s (saaw) death! Yes, rigorous written recording of the sunnah took place at that time. And as I mentioned above, it was a logically necessary endeavour in order to curb the emerging false reports of the sunnah that were being floated at the time.
* “Surah 9:100
‘The vanguard (of Islam)- the first of those who forsook (their homes) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) those who follow them in (all) good deeds,- well- pleased is God with them, as are they with Him: for them hath He prepared gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever: that is the supreme felicity.’ [Qur’an 9:100]
In this verse, Allah is saying that the Muhajirin (those who migrated from Mecca to Medina) and the Ansar (the people of Medina) and those righteous people that came after them have been promised heaven.
Now, how can Allah promise heaven to these people when they are the very same ones who transmitted the hadith to us? As a matter of fact they are the same people that passed the Qur’an down to us. The Quran is passed on to us by “Mutawattir” narrations. Mutawattir narrations are narrations that have been transmitted by so many people that it would be impossible for all of the transmitters to fabricate such a narration. However, we have an enormous amount of Mutawattir hadith. We have a list of Mutawatir hadith that teach things that are not taught in the Quran. How can you reject their authenticity with no objective evidence? … “If we want to go to heaven we have to be like those people whom God promised heaven to in Surah 9, verse 100 and they sure were not hadith rejecters.” (http://www.theummahtimes.com/questions-that-the-quranites-have-no-good-logical-responses-to/)
** “The Qur’an says that we must obey Allah and the Messenger (Surah 3:31-32,132; Surah 4:13-14, 59, 61, 64, 69, 80; Surah 24:56). There are two separate commands here. One is to obey Allah and the other is to obey the Prophet. In order to obey someone, he would need to issue a command. So if we want to obey Allah we have to do so by reading the commands of Allah in the Quran and adhering to them. If we want to obey the Prophet then we have to do so by reading the commands of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the authentic hadith and adhere to them. Or is there another way?” (http://www.theummahtimes.com/questions-that-the-quranites-have-no-good-logical-responses-to/)
(Source: https://zeshanthemuslim.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/the-fallacy-of-the-quran-ists/ )