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Is the Quran complete, or does it need the Hadith?

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Religion - Islam
Forum Name: Interfaith Dialogue
Forum Discription: It is for Interfaith dialogue, where Muslims discuss with non-Muslims. We encourge that dialogue takes place in a cordial atmosphere on various topics including religious tolerance.
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=23688
Printed Date: 21 April 2014 at 4:16am


Topic: Is the Quran complete, or does it need the Hadith?
Posted By: Ron Webb
Subject: Is the Quran complete, or does it need the Hadith?
Date Posted: 12 August 2012 at 1:30pm
In recent discusion in another section of the forum, Beebok made the statement that the Quran is complete by itself and doesn't need other scripture.  This is a point I have brought up before, but as I've been away from this forum for a while I hope you won't mind if I raise it again.
 
I did a bit of Net surfing and came across an article called http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/questions_that_the_quranites_have_no_good_logical_responses_to - Questions that the Quranites Have No Good Logical Responses To , by Bassam Zawadi.  I don't know who he is or what authority he has, but he lays out a fairly comprehensive (I think) number of objections to the Quran-only position, to which I would like to respond.
 
By the way, in case anyone is wondering why (as a non-Muslim) I care about this issue, it is because IMHO most of the problems caused by Islam in the world are the result of this elevation of the hadith from simple tradition and historical anecdotes to core Muslim doctrine.  As I have said before, I can defend the Quran as a scripture that promotes peace, but I cannot say the same about the hadith.
 
Also, I should apologize in advance if I am unable to participate in this discussion as actively as I would like.  I'm very busy these days, but I'll do the best I can.
 
Here are Zawadi's fourteen objections, and my responses:
 
1) Why don't we have any record of early Muslims completely rejecting hadith?
 
Because the hadith were directed to them, not to us.  The words of Allah, as dictated to Muhammad in the Quran, are for all people.  Muhammad's words were never intended to apply to anyone other than his contemporaries, which is why he did not want them written down.
 
2) How do you know how to pray using the Quran alone?
 
How do you know how to tie your shoelaces using the Quran alone?  If it's not in the Quran, then it obviously is not important to Allah.  Exactly how you tie your shoelaces, and how you pray, is up to you.  The important thing is that you do these things, and do them sincerely.  That's all.
 
3) How do you know how much Zakah to pay using the Quran alone?
 
See (2) above.
 
4) The Quran says that men can beat their wives. But we know according to the hadith that this is meant to be a light beating that inflicts a spiritual punishment and not a harmful physical punishment. What is to stop a man from misinterpreting the Quran and beating his wife severely?
 
Compassion, for one thing.  Common sense for another.  Religion is not meant to take the place of good judgement and personal responsibility.
 
6) The Qur'an says to cut the hand of the thief.  Does the word 'cut' in the verse mean to cut off or to cut in the sense of making a mark, or could it be metaphorical and mean cutting off the resources of the thief?
 
Good question, but not one which IMHO argues in favour of the hadith.  Again, if the Quran left the punishment open to interpretation (and therefore open to compassion and common sense), that's probably how Allah wanted it.  It would be in keeping with His compassionate nature.
 
7) The prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) came true from the hadith, thus proving that there are divine revelations sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) other than the Quran. How do you explain this?
 
The claimed "prophecies" of Muhammad are extremely weak and unimpressive (a topic for another time, perhaps); but even if true, how does that show that the hadith were intended as Muslim doctrine for all time?
 
8) 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?
 
They are not separate commands, and to suggest otherwise would imply that Allah's message is incomplete or different from Mohammad's.  Obviously, we are to obey the Messenger as a messenger, which means to obey his Message, i.e. the Quran.  The repetition "Allah and the Messenger" is simply for emphasis.
 
On the other hand, there is no question that Mohammad's contemporaries were expected to obey Mohammad as their leader, e.g. in battle, in settling disputes, in establishing civil laws etc.; but there is no reason to expect those commands to apply to us.  If they did, they would be in the Quran.
 
9) It says in the Qu'ran (Surah 33:21) that we have the Messenger as a good example to follow. How would we know his example without the traditions to turn to?
 
Muhammad (peace be upon him) is dead.  He may have been a good example for his time, but nothing says that he was or was ever intended to be a good example for all time; nor that he is the only example or even the best example.  There is nothing wrong with remembering and following traditions, but to raise them to the level of doctrine is to commit shirk.
 
10) We have different forms of reciting the Qur'an, which means that certain letters are taken away from the word or pronounced differently. Through authentic hadith, we know that these were accepted forms of reading approved by the Prophet (peace be upon him). But without hadith, how would we know this? Using the Qur'an alone, if I see that there are different forms of recitation then I would think that there is more than one Qur'an and I wouldn't know which one is correct.
 
Why does it matter if you pronounce it differently?  Do you really think that Allah cares how you pronounce it?  (What a small-minded god you believe in!)
 
11) In Surah 2:221, God forbids us to marry polytheist women. Yet in Surah 5:5, God says that we can marry the believing women and the chaste women from the People of the Book. This is a clear differentiation between believing women and People of the Book. You can't have a believing person today from the People of the Book who is not a Muslim. So if God were talking about the believing women from the People of the Book then He wouldn't have differentiated the "believing women" phrase from them. Furthermore, the believing people from the People of the Book were the ones who truly followed the teachings of Jesus and Moses, which are lost today. So by using the Quran alone, how do I know which verse was revealed first? Did Surah 2:221 come first and then God sent down Surah 5:5 making an exception or did God send down Surah 5:5 first and then send Surah 2:221 by completely prohibiting us from marrying the women from the People of the Book?
 
Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, but I don't see a contradiction.  The People of the Book are monotheists, not polytheists.
 
12) Surah 24, verse 31 says "And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof" What exactly is this part that "appears thereof"?
 
It varies according to the local culture and circumstances.  The Quran says only that women should dress modestly, which is good advice.  If most of the women at the beach are wearing skimpy bikinis, then a standard one piece bathing suit might be considered modest.  But people need to use their own judgement, as always.
 
13) If the Quran is so easy to understand on our own, then why did Allah have some Muslims staying behind in Madinah in order to become very well versed in religion, while the others go out to the battlefield so that they can then come back to be taught (Surah 9:122)?
 
This is probably the silliest objection of the bunch.  First, nobody claims that the Quran can be studied in an afternoon.  It's a pretty big book and takes time just to read it and assimilate it -- but most of the soldiers were illiterate and needed someone to read or recite it for them anyway.  It's hardly something they could study in the midst of battle.  Besides, this has nothing to do with the hadith.  The same question could be raised with or without the hadith.
 
14) Allah says in the Qur'an (Surah 75:19) that the Qur'an will be recited. But then in the verse right after (verse 20) it is also said that the Qur'an will be explained. If the Qur'an is self-explanatory then the only thing that needs to be done is reciting it out. However, in verse 19 the function of reciting is done and then in the verse right after, the function of explaining is done. Clearly these are two different tasks, which mean that reading the Qur'an alone would not give you the full explanation required. It has to be explained through some other source. What is that other source?
 
Again, the Quran is a big book, and there are some parts that are obscure if you don't know the historical traditions, cultural references etc.  It's nice to have somebody explain it to you, especially if you're illiterate and can't read it for yourself.  But it's not necessary if all you want is the basic principles of Islam.


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Addeenul Aql Religion is intellect.



Replies:
Posted By: nothing
Date Posted: 14 August 2012 at 8:52am
Hadith is the best source for anyone who like to appreciate what Qur'an is all about. Reading Qur'an in Arabic and Hadith in Arabic we will see very quickly that they are different. Beside when Muhammad read the Qur'an there was no hadith to help him understand it. We must be clean (pure) like him when reading the Qur'an. Pure in here means the mind not polluted by other opinions just like when the Prophet read it.
Kind of in Christianity, in letting the Holy spirit do the works.

This short article by Al Ghazzaly does help in understanding how this works.

http://www.nothing-ness.webs.com/ - http://www.nothing-ness.webs.com/




Posted By: Abu Loren
Date Posted: 15 August 2012 at 8:17am
As'alaamu Alaikkum
 
The Holy Qur'an is complete. The hadiths are needed to explain certain points in detail such as the way to perform wudhu (ablution), how to pray etc. By the way, these details are not made up by prophet Muhammed (pbuh) but was shown by Archangel Jibril (AS). All muslims have to boey the messenger as well as Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.
 
Sahih International
Say, "Obey Allah and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers. 3:32


Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 15 August 2012 at 5:09pm
Originally posted by Abu Loren

The Holy Qur'an is complete. The hadiths are needed to explain certain points in detail such as the way to perform wudhu (ablution), how to pray etc.
 
You can't have it both ways.  If these detailed points are needed, and they are not in the Quran, then the Quran is incomplete -- which contradicts your first premise (not to mention the Quran itself).  Therefore by http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reductio+ad+absurdum - reductio ad absurdum your assumption must be wrong: the detailed points are not needed.
 
Acording to the Quran, Allah wants you to wash your hands at certain times.  He apparently doesn't much care how you wash your hands as long as you do it.  If He had wanted to be more specific, He would have said so -- do you think He ran out of words or something?
 
Muhammad washed his hands in a certain way, but he did not have antibacterial hand sanitizer or pH-balanced hand soap.  If he had those things, don't you suppose he would have used them?  If he were here today, do you really think he would still be washing his hands they way people did in the 7th century?  So why are you so hung up on exactly how he washed his hands way back then?
 
By the way, these details are not made up by prophet Muhammed (pbuh) but was shown by Archangel Jibril (AS).  All muslims have to boey the messenger as well as Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.
 
Muhammad was very careful to keep Allah's words (the Quran) separate from his own (the hadith).  Why do you suppose that is?  If they both came from the same source, and both were directed to the same audience, why not just put it all into into one complete document (which is what the Quran is claimed to be)?
 
Muhammad was also careful to ensure that the Quran was preserved for all time.  So was Allah, and it is supposedly one of the miracles of the Quran that it was preserved so precisely over more than a thousand years.  No such effort was made to preserve the hadith, and the result is that the hadith are far more uncertain and corrupt than even the Christian Bible.  Why do you suppose that Allah failed so miserably to preserve the hadith, if it was an essential part of Islam for all time?


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Addeenul Aql Religion is intellect.


Posted By: Abu Loren
Date Posted: 16 August 2012 at 4:35am
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Originally posted by Abu Loren

The Holy Qur'an is complete. The hadiths are needed to explain certain points in detail such as the way to perform wudhu (ablution), how to pray etc.
 
You can't have it both ways.  If these detailed points are needed, and they are not in the Quran, then the Quran is incomplete -- which contradicts your first premise (not to mention the Quran itself).  Therefore by http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reductio+ad+absurdum - reductio ad absurdum your assumption must be wrong: the detailed points are not needed.
 
Acording to the Quran, Allah wants you to wash your hands at certain times.  He apparently doesn't much care how you wash your hands as long as you do it.  If He had wanted to be more specific, He would have said so -- do you think He ran out of words or something?
 
Muhammad washed his hands in a certain way, but he did not have antibacterial hand sanitizer or pH-balanced hand soap.  If he had those things, don't you suppose he would have used them?  If he were here today, do you really think he would still be washing his hands they way people did in the 7th century?  So why are you so hung up on exactly how he washed his hands way back then?
 
By the way, these details are not made up by prophet Muhammed (pbuh) but was shown by Archangel Jibril (AS).  All muslims have to boey the messenger as well as Allah Subhana Wa Ta'ala.
 
Muhammad was very careful to keep Allah's words (the Quran) separate from his own (the hadith).  Why do you suppose that is?  If they both came from the same source, and both were directed to the same audience, why not just put it all into into one complete document (which is what the Quran is claimed to be)?
 
Muhammad was also careful to ensure that the Quran was preserved for all time.  So was Allah, and it is supposedly one of the miracles of the Quran that it was preserved so precisely over more than a thousand years.  No such effort was made to preserve the hadith, and the result is that the hadith are far more uncertain and corrupt than even the Christian Bible.  Why do you suppose that Allah failed so miserably to preserve the hadith, if it was an essential part of Islam for all time?
 
As'alaamu Alaikkum Ron Webb
 
You are a classic example of an arrogant person who thinks he knows more than God Almighty. You do not have guidance and understanding, therefore I will be wasting mt time debating with you, the conversation will just go round in circles. So slaam.


Posted By: Ron Webb
Date Posted: 18 August 2012 at 11:37am
Wink  Well Abu, you must recognize that what I'm saying is true, or you would have a better response than an ad hominem.  However, I can fully understand that you wouldn't want to admit it, especially living in UAE.  Alaikum assalaam.

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Addeenul Aql Religion is intellect.


Posted By: Abu Loren
Date Posted: 19 August 2012 at 5:37am
Originally posted by Ron Webb

Wink  Well Abu, you must recognize that what I'm saying is true, or you would have a better response than an ad hominem.  However, I can fully understand that you wouldn't want to admit it, especially living in UAE.  Alaikum assalaam.
 
As'alaamu Alaikkum
 
Well you do not understand the basic premise of why the hadiths are needed and you will only deny that the Holy Qu'ran is complete on it's own, then you will just deny the reasons that I'll give. Your reason for starting this thread is to put doubt in people's minds that the Holy Qur'an is incomplete.
 
I fail to see the reason that I live in the UAE has anything to do with this debate.



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