Here's some more food for thought: -
Quranic Principles about the position of 'Hadeeth and Sunnah' in Islam
By brother Mujahid (e-mail: email@example.com)
The Quran, the final scripture from God to humankind is considered to be the first source of Islam. Hadeeth and Sunnah which is considered to be the secondary source in Islam, must find its validation from the Quran. The Quran is from God, after all, while Hadeeth and Sunnah , even if from the Prophet himself, are from humans.
PRINCIPLE 1 :
By the Book that makes THINGS CLEAR (Quran : 44.2)
PRINCIPLE 2 :
Say: "Shall I seek for judge other than God? - when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, EXPLAINED IN DETAIL." (Quran : 6.114)
God has revealed the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book, CONSISTENT WITH ITSELF repeating itself in various ways (Quran : 39.23)
And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of REASONING will be enquired into (Quran : 17.36).
Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than God, they would surely have found therein MANY CONTRADICTIONS (Quran : 4.82).
Blessed is He who sent down THE CRITERIA to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures (Quran : 25.1)
Putting these 6 principles into simpler terms:
1- The Quran MAKES THINGS CLEAR or it clarifies things
2- The Quran is EXPLAINED IN DETAIL
3- The Quran is CONSISTENT IN ITSELF and so will use appropriate terminology for the same concepts
4- Anything which is to be accepted as 'knowledge' must be either seen, heard or reasoned..
5- If anything is from God, it will be consistent. On the other hand, if it is from humankind, it will contain many contradictions.
6- The Quran also calls itself AL-furqan or the criterion which shows that it's position must be the starting point by which to judge.
These principles may be brief, but you will see them being demonstrated throughout the Quran. Hadeeth and Sunnah must fall within their criteria if it is to be accepted in Islam.
Please see the following verse :
O ye who believe! let those whom your right hands possess, and the (children) among you who have not come of age ask your permission (before they come to your presence), on three occasions: before morning prayer; the while ye doff your clothes for the noonday heat; and after the late-night prayer: these are your three times of undress: outside those times it is not wrong for you or for them to move about attending to each other: Thus does God make clear the Signs to you: for God is full of knowledge and wisdom. (Quran 24.58)
It's so very clear and detailed ! Even a number (three) is given , showing how detailed the Quran is.
Lets see a further demonstration :
O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as God Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord God, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence). Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of God, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So fear God; For it is Good that teaches you. And God is well acquainted with all things. If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him Fear his Lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, - his heart is tainted with sin. And God knoweth all that ye do. (Quran : 2.282)
So we cannot accuse the Quran of not being clear , fully-detailed and consistent simply because we cannot find our ideas in it.
Let us now apply our principles to the idea of 'hadeeth and sunnah' :
PRINCIPLE 1 : The Quran makes things clear or clarifies things.
The supporters of hadeeth and sunnah have had to rely on half verses and verses taken out of context in order to make us believe they are part of Islam. Among these verses are :
1. 'obey Allah and obey the messenger' (even though the Quran clearly defines the messengers only inspiration)
2. 'in the messenger you will find a beautiful example' (even though the Quran clearly commands him to follow the way of Ibrahim, which is found in the Quran itself)
3. 'whatever the messenger gives you, take it...' (this is a half a verse, quoting the entire verse will find it referring to war spoils, not hadeeth and sunnah)
There is not a single verse in the Quran referring to what we know as 'hadeeth and sunnah of Muhammad'.
PRINCIPLE 2 : The Quran is fully-detailed
The supporters of hadeeth and sunnah claim that hadeeth and sunnah provide the details of Islamic living. We can see that this simply isn't true. The Quran is not a general document. As we can see from the Quranic verse (24.58), the Quran is detailed when Allah wants us to be informed of the details. It only isn't detailed to those who apply an artificial standard of being 'detailed'
Despite the Quran being fully-detailed, we can see nothing of the system of classification which filters the hadeeth and sunnah. Hadeeth relies on a system of classification which tells us which hadeeth is reliable and which isn't. Yet this system is not mentioned in the Quran at all. Instead the system was created and developed by the scholars of sunnism and as expected, there are many standards by which to judge. Everything is relative to a scholar's opinion.
PRINCIPLE 3 : The Quran is consistent internally.
The Quran DOES use the words 'hadeeth' and 'sunnah'. For example :
1. Such are the Signs of God, which We rehearse to thee in Truth; then in what HADEETH will they believe after God and His Signs? (Quran 45.6)
2. Do they see nothing in the government of the heavens and the earth and all that God hath created? (Do they not see) that it may well be that their terms is nigh drawing to an end? In what HADEETH after this will they then believe? (Quran 7.185)
3. Then what HADEETH after that, will they believe in? (Quran 77.50)
4. God has revealed the most beautiful HADEETH (Quran 39.23)
As we can see, even though the Quran is consistent internally, it NEVER uses 'hadeeth and sunnah' to mean 'hadeeth and sunnah of Muhammad'. This was a later invention of Sunni scholars who even opposition for thier innovation.
PRINCIPLE 4 : In order to accept something as knowledge, we must either HEAR it, SEE it, or use reason to determine it
Hadeeth and Sunnah by its very nature completes goes against this 4th principle. The hadeeth collection of the Sunnis came into thier final nearly 200 years after the Prophet. The compilers of hadeeth had no way of knowing if the hadeeth actually came from the narrator or not. Instead , they relied on either oral and written reports. As for the use of reason, there is very little or none. Some hadeeth exhibit an utter disregard for reason and blatant contradiction to the Quran itself. Furthermore, hadeeth collections have so many classifications by so many scholars, it's impossible to accept any hadeeth, since even Sahih al-bukhari , 'the second most correct book after the Book of Allah' according to sunnis are found with hadeeth which have been reclassified.
PRINCIPLE 5 : If anything is from God, it should not have any inconsistencies. Anything from mankind will have MANY contradictions.
The most blatant contradictions of the hadeeth and sunnah is with the Quran itself, for example , the practises of :
2- punishing apostates
3-the wearing of veils for women
4- the institution of forbidden foods (even though the Quran explicitly states that it's the only source to forbid anything)
Moreover, hadeeth and sunnah are in contradiction with themselves. This is shows by the three versions of the farewell sermon , witnessed by TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE. The three versions are :
1. Follow Quran and Sunnah (from Muwatta of Malik)
2. Follow Quran and Prophet's Family (from Sahih al-Muslim)
3. Follow Quran alone (from Sahih al-Muslim)
And worse still , all three versions are canonised permenantly by books of hadeeth !
PRINCIPLE 6 : The Quran is the criteria
If we look closely, it's principle 6 which sums everything up most clearly. The Quran is the starting point, the definition point by which all Islamic institutions must be judged. Principle 6 is really the sum of Principles 1 through Principle 5. Hadeeth and sunnah have failed the Quranic test.
"O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant." (49:13)