Correct Position of Hadith (Prof. Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

Translator’s Note

This is the English rendering of the first topic of MUQAM-E-HADITH (Urdu Version) published by Tolu-e-Islam Trust (Regd), 25/B Gulberg – 2, Lahore, (5th Edition  -without alterations- 1992) and looks to: how the Ahadith were compiled and collected; how these reached us; what their value is in Deen; what the mutual relation of the Quran is with the Hadith. And in this way it encompasses a vast vista of a detailed dialogue and a composite picture of the discussions.

In the affairs of social life in general and those of the religious in particular, some matters attune the status of a priori to the extent that the need, in situ, for deep thought and mature deliberation is no more deemed sine qua non.  The reason and authority for their being self-evident is that these professed maxims have long been transferring through generations. One of the arguments for not deliberating and reflecting is that the human mind has usually happened to be very easy-going; for deliberations and reflections it has to work very hard but it shirks hard working. The other more argumentative discourse is when a hallow of religious sanctimony is allowed to enshrine such a priori -accepted as taken for granted- the human being frightens, shudders, and throbs for inspecting with a critical look. He understands that drawing inference with human thought and intellect is a heinous crime and a grievous sin. Even if he is taught the importance of thinking and reasoning, his frontiers of deliberations do not lead him beyond a mental juncture where, if he happens to find a reason justifying his maxim, he offers it as an accepted authority. And the very argument and authority that harps against that professed maxim, he abruptly rejects it. More-ever, he experiences more exorbitant fear from the outward antagonism of the religionists than that of his own inner qualm and compunction. The taunting, the reproaching, the transgressing, and the denouncing of him as an infidel on their behalf frighten him in the garb of a will- o’th’ wisp. And he, being intimidated, dares not, in propria persona, go even in the proximity of the “forbidden tree” of reflecting, thinking, criticizing and researching.

NEED OF RESEARCH

But if you agree the reality is one that comes up with research and investigation. And the conviction is that which is exercised on the basis of knowledge, insight, reason, and arguments, then a priori of any sort ought not be accepted without sharpening it on the whetstone of research and criticism, though, how long that may have inheritedly been transmitting. In this connection, anyone need neither be worried of ones own inner conflicts, nor be afraid of the outer antagonism. Running down to this stream, we want to bring to the fore-front such a priori which has not only attained the status symbol of a general belief, but has also held a feeling (unconsciously) that it is an integral part of our conviction. You ask any Muslim: “Deen is the name of what?” Unhesitatingly he would make a pun: “Deen is the name of the composite configuration of the Quran and Hadith”. This has suppurated our hearts to such an extent that even a stead of a dough can not form any inkling in the heart that this needs the corroboration of any kind of thought and intellect. But the question for the thing you acknowledge as a confirmed religious belief and bring it forth with full-blown conviction is, have you accepted it on the touchstone of research and investigation, and have admitted it on the basis of knowledge of discernment? Or have you simply bogged it down in the core of your heart just because that parlance has been inherited through generations? Let us think a bit and see to which inference we reach in this way. This will fetch us a double-edged gain. If research and reflection led us to conclude that the maxim is indeed based on reality, then this belief of ours would be founded on knowledge of discernment and the true satisfaction we hymn would be quite evident. But if, on the ground of knowledge and research, we reap the conclusion that the obvious is not based on any reality, we would be capacitated to dispense with the belief that we have simply been clinging to conventionally. In doing so, you will make compliance of a peremptory command of the Quran in which it has been ordained:

Wala taqfu ma laysa laka bihi AAilmun inna alssamAAa waalbasara waalfu-ada kullu ola-ika kana AAanhu mas-oolan (17/36)

Do not follow that you have knowledge not. Remember, your hearing, seeing and faculty of thinking, all will be questioned of it.

And the Quran depicts the following characteristics of the believers (Mu’mineen):

Waallatheena itha thukkiroo bi-ayati rabbihim lam yakhirroo AAalayha summan waAAumyanan (25/73)

These are the people whom (no other than) the verses of Allah are presented to, they follow not deafly and blindly (but accept and submit on the basis of their reason and thought).

DEEN

About Deem, you will definitely agree on one point: Deen can only be that which is definite – neither speculative, nor presumptive. Thus says the Quran:

Wama yattabiAAu aktharuhum illa thannan inna alththanna la yughnee mina alhaqqi shay-an inna Allaha AAaleemun bima yafAAaloona  (10/36)

And many of these people follow nothing but speculation. Assuredly speculation in comparison to truth can pay no gain. Allah is well aware of what these people do.

Now the question is: When Deen is comprehended to be a compendium of two parts (The Quran and the Hadith), isn’t anyone of these two presumptive, and that has Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) bestowed these two parts to the Muslims as the ingredients of Deen?

First consider the Quran. The proclamation of this reality has tens of hundred times been made in the Quran that this is a Book of truth:

Waallathee awhayna ilayka mina alkitabi huwa alhaqqu . . .   (35/31)

Whatsoever We have revealed to you from the Book is (absolutely) truth.

This magnificent Book unravels itself with these words:

Thalika alkitabu la rayba feehi  (2/2)

There is no room of uncertainty, ambiguity, skepticism, or psychological perplexity in this Book. It is out and out a truth; it is definitive, neither speculative, nor presumptive; it transcends the barriers of skepticism.

This is the whole about the contents of the Book. Now, how did this benefaction come to the hand of Muslims, and in what outward form would it remain with them? It is evident – beyond any shred of doubt – it was revealed to Mohammed (PBUH) and Allah took on Himself the responsibility of its lay up and compilation:

Inna AAalayna jamAAahu waqur-anahu  (75/17)

Assuredly the compiling out of this (book) and its reading out is upon Us.

And not of its lay up and assembling alone, but also of the dictum that there could neither be any altero-modification in it; nor could there be any human interpolations of any nature to the last syllable of the recorded time. The Quran affirms:

Inna nahnu nazzalna alththikra wa-inna lahu lahafithoona (15/9)

Surely We have revealed this Quran, and it is We who are surely its guardians.

For executing this preservation into practice, the exalted Messenger (PBUH) was unequivocally ordained:

Ya ayyuha alrrasoolu balligh ma onzila ilayka (5/67)

O Rasool, whatsoever has been revealed to you, deliver it to the mankind.

THE QURAN

For executing this order of Allah, whatever the Messenger (PBUH) did is before you viz a viz a party of companions of the Messenger (PBUH) was made to pen down the Quran verbatim et literatim. There were tens of thousands of Quran-conners who were made to recollect by words, then the Messenger (PBUH) himself used to listen to what they had recollected. And he used to rectify and emendate. Thus before departing this world he got himself fully satisfied, pleno jure, that whatever the message of Allah was revealed to him had been communicated to the humans in its complete and perfect form. And that it had been preserved not only in black and white but also in the hearts of tens of thousands of Quran-conners. In the unprecedented address at the eve of the last Hajj, the Messenger (PBUH) got acquiescence from the assembly of tens of thousands of Muslims to this effect that he had disseminated this message of Allah. And he made Allah an onlooker (and pointing to Him) said, “You stand witness that I have accomplished the duty of Risalat (communication)”. After the Messenger (PBUH), the guided caliphs (concordant with the will of Allah) looked to the preservation of the Quran as their bounded duty and adopted practical measures for this purpose. Thus, up till now, this text of the Nourisher has come down safely preserved not only through the hearts of the Quran-conners but also through the pages of papers writ large in a way that our advocates and the aliens both have assented: The Quran extant with Muslims is word by word the same that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has handed over to them. Since Allah has undertaken the responsibility to have it preserved on His own, thus, the last of His massages, will remain preserved till the day of Resurrection. This is the definitive entity, far beyond any speck of suspicion and speculation.

Now take the other part, called the second integral of Deen: the collection of Abadith. The dictum striding confidently across the lookout is: “Is this integral of Deen assuredly at the par with that of the Quran?”

HADITH

Hash out of this fact: Allah has not undertook the responsibility of preserving anything other than the Quran; so He neither compiled, nor ordained to compile, nor made any covenant to save Ahadith.

After this vision portent of Allah, what has been the modus operandi of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) in this regard? This deserves deep and careful thinking. It is because the Ahadith are the name of collection of sayings and doings of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Had the Ahadith been the integral part of Deen, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) would have definitely undertaken the same measures he exercised for the preservation of the Quran. He got every word of the Quran writ large on the papers; got it committed to memory; got it heard from the people; and got assurance that each and every word has been preserved. It was the foremost requirement for shouldering the responsibilities of Risalat (communication), and, as a Messenger, it was his duty, sans doute, to leave Deen, most perfectly preserved, to the Ummah. He, with his utmost foresightedness, took the most perfect precautionary measures for preserving the Quran, but did not make any of such stringent arrangements for the Ahadith. Contrary to it, there is a saying of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in the books of Ahadith. He, the Messenger, said:

Laa taktuboo annee ghair ul Qur’an wa man kataba annee ghair ul Qur’an falyam hahoo (Sahih Muslim)

Do not write from me anything other than the Quran and rub off whosoever have written something other than the Quran.

It is said it was but a pro tempore order because in the some traditions it is found: On his request, Hazart Abdullah Bin Umroo was accorded permission to write down the sayings if he so desires. But this, at the maximum, would prove that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) simply granted permission. He never sparked any order to do it; he never made any arrangements for it. And that after showering this permission no proof is available to this effect that the Messenger (PBUH) had enquired of some one who had written such and such sayings and that he had heard out, rectified or emended these sayings. It is usually said that in those days Arab’s memory was very sharp, so it was confidently relied upon. If reliance upon memory was enough in the matters of Deen, then “What was the need of the write-up of the Quran?” Why was the memory of the people not considered squarely enough for this purpose? This may be recalled here that every word of the Quran was recollected to the mind, was heard out and then was certified. If some one had recalled a few sayings on ones own, these could command no authority for the Ummah till the Messenger (SAW), after hearing these out, had attested their authenticity. It was only when he had handed over them to Ummah fully preserved in the form of a book. And it was unless and until these very sayings would have passed on word by word in their original dictate like that of the Holy Quran. But none of these traditions passed through this process during the exalted period of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Pause and meditate: had the Ahadith been the integral part of Deen, would have the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) not made any of the convoluted approaches for their preservation?

The traditions unravel the fact that some miscellaneous articles other than the Quran were also penned down on the orders of the Messenger (SAW). These included the written contracts, orders and proclamations etc. that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) sent to the tribes and his executives. In this way whatever could be known today, in addition to the Quran, is simply the following written documents found at the time of the sad demise of the Messenger (PBUH):

  1. Names of 1500 companions of the Messenger (PBUH) (in a Register).
  2. Letters the Messenger (PBUH) wrote to the rulers and the kings.
  3. A few written orders, proclamations and contracts etc.
  4. A few traditions, which Hazrat Abdullah Bin Umroo, or Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Uns wrote so jure.

About these Ahadith, it is neither proved from any source that the Messenger (PBUH) had certified them, nor are these extant any where in their original form; so what the Messenger (PBUH) handed over to the Ummah was nothing but the Quran only. He did not give any collection of Ahadith to the Ummah. Even in Bukhari Sharif this saying is extant that Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbass was asked: What has the Messenger (PBUH) left (for the Ummah)? He said:

Maa taraka illa maa baina-ud-daftaine

The Messenger (PBUH) did not leave any thing but the Quran.

(Bukhari, vol. 3rd, Kitah-ul-Fazaa-i-lul-Quran, p. 173)

THE PRACTICE OF THE  MESSENGER’ S COMPANIONS

After the exalted Messenger (PBUH), the practice of his companions, especially those of the guided caliphs, dwells upon us. It is written in the Masnat Iman Ahmed that the companions of the Messenger (PBUH) said (1):

Whatever we heard from the Messenger (PBUH), we used to have it written down.  Then one day the Messenger (PBUH) appeared in front of us and commanded: What is it that you are used to write? We submitted: whatever we hear from you (we write it down). Then he commanded: What? Another book along with that of Allah’ s book? (i.e.  it ought not be done). He commanded again: (Manifest elegance: Keep pure) the Book of Allah and keep it pure from any kind of doubt-speck. (The companions of the Messenger, PBUH, say): Then whatever we had written, we gathered it in a ground; then we burnt it up.

(Tadveen-i-Hadith, p. 249)

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(1)     We have written these traditions from (Deceased) Maulana Manazar Ahsan Gilani’ s book, Tadveen-i-Hadith, as excerpts so that there be no objection about their authenticity.

About Hazrat Abu Bukr Siddique, Imam Zehbi has also written the following tradition:

After the death of Rasoolullah (PBUH), Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique gathered the people and said, “You narrate traditions from Rasoolullah (PBUH) in which you contradict conjointly. And the people to come after you will become more sordid in their contrariety hence it ought to be that nothing be narrated confided to Rasoolullah (PBUH). Then if any one amongst you asks (of it), tell: there is Allah’s Book between you and us, hence it ought to be that ‘the things this Book has made lawful, declare them lawful and those it has made unlawful, declare them unlawful’.”

(Tazkarat-ul-Haffaz Zehbi Quoted in Jadveen-i-Hadith, p. 321)

Imam Zehdi has also written:

Hazrat Aesha said: My father (Hazrat Abu Bakr) assembled the traditions of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Their number rose to 500. Then it was seen at one night that he (i. e. Hazrat Siddique, the great) was adversely turning on his side. I beseeched: Is it due to any physical pain that you are tuning your side or has any news reached you (the hearing of which has made you restless)? He did not respond to it.

When it was morning, he said: “My daughter, bring the copy of the Ahadith you have with you.” He, then, asked to bring fire and inflamed that copy.

(Tadveen -i-Hadith, pp. 285 – 88)

Regarding Hazrat Ummar, Allama Ibn-e-Abdul Barr has copied this tradition in his reputed book, Jamey Biyan-ul-Ilm:

Hazrat Umar Bin Khattab desired that the Sanen i.e. the traditions, be got transformed in written statements. He, then, asked the companions of the Messenger for a legal opinion regarding the lawfulness of this write-up. The people asseverated that the traditions might be got written down.

But Hazrat Umar was not heartily satisfied with this counsel, so he practiced divination on this matter for one month complete. Then – one morning God vested in him perfect sense of solace for this decision – Hazrat Umar said to the people I intended to get the traditions written down. I thought of the nations, which have passed you by. They wrote books, pounced upon them, and gave up Allah’s Book; I swear I do not desire Allah’s Book to be mingled with any of the others.

(Tadveen-i-Hadith, p.394)

And it was because of the fact that as (has been written earlier) the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had himself said: Do not write any thing else from me except the Quran; whosoever has written from me any other than the Holy Quran, he ought to scrub it off. (Saheeh Muslim)

It was not the only thing that Hazart Ummar decided – that the work of assembling and laying up of Hadith ought not to be carried out – he also went one step ahead. It is written in Tabqat:

At the time of Hazrat Umar, the traditions abounded in number. On oath, he ordered the people to produce the copies of the traditions to him. The people, in compliance to these orders produced their copies. He then ordered to burn these to a cinder.

(Tabqat, vol. 5, p. 141) (Tadveen -i- Hadith, p.399)

In count, this is the third incidence of reducing the traditions to ashes. Firstly, the companions of the exalted Messenger (PBUH) burnt these out in front of the Messenger (PBUH) as per his orders; then Hazrat Abu Bakr did the same with the collections he had; and thirdly, Hazrat Umar, giving oath to the people, inflamed their collections in front of him.

This is what happened in the capital. And what about afterwards? Hafiz Ibn-e- Abdul Barr has copied the following tradition in his Jamey Biyan-ul-Ilm:

Hazrat Ummar Ibn-e-Khattab first desired that the traditions be written down. But later on it became quite clear to him that the writing of the traditions would not be appropriate. He then sent dispatches to Al-Ahrar (i. e. cantonments and other District Cities) in black and white that whosoever has had any of the serials pertaining to traditions, he ought to efface these out i. e. expend these to no purpose.

(Jamey Biyan-ul-Ilm, vol. 1, p. 65) (Tadveen -i-Hadith, p. 400)

Maulana Manazar Ahsan Gilani (Deceased) has particularly reserved a separate chapter in his book: “In the primus inter pares period (of Islam), Making of no Superintendence for Preservation and Propagation of Hadith From the Government side was not a Matter of Chance, but of a Matter Founded on Advisability.” Prior to it, he has reproduced the following quote of Imam Ibn-e-Hazam:

“When Hazrat Umar died, the number of copies of the Quran spread abroad from Egypt to Iraq, from Iraq to Syria and from Syria to Yemen  – if not exceeded to one lac  – was nor less even than that.”

(Tadveen-i-Hadith, p. 216)

He then described in detail when such a control was exercised for the propagation of the Quran, had the Government so desired, what could have been the barrier deterring the propagation of Ahadith? He has said that the Government did not do so intentionally.

This is the status of compiling the traditions during the period of the companions of the Messenger (PBUH) i. e.

  1. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) ordered not to write any thing from him except the Quran.
  2. Whichever Abadith the companions of the exalted Messenger wrote on their own, they burnt these out on the commandment of the Messenger (PBUH).
  3. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique burnt his own compiled collection and ordered the people not to narrate the Abadith.
  4. Hazrat Umar – after deep meditations and mature considerations for a period of one month  – decided that the Abadith ought not be collected and compiled.
  5. Hazrat Umar gave oath to the people to bring the copies of their collections of the Abadith and burnt these out.
  6. And issued orders for the remaining cities to waste the Abadith if any one has had a collection thereof in written form.
  7. This whole was not done by chance, but in the words of Maulana Manazar Ahsan (Deceased): This was all done with intention.

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MORE INTENSITY

Hazrat Umar became more intense in this matter. He harshly abandoned the people for propagating the Ahadith. Qez’ah bin Ka’ab narrates when Hazrat Umar sent us to Iraq, he emphatically made us remember, “ You are going to a place where the voices of the people, like the humming of the bees, resonate with the recitation of the Quran, so do not make them unmindful of the Quran by simply implicating them in Ahadith”.

Hazrat Abu Huraira was asked: Did you also use to narrate the Ahadith at the time of Hazrat Umar in the same manner? He said, “If I had narrated the Ahadith at the time of Hazrat Umar in the same way, he had whipped me”.

It is also narrated: Hazrat Umar had put Hazrat Abdullah Bin Masood, Abu Darda and Abu Masood Ansari behind the bars on their crime of narrating the Ahadith exasperatingly. (For all these sayings, consult Tazkirat-ul-Hiffaz.) It is possible that the very authority of these narrating be harbored with objection, but to us the justification of their being wholly correct is that these are in consonance with the tenor of the Quran and the practice of the Messenger (SAW). Any-how, we do neither want to ravel with this dialogue, nor do you need to be blowzy and frowzy. Notwithstanding if we did not have this internal evidence, there still remains one stark fact which no one can even dare to refute. It is: that at the end of Khailafal-i-Rashida, no such collection of Ahadith – compiled by these caliphs themselves, or lay up under their supervision – is found anywhere.

These descriptions make this clear: had these caliphs considered Ahadith an integral part of Deen, they – after compiling Ahadith – would have definitely published a collection of these Ahadith under the patronage of their caliphate – just like the management they made for the general propagation and publication of the Quran. That is why, after the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), no measures were taken for the collection and compilation of Ahadith during the period of Khailafal-i-Rashida.

SAHEEF-E-HAMMAM IBN-E-MENBAH

After stunning search, the scholars of Ahadith have found a First-Century-Hijra-Compiled collection of Ahadith known as Saheefa-e-Hammam Ibn-e-Membah (Just a few years back, it was published by Dr. Hameedullah, Hyderabad Daccan). It is said of Imam Hamman Ibn-e-Membah that he was a student of Abu Huraira. He died in 131 H. In this Saheefa, there are 138 Ahadith of which he said he wrote these in front of his teacher (Hazrat Abu Huraira). Hazrat Abu Huraira died in 58 H. Therefore, it can be understood that this collection was compiled prior to 58 H. In this connection, this is worth noting that Imam Hamman Ibn-e-Membah, while in Madina prior to 58 H, compiles this collection of Ahadith and gets 138 Ahadith only. And, in the 3rd century Hijra, when Imam Bukhari intends to collect Ahadith, he gets six Lac Ahadith. (Imam Ahmed Bin Hambal got ten Lac and Imam Yahya Ibn-e-Moin got twelve Lac Ahadith.) Likewise, this fact is also worth noting that the Ahadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira come up to the tune of thousands, but the collection of his student contains 138 Ahadith only. Anyhow, the outcome of the individual efforts in the first century Hijra assembling the Ahadith is the 138 Ahadith of Saheefa-e-Imam Hammam Ibn-e-Membah. Besides no other trace of any written collection of Ahadith during this period is traceable.

IMAM ZAHRI (ON HIM THE MERCY)

Afterwards in the proximity of year 100 H, Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (on him the mercy), the caliph, motu proprio, got a few Ahadith assembled. Thereafter, Imam Ibn-e-Shahab Zehri (d. 124 H), by the orders of the caliphs of Bani Umayyad, prepared a brief collection of Ahadith of which he himself says: “I found this work unpleasant” (1). But neither the assembled Ahadith of Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (on him the mercy), in any lay-up form, nor those of Imam Zehri’s above mentioned collection are extant, though their traditions are found in the later-on-compiled books of Ahadith. Thereafter started the era in which the idea of writing down the complete state-of-affairs, the whereabouts (the History) of the best period burgeoned in the mind of the people. The material of the writings was the traditions (sayings) coming down generally on the tips of the Muslims’ tongues. Some fellows raked up this vast vista and assembled the talks confided to the exalted Messenger (PBUH) alone.

The name of the collection of these talks is “The Books of Ahadith” (“Talks” are the very meanings of Ahadith). The First collection of Ahadith extant today is Mauta, the Book of Imam Malik (d. 179 H). It tells as to what was the practice of the companions of the exalted Messenger (PBUH) about the component part of Islam at that time in Madina. The number of Ahadith found in its various versions ranges from 300 to 500. After Imam Malik, this stream continuously went on widening and other scholars also thought of compiling the collections of Ahadith; so a number of books were compiled during this period. In the period of the Abbassides, various branches of Islamic Arts and Sciences flourished extra-ordinarily, and – along with that – the printing and publication of the books of Ahadith, also, attained a distinctively widened circulation.   The most important, among these books, are Sahiheen (Sahih Bukhari and the Muslim). Imam Bukhari (d. 256 H) assembled nearly six Lac (traditions), out of which – after rejecting, discarding and eliding the repetitives – the collection he prepared contains 2600 Ahadith. This book is called As-hul-Kutub Ba’ad az Kitab Allah (i. e. after the Qur’an, the most correct book in the world). These are the very collections of Ahadith, which are now called the integral part of Deen. Six of these collection are the ones, which the Ahl-i-Sunnat wal Jama’t (the Sunnis) accept as the most correct collections. (These are called the Sihah-i-Sitta i. e. the correct six books of Ahadith.) Be it known here that the Shiites have their own collection of Ahadith.(2)

Neither the Shiites, nor the Sunnis consider each other’s compilations worth-accepting.

Seheh-i-Sitta are the following collections:

(1)                Sahih Bukhari

(2)                Sahih Muslim

(3)                Tirmzi

(4)                Abu Dawood

(5)                Ibn-e-Majah

(6)                Nesaai

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  1. Mukhtaser Jamey Biyan-ul-Ilm
  2. The following are the various collections of the Shiites:

(1)                 Al Kaani: known by the name of Jamey Abu Ja’far Muhammad Jok-leeni; he died in 239 H.

(2)                 Min La Yastah Zera Al Faqyya: this is the compilation of Shaikh Muhammad Ibn-e-Ali (d. 381 H).

(3)                 Tehzeeb: compiled by Shaikh Abu Ja’far Muhammad Bin Hassan, died in 460 H.

No one amongst them is Arab.

Amongst these books, Bukhari and Muslims are called Sahiheen and the Bukhari, out of these two, is denoted as ‘the most correct book after the Book of Allah.’ A brief introduction of the compilers of these collections in paucis verbis is given below:

  1.                   IMAM BUKHARI (ON HIM BE MERCY)

He was born in Bukhara and died in 256 H (or, according to some others, in the proximity of 260 H) in the vicinity of Sam-ar-qand (1). It is said he collected approximately six Lac Ahadith – roaming from city to city and village to village –, out of which he found nearly 7300 Ahadith as the correct ones by judging on his own criterion and compiled these in his book. (The remaining – nearly 5,93,000 –, he rejected.) Many – out of these (7300) – have been repeatedly written in various Chapters. If these repetitives are not included, the remaining number comes up to the tune of 2762 (or 2630).

  1.                   IMAM MUSLIM (ON HIM THE MERCY)

The compiler of Sahih Muslim was Imam Muslim Bin Hajjaj, the inhabitant of a well-known city of Neishapur in Iran. He was born in 204 H and died in 261 H.

  1.                   TIRMZI

Imam Abu Essa Muhammad Tirmzi: he was a native of Iran’s prominent city, Tirmiz. His year of birth is 209 H and of death is 279 H.

  1.                   ABU DAWOOD

He was a resident of Seestan (Iran), born in 202 H and died in 275 H.

  1.                   IBN-E-MAJA

Abu Abdulah Muhammad Bin Zaid Ibn-e-Maja: He was a resident of Qizwain city in North Iran. His year of birth is 209 H and of death is 273 H.

  1. IMAM ABDUL RAHMAN NESAAI

He was born in a village Nesaa of Khurasaan Province in Eastern Iran. His year of death is 303 H.

With this brief introduction of these scholars of Hadith, the following points gush forth to the mind:

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  1. City in the Uzbek. A key station on the ancient Silk Road, it was taken by the Arabs (A.D 712) and became a great centre of Islamic culture. Pillaged by Genghis Khan (1220), it became prominent again from 1365 as the royal city of Mongol ruler, Timur. The Russians conquered the city in 1868.

(Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque)

  1. They were all Iranian; no one was from Arab. It is the occasion of consternation that no one from the Arabians accepted the responsibility of this great work – and the non-Arabians (aliens) materialized the work of assembling and compiling of the Ahadith.
  2. All these fellows came to pass in the 3rd century Hijra.
  3. They found tens of thousands of Ahadith but there were a few which – considering these to be correct  – they entered in their collections.
  4. The people verbally narrated all these Ahadith. There was no prior extant written record of these Ahadith.
  5. Their selection out of the thousands of the Ahadith was the result of their personal vision and decision. For judging whether these Ahadith are correct, they neither enjoyed the authority of God (i.e. God had not revealed to them that so and so Ahadith are correct, so retain them, and such and such are incorrect so reject them), nor the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) conferred any attestation (that the Ahadith you selected are, in fact, my sayings), nor had they any prior written record with them on the basis of which they could make the selection of these Ahadith. These were simply the people’s verbal discourses which – considering the viability of their correctness on their vision and wisdom – they incorporated these in their collections.

Now reflect considerably: can it, in any way, be said that the results of such individual efforts (for the selection of correct Ahadith) are actually the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)? Also keep this point in mind: it can not be said of any one of these verbal talks, transmitted through the people during these 200 to 250 years that these were the actual words of the Messenger (SAW), which were remembered by heart when the son heard from his father and the student from his teacher verbatim et literatim, word for word and letter from letter. Every narrator described these talks in his own words. (More detail of the point comes up a bit later.)

HOW MANY AHADITH WERE REPUDIATED

Just by way of security, mark this point: How many Ahadith did these fellows collect? And making selections, how many Ahadith did they retain for their collections? – The detail is given below:

  1.                   Imam Bukhari, out of six Lac, after deducting the repetitives, retained 2762 or 2630.
  2.                   Imam Muslim, out of three Lac, retained only 4348.
  3.                   Tirmzi, out of three Lac, retained only 3115.
  4.                   Abu Dawood, out of five Lac, retained only 4800.
  5.                   Ibn-e-Maja, out of four Lac, retained only 4000.
  6.                   Nisaai, out of two Lac, retained only 4321.

It is obvious when the touchstone for repudiating the Ahadith was the personal, subjective vision of the compilers of Ahadith, no one can say how many – out of the collection of thousands, they rejected – would have been wasted. More over, out of the selection they made, how many – which could not be called the sayings or deeds of the Messenger (PBUH) in any way what so ever – would have been included. This vantage point will be elaborated a bit later on.

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It is clear from these expositions that all the efforts of these fellows for assembling the Ahadith were individual, and sparkled no authority of God and His Messenger (PBUH). With this count, just think for a while whether Deen is such an entity, which Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) has simply entrusted to the sweet will of the people just on the basis of their individual efforts. It is just a chance that Imam Bukhari et al (on them be the mercy) assembled the talks considered important in those days; otherwise had these fellows not made any efforts – like that of their predecessors’ – “half of Deen” (Heaven preserve us!) would have been lost (1). You can reflect that God, who promulgated the exclusive perfection of Deen in the Qur’an, and this Messenger (PBUH) – after whom no other Messenger (SAW) had to come till the day of Resurrection – may leave such an important segment of Deen just on nothing other than itself. Such a thing can not come to the imagination even.

TRADITIONS AS UNDERSTOOD

There was also the possibility of another form like the one the Qur’an was preserved. If the people had learnt the words of Ahadith of the Messenger (PBUH) and the same words remained continuously transmitting onward – from breast to breast – till these were written down in the form of a book, it could have been said that the cascade of books of Ahadith is definitive to some extent. But this was also not the case. Whatever books of Ahadith (including those of the Bukhari and the Muslim) are extant with us, do not have the actual words of the Messenger (PBUH). These Ahadith are the traditions as understood, i.e. their style is like this: when, for instance, any companion of the Messenger (PBUH) heard anything from him, whatever he comprehended, he narrated it to the other companion in his own words. Whatever that fellow deduced from it, he passed it onward. Now pause for a while and think of the situation. If this state of affairs is allowed to continue on this pattern – not for days, for months, not for a few years, but for a period of 200 to 250 years – and then these talks so spread among the people are compiled together. Then the extent of the relevance of these talks to that of the stated exposition of the first narrator (i.e. the Messenger –S- himself) is quite evident. Allowing ten persons sit jointly in a room, you simply narrate the detail of an incidence in the ear of one man only. After that when that detail having transmitted from ear to ear, reaches you, you will find how different that is what you said and what you heard from the tenth person. And when this state of affaires continues for 250 years – and these talks incessantly go on transferring downward to at least Lacs of people, if not Crores, – then the genuineness reflected through these talks would be, sans doute, quite clear.

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  1.                    Not only “the half alone” it is also said that nine-tenth of Deen is in Ahadith and only one-tenth is in the Qur’an.

ERRORS IN UNDERSTANDING EXPOSITION

In this connection, the criticism of Syed Abu-ul-Aala Maudoodi is worth considering. So far as the understanding of the correct exposition of the quotes of the Messenger (PBUH) is concerned, he (sweeping aside the narrators coming later on) writes (while criticizing a Hadith of Bukhari) about Hazrat Abu Huraira (on him the mercy):

It seems either Hazrat Abu Huraira misapprehended the statement of the Messenger (PBUH), or he could not hear the full talk . . .The examples of such type of misunderstandings are found in numerous traditions out of which certain traditions have certified certain other traditions and certain have remained hum and haw. The happening of this sort in verbal traditions is not a matter of any awe.

(Tasneen, Ahadith Number, Dated 14/10/1959)

So far as the gushing forth of the exposition onward is concerned, he writes in the first part of his book, Tafheemaat:

As an example, I deliver a speech today and thousands of the persons hear it. Just a few hours (neither months, nor years, but just a few years) after the gathering is disbanded, ask the people, “What did the speaker say?” You will find no uniformity in copying down the contents of the speech. Some one will chaw a certain fragment, other will cop the other. Some one will copy a certain sentence word by word, other will describe in his own words the exposition, he has understood. Some one more sharp – intellectual – will elicit the correct gist of the speech he has comprehended, other of less comprehension will not be able to give effect of his import. Some one whose memory is sharp will transcribe most of the portions of the speech verbatim, other of low sharpness will commit blunders in transcription and encryption.

(PP. 329-30)

QUOTES CONFIDED TO THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH (PBUH)

This was the mechanism by which the collections of Ahadith were compiled – 200 to 250 years after the sad demise of the Messenger (PBUH). That is why when you recite the Qur’anic verses, you say with full conviction: “Qaal Lallah-u-Ta’ala” i.e. Allah has said. And when any Hadith is narrated, it is said in the beginning, “ QAAL-UR-RASOOL.” (The Messenger of Allah said). And at the end it is said,“Auo Kamaa Qaal Rasoolullah Sall-ullah-o-Elaih-i-Wa Sallam,” i. e. in this way or as such said the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). That is why, the Ahadith are never called the quotes of the Messenger (PBUH), but, an contraire, the quotes confided to the Messenger (PBUH) i.e. the talks which the people confided to the Messenger (PBUH) at the time of the compilers of Ahadith.

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LIST OF THE NAMES OF WITNESSES – ASMAAR-UR-REJA

– THE CHAIN OF REPORTERS

It is obvious that in this way many a narrator pop up in narrating each tradition (Hadith). When the collection of Ahadith were made, there heisted a cross purpose whether research ought to be instituted about those narrators whose names have been mentioned in Ahadith to ascertain whether or not they were really reliable. When they are judged as such, each tradition (Hadith) be taken up one by one to scrutinize as to what kind of quality its narrators have been. It is this art of cross-questioning, cross equivocating and cross-examining of the narrators i.e. Asmaa-ur-Rejaal, the chain reporters, which is bragged so flamboyantly as if it has no other precedence. There is no doubt that the scholars of this art burnt the midnight oil for this work. But the question is, can you reach any edge of fervid conviction, what so ever, in this way? You can say of a person from whom you have heard anything personally that he is trust worthy. But if, in describing an incidence, there is a mention of 5 to 7 persons who are dead now – during the last 200 to 250 years – what source you can possibly dig out to determine whether or not they were really reliable. And, more over, ‘to be or not to be reliable’ is not the only question. The matter in hand is that it must even be made sure whether they had the essential potential to comprehensively understand the talk and after understanding, they are capacitated to transmit its true exposition onward in their own words. Ah! Hark! Is it possible to say this all – for the people who lived during the past 200 to 250 years – with confidence and conviction? This is impossible. That is why Syed Abu-ul-Aala Maudoodi writes on this point:

“These people (i.e. those who attend to Hadith as Deen), in their servitorship to the traditionists (Muhadithin) opsonise aggravation far beyond the limits of justification. Their premise is that the traditionists have cast the straw off as a fly from milk. Now our assignment is to affix the same label of credit and credence to the Ahadith, as these notable predecessors have imputed to, e.g. the weak in contrast to the strong authentic Ahadith are deserted. The contributions of the traditionists (May they are blessed) are taken for granted. And this too is accepted that the material they provided for the settlement of Ahadith is very conducive in the search of the gazettes, the relics and the vestiges of the prime period (of Islam). It is above and beyond any speck of double. But objection lies in this point: To what extent is the total reliance upon them justifiable? By all means, they were the humans – they could not transgress the limits of human knowledge God’s creation is destined to. They were never guarded against the natural phenomenon of ‘to err is human’. Then how can you claim ‘the things they established to be true were true in the real earnest’? They were themselves never polite for ‘to fart’.”

(Tafheemaat, Part-1, p. 318)

Again he writes:

“The traditionists (Mohadithin) embellished a grand vast vista of Ismaa-ur-Rejal (the chain of reporters), which, beyond any shadow of doubt, is very precious but there is nothing that is not devoid of even an inkling of the possibility of error.” (p. 319)

The errors are not based on inadvertence or oversight, but are founded on the factual grounds. It is because:

“Concupiscence was stuck deep with every anima. And there was a strong possibility that there be any degree of distinct extent – in forming good or bad opinions about others. It was not merely the feasibility of any vision; but a roof of this occurrence is extant.” (P.319)

After this, he writes:

“By such example we do not mean the total knowledge of the discipline of Asmaa-ur-Rejal, the chain of reporters, is farce and false, but our purpose is to make this fact known to all that the fellows who have burgeoned cross-questioning and cross-equivocating the witnesses were, any-how, the humans. ‘To err is human’ was stuck deep to them. Is it a must that those whom they adjudged to be reliable, must be reliable with confidence and be confirmed trustworthy in the repertoire of all Ahadith and whom they determined to be unreliable, be unreliable with firm conviction!”

(p. 312)

Again he writes:

“They have investigated all these matters to the extent that the humans could do. But it is not essential that, in the conduct of research for narrating the Ahadith, they would have identified all the facts accurately and correctly. It may just be possible that the tradition adjudicating to be contiguous to reliance is cut off in terms of its patent authenticity in the real sense  . . .. This and the many more are the factors on the basis of which the knowledge of accreditation, of cross-questioning and of cross equivocating can not be thought of as accurate in earnest. This material is reliable only to the extent that it can be used in taking help for the purpose of conducting research in the areas of Sunnah and the relics, the vestiges of the companions of the Messenger (PBUH) – and be given due consideration. But it is not so reliable, that it be absolutely doted upon.”

(Pp. 321-322)

DECISION OF RELIABILITY

As far the personal preferences are concerned, it is obvious that when a man makes judgement about the other man – whether he was reliable or not – the feelings of his heart would generally adulterate his decision – how unbiased that decision might be. And in the feeling of the heart, the belief relishes a tremendous encroachment. On the issue ‘whether conviction augments or diminishes,’ Imam Bukhari had difference of opinion with Imam Abu Haneefa. The result of this difference is that he did not accept Imam Abu Haneefa trustworthy. The matter does not end up here. Since Imam-e-Azam (on him the mercy) was a native of Kufa, so all the Kufians were adjudged to be unreliable, incapacitated for narrating the Ahadith. And as Kufa is in Iraq, the Iraqians were also bracketed in the same category and it was finally decided that out of the 100 Ahadith narrated by the Iraqians, 99 are bequeathed – even the one taken to be accepted be termed dubious. Similarly on the contrasting bases of preliminary doctrine of faith, the two most respect worthy Imams, Imam Abu Zara’a and Imam Abu Hatim, themselves questioned the reliability of Imam Bukhari and abandoned to accept the Ahadith narrated by him. The Books of Bukhari and Muslim are called Sahiheen. But their mutual interaction is on such a contrasting scale that Imam Muslim (on him the mercy) considers Imam Bukhari as ‘refractory and rabid for Ahadith.’ Numerous examples of this type of mutual wrangling and refit among these scholars are found paved in the Books of traditions. With the difference in beliefs, the difference in perceiving the Ahadith to be true or weak is the ‘glaring’ manifestation of the two factions, the Sunni and the Shia. As has already been written, Sunnis have their own collections of Ahadith and their sequence of narration goes as far back as to the Tabain and the companions of the Messenger (on them be mercy). From the teaching confided to the Exalted Messenger (PBUH) in these collections, a very much contrasting teaching is found stemmed in the collections of Ahadith, the Shias hold. Similarly their sequence of narrating the Ahadith gets back to the tabain and the companions of the Messenger (on them be mercy). Now these fellows (minimally the Sunnis) can not even imagine that those noble ancestors, who are the narrators of those Ahadith included in the collections of Shias, were all (God forbid) liars and unreliable. – These, too, would have to be accepted, undoubtedly, to be reliable and trustworthy. – Now the statement of the facts emerged to be like this: that the Ummah, from a group of reliable narrators, came upon the Ahadith which are held to be true among the Sunnis and another body of trustworthy narrators also clasped those Ahadith which are held true among the Shias. And both of these types of Ahadith stood to be disfigured mutually. Now lookout: which of the teaching be judged to be the true teaching of the Exalted Messenger (PBUH), which to be thought of as an integral part of Deen and which one to be erroneous? For being a reliable narrator, if the necessary condition is that he too be a co-doctrinaire of those who cross-question, of those who cross-equivocate, or of those who compile Ahadith, then this is obviously partisanship – not a fair play. Is it necessary that a partly, which is not of your doctrine be a composite body of the numbers who are en bloc false and unreliable? Another inveigling phenomenon is that Imam Bukhari (on him be mercy) himself (as well as other compilers of Ahadith), who adjudge the predecessors unreliable – and their traditions outcast, – incorporate the very traditions narrated by them in the repertoire of their own collections of Ahadith. (Please consult Meezan-ul-Aeta Daael by Allam Zehbi and Tadreeb-ur-Raavi etc)

These are the external evidences, which lead us to the conclusion that the Ahadith were neither the integral part of Deen in the opinion of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) himself, nor to the companions of the Messenger (on them be mercy). And that the collections of Ahadith we hold today are not the real words of the Messenger (PBUH). But beyond any shadow of doubt, the contents of these collections in perpetuum are the internal evidence – Even a mention of the matters, written in these collections, shake the very soul, and totter the very pen held in the grip of the very hand. We feel this statement of ours will make you horned and horrendous – and it ought to be so.

INTERNAL EVIDENCE

This is because the honor and glory of these recollections puffed up in our hearts, has reached at par with that of the Quran’s, so such statements would definitely prove to be thaw provoking. But our request to you would be: Pay heed neither to us, nor to any one else; but take out Sahih Bukhari, bring it under your own study and scale out ‘to what extent, whatever we have said is right.’ We do realize you would be asked: Ah! Look out! How erudite Imam Bukhari (on him the mercy) relished his position! Then – during the last 1000 years after him – how many clans of scholarly qualified persona and reputed predecessors, who assigned this book the rank of ‘the most correct book after the Book of Allah,’ have passed; hark! “Can (God forbid) there be found such an obnoxious material stemmed in this book?” We’ll again implore upon you in its response: ‘there is no doubt that the honor and dignity of these noble predecessors (on them be the mercy of God) is above-aboard. But, when we have the text of Bukhari Sharif available with us, why we should not cast a look over it. Now a day its Urdu translation can also be had. If you are not well versed in Arabic, just have a look over its Urdu version and decide by yourself that what ever we have written is right or wrong. You’ll find such a material written over there. You will never dare confide this type of material to the noble balanced personality of the Messenger (PBUH), who was the persona grata, the propitious and splendid persona, the perfect manifestation of the highest ascension of humanity, the elevator, the exalted, the noble (sacrificed be my father and mother). It was he who owned the vast vista of erudition and vision. You will be taken aback to note the kind of absurdities ascribed to him, the excellent of the created; to him, the magnificence-faceted personality of the font of substance the world over.

That is why Syed Abu-ul-Aala Maudoodi had to pen down:

“This assertion is not valid that the contents of all the Ahadith embedded in Bukhari be accepted in toto  – without imbuing any tint of criticism.”

(Tarjamaan-ul-Quran, October-November, 1952)

Commenting upon this Hadith of Bukhari in which it has been said that Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) – God forbid – thrice told a lie, Maulna Abu-ul-Kalam Azaad (decreased) writes:

“Out of the lot of traditions, how best any kind of tradition it may be, it cannot be taken more than the evidence of an uningenuous (non-innocent) narrator in anyway. – And the evidence of an uningenuous (non-innocent) narrator, in comparison to the faith fervidities of Deen, can not be accepted for a moment even. It ought to be confessed this tradition can not be the word of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH); the narrators have committed some mistake here. And having confessed this, there would neither be Divine Wrath, nor would the World cry shame upon.”

(Tarjamaan-ul-Quran, vol. II, pp. 499-500)

In as much, Maulana Ubaidallah Sindhi (decreased) went too ahead and declared: “I can not even teach the Hadith of Bukhari to any new European Muslim.” (1)

This is the criticism of the individuals. The whole rank and file of the Hanafee faction does not consider nearly 200 Ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim to be true.

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It is said: let these collections be considered presumptive, but there are many presumptive things in the world accepted to be true; even our diurnal routine of life regulates on it. Hark! You accept the historical events, though they too are presumptive, – and you study the newspaper, though they are also not surely definitive – Then why to jeer at Ahadith. That you abandon these just on the plea that these are speculative.

This argument appears to be reasonable on its face value, but after making judgement of how diverging these two entities are, the reality unveils itself.

DEEN CANNOT BE PRESUMPTIVE

History or newspapers do not attain the position of Deen for us. If I wish, I may accept an incident as true and if I have arguments against it, I may refute it simply because I doubt its validity. Contrary to it, Ahadith are adjudged to be Deen for us.

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  1. Its reference will come in that Article (Discourse) which comes later on in this book. (Periodical Al-Furqan Waliullah Number 287).

Obviously it means these are beyond any tint of criticism. If I develop a slight speck of doubt, then pray for my conviction! You saw how contrasting these two are! For example, if there is a mention in the history that so and so a King, gave the lie to job at such and such a place, I may accept it to be true – if I wish so – and I may reject it – so as I desire. Neither is any limit imposed on me, nor is my conviction affected upon. But when this Hadith of Bukhari Sharif comes to my mind that “Hazart Ibrahim(AS) thrice told a lie” – since Ahadith is adjudged to be an integral part of Deen – its acceptance, hence forth, became imperative upon me. If I do not accept it as true, I am criminated in suspecting the very soundness of Hadith. And if I believe in its soundness, I am constrained to concede a noble Rasool of Allah (PBUH) to be false (God forbid). Or take another example: you read in the newspaper that a person has cut of the nose of another person in a certain city, its acceptance or denial is not an integral part of your conviction. But when you study this Hadith of Bukhari Sharif: “When the angle of death approached Moses (AS) to captivate his soul away, he gave it such a slap that it lost one of its eyes,” you have to accept this incidence because giving an element of doubt to this Hadith means you are very much doubting the Deen itself. This made it very clear to you that what a difference does it make in accepting the worldly speculative things to be true and in accepting a speculative thing which has been adjudged to be the integral part of Deen! What a big difference!

ITS RESULT

What is the practical bearing of Hadith to be speculative? Let this example help you take it off. When we present a verse of the Qur’an about a matter, it is possible that one may differ with its translation, but no one will say it is not known whether or not this is the verse of the Qur’an.   But in case of Hadith, the first, the foremost, question that will come under discourse will be whether or not this is the word of the Messenger (PBUH). In this regard, Maudoodi Sahib writes:

“The real incidence in the tradition, which is confided to the Messenger (PBUH), in terms of its correct and reliable imputedness to him, is disputable in itself. To you (the opposite group) the acceptance of the tradition – which the traditionists (Muhadethin) adjudge to be true from the credibility of its attestation –it’s being the Hadith of the Messenger (PBUH), is a must. But to us, it is not a necessary condition. We do not take the credibility of attestation a necessary justification to accept the Hadith as true.”

(Resaail-o-Masaail, Part-I, p. 290)

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We took a start from here that the necessary condition for adjudicating anything to be Deen is that the-beings-of-the-very-thing-to-be-definite must be admitted. When it is claimed Deen is the name of the collection of the Qur’an and the Hadith both, it becomes necessary that each one of these be assuredly definite. When we say “This is what God has ordered”, then there is no disagreement in being this verse of the Qur’an to be the word of God; so the being of the Qur’an to be the definite Deen is admitted. On the other hand, the position of Ahadith is different in the sense that whenever any Hadith is presented, the first question that arises is whether or not that Hadith is the word of the Messenger (PBUH). All the haggling among the various factions of Muslims are pinned around this phenomenon. One sect presents any of its beliefs or precepts and brings forth any Hadith in support of it; the other sect refutes with these words “this Hadith is absolutely not the word of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)”. These wrangling are continuously pouring in since the last thousands of years. And it is evident there is no possibility to blot these out. Therefore, the whole of the Ummah has no means on the basis of which it may surely be investigated that such and such Hadith is the word of the Messenger (PBUH) in the real sense.

WEEK AND STRONG

Ah! Hark this fact again: No body will say about any verse of the Qur’an that – though it is the verse of the Qur’an but – it is weak, not strong. Every verse of the Qur’an is strong. The question of its being weak or strong does not arise here. But when any Hadith is presented, the opposite group refutes it in these words: It is a weak Hadith. Since Ahadith are of many kinds – and the mutual disagreements on the basis of divergent view of Ahadith are, more or less, infiltrating down among the various factions – there is no way to blot these out.

THE MESSENGER’S (PBUH) TEMPERAMENT ACQUAINTED

But this is not the case. We are told: A form of obliterating these disagreements is extant – because there is a touchstone on the basis of which it can safely be decided whether or not such and such is the Hadith of the Messenger (PBUH). This does not end up here alone. It goes further. This is also possible that if regarding any matter, there is no Hadith found in any of the collections of Ahadith, it can even be judged with confidence what the Messenger (PBUH) would have affirmed at such an occasion. You will be taken aback as to what possible the means can be, on the basis of which these matters could quite surely be identified, after the sad demise of the Messenger (PBUH) – a backlash of 1300-1400 years. Ah! Hark! What that via media is! Syed Abu-ul-Aala Mandoodi Sahib says:

“The person whom God bestows the blessing of the art of jurisprudence – with the in-depth study of the Qur’an and the conduct of the Messenger (PBUH) – comes by a particular type of taste, the quality of which is exactly like that of the lapidary’s vision that tests the most delicate characteristics of the germs. His eye scans the system of the real Sharia comprehensively and he perceives the ins and outs of that system. Later on, when the subsidiaries come to pass, his taste makes him cognize: which of the matters suit the nature and the intrinsic quality of Islam and which does not. When he casts his eye on the traditions, the same touchstone-taste comes to be the standard of approval or disapproval. The nature of Islam is exactly the temperament of the personality of the Messenger (PBUH). Who-ever understands the nature of Islam – and who has intensively and frequently studied the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and the Sunnah of the Rasoolullah (PBUH) – becomes temperament-acquainted of the Messenger (PBUH) to such an extent that his vision, with a simple causal eye over the traditions, automatically tells him: which one of these can be the word or action of my chief, the Messenger (PBUH) and which one is the nearest to the Sunnah of Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Not suffice this alone; if he finds no precedence of the Qur’an and the Sunnah in any matters, he can ever say: ‘Had a problem of such a nature come by the Messenger (PBUH), he would have decided it in such and such a manner.’ It is because his soul synchronizes with the soul of Mohammed (PBUH) and his eye harmonizes with the vision of the Messenger (PBUH). His brain runs down with the mould of Islam; and he does see and contemplate in just the same way Islam desires it to be seen and contemplated. After clinching such an elevated position, the man remains no more confined to the serfdom of any authentication, his judgement is no more founded on these. He often takes out even a tradition – poor, weak, authenticity-cut off, hexed – his vision perceives, the brilliance of a gem in that untilled stone. And, more often than not, he even deflects his face aside from a Hadith – non-schismatic, unexceptional, authenticity-contiguous, popular – just because the meaningfulness of the ‘wine’, brimmed onto the precious goblet, does not look to him appropriate to the temperament of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).”

(Tafheemaat, Vol. I, pp. 323-324)

Did you ponder as to what merit is there in it? This made it clear that:

  1.                   Either you believe in Imam Bukhari and Muslim (and other Imams of Ahadith) – The words “to believe in” have never been written just cursorily. You will, surely, have to believe in it on merit: All that the compilers of Ahadith said is the word of the Messenger (PBUH); if you do not do so, you are judged to be the refuter of Ahadith, – hence the one ousted from the fold of Islam.
  2.                   And if you did not believe in the compilers of Ahadith, you will have to believe in the vision of a temperament-acquainted with the Messenger (PBUH) of your time. It means it would have to be accepted ‘whatever he says on any matter’, is the edict of the Messenger (PBUH) [whether that is present in any of the recollections of Ahadith or is found no where under the canopy of this firmament].’ You will have to confess: ‘That is the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH)’; if you do not do so, you are judged to be the refuter of Ahadith’ – hence the apostate and infidel.
  3.                   But, in more precise and compendious words, if you believe in the selecting-eye of the compilers of Ahadith -but do not believe in the visionary-look of the one acquainted with the temperament of the Messenger (PBUH), – you are a refuter of Ahadith in the opinion of the acquainted with the temperament of the Messenger (PBUH), – hence infidel. And if you believe in the visionary-look of the one acquainted with the temperament of the Messenger (PBUH), and likewise refute the acceptance of any of the Ahadith of Bukhari or Muslim to be true, you are the refuter of Ahadith in the opinion of Ahl-i-Hadith (the pro-Ahadithians), – hence infidel. It means Allah had ordered you to believe in the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) (for becoming a Muslim). But now the state of affairs that emerges to come out is unless you believe in these men, you will not be called a Muslim.

Inna lillahi wa-inna ilayhi rajiAAoona (2:156)

Surely we are for Allah and undoubtedly we are to get back to Him.

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BELIEF ABOUT HADITH

This is the position of Hadith. But you know: What type of belief about it is successively running down to us? – Listen to it with wrapped attention and then reflect over it: Are such type of beliefs about such kind of speculative things nothing more than the exaggeration in Deen? Late Maulana Muhammad Ismail (the ex president of Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadith), in the periodical – “Theory of Ahadith of Jama’et Islami” – writes:

“After research and consolidation, Hadith occupies exactly the same position as that of the Qur’an. And its denial, in fact, implicates exactly, the same effect on conviction and honesty as is that of the denial of the Qur’an. . . the denial of the Ahadith which according to the correct principles and exposition of the Imams of Sunnah are proved to be correct will be infidelity and liable to exodus from the Ummah.” P. 48

It means the denial of anyone of the Ahadith, which are held true among the sect of Ahl-i-Hadith (i.e. to say that it is not the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah PBUH) is paganism and the one who utters this comes to disengage from the fold of Islam. To this sect, the Bukhari and the Muslim are Sahiheen, so the retracting of anyone of the Ahadith of theirs is infidelity. He writes:

“The Ummah is united on the Ahadith of Bukhari and Muslim. . . Thevalidity of these Ahadith is peremptory.” P. 55

Here “Ummah” means the sect of Ahl-i-Hadith, because (none at least other than) the Hanafees (who is the sect of majority of Ummah) do not accept, at least, the two hundred Hadith of the Bukhari and the Muslim as true.

HADITH TOO IS REVELATION

Why is the disavowal of these Ahadith infidelity? Late Maulana Ismail writes about it:

“Jibril (Gabriel) used to come upon with the Qur’an and Sunnah both, used to make the Messenger (PBUH) learn the Sunnah just like the Qur’an. In this respect, we are not confuted to the division of revelation.” P. 60

It means the Qur’an and Hadith is both the Divine Revelation, and any kind of division between these two cannot be made. Therefore, for this purpose a tradition was coined/ascribed that the Exalted Messenger (SAW) said: “The Qur’an, also, comes upon me and along with it – exactly analogous to it – an other thing (Hadith too).”

TWO KINDS OF REVELATION

One more belief was coined that the revelation is of two kinds: “Wahee-i-Jali” – Handwritten Revelation (Qur’an) and “Wahee-i-Khafi” – Clandestine/Hidden Revelation (the Hadith). TheWahee-i-Jali – Handwritten Revelation is also called “Wahee-i-Matlau” – Revelation-to-be-recited- (i.e. which is recited) and “Wahee-i-Khafi” – Hidden Revelation – as “Wahee-i-Ghair Matlau” – Revelation-not-to-be-recited- (i.e. which is not recited). It may be known here that there is no mention of these two types of revelations anywhere in the Qur’an. Even no trace of this term is found imprimis, in the foremost instant literature of Hadith. It was the belief among the Jews that “Wahee” – Revelation – is of two kinds: One “Shab kutab” (that which is written) and the other “Shab Al’afah” (that which is not written and conventionally transmits onwards). These fellows borrowed this belief from the Jews and then, transforming it to be the exact Deen, projected it forward. – How is this belief the antithesis of the Qur’an? And how does it let the entire edifice of Islam crumble down? We do not want to go deep into the detail of this discourse here. We want to ask this alone: If Hadith, along with the Qur’an – exactly homologous to the Qur’an –, was also the revelation of God – God took the responsibility to preserve the revelation himself – why did God not preserve this revelation (i.e. Hadith)? Neither did (as we have seen earlier) the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) hand over this revelation fully preserved to the Ummah, nor did the Khulfa-i-Rasshideen – the guided caliphs (on them be the mercy) get it written and preserved. Nor did anyone amongst the companions of the Exalted Messenger (PBUH) bring it up in the written form. Whoever wrote anything on one’s own either put it to flames or got it inflamed.

WHY THE AHADITH NOT WRITTEN

If the Qur’an and Hadith were equally the revelation, then making such a magnificent arrangement for safeguarding one part of the revelation (i.e. the Qur’an) and laxing – nay dissenting –, to such an extant, its second part (i.e. the Hadith) stand to mean what? Can it be prudent in any way? By the way, hark back to the answer to this objection: if Hadith was equally revelation, why was it not included in the Qur’an? Mandoodi Sahib, responding to this objection, writes: Had this been done

“The volume of the Qur’an would have become equal to that of the Encyclopedia of Britannica at least.”

(Tafheemaat, part-I, p. 236)

In other words it can be said that since it would have brewed up the volume of the Qur’an many folds, Allah (TWT) did not think it proper to add up this part of revelation in it. But when it was asked: All right – the miasma of brewing up the volume of the Qur’an did not allow it to be added up in the Qur’an – why was it not written up in a separate volume? He said: its reason was

“At that time, the literate were few and the copying material was even less procurable.”

(Tarjamaan-ul-Quran, March, 1954)

This is Maudoodi Sahib’s response. But Dr. Hameedullah of Hyderabad (Daccan, now residing in Paris) speaks of a different legend. In his article (published in an English periodical, The Al-Islam issue of 1st and 15th of January 1959), he writes:

“The Messenger of Allah (PBUH), as a man, happened to be careful and modest in his behavior. As a Messenger of God, he – for this purpose – took every possible and necessary steps so that the message of God (i.e. the Qur’an) is not only transmitted to the people but be also preserved. Had he taken the same steps for the preservation of his own sayings some of the people would have conceited egoism on his behalf? On this count, the story of Hadith is at variance from that of the Qur’an.”

It is the story of “Revelation,” which, inclusive of the Qur’an, is adjudicated to be homologous to the Qur’an. It is that same revelation which the Gabriel used to come upon with; in just the same way he used to alight with the Qur’an. And with its denial infidelity becomes incumbent on, in just the same manner as that of the Qur’an. Ah! What a wondrous and astounding entity it is!

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HADITH, PREFERRED OVER THE QUR’AN

As far we have seen, it is being said that Hadith is homologous to the Qur’an i.e. both are of the same parlance. Now proceed a bit ahead. Imam Auzaai’s saying is:

“The Qur’an wants far more Ahadith than do the Ahadith for the Qur’an.” (1)

It means if the Qur’an and Hadith conjointly confront each other, the judgment founded on the Hadith ought to be accepted – and not the one confounded on the Qur’an.

THE HADITH CAN REPEAL THE QUR’AN

This is not the least enough. These fellows also hold this belief that Hadith can repeal the commandment of the Qur’an. In this booklet, “Fitna Inkaar-i-Hadith – Hadith denial coup de theatre”  – late Allama Hafiz Muhammad Ayub writes:

“It is not essential for the saying of the Messenger that it may conform to the Qur’an – then it be justified – and if it does not conform, it be not shown to be well-founded . . . . Its reason is, the Qur’an says: Kutiba AAalaykum itha hadara ahadakumu almawtu in taraka khayran alwasiyyatu lilwalidayni 2/180: Prescribed for you, when death approaches any of you, if he leave behind goods, is to make testament for the parents. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said “Laa waseyya tu lil warise”. There is no testament for the heir. And it is proved from contiguity that the business is being acted upon this very Hadith. It means testament has been identified to be unfair for the heir. The Hadith annulled – coup de theatre – the Qur’an and the saying of the Messenger (SAW) bolstered well founded against the verse of the Qur’an and became the primary swamp of action.” P. 85

HADITH IS A PERMANENT DEEN

The people, not so much dogmatic and violent, say that Hadith invariably elicits and describes the exegesis of the injunctions of the Qur’an – the details of the Quran’s summed injunctions are found in it. But these people say so only to respond to the objection. Their own belief is divergent to it. When they adjudge Hadith homologous to the Qur’an, they do not refuse the natural consequence, which is deduced from it. They do not accept Hadith as the exegesis of the Qur’an. On the contrary, they acknowledge it as a permanent Deen – just as the Qur’an is. Hence, in this regard, Maulana Mandoodi Sahib (i.e. the same Maudoodi Sahib, whose dialogue on the reference of Hadith we have earlier gone through) writes:

“If, by the negation of the Hadith being the permanent source, it is intended that the locus standi of Hadith is merely that of an annotator and interpreter – i.e. it explains those issues and events which got bogged down in a summed up manner in the Qur’an and holds no permanent position on its own behalf – then it is an unfounded claim . . . . In connection with issues and status, Hadith holds a permanentlocus standi.”

(Tarjamaan-ul-Quran, July – September, 1950)

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  1. Mukhtaser Jamey Biyan-ul-ilm, p. 223

Did you dilate upon the belief about Hadith? It emerged as:

  1. Hadith and the Qur’an have both been revealed from God
  2. Hadith is homologue to the Qur’an
  3. Hadith is not so much wanting for the Qur’an, as is the Qur’an for Hadith
  4. Hadith is judge over the Qur’an
  5. It is not an interpreter and annotator of the Qur’an; on the contrary it enjoys a permanent position in the matters of Deen
  6. Hadith can repeal – coup de theatre – the Qur’an
  7. And, whoever does not stick to such a belief, is a renouncer of Hadith – hence an infidel and out-thrown of the fold of Islam.

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EXEGESIS OF THE QUR’AN

It is said the Qur’an was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (SAW); he got it understood to his companions (on them by the mercy); so whose exegesis can come out to be better than the exegesis of the Qur’an, he gave light to? Therefore, if any one draws upon an exposition of any verse of the Qur’an different from the one, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has illuminated that one’s exposition cannot be correct.

This thing looks to be very reasonable. There is no doubt that the exposition, the Messenger (SAW) has expounded is the only correct one – the exposition antithesis to it can never be correct. But the question is, ‘Is the exegesis of the Qur’an elucidated through the Ahadith really the one illumined by the Messenger (SAW) himself?’ In this regard, let it be understood first that the exegesis of the entire Qur’an has never been expounded through the Ahadith – only a few of its verses have been provided with the exegesis. There is simply one chapter of the exegesis in the Bukhari and that too has contained explanation of a few verses from here and there.

Then what type is this exegesis of? You will find a few of its examples in an article, “Exegesis with Traditions,” given some where on the incoming pages. With these examples, you just estimate: Can this kind of exegesis be ever of the Messenger’s (SAW) in any way? That is why Imam Ahmad had said of the traditions given in the exegesis: These have absolutely no tangibility.

Harp it again: If – about the exposition of any verse of the Qur’an – it can surely be said that it is the edict of the Messenger of Allah (SAW): who among the Muslims, will be the one whose head does not bow to it. But – given this state of affair – you can not say of any Hadith with conviction that it is really the saying of the Messenger of Allah (SAW). Then if any body says this exegesis of the Qur’an can not be the exegesis of the Messenger of Allah (SAW), he does not deny the ‘told’ exegesis of Messenger of Allah (SAW). Whatever he says is simply this that the exegesis confided to Messenger of Allah (SAW) is, in fact not the exposition of the Messenger of Allah (SAW). Just think for a while. If Imam Bukhari rejected 5,94,000 Ahadith simply on the plea that to the best of his understanding, these could not be the Ahadith of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) and that he had not been convicted to be the renouncer of Hadith – then, if anyone says about Hadith that based on one’s vision of the Qur’an, it cannot be the Hadith of Messenger of Allah (SAW), how can one be convicted to be an infidel and hence out thrown from the fold of Islam? Factually one denies the judgement of the compiler of Hadith or the incorrectness of the narration of the reporter; one does never refute the injunction of the Messenger (SAW) – One does not disavow/ disown the saying of the Messenger (SAW). What one says is this: Whatever saying is confided to the Messenger of Allah (SAW), cannot be his saying; its imputedness to the Messenger (SAW) is not correct.

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Now we revert to the intervention that apparently appears to be very innocuous and has vexed the minds of many a people. It is said: if we do not accept the Hadith, then how can the commands of the Qur’an be acted upon?

IF HADITH NOT ACCEPTED, THEN HOW TO OFFER PRAYER (NAMAAZ)

For example, there is order of offering prayer (Namaaz) in the Qur’an. But no where it has been written as to how to offer prayers (Namaaz), how many are its, rak’ahs, what to recite in each rak’ah etc. The Allah’s Messengers (SAW) showed how to act upon it. And we ought to act upon it in the like manner.

Look to it first: How ambiguous it is to say “If we do not accept Hadith, then . . .” Nobody denies the ‘body of Hadith. – The compilations of Hadith are found every where. Whatever ought to be said is if we do not accept Hadith to be the sure record of the sayings and deeds of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW), then (take for example) how we ought to offer the prayer (Namaaz).

But the question is, even after accepting the Ahadith surely to be true, how ought the prayer to be offered? You know, the prayer (Namaaz) of Shia is different from Sunnees. And Shia and Sunnee both claim about their prayer (Namaaz) that it is compatible with the prayer (Namaaz) of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW). Then take to the Sunnees: The big contradiction, the vast difference between the prayer (Namaaz) of Ahl-e-Hadith and Sunee is known to every body – and even both of these factions judge their prayer to be exactly in accordance with the prayer (Namaaz) of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW). The question is: Which one of these prayers be accepted to harmonize with the prayer ‘told’ by the Allah’s Messenger (SAW), when the Ahadith are extant in the authenticity of each one’s prayer (Namaaz) and its subsidiaries? Can any such method be identified today, on the basis of which it could surely be searched out as to how the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) offered the prayer (Namaaz)?

It is said that “(extraditing the prayer of Shia) the disagreement found among the prayer of the various sects of Sunnees is just a sort of ad-libbed – as of principle, prayer is a common denominator among all the religious factions. – And the disagreement linked to the matters related to the preliminary doctrines of faith carries no weight.” First of all to say that the disagreements crept in the matters not related to the basic doctrines of the faith absolutely carries no weight is exceedingly wrong and erroneous errand. Take the followers of Sunnee’s sects and sweep aside their offering of prayer (Namaaz) jointly with other religious sects. Suppose (for example) any one sect saying Aamee in low pitch in the congregation of prayers, offers prayer (Namaaz) in the mosque of the other religious sect saying Aameen loudly. Then the followers of the latter sect, if they (at least) do not demolish the very floor of their mosque, will definitely make it purified and undefiled with ten time’s wash at least. Look to the daily raving up of a trial of tiffs in the mosques of “vahabis” and “Bid’atis” (heretics) or “Bralevis” and “Devbandis”, where Imams are assassinated, brawl erupts in “Muqtadis”, police intervenes, mosque is locked up and the case goes to the court of law. This all is due to these jurisprudential disagreements in the congregation of the prayer (Namaaz). Therefore to say that these jurisprudential disagreements carry no weight is nugatory to the reality and tantamount to escape – just to avoid objection.

Again mark this point: When an order is judged to be God-defined (or His Messenger’s) its principles and preliminary doctrines – all – carry weight on their own and can never be ruptured – not even a single one of these in any way. Take an example, in connection with ablution, the Holy Qur’an says:

faighsiloo wujoohakum waaydiyakum ila almarafiqi (5/6)

“Wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows.”

Now, if one person washes hands up to wrists and the other up to elbow, then will you say: “This is correct and that too is correct”, because this convergence of actions, in its nature, is ascribable simply to a branch of religious sect, not of principle? Saying like that would be expressly wrong. Only one of these two can be correct at a time  – and that too of the one whose deed synchronizes the command of the Qur’an. Hence unless and until the details of the prayer (Namaaz) are strictly acted upon in the same manner the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) has prescribed, the prayer (Namaaz) will not be judged to be on par with the prayer (Namaaz) of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW). To say that some one raised hands to the ears or a bit below, some one folded hands up to the chest or under the umbilicus, some one recited Aameen loudly or kept the voice low, some one kept this or that much space between the feet, some one recited Surah Fateha behind the Imam or not, or offered such and such benediction/supplication this way or that way, some one offered eight “traveeh” or twenty, some one offered a little more or less “takbireen” in the congregation of Eid prayer, some one offered prayer (Namaaz) on so and so a time – it all makes no difference because it is a difference of factional details alone. This is simply an excuse for avoiding demur. If it makes no difference, then (take just as an example) and ask any one of the Ahl-i-Hadith, who has just offered the prayer (Namaaz) in the way the Hanafees offer, to proclaim that his prayer (Namaaz) is valid. You will mark he will never do so.

So just dilate upon: after accepting the Ahadith definitively, can you articulate with conviction that so and so a method of offering the prayer (Namaaz) is exactly compatible with the method of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW)? Oh yes! Every religious sect can say this – and says – that its method is exactly compatible with the methods of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW). But are you willing to accept that the method of each and everyone can simultaneously be compatible with the method of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW)? Can you reckon upon that at the time of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW), some people used to offer Shia-like prayer (Namaaz) and some Sunee-like? Or some people used to offer Ahl-i-Hadith-like prayer and some Hanafee-like? Or the condition of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) himself was that he some times used to offer or made others offer prayer (Namaaz) on the method the Shia offer now-a-days and some times on the method the Sunnee offer today. And still some times on the method the Ahl-i-Hadith offer and yet some times on the method the Hanafee offer! It is plain this would have never happened. The Allah’s Messenger (SAW) would have offered or have made others offer the same type of prayer (Namaaz) and the entire Ummah would have offered exactly the same one prayer. There is no room for any dimensional dissension in Deen. The Holy Qur’an determines ‘dissension’ as Allah’s torment and that of sect-dichotomy as polytheism. If this is the state of affairs, then the question is: Can now, in any way whatsoever, such a condition be ingrained in which the same oneness is insinuated in the Ummah and the Muslim community starts offering the prayer (Namaaz) of the same nature?

WHAT A NEW CONVERT DO

It is evident: as far as you go on accepting the Ahadith as the sure sayings and deeds of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW), harmonizing of oneness in the Ummah will remain a far-fetched possibility, a figment of reality. It is because every sect has its own Ahadith – and every sect judges its own Ahadith to be the sure sayings and deeds of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW). What to speak of synchronizing unity in the entire Ummah, in the present circumstances there has come to play upon such a shilly-shallying which looks to has no solution at all! To elucidate this point, take this example. Some one converts to be a Muslim today. And he accepts Islam on the hand of a person, who – just by chance – happens to be (say) a Devbandi. After being a Muslim, he is told that the foremost element of Islam – and the very root cause of discrimination between Islam and infidelity – is prayer (Namaaz). He learns how to offer prayer from that Maulvi and starts offering the very prayer (Namaaz) compatible with that Maulvi’s method. An Ahl-i-Hadith Maulvi seeing him offering the prayer says: “Your prayer (Namaaz) is not valid.” Now it is apparent when the very prayer is not valid, how did he remain to be a Muslim because he was told that prayer (Namaaz) is the only point of distinction between Islam and infidelity?    – The question is, can you suggest any remedy to the mishmash of confusion this new convert is confronted with? Think meticulously, for it is a place worth thinking deeply to put a gloss on reality! Do not pass leisurely. The Ahadith cannot put forth any solution to this impasse; it is just because this very impasse is the creation of the Ahadith! What is the correct solution of the difficulty will come by a bit later.

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DISCOURSE ON SUNNAH

Besides Hadith, there is another word “Sunnah” which has gained more momentum and is held tightly hung with the utmost delicate passions. “Obeisance to the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (SAW) is the real Deen.” – These words will be heard sounding everywhere but you will be taken aback to know that our religious scholars are not unanimous on any agreed definition of Sunnah. Some years back, late Maulana Muhammad Ismail, – President, Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadith, – published a magazine, “Hadith-Theory of Jama’et-i-Islami,” where he fiercely rebutted Maudoodi Sahib’s (and his associate’s) precept of Hadith and told that with the exposition of “Sunnah” – they take to – they doted upon the precept of Hadith-renouncers. That is why he has included Sir Syed, Maulana Shibli, and Maulana Hameed-ud-Din Farahi in the list of Maudoodi Sahib, Ameen Islaahi Sahib and the sons of Nadva along with the list of Hadith-renouncer, published in his magazine.  He has, though, written about them that:

“These fellows are not the renouncers of Hadith but the locution they adopt looks to reflect indignity and despicability of Hadith and the way they converse can liable for making the clandestine doors wide open for denial (of Hadith).”

Late Maulana Ismail had written Sunnah and Hadith are both synonymous words. It means Hadith alone is called Sunnah. With his very definition of Hadith, “Kitab-o-Sunnah” will mean “the Qur’an and Hadith.” But Maudoodi Sahib upholds a different connotation of Sunnah.

ACCORDING TO MAUDOODI SAHIB

In his book “Resaa’el-o-Masaa’el (part-1)”, he writes:

“Sunnah is that mode of practice – for the teaching and sustaining of which – Allah (TWT) had sent his Messenger(s). The methods of private life which the Messenger (SAW) adopted as man or as a person born at a specific juncture of human history are excluded from it. And from this very form, making of any distinction or discrimination as to which part of it is Sunnah’s and which of it is habit’s is not possible till any person acquires the in-depth insight of the nature of Deen. . . . In the matters of culture and social setting, the principles of morality to be perpetuated in the blood of life are the first entity for which the Allah’s Messenger(SAW) honoured his presence. And – for the pursuit of these principles – the second entity is that practical form which the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) himself opted in this own life. These practical bearings were founded on a few of his personal traits and temperamental liking – some on the social fabric of the country where he was born and a few on the circumstance of the time in which he was sent to. To make even one of these things to be Sunnah for all people, for all nations and for the entire human population was not the end product.” (Pp. 311, 317)

At page 314 of the same book, he writes:

“There are a few things which pertain to his (SAW) own temperament, to the social fabric at the nation level, and to the culture of his (SAW) age. To make them worthy of Sunnah was neither the desired purpose. Nor can its pursuance be stressed on the ground that the Allah’s Messenger (SAW), in consonance with Hadith, used to have a peculiar modus operandi. And that neither the Divine Sharaa’e used to come upon for the only aim of making the personal taste of a particular person, or of the specific culture of a nation or of the customs and rituals of a distinct age of Sunnah to remain operative for ever and for the entire world. If this particular definition of Sunnah is kept in view, it can very easily be comprehended that willy-nilly making the things – not bogging down under the terminology of Sharia as Sunnah – is inclusive of those innovations in religion which cause anagram to come into effect in the system of Deen.”

It means all that has been given in Sahih Hadith, to late Maulana Ismail, comes in the fold of the Sunnah of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW); and its denial is infidelity. But, to Maulana Maudoodi Sahib those matters in Sahih Hadith – that the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) had habitually exercised as a human being – are not included in the fold of Sunnah. But if any one judges these very matters to constitute the fabric of Sunnah, Maudoodi Sahib writes about it:

“I uphold this belief that adjudicating such matters to constitute Sunnah and then go on stressing for their pursuance is a fierce kind of heresy and a dangerous form of anagram in Deen. It has been bringing adverse results prior to it and are liable to wring danger in the days to come.” (Ibid, p. 308)

In a few pages before it, he pens down:

“Stemming the matters he (SAW) did as of his habit to form Sunnah and staking a claim from all the people of the world to put these habits into their practice was never the will of Allah and His Messenger (SAW). This is anagram in Deen.”

(P. 300)

ITS RESULT

In the light of these illustrations, vie for a practical situation for which a section of law has been provided in the Constitution of Pakistan – that no law repugnant to “Kitab-o-Sunnah” will be enforced here. (Now) a law is enforced in the country. Late Maulana Ismail and his co-believers challenge it in the court of law: that (the law) is repugnant to Sunnah, hence it is unrecognized. They, supporting their stance, produce a Hadith. Opposing them, Maudoodi Sahib says that the law is not repugnant to Sunnah. The former group enquires whether or not the Hadith it has produced is true. Maudoodi Sahib says: That Hadith is true but Allah’s Messenger (SAW) had performed that deed as of habit being a human – not as a Messenger of Allah (SAW). They enquire of him what argument you have to support that the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) did these deeds as of his habit. In answer to this question, Maudoodi Sahib says such matters are not decided on the plea of any authority and argument; only the “one-acquainted-with-the-taste-of-the-messenger” is empowered to make its decision. (Detail has just elapsed  -a bit earlier).

The second group responds to it:

“If any faction, esteemed of its religious reverence, considering any of it’s noble or guide acquainted-with-the-taste-of-Allah or that of Allah’s Messenger (SAW), allows him to exercise his option for accepting or rejecting any Hadith, in contrary to the principles of Muhaddetheen. Or a scholar or guide, without ascertaining any reason or rhyme about the validity of any topic or of the various congruent or incongruent Hadith, stakes this claim, “I have seen in it the essence of the diamond”, then this ridiculous position is definitely unbearable to us. We will, by Gods grace, resist it to the last – and will struggle to ward off the Sunnah of the Messenger from the aerial marauders.”

(Hadith. Theory of the Jama’et-i-Islami, P. 63)

It means the matters which Maudoodi Sahib hymns to be the Sunnah of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW), the Ahl-i-Hadith interpret them as the aerial marauding; and consider to lynch them for warding off the Sunnah from such raids as the integral part of rendering their duty.

ISLAHI SAHIB

So far so good – this matter was all alone between Maudoodi Sahib and late Maulana Ismail. Regarding this phenomenon Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islahi Sahib pens down:

“Hadith is that very saying or deed or articulation the reporting of which is confided to the Allah’s Messenger (SAW)! But Sunnah is alone that established and recognized method of the Messenger (SAW) he has repeatedly acted upon; he has preserved; he has adhered to in general.” (Ibid, P. 25)

In this connection, Maulana Ismail writes:

“Maulana (Islahi) has narrowed down the definition of Sunnah to such an extent that it would merely be confined to a few deeds, the proof of which lies through the manner the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) has proceeded consistently, such as, a few elements of prayer (Namaaz) . . . . Tens of thousands times it be said: “If any person does not accept this Sunnah as the source of Deen, I do not accept him as a Muslim.” – The question is: What is the vastness of the spread of this Sunnah? – Its precincts would not gain ground beyond a few deeds. The entire Islam would have to be proved from some where else. Then what is the need of this drooling.” (Ibid, P. 26)

It is this disagreement on Sunnah’s definition on the basis of which late Maulana Ismail had written:

“In my opinion the concepts of Maulana Maudoodi and Maulana Islahi are not only repugnant to precept of Ahl-i-Hadith but are also contradictory to all the scholars of Ahl-i-Hadith. Today’s innovative germs of meandering and waffling – hellish – are clandestine in them.” (Ibid, P. 110)

It is obvious from these expositions that the-unanimously-agreed-upon-claim- projectors of “Kitab-o-Sunnah” too have no concurrence on what the Sunnah is. Anything worthy of Sunnah to one is “schism and anagram in Deen” to the another.

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When the religious scholars claimed that the section – “No law repugnant to ‘Kitab-o-Sunnah’ will be enforced in the country” – be incorporated in the Constitution of Pakistan, we had said, “In harmony to this proviso, no such code of law – which all the outfits of Muslims unanimously accepted to be Islamic – could ever be formulated.” It was because the “Kitab” (The Holy Quran) in each sect, is unanimously held to be agreed upon, (1) but “Sunnah” of every faction is individually segregated. On this issue, there was a big hurly-burly against Tolu-e-Islam: it is renouncer of Sunnah, is cedar of the radiance of Messengerhood, is an infidel, is a renegade etc. For complete two years, these fellows continuously went on hurling that Tolu-e-Islam is an apostate and infidel. But no unanimously agreed upon code of law strictly in consonance with “Kitab-o-Sunnah”, could be established, nor was it formulated. At last Maudoodi Sahib had to accept and announce that:

“No such interpretation of Kitab-o-Sunnah – unanimously agreed upon among the Hanafis, Shias and Ahl-i-Hadith in the matters of public laws – is possible.” (Asia, Dated 23 August, 1970)

This makes it clear that so far Islam remains segregated among the various outfits, every faction will go on obeying the Sunnah suited to the genius of its own pluralistic discretion (or norms). But no sooner did you try to transform it onto the configuration of a unified Ummah than (as par the prevalent concept) the followings of Sunnah will become impossible.

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  1. We did not discuss the precept of Shia community here.

This gushes forth that aspect, which is the hub of all this discourse i.e. it is the Commandment of Allah     -and has repeatedly been reiterated,  – that you obey the Messenger (SAW). Whosoever obeyed the Messenger (SAW), obeyed Allah; whosoever defied the fidelity of the Messenger (SAW), harbored straight forth to the hell. So this question cropped up “if Ahadith are not accepted, what can be the possible form of obeisance to the Messenger of Allah (SAW)?”

HOW TO OBEY THE MESSENGER (PBUH)

It is this – the most prominent, the most preponderant, and the most basic – question, which is brought to the focus, hic et ubique. And in this way, ‘accepting the Ahadith to be the sayings and the deeds of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)’, and ‘acting accordingly’ is not only proved from the Qur’an but is also considered to be the basic requirement of conviction and Islam. This question, in the real earnest, is the lore focus and warrants serious, sober and sane contemplation.

But prior to this – that we may reach the answer to this question – giving serious thoughts to a basic inherent flaw within this very question, is a must. Whatever is said is this:

  1. Since obeying the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) – as per the teachings of the Quran – is obligatory
  2. And, beside Ahadith, there is no other go for obeying the Allah’s Messenger (SAW)
  3. Therefore it is imperative that we may accept the Ahadith – surely to be the sayings and the deeds of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). It means, though the History of Ahadith unfolds that these are speculative, not definitive, but the duty of obeying the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) can not be discharged; so it became necessary – causa sinequa non – that these (Ahadith) must be accepted to be definite. The trivialness and flabbiness of this argument is, de gustibus not est. It is just the same thing sung by some one:

Out of my sheer fervid servitude, I have buoyed the Nourisher.

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Now hark back to the original issue. It is a stark fact that eluding the observation of the real insight of the concept of “Obedience of Allah and His Messenger (SAW)”, is the basic cause of the entire rumpus and confusion about Hadith (nay, about Islam itself). A general sense drawn from this concept is that there are two segregated kinds of obedience to Allah (TWT) and to His Messenger (PBUH): Obedience to Allah by means of the Qur’an and obedience to His Messenger (SAW) by means of Ahadith. So the first thing to begin with is that this very footing – that there are two kinds of obedience – is not correct. The nitty-gritty of the teachings of the Qur’an lies on this count: Obedience is to Allah alone, other than His is naught.

The second count is: If Ahadith were the means of obedience to the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), it (as has already been written) was the essential and urgent need of Deen that, like the Qur’an, Ahadith too – as of the requirement for Allah’s security and His Messenger’s Messengerhood – were entirely preserved so that every person could definitely obey the Messenger (PBUH). The aim of Allah’s obedience does not mean to obey the very things we adjudge them to be Allah’s Commandments at par excellence to our own concept. The obedience to Allah is aimed to obey the Book of Allah – the preservation of which Allah has undertaken on His own and the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) has handed it over to Ummah in its most secure and firm form. And that it is continuously transmitting down to Ummah – most secure and safe in the original form. Similarly, from the standpoint of obedience to the Messenger (PBUH), it can not also be aimed that any individual of a faction may start obeying the very matters one adjudge these to be the orders of the Allah’s Messenger (SAW) at par excellence to ones own concept. Clearly and explicitly defined commandments for obedience is a must. So this fact – that neither Allah (TWT) undertook the preservation of Ahadith to carry on His own, nor the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) handed these over to the Ummah in a firm and secure form – is an ample proof of this fact that the obedience to the Messenger (PBUH) by means of Ahadith was neither the will of Allah (TWT), nor the sole purpose of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).

This again generates a question: If obedience to Allah can not be conducted by means of Ahadith, then what else is the tack to take.

ISLAM: A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM

The crux of the matter is that Islam (according to the concept held in general) is not a religion wherein every one obeys the edicts on ones own will and wish. Islam is a comprehensive system of life in which obedience is collectively carried on by means of the state enterprise. The Islamic State or System . . . is responsible for implementing the commandments of Allah (TWT) or for making the people obey them. The Messenger (PBUH), first of all, implemented such a system – the purpose of which was to get the Ummah obey the commandments of Allah (TWT). So the meaning of the Quran’s term – “Obedience to Allah and His Messenger” – was obeying the commandments of Allah (TWT) – not individually on one’s own accord but by means of that system which the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has established. Allah’s commandments were close-fitted in the Qur’an, and His Messenger (PBUH), as the central authority of the Divine system, used to make the members of the society obey these commandments in consonance with the exigencies of the time, place and circumstances.

BYLAWS – SUBSIDIARIES – OF THE PRINCIPLES

The second worth pondering vantage point is the reality that some commandments have been enshrined in the Qur’an – but in most of the matters, only the principle directives have been provided. The responsibility of the Divine System was to develop itself the subsidiaries, the bylaws, of these principles in consultation with the Momineen (believers) to meeting the exigencies of the time. The order of counseling the companions hewn to the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was segued for this very purpose; so the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah, ut dict, formulated the subsidiaries – the bylaws – of these principles. Take an example: the order of Zakaat had been given at various places of the Qur’an – but there is no mention of its rate or value anywhere in it. It means it was a directive in principle. Its aim and operation, for the Islamic System was to arrange for the physical nourishment and personality integration of the members of its society. What would be the mode of this arrangement? What would be taken from the haves for this purpose? How would it be spent? – All these subsidiaries, this system had to formulate. When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) made for its arrangements, he would have fixed a certain rate (2½%) for it, because, keeping in view the exigencies of the time, this would have accomplished to bear upon the necessities of life. This makes it clear that “obedience to Allah and His Messenger” did not mean to “give Zakaat”   -(and that) acting upon “to give Zakaat” validated the obeisance to Allah and giving 2½ % in the Islamic System of that time had validated the “obedience to Allah and His Messenger.”

THIS SYSTEM MARCHED AHEAD

The Islamic System was not confined to the personality of the Messenger (PBUH): that this would end with the sad demise of the Messenger (PBUH). It had to flourish and sustain to the day of judgement; so after the death of the Messenger (PBUH) this system stood established in the form of Khilaafat-i-Rasheda. The “obedience of Allah and His Messenger” meant obeying the very system the hub of which was the Messenger’s successor. Its modality at that time was that the injunctions of the Qur’an were compiled within the manner these were compiled at the time of the Messenger (PBUH). It was because these are immutable and unchangeable, none has the right to bring about any kind of change. What is left over are the subsidiaries – the bylaws – formulated in the light of the Quranic Principles at the time of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). Out of these subsidiaries, whichever needed no change or modification were kept constant, whichever warranted change due to the change in the circumstances, were subjected to the necessary change. And wherever some new addition was needed, it was incorporated. So the details of the incorporated changes or additions in the subsidiaries – the bylaws – formulated at the felicitated era of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) are extant in the annals of history.

These expositions will also make this reality prudent as to why the Qur’an has not enshrined the details of all the injunctions. And that this too will be prudent as to why the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) has not handed over to the Ummah the subsidiaries – bylaws – and judgements of his era in close-fitted and preserved form. The injunctions and principles of the Qur’an had to remain permanent forever – so these were preserved. The subsidiaries – bylaws –, which were to be formulated duly dovetailed with these principles, were liable to change or modification in cognizance to the time, place and circumstance – so these were not preserved. There was no need of it even. The companions of the Messenger (on them be mercy) had also the cognizance of this reality; they, too, did not feel the compulsion of preserving the Ahadith, but on the contrary they vehemently opposed it. It was because had these been preserved, there was the possibility of these being thought to be immutable and unchangeable like the Qur’an.

So far the Divine System of caliphate  -Khilafat- perpetuated, this stark fact took the rap in focus. And the “obedience to Allah and His Messenger” went on reviving without the Ahadith – but unfortunately this could bolster no revival later on. The system of Caliphate  -Khilaafat- transformed into aristocracy; Deen did not remain in its genuine form. The dualism of “religion and politics” crept into it. The Kings, the Salaateen, wielded reins of power in political affairs. And the religious affairs (beliefs, prayers, and personal laws maximally relating to marriage, divorce) were entrusted to the “Ulamas” – religion scholars. The concept of “obedience to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH)” did no longer remain in focus. Its reason was: when the duty of the Government no longer remained confined to the implementation of the Divine Commandments, its subordination in the tone and tenor of the “subservience to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH)” vanished all through.

WHAT HAPPENED LATER ON?

Then the question was raised: How Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) be obeyed? Had the Ummah been fortunate, it would have been decided   -that we ought to revitalize the system in which the obeisance to the Divine System was the “obeisance to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).” But it was not done so. Then there was no alternate left except this understanding that Allah’s subservience be carried out by means of the Quran that of the Messenger’s (PBUH) through his sayings. This became the necessary cause of compiling and regulating the Ahadith. (1) Since then, the system of Caliphate  – Khilaafat- based on the precept of Messengerhood did remain no more extant anywhere. This is the state till today. So the genuine exposition and process of “obedience to Allah and His Messenger” also did not come by. During this whole period, Ahadith remained the nitty-gritty of all condescension (or to that jurisprudence which remained under preparation in accordance with Ahadith). It was because there were a few injunctions in the Quran and the pragmatic necessities of life exceedingly outstripped these injunctions. Those subsidiaries – bylaws –, which the Caliphate  -Khilaafat- was to formulate, had to meet these necessities. In their absence, the eye used to repeatedly fall upon the Ahadith – even when the general use of Ahadith bolstered to be insufficient to serve this purpose, the process of coining new Ahadith set in motion. Numerous sects took birth due to these very Ahadith and every faction in support of its own precepts either provided or coined its Ahadith when required. When centuries elapsed in the same manner, this concept took the root of a firm belief – nay, it transformed into conviction that obedience to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) is done by means of Ahadith and the renouncer of Ahadith is the renouncer of Messengerhood. It is this very wrong notion that epitomizes the root cause of all entanglement in the matters of Deen.

ITS SOLUTION

There is only one way to get out of this quagmire. It is to re-vitalize the Caliphate  – Khilaafat- at the precepts of Messengerhood. It means the Muslim State may decide that it has to establish governance compatible with the dictates and principles of the Quran; it has to implement the Commandments of the Quran. And then it has to see as to which principle-guidance does the Quran cherish for the various disciplines of life, and which are our legal needs? From the material of Ahadith (and jurisprudence) that is being inherited to us, if laws compatible with the Quran are found – and these laws meet our needs – then the State may promulgate them as its legal laws in the country. And wherever such laws are not found, it may formulate its own details – bylaws –epitomizing the principles of the Qur’an. These principles will remained permanent

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  1. Compiling the history of era of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and his companions (on them be mercy) was also its impetus. The end product of both of these impetuses was equally the same. Some laid more stress on narrating the events, and some on compiling the injunctions.

unchangeable – and the details (subsidiaries), the bylaws, formulated to actualize these principles – whether these are prepared earlier or these have been developed by the State itself – will go on changing when required. These laws will be unequivocally applied to all the Muslims of the State without discriminatory treatment to any religious sect. In this manner, the State will also harbor oneness in the Islamic epitomes; it will gradually transform the State into the very form it burgeoned at the time of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and his companions (on them be mercy).

We had made a mention above that the principles and commandments of the Quran, in the Islamic State, will remain immutable forever but the implementation modalities of these laws and subsidiaries – bylaws – formulated in the light of these principles, will go on changing in accordance with the exigencies of the time. In his lectures “Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam”, Allama Iqbal says:

“The ultimate spiritual basis of life, as conceived by Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile, in its life, the categories of permanence and change. It must posses eternal principles to regulate its collective life . . . But eternal principle when they are understood to exclude all possibilities of change . . . tend to immobilize what is essentially mobile in its nature. The failure of the Europe in political and social sciences illustrates the former principles; the immobility of Islam during the last five hundred years illustrates the latter.” (p. 142)

In connection with Ahadith, he writes:

However, we must distinguish traditions of a purely legal import from those, which are of a non-legal character. With regard to the former, there arises a very important question as to how far they embody the pre-Islamic usages of Arabia which were in some cases left intact, and in others modified by the Prophet. It is difficult to make this discovery, for our early writers do not always refer to pre-Islamic usages. Nor is it possible to discover that usages, left intact by express or tacit approval of the Prophet, were intended to be universal in their application. Shah Wali Allah has a very illuminating discussion on the point. I reproduce here the substance of his view. The prophetic method of teaching, according to Shah Wali Allah, is that, generally speaking, the law revealed by a Prophet takes especial notice of the habits, ways, and peculiarities of the people to whom he is specifically sent. The Prophet who aims at all-embracing principles, however, can neither reveal different principles for different peoples, nor leaves them to work out their own rules of conduct. His method is to train one particular people, and to use them as a nucleus for the building up of a universal Shar’ah. In doing so he accentuates the principles underlying the social life of all mankind, and applies them to concrete cases in the light of the specific habits of the people immediately before him. The Shar’ah values (Ahkam) resulting from this application (e.g., rules relating to penalties for crimes) are in a sense specific to that people; and since their observance is not an end in itself they cannot be strictly enforced in the case of future generations. It was perhaps in view of this that Abu Hanifah, who had a keen insight into the universal character of Islam, made practically no use of these traditions. The fact that he introduced the principle of Istihson, i.e. juristic preference, which necessitates a careful study of actual conditions in legal thinking, throws further light on the motives which determined his attitude towards this source of Muhammadan Law. It is said that Abu Hanifah made no use of traditions because there were no regular collections in his day. In the first place, it is not true to say that there were no collections in his day, as the collections of’Abd al-Malik and Zuhri were made not less than thirty years before the death of Abu Hanifah. But even if we suppose that these collections never reached him, or that they did not contain traditions of a legal import, Abu Hanifah, like Malik and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal after him, could have easily made his own collection if he had deemed such a thing necessary. On the whole, then, the attitude of Abu Hanifahtowards the traditions of a purely legal import is to my mind perfectly sound; and if modern Liberalism considers it safer not to make any indiscriminate use of them as a source of law, it will be only following one of the greatest exponents of Muhammadan Law in Sunni Islam.

(Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, PP. 136-137)

MAUDOODI SAHIB AND SUBSIDIARIES OF DIN

Maudoodi Sahib, regarding the change and permanence in laws operative at the time of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), writes:

“This is an irrefutable fact that the law-givers with their utmost prudence and exquisite knowledge, for carrying out their commands, optimally suggested such ways, which materialize its purposes through out all the times and the environs. But in spite of it, many of the subsidiaries – bylaws – are such in which change in the commands compatible with the changing circumstances – the circumstances of the Arabia and the world of Islam at the period of the Messengerhood and of his companions – is a must. It is not essential that the same circumstances be prevalent in every time in every country. So the modalities that were exercised to execute the Islamic injunctions in those circumstances: to sustain them as these are for all times in all circumstances and – just for the sake of expediency and prudence – not to make any kind of change in their subsidiaries, bylaws – it is all nothing short of any inkling but a ritualism which has nothing to do with the spirit of Islam . . . .. So it is discovered in the subsidiaries – bylaws – setting sturdy cause of proof and the approved insinuation aside, even the following of the manifestly approved – without shrugging off jurisprudence – is a fallacy. The purpose of jurisprudence is that the human being may keep in view the lawgivers’ aims and expediencies in every problem. And then according to these with the changing circumstances may go on pursuing such a change in the bylaws that may tantamount to the lawgiver’s principles of exposition and nearest to his mode of process.”

(Tafheemaat, part II, P. 327)

In the very detail of it, he writes some where else:

“The meaning of developing resemblance to blessed Madina may not be considered as if we want to create resemblance in the outwardly manifested configurations. And, recording from the vintage point of culture the world enjoys today, we are desirous to clinch the file of culture, which prevailed in Arabia 1300 years ago. This exposition of subservience to the Messenger (PBUH) is absolutely erratic and the majority of the religious people accept this very meaning erroneously. To them, the meaning of obeying to the most virtuous predecessors is that we may struggle to perpetuate – to the day of judgement – the very fossilized from of that state of culture and civilization which was prevalent during the tenure of their era. And, keeping ones eyes shut of all the changes occurring in the milieu of our outer world, we may draw such an enclosure around our own mind and life where the speed of the hour and the change wrought by time find no permission to enter. The concepts of subservience tuning the heart and mind of the religious people through-out the centuries old declining period, is, in fact, a real negation of the spirit of Islam. It is absolutely not the teaching of Islam – that we may simply transform into a living archaeopteryx and keep on transcending our life onto an historical aroma of the ancient culture. It does not teach us monasticism and ritualism. Its purpose is not to create such a nation, which goes on striving to deter the process of change and evolution. But on the contrary, it wants to develop such a nation, which struggles – by intercepting the wrong ways, leading the change and evolution march forward – to hasten onto the right pathways. It does not provide us any pattern. On the other hand, it does shower on us a drive and desires us to instill the very common drive in all the pattern that emerge – up to the day of judgement – from the various transformations of time and space the life transcends to. As Muslims, our only genuine mission is that: our being as “the best among the nation” is not for this purpose that we may go on taking root as rear guard in stead of going on the march of evolution; au contraire, leadership and counseling is our job. We have been created to be the vanguard, the forerunners. And the secret of our being as “the best among the nation”, lies in our emerging as “the good for all humanity”. The real ‘character model’ of the Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and of his companions (on them be mercy), which we should follow is that they – through establishing Allah’s Sovereignty on earth by bring natural laws under the canopy of Sharia laws – fully rendered their duty. They imbued vitality in the body of their culture of their time. – So the true obedience to the Messenger (PBUH) and to that of the companions of the Messenger (on them be mercy) is to vie for making the resources – now captured in the form of bulk of information due to evolution of culture and conquering of physical laws – subservient to the Islamic civilization in exactly the same way these were subjugated during the Islamic renaissance of the first era.”

(Nishaan-i-Raah, P.55)

Maulana Ameen Ahsan Islaahi’s belief is that mostly the principles have been given not alone in the Quran, but also in the Ahadith, and that the formulations of the subsidiaries – bylaws – have been entrusted to the Ummah. In this regard, he writes:

“In the Quran and Hadith, only the basic and fundamental matters have mostly been given. The subsidiaries – bylaws – and detail thereof have mostly been deterred. Bridging this gap up – for bringing on at par with the exigencies of time and tide, as well as formulating laws for the incoming collective and political matters in harmony to the purpose and temperament of Islam – has been left over to the discretion of the Ummah.”

(Tarjamaan-ul-Quran, April, 1954)

We have also said wherever the mention of “obedience to Allah and His Messenger” or “disobedience to Allah and His Messenger” has been made in the Quran, it mean the very system of governance, which was established to implement the Divine injunctions. Now take the rap what Maudoodi Sahib says in this regard. It has been said in verse 33 of the chapter Almaa-i-da:

Innama jazao allatheena yuhariboona Allaha warasoolahu . . . (5: 33)

“The recompense of those who wage was against Allah and His Messenger is this that.” Elucidating this Verse, Maudoodi Sahib, in his exegesis “Tafheem-ul-Quranm,” writes:

“Waging war against Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) is to wage war against that virtuous system, which the Government of Islam has established in the country.” (Tafheem-ul-Quran, vol.I, p. 465, Edition 1951)

So the intention of ‘subservience to Allah and His Messenger’ is not to comply with the Qur’an and Hadith on ones own. It is the sub-ordination to the Central Authority (the capital) of the Divine System established for the implementation of the Divine Injunctions. It is the responsibility of this system to oversee as to how these injunctions be translated into concrete actions. This is termed as “obedience of Sunnah,” the rebellious of which is not adjudged to be an apostate theoretically but a convict to the crime of revolt practically. In the absence of this system, ‘obedience to Allah and His Messenger’ comes to be individual, private action the practice of which is acted upon as per the discretion of every individual or every religious sect. After the establishment of this system, ‘obedience to Allah and His Messenger’ is executed by complying with the decisions of this system. This is the very object of Deen – and this alone synchronizes oneness in the Ummah.

THE SUBLIME CONDUCT OF THE MESSENGER (PBUH)

There is also one section in the collection of Ahadith that contains such traditions-sayings-, which pertain to the tone and tenor of the sublime conduct of the Messenger (PBUH). This sublime conduct of the Messenger (PBUH) was the culmination of the human dignity and greatness. But unfortunately, among these traditions-sayings-some are of such quality which blur this very sublime conduct. For this purpose, the job to be thoroughly accomplished is that the sublime conduct of the Messenger (PBUH) be compiled in the light of the Qur’an at scratch and only that portions of the Ahadith Books be racked up which harmonize with the Qur’an. And that which is repugnant to the Qur’an or give any inkling of derision on the character and the conduct of the Messenger (PBUH) or his companions (on them be mercy) be rejected forth with.

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This is the true position of Hadith. Unless and until we accept this position – and keep the repertoire of Ahadith in its true perspective – we’ll never be able to get over our sulks of the windings and turnings in which the nation is entangled since centuries. We hope you will contemplate over this reality cool of mind and solace of heart.

This is the only remedy to the old rut of the nations.

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