The Authority of Sunnah and Hadith in the Light of the Quran
by Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka
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The Authority of Sunnah 5c Hadith in the light of the Holy Qur ‘an
xTdlah 5£ has stated in the Holy Qur ‘an: l Nlor does He (Muhammad *§£) speak of his own desire. Tt is only a revelation revealed.* (sM, v.V4)
The ic* Lidliuu thtil Allah 3s; acul upuii (lit Piuuliei Muhammad z& was of two types:
(1) Wahi Matlu j-^^-j Revelation of the Holy Qitr’an.
(2) Wahi Ghair Matlu j-LLa^jx- ^-^> (Hadith) – Revelation aside from the Qur \jnir scripture. This can he in the form of informing the Prophet e of certain instances and occurrences etc. Allah $& says in the Qur ‘an: ‘Allah has sent down to you the Book (The Qur an), and Al-Hikmah (Islamic law, knowledge, the Prophet’s Sunnah), and taught you thai which you knew not. And Ever Great is the Grace of Allah to you (0 Muhammad &’). (s4, vl13)
At the commencement of the Prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad •&, it was ordered that the revelation of the Qur an be memorised as well as written At
thai lime, it was also mdaiiicd ihal tlic lludifh (:>a}ing5 and actions uf the Piupliel Muhammad $$>) be ol30 memorised though x\o specification was given in the first instance to it being recorded in textual form. This was to prevent the early Muslims from confusing the two as Qiir ‘an was being revealed and to provide clear distinction between the two texts. However as time progressed during the lifetime of the Prophet &. Islam was established giving the common folk firm understanding on the basic tenants of Islam. It was at this time that the Companions of the Prophet & were not only encouraged but enjoined to also record the Hadith.
Sayvidina Anas 4* relates that the Prophet & staled: ‘Preserve knowledge by writing it down (Jami I irmidhi vol 2, plO/J tt would be iiuuusMble lu understand all uf the vci»cs uf the Qui ‘tin without referring to the Sunnah of the Prophet |£t. For example, there arc more than 73 references in the Oi/r’ttt? where Allah 9z- commands the believers to ‘Establish Salah’, however, the method of performing Salah is not mentioned, including the number of Ralcats etc. Also there are more than 10 references on giving Zakaat in the Qur ‘an, but no mention as to the percentage or the number of times a year Zakaat is payable, this information is only available in the teachings of the beloved Prophet §t, the Sunnah <£ Ahadith. In order to perform any kind of worship (Ibadah) of everyday life, one needs to refer to the teachings of the Prophet A renowned Tabi’i. Sufyan Thawri -hi^*, stated: ‘If any person wishes to associate himself with any form of knowledge, he should associate himself with the knowledge of Ahadiih. For in this, aside from the knowledge of worship and the hereafter there is the best knowledge and instruction of how to conduct oneself in every Held of everyday life. The essence of the explanation and the understanding of the Qur an is in the Ahadith. ‘
(Jumlud Dararl Sharah Sahlh Dukbarl p!3)
In lighl uf the* abuvt iiicutiuiicd puiuls, lliv S^IiuIuia ul llic Unmiali aic united in ihtii belief thai people* wlnj absolutely i eject the Summit <& Ahudidi aie mil uf llie fold uf Islam. I’m eAumple, il is uioveu fioiu Iludith Mutuwutir jh’jt^— – ””.:’ > – ■ that it is Sumtah to U3C the Miswak (tooth 3tick). If an individual is unable to practice upon this Sunnah, ho is not regarded as a sinner however, if he was to reject the use of Miswak, as a Sunnah, then it would result in committing Kufr (disbelief). (Fadhlul Rari Sharah Sahih Riikhari vol 1, p240)
There are more than 48 verses in the Holy Qur ‘an in which Allah $e enjoins his obedience with that of the Prophet &. Allah Y says: Tie who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad &) has indeed obeyed Allah $&. (s4, >80, See also s7, v157)
Obedience to the Prophet e is clearly emphasised in the Qur ‘an. It must also be made clear that whenever Allah 1 revealed any revelation to a particular Prophel, he ordained thai these revelations be passed onto the believers. If this method had not been followed, people would have made their own personal interpretation of the revealed scriptures. Prophet Muhammad $£ was sent as a perfect example to all mankind. He £* was the practical example of the Qur ‘ante teachings.
As well as safeguarding the Qur ‘an, Allah I also preserved the blessed Ahadith of the Holy Prophet &.
The blessed Companions & who helped to convey the Qur’anie revelation to the world also conveyed the blessed Ahadith of the Prophet %. Therefore, those people who reject or disbelieve in the Ahadith of the Prophel 9 have in tact also rejected the Holy Qur an.
Allah $£ has stated in the Holy Qur ‘an: ‘And whoever obeys Allah $£ and his Messenger (Muhammad #) has indeed achieved a great achievement’
(833, vvi, see also vM S8, v64>
The different methods In which the Ahadith were preserved:
Islam is the religion of Allah $& and Allah gs- has taken the responsibility for it’s preservation upon Himself. Allah $& uses whichever of his servants he chooses lor the preservation oi His Deen.