“So avoid the uncleanliness of idols and avoid false words” (Holy Qur’an 22:30)
Allah-willing I would like to continue this week with critical review of the work of brother Emad Hamdeh which he titled ‘The Necessity of Hadith in Islam‘.
For those who are not caught up on my review, the first part can be found here:
I would highly recommend that you read that entry first before I continue with my critique of his book.
So let us continue shall we?
“Chapter Three: One Form of Revelation?”
I thought it was interesting that the brother Emad would title the chapter as such. I felt a more appropriate title would have been “One form of divine authority?” or “Only one source of Islamic legislation?”
Because in reality, Revelation (wahyu) and Iham (inspiration) are not the same thing. Revelation is without doubt from Allah (swt).
Emad Hamdeh in this chapter tries to give various examples of things the Blessed Messenger (saw) did and than tries to equate this as being some form of divine revelation.
However, in my humble opinion he fails to equate the actions of the Prophet (saw) as being divinely sanctioned. In fact The Holy Qur’an itself proves this point!
“O Prophet, why do you prohibit yourself from what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Allah has already ordained for you the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your protector, and He is the Knowing, the Wise. And remember when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed another of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part. And when he informed her about it, she said, “Who told you this?” He said, “I was informed by the Knowing, the Acquainted.”If you two wives repent to Allah , it is best, for your hearts have deviated. But if you cooperate against him – then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are his assistants.” (Holy Qur’an 66:1-4)
This alone is sufficient evidence from the book of Allah (swt) to show that the Blessed Messenger (saw) did things out of his own accord without it necessarily being divinely sanctioned. He (saw) did things out of his own judgement; or what he may thought was the best course of action to take in any given situation.
I have another entry on this for the interested reader here:
So let us look at the examples brother Emad gives in chapter three:
on page 62 he says:
“Thus We have appointed you a middle nation, that you may be witnesses against humankind, and that the messenger may be a witness against you. And We did not make the qiblah which you were on expect that We might distinguish him who follows the Messenger form him who turns back on his heels… Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a qiblah which you shall be pleased with; turn then your face towards the sacred mosque (In Makkah), and wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not heedless of what they do.) (Holy Qur’an 2:143-144)
“These verses inform us that the Prophet (saw) and his Companions used to face Al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem while praying, before they started facing the Ka’bah, in the sacred mosque in Makkah. These verses go on to confirm that the qiblah they were facing earlier was in accordance with the orders from Allah (swt); however, no where in the Qur’an do we find a command to face the first qiblah. WE deduce from these verses that there must have been a different form of revelation which Prophet Muhammed (saw) received, directing him to face Al-Aqsa Mosque in the beginning.”
Here Emad Hamdeh is quoting from “As-Salafi, Luqman Muhammad. Makamat as-Sunnah fit-Tashri’ Al-Islami wa Dahd Maza’im al-Munkirin wal-Mulhidin, India: Dar al-Da’i lil Nashr wal-Tawzi’, 199. p. 63)
The trust of Hamdeh’s argument can be found in the bold text above:
“however, no where in the Qur’an do we find a command to face the first qiblah. WE deduce from these verses that there must have been a different form of revelation which Prophet Muhammed (saw) received, directing him to face Al-Aqsa Mosque in the beginning.”
This could be the case. However, it is more than likely that the Blessed Messenger (saw) was already following the vestiges of Islam that still remained from previous Prophets.
Notice that the text also says, “those who have been given the book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord;”
“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (Holy Bible Daniel 6:10)
The Jews have already established Jerusalem as the place that one turns when they pray. It indicates that ritual prayer in this direction was already in vogue.
So now the question comes from where did they get this instruction from if not from Allah (swt)?
So I do not see this as a strong argument at all.
The second argument Hamdeh’ makes is on page 64
“It has been made permissible for you the night preceding fasting to go to your wives . They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He accepted your repentance and forgave you. So now, have relations with them and seek that which Allah has decreed for you. And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread . Then complete the fast until the sunset. And do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques. These are the limits set by Allah , so do not approach them. Thus does Allah make clear His ordinances to the people that they may become righteous.” (Holy Qur’an 2:187)
“This verse shows that conjugal relations during the nights of Ramadan had been prohibited before the revelation of the Qur’an. Allah (swt) had condemned those who has sexual relations with their spouses during the nights of Ramadan. The portion of the verse which states that (He has relented towards you and pardoned you) shows that their sexual intimacy during the nights of Ramadan had been a sin, because relenting and pardoning only happen after one has committed a sin. The words (so now have intercourse with them and seek what Alalh has ordained for you) indicate that it was only now that sexual intercourse during the nights of Ramadan is permissible, whereas previously it was not.
Yet there is no verse in the Qur’an that prohibited it; it was the Prophet (saw) who had forbidden it. Allah (swt) not only confirmed this prohibition but described those who had disobeyed it by himself; it has been a command from Allah (swt) that was not found in the Qur’an . This verse not only makes it obvious that there was a form of revelation a part from the Qur’an, but it also confirms that the Prophet (saw) was a separate lawgiver, whose commands were (and are) binding on Muslims.”
Here Emad Hamdeh is quoting from the following source: “Usmani, Muhammad Taqi, The Authority of the Sunnah, New Delhi, India. Kitab Bhavan, 199, pp. 26-28)
Yet, there is nothing indicating that this was a command from Allah (swt). However, Muslims are advised that making an oath and than keeping an oath is a serious matter in Islam. Provided that this oath is permissible and does not go against the tenets of Islam.
“Allah does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He imposes blame upon you but for the intention in your hearts;. And Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.” (Holy Qur’an 2:225) So any statement that ‘Allah relented to you and pardoned you‘ are for those who took oaths upon themselves.
The other example he gives is on page 65
“A final example is that of the funeral prayer. Allah (swt) has commanded the Prophet (saw) not to perform the funeral prayer for the hypocrites stating:
“Never pray for any of them who dies nor stand at his grave.” (Holy Qur’an 9:84)
“Commenting on this verse, Habib -ur-Rahman Azami says:
“The verse implies that such funeral services had begun to be performed and that the Prophet used to offer prayers at the burial of the dead before this particular verse was revealed: yet no verse revealed earlier than this one can be cited as enjoining such services or prayers upon the Prophet and the Muslims. It must, therefore, be conceded that the command for the burial services was given through the sunnah.”
One must note the word ‘implies’ in the above paragraph. Also the Qur’an is not repealing any law since there was no law in effect.
If we understand sunnah to mean ‘words, deeds and treatises of the Prophet’ than I have no problem in excepting that the Blessed Messenger (saw) may very well have offered funeral prayers for the hypocrites. However, once again he is a human being whom uses his own discretion. When this discretion is something that Allah (swt) does not approve of Allah (swt) makes it known; as in the case of the above verse.
In fact what all that Emad Hamdeh and Habib ur-Rahman Azami did was give me a further argument to prove my point in my entry above:
Think about it! If the Prophet’s Sunnah means it is another source of revelation. How could Allah (swt) show his displeasure at a source of revelation which ultimately would have come from Allah (swt) -via inspiration through the Prophet!
Some times I wonder if our scholars really think through half the stuff they say some times.
May Allah (swt) have mercy on them and us.
“Chapter Four: The Prophet (saw) as a Teacher”
pages 68 brother Emad says,
“Considering the fact that the Prophet (saw) was sent a s a teacher, let us look at what he was sent to teach. Part of the Prophet’s mission was to teach the ‘book and the wisdom’. Imam ash-Shaf’i and others have said that the wisdom is the Sunnah, whereas Hadith rejecters argue that it is the book-the Qur’an.”
He continues on page 69
“Thus we deduce that it must be the Sunnah, exclusive of anything else. Allah (swt) has graced the believers by sending them both the general principles of Islam found in the Quran, and their application found in the Sunnah. Allah (swt) has specified that He graced the believers by teaching them the wisdom, and Allah’s grace can only be on something that is true and in complete accordance with His teachings.”
“Therefore, the word ‘wisdom‘ is nothing other than the Sunnah, or way of the Messenger (saw).”
Actually the Qur’an only Muslims as well as Imam Shafi’i (may Allah have mercy on him) are both wrong.
We have proved that in our entry here:
By allowing the word ‘hikma‘ -or wisdom to be interpreted by its meaning uses in the Holy Qur’an we can see that the conclusion that Imam Shafi’i reached is unfounded. By using the same method we can also see that the conclusion that the Qur’an only Muslims have reached is unsound.
On page 70 Emad Hamdeh quotes the following:
“And you surely are upon an exalted standard of character.” (Holy Qur’an 68:4)
“Since his character is the best of characters, it is only logical for the Muslims to imitate and follow him. How can one do this without knowing how he behaved in his everyday life? Allah’s praise of the Prophet’s character is a clear command that Muslims should emulate and imitate him to the best of their ability.”
We have dealt with this in depth here:
So we ask how we can best imitate prophet Ibrahim (upon him be peace) as we do not have tomes and tomes of literature relating to the minutia of his every day life.
& here: https://primaquran.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/well-they-just-reject-the-sunnah/
I for one have found much beauty in many of the oral traditions attributed to the Blessed Messenger (saw).
The problem comes when we find ahadith that describe the Blessed Messenger (saw) as less than an ideal human being. What these hadith end up doing is actually going against the very verse that Emad Hamdeh has quoted!
For example let us take Emad Hamdeh’s statement: “that Muslims should emulate and imitate him to the best of their ability” and look at this for a moment.
How many Muslims men do any of you know who’s first wife was a twice divorced widow? How many Muslim men have married a woman who was 15-20 years his senior as his first choice of wife? How many Muslim men do you know who have conjugal relations with 9 year old children?
Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
So as was explained in the link above , ‘Well they just reject the Sunnah‘, no one is rejecting what the Blessed Messenger (saw) said or did. We are having doubts about what a said that b said that c said that d said that the Blessed Messenger (saw) said or did. There is a huge……difference here.
On page 72 he quotes:
“O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and as a bearer of good news and as a warner. And as one who invites to Allah’s grace by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light.” (Holy Qur’an 33:45-46)
“If Allah (swt) had intended only the Qur’an as a source of guidance, He could have described the Qur’an as a lamp. Instead, He has described the Prophet (saw) as such.”
However the word for light here is ‘muneer‘ and it is the same word that is used of the moon else where.
“Blessed is He who has placed in the sky great stars and placed therein a lamp and luminous moon.” (Holy Qur’an 25:61)
Since the moon is reflective of the light of the sun. The moon does not produce its own light! So since the moon is reflective of the light of the Sun what is the light of the Blessed Messenger (saw) reflective of? The lamp or needs oil to burn. So what light was the Blessed Messenger (saw) spreading if not the light of the Holy Qur’an?
So this analogy does not hold.
We will be following up with more in our critical review of brother Emad Hamdeh’s work. Insh’Allah.
O mankind, there has come to you a conclusive proof from your Lord, and We have sent down to you a clear light. (Holy Qur’an 4:174)