Does The Hikmah Mean the Sunnah?

Bismillahirahmaniraheem

Praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. He neither forgets nor errs. He has revealed the Truth. He has told us that it’s the truth. He is The Truth.

Praise be to Allah. Allah guides and none can guide whom He misguides. Praise be to Allah, He is the All-Knowing. May Allah soften the hearts of the true believing seekers of truth and grant them the guidance.

The hikmah that Muhammad taught, pbuh, was first and foremost the hikmah in the Quran. I don’t deny that he taught wisdom from outside the Qur’an, as he was a wise man, may Allah have mercy on his soul. However, what is meant in the Qur’an when it says that he teaches the Hikmah is not the hadith, but it’s a part of the teachings of Islam found in the Qur’an.

Due to the widespread claim that the Hikmah that Muhammad taught, pbuh, was first and foremost what we today encounter as the Hadith literature, I’ve made an effort to refute that and show the truth of the matter in a short blog, and there are others online that have done the same. Praise be to Allah, Most Gracious.

The Hikmah was given to a number of prophets, including Jesus and Moses

Quran 4:54: Do they, perchance, envy other people for what God has granted them out of His bounty? But then, We did grant revelation and wisdom (Hikmah) unto the House of Abraham, and We did bestow on them a mighty dominion.

Quran 5:110, mentioning Jesus: ‘And I taught you ‘Al Kitab’ and ‘Al-Hikmah’.

So how can it be that the sunnah is The Hikmah, The Hikmah? In that case Jesus learnt the sunnah of Muhammad pbuh. Clearly, that’s not the case.

Contemplate these verses, brothers and sisters, and you’ll see the truth. The Book has no doubt in it. Zhalikal Kitabu, laa roiba fihi.

The words ‘Al Hikmah’ and ‘Al Kitab’ denote something definite.

Al Baqarah verse 129: Our Lord, and send for them a messenger from among them to recite to them your ‘Ayat’ and teach them ‘The Kitab’ (‘The Scripture’) and ‘Al Hikmah’ (‘The Wisdom’).

Allah could have said “some wisdom”. In the verses about the risalah, found in Al Baqarah and Al Jumu’at, Allah could have said “He teaches The Book and some wisdom”, but He didn’t. He said “The Book and The Wisdom”.

Where does Allah bestow Hikmah?

Quran 2:269: He bestows ‘Al Hikmah’ upon whoever He pleases, and whoever attains ‘Al Hikmah’ has indeed attained a great blessing.

What does Hikmah look like?

In Surah 17, we are given a clear demonstration of the word ‘Al Hikmah’ as being the ability to differentiate between right and wrong and the wisdom to choose what is right. If we read the verses from 22 to 39, we find God commanding us not to worship except Him, to honor our parents, to give due alms to our relatives, the needy, the poor, and the traveling alien but without being extravagant or stingy, not to kill our children for fear of poverty, not to commit adultery, nor to abuse the orphan’s money, to trade equitably and fairly, to verify everything before following it blindly and not to act vainly. After such valuable advice God informs us that these virtues are indeed what wisdom is all about.

In that sense ‘Al Hikmah’ is not a book of ‘hadith’ (sayings) of one single person but instead a blessing that God may bestow on any of His servants.

What did Allah say about it?

If God had revealed to Muhammad an additional Sunna other than the Quran, as Sunnis claim, then we would expect God to say ‘We have revealed to you the Qur’an and the Sunnah’ or words to that effect. Instead the only Revelation endorsed in the Quran is the Quran itself:

Quran 6:19: Say, ‘What is the greatest testimony?’ Say, ‘God is the witness between me and you that this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches.

The following fact only supports the above verse: The term ‘Sunnah of the Messenger’ does not appear in the Qur’an at all. It hasn’t been included in the Holy Book of Islam, and thus hasn’t been included in what we read in our salat. Glorified is Allah!

Dear reader, thank you for reading. Please forgive me for errors you find me committing and please thank Allah if you get a benefit from reading this blog.

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Applying Islam with the Qur’an

Praise be to Allah. The Qur’an is the one and only holy book that Muhammad was commanded to read and to convey to us, peace be upon him.

What’s the difference between applying Islam by reading and understanding the Qur’an and applying Islam through other media, such as the hadiths or through watching Islamic films? It’s such a big difference that it can’t be measured.

Reading the Qur’an is the right approach to Islam

The Qur’an is a book of light. The Qur’an is 100% error-free. The Qur’an was arranged by Allah himself. The Qur’an is the truth and it touches your soul like a key in a lock. It brings peace and submission to the chest of a human being. Reading it returns us to our good nature.

The Qur’an is consistent. The Qur’an was made easy. The Qur’an is protected. The Qur’an was sent as a mercy. The Qur’an is the reminder. The Qur’an is a criterion. The Qur’an is a revelation from God.

Not Muhammad, nor any other messenger of Allah, has described the hadith collections with these terms. Not as revelation, not as the truth, not as a mercy, not as the reminder or the criterion. Some of the hadiths may carry these aspects in some quantities, but not in an absolute sense.

The hadiths or ahadith (‘ahadith’ is the arabic plural of ‘hadith’) contain a percentage of truth, and some portion of light, but not the pure light or the pure truth.

The Qur’an calls us to the Qur’an, not to the sunnah

I have a version of the Qur’an which has an index. This copy is a hardback version distributed by the Saudi government. It has both Arabic and English text. In the index of that Qur’an, there is a list of headwords indicating various topics found within the Qur’an, and next to each headword, is a series of references indicating where the Qur’an mentions that topic – in which surah and in which ayat or ayaat.

For example, the entry for ‘Noah’ lists all the references in the Qur’an to Noah or his story. Under the headword ‘Noah’, there are 36 references, occurring across 29 chapters of the Qur’an.

The index entry for ‘Qur’an’ takes up almost a whole page of the index. More than the entry for Noah. This shows us that the Qur’an talks a lot about the Qur’an. As for ‘sunnah’, there’s no entry in the index for it. The Qur’an has never mentioned the sunnah of the messenger using the term ‘sunnaturasul’ (‘sunnaturasul’ means ‘the sunnah of the messenger’). That’s right. There’s no entry for ‘sunnah’ in the index of the Saudi government English language manuscript of the Qur’an.

Although significant aspects of the life of the messenger have been shown in the holy Qur’an, and they are indeed part of the messenger’s sunnah, nevertheless this material is not presented in the Qur’an as ‘the sunnah’ or ‘the messenger’s sunnah’. It’s just not quranic phrasology.

And that’s signifcant because Allah calls us to read the Qur’an in order to learn about the universe, the social world, and the messengers. The Qur’an is the sourcebook for learning about Muhammad, peace be upon him, yet it doesn’t have a chapter called ‘the sunnah’ and it doesn’t introduce this phrase at all, anywhere, ever.

The closest the Qur’an comes to the sunnah phrasology is to say “you have indeed, in the messenger of Allah, a good example…”. Even then, the verse is contextual (Q 33:21), referring to faith and commitment in religion, and doesn’t call for the detailed life description that has taken place.

I’m not trying to attack the sunnah. I’m simply noting that describing and analysing the life of Muhammad in as much detail as possible and making the study of it a cornerstone of the religion, is not an act that the Qur’an has explicitly called for, although the Qur’an does say “and as for the blessings of your Lord, then tell stories about them” (Surah 93), which seems to me to permit it.

The benefits of the description of the life of Muhammad are no doubt great, but the errors that have come from it are also great. The point of this article to correctly understand what the sunnah is and what it’s role is.

I believe that a wise Muslim will accept the good things that come from learning the messenger’s sunnah, but will yet focus on learning Islam through studying and reciting the book of God, the Qur’an.

Reading the Qur’an will lead you to understand the messenger’s life and it will give you the most important parts. Of course, the Qur’an teaches a Muslim about everything.

The fact that the sunnah paradigm is not part of the Qur’an shows us that ‘Muhammad’s sunnah’ should not be the primary paradigm for understanding or practicing Islam.

The case of someone who can’t read the Qur’an

If a simple-minded Muslim couldn’t understand the Qur’an and wanted to view Islam through the example of a Muhammad, the great exponent of Islam, then learning from the sunnah might appear to be another option. However, did Allah command this person to take such a path? Does Allah command anyone to read the sunnah instead of the Qur’an? No. So it doesn’t seem like a wise option after all. Allah is wise and if Allah doesn’t call us to do it, then it’s not wise thing to do.

If the sunnah was taken as a Muslim’s primary paradigm, it would open the door to speculation and error, as it’s a source that was not codified in revelation. Rather, it was documented by regular humans with regular pens, and it thus contains human error. I believe we should love the sunnah of the messenger, and that is not a primary source of the religion. I don’t call it a primary source of Islam. Allah knows best.

 

Thank you for reading this article. Allah is the Most Gracious.

Abdullah

The Qur’an on Intercession

The Quranic statements on intercession are generally warnings against, rather than encouragements towards, an intercessorial eschatology.

 

NO INTERCESSION ON THE DAY OF RECOMPENSE

Qur’an 2:254

Believers, give away some of what We have provided for you before a Day arrives on which there is no trading, no close friendship and no intercession. It is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.

The above verse states that there is no intercession on some day which is coming. I assume it means the Day of Recompense (Yaum id-Deen).

Many believers believe that Muhammad will act as an intercessor on that day, based on reports of the prophets statements which say that he claimed that he would be interceding on the Day of Recompense.

It is difficult for me to believe that these reports are accurate because they appear to contradict the above verse in the Qur’an, and other verses. At this point in time, I do not believe those hadith to be true, and Allah knows best if they are or not.

The following verse from the Qur’an gives me support for my view, and yet Allah knows best what the truth of the matter is. The following verse is not about the belief in judgement day intercession as such, but rather a warning that the prophet had to give the believers.

Qur’an 6:51

Give the warning to those who fear that they will be brought before their Lord: Except for Him, they will have no protector nor intercessor. Thus they may fear God.

I believe that in the above verse, the Master of The Day of Recompense has prepared the attendees of the day by revealing a great tip to us. The tip is:

If you want to be pious, hear that there is no intercession.

Qura’an 82:17-19

And what will make you know what The Day of Recompense is? Again, what will make you know what The Day or Recompense is? It is a day when no soul will avail another, and the command, that day, will be with Allah.

After these statements from the Master of the Day of Recompense, I cannot understand why people are ready to believe that Muhammad will intercede on their behalf on the Day of Recompense. It may be that I’m blind. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the verses. If so, please correct me with polite and detailed explanations, so that I may be guided.

 

AUTHORITY TO EXPLAIN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

These are not statements from unauthorised parties. The Master of The Day of Recompense has given us a certain amount of information regarding the program of events on the Day of Gathering. We can read this information in advance so we know how to prepare.

Where is the intercession by a prophet? I don’t know how I could agree to it after reading the above verses. Did Muhammad contradict himself? It’s not possible. One of the points of view must be wrong.

I want to be kind, not harsh, to the scholars of my brotherhood. My brothers in faith who have collected hadith, reported hadith, and analysed hadith are not my enemies. If they fight me over interpretation, they may end up as enemies, but there is no fight.

Discussions of the meanings of the Qur’an are are a source of difference among people of a faith – the believers. However, I don’t think we can fight over them. I think Allah would be displeased with us if we did.

 

CONCLUSION

My intellect cannot accept the hadith about Muhammad’s alleged intercession on the Day of Recompense. It appears to me to contradict the Book of God. If I’m wrong, I hope Allah will forgive me and guide me to a better understanding.

 

Abdullah Reed

Institutionalised Ideologies

Peace be with the servants of God.


HOPING IT WILL BRING YOU PEACE..

I INVITE YOU TO READ ABOUT ISLAM


SOURCES OF ERROR AND PAIN AND THE LIKE


We see terrorism, honour killings, corrupt rule, and so forth coming out of societies of Muslims, so how do some Muslims deviate from the divine religion which is perfect? In this reading I mention the difference between human error and ideological error and how they affect us.

Human Error

Turning to human error first: some of the pain of this world is not caused by errors in people’s relationships to God, but simply failures to execute. I.e. a person understands correctly, but fails in action. Call it human error. In this situation, there is no ideological problem, as such.

If an action is sanctioned by Islam, then turmoil that springs from human error occurring in the execution of it could not be harmful to society at large. If human errors committed while acting upon Islamic commands caused society at large to suffer, then Islam would be harmful to the world.

Is that possible? No. Did Allah ask Muslims to be perfect? No. Would Allah make make us suffer just because of that? No. Allah said that He would grant peace to society run by Islam. Islam brings peace.

Ideological  Error

Ideological error causes suffering. That is because it is not from God. Allah doesn’t order us to write ideologies. He wrote ideology for us. He knows we err a little, but He would never direct us to an ideological error that caused millions to suffer. We do that. We misguide ourselves.

In fact, this is a point that we must note. The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. Let me make my point now that I want to get across, and the point of this article:

The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. If it was from God then it could not.

Allah reveals to human beings sufficient religion for a happy life, and societies who fail to accept the religion, or they change it, or they disabuse it in some way, they fail to reap the benefits of divine revelations and they misguide themselves in some way.

Making Error Into Ideological Error

Institutionalising an ideology will magnify the error. Looking at the behaviour of the people, we can see whether an idea has become an institution. Once a group of followers begin manifesting a particular behaviour or belief regularly, in significant number, then there is institutional regulation of some kind behind it. Usually it can also be observed written into creeds and laws.

Examples of Institutionalised Religion

Sunni Islam and Shia Islam are man-made forms of institutionalised religion. They are not found in revelation. The words ‘sunnah’ and ‘shi’a’ are found in the Qur’an, but never mentioned as religions, nor placed together with the word ‘Islam’. Each of these terms (Sunni and Shi’a) has a literal meaning.

The literal meaning is not the point here. Any idea could become an institution if linked to the word ‘Islam’, especially if people are enticed to believe in it. You could have Mango Islam or Macadamia Islam, even both, if you sanctified them enough.

This may sound crazy, but its actually not too far from reality. There are sects that sanctify their own ancestors and claim it is the real Islam, and others who sanctify leaders, particular days, particular scholars, particular verses of the Qur’an, and so on. Usually, each group claims that their ‘Islam’ is the right one.

All of that is idol worship. We know this from the Qur’an itself, which dismissed sectarianism as idolatrous and forbade us from institutionalising man-made ideologies.