The advocates of hadith, in their persistent attempts to justify its legality, claim that it is not possible to practice Islam by using the Quran alone. To justify their case, they refer to a number of Quranic incidents which are not fully detailed in the Quran but whose details were given by God to Muhammad. For us, to know the full details of these matters, it is necessary to seek the guidance of the hadith.
Before addressing the Quranic incidents and the claims of the hadith advocates it is necessary first to ascertain the correct context of the “fully detailed” attribute which God gives the Quran.
When God assures the believers that the Quran contains all the details (6:114), this completeness must be understood in the correct context of the words in 6:114:
[6:114] Shall I seek other than God as a source of law when He has brought down to you this book fully detailed?
The connection between the underlined words in 6:114 cannot be ignored. The assurance that God is the only source of law is closely connected to the Quran being fully detailed.
What this means is that The Quran contains the full details of God’s law. The Quran contains everything we need to practice Islam. Consequently, the Quran does not need to contain details which we do not need to practice our religion. The omission of all such details does not affect the message of the book.
The following is a presentation of some of the Quranic incidents which they refer to together with an analysis of their claims.
The mention of a previous Qiblah is found in 2:143. However, there is no verse in the Quran which informs us of the location of this previous Qibla. Therefore, the Prophet must have received this information from God in a form other than the Quran. This knowledge is passed on to us through the hadith of the Prophet. We would not know this information if we follow the Quran alone; we need the Quran and also the hadith.
When we read 2:143-144 we indeed learn of a change of Qibla by God. However, the exact details of this change and the exact location of the previous Qibla does not affect us in any way when we come to observe the Salat. To observe the Salat, we need to know the Qibla which God assigned to us and not to previous people. The Qibla which applies to us is given in 2:144, it is the Masjid Al-Haram. It is important here to remind ourselves of the correct meaning of the Quran being “fully detailed”.
Fully details does not mean all historic events are fully detailed, but only what related to the message of the Quran and the law of God.
It is also necessary to analyse the verses of the change of Qibla more closely:
[2:143] We thus made you a worthy nation so that you would be witnesses over the people, and the messenger would be a witness over you, and We did not appoint the Qiblah which you were on except to know who follows the messenger and who would turn back on their heels. It was indeed a great issue, but not for those who are guided by God, and God would never allow your faith to be wasted. God is Benevolent and Merciful towards the people.
With the words: “We did not appoint the Qiblah which you were on except to …..” we are told of a previous Qibla which God appointed, however we are not told if this Qibla was appointed specifically to Muhammad, or if it was appointed before the time of Muhammad and when Muhammad came it was the Qibla being followed. The words in 2:143 do not say “We did not appointFOR YOU the Qiblah which you were on except to …..” As a result, the test of who follows the messenger, could be speaking about a previous people and their messenger.
When we read the words of the following verse the matter becomes clearer:
[2:144] We have seen you turning your face about the sky, thus, We now assign you to a Qiblah that is pleasing to you. Henceforth, you shall turn your face towards the Masjid Al-Haram.
1- The question here is if God appointed for Muhammad a previous Qibla through inspiration, as the claim above states, then why would Muhammad be turning his face around the sky in search of a Qibla to follow?
The state of Muhammad being unsure which Qibla to follow is evidence that he never received inspiration from God prior to the revelation of 2:144 about a specific Qibla. It follows that all the Qibla’s which were appointed by God previously were appointed before the time of Muhammad.
2- The second question is that if God appointed a previous Qibla for Muhammad, to test his people as to who will follow the messenger, then it would not be possible for Muhammad, the servant of God, to reject it or have aversion to it.
However, the words “We now assign you to a Qiblah that is pleasing to you” indicate that the previous Qibla/s were not pleasing for the prophet. Would a previous Qibla inspired to Muhammad from God (as the above claim states) not be pleasing to Muhammad?
Once again, these words confirm that the previous Qibla’s spoken of, and which were previous to the appointment of the Masjid Al-Haram, were not appointed specifically for Muhammad but were appointed at a previous time and for previous people.
These previous Qibla’s, which the prophet was undecided between and thus turning his head in the sky, belonged to the previous people of the book. The Prophet was turning his head undecided between several Qibla’s because the previous people had more than one Qibla as we read in the following verse:
[2:145] Even if you were to produce to those who have been given the scripture every kind of miracle, they will not follow your Qiblah. Nor will you follow their Qiblah. They do not even follow each others’ Qiblah and if you follow their wishes, after the knowledge that has come to you, then you would be among the transgressors.
To sum up, the evidence from the above verses indicate that Muhammad did not receive a previous Qibla from God. However, even if he did receive such inspiration, this information is not required by us to practice Islam. For us, our Qibla is the Masjid Al-Haram. Any information of any previous Qibla is only of historic relevance.
As a result, the above claim that we could not follow Islam by following the Quran alone is a false claim
In verse 66:3 we are told that God made some information known to the prophet about his wives. The question is, how did God make this information known to the Prophet? Certainly not via the Quran since there is no mention of it anywhere in the Quran. The Prophet must have received personal inspiration from God which is not part of the Quran. If we follow the Quran alone we would not know about this information.
First: Here we must clarify the difference between Revelation and Inspiration. A revelation is a scripture which God gives a prophet to deliver to the people. Moses received a revelation from God (Torah), Jesus received a revelation from God (Injeel) and Muhammad received a revelation from God (Quran).
However, an inspiration is not a scripture, it is simply a personal piece of information which God inspires to a single person, and for the benefit of that person alone.
In addition, God inspires all people and not only the messengers. For example, we read in the Quran how God inspired the mother of Moses (who was not a messenger) to throw her baby in the river (28:7).
God in fact inspires all creatures and not just humans. In 16:68 we read how God inspired the bee.
Second: The information Muhammad received about some of his wives (66:3) was an inspiration and not a revelation. This information was exclusive to Muhammad and for his benefit alone. It is totally irrelevant for us to know about this information in order to practice Islam.
This information, if contained in the Hadith, with many question marks of its credibility, may be of interest to historians but is not in any way a requirement for the practice of Islam.
So once again, this claim does not justify in any way the need for hadith to practice Islam.
Third: The main message of sura 66 and in particular 66:1 is that God is reminding all readers of the Quran, till the end of time, that the authority of law making is exclusive to God. When Muhammad made the error of prohibiting something which was made lawful by God, God immediately reprimanded him:
[66:1] O you prophet, why do you prohibit what God has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? God is Forgiver, Merciful.
The information God gave Muhammad about some of his wives (66:3) was exclusive to Muhammad and has no bearing whatsoever on what is required to practice Islam.
As a result, God’s promise that the Quran contains all the details to practice Islam stands as truth; we do not need the Hadith and the Sunnah to practice Islam.
In 2:187 we read that sexual intercourse between married couples during the nights of Ramadaan was not lawful before. We are also told that the people who had sexual intercourse during the nights of Ramadaan before this verse were described as “betraying themselves.”
The words “so now you can have sexual intercourse with them” denote that it is “only now” that the sexual act during the nights of Ramadaan has been made lawful.
These indications confirm that the earlier prohibition of having sexual intercourse during the nights of Ramadaan was decreed by God and that the Muslims were bound to abide by it. But there is no verse in the Quran to convey this prohibition. This could have only been through a revelation from God to the Prophet and which is not contained in the Quran. Looked at from this angle, this verse proves that there is a revelation which does not form part of the Quran.
It can easily be shown that the above analysis of events and their true significance is totally contradictory to Quranic truth. It can be shown that the receivers of the Quran were never forbidden from having sex during the nights of Ramadan at any time as the above claim goes. To be able to expose this erroneous claim, we need to read 2:187, as well as the four verses which precedes 2:187:
[2:183] O you who believe, fasting is decreed upon you, as it was decreed upon those before you, so that you may be reverent.
[2:184] A number of days, but if one is ill or travelling, then an equal number of other days, and for those who can bear it, a concession of feeding a needy person, then whoever volunteers extra good work it is better for him, and fasting is good for you, if you only knew.
[2:185] The month of Ramadan, in which the Quran was brought down, a guidance for the people, and clarification of the guidance and the Criterion. Therefore, those of you who witness the month shall fast it. And those who are ill or travelling, then an equal number of other days. God wants ease for you, and He does not want hardship for you, and so that you may complete the count, and to exalt God for guiding you, and that you may be thankful.
[2:186] And if those who worship Me ask you about Me; I am near. I answer the caller’s call if he calls on Me. Thus they shall respond to Me and believe in Me, in order to be guided.
[2:187] It has been made lawful for you, during the night of fasting, to have sexual intercourse with your wives. They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them. God knew that you used to betray yourselves so He redeemed you and pardoned you. Hence you may now approach them and seek what God has decreed for you, and you may eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinguishable to you from the dark thread at dawn. Then you shall maintain the fast until the night, and do not approach them while you are confined to the masjid. These are God’s limitations so do not go near them. God thus clarifies His revelations for the people, so that they may be reverent.
The above verses, which were revealed together, confirm that from the moment fasting was decreed on the receivers of the Quran, the rule of allowing sex during the nights of fasting was also decreed.
Sura 2, where these verses come from, was the 87th Sura in the order of revelation. It was revealed in Medina and it was revealed near the end of the Quranic revelation. All the Suras that were revealed after Sura 2 were short Suras.
The revelation of these verses in Medina marked the beginning of the fasting for Muslims. There was no decreed fasting upon the Muslims in the earlier Meccan period of the revelation. Verse 2:187, which allows sex during the nights of fasting is only 4 verses after 2:183 where fasting was decreed on the receivers of the Quran.
This confirms that there was no such “period” where the Muslims were forbidden from having sex during the nights as the writer claims. Fasting, together with the rules of fasting, were all decreed at the same time within the five verses (2:183 to 2:187). In addition, fasting as a ritual could not have been observed before the revelation of 2:187 since the exact time for fasting was not appointed except with the revelation of 2:187.
Thus all claims that the Muslims fasted before the revelation of 2:187 are false. How could they have been fasting since the time for fasting was not given till the revelation of 2:187.
Consequently, the reference to the allowance of no marital sex during the nights of fasting must have been a reference to the rules of fasting that were given to previous receivers of the scripture.
It is also necessary to analyse the words“God knew that you used to betray yourselves”to arrive at their correct meaning.
As mentioned above, these words cannot mean that the Muslims used to break the previous laws of fasting simply because there were no previous laws for fasting given to the Muslims. Fasting itself was not possible before the revelation of 2:187 which gives the exact time for fasting. We also note that the words“God knew that you used to betray yourselves” do not speak of fasting nor contain the word “fasting”. Thus they must only be understood in a general sense, in other words, God is saying that He knew that the people used betray themselves in many ways, when they failed to stick to God’s various laws.
Thus, God the Most Merciful made fasting easier for the Muslims than what it used to be (for previous people) by allowing sex between married couples during the nights of Ramadan.
The following Quranic persons have also been subject for claims to justify the hadith:
1- God speaks of Zhu Al-Qarnayn (18:83)? The literal translation is “the one with 2 horns”. In the Quran we learn that he was a great ruler who built the wall which kept Gog and Magog from attacking the people whom he met on his journey to the east.
Do we know for sure who this person was? We do not know for sure, there have been a number of interpretations.
Some interpreted Zhu Al-Qarnayn to be Alexander the Great and some have understood him to be Cyrus the Great while some others understood him to be the Byzantine emperor Heraclius who was thought of by his contemporaries as a “second Alexander”.
But this is not all, the word ‘Qarnayn’ literally means two Qarn, yet when we look at the use of the word ‘Qarn’ we find that it was never used in the Quran to mean “horn” but was used to mean a century, a long period of time, an age or generation.
Thus the title of “Zhu Al-Qarnain” could mean the “two-horned one”, or “the one who impacts upon two ages or generations”.
Do we need the exact details of the man who is given this name in the Quran to practice Islam? The answer is no.
2- We also read about God’s servant who walked with Moses? Although the Quran details many of his words with Moses yet his name is not given. It is the message contained in this story that serves the message of the book and not the specific name of the servant. Do we need to know his name to attain the message of this Quranic incident? The answer is no.
Do we need this info to practice Islam? The answer is no.
3- God tells us about Gog and Magog in the Quran do we know exactly who they are? Are they persons? Tribes? Nations?
The answer is: We do not know for sure nor do we need to know to practice Islam.
The day Gog and Magog rise again, the people living then will know about them.
Do we need this info to practice Islam? The answer is no.
4- In 2:246 we read about a prophet who came after Moses, his name is not given in the Quran. The Old Testament speaks of him as Samuel.
Do we need to know the exact name of this prophet to practice Islam? The answer is no.
5- Sura 111 speaks of a man called Abu Lahab and his wife who deserved the wrath of God and who were promised a severe punishment. The Sura does not tell us exactly who this person is. The words Abu Lahab literally translates to “father of the flame”. As a result this title could be the name of a person or indeed a description in the same vein of the Quranic phrase “Ashaab Al-Nar” (companions of the fire).
The hadith advocates in their feeble attempts say:
– If we don’t know who Abu lahab is, we would not know what he did wrong nor why God is angry with him. In addition we need to know what he did wrong so that in the future we would never repeat such a severe sin.
Needless to say, all the prohibitions are clearly detailed in the Quran. If we abide by these prohibitions and obey all of God’s law we would not need to know any further details about Abu Lahab.
To conclude, as shown above and in the light of the glorious Quran, God did not leave anything out of the book (6:38) that we need in order to practice Islam and to attain God’s promised Paradise, God willing.
If we fall easy prey for Satan and be duped into thinking that we are missing vital information if we follow God’s word alone (Quran) then this would only be case of history repeating itself. Satan’s very first trick was to dupe Adam into believing that to stick only to what God decreed for him would deprive Adam from the blessing of eternal life (7:20) which (as Satan claimed) is contained in what God prohibited (the forbidden tree). Satan is also inspiring millions today that if they follow God’s word alone (Quran) they will be deprived of vital information and guidance not contained in God’s word (Quran), but which is contained in what God prohibited which is the hadith (45:6).