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Offline Reader Questions

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As-salam alaykum Joseph,
 
I wanted to get your take on the following.
 
The Qur'an refers to stories that are in the Mishna or Midrash. I heard Jonathan Brown categorize the Mishna as being analogous to hadith....
 
Please see http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Sources/
 
Please scroll down on certain stories like Cain and Abel, Abraham and the idols, etc. I think Cain and Abel is defintely in the Bible but I think some details in the Qur'an match up with some details in the extra Torah literature passed down amongst Jews.
 
So if the Qur'an is validating stories that were not in the Torah but were in what may be analgous to the hadith, then is not the Qur'an showing some validation of Jewish "hadith" as a source of knowledge and then can not that validation likewise show some validity of Islamic hadith as a source?


Offline Joseph Islam

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    • The Quran and its Message
Re: Does Validation of Jewish 'Hadith' Provide Support for Islamic Hadith?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 10:56:56 PM »
Salamun Alaikum.

Even if one compares a comprehensive narrative such as the story of Prophet Joseph (pbuh) in the Quran, with that from one that exists in the 'Torah', one will note how the Quran agrees, disagrees and reveals different nuances as compared to the same narrative in the Torah.

The Quran does not only confirm the 'Torah' (five books of the Pentateuch) but it also confirms other books which make up the Tanakh (Jewish OT) such as the Book of Psalms (Zabur 4:163) and possibly others where it tacitly expects its audience to be familiar with the narratives (such as the Book of Job).

The Quran addresses whatever of the Bible was present and being followed by those of the Previous scriptures at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

It not only addresses narratives outside the Torah (which you have inferred as analogous to Hadith) but also the Torah itself.

Dealing specifically with those narratives outside the Torah, the Quran at times seriously reprimands beliefs that emanate from it. This does not tacitly support the concept of 'hadith' but possibly seriously contests it.

Let us note an example:

In 1 Kings 11 we read:
               
"King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter --Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. (2) They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, "You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods." Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. (3) He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. (4) As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. (5) He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. (6) So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done"
However, the Quran categorically denies such a claim and vindicates Prophet Solomon (pbuh) of any wrongdoing. The narrative in question straddles two verses, so parts will be quoted for brevity.

2:101-102 (part)
"And when there came to them a Messenger from God confirming what (was) with them, a party of those who were given the Book threw the Book of God behind their backs as if they knew nothing. (2:102) And they followed that which the devils falsely recited against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon did not disbelieve, but the devils disbelieved..."

So this provides us clear indication of what can happen with 'hadith' and the serious dangers associated with it. A prophet can possibly be turned into an idol worshipper!

However, there are many narratives where the Quran seems to clearly confirm (musaddiqan) Biblical understanding, yet retaining the overall authority to act as a criterion to distinguish between right and wrong (5:48)

005.048 (part) "To thee We revealed the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that is between the hands (coexistent Torah and Bible), and guarding it by determining what is true and false (Arabic: wa-muhayminan): so judge between them by what God has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that has come to thee..."

The Quran's purpose is not to rewrite the Bible (5:15) but to confirm and also act as a 'furqan' (25:1). It protects the essence of the message of the previous scriptures, whilst also acting as a discerner of its truth (muhayminan).

One can clearly see if one makes use of the Quran as a 'judge' how stories change if they are not protected. As noted and to reiterate, prophet's can even be turned into idol worshippers!

For me this clearly highlights the 'weaknesses' inherent in such a transmission rather than provide ample support of the need for 'hadith'.

Furthermore, the Bible and its narratives are protected by the Quranic 'guard'. There is no 'guard' after the Quran which can act as a 'furqan' for Islamic Hadith. There is absolutely nothing.

I hope this helps.

Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell