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Offline Joseph Islam

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Who Forbade Hadith?
« on: November 09, 2011, 06:10:35 AM »
[Please contact Joseph Islam for further details of the original thread]

Peace to you all.

Surely the question with regards secondary sources (such as ahadith) is one of 'authority' and not 'authenticity' which seems to have kept the Muslim learned unnecessarily busy and sifting through tomes of various opinions for over a millennia. The Quran seem to give absolutely no 'authority' to any other source apart from itself.

"These are the verses of God that We recite to you with truth. Then in what 'Hadith' (statement / narrative) after God and His 'Ayat' (verses) will they believe?" (45:6)

It seems that the question of 'authenticity' of secondary sources has been a mute point from the point of view of the Quran but unnecessarily laboured by many traditionalists.

The response given on the Day of Judgment is very significant. There seems to be no other source apart from the Quran being mentioned or as giving knowledge, explanation or guidance to the believers. There seems to be no mention of Hadith, Sunnah or any other kind of secondary source in this verse being insinuated or mentioned expressly or implicitly.

"For We had certainly sent to them a Book based on knowledge, which We explained in detail (Arabic: fasalnahu), a guide and a mercy to all who believe"

It doesn't say we sent a book, prophetic sayings, or a practice of a certain community for their guidance.

No doubt, there might be core essential truths in certain sayings, practices and pearls of wisdom, but no 'authority' seems to have been given as part of God's guidance which seems to be clear from 7:52.


Peace to you all.

The Quran itself testifies that it was being written down at the time of the Prophet by noble scribes who must have been in companionship with the Prophet.

In Scrolls Dignified, Exalted, Purified, (written) BY THE HANDS OF SCRIBES (Arabic: bi'aydi safara), Honorable and virtuous.

For example, the Arabic expression 'Safara-l-kitaba' - He wrote the book, or writing. The Arabic word Bi'aydi - by the hands / in the hands etc

Numerous Ahadith reports stand in clear tension with clear verses of the Quran. The Question for Muslims is, do they really put their trust in the most contemporaneous source to the Prophet (i.e the Quran), or are they truly content to rely on narratives which were not fully canonised until centuries removed from the prophet.


52:3 and highlighting the word 'Raqq' is so crucial indeed!

As you and many readers on this forum will no doubt already know, the word 'Raqq' from its root has the inherent meaning of something thin or of little thickness as compared to its breadth and length. Something thin, fine, flimsy, delicate. This most definitely refers to a well refined parchment or animal skin especially prepared for writing! For example the Arabic phrase, "raqqu kalamuhu" (His speech was or became tender, soft, sweet, graceful or elegant) carries that element of refinement in the word 'raqqu' from the same root.

I don't see bones, stones or anything of the sort in the word 'Raqq' in Arabic. Only as you say 'Fine parchment' which is such an apt translation.

Thanks so much for sharing.


Just to add to my previous post for completeness, that though the word 'safara' (plural of safir) means a scribe or a writer, many grammarian authorities have also noted it as a reference applied to the angels who register actions (such as in lexicon authorities such as the 'Mohkam' and 'Qamus').

However, if we note the context of the verse, especially the previous verses 80.11 which refers to something being presented as a reminder / advisory (tadhikratun) and the next verse 80.12, informing one 'so let him pay heed who wills', the pretext is likely a reference to the Quran.

It is in this context and in the very next verses (83.13-16) that dignified scrolls, exalted, purified - (written) by the hands of scribes who are honourable and virtuous is mentioned.

Happy to stand humbly corrected if presented with an alternative, more persuasive view :-)

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