Friday, 18 March 2016

Fundamentalism of Sunnah (hadith) and Mr. Ghamdi’s Views (1)

Mr. Ghamdi views that Quran and Sunnah (not hadith) are basic and sole sources of Deen. Hadith is not source of Deen; it is only interpretation of principles contained in sole sources i.e. Quran and Sunnah. If a hadith describes/explains (in the reader’s view) any principle contained in Quran and Sunnah, it will be accepted as correct hadith and correct interpretation of Quran and Sunnah; but if a hadith does not describe/ explain (in the reader’s view) any principle contained in Quran and Sunnah, it will be incorrect hadith and incorrect interpretation of Quran and Sunnah.

He differentiates between Sunnah and hadith; he says Sunnah are such traditions/practices which have been transferred to our Nabi () from the previous prophets (ﷺ), and such traditions were widely known to the people.  He says hadith are ‘akhbar e ehad’ which were not widely known to the people; a hadith was used to be addressed to a solitary person or a few persons only. As such, hadith cannot be a basic source of Deen which should be widely known to the people. 

He further says even if hadith are accepted as correct hadith (being correct interpretation of principle contained in the Quran and Sunnah), they are not to be accepted as Deen; rather they are to be accepted only as interpretations of principles contained in the Quran and Sunnah. 

He further says even if hadith are accepted as correct hadith (being correct interpretation of principle contained in the Quran and Sunnah), they are not essentially applicable to present age Muslims; many of them are time specific and people specific, and as such are applicable only to those people who were living in the age of our Nabi (ﷺ).
There is one contradiction in Mr. Ghamdi’s views. On the one hand he says hadith are only interpretations of Deen i.e. Quran and Sunnah (by it he means hadith are not Deen - they are not ‘mustakil bil zaat commandments), but on the other hand, he says violation of a correct (sahih) hadith is violation of Deen/ ‘eman’. He is declaring violation of hadith as violation of Deen without taking hadith as a part of Deen.
These views of Mr. Ghamdi may be learned through the following link:  Let us analyze these views of Mr. Ghamdi in the following lines.
Before analyzing Mr. Ghamdi’s views stated above, it would be pertinent to describe briefly what is Deen according to the Quran and Sunnah (hadith). According to the Quran, Deen is what has been revealed to our Nabi (ﷺ) in the form of ‘wahi’. This ‘wahi’ has been revealed in two forms. The first form is the Quran.
“Surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, therefore serve Allah, being sincere to Him in Deen” (al-zumar-2).
The second form of ‘wahi’ is words of our Nabi (ﷺ) and words of Gabriel (a.s).
“Indeed, that (wahi) is the word of a noble Messenger/ rasool (ﷺ)” (al-haqah-40).
“Indeed, that (wahi) is a word of a noble ‘rasool’ (Gabriel)” (al-takveer-19).
In other words, ‘wahi’ was revealed to our Nabi (ﷺ) in two forms; i. the Quran, and ii. Sunnah which includes  ‘Hadith e Rasool’ and ‘Hadith e Qudsi’- Hadith e Rasool is the words of our Nabi (ﷺ) and Hadith e Qudsi is originally words of Gabriel (a.s) but presented to people through our Nabi (ﷺ). (for details pls see and and ).
 In the Quran, there are other verses also which show that Sunnah (Hadith) is a form of ‘wahi’.
In short, Deen is the wahi which has been revealed in the form of Quran and Sunnah which includes Hadith. It means we cannot add anything into the ‘Deen’, if that thing is not wahi. Similarly we cannot exclude anything from the ‘Deen’, if that thing is a ‘wahi’. There is only one exception to this rule i.e. time specific and people specific ‘wahi’ is not part of Deen. Time specific and people specific wahi is actually relating to methodology/ policy of implementing the Deen; we will explain it later in this article.
This fact that Deen is ‘wahi’ has been mentioned in the Quran in following manner as well:

And whatever the Messenger (ﷺ) has given you - take; and what he (ﷺ) has forbidden you - refrain from. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty. (al-hashr-7).

Because our Nabi (ﷺ) does not speak/act but under ‘wahi’ (al-najm-3,4), and because ‘wahi’ is the Deen, this above mentioned verse (al-hashr-7) is stating that whatever has been given/recommended by our Nabi (ﷺ) is the Deen; similarly whatever has been forbidden by our Nabi (ﷺ) is also part of Deen as a forbidden thing. If Muslims are to accept what has been given to them and what has been forbidden to them by our Nabi (ﷺ), it means this verse (al-hashr-7) is stating about the Deen; because, obviously outside the Deen, Muslims are not under obligation to accept/follow anything.
 Because our Nabi (ﷺ) does not speak/act but according to ‘wahi’, and because ‘wahi’ is the Deen, this verse is stating that following our Nabi (ﷺ) is the Deen. Following is different from obedience in the sense that obedience is relating to orders/commandments only whereas following is related to everything- whether commanded or not. In other words, what words came out of mouth of our Nabi (ﷺ); what actions or omissions were committed or recommended by our Nabi (ﷺ); what gestures were made by our Nabi (ﷺ) what advices were tendered by our Nabi (ﷺ); what explanations and knowledge was imparted by our Nabi (ﷺ) - all are Deen and as such need to be  followed by the Muslims. A person’s statements or actions may be of three types; they may be affirmative (apparently or impliedly); they may be negative (apparently or impliedly); or they may be neutral. All three types of statements and actions adopted by our Nabi (ﷺ) are part of Deen, and as such are to be accepted and followed by the Muslims. 

There is only one exception to what details of Deen have been described above; this exception is relating to time specific and people specific ‘wahi’. If our Nabi (ﷺ) acted in Contradictory manner in two different situations pertaining to the same subject-matter, such deeds will be called as time specific or people specific Deen. There is difference between Contradictory and Different deeds/views. Two views/deeds are different views/deeds, if any one of the two may be adopted without negating or accepting the other one. Two views/deeds are contradictory views/deeds, if any one  of the two may NOT be   adopted without negating the other. For instance, A says Z is dead; and B says Z is alive; these two views are contradictory because a person may not adopt any one of the two without negating the other view. Similarly, suppose, A says Z is sick; B says Z is on leave; these two views are different views because a person may adopt any one of the two views without negating the other one. 
For instance, during ‘Ghazw e badr’ our Nabi (ﷺ) opted to fight the enemy in the open field; whereas during ‘Ghazw e Khandaq’ fighting was done keeping within the city which was surrounded by ‘khandaq/tunnel’. These two policies are contradictory to each other, and as such may be called as situation/time specific. Similarly, if two different companions were appointed as commander in chief in different situations, such an act will be called as contradictory deed, and as such would be labeled as situation specific.
In cases of Contradictory deeds in two different situations but relating to the same subject-matter, Muslims are allowed to adopt actions suited to their given situation. Though such deeds were done by our Nabi (ﷺ) under ‘wahi’ but are not part of permanent Deen; more appropriately such deeds may be called as time specific and people specific Deen OR methodology/policy to implement what has been contained in the Deen. (for details plz see
But it may be appreciated that merely Different deeds/views in two different situation but relating to the same subject-matter cannot be  called as situation specific or people specific.  For instance if  each one of any two companions asks separately our Nabi (ﷺ) about the best deed for a Muslim, and our Nabi (ﷺ) replies each one of them by naming  different deed as the best deed for a Muslim,  these would be only Different deeds, if both may be adopted by the Muslims collectively-one Muslim adopting one deed and another Muslim adopting the other deed simultaneously; such deeds cannot be labeled as situation specific or people specific. Situation specific and person specific deeds/views are only contradictory views/deeds which cannot be adopted simultaneously by the Muslims collectively.
In the light of features of Deen and Sunnah (Hadith) described above, we would analyze Mr. Ghamdi’s views given above (continued).

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