Sunday, 27 March 2016

Fundamentalism of Sunnah (Hadith) and Mr. Ghamdi’s Views(2)

Now we discuss Ghamdi’s views about ‘Sunnah’ and ‘Hadith’ which have been described briefly in part (1).
 Mr. Ghamdi’s says  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. Let us analyze this view.

It is true that Quran is embodiment of whole Deen but this Deen contained in the Quran (Quranic principles) cannot be explored without the guiding principles contained in our Nabi’s (ﷺ) sayings.  ‘Hadith’ is itself a part of Deen not only because it provides guiding principles of exploration of Deen but also because these principles have been provided by our Nabi (ﷺ) under wahi. Hadith performs this role of exploration of Quranic principles in two ways:

Firstly, hadith gives guiding principles to interpret Quranic principles. Because hadith is also result of ‘wahi’- as we have seen in part (1)- we have to interpret Quranic principles keeping in view the guiding principles contained in hadith. But of course, if any hadith contradicts the principle(s) contained in the Quran, such hadith would not be accepted as correct hadith. But any hadith would not be rejected simply on the ground that principle contained in that hadith is not found in the Quran. It may be appreciated that exploration of all Quranic principles is not an easy job. Some Quranic principles are worded- described in apparent words of Quran; but many principles are un-worded- which are adduced through analogical deduction based on worded principles. Our Nabi (ﷺ)  has discovered these un-worded Quranic principles under ‘wahi’ and described them in ‘Hadith’; so no Muslim is supposed to challenge the validity of these un-worded Quranic principles on the ground that in his wisdom (in the reader’s wisdom)  the principle described in the hadith is not found in the Quran. That is why though ‘Hadith’ is interpretation of Quranic principles but without guiding principles contained in ‘Hadith’-which have been discovered by our Nabi (ﷺ) under wahi’- we cannot discover the principles contained in the Quran; that is why Hadith is Deen in itself.

But of course, as said earlier, if any ‘hadith’ contradicts Quranic principle(s), such hadith would not be accepted as correct hadith. The definition of contradictory views/things has already been given in many previous articles on this blog.  ‘Different views are something different from ‘Contradictory views. Two views are different views, if any one of the two may be adopted without negating or accepting the other one. Two views are contradictory views, 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. 

If a principle described in a hadith is contradictory to that one described in Quran, such a hadith may not be accepted as correct hadith; but if principle contained in hadith is only different from that one contained in the Quran in the sense that hadith principle may be adopted without rejecting the principle contained in the Quran, such a hadith may not be rejected as incorrect hadith.  

Secondly, Hadith’ gives guiding principles of interpretation of Quranic provisions not only in authentic form but also in comprehensive manner. The interpretations of Quranic principles put forth by our Nabi (ﷺ) are not only authentic because such interpretations have been made by our Nabi (ﷺ) under wahi but also are comprehensive enough to guide people in all fields of life. In other words, if hadith is not accepted as Deen, Deen (Quran) does not remain something authentic because, in such case, Quran would be understood by each two persons differently (and contradictorily as well) according to their own wisdom, and because no body’s wisdom is enough- without assistance of hadith- to explore all Quranic provisions/principles –worded and un-worded- properly, no comprehensive/authentic form of Deen would be available for people guidance in all fields of life.  
We see that Mr. Ghamdi’s concept of Deen is neither valid/authentic nor comprehensive enough to cover all fields of life. He says Quran and Sunnah are sole source of Deen; hadith is not Deen. Hadith is only interpretation of Quran; by this he means only such hadith is to be accepted as correct hadith which is in line with Quranic principles. It would be readers (ulema) who would decide whether subject-matter of a hadith is in line with Quranic principles or not. In other words, he relies on the reader’s wisdom to decide whether subject matter of hadith is found in Quranic principles or not; he does not rely on hadith (our Nabi’s (ﷺ) wisdom) to decide that subject matter of hadith is interpretation of Quranic principles. Ghamdi’s view is not tenable because reader’s wisdom is not enough-without assistance of hadith- to understand all worded and un-worded principles of Quran and because readers’ interpretation of Quran and Hadith is not guarded by ‘wahi’, it cannot be taken as a valid/authentic interpretation of Quranic principles. On the other hand, our Nabi’s (ﷺ)   interpretation (hadith) is made under wahi and as such is authentic interpretation of Quran. Therefore, instead of reader’s wisdom, Hadith should be accepted as valid/authentic interpretation of Quranic principles, provided hadith fulfils the criterions devised by the authentic ‘mahaddaseen’; any hadith should not be rejected on the ground that its subject-matter is not related to any Quranic principle in view of  readers (ulemas). In view of foregoing, we can see that Hadith is itself a part of Deen.

Mr. Ghamdi differentiates between Sunnah and hadith; he says Sunnah are such traditions/practices which have been transferred to our Nabi () from the previous prophets (), and such traditions were widely known to the people.  He says ahadith 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 believes that Sunnah is part of Deen but he does not find roots of these practices (which he calls as Sunnah) from Quran and Hadith; rather he finds roots of such practices from History and previous Divine Books which have been corrupted according to Quran.  In this way Mr. Ghamdi’s Deen is based on History and corrupted Divine Books; his concept of Deen is not an authentic form of Deen (continued).

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