Explaining Ahadith in the light of Quran
I have a few thoughts and questions that I would like your input regarding. I used to think that keeping ones trousers below the ankles was no big deal, and personally I still don’t believe it to be a major sin simply because the Qur’an (Islam’s primary source for religious guidance) makes no explicit statement about it, however a little deliberation on the reason you gave on your website that the Prophet had sanctioned it permissible to exempt Hazrat Abu Bakr from this as he told him he wasn’t proud/arrogant, but today we are sanctioning and exempting ourselves from this, is this not sufficient pride/arrogance? (i.e. to say that I, myself, am not proud, hence I’ll keep trousers below ankles). Secondly, why is Quran never taken in context when speaking about polygamy? After reading a ‘Renaissance’ article written by Mr. Shehzad, regarding polygamy it’s difficult if not impossible to say Quran allows reasons other than the ONE he stated, where do all the flexibility and concessions come from? If lust is one, I strongly disagree, simply because if it can’t be controlled for the taking of a second wife, who will give him permission when he has four and is lusting after a fifth which he will then miraculously HAVE to control, because this is unanimously impermissible and finally with regards to music how is an established(from Quran or Sunnah) fact that Dawood Alaysalaam, played musical instruments and a question which you responded to regarding two hadith on music which you said if looked at carefully would show that evil music is mentioned, however I don’t seem to find ANY DISTINCTION in the hadith between the one that you would like to believe i.e. music and evil-music, I will paste it for reference sake:
Narrated Abu Amir or Abu Malik Al Ashari that he heard the Prophet saying,
“From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something, but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol.7 Hadith No.5590]
Let me be totally honest, I know most people don’t like to be questioned, but to my great pleasure I have found a personality in you through your articles of both an open minded, sensible and in my opinion very intelligent Muslim who upholds the banner of Islam with dignity and am exceptionally proud of the way you took the advice of Allah to his Prophet Muhammad to mind when debating with Ali Sina, where he(pbuh) was instructed to leave them with noble dignity, you came out as the better person, not only because your responses to his allegations and alleged contradictions made perfect sense but because your conduct, tone and character captured many. My dua’s are with you, please don’t take offense to my questions. I respect diverse opinions on the merit of proof.
Thanks for kind your words. I will tell you why I try to explain ahadith in the light of Quran. You may disagree with me, but these are my reasons:
Quran is a fully authentic and preserved book of God. Unless one is a cynic, one cannot deny its authenticity. It was communicated to the entire Muslim ummah and the entire arrangement of it too was fully preserved. We therefore know the context of each and every verse within the text of Quran. Understanding its meanings is therefore not a problem. Of course, disputes would still arise, but those could be resolved in the light of Quranic wordings and the context of the verse under discussion.
Quran itself declares that it is the criterion between right and wrong (al-Furqan). Therefore if there any religious disputes, they have to be resolved in the light of Quran.
The authentic sunnah is similarly fully preserved. It was practiced by all Muslims from day one and transmitted to later generations unanimously. If there was a dispute in sunnah, that too could be resolved by finding out whether there was unanimity in its process of transmitting or not.
Hadith by its very nature is a piece information transmitted by a single or few individuals (khabr wahid). Howsoever reliable the transmitters may be, they can still be mistaken. There is every possibility they may have missed out some point while describing a situation. There are several examples of ahadith on similar matters and events conflicting with each other. Therefore ahadith have to be taken carefully. They need to be looked into very carefully before a judgment is passed on their basis. I have seen many Muslims mentioning ahadith as if they were quoting the prophet, alaihissalaam, literally. The fact is that hadith mention only a part of the information which needs to be fully understood. The fuller understanding has to be done in the light of Quran, sunnah, other ahadith, and common sense. In the process we can disagree on what the true meanings were. Of course, one needs to be careful while doing so. However, in being careful, one needs to also ensure that no extra burden was imposed on Muslims that was not given to them to bear by Allah and His messenger.
When ahadith clarify that lowering of garments was prohibited because of arrogance and we know that it was not considered arrogance at all to lower one’s garments now and there were more prominent expressions of arrogance we now see around us, it shouldn’t be considered a very mistaken view if the spirit of the ahadith is applied in the light of the data available.
If Quran is explaining that all beauty in this world which was not obscene was legal for Muslims (7:32-33) and we know that music was one form of beauty, and we also know that the prophet was greeted by some music when he reached Madinah and that he himself allowed children to sing on Eid, why then should we insist that music was haram? Why shouldn’t we accept that the hadith of Bukhari was condemning the obscene music that some people would resort to?
I couldn’t properly understand your question on polygamy. However, I believe that while no man should resort to it unnecessarily, the decision of it should be left to the individual who must inform his existing wife/wives and do justice with all of them.