The Dishonest House

By Syed Iqbal Zaheer Editor YMD

The educated ones among the rejecters of Hadith – Muslim or non-Muslim – clearly seem to lack the quality of honesty. And, the nature of their calling demands lots of slinking, and, therefore, apart from dishonest, they also happen to be slinkers. They cannot go about the affair in a straight, honest way, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.

Ahadith says that amanah (honesty, integrity) was sent down first, and then Revelation was sent down. It should be easy to guess why: if a man is not honest, what good the revelation will do to him? Not surprisingly, the Prophet said that a believer cannot be a liar.

Broadly, there are two classes of Hadith rejecters: One, those who are educated, to some measure or the other, and two, those who are either ignorant, or stupid, or both.

Down the line, both the classes merge together and become one as fanatical believers in rejection of Hadith. That is, rejection of Hadith becomes their `aqeedah. It should be obvious that once a tenet becomes an `aqeedah, it cannot be easily destroyed. For example, if a child is taught that God is three, or every stone is God, or, there is no God, then it becomes the child’s `aqeedah. It is hard to shake him from that position once he has grown into adulthood.

The educated ones among the rejecters of Hadith – Muslim or non-Muslim – clearly seem to lack the quality of honesty. And, the nature of their calling demands lots of slinking, and, therefore, apart from dishonest, they also happen to be slinkers.

They cannot go about the affair in a straight, honest way. The Qur’an, in which they deceptively claim belief, instructs them that they should go attempt their affairs in honest straightway manners (2: 189): “Come into the homes by their doors.”

Yusuf Ali commented on this verse:

“This is a Muslim proverb now, and much might be written about its manifold meanings. (For instance) ‘If you want to achieve an object honorably, go about it openly and not by the back door.'”

Asad (a former Jew), voices much the same opinion:

“Since, metonymically, the word bab (‘door’) signifies ‘a means of access to, or of, a thing’ (see Lane I, 272), the metaphor of ‘entering a house through its door’ is often used in classical Arabic to denote a proper approach to a problem…”

A rejecter of Hadith has to take the crooked path. He must avoid not only the straight path, but also avoid all those who can tell him the bitter truth about him. He must work in private, taking individuals one by one. He will not appear among a group of scholars (even if they are Orientalists), to announce his rejection of Hadith. He knows that if he does not shut up and get down the stage, after the laughter has died down, someone might call the mental hospital ambulance.

One problem he realizes is that non-Muslim scholars of Islam – who spent their precious lives studying Islamic disciplines – accept the Hadith, because there is so much scholarly evidence that no man in his senses can deny. For centuries, the Orientalists have been accepting the Hadith and quoting it quite often, albeit to discredit the Prophet. They argue, from whom the Muslim rejecters of Hadith steal quite a few tricks of the trade, that they cannot believe in the Prophet because he said, “Women have been made dear to me” (Nasa’i), or because, “Musa (asws) had slapped the angel of death” (Bukhari), or because `Ibrahim (asws) had circumcised himself at the age of eighty” (Bukhari), etc.

If you tell the Orientalist that the Hadith is unacceptable, then, firstly, you are to him too ignorant, or fanatic, or stupid, and, secondly, you have taken the wind out of his argument for rejecting the Prophet.

The honest way then, of going about rejecting the Hadith would be to write a dissertation in Arabic or English and send it across to seats of learning in Makkah, Cairo, Harvard, Oxford, Leiden, etc. The non-Islamic institutions will be particularly glad to receive it and will immediately refer it to their specialists to evaluate. The latter would be quite pleased to get their hand on it, and publish it without delay, because they themselves have not been able to discredit the Hadith despite several centuries of mighty efforts. However, if the dissertation is worth trash, it will be tossed away in a couple of minutes. The Hadith rejecter knows this very well.

Therefore, he prefers to write in local languages and publish his trash from unknown publishing houses. Since there is no shortage of buffoons among the human population, he is sure to win one here, one there, to his cause.

The above is the first dishonesty committed: target the buffoons.

The next dishonesty contains in the way he argues. He starts by saying that he does not believe in the mass of Hadith. That is, he rejects the entire body of the Hadith because, he says, they are untrustworthy. But when you pin him down and ask him as to which ones does he recognize as authentic, he slinks away and admits that he does not believes in the authenticity of any Hadith.

But then a problem arises: To believe in the Qur’an, he needs at least one Hadith of the following text: “The Qur’an was revealed to me” – or, “was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.” Now, on whatever basis he accepts this one Hadith, he will have to accept thousands of Ahadith on the same basis.

The time for dodging and slinking has arrived for him. He leaves the highway and slinks into side alleys.

Another dishonesty that the rejecter of Hadith resorts to is that on some occasions he uses the Hadith to strengthen his position. For example, he argues that the Prophet himself said, “Do not write down my Ahadith.” He beats his chest like a gorilla and says to the Muslims, “And look, this Hadith is in Muslim.” So, he first accepts a Hadith as authentic, and then uses it to reject rest of the Ahadith, including those of Muslim from which he took the Hadith. If you point this out, the gorilla retreats into the forest.

Another dishonesty he commits is that he does not quote the above Hadith in full. (That is the reason why most Hadith rejecters are non-Arabs). The Hadith of Muslim that he quotes says in full:

لاَ تَكْتُبُوا عَنِّى وَمَنْ كَتَبَ عَنِّى غَيْرَ الْقُرْآنِ فَلْيَمْحُهُ وَحَدِّثُوا عَنِّى وَلاَ حَرَجَ وَمَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَىَّ – قَالَ هَمَّامٌ أَحْسِبُهُ قَالَ – مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ – صحيح

مسلم

“Do not write down from me. Whoever wrote from me anything else apart from the Qur’an, may erase it. However, narrate from me, there is no harm in that. But (remember) whoever fastened a lie upon me, intentionally, may find his home in the Fire.”

So, there were two ways of reporting what the Prophet spoke:

1.    Write it down

2.    Narrate from memory.

The Prophet preferred verbal narration. So, the Companions freely narrated from him. After all, the Prophet had also said, “May Allah keep the face of him fresh and bright, who narrated from us…”

Now, the question is, where are those Ahadith that the Companions narrated to hundreds of thousands of the next generation Muslims, and they to millions of the next generation? The rejecter of Hadith knows that the verbal narrations permitted by the Prophet were ultimately written down by the scholars of Hadith around 200 years after him who feared their corruption through verbal narration. Thousands preferred to continue with verbal narration, but, ultimately, the written versions prevailed.

On the other hand, the earliest followers of the Prophet were not stupid. Stupid people do not overturn a thousand year old world Power. (And they overturned two). Accordingly, Abu Bakr kept writing the Hadith, `Ali kept writing, and many others did so. They knew that the instruction was for such starters in Islam who were incapable of differentiating between Qur’an and Hadith – apart from the fact that the writings of the starters, who did not have PhDs in literature, could have been no better than a doctor’s scribble which only doctors and pharmacists could decode. So, let such starters not write at all. Accordingly, when the situation of the starters improved, the Prophet allowed that his words and actions may be recorded.

Does it sound reasonable? But not to the Hadith rejecter. The neurons that are fired by his grey matter, are wrongly directed and land at the wrong places.

Another question that the rejecter does not ask his junky brain is: was writing of Prophetic words completely banned during the time of the Prophet? Well, the same Imam Muslim reports that a man called Abu Shah asked some questions and requested the Prophet to get the answers written down. The Prophet ordered his Companions, “Write them down for Abu Shah.”

Yet another dishonesty that this Dishonest House commits is that they sniff through the entire Islamic literature to select – out of context – statements of great scholars to demonstrate that they distrusted the Hadith. They have the temerity to mention such names as Imam Zuhri, who, on the order of `Umar b. `Abdul `Aziz collected Ahadith of Madinah. They claim that he hated Hadith, whereas, the truth is, he was fearful of the task because of the extreme importance of the job. His fear is reported as ‘hatred of Hadith’ by these honest blokes.

Another person they name is Imam Abu Haneefah about whom they claim that he was a Munkir (rejecter of Hadith), while it is widely reported that Abu Haneefah preferred a weak Hadith over his personal opinion for working out Law. The rejecters of Hadith provide proof that Imam Abu Yusuf was a Fasiq, and Imam Muhammad a liar. The great irony is that they report Hafiz ibn Hajr, a giant Hadith scholar who wrote some 50,000 pages on Hadith literature, as someone who distrusted Hadith.

The list of dishonesties is pretty lengthy, sickening, and stinking.

A question that the commonest of men asks the rejecters of Hadith is, “If we have to depend on the Qur’an alone after we have discarded the Hadith, then, how do we do our Salah, or pay Zakah etc., seeing that the detailed instructions for these rituals, and every other Qur’anic demand, is not in the Qur’an but only in the Hadith?”

Now, if the question is raised by a commoner, they have one answer, but if it is someone a little educated, then the answer is another. We shall deal with the answer given to the commoner in this write-up, to deal with other answers, some other time, Allah willing.

The answer they give about Salah is that at the time of the Prophet, there were no organized five daily prayers; and the Madinan mosque was not for prayers. It was more of a place to organize social affairs. This is what the Qur’an means when it says,

أقيموا الصلاة

“Establish the prayers.” That is get together into the mosque, there is a social, political, financial, or military problem at hand – over which consultations and distribution of duties are required.

The idea is preposterous beyond words, but it works with some of the commoners, especially, if they already possess in good quantity the three qualities that we have been speaking of: dishonesty, slinking, stupidity.

Now, if we take Salah in the sense of consultations, distribution of responsibilities, etc. how do we understand the following verse which deals with Salah in battle-fields?

{وَإِذَا كُنْتَ فِيهِمْ فَأَقَمْتَ لَهُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلْتَقُمْ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْهُمْ مَعَكَ وَلْيَأْخُذُوا أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ فَإِذَا سَجَدُوا فَلْيَكُونُوا مِنْ وَرَائِكُمْ وَلْتَأْتِ طَائِفَةٌ أُخْرَى لَمْ يُصَلُّوا فَلْيُصَلُّوا مَعَكَ} [النساء: 102]

“If you happen to be with them (O Prophet), and you establish the Salah, then let a group of them stand with you, and let them take their arms. Then, when they have done their Sujud, let them fall back to your rear, and let the other group which did not do the Salah come up and do Salah with you.”

If we do not take the meaning that every Arab child takes of the word Salah, then how does the rejecter of Hadith understand the following?

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ} [المائدة: 6]

“Believers, when you establish the Salah, then wash your faces, hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.”

Does the above mean those who are called through the Adhan for consultations, distribution of political, financial, administrative and military duties, must make Wudu before they come?

Are the rejecters of Hadith that stupid? The answer is, no, their leaders are devilishly clever. Apparently, there are two purposes for interpreting the Qur’an in the above manner:

1.    Salah is the vitally important pillar of Islam. You destroy it and you destroy Islam.

2.    If you explain Qur’anic verses in stupid ways, you are testing the man before you. If he accepts such stupidity, he will accept anything. He is the right candidate to be recruited for your cause. That is how you grow in numbers.

Source: Editorial, Young Muslim Digest, Issue May 2012.

Contact: editor@youngmuslim.com

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