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10 Hadith Questions
(+3 Bonus Questions)
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10 Questions About Hadeeth in Islam
- Yusuf Estes

I receive a lot of mail questioning the authenticity of Islam from people who are not Muslims or even are trying to attack Islam. Considering the events of these times, this is to be expected. However, it is not often that I receive mail from a Muslim who apparently is making attacks against some of the principle tenants of Islam. The follow questions came in the form of an email from someone claiming to be a Muslim, yet they did not know much about Islam, while claiming to follow the Quran - but not the teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him. Some of the questions were obviously from someone who had learned at least something about Islam, yet other questions showed a serious lack of reasoning because the questions contradicted other questions. I felt it was important to answer all of these questions with respect and then preserve them for future times for the benefit of others who may encounter the same types of claims against one of the basic tenants of Islam: HADEETH

I have arranged the questions according to logical sequence and have used black type for the questions and brown type for the answers. There were more than ten questions when I divided them into specific topics, so I still call it "Ten Questions About Hadeeth" but there will be a few "bonuses" at the end.

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1. First question:

- My dilemma is with the additional sources called the Hadith, and the Ahadith. This is confusing.

Dilemma? Over whether the word is Hadith or Ahadith? That's no problem. This is the Arabic language. Unlike English that just puts an "s" after a noun, Arabic uses the structure of the word itself to indicate when it is plural and even provides for different types of plurals to distinguish whether someone is referring to one, two or three or more. A Hadith is one, while Ahadith means more than one.
--------- hadeeth means one, Ahadeeth means plural ----------
These represent the second source for the Muslim faith and most Muslims place them with equal reverence to the Quran.
Allah places them alongside the Quran and Muslim SCHOLARS from the generations immediately following the Blessed Prophet, peace be upon him, have preserved and explained them to us.
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2. Second Question:

 - I follow the Quran because for me it is the scripture of my religion with proven authenticity -proven by both its preservation process and also its self proclamations found in certain Suras.

The Quran specifically orders us to follow the hadeeths. Therefore, if we claim to follow the Quran, we also must follow the hadeeth.

Examples:

"And whoever obeys Allah and His mesenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement (being saved from the Hell Fire and made to enter the Paradise)." [Quran 33:71]

"And whoever obeys Allah and His messenger will be admitted to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to live therein forever, and that will be a great success." [Quran 4:13]

"And whoever obeys Allah and His messenger, fears Allah and keeps his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones." [Quran 24:52]

"And whoever obeys Allah and His messenger, He will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow (Paradise); and whoever turns back, He will punish him with a painful torment." [Quran 48:17]

"Say, (meaning for Muhammad, peace be upon him, to speak to the people) "If you truly love Allah, then follow me. Then only will Allah love you and forgive your sins. He is the Forgiver the Merciful." [Quran 3:31]

Here is one verse in the Quran that leaves no doubt about the validity of knowing what Muhammad, peace be upon him, has ordered to do and the importance of doing it. This is in [surah Al-Mujadilah 58:8]

"Have you not seen those who were forbidden to hold secret coucels, and afterwards returned to that which they had been forbidden (to do by the messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him), and conspired together for sin and wrong doing and disobedience to the messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him)." - He promises them Hell, burning therein and worse indeed is that destination. [Quran 58:8]

O you who believe! Obey Allah and OBEY THE MESSENGER (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (SAW), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. [Quran 4:59]

Say: "Obey Allah and OBEY THE MESSENGER, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad SAW) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah's Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)." [Quran 24:54]

O you who believe! Obey Allah, and OBEY THE MESSENGER (Muhammad SAW) and render not vain your deeds. [Quran 47:33]

Obey Allah, and OBEY THE MESSENGER (Muhammad SAW), but if you turn away, then the duty of Our Messenger is only to convey (the Message) clearly. [Quran 64:12]

Now pay very close attention to the next two verses, as they do not refer to obeying Allah - only obeying the messenger - clearly proving to anyone that Muhammad, peace be upon him is to be obeyed and it is the same as obeying Allah.

He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), has indeed OBEYED ALLAH, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad SAW) as a watcher over them. [Quran 4:80]

And perform As­Salat (Iqamat­as­Salat), and give Zakat and OBEY THE MESSENGER (Muhammad SAW) that you may receive mercy (from Allah). [Quran 24:56]

There can be no doubt that if the Quran is to be preserved (and Allah has promised to do so until the sun rises in the West), then the teachings of the messenger of Allah must also be preserved as well. Therefore, the Quran has clearly indicated we must know about the hadeeth and obey the teachings contained therein, or else suffer the consequences.

To obtain a free Quran online with the search capacity that I used to locate these verses, visit our site and download it:

http://islamtomorrow.com/free/

(please read entire work for the part regarding the hadeeths -- this could take a few days by the way)

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Third question:

 -If I apply the same thought processes to verify these then I am presented with the following difficulties (coming up in the next questions)

If you apply YOUR thought processes to verify these, then you are saying that you are a scholar of Islam and that is very heavy. I personally, am only a student of knowledge and would never begin to "apply my thought process" to what Allah has clearly stated in anyway other than the way that His Messenger clarified it. This can be a major source of misguidance and cause a person to go way off on the deep end..

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Fourth question:

- Mohammed (pbuh) was said to have prevented people from writing his own utterances lest they be confused with Quranic revelation.

[Note: It is interesting to note the person is quoting from our prophet, peace be upon him, yet you don't want anyone else to quote from him. How can you use this for a proof and then turn around and deny it at the same time?]

Whatever Muhammad, peace be upon him, said or did is recorded and it is called a "hadeeth" as mentioned above. As regards your misquote of the hadeeth, he did instruct some of this companions not to write anything down during his lifetime so that it would not be misunderstood by those to be something from the Quran and might mix the Quran with hadeeth. But did you know that was only to certain people, while at the same time there were several who did continue to write down (with his approval) what he said and did? Also that Abu Bakr, radiallaho anho, tore up many of those when he heard the hadeeth of the prophet saying that if anyone were to attribute to him something that he did not say, that person could then reserve his (or her) seat in the Fire of Hell?

And people of those times had tremendous memories and they did preserve the Quran completely in their hearts as well as many hadeeth. These were memorized and passed down right alongside the Quran by trusty narrators.

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Fifth question:

- They were not compiled until almost two centuries after the Mohammed (pbuh) died.

This is not a true statement. As regards your reference to 200 years afterward... I don't know what you are reading but it is baseless (and as we will see in question #9 this person contradicts himself by claiming that Ali did compile hadeeth at the time of the prophet, peace be upon him).

During His Lifetime, as I have already mentioned, there were some who did write down things during his time. Consider Musab bin Umayr, may Allah be pleased with him, who had written down the names of all of the munafiqun (hyocrites).

Here is a list of the first leaders of Islam (khalifs), who were actual close companions of Muhammad, peace be upon him, and some important information they have provided us with.

1st Khalif After Him (Abu Bakr)
At the time of the first khalifah, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, he ordered the Quran to be complied in book form and this was recorded that he did so.
2nd Khalif ('Umar)
Two and half years later, 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was the Khalifah after the death of Abu Bakr. It is also recorded what he said about what the prophet, peace be upon him, said. All of this was memorized and written down.
3rd Khalif ('Uthman)
After the death of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, 'Uthman bin Afan, may Allah be pleased with him, became the next khalifah. It is well established that he ordered any copies of Quran to be brought to him and then after comparing what had been memorzied by all the companions, had it written down in one form and destroyed all others. He also established the second adhan for Jummah salat. All of this was written and memorized in detail by companions.

4th Khalif ('Ali)
Ali, was the last of the great leaders of Islam, may Allah be pleased with him. During his khalifate many things took place and a horrible battle occured between the Muslims themselves. Even so, they visit each other at night to compare hadeeths and verify what was said and done by the prophet, peace be upon him.

Scholars of Jurispurdence in Islam (Mathab)

Imam Abu Hanifa, Rahmatulah Alayhi
He was born less than 75 years after Hijrah date. That means the prophet, peace be upon him, had passed away lest than 60 years before that. Abu Hanifa, may Allah's mercy be with him, knew some of the companions of Muhammad, peace be upon him, personally and he took hadeeths from them. This qualifies him as a second generation of the followers of Muhammad (a tabi). He is one of the greatest and most respected of all scholars in Islam. Today hundreds of millions of Muslims follow the very same hadeeths which the Imam relied on to develop his understanding and teaching of Islam.

Imam Malik (Abu Abdullah)
Next came our beloved and highly respect scholar of Islam, Imam Malik, Rahmatulah Alayhi, (Imam of Medina, 85 years after prophet, peace be upon him). Imam Malik, Rahmatulah Alayhi, was a friend of Abu Hanifa, Rahmatulah Alayhi, and even traveled to him for discussions on many issues. He is known as a follower of a follower of a companion (tabi-tabiyeen) He wrote Al Muwatta, which is still available today in the same original form and it is based on correct hadeeth of the prophet, peace be upon him, and it includes references.

Imam Shafi (Abu Abdullah)
Then came the student of Imam Malik, Muhammad Ibn Idrees As-Shafi, Rahmatulah Alayhi, from Mecca (b. 150 A.H.). He was a very close friend and student of Imam Malik while in Madinah and Imam Malik sent him to learn from the students of Imam Abu Hanifa (His students names were; Abu Yusuf and Muhammad ibn Hassan). Imam Shafi, Rahmatulah Alayhi, also has a famous work in Islam which has been preserved and revered by scholars ever since his time.

Imam Hanbal (Abu Abdullah)
Another great scholar came during the lifetime of Imam Shafi, Rahmatulah Alayhi, from his own city of Mecca, named Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Hanbal, Rahmatulah Alayhi. He was a student of Imam Shafi. His works were also based on the teachings (hadeeth) of the prophet, peace be upon him, and the school of Hanbali Fiqh is probably the best known in the Arab world today.

And there are many other scholars who knew the prophet, peace be upon him, and lived long after the prophet, peace be upon him, that passed on very correct hadeeths (Ibn 'Umar; Ibn Abbas; Ayesha; Ibn Mas'ood and others), May Allah be please with them all, ameen.

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Sixth question:
- The hadeeths have many different narrators as sources. Different people have claimed they heard or saw things the same exact way as some other people. How would you explain that?.

If two or more people witness the same event and report on it, wouldn't that add strength to the authenticity? How is that a detraction in your mind? This should only increase your faith and lessen your doubts.

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Seventh question:
- None of the narrators could have seen the prophet.

Again, this is not true. In fact this is a requirement for it to be a correct hadeeth. The original narrator must have these conditions:
  • 1.) Been a Muslim at the time of the prophet, peace be upon him
  • 2.) Saw the prophet, peace be upon him
  • 3.) Been known for his/her memory
  • 4.) Been known integrity & honesty and trustworthiness
  • 5.) If they say that they "heard" or "he said" then they must have actually been there to hear it.
  • 6.) died as a Muslim  
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Eighth question:
- A few hadith contradict the Quran.

This is not true. If a hadeeth appears to contradict the Quran, then it must be either incorrectly stated, quoted or misunderstood, or it is not a correct hadeeth. Each and every hadeeth must be considered on an individual basis. Should a hadeeth contradict the Quran then it would obviously be rejected. We request such "contradictory hadeeths" to be presented for observation rather than referring to "a few hadeeth" - name them next time and give some references, please.

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Ninth question:
- Some hadeeth were selected whilst others were rejected for inferior line of transmission and possible political influences such as rivalries between early Muslim tribes.
This statement immediately indicates that someone is calling someone a liar. The Quran tells us whoever makes such a statement must bring proof of the other one having lied or been known to lie. And at the same time that person comes under the scrutiny of his/her own character and whether or not he/she has lied or been known to lie. Allah warns on this subject in Surah An-Nur (24) and in Surah Al-Hujjarat (49) and other places in the Holy Quran.

Additionally, the reference here in this question immediately negates an earlier statement that claims nothing was recorded until 200 years later. If the 'early tribes' after the prophet, peace be upon him, had the liars or fabricators, then the ahadeeths they mentioned were from their time. True or false?
We are able to prove with this question, the person (or persons) offering these "questions" to you are just playing with you.
By the way, I'm from Texas and we know all about them "good 'ol boys" putting something over on the "city boys." So, pardner - Be careful, it looks to me like someone is trying to poison your drinking water, neighbor.

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10. Tenth question:
- Why is something as important as the declaration of faith not found in the Quran, (The Quran does not say La-illaha-illalaha, "Muhammadan-Rasulullah") but only in the Hadith instead ?

IT IS IN THE QURAN. Allah the Almighty, does in fact bear witness in the Quran to the Shahadah. Someone is definitely playing with you. Example: read Quran 63:1; 10:90; 5:73; 3:62, etc.

We can see now the one sending the questions has not really spent much time reading the Quran, and most likely took the questions from some outside source or perhaps may not even be a Muslim.

This was sufficient for us to determine the letter was not really about "hadeeth" as much as it was an attempt to discredit something about Islam. And it served to prove the opposite of what it was trying to do, proved the authenticity of Islam, Quran and hadeeth.

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Bonus - 11. Eleventh question:
- If the Ahadith are authentic than where does God say that He will guarantee to preserve them (this claim is only for the Quran)?
If Allah orders you to obey His messenger, peace be upon him, (which he did many times in the Quran) then how can we do that if we are not able to find any hadeeths?
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Bonus - 12. Twelfth question:
- Why the hadith of the Shiite sect less valid than the hadith of Sunni sects? 

Who said anything about "shiite" or "sunni"? This is not coming from our side, in fact this is something being used very often to try to divide the Muslims against themselves.

Authenticity of hadeeths in Islam are not based on the collectors, such as "Bukhari" or "Muslim," but rather they are based on the people mentioned in the chain of narrators. Again, if you were to say the followers of Ali, may Allah have mercy on him, collected hadeeths, that would be true.

As a matter of fact, there are hadeeths mentioned in Bukhari's and Muslim's collection naming Ali, may Allah have mercy on him, as the prime narrator. Many of the companions of the prophet, peace be upon him, were close to Ali and they did quote things from him. Many more were followers of Ali after the death of the prophet, and they were known as "tabee" or "companions of a companion (in this case, Ali, may Allah have mercy on him). This totally destroys the earlier concept mentioned in your questions regarding "200 years passing before the hadeeths were being collected.." How could you say Ali, may Allah have mercy on him, has quoted the prophet, peace be upon him, yet this is from the time of the prophet, peace be upon him?

(This sounds like someone pulling my leg)

As regards the comment of the authenticity, there is a book held up by the Shiites today called "Al Kafi" and it means "Sufficient" or "Enough For Us." While reading through some material from the Ayatollah Khomeni in a Shiite Mosque down in Mexico about 10 years ago, I came across the information that there are differences between different verisons at different time periods in the various copies of it, similar to the differences in the versions of the Bible. So, you might like to go ask them how they deal with this issue and ask them to produce their books and show you the origin of them.

Bonus - 13. Thirteenth Question:
- They glorify Mohammed (pbuh) only. The Quran tells us not to make any distinction between messengers.

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Note: I saved this one for the last because of the size of the answer. These are not questions about hadeeth.
First of all, your question is not truthful. Neither the Quran nor the hadeeths "glorify Muhammad only." The Quran only "Glorifies" Allah. And the hadeeths confirm His Majesty and Honor. The reference to Muhammad, peace be upon him, and all the prophets, peace be upon them, for that matter are referred to as "servants," "messengers," and even "slaves" of Allah.
No true Muslim worships Muhammad or anyone else for that matter; only Allah. We say "peace be upon him" after Muhammad, peace be upon him, as well as the other prophets of Allah, but this does not indicate we are glorifying them at all.
We should look to the Quran to better understand this important aspect of how Muslims consider their prophets, peace be upon them all. If you have any doubt whatsoever, read the way Allah speaks about His messenger and how many times the name of "Muhammad", peace be upon him, appears in the Quran. You can use our website to check it out. Go to:
http://www.TodayIslam.com/quran/
And then in the Word Search box, enter the word: Muhammad
You will find:

Searching for the word "Muhammad". The word appears in 4 verses.

3.144 Muhammad is no more than a messenger: many were the a messengers that passed away before him. Is it that if he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah. But Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.

33.40 Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.

47.2 But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, and believe in the (Revelation) sent down to Muhammad - for it is the Truth from their Lord,- He will remove from them their ills and improve their condition.

48.29 Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurát; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward.

OK. Did you get the count? FOUR (4) times. And none of them glorifying Muhammad, rather they are glorifying Allah and making sure you understand that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is only a messenger. In many hadeeths, the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, referred to himself as a "slave" of Allah. That is far from "glorifying" him.
And Noah (peace be upon him), Searching for the word "Noah". The word appears in 47 verses.
Even Jonah (peace be upon him) is mentioned in good standing as a messenger of Allah, but again - not a "god."
Searching for the word "Jonah". The word appears in 4 verses. The same as prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
How about Abraham? (peace be upon him). He is the father of many messengers of Allah through both of his sons, Ismail (peace be upon him), and Isaac. Searching for the word "Abraham". The word appears in 69 verses. But Abraham (peace be upon him), was never called "god" or "son of god" or anything else that would indicate he was a diety of some kind.
And Moses?
Searching for the word "Moses". The word appears in 167 verses. Again, spoken of only in the best of terms, but not as a diety.
Adam? He is mentioned exactly 25 times in Quran. He is referred to as being created from the earth and Allah giving him life as a miracle, but again, still not a "god."

Jesus? Searching for the word "Jesus" (peace be upon him), we find the word exactly the same number of times as we find the word "Adam" (peace be upon him). The word appears in 25 verses. (28 if you count his 'kunyah' or name given as 'The Son of Mary') - Never as "son of a god."

How about the many wonderful hadeeths of all of the prophets, peace be upon all of them? "Jesus" is mentioned so many times that you can find time to count them all.

But if you would like to try here are a few:
The query search for the word [Jesus] generated the following matches:
The query [Jesus] generated the following matches:
Complete Sahih Bukhari
Complete Sahih Muslim

Would you like to see the many times the name of prophet Moses (peace be upon him) appears?

The query [Moses] generated the following matches: Complete Sahih Bukhari 001.001.003 001.003.074 001.003.078 001.003.097 001.003.123 001.003.124 001.005.277 001.008.345 002.023.423 002.024.553 002.026.626 003.031.222 003.036.467 003.041.594 003.041.595 003.048.849 003.050.888 004.053.378 004.054.429 004.054.462 004.054.498 004.055.574 004.055.581 004.055.605 004.055.607 004.055.608 004.055.609 004.055.610 004.055.612 004.055.613 004.055.616 004.055.617 004.055.619 004.055.620 004.055.621 004.055.622 004.055.626 004.055.647 004.055.648 005.057.056 005.058.227 005.058.279 005.059.288 005.059.624 005.059.625 005.059.700 006.060.003 006.060.133 006.060.162 006.060.202 006.060.236 006.060.249 006.060.250 006.060.251 006.060.260 006.060.261 006.060.262 006.060.323 006.060.337 006.060.478 007.071.606 007.071.648 007.072.795 008.073.085 008.073.122 008.074.306 008.075.348 008.076.524 008.076.525 008.076.570 008.077.611 008.078.656 008.078.665 009.083.052 009.087.111 009.093.507 009.093.524 009.093.532v 009.093.564 009.093.570 009.093.601 009.093.606 009.093.608

Complete Sahih Muslim 001.0309 001.0313 001.0314 001.0317 001.0318 001.0319 001.0320 001.0321 001.0322 001.0328 001.0363 001.0364 001.0373 001.0377 001.0378 001.0380 001.0425 003.0669 004.0918 005.2314 005.2315 006.2518 006.2520 017.4214 019.4458 023.5087 025.5326 030.5849 030.5850 030.5851 030.5852 030.5853 030.5854 030.5858 030.5859 030.5864 030.5865 030.5867 031.5913 031.5914 031.5915 031.5916 033.6409 033.6410 033.6411 033.6412 041.6943

Now how about our prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him)?

The query [Abraham] generated the following matches:
Complete Sahih Bukhari

001.004.140 001.008.345 001.008.389 001.008.395 001.012.754 002.023.468 002.026.653 002.026.655 002.026.656 002.026.670 002.026.671 002.026.690 003.034.339 003.034.420 003.047.803 004.052.139 004.052.143 004.054.429 004.055.568 004.055.569 004.055.570 004.055.571 004.055.572 004.055.573 004.055.574 004.055.575 004.055.577 004.055.578 004.055.579 004.055.581 004.055.582 004.055.583 004.055.584 004.055.586 004.055.587 004.055.588 004.055.589 004.055.590 004.055.591 004.055.596 004.055.603 004.055.607 004.055.647 004.055.648 004.055.656 005.058.169 005.058.227 005.059.410 005.059.584 005.059.635 006.060.003 006.060.010 006.060.011 006.060.061 006.060.086 006.060.087 006.060.149 006.060.210 006.060.211 006.060.216 006.060.236 006.060.264 006.060.291 006.060.292 007.062.021 007.062.155 007.065.336 007.072.795 008.073.101 008.074.313 008.075.374 008.076.533 008.076.570 009.085.082 009.087.171 009.092.433 009.093.507 009.093.532v 009.093.601 009.093.608

David, Solomon, Noah, Yaqub, Israel, Adam and so on are all mentioned in the Quran many times.
Check for yourself in our search engine of hadiths at:

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Conclusion: Both the Quran and the hadeeth of Islam hold all the prophets (peace be upon them all) in the highest esteem. We are ordered in the Quran not to make any seperation between them in honor and dignity, as regards their character and position with Allah. This is for Allah to determine, not us. The prophets of Islam are all considered to be the very best of all human beings and they do not make the major sins that we are so given to do. Yet, at the same time, Islam does not exalt any of the creation of Allah, even His most esteemed prophets to the level of "god" or "partners with Him" in worship. You might say, Islam puts all the prophets up very high and close to God, but never makes them "god" or "a son of a god."

It is worth mentioning here, that the mother of Jesus, peace be upon him, is also held in the highest of honor in Islam. Allah has mentioned her in the most glowing of terms, making her the best of all women in creation. She is designated by Allah to be the only woman mentioned by her name (many times) and He even dedicated a chapter of the Quran to her; Surah Mary [Quran 19]. Again, though she is not raised to the level to be worshipped or idolized as saints are in other religions.

I highly recommend that you visit our web pages on this subject in detail. We are linked to over 4,000 data bases around the world including many universities and organizations for the purpose of collecting and classifying information on Islam, particularly hadeeth. So, take a few weeks off from work and do yourself a big favor; get a FREE education in what Islam is really all about, inshallah.

[Return to Hadeeth]

Thank you for your interesting questions. We pray to Allah to guide you and all of us to believe firmly in Him and to obey His Commandments, as we have been ordered by all of His messengers, ameen.

Peace to all who seek truth,
Yusuf Estes

Islam Tomorrow .com