Questions About Hadeeth in Islam
- Yusuf Estes
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
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.
dilemma is with the additional sources called the
Hadith, and the Ahadith. This is confusing.
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 ----------
represent the second source for the Muslim faith and most Muslims
place them with equal reverence to the Quran.
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.
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.
Quran specifically orders us to follow the hadeeths. Therefore,
if we claim to follow the Quran, we also must follow the hadeeth.
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
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."
whoever obeys Allah and His messenger, fears Allah and keeps
his duty (to Him), such are the successful ones." [Quran
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."
(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]
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]
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
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]
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]
perform AsSalat (IqamatasSalat), and give Zakat
and OBEY THE MESSENGER (Muhammad SAW) that you may receive
mercy (from Allah). [Quran 24:56]
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.
obtain a free Quran online with the search capacity that I used
to locate these verses, visit our site and download it:
(please read entire work for the part regarding the hadeeths
-- this could take a few days by the way)
I apply the same thought processes to verify these
then I am presented with the following difficulties (coming
up in the next questions)
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
Mohammed (pbuh) was said to have prevented people from writing
his own utterances lest they be confused with Quranic revelation.
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?]
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?
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.
were not compiled until almost two centuries after the Mohammed
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).
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).
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.
Khalif After Him (Abu
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.
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.
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.
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
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
- 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?.
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.
Again, this is not true. In
fact this is a requirement for it to be a correct hadeeth. The
have these conditions:
- None of the narrators could have seen the prophet.
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
- A few hadith contradict the Quran.
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.
Some hadeeth were selected whilst others were
rejected for inferior line of transmission and possible political
influences such as rivalries between early Muslim tribes.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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?
- 12. Twelfth question:
Why the hadith of the Shiite sect less valid than the hadith
of Sunni sects?
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
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.
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?
sounds like someone pulling my leg)
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.
- 13. Thirteenth Question:
- They glorify Mohammed (pbuh) only. The Quran tells us
not to make any distinction between messengers.
Note: I saved this one for the last
because of the size of the answer. These are not questions
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.
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.
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:
And then in the Word Search box, enter the word: Muhammad
You will find:
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.
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.
Noah (peace be upon him), Searching for the word "Noah".
The word appears in 47 verses.
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
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.
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.
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."
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."
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:
query search for the word [Jesus] generated the following
query [Jesus] generated the following matches:
you like to see the many times the name of prophet Moses (peace
be upon him) appears?
how about our prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him)?
query [Abraham] generated the following matches:
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:
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.
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,
[Return to Hadeeth]
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.
to all who seek truth,