Significance of Hadith

Chapter No.: 

(Hujjat-e-Hadith حجت حديث)

We know that by Hadith we mean—sayings and/or deeds of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). In these lines we will try to know the significance of Hadith in Islam. There are some misled people who advocate that only Qur'an is enough for guidance in Islam and there is no need of Hadith. These people are canvassing vigorously amongst the younger generations and are trying their best to make them believe that Ummah is divided into different sects because of different interpretations of Hadith, so in order to unite the Ummah only Qur'an should be considered and Hadith be left out (نعوذ بالله من ذالك). Second question which is being asked by some people is that when we say Qur'an is a complete code for all times to come, then why do we need Hadith?

Meaning of—“Qur’an is a complete code”

There is no doubt about the fact that Qur’an is a complete code for the whole universe and for all times to come. But what does that mean? Does that mean that we should get exact answers from Qur’an for all our day to day problems? No, it does not mean that. If you want to know how many Rakats you have to offer for Magrib prayers or what are different forms of interest, you cannot find direct detailed answers for all these questions in Qur’an. Qur’an describes the general principles on the basis of which any problem of the world can be solved. The same is interpreted in other words when we say that Qur’an has the solution for all problems which are faced or will be faced by mankind. It does not mean that exactly readymade solutions fitting the conditions will be there. Allah Ta’ala says:

وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

"And We have sent down to thee the book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy and glad tidings to Muslims” (16:89)

It means that this book i.e., Qur’an is explaining all things in principle not in detail. It is laying down the principles on the basis of which all things can be explained. If we have to see all things in detail, then we need Hadith. Let us get the guidelines from Qur’an only in this direction:

What Qur’an says about Hadith

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

"Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah

an excellent exemplar." (33:21)

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا

"So take what the Messenger gives you and, and refrain from what he prohibits you." (59:7)

مَنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ

"He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah." (4:80)

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

"But no by thy Lord, they can have no (real) faith untill they make thee judge in all disputes between them." (4:65)

لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ () إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ () فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ () ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ ()

"Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur'an) to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and recite it: But when We have recited it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated): Nay, more, it is for us to explain it (and make it clear)." (75:16-19)

In these verses Allah Ta’ala says to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that preservation of Qur’an is His job and to explain Qur’an is also His job. The explanations of Qur’an came to us through Hadith only as Allah Ta’ala says in other verse in the Qur’an:

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

"It is He who has sent amongst the unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His sign, to purify then, and to instruct them in the Book."(62:2)

In this verse Allah Ta’ala says that the job of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is not only to recite Qur’an to the people but also to teach them its meaning. This teaching of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is called Hadith. So as per the Qur’anic instructions if we have to know the meaning of Qur’an, we are dependent upon Hadith.

Significance of Hadith from Hadith

تركت فيكم شيئين لن تضلوا بعدهما كتاب الله و سنتي و لن يتفرقا حتى يرد على الخوض (صحاح)

"I have left amongst you two things, you will never get astray after (sticking to) these. (These are) Book of Allah (Qur'an) and my Sunnah, they will not part untill they return you to me at Hauz-e-Kauther."

Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says:

إنه سيأتي نأس يجادلونكم بشبهات القران فخذوا بالسنن فإن أصحاب السنن أعلم بكتاب الله (دارمي)

"Soon there will be people who will quarrel with you with doubts about Qur’an, so you take Qur’an with Sunnah (Hadith), as indeed, the people of Sunnah are the ones who know Qur’an better”. (Darmi)

To believe in Qur’an only and not Hadith is Kufr

Haafiz Ibne Hazm Undlusi says:

لو أنّ إمرا قال لا تأخذ إلا بما وجدنا في القران لكان كافرا بإجماع الأمة (أحكام في أصول إحكام -جلد دوم)

"If someone says that he will accept only that thing which he will find in Qur’an (refusing Hadith). He is Kaafir as per the consensus of Ummah."

Practical interpretation of Qur’an—The Sunnah

If anyone wants to see the practical interpretation and application of Qur’an, then he has to see Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).

Once Hadhrat Aayesha (RA) was asked to describe the morals of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), she at once replied in a single sentence:

كان خلقه القران

“His morals were (nothing but) Qur’an”

The Qur’an says:

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ

"Establish Salaah and pay Zakat” (2:43)

This verse is all what the Qur’an says about Salaah and Zakat. Now to know how may Rakats, how may times and how and when should one offer Salaah and how much Zakat one has to pay and what things are exempted from Zakat and other details, for all these details and to fulfill these commands of Qur’an there is no other source but Hadith.

عَبَسَ وَتَولَّى () أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَى ()

“(The prophet) frowned and turned away because there came to him a blind man” (80:1-2)

In these verses if you want to know who frowned, who was the blind man and why was he frowned at, you need Hadith otherwise you cannot understand these verses.

Similarly, the Qur’an says:

ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا

“Being the second of the two, they two were in cave and he said to his companion, ‘Have no fear, for Allah is with us”. (9:40)

Who were in cave? Who said to his companion? Where was the cave and what was the full incident? For all this one needs Hadith.

These are only few examples. Similarly, it is true for the whole Qur’an that to properly understand it, Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is needed.

Hadith itself is from Allah

Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an:

مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى () وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى () إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى ()

“Your companion is neither astray nor being misled, nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire it is no less than inspiration sent down to him” (53:2-4)

In these verses Allah Ta’ala says in clear terms that whatever Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says he does not say it of his own but from the direct inspiration from Allah. So, whatever he says is from Allah—what is called ‘Unworded Revelation’ It means those revelations from Allah to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) which are not in Qur’an and are not recited as Qur'an, as against Qur’an which is called ‘Worded Revelation', in which both words and meaning is from Allah and is recited as Qur’an.

Allah Ta’ala says:

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الْأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِنْدَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ يَأْمُرُهُمْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَائِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالْأَغْلَالَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures), in the Taurat and the Gospel; for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure). He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them" (7:157)

We know that to make something permissible (Halal) and something forbidden (Haram) is the job of Allah Ta'ala. In this verse Allah Ta’ala attributes this duty of commanding something as permissible and forbidding something as non-permissible, to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Why is it so,? Because whatever Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) says, is also from Allah, therefore, there is no confusion. You will see in Shari'ah many things as Halal and Haram which are not mentioned in Qur’an but are mentioned in Hadith only.