- Jun 2014
Shiite Islam has a very rich treasure trove of Hadith. Yes, there are false traditions, but there is an scientific way of establishing their veracity - which is you compare them to the Quran.
Which creates a problem. If the Quran says nothing on the subject of the Hadith you cannot verify it by comparing it to the Quran.
For example: There is a Hadith that states an angel will not enter any home that has a dog in it.
The Quran does not say that an angel will refuse to enter a home with a dog, but the Quran also doesn't say that an angel will enter a home with a dog.
Since the Quran says nothing one way or the other on the subject, then how on earth would we use the Quran to rule on its authenticity, one way or the other??
Also, if the Hadith can all be verified by the Quran, then I have a very simple question: Why do we even need Hadith then??
If the Quran can verify or disprove all Hadith, shouldn't the Quran be sufficient??
Hadith still just doesn't make sense to me. And I'm afraid until my specific concerns are addressed, it will not make sense to me. The beauty of the Quran is that it is the perfect word of God, which I assume is a statement you agree with. Because of the Quran and Muhammad's literacy campaign, there was no corruption within it, like the Tahrif you could find in Jewish or Christian Scriptures, which due to their age and the limitations of their era, suffered from being secondhand or thirdhand accounts of the people who witnessed the Prophets, rather than the direct Word of God through the Prophet themselves.
Anyone who's played a game of "telephone" where people in a line whisper a message in one another's ear and observe how different the message at the end is from the initial one can understand why the secondhand recordings of the Gospel weren't as great a thing as the direct Word of God as written.
The Quran is free of the concept of Tahrif, which is why it is so great!! My problem with the Hadith, though, is that they have the very same faults as a game of telephone, it is a secondhand account, and not the direct Word of God through Muhammad. Hadith can either be confirmed or rebuked by Quranic verse, in which case the Hadith is unnecessary, as the Quran communicates the exact same message, or the subject the Hadith covers is NOT mentioned in the Quran, cannot be verified, and suffers from Tahrif.
So every time I ponder the Hadith, I get to the same question on the subject:
Why would God solve the problem of Tahrif with the Quran, only to reintroduce the problem of Tahrif with Hadith??
Since it would not make sense for God to do this, I can only logically conclude that the Quran is indeed perfect, and Hadiths are not an intended part of the dispensation.
Unfortunately, until the Problem of Tahrif can be solved, I can't put trust in Hadith.
the Quran and traditions both are unanimous in their view that there is no Prophet, no messenger and no book,
Quran 33:40 said:
Muhammad is not the father of one of your men, but the Messenger of God and seal of the prophets. And ever is God, of all things, Knowing.
Khatam in modern usage can mean "Last" or "Seal". The usage of "khatam" as "last" and synonymous with "akhir" appears to have emerged prior to the introduction of the Quran based on interpretations of 33:40. We can see this in how the this word is used in the Quran, every other verse where "khatam" appears being specifically the word "Seal" and never, from context, possible to interpret as "last", instead other words used for "last" throughout the rest of the Quran. The complete use of "khatam" in the Quran is below:
Quran 2:7 said:
God has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil. And for them is a great punishment.
Quran 6:46 said:
Say, "Have you considered: if God should take away your hearing and your sight and set a seal upon your hearts, which deity other than God could bring them (back) to you?" Look how we diversify the verses; then they (still) turn away.
Quran 36:65 said:
That Day, We will seal over their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet will testify about what they used to earn.
Quran 42:24 said:
Or do they say, "He has invented about God a lie"? But if God willed, He could seal over your heart. And Allah eliminates falsehood and establishes the truth by His words. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.
Quran 83:25 said:
They will be given to drink (pure) wine (which was) sealed.
Also, consider the specific wording of 6:46, which implies that That Which God Seals Only God May Unseal, which in turn indicates that God can Unseal what he has Sealed.
Also of note, according to scholars I have read on the subject, the status of "Seal of the Prophets" indicates that Muhammad's dispensation will rule until the Day of Qiyamah (Resurrection).
This is a rather important distinction to noting the Baha'i understanding of things, as we believe that the Day of Qiyamah has already passed. The seal is thus unsealed.