Lamp of Islam articles

Quran

Essential methodology for understanding the Quran

Basic guidelines on how to study the Quran

Translation of an untranslatable book

Importance of holistic reading

Understanding the vague messages

When a reading of the Quran can misguide

A reading of the Quran can misguide when …

Why traditional tafsirs are unreliable

Differences among Quran-centrists

Meaning of Gabriel

An answer to a deist’s rebuttal of the Quran

Preservation of the Quran

Let every community follow the guidance of their own Books

Unfolding of divine messages is like biological evolution

An answer to Jay Smith’s “Examining the Newest Historical Research on Islam …”

Hadith

The Quran prohibited Hadith

Hadith prohibited Hadith

The first four Caliphs prohibited Hadith

Earlier Muslims prohibited Hadith

Common sense prohibits Hadith

The Quran relates Hadith to shirk

The Quran rejects Hadith and its authority

The Quran describes Hadith as satanic revelation

The Quran exposes hadith, sunna, ijma, sharia and salaf

The Quran disapproves of all hadiths other than the Quran

Why the Prophet prohibited Hadith

How hadiths contradict science and reason

How hadiths insult and demonise the Prophet

How hadiths severely corrupted Islam

Criticism of Hadith: from a Quranic viewpoint

Why Quran is the only authority of Islam

Observation

Hearing, sights and senses as flying birds

BIRD always refers to self and sensory-psychological processes

BIRD is always associated with hearing, sights and senses

Meaning of BIRD in the Quran

Abraham’s four birds

Where is our Bird of Destiny?

Birds and salat

Sensory perceptions in the Quran

Importance of scientific observation

The Quran calls on us to travel

Divine gifts of transport

Can scientific observation be one of the ‘pillars’ of Islam?

Reasoning

The Quran calls for inductive reasoning

The Quran calls for critical thinking and reasoning

Scientific understanding

Relationship between the Quran and science

What a doctor can learn from the Quran

An answer to Richard Carrier’s “Cosmology and the Koran”

Reading the verses on natural phenomena: A multi-layered approach

Animal experiment: a discussion

Articles on science

Science

Articles on science

The Oneness and the Transcendent

Why awareness of Oneness and Transcendent is so important

How rejection of Oneness and Transcendent leads to fire

All good deeds spring from the Awareness of Oneness

Will God send disbelievers to eternal hell?

Abraham’s observation of the Universe

Arguments for the existence of God

Messages in our own self

God in the Upanishads

The famous light verse

Abraham’s four birds

Hell and its duration

The Light of the Upanishads

Every kindling of fire is a reminder!

Finding God through His signs in nature

Countering the mosque-goers’ argument during the coronavirus pandemic

Hell is temporary, heaven is unending

Shahada

A preface to “22 serious reasons shahada should contain no name except God’s”

22 serious reasons shahada should contain no name except God’s

The first commandment of Islam has no name in it except God’s

La ilaha illa Allah is the only shahada found in the Quran

The Quran doesn’t authorize any added name in shahada

Islam revolves around Oneness and so should shahada

In all service we should remember only the ever-living One who never dies

We are not allowed to make distinction between the messengers

God is enough as witness that Muhammad was God’s messenger

The Quran relates the testimony ‘Muhammadur rasulullah’ to hypocrisy

The Quran links the added shahada to rejection

Pairing God with Muhammad violates holistic logic

The Quran condemns those who mention ‘others’ with God

Associating sanctified creatures with God is idolatry, the gravest offense in Islam

Extended shahada is not a requirement to be or become a Muslim

Extended shahada is not a requirement for salvation

Islam is not about any particular messenger

The Quran presaged the extended shahada as deviation

Extended shahada creates false religions by inventing secondary authorities

Sectarian shahada is based on baseless hadiths

‘Shahada hadiths’ are contradictory and confused

Sectarian shahada was a later invention

Earliest ‘dated Muslim texts’ constantly remember God but never Muhammad

The dual shahada evolved in line with an increasing idolization of Muhammad

A summary of “22 serious reasons shahada should contain no name except God’s”

Distortion of shahada evidenced by archaeology

Distortion of shahada through the political slogan of the Umayyads

True Islam

Islam is not about any particular messenger

The Quran calls for inductive reasoning

The Quran calls for critical thinking and reasoning

Quran, the messenger of peace and tolerance

The Quran calls for peace and tolerance: verse examples

The Quran promotes religious pluralism

The Quran promotes art and aesthetics

Pursue pleasure and happiness and mind the balance

Pollutants and evils that intruded into Islam through traditions

Book review: Abdur Rab’s “Rediscovering Genuine Islam”

Muhammad

The Muhammad of the Quran

True Muhammad versus false Muhammad

Can Muhammad of hadiths be a prophet of God?

Miraj from the Book of Viraz?

Was Muhammad an epileptic?

Muhammad cartoons controversy: what does the Quran say?

A review of Dan Gibson’s Mecca vs. Petra theory

Petra has nothing to do with the origin of Islam

How hadiths insult and demonise the Prophet

Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires by Juan Cole

Islam vs Muhammadanism

How all the corruption in Islam started

Darood (salawat): Its origin and danger

Miraj from the Book of Viraz?

The story of Miraj: an anti-Quranic fiction

Lailatul Qadr: Night of Meditation

Who can intercede on the Day of Judgment?

What does the Quran really say about intercession?

Understanding chapter 6 from Abraham’s perspective

How hadiths insult and demonise the Prophet

Quran, the messenger of peace and tolerance

The Quran calls for peace and tolerance: verse examples

Distortion of shahada evidenced by archaeology

Zoroastrian influence on traditional Islam

Pollutants and evils that intruded into Islam through traditions

Distortion of shahada through the political slogan of the Umayyads

Should we add sanctifying titles and phrases to the names of the messengers?

Pluralism

The Quran promotes religious pluralism

Meaning of COLOURS in the Quran

One light (the Truth) is split into many colours (a truth’s)

We are called to observe the colours

The famous Light Verse

Why light is one and darknesses are many

Black and White in the Quran

Various colours in the Quran

One ‘green’ with many products

God in the Upanishads

The Light of the Upanishads

Arabia: The Untold Story: a review

Does Deen have a structure?

Let every community follow the guidance of their own Books

The Quran accepts shirk as a necessary evil

Similarity between Hindu, Christian and Muslim prayers

The story of Adam: a call for a secular, pluralistic society

Quran, the messenger of peace and tolerance

The Quran calls for peace and tolerance: verse examples

Islam vs rituals

Salat during the time of the Prophet

Why salat is NOT ritual prayer

The word ‘salat’ in the Quran

Miraj from the Book of Viraz?

Lailatul Qadr: Night of Meditation

Meaning of Safa and Marwah

Zoroastrian influence on traditional Islam

Why establishing the Salat means doing Works of Reform

Is praying for something or someone helpful?

Islamic and un-Islamic practices

Miraj from the Book of Viraz?

Lailatul Qadr: Night of Meditation

Is it wrong to say Ameen?

Zoroastrian influence on traditional Islam

The Quran promotes art and aesthetics

Pursue pleasure and happiness and mind the balance

Countering the mosque-goers’ argument during the coronavirus pandemic

Should halal slaughter be banned?

Facts about pork

Halal food misconceptions

Circumcision: an overview

Should we recommend circumcision?

Animal experiment: a discussion

Sex, love, marriage

‘Islamic headscarf’: a traditional misconception

The Quran never allowed wife beating

What is nikah

What is zina

What is fahishah

Is sex before marriage necessarily wrong?

Child marriage violates the Quran

Abortion from a Quranic perspective

Is adoption prohibited in Islam?

Salat

Salat during the time of the Prophet

Why salat is NOT ritual prayer

The word ‘salat’ in the Quran

Why traditional PRAYER is not Quranic salat

Why SUJUD is NOT physical prostration

Why RUKU is not physical bowing

Why QIYAM is not physical standing

Why RAKAT is an unquranic concept

Why QIBLA is not physical direction

Why a mindless TILAWAT is irrelevant for the purpose of salat

Why WUDU, ghusl and tayammum are not ritual purification

Why establishing the Salat means doing Works of Reform

Meaning of sujud

Change of qibla

Birds and salat

Does Deen have a structure?

Zoroastrian influence on traditional Islam

Why the Prophet’s wartime salat was not ritual prayer

Origin and development of traditional Muslim prayer

Are all “O you who believe” verses applicable to us?

On origin of five daily prayers: Tom Holland vs Jonathan Brown

Reviews and rebuttals

Arabia: The Untold Story: a review

A review of Dan Gibson’s Mecca vs. Petra theory

Petra has nothing to do with the origin of Islam

An answer to a deist’s rebuttal of the Quran

Can Muhammad of hadiths be a prophet of God?

Lands are shrinking, despite what Quran’s critics say

Does the Quran really say that the Sun sinks in a murky lake?

Book review: Abdur Rab’s “Rediscovering Genuine Islam”

An answer to Richard Carrier’s “Cosmology and the Koran”

An answer to wikiislam’s rebuttal of the Quran about ‘frontal lobe and lying’

An answer to Jay Smith’s “Examining the Newest Historical Research on Islam …”

An answer to Richard Carrier’s “Predicting Modern Science: Epicurus vs. Mohammed”

On origin of five daily prayers: Tom Holland vs Jonathan Brown

Same sex relationship

The story of Lot: Correcting the traditional mistranslations

The story of Lot condemns xenophobic hate, not homosexual love

The Quran doesn’t penalise homosexuality

A same sex act in itself is not a transgression

Lot’s people assaulted ‘men from other nations’

Understanding the story of Lot

Does the Quran condemn homosexuality?

The significance of BAL (No, instead,) in the story of Lot

Did Lot really offer his daughters to the rapists?

Why the traditional understanding of the story of Lot makes NO SENSE

Does Prophet Lot question only men, or both men and women?

Messages in nature

Messages in physical sciences

Messages in life sciences

Messages in human sciences

Messages in our own self

Finding God through His signs in nature

Dialectics

Dialectics in society

Laws of historical dialectics in the Quran

Dialectical expressions in the Quran

The Universal Flux

Cosmos

Is there a cosmic blueprint?

The Big Bang and the origin of the Universe

The Expanding Universe

Meaning of ‘seven Heavens’

Strict balance in the expanding Universe

An answer to Richard Carrier’s “Cosmology and the Koran”

Death and rebirth of stars: a reminder

What is ‘the lowest Heaven’?

Heliocentric concepts in the Quran

Meaning of ‘seven Earths’

Mind and the Universe

What is harder to create: Man or Universe?

Man’s place in the Universe

An answer to Richard Carrier’s “Predicting Modern Science: Epicurus vs. Mohammed”

The Universal Flux

Solar system

Meaning of ‘seven Heavens’

What is ‘the lowest Heaven’?

Heliocentric concepts in the Quran

Geocentric or heliocentric?

Meaning of ‘seven Earths’

Earth

Earth’s axial rotation

Earth’s orbital revolution

Earth is a spinning ball

Earth as a spaceship

Geocentric or heliocentric?

Two Easts and two Wests

Meaning of ‘seven Earths’

Does the Quran really say that the Sun sinks in a murky lake?

Lands are shrinking, despite what Quran’s critics say

Mountains are passing like clouds

Earth, the great womb of evolving life

Evolution

Evolutionary sequence in the Quran

Man has evolved through stages

Rumi and the Quranic concept of evolution

The story of Adam confirms evolutionary origin of humans

Unfolding of divine messages is like biological evolution

What is the original material that man has evolved from?

Earth, the great womb of evolving life

Plants and photosynthesis

Every kindling of fire is a reminder!

One ‘green’ with many products

Adam

The story of Adam is a parable

The meaning of the story of Adam

Understanding the allegory of Adam

Adam is not a name of a person

Is Adam a prophet?

Creation of Adam is a constantly recurring event

How would the ‘Forces’ know about future violences?

Why Adam’s mate in the Quran has no name

Where is the garden of Adam?

How fall of Adam can be reversed

Meaning of ‘children of Adam’

The story of Adam confirms evolutionary origin of humans

The story of Adam: a call for a secular, pluralistic society

Man’s place in the Universe

The story of Adam’s two sons

Why the story of Adam is an allegory

Noah

What was the actual age of Noah

Understanding the Flood Parable of Noah

Why the flood story of Noah is similar to the Hindu flood legend of Manu

Abraham

Abraham’s observation of the Universe

Understanding chapter 6 from Abraham’s perspective

Abraham’s four birds

Jesus

Does the Quran really support the Virgin Birth of Jesus?

The spirit-bearing man who gave Mary a pure son was a real, mortal man

Quranic allegories

What was the actual age of Noah

Understanding the Flood Parable of Noah

Why the flood story of Noah is similar to the Hindu flood legend of Manu

Abraham’s four birds

A lesson from the story of Aaron

The Parable of the Town in Ruins

Does the Quran really support the Virgin Birth of Jesus?

The spirit-bearing man who gave Mary a pure son was a real, mortal man

Meaning of Shaitan

Will teleportation ever be possible?

Meaning of Gabriel

Birds and salat

BIRD always refers to self and sensory-psychological processes

BIRD is always associated with hearing, sights and senses

How hadiths degrade women and instigate misogyny

Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman

Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman

The Quran strongly advocates the unitary origin of humankind from the same life-source, while highlighting the parallel, simultaneous descent of its male and female counterparts (4:1). Thus, far from discriminating against women, it depicts both men and women as contemporary and complimentary to each other, while often mentioning them together in mutual, reciprocal terms as equals (And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women. 2:226). For example, in addressing the awakened people, the Quran uses the dual expression ‘men and women’ to emphasize the equality of gender with regard to their respective rights, duties, virtues and merits (2:226, 3:195, 9:71, 16:97, 33:35). Also, while assuring both males and females the same recompense for their actions (4:32), it confirms that they both possess the same spiritual capability to enter the eternal garden of bliss if they do good (43:70, 4:124). Nobody is superior to the other, since the superiority of a person is just in the degree of closeness to God through awareness and good actions (49:13).

In sharp contrast, however, hadiths, including the so-called sahih hadiths, constantly and blatantly contradict the Quranic positions in this regard. This can be demonstrated by quoting a few examples where hadiths degrade women and instigate misogyny:

  1. Women are virtual slaves to their husbands
  2. Women are not allowed to refuse if their men call them to bed
  3. Angels curse any woman who refuses her husband’s invite for sex
  4. Wife’s salvation is contingent on her husband’s happiness
  5. A woman’s prayer or worship is not accepted if she upsets her husband
  6. Women’s lower status is portrayable only in a derogatory way
  7. Women are created from a crooked rib
  8. A good woman is very rare like a white crow
  9. Most of the dwellers of Hell are women
  10. Woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil
  11. Women are a source of seduction and evil
  12. Women are the worst form of fitnah
  13. A nation fails if its ruler is a woman
  14. Women are one of the bad omens
  15. Women are inferior in intellect and religion
  16. The whole of a woman is a private part
  17. Women are degraded and lined up with animals
  18. Women are treatable like inferiors and objects
  19. Wives have no right over their husbands other than food and clothing
  20. Women are like captives and domestic animals
  21. Women should be beaten when required
  22. Men are not only allowed to beat their wives but also they are not accountable to God for this
  23. Men are incited to polygyny and macho sexual activity with multiple women
  24. Men are allowed to take child brides
  25. The silence of a bride is always to be interpreted as her consent for marriage
  26. Muslim men must marry only ‘religious’ women, thus precluding interfaith marriages
  27. Women are so cheap that a man can marry a woman by paying her a bridal-due as little as an iron ring
  28. A woman is not allowed to seek divorce except in extreme cases
  29. Men, however, can instantaneously divorce their wives simply by three utterances of divorce
  30. A wife, after this instantaneous divorce, cannot remarry her former husband unless she marries another person
  31. Men are allowed to rape war captives or slave girls
  32. Women’s honour is preserved through female genital mutilation (FGM)

1. Women are virtual slaves to their husbands

The Messenger of Allah said, “If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah.” Narrated by Qays ibn Sa’d. https://sunnah.com/abudawud:2140

The Messenger of Allah said, “If I were to command anyone to prostrate to anyone other than Allah, I would have commanded women to prostrate to their husbands. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad! No woman can fulfil her duty towards Allah until she fulfils her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for sex) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.” Narrated by Abdullah bin Abu Awfa. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:1853

The Prophet said, “It is not permissible for a human being to prostrate to another human being. Were it permissible for a human being to prostrate to another human being, I would have commanded the woman to prostrate to her husband because of his great right upon her. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if he (the husband) had, from his feet to the top of his head, an ulcer oozing blood and pus, and she came to lick it off for him, she would not have fulfilled his right.” Reported by Anas b. Malik. Narrated by Imam Ahmad, 12153; al-Jaami’, 7725

While the Quran depicts the relationship between husband and wife as one of love and respect and kindness and cooperation (30:21, 4:19, 7:189, 25:74, 2:228), hadiths, on the other hand, reduce a wife’s position to that of virtual slavery to her husband. Numerous hadiths exemplify this.

2. Women are not allowed to refuse if their men call them to bed

The Messenger of Allah said, “By Him in Whose Hand is my life, when a man calls his wife to his bed, and she does not respond, the One Who is above the heaven becomes displeased with her until he (her husband) becomes pleased with her.” Reported by Abu Hurairah. Muslim B 008, H 3367 https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:281

The messenger of Allah said, “When a man sends for his wife for the satisfaction of his need, she should go to him even if she may be occupied in baking bread.” Narrated by Talq ibn Ali. https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:1160

The Messenger of Allah said, “No woman can fulfil her duty towards Allah until she fulfils her duty towards her husband. If he asks her (for sex) even if she is on her camel saddle, she should not refuse.” Narrated by Abdullah bin Abu Awfa. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:1853

Evidently, once again, this genre of Hadith goes against the very spirit of the Quranic teachings, which portray spousal bond as one of mutual love and cooperation. These hadiths downgrade wives to mere servants to their husbands and “contribute to the general denigration of the moral status of women.” They have also grave socio-economic implications.

3. Angels curse any woman who refuses her husband’s invite for sex

The Prophet said, “If a man invites his wife to sleep with him and she refuses to come to him, then the angels send their curses on her till morning.” Narrated by Abu Huraira.  https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5193

Allah’s apostle said, “When a woman spends the night away from the bed of her husband, the angels curse her until morning.” Reported by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/muslim:1436

4. Wife’s salvation is contingent on her husband’s happiness

The Prophet said, “Any woman who dies while her husband is pleased with her enters Heaven.” Reported by the Prophet’s wife Umm Salmah. Narrated by Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim. https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:286

The Prophet said, “If a woman prays five (times a day), fasts Ramadan, obeys her husband, and guards her chastity, she will enter Heaven.” Reported by Anas b. Malik. Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 1:236-237

God’s Messenger said, “When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of paradise she wishes.” Reported by Anas (similar report by Abu Huraira). https://sunnah.com/mishkat:3254

When God’s Messenger was asked which woman was best he replied, “The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves.” Reported by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/mishkat:3272

The Prophet said, “God will not look at a woman who is not grateful to her husband despite her reliance on him.” Reported by Abd Allah b. Umar. ‘Awn al-Mabud, 6:179

The Prophet said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.” It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them.” Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:29

As Abou El Fadl rightly points out, the message in these hadiths “is problematic because it makes God’s pleasure contingent on the husband’s pleasure.” All such hadiths are not only at odds with the spirit of the Quran, they also suggest that the Prophet glorified carnal pleasure – a suggestion that is fundamentally contradictory to his beautiful character.

5. A woman’s prayer or worship is not accepted if she upsets her husband

The Messenger of Allah said, “There are three people whose prayers will not be accepted by Allah, nor do any good deed of theirs risen up to heaven: a fleeing slave until he returns to his master and helps him, a woman whose husband is angry with her until he is pleased with her, and a drunkard until he becomes conscious.” Related by Jabir. Reported by Ibn Hibban

The Messenger of Allah said, “There are three whose prayer do not rise more than a hand span above their heads: A man who leads people (in prayer) when they do not like him; a woman who has spent the night with her husband angry with her; and two brothers who have severed contact with one another.” Narrated by Ibn Abbas. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:971

The Prophet said, “The first things a woman is called to account for on the Day of Judgment are her prayers and her (relations with her) husband.” As-Suyuti in Al-Jami Al-Kabir

The Messenger of Allah said, “It is not lawful for a woman to fast (voluntarily) when her husband is present without his permission, and she may not allow anyone to enter his house without his permission.” Reported by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/mishkat:2031; similar hadiths occur in Bukhari and Muslim. https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:282

6. Women’s lower status is portrayable only in a derogatory way

Allah’s Messenger said, “A husband’s right upon his wife is such that if he had an ulcer and she licked it for him, she would not fulfil his right by that.” Narrated by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri. Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban; al-Jami’ no. 3148

The Prophet said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if he (the husband) had, from his feet to the top of his head, an ulcer oozing blood and pus, and she came to lick it off for him, she would not have fulfilled his right.” Reported by Anas b. Malik. Ahmad b. Hanbal’s Musnad, 12153; al-Jaami’ no. 7725

A woman approached the Prophet informing him that she intends to marry her cousin, and asked what the rights of her husband would be over her, to which he replied, “Were you to lick the snot off of his nose, even then you would not have given him his full rights he has over you.” At which the woman replied, “In that case, I do not wish to get married!” Reported by Ahmad, Al-Bazaar and Silsilat As-Saheeha.

7. Women are created from a crooked rib

The Prophet said, “Take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it, it will remain crooked, so I urge you to take care of the women.” Narrated by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5185

The Messenger of Allah said, “Take my advice with regard to women: Act kindly towards women, for they were created from a rib, and the most crooked part of a rib is its uppermost. If you attempt to straighten it; you will break it, and if you leave it alone it will remain crooked; so act kindly toward women”. Narrated by Abu Huraira. In another narration of Bukhari and Muslim, the Messenger of Allah said: “A woman is like a rib, if you attempt to straighten it, you will break it; and if you benefit from her, you will do so while crookedness remains in her”. https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:273

8. A good woman is very rare like a white crow

The Prophet said, “Finding a good woman among women is similar to finding a white crow among a hundred crows.” Bukhari, Ahmad b. Hanbal’s Musnad, Nisa’I, quoted by al-Ghazali

9. Most of the dwellers of Hell are women

The Prophet said, “I looked at Paradise and found poor people forming the majority of its inhabitants; and I looked at Hell and saw that the majority of its inhabitants were women.” Narrated by `Imran bin Husain. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3241

The Prophet said, “I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of the people who entered it were the poor, while the wealthy were stopped at the gate (for the accounts). But the companions of the Fire were ordered to be taken to the Fire. Then I stood at the gate of the Fire and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women.” Narrated by Usama. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5196

10. Woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil

Jabir reported that Allah’s Messenger saw a woman, and so he came to his wife, Zainab, as she was tanning a leather and had sexual intercourse with her. He then went to his Companions and told them: The woman advances and retires in the shape of a devil, so when one of you sees a woman, he should come to his wife, for that will repel what he feels in his heart. https://sunnah.com/muslim:1403a

11. Women are a source of seduction and evil

The Prophet said, “The life of the world is sweet and green. Allah makes you generations succeeding one another so that He may try you in respect of your actions. So beware of the beguilements of the world and those of women. The first trial of Banu Israel was through women”. Reported by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri. Muslim. https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:70

The Messenger of Allah stood up to deliver a sermon and one of the things that he said was: “This world is fresh and sweet, and Allah will make your successive generations therein, so look at what you do and beware of (the temptations of) this world and beware of (the temptations of) women.” Narrated by Abu Sa’eed. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:4000

The Prophet said, “women are the snares of the devil.” A-Jarrahi, Kashf al-Khafa’

12. Women are the worst form of fitnah

The Prophet said, “I have not left among the people after me, a Fitnah more harmful upon men than women.” Narrated by Usamah and Sa’eed bin Zaid. https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:2780

The Prophet said, “After me I have not left any trial more severe to men than women.” Narrated by Usama bin Zaid. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5096

13. A nation fails if its ruler is a woman

The Prophet said, “A nation is doomed if it is led by a woman.” The full hadith reported by Abu Bakra reads as follows: During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, “Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler.” http://sunnah.com/bukhari/92/50

14. Women are one of the bad omens

Allah’s Messenger said “If there is any evil omen in anything, then it is in the woman, the horse and the house.” Narrated by Sahl bin Sa`d Saidi. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:2859

The Prophet said, “There is no hamah, no infection and no evil omen; if there is in anything an evil omen, it is a house, a horse, and a woman.” Narrated by Sa’d ibn Malik. https://sunnah.com/abudawud:3921

15. Women are inferior in intellect and religion

Allah’s Messenger said, “O women! Give alms, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-Fire were you (women).” The women asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What is the reason for it?” He replied, “O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. O women, some of you can lead a cautious wise man astray.” Narrated by Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:1462

The Prophet said, “O women folk! You should give charity and be diligent in seeking Allah’s forgiveness because I have seen (i.e., on the Night of the Ascension to the highest heavens) that dwellers of the Hell are women.” A woman amongst them said: “Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?” The Prophet replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence.” Upon this the woman asked: “What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?” He replied, “Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion.” Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (also attributed to Abu Hurayah). Muslim. https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:1879

The Prophet said (to some women), “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said, “Yes.” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri. Bukhari 3:48:826 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:2658

Allah’s Messenger said, “Many amongst men reached (the level of) perfection but none amongst the women reached this level except Asia, Pharaoh’s wife, and Mary, the daughter of `Imran. And no doubt, the superiority of `Aisha to other women is like the superiority of Tharid (i.e. a meat and bread dish) to other meals.” Narrated by Abu Musa. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3411

Perhaps the hadiths most demeaning to women are the ones like the above that assert that women are deficient in intellect and religion.

16. The whole of a woman is a private part

The Prophet said, “The (whole of a) woman is Awrah (private part), so when she goes out, the Shaitan seeks to tempt her.” Narrated by Abdullah. https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/12/28 Reported also by Al-Suyuty in Al-Jami` Al-Saghir.

17. Women are degraded and lined up with animals

The Messenger of Allah said, “A woman, an ass and a dog disrupt the prayer, but something like the back of a saddle guards against that.” Reported by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/muslim:511

The Messenger of ‘Allah said, “When any one of you stands for prayer … and in case there is not before him (a thing) equal to the back of the saddle, his prayer would be cut off by (passing of an) ass, woman, and black dog. … (on asking what feature is there in a black dog which distinguish it from the red dog and the yellow dog, he said:) The black dog is a devil.” Reported by Abu Dharr. https://sunnah.com/muslim:510a

Narrated `Aisha: The things which annul the prayers were mentioned before me. They said, “Prayer is annulled by a dog, a donkey and a woman (if they pass in front of the praying people).” I said, “You have made us (i.e. women) dogs. I saw the Prophet praying while I used to lie in my bed between him and the Qibla. Whenever I was in need of something, I would slip away for I disliked to face him.” https://sunnah.com/bukhari:511

Evil omen was mentioned before the Prophet: The Prophet said, “If there is evil omen in anything, it is in the house, the woman and the horse.” Narrated by Ibn `Umar. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5094; a similar hadith: https://sunnah.com/bukhari:2858

All these Hadith depict women as inferior to men and place them in a degrading and disgraceful position in society. They reflect the patriarchal context of the society of that time.

18. Women are treatable like inferiors and objects

Narrated Abu Usaid: We went out with the Prophet to a garden called Ash-Shaut till we reached two walls between which we sat down. The Prophet said, “Sit here,” and went in (the garden). The Jauniyya (a lady from Bani Jaun) had been brought and lodged in a house in a date-palm garden in the home of Umaima bint An- Nu`man bin Sharahil, and her wet nurse was with her. When the Prophet entered upon her, he said to her, “Give me yourself (in marriage) as a gift.” She said, “Can a princess give herself in marriage to an ordinary man?” The Prophet raised his hand to pat her so that she might become tranquil. She said, “I seek refuge with Allah from you.” He said, “You have sought refuge with One Who gives refuge. Then the Prophet came out to us and said, “O Abu Usaid! Give her two white linen dresses to wear and let her go back to her family (i.e. she is divorced before consummation of the marriage)”. https://sunnah.com/bukhari/68/5

19. Wives have no right over their husbands other than food and clothing

The Messenger of Allah said (on the Farewell Sermon), “Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.” https://sunnah.com/muslim:1218a

The Messenger of Allah said (on the Farewell Sermon), “Indeed you have rights over your women, and your women have rights over you. As for your rights over your women, then they must not allow anyone whom you dislike to treat on your bedding (furniture), nor to admit anyone in your home that you dislike. And their rights over you are that you treat them well in clothing them and feeding them.” https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:1163

20. Women are like captives and domestic animals

The Messenger of Allah said (on the Farewell Sermon), “If they do, Allah has given you leave to debar them, send them from your beds, or (finally) strike them in a way that does no harm. But if they desist, and obey you, then you must provide for them and clothe them fittingly. The women who live with you are like captives, unable to manage for themselves: you took them as a trust from Allah, and enjoyed their sex as lawful through a word (legal ruling) from Allah…”. Report by Al-Jahiz in Kitab al-Bayan wa-al-Tabyin; also Musnad, hadith no.19774

The Messenger of Allah said (on the Farewell Sermon), “God permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain from (evil), they have the right to their food and clothing in accordance with custom (bi’l-ma‘rūf). Treat women well, for they are (like) domestic animals (‘awan) with you and do not possess anything for themselves.” Hadith of Ibn Ḥumayd – Salamah – Ibn Isḥāq  – ‘Abdallāh b. Abī Najīḥ. Extract from the account of the sermon collected by the early historian Ibn Ishaq, as quoted in Ibn Hisham’s Sirah an-Nabawiyah and at-Tabari’s Tarikh.

21. Women should be beaten when required

The Messenger of Allah said (on the Farewell Sermon), “But if they (women) do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a fitting manner.” https://sunnah.com/muslim:1218a

The Messenger of Allah said (on the Farewell Sermon), “If they (women) do that (clear indecency), then forsake them in their beds and hit them, but without causing injury or leaving a mark. If they obey you, then do not seek means of annoyance against them. You have rights over your women and your women have rights over you. Your rights over your women are that they are not to allow anyone whom you dislike to tread on your bedding (furniture), nor allow anyone whom you dislike to enter your houses. And their right over you are that you should treat them kindly with regard to their clothing and food.” Narrated by Sulaiman bin Amr bin Ahwas. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:1851

All hadiths of the final farewell sermon have different details on what the Prophet said, yet they all agree that women have no rights except food and clothing and should be beaten when required. Thus all different versions of the farewell Last Sermon contain violence and degrading of women to some degree. Disgraceful indeed!

22. Men are not only allowed to beat their wives but also they are not accountable to God for this

The Prophet said, “A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.” Reported by Umar. Abu Dawud 11:2142 and 11:2141; also Ibn Majah 3:9:1986 https://sunnah.com/mishkat:3268

Narrated ‘A’isha: The Messenger of Allah … struck me on the chest which caused me pain (when she left the house one evening without his permission). Nasa’i 3964 (also Muslim 4:2127). https://sunnah.com/nasai:3964

A woman came to the messenger and begged him to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was bruised so badly that it was greener than the green veil she was wearing. The messenger did not admonish her husband, but instead told her to return to him and submit to him as long as he is not impotent. On seeing her bruises, Aisha said, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women.” Narrated by `Ikrima (summarised). Bukhari 7:72:715; also Muslim 4:2127 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5825

When Umar came to the messenger of Allah and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he gave permission to beat them. Reported by Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab. Abu Dawud 2141; also Ibn Majah 9:1985 https://quranx.com/hadith/AbuDawud/Hasan/Hadith-2141/

23. Men are incited to polygyny and macho sexual activity with multiple women

The Prophet said, “Solomon (the son of) David said, ‘Tonight I will sleep with seventy ladies each of whom will conceive a child who will be a knight fighting for “Allah’s Cause.’ His companion said, ‘If Allah will.’ But Solomon did not say so; therefore none of those women got pregnant except one who gave birth to a half child.” The Prophet further said, “If the Prophet Solomon had said it (i.e. ‘If Allah will’) he would have begotten children who would have fought in Allah’s Cause.” Shuaib and Ibn Abi Az-Zinad said, “Ninety (women) is more correct (than seventy).” Narrated by Abu Huraira. Bukhari 4:55:635 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:3424

Narrated Said bin Jubair: Ibn ‘Abbas asked me, “Are you married?” I replied, “No.” He said, “Marry, for the best person (i.e., Muhammad) of this nation of all Muslims, had the largest number of wives.” Bukhari 7:62:7 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5069

The tradition (of the Prophet) is that if someone marries a virgin and he has already a matron wife (with him), then he should stay with the virgin for seven days; and if someone marries a matron (and he has already a virgin wife with him) then he should stay with her for three days. Narrated by Anas. Bukhari 7:62:140 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5213

Anas bin Malik said, “The Prophet used to visit all his wives in a round, during the day and night and they were eleven in number.” I asked Anas, “Had the Prophet the strength for it?” Anas replied, “We used to say that the Prophet was given the strength of thirty (men).” And Sa`id said on the authority of Qatada that Anas had told him about nine wives only (not eleven). Narrated by Qatada. Bukhari 1:5:268 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:268

The Prophet said, “It is not lawful for a woman (at the time of wedding) to ask for the divorce of her sister (i.e. the other wife of her would-be husband) in order to have everything for herself, for she will take only what has been written for her.” Narrated by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5152

Note that the last of the above hadiths encourages polygyny, though it conflicts with another hadith where the Prophet prohibits Ali to take another wife without divorcing his current wife Fatima, Prophet’s own daughter, as he mentions the reason: “because Fatima is a part of my body, and I hate what she hates to see, and what hurts her, hurts me”. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5230

24. Men are allowed to take child brides

Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. Bukhari 5:58:236

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah: When I got married, Allah’s Messenger said to me, “What type of lady have you married?” I replied, “I have married a matron’ He said, “Why, don’t you have a liking for the virgins and for fondling them?” Jabir also said: Allah’s Messenger said, “Why didn’t you marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you?’ Bukhari, Vol. 7, Book 62, #17, also #16 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5080

25. The silence of a bride is always to be interpreted as her consent for marriage

The Prophet said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).” Narrated by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5136

The Prophet said, “An orphan virgin girl should be consulted about herself; if she says nothing that indicates her permission, but if she refuses, the authority of the guardian cannot be exercised against her will.” Narrated by Abu Hurairah. https://sunnah.com/abudawud:2093

It is not fair to always take the silence of a girl to mean consent. There are occasions when a bride may not actually like to marry the particular bridegroom, but remains silent under social or family pressure.

26. Muslim men must marry only ‘religious’ women, thus precluding interfaith marriages

The Prophet said, “A woman is married for four things, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a losers.” Narrated by Abu Huraira. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5090

Narrated Jabir b. ‘Abdullah: I married a woman during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger. I met the Apostle of Allah, whereupon he said, “… A woman is married for four reasons, for her religion, her property, her status, her beauty, so you should choose one with religion. May your hands cleave to dust.” https://sunnah.com/muslim:715d; similar hadiths: https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:1086; https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:1858

The Prophet said, “Do not marry women for their beauty for it may lead to their doom. Do not marry them for their wealth, for it may lead them to fall into sin. Rather, marry them for their religion. A black slave woman with piercings who is religious is better.” Narrated by Abdullah bin Amr. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:1859

These hadiths urge believers to marry ‘religious’ women, a command that discriminates against ‘non-religious’ women and women from other religious backgrounds. This implicitly precludes inter-communal and interfaith marriages. The Quran, however, allowed believers to marry women from the people of earlier scriptures. This has a broader implication: It includes the marriage of not only Muslim men with non-Muslim women but also of Muslim women with non-Muslim men.

27. Women are so cheap that a man can marry a woman by paying her a bridal-due as little as an iron ring

Sahl bin Sad As-Sa’idi reports a hadith where the Prophet makes a man eligible to marry a woman if he is able just to provide a paltry thing such as an iron ring or recite some parts of the Quran regardless of whether he is financially able to support a wife. This is found in the following long hadith: https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5087. Such advice is at odds with the spirit of the Quran’s message, which advises one to remain unmarried and chaste until he becomes financially solvent enough to afford a wife (24.33).

28. A woman is not allowed to seek divorce except in extreme cases

The Messenger of Allah said, “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce when it is not absolutely necessary, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” Narrated by Thawban. https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:2055

Hadiths like this are a reason for some Muslim countries to allow unilateral power of divorce only to husbands. The current Hadith-influenced Sharia restrictions often prove too forbidding and tyrannical to an aggrieved wife, as she has to tolerate unbearable torture of her husband in the face of his refusal to divorce. These Sharia provisions are in direct conflict with the Quran’s directions that a wife should not be compelled to stay with her husband against her will (33:28, 4:19) and to her hurt (2:231), that a wife has rights similar to her husband (2:228) and that a husband needs to treat his wife in a compassionate manner (2:228,229,231, 65:2).

29. Men, however, can instantaneously divorce their wives simply by three utterances of divorce

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the (pronouncement) of three divorces during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger and that of Abu Bakr and two years of the caliphate of Umar (was treated) as one. But Umar b. Khattab said: Verily the people have begun to hasten in the matter in which they are required to observe respite. So if we had imposed this upon them, and he imposed it upon them. https://sunnah.com/muslim:1472a

Abu Sahba’ said to Ibn ‘Abbas: Do you know that three (divorces) were treated as one during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle, and that of Abu Bakr, and during three (years) of the caliphate of Umar? Ibn Abbas said: Yes. https://sunnah.com/muslim:1472b; also https://sunnah.com/muslim:1472c

These hadiths treat three utterances of divorce at one time as sufficient for a divorce, i.e., they sanction instantaneous divorce without a waiting period.

30. A wife, after this instantaneous divorce, cannot remarry her former husband unless she marries another person

Ibn `Umar bin Al-Khattab divorced his wife during her menses. Allah’s Messenger ordered him to take her back till she became clean, and when she got another period while she was with him, she should wait till she became clean again and only then, if he wanted to divorce her, he could do so before having sexual relations with her. And that is the period Allah has fixed for divorcing women. Whenever `Abdullah (bin `Umar) was asked about that, he would say to the questioner, “If you divorced her thrice, she is no longer lawful for you unless she marries another man (and the other man divorces her in his turn).’ Ibn `Umar further said, ‘Would that you (people) only give one or two divorces, because the Prophet has ordered me so.” Narrated by Nafi`. https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5332

This hadith is a sheer misinterpretation of the Quran’s verses 2:230-232 which allow a divorced wife who has voluntarily married another person to go back to her former husband, if her latter husband divorces her. This misinterpretation is the source of the despicable halala or hilla system that takes place in some countries. In this system, a divorced wife is compelled to marry another person against her will as a condition for her to reunite with her former husband. By exacting a terrible human cost in terms of enormous suffering inflicted on the couple willing to reunite, this has resulted in destroying many Muslim families. It is regrettable that the traditional religious leaders enforce this satanic system as they totally ignore another hadith that resonates with the Quranic instruction “Do not prevent them to remarry, 2:232” (see Bukhari 7:62:61 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5130).

31. Men are allowed to rape war captives or slave girls

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri: We got female captives in the war booty and we used to do coitus interruptus with them. So we asked Allah’s Messenger about it and he said, “Do you really do that?” repeating the question thrice, “There is no soul that is destined to exist but will come into existence, till the Day of Resurrection.” Bukhari 7:62:137 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5210

Narrated Buraida: The prophet sent Ali to Khalid to bring the Khumus (one fifth of the booty) and I hated Ali, and Ali had taken a bath (after a sexual act with a slave girl from the Khumus). I said to Khalid, “Don’t you see this (i.e. Ali)?” When we reached the prophet I mentioned that to him. He said, “O Buraida! Do you hate Ali?” I said, “Yes” He said, “Do you hate him, for he deserves more than that from the Khumus.” Bukhari 5:59:637 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:4350

Narrated Ibn Muhairiz: I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about Al-Azl (i.e. coitus interruptus). Abu Sa`id said, “We went out with Allah’s Messenger for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interrupt us, we said, ‘How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Messenger who is present among us?” We asked (him) about it and he said, ‘It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.” Bukhari 5:59:459 https://sunnah.com/bukhari:4138

These hearsays are the source of the Sharia provision that allows men to have sex with war captives or slave girls which Sharia labels as “those that believers’ right hands possess.” This view, however, blatantly violates the Quranic directions that the believers should either demand ransom for freeing war captives or they should be released with generosity (47:4). The raping of slave women is incompatible with the very spirit of the Quran’s message, which vividly encourages manumission (90:12-13) and the marrying of freed slaves (4:25), and which forbids them to compel slave girls to prostitution without marriage (24:33). It also vividly encourages people to seek chastity, not lewdness (5:5). Please note that the Quran never allowed believers to have sexual relationship with war captives (MMA) without marriage (4:24-25) since the commandment was: “You shall marry them with the permission of their family and give them their dowries in kindness, to be protected, not for illicit sex or for taking lovers” (4:25).

32. Women’s honour is preserved through female genital mutilation (FGM)

Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. Sunan Abu Dawud 41:5251

Abu al- Malih ibn `Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75; Abu Dawud, Adab 167

Abu Musa reported: The Messenger of Allah said: When anyone sits amidst four parts (of the woman) and the circumcised parts touch each other a bath becomes obligatory. Sahih Muslim 3:684

Divine messages in the Universe

Divine messages in the Universe

MESSAGES IN THE STUDY OF NATURE

There are calls in the Quran to read divine messages (ayat) written in the great Book of nature.

Messages scripted throughout the Universe

The Quran insists that all nature extols divine glory as every single thing in the Universe contains divine signs or messages (ayat)1 whereby God communicates with us (17:44, 57:1) and which therefore deserve our serious attention and reflection (45:3, 10:6). Obviously, every piece of scientific information represents an ayah, a divine message.

In other words, we journey towards the Reality by observing the shadows of the Reality. This we do by reading the messages (ayat) we get from these shadows2 (16:48, 25:45-46, 13:15). And the way we can read these messages is through scientific study of the Universe – through deep observation and contemplation.

This is why the Quran calls on us to study the Universe constantly and as minutely and deeply as possible, so that we can explore and learn from the veiled messages (ayat) scripted throughout it3 (12:105, 29:44, 30:25, 34:9, 45:3, 46:26, 74:16-17, 96:1):

And how many a message in the Heavens and the Earth which they pass by, yet they turn away from it! 12:105

God has created the Heavens and the Earth with truth: verily therein is a message indeed for the acknowledgers. 29:44

And among His messages is this: the Heaven and the Earth subsist by His Command, then when He calls you by a call, from out of the Earth, behold, you would emerge. 30:25

Are they then not aware of how little of the Heaven and the Earth lies open before them, and how much is hidden from them? … Most surely in this there is a message for every servant who turns. 34:9

Most certainly in the Heavens and the Earth are messages for the acknowledgers. 45:3

But their hearing, sights, and senses availed them naught. This is because they used to disregard divine messages. 46:26

Nay, surely it is against Our messages that he has been stubborn./ I will exhaust him in climbing. 74:16- 17

Read in the name of your Sustainer who has created. 96:1

MESSAGES IN PHYSICAL SCIENCES

There are calls in the Quran to read divine messages (ayat) in all branches of physical science.

Messages in the study of the Universe: in logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry

We can uncover some of these messages while engaged in the study of the Universe that includes logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry:

God is He who raised up the Heavens with supports invisible to you, while He is established on the throne; He has subjected the Sun and the Moon, each one pursues its course to an appointed term. He regulates the affair, explaining the messages in detail, that you may be certain of meeting your Sustainer. 13:2

And He it is who has set for you the stars that you may guide yourselves by them in the darkness of the land and the sea. We have detailed Our messages for a people who possess knowledge. 6:97

And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the Sun and the Moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: most surely there are messages in this for a people reasoning. 16:12

Messages in the study of the Solar system

There are messages to be ‘read’ in the study of the Solar system that includes our planet Earth (cf. revolving ‘night and day’), its star, the Sun and its satellite, the Moon (cf. Abraham’s quest for God, 6:75-79, 14:33-35):

Among His messages are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Adore neither the Sun nor the Moon, but adore God Who created them, if it is Him you wish to serve. 41:37

He it is who made the Sun a splendour and the Moon a light, and measured for it stages that you might know to compute the years and reckon. God did not create this but with truth. He details these messages unto people of knowledge./ Most surely in the succession of the Night and the Day, and in all that God has created in the Heavens and the Earth, are messages for a people who are conscious. 10:5-6

Messages in the study of the Earth sciences: in geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology, geography

Then there are messages to be ‘read’ in the study of the Earth sciences including geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology and geography:

And in the Earth are messages for those who are convinced. 51:20

And We have set on the Earth mountains standing firm lest it quake with them, and We have made therein wide ways that they may follow a right direction./ And We have made the Heavens a guarded roof. Yet they turn away from its messages. 21:31-32

He it is who has made the Earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways therein, and sent down from the Heaven water, and thereby We brought forth pairs of various plants, each separate from the others./ Eat you and pasture your livestock thereon; most surely in this there are messages for those who are endowed with reason. 20:53-54

And it is He who spread out the Earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and flowing waters: and of every fruit He placed therein two opposites; He draws the night as a veil over the day. Most surely in all this there are messages indeed for a people who reflect. 13:3

Messages in the evolutionary sciences and related areas like geophysics, organic chemistry, hydrology etc

Clearly, there are messages in the Study of cosmology in general, which involves evolutionary sciences that deal with the study of both celestial and terrestrial evolution, as well as numerous related areas like geophysics, inorganic and organic chemistry, hydrology and so on:

Behold! In the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, in the succession of the night and the day, and in the ships that speed through the sea with what benefits man, and in the water that God sent down from the Heaven, thereby gave life to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and did spread out therein all kinds of living creatures, and in the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the Heaven and the Earth, there are messages for a people reasoning. 2:164

This perfect harmony in the working of the Universe, based on the mutual agreement between all the diverse forces of nature, is, according to the Quran, a sign or proof of the oneness and greatness of its Maker. We are asked to reflect over this creation and to ‘read’ its veiled messages in order to realise the divine unity and majesty in the midst of its infinite diversity (‘there are messages for a people reasoning’).

A summary of the above is the verse below:

And in the succession of the night and the day, and in what God sends down of sustenance from the Heaven, then revives therewith the Earth after its death, and in the changing of the winds, are messages for a people reasoning. 45:5

MESSAGES IN LIFE SCIENCES

There are calls in the Quran to read divine messages (ayat) in all branches of biological science.

Messages in general biology

While referring to the overflowing affluence of biological nature of our planet, the Quran invites us to ponder on the divine messages (ayah) scripted throughout the great Book of life, all of which declare God’s oneness and greatness and His infinite creative and re-creative power (17:44, 57:1):

Do they not look at the Earth, how much from every generous pair We have caused to grow therein?/ There is certainly a message in that, though most of them acknowledge not. 26:7-8

Messages in evolutionary biology, in the study of ‘the great tree of life’

We can read some of these messages, including those pointing to the unitary origin of all life and human, in evolutionary biology – in the study of ‘the great tree of life’ – which, with all its multiplied branches and all its complexities, has evolved from a single seed:

He has created you in successive stages./ See you not HOW … / … God has made you grow from the Earth as a growing plant? 71:14-17

Do they not see HOW God originates creation, then reproduces it: surely that is easy for God./ Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe HOW God did originate the creation; then God produces the next creation; surely God has power over all things.29:19-20

Messages in the biological unity of the whole living world

While describing human’s evolution and resurrection, the Quran holistically simplifies the messages of this biological unity of the whole living world:

Neither creation of you all nor raising of you all is but as a single self (‘single breath’): surely God is Hearing, Seeing./ See you not HOW God merges the night into the day …? 31:28-29

And He it is who has initiated you from a single living entity, and then: a course and a destination. Thus have We detailed the messages to a people who comprehend. 6:98

Messages in the study of abiogenesis and biochemistry

Some of these messages, e.g. those related to the origin of carbon-based organic life out of inorganic molecules, can be ‘explored’ in the study of abiogenesis and biochemistry:

And among His messages is this, that you see the Earth humble, but when We sent down the water thereon, it thrilled and swelled: most surely He who gives life to it is the Giver of life to the dead; certainly He has power over all things. 41:39

And God sends down water from the Heavens, giving life thereby to the Earth after it had been lifeless: in this, behold, there is a message indeed for people who listen. 16:65

And among His Signs, He displays to you the lightning, as a fear and a hope, and sends down water from the Heaven and thereby gives life to the Earth after it is lifeless; verily in this there are messages indeed for a people using reason. 30:24 

Have you not seen that God sent down water from the Heaven and that on the morn the Earth is clad with green? Verily, God is Unfathomable, All-aware. 22:63

Messages in botanical sciences

Then one can read some of the messages in botanical sciences, while studying plants and plantal life, including their growth, structure, physiology, reproduction, and pathology, as well as their economic use and cultivation by humans:

And He it is who has sent down water from the Heaven; and therewith have We brought forth all living growth, then have We brought forth out of it GREEN, from which We produce grain heaped up; and out of the date-palm, out of its sheaths, clusters low-hanging; and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates: each alike yet unlike. DEEPLY OBSERVE the fruit thereof, when it comes to fruition, and its ripening! Most surely in all this there are messages for people who acknowledge! 6:99

And in the Earth are plots neighbouring, and orchards of vines and fields of grain, and date-palms, like and unlike – although they are watered with one water, yet We make some excel others in produce. Verily, in all this there are messages indeed for a people who reason! 13:4  

Messages in agricultural and nutritional sciences

One can further explore some of the messages in agricultural and nutritional sciences:

It is He who sends down water from the Heaven, whereof you have drink and whereof are the plants upon which you pasture;/ With it He causes to grow for you crops, and olive trees, and date-palms, and grapes, and all kinds of fruit: verily in this there is a message for a people who reflect. 16:10-11

And of the fruits of date-palms and vines: you derive from them strong drink and good nourishment; most surely there is a message in this for a people who use their reason. 16:67

So eat from that on which God’s attribute (of mercy) has been remembered, if you indeed acknowledge His messages. 6:118

Messages in zoological sciences

Then there are messages in the study of zoological sciences. The Quran mentions numerous animals, all having started from a single cell and all being witnesses to God’s creative power and signs of His intelligent design (cf. fish, 7:163; 18:61,63; 37:142; 68:48; frog, 7:133; snake, 7:107; 26:32 and other reptiles, 24:45; and so on):

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are messages for a people being convinced. 45:4

In the water that God sent down from the Heaven, thereby gave life to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and did spread out therein all kinds of living creatures … , there are messages for a people reasoning. 2:164

Messages in entomology

And there are messages even in the research of insects, i.e. entomology (cf. mosquito, 2:26; locust, 7:133, 54:7; lice, 7:133; bee, 16:68; ant, 27:18; fly, 22:73; termite/ earthworm, 34:14; spider, an arachnid, 29:41; moth/ butterfly, 101:4):

And your Sustainer has inspired to the female bee: ‘Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build:/ Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Sustainer, made smooth’. There comes forth from their bellies a drink; diverse are its colours; in it is healing for mankind; most surely there is a message in this for a people who reflect. 16:68-69

Messages in ornithology

Also messages in the study of birds, i.e. ornithology (cf. birds 6:38; 27:20; hoopoe, 27:20; crow, 5:31; falcon, 5:4):

See they not the birds, held poised in the midst of the sky? Nothing holds them up but God. Verily in this are messages for those who acknowledge. 16:79

See you not that God is He whom do glorify all those who are in the Heavens and the Earth, and the birds with wings outspread? Of each one He knows its own communication and glorification. And God is Aware of what they do. 24:41

See they not the birds above them expanding and contracting? Nothing upholds them save the Beneficent. Surely He is Seer of all things.  67:19

Messages in mammalogy

And there are messages in the research of higher vertebrates, e.g. in mammalogy (cf. mammals like cow/ heifer, 2:67-71; 6:144,146; 12:43,46; calf, 2:51,54,92,93; 4:153; 7:148,152; 11:69; 20:88; 51:26; donkey, 2:259; 16:8; 31:19; 62:5; horse, 3:14; 8:60; 16:8; 17:64; 59:6; goat, sheep, 6:143; camel, 6:144; 88:17; adult he camel, 7:40; she camel, 7:73,77; 11:64; 17:59; 26:155; 54:27; 91:13; dog, 5:4; 7:176; 18:18-22; pig, 2:173; 5:3; 6:145; 16:115; monkey, 2:65; 5:60; 7:166; wolf, 12:17; sheep/goat/ewe, 20:18; 38:23-24; lion, 74:51; zebra, 74:50; elephant, 105:1; whale, 37:142):

And God sends down water from the Heavens, giving life thereby to the Earth after it had been lifeless: in this, behold, there is a message indeed for people who listen./ And most surely there is a lesson for you in the livestock too: We give you to drink of what is in their bellies from betwixt the faeces and the blood: milk, pure and pleasant to its drinkers. 16:65-66

And in the livestock there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink from what is in its bellies, and you have many other benefits from them, and of them you derive food. 23:21

Messages in anthropology

And, obviously, there are messages in anthropology, i.e. in the study of human herself:

And in the Earth are messages for those who are convinced./ And in your own selves: Will you not then see? 51:20-21

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are messages for a people being convinced. 45:4

MESSAGES IN HUMAN SCIENCES

There are calls in the Quran to read divine messages (ayat) in all branches of human science.

In modern understanding, this should involve the study of the human sciences that “attempts to expand and enlighten the human being’s knowledge of his or her existence, its interrelationship with other species and systems, and the development of artifacts to perpetuate the human expression and thought.”

Messages in general anthropology

We are asked to observe God’s signs (ayah) in anthropology, which is a scientific study of the physical evolution, the behavior and the gradual socio-cultural development of the human species. This covers endless areas of human sciences: from the anatomy of bones to the interdisciplines of neuroscience, and from the politics of ecology to the prospects of transhumanism:

And in the Earth are messages for those who are convinced./ And in your own selves: Will you not then see? 51:20-21

Messages in biological anthropology

For example, we can trace many of these signs – including those signifying an intelligent design and pointing to the unitary origin of all life and man – in anthropological evolution. That is, through a study of that giant ‘tree of evolution’ (‘growing plant’) in relation to its human branch:

He has created you in successive stages./ See you not HOW … / … God has made you grow from the Earth as a growing plant? 71:14-17

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are messages for a people being convinced. 45:4

Messages in man’s unity with the Universe

There are  divine messages in human sciences that make us ponder on our unity with the greater ecosystem, where our origin from ‘inorganic substances’ ties us to the planet’s food chain where ‘living’ dialectically recycles with ‘non-living’:

It is He who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and who gives life to the Earth after it is dead: and thus shall you be brought out./ Among His wonders is that He created you from dust, and, then behold, you are humankind spreading out./ … In this indeed there are messages for a people who reflect. 30:19-21

Thus, while studying the evolving, ever-growing ‘Homo sapiens’, we can also contemplate on the unity of all humans in relation to their common, lowly biological origin, and hence on their ultimate oneness and equality.

Messages in man’s unity with all life

We are asked to read the messages of the organic unity of man with the living world, scripted throughout the great Book of life. Please note how the Quranic wisdom holistically simplifies these messages:

Neither creation of you all nor raising of you all is but as a single self (‘single breath’): surely God is Hearing, Seeing./ See you not HOW God merges the night into the day …? 31:28-29

And He it is who has initiated you from a single living entity, and then: a course and a destination. Thus have We detailed the messages to a people who comprehend. 6:98

Messages in comparative life sciences

While highlighting the strong biological links between animals and ‘man the animal’, and frequently describing humans in relation to animals (2:65, 2:164, 5:60, 6:38, 7:166, 7:176, 7:179, 8:22, 8:55, 10:24, 11:6-7, 16:4-8, 16:66-69, 16:78-80, 20:54, 24:45, 25:44, 25:49, 29:60, 31:10, 32:27, 35:28, 39:6, 42:11, 45:4, 79:33, 80:32), the Quran invites us to study ourselves in parallel with other animals.

We may explore divine messages in our blood kinship with the living world through wider studies of genealogy and comparative life sciences. This would include comparative anatomy, comparative physiology and comparative biochemistry as well as comparative sections of molecular biology, embryology, genetics and palaeontology:

And in the creation of yourselves and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are messages for a people being convinced. 45:4

Messages in archaeology and palaeontology

In line with the above, the Quran asks us to explore divine messages in the history of Earth’s geo-biological evolution by expeditions and searches through the Earth (2:164, 30:50, 50:7, 88:17-20). Thus, on one hand, we need to study archaeology through the recovery and analysis of the remnants of the material culture and environmental data left behind by the ancient humans. On the other hand, we need to study palaeontology in order to understand the various forms of pre-historic life by ‘reading’ their fossil records (22:46, 29:19-20, 51:20):

Do they not see HOW God originates creation, then reproduces it: surely that is easy for God./ Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe HOW God did originate the creation; then God produces the next creation; surely God has power over all things.29:19-20

And in the Earth are messages for those who are convinced. 51:20

In the water that God sent down from the Heaven, thereby gave life to the Earth after it had been lifeless, and did spread out therein all kinds of living creatures … , there are messages for a people reasoning. 2:164

Messages in ethnic anthropology

The Quran positively highlights the great diversity in humans in their physical and mental features and traits, which is a manifestation of the infinite nuance of ‘colours and hues’ of nature in human forms (35:19-21, 25, 27-28; 30:9, 22; 2:136, 138-139), expressed as numerous ethnicities, cultures, religions, concepts and views throughout the ages and places:

See you not that God sent down water from the Heaven? With it We then bring out produces of various colours. And in the mountains are streaks of whites and reds, of various colours, and intense blacks./ And so amongst men and animals and livestock, are they of various colours. As such, only the knowledgeable among His servants stand in awe of God: surely God is Mighty, Forgiving.  35:27-28

This human diversity not only displays by itself nature’s splendour, wonder and beauty, but also contains messages declaring God’s oneness and greatness and His infinite creative and re-creative potential (17:44, 57:1). There are recurrent calls to read these messages that can be traced through the study of ethnic anthropology:

And among His wonders is … the diversity of your languages and colours: in this indeed there are messages for the worlds. 30:22

And all that He has multiplied for you in the Earth of diverse colours; verily there is a message in this for a people who recollect. 16:13

Messages in anthropology of gender

Exploring of divine messages in the study of humans extends to anthropology of gender that investigates, among other issues, the cohesive forces of the dialectics between the human opposites – man and woman – who, through the same process of sexual differentiation, share common and reciprocal descent and hence unity and equality with each other:

And among His wonders is that He created opposites for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He placed love and mercy between you: in this indeed there are messages for a people who reflect. 30:21

Messages in linguistic anthropology

We are asked to read the messages in the linguistic diversity of humans:

And among His wonders is … the diversity of your languages and colours: in this indeed there are messages for the worlds. 30:22

Messages in cultural anthropology

Exploring of divine messages should extend to such areas of anthropology that deal with evolution of humans in their socio-cultural awareness:

O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down for you garments to cover your nakedness and as feathers. And the garment of awareness, that is the best. This is of the messages of God that they may be mindful. 7:26

Messages in the study of ancient parables

There are messages in the study of  ‘parables’ of the ancients (‘mathal’; 24:34, 25:33; cf. 3:3-7; 5:27) – i.e. their legends, myths, allegories and educational stories – which are often to deliver some moral lesson or wisdom (25:33, 39:27, 12:111), and are not necessarily meant to be understood literally as real or historical events:

In (the story of) Joseph and his brothers there are messages indeed for those who inquire. 12:7

In their stories is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. 12:111

In this (story of Lot) there are messages indeed for those who can interpret. 15:75

In this (story of Noah) there are messages indeed; for most surely We are ever testing (people). 23:30

Messages in history

The Quran insistently invites us to read God’s messages and warnings in the lessons of history (3:137, 6:11, 16:36, 27:52, 27:69, 30:9, 30:42, 34:19, 35:44, 40:21, 47:10):

So these are their homes empty, ruined, for what they transgressed. In that there is a message for a people learning. 27:52

And they were unjust to themselves so We made them hadiths and scattered them with an utter scattering. In this there are messages indeed for all who are steadfast, appreciative. 34:19

Then, while calling to ‘travel through the Earth’ to gain insight by learning from the past, the Quran also positively reminds the traveller, who is wandering through the pages of history, that, as rain vivifies a barren land, man’s conscious effort can as easily create a civilization out of ruins:

Was it not a lesson for them, how many generations We annihilated before them, in whose  dwellings now they do walk about? Certainly there are messages in this: Will they not then hear?/ Do they not see that We drive the water to the barren land, then We bring forth thereby crops of which their livestock and they themselves eat; will they not then see? 32:26-27

Messages in sociology

We should observe divine signs in all areas of sociology, which investigates the social, intellectual and organizational evolution and diversification of the human as an integrated part of the dialectical development of the whole Universe (alluded below by a range of duality in expressions):

Among His wonders is that He created you from dust, and, then behold, you are humankind spreading out./ And among His wonders is that He created opposites for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He placed love and mercy between you: in this indeed there are messages for a people who reflect./ And among His wonders is the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours: in this indeed there are messages for the worlds. 30:20-22

Messages in politico-economics

Then there are messages in politico-economics, in the study of those historical dialectical laws and deterministic principles that regulate the provisions and material life of humans:

Do you not see that God extends provision for whom He wills, or restricts, determining according to a measure (His laws)? In this there are messages indeed for a people who acknowledge (the divine laws). 30:37

Do they not know that God extends provision for whomever He wishes, or restricts, determining according to a measure? In this are messages for a people who acknowledge. 39:52

Messages in neuroscience

The Quran asks us to read the messages in the flowing neurosensory and mental processes (‘hearing, sights and senses’), which it persistently describes as flights of birds (16:78-79; 67:19-23; 6:36, 38-39, 103-104; 17:13, 36; 24:41-44):

And God has brought you forth from your mothers’ wombs while you knew nothing, and He has endowed you with the hearing, and the sights, and the senses, so that you might have cause to be grateful./ See they not the birds, held poised in the midst of the sky? Nothing holds them up but God. Verily in this are messages for those who acknowledge. 16:78-79

Messages in psychology

We can read some of God’s messages contained in the books of psychology – the science of minds that deals with the mental states and processes:

And in the Earth are messages for those who are convinced./ And in your own selves: Will you not then see? 51:20-21

Most certainly in the Heavens and the Earth are messages for the acknowledgers./ And in your own nature and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are messages for a people being convinced. 45:3-4

In time We shall show them Our messages in the utmost horizons and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the truth. 41:53 

And among His Signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and your seeking of His bounty. Most surely in that there are messages for a people who hear. 30:23

It is God that takes the selves at death and, those that die not, during their sleep; He keeps that for which He has ordained death and the rest He sends back for a term appointed. Most surely in this there are messages for a people who reflect. 39:42

Messages in moral sciences

Then there are messages in ethics and moral sciences:

Say: What if God should take away your hearing and your sights and seals your minds; which god besides God could bring it back to you? Deeply observe how many facets we give to our messages, but how they still turn away. 6:46

Have you not seen the ships speeding through the sea, carrying God’s provisions, so that He might show you some of His wonders? In that there are messages indeed for all who are patient, grate­ful. 31:31

See you not that God sends down water from the Heaven, and leads it through springs in the Earth? Then He grows therewith produce of various colours: then it withers; you will see it grow yellow; then He makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this is a reminder for those with insight. 39:21

And among His signs are the vessels that sail through the seas, lofty as mountains./ If He willed, He could still the winds, leaving them motionless on top of it. In that there are messages indeed for all who are steadfast, appreciative. 42:32-33

And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the Earth: it is all from Him. Behold, in that are messages indeed for those who reflect. 45:13

Messages in spiritual sciences

There are deeper messages in the ‘veiled dimensions of reality’, a bit of which has been claimed to be ‘perceived’ by activities in spiritual sciences like theosophy and anthroposophy:

Are they then not aware of how little of the Heaven and the Earth lies open before them, and how much is hidden from them? … Most surely in this there is a message for every servant who turns. 34:9

He it is who shows you His messages and sends down for you sustenance from the Heaven, and only he pays heed who turns. 40:13

Here comes ‘the sixth sense’ that often grasps the inner nature of things intuitively by ‘hearing’ the voice of our subconscious while ‘resting in night’s darkness’ – something in addition to ‘seeing’, i.e. conscious reasoning based on ‘observation in daylight’ (‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ are often associated in the Quran with ‘darkness’ and ‘light’ respectively, e.g. 22:61; 6:36, 39; 6:96, 103, 28:71-72):

Say: Have you noted: if God made the night eternal over you until the Resurrection Day, what god other than God would bring you light? Do you not then hear?/ Say: Have you noted: if God made the day eternal over you until the Resurrection Day, what god other than God would bring you night wherein you rest? Do you not then see? 28:71-72

It is He who has made the night for you to repose therein and the day sight-giving. In that there are messages indeed for a people who hear. 10:67

Have they not seen that We have made the night that they may repose therein and the day sight-giving? In that there are messages indeed for a people acknowledging. 27:86

MESSAGES IN OUR OWN SELF

There are grave calls in the Quran to read divine messages (ayat) in the study of our self itself.

Messages in the study of our own self

And in the Earth are messages for those who are convinced./ And in your own selves: Do you not then see?/ And in the Heaven is your sustenance and what you are promised./ Then, by the Sustainer of the Heaven and the Earth, it is the very truth, as true as that you speak! 51:20-23

They only know the outward of the immediate life: but of the End they are heedless./ Do they not reflect in their own selves? Not but with truth and for a destined end did God create the Heavens and the Earth and all between them. 30:7-8

Most certainly in the Heavens and the Earth are messages for the acknowledgers./ And in your own nature and in what He spreads out of the living creature there are messages for a people being convinced. 45:3-4

This call to contemplate on the inner messages in our own self remains serious and persistent. Here is a detailed study on this topic: Messages in our own self.

 

SUMMARY

The Quran calls on us to study the Universe constantly and as minutely and deeply as possible, so that we can explore and learn from the veiled messages (ayat) scripted throughout it3 (12:105, 29:44, 30:25, 34:9, 45:3, 46:26, 74:16-17, 96:1).

There are divine messages to be read in all branches of physical science: in the study of the Universe that involves the study of logic, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry (13:2, 6:97, 16:12), in the study of the Solar system (41:37, 10:5-6) and Earth sciences, including geology, oceanology, meteorology, ecology, geography (51:20, 21:31-32, 20:53-54, 13:3) as well as evolutionary sciences and related areas like geophysics, organic chemistry, hydrology and so on (2:164, 45:5).

Then, apart from physical sciences, there are further messages to be read in various branches of life science: in the study of general biology (26:7-8), evolutionary biology (2:164, 6:98, 29:19-20, 45:4, 71:14-17), study of abiogenesis and biochemistry (41:39, 16:65, 30:24, 22:63), botanical sciences (6:99, 13:4), agricultural and nutritional sciences (16:10-11, 16:67, 6:118), zoological sciences (2:164, 45:4, 16:65-66), entomology (16:68-69), ornithology (16:79, 24:41, 67:19), mammalogy (16:65-66), anthropology (51:20-21, 45:4, 30:20, 22) and so on.

Then, apart from physical and life sciences, there are further messages to be read in various areas of human science: in the study of general anthropology (51:20-21), biological anthropology (71:14-17, 45:4), man’s unity with the Universe (30:19-21), man’s unity with all life (31:28-29, 6:98), comparative life sciences (45:4), archaeology and palaeontology (29:19-20, 51:20, 2:164), ethnic anthropology (35:27-28, 30:22, 16:13), anthropology of gender (30:21), linguistic anthropology (30:22), cultural anthropology (7:26), study of ancient parables (12:7, 12:111, 15:75, 23:30), history (27:52, 32:26-27, 34:19), sociology (30:20-22), politico-economics (13:26, 30:37, 39:52), neuroscience (16:78-79; cf. 67:19-23; 6:36, 38-39, 103-104; 17:13, 36; 24:41-44), psychology (51:20-21, 45:3-4, 41:53, 30:23, 39:42), moral sciences (6:46, 31:31, 39:21, 42:32-33, 45:13), spiritual sciences (34:9, 40:13, 10:67, 27:86, 28:71-72) and so on.

This reading of divine messages should continue in all areas of knowledge: in the study of the Universe, life and man, including human’s own self (51:20-23, 30:7-8, 45:3-4).

It is fascinating to note the multifarious vastness of the areas of study the word ‘ayah’ throughout the Quran alludes to.

Related articles:

Messages in physical sciences

Messages in life sciences

Messages in human sciences

Messages in our own self

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Note 1

The root Alif-Ya-Alif occurs 382 times in the Quran as the noun ayat, whereof the word in its singular form ayah occurs 84 times (see also Ayy). It connotes a rich plethora of meanings, including message, sign, miracle, communication, evidence and lesson. The Quran insists that all nature extols divine glory, declaring God’s existence, oneness and greatness, so every single thing in the Universe contains divine signs or messages (ayat) whereby God communicates with us (17:44, 57:1) and which therefore deserve our serious attention and observation (45:3, 10:6). Obviously, every piece of scientific information represents an ayah, a divine message. The word ayat properly signifies any apparent thing inseparable from a thing not equally apparent so that when one perceives the former, he perceives the other which he cannot perceive by itself.

Note 2

We journey towards the Reality by observing the shadows of the Reality. This we do by reading the messages (ayat) we get from these shadows (16:48, 25:45-46, 13:15). Now, from a Quantum perspective, we can never observe the reality itself. When filtered through our senses, the multidimensional reality is reduced to a ‘projection with fewer dimensions’. Thus reflected by our mind, every reality is transformed into a ‘silhouette’ or ‘shadow’. Instead of observing the real globe, it is like observing the grid of a map, on which the globe is represented as a plane surface. Hence, what we observe is only a shadow of the reality, its projection or graphic representation. But even this observation of the shadows of the realities shows us how the entire cosmos – from the tiniest particle of microcosm to the largest superstructure of macrocosm – is submitting to the divine laws, the laws of nature: See they not all the things that God has created, how their shadows incline to the right and to the left, prostrating themselves before God and utterly submissive? 16:48. Study of these ‘shadows’ – i.e. projections of the realities perceived in our limited senses only as partial outlines (‘See they not all the things … how their shadows’) – is essential to understand the underling laws regulating them: Have you not turned your vision towards your Sustainer, how He extends the shadow? And if He willed He could have made it stationary: but then We have made the Sun its guide./ Then We draw it in towards Ourselves with a gradual withdrawal? 25:45-46; Whoever is in the Heavens and the Earth does comply with God, willingly or unwillingly, as do their shadows at morning and evening. 13:15

Note 3

While the Quran doesn’t specifically foreshadow modern scientific knowledge, it doesn’t presage any of the scientific disciplines (-ologies) mentioned above. Since the Quran is not a book of science but was originally a lecture addressed to the Arabic speaking and, in modern sense, ‘illiterate’ listeners of the 7th century Arabia, it must have referred to natural phenomena with intent very different from that of a science book. Also, because the messages on natural phenomena are restricted by their vagueness and generalness, and are impregnated with a clear metaphysical intent, they do not help per se to discover any new scientific knowledge. On the contrary, it is possible that new scientific knowledge sometimes can help to better understand the vague and general content of these messages. For example, while Q36:36 doesn’t foreshadow the new dialectical concepts like particle-antiparticle or matter-antimatter, these concepts themselves somehow help to better understand the message of universal duality in Q36:36. In line with this, we may find it useful to read the universal messages of the Quran through our 21st century vocabulary, for the sake of better construal and relevance. However, this in no way means that we are expecting in the Quran any foreknowledge about our 21st century vocabulary. For example, when reading the verse 6:99 (“… deeply observe the fruit thereof, when it comes to fruition, and its ripening! Most surely in all this there are messages for people who acknowledge!”), it is reasonable to say that we can read God’s messages in our study of botanical sciences. It is fascinating to note the multifarious vastness of the areas of study the word ‘ayah’ throughout the Quran alludes to.

Why the QURANIC SALAT is different from ritual prayer

Why taking SALAT as ritual prayer has no Quranic basis

1. If SALAT (communication, connection) is ritual prayer, then why does the Quran never precisely explain or confirm it, not even once, in one of all the 83 occurrences of the word salat in the Quran?

2. If salat is ritual prayer made of sequential physical acts like sujud, ruku and qiyam, then why are they never mentioned together in one place in the Quran and never mentioned in the ‘correct sequence’?

3. If salat is a structured ritual prayer, then why does the Quran contain no single verse that gives, for example, a clear, step by step, sequential method to observe it, such as “O you who believe, when you get up to do the prayer, then you shall stand, recite Quran, bow, prostrate… and so on”?

4. If salat is a ritual process and it is so important, then why does the Quran never go through this process at least in some detail, not even once, in one of its 6000+ verses, when it can go into such great detail over so many other things, e.g. the mandate of recording a debt (2:282)?

5. If the Quran, which is otherwise fully detailed, is concerned about the ritualistic details, then, instead of telling these details, why does it go on making mockery of some Israelites for their devotion to details (2:67-2:71)?

6. If salat is a ritual pillar of Islam along with other ritual pillars like zakat, fasting and hajj, then why is it constantly accompanied only with zakat and never with fasting or hajj?

7. If human salat is unique to be a ritual, then why and how do all others in the Universe, including the flying birds, know and perform their own salats that are non-ritual (24:41)?

8. If salat means specific ritual prayer with all the essential postures, then how can it be performed while walking or riding (2:239)?

9. If salat is ritual prayer, then what sort of ritual prayer were the Meccan idolaters performing at the bayt with their mere noise and aversion of whistling and clapping that were labelled as salat (8:35)?

10. If salat is an organised ritual prayer, and if people cannot be forced to learn or engage in religious practices since there is no compulsion in ‘religion’ (2:256), then how could the idolaters be asked to establish the ritual salat as a precondition of ceasefire (9:5, 9:11)? And how could these non-Muslims be expected to know and perform all the details of a Muslim prayer?

11. If salat is ritual prayer, then what did it exactly look like that the People of the Book and even the rejecters, when called to it, take it in ridicule and fun (5:57-58)?

12. If salat is ritual prayer, then why only those who ‘believe’ in the akhirat can protect their ritual prayer (6:92)?

13. If salat is ritual prayer, then why only those who ‘believe’ in the akhirat, and therefore ‘believe’ in the Quran, can protect their ritual prayer (6:92)?

14. If salat means ritual prayer, then, in case a person is facing sudden death during travel, how can the two witnesses, who are strangers and probably non-Muslims, perform the ritual prayer before swearing to God that they will be truthful about the will of that person (5:106)?

15. If salat is ritual prayer that needs to be performed, then why does the Quran constantly ask people to ‘establish the salat’ but never asks to perfom it?

16. If salat is ritual prayer, then why were the messengers ordered to establish the salat (11:114, 17:78, 17:110, 20:14, 29:45), when their only duty was delivering the message (5:92, 5:99, 16:35, 16:82)?

17. If salat is ritual prayer, then why is the command to the messengers to establish the salat NEVER followed by the command ‘and give zakat’ (waatoo alzzakat)?

18. If salat is ritual prayer, then why were the messengers, with their only duty to deliver the message, never asked to give zakat, but were only asked to enjoin others to give zakat (note the verbal noun ‘giving’ instead of the imperative verb ‘give’ in 21:73; cf. 19:31, 19:55)?

19. If salat is ritual prayer, then how could Jesus, whilst he was still an infant in the cradle, be charged with the responsibility to enjoin the salat and zakat (19:29-31; cf. 19:55, 20:132)?

20. If salat is ritual prayer, then why did Abraham make prayer (duʿā, 14:39:13, 14:40:9) for himself and some of his progeny so that they may establish the salat (14:37:15, 14:40:4)? In other words, why was Abraham’s prayer described as an action different from the establishment of salat (14:37-40)?

21. If salat is prayer and duʿā is also prayer, then why did Zakariya pray (daʿā, 3:38:2) for acceptance of his prayer (duʿā, 3:38:15), but not for acceptance of his salat? And, when he was doing salat (delivering message/lecture of reform, yuṣallī, 3:39:5) in the chamber, why did the controllers announce to him the good tidings of John the reformer (ṣāliḥīn, 3:39:20)? In other words, why was Zakariya’s salat described as an action separate from his prayer and associated with works of reform (3:38-39)?

22. If salat is ritual prayer which was not detailed by the Quran because it was left to the messenger to explain and elaborate, then why is there no single hadith available where he is teaching the full cycle of prayer, step by step, from the beginning to the end?

23. If salat is such an important pillar of Islam and still the messenger had to explain it through hadith hearsays, then why do we need the Quran on the first place – just for less important things? Also, isn’t the messenger recognized through the Quran, which reiterated that his job was simply to deliver the book (13:40, 24:54, 29:18, 42:48, 64:12)?

24. If salat is a ritual that pointedly focuses on physical postures, then isn’t it largely ableist as a concept for the majority which thus excludes the millions of disabled minority whom God created them as they are?

25. If human salat demands bowing and prostrating as a human gesture – because slaves and subjects require bowing and prostrating to inform their loyalty to their masters and royals – then why should one require similar body language to tell their submission to God who already knows their minds?

26. If salat is the most important “pillar” of Islam for daily performance1, then why shouldn’t we, after observing for such a “structured pillar” to have zero structure in the Quran, conclude that something is amiss?

27. If establishing salat is the most important action, as constantly resonated in the Quran, whereon rests our fate, then why have we to pluck out random verses wherefrom we then need to guess that it is probably referring to the ritual and that has to be the bedrock? Has God revealed His guidance as a puzzle, as a jumbled mess scattered everywhere, for us to place the fitted zigzags together by our assumptions and conjectures to figure out what salat is? If all God wanted were the repetitive up-down and chanting, why do we have to resort to interpolation and extrapolation and synthesization to come to that conclusion?

28. If the traditional ritual prayers are not found or not expounded in the Quran, then why shouldn’t we situate them in the cultural context that may have inspired them, instead of attributing them to God or His messenger – and instead of inventing a new ritual salat which could be just another concoction too?

Related articles:

Origin and development of traditional Muslim prayer

Salat during the time of the Prophet

Why salat is NOT ritual prayer

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Note 1

Some people try to defend ritual prayer by arguing that it is essential like activities of daily life (ADLs), such as washing, cooking, dressing etc, which, in their opinion, are also a sort of rituals as they are done in a prescribed way. This argument, however, is faulty because activities of daily life, by definition, are not rituals. My typing my password into the computer each morning to start work is not a ritual, but a necessary part of my life or job. It would take on a ritual if I decided I had to tap my forehead 3 times before I typed digits in, or if before I sat on whichever chair I used, at work or at home, I felt I needed to recite the pledge of allegiance. So activities of daily life, whether eating or dressing or showering, are not rituals unless they are set for prescribed times or with exact prescribed orders, movements or recitations or otherwise. Islam, the anti-religion, has freed many from blind beliefs, rituals and traditions, while making them better, stronger, wiser and more conscious persons overall.

Why WAQT, or prayer timing, is an innovation

Why WAQT, or prayer timing, is an innovation

1. If WAQT (ritual prayer timing) means prescribed hours for salat, and if salat is prayer, then why are these timings not explicitly indicated or defined in the Quran?

2. If waqts are explicitly prescribed by the Quran, then why do many people endlessly disagree on the number of daily prayers, while splitting into factions like two timers, three timers and five timers?

3. If salat is a prayer for timely performance, and if this applies to all generations of Muslims, then why was the command to establish the salat at specific times addressed only to the Prophet, and NEVER to his followers1 (compare 2nd person singular “Aqimi” in 17:78-79 and 11:114 with 2nd person plural “aqeemoo” e.g. in 2:43)?

4. If a specific prayer is performed once in one specific waqt, then why should a single ‘imam’ lead a series of such prayers, for successive groups, in one waqt (4:102)?

5. If salat is ritual prayer, and it is done only periodically, then what is the salat of those musalleen who are on salat 24/7 constant (dāimun, dal-waw-miim; 70:21- 23)?

6. If salat is ritual prayer, which is performed intermittently, then how can someone, at the same time, perform such ritual constantly? How does an intermittent salat fit into this concept of constant salat (70:23)?

7. If salat needs to be constant from the moment we wake up till the moment we fall asleep, then why should it be reduced and limited to 3 or 5 times a day rituals?

8. If salat is ritual prayer, and it needs to be performed throughout the entire time we are conscious, then why should we stop praying, on and off, even when we are conscious?

9. If salat protects from ‘fahshah and munkar’ (evil and vice, 29:45), and salat is limited only to 3 or 5 times a day, then how will it protect from ‘fahshah and munkar’ for the rest of the time?

10. If salat is ritual prayer and it needs to be constant, then how can it be invalidated due to sunrise, as claimed by the traditions?

11. If salat is a prayer for timely performance – which allegedly becomes lost/invalid due to sunrise and can be revived simply by performing it again – then why does the Quran say that salat becomes lost/invalid due to inappropriate desire (shahwaat) and revived only by turning around by doing good works (19:59-60)?

12. If salat is ritual prayer which has to be done around the clock, then why is it persistently followed by the instruction to give zakat, which is traditionally given just once in a while?

13. If salat is ritual prayer and its timings must follow the Sun, then how can it be observed in places where the days are too short or too long, or where the Sun does not set or rise for months, or near the North Pole and the South Pole where the Sun never sets or never rises?

14. If ‘salatul wusta’ in 2:238 is interpreted as the middle prayer1, then why is this interpretation negated by verses like 2:143, 68:28, 24:58 23:2,9, 73:7 and 78:11?

15. If ‘salatul wusta’ is the middle of the three so-called named prayers, then why does it contain the prefix ‘Al’ (AL-salatul wusta, 2:238), which is absent in salatul fajr and salatul isha (24:58)?

16. If 30:17-19 is understood as a command for noon and afternoon prayers2, then why does the passage lack imperative verb for such command? And why is there no concept of prayer in its analogous passages where God is glorified and praised with similar mentions of day and night, Heavens and Earth, living and dead etc (57:1-6; 17:12,43,44,49; 3:27-29; 2:163-164; 6:95-96)?

17. If the Quran needs to be read back to God in prayer at every waqt, then why is the Quran ever witnessed3 only at fajr (17:78) and not at other waqts? And also, if it is witnessed by the angels, as conventionally assumed, then how does it benefit the worshippers?

18. If salat is prayer, and if the Quran can clearly say “three privacy times” (instead of saying “three prayer times”) in a verse that mentions salat (24:58), then why does it never say “three prayer times”, not even once, in all the 83 occurrences of the word salat in the Quran?

19. If salat is obligatory five times prayer, then why does this frequency appear in the hadith story of Miraj, which very obviously tracks the ancient Zoroastrian story of Viraz?

20. If salat is obligatory five times prayer, then why do this frequency and the related details so much mirror the Zoroastrian five times namaz, which evidently was incorporated into Islam by the Persian imams through hadiths influenced by Zoroastrian traditions?

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Note 1

During the time of the Quranic revelation, which was gradual, the messenger used to conduct regular salat/communication sessions with his followers as part of his duty to deliver the message. These sessions were held usually twice a day – at dawn and nightfall (11:114, 17:78-79, 24:58; cf. 6:52, 7:205, 18:28, 25:5, 33:41-42, 48:9, 76:25). In addition, in an emergency, a salat session could also be held exceptionally during business hours of the day, which is now widely ritualised as ‘Friday prayer’ (62:9-11; cf. 73:7). Apart from this, there is no mention of any daytime salat in the Quran, simply because the daytime is “made for livelihood” (78:11, 17:12) and is “hard pressed with a long schedule of occupations” (73:7). The concept of a ‘middle prayer’, deduced from overinterpretation of 2:238, is negated by verses like 2:143, 68:28, 24:58 and 23:2, 9.

Note 2

The concept of noon and afternoon prayers, deduced from overinterpretation of 30:17-19, is negated by a careful reading: So glory be to God, when you are at evening and when you are at dawn./ To Him belongs all praise in the heavens and the earth and at the sun’s decline and when you are at noon./ He brings the living from the dead, and He brings the dead from the living. … 30:17-19. This passage – lacking imperative verb and with no reference to salat – is not a commandment for prayer, but is simply a general announcement: Exalted/glorified is God to whom belongs all praise in the heavens and the earth and throughout all the hours of day and night. It is interesting to observe here the recurrent references to dualities in creation that remind us of the oneness of the Creator (evening … dawn; heavens … earth; sun’s decline … noon; living … dead; dead … living, etc). This is in line with the continuously recurring dialectical expressions throughout the long context, 30:2-27. Compare this with analogous passages where God is glorified and praised with similar mentions of day and night, heavens and earth, living and dead etc. For example: 2:163-164; 3:27,29; 6:95-96; 17:12,43,44,49; 50:38-43; 57:1,2,6.

Note 3

‘Quran at fajr’ (17:78) is the dawn study of the reading for better understanding of the reminder, which, cognitively witnessed by the readers’ minds, guides them in the right path.

Is masturbation haram?

Is masturbation

Question:

I have a question, even if it seems a little silly: What is the Quranic view on masturbation? I cannot really seem to find an answer to that topic which doesn’t go through traditionalist hadiths which I do not believe in.

Answer:

Thanks. Many Muslims misperceive masturbation as fahishah and therefore haram. In fact, it is NOT.

This prevalent Muslim misconception about masturbation is a result of misguidance by hearsay-based traditional scholars. Unfortunately, these seminary clerics, who take upon themselves to opine on topics that they have extremely limited understanding of, only serve to confuse the youth by brushing important issues under the carpet.

The Quran is totally silent about masturbation. And definitely doesn’t prohibit it1. The principle of law is everything is permissible until it’s forbidden2, not the other way around.

Beyond the guarded responses from our Imams, the reality is, masturbation is a natural event. As a normal physiological response to heightened hormones, it is an essential, healthy expression of human sexual desire and sexuality. When it is suppressed, the expected manifestation is in the form of wet dreams.

From a modern medical perspective, regular masturbation is not only safe but it has also certain health benefits, including positive effects on body and mind. As a natural sedative, for example, it can improve a person’s mental health as it contributes to good sleep, stress reduction, anxiety relief and boosting of mood by releasing the feel-good chemicals, such as oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine and endorphins from the brain.

In turn, this can then translate into “better physiological functioning,” such as counteracting the effect of the stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure, and improved immune functioning.

As one of the necessary keys to self-exploration, masturbation can lead to better understanding of one’s own body and thereby a better self-connection. The latter can be used as an adjunct to several modes of therapy.

An important social benefit of masturbation is that it often helps young people to keep themselves away from inappropriate sexual behaviour and sexual misconducts.

Since sexual urge itself is one of the numerous bounties God bestows on individuals, autoerotism too should be perceived by a rational mind as a divine miracle and a divinely gifted source of pleasure and wellbeing.

Summary

The Quran is totally silent about masturbation. And definitely doesn’t prohibit it. The principle of law is everything is permissible until it’s forbidden, not the other way around.

As an essential, natural expression of human sexuality, masturbation is not only safe but it has also certain health benefits.

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Note 1

Starting from Shafii, 23:5-7 have been commonly misquoted for support of the prohibition of masturbation. This argument, however, does not hold water because it completely ignores the context which simply asks to avoid promiscuity and infidelity that equal transgression and injustice.

Note 2

Hadith books infamously contain numerous extra-Quranic prohibitions, some of which some traditionalists interpret as prohibition of masturbation. However, since the Quran makes it sufficiently clear that God is the only Law Giver (6:114) and that the messenger therefore had no authority to prohibit anything that is made lawful by God (66:1), it is our duty to reject Hadith as a co-authority with the Quran.

Answering hadithists’ arguments

Answering hadithists’ arguments

Traditionalist: Why do you think that the Quran is the only authority of Islam and the only divine source of law?

Answer: As a revelation that describes itself as self-explaining, fully detailed, complete, and with lessons easy-to-learn – the Quran should be, according to the Quran itself, the only authority of Islam and the only divine source of law.

T: How did you reach the conclusion that Hadith is not part of Islam?

A: Apart from the studies The Quran prohibited Hadith, Hadith prohibited Hadith, The first four Caliphs prohibited Hadith, Earlier Muslims prohibited Hadith and Common sense prohibits Hadith, there are a few more studies here that observe why Hadith cannot be a part of Islam.

T: But how can you understand Islam without Hadith?

A: If we really want to understand the original Islam in its pristine form, we need to read its only authentic source, the Quran, without being influenced by cultures and traditions. We cannot base our understanding of Islam on legends, rumours and anecdotes of contradictory hadiths and sira, written centuries after the original events on the basis of long chains of unreliable, unverifiable oral transmissions, distorted by amnesia, confabulations and conjectures, often with dubious motives and intentions.

T: Why do you believe in the preservation of the Quran if you do not believe in the preservation of Hadith, when they both were done by the same people, i.e. by the Companions?

A: The main instrument and undeniable evidence for the virtually unaffected preservation of the Quran has been its collective memorisation, on-going recital and collective cross-checking, along with copying and re-copying of an original written text. This methodology is something wholly absent in the transmission of the hadiths. This issue has been discussed in detail in Preservation of the Quran.

T: Can you tell me where you find details of prayer, if not in Hadith?

A: Since the Quran is a complete guide and the only authority of Islam, if anything is not in the Quran, it has no relevance for Islam. Thus, if the details of prayer are not in the Quran, they are not part of Islam. May I ask a contra-question: Can you please show me just ONE sahih hadith where the Prophet explains step-by-step on how to perform the daily prayers? (Traditionalist avoids answering). 

T: Well, I still think it is important to know how to pray. Don’t you think this is absolutely essential for your guidance as a Muslim?

A: Since the Quran contains everything that is important for our guidance, and since there is no verse that says how to pray, how to pray is not important from a Quranic perspective. So why do you still insist that how to pray is important when the Quran doesn’t consider it important? The burden of proof, in this case, actually lies on you. (Traditionalist avoids answering).

T: The Quran asks to ‘obey the messenger’. How do you obey the messenger if you do not follow Hadith?

A: Yes, we need to obey the messenger. And we have the living messenger with us. It is the Quran, the only message delivered by the Prophet. We should follow this living messenger, but not any dead idol portrayed by contradictory and controversial hadith hearsays. Because the Quran delivers the full message of Islam, it is the Quran alone that embodies the real and complete Islam (21:10, 23:71, 29:51)1. Anything in the name of Islam outside this Quranic Islam cannot be Islam, but unauthorized additions to Islam. Moreover, to claim that ‘Obey the messenger’ is a reference to Hadith is unjustified from the Quran’s own perspective, as observed in the study Obey God by obeying His message/messenger.

T: Where do you get the Hikmah or wisdom that was given to the Prophet (4:113), if it is not in Hadith?

A: This argument has no basis because we can’t infer that the Quranic term wisdom specifically refers to what’s in Hadith and also because the term occurs in relation to other messengers as well, as noted in the study Hikmah is not Hadith & Sunna. Instead, the Quran characterizes itself as a book of wisdom (10:1, 17:39, 31:2, 36:2, 43:4) while making it sufficiently clear that it is in the Quran itself where one can find this wisdom that was given to the Prophet: This is from what your Sustainer has inspired to you of the wisdom. And do not make with God another god, or you will be cast into inferno, blameworthy and rejected. 17:39; cf. 17:22-39. Please note how the phrase “And do not make with God another god” obliquely describes accepting a secondary authority besides God as shirk.

T: In 16:44 the Prophet is expected to explain the Quran to people. Where are these explanations, if not in Hadith?

A: The Quran itself claims that it is not only the ‘best hadith’ (‘ahsana alhadeethi’ 39:23) but it is also the ‘best tafsir’ (‘ahsana tafseeran’ 25:33). Thus, according to its own assertion, it is the best interpreter of itself as it goes on its way clarifying its own messages (75:19, 6:114). The verse you quoted actually confirms that the only divine source and the only tool used by the Prophet to explain the Quran is the Quran itself, not any hadith add-on: We sent down to you the reminder to clarify to people what was sent down to them so that they may think. 16:44. Please note how the context of 16:44, once again, describes accepting another divine authority as shirk2 (16:51-52; cf. 75:19).

T: If the Quran was the only tool used by the Prophet to clarify the Quran, then what was he clarifying again?

A: He was reciting the Quran to the people to clarify what was not clear to them, e.g. messages from the previous scriptures as well as various other issues of importance3 (6:105, 6:114-115, 16:44, 25:33, 29:51, 75:17-19).

T: If Hadith is not a divine authority to explain the Quran, then why does 3:164 say that the Prophet is the teacher of the Quran?

A: The actual teacher of the Quran is none but God the Gracious (55:1-2). And the sole mission of all the messengers is only clear deliverance (balaghul mubeen, 5:92, 16:35). For the final messenger, this was no more than delivering to the humanity the final testament, the Quran (5:92, 5:99, 13:40, 16:35, 16:82, 24:54, 29:18, 42:48, 64:12) – a clear scripture (kitabun mubeen 5:15, qur-anun mubeen 36:69) that clarifies itself without requiring further clarification from additional ‘divine’ books. So, when 3:164 says that the Prophet teaches/instructs4 people in the kitab and the hikmah/wisdom, it simply means that he makes them aware of the message by reciting to them the verses.

T: How can you reject the authority of Hadith when the Quran commands to “take whatever the messenger gives you; and abstain from whatever he forbids you (59:7)”?

A: Starting from Shafii, “take whatever the messenger gives you; and abstain from whatever he forbids you (59:7)” has been commonly misquoted for support of the authority of the secondary sources. This argument, however, does not hold water because it completely ignores the context5 which is a reference to war booty.

T: Quran 33:21 describes Muhammad (s) as a ‘good example’ for following. How do you follow him without his Hadith and Sunna?

A: The Quran describes Muhammad as a ‘good example’ (oswatun hasana) for God-conscious people in his courage and God-mindedness during the war (33:21) – in the same way as it describes Abraham and his monotheist followers as ‘good examples’ (oswatun hasana) for God-conscious people (60:4-6). If 33:21 imposes a binding duty on us to follow Muhammad’s ‘Hadith and Sunna’, then why wouldn’t 60:4-6 also impose similar binding duty on us to follow Abraham’s ‘Hadith and Sunna’? But where do we get the books that contain the latter?

T: All sahih hadiths are reliable since they passed the strict scrutiny of the Science of Hadith. Can you show me any sahih hadith that you would label as unreliable?

A: There are numerous ‘sahih hadiths’, for example, that seriously violate the Quranic testimony to the high moral character of the Prophet (e.g., 68:4) as they continuously insult and demonise him. We cannot accept these hadiths as reliable despite their labelled authenticity.

T: Well, the hadiths cited in the above link cannot be taken as authentic. Do you know whether they went through ‘ilme rijal’ that properly checked the narrators’ backgrounds? 

A: All these hadiths are claimed to have already passed the necessary scrutiny and therefore placed in the hadith books as sahih. They are being quoted by the ulama as authentic and accepted by the unquestioning millions. (traditionalist avoids responding).

T: Why cannot we put the few problematic hadiths aside and follow all the good hadiths as a secondary source of guidance?

A: So you do not see any problem in taking some hadiths as a co-authority besides God. But many people see. For an interesting discussion on it, please visit ‘Why Trash All the Hadiths?’.

T: Do you question the soundness of even Sahih Al-Bukhari, which is undoubtedly the most authentic book of Islam after the Holy Quran?

A: In our study The Quran calls for critical thinking and reasoning, we noted that the Quran encourages questioning as it constantly appeals to humans to use their intellect and reason, to be free-thinking and sceptical, to be truth-seekers and iconoclasts. So, yes, we must question the reliability of even Bukhari, as Joseph Islam does in his research Bukhari Hadith. (traditionalist avoids responding).

T: I do not believe in upsetting orthodox Muslims as long as they reject fabricated hadiths and follow the genuine ones. Don’t you think it is enough if the Muslim world disavows the false hearsays and removes them from the Sihah Sittah?

A: Among the followers of Hadith, some will always disagree with others as to which hearsays are genuine and which are fabricated. People will remain dangerously misguided by the half-truths of Hadith unless they stop considering it as another source of Islam.

T: Is there any merit in Hadith and sira in your opinion, even if you do not accept them as authentic?

A: While we cannot accept Hadith and sira as part of the teaching of Islam, these extra-Quranic sources, to my guess however, may still sporadically contain some possible circumstantial reports with probably some amount of truth and insight in their core and may provide the readers and researchers with important historical material. So their value mainly remains as that of unreliable, unverifiable historical material. “In fact, we can study hadith books to get an approximate idea about the people and events of those times. We can even construct a “conjecture” about the history, without attributing them to God or his prophet.” However, because of the contradictory and uncertain nature of hadiths, due to fallible human interference, the actual problem with hadiths starts when they are taken seriously or considered as a divine authority besides the Quran.  

Related reading: Techniques Deployed Against the Quran-Centric Position by the Tradionalist

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Note 1

Because the Quran delivers the full message of Islam, it is the Quran alone that embodies the real and complete Islam:

Now We have sent down unto you a Book wherein is all that you have to bear in mind. Will you not then reason? 21:10

Nay, We have conveyed unto them with all they have to bear in mind, but from this their own reminder are they turning away. 23:71

Why, is it not enough for them that We have sent down on thee the Book, being recited to them? In that is a mercy and a reminder for people who acknowledge. 29:51

Note 2

The only divine source and the only tool used by the Prophet to “clarify to people” is directly mentioned in 16:44 as the Quran, not any hadith add-on: We sent down to you the reminder to clarify to people what was sent down to them so that they may think. 16:44. Please note how the context of 16:44 describes following of another divine authority as shirk, since its followers misinterpret the concept bayana/clarifying as ‘clarifying the Quran with Hadith’ when the Quran is the ‘bayana’ of itself: And God has said, “Do not take-up two gods, two. There is only One god, so it is Me, only Me, that you shall revere.”/ And to Him is what is in the Heavens and the Earth, so to Him shall be the obedience. Would you then pay reverence to someone other than God? 16:51-52; cf. 75:19

Note 3

The Prophet was reciting the Quran to the people to clarify what was not clear to them, e.g. from the previous scriptures as well as various other issues of importance:

We sent down to you the reminder to clarify to people what was sent down to them so that they may think. 16:44

Surely upon Us is its collection and its recitation. / Then, when We recite it, follow you its recitation./ Then again, surely upon us is to explain it. 75:17-19

And no question do they bring to thee but We bring to thee the truth and the best explanation. 25:33

And thus do We give many facets to Our messages so that they may say that you have taken all this well to heart, and that (through this method of Tasreef) we clarify to a people who know. 6:105

Say: Shall I seek for judge other than God? – when He it is who has sent down unto you the Book, explained in detail. …/ The word of your Sustainer has been completed with truth and justice; there is no changing in His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower. 6:114-115

Why, is it not enough for them that We have sent down on thee the Book, being recited to them? In that is a mercy and a reminder for people who acknowledge. 29:51

Note 4

When 3:164 says that the Prophet teaches/instructs people in the kitab and the hikmah/wisdom, it simply means that he makes them aware of the message by reciting to them the verses: God was indeed gracious to the acknowledgers when He sent them a messenger from amongst themselves, who recites to them His messages and purifies them and teaches/instructs them in the Book and the wisdom, while previously they were in plain error. 3:164

Note 5

Starting from Shafii, “take whatever the messenger gives you; and abstain from whatever he forbids you (59:7)” has been commonly misquoted for support of the authority of the secondary sources. This argument, however, does not hold water because it completely ignores the context which is a reference to spoils of war:

(O you who believe), whatever gains God has restored to His messenger from the villages’ inhabitants, it shall be for God and His messenger and for the relatives and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, so that it may not circulate only among those of you who are rich. So take whatever the messenger gives you; and abstain from whatever he forbids you. And be aware of God, for God is mighty in retribution. 59:7

Answering hadithists’ arguments 2

Obey God by obeying His message/messenger

Obey God by obeying His messagemessenger

Traditionalists often try to sanctify hadith hearsays by claiming that the Quranic instruction ‘Obey God and the messenger’ is a reference to the Islamic secondary sources.

Here we will observe why their claim is unjustified from the Quran’s own perspective as we will go through the following inferences based on guidance of the related verses:

1. The Quran is the only authority of Islam

In an earlier study we noted that, as a revelation that describes itself as self-explaining, fully detailed, complete, and with lessons easy-to-learn – the Quran should be, according to the Quran itself, the only authority of Islam and the only divine source of law.

2. It is the Quran alone that delivers the true and complete message of Islam

Because the Quran thus delivers the full message of Islam, it is the Quran alone that embodies the real and complete Islam (21:10, 23:71). So, anything in the name of Islam outside this Quranic Islam cannot be Islam, but unauthorized additions to Islam1.

3. ‘Obey the messenger’ was a specific, time-bound instruction

While the so-called Islamic secondary sources like Hadith and Sunna are based on unreliable, unverifiable hearsays unjustly attributed to the Prophet, their blind followers try to build their argument mainly on the misread instruction ‘Obey God and obey the messenger’, which occurs in over 25 instances in the Quran.

All these occurrences, however, when read in their contexts, make it sufficiently clear that this instruction was originally in historical terms, and meant to obey the living messenger – i.e., to obey him as an inspired reformer and leader of the city-state of Medina (4:13, 4:14, 4:42, 4:59, 4:69, 4:80, 5:92, 24:52, 24:54, 24:56, 33:33, 33:36, 33:71, 58:13, 64:12, 72:23) as well as a military commander during wartime emergencies (3:32, 3:132, 8:1, 8:20, 8:46, 9:71, 47:33, 48:17, 49:14). In other words, all these verses need to be considered in their historical settings in line with other verses with similar historical settings that otherwise contain very specific, time-bound instructions which, if not freshly reinterpreted, cannot be applicable after the Prophet’s life-time. Thus it is important that we understand the instruction ‘obey’ in the same way as follow, support, give, take and all other similar practical do’s and do not’s – directions that are very specific to time and place and that have been later misinterpreted by blind followers of traditions.

To sum up, all these time-bound instructions, very obviously, are extensions of the time-bound instruction ‘obey the messenger’ and clearly explain the exact meaning of it.

4. The instruction ‘Obey the messenger’ was restricted by boundaries

‘Obey the messenger’ means one should obey the divine message delivered. In addition, when the messenger is alive as an elected leader, one should obey his instructions and judgment, as long as they are in conformity with the truth and justice (60:12). The live messenger himself, however, as a fallible human, must consult people around him (3:159), and, like everyone else, is also responsible for following God’s rules and judgment (5:48).

5. The messenger was not allowed to issue, amend or cancel any religious law on his own

Because the messenger didn’t share in divinity and therefore was not a co-author with God in divine legislation or judgement (6:114, 10:35-36, 12:40, 18:26, 28:88, 30:30, 30:43, 98:5), he was not authorised to deliver any of his own teachings in God’s name or to claim any of his personal sayings to be inspired by God (69:43-46, 17:73-75). Thus he was not supposed to issue, amend or cancel any religious law on his own (30:35, 12:39-40, 66:1). He brought no ‘other book’ and no other message apart from the Quran (10:15, 68:35-44). Hence, hadith books cannot be a co-authority with the Quran to clarify the Quran (35:40; cf. 6:112, 2:169).

6. The instruction ‘Obey the messenger’ was conditional

The Quran tells to obey not only the messenger but also ‘those in authority’ (cf. Obey God and obey the messenger and those in authority among you. 4:59). One may ask: If we need Hadith to obey the messenger, then where are the hadiths to obey ‘those in authority’? Also, obeying a messenger as a leader or a military commander does not mean taking his personal words as divine commandments or as absolute universal laws. In the same way as obeying elected or appointed officers doesn’t mean that one must blindly obey or uncritically accept the personal opinions and ideas of the governors and office-bearers who, e.g., at times write prose or poetry. So, as the Quran confirms, obedience to the messenger was not unconditional. It itself was limited only to what is known to be right and good (cf. “that they will not disobey you in any matter that is right 60:12”).

7. The instruction ‘Obey the messenger’ NEVER uses personal name of any messenger

Interestingly, whenever the Quran instructs to ‘obey God and obey the messenger’, it always specifically uses only the common noun ‘rasul’ (messenger, courier, envoy), and never mentions – not even in a single instance – the proper noun or the personal name of any messenger, including Muhammad. Thus it never says: “Obey God and Muhammad”, or “Obey God and Moses”, or “Obey God and Jesus”, but it consistently says “Obey God and the messenger”.

8. The Quran nowhere deals with, hence never asks to obey, Muhammad the person  

In this connection it is important to observe that the Quran nowhere deals with Muhammad the person, but deals only with Muhammad the messenger, whom it clearly separates from his person, e.g.: It is not you (the person) whom they are rejecting, but it is God’s messages (the messenger) that the transgressors deny/ And rejected were the messengers before you. 6:33-34. Thus it never refers to his food habit, beard or turban or similar other daily matters related to his human person – which is a product of socio-economics, culture and traditions of a particular place and time – but only refers to those specific events and issues that are related to his mission as a monotheist messenger.

9. The only message delivered by the messenger – and also the only message practiced by himself – is the Quran

Thus this instruction to obey, after the death of the Prophet, should be perceived as not more than impersonal, when the expression the messenger (rasul) becomes generalised and equivalent to the messages (risalat; 7:62, 7:68, 7:93, 33:39, 72:23, 72:28) the messenger conveyed to the world – i.e., the messages of the complete, perfect and fully detailed Quran – which is otherwise also its precise meaning in the Quran.

This is simply because the sole duty of the messenger was to deliver to the humanity the revealed message, the Quran (5:92, 5:99, 13:40, 42:48, 64:12), and therefore the only message the messenger delivered is the Quran (6:19, 7:3, 29:51, 45:6, 50:45). And this is also because the only teaching the messenger himself practiced is the Quran (5:48-49, 10:15, 46:9, 68:35-44)2.

So, as the Prophet is no more among the living after completion of his mission, the actual question now is not ‘Whether’ to obey the messenger, but rather ‘How’ to obey the messenger. Is it by following the Quran only, or by following the post-Quranic sources? The answer is simple: This instruction to obey is all about obeying what the message-bearer delivered – and not about obeying his alleged personal words or deeds.

10. The messenger, in essence, is the same as the message

As a rule of thumb, a messenger of any kind is always an envoy who delivers SOMEONE’S message, NOT his own. The Quran therefore persistently equates the term rasul (messenger) with risala (message) (4:69, 6:33-34, 16:36, 57:19, 72:23 cf. 33:36-37). This is not only because the Arabic word rasul (messenger) derives from, and is synonymous with, the word risala (message), but also because the messenger does not exist without the message. In other words, the messenger, in essence, is the same as the message3.

11. The Quran uses the term messenger for the Quran itself

We note that the Quran uses the term messenger (rasul) for the Quran itself, thus, once again, depicting messenger as identical with message (risala) (5:15, 41:3-4, 65:10-11; cf. 4:69, 6:33-34, 11:1-3, 14:1, 16:36, 27:2, 27:77, 32:3, 33:36-37, 34:6, 42:52, 47:30, 51:50-51, 57:19, 72:23)4. This explains why it sometimes criticises ‘Muhammad the human’ for failing to comply with ‘the messenger the Quran’ (8:67-68, 9:43, 9:113-114, 33:36-39, 66:1, 80:1-11).

12. The Quran says “Obey the messenger” but NEVER says “Obey the Prophet”

In the instruction ‘Obey God and His messenger’, the messenger could be anyone or anything that carries the message of the Quran. For example: controllers, like Gabriel (2:97-98; 19:17-19; 16:102, 26:192-194; 66:4); scriptures, such as the Quran (5:15, 41:3-4, 65:10-11)4; human deliverer of the message, such as Muhammad (33:40); and human messengers, such as message-bearers of any time (7:35). This clearly implies that the message has to be obeyed, irrespective of when, where or how, or by whom or by what, it is conveyed or delivered: O children of Adam, whenever messengers come to you from among yourselves and tell to you My messages, then for those who are aware and reform, over them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 7:35

13. Obeying the messenger means obeying the message he delivered

So, obeying the messenger is obeying the message delivered by the messenger, which is the same as following the Quranic message, the core of which is submitting oneself to God alone (6:112-116, 9:1, 64:12-13). This explains why the Quran uses the expression ‘God and His messages’ as interchangeable with ‘God and His messenger’: These are God’s messages that We recite unto thee in truth. So, in which HADITH after God and His messages will they believe? 45:6 (cf. 2:163-172). Please note here The Quran prohibited hadiths by using the exact word hadith.

14. Obeying God is by obeying His message/messenger

Obeying God equals to obeying His message/messenger, and there is no duality in them (48:9, 4:14, 8:20)5. This is clearly evidenced, for example, by the following verse, where the term ‘He/he/it calls’ (‘daAAa’) occurs in singular verbal form instead of dual form, thereby simultaneously referring to God and His messenger (i.e., His message, the Quran): O you who acknowledge, respond to God and His messenger when He/he/it calls you to what revives you. 8:24.

15. So the function of ‘wa’ (‘and’) in ‘Obey God and obey the messenger’ is explanatory

To better understand the instruction ‘Obey God and obey the messenger’, it is essential to remember the function of ‘wa’ (usually, but sometimes incorrectly, translated as ‘and’) in Arabic and its role in the Quran. While, in many cases, the conjunction does serve to mean ‘and’, it also has an explicatory role in classical Arabic when ‘wa’ essentially functions as a case of defining and clarifying. For example: In them are fruits and (wa) date-palms and (wa) pomegranates. 55:68. Here ‘wa’ only explains the ‘fruits’ and is not meant to separate date-palms and pomegranates from the category of fruits. Likewise, ‘Obey God and obey the messenger’ means ‘Obey God by obeying His messenger’.

16. ‘Obey God and obey His messenger’ is a single, simultaneous act

Thus ‘Obey God and obey His messenger’ must simply be understood as a single, simultaneous act, i.e., obedience to one single authority rather than two separate authorities. This is because the source is one, that is God (6:114), and also because it is forbidden to obey anyone or anything other than God (8:20, 10:35-36). This non-duality of divine message – by God through His messenger – is also found e.g. in the following verse: A revocation from God and His messenger … 9:1. Similar non-duality in essence, expressed with duality in form, is found in the Quran in numerous other places6.

17. All messengers were to be obeyed by their respective communities

‘Obey the messenger’ was not exclusive to Muhammad the messenger. Rather all messengers were to be obeyed by their respective communities: For We do not send a messenger except to be obeyed with God’s permission. 4:64. E.g., Noah 26:108,110; Hud 26:126; Salih 26:144; Lot 26:163; Shuaib 26:179; Moses 3:50; Jesus 43:63; cf. 5:111,  57:19, 3:8, 4:150. This was to obey God by obeying the message – not the persons – of the messengers. If it meant ‘obey their persons by obeying their Hadiths’ in addition, then one may ask, for example, “Why does the Quran only confirm Torah as religious authority for the Children of Israel, without confirming Mishna (i.e., the ‘Hadith’ of Moses) as an extra authority?”

18. God and His messenger/s are not two separate authorities

The Quran – a self-clarifying message that was followed by the messenger himself as the only divine authority (6:114) – was not issued by the messenger but was only conveyed by him. That is why the Quran criticizes those who consider God and His messenger as two separate authorities (4:150; cf. 9:1). So, obeying the messenger means obeying the inspired message/Quran carried by the messenger– and not the hearsays found in the so-called Islamic secondary sources7 (45:6, 10:32).

19. The messenger’s sole concern is about abandoning the Quran, not abandoning Hadith

The messenger will complain on Judgment Day that his people have left the Quran, the only divine source asked to be followed: And the Messenger will say: My Sustainer, surely my people have abandoned this Quran. 25:30. In contrast, the messenger will not lament over Hadith or Sunnah.

20. The Quran allows no divine authority other than God

‎Finally, once again, it is important to bear in mind that the Quran directly prohibits following anyone or anything as divine authority other than God8 (10:35-36).

Summary

Traditionalists often try to sanctify hadith hearsays by citing the Quranic instruction ‘Obey God and the messenger’. Here we have observed why their claim is unjustified from the Quran’s own perspective as we went through the following inferences based on guidance of the related verses:

  1. The Quran is the only authority of Islam.
  2. It is the Quran alone that delivers the true and complete message of Islam.
  3. ‘Obey the messenger’ was a specific, time-bound instruction.
  4. The instruction ‘Obey the messenger’ was restricted by boundaries.
  5. The messenger was not allowed to issue, amend or cancel any religious law on his own.
  6. The instruction ‘Obey the messenger’ was conditional.
  7. The instruction ‘Obey the messenger’ NEVER uses personal name of any messenger.
  8. The Quran nowhere deals with, hence never asks to obey, Muhammad the person.
  9. The only message delivered by the messenger – and also the only message practiced by himself – is the Quran.
  10. The messenger, in essence, is the same as the message.
  11. The Quran uses the term messenger for the Quran itself.
  12. The Quran says “Obey the messenger” but NEVER says “Obey the Prophet”.
  13. Obeying the messenger means obeying the message he delivered.
  14. Obeying God is by obeying His message/messenger.
  15. So the function of ‘wa’ (‘and’) in ‘Obey God and obey the messenger’ is explanatory.
  16. ‘Obey God and obey His messenger’ is a single, simultaneous act.
  17. All messengers were to be obeyed by their respective communities.
  18. God and His messenger/s are not two separate authorities.
  19. The messenger’s sole concern is about abandoning the Quran, not abandoning Hadith.
  20. The Quran allows no divine authority other than God.

Related articles:

Obey God and the messenger

Obey the Messenger

Is it obey God and the messenger or obey God and Muhammad?

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Note 1

Because the Quran delivers the full message of Islam, it is the Quran alone that embodies the real and complete Islam: Now We have sent down unto you a Book wherein is all that you have to bear in mind. Will you not then reason? 21:10; Nay, We have conveyed unto them with all they have to bear in mind, but from this their own reminder are they turning away. 23:71. So, anything in the name of Islam outside this Quranic Islam cannot be Islam, but unauthorized additions to Islam. They are but local and temporal cultures, traditions, prejudices, superstitions and personal or group opinions unlawfully introduced to Islam in the guise of Islam. All these are imports and artefacts to Islam, not inherent to Islam. They have their origin in man-made authorities and are by-products of various legends, rumours and anecdotes of contradictory hadiths and sira, written centuries after the original events on the basis of long chains of unverifiable oral transmissions, distorted by amnesia, confabulations and conjectures, often with dubious motives and intentions.

Note 2

Traditionalists often ask: If you do not follow hadiths, how do you ‘follow God and follow the messenger’? The answer is: Yes, we need to follow the messenger. And we have the living messenger with us. It is the Quran, the only message delivered by the Prophet. We should follow this living messenger, but not any dead idol portrayed by contradictory and controversial hadith hearsays. This is simply because the sole duty of the messenger was to deliver to the humanity the divine message, the Quran (5:92, 5:99, 13:40, 16:35, 16:82, 24:54, 29:18, 38:65, 42:48, 64:12; And obey God and obey the messenger, and be conscious; but if you turn away then know that the duty of Our messenger is only the clear deliverance. 5:92; cf. And obey God and obey the messenger; but if you turn away then the duty of Our messenger is only the clear deliverance. 64:12) and, therefore, the only message the messenger delivered is the Quran (6:19, 7:3, 29:51, 45:6, 50:45). And this is also because the only teaching the messenger himself practiced is the Quran (5:48-49, 10:15, 46:9, 68:35-44). This position is similar to the one held by the Sikhs. The latter had chain of Gurus or guides starting with Nanak. The last Guru, Govind Singh, before his death, declared that because there would be no more Guru after him, the holy book (granth) was the Guru for the Sikh community. Since then the Sikhs call their holy book Guru Granth Sahib.

Note 3

The Quran persistently equates the term rasul (messenger) with risala (message). Here are a few examples:

And whoever obeys God and the messenger will be among those whom God has blessed from the prophets and the truthful and the witnesses and the upright. 4:69

It is not you (the person) whom they are rejecting, but it is God’s messages that the transgressors deny./ And rejected were the messengers before you. 6:33-34

And We have sent a messenger to every nation (with this message): You shall serve God and avoid false deities. 16:36

And those who acknowledged God and His messengers are the truthful ones and the witnesses to (the oneness of) their Sustainer: they will have their reward and their light. As for those who rejected and rejected Our messages, it is they are the dwellers of the blazing fire. 57:19

Unless a deliverance from God, and His messages. And whoever disobeys God and His messenger … 72:23 (cf. Asad’s note on 58:12). Also see: 33:36-37

Note 4

The Quran uses the term messenger (rasul) for the Quran itself. For example:

O People of the book, there has come to you Our messenger clarifying for you much of what you were hiding from the book, and overlooking much (that is now unnecessary): there has come to you a light from God and a clarifying book. 5:15

A book, the messages whereof are explained in detail, a lecture in Arabic, for people who (will) know,/ A bearer of good news, and a warner (i.e. a messenger). 41:3-4

Certainly, God has sent down on you a remembrance,/ A messenger, reciting to you God’s messages, clarified. 65:10-11

Note 5

Obeying God is obeying His message/messenger. There is no duality in them:

That you may acknowledge God and His messenger, and may support Him/him, and revere Him, and glorify Him, morning and evening. 48:9

And whoever disobeys God and His Messenger and transgresses His limits – He will put him into the Fire to abide eternally therein, and he will have a humiliating punishment. 4:14

O you who acknowledge, obey God and His messenger, and do not turn away from Him/him while you hear. … / O you who acknowledge, respond to God and His messenger when He/he/it calls you to what revives you. 8:20,24. Here, once again, ‘from Him/him’ and ‘He/he/it calls’ refer to a single rather than two authorities. This clarifies verses like the following: For We do not send a messenger except to be obeyed with God’s permission. …/ No, by thy Sustainer, they will not acknowledge unless they make thee (messenger) a judge in all their disagreements, then find no hesitation in their hearts in accepting thy judgment, and submit with full submission. 4:64-65. These verses refer to the hypocrites who were causing troubles during the time of the Prophet’s ministry (see 4:61-64).

Note 6

‘Obey God and obey His messenger’ must simply be understood as a single, simultaneous act, i.e., obedience to one single authority rather than two separate authorities. Similar non-duality in essence, expressed with duality in form, is found in the Quran in numerous instances. For example: Minding God by obeying His messenger (Mind God and obey me. 26:110; cf. Noah 26:108,110; Hud 26:126; Salih 26:144; Lot 26:163; Shuaib 26:179; Moses 3:50; Jesus 43:63); acknowledging God by acknowledging Jesus (Acknowledge Me and My messenger. 5:111); acknowledging God by acknowledging His messengers (And those who acknowledged God and His messengers are the truthful ones. 57:19); acknowledging God by acknowledging His messages (We acknowledge God and what was sent down to us … 3:8); rejecting God by rejecting His messengers (Those who rejected God and His messengers … 4:150); serving God by not associating anything (And serve God and do not associate anything with Him. 4:36); thanking God by thanking parents (Be grateful to Me and to your parents. 31:14); and so on.

Note 7

The Quran criticizes those who consider God (represented by the Quran) and His messenger (allegedly represented by Hadith) as two separate authorities: Those who rejected God and His messengers, and they want to make a distinction between God and His messengers, and they say: “We believe in some and reject some!”, and they desire to take a path in-between. 4:150; cf. 9:1. So, obeying the messenger doesn’t mean obeying additional authorities like Hadith of Bukhari: These are God’s messages that We recite unto thee in truth. So, in which HADITH after God and His messages will they believe? 45:6; Such is God, your Sustainer, the Ultimate Truth. So what is after the Truth, except misguidance? How then are you turned away! 10:32. So, obeying the messenger is following the message of Oneness he delivered through the Quran – and not the alleged reports about his own life-style, individual opinion, local culture, traditions, customs, habits etc as a mortal, living in a particular time and place: And obey God and obey the messenger; but if you turn away then the duty of Our messenger is only the clear deliverance:/ God, there is no god besides Him. In God then let the acknowledgers place their trust. 64:12-13. This suggests that a realization of God’s oneness and greatness is the innermost sense and, thus, the whole of the divine message incorporated in the Quran (cf. And We have sent a messenger to every nation: You shall serve God and avoid false deities. 16:36), brought to man by the messenger.

Note 8

The Quran directly prohibits following anyone or anything as divine authority other than God: Say: Is there any of your associates who can guide to the truth? Say: God guides to the truth. Is He who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed or the one who guides not unless he himself is guided? What is wrong with you, how do you judge?/ And most of them follow nothing but conjecture. Surely conjecture does not substitute anything of the Truth. 10:35-36

Criticism of Hadith: from a Quranic viewpoint

Criticism of Hadith from a Quranic viewpoint

Below we summarize some of the reasons why the traditional acceptance of Hadith as an authority of Islam is inconsistent with the Quran.

The Quran describes itself as the sole authority of Islam

When it comes to the issue of divine authority, the Quran endorses and is concerned about no other hadith but only the ahsana alhadeethi (‘the best hadith’), i.e., the Quran. So the sole emphasis of the Quran in this regard is on the Quran only, and not on any hadith.

As a revelation that describes itself as self-explaining, fully detailed, complete, and with lessons easy-to-learn – the Quran should be, according to the Quran itself, the only authority of Islam and the only divine source of law. See: Why Quran is the only authority of Islam.

This explains why accepting the so-called secondary authorities besides the Quran to define divine system is considered by the Quran as idolatry or polytheism (6:19, 38; 6:112-114; 7:1-3; 7:185; 9:31; 12:111; 17:46; 25:31; 31:6; 39:18-23; 45:6; 69:38-47; 75:16-19; 77:50).

The Quran exposes Hadith by negatively spotlighting the exact word ‘hadith’

The word ‘hadith’ has a plethora of meanings: saying, utterance, word, speech, statement, narration, story, discourse, opinion, account, etc. In its traditional usage, it describes the alleged sayings of the Prophet or narrations about him.

The word ‘hadith’ in the Quran, on the other hand, whenever appears to denote anything besides the Quran – in all the 20 instances – is always used in a negative sense and in a tone of strong disapproval1.

Hence, this is one basic statement regarding the hadith, repeated in various ways over and over again throughout the Quran:

Fabi-ayyi hadeethin baAAdahu yu’minoona. 7:185, 77:50

DO NOT UPHOLD any OTHER HADITH but the QURAN ONLY.

The Quran disapproves of all hadiths other than the Quran

Also, it is interesting to observe that the word ‘hadith’ in the Quran, whenever appears to denote anything besides the Quran, refers to fabricated teachings that illegitimately claim divine status besides the Quran.

Thus the Quran persistently uses the exact word ‘hadith’ in statements that strongly disapprove of any hadith as a co-authority along with the Quran.

The word hadith in the Quran always appears with condemnation of shirk

It is further interesting to observe that, whenever a statement in the Quran disapproves of all ‘hadiths’ other than ‘God’s hadith’, i.e., the Quran (4:87), it always appears in a context that condemns ‘shirk’ or ‘association with God’, the only unforgivable sin in Islam (4:48; cf. 4:116, 39:65, 6:88). See The Quran relates Hadith to shirk.

Curiously, while the Quran thus exposes hadith by unfavourably spotlighting the exact word ‘hadith’ (saying, narration), it chooses this word out of dozens of Arabic words that convey a similar meaning. For example, qawl (word), khabar (message, news), hikma (wise saying), athaar (teaching, tradition) and so on. This Quranic condemning of ‘hadiths’, by using the exact word ‘hadith’, was remarkably centuries before any of the alleged sayings of the Prophet or narrations about him was ever referred to as hadith!

The word hadith in the Quran has specific meaning and intent

The Quran creates its own lexicon by attaching specific contents and intents to specific words, expressions, metaphors and parables through its interactive explanatory process.

Thus, certain terms and narrations used by the Quran have their precise meanings that often transcend their popular renderings and do not necessarily or entirely conform with the conventional lexicons or earlier scriptures. These precise meanings cannot be properly grasped unless we read the texts contextually and holistically, keeping our mind free from the shackles of traditions.

Now, if we reflect on all the 20 instances where the Quran uses the word ‘HADITH’ to denote anything besides the Quran, we find that the word actually refers to manmade sayings and narrations that have the following specifics:

They are hearsays – invented, transmitted and collected by those ‘upon whom the devils descend’ (6:112; cf. 26:210-213, 221-226).

They are forged teachings that will be accepted and called by Muhammadan polytheists as ‘hadiths’ (7:185, 12:111; 31:6; 33:38; 35:43; 45:6; 52:34; 77:50).

They are ‘decorative speech’, inspired by ‘satanic whisper’, where falsehood is colourfully dressed up with deceptive half-truths to misguide people (6:68, 6:112).

They pretend to be another divine authority besides the Quran (e.g. 52:34, 4:87, 12:111) and as true as the Quran (39:18-23, 52:34, 4:87, 18:6, 77:50, 53:59).

They are ‘Devil’s babble’ that tries to silence the Quran (6:112; cf. 41:26-29, 33-36; 7:182, 185, 200-204; 16:98).

They distort and mock the actual messages of the Quran (6:68, 6:112; cf. 4:120, 140; 15:95; 31:6, 21), which is otherwise ‘a different HADITH 6:68, 4:140 ’, ‘God’s hadith 4:87’, ‘this hadith 77:50, 18:6, 53:59, 56:81’, ‘the best hadith 39:23’, ‘inimitable hadith 52:34’ and ‘not a fabricated hadith 12:111’.

They pollute the mind, interfering in its way to understand the Quran (56:79-82). One should not listen to them (33:53) and should not share, report or spread them (66:3).

They are fabricated, unlike the Quran, which therefore openly distances itself from them (12:111) and challenges the idea that it needs them as a supplement (45:6-9, 26:222).

They are baseless narratives, which will be ‘purchased’ by some people to mislead others from the divine path and import corruption into Islam (31:6). Obviously, one needs to keep away from them (4:140, 6:68).

They will degrade the Muslims and split them up into sects (23:44-54, 34:19, 68:35-44, 7:182-194).

In brief, the word ‘hadith’, when occurs in the Quran to denote anything besides the Quran, refers to fabricated teachings that illegitimately claim to be a divine authority besides the Quran. 

Looking into the above, we wonder what else could fit into all these descriptions, if not what we now know as Hadith, i.e., all those alleged sayings of the Prophet or narrations about him, traditionally accepted as the second authority of Islam.

The Quran makes several objections to Hadith

If we understand all the 20 instances, where the Quran uses the word ‘HADITH’ to denote anything besides the Quran, as references to Hadith as we know it today, we find that the Quran makes the following main objections to hadiths. See The Quran prohibited Hadith.

The Quran:

◦ Disapproves of all hadiths apart from the Quran (39:18-23, 52:34, 56:81, 4:42, 4:78, 4:87, 18:6, 77:50, 53:59);

◦ Predicts that Muslim polytheists would call their forged teachings hadith (7:185, 12:111; 31:6; 33:38; 35:43; 45:6; 52:34; 77:50);

◦ Distances itself from all hadiths (12:111);

◦ Instructs to keep distance from hadithmongers who would mock the Quranic messages and import corruption to Islam (6:68, 4:140);

◦ Predicts and warns about Imams of Hadith and hadithists, who would invest their time in unfounded hadiths and thus would import corruption to Islam, making mockery of the Quran (31:6);

◦ Challenges the idea that it needs hadith as a supplement (45:6-9, 26:222);

◦ Declares that minds polluted with hadiths would hardly understand the Quran (56:79-82);

◦ Discourages listening to hadiths (33:53) and criticizes their sharing, reporting and spreading (66:3); and

◦ Warns that hadiths would degrade the Muslims and split them up into sects (23:44-54, 34:19, 68:35-44, 7:182-194).

The Quran describes Hadith as satanic revelation

When we go through a Case Study of 6:68-116, carefully reading the passage together with its interrelated verses, we observe how the Quranic wisdom graphically predicts the invention of Hadith as an illegitimate co-authority besides the Quran and how it portrays Hadith as satanic revelation (6:112; cf. 26:210-213, 221-226).

Hadith has been called satanic probably because, while the Quran outlines the ‘straight path’ that unites and guides (1:6, 6:126, 6:153, 22:54, 42:52, 43:43, 46:30), Hadith devilishly divides and misleads its followers by deviating them from the straight path (1:7, 7:16, 6:153, 22:54, 26:221-226).

Here are some of the Quranic descriptions about Hadith that we can deduct from this Case Study:

◦ Hadith is ‘decorative speech’ where falsehood is colourfully dressed up with deceptive half-truth. It thereby distorts and mocks the Quranic messages (6:68, 6:112; cf. 4:120, 140; 15:95; 31:6, 21).

◦ Hadith-whispering evil forces are Prophet’s enemy (6:112; cf. 25:27-31; 7:194-204; 2:169).

◦ Devil descends on hadith-transmitters and hadith-collectors (6:112; cf. 26:210-213, 221-226).

◦ Hadith is Devil’s babble that tries to silence the Quran (6:112; cf. 41:26-29, 33-36; 7:182, 185, 200-204; 16:98).

◦ Hadith fascinates those who do not read the Quran holistically (6:113; cf. 6:92, 6:150; cf. 17:22, 36, 45, 46, 53, 73, 88).

◦ Hadith is inspired by urge to follow idols, who will eventually disown their own worshippers (6:114; cf. 25:27-31, 2:163-170).

◦ We should uphold the Quran only, and no hadith (6:114-116; cf. 6:19, 6:38; 6:59; cf. 31:6, 21; 2:79; 3:187; 16:63-64; cf. 5:48-49, 10:15, 10:35-36, 12:106, 17:77, 33:62, 48:23).

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Note 1

Whenever the word ‘hadith’ appears in the Quran to denote anything besides the Quran – in all the 20 instances – it is always used in a negative sense and in a tone of strong disapproval (4:42, 4:78, 4:87, 4:140, 6:68, 7:185, 12:111, 18:6, 23:44, 31:6, 33:53, 34:19, 39:23, 45:6, 52:34, 53:59, 56:81, 66:3, 68:44, 77:50). Here are a few examples that demand thoughtful consideration: And whose HADITH is more truthful than God’s? 4:87; Then in which HADITH after this will they believe? 7:185; This is not a fabricated HADITH, but a confirmation of what is before it, and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guide and a mercy to a people acknowledging. 12:111; And among the people there are those who purchase baseless HADITHS to divert from the way of God without knowledge, making mockery of it. 31:6; God has been sending down the best HADITH, a Book, fully consistent. 39:23; These are God’s messages that We recite unto thee in truth. So, in which HADITH after God and His messages will they believe? 45:6; Then in which HADITH after this will they believe? 77:50