Salam Alaikum, Why must we follow the Hadith and Sunnah? Is not the Qur'an enough? I have heard that the Hadith were not even preserved and most of them are "made-up."
Wa Alaykum As-Salam,
The Blessed Qur'an commands us in numerous Verses to "Obey the Prophet", "Take what he gives you", "Avoid what he forbids you", "He is the best example for you"....all in addition to the original order of "Obey Allah".
Allah Almighty would not have ordered us to obey the Prophet (SAW) if the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) were not to be preserved and known?!
The first Muslims, the Sahabah, took the above Divine Commandments seriously and therefore obeyed the Prophet (SAW) in everything and noted all his teachings and counsels (which then became known as "al-Sunnah")
Then it was these same Sahabah who passed down both the Qur'an and the Sunnah to future generations, as the sources of ISLAM.
By claiming now to follow "Only the Qur'an", one is basically saying:
- "I disobey those Verses of the Qur'an which order me to obey the Prophet (SAW) and take him as an example" (how can I if nothing of his teachings is preserved anyways)
- "I will take from the Prophet (SAW), the Qur'an only, but I will not take anything else from him"
- "I will trust the Sahabah to deliver the Qur'an to me but I don't trust them to deliver the Sunnah!!!"
Needless to say, such an attitude does not make any sense. By rejecting the Sunnah, one must necessarily reject the Qur'an as well, as they both come to us from the same sources: The Prophet (SAW) and the Sahabah.
Therefore, by rejecting the Sunnah, we are destroying the foundations of Islam itself.
Furthermore, the Prophetic Sunnah is there to explain the Qur'an, as the Qur'an itself states (check for example the initial
Verses of Surah al-Jumu'ah). Allah Almighty states that He has sent us the Book and its Teacher.
So are we going to say to Allah: We accept the Book but we don't accept the Teacher?!
Indeed, without the Sunnah, many injunctions of the Qur'an would be impossible to fulfill. For example, the Qur'an orders us to pray, but nowhere does it explain how the Prayer is done. This is only learned from the Sunnah.
Without the Sunnah, we will also not be able to know the various backgrounds (asbab al-nuzul) of the various Surahs of the Qur'an, as well as their merits, number of verses....etc.
In short, the Qur'an cannot be practiced without the Sunnah.
Of course, I understand that many fabrications crept into the large corpus of the Sunnah. However, our great scholars have worked hard to weed these out and set methodologies for us also to weed them out.
It is very easy to know which of the Sunnah is very authentic, which is semi-authentic, which is questionable, and what is fabrication.
We should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The Sunnah is full of great Prophetic Treasures. I will advise people to study it before they judge it. A good start would be the 40 Hadith of Imam al-Nawawi, and the Riyadh al-Salihin by him as well.
It would be shame for us Muslims to claim that the Ummah preserved the Word of God, the Qur'an, but did not preserve anything from the Words of his Final Prophet (SAW)!!!
It would also be lie!