Proof Against Hadithers

Hadithers are people who, in addition to the Quran, believe that the hadith is a valid source of Islamic law. The arguments below easily prove using the Quran and basic logic that hadithers are not only wrong, but they are also kafir according to the Quran.

Let’s begin.

Only judge by the Quran

Quran verse 45:6 specifically tells people to only judge by the Quran and not the hadith.

تِلْكَ آيَاتُ اللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِالْحَقِّ ۖ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَ اللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ
These are the verses (ayat) of God which We recite to you in truth. Then in what hadith after God and His verses will they believe? (Quran: 45:6)

The verses (ayat) of God are the Quran. The hadith are obviously not verses of God. No one in their right mind, including hadithers, would call the hadith verses from God.

Quran verse 5:44 clearly states that anyone who judges by anything besides the Quran is a disbeliever (kafir).

… وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
And whoever does not judge by what God has revealed (the Quran) – then it is they who are the disbelievers (Arabic: kafirun). (Quran: 5:44)

What God “revealed” is the Quran. The hadith was not revealed by God. 

The hadith is not a revelation

Some hadithers will claim that, in addition to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad’s day-to-day sayings are also somehow revelations from God. They can easily be proven wrong.

Proof 1:

Quran verse 66:1 indicates a situation where God warned Muhammad after Muhammad forbade something that God made lawful. If everything Muhammad said was a revelation from God, then why would God warn Muhammad about something Muhammad said? Logically, because not everything Muhammad said was a revelation from God.

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ لِمَ تُحَرِّمُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكَ ۖ تَبْتَغِي مَرْضَاتَ أَزْوَاجِكَ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ …
O Prophet, why do you forbid what God has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? … (Quran 66:1 part)

Proof 2:

In verses 69:44-46, God threatened to kill Prophet Muhammad if Muhammad ever made false statements about God. This proves that not everything Muhammad said was a revelation from God since if everything was, God would not have needed to make this threat.

وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ
And if he [Muhammad] had made up about Us [God] some [false] sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand; Then We would have cut from him the aorta. (Quran 69:44-46)

Proof 3:

Hadith Sahih al-Bukhari # 1629 indicates that Muhammad forbade praying at sunrise (fajr) and sunset (maghrib). This is a clear contradiction with the Quran which even hadithers would agree with.

Narrated `Abdullah: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) forbidding the offering of prayers at the time of sunrise and sunset.
Sahih al-Bukhari 1629
https://sunnah.com/bukhari/25/113

All Muslims, even ones who use the hadith for Islamic law, would continue to pray fajr and maghrib despite this sahih hadith forbidding it. In this case, they may say that even though this hadith is sahih, they choose to ignore it because it contradicts the Quran, but they’ll say that other hadith are still valid. In other words, they end up choosing to follow some hadith and ignoring others. Unsurprisingly, Quran verse 68:36-38 questions these people who judge by a book (e.g. the hadith books) in which they pick and choose whichever laws they want to follow.

مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ
What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge? Or do you have a book in which you learn that indeed for you in it is whatever you choose? (68:36-38)

The fact that hadithers acknowledge that some sahih hadith are unacceptable should make them question the authenticity of all other hadith, even if they sound acceptable.

Prophet Muhammad only warned using the Quran

Some hadithers, in thinking that they are imitating Muhammad, will use the hadith to warn other people of Islamic laws. Ironically, Quran verses 50:45 and 6:19 prove that Muhammad himself only warned using the Quran.

… فَذَكِّرْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مَن يَخَافُ وَعِيدِ
… Therefore [O Muhammad] remind by the Qur’an whoever fears My threat. (50:45 part)
… وَأُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنُ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ …
… this Qur’an was revealed to me (Muhammad) that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches … (6:19 part)

Prophet Muhammad only followed the Quran

Hadithers think that they are following Muhammad’s way by following the hadith about him. Ironically, Muhammad says himself in Quran verse 50:45 that he himself only follows the Quran.

وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُنَا بَيِّنَاتٍ ۙ قَالَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا ائْتِ بِقُرْآنٍ غَيْرِ هَٰذَا أَوْ بَدِّلْهُ ۚ قُلْ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أُبَدِّلَهُ مِن تِلْقَاءِ نَفْسِي ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ
…And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, “Bring us a Qur’an other than this or change it.” Say, [O Muhammad], “It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. … (10:15)

“How to pray” argument

Hadithers will inevitably tell you that the hadith are necessary for Islamic law because it explains how to pray. What these people don’t realize is that 

  1. No one learns how to pray by reading the hadith. Instead, they learn from other people like their parents.
  2. The hadith does not clearly explain how to pray. Considering that prayer is a daily ritual, the fact that the hadith doesn’t say much about how to pray should make you question the authenticity of the hadith in general.
  3. Even if the hadith did clearly explain how to pray, then since the hadith books were not written until ~200 years after Muhammad’s death, then for 2 centuries after Muhammad died, no one could pray because the hadith books had not been written yet. It is illogical to believe that people could not pray for 200 years because they were waiting for Bukhari to write his hadith book.

It is reasonable to believe that God did not provide step-by-step instructions on how to pray in the Quran because God knew that people at first would learn by following Muhammad and then after Muhammad died, people would learn from their communities, e.g. when they pray at mosques on Friday. In actuality, knowledge of how to pray is passed down from one generation to another, not from reading through thousands of hadith trying to figure it out like some huge crossword puzzle.

“Interpretation” argument

Some hadithers will argue that my interpretation of the verses above, or any other verse for that matter, is incorrect. They seem to think that only their interpretation is the correct interpretation. The Quran addresses the issue of interpretation in verse 3:7 where God states that there are two types of verses.

1. Specific (clear) verses

These verses are the foundation of the Quran and since they are clear, interpretation isn’t necessary. The verses mean what they say because the meaning is literal.

2. Unspecific (unclear) verses

These verses are unclear and only God knows the correct meaning. These unclear verses exist as a test for people who want to interpret them in a particular way so as to justify their personal opinion and interests.

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding. (3:7)

Since the verses used in my arguments above are clear, then the “incorrect interpretation” argument is invalid.

“Tradition” argument

Some hadithers will argue that Islamic tradition must be respected and taken into consideration and since traditionally Muslims have followed the hadith, then Muslims must continue to do so. This argument is invalid because not all traditions are correct and tradition is not a basis for religion. Nowhere in the Quran does it say that followers should follow tradition and the practices of their ancestors. Conversely, the Quran actually provides an example which clearly shows how tradition has no place in religion and is most definitely not a replacement for clear commandments in the Quran.

In verses 21:52-53 Abraham asked his own father and his people why they worshiped statues. Their answer was that they were just following the tradition of their forefathers which was obviously incorrect.

إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَٰذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ قَالُوا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا لَهَا عَابِدِينَ
When he (Prophet Abraham) said to his father and his people, “What are these statues to which you are devoted?” They said, “We found our fathers worshippers of them.”

In verse 2:170, Abraham’s father and people were told to follow what God revealed but they instead insisted on following the tradition of their fathers. God then says that their fathers knew nothing and were not they guided.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ
And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided? (2:170)

“2.5% zakat” argument

Some hadithers will argue that without the hadith, Muslims wouldn’t know that they must pay 2.5% of their income to satisfy the requirements of zakat which they believe strictly goes to the poor. There are some issues with this argument.

1. Everyone must pay zakat, not just Muslims

Hadithers incorrectly believe that only Muslims must pay zakat. Quran verse 41:7 proves that even non-Muslims including polytheists must pay zakat.

“…and woe to the polytheists (41:6) who give not the ‘Zakat’ and in the Hereafter they are disbelievers. (41:7)”

2. People paid zakat long before Muhammad was born

In verses 19:31, 19:55, 2:83, 7:156, 5:12, 21:73, 4:162, and 98:5 we see proof that many, many groups of people paid zakat going as far back as Abraham himself. Therefore, how much to pay for zakat was not dependent on something Muhammad supposedly said, i.e. the hadith.

What really is zakat?

Since everyone must pay zakat and zakat money is often used to help the poor, then it would make sense that zakat is government taxation since tax revenue is used for the benefit of the community including the poor. In the US, more then 15% of federal tax revenue goes to social programs to help people who need financial help. This is a much larger amount than the 2.5% hadithers claim is the correct amount only Muslims must pay to satisfy zakat requirements. Ironically, Islamic countries where people supposedly only pay 2.5% for zakat are some of the poorest countries in the world. Conversely, in the US where everyone pays zakat (taxes), people who need financial help are able to get it and get out of poverty.

Conclusion

The proofs above should make it extremely clear that not only is the hadith an invalid source of Islamic law, but following and judging by the hadith, according to Quran verse 5:44, makes you a KAFIR!