REBUTTAL - 8
April 26th, 2008 by Dr. Shabbir
Mr. Serge Trifkovic: So, the Qur’an is simply a set of direct commandments, or else, narratives, descriptions, something of very distorted descriptions of Judaism and Christianity. Because of the normative nature of those commandments, the second important body for Islamic jurisprudence and for Islamic politic is the tradition of the Prophet the Hadith.
Answer: Dear Sir, there is no ‘or else’ situation in the Qur’an. As a general rule, Allah states that He wills for us ease, not hardship. To give you a few examples: Dry ablution (Tayammum) in the lack of availability of water or if one is ill, feeding an indigent if one cannot fast, ransom instead of punishment in case of murder, forgiveness and rehab for thieves and robbers, permission to eat pork if permissible food is not available, Pilgrimage only for those who have the means, “the no compulsion” clause etc create all the ease in Islam. And these are only a very few examples.
Mr. Robert Spencer: Now the Hadith are absolutely necessary to make any sense of the Qur’an. Because Allah addresses Muhammad in the Qur’an and they talk about incidents in Muhammad’s life, but they don’t fill in the narrative details. So, you have to go to the Hadith, the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad in order to understand what’s being said in the Qur’an and why. The Hadith are many many volumes of traditions of the Prophet. Various Muslim scholars beginning in the 8th century which is some considerable time after the life of the Prophet Muhammad who died in 632, they started to collect these traditions and to try through various means to in or out the authentic ones from the in-authentic. From an Islamic standpoint if something that Muhammad said or did is recorded in one of those books, then it has authority second only to the Qur’an. And in those books, there is a great deal that illuminates what the Qur’an says and how it is applicable to Muslims in the present.
Answer: Dear Sirs, I will appreciate if you could point out one single distortion of Judaism and Christianity. The Qur’an gently corrects some theological, historical and scientific errors in the Bible. We can call this ‘healing’, not distortions. For example,
Plant Life. The Bible indicates that the earth had green plant life before the sun was created. This is a gross scientific error. And the Quran is perfectly free of this and such other mistakes. Obviously, no vegetation could sprout without sunlight.
The Great Flood. According to the Bible, the Great Flood of Noah occurred in 2100 BC and destroyed all people and animals on earth. But it is a well-known historical and archaeological fact that during those times, active civilizations were flourishing in Egypt, Babylonia, China, South America and elsewhere. The Quran on the other hand describes the great Flood involving only the people of Noah living in Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq). Recent research indicates that the Flood occurred only in the lands of Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which the nation of Noah inhabited.
You are right that Ahadith were collected centuries after the exalted Prophet. So, they should carry little significance except for those Ahadith that are in agreement with the Qur’an. Each of these books of Hadith has a small chapter on explanation (tafseer of the Qur’an). Please know that the entire body of Hadith fails to explain even 10 percent of the Qur’an. There are many translations of the Qur’an available that make perfect sense without using Hadith. One of such translations is my own humble work, “The Qur’an As It Explains Itself.”
Video Voice & Image:
Authoritative traditions of the Prophet Muhammad
The Hadith Sahih Al-Bukhari
Muhammad Muhsin Khan
Volume 4, Book 52, Hadith # 53: The Prophet said, “Nobody who dies and finds good from Allah in the Hereafter would wish to come back to this world, even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it except the martyr who, on seeing the superiority of martyrdom, would like to come back to the world and get killed again in Allah’s cause. The Prophet said, “A single endeavor of fighting in Allah’s cause in the afternoon or forenoon is better than all the world and whatever is in it.”
Answer: We have seen that Islam allows war only in self-defense. So, a “martyr” or “a single endeavor of fighting” would point to self-defense, and certainly not to aggression. There is a slim chance that these two Ahadith, written 250 years after the exalted Prophet, could be reliable. Yet, they are only indicating the honor a soldier, who puts his life in line for the defense of the State, deserves. Which nation or country won’t honor such valiant men?
H.N. Spalding - Civilization in the East and West:
…. In Islam the believer is a worshiper and a soldier ever ready to go to the battlefield but only for that battle which is waged to eradicate evil (including aggression - SA).