Have you ever read the Qur’an on its own? What part of it did you not understand? One who reads the Qur’an with an unprejudiced mind will notice how clear and direct all the verses of the Qur’an are. The Qur’an is complete and contains all the details necessary for religion. Up until this point, you may have been conditioned by the majority around you to think that the Qur’an is incomplete and in need of secondary sources such as hadith and ‘tafsir’ works. It is the Qur’an that defines Islam and anything outside of the Qur’an is not in Islam.
“And We have revealed the Book to you which has clear explanation of everything, and a guidance, mercy and good news for those who submit.” (Qur’an 16:89)
As the verse states, the Qur’an explains all matters – it is not the other way round where other books have to explain the Qur’an – a false notion many people have come to believe. Allah states the Qur’an is complete, fully detailed and elaborate:
“Shall I then seek a Judge other than Allah? When it is He Who has revealed to you the Book fully detailed?” (Qur’an 6:114)
This is not fabricated hadith, but an authentication of what is with you, a detailed account of all things and guidance and mercy for people who believe. (Qur’an 12:111)
“We did not leave anything out of this book.” (Qur’an 6:38)
“We have cited in this Qur’an every example for the people. But the human being is always most argumentative.” (Qur’an 18:54)
“Alif Lam Ra. These are the signs of the Scripture, and a clear Qur’an.” (Qur’an 15:1)
Once an individual submits completely to the fact that the Qur’an is indeed fully detailed and gives up all inner arrogance in accepting this ultimate truth, he or she begins to realize many deviated practices that are practiced in the name of Islam. This individual finds that many religious leaders are also telling lies about the Quranic verses in order to justify distorted and sometimes evil practices that are against the very essence of the Qur’an, violating direct verses and general ethics of the Qur’an. Of course, only a sincere heart will notice this unique completeness of the Qur’an. The individual also begins to feel nearness to Allah which he never experienced before as he begins to receive guidance directly from Allah.
“Say: ‘My Lord has guided me to a Straight Path, an upright system, the creed of Abraham the upright; he was not from those who set up partners.’ ” (Qur’an 6:161)
The one who wishes to find other sources beside the Qur’an comes up with clichéd excuses such as ‘how do we know how to pray, or how much charity to give?’, sometimes before he even read the Qur’an even once! The Qur’an actually answers all his questions – the problem is that he simply never looks into the Qur’an for the answers. He has been pre-programmed to view the Qur’an as a form of mystical, cryptic holy book, which is difficult to understand without knowing other sources like hadith. It can therefore only be interpreted by “ulamas”. This spell on this individual leads him to:
1) Follow distorted practices that are actually against the Qur’an.
2) He never knows true lifestyle, ethics and devotion to Allah alone because he does not receive any guidance from the actual Qur’an.
3) He does not have any opinions or deduced any intellectual analysis of verses – he simply repeats what he reads in tafsir books, those books are his first and only port-of-call to the Qur’an, which are often littered with hearsay and false information that resemble nothing of the true meanings of the verses.
“Say, ‘I do not say to you that I have treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.’ ” (Qur’an 6:50)
4) His outlook on religion are derived entirely on the practice of the majority. He even has hadith to show that the majority are correct despite the Qur’an stating the majority are likely to be in error (6:116).
5) He is only really interested by discussion of anything other than Quranic verses, which remove him from the Qur’an – but he is deluded into thinking that study of those books equate to following Islam. He finds some Quranic verses used in those books and thinks those interpretations are correct since the author is “qualified” and he apparently is not. This is despite Allah stating that the Qur’an is a guide for him and that he is responsible for following the Qur’an’s direct verses:
“We have sent down to you a Book containing your message. Do you not understand?” (Qur’an 21:10)
“He Who imposed the Qur’an upon you will certainly bring you back home again. Say, ‘My Lord knows best who has brought true guidance and who is plainly misguided.’ ” (Qur’an 28:85)
One of his arguments he will put forth is that one has to know hadith books before understanding the Qur’an to help clarify the verses or elaborate on areas where he thinks the Qur’an is unclear. As stated, by this way, he enters into a world of secondary sources littered with un-Quranic teachings and outlook to religion. Allah states that the interpretation of the Qur’an, is in the Qur’an itself. In other words, the Qur’an explains its self:
“We have brought them a Scripture – We have explained it on the basis of knowledge – as guidance and mercy for those who believe.” (Qur’an 7:52)
“This is how We explain Our revelations in various ways.” (Qur’an 6:105)
“See how We explain the revelations, perhaps they may comprehend.” (Qur’an 6:65)
“It is such that We clarify the revelations to a people who think.” (Qur’an 10:24)
That is, Allah has explained the Qur’an as He says, “We have explained it”, not the Prophet or the people around him and that these explanations are clear for a people who ponder over the verses.
Such a person actually has not truly believed nor surrendered to Allah to the standard required by the Qur’an as he has not developed himself with Quranic lessons. This relationship of ‘attitude to the Qur’an’ with ‘devotion to Allah’ is revealed within the above verse, 7:52, where it is stated that Allah Himself explains the verses, and He makes it guidance and mercy only to those who believe in Him.
The Qur’an contains all the correct information about religion and is a guide for individuals. Most people however, do not know much about the Qur’an.
“We have sent down The Reminder and We will guard it” (Qur’an 15:9)
Of course, it follows: what is the purpose of protecting the Qur’an from corruption, if its meanings can only be reached through corruptible sources, such as hadith or tafsir works developed between 200 to 700 years after the Prophet’s death? There would be no point as the purpose would be defeated. Therefore, it only adds more sense to why Allah has contained the Qur’an’s interpretation within the Qur’an itself, just as Allah states in the verses.
“Alim Lam Ra. These are the signs of the Scripture, and a clear Qur’an.” (Qur’an 15:1)
Allah has rebuked those who have nothing better to do than to write and follow more books beyond what He has revealed:
“Should We treat the ones who have surrendered the same as those who are criminals? What is wrong with you, how do you judge? Or do you have another book which you study? In it you find whatever you wish to find?” (Qur’an 68:36-38)
There are no orders in the Qur’an to follow any book other than the Qur’an. Indeed we have practices such as Salah and Hajj. However, this does not justify accepting contradictory teachings to the Qur’an, or taking up an attitude where one does not research the Qur’an directly himself. Salah and Hajj are living practices for believers. The believer must take the Qur’an as a guide and disregard un-Quranic elements, should any arise. Some people make questions such as where in the Qur’an these practices are taught. These practices are living practices among us, just as we learn practices such as cooking, driving a car etc. from others.
As a general rule, all practices are valid so long as they conform with the values, ethics and principles of the Qur’an. Though most people will agree with this statement, this is not the case in practice – since much of people’s practice and thinking violates Allah’s Book. How can one have this Quranic criterion of judgement if he or she does not study the Qur’an directly? One first has to understand the Qur’an in order to judge everything he sees. But, if the person maintains that understanding the Qur’an must involve going through and accepting the other sources via so-called learned-men and ignores the Quran’s statement that it explains itself, then he has already accepted the very thing the Qur’an should judge over and will have an extremely clouded and preconceived view of the Qur’an. One must develop true faith in Allah through an understanding of the Qur’an before doing anything else.
“Believers, if you have mindfulness of Allah, He will give you a criterion, and will cleanse you of your sins and forgive you. Allah’s favor is indeed immense.” (Qur’an 8:29)
Those who wish to remove people away from the Book revealed by Allah have the only tactic to take verses and twist them to their liking or by inventing false hadith. Their twists are strikingly obvious to the genuine follower of the Qur’an – the truth is no match for falsehood.
“The words of your Lord are complete in its truth and justice. Nothing can change His words – He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would lead you away from the path of Allah. They follow nothing but speculation – they are merely guessing.” (Qur’an 6:115-116)
“We have permitted the enemies of every prophet – human and jinn devils – to inspire to each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.” (Qur’an 6:112)
“Among the people, there are those who accept baseless hadiths الْحَدِيثِ to mislead from the path of God without knowledge, and they take it as entertainment. These will have a humiliating retribution.” (Qur’an 31:6)
“But there is a sort of person who pays for distracting Hadith حَدِيث, intending, without knowledge, to lead others away from Allah’s way, and to make a mockery of it. These will have a humiliating punishment! And when Our Verses are recited to such a person, he turns away arrogantly, as if he had not heard them! as if there were heaviness in his ears! Give him good news of a painful punishment!” (Qur’an 31:6-7)
It must be borne in mind that for the first two centuries of Islam, there were no hadith books or so-called tafsir books. These were written much later when the prophetic prohibition to write his hadiths were broken. For the first two centuries, the Muslims performed all obligations stated in the Qur’an. The environment was filled with distorted hadiths and lies attributed to the prophet but this did not prevent the Muslims to carry out Quranic commandments. The caliphs of the time (Abu Bakr and Umar) forbade the writing of hadith as per the prophetic instructions and the Quranic teachings while they were alive.
“This Book has been sent down to you (Prophet) – let there be no anxiety in your heart about it – so that you may use it to give warning and to remind the believers (by telling them): ‘Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord! Do not follow other masters beside Him. How seldom you take heed!’ ” (Qur’an 7:2)
“The Messenger’s duty is only to deliver the message: Allah knows what you reveal and what you conceal.” (Qur’an 5:99)
“And thus do We elaborate the verses so that they may say: ‘You have read’ and that We may make it clearto a people who know.” (Qur’an 6:105)
These verses contain the same clear commandment; not to follow any source of religious guidance and law other than the Qur’an :
These are God’s revelations (Quran) that We recite to you truthfully. In which hadith other than God and His revelations (Quran) do they believe? (Qur’an 45:6)
Or have they not looked at the realm of the heavens and the earth and all things which God has created, and that perhaps their time may be drawing near? Which hadith after this (Quran) do they believe in? (Qur’an 7:185)
God has brought down the Best Hadith; a Book (Quran) that is consistent in its frequent repetitions. (Qur’an 39:23)
Most Muslims today are unaware of what the Qur’an says about concepts of faith and carry many views on the Qur’an that are distorted and falsified because they have no direct knowledge of the verses. It is of no surprise that Allah informs us of a statement of the Prophet Muhammad on the Day of Judgement:
“And the Messenger said, ‘My Lord, my people have deserted this Qur’an’ ” (Qur’an 25:30)
“Do they want judgement according to the time of pagan ignorance? Is there any better judge than Allah for those of firm faith?” (Qur’an 5:50)
“Have you considered those who were asked to accept judgement from Allah’s Book? When they are asked to accept judgement from Allah’s Book, some of them turn their backs and walk away!” (Qur’an 3:23)
“Mankind was a single community, then Allah sent Prophets to bring good news and warning, and with them He sent the Book with the Truth, to judge between people in the disagreements. It was only those to whom it was given who disagreed about it after clear verses had come to them, because of rivalry between them. So by His leave Allah guided the believers to the truth they had differed about: Allah guides whoever He wills to a straight path.” (Qur’an 2:213)
“This too, is a blessed Book which We have sent down – follow it and be conscious of your Lord, so that you may receive mercy – lest you say, ‘Books were sent to two communities before us: we were not aware of what they studied’, or ‘if only the Book had been sent down to us, we would have been better guided than them.’ Now your Lord has brought you clear evidence, guidance, and mercy. Who could be more wrong then someone who rejects Allah’s Revelations and turns away from them? We shall repay those who turn away from our verses with a painful punishment.” (Qur’an 6:155-157)
“And We made the Qur’an easy to learn. Do any of you wish to learn?” (Qur’an 54:17)