Monday, June 11, 2007

Anti Hadeeth's Smoke Screen

The Anti Hadeeth movement/beliefs are nothing but a smoke screen based on skewed and misguided methods of understanding the Quran and the Sunnah.

The no 1. factor behind their obvious ignorance is their refusal to understand the Quran and Sunnah in it's original language, the Arabic language.

They resort to free-hand interpretation of the translation while at the same time attaching their whimsical interpreation of the phrases.

Their methods have been exposed time and time again. Yet, due to their pride, they still adamantly stick to their misguided beliefs.

A letter of mine to Malaysiakini on the issue of Death Penalty to Apostacy is proof of their ignorance:

Apostasy punishment not created by man
Abdul Rahman Talib
Sep 26, 05 12:24pm
Adjust font size:
In response to Haris Mohd Ibrahim’s letter entitled Punishment for apostasy contrived by man, allow me to present my letter in two parts.

Part one:

Haris quoted several verses (4:87, 7:185, 45:6 and 31:6-7) which contain the word “hadeeth”. He claims that the word Hadeeth in these verses refers to the Quran.

Haris further contends that the meaning of the word Al Hadeeth in 39:23 to be the Quran. If this is true one is forced to question the status of Taurah, Injil, Zabur, Suhuf (being the other Revelations).

Are they not beautiful and therefore can be rejected? While it is true that the Quran is the “most beautiful” revelation from God, the verse does not deny the role of other Revelations, and that includes the Hadeeth of the Prophet.

In truth, the word “hadeeth” in the Arabic language has so many meanings. That is why in the verses Haris quoted, each of them carries a different meaning compared to the other:

04:87 : the Promise, warnings or cautions
45:06 : Exposition ( according to Yusuf Ali)
07:185 : Signs
39:23 : the Message.

Furthermore, the Hadeeth of the Prophet is told to us by the Quran as being Revelation from God. In addition, the Prophet is given the task by God to explain the Quran to us (16:44)

Notice that the word “Al Hadeeth” in 39:23, has a completely different meaning then the “Al Hadeeth” of the Prophet. In 39:23 it takes the meaning as “message” while the “Al Hadeeth” of the Prophet is “reports of the Prophet’s words, actions and agreements”.

One may ask how this is so when both words are the same. The explanation lies in the Arabic grammar with reference to the topic “Ism Ma’arifah” (specific noun). The word “Al” is equivalent to the word “the” in English.

Suffice to say that we find such variations in abundance in the Quran. For instance, the word “Kitab” is used in different verses for different meanings:

02:02 : Al Quran
18:49 : Book of Deeds
11:110 : Torah
06:89 : Books Revealed to all the other Prophets (but the word used is Kitab). The general translation of the word “Kitab” is “book”.

This points to the fact that the “anti-hadeeth” tend to commit grave errors due to their lack of command in the Arabic language. Their dependence on English and Malay translations has brought them to the depths of misunderstanding and confusion regarding the Quran.

Now for part two:

In verse 02:54, Moses passed a sentence of death upon an entire tribe of Israelites for committing idolatry. The sentence is ordained by God. That particular order remains until today since there are no other verses in the Quran abrogating it.

The order for the Israelites to take their own lives in 02:54 - their punishment for committing apostasy - is an irrefutable fact. It destroys all those who claim that the Quran contains no verse that points to punishment for apostasy.

Also, since the Israelites number is large, it is more practical for the tribe to take their own lives rather than be executed. It is still a death penalty nonetheless. The only difference is that in our time, apostates are executed while in Moses time, they were to kill themselves.

What remains, from the time of Moses until today, is the fact that apostates must be punished by death. This fact hasn’t changed no matter how many try to deny it.

I also feel that Dr Syed Alwi Ahmad’s statement that certain hadeeth are now irrelevant due to changing time and realities is too simplistic. If the claim is true, what’s stopping us from changing the contents of the Quran for the sake of fitting into time?