Why did Allah impose sacred hadiths? What is the wisdom behind sacred hadith though the Quran and the Sunnah exist?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The duty of prophethood does not end by bringing the Quran only; it includes, explaining it and showing how to practice it.

If the Quran gave all details, it would be a book of many volumes. This would make it difficult for us to benefit from the Quran. Therefore, some issues were left to the Prophet (pbuh) to explain.

The Prophet (pbuh) received revelation outside the Quran too. The scholars expressed their views about the source of the Sunnah based on the Quran, hadiths and the statements of the Companions; they said the Sunnah was based on revelation, though not all.  

The following is stated in narrations: "Jibril brought down the Sunnah as he brought down the Quran." As a matter of fact, Awzai states that the Sunnah is based on revelation by saying,

“When a hadith reaches you from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), do not decree with anything else because the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) conveyed what he took from Allah.”

SACRED (QUDSI) HADITH

It is a hadith whose meaning belongs to Allah and whose words belong to the Prophet.

A hadith that the Prophet narrates from Allah is called a "Qudsi (Sacred) Hadith". It is a hadith that the Prophet narrates with his own words from Allah sometimes via Jibril, and sometimes through revelation, inspiration and dream. That sacred hadiths are attributed to Allah as the first source on the one hand and that they are mentioned among the hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) and with the word of hadith on the other hand show their similarities to the hadiths of the Prophet in some aspects. For, the Quran is the word of Allah and it was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh); since the first source of sacred hadiths is Allah and since they are narrated from Him by the Prophet, they are also revelation. Therefore, there is no difference between the Quran and qudsi hadiths in terms of being revelation. However, sacred hadiths are not regarded as parts of the Quran; "they both have properties peculiar to themselves and they prevent them from being the same." Talat Koçyiğit, Hadis Istılahlarla Ankara 1980, p. 123-124).

Islamic scholars have expressed two views related to the difference between sacred hadiths and the Quran:
A- The meaning and words of sacred hadiths are from Allah.

1. Those hadiths are attributed to Allah and they are described as "sacred", "divine" and "godly".

2. First person singular pronouns like "O my slaves!" expressing Allah are used.

3. The first source of sacred hadiths is Allah; the address belongs to Him. The Prophet is in the position of a narrator. As a matter of fact, the following phrases are generally seen at the beginning of those hadiths: "The Messenger of Allah stated the following in the hadith he narrated from his Lord..." or "Allah stated the following in a hadith that the Messenger of Allah narrated... "

However, they do not have the properties of the Quran. For, the conciseness in the Quran in terms of meaning and words do not exist in sacred hadiths. The Quran was reported through tawatur and sacred hadith through ahad way. It is not permissible to report the verses of the Quran through meaning. The verses of the Quran are read in prayer; a person cannot read them when he is junub and he cannot touch them when he does not have wudu. Sacred hadiths are not like that. (see Muhammad Ajjajc al-Hatib, as-Sunnetu Qablat-Tadwin, Cairo 1383/1963, p. 22)

B- According to the majority of the scholars, the meaning of the sacred hadith belongs to Allah and the words belong to the Prophet (pbuh). He reported with appropriate expressions the divine messages that Allah informed him through revelation, inspiration and dreams.

Sacred hadiths mention Allah's power and magnificence, the vastness of His mercy and the abundance of His grants. They are not related to decrees like halal and haram. There are about one hundred of them. Some scholars collected sacred hadiths in separate books. Abdurrauf al-Munawi (1031/1622) classified them in alphabetical order in his book called "al-Ithafatus-Saniyye bil-Ahadithil-Qudsiyya". (Kattani, ar-Risalatul-Mustatrafa, Istanbul 1986, p. 81)

Some sacred hadiths: Abu Hurayra narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Allah, the Exalted, said: ‘Every act of the son of Adam is for him except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it." (Muslim, Siyam, 161,163) According to Abu Hurayra’s narration from the Messenger of Allah, Allah the Exalted, said: "When it occurs to my bondsman that he should do a good deed but he actually does not do it, I record one good to him, but if he puts it into practice, I make an entry of ten to seven hundred good acts in his favor. When it occurs to him to do evil, but he does not commit it, I forgive that. If he commits it, I record one evil against his name." (Muslim, Iman, 204). "I have prepared for My pious servants bounties which no eye has ever seen, and no ear has ever heard, and no human heart has ever perceived in Paradise." (Muslim, Kitabul-Jannah, 2, 3, 4)

Nuri TOPALOĞLU

Questions on Islam

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