Today, I received a call from a dear friend that there are some “muslims” arguing that menstruating muslim women can fast in the month of Ramadan, merely referring to the Quran, and rejecting all narrations from the prophet with the notion that prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was only a postman, and did not teach anything other than the Quran.
The real problem to solve is not the correct ruling regarding menstruating women fasting in Ramadan or not. Although, that can be answered using the Quran itself, since Allah said: “Whoever is ill and on a journey then (replace the missed day) on other days.” [2:185] The verse covers the menstruating women with their menses (illness). In another verse in [2:222] mentions “They ask you concerning the menstruation. Say: It is harm so stay away from them during menstruation.” Logically, if being ill is an excuse for not fasting, then menstruation where women lose lots of blood is more befitting of this ruling. Note that there is no verse preventing intercourse with an ill woman.
Of course, if the hadith is referred to, we will get the correct understanding straight away on this issue.
But, they are not in need of this answer since their real “sickness” is rejection of hadith! They failed to understand Quran correctly because they have omitted the guidelines to understanding the Quran, and the example, ie. the prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
Because Allah said: “And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) a reminder that you may explain clearly to the people that which was sent down to them.” [16:44]
The reminder is the explanation of the Quran through the prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
The following are some proofs that muslims must take from the hadith to understand Islam fully:
Many verses commanding obedience to Allah and His Messenger.
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you with authority. And if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if you (truly) believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and most suitable for final determination.” [4:59]
- If we accept that prophet Muhammad was merely a postman, that there is no reason to mention “obey the Messenger” since a postman has no authority!
- Allah repeated the word “obey” for “the Messenger” but not “those of you with authority” for a reason, and that is to ascertain that obedience is obligatory to Allah (Quran) and the Messenger (Hadith) while obedience to “those of you with authority” are subject to their obedience to Allah and His Messenger.
- This verse is binding till the end of time since no time limit was set! Hence, to implement this verse, one has no choice but to believe that the hadith is binding and preserved!
- If anyone claims that this verse is only binding during the lifetime of the prophet, and after his death only the Quran is our reference, then surely this is mockery towards Allah, whose verses are “perfected and then expounded” [11:1]
Many verses cannot be understood without hadith
“And We appointed the direction (qiblah) to which you were upon only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels.” [2:143]
- Notice that the appointment of the previous qiblah was referred to as being in the past. But there is no verse in the Quran which commands the prophet to face Jerusalem at the beginning! This shows that there is another mode of conveyance of revelation to the prophet, which is not in the form of the Quran.
- The only way to know what was the previous qiblah is through the hadith
“When the prophet disclosed a matter in secret to one of his wives, and she then divulged it, and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed a part of it and repudiated a part. Then when he told her of it, she said, ‘Who told you this?’ He said, ‘He told me the All-Knowing All-Acquainted.” [66:3]
- “Allah made it known to him” – how was this done since there is no verse on it in the Quran?
- Hence, there is another type of revelation besides the Quran.
- And what’s this verse about? This can only be known through the hadith.
“Whether you cut down the tender palm-trees or you left them standing on their roots, it was by the permission of Allah, and in order that He might cover the rebellious transgressors with shame.” [59:5]
- “it was by the permission of Allah” – The action was attributed to the permission of Allah, but nowhere in the Quran is such permission found?!
- Hence, the permission was conveyed through other means of revelation.
- Hence, the hadith must, by necessity, be preserved
The prophet also gave additional instructions, not found in the Quran
“Those who follow the Messenger, the illiterate Prophet whom they find written in the Taurat and Injil he commands them to the good and forbids them from the evil, he makes lawful the good (food and others) and prohibits the evil (food and others), he releases them from their heavy burdens and bindings that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light (Quran) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.” [7:157]
- The prophet’s duty was to tell the believers what is halal and what is haram.
- Following the light (Quran) was also mentioned separately, hence Quran and prophet's instructions (preserve in the form of hadith) are not the same thing, but they complement each other.
Of course, there are many more verses and proofs, but what I’ve mentioned above is sufficient.
The main reason for this group’s rejection of hadith is that they find inconsistencies in the hadith, ignorant of the fact that not all hadiths are authentic! And to know what is authentic and what is not, one has to refer back to scholars of hadith who have written many works, past and present, to explain the authenticity of hadiths in the Islamic literature. The science of hadith is a very important science, but unfortunately, many muslims are ignorant of it or have failed to benefit from it. This science is so detail and meticulous that no other nation in the world, past and present, has such a method. The system of chain of narration has been the method to check the authenticity of hadith, with biographies of narrators all throughout the ages from the time of the prophet up to the collectors of hadith, like Imam al-Bukhari, Imam Muslim and others. Even history books are not as reliable as hadith books.
The many scientific truths, prophesies and accurate facts mentioned in the authentic hadiths proves that the science of hadith is absolutely reliable!
If the Quran is true, surely it needs correct understanding! Without correct understanding, the purpose of sending the Quran is not fulfilled! Hence, by necessity, the hadith needs to also be preserved and available till the end of time!
Look at Islam as a whole system, and Quran is its manual. Just like a Quality Management System of a company, it must have a Quality Manual. But, Quality Manual only highlights the outline of the system, whereas its detail procedures (SOP – Standard Operating Procedures) are a different set of documents, with greater details and guidelines!
So, in the case of the religion of Islam, the Quran is its manual. And the detail procedures are the SOP (Sunnah Of Prophet Muhammad), in other words, the hadith!