The Two Basic Concepts Misused by Those Who Portray Islam as a Violent Faith: Sharia and Jihad
God describes the Qur’an as follows in one verse:
... This [the Qur’an] is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who have faith. . (Qur'an, 12:111)
As God explicitly states in this verse, the Qur’an is “a clarification of everything,” although it is never enough for the peddlers of superstition. They do not regard the path revealed by the Qur’an as suited to their own religious conceptions. For that reason, throughout the course of history they have maintained that some of the commandments of the Qur’an are “not sufficient” (surely the Qur’an is beyond that) and need to be interpreted. From that, they developed the idea that “We can only understand the Qur’an through the hadiths*.” *Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
Let us make one thing clear here; the hadiths have come down to the present day as the words of our Prophet (pbuh). While some are entirely trustworthy and accurate quotations and practices, others have gradually been distorted and the meanings of some have been changed. There is only one way of telling whether a hadith is really the words or the practice of our Prophet (pbuh) and that is if it is in agreement with the Qur’an. It is without doubt a slander against our Prophet (pbuh) to maintain that words or practices that conflict with the Qur’an actually belong to the Prophet (pbuh) because our Prophet abided by the Qur’an alone.
The idea that “We can only understand the Qur’an through the hadiths” has of course wrought enormous harm on the Islamic world because some Muslims thinking along those lines began to fabricate hadiths in the name of the faith. They even eventually abandoned the Qur’an altogether, taking those hadiths alone as the source of their religion. When fabricated hadiths conflicted with the Qur’an, they had the effrontery to say, “This hadith overrules the commandment of the Qur’an.” Hundreds of fabricated hadiths gave rise to different faiths, and the result was four schools that disagreed with one another on many areas within Islam. They all called themselves Muslims, but they all espoused something very different. They even thought that the others had abandoned the faith entirely.
Our Prophet (pbuh) complains to Almighty God of the state into which the Islamic world has fallen as follows in the Qur’an:
The Messenger says, “My Lord, my people treat this Qur’an as something to be ignored.” (Qur'an, 25:30)
The problem with much of the Islamic world today is that it has abandoned the Qur'an. Every pronouncement by people described as “leaders of the faith” has been adopted as a rule, and so every religious community has its own different practices.
Indeed, the problem of a large part of the Islamic world today is that people regard the Qur’an as a book that has been abandoned.
Once the Qur’an had been abandoned, it was time for “ijma.” (Ijma: Eminent religious figures living at any time producing commandments regarding Sharia law on the basis of deductive analogy). Since the Qur’an was no longer their guide and since they were smothered by thousands of fabricated hadiths, making it impossible to find their way out of the maze, they finally decided that neither the Qur’an nor the hadiths could properly explain the commandments, and “religious leaders” began producing laws in the name of Islam. The schools began clashing with one another, and the agreements of the Muslim communities came into conflict with those of other schools. Every “religious leader’s” own interpretation was regarded as law, each community based itself on a different set of practices and the whole community of Islam began splitting up into sects, classes and finally tiny groups. The Qur’an, however, was left as a decorative item hung up on the wall, still inside its casing. A large part of the Islamic world had “abandoned and ignored the Qur’an.”
Looking at some of the opponents of Islam we see that their problem is quite ironically the same as that of the peddlers of superstition: They do not learn about Islam from the Qur’an. Just like the peddlers of superstition, they concentrate on fabricated hadiths, traditions and interpretations of Islam by religious leaders that are generally incompatible with the Qur’an. In their eyes, Islam is the lifestyle and practices of the peddlers of superstition. In their eyes, Islam is the imaginative power of historians, not the faith as revealed in the Qur’an. They call the laws of this fabricated religion “Sharia,” not the laws of the Qur’an. They are unaware of the values, concepts and practices imparted in the Qur’an, but have a great knowledge of all the rules of the false religion of the peddlers of superstition. In criticizing the rules of that false religion, they imagine they are criticizing Islam. So attached are they to the religion of the peddlers of superstition that they do not believe it when they are told, “This is not Islam.”
They must believe this if they are not opposed to Islam owing to an ideological religious opposition and if they genuinely seek a solution to the darkness of the fanatic mindset. Their religion is not Islam. The Qur’an by itself is sufficient for a Muslim. Hadiths are true and reliable so long as they are compatible with the Qur’an. A hadith that is incompatible with the Qur’an has no place in Islam. If a Muslim cannot find Islam in the Qur’an, it means he is looking for another religion and the Sharia of that faith is not Islam.