The Quran as the word of God sets rules and guidance for us in all aspects of life. The hadith doesn't seem to me to be the same, so based on the Quran how far should we go?

I am asking because there are many Hadith that I've heard that seem to go against the teaching of the Quran, but honestly I dont know which are real or not. I tend to ignore ones that dont make sense. For example, I heard of stoning people who leave the religion or killing them, not sure, but clearly aggressive, merciless, and unforgiving which contradicts the Quran in my opinon.

This question is not a duplicate because it is a completely different question. The other asks if something is authentic and this one ask in general what Hadith is allowed to modify or add to the religion. For example, if a hadith tells a story in which some specific Arab cultural tradition is spoken off then does this mean that the tradition should be taken as part of the religion. See??


2 Answers 2


The Quran as the word of God sets rules and guidance for us in all aspects of life. The hadith doesn't seem to me to be the same, so based on the Quran how far should we go?

Well, from the Quran, we know the best Hadith is the Book Allah revealed, as Allah himself says:

Allah has sent down the best/aHsan Hadith: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah . That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray - for him there is no guide. (Quran 39:23)

Allah tells us the Book is for judgment and detailed:

"Say: "Shall I seek for judge other than God? - when He is the One who has sent to you the Book, explained in detail/Mufassalan." They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it has been sent down from your Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt" (Quran 6:114)

It is protected from falsehood as it comes from the Wise and Praiseworthy:

"...And indeed, it is surely a mighty Book. Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praiseworthy" (Quran 41:41-41)

The Quran was the noble speech of the Messenger:

"it is indeed the speech of a noble Messenger" (Quran 69:40)

Allah would have punished the Messenger for saying other things:

"And if he had made up about Us some sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand; Then We would have cut from him the aorta." (Quran 69:44-46)

And there are numerous other ayat.

Now the issue with Hadith's authority and authenticity has been a hot topic of dispute among Muslims since the early generations. A 9th century scholar named al-Shafii, recorded his debates with Muslims who totally rejected Hadiths in his book al-Jami al-Ilm and some in Kitab al-Umm. He was one of the early proponents of Hadiths and had an opposition from Muslims who were labeled as 'Ahlul Kalam' i.e. People of Kalamullah/Speech of Allah (Quran). They believed/believe the Quran is the primary and only revelation from Allah and the Prophet didn't receive anything else.

I think there's no problem in taking authentically proven Hadiths as historical accounts, but when it comes to laws, then Quran should be the primary source. This is the safest, as it's in obedience to both Allah and his Messenger, and no Muslim will dispute the Quran.

  • "but when it comes to laws, then Quran should be the primary source". the Quran doesn't explain several very crucial matters which are left to be explained by the Prophet (peace be upon him). For example, the Quran doesn't explain how to pray, make pilgrimage, etc. Definitely, the Quran should be the primary source, but it is surely not the only source. If a hadith is proven to be authentic, it is of similar weight to the Quran. Jan 24, 2016 at 17:03
  • Thankyou Sayyid, I converted and therefore had no trust initially in what people say versus the Quran. Including any Hadith. I remember reading in the Quran that one should follow the example of the Prophet (phuh) but I dont see this in your answer. Does this exist or not? It is the main reason for me to consider any Hadith. If it exists can you add it to your answer? Thanks.
    – user13203
    Jan 24, 2016 at 18:41
  • Just keep in mind not every Hadith is true. Even scholars of Hadith admit majority of Hadihs they collected were fabricated/unreliable. "Good example" was used in the Quran for Prophet Abraham (Quran 60:4) and Muhammad (Quran 33:21). It's referring to the belief in Oneness of God and full trust in him. You have to read the verses in context with other verses to understand the proper meaning.
    – Sayyid
    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:30

The hadith is just is important as the Quran. God says in the Quran (53:3-4) "Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed". This verse from the Quran is telling us that the hadith are also of prime important in Islam and that the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) are not to be forsaken.

The difference with regards to the Quran is that it is confirmed to be authentic in its entirety whereas that can not be said about every single hadith. However, when it is found that a hadith is authentic, it holds the same weight as the Quran.

A hadith is determined to be authentic based on the chain of people that have narrated it to us from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). If there is certainty regarding the piety, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and strength of memory of all the narrators in the chain of narration, that hadith is authentic.

Oftentimes, when we encounter an apparent contradiction between hadith and the Quran, it is usually a lack of understanding on our part. The verses of the Quran and the hadith were all revealed in specific contexts and usually sufficing with a mere translation doesn't give a complete picture of the meaning of those ahadith or verses because we lack the context. If you encounter such verses and hadith, you should seek knowledge from a local scholar. Also, sometimes, certain verses were abrogated during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) but they remained a part of the Quran so it may be one of such verses.

Lastly, the rulings of Islam are not man-made, they have been legislated by God. We are in no position to decide what entails mercy, aggression or justice. Our view of the world is very limited whereas God's view is all-encompassing. Specifically, regarding the killing of those people who leave the religion is a debatable issue even amongst scholars. As an additional example, a murderer should be killed. Some people think this is very cruel but by killing this 1 person, the murders of several others are avoided and other possible murderers are deterred.

  • Thanks for the answer, but I disagree with your interpretation of 53:2-3. Everything else doesn't address the question. I dont want to argue but just wanted to let you know in case you think to update the answer. Thanks :)
    – user13203
    Jan 23, 2016 at 16:22
  • can you please expound on your disagreement? Also, the simple answer to your question is that: the only limit on the authority of hadith is the strength of the narration, so if there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the narrators, then it holds the same weight as the Quran. Jan 24, 2016 at 16:52
  • Sure, Quran 53:2-3 is speaking of the Prophet when he is reciting the Quran and is not a general statement covering all of his sayings.
    – user13203
    Jan 24, 2016 at 18:46

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