I'm looking for Sunni view. Please mention if Shia view is presented.

I have seen people who outright rejects Hadith and says that a lot of changes have been made to the Hadith, so its it not reliable anymore. They claim that since only Quran is the word of GOD and promised to be saved, then how can someone claim that another text is authenticated?

Some people call them Quranists who do not accept any and all Hadiths and believe that the whole Shari'ah can be understood by studying the Quran.

We also have some other sects who only accept Siha e Setta (Six Authentic books) of Hadith. They are the most popular books of Hadith. If reference from any other book is presented to them, they reject it and say that if it doesn't exist in these six and specially Al-Bukhari/Al-Muslim, they will not consider it.

I have two questions, but since both are very similar in nature, I will ask them here together.

Q1. Why do Quranists reject all the Hadiths? How can they extract many rulings/understandings that our Ai'mah have extracted using Quran o Sunnah? In case they are rejecting half of the Deen, what is their ruling? Are they out of the folds of Islam or not?

Example: How can they prove 5 prayers and number of rakats which is discussed in Hadith when they don't even accept them? Another example, Quran only discusses about some Haram Animals, how can they then decide which animals are haram and which halal when they don't accept Fiqh and Hadith O Sunnah.

Q2. Why do some sects reject Hadith from other books? Are those books not reliable? Is popularity the only standard for them to accept Hadith from? Aren't there Authentic/Sahih Ahadith in those other books? Is this sect out of the folds of Islam or not? As they choose what they like and leave what they don't? They follow their 'nafs' while claiming to be following the Quran o Sunnah but when confronted with Hadith from other books, they retaliate with "No, this Hadith is not in Bukhari, so I will not accept it and it is not authentic. It is weak."

For reference, see this wiki-link to see names of other sources of Hadith: List of Sunni Hadith Books

closed as too broad by goldPseudo Sep 7 '16 at 22:07

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    Well lets start by the definiton of the 6 books some add the Muwatta' instead of Sunan ibn Majah. In all Sunni madhabs you may find that they reject some ahadith which are in both sahih's, why because they have evidences which are stronger from their osol al fiqh pov. – Medi1Saif Mar 22 '16 at 15:13
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    Imam Ahmad was not counted as a faqih for many centuries because he used to take ahadith he collected and declared as sahih according his own rules as a source of verdict. So did al Bukhari and others they were from ahl al-Hadith, so they were kind of mujtahdyn if you like! Also relevant islam.stackexchange.com/questions/928/… – Medi1Saif Mar 22 '16 at 15:16
  • The question is, why do you accept Hadith besides the Quran? Allah says the book He revealed is the "best Hadith" (39:23). Maybe the Aimmah aren't all trustworthy. – Sayyid Mar 22 '16 at 20:10
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    @Sayyid But Allah also said " And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them" (16:44) so that's why one should accept hadith. And this doesn't at all contradict to (39:23) as Quran is always the first and best authoritative source. – Medi1Saif Mar 23 '16 at 9:53
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    I deleted my previous comment. Medi, how did you conclude 16:44 is talking about Hadith? What are you seeing that's not being said in the ayahs before and after it? – Sayyid Mar 29 '16 at 17:49

One major problem i personally have with those who say we take the Quran only is: That Quran has been brought to us through a sane narrator chain with a high degree of tawatur, which is (or at least should be according to definition) the same case for Sahih Hadith. And riwayat al-ahaad in case of Quran have always been rejected!

Note that as @makzimus said there are many groups of Quranists some are more or less "organized", so their beliefs and opinions can differ a lot from each other!

I won't quote Shia view here because i couldn't find it -so far- at least not in Arabic or English. I only found some statements of scholars who had some baseless accusation on the relationship between Shia and Quransits!

Lets start with some Fatawa

Before listing some fatwas with short comments i would like to quote a story narrated by Sheikh al-Kubaysi in a lecture at a Malaysian University:
a tabi'i or maybe tabi' at tabi'yn who told a friend -advising him-, that he heard a Hadith telling that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) used to like such and such, the listener answered him saying: But i don't like it, so the other man -who narrated the Hadith or told him about the preferences of our Messenger (Peace be upon him)- took his sword and killed him because of blasphemy.
I think this story is very ambivalent as it seems to allow or encourage arbitrary law and shows an exaggerated interpretation of the Sunna of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). But this already should show the importance for Sunna to Sunni people. Unfortunately most of my sources are in Arabic language!

  • In this fatwa the scholar qualified a man described as rejecting Hadith and Sunna and interpreting Quran as he like or understood as out of the folds of Islam and Kafir. The scholar referred primarily to the Verses (4:80), (59:7), and (16:44) and to the Hadith from Sunan abi Dawod which i quoted here.
  • An other similar fatwa with similar references in addition to (4:65) and (53:3-4), but with the addition that this person shouldn't inherit from any Muslim, his wife should be separated from him by faskh and he should be taken to the authorities/court to examine if he is an apostate. And he added an quotation of Yahya ibn abi Kathir (from Sunan a-Darimi):

السنة قاضية على القرآن، وليس القرآن بقاض على السنة

Where قاضية shouldn't be understand as judging or ruling over, but as explaining. So this statement should be understood as follows (My translation): The Sunna is explaining the Quran, while the Quran doesn't explain Sunna! (My reference for this explanation is this fatwa) If we understood it literally then we would set Hadith much higher then Qur'an and that couldn't go ahead with the laws of Shari'a!

  • In this Fatwa the scholar was asked about the Islamic stance on somebody who rejects a sahih Hadith.
    Conclusion: If he rejects it because of nafs or hawa he would be considered as kafir!
    If he rejects it because he deny it being the word of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) then his statement should be examined academically!

So the last sentence could be apply for a lot of Muslims and scholars: For example i read a commentary of ibn al-Majushoun a Student of Imam Malik, who has been asked about a matter which the maliki school rejects even if there have been an athar (Hadith or only teaching of a sahabi) about it in the Muwata' with the Answer: "We have quoted it and rejected it so that people know, that we knew it and rejected it" ...why? Because they either had a better/stronger narration or something based on the osol of their madhab.

فقيل لـابن الماجشون: لمَ رويتم الحديث ثم تركتموه؟ قال: ليعلم الناس أنا على علمٍ تركناه.

And you may find many Ahadith even from sahih al-Bukahri or Muslim which were rejected by fiqh scholars, why? Because Hadith scholars: are only transmitters in first place, while fiqh scholars need to examine these narration and how they could refer to shari'a, so they examine the sanad (narrator chain) an matn (content) and whether it goes along with the Quran and the maqasid (goals) of shari'a!
But in the belief of ahlu-l-Hadith especially beginning with Imam Ahmad, one shouldn't record a Hadith unless one believes it so they must believe and apply it if possible!

Back to the fuqaha': i read a long paper about the method of Imam Malik to chose or reject Ahadith, so for example: Assuming he found two contradictory Hadith, one narrated by a Sahabi who very early became a Muslim and one from a trustworthy Sahabi who became Sahabi a few years before the death of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) he could deduce that the saying of the first Sahabi might have been abrogated and the later knew it especially if this Sahabi has been known to have passed much time listening and following the Prophet ((Peace be upon him), if he couldn't find a way to deduce a consensus between both narrations and meld them. Imam a-Shafi'i -as the first one who wrote about 'ilm Osol al fiqh- has described his method (or methods of verifying and choosing Hadith if there contradictory narrations) in his books like ar-Rissala.
So rejecting a Hadith needs a lot of research, but if you do so and came to the conclusion that this Hadith maybe a fabrication or have some weaknesses or you couldn't meld it with a sane narration or found contradictions to Quran after a certain effort this is allowed and a kind of ijtihad!

But on the other hand rejecting a whole book wouldn't make sense, because for example one of the first recorded Hadith collections is al-Muwatta', and even if later scholars didn't copy it and add it to their books, they have heard it from students of Imam Malik and you may find among the ca. 700 Ahadith/Hadiths (By Hadith i mean Hadith in it's most accurate definition: saying and doings of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and not saying or fatwa of Sahabi or Tabi'i which normally is called Athar or Khabar) you may find more then 500 hadiths in Sahih al Bukhari and a similar amount in any of the 6 Books you described as the "Sihah a-Sitta" and Musnad Ahmad etc.. And you may find Ahadith of Imam Malik which are not covered in the Muwatta' at least not in that one we refer to (Muwatta' Yahya ibn Yahya al-Laithi) which is the last Muwatta' which was approved by Imam Malik.
So you may see the contradiction if we reject a book then we reject a Hadith we already accepted in an other, yes maybe the last narrator in the chain -the student of Malik- maybe weak, but if the matn is the same, what would that mean?

A Hadith which i found quoted in an other fatwa is speaking about people who reject prohibition or orders of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) because it's not in the Quran. This was narrated in Jami' at-Tirmidhi, Sunan abi Dawod, Sunan ibn Majah and Musnad Ahmad and qualified as sahih.

to complete my answer on Q2 i still need to answer:

Aren't there Authentic/Sahih Ahadith in those other books?

Well the answer here is based on my own opinion: I think you may find -some- sahih hadiths in any book of hadith even in the not common works like Jami' (Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah if it still exits) in the works of Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak in the sahih of ibn Shaybah, the sahih of ibn Hibbaan, Musnad ash-Ashafi'i and abu Hanifa (at least in Muwatta' Muhammad ibn al-Hassan a-Shaybani you may find a lot of evidences of the Hanafi school beside the ahadith of Imam Malik) and why not in the four major Collections of Shia? etc. which are not in the major Hadith Collections. But for some reasons the both sahihs of al-Bukahri and Muslim have gained the highest value among Sunni scholars. Honestly you must also take into account some political reasons for example during the 'Abbasid dynasty they supported for a while the Hanafi Madhab, Imam Malik (when they wanted to make the Muwatta' the 2nd source of shari'a) then the Mu'tazillah and to some extent shi'a then again ahl-Sunnah ... so some scholars have had a more or less good relationships to the authorities then others and therefore their work might have reached a larger audience.

So far i gave an answer to Q2 and the major Question on the ruling on them and whether they are out of the folds of Islam! I will restrict on giving some brief additions to makzimus's great Answer!

Q1. Why do Quranists reject all the Hadiths?

Because they take Verses like (5:48)

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. ...

(7:2) , (15:9) and (39:23)

Allah has sent down the best statement (=Hadith)

literally. Ignoring Verses from the Quran like (3:31), (4:59), (4:80), (33:71) and (59:7), where Muslims are asked to follow the Prophet (Peace be upon him). From this point of View Quran is considered as guarded and safe while anything else -namely Sunnah- is not! So they pretended that our Messenger (Peace be upon him) only applied the Quran in his life. But this is only true if we consider the addition of ahkam which explained and expanded the ahkam the Quran literally gave!

How can they extract many rulings/understandings that our Ai'mah have extracted using Quran o Sunnah?

well as you could see in the example of prayers, one could deduce that there are five prayers, but only the Sunna gives clarity, as one can get a couple of exact timings of prayer from the Quran but there's no Verse that really say that there are 5 prayers and even whether the number is odd -according Quran only- could be discussed! But i read fatawa were some Quranists deduced 3 prayers and others 2 prayers only because they toke the timings literally. This means they are somehow playing with the ahkam as they interpret Quran as they like. This would also mean they have no real osol to build on the ahkam!

And here applies the logical rule: Ex falso quodlibet -> From a wrong assumption (in this case interpretation) you can conclude anything (right or wrong).

And according to Arabic Wikipedia some of them reject the naskh!

Wikipedia references: English and Arabic.

And Allah knows best!

  • The edits are turning this into a very awesome answer. Great work, @Medi1Saif. – user14305 Mar 24 '16 at 11:42
  • an excellent work, brother. It is already an excellent read. +1 – makzimus Mar 24 '16 at 14:40
  • That particular narration was graded hasan by Tirmidhi, not sahih, as the untranslated portion states. Furthermore, we find Sufyan bin Uyaynah using ambiguous language here, while he's been known for tadlis, ie. obscuring his sources. – Deathless Light Mar 26 '16 at 16:54
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    He's/she's actually right, memory has nothing to do with being a mudallis. You can be thiqh and still be a mudallis accoring to the sectarian scholars. And since you do admit his memory became useless towards a certain period, when exactly do you know he reported the Hadiths attributed to him? – Sayyid Mar 29 '16 at 16:43
  • @Sayyid good i understand now: Tadlis is to pretend having heard a Hadith from somebody directly while you didn't. But scholars accept tadlis of ibn 'Uyyanah as he could give the full chain when asked. To your question: well that can be proved to some extent: for example their are chains which scholars don't trust, because the student fo ibn 'Uyaynah met him at the time, so by knowing the students and knowing when they saw/met him one could conclude that the Hadith of these special students needs a backup! Furthermore the terminology of at-Tirmidhi is not the same as we use today. – Medi1Saif Mar 30 '16 at 7:57


Why do they reject Hadiths? How do they arrive at a rule solely based on Quran? Are they out of the folds of Islam or not?

They reject hadith due many reasons. Their assertions are:

  1. Quran is enough for any Islamic issue
  2. Hadith is not authorised by Quran
  3. Hadith were not recorded in the time of prophet
  4. Hadiths have many contradiction, and also contradicts Quran
  5. Hadith are work of men, so are subject to corruption

To derive rulings from Quran, they use the clear verses as much as possible. For other cases, they simply deem it permissible or [i guess] use personal judgement.

For example:

  • Number of prayer - using clear verses
    They have found three prayers mentioned by name in the Quran, they only pray thrice a day. Two prayers as we traditionally know by name, viz. Fajr and 'Isha, are mentioned in verse 24:58. And from verse 2:238, they created a new prayer - Salat al wusta, although this verse refers to 'Asr prayer, which is again an example of personal judgement.
  • Ruling on eating, say, Dog - outright deem halal
    since only pig is mentioned by name as haraam, anything else including dogs is deemed allowed, although from hadith we know that animals having fang are haraam.
  • Ending the salaat - seemingly personal judgement
    Based on verse 10:10, they have concluded that prayer should be ended with Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin, and not with Salaam, although no reason is given regarding how this verse relates to the matter.

    Some of them, also called the Submitters, also use numerology and statistics. Most notable one is the number 19 theory.

It is too premature to say that they are out of fold of Islam. At this point, te term Quranist must be clarified. There are roughly three groups among Quranists-

  1. Submitters - follows Rashad Khalifa, considers 9:128-129 as false verses

  2. Quran Alone muslims - don't follow hadith, also not the submitters

  3. there is another group who do not reject every Hadith, but are very critical with Hadith and reject everything that contradicts the Quran

So, group 1 are definitely out of Islam, due to two reasons:

  1. they took another messenger after Muhammad (Saws)
  2. disputed in Quran - fatwa. The three examples I cited of how they derive a rule are from these group though.

Nothing can be said about group 2. I read a few personal blog of theirs. Some state that they continue to accept Quran as it is and consider our Prophet as the last. But some are confused as they don't even know the number of Salaat. Also, since they derive rules from their personal interpretation, only Allah knows how correct they are.

According to the article I took this classification from, the 3rd group closely resembles the Alawites who are considered Muslims.



This Question is answered here. I would like to add that A hadith book is not sahih because it is popular, rather it is popular because it is sahih. E.g., Imam Bhukhari took great pain to verify each narrations, and hence are sahih. Hadith classification is a dedicated and well known subject.

Also, there are some hadith in the two Sahih books which are also found in other books. They are always sahih. If they are not found in the Sahih books, the chain of narration is individually studied and classified accordingly. So, if someone rejects a hadith just because it is absent in Bukhari, it is threir own perspective.

Is this sect out of the folds of Islam or not? As they choose what they like and leave what they don't?

  • In one sentence, No one is out of fold of Islam as long as they follow the established ways of practice.
  • That is a good answer. I have upvoted it. If you don't mind, I would like to wait and see if someone else has something to say regarding this, especially @Medi1Saif. – user14305 Mar 23 '16 at 5:39
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    @SorrelVesper thanks for your confidence, but I'm afraid even if i would give an answer -what i may try, but don't really know when i can do it, unfortunately I'm "flu-ridden" now for one month and have a lot of pending projects at work- all i could contribute would be some criticism and hopefully some enrichment for this good answer! – Medi1Saif Mar 23 '16 at 7:52
  • If you could do that as well and help improve this answer, that would be great as well. Also, good luck with your projects. – user14305 Mar 23 '16 at 8:40
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    @Sayyid I beg your pardon, brother. After reading [this answer by you, I know that my example of Number of prayer - using clear verses is flawed. Hence I have edited the sentence. – makzimus Mar 24 '16 at 21:58
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    We're not supposed to imitate the prophet, Quran doesn't say that. We're suppose to obey/follow the Messenger, but he's dead. Quran doesn't use the term 'sunnah' for the prophet. This alone is sufficient proof against sunnah. 33:21 uswatn hasanat is also used for Abraham 60:4. Neither make mention of 'sunnah'. Muhammad was commanded to follow 'Millatu Ibraheem' 16:123. That being belief in oneness of God. Maliki-Sunni scholars differentiate between 'sunnah' and 'hadith'. Please see Quran for more details. – Sayyid Mar 30 '16 at 16:26

Almost every narration attributed to the Rasul begins with the hadith or statement of the collector of that narration. So when he states what he was told, this is now another hadith, ie. the statement of his teacher, in which his teacher then states what he was told, ie. a third hadith, and so on.

In some cases (not all) this style of narrating continues until it reaches an eye-witness ie. sahabi, who then states what he's seen or heard from Allah's Rasul. So to equate the statements of these collectors with the statements of Allah's Rasul is extremely misleading to say the least.

For example, Muslim relates in his Sahih:

وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ الْغُبَرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي حَصِينٍ، عَنْ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ: مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَىَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ

And Muhammad bin Ubayd il-Ghubari narrated to us, Abu Awanah narrated to us, from Abi Hasin, from Abi Salih, from Abi Hurayrah (who) said, Allah's Rasul said: Whoever lies upon me intentionally, then let him assume his seat in the Fire.

  • You should give some examples – Sayyid Mar 29 '16 at 16:31