One of the arguments from people who subscribe to need for Hadith is that without the Hadith we will not be able to understand the historical aspects of the Quran. For instance, Sura 111, Thorns (Al-Masad), is regarding an individual called Abee Lahab and his wife.
[111:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [111:1] Condemned are the works of Abee Lahab, and he is condemned. [111:2] His money and whatever he has accomplished will never help him. [111:3] He has incurred the blazing Hell. [111:4] Also his wife, who led the persecution. [111:5] She will be (resurrected) with a rope of thorns around her neck.
The argument in support of Hadith is that without the Hadith we would not know who this person was. So how does a follower of a the Quran alone and someone who rejects Hadith respond to such an argument?
1. The Quran Clarifies What is Necessary for Salvation
If God did not inform us of certain details in the Quran then it is because the information is already generally known or because it is not important for our salvation. For instance, God did not need to inform us in the Quran how to eat, sleep, or wash ourselves because this is commonly known. Additionally, God did not need to tell us how many people there were among the youth in the cave, because it was not pertinent to the lessons of their history.
[18:22] Some would say, “They were three; their dog being the fourth,” while others would say, “Five; the sixth being their dog,” as they guessed. Others said, “Seven,” and the eighth was their dog. Say, “My Lord is the best knower of their number.” Only a few knew the correct number. Therefore, do not argue with them; just go along with them. You need not consult anyone about this.
سَيَقُولُونَ ثَلَاثَةٌ رَابِعُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ خَمْسَةٌ سَادِسُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ رَجْمًا بِالْغَيْبِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَبْعَةٌ وَثَامِنُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ قُلْ رَبِّي أَعْلَمُ بِعِدَّتِهِمْ مَا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ فَلَا تُمَارِ فِيهِمْ إِلَّا مِرَاءً ظَاهِرًا وَلَا تَسْتَفْتِ فِيهِمْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا
2. Different Access For Different People and Time
The amount of knowledge that is embedded in the Quran is endless, so there is no way that any one individual will be able to know or understand all the pieces of wisdom that this book contains. In addition, there is going to be certain information in the Quran that is specific for different people at different times. For instance, there is specific information that will be relevant for people who first received the Quran, that will not be as applicable to later generations, just like there will be certain information that is meant for future generations that will not be accessible to the people who first received the Quran.
An example of the latter can be observed by the 14 different sets of “Quranic Initials,” consisting of fourteen different Arabic letters that are the foundation of the mathematical miracle of the Quran. The people who first received the Quran, even the prophet Muhammad, did not understand what the purpose of these initials were. The meaning of these initials was not revealed to mankind until 1974 when the connection was made between the number 19 specified in Sura 74 and these initials.
[20:131] And do not covet what we bestowed upon any other people. Such are temporary ornaments of this life, whereby we put them to the test. What your Lord provides for you is far better, and everlasting.
(١٣١) وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ
[15:87] We have given you the seven pairs, and the great Quran. [15:88] Do not be jealous of what we bestowed upon the other (messengers), and do not be saddened (by the disbelievers), and lower your wing for the believers.
Another example of information that is relevant for the future generations that was not be as applicable to the earlier generations is the scientific facts that were in the Quran that were not discovered until much after its revelation, let alone the many more that will be identified as we advance in science as a whole.
Additionally, there is certain information in the Quran that is known to a certain group that is not disclosed to others. We see this in the example of the Children of Israel where some of the verses are addressed to them and the knowledge they have been bestowed.
[2:47] O Children of Israel, remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I blessed you more than any other people.
(٤٧) يَابَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّي فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ
[27:76] This Quran settles many issues for the Children of Israel; issues that they are still disputing.
(٧٦) إِنَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَقُصُّ عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَكْثَرَ الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ
Also, God address the jinns in the Quran and certain insights that are going to be pertinent to them, but not so to humans.
[72:1] Say, “I was inspired that a group of jinns listened, then said, ‘We have heard a wonderful Quran. [72:2] “‘It guides to righteousness, and we have believed in it; we will never set up any idols besides our Lord. [72:3] “‘The Most High is our only Lord. He never had a mate, nor a son. [72:4] “‘It is the foolish among us who used to utter such nonsense about GOD. [72:5] “‘We thought that neither the humans, nor the jinns, could possibly utter lies about GOD. [72:6] “‘Human beings used to seek power through jinn beings, but they only afflicted them with a lot of adversity. [72:7] “‘They thought, just like you thought, that GOD would not send another (messenger). [72:8] “‘We touched the heaven and found it filled with formidable guards and projectiles. [72:9] “‘We used to sit there in order to spy. Anyone who listens is pursued by a powerful projectile. [72:10] “‘We have no idea if something bad is intended for the inhabitants of Earth, or if their Lord wills to redeem them. [72:11] “‘Some of us are righteous, and some are less than righteous; we follow various paths. [72:12] “‘We knew full well that we can never run away from GOD on earth; we can never run away and escape. [72:13] “‘When we heard the guidance, we believed therein. Anyone who believes in his Lord will never fear any injustice, nor any affliction. [72:14] “‘Among us are the submitters, and among us are the compromisers.'” As for those who submitted, they are on the right path. [72:15] As for the compromisers, they will be fuel for Gehenna. [72:16] If they remain on the right path, we will bless them with abundant water.
So because God preserves certain information for one group does that mean that because of this lack of knowledge other groups will have less access to lead a righteous life or obtain salvation from God? Absolutely not. This supplemental information that is bestowed to certain groups or people is only there to strengthen the faith of the people who it is meant for. Therefore we should not covet what was provided to other groups that we may not be privy to understanding. God knows every single person and knows what information is needed for them to have in order to take them on their personal straight path to God.
[5:16] With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.
(١٦) يَهْدِي بِهِ اللَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَهُ سُبُلَ السَّلَامِ وَيُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَيَهْدِيهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ
[14:12] “Why should we not trust in GOD, when He has guided us in our paths? We will steadfastly persevere in the face of your persecution. In GOD all the trusters shall trust.”
(١٢) وَمَا لَنَا أَلَّا نَتَوَكَّلَ عَلَى اللَّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانَا سُبُلَنَا وَلَنَصْبِرَنَّ عَلَىٰ مَا آذَيْتُمُونَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
[29:69] As for those who strive in our cause, we will surely guide them in our paths. Most assuredly, GOD is with the pious.
(٦٩) وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
3. Hadith for History not Religious Laws
The commandment in the Quran against Hadith is specifically in the context that we should not use Hadith (any other narration) as a source of religious law.
[6:114] Shall I seek other than GOD as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed? Those who received the scripture recognize that it has been revealed from your Lord, truthfully. You shall not harbor any doubt.
أَفَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْتَغِي حَكَمًا وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكِتَابَ مُفَصَّلًا وَالَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ مُنَزَّلٌ مِنْ رَبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ
[6:115] The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.
(١١٥) وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
If someone wants to use Hadith for understanding the history of what took place during the revelation of the Quran, regarding certain practices, people, or battles then there is no issue with that, even though it is riddled with many obvious false accounts which is typical in these kind of historical narrations. That said, it is absolutely not necessary for religious salvation and should never be used as a form of religious law.
4. Do We Believe In God’s Words in the Quran?
God tells us repeatedly in the Quran that it is complete, fully detailed, and has explanations for everything regarding our religious salvation. Therefore, to think we need another source in order to apply the Quran in our lives is indicating that we do not believe God’s assertions when He makes these claims in the Quran.
[7:52] We have given them a scripture that is fully detailed, with knowledge, guidance, and mercy for the people who believe.
(٥٢) وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُمْ بِكِتَابٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
[16:89] The day will come when we will raise from every community a witness from among them, and bring you as the witness of these people. We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything, and guidance, and mercy, and good news for the submitters.
(٨٩) وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَىٰ هَٰؤُلَاءِ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ
[17:89] We have cited for the people in this Quran from every example, but most people insist upon disbelieving.
(٨٩) وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَىٰ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا
[30:58] Thus, we have cited for the people in this Quran all kinds of examples. Yet, no matter what kind of proof you present to the disbelievers, they say, “You are falsifiers.”
(٥٨) وَلَقَدْ ضَرَبْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَثَلٍ وَلَئِنْ جِئْتَهُمْ بِآيَةٍ لَيَقُولَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلَّا مُبْطِلُونَ
[77:50] Which Hadith, other than this, do they uphold?
(٥٠) فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ