Some individuals falsely claim that since the Hadith of the prophet Muhammad constitutes a source besides that of the Quran and should be rejected, therefore any work left by Rashad Khlaifa, the Messenger of the Covenant, should also be discarded as it constitutes a source besides the Quran. In this article, we will see how this logic is faulty on multiple fronts.
Definition of Hadith
The word “Hadith” in its broadest sense can constitute any narration or statement. Using this definition, it is not linguistically inaccurate to use this term towards the work left by Rashad Khalifa, as this can be used towards the work of any individual. The problem arises when we use the broad definition to substantiate equality between the Hadith falsely attributed to Muhammad and the direct work created by Rashad. For instance, a person can make a truthful statement and a false statement, and just because these are both “statements” does not mean that they are equal.
[2:42] Do not confound the truth with falsehood, nor shall you conceal the truth, knowingly.
(٤٢) وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
[47:3] This is because those who disbelieve are following falsehood, while those who believe are following the truth from their Lord. GOD thus cites for the people, their examples.
(٣) ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا اتَّبَعُوا الْبَاطِلَ وَأَنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّبَعُوا الْحَقَّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ أَمْثَالَهُمْ
As seen in the previous article, Muhammad was forbidden from explaining the Quran.
[75:16] Do not move your tongue to hasten it.
[75:17] It is we who will collect it into Quran.
[75:18] Once we recite it, you shall follow such a Quran.
[75:19] Then it is we who will explain it.
(٧٥:١٦) لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ
(٧٥:١٧) إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ
(٧٥:١٨) فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ
(٧٥:١٩) ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ
Not only that but the aHadith that have been falsely attributed to him and canonized some 200 years after his death were never authorized by God.
[7:71] He said, “You have incurred condemnation and wrath from your Lord. Do you argue with me in defense of innovations you have fabricated— you and your parents—which were never authorized by GOD? Therefore, wait and I will wait along with you.”
قَالَ قَدْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ رِجْسٌ وَغَضَبٌ أَتُجَادِلُونَنِي فِي أَسْمَاءٍ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ فَانْتَظِرُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الْمُنْتَظِرِينَ
[42:21] They follow idols who decree for them religious laws never authorized by GOD. If it were not for the predetermined decision, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the transgressors have incurred a painful retribution.
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَنْ بِهِ اللَّهُ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
[12:40] “You do not worship beside Him except innovations that you have made up, you and your parents. GOD has never authorized such idols. All ruling belongs to GOD, and He has ruled that you shall not worship except Him. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know.
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
Rashad, on the other hand, was authorized to explain the Quran, as this was his job as a messenger.
[81:15] I solemnly swear by the galaxies.
[81:16] Precisely running in their orbits.
[81:17] By the night as it falls.
[81:18] And the morn as it breathes.
[81:19] This is the utterance of an honorable messenger.
[81:21] He shall be obeyed and trusted.
[81:20] Authorized by the Possessor of the Throne, fully supported.
[81:22] Your friend (Rashad) is not crazy.
[81:23] He saw him at the high horizon.
[81:24] He is not holding back any news.
[81:25] It is not the talk of a rejected devil.
(٨١:١٥) فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِالْخُنَّسِ
(٨١:١٦) الْجَوَارِ الْكُنَّسِ
(٨١:١٧) وَالَّيْلِ إِذَا عَسْعَسَ
(٨١:١٨) وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا تَنَفَّسَ
(٨١:١٩) إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ
(٨١:٢٠) ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِنْدَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ
(٨١:٢١) مُطَاعٍ ثَمَّ أَمِينٍ
(٨١:٢٢) وَمَا صَاحِبُكُمْ بِمَجْنُونٍ
(٨١:٢٣) وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالْأُفُقِ الْمُبِينِ
(٨١:٢٤) وَمَا هُوَ عَلَى الْغَيْبِ بِضَنِينٍ
(٨١:٢٥) وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَيْطَانٍ رَجِيمٍ
[2:129] “Our Lord, and raise among them a messenger to recite to them Your revelations, teach them the scripture and wisdom, and purify them. You are the Almighty, Most Wise.”
رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
[65:11] a messenger who recites to you GOD’s revelations, clearly, to lead those who believe and work righteousness out of the darkness into the light. Anyone who believes in GOD and leads a righteous life, He will admit him into gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. GOD will generously reward him.
رَسُولًا يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَاتٍ لِيُخْرِجَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَمَنْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا قَدْ أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ لَهُ رِزْقًا
Rashad even put this front and center in his translation of the Quran by calling it the Authorized English Version.
Hadith Compare and Contrast
When individuals reference Hadith, they rarely use this term in the general sense but instead are referencing the specific narrations falsely attributed to the prophet.
The bulk of the Hadith are not even explanations of the verses of God in the Quran but are false details of what the prophet did in his personal life that people use as a source of religious law besides the Quran e.g. what foot did he use to step in the restroom, how did he urinate or wash his privates, how did he spit or what kind of clothes did he wear when doing Salat.
If we look at the 7,563 Sahih Hadith of Bukhari, we see that, even when we include repeats, only a couple hundred of these Hadith quote a direct verse of the Quran. Of these Hadith that cite verses, only a small subset provide any sort of clarification for the verse, while the majority still contradict the Quran or provide little to any value in understanding the verse it quotes.
On the other hand, the work left by Rashad are not narrations that were collected and canonized hundreds of years after his death through a chain of narrators. They are the direct words and writings that he published himself. Also, His work also is not details regarding his private life e.g. how he brushed his teeth, bathed, or washed his clothes. Rashad published specific work providing clarity and explanations of the verses of God in the Quran.
[42:24] Are they saying, “He (Rashad) has fabricated lies about GOD!”? If GOD willed, He could have sealed your mind, but GOD erases the falsehood and affirms the truth with His words. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا فَإِنْ يَشَإِ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
Duty of the Messenger
The sole duty of any messenger is to deliver the message.
[5:92] You shall obey GOD, and you shall obey the messenger, and beware. If you turn away, then know that the sole duty of our messenger is to deliver the message efficiently.
(٩٢) وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَاحْذَرُوا فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا عَلَىٰ رَسُولِنَا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
In the case of Muhammad, his message was the Quran. Rashad on the other hand was not a prophet and his message was to confirm and explain the scripture. He did this by means of code 19, his translation of the Quran, and his numerous publiciations. If we discard this valuable information then we will be rejecting the authority that God bestowed upon His messenger to produce and dissiminate this information.
It is silly to think that Rashad published work that was to be viewed with skepticism and to be rejected. To have such a viewpoint is to think that he did something that he was not authorized to do.
Additionally, the Arabic Quran uses a multitude of words for different kinds of revelation, but usually, when individuals think of revelation they tend to only think of revelation in the form of kitab (scirpture). In Arabic, there is ayat, baynat, ruh, wahi, hikma, zikr, etc. Some of these forms of revelation can be in the form of scripture and some can be outside of scripture. Since Rashad was not a prophet, the revelation that was given to him was not scripture (kitab), but came in these other forms. If we reject the revelations given to him, that he was commanded to deliver then we would be rejecting God’s revelations.
[2:90] Miserable indeed is what they sold their souls for—rejecting these revelations of GOD out of sheer resentment that GOD should bestow His grace upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. Consequently, they incurred wrath upon wrath. The disbelievers have incurred a humiliating retribution.
بِئْسَمَا اشْتَرَوْا بِهِ أَنْفُسَهُمْ أَنْ يَكْفُرُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بَغْيًا أَنْ يُنَزِّلَ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ عَلَىٰ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ فَبَاءُوا بِغَضَبٍ عَلَىٰ غَضَبٍ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ
Language of the People
Some make the claim that Rashad’s only message was to recite the words of the Quran. The problem with this understanding is that the Quran is in Arabic, and the messengers preach in the tongue of their people.
[14:4] We did not send any messenger except (to preach) in the tongue of his people, in order to clarify things for them. GOD then sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise.
(٤) وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
The majority of Rashad’s work and writings were in English. Since his duty was to deliver the message and he had to deliver it in the tongue of the people, therefore his teachings cannot be the Arabic Quran itself.
Not Another Source
The work left by Rashad is not another source of religious law but provides a resolution to a number of the disputes that people have had regarding the verses of the Quran. This fulfills the function of a messenger without creating a contradiction in the Quran.
[4:65] Never indeed, by your Lord; they are not believers unless they come to you to judge in their disputes, then find no hesitation in their hearts whatsoever in accepting your judgment. They must submit a total submission.
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Additionally, the Quran is full of embedded information that God releases at the right time for mankind. One of the functions of the messenger is to extract some of this embedded information from the Quran for mankind to benefit from it. Again this is not additional information but knowledge contained inside the Quran that God wishes to make known to the people at a certain time through a messenger He chooses.
[13:30] We have sent you (O Rashad) to this community, just as we did for other communities in the past. You shall recite to them what we reveal to you, for they have disbelieved in the Most Gracious. Say, “He is my Lord. There is no god except He. I put my trust in Him alone; to Him is my ultimate destiny.”
كَذَٰلِكَ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ فِي أُمَّةٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهَا أُمَمٌ لِتَتْلُوَ عَلَيْهِمُ الَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَهُمْ يَكْفُرُونَ بِالرَّحْمَٰنِ قُلْ هُوَ رَبِّي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْهِ مَتَابِ
[72:27] Only to a messenger that He chooses, does He reveal from the past and the future, specific news.
(٢٧) إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ مِنْ رَسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْلُكُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا
This is explained in Appendix 2 of Rashad’s translation of the Quran.