As shown in the previous article, the statement, “obey God and His messenger,” means to follow the Quran alone for today’s time and place. The purpose of this article is to address the specific claim that traditionalists make that this statement means believers are to uphold the Hadith. This article explains the problem with such a conclusion.

False Equivalence

The first problem with this understanding is that it creates a false equivalence between obeying the messenger and obeying the supposed narrations attributed to the messenger.

For example, suppose you tell your child they must obey any command you give them. Then tomorrow, someone you never met tells your child that they heard you command the child to go to the neighbor’s house. Does that child have any obligation to that command? At face value, the simple answer is no.

But naturally, followers of Hadith will argue that if it could be proven that the command did really come from you, then the child would be obligated to follow the command.

Hadith Lack Context

Let’s say the person was reliable and even articulated what you said verbatim but could not provide context to the command they shared with your child. Such that they are not able to tell your child when you made the command, what were the circumstances of the command, or even if that command was meant for your child. Let’s say they tell your child that you told them that they are to go to the store and pick up milk, except your command was for the week before and no longer applied at the time when they gave this command to your child. If your child acts up on this, they may be going against your wishes if this is not what you want them to do at the moment.

This is also the problem with Hadith, as the vast majority of Hadith lack context. Hadith do not specify an exact date when the event occurred. Most Hadith are even unclear regarding the rough timeframe to when in the prophet’s life the narration is to be attributed, let alone the circumstances or conditions as to why the statement or action was made. This is a frequent problem in Hadith, so much so that entire sects have been formed, debating how or when to apply the various laws extracted from the Hadith corpus, such as the debate regarding the prohibition of camel meat.

Even in the Hadith literature, we have examples where the companions themselves disputed the meaning and context of supposed narrations of the prophet. For example, the crying of loved ones of someone who passed would affect their soul in the grave, the Hadith regarding adult male suckling, or the Hadith regarding if a woman passing in front of a person praying nullifies their prayer. Despite these disputes being identified in Hadith, who is to say that we have corrections for the multitude of other commands found in the Hadith as God never made any promise that the Hadith compilation was complete and that it contained all the relevant examples like it does in the Quran.

‘Abdullah b. Abu Mulaika said: The daughter of ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan died in Mecca. We came to attend her (funeral). Ibn ‘Umar and Ibn ‘Abbas were also present there, and I was sitting between them. He added: I (first sat) by the side of one of them, then the other one came and he sat by my side. ‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar said to ‘Amr b. ‘Uthman who was sitting opposite to him: Will you not prevent the people from lamenting, for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had said: ” The dead is punished because of the lamenting of his family for him”? Ibn ‘Abbas then said that Umar used to say someting of that nature, and then narrated saying: I proceeded from Mecca along with ‘Umar till we reached al-Baida’ and there was a party of riders under the shade of a tree. He said (to me): Go and find out who this party is. I cast a glance and there was Suhaib (in that party). So I informed him (‘Umar) about it. He said: Call him to me. So I went back to Suhaib and said: Go and meet the Commander of the believers. When ‘Umar was wounded, Suhaib came walling: Alas, for the brother! alas for the companion! ‘Umar said: O Suhaib, do you wail for me, whereas the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ” The dead would be punished on account of the lamentation of the (members of his family)”? Ibn ‘Abbas said: When ‘Umar died I made a mention of it to ‘A’isha. She said: May Allah have mercy upon ‘Umar! I swear by Allah that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) never said that Allah would punish the believer because of the weeping (of any one of the members of his family), but he said that Allah would increase the punishment of the unbeliever because of the weeping of his family over him. ‘A’isha said: The Qur’an is enough for you (when it states): ” No bearer of burden will bear another’s burden” (vi. 164). Thereupon Ibn ‘Abbas said: Allah is He Who has caused laughter and weeping. Ibn Abu Mulaika said: By Allah, Ibn ‘Umar said nothing.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ، وَعَبْدُ بْنُ حُمَيْدٍ، قَالَ ابْنُ رَافِعٍ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ أَبِي مُلَيْكَةَ، قَالَ تُوُفِّيَتِ ابْنَةٌ لِعُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ بِمَكَّةَ قَالَ فَجِئْنَا لِنَشْهَدَهَا – قَالَ – فَحَضَرَهَا ابْنُ عُمَرَ وَابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ وَإِنِّي لَجَالِسٌ بَيْنَهُمَا – قَالَ – جَلَسْتُ إِلَى أَحَدِهِمَا ثُمَّ جَاءَ الآخَرُ فَجَلَسَ إِلَى جَنْبِي فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ لِعَمْرِو بْنِ عُثْمَانَ وَهُوَ مُوَاجِهُهُ أَلاَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْبُكَاءِ فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ الْمَيِّتَ لَيُعَذَّبُ بِبُكَاءِ أَهْلِهِ عَلَيْهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ قَدْ كَانَ عُمَرُ يَقُولُ بَعْضَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ حَدَّثَ فَقَالَ صَدَرْتُ مَعَ عُمَرَ مِنْ مَكَّةَ حَتَّى إِذَا كُنَّا بِالْبَيْدَاءِ إِذَا هُوَ بِرَكْبٍ تَحْتَ ظِلِّ شَجَرَةٍ فَقَالَ اذْهَبْ فَانْظُرْ مَنْ هَؤُلاَءِ الرَّكْبُ فَنَظَرْتُ فَإِذَا هُوَ صُهَيْبٌ – قَالَ – فَأَخْبَرْتُهُ فَقَالَ ادْعُهُ لِي ‏.‏ قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى صُهَيْبٍ فَقُلْتُ ارْتَحِلْ فَالْحَقْ أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ‏.‏ فَلَمَّا أَنْ أُصِيبَ عُمَرُ دَخَلَ صُهَيْبٌ يَبْكِي يَقُولُ وَاأَخَاهْ وَاصَاحِبَاهْ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ يَا صُهَيْبُ أَتَبْكِي عَلَىَّ وَقَدْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّ الْمَيِّتَ يُعَذَّبُ بِبَعْضِ بُكَاءِ أَهْلِهِ عَلَيْهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَلَمَّا مَاتَ عُمَرُ ذَكَرْتُ ذَلِكَ لِعَائِشَةَ فَقَالَتْ يَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ عُمَرَ لاَ وَاللَّهِ مَا حَدَّثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُعَذِّبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ بِبُكَاءِ أَحَدٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَلَكِنْ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَزِيدُ الْكَافِرَ عَذَابًا بِبُكَاءِ أَهْلِهِ عَلَيْهِ ‏”‏ قَالَ وَقَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ حَسْبُكُمُ الْقُرْآنُ ‏{‏ وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى‏}‏ قَالَ وَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ عِنْدَ ذَلِكَ وَاللَّهُ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَى ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ أَبِي مُلَيْكَةَ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا قَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ مِنْ شَىْءٍ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 928b, 927i, 929b

Hadith are Unreliable

Continuing with this example, let’s say the person giving your child the command could not articulate your instructions exactly and had a reputation for mixing your statements. Under such circumstances, should the child follow these commands attributed to you or not? If they do follow your attributed commands, they may actually be going against your wishes if your words were not articulated correctly. And this is another problem with Hadith in that it is unreliable as a source of law.

From commands, we get laws, and laws require precision. If the language or the conditions stipulated in the law is ambiguous, then it becomes unclear how to apply it. Followers of Hadith claim that they have solved this problem through Hadith Sciences, but even the most widely transmitted Hadith are inconsistent and contain numerous variations. In fact, it could be argued that the more narrations any given tradition has the more variations in the text we will find.

A good example is the supposed statement made by the prophet that anyone who lies about him will find their abode in Hell. This is typically referred to as one of the most mass-transmitted (mutawatir) statements made by the prophet outside of the Quran. But even in this statement, it is unclear based on Hadith if the lie attributed to the prophet has to be intentional or also constitutes an unintentional lie. This is because some narrations include the word deliberate, while others do not.

Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Anyone who attributes words to me which I did not say should take his seat in the Fire. Anyone who gives his Muslim brother misguided advice when they consult him has betrayed them. If anyone gives a fatwa which is not firm, the wrong action of that rests on the one who gave the fatwa.”

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ يَزِيدَ قَالَ‏: ‏ حَدَّثَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي أَيُّوبَ قَالَ‏: ‏ حَدَّثَنِي بَكْرُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ أَبِي عُثْمَانَ مُسْلِمِ بْنِ يَسَارٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ‏: ‏ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏: ‏ مَنْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيَّ مَا لَمْ أَقُلْ، فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَنِ اسْتَشَارَهُ أَخُوهُ الْمُسْلِمُ، فَأَشَارَ عَلَيْهِ بِغَيْرِ رُشْدٍ فَقَدْ خَانَهُ وَمَنْ أُفْتِيَ فُتْيَا بِغَيْرِ ثَبْتٍ، فَإِثْمُهُ عَلَى مَنْ أَفْتَاهُ‏.‏

Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 259

Narrated ‘Abdullah [bin Mas’ud]: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Whoever lied to me deliberately, let him take his seat in the Fire.

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هِشَامٍ الرِّفَاعِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ عَيَّاشٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَاصِمٌ، عَنْ زِرٍّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَىَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2659

Narrated Salama: I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “Whoever ascribes to me what I have not said then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.”

حَدَّثَنَا مَكِّيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي عُبَيْدٍ، عَنْ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ يَقُلْ عَلَىَّ مَا لَمْ أَقُلْ فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ ‏”‏‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 109

Narrated Anas: The fact which stops me from narrating a great number of Hadiths to you is that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever tells a lie against me intentionally, then let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.”

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مَعْمَرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَارِثِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ، قَالَ أَنَسٌ إِنَّهُ لَيَمْنَعُنِي أَنْ أُحَدِّثَكُمْ حَدِيثًا كَثِيرًا أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ تَعَمَّدَ عَلَىَّ كَذِبًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ ‏”‏‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 108

Muhammad bin Abd Allah ibn Numayr narrated to us, my father narrated to us, Sa’īd bin Ubayd narrated to us, Alī bin Rabī’ah narrated to us, he said: ‘I arrived at the Masjid and al-Mughīrah, the Amīr of al-Kūfah said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah upon him, saying, ‘Indeed a lie upon me is not like a lie upon anyone else, for whoever lies upon me intentionally, then he shall take his seat in the Fire’.’

وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُبَيْدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ رَبِيعَةَ، قَالَ أَتَيْتُ الْمَسْجِدَ وَالْمُغِيرَةُ أَمِيرُ الْكُوفَةِ قَالَ فَقَالَ الْمُغِيرَةُ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ كَذِبًا عَلَىَّ لَيْسَ كَكَذِبٍ عَلَى أَحَدٍ فَمَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَىَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 4 a

Most Hadith ARe Fabrications

The funny thing about the above statement attributed to the prophet is that it shows, if it is true, that even when the prophet was alive, people were fabricating Hadith against him. This is also shown in the Quran.

[5:41] O you messenger, do not be saddened by those who hasten to disbelieve among those who say, “We believe,” with their mouths, while their hearts do not believe. Among the Jews, some listened to lies. They listened to people who never met you, and who distorted the words out of context, then said, “If you are given this, accept it, but if you are given anything different, beware.” Whomever GOD wills to divert, you can do nothing to help him against GOD. GOD does not wish to cleanse their hearts. They have incurred humiliation in this world, and in the Hereafter, they will suffer a terrible retribution.

 يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرَّسُولُ لَا يَحْزُنكَ ٱلَّذِينَ يُسَـٰرِعُونَ فِى ٱلْكُفْرِ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا بِأَفْوَٰهِهِمْ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قُلُوبُهُمْ وَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوا۟ سَمَّـٰعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ سَمَّـٰعُونَ لِقَوْمٍ ءَاخَرِينَ لَمْ يَأْتُوكَ يُحَرِّفُونَ ٱلْكَلِمَ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَوَاضِعِهِۦ يَقُولُونَ إِنْ أُوتِيتُمْ هَـٰذَا فَخُذُوهُ وَإِن لَّمْ تُؤْتَوْهُ فَٱحْذَرُوا۟ وَمَن يُرِدِ ٱللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُۥ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُۥ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ شَيْـًٔا أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَمْ يُرِدِ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُطَهِّرَ قُلُوبَهُمْ لَهُمْ فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا خِزْىٌ وَلَهُمْ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

Historically we see that this problem of fabricated Hadith grew exponentially after the prophet’s death, as the Hadith compilers sorted through hundreds of thousands of narrations for their collections yet determined that only ~1% were trustworthy enough to be included in their works. This proves that the vast majority of Hadith in circulation were fabrications.

If we extract this to our analogy, this would be as if there is not just a single person informing your child of a supposed command from you, but a sea of liars out there who are telling your child fabricated commands that they attributed to you. Under such circumstances, what should the responsibility of that child be? Should they be obligated to consider every claim and try to puzzle together each of these narrations to determine which is true? Any sensible parent would advise their child to ignore anyone who claims to have heard a command from you and would command their child to only accept what they hear from you directly.

Companions Abandonded Hadith IN favor of Quran

We see this is actually what the earliest companions did when faced with the problem of false narrations; they turned to the Quran alone. Abu Bakr burned his 500 Hadith because he could be guilty of spreading lies about the prophet if they were misunderstood. According to a report from al-Hakim an-Nisaburi, Aisha stated the following:

Narrated ‘Aisha: My father had collected five hundred hadiths of the Prophet. On the night he did it, he tossed and turned in bed. I asked, “Do you have an illness or have you heard something?” In the morning, he said, “My daughter! Bring me the hadiths that I gave you.” I brought them. He wanted some fire and burned them. When I asked him why he burned them, he said, “I do not want to die having these hadiths with me because I am afraid that there are hadiths that are not originally as they are reported though I heard them from people whom I trust; I am afraid to narrate them that way”

Al-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat al-Huffadh 1:5
Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad: al-I`tisam bi-Habl-illah al-Matin 1:30
`Abd al-Ghaniy `Abd al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat al-Sunnah 394

After the demise of the Holy Prophet, Abu-Bakr gathered people and said, ‘You are reporting about the Messenger of Allah inconsistent narrations. People coming after you will be engaged in more intense discrepancy. Therefore, do not report anything about the Messenger of Allah, and if anyone asks you, you should refer to the Book of Allah as the arbitrator. You should thus deem lawful whatever is lawful therein and deem unlawful whatever is unlawful therein.’

Al-Dhahbiy: Tadhkirat al-Huffadh 1:32
`Abd al-Ghaniy Abd al-Khaliq: Hijjiyyat al-Sunnah 394

Umar refused a hadith from the prophet on his death bed, even when told that it would cause them to never go astray, because he believed the Quran was sufficient.

Narrated ‘Ubaidullah bin `Abdullah: Ibn `Abbas said, “When the ailment of the Prophet (ﷺ) became worse, he said, ‘Bring for me (writing) paper and I will write for you a statement after which you will not go astray.’ But `Umar said, ‘The Prophet is seriously ill, and we have got Allah’s Book with us and that is sufficient for us.’ But the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) differed about this and there was a hue and cry. On that the Prophet (ﷺ) said to them, ‘Go away (and leave me alone). It is not right that you should quarrel in front of me.” Ibn `Abbas came out saying, “It was most unfortunate (a great disaster) that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was prevented from writing that statement for them because of their disagreement and noise.

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ لَمَّا اشْتَدَّ بِالنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَجَعُهُ قَالَ ‏”‏ ائْتُونِي بِكِتَابٍ أَكْتُبُ لَكُمْ كِتَابًا لاَ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدَهُ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ عُمَرُ إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم غَلَبَهُ الْوَجَعُ وَعِنْدَنَا كِتَابُ اللَّهِ حَسْبُنَا فَاخْتَلَفُوا وَكَثُرَ اللَّغَطُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ قُومُوا عَنِّي، وَلاَ يَنْبَغِي عِنْدِي التَّنَازُعُ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَخَرَجَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ يَقُولُ إِنَّ الرَّزِيَّةَ كُلَّ الرَّزِيَّةِ مَا حَالَ بَيْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَبَيْنَ كِتَابِهِ‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 114

It is reported that Umar, during his reign as Caliph, did not allow the free travel of the prophet’s companions without his permission because he did not want them to propagate Hadith. It wasn’t until the reign of Uthman that this ban was lifted, and the companions were allowed to emigrate to some of the newly Muslim-conquered regions.

In Tadhkirat al-huffaz, al-Dhahabi reported from Shu’bah, from Sa’id ibn Ibrahim from his father, that Umar detained Ibn Mas’ud, Abu al-Darda’ and Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari, saying to them: You have narrated hadith abundantly from the Messenger of Allah. It is reported that he had detained them in Medina, but they were set free by Uthman.

Ibn Sa’d and Ibn Asakir reports from Mahmud ibn Labid that he said: I heard Uthman ibn Affan addressing people from over the pulpit: It is unlawful for everyone to narrate any hadith he never heard of during the time of Abu Bakr and that of Umar. Verily that which made me abstain from narrating from the Messenger of Allah was not to be among the most conscious of his Companions, but I heard him declaring: “Whoever ascribing to me something I never said, he shall verily occupy his (destined) abode in Fire.”

Ibn Abbas stopped narrating Hadith about the prophet because of the perpetual lies he was hearing about him.

Muhammad bin Abbād and Sa’īd bin Amr al-Ash’athī narrated to me on authority of Ibn Uyaynah; Sa’īd said Sufyān informed us on authority of Hishām bin Hujayr, on authority of Tāwus, he said (Bushayr bin Ka’b) came to Ibn Abbās so he set about narrating to him. Ibn Abbās said to him: ‘Go back to such-and-such narration‘. Then [Bushayr] returned to it and narrated it. So [Ibn Abbās] said to him: ‘Go back to such-and-such narration’. Then [Bushayr] returned to it and narrated it. Thus [Bushayr] said to him: ‘I do not know whether you know all of my Ḥadīth and you reject this one and that, or if you reject all of my Ḥadīth and know this one and that?’ Ibn Abbās said to him: “Indeed, we used to narrate from the Messenger of Allah when one would not lie upon him, however, when people began fabricating hadiths, we ceased to narrate from him.”

وَحَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبَّادٍ، وَسَعِيدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو الأَشْعَثِيُّ، جَمِيعًا عَنِ ابْنِ عُيَيْنَةَ، – قَالَ سَعِيدٌ أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، – عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ حُجَيْرٍ، عَنْ طَاوُسٍ، قَالَ جَاءَ هَذَا إِلَى ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ – يَعْنِي بُشَيْرَ بْنَ كَعْبٍ – فَجَعَلَ يُحَدِّثُهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ عُدْ لِحَدِيثِ كَذَا وَكَذَا ‏.‏ فَعَادَ لَهُ ثُمَّ حَدَّثَهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ عُدْ لِحَدِيثِ كَذَا وَكَذَا ‏.‏ فَعَادَ لَهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ مَا أَدْرِي أَعَرَفْتَ حَدِيثِي كُلَّهُ وَأَنْكَرْتَ هَذَا أَمْ أَنْكَرْتَ حَدِيثِي كُلَّهُ وَعَرَفْتَ هَذَا فَقَالَ لَهُ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ إِنَّا كُنَّا نُحَدِّثُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذْ لَمْ يَكُنْ يُكْذَبُ عَلَيْهِ فَلَمَّا رَكِبَ النَّاسُ الصَّعْبَ وَالذَّلُولَ تَرَكْنَا الْحَدِيثَ عَنْهُ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim Introduction 19

Even historically, we can determine that the companions made no formal effort to preserve the Hadith like they did for the Quran. This is the reason that the first published collection of Hadith was the Muwatta of Imam Malik, published ~150 years after the death of the prophet, while the works of Bukhari and the Kutub al-Sittah were published ~250 years after the death of the prophet.

Quran is the only Legitimate Source of Law

To date, there is not a single Hadith besides the Quran that anyone can state is the verbatim saying from the prophet. There is not even a single Hadith to explain how to do the Salat from start to finish. Even if one collects all the Hadith explaining how to do the Salat and provide them to a person who does not know anything about the Salat, it would be impossible for them to perform the Salat correctly from the Hadith alone. There is not even a single Hadith that transcribes a single full sermon from the prophet from start to finish. The most documented sermon we have is the supposed farewell sermon, and even then, not only do the narrations conflict with one another, they are only a portion of what was supposedly stated.

The reality is that the only proven Hadith we have from the prophet is the Quran alone. It is the only reminder that God states he would preserve and the only source of law we are to uphold.

Narrated `Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to me and I told him about the slave-girl (Barirah) Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Buy and manumit her, for the Wala is for the one who manumits.” In the evening the Prophet (ﷺ) got up and glorified Allah as He deserved and then said, “Why do some people impose conditions which are not present in Allah’s Book (Laws)? Whoever imposes such a condition as is not in Allah’s Laws, then that condition is invalid even if he imposes one hundred conditions, for Allah’s conditions are more binding and reliable.”

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، قَالَ عُرْوَةُ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ ـ رضى الله عنها دَخَلَ عَلَىَّ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَذَكَرْتُ لَهُ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ اشْتَرِي وَأَعْتِقِي، فَإِنَّ الْوَلاَءَ لِمَنْ أَعْتَقَ ‏”‏‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَامَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنَ الْعَشِيِّ، فَأَثْنَى عَلَى اللَّهِ بِمَا هُوَ أَهْلُهُ، ثُمَّ قَالَ ‏”‏ مَا بَالُ أُنَاسٍ يَشْتَرِطُونَ شُرُوطًا لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، مَنِ اشْتَرَطَ شَرْطًا لَيْسَ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَهْوَ بَاطِلٌ، وَإِنِ اشْتَرَطَ مِائَةَ شَرْطٍ، شَرْطُ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ وَأَوْثَقُ ‏”‏‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 2155

[6:109] They swore by GOD, solemnly, that if a ayat came to them, they would surely believe. Say, “Ayat come only from GOD.” For all you know, if it did come to them, they would continue to disbelieve.

 وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِنْ جَاءَتْهُمْ آيَةٌ لَيُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهَا قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْآيَاتُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَمَا يُشْعِرُكُمْ أَنَّهَا إِذَا جَاءَتْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

[6:110] We control their minds and their hearts. Thus, since their decision is to disbelieve, we leave them in their transgressions, blundering.
[6:111] Even if we sent down the angels to them; even if the dead spoke to them; even if we summoned every miracle before them; they cannot believe unless GOD wills it. Indeed, most of them are ignorant.

وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْـِٔدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَـٰرَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِهِۦٓ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَنَذَرُهُمْ فِى طُغْيَـٰنِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ
 وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ وَحَشَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ قُبُلًا مَّا كَانُوا۟ لِيُؤْمِنُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَجْهَلُونَ

[6:112] We have permitted the enemies of every prophet—human and jinn devils—to inspire in each other fancy words, in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.
[6:113] This is to let the minds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter listen to such fabrications, and accept them, and thus expose their real convictions.

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلْإِنسِ وَٱلْجِنِّ يُوحِى بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ ٱلْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ
وَلِتَصْغَىٰٓ إِلَيْهِ أَفْـِٔدَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ وَلِيَرْضَوْهُ وَلِيَقْتَرِفُوا۟ مَا هُم مُّقْتَرِفُونَ

[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.
[6:115] The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

أَفَغَيْرَ ٱللَّهِ أَبْتَغِى حَكَمًا وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ مُفَصَّلًا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُۥ مُنَزَّلٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِٱلْحَقِّ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْمُمْتَرِينَ
وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِهِۦ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ

Despite these clear verses the last argument people make is that how could so many people be wrong, since the majority of the Muslim ummah uphold the Hadith, and for that God has the following response:

[6:116] If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of GOD. They follow only conjecture; they only guess.

(١١٦) وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

[18:54] We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.

(٥٤) وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِي هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لِلنَّاسِ مِنْ كُلِّ مَثَلٍ وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَكْثَرَ شَيْءٍ جَدَلًا

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