Traditionalists argue that the preservation of the Quran is no different than the preservation of Hadith and that it would be hypocritical to reject the Hadith and only follow the Quran.
This is a widely inaccurate comparison to consider that the preservation of Hadith was anything like the preservation of the Quran. Below are some reasons why this is a grossly erroneous comparison.
1. God’s Guarantee
God in the Quran claims that He will preserve the Quran, while there is no similar guarantee for the Hadith.
[15:9] Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it.
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا ٱلذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ
2. The Companions Efforts
There was a deliberate effort by the earliest companions to preserve the Quran, but there was no effort whatsoever by these same individuals to preserve the Hadith.
We have thousands of manuscripts, some partial, some complete, of the Quran within the first 200 years alone from its revelation, and almost no manuscripts of Hadith during the same time period.
The Quran was written and compiled during the life of the prophet. The earliest written compilation 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.
Throughout history, millions of people have memorized the entire Quran, and even more have memorized portions of it. It is by far the most widely transmitted (mutawatir) narration in history.
Any variations found in the multitude of manuscripts or different recitations of the Quran can be limited to minor discrepancies in spelling or the use of prepositions. Yet, the inconsistencies in the Hadith are vast. For instance, the Hadith narrations regarding the Tashahhud vary greatly, yet each of the narrators claims that it was taught to them no different than the verse of the Quran. Or what is considered by many as the most mutawatir Hadith which states, “anyone who says a lie about me will have their seat in Hell,” it is unclear if the prophet used the word “deliberate” or not.
The text, spelling, and grammar of the Quran are perfect; the same cannot be said about the Hadith, where narrators or compilers have to provide commentary to the text to make it discernable.
8. Mathematically Coded
The Quran, unlike the Hadith, is a mathematically coded which serves as a checksum to the Quranic text. This mechanism resolves even the few minor disputes regarding the spellings of certain words as well as the variations in the recitations of the Quran.
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