Umar’s Ban on Hadith

In many conversations and discussions with Muslims who acknowledge hadith as a source of law, I would often mention how Umar Bin Al Khattab disallowed the recording of hadith and the narration of sunan. Most of the time, I was asked for proof and could not quite provide any. “Fair enough,” I’d say to myself, “I learned about this on a missionary-kind of Hadith-rejection TV show after all, and never did my homework on it as I should.”

But today is the day.

Umar ibn al-Khattab once tried to deal with the problem of committing the Hadith to writing. The companions of the Prophet whom he consulted, encouraged him, but he was not quite sure whether he should proceed. One day, moved by God’s inspiration, he made up his mind and announced: “I wanted to have the traditions of the Prophet written down, but I fear that the Book of God might be *encroached* upon. Hence I shall not permit this to happen.” He, therefore, changed his mind and instructed the Muslims throughout the provinces: “Whoever has a document bearing a prophetic tradition, shall destroy it.” The Hadith, therefore, continued to be transmitted orally and was not collected and written down until the period of al-Mamun. (The Life of Muhammad, Cairo, 1935) [Source].

Many Muslims already argue that Umar outlawed hadith so that the Quran would not get mixed up and neglected at such an early, vunerable stage. They offer the same argument when you tell them the Prophet himself ordered his companions to burn what they recorded of his sayings. But it seems to me that people were doing well without hadith during the time of Umar.

There’s also the interesting view of Shi’a on this.

Muhammad lived in the hearts of his companions and friends. After his death, they wished to preserve all their recollections of his life. These recollections were of two kinds – his words and his deeds. The two together formed his Sunnah (the trodden path). Anything he said, and was quoted by a companion, is called a hadith or ‘tradition.’

But Umar did not want the companions to preserve any recollection of the words and the deeds of the Prophet. He, apparently, had many reservations regarding the usefulness, to the Muslim umma, of these recollections. He, therefore, forbade the companions to quote the sayings of the Prophet in speech or in writing. In other words, he placed the Hadith of the Prophet under a proscription. [Source].

Turning the tables, most Shi’a believe that this is a conspiracy-kind of act coming from Umar to prevent Ali of being declared a successor by the Prophet on his death bed. It’s actually surprising, to some level, that the Prophet wanted to leave behind anything beside the Quran. This means the very notion of the Prophet having preached anything outside the boundaries of the Quran are redicilous. How could Umar remember that statements outside the Quranic verses were unlawful while the Prophet could not?

Most Sunnis view that Muhammad himself proclaimed that no hadith are to be recorded to ensure that people would not confuse any hadith with the Qur’an, and that this decision of Muhammad was upheld by his successors (Arabic: caliph), including Umar, the second Sunni Caliph. [Source]

So, until the second Caliphate, people survived without documented hadith. In fact, they survived with it being illegal and advertised as haraam (being made illegal for religious purposes). Why did that ever have to change?

And just for the sake of reading, I give you this:

Abu-Dhahabi reports: The Caliph Abu-Bakr compiled a work, in which there were 500 traditions of the Prophet, and handed it over to his daughter ‘Aishah. The next morning, he took it back from her and destroyed it, saying: “I wrote what I understood; it is possible however that there should be certain things in it which did not correspond textually with what the Prophet had uttered.”

As to Umar, we learn on the authority of Ma’mar ibn Rashid, that during his caliphate, Umar once consulted the companions of the Prophet on the subject of codifying the Hadith. Everybody seconded the idea. Yet Umar continued to hesitate and pray to God for a whole month for guidance and enlightenment. Ultimately, he decided not to undertake the task, and said: “Former peoples neglected the Divine Books and concentrated only on the conduct of the prophets; I do not want to set up the possibility of confusion between the Divine Qur’an and the Prophet’s Hadith.” (Introduction to Islam, Kuwait, pp. 34-35, 1977)

One of the companions whom the Sunni Muslims consider one of the greatest authorities on Hadith, was Abu Hurayra. He was ever ready to quote a Hadith. There was never an occasion when recollection did not come to him of something he had heard the Prophet saying or something he had seen him doing. Once Umar asked him:

“O Abu Hurayra! Tell me this. Did the Messenger of God have nothing in the world to do except to whisper Hadith in your ears?”

Umar then ordered Abu Hurayra not to narrate any more Hadith.

You can read the rest here: I’ll have to disagree on the last part of the article that claims Quran cannot be understood without hadith. Also that Umar acted alone when all others actually wanted to record and document hadith.

Another Challenge to the MuslimVlogGuy

This time to this video :

Where he talks about the need for tafseer. I invited him to debate:

Salam MuslimVlogGuy, I’d like to have another video-to-video debate with you on issues regarding Traditionalist Muslim tafaseer and ulum al-quran. Would that be possible?

Challenging the MuslimVlogGuy

Check out his video:

You gotta love his confidence right? Well I issued this invitation to debate him:

Salam MuslimVlogGuy,
Shall we have a video to video debate? I think it can benefit our audiences.  We can do it with Q&A format if you like. Since we are ‘typically easy to refute’, I am sure you will be appreciated by your audiences for doing this. What do you say?

When tools fall into the wrong hands

A few days ago I found a great, easy to use program that lets you create animated videos simply and quickly. I used this software myself to make some Quranism Awareness type videos for helping to dispel the misconceptions about islam as described by the Quran, Quranism and Quranists. You can watch them here

Today I was very disappointed by what I saw in this FB group. It seems that the same program I used (“goanimate”) is being used by some Quranist Fundamentalists to monger hate and intolerance towards Traditionalists (they refer to them as “Hadithers”) and the links to their versions of the videos were posted in the said group.

It is hugely disappointing and bitterly ironic that the message of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness that the Quran teaches is found nowhere in these videos. This not only undermines the work that Quranists are doing to promote the vision of Quranism, but also creates a false first impression / perception of association or collaboration. Although Quranist Fundamentalists (QFists) are considered by Quranists to be within the description of what a quranist is (one who holds a belief that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam) this does not in any way mean that QFist views speak on behalf of Quranists or all quranists’ beliefs. To anyone who doesn’t know the terminology it might sound confusing but it is not. Basically the term Quranist Fundamentalist is a term which is described here. You can see a striking difference in the mentality and attitude of such an approach. This does not make QFists any less believers in God and the Quran and only God knows what is in the hearts. The approach of Quranists is simply not the not same as the approach of Quranist Fundamentalists. The fact that the same animation software has been used to create videos and that the Quran is being discussed in them can lead people to make false assumptions.

Basically I am saying, even though I, Asfora, made some cute animated videos which were intended to help to spread a positive and welcoming message for quranists, new muslims, reverts and converts, I do not want people to see the other videos which contain rudeness, insults and prejudice and think that I have anything to do with them or that they are videos that or QNet TV will ever promote.

I, as a Quranist, do not support this mentality of intolerance and hatred towards a generalized group of people. I do not support the use of vulgar and obscene language in videos which are supposed to be inviting to the path of God. I do not want to be associated with this at all. I personally find it tasteless, juvenile and disgraceful.  We are to invite to the path of God and debate in the best way. Rude, insulting, sarcastic videos only seek to repel. We need to remember to humble ourselves and purify our intentions, inshaaAllah.

It is very difficult for me to make this disassociation crystal clear if videos from the Quranist Network TV channel are being promoted on Quranist Fundamentalist sites and Youtube channels. Unfortunately there is no way to stop people adding YouTube uploads onto their channel as part of a favourites list or Playlist.  After all, people have the same right to use the software as anyone else.  I am sure there are other people using “goanimate” to make anti-islam vids too or anti-Quran vids, and if there are not yet, then there no doubt will be soon.
I trust that readers and viewers will be able to detect from the type of content contained in videos whether it is promoting a Quranist attitude or a Quranist Fundamentalist attitude, and will not conflate one with the other. And also to remember that a video on an individual’s personal Youtube Channel does not mean that the author of the video has the right to speak on behalf of the views of any group. Each person is an individual and is responsible for their own content.

I hope I have made my point clear, inshaaAllah. Any questions, comments on this, please ask in the comments below.

Special thanks also to Marisa who also made a wonderful animated video here : Telling your parents about your conversion to islam . It was a pleasure working together with you on this, maashaaAllah. And thanks also to Yasin who generously bought the upgraded version of the software for us to use.

We hope to be able to continue working together to bring more animated videos focussing on Quranism, and reverts and converts in the future, inshaaAllah. 🙂

Amy Winehouse Rotting in Hell?

I had a very disturbing conversation last evening where a Traditionalist friend said that it was good Amy Winehouse was dead, she could stop corrupting the youth and that she is probably rotting with the (fake) punishment in the grave now.

This type of mindset comes from the confusion about Islam and islam. Islam is the culture, the society, the civilisation. It has plenty of good but also plenty of bad. It’s most certainly not divine. however, islam (with a small, descriptive ‘i’) is a universal principle. Amy Winehouse was not a Muslim but was she a muslim? I don’t know. I never met her and it’s not my job to judge. However, her music gives some insight into the human condition, at least for me. May she rest in peace…


Read articles about the Quranist Identity
This section explains who we are as an association. Since there are numerous misunderstandings that we are a sect, we will attempt to correct that with the articles below. Who are Quranists? Please read below:

1. Quranists and the term ‘Quranists’ by Farouk A. Peru

2. An Analysis of Quranist Fundamentalism by Farouk A. Peru

3. Quranism: The Metaphor of the House by Farouk A. Peru

4. Quranists: Between Reading and Interpretation by Farouk A. Peru

5. Submitters and Quranists by Asfora

6. Quranism is not a Sect ! Here is Why by Farouk A. Peru

7. Justifying the Quranism / Quranist labels by Asfora

8. Quranism and Traditionalism: Not Mutually Exclusive! by Farouk A. Peru

9. Who are the Real Sectarians? by Farouk A. Peru

10. A Quranist’s Response to the term “Hadith Rejector” by Asfora

11. “Quran Alone-ism” and Quranism by Asfora

12. Multiple Paths to Salvation by Darcus

13. The Deceptive “Just Muslim” Label by Farouk A. Peru

14. Who is a Kaafir? by Kashif Shahzada

Hajj vs Moshpit

I, for one, do not believe hajj is the travel to Mecca, nor do I believe it happens during a certain months, simply because calenders are man-made. Anyway, before we get into a deadly discussion about hajj, I wanted to show you this.

These are roughly gathered online, but I don’t think it’s full of errors. The Hajj data were from wikipedia itself, listing deaths by year, cause and location.

  • Number of people who died in a moshpit from 1993-2006 were 10 (the first death was during a show by Motörhead). Some of these deaths had been reported from the Ozzfest, Wacken Open Air and by the band Limp Bizkit.
  • Number of people who died during Hajj in crowd-related accidents and stampedes from 1994-2006 were 1034. Not only that, but the overall deaths of hajj before the year 2007 were 2460 (as 1462 died in 1990 during a stampede in Al-Ma’aisim tunnel).

10 vs 2460.

Robert Spencer’s Evil Anti Islamic Agenda

Thanks to Zeshan, I was reminded of our pressing need to answer warmongering imperialist reprobates such as Robert Spencer, author of some anti-islamic books and videos. It’s indeed a pressing need , for quranists to answer for the misinterpretations of some of Traditional Islam on the Quran. Spencer used these misinterpretations very well indeed. You can view Spencer’s work here.  Spencer is the religious arm of American Imperialism and plays his role in keeping Traditional Muslims on the defensive. Muslims don’t need to be at all. The Quran can easily answer all of Spencers imputations.