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The Quran exposes hadith, sunna, ijma, sharia and salaf by negatively spotlighting these exact words

Updated: May 30

By:Siraj Islam (LampOfIslam)


The word ‘hadith’ (saying, narration)1, whenever appears in the Quran to denote anything besides the Quran, in all the 20 instances, is always used in a negative sense and in a tone of strong disapproval.


Also, whenever a statement in the Quran disapproves all ‘hadiths’ other than ‘God’s hadith’ (4:87; i.e., the Quran), it always appears in a context that condemns shirk or association with God, the only unforgivable sin in Islam (4:48; cf. 4:116, 39:65, 6:88). Thus, by negatively spotlighting the exact word ‘hadith’, the Quran exposes the whole hadith corpus as an illegitimate addition to Islam.


Similarly, the singular word ‘sunna’ (law, way)2, in all its 14 occurrences in the Quran, also appears always in a negative setting, usually in reference to God’s law or sunnat Allah, which is manifested as the divine law of requital when it involves human actions (8:38, 15:13, 17:77, 18:55, 33:38, 33:62, 35:43, 40:85, 48:23; cf. 3:137, 4:26, 6:34, 6:115, 10:64, 18:27). Exemplified by sunnat al-awalyn (the law/enactment of previous generations, 8:38, 15:13)3, it inflicted penalty on the transgressing ancients as a consequence of their rejection of the messages to follow God’s law.

It is but the same strictly immutable natural law of cause-and-effect that governs the whole Universe and life without being interrupted by any interference (cf. 2:7, 13:11). This consistent Quranic use of the word sunna, solely in conjunction with God, confirms God’s sunna as the only valid sunna and hence obliquely denounces belief in any other ‘sunna’ as shirk. And this explains why the Quran never uses ‘sunna’ in connection with Muhammad or any other messenger.

Rather the followers of man-made sunna, including “Muhammad’s sunna”, receives a stern warning in this verse, which uses the exact word ‘sunna’ to depict, elliptically, the moral penalty they deserved: Are they now but looking for the sunna inflicted on the ancients? For no change will you ever find in God’s sunna, nor will you find any deviation in God’s sunna. 35:43. The message is simple: if you play with fire, you will get burned, through natural law, in the same way as your predecessors!


Then the word ‘ijma’ (consensus) or any of its derivatives, whenever appears in the Quran to denote any consensus other than God’s, in all the occurrences, is always used within a negative context, which, apart from a disapproving tone, condemns any such consensus as shirk (3:157; 3:173; 7:48; 10:58; 10:71; 12:15; 17:88; 20:60; 20:64; 22:73; 26:38; 26:39; 26:56; 28:78; 43:32; 54:44; 54:45; 70:18; 104:2). Please note that ‘ijma’ (consensus) traditionally means ‘consensus in opinion of the legalists’ and is regarded as the third fundamental source of Sharia law, i.e., another fabricated religious authority or idol.


The word ‘sharia’ (legislation), when it denotes a fabricated legislation not authorized by the Divine, is attached with a negative connotation, again with a reference to shirk: Or do they have shurakao (associates) who decree for them a sharia which has not been authorized by God? 42:21; cf. 42:13, 5:48, 7:163, 45:18.


The word ‘salaf’ too, in the same way, has a negative connotation in the Quran: So We made them salaf (a thing of the past) and a parable for later generations. 43:56; cf. 8:38.


All these specific occurrences of the words hadith, sunna, ijma, sharia and salaf, to our understanding, are something more than a coincidence. Rather they seem to be related to an important prophetic feature of the Quran: its insightful presage that future Muhammadans would corrupt Islam by fabricating secondary and tertiary authorities besides the Quran and would label them with the trademarks of these particular words.



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