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The Quranic Imperative: Why Muslims Should Seek Guidance from the Quran Alone

Updated: May 30

 

Introduction:

In the vast panorama of Islamic thought and belief, the Quran occupies a unique and unparalleled position. As the divine revelation to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it stands as the cornerstone of Islamic faith, an unerring beacon of light for billions.


Yet, a significant debate rages within the Muslim community: should believers draw their religious guidance from the Quran alone, or is there room for supplementary sources? This article delves into the Quran's own testimony on its role as the singular source of divine guidance, exploring why many argue for a Quran-centric approach to understanding Islam.


Through examining Quranic verses, we'll journey into understanding the scripture's self-proclaimed completeness, clarity, and authority.

 

1. The Quran as the Criterion (Al-Furqan)

The Quran is distinctively referred to as Al-Furqan, underscoring its function as a beacon of truth and falsehood. Not only does the Quran serve as a guide, but it also clarifies complex and disputed matters.


"Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures;" - [Quran 25:1].


Clarifying Disputes:

"And We have revealed the Book to you with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it..." - [Quran 5:48].


The term 'guardian' reflects the Quran's role as a protector of true teachings, verifying what came before and clarifying misinterpretations.


Foundation of Judgment:

"Is it then other than Allah's judgment that they seek? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure?" - [Quran 5:50].


The emphasis is on turning to the Quran when in doubt, as its judgments are considered pure and unadulterated.

 

2. The Quran is Self-Explanatory and Fully Detailed

Reiterating its comprehensive and detailed nature, the Quran highlights:


Complete Guidance:

"And this is a Book We have revealed, blessed; therefore follow it and guard (against evil) that mercy may be shown to you." - [Quran 6:155].


Following the Quran is associated with receiving mercy, implying the completeness of its guidance.


Detailing All Things:

"A.L.R. This is a Book, with verses basic or fundamental; further explained in detail..." - [Quran 11:1].


This showcases that not only is the Quran fundamental in its teachings, but it also elaborates upon them.


Clear Instructions:

"And We have indeed made the Quran easy to understand and remember, then is there any that will remember?" - [Quran 54:17].

 

3. The Best Hadith

In re-emphasizing its position as the best Hadith or narration, the Quran says:


Pure Narration:

"These are the verses of Allah which We recite to you with truth. Then in what Hadith after Allah and His verses will they believe?" - [Quran 45:6].


The word 'truth' contrasts with other narrations, emphasizing the Quran's purity.


Only True Guidance:

"Or do they say, 'He has forged it'? Say: 'If I have forged it, upon me is my guilt, but I am innocent of the guilt of which you accuse me.'" - [Quran 11:35].

 

4. Avoidance of Contradictions

The coherence and consistency of the Quranic message can be seen when God challenges mankind:


Unmatched Eloquence:

"And if you are in doubt about what We have sent down upon Our Servant [Muhammad], then produce a surah the like thereof..." - [Quran 2:23].


The unmatched eloquence of the Quran serves as evidence of its divine nature, a feat that can't be replicated, ensuring its consistency.


Divine Guarantee:

"Do they not contemplate the Quran? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found much discrepancy in it." - [Quran 4:82].

 

5. Warning Against Following Unverified Sources

The Quran repeatedly warns against following anything blindly:


Guarding Against Falsehood:

"Who listens to the word and follows the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding." - [Quran 39:18].


Muslims are encouraged to discern the truth, which again emphasizes using the Quran as a yardstick.


Avoiding Assumptions:

"O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin..." - [Quran 49:12].


Making assumptions without evidence can lead to falsehood, and using the Quran as a reference can help avoid this pitfall.


The Danger of Blind Following:

"And when it is said to them, 'Follow what Allah has revealed,' they say, 'Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.' Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?" - [Quran 2:170].

 

6. Using the Quran as the Sole Criterion for Religious Guidance

If the Quran is the criterion, it logically follows that any guidance proposed outside of it should be scrutinized against it. Thus, when someone presents a rule, practice, or belief as Islamic, the immediate reference should be the Quran:


"Say: 'If you do love Allah, Follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'" - [Quran 3:31]


This underscores the importance of adhering to what's clearly defined in the Quran.

Moreover, the Quran mentions:


Perfected Religion:

"This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion." - [Quran 5:3].


The idea that the religion has been perfected through the Quran suggests that adding or taking away from its teachings might distort this perfection.


Upholding the Quranic Teachings:

"And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided..." - [Quran 3:103].


The 'rope' metaphorically refers to the Quran, highlighting the importance of adhering to its teachings without deviation.


Rejection of Fabrications:

"Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, 'This is from Allah,' to traffic with it for a miserable price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn." - [Quran 2:79].


External Sources and their Validation:

If the Quran is the complete and ultimate source of guidance for Muslims, then logically, any external teachings or practices that are proposed as part of the faith should find their foundation in the Quran.


If they don't, questions arise regarding their validity in Islam.


This notion is reinforced in the Quran where it cautions against following sources that are not validated by God's word.


"And they have taken besides Him gods, who do not create anything while they are themselves created, and they do not have for themselves any harm or benefit and they do not have death or life or resurrection." - [Quran 25:3].


This verse, while specifically addressing idolatry, underscores the larger principle of relying solely on God's guidance and not on creations or doctrines that are not rooted in His word.


Beware of Innovations in Religion:

Innovations in religious practices (often termed "bid'ah" in Islamic jurisprudence) that are not rooted in the Quran can potentially lead believers astray.


"This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion." - [Quran 5:3].


The perfection of religion with the Quran implies that no additions or subtractions are needed.


Challenging Extrinsic Sources:

If anyone introduces a teaching or practice claiming it to be part of Islam, the onus is on them to validate its alignment with the Quran.


Given that the Quran is the criterion, it is the reference point against which all other teachings should be measured.


"And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result." - [Quran 4:59].


Disputes in matters of faith should be settled using the Quran as the standard.

 

Conclusion

The Quran's unequivocal position as the criterion, the guide, and the ultimate source of truth for Muslims is emphasized throughout its verses.


It is not merely a book of spiritual musings but a comprehensive manual for life, detailing everything required for a fulfilling existence in alignment with the divine will.


Muslims are urged to treat the Quran as the gold standard against which all other teachings and narrations are to be measured, ensuring that they always walk the path of truth and righteousness.

 

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