Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Quran is not the Only Revelation to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والعاقبة للمتّقين

Among the greatest tribulations facing the Muslim Umma today are modernism and reductionism which have pushed certain people toward a tendency of rejecting Hadith. Some of these so-called Muslims refer to themselves as ‘Ahl-al-Quran’, ‘Quraniyun’ or ‘Quranists’, claiming that they are following nothing but the Quran while rejecting the ‘manmade’ traditions of Sunna, Hadith, Fiqh, etc. The truth is, of course, that these extremely misguided individuals are rejecters of the Prophet Muhammad himself and bear a hidden enmity toward him, or otherwise are woefully unaware of his lofty rank. They claim to follow the Book that was revealed to the Prophet while neglecting the actual person of that Prophet. The Holy Quran itself says that it is not sufficient to simply believe in the divinely-revealed Scriptures but one must believe in the Apostles too:

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّـهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ

The Apostle believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and the Believers (too). All believed in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. “We make no distinction between any of His Messengers”, and they said: “We heard and we obeyed. (Grant) us your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return.”

(Sura 2:285)

Hence, belief in the Apostle is in addition to belief in the Scripture that was revealed to him. If the Apostle’s function was only to convey the Scripture like how a mail carrier delivers a letter (God forbid), then why would Allah Most High enjoin the Believers to believe in His Apostle as an independent belief? In fact, it is belief in the Risala and Nubuwwa of the Apostle Muhammad which must necessarily precede belief in what is revealed to him (Quran). This explains why the Prophet first invited his people to believe in him as a Prophet of God, in the well known episode of Da’wat al-Ashira, before inviting them to believe in the Quran. The so-called ‘Quranists’ and Hadith-rejecters are in fact individuals who have disbelieved in the Risala of Prophet Muhammad while feigning belief in the Quran. That is quite ironic since the Quran itself repeatedly and emphatically invites all of humanity to believe in the Prophet Muhammad as an Apostle of God.

Now one of the baseless objections of the Hadith-rejecters is that Believers have only been enjoined to believe in and act upon divine revelation, which the Hadith are not divinely revealed, but only sayings that are allegedly attributed to the Prophet . They claim that if, hypothetically, it was accepted that the authentic Hadith contain teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad , they still do not possess the authority of divine revelation but should only be considered his personal opinion that is not binding upon anyone. This is because the Hadith-rejecters claim that the Quran was the only revelation that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad . This is in fact the foundation they have built as the basis upon which to reject Sunna and Hadith. Therefore I shall, with Allah’s help and permission, shatter this extremely fragile foundation of the Hadith-rejecters with arguments from the Holy Quran itself.

The first point is that there is not a single passage in the Holy Quran which explicitly states that the Quran itself is the only revelation that is revealed to Prophet Muhammad . The onus is upon the Hadith-rejecters to cite a single Ayah of the Quran to that effect, otherwise their claim that the Quran is the only revelation that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad must be dismissed out of hand as, ironically, un-Quranic. The truth is, whatever revelation or inspiration, Quranic or ortherwise, that is authentically established to the Prophet Muhammad must necessarily be accepted prima facie for any Believer in the Risala and Nubuwwa of Muhammad . Always remember, our belief in the Quran as divine revelation and Words of Allah derives from a basic assent and recognition of the person of Muhammad as God’s Prophet and Apostle.

But the final nail in the coffin for the ‘Quranist’ argument that the Quran is the only revelation that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad is explicit evidence within the Quran itself that it isn’t the only revelation to him. In this entry I shall present several such examples from the Holy Quran itself:

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ ۞ فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ ۞ ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ ۞

Indeed, upon Us is its collection and its recitation. So when We have recited it, then follow its recitation. Then indeed, upon Us is its explanation.

(Sura 75:17-19)

In this passage, Allah Most High has stated that He himself is responsible for the Bayan or ‘explanation’ of the Quran. Hence, the Bayan of the Quran, which is obviously distinct from the actual Quran itself, is, like the Quran, from Allah. And that which is from Allah as a Bayan is obviously something divinely-revealed hence carrying divine authority. Elsewhere, Allah says that the Quran itself is a Bayan (Sura 3:138). Therefore, just as the Quran, which is a Bayan, is recognized as divine-revelation having divine authority because it is from God, therefore, the Bayan of the Quran must necessarily be divine-revelation too as it also comes from God. In other words, whatever ‘Bayan’ comes from God is divinely-revealed, whether that Bayan is the Quran itself (3:138) or a Bayan of the Quran (75:19).

In another passage, Allah says to His beloved Prophet :

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَالشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ

And We did not make the vision which We showed you except as a trial for mankind, and (likewise) the cursed tree (mentioned) in the Quran

(Sura 17:60)

Here, in the Quran itself, Allah reminds the Prophet about a vision that He showed him. Now that vision must have obviously been seen before the revelation of this Verse of the Prophet . It is also obvious that the vision which the Prophet saw was not a verse of the Quran that was revealed to him. Hence, it is an example of an extra-Quranic divine experience or form of revelation. Regarding an event before the watershed Battle of Badr, Allah says to His beloved Prophet :

إِذْ يُرِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ فِي مَنَامِكَ قَلِيلًا

When you were shown them by Allah in your dream as few

(Sura 8:43)

This is another example of an extra-Quranic inspiration to the Prophet in the form of a dream.

In the Quran, Allah reveals the command to the Prophet and by extension the Believers to turn their faces toward the Sacred Mosque in Mecca as a Qibla (Sura 2:144). It is well known that before this Quranic revelation, the Prophet and his Companions prayed facing in the direction of Jerusalem. The ‘Quranists’ have to admit that there is no verse in the Quran in which Allah revealed to the Prophet to face Jerusalem as a Qibla. But Allah says to his beloved Prophet :

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ

And We did not make the Qibla which you were upon except that We make evident he who follows the Messenger from he who turns back on his heels.

(Sura 2:143)

Here, Allah is mentioning the fact that He was the One who gave the first Qibla (to Jerusalem) to the Prophet and his companions. But He is making mention of the fact that the first Qibla was from Him, and not the Prophet’s own opinion. Since we have no explicit mention of Allah giving the first Qibla of Jerusalem to the Prophet anywhere in the Quran, it has to be admitted that the revelation of that Qibla was an extra-Quranic revelation.

Throughout the Holy Quran, Allah speaks of the incidents when He revealed and inspired various things to His Prophets and other righteous individuals which are obvious examples of non-scriptural revelations. For example, when the pharaonic magicians performed a great feat of magic with their ropes and sticks, the Prophet Moses conceived a fear, but Allah inspired to him:

لَا تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْأَعْلَىٰ

and that he should throw down the staff in his right hand which would immediately swallow up their bogus magic (Sura 20:68-69). Now obviously, this is an example of a revelation to Moses before Allah gave him the Torah. It is strange that the so-called ‘Quranists’ deny that Allah never revealed anything or spoke to the Prophet Muhammad outside of what is contained in the text of the Quran, but Allah would speak to and spontaneously inspire other Prophets before him with inspirations that preceded or were separate from the Scriptures they were given.

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