Do you love the Prophet (peace be upon him)? (I believe you do).
It is reasonable to understand how when you love someone, you would naturally want to make them happy; you’d want to be in their presence as often as possible; you’d hang on to their every word. This is understood intuitively. And the implication, I believe, is clear.
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله
All praise is due to ALLAH and peace and blessing upon His Messenger
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of ALLAH, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
In any case, to proceed:
1. Evidence from the Qur’an: Follow the Prophet (peace be upon him)
You said: “God and the Messanger are one in purpose so obeying God is obeying the prophet and the inverse is true. God and the Messenger are both inviting people to the truth. So people need to obey the Messenger when he invites them to the Quran…
God and the Messenger are both bringing people out of darkness with the Quran which is sent by God. Therefore following the Messenger is by following the message that he follows and obeying him is by obeying the message that he obeys.”
To add to the Qur’anic injunctions telling us to obey the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well as Allah, Most Majestic, that I have already relayed earlier (See Why Hadith? Part One), the verse below can be comprehended to mean that there is Allah’s Way and there is the Prophet’s Way (peace be upon him) – that theoretically, there are, in fact, two Ways. We are agreed, however, that they are the same Way in that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is certainly confirming the Qur’anic message. There is no argument here. This is vital to stress. However, we seem to differ in that you feel the Prophet’s Way (peace be upon him) was purely the Qur’an and that’s all – whilst the early community of the Believers understood the Prophet’s Way to mean the Qur’an and Sunnah that assists us to comprehend how to practice the Qur’anic message:
Evidence from the Qur’an:
“Say [O Muhammad]: “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is forgiving and Merciful.”” (Qur’an, 3:31)
And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed Allah is severe in penalty. (Qur’an, al-Hashr – The Gathering 59:7)
Additional Evidence from the Imam Shafi’i:
“Al-Shafi’i, may Allah have mercy on him, said: “I do not know of anyone among the Sahaabah (Companions) and Taabi’een (Successors) who narrated a report from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) without accepting it, adhering to it and affirming that this was sunnah. Those who came after the Taabi’een, and those whom we met did likewise: they all accepted the reports and took them to be sunnah, praising those who followed them and criticizing those who went against them. Whoever deviated from this path would be regarded by us as having deviated from the way of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the scholars who followed them, and would be considered as one of the ignorant.” Source: Islam QA: Sources of Islamic Rulings.
Indeed, all the evidences you gave (below) serve only to reinforce the point I’ve made (above) in terms of what the early community of believers believed, anyway:
“And when it is said to them, “Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,” you see the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion.” [4:61].
“And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah.” [4:62]
“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life.” [8:24].
- Are there any statements from the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanding us, or advising us, which is not in the Qur’an? YES.
- Are they all to be accepted uncritically? NO (but see next point).
- Have the early Muslim community of believers devised a way to ascertain the reliability of a hadith that communicates the Sunnah (and the ‘fail’ of such a hadith)? YES. (See below.)
(Please go to point 17. about whether we should accept your perspective about how to interpret these verses or the perspective of the early Community of believers.)
2. Evidence that the Prophet’s Way (Sunnah) is Revelation too
The Prophet (peace be upon him) did receive the revelation of the Qur’an, of course, but he also said things on a day-to-day basis. And the following verse is not tied to the revelation of the Qur’an only; it suggests (as the early community of believers agreed) that the sayings of the prophet (outside of the Qur’an) can also be considered to be revelation too (and it also agrees with and complements the Qur’an, of course).
Evidence from the Qur’an:
“Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination
It is not but a revelation revealed.”
(Qur’an, an-Najm – The Stars 53:3-4)
This suggests that a) if we’re able to find reports of statements from the Prophet (peace be upon him), b) and if we we’re certain they truly came from him (which is important), then c) such statements would also be considered (based on the Qur’anic verse, above) as important – not purely for historical value, but for their revelatory (and therefore, sacred) value.
“And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveller – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Qur’an, al-Hashar 59:7)
“And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice – i.e. the Qur’an] that you may explain clearly [i.e. the Sunnah] to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.” (Qur’an, al-Nahl – The Bee 16:44 – emphasis, mine.)
3. Evidence that the Companions are vindicated by the Qur’an
You said: “How do we know that the campanions of the prophet are trustworthy? Who has the authority to claim that these are true campanions.”
The Qur’an itself vindicates the value of the Companions as a general rule for a start. The Qur’an commends the Companions.
Evidences from the Qur’an:
“And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought [i.e. the Companions are better]. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted.” (Qur’an, al-Hadid – The Iron 57:10)
“And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar [reference to Companions of Makka and Madina] and those who followed them with good conduct [reference to Successors] – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. This is the great attainment.” (Qur’an, at-Tawbah – The Repentance 9:100)
“And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers [i.e. the Companions] – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” (Qur’an, an-Nisaa 4:115)
So the general rule (from the Qur’an – i.e. from Allah, Most Exalted) is to trust the Companions.
Please also see this post on the significance of the Golden Generation.
4. How can we tell Companion from Hypocrite?
You said: “How do we know the real campanions from the fake comapanions? Who has the authority to claim that these are false ones? according to the Quran many hypocrites were around him.”
This is where seerah, history and context is very important. The statements in the Qur’an that references the Hypocrites, by and large, are talking about known incidents (for instance, their complicity in the treachery of some of the Madinan Jewish tribes etc). So they were actually exposed via their treachery during the battles. We actually know who the most dangerous hypocrites were. And after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him) the hypocrites resurfaced by apostatising with their refusal to pay the Zakat (an order from Allah), so the first caliph, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) had to fight the Ridda Wars. So the next significant threat of Hypocrites was also dealt with by the early community of believers (via ijma, consensus).
The Qur’an does not talk about many hypocrites around the Prophet (peace be upon him), rather, it talks many times about the hypocrites; there is a difference.
Besides, we also know that before the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away, he revealed who the remaining hypocrites were to Hudhayfa bin al Yaman. Hudhayfa did not reveal who they were, as he was ordered not to by the Prophet (peace be upon him). There must be wisdom, here. We must assume this. Presumably this is because they could have no significant impact thereafter against the Ijma (consensus) of the early community of believers, of whom Allah, Most High, has already praised in the Qur’an (See point 3, above) about the fundamentals of the deen. And this is true in that even now we know what that consensus (Ijma) of the early community of believers was in terms of the fundamentals of belief and practice.
5. How can we be certain in the validity of the hadiths?
You said: “How do we know that the people who relate from the campanions are trustworthy? Who has the authority to claim that these are trustworthy and these are not and based on what ?
How do we know that the people who relate form the people who relate from the campanions are trustworthy….”
Hadith criticism isn’t merely about truthful companions and non-truthful companions; there is a range of factors discussed in the study of hadith-criticism from content analysis (matn), reliability of the chain of narrators (isnad) as well as the frequency of the range of hadiths and others.
There are also biographies of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and of the Companions and of the Successors to the Companions and their Successors too. These are contained within the Seerah tradition. The Usul al Seerah (the Sciences of Seerah) as well as usul al hadith (The Sciences of hadith) devote themselves to those questions of defining how we decide one’s trustworthiness and they investigate the validity-question.
6. You said: “The questions are endless.”
Hence (the need for) the disciplines of hadith, usul al hadith, seerah, usul al seerah etc where such questions are dealt with – not ignored. Think about the analogy about ‘throwing out the baby with the bath water.’
7. You said: “all these people have amazing characters and there are no liars.”
Thought-exercise: The reverse of your statement (above) would read as follows:
‘All these people don’t have amazing characters and there are no honest companions.’
If we accept there were honest companions, then we can proceed forward. Couple this with the Qur’an vindicating the Companions generally, so we can be rest assured. Add to that that we know of the major hypocrites who exposed themselves during the early period. Add to that the Prophet ordered Hudhayfah not to reveal the names of the remaining hypocrites, so we must assume there was wisdom in the Prophet (peace be upon him)’s decision. Add to that the fact that the early community of believers (who were sociable, truth-seekers and stricter with sacred norms on themselves) began to sift through the reports (hadith) to discern the range and quality of hadiths ‘out there’.
8. Reasonable Doubt versus Radical Distrust
You said: “But i guess all these people have amazing characters and there are no liars, how did we know it ? Because someone said that that person is trustworthy, based on what ? Based on someone else’s sayings about his life.
You see the whole argument for belief in the hadith is that:
-1 Someone said that that person is trustworthy based on unproven tales or sayings from other people on his life by people considered trustworthy based on unproven tales …”
I see what you’re saying. You possess radical distrust with anything penned from the hadith and seerah tradition and a belief that it is impossible to be ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ about any of the tradition. The default position of the hadith scholar is to distrust the report and find reasons (via evidences) why it can be believed – see Islam QA Sciences of Hadith for a basic guide in the starting point for the sciences of hadith.
The radical distrust stance of rejecting all hadiths outright is an extreme position to take. It mirrors the radical, non-Muslim version of Muslim history (the likes of early Crone and Cook and current-day, Tom Holland) who completely bypass the hadith and seerah tradition (because they don’t trust any testimony from Muslims). They, therefore, end up ‘making up’ their own history. Obviously, ‘made-up’, conjectural history is less reliable to a person of sense. See The Genius of Islam post.
Professor Blinkmanship (a Historian) said of such people, that they may as well do away with the subject of History altogether because most events in history relied on the testimony of people less known (evidenced) than the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and less corroborated. Ergo, the radical distrust stance is an absurd position to take. See Issue 3 from The Hadith Critical Method and its Criticisms post.
Besides, Hadiths aren’t classed in two categories: true and false. There is a range of classifications from fabricated (i.e. definitely a lie), weak (i.e. be wary of this one), sound (i.e. beyond reasonable doubt, this is likely to be a statement from the prophet), authentic (i.e. this is definitely a statement from the prophet; there is too much evidence stacked in its favour) amongst other categories. Please see The Hadiths Had It. Well, They Still Have It post.
9. You said: “2 Many people have said the same thing therefore that thing is true.”
This is simplifying a whole science. But consider (as a thought-experiment): ‘Many people have said the same thing therefore that thing is false.’ Clearly, it is not purely about the number; it is about the truth of a statement from a range of categories.
10. You said: “If the sayings of the prophet are so important for the later generations, why didn’t the prophet write a preserved book called “The hadith of the prophet”?”
A) The sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was important right from the beginning. Some Companions asked if they could write them down, but he initially said no, because he didn’t want to mix his words with the Qur’anic words that they were memorising. However, later, when pressed again, he agreed, because he was confident the Companions knew major portions of the Qur’an and could distinguish the difference between Qur’an and Sunnah (hadith). SOURCE: ‘Studies in Early Hadith Literature’ by M. M. Azami, pg 23-24.
B) He chose not to compose his own book… period; we must assume, therefore, that his decision not to is wiser. We can rationalise many reasons why he decided not to, but those reasons don’t matter because it didn’t happen and clearly he didn’t need to compose his own book.
It also requires effort to seek the truth; we have become accustomed to the ‘convenience culture’ of modernity and are using this as the standard, expecting everything to be handed to us on a plate. This is the wrong premise. See point 16 about Modernity, below.
11. You said: “According to the Quran he can write.”
No he can’t.
Evidence from the Qur’an:
“Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the Tawraat and the Injeel, – he commands them for al-Ma’roof (i.e., Islamic monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from al-Munkar (i.e., disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful al-Tayyibaat (i.e., all good and lawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), and prohibits them as unlawful al-khabaa’ith (i.e., all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah’s Covenant) and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him (Muhammad), honour him, help him and follow the light (the Qur’aan) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.” (Qur’an, al-A’raaf 7:157)
12. You said: “He would be avoiding endless fabrications and only his word will be transmited.
You see there wouldnt be all this mess people saying form here that one from there…”
The fabricated hadiths have all been dealt with generations ago by experts in hadith analysis. We know which are the fabricated ones. The problem you have is since you’re doubting the authentic ones, you don’t really have a criterion to assess them – except to say that we can’t assess any of them, so they’re all false.
Conclusion: the fabricated hadiths are not even a fitna any longer for Muslims. (The real fitna is a lack of knowledge of our own deen. Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen,)
13. You said: “My real argument is that according to the Quran:
-The prophet was never autorised to utter sayings other than the Quran.[Al Haqqah 40-46].”
I checked the verses you quoted:
“[That] indeed, the Qur’an is the word of a noble Messenger.
And it is not the word of a poet; little do you believe.
Nor the word of a soothsayer; little do you remember.
[It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
And if Muhammad had made up about Us some [false] sayings,
We would have seized him by the right hand;
Then We would have cut from him the aorta.”
This verse explicitly explains and confirms that the Wahy of the Qur’an (given to the Prophet, peace be upon him) is purely from Allah, Most High – which is what we say, believe and agree with anyway; it does not demonstrate that he was “never autorised to utter sayings other than” the Qur’an – unfortunately you have interpreted this into the verse.
14. You said: “The prophet had only the Quran as revelation. [Al Anam 19].”
I checked the verse you quoted:
“Say, “What thing is greatest in testimony?” Say, ” Allah is witness between me and you. And this Qur’an was revealed to me that I may warn you thereby and whomever it reaches. Do you [truly] testify that with Allah there are other deities?” Say, “I will not testify [with you].” Say, “Indeed, He is but one God, and indeed, I am free of what you associate [with Him].””
This verse confirms that the Qur’an is the ‘greatest‘ testimony, no doubt, but this does not preclude the Sunnah as being ‘great’. Indeed, coupled with the numerous verses ordering the Believers to follow the Prophet, peace be upon him – i.e. via the Sunnah (indicated earlier) – this cannot be ignored; we need a total or holistic approach – not a one-sided, skew-whiff one; and this holistic approach is precisely what the early Community of Believers (The Golden Generation) were about.
15. You said: “The Quran is complete, preserved and clear and doesn’t need any book to make it clear.”
The Qur’an is complete and preserved, yes.
However, the Qur’an is not as clear as you think because if it was, how is it that we are differing? We do need tafsir (commentaries) to comprehend how the Prophet or the Companions understood the Qur’an in its enunciation; how they interacted with it in context; and through it, how the companions were following the Prophet (peace be upon him). This will have historical-social-moral-cultural significance for our lives even now. It is certainly not something to be ignored.
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah…” (Qur’an 2:2)
Clearly there is no doubt about the Qur’an – but those who seek only Allah’s guidance (i.e. those who are conscious of Allah) will take seriously all avenues connected to Him (i.e. the Qur’an and Sunnah according to the understanding of the early community of Islam) and not rule out of hand such avenues based on one’s own opinion.
Doing so will lead us astray as the total meaning of the Qur’an is blocked to that one who ends up following his opinion in how to interpret the Qur’an. (See point 15 and the warnings below.)
So, then, how is the Qur’an Mubeen (clear)?
The Qur’an is Mubeen (clear) in that despite it being written in the very best Arabic – a literary language – it is still possible to be accessible to the hearts of all, including the layman.
16. Very Important Questions to Answer if You Distrust All Hadith
- How was the Qur’an relayed to us (if not via the testimony of the Companions)? You need to research the compilation of the Qur’an and understand the notion of Mutawattir reporting of hadiths.
- How do we pray salah? The Qur’an tells us when to pray, but not how to pray. We know how to pray via the hadiths that report the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
- How do we know when to do Jummah? And how to do it? Answer: from the hadiths that came to complement the Qur’an.
These are not new ideas; they are the very practice of the early community of believers as legitimised by the Prophet (peace be upon him) via the Sunnah (hadiths).
17. Warning 1: Following Hawa (Desire and Opinion)
The crux, here, is to do with a warning about following our Hawa (Desires and Opinions). Although we might say we follow the Qur’an, without the Sunnah and the understanding of the early community of the believers (that the Qur’an advises us to possess), we will inevitably rely upon our own Desires and Opinions to interpret the Qur’an. This is a dangerous business.
Evidence from the Qur’an:
“Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] hawa [desire and opinion], and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah? Then will you not be reminded?” (Qur’an, al-Jathiya 45:23)
“Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own hawa [desire ad opinion]? Then would you be responsible for him?” (Qur’an, al-Furqan 25:43)
This takes us to the next two points:
a) Should we accept your word for it? Or should we accept the word of the early community of believers? Let’s say, Abdullah Ibn Masud or Abdullah Ibn Umar or others, for instance… This is a no-brainer. I am more inclined to trust the early community of believers because they were closer to the Prophet (peace be upon him), they lived and breathed with him, and saw how he was, and they are commended in the Qur’an and in hadiths… whereas you and I are nobodies!
b) Relying on interpreting the Qur’an for oneself implies one is willing to use one’s own reason. See the problem of relying on pure reason in point 18, below.
18. Warning2: The Modern hegemony
Furthermore, this insistence in using our own reason (alone) to comprehend the deen is something being pushed by those influenced by the Modern (Western, anti-thestic, anti-Islam) Secular Liberal mindset. Western cultural history has witnessed the demise of the Christian Church in Europe due to a tradition that began by using ‘pure reason’ to make sense of its own religion. This was the tradition of radical doubt (Descartes) that commentators herald as the advent of modernity. The problem, here is that this whole trajectory of thinking relies on the pivotal role given to the Self.
See The Non-Affiliated, Civic, Secular-Modern Deen of Philosophical Liberalism to see how the modern tradition is really the worship of the Self. Moreover, this world-view was one developed through the cultural prism of Western Christendom. As such, many of its assumptions are Eurocentric and does not apply to the Muslim historical-religio-cultural context; indeed, its self-projections to universalism is a mutated hang-over from the Paulian Christianisation project for all gentiles, which nonetheless is in competition with the more authentic Islamic worldview that has from the start seen itself as universal and possesses the stronger case.
We are free to follow in the same footsteps as the Christian or post-Christians but it would be a serious departure from the precedent set by the Prophet, peace be upon him.
“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘You will indeed follow the ways of those before you, hand span by hand span, and an arms length after another. Even if they enter into a lizard’s hole, you will follow them.’ We (the Companions) asked, ‘Is it the Jews and the Christians?’ He replied, ‘Who else!’” (Source: Bukhari.)
19. Warning 3: The Example of the Christians
Moreover, another reason that the Christian Religion unravelled when ‘Pure Reason’ came to inspect it via the Biblical Criticism project since the seventeenth century was that the Christian religion had become a tradition based on conjecture – unlike the Islamic tradition that relies upon the more robust foundations of Qur’an and Sunnah.
Though Allah, Most High, has given a prominent role to those that call themselves ‘Christians’, He has simultaneously used them as a sign for those that truly believe in Him (i.e. any that submit to Him, alone – i.e. linguistically: the Muslim).
“Similar situations [as yours] have passed on before you, so proceed throughout the earth and observe how was the end of those who denied.” (Qur’an 3:136)
“Guide us upon the straight path and not of those who have earned your anger nor of those who have gone astray.” (Qur’an, 1:5-6)
Traditional commentators of the Qur’an used to mention how the reference to ‘those who went astray’ were the Christians – although it need not exclusively apply to them, but to anyone who without adequate knowledge or care ignores the Prophetic call – or alters it.
The Christians began to deny the religion of ‘Isa (peace be upon him) and adopt the way of the Great Innovator, St Paul, who professed to know the religion of ‘Isa but really relied on his own opinions (hawa) about what that was; he had never met the Prophet, peace be upon him. See When To Paul Became a Verb.
The Islamic religion of ‘Isa was never really meant to last because every Prophet was sent to their nation or tribe, which implies transience as nations and tribes rise and fall.
“He [Jesus, peace be upon him] answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” “ (The Bible, Matthew 15:24)
“And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut [corruption].” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So proceed through the earth and observe how was the end of the deniers.” (Qur’an, al-Nahl 16:36)
And yet instead, it was St Paul, who actually promoted a different religion to the pure teachings of ‘Isa (peace be upon him), which was supplanted by St Paul’s ideas which took hold of the Byzantine world first, then the rest of the world. St Paul’s vision was not limited to the ‘tribe of Israel’ as ‘Isa’s mission was (peace be upon him).
This might explain why Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent a few hundred years later (after ‘Isa’s ascension): the deen needed renewal after St Paul’s religiously false innovation (bid’ah) was making tremendous headway. With St Paul’s desire to spread the message to the gentiles, presumably, there was a spiritual need for the final revelation of Allah, Most High, to take a global direction to act as a corrective to man’s unfortunate error in spreading a corrupted religion world-wide. Who knows Allah’s reasons? Allah Knows Best.
Whatever the case, Muhammad, peace be upon him, was the Last Prophet (Qur’an 33:40) and he was sent as a “mercy for the Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists or the worlds)” (Qur’an 21:107). This demonstrates that his was explicitly and authentically meant to be a global and universal project.
When Christians try to get close to God, they look to their New Testament. The New Testament acts more like the Seerah (a historical account or biography), but within it are a limited number of reports by Jesus that Christians might ponder over. Practically speaking, these reports are like hadiths recounting what Jesus said. However, they do not possess the Isnad (the chain of narrators), which raises doubts to do with validity. These are written statements claimed to have been spoken by him and yet we do not know with certainty from whom these statements originally came from – except from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; the four gospel writers only penned down what they had seen written or had heard from elsewhere but we don’t know the source of the original words of the Prophet ‘Isa, peace be upon him. Indeed, we don’t really know who Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are either. In fact, often in the Bible it might say that Jesus (peace be upon him) spoke the words of God, Most High, to the people, but it omits what his actual words were (see Calling Christians: Wael Ibrahim) – so we’re frequently actually missing his hadiths in the New Testament.
However, it would have been valuable for the Christians to have a hadith-system (as we have) to discern what ‘Isa, peace be upon him, actually said; that is to say, to know what the wahy (revelation) was that Allah, Most High, gave him directly (i.e. the Injil), and the wahy that was his Sunnah.
Unfortunately, we can only rely on extant copies of the bible and work it out this way, which is inadequate when compared to the rigorous methods of the Qur’anic compilation and the hadith sciences.
In fact, the Christians believe their sacred tradition was contained within an oral culture before it was written down. And so there is a similarity with the oracy in the early Muslim tradition, except hadiths were written down within the lifetime of the Last Prophet (peace be upon him), as indicated earlier, whereas no one thought to write out ‘Isa’s hadiths (peace be upon him) whilst he was still alive and instead tried to recreate a biography from what they could glean from the remnants of a later oral culture.
“The earliest version to survive [of] the [New Testament] is Mark’s Gospel. It was probably written between… 75 and 85 [CE],” (Source: History World) which is about fifty years or more after ‘Isa’s ascension.
It was narrated from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma’di Yakrib (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“Verily I have been given the Qur’an and something similar to it along with it. But soon there will be a time when a man will be reclining on his couch with a full stomach, and he will say, ‘You should adhere to this Qur’an: what you find that it says is permissible, take it as permissible, and what you find it says is forbidden, take it as forbidden.’ But indeed, whatever the Messenger of Allah forbids is like what Allah forbids.”
Source: Tirmidhi (2664)
From the famous Prophet’s Farewell Sermon (peace be upon him) on his last Hajj which was extensively documented:
“…I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.” Source: Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmed. See Iqra Sense: the Last Sermon of the Prophet.
“I have left among you two matters by holding fast to which, you shall never be misguided: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet.” Source: Abdul Malik Muwatta, Bukhari, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi. See Sunnah Link