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Understanding Islam Through Hadis R Swarup

Understanding Islam Through Hadis R Swarup

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Published by: kushalmehra on Sep 25, 2011
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01/17/2013

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Understanding Isl
¯
am ThroughH
¯
ad
¯
is
Religious Faith or Fanaticism? 
Reformatted fromhttp://www.bharatvani.org/books/uithwith hyperlinked Contents entries
Ram Swarup
 
2
 
i
INTRODUCTION
Isl¯am is not merely a theology, or a statement about
All 
¯
a
and his relationship withHis creatures. Besides containing doctrinal and creedal material, it deals with social,penal, commercial, ritualistic, and ceremonial matters. It enters into everything, even intosuch private areas as one’s dress, marrying, and mating. In the language of the Muslimtheologians, Isl¯am is a “complete” and “completed” religion.It is equally political and military. It has much to do with statecraft, and it has a veryspecific view of the world peopled by infidels. Since most of the world is still infidel, it isvery important for those who are not Muslims to understand Isl¯am.The sources of Isl¯am are two: the
Qur 
¯
a
and the
Had 
¯
i
s
(“Sayings” or “Traditions”),usually called the
Sunn 
¯
a
(“customs”), both having their center in Muhammad. The
Qur-
¯
a
contains the Prophet’s “revelations” (
wahy 
); the
Had 
¯
i
s
, all that he did or said, orenjoined, forbade or did not forbid, approved or disapproved. The word
Had 
¯
i
s
, singularin form (pl.
ah 
¯
a
¯
i
s
), is also used collectively for all the traditions taken together, for thewhole sacred tradition.Muslim theologians make no distinction between the
Qur 
¯
a
and the
Had 
¯
i
s
. To themboth are works of revelation or inspiration. The quality and degree of the revelation inboth works is the same; only the mode of expression is different. To them, the
Had 
¯
i
s
is the
Qur 
¯
a
in action, revelation made concrete in the life of the Prophet. In the
Qur 
¯
a
,
All 
¯
a
speaks through Muhammad; in the
Sunn 
¯
a
, He acts through him. Thus Muhammad’s lifeis a visible expression of 
All 
¯
a
’s utterances in the
Qur 
¯
a
. God provides the divine principle,Muhammad the living pattern. No wonder, then, that Muslim theologians regard the
Qur-
¯
a
and the
Had 
¯
i
s
as being supplementary or even interchangeable. To them, the
Had 
¯
i
s
is
wahy ghair matl 
¯
u
(“unread revelation,” that is, not read from the Heavenly Book like the
Qur 
¯
a
but inspired all the same); and the
Qur 
¯
a
is
had 
¯
i
s mutw 
¯
a
tir 
, that is, the Traditionconsidered authentic and genuine by all Muslims from the beginning.Thus the
Qur 
¯
a
and the
Had 
¯
i
s
provide equal guidance.
All 
¯
a
with the help of HisProphet has provided for every situation. Whether a believer is going to a mosque or tohis bedroom or to the toilet, whether he is making love or war, there is a command and apattern to follow. And according to the
Qur 
¯
a
, when
All 
¯
a
and His Apostle have decideda matter, the believer does not have his or her own choice in the matter (33:36).And yet situations do arise when the guidance is lacking. It is said of 
Im 
¯
a
ibn Hanbal(b. A. H. 164, d. A. H. 241 = A. D. 780-855) that he never ate watermelons, even thoughhe knew that the Prophet had done so, because he did not know his manner of eating them.The same story is related even of B¯ayazid Bist¯an, a great S¯ufi, whose mystical teachings

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