Supposed Contradictions between the Qur’an and Hadeeth: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

The following important clarification was written by Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Bazmool:

كيف نفسر وجود الاختلاف والتعارض بين الحديث والقرآن العظيم، والله تبارك وتعالى يقول: ﴿أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً﴾ (النساء:82)؟ ـ

How do we explain the presence of discrepancies and contradictions between the hadeeth and the Qur’an while Allah says:

أَفَلاَ يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِندِ غَيْرِ اللّهِ لَوَجَدُواْ فِيهِ اخْتِلاَفاً كَثِيراً

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. [4:82]

والجواب: وقوع الاختلاف والتعارض بين الأحاديث والقرآن العظيم، يرجع لأسباب: ـ

Response: The presence of discrepancy and contradictions between various ahaadeeth and the Qur’an comes from a handful of reasons:

السبب الأول: الجهل بالمعنى المراد، من الآية والحديث؛ ـ

The first reason: Ignorance of the intended meaning of an ayah or hadeeth.

مثال ذلك حديث الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم: “لن يدخل أحد الجنة بعمله”، مع قوله تعالى: ﴿وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ } (الأعراف:43)، وقوله: ﴿الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴾ (النحل:32)، وقوله: ﴿وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (الزخرف:72)، وقوله: ﴿كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (الطور:19)، وقوله: ﴿كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ﴾ (المرسلات:43). ـ

An example of that is the hadeeth of the Messenger (ﷺ), “No one of you will ever enter al-Jannah because of his deeds,” along with Allah’s statement:

وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” [7:43]

and His statement:

الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ يَقُولُونَ سَلامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

The ones whom the angels take in death, [being] good and pure; [the angels] will say, “Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do.” [16:32]

and His statement:

وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And that is Paradise which you are made to inherit for what you used to do. [43:72]

and His statement:

كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you used to do.” [52:19]

and His statement:

كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you used to do.” [77:43]

فنفى في الحديث دخول الجنة بالعمل، وأثبته في الآيات المذكورات؟! ـ

So is the hadeeth negating entrance into al-Jannah due to one’s deeds, while these aforementioned ayaat are affirming that?

وسبب الإشكال الجهل بالمعنى المراد في الآيات والأحاديث، وأقول: لا إشكال بحمد الله و لا تعارض و لا اختلاف؛ لأن المراد في الحديث : لن يكون عمل الإنسان عوضاً للجنة، و لا قيمة مساوية لها، فإن نعم الله على العباد كثيرة، وعمل العبد شكراً لهذه النعم فإنه لا يكافيء نعمة منها كنعمة البصر أو نعمة السمع، فكيف يكون عمله عوضاً وقيمة للجنة؟! ـ

The reason for this issue is ignorance of the intended meaning of these ayaat and ahaadeeth. And I say: there is no problem – alhamdulillaah – nor is there any contradiction or discrepancy, for the meaning of the hadeeth is that a person’s deeds could never be used as a payment for al-Jannah nor are they of equal value to it. For Allah’s blessings upon His slaves are abundant and a slave’s actions are a form of gratitude for these blessings. They cannot amount to a single one of Allah’s blessings, whether that be the blessing of vision of the blessing of hearing, so then how could one’s deeds be a payment for al-Jannah or of equal value to it?!

وأما الآيات فالمراد فيها أن لعمل سبب لدخول الجنة، فمن عمل الصالحات، وصدق الرسول صلوات الله وسلامه عليهم، وأتبعهم وعمل الصالحات دخل الجنة، بسبب ذلك. ـ

And as for those ayaat, the meaning that they are communicating is that deeds are a cause for entering al-Jannah, so whoever performs righteous good deeds, believes in the Messenger (ﷺ), follows him and performs good deeds will enter al-Jannah as a result of that.

فالعمل المنفي في الحديث هو العمل الذي يكون عوضاً وقيمة للجنة، والباء فيه تسمى باء العوض. ـ

For the type of deed which is being negated in the hadeeth is a deed which would act as a payment of equal value to al-Jannah, and the particle baa in that hadeeth is called “the baa of compensation”.

والعمل المثبت لدخول الجنة، هو العمل الذي يكون سبباً في دخولها، والباء في الآيات تسمى باء السببية! ـ

But the type of deed that is being affirmed as entering one into al-Jannah is a deed which acts as a cause for one to enter al-Jannah, and the particle baa in these ayaat is called “the baa of causation”.

السبب الثاني: عدم ثبوت الحديث أصلاً، فيكون حديثاً موضوعاً أو ضعيفاً لا يعمل به، فيقع التعارض بسبب ذلك. ـ

The second reason: That the hadeeth lacks authenticity in the first place. So it could be a fabricated hadeeth, or it could be one which is weak and not acted upon. So apparent contradiction could arise from this.

السبب الثالث: أن يكون الحديث منسوخاً. ـ

The third reason: That the hadeeth has been abrogated.

السبب الرابع: أن يكون في الحديث زيادة على ما في القرآن، فتظن تعارضاً واختلافاً وليست كذلك. ـ

The fourth reason: That the hadeeth in question contains some information that acts as a supplement to what is in the Qur’an. So you might think this to be a contradiction or discrepancy when that isn’t actually the case.

وأمثل على ذلك بمثال: ما جاء في الحديث : “نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عن كل ذي ناب أو مخلب من السباع”، مع قوله تعالى: ﴿قُل لاَّ أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوْحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّماً عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلاَّ أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَماً مَّسْفُوحاً أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقاً أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ﴾ (الأنعام:145)، و لا تعارض و لا اختلاف، و لا إشكال؛ فإن تحريم كل ذي ناب وذي مخلب من السباع، مما زادته السنة على القرآن، وهو يدخل في قوله تبارك وتعالى: ﴿وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ﴾ (الحشر:7). ـ

I will provide an example of this: Consider what comes in the hadeeth, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) prohibited eating any predatory animal with fangs or talons,” along with Allah’s statement:

قُل لَّا أَجِدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّمًا عَلَىٰ طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلَّا أَن يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَمًا مَّسْفُوحًا أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقًا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّـهِ بِهِ ۚ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Say, “I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine – for indeed, it is impure – or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.” [6:145]

However there is no contradiction or discrepancy between these, nor is there any problem. For the prohibition of eating any predatory animal possessing fangs or talons is something which the Sunnah added to the Qur’an, and this falls under Allah’s statement:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

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. [59:7]

وقضية مفهوم الحصر في الآية لا إشكال فيها، فإنه جاء على سبيل قلب الدعوى على الكفار الذين كانوا يستبيحون أكل هذه المحرمات، فالآية تقول: إنما الحرام ما استبحتم أكله من كذا وكذا، فالحصر فيها إضافي، فلا يراد فيه إباحة ما عدا المذكورات. ـ

But as for the implication in that ayah [6:145] that the prohibited foods are limited to these items, this is not really a problem, for the phrasing in it which implies the limit comes as a sort of pointed response and rejoinder to the disbelievers who used to permit the consumption of these forbidden things. So the ayah is saying, “The only prohibited items out of those food which you consider permissible to eat are these ones”. So the restrictive language is in relation to their claim; it does not mean that everything else besides these mentioned items is permissible.

كما لو خاطبت من يعتقد أن المتنبي ليس بشاعر، فتقول له: لا شاعر إلا المتنبي، تريد قلب كلامه، وتقرير شاعرية المتنبي، بدون قصد لنفي الشاعرية عن غيره، وهذا يعرف في البلاغة بفائدة القلب في أسلوب الحصر. ـ

This is like if you were talking to someone who didn’t believe that [the famous poet] al-Mutanabbi was a poet, you might say, “If Mutanabbi isn’t a poet, then no one is a poet” [lit. “There is no poet other than al-Mutanabbi”]. Your intent is a sort of pointed rejoinder to his words and an affirmation that al-Mutanabbi was indeed a poet but without any intent to deny that there are other poets. And in Arabic rhetoric, this is a known way of turning a statement on its head by using this type of restrictive language.  

السبب الخامس: أن تكون الآية والحديث من باب المتشابه الذي ينبغي أن يرد على المحكم، ومثال ذلك، ما ورد في السنة من تحريم الربا قليلة وكثيرة، مع قوله تعالى: ﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ الرِّبَا أَضْعَافاً مُّضَاعَفَةً وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ﴾ (آل عمران:130)؛ ـ

The fifth reason: That the ayah and the hadeeth belong to the category of the mutashaabih (ambiguous) texts which must be referred back to the muhkam (clear) texts. An example of this is the prohibition of usury – whether it be in small amounts of large amounts – that comes in the Sunnah, compared against Allah’s statement:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُّضَاعَفَةً ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful. [3:130]

ولا إشكال في الآية، فإنها من المتشابه الذي يرد على المحكم، ولذلك يقال: لا مفهوم مخالفة للآية هنا، وقد يقال: الآية تتحدث عن واقع معين كان وقت نزولها، أو عن ما يؤول إليه حال من يتعامل بالربا، فإنه يبدأ يسيراً ثم يتضاعف إلى أضعاف كثيرة. ـ

But there is no issue with this ayah, for it is one of the mutashaabih texts which is referred back to the muhkam texts. In line with that, it is said that there is no implication present here in contradiction to this ayah. Or it could be that this ayah is referring to a specific event during the time of the revelation, or that that those who deal in usury will eventually end up with this situation, because they begin with a small amount and then it becomes multiplied until it reaches a considerable amount.

ويلاحظ أن جميع هذه الأسباب ترجع إلى سببين: ـ
الأول : عدم ثبوت الحديث، إما لأنه ضعيف، أو لأنه منسوخ. ـ
الثاني : الجهل بالمراد منه. ـ
والله الموفق. ـ

And it can be observed that all of these reasons ultimately go back to one of two reasons:

1) A hadeeth not being authentic – that it is either weak or abrogated.

2) Ignorance of the intended meaning of the hadeeth.

And Allah is the granter of success.

[Taken from the social media of sheikh Muhammad Bazmool here]

See also: Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen

See also: The Importance of Tafsir and its Sources: Sheikh al-Fawzan

See also: The Meanings of Muhkam, Mutashaabih, and Ta’weel: al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah

See also: The Wisdom of Dividing the Qur’an into Muhkam and Mutashaabih Verses: Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

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2 thoughts on “Supposed Contradictions between the Qur’an and Hadeeth: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

  1. Pingback: Supposed Contradictions in the Qur’an: ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Forbidden Foods in Surah al-Nahl: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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