Is the Qur’an Sufficient on its Own?: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote:

قال : اﻻ يكفي القرآن فقط..ام انه (يحتاج) الي سنة؟؟ ـ

A person asks, “Is the Qur’an sufficient on its own, or is it in need of the Sunnah?”

الجواب : القرآن العظيم يحتاج إلى السنة لتبينه، وهي قاضية عليه . قال الله تعالى : ﴿…وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ٤٤﴾ [النحل: 44]. وقال تعالى: ﴿وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ٦٤﴾ [النحل: 64]. ـ

Response: The Qur’an needs the Sunnah to clarify it, and the Sunnah is a definitive word regarding the Qur’an. Allah said:

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

And We sent down the dhikr to you in order to make clear to the people what has been sent down to them and in order that they would reflect. [16:44]

and He said:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

And We did not reveal the Book to you for any other reason than to clarify for them what they have been differing about and as a guidance and a mercy for the believing people. [16:64]

فالسنة تبين القرآن وتفسره، فلا يكفي القرآن العظيم بدون السنة؛ والسنة وحي أوحاه الله إلى نبيه محمد – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال تبارك وتعالى: {مَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى. إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى} (النجم:3 – 4). والرسول – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أوتي القرآن ومثله معه. ـ

The Sunnah acts as a clarification and explanation of the Qur’an, therefore the Qur’an is not sufficient without the Sunnah. The Sunnah is divine revelation which Allah gave to His prophet Muhammad. Allah said:

مَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى * إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

The Prophet does not speak of his own desires * It is only a divine revelation that has been sent. [53:3-4]

and the Messenger was given both the Qur’an and something like it along with it.

قال صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” أَلَا إِنِّي أُوتِيتُ الْكِتَابَ وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ. أَلَا يُوشِكُ رَجُلٌ شَبْعَانُ عَلَى أَرِيكَتِهِ يَقُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ بِهَذَا الْقُرْآنِ فَمَا وَجَدْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ حَلَالٍ فَأَحِلُّوهُ وَمَا وَجَدْتُمْ فِيهِ مِنْ حَرَامٍ فَحَرِّمُوهُ! أَلَا لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ لَحْمُ الْحِمَارِ الْأَهْلِيِّ وَلَا كُلُّ ذِي نَابٍ مِنْ السَّبُعِ وَلَا لُقَطَةُ مُعَاهِدٍ إِلَّا أَنْ يَسْتَغْنِيَ عَنْهَا صَاحِبُهَا وَمَنْ نَزَلَ بِقَوْمٍ فَعَلَيْهِمْ أَنْ يَقْرُوهُ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَقْرُوهُ فَلَهُ أَنْ يُعْقِبَهُمْ بِمِثْلِ قِرَاهُ”. أخرجه أبوداود. ـ

The Prophet said:

I have been given the Book and something like it along with it. But soon there will come a man, full and lying on his couch[1] who would say, “Stick to this Qur’an; whatever things you find in it to be halaal then consider them as halaal and whatever things you find in it to be haraam then consider them as haraam!” Nay, the meat of the domesticated donkeys is not permissible for you; nor is eating beasts of prey that have fangs; nor is taking ownership of some lost property of a disbeliever of an amicable state, unless its owner does not want it. And if a traveler comes to a people, then they must host him as a guest. If they do not host him, then he has a right to take an amount commiserate to that of hosting him from them.

This was reported by Abu Dawud.

ولفظ الترمذي: “أَلَا هَلْ عَسَى رَجُلٌ يَبْلُغُهُ الْحَدِيثُ عَنِّي وَهُوَ مُتَّكِئٌ عَلَى أَرِيكَتِهِ فَيَقُولُ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ فَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهِ حَلَالًا اسْتَحْلَلْنَاهُ وَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهِ حَرَامًا حَرَّمْنَاهُ. وَإِنَّ مَا حَرَّمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَمَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ” أخرجه أبوداود في كتاب السنة، باب لزوم السنة، وسنده صحيح، وأخرجه الترمذي في كتاب العلم باب رقم 60، حديث رقم (2664)، وقال: حسن غريب. والحديث أخرجه أحمد في مسنده (4/ 130) بنحو لفظ أبي داود، وفي (4/ 132) بنحو لفظ الترمذي، وأخرجه ابن ماجة في المقدمة باب تعظيم حديث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، حديث رقم (12)، بنحو لفظ الترمذي. وهو من حديث المقدام بن معد يكرب، رضي الله عنه. والحديث صححه الألباني في مختصر سنن ابن ماجة (1/ 7)، وكذا محقق جامع الأصول (1/ 281). ـ

In the wording of al-Tirmidhi, this hadith comes as:

Soon a hadith from me will be conveyed to a man reclining on his couch and he will say, “The judge between you and me is the Book of Allah, so whatever we find in it to be halaal then let’s take that to be halaal and whatever we find in it to be haraam let’s take that to be haraam.” But what Allah’s Messenger has made haraam is just like what Allah has made haraam.

Abu Dawud brought his hadith in his Sunan within the chapter on the Sunnah in the section on “Sticking to the Sunnah“, and its chain of narration is sound. al-Tirmidhi brought his hadith in his Sunan within the chapter on Knowledge – hadith #2664 – and he said it is hasan ghareeb. Ahmad also brought this narration in his musnad with a wording similar to that of Abu Dawud’s (4/130) as well as with a wording similar to that of al-Tirmidhi’s (4/132). Ibn Maajah mentioned it in his introduction (#12) under the section of “Revering the Statements of Allah’s Messenger” with a wording similar to that of al-Tirmidhi. And this is one of the narrations of al-Miqdam ibn Ma’d Yakarib (may Allah be pleased with him). al-Albaani graded this hadith as sound in his abridgement of Sunan ibn Maajah (1/7), as did the checker of Jaami’ al-Usool (1/281)

وفي سنن الدارمي في المقدمة بَابٌ: السُّنَّةُ قَاضِيَةٌ عَلَى كِتَابِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى، تحت رقم (607) وسنده جيد كما قال محققه؛ عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، قَالَ: «السُّنَّةُ قَاضِيَةٌ عَلَى الْقُرْآنِ، وَلَيْسَ الْقُرْآنُ بِقَاضٍ عَلَى السُّنَّةِ» ـ

There is also this narration in Sunan al-Daarimi, in the introduction under the section of “The Sunnah is a Definitive Word Regarding the Book of Allah” under #607, with a good chain of narration according to the checker, that Yahya ibn Abi Kathir said, “The Sunnah is a definitive word regarding the Qur’an while the Qur’an cannot act as a proof against the Sunnah.”

وتحت رقم (610) بإسناد صحيح كما قال محققه عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ أَنَّهُ حَدَّثَ يَوْمًا بِحَدِيثٍ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ: فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ مَا يُخَالِفُ هَذَا، قَالَ: «لَا أُرَانِي أُحَدِّثُكَ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَتُعَرِّضُ فِيهِ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ، كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَعْلَمَ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى مِنْكَ». ـ

Also under hadith #610 with a sound chain of narration according to the checker there is a narration from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr that one day he narrated a hadith of the Prophet and a man said to him, “There is something in the Book of Allah which goes against that,” so he replied, “Don’t think that I am narrating something to you from Allah’s Messenger which contradicts the Book of Allah! Allah’s Messenger was more knowledgeable of Allah’s Book than you are!”

فلا بد مع القرآن العظيم من سنة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لأنها هي المفسرة والمبينة له. و لا يستغني القرآن العظيم عن السنة! وبالله التوفيق! ـ

So the Qur’an must be accompanied with the Sunnah of the Prophet because the Sunnah acts as an explanation and clarification of the Qur’an and because the Qur’an is not sufficient without the Sunnah.

And Allah is the grantor of success!

[Published on the sheikh’s Facebook page here 9/23/2018]

[1] Translator’s Note: In his well-known commentary on Sunan Abu Dawud, Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-‘Atheem Abaadi wrote:

وأراد بهذه الصفة أصحاب الترفه والدعة الذين لزموا البيوت ولم يطلبوا العلم من مظانه

The intended meaning of these characteristics is that they are describing the people of luxury who just remain in their homes without seeking knowledge, instead sticking to their own opinions.

[‘Awn al-Ma’bood #4604]

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

See also: Turning Away from the Sources of Tafsir: Ibn Taymiyah

See also: How the Prophet Explained the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: The Best Methods of Explaining the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

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One thought on “Is the Qur’an Sufficient on its Own?: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

  1. Pingback: How the Prophet Explained the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

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