Rejecting the Sunnah in Order to Reinterpret the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

In 2015, Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool, a professor at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, wrote a series of posts on his personal blog entitled “The Types of People Who Reject the Sunnah”. We have translated all six installments of this series and present them to you below:

الذين ينكرون السنة أصناف؛ – منهم من ينكر السنة من أصلها ويردها كالقرآنيين. – ومنهم من يرد السنة الآحادية؛ لأنها ظنية بزعمه. – ومنهم من يثبت الحكم الشرعي بالآحاد، ولا يثبت الحكم العقدي إلا بالمتواتر. فلا تثبت عنده سنة احادية بظني، والآحاد عنده كله ظني. – ومنهم من يزعم أنه لا يرد السنة ولكن يطعن في كتبها ويشكك في ثبوتها من جهة دعوى اختلاق أسانيدها. – ومنهم من لا يقبل إلا السنة المنقول بعمل المسلمين ويرد ما عداها. – ومنهم من يطعن في أفراد من الأحاديث ليتوصل بذلك إلى التشكيك في كتب السنة الصحيحة. – ومنهم من يطعن في أعلام الحديث الناقلين للسنة. فهذه أصناف من الطاعنين في السنة، وهدفهم في النهاية إسقاط الدين. ـ

[Part One]

Those who reject the Sunnah fall into several different categories.

• There are those who deny and reject the Sunnah at its very core, such as the Qur’aniyyoon.

• There are those who reject the parts of the Sunnah transmitted through only one narrator because, according to them, such things cannot be confirmed with certainty.

• There are those who affirm legal rulings transmitted through only one narrator but do not affirm points of ‘aqeedah unless they come through multiple independent corroborating chains of narration. So they do not affirm these singular chains of narration due to their uncertain nature, and they claim that all such singular narrations are of uncertain authenticity.

• There are those who claim that they do not reject the Sunnah yet they impugn the books of the Sunnah and raise doubts about their authenticity by alleging that their chains of narration have been fabricated and concocted.

• There are those who only accept those parts of the Sunnah which have been transmitted through the practices of the Muslims and reject anything outside of that.

• There are those who call certain hadith narrations into question as a ruse to create doubt regarding the authentic books of the Sunnah.

• There are those who malign the scholars of hadith who transmitted the Sunnah to us.

These are the different categories of people who seek to cast doubts on the Sunnah, and their end goal is to do away with the religion.

[Part Two]

ذكرت في المنشور السابق أصناف من الطاعنين في السنة، وأن وهدفهم في النهاية إسقاط الدين… وذلك؛ لأنهم يريدون في حقيقة الحال إبطال الدين كما جاءنا عن السلف الصالح. ووجه ذلك: ـ

In the previous post, I mentioned several different categories of people who seek to cast doubts on the Sunnah and that their end goal in doing so is to do away with the religion. That is because at the very heart of things, they want to invalidate the religion that has been conveyed to us from the pious predecessors. Let me explain:

أن السنة مفسرة للقرآن العظيم، فإذا أبطلت السنة بطل تفسير القرآن جملة وتفصيلاً. ولذلك تجدهم ينادون بقراءة عصرية للقرآن الكريم، ينفون فيها عن القرآن معانية التي جاءتنا عن طريق السنة النبوية سواء منها ما جاءنا عن الرسول -صلى الله عليه وسلم-، أو عن الصحابة -رضوان الله عليهم-. ـ

The Sunnah serves to explain the Qur’an, so if one invalidates the Sunnah then they have invalidated the explanation of the Qur’an both in the grand scheme of things and in its minute details. It is precisely because of that that you find them calling towards modern readings of the Qur’an which serve to negate certain meanings and messages of the Qur’an that have come to us through the Sunnah of the Prophet – and that encompasses both what has come directly from the Messenger and what has come from the Sahabah.

وهم يتخذون في تقرير هذا المنحى اتجاهات شتى؛ ـ

They take a number of different approaches in efforts to achieve this goal:

– فمنهم من ينادي بقراءة مقاصدية للقرآن بحيث تطبق مقاصد القرآن دون أحكامه، فالحدود والعقوبات المقصود منها العقوبة فنحن نحقق هذه العقوبة بما يناسب عصرنا زعموا، فلا يعود هناك رجم للزاني، ولا قطع ليد السارق، ولا قصاص، ولا غيرها، إنما نأتي بأحكام جديدة تحقق مقاصد القرآن بزعمهم. وكذا في العبادات نأخذ منها ما يحقق مقصود العبادة. وقس على هذا في سائر أبواب الدين. ـ

Some of them advocate reading the Qur’an in light of its overarching objectives, such that one seeks to implement the objectives of the Qur’an rather than its actual legal rulings. According to them, the objective of the prescribed capital punishments is simply to punish, so we should achieve this punishment in a manner befitting of our time. We will not go back to stoning the adulterer or cutting the hand of the thief or legal retribution and so on; we will just come up with new rulings which will, according to them, achieve the objectives found in the Qur’an. The same thinking is applied to acts of worship: we will take those acts of worship which achieve the purpose of worship. And they continue like this in across areas of the religion.

وهذا في حقيقته إبطال للشرع جملة وتفصيلاً، وطريقة شيطانية للإعراض عن القرآن العظيم والخروج عن شرع الله الكريم. ـ

The fact of the matter is that this is doing away with the Divine Legislation, both its overall body and its specific details. This is a satanic approach of turning away from the Qur’an and stepping outside Allah’s Divine Guidance.

والله -تبارك وتعالى-: يقول: {ومن أعرض عن ذكري فإن له معيشة ضنكى ونحشره يوم القيامة أعمى قال رب لم حشرتني أعمى وقد كنت بصيرا قال كذلك أتتك آياتنا من قبل فنسيتها وكذلك اليوم تنسى}. وقال -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: «تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا أبدا». ـ

Allah says:

وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ * قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرْتَنِي أَعْمَىٰ وَقَدْ كُنتُ بَصِيرًا * قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ۖ وَكَذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنسَىٰ

And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” * He will say, “My Lord, why have you raised me blind when I had had sight?” * Allah will say, “Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them; and thus will you this Day be forgotten.” [20:124-126]

and the Prophet said, “I have left among you something that if you hold to it, you will never go astray.”

[Part Three]

ومنهم من ينادي بأسلوب جديد فيقول: القرآن نزل بلسان عربي مبين، واللغة تكتسب معانيها بحسب استعمالات الناس لألفاظها في كل عصر وفي كل مكان. وعليه فنحن نفسر القرآن بحسب ألسنيتنا أي لغة التعامل اليوم، وهذا يسمى بالألسنية في تفسير القرآن أو الأنسنية في تفسير القرآن العظيم. وهو منهج جديد في تفسير القرآن العظيم. ـ

There are others who advocate taking a new approach, saying, “The Qur’an was revealed in the clear Arabic language, and language takes its meanings according to the way that people use its words in each time and place. Therefore, we explain the Qur’an according to our own language, i.e. according to how the language is used today.” This is known as a Linguistic Approach to explaining the Qur’an or a Humanistic Approach to explaining the Qur’an, which is a new approach to explaining the Qur’an.

وهذا المنهج يخرج بالقرآن عن اللسان العربي المبين إلى العامية المبينة وكفى بهذا إسقاطاً له. وغايته أنه لا يعود للقرآن تفسير ثابت موحد للجميع، بل لكل قوم ولكل أهل عربية معانيهم الخاصة بهم للقرآن الكريم. والنتيجة إبطال القرآن الكريم. ـ

This approach divorces the Qur’an from the clear Arabic language, instead moving to the simple colloquial dialects, which would effectively turn it on its head. The goal here is to not have a single trustworthy understanding of the Qur’an that applies to all, but rather for every people and for every Arabic dialect to have their own understanding of the Qur’an. And the end result is an invalidation of the Qur’an.

[Part Four]

ومن مناهج القراءة العصرية للقرآن الكريم ما يسمى بالهرمنطوقيا في تفسير القرآن الكريم. وهو منهج مأخوذ من طريقة تعامل القسيسين في الكنائس مع الإنجيل، فإنهم لما أحرجهم كثرة الاختلاف بين نصوص كتابهم أوجدوا لأنفسهم مخرجًا بالهرمونطوقيا. والهرمنطوقيا تعني أن لكل قاريء للكتاب تأويلاً يختص به. وهذا المنهج الهرمنطوقي في التفسير أخطر من التفسير الباطني للقرآن الكريم. ومحصلته في النهاية إبطال معاني القرآن الكريم. ـ

Another modern way of reading the Qur’an is what is called the Hermeneutical Approach to explaining the Qur’an. This approach is taken from the way that the Christian clergy in their religious centers dealt with the Christian scriptures. When they encountered the many discrepancies among the texts of their scriptures they invented a way out of this problem for themselves by way of Hermeneutics. Hermeneutics means that every reader of a text has his own unique interpretation of it. So this Hermeneutical approach to explaining the Qur’an is even more dangerous than the Mystical Batini approach to explaining the Qur’an, and its ultimate conclusion is an invalidation of the meanings of the Qur’an.

[Part Five]

واعلم أن هذا السبيل الذي يمشي فيه هؤلاء باتجاهاته المتعددة كلها يمشي على طريقة سلكها أهل الباطل قبلهم، وقد تكفل أهل العلم أهل السنة أتباع السلف الصالح بالرد عليهم؛ فقد ذكر ابن القيم في كتابه الصواعق المرسلة أن الجهمية سلكوا في تقرير مذهبهم مسالك لهم فيها أربعة طواغيت؛ وهي: الطاغوت الأول: قَوْلُهُمْ: إِنَّ الْأَدِلَّةَ اللَّفْظِيَّةَ لَا تُفِيدُ الْيَقِينَ. الطاغوت الثاني: قوْلُهُمْ: إِذَا تَعَارَضَ الْعَقْلُ وَالنَّقْلُ وَجَبَ تَقْدِيمُ الْعَقْلِ. الطاغوت الثالث: طاغُوتُ الْمَجَازِ. الطاغوت الرابع: قولهم إن أخبار رسول الله الصحيحة لا تفيد العلم وغايتها أن تفيد الظن. وهذه الطواغيت كسرها وردها في كتابه الفذ الصواعق المرسلة على الجهمية والمعطلة. وفيه رد على كل الاتجاهات المعاصرة في القراءة العصرية للقرآن العظيم. ـ

You should know that the path that these people tread in all its various iterations, all of these people are traveling along a path that the people of falsehood before them have also traversed, and the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah – those who follow the pious predecessors – have taken it upon themselves to refute them. In his book al-Sawa’iq al-Mursalah, ibn al-Qayyim mentioned that in their efforts to support their own ideology, the Jahmiyyah took a course of action that involved four false principles, which were:

1. Their statement, “Evidence from texts does not produce certain knowledge.”

2. Their statement, “In cases where intellect and the texts of the religion are at odds, precedence must be given to the intellect.”

3. Their false figurative interpretations.

4. Their statement, “The authentic statements of Allah’s Messenger do not produce knowledge; most of them end up producing doubt.”

Ibn al-Qayyim destroyed and refuted these false principles in his invaluable book al-Sawa’iq al-Mursalah ‘alaa al-Jahmiyyah wa’l-Mu’attalah. This work also contains refutations of every contemporary approach to modern readings of the Qur’an

[Part Six]

اليوم الموضوع تخصصي بحت، لكن كثير من الكتابات في الصحف والمجلات منطلقها هذا الموضوع والتنبيه عليه لا يخلو من فائدة إن شاء الله. أسأل الله للجميع التوفيق. ـ

Today, this subject is viewed as something only related to academic and scholastic study; however, there are many writings in newspapers and journal articles whose basic premise is the same, and there is benefit is raising awareness of this, in shaa’ Allah. I ask Allah to grant us all success.

[As found on the sheikh’s personal blog here]

See also: On Modern Readings of the Qur’an and Sunnah: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

See also: Why Study the Sayings of the Salaf?: Muhammad Bazmool

See also: Five Distinguishing Features of the Tafsir of the Companions: Sheikh Saalih Aal al-Sheikh

See also: On the Qur’aniyyoon: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr

See also: The End-Goals of Claiming that the Qur’an was Created

3 thoughts on “Rejecting the Sunnah in Order to Reinterpret the Qur’an: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

  1. Pingback: On Modern Readings of the Qur’an and Sunnah: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: On the Qur’aniyyoon: Sheikh ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Badr | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The End-Goals of Claiming that the Qur’an was Created | Tulayhah

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