The vast majority of controversial issues that Muslims encounter come from Hadith tradition. It is controversial because it is an important source of Islamic law and belief that if not properly studied/analyzed, will be very confusing. Dr. Brown discusses a few pointers to keep in mind when coming across hadith.
Dr. Jonathan Brown is the Director of Hadith Research at Yaqeen Institute. Dr. Brown is Associate Professor and Chair of Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University. He is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law, and the author of several books including Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy.
“One problem I see more and more is the idea that the Sunnah is questionable and it was not protected and preserved as well as the Quran. When I became a student of the Quran over 15 years ago, one of the first lessons I could not escape is that the most powerful defense of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Quran itself. The only way someone can say they believe in the Quran but not the Sunnah is if they don’t study the Quran.” – Nouman Ali Khan
He (Muhammad) does not speak of his own desire. It is no less than an Inspiration sent down to him. (Surah Najm, 53:3-4)
The Qur’an repeatedly commands every Muslim to follow the Prophetic example. The Traditions (Ahadith) of the Prophet, often more than the Qur’an, govern Muslim life in their ability to articulate practice of the faith. The Hadith provide the information to follow the example of the Prophet as a spouse, a parent, a neighbor, a leader, and when needed, a warrior. In sum, Muhammad as the paragon of perfection, as enshrined in Islamic doctrine and spirituality, hinges on his words. How are Muslims to understand not only his words but the spirit from which they emanate? More directly, what are the practices in our emulation that lead us to follow his example and not speak from mere desire? How do we infuse our spirits and words with those inspired by the scripture and its revealer?
Finding a hard time to accept hadith? Dr. Jonathan brown discusses hadith and criticism of hadith. From the Zaytuna conference, Reclaiming Our Faith: Negotiating Modern Theological Fault Lines held in Anaheim, California on May 25, 2013.
Allah the Exalted, Most Glorious, sent the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the final Messenger to the whole of Mankind. Allah the Almighty endowed the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with an exalted standard of character and set his life as a complete guidance for mankind to follow. Allah the Almighty makes this clear in His final revelation to mankind the Qur’an: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:21]
Islam and Authors welcomes Jonathan A. C. Brown, author of Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World. Brown’s Hadith book is new, comprehensive and accessible introduction to hadith- the transmitted reports about Muhammad’s words and actions. The bulk of Islamic law rests upon hadith reports. With the current controversies over sharia, Brown’s Hadith book is extremely relevant. It explains both Western and traditional Islamic approaches to hadith, has extremely informative charts and an easy-to-read format, and covers both Sunni and Shia views of hadith.
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