The Authority of al-Hadith

The authority of al-Hadith rests on the Holy Quran, the Word of God. The Quran usually treats major issues and seldom deals with details. It often deals with subjects in brief terms, leaving the details to be expounded by the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). God says in Quran:

وأنزلنا إليك الذكر لتبين للناس ما نزل إليهم

“We have caused the Reminder (The Quran) to descend upon you in order that you may explain to people what has been revealed (through you) for them.”

(Quran 16:44)

So the function of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was to deliver the Holy Quran, to explain, to expand, to emphasize and to stress the teaching of al-Quran. God says in Quran:

هو الذي بعث في الأميين رسولا منهم يتلو عليهم آياته ويزكيهم ويعلمهم الكتاب والحكمة

“He (God) it is Who has sent unto the unlettered people, a Messenger from amongst them, to recite His Ayat unto them, and to purify them, and to teach them The Book and the Wisdom.”

(Quran 62:2)

The Holy Quran itself commands that the Messenger’s teachings should be heeded and complied with. It reads:

ما آتاكم الرسول فخذوه وما نهاكم عنه فانتهوا

“Whatever the Messenger gives you, you should take, and whatever he forbids you to do, you must avoid.”

(Quran 59:7)

It also states:

من يطع الرسول فقد أطاع الله

“Whoever obeys the Messenger, he (at the same time) is obeying God.”

(Quran 4:80)

Quran advises us:

لقد كان لكم في رسول الله أسوة حسنة لمن كان يرجو الله واليوم الآخر وذكر الله كثيرا

“There is indeed for you in (the patterns of the behaviour of) the Messenger of God a noble model for (the guidance of) those who believe in God (anticipating His rewards), and (believe) in the Day of Judgement, and often remember God.”

(Quran 33:21)

The Holy Books also counts, among the virtues of those upon whom Allah promises to bestow His mercy, the following:

الذين يتبعون الرسول النبي الأمي الذي يجدونه مكتوبا عندهم في التوراة والإنجيل يأمرهم بالمعروف وينهاهم عن المنكر ويحل لهم الطيبات ويحرم عليهم الخبائث

“Those who follow the Messenger, the illiterate Prophet, the mention of whom they find written with them in the Torah and the Gospel. He commands them to do what is right and good, and forbids them to do what is wrong and harmful; and makes permissible for them what is useful and nourishing, and makes impermissible what is bad and filthy.”

(Quran 7:157)

The Noble Quran frequently commands:

أطيعوا الله وأطيعوا الرسول

“Be obedient to God, and be obedient to the Messenger.”

(Quran 4:59, 3:32, 3:132, 5:92 and 64:12)