The Sources of Islamic Doctrine – Part 2 The Sunnah Credibility

Fortress of Faith Tom Wallace and Shahram HadianFortress of Faith Radio by Tom Wallace and Shahram Hadian, and Sources of Islamic Doctrine Part 2.  See Part 1 first HERE.

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Show Notes from the Audio is Below

This is a continuation of a previous program on The Sources of Islamic Doctrine. We covered the Qur’an and now we want to look at the Sunnah. The Qur’an contains the words of their god, Allah, and the Sunnah is the words  and acts of the Prophet, Muhammad. The Sunnah is a collection of the testimonies of the companions of Muhammad, what they saw him do and heard him say.

There is also the biography of Muhammad.  There are a few of them out there, but the most honored and accepted is Ibn Ishaaq’s version. These biographies are known  as the Sira’

There are a number  of collections, and this can get a bit confusing.

A Sura, it is a chapter from the Qur’an, the Sunnah is a collection of books, the Sira is one of those books. Remembering which is which is not all that easy.

Sunnah, in Arabic, means the practice. It is given pretty much equal weight with the Qur’an for most Muslims in the world. The Qur’an tells Muslims to follow the example of their Prophet more than 90 time, so you can see why the Sunnah is so important.

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The word Hadith  means an account or a narrative. The Sunnah is made up of narratives (Hadith), which give us the deeds and sayings of Muhammad. They give Muslims the pattern they are to follow. There are many Hadith,  but there are only a few that are universally accepted.  They are called Sahih, which is a stamp of approval by Islamic scholars.

 

This is similar to what we find when we study the origin of the Bible. Before the age of printing there were a large number of handwritten Greek manuscripts. There are several families of these manuscripts, the largest family (more than 95%) of these is  called  the “Textus  Receptus” (Received  Text). This  is  the text that was used through  the centuries  by Bible believing Christians.

 

There are two major collectors Hadith, Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, which are the most well received in the Islamic world.

 

There is a difference between the Sunni and the Shi’ite Muslims and how they look at the Hadith. The word Sunni comes from the word Sunnah.  The Sunni  Muslims  make up more than 85% of all  Muslims.  Egypt, Saudi Arabia,  Pakistan, Indonesia, are all Sunni Muslims. They accept the Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith  as authentic.

 

Shi’ite Islam, is only about three countries, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. There are 14 verses that are different in the Qur’an used by the Shi’ite Muslims. There  are also differences in who they accept  as the successors to Muhammad. They only accept those who are blood descendants of Muhammad. They recognize all Hadith that are directly sourced to Muhammad, especially Bukhari and Muslim.

 

While there are differences between the Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, on the things we are going to talk about today, they are in perfect agreement. Both groups accept these these things as coming from Muhammad.

 

There is also another Hadith that is considered to be pretty reliable, it is the Dawood Hadith. These top three are the ones that are the most well referenced in Islamic writings. There are a few others that are sometimes referred to.

 

The Shi’ite Muslims believe that they are to follow the law, through  a counsel. This is why in Iran, there is a Supreme Counsel  that governs  the country under Islamic  law.  They believe  that to be authentic,  everything  must be tied  to Muhammad.

 

There are supposedly 600,000 Hadith.  These are quotes that the companions of Muhammad heard him say, or saw him do. The Bukhari and the Muslim collections only contain about 60,000 each. This means that only about 1/10 of them are accepted as authentic.

 

The Bukhari has nine volumes. I carry these nine volumes with me when I travel to teach or do presentations in churches. I want people to see that there is more to the sources of doctrine in Islam than simply the Qur’an. While the Sunnah is not considered inspired like the Qur’an, Muslim consider this to be an authentic source of Islamic doctrine.

 

One of the reasons the Sunnah is so important is that there are so many contradictions in the Qur’an that a Muslim trying to follow only the Qur’an will  be confused.  Because of abrogation  and contradictions  they need  the Sunnah to see  how Muhammad understood the Qur’an. If the Sunnah was not there, there would be no clarity in Islam.

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Inside The Sunnah

Looking inside the Sunnah will help us understand what Islam is all about. Without looking at them, there is no way to understand why Muslims do what they do.

One of the most familiar Islamic terms among non­Muslims is “jihad.” If you listen to the apologists in the White House, you will think that jihad is just a spiritual struggle, but what do Islamic sources say on the subject? What do the Hadith, the Reliance of the Traveller, and other sources say about jihad.

When we see acts of jihad, the tendency is to say that this is not true Islam. The apologists usually say that Christians have the same problem. They always bring up the Crusades when they talk about this. There are those who burned people at the stake, and there is the Westboro Baptist Church. It is true that these things have been done in the name of Christianity, but the text of Christianity, the New Testament, does not support that kind of behavior. With Islam, when someone performs jihad and kills people, there are texts withing the Islamic scriptures that support it. Jihad is not radical behavior, it is rooted in Islamic scripture. It is actually prescribed in Islamic scripture.

When we look at the teachings of the Qur’an, we must also look at Muhammad  so we can understand how he interpreted it. As the “perfect man,” Islam is understood by what he did and said. What Muhammad did, a good Muslim will do.

Muhammad told his followers to kill their enemies, Jesus told His to love their enemies. Christians preach the Gospel, and don’t force people to come to Christianity at the point of a sword.

When Muslim jurists lay down the law, they quote the passages from the Qur’an and Hadith to support their rulings. Here is what they quote concerning jihad:

ROT o9.0 JIHAD

“I  have been commanded  to fight people until they testify that there  is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and perform the prayer, and pay zakat. If they say it, they have saved their blood and possessions from me, except for the rights of Islam over them. And their final reckoning is with Allah”

Let this sink in a moment. Muhammad  is to fight unbelievers until they submit to Islam and Islamic law.  This is from the Reliance of the Traveller (ROT), which is the Sharia law book, and is certified by the premier Islamic university in the world. This is not our interpretation, this is how jihad is defined by the highest Islamic scholars.   Here is how jihad is defined:

ROT o9.0 JIHAD

Jihad  means  to war against non­Muslims,  and is  etymologically derived  from the word mujahada signifying warfare  to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is spiritual warfare against the lower self, which is why the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said as he was returning from jihad.”

The reason that the killing of infidels is called the lesser jihad, is that it will go away when Islam rules the world. The greater jihad, which is the spiritual struggle within each Muslim, will continue, and is therefore called the greater jihad. The ROT gives three references from the Qur’an and sites the Bukhari to support the lesser jihad.

Here is another reference from the Sahih Muslim:

“To go forth in the morning or evening, to fight in the path of Allah, is better than the whole world and everything in it.”

Surah 2: 216 says:

“You are commanded to fight, although you dislike it. You may hate something that is good for you, and love something that is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not.”

He is telling the Muslims that even if they don’t like fighting, it is OK because Allah knows better what is best for them. They need to do what Allah commands even if they don’t like it.

We are often told that Muslims are peaceful and wouldn’t do things like this. The fact is, they are doing it to be faithful to

Allah. It is Allah’s command to kill all who will not submit to Islam. Not to do so makes one a disobedient  Muslim. Muslim means the submitted one. The choice is simple, either a Muslim will be obedient, or he will be disobedient. If he is obedient, he will fight against the unbelievers.

Here is a quote from a Shi’ite Hadith:

“Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle is better than standing in prayer for sixty years.” ­ Saheeh related by Ibn Ade and Ibn Asakir from Abu Hurayrah 4/6165.

Hadith: Sahih al Jaami as Sagheer no. 4305

You can’t tell me that jihad is not important to the doctrines of Islam. It is better to spend one hour on that battlefield that 60 years in prayer.

We need to understand why jihad is so important in Islam. Jihad is not the end goal, it is the mechanism by which the goal is to be accomplished. The end goal is worldwide Islamic domination. It is to either kill or subjugate everyone to Allah.

Here is another quote from theROT: ROT 09.8

The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided  he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice, and if they will not, then invited them to enter the social order of Islam by paying the non­Muslim poll tax (jizya, def: o11.4)­which is the significance of their paying it, not the money itself­while remaining in their ancestral religions) (O: and the war continues) until they become Muslim or else pay the non­Muslim poll tax.

Note who they make war with: Jews and Christians.  The Zoroastrians are a pagan group  found in the Old Testament, and many still live today in Persia (Iran).

This will be in force until the decent of Isa, the Muslim Jesus, at which time he will destroy all non­Muslims. This is why this type of jihad is called the lesser jihad. It will no longer be needed when everyone is a Muslim. The Muslim Jesus will rule by Islamic law.

The purpose of jihad is to subjugate the world to Islam. Despite what apologists say, Islam does not mean peace, it means submit.

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Apostasy

Every Muslim knows that the penalty for leaving Islam is death. Let’s look at what the Islamic scriptures have to say.

Bukhari 9.83.17

A Muslim, who has admitted that there is no god but Allah, and that I am his prophet, may not be killed except for three reasons; as punishment  for murder, for adultery, and for apostasy.

In this Hadith, Muhammad justifies killing an apostate.

ROT o8.0 APOSTASY FROM ISLAM (RIDDA)

Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst….

ROT o8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed.

ROT o8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.

ROT o8.3 If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined.

ROT o8.4 There is no indemnity for killing an apostate.

There is no doubt that apostasy carries the death penalty. We see it carried out across the world in Islamic countries. This is not radical Islam, it is true and normal Islam. This is why Islam cannot coexist with our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

The Treatment of Jews

There is a verse in the early part of the Qur’an that says Muslims can take Jews and Christians as friends. It is abrogated later, where Muslims are told not to take Jews and Christians as friends.

Bukhari 3.43.65

“The hour will not be established until the son of Miriam descends among you as a just ruler.”

They are talking about Isa, the Muslim Jesus. When he comes back, he will do three things; he will break every cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya. We have already covered why he will abolish the Jizya, it will no longer be needed because there will be on non­Muslims left on earth. Breaking  the cross means he will destroy all Christians, and killing the pigs refers to his killing all of the Jews. Sometimes you wonder if you are in the twilight zone. The Jewish son of Miriam, is going to kill all of the Jews?

In the Sahih Muslim, there is a parallel verse: Sahih Muslim 41.69.85

“The Prophet said the last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hid themselves behind a stone or behind  a tree and a stone or a tree would say, Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Muhammad said that the last hour would not come until every last Jew is annihilated. Even the stones and trees will cry out and tell the Muslims where to find them so they can kill them.

While we are talking about Islam’s treatment of people, listen to what it teaches about the treatment of women.

… The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence.

Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301

… “O people! Give alms.” Then he went towards the women and said. “O women! Give alms, for I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell­Fire were you (women).” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is the reason for it?” He replied, “O women! You curse frequently, and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient  in intelligence and religion than you…”

Sahih Bukhari 2:24:541

There are examples of Muhammad actually doing this, himself. In the Sira, written by Ibn Ishaaq, there is an incident called the Battle of the Trench. This is found on page 464. Muhammad  makes a deal with the last Jewish tribe to guard his flank. After the war was over, the angel supposedly comes to him and tells him he must deal with the treachery of the Jews. He then attacks them, and after about a week he makes a peace agreement. He said he would let them live, but they would have to leave Arabia, He invites them to the marketplace to finalize the deal, and the men come first. This was a big mistake. Muhammadans reminds his people that war is deceit, and he captures the men.

“Then the apostle went out into the market of Medina, which is still a market today, and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought  out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah, (gave some names herd), there were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.

It also says there was a mad woman who was laughing, and he chopped off her head as well.

Interestingly, this is where he gets his wife that ended up poisoning him. She was a Jewess, and when  she was captured, according to Islamic law, her marriage was annulled.

Let’s review what happened. There was a Jewish tribe that had submitted to Islam, help him in battle, and when the battle was over, he turned on them. In one day had 600­900 men beheaded,

This is also called the battle of Kibar, Bukhari 145:700 tells us that all of the able­bodied adult men were killed and all of the women and children were taken captive. It also confirms that Ruhannah, a Jewess, was married by Muhammad,  and she poisoned him. It is a real embarrassment for a Muslim man to be killed by a woman.  It was even worse because she was a Jewess.

The fact  that Muhammad died the way he did kept him from becoming a martyr.  This is why every time his name is mentioned by a Muslim, they say “Peace be upon him.” Since he didn’t die as a martyr,  they have no guarantee that he is is Paradise.

The Credibility of the Sunnah

There is a real problem with the credibility of the Islamic scriptures.  It has to do with the issue of when they were written. Muhammad died in the year 632. Let’s assume there was someone who was very young heard his saying, and saw what he did, and give him 70 years after the death of Muhammad. It may be possible that this  person lived until the year 700. After they year 700, it is very unlikely that any of Muhammad’s companions would be alive. Any testimonies received after this time would not be firsthand. Bukhari was born in the year 810, 178 years after the death of Muhammad. Muslim was born in the year  815. Let’s  say that they started  writing 20 years  after  their birth. We  are talking  about  200 years  after Muhammad’s death before the most reliable Hadith were written.

Have you ever played the game of Chinese whispers where stories are made up and passed around? These men were getting testimonies from the great, great, great grandchildren  of Muhammad’s companions. The bottom line is that there is no eyewitness account of Muhammad’s life in the Hadith.

Parts  of the Sira  are  closer,  about  100 years  after  the death  of Muhammad.  Again, there  is  no eyewitness  to what

Muhammad did or said.

In the first part of this series we saw that there is no eyewitness to the Qur’an, and now we see that there is no eyewitness to the things written in the Sunnah. This is is stark contrast with the Scriptures of Christianity.

Not only do the Islamic scriptures have both internal and external contradictions, there is no real evidence to the reliability of what they say. This is a pretty weak foundation for Islam, the second largest religion in the world.

In contrast to this, Christianity has writings by those who walked with Christ dating to within 20 or 30 years of Christ’s death. Not only this, there are many ancient manuscripts that support the accuracy of the Christian Scriptures of our day.

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SOURCE: FORTRESS OF FAITH