The misguided sect of al-Qur‘aaniyyeen
Q. There is a deviant group of people who claim to follow the Quran only, and not the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW). Please provide us with scholarly proof that they are on the wrong path, so we can give them da'wah, Insha Allah.
A. Praise be to Allaah.
Some people have started to claim that the Sunnah is not a source of legislation. They call themselves ’al-Qur‘aaniyyeen“ and say that we have the Qur‘aan, so we take as halaal whatever it allows and take as haraam whatever it forbids. The Sunnah, according to their claims, is full of fabricated ahaadeeth falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They are the successors of other people about whom the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us. Ahmad, Abu Dawood and al-Haakim reported with a saheeh isnaad from al-Miqdaam that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ’Soon there will be a time when a man will be reclining on his couch, narrating a hadeeth from me, and he will say, …Between us and you is the Book of Allaah: what it says is halaal, we take as halaal, and what it says is haraam, we take as haraam.‘ But listen! Whatever the Messenger of Allaah forbids is like what Allaah forbids.“ (Al-Fath al-Kabeer, 3/438. Al-Tirmidhi reported it with different wording, and said that it is hasan saheeh. Sunan al-Tirmidhi bi Sharh Ibn al-…Arabi, al-Saawi edn., 10/132). The name al-Qur‘aaniyyeen does not befit these people, because the Qur‘aan tells us, in almost one hundred aayahs, to obey the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Obedience to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is considered in the Qur‘aan to be a part of obedience to Allaah, may He be glorified. ’He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allaah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them.“ [al-Nisa‘ 4:80 – interpretation of the meaning]. The Qur‘aan, which they claim to follow, denies the faith of the one who refuses to obey the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and does not accept his ruling: ’But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.“ [al-Nisa‘ 4:65 – interpretation of the meaning]
Their suggestion that the Sunnah is ’contaminated“ with fabricated ahaadeeth is not valid, because the scholars of this ummah took the utmost care to purify the Sunnah from all alien elements. If they had any doubts about the truthfulness of any narrator, or there was the slightest possibility that he could have forgotten something, this would be sufficient grounds for rejecting a hadeeth. Even the enemies of this ummah have stated that no other nation has paid so much attention to examining its reports and their narrators, especially in the case of reports narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
For it to be obligatory to follow a hadeeth, it is sufficient for it to be known that it is a saheeh (authentic, sound) hadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was content to convey his message by sending just one of his Companions, which proves that the hadeeth reported by one trustworthy person must be followed.
Moreover, we would ask these people: where are the aayaat which tell us how to pray, or which tell us that the obligatory prayers are five times daily, or which tell us about the nisaab on various kinds of wealth for the purpose of zakaah, or about the details of the rituals of Hajj, and other rulings which we can only know from the Sunnah?
Al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 1/44
For more information on the shar'i evidence that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is a source of evidence, see Question # 604.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid