The Quranists (or Qur’aniyyūn) are a group of ‘people’ who claim to follow the Qur’an strictly while denying any Prophetic narrations, even when proven to be authentic. The ideology of these people is simply that, Qur’an is enough; there is no need for Sunnah.
Among them are those who reject the Ahaadith of the Prophet, including the Mutawātir ones which have been variously reported by a group of people that can in no way tell lies as they transmit these particular Ahadith to another crowded group of people like themselves.
All the upright Muslim scholars have ruled that this category of Quranists who reject Ahadith (or Sunnah) in its totality, are guilty of the Kufr (disbelief) that ejects them out of the pale of Islam. This is because it is absolutely certain that a mutawatir hadith comes from the Prophet, and rejecting such Hadith is equal to rejecting the Prophet himself.
The fact is that there cannot be a valid Muslimdom without following the Prophet (peace be upon him). This has been proven in different portions of the Qur’an which the Quranists claim to follow ‘strictly’
For instance, Allah says in Aal Imran:
“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [3:31]
He also says in An-Nisaa:
But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. [4:65]
He says further in Al-Ahzaab:
“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and HIS MESSENGER have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error.” [33:36]
The above verses are enough to prove that a Muslim is bound to follow the Prophet unconditionally. And it will be unbecoming of him to reject the legislation of Allah, whether such is contained in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah (Hadith) through the tongue of His messenger (peace be upon him).
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to mention that there is a version of Quranism that has erupted lately among the Muslims. The adherents of this ideology can be rightly referred to as semi-Quranists, for they are selective about the Hadith they accept.
In a country like Nigeria, they have arrogantly spewed strange views that are contrary to what the Ummah is unanimously agreed upon. One of such is their denial of the return of the Messiah [‘Îsa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), which has been explicitly reported in numerous authentic Hadith.
Another is the denial of Al-Isra’ wal Mi’raj, which is the miraculous journey of the Prophet that happened in a single night. This event consists of the journey from Makkah to Baitul Maqdis (Jerusalem), which is known as al-Isra’, and the ascension from Baitul Maqdis to the Heavens (known as al-Mi’raj). A comprehensive account of this event has been authentically reported in many traditions of the Prophet.
However, the Quranists deny the above matters on the ground that they are wholly or partially not recorded in the Qur’an. By this disposition, their yardstick for the appropriateness of any Hadith seems to be its alignment with their whims and desires. When a Hadith goes against their desire, they say it is baseless and thus jettison it. And when another Hadith favours them, they regard it authentic and good, and then follow it.
In other words, they argue that Hadith should be given little or no regards in religious matters, while there are countless number of affairs they do in Islam for which they have no Qur’anic backing; the only thing they rely on to justify those affairs are from the Ahaadith.
Let us take ablution as an example. In Al-Maaidah, Allah explains the part of our body to ablute before we enter Salah. He says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
“O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salat (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles” [5:6]
But which verse of the Qur’an backs the rinsing of the mouth, nose and ears as they presumably do during every ablution?
Also, Allah has commanded them (and us) to observe Salah. However, there is no verse of the Qur’an that backs the specification of Salah into Subh, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha. Neither does a single verse of the Qur’an tell them the number of Raka’āt to be observed in each Salah.
And which verse of the Qur’an backs the timing they have allotted to each Salah? Or, have they ever come across the Ayah that backs Adhan and Iqamah that they do before every obligatory Salah?
Moreover, Allah instructs us to hasten to His remembrance whenever the call to prayer is made on the day of Jumu’ah. In Surah Al-Jumuah, He says:
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نُودِيَ لِلصَّلَاةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْا إِلَىٰ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ
“O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salat (prayer) on Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah” [62:9]
But which verse of the Qur’an backs the designation of Zuhr time for it? Which verse tells them that a Khutbah has to precede the Salah? Which verse tells them that the Raka’ah has to be 2?
In another perspective, which verse backs the ritual bath for a deceased Muslim? Which verse backs the Janazah (funeral prayer) they observe for him before they lay him in the grave?
Or which verse backs the Aqeeqah they do for a newborn baby? Which verse tells them to slaughter two rams for a boy and one for a girl? Which verse states that the naming has to be done on the 7th day after birth (or 8th, as they mostly do in error)?
It is surprising that the Quranists directly or indirectly degrade the Hadith and go as far as saying that making it a source of law is Bid’ah (a reprehensible innovation). But they do not bother to query the Hadith that reports the observance of Salatul Eid on the 1st of Shawwal, after completing Ramadan. Or have they ever come across a verse of the Qur’an that talks about it (Eidul fitri) including the timing, and its how-to such as the number of Takbeerat, and the fact that Khutbah comes after the prayer unlike Jumu’ah?
It is time the Quranists knew that Islamic legislation or law can either be from the Qur’an or Hadith/Sunnah (tradition of the Prophet). This is why Allah says:
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ
O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) [An-Nisaa:59]
In the same Surah, He equates obeying the Prophet to obeying Him. He says:
مَن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ
He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), has indeed obeyed Allah [An-Nisaa:80]
So, the Quranists need to know that, as Muslims, they are bound to follow the Prophet’s divine traditions and avoid his prohibition, whether they are backed in the Qur’an or not. What the Prophet has commanded is like what Allah has commanded and what he has prohibited is like what Allah has prohibited. Why then are they (the Quranists) being hypocritical?