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Sources of Islam

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Besheer Shadd

Hindu missionary
The Qur’an is the final heavenly revealed book
“When I believed in monotheism I began looking for arguments and evidence to prove that the Qur’an is the book of God and that it is the last of the divine books and their seal, and I thank God as He made me able to solve this issue. The Qur’an is the only book that recognizes all of the other heavenly books, whereas they all deny each other, and this, in fact, is one of the characteristics and advantages of the Qur’an.”

The religion of Islam derives its legislation, beliefs and laws from the divine revelation of the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah. The following is a brief definition of the two:

The glorious Quran

Allah revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to serve as a means of guidance for the righteous, a constitution for Muslims, a means of healing for the hearts of those who Allah wishes to guide, and a beacon for those who Allah wishes to be successful. It comprises the fundamentals with which Allah sent all of His messengers. The Qur’an was not the first religious book to be sent by Allah, as Prophet Muhammad was not the first prophet to be sent by Allah to the people. Allah revealed As-Sohof (the scriptures) to Abraham, blessed Moses with the Torah, gave David the Zaboor (Psalms), and Prophet Jesus the Injeel (Gospel). These books were revelations from Allah to His prophets and messengers. A point which indicates that the Qur’an is a revelation from Allah is that it stresses the belief in all the messengers of Allah and does not differentiate between any of them. Allah says: {150] Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers (by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, “We believe in some but reject others,” and wish to adopt a way in between. [151] They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating torment. 152] And those who believe in Allah and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them (Messengers), We shall give them their rewards, and Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}(An-Nisâ’:150-152)

However, considerable parts of these books which were revealed before the Qur’an were lost, altered or tampered with.

As for the glorious Qur’an, Allah has vowed to preserve it for eternity. Allah says: {Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’ân) and surely We will guard it (from corruption).}(al-Hijr:9)

In addition, He made it prevail over the preceeding books, and also abrogate them. Allah says: {And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) the Book (this Qur’ân) in truth, confirming the Scripture (Books) that came before it and Muhaiminan (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures).}(Al-Mâ’idah:48)

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Will Durant

American Author
The status of the Qur’an and its virtues
“The Qur’an has continued to be preserved in the memory of Muslims for fourteen centuries, provoking their imagination, forming their morality, and sharpening the wits of hundreds of millions of people. The Qur’an resurrects in the souls the easiest of faiths since it is the least ambiguous and it is the furthest from adhering to nonsensical ceremonies and rituals. It is a faith that is free of paganism and clergy. The Qur’an has uplifted the moral and cultural level of Muslims and established the rules of social order and unity in them, and evoked them to follow the rules of health. It also freed their minds of the many myths and illusions, as well as of injustice and cruelty. It also improved the conditions of slaves, and put dignity and pride in the hearts of the submissive.”

Furthermore, Allah, who revealed it, describes it as containing an account and a clarification of everything. Allah (Glorified be He) says: {And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’ân) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allâh as Muslims).}(an-Nahl:89)

What is more, it is a guidance and a mercy; He, the Exalted, says: {So, now has come unto you a clear proof (the Qur’ân) from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy.}(al-An’aam:157)

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Sidney Fischer

A Professor in the American University of Ohio
A comprehensive book
“The Holy Qur’an rears and educates, and not all the words in it are about obligations and rituals. The virtues that the Qur’an urges the Muslims to follow are the most beautiful and the soundest in the balances of ethics. The guidance of the book is reflected in its prohibitions, as it is reflected in its orders.”

That it may guide to what is most righteous. The Almighty says: {Verily, this Qur’ân guides to that which is most just and right and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allâh and His Messenger Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]), who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise).}(Al-Isrâ:9)

It guides humanity to the most correct way in all the affairs of life.

The great and holy Qur’an covers everything that human beings need. It includes all the principles of the rules of beliefs, jurisprudence transactions, behavior and other matters. Allah says: {We have neglected nothing in the Book,}(al-An’aam:38)

The Prophetic Sunnah

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Etienne Denier

French Drawer and Thinker
The noble Sunnah
“The noble Sunnah of Muhammad remains shining with the greatest religious devotion to this day, overflowing from the hearts of hundreds of millions of followers of the Sunnah that are spread around the globe.”

Allah revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet (pbuh) and inspired him with the Sunnah. Allah says: {It is only a Revelation revealed.{ (an-Najm:4)

The Sunnah is just like the Qur’an. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “I have been given the Book and with it something like it. I have been given the Qur’an and something like it.” (Ahmad) The Sunnah is the revelation of Allah to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), for he did not speak out of his own desires. He (pbuh) only conveyed to people that which he was commanded. Allah says: {“I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner.”}(Al-Ahqâf:9)

The Sunnah is the second source of Islam. It is all that was narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) through a sound chain of narrators connected right back to the Prophet, regarding his sayings, actions, approvals as well as his description. It clarifies and explains the holy Qur’an, for he was authorized to explain its contents concerning the generalities, particularities, or summations. Allah says: {With clear signs and Books (We sent the Messengers). And We have also sent down to you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’ân)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.}(an-Nahl:44)

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Jack Ressler

French Orientalist
The Qur’an and the hadeeth side by side
“The Qur’an is complemented by the prophetic traditions, which is a series of statements relating to the actions of Prophet Muhammad and his instructions. In the Sunnah one finds what went on in the Prophet’s head and the basic element of his behavior in front of the changing realities of life. The Sunnah expounds on the Qur’an and is indispensable.”

The Sunnah expounds on the Qur’an and explains its verses. It details these laws which are mentioned in the Qur’an in the form of a summation. He (pbuh) used to clarify what was revealed unto him sometimes in words, sometimes through an action and sometimes with a combination of both. The Sunnah occasionally clarifies certain laws and legislations which are not mentioned in the Qur’an.

The noble Sunnah is the actual application of the laws, legislations, beliefs, transactions and etiquettes of Islam. The Prophet (pbuh) always complied with what he was commanded and then showed this to the people and commanded them to do exactly what he did. Allah instructed the believers to take the Prophet as an example in his words and actions, so as to reach perfection in their faith. Allah says: {Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allâh and the Last Day, and remembers Allâh much.}(Al¬-Ahzâb :21)

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Leopold Weiss

Austrian Thinker
The gift of the Sunnah
“The implementation of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad is an action that saves the entity of Islam and its advancement. Abandoning the Sunnah on the other hand causes the dissolution of Islam. The Sunnah is the iron structure on which the huge building if Islam is established. If you remove the structure of a building, would it surprise you that the entire construction crumbles like a house of cards?”

The noble companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them all) related the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) and his actions to those who came after them, who in turn conveyed the Sunnah to those who succeeded them. Subsequently, the Sunnah was recorded in collections in forms of volumes. Those recording the Sunnah were extremely strict about whom it should be taken from and they demanded that any narrators be the contemporaries of those who related the hadith to them, so as to ensure a correctly connected chain that connects the narrator to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The men of the chain of narration should all be just, honest, truthful, and trustworthy men.

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Jack Ressler

French Orientalist
Collecting the prophetic Sunnah
“These sayings which constitute the Sunnah were recorded from that which was related by the companions or conveyed about them with a great amount of sifting when the selection was being compiled. In that way a large number of sayings of the Prophet was gathered.”

A Muslim must believe that the Qur’an and the Sunnah are the two principle sources of Islam which must be followed, referred to and obeyed by carrying out what they command, abandoning what they forbid and believing in what they relate. A Muslim must believe in the beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah mentioned in both of these sources, as well as what He has prepared for His supporters who believe in Him and what He vows to inflict on His enemies who disbelieve in Him. Allah says: {But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.}(An-Nisâ’:65)

The Almighty also says: {And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)}(al-Hashr:7)

How happy will the person who takes this path be, for it certainly is the path to happiness!!!