بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Answer to Question
What is Considered Hujja (Definite Proof) from the Qur’an is What Has Been Transmitted to us by Mutawatir
To: Tariq Mahmoud
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh
My honourable Sheikh, may Allah bless you continuously with good health and support you with the strong and pious Muslims and grant victory by your hands, Amen, O Lord of the worlds.
My honourable Sheikh, as I read in the books of scholars, I skimmed through texts narrated by some of the companions such as Abdullah bin Masoud or the Mother of the Believers, Aisha, may Allah be pleased with them, on the grounds that these texts are Qur’anic verses, but they were not taken or considered from the Qur’an because they were mentioned as Ahad (single chain) narrations. It is known that the Qur’an is not proven by Ahad narrations because they are indefinite texts.
But how do we deal with these texts, since they are authentic and came on the tongue of someone who is trustworthy, just and upright, even if they were not proven by mutawatir (multiple chains narrations), but they were proven by the least amount of doubt. So, are these texts considered by jurists and mujtahids, in terms of implementation as legal texts (Shari’) from which legal rulings (Ahkam Shariah) can be derived, or are they not considered as such, and it is as if they were not reported?
May Allah bless you and forgive me for the long post.
Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh
May Allah bless you for your good prayers for me, and I pray for you with the good.
As for your question about the Noble Qur’an, before answering, I would like to quote from our books to you the following:
1- In the book, The Islamic Personality Volume III, chapter “What is considered a Hujja (Definite Proof) from the Qur’an” it says the following:
[What has been transmitted to us from the Qur’an by Tawatur (multiple chains of narrations), and we know that it is from the Qur’an, is only that is taken as Huja (defininte proof). As for what has been transmitted to us by Ahad (single chain narrations), such as the Mushaf of Ibn Masoud and others, it is not a Huja (definite proof). End Quote. And that is because the Prophet (saw) was assigned to recite what was revealed to him of the Qur’an to a group, whose statements are taken as definite proof, and those whose statement are a definite proof, it is inconceivable that they agree on not transmitting what they heard. If there is something from the Qur’an that was not transmitted by those whose statements are definite, but rather it was reported as Ahad (single) narration, then it is not considered. Because it came contrary to what the Messenger (saw) was mandated to transmit; to one person alone, and it is contrary to what was required of reciting the Qur’an from the Messenger to a number of Muslims who would memorize it, and they would be among those whose sayings are a proof, in addition to his command to them to write it. Therefore, it is not correct, in this case that the single transmission or the transmission by a number whose statements do not establish a proof, to transmit anything from the Qur’an; Therefore, what has been transmitted from the Qur’an by Ahad (single) narration is not an absolute proof].
- The same source stated the following:
[And as for the different copies of the Qur’an, those of them that are transmitted through Ahad (single chain narration), it is not from the Qur’an, and it is not a definite proof. But the mutawatir (multiple chains of narrations), they are from the Qur’an, and are a definite proof. The issue is not related to the Mus’haf (Book), but rather to the verses contained in the Mus’haf. If the verse was transmitted by tawatur (multiple chains of narrations) from the Prophet (saw), i.e., the number of narrations received from the Prophet (saw) reached the level of tawatur. I.e., their statement becomes an established proof, then it is considered from the Qur'an; and is a definite proof. Otherwise, it is not considered from the Qur’an. That is why the entire Mus’haf of Othman is the Qur’an; because all the verses that it contains have been transmitted by tawatur (multiple chains of narrations), and were transmitted by those whose statement is a definitive proof. However, the Mus’haf of Ibn Masoud is looked into it, so what it contains of the verses that were transmitted by tawatur (multiple chains of narrations) is considered from the Qur’an, and what it contains of verses that were transmitted by Ahad (single chain of narration), such as the verse “Fasting for three consecutive days” It is not considered from the Qur'an, nor is it a definite proof.]
Accordingly, the objection that was made regarding the memorizers of the Qur’an, and regarding the companions’ Mus’haf, is rejected, and it proves that the Qur’an is what has been transmitted by tawatur (multiple chains of narration), and what has been transmitted by Ahad (single chain of narration) is not from the Qur’an. It should be noted that the Qur’an was transmitted by witnessing the Prophet (saw) receive the revelation when it was revealed, and it was recorded in writing along with its memorization. The Companions, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them, did not narrate the Qur’an as a narration from the Messenger, rather they transmitted exactly what was revealed by the Wahi (divine revelation). The Messenger’s (saw) command to write it, is contrary to the Hadith, it was narrated from the Messenger (saw) and it was not recorded when it was said, nor when it was narrated. It was codified and recorded in the era of the followers of the followers (tabi’ at tabi’een). As for the Qur’an, it was written down and recorded when the revelation was revealed, and the Companions transmitted the exact same thing that was revealed by the revelation. That is why it is said: The Companions transmitted the Qur’an to us by transmission.
2- And it was stated in the book, The Islamic Personality, Volume III, under the chapter of “The Abrogator and the Abrogated”:
[The second is that what is intended is abrogating the ruling of the verse, not abrogating its recitation. This is the accepted statement by the majority (scholars) and what is adopted. It is supported by the fact that all verses of the Qur’an were proven by definite evidence. And verses that were not proven by definite evidence are not considered Qur’an. The abrogation of a recitation of a verse of the verses of the Qur’an was not proven by definite evidence. What was reported from the indefinite evidence on the existence of abrogation of the recitation has no value in considering the abrogation; because the definite is not abrogated by indefinite, and it is not abrogated except by definitive, like it or above it, and there is no definitive evidence for the abrogation of the recitation, this supports that what is intended is the abrogation of the ruling and not the abrogation of the recitation.] End Quote
The same source also stated the following:
[As for the abrogation of the recitation of the Qur’an, it is prohibited and not permissible, and its occurrence has not been proven by definitive evidence. The evidence for this prohibition is the verse that is the evidence for the permissibility of abrogation, which is: نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا “We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it” [Al-Baqara: 106]. And the entire Qur’an is good, there is not any discrepancy in it. If what was meant by abrogation of the verse is to remove it from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (Preserved Tablet), and to write a different one to replace it, the description of good would not have been fulfilled, therefore the intention is not the verse but its ruling. Also, the Qur’an has been proven to have been revealed, memorized, and written by way of tawatur (multiple chains of narrations), and believing in it in this way is a creed, it is only taken from the definite evidence of text and meaning. This did not happen since there is no definite evidence that it is permissible to abrogate the Qur’an by recitation. It is not permissible to abrogate it by recitation. As for the fact that the Qur’an was not abrogated by recitation, its evidence is that no definitive evidence came to prove that any of its verses established by definitive evidence had been abrogated. As for what was narrated on the authority of Zaid bin Thabit, he said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say:
«الشَّيْخُ وَالشَّيْخَةُ إِذَا زَنَيَا فَارْجُمُوهُمَا الْبَتَّةَ. فَقَالَ عُمَرُ: لَمَّا أُنْزِلَتْ هَذِهِ أَتَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ فَقُلْتُ: أَكْتِبْنِيهَا»
“The old man and the woman, if they commit adultery, stone them definitively” Umar (ra) said: When this verse was revealed, I came to the Prophet (saw) and said: “Write it for me”. [Extracted by Ahmad]. And what was narrated that Aisha (ra) said:
«كَانَ فِيمَا أُنْزِلَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ عَشْرُ رَضَعَاتٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ يُحَرِّمْنَ، ثمَّ نُسِخْنَ بِخَمْسٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ»
“From what was revealed in the Qur’an, ten known breastfeeds are prohibited, then it was abrogated to five known ones.” [Extracted by Muslim]. What was narrated on the authority of Ubai bin Kaab and Ibn Masoud, that they recited: «فصيام ثلاثة أيام متتابعات» “So fasting three consecutive days.” And what was narrated that Surat Al-Ahzab was equivalent to Surat Al-Baqarah, etc., all of them are Ahad (single chain narrations) which has no proof of abrogating the definite; because they are indefinite narrations, and the definitive is not abrogated by the indefinite, only the definite abrogates it, so it must be proven with the definitive evidence that this verse was revealed so that it is believed to be from the Qur’an, then it is should be proven by the definite evidence that it was abrogated, and this has never happened, and therefore the abrogation of the Qur’an by recitation did not happen.”
3- Accordingly, here are the answers to your questions:
a- The Noble Qur’an is defined as follows: (It is the word of Allah revealed to His Messenger Muhammad (saw), through the revelation Jibreel peace be upon him, in word and meaning, the miraculous, the worshiped by its recitation and transmitted to us by mutawatir). It is the Qur’an that was revealed to our master Muhammad (saw), and it is what has been transmitted to us between the two covers of the Mus’haf with Mutawatir (multiple chains of narrations) transmission. This definition is fully applicable to the Mus’haf of Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, that is, to the Qur’an that was copied at the time of the rightly-guided Caliph Uthman ibn Affan in several copies of the papers compiled by Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, from what was written in front of the Messenger (saw), and what Uthman (ra) copied was sent to Muslim capitals, and the companions of the Messenger (saw) unanimously agreed upon it, as detailed in our books.
b- This means that what has been transmitted to us from the Qur’an from Ahad (single chain of narration), such as the Qur’an of Ibn Masoud and others, is not Qur’an and is not a proof. Likewise, it is not from the Sunnah, because it was narrated as the Qur’an, and it was not narrated to be from the Hadith of the Prophet (saw) and as long as it is not a Sunnah, then it is not permissible to refer to it in the Shariah rulings and other matters that should be deduced from the Shariah evidences.
c- Reciting the Qur’an with such narrations and odd readings is not correct, and we have mentioned what indicates this in the answer to a question dated 18 Dhul-Qi’dah 1434 AH – 24/9/2013 CE, and it says:
[As for reciting the Qur’an with non-mutawatir readings, whether they agree with the handwriting of the Ottoman Qur’an or not, it is not permissible to recite with them, for it is not Qur’an, rather the Qur’an is what was transmitted by mutawatir from the Messenger of Allah (saw)]
d- As long as these texts that are narrated through Ahad (single chain of narrations) as the Qur’an, has not been proven that they are from the Qur’an, and likewise they are not considered a Sunnah from the Prophet (saw) because they were not narrated as being a Sunnah. Therefore, the best assumption of this is to consider it as the interpretation and clarification of the Qur’an by a companion, that is, it is considered as a saying of the companion who narrated it when explaining the meaning of the verse to which this addition or recitation was attached. That is, he read the verse, then gave its explanation without separating between the verse and his interpretation, so they were narrated together, and the listener thought it was from the Qur’an. It is not from the Qur’an, but rather an interpretation of the Companion according to his opinion. This is what it can be interpreted as, and it cannot go beyond that in any way. So the recitation of Ibn Masoud, for example: «فصيام ثلاثة أيام متتابعات»، “Then fasting three consecutive days”, by adding «متتابعات» “...consecutive days” a statement by Ibn Masoud that shows the necessity of successive fasting for kaffara (expiation) of breaking an oath, meaning that the addition is an explanation of the rule of succession of days according to the opinion of Ibn Masoud (ra) and this does not go beyond the fact that it is Ijtihad and understanding. Of a companion, and does not take the rule of Shariah evidence from the Sunnah.
e- Accordingly, every Ahad (single chain of narration) text of the Holy Qur’an that contradicts the definite text is examined:
- If its chain of transmission is weak, it will be rejected due to its weakness
- And if its chain of transmission is authentic, it will be rejected in terms of meaning due to contradicting definite (meaning).
4- I will mention what was mentioned in some books of Muslim jurists on such matters, for information:
a - It was stated in the Kuwaiti Fiqh Encyclopedia (p11908) the following:
[The Qur’an is what has been transmitted to us between the two covers of the Mushaf (Qur’an book) with mutawatir transmission, and is bound by the Mushafs (Qur’an books); because the Companions, may Allah (swt) be pleased with them, exaggerated in transferring it and filtering it of everything else, to the extent that they hated the tithes and dots so that it would not be mixed with other, so we know that what is written in the agreed-upon Mus’haf (Qur’an book) is the Qur’an, and that what is outside of it is not from it, as it is impossible in custom and tradition with the availability of reasons for memorizing the Qur’an that part of it be neglected, and it does not get transmitted, or is mixed with what is not from it.]
The Encyclopedia of Fiqh continues: [There is no dispute that everything that is from the Qur’an must be mutawatir in its origin and parts, and it is similar in: place, status and arrangement, according to the scholars of the Sunnah. That is, it must be mutawatir. It is stated in “Musallam Athuboot Wa Sharhihi Fawatih al-Rahmut”: What was transmitted by Ahad is not definitely a Qur’an, and no disagreement was known about it by one of the people of school of thoughts. And it inferred that the Qur’an is one of the things that have reasons for its transmission for including the challenge; And because it is the origin of the rulings, considering the meaning and the systems all together, until many rulings are attached to its systems. And because it is the source of blessing in every age by reading and writing, and therefore the effort of the Companions to memorize it is known by definitive mutawatir, and everything that is available for its transmission is transmitted usually by mutawatir, for its existence is required for mutawatir for everyone usually, if the necessary is negated, which is mutawatir, the required is negated definitely, and what is transmitted by Ahad is not mutawatir, so it is not Qur’an ...] End.
b- The following is stated in the book, Al-Itqan Fi Uloom Al-Qur’an 1/279 by As-Siyooti: [And Abu Ubaid said about the virtues of Qur’an: The intention of odd recitation is the interpretation of the famous recitation and to show their meanings, like the recitation of Aisha and Hafsa: "والصلاة الوسطى صَلَاةِ الْعَصْرِ" “And the middle prayer is Asr prayer” And the recitation of Ibn Masood: "فَاقْطَعُوا أَيْمَانَهُمَا" “So cut off their rights” And the recitation of Jabir: "فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مِنْ بَعْدِ إِكْرَاهِهِنَّ لَهُنَّ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ" “So Allah after the coercion to them is forgiving and merciful” He said: These letters and the like have become tools to explain the Qur’an. The same was used to be narrated about the Tabi’een regarding the tafseer and it was praised, so how then if it is from the companions....]
I hope that this answer is sufficient, and Allah Knows Best and is Most Wise.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
22 Dhul Hijjah 1443 AH
The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page
- Governments Now Utilizes Banks to Block Muslims Financially
- Alwaie Magazine: Prominent Headlines for Issue 432
- O Officers of Pakistan’s Armed Forces! How Will You Answer Allah, swt, When He, swt, Holds You to Account for Not Bringing Yourselves, Your Tanks, Your Artillery and Your Missiles into Immediate Action
- Governments Now Utilizes Banks to Block Muslims Financially
- To Boost the US President’s Mid-Term Election Prospects, Pakistan’s Military Leadership Compromises Our Air Space and Security