Have you ever cited a hadith to someone who turned around and demanded that they will only accept Quran? Then read this. an irrefutable response to Quranists aka Sunna Rejectors.
What Did The Messenger Receive & What Was His Authority by Jake Brancatella
The following is a refutation of the “Quran Only” perspective by a former follower of this ideology. Yes, that’s right I used to be one for about eight years. However, I have found contradictions between the Quran only point of view and ayat of the Qur’an itself. There are several issues with the Quran only position, but I will focus on one that I see is fundamental and one that was a major factor, which caused me to abandon the position.
The issue surrounds what the Messenger peace be upon him received from Allah and what his authority is in regards to what he received.
For those that may not be familiar, the Quran only position is that the Quran itself is sufficient in all matters of the deen of Islam and that all ahadith apart from the Quran are to be rejected. Some verses that are used to support this by Quranists are 45:6, 6:114, 10:35, 6:19, 10:15, 25:31, 39:23, etc.
They also believe that obeying the Messenger peace be upon him is according to what he received from Allah. However, they differ with Sunnis by claiming that the Messenger only received the Quran and nothing more. Some proof texts for this are 6:19, 10:15, 6:114, etc.
What the messenger received and what his authority was is inevitably linked, so we must investigate what he actually received from Allah.
Sunnis and Quran only folks agree unquestionably that the Messenger peace be upon him received the Quran and was to be obeyed according to it. The real question is, did the Messenger peace be upon him receive wahi apart from the Quran and was he to be obeyed in regards to that as well?
The Quran answers in the affirmative and demonstrates that the Messenger was to be obeyed according to this other wahi as well. The technical term for the Quranic revelation is wahi matlu or revelation that is recited. The second type of revelation is known as wahi ghayr matlu or revelation that is not recited. Let us now investigate whether or not the latter is evident in the Quran itself.
1 Beginning in Quran 2:143, “Thus We made you a moderate community, that you may be witnesses to humanity, and that the Messenger may be a witness to you. We only established the direction of prayer, which you once followed, that We may distinguish those who follow the Messenger from those who turn on their heels. It is indeed difficult, except for those whom God has guided. But God would never let your faith go to waste. God is Kind towards the people, Merciful.” We see in this aya that the Messenger was following a previous qibla established by Allah, but where is the command in the Quran for the Messenger to follow this first qibla? It does not exist. Not only that, other people were following the Messenger on this qibla as is evident from the phrase that mentions the purpose of the qibla being changed, “that We may distinguish those who follow the messenger from those who turn on their heels”. This means the messenger and other believers were on a previous qibla ordained by Allah, yet it is not mentioned in the Quran. Thus, we must conclude that the Messenger received wahi apart from the Quran from Allah to follow this qibla and he ordered others to do the same. This also proves his authority was not limited to the Quran.
2 A second example of wahi ghayr matlu is in Quran 3:123-126, “God had given you victory at Badr, when you were weak. So fear God, that you may be thankful. When you said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord has reinforced you with three thousand angels, sent down?” It is; but if you persevere and remain cautious, and they attack you suddenly, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels, well trained. God made it but a message of hope for you, and to reassure your hearts thereby. Victory comes only from God the Almighty, the Wise.”
The obvious question comes, how did the Messenger know that Allah would be supporting the believers in battle with angels? There is no verse in the Quran where Allah states this. Also, note that these verses are in the past tense and are recalling something that already occurred. The Messenger is quoted as to what he said to the believers, which was certainly knowledge of the unseen.
Again, this incident is referenced in Qur’an 8:9-10, “When you appealed to your Lord for help, He answered you, “I am reinforcing you with one thousand angels in succession.” God only made it a message of hope, and to set your hearts at rest. Victory comes only from God. God is Mighty and Wise.” The Messenger asked for Allah’s help and Allah’s response to the Messenger is quoted directly in the Quran. Again, this is expressed in the past tense regarding something that already occurred. The Messenger then relayed this knowledge to the believers as was already shown in 3:123-126.
Notice that the Messenger didn’t simply quote Allah. He put the revelation into his own words as the quotes compared aren’t the same, yet it conveyed the same truth that Allah would support the believers in battle with angels and it carried the same weight and authority.
3 We also have the example of the prophet marrying the Companion Zayd’s ex wife in Qur’an 33:37, “When you said to him whom God had blessed, and you had favored, “Keep your wife to yourself, and fear God.” But you hid within yourself what God was to reveal. And you feared the people, but it was God you were supposed to fear. Then, when Zayd ended his relationship with her, We gave her to you in marriage, that there may be no restriction for believers regarding the wives of their adopted sons, when their relationship has ended. The command of God was fulfilled.”
Notice that the aya says, “You hid within yourself what Allah was to reveal and you feared the people, but it was Allah you were supposed to fear.” Why would Allah address the Prophet about this if he didn’t know he would eventually marry Zayd’s wife? It is obvious that if someone is hiding something they must have knowledge of it. Therefore, we must conclude that Allah informed the prophet that Zayd would divorce his wife and he would marry her afterwards.
However, this is not mentioned in the Quran. So once again, this is another example of revelation received apart from the Quran. The fact that the prophet was addressed for not conveying it shows us that this other wahi is expected to be conveyed and is binding on the Prophet and the believers.
4 The last example that I will use for the sake of being concise is found in Quran 66:3, “The Prophet told something in confidence to one of his wives. But when she disclosed it, and God made it known to him; he communicated part of it, and he avoided another part. Then, when he informed her of it, she said, “Who informed you of this?” He said, “The All-Knowing, the All-Informed, informed me.” The Prophet is said to be told by Allah that one of his wives disclosed what he had told her. When his wife asks him about who informed him of this he says that Allah did. Yet, there is no mention of when and what Allah told him in the Quran. This must be considered wahi the prophet received that is obviously not Qur’an.
Let us now consider the authority of the Messenger peace be upon him. There are countless ayat in the Quran that contain the phrase, “obey Allah and obey the messenger”. For example, Quran 8:20-22 “O you who believe! Obey God and His Messenger, and do not turn away from him when you hear. And be not like those who say, “We hear,” when they do not hear. The worst of animals to God are the deaf and dumb—those who do not reason.” A typical Quranist response is to say that we obey the Messenger in the message that he brought, which was only the Quran. However, in light of wahi ghayr matlu that is explicit in the Quran we know that this interpretation is erroneous. The Messenger’s authority is clearly not limited to the Quran as he received wahi from Allah that was not Quran, which was conveyed and applied as well. So, we must conclude that obedience to the Messenger is not limited to the Quran. In summary, the Quran-only position is false because it limits the authority of the messenger to the Quran, which is a contradiction with the Quran itself. This is clear from the following deductive argument:
Premise 1 - If the Messenger peace be upon him received wahi apart from the Quran, then the Quran only position is false.
Premise 2 - The Messenger peace be upon him received wahi apart from the Qur’an (2:143, 3:123-126, 8:9-10, 33:37, 66:3, etc).
Conclusion - Therefore, the Quran-only position is false.