Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

How Muhammad’s Sunna Trumps The Quran Once Again!

Sam Shamoun

According to the Quran, every person must face the judgment of Allah in order to give an account and be recompensed for everything s/he has done and earned.

How (will it be) when We gather them together on the Day about which there is no doubt (i.e. the Day of Resurrection). And each person will be paid in full what he has earned? And they will not be dealt with unjustly. S. 3:25 Hilali-Khan 

On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allah is full of Kindness to the (His) slaves. S. 3:30 Hilali-Khan

that God may recompense every soul for its earnings; surely God is swift at the reckoning.” S. 14:51 Arberry

And when the written pages of deeds (good and bad) of every person shall be laid open; And when the heaven shall be stripped off and taken away from its place; And when Hell-fire shall be kindled to fierce ablaze. And when Paradise shall be brought near, (Then) every person will know what he has brought (of good and evil). S. 81:10-14 Hilali-Khan – cf. Q. 2:281; 3:161; 6:70; 10:30, 54; 20:15; 39:70; 40:17; 45:22

These passages make it abundantly clear that no individual is exempt from judgment. The expressions “each person” or “every person” or “every soul” are repeated over and over again. There is nothing unclear or vague or ambiguous in these verses on this matter.

Muhammad, on the other hand, contradicted these crystal texts from his own scripture sine he told his followers that there will be 70,000 of his followers who will enter paradise without having to face judgment in order to give an account for their actions:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Allah's Apostle said, “Nations were displayed before me; one or two prophets would pass by along with a few followers. A prophet would pass by accompanied by nobody. Then a big crowd of people passed in front of me and I asked, ‘Who are they Are they my followers?’ It was said, 'No. It is Moses and his followers.’ It was said to me, 'Look at the horizon.' Behold! There was a multitude of people filling the horizon. Then it was said to me, 'Look there and there about the stretching sky! Behold! There was a multitude filling the horizon,' It was said to me, 'This is your nation out of whom seventy thousand shall enter Paradise without reckoning.'” Then the Prophet entered his house without telling his companions who they (the 70,000) were. So the people started talking about the issue and said, "It is we who have believed in Allah and followed His Apostle; therefore those people are either ourselves or our children who are born m the Islamic era, for we were born in the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance.'' When the Prophet heard of that, he came out and said. "Those people are those who do not treat themselves with Ruqya, nor do they believe in bad or good omen (from birds etc.) nor do they get themselves branded (Cauterized). But they put their trust (only) in their Lord " On that 'Ukasha bin Muhsin said, "Am I one of them, O Allah's Apostle?” The Prophet said, "Yes." Then another person got up and said, "Am I one of them?" The Prophet said, “'Ukasha has anticipated you." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 606)

Narrated Ibn Abbas: Allah's Apostle said, "Seventy thousand people of my followers will enter Paradise without accounts, and they are those who do not practice Ar-Ruqya and do not see an evil omen in things, and put their trust in their Lord.  (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 479)

Now this places Muslims in a dilemma since this means that the Quran is either right, and therefore Muhammad’s sunna is wrong, or the Quran is grossly mistaken.

Perhaps some Muslims may want to argue that their scripture is “merely” incomplete since it failed to mention that there would be 70,000 believers who shall be exempt from having to give an answer to Allah for their words and actions at the last day. Yet this argument also raises problems for the Quran since it would prove that the Muslim scripture is again mistaken, this time for claiming to be a thoroughly detailed revelation which comprehensively explains all of its verses:

Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou (O Muhammad) of the waverers. S. 6:114 Pickthall

One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims. S. 16:89 Y. Ali

A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail; - a Qur'an in Arabic, for people who understand; - S. 41:3 Y. Ali

How can the Quran be an explanation of all things, a scripture which explains its verses in detail, when it fails to mention the fact that not every Muslim will face judgment?

There is another option left for Muslims, namely, to accept the fact that the hadith literature or sunna of Muhammad is unreliable, and should therefore be discarded, since it doesn’t clarify the meaning of the Quran, but contradicts it. However, to discard the ahadith is to basically undermine the very foundation of the Quran since without the former the latter becomes a rather incoherent, unintelligible book.

The Muslim scripture fails to provide enough details or background information which would help the readers understand the proper meaning and/or the historical context for the great bulk of its verses.  

We will leave it to the Muslims to clean up the mess made by Muhammad’s sunna.