Are there any contradictions in the Sayings of the Prophet?

31 Aug

One of the main objections against the authenticity of the Traditions of the Prophet is the allegation that they contain contradictions. Therefore, I would like to add the following reflections to my argumentation in the preceding section of this chapter.
1. The Qur’an commands Muslims to be guided by what the Prophet said and did and to consider him as their ideal. This is stated in the following Qur’anic verses: "He who obeys the Prophet obeys God" [4/80]. "So take what the Prophet assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you". [59/7]. The Prophet’s Traditions include all that the Prophet permitted us to do and all that he forbade us to do. Therefore, the Traditions of the Prophet are an essential part of the faith of Islam, and if we neglect to abide by them we will be wilfully disobeying the Qur’an.
2. There is no difficulty in distinguishing an authentic Tradition from unauthentic or fabricated traditions after the Muslim Scholars laid down the rules in this matter several centuries ago. As we already mentioned in the last section, we can never dispense with the Prophet’s Traditions since they are the second source of the faith of Islam. We must adhere to the teachings stated in the Traditions and realize that any doubt concerning contradictory traditions can be clarified by applying the method and the rules established by the Muslim scholars, which enable one to distinguish the authentic tradition from the unauthentic and fabricated ones.
3. The Traditions of the Prophet are the most precise interpretation of the verses of the Qur’an by the Prophet himself; so how can we possibly dispense with them because of imaginary reasons? Muslims perform their daily prayers according to the manner and instructions described in detail in the Traditions of the Prophet. The manner of performing one’s prayers is not mentioned in the Qur’an, and there are many other similar matters that are explained in the Traditions.
4.(take care of this important point) The scriptures of the divine religions that preceded Islam were written in a manner and style similar to that of the Prophet’s Traditions, yet none of the followers of these religions (Jews and Christians) demanded that they should be rejected as a result of the inconsistency that exists in certain religious observances and the lack of authenticity concerning some events. Such matters must be studied objectively, and authentic proofs concerning inconsistent narratives must be sought and this is the method that was established and followed by Muslim scholars centuries ago.

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