The Quran and Sunnah are the holy texts of Islam. According to the followers of Islam, Mohammed was the foremost and last prophet of Allah. He lived from 570 to 632 CE, and throughout the latter half of his life he received revelations from Allah (see biography of the prophet Mohammed). These revelations were complied after his death to form the Holy Quran, and the followers of Islam believe the Arabic text of the Quran to be a true and undiluted transcription of the direct revelations of Allah to Mohammed (see history of the Quran).
Islam is a major world religion with a following of more than 1.5 billion people. And just like all world religions it too preaches many praiseworthy human values, as well as forming a base for social cohesion in many of the lands where it is practiced. Fortunately for all those who cannot read the ancient dialect of Mecca spoken by Mohammed, the Holy Quran has been capably translated into many languages. This is also a direct instruction of Allah in the Holy Quran, which is why translation of the Quran into many languages is promoted by the highest Islamic authorities.
And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. (Quran 14:4)
But for many, the lessons in the Quran were incomplete or insufficient, and they looked to the speech and deeds of Mohammed for guidance with problems not clearly expressed in the Quran. Allah had even revealed that this was a sensible and good thing to do, for Allah revealed to Mohammed that:
Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last Day, and remembereth Allah much. (Quran 33:21)
Accordingly, many scholars began collecting and compiling the known sayings and deeds of Mohammed. One of the most authoritative compilations is that of Muhammad Ismail al-Bukhari who lived from 810 to 870 CE in the city of Bukhara (see biography of Muhammad Ismail al-Bukhari). For 16 years he travelled widely collecting thousands of deeds and/or sayings of Mohammed. Legend tells that he collected more than 300,000 such sayings and/or deeds. Each of these sayings and/or deeds is called a Hadith. Bukhari was a meticulous scholar working about 200 years after the death of Mohammed, and knew that many such stories were wild fabrications, half remembered truths, while some really were true. So he adopted the careful procedure of only accepting those Hadiths as true sayings and/or deeds of Mohammed if the line of transmission, called the Isnad, from one person to another across the 200 years was clear, trustworthy, and unequivocal. He even graded Hadiths as to their reliability, correctly assuming those Hadiths confirmed by multiple unrelated Isnads to be the most reliable. This was astoundingly good scholarship, and all done in a time long before computers were even dreamed of. He was finally left with only 2,602 Hadiths, which were duly compiled according subject, and published. The published compilation of these Hadiths is called the Sunnah, or compilation of Hadith. Even today, the Sunnah of Bukhari is considered to be the most authoritative of all compilations of Hadith, and is considered as second only to the Quran in authority by the Sunni Moslems who use this book next to the Quran.
The Sunnah of Bukhari contains Hadith dealing with a simply enormous range of human activities, such as: rules governing trade, rules of plunder, clothing, menstruation, urination, defecation, when to have sex, the sale of slaves, the buying of dates, when to rape female prisoners, the washing of hands, alcohol, etc. But Mohammed was a man. So were his urination and defecation under divine control? Were his eating, going to the market for food, and his haggling over the price of food under divine control? He was married with many wives. Were his sexual activities and settling of personal marital problems divinely inspired? Other followers of Islam, and even godless unbelieving-dog heathens, perform these same activities without any evident divine control by Allah. This latter fact proves that many of the words, deeds, urination, defecation, eating, buying food in the market, or the sexual activities of Mohammed were certainly not under divine control by Allah. Accordingly, Mohammed was certainly not receiving revelations from Allah all the time. Unfortunately, the Sunnah does not differentiate which of the words and deeds of Mohammed were from Mohammed himself, and which originated from divine revelation. This is an important weakness of the Sunnah which no-one has ever completely explained to me.
There is another, even more important weakness regarding the use of the Sunnah. The revelations of Allah in the Quran are considered to be a true and direct transcript of the revelations from Allah to Mohammed. But in this very same Quran, even though Allah said that while Mohammed is a good example to follow (Quran 33:21), Allah also revealed that regardless of what Mohammed desired, did, or said, it is Allah who ultimately decides the fate of each individual during their mortal life, as well as in a life after death (see also Quran 2:142, Quran 7:178, Quran 14:4, Quran 22:18, Quran 81:29).
Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is best aware of those who walk aright. (Quran 28:56)
This actually means that while the Sunnah tells us what Mohammed desired, did, and said, it does not tell us whether Allah ultimately approved of these things. This is a major logical flaw in the use of the Sunnah as a holy book. Such a statement from Allah means that to use the Sunnah as a source of information regarding the will of Allah is actually unjustified! The only, and inescapable conclusion able to be drawn from these inconsistencies, is that the only sensible course of action for true followers of Islam is to totally discard the use of the Sunnah altogether, because the potentially misleading texts within may doom them to hell in the afterlife promised all true believers. By implication, the Quran is all that can be relied upon, because this is believed to be the direct and unadulterated message of Allah to humankind.
As if this were not enough reason for followers of Islam to save themselves from portential doom, there is another even more serious reason - just as in Judaism and Christianity, Allah sometimes also purposely leads people astray so that they can later undergo ghastly torments in hell for all eternity (see also Quran 7:178, Quran 7:186, as well as pages 248-257 in The Unholy Legacy of Abraham).
And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise. (Quran 14:4)
This is truly shocking! So the Quran tells the followers of Islam that the sayings and/or deeds of Mohammed in the Sunnah are all very well, but it is Allah who determines whether a person goes to hell or heaven. And we cannot know what Allah really wants, because Allah is unknowable. Furthermore, Allah tells us in this same passage that Allah also sends people astray - Allah actually intentionally deceives people! This is really dreadful, because we can never know when Allah is leading people astray, and this was even true for Mohammed at times (Quran 2:142, Quran 22:18, Quran 81:29).
This may sound surprising, but one of the best examples of the ways Mohammed was led astray by Allah is revealed in the contradictory and inconsistent relationship between followers of Islam and dogs. Now if Allah is perfect and eternal, and the laws of Allah equally perfect and eternal, then why were the sayings and deeds of the prophet Mohammed regarding dogs so contradictory and inconsistent? After all, we know from the Quran that Mohammed was a man who supposedly best knew the wishes of Allah (see Quran 33:21). I have also discussed this topic quite exhaustively in my website Islam and dogs, as well as clearly demonstrating the ways how the inconsistent sayings and deeds of Mohammed with regard to dogs clearly demonstrates the imperfect nature of the Sunnah, all of which casts considerable doubts upon the validity of the use of the Sunnah next to the Quran.
This means that, regardless of whether they are prophets or not, Allah willfully sends people astray so they can later undergo an eternity of unspeakable torment in hell for being mislead by Allah! Accordingly, following the lessons in the Sunnah is not necessarily following the instructions of Allah, which means that to use the Sunnah for guidance may also be a delusion, dooming those who believe in its message. This is not the message of a loving Allah.
All these things make it very evident that Allah, as well as the God of the Jews and the Christians, is a God of inconceivable mendacity and cruelty, a God who evidently stoops to deception in order to get as many souls as possible to torture in hell for all eternity. Read more about the ghastly trinity of Allah - deception, disease, and death - on pages 248-257 in The Unholy Legacy of Abraham, a book proving the truly perfidious nature of the God described in texts of the Torah, Bible and Quran!
This page last modified 27 February 2009