Help! Iā€™m Having Doubts About the Faith Due to Specific Hadiths ā€“ Ask Shaykh YQ #245

Yasir Qadhi

Channel: Yasir Qadhi


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Today, we have a very, very sensitive question that we're going to begin with, from a brother who wishes to remain anonymous. And you will see why he writes a very difficult question. It is a very long question. I'm summarizing it. And it is a question that I feel is of great value to many amongst our youth. He says that he is a college student, you know, taking many different classes at university, and he wants to come closer to the religion but at the same time, the more he is studying Islam, and the more he is studying other issues, he is gate getting a lot of doubts. And especially, he is finding a lot of issues personally, he says, from specific, you know, a hadith

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that are found in the sooner that he believes goes against what we know of modern science, a hadith about life, the origins of life cosmology, you know, cosmology is, of course, the heavens and the earth and the interaction that we have as a planet with the other stellar agencies around us. And he says that all and he has a long list in the email, I'm not going to go over them all but one by one, and he says that all of this does not seem to be of divine origin. And he says that what what does what is he supposed to do? You know, he mentioned as you said, a number of Hadith the son prostrating in front of Allah after it sets the son sitting in murky water other says traditions,

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and he confesses and he says at this stage, even though he prays and he's with the community inside of himself, he has a lot of doubts and he doesn't know he's saying whether he's Muslim or not, hence he is emailing me for advice.

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107 I mean Kobe league in at Jalan no he lay him first earn Oh, rickety.

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So um, this is a very difficult question. And instead of going down each one of these a hadith, which is important, and perhaps, you know, and by the way, I have covered some of these a hadith if you Google, you know, these a hadith and my name, you will find I've done a number of q&a is about specific Hadith that you're mentioning. But the point is that in this answer, I wanted to take a step back and comment holistically give you a framework, you and all of us who are in a similar boat, what exactly do we do, when we come across a tidbit of information that comes from our tradition? That doesn't make sense to us. And I began by stating that in your email, you say, and I

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really liked this quote, that you want to believe this is what you write in your email, you really want to believe. And I say this in and of itself, it shows that there is clearly an element of your pure fitrah still inside of you. Because and this is I want to speak to those who have Alhamdulillah, no doubts, they're not struggling with the man, those who are Marshal affirming their faith, when a brother like this comes to some amongst us. Generally speaking, there is a very dismissive attitude, you're not sincere, you don't really want the truth, how can you have any doubts about the religion? And I do not agree with this attitude. It is possible to sit, be sincere

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and to have questions, it is possible that you are struggling internally, despite the fact that you don't want to struggle and you want to submit Not all who doubt or evil, not all who are struggling with a man or since insincere. Not all who are having these issues are simply wanting to follow their desires. And I say this because all too often, there is this sentiment from especially the very firmly religious class there is this sentiment that there's no question that this person has never really, you know, had any emotion in the first place. That's why he's having these questions. No, the fact that he is struggling to struggle, he's saying he wants to believe and yet he's

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struggling, right. The fact that he's vacillating back and forth, in and of itself. This shows that he has a man deep down inside, and I liked this phrase, I want to believe and throughout the email, I can sense from him, he is struggling, that desire to want to believe indicates insha Allah to Allah sincerity. And I do believe and I've said this before, and I will say again, in the course of this answer as well. I do believe that those who are genuinely sincere and persistent in that sincerity, that's the key. You can be sincere but not persistent.

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sincere and you are persistent in wanting to uncover the truth and wanting to get to a solution that insha Allah Tada, you will indeed get to such a solution. And the fact that you say you want to believe is one more indication, in fact that Allah created us upon the fitrah, that you have an innate desire to be religious, Allah created us wanting to have a higher purpose, wanting to believe and to worship Him. And you also realize, I think it is clear, deep down inside that leaving the faith is in fact, a very, very spiritually traumatic event. It is a rupture from your natural state. And you don't want that that's why you are struggling, and you're emailing me and you're wanting to

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ask and what not, you realize deep down inside the implications of leaving this faith, of breaking away from our communities, from families, of getting really into a chaos, an abyss that has no right and wrong, and up and down, that has no actual reality. You, if you go down this route, will give up something that gives you quite a lot of certainty and some unanswered questions. And you will substitute it for complete uncertainty, the greatest mysteries of life, and the biggest questions of your existence will have no answers in the other paradigm, whereas in the paradigm you're on now, whereas in the framework you are now you have answers to those big questions, but you're struggling

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with some of the other issues of the faith. So I began by setting up the appreciative pneus that I have, that you are in fact admitting to that struggle, and I empathize with you. And I acknowledge that you are sincere, insha Allah to Allah and you can be sincere and still have this struggle within you. Now, how do we answer this question holistically? Instead of getting into the minutiae of each and every Hadith, as I said, in today's q&a, I wanted to talk about this in a broader manner, because the fact is that there are many who are struggling with particular issues, particular texts, and they don't understand them. But they're happy with the broad package, if you

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like. And I say that we need to differentiate between the broad principles of our religion that are certain that are definitive, that are in debatable in Arabic Yaqeen. Or we can also call them that yet, the certainties of our faith, we need to differentiate between that and between those that are not certain not in debatable between what is called the ven knee yet, right. And so, for example, of the certainties of the unshakable certainties that we believe in is that Allah is our Lord. And he sent a series of prophets and the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is the combination of those prophets, and he revealed a book, and that there shall be life after death, and that there is

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accountability. These and others are of the certainties of the Ukrainians. Anybody who doubts these certainties, has frankly doubted the faith and there is no more faith after this in your entire list of questions that you're asking, right? None of them challenged or doubted any of the certainties. To me, this is a very positive indication, because we cannot take a small data found in one narration of Hadith and use it to challenge that which you are certain about, and that is there is a higher power, that is the attributes of that higher power as found in the Quran and Sunnah. That is that overall, the prophethood of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam is clearly a prophet, of

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which sincere and a true person, and that the religion of Islam is indeed a blessing religion, it provides you a sense of peace and certainty. So when you have these fundamentals that you believe in them Alhamdulillah that's great. Moving down the scale of certainties, there are other aspects of our faith, that if you or anybody were to doubt or deny them, you don't lose or leave the faith, but you do enter into an area that we don't like, okay? So there are beliefs and there are tenants that if you hold them or deny them, depending on what it is, we will say that's not good. And that's not something that is pleasing to Allah. And that's not you know, mainstream what we call orthodoxy, but

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you still remain within the faith. So for example, and we've had so many different permutations of understanding, you know, the Quran and so many different, you know, trends and sects and she isms, that history is replete with them, and by and large, we have a fairly good understanding and a fairly mainstream understanding of what Orthodoxy is, and what other groups

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What are outside orthodoxy but still within Islam, and then what will cause one to leave Islam. And so for example, if somebody does not want to believe in God or in divine providence, and somebody says that, you know, Allah knows the future, but doesn't control the future, which is the belief of the Morteza, right? We will say that we believe that this is a heretical belief. And the person who holds this really is not doing justice to our tradition, but this person remains a Muslim. So a person remains a Muslim, but holds a belief that we consider to be incorrect. And the same goes for a myriad of other beliefs. So for example, not respecting the Senior Companions, right, this is a

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huge issue and a problem, but one does not become a rejecter of Allah and His messenger. This is the correct opinion in this regard, that one does not become a Kaffir for not respecting the Senior Companions and saying things about them that are not appropriate to say that this in and of itself is very dangerous, but one does not become a person outside the fold of Islam. So we're moving down now on what is considered to be of the certainties, then you go even below this on an even lower scale, such that perhaps denying it or negating It might even be within orthodoxy, might even allow you to remain as a mainstream practicing Muslim. And amongst these issues, is to consider a

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particular tradition of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam found in the books of Hadith to be inaccurate or incorrect, because it goes against what you believe to be definitive, meaning you meaning a scholar, who not somebody that is untrained, but a scholar of Islam. And this is something that is well known in the traditions and the sciences of Hadith. And I bring this up, because all of your questions centered around specific data points taken from the books of Hadith. And by the way, I have familiar with all of these traditions as being found on specific, you know, genres of websites that seek to expose Islam or criticize Islam. And, you know, we live in a world where this

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information is available for all we live in a world where we do have to answer these challenges. And I'm aware that, you know, there are many such websites that really their aim is to cast doubts about the teachings of Islam. Okay, well, that's the freedom they have the freedom we have is to defend Islam, and to answer these challenges. So the point being that,

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too, for a scholar, to question a particular Hadith, and to say, I don't think this hadith is authentic, and to follow an agreed upon epistemology, and agreed upon foundation, this is called also that hadith or Muslim Hadith. And to reject a tradition and consider it to be weak based on a sound analyses. This is something that is within the mainstream orthodoxy, when it is done by a scholar with the proper methodology, and rarely, not infrequently, but not frequently, rarely, we do find the scholars of our tradition, occasionally questioning particular narrations, because their content is deemed to be beyond the scope of what we should believe in. And one of the most you know,

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there are many examples of this. And one of them being there's a hadith in Sahih Muslim, in which the profitsystem is alleged to have set it since I Muslim, the process is alleged to have said that Allah created the earth on Saturday, and he created the mountains on Sunday, and he created the trees on Monday. And he created the things that he labor on Tuesday created light on Wednesday, and then the animals on Thursday, and He created Adam, after also on Friday, right before sunset. Now, this tradition, even though it isn't Sahih Muslim, and therefore, generally speaking, it is considered to be you know, of the most authentic books, actually, many scholars of the past found it

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problematic because of the content. And just because of the content, great scholars like yeah, hablen marine and others, even if it didn't take me, em they said this is not from the prophets of Allah, Allah, he was sending them. This is coming from the Israeli. This is coming from the Judeo Christian sources, because this is what the Old Testament says right? That you know, God created the earth on Saturday. And then the mountains on Sundays are very similar to a biblical pas almost mirror not exactly this almost mirroring a biblical passage. And so and also, by the way, this hadith seems to contradict, you know, the explicit Quran as well, in a number of ways, which is

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beyond the scope of this class, the point being that for a scholar of Hadith to problematize, the Hadith because the it does not, it is not in accordance with other texts of the Quran, or with what we know for certainty, which is interpretable. This is not something that in and of itself is against even mainstream orthodoxy. And there are many such examples. You know, one of my own teachers was considered to be a very, very senior mainstream orthodox Muslim who is following the class

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Call was the seller of this OMA chakra Northumbrian Allah hammer that he famously, you know, publicly doubted the Hadith which is in Sahih, Muslim about the the job being chained to a rock, you know, a group of sailors allegedly discovered the job in a cave and whatnot. And he said this hadith doesn't, you know, make sense to me and Allah knows best, but I don't view it to be authentic simply because the meaning did not appeal to me. It doesn't go against anything in the Quran per se. But the meaning of the tail seems so fanciful to this great scholar that he said, I'm just a, you know, quoting him in this regard. So the point is that to, for an individual scholar, to see a solitary

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chain of Hadith, and to feel that this chain of Hadith the content in it or the chain itself, does not provide a level of certainty. And therefore to not accept it does not imply that he is rejecting our the villa the Prophet sallallahu. Either he will send them see, this is the fundamental issue that confuses so many Muslims, even some who are semi knowledgeable, maybe even some graduates at a basic level. rejecting an authentic hadith for valid reasons, is not rejecting the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam the two are not the same. To doubt the validity of a hadith is not the same as Doubting Islam, or doubting the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam because the science of

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hadith is a complicated science. And there are many possibilities, including the possibility of an error, a human error, a memory lapse, and therefore we have so many narrations, even amongst the Sahaba challenging each other, our mother should have the Allahu Anhu there's an entire booklet that one of the famous scholars wrote about the corrections that are Aisha made about the other Sahabas narrations of a hadith that I should allow and I would point out know the process of didn't say that no, you misunderstood? No, that wasn't the actual wording that is a recollection that is a faulted recollection. And if this is something that I share herself, or the Allahu Allah is pointing out,

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then to take a long chain of a human narrators, which might be a valid chain, and then to use that to doubt the religion of Islam because there's something in it that goes against what we know for a fact, I'm saying you are talking about a methodology that is itself flawed, your certainty of Islam is not based upon these individual data points of Hadith, your certainty of Islam is based upon Allah subhana wa Tada. It is based upon the Quran and the impact of the Quran, it is based upon worshipping Allah and the serenity of your heart when you worship Allah, that is the certainty of Islam. Now, you come across a solitary tradition found in one of the books of Hadith, even if it is,

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you know, Sahih Muslim, or a Buddha, or whatever it might be. Now, you are challenging your faith. No, it doesn't work that way. And still, I say that, in fact, this is, of course, an issue with with with Sunni Islam itself. And that's, of course, I am Sunni. So I am going to clarify this. But I'm saying that we're you to adopt the view of, let's say, the more Tesla. So the more Tesla, by the way, the more Tesla, from the very beginning, were far more skeptical of Hadith. And they were much more Quran centric, even though the accepted Hadith, but with a lot more conditions, then Sudanese and that's why they're not called Sudanese. And so I'm just saying, if you were to adopt a more

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desolate or a NEO martyr city stance on Hadith, and remain a Muslim, this is infinitely better and much more logical than for you to reject the faith because you cannot understand certain traditions that are found in the Sunni literature. And I'm saying this very bluntly. And I know is going to as usual, you know, we're going to have people too who misunderstand a misquote, I'm saying, between the two, which one is better? And there's no question which one is better? Now, I'm saying there's a third option, and that is follow the mainstream and I myself am a Sunni and I understanding the sciences of Hadith that is one of my areas of speciality and I have remained a Sunni throughout all

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of my years accepting Hadith and accepting the validity of Hadith. And I say that,

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really, these issues of problematizing specific Hadith actually goes back to our own lack of understanding and lack of knowledge of the sciences of Hadith. A lot of things can be said here. First and foremost, we need to examine whether the scholars all agree that a particular hadith is authentic or not. If we find legitimate difference of opinion, well then even if you're a lay person for you to follow an opinion of an accepted scholar and it saves your Eman is definitely fine and acceptable, no problem. And you you mentioned a hadith that has the phrase that the sun is setting in murky water, right. So some scholars challenged this narration and they said no, this version is

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found in a Buddha wood and it goes against the version found inside a body which does not mention this. So they say actually

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This is a mis quotation and the narrator is quoting a verse of a sort of gaff right point is that you will find scholarly voices that considered some of these traditions that you're meant you're mentioning, according to me to not to be authentic. Also, we have to understand that a lot of times the problem might not be in the Hadith, it might be in your understanding of the Hadith. Different words have different meanings for different people. And you reading a translation in English, you know, 14 Centuries later might understand something that was never intended by the one who spoke those words. So, one, one Hadith that you bring up is the Hadith of the Sun prostrating to Allah

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azza wa jal every single night and asking permission to come back up. And you feel that this is a type of mythology. And the response actually is quite clear. None of the Sahaba understood that the sun prostrates like we do, and has a head and a face and a hand and then lowers itself in front of the Throne of Allah subhana wa Tada. And then, you know, comes up the other side, none of the Sahaba understood this. And this is mentioned by early scholars who've been taming others, they clarified this that the word prostration means different things for different entities, and how the sun prostrates and the meaning of the Sun prostrating is very different than when I say I'm prostrating.

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And just like the Quran says, every single creation praises Allah, but you don't understand how the Quran says this. And the Quran says that the creation that says that to Allah so much so that the shadows that you see, they are doing says that to Allah, now, the shadows are doing said this is no Quran right? Clearly, the shadows are not doing such that the way we are. But the meaning of such the here is showing subservience showing respect, the meaning of search the here is servitude to Allah subhanho wa taala, do you deny that the creation of Allah is showing servitude to Allah, The Son is showing servitude to Allah constantly, and the son is under the power of Allah. And hence the

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son is asking Allah that the route that it is taking it as decreed by Allah, and if Allah were to will, that would not happen. And so we need to understand this tradition in a way that it was intended to be understood, it is not at all problematic if you understand what was originally intended. The point here is that you are problematizing a number of traditions. And I'm telling you, first and foremost, these traditions, Eve every one of them, every one of them is an individual data point. And you're using these small data points to challenge a far bigger issue, the the science of epistemology of how you know what you know how you give weight, to what you know, your belief in the

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Quran, and in Allah subhana wa Taala should be the highest. And these data points of Hadith are very low on the ranking of you attain of certainty. One solitary Hadith does not reach the level of certainty that the Quran does that the existence of Allah does, that the fact that the Prophet system is a prophet does so for you to take this small bit of data and to challenge something far bigger, far more certain. This is a flaw in your own methodology, my dear brother, don't do that. The certainty of Islam is above one data point. And we're you to even reject that data point and not believe in it. And believe in Islam, it is actually more logical, but I say there is no need to

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reject mainstream student ism or to embrace Neo Marxism. I mean, All I said is if you do so, it is better than the alternative, which is to leave Islam. But I'm saying there is no need even to do that. Because these tertiary issues, these minutiae, these aspects, they if you do a deep dive and you go over them one by one, you will inshallah to Allah see that either the tradition is not authentic, or what you have understood, is not what was intended by the speaker. And if neither of these two conditions is met, if you have read all of the classical commentaries and the Hadith in Bukhari and Muslim, and it is clearly authentic, and you still have issues and concerns, well, then

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you have the third option, which is to resign its meaning to Allah, and to say, Oh Allah, I don't understand this hadith. I don't know what it means. But I know the Quran to be true. And I know you to be true, and I know the Prophet system to be true. Let it be. You don't have to answer every single question for every single data point. There are ways of achieving certainty beyond answering questions, the peace that one gets prostrating to Allah, the feeling of nobility that one gets being a Muslim, the pleasure in reciting the Quran. These give you a type of certainty that should help you overcome not being able to answer every single small question now. By the way, if your questions

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dealt with bigger issues than Yes, I agree we should go down and answer them the existence of God and what not. Yes, that is a far bigger issue. I'm not talking about that. But your email, my dear brother was over a long list of specific data points in the Hadith. And I'm saying, this is a flawed epistemology that were you to even reject every book of Hadith, right? And say, I don't accept, you know, the books of Hadith like the more Tesla do, you will still remain a Muslim, and you will still believe in Allah in the Quran. And for you to take these and then doubt the religion of Islam, this is a wrong framework, I say to you, there is no need even to get to that level of either or, and

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insha, Allah to Allah, mainstream Orthodox Judaism has plenty of ways to answer to this type of question. And let us never forget that even if you don't have an answer, even if you don't have an answer, remember, obaku is so different. The Allah one after the incident was soymeal, Raj, you know, in his lifetime, in their lifetime, nobody could comprehend how a man could go from Makkah to Jerusalem and come back the same night, when we teach our children this, they don't really consider it to be a major miracle because they know supersonic jets and whatnot, they understand it's very possible for us to go to Jerusalem and come back in a few hours, if we can do this with our created

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objects cannot Allah subhanaw taala do it with through the mechanism of Baroque so our children do not find it as miraculous as previous generations do. Because they now understand it's very easy for us with our technology to do this. So can't Allah azza wa jal obviously be infinitely more powerful than our technology. But when a robot could have said it was told, Do you actually believe this? What did he say? He didn't know how he didn't know the mechanism? He said, Of course, it must if he said it, it must be true. That level of Eman uncertainty, there's nothing wrong with that. Blind faith after reasoned belief is the essence of Islam, we believe because we know it to be true. Once

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we believe there must be a leap of faith, you're not expected to answer every single misunderstanding of a hadith in order to achieve certainty. And if you wish to spend your life pursuing this, go for it. But if you can't, and most of us can't, then as I said, prioritize, where do you get the certainty of Islam from, from the broad principles? And you know, this also has to be said, what is the alternative? You know, you yourself are struggling with, you know, leaving Islam and Alhamdulillah I'm glad to hear this that you're struggling you don't want to just leave. Because deep down inside you recognize that there is no ideology or theology that is even anywhere close to

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Islam, when it comes to being a reasonable manifestation of answering the big questions of life. How did you get here, do your brother who created you, you know there must be a higher power the world is simply to perfect the synchronism of the work the harmony, the the the symbiotic relationships between everything, it is simply too majestic and too powerful for it to come out of spontaneity, atoms of creation simply don't just come together and form life as we know it. Because this would imply that every atom has a higher purpose and is in sync and in harmony with every other atom, and they're all coordinating simultaneously to achieve the universe that we have to believe this is

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utterly ludicrous and nonsensical. So to believe in an Allah and a messenger and a Quran and a tradition in which one data point is beyond our comprehension Wallah, he this is infinitely more logical then to reject it because you don't understand one Hadith to reject it because one statement and oh Buddha or the Muslim Imam Muhammad or something of this nature does not make any sense to you, as I said, to even reject the sciences of Hadith but remain a Muslim is infinitely more logical and better than to reject Islam because you don't understand certain a hadith but even that, if you did your research, you would easily and shallow to understand that is not really that you know,

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impossible to answer. And you have multiple answers. As I said, first and foremost, is the Hadith authentic or not, and if we find some scholars made it weak, and if the content does not make sense to you, it is permissible to follow those group of scholars and say, Look, you know what, those group of scholars you know, they they have considered it to be and if you misunderstand the Hadith, do your research, find out what the Hadith means. And if you were to simply say, I don't know, I don't understand this hadith. I leave it to Allah and His messenger. And then this too, is also safe for your Eman. And the final point I'll mentioned before we move on to the next question is that

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find comfort dear brother in sila in dua in vicar, the certainty that the seeker gets in lowering his head in front of Allah and the spiritual boosts that you get from the Quran. It will help you overcome some of these gray areas. And I conclude with the statement that I began with that we firmly believe firmly believe that those who are sincere genuinely sincere

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To Allah subhanho wa Taala and are persistent in that sincerity. They shall and shall love to either be guided to the truth and to the divine reality because Allah does not misguide the sincere, Allah does not misguide those who truly want to be guided. So I pray that Allah azza wa jal guides you and me to that which he loves. Yeah