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Quran vs Hadeeth

It is a huge blessing of Allaah Almighty that even in a time when things are very
rough for the Muslims, we have at least one solid rock to hold on to and that is the
final message of Allaah, the sublime Quran e Hakeem. No sect in Muslim
community can argue that the Quran we are holding in our hands today is not the
very same Quran revealed to the last Messenger or that we have not received it in
its original language or format as sent by our Creator. When it comes to hadeeth,
things are not this simple and a lot of ambiguity exists among us. I am attempting
to clear a few misunderstandings that Im constantly hearing on all forums
regarding the hadeeth literature. In todays Islamic world, if you open your mouth
to question the hadeeth literature, you instantaneously win the label of Munkar e
hadeeth. What Im questioning here is; is hadeeth an integral part of Deen e Islam
without which Quran is incomprehensible as claimed by many learned scholars or
does authentic hadeeth only enhances different aspects of our Islamic lives and
enriches it further with its inherent wisdom? There are some conclusions that I
have reached as an ordinary Muslim after analyzing the information I can trust
because Allaah has ordered each and every person to use his human faculties and
contemplate on His signs. It is not just the duty of the learned scholars and that is
why, I have stopped blindly following any particular scholar, even the one I trust
and only take those opinions that my mind fully accepts because no scholar is
perfect in his understanding and can have a tendency to falter in some matters.
This attitude is vital for me now because Allaah has told us that no person will carry
the burden of our mistakes on the Day of Judgement and we will be held
responsible for our deeds as individuals. We will not give the excuse of ignorance or
that some other person, no matter who, mislead us because that is the exact
reason why prophet hood was completed and the final message preserved so that
this excuse would not exist. Allaah will judge me for what I believe from the very
core of my heart without doubt so I have to be absolutely sure that what I believe is
correct to the best of my knowledge. If I get more information tomorrow regarding
some issue, I should be willing to change my opinion and follow that as this is an
ongoing process and we cannot state on any stage that we have got all the
knowledge that we needed so our quest continues till our last breath.
I will quote just one scholar for the point I want to clear as he is regarded as a very
learned and renowned scholar in the Muslim world. Dr Muhammad Hameedullah (9
February 1908 17 December 2002) D. Phil., D. Litt., HI, was a Muhaddith, Faqih,
scholar of Islamic law and an academic author with over 450 books cited
in WorldCat.org, the world's largest bibliographic database. A prolific writer, his
extensive works on Islamic science, history and culture have been published in
several languages and many thousands of articles in learned journals. His
scholarship is regarded by many as unparalleled in the last century. A double
doctorate (D.Phil and D.Litt) and a polymath, he was fluent in 22 languages
including Urdu (his mother tongue), Persian, Arabic, French, English, German,
Italian, Greek, Turkish, Russian etc. He learned Thai at the age of 84. He was also
involved in writing the constitution of Pakistan in 1948, awarded highest civilian
award Hilal e Imtiaz but he went to France later on and spent most of his life

there, with French National Centre for Scientific Research from 1954, which ended
in 1978. He travelled all over the world for research, held teaching posts in Turkey
and wrote over 30 books in Urdu, Arabic and Persian. Hameedullah is known for
contributions to the research of Hadith history, translations of the Quran into
multiple languages and in particular into French (first by a Muslim scholar) and for
the monumental biography of the Prophet Muhammad in French. He is also famous
for discovering a missing work regarded as one of his great contributions to
the Hadith literature. The earliest Hadith manuscript still extant today, Sahifa
Hammam bin Munabbah, was discovered in a Damascus library. Hammam bin
Munabbah was a disciple of Abu Huraira (r) and it showed that the earliest
manuscripts had been absorbed into the much bigger later compilation.
This lengthy introduction was very necessary as we are usually unaware of these
extra ordinary personalities who spent their lives in research and seeking
knowledge. I will quote some of his research regarding compilation of Quran from
his famous book, Khutubaat e Bahawalpur, which consists of several lectures that
he delivered in Islamia University of Bahawalpur. After reading the background, it
became clear to me as to how much effort the companions made to compile the
Holy Quran in a book form which had not existed in the life time of the Prophet (s).
Plus it also answered another question about hadeeth compilation, which I had
never realized before and it forever changed the way I regarded this form of
knowledge. I will elaborate it later so first we should just find out how the
companions preserved the Quran.
The earliest evidence of the promotion of Quran is found in the book of earliest
writers, Ibn e Ishaq, whose book Al Magazi (stories regarding the events of
Gazwat or wars in which Rasul Allaah (s) took part) was lost in time and only a few
pages were discovered which were published by the government of Murakish. Very
amazing lines found in those pages were that, Whenever he received any verses
from the holy Quran, the Devine revelations, the Prophet (s) first recited them
before a gathering of Muslim men and then repeated those especially before a
gathering of Muslim women. This means that women were given equal importance
by him (s) and given equal opportunity to gain the knowledge of the Quran. Then, a
special group of companions was assigned to pen down these revelations and
simultaneously many of them started to memorize the verses as they were
revealed. The Prophet (s) used to call a Katib e Wahi or a person assigned to pen
down the verses and dictate the verses after revelation. Then he (s) would ask the
writer to repeat what he had written down. The scribe would repeat and if there
was a need for correction, the Prophet (s) would correct it. The companions would
learn only from that correct official manuscript and then repeat those verses in
their five daily prayers so that they were ingrained in their memories. When the
verses and students of Quran increased, the holy Prophet (s) appointed some
qualified companions as teachers and gave them his certificate which enabled
them to impart the verses to other Muslims. This process of revelation, writing
down the verses, correcting them and memorizing went on for 23 years. The verses
did not come in that sequence that we now have in the Quran, it was purely on the
guidance of Allaah and instructions of the holy Prophet (s) who guided the

companions as to where to place verses. For example, we are told that the 5 verses
of Surah Alaq were the first ones that were revealed to the Prophet (s) in the cave
of Hira but they are place in chapter 96 of the Quran. The Prophet (s) would recite
the Quran in sequence to the companions in the nights of Ramadan and in the last
Ramadan of his life, he completely recited it twice to the companions so that they
would double check the sequence and the matter perfectly.
After the death of our Prophet (s), no official Quran existed in a single cover. The
first Khaleefah Abu Bakr Sideeq (r) was faced with a difficult situation and had to
wage a war against a rebellious tribe. Countless Muslims were martyred and many
of them were Hufaaz or the companions who had memorized the entire Quran. This
led Umer ibn e Khataab (r) to talk to the Khaleefah Abu Bakar (r) and ask him to do
something about this loss which would have ultimately lead to losing parts of
Quran as the other Devine books were lost in time. His first objection was, how
should he do something new which the Prophet (s) did not do in his life time? They
discussed without reaching an answer and decided to ask another companion and
a Katib e Wahi, Zaid bin Sabit (r) to decide. He too was reluctant but later Umer (r)
asked him to think about what would go wrong by compiling Quran in a book form
putting aside the emotional argument that they should not do it because the
Prophet (s) did not do it. This was a tie breaker and they decided that there was
khair in it and this preservation should be done. Abu Bakar Sideeq (r) in his official
capacity as Khaleefah appointed Zaid bin Sabit (r) head of a committee to perform
this humongous feat. A commission was created headed by Zaid (r) which
announced throughout the land that all companions who had the written verses
with them, should bring it before the commission but only those which were
personally corrected by the holy Prophet (s) himself. There were many members of
the commission, including Umer (r) and the instructions were to only accept a
verse if it was found in at least two places simultaneously. Whenever a verse was
presented by a companion, Umer (r) made them take an oath that they were
presenting that written verse which was recited before the Prophet (s) and he had
listened and approved it. When all the Quran was compiled, Zaid bin Sabit (r) who
was a Hafiz himself, recalled a verse which was in his memory but was nowhere to
be found in the written verses presented before him. He was most anxious and
went around the city searching in the homes of all companions and finally found
one written copy in an Ansari companions home. Now the instruction of the
Khaleefah was to only accept a copy if it existed in two written records but we see
a remarkable story here. The Ansari companion had once done some act which had
pleased the Prophet (s) so much that he had declared that the witness of this
individual will be taken equivalent to the witness of two persons and so that one
written verse, already in the memory of hufaaz, was taken and placed in its proper
sequence.
That is a gist of why and how Quran preserved for us as promised by our Creator.
Allaah says in His book, Ina Nahnu Nazalnaz Zikra Wa Ina Lahu La Hafizoon,
which means, Verily We are the one to send this reminder down to you and most
certainly We are the one who is its Protector. So much effort and careful details
were observed to save it on an official level, by the official representative of the

Islamic state, the first Khaleefah, who took this serious decision considering the
changing time and gave this task to his most trusted top members of the Shura or
cabinet. In the end, Dr Hameedullaah narrates a personal experience when he was
in Paris University in 1933. He met a director of an institute in Munich University,
Quranic Research Institute which was working to collect records of Quran from all
over the world for three generations! Pretzel, who had come to collect photos of
the ancient manuscripts of Quran from Paris Public Library personally told Dr
Hameedullah that his institute had photos of over 42000 manuscripts of Quran
from all over the world and they were working for collation. He confessed that
although they had not published an official report regarding their research but they
had concluded that there were some mistakes in editing but no mistakes in the
original text of all the Qurans studied. This meant that may be some word was
omitted in one copy or repeated in another but it would be considered a typo. As a
contrast, Dr HameedUllah relates another story where Christian Priest in Germany
decided to collect all manuscripts of Bible written in Greek language, which was not
even the original language of Bible as it was revealed in Hebrew which became
extinct and compared them with each other. The collected the different versions
found in the world for collation and came to the final conclusion that more than two
hundred thousand contradictory stories found in the text. This should open our
eyes to the fact that preserving Quran for all mankind was indeed a Devine act and
the end result was what we have in our hands right now.
Now we come to the next part of this topic which requires a bit more understanding
than what we have read about Quran. The second chapter of Dr Hameedullaahs
Khutubaat e Khilafat deals with hadeeth in quite detail but I cannot go into that
and will try to present some of his points briefly. The reason is, although his
research is very comprehensive and gives an overall picture of what hadeeth is and
how it reached us but the question it raised for me became so vital that I reached a
different conclusion from what his research revealed. This means, if Dr
HameedUllaah was alive today, I would have asked him to clarify it for me because
maybe this question did not come up in his lifetime but without that particular
answer, the way we look at hadeeth literature becomes totally different from what
we are led to believe by different scholars today. I will present my question in the
end so for now let us see what hadeeth is.
a. Anything that our Prophet (s) said or did is included in hadeeth plus if some act
happened in his presence and he (s) allowed it and did not forbid it also falls in this
category.
b. Another form is called Hadeeth e Qudsi, in which the statement is directly
quoted from Allaah subhana ho in first person.
c. Third type are the different official documents like letters written to head of
states (like Najashi), letter given to some companion like Saraqa ibn e Malik (r), or
a document that dealt with the constitution of an Islamic state, or different deals
between tribes for gaining their support against common enemies or instructions
sent to government officials of the Islamic state etc. These documents were
officially written on the Prophets (s) specific instructions under supervision and

mostly with his official seal on them. There are at least 400 or so letters that are
still found in different museums today.
Now the hadeeth that we have today in the form of different books like Bukahari or
Muslim are those which were not official but privately collected statements by
some companions and later passed on to us through generations. Like Bukhari is
one of the oldest collection written after almost 300 years and at times, many
hadeeth quoted pass on from nearly 9 people orally before it was written down in
it. We have contradictory statements in the hadeeth literature itself about whether
the Prophet (s) allowed companions to write down his sayings or forbade them.
Some statements show that when one companion said that he forgets what he
hears from the Prophet (s) due to poor memory, he was given this advice to take
help from your right hand or in other words, write it down. It is said that
companions like Abdullah bin Umro bin Aass (r) and Ans bin Malik (r) both had more
than 10000 hadeeth each in their collection although these did not reach us
collectively but scattered hadeeth from those can be found in different books.
Likewise, Abu Hurera (r) wrote countless hadeeth in his time and taught others
from that collection. He used to teach different hadeeth to different students and
presented customized collection to some of his students. He made a collection of
150 hadeeth and presented it to his student called Saheefa Hammam bin
Munbah which was later discovered by Dr Hameedullaah.
Although we know that companions wrote down sayings of the Prophet (s) but the
question is, whether it was a general rule or only a few trustworthy companions
were allowed to do it? The hadeeth that forbade writing down anything apart from
Quran are also found in the very same books of hadeeth that we have. A hadeeth
narrated from Abu Saeed Khudri (r) is found in Sahih Muslim in which he quotes
directly from the Prophet (s) that he said, Do not write any of my sayings and if
you have written them down, then delete it. Again we do not know whether it was
a general rule or a person specific order but the act of the highest companions
from the whole group shows that they were extremely sensitive towards this issue.
It is written that Abu Bakr Sideeq (r) had a collection of 500 hadeeth of the Prophet
(s) which he had gifted to his daughter Ayesha (r). One night she felt that he was
very uncomfortable throughout the night with lots of tossing and turning which
made her think that he must be sick. In the morning he asked her to bring him the
collection he had given her and after receiving it back, he washed away everything
he had written with water. He told her that the collection contained most of the
hadeeth which he had heard directly from the Prophet (s) but he feared that maybe
he had included some sayings which he had heard indirectly from some other
companion and so out of extreme caution, he destroyed the whole thing just to be
on the safe side and not misquote him. To me this shows that although collecting
hadeeth could be called a labor of love by companions who genuinely wanted to
preserve his precious statements but it was neither an obligation nor a compulsion
to keep a record of any of those sayings! This means that they could not have been
vital in understanding the basic teachings of Quran or Sunnah otherwise Abu Bakar
Sideeq (r) would never have dared to destroy them.

Then we have an even more remarkable event found in the time of Umer (r) when
he took charge as a second pious Khaleefah. He called a meeting of his most
trusted cabinet members and asked for their advice on whether to preserve
hadeeth, just like he had asked Abu Bakr Sideeq (r) to preserve the holy Quran. The
conclusion they came up after lengthy debate was that this should not be done!
This was the firm opinion of Umer (r) and the logic he gave was that the people or
tribes that came before them had preserved the sayings of their prophets, acted
upon them but forgot the original message of Allaah as sent to them in the Divine
revelations. They polluted those books and included things that were not there so
he did not want this to happen to the holy Quran. That is why this task was not
taken up and rejected by the wisest companions. Please note that in his era Quran
was already preserved so the argument that some scholars give in favor of hadeeth
becomes invalid that the companions initially refused to compile hadeeth so that it
does not get confused with Quran but afterwards they allowed it. These were not
only the highest or the closest companions but were also the official representative
of the Muslim Ummaah, Abu Bakar, Umer, Usman and Ali razi Allaah ho unhum as
Khulfa e Rashideen. Usman (r) went a step further in the preservation of Quran in
his time and brought the whole Muslim nation on one dialect of the Quran, the
dialect of Qureish on which the Quran was revealed. Any student of Arabic
language will know that the meaning of words change due to vowel sounds that are
used like fatah, dhuma and kasrah commonly known as zeer, zabar peesh in Urdu
and that created problems for non-Arab Muslims when the Quran reached them
after conquest of their lands. That is why, Usman (r) united the whole Ummaah on
one official dialect which earned him the title of Jame ul Quran. He sent the
official version to all governors of the empire and asked them to destroy any other
version that was creating confusion in its text without harkaat. Likewise, Ali (r) also
did not compile the hadeeth officially in his era but when the Jew fitnah in the
teachings of Abdullaah bin Saba emerged in his time, he asked people to bring him
paper and pen to write correct hadeeth to differentiate between what Abdullah bin
Saba circulated as false fabricated hadeeth. This means that this statement from
different scholars is absolutely wrong historically that hadeeth was preserved on
the same pattern as the holy Quran was preserved. This is as far from the truth as
it can be because if it was true, all of us would have a copy of authentic hadeeth in
our hands, just like a copy of the holy Quran.
I will quote a few verses of the Quran which some scholars quote to prove that
Allaah has ordered us to strictly follow the hadeeth of the Prophet (s). Dear
readers, please read these verses of Quran again and again, without any prenotions and then decide if Allaah subhana hu is talking about the Quran or
hadeeth?
And who so ever obeys the Prophet (s), indeed obeys Allaah. 80:4
And whatever the Prophet (s) gives you, take it! And whatever he forbids, refrain
from doing it. 7:59
And whatever he (s) says to you, it is not his personal wish but it is that which is
revealed to him. 3-4:53

My understanding is that everything that the Prophet (s) was saying directly to
people was coming directly from Allaah to him (s) through Jibreel e Ameen but for
the people listening, it was an indirect message coming from the tongue of another
human being. There were all kinds of listeners, some who instantly believed him
due to the remarkable life that he had spent amongst them, others fell in disbelief
that maybe he was making up stories to gain power over them, some called him
magician, some realized that he was telling the truth but rejected him and some
people who had never met him were moved by the message and the Messengers
personality later on. The point is, many just saw a mere mortal man telling them to
completely obey him and it is practically very hard to put your complete faith in a
man like yourself and surrender yourself completely to him in total submission. It
would be virtually impossible for todays generation to do that without questioning
but that was what Allaah had ordered the people to do for His final Messenger (s) in
that time. That is why there is this stress in these verses for all who wanted to
enter into faith to surrender whole heartedly and believe that whatever the Prophet
(s) was telling them was coming from the Almighty. People use these verses to
justify the need for hadeeth as if these verses deal only with what Prophet (s) told
his followers, apart from Quran! I disagree with this interpretation because the
words of the verses simply do not reveal any such distinction and it is but a forced
interpretation.
Let me clarify a very important point here, hadeeth literature existed as a symbol
of love, devotion and reverence in the time of the Prophet (s) and countless written
and oral material reached us through all kinds of different people. There are
500.000 names of self-proclaimed narrators to be exact which are included in the
Asma ur Rijaal, who some experts say is a remarkable feat but critics accuse most
of these very same narrators to be the cause of all the confusion we see in Islam.
Those hadeeth which were preserved properly (mutawatar) can be trusted but only
if a trusted scholar of hadeeth, who not only knows a few books but all existing
books of hadeeth on the planet can verify its authenticity and true meaning
(Maani muraad) which Rasul Allaah wanted to convey and not just the text. To give
you a simple example, even some hadeeth found in the most authentic book, with
a perfect chain going back the Prophet (s), narrated by a sound companion like Abu
Hurraira (r), found in different ancient manuscripts passed on from generation to
generations could have a grave error in them. There is a hadeeth narrated in
Bukhari in which Abu Hurraira (r) heard from the holy Prophet (s), Bad luck is
found in horse, house and a woman. I was deeply disturbed after reading it but
then I heard a reputable scholar giving justification and explaining that this was not
the case and this statement does not remotely resembles the personality of our
Prophet (s) who deeply respected women as commanded by Allaah and he could
not have made this derogatory statement against women. He found another
hadeeth in some book which made some sense of this one which said, Some
companion told Ayesha (r) about this hadeeth found with Abu Huraira and she said,
Abu Huraira did not get this saying right because the Prophet (s) was telling about
what Bani Israeel used to think about bad luck and it was not his own opinion. This
shows that it was a human error on Abu Hurairas part who had not written it down
with any ill intention or malice but this mistake casts a deep shadow on our Prophet

(s) personality and I wonder if other such hadeeth exist in authentic books with
perfect chains of narrators. My mind suddenly leaps to the cautious act of Abu
Bakar Sideeq (r) when he had saved himself from committing any such mistake
regarding the most important role model for all human kind and not forwarded any
faulty material to us.
The second issue with the authenticity of even mutawatar hadeeth is a very
delicate issue that we are too scared to touch out of reverence. The fact is, there
was a whole group of hypocrites or munafeqeen present in the time of the Prophet
(s) who are mentioned as a reality in several surahs of the Quran like At Tuba or Al
Munafiqoon but Allaah never exposed them by name and they remained within the
main body of the Muslims. Allaah showed severe displeasure at them, criticized
their thinking and behavior, gave them the punishment of the lowest parts of hell
but most of them were not labeled as hypocrites so they remained anonymous.
Some of them like the Abdullah bin Ubey got exposed by his actions but if the
stories are correct, even he got a funeral prayer from the Prophet (s) and his son
requested the Prophet (s) to let him be buried in his clothes. The point is, we know
that the hypocrites hated the Prophet (s), they hated the Muslims and they hated
Islam but could not come out on the open and declare that hatred. All their
schemes of harming Islam were secret and they used underhand tactics to achieve
that end. They conspired with the disbelievers of Makkaah and hatched plans after
consulting the leaders of Jews to discredit Islam. What if people heard something
from a munafiq who invented something deliberately to discredit the Prophet (s)
but because he was apparently a companion, we are bound to accept that as the
truth? The criteria of sometimes accepting a hadeeth is that all the companions of
the Prophet (s) are Adool and so they cannot give an incorrect statement. The
more I think about these man made criterias, the more loop holes I find which
makes it very confusing for students like me to accept the conditions which
scholars have led us to believe are fool proof.
Is the Quran incomprehensible without hadeeth? For me the answer that appeals to
my heart and mind is, Quran e Kareem is a complete and absolute single entity
that does not require any outside source to complete it. It explains itself completely
through its miraculous Divine language and Universal message. It was a linguistic
miracle when it was revealed and would continue to amaze mankind with its
sublime message eternally. The first person to completely receive its message,
understand it and follow it was none other than the Prophet (s) himself. This means
that the absolute picture of a true Momin shown in the Quran, the desired Ibad ur
Rehman that Allaah wants, was none other than our holy Prophet (s) who took
every verse and applied it comprehensively in his life. Quran is inseparable from
the character of the Prophet (s) and he was the living proof that the teachings in it
are practicable for all human beings. That is the living Sunnaah and glimpses of the
Seerah of our dearest Prophet (s) that we read in the Quran preserved authentically
till the end of times. Every quality that Allaah tells us He loves, our Prophet (s) had
that and each fault that Allaah tells He dislikes, our Prophet (s) refrained from it.
That is the sublime character of the Prophet (s) we see in the Quran because it was
his duty to not only repeat the verses that were being revealed to him but also to

become the first person to practically apply them in his life. He was the testimonial
that the message was real, without fault and any hadeeth that contradicts that
perfect character simply cannot be authentic no matter in which book of hadeeth it
is placed and with whatever perfect chain of narrators it is presented to us.
The most important point that I want to make in favor of my argument is and this is
the vital question that solved the mystery for me; if the Quran is incomprehensible
without the hadeeth, why did the most pious companions Abu Bakar, Umer, Usman
and Ali (r) failed in their most important duty as the head of Islamic Khilaafah and
did not preserve that treasure for us? They ruled the Islamic state for more than
thirty years after the death of the Prophet (s) so how could they have neglected to
preserve the sayings of the Prophet (s) when every statement that we find in the
existing hadeeth books show us that they were the best human beings, the most
pious and righteous companions but then they come into position of power and
authority and simply ignore this task? How could they allow companions of
different statures to go ahead and let the treasures they had compiled be wasted
and not make an effort to preserve them officially using the same method they
used to preserve the holy Quran? This simply does not add up! They could have at
least saved the 10000 hadeeth of Ans (r) who was a member of the Prophets
household and witness to his personal life more closely than any other companion?
For me the only answer that comes to mind is, they were the best companions with
an insight of a true Momin, they had learnt from the best teacher and they were
100% right in their assessment that the Divine message of Quran should be given
a unique status in order to preserve its sole right to guide mankind! The previous
scriptures which were not the sayings of noble prophets like Dawood or Mosa or
Eesa alihimusalam but the Divine speech of Allaah Almighty Himself were
discarded when they became polluted over time and our Prophet (s) forbade his
followers from reading them for guidance according to some stories we read in the
hadeeth literature. This means that the truth got mingled with falsehood which
resulted in nullifying the whole thing because even though the truth existed, it
became very difficult for even sincere people who came after that pollution was
done to distinguish between the word of Allaah and the words of wisdom of maybe
some good man or the words of some scholar with a vested interest. Hadeeth
literature does hold many genuine pearls from our Prophet (s) but it would take a
remarkable effort to be actually 100% sure if he actually said that or not because
harsh as it may sound, there are so many hadeeth that make many of us protest
that our noblest Prophet (s) could not have said or done something which the
hadeeth says that he said or did. They only criteria for a Muslim student of
comparative religion who wants to study the previous scriptures is to accept
something as the word of Allaah only if the Quran verifies it to be true! Quran is
now the only Furqaan which distinguishes between the truth and falsehood and we
can only accept something if it does not negate any word of the Quran. Now if
there is a difference in any story, we will automatically believe the Quranic version
and reject the version of previous scripture. If this rule is true for the previous
scriptures like Torah, Bible and extra Biblical text found today, then it surely must
apply to the existing hadeeth literature because any hadeeth will have to have the
same criteria that it is compatible with Quran and only it can verify that if the

hadeeth is true and an extension of the word of Allaah or not. We have to protect
the honor of our Prophet (s) and reject those sayings that throw a bad light on his
character and the character of his closest companions.
I have absolutely no doubt that the Prophet (s) was the perfect role model for each
and every person and not just a delivery man as suggested by some skeptics. In
his time if any person had said that we will only accept from him what is in the
Quran and will not accept what he tells us in his own capacity, that person could
have had his head cut off with a sword of someone like Umer (r) for this insult
because there was no distinction between the truth in both cases. It is found in
stories that at times the companions would ask this question in some important
matter, without disrespect or any ill intention, if the suggestion given by the
Prophet (s) was a Wahi or was it his personal opinion. Like in the war council before
Gazwa e Uhad some companions asked him if the suggestion to stay inside the city
and fight was a wahi or his own opinion. The Prophet (s) cleared that it was his
personal opinion and openly asked for their opinions to which they said that it
would be better to go outside and fight according to what they felt would be the
best war strategy. The Prophet (s) did not disapprove or take offence but went
ahead and gave preference to their opinion and this shows that if the distinction
was made with sincerity, it was not considered a disrespect or a sin because the
companions knew that if it was a revelation, it would be followed to the minutest
detail without hesitation. Every believing companion was more than happy to
follow each and every command of the Prophet (s) regardless that it was wahi or
not because they deeply loved and respected him. On the other hand, there was a
group of Munafiqueen or hypocrites also present among them which at times were
disrespectful, questioned his commands or created mischief which is also
mentioned in the Quran. The battle between good and evil was there since the
creation of Adam and will continues till the last day so we are also no exception.
Those who sincerely want to obey our Prophet (s) but want to make sure that what
is being associated with him is authentic and those who merely want to downplay
the role of our supreme leader to create more confusion and loosen our spiritual
link with him.
There is very important verse in the Quran, I (Allaah) swear by your master (the
Prophet), they have no faith what so ever, until they make you (s) the decision
maker for whatever sprouts between you. 54.4. This was a direct command from
Allaah to obey the Messenger in all matters of dispute and accept his decisions but
is this verse a proof to follow all kinds of hadeeth associated with him? Like I said, it
was different when the holy Prophet was alive and living in the community with
fellow human beings. In that time, Muslims were asked to accept him as the final
authority from Allaah or risk losing their faith. What people like me question today
is, whether a particular saying found in a book of hadeeth is actually something
that he (s) said or maybe there is some doubt in its true meaning and authenticity?
Another most vital point, what principals did our Prophet (s) had before him to
settle matter of dispute between people? Where did he get his guidance and what
rules was he following? A very obvious and simple answer to this question is, he
was also following the very same message of Allaah that we have in our hands

today! His guidance was from Allaah, preserved in Quran and he made all his
decisions in matters of dispute keeping in mind the golden principals given by the
Almighty which are eternal. This means, even for us and all the Muslims that will
come before the Qiyamah, all the answers of our disputes should come from
Quran, as told by the Prophet (s) who relayed those exact words from Jibreel e
Ameen, who brought that message directly from Allaah! Where is the ambiguity in
that? If for a moment we think about the counter argument that the Prophet (s)
was not using the Quranic wisdom or rules to settle the dispute but was using
some other form of wisdom, not to be found in the Quran but rather that higher
wisdom would be found in some hadeeth then I fear for the Eemaan of all those
people because this way of thinking creates too many suspicions on his duty as the
final messenger who was given the task of not only delivering the message of
Quran but for living according to it. And again it brings us to that vital question; if
today we are required to make the holy Prophet (s) a decision maker in every
dispute but those decisions would not be from the Quran but would be found in
some hadeeth then why did the official heads of Muslims state (Khulafa e
Rashedeen) not preserve each and every such piece related to the sayings and
decisions of the Prophet (s) for all times to come? Did they have no consideration
for our Eemaan or that we would lose all our faith if we did not look at hadeeth for
guidance in our disputes till the last day? How could they have neglected to do
something so enormous and if the hadeeth did not reach us officially, are they
actually responsible for all the disunity and divisions we find in the Ummaah on the
basis of faulty and fabricated hadeeth? This is the toughest question I am putting
for the critics to think and answer carefully because they will not be able to sustain
the consequences of their faulty analysis. Either the four Khulfaa e Rashideen were
the rightly guided Caliphs who were the most pious, righteous, noblest, loyalist,
wisest companions who were given the glad tidings of Heaven in their mortal lives
or they have committed such a huge blunder (heavens forbid) where they wasted
the most valuable treasure of vital hadeeth and denied us the authentic material
after leaving that most important job for people who came hundreds of years after
their time and preserved most of that material on hearsay which created huge
controversies and divisions in the true religion!
I will even go even a step further and dare to say that it was not the duty of people
like Imam Bukhari or Muslim to take this humongous task upon themselves
because Allaah had not given them that important task. If it was anyones duty
after the Prophet (s), it would have been the duty of the Khaleefah e Waqat, the
head of the state as entrusted by the people for serving and protecting the Deen of
Allaah. I may not doubt the intention of any Muhadith but the point is, they took
this task upon themselves and so they are directly responsible for everything that
they may have wrongly passed onto us and that is no easy burden. They should
have paid heed to the hadeeth of Abu Bakar (r) when he deleted his hand written
hadeeth out of caution. I am not required by Quran to believe what they had
compiled as an authentic truth because no matter what their exaggerated
biographies tell us, they were frail human beings and only Allaah knows their true
intentions and deeds. As for me, Allaah has ordered me again and again in the
Quran to use my human faculties of hearing, sight and sound to derive conclusions

from the data before me because according to Quran, we will be held answerable
for these faculties on the day of Judgement. The criteria for judging an authentic
hadeeth is also man made and so it is not fool proof as we are lead to believe. It is
a very lengthy and technical topic which I cannot discuss in detail right now but the
thing is, a true scholar of hadeeth should have a most comprehensive knowledge
of Quran, Sunnah and hadeeth before accepting anything as a truth. Rasul Allaah
(s) life was an open book for all his enemies and friends when he was present
amongst them. Those people who accepted Islam, in his time, accepted because
they were convinced about his character before prophet hood and witness his
whole life after that. Those who rejected, Quran confirms, did not reject because
they did not know his character but they had ideas of superiority and could not
lower their egos before Allaahs message or His messenger (s) and lose their
worldly benefits. All of this changed when Islam was completed in the life of the
holy prophet (s) and established as a Deen and a state religion. Most of people who
came after his death and entered Islam did not accept because they heard that
Prophet (s) was a great man through hadeeth, they did because mostly they were
born Muslims or Muslims had conquered their land and they saw what goodness
that system had and became convinced or some clever people who were too weak
to take a stand against a dominant state religion and converted to gain favors of
the rulers even though they did not have true faith. We are born Muslims and the
majority of people who convert in our times are doing so because of the miraculous
Quran with its sublime message. They later fall in love with the character of the
holy Prophet (s) but sad to say, many are also disillusioned by some things they
read in unrealistic hadeeth which are misleading. Like there are some hadeeth that
cast a great shadow, again found in Bukhari, about the age of Ayesha (r) when she
got married to the holy Prophet (s). It says that she was 6 when the nikah was
made and 9 when she joined his household. This hadeeth not only contradicts a
clear statement of Allaah found in the Quran but also is responsible for our Prophet
(s) being called names like pedophile (maaaz Allaah) by his enemies and
damaging his reputation. Quran tells us that marriage contract is a very serious
binding legal contract made between a husband and wife. It should be performed
with full understanding of what they are committing themselves into, the rights
and duties should be clear and Allaah has tied it with maturity and adulthood. In
case of orphans Allaah says in Surah An Nisa verse 5-6, And do not entrust to
those who are weak of judgement the possession which Allaah has placed in your
charge for their support; but let them have their substance therefrom, and clothe
them, and speak unto them in a kindly way. And test the orphans (in your charge)
until they reach a marriageable age; then, if you find them to be mature of mind,
hand over to them their possessions; and do not consume them by wasteful
spending and in haste, ere they grow up. So this shows that marriageable age is
an age where a person has attained mental maturity to take care of his or her
money matters like inheritance and wisely make decisions independently. Can a
child of 6 or 9 do that? And in verse 21 of An Nisa marriage is called a Meesaaqun
Ghaleezaa which means, A solemn Pledge. A solemn pledge is a promise or an
agreement you make very seriously and formally which cannot take place if a
husband or wife is a child and does not know what duties or responsibilities they
are taking upon themselves as a result of the agreement they are making. Can any

sane person convince me that 6 years is an age where a girl can understand that
legal contract and give her consent willingly for that purpose? We need another
hadeeth to clarify this blunder and tell us that someone got the numbers wrong. It
never hurts to use our brains instead of blindly believing whatever we are told by
our ancestors because this practice of child marriages has severe repercussions
and yet people justify it on the basis of hadeeth. We should never take anything at
face value if it contradicts with the Quran but for that purpose, we should learn
Quran as our text books to be understood comprehensively instead of a book to
recite and earn reward without understanding a word.
One common objection expressed by people in favor of hadeeth literature is that
we would not even know how to perform ablution or say the prayer if it was not for
the hadeeth. My simple answer is, if you compile all the different hadeeth found on
how to perform wuzu or say your prayer, you would still not come to one simple
uniform way to do it. Take for example the act of whether to fold our hands or keep
them at our sides, raise our hands high till the lobes of our ears to say Takbeer or
lower till the shoulders or whether to say Ameen loudly or silently, joining two
adjacent prayers or performing each prayer on particular time? We immediately
label a person Shia for keeping his hands on the sides when people of Madinah and
Imam Malik used to do it who were not Shia but Sunni. So does authentic hadeeth
bring us on one page? My simple understanding is that our Prophet (s) performed
the daily prayers for 23 years of his life and thousands upon thousands saw him do
ablution, performed daily prayers with him with slight variations, performed Umrah
and Hajj with him and these things became most natural procedures which were
passed down from generation to generation. In technical terms it is called the
Sunnaah of the Prophet (s) that reached us through Tawatar and Ijmah. This
means that there is consistency and consensus in its practice and no difference of
opinion in its general form. This means that a faqeeh, a muhadith, a scholar or an
ordinary man will know the very same thing like how to say your daily prayer in its
general form or its quantity or timings. I did not teach any hadeeth to my son when
he was very young but he saw how his father and grandfather performed the daily
prayer and he naturally followed what he saw. He can always improve his prayers
after gaining more knowledge in case there was something lacking but the general
form will remain the same.
Quranic verses are timeless and universal. True they were revealed in a specific
time and space but even if we sometimes do not have the information about what
event took place in the back drop of a particular verse (Shan e Nazool) it still holds
a universal message for us in this day and age. Now sometimes somethings were
meant especially for him (s) and his time like Salatul Koof where one party would
come and pray behind the Prophet (s) and then simultaneously the second group
would take their place in times of war which is hinted in Quran. Why this practice
was only for his time, because no one else could lead a prayer when Rasul Allaah
(s) was present among them and thus this unique practice of prayer during war
time. In todays world there is no such need. If there is war and fear of enemy
attack, soldiers can pray in many groups, one after the other, like everyday people
are praying in different masjids behind all kinds of Imamas, at different times.

People would not have any problem if we did not know how to pray salat ul koof so
this example does not justify the need to take all kinds of hadeeth. Likewise, the
three companions mentioned in surah Tauba, who made a mistake, their peers
knew what had happened and what mistake they had made and the point was,
Allaah forgave them after a while because they sincerity repented. Even if we do
not know exactly who did what, the universal massage remains the same that even
if you make a huge blunder, it is in Allaahs hand to forgive you and return all his
blessings unto you after taking them away. If you know this field of knowledge
where we are told what happened and why that particular verse came, it usually
has many versions as to what really happened. It is not some open and shut case
but different versions like if you go and see the tafseer of surah Tahreem, what the
wife of Rasul Allaah (s) did and what mistake he made, you will find different
stories. What we understand according to the surah is that the Prophet (s) made a
human mistake in order to somehow please his wives. Allaah checked that attitude,
He Almighty forgave him (s) and guided the whole family as to what should be the
correct attitude of a true believer who should never even make any hallal thing
haram upon himself. Even if we do not know the specific detail of the error which
was made, the universal message is there. So even this example does not justify
the logic that Quran is incomprehensible without hadeeth.
We understand that nobody could tamper with the Quranic text after it was
preserved but all kinds of hadeeth was used to divide the Muslim Ummah into sects
and sub-sects. We know that Allaah has commanded us not to be divided into sects
and hold on to the Quran as a single body of Muslim nation but we ignored that
command and thus became the most persecuted nation on this Earth today. The
hadeeth became a major source of disunity and mutual hatred because too many
contradictory hadeeth existed with different sects and for many hadeeth that one
person would quote from His sources, they would be contradicted by someone
elses sources. Leave the bigger issues of Shias and Sunnis but to give you a simple
example, there is deep emphasizes on cover your face for women by certain
groups so anyone who believes in covering the face would prove beyond a shadow
of doubt that it is a must and all those not doing this are earning the displeasure of
Allaah. Now, they will not consider all those other hadeeth which show that there
is a lot of space in this matter in which covering the head is a must but covering
the face is optional. The text of the holy Quran is perfectly clear but the debate
goes on with full force on all forums quoting hadeeth and trying to prove the other
party wrong. Another practice that should also be shunned completely is where
ordinary people keep some important books of hadeeth in their homes and simply
open one or two to find a solution to some hot issue. Only a person of
comprehensive knowledge should carry that responsibility of reaching an opinion
after deliberating firstly through Quran and then through other available material.
The internet is full of common people quoting hadeeth of all kinds and debating
issues that require a lot of research. They just find a lone hadeeth and slap it
across the opponents face without realizing that there could be an answer already
present in the Quran or that maybe a dozen other hadeeth exist which thoroughly
negate that one hadeeth.

Then there is the role of professional Mufties who come in all shapes and sizes
and give Fatwas on all kinds of issues in the world by interpreting from some
very vague hadeeth. This was actually a disease of the scholars of Bani Israel that
they made their religion unnatural and difficult by giving unnecessary fatwas.
Allaah stated in one verse that the last Messenger would make religion easy for
people by removing many things that they made haram with their fatwas. There
are so many rulings given by so many muftis that they have completely changed
the real Islam and made our sublime Deen which was given as a final message for
all times, a narrow and congested way of life that at times looks incompatible with
the modern times that we live in. I know for a reality that in the Sub-continent,
these rulings are not given according to Quran, Sunnah or hadeeth but from a book
called Fatawa e Aalamgeeri compiled in the era of Mughal Emperor Aurengzeb
Alamgir. This book is still taught in madrassas and it is the actual text book of all
mufties. I dont know what sources they use in Saudia but most of the fatwas
coming from their muftis are equally ridiculous and not compatible with the time
we are living in. We can see that a non-Islamic economic system based on banking,
interest and paper currency is fully operational there but no fatwas will touch these
most important topics rather they will deal with trivial issues like women driving
should not be allowed, photography should be banned or how to properly beat your
wife when the need arises. Sometimes the sheer idiocrasy of these rulings become
too much for a sensible person because it reeks with stupidity and hypocrisy. Just
search the internet and see the complete confusion these things have created
which is making Muslims look like complete idiots when it comes to the war
between fatwas and common sense. Take the topic of photography for instance, is
it hallal or is it haram? Does it fall in the category of making pictures as forbidden
in some hadeeth or are these not pictures but images of Allaahs creation which
does not amount as making pictures? If it amounts to making pictures, why in the
world is every scholar on planet Earth using print, television and internet to do
Dawah and spread Allaahs message everywhere? This hypocrisy is so tangible that
women are sharing good pieces of information on the social media but add this
statement before sharing, Dear sisters, please lower your gaze as this video
contains males! This means that we are using the modern 21 st century tools of
communication to gain information but with a deep guilt that it is haram and we
should at least not look at the image even if we are using a medium which is full of
pictures and videos. I swear that I heard a young preacher sitting before a camera
in a video stressing the need to shun photography because it was Image making,
why may I ask, because you press the button on the camera to take a picture and
this turns you into an image maker which is a grave sin punishable by fires of Hell.
The irony was, in the very same clip he declares video making hallal, even though
one will again have to press the button to start making a video but according to his
fatwa, because the images are moving so that will not be considered as Image
making! If that mufti was my son, I would beat him up for sheer stupidity and lack
of knowledge and common sense. I would ask him to google how the movie making
begun and he would find out that image makers took hundreds of photographs and
moved them rapidly to give an illusion of movement and hence these pictures got
the name of Motion pictures that improved into what we have today. I know from
the Quran that hypocrisy or Munafqat is one of the greatest sins in Islam and the

two faced people with double standards will be thrown in the lowest parts of hell.
As far as the matter of making images is concerned, what we see in the eternal
Quran is that one of the mightiest messengers of Allaah, Suleiman (a) used Jinn,
who were given in his control by Allaah, to build mighty structures for him and in
some places they also decorated them with images. You can read the verses 12-13
of surah Saba and verify this. And unto Solomon [We made subservient] the wind:
its morning course [covered the distance of] a months journey and its evening
course, a months journey. And We caused a fountain of molten copper to flow at
his behest, and even among the invisible beings (jinn) there were some that had
[been constrained] to labor for him by his Sustainers permission-and whichever of
them deviated from Our command, him would we let taste suffering through a
blazing flame-: they made for him whatever he wished of sanctuaries, and
statues/pictures (tamaseel) and basins as (large as) great watering troughs, and
cauldrons firmly anchored. We do not read at all that Allaah was very displeased
at this action by Suleiman (a) and forbade him to ever make images again or
indirectly mentioned that He almighty had allowed it for him but has forbidden it
for us or that anybody making images or statues will be thrown in the fires of hell
or any such thing. If it was a gravest sin which is punishable by fires of Hell, why
did Allaah Almighty mention it in His book and then fail to warn us that Muslims
should never indulge in it ever? The point of this lengthy example was, no
individual mufti has a right to pass a fatwas for us today, as an Ummaah, because
it is not his responsibility to declare anything hallal or haram which Allaah and his
Messenger has not already done so. Read these soul shattering verses of the holy
Quran and realize that by doing exactly that, the scholars or muftis are almost
committing Shirk because unknowingly they are assuming the authority to make
things hallal or haram which is the sole right of Allaah and He Almighty will not
forgive this sin which is unpardonable.
Say O Prophet! Who is there to forbid (make haraam) the beauty which Allaah
has brought forth for His creatures, and the good things from among the means of
sustenance? Say: they are lawful in the life of this world unto all who have
attained faith, to be theirs alone on the Day of Resurrection. Thus clearly do We
spell out these messages unto people of innate knowledge. Say: Most certainly, my
Sustainer has forbidden only shameful deeds, be they open or secret, and every
kind of sinning, and unjustified envy, and the ascribing of Divinity to anyone at all
beside Him-since He has never bestowed any warrant therefore from on high, and
the attributing unto Allaah anything at all of which you have no knowledge. AlAraaf 31-33. Three verses later Allaah again says, And who could be more wicked
than those who attribute their own lying inventions to Allaah or give the lie to His
message? Al-Araaf 37.
Allaah Almighty does not forget anything so if He has left any grey area then it has
a blessing for us. Not everything is in black or white and I refuse to give this right
or authority to any person to decide it for me according to his own wisdom because
that is not the Islam that Allaah gave his final Prophet (s). This authority goes go to
the Khaleefah of the Muslim Ummaah after the death of the last Prophet (s), who
should settle the latest issues of all Muslims from one platform, after consulting

with his advisory council. This institute of Khilaafah is missing from this world for
almost a 100 years now and should be reinstated if Muslims want to live in this
world as a respectable nation with a single forum to make their voice heard. A
Khaleefah is actually a representative of the holy Prophet (s) or a viceroy who will
act upon the Quran and Sunnaah to implement an Islamic system where all
decisions would be taken keeping in view the betterment of the Muslims as a whole
and not just any individual, country or sect. In the absence of this Khilaafah, the
next best option to settle new issues would be to make an international council of
Muslim scholars, professionals and experts who would ponder upon certain modern
day issues and give their opinion based on consensus after discussing it in detail. If
there is no consensus, then the majority opinion would be declared before the
people and made binding upon everyone. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry has this
authority to do that and that is why one billion Muslims living in 60 Muslim
countries with their own rulers and many spread across the globe do not have any
single authority to get rulings for their modern day issues which should be
acceptable for all. If non-Muslims can make joint platforms and make decisions with
one voice like European Union or G8 to protect their interests, why cant the
Muslims make a joint forum and debate their political, religious or social issues as
one body? There are many things that have led to the divisions we see in the
Ummaah but the things that unite us are far greater and more powerful than any of
those. We have one Allaah, one Quran, one Prophet (s), one Kaaba and one link
with all human beings on the bases of one parents (Adam and Eve). What we lack
is the awareness and the urge to unite before our enemies use these divisions to
keep us subservient to them and powerless despite having the greatest man power
and unlimited resources at our hands which would make us a super power by any
worldly definition.
Quran is Divine, sublime and unpolluted! Hadeeth text plus its original message as
meant by Prophet (s) is a most difficult subject which has been used carelessly by
scholars with vested interest and deliberately distorted by the enemies of Islam.
Scholars have been doing this practice of partial knowledge for centuries now
and creating bad blood among the one body of Ummah. These practices get more
serious and ultimately lead to throwing people out of the folds of Islam. The most
horrendous ideology of Takfiriet is based on fatwas of Ibn e Tamia which has
completely distorted the face of Islam in our times and is leading to a wave of
senseless killing all over the globe. This takfiri ideology has driven people away
from Islam and although I believe that our mortal enemies have hijacked this idea
and using it to destroy Islam but the foot soldiers are mostly Muslims brainwashed
by their religious leaders using their manmade fatwas. It is not only due to faulty
hadeeth but also due to how it is misused by these people who use it as a tool to
manipulate, which can be termed as the Mullaah mentality. They usually cannot
play with Quran but chose which hadeeth to elevate and which to down play to
justify a practice that they want to get endorsed. I can give you many personal
examples as I was a part of a religious group but this is not my agenda so I will only
speak in general terms. I got disgusted and left because I wanted to obey what
Allaah wants me to do and allows me to do instead of following people who wanted
to decide what I should or should not do even if it is allowed in Islam. So misguiding

people, quoting out of text hadeeth to justify their mission and selling half-truths
can be done mostly by quoting selective hadeeth.
The minimum level of education for all Muslims, according to a brilliant student of
Quran in our times Nouman Ali Khan, should be the holy Quran. He is absolutely
doing a wonderful job by using all means of modern communication to spread the
message of Quran and making Arabic language easy to understand so that all of us
can read the book of Allaah in the language He Almighty chose to send it in.
Scholars should empower students to have a basic general knowledge of Quran so
that they would not be misled by anyone and they do not fall into any extremism
which has become a curse in our times. Scholars should not form cults where they
gather blind followers rather they should raise awareness among their students to
ask questions and enable them to strive for authentic knowledge. My only message
in the end is, go ahead and get authentic knowledge of hadeeth and specialize in it
so you can spread its real knowledge to the world. This could be a wonderful effort
on your part to get the approval of Allaah but only after you have first understood
the real message of Allaah in the form of Quran. Know Quran and ask Allaah to
keep you on the right path then learn hadeeth and that would make it very hard to
be misguided and in turn misguide other people. Half or partial knowledge is the
real killer which has distorted the face of Islam and made it a toy in the hands of
jahil scholars. So keep learning and do share any other piece of information that
you find because we should try and learn our Deen till our last breath. May Allaah
guide all of us and keep us on the right path. Ameen!

Ayeza Haider
7.1.2016
25 Ramdhan ul Mubarak
Good effort Abdulrehman Moazzam which shows that you are trying to find answers
raised in my articles and also looking at all the right places too. That's why, I'm
giving you 75% marks for trying! The remarkable thing is, this is the video i
watched exactly before Ramadhan which made me write my article because some
things i heard in it were not correct historically which disturbed me a lot. I think
NAK is doing an excellent service for all Muslims in this day so i decided to put my
questions to him directly. The first person i shared my article with was him but
because he is a very busy man, especially extremely busy in Ramadhan doing his
wonderful series on Surah Bakarah, i still have'nt heard from him. I will try again
soon so maybe i do get a response from him. What i did was write a transcript of
this lecture and then cleared my viewpoint, point by point, in my article. That is
why you will see an amazing similarity in the topics raised and the verses quoted
here. I agree with most of his points and thoroughly endorse them but then there
are some things which are incorrect and i have stated them. For example, in the
very end he says that the same people who conveyed Quran to us are the same
who passed on the hadeeth to us.....This is simply not true and that is why i raised
that particular question. The Khalifa authorized the compilation of Quran and it was

done under his orders officially, under a committee headed by Zaid bi Haris (r)
whereas the compilation of hadeeth was never done officially and books we have
today are the privately collected material compiled after 300 hundred or more
years later. So i very huge flaw in NAK statement which needs to be addressed. So
all of you should keep looking until you come up with a more convincing answer.
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