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A Muslim who wants to only follow the Quran due to the contradictions in Hadith

Selam I come from Sunni tradition. As I try to do more in relation to my faith I have tried to learn obout history of islam. I am becoming more interested in being Quaran only muslim. I have big problem with hadiths. So many contradictions to Quran. They almost complicate relationship with God. They almost undermine the beauty of Quran to me. So many doctrins Sunni shia and dozen others. They all claim to be the right path but to me they have only devided Uma. I have read that some Sunni rulings say I would not be considert muslim anymore by being only Quran muslim What do you think? Am I wrong. Thank you.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I understand your difficulty and I have been in a similar situation myself.

The first thing to understand is that religion is only a tool for knowing God better. Religion is not the point; God is the point. So the disagreements and infighting between the sects should not in any way affect your relationship with God; think of it as children bickering.

Once you take that to heart, you can approach hadith with the eye and heart of one who loves God and His Messenger and wishes to reach the highest ideal of character and morality.

Hadith should never be a cause for you to feel burdened or conflicted. Hadith is meant to be your helper. The Prophet says:

If you hear hadith from me and your heart knows it, and your feelings and good cheer lean toward it, and you consider it close to you, then I am closer to it than you. And if you hear hadith from me hadith that your hearts do not know, and your feelings and good cheer are repulsed by it, and you consider it distant from you, then I am more distant from it than you.

Musnad Aḥmad 15808, a very similar version is considered hasan by al-Albānī

So make this your approach to Hadith. Take from it what is good and beneficial. And whatever troubles you, you can research it further or safely ignore it. Hadith was never meant to be a competitor to the Quran. Companions like Umar ibn al-Khattab refused to write down hadiths because they feared it would compete with the Quran in people’s hearts and minds.

So the Hadith literature we have is a very imperfect representation of the Prophet’s manners and teachings . Whatever good you find in it, take it and appreciate it. And whatever troubles you, seek its interpretation from those who are knowledgeable. And if nothing they say satisfies you, you can safely ignore the hadith.

Realize that God could have given us a 10,000 page Quran. He could also have asked the Companions to write down everything the Prophet said and did. This would have greatly simplified our lives. So why didn’t God choose to do that?

Because religion is both a blessing and test. God does not want to take out all possibility of disagreement among Muslims. He wants us to open our hearts and perfect our characters within the imperfect world that we live.

Choosing to only follow the Quran is not a valid option; it is an extreme response that means you failed the test of God. God wants you to do what is moderate and open-hearted. And that means to do your honest best to make sense of the conflicting scripture that we have. Trying oversimplify the world for yourself by rejecting all hadith narrations means that you abandon the Muslim community and choose comfort over sincerity.

Accept the Hadith literature in its imperfect form and use it to enhance your Islam.

I too used to feel strongly tempted to reject all hadith narrations in favor of the Quran. But as my knowledge greatly increased and as I rededicated myself to following God as sincerely and honestly as I could, I realized that that is the cowardly option to choose. The pious and admirable option is love. To love hadith, to love the scholars and their sincere attempts to make sense of our imperfect world, and to love the Muslim community, to love the fact that God did not make it too simple or easy.

So do not let your intellect overpower your heart. Learn to love the Quran and the Sunna the way they are. I do not say that this will take all of your trouble away, but it will give you a path to follow. And if you constantly and sincerely seek God’s guidance, He will guide you through this troubled path.

And God knows best.

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