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Posted on October 11th, 2012, by

Quran and Hadith are sacred works in Islam which often intersect and complement each other, but Muslims clearly distinguish Quran and Hadith, while western research often view Quran and Hadith as closely related books (Peters,2003). Nevertheless, in spite of existing contradictions in views of specialists on Quran and Hadith, it is necessary to lay emphasis on the fact that both books are sacred for Muslims and essential for the Muslim lifestyle because they regulate the way of life of true Muslims, establish legal and judicial norms, and naturally shape the religious beliefs and norms of Muslims. In such a context, it is hardly possible to underestimate the role of both Quran and Hadith for Islam, but, in actuality, Hadith is used to complement Quran since information collected within Hadith refers to the epoch of the prophet Muhammad and depicts his deeds and ideas, while Quran is the fundamental, sacred book which regulates practically all spheres of life of Muslims and lays the ideological ground to Islam as one of the major world’s religions. Consequently, Hadith is used as a tool with the help of which Muslims can better understand Quran, which contains obscure texts, which are unclear to contemporary readers, including Muslims, who are not advanced in Islamic theology.

Hadith, as one of the major, sacred Islamic books originates from the oral tradition related to the words and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, who was actually a key figure in Islam. In such a way, Hadith contains the detailed description of the life and deeds of Muhammed. In addition, the book provides basic ideas and concepts developed by Muhammad (Juynboll, 2007). In such a way, Hadith may be viewed as a collection of sacred texts created on the basis of the oral traditions in Islam and conveying the main ideas which Muhammad conveyed through his words and deeds. Also, the book focuses on the deeds of his companions who assisted Muhammad in his work.

In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that Hadith is divided into two distinct parts: the narrative proper and the chain of narrators which documents the route by which the report has been transmitted. In such a way, it is possible to trace the history of the development of Islam through the analysis of both the narrative and the chain of narrators. At the same time, it is obvious that Hadith is not a self-sufficient book because it contains words and deeds of Muhammad, but it fails to describe the full scope of Islam as a religion and philosophy as Quran does (Musa, 2008). What is meant here is the fact that Hadith is relatively narrowed book since it is entirely focused on the prophet Muhammad, while Islam is much more complicated religion and philosophy.

It is true that Muhammad is the key figure in the history of Islam and one of the major contributors to the major sacred texts of Islam. His role can hardly be underestimated since it is due to Muhammad Islam became one of the major world’s religions. Nevertheless, the modern Islam is a broader religious movement and philosophy compared to Islam at the dawn of its development (Brown, 2007). At the same time, the major concepts, ideas and rules of Islam need to be notified and Quran is the sacred book of Muslims which contains all basic norms of Islam, rules and recommendations which true Muslims should follow in their life.

On the other hand, Quran does not give concrete, specific recommendations concerning the lifestyle of Muslims. Instead, Quran provides the general guidelines, concepts and norms which lay the foundation to Islam as a religion and philosophy. In such a situation, Muslims naturally need more specific, concrete recommendations concerning the right, virtuous Muslim way of life (Lucas, 2004). This is exactly where Hadith turns out to be particularly helpful. In fact, Hadith can be used to explain and interpret concepts and norms which Quran contain. Muslims can use Hadith to learn about the life of Muhammad, his deeds and words and extrapolate them on the real life and norms defined in Quran. In such a way, they can interpret the main norms and concepts defined in Quran. To put it in simple words, Quran is the theoretical foundation of Islam, while Hadith provides a model of a truly Islamic lifestyle since the prophet Mohammad is an unchallengeable authority in Islam and his deeds and words, which comprise the core of Hadith, are perceived by Muslims as the model to follow.

As a result, they can learn the right way of life of a true Muslim through Hadith. However, it is not enough to imitate Muhammad’s deeds and lifestyle blindly to be a good and virtuous Muslim. This means that Hadith is not enough to become a good Muslim. Therefore, Muslims need Quran to understand the essence of Islam and its main concepts, norms and ideas (Robinson, 2003). In such a way, it is possible to speak about the mutual impact and interrelatedness of Quran and Hadith since both books naturally complement each other and Muslims cannot clearly define the right way of life without either Quran or Hadith. Instead, they need both books, which they use to get the solid theoretical ground and practical recommendations, which are comprised in Quran and Hadith respectively.

At the same time, Quran and Hadith contain some common points  that is quite natural because Hadith depicting the life, deeds and words of Muhammad naturally absorbed the fundamental ideas of Islam promoted by Muhammad which were widely used in Quran since it was Muhammad who laid the foundation to Islam and, therefore, contributed to the creation of Quran (Peters, 2003). On the other hand, it is worth mentioning the fact that Hadith is the collection of deeds and words of Muhammad which are closely related to the original, i.e. to Muhammad himself. There are minimal interpretations or adaptations of his ideas to the real life. Instead, the book sticks to the deeds and words to convey the true story of the life and deeds of the key figure in Islam.

In stark contrast, Quran, even though it contains fundamental concepts of Islam, is definitely a kind of theological interpretation of fundamental ideas of Muhammad. In fact, it is the great theological work, which though focuses not only on the religious aspects, but also on the philosophy of Islam. In such a way, Quran unfolds at a larger scale compared to Hadith and, what is more important, Quran mainly focuses on theorizing Islam rather than its practical interpretation and explanation (Berg, 2000). Quran turns out to be a fundamental, sacred book for Muslims, which though needs the complement texts which comprise Hadith in order to help Muslims better understand and correlate theoretical norms with the real life and practical recommendations Muslims need to follow.

Finally, it should be said that Hadith contains sunnahs, customs, which Muslims attempt to follow in their life because they are considered to be worth of observing because they originate from the prophet Muhammad (Lucas, 2002). However, the aforementioned customs often lead to radicalization of Islam because they narrow the true Islamic religion and philosophy, which main ideas are presented in Quran.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that Hadith and Quran are major books which are closely intertwined and interrelated. Moreover, without these books, Muslims can hardly adequately interpret and understand the truly Islamic way of life. At first glance, either book is self-sufficient since Hadith contains detailed description of the life, deeds and words of the prophet Muhammad, while Quran contains the major concepts, religious and philosophical ideas and basic norms of Islam. However, in actuality, neither book is self sufficient because Hadith apparently lacks a solid theoretical ground, which may be found in Quran, while Quran apparently lacks practical recommendations and models of behavior Muslims could follow in their everyday life. This is why Muslims refer to sunnahs in Hadith to get practical recommendations on the correct way of life of Muslims, while they learn the major concepts and laws of Islam from Quran.

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