Episode 8: Suspicion around the appellation and the response to it 2/2

The answer is:

The eminent Professor Dr. Raouf Chalabi: the objection of the Jews and those who followed them over the terms (Sunnah) and (Hadith) is summarized in two points:

1-       That Muslims Arabicized it from the words (Mishnah) and (Hadash).

2-       That Muslims gave it as a proper term to designate the set of prophetic narrations in return for what the Jews did by giving the term (Mishnah) to designate the set of Jewish accounts that explain the Torah to them, which is considered as the main source in learning the provisions.

In response to the first point: the inquisitive and honest mind does not accept the claim of the Jews and those who followed their path, that the early Arab Muslims Arabicized (Mishnah) to (Sunnah), or Arabicized (Hadash) to (Hadith).

Firstly: due to the lack of similarity in characters and structure.

Secondly: because the words were reportedly used in Pre-Islamic Poetry, used by our Lord - Almighty - in His Holy Book, and our Prophet - peace be upon him – used them in his noble Statements, as previously mentioned in the linguistic definition of the Sunnah and Hadith, which leaves no scope for the hypothesis into the research concerning the Arabization of the word (Sunnah) from (Mishnah) or (Hadith) from (Hdash).

Therefore, the two terms were not Arabicized by the Muslims from the words (Mishnah and Hadash), but rather took them from the core of their language, their explicit Holy Book and frank Statement of their Prophet - peace be upon him - (1).

Dr Al A’dhami says in response to the claim of paganism of the term: "So, what Goldziher said  about the Sunnah being a pagan term used by Islam, is an allegation not based on evidence, and contrary to concrete evidence, and that the use of the Pre-Islamic or the pagans among the Arabs (for a particular word) in its linguistic concept, does not cover it with a particular garment, nor does it turn it into a pagan term, and especially if we look at their different uses for this word. Otherwise, the whole of the Arabic language would have turned into a pagan term, and this cannot be uttered by any sane person "(2).

The same as this statement is said in response to the allegation of Alfred Guillaume that the word (Hadith) is derived from the Hebrew word (Hadash).

In response to the second point: Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah (3) says in “Ighathat Al Lahfaan”: "The word Mishnah means the book written by Jewish scholars at the time of the state of the Babylonians and the Persians, and the state of the Greeks and the Romans, which is the smallest book and is around eight hundred pages in size."

While the Talmud: is the largest book authored by Jewish scholars together with Mishnah, and is about half a mule’s burden in size, due to its bulkiness. Scholars did not compile it all in the scope of one era, but rather compiled it generation after generation. When the later ones among them looked at this compilation, where the more time passes the more they add to it, and that there is in the later addition what contradicts the beginnings of this compilation, they learned that if they do not discontinue the practice and prohibit from adding to it, it would lead to the flaw which cannot be bridged. They discontinued the additions to it, and prohibited from it, and barred scholars from adding to it and supplementing it with anything else, and forbade that anything else be added to it, so it was halted at that lot (4).

So, the Mishnah and the Talmud are authored by Jewish scholars to satisfy their whims, and they attribued it to the Torah and to our master Moses - peace be upon him and upon our Prophet - not so in the prophetic Hadith and pure Sunnah; for they are prophetic narrations revealed from the part of the Lord of Glory, and none of the scholars of Islam has an intervention in any of them, except by preserving them, taking care of them and implementing them, and the author of the Sunnah - peace be upon him - is the one who designated and named all that which emanated from him as utterance, action, or account, etc..., as of his noble Hadith and pure Sunnah.

He is the one - peace be upon him –who said: (Satan has despaired of ever being worshipped in your land. However, he is satisfied to be obeyed in everything else from the deeds that you consider despicable. Therefore beware! O people! I have left among you something which, if you cling to it, you shall never be led astray: the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace be upon him) (5).

From all this, is becomes clear to us that the two words (Sunnah) and (Hadith):

1 - Genuinely Arabic.

2 - That the Holy Quran and the prophetic Sunnah had used them.

3 – That it is the prophet - peace be upon him - who termed the Hadith and the Sunnah, and set them as proper terms on all that which emanated from him as utterance, action or account, etc..., as I have previously mentioned.

Thus expunged from the possibility the assumption that the Muslims derived into Arabic the word (Sunnah) from the word (Mishnah), or (Hadith) from (Hadash), or assuming they are pagan terms, and that there is a big difference between the chandelier of the clear path in Islam, and the muddy soil of the distorters who were cursed on the tongue of their prophets: David and Jesus, the son of Mary; as requital for that they have done (6). End of quote.


1)       The Prophetic Sunnah between Confirmation by the Graspers and Rejection by the Ignorants, p. 32 and subsequent pages, abridged.

2)       Studies in the Prophetic Hadith, 1: 7.

3)       Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah: he is Mohammed ibn Abu Bakr ibn Ayyub Az-Zar’i Ad-Dimashqi, Abu Abdullah, the Hanbali jurist, fundamentalist, narrator, grammarian, writer, preacher and orator. He has many indexed works, the most popular of which are: “A’laam Al Mauqi’iyeen ‘An Rabbil’aalameen”, “Zaad Al Ma’aad Fi Hadyi Kheiril’ibaad”, and others. He died in 751 AH. He has got a translation in: “Al Bidayah Wan-Nihaayah” of Ibn Katheer 14/234, and “Ad-Durar Al Kaaminah” of Ibn Hajar 3/400-403 No. 1067, and “Shadharaat Adh-Dhahab” 6/168, and “Tabaqaat Al Mufassireen” of Ad-Dawdi 2/93 -97, No. 456, and “Al Waafy Bil-Wafiyyaat” 2/270.

4)       Ighaathat Al Lahfaan, 2/323, 324.

5)       Narrated by Al Haakim in “Al Mustadrak the Book of Knowledge”, the chapter pertaining to his Sermon - peace be upon him – during the farewell pilgrimage 1/171, 172 No. 318, from the statement of Ibn Abbas - may Allah be pleased with him – and said: in its chain of narration‘Ikrimah and Bukhari expostulated using it, and Ibn Abu Uweys and Muslim expostulated using it, and all of its narrators are agreed upon, and then said: it has got a witness from the Statement of Abu Hurayrah - may Allah be pleased with him - and narrated it in the previous instance, and Adh-Dhahabi agreed with him and said it has a basis in the authentic. End of quote.

6)       The Prophetic Sunnah between Confirmation by the Graspers and Rejection by the Ignorants by Dr. Raouf Shalaby, p. 32: 36 quote, and The Sunnah in the writings of the enemies of Islam (1/50-53).




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