Question # 448: My friend just passed away – he was from the Quraniyoon. Am I allowed to pray for his maghfirah?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The people, who call themselves al-Qur’aniyyoon claim that the Sunnah is not a source of legislation and assert that they take as halal whatever the Qur’an allows and take as haraam whatever Qur’an forbids. These kinds of group have emerged in the past as well but were nipped in the bud by the earlier scholars of Islam. Today they exist in different parts of the world in small groups; among the contemporary prominent leader of this deviated group is Ahmed Subhy Mansour, an Egyptian American activist, who was fired from Al-Azhar University and exiled from Egypt. They have many deviated beliefs and practices  to the extent that there is only one testimony of faith (La Ilah Ila Allah) for them (refer to Long Answer for details).

All the scholars of Islam have unequivocally rendered the rejection of hadith, an act of kufr and apostasy, due to the fact that whoever denies the sunnah actually denies the Qur’an. Therefore, the name al-Qur’aniyyoon is not befitting these people, because the Qur’an tells us, in almost one hundred aayahs, to obey the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم); and he who obeys the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), has indeed obeyed Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Their claim that the Sunnah is contaminated with fabricated ahadith is totally invalid, because the scholars took utmost care to purify and preserve the Sunnah from all alien elements, which has also been acknowledged by the orientalists.

As for the question, there is no difference of opinion among the scholars that one cannot pray for forgiveness and mercy for a kaafir who died in a state of kufr.

Long Answer:

Definition:

[The people, who call themselves al-Qur’aniyyoon claim that the Sunnah is not a source of legislation and assert that they take as halal whatever the Qur’an allows and take as haraam whatever Qur’an forbids.]  …The Sunnah, according to their claims, is full of fabricated ahadith falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). They are the successors of the people about whom the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told us. Ahmad, Abu Dawood and al-Haakim reported with a sahih isnad from al-Miqdaam that the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Soon there will be a time when a man will be reclining on his couch, narrating a hadith from me, and he will say, Between us and you is the Book of Allah: what it says is halal, we take as halal, and what it says is haraam, we take as haraam. But listen! Whatever the Messenger of Allah forbids is like what Allah forbids. (Al-Fath al-Kabeer. Al-Tirmidhi reported it with different wording, and said that it is hasan sahih. Sunan al-Tirmidhi bi Sharh Ibn al-Arabi, al-Saawi edn.)

History of the Origin of this Ideology

Since early Islamic History, there has been groups that have objected the authenticity of Hadith. In the very beginning, when a group started doubting the authenticity of Hadith, Imam Shafi’i (d. 204 A.H.) refuted them. Then the idea of rejecting hadith that contradicted one’s intellect (`aql) emerged, so Ibn Qutaybah (d. 276 A.H.) refuted them and they stopped their arguments. Then a group came and tried attacking hadith by claiming that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had prohibited writing down hadith so Khatib al-Baghdadi (463 A.H) responded to them and they stopped. After Khatib Baghdadi, a bid’ati from the Rawafid appeared and started claiming that the Sunnah has no authority. These were the extreme Rawafid. The non-extreme shi’as objected on the authenticity of hadith, and take only from narrators that are shi’a. So, Imam Suyuti wrote a book called ‘Miftahul Jannah fi Ihtijaaj bis Sunnah’ doing radd (rebuttal) on his claims.

Then, it was only from the end of the 19th to the early of the 20th century when  certain groups emerged which rejected Hadith, and the authority (hujjiyyat) of the prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

(The above is an excerpt from the article ‘Hadith Rejectors: Arguments & Obstacles’ by Sabrina al-Faarsiyyah on the website: The Hadith Disciple)

Although it is difficult to estimate the number of people following this deviant sect due to the fact that they avoid any organized religious group or organization, there are however, several groups that have gathered together under the following names, for example:

  • Ahl al-Quran (formed by Abdullah Chakralawi in Pakistan)
  • Submitters or Submission (founded by Rashad Khalifa in US)
  • Tolu-e-Islam (initiated by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez in Pakistan)
  • Quran Sunnat Society (in Kerala; the movement was behind the first ever woman to lead mixed-gender congregational prayers in India)
  • Kala Kato (Nigerian group Kala Kato means a “man says” in the Hausa language in reference to the ahadith)
  • Malaysian Quranic Society (founded by Kassim Ahmad)
  • Zumratul Jamiu Mumin (movement in Nigeria)
  • Izgi Amal (its leader Aslbek Musin in Kazakhstan) 

Among the contemporary prominent leader of this deviated group is Ahmed Subhy Mansour, an Egyptian American activist. He was fired from Al-Azhar University after expressing his hadith rejector views. He founded a small Egyptian Quranist group and then he was exiled from Egypt, and now lives in the United States as a political refugee. (Wikipedia.org)

Deviated Beliefs:

(source: paraphrased from the video Lecture ‘Responding to Quranism’ by Shaykh Abdul Wahab Saleem)

Let’s look at some of the deviated aspect of their beliefs (in particular order):

  • Believing in Sunnah is shirk because Allah is the only one to be followed, so following Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) means committing shirk with Allah.
  • The Sunnah is contaminated with fabricated ahadith and therefore, not valid.
  • By the consensus of the Quranists, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had no miracles other than the Qur’an.
  • The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was fallible and committed some grievous sin such that the shaytaan had control over him in some instances which they enlist in their resources (astagfirullah!)
  • Some of them believe that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is indeed the finality of all the Messengers but some disagree and say that there could be prophet after him (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as well. Those who agree do so because they do not like Sunnah to begin with and having another prophet means more sunnah to deal with.
  • They do not believe in the miraculous birth of Isa’ (عليه السلام) and therefore, according to them Jesus came into existence through normal birth with a mother and a father. Further, he died and will not be returned, as according to them, this idea is adopted from Christianity.
  • Some of them claim the heaven and hell are metaphors and they were only good for the people at the time of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and now new metaphors need to be established, appropriate for modern times.
  • The Qur’an has the tafseer of everything and no Sunnah is required.
  • The Prophet’s words are not wahy (revelation).

(source: Quranists’ websites)

  • The Muhammadans [this is what they address Sunni Muslims as] deify and worship Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as a demi-god or a deity by offering many acts of worship to him and by making him controlling and dominating the Last Day by the so-called intercession/mediation.
  • It is the right of the Quranist women to marry non-Quranists who do not share their faith and belief in the Qur’an (e.g., Jews, Christians, Buddhists, atheists, etc.) as long as their spouses are peaceful men.
  • The companions of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) turned unjust aggressors and used religion to commit crimes of colonization, occupation, and invasion after his death.

Now, let’s look at some of the deviated aspect of their beliefs and practices with respect to pillars of Islam:

(source: Quranists’ websites)

  • There is only one testimony of Islam, which is ‘La Ilah Ila Allah’ and therefore, they denounce and refuse adding Prophet (saws)’s name in the testimony of Islam.
  • Their ablution consists only four steps in line with Soorah al-Maidah, 5:6: Washing face, washing hands, wiping head, wiping feet.
  • Adhan is not a part of the salah, nor is it required. The original adhan used to conform with the Quran’s teachings, and became corrupted with time. Originally, the call to prayer consisted of: ‘Allahu Akbar’ 4 times and ‘La Ilah Ila Allah’ once.
  • They recite all the salah (salah is referred to ‘Contact Prayers’ by the Quranists) with a tone that’s in-between whispering and loudness (moderate tone).
  • They do not read At-tahiyyatu instead read the verse from Soorah Ali-Imran, 3:18.
  • No soorah is to be recited after Soorah al-Fatihah.
  • Salatul Qasr (shortening prayers ) is only on war and not in any travelling.
  • The Quranists are not confirmed on the number of prayers during the day: some say 3, some 4 and some say 5.
  • As for Zakat, there is no nisaab or fixed percentage, but is flexible and that it has been left to each individual’s means, while some others believe it to be one-fifth of revenue/profit in line with Soorah Anfal, 8:41 relating to war-booty.
  • Zakatul Fitr is a jurisprudential invention with no basis in Islam.
  • Hajj may be performed any time during the four sacred months.
  • Hajj should not be restricted to Muslims only but should include all peaceful human beings, especially the people of the scripture: the Jews and the Christians.
  • Ramy Al Jamarat (Stoning the Shayateen) on Hajj is a fabricated ritual.
  • Raising hands pointing towards the black stone (Hajar al-Aswad) during circumambulation (tawaf) is wrong and it amounts to idolizing the stone.

Authority of Sunnah:

Obedience to the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is considered in the Qur’an to be a part of obedience to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Here are some of the verses, where Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) established the importance and authority of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and following his Sunnah:

  • “He who obeys the Messenger, has indeed obeyed Allah, but he who turns away, then we have not sent you (O Muhammad) as a watcher over them.” (Soorah an-Nisa’a 4:80)
  • “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:65)
  • “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:59)
  • “And when it is said to them: “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger,” you see the hypocrites turn away from you with aversion.” (Soorah an-Nisa’a, 4:61)
  • “Say: “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers.” (Soorah Ali-Imran, 3:32)
  • “Your companion has neither gone astray nor has erred.” “Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.” “It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.” (Soorah An-Najm, 53:2-4)

[As for the preservation of Sunnah,] the scholars of this ummah took the utmost care to purify the Sunnah from all alien elements. If they had any doubts about the truthfulness of any narrator, or there was the slightest possibility that he could have forgotten something, this would be sufficient grounds for rejecting a hadith. Even the enemies of this ummah have stated that no other nation has paid so much attention to examining its reports and their narrators, especially in the case of reports narrated from the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

For it to be obligatory to follow a hadith, it is sufficient for it to be known that it is a sahih (authentic, sound) hadith narrated from the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was content to convey his message by sending just one of his Companions, which proves that the hadith reported by one trustworthy person must be followed.

Statements from Various Scholars Concerning One Who Rejects the Sunnah

(sources: ‘The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah’ by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo)

  • Ibn Hazm wrote, “l f a person says, ‘We only follow what we find in the Qur’an,’ then he has become an unbeliever according to the consensus of this nation [of lslam].” (Quoted in Abdul Rahmaan Itr, Maalim al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyya (Jordan: Maktabah al-Manaar, 1986))
  • AI-Shaukani said, “The stand of the sunnah and its being an independent source of law is part of the knowledge that is known to every Muslim and no one differs from this point except for those people who have nothing to do with Islam.” (Muhammad Ali al-Shaukani, lrshaad al-Fahool (Beirut: Daar al-Marifa, 1979))
  • Shaikh al-Dausiri was asked about the ruling concerning a person who rejects the sunnah and lives only according to the Qur’an. He said that “this the claim of the zandiqa (people who entered into Islam without a sincere belief; in fact, their only intention was to destroy Islam from within) and heretics who deny half of the faith and fool the people by claiming that they are honoring the Qur’an. They are liars, as the Qur’an itself orders the obedience to the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and this can only be done by following his sunnah… There is no difference of opinion on this point except from those people who have no relationship to the religion of Islam whatsoever.” (Abdul Rahmaan al-Dausiri, Al-Ajwiba al-Mufeedah limuhimmat al-Aqeedah (Beirut: Maktabah Daar ai-Arqam, 1982))
  • Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz has written, “The denial of the sunnah… and rendering it inapplicable is an act of kufr and apostasy due to the fact that whoever denies the sunnah actually denies the Qur’an and whoever denies either or both of them is a disbeliever according to all of the schools of thought in Islam.” (In Defense of the Qur’an and Sunnah (Majlis of al-Haq Publication Society, S. Burnaby, Canada), Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz, Wujoob al-Amal bisunnat al-Rasool wa kufr man inkaaraha (Riyadh: Shaarikah al-Taba al-Arabiya al-Saudiya, 1400 A. H.))
  • Al-Suyooti stated, “You should know, may Allah have mercy on all of you, that whosoever rejects the fact that the hadith of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), being a report of his statement or action that meets the well-known conditions, is an authority has become an unbeliever and he shall be gathered with the Jews and Christians or with whomsoever Allah wishes to gather him with of the non-believing groups [on the Day of Judgment]” (Ibn Baaz, ibid., quoting from Miftah al-Jannah)
  • Sulaimaan ibn Sahmaan wrote, “There is no difference of opinion among the scholars that if a person believes in the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in some matters and belies him in another matter, he does not enter into Islam; he is like one who rejects an obligatory or mandatory act…” (Muhammad al-Wuhaibi, Nawaaqidh al-Imaan al-Itiqaadiyyah wa Dhawaabit al-Takfeer ind al-Salaf (Riyadh: Daar al-Muslim))
  • Ibn Battah stated, “If a person believes in everything that the Messenger brought except for one thing, and he rejects that thing, then he is a disbeliever according to all of the scholars.” (Abdul Azeez al-Abdul Lateef, Nawaaqidh al-Imaan al-Qauliyyah wa al-Amaliyyah (Riyadh: Daar al-Watan, 1414 AH))

Conclusion: [In fact,] the name al-Qur’aniyyoon does not befit these people, because the Qur’an tells us, in almost one hundred aayahs, to obey the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). To deny the place of the sunnah in Islam, to deny that it is obligatory to believe in what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, to deny that it is obligatory to obey his commands and prohibitions or to deny that he is the example that every Muslim must follow are all acts of kufr (disbelief). If a person willingly and knowingly continues to hold such beliefs after the clear proofs have been shown and explain to him, he falls outside of the fold of lslam and is a disbeliever. In this world, he is to be treated as a disbeliever… Unless he repents before he dies, all of his deeds will be of no avail to him and in the Hereafter he will be in the Hell-fire forever… (Al-Mawsooah al-Fiqhiyyah)

[As for the question,] there is no difference of opinion among the scholars that one cannot pray for forgiveness and mercy for a kaafir who died in a state of kufr.

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Offering the funeral prayer for a kaafir and praying for forgiveness for him is haraam according to the text of the Qur’an and scholarly consensus.” (Al-Majmoo‘)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Praying for forgiveness for a kaafir is not permissible according to the Qur’an, the Sunnah and scholarly consensus.” (Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa)

This is like when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) grieved for his mother and wept for her, as Muslim narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) visited his mother’s grave; he wept and caused those who were around him to weep, and he said: “I asked my Lord for permission to pray for forgiveness for her, but He did not grant me permission. And I asked Him for permission to visit her grave and He gave me permission, so visit graves, for they will remind you of death.”

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated from Sulaymaan ibn Buraydah that his father said: When the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) conquered Makkah, he came to a grave and sat beside it and appeared to be addressing someone. The people sat around him, then he stood up weeping. ‘Umar came to him, and he was one of the boldest in speaking to him. He said: May my father and mother be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! What is it that has made you weep? He said: “This is the grave of my mother. I asked my Lord to let me visit it, and He gave me permission. I asked Him to let me pray for forgiveness for her, but He did not give me permission. I remembered her and felt sad, so I wept.” There was never a day on which he wept more than on that day. (Classed as sahih by al-Albaani in al-Irwa’)

Similarly, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) mourned the death of his paternal uncle in a state of disbelief, as he had hoped that he would become Muslim, and he prayed to Allah for him until he was forbidden to do so.

(The above reply is based on the following resources:

  • ‘The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah’ by Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo
  • Various Answers provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on similar topics
  • Paraphrased video Lecture ‘Responding to Quranism’ by Shaykh Abdul Wahab Saleem
  • Article ‘Hadith Rejectors: Arguments & Obstacles’ by Sabrina al-Faarsiyyah on the website: The Hadith Disciple
  • ‘Quranism’ – Wikipedia.org
  • Various websites of Quranists)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam