Hadith are Revelation from Allāh to the Prophet (s)

Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani

Excerpted from The Approach of Armageddon: An Islamic Perspective

The Qur’ān is Holy. It consists of the Inviolable Words of Allāh U. It is for all times and all peoples. The Prophet (s) whose title is “The Messenger of God,” was inspired and divinely guided in every word and every action. Allāh (swt) said in the Holy Qur’ān:
وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
(I swear) by the star when it sets, your companion is neither astray nor is deceived; Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed (to him). (al-Najm 53:1-4)
Allāh (swt) swears by the setting star that His Prophet (s) does not stray in the least from what Allāh (swt) commands him. Nor does the Prophet (s) speak from his own whims or desires, whether good or bad. Every utterance, every movement, every breath of the Prophet (s) was, in fact, revelation from Allāh (swt) and consequently of utmost value in the quest to understand and follow the Qur’ān and the religion of Islam.
The Companion, Jābir ibn Abd Allāh t said, “Allāh's Messenger (s) was among us while the Qur’ān was being revealed to him and he knew its explanation. Whatever he put into practice, we put into practice.”[1]
حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي حدثنا هاشم بن القاسم قال حدثنا مبارك عن الحسن عن سعيد بن هاشم بن عامر قال أتيت عائشة فقلت: يا أم المؤمنين أخبريني بخلق رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قالت كان خلقه القرآن...
When asked about the Prophet’s (s) character, (his wife and leading juris-consult of the time), ‘A’isha t said, “His (s) character was the Qur’ān.”[2]
The hadiths demonstrate how to implement the principles set out in the Qur’ān, from the most rudimentary acts of worship to the most sublime. For example, Allāh (swt) commands multiple times in the Qur’ān:
وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاة
Establish prayers (salat) and pay the poor-due (zakat).
(2:43, 2:83, 2:110, 4:77, 24:56, 73:20)[3]
We clearly understand from this that both prayer and the poor-due are required of us. However, to find the necessary details to complete the prayer, i.e. the manner and timing of the prayer and upon whom it is obligatory, etc., we must turn to the hadiths. Similarly, a practicable description of the poor-due, its amount, upon whom it is obligatory and to whom it may be given, etc., is found only in the hadiths, and this is the case with all other obligations.
In summary, the hadiths of the Prophet (s) are necessary to understand the Qur’ān. For every single event in his lifetime, Allāh (swt) revealed to the Prophet’s heart what to say and what to do. The Qur’ān and the hadiths both derive from revelation and are inseparable sources for understanding and implementing the divine message of Islam.[4]
As Qur’ān is the Last Testament and Allāh’s final revelation to humanity, so the Prophet Muhammad (s) is the last messenger and with him lies the completion of the Divine Message. Allāh (swt) said in the Holy Qur’ān:
مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَكِن رَّسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيماً
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets… (al-Ahzāb 33:40)
Contained in the Qur’ān and hadiths is all the knowledge needed for success in this world and the next, both for his generation and all future generations until the Judgment Day. Not the least among this knowledge are the signs and events that relate to the community of the Last Days.
عن حذيفة قال: قام فينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مقاما. ما ترك شيئا يكون في مقامه ذلك إلى قيام الساعة، إلا حدث به. حفظه من حفظه ونسيه من نسيه. قد علمه أصحابي هؤلاء. وإنه ليكون منه الشيء قد نسيته فأراه فأذكره. كما يذكر الرجل وجه الرجل إذا غاب عنه. ثم إذا رآه عرفه
Hudhayfa t reported:
Allāh's Messenger (s) stood before us one day, and he did not leave anything unsaid (that he had to say) at that very spot which would happen (in the shape of turmoil) up to the Last Hour. Those who had to remember them preserved them in their minds and those who could not remember them forgot them. My friends knew them and there are certain things which slip out of my mind, but I recapitulate them when anyone makes a mention of them just as a person is lost from one's mind but is recalled to him on seeing his face.[5]

[1] Narrated from Muhammad al-Bāqir as part of a long hadith by Muslim, Abū Dāwūd, and Āhmad.
[2] Āhmad in his Musnad #23460.
[3] Text of the other verses:
وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُواْ مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
Establish worship, pay the poor-due, and bow your heads with those who bow (in worship). (al-Baqara 2:43)
وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنكُم وَأَنتُم مِّعْرِضُونَْ
and establish worship and pay the poor-due. Then, after that, ye slid back, save a few of you, being averse.(al-Baqara 2:83)
وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاةَ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ
Establish worship, and pay the poor-due; and whatever of good ye send before (you) for your souls, ye will find it with Allah. (al-Baqara 2:110)
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ قِيلَ لَهُمْ كُفُّواْ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ الصَّلاَةَ وَآتُواْ الزَّكَاة
Have you not seen those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate;(an-Nisā’ 4:77)
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ
Establish worship and pay the poor-due and obey the messenger, that haply ye may find mercy. (an-Nūr 24:56)
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضاً حَسَناً
So recite of it that which is easy (for you), and establish worship and pay the poor-due, and (so) lend unto Allah a goodly loan.(al-Muzzamil 73:20)
[4] The Prophet said:
Verily this Qur’ān is difficult and felt as a burden to anyone that hates it, but it is made easy to anyone that follows it. Verily my sayings are difficult and felt as a burden to anyone that hates them, but they are made easy to anyone that follows them. Whoever hears my saying and preserves it, putting it into practice, shall come forth together with the Qur’ān on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever dismisses my sayings dismisses the Qur’ān, and whoever dismisses the Qur’ān has lost this world and the next.
Narrated from al-Hakam ibn ‘Umayr al-Thumalī by Khatīb in al-Jāmili Akhlāq al-Rāwī (1983 ed. 2:189), Qurtubī in his Tafsīr (18:17), Abū Nu‘aym, Abū al-Shaykh, and Daylamī.
[5] Sunan Abū Dāwūd, “Kitāb al-Fitan.” Sahīh Muslim, “Kitāb al-Fitan.”