Quranism (Arabic: القرآنية; al-Qur'āniyya) describes any form of Islam that accepts the Quran as the only sacred text through which God revealed himself to humankind, but rejects the religious authority, reliability, and/or authenticity of the Hadith collections. They believe that God's message in the Quran is clear and complete as it is, and that it can therefore be fully understood without referencing the Hadith. Quranists affirm that the Hadith literature which exists today is apocryphal, as it had been written three centuries after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad; thus, it cannot have the same status as the Quran.
Adherents of Quranic Islam are referred to as Quranists (Arabic: قرآنيّون, translit. Qurāniyyūn), or People of the Quran (Arabic: أهل القرآن, translit. ’Ahl al-Qur’ān). This should not be confused with Ahle-e-Quran, which is an organisation formed by Abdullah Chakralawi. Quranists may also refer to themselves simply as Muslims, Submitters, or reformists.
تِلْكَ ءَايَٰتُ ٱللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِٱلْحَقِّ ۖ فَبِأَىِّ حَدِيثٍۭ
These are the verses of God which We recite to you in truth. Then in what statement [Hadith] after (rejecting) God and His verses will they believe?
|—Quran (Surah Al-Jathiya, 45:6)|
Quranists believe that the Quran is the sole source of religious law and guidance in Islam and reject the authority of sources outside of the Quran like Hadith and Sunnah. And, citing Quranic verses like 6:38–39 and 6:114–115, they believe that the Quran is clear, complete, and that it can be fully understood without recourse to the hadith and sunna. Therefore, they use the Quran itself to interpret the Quran:
". . . .a literal and holistic analysis of the text from a contemporary perspective and applying the exegetical principle of tafsir al-qur'an bi al-qur'an (explaining the Qur'an with the Qur'an) and the jurisprudential principle al-asl fi al-kalam al-haqiqah (the fundamental rule of speech is literalness), without refracting that Qur'anic usage through the lens of history and tradition."
This method of interpreting the Quran is different from the method favored by most Sunni and Shia exegetes, known as tafsir bi-al-ma'thur (interpreting the Quran with narrations, i.e., hadiths). In contrast to Quranists, Sunnis do not believe that the Quran is detailed. They believe that, “the Qur’an needs the Sunnah more than the Sunnah needs the Qur’an (inna l-Quran ahwaju ila l-sunna mina l-sunna ila l-Quran)". This methodological difference has led to considerable divergence between Quranists and Sunnis and Shia in matters of theology and law.
The extent to which Quranists reject the authenticity of the Hadith and Sunnah varies, but the more established groups have thoroughly criticised the authenticity of the Hadith and reject it for many reasons. The most prevalent view being the Quranists who say that Hadith is not mentioned in the Quran as a source of Islamic theology and practice, was not recorded in written form until a century after the death of Muhammad,  and contain internal errors and contradictions.
The Quranist ideology dates back to the time of Muhammad, who prohibited the writing of hadiths. One of Muhammad's successors, Umar, also prohibited the writing of hadith and destroyed existing collections. When Umar appointed a governor to Kufa, he told him: "You will be coming to the people of a town for whom the buzzing of the Qur'an is as the buzzing of bees. Therefore, do not distract them with the Hadiths, and thus engage them. Bare the Qur'an and spare the narration from God's messenger (peace and blessing be upon him)!"
The centrality of the Quran in the religious life of the Kufans that Umar described was quickly changing, however. A few decades later, a letter was sent to the Ummayad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan regarding the Kufans: "They abandoned the judgement of their Lord and took hadiths for their religion; and they claim that they have obtained knowledge other than from the Koran . . . They believed in a book which was not from God, written by the hands of men; they then attributed it to the Messenger of God."
In the following years, the taboo against the writing and following of hadiths had receded to such an extent that the Ummayad caliph Umar II ordered the first official collection of Hadith. Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Hazm and Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri, were among those who wrote Hadiths at Umar II’s behest.
Despite the trend towards hadiths, the questioning of their authority continued during the Abbasid dynasty and existed during the time of Al-Shafi'i, when a group known as "Ahl al-Kalam" argued that the prophetic example of Muhammad "is found in following the Quran alone", rather than Hadith. Later, a similar group, the Mu'tazilites, also viewed the transmission of the Hadith as not sufficiently reliable. The Hadith, according to them, was mere guesswork, conjecture, and bidah (innovation), while the Quran was complete and perfect, and did not require the Hadith or any other book to supplement or complement it.
During the Abassid dynasty, the poet, theologian, and jurist, Ibrahim an-Nazzam founded a madhhab called the Nazzamiyya that rejected the authority of Hadiths and relied on the Quran alone. His famous student, al-Jahiz, was also critical of those who followed Hadith, referring to his Hadithist opponents as al-nabita ("the contemptible"). A contemporary of an-Nazzam, al-Shafi'i, tried to refute the arguments of the Quranists and establish the authority of Hadiths in his book Kitab Jima'a l-'Ilm. And Ibn Qutaybah tried to refute an-Nazzam's arguments against Hadith in his book Ta'wil Mukhtalif al-Hadith.
In South Asia during the 19th century, the Ahle Quran movement formed partially in reaction to the Ahle Hadith whom they considered to be placing too much emphasis on Hadith. Many Ahle Quran adherents from South Asia were formerly adherents of Ahle Hadith but found themselves incapable of accepting certain hadiths.
In Egypt during the early 20th century, the ideas of Quranists like Muhammad Tawfiq Sidqi grew out of Salafism i.e. a rejection of taqlid. Muhammad Tawfiq Sidqi of Egypt "held that nothing of the Hadith was recorded until after enough time had elapsed to allow the infiltration of numerous absurd or corrupt traditions."  Muhammad Tawfiq Sidqi wrote an article titled Al-Islam Huwa ul-Qur'an Wahdahu ('Islam is the Qur'an Alone) that appeared in the Egyptian journal al-Manar, which argues that the Quran is sufficient as guidance: "what is obligatory for man does not go beyond God's Book. If anything other than the Qur'an had been necessary for religion," Sidqi notes, "the Prophet would have commanded its registration in writing, and God would have guaranteed its preservation."
In the 21st century, Quranist beliefs have spread in various countries. However, in countries that have incorporated some aspects of Sunni law, adherents often struggle to practice their beliefs freely and openly. For example, a Saudi Islamic scholar, Hassan Farhan al-Maliki, was arrested numerous times for promoting political reform and a return to the Quran. And in Egypt and Sudan, Quranists have been arrested for their beliefs.
The spread of Quranist beliefs in Russia has provoked the ire of the Sunni establishment. The Russian Council of Muftis issued a fatwa against Quranism and those it said were its leaders in Russia. However, one of the purported Quranist leaders mentioned in the fatwa, the Russian philosopher Taufik Ibrahim, pointed out that he was't even a Quranist. He said that his beliefs were more in line with the Jadid tradition, although there is some overlap between the two groups in Russia. In Turkey, Quranists have responded on social media to attacks by the Diyanet on their Quranist beliefs.
In other countries where the influence of the Sunni establishment isn't as strong, Quranists have more religious freedom. In Kazakhstan, a Quranist organization called "Ізгі амал" has an estimated 70 to 80 thousand members. Its leader, Aslbek Musin, is the son of the former Speaker of the Majlis, Aslan Musin. In India, Quranist leaders like Jamida Beevi, the first woman in India to lead mixed-gender congregational prayers, have spoken out against India's triple talaq law which is mostly based on the Sunni inspired Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. In a similar vein, the Oxford educated Islamic scholar, Taj Hargey, established the "Open Mosque" in South Africa. As the name implies, Hargey intended the mosque to be more open to demographics traditionally shunned by Sunni and Shia mosques, like women. Hargey describes the principles of the mosque as, "Quran-centric, gender equality, non-sectarian, inter-cultural and independent". Hargey has also criticized what he calls the "Toxic trio" of hadith, sharia, and fatwas.
Ahle Quran is an organisation formed by Abdullah Chakralawi, who described the Quran as "ahsan Hadith", meaning most perfect hadith and consequently claimed it does not need any addition. His movement relies entirely on the chapters and verses of the Quran. Chakralawi's position was that the Quran itself was the most perfect source of tradition and could be exclusively followed. According to Chakralawi, Muhammad could receive only one form of revelation (wahy), and that was the Quran. He argues that the Quran was the only record of divine wisdom, the only source of Muhammad's teachings, and that it superseded the entire corpus of hadith, which came later.
Kala Kato is a Quranist movement whose adherents reside mostly northern Nigeria, with some adherents residing in Niger. Kala Kato means a "man says" in the Hausa language, in reference to the sayings, or hadiths, posthumously attributed to Muhammad. Kala Kato accept only the Quran as authoritative and believe that anything that is not Kala Allah, which means what "God says" in the Hausa language, is Kala Kato.
The Malaysian Quranic Society was founded by Kassim Ahmad. The movement holds several positions distinguishing it from Sunnis and Shias such as a rejection of the status of hair as being part of the awrah; therefore exhibiting a relaxation on the observance of the hijab, which according to Quranists is not in the Quran.
The Quran Sunnat Society is a Quranist movement in India. The movement was behind the first ever woman to lead a Friday congregation prayer in the country of India. It also maintains an office and headquarters within Kerala. There is a large community of Quranists in Kerala.
In the United States it was associated with Rashad Khalifa, founder of the United Submitters International. The group popularized the phrase: The Quran, the whole Quran, and nothing but the Quran. After Khalifa declared himself the Messenger of the Covenant, he was rejected by other Muslim scholars as an apostate of Islam. Later, he was assassinated in 1990 by a terrorist group. Those interested in his work believe that there is a mathematical structure in the Quran, based on the number 19. A group of Submitters in Nigeria was popularised by high court judge Isa Othman.
Zumratul Jamiu Mumin is a Quranist movement in Ogun State, Nigeria. The movement regards the Hadiths as idolatry and un-Islamic. The group believes in refuting Hadithist dogma, conveying the message of the Quran alone to non-Muslims and inviting them to it, to make efforts to integrate new converts into the Muslim community, and to recruit manpower and provide training for da’wah workers.
Sūrat al-Infiṭār (Arabic: سورة الانفطار, “The Cleaving”, “Bursting Apart”) is the 82nd sura of the Qur'an with 19 ayat. The chapter is named ‘Al-Infitar’ because of the occurrence of the word ‘unfatarat’, in the first verse of this chapter. Infitar means ‘split asunder’. This word, ‘Unfatarat’ is used in this chapter in order to describe the splitting the sky on the day of Judgment. This chapter (Al-Infitar), along with Chapter At-Takwir and Al-Inshiqaq provide exhaustive description about ‘Day of Judgment’.Al-Munafiqun
Sūrat al-Munāfiqūn (Arabic: سورة المنافقون, "The Hypocrites") is the 63rd chapter (sura) of the Qur'an with 11 verses.As-Saff
Sūrat aṣ-Ṣaff (Arabic: سورة الصف, "The Ranks, Battle Array") is the 61st chapter (sura) of the Quran with 14 verses. This sura is a Al-Musabbihat sura because it begins with the glorification of Allah.Ash-Shura
Sūrat ash-Shūrā (Arabic: سورة الشورى, "Council, Consultation") is the 26th sura of the Qur'an with 53 ayat.This Meccan Chapter has fifty three Verses and its title derives from the question of shura (“consultation”) referred to in Verse 38.Criticism of Hadith
The criticism of Hadith refers to the critique directed towards collections of ahadith, i.e. the collections of reports of the words, actions, and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad on any matter. The criticism revolves primarily around the authenticity of hadith reports and whether they are attributable to Muhammad, as well as theological and philosophical grounds as to whether the hadith can provide rulings on legal and religious matters when the Quran has already declared itself "complete", "clear", "fully detailed" and "perfected".
Because of Quranic injunctions to Muslims to follow the instructions of and to imitate the behavior of Muhammad, in Muslim political or religious disputes (especially during the early era of Islam) temptation was strong to fabricate hadith as a "polemical ideological tool" in favor of the fabricator's political/religious position.
Muslim critics of ahadith and classical hadith studies include Islamic revivalists who strongly believe ahadith are part of Islam but wish to reexamine ahadith by their matn (content) in preparation for revising sharia law to make it more practical so that it may be enforced in Muslim society; those who believe only the small number of mutawatir ahadith are reliable enough to be followed; and “deniers” of hadith who contend that Muslims should follow the Quran alone as Muslims still can not be certain of the authenticity of even the most highly rated (sahih or "sound") ahadith notwithstanding the great efforts by scholars of the science of hadith studies to validate ahadith.Ghulat
Ghulāt (Arabic: غلاة, lit. 'exaggerators', singular ghālī) is a term used in the theology of orthodox Shia Islam to describe some minority Muslim groups who either ascribe divine characteristics to figures of Islamic history (usually some members of the Ahl al-Bayt) or hold beliefs deemed deviant by mainstream, orthodox Shi'i theology. In later periods, this term was used to describe any Shi'i group not accepted by the Zaydis, orthodox Twelvers, and sometimes the Isma'ilis.The usage derives from the idea that the importance or the veneration of such a religious figure has been "exaggerated".Kala Kato
Kala Kato is a Quranist movement whose adherents reside mostly in northern Nigeria, with some adherents residing in Niger. Kala Kato means a "man says" in the Hausa language, in reference to the sayings, or hadiths, posthumously attributed to Muhammad. Kala Kato accepts only the Quran as authoritative and believe that anything that is not Kala Allah, which means what "God says" in the Hausa language, is Kala Kato.Kassim Ahmad
Kassim Ahmad (9 September 1933 – 10 October 2017) was a Malaysian intellectual, writer, poet and an educator. He was also a politician in the early days of Malaya and later Malaysia.Ma'bad al-Juhani
Ma'bad ibn Kalid al-Juhani معبد الجهني (died 80 AH/ 699CE), was from the tribe of Juhainah which lived and still live in around the city of Medinah in Saudi Arabia. He was Qadari, an idea he got from Sinbuya, and was declared as misguided by some of the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was crucified by the orders of the Caliph Abd al-Malik in Damascus. He was the first man, after Sinbuya, who discussed the Qadr (Divine Decree).Maturidi
Maturidiyya (Arabic: ماتريدي) is one of the main schools of Sunni Islam theology. It was formalized by Abu Mansur Al Maturidi and brought the beliefs already present among the majority of Sunnis under one school of systematic theology (kalam). It is considered one of the orthodox Sunni creeds alongside the Ash'ari school. Māturīdism has been the predominant theological orientation among the Sunni Muslims of Persia prior to its conversion to Shiaism in the 16th century, Hanafis, and the Ahl al-Ray (people of reason) and enjoyed a preeminent status in the Ottoman Empire and Mughal India. Outside the old Ottoman and Mughal empires, the majority of Turkic tribes, Central Asian, and South Asian Muslims also believe in Maturidi theology. The Maturidi school prioritizes the traditions of Sufism and Persian- over Arabian interpretation of Islam.Murji'ah
Murjiʾah (Arabic المرجئة) is an early Islamic school of divinity, whose followers are known in English language as Murjites or Murjiʾites (Arabic المرجئون). The school is now considered extinct.Muḥammirah
Muḥammirah or Muhammerah ("The Crimson, The Red") were Mazdaki groups such as the followers of al-Muqanna, the Khurramites and the Kūl’īyyah.Quranic inerrancy
Quranic inerrancy is a doctrine central to the Muslim faith that the Quran is the infallible and inerrant word of God as revealed to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel fourteen hundred years ago.Sufri
The Sufris (Arabic: الصفرية aṣ-Ṣufriyya) were Khariji Muslims in the seventh and eighth centuries. They established the Midrarid state at Sijilmassa, now in Morocco.
In Tlemcen, Algeria, the Banu Ifran were Sufri Berbers who opposed rule by the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates, most notably under resistance movements led by Abu Qurra (8th century) and Abu Yazid.The Khawarij were divided into separate groups such as the Sufri, Azariqa, Bayhasiyya, Ajardi, Najdat, and Ibadi. Only the Ibadi continue to exist today.Tashahhud
The Tashahhud (Arabic: تَشَهُّد), meaning the testimony of faith, also known as Attahiyat) is the portion of the Muslim prayer where the precant sits on the ground facing the qibla, glorifies God, and greets the messenger and the righteous people of God followed by the two testimonials. The recitation is followed by an invocation of the blessings and peace upon the prophet known as Salawat or Darood.Tolu-e-Islam
Tolu-e-Islam (English: Resurgence of Islam), also known as Bazm-e-Tolu-e-Islam, is an organization which focuses on understanding the Quran via logic, empiricism, and the appropriate application of the rules of Classical Arabic. The words “Tolu-e-Islam,” meaning “dawn” or “resurgence” of Islam, were taken from "Tulu'i Islam", the title of a poem by the philosopher and poet Muhammad Iqbal.Yasser Al-Habib
Yasser al-Habib (Arabic: ياسر الحبيب born 20 January 1979) is a Muslim Shia cleric, the founder and the head of the London-based Khoddam Al-Mahdi Organization, as well as Al-Muhassin mosque in Fulmer, Buckinghamshire. Al-Habib attempts to express his religious views and his investigations and conclusions in the Islamic history, based upon Shia and Sunni sources.
Al-Habib started his religious activities in Kuwait, starting off as a member of the Dawah Party, later he founded a non-profit religious organization named Khoddam Al-Mahdi Organization, and he also expressed his religious views regarding Abu Bakr and Umar, and criticized them sharply, which led to anger the mainstream Sunnis in Kuwait and other Arabic-speaking Sunni communities, and finally led to the arrest of Al-Habib. Later, in February 2004 he was released under an annual pardon announced by the Amir of Kuwait on the occasion of the country's National Day, but his rearrest was ordered a few days later. Al-Habib fled Kuwait before he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years' imprisonment, and spent months in Iraq and Iran before gaining an asylum in United Kingdom which is his current place of residence.Āyah
In the Islamic Quran, an Āyah (; Arabic: آية; plural: آيات āyāt) is a "verse", one of the statement of varying length that make up the chapters (surah) of the Quran and are marked by a number. The word means "evidence", "sign" or "miracle", and in Islam may refer to things other than Quranic verses, such as religious obligations (ayat taklifiyyah) or cosmic phenomena (ayat takwiniyyah). In the Quran it is referred to in several verses such as:
تِلْكَ ءَايَٰتُ ٱللَّهِ نَتْلُوهَا عَلَيْكَ بِٱلْحَقِّۖ فَبِأَىِّ حَدِيثٍۭ بَعْدَ ٱللَّهِ وَءَايَٰتِهِۦ يُؤْمِنُونَ("These are the Ayat -- proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc. -- of God, which We recite to you, O Muhammad, with truth. Then in which speech after God and His Ayat (plural of ayah) will they believe?")