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Are Qur'an and Hikmah (wisdom) the same? Is Hikmah only in the Qur'an?
By Kaukab Siddique

In a posting on WideMinds, a prominent member of the Parwezi sect, Mr. Bashir Abid, tried to claim that Muslims should follow only the Qur'an because, in his words, "The Wisdom is in the Qur'an itself." He refers to Sura 17:23-38 which contains "principles and values" and then quotes verse 17:39: "These are (values and principles) among the Wisdom (Al Hikmah) which your Sustainer has revealed to you." From this verse, Bashir Abid concludes : "in other words, Qur'anic values and principles are sufficient for the sustained growth and development of an healthy society."

From this point he jumps to this strange claim, typical of Parwezi sect members, that "Therefore we don't need any secondary source to look for wisdom. It is absolutely childish view to think that Al Kitab means Qur'an and Al Hikmah means Hadith or Sunnah. The question is: If Qur'an does not contain Wisdom, then what does it meant for." (Quoted as in Mr. Abid's message.)

1. The Qur'an does NOT say that Allah revealed ONLY the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Qur'an gives us the prayer of Abraham and Ismail (pbut) which Allah answered by sending Muhammad (pbuh):
"Our Lord! Send among them a Messenger of their own who will recite your verses to them and teach them the Book and Wisdom and purify them: For thou art the exalted in Might, the Wise." (2:129)

Thus the messenger was to:
1) Recite the verses revealed to him,
2) teach the Book,
3) teach wisdom, related to the Book,
4) purify them.

The tasks of the messenger obviously go beyond merely reciting or transmitting the verses received from Allah.

The Qur'an later on affirms that Muhammad's (pbuh) role is exactly as defined in the prayer of Abraham and Ismail (pbut). It says:
"It is He Who has sent among the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves, to recite to them His verses, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and Wisdom, - although they had been in error manifest." (62:2)

Note that the BOOK and WISDOM (Hikmah) are two SEPARATE items. The Qur'an is NOT saying "the wisdom in the Book."

Then the Qur'an goes on to point out that this role of the Prophet (pbuh) is not only for the time when the Book was being revealed in Arabia but for the FUTURE too. [Read on from 62:2 with reference to the "unlettered people."]

"Along with others of them, who have not already joined them: And He is Exalted in Might, Wise." (62:3)

So the Prophet (pbuh) is meant to teach and purify people who were not his immediate audience . This entire role of the Prophet (pbuh) has been preserved in the authentic hadith WHICH HIS COMPANIONS NARRATED. All who knew Muhammad (pbuh) and were faithful to his message knew that his teaching of the Qur'an and his wisdom plus his process of purification of the humanity must be preserved in its purity and transmitted.
The Qur'an, in addition to the verses referred to above, also uses the word HIKMAH in a variety of ways. There is HIKMAH (wisdom) in the Qur'an itself, as Bashir Abid noted from surah 17, but that does not limit it to the Qur'an. Here is an example of a verse which clarifies the fact that HIKMAH (wisdom) is not the same as KITAB (the BOOK). "We bestowed al-Hikmah (wisdom) on Luqman ..." (31:12) It does not mean that Allah gave a Qur'an or a Book to Luqman,

The Qur'an is a powerful and eloquent Book. That is all more the reason why Allah sent it to us through the Messenger (pbuh) so that we should not put our own desires into its interpretation. The teachings of the Messenger (pbuh) are essential to Islam and have been preserved in the authentic hadith owing to the tremendous effort of his Sahaba (the blessed companions). The scholars of Islam made sure that the Hadith were preserved in their purity. They still do not come up to the excellence of the Qur'an but they are the best human beings could preserve.

Make no mistake about it, Hadith are the revolutionary teachings of the greatest revolutionary of all times. The Qur'an has been applied to every aspect of life owing to its interpretation, the Hikmah, revealed to the Prophet (pbuh). It is this Hikmah which is the irritant to the sectarians who want to destroy the purity of Islam. Just as Allah and the messenger means Allah and the messenger (and not Allah and Allah, which would be redundant), Qur'an and Hikmah means Qur'an AND Hikmah (not Qur'an and Qur'an, which would be redundant.)

2003-05-30 Fri 23:55ct