Verses 16:44 and 3:164 have been used to claim that since the messenger is commissioned to explain and teach the Quran, thus we need the hadith which explains the Quran.
In 16:44 we read:
“We have sent down to you the reminder (Quran) so that you make evident to the people what was sent to them”
and in 3:164 we read:
“God has bestowed favour on the believers by sending them a messenger from among them, to recite for them His revelations, and to purify them, and to teach them the scripture and wisdom. Before this, they were totally astray.”
To analyse this claim we will deal with two separate claims:
1- Do these verses authorise the hadith as an additional source besides the Quran?
2- Can the messenger really guide people to the true meaning and message of the Quran?
First: Do these verses authorise the hadith as an additional source besides the Quran?
The words in 16:44 clearly state that the messenger can only make things clear to the people by means of what is revealed to him (Quran). This is also confirmed in 6:114 which states that the only source of law is the book. In addition, the messenger is prohibited from adding his own teachings to the message he received from God. If he does he would be committing a great error that would incur a severe punishment from God (see 69:44-46).
What this means is that the messenger is authorised only in delivering the message of the Quran and nothing else. All what he preaches and which is from the Quran must be obeyed, but not any other personal teachings that do not have reference or authorisation in the Quran. To obey the messenger blindly in every word he ever uttered is the work of those who are intent on making an idol out of the messenger, and they do so by corrupting yet another Quranic verse which says “obey God and the messenger”.
One of the very clear messages of the Quran is that the moment anyone upholds any kind of personal teachings which are not authorised in the Quran they immediately become guilty of idol worship and are promised severe retribution:
“They follow idols who decree for them religious laws never authorized by God. If it were not for the predetermined decision, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the transgressors have incurred a painful retribution.” 42:21
Second: Can the messenger really guide people to the true meaning and message of the Quran?
It must also be said that a common misunderstanding arises when one or two verses are looked at in isolation. Without looking at all the relevant verses dealing with one particular Quranic topic, a misleading deduction can be arrived at.
If we read 16:44 and 3:164 on their own it may well appear that the messenger can fully explain the Quran to the people and that he is the teacher of the Quran, but what about when we read 55:1-2 which says that God is the teacher of the Quran?
Also, what about 75:19 where God is speaking to the messenger and tells him clearly that it is He (God) who will explain the Quran?
It is clear that when we read other verses we get a different picture.
As a result, we must arrive at a common meaning which would be in harmony with all the Quranic verses and not just 3:164 and 16:44.
The common meaning is that the messenger delivered the Quran to the people and that he spent all his remaining days preaching the Quran and commanding people to follow it and showing them what the Quran requires them to do.
However, the messenger cannot guide anyone or guarantee that all people will understand the true message of the Quran. It is God, and God alone, who can guide the people and truly explain the message of the book to the ones who deserve the guidance.
The Quranic verses which confirm this truth are numerous, such as:
“You cannot guide the ones you love. God is the only One who guides in accordance with His will, and in accordance with His knowledge of those who deserve the guidance.” 28:56
And in 72:21 the messenger is commanded to proclaim to all people:
“I possess no power to harm you nor to guide you
The messenger is a tool and a medium between God and the people, but the messenger cannot change what is in the heart nor can he implant belief into any heart nor can he guide anyone, he can only pass the message:
“The sole duty of the messenger is to deliver the message (Quran)” 5:92
This duty does not only apply to the messenger, it applies to any Imam or teacher or preacher. There are thousands of such teachers all over the world today giving lectures, lessons and sermons. They all try to explain the Quran, but do all their listeners understand the message of the book?
The answer is NO!
The fact that 99.9% of all Muslims today are following a corrupt religion that has little to do with the Quran, and the fact that they are committing “shirk” (associating partners with God) by making the prophet a partner with God in everything they say or do and including his name along side the name of God in every worship practice (shahada, Salat, Hajj, etc), which is contrary to the Quranic command in 6:162 which states that all our worship practices must be dedicated to the name of God alone; all this confirms that despite their numerous scholars, Imams, interpreters and teachers, with all their volumes of ‘tafseer’ (interpretations/explanations), they have not really understood the simple message of the book. All their teachers could not really explain the principal message of the Quran to them which is to dedicate all our worship rituals and practices to the name of God alone (6:162) and to accept the Quran as the only source of law (6:114).
It remains to remind ourselves with the clear command in 45:6:
“These are God’s revelations (Quran) that We recite to you truthfully. In which hadith other than God and His revelations do they believe?” 45:6
It follows that all who say that we need the hadith because the hadith explains the Quran are in fact showing their utter rejection of the command in 45:6 for not accepting any hadith other than the Quran.
To conclude, the messenger is authorised to use the Quran alone to preach to the people. The messenger will pass the message of the book to all people and invite all to accept and follow the Quran, but he cannot guide anyone nor guarantee that anyone will attain the true message of the book. And if the messenger cannot guide anyone (72:21), so much for the claim which states that the Hadith offers guidance!