Understanding Islam through Hadis - Religious Faith or Fanaticism?

Understanding Islam through Hadis - Religious Faith or Fanaticism?

Product ID: 6781

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Author: Ram Swarup
Publisher: Voice of India
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 257
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185990735


This work, from a non-Muslim perspective, is based on Sahih Muslim, which has the advantage of being available in an English translation.

The subjects that the Hadis treat are multiple and diverse. It gives the Prophet's view of Allah, of the here and the hereafter of hell and heaven, of the Last Day of Judgment, or iman (faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (poor tax), Sawm (fast), and hajj (Pilgrimage), popularly known as religious subjects; but it also includes his pronouncements on Jihad (holy war), al-anfal , and khums (the holy fifth); as well as on crime and punishment, on food, drink, clothing, and personal decoration, on hunting and sacrifices, on poets and soothsayers, on women and slaves, on gifts, inheritances, and dowries, on toilet, ablution, and bathing; on dreams, christening, and medicine, on vows and oaths and testaments, on images and pictures, on dogs, lizards, and ants.

According to some thinkers, fundamentalism is nothing but a search by Muslims for self-identity and self-assertion. It is a weapon of self-defense, derived from the available symbols of their culture against the materialist and bourgeois values of the West. But on calm reflection, it is also something more; it is also their dream of recapturing the grandeur of their old imperial days. Islam is by nature fundamentalist; and this fundamentalism in turn is aggressive in character. Islam claims to have defined human thought and behavior for all time to come; it resists any change, and it feels justified in imposing its beliefs and behavior pattern on other.

Whether this fundamentalism is considered resurgence or reversal and the threat of reappearance of an old imperialism will depend on one's point of view. But anything that throws light on any aspect of the problem will be a great contribution.

This we find the Hadis literature most fitted to do. It gives a living picture of Islam at its source and of Islam in the making, providing an intimate view of the elements that constitute orthodox Islam in their pristine purity. Indeed, it is these very elements of Islam that Muslims find most fascinating and thus motivated by a compulsive atavism, they repeatedly appeal to them and revert to them.



1. Faith (Imam)
2. Purification (Taharah)
3. Prayer (Salat)
4. The Poor Tax (Zakat)
5. Fasting and Pilgrimage (Sawm and Hajj)
6. Marriage and Divorce (Al-Nikah and Al-Talaq)
7. Business Transactions Inheritances, Gifts, Bequests, Vows and Oaths
8. Crime and Punishment (Qasamah, Qisas, Hadud)
9. Religious Wars (Jihad)
10. Government (Al-Imara)
11. Hunting, Food and Drink
12. Clothing, Decorations, General Behavior, Greeting Magic, Poverty,
Visions, Dreams
13. Muhammad on Muhammad
14. The Prophet's Companions
15. Virtue, Destiny, Knowledge, Remembrance of God
16. Paradise, Hell, Their Inmates, the Last Day
17. Repentance (Tauba), I
18. Repentance, II (The Self-Criticism of Ka'b b. Malik)
19. Hypocrites (Munafiqin)