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Quranism (Arabic: القرآنية; al-Qur'āniyyat) is an Islamic view that holds the Qur'an to be the most authentic criterion in Islam. Qur'anists reject the religious authority of the Hadith. This is in contrast to the Shia, Sunni, and Ibadi forms of Islam, which view the Hadith as essential to religious practice.
Liberal movements within Islam include Quranists who interpret Islam as "a belief system committed to the liberal values of a democratic world". Quranism is similar to movements in other religions such as the Karaite movement of Judaism and the Sola scriptura view of Christianity. Similarly, the Mu'tazila were also described as hadith rejectors and comparisons have been drawn. Hadith rejection has also been associated with Muslim modernists.
Adherents of Quranism are referred to as Quranists (Arabic: قرآنيّون, Qur’āniyyūn), or Quranic people (Arabic: أهل القرآن, ’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. Opponents sometimes use the term hadith rejectors.
The extent to which Quranists reject the authenticity of the Sunnah varies, but the more established groups have thoroughly criticised the authenticity of the hadith and refused it for many reasons, the most prevalent being the Quranist claim that hadith is not mentioned in the Quran as a source of Islamic theology and practice, was not recorded in written form until more than two centuries after the death of the Prophet Muhammed, and contain perceived internal errors and contradictions.
Quranists believe, based on numerous historical accounts, that the Quranist sentiment dates back to the time of Muhammad.:9 During the Abassid Caliphate, 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 traditionalist 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'al-'ilm.:19 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 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.
As many Quranists have a very individualistic interpretation of the Qur'an, rejecting sectarianism and organised religion as a general rule, it is difficult to gather an accurate estimate of the number of Quranists in the world today by doing a study of the Quranist organisations that exist. Another difficulty in determining their prevalence is the possible fear of persecution due to being regarded as apostates and therefore deserving of the death penalty by many traditional scholars like Yousef Elbadry,
Organizations and branches
"Ahle Qur’an" 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 Qur’an. Chakralawi's position was that the Qur’an 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 Qur'an. He argues that the Qur'an 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. Ahle Quran scholars may use Tafsir when pursuing the interpretations of the Quran.
In the United States it was associated with Rashad Khalifa, founder of the United Submitters International. The group popularized the phrase: The Qur'an, the whole Qur'an, and nothing but the Qur'an. 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. His followers believe that there is a mathematical structure in the Qur'an, based on the number 19. A group of Submitters in Nigeria was started by Isa Othman.
Quranists in Nigeria are sometimes referred to as Kalo Kato, which means "a mere man said it" in the Hausa language (referring to the hadith attributed to Muhammad). They're sometimes mistaken for an unrelated militant group founded by Muhammadu Marwa (also known as Maitatsine) called Yan Tatsine. One of the most well-known Quranist leaders in Nigeria is an Islamic scholar Malam Isiyaka Salisu. Other notable Nigerian Quranists include High Court judge Isa Othman and Islamic scholar Mallam Saleh Idris Bello.
Hanif Islam is a new Qur’anist set of Muslim beliefs and teachings based on the Qur'an alone. Hanif Muslims argue that the Qur'an is valid in every language and that anyone is capable of interpreting and understanding the Qur'an without assistance. Hanif Muslims also maintain that only two daily prayers are mandated by the Qur'an, those being the morning (fajr) and night (isha) prayers, and that Muslims should cease all activities to perform them. Additionally, Hanif Muslims reject circumcision as an Islamic practice and believe that covering the head is not a necessary part of women's hijab. Hanif Islam should not be confused with the term hanif.
- Ahmed Subhy Mansour (born 1949), an Egyptian American Islamic scholar. He founded a small group of Quranists, but was exiled from Egypt and is now living in the United States as a political refugee.
- Chekannur Maulavi (born 1936; disappeared July 29, 1993), a progressive Islamic cleric who lived in Edappal in Malappuram district of Kerala, India. He was noted for his controversial and unconventional interpretation of Islam based on Quran alone. He disappeared on 29 July 1993 under mysterious circumstances and is now widely believed to be dead.
- Edip Yüksel (born 1957), a Kurdish American philosopher, lawyer, Quranist advocate, author of NINETEEN: God's Signature in Nature and Scripture, Manifesto for Islamic Reform and a co-author of Quran: A Reformist Translation. Currently[when?] teaches philosophy and logic at Pima Community College and medical ethics and criminal law courses at Brown Mackie College.
- Ibrahim an-Nazzam (775–845), an Afro-Iraqi philosopher, theologian, jurist, historian and poet who founded a madhhab called "Nazzamiyya". He was a nephew of the Mu'tazilite theologian Abu al-Hudhayl al-'Allaf. One of his students was al-Jahiz.
- Nasir Subhani (1951-1990), an Iranian Kurdish Sunni scholar and reformer. In his teachings, mainly private classes, he argued that Quran itself is enough for source of interpretation and extreme scrutiny is required against Hadith which contract verses in the Quran. He established a Quran Academy in the town of Paveh in Iran.
- Rashad Khalifa (1935–1990), an Egyptian-American biochemist and Islamic reformer. In his book Quran, Hadith and Islam and his English translation of the Quran, he argued that the Quran alone is the source of Islamic belief and practice. He attributed numerologic significance to the structure of the Quran.
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- The Quranic Arabic Corpus
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- Quran's Message.com
- Quranix.net, a website featuring various English translations of the Quran.
- The Message of Islam / For People Who Think
- free-minds.org, popular Quranist website with a forum of sizable membership.
- How Can We Observe The Salaat Prayers By Following The Quran Alone?
- Islamic-research.org, popular Quranist / Quran-alone website sharing Quran information and articles.
- quran-alone.com, Quranist web directory sharing study tools and translations.