In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The word "Al-Hikmah"/wisdom in Quran

It is not Hadith & Sunna
First Analysis

Due to the fact that the Quran did not contain any mention of the words ‘Sunna’t Muhammad’, the ardent Sunni’s found it necessary to manipulate the meaning of some Quranic words so as to create a Quranic reference to their cherished ‘hadith’ and ‘Sunna’. The word on which they base their claim is that of (Al-Hekmah) as found in a number of verses as:

[2:231] Remember God’s blessings upon you, and what He sent down to you of the ‘Al-Ketab’ and ‘Al-Hekmah’ to enlighten you with it.

Literally speaking, the meaning of ‘Al-Ketab’ is the book (the Quran), and ‘Al-Hekmah’ is wisdom. Nevertheless they interpret ‘Al-Hekmah’ here to mean the Sunna of Muhammad. However, with a close inspection of the Quranic verses, it can be shown that this interpretation is a total corruption. This is due to the following reasons:

  1. The word ‘bihee’ (with it) that appear at the end of the verse, is in the singular mode, in other words it describes one thing and not two. For that reason the words ‘Al-Hekmah’ and ‘Al-Ketab’ must denote one thing and not two, unless of course God is making grammatical mistakes!

    If the words ‘Al-Hekmah’ and ‘Al-Ketab’ really referred to the Quran and the Sunna, then the verse should grammatically end with the word ‘bihima’ (with them), which is the plural mode of ‘bihee’.

  2. The word ‘Al-Hekmah’ is used throughout the Quran as an adjective of the ‘Al-Ketab’ (the Quran). This is made evident in the following verses :

    [36:1-2] Y.S., and the Quran Al-Hakim

    [3:58] This is what We recite to you of the ‘Ayat’ and the ‘Zekr Al-Hakim

    [10:1] A.L.R., these are the signs of the ‘Ketab Al-Hakim

  3. The same word ‘Al-Hekmah’ is used in the Quran in connection with prophets and messengers who lived before the time of Muhammad. Obviously before Muhammad lived his Sunna did not exist. Thus to say that ‘Al-Hekmah’ means Sunna’t Muhammad is incorrect. Consider the following verses:

    The following are God’s words to Jesus:

    [5:110] And I taught you the ‘Ketab’ (Scripture) and ‘Al-Hekmah’(wisdom).

    Clearly, Jesus does not mean the Sunna of Muhammad.

    The following were the words of Abraham as he implored his Lord :

    [2:129] Our Lord, and send for them a messenger from among them to recite to them your ‘Ayat’ and teach them the ‘Ketab’ (Scripture) and ‘Al-Hekmah’ (wisdom).

    Again the word ‘Al-Hekmah’ here could not mean anything but wisdom. Abraham had no knowledge of the ‘Sunna’ of Muhammad.

  4. A further evidence that the word ‘Al-Hekmah’ as used in the Quran means wisdom and not Sunna is found in the following verse:

    [2:269] He bestows ‘Al-Hekmah’ upon whoever He pleases, and whoever attains ‘Al-Hekmah’ has indeed attained a great blessing.

    The words "whoever He pleases" in this verse indicate that God bestows ‘Al-Hekmah’ upon any of the believers and not just His messengers. If we assume that ‘Al-Hekmah’ means the Sunna we would have to believe that any ordinary believer may also have his own personal Sunna that has to be followed by other believers! This of course is not the case. The verse would instead make full sense if we think of ‘Al-Hekmah’ in its proper meaning as wisdom.

  5. In Sura 17, we are given a clear demonstration of the word ‘Al-Hekmah’ as being the ability to differentiate between right and wrong and the wisdom to choose what is right. If we read the verses from 22 to 39, we find God commanding us not to worship except Him, to honor our parents, to give due alms to our relatives, the needy, the poor, and the traveling alien but without being extravagant or stingy, not to kill our children for fear of poverty, not to commit adultery, nor to abuse the orphan’s money, to trade equitably and fairly, to verify everything before following it blindly and not to act vainly. After such valuable advice God informs us that these virtues are indeed what wisdom is all about.

    In that sense ‘Al-Hekmah’ is not a book of ‘hadith’ (sayings) of one single person but instead a blessing that God may bestow on any of His servants.

  6. Perhaps the simplest and most convincing reason for discarding the corrupted meaning of ‘Al-Hekmah’ so as to mean the Sunna, is the fact that God is neither vague nor fond of providing us with puzzles. God asserts that the Quran is straightforward, it contains no crookedness:

    [39:28] An Arabic Quran, without any crookedness, that they may take heed.

    Surely, had God willed that we should follow the teachings of the Quran plus the Sunna He would have mentioned the words ‘Sunna’t Muhammad’ explicitly in the Quran. Needless to say, the only Sunna that is mentioned in the Quran is the Sunna of Allah.

    [33:62] This is the Sunna of God for those of the past, and you will find no alternative for the Sunna of God.

    The Sunna of Allah is to be found in the Quran and previous Scripture.

    Moreover if God had revealed to Muhammad an additional Sunna other than the Quran, as the Sunni’s would claim then we would expect God to say ‘We have revealed to you the Ketab and the Sunna’ or words to that effect. Instead the only Revelation endorsed in the Quran is the Quran itself:

    [5:48] And We have revealed to you the Ketab (the Quran) truthfully.

    Indeed God takes an oath from His prophet of what was revealed to him. The oath contains nothing but the Quran :

    [6:19] Say, ‘What is the greatest testimony?’ Say, ‘God is the witness between me and you that this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches. Indeed you bear witness that there are other gods beside God.’ Say, ‘I do not testify as you do; but surely He is one God, and I disown your idolatry.

    Finally God commands the prophet to rule and arbitrate between the people with Quran and nothing but the Quran :

    [4:105] We have sent down to you this Ketab, truthfully, in order to arbitrate between the people.

  7. Finally, the word ‘Al-Hikmah’ in any Arabic dictionary means WISDOM. To leave the literal and direct meaning and accept a manipulated meaning is to reject the truth of the Quran.
Second Analysis

Many sunni Muslims refer to the word (Al-Hekmah)- wisdom- as mentioned in 2:129, 2:151, 2:231, and 33:34, when they talk about the hadiths and sunna of the Prophet Muhammed. They claim the word Al-Hekmah in these verses refer to the Hadiths and Sunna of the prophet Muhammed. That is FALSE.

Here is why they are WRONG:

Let us study the word Al-Hekmah in Quran.

The word (Hekmah) ( wisdom in English,) has been used in 19 verses in the Quran for a total of 20 times (mentioned twice in 2:269) .

  1. In 3:81, God is telling us that all the Prophets are given the book and Hekmah (Wisdom). All these Prophets did not give the hadiths and sunna of Muhammed.
  2. In 3:48 God is using the same term He used for Muhammed, telling us that he gave Jesus, the book and Hekmah (wisdom). This was not Muhammed's hadiths and sunna.
  3. In 2:251, God is telling us that he gave the Hekmah (Wisdom) to David, it is not Muhammed's hadiths and sunna.
  4. In 4:54, God is telling us He gave Abraham's family the scripture and Hekmah (wisdom). This was not muhammed's hadiths and sunna.
  5. In 5:110, again God is reminding us that he gave Jesus the book and the Hekmah (wisdom). This was not Muhammed's hadiths and sunna.
  6. In 16:125, God calls on the believers to use wisdom in inviting people to the path of God. Remember that God told us already that we should remind with the QURAN those who revernce His warnings. It is the Quran full of hekmah (wisdom)
  7. In 31:12, God is telling us that He gave Luqman the Hekmah (wisdom), this was not Muhammed's hadiths and sunna.
  8. In 43:63 Jesus is telling his people that he brought them the Hekmah (wisdom). This was not Muhammed's hadiths and sunna.
  9. The Quran is described as the book of hekmah (wisdom) by God Almighty. See 3:58, 10:1, 31:2, 36:3, 43:4, ...
  10. In 17:39 God Almighty, the author of the Quran Himself explains what the word hekmah (wisdom) means, so no one can claim any thing different.

    [17:36-39] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearings, the eyesight, and the brain and you are responsible for using them. You shall not walk proudly on earth-you cannot bore through the earth, nor can you be as tall as the mountains. All bad behavior is condemned by your Lord. THIS IS SOME OF THE WISDOM inspired to you by your Lord. You shall not set up another god beside God, lest you end up in Gehena, blamed and defeated.

    Here, God is telling us that the wisdom is what is included in the Quran. It is the wisdom that comes from Him not from other men.

Some people question the wisdom of God why did He choose to mention the book and the Hekmah if both are the same. First questioning the wisdom of God is equal to disbelief. Second, if you are to understand the Quran you would know what God means by the word Hekma, it is well explained in 17:39. It is a common practice in the Arabic language to emphasize part of the whole by mentioning that part after the whole.

For example if you give some one a book that you want him to read and want to get his attention to chapter 7 for example, you would say read this book and chapter 7. This does not mean Chapter 7 is different than the book but you want to emphasize that particular part. You want him to read the book and pay special attention to chapter 7.

In 2:238, God is telling the believers, "You shall observe the Contact Prayers, and the middle prayer and devote yourself totally to God." In this verse God wants to emphasize the middle prayer. The middle prayer is not something different from the rest of the prayers. And so is the word hekmah (Wisdom) is a part of, and not a separate part, of the Quran. God is emphasizing the Hekmah (wisdom) included in his books. That is what 17:39 is explaining.

If you look at R. Khalifa's translation of 2:238, you will find that he put this explanation in his translation. My translation of the Arabic above is almost the exact like the Arabic text.

Khalifa's translation is "You shall consistently observe the Contact prayers, especially the middle prayer, and devote yourselves totally to God."

For an English speaking person who is reading my translation above, he may think that the middle prayer is different than the rest of the prayers. Khalifa's translation above makes it easy to reach the meaning put in the Arabic text without over exerting the possibilities.

In brief the word Hekmah, in 2:129 and others do NOT refer to the hadiths and sunna of Muhammed, it is the wisdom included in the Quran. When God ordered the Prophet's wives to mention what is recited in their homes of the book and wisdom (33:34), He means to emphasize the need to mentions the wisdom , that is explained in 17:39. It means to mention the Quran and especially the wisdom coming in the Quran.