The word al-hikmah (Wisdom) in the Quran 2:151

Due to the fact that the Quran does not contain any mention of the words 'sunna of Muhammad', the followers of the hadith and sunna found it necessary to manipulate the meaning of some Quranic words so as to create a Quranic reference to the hadith and sunna. The word on which they base their claim is "al-hikmah" as found in a number of verses, such as:

We also sent you a messenger from amongst you to recite Our revelations to you and to purify you, and to teach you 'al-kitab' (the Book/Scripture) and 'al-hikmah' (the wisdom), and to teach you what you knew not. 2:151

And remember God's blessings upon you, and what He has brought down upon you of the 'kitab' (Book/Scripture) and 'al-hikmah' (the wisdom) by which 'bihi' He advises you. 2:231

The word "al-kitab" means the Book, in this case it is the Quran. The word "al-hikmah" means 'the wisdom'. This is the meaning of "al-hikmah" that is found in every Arabic dictionary in print. Nevertheless, in an attempt to create a reference to the sunna of Muhammad in the Quran, when there is none, it is claimed that the word "al-hikmah"in such verses as 2:231 refers to the sunna of Muhammad!

Since the word sunna is already used in the Quran, always referring to the Sunna of God, any impartial reader will question why did God not just use the words 'sunna of Muhammad' in these verses? The answer to such a legitimate question is given in the Quran. The reason why God did not use the words 'the sunna of Muhammad' anywhere in the Quran is because God already stated that the only sunna is the Sunna of God:

Such was the Sunna of God for those who passed on before. You will find that there is no substitute for the Sunna of God. 33:62 (also 35:43, 48:23)

With a close inspection of 2:231, it can be shown that the word "al-hikmah" in this verse cannot mean anything other than 'wisdom'.

1- The Arabic word 'bihee', which is located at the end of 2:231, translates to 'with it', is in the singular mode (it). This means that this word refers to one noun and not two. The noun is the Quran. If the words "al-hikmah" and "al-kitab" referred to two different nouns (Quran and sunna), the verse should grammatically end with the word 'bihima' (with them).

2- Throughout the Quran we read that the only revelation brought down to Muhammad was the Quran. In 6:19 Muhammad was commanded to testify to what he received from God and there is no mention in 6:19 except for the Quran. The personal sayings (hadith) of the prophet are not revelation, they are his own personal words. Consequently, the words "what He has brought down upon you of the 'al-kitab' and al-hikmah" in 2:231 cannot be referring to the Quran and the sunna of Muhammad simply because the sunna of Muhammad is not a revelation from God, nor is Muhammad instructed to testify to receiving his hadith from God.

3- The word "al-hikmah" is used in the Quran as an adjective of the "al-kitab" (the Quran). The following are examples:

Y.S. and the Quran Al-Hakim (the Wise Quran). 36:1-2

A.L.R. These are the signs of the 'Kitab Al-Hakim' (the Wise Book). 10:1 also 31:2

One of the examples that confirm that the 'hikmah' mentioned in 2:231 is the wisdom contained in the Quran and not in any additional source besides the Quran is found in Sura 17 where we read a sequences of wise advices:

- Do not set up another god with God 17:22
- Treat your parents well 17:23
- Be charitable without being wasteful 17:26
- Do not kill your children for fear of poverty 17:31
- Do not go near adultery 17:32
- Do not kill 17:33
- Do not waste orphans' money 17:34
- Give full measure when trading 17:35
- Do not follow what you have no knowledge of 17:36
- Do not act arrogantly 17:37
After all these instructions, God tells the messenger:

That is some of the 'hikmah' (wisdom) inspired to you by your Lord. 17 39

Every one of these pieces of wisdom are included in the Quran and not in the hadith or sunna of the prophet, once again confirming that the
'hikmah' is contained in the Quran and not in any external source.

4- The same word "al-hikmah" is used in the Quran in connection with prophets and messengers who lived before the time of Muhammad. Obviously, before Muhammad lived, the 'sunna of Muhammad' did not exist. Thus to say that "al-hikmah" means the sunna of Muhammad is once again inconsistent with Quranic verses, such as:

a- The following are God's words to Jesus:

I taught you 'al-kitab' (Book/Scripture), 'al-hikmah' (the wisdom), the Torah and the Injeel. 5:110

Clearly the word "al-hikmah" here does not refer to the sunna of Muhammad or that it was being taught to Jesus!

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

Our Lord, and raise in their midst a messenger from themselves to recite to them Your revelations, and teach them 'al-kitab' (Scripture) and 'al-hikmah' (the wisdom.) 2:129

Once again, the word "al-hikmah" here could not mean anything but wisdom. Abraham had no knowledge of the sunna of Muhammad.

5- A further evidence that the word "al-hikmah" is used in the Quran to mean wisdom and not the sunna of anyone is found in the following verse:

He grants 'al-hikmah' (wisdom) to whom He wills, and whoever is granted 'al-hikmah' (wisdom) has indeed been granted much good, but none will remember except those who possess intelligence. 2:269

The words "whomever He wills" in this verse indicate that God bestows wisdom upon any of the believers and not just His messengers. If we assume that "al-hikmah" 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 only possible meaning of "al-hikmah" in 2:269 is wisdom.

6- In Sura 17, we come across a clear demonstration of the word "al-hikmah" 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 issuing a command not to worship except Him, to honour the parents, to give due alms to the relatives, the needy, the poor, and the travelling alien but without being extravagant or stingy. Also not to kill one's 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 instructions, God informs us that these virtues are indeed what wisdom is all about.

In this sense "al-hikmah" is not the sayings of any one person, but instead a blessing which God gives His righteous servants.

7- Perhaps the simplest and most convincing reason for discarding the corrupted meaning of "al-hikmah" to mean the sunna of Muhammad, is the fact that God is neither vague nor engages in providing puzzles. God asserts that the Quran is straightforward and that it contains no crookedness:

An Arabic Quran without any crookedness so that hopefully they may be reverent. 39:28

Had God willed that we should follow the teachings of the Quran plus the sunna of Muhammad, surely God would have mentioned the sunna of Muhammad explicitly in the Quran. Needless to say, the only sunna that is mentioned in the Quran is the 'Sunna of God', which is nothing other than the manner and method of doing things in accordance to God's law.

Such was the Sunna of God for those who passed on before. You will find that there is no substitute for the Sunna of God. 33:62

The 'Sunna of God' is to be found in the Quran as well as in previous Scriptures.

Had God revealed to Muhammad an additional sunna other than the Quran, we would expect God to say words along the lines 'We have revealed to you the Quran and the sunna'. Instead, the only revelation confirmed to be revealed to Muhammad is Quran:

And We brought down to you the Book (the Quran) with truth. 5:48

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

Say, "What thing is the greatest testimony?" Say, "God is Witness between me and you, and this Quran has been revealed to me to warn you with it and whomever it reaches. Do you bear witness that there are other gods besides God?" Say, "I do not bear witness." Say, "He is but One God and I am innocent of the shirk that you commit." 6:19

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

We brought down to you the 'kitab' (Book) with the truth so that you may judge among the people in accordance with what God has shown you. 4:105

To conclude, the word "al-hikmah" is used in the Quran in only one meaning, and that is wisdom. This word, when searched in any Arabic dictionary, means wisdom. To leave the literal and correct meaning and accept a manipulated meaning is to reject the truth of the Quran.