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Monday, July 11, 2005

What is the difference between hadith qudsi and the Qur'an?

Qudsi means holy, or pure. There are some reports from the Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) where he relates to the people what God has said (says) or did (does), but this information is not part of the Qur'an. Such a report is called hadith qudsi, e.g.:

Abu Hurairah reported that Allah's messenger said:

'Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He, said: If My servant likes to meet me, I like to meet him, and if he dislikes to meet Me, I dislike to meet him.' [Forty Hadith Qudsi, Beirut, Damascus, 1980, No. 30.]

While the common factor between hadith qudsi and the Qur'an is that both contain words from Allah which have been revealed to Muhammad, the main points of difference between Qur'an and hadith qudsi are as follows:

In the Qur'an the precise wording is from Allah, while in the hadith qudsi the wording is given by the Prophet Muhammad.

The Qur'an has been brought to Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)only by the Angel Gabriel, while hadith qudsi may also have been inspired otherwise, such as e.g. in a dream.
The Qur'an is inimitable and unique, but not so the hadith qudsi.
The Qur'an has been transmitted by numerous persons, (tawatur) but the hadith and hadith qudsi often only by a few or even one individual. There are hadith qudsi which are sahih (sound), but also others hasan (fair/good), or even da'if (weak), while there is no doubt at all about any aya (verse) from the Qur'an.
Another point is that a hadith qudsi cannot be recited in prayer.

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