An old, provocative post about hadith by…
The opposite of Taqlid is the approach taken by the Ahl ul Hadith (People of Hadith), otherwise known as Salafi’s or Wahabi’s. Their influence has been far and the printing press has been their friend indeed. Wrapped in source texts they seek every answer in between marks on paper, not realizing the heaviness of those texts and the burden they bear.
Hadith were an attempt at capturing the Amal (Manners) of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) in a supplementary way for future generations. They were not meant to replace those who the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم) himself described as his inheritors and those who the Quran praises. Reading Hadith to achieve those manners is possible for pieces here and there, but at the same time it is quite like parents communicating to their child only through one way text messages. Such an approach is insufficient to handle the needs of transmitting the fundamental expressions of our faith (including ritual prayer) much less raising a well rounded person.
Today’s Muslims are, for the most part, like such children.