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What are the differences between the Qur’an and a Hadith Qudsi?

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What are the differences between the Qur’an and a Hadith Qudsi?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The Ulama have mentioned many distinctions between the Qur’ān and the Ahādīth Qudsīyyah.[1]  Below are a few: 

1)    The words and the meanings of the Qur’an are from Allah Ta’ālā.  Whereas a Hadīth Qudsī does not necessarily contain the exact words of Allah Ta’ālā. 

2)    The whole Qur’ān is decisive and definite in its transmission.  It is mutawātir.  Many of the Ahādīth Qudsīyyah are not mutawātir.  The authenticity will have to be analysed for each hadīth.

3)    The Qur’ān is a miracle and a challenge.  Allah Ta’ālā challenges us to bring a single verse similar to the verses of the Qur’ān.  The Ahādīth Qudsīyyah do not have such a level of miraculousness and challenge.

4)    The recitation of the Qur’ān has quantified virtues and rewards.  Recitation is worship in itself.  Whereas, the recitation of Ahādīth Qudsīyyah although they are means of immense barakah (blessings), do not have any specific quantified virtue or reward attributed to them.  The recitation of Ahādīth Qudsīyyah is not worship in the strict sense and meaning of worship.  

The above contrasts and differences result in the following rulings:

1)    Only the Qur’ān can be recited in salāh and not the Ahādīth Qudsīyyah.
2)    The Qur’ān cannot be narrated or recited in one’s own meaning.  The Ahādīth may be narrated in words similar to the meaning of the actual wording for those who have profound mastery in the Arabic language.
3)    It is not permissible for a person without wudhū’ to touch the Qur’ān and nor can a person in the state of major impurity recite the Qur’ān.  In contrast, a person without wudhū’ may touch the books and writings of the Ahādīth Qudsīyyah.  Likewise, a person in the state of major impurity requiring a ghusl (bath) may recite the Ahādīth Qudsīyyah.  However, to do so is discouraged and against the sanctity of the Ahādīth.
4)    A person can lose his Imān by rejecting a word of the Qur’ān.  This is not true for the Ahādīth Qudsīyyah which are not mutawātir in transmission. 

And Allah Ta’ālā Knows Best

Mufti Faraz Adam

[1]  المنهج الحديث ص 27 دار البشائر

ويختص القرآن بخصال ليست في الحديث القدسي أهما:

1- أن القرآن معجز.

2- أننا تعبدنا بلفظ القرآن، ولا يجوز لمسه لمحدث ولا قراءته للجنب.

3- تواتر القرآن، وعدم تواتر الأحاديث القدسية بل فيها ما يضعف2.

وقد عني العلماء بجمع الأحاديث القدسية في مؤلفات خاصة، من أهمها كتاب “الاتحافات السنية في الأحاديث القدسية” للمنادي3 جمع فيه 272 حديثا قدسيا. (منهج النقد في علوم الحديث ص 324 دار الفكر)


This answer was collected from DarulFiqh.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi, the student of world renowned Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Hafizahullah).

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