Q. In a recent conversation with a family member, the issue if forty divine hadith came up. I was told that the reason these hadith are divine is because they come directly from the Qur'an. Obviously I could not take the word of one person so I tried to research it. What I found was that the reason why they are divine is because the narration can be traced back to Allah (swt). Now I have many issues with the hadith to begin with and now I am discovering that hadith exist that take things one step further by accrediting them to Allah (swt), thereby giving them a higher status than the Sahih Muslim and Bukhari. Where did this collection actually come from? I can't seem to find any meaningful information on it. I find it so difficult to understand that we are supposed to believe that the Qur'an was not sufficient enough for Allah (swt) to get His message across that He needed to add a postscript to His message. As usual your thoughts would be appreciated in this matter.
A. This is a common trope to indeed give sanctity to hadith almost on the level of the Qur'an. A "hadith qudsi" is defined as one that is in the words of the Prophet Muhammad, but which has been received by revelation from God. This concept appears in many religions, under different names, and this is the origin of "oral tradition" as it pertains to a scripture having need for such. As to why God would do that and not send it in the Qur'an (since the Qur'an is the only thing that God says is protected), one can pick out a host of reasons, all of them pertaining to contrivance of humans to put words into God's mouth.
Posted January 29, 2015