I've noticed a lot of anti-Quranist sentiment among Sunni/Shi'a Muslims, so I figured I'd do a post to clear up some of the utterly mistaken things that are said about Quranists and our beliefs. Granted, many of those things were on Yahoo Answers' Ramadan section, and I know you sisters here are brighter than that bunch, but it doesn't hurt to clarify things.
What Quranists are:
Muslims who believe the Qur'an is the revelation of Allah and that Muhammad is the last in a long line of prophets sent from Allah.
Sounds like Sunni and Shi'a and everybody else, right?
What Quranists aren't:
Followers of Rashid Khalifa. The most common accusation levelled against Quranists is that we believe Rashid Khalifa was a prophet.
This is false. FALSE. I don't know a single person who believes he was a prophet, or thinks much of him at all. When we do discuss him, we give him props for having the guts to say "Follow the Qur'an Alone. Worship Allah alone.", but in no way, shape, form, or fashion do we consider him a prophet. Actually, most of the people I've talked with consider him to have had a great idea but that he went coo coo for Cocoa Puffs after that.
We do not reject Prophet Muhammad. We reject the near-worship of him and the emphasis that is placed on him above all other prophets. The Qur'an instructs us not to elevate any prophet above another and not to make partners of anyone with Allah. What do you think the shahada does? Singles out Muhammad and joins his name with that of Allah.
Muhammad, in traditional Sunni/Shi'a practice, IS a partner with Allah. You don't see people react to cartoons of Jesus or Moses or Abraham with the outrage and hysteria that they do if someone makes a cartoon of Muhammad. People wish blessings on Muhammad because they think he can intercede for them -- despite the Qur'an saying that no one but Allah will be able to intercede for anyone on the last day, that Muhammad was just a warner, that he had no power over belief or disbelief, that no one shall bear another's sins.
When the Qur'an says "obey the Messenger", it doesn't mean copy every single thing Muhammad supposedly did or said and invoke his name so your prayers will be heard. It means to follow his teachings: the oneness of God, equality of the prophets, belief in the last day, and to deal with each other in kindness.
There are a couple of different perspectives regarding hadith.
Some Quranists believe that you can accept the hadith that do not contradict or add to the Qur'an, but that you should interpret the hadith you accept only as good advice, not as guidance or a source of divine law. Others believe that you should not accept any hadith, period, but only the Qur'an.
By rejecting part or all of the hadith, we aren't rejecting the sunnah. Consider the many examples in the Qur'an where Allah instructed Muhammad to answer the believers. "Say:" is how it always began. These are the true sunnah. The Qur'an describes itself as the best hadith.
If you insist on having secondary sources to the Qur'an, the Qur'an tells us what our authorized sources are: the Torah and Gospel of Jesus! Being Muslim does not mean you exclude the other books from study. The three should be used in conjunction, to verify and clarify what is right and what is wrong.
Qur'an 10:94 "If you are in doubt regarding what We have sent down to you, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before you. The truth has come to you from your Lord, so do not be of those who doubt."
As Quranists, one of our highest ideals is to respect other faiths and other interpretations of Islam, so don't think I'm trashing your beliefs. I'm not. All I'm saying is: know what you believe and why. Be able to back it up. Be able to look at your beliefs with a critical eye and find answers to your questions.
For me, the beauty of Quran Alone is that it makes Islam simple again. It removes the cultural traditions and supersitions of the hadith and gives us the book revealed to and followed by Muhammad, untainted by centuries of "scholarly interpretation".
Do you seriously think you need a scholar to tell you what to think so that you can understand the Qur'an "correctly"? ("Correctly", of course, being that scholar's own POV.) Would you call Allah a liar by saying the Qur'an is too holy to be understood by the layperson and requires hadith to clarify it, when He says that it is a clear, detailed book of guidance for all mankind?