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Bid’ah (Innovation)

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Bid’ah (Innovation)

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:45 pm



The Islamic definition of Bid’ah:

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A Bid’ah is anything that has no basis in the Qur'an and the Sunnah or sayings of any of the companions may Allah be pleased with them.”

Ibn Al-Jawzi may Allah have mercy upon him said: “A Bid’ah is any form of worship that did not exist (at the time of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam and his companions) then later it was innovated.”

Ibn Rajab may Allah have mercy upon him said: “A Bid’ah is any form of worship which has no basis in the Share'ah (Islamic Law).”


General rules to recognise a Bid’ah:

• Any act of worship which is based on a fabricated narration, like the prayer in the month of Rajab which is called the prayer of Raghaa’ib.

• Any act of worship which the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam did not perform, although there were no preventing factors, like uttering the intention before beginning the prayer, calling Adhaan for any prayer other than the five obligatory ones or praying after finishing Sa’y between mount Safaa and Marwah.

• Any habitual act performed with the intention of pleasing Allah which Islam did not consider as an act or worship, such as for example: wearing coarse woollen clothes, continuous silence, refraining from eating bread or meat, etc.

• Performing prohibitions acts with the intention of pleasing Allah, such as singing songs about Him.

Moreover, all acts of worship must be performed in exactly the same manner as the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam did them. This cannot be achieved unless the following six conditions are fulfilled:

1. The act of worship must coincide with the Share'ah in the reason for which it is done, or else it would be rejected. Therefore, celebrating Al-Mawlid is a Bid'ah because it is performed as a rewardable act, despite the fact that it has not been legislated.

2. The act of worship must coincide with the Share'ah in its category. Therefore, it is not acceptable if a person were to slaughter a horse instead of a camel or goat as a sacrifice after Hajj.

3. The act of worship must coincide with the Share'ah in its quantity. Therefore, if somebody were to add two Rak'ah to the Dhuhr prayer, making a total of six Rak'ahs instead of four, this would be unacceptable as it would not be coinciding with the Share'ah in its quantity.

4. The act of worship must coincide with the Share'ah in the manner in which it is performed. Therefore, if someone were to begin ablution by washing his feet instead of his hands, then this act would be unacceptable.

5. The act of worship must coincide with the Share'ah in the timing of its performance. Therefore, praying noon prayer after sunset is unacceptable.

6. The act of worship must coincide with the Share'ah in the place in which it is performed. Therefore, one cannot perform stand on a mountain other than 'Arafah during Hajj.

The dangers of Bid'ah and their evil effects:

• Bid’ah is a precursor to disbelief.

• Making unfounded statements on behalf of Allah.

• Correcting the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam or claiming that he had deficiencies.

• Dividing the Muslim nation.

• Abandoning the Sunnah.

• Igniting disputes among the Muslims.

• Accusing the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam of not completely conveying the message of Islam.

• Altering the religion.

Claimed 'evidences' of the Innovators and their refutations:

Claimed Evidence:

• The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever introduces a good practice in Islam will get the reward of performing it and that of all those who perform it until the Day of Resurrection; Whoever introduces a bad practice in Islam will get the punishment of performing it and that of all those who do it until the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]

Refutation:

• Imaam Ash-Shaatibi may Allah have mercy upon him answered those who attempt to use this narration as evidence of the permissibility of innovating by saying: "Using this narration as an evidence (to innovate) implies that different evidences contradict one another (because in other narrations, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam unequivocally warned against innovating)." Then he said: "The context of this narration is that it was said in a situation where charity was being given, and charity is something already legislated.

The proof of this is actually to be found in the very same narration, if you were to read it all, as Jareer Ibn 'Abdullaah Al-Bujali may Allah be pleased with him. said: "We were with the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam (in the mosque), just after dawn one day when some people entered barefooted and clad in woollen matting (or covered with sleeveless woollen blankets) with their swords hung around their necks. Most of them belonged to the tribe of Mudhar. The face of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam turned pale due to their wretched condition. Then, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam went into his house, re-emerged and commanded Bilaal to call the Adhaan, and the Iqaamah and then he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam led the prayer.

After the prayer, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam stood up and addressed people saying (which means): “O mankind! Fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer.” [Qur'an; 4] “O you who have believed! Fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Qur'an; 59: 18].

Then, the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Give in charity from (what you possess of) Deenaars (gold coins) and Dirhams (silver coins) a Saa’ (a small measure of weight) of wheat or even a Saa’ of dates.” until he sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Give, even if it as little as half a date.” Thereupon, a man from the Ansaar (residents of Madeenah) came with a bag of food which was so heavy that it was difficult for him to carry. Thereafter, people came successively until I saw two huge piles of food and clothes, and the Prophet’s sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam face was bright as a glittering golden coin (due to his happiness).

Then the Messenger sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said: “Whoever introduces a good practice in Islam will get the reward of performing it and that of all those who perform it until the Day of Resurrection; Whoever introduces a bad practice in Islam will get the punishment of performing it and that of all those who do it until the Day of Resurrection.”" [Muslim]

Therefore, it is obvious that this narration refers to deeds that are already legislated and proven to already exist in the religion, which in this case was giving charity.


Last edited by Ithar Ghada Faied on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Bid’ah (Innovation)

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:12 pm

Claimed Evidence:

‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab may Allah be pleased with him remarked upon seeing people praying Taraaweeh in congregation that: "This is a good Bid’ah." [Al-Bukhaari]

Refutation:

Imaam Ibn Rajab may Allah have mercy upon him said: "Any words from the Salaf (righteous predecessors) considering something as a good Bid’ah were meant in the linguistic and not the Islamic sense, such as the above quoted saying of ‘Umar may Allah be pleased with him.


Claimed Evidence:

Ibn Mas’ood may Allah be pleased with him said: "What the Muslims see as good is good in the sight of Allah and what they see as bad is bad in the sight of Allah." [Ahmad]

Refutation:

As-Sindi may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "It is obvious that he was referring to the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam and he was talking exclusively about those things that they had a unanimous consensus on, it does not include others. This is besides the fact that these were the words of a companion and not the Prophet’s sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam."


Claimed Evidence:

Al-‘Izz Ibn ‘Abdus-Salaam may Allah have mercy upon him divided Bid’ah into five categories: obligatory, recommended, permissible, disliked and prohibited.

Refutation:

Ash-Shaatibi may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "This categorization of Bid’ah is something new which has no supportive evidence to it, moreover, it contradicts the definition of Bid’ah, because any deed which has an evidence which legislates it to be obligatory, recommended or allowed is by definition not an innovation, and it would have been included in the general recommendation of good deeds. Therefore, considering a matter to be a Bid’ah yet claiming the existence of an evidence to recommend it is a contradiction in terms."


Reasons behind innovations:

• Ignorance about Islam.

• Following whims.

• Clinging to doubts.

• The sole use of ration with no reference to the Islamic texts (Qur'an and Sunnah).

• Islamic Scholars not fulfilling their expected role.

• Dependence on weak or fabricated narrations.

• Extreme reactions to others’ errors.

• Blind imitation of the masses.

• Not following the instructions of sincere scholars.


Ways to eradicate Bid’ah:

• Warning against its dangers and evil effects.

• Calling people to adhere to the Qur'an and Sunnah.

• Distinguishing between weak and the authentic narrations.

• Spreading knowledge and correcting the people’s understanding of faith, worship, morals and deeds.

• Warning against the innovators.

• Receiving knowledge from the correct sources.


Related Qur'anic verses:

Allah Says (what means): “On the Day [some] faces will turn white and [some] faces will turn black, [to them it will be said]: 'Did you disbelieve [i.e., reject faith] after your belief? Then taste the punishment for what you used to reject.'” [Qur'an 106]

Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allah be pleased with him commended: "The faces of the people who adhered to the Sunnah will turn white and bright, while the faces of the innovators will turn black and gloomy."

Allah Says (what means): “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken [i.e., make him responsible for his choice] and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” [Qur'an 115]

Allah Says (what means): “…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as a religion…” [Qur'an 5:3]

Allah Says (what means): “And [moreover], this is my path. Which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you so that you may become righteous.” [Qur'an 6: 153] Mujaahid may Allah have mercy upon him, commented: "The other ways mentioned are desires and innovations."

Allah Says (what means): “So let those beware who dissent from his [i.e., the Prophet's] order lest trials strike them or a painful punishment.” [Qur'an 24: 63]


Related Prophetic narrations:

The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:

· “Allah does not accept the repentance of an innovator until he abandons his innovation.” [At-Tabaraani & Al- Bayhaqi]

· “He who lives long enough will see many things which he will not recognize, therefore, hold on to my Sunnah and that of the rightly guided caliphs who succeed me; bite onto it (i.e., my Sunnah) with your molars. Stay away from innovations, because every innovation is misguidance.” [Ahmad & Abu Daawood]

· “He who does something which is not according to what we are upon, then it is rejected.” [Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]

· “I will be ahead of you in reaching my fountain, and there will be people who will be prevented from reaching it, therefore, I will say: 'My Lord! These are my followers!' It will be said: 'You do not know what they innovated and altered after you.' (i.e., after your death) Therefore, I will say: 'Let those who altered (the religion) be kept away (in a humiliated place).” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]



Related words of the Salaf:

Ibn Mas’ood may Allah be pleased with him said: "Follow (the Sunnah) and do not innovate, because you have been sufficed." [Ad-Daarimi] He also said: “Practicing a little of the Sunnah is far better than practicing many innovations." [Al-Haakim]

Huthayfah Ibn Al-Yamaan may Allah be pleased with him said: "Do not perform any act of worship which was not practiced by the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam because the early people did not leave anything unaddressed…so follow the way of those who were before you."

Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allah be pleased with him said: “Fear Allah, follow (the Sunnah) and do not innovate."

Al-Fudhayl may Allah have mercy upon him said: "Beware of the one who sits with innovators; he who sits with innovators will not be granted wisdom; I wish there was a fortress of steel between me and the innovators."


Related stories:

Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allah be pleased with him, was circumambulating the Ka’bah with Mu’aawiyah Ibn Abu Sufyaan may Allah be pleased with him, during Mu’aawiyah’s reign. Mu’aawiyah would touch all four corners of the Ka’bah while circumambulating and so Ibn ‘Abbaas remarked: "The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam only touched two corners (the black stone and the Yemeni corner)." Mu’aawiyah replied: "No part of the house of Allah should be neglected." Thereupon, Ibn ‘Abbaas recited the verse (which means): “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (i.e., example to be followed) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [Qur'an 33:21] Upon hearing this, Mu’aawiyah refrained.

A man asked Imaam Maalik may Allah have mercy upon him: "At which point do I initiate my state of Ihraam?" He replied: "From Thul Hulayfah - where the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) did so." The man retorted: "I wish to do it from the area beside the grave of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention )."

Imaam Maalik may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "Do not do that, for I fear that if you do so, you will be afflicted with trials." The man replied: "Why would I be afflicted with trials? All I wanted was to do it from a place which is only a few miles away from where you told me!" Imaam Maalik said upon hearing this: "What can be more serious than feeling that you performed a righteous deed that the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam failed to do? I heard the Saying of Allah (which means): “So let those beware who dissent from his [i.e., the Prophet's] order lest trials strike them or a painful punishment.” [Qur'an 24:63]
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