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The Innovation [Bid^ah] PDF Print Email
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 02 July 2015 03:09

The Innovation [Bid^ah]

Linguistically, the innovation [bid^ah] is what was invented without a previous example. Religiously, it is the new thing that was not documented in the Qur’an or the hadith. It is divided into two categories, as understood from the hadith of ^A’ishah, may Allah Accept her deeds, that she said: “The Messenger of Allah said:

مَن أَحْدَثَ في أمْرِنا هَذا مَا لَيسَ منْهُ فَهُوَ رَدٌّ

[which means] ‘Whoever innovates into this affair of ours that which does not comply with it is rejected.’

The first category is the good innovation. It is called “the good sunnah.” It is the innovation that complies with the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The second category is the evil innovation, and it is called “the evil sunnah.” It is the innovation that opposes the Qur’an and the hadith. This categorization is also understood from the hadith of Jarir Ibn ^Abdullah Al-Bajaliyy, may Allah Accept his deeds, that he said: “The Messenger of Allah said:

مَنْ سَنَّ في الإسلام سُنَّةً حسَنَةً فَلَهُ أجرُها وأجرُ مَن عَمِلَ بها بعدَهُ مِن غير أن يَنْقُصَ من أجُورِهم شَىءٌ، ومَن سَنَّ في الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً كانَ عليه وِزْرُها ووِزْرُ مَن عَمِلَ بِها مِنْ بَعْدِه مِن غَيرِ أن يَنْقُصَ مِن أَوزَارِهم شَىءٌ

[which means] ‘Whoever starts a good sunnah in Islam has its reward and the reward of whoever practiced it after him, without diminishing any of their rewards. And whoever starts an evil sunnah in Islam, then upon him is its sin and the sin of whoever practiced it after him, without diminishing any of their sins.” Narrated by Muslim.

From the first category is celebrating the birth of the Prophet in the month of Rabi^ Al-Awwal. The first to innovate it was King Al-Mudhaffar, the King of Irbil, in the 7th Hijriyy century.

Also, Yahya Ibn Ya^mar, the high-ranking follower of the Companions, dotting the book of the Qur’an (mushaf); he was among the people of knowledge and piety. This was approved by the scholars, hadith scholars and otherwise; they considered it good. It was not dotted when the Messenger dictated it to the scribes of the Revelation, likewise when ^Uthman Ibn ^Affan had the five or six mushafs written; they were not dotted. Since that dotting, the Muslims never ceased to be upon that until today. Would it be said about this that it is an innovation of misguidance because the Messenger did not do it? If this is the case, then let them abandon these dotted books of the Qur’an, or let them erase these dots from them so that they would return to being devoid of dots, as they were at the time of ^Uthman. Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Dawud—[the son of Abu Dawud,] the author of As-Sunan—in his book Al-Masahif, said, “The first to dot the books of the Qur’an was Yahya Ibn Ya^mar.” [Yahya Ibn Ya^mar] is among the scholars of the Followers of the Companions. He narrated through the route of ^Abdullah Ibn ^Umar and others.

Among the second category are the innovations in the Creed, such as the innovations of the Mu^tazilah, Khawarij, and others who abandoned what the Companions, may Allah Accept their deeds, were upon in the matters of the Creed. Also [among them is] writing “ص”, or “صلعم”[1] after the name of the Prophet instead of ﷺ. The scholars of hadith have documented in the books of hadith terminology that merely writing the “ص” is disliked. Despite that, they did not prohibit it; in fact, [some of them] did it. So how do these troublemakers say that observing the Mawlid is a forbidden innovation, and that making salah on the Prophet aloud after the adhan is a forbidden innovation, claiming that the Messenger did not do it, and the Companions did not do it? Another example is perverting the name of Allah to “Ah” and the like, as done by many who are ascribed to the tariqahs, for this is an example of the forbidden innovations.

Imam Ash-Shafi^iyy, may Allah Accept his deeds, said: “The innovated matters are of two types. The first of them is what was innovated and opposes something from the Book, the Sunnah, the Consensus, or the Athar.[2] This is the innovation of misguidance. The second was the good thing that was innovated; it does not oppose anything from the Book, the Sunnah, or the consensus. This is an innovation that is not blameworthy.” This was narrated by Al-Bayhaqiyy with an authentic chain of narration in his book Manaqibu-sh-Shafi^iyy.




[1] Or in English, “S” or “SAW”.

[2] The narrations of the Companions and their students.