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Innovation Into Religion And Worship: Established From Hadith Of Abdullah Ibn Mas’Ud.


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#1 MuhammedAli

MuhammedAli

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:16 PM

Introduction:

Khawarij believe no innovation can be made part of Islam and to ensure their sectarian understanding is unchallenged they have invented many principles.One such principle is that, there can be no innovation into acts of worship taught by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).[1] It has been mentioned to me in various discussions with Khawarij and most recently it was mentioned in a discussion about Istighathah.[2] During which my opponent quoted a Hadith from which it becomes apparent that some companions altered following words of Tashahhud, as-salamu alayka ayyu han-nabiyu, and replaced them with, as-salamu alan-Nabi. Which in short was and is theological suicide for their belief. In sha Allah this article will be comprehensive response to this innovated principle in light of Ahadith of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). It will highlight how there beliefs would effect those companions who acted on this innovation and how true Islamic methodology protects the companions from Khariji charges of companions engaging in misguidance, and [reprehensible] innovations. And finally what the correct understanding of the Ahadith which Khawarij distort to make-up their methodology is.

Khawarij Believe Every Innovation Is Misguidance:

This understanding is based on the literalism of following Ahadith: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] “Avoid novelties, every novelty is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Abu Dawood, B40, H4590] To further compound the seriousness they present the following Hadith: “Abdullah Ibn Umar said, "Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good ."[3] [Ref: Darimi, B1, H96, Urdu Version] They argue therefore every innovation is evil/misguidance and no innovation is good even if people think it is good hence every such innovation is to be rejected:“Narrated Aisha: “Allah's Messenger said: "One who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it, will have it rejected.” [Ref: Bukhari, B49, H861] The reason for rejection is that it takes person to hellfire: “The truest of word is the Book of Allah and best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst of things are those that are newly invented; every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is going astray, and every going astray is in the Fire.’” [Ref: Nisa’i, B19, H1579] Their position is that there can be no innovation into religion of Islam as result of these Ahadith because innovation leads to hell-fire. They naturally would and do believe that companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were upon same teaching as they are upon.

Hadith Of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud:

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallah ta’ala anhu) has narrated that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught him Tashahhud in the same manner as he taught him Surah from chapter of Quran and by that he means Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) held his hand and taught him Tashahhud: “Allah's Messenger taught me the Tashah-hud as he taught me a Surah from the Qur'an, while my hand was between his hands.” He then goes on to inform the wording of Tashahhud was taught to him:[Tashah-hud was] All the best compliments and the prayers and the good things are for Allah. Peace and Allah's Mercy and Blessings be on you, O Prophet Allah! Peace be on us and on the pious slaves of, I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and I also testify that Muhammad is Allah's slave and His Apostle.” The Arabic wording of underlined would be: As-salamu alayka ayyuha nabiyu wa rahmatullahi wa baraakatu.Then he goes on to say that the Tashahhud taught to him by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was recited until he was alive but after he passed into the next world some of the companions changed the wording of it at the underlined position to, as-salamu alan-Nabi, translation of which is underlined in the following: [We used to recite this in the prayer] during the lifetime of the Prophet, but when he had died, we used to say, "Peace be on the Prophet." [Ref: Bukhari, B74, H281] Implication of which is that a companion introduced a innovation into Islam and in a act of worship, and some of the companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) acted on this innovation including Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallah ta’ala anhu). As per literalism of the Hadith they employ and their principles these companions were guilty of [reprehensible] following an innovation, and were upon misguidance, and they practiced which was not good even though they thought it was good, and this misguidance took them took to fire of hell.[4]

Islamic Understanding Of Innovation:

It is stated: “And he who introduces a evil precedent (i.e. Sunnah) in Islam there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Another Hadith gives same meaning but uses word Bidda instead of Sunnah: "And whoever introduces an erroneous innovation (i.e. biddah dhalalah)  with which Allah is not pleased nor His Messenger[5] then he shall receive sins similar to whoever acts upon it without that diminishing anything from the sins of the people.” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B29, H2677] This establishes that the meaning of word Sunnah is of Bidda in both Ahadith, please note this. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “Whoever introduces a good Sunnah that is followed he will receive its reward and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in their slightest." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] In another Hadith, the introduction of Sunnah for which reward is promised, is said to be introduced into Islam: “He who introduced some good precedent (i.e. Sunnah) in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Alhasil, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) legislated introduction of good innovation/precedent into Islam and told of reward for one who introduces it and one who acts on it.

Good Precedent And Innovation Of A Companion:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “The truest of word is the Book of Allah and best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad.” [Ref: Nisa’i, B19, H1579] In the light of the mentioned Hadith guidance of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is best guidance on any issue. And to say it explicitly; Tashahhud taught by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) – as-salamu alayka ayyuhan nabiyu – was and is best of guidance, and better then what the companion introduced and what they practiced. This is not to say that what companion innovated and those who followed him were upon misguidance and upon [reprehensible] innovation because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: He who introduced some good precedent (i.e. Sunnah) in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] In this light the Hadith of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallah ta’ala anhu) establishes introduction of a good innovation, introduction of a good precedent – evidence follows: [We used to recite this in the prayer] during the lifetime of the Prophet, but when he had died, we used to say, "Peace be on the Prophet." [Ref: Bukhari, B74, H281] In light of the above findings and according to Ahle Sunnat’s methodology a companion of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced; a good innovation, a good precedent via Ijtihad, and others followed that companion in his Ijtihad, and all companions will earn reward for engaging in this Ijtihadi Sunnah.

The Outcome Of Discussion So Far:

The above refutes the principle of Khawarij that there can be no innovation into religion of Islam, and no innovation in acts of worship. And this is because companions introduced into an act of worship, which was not taught by RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Had innovations into Islam, and in what was already sanctioned in Islam, had been prohibited then the companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would not have altered what was Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Their actions are intself proof that innovations in Islam are permitted. Note the innovation via Ijtihad cannot be rejected because the basis of their actions are backed-up with evidence of Ahadith of good Sunnah.

Clarifying The Ahadith Employed By Opponent:

It is recorded in Hadith that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “Whoever introduces an evil Sunnah (i.e. precedent, practice) that is followed after him, will bear the burden of sin for that and the equivalent of their burden of sin, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H207] Another version recorded in Sahih of Imam Muslim has addition of, in Islam, in it:“And he who introduces a evil Sunnah (i.e. precedent/practice) in Islam there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] These Ahadith establish that following a reprehensible innovation warrants equale blame of sin for the one who invents it and for those who follow it, and naturally any evil Sunnah introduced into Islam is not to be accepted nor it will be rewarded by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The following Hadith establishes that there is something called ‘erroneous innovation’ in Islam: "And whoever introduces an erroneous innovation (i.e. biddah dhalalah) with which Allah is not pleased nor His Messenger then he shall receive sins similar to whoever acts upon it without that diminishing anything from the sins of the people.” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B29, H2677] This biddah dhalalah is an innovation which does not please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) nor His beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). It is principle, to interpret the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with his own words. In light of this all Ahadith which the Khawarij employ to make their case have to be understood in light of the Hadith of Tirmadhi – erroneous innovation.

Interpreting Ahadith Of Innovation In Light Of Hadith Of Tirmadhi:

In this context the Ahadith employed by Khawarij are in meaning of erroneous/reprehensible innovations and they have been contexted as such in discussion to follow: “And the most evil affairs are the [erroneous] innovations; and every [erroneous] innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] “Avoid [erroneous] novelties, every [erroneous] novelty is an [erroneous] innovation and every [erroneous] innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Abu Dawood, B40, H4590]“Abdullah Ibn Umar said, "Every [erroneous] innovation is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good ." [Ref: Darimi, B1, H96, UrduVersion] A detailed meaning of these Ahadith would be as it follows: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation [which does not please Allah and RasoolAllah] is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] “Avoid novelties, every novelty is an innovation and every innovation [which does not please Allah and RasoolAllah] is misguidance." [Ref: Abu Dawood, B40, H4590] “Abdullah Ibn Umar said, "Every innovation [which does not please Allah and RasoolAllah] is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good ." [Ref: Darimi, B1, H96, UrduVersion] In both interpretations, innovation which is disliked and which is erroneous is one which is against teaching of Islam and is composed of Haram, or Kufr, or Shirk, or combination of two, or all three.

What Has Been Established From Correct Interpretation Of Ahadith:

This has established that not literally every innovation is misguidance, but every innovation which does not please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is misguidance and in reality is an erroneous innovation. Everything is judged by opposites, night opposited by day, hard oppsited by soft, love opposited by hate, Tawheed is opposited by Shirk, Islam is opposited by Kufr, and good is opposited by bad. We have had good Sunnah, opposited by evil Sunnah. So logically there should be, good innovation to go along with erroenous innovation. Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) after gathering the performers of Taraweeh under a single Imam remarked that it is an excellent innovation: "I went out with Umar ibn alKhattab in Ramadhan to the mosque and the people there were spread out in groups. Some men were praying by themselves, whilst others were praying in small groups. Umar said, 'By Allah! It would be better in my opinion if these people gathered behind one reciter.' So he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Kab. Then I went out with him another night and the people were praying behind their Qur'an reciter. Umar said, نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. How excellent this innovation is!) ..." [Ref: Muwatta Malik, B6, H3] Same Hadith is recorded by Imam Bukhari (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) in his Sahih: “Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what an excellent innovation this is) but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227] If there was no such thing as excellent/good innovation in teaching of Islam Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) would not have stated something is excellent innovation. And the companions who performed Taraweeh and those who heard him say this would have contradicted his statement. This is proof that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) must have taught concept of good innovation but Ahadith have not been transmitted to us.

Conclusion:

Khawarij believe there can be no innovation into religion of Islam and certainly no innovation into what sanctioned acts of worship. They deem any innovation to be reprehensible, sinful, and misguidance. And principally this would including the alteration of Tashahhud by companions after departure of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). On contrary to their belief it was established, companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced innovation into Islam and altered the wording of Tashahhud. This totally goes against the principles of Khawarij and it refutes their heretical understanding regarding innovation. When companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduce innovations into Islam then introducing innovations into Islam cannot be blameworthy or sinful. And evidence from Ahadith established that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) permitted introduction of good Sunnahs into Islam and told of reward for one who introduces it and those who follow the good Sunnah. Further it was established that the Khawarij distort the actual meaning of Ahadith of innovation. These Ahadith are about specific type of innovation – erroneous innovation and innovation which does not please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) – and these Ahadith do not refer to every innovation. Further it was established that companions recognised, excellent innovation. And this itself was proof that, Ahadith of every innovation are not about literally about every innovation, had it been so Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) would have not considered an innovation to be excellent.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Footnotes:

- [1] “A Muslim who hopes for success in the Hereafter cannot go away from the mores and means of the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and allow himself to participate in innovations let alone cook up a novelty in worship.” [Ref: Bid’ah, by Abu Muntasir Ibn Mohar Ali, p20]

- [2] While attempting to argue the case that Istighathah is does not lead to major Shirk and its practioner is not Mushrik. While considering the principles of Khawarij, I quoted; as-salamu alayka ayyu han-nabiyu, to establish that we call Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). He has passed away, there is no way for him to hear us, but we are not polytheists which we should be according to your principles. He argued that Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiallah ta’ala anhu) changed it to, as-salamu alan-nabi. Without boasting, what followed was a master class, in destruction of his Khariji beliefs. The pain was unbareble for them so the moderator invoked the rule, no debating with people of innovation – in this case person of innovation being ‘myself’ - and deleted my posts and posts of those who were arguing with me, so to remove complete trace of discussion.

- [3] Related: by Ad-Darimee, Abu Shamaah (no. 39), Ibn Nasr in as-Sunnah (no. 82), al-Laalikaa'ee in Sharh Usoolul-Ftiqaad (no. 126) & Sharh I'tiqad Ahl as-Sunnah (1/92), and by al-Bayhaqee in al-Madkhal (no. 191). Its authentic; Ahkaam al-Janaa'iz (258) and Islah al-Masajid (13). Salim Al-Hilaali said: "Its isnaad (chain of narration) is as authentic as the sun!"

- [4] Note they are likely, not to apply, this verdict upon these companions but instead they would make Taweel of some sort. Such as, they are companions they were already promised paradise, it was Ijtihadi mistake which will be rewarded, something of this sort. Only who has completely abandoned fear of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will charge them of heresy, misguidance, innovation and damn them to fire of hell.

- [5] The words of Hadith are crossed out cause without them it becomes clear that words of Hadith give exactly same meaning as the Hadith of evil Sunnah and Hadith without these words is exactly same with modification of word, biddah dhalalah.


Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has blessed me with a son, on Eid day, so I will be off for little while, but in sha Allah I will be back online, within few weeks, please make dua for his good health.






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