• Announcements

    • Sag-e-Attar

      IslamiMehfil Rules (Please Must Read, Before You Post Anything)   04/09/2017

        فورم کےعمومی قوانین آخری ترمیم: ۱۰ اپریل ۲۰۱۷ ۔۔۔عمومی فورم رول نمبر ۱۵ ایڈ کیا گیا ،جو نیچے آخر میںبولڈ فونٹ میں موجود ہے۔ فورم کی انتظامیہ کی طرف سے تمام ارکان کو خوش آمدید! پوسٹ ارسال کرنے سے پہلے تمام اراکین کو تاکید کی جاتی ہے کہ وہ مندرجہ ذیل قواعد و ضوابط کا مطالعہ کر لیں تا کہ مستقبل میں کسی قسم کا کوئی ابہام پیدا نہ ہو۔ اگر کوئی پوسٹ یا ٹاپکس فورم رولز کے خلاف نظر آئے تو تمام ممبرز سے گزارش ہے کہ رپورٹ کا بٹن استعمال کرکے انتظامیہ کی مدد کریں۔ ۱- اسلامی محفل ایک مکمل اسلامی سنی حنفی بریلوی مسلک سے منسلک فارم ہے جس میں کسی قسم کی غیر اسلامی و غیر اخلاقی پوسٹ کرنے کی اجازت نہیں ہے۔
      کسی قسم کی غلط پوسٹ کسی ممبر کو فارم پر نظر آئے تو رپورٹ بٹن کو استعمال کر کے انتظامیہ کو اطلاع کریں۔ اپنی طرف سے کسی ممبر پر نقطہ چینی کرنے کی اجازت نہیں۔

      ۲- اس فورم یا منتظمین کے متعلق کوئی شکوہ یا شکایت یا اعتراض واضح طور پر کسی بھی سیکشن میں بیان نہیں کرسکتے۔ اور شکوہ شکایت وغیرہ کرنے کیلئے ایڈمن سے براہ راست رابطہ کریں

      ۳- فورم میں دستخط استعمال کرنے کیلئے صرف ایک تصویر اور اس کی ازحد چوڑائی550پکسلز اور اونچائی145پکسلزسے زیادہ نہ ہو۔اور ساتھ میں کچھ لنکس کی اجازت ہے۔ سیگنیچر امیج میں یا لنکس میں کسی بد مذہب سائٹ کا لنک یا قابل اعتراض مواد پوسٹ کرنے کی اجازت نہیں۔

      ۴- کسی جاری گفتگو کے دوران ایسے روابط ارسال کرنے سے پرہیز کریں جن کا گفتگو سے تعلق نہ ہو۔

      ۵- بحث برائے بحث سے بچنے کی حتی الامکان کوشش کریں

      ۶۔ فورمز کی انتظامیہ آپ کو ہدایت کرتی ہے کہ براہ کرم کسی قسم کی ذاتی معلومات جیسے کہ اپنا پتا یا فون نمبر ارسال مت کریں جس سے تمام لوگوں کی اس تک رسائی ممکن ہو سکے۔ان معلومات کا غلط استعمال کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ اس لیے ہر ممکن طور پر ، اگر آپ اپنی معلومات کا تبادلہ کسی دوسرے رکن کے ساتھ کرنا چاہتے ہیں تو ذاتی پیغامات کا استعمال کریں۔ ۷۔ ٹاپک کے لئے مناسب ،موضوع سے متعلق ٹائٹل استعمال کریں۔  need answer,  jawab dejiye, please read it, must reply وغیرہ جیسے غیر موضوع ٹائٹل استعمال نہ کریں. ٹائٹل کی ایک بہتر مثال یہ ہے۔
      "A good example: "Help: I need "This" Book Scan
      "A bad example: "PLZZ HEEEEELP ۸۔ سرکار مدینہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کا مبارک نام جہاں بھی استعمال کریں۔ درود شریف ضرور لکھیں۔ درود شریف والا ایموٹیکن بھی استعمال کرسکتے ہیں۔ (s.a.w) یا (pbuh) وغیرہ لکھنے کی اجازت نہیں۔ ۹۔ سنیوں کے آپسی اختلافات میں فورم کا *رجحان جمہور اور جید علماء کی طرف ہوگا۔ اس لئے ان موضوعات پر طویل بحث ممنوع ہے۔
      مثلاً...پیر کرم شاہ صاحب والا موضوع۔۔۔ اس جیسے موضوعات پر فورم کا رخ جید علماء اور جمہور علماء کی طرف ہوگا۔ دوسرا یعنی ویڈیو کا مسئلہ یا اسپیکر پر نمازوغیرہ کا مسئلہ(فروعی مسائل) ۔
      اس جیسے مسائل کو بنیاد کو بنا کر علماء کو برا بھلا کہنا ہرگز ممنوع ہےاور بلا وجہ بحث بھی ممنوع ہے۔ فروعی مسائل میں فورم کا رجحان بعض اوقات کسی عالم کی طرف یا بعض اوقات غیر جانبدار بھی ہوسکتا ہے۔

      ۱۰۔ غیر اخلاقی پوسٹ کرنے پر وارننگ یا بین کیا جا سکتا ہے۔

      ۱۱۔ کسی بھی عالم چاہے بد مذہبوں کا ہو ان کی بگاڑ کر تصویر شئیر کرنا منع ہے۔

      ۱۲۔ انگلش سیکشن کے علاوہ کسی بھی سیکشن میں انگلش پوسٹ کرنا منع ہے۔

      ۱۳۔ پوسٹ کو متعلقہ سیکشن میں کریں غیر متعلقہ سکیشن میں پوسٹ کرنے پر آپ کی پوسٹ کو موو (move) کر دیا جائے گا۔ ۱۴۔ عورتوں کی تصاویر ویڈیوز وغیرہ شئیر کرنا منع ہے۔ ۱۵۔ یہ فورم آپ کی سائیٹس کی تشہیر، بیک لنکنگ یا گوگل رینکنگ بڑھانے کے لئے نہیں ہے۔ جو بھی اسلامی مواد پوسٹ کریں اللہ اور اس کے حبیب صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم کی رضا کیلئے پوسٹ کریں۔ غیر متعلقہ لنکس ٹاپکس سے حذف کر دیے جائیں گے۔اگر کسی اسلامی سنی ویب سائیٹ کا لنک آپ پوسٹ کرنا چاہتے ہیں تاکہ دیگر ممبرز مستفید ہوں، تو سنی سائیٹس کے متعلقہ سیکشن میں نیا ٹاپک ویب سائیٹ ٹائٹل ہیڈنگ کے ساتھ  پوسٹ کریں۔

        مناظرہ سیکشن کے قوانین

      ۱۔ تمام ممبرز (خصوصاً سُنی ممبرز) مناظرہ سیکشن میں غلط زُبان کا استعمال نہ کریں اور اَدب کے دائرے میں رہ کر اعتراض کریں یا جواب دیں۔ غلط زبان استعمال کرنے پر آپکی پوسٹ میں ترمیم یا پوسٹ کو ڈیلیٹ کیا جاسکتا ہے۔ اور بار بار کرنے پر وارن یا بین بھی کیا جا سکتا ہے۔

      ۲۔ اگر کسی ممبر کے ایک موضوع پر دو مختلف ٹاپکس نظر آئے تو ایک ٹاپک بغیر اطلاع کے لاک یا ڈیلیٹ کیا جا سکتا ہے۔

      ۳۔ جن موضوعات سے متعلق پہلے سے ٹاپکس موجود ہیں، اپنا سوال،اعتراض یا جواب اُسی ٹاپک میں پوسٹ کریں۔ اگر الگ سے ٹاپک بنا کر پوسٹ کیا تو آپکے ٹاپک کو بند، ضائع یا دوسرے ٹاپک کے ساتھ یکجا کیا جاسکتا ہے۔

      ۴۔ مناظرہ سیکشن بحث برائے بحث کیلئے نہیں ہے۔ اگر کوئی پوسٹ بحث برائے بحث یا موضوع سے ہٹ کر محسوس ہوئی تو بغیر اطلاع کئے ڈیلیٹ کر دی جائے گی۔ بار بار ایسا کرنے پر وارن کیا جا سکتا ہے۔اور بین بھی کیا جاسکتا ہے۔

      ۵۔ ایسی سائٹ جن کا تعلق بد مذہبوں سے ہو یا ان سائٹ پر بد مذہبوں کا کوئی مواد موجود ہو ان کی کسی بھی قسم کی تشہیر کسی پوسٹ میں ان کا لنک وغیرہ شئیر کرنا پوسٹ کرنا سخت منع ہے ۔خلاف ورزی پر پوسٹ ڈیلیٹ یا ایڈیٹ کی جاسکتی ہے۔

      ۶۔ بدمذہبوں کی ویڈیوز شئیر کرنا منع ہے اگر کسی اعتراض کا جواب درکار ہو تو اس ویڈیو کا سکرین شاٹ لے کر بد مذہبوں کی سائٹ کا لنک ریمو کر کے امیج کی صورت میں پوسٹ کریں۔

      کسی سنی عالم کی تضحیک سخت منع ہے۔

      ۷۔ اگر کو ئی اعترض بھی ہو جس میں سنی عالم کے خلاف غلط زبان استعمال کی گئی ہو تو اس میں سے غلط زبان کو ریمو کر کے اعتراض پوسٹ کیا جائے۔

      ۸۔ صرف وہی سائٹ شئیر کی جائیں جو سنیوں کی ہوں صلح کلی مکتب فکر کی سائٹ بھی شئیر کرنا منع ہے۔

      ۹۔ اسلامی محفل کے کسی بھی ٹیم ممبر یا سینئر ممبر سے بدتمیزی ناقابل برداشت ہوگی اور بین بھی کیا جاسکتا ہے۔ ٹیم ممبرز بھی حدود کے دائرے میں رہ کر جواب دینے کے مجاز ہیں۔

      ۱۰۔ انتظامیہ کا فیصلہ حتمی ہے۔ اگر آپ کو کسی نقطے پر اعتراض ہے تو مناظرہ سیکشن میں پوسٹنگ کرکے اپنا اور ہمارا وقت ضائع نہ کریں۔ کسی بھی ممبر کو رولز کے خلاف کوئی پوسٹ نظر آئے تو فوراً رپورٹ کے بٹن سے ہمیں آگاہ کریں۔
         

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Innovation'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Urdu Forums
    • Urdu Literature
    • Faizan-e-Islam
    • Munazra & Radd-e-Badmazhab
    • Questions & Requests
    • General Discussion
    • Media
    • Islami Sisters
  • English & Arabic Forums
    • English Forums
    • المنتدی الاسلامی باللغۃ العربیہ
  • Arabic Forums
  • IslamiMehfil Team & Support
    • Islami Mehfil Specials

Calendars

  • Community Calendar

Found 7 results

  1. Introduction: Majority of Islamic scholarship holds to definition of innovation which recognises, good [Shar’ri] innovations and evil [Shar’ri] innovations. A minority holds to a definition which is simplistic. According to which everything termed as Shar’ri innovation is evil/sinful and misguiding. And all evidence in Ahadith which refutes this simple definition of innovation is glossed with Taweel: This statement was made in linguistic sense. Praise be to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), already an article was written refuting this poorly thought-out excuse, here. And it is a decisive argument against Khawarij. This article will address the linguistic innovation claim from different perspective. And also go on to establish the definition of innovation which Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) held to. Simplistic, which is now championed by Khawarij of Najd, or comprehensive which is held by majority of Islamic scholarship. The Understanding Of Innovation By Majority Of Islamic Scholarship: Majority of Islamic scholarship believes in comprehensive definition of innovation according to which, any non-prophetic practice with Asal from Quran and Sunnah it is good innovation in sense of Shari’ah. And any non-prophetic practice which is without Asal from Quran and Sunnah is an evil innovation in sense of Shari’ah. And according to this majority an innovated practice with explicit or implicit Shar’ri evidence can be termed non-prophetic good Shar’ri Sunnah, or alternatively good Shar’ri innovation. And any innovated practice without explicit or implicit evidence from Quran and Sunnah, and composed of sinful activities can be termed non-prophetic evil Shar’ri Sunnah, or alternatively evil Shar’ri innovation. Note the words Shar’ri are dropped from usage when writing about Shar’ri innovations. Instead of good Shar’ri innovation words good innovation, or good Sunnah are used and same applies to evil Shar’ri innovation and evil Shar’ri Sunnah. Innovation According To Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala): Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimullah) holds to simple definition of innovation. According to Shaykh Ibn Rajab (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) innovation is; any practice, or activity, or custom, which without Asal (i.e. Foundation) of Shari’ah. In other words; any practice which is without Asal of Quran and Sunnah is [Shar’ri] innovation. In Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s definition of innovation, anything which is termed/judged as ‘innovation’ or ‘Shar’ri innovation’ is unIslamic and sinful action or practice. And a ‘reprehensible innovation’ in definition of majority of Islamic scholarship. Also according to Shaykh Rajab’s definition any practice which is not Prophetic Sunnah but for it there is Asal (i.e. Foundation) in Shari’ah then it is not innovation but a Sunnah. Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) On Salat ad-Duha: In the following Hadith it is established; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asked if Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam), Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu), Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) performed Salat ad-Duha and he responded in negative: “I further asked, "Did `Umar use to pray it?" He (Ibn `Umar) replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did Abu Bakr use to pray it?" He replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did the Prophet use to pray it?" Ibn `Umar replied, "I don't think he did." In the same Hadith Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asked if he performs Salat ad-Duha and he responded in negative: “Narrated Muwarriq: I asked Ibn `Umar "Do you offer the Duha prayer?" He replied in the negative.” [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27] And this was because he deemed it innovation on the account, that he believed neither Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), nor his first to Caliphs performed Salat ad-Duha. Of course this is implied from the Hadith but it is also established from clear text of following Hadith: “… and I entered the Mosque (of the Prophet) and saw Abdullah bin Umar sitting near the dwelling place of Aisha and some people were offering the Duha prayer. We asked him about their prayer and he replied that it was an innovation.” [Ref: Bukhari, B27, H4] About Salat ad-Duha he also said: "At the time Uthman was killed no-one considered it desirable and the people did not innovate anything that is dearer to me than that prayer." [Ref: Musannaf Abd Razzaq, Vol3, Pages 78/79] This establishes Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) considered Salat ad-Duha to be an innovation and a good innovation at that. And in following Hadith he deemed Salat ad-Duha to be a good innovation: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" [Ref: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab Of Prayer – Salat ad-Duha, 3] This establishes the Islamic belief that companions accepted good innovations into Islam a belief which is challenged by proponents new brand of Kharijis. And they have attempted to protect their misguidance with innovative arguments and an example of which will follow. Shaykh Aymen And Salat ad-Duha Being Linguistic Innovation: Shaykh Aymen adheres to, and esteems Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation, and judges the following statement of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) regarding Salat ad-Duha in its context: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" Shaykh Aymen interpreted the statement of Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and explained it as: “He did not know that the Prophet prayed it before. He approved it because it is a Nafliah like any other Nafila that is allowed to be prayed at anytime. He said it is Bida'a in its linguistisc meaning. Wallahu A'lam” [Ref: AhlalHdeeth, by Ayman Bin Khaled, post 5] Shaykh Aymen said, statement of Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was made in linguistic usage of word innovation based on Ibn Rajab’s definition of innovation. Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not actually hold to Shaykh Ibn Rajab’ (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation. If Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had made the statement with the thought that Salat ad-Duha is from Nafliah worship he would not have declared it to be an innovation. Instead he would have said, it is a Prophetic Sunnah, and this verdict would have been in accordance with Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s definition of innovation. But the clear evidence establishes Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) believed Salat ad-Duha was an innovation because he had stated Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and his father Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu), and he himself does not perform Salat ad-Duha. It is evident from Ahadith that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) deemed Salat ad-Duha to be fine/good innovation. And if he had held to Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah) definitions of innovation he would have believed all innovations are evil as Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah) definition establishes. And therefore would not have remarked that Salat ad-Duha is fine innovation. Refuting Shaykh Aymen’s Claim Of Linguistic Innovation: To defend Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation Khawarij can argue that he intended the usage of word innovation in linguistic sense and not in Shar’ri sense therefore he could have used Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s understanding of innovation. In other words they could argue; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) deemed Salat ad-Duha to be a form of Nafliah worship for which permissibility is generally granted except the forbidden times – sunrise and sunset -: "I do only what my companions used to do and I don't forbid anybody to pray at any time during the day or night except that one should not intend to pray at sunrise or sunset." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H283] Alhasil, Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) judged it to be linguistic innovation, while believing that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not perform it, but he deemed it permissible based on general permissibility for Nawafil. We the Muslims say, if Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) judged permissibility of Salat ad-Duha based on general permissibility of Nawafil then he made a Shar’ri judgment to deem it permissible -: Nawafil are permissible at all times except sun rising and sun setting times and Salat ad-Duha is performed during time of Duha (i.e. forenoon) therefore it is permissible. From this it is evident Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not judge Salat ad-Duha to be fine innovation in linguistic sense but good/fine innovation in Shar’ri sense because judgment he made is based on general permissibility of Nawafil. And Shar’ri judgement of permissibility about an innovative practice can only be made by him if believes there exits a provision within Islam permitting innovations. If it is proven there is Shar’ri acceptance of good innovations in Islam then it will establish; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not hold to Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s definition of innovation but to definition of majority of Islamic scholarship. Also this would prove that Shaykh Aymen Bin Khaled would be incorrect in his saying that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made the following statement in linguistic sense: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" Following section will establish that Islam recognises and permits good innovations and considers them reward worthy. And deems evil innovations to be sinful and hence prohibits them by default. Shari’ah The Islamic Law Derived From Islam: Innovation in linguistic sense is something new, something which already did not exist. And in Shar’ri sense it means something which already did not exist in Islam. In the following Ahadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) tells the Muslim about reward for introducing/innovating goods Sunnahs in Islam which were not already part of Islam: “He who introduced some good 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]“The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever sets a good precedent in Islam, he will have the reward for that, and the reward of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Ref: Nisa’i, B23, H2555] Note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told; the one who introduces/sets a good Sunnah in Islam for him and those who emulate his innovated good Sunnah there is reward. If a good Sunnah is already is part of Islam and person acts on it then nothing is introduced into Islam. And the quoted Ahadith tell of reward for introducing good Sunnahs into Islam. In the following portion of Ahadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informs the Muslim who introduces/innovates an evil Sunnah in Islam about the burden of sin and those who follow him: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without theirs being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] “And whoever sets an evil precedent in Islam, he will have a burden of sin for that, and the burden of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest."' [Ref: Nisa’i, B23, H2555] And meaning of this Hadith is same as the following: "And whoever starts an erroneous Biddah (i.e. ابْتَدَعَ بِدْعَةَ ضَلاَلَةٍ) 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] Alhasil meaning of introducing good Sunnah in Islam and evil Sunnah in Islam is good/evil innovations in Islam. And this establishes that Islam/Shari’ah recognises concept of good/evil innovation and tells of reward and sin for introducing each. Conclusion: Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not believe in Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah) definition of innovation. Had he believed in this definition of innovation or one remotely resembling it in detail then he would not have stated Salat ad-Duha is fine innovation. But in fact his statement reveals that it was based on the understanding of Hadith; one who introduces good Sunnah in Islam for him and the one who adheres to the Sunnah will equally be rewarded without reward being reduced. Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) believed Islam grants permission to Muslims to invent and incorporate good Sunnahs in Islam. Hence he could not have made the statement in linguistic sense but rather he judged it to be good/fine innovation in sense of Islamic canonical law (i.e. Shari’ah) whose source is Quran and teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Thus the Islamic definition of innovation – good/evil innovated Sunnahs - stands established and excuse if linguistic innovation refuted. Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen. Muhammed Ali Razavi
  2. Introduction: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been quoted as saying in Ahadith, every innovation is misguidance. Muslims believe literally every innovation is not misguidance. Only every reprehensible innovation is misguidance and every reprehensible innovation is composed of components which are violating the prophetic teaching and contradict spirit of Islam. Contrary to Islamic belief, the anti-Islamic elements believe every innovation in literal sense is innovation even if it is composed of Islamicly sanctioned acts of worship, charity, etc. This is due to their literal interpretation of Hadith and their emphasis on qullu (i.e. every). Hence it is important to establish use of ‘every’ is not in respect of every innovation but ‘every’ has been limited and restricted to reprehensible type of innovations. Also the Ibn Fawzaan quoted renowned scholar to aid his position. He stated collection of Quran into a book and writing and collecting Ahadith into books is not a praiseworthy innovation. Saalih Al Fawzaan And Issue Of Translation: Ibn Fawzaan is a prominent scholar in Saudi Khariji State and member of Board Of Senior Scholars And Member Of Permanent Committee For Fatwah And Research. His works carry weight amongst the Khawarij hence it is crucial his writing is addressed from Islamic perspective and lays bare heretical understandings which he has purposed. Secondly, the translation of Ibn Fawzaan’s work by Maaz Qureshi at times was incoherent and bereft of contextual relevance. The points were poorly conveyed and lacked clarity hence original[1] was altered for sake of clarity by adding words and rephrasing sentences. Also discussion regarding Taraweeh prayer was separated into parts. Between which the subject of compilation of Quran was discussed. So material was connected with the relevant discussion and material regarding compilation of Quran was added after Taraweeh prayer discussion. Note, textual criticism skills were employed to reconstruct the message being conveyed in original Arabic and alterations were not result of reading Arabic text of original essay. Hence there is possibility errors might have been made in re-constructing of his point of view. I seek refuge in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) from misguidance of Satan the cursed. In case of errors in representing his view, please do notify me and mistakes will be rectified. Part One: Saalih Al Fawzaan’s Short Essay: “Whoever divides innovation in the religion into good innovation (i.e. bid'ah hasanah), and sinful innovation (i.e. bid'ah Say’yah), then he has committed wrong, and has opposed Prophet’s (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement, "Every innovation is a misguidance", because the Messenger (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) ruled that innovation - all of it - is misguidance, and this says that not all innovation is misguidance, rather there is good innovation. Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab said in his commentary in al Arba'een: 'So his (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement, “The best discourse is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of affairs are those which are newly introduced, for every innovation is an error” is a comprehensive statement, nothing is excluded from it. And this is the greatest principle from the principles of the Religion and it is connected with his (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) following statement, "Whoever invents in this affair of ours, what is not from it, then it is rejected" So whoever invents things and attributes them to the religion, and it does not have an origin in the religion to return to then it is misguidance, and the Religion is free from those things. And equal to that are matters of beliefs, or actions, or statements whether hidden, or manifest.’ [Ref: Jaami'ul 'Uloom Wal Hikam, p. 233] And there is not a proof for them that there is good innovation, except for the statement of Umar (radiallaahu 'anhu) regarding the Taraweeh prayer, "What a good innovation this is!" (i.e. ni'imatul bida'atu hadhihi).”[2] Ibn Rajab’s Definition Of Innovation: Prior to Ibn Fawzaan’s quoted material Ibn Rajab stated: “Regarding the Holy Prophet’s saying: “Beware of newly introduced matters, for every innovation is a straying.” It is a warning to the community against following innovated new matters. He emphasized that with his words, “every innovation is a straying.” [Such type of] innovations are those things which are newly introduced, having no source in the Shari’ah to prove them.” Ibn Rajab believes any practice/belief which is termed as innovation is by default a Shar’ri innovation, and such innovation has no evidence from Quran or Hadith. Yet from his statement one can glimpse that according to Ibn Rajab, an innovation without evidence of Shari’ah is straying innovation, because he connected Hadith of; every innovation is misguidance, to his following statement: “[Such type of] innovations are those things which are newly introduced, having no source in the Shari’ah to prove them.” Of course this is not his actual position rather an in-depth observation. He also stated; an innovated practice/belief with evidence of Shari’ah is not an innovation from Shar’ri perspective, here: “As for whatever has a source in the Shari’ah, thereby establishing it, then it is not an innovation in the [sense of] Shari’ah, even though it might linguistically be an innovation.” And same was repeated bit later: “As for those things in the sayings of the right-acting first generations where they regard some innovations as good, that is only with respect to what are innovations in the linguistic sense, but not in the Shari’ah.” Here Ibn Rajab is gravely mistaken because the scholars of Islam have always considered good innovations to be from perspective of Shari’ah. Shari’ah defines the goodness and evilness of innovations hence what it judges to be good and bad is part of Shari’ah. Before continuing to next point it is important to state that linguistic meaning of innovation is; which is without precedent. Shar’ri meaning of innovation is; which is without precedent in Islam. The important point in is that those scholars who have divided innovation to be good have done so on basis of following Hadith: “Whoever sets a good precedent in Islam, he will have the reward for that, and the reward of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Ref: Nisa’i, B23, H2555] When something is not part of Islam but it is being part of Islam than innovation is being made part of Islam. This is assertion is supported by linguistic and Shar’ri meaning of innovation. Considering this, meaning of the Hadith is when a good innovation which is not part of Islam is made part of Islam then the one who sets a good innovation in Islam [for others to follow] will receive reward and those who follow his good innovated precedent. Four Important Points Made By Saalih Al Fawzaan: There are four main points in the short essay produced by chief of Khawarij and they are as follow: i) One who divides innovation into categories of praiseworthy and blameworthy innovations has wronged teaching of Islam and opposed the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). ii) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] Use of وَكُلُّ (i.e. and every) in the relevant Hadith is to include everything and nothing is excluded from it hence all innovations are misguidance. iii) There is no proof for good innovation except the statement of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) regarding Taraweeh prayer. iv) Quote from Jami Ul Uloom Wal Hakim of Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali as quoted by Saalih Ibn Fawzaan. Scholars Always Divided Innovation In Two Main Branches: Early Muslim scholars have always and scholars continue to divide innovation to two main categories. Type one, which is composed of Islamicly sanctioned practices/beliefs. Type two, which is composed of Islamicly prohibited practices/beliefs. Type one, has been termed as, praiseworthy, permissible, righteous, guidance, and even termed it linguistic innovation.[3] Type two, has been stated to be, prohibited, evil, misguiding, sinful, and legal innovation.[4] Then these categories are subdivided into many categories.[5] The chief of Khawarij stated one who divides innovation into good and bad has wronged and opposed the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) because he believes every newly invented matter, from perspective of Sharia if it is declared as an innovation than it is misguidance. Therefore it is important to point out who according to Ibn Fawzaan’s statement has wronged the religion of Islam and who in Ummah is guilty of opposing the teaching of Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The Eminent Scholars Who Wronged And Opposed: Imam Shafi (rahimullah) stated innovations are of two types. The type which contradicts the teaching of Quran, the Sunnah, Hadith and Ijma, such one he classed as misguiding innovation. Concerning the type which does not contradict the teaching of Quran, Sunnah, Ahadith, and Ijma, he classed good and quoted Hadith where Hadhrat Umar (radiallah) had said Taraweeh is good innovation. Following is evidence of Imam Shafi (rahimullah) understanding on subject of innovation: “It was narrated to us by Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl who had it narrated to him from Abul-Abbas Al-Asam who said Rabi ibn Sulayman narrated to us from Imam ash-Shafi’s that he said, “Innovated matters in religion are of two kinds: 1) Whatever is innovated and is contradicts the Book, or the Sunnah, or a narration, or Ijma – then this is an innovation of misguidance. 2) Whatever is innovated of good and that does not contradict any of these – then this is a novelty which is not blameworthy. And Umar (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) said concerning the night-prayer in the month of Ramadhan: نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what a good innovation this is!) meaning something new not previously present, and if done does not rebut anything which existed before.” [Ref: Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Manaqib ash-Shafi'i, 1/469] Imam Al-Ghazali (rahimullah), Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (rahimullah), Imam Nawavi (rahimullah), Imam Qurtubi (rahimullah), Muhammad al-Shawkani (Khariji), Imam Suyuti (rahimullah), and countless others defined innovation into praiseworthy and blameworthy. Even Ismail Dehalvi (the apostate) divided innovation into good and bad in his Tazkira Al Ikhwan.[6] Position Of Muslims About Prominent Scholars: In light of Ibn Fawzaan’s statement it can be concluded that he believes the mentioned scholars and all those who divided innovation into good and bad categories are the ones who have wronged and opposed prophetic teaching. Considering this insolence of Ibn Fawzaan, effort is being made to defend the honor of prominent scholars of Islam from the indirect attack by supporting the definition of Muslims. As Muslims we believe, Imam Shafi (rahimullah), Imam Al Ghazali (rahimullah), Imam Ibn Hajar (rahimullah), and Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) scholars are not the ones who have wronged and opposed the teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). It is Ibn Fawzaan who is opposing the prophetic Sunnah and if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wills the charge will be established. Valid Difference Of Opinion Over The Definition: It would be too much to say he was unaware of evidence which establishes the understanding of these scholarly giants but it is just and befitting his caliber to say; he is ignorant of their interpretations. Ibn Fawzaan failed to understand; the difference on definition of innovation is a valid difference of opinion and none from these two definitions is blameworthy because the evidence exists for both versions. As Muslims we believe those scholars whose understanding of innovation agrees with Ijtihad of these luminaries, they are upon the truth, like those who pioneered this understanding of innovation. Those who have pioneered the simple definition of innovation and those who employ it they are closer to the truth but missed the mark of perfection. The pioneers of this definition have erred in their Ijtihad and there is no blame upon them for this but only reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) because mistakes of Mujtahid are rewarded. Hadith Of Every Innovation Is Misguidance: Ibn Fawzaan quoted the following Hadith: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] And argued the words وَكُلُّ (i.e. and every) are used in the Hadith therefore nothing is excluded from this statement. There will be five approaches to answer this point: i) logical criticism to solve problem, ii) on usage of وَكُلُّ (i.e. and every), iii) concluding remarks regarding usage of ‘every’, iv) explaining the Hadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with Ahadith which support the positions argued for first and second approach, v) and establishing category of good innovation. Note, out of the four important points of Ibn Fawzaan pointed in the beginning or article, three will be addressed in forth coming material and the last one will be addressed as a separate part. First Approach – The Counter Attack: If Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had stated; all of innovations are misguidance literally, without restricting/limiting the meaning of ‘every’ to a specific genre of innovations then questions is: Are books of Ahadith (i.e. Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmadhi etc.) included in this ‘every’ or excluded from ‘every’? If you say they are excluded therefore not innovations, then you have eliminated the foundation of your argument because your argument was ‘every’ used in this Hadith is without Takhsees (i.e. specifics) yet you have made Takhsees in ‘every’ to accommodate the books of Ahadith. We Muslims affirm that ‘every’ is connected with a specific type of innovation and it is not to be understood on its generality. The point is; ‘every innovation’ is not in meaning of ‘absolutely every innovation’ but ‘every innovation’ is used to mean ‘every innovation in a specific context’. What that specific context is, if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits will be explained in third approach. Second Approach – The Usage Of Every: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: "As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, وَرَاءَهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا (i.e. for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force).” [Ref: 18:79] It is stated in the verse that a king has ordered every boat is to be ceased but order was to cease all usable boats. Hence Khidar (alayhis salaam) damaged the boat to prevent the livelihood of boat owner being ceased by inflicting damage which can be repaired with little effort. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, "Strike with your staff the stone." And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ (i.e. and every people knew its watering place). "Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption." [Ref: 2:60] The verse states every people knew where to drink water from when Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) struck the rock with his staff. Yet it was not every people in literal sense of the word but every tribe from the twelve tribes of tribe of Israeel. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “They said, Postpone [the matter of] him and his brother and send among the cities gatherers. Who will bring you every learned magician? يَأْتُوكَ بِكُلِّ سَاحِرٍ عَلِيمٍ (i.e. And the magicians came to Pharaoh). They said, Indeed for us is a reward if we are the dominant." [Ref: 7:111/113] Logistics of undertaking such task at that time would make it impossible to reach every city of earth. Yet the verse says they were sent to every city which is too farfetched. The polytheists in time of Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) sent for emissaries to every major city or to every city of Egypt to gather the best magicians to compete with Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam). Therefore literal reading of every city is not intended. Please bear with an example which would resonate with readers. Ali is carrying valet full of money, credit card, a brand new mobile phone, wearing on his 50 carat gold ring. Thief strikes and says: Hand over everything you have or you going to die. Does the thief want Ali to hand over all that he doesn’t carry with him as well or just what he is carrying with him? All that Ali is carrying at that moment. Third Approach – Summing Up The Findings: The word ‘every’ even though by itself is not limited/restricted and is inclusive of all but when it is used in a restrictive/limiting context then it is no longer on its natural meaning. Rather it is limited and restricted according to the context. Note the word ‘every’ was used but it was limited restricted by circumstances. Similarly in the verses ‘every’ was limited and restricted according to contextual relevance.[7] Hence it could be said, use of word ‘every’ in the following Hadith is not ‘absolutely every’ but in meaning of ‘every in specific context’, here: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] Just as the context of verses limit and restrict the meaning of ‘every’ to ‘every in specific context’ the words ‘every innovation’ are limited and restricted by other Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Fourth Approach – Explaining Hadith With Ahadith: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “And he who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. evil precedent 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] Linguistically innovation is what does not have precedent in Quran of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). What is not part of Islam and is made part of Islam is innovation hence the mentioned Hadith is talking about one who introduces into Islam evil innovation. And tells for him who introduces evil innovation and those who follow his evil innovation will receive equal burden of sin. This understanding of above Hadith is supported by another Hadith found in Tirmadhi, here: "And whoever introduces a بِدْعَةَ ضَلاَلَةٍ (i.e. erroneous innovation) 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] In light of this, the following statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is not literal: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] Rather it should be understood in context of Hadith of ‘evil precedent in Islam’ and ‘erroneous innovation’. Therefore the interpretation of Hadith is as follows: the most evil affairs are the evil precedents and erroneous innovations introduced into Islam and every evil/erroneous innovation is misguidance. Hence the word ‘every’ is restricted and limited in the phrase, “… every innovation is misguidance …” in specific context of evil and erroneous innovations. Now question must arise, how are evil innovations judged to be evil? Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) answered this question by saying: “Aishah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying: if any one introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected. Ibn Isa said: the prophet said: if anyone practices any action in a way other than our practice, it is rejected.” [Ref: Dawood, B41, H4589] And in another Hadith it is stated: “He who enacted any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf that is to be rejected.” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] In other words if an innovation is composed of anything which is not from prophetic Sunnah it is evil innovation and it is to be rejected. Fifth Approach – Establishing The Good Innovation: It was previously said, innovation is which does not have precedent in Quran and Sunnah, and following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) point to permissibility of, and reward for, introducing good innovation into Islam: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good Sunnah in Islam), there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …”[8] [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Note, the Hadith states one who introduces into Islam a good Sunnah, if a good Sunnah is being introduced into Islam then it means it is not part of Islam. What is not part of Islam and it is being made part of Islam is, innovation. Hence Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told of reward for introducing good innovation into Islam. It was based upon understanding of the Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) declared his gathering of worshipers under leadership of an Imam as an excellent innovation, here: “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] These Ahadith establish the position of Muslims that to introduce praiseworthy innovations into Islam is permissible and reward worthy. Conclusion: We have established the prominent scholars of past have divided the innovation into two categories. It has been established those who have divided innovation into good and bad have not erred nor opposed the teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but rather have employed all evidence available on the topic of innovation to perfect their understanding. And it was minion of Iblis incarnate who actually opposed the teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The usage of ‘every’ has been explained in detail. The usage of ‘every’ is affected by context, which limits its absolute meaning and restricts it to a specific. The foolish assumption that Muslims do not have any evidence but the evidence related to Taraweeh was shattered with proper explanation of Hadith of introducing good Sunnah into Islam. As for the quote taken from Ibn Rajab it has been explained by the content of first, second and third approach. Ibn Fawzaan position is based on Ibn Rajab's quote and due to which no direct response is required. Instead, Ibn Rajab's understanding of innovation was explored and his error was pointed out in light of evidence of Hadith. Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen. Muhammed Ali Razavi Footnotes: - [1] To find out where the alterations have been made please use MSWord to compare original and revised versions. To see the original quote click, here. - [2] Clarification Of Doubts Concerning Innovation. Originally taken from; Kitab at-Tawheed, author; Saalih al Fawzaan, page 106/110 Translation; Maaz Qureshi, Amendments; Muhammed Ali Razavi. - [3] Those scholars who have labelled type one innovations as linguistic innovation they follow a different definition of innovation. Their definition accords the following principles: Any action/belief of which there is no Asal (i.e. foundation - explicit or implicit evidence) such is innovation. And the opposite was: Any action/belief which can be established from Quran/Sunnah from implicit or from generality of words is not an innovation. They maintain innovation is of two types, linguistic and legal. According to this classification when an innovation is classed as an innovation from legal perspective than it is in meaning of ‘type two’ innovation (i.e. reprehensible - which composed of that which contradicts teaching of Islam). So according to their understanding compiling Quran into a book after death of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) gathering the people of Masjid to perform Taraweeh under one Qari for entire Ramadhan are not innovations [in legal sense]. And this is because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in his life time over saw the writing of revelation (i.e. Quran). Also there is precedent of performing Taraweeh under leadership of Imam because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in person led Taraweeh for three days. These scholars agree that these are innovations in linguistic sense. The vast majority of scholars have classified these two practices to be good innovations because of their division of innovation being divided as good and bad. Words of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) are evidence of Taraweeh being innovation and being good innovation according to this definition: قَالَ عُمَرُ نِعْمَ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِه.ِ [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227] Therefore the real difference between the two parties is due to label and not of result. One group labels it linguistic innovation and other considers as good innovation. - [4] From Islamic perspective anti-Muslim element’s legal/Shar’ri innovation’s equivalent is reprehensible innovation. In Islamic terminology, all innovations are legal/Shar’ri innovations, be it praiseworthy or reprehensible. - [5] The details of sub-divisions and explanation of them can be found in the following book, What Is Innovation In Islam, by Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Naeemi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). - [6] If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits an article will be written on subject of innovation containing writings of these scholars. - [7] The word ‘every’ in its natural meaning cannot be used for creation without warranting major Shirk. The natural meaning of ‘every’ which is unlimited, unrestricted can only truly be used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). When the word ‘every’ is used for creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) it is always used with certain constraints implied from context or implied from inability of creation for whom it was used for. - [8] “Narrated Ibn Jarir bin 'Abdullah: from his father that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever starts a good tradition which is followed, then for him is a reward, and the likes of their rewards of whoever follows him, there being nothing diminished from their rewards." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2675] “It was narrated that Abu Juhaifah said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever introduces a good practice that is followed after him, will have a reward for that and the equivalent of their reward, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H207]
  3. Introduction: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said, whosoever introduces a good Sunnah into Islam which is followed, the innovator and the follower both will receive equal reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). On basis of this Muslims believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) created room for introducing innovations into religion of Islam. Anti-Muslim elements argue that in context of Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was stating one who revives a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and those who follow it will receive equal reward. Note Servant has produced numerous refutations against this claim hence it will not be addressed in here. Rather Servant will utilize the linguistic meaning of بدعة to establish Islamic position. Note, this article continues some aspects which were neglected in the following article, here. Linguistic Meaning Of بدعة In Light Of Quran And Ahadith: Linguistically بدعة means innovation, something which does not have precedent. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) instructed Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to say: قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ (i.e. “Say: "I am not a new thing amongst the Messengers.") (Ref: 46:9). Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is told to say to disbelievers; that his Messenger-ship is not unique/innovative but there are precedents (i.e. Prophet Ibrahim alayhis salaam and others). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states in another verse He is the: بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ (i.e. “The originator of the heavens and the earth") (Ref: 2:117/6:101) Note Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) created the universe and earth without relying upon a preceding example. Example of innovation without precedent is incident of a son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) killing his brother: “Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said: A part of its blood because he was مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ أَوَّلاً (i.e. the first to establish the tradition of murdering)." [Ref: Bukhari, B83, H6] Words of Sufyan (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) are attested in another Hadith: “It was narrated from Abdullah that: The Prophet said: "No person is killed wrongfully, but a share of responsibility for his blood will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was, أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ (i.e. the first one to set the precedence of killing).” [Ref: Nisa’i, B37, H3990] Shar’i meaning of بدعة is which does not have a precedent in text of Quran or Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and it is of two types blameworthy and praiseworthy. Depending upon what the innovation is composed of, it can be good or bad. Murder Of Son Of Adam (alayhis salaam) Is Innovation: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said: A part of its blood because he was مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ أَوَّلاً (i.e. the first to establish the tradition of murdering)." [Ref: Bukhari, B83, H6] “It was narrated from Abdullah that: The Prophet said: "No person is killed wrongfully, but a share of responsibility for his blood will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was, أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ (i.e. the first one to set the precedence of killing).” [Ref: Nisa’i, B37, H3990] On the basis of Hadith of son of Adam (alayhis salaam) it can be said that Sunna does not require precedent because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used the word Sunna for a murder which had no precedent and innovation does not have precedent either in Shari’ah. Hence the word Sunna means innovation and the murderer introduced an innovation. His Sunna should be understood to mean innovation even though Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used Sunna (i.e. practice). Another proof that he introduced innovation is the principle used to judge his action Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated: “And whoever بِدْعَةً ابْتَدَعَ (i.e. introduces an innovation) that is acted upon, will have a burden of sins equivalent to that of those who act upon it, without that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] So therefore the son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) introduced innovation of murdering. Note, Shaikh used the word bad Sunnah even though it is obvious from the text of Hadith that murderous act was committed which was without precedent, hence appropriate translation should have been innovation. Establishing Basis Of Proof On Ahadith Of Good And Bad Sunnah: Sunnah linguistically means, way, precedent and practice. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) regarding good Sunnah are: “Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever starts a سُنَّةَ خَيْرٍ (i.e. good Sunnah) which is followed, then for him is a reward and the likes of their rewards of whoever follows him, there being nothing diminished from their rewards." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2675] "Jarir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The servant does not introduce سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. good Sunnah) which is followed after him. The rest of the hadith is the same." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6468] Another Hadith establishes that good Sunnah for which the reward is being told is being made part of Islam: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good Sunnah in Islam), there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Reward being told is of good Sunnah which is not part of Islam but is being made part of Islam. In other words, the Sunnah being introduced into Islam has no precedent in Islam, yet reward for it is guaranteed. Regarding bad Sunnah Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “And whoever introduces a سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. reprehensible practice) that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] Once again, the burden of sin being equally shared is for a bad Sunnah which is not part of Islam but being made part of Islam: “And he who introduces an فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. evil precedent 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] Proof That Ahadith Good And Bad Sunnah Are About Innovations: It is established that word بدعة means something new without a precedent and the word سنة is used for Sunnah of first murder which did not have a precedent. Hence it is linguistically possible to use word سنة to mean بدعة. In context of reprehensible Sunnah, the word بدعة is used: “And whoever introduces a سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. reprehensible practice) that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] "And whoever introduces a بِدْعَةَ ضَلاَلَةٍ (i.e. reprehensible innovation) 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] “Whoever بِدْعَةً ابْتَدَعَ (i.e. introduces an innovation) with which Allah and his Messenger are not pleased, he will have a (burden of) sin equivalent to that of those among the people who act upon it, without that detracting from their sins in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H210] This is proof that both words can be used interchangeably to mean same thing. To further support it, note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “And he who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. evil precedent 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] That which is not part of Islam via precedent is innovation, therefore evil Sunnah in this Hadith is referring to evil innovations. Continuing, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good Sunnah in Islam), there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] This means reward is for a Sunnah which is not part of Islam but being made part of Islam. In other words reward is for good Sunnah which does not have precedent in Islam. Considering the meaning of بدعة we have to conclude the reward is for introducing a good innovation and for those who follow it. As proof of Islamic position; innovation can be good, note the words of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) in following Hadith: “… that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said, "I went out with Umar ibn al-Khattab in Ramadan 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!) But what you miss while you are asleep is better than what you watch in prayer.' He meant the end of the night, and people used to watch the beginning of the night in prayer." [Ref: Muwatta Malik, B6, H3] Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) gathered the people to perform Taraweeh prayer under leadership of a single Imam. His innovation was followed by the companions in month of Ramadhan prompting him to say that his innovation was excellent. Ever since Hadhrat Umar gathering the companions under a single Imam it has been practiced during the entire duration of Ramadhan. This amounts to roughly thirty days, yet prophetic Sunnah is of three days only, therefore he is source of an innovation which has no precedent in prophetic Sunnah. Warning About The Distortion Of Texts Of Islam: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said that you will follow the way of Jews and Christians: “Narrated Abu Sa`id: The Prophet said, "You will follow the wrong ways, of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a lizard, you too will go there." We said, "O Allah's Messenger! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?" He replied, "Whom else?" [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H662] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states regarding the Jews: “And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongues, so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say: "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it.” [Ref: 3:78] Do not follow the footsteps of Yahood and distort the texts of Islam by changing the meaning of words, no good will be result of it. It is better for you to submit to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and authority given to his Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then to rebel against it. The straight path of Islam has been shown to you, so walk upon it. Aspire to be from amongst the Jammah (i.e. group) of Muslims and do not oppose it. Conclusion: Words سنة and بدعة are used interchangeably to mean innovation in Ahadith of equal reward and sin. بدعة means something without a precedent. In the Ahadith of good and bad سنة the reward is being told for Sunnahs which lack a precedent in Islam hence the usage of سنة is in meaning of innovation. Therefore the reward being told is about good innovations and the blame of sin is for bad innovations. Wama Alayna Ilal Balaghul Mubeen Muhammed Ali Razavi
  4. Introduction: Shaikh Abu Rumaysah wrote an extensive article in which he presented his sects Khariji understanding on subject of innovation. Part of this article is dedicated to refuting arguments which Muslims present to refute his understanding of innovation. At explanation number three he attempts to explain the Hadith from Sahih of Imam Muslim (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) regarding followers of good Sunnah being rewarded equal to one who introduced it. Briefly, his position on this Hadith is to be understood according to context, and that charity was already part of Islam hence the phrase was uttered for sake of reviving a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and this principle is not for introduction of praiseworthy innovations. His position will be judged from Islamic perspective so the truth of matter is revealed for the Muslims. An Invitation To Access Evidence And Dialogue: In the beginning of the article the writer/compiler Abu Hanna wrote why this article was penned. There is mention of many accusations hurled against them, which is of no interest of servant. The author of first statement continued to write: “We ask the brothers and sisters to look for the 'clear argument', to consider the evidence that is provided herein. Do not let this article be a cause for creating more fitna (trials), but instead an opportunity to see a way forward for some reconciliation.” He continues to write: “If you do disagree with this article, then let this be a chance to start a dialogue between us and you rather than a war of words. You know our evidence, please show us yours and let us approach the issue with the scholastic behavior of our predecessors.” As a Muslim one cannot agree with the content of article because it contradicts words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and is based on distortion of clear and emphatic teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Hence it is in spirit of fair academic sincere dialogue, servant will present the Islamic approach to understanding the set of Ahadith in question. We are commanded to change the evil in following ways: “Whoever among you sees an evil action and can change it with his hand (by taking action), let him change it with his hand. If he cannot do that, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot do that, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B36, H4013] And if writing can be considered internet form of speech then the most befitting way to rectify the misguidance is by writing a response pointing to misguidance. The objective is, to guide to path of Islam, neither to humiliate nor to hurt the feelings of those who follow the path contrary to Prophetic teaching. Effort has been made to maintain an academic decorum, but if there is slip, then servant humbly requests; you bare it knowing companions suffered far greater for sake of religion of Islam then a stinging word. Servant ends with: “Remember that at times, due its inherent power the truth can be somewhat painful at first, but acceptance and submission to it is ultimately the objective of every sincere student of knowledge. As Allah the Truth says (what means), "Nay, we fling down the truth against falsehood so it smashes through its mind, and behold, it vanishes." “[Ref: Surah al-Anbiya 21:18] If Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) permits the author of this article will be notified and given opportunity to respond. Any beneficial developments will be published on the forum. Articles On This Subject Which Support Islamic Position: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave many principles in numerous Ahadith which are in a specific context but those principles are generally applied by Muslims and Khawarij to judge all modern issues. The following article shows Khariji sectarian bias remains in regards to Ahadith of good Sunnah but the generality of Ahadith is maintained in other Ahadith, here. Yet Khawarij only restrict the principles given in the Ahadith of good Sunnah to their context because these Ahadith establish legitimacy of introducing praiseworthy innovations into Islam and tell of reward for emulating these Sunnahs. Next one demonstrates that the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) can be taken literally and interpreted, and both methodologies are valid, and presents Islamic position, here. Also by contextualizing Ahadith can negate the generality and this means all principles which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are according to the context and cannot be used as a guiding principle outside of contextual relevance as demonstrated, here. It is established from Hadith that word Sunnah is being used in meaning of innovation and the benefit of this is that it eliminates the argument; the Ahadith of good Sunnah are about reviving Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here. Lastly another article argues words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are part of revelation and regarding revelation Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said that it is jawami al kalim in nature (i.e. meaning shortest expression with vast meanings). Therefore the principles which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave in Ahadith of good Sunnah and bad Sunnah are short but express vast meanings. For these principles to be in line with jawami al kalim nature they must not be restricted to context but all valid interpretations must be accepted. May they be historical, contextual, and intertextual, here. Full Explanation Of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah: The Hadith: “He who sets a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who sets in Islam an evil Sunnah, 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, B5, H2219] The evidence that they derive from this hadith is that people can invent new practices in Islam which are either good or bad. Of course, if they were to take the hadith in its full context then it is not possible to derive this meaning. The context of the hadith states that a group of poor people came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) so he asked those around him to give charity, but no one came forward - so much so that signs of anger could be discerned on the face of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), so one of the companions stepped forward and gave charity, so the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said the above hadith. Firstly, the word 'Sunnah' which is used in this hadith cannot be understood to mean the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), because that would imply that there is something bad in the Sunnah; rather it is to be understood in its linguistic meaning of 'practice’. Secondly, this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it, so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah” Hence, in the early works of 'Aqeedah, this hadith was included under the chapter headings, "The reward of the one who renews the Sunnah." [For example Sharh Usool I'tiqaad 1/50] The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alayhis salaam wa 'alaa nabiyina), one killing the other. So upon the murderer was the sin of the killing and the sin of all those that killed after him, without their sins being reduced. Thirdly, the hadith uses the terms 'good' and 'bad', and the Shari’ah has already defined in its totality all that is good and all that is bad. This is what is pointed to in the statement of Imam ash-Shaafi'ee in his refutation of Istihsaan (declaring something to be good) when he said, "Whoever declares something to be good, he has declared it part of Shari’ah." [Ref: ar-Risala][!] [Ref: MuslimConverts] The Hadith In Discussion: “Jarir bin Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (the Holy Prophet) exhorted people to give charity, but they showed some reluctance until (signs) of anger could be seen on his face. Then a person from the Ansar came with a purse containing silver. Then came another person and then other persons followed them in succession until signs of happiness could be seen on his (sacred) face. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: He who introduced some good practice 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. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Key Points Of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s Explanation: i) Statement of Hadith in discussion is to be understood in the context of historical event. ii) Word Sunnah is not in meaning of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but in linguistic meaning of practice. iii) The charity was part of Islam even before the event took place. iv) Companion of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) implemented the charity when people were reluctant. v) He revived a Sunnah/the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by giving charity. Key Points Of Hadith Of Sahih Muslim: i) Poor people came to Masjid Nabvi belonging to tribe of Mudar. ii) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave khutbah (i.e. speech) reminding the companions about their bond with one another through Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam)[1] and exhorted them to give charity. iii) Companions were reluctant which angered Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and signs of it showed on his face. iv) A companion came with purse of silver and donated it. This started a chain reaction and all companions contributed according to their capacity. This continued until signs of happiness Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were visible on his face. v) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told of equal reward for one who sets/introduces a good Sunnah in Islam and those who follow this good Sunnah. Meaning Of Word Sunnah In Hadith Of Good And Bad Sunnah: Both of us agree, word Sunnah in Hadith of bad Sunnah in literally means way and practice. Shaikh Abu Rumaysah has stated: “… the word 'Sunnah' which is used in this hadith cannot be understood to mean the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), because that would imply that there is something bad in the Sunnah; rather it is to be understood in its linguistic meaning of 'practice’.” If the word Sunnah is considered in context of the phrase, he who introduced a bad Sunnah into Islam, then implication of this is; bearing of burden being told is for something which is not already part of Islam. Note innovation is not part of Islam hence the word way/practice is in meaning of innovation. A Hadith from Tirmadhi which has exactly same meaning uses the word Bid’ah (i.e. innovation) instead of Sunnah (i.e. practice), here: “ And if anyone introduces a misguiding innovation with which Allah and His Messenger are not pleased then he gets a sin like the sins of those who observe it and nothing is deducted from the sins of the people.” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2677] This establishes part of Hadith of Muslim (i.e. bad Sunnah) is about innovation and note both parts of Hadith of Muslim (i.e. good Sunnah and bad Sunnah) are grammatically exactly same apart from words which give each principle a distinctive meaning. Therefore in the Hadith of Muslim the word Sunnah phrase, good Sunnah, is in meaning of innovation. To strengthen the Islamic position note, if the word Sunnah is considered in context of the phrase, he who introduced a good Sunnah into Islam, then implication of this is; reward being told is for something which is not already part of Islam innovation is not part of Islam hence the word way/practice is in meaning of innovation. Good Sunnah Is Reviving Which Is Already Part Of Islam: Considering the following part of quote: “Second, this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it, so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah.” And considering the following: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar [to good Sunnah]. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad …” I have come to conclusion that brief position of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah would be two possibilities: i) Meaning of a good Sunnah is renewing or reviving something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be good. ii) Meaning of a good Sunnah is renewing or reviving something that the Shari’ah has already made part of Islam. Question for Shaikh, is reciting Salat (i.e. sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) after mentioning Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) a good Sunnah? You will agree it is good Sunnah. Did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) declare this as good Sunnah? Is reciting Salat after mentioning Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) part of Islam? No it isn’t! Yet you agreed it is a good Sunnah. The people of knowledge know; reciting Salat after mentioning of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was started by Imam Ma’lik (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and this practiced continued to be enjoined by Muslims ever since. There is reward for Imam Ma’lik (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) due to starting this good Sunnah and those who follow his example, according to following: “He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Point to note is, your definition of good Sunnah is invalid. Introducing good Sunnah into Islam does not mean reviving a prophetic Sunnah rather it means something which was not part of Islam but is made part of Islam via Ijtihad. Claiming Of Reviving Prophetic Sunnah Of Charity: Ahadith record Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) exhorted the companions to give charity, here: “Jarir bin Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (the Holy Prophet) exhorted people to give charity, but they showed some reluctance until (signs) of anger could be seen on his face. Then a person from the Ansar came with a purse containing silver. Then came another person and …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] There was no need of reviving of prophetic Sunnah of charity. It was alive amongst them, and Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was alive, encouraging good and forbidding evil. Reviving is of those prophetic Sunnahs which have been erased from the memory of Muslims, and reviving of prophetic Sunnahs is only after death of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here: "I am ready to know O Messenger of Allah!" He said: "That indeed whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah which has died after me, then for him is a reward similar to whoever acts upon it without diminishing anything from their rewards." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2677] "I heard the Messenger of Allah say: 'Whoever revives a Sunnah of mine that dies out after I am gone, he will have a reward equivalent to that of those among the people who act upon it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H210] Shaykh interpreted the reluctance of companions to give charity has death of prophet Sunnah. Reluctance of companions to give charity cannot be interpreted to mean prophetic Sunnah of giving charity was dead amongst them and which needed reviving. Burden of proof is upon Shaykh to establish; prophetic Sunnah of giving charity was forgotten/dead in life time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) which was being revived by companion. As for the Islamic position, servant has already established it with evidence. Note, there was no need for reviving the prophet Sunnah of giving charity because it was known to companions and by establishing this position the basis of Abu Rumaysah’s argument has been refuted. Hence the literal meaning of prophet words in Hadith of, whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, stands: “He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Companion Introduced Nothing New Into Islam: He writes: “…this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it …” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] So my question is, the first person who initiated the donation process what was his contribution to Islam? Note, the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are clear that one who introduces a good practice in Islam he will get reward equal to those who follow his Sunnah. By giving charity he merely initiated a process of giving charity and he did not introduce this practice into Islam because charity and giving charity was already part of Islam. Companion Revived A Prophetic Sunnah: He writes further: “… so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it …” Abu Rumaysah saying that he revived a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by being the first one to donate does not fit the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were, he who introduces a good Sunnah of Islam, then the context would fit the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are: he who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam. Note the Hadith states, one who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam and implication of which is; the Sunnah being introduced into Islam is not part of it already. Therefore the arguments that this statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was about reviving the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is incorrect. The position of Abu Rumaysah; this statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is to be understood in the historical context is proven wrong. It is wrong on the basis that this statement is about which is not part of Islam and the companion only initiated charity which was part of Islam. Hadith Was Part Of Reviving A Sunnah: He wrote: “Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah” Hence, in the early works of 'Aqeedah, this hadith was included under the chapter headings, "The reward of the one who renews the Sunnah." [For example Sharh Usool I'tiqaad 1/50] Answer to this is; there are two components of the following Hadith, one is introducing into Islam [which is not part of it already] and the other is connected with reviving good/bad innovated Sunnah, here: “He who introduced some good practice 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. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] The Hadith has an innovating component and reviving component, and it was part of reviving corpus cause of reviving component. It is due to foolishness that one ignores the following part of Hadith: “… He who introduced some good practice in Islam …”, and is only focusing at the following part only: “… 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, …” Also note, reviving component of the Hadith is connected with innovating component of Hadith hence it means, those who revive the newly introduced practice into Islam will have equal reward to one who introduced it. Hence it was part of reviving corpus not because of reviving Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but it was in such collections due to reviving newly introduced Sunnah into Islam. Bad Sunnah Is Renewing Which Is Already Declared Bad: He wrote: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad …” According to Shaikh Abu Rumaysah meaning of bad Sunnah is renewing something which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) already declared sinful/bad. Question for Shaikh, could you guide me to a verse of Quran or Hadith in which pole dancing almost naked in presence of none family males is declared bad/sinful? No! I didn’t think you could quote me a Hadith or Ayah either but is watching pole dancing bad/sinful or not? Sinful! Has the Shari’ah already declared it bad? An honest answer is, no! Point here is pole dancing is not renewing which Shari’ah has declared bad/sinful but it is still bad and this refutes your position, quoted above. Another question, was oral ###### declared bad by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or by Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? No! Is oral ###### bad or not? Bad![2] Has the Shari’ah declared oral ######, bad? Another honest and truthful answer is, no! The point is renewing or starting something Shari’ah has already declared to be bad is not the definition of bad Sunnah. Engaging in something which Shari’ah has declared bad, is sinful. Bad Sunnah is, a Sunnah which is introduced into religion of Islam and is composed religious/non-religious activities but component of which is engaging in Haram, or Shirk, or Kufr. To explain this with an example, filthy rich money-Shaikh goes to perform Hajj. He takes with him the finest quality wine bottles, 20k a piece. An imported infidel butler and the money-Shaikh is accompanied by 10 of the sluttiest sluts of Europe in sluttiest clothes possible. Monkey-Shaikh is fit as a fiddle but he is carried by these sluttiest sluts on a throne made out of gold thread embroidery and on his head is diamond crown. His sluts carry him around the Kabah for first Tawaf, and the butler pours the fine wine in glass for him. He sips bit by bit until second Tawaf begins and butler being professional pours the second glass of cold fine wine. The money-Shaikh ends his seventh Tawaf with his seven glass of fine wine. His behavior becomes a yardstick for filthy rich Arabs and all emulate his Sunnah closely as they can. Now question is, is this renewing or starting something which Shari’ah has declared bad, or is it a new bad Sunnah? It is a new bad Sunnah into religion of Islam. Will money-Shaikh earn the equal sin of those who follow his newly invented reprehensible Sunnah? Damn right he will because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Important point here is that principle is not just for historical context but it is to be applied generally to all new reprehensible innovations/practices. The Issue Of Relevance Of Second Sentence Of Statement: Now if the first sentence of good Sunnah in Islam was said in context of historical event then it must be that the second sentence was also in context of historical event. The second sentence of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) statement is: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] What is the reprehensible Sunnah which the companions introduced which resulted in Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) telling them that they will be bearing the burden of introducing evil Sunnah? Shaikh Abu Rumaysah does not answer this question but instead he interprets the Hadith out of the context. An educated estimation would be that his response would be as follows: companions were eliminating the Sunnah of giving charity in the way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) due to their reluctance and this was evil Sunnah. Does this statement apply to all types of reprehensible Sunnahs or just the one you pointed out? If he says to all types of reprehensible Sunnahs then note he has taken this statement out of historical context. This statement was in context of reluctance to give charity according to his methodology hence it can only be applied to similar event. If he was to interpret it generally he is going against his own position of interpreting the Hadith according to context, and he did go against his own principle. He interpreted the second sentence of the Hadith in light of Hadhrat Adam’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) son murdering his brother, he wrote: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alayhis salaam wa alaa nabiyina), one killing the other. So upon the murderer was the sin of the killing and the sin of all those that killed after him, without their sins being reduced.” This establishes that Shaikh Abu Rumaysah interpreted the Hadith and went against what he complained about in the beginning of his response (i.e. words of Hadith are interpreted out of context). If the context was so fundamental to understanding the statements of Hadith in discussion why would he leave it and interpret it with Hadith of son of Adam (alayhis salaam)? Point here is; context is important but the principles are not limited restricted to the context only. Interpretation Of Bad Sunnah Critically Analyzed: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "Whenever a person is murdered unjustly, there is a share from the burden of the crime on the first son of Adam for he was the first to start the tradition of murdering." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H552] It is clear that son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) was the first person to start murder and one who follows his footsteps receives equal sin to him and this agrees with the following principle: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Note the word underlined here: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently …” This points to reprehensible Sunnah which was not part of Islam before but is being made part of Islam by son of Adam (alayhis salaam). Murder was an evil Sunnah which did not exist prior to incident mentioned in Hadith of Bukhari. In this context the meaning of Hadith of Bukhari compliments the following perfectly: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Hence if a bad practice is introduced in Islam then continuously revived by others then all those who renew it are equally sinful for emulating it and son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) did introduce a bad Sunnah of murder which was without a precedent. Therefore this incident of Bukhari is proof of Islamic position not Khariji position because an evil Sunnah is introduced and then followed. And in part of good Sunnah the Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s position is that nothing new was introduced only an old practice was revived. Note he wrote meaning of bad Sunnah is similar to good Sunnah: The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or …” If this is indeed the case then companion must have introduced a good Sunnah into Islam which was not part of it prior to the event. The Companion Introduced An Innovation Into Islam: The companion acted on the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) amongst reluctant group of people. It maybe that it was first occasion where the companions were reluctant to give charity to their fellow Muslims. Hence he is the first one to give charity amongst reluctant people, and this can be deemed as a good Sunnah, and in context of reluctance of companions, and in context of being first companion stepping up to give charity, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H6466] Implication of which would be that in context of reluctance of all companions Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) termed the action of companion as a good Sunnah in Islam. This explanation holds to the literal meaning of statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and keeps in touch with the historical event. Also note, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced the concept of charity in Islam and those who follow his example will have reward. With both interpretations a Sunnah is being introduced into Islam which is followed by others or revived by others. The Issue Of Context And Generality: Sa’d bin Ubada (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is reported to have said: "If I saw a man with my wife, I would strike him (behead him) with the blade of my sword." In context of this Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "You people are astonished at Sa`d's Ghira. By Allah, I have more Ghira than he, and Allah has more Ghira than I …” He continued to inform us: “… and because of Allah's Ghira, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret. And there is none who likes that the people should repent to Him and beg His pardon than Allah, and for this reason He sent the warners and the givers of good news.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H512] In the context of Sa’d bin Ubada’s statement the following words mean, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has prohibited adultery [which is a sin] done openly or secretly: “He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret.” Yet these words are not restricted to context but apply to all shameful deeds [according to Shari’ah] and sins. Even though the words can be interpreted according to context yet generality of these words remains intact allowing for application of these words to other shameful and sinful actions. Note, the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) quoted in Hadith do not entirely fit the context but do have some connection with context. In similar fashion the following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) have relevance to context because reviving a practice (i.e. of giving charity) by engaging in it by others is part of Hadith: “He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H6466] This statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) does not entirely fit into context like statement of shameful deeds but has loose connection with context. And similar to Hadith of shameful deeds the generality of meaning of the statement cannot be negated because the statement begins with, he who introduced a good Sunnah in Islam, which is indication that reward being told further on is for a practice which is not already part of Islam. An Exhortation To One Who Distorts Prophetic Words: It was Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to give general guidance relating to an event but provide a principle on basis of which the Muslims can judge issues which are were not addressed by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The principle of good Sunnah and bad Sunnah are part of these principles and to limit and restrict their understanding to an era, or a people, or event, takes away from Muslims a source of guidance. The one who negates the generality of these words, opposes what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said about his Prophetic words: "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and …” [Ref: Bukhari, B52, H220] The principles of good and bad Sunnah carry wide range of meanings which your sectarian entrenched mind cannot comprehend and refrain from what your intellect cannot grasp and fear Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and not oppose His beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated about such people: “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 and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” [Ref: 4:115] You have no excuse, neither of lack of knowledge, nor of those who are in state of oblivion and as a reminder note the following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here: "The best speech is Allah's Book and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad." [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H120] The guidance of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is in form of principles and his guidance is best guidance. He has told of reward for one who brings into Islam good innovation and for those who follow this innovated Sunnah has declared equal reward. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated: "It is not fitting for the believing man nor for the believing woman, that whenever Allah and His Messenger have decided any matter, that they should have any other opinion." [Ref: 33:36] Believe in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as he was to believed, and accept the guidance of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as it was to be accepted, and have no opinion over the verdict of Messenger of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Conclusion: It is true the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) about good Sunnah into Islam can be loosely interpreted in light of the historical context but the statement itself establishes its generality which allows multiple interpretations, including literal. To force the historical context upon a statement which is general, and to restrict the generality, and to reject the generality based on context is heretical. As matter of principle, a general statement can be interpreted in a context but it cannot be limited by the contextual interpretation, neither the generality can be altered due to contextual interpretation. The generality remains unaffected by contextual interpretations or theological expositions. Footnotes: - [1] Alterations have been made into the text. The first alteration is the text of Hadith in discussion has been inserted instead of paraphrased translation with reference. Salawat have been bracketed and some Arabic words have been capitalized and spelling of the words has been altered also. The last part of the content has been omitted because it was not connected with explanation of Hadith in discussion. There may be other alterations but none effects the original meaning of content. - [2] “Mundhir bin Jarir reported on the authority of his father: While we were in the company of the Messenger of Allah in the early hours of the morning, some people came there (who) were barefooted, naked, wearing striped woolen clothes, or cloaks, with their swords hung (around their necks). Most of them, nay, all of them, belonged to the tribe of Mudar. The color of the face of the Messenger of Allah underwent a change when he saw them in poverty. He then entered (his house) and came out and commanded Bilal (to pronounce Adhan). He pronounced Adhan and Iqima, and he (the Holy Prophet) observed prayer (along with his Companion) and then addressed (them reciting verses of the Holy Qur'an): '" 0 people, fear your Lord, Who created you from a single being" to the end of the verse," Allah is ever a Watcher over you" (iv. 1). (He then recited) a verse of Sura Hashr:" Fear Allah. and let every soul consider that which it sends forth for the morrow and fear Allah" (lix. 18). (Then the audience began to vie with one another in giving charity.) Some donated a dinar, others a dirham, still others clothes, some donated a sa' of wheat, some a sa' of dates; till he (the Holy Prophet) said: (Bring) even if it is half a date. Then a person from among the Ansar came there with a money bag which his hands could scarcely lift; in fact, they could not (lift). Then the people followed continuously, till I saw two heaps of eatables and clothes, and I saw the face of the Messenger glistening, like gold (on account of joy). The Messenger of Allah said: He who sets a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who sets in Islam an evil Sunnah, 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, B5, H2219] - [3] It is bad due to implicit evidence of following Hadith: “… and because of Allah's Ghira, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H512]
  5. Introduction: This article has been written in form of question and answer. These questions are product of my Wahhabi mind. Questions are fairly basic and get complex as the article progresses. After question nine Wahhabi side in me kicked in and asked really tough questions and Sunni side replied with best of my knowledge and ability. Objective was that someone with basic knowledge of subject of innovation can read this and use it as a spring board for further study into subject. Question And Answer Session: Q1: What is innovation? Answer: Linguistically anything newly invented is innovation. Technically anything not explicitly stated by name/label in neither Quran nor it was by taught by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is innovation. Q2: Is there a Shar’ri definition of innovation as opposed to linguistic definition of innovation? Answer: Yes, there are Shar’ri definitions of innovations but these definitions depend on type of innovation. Q3: How many types of innovations are there? Answer: Islam divides innovations into two major categories; i) praiseworthy ii) and blameworthy. Praiseworthy innovation is permissible and blameworthy is prohibited. Q4: What are the definitions of these two types of innovations? Answer: The definition of praiseworthy innovation is as follows: Any innovated practice/custom which has implicit evidence from Quran/Hadith. Other side of praiseworthy innovation is: Any innovated practice/custom which is composed of acts of worship, charity, preaching, and other Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is praiseworthy innovation. Definition of blameworthy innovation is as follows: Anything innovated which does not have implicit evidence from Quran/Hadith. Other side of reprehensible innovation is: Any innovated practice/custom which is composed of Shirk, or Kufr, or engaging in Haram, or eating Haram, or any sinful activity is blameworthy innovation. Q5: What is implicit/indirect evidence in context of subject of innovation? Answer: Implicit/Indirect evidence fundamentally is corroborating activities in a custom/practice from Quran and Hadith. A properly corroborated practice/custom will be amalgamation of various Islamicly sanctioned practices. Q6: What type innovation is permissible? Answer: If an innovated practice is composed of, acts of worship, charity and other Islamicly sanctioned activities then it is permissible Q7: What type of innovation is prohibited? Answer: If an innovated practice is composed of acts which lead to Shirk/Kufr, engaging in or eating Haram and other sinful activities then the innovation is reprehensible. Q8: Will there be reward for engaging in praiseworthy innovations and punishment for blameworthy? Answer: Yes, there will be reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for engaging in praiseworthy innovations and punishment for acting upon blameworthy innovations. Q9: If an innovation is composed of islamicly sanctioned activities and Islamicly condemned activities then what would be the judgment regarding the innovation? Answer: The polytheists of Makkah performed Tawaf of Kabah naked and chanted a polytheistic Talbiyah. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) instructed the companions to perform Tawaf with Ihram and corrected the Talbiyah to conform to Tawheed. Hence it would be appropriate to remove the aspects which contradict teaching of Islam and practice it with aspects which conform to teaching of Islam. Q10: Hadith indicates; every innovation is misguidance, [1] therefore Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will not reward innovations/misguidance. Question is how can there be reward for [praiseworthy] innovation? Answer: Hadith of every innovation is misguidance is in context of misguiding innovation.[2] Misguiding innovations are those which contradicts teaching of Islam and every innovation which is composed of polytheistic, sinful, activities is [evil, reprehensible, blameworthy, erroneous, and] misguiding innovation. Reward is not based on the name of innovation but based on what it is composed of. Praiseworthy innovations are composed of Islamicly sanctioned activities such as Dua (i.e. supplication), Nawafil (i.e. optional prayers), Tilawah (i.e. recitation of Quran), Sadqah (i.e. optional charity), Bayanaat (i.e. speeches), and distribution of food to poor, family and friends. These are practices which are Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) hence reward is guaranteed. Engaging in these Sunnahs under a new name (i.e. Urs, Milad, and Khatam) does not make the practice of them a sinful activity. Q11: You have restricted the application of every invention is innovation [and] every innovation is misguidance, in context of blameworthy innovation. Is there any evidence for this interpretation of Hadith? Answer: The evidence for this Takhsees/interpretation is found in another Hadith where Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “And whoever introduces a سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. reprehensible practice) that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] In another Hadith the word innovation (i.e. bidda) is used: "And whoever introduces an ضَلاَلَةٍ بِدْعَةَ (i.e. reprehensible innovation) 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] Based on these Ahadith it is clear that Islam recognises blameworthy innovations/practices. Hence in the Hadith of every invention is innovation, every innovation is misguidance, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was stating about innovations which are Dhalalah/Say’yah. Only reprehensible innovations which are composed of Shirki/Kufri or sinful activities can earn displeasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and take the practitioner to hellfire. Q12: Is there evidence for the concept of ‘good innovation’ in religion of Islam? Answer: It has been narrated that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "Whoever introduces a good Sunnah (i.e. practice) 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, H203/209] In the Hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have explicitly stated that one who introduces good Sunnah into religion of Islam, hadith: “He who introduced some good Sunnah (i.e. practice) 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] Note that in the above two Ahadith word Sunnah has been used but the meaning in context is obvious of innovation. To put it simply the Hadith means; he who introduced some good innovation into religion of Islam then the innovator and the followers would earn equal reward without their rewards being diminished in any way. There is Hadith in which Hazrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) gathered the companions under leadership of one Qari and remarked this was an excellent innovation: "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying individually, or a man (i.e. Imam) praying with a small group behind him. So Umar said, in my opinion I would better collect these [people] under the leadership of one Qari. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked: هَذِهِ الْبِدْعَةُ نِعْمَ عُمَرُ قَالَ (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] This statement of Hazrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) goes to establish that religion of Islam has place for praiseworthy innovations on basis of which he declared his innovation as excellent. Q13: Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated regarding newly invented innovations: « من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو ردٌّ» Translation: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) that is not part of it, will have it rejected." [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] In another Hadith it is stated: « وَمَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ » Translation: “He who does an act which we (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) have not commanded, will have it rejected (by Allah).” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] It is apparent from both these Ahadith that all ‘praiseworthy’ innovated practices will be rejected by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) yet you say they will be rewarded. Could you explain this contradiction? Answer: You have misunderstood the Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Suppose Yoga is made part of Islam as means of worshipping Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Would this be valid form of worship in religion of Islam? Will Yoga be accepted by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and rewarded? Yoga is not Islamicly accepted mode of worship nor it was sanctioned by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and whosoever worships Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) employing it, will have his worship rejected. Rejected on the basis that Yoga is not from the Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) nor it is from commandments of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Regarding which is not from commandments of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) nor from not his Sunnahs, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has said: “He who does an act which we (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) have not commanded, will have it rejected (by Allah).” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) that is not part of it, will have it rejected." [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] Now coming to the praiseworthy innovated practices, as stated earlier are composed of acts of worship such as performing of optional prayers, recitation of Quran, supplication, and fasting. In addition, they consist of acts of charity, distribution of food, and are educational. All this is established from the Quran and Hadith, and many are Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) hence they will not be rejected and will be rewarded because these are good deeds. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: “Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward.” [Ref: 17:9] “They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous.” [Ref: 3:114] The Saliheen (i.e. righteous) are told of good return from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala): “Those who have believed and done righteous deeds - a good state is theirs and a good return.” [Ref: 13:29] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states those who do good Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will not darken their faces nor they will be humiliated and they are people of paradise: “For them who have done good is the best [reward] and extra. No darkness will cover their faces, nor humiliation. Those are companions of paradise; they will abide therein eternally.” [Ref: 10:26] The reward on good deeds is promised by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and he has promised entry into paradise for those who do good. The innovations which are composed of acts of worship, charity, Islamic education are good deeds and will be rewarded and will be accepted in light of Quranic teaching. Q14: If one abstains from praiseworthy innovated practices is one sinful? Answer: The innovated practices such as celebration of birthday of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), wide range of Esal Al Sawab (i.e. sending of reward) practices, under various names/labels, all are optional. If one does not take part in them there is no blame of sin upon an individual. Q15: If one believes the indicated innovated practices are reprehensible is this sinful? Answer: Islam judges based on content and not on the label. These practices are made up of worship, charity and various other Sunnahs. Therefore to consider these practices sinful/blameworthy is to consider the Islamic acts of worship, charity and Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as sinful/blameworthy. If one consider these innovated practices reprehensible/sinful due to his ignorance and lack of knowledge, without understanding what the implications of his belief are then one is heretic. If one fully understands the implications of his belief and deems the entire praiseworthy innovation as blameworthy/sinful. Including name and the components which make praiseworthy innovation as whole, such as acts of worship, charity and Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then the person is guilty of disbelief, which invalidates belief in Islam. Q16: Salafism judges on label and based on the contents of practice. Both the name and components of practice have to be explicitly stated for it to be permissible. Hence if the name of practice is not found in the Quran and Hadith then according to Salafi methodology the practice is [reprehensible] innovation. How do you respond to this line of argument? Answer: Technically permissibility is not judged on explicit mention of name and methodology of an innovated practice. Explicit name and methodology of a practice is requested when one has to establish if a practice is Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) or not. Anyone asking for explicit evidence of name as well as methodology of an innovated practice to establish permissibility is foolish and unqualified to issue a judgment on aspects related to Islam. If permissibility is established based on name and the content then note that name of Sahih of Imam Bukhari (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has not been mentioned in Quran or in any Hadith and nor there is any explicit named reference for any other Hadith book. Should we prohibit the reading of Ahadith books because these collections are [reprehensible] innovations and warn people against reading these Ahadith books just on the basis that names of these Ahadith collections have not been stated in Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? [3] The label in Islam is not essential for establishing permissibility but the components which make a practice are essential for permissibility. Moving on, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states in Quran regarding the Christian monks that they invented monasticism: “Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy, and monasticism which they innovated We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of Allah. But they did not observe it with due observance. So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are defiantly disobedient.” [Ref: 57:27] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) goes on to state, the monks invented it to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) but they did not act upon their innovation as they should have. From among those who practiced monasticism and believed in the message of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) were rewarded by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). This interpretation is supported by Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (radiallah ta’ala anhu): “(Then We caused Our messengers) one after the other (to follow in their footsteps) to follow Noah and Abraham from their respective offspring; (and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow) these Messengers, (and gave him the Gospel, and placed compassion and mercy) towards each other (in the hearts of those who followed him). (But monasticism they invented) they built monasteries and cloisters to escape the sedition of Paul, the Jew. (We ordained it not for them) We did not enjoin monasticism upon them. (Only seeking Allah's pleasure) they did not invent it except to seek Allah's good pleasure, (and) had We enjoined it upon them (they observed it not with right observance) they would not have given it its right due. (So We give those of them who believe) among the monks (their reward) double for their faith and worship; these are the ones who did not contravene against the religion of Jesus. 24 among these were in the Yemen and when they heard of the Prophet (pbuh) they believed in him and joined his religion, (but many of them) of the monks (are evil-livers) disbelievers, these are the ones who went against the religion of Jesus.” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Abbas, 57:27] This goes on to establish that the name and the practice of monasticism was innovated by the followers of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) but Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) still rewarded those who engaged in monasticism and still believed in teaching of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam). Here we have approval of a practice which was not taught by Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) with name or by method and yet those who adhered to it were rewarded. So based on this precedent we can judge that teaching of a practice by name is not fundamental to establish legitimacy. The verse establishes that if a practice (i.e. monasticism) is not taught [by name or methodology] neither prohibited [by name or methodology] and it is invented to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and observed correctly the reward will be granted by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Q17: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated the religion of Islam has been completed: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Ref: 5:3] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has stated: "Whoever innovates something in this matter (i.e. religion) of ours (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) that is not part of it, will have it rejected." [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] The religion of Islam has been perfected and this means nothing else is required for guidance other than what is revealed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has informed that innovation would be rejected. Considering this evidence, how can it be correct to believe that one can introduce a practice into Islam which would be rewarded? Answer: Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has stated: “He who introduced some good Sunnah (i.e. practice) 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] Therefore one cannot negate the permissibility of reward worthy innovations into Islam and to negate it is heretical and an innovation. Indeed the religion of Islam has been perfected and completed. One must understand that religion of Islam was perfected and completed with the Hadith which states an individual who introduces into Islam a good Sunnah will earn equal reward to those who follow his innovation. The perfection of Islam is not harmed by introduction of good Sunnahs into Islam and if it was affected in any way then the Messenger of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would not have stated contrary to it. Innovations are recognized as later additions and it known that they were/are not part fundamental Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught in his life time. It is also understood that these are not compulsory nor Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Q18: Now question is, why are they said to be part of Islam when it is given that they are not part of [fundamental teaching of] Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught? Answer: Answer to this question has got to do with [logical] semantics therefore it is important one understands the forthcoming point properly. In Arabic language if something (i.e. y) attaches to a part then y would be referred as the part with which it is attached. As an example, Arabs say, his head turned grey, and by this the implied meaning is, his hair turned grey. Even Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used this method. A sign of judgment day is that thigh/leg would speak to a person. Note: the mobile phone is placed in trouser pockets hence it refers to it. Wahhabi sect’s true followers known as ISIS have called their Khariji state as an Islamic state. Question is why have they named it Islamic state? Did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) label it ISIS in His book? Or did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permit the bloodshed, rape, pillage and destruction of lands of Muslims in His book? Or did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) appoint Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as Khalifah in His book? So why is it labelled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? What is Islamic about it? A supporter of these people would argue it is called Islamic because it is based on precepts of Islam. [4] Demonstration of this principle is also obvious in regards to Qadiyanism also known as Ahmadiyyah. Qadiyaniyyah believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (lanatulillah) as Prophet and therefore are out of fold of Islam. Technically Qadiyanism is an independent religion. Yet they are counted amongst the deviants sects of Islam and example of this is at IslamQA Wahhabi website. From these examples we have a principle, y which is connected to or based on z is considered part of z. Using the principle we come to understanding that, innovations are said to be part of Islam because they are based on teaching of Islam and connected to teaching of Islam due to practices which make up an innovation. Hence it is clear that praiseworthy innovations are not part of fundamental Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught but are said to be part of Islam because the foundation of activities is from Islam. Hence these innovated practices do not go against the belief that Islam is perfected and completed. Q19: And what need is there for [praiseworthy] innovations when all that we need to enter paradise is what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught? Answer: It must be said that the book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is enough for guidance and success in this earthly life and in hereafter. Q20: So then there is no need for [praiseworthy] innovations, is it? Answer: Note, all praiseworthy innovations are composed of Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are an example of good deed which he has set to follow, and evidence of this is: "Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah, a good example [of deeds] has been set for the one who seeks Allah, and the Last Day, and [for one who] thinks constantly about Allah." [Ref: 33:21] Emulating Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) itself is a good deed and Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are good deeds with which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is pleased with. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has stated that Muslims should do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, evidence of it is this: “Narrated Aisha: The Prophet said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news, because one's good deeds will not make him enter Paradise." [Ref: Bukhari, B76, H474] Also in another Hadith he instructed to do good deeds within ones capacity because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) rewards without tiring, and following Hadith is evidence: “Do [good] deeds within your capacity because Allah never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H251] Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are part of praiseworthy innovations and his Sunnahs are examples of good deeds, and we are instructed to do good deeds. There is no fundamental need for praiseworthy innovations but these innovations serve an important purpose and that is of accumulating good deeds. Q21: Is there a Shar’ri obligation to act on these [praiseworthy] innovations? Answer: There is absolutely no Shar’ri obligation upon any Muslim to take part in praiseworthy innovations. These praiseworthy innovations are optional practices if practiced then praiseworthy innovations bring reward if avoided bring no blame. Q22: So when there is no need for praiseworthy innovations, nor there is any Shar’ri obligation to act on them, and we can go to paradise without engaging in these [praiseworthy] innovations then why should we create them and why would Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) create room for[praiseworthy] innovations? Answer: I will begin by answering your last question first. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and his beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were aware that no religion remains pure and eventually the teachings of Prophets are distorted as time progresses. As such principles were introduced into Islam and part of these principles is principle of good innovation in Islam being rewarded, and bad innovations being sinful. Based on which his followers can take part in reward worthy practices that emerge after him and discard the sinful innovations. Coming to your first question, even though Muslims do recognize the concept of introducing praiseworthy innovations into Islam yet we do not introduce praiseworthy innovations into Islam at will. If we acted on the principle as given by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then there would have been countless praiseworthy innovations composed of Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). So even we the Muslims recognize the need to holding to Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught in his life time and understand there is no need for praiseworthy innovations. Incase a praiseworthy innovation is introduced we judge based on the principle which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught and as a matter of principle we do not reject praiseworthy innovations because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told of reward for engaging in them. In short, we should not introduce praiseworthy innovations and our focus should be the fundamental Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught. If a praiseworthy innovations is introduced then as Muslims we should not oppose it because as told by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), it is reward worthy. Q23: Coming to those [praiseworthy] innovations which have been passed on by our ancestors such as celebrating the birthday of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Why is so much emphasis put on these [praiseworthy] innovations? Answer: The Khawarij oppose the Muslims because they deem the praiseworthy innovations to be reprehensible innovations and tell Muslims that if they engage in the praiseworthy innovations they will burn in hell. Yet Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told of equal reward for the one who introduces and those who follow his footsteps. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [Ref: 3:110] One can forbid wrong in three ways, use physical force, speak out against it, or declare it in heart to be wrong. Note, the Khawarij prohibit praiseworthy innovations and declare them as sinful and this is wrong because they oppose what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught.[5] We are obliged by the verse of Quran to forbid the Khawarij from declaring something good to be sinful. So we the Muslims speak out against the heretical methodology of Khawarij and their heretical understandings. Sign of best nation from mankind is that they enjoin what is good and we also partake in the right/good innovations because taking part in such innovations also a form of opposition to the Khawarij. Q24: How can the dispute about [praiseworthy] innovations be resolved in your understanding? Answer: Idealistic absolute reconciliation is not possible between the Muslims and Khawarij due to fundamental differences in methodology. If Khawarij accept that the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) have jawami al kalim (i.e. short phrase bearing widest meanings) nature and if their understanding of Ahadith on subject of innovation is corrected then the dispute with Khawarij can be resolved in favor of Muslims. Q25: You don’t believe the definitions of innovation have something to do with the differences? Answer: The Muslims divide innovation into two major categories: praiseworthy and blameworthy. Praiseworthy is which is based on teaching of Quran and Sunnah, and blameworthy is which contradicts the teaching of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Muslim scholars also purposed the definition of innovation which now is bench mark of Khawarij. In this methodology of innovation anything which is not supported from teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with explicit or implied evidence was an innovation. Note in their terminology when a practice is declared as an innovation, it means reprehensible innovation, and praiseworthy innovations were declared as Sunnahs in this methodology.[6] The Khawarij removed condition of implicit evidence (i.e. Ijthadi evidence) and made explicit evidence as the criteria for judging permissibility especially against Muslims. Therefore with minor adjustments this definition can be reconciled with Islamic methodology but in Khariji belief system there is no room for introducing good Sunnah into Islam hence the definition will not be altered to conform to definition of early Islamic scholarship. The difference in definitions of innovations by itself is really significant. The understanding of Ahadith relating to subject of innovation is cause of these definitions and depending on how Ahadith are understood the definition and principles surrounding are derived. So for correct definition the proper understanding of Ahadith relating to subject of innovation is fundamental requirement. Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen. Muhammed Ali Razavi Footnotes: - [1] “Jabir b. Abdullah said: When Allah's Messenger (may peace he upon him) delivered the sermon, his eyes became red, his voice rose, and his anger increased so that he was like one giving a warning against the enemy and saying: "The enemy has made a morning attack on you and in the evening too." He would also say: "The Last Hour and I have been sent like these two." And he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say: "The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." He would further say: I am more dear to a Muslim even than his self; and he who left behind property that is for his family; and he who dies under debt or leaves children (in helplessness), the responsibility (of paying his debt and bringing up his children) lies on me." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] - [2] "And whoever introduces an ضَلاَلَةٍ بِدْعَةَ (i.e. reprehensible innovation) 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] - [3] Please note, permissibility is stated to be only established if name and content both are stated if one of the two is missing then according to Salafi methodology the innovated practice is [reprehensible] innovation. - [4] Note, these people have nothing do with religion of Islam. Wahhabi’s are all upon the methodology of Khawarij and about Khawarij Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said they are people of Kufr. - [5] “That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever opposes Allah - then indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” [Ref: 59:4] “Do they not know that whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger - that for him is the fire of Hell, wherein he will abide eternally? That is the great disgrace.” [Ref: 9:63] - [6] Not Sunnah in meaning of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but Sunnah in meaning of good reward worthy Sunnah: “He who introduced some good Sunnah (i.e. practice) 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]
  6. Introduction: Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has reportedly stated, one who introduces into Islam a good Sunnah he/she will be rewarded and those who act on this good Sunnah will also receive equal reward, Hadith: “He who introduced some good practice 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] From the literal reading of the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) it is clear that it is permissible to introduce into Islam good Sunnahs/Biddahs and to follow them. If it was impermissible to introduce good Sunnahs/Biddahs into Islam then Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would not have told of reward. The Muslims believe the literal implications of this Hadith and accept all interpretations that can be derived according to historical context. Prophetic teaching is that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been granted ‘Jawami Al Kalim’ meaning the ability to express vast meanings in few sentences. Hence the multiple interpretations of this Hadith are in agreement with this nature of prophetic words hence all are valid. Now, the opponents of religion of Islam argue against the literal implications and interpret the Hadith in historical context in order to negate the understanding of Muslims. Their understanding is; in a gathering where people are reluctant to give charity, one who gives charity and those who follow his example all will receive equal reward. Readers should note, this is article is continuation of response given to brother Sa’id Imtiaz, here and here. Evidence For Validity Of Holding To Literal Meaning Of Prophetic Words: Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave following instruction to a group of Sahabah after returning from the battle of Al Ahzab: “None of you Muslims should offer the Asr prayer but at Banu Quraiza's place.” While they were travelling toward the tribe of Quraiza the Hadith records: “The Asr prayer became due for some of them on the way.” This divided the companions into two groups, one group said: “We will not offer it till we reach it, the place of Banu Quraiza.” While the other group said: “No, we will pray at this spot, for the Prophet did not mean that for us.” The Hadith goes on to record that the difference of opinion was brought to attention of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) who did not rebuke either group: “Later on it was mentioned to the Prophet and he did not berate any of the two groups.” [Ref: Bukhari, B59, H445] Position Of Both Group Of Companions On This Matter: The first group acted on the literal instructions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and did not perform Asr prayer. They second group of companions via Ijtihad came to conclusion that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was not preventing them from performing Asr prayer on the way but he was instructing them to travel quickly and reach the destination before Asr prayer and then perform the Asr prayer. So they realized they will not reach destination before the Asr prayer time expires and worship of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is more important then reaching a destination quickly hence they decided to perform the prayers on the way: “… (Some) people being afraid that the time for prayer would expire, said their prayers before reaching the street of Banu Quraiza.” [Ref: Muslim, B19, H4374] The other group they said: “We will not offer it till we reach it, the place of Banu Quraiza.” [Ref: Bukhari, B59, H445] “We will not say our prayer except where the Messenger of Allah has ordered us to say it even if the time expires.” [Ref: Muslim, B19, H4374] This establishes one group of companions held to literal instructions and made no Ijtihad hence did not perform prayers on the way to destination and also establishes one group of companions did engage in Ijtihad and performed prayers on the way to said destination. Reaction Of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) To This Difference: Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim record the following words regarding this difference of opinion between the companions: ”When he learned of the difference in the view of the two groups of the people, the Messenger of Allah did not blame anyone from the two groups.” [Ref: Muslim, B19, H4374] “Later on it was mentioned to the Prophet and he did not berate any of the two groups.” [Ref: Bukhari, B59, H445] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) not correcting any group indicates both groups of companions were correct in their approach because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, and he is able to change it with his hand, then change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, (do so) with his tongue then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B5, H1275] Disobedience to command of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is form of Munkir (i.e. evil/wrong) hence Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would have clearly pointed out the error of Ijtihad if there was any. Therefore the conclusion both groups were correct in their understanding is established. The Principle Derived From Incident Of Banu Quraiza: From this historical event it is established; literal implications of prophetic words and interpreted implications derived using tool of Ijtihad are both be correct. If any of the two interpretations of prophetic words was in contradiction with Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) teaching he would have corrected the wrong party. An important point, both groups were correct hence Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) methodology is of literal and reinterpretation. Hadith Of Good Sunnah In Light Of Approved Methodologies: Understanding the prophetic words literally and acting upon them as Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) instructed is established. Also reinterpreting the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in light of other evidence is also established. The following prophetic words now can be understood according Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) approved methodologies: “He who introduced some good practice 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] The literal reading of Hadith establishes reward for introducing good Sunnahs/Biddahs into Islam and which is akin to establishing permissibility of introducing good Sunnahs/Biddah into Islam. The reinterpreting methodology establishes reward for engaging in prophetic Sunnahs which people are reluctant to practice and this is akin to granting permission for engaging in prophetic Sunnahs which people are reluctant to engage. Conclusion: Prophetic words are according to ‘Jawami Al Kalim’ nature hence they can be interpreted differently depending on the evidence. From the Hadith of Bani Quraiza it was deduced that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) approved the actions of two groups of companions who differed over the meaning of prophetic words. One group held to the literal meaning of words while the other reinterpreted the words and came to different understanding. As a result one group did not perform their prayers until they reached their destination while the other performed it on the way to destination. In context of objective of this article it is important to point out; the Muslims in regards to the Hadith of good Sunnah hold to the literal meaning and consider it permissible to create good Sunnah/Biddahs and introduce them into Islam with hope of gaining reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), while accepting the interpretation presented by opponents of Islam. It is important to point out, we the Muslims accept the interpretation of Hadith in discussion but not their understanding of; it is not permitted to introduce good innovations into Islam.
  7. Introduction: According to the principles of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat innovative practices which are based on Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) are praiseworthy innovations for which there will be reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) if they are followed by people. Especially if the innovative practices are combinations of acts of worship[1], combines acts of charity[2] and serves as a means of spreading Islamic knowledge. The Khawarij and those influenced by Kharijite definition of innovation, oppose the Muslims and hold to position; every practice, festivity, custom, which was [not mentioned explicitly by name and method of enacting it was not taught and] not sanctioned by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) is [reprehensible] innovation. Every Innovation Is Misguidance They Say: Commonly the following Ahadith are quoted by opponents to refute position of Ahle Sunnat, the Ahadith: “Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error." [Ref: Abu Dawood, B40, H4590] “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is error." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] From lingustic point of view anything which did not exist in the time of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) would be innovation. From Shar’i perspective innovation is everything which contradicts principles of deen and which is not sanctioned by deen, Ahadith establish this: “He who did any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected.” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected." [Ref: Bukhari B49, H861] “He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) and these are to be rejected.” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] Therefore from Shar’i perspective innovation is every newly-invented belief, action, object which goes against the principles of Deen and is not in harmony with teaching of Deen. Hence every such novelty is innovation and every such innovation is an misguidance, and every such misguidance takes to hellfire. To argue every innovation is misguidances without restricting ‘every’ to specific type of innovation [which I have defined above] would establish contradiction between the Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam). Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) has reportedly said: “He who introduced some good practice 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] “He who called (people) to righteous (i.e. innovation), there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6470] If every innovation was misguidance which took to hell then why would he inform the companions of reward for introducing good practices in Islam! This evidence supports the understanding that ‘every’ is not unrestricted but restricted to particular type of innovation [which contradicts the principles of Deen and which has no sanction in Deen]. Therefore the understanding of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat about the newly-invented practices is correct because neither of these practices in reality and in essence contradict any aspect of Deen. Instead these customs, practices, festivities, in essence contained acts of worship, charity, and serve as platform for spread of Islamic knowledge hence they accord the Prophetic guidelines. Heretics Advance A New Argument: The opponents of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat have advanced a new argument; there is no good innovation even if the people something good in some innovative custom, practice or festivity. There this argument is based on th following Hadith: “Abdullaah Ibn 'Umar (radi allahu anhu) said, "Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good."[3] Presenting their position in bit more detail; any innovated festivity, custom, practice, even if it contains acts of worship, charity, and is source of Islamic education, even then it is still a innovation. Despite all these it is without any goodness it and is misguidance which takes to hell fire. The simple response to this argument is; innovation in Shari’a is defined as acts, beliefs or activities which contradicts and go against the principles of Deen, and which has no sanction in deen, therefore such innovations are misguidance even if the people see good in them. Hadhrat Abu Bakr Disagrees And Then Agrees With Hadhrat Umar: After the death of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) there was mass apostasy from Islam. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) decided to take action against the apostates. The result was numerous battles fought in Arabian Peninsula which are now known as ‘Apostasy Wars’. During one such battle the Muslim army fighting Musailma the Liar had suffered major causualties including seventy companions who had memorized the Quran. After this battle Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) visited Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and said: "Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the! Qur'an (i.e. those who knew the Qur'an by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yalmama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur'an be collected." In response to this suggestion Hadhrat Abu Bakr said: “Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) responded by saying: "By Allah, that is a good project.” The Hadith continues to narrate words of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu): "`Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which `Umar had realized." Upon realizing the importance of preserving the Quranic script Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) called Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu). After narrating the discussion between him and Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) he said to him: “You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger. So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur'an and collect it in one book.” Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu) then said to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu): "How will you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?" Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) replied to him by saying: "By Allah, it is a good project.” Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu) further narrated: “Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and `Umar.”[4] Investigating The Incident In Light Of Teaching Of Islam: Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) refused to carry out something which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) did not do himself, citing the very same reason. Why would Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) refused to collect the Quranic script? Was the mentioned reason: “Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" the only reason on basis of which he refused or is there more to it? There is more going then what meets the eye. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) must have been aware of the following Hadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam): “It was narrated from Abdullah bin Mas'ud that the Messenger of Allah said: "Verily there are two things - words and guidance. The best words are the words of Allah, and the best guidance in the guidance of Muhammad. Beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going-stray.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H46] And the following Hadith specificly refers to leaders of Muslims: “It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud that the Prophet said: “Among those in charge of you, after I am gone, will be men who extinguish the Sunnah and follow innovation. They will delay the prayer from its proper time.” I said: “O Messenger of Allah, if I live to see them, what should I do?” He said: “You ask me, O Ibn ‘Abd, what you should do? There is no obedience to one who disobeys Allah.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B24, H2865] Hence his reluctance was based on the understanding that if he collects the Quran in a book format then he would be introducing a reprehensible innovation.[5] Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of the Ahadith known to Hadrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and he also knew that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is also familiar with the following Hadith: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever introduces a good practice 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. And whoever introduces a bad practice that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] Hence he responded to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) by saying: "By Allah, that is a good project.” [Ref: Bukhari, B61, H509] Afterwards Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu) questioned the collection of Quran and after much effort he was convinced that collection of Quran into book format was a good act. Responding To - Every Innovation Misguidance Even If Good: Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu), Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu) agreed to do something which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) did not instruct or himself did. They saw good in collecting the Quran into book format after initial resistance. After realizing the suggestion of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is a good suggestion and collection of Quran as a book is a good thing both companions agreed to carry out this task. If the following Hadith is taken literally then collection of Quran was misguidance even though three companions saw good in it : "Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good." Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) restarted a practice which all the companions stopped because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) stopped it. Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) collected all the people in Masjid under one Qari and remarked: “… 'Umar remarked, 'What an excellent innovation this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, …”[6] This indicates Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced a innovation. Now if it is accepted that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) had performed Taraweeh prayers and Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was merely reviving the Sunnah of Taraweeh prayers. Then the innovation is reintroducing something which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) stopped (– i.e. Taraweeh under one Imam). Based on the literalism of the Hadith if every innovation is misguidance despite one seeing goodness it the innovation then Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) excellent innovation was misguidance. A Fair Argument Against Injustice Of Heretics: If a innovation is good by its nature even though Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) did not do and which companions did not do then that innovation will remain a good innovation even if the people don’t see good in it. Especially if the innovation is based on the principle of worship and principle of charitiable deeds. The goodness of acts, beliefs, practices, customs, festivities, is judged on the criteria if the asal (i.e. foundation) is found in Quran/Sunnah. The praiseworthy innovations which Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) suggested he will be rewareded, according to following Hadith: : “He who introduced some good practice 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] The misguidance of acts, beliefs, practices, customs, festivities, is determined by if the activities/beliefs contradict the Quran and Sunnah. If a festivity, custom, practice, act is against the explicit Shar’i injunctions then such will remain misguidance even if the people see good in it. To sum it all, any innovation which contradicts any principle or teaching of Islam, a act which was not sanctioned in deen, and for which there was no valid reason then such innovations are misguidance even if the people see something good in them. Conclusion: Every innovation is not evil because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) has informed of reward for those who innovate good practices. Secondly if every innovation was misguidance or error even if the people see something good in it then compilation of Quran and Hadhrat Umars’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) collecting the people of Masjid under one Qari would be without any good and a misguidance. Not just the literalist understanding of the Hadith contradicts another Hadith which states one who innovates praiseworthy practice for him there is reward and those who follow the invented practice get equale amount of reward. Hence the meaning of Hadith is; every innovation which contradicts principles of Islam and contains acts which are not from Sunnah nor does it have a valid reason then such innovation is misguidance and without goodness. This explanation of the Hadith in the light of other Ahadith detracts nothing from position of Ahle Sunnat but rather defends and supports it. Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen. Muhammed Ali Razavi. Footnotes: - [1] Such as performing of Nawafil, recitation of Quran, invoking Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in dua. - [2] Such as inviting the poor as well as family members and then for sake of Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) pleasure provide them with food. - [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] “Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people! of Yamama had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet's Companions who fought against Musailama). (I went to him) and found `Umar bin Al- Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), "`Umar has come to me and said: "Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the! Qur'an (i.e. those who knew the Qur'an by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yalmama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur'an be collected." I said to `Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" `Umar said, "By Allah, that is a good project. "Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which `Umar had realized." Then Abu Bakr said (to me). 'You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Messenger. So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur'an and collect it in one book)." By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, "How will you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?" Abu Bakr replied, "By Allah, it is a good project." Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and `Umar. So I started looking for the Qur'an and collecting it from (what was written on) palmed stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last Verse of Surat at-Tauba (Repentance) with Abi Khuza`ima Al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The Verse is: 'Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty..(till the end of Surat-Baraa' (at-Tauba) (9.128-129) Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur'an remained with Abu Bakr till he died, then with `Umar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of `Umar.” [Ref: Bukhari, B61, H509] - [5] There can be absolutely no other reason to refuse to collect the Quran in a single book format apart from being responsible for introducing a reprehensible innovation. There could be no other motive for Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to question and argue against the suggestion. If they didn’t fear introducing innovation then did they fear the kids will learn the Quran? Or did they fear that by making the Quran available in written form will result in education of everyone? Common sense dictates their fears was that they may be guilty of introducing innovation into deen and their reasoning was simple; Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) did not do it so why should I/we? I can almost hear Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu) saying to Hadhrat Umar(radiallah ta’ala anhu); if there was any goodness in it then Messenger (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) would have instructed us to carry out the task in his life time. - [6] “Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said: "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, 'Umar said, 'In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)'. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked, 'What an excellent Bid'a (i.e. innovation in religion) 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]