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    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      Muslims believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is Shahid (i.e. Hadhir Nazir). The opponents of Islam argue against this belief on the basis of their Satanic logic. Anti Hadhir Nazir arguments are composed of, or based on, half-baked truths. Following is one such argument which was presented during a discussion on this subject.

      Argument Against Hadhir And Nazir:

      Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "You will be gathered, bare-footed, naked and not circumcised." He then recited: “As We began the first creation, We, shall repeat it: A Promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.” (21:104) He added, "The first to be dressed on the day of resurrection will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side and I will say: My companions! My companions!  It will be said: 'They renegade from Islam after you left them.' Then I will say as the pious slave of Allah said. 'And I was a Shaheed over them while I dwelt amongst them. When you took me up you were the Raqeeb over them, and you are a Shaheed to all things. If you punish them they are your slaves. And if you forgive them, Verily you, only you are the all-Mighty, the all-Wise." (5:117/118) [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H568] This establishes Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is not Shahid/Shaheed (i.e. Hadhir Nazir). If he was he would know that these people abandoned Islam after his death and were no longer his companions but they are apostates.

      Methodology Of Refutation:

      In order to refute the allegation we will have to establish that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knew during his life time and will know on the judgment day that they are not companions but apostates. The other part connected to this is; why would Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) say these people are my companions when it is obvious they were not his companions. Answering this question would further clarify the confusion and if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits a separate article will be written to give number of reasons.

      Prophet Knew They Are Not Companions:

      Following Hadith establishes that the apostates were amongst the companions: “Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor at the Lake-Fount and some men amongst you will be brought to me, and when I will try to hand them some water, they will be pulled away from me by force. Whereupon I will say: 'O Lord, my companions!' Then the Almighty will say, 'You do not know what they did after you left, they introduced new things into the religion after you.'" [Ref: Bukhari, B88, H173] Following Ahadith explains that the ‘you’ is directed toward companions: “Narrated Ibn Al-Musaiyab: The companions of the Prophet said, "Some men from my companions will come to my Lake-Fount and they will be driven away from it, and I will say, 'O Lord, my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left: they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).” [Ref: Bukhari, B76, H586] “Some men from my companions will be brought and taken towards the left side, whereupon I will say, 'O Lord, (these are) my companions!' It will be said, 'You do not know what new things they introduced (into the religion) after you.' I will then say as the righteous pious slave …." [Ref: Bukhari, B65, H4740] We have established Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has made distinction between his companions and apostates by saying, some men from my companions will be taken toward the left side. This indicates Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in the world knew they would be apostates and not companions. Also the Hadith itself is proof that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knew they would be apostates because he has informed us of an event taking place in distant future. Once he refers to them as his companions Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will pose a rhetorical question as to remind him about the identity of the men: “... Allah's Messenger said: I would be on the Cistern so that I would be seeing those who would be coming to me from you, but some people would be detained (before reaching me). I would say: My Lord, they are my followers and belong to my Ummah, and it would be said to me:فَيُقَالُ أَمَا شَعَرْتَ مَا عَمِلُوا بَعْدَكَ وَاللَّهِ مَا بَرِحُوا بَعْدَكَ يَرْجِعُونَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ (i.e. Don’t you know what they did after you?) By Allah, they did not do good after you, and they turned back upon their heels. He …” [Ref: Muslim, B30, H5684] Then Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will remember the Kufri innovations of the men and the identities.

      Prophet Will Recognize Apostates And They Will Recognize Him:

      Hadith states Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would recognize the apostates and they would recognize him on day of judgment: " The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor (forerunner) at the Lake-Fount, and whoever will pass by there, he will drink from it and whoever will drink from it, he will never be thirsty. There will come to me some people, whom I will recognize, and they will recognize me, but a barrier will be placed between me and them.” [Ref: Bukhari, B76, H585] Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "While I was sleeping, a group (of my followers were brought close to me), and when I recognized them, a man (an angel) came out from amongst (us) me and them … Then behold! (Another) group (of my followers) were brought close to me, and when I recognized them, a man (an angel) came out from (me and them) he said (to them); Come along.' I asked: "Where?' He said, 'To the Fire, by Allah.' I asked, What is wrong with them?' He said …” [Ref: Bukhari, B76, H587] Further confirmation of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) recognizing the apostates and proof of apostates recognizing Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is in the following Hadith: "One will say: O Muhammad! I am so son of so. Another will say:  O Muhammad! I am so son of so. I will say; without doubt I recognize your ancestry but you innovated after me and you became apostates by turning on your heels."[1] [Ref: Msnd Ahmad, Baqi Msnd Al Muksireen, Sa’id Khudri, Hadith 11284]They will address Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by his name indicating they have recognized him and he will recognize them and will know about their ancestry and will be aware of their apostasy.

      The Apostates Are The Leaders/Creators Of Kufri Innovations:

      The Ahadith reveal those who were being turned away from the Hawd Al Kauthar were originators of innovations [in other words leaders of heretical sects] and this is evident from the rhetorical tone of question being asked: “Then some men from among my Ummah will be brought and will be taken toward the left. I will say: 'O Lord, my companions.' It will be said: 'Do you not know what they innovated after you were gone?’ And I shall say what the righteous slave said: 'And I was witness over … If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily, You, only You, are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.' And it will be said: 'These people kept turning away since you left them.'" [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H2089] Question itself implies that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knew they created innovations which resulted in their apostasy. Similar meaning can also be taken from the following Hadith: "... Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I shall be your harbinger on the Reservoir {Al Kauthar}; therefore, be cautious lest one of you should come (to me) and may be driven away like a stray camel. I would ask the reasons, and it would be said to me: You don't know what innovations they made after you? And I would then also say: Be away.” [Ref: Muslim, B30, H5686] It is recorded in Hadith of Hudhayfah Ibn Al-Yaman (radiallah ta’ala anhu) that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will knows names of innovators, tribe they will belong to, and names of their: “I swear by Allah, I do not know whether my companions have forgotten or have been made to forget. I swear by Allah that the Apostle of Allah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) did not omit in his mention leader of any fitnah to appear up till the end of the world – each would have followers the number of three hundred and upwards, and he mentioned to us his name, his father's name and the name of his tribe.” [Ref: Abu Dawood, B35, H4231] And it is based on this earthly knowledge Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will know the names of innovators, tribes, and names of their fathers when these innovators approach him on the Hawd. And proof of this is in the following Hadith: "One will say: O Muhammad! I am so son of so. Another will say:  O Muhammad! I am so son of so. I will say; without doubt I recognize your ancestry but you innovated after me and you became apostates by turning on your heels." [Ref: Msnd Ahmad, Baqi Msnd Al Muksireen, Sa’id Khudri, Hadith 11284]

      Conclusion:

      It is obvious that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knew in his earthly life that those being turned away from Hawd Al Kawthar are not his companions but apostates who introduced Kufri innovations. Also on judgment day Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will know the people being prevented from reaching him are apostates. He will also know the names of these innovators, the tribes they belonged to, and will know the names of their fathers on judgment day. It is also evident that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will recognize them and they will recognize him on the day of judgment. Hence there is no chance of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) not being truly aware of the reality of these people. At the very minimum it has been soundly established that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not address them as companions due to lack of knowledge about their innovations and apostasy. It is yet to be established, the reasons due to which he referred to apostates as his companions and that if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits will be explained in another article, here.

      Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
      Muhammed Ali Razavi

      Footnotes:

      - [1]"You think my nearness to my tribe will not benefit them? By Allah, nearness to me [via blood relation] will be rewarded on earth and in hereafter. On judgment day a tribe will be raised who will be ordered to go toward the left. One will say: O Muhammad! I am so son of so. Another will say:  O Muhammad! I am so son of so. I will say; without doubt I recognize your ancestry but you innovated after me and you became apostates by turning on your heels." [Ref: Msnd Ahmad, Baqi Msnd Al Muksireen, Sa’id Khudri, Hadith 11284]
    • By Ali_Nazar
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    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      Muslims believe companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced praiseworthy innovations/practices into religion of Islam. One such innovation was introduced by Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) in form Taraweeh prayer during the month of Ramadhan. Our opponents believe there is no such a thing as praiseworthy innovation in Islam. Hence they argue Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) only revived/reinstated a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Therefore the objective of this article would be to present the Islamic position in light of Islamic sources and critically examine evidence of anti-Islamic elements to demonstrate their misguided belief.

      Ahadith At The Centre Of Dispute:

      “Malik related to me from Ibn Shihab from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said, "I went out with Umar ibn alKhattab in Ramadhan to the mosque and the people there were spread out in groups. Some men were praying by themselves, whilst others were praying in small groups. Umar said, 'By Allah! It would be better in my opinion if these people gathered behind one reciter.' So he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Kab. Then I went out with him another night and the people were praying behind their Qur'an reciter. Umar said, نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. How excellent this innovation is!) 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] “Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadhan 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)’. 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 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]

      Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s Position On The Issue:

      “When Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) was the Khalifah, he collected the Muslims to pray in congregation for Tarawih prayers, and said, "What a good bid'ah this is." [bukhari] From this, they derive their belief of a good innovation. Firstly, it becomes necessary to explain the context of what happened. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) first emigrated to Madeenah, the Muslims prayed tarawih individually, and then for three nights they prayed in congregation behind the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). After this, he stopped them doing so saying, "I feared that it would become obligatory upon you." So after this the Muslims would pray individually or in small congregations throughout the rule of Abu Bakr, and the beginning of Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) rule. Then Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) came to the masjid and saw the Muslims praying in small groups behind different Imams, so he collected them together in one congregation behind one Imam and made the aforementioned statement [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227]. So how can this action of 'Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) be understood to be a new act of worship when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) did it during his lifetime? Secondly, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the reason why he stopped the congregational prayer, because revelation was still descending, and he feared that praying in congregation might become obligatory upon his nation and hence make the religion hard upon them. After the death of Rasulallaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) revelation ceased so this concern was no longer necessary.  Hence Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) reinstated the Tarawih prayer in congregation during his rule because he knew that his action could not be made obligatory upon the Ummah. Thirdly, all the companions agreed upon this action of ‘Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu), thus there was a consensus (ijma) on it. And the scholars of Usool (fundamental principles) have stated that ijma cannot occur except when there is a clear text for it in the Sharee'ah. So what is the correct understanding of 'Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) words, "a good bid’ah”? The word bid'ah here is to be understood in its linguistic sense, "something new," because Tarawih in one congregation was not present during the rule of Abu Bakr (raddi Allaahu anhu) and the beginning of 'Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) rule, hence in that sense it was something new. The Sharee'ah sense (defined earlier) cannot be understood here because it does not fulfil the conditions of being a new act of worship. Abu Yusuf said, "I asked Abu Hanifah about the tarawih and what 'Umar did and he said, 'The tarawih is a stressed Sunnah, and 'Umar did not do that from his own opinion, nor was there in his action any innovation, and he did not enjoin it except that there was a foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.'" (Sharh Mukhtaar as quoted from him in al- Ibdaa of Shaikh Ali Mahfooz P80) [Ref: MuslimConverts]

      Common Ground Between Position Of Muslims And Anti-Islam Element:

      It is true that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had performed Taraweeh for three days consecutively and on the fourth night did not attend the Masjid, and next day he informed the companions that he did not lead them in prayers because he felt it will be made compulsory. Following Hadith is evidence of this: "Allah's Messenger went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah's Messenger came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the morning-prayer. When the morning-prayer was finished he recited Tashah-hud and said, "Amma ba'du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on." So, Allah's Apostle died and the situation remained like that." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H229] The last part of Hadith high-lighted indicates that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not lead the companions for Taraweeh prayers after first three days. This establishes Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to perform Taraweeh in congregation, under leadership of a Qari is for three days.

      Taraweeh Is Not A New Act Of Worship:

      Our Shaikh writes: “Then Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) came to the masjid and saw the Muslims praying in small groups behind different Imams, so he collected them together in one congregation behind one Imam and made the aforementioned statement [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227]. So how can this action of Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) be understood to be a new act of worship when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) did it during his lifetime?” Did we claim that Taraweeh was new act of worship? Your question is based on your faulty understanding that we believe Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced an innovation. Saying it emphatically, we Muslims do not believe Taraweeh is new act of worship. We believe that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) took a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and issued it for entire month. This brought about recitation of entire Quran and Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam for entire month. This action of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was without precedent of prophetic Sunnah hence it is نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ (i.e. excellent innovation) سُنَّةَ خَيْرٍ (i.e. good precedent), سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good practice), سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. righteous practice) and there is reward for one who issued it for entire month and for those who follow it.[1]

      Hadhrat Umar’s Reinstating Taraweeh:

      Our Shaikh writes: “Secondly, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the reason why he stopped the congregational prayer, because revelation was still descending, and he feared that praying in congregation might become obligatory upon his nation and hence make the religion hard upon them. After the death of Rasulallaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) revelation ceased so this concern was no longer necessary. Hence Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) reinstated the Tarawih prayer in congregation during his rule because he knew that his action could not be made obligatory upon the Ummah.” Firstly, it is agreed by both parties that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not wish to make religion hard for his followers therefore he abstained from Taraweeh after the initial three days. Secondly, Shaikh claims Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) reinstated a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Reinstate, means to restore something to former position or state. He would be reinstating prophetic Sunnah of Taraweeh if the amount was three days lead by an Imam. Or if Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had left instructions saying, after my departure from this world reintroduce the Qiyam/Taraweeh for entire month of Ramadhan. He took a prophetic Sunnah and increased number of days for which it is performed – entire month of Ramadhan, with an Imam leading, reciting entire Quran and declaring that he ‘reinstated’ the Taraweeh prayer in congregation is deception. Thirdly, our Shaikh should be presenting evidence to justify why Taraweeh prayer is not innovation in religion of Islam, or why Taraweeh is not innovation in terms of Shari’ah. The reason given, why Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) reintroduced Taraweeh – ceasing of revelation is relative between Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu).[2] Does this reason justify the Salafi/Wahhabi belief; Taraweeh is not an innovation in terms of Shari’ah? This point is hardly an argument in defense Salafi/Wahhabi position. Shaikh attributed to Imam Ash-Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) the following statement: "Whoever declares something to be good he has declared it part of Shari’ah." [Ref: ar-Risala] Hence it would be appropriate to respond to him with something from him. Judging on this statement one is forced to admit Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced an excellent innovation into Shari’ah. Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) had following position regarding the Taraweeh prayers being initiated for entire month: “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][3] This establishes Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) believed Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had introduced an innovation but it did not contradict teaching of Islam and such innovations are considered praiseworthy innovations.

      Companions Agreed Upon Action Of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’al anhu):

      Our Shaikh wrote: “Thirdly, all the companions agreed upon this action of Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu), thus there was a consensus (ijma) on it. And the scholars of Usool (fundamental principles) have stated that ijma cannot occur except when there is a clear text for it in the Sharee'ah.” There are two points that need to be addressed here. Firstly, Ijma does not require clear text from Quran or Sunnah. Rather Ijma on something which the Muslim scholars come to agree on even if the evidence of it is implicit would be valid based on the Hadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) which states: “Anas bin Malik said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘My nation will not unite on misguidance, so if you see them differing, follow the great majority.’” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B36, H3950] Ijma can only be beneficial if it is based on issues which are lacking strong evidence and scholars come to reconcile them via indirect evidences. There is no need for Ijma on issues which are stated in clear emphatic texts. Coming to issue of Taraweeh, it is clearly established that the Sunnah Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was to lead Taraweeh for three days as an Imam, and then Taraweeh was abandoned in single Jammat form. Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) issued it for entire month under leadership of an Imam. Considering these facts it is obvious our Shaikh is fabricating Ijma to support his position. Where is the clear text on which companions agreed upon full Ramadhan month Taraweeh deeming it to be prophetic Sunnah? Bring forward your proof if you are truthful. Absence of proof for your claim can be used to argue; Ijma of companions over full month Taraweeh was based on the fact that it is a praiseworthy innovation/practice, evidence of which has been quoted in footnote one.

      Word Innovation Is Used In Linguistic Sense:

      Shaikh has conceded that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) only performed it for three days, here: “When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) first emigrated to Madeenah, the Muslims prayed tarawih individually, and then for three nights they prayed in congregation behind the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). After this, he stopped them doing so saying …” Shaikh also writes that Taraweeh under single Imam was absent during time of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Khilafat: “… because Tarawih in one congregation was not present during the rule of Abu Bakr (raddi Allaahu anhu) and the beginning of Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) rule, hence in that sense it was something new.” In other words Shaikh agrees that, prophetic Sunnah of Taraweeh was three days because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) led the prayers as Imam for only three days and then it was abandoned. After which it was not performed under leadership an Imam during the Khilafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) neither in the beginning period of Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Khilafat. Considering meaning of innovation in linguistic sense (i.e. something new, something new which does not have a precedent), and in Shar’i sense of something new which does not have precedent from Quran or Sunnah, one is forced to conclude that Taraweeh as performed, is a praiseworthy innovation for following reasons. It is performed for entire month of Ramadhan, under leadership of an Imam/Qari, and recitation of entire Quran takes place. Therefore Shaikh’s saying that usage of نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ by Hadhrat Umar was in linguistic sense is grand lie: “The word bid'ah here is to be understood in its linguistic sense, "something new," because Tarawih in one …”

      Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) Said Its Not Innovation:

      Shaikh wrote: “The Sharee'ah sense (defined earlier) cannot be understood here because it does not fulfil the conditions of being a new act of worship. Abu Yusuf said, "I asked Abu Hanifah about the tarawih and what 'Umar did and he said, 'The tarawih is a stressed Sunnah, and 'Umar did not do that from his own opinion, nor was there in his action any innovation, and he did not enjoin it except that there was a foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.'" [Sharh Mukhtaar as quoted from him in al- Ibdaa of Shaikh Ali Mahfooz p80] It is hard for to accept what is being attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) because Salafi’s are known for altering texts of classical books so the point of view expressed conforms to their sectarian understanding. Note my explanation is not authentication of the statement attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). My comments are valid if the statement is verified and genuinely attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). There are number of things which need to be pointed out. Firstly, Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) used a definition of innovation according to which anything which is established from indirect/implicit evidence is not innovation even if part of it is established. His definition of innovation was: Any action/belief which can be established from Quran/Sunnah via implicit or via generality is not an innovation. And the opposite was: Any action/belief of which there is no Asal (i.e. foundation - explicit or implicit evidence) such is innovation. There is clear evidence of Qiyam/Taraweeh being performed under leadership of an Imam. Imam being Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) hence it was prophetic Sunnah for three days. According to Imam Abu Hanifah’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation Taraweeh would not be innovation even if it was performed for entire month of Ramadhan or just three days because the foundation of it exits. Following article sheds some light onto the methodology employed by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and explains why he did not deem it as innovation, here. Secondly, the statement of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) is to be understood in following meaning: “Abu Yusuf said, "I asked Abu Hanifah about the Tarawih [being Sunnah of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam] and what Umar did [in form of gathering people under one Qari] and he [Abu Hanifa] said, 'The Tarawih is a stressed Sunnah, and 'Umar did not do that from his own opinion, nor was there in his action any innovation [because Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam lead Taraweeh as an Imam for three days and companions followed him], and he did not enjoin it [for entire month of Ramadhan] except that there was a [Ijtihadi] foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam [in form of follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of rightly guided Khulafah].” There is reason for this, Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) only commented on the concept of Taraweeh being Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). He did not state Taraweeh for entire month of Ramadhan had foundation in Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Rather his statement is to be understood in light of fact that there is no evidence that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) ever performed Taraweeh for entire month. Hence the foundation being stated is of Ijtihad, and Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Ijtihad to issue Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam for entire month of Ramadhan is praiseworthy innovation because prophetic Sunnah is of three days. Thirdly, did Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) perform Taraweeh for entire Ramadhan? Even our Shaikh Abu Rumaysah agrees that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed it for three days. Shar’i meaning of innovation are, something which is new and without precedent in book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Entire month Ramadhan Taraweeh under leadership of a Qari is without precedent hence an innovation, and in words of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) excellent innovation. Fourthly, note the strategy used by Shaikh to strengthen his position. When it suited his interest he quoted Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) or at the least he thought so and ignored Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). He was aware that Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) used a definition of innovation according to which Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced a praiseworthy innovation. Please take note of it for the second time: “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] Fifthly, after Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had introduced Taraweeh for entire month, and people had followed it hence he declared it as an excellent innovation because he knew the saying of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) regarding introducing good innovations/practices: “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] And he was aware what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had stated regarding introducing evil innovations: “And whoever ابْتَدَعَ بِدْعَةً(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] “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] So he wanted it to be known his innovation was praiseworthy and not blameworthy.

      Islamic Understanding Of The Matter:

      Hadith records Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) attended Masjid in month of Ramadhan and decided to gather the companions under Hadhrat Ubayy ibn Kab (radiallah ta’ala anhu). When he attended the Masjid again he saw the practice had taken its root amongst the companions hence he remarked it was excellent innovation. It is established Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed Taraweeh as an Imam for three days. Yet Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) instructed Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam for entire month and this was excellent innovation of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu). Note, there are two excellent innovations, i) Taraweeh being performed for extra 26/27 days, ii) 26/27 days of Taraweeh with an Imam. Also note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) must have recited number of chapters of Quran. In 26/27 extra days of Taraweeh prayers from first Surah to last is recited, and this certainly is another excellent innovation. Hence Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) can be accredited with three excellent innovations. The Shar’ri meaning of innovation is that which does not have precedent in Quran or Sunnah. Considering the meaning of innovation and following details of Taraweeh prayers it is evident, performing Taraweeh for entire month, under leadership of a Qari, reciting entire Quran [and more], is without prophetic precedent hence it is an innovation in terms of Shari’ah. This realization leads Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to exclaim, what an excellent innovation Taraweeh prayers is.

      Conclusion:

      Servant has established Taraweeh for entire month of Ramadhan, and under leadership of a Qari, and recitation of Quran from the beginning till the end, is an excellent innovation because there was no prophetic precedent in form of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Statement of Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) supports the position of Muslims; Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced an excellent innovation. Also according to criteria of Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) to declare something good is to make it part of Shari’ah hence Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made Taraweeh via Ijtihad a part of religion of Islam.[4] Statement of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has been reconciled via point of Ijtihad to Islamic position because basis of Ijtihad in this context is innovation hence outcome of Ijtihad of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was praiseworthy innovation.

      Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
      Muhammed Ali Razavi

      Footnotes:

      - [1] “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] “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] "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]

      - [2] Didn’t the revelation cease during the time of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu)? Did he not know that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is the last/final Prophet and Messenger, and there is no Messenger or Prophet after him? And did he not know nothing can become compulsory for the Ummah without a Prophet or Messenger? So why did he not reintroduce Prophetic Sunnah of performing Taraweeh for three days behind a Qari or introduce it for entire month? Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) knew there is no Prophet or Messenger after the last and the final Prophet and the Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and he knew nothing can be made part of religion as obligation after him. Despite knowing this he did not reintroduce Taraweeh, not three day Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam, and not of entire month. The mind set of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was demonstrated on issue of compiling Quran. When it was suggested to him by Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to compile Quran from all fragments Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) remarked: “How dare I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] If it occurred to him to introduce Taraweeh then he abstained from it because he did not wish to do anything which Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not do. Hence it can be said that he feared it would be an innovation.

      - [3] Opponents of Islam have argued, Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl is unknown hence the narration is weak and cannot be evidence of Imam Shafi’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) position. Unknown to them, Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Al-Fadl as-Sayrafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has been mentioned by Imam Dhahabi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) in his, Siyar Al A’laam An-Nubala, as trustworthy and reliable narrator. Shaikh Salahud-Din as-Safadi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) in his, Kitab Al-Wafi bil-Wafiyat, stated about him; he is well known and trustworthy scholar. If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits a separate article will be written to prove the reliability of these narrators.

      - [4] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said regarding introducing a good Sunnah into religion of Islam: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good practice 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] Knowing this Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) declared gathering Quran in a book format is good, and evidence is here: “I said to `Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" `Umar said: هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْر. (i.e. By Allah, this is good.) `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." [Ref: Bukhari, B61, H509] This was the basis on which Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) based his principle: "Whoever declares something to be good he has declared it part of Sharee'ah." [Ref: ar-Risaala]
    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      According to Ahadith the collection of Quran into a single book was a praiseworthy innovation. Shaikh Abu Rumaysah of Salafi/Wahhabi sect believes otherwise and has penned/typed a refutation against Muslims. Apart from citing clear evidence which establishes the companions considered the collection of Quran in single book format as a good Sunnah servant will also directly address the key points of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah. This topic has already has been addressed in another article, here.

      Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s Written Material:

      “The collection of the Qur'an into one book after the death of Rasulallah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and the statement of Abu Bakr, "How can we do that which was not done by the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam." [Ref: Bukhari] The proof, according to them, being that the companions collected the Qur'an in a book form after the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) without him enjoining it. Hence it being an innovation which the companions agreed upon as being good. Upon closer examination this is actually evidence against these people, not for them. When Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) came to Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and said that the Qur'an had to be collected as a book. He did not argue on the basis of bid'ah hasanah, rather he argued on the basis of necessity because many of the people who had memorized the Qur'an by heart were being martyred. Therefore the Qur'an was in danger of being lost and hence it had to be collected in book form. When Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) replied, he did not say, "Oh yes I agree with you, this is a bid'ah hasanah," Rather he argued that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) did not do this, so how could they? It was only after the necessity was made clear to him that he agreed. So, in conclusion, the collection of the Qur'an as a book was something the companions agreed upon due to necessity, not considering it to a good bid'ah.” [Ref: MuslimConverts]

      Hadith On Subject Of Compiling Quran In Book Format:

      “Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Abu Bakr sent for me owing to the large number of casualties in the battle of Al-Yamama, while `Umar was sitting with him. Abu Bakr said: `Umar has come to me and said, 'A great number of Qaris of the Holy Qur'an were killed on the day of the battle of Al-Yamama, and I am afraid that the casualties among the Qaris of the Qur'an may increase on other battle-fields whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I consider it advisable that you should have the Qur'an collected.' I said, 'How dare I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?’ Umar said: هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ (i.e. By Allah, it is good). `Umar kept on pressing me for that till Allah opened my chest for that for which He had opened the chest of `Umar and I had in that matter, the same opinion as `Umar had." Abu Bakr then said to me (Zaid), "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)." Zaid further said: By Allah, if Abu Bakr had ordered me to shift a mountain among the mountains from one place to another it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an. Then I said (to `Umar and Abu Bakr), "How can you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?" Abu Bakr said, هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ (i.e. By Allah, it is beneficial.) Zaid added: So he (Abu Bakr) kept on pressing me for that until Allah opened my chest for that for which He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I had in that matter, the same opinion as theirs. So I started compiling the Qur'an by collecting it from the leafless stalks of the date-palm tree and from the pieces of leather and hides and from the stones, and from the chests of men (who had memorized the Qur'an). I found the last verses of Sirat-at-Tauba: "Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves--' (9.128/129) from Khuza`ima or Abi Khuza`ima and I added to it the rest of the Sura. The manuscripts of the Qur'an remained with Abu Bakr till Allah took him unto Him. Then it remained with `Umar till Allah took him unto Him, and then with Hafsa bint `Umar.” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301]

      Judge By Revelation And What Prophet Taught:

      Companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) judged, and the Muslim scholars continue to judge by what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has revealed, and what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) explained thereof. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) provided principles which help the scholars of Islam to issue rulings regarding issues which have not been directly addressed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The collection of Quran in book format was one such issue which was not instructed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) neither by the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Hence the basis of collecting the Quran had to be established via ijtihadi reasoning which requires in-depth knowledge about the principles which can be employed to aid correct understanding.

      Something About The Hadith Quoted Above:

      Readers should be aware that Ahadith do not always provide comprehensive account of the events which they are narrating. Sometime a Hadith is briefed by a narrator, and in another version of Hadith, another narrator may add more detail. Sometimes details are completely eliminated. Hadith of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) suggesting gathering of fragments to compile a book indicates part of material is not narrated and evidence of this is found in the following: “Umar kept on pressing me for that till Allah opened my chest for that for which He had opened the chest of `Umar and I had in that matter, the same opinion as `Umar had." [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] As far as my knowledge, there is no detailed account of what Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to convince him it is good to compile Quran as a book. Surely, he did not repeat again and again: هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ“, until he annoyed Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to submission. He must have argued his case employing prophetic guidance as evidence to strengthen his case. What is sure, whatever his argument was it was based on teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). And Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) pressing Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was not in form of violence.

      The Islamic Position On Gathering Of Quran As A Book:

      After battle of Al Yamama which was fought against the Musailmah the liar Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) approached Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and suggested that Quran be collected in book format. Hadhrat Abu Bakr replied to him by asking: “How dare I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?” It is important to point out his reluctance was not due to his disinterest in preserving Quran, or spreading of message of Islam. His not wanting to collect the fragmentary Quran into a single book has to be understood in light of subject of innovation and his reluctance was due to his fear of introducing a reprehensible innovation. In simple language Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said, how can he dare to innovate something, such as collecting of Quran in a book, which the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not do? Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) reasons with him by saying: “Umar said: هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ (i.e. By Allah, it is good/beneficial).” Note, such high caliber companions would judge all instances of their life by what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) revealed, and what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had taught. Therefore statement of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) has to be understood in light of teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Islamic position is, that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of the following statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and on basis of this he argued collection of Quran is [Sunnah] Khayr (i.e. good), 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..” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] And his persistence paid and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) eventually realized the importance of collecting Quran and recognized collecting Quran is good Sunnah, and commissioned it.

      Shaikh Abu Rumaysah Argument Against Islamic Position:

      Shaikh presents position of Muslims on subject of gathering of Quran into a book format: “The proof, according to them, being that the companions collected the Qur'an in a book form after the time of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam) without him enjoining it.” Then he goes on to present the position of Muslims in his own words: “Hence it [is] being an innovation which the companions agreed upon as being good.” Responding the position Shaikh continues to writes: “Upon closer examination this is actually evidence against these people, not for them.” Shaikh’s closer inspection yields that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) argued on basis of necessity and not on grounds of Bid’ah/Sunnah Hasanah, here: “When Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) came to Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and said that the Qur'an had to be collected as a book. He did not argue on the basis of bid'ah hasanah, rather he argued on the basis of necessity because many of the people who had memorized the Qur'an by heart were being martyred. Therefore the Qur'an was in danger of being lost and hence it had to be collected in book form.” Shaikh cites death of companions as being possible cause of Quran being lost and states this was the reason on basis of which fragmentary Quran had to be gathered in book format with intention of preserving Quran.

      Issue Of Danger Of Quran Being Lost Due To Death Qaris:

      Shaikh argued Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) suggested gathering of fragmentary Quranic texts to compile a book because he feared the Quran maybe lost and this is established from the text of Hadith in discussion: “… and I am afraid that the casualties among the Qaris of the Qur'an may increase on other battle-fields whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost.” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] Other alternatives to compiling were also available, such as assigning new roles to the Hufadh in battle field rather than combative roles, or encouraging others to memorize to Quran, including the children and women folk. Death of seventy Hufadh was not major loss of lives to threaten disappearance of book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) because there were thousands who had memorized the Quran in life of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If there was ever chance of such disappearance, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would have provided precise instructions for its compilation into book format. In fact Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) took the responsibility of preserving the Quran Himself: “Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [Ref: 15:9] Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) thought about disappearance of Quran but maybe not realized the possibility of textual corruption and variant readings. Compiling Quran in book format the Quran was exposed to new dangers. The issue of preservation of Quran was by writing is not definitive because the Jews had Taurah written yet it has been completely distorted and lost. Written or memorization both were risk based and both came with benefits. Memorization, hard copies or combination of both, none of these were sure guarantee for preservation of Quran. Even if the written route was not taken, and Quran only had been committed to memory, deaths of Hufadh, or persecution would cause the Quran to be lost because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) would not allow his promise to be falsified. Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had good intention and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will reward him according to his intention and the good he achieved will earn him great reward. Yet it must be said, ground of his justification was invalid.

      Compiling Of Quranic Fragments Into Book Is Part Of Islam:

      First of all, Shaikh himself quoted a statement of Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) which is also being presented, here: "Whoever declares something to be good, he has declared it part of Shari’ah." [Ref: ar-Risaala] Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) declared gathering of Quranic fragments into one book as something good and evidence of it is here: “I said to `Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" `Umar said: هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْر. (i.e. By Allah, this is good.) `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." [Ref: Bukhari, B61, H509] In other words, Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) declared gathering of Quran into book format as a matter of Shari’ah. Note law of Shari’ah is Islam. Therefore what is part of Shari’ah cannot be judged on basis of necessity alone, and cannot be made part of religion of Islam on basis of necessity. There has to be a mechanism in Islam which allows it to be introduced into religion and if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits it will be established.

      Necessity In Religion Is Not Mother Of Do Thou As You Wilt:

      Every necessity has to be met with ways which religion of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has permitted. A man fought extremely well against the polytheists in a war but Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had informed the companions he will be in hell. Eventually he was injured and could not tolerate pain and committed suicide hence earning hell fire for eternity.[1] His requirement was to alleviate the extreme pain he is suffering and this necessitated medicine not suicide. Point here is, that necessity by itself is not valid basis of doing something. Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced into Islam, or it should be said, Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made part of Shari’ah something which was not part of it. How could it be accepted by Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and how could he argue to compile fragments of Quran when there was no basis for making something part of religion in Shari’ah? Both these companions and generally all of the companions all agreed upon it because there was something in prophetic guidance which allowed it to be introduced into Islam.

      Statement Of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Is Evidence Against Position Of Muslims:

      Shaikh writes the incident mentioned in the Hadith is evidence against the Muslim position: “Upon closer examination this is actually evidence against these people, not for them.” Servant speculates Shaikh wrote the following underlined which he deemed evidence against us: “When Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) replied, he did not say, "Oh yes I agree with you, this is a bid'ah hasanah," Rather he argued that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) did not do this, so how could they? It was only after the necessity was made clear to him that he agreed.” Shaikh is referring to the following words of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) found in above quoted Hadith: "How can you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?" [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] Firstly, question needs to be asked, why are these words against us? If these words are against us because Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asking, how he could introduce a Sunnah which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not introduce then please inform me how could he agree to innovation being made part of religion on basis of necessity? Did Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) say, on basis of necessity one can introduce innovation, and on basis of necessity innovation will be accepted? If necessity legitimizes actions which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not do then necessity is mother of all innovations. Coming to necessity argument, doing good deeds is a necessity to gain mercy of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) on day of judgment. Celebrating birth day of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is amalgamation of Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Due to necessity of doing good deeds, celebration of Prophet’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) should be agreed by you, but do you? Secondly, if statement of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was not something which you considered against us but considered the argument which you based on it (i.e. argument of necessity) then answer the following question: Do you agree that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asking, how can I introduce an innovation which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not introduce as Sunnah. You’re very learned, and hopefully reasonable, and confidence is high enough to say, your learn-ship will agree his reluctance was due fearing that he may be introducing an innovation. In this context, considering your position of necessity forcing Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to agree with Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) means he agreed that necessity is valid ground for introducing an innovation. This was the reason on which servant speculated that meat of matter against the Muslim position was the statement of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and it is because of this that the circle starts again with: How could he agree to innovation being made part of religion on basis of necessity? Did Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) say, on basis of necessity one can introduce innovation, and on basis of necessity innovation will be accepted?

      Answering The Questions On Behalf Of Muslims:

      Necessity of compiling fragmentary Quran into a single book format by itself is fine understanding but the context in which the Shaikh presents lacks the proper foundation from Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Our Shaikh cannot present the foundation because if he does so the dispute will be no more. There is no Hadith in which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has explicitly stated one can introduce innovation into to religion on basis of necessity because in religion of Islam necessity is not basis of making something permissible or impermissible. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did say: “Messenger of Allah said, "Whoever guides someone to virtue will be rewarded equivalent to him who practices that good action." [Ref: Muslim, B1, H173] “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.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] If one judges fairly, one can see Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) guided Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to good deed by reasoning with him to compile Quran from fragments and from memory of Hufadh hence he will be rewarded. Both these companions worked together and reasoned with another companion who was then given the task of compile Quran from texts as well as memory of Hufadh. So a good Sunnah was introduced and those who read from this compiled Quran all earn equal reward to the one who compiled, and the one who initiated the idea, and the one who ordered the task to be carried out, and those who helped.

      Tackling The Key Points Of Shaikh By Horns:

      Shaikh believes, Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) none of them believed gathering fragmented Quran into a book is a good innovation and this is misguided understanding. The Ahadith record Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said: “I said to `Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" `Umar said: هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْر. (i.e. By Allah, this is good.) `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." [Ref: Bukhari, B61, H509] Another version has the following words: “Then I said (to `Umar and Abu Bakr), "How can you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?" Abu Bakr said, هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ (i.e. By Allah, it is beneficial.) Zaid added: So he (Abu Bakr) kept on pressing me for that until Allah opened my chest for that for which He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and…” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] Note, he declared the compiling the Quran from fragmentary and memory as Khayr. This word is very important because it was used by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in context of innovating Sunnah Khayr (i.e. good Sunnah) in the following two Ahadith: “Whoever initiates a Sunnah خَيْرًا (i.e. good Sunnah) that is followed, he will receive a perfect reward for that, and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. " [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H204] “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] This is clear proof that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was guiding Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) toward these Ahadith.

      Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s Reluctance And Hadhrat Umar’s Justification:

      When seventy Hufadh died in battle of Al Yamama then Hadhrat Umar approached and urged Hadhrat Abu Bakr to compile the Quran from various sources to preserve it. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) replied: “How dare I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] He said this because he feared introducing a reprehensible innovation into religion of Islam regarding which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has said: "And whoever introduces an 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] Regarding the ones who introduced the reprehensible innovation and those who follow it Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) 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] Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) replied by saying that this is a Khayr: “Therefore I consider it advisable that you should have the Qur'an collected.' I said, 'How dare I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?’ Umar said: هُوَ وَاللَّهِ خَيْرٌ (i.e. By Allah, it is good). `Umar kept on pressing me for that till Allah opened my chest for that for …” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] By he was referring to those Ahadith which state about Sunnah Khayr being good and reward worthy: “Whoever initiates a Sunnah خَيْرًا (i.e. good Sunnah) that is followed, he will receive a perfect reward for that, and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest. " [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H204] “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] In other words he told Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) that the task of compiling Quran is a good Sunnah which is reward worthy. One version uses the word Sunnah Salihah to mean good Sunnah: "Jarir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The servant does not introduce سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. good practice) which is followed after him. The rest of the hadith is the same." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6468] Yet another version has the words Sunnah Hasanah: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good practice 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] Note, the Hadith states, he who introduces into Islam, this is indication that what is being introduced is not already part of Islam, and what is not part of Islam is innovation.[2] It was this proof which convinced Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) that compiling Quran was introducing good Sunnah/Bid’ah into Islam.

      Conclusion:

      Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) debated with Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to persuade him to compile Quran from various sources. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was reluctant due to fearing innovation but Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) managed to persuade him to commission the collection of Quran on grounds of it being a Sunnah Khayr (i.e. good Sunnah).

      Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen
      Muhammed Ali Razavi

      Footnotes:

      - [1] “Narrated Sa`d bin Sahl As-Sa`idi: The Prophet looked at a man fighting against the pagans and he was one of the most competent persons fighting on behalf of the Muslims. The Prophet said, "Let him who wants to look at a man from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire, look at this (man)." Another man followed him and kept on following him till he (the fighter) was injured and, seeking to die quickly, he placed the blade tip of his sword between his breasts and leaned over it till it passed through his shoulders (i.e., committed suicide)." The Prophet added, "A person may do deeds that seem to the people as the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact, he is from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire: and similarly a person may do deeds that seem to the people as the deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire while in fact, he is from the dwellers of Paradise. Verily, the (results of) deeds done depends upon the last actions." [Ref: Bukhari, B76, H500]

      - [2] For full detail read the following article which explains in great detail with corroborating evidence to prove Sunnah in this Hadith means innovation, here.
    • By MuhammedAli
      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]