Jump to content

"... Every Novelty Is An Innovation ..." Is "... Every Innovation An Error."

Recommended Posts

"... Every Novelty Is An Innovation ..." Is "... Every Innovation An Error."




Beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) is reported to have said:


Sunnan Abu Dawood, Book 40, Number 4590: “… for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error."


Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Hadith 1885: “... and would further say: "The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the beet of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and everyinnovation is error." He would further say: I am more dear to a Muslim even than his self …"


On the basis of these Ahadith the heretical scholars all of them are of opinion that innovation is of only one reprehensible type, blameworthy type, evil type, and it would not be wrong to say majority of them is of opinion that '… qullu bid'a dhalala ...' means '… every innovation is misguidance ...' without exception in these two ahadith. There are from amongst them some learned scholars who do give it takhseesi (i.e. Specific) meaning to '… qullu bid'a dhalala ...' to restrict it's generality. Because of their belief that every innovation is reprehensible they are unwilling to accept some legitimate practices which have originated after the period of Rasoolallah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), as well as after the first three protected generations.


Usage Of 'QULLU' In Arabic:


In Arabic the word 'QULLU' is used to mean every, all, but its mostly used in specific context to restrict its meaning to every, all, in a certain category, and not every, all in general meaning.


- Surah Al Kahf (18) Verse 79: "As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force.”


Note the words used are: “... qullu safina'tin ghas'ba.” which in context means the king ordered every boat to be seized by force. The literal implication is that King ordered every boat to be seized, in reality he ordered every useable boat in his kingdom to be seized, on the basis of this Khidr (alayhis salam) a friend of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) whom knowledge from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) was given damages the boat, so it would not fit the criteria on which the boats were to be seized.


- Surah Al Muminoon (23) Verse 27: “So We inspired him (with this message): "Construct the Ark within Our sight and under Our guidance: then when comes Our Command, and the fountains of the earth gush forth, take thou on board pairs of every species, male and female, and thy family- except those of them against whom the Word has already gone forth: And address Me not in favor of the wrong-doers; for they shall be drowned (in the Flood).”


The words: “... min qulli zau'jaynis nayni ...” which means that Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) ordered that two of every kind to taken on board of the ship, meaning two of every animal male, female which can not fly. Parrots, eagles, crows, sparrows, these fly to a place which is safe when the water rises and eventualy roam back to the area. Here the animals which can not escape the rising of water like sheep, camel, horse, cow, dog, domestic animals are mentioned so when the water recedes the area can be repopulated with animals.


- Surah Ash'Shura (42) Verse 33: “If it be His Will He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful.”


The words: “... la'ayatilli qulli sab'barin shakoor.” which in the context means that in this there are signs for everyone who is patient and is grateful to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). Yet only a righteous believers who use sailboats as means of travel would be grateful, thankful for Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for the bounty of wind. Even though the non-believers, believers realize the part which wind plays in movement of sailboat, and the how lack of wind totally will still the sailboat but they are not thankful to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala).


- Surah Az'Zariyat (51) Verse 49: “And of everything We have created pairs [of male, female]: That ye may receive instruction.”


Even though Allah subhana wa ta'ala states that He has created: “... qullu shai'in khalaqna zawjayni ...” which means created everything in pair of male and female, this would insinuate that angles are male, female, but we know this qullu the angles are not included because angles are not male, and not female they are neutral in gender. [See: 43:19, 37:150] So in this verse only birds, planets, human, Jinn, Animals, Insects are mentioned and not absolutely everything as the verse insinuates.


- At the end of this little exercise we can safely conclude that in Arabic the word 'QULLU' does not mean 'ABSOLUTELY EVERY' but it can mean a 'EVERY IN SPECIFIC CONTEXT' if the supportive evidence for the restriction exists within Quran and Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam).


Usage Of Bid'a & Muh'dasa:


- The words Muh'dasa, and Bidd'a have been used interchangeably in the two Ahadith to convey the same meaning, the popular rendering reads: “Wa sharil amoori muhdasa wa qullu bidd'a dhalala.” [see: Sahih Muslim – above.] The same words have been used by Sahabah (radiallah ta'ala anhuma ajma'een) in positive light. One such example of this would be:


Sahih Bukhari, Book 32, Hadith 227: “... 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, 'Umar said, 'In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)'. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked, 'What an excellent Bid'a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night."


Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta'ala anh) when he saw that smaller groups performing nawafil prayers under leadership of their own Imams, and individuals who were praying separately in the Masjid gathered in one Jam'at under the leadership of one Qari said: “What an excellent Bid'a this is but the prayer which they do not perform ...”, the use of word Bid'a in positive meaning indicates that not every Bid'a is evil, rather there is praiseworthy innovations.


Legislative Praiseworthy Innovation:


- No explicit sanction is required for a act/practice which is instructed in Quran/Sunnah but practiced in different context. Rather if there is Ijtihadi evidence meaning indirect evidence then the act/practice becomes a valid act because it will be in harmony with principles of deen. To illustrate my point, a Sahabi with the name of Khubaib (radiallah tallah anh) was to be executed the the Mushrikeen, he requested that he be allowed to perform two Rak'at nawafil prayers, which he was granted and this new practice became accepted amongst the Sahabah (radiallah ta'ala anhuma ajma'een):


Sahih Bukhari, Book 59, Hadith 325: “… It was food Allah had provided Khubaib with." When they took him to Al-Hil out of Mecca sanctuary to martyr him, Khubaib requested them. "Allow me to offer a two-Rak'at prayer." They allowed him and he prayed two Rak'at and then said, ... I do not care in what way I receive my death for Allah's Sake, for this is for the Cause of Allah. If He wishes, He will bless the cut limbs of my body." Then Abu Sarva, 'Ubqa bin Al-Harith went up to him and killed him. It was Khubaib who set the tradition of praying for any Muslim to be martyred in captivity (before he is executed). The Prophet told his companions of what had happened (to those ten spies) on the same day they were martyred. ...”


Note the Hadith records: “It was Khubaib who set the tradition of praying for any Muslim to be martyred in captivity (before he is executed).”Even though there was no EXPLICIT sanction/permission to do say by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) or by the beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) the Sahabi performed two Rak'at nawafil before he was martyred in the way of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). This proves that a act/practice sanctioned Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) can be performed in any specific context without it impacting negatively on ones faith. Otherwise direct evidence would be required for legitimizing this praiseworthy innovation of a Sahabi of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) and there is none such evidence because the Hadith itself declares: “It was Khubaib who set the tradition of praying for any Muslim to be martyred in captivity (before he is executed).” Therefore specific act done in specific context amounts valid indirect evidence legitimizing the practice/act, such practices/acts can be acted on earning it innovator reward from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), and the one who acts on his praiseworthy innovation:


- Sahih Muslim, Book 034, Number 6466: “... on his (sacred) face. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) 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."


Sahih Muslim Shareef, Book 034, Number 6470:"Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who called (people) to righteous (i.e. innovation), there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect."


The innovations which accord the principles of deen, which have a valid base from Quran, Sunnah, and EXPLICIT root does exist for them they are praiseworthy innovations, excellent innovations. Beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) said about innovator of praiseworthy innovations, and his praiseworthy innovations, that he will be rewarded, and those who act on his praiseworthy innovation they too would be rewarded without the reward being diminished.


Every In Specific Context:


It has been firmly established from the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) the existence of praiseworthy innovation, reward for it's innovator, and reward for those who act on the praiseworthy innovations. The above evidence of praiseworthy innovation has validated that: “... qullu bid'a dhalala ...” only refers to a specific type of innovation, and every such specific innovation is shar (i.e. evil), and dhalala (i.e. error). And due to this the ahadith which state innovations are reprehensible, will autocratically be categorized as referring to blameworthy innovations, because there is no contradiction in the teachings of any Prophet, especially our beloved Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), because the teacher of Prophets is Allah (subhana wa ta'ala).


Legislative Blameworthy Innovation:


- Every innovative act/practice for which there is no sanction/permission from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) or RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) that practice is to be rejected:


Sahih Muslim, Book 18, Number 4267: “... and then said: 'A'isha informed me that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: He who did any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected.”


He who did any act considering it part of deen for which there is no sanction from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), that practice is innovation in deen, and it is to be rejected. To illustrate the point, a person innovates a new form of worship, which consists of running in straight line, back and forth arms held high, with yellow face paint, shouting: 'I am dead man.' This practice/act, new form of worship method would be rejected, because its not in harmony with principles of our religion, and there is no valid reason for it, and most importantly there is no explicit sanction indicating such act/practice is a form of worship. Also if someone innovates a belief which does not have sanction from Quran, nor it can be established from the authentic Ahadith it would be rejected.


- Every novelty which has been termed as innovation, evil, error, is of type which is not in harmony with the principles of religion of Islam:


Sahih Bukhari Book 49, Hadith 861: Narrated Aisha: Allah's Apostle said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected."


Every innovation which does not have a valid reason, meaning valid supportive evidence for that innovation from Quran, Sunnah of beloved RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) it is to be rejected, and the innovator is sinful for it:


Sahih Muslim, Book 18, Number 4266: 'A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) and these are to be rejected.”


- Every innovation which is not in harmony with principles of Islam, every innovation which does not have a valid base from Quran, from the Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), and its EXPLICIT root does not exist within the two sources its to be rejected, and innovator of such innovation is sinful for his vile, evil, blameworthy innovation.




Not every innovation is evil, misguiding, heretical, but every blameworthy innovation is heretical its innovator, the one who acts on it, both will be punished without the punishment being reduced for either. And one who innovates a praiseworthy innovations there is assured reward for him, and those who fallow in his foot steps.


Wama Alayna Ilal Balaghul Mubeen

MuhammedAli Razvi

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...