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Good & Misguiding Bidda: Explaination Of Evidences.


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Good & Misguiding Bidda: Explaination Of Evidences.

 

Intorduction:

 

Servent will atempt to explain the evidences for Bidda Hasanah (i.e. praiseworthy Innovation) and Bidda Zalalah (i.e. Misguiding Innovation).

 

Bare in mind that I might have used different labels for Bidda categorisation in my other articles. Use the corresponding labels:

 

- Bidda Hasanah (Praiseworthy Innovation, Good Innovation, Excellent Innovation,)

- Bidda Sai'ya (Bidda Zalalah, Evil Innovation, Reprehensiable Innovation, Blameworthy Innovation)

 

Ahadith On Innovations (Bidda):Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) stated:

 

- Sunnan Abu Dawood, Book 40, Number 4590: "Narrated Irbad ibn Sariyah: Abdur Rahman ibn Amr as-Sulami and Hujr ibn Hujr said: ... He then said: I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, 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:Jabir b. Abdullah said: ... He would also say:" The last Hour and I have been sent like these two." and he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say: "The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the beet of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad.And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is error." He would further say:, I am more dear to a Muslim even than his self; …"

 

The word qullu (i.e. every) in Arabic is not always used to mean all, every, it can also mean most, majority, or all in a specific category, area, not all universally. The meaning of majority, most, or all, every in specific category can only be accepted if there is proof for it, otherwise it will be understood literally every, meaning, all, every.

 

Examples of qullu, being used to mean some, all in specific area, category, 18:79, 2:260, 9:5, 26:128, 23:27, and 2:185. I wont go into details. Please use the above explaination to see which verse fits which category (i.e. most, some, all in specific category/area).

 

Good Innovations:

 

- Prophet of Allah (salllahu alayhi was'salam) gave us a rule:

 

- Sahih Muslim, Book 034, Number 6466: "Jarir b. Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woollen clothes came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). 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 (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."

 

Who so ever invents something good (i.e. Sahih Bukhari), which was fallowed by him, and fallowed after him, both the fallower, as well as the inventer, innovator will get the reward from Allah.

 

Allah subhana wa tallah narrates the story of fallowers of Jesus:

 

- Surah Al Hadid {57} Verse 27: Then, in their wake, We followed them up with (others of) Our apostles: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of Allah. but that they did not foster as they should have done.Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors.

 

Allah tells why the stories are:

 

- Surah Yusuf {12} Ayaat 111: "Laqana fi'qisasi'him ibratulli u'lil albab ..." (“There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding.”)

 

Allah (subhana wa tallah) tells us that fallowers of Isa alayhis salam invented the Monasticism them selves with the intention of pleasing Allah even though Allah did not command them to do so, but those who did adhere to it, Allah rewarded them. The conclusion which the ulil albab (i.e. men of understanding) derive from 57:27 is best explained by what Prophet of Allah sallahu alayhi was'salam stated: “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.”

 

- Hazrat Umar radiallah tallah said: “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.” in a Sahih Hadith:

 

Sahih Bukhari, Book 32, Hadith 227: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, "Allah's Apostle died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of 'Umar's Caliphate." '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."

 

This conclusively proves that in deen of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) there is room for good innovations. Had there been no room for good innovation Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) would not have given us a criteria to judge on, and Hazrat Umar (radiallah tallah anh) would not have remarked excellent innovation.

 

Meaning Of Innovation Ahadith:

 

The conclusion above brings us back to the two ahadith and their correct interpretation:

 

Sunnan Abu Dawood, Book 40, Number 4590: 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: ..."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 their innovations; and every innovation is error." …"

 

In the context of 'all, every in specific category' the Ahadith mean: “Avoid (i.e. misguiding/evil) novelties, for every (i.e. misguiding/evil) novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error."

 

In the context of other Sahih Ahadith:

 

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."

 

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.

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 18, Number 4267: “Sa'd b. Ibrahim reported: I asked Qasim b. Muhammad about a person who had three dwelling houses and he willed away the third part of every one of these houses; he (Qasim b. Muhammad) said: All of them could be combined in one house; 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 (explicit or implicit) sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected.”

 

The two ahadith can also mean: “Avoid novelties [which are not in harmony with principles of deen, do not have a valid reason, and have no sanction from Sahabah, RasoolAllah,] for every [such] novelty is an (i.e. misguiding/evil) innovation, and every (i.e. misguiding/evil) innovation is an error."

 

Explicitly Sanctioned & Implicitly Sanctioned:

 

Heretical opponents of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat quote the fallowing Hadith:

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 18, Number 4267: “Sa'd b. Ibrahim reported: I asked Qasim b. Muhammad about a person who had three dwelling houses and he willed away the third part of every one of these houses; he (Qasim b. Muhammad) said: All of them could be combined in one house; 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.”

 

They argue that for practices which Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammats pious scholars deffend can not be valid because there is no explicit sanction for these practices from Allah (subhana wa tallah), RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) hence they are rejected.

 

Primarily this Hadith if taken literally contradicts the Hadith of Prophet of Allah in which he said the innovater of good practice will get reward, and it goes against the Sahabah's (alayhi ridwan) practice of intorducing good innovations during and after the departure of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam). Therefore the meaning of the Hadith can not be taken literally, but a understanding which fits the frame work of Quran and Sunnah is essential. Secondly if EXPLICIT sanction was required in all cases for a practice to be valid, then the gates of Ijtihad would be closed, and this Hadith would contradict ahadith which legitamise Ijtihad.

 

One of most recent innovations of the Wahabiyah is Misyar-Halal, a marriage in which the woman give up her rights on husband, lives with her own family (i.e. Mother, Father) due to husbands bad financial situation, and woman's family willingly accepts daughters husband as part of their family, this is valid form of Misyar, a praise worthy innovation for which there is no explicit sanction Quran, Sunnah, but the Ijtihadi (i.e. indirect evidence, implicit sanction) understanding legitamises its practice for those who are in difficult financial situation.

 

Another form of Misyar-Haram is practiced by the people who wish to escape punishement under the Wahabi regime, and secretly get married, without consent of either parent or gurdian, and woman surrenders her rights, lives with her parents, and husband lives seperately, and secretly meet for companionship as well as sexual enjoyment. This slightly differs from Muttah in one detail that no time is fixed for Talaq. This is haram, and another form of Muttah of the Rawafiz, and to bluntly put it, legalised prostitution in Saudi Arabia which is supported by the Wahabi scholars. There is no circumstantial evidence, to substantiate this form of Misyar.

 

Coming back to the subject of correct meaning of Hadith; it means that if there is no EXPLICIT or IMPLICIT evidence, circumstantial evidence, which demonstrates that Prophet of Allah would sanction such a act, if there is no valid reason, and it contradicts with principles of deen then that act, practice, aqeedah, would be rejected. And to concude the disscusion of Misyar, for the second form there is no circumstantial evidence, implicit evidence (i.e. a woman marrying and keeping her marriage secret from her parents and living with her parents, and meeting her husband in secret etc ...).

 

Themetic Commentary In Light Ahadith:

 

Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) stated:

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 034, Number 6466: “... 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. ...”

 

Innovations which are good, as well as which do not contradict the principles of deen, (i.e. worship of Allah, calling to Islam etc …), which have been sanctioned by Allah subhana wa tallah well as RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), and have a valid reason for innovating them (i.e. worship of Allah etc … ) they are accepted. And those who invent the good innovations and those who act on them, and those who call toward the good innovations, Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) all of them will be rewarded by Allah subhana wa tallah:

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 34, Number 6470:"Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who called (people) to righteousness, 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."

 

Some Good Innovations:

 

With the correct understanding of the Ahadith presented, it is would be prudent to present some examples of good innovations which Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma) brought forward, in the time of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) or after.

 

- Sahih Bukhari, Book 12, Hadith 764: Narrated Rifa'a bin Rafi AzZuraqi: One day we were praying behind the Prophet. When he raised his head from bowing, he said, "Sami'a-l-lahu Liman hamida."A man behind him said,"Rabbana walaka-l hamd hamdan Kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi" (O our Lord! All the praises are for You, many good and blessed praises). When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, "Who has said these words?"The man replied, "I." The Prophet said, "I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first." Prophet rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebrae of his spinal column came to a natural position.

 

- Sahih Bukhari, Book 13, Hadith 35: Narrated As-Saib bin Yazid: In the life-time of the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar, the Adhan for the Jumua prayer used to be pronounced when the Imam sat on the pulpit. But during the Caliphate of 'Uthman when the Muslims increased in number, a third Adhan at Az-Zaura' was added. Abu 'Abdullah said, "Az-Zaura' is a place in the market of Medina."

 

- 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 Rakat and then said, "By Allah! Had I not been afraid that you would think I was worried, I would have prayed more." Then he (invoked evil upon them) saying, "O Allah! Count them and kill them one by one, and do not leave anyone of them"' Then he recited: "As I am martyred as a Muslim, 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. ...”

 

- Sahih Bukhari, Book 32, Hadith 227: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, "Allah's Apostle died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of 'Umar's Caliphate." '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."

 

Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma) innovated these good practices during and after the life time of Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), some of which he approved while others were after his departure from this world. And the frame work of Ijtihad he taught, the education of Ijtihad he gave to Sahabah (alayhi ridwan) and taught them the principles on which they can judge innovations as good or bad, they were able to derive, and further the understandings after his departure, without these understandings contradicting Quran and established Sunnah, hence they were not rejected but incorporated by Muslims as valid practices.

 

Conclusion:

 

- Defining bidda (i.e. Sai'yah) with the words of our beloved Prophet: “... which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion [i.e. islam], … for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) … [and] ... any act for which there is no [explicit or implicit] sanction from our behalf [that practice, aqeedah is a heresy], that is to be rejected.”

 

- Defining Bidda (i.e. Hasana) is a innovation which is in harmony with pricinples of Islam, for which there is a valid reason, acting on it we the Muslims do not become sinful, and for which there is implicit evidence to prove its validity such practice is praiseworthy innovation. Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) told of reward for anyone who intorduces a praiseworthy innovation in Islam: 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 Allah (subhana wa tallah) in the Quran al kareem states: “But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of Allah, ... Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, ...” and Hazrat Umar's (radiallah tallah anh) remark about a excellent innovation:“'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.

 

The Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma ajma'eem) intorduced many praiseworthy innovations in deen after RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), which did not contradict principles of deen, for which there is valid reason and Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma ajmaeen) innovated because it assisted in fullfilling a religious duty. Adhaan (i.e. call to prayers) for which there is explicit permission was increased to three for friday prayers due to increase of people. This increase is proven with implicit sanction from Allah (subhana wa tallah), RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), because by its nature the Adhaan is worship so increase in its number doesnt make it vile, reprehensiable. Such praiseworthy innovations warrant reward from Allah (subnaha wa tallah) and another example of one such praiseworthy innovation is that Khubaib (radiallah tallah anh) started the practice of peforming two rakat nawafil prayer before his own execution, and since then it became practice among the Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma ajmaeen) that they performed two-rakat nawafil prayers before the kuffar, mushrikeen executed them.

 

- Only those innovations which come in the category of heresy are error, misguidance, and take people into hellfire:

 

Sahih Bukhari, Book 92, Hadith 382: "Narrated 'Abdullah: The best talk (i.e. speech) is Allah's Book (i.e. Quran), and the best way is the way of Muhammad, and the Worst matters are the heresies; and whatever you have been promised will surely come to pass, and you cannot escape (it)."

 

“… the worst matters are the heresies, ...”and heresies are recognised, because they contradict the principles of our deen, they have no valid reason, nor have explicit or implicit sanction from Allah (subhana wa tallah) or Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), and these heretical innovations are to be rejected because they are path of going to hellfire, they lead people astray from sirat al mustaqeem.

 

- It becomes apparent that in Sharia there are two major categories of Bidda (i.e. Praiseworthy & Blameworthy), and the practice of Sahabah (alayhi ridwan) to intorduce praisworthy innovations in Islam in the life time of Prophet of Allah as well as after his departure from this world proves that not all innovations in Islam are evil, misguiding.

 

Wama Alayna Ilal Balaghul Mubeen.

Muhammed Ali Razvi

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