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Hadith Of Praiseworthy & Blameworthy Innovation: Few Sentences, Vast In Meaning.


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Hadith Of Praiseworthy & Blameworthy Innovation: Few Sentences, Vast In Meaning.

 

Introduction:

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 034, Number 6466: "Jarir b. Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen 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 like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without theirs being diminished in any respect."

 

Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) has stated that he who introduces a praiseworthy Sunnah (i.e. Praiseworthy Innovation) into deen of Islam for him and those who fallow him their will be reward but also warned that anyone who introduces a blameworthy Sunnah (i.e. Blameworthy Innovation) into Islam and those who fallow that blameworthy Sunnah there will no reduction of sins. Note that word Sunnah has been used to mean innovation by Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam):

 

Sunan Abu Dawood, Book 40, Hadith 4590: “... One day the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) led us in prayer, then faced us and gave us a lengthy exhortation at which the eyes shed tears and the hearts were afraid. A man said: Apostle of Allah! It seems as if it were a farewell exhortation, so what injunction do you give us? 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.”

 

And there are numerous innovations which the Khulafa of beloved Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) innovated after he had departed from this world. Just for the sake of record honorable Uthman (radiallah ta'ala anh) innovated the third Adhan (i.e. call to prayer) which was given in the market.

 

In opposition to Ahle Sunnat the Wahhabi's are of the opinions that this hadith is not about praiseworthy or blameworthy innovations rather it is about neglected/forgotten Sunnah of giving Sadqa for pleasure of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala).[1] Therefore the hadith of praiseworthy and blame worthy Sunnahs will be examined in the light of beloved Prophet's (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) statement that he has been sent by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) with 'jawami al kalim' (i.e. short expression with comprehensive meanings).

 

Jawami Al Kalim:

 

Sahih Al Bukhari, Book 87, Number 141: ”Narrated Abu Huraira: "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "I have been sent with Jawami al-Kalim, and I was made victorious with awe (caste into the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the earth were brought to me and were put in my hand." Muhammad said, Jawami'-al-Kalim means that Allah expresses in one or two statements or thereabouts the numerous matters that used to be written in the books revealed before (the coming of) the Prophet."

 

Sahih Bukhari, Book 52, Number 220: "Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were ... "

 

RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) has been recorded to have said in many ahadith that Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has sent him with jawami al kalim: "I have been sent with Jawami al-Kalim, and ...” and it means: “I have been sent with [revelation whose nature is] Jawami al-Kalim, and ... ” and he was asked about what it means, he explained: “Allah expresses in one or two statements or thereabouts the numerous matters that used to be written in the books revealed before (the coming of) the Prophet." in another the statement has been summarized to: “... shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, ...” One obvious meaning of this is that Quran's nature is jawami al kalim, that Quran has in it shortest of expressions to express widest of meanings, and it is so. Another meaning is that here Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) has been sent with ability to express widest meanings in few sentences, and it is so. Neither of the two meanings have explicitly been stated nor does the language negated the one or the other, and this itself is the proof that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) has been granted the ability of jawami al kalim.[2]

 

Wahi Qur’an & Wahi Hadithsi:

 

Wahi (i.e. Revelation) sent to Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) was of two types; Wahi Qur’an (i.e. Qur'anic Revelation) and Wahi Hadithsi (i.e. Hadith Revelation). And proof of Hadith being part of revelation from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala):

 

Sahih Bukhari, Book 59, Hadith 618: “Narrated Safwan bin Ya'la bin Umaiya: Ya'la used to say, "I wish I could see Allah's Apostle at the time when he is being inspired divinely." Ya'la added "While the Prophet was at Al-Ja'rana, shaded with a cloth sheet (in the form of a tent) and there were staying with him, some of his companions under it, suddenly there came to him a Bedouin wearing a cloak and perfumed extravagantly. He said, "O Allah's Apostle ! What is your opinion regarding a man who assumes the state of Ihram for 'umra wearing a cloak after applying perfume to his body?" 'Umar signaled with his hand to Ya'la to come (near). Ya'la came and put his head (underneath that cloth sheet) and saw the Prophet red-faced and when that state (of the Prophet ) was over, he said, "Where is he who as already asked me about the 'umra?" The man was looked for and brought to the Prophet The Prophet said (to him), "As for the perfume you have applied to your body, wash it off your body) thrice, and take off your cloak, and then do in your 'umra the rites you do in your Hajj."

 

Note that the underlined part of the hadith is not part of the Quran yet its considered revelation by companions. This indicates that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) received revelation which became hadith. And this leads to the conclusion that Prophet's (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) those ahadith which are part of deen (i.e. on which issues of deen are discussed) are part of revelation which Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) sent him.[3] Therefore the statement of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) which are connected with deen even if they are part of hadith are part of revelation hence such hadith are shortest expressions bearing widest of possible meanings, and to put it in the words of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam): “Allah expresses in one or two statements or thereabouts the numerous matters that used to be written in the books revealed before (the coming of) the Prophet." Therefore what Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) utters about deen with his truthful, purified, blessed tonge is in nature of jawami al kalim.

 

And to put the above in the context of the subject being disucssed the nature of Prophets saying: "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." as well as his saying: "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 theirs being diminished in any respect." are according to nature of jawami al kalim, meaning these statements are expressed in shortest form yet have vast meanings.

 

Conclusion:

 

The guiding principle given in the hadith of praiseworthy and blame worthy innovation is part of deen, part of revelation therefore its nature is that its few sentences but suffices for multitude of issues. It tells of equal reward for one who creates praiseworthy innovation and one who follows it: “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 informs of equal sins for one who practices blameworthy innovation and one who creates it: “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 there’s being diminished in any respect." And the nature of this hadith is that it encourages creation of good, and encourage fallowing of good because there is reward for it one who fallows it, and who creates it. Warns about creating of blameworthy innovations, and discourages fallowing of blameworthy innovations because Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) informed of equal sins of one who fallows innovation and one who creates it. In a nutshell this hadith is upon the verse of: “Those that turn (to Allah. in repentance; that serve Him, and praise Him; that wander in devotion to the cause of Allah,: that bow down and prostrate themselves in prayer; that enjoin good and forbid evil; and observe the limit set by Allah.- (These do rejoice). So proclaim the glad tidings to the Believers.” [ref: Surah 9:112] Enjoining good because it encourages fallowing the good innovations, and forbids evil by telling that creator and follower are equal in sight of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) in their sins.

 

Job of a Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) was to educate his Ummat about good, encourage them to practice good, and empower them to preach good. To inform them of the evil, to discourage them from being evil by practicing evil, and to tell them how far they can go to prevent evil; to physical stop a evil, to speak out against it, to believe it in heart that it is evil. And our beloved Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) just did that in his life time. Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) had destined for him a short life in earth and in this short life he was to convey to people the religion of Islam. Teach them the Islam, the Kuffr, the Shirk, the Halal, the Haram, and he did so. He explained many things, made clear what was fundamental and laid the foundations of Ijtihad for issues which were not to take place in his life time. He gave rules, principles which are recorded in Hadith so the later generations of Muslims who face new challenges, tribulations, face new creeds, and practices which are alien to Quran, Sunnah can deduce from these two sources the answers for their queries.

 

It is beyond the shadow of doubt that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) gave the guiding principle regarding good innovation to encourage good innovations and their fallowing. And those who oppose praiseworthy innovations do so due to their ignorance of Quran as well as Sunnah. May Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) guide all of us to the straight path. Ameen!

 

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.

Muhammed Ali Razavi

 

Footnotes:

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- [1] A separate article will be dedicated to the objections of Wahhabi's in which these points, objections, assumptions, as well as unintended dangerous disasters which their own positions inflict upon them will be laid bare. And for now you can try to understand the Hadith from a different angle.

 

- [2] I expect Wahhabis to be foaming; 'Shirk! Mushrik! Kaffir! Bidda!' or choose to disbelieve in haq with their typical way of dismissing the truth: 'See the sufi's interpretation! This interpretation that Prophet is sent with ability of jawami al kalmiis Shirk because he is grave worshiper. Allah Wakbar, we are fallowing salaf as saliheen.' Considering the intellectual level of people who oppose Ahle Sunnat I have no choice but to substantiate my position.

 

- [3] Sahih Muslim, Book 30, Hadith 5830: “Musa b. Talha reported: I and Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) happened to pass by people near the date-palm trees. He (the Holy Prophet) said: What are these people doing? They said: They are grafting, i. e. they combine the male with the female (tree) and thus they yield more fruit. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I do not find it to be of any use. The people were informed about it and they abandoned this practice. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) (was later) on informed (that the yield had dwindled), whereupon he said: If there is any use of it, then they should do it, for it was just a personal opinion of mine, and do not go after my personal opinion; but when I say to you anything on behalf of Allah, then do accept it, for I do not attribute lie to Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.

 

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