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Explaining The Principles Of 'praiseworthy Innovation'.


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Explaining The Principles Of 'Praiseworthy Innovation'.

 

Introduction:

 

Definition of bidd'a was explained as:

 

- Praiseworthy Innovation: Any new Action/Practice with ASAL (i.e. origin,genesis)from the Qur'an/Sunnah then it is Biddah Hasanah.

 

The principles outlined to allow the readers to properly understand the definition were not explained. In this article inshallah all the principles will be explained with examples and supplemented with evidence.

 

Praiseworthy Innovation:

 

- Some praiseworthy innovations have been made by making additions into what Prophet of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) taught[1]. Others have been totally striped from their original context and practiced in a new context[2], and some are completely new and have no evidence from Quran or Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) yet their praiseworthiness can not be denied[3]. Then there are those praiseworthy innovations which are a compilation of many Sunnahs of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) and practiced as one[4]. All have one thing common, that they were not practiced by our beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) nor taught by him in the way which later they became, but all of these praiseworthy innovations can be supported from direct evidence of either Quran or Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam). Insha'allah in this part you will see example of some of them and the remaining will are covered in similar articles in the forum.

 

- Praiseworthy innovation is a act which is not commanded by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) explicitly nor it was practiced by RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) nor he instructed it, but it was a innovation of either a Sahabi or a scholar. And the nature of this practice is that it does not contradict the explicit teachings of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) in the Quran or explicit teaching of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), but it supplements the teachings of Quran, Hadith, encourages good, promotes righteousness, and assists spreading of message of Islam.

 

Bidd'a Hasanah is a undeniable fact in Islam which is established from clear proofs of Sunnah, therefore there must be some guidance in Sunnah direct or indirect. It is unthinkable that our beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) 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.”[5] yet left his Ummah with no guidance to determine what would be good innovation. Therefore the opinion of servant is that those guidelines exist and were only waiting to be discovered. Alhamdulillah with Allah's (subhana wa ta'ala) guidance the matter was made plain to me and the principles to judge Bidd'a Hasanah became apparent. The derived principles explained in this part are derived from the Ahadith which provide guideline to understand Bidd'a Sai'yah because the opposite of these naturally would be supporting Bidd'a Hasanah (i.e. Lughvi Bidd'a).

 

*Principle One: Innovation for which there is valid reason, it is accepted.

 

In the above principle the important words 'valid reason' is in meaning of valid explicit, implicit evidence from Quran, Sunnah, also 'valid reason' is in meaning of valid need of innovation.

 

Valid Reason & Valid Evidence:

 

- In the time of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) there was only one Adhaan (i.e. call to prayer) for the Jumma prayers (and second Adhaan is Iqama) which was proclaimed when the Imam had taken his position on the pulpit, but in time Hadhrat Uthman (radiallah tallah anh) third Adhan was added:

 

Sahih Bukhari, Book 13, Hadith 36: “Narrated As-Saib bin Yazid: The person who increased the number of Adhans for the Jumua prayers to three was Uthman bin Affan and it was when the number of the (Muslim) people of Medina had increased. In the life-time of the Prophet there was only one Muadh-dhin and the Adhan used to be pronounced only after the Imam had taken his seat (i.e. on the pulpit).”

 

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."

 

The hadith makes it clear that reason for the increase of Adhan from two to three was that number of Muslims had increased. From this we can deduce that due to the increase of Muslims, not all heard the Adhan when it was proclaimed by Mua'adin, so it was decided to increase the Adhan to three given at different places so everyone can hear it.

 

The third Adhaan in the market was a later innovation and was not in practice in the time of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'salam), nor Abu Bakr (radiallah tallah anh) neither Umar (radiallah tallah anh) but Uthman (radiallah tallah anh) introduced it during his Khilafah. The basis on which third Adhan was proclaimed in the market on Jumma because Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) stated:

 

Surah Al Jumma (62) Verse 9: “O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!”

 

Keeping this ayah of Quran in mind Uthman (radiallah ta'ala anh) introduced the third Adhan because it will help to spread the message of deen, reminds people of the time of prayer and them of special instruction of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) gave to the traders in Quran. Another reason for Adhaan's legitimacy is Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) quotes the Ambiyah (alayhis salam) said to their nations: "And our duty is only to PROCLAIM the clear Message." [36:17] by proclaiming Adhan in the market we are proclaiming the clear message of Islam, and this is our duty as an Ummati of beloved Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'salam).

 

* Principle Two: Innovation which is in harmony with the principles of Islam that is to be accepted.

 

Innovation in harmony with principles of Islam implying that innovation has to be in line with teaching of Quran and Sunnah. It has to be in line with teaching of worship, innovation should assist in fulfilling a deeni objective, etc.

 

Harmonious Praiseworthy Innovations:

The ahadith record two Talbiyas (i.e. a prayer recited during tawaf) of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) :

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 2667: “'Abdullah b. 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Talbiya of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was this: Here I am at Thy service. O Allah, here I am at Thy service, here I am at Thy service. There is no associate with Thee; here I am at Thy service. Verily all praise and grace is due to Thee, and the sovereignty (too). There is no associate with Thee. He ...”

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 2670: “... And 'Abdullah b. 'Umar (Allah be pleased'with them) said that 'Umar b. Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) pronounced, the Talbiya of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) in these words of his (Prophet's words) and said: Here I am at Thy service, O Lord; here I am at Thy service, ready to obey Thee, and good is in Thy Hand, Here I am at Thy service. Unto Thee is the petition and deed (is also for Thee).

 

- Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah tallah anh) pointed out the Sunnah Talbiyahs to ensure that people do not interpret his Ijtihadi unification of Talbiyahs has Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) and unified these two Talbiyah's as one to Talbiyah::

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 2668: “... by it and he said: “Here I am at Thy service, O Lord; here I am at Thy service: here I am at Thy service. There is no associate with Thee. Here I am at Thy service. All praise and grace is due to Thee and the sovereignty (too). There is no associate with Thee.”They (the people) said that 'Abdullah b. 'Umar said that that was the Talbiya of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). Nafi' said: 'Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) made this addition to it: ...”

 

Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 2667: “'Abdullah b. 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported that the Talbiya of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was this: ... He (the narrator) further said that 'Abdullah b. 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) made this addition to it: Here I am at Thy service; here I am at Thy service; ready to obey Thee, and good is in Thy Hand; here 1 am at Thy service; unto Thee is the petition, and deed (is also for Thee).”

 

This innovation of unification of two Sunnahs is in absolutely with harmony with the principles of deen, its in harmony with Quran, Sunnah, it teaches worship of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), and assists in understanding the aqeedah of Tawheed better (i.e. good is in control of Allah), affirming that aid we seek is from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), and our deeds are done to please Allah (subhana wa ta'ala).

 

Note the both Talbiya's have proof from Quran, but here I will establish one of them. The words: ... and good is in Thy Hand; ...” is proven from the verse of Quran where Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) declares the good is from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), and evil happens to us because of our selves:Whatever good happens to you is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to you is from your (own) soul.” [4:79]. The fallowing addition: ... unto Thee is the petition, ...” is supported by: You we worship and You we ask for help (in dua).” [1:5] and finally the addition ...and deed (is also for Thee).” Was included in response to Allah's (subhana wa ta'ala) command to say: Say: Lo! my worship and my sacrifice and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” [6:162]

 

- In the time of Rasoolallah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) and the companions the diacritical marks and vowels were not employed in writings. The copy of Quran ordered by Hadhrat Uthman (radiallah tallah anh) during his Khilafah is without diacritical markings. It is agreed by scholar that these markings were introduced some 150 years after to facilitate the recitation of non-Arab Muslims.

 

Diacritical markings facilitate the recitation of Quran properly, recitation of Quran is form of Ibadah (i.e. worship), and diacritical marks allow non Arabic speakers to pronounce the words of Quran properly in prayers (i.e. recitation of Surah in prayers) therefore its in line with principles of deen, therefore this innovation is praiseworthy. This is type of praiseworthy innovation which has no evidence but its praiseworthiness can not be denied.

 

* Principle Three: Innovation for which there is sanction from Quran/Sunnah, that is to be accepted.

 

A innovative concept which has explicit/implicit confirmation in Quran, or Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) but was not practiced by RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) nor taught by him in the manner which it was practiced.

 

Sanctioned Praiseworthy Innovation:

 

- Once beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) was leading prayers when he raised his head from the bowing he uttered: "Sami'a-l-lahu Liman hamida." a Sahabi instead of saying: "Rabbana walaka-l hamd.” replied with: "Rabbana walaka-l hamd hamdan Kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi" note addition to the Sunnah. Beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) approved the addition:

 

Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 12, Number 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 pure 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.”

 

This shows that the Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) is to approve praiseworthy innovations even if the praiseworthy innovation is actually altering his taught method of prayer. Note that Sahabi (radiallah tallah anh) interpreted the verse: Al hamdulillahi rabil alameen.” Which means: “All praise is for Allah the Rabb of Alameen.” [1:1] with words: “O our Lord! All the praises are for You, many pure and blessed praises.” and approval of Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) indicates that interpretation was valid.

 

Please bare in mind that Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma ajma'een) were mujtahideen, and the Sahabi who made addition to the Sunnah was a Mujtahid whose Ijtihad was approved by RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam). This approval does not mean that we the Ummati's alter the taught method of prayers at our leisure. Rather we must remember that this approval of Rasoolallah (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) was only for that Sahabi, the rest are instructed to hold fast to the Jammah (i.e. group of Sahabah) the great majority (i.e. Sawad Al Azam) in aqeedah and in practice.

 

- Wife of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) Hadhrat Um Salama (radiallah ta'ala anha) used to dip the hair of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) in the water for people to cure their illnesses, and to dispel the effects of evil eye:

 

Sahih Bukhari, Book 72, Hadith 784: “Narrated IsraiI: Uthman bin 'Abdullah bin Mauhab said, "My people sent me with a bowl of water to Um Salama." Isra'il approximated three fingers ('indicating the small size of the container') in which there was some hair of the Prophet. 'Uthman added, "If any person suffered from evil eye or some other disease, he would send a vessel (containing water) to Um Salama. I looked into the container (that held the hair of the Prophet) and saw a few red hairs in it.”

 

Even though in life time of Prophet (salallahu alayhi was'salam) there is no evidence that he himself taught the wives or the Sahabah about using his hair to cure illnesses they had arrived at the understanding independently that his hair can benefit the sick and those who have been effected by evil eye. There is no clear explicit teachings in Quran for use of hair, but the general principle is that Tabarrakat (i.e. relics) of Ambiyah (alayhis salam) can be used to gain favor of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). The Ijtihad of Sahabah (radiallah ta'ala anhuma ajma'een) is without doubt supported by the verse:

 

Surah Yusuf (12) Verse 93: "Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me together with all your family."

 

The brothers of Hadhrat Yusuf (alayhis salam) take his kamees and place it on the face of their father Hadhrat Yaqoob (alayhis salam), and Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) restores the noor of eyes because of it:

 

Surah Yusuf (12) Verse 96: “Then when the bearer of the good news came, He cast over his face, and he forthwith regained clear sight. He said: "Did I not say to you, 'I know from Allah that which ye know not?'"

 

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) explains why he repeats the stories of past nations, Prophets, etc:

 

Surah Yusuf (12) Verse 111: “There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding.”

 

The Mujtahideen Sahabah (radiallah tallah anhuma ajma'een) took instruction from the story of Hadhrat Yusuf (alayhis salam), that the relics of Ambiyah (alayhis salam) can earn mercy, favor from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), thus they used the hair of beloved Messenger (sallalahu alayhi was'salam) to cure illnesses, and ward off evil eye.

 

Conclusion:

 

Every novelty in harmony with principles of Deen, with a valid reason, and for which there is EXPLICIT / IMPLICIT instruction in deen is Biddah Hasanah, and every Biddah Hasanah is reward-worthy.

 

Muhammed Ali Razvi

--------------

FootNotes:

 

- [1a] type one which has evidence (i.e. addition to talbiyah: good is in thine hand,thine aid we seek in dua)

- [1b] type two, doesnt have evidence (i.e. prayer is better then sleep/ as salatu khairu minanaw)

- [2] Nawafil before execution, and performing Tahajjud in one Jammat about which Hadhrat Umar: ... excellent bidd'a!”

- [3] Diacritical markings.

- [4] Milaad Un Nabi Peace And Blessings Be Upon Him, Geeyarween, etc.

- [5] Sahih Muslim, Book 34, Hadith 6466

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