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MuhammedAli

Response To Ibn Uthaymeens Argument: - Islam Is Perfected And Completed – No More Room For Praiseworthy Innovations..

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Introduction:

Recently during discussions with a Salafi about the nature of innovations in Islam. The Salafi ‘student of knowledge’ presented me translation of Ibn Uthaymeen’s small pamphlet size MSWord format copy of a Arabic work. He requested me to read and think about the contents and note the strenth of Ibn Uthaymeen’s reasoning against the legitimacy of praiseworthy innovations. He was convinced, once his this booklet was understood by me, it would be impossible for me to hold to the position of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat. Instead it will force me to back-track into Salafism. In this word format he highlighted a certain [portion which will be quoted below] and requested that special attention needs to be paid to it. After reading the entire treaty and much mulling over its line of reasoning and understanding the in-between the line material it was decided best response would be in a written format. Below is the written response which al hamdu lillah demolished the castle of Wahhabiyyah.

1.0 - Salih Al Uthaymeen’s Position In His Own Words:

“That the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not leave anything which the people are in need of in their worship, their dealings with one another and their livelihood without having explained it is proven to you by His speech, the Exalted: “This day have I perfected for you your religion and have completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islaam as a religion.” When this matter has been explained [that Islam is perfected/completed then] - O muslim - know that every one who innovates something in the religion of Allah  (azza wa jal) even if it is with a good intention, then his innovation, along with it being misguidance, will be considered a defamation of the religion of Allah (azza wa jal) and will be considered a denial and rejection of Allah (azza wa jal) the Exalted in His speech: “This day have I perfected for you your religion …”  Since this innovator who innovated a matter into the religion of Allah  (azza wa jal) which is not from the religion of Allah  (azza wa jal) is saying silently that the religion has not been completed because this matter which was left out, and which he innovated, can be used to draw closer to Allah  (azza wa jal).” [Ref: Innovations In The Light Of Perfection Of Shari’ah, by Muhammad bin Salih Al Uthaymeen]

1.1 - Salih Al Uthaymeen’s Position In My Own Words:

Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the source of perfection/completion which is beyond improvement. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) perfected/completed the religion of Islam and any additions or alterations to perfection/compeletion of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) cannot be praiseworthy. This is the reason Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa’sallam) told any/every innovation made part of Islam [after completion/perfection of Islam] is misguidance which takes to hellfire. Hence, there can be no and there is no, valid basis for praiseworthy innovations in Islam. By introducing ‘praiseworthy’ innovations into Islam one is negating the completion/perfection of Islam and improving upon what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and his Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) left us with and is implying that Islam was not perfected/completed.[1]

2.1 - Islam Is The Perfection/Completion Of Islams:

Religion of Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) and his followers, Prophet Isa (alayhis salam) and his followers was Islam: “And Moses said: ‘O my people! If you have believed in Allah, then put your trust in Him if you are Muslims.’” [Ref: 10:84] “And when I Allah inspired the disciples [of Jesus] to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: ‘We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.” [Ref: 5:111] It is recorded in the Hadith that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated that the religion of all Prophets was Islam: "I am most akin to Jesus Christ among the whole of mankind, and all the Prophets are of different mothers but belong to one religion and no Prophet was raised between me and Jesus." [Ref: Muslim, B30, H5835] Their versions of Islam were suitable for their immediate evoriments but the Islam given to our Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) is a continuation of previous versions of Islam and perfection/completion of all those religions of Islam and is a universal message. Hence to argue on basis; our Islam is perfection/compeletion of previous versions of Islams therefore one cannot introduce praiseworthy innovations into our Islam, is utterly useless reasoning, because perfection/compeletion of older versions does not rule out praiseworthy innovations via Ijtihad.

2.2 - Islam Is Perfection/Compeletion In Itself:

Improvements are made by Prophets/Messengers and there is no Prophet/Messenger with revelation after Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam): “Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing.” [Ref: 33:40] Hence the version of Islam given to our Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is perfect/complete and beyond any need of improvements - Islam is perfection/compeletion in itself but this does not mean praiseworthy innovations cannot be made part of Islam via Ijtihad.

2.3 - Allowing Innovated Practices Is Part Of Perfection/Compeletion Of Islam:

Part of compeletion/perfection of Islam that it incorporates teachings which enable the Muslims to incorporate new practices into Islam via Ijtihad. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said in numerous Ahadith: “He who introduced some good Sunnah 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] As long as the newly introduced Sunnahs/Biddahs agree with fundamental principles of Islamic worship, charity, enjoining good, prohibiting wrong and we do not invent a new act of worship but we assemble the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallalu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) under various names, we inroduce good Sunnah. For which there will be reward one who invents it and those who adhere to it and those who call to it: He who called (people) to righteousness/guidance, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6470]

2.4 – Perserving The Compeletion/Perfection Of Islam:

Shara’i evidence firmly established new praiseworthy Biddah/Sunnah can be introduced into Islam and it would be permissible to act on them and acting on these praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs will earn reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Islam was perfected/completed but in this perfected/completed Islam room was created for incorporation of praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated: “We have, without doubt, sent down the Reminder (i.e. the Quran); and We will assuredly guard it (i.e. from corruption).” [Ref: 15:9] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has promised to protect the completion/perfection of Islam from corruption and if introducing praiseworthy innovations into Islam was corruption of Islam then Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would not have created the room for them. Therefore the perfection/completion of Islam will not be effect by newly introduced praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs into religion of Islam.

3.1 - Distorting The Perfection/Compeletion Of Islam:

As Muslims we cannot nor we can believe that a Prophet can come after our Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and abrogate or subsitute or add or ommit or alter any thing that has been taught by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). We must adhere to the Islam taught by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) without engaging in mentioned to maintain perfection/compeletion of Islam. If one engages in abrogation of matters in Ayaat/Ahadith without valid proof, or alters a method taught in Quran/Hadith, or subsitutes a action/belief by another not established with Quranic/Hadith evidence, or adds to a ritual practice or Quranic text which was not part of it, then such person engages in mutilation of Islam. He/She defaces the perfection of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and his beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and it is akin to indirectly claiming God-hood or Prophet-hood.[2] As Muslims we have ensured the teaching of Islam are protected from corruption and we have not made anything part of Islam which defaced Islam.

3.2 - Those Who Defaced Their Versions Of Islam:

The Yahood/Nasara defaced the Islams given to them by their respective Prophets and took their innovative religions as the Islams of Prophets Musa/Isa (alayhis salam). In short they alterted the Islams and made them into monsteracities which they are recognized by at present. The message and teaching of Quran are still preserved and easily accessible. There has been no alteration, addition, ommition and abrogation of Quranic message of Islam in the Ummah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) like it happened to the religions of previous Prophets. Therefore the completion, the perfection of Islam is preserved and nothing of Islam has been defaced, or removed, or omitted, or abrogated, or altered.

3.3 – True Act Of Defacing Of Islam:

True defamation of Islam would be, if one engages in altering the order of actions performed in prayers. One starts his prayers with prostration and ends it with standing or recites Surah Fatihah in prostration three times and recites twenty hail Mary’s (i.e. Ave Maria). Another example would be to believe that some parts of Quran have been omitted/deleted by Muslims. Or to add another verse to the end of Surah Fatiha, such as; lana tulillahi alal kazibeen, and believe it is part of Quran. Or altering the confession of Tawheedi creed to; there is no god except three in the One god and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. These are examples of improvements/innovations which in reality deface Islam not praiseworthy innovations. A praiseworthy innovation introduced into Islam via Ijtihad and which was not and is not believed to be Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and it accords with teaching of Islam, does not effect the compeletion/perfection of Islam, rather it compliments it.

4.1 – Innovated Sunnah In Line With Perfection/Completion Of Islam:

During the Khilafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Musailamah claimed Prophet-hood. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) sent armies to eliminate this Dajjal. At the end of wars some seventy Hufadh had fallen in the way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) realized if the Hufadh continue to receive matyrdom at this rate sooner or later Quran will be lost, so he visited Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu). He said to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala): "Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the! Qur'an (i.e. those who knew the Qur'an by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yalmama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur'an be collected." At this point one can say, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala) was opinion that collection of Quran as a single book format is a innovation which will deface the perfection/completion of Islam, so he said: "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" Hadhrat Umar (subhanahu wa ta’ala) trys to convince him that it is a good Sunnah which does not effect the perfection/completion of Islam by saying: "By Allah, that is a good project.” Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala) continues saying: "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] Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is now convinced that compiling Quran in a book is a praiseworthy innovation which even Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not engage in nor instructed. He also understood that religion of Islam was complete and all that was part of fundamental teaching Islam has been made part of Islam by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). He also realized that the perfection/completion of Islam is not effected by a innovative praiseworthy Sunnah and nor do the praiseworthy innovations deface the perfection/completion of Islam. He also understood, by compiling Quran in a single book it does not amount to him ordering completion/perfection of Islam after Islam was perfected/completed.[3]

4.2 – Khalifah Gives Instructions To Engage In Praiseworthy Innovation:

Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says to a Sahabi: “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)." The Sahabi narrator added: “By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an.” Then he said to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala) what Hadhrat Abu Bakr (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said to Hadhrat Umar (subhanahu wa ta’ala) when he had suggested compiling Quran in single book format: "How will you do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?" The Hadith continues: "By Allah, it is a good project." Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and `Umar.” [Ref: Bukhari, B61, H509] Once the companion realized the goodness in this praiseworthy Biddah/Sunnah and just like Hadhrat Abu Bakr realized it does not amount to blameworthy innovation [which disfigures the perfection/completion of Islam] he began gathering and compiling Quran into single book format and the result was Quran in our possesion today.

5.1 - The Destroyer of Perfection/Completion Of Islam:

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) explained all essentials of religion of Islam. He explained the concept of worship, types of worship, the method of worship and when to worship. He explained Zakat, Sadqa, Khayrat, and all issues connected with charity. He taught how to perform Ghusul and when to perform Ghusul. He taught the method of Wudhu and when to perform Wudhu. In short he taught all aspects of daily life and this is completion/perfection of Quran and Islam, stated: “This day have I perfected for you your religion and have completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islaam as a religion.” [Ref: 5:3] Islam is religion of micro-guidance, it aims to guides/manage all affairs. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) made Islam for mankind and for those who will come till the judgment day. Our Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) explained the affairs which were happening in his time but left principles via aid of which we will be able to judge matters to arise after, and part of these principles the teaching is: “He who introduced some good Sunnah 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] Therefore Muslims know that praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs are part of perfection/compeletion of Islam. One who argues against and believes; praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs are against the teaching of Islam is guilty of innovation. He refutes/rejects a teaching of Islam, which daringly can be said to be established by Tawatir. Even though one has good intentions his innovation is misguidance and is a distortion of perfection/completion of Islam – the religion approved by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The  innovator of reprehensible innovation is indirectly claiming the right of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for himself – claims to have the right to legislate religion. Or he is claiming to be spokes person of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) after it has been clearly stated there is no Nabi/Messenger with Shari’a after our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has reported to have said: “Aishah reported the Messenger of Allah as saying: if any one introduces into this affair of ours anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected. Ibn Isa said: the prophet said: if anyone practices any action in away other than our practice, it is rejected.” [Ref: Dawood,  B41, H4589] O Muslims, therefore believe in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as your God and believe in His beloved Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as the last/final Prophet. O Muslims, reject those who exercise the right of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and exercise the right of a Prophet to disfigure the perfection/completion of Islam and reject their reprehensible innovations. They oppose Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). O Muslims, you oppose such a individual and his party and believe what is taught by Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If you do not then know in sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) the only acceptable religion is of Islam and you will be amongst the loosers in day of judgment: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [Ref: 3:85] This is Islam is composed of teaching of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and if you leave him and obey the rival and enemy of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa’sallam) then you have preffered for your self religion other then perfected/compeleted religion of Islam. You have chosen for your self; the religion of Shaytan, the religion of Ibn Uthaymeen but not the religion of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). O heretics, you be to your religion and know that we believed in Islam and we believed in our Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) when he said: “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. And whoever introduces a bad 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] This the best of guidance of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and what opposes his teaching is innovation and every teaching which opposes and disfigures the perfection/completion of Islam takes to hellfire.

5.2– Blameworthy Innovations Harm Perfection/Completion Of Islam:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is error." [Ref: Bukhari, B4, H1885] and in another Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “The worst of things are those that are newly invented; every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is going astray, and every going astray is in the Fire.” [Ref: Sunan Nisa’I, B19, H1579] It is established Ibn Uthaymeen the chief of group of Satan, the leader of the Khawarij, opposed Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in regards to introducing praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs into Islam, hence he introduced a blameworthy innovation into Islam. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated: He who enacted any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf, that is to be rejected. [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our  affair religion, that thing is rejected." [Ref: Bukhari, B49, H861] In obedience to Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) we reject Ibn Uthaymeen’s innovation which defaced the perfected/completed Islam.

Conclusion:

Religion of Islam is has been completed and perfected by Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) last and finale Prophet – Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The beloved Prophet and the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informed one who introduces praiseworthy Biddah/Sunnah into Islam which is followed after him it will be rewarded by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and those who call toward such praisworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs they will also be rewarded like the ones who act upon it. The teaching which permit introduction of praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs into Islam is part of perfection/compeletion of Islam and as  long as the innovated practice is in accordance with the teaching of Islam and does not contradict the teaching of worship, charity, encouraging good, forbidding evil, and it aids Islam, then it is a good Sunnah/Biddah. The real true enemy of Islam, the destroyer and negater of perfection/completion of Islam is Ibn Uthaymeen the enemy of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). He has censored praiseworthy Biddah/Sunnah which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permitted and about which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) told of reward – for one who innovates and one who practices it. Ibn Uthaymeen and the Khariji minions of Iblees from Najd have found fault in the perfection/completion of Islam. Hence they have rejected the conceptual validity of introducing praiseworthy Sunnahs/Biddahs into Islam. The Khariji’s reject this teaching of Islam and the fruits of this teaching. Therefore the innovation and the distortion of perfection/completion of Islam is from Khawarij and their scholars, and in this context Ibn Uthaymeen the cursed.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Footnotes:

- [1] If anyone is unhappy about my presentation of Ibn Uthaymeen’s reasoning then please be my guest and present his position from his own work better then my representation. Rest assured I have greatly improved the strenth of his reasoning. In other words his reasoning is presented more precisely, more elequently, more forcefully then Mr Ibn Uthaymeen did.

- [2] If he affirms Prophet-hood or God-hood with his tongue and it is not impliedfrom his actions then such a person is Kafir, otherwise such a person is heretic of worst kind.

- [3] Ibn Uthaymeen wrote:” Since this innovator who innovated a matter into the religion of Allah  (azza wa jal) which is not from the religion of Allah  (azza wa jal) is saying silently that the religion has not been completed because this matter which was left out, and which he innovated, can be used to draw closer to Allah  (azza wa jal).” Based on this statement of Ibn Uthaymeen, one is forced to conclude that Mr Ibn Uthaymeen’s regarding Hadhrat Umar and Hadhrat Abu Bakr position would be they were completing/perfecting Quran which was left uncomplete/imperfect by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and by His Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu alayh wa aalihi was’sallam).

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