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A Failed Attempt To Distort Hadith Of Good Sunnah In Islam By The One Acting On Sunnah Of Khawarij.

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Introduction:

Shaikh Abu Rumaysah wrote an extensive article in which he presented his sects Khariji understanding on subject of innovation. Part of this article is dedicated to refuting arguments which Muslims present to refute his understanding of innovation. At explanation number three he attempts to explain the Hadith from Sahih of Imam Muslim (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) regarding followers of good Sunnah being rewarded equal to one who introduced it. Briefly, his position on this Hadith is to be understood according to context, and that charity was already part of Islam hence the phrase was uttered for sake of reviving a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and this principle is not for introduction of praiseworthy innovations. His position will be judged from Islamic perspective so the truth of matter is revealed for the Muslims.

An Invitation To Access Evidence And Dialogue:

In the beginning of the article the writer/compiler Abu Hanna wrote why this article was penned. There is mention of many accusations hurled against them, which is of no interest of servant. The author of first statement continued to write: “We ask the brothers and sisters to look for the 'clear argument', to consider the evidence that is provided herein. Do not let this article be a cause for creating more fitna (trials), but instead an opportunity to see a way forward for some reconciliation.” He continues to write: “If you do disagree with this article, then let this be a chance to start a dialogue between us and you rather than a war of words. You know our evidence, please show us yours and let us approach the issue with the scholastic behavior of our predecessors.” As a Muslim one cannot agree with the content of article because it contradicts words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and is based on distortion of clear and emphatic teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Hence it is in spirit of fair academic sincere dialogue, servant will present the Islamic approach to understanding the set of Ahadith in question. We are commanded to change the evil in following ways: “Whoever among you sees an evil action and can change it with his hand (by taking action), let him change it with his hand. If he cannot do that, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot do that, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B36, H4013] And if writing can be considered internet form of speech then the most befitting way to rectify the misguidance is by writing a response pointing to misguidance. The objective is, to guide to path of Islam, neither to humiliate nor to hurt the feelings of those who follow the path contrary to Prophetic teaching. Effort has been made to maintain an academic decorum, but if there is slip, then servant humbly requests; you bare it knowing companions suffered far greater for sake of religion of Islam then a stinging word. Servant ends with: “Remember that at times, due its inherent power the truth can be somewhat painful at first, but acceptance and submission to it is ultimately the objective of every sincere student of knowledge.  As Allah the Truth says (what means), "Nay, we fling down the truth against falsehood so it smashes through its mind, and behold, it vanishes."[Ref: Surah al-Anbiya 21:18] If Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) permits the author of this article will be notified and given opportunity to respond. Any beneficial developments will be published on the forum.

Articles On This Subject Which Support Islamic Position:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave many principles in numerous Ahadith which are in a specific context but those principles are generally applied by Muslims and Khawarij to judge all modern issues. The following article shows Khariji sectarian bias remains in regards to Ahadith of good Sunnah but the generality of Ahadith is maintained in other Ahadith, here. Yet Khawarij only restrict the principles given in the Ahadith of good Sunnah to their context because these Ahadith establish legitimacy of introducing praiseworthy innovations into Islam and tell of reward for emulating these Sunnahs. Next one demonstrates that the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) can be taken literally and interpreted, and both methodologies are valid, and presents Islamic position, here. Also by contextualizing Ahadith can negate the generality and this means all principles which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are according to the context and cannot be used as a guiding principle outside of contextual relevance as demonstrated, here. It is established from Hadith that word Sunnah is being used in meaning of innovation and the benefit of this is that it eliminates the argument; the Ahadith of good Sunnah are about reviving Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here. Lastly another article argues words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are part of revelation and regarding revelation Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said that it is jawami al kalim in nature (i.e. meaning shortest expression with vast meanings). Therefore the principles which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave in Ahadith of good Sunnah and bad Sunnah are short but express vast meanings. For these principles to be in line with jawami al kalim nature they must not be restricted to context but all valid interpretations must be accepted. May they be historical, contextual, and intertextual, here.

Full Explanation Of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah:

The Hadith: “He who sets a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who sets in Islam an evil Sunnah, there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden.” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H2219] The evidence that they derive from this hadith is that people can invent new practices in Islam which are either good or bad. Of course, if they were to take the hadith in its full context then it is not possible to derive this meaning. The context of the hadith states that a group of poor people came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) so he asked those around him to give charity, but no one came forward - so much so that signs of anger could be discerned on the face of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), so one of the companions stepped forward and gave charity, so the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said the above hadith. Firstly, the word 'Sunnah' which is used in this hadith cannot be understood to mean the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), because that would imply that there is something bad in the Sunnah; rather it is to be understood in its linguistic meaning of 'practice’. Secondly, this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it, so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah” Hence, in the early works of 'Aqeedah, this hadith was included under the chapter headings, "The reward of the one who renews the Sunnah." [For example Sharh Usool I'tiqaad 1/50] The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alayhis salaam wa 'alaa nabiyina), one killing the other.  So upon the murderer was the sin of the killing and the sin of all those that killed after him, without their sins being reduced. Thirdly, the hadith uses the terms 'good' and 'bad', and the Shari’ah has already defined in its totality all that is good and all that is bad. This is what is pointed to in the statement of Imam ash-Shaafi'ee in his refutation of Istihsaan (declaring something to be good) when he said, "Whoever declares something to be good, he has declared it part of Shari’ah." [Ref: ar-Risala][!] [Ref: MuslimConverts]

The Hadith In Discussion:

“Jarir bin Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. 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 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 their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466]

Key Points Of Shaikh Abu  Rumaysah’s Explanation:

i) Statement of Hadith in discussion is to be understood in the context of historical event. ii) Word Sunnah is not in meaning of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but in linguistic meaning of practice. iii) The charity was part of Islam even before the event took place. iv) Companion of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) implemented the charity when people were reluctant. v) He revived a Sunnah/the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by giving charity.

Key Points Of Hadith Of Sahih Muslim:

i) Poor people came to Masjid Nabvi belonging to tribe of Mudar. ii) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave khutbah (i.e. speech) reminding the companions about their bond with one another through Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam)[1] and exhorted them to give charity. iii) Companions were reluctant which angered Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and signs of it showed on his face. iv) A companion came with purse of silver and donated it. This started a chain reaction and all companions contributed according to their capacity. This continued until signs of happiness Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were visible on his face. v) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told of equal reward for one who sets/introduces a good Sunnah in Islam and those who follow this good Sunnah.

Meaning Of Word Sunnah In Hadith Of Good And Bad Sunnah:

Both of us agree, word Sunnah in Hadith of bad Sunnah in literally means way and practice. Shaikh Abu Rumaysah has stated: “… the word 'Sunnah' which is used in this hadith cannot be understood to mean the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), because that would imply that there is something bad in the Sunnah; rather it is to be understood in its linguistic meaning of 'practice’.” If the word Sunnah is considered in context of the phrase, he who introduced a bad Sunnah into Islam, then implication of this is; bearing of burden being told is for something which is not already part of Islam. Note innovation is not part of Islam hence the word way/practice is in meaning of innovation. A Hadith from Tirmadhi which has exactly same meaning uses the word Bid’ah (i.e. innovation) instead of Sunnah (i.e. practice), here: “ And if anyone introduces a misguiding innovation with which Allah and His Messenger are not pleased then he gets a sin like the sins of those who observe it and nothing is deducted from the sins of the people.” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2677] This establishes part of Hadith of Muslim (i.e. bad Sunnah) is about innovation and note both parts of Hadith of Muslim (i.e. good Sunnah and bad Sunnah) are grammatically exactly same apart from words which give each principle a distinctive meaning. Therefore in the Hadith of Muslim the word Sunnah phrase, good Sunnah, is in meaning of innovation. To strengthen the Islamic position note, if  the word Sunnah is considered in context of the phrase, he who introduced a good Sunnah into Islam, then implication of this is; reward being told is for something which is not already part of Islam innovation is not part of Islam hence the word way/practice is in meaning of innovation.

Good Sunnah Is Reviving Which Is Already Part Of Islam:

Considering the following part of quote: “Second, this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it, so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah.” And considering the following: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar [to good Sunnah]. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad …” I have come to conclusion that brief position of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah would be two possibilities: i) Meaning of a good Sunnah is renewing or reviving something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be good. ii) Meaning of a good Sunnah is renewing or reviving something that the Shari’ah has already made part of Islam. Question for Shaikh, is reciting Salat (i.e. sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) after mentioning Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) a good Sunnah? You will agree it is good Sunnah. Did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) declare this as good Sunnah?  Is reciting Salat after mentioning Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) part of Islam? No it isn’t! Yet you agreed it is a good Sunnah. The people of knowledge know; reciting Salat after mentioning of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was started by Imam Ma’lik (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and this practiced continued to be enjoined by Muslims ever since. There is reward for Imam Ma’lik (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) due to starting this good Sunnah and those who follow his example, according to following: He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Point to note is, your definition of good Sunnah is invalid. Introducing good Sunnah into Islam does not mean reviving a prophetic Sunnah rather it means something which was not part of Islam but is made part of Islam via Ijtihad.


Claiming Of Reviving Prophetic Sunnah Of Charity:

Ahadith record Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) exhorted the companions to give charity, here: “Jarir bin Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. 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 …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] There was no need of reviving of prophetic Sunnah of charity. It was alive amongst them, and Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was alive, encouraging good and forbidding evil. Reviving is of those prophetic Sunnahs which have been erased from the memory of Muslims, and reviving of prophetic Sunnahs is only after death of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here: "I am ready to know O Messenger of Allah!" He said: "That indeed whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah which has died after me, then for him is a reward similar to whoever acts upon it without diminishing anything from their rewards." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2677] "I heard the Messenger of Allah say: 'Whoever revives a Sunnah of mine that dies out after I am gone, he will have a reward equivalent to that of those among the people who act upon it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H210] Shaykh interpreted the reluctance of companions to give charity has death of prophet Sunnah. Reluctance of companions to give charity cannot be interpreted to mean prophetic Sunnah of giving charity was dead amongst them and which needed reviving. Burden of proof is upon Shaykh to establish; prophetic Sunnah of giving charity was forgotten/dead in life time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) which was being revived by companion. As for the Islamic position, servant has already established it with evidence. Note, there was no need for reviving the prophet Sunnah of giving charity because it was known to companions and by establishing this position the basis of Abu Rumaysah’s argument has been refuted. Hence the literal meaning of prophet words in Hadith of, whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, stands: He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466]


Companion Introduced Nothing New Into Islam:

He writes: “…this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it …” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] So my question is, the first person who initiated the donation process what was his contribution to Islam? Note, the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are clear that one who introduces a good practice in Islam he will get reward equal to those who follow his Sunnah. By giving charity he merely initiated a process of giving charity and he did not introduce this practice into Islam because charity and giving charity was already part of Islam.

Companion Revived A Prophetic Sunnah:

He writes further: “… so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it …” Abu Rumaysah saying that he revived a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by being the first one to donate does not fit the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were, he who introduces a good Sunnah of Islam, then the context would fit the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are: he who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam. Note the Hadith states, one who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam and implication of which is; the Sunnah being introduced into Islam is not part of it already. Therefore the arguments that this statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was about reviving the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is incorrect. The position of Abu Rumaysah; this statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is to be understood in the historical context is proven wrong. It is wrong on the basis that this statement is about which is not part of Islam and the companion only initiated charity which was part of Islam.

Hadith Was Part Of Reviving A Sunnah:

He wrote: “Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah” Hence, in the early works of 'Aqeedah, this hadith was included under the chapter headings, "The reward of the one who renews the Sunnah." [For example Sharh Usool I'tiqaad 1/50] Answer to this is; there are two components of the following Hadith, one is introducing into Islam [which is not part of it already] and the other is connected with reviving good/bad innovated Sunnah, here: “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 their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] The Hadith has an innovating component and reviving component, and it was part of reviving corpus cause of reviving component. It is due to foolishness that one ignores the following part of Hadith: “… He who introduced some good practice in Islam …”, and is only focusing at the following part only: “… 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, …” Also note, reviving component of the Hadith is connected with innovating component of Hadith hence it means, those who revive the newly introduced practice into Islam will have equal reward to one who introduced it. Hence it was part of reviving corpus not because of reviving Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but it was in such collections due to reviving newly introduced Sunnah into Islam.

Bad Sunnah Is Renewing Which Is Already Declared Bad:

He wrote: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad …” According to Shaikh Abu Rumaysah meaning of bad Sunnah is renewing something which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) already declared sinful/bad. Question for Shaikh, could you guide me to a verse of Quran or Hadith in which pole dancing almost naked in presence of none family males is declared bad/sinful? No! I didn’t think you could quote me a Hadith or Ayah either but is watching pole dancing bad/sinful or not? Sinful! Has the Shari’ah already declared it bad? An honest answer is, no! Point here is pole dancing is not renewing which Shari’ah has declared bad/sinful but it is still bad and this refutes your position, quoted above. Another question, was oral ###### declared bad by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or by Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? No! Is oral ###### bad or not? Bad![2] Has the Shari’ah declared oral ######, bad? Another honest and truthful answer is, no! The point is renewing or starting something Shari’ah has already declared to be bad is not the definition of bad Sunnah. Engaging in something which Shari’ah has declared bad, is sinful. Bad Sunnah is, a Sunnah which is introduced into religion of Islam and is composed religious/non-religious activities but component of which is engaging in Haram, or Shirk, or Kufr. To explain this with an example, filthy rich money-Shaikh goes to perform Hajj. He takes with him the finest quality wine bottles, 20k a piece. An imported infidel butler and the money-Shaikh is accompanied by 10 of the sluttiest sluts of Europe in sluttiest clothes possible. Monkey-Shaikh is fit as a fiddle but he is carried by these sluttiest sluts on a throne made out of gold thread embroidery and on his head is diamond crown. His sluts carry him around the Kabah for first Tawaf, and the butler pours the fine wine in glass for him. He sips bit by bit until second Tawaf begins and butler being professional pours the second glass of cold fine wine. The money-Shaikh ends his seventh Tawaf with his seven glass of fine wine. His behavior becomes a yardstick for filthy rich Arabs and all emulate his Sunnah closely as they can. Now question is, is this renewing or starting something which Shari’ah has declared bad, or is it a new bad Sunnah? It is a new bad Sunnah into religion of Islam. Will money-Shaikh earn the equal sin of those who follow his newly invented reprehensible Sunnah? Damn right he will because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah 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 their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Important point here is that principle is not just for historical context but it is to be applied generally to all new reprehensible innovations/practices.

The Issue Of Relevance Of Second Sentence Of Statement:

Now if the first sentence of good Sunnah in Islam was said in context of historical event then it must be that the second sentence was also in context of historical event. The second sentence of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) statement is: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah 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 their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] What is the reprehensible Sunnah which the companions introduced which resulted in Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) telling them that they will be bearing the burden of introducing evil Sunnah? Shaikh Abu Rumaysah does not answer this question but instead he interprets the Hadith out of the context. An educated estimation would be that his response would be as follows: companions were eliminating the Sunnah of giving charity in the way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) due to their reluctance and this was evil Sunnah. Does this statement apply to all types of reprehensible Sunnahs or just the one you pointed out? If he says to all types of reprehensible Sunnahs then note he has taken this statement out of historical context. This statement was in context of reluctance to give charity according to his methodology hence it can only be applied to similar event. If he was to interpret it generally he is going against his own position of interpreting the Hadith according to context, and he did go against his own principle. He interpreted the second sentence of the Hadith in light of Hadhrat Adam’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) son murdering his brother, he wrote: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alayhis salaam wa alaa nabiyina), one killing the other. So upon the murderer was the sin of the killing and the sin of all those that killed after him, without their sins being reduced.” This establishes that Shaikh Abu Rumaysah interpreted the Hadith and went against what he complained about in the beginning of his response (i.e. words of Hadith are interpreted out of context). If the context was so fundamental to understanding the statements of Hadith in discussion why would he leave it and interpret it with Hadith of son of Adam (alayhis salaam)? Point here is; context is important but the principles are not limited restricted to the context only.

Interpretation Of Bad Sunnah Critically Analyzed:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "Whenever a person is murdered unjustly, there is a share from the burden of the crime on the first son of Adam for he was the first to start the tradition of murdering." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H552] It is clear that son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) was the first person to start murder and one who follows his footsteps receives equal sin to him and this agrees with the following principle: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah 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 their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Note the word underlined here: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently …” This points to reprehensible Sunnah which was not part of Islam before but is being made part of Islam by son of Adam (alayhis salaam). Murder was an evil Sunnah which did not exist prior to incident mentioned in Hadith of Bukhari. In this context the meaning of Hadith of Bukhari compliments the following perfectly: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah 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 their being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Hence if a bad practice is introduced in Islam then continuously revived by others then all those who renew it are equally sinful for emulating it and son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) did introduce a bad Sunnah of murder which was without a precedent. Therefore this incident of Bukhari is proof of Islamic position not Khariji position because an evil Sunnah is introduced and then followed. And in part of good Sunnah the Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s position is that nothing new was introduced only an old practice was revived. Note he wrote meaning of bad Sunnah is similar to good Sunnah: The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or …” If this is indeed the case then companion must have introduced a good Sunnah into Islam which was not part of it prior to the event.

The Companion Introduced An Innovation Into Islam:

The companion acted on the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) amongst reluctant group of people. It maybe that it was first occasion where the companions were reluctant to give charity to their fellow Muslims. Hence he is the first one to give charity amongst reluctant people, and this can be deemed as a good Sunnah, and in context of reluctance of companions, and in context of being first companion stepping up to give charity, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H6466] Implication of which would be that in context of reluctance of all companions Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) termed the action of companion as a good Sunnah in Islam. This explanation holds to the literal meaning of statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and keeps in touch with the historical event. Also note, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced the concept of charity in Islam and those who follow his example will have reward. With both interpretations a Sunnah is being introduced into Islam which is followed by others or revived by others.

The Issue Of Context And Generality:

Sa’d bin Ubada (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is reported to have said: "If I saw a man with my wife, I would strike him (behead him) with the blade of my sword." In context of this Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "You people are astonished at Sa`d's Ghira. By Allah, I have more Ghira than he, and Allah has more Ghira than I …” He continued to inform us: “… and because of Allah's Ghira, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret. And there is none who likes that the people should repent to Him and beg His pardon than Allah, and for this reason He sent the warners and the givers of good news. [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H512] In the context of Sa’d bin Ubada’s statement the following words mean, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has prohibited adultery [which is a sin] done openly or secretly: “He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret.Yet these words are not restricted to context but apply to all shameful deeds [according to Shari’ah] and sins. Even though the words can be interpreted according to context yet generality of these words remains intact allowing for application of these words to other shameful and sinful actions. Note, the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) quoted in Hadith do not entirely fit the context but do have some connection with context. In similar fashion the following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) have relevance to context because reviving a practice (i.e. of giving charity) by engaging in it by others is part of Hadith: He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H6466] This statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) does not entirely fit into context like statement of shameful deeds but has loose connection with context. And similar to Hadith of shameful deeds the generality of meaning of the statement cannot be negated because the statement begins with, he who introduced a good Sunnah in Islam, which is indication that reward being told further on is for a practice which is not already part of Islam.

An Exhortation To One Who Distorts Prophetic Words:

It was Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to give general guidance relating to an event but provide a principle on basis of which the Muslims can judge issues which are were not addressed by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The principle of good Sunnah and bad Sunnah are part of these principles and to limit and restrict their understanding to an era, or a people, or event, takes away from Muslims a source of guidance. The one who negates the generality of these words, opposes what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said about his Prophetic words: "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and …” [Ref:  Bukhari, B52, H220] The principles of good and bad Sunnah carry wide range of meanings which your sectarian entrenched mind cannot comprehend and refrain from what your intellect cannot grasp and fear Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and not oppose His beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated about such people: “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers - We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” [Ref: 4:115] You have no excuse, neither of lack of knowledge, nor of those who are in state of oblivion and as a reminder note the following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here: "The best speech is Allah's Book and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad."  [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H120] The guidance of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is in form of principles and his guidance is best guidance. He has told of reward for one who brings into Islam good innovation and for those who follow this innovated Sunnah has declared equal reward. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated: "It is not fitting for the believing man nor for the believing woman, that whenever Allah and His Messenger have decided any matter, that they should have any other opinion." [Ref: 33:36] Believe in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as he was to believed, and accept the guidance of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as it was to be accepted, and have no opinion over the verdict of Messenger of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Conclusion:

It is true the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) about good Sunnah into Islam can be loosely interpreted in light of the historical context but the statement itself establishes its generality which allows multiple interpretations, including literal. To force the historical context upon a statement which is general, and to restrict the generality, and to reject the generality based on context is heretical. As matter of principle, a general statement can be interpreted in a context but it cannot be limited by the contextual interpretation, neither the generality can be altered due to contextual interpretation. The generality remains unaffected by contextual interpretations or theological expositions.

Footnotes:

- [1] Alterations have been made into the text. The first alteration is the text of Hadith in discussion has been inserted instead of paraphrased translation with reference. Salawat have been bracketed and some Arabic words have been capitalized and spelling of the words has been altered also. The last part of the content has been omitted because it was not connected with explanation of Hadith in discussion. There may be other alterations but none effects the original meaning of content.

- [2] “Mundhir bin Jarir reported on the authority of his father: While we were in the company of the Messenger of Allah in the early hours of the morning, some people came there (who) were barefooted, naked, wearing striped woolen clothes, or cloaks, with their swords hung (around their necks). Most of them, nay, all of them, belonged to the tribe of Mudar. The color of the face of the Messenger of Allah underwent a change when he saw them in poverty. He then entered (his house) and came out and commanded Bilal (to pronounce Adhan). He pronounced Adhan and Iqima, and he (the Holy Prophet) observed prayer (along with his Companion) and then addressed (them reciting verses of the Holy Qur'an): '" 0 people, fear your Lord, Who created you from a single being" to the end of the verse," Allah is ever a Watcher over you" (iv. 1). (He then recited) a verse of Sura Hashr:" Fear Allah. and let every soul consider that which it sends forth for the morrow and fear Allah" (lix. 18). (Then the audience began to vie with one another in giving charity.) Some donated a dinar, others a dirham, still others clothes, some donated a sa' of wheat, some a sa' of dates; till he (the Holy Prophet) said: (Bring) even if it is half a date. Then a person from among the Ansar came there with a money bag which his hands could scarcely lift; in fact, they could not (lift). Then the people followed continuously, till I saw two heaps of eatables and clothes, and I saw the face of the Messenger glistening, like gold (on account of joy). The Messenger of Allah said: He who sets a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who sets in Islam an evil Sunnah, there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden.” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H2219]

- [3] It is bad due to implicit evidence of following Hadith: “… and because of Allah's Ghira, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H512]

Edited by MuhammedAli

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