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Analyzing The Excellent Innovation Of Hadhrat Umar And Unveiling Distortion Of Abu Rumaysah.

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Introduction:

Muslims believe companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced praiseworthy innovations/practices into religion of Islam. One such innovation was introduced by Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) in form Taraweeh prayer during the month of Ramadhan. Our opponents believe there is no such a thing as praiseworthy innovation in Islam. Hence they argue Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) only revived/reinstated a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Therefore the objective of this article would be to present the Islamic position in light of Islamic sources and critically examine evidence of anti-Islamic elements to demonstrate their misguided belief.

Ahadith At The Centre Of Dispute:

“Malik related to me from Ibn Shihab from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said, "I went out with Umar ibn alKhattab in Ramadhan to the mosque and the people there were spread out in groups. Some men were praying by themselves, whilst others were praying in small groups. Umar said, 'By Allah! It would be better in my opinion if these people gathered behind one reciter.' So he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Kab. Then I went out with him another night and the people were praying behind their Qur'an reciter. Umar said, نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. How excellent this innovation is!) But what you miss while you are asleep is better than what you watch in prayer.' He meant the end of the night, and people used to watch the beginning of the night in prayer." [Ref: Muwatta Malik, B6, H3] “Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadhan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, 'Umar said, 'In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter)’. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what an excellent innovation this is) but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227]

Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s Position On The Issue:

“When Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) was the Khalifah, he collected the Muslims to pray in congregation for Tarawih prayers, and said, "What a good bid'ah this is." [bukhari] From this, they derive their belief of a good innovation. Firstly, it becomes necessary to explain the context of what happened. When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) first emigrated to Madeenah, the Muslims prayed tarawih individually, and then for three nights they prayed in congregation behind the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). After this, he stopped them doing so saying, "I feared that it would become obligatory upon you." So after this the Muslims would pray individually or in small congregations throughout the rule of Abu Bakr, and the beginning of Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) rule. Then Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) came to the masjid and saw the Muslims praying in small groups behind different Imams, so he collected them together in one congregation behind one Imam and made the aforementioned statement [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227]. So how can this action of 'Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) be understood to be a new act of worship when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) did it during his lifetime? Secondly, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the reason why he stopped the congregational prayer, because revelation was still descending, and he feared that praying in congregation might become obligatory upon his nation and hence make the religion hard upon them. After the death of Rasulallaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) revelation ceased so this concern was no longer necessary.  Hence Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) reinstated the Tarawih prayer in congregation during his rule because he knew that his action could not be made obligatory upon the Ummah. Thirdly, all the companions agreed upon this action of ‘Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu), thus there was a consensus (ijma) on it. And the scholars of Usool (fundamental principles) have stated that ijma cannot occur except when there is a clear text for it in the Sharee'ah. So what is the correct understanding of 'Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) words, "a good bid’ah”? The word bid'ah here is to be understood in its linguistic sense, "something new," because Tarawih in one congregation was not present during the rule of Abu Bakr (raddi Allaahu anhu) and the beginning of 'Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) rule, hence in that sense it was something new. The Sharee'ah sense (defined earlier) cannot be understood here because it does not fulfil the conditions of being a new act of worship. Abu Yusuf said, "I asked Abu Hanifah about the tarawih and what 'Umar did and he said, 'The tarawih is a stressed Sunnah, and 'Umar did not do that from his own opinion, nor was there in his action any innovation, and he did not enjoin it except that there was a foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.'" (Sharh Mukhtaar as quoted from him in al- Ibdaa of Shaikh Ali Mahfooz P80) [Ref: MuslimConverts]

Common Ground Between Position Of Muslims And Anti-Islam Element:

It is true that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had performed Taraweeh for three days consecutively and on the fourth night did not attend the Masjid, and next day he informed the companions that he did not lead them in prayers because he felt it will be made compulsory. Following Hadith is evidence of this: "Allah's Messenger went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah's Messenger came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the morning-prayer. When the morning-prayer was finished he recited Tashah-hud and said, "Amma ba'du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on." So, Allah's Apostle died and the situation remained like that." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H229] The last part of Hadith high-lighted indicates that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not lead the companions for Taraweeh prayers after first three days. This establishes Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to perform Taraweeh in congregation, under leadership of a Qari is for three days.

Taraweeh Is Not A New Act Of Worship:

Our Shaikh writes: “Then Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) came to the masjid and saw the Muslims praying in small groups behind different Imams, so he collected them together in one congregation behind one Imam and made the aforementioned statement [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227]So how can this action of Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) be understood to be a new act of worship when the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) did it during his lifetime? Did we claim that Taraweeh was new act of worship? Your question is based on your faulty understanding that we believe Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced an innovation. Saying it emphatically, we Muslims do not believe Taraweeh is new act of worship. We believe that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) took a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and issued it for entire month. This brought about recitation of entire Quran and Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam for entire month. This action of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was without precedent of prophetic Sunnah hence it is نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ (i.e. excellent innovation) سُنَّةَ خَيْرٍ (i.e. good precedent), سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good practice), سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. righteous practice) and there is reward for one who issued it for entire month and for those who follow it.[1]

Hadhrat Umar’s Reinstating Taraweeh:

Our Shaikh writes: “Secondly, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the reason why he stopped the congregational prayer, because revelation was still descending, and he feared that praying in congregation might become obligatory upon his nation and hence make the religion hard upon them. After the death of Rasulallaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) revelation ceased so this concern was no longer necessary. Hence Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu) reinstated the Tarawih prayer in congregation during his rule because he knew that his action could not be made obligatory upon the Ummah.” Firstly, it is agreed by both parties that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not wish to make religion hard for his followers therefore he abstained from Taraweeh after the initial three days. Secondly, Shaikh claims Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) reinstated a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Reinstate, means to restore something to former position or state. He would be reinstating prophetic Sunnah of Taraweeh if the amount was three days lead by an Imam. Or if Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had left instructions saying, after my departure from this world reintroduce the Qiyam/Taraweeh for entire month of Ramadhan. He took a prophetic Sunnah and increased number of days for which it is performed – entire month of Ramadhan, with an Imam leading, reciting entire Quran and declaring that he ‘reinstated’ the Taraweeh prayer in congregation is deception. Thirdly, our Shaikh should be presenting evidence to justify why Taraweeh prayer is not innovation in religion of Islam, or why Taraweeh is not innovation in terms of Shari’ah. The reason given, why Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) reintroduced Taraweeh – ceasing of revelation is relative between Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu).[2] Does this reason justify the Salafi/Wahhabi belief; Taraweeh is not an innovation in terms of Shari’ah? This point is hardly an argument in defense Salafi/Wahhabi position. Shaikh attributed to Imam Ash-Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) the following statement: "Whoever declares something to be good he has declared it part of Shari’ah." [Ref: ar-Risala] Hence it would be appropriate to respond to him with something from him. Judging on this statement one is forced to admit Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced an excellent innovation into Shari’ah. Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) had following position regarding the Taraweeh prayers being initiated for entire month: “It was narrated to us by Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl who had it narrated to him from Abul-Abbas Al-Asam who said Rabi ibn Sulayman narrated to us from Imam ash-Shafi’s that he said, “Innovated matters in religion are of two kinds: 1) Whatever is innovated and is contradicts the Book, or the Sunnah, or a narration, or Ijma – then this is an innovation of misguidance. 2) Whatever is innovated of good and that does not contradict any of these – then this is a novelty which is not blameworthy. And Umar (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) said concerning the night-prayer in the month of Ramadhan: نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what a good innovation this is!) meaning something new not previously present, and if done does not rebut anything which existed before.” [Ref: Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Manaqib ash-Shafi'I, 1/469][3] This establishes Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) believed Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had introduced an innovation but it did not contradict teaching of Islam and such innovations are considered praiseworthy innovations.

Companions Agreed Upon Action Of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’al anhu):

Our Shaikh wrote: Thirdly, all the companions agreed upon this action of Umar (raddi Allaahu anhu), thus there was a consensus (ijma) on it. And the scholars of Usool (fundamental principles) have stated that ijma cannot occur except when there is a clear text for it in the Sharee'ah.” There are two points that need to be addressed here. Firstly, Ijma does not require clear text from Quran or Sunnah. Rather Ijma on something which the Muslim scholars come to agree on even if the evidence of it is implicit would be valid based on the Hadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) which states: Anas bin Malik said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘My nation will not unite on misguidance, so if you see them differing, follow the great majority.’” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B36, H3950] Ijma can only be beneficial if it is based on issues which are lacking strong evidence and scholars come to reconcile them via indirect evidences. There is no need for Ijma on issues which are stated in clear emphatic texts. Coming to issue of Taraweeh, it is clearly established that the Sunnah Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was to lead Taraweeh for three days as an Imam, and then Taraweeh was abandoned in single Jammat form. Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) issued it for entire month under leadership of an Imam. Considering these facts it is obvious our Shaikh is fabricating Ijma to support his position. Where is the clear text on which companions agreed upon full Ramadhan month Taraweeh deeming it to be prophetic Sunnah? Bring forward your proof if you are truthful. Absence of proof for your claim can be used to argue; Ijma of companions over full month Taraweeh was based on the fact that it is a praiseworthy innovation/practice, evidence of which has been quoted in footnote one.

Word Innovation Is Used In Linguistic Sense:

Shaikh has conceded that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) only performed it for three days, here: “When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) first emigrated to Madeenah, the Muslims prayed tarawih individually, and then for three nights they prayed in congregation behind the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). After this, he stopped them doing so saying …” Shaikh also writes that Taraweeh under single Imam was absent during time of Hadhrat Abu Bakr’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Khilafat: “… because Tarawih in one congregation was not present during the rule of Abu Bakr (raddi Allaahu anhu) and the beginning of Umar's (raddi Allaahu anhu) rule, hence in that sense it was something new.” In other words Shaikh agrees that, prophetic Sunnah of Taraweeh was three days because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) led the prayers as Imam for only three days and then it was abandoned. After which it was not performed under leadership an Imam during the Khilafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) neither in the beginning period of Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Khilafat. Considering meaning of innovation in linguistic sense (i.e. something new, something new which does not have a precedent), and in Shar’i sense of something new which does not have precedent from Quran or Sunnah, one is forced to conclude that Taraweeh as performed, is a praiseworthy innovation for following reasons. It is performed for entire month of Ramadhan, under leadership of an Imam/Qari, and recitation of entire Quran takes place. Therefore Shaikh’s saying that usage of نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ by Hadhrat Umar was in linguistic sense is grand lie: “The word bid'ah here is to be understood in its linguistic sense, "something new," because Tarawih in one …”

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) Said Its Not Innovation:

Shaikh wrote: “The Sharee'ah sense (defined earlier) cannot be understood here because it does not fulfil the conditions of being a new act of worship. Abu Yusuf said, "I asked Abu Hanifah about the tarawih and what 'Umar did and he said, 'The tarawih is a stressed Sunnah, and 'Umar did not do that from his own opinion, nor was there in his action any innovation, and he did not enjoin it except that there was a foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.'" [Sharh Mukhtaar as quoted from him in al- Ibdaa of Shaikh Ali Mahfooz p80] It is hard for to accept what is being attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) because Salafi’s are known for altering texts of classical books so the point of view expressed conforms to their sectarian understanding. Note my explanation is not authentication of the statement attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). My comments are valid if the statement is verified and genuinely attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). There are number of things which need to be pointed out. Firstly, Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) used a definition of innovation according to which anything which is established from indirect/implicit evidence is not innovation even if part of it is established. His definition of innovation was: Any action/belief which can be established from Quran/Sunnah via implicit or via generality is not an innovation. And the opposite was: Any action/belief of which there is no Asal (i.e. foundation - explicit or implicit evidence) such is innovation. There is clear evidence of Qiyam/Taraweeh being performed under leadership of an Imam. Imam being Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) hence it was prophetic Sunnah for three days. According to Imam Abu Hanifah’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation Taraweeh would not be innovation even if it was performed for entire month of Ramadhan or just three days because the foundation of it exits. Following article sheds some light onto the methodology employed by Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and explains why he did not deem it as innovation, here. Secondly, the statement of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) is to be understood in following meaning: “Abu Yusuf said, "I asked Abu Hanifah about the Tarawih [being Sunnah of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam] and what Umar did [in form of gathering people under one Qari] and he [Abu Hanifa] said, 'The Tarawih is a stressed Sunnah, and 'Umar did not do that from his own opinion, nor was there in his action any innovation [because Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam lead Taraweeh as an Imam for three days and companions followed him], and he did not enjoin it [for entire month of Ramadhan] except that there was a [Ijtihadi] foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam [in form of follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of rightly guided Khulafah].” There is reason for this, Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) only commented on the concept of Taraweeh being Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). He did not state Taraweeh for entire month of Ramadhan had foundation in Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Rather his statement is to be understood in light of fact that there is no evidence that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) ever performed Taraweeh for entire month. Hence the foundation being stated is of Ijtihad, and Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Ijtihad to issue Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam for entire month of Ramadhan is praiseworthy innovation because prophetic Sunnah is of three days. Thirdly, did Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) perform Taraweeh for entire Ramadhan? Even our Shaikh Abu Rumaysah agrees that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed it for three days. Shar’i meaning of innovation are, something which is new and without precedent in book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Entire month Ramadhan Taraweeh under leadership of a Qari is without precedent hence an innovation, and in words of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) excellent innovation. Fourthly, note the strategy used by Shaikh to strengthen his position. When it suited his interest he quoted Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) or at the least he thought so and ignored Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). He was aware that Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) used a definition of innovation according to which Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced a praiseworthy innovation. Please take note of it for the second time: “It was narrated to us by Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl who had it narrated to him from Abul-Abbas Al-Asam who said Rabi ibn Sulayman narrated to us from Imam ash-Shafi’s that he said, “Innovated matters in religion are of two kinds: 1) Whatever is innovated and is contradicts the Book, or the Sunnah, or a narration, or Ijma – then this is an innovation of misguidance. 2) Whatever is innovated of good and that does not contradict any of these – then this is a novelty which is not blameworthy. And Umar (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) said concerning the night-prayer in the month of Ramadhan: نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what a good innovation this is!) meaning something new not previously present, and if done does not rebut anything which existed before.” [Ref: Reported by al-Bayhaqi in Manaqib ash-Shafi'I, 1/469] Fifthly, after Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had introduced Taraweeh for entire month, and people had followed it hence he declared it as an excellent innovation because he knew the saying of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) regarding introducing good innovations/practices: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. 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] And he was aware what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had stated regarding introducing evil innovations: And whoever ابْتَدَعَ بِدْعَةً(i.e. introduces an innovation) that is acted upon, will have a burden of sins equivalent to that of those who act upon it, without that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] “And he who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. evil precedent in Islam), 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, B34, H6466] So he wanted it to be known his innovation was praiseworthy and not blameworthy.

Islamic Understanding Of The Matter:

Hadith records Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) attended Masjid in month of Ramadhan and decided to gather the companions under Hadhrat Ubayy ibn Kab (radiallah ta’ala anhu). When he attended the Masjid again he saw the practice had taken its root amongst the companions hence he remarked it was excellent innovation. It is established Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed Taraweeh as an Imam for three days. Yet Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) instructed Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam for entire month and this was excellent innovation of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu). Note, there are two excellent innovations, i) Taraweeh being performed for extra 26/27 days, ii) 26/27 days of Taraweeh with an Imam. Also note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) must have recited number of chapters of Quran. In 26/27 extra days of Taraweeh prayers from first Surah to last is recited, and this certainly is another excellent innovation. Hence Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) can be accredited with three excellent innovations. The Shar’ri meaning of innovation is that which does not have precedent in Quran or Sunnah. Considering the meaning of innovation and following details of Taraweeh prayers it is evident, performing Taraweeh for entire month, under leadership of a Qari, reciting entire Quran [and more], is without prophetic precedent hence it is an innovation in terms of Shari’ah. This realization leads Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to exclaim, what an excellent innovation Taraweeh prayers is.

Conclusion:

Servant has established Taraweeh for entire month of Ramadhan, and under leadership of a Qari, and recitation of Quran from the beginning till the end, is an excellent innovation because there was no prophetic precedent in form of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Statement of Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) supports the position of Muslims; Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) introduced an excellent innovation. Also according to criteria of Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) to declare something good is to make it part of Shari’ah hence Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made Taraweeh via Ijtihad a part of religion of Islam.[4] Statement of Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has been reconciled via point of Ijtihad to Islamic position because basis of Ijtihad in this context is innovation hence outcome of Ijtihad of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was praiseworthy innovation.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Footnotes:

- [1] “Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what an excellent innovation this is) but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227] “Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever starts a سُنَّةَ خَيْرٍ (i.e. good Sunnah) which is followed, then for him is a reward and the likes of their rewards of whoever follows him, there being nothing diminished from their rewards." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2675] "Jarir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The servant does not introduce سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. good Sunnah) which is followed after him. The rest of the hadith is the same." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6468] Another Hadith establishes that good Sunnah for which the reward is being told is being made part of Islam: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. 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] "Jarir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The servant does not introduce سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. good Sunnah) which is followed after him. The rest of the hadith is the same." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6468]

- [2] Didn’t the revelation cease during the time of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu)? Did he not know that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is the last/final Prophet and Messenger, and there is no Messenger or Prophet after him? And did he not know nothing can become compulsory for the Ummah without a Prophet or Messenger? So why did he not reintroduce Prophetic Sunnah of performing Taraweeh for three days behind a Qari or introduce it for entire month? Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) knew there is no Prophet or Messenger after the last and the final Prophet and the Messenger Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and he knew nothing can be made part of religion as obligation after him. Despite knowing this he did not reintroduce Taraweeh, not three day Taraweeh under leadership of an Imam, and not of entire month. The mind set of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was demonstrated on issue of compiling Quran. When it was suggested to him by Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to compile Quran from all fragments Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) remarked: “How dare I do something which Allah's Messenger did not do?” [Ref: Bukhari, B89, H301] If it occurred to him to introduce Taraweeh then he abstained from it because he did not wish to do anything which Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not do. Hence it can be said that he feared it would be an innovation.

- [3] Opponents of Islam have argued, Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl is unknown hence the narration is weak and cannot be evidence of Imam Shafi’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) position. Unknown to them, Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Al-Fadl as-Sayrafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has been mentioned by Imam Dhahabi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) in his, Siyar Al A’laam An-Nubala, as trustworthy and reliable narrator. Shaikh Salahud-Din as-Safadi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) in his, Kitab Al-Wafi bil-Wafiyat, stated about him; he is well known and trustworthy scholar. If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits a separate article will be written to prove the reliability of these narrators.

- [4] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said regarding introducing a good Sunnah into religion of Islam: “He who introduces a فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً (i.e. good practice 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] Knowing this Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) declared gathering Quran in a book format is good, and evidence is here: “I said to `Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" `Umar said: هَذَا وَاللَّهِ خَيْر. (i.e. By Allah, this is good.) `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] This was the basis on which Imam Shafi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) based his principle: "Whoever declares something to be good he has declared it part of Sharee'ah." [Ref: ar-Risaala]

Edited by MuhammedAli

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Correction:

Any action/belief of which there is no Asal (i.e. foundation - explicit or implicit evidence) such is innovation. And the opposite was: Any action/belief which can be established from Quran/Sunnah from implicit or from generality of words is not an innovation.

Edited by MuhammedAli

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