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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]

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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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    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:
      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been quoted as saying in Ahadith, every innovation is misguidance. Muslims believe literally every innovation is not misguidance. Only every reprehensible innovation is misguidance and every reprehensible innovation is composed of components which are violating the prophetic teaching and contradict spirit of Islam. Contrary to Islamic belief, the anti-Islamic elements believe every innovation in literal sense is innovation even if it is composed of Islamicly sanctioned acts of worship, charity, etc. This is due to their literal interpretation of Hadith and their emphasis on qullu (i.e. every). Hence it is important to establish use of ‘every’ is not in respect of every innovation but ‘every’ has been limited and restricted to reprehensible type of innovations. Also the Ibn Fawzaan quoted renowned scholar to aid his position. He stated collection of Quran into a book and writing and collecting Ahadith into books is not a praiseworthy innovation. Part two can be read, here. 

      Saalih Al Fawzaan And Issue Of Translation:

      Ibn Fawzaan is a prominent scholar in Saudi Khariji State and member of Board Of Senior Scholars And Member Of Permanent Committee For Fatwah And Research. His works carry weight amongst the Khawarij hence it is crucial his writing is addressed from Islamic perspective and lays bare heretical understandings which he has purposed. Secondly, the translation of Ibn Fawzaan’s work by Maaz Qureshi at times was incoherent and bereft of contextual relevance. The points were poorly conveyed and lacked clarity hence original[1] was altered for sake of clarity by adding words and rephrasing sentences. Also discussion regarding Taraweeh prayer was separated into parts. Between which the subject of compilation of Quran was discussed. So material was connected with the relevant discussion and material regarding compilation of Quran was added after Taraweeh prayer discussion. Note, textual criticism skills were employed to reconstruct the message being conveyed in original Arabic and alterations were not result of reading Arabic text of original essay. Hence there is possibility errors might have been made in re-constructing of his point of view. I seek refuge in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) from misguidance of Satan the cursed. In case of errors in representing his view, please do notify me and mistakes will be rectified.

      Part One: Saalih Al Fawzaan’s Short Essay:

      “Whoever divides innovation in the religion into good innovation (i.e. bid'ah hasanah), and sinful innovation (i.e. bid'ah Say’yah), then he has committed wrong, and has opposed Prophet’s (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement, "Every innovation is a misguidance", because the Messenger (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) ruled that innovation - all of it - is misguidance, and this says that not all innovation is misguidance, rather there is good innovation. Al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab said in his commentary in al Arba'een: 'So his (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) statement, “The best discourse is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of affairs are those which are newly introduced, for every innovation is an error” is a comprehensive statement, nothing is excluded from it. And this is the greatest principle from the principles of the Religion and it is connected with his (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) following statement, "Whoever invents in this affair of ours, what is not from it, then it is rejected" So whoever invents things and attributes them to the religion, and it does not have an origin in the religion to return to then it is misguidance, and the Religion is free from those things. And equal to that are matters of beliefs, or actions, or statements whether hidden, or manifest.’ [Ref: Jaami'ul 'Uloom Wal Hikam, p. 233] And there is not a proof for them that there is good innovation, except for the statement of Umar (radiallaahu 'anhu) regarding the Taraweeh prayer, "What a good innovation this is!" (i.e. ni'imatul bida'atu hadhihi).”[2]

      Ibn Rajab’s Definition Of Innovation:

      Prior to Ibn Fawzaan’s quoted material Ibn Rajab stated: “Regarding the Holy Prophet’s saying: “Beware of newly introduced matters, for every innovation is a straying.” It is a warning to the community against following innovated new matters. He emphasized that with his words, “every innovation is a straying.” [Such type of] innovations are those things which are newly introduced, having no source in the Shari’ah to prove them.” Ibn Rajab believes any practice/belief which is termed as innovation is by default a Shar’ri innovation, and such innovation has no evidence from Quran or Hadith. Yet from his statement one can glimpse that according to Ibn Rajab, an innovation without evidence of Shari’ah is straying innovation, because he connected Hadith of; every innovation is misguidance, to his following statement: “[Such type of] innovations are those things which are newly introduced, having no source in the Shari’ah to prove them.” Of course this is not his actual position rather an in-depth observation. He also stated; an innovated practice/belief with evidence of Shari’ah is not an innovation from Shar’ri perspective, here: “As for whatever has a source in the Shari’ah, thereby establishing it, then it is not an innovation in the [sense of] Shari’ah, even though it might linguistically be an innovation.” And same was repeated bit later: “As for those things in the sayings of the right-acting first generations where they regard some innovations as good, that is only with respect to what are innovations in the linguistic sense, but not in the Shari’ah.” Here Ibn Rajab is gravely mistaken because the scholars of Islam have always considered good innovations to be from perspective of Shari’ah. Shari’ah defines the goodness and evilness of innovations hence what it judges to be good and bad is part of Shari’ah. Before continuing to next point it is important to state that linguistic meaning of innovation is; which is without precedent. Shar’ri meaning of innovation is; which is without precedent in Islam. The important point in is that those scholars who have divided innovation to be good have done so on basis of following Hadith: “Whoever sets a good precedent in Islam, he will have the reward for that, and the reward of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Ref: Nisa’i, B23, H2555] When something is not part of Islam but it is being part of Islam than innovation is being made part of Islam. This is assertion is supported by linguistic and Shar’ri meaning of innovation. Considering this, meaning of the Hadith is when a good innovation which is not part of Islam is made part of Islam then the one who sets a good innovation in Islam [for others to follow] will receive reward and those who follow his good innovated precedent.

      Four Important Points Made By Saalih Al Fawzaan:

      There are four main points in the short essay produced by chief of Khawarij and they are as follow: i) One who divides innovation into categories of praiseworthy and blameworthy innovations has wronged teaching of Islam and opposed the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). ii) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] Use of وَكُلُّ (i.e. and every) in the relevant Hadith is to include everything and nothing is excluded from it hence all innovations are misguidance. iii) There is no proof for good innovation except the statement of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) regarding Taraweeh prayer. iv) Quote from Jami Ul Uloom Wal Hakim of Ibn Rajab Al Hanbali as quoted by Saalih Ibn Fawzaan.

      Scholars Always Divided Innovation In Two Main Branches:

      Early Muslim scholars have always and scholars continue to divide innovation to two main categories. Type one, which is composed of Islamicly sanctioned practices/beliefs. Type two, which is composed of Islamicly prohibited practices/beliefs. Type one, has been termed as, praiseworthy, permissible, righteous, guidance, and even termed it linguistic innovation.[3] Type two, has been stated to be, prohibited, evil, misguiding, sinful, and legal innovation.[4] Then these categories are subdivided into many categories.[5] The chief of Khawarij stated one who divides innovation into good and bad has wronged and opposed the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) because he believes every newly invented matter, from perspective of Sharia if it is declared as an innovation than it is misguidance. Therefore it is important to point out who according to Ibn Fawzaan’s statement has wronged the religion of Islam and who in Ummah is guilty of opposing the teaching of Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

      The Eminent Scholars Who Wronged And Opposed:

      Imam Shafi (rahimullah) stated innovations are of two types. The type which contradicts the teaching of Quran, the Sunnah, Hadith and Ijma, such one he classed as misguiding innovation. Concerning the type which does not contradict the teaching of Quran, Sunnah, Ahadith, and Ijma, he classed good and quoted Hadith where Hadhrat Umar (radiallah) had said Taraweeh is good innovation. Following is evidence of Imam Shafi (rahimullah) understanding on subject of innovation: “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] Imam Al-Ghazali (rahimullah), Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (rahimullah), Imam Nawavi (rahimullah), Imam Qurtubi (rahimullah), Muhammad al-Shawkani (Khariji), Imam Suyuti (rahimullah), and countless others defined innovation into praiseworthy and blameworthy. Even Ismail Dehalvi (the apostate) divided innovation into good and bad in his Tazkira Al Ikhwan.[6]

      Position Of Muslims About Prominent Scholars:

      In light of Ibn Fawzaan’s statement it can be concluded that he believes the mentioned scholars and all those who divided innovation into good and bad categories are the ones who have wronged and opposed prophetic teaching. Considering this insolence of Ibn Fawzaan, effort is being made to defend the honor of prominent scholars of Islam from the indirect attack by supporting the definition of Muslims. As Muslims we believe, Imam Shafi (rahimullah), Imam Al Ghazali (rahimullah), Imam Ibn Hajar (rahimullah), and Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) scholars are not the ones who have wronged and opposed the teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). It is Ibn Fawzaan who is opposing the prophetic Sunnah and if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wills the charge will be established.

      Valid Difference Of Opinion Over The Definition:

      It would be too much to say he was unaware of evidence which establishes the understanding of these scholarly giants but it is just and befitting his caliber to say; he is ignorant of their interpretations. Ibn Fawzaan failed to understand; the difference on definition of innovation is a valid difference of opinion and none from these two definitions is blameworthy because the evidence exists for both versions. As Muslims we believe those scholars whose understanding of innovation agrees with Ijtihad of these luminaries, they are upon the truth, like those who pioneered this understanding of innovation. Those who have pioneered the simple definition of innovation and those who employ it they are closer to the truth but missed the mark of perfection. The pioneers of this definition have erred in their Ijtihad and there is no blame upon them for this but only reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) because mistakes of Mujtahid are rewarded.

      Hadith Of Every Innovation Is Misguidance:

      Ibn Fawzaan quoted the following Hadith: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] And argued the words وَكُلُّ (i.e. and every) are used in the Hadith therefore nothing is excluded from this statement. There will be five approaches to answer this point: i) logical criticism to solve problem, ii) on usage of وَكُلُّ (i.e. and every), iii) concluding remarks regarding usage of ‘every’, iv) explaining the Hadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with Ahadith which support the positions argued for first and second approach, v) and establishing category of good innovation. Note, out of the four important points of Ibn Fawzaan pointed in the beginning or article, three will be addressed in forth coming material and the last one will be addressed as a separate part.

      First Approach – The Counter Attack:

      If Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had stated; all of innovations are misguidance literally, without restricting/limiting the meaning of ‘every’ to a specific genre of innovations then questions is: Are books of Ahadith (i.e. Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmadhi etc.) included in this ‘every’ or excluded from ‘every’? If you say they are excluded therefore not innovations, then you have eliminated the foundation of your argument because your argument was ‘every’ used in this Hadith is without Takhsees (i.e. specifics) yet you have made Takhsees in ‘every’ to accommodate the books of Ahadith. We Muslims affirm that ‘every’ is connected with a specific type of innovation and it is not to be understood on its generality. The point is; ‘every innovation’ is not in meaning of ‘absolutely every innovation’ but ‘every innovation’ is used to mean ‘every innovation in a specific context’. What that specific context is, if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits will be explained in third approach.

      Second Approach – The Usage Of Every:

      Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: "As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, وَرَاءَهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا (i.e. for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force).” [Ref: 18:79]  It is stated in the verse that a king has ordered every boat is to be ceased but order was to cease all usable boats. Hence Khidar (alayhis salaam) damaged the boat to prevent the livelihood of boat owner being ceased by inflicting damage which can be repaired with little effort. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, "Strike with your staff the stone." And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ (i.e. and every people knew its watering place). "Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption." [Ref: 2:60] The verse states every people knew where to drink water from when Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) struck the rock with his staff. Yet it was not every people in literal sense of the word but every tribe from the twelve tribes of tribe of Israeel. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “They said, Postpone [the matter of] him and his brother and send among the cities gatherers. Who will bring you every learned magician? يَأْتُوكَ بِكُلِّ سَاحِرٍ عَلِيمٍ  (i.e. And the magicians came to Pharaoh). They said, Indeed for us is a reward if we are the dominant." [Ref: 7:111/113] Logistics of undertaking such task at that time would make it impossible to reach every city of earth. Yet the verse says they were sent to every city which is too farfetched. The polytheists in time of Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) sent for emissaries to every major city or to every city of Egypt to gather the best magicians to compete with Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam). Therefore literal reading of every city is not intended. Please bear with an example which would resonate with readers. Ali is carrying valet full of money, credit card, a brand new mobile phone, wearing on his 50 carat gold ring. Thief strikes and says: Hand over everything you have or you going to die. Does the thief want Ali to hand over all that he doesn’t carry with him as well or just what he is carrying with him? All that Ali is carrying at that moment.

      Third Approach – Summing Up The Findings:

      The word ‘every’ even though by itself is not limited/restricted and is inclusive of all but when it is used in a restrictive/limiting context then it is no longer on its natural meaning. Rather it is limited and restricted according to the context. Note the word ‘every’ was used but it was limited restricted by circumstances. Similarly in the verses ‘every’ was limited and restricted according to contextual relevance.[7] Hence it could be said, use of word ‘every’ in the following Hadith is not ‘absolutely every’ but in meaning of ‘every in specific context’, here: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] Just as the context of verses limit and restrict the meaning of ‘every’ to ‘every in specific context’ the words ‘every innovation’ are limited and restricted by other Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

      Fourth Approach – Explaining Hadith With Ahadith:

      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “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] Linguistically innovation is what does not have precedent in Quran of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). What is not part of Islam and is made part of Islam is innovation hence the mentioned Hadith is talking about one who introduces into Islam evil innovation. And tells for him who introduces evil innovation and those who follow his evil innovation will receive equal burden of sin. This understanding of above Hadith is supported by another Hadith found in Tirmadhi, here: "And whoever introduces a بِدْعَةَ ضَلاَلَةٍ (i.e. erroneous innovation) with which Allah is not pleased nor His Messenger then he shall receive sins similar to whoever acts upon it without that diminishing anything from the sins of the people.” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B29, H2677] In light of this, the following statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is not literal: “And the most evil affairs are the innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885] Rather it should be understood in context of Hadith of ‘evil precedent in Islam’ and ‘erroneous innovation’. Therefore the interpretation of Hadith is as follows: the most evil affairs are the evil precedents and erroneous innovations introduced into Islam and every evil/erroneous innovation is misguidance. Hence the word ‘every’ is restricted and limited in the phrase, “… every innovation is misguidance …” in specific context of evil and erroneous innovations. Now question must arise, how are evil innovations judged to be evil? Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) answered this question by saying: “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 a way other than our practice, it is rejected.” [Ref: Dawood, B41, H4589] And in another Hadith it is stated: “He who enacted any act for which there is no sanction from our behalf that is to be rejected.” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] In other words if an innovation is composed of anything which is not from prophetic Sunnah it is evil innovation and it is to be rejected.

      Fifth Approach – Establishing The Good Innovation:

      It was previously said, innovation is which does not have precedent in Quran and Sunnah, and following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) point to permissibility of, and reward for, introducing good innovation into 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 …”[8] [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Note, the Hadith states one who introduces into Islam a good Sunnah, if a good Sunnah is being introduced into Islam then it means it is not part of Islam. What is not part of Islam and it is being made part of Islam is, innovation. Hence Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told of reward for introducing good innovation into Islam. It was based upon understanding of the Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam that Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) declared his gathering of worshipers under leadership of an Imam as an excellent innovation, here: “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] These Ahadith establish the position of Muslims that to introduce praiseworthy innovations into Islam is permissible and reward worthy.

      Conclusion:

      We have established the prominent scholars of past have divided the innovation into two categories. It has been established those who have divided innovation into good and bad have not erred nor opposed the teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but rather have employed all evidence available on the topic of innovation to perfect their understanding. And it was minion of Iblis incarnate who actually opposed the teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The usage of ‘every’ has been explained in detail. The usage of ‘every’ is affected by context, which limits its absolute meaning and restricts it to a specific. The foolish assumption that Muslims do not have any evidence but the evidence related to Taraweeh was shattered with proper explanation of Hadith of introducing good Sunnah into Islam. As for the quote taken from Ibn Rajab it has been explained by the content of first, second and third approach. Ibn Fawzaan position is based on Ibn Rajab's quote and due to which no direct response is required. Instead, Ibn Rajab's understanding of innovation was explored and his error was pointed out in light of evidence of Hadith.

      Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
      Muhammed Ali Razavi

      Footnotes:

      - [1] To find out where the alterations have been made please use MSWord to compare original and revised versions. To see the original quote click, here.

      - [2] Clarification Of Doubts Concerning Innovation. Originally taken from; Kitab at-Tawheed, author; Saalih al Fawzaan, page 106/110 Translation; Maaz Qureshi, Amendments; Muhammed Ali Razavi.

      - [3] Those scholars who have labelled type one innovations as linguistic innovation they follow a different definition of innovation. Their definition accords the following principles: 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. They maintain innovation is of two types, linguistic and legal. According to this classification when an innovation is classed as an innovation from legal perspective than it is in meaning of ‘type two’ innovation (i.e. reprehensible - which composed of that which contradicts teaching of Islam). So according to their understanding compiling Quran into a book after death of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and Hadhrat Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) gathering the people of Masjid to perform Taraweeh under one Qari for entire Ramadhan are not innovations [in legal sense]. And this is because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in his life time over saw the writing of revelation (i.e. Quran). Also there is precedent of performing Taraweeh under leadership of Imam because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in person led Taraweeh for three days. These scholars agree that these are innovations in linguistic sense. The vast majority of scholars have classified these two practices to be good innovations because of their division of innovation being divided as good and bad. Words of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) are evidence of Taraweeh being innovation and being good innovation according to this definition: قَالَ عُمَرُ نِعْمَ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِه.ِ [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227] Therefore the real difference between the two parties is due to label and not of result. One group labels it linguistic innovation and other considers as good innovation.

      - [4] From Islamic perspective anti-Muslim element’s legal/Shar’ri innovation’s equivalent is reprehensible innovation. In Islamic terminology, all innovations are legal/Shar’ri innovations, be it praiseworthy or reprehensible.

      - [5] The details of sub-divisions and explanation of them can be found in the following book, What Is Innovation In Islam, by Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Naeemi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala).

      - [6] If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permits an article will be written on subject of innovation containing writings of these scholars.

      - [7] The word ‘every’ in its natural meaning cannot be used for creation without warranting major Shirk. The natural meaning of ‘every’ which is unlimited, unrestricted can only truly be used for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). When the word ‘every’ is used for creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) it is always used with certain constraints implied from context or implied from inability of creation for whom it was used for.

      - [8] “Narrated Ibn Jarir bin 'Abdullah: from his father that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever starts a good tradition 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] “It was narrated that Abu Juhaifah said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever introduces a good practice that is followed after him, will have a reward for that and the equivalent of their reward, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H207]
    • By QasimAttari
      Surat Yusuf, also known as the Chapter of Joseph, is the twelfth chapter (surah) of the Quran, the central religious text of Islam. It is named after the Prophet Joseph (Yusuf), who is prominently featured in the surah. The surah consists of 111 verses and is categorized as a Meccan surah, meaning it was revealed during the early period of Prophet Muhammad's mission in the city of Mecca.
      The story of Prophet Joseph is one of the longest and most detailed narratives found in the Quran. It recounts the life of Joseph from his childhood to his rise as a minister in Egypt. The surah highlights several themes, including jealousy, family dynamics, resilience, faith, and divine providence. It offers valuable moral and ethical lessons and serves as a source of inspiration and guidance for Muslims.
       
      Some key events and lessons from Surat Yusuf include:
      Joseph's dream: The surah begins with Joseph narrating a dream to his father, Jacob (Ya'qub). His dream indicates that Joseph will become a prophet and that his brothers will bow down to him. This incident demonstrates the importance of dreams in Islamic teachings and introduces the theme of jealousy. Joseph's brothers' jealousy: Joseph's brothers, out of jealousy, plot to get rid of him by throwing him into a well. They deceive their father into believing that Joseph was attacked by a wolf. This event highlights the destructive nature of jealousy and the importance of maintaining family harmony. Joseph's resilience: Despite being sold into slavery and facing numerous challenges, Joseph remains steadfast in his faith and remains righteous throughout his trials. This emphasizes the virtue of patience and trust in God during difficult times. Temptation and righteousness: Joseph's encounter with the wife of the Egyptian minister showcases his steadfastness in the face of temptation. He refuses her advances, demonstrating the importance of maintaining moral integrity and resisting temptation. Joseph's rise to power: Through a series of events, including interpreting dreams for fellow prisoners, Joseph gains recognition for his wisdom and is eventually appointed as the minister of finance in Egypt. This demonstrates the eventual reward for patience, righteousness, and trust in God. Reconciliation with Joseph's brothers: The surah concludes with Joseph revealing his true identity to his brothers when they come to Egypt seeking food during a famine. He forgives them for their past actions and highlights the importance of forgiveness and mercy. Surat Yusuf holds significant spiritual and moral lessons for Muslims, emphasizing the importance of trust in God, maintaining family ties, resisting temptation, and practicing forgiveness. It serves as a source of inspiration and guidance for believers seeking to navigate the challenges of life with faith and righteousness.

    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab’s Qawa’id Al Arba is the Takfir manual for heretics. This little book introduces all heretics to the art of making everyone Mushrik. The focus of this article would be to explain the evidences which Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab utilized to establish the rules in his second principle. This will serve two main objectives; 1) this will allow the readers to know the subject matter of the issue in detail, 2) and once the correct understanding these verses realized by the readers then it will be easier to see the trick being played.
       
      The Second Principle Of Qawaid Al Arba:

      That they say: We do not call upon and turn towards them except to seek nearness and intercession. So the proof against seeking this nearness (through others like Awliyah) is the saying of the Most High: “And those who you take Awliyah besides Him (they say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.” [Ref: 39:3] And the proof of intercession (through Awliyah) is the saying of the Most High: “And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] And intercession is of two types; a) the prohibited intercession, and the affirmed intercession. The prohibited intercession is that which is sought from other than Allah concerning that which only Allah is able to do. And the proof is the saying of the Most High: “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah, and the intercessor is honored with the intercession and the one interceded for, is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions, after he gives permission, as He, Ta’aala, said: “Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?” [Ref: 2:255]
       
      Part One – A: The Awliyah Of Polytheists:

      The polytheists of Makkah attempted to scare Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) by saying: "We say nothing but that (perhaps) some of our gods may have seized thee with imbecility.” [Ref: 11:54] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) responds to their this saying: “Is not Allah enough for his Servant? But they try to frighten thee with other besides Him! For such as Allah leaves to stray, there can be no guide.” [Ref: 39:36] In another verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) refers to the idol-gods of polytheists as Satan’s Awliyah: “That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his Awliyah. So fear them not but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.” [Ref: 3:175] This establishes that Awliyah of polytheists according to Quran are idol-gods of polytheists. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Then do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants instead of Me as Awliyah?” [Ref: 18:102] “Or have they taken Awliyah besides him? But Allah - He is the Protector ...” [Ref: 42:9] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states on the day of judgment the Awliyah of polytheists will be gathered and questioned: “And [mention] the Day He will gather them and that which they worship besides Allah and will say, "Did you mislead these, My servants, or did they [themselves] stray from the way?" [Ref: 25:7] These Awliyah will reply to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala😞 "Exalted are You! It was not for us to take besides You any Awliyah. But You provided comforts for them and their fathers until they forgot the message and became a people ruined." [Ref: 25:8] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) explicitly narrates the questioning of Awliyah of polytheists: “And [beware the Day] when Allah will say: O Jesus, Son of Mary did you say to the people: Take me and my mother as gods besides Allah? He will say: "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it; You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.” [Ref: 5:116] Once again this establishes the Awliyah of polytheists were people who had been elevated to status of gods or idols who were believed to be gods. Regarding the Awliyah of polytheists Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Say: Who is Lord of the heavens and earth? Say: Allah! Say: Have you then taken besides Him Awliyah not possessing [even] for themselves any benefit or any harm?” [Ref: 13:16] These harmless and profitless Awliyah were worshiped by polytheists: “But they worship rather than Allah that which does not benefit them or harm them, and the disbeliever is ever, against his Lord, an assistant [to Satan].” [Ref: 25:55] The polytheists worshipped idols besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and this is attested in the following verse: “You only worship, besides Allah idols and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision." [Ref: 29:17] “They said: "We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted." [Ref: 26:71] This establishes that the Awliyah of polytheists stated in the following verse are idols: “And those who you take Awliyah besides Him (they say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah.” [Ref: 39:3] And these idols were believed to be gods as declared in the following verse: "These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him.” [Ref: 18:15]

      Part One – B: Polytheists Worshiped Gods Besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala😞

      The Awliyah of polytheists are their gods whom they worshiped besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) declared, the Awliyah of polytheists will deny worship of polytheists: “And they have taken besides Allah [false] gods that they would be for them [a source of] honor. No! Those [gods] will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].” [Ref: 19:81/82] These gods were idols as indicated by the following words of Quran: And said, "You have only taken, other than Allah, idols as [a bond of] affection among you in worldly life. Then on the Day of Resurrection you will deny one another and curse one another, and your refuge will be the Fire, and you will not have any helpers." [Ref: 29:25] These worshipped will include the idols of Prophet Isa (alayhis salam) and of the pious belonging to nation of Prophet Nuh (alayhis salam). The origin of the idols worshipped by Arab polytheists is stated by Ibn Abbas (radiallah ta’ala anhu😞 “All the idols which were worshipped by the people of Noah were worshipped by the Arabs later on. As for the idol Wadd, it was worshipped by the tribe of Kalb at Daumat-al-Jandal; Suwa' was the idol of (the tribe of) Murad and then by Ban, Ghutaif at Al-Jurf near Saba; Yauq was the idol of Hamdan, and Nasr was the idol of Himyr, the branch of Dhi-al-Kala.'” [Ref: Bukhari, B60, H442] Then Ibn Abbas (radiallah ta’ala anhu) goes on to state about the identity of the idols: “The names (of the idols) formerly belonged to some pious men of the people of Noah, and when they died Satan inspired their people to (prepare and place idols at the places where they used to sit, and to call those idols by their names. The people did so, but the idols were not worshipped till those people (who initiated them) had died and the origin of the idols had become obscure, whereupon people began worshipping them.” [Ref: Bukhari, B60, H442] These pious people as well as Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam), Maryam (alayhis salaam), Uzair (alayhis salam) all will disown those who have elevated them to status of gods and deny the worship. And the idols which were made to represent them will enter fire as stated by the verse. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tells Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) to enquire from the Messengers before Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permitted taking of gods with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and their worship: “And ask those We sent before you of Our messengers; have We made besides the Most Merciful gods to be worshipped?” [Ref: 43:45] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in another verse answers the question Himself: “Or have they taken gods besides Him? Say, [O Muhammad], "Produce your proof. This [Qur'an] is the message for those with me and the message of those before me." But most of them do not know the truth, so they are turning away. And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that: "There is no god except Me so worship Me." [Ref: 21:24/25] This establishes that polytheists worshiped gods besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and in Islam the worship is to be only of God.

      Part One – 😄 Verse 39:3 In Context Of Beliefs Of Polytheists:

      The verse quoted by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab in light of above established evidence means; those who you take idol-god Awliyah besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) say; we worship idol-god Awliyah that they may bring us near to Allah. It would be better if the mentioned interpretation is put in the context of verse, contextual interpretation: “And those who you take as [idol-god] Awliyah besides Him (they say): ‘We worship them [the idol-gods] only that they may bring us near to Allah.” Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever.” [Ref: 39:3] Note in response to claim of polytheists Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: Verily, Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar and a disbeliever.” [Ref: 39:3] Indicating that those who make this claim are lying about why they take their idol-gods as Awliyah with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). In a nutshell, the verse 39:3 was revealed regarding the polytheists and their gods and not about Muslims. Please bare these two important points in mind because these points are essential to fault of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab’s methodology.

      Part Two – A: Polytheists Worship Which Cannot Profit Or Harm:

      Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] In the following Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tells; a Kafir [takes intercessor with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and] worships which do not benefit or harm: “But they worship rather than Allah that which does not benefit them or harm them, and the disbeliever is ever against his Lord, an assistant [to Satan].” [Ref: 25:55] While refuting the belief of disbelievers, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gives hint about the identity of intercessors: “Or have they taken other than Allah as intercessors? Say, "Even though they do not possess [power over] anything, nor do they reason?" [Ref: 39:43]Arguing against the disbelievers that you take them as intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) even though they possess no ability [of life hearing, seeing, walking, talking] nor they can reason [because they cannot speak]. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) prohibits the disbelievers from taking intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala😞 “And do not invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers.'" [Ref: 10:106] From all this we established; disbelievers took intercessors, their intercessors have no ability to harm or benefit, and disbelievers are prohibited from taking intercessors to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). To know why the intercessors of polytheists are unable to harm/benefit and why the disbelievers were prohibited from taking intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) we have to identify the type of intercessor they took.

      Part Two – B: Worshiping Intercessor Idol-Gods:

      Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) quotes: "These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him.” [Ref: 18:15] “And they have taken besides Allah [false] gods that they would be for them [a source of] honor. No! Those [gods] will deny their worship of them and will be against them opponents [on the Day of Judgment].” [Ref: 19:81/82] These gods were worshipped in form of idols which the polytheists themselves created: “You only worship, besides Allah idols and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision." [Ref: 29:17] These verses of established that those whom the polytheists worshiped besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) were idol-gods. The following verse further establishes that these idol-gods whom the polytheists had taken as intercessors do not have power to benefit or harm: “And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not nor profit them and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] In another verse Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) is made to say about the idol-gods of polytheists: “Should I take other than Him gods! If the Most Merciful intends for me some adversity, their intercession will not avail me at all, nor can they save me.” [Ref: 36:23] This establishes that the polytheists believed their idol-gods are their intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

      Part Two – 😄 Harmless, Profitless Idol-Gods:

      Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) narrates the intention of Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam😞 “And by Allah I will surely plan against your idols after you have turned and gone away." So he made them into fragments, except a large one among them so they might return to it [and question].” [Ref: 21:57/58] When the polytheists of his nation came back they questioned to each other: "Who has done this to our gods? Indeed, he is of the wrongdoers." They said, "We heard a young man mention them who is called Abraham." They said, "Then bring him before the eyes of the people that they may testify." [Ref: 21:59/61] They questioned Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) and received a very thought poking response: “They said, "Have you done this to our gods, O Abraham?" He said, "Rather, this - the largest of them - did it, so ask them, if they should [be able to] speak." [Ref: 21:62/63]  Upon this they realize the error of their belief but remained upon their disbelief and replied to Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam😞 “So they returned to [blaming] themselves and said [to each other], "Indeed, you are the wrongdoers." Then they reversed themselves, [saying], "You have already known that these do not speak!" [Ref: 21:64/65] To which Prophet Ibrahim (alayhis salaam) replied: "Then do you worship instead of Allah that which does not benefit you at all or harm you? Uff to you and to what you worship instead of Allah. Then will you not use reason?" [Ref: 21:66/67] To which the polytheists had no response other then easiest way out; they intended to kill him. Implication Note that Prophet Ibrahim (alayhi salaam) regarding the idol-gods of polytheists said: "You have already known that these do not speak!" He said, "Then do you worship instead of Allah that which does not benefit you at all or harm you?” [Ref: 21:66] And regarding the polytheists of Arabia Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) said: “And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not nor profit them and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] This establishes verse about polytheists of Arabia was about their idol-gods and in the verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is stating; polytheists worship idol-gods besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) which do not hurt nor profit them and yet the polytheists take these idol-gods as intercessors:

      Part Two – 😧 Verse 10:18 In Context Of Beliefs Of Polytheists:

      The true interpretation of the verse quoted by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab is as follows. They the polytheist worship besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) idol-gods that hurt them not nor profit them and the polytheists say regarding their idol-gods; these idol-gods are our intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Putting this understanding in the context of the verse; “And they [the polytheists] worship besides Allah [idol-gods] things that hurt them not nor profit them and they [the polytheists] say: These [idol-gods] are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] The verse continues with to mention association of polytheists with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala😞 “Say, "Do you inform Allah of something He does not know in the heavens or on the earth?" Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.” [Ref: 10:18] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states in another verse: “Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord - there is no god except Him - and turn away from those who associate others with Allah.” [Ref: 6:106] This establishes Polytheists of Arabian Peninsula took their idol-gods as intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and worshipped them as such.

      Part Three – A: No Friendship Nor Intercession For Disbelievers:

      Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab introduced into Islam a heretical type of intercession which he defined as; “The prohibited intercession is that which is sought from other than Allah concerning that which only Allah is able to do.” And to establish this principle he quoted the following verse of Quran: “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] The day mentioned in the verse is judgment day and for the disbelievers there will be no bargaining nor friendship nor intercession. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will say to the polytheists: “[it will be said to them], "And you have certainly come to Us alone as We created you the first time, and you have left whatever We bestowed upon you behind you. And We do not see with you your 'intercessors' which you claimed that they were among you associates [of Allah]. It has [all] been severed between you, and lost from you is what you used to claim." [Ref: 6:94] Realizing that they have no one to intercede for them the polytheists will say: “Do they wait except its result? The Day its result comes those who had ignored it before will say, "The messengers of our Lord had come with the truth, so are there [now] any intercessors to intercede for us or could we be sent back to do other than we used to do?" They will have lost themselves, and lost from them is what they used to invent.” [Ref: 7:53] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) stated regarding the polytheists: “And the Day the Hour appears the criminals will be in despair. And there will not be for them among their [alleged] partners any intercessors, and they will [then] be disbelievers in their partners.” [Ref: 30:12/13] Quran records the words how polytheists will disassociate themselves from the partners they ascribed to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala😞 “To him [alone] is attributed knowledge of the Hour. And fruits emerge not from their coverings nor does a female conceive or give birth except with His knowledge. And the Day He will call to them: "Where are My 'partners'?" they will say, "We announce to You that there is [no longer] among us any witness [to that]." [Ref: 41:47] The polytheists will say this because those whom they worshipped will deny being worshipped: “And [mention, O Muhammad], the Day We will gather them all together - then We will say to those who associated others with Allah, "[Remain in] your place you and your 'partners.' "Then We will separate them, and their "partners" will say: "You did not used to worship us.” [Re: 10:28]

      Part Three – B: The Permitted Intercessors Will Intercede For Muslims:

      Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab stated: “And the affirmed intercession is that which is sought from Allah, and the intercessor is honored with the intercession and the one interceded for, is one whom Allah is pleased with; his speech and actions…” And to establish this innovative principle he quoted the following verse: “To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and ...” [Ref: 2:255] There are many verses of Quran which establish the intercession of those whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will permit, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne, arranging the matter [of His creation]. There is no intercessor except after His permission. That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Then will you not remember?” [Ref: 10:3] The people of hell will request the angels: ”And those in the fire will say to the keepers of hell, "Supplicate your Lord to lighten for us a day from the punishment." [Ref: 40:49] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states that their intercession will not avail them: “And how many angels there are in the heavens whose intercession will not avail at all except [only] after Allah has permitted [it] to whom He wills and approves.” [Ref: 53:26] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states about idol-gods of polytheists not having the right to intercede and some being granted the right of intercession: “And those they invoke besides Him do not possess [power of] intercession; but only those who testify to the truth [can benefit], and they know.” [Ref: 43:86] “None will have [power of] intercession except he who had taken from the Most Merciful a covenant.” [Ref: 19:87] “That Day, no intercession will benefit except [that of] one to whom the Most Merciful has given permission and has accepted his word.” [Ref: 20:109] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states those intercessors who will be permitted to intercede will only intercede for whom Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will permit: “And intercession does not benefit with Him except for one whom He permits. [And those wait] until, when terror is removed from their hearts ...” [Ref: 34:23] “He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they cannot intercede except on behalf of one whom He approves. And they, from fear of Him, are apprehensive.” [Ref: 21:28] Many Ahadith record the details regarding the intercessors and about whom they would intercede. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) said: “The people will come to me, and I will prostrate myself underneath Allah's Throne. Then I will be addressed: 'O Muhammad! Raise your head; intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything) for you will be given." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H556] In another hadith it is recorded that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) said: "On the Day of Resurrection I will intercede and say, "O my Lord! Admit into Paradise (even) those who have faith equal to a mustard seed in their hearts." Such people will enter Paradise, and then I will say, 'O (Allah) admit into Paradise (even) those who have the least amount of faith in their hearts.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H600] The intercession of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will be for those who committed major sins: "My intercession is for the people who committed the major sins in my Ummah." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B11, H2435] Ahadith also record Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) has told of others from amongst the Ummah interceding behalf of sinful Muslims: "Indeed in my Ummah are those who intercede for large groups of people, and among them (there are) who intercede for a tribe, and among them (there are) who intercede for a group, and among them (there are) who intercede for a man, until they are admitted to Paradise." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B11, H2440] Another hadith states Messengers and angles will be instructed to intercede: ”Then the angels will come and intercede and the Messengers will intercede.' And he mentioned the Sirat, and said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'I will be the first one to cross it, and when Allah has finished passing judgment among His creation, and has brought forth from the Fire those whom He wants to bring forth, Allah will command the angels and the Messengers to intercede and they will be recognized by their signs, for the Fire will consume all of the son of Adam apart from the place of prostration. Then the water of life will be poured on them, and they will grow like seeds on the banks of a rainwater stream." [Ref: Nisa’I, B12, H1141] Another version of the hadith also includes believers in the list of permitted intercessors: "Then the prophets and angels and the believers will intercede, and (last of all) the Almighty (Allah) will say …” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H532]

      Part Three – 😄 Why No Intercessor And Intercession For Disbelievers:

      Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] It has already been established that believers will have intercessors and Muslims having Wali’s is established by the following verse; “Your Wali is none but Allah and His Messenger and those who have believed - those who establish prayer and give zakah, and they bow [in worship].” [Ref: 5:55] And Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) and believers being Wali’s of each other will not change even on the judgment day: “Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous.” [Ref: 43:67] Hence the verse does not mean believers will not have anyone to intercede for them. On the judgment day when the mankind realizes the reality they will then seek friendship and seek to bargain. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) informs them that on that day there will be no such a thing. Hence implying that time for bargaining your wealth, time, for securing and making friendship and assuring intercession your life time on earth. If you fail to secure it in your earthly life then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states regarding such wrong-doers (i.e. polytheists), clearly: “And warn them, [O Muhammad], of the Approaching Day, when hearts are at the throats, filled [with distress]. For the wrongdoers there will be no devoted friend and no intercessor [who is] obeyed.” [Ref: 40:18] In another verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “So today no ransom will be taken from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is most worthy of you, and wretched is the destination.” [Ref: 57:15] There are two reasons why polytheists will not have intercessors on judgment day, a) polytheists took idol-gods as their intercessors they did not become Muslims. Taking idol-gods as intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and worshipping them is prohibited. Polytheists took prohibited intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Regarding prohibited intercessor idol-gods Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) stated: “And they [the polytheists] worship besides Allah [idol-gods] things that hurt them not nor profit them and they [the polytheists] say: These [idol-gods] are our intercessors with Allah.” [Ref: 10:18] “And do not invoke besides Allah [idol-god intercessors] that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers.'" [Ref: 10:106] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tells the polytheists they will disbelieve in whom they associate with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as His god-partners: “And there will not be for them among their partners any intercessors, and they will [then] be disbelievers in their partners.” [Ref: 30:13] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) is made to say to the polytheists regarding their idol-god intercessors: “Should I take other than Him gods! If the Most Merciful intends for me some adversity, their intercession will not avail me at all, nor can they save me.” [Ref: 36:23] Coming to the second reason, if the polytheists had accepted Islam then they would have had Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) and believers as their intercessors because they would have believed in these intercessors while affirming Oneness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

      Part Three – 😧 Verse 2:254 In The Context Of Quran:

      Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) stated: “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] Even though in the beginning of the verse the believers are addressed but later in the verse Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states about the disbelievers that they will not be able to bargain for paradise, nor their friendships will Muslims will avail them nor they will have intercession of their intercessors -no intercession of their idol gods. Hence according to all the established evidence the correct understanding of the verse is; “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession [for the disbelievers]. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] Or it could mean; “O you who believe! Spend from that which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession [without the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala]. And it is the disbelievers who are the wrong-doers.” [Ref: 2:254] In the context of the verse and general Quranic theology the implication would be; Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) tell the believers to do good deeds (i.e. give Charity) because on judgment day there will not be anyone permitted to intercede for them without His permission hence the good deeds will save you from punishment of fire. Note the those sinners whose bad deeds out weigh the good deeds will have to taste the punishment and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will only be able to intercede for them after he receives permission. Hence they should not solely rely on the intercession of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) but perform good deeds to remain out of fire even before the permission is granted.

      Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Methodology Is Methodology Of Khawarij:

      We have established that the verse 39:3 is referring to the Awliyah of polytheists and Quran establishes the Awliyah of polytheists were idol-gods. The verse 10:18 was revealed about the polytheists who contended with Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) about Tawheed and instead of believing in One-ness of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) the polytheists believed in many gods and worshipped these many gods and believed these gods will be their intercessors to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). In a nutshell, it can be said this verse too was revealed regarding the polytheists and their gods. The verse 2:254 can be interpreted differently and both interpretations are valid. One interpretation is, that the verse refers to polytheists and disbelievers in general not having any intercessor in court of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The second interpretation is; Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was’sallam) will not be able to intercede for the disbelievers if they are sent to hellfire due to their bad deeds out weighing the good ones, until Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is granted the permission to intercede. Now, Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab quoted verses which were revealed regarding the disbelievers and their idol-gods and applied these verses to Muslims of his time. With exception to 2:254 which can be interpreted differently all other verses definitely and certainly referred to non-Muslims. The only verse which can be interpreted in context of Muslims was employed by Shaykh al-Najd Muslims have no intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in reality establishes Muslims have intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) with His permission. Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) stated about the people who employ the methodology like of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab: “... and the Mulhidun (heretical) after the establishment of firm proof against them: "And the statement of Allah: 'Allah will not mislead a people after He has guided them, until He makes clear to them what to avoid.' [9:115] And Ibn Umar used to consider them (the Khawarij and the Mulhidun) the worst of Allah's creatures and said: …” Why he considered them as the worst in the creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is also explained: "These people took some verses that had been revealed concerning the disbelievers and interpreted them as describing the believers.” [Ref: Bukhari, Volume 9, Page 49, Chapter 6: Qatal Al Khawarij]  This is the nature of Khawarij to describe the believers as disbelievers and interpret the verses which revealed regarding disbelievers in such a fashion that they describe believers. This methodology is a heretical innovation and anyone who employs it and applies understanding of such verses upon Muslims saying; these verses describe your belief, is from the heretics/innovators and from the people who will enter the fire.

      Conclusion:

      From the Tafsir of the verses it is established that polytheists do not have and will not have any intercessors with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The primary reason for this is; they have taken idols as gods and attributed them to be partners of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and it was these attributed god-partners which the Mushrikeen believed will be their intercessors. In contrast to polytheists we the Muslims believe Prophets and pious Muslims are our intercessors as servants of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and not because of being god-partners with Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). We also believe Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has granted them the permission to intercede on behalf of believers. Hence in light of this, the prohibited intercession is one which is sought from a idol-god instead of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the permitted intercession is, which is sought from a creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) while affirming creed of Tawheed. Also the methodology which Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab employed is innovation of Khawarij. As a result of his methodology he is from these people, the worst people in creation of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and those who follow him in creed and in methodology are also from his sect of Khawarij.

      Wama Alayna Ilal Balaghul Mubeen.
      Muhammed Ali Razavi
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