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Innovation Into Religion And Worship: Companion Introduces New Another Tasbih.

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When Khawarij engage the Muslims in discussions on subject of innovation. They present following principle, there cannot be innovation in sanctioned acts of worship. This principle is part of many other principles which they have invented to ensure their sectarian position is protected and Muslims do not get better of them in discussions. The objective of this principle is to ensure that Islamic teaching; Islam permits good innovations, is refuted and prohibited. Effort is being made to refute the heretical position of Khawarij and establish Islamic teachings with evidence of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Note on basis of Ahadith on which the Khawarij establish their principles will not be explained in this article but already have been explained in many articles including one related to this topic, here.

Teaching Of Prophet: When And What To During Prayers:

Son of Abu Bakr as-Sadeeq (radiallah ta’ala anhu), Abdur Rahman (radiallah ta’ala anhu), and Abu Salamah (radiallah ta’ala anhu) performed their prayers behind Abu Hurairah (radiallah ta’ala anhu): “… and he when he bowed, he said the Takbir, when he raised his head he said: 'Sami Allahu liman hamidah, Rabbana wa lakal-hamd.
After which Abu Huraira (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said Takfir in all movments until he stood erect: “Then he prostrated and said the takbir, then he raised his head and said the takbir, then he said the takbir when he stood up following that Rak'ah.” After finishing the Salah Abu Huraira (radiallah ta’ala anhu) addressed the people and said: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, I am the one among you whose prayer most closely resembles that of the Messenger of Allah. And this is how he continued to pray until he left this world." [Ref: Nisa’i, B12, H1157] Please note the implications of this, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed his Salah throughout his life using the bold words. Another Hadith indicates the method which Prophet (sallallahu alayh wa aalihi was’sallam) himself taught to his companions: “When he finished the prayer he said: “The Imam is appointed to be followed. When he says Allahu Akbar, then say Allahu Akbar; when he bows, then bow; when he says Sami’ Allahu liman hamidah, then say Rabbana wa lakal-hamd; when he prostrates then prostrate; and if he prays sitting down then pray sitting down.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B5, H1238] From both of these Ahadith we learn what to say when the leader of prayer says, sami’allahu liman hamidah, he taught us to say, rabbana wa lakal-hamd.

Companion Introduces Innovation Into Prayer:

It was Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to praise Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) after eating with the following words - all praise is due to Allah, praise which is abundant, pure, and full of blessings, which is indispensable and to which one cannot be indifferent – Arabic quoted in Hadith: “Narrated Abu Umama: Whenever the dining sheet of the Prophet was taken away (i.e., whenever he finished his meal), he used to say: "Al-hamdu li l-lah kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi ghaira makfiy wala muWada` wala mustaghna'anhu Rabbuna."
[Ref: Bukhari, B65, H368] A companion adopted this Tasbih partially for prayers. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was leading prayers and while coming out of Ruku (i.e. bow) he said, sami’allahu liman hamidah, a man instead of saying, rabbana wa laka’l-hamd, he said changed the Tasbih to: "Sami`a l-lahu liman hamidah." A man behind him said, "Rabbana wa laka l-hamdu, hamdan kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi." [Ref: Bukhari, B12, H764] Which means, O our Lord! All the praises are for You, many good and blessed praises. Another version quotes different wording: "I prayed behind Allah's Messenger (S). I sneezed and said: Al-Hamdulillah, hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fih, mubarakan alaihi kama yuhibbu Rabbana Wa Yarda. [Ref: Tirmadhi, B2, H404] And this version means, all praise is due to Alah, many good blessed praises, blessings for Him as our Lord loves and is pleased with. Yet another Hadith quotes another version: "I prayed with the Prophet and a man said: 'Alhamdu lillahi hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fihi.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3802] Meaning of this is, praise is to Allah, much, good and blessed praise.

Was There A Precedent From Sunnah For This Addition:

There is not a single Hadith in which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has taught an [praiseworthy] innovation can be introduced into prayers, or aspects of prophetic teaching can be replaced in prayers, or altered, or combined with innovative Tasbih. It also should be noted; these Tasbihat were not Prophetic Sunnahs, nor teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The Tasbih of companion was result of his Ijtihad. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said:“Whoever introduces a good Sunnah that is followed he will receive its reward and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in their slightest." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] “He who introduced some good precedent (i.e. Sunnah) in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] The companion added this innovation into Deen and altered sanctioned act of worship based on the above teachings of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). All evidence points to the fact that companion excercised the right of introducing innovation into religion. The innovation was permitted under the general permission given by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), hence his Ijtihad was valid and was accepted by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

Ijtihad Of Companion Is Accepted:

When Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) finished the prayers than according to Bukhari’s version enquired who recited the Tasbih and informed him how the angels reacted: “When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, "Who has said these words?" The man replied, "I." The Prophet said, "I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first." Prophet rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebrae of his spinal column came to a natural position.” [Ref: Bukhari, B12, H764] In Tirmadhi’s version Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have asked twice, who recited the Tasbih and on third time someone spoke up: “When Allah's Messenger (S) prayed and turned (after finishing) he said: 'Who was the speaker during the Salat?' No one spoke. Then he said it a second time: 'Who was the speaker during the Salat?' But no one spoke. Then he said it a third time: 'Who was the speaker during the Salat?'" So Rifa'ah bin Rafi bin Afra said: "It was I, O Messenger of Allah (S)." Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) enquired from him what he recited and told him how the angels reacted to his innovative good Sunnah: “He said: "What did you say?" He said: "I said: 'Al-Hamdulillah, hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fih, mubarakan alaihi kama yuhibbu Rabbana Wa Yarda. The Prophet (S) said: "By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I saw thirty-some angels competing over which of then would ascend with it." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B2, H404]  In Ibn Majah’s versions the words which indicate acceptance of innovative Sunnah are: “When the Prophet finished praying, he said: 'Who said that?' The man said: 'It was me, but I did not mean anything but good.' He [the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam] said: 'The gates of heaven were opened because of it and nothing prevented it from reaching the Throne.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3802]

An Important Point About Innovative Sunnah Of Companion:

Even though the companion introduced the innovative Sunnah into religion and it was not prophetic Sunnah. But after Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) saw the reaction of angels and also did not rebuke innovative Tasbih, it became prophetic Sunnah, its tacitly approved prophetic Sunnah. And anyone who acts on it will be rewarded like the companion who introduced it.


The belief of Khawarij that Islam does not permit good innovations into Islam is invalid. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told of reward and for those who follow the innovative Sunnahs. Companion of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is said to have introduced a praisworthy innovative Sunnah in sanctioned act of worship. Even though when there was no explicit permission granted allowing the alteration of the sanctioned method of worship. Hence it was a innovated Sunnah worthy of reward which became prophetic Sunnah. All this establishes innovations in sanctioned acts of worship are permitted as well as innovation in Islam in general are also permitted.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

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