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MuhammedAli

Refuting The Claim; Hadith Of Good/evil Sunnah Refers To Reward Worthy Actions And Sinful Actions.

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Introduction:

In the first week of August, 2016, I contacted a Salafi, talib ul ilm (seeker of knowledge), to ask if he has any information on the Hadith of, whosoever introduces a good Sunnah in Islam he/she is assured reward like those who follow it, and whosoever introduces a evil Sunnah in Islam than he/she will bear the burden of sin just as those who followed it. Knowing the reasons why I am requesting information he shared with me a link of AhlalHdeeth forum, here, and link of IslamToday, here, thinking it negates/refutes Islamic understanding. He followed it with plea; read posts  ponder over them, it will take time to make sense, and don’t be quick to dismiss what following wrote: Abul Fadl,1, 3 Ustad Ayman bin Khaled wrote in post 2, and sister Um Abdullah wrote in posts 4. I informed the brother, I never have closed the gate of guidance upon myself. I fear Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) displeasure and worry about the end in hereafter. And told him, if Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) wills, I will be just to the material you have passed on to me. After directing his attention to extensive written material already available I enquired if he would be interested in reading any material related to the Ahadith? He excused himself citing busy schedual. But promised, if I personally write something in response to the material he could look into the matter and give me his honest verdict. It seemed he was under impression I would direct him to material written by others. And the reality was all material was written by me but I did not feel to spell this out for him because it would appear, I am begging for attention. So decided I will respond to the material presented in the links. And al-hamdu lillah it was a good decision because both links make my job easy. Authors of material spell out what innovation is all I need to do is to draw their attention toward how the Hadith fits theirs/mine definition of innovation. Note in this article material found at Ahlalhdeeth forum will be addressed, and material of Salafi Muftis at IslamToday will be dealt in the following article, here.

The Material In On Which Disscussion Will Be Based:

A certain Abul Fadl quoted Hadith of good/evil Sunnah in its entirity and wrote: “I know there is disagreement about Bid'ah Hasanah and Dalâlah. I would like to know how the opponents of Bid'ah Hasanah interpret and understand "sunnah sayyi'ah"?  BarakAllâhu fîk and thanks in advance.” [Ref: Abul Fadl, post 1] Shaykh/Ustad Ayman bin Khaled responded to Abul Fadl: “Scholars identify "sunnah sayyi'ah" as sins whereas "Bid'ah" can be sinful and can be not sinful. If you know Arabic view: … elsewise, what I have said sums up the fatwa. Wallahu A'lam.” [Ref: Ayman Bin Khaled, post 2] Abul Fadl got back and wrote the following: “BarakAllâhu fîk brother. I heard that Salafi's opposed the categorizing of Bid'ah in hasanah and dalâlah, is this view of bid'ah hasanah- and dalalah accepted as a valid ikhtilâf among them or did I misunderstood the fatwa? It could be because I still need to work hard on my Arabic.” [Ref: Abul Fadl, post 3] Sister Um Abdullah responded to brother Abul Fadl with following: “Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah. Bidah in the language is categorized to good and bad (the five categories of bidah stated by some shafi'i scholars falls under this, just check the examples they gave for each category and it will be clear), but bidah in deen/worship is all bad, and what makes a bidah in deen is a long detailed topic that can't be discussed in one post. And what is fatwa says is that if it has a daleel in shari'ah then it good bidah, which means that it is bidah in language not in shari'ah, because if it has daleel from shari'ah it wouldn't be a bidah in shari'ah because it is already part of shari'ah, and bidah is something that is new to shariah, that was not part of it, then was added to it, and not something that already exists in shari'ah. As for sunnah sayi'ah, it is every sin/evil that is done which people follow the person in doing it. And sunnah hasanah is opposite, it is every good deed done which people follow hte person in doing it, like in story of the hadith, the good deed was sadaqah. And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” [Ref: Um Abdullah M, post 4] I did read the entire thread number of times to make sure content gets registered and I can mull over the implications of it. And even though my Salafi brother did not instruct me to read the following post of Shaykh Ayman bin Khaled but because brother Abul Fadl directed post to him and Shaykh responded I have included it: “In simple terms; the dispute over categorizing bid'a is theoritical and all scholars from both sides agree on the application of it. So, examining such topic will bring no benefit at all to anyone in terms of good deeds or adding beneficial knowledge that is practiced by average Muslims. This is said while making a note that all scholars mention such topics while emphasizing on the known principle, taking the safest view is the best to do and the most praised act. Wallahu A'lam” [Ref: Ayman Bin Khaled, post 7] Post seven of Shaykh Ayman bin Khaled demonstrates his correct understanding of subject but has a misguiding element. There were more exchanges between members but I will end it here.

Hadith Of Whosoever Introduces A Good/Evil Sunnah In Islam:

“Jarir b. Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woollen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) exhorted people to give charity, but they showed some reluctance until (signs) of anger could be seen on his face. Then a person from the Ansar came with a purse containing silver. Then came another person and then other persons followed them in succession until signs of happiness could be seen on his (sacred) face. Thereupon Allah's Messenger said: He who introduced some good 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. And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] “The Messenger of Allah said: He who introduces good precedent in Islam, there is a reward for him for this (act of goodness) and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who introduces an 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, B5, H2219] “The Messenger of Allah said: '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. And whoever sets an evil precedent in Islam, he will have a burden of sin for that, and the burden of those who acted in accordance with it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest."' [Ref: Nisa’i, B23, H2555]

0.0 – Explaining Important  Statement Of Sister Um Adullah:

Following statement of sister Um Abdullah is about innovative actions, practices, ideas: “And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good in shari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” [Ref: Um Abdullah M, post 4] In other words she is saying, if judgment, on something innovative, is required to see if it is good or bad in Shari’ah, than its reality is, as Shari’ah declares it to be, good/bad. Shari’ah judges goodness/evilness of innovations based on existance of evidence and she states this:And what is fatwa says is that if it (i.e. innovation) has a daleel in shari'ah then it good bidah, which means that it is bidah in language not in shari'ah, because if it has daleel from shari'ah it wouldn't be a bidah in shari'ah because it is already part of shari'ah …” Alhasil both these statements explain each other and thus are connected with topic of innovation and they will be employed in this context in future. From a more rational perspective. If y is already part of Shari’ah than it is not an innovation. Agreed! And if something was not dealt in religion of Islam either by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or by RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) than it is innovation? Agreed! And if innovative y requires judgment from perspective of prophetic teachings to see if it is good/bad than it means, it was not part of religion and it is innovation and requires Ijtihadi judgment. And if you agreed with the last point, you will agree that sister Um Abdullah’s statement can only refer to innovative, actions, practices, ideas.

0.1 – Innovation In Religion Is All Bad Or Maybe Some Is Bad:

Please bare in mind, here I will address sister Um Abdullah’s claim briefly. Without going too much into supporting evidence, but when I deal with Shaykh Ayman’s material, than detailed exposition will follow. Sister wrote: “Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah. Bidah in the language is categorized to good and bad (the five categories of bidah stated by some shafi'i scholars falls under this, just check the examples they gave for each category and it will be clear), but bidah in deen/worship is all bad, and what makes a bidah in deen is a long detailed topic that can't be discussed in one post.” Innovation is something which was not part of prophetic teaching, and it later did not became part of religion when it was completed/perfected. Sister Um Abdullah agrees with what I have stated: “… and bidah is something that is new to shariah, that was not part of it, then was added to it, and not something that already exists in shari'ah.” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “He who introduced some good Sunnah in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] The Hadith indicates, reward being told is for a good Sunnah which is not already part of Islam. And what is not part of Islam but one is permitted to make part of Islam to earn reward is, innovation. In light of this statement of sister, “… but Biddah in deen/worship is all bad, …” is in correct because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) permitted introduction of good innovated Sunnahs in to Islam by telling there is reward for them.

0.2 – Innovation In Worship Is Not All Bad:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was leading prayers and when he said: “Sami Allahu liman hamidah.” A Sahabi said: “Rabbana wa lakal-hamd, hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fih.” After finsihing the prayer Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) enquired who uttered the words and a Sahabi admitted to uttering them. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told him: “I saw thirty-some angels rushing to see which of them would write it down first." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B12, H1063] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught Tasbih and it ends with: “Rabbana wa lakal-hamd.” The companion made the following addition to it: “Hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fih.” Once again words of sister Um Abdullah defining what an innovation is: “… and bidah is something that is new to shariah, that was not part of it, then was added to it, and not something that already exists in shari'ah.” In light of meaning of innovation, the companion introduced an innovation into worship. And this refutes the claim of sister that all innovations in worship are bad: “… but Biddah in deen/worship is all bad, …” Another point, originally the addition of companion and by its nature, the addition was an innovation. After Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) became pleased with it than it became a Sunnah. Alhasil not every innovation into worship is evil in fact innovation can be so good that it can become prophetic Sunnah.

0.3 – Restoring Balance To Insanity Regarding Innovation:

Sister Um Abdullah wrote regarding innovation: “… if it has daleel from shari'ah it wouldn't be a bidah in shari'ah because it is already part of shari'ah …” And before this sister wrote: “… that if it has a daleel in shari'ah then it is good bidah …” Question begs to be asks, how can something which has daleel from Shariah is good innovation in your methodology? You just stated with evidence it is part of Shariah and not innovation and than you termed something which has evidence as good innovation. It is either innovation or no-innovation. With existance of evidence means it is already part of Shari’ah hence its not innovation, but it is Shari’ah, full-stop. Without evidence it innovation. Salafi classification doesn’t have room for good innovation - it has; innovation, and Shariah. And there is no room for, good innovation, or linguistic innovation, in Salafi classification either like she claimed here: “…if it has a daleel in shari'ah then it is good bidah, which means that it is bidah in language linguistic sense not in shari'ah, …”  Our sister is just flapping around like a fish out of water in the hope she hits water – or says something useful and convincing. There was and is no need to explain the position of Fuqaha Shafiyyah because they adhere to different defintion. I understand she is attempting to bring reconciliation between her own definition and definition of innovation taught by Fuqaha Shafiyyah but she is just confusing the matter. Only way to bring reconciliation between both defintions as as it follows. Salafi, innovation is equal to Shafi, evil innovation. Shafi, good innovation equal to Salafi, Shari’ah. There was and is no need for acrobatics.

0.4 - Innovation With Evidence Is Shar’ri Or Linguistic - Innovation:

Sister said: “… that if it has a daleel in shari'ah then it is good bidah …” And she also wrote: “… if it has daleel from shari'ah it wouldn't be a bidah in shari'ah because it is already part of shari'ah …” Note she said, if innovation has evidence it is not innovation because it is part of Shari’ah. But good innovation, she states has to have evidence of Shari’ah. If her both statements are true than logical out come has to be that good innovation is part of Shariah.

0.5 - Inconsistant Ramblings Of Sister Um Abdullah:

Unfortunately the lack of knowledge is obvious from the following from what sister Um Abdullah wrote. She writes: “Bidah in the language is categorized to good and bad (the five categories of bidah stated by some shafi'i scholars falls under this, just check the examples they gave for each category and it will be clear), …” If Biddah in linguisitic sense is good/bad, and it is divided into five categories by Shafi scholars. Than did they not use their definition to judge matters of religion? When it is obvious they used their definition to judge matters of Islam than how can their definition of innovation be good/bad in linguistic sense? Sister Um Abdullah herself wrote: “And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” If the judgments of Shafi scholars good/bad come under the category of Shari’ah, and what they judge to be good/evil it is good/bad in Shariah than how can their definition of innovation and classification of innovation be not part of Shariah? How can it be possible to judge matters of religion with something which is not part of religion? For their judgments to be part of Shariah their definition and classifications must also be part of Shariah. And they did indeed take their definition as part of Shariah. And what can be derived from her own rule sister Um Abdullah should take their definition as part of Shariah: “And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” 1 + 1 = 2, its mathematics, and it was solved using rules of mathematics. Or was it solved/judged to be, 2, using rules of English grammar or rules of mathematic? I am only being sarcastic, peeps. Point being made is that a judgement to be made on something has to relate to field. If judgment is being made, y is prohibited in Islam, than the tool/rules of judgment has to be from Islam, and in this context, innovation.

0.6 - Resolving The Problem And Falling Into Another Misguidance:

Alhasil, sister Um Abdullah M, is only doing the best to pull wool over her own eyes. Distorting the obvious reality of definition of Fuqaha Shafiyyah until she fooled brother Abul Fadl. The reality of matter was demonstrated even from her own understanding. The Fuqaha of Ahnaf and Fuqaha Shafiyyah both believed their defintions of innovation are Shar’ri definitions. And the rule which sister Um Abdullah adheres to, should lead her to believe defintion of innovation of Fuqaha Shafiyyah is Shar’ri definition, and she should believe in accordance with her own principle that Shafiyyah had Shar’ri defintion of innovation. Otherwise she should either let go of following rubbish: “Bidah in the language is categorized to good and bad (the five categories of bidah stated by some shafi'i scholars falls under this, just check the examples they gave for each category and it will be clear), …”. Or she should let go of her following rule: “And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.”. Or else she would be contradicting her ownself. If she had thought through what she was writing should would have realised her misguidance. In case she lets go of her linguistic rubbish then she would acknowledge Shar’ri existance of good/evil innovations. And if she lets go of her rule, judgment on something being good/bad is of Shariah, than she would negate existance of Shar’ri existance of good/bad innovations. But she would also be guilty of negating a principle which Fuqaha of; Ahnaf, Hanabilah, Shafiyyah, Malikiyyah have agreed upon. The safest path would be to acknowledge Shar’ri legality of existance of good/bad innovation and give-up making excuses where none can do.

0.7 - Sister Um Abdullah On Evil Sunah:

It is stated in Hadith: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently, he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this without their's being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] With regards to evil Sunnah sister Um Abdullah writes: “As for sunnah sayi'ah, it is every sin/evil that is done which people follow the person in doing it.” I suppose sister here intends, every sin/evil, which is defined by Shari’ah, lik Shaykh Waheed al-Zaman has stated in his Mukhtasir Sharh of Sahih Muslim. In other words sister means, evil Sunnah is; every sinful action which has been defined by Quranic teaching or prophetic teaching to be evil/sinful, and which a person is seen comitting and people imitate the sinful action. If her point is valid - it is omitting a key component but it is valid - than it is equally applicable for innovation because there are Ahadith which use word, innovation instead of Sunnah, and the meaning of these Ahadith is exactly same as meaning of evil Sunnah: “And whoever بِدْعَةً ابْتَدَعَ (i.e. introduces an innovation) that is acted upon, will have a burden of sins equivalent to that of those who act upon it, withot that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] “And whoever introduces a ضَلاَلَةٍ بِدْعَةَ (i.e evil 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] All one has to do is, remove the words, Sunnah Sayyah, and replace it with, Biddah. For demonstration purposes; as for evil innovation, it is every sin/evil that is done which people follow the person in doing it. What this establishes is her definition of evil Sunnah is also definition of evil Biddah. And this leads to logical conclusion; evil Sunnah and evil Biddah are one and the same.

0.8 – Setting In Islam An Evil Precedent:

Sister is just repeating the words her scholars without giving thought to if they fit into the Hadith or not. If portion of Hadith in discussion is about only sins which Quranic and prophetic teaching has defined sinful than following underlined words were uncalled for and play no part in the Hadith: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which …” Sinful action which is immitated by others, is not being introduced into Islam, is not a precedent set in Islam, because it is already defined by Islam to be sinful/evil. The Hadith talks about a evil Sunnah, or sinful action, which has no precedent prior to being set. I will explain, suppose I am drink alcohol of finest quality, my true Salafi buddy, the only true Muwahid on earth, and only one with true understanding of Quran and Hadith, gets inspired by me, and decides to defile his self with it. Question is did he immitate an action of mine which had no precedent in Islam, or there was already a precedent set – before prohibition: “Narrated Jabir: Some people drank alcoholic beverages in the morning (of the day) of the Uhud battle and on the same day they were killed as martyrs, and that was before wine was prohibited.” [Ref: Bukhari, B65, H4618] And after prohibition command was revealed: “Narrated Anas: The Prophet lashed a drunk with dateleaf stalks and shoes. And Abu Bakr gave a drunk forty lashes.” [Ref: Bukhari, B81, H767] So even though I maybe the influence and be responsible for advertising it. I am not, introducing into Islam an evil precedent. Or in other words, I am not setting an evil precedent in Islam.

0.9 - Setting/Introducing Evil Precedent In Islam:

The Hadith indicates evil Sunnah for which the burden of sin will be equally shared between the initiator and its actor thereafter is not already part of Islam. In other words that evil Sunnah already has not been declared to be evil in Islam. Suppose a Sufi Shaykh, and worse, Sufi who is Ashari/Maturidi, wakes up every Fajr time, performs Salah, than this Sufi Shaykh looks for a Salafi/Wahhabi, once he finds one, he beats the Wahhabism out of him, than shaves all hair leaving only those in private areas, makes him drink Hindu cows urine, makes him bark like a dog, forces him to make face like Khanzeer and tells him to go. The terrorist Sufi Shaykh than goes to his mosque and preaches his mureeds (i.e. disciples) do the same. This starts tradition of Wahhabi wich hunt, and the evil Sufis go, and do what their Shaykh has instructed, inflicting all humiliations upon their peacful/harmless pacifist Wahhabis in precise order which their Shaykh has been doing. This practice/precedent has no judgment in Islam from prophetic Sunnah because it did not exist at the time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The collective judgment of Muslims regarding this custom of Sufi Shaykh is that it is an evil Sunnah and therefore in light of following Hadith it will be evil Sunnah in judgment of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as well: “And whatever the Muslims view as good is good in the sight of Allah, and whatever they view as evil is evil in the sight of Allah.” [Ref: Musnad Ahmad, Mukthireen, Ibn Mas’ud, H3589] And this way it will be an innovated into Islam as an evil Sunnah and those who acted on it will be equally responsible like their Sufi Shaykh. Our sister has acknolwedge: “And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” That is because judgment of good/bad in light of Islamic principles makes the issue part of Islam. Natural conclusion is; an evil Sunnah being introduced into Islam, or set in Islam, must not already have precedent and judgment of Shariah regarding it. And if it already has a judgment, it is already part of Islam.

0.10 – Sister Um Abdullah On Good Sunnah:

Regarding good Sunnah sister Um Abdullah writes: “And sunnah hasanah is opposite, it is every good deed done which people follow the person in doing it, like in story of the hadith, the good deed was sadaqah.” Sister Um Abdullah connected part of good Sunnah with the context of Hadith by saying: “… like in the story of the Hadith, the good deed was Sadaqah.” It is common among the Salafi’s to negate the generality of principles in this Hadith to by contextualising it. Implication of which is, Sadaqah is prophetic teaching/Sunnah, and nothing is being new is being introduced into Islam, no innovation has been introduced. But this negates the natural meaning of Hadith therefore it cannot be correct. The Islamic position is; principles in this Hadith are not limited to context of event. If they were limited than evil Sunnah portion of Hadith would have connection with action of companion/companions and it is obvious there is no relationship. Considering the implications of the prophetic words (i.e. innovated good/evil Sunnahs not already being part of Islam) its most likely that practice of Sadaqah became part of Islam when Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) encouraged to give Sadaqah to the poor Muslims and companions acted on it. And after all the event had transpired Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) received revelation to announce the two principles. This explanation puts everything into perspective. It establishes that principle is connected with context and it supports the natural implications of Hadith. This leads to conclusion that, Sadaqah was a innovated good Sunnah into Islam. Also as demonstrated in earlier section, evil Sunnah portion of Hadith is refering to evil innovated precedents introduced into Islam and therefore naturally the part of good Sunnah refers to good innovated practices set in Islam, which were not already part of Islam.

1.0 - Shaykh Ayman Bin Khaled On Meaning Of Hadith Of Good/Evil Sunnah:

Shaykh Ayman bin Khaled writes: “Scholars identify "Sunnah sayyi'ah" as sins, whereas "Bid'ah" can be sinful and can be not sinful. If you know Arabic view: … elsewise, what I have said sums up the fatwa. Wallahu A'lam.” In the context of Hadith Shaykh is saying; following part of Hadith refers to sinful actions: And he who introduced some [sinful action as] evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] What Shaykh did not consider is that Hadith states, whoever introduces x into Islam, implication of which is, the Sunnah being introduced into Islam is not already part of Islam. And anything not part of Islam but is made part of Islam is innovation. Hence the x Sunnah being introduced into Islam has to be an innovation which in this Hadith is being reffered as ‘Sunnah Say’yah’.

1.1 - Refuting Shaykh Ayman Bin Khaled’s Understanding With Evidence:

Shaykh writes: “Scholars identify "Sunnah sayyi'ah" as sins, whereas "Bid'ah" can be sinful and can be not sinful. If you know Arabic view: … elsewise, what I have said sums up the fatwa. Wallahu A'lam.”  Regarding sin/innovation, sin is sin until it is practiced by an individual but when a sin is committed in public and it is immitated by others than it becomes a evil innovation/precedent and this point is connected with section, 0.7. Therefore the following saying of Shaykh and his scholars is incorrect: “Scholars identify "Sunnah sayyi'ah" as sins…” When there is clear mention in the Hadith about people following the evil Sunnah than the Hadith is about evil Sunnah/Biddah: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect. [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466]

1.2 - Granting The Shaykh His Interpretation And Its Implication:

Shaykh Ayman and his bunch of Salafi scholars claimed, evil Sunnah refers to sins, and in my own words sinful actions. There is no reason to completely reject the understanding of Shaykh and the Shuyukh he adheres to. But obviously we cannot reject the natural meaning of Hadith. Hence I do affirm following interpretation of Hadith is correct:And he who introduced some [sinful action as] evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] In the context of Shaykh’s stated meaning of Hadith, and actual meaning of Hadith, which I explained in previous two sections the meaning of Hadith is; And he who introduced into Islam a sinful action which is followed after its invention[thus becoming an evil innovation/precedent than] the one who introduced the sinful action and one who followed it will be equally responsible. Or it could mean; And he who introduced into Islam an evil innovation/precedent [in form of a sinful action] which is followed after, the initiator and the actor will bear equal burden on judgment day. Both interpretations virtually mean the same thing but linguistically there is confirmation of second interpretation in text of Hadith: “And whoever بِدْعَةً ابْتَدَعَ (i.e. introduces an innovation) that is acted upon, will have a burden of sins equivalent to that of those who act upon it, withot that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] The following Hadith is with following underlined addition: “Whoever بِدْعَةً ابْتَدَعَ (i.e. introduces an innovation) with which Allah and his Messenger are not pleased, he will have a (burden of) sin equivalent to that of those among the people who act upon it, without that detracting from their sins in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H210]  But the following version of Hadith there is addition of word dhalalah (i.e. evil): “And whoever introduces a  ضَلاَلَةٍ بِدْعَةَ (i.e.reprehensible 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]

1.3 - The Logical Outcome Of Discussion So Far:

Shaykh turned the ‘Sunnah Say’yah’ toward, sinful actions, and logical opposite of ‘Sunnah Hasanah’ would be, rewardworthy of actions and I have inserted this into following portion of Hadith: “He who introduced some [rewardworthy action as] good Sunnah in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] If Islamic position in section, 1.0 and 1.1, are also put into context of this portion of Hadith than Hadith would give meaning of; He who introduced into Islam a reward-worthy innovation/precedent [in form of a rewardworthy action] which is followed after, the initiator and the actor will earn equal reward on judgment day. And in context of Hadith good/evil Sunnah  the Ahadith of, Ibn Majah – H209, H210, and Tirmadhi – H2677, are proof that linguistically word Sunnah can be a perfect subsitute for word Biddah. And the natural meaning of mentioned portion of Hadith is of innovative good Sunnah.

1.4 – Understanding Shaykh Ayman’s Statement As Whole:

Shaykh wrote: “Scholars identify "Sunnah sayyi'ah" as sins, whereas "Bid'ah" can be sinful and can be not sinful.” Shaykh Ayman’s sinful innovation is Shar’ri innovation. In other words, if something is termed innovaiton according to Shaykh’s definition of innovation than it is innovation according to judgment of Shari’ah. And the innovation which Shaykh states is not sinful is linguistic innovation. Meaning it is something new, newly invented, it could be anything made from materials … mobile phones, cars etc. And therefore these things are not connected with religion hence their invention and innovations in techonology cannot be sinful, because they are innovations of linguistical sense.

1.5 – Responding To Shaykhs Definition Of Innovation:

Firstly, Islamicly all innovations are of two types, praiseworthy and blameworthy. Both type are Shar’ri innovations because both type of innovations require Shar’ri judgment for permissbility and impermissibility. If it is permissible it is good and it is Shari’ah. If it is prohibited it is bad hence they are part of Shari’ah. And this principle is attested by sister Um Abdullah: “And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” And I see no reason why Shaykh Ayman would dispute it. Shar’ri innovations are good as well as evil. And there is nothing as linguistical innovation simply because if a innovation requires judgment good/bad then the innovation and the judgment both are connected with Shariah. Secondly, prophetic saying, one who innovates evil innovation with which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) nor RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are pleased, the innovator and actor both will be equally responsible, was presented but it is being repeated again: “And whoever introduces a ضَلاَلَةٍ بِدْعَةَ (i.e.reprehensible 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] And this Hadith is further supported by Ahadith of evil Sunnah in Islam due to their meaning. In light of this Hadith, innovation which is sinful is evil/bad innovation. Or a sinful innovation is which does not please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) nor RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi wa’sallam). In both cases we have Shar’ri recognition of existance of evil innovation/precedent. The Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam, its natural meaning explained in section 1.0 and in 1.1, indicates reward for introducing good innovation into Islam. And it would be correct to say prophetic Sunnah does recognise existance of good precedent/innovation.

1.6 – An Attempt To Distort Prophet Teaching:

Alhasil Shaykh does not mention nor does Shaykh believe that Islam recognises and tells of reward for good innovations. And nor does he believe that prophetic Sunnah recognises sinful innovations as evil innovations and prophetic teaching tell initiator and actor, both bearing equal burden. Shaykh Ayman and his Shuyukh have attempted to distort the natural meaning of Hadith with their Taweel. Had they held to natural meaning (i.e. innovative evil/good Sunnahs) and gave it the meaning of sinful/reward-worthy actions it would have been acceptable but their negation of natural meaning puts them at odds with Islamic understanding.

1.7 – Dispute Theoritical And Application Agreed Upon:

Shaykh Ayman states in response to Abul Fadl: “In simple terms; the dispute over categorizing bid'a is theoritical and all scholars from both sides agree on the application of it.” Actually dispute over categorisation is not conceptual but substantial.  It is an issue of valid and invalid Ijtihad. Double reward or single. Comprehensive understanding of definition innovation or minimilistic. And of prophetic teaching or innovated teaching. If definition employed by Salafis is correct than Muslims who oppose them with categorisations of good/evil innovation have innovated definition of innovation, and their Ijtihad is invalid, and their definition does not accord prophetic teaching. And if definition of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah accords with all the evidence available than Salafi definiton of innovation does not accord with prophetic teachings. And this is no small matter. With regards to claim of Shaykh that both sides agree on the application of two definitions. Shaykh is distorting the reality. Fuqaha Shafiyyah do not agree with Wahhabi Neo-Hanbalism nor their application of defintion of innovation. If both parties agreed with the application and classification of innovation was theoretical as Shaykh claims than their judgments on issues would be in agreement. As an example, neo-Hanbali Wahhabis deem celebration of prophetic birthday as innovation and its equivlent in Shafi defintion is, evil innovation. Yet the renown Shafi jurists such as; Imam Nawavi (rahimullah), Hafidh Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (rahimullah), Imam Suyuti (rahimullah), and many more have deemed it good innovation. The truth of matter is Fuqaha Shafiyyah are in agreement with Fuqaha Ahnaf on application of definition innovation. Even the Maliki Fuqaha are in agreement with regards to Mawlid being good innovation. The only connection with scholars of past in regards to application of definition of innovation the Wahhabi neo-Hanabilah have is Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah and his rabid students. And Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah was a loner in his Madhab and his contempory scholars rejected his Ikhtilaf. Just like Hanbali contempories of Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab rejected him and his scholarship.

Conclusion:

A combination of Shar’ri transgressions/sins makes an evil Sunnah. And when this evil Sunnah is immitated/followed it becomes an innovation. Prophet (sallallahua layhi wa alaihi was’sallam) is reported to have informed for introducing good Sunnah into Islam and told of reward for setting evil precedent (i.e. Sunnah) in Islam. And a Sunnah which was not part of Islam but; (i) is made part of Islam is innovation, (ii) set in Islam by anyone other than Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is innovation. And which ever Sunnah accords with and is composed of all that is Halal, Ibadah, Tarbiyah, Saqaqah, an Muslism collectively judge to be good innovated Sunnah is also a good innovated Sunnah in judgment of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). And whatever Muslims deem to be evil innovated Sunnah, due to being Kufr, Shirk, Haram,  Zanb (i.e. sin), or being composed of these practices, is evil innovated Sunnah in judgment of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Wama alayna ilal balalghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

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