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Natural Understanding Of: ‘It Is An Innovation And What A Fine Innovation It Is!’ Distorted By Shaykh Ayman Bin Khaled.

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Introduction:

Salat ad-Duha is a prophetic Sunnah performed after sunrise. But there seems to be some companions who were not aware that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has performed Salat ad-Duha and at least one Sahabi is known for considering it a good innovation. For the record, we the Muslims believe Salat ad-Duha is a Prophetic Sunnah and it is not a good innovation introduced into Islam by a companion. The matter of fact is companion was not aware that it is prophetic Sunnah and due to it he considered it good innovation. Muslims employ the statement of companion to argue that companion termed Salat ad-Duha as good innovation because he was aware that Islam permits good innovations into Islam. The Khawarij teach; there is no such thing as good innovation, nor there is permission to introduce good innovations into Islam. And based on this teaching the Khawarij attempt to distort the natural meaning of statement of companion in an attempt to refute Islamic argument. In sha Allah, this article will address one such argument of opponents of Islam.

Shar’ri Innovation – Difference In Termonology:

According to majority of Islamic scholarship, all innovations, including good and bad, are ‘Shar’ri innovation’. Therefore every good innovation is good innovation if it is composed according to judgment of Shar’riah and every evil innovation is evil innovation according to judgment of Shar’riah. A minority holds to understanding of definition of innovation according to which everything termed ‘Shar’ri innovation’ would be evil innovation according to termonology of majority of Islamic schoalrship. And I will not use the words ‘Shar’ri innovation’ in accordance with understanding of minority. And words ‘Shar’ri innovation’ have been used in meaning of innovative practice/act which is not Prophetic Sunnah but whose status – as good or evil - is undefined.

The Back Ground Of Discussion Of Salat ad-Duha:

Brother al-Habeshi on AhlalHdeeth forum started, Ibn 'Umar Regarding Bid'ah, thread and presented the following problem: “Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem, As-Salaamu 'Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah. I was wondering, I heard in a talk today that with regards to salah ad duha, some people started praying it in congregation and there was a report from Ibn Umar which said that he said it was bida'h, but aparently, Ibn Hajr showed other reports from ibn Umar which said that he actually said Bidah Hasanah? Can someone shed more light on what this is all about, i.e. the narrations, authentic or not, etc.” [Ref: AhlalHdeeth, by brother Al-Habeshi, post 1] A brother responded to him but the answer was unrelated to the type of help sought and Shaykh Ayman responds with following: […] The narrations of Ibn Umar are only stating that the Duha prayer itself is a good innovation, albiet this is conformed to be Sunnah but he was one of those who did not know that the Prophet prayed it. However, he was asked about praying it in the Masjid thereafter he said it is an innovation as documented in Sahih Bukhari. That said, you know that Ibn Umar did not approave or liked praying it in public. So, what about praying it in congeration in public! Anyhow, praying nawafil in congeration is fine as long as it is not shown in public or performed in the Masjid as that will make it an innovation and disliked. Wallahu A'lam.” [Ref: AhlalHdeeth, by Ayman Bin Khaled, post 3]And brother Al-Habeshi after reading the answer replied to Shaykh Ayman saying: “This has confused me Ustadh, are you saying that Ibn Umar did not know about the Salah yet he said it is a good innovation? Would this mean that he approved good Bid'ah?” [Ref: AhlalHdeeth, by brother Al-Habeshi, post 4] In an attempt to clarify the confusion Shaykh Ayman wrote a simplified version stating some basic facts: “He did not know that the Prophet prayed it before. He approved it because it is a Nafliah like any other Nafila that is allowed to be prayed at anytime. He said it is Bida'a in its linguistisc meaning. Wallahu A'lam” [Ref: AhlalHdeeth, by Ayman Bin Khaled, post 5] Statement of Shaykh Ayman is partly correct and partly incorrect. It is correct that companion did not know if Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had performed Salat ad-Duha. And it is incorrect to say companion said Salat at-Duha is a linguistic innovation. The following sections establishes the logic/rationale and implications of saying, y is an excellent/fine innogation, while believing y was not Prophetic Sunnah, and while believing y is prophetic Sunnah.

Scenario For Determining Linguistic Innovation:

i) A Sufi Shaykh teaches day and night that beard is Prophetic Sunnah. In other words he knows very well beard is Prophetic Sunnah. Yet once or twice has made the following statement: Beard is an amazing innovation, a brilliant and good innovation. Would he term in innovation in Shar’ri sense when he does knows it is Prophetic Sunnah? Has he called beard fine, excellent, and good innovation in Shar’ri sense or in linguistic sense? ii) A certain Shaykh knows performing Tawaf around the Kabah is prophetic Sunnah and despite this says; it’s a fine and an excellent innovation. Shaykh Muwahid is his opponent and he is aware that Sufi Shaykh knows Tawaf around the Kabah is Prophetic Sunnah, but despite this he has called it excellent/fine innovation. Shaykh Muwahid deduces he called it fine/excellent innovation in linguistic sense because Sufi Shaykh knows it is a Prophetic Sunnah. The rationale behind this is; no one knowingly call a Prophetic Sunnah as a Shar’ri innovation because by nature Shar’ri innovation is not Prophetic Sunnah. And Sufi Shaykh knew Tawaf is Prophetic Sunnah and Shaykh Muwahid was aware of this fact and therefore natural and logical conclusion was Sufi Shaykh meant it in linguistic sense.

Scenario For Determining Shar’ri Innovation:

iii) A Jahil Muslim believes Islam allows good/excellent Shar’ri innovaions. And this Jahil Muslim doesn’t know Surah of Tawheed/Ikhlas is part of Quran. He in his ignorance says; what a fine/exellent innovation is Surah of Tawheed is. Question begs to be asked [even though due to his lack of knowledge, he didn’t know it was part of Quran] does he believe Surah of Tawheed is Lughvi innovation [therefore part of Quran]? Or does he believe it to be excellent Shar’ri innovation [therefore doesn’t believe it’s part of Quran]? To answer this question you must factor in his lack of knowledge about actual reality of Surah of Tawheed and factor that none would deliberately term a Prophetic Sunnah as Shar’ri innovation because Shar’ri innovation screams, it is not Prophetic Sunnah. iv) A true-Salafi, some how he doesn’t know Sawm (i.e. fasting) is Fardh upon every Muslim, from sunrise till sunset. And due to his Ijtihadi mistake says, Sawm is an innovation introduced into Islam. Against this true-Salafi brother, there is hate filled Shaykh who slanders him for saying; Sawm is an innovation introduced into Islam. This Shaykh knows true-Salafi brother doesn’t know Sawm is Fardh and has come to conclusion that true-Salafi brother has termed Sawm as a Shar’ri innovation. Is the Shaykh juftified in his understanding that true-Salafi brother has considered Sawm as a Shar’ri innovation? He is justified in his judgment that true-Salafi brother has deemed Sawm as an Shar’ri innovation because true-Salafi didn’t know Sawm is Quranic/Prophetic teaching. And he could have only meant Sawm is Lughvi innovation if he had known about it being Fardh and part of Quran/Prophetic teachings.

The Rules Of Linguistic And Shar’ri Innovation Game:

For the scenarios i and ii, the rule is based on the fact of: Knowing y is Quranic/Prophetic teaching but despite this saying y is excellent/fine innovation. In this context, the y practice which is being called innovation is in Lughvi (i.e. linguistic) sense. The reason for this is simple, no one in their sane mind, after fully knowing y is Quranic/Prophetic teaching will term it Shar’ri innovation. For scenarios iii and iv, the rule is based on the fact of: Not knowing y is Quranic/Prophetic teaching and then saying y is excellent/fine innovation. In this context terming it fine/excellent innovation is in Shar’ri sense because a judgment has been pronounced upon y in light of principles taught in Quran and in Prophetic Sunnah. And the reason for this is that no Muslim in his/her sane mind would say y is Quranic/Prophetic teaching – as Fardh and Sunnah – when it is obviously clear to him/her, that y is neither of the Fard, nor Prophetic Sunnah but a [good] innovation.[1]

Shaykh Ayman Bin Khaled Distorting The Reality:

Shaykh Aymen stated Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asked about performing Salat ad-Duha in Masjid and in response to which Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said it is innovation. And Shaykh Aymen refferenced this lie to Sahih Bukhari: “However, he was asked about praying it in the Masjid thereafter he said it is an innovation as documented in Sahih Bukhari. That said, you know that Ibn Umar did not approave or liked praying it in public. So, what about praying it in congeration in public!” In reality Hadith being refferenced does not in anyway hint or indicate Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asked about performing Salat ad-Duha in Masjid: “Narrated Mujahid: Urwa bin Az-Zubair and I entered the Mosque (of the Prophet) and saw Abdullah bin Umar sitting near the dwelling place of Aisha and some people were offering the Duha prayer. We asked him about their prayer and he replied that it was an innovation. He then asked him how many times the Prophet had performed Umra. He replied, 'Four times; one of them was in the month of Rajab." We disliked to contradict him. Then we heard Aisha, the Mother of faithful believers cleaning her teeth with Siwak in the dwelling place. 'Urwa said: "O Mother! O Mother of the believers! Don't you hear what Abu Abdur Rahman is saying?" She said: "What …” [Ref: Bukhari, B27, H4] He was sitting in Masjid of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and some companions were performing Salat ad-Duha and he was asked about Salat at-Duha and he said it is innovation. He did not say their performing it in the Masjid is innovation.

Did Hadhrat Ibn Umar Knew Salat ad-Duha Is Prophetic Sunnah:

Successful refutation of Shaykh Aymen’s point (i.e. Ibn Umar said good innovation in linguistic sense.) hinges on Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) not knowing Salat ad-Duha being Prophetic Sunnah. Shaykh Aymen himself stated Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was not aware of Salat ad-Duha being Prophetic Sunnah: “ … but he was one of those who did not know that the Prophet prayed it.“, and he also wrote: “He did not know that the Prophet prayed it before.” And Hadith establishes Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not have knowledge that Salat ad-Duha is Prophetic Sunnah: “Narrated Muwarriq: I asked Ibn `Umar "Do you offer the Duha prayer?" He replied in the negative. I further asked, "Did `Umar use to pray it?" He (Ibn `Umar) replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did Abu Bakr use to pray it?" He replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did the Prophet  use to pray it?" Ibn `Umar replied, "I don't think he did." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27] Note he was asked if he himself performs Salat ad-Duha and he negated it. And stated neither Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu), nor Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) performed Salat ad-Duha. Also went on the negate it for Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Leading to conclusion that he was unaware of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performing Salat ad-Duha in his life time. In fact in another Hadith he termed it innovation: “Narrated Mujahid: Urwa bin Az-Zubair and I entered the Mosque (of the Prophet) and saw Abdullah bin Umar sitting near the dwelling place of Aisha and some people were offering the Duha prayer. We asked him about their prayer and he replied that it was an innovation.” [Ref: Bukhari, B27, H4] Similar Hadith is also found in Sahih Muslim with another Sanad. In conclusion he would not have stated what he did if he believed Salat ad-Duha was Prophetic Sunnah.

Refuting Shaykh Aymen Bin Khaled’s Distortion:

The rule is: ‘Not knowing y is Quranic/Prophetic teaching and then saying y is excellent/fine innovation. In this context terming it fine/excellent innovation is in Shar’ri sense because a judgment has been pronounced upon y in light of principles taught in Quran and in Prophetic Sunnah.’ And another way of putting the same would be: ‘Believing y is not Prophetic Sunnah and then termining it a good innovation is legal ruling [or in other words, Shar’ri judgment] about an innovation.’ And both these are dependent upon the fact that person who made the statement/judgment believes in Islam there is room for good innovations. And Islam allows incorporation of good innovations into it. Please bare the mentioned principle in your mind and continue to read. Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said regarding Salat ad-Duha: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" Shaykh Aymen said Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) meant Salat ad-Duha is linguistically good innovation: “He said it is Bida'a in its linguistisc meaning.” In other words like a Muslim would say, Hajj is an excellent innovation, or concept of Zakat is an excellent innovation, without beleiving Zakat and Hajj are innovations in jargon of Shar’iah. But it is established Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not know/believe Salat ad-Duha is Prophetic Sunnah nor he believed/knew it was so. And the established principle is believing/knowing Salat ad-Duha is not Prophetic Sunnah and then saying Salat ad-Duha is; fine innovation, is terming it fine innovation in Shar’ri sense. And this indicates that he believed in permissibility of introducing good/fine innovations in Islam and believed Salat ad-Duha is a innovation introduced into Islam. And Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) belief that Islam permits good innovations is supported by following Hadith: He who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, there is a reward for him for this and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] If he believed or had known Salat ad-Duha is a prophetic Sunnah then his statement could have been interpreted to mean linguistic innovation because knowingly he would not term it Shar’ri innovation. In light of this logic it is clear Shaykh Aymen has incorrectly stated statement of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is in meaning of linguistical innovation.

Conclusion:

Even though Salat ad-Duha is known Prophetic Sunnah Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was not aware of it being performed by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). He deemed it an innovation but a fine/good innovation. Principle is that absence of knowledge or belief means his following statement is to be interpreted as a Shar’ri judgment: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" And no companion will issue a Shar’ri judgment if he/she is not aware of a provision which permits good innovations into Islam. Indicating that Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of provisions/Ahadith which permit introduction of good Sunnahs/Biddahs into Islam.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Footnote:

- [1] Please note the justifications are based on good opinion of Muslims that a Muslim regardless of how far he has deviated he/she will still uphold a certain standard of striving to follow correct teaching of Islam. In other words a sincere [guided/misguided] Muslim will not term mobile phone usage as a Prophetic Sunnah even when he/she knows it is not Prophetic Sunnah. And will not refuse to believe something is part of Islam as Fard/Sunnah when it becomes clear to him/her when it is established to him/her it is Quranic/Prophetic teaching.

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