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Establishing Ibn Umar’S Definition Of Innovation And Addressing Shaykh Aymen’S Linguistic Innovation Claim.


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Introduction:

Majority of Islamic scholarship holds to definition of innovation which recognises, good [Shar’ri] innovations and evil [Shar’ri] innovations. A minority holds to a definition which is simplistic. According to which everything termed as Shar’ri innovation is evil/sinful and misguiding. And all evidence in Ahadith which refutes this simple definition of innovation is glossed with Taweel: This statement was made in linguistic sense. Praise be to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), already an article was written refuting this poorly thought-out excuse, here. And it is a decisive argument against Khawarij. This article will address the linguistic innovation claim from different perspective. And also go on to establish the definition of innovation which Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) held to. Simplistic, which is now championed by Khawarij of Najd, or comprehensive which is held by majority of Islamic scholarship.

The Understanding Of Innovation By Majority Of Islamic Scholarship:

Majority of Islamic scholarship believes in comprehensive definition of innovation according to which, any non-prophetic practice with Asal from Quran and Sunnah it is good innovation in sense of Shari’ah. And any non-prophetic practice which is without Asal from Quran and Sunnah is an evil innovation in sense of Shari’ah. And according to this majority an innovated practice with explicit or implicit Shar’ri evidence can be termed non-prophetic good Shar’ri Sunnah, or alternatively good Shar’ri innovation. And any innovated practice without explicit or implicit evidence from Quran and Sunnah, and composed of sinful activities can be termed non-prophetic evil Shar’ri Sunnah, or alternatively evil Shar’ri innovation. Note the words Shar’ri are dropped from usage when writing about Shar’ri innovations. Instead of good Shar’ri innovation words good innovation, or good Sunnah are used and same applies to evil Shar’ri innovation and evil Shar’ri Sunnah.

Innovation According To Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala):

Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimullah) holds to simple definition of innovation. According to Shaykh Ibn Rajab (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) innovation is; any practice, or activity, or custom, which without Asal (i.e. Foundation) of Shari’ah. In other words; any practice which is without Asal of Quran and Sunnah is [Shar’ri] innovation. In Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s definition of innovation, anything which is termed/judged as ‘innovation’ or ‘Shar’ri innovation’ is unIslamic and sinful action or practice. And a ‘reprehensible innovation’ in definition of majority of Islamic scholarship. Also according to Shaykh Rajab’s definition any practice which is not Prophetic Sunnah but for it there is Asal (i.e. Foundation) in Shari’ah then it is not innovation but a Sunnah.

Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) On Salat ad-Duha:

In the following Hadith it is established; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asked if Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam), Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu), Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) performed Salat ad-Duha and he responded in 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."  In the same Hadith Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was asked if he performs Salat ad-Duha and he responded in negative: “Narrated Muwarriq: I asked Ibn `Umar "Do you offer the Duha prayer?" He replied in the negative.” [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27] And this was because he deemed it innovation on the account, that he believed neither Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), nor his first to Caliphs performed Salat ad-Duha. Of course this is implied from the Hadith but it is also established from clear text of following Hadith: “… 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] About Salat ad-Duha he also said: "At the time Uthman was killed no-one considered it desirable and the people did not innovate anything that is dearer to me than that prayer." [Ref: Musannaf Abd Razzaq, Vol3, Pages 78/79] This establishes Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) considered Salat ad-Duha to be an innovation and a good innovation at that. And in following Hadith he deemed Salat ad-Duha to be a good innovation: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" [Ref: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab Of Prayer – Salat ad-Duha, 3] This establishes the Islamic belief that companions accepted good innovations into Islam a belief which is challenged by proponents new brand of Kharijis. And they have attempted to protect their misguidance with innovative arguments and an example of which will follow.

Shaykh Aymen And Salat ad-Duha Being Linguistic Innovation:

Shaykh Aymen adheres to, and esteems Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation, and judges the following statement of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) regarding Salat ad-Duha in its context: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" Shaykh Aymen interpreted the statement of Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and explained it as: “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] Shaykh Aymen said, statement of Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was made in linguistic usage of word innovation based on Ibn Rajab’s definition of innovation. Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not actually hold to Shaykh Ibn Rajab’ (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation. If Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had made the statement with the thought that Salat ad-Duha is from Nafliah worship he would not have declared it to be an innovation. Instead he would have said, it is a Prophetic Sunnah, and this verdict would have been in accordance with Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s definition of innovation. But the clear evidence establishes Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) believed Salat ad-Duha was an innovation because he had stated Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and his father Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu), and he himself does not perform Salat ad-Duha. It is evident from Ahadith that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) deemed Salat ad-Duha to be fine/good innovation. And if he had held to Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah) definitions of innovation he would have believed all innovations are evil as Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah) definition establishes. And therefore would not have remarked that Salat ad-Duha is fine innovation.

Refuting Shaykh Aymen’s Claim Of Linguistic Innovation:

To defend Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s  (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) definition of innovation Khawarij can argue that he intended the usage of word innovation in linguistic sense and not in Shar’ri sense therefore he could have used Shaykh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s understanding of innovation. In other words they could argue; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) deemed Salat ad-Duha to be a form of Nafliah worship for which permissibility is generally granted except the forbidden times – sunrise and sunset -: "I do only what my companions used to do and I don't forbid anybody to pray at any time during the day or night except that one should not intend to pray at sunrise or sunset." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H283] Alhasil, Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) judged it to be linguistic innovation, while believing that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not perform it, but he deemed it permissible based on general permissibility for Nawafil. We the Muslims say, if Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) judged permissibility of Salat ad-Duha based on general permissibility of Nawafil then he made a Shar’ri judgment to deem it permissible -: Nawafil are permissible at all times except sun rising and sun setting times and Salat ad-Duha is performed during time of Duha (i.e. forenoon) therefore it is permissible. From this it is evident Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not judge Salat ad-Duha to be fine innovation in linguistic sense but good/fine innovation in Shar’ri sense because judgment he made is based on general permissibility of Nawafil. And Shar’ri judgement of permissibility about an innovative practice can only be made by him if believes there exits a provision within Islam permitting innovations. If it is proven there is Shar’ri acceptance of good innovations in Islam then it will establish; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not hold to Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s definition of innovation but to definition of majority of Islamic scholarship. Also this would prove that Shaykh Aymen Bin Khaled would be incorrect in his saying that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made the following statement in linguistic sense: "It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" Following section will establish that Islam recognises and permits good innovations and considers them reward worthy. And deems evil innovations to be sinful and hence prohibits them by default.

Shari’ah The Islamic Law Derived From Islam:

Innovation in linguistic sense is something new, something which already did not exist. And in Shar’ri sense it means something which already did not exist in Islam. In the following Ahadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) tells the Muslim about reward for introducing/innovating goods Sunnahs in Islam which were not already part of Islam: “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 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.” [Ref: Nisa’i, B23, H2555] Note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told; the one who introduces/sets a good Sunnah in Islam for him and those who emulate his innovated good Sunnah there is reward. If a good Sunnah is already is part of Islam and person acts on it then nothing is introduced into Islam. And the quoted Ahadith tell of reward for introducing good Sunnahs into Islam. In the following portion of Ahadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informs the Muslim who introduces/innovates an evil Sunnah in Islam about the burden of sin and those who follow him: “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 theirs being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] “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] And meaning of this Hadith is same as the following: "And whoever starts an erroneous Biddah (i.e. ابْتَدَعَ بِدْعَةَ ضَلاَلَةٍ) 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] Alhasil meaning of introducing good Sunnah in Islam and evil Sunnah in Islam is good/evil innovations in Islam. And this establishes that Islam/Shari’ah recognises concept of good/evil innovation and tells of reward and sin for introducing each.

Conclusion:

Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not believe in Shaykh Ibn Rajab’s (rahimullah) definition of innovation. Had he believed in this definition of innovation or one remotely resembling it in detail then he would not have stated Salat ad-Duha is fine innovation. But in fact his statement reveals that it was based on the understanding of Hadith; one who introduces good Sunnah in Islam for him and the one who adheres to the Sunnah will equally be rewarded without reward being reduced. Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) believed Islam grants permission to Muslims to invent and incorporate good Sunnahs in Islam. Hence he could not have made the statement in linguistic sense but rather he judged it to be good/fine innovation in sense of Islamic canonical law (i.e. Shari’ah) whose source is Quran and teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Thus the Islamic definition of innovation – good/evil innovated Sunnahs - stands established and excuse if linguistic innovation refuted.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

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    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      Two principles were derived in an attempt to explain what would be linguistic and what would be legal innovation in an article responding to argument; Ibn Umars (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made statements, Salat ad-Duha is excellent/fine innovation, in linguistic sense, here. And it was argued that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not believe Salat ad-Duha was Prophetic Sunnah hence he made the statements in legal (i.e. Shar’ri sense). Later after careful consideration it was realised these statement, Salat ad-Duha is fine/excellent innovation, was made in context of Salat ad-Duha of congregation. And this prompted me to rectify my understanding, here. My opponent in the light of lattest readjustment has responded to me in the hope of refuting Islamic position – Islam has made provisions via which good innovations can be made part of Islam.

      An Email Arguing Against Islamic Position:

      In your lattest post you have acknowledged statements of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) regarding Salat ad-Duha are in context of congregation, in Masjid other than Haram/Quba, and a day on another than Saturday. This means you  take the Ahadith in which Salat ad-Duha has been stated to be good/fine innovation and dear innovation to be referring to performing of Salat ad-Duha in congregation, in Masjid other than Haram/Quba, and a day on another than Saturday. And this implies you believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed Salat ad-Duha in congregation and Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was unaware of this. Your admission changes the dimensions of the discussion because it is stated in Hadith that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performed Salat ad-Duha in congregation: “Bilal replied in the affirmative. I said, 'Where)?' He replied: 'Between these two pillars and then he came out and offered a two rak`at prayer in front of the Ka`ba.' "Abu `Abdullah said: Abu Huraira said, "The Prophet advised me to offer two rak`at of Duha prayer. " Itban (bin Malik) said, "Allah's Messenger and Abu Bakr, came to me after sunrise and we aligned behind the Prophet and offered two rak`at."[1] [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H268] And your own principle states: “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.” This establishes that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) deemed Salat ad-Duha in congregation to be linguistic innovation. All I demand is, you to establish that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was unaware of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) performing Salat ad-Duha in Masjid, in congregation, and in public. If this is established by you my argument [against Islam allowing good innovations] stands refuted and if you fail your argument [of Islam permitting good/fine innovations] stands refuted.

      Assumption – He Was Aware Of ad-Duha In Congregation Is Prophetic Sunnah:

      It is heart warming to see you employ my own principle to refute Islamic arguments and this points you have granted the principle a degree of credibility. The problematic aspect is that you have assumed Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of Salat ad-Duha performed in congregation is Prophetic Sunnah and despite having this knowledge he went on to Salat ad-Duha in congregation is excellent/fine innovation.You have claimed my principle substantiates your position; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made the statement Salat ad-Duha in congregation being linguistic innovation. For your argument to be valid you must establish Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of Salat ad-Duha in congregation being prophetic Sunnah. Merely establishing it is Prophetic Sunnah cannot proof of, and is not proof, Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) being aware of Salat ad-Duha in congregation being Prophetic Sunnah.

      Ibn Umar Wasn’t Aware Of It Being Prophetic Sunnah:

      The notion that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of Salat ad-Duha in congregation being Prophetic Sunnah is senseless. The evidence establishes; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) did not perform Salat ad-Duha which he termed innovation: “Narrated Muwarriq: I asked Ibn `Umar: "Do you offer the Duha prayer ?" He replied in the negative. I further asked …" [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27] And he believed Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his first two Khulafah did not perform it: “. 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." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27] Naturally Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) would and will have no reason to object to or to not to perform Salat ad-Duha in congregation if he believed it was Prophetic Sunnah. And if he believed it was Prophetic Sunnah why would he say it was not performed by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)! And why would he himself not perform it if he believed it was Prophetic Sunnah?

      Considering The Impossible – He Was Aware Of It Being Sunnah:

      Here we suppose he was aware that Salat ad-Duha in congregation was Prophetic Sunnah. Will this establish his statements about Salat ad-Duha being excellent/fine innovation were made in linguistic sense? One word answer: No! Hadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) not performing and his first two Khulafah not performing Salat ad-Duha would go on to force conclusion that the scholarly opinion about Ibn Umar’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) statements (i.e. Salat ad-Duha is excellent/fine innovation are with regards to Salat ad-Duha of congregation) is incorrect. The reason being for this is; otherwise if the Ahadith are understood in context of Salat ad-Duha of congregation than Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is made to say a Prophetic Sunnah was not performed by two Khulafa and himself, and by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), which would be complete non-sense. And this contradictory non-sense naturally would force the scholarship to reconcile the difficulty by forming another opinion which would lead to conclusion that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was reffering to another aspect of Salat ad-Duha as excellent/fine innovation – not Salat ad-Duha of congregation. Alhasil there is no way out of Islamic position. Only slight modification - such as Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala ahu) deemed xyz aspect of Salat ad-Duha to be fine/excellent innovation [and believed Salat ad ad-Duha of congregation to be Sunnah] would result in refutation of your position. Hence it would be in your interest to conform to following the majority aspect of Prophetic teaching because there is no alternative way out of Islamic position – i.e. Islam allows good innovations to be made part of it.

      Islamic Scholarship Said Ahadith Are About Ad-Duha Of Congregation:

      You have stated for me to refute your position all needs to be established is that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was unaware of Salat ad-Duha in congregation being Prophetic Sunnah. Note Islamic scholarship has stated that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) made the following statements about Salat ad-Duha performed in congregation [with two other reasons]: “Narrated Muwarriq: I asked Ibn `Umar: "Do you offer the Duha prayer [in congregation]?" He replied in the negative. I further asked, "Did `Umar use to pray it [in congregation]?" He (Ibn `Umar) replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did Abu Bakr use to pray it [in congregation]?" He replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did the Prophet  use to pray it [in congregation]?" Ibn `Umar replied, "I don't think he did." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27]“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 [in congregation]. We asked him about their prayer and he replied that it [in congregation] was an innovation.” [Ref: Bukhari, B27, H4] "It is an innovation [in congregation] and what a fine innovation it is [in congregation]!" [Ref: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab Of Prayer – Salat ad-Duha, 3] "At the time Uthman was killed no-one considered it desirable and the people did not innovate anything that is dearer to me than that prayer [in congregation]." [Ref: Musannaf Abd Razzaq, Vol3, Pages 78/79] If understanding of Islamic scholarship is correct and your position; Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware of Salat ad-Duha in congregation being Prophetic Sunnah than there is contradiction between what you assert and what is established from these Ahadith. And based on the Prophetic teaching of following Jamhoor (i.e. majority),  and Sawad al Azam (i.e. group of great majority) these Ahadith are proofs as requested and they refute your position.

      If He Was Unaware Of It Being Prophetic Sunnah:

      He is reported to have stated; he does not perform Salat ad-Duha, nor did Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), nor did Abu Bakr (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and not his father – Umar Ibn al-Khattab (radiallah ta’ala anhu) performed Salat ad-Duha. And if he made this statement about Salat ad-Duha in congregation than why would he consider it Prophetic Sunnah? Do you believe Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) will state a Prophetic Sunnah was not acted on by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) when he is all too well informed that it is indeed a Prophetic Sunnah? He is a Sahabi and not a Wahhabi that he will lie or distort his religion. He is from the best of Ummah and by Ijmah of Jammah of Muslims a righteous Muslim and he is above such deception. Therefore only logical conclusion can be that he genuinely did not believe Salat ad-Duha of congregation as Prophetic Sunnah.

      He Learnt It Was Sunnah Latter In Life:

      You may attempt to argue; he deemed it Salat ad-Duha of congregation as fine/excellent innovation at one stage but later learnt it was Prophetic Sunnah. Even though the assertion that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) during later period of life found out Salat ad-Duha of congregation is Prophetic Sunnah, is unestablished but I feel compelled to address it. Even if this was true you cannot interpret his earlier period position with latter awareness. Suppose a child at the age of three believed Santa Claus was real but later in his teenage years realised it wasn’t the case. Would it be correct to reinterpret his three years of age’s understanding in light of when he was fifteen? Point being made is that if Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) believed in his latter life, it was Prophetic Sunnah, even then his early lifes statements cannot be reinterpreted to conform to his latter lifes understanding. Rather those statements should be and would be understood in context of his knowledge/belief when he made the statements. In other words Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) statement, Salat ad-Duha is excellent/fine innovation, will be interpreted in his early lifes understanding when he made them. And if he was unaware of them being Prophetic Sunnah than as per the principle his statement was made in Shar’ri sense.

      Instructs Earlier Statements To Be Interpreted In Light Of Latter:

      Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was unaware and then learnt Salat ad-Duha of congregation was Prophetic Sunnah latter in his life. And he changed his position and he then instructs everyone: Interpret my earlier statements in such a way that they conform to my latter position. This is hypothetical scenario. Will this mean Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) does not believe in Islam permitting good innovations, or Islam allowing innovation to be introduced into it? Ofcourse not because he has retracted from his erroneous position regarding Salat ad-Duha and has not rejected, disowned the basis (i.e. Islam has created room to allow good innovations to be made part of) on which he made the judgment regarding Salat ad-Duha in congregation being good innovation.

      Interpreting The Statements In light Of Earlier And Latter Position:

      Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said regarding Salat ad-Duha of congregation that it is fine/excellent innovation: “Ibn Ulayyah narrated to us, Jarir narrated, al-Hakim bin A'raj narrated; I asked Muhammad about Salat ad-Duha, while he was sitting near the house of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). He said: It is an innovation and what a fine innovation it is!" [Ref: Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Kitab Of Prayer – Salat ad-Duha, 3] And out of all the innovations which originated Salat ad-Duha was most beloved to him: "At the time Uthman was killed no-one considered it desirable and the people did not innovate anything that is dearer to me than that prayer [of Salat ad-Duha in congregation]." [Ref: Musannaf Abd Razzaq, Vol3, Pages 78/79] If his statements are interpreted in light of latter life and his instruction, which I hypothised, then his statements would be in linguistic sense in light of my principle: “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.” And if his statements are interpreted in light of ealier life during which he believed Salat ad-Duha was not Prophetic Sunnah then it was Shar’ri judgment and this would be in accordance with my other principle: “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 fact is that Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) changing his position would not refute the Islamic understanding because it merely establishes he rectified his erroneous which he had about Salat ad-Duha. In other words he still held to the notion Islam allows good innovations to be incorporated into it. And even if he had disavowed the notion that Islam allows good innovation he cannot overrule the Prophetic teaching in this regard:“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]

      Conclusion:

      It is not logical to assume, Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was aware Salat ad-Duha is Prophetic Sunnah, when there is no evidence to establish it and the only ‘evidence’ on which is is assumed establishes nothing other than; it is Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) had changed his opinion later in his life regarding Salat ad-Duha of congregation not being innovation even then his earlier judgment would be based on Islamic understanding; Islam allows and has introduced provisions to incorporate good innovations into it. And there was/is no evidence that he disavowed this teaching of Islam. And if the, impossible, strikes than the Prophetic principle telling of reward for introducing good Sunnah in Islam is suffient proof against him.

      Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
      Muhammed Ali Razavi

      Footnote:

      - [1] “Narrated Mujahid: Somebody came to the house of Ibn Umar and told him that Allah's Messenger had entered the Ka`ba. Ibn Umar said, "I went in front of the Ka`ba and found that Allah's Messenger  had come out of the Ka`ba and I saw Bilal standing by the side of the gate of the Ka`ba. I said: 'O Bilal! Has Allah's Apostle prayed inside the Ka`ba?' Bilal replied in the affirmative. I said: 'Where?' He replied: 'Between these two pillars and then he came out and offered a two rak`at prayer in front of the Ka`ba.' "Abu Abdullah said: Abu Huraira said: "The Prophet advised me to offer two rak`at of Duha prayer." Itban (bin Malik) said: "Allah's Messenger and Abu Bakr came to me after sunrise and we aligned behind the Prophet and offered two rak`at." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H268]
    • 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.

      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 MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said, whosoever introduces a good Sunnah into Islam which is followed, the innovator and the follower both will receive equal reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). On basis of this Muslims believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) created room for introducing innovations into religion of Islam. Anti-Muslim elements argue that in context of Hadith Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was stating one who revives a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and those who follow it will receive equal reward. Note Servant has produced numerous refutations against this claim hence it will not be addressed in here. Rather Servant will utilize the linguistic meaning of بدعة to establish Islamic position. Note, this article continues some aspects which were neglected in the following article, here.

      Linguistic Meaning Of بدعة In Light Of Quran And Ahadith:

      Linguistically بدعة means innovation, something which does not have precedent. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) instructed Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to say: قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ (i.e. “Say: "I am not a new thing amongst the Messengers.") (Ref: 46:9). Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is told to say to disbelievers; that his Messenger-ship is not unique/innovative but there are precedents (i.e. Prophet Ibrahim alayhis salaam and others). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states in another verse He is the: بَدِيعُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ (i.e. “The originator of the heavens and the earth") (Ref: 2:117/6:101) Note Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) created the universe and earth without relying upon a preceding example. Example of innovation without precedent is incident of a son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) killing his brother: “Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said: A part of its blood because he was مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ أَوَّلاً (i.e. the first to establish the tradition of murdering)." [Ref: Bukhari, B83, H6] Words of Sufyan (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) are attested in another Hadith: “It was narrated from Abdullah that: The Prophet said: "No person is killed wrongfully, but a share of responsibility for his blood will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was, أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ (i.e. the first one to set the precedence of killing).” [Ref: Nisa’i, B37, H3990] Shar’i meaning of بدعة is which does not have a precedent in text of Quran or Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and it is of two types blameworthy and praiseworthy. Depending upon what the innovation is composed of, it can be good or bad.

      Murder Of Son Of Adam (alayhis salaam) Is Innovation:

      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet said, "None is killed unjustly, but the first son of Adam will have a part of its burden." Sufyan said: A part of its blood because he was مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ أَوَّلاً (i.e. the first to establish the tradition of murdering)." [Ref: Bukhari, B83, H6] “It was narrated from Abdullah that: The Prophet said: "No person is killed wrongfully, but a share of responsibility for his blood will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was, أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْلَ (i.e. the first one to set the precedence of killing).” [Ref: Nisa’i, B37, H3990] On the basis of Hadith of son of Adam (alayhis salaam) it can be said that Sunna does not require precedent because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used the word Sunna for a murder which had no precedent and innovation does not have precedent either in Shari’ah. Hence the word Sunna means innovation and the murderer introduced an innovation. His Sunna should be understood to mean innovation even though Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used Sunna (i.e. practice). Another proof that he introduced innovation is the principle used to judge his action Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated: “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, without that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] So therefore the son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) introduced innovation of murdering. Note, Shaikh used the word bad Sunnah even though it is obvious from the text of Hadith that murderous act was committed which was without precedent, hence appropriate translation should have been innovation.

      Establishing Basis Of Proof On Ahadith Of Good And Bad Sunnah:

      Sunnah linguistically means, way, precedent and practice. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) regarding good Sunnah are: “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] Reward being told is of good Sunnah which is not part of Islam but is being made part of Islam. In other words, the Sunnah being introduced into Islam has no precedent in Islam, yet reward for it is guaranteed. Regarding bad Sunnah Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “And whoever introduces a سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. reprehensible practice) that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] Once again, the burden of sin being equally shared is for a bad Sunnah which is not part of Islam but being made part of Islam: “And he who introduces an 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]

      Proof That Ahadith Good And Bad Sunnah Are About Innovations:

      It is established that word بدعة means something new without a precedent and the word سنة is used for Sunnah of first murder which did not have a precedent. Hence it is linguistically possible to use word سنة to mean بدعة. In context of reprehensible Sunnah, the word بدعة is used: “And whoever introduces a سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً (i.e. reprehensible practice) that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203] "And whoever introduces a بِدْعَةَ ضَلاَلَةٍ (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] “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] This is proof that both words can be used interchangeably to mean same thing. To further support it, note Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) 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] That which is not part of Islam via precedent is innovation, therefore evil Sunnah in this Hadith is referring to evil innovations. Continuing, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “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] This means reward is for a Sunnah which is not part of Islam but being made part of Islam. In other words reward is for good Sunnah which does not have precedent in Islam. Considering the meaning of بدعة we have to conclude the reward is for introducing a good innovation and for those who follow it. As proof of Islamic position; innovation can be good, note the words of Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) in following Hadith: “… that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said, "I went out with Umar ibn al-Khattab in Ramadan 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] Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) gathered the people to perform Taraweeh prayer under leadership of a single Imam. His innovation was followed by the companions in month of Ramadhan prompting him to say that his innovation was excellent. Ever since Hadhrat Umar gathering the companions under a single Imam it has been practiced during the entire duration of Ramadhan. This amounts to roughly thirty days, yet prophetic Sunnah is of three days only, therefore he is source of an innovation which has no precedent in prophetic Sunnah.

      Warning About The Distortion Of Texts Of Islam:

      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said that you will follow the way of Jews and Christians: “Narrated Abu Sa`id: The Prophet said, "You will follow the wrong ways, of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a lizard, you too will go there." We said, "O Allah's Messenger! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?" He replied, "Whom else?" [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H662] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states regarding the Jews: “And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongues, so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say: "This is from Allah," but it is not from Allah; and they speak a lie against Allah while they know it.” [Ref: 3:78] Do not follow the footsteps of Yahood and distort the texts of Islam by changing the meaning of words, no good will be result of it. It is better for you to submit to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and authority given to his Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then to rebel against it. The straight path of Islam has been shown to you, so walk upon it. Aspire to be from amongst the Jammah (i.e. group) of Muslims and do not oppose it.

      Conclusion:

      Words سنة and بدعة are used interchangeably to mean innovation in Ahadith of equal reward and sin. بدعة means something without a precedent. In the Ahadith of good and bad سنة the reward is being told for Sunnahs which lack a precedent in Islam hence the usage of سنة is in meaning of innovation. Therefore the reward being told is about good innovations and the blame of sin is for bad innovations.

      Wama Alayna Ilal Balaghul Mubeen
      Muhammed Ali Razavi
    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      Shaikh Abu Rumaysah wrote an extensive article in which he presented his sects Khariji understanding on subject of innovation. Part of this article is dedicated to refuting arguments which Muslims present to refute his understanding of innovation. At explanation number three he attempts to explain the Hadith from Sahih of Imam Muslim (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) regarding followers of good Sunnah being rewarded equal to one who introduced it. Briefly, his position on this Hadith is to be understood according to context, and that charity was already part of Islam hence the phrase was uttered for sake of reviving a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and this principle is not for introduction of praiseworthy innovations. His position will be judged from Islamic perspective so the truth of matter is revealed for the Muslims.

      An Invitation To Access Evidence And Dialogue:

      In the beginning of the article the writer/compiler Abu Hanna wrote why this article was penned. There is mention of many accusations hurled against them, which is of no interest of servant. The author of first statement continued to write: “We ask the brothers and sisters to look for the 'clear argument', to consider the evidence that is provided herein. Do not let this article be a cause for creating more fitna (trials), but instead an opportunity to see a way forward for some reconciliation.” He continues to write: “If you do disagree with this article, then let this be a chance to start a dialogue between us and you rather than a war of words. You know our evidence, please show us yours and let us approach the issue with the scholastic behavior of our predecessors.” As a Muslim one cannot agree with the content of article because it contradicts words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and is based on distortion of clear and emphatic teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Hence it is in spirit of fair academic sincere dialogue, servant will present the Islamic approach to understanding the set of Ahadith in question. We are commanded to change the evil in following ways: “Whoever among you sees an evil action and can change it with his hand (by taking action), let him change it with his hand. If he cannot do that, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot do that, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B36, H4013] And if writing can be considered internet form of speech then the most befitting way to rectify the misguidance is by writing a response pointing to misguidance. The objective is, to guide to path of Islam, neither to humiliate nor to hurt the feelings of those who follow the path contrary to Prophetic teaching. Effort has been made to maintain an academic decorum, but if there is slip, then servant humbly requests; you bare it knowing companions suffered far greater for sake of religion of Islam then a stinging word. Servant ends with: “Remember that at times, due its inherent power the truth can be somewhat painful at first, but acceptance and submission to it is ultimately the objective of every sincere student of knowledge.  As Allah the Truth says (what means), "Nay, we fling down the truth against falsehood so it smashes through its mind, and behold, it vanishes." “[Ref: Surah al-Anbiya 21:18] If Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) permits the author of this article will be notified and given opportunity to respond. Any beneficial developments will be published on the forum.

      Articles On This Subject Which Support Islamic Position:

      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave many principles in numerous Ahadith which are in a specific context but those principles are generally applied by Muslims and Khawarij to judge all modern issues. The following article shows Khariji sectarian bias remains in regards to Ahadith of good Sunnah but the generality of Ahadith is maintained in other Ahadith, here. Yet Khawarij only restrict the principles given in the Ahadith of good Sunnah to their context because these Ahadith establish legitimacy of introducing praiseworthy innovations into Islam and tell of reward for emulating these Sunnahs. Next one demonstrates that the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) can be taken literally and interpreted, and both methodologies are valid, and presents Islamic position, here. Also by contextualizing Ahadith can negate the generality and this means all principles which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are according to the context and cannot be used as a guiding principle outside of contextual relevance as demonstrated, here. It is established from Hadith that word Sunnah is being used in meaning of innovation and the benefit of this is that it eliminates the argument; the Ahadith of good Sunnah are about reviving Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here. Lastly another article argues words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are part of revelation and regarding revelation Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said that it is jawami al kalim in nature (i.e. meaning shortest expression with vast meanings). Therefore the principles which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave in Ahadith of good Sunnah and bad Sunnah are short but express vast meanings. For these principles to be in line with jawami al kalim nature they must not be restricted to context but all valid interpretations must be accepted. May they be historical, contextual, and intertextual, here.

      Full Explanation Of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah:

      The Hadith: “He who sets 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; and he who sets in Islam an evil Sunnah, 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 evidence that they derive from this hadith is that people can invent new practices in Islam which are either good or bad. Of course, if they were to take the hadith in its full context then it is not possible to derive this meaning. The context of the hadith states that a group of poor people came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) so he asked those around him to give charity, but no one came forward - so much so that signs of anger could be discerned on the face of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), so one of the companions stepped forward and gave charity, so the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said the above hadith. Firstly, the word 'Sunnah' which is used in this hadith cannot be understood to mean the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), because that would imply that there is something bad in the Sunnah; rather it is to be understood in its linguistic meaning of 'practice’. Secondly, this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it, so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah” Hence, in the early works of 'Aqeedah, this hadith was included under the chapter headings, "The reward of the one who renews the Sunnah." [For example Sharh Usool I'tiqaad 1/50] The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alayhis salaam wa 'alaa nabiyina), one killing the other.  So upon the murderer was the sin of the killing and the sin of all those that killed after him, without their sins being reduced. Thirdly, the hadith uses the terms 'good' and 'bad', and the Shari’ah has already defined in its totality all that is good and all that is bad. This is what is pointed to in the statement of Imam ash-Shaafi'ee in his refutation of Istihsaan (declaring something to be good) when he said, "Whoever declares something to be good, he has declared it part of Shari’ah." [Ref: ar-Risala][!] [Ref: MuslimConverts]

      The Hadith In Discussion:

      “Jarir bin Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (the Holy Prophet) 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 practice 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 practice 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 being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466]

      Key Points Of Shaikh Abu  Rumaysah’s Explanation:

      i) Statement of Hadith in discussion is to be understood in the context of historical event. ii) Word Sunnah is not in meaning of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but in linguistic meaning of practice. iii) The charity was part of Islam even before the event took place. iv) Companion of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) implemented the charity when people were reluctant. v) He revived a Sunnah/the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by giving charity.

      Key Points Of Hadith Of Sahih Muslim:

      i) Poor people came to Masjid Nabvi belonging to tribe of Mudar. ii) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave khutbah (i.e. speech) reminding the companions about their bond with one another through Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam)[1] and exhorted them to give charity. iii) Companions were reluctant which angered Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and signs of it showed on his face. iv) A companion came with purse of silver and donated it. This started a chain reaction and all companions contributed according to their capacity. This continued until signs of happiness Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were visible on his face. v) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told of equal reward for one who sets/introduces a good Sunnah in Islam and those who follow this good Sunnah.

      Meaning Of Word Sunnah In Hadith Of Good And Bad Sunnah:

      Both of us agree, word Sunnah in Hadith of bad Sunnah in literally means way and practice. Shaikh Abu Rumaysah has stated: “… the word 'Sunnah' which is used in this hadith cannot be understood to mean the Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), because that would imply that there is something bad in the Sunnah; rather it is to be understood in its linguistic meaning of 'practice’.” If the word Sunnah is considered in context of the phrase, he who introduced a bad Sunnah into Islam, then implication of this is; bearing of burden being told is for something which is not already part of Islam. Note innovation is not part of Islam hence the word way/practice is in meaning of innovation. A Hadith from Tirmadhi which has exactly same meaning uses the word Bid’ah (i.e. innovation) instead of Sunnah (i.e. practice), here: “ And if anyone introduces a misguiding innovation with which Allah and His Messenger are not pleased then he gets a sin like the sins of those who observe it and nothing is deducted from the sins of the people.” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2677] This establishes part of Hadith of Muslim (i.e. bad Sunnah) is about innovation and note both parts of Hadith of Muslim (i.e. good Sunnah and bad Sunnah) are grammatically exactly same apart from words which give each principle a distinctive meaning. Therefore in the Hadith of Muslim the word Sunnah phrase, good Sunnah, is in meaning of innovation. To strengthen the Islamic position note, if  the word Sunnah is considered in context of the phrase, he who introduced a good Sunnah into Islam, then implication of this is; reward being told is for something which is not already part of Islam innovation is not part of Islam hence the word way/practice is in meaning of innovation.

      Good Sunnah Is Reviving Which Is Already Part Of Islam:

      Considering the following part of quote: “Second, this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it, so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah.” And considering the following: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar [to good Sunnah]. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad …” I have come to conclusion that brief position of Shaikh Abu Rumaysah would be two possibilities: i) Meaning of a good Sunnah is renewing or reviving something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be good. ii) Meaning of a good Sunnah is renewing or reviving something that the Shari’ah has already made part of Islam. Question for Shaikh, is reciting Salat (i.e. sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) after mentioning Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) a good Sunnah? You will agree it is good Sunnah. Did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) declare this as good Sunnah?  Is reciting Salat after mentioning Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) part of Islam? No it isn’t! Yet you agreed it is a good Sunnah. The people of knowledge know; reciting Salat after mentioning of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was started by Imam Ma’lik (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and this practiced continued to be enjoined by Muslims ever since. There is reward for Imam Ma’lik (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) due to starting this good Sunnah and those who follow his example, according to following: “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] Point to note is, your definition of good Sunnah is invalid. Introducing good Sunnah into Islam does not mean reviving a prophetic Sunnah rather it means something which was not part of Islam but is made part of Islam via Ijtihad.

      Claiming Of Reviving Prophetic Sunnah Of Charity:

      Ahadith record Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) exhorted the companions to give charity, here: “Jarir bin Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woolen clothes came to Allah's Messenger. He saw them in sad plight as they had been hard pressed by need. He (the Holy Prophet) 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 …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] There was no need of reviving of prophetic Sunnah of charity. It was alive amongst them, and Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was alive, encouraging good and forbidding evil. Reviving is of those prophetic Sunnahs which have been erased from the memory of Muslims, and reviving of prophetic Sunnahs is only after death of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here: "I am ready to know O Messenger of Allah!" He said: "That indeed whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah which has died after me, then for him is a reward similar to whoever acts upon it without diminishing anything from their rewards." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2677] "I heard the Messenger of Allah say: 'Whoever revives a Sunnah of mine that dies out after I am gone, he will have a reward equivalent to that of those among the people who act upon it, without that detracting from their reward in the slightest." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H210] Shaykh interpreted the reluctance of companions to give charity has death of prophet Sunnah. Reluctance of companions to give charity cannot be interpreted to mean prophetic Sunnah of giving charity was dead amongst them and which needed reviving. Burden of proof is upon Shaykh to establish; prophetic Sunnah of giving charity was forgotten/dead in life time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) which was being revived by companion. As for the Islamic position, servant has already established it with evidence. Note, there was no need for reviving the prophet Sunnah of giving charity because it was known to companions and by establishing this position the basis of Abu Rumaysah’s argument has been refuted. Hence the literal meaning of prophet words in Hadith of, whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, stands: “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]

      Companion Introduced Nothing New Into Islam:

      He writes: “…this action the companion did was not something new in Islam, since giving charity was already legislated from the very first days of Islam; rather he was simply implementing it …” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “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] So my question is, the first person who initiated the donation process what was his contribution to Islam? Note, the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are clear that one who introduces a good practice in Islam he will get reward equal to those who follow his Sunnah. By giving charity he merely initiated a process of giving charity and he did not introduce this practice into Islam because charity and giving charity was already part of Islam.

      Companion Revived A Prophetic Sunnah:

      He writes further: “… so the statement of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) "a good Sunnah" was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man started to give the charity and others followed him in it. Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it …” Abu Rumaysah saying that he revived a Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) by being the first one to donate does not fit the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were, he who introduces a good Sunnah of Islam, then the context would fit the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are: he who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam. Note the Hadith states, one who introduces a good Sunnah in Islam and implication of which is; the Sunnah being introduced into Islam is not part of it already. Therefore the arguments that this statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was about reviving the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is incorrect. The position of Abu Rumaysah; this statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is to be understood in the historical context is proven wrong. It is wrong on the basis that this statement is about which is not part of Islam and the companion only initiated charity which was part of Islam.

      Hadith Was Part Of Reviving A Sunnah:

      He wrote: “Thus, he revived a Sunnah at a time when the people were reluctant to practice it, and this is the meaning of "a good Sunnah” Hence, in the early works of 'Aqeedah, this hadith was included under the chapter headings, "The reward of the one who renews the Sunnah." [For example Sharh Usool I'tiqaad 1/50] Answer to this is; there are two components of the following Hadith, one is introducing into Islam [which is not part of it already] and the other is connected with reviving good/bad innovated Sunnah, here: “He who introduced some good practice 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 practice 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 being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] The Hadith has an innovating component and reviving component, and it was part of reviving corpus cause of reviving component. It is due to foolishness that one ignores the following part of Hadith: “… He who introduced some good practice in Islam …”, and is only focusing at the following part only: “… 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, …” Also note, reviving component of the Hadith is connected with innovating component of Hadith hence it means, those who revive the newly introduced practice into Islam will have equal reward to one who introduced it. Hence it was part of reviving corpus not because of reviving Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but it was in such collections due to reviving newly introduced Sunnah into Islam.

      Bad Sunnah Is Renewing Which Is Already Declared Bad:

      He wrote: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad …” According to Shaikh Abu Rumaysah meaning of bad Sunnah is renewing something which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) already declared sinful/bad. Question for Shaikh, could you guide me to a verse of Quran or Hadith in which pole dancing almost naked in presence of none family males is declared bad/sinful? No! I didn’t think you could quote me a Hadith or Ayah either but is watching pole dancing bad/sinful or not? Sinful! Has the Shari’ah already declared it bad? An honest answer is, no! Point here is pole dancing is not renewing which Shari’ah has declared bad/sinful but it is still bad and this refutes your position, quoted above. Another question, was oral ###### declared bad by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) or by Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? No! Is oral ###### bad or not? Bad![2] Has the Shari’ah declared oral ######, bad? Another honest and truthful answer is, no! The point is renewing or starting something Shari’ah has already declared to be bad is not the definition of bad Sunnah. Engaging in something which Shari’ah has declared bad, is sinful. Bad Sunnah is, a Sunnah which is introduced into religion of Islam and is composed religious/non-religious activities but component of which is engaging in Haram, or Shirk, or Kufr. To explain this with an example, filthy rich money-Shaikh goes to perform Hajj. He takes with him the finest quality wine bottles, 20k a piece. An imported infidel butler and the money-Shaikh is accompanied by 10 of the sluttiest sluts of Europe in sluttiest clothes possible. Monkey-Shaikh is fit as a fiddle but he is carried by these sluttiest sluts on a throne made out of gold thread embroidery and on his head is diamond crown. His sluts carry him around the Kabah for first Tawaf, and the butler pours the fine wine in glass for him. He sips bit by bit until second Tawaf begins and butler being professional pours the second glass of cold fine wine. The money-Shaikh ends his seventh Tawaf with his seven glass of fine wine. His behavior becomes a yardstick for filthy rich Arabs and all emulate his Sunnah closely as they can. Now question is, is this renewing or starting something which Shari’ah has declared bad, or is it a new bad Sunnah? It is a new bad Sunnah into religion of Islam. Will money-Shaikh earn the equal sin of those who follow his newly invented reprehensible Sunnah? Damn right he will because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “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 being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Important point here is that principle is not just for historical context but it is to be applied generally to all new reprehensible innovations/practices.

      The Issue Of Relevance Of Second Sentence Of Statement:

      Now if the first sentence of good Sunnah in Islam was said in context of historical event then it must be that the second sentence was also in context of historical event. The second sentence of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) statement is: “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 being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] What is the reprehensible Sunnah which the companions introduced which resulted in Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) telling them that they will be bearing the burden of introducing evil Sunnah? Shaikh Abu Rumaysah does not answer this question but instead he interprets the Hadith out of the context. An educated estimation would be that his response would be as follows: companions were eliminating the Sunnah of giving charity in the way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) due to their reluctance and this was evil Sunnah. Does this statement apply to all types of reprehensible Sunnahs or just the one you pointed out? If he says to all types of reprehensible Sunnahs then note he has taken this statement out of historical context. This statement was in context of reluctance to give charity according to his methodology hence it can only be applied to similar event. If he was to interpret it generally he is going against his own position of interpreting the Hadith according to context, and he did go against his own principle. He interpreted the second sentence of the Hadith in light of Hadhrat Adam’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) son murdering his brother, he wrote: “The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or starting something that the Shari’ah has already declared to be bad, and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alayhis salaam wa alaa nabiyina), one killing the other. So upon the murderer was the sin of the killing and the sin of all those that killed after him, without their sins being reduced.” This establishes that Shaikh Abu Rumaysah interpreted the Hadith and went against what he complained about in the beginning of his response (i.e. words of Hadith are interpreted out of context). If the context was so fundamental to understanding the statements of Hadith in discussion why would he leave it and interpret it with Hadith of son of Adam (alayhis salaam)? Point here is; context is important but the principles are not limited restricted to the context only.

      Interpretation Of Bad Sunnah Critically Analyzed:

      Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "Whenever a person is murdered unjustly, there is a share from the burden of the crime on the first son of Adam for he was the first to start the tradition of murdering." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H552] It is clear that son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) was the first person to start murder and one who follows his footsteps receives equal sin to him and this agrees with the following principle: “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 being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Note the word underlined here: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently …” This points to reprehensible Sunnah which was not part of Islam before but is being made part of Islam by son of Adam (alayhis salaam). Murder was an evil Sunnah which did not exist prior to incident mentioned in Hadith of Bukhari. In this context the meaning of Hadith of Bukhari compliments the following perfectly: 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 being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Hence if a bad practice is introduced in Islam then continuously revived by others then all those who renew it are equally sinful for emulating it and son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salaam) did introduce a bad Sunnah of murder which was without a precedent. Therefore this incident of Bukhari is proof of Islamic position not Khariji position because an evil Sunnah is introduced and then followed. And in part of good Sunnah the Shaikh Abu Rumaysah’s position is that nothing new was introduced only an old practice was revived. Note he wrote meaning of bad Sunnah is similar to good Sunnah: The meaning of "a bad Sunnah" is similar. It is renewing or …” If this is indeed the case then companion must have introduced a good Sunnah into Islam which was not part of it prior to the event.

      The Companion Introduced An Innovation Into Islam:

      The companion acted on the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) amongst reluctant group of people. It maybe that it was first occasion where the companions were reluctant to give charity to their fellow Muslims. Hence he is the first one to give charity amongst reluctant people, and this can be deemed as a good Sunnah, and in context of reluctance of companions, and in context of being first companion stepping up to give charity, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “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, B5, H6466] Implication of which would be that in context of reluctance of all companions Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) termed the action of companion as a good Sunnah in Islam. This explanation holds to the literal meaning of statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and keeps in touch with the historical event. Also note, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) introduced the concept of charity in Islam and those who follow his example will have reward. With both interpretations a Sunnah is being introduced into Islam which is followed by others or revived by others.

      The Issue Of Context And Generality:

      Sa’d bin Ubada (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is reported to have said: "If I saw a man with my wife, I would strike him (behead him) with the blade of my sword." In context of this Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: "You people are astonished at Sa`d's Ghira. By Allah, I have more Ghira than he, and Allah has more Ghira than I …” He continued to inform us: “… and because of Allah's Ghira, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret. And there is none who likes that the people should repent to Him and beg His pardon than Allah, and for this reason He sent the warners and the givers of good news.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H512] In the context of Sa’d bin Ubada’s statement the following words mean, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has prohibited adultery [which is a sin] done openly or secretly: “He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret.” Yet these words are not restricted to context but apply to all shameful deeds [according to Shari’ah] and sins. Even though the words can be interpreted according to context yet generality of these words remains intact allowing for application of these words to other shameful and sinful actions. Note, the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) quoted in Hadith do not entirely fit the context but do have some connection with context. In similar fashion the following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) have relevance to context because reviving a practice (i.e. of giving charity) by engaging in it by others is part of 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, B5, H6466] This statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) does not entirely fit into context like statement of shameful deeds but has loose connection with context. And similar to Hadith of shameful deeds the generality of meaning of the statement cannot be negated because the statement begins with, he who introduced a good Sunnah in Islam, which is indication that reward being told further on is for a practice which is not already part of Islam.

      An Exhortation To One Who Distorts Prophetic Words:

      It was Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) to give general guidance relating to an event but provide a principle on basis of which the Muslims can judge issues which are were not addressed by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The principle of good Sunnah and bad Sunnah are part of these principles and to limit and restrict their understanding to an era, or a people, or event, takes away from Muslims a source of guidance. The one who negates the generality of these words, opposes what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said about his Prophetic words: "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and …” [Ref:  Bukhari, B52, H220] The principles of good and bad Sunnah carry wide range of meanings which your sectarian entrenched mind cannot comprehend and refrain from what your intellect cannot grasp and fear Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and not oppose His beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated about such people: “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers - We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” [Ref: 4:115] You have no excuse, neither of lack of knowledge, nor of those who are in state of oblivion and as a reminder note the following words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here: "The best speech is Allah's Book and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad."  [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H120] The guidance of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is in form of principles and his guidance is best guidance. He has told of reward for one who brings into Islam good innovation and for those who follow this innovated Sunnah has declared equal reward. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated: "It is not fitting for the believing man nor for the believing woman, that whenever Allah and His Messenger have decided any matter, that they should have any other opinion." [Ref: 33:36] Believe in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as he was to believed, and accept the guidance of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as it was to be accepted, and have no opinion over the verdict of Messenger of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

      Conclusion:

      It is true the statement of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) about good Sunnah into Islam can be loosely interpreted in light of the historical context but the statement itself establishes its generality which allows multiple interpretations, including literal. To force the historical context upon a statement which is general, and to restrict the generality, and to reject the generality based on context is heretical. As matter of principle, a general statement can be interpreted in a context but it cannot be limited by the contextual interpretation, neither the generality can be altered due to contextual interpretation. The generality remains unaffected by contextual interpretations or theological expositions.

      Footnotes:

      - [1] Alterations have been made into the text. The first alteration is the text of Hadith in discussion has been inserted instead of paraphrased translation with reference. Salawat have been bracketed and some Arabic words have been capitalized and spelling of the words has been altered also. The last part of the content has been omitted because it was not connected with explanation of Hadith in discussion. There may be other alterations but none effects the original meaning of content.

      - [2] “Mundhir bin Jarir reported on the authority of his father: While we were in the company of the Messenger of Allah in the early hours of the morning, some people came there (who) were barefooted, naked, wearing striped woolen clothes, or cloaks, with their swords hung (around their necks). Most of them, nay, all of them, belonged to the tribe of Mudar. The color of the face of the Messenger of Allah underwent a change when he saw them in poverty. He then entered (his house) and came out and commanded Bilal (to pronounce Adhan). He pronounced Adhan and Iqima, and he (the Holy Prophet) observed prayer (along with his Companion) and then addressed (them reciting verses of the Holy Qur'an): '" 0 people, fear your Lord, Who created you from a single being" to the end of the verse," Allah is ever a Watcher over you" (iv. 1). (He then recited) a verse of Sura Hashr:" Fear Allah. and let every soul consider that which it sends forth for the morrow and fear Allah" (lix. 18). (Then the audience began to vie with one another in giving charity.) Some donated a dinar, others a dirham, still others clothes, some donated a sa' of wheat, some a sa' of dates; till he (the Holy Prophet) said: (Bring) even if it is half a date. Then a person from among the Ansar came there with a money bag which his hands could scarcely lift; in fact, they could not (lift). Then the people followed continuously, till I saw two heaps of eatables and clothes, and I saw the face of the Messenger glistening, like gold (on account of joy). The Messenger of Allah said: He who sets 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; and he who sets in Islam an evil Sunnah, 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]

      - [3] It is bad due to implicit evidence of following Hadith: “… and because of Allah's Ghira, He has made unlawful shameful deeds and sins done in open and in secret.” [Ref: Bukhari, B93, H512]
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