MuhammedAli

Brother Amar Iqbal’s Understanding Of Hadith Of Good Sunnah Refuted And Position Of Imam Nawawi Explained.

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Introduction:

Brother Amar Iqbal bumped into me in a eatery. We discussed about religious issue of Mawlid, Khatams, Geeyarween and naturally subject turned to topic of innovation. His position, like typical of all Wahhabiyyah was; innovations in Islam are completely prohibited and innovations into Deen are evil/sinful. He quoted Hadith, every innovation is misguidance, to support his position. My response was; if every/qullu is in its Haqiqi meaning then nothing is excluded from it, not Bukhari, and not Muslim. They too would be inclusive, therefore would be innovations and misguidance. His position was no they are not included in every/qullu and these two collections of Hadith are not innovations. I argued that every/qullu includes them too. Eventually he stopped interfering and agreed to just hear me out. I said to him: If you limit every/qullu to some innovations and not others then you actualy don’t believe in every/qullu every innovation being evil. You’re creating room for some innovations to be accepted. Here reasoning would be; Bukhari/Muslim are books composed of Prophetic teaching hence they are not innovation because what they are composed of words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and companions have reported his actions. My response then would be; the innovated practices of Muslims are also composed of Prophetic teaching and acts of worships which he taught hence they are not innovations. And if they are composed of sinful practices then they are innovations. At the end of mini speech I quoted the following Hadith; whosoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam for him and those who follow him will earn equal reward. He requested the referrence and we exchanged email addresses to continue our discussion until the Hadith’s referrence is checked and verified. He emailed me as promised and I sent him the Hadith.

The Adopted Strategy Explained:

After carefully reading and trying to understand what made him write the position he mentioned in 2nd  EMAIL I figured brother Amar Iqbal’s position fundamentally is; guiding principle is restricted to context [especially in regards to the Hadith of good Sunnah] and does not referr to anything else and should not be interpreted by itself therefore the Hadith is not about good innovations. So it was decided to rectify his this error first instead of directly responding to each and every point he made. Strategy was to target the basis of his understanding and then the interpretation. So the first four articles focused on the principle on which he based his understanding. The last two were directly responding to what he wrote. The overall objective of first four articles was to establish that a general principle will remain general even if it is issued in context of an historical event. And the principle may have contexual relevance but is not bound to context. And various Ahadith were quoted to establish this position. Please note, actual responses to brother Amar Iqbal were in form of the six articles. The E-mail exchange was to give an informal response until the six articles were completed.

Reworked Old Articles And Reformatted Them With New Titles:

I had started work to compile this discussion/debate for publishing soon as it finished. Intention was I would not publish it until Imam Nawawi’s (rahimullah) referrence has been verified but after being unable to find his Sharh I decided to abandon the project. But recently when I started to go through my old unfinished articles I bumped into it, and decided to make another effort. While compiling the account I decided to check the old articles produced in response to brother Amar Iqbal and realized recent update of the forum software has completely destroyed the formatting. Then it was decided that instead of reproducing the discussion faithfull just reformat and overhaul the old articles and publish them again with titles which reflect the content accurately. Therefore almost all of my responses have been updated and embellished. Objective is not to reproduce the discussion and not to accurately re-create the discussion between us. Instead to use brother Amar Iqbal’s responses as means of refuting heretical understandings. With this new goal material from all articles is being pooled to produce this article with illusion of discussion.

Email Exchange With Brother Amar Iqbal:

 Amar Iqbal - [Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2011 22:12:48 +0000]: “Salaam, Please send me the hadith about innovating of good in Muslim which you quoted when we briefly met. Jzk.” MuhammedAli - [Sent: 05/12/2011 02:30] -: "Jarir b. Abdullah reported that some desert Arabs clad in woollen clothes came to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him). 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 (may peace be upon him) said: He who introduced some good Sunnah in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who called (people) to righteousness, there would be reward (assured) for him like the rewards of those who adhered to it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who called (people) to error, he shall have to carry (the burden) of its sin, like those who committed it, without their sins being diminished in any respect." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6470] The first Hadith is clear, doesn’t require interpretation. The second one is to be interpreted in light of first Hadith.

Amar Iqbal - [Date: Mon, 5 Dec 2011 20:17:18 +0000] -: This hadith does not mention new biddah? Also its about reviving a Sunnah which people forgotton and neglected. In addition giving charity is very clear in the deen. Where have U taken ur understanding from? What's the understanding of the first three generations on this? Wassalam.”

MuhammedAli: Ahadith use many words for innovation like Sunnah: "... sunnati khulafa ar-rashideen, ..."  Also words muhdasa as well as Biddah: "... qullu muhdasatin bidda ..."  Therefore your point that word Biddah is not used is ignorance of Sunnah of beloved Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Its not about reviving a Sunnah my dear brother. Shaytan is getting best of you. You should read the Hadith again and ponder over it. My understanding is from Quran, and Sunnah of beloved RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), and Sunnah of companions. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows better about the understanding of first three generations of these Ahadith. But their Ijtihadi praiseworthy innovations and action upon them are abundantly recorded in Ahadith. From this it can be deduced they understood innovation to be of two types: praiseworthy and blameworthy. See following: Understanding Ahadith Of; Every Innovation Is Misguidance In Context Of Ahadith Of GoodEvil Sunnah. I have written substantially about innovation find the material which interests you, and which support my position, it would be easy because the names of articles are clear enough. MuhammedAli [Sent: 06/12/2011 20:14] Salam alayqum wr wb. MuhammedAli [06/12/2011 23:05]: Insha Allah ta'ala ul Aziz, I will write a comprehensive response on that forum.

Amar Iqbal [Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 19:05:04 +0000]: “All due respect im not interested in what you have written rather what's the understanding of the Hadith from the Salaf? Please define what is Biddah and Sunnah as they both canot be over looked. I will get you a full understanding on this Hadith from my books when I return home. Please answer my questions? Waslaam.” Amar Iqbal [Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 08:57:11 +0000]: “Waslaam Akhi (i.e. brother).”

MuhammedAli: Here short explaination on the Hadith: Interpreting Hadith Of Good And Evil Sunnah In Light Of Historical Context And Natural Meaning Of Prophetic Words. One more article on its explanation maybe two more then third one and fourth will be a direct response to what you wrote.

MuhammedAli: Salam Alayqum. See following: Understanding The Prophetic Principles In Ahadith And Principle Of Good Sunnah In Islam. I will write a comprehensive response to your points soon but as far as I could figure out see your pattern of thought and rationale behind your response I have started to address write on it. But something I haven't been able to figure out the reasons you wrote this: “Also its about reviving a sunnah which people forgotton and neglected.” My assumption was/is that due to the use of word Sunnah you asumed it was about Sunnah neglected/forgotten Sunnah so it would help if you could quote evidence on basis of which you deduced that.

Amar Iqbal [Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 00:35:18 +0000]: “This is the understanding of Imam Nawawi and others but to say said and to attribute to the Messenger that he said:‘whoever does a good Biddah …’ This opens a very dangerous door for which there are no limits. Please quote with refrences where U have taken this from because it contradics the Hadith and principles of the Sunnah.”

MuhammedAli : (1) First of all your methodology is wrong. Its forbidden to fallow ulil amr on issues which become disputed rather they need to be judged according to what Allah and what RasoolAllah said:“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: ...” [ref: Surah 4:59] This means issues Muslims differ on these we should referr to Quran and Sunnah. Note there is no saying; obey ulil amr on disputed issues. So obedience of Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) on a disputed issue is innovation. It is akin to taking him Lord beside Allah, and Messenger after Prophet Muhammed (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam). Yet there is there is no Lord besides Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and no Prophet after RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). (2) Your saying: “… its about reviving a Sunnah which people forgotton and neglected … This is the understanding of Imam Nawawi and others …” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) exhortated the companions to give Sadaqa and this was about Sunnah indeed but there is no indication it was forgotten or neglected. How can the interpretation that, whosoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam,  can mean; whosoever revives a forgotten Sunnah of Islam, when there is huge word difference and there is no proof that companions had forgotten this prophetic Sunnah. If what you attribute to Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) is true and he also negated possibility of another interpretation then Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) erred. If you believe Imam Nawavi's (rahimullah) said what you attribute to him and you believe his position is correct then substantiate his claim with proof that companions of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam) had forgotten the Sunnah of Sadaqa or were neglecting it. This interpretation; companions forgot the Sunnah of giving Sadaqa, would only make sense if companions had forgotten the Sunnah of Sadaqa, and then companion who came with bag if silver, would be reviving it. Yet the fact is Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) exhorted them to give Sadaqa few mins before the man came with bag of silver belies what you attribute to Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala): 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. Surely companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had longer memory span then a sparrow. It seems other Ahadith of reviving Sunnah are forcefully are being imposed upon this Hadith of introducing good Sunnah in Islam instead of truly interpreting the Hadith in context of event. (3) Hadith indicates that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) gave Khutba to companions to give Sadaqa and this interpretation of which you referr to [and attribute to Imam Nawawi rahimullah] could only in context of this quoted part of the Hadith: “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. Quote me what Imam Nawavi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and others wrote only on the part of the Hadith whose meaning we dispute. It seems you took his interpretation, made in specific context of an evidence, and generalised that to; it only means this. If it is true what you attribute to Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) has interpreted the historical events in context of the principle and not principle in context of historical events. (4) A very common error made by self-taught and DIY scholars is that they do not understand basic rule of Tafsir. A verse of Quran or prophetic statement when interpreted in context of another verse/Hadith it will only give meaning of type of verse/Hadith it has been coupled with. Suppose verse A has been coupled with verse B. The resulting interpretation would be of A+B. Now if A is interpreted by itself, without B, then natural meaning A would be Tafsir. If verse A has been coupled with E then interpretation would reflect A + E. Point is whenever a verse/Hadith is coupled with another the literal meaning of verse/Hadith being interpreted would be changed by the evidence being employed to interpret it. (5) Forexample, suppose I am interpreting following part: “Guide us to the straight path.” [Ref: 1:6] The commentators have said straight path is Islam and others said it is prophetic Sunnah. I say it also means: Guide us to simple path. And they all are correct in light of their own evidences but I say the verse means: ‘Guide us to straight path of worship of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)’, in light of following: "Verily, God is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer; so worship Him (alone): this is a straight way." [Ref:3:51] Building on this interpretation the verse also means: ‘Guide us to straight path of worshiping Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with Ihsan.’ Because best form worship is worshiping Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as if you see Him and if not that then He sees you. And this is Ihsan and this is evidenced by Hadith of Jibraeel (alayhis salam): “The man again asked, "O Allah's Messenger What is Ihsan?" The Prophet said, "Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not achieve this state of devotion, then (take it for granted that) Allah sees you." [Ref: Bukhari, B60, H300] Alhasil the interpretation of verses/Hadith when it is coupled with another verse/Hadith will always be inclusive of both and literal meaning of each would not be effected. Nor limited or restricted due to coupled verse/Hadith. Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) used the principle; whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, to interpret the historical event. This does not mean he believed the principle is to be subjected to contextual restrictions and looses its generality because of context or evidence with which it is interpreted. He interpreted the good Sunnah part of Hadith in context of his own evidence and his interpretation is valid in context of evidence he coupled the principle with. Just like the interpretations I have given to verse are valid along side of interpretations of others. (6) Coming to following part of Hadith: ‘Whoever introduces evil Sunnah in Islam …’ Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) did not interpret in the context of historical event. If he had done so then it was likely he would have said; reluctance of companions was said to be evil Sunnah by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Instead Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) only interpreted the principle by itself and reached to understanding that it referrs to innovation. And then  Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) stated evil Sunnah part of same Hadith referrs to limit/restrict hadith of: “… every innovation is misguidance …” If one examines the gramatical structure of both parts of Hadith they are exactly the same. Only difference of two words, good and evil. Yet the Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) gave two interpretations; i) one in context of event ii) other out of context of event. Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) was Imam and not DIY scholar. Suppose the impossible; Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) didn’t know/believe, whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, referrs to good innovations [which would be impossible because it is evidence for his own belief that innovations are good and evil] even then his interpretation of second part give credence to understanding that Sunnah in this context can mean innovation. To be honest, I refuse to believe that Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) and the early scholars were hollow heads as my contempories and I urge you to referr to his Imam Nawawi’s (rahimullah) commentary on the part which you dispute about. (7) It is absolutely against my principles to referr to scholars on disputed issues. The rabble out here seems to practice it therefore I will write an article on this Hadith according to what early scholars said about the specific part of Hadith. The limits of Halal, Haram, Islam and Kuffr have been set. Good has limits evil is limitless, praiseworthy innovations would be in good limits. [Please quote with refrences where U have taken this from because it contradics the Hadith and principles of the Sunnah.”] My sources are clearly stated in my articles and I don’t need to state them here. I can write so that Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guides you but I can not make you read what I write and explain it. So its entirely upto you to read and understand it. Third article has been completed in light of Quran and Hadith: Hadith Of Good/Evil Innovated Sunnah In Context Of Hadith Of Few Sentences With Vast In Meaning.

MuhammedAli [12/12/2011 01:37]: (1) Biddah linguistically means invention/innovation. Technically it is used to referr to those combination of deeds, actions, beliefs which are not Prophetic Sunnahs. Sunnah linguistically means way, practice, and custom. The disagreement is, if Sunnah can be used in meaning of innovation and can a phrase/sentence in which Sunnah is used can mean innovation. We Muslims believe yes it is quite possible and it is evidenced from Ahadith. a) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has said: Follow my Sunnah and Sunnah of rightly guided Caliphs as it is established by following Ahadith: “You must then follow my Sunnah and Sunnah of the rightly-guided caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it.” [Ref: Dawood, B40, H4590] Sunnah of rightly guided caliphs is distinguised from Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). If Sunnah of rightly guided Caliphs is separate then how can these Sunnahs not be innovations? b) It is narrated in another Hadith: "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 the first to establish the Sunnah of murdering" [Ref: Bukhari, B92, H423] Son of Adam (alayhis salam) started the Sunnah of murder and Hadith says he was the first one to start it. Originating, inventing, what didn’t exist before, isn’t that innovation? Then how can the Sunnah here not mean innovation if he was first one to start it. c) Also Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used the word Sunnah in meaning of innovation in following Hadith regarding which you contend it referrs to Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam): “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] Yet what is not part of Islam is innovation. And reward being told is for which is not already part of Islam (i.e. innovation). (2) You know what innovation is and even if you did not then, I have stated it. Innovation is not part of Islam and Prophetic Sunnah is already part of Islam. The Hadith tells of reward for introducing good Sunnah into Islam. In this there is indication; reward being told is for something not already part of Islam. You and I both know this is innovation. Yet you choose to disbelieve that this Hadith is referring to good innovations or good innovated Sunnahs. (3) Further if Sunnah in the first part of Hadith is referring to Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then whose Sunnah is next part of Hadith referring to? Here Hadith: And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Does this referr to evil Sunnahs (i.e. beliefs and actions) of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? If the first part means one who revives my good Sunnahs for him and those who follows them will get equale reward. Then second part of Hadith means; one who revives my evil Sunnahs will equally be responsible as one who followed them. And we know what the reviver and actor will get but what about the one who started the evil Sunnah (i.e. Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? And if Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) instructed Deen as he was instructed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) then who started the evil Sunnah? Yet you do not believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) instituted an evil Sunnah and nor did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) instruct it. My point is it is not fundamental for the Prophetic statement to be connected with the event. If it was fundamental then you are burdened to explain what evil Sunnah is and to whose evil Sunnah it referrs? Our understanding is the principles of good Sunnah and evil Sunnah are not connected with the context of event but the event can vaguely be interpreted in their light.

MuhammedAli [Tue 17/01/2012 19:48]: Salam brother, I have just completed the response to your point that Imam Nawavi (rahimullah alayhi ta'ala) interpreted the hadith to mean  reviving the forgotten Sunnahs: Hadith Of Good/Evil Innovated Sunnahs A Critical Analysis Of An Interpretation. Please do give me some feedback on it. Jazakallah Khair.

MuhammedAli [Thu 19/01/2012 20:43]: Salam Alayqum, Brother I have completed my comprehensive explaination of the Hadith of praiseworthy and blameworthy innovation from Quran and Sunnah. These are the articles on just that one Hadith lattest: Refuting Amar Iqbal’s Claim; Whoever Introduces Good Sunnah In Islam, Does Not Mention New Innovation. I still have to investigate the issue of what the Imams of Ahlus Sunnah have stated about this Hadith. If Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) I will start and complete the article soon. I would be more then happy to recieve a written response. JazakAllah Khair.

MuhammedAli [25th Oct 2017 20:05]: (1) My brother you claimed Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) in his commentary of Sahih Muslim stated phrase, whosoever introduces a good Sunnah in Islam, referrs to reviving prophetic Sunnahs. I have finally had an oppurtunity to look into what you attributed to Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). To begin with: This Hadith is found in to places, in Kitab al-Ilm and in Kitab al-Zakat. In Kitab al-Ilm Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) did not comment on the Hadith. In Kitab al-Zakat he explained it and I will get to that in a bit. (2) Earlier with some reservations I assumed what you attributed to Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) is correct and responded to it based on assumption and without verifying your claim. So whatever I stated earlier regarding Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) and what he wrote only stands if what you attributed was correct otherwise I disown any I criticism levelled against him. Please do note my earlier response is aid in understanding of principles of Tafsir/Sharh and therefore whatever is related to it still stands. (3) I recently had the opportunity to check the refference you gave. And I advise you to check it as well, here. Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) in his commentary stated: His saying: "Whoever enacted starts a good Sunnah in Islam will have its reward ..." to the end of (the hadeeth). This contains encouragement to initiate Hasanaat (i.e. plural of Hasanah; good) and to enact  the good Sunnahs and a warning from inventing falsehoods and repugnant things (mustaqbahaat). And the reason behind this statement in this hadeeth is that he (the narrator) said at the beginning of it, "Then a person came there with a money bag which his hands could scarcely lift; in fact, they could not (lift). Then the people followed continuously (in giving)..." So the great virtue was for the one who began this goodness and the one who opened the door to this benevolence. And within this hadeeth is the [evidence of] Takhsees (i.e. restriction/specification) of his [Mutliq/Unrestricted] saying: "Every newly-introduced matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance" And that the intent behind it is the newly introduced matters and blameworthy innovations. And the explanation of this has already preceded in Kitab al-Salat al-Jumu'ah and we mentioned there that innovations are of five types: obligatory, recommended, unlawful, disliked and permitted.” [Ref: Sharh Of Sahih Muslim, by Imam Nawawi rahimullah, Kitab al-Zakah, 7/104] Please check the translation is from a Salafi website, here. Also note portions from his translation have been accentuated for better understanding. After carefully reading the Arabic and English translation of it. I have come to conclusion that Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) no where stated the part of Hadith; whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, is about reviving a forgotten Sunnah. (4) In fact Imam (rahimullah) only stated that the principle originated because the man came with silver bag and those who followed him. It seems you have made assumption that Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) said; this Hadith is about reviving forgotten Sunnahs. Or at the very least sources and persons involved in producing them have misguided you. And fact that Sunnah of Sadaqa was not forgotten by companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as you claim further discredits your position. (5) Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has stated: This contains encouragement to initiate Hasanaat and to enact the good Sunnahs, and a warning from inventing falsehoods and repugnant things (mustaqbahaat).” This entire statement is referring to innovated good Sunnahs. Following part of Imam Nawawi’s (rahimullah) explanation: This contains encouragement to initiate Hasanaat and to enact the good Sunnahs …” -; is in agreement with following prophetic words: “He who introduced some good Sunnah in Islam …” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] And following part of Imam Nawawi’s (rahimullah) statement: “… and to enact  the good Sunnahs …” -; is relating to following prophetic words: “…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] Alhasil Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) did not say anything about prophetic Sunnah rather his explanation is brief commentary on the content of Hadith. On this feeble ground you base your belief/claim that Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) said prophetic Sunnah. (6)  If Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) intended Sunnah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in his explanation then he would have said: “… encouragment to intiate prophetic Sunnahs …”, “… and to enact the prophetic Sunnahs …” And he would not have said: This contains encouragement to initiate Hasanaat (i.e. goods) and to enact the good Sunnahs, and a warning from inventing falsehoods and repugnant things (mustaqbahaat).” Also no where did Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: “… follow my good Sunnah and …” And neither do the Muslims say; whosoever acts on good Sunnahs of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) there will be reward for him like the one initiated, revived and followed the good Sunnah. To say this would imply from logical perspective that we believe there are evil prophetic Sunnahs. Suppose you say: I agree with the good brother Ali says. The diametric opposite and natural implication is; you don’t agree with evil that brother Ali says but with only good. Am I not logically deducing this conclusion? If statement of Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) was directed to Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), in following fashion: This contains encouragement to initiate Hasanaat [Sunnahs of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam] and to practice the [prophetic] good Sunnahs …” The implication is that he believes prophetic Sunnahs are of two type, good Sunnahs and evil Sunnahs which even a leaflet distributing idiot woun’t believe. Now if Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) statement is interpreted as pointed out then implication [that Imam Nawawi rahimullah believed some prophetic Sunnahs are evil and this] would naturally fit into next part of Hadith: “And he who introduced some evil Sunnah in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the ..." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] I leave it upon you to burden Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) with stupidity of Khawarij of Najd. (7) There can be argument that Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) did not use words; “… in Islam …”  in his explanation therefore he meant prophetic Sunnahs. Please note Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) did not insert “… in Islam …” into text of his commentary because there are many versions of this Hadith which all mean the same: “It was narrated that Abu Juhaifah said: "The Messenger of Allah said: 'Whoever introduces a good practice (سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً) that is followed after him, will have a reward for that and ... Whoever introduces an evil practice that is ...'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H207/H203] Narrated Ibn Jarir bin Abdullah: From his father that the Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever starts a good tradition (سُنَّةَ خَيْرٍ) which is followed, then for him is a reward … And whoever starts a bad tradition which is followed, then for him is the sin, and the likes of the sins of whoever …” [Ref: Tirmadhi, B39, H2675] "Jarir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger as saying: The servant does not introduce سُنَّةً صَالِحَةً (i.e. good/righteous Sunnah) which is followed after him. The rest of the hadith is the same." [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6468] And this has lead me to believe Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) ignored the word accuracy for sake of conveying intended meaning. Also the explanation has to be understood in context of Hadith and Hadith in context of his explanation. Missing parts from both have to be implied from each other.As I believe and that’s how it stands to reason because Hadith talks about reward for introducing good Sunnah in Islam. Innovation is not part of Islam. Prophetic Sunnah is already part of Islam. Therefore reward is being told is for innovated Sunnah which is made part of Islam and is Hasanah. Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) explained the Hadith in light of these two facts. When these facts are used to understand the Hadith then what Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) believed and what his statement means becomes apparent as it does in the following:This contains encouragement to initiate Hasanaat [innovated into Islam] and to enact the good Sunnahs [innovated after him] and [the part of Hadith following good Sunnah in Islam contains] a warning from inventing falsehoods and repugnant things (mustaqbahaat).” (8) If you recall in our original in the discussion in presence of my friend (i.e. Naveed), myself (i.e. Ali), you (i.e. Amar) and your friend (i.e. Bilal) you quoted Hadith of every/qullu innovation is misguidance. And argued nothing is excluded from it. I quoted this Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam to establish that every/qullu is not without Takhsees. You restricted the Hadith into context, and said it refers to reviving Sunnah of Sadaqah, and cited Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) for your Taweel. This proved to be incorrect because Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) said nothing as such. Your objective was to hold to generality of Hadith; every innovation is misguidance; and mine was to refute it [in context of Mawlid discussion]. Note I am also appealing to authority of Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) for Takhsees of Hadith; every innovation is misguidance. Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) believes portion of Hadith evil Sunnah in Islam serves as Takhsees for every/qullu innovation is misguidance: “And within this hadeeth is the [evidence of] Takhsees (i.e. restriction/specification) of his [Mutliq/Unrestricted] saying: "Every newly-introduced matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance" And that the intent behind it is the newly introduced matters and blameworthy innovations. And the explanation of this has already preceded in Kitab al-Salat al-Jumu'ah and we mentioned there that innovations are of five types: obligatory, recommended, unlawful, disliked and permitted.” [Ref: Sharh Of Sahih Muslim, by Imam Nawawi rahimullah, Kitab al-Zakah, 7/104] In other words every innovation isn’t literally every but the Takhsees means; every innovated evil Sunnah is innovation, and every evil innovation is misguidance. Alhasil you have lost your argument on basis of evidence and on basis of authority. If you reject my Daleel (i.e. evidence, Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam) for Takhsees even then you cannot reject authority [which you wanted me to accept] -; Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala). Please bare in mind if you reject authorative position of Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) then you will only establishe your insincerity and you’re better then this. Finally when every innovation isn’t misguidance and only every evil innovation [which are composed of Haram, Kufr, Shirk] is misguidance then you have no argument against validity of innovated practices which are composed of all that is Halal and righteous in Islam.

Conclusion:

The fundamental dispute was on four points, if principles are restricted to context, Sunnah can be used in meaning of innovation, if Hadith of Sahih Muslim is proof for good innovations, and what Imam Nawawi (rahimullah) said on this Hadith. Praise be to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). It was established principles are not restricted to context. Word Sunnah can mean innovation and good Sunnah part of Hadith of Imam Muslim does indeed referr to good Sunnahs which have been innovated by people. Finally Imam Nawawi (rahimulllah) did not say the words of; whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam, reffer to reviving prophetic Sunnahs. And it was established that Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) distinguised between Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and innovated good Sunnahs.


Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

Edited by MuhammedAli

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Amar Iqbal [12 November 2017 07:22]: Salaam. Hope your in good health and Emaan. You have not explained the concept of good bida and where this is derived from. Many quote Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) however this is untrue to attribute the concept being portrayed. Waslaam

Muhammed Ali [On 26 Nov 2017, at 12:53]: Salam alayqum. Brother Amar I have revised my earlier articles to improve content and in addition to this if you recall you mentioned Imam Nawavi (rahimullah) said Hadith referrs to prophetic Sunnah and reviving prophetic Sunnahs. As promised I have addressed that claim of yours. Its has taken long because I have been getting caught into discussions which required immediate response hence it has been on ignore nearly four/five years. Please read the following article with regards to Imam Nawawi's statement and how you have misunderstood or atleast have been lied to: Brother Amar Iqbal’s Understanding Of Hadith Of Good Sunnah Refuted And Position Of Imam Nawawi Explained. I will insha Allah briefly comment on your lattest and put it into perspective. If there are any other schoalrs, prior to Najdi Shaykh's emergence, who you hold in esteem and believe they have supported your position on Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam please refference them and I promise to respond promptly. Also you do claim to be following Salaf but I noted you quoted Imam Nawawi (rahimullah alayhi ta'ala) as proof of your belief. Anyhow your response is eagerly being awaited.

Amar Iqbal
[Mon 27/11/2017 21:23]: Waslaam. You have titled it: Brother Amar Iqbal’s Understanding Of Hadith Of Good Sunnah Refuted And Position Of Imam Nawawi Explained.You had no permission to publish my emails as it was a private ongoing discussion.

Muhammed Ali [Tuesday, 28/11/2017 10:20]: Salam alayqum. (1) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam) stated: "Narrated Abdullah bin Amr: That the Prophet said: There are four things that whoever has them, then he is a hypocrite, and whoever has one attribute from among them, then he has an attribute of hypocrisy,until he leaves it: Whoever lies whenever he speaks, he does not fulfill whenever he promises, he is vulgar whenever he argues, and whenever he makes an agreement he proves treacherous." [Ref: Tirmadhi, B38, H2632] Brother as I recall neither you nor I discussed publishing of our discussion. Nor we ever talked about that i/you would secure your/my permission before publishing material. If I had stated or we had agreement; I would secure your permission at any time and then publish; then i am bound by my word as it is sign of a Munafiq to betray a agreement. Also our discussion was private but no secrect. Had it been so I would be guilty of divulging secret and guilty of Shar'ri offense. Bottom line is; I was and I am under no obligation to withdraw the content. Therefore I will not remove the content but I can try and ask the admin/mods to remove referrence which identifies you. Coming to private and on going discussion. If i recall correctly your words were; 'with all due respect you're not interested in what you have to say but what Salaf have stated' which was technically end of discussion. All I had was what Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam) said, and meanings which I translated into my own words to convey understanding of prophetic words. You did not respond to anything I had written. Not that you didn't have anything to say but because what I wrote wasn't from Salaf therefore you refuse to grace it with a response. Hence there was no on going discussion. Thereafter I sent you number of emails, roughly four, none were responded to. So discussion had ended because you wanted me to quote you Salaf [yet you quoted me Imam Nawawi rahimullah, who is from Khalaf and not Salaf]. Even if this was a ongoing discussion this is no reason to withold the information and not publish it. If I had published your unfinished response you would be justified in objecting to me publishing it. The responses you sent me there were complete hence if they are already online it will not effect our ongoing discussion and any further exchanges also will eventually go on forum. My objective is to share knowledge with others and people to learn from my and your mistakes. I am more then happy to be proven wrong in public and my errors to be exposed in public. I see nothing but benefit for myself in doing this. (2) With regards to referrences from Salaf. In reality I had quoted the Salaf, the Prophet, and Ahadith narrated by his companions which you didn't ponder over I assume; one can't get more follower of Salaf then that. Even though I have no claim that I am exclusively following Salaf, which you have, and therefore you’re under burden to provide proof of your belief from Salaf because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said burden of proof is upon the claimant: “’On the authority of Ibn Abbas; the Messenger of Allah said: Were people to be given everything that they claimed, men would (unjustly) claim the wealth and lives of (other) people. But, the onus of proof is upon the claimant, and the taking of an oath is upon him who denies.’A hasan hadeeth narrated by al-Baihaqee and others in this form, and part of it is in the two Saheehs.” [Ref: Forty Ahadith – Nawavi, Hadith 33] My claim is, way of prophetic Sunnah and Jammah of Ummah which is inclusive of three generations that followed Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam). And as principle; we follow the first three generations, but when there is ambiguity and no clear guidance to a problem from Quran, prophetic Sunnah, and three generations, we then referr to tasreehat (i.e. clarifications) of Ulamah of Ummah. And then we apply these understandings on practical example of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam) and his companions to see if the clarification fits into their practice. In case of Ahadith of good Sunnah in Islam. Even though there is no clear explicit interpretation of it from Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam) nor from his companions but we have an interpretation that it sanctions into Islam innovated good Sunnahs. We test this interpretation by applying it incidents that took place during the life time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was'sallam). A companion innovated a new Tasbih in Salah: One day we were praying behind the Prophet. When he raised his head from bowing, he said: "Sami`al-lahu liman hamidah." A man behind him said, "Rabbana wa laka l-hamdu, hamdan kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi" When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, "Who has said these words?" The man replied, "I." The Prophet said, "I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first." Prophet rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebrae of his spinal column came to a natural position.” [Ref: Bukhari, B12, H764] Note it was not Sunnah but became Sunnah after it was approved. This teaches companions innovated good Sunnahs into Islam and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) accepted them and so did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). So even though we have no explanation from Salaf of Hadith of; whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam; but our interpretation is caroborated by this incident. Leading us to conclude that prophetic words; whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam; would be understood by companions as; whoever intrdouces innovated good Sunnah in Islam. So missing information can be implied when the beginning and end are known but information in between is missing. And even though the missing isn’t what Salaf stated but it fits into overall conclusion therefore it has to be correct. Following would explain my point easily and would be easily accessible : 1 + 4 + 5 – 3 + ? x 2 + 5 - 11 = 10. To solve the missing value we have to do bit of detective work. (1+4 =5), (5+5=10), (10-3=7), the last known value is seven and because ? has to be added to seven and then multiplied by two … to get the figure of ten. Suppose ? is assumed to be five, so it would be: 1 + 4 + 5 – 3 + 5 x 2 + 5 - 11 = 18. And this is wrong because it should be ten. Through devaluing five to four, to three, to two, to one, trial by error or a method, one will eventually arrive at the missing value which is one and demonstrated in the following: 1 + 4 + 5 – 3 + 1 x 2 + 5 - 11 = 10. Now even though the missing value wasn’t stated when it is figured and fits into the equation then we know for certaintity it is correct. In similar fashion the missing information can be implied and when it fits into practical life of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his companions then it is correct and it would considered methodology and teaching of Salaf even though there is no explicit statement but it is implied. Alhasil I did provide you evidence from Salaf and I have explained how a position can be understanding of Salaf even though their explicit statements in support of it are missing. On subject of innovation and Ahadith of good Sunnah in Islam. We have: whoever introduces good Sunnah in Islam + Tasbih of Salah =  innovated in Islam good Sunnah, or innovated in Islam good Sunnah of Tasbih. In this way we can verify and figure out the missing information and prove that Salaf also had same understanding on subject of innovation as we the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah have and they must have believed the Hadith of good Sunnah in Islam is referring to innovated good Sunnahs in Islam.

Muhammed Ali [Tuesday, 28/11/2017 10:56]: Salam Alayqum. Brother Amar on 12th Nov you sent an email. Can you further elucidate on the following:  "You have not explained the concept of good bida and where this is derived from." Did you mean it in the following sense: “You have not proven concept of good innovation from Quran and prophetic Sunnah.” Or did you mean to say: “You have not explained what is good innovation made-up of and from where the practices which compose a good innovation are derived from.” There is ambiguity and I would like to have clarification of what you meant so I can address it. Would you like me to address both or just the one you intended. Please point out what you intended. You also stated: "Many quite Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) however this is untrue to attribute the concept being portrayed." But you have not explained why what Umar (radiallah ta'ala anhu) said is not proof for good innovation. If Amr says Surah Ikhlas is not proof of Tawheed. This is his denial and not proof. And it is in need of justification and proof of some type. Rejection of something being not so is never proof that it is not so.

Muhammed Ali [Thursday, 30/11/2017 16:58]: Salam Alayqum, Brother Amar I would wait for another three days and in between if I do not recieve a response to my querry and if i do not get notified about your response. Many more capable then yourself have adressed the difficulty in Ahadith of good Sunnah in Islam and they have been responded to. To mention some names, Shaykh Waheed Al-Zaman, here, Shaykh Salim al-Qarni and Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Ajlan, here, and Shaykh Aymen Bin Khaled, here. There isn't much that I have not heard before on this topic but rarely someone does come up with something ingenious. You may feel your position has been badly represented. Rest assured evidences relating to it and in support of your position have been addressed before and three articles just are example. I would appreciate an academic response or at least an acknowledgment that you will respond in next three days. After you inform me then you can be at your leasure and respond to, anything I have written, in time which best suites you. If I do not get some sort of response in three days I will proceed to upload my lattest explanation; which explains how my response was evidence from Salaf. As well as write up a response to two possibilities which you might have enquired about and regarding which I sought clarification.

Ammar Iqbal [Thu 30/11, 19:26]: Waslaam. I invite you to sit down with me to discuss the topic and you can bring your Arabic books with you etc.

Muhammed Ali [01/12/2017 19:47]: Salam alayqum. Brother I will have to turn down your offer.  I no longer discuss/debate in person. After thousands of hour being spent on it nothing productive was achieved. I preferr to write because even if immediate person doesn't benefit others will. I am too busy with my academic pursuits and family life and cannot spare time for anything else. If we happen to meet by chance as we did in past then in sha Allah we will discuss it. I will proceed with my response and once completed it will be emailed to you and then posted online. Allah Hafiz.

Muhammed Ali: (1) In your email dated 12th Nov 2017 you stated: “Many quote Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) however this is untrue to attribute the concept being portrayed. Waslaam.” What you wrote is unintelligble and confusing. Best way to understand it is to reconstruct it within frame work of what a Salafi might say. Following is my best effort: (a) “Many quote: “…excellent innovation …”. statement uttered by Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) however it is incorrect to attribute to Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) the concept of good innovation which is being portrayed by them. Waslaam.” (b) “Many quote words of Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to support concept of good innovation however it is wrong to deduce from his words the support for the concept of good innovation which is apparently being portrayed by his words. Waslaam.” (c) “Many quote Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) however this statement of his is not untrue to attribute the concept of good innovation being portrayed by them. Waslaam.” There was no real need to for textual criticism as far as I was concerned but readers would have struggled therefore I did my best to put your statement in perspective of traditional Salafi/Wahhabi belief. All three boil down to two justifications; (a) Taraweeh was prophetic Sunnah, (b) and therefore Omar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) said it is excellent innovation in linguistic sense. (2) We need to establish what linguistic innovation is and how to figure out if someone said good innovation in linguistic innovation. (a) There is obvious way; Bakr believes Islam allows good Shar’ri innovations. His belief is known and documented. When he says; Mawlid is an excellent innovation then we interpret his statement in context of his belief. In case of Bakr; he said Mawlid is an excellent innovation in Shar’ri sense. There are other ways to establish if something is innovation in legal sense or linguistic sense. And it is by taking note of in what context the statement was made about. (b) Suppose Amr says; Hajj is an excellent innovation taught by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and by His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Note it is clear that Amr believes Hajj isn’t innovation of Ummatis by innovation taught by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). And technically in legal sense of Islamic law innovation is something which isn’t taught by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). By computing basic information and with compassion the more likely probability is that Amr made his statement in linguistic sense. Of course those who have malice and are blinded by sectarianism will distort it to mean something else but if one has best opinion of a Muslim’s belief, knowledge, and intentions then he will reach to best and natural mentioned conclusion. (c) Bakr isn’t aware performing Salat ad-Duha is prophetic Sunnah. Bakr enters Masjid and observes Amr performing Salat ad-Duhan and says; what an excellent innovation. Even though Bakr is incorrect in his judgment but his verdict tells that Bakr believes innovations can be excellent and can be practiced even if they are not prophetic Sunnahs. The reason is simple; if Bakr didn’t believe in good innovation concept he would not judge something to be excellent innovation. He would have said it is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance. (d) Suppose Bakr is aware that when prayer leader (i.e. Imam) says; sami Allahu liman hamidah the Muqtadi (i.e. follower) is supposed to say; rabbana wa lak al-hamd. Yet he decides to say: "Rabbana wa laka l-hamdu, hamdan kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi."[1] Zaid hears him utter these words and says; this is a good innovation. Note these words are not prophetic Sunnah. Bakr’s statement is an innovation. The alteration is made in Deen and in Salah (i.e. Tasbih of Salah). Therefore this statement of Zaid is Shar’ri judgment and the saying of good innovation is about Shar’ri good innovation. Note this last example of determining innovation is related to Umar Ibn al-Khattab’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) statement.  (3) Taraweeh as we both know is Prophetic Sunnah and to be precise three day Taraweeh under leadership of a Qari/Imam is prophetic Sunnah. On fourth day Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) did not attend the Masjid -: Following Hadith sheds light on the incident: "Allah's Messenger went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah's Messenger came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the morning-prayer. When the morning-prayer was finished he recited Tashah-hud and said, "Amma ba'du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on."So, Allah's Apostle died and the situation remained like that." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H229] The three days of Taraweeh mentioned in the Hadith of Bukhari was lead by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). And the three days performed were in the last ten days of Ramadan and to be precise on 23rd, 25th, and 27th of Ramadan -: As following Hadith establishes: "It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: "We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah, and the Prophet did not lead us in Qiyam until there were seven days left of the month (i.e. 23rd of Ramadan) then he led us in Qiyam until one-third of the night had passed. Then when there were six days left (i.e. 24th of Ramadan) he did not lead us in Qiyam. When there were five days left (i.e. 25th of Ramadan) he led us in praying Qiyam until half the night had passed. We said: 'O Messenger of Allah (SA), why don't you lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the night?' He said: 'If a man prays with the Imam until he leaves, that will be continued for him as if he spent the whole night in prayer.' Then, when there were four days left (i.e.26th of Ramadan) he did not lead us in praying Qiyam. When there were three days left (i.e. 27th of Ramadan) he sent for his daughters and women, and gathered the people, and he led us in praying Qiyam until we feared that we would miss Al-Falah. Then he did not lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the month." Dawud (one of the narrators) said: "I said: ' What is falah?' He said: 'Sahur.'"[2] [Ref: Nisai, B13, H1365] This establishes prophetic Sunnah of Taraweeh is for three days; 23rd, 25th, and 27th and congregational practice of Taraweeh was abandoned by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). There is no record which indicates prophetic Sunnah of Taraweeh changed during Abu Bakr’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) time but in Umar Ibn al-Khattab’s (radiallah ta’ala anhu) Khilafat he revived portion of prophetic Sunnah (i.e. 23rd, 25th, and 27th night Taraweeh). And through it innovated following good Sunnahs in Islam; (a) instructed that Taraweeh should be performed for entire month of Ramadan, (b) consecutively from beginning to end of Ramadan, (c) entire or more Quran is completed in Ramadan by Qari/Imam, (d) and under leadership of an Imam. And following Hadith is evidence of it: “Malik related to me from Ibn Shihab from Urwa ibn az-Zubayr that Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abd al-Qari said, "I went out with Umar ibn alKhattab in Ramadhan to the mosque and the people there were spread out in groups. Some men were praying by themselves, whilst others were praying in small groups. Umar said, 'By Allah! It would be better in my opinion if these people gathered behind one reciter.' So he gathered them behind Ubayy ibn Kab. Then I went out with him another night and the people were praying behind their Qur'an reciter. Umar said, نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. How excellent this innovation is!) But what you miss while you are asleep is better than what you watch in prayer.' He meant the end of the night, and people used to watch the beginning of the night in prayer."[3] [Ref: Muwatta Malik, B6, H3] Note he said it is an excellent innovation. Of course he did not say this regarding the prophetic Sunnah aspect of Taraweeh (i.e. 23rd, 25th, and 27th). Rather he said it about whole month of Taraweeh and it being performed in congregation for entire month. And these aspects are indeed innovations and therefore his saying; Taraweeh of entire month under leadership of an Imam is excellent innovation were not linguistical innovation rather his words were regarding Shar’ri good innovation which is a good Sunnah in Islam. Please referr to 2d to understand the rationale supporting the judgment. Alhasil his statement is proof; Islam there is room for good innovations and Islam recognises classification of innovation into good/excellent innovation and that Umar (radillah ta’laa anhu) believed innovations can be excellent. Regarding Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) the rightly guided Caliph Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have said: “After I am gone, you will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H44] Hence you’re under Shar’ri burden to accept Sunnah of rightly guided Caliph and believe as he believed about innovations.

Muhammed Ali:
In E-mail dated 12th Nov 2017 you stated: "You have not explained the concept of good bida and where this is derived from." Regarding which I sought clarification, Email 28th/11/20177 – 10:56, about what you meant but I have received no response and therefore I will proceed to respond to both possibilities. It was quite possible you intended the following: “You have not proven concept of good innovation from Quran and prophetic Sunnah.” Before starting please note in my previous E-mail rule mentioned in 2C applies to this context so please familiarize yourself with it. Note the rule applies to following part of response the scenario details mentioned may not fully fit into here because in 2C I was merely trying to establish the rule not to use the incident as proof. (1a)  In the previous E-mail it was established how statement of Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) was/is proof of classification of innovation into good/excellent in the following words of his son Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) will be explained. And then words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) believed Salat ad-Duha is not prophetic Sunnah: “Narrated Muwarriq: I asked Ibn `Umar: "Do you offer the Duha prayer ?" He replied in the negative. I further asked, "Did `Umar use to pray it ?" He (Ibn `Umar) replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did Abu Bakr use to pray it?" He replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did the Prophet  use to pray it?" Ibn `Umar replied, "I don't think he did." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H27] What he is indicating is; Salat ad-Duha is innovation which the following Hadith also confirms: “Narrated Mujahid: Urwa bin Az-Zubair and I entered the Mosque (of the Prophet) and saw Abdullah bin Umar sitting near the dwelling place of Aisha and some people were offering the Duha prayer. We asked him about their prayer and he replied that it was an innovation.” [Ref: Bukhari, B27, H4] The Ulamah have said he believed it is innovation to perform it in congregation, others said he deemed it innovation to perform it regularly, others said he said it is innovation because it was being performed in Masjid, and others said he deemed it innovation as whole because he believed it was never performed by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). I say it is not important in which detail he considered it innovation but the fact is that he did consider one aspect of it as innovation or whole of it as innovation. Irrespective of his true belief at very least he considered something of Salat ad-Duha as innovation and regarding it he said 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] "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] (1b) Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have 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] Innovation is not already part of Islam and prophetic Sunnah is already part of Islam. And the reward being told is for a good Sunnah which is not already part of Islam but will be introduced into Islam. Therefore the Prophetic words referr to innovating a good Sunnah and making it part of Islam via Ijtihad. Alhasil reward for innovator and actor is for a innovation of good Sunnah. (2) It is quite possible you meant the following: “You have not explained what is good innovation made-up of and from where the practices which compose a good innovation are derived from.” If this is what you stated then answer is very simple: Innovated good Sunnah [or else; good innovation] is composed of various prophetic Sunnahs such as acts of worship, charity, righteous deeds, and everything about them is agrees with Islamic teaching which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has taught. If someone deems Yoga to be an act of worship and decides to worship Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) considering it good innovation then it is rejected because it isn’t sanctioned act of worship. But if someone recites Surah Ikhlas x100 and performs two Rakat Nawafil, gives Sadaqah to a poor person, and then supplicates Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for his need. And he does all this to gain pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) so when he invokes Him he is granted what he needs from Him. Even though this entire process of pleasing Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and seeking need from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is innovation but the tools employed are prophetic teachings. Such as actions of charity and worship therefore it would be good innovation. It really makes no difference if he calls his practice Khatam Ikhlas because the permissibility isn’t judged on name/label but by content. And also a practice can be permissibile even it is not prophetic Sunnat because permissibility is judged by what it is composed of and not if it is prophetic Sunnat. If permissibility was judged by a practice being prophetic Sunnah then use of tooth brush/paste, modern weapons in Jihad would be Haram and sinful innovation because they are not prophetic Sunnahs.

Note: Brother Amar sent another E-Mail where he in some detail pointed out the the sufferings Ummah is afflicted with but nothing related to the topic of innovation hence it is being omitted.

Footnotes:

- [1] “One day we were praying behind the Prophet. When he raised his head from bowing, he said, "Sami`al-lahu liman hamidah." A man behind him said, "Rabbana wa laka l-hamdu, hamdan kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi" When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, "Who has said these words?" The man replied, "I." The Prophet said, "I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first." Prophet rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebrae of his spinal column came to a natural position.” [Ref: Bukhari, B12, H764]

- [2] “It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah and he did not lead us in praying Qiyam (prayers at night) during any part of it, until there were seven nights left. He led us in praying Qiyam on the seventh night until approximately one third of the night had passed. Then on the sixth night which followed it he did not lead us in prayer. Then he led us in praying Qiyam on the fifth night which followed it until almost half the night had passed. I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, would that we had offered voluntary prayers throughout the whole night.’ He said: ‘Whoever stands with the Imam until he finishes, it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.’ Then on the fourth night which followed it, he did not lead us in prayer, until the third night that followed it, when he gathered his wives and family, and the people gathered, and he led us in prayer until we feared that we would miss the Falah.” It was asked: “What is the Falah?” He said: “Suhur.” He said: “Then he did not lead us in prayer at night for the rest of the month.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B5, H1327] “It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: "We fasted with the Messenger of Allah in Ramadan and he did not lead us in praying Qiyam until there were seven days left in the month, when he led us in praying Qiyam until one-third of the night had passed. Then he did not lead us in praying Qiyam then there were six days left. Then he led us praying Qiyam when there were five days left until one-half of the night had passed. I said: "O Messenger of Allah! What if we spend the rest of this night praying Nafl?" He said: "Whoever prays Qiyam with the Imam until he finishes, Allah (SWT) will record for him the Qiyam of a (whole) night." Then he did not lead us in prayer or pray Qiyam until there were three days of the month left. Then he led us in praying Qiyam when there were three days left. He gathered his family and wives (and led us in prayer) until we feared that we would miss Al-Falah. I (one of the narrators) said: "What is Al-Falah?" He said: "The suhur".” [Ref: Nisai, B20, H1606]

- [3] “Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadhan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, 'Umar said, 'In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter)’. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked نِعْمَتِ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ (i.e. what an excellent innovation this is) but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night." [Ref: Bukhari, B32, H227]

Edited by MuhammedAli

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