MuhammedAli

Rectifying Mistake Of Shaykh Khaled And Sister Um Abdullah About Evil Sunnah/Biddah.

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Introduction:

Over a year ago I wrote an article explaning how Hadith of good and evil Sunnah means innovated good/evil Sunnah, here. While writing the article I noted Salafi Shaykh and a sister were attempting to make distinction between evil/sinful innovation and evil/sinful Sunnah. While I was re-reading the article in order to revise the article I noted what the distinction between evil/sinful Sunnah and Biddah is non-existant. This article will explain and point out correct understanding with regards to this subject.

Hadith To Be Focus Of This Discussion:

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]

Brief BackGround:

Brother Abul Fadl enquired: “I know there is disagreement about Bid'ah Hasanah and Dalâlah. I would like to know how the opponents of Bid'ah Hasanah interpret and understand "sunnah sayyi'ah"? BarakAllâhu fîk and thanks in advance.” [Ref: Abul Fadl, post
1] Shaykh Aymen Bin Khaled replied saying Sunnah sayyi’ah is understood to be sinful actions: “Scholars identify "sunnah sayyi'ah" as sins whereas "Bid'ah" can be sinful and can be not sinful. If you know Arabic view: … elsewise, what I have said sums up the fatwa. Wallahu A'lam.” [Ref: Ayman Bin Khaled, post 2] Sister Um Abdullah also responded to this question, similar to what Shaykh Aymen stated, in a lengthy post: “Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah. Bidah in the language is categorized to good and bad (the five categories of bidah stated by some shafi'i scholars falls under this, just check the examples they gave for each category and it will be clear), but bidah in deen/worship is all bad, and what makes a bidah in deen is a long detailed topic that can't be discussed in one post. And what is fatwa says is that if it has a daleel in shari'ah then it good bidah, which means that it is bidah in language not in shari'ah, because if it has daleel from shari'ah it wouldn't be a bidah in shari'ah because it is already part of shari'ah, and bidah is something that is new to shariah, that was not part of it, then was added to it, and not something that already exists in shari'ah. As for sunnah sayi'ah, it is every sin/evil that is done which people follow the person in doing it. And sunnah hasanah is opposite, it is every good deed done which people follow hte person in doing it, like in story of the hadith, the good deed was sadaqah. And judgement on something being good or bad is shari'ah, if it is considered good inshari'ah then it is good, and if shari'ah declares it bad, then it is bad.” [Ref: Um Abdullah M, post 4]

Sunnah Hasanah And In Context Of Hadith:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: He who introduced some good Sunnah in Islam which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Reward is for a type of good Sunnah which is not already in Islam but is to be introduced in Islam. And this is definition of innovation according to Muslims and even sister Umm Abdullah: “…and bidah is something that is new to shariah, that was not part of it, then was added to it, and not something that already exists in shari'ah …” Therefore Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told of reward for innovating and introducing good Sunnah into Islam.

Shaykh Aymen And Sister Um Abdullah:

Shaykh wrote: “Scholars identify evil Sunnah as sins whereas innovation can be sinful and can be not sinful. If you know Arabic view: … elsewise, what I have said sums up the fatwa. Wallahu A'lam.” Firstly Shaykh states innovation can be sinful and not be sinful but so can the Sunnah be sinful and not be sinful. Please consider the following evidence: 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] Therefore this is cannot be the feature which distinguishes between Sunnah and Biddah. Shaykh will not protest to this because Hadith establishes the parts he did not mention regarding Sunnah. Sister Um Abdullah Stated: As for sunnah sayi'ah, it is every sin/evil that is done which people follow the person in doing it. And sunnah hasanah is opposite, it is every good deed done which people follow the person in doing it, like in story of the hadith, the good deed was sadaqah.” Yet according to Ahadith evil innovation is same: And whoever بِدْعَةً ابْتَدَعَ (i.e. introduces an innovation) that is acted upon, will have a burden of sins equivalent to that of those who act upon it, withot that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] “And whoever introduces a  ضَلاَلَةٍ بِدْعَةَ (i.e.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] Therefore what sister Um Abdullah stated does not and cannot be correct understanding of what evil Sunnah is.

Son Of Prophet Adam And His Evil Sunnah/Biddah Of Murder:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have stated: “Narrated Abdullah: Allah's Messenger 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 Sunnah (i.e.tradition) of murdering." [Ref: Bukhari, B55, H552] Based on the fact that son of Prophet Adam (alayhis salam) will inherit the sin from every murder he has introduced an evil Sunnah/Biddah: And whoever introduces an evil innovation that is acted upon, will have a burden of sins equivalent to that of those who act upon it, withot that detracting from the burden of those who act upon it in the slightest.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H209] “And 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] And therefore the conclusion regarding sinful/evil Biddah and sinful/evil Sunnah would be: Evil Biddah/Sunnah is sinful action, which did not exist before, but is practiced in immitation after it has originated. Another way a sinful act can become evil Sunnah/Biddah when it is deemed permissible in Islam. Examples of these types of evil Sunnahs/Biddahs would be photos, paying and taking interest on money and goods person believes there are ‘valid’ exceptions.

Conclusion:

Good and evil Sunnahs are those innovations which has bee introduced and made part of Islam. And the reward and sin told in the Hadith is for adhering to innovated good/evil Sunnah which did not exist in Islam as prophetic Sunnah or instruction of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) in Quran. There is no clear distinction between Hadith of good/evil Sunnah in Islam and innovation and evidence establishes one is the other.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi.

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