Jabir Khan

Bidat hasna (milad Shareef)

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Jo hazrat e umar se hadees shareef hai ki unhone ek sahabi ka chhink aane pr alhamd k sath darud shareef milakr pdha tha...to hazrat e umar ne aisa krne ko mana kr dia tha...aur khaa aisa huzur ne ni sikhaya.....

To isme jawab chahie is hadees ka milad k upar....wahabi ka kehna hai...ki is hadees se sabit hota hai...bidat hasna kuch ni....agar hai to is hadees ka jawab kya hoga....?????

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چھینکنے کے بعد الحمد للہ کہنا حضور صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے بتادیا

الحمد للہ سننے والے کو یرحمک اللہ کہنا بھی بتادیا گیا۔ اس لئے حضرت عمر نے درود پڑھنے سے روکا۔

جس کام کے لئے کوئی حکم نہ ہو اور وہ کام شرع کے خلاف نہ ہو تووہ کیا جاسکتا ہے۔یہی بدعت حسنہ ہے یعنی نیا اچھا کام۔

صحیح مسلم کی حدیث ہے

جو اسلام میں اچھا طریقہ ایجاد کرے ،اس کو اپنے عمل کا ثواب بھی ملے گا ،اور ان کے عمل کا بھی جو اس پر بعد میں کاربند ہوں گے،بغیر اس کے کہ ان کے ثواب میں کچھ کمی کی جائے۔

صحیح مسلم ،کتاب العلم، باب من سن سنۃ حسنۃ

 

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    • By MuhammedAli
      Introduction:

      This article has been written in form of question and answer. These questions are product of my Wahhabi mind. Questions are fairly basic and get complex as the article progresses. After question nine Wahhabi side in me kicked in and asked really tough questions and Sunni side replied with best of my knowledge and ability. Objective was that someone with basic knowledge of subject of innovation can read this and use it as a spring board for further study into subject.
       
      Question And Answer Session:

      Q1: What is innovation?

      Answer: Linguistically anything newly invented is innovation. Technically anything not explicitly stated by name/label in neither Quran nor it was by taught by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is innovation.

      Q2: Is there a Shar’ri definition of innovation as opposed to linguistic definition of innovation?

      Answer: Yes, there are Shar’ri definitions of innovations but these definitions depend on type of innovation.

      Q3: How many types of innovations are there?

      Answer: Islam divides innovations into two major categories; i) praiseworthy ii) and blameworthy. Praiseworthy innovation is permissible and blameworthy is prohibited.

      Q4: What are the definitions of these two types of innovations?

      Answer: The definition of praiseworthy innovation is as follows: Any innovated practice/custom which has implicit evidence from Quran/Hadith. Other side of praiseworthy innovation is: Any innovated practice/custom which is composed of acts of worship, charity, preaching, and other Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is praiseworthy innovation. Definition of blameworthy innovation is as follows: Anything innovated which does not have implicit evidence from Quran/Hadith. Other side of reprehensible innovation is: Any innovated practice/custom which is composed of Shirk, or Kufr, or engaging in Haram, or eating Haram, or any sinful activity is blameworthy innovation.

      Q5: What is implicit/indirect evidence in context of subject of innovation?

      Answer: Implicit/Indirect evidence fundamentally is corroborating activities in a custom/practice from Quran and Hadith. A properly corroborated practice/custom will be amalgamation of various Islamicly sanctioned practices.

      Q6: What type innovation is permissible?

      Answer: If an innovated practice is composed of, acts of worship, charity and other Islamicly sanctioned activities then it is permissible

      Q7: What type of innovation is prohibited?

      Answer: If an innovated practice is composed of acts which lead to Shirk/Kufr, engaging in or eating Haram and other sinful activities then the innovation is reprehensible.

      Q8: Will there be reward for engaging in praiseworthy innovations and punishment for blameworthy?

      Answer: Yes, there will be reward from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for engaging in praiseworthy innovations and punishment for acting upon blameworthy innovations.

      Q9: If an innovation is composed of islamicly sanctioned activities and Islamicly condemned activities then what would be the judgment regarding the innovation?

      Answer: The polytheists of Makkah performed Tawaf of Kabah naked and chanted a polytheistic Talbiyah. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) instructed the companions to perform Tawaf with Ihram and corrected the Talbiyah to conform to Tawheed. Hence it would be appropriate to remove the aspects which contradict teaching of Islam and practice it with aspects which conform to teaching of Islam.

      Q10: Hadith indicates; every innovation is misguidance, [1] therefore Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will not reward innovations/misguidance. Question is how can there be reward for [praiseworthy] innovation?

      Answer: Hadith of every innovation is misguidance is in context of misguiding innovation.[2] Misguiding innovations are those which contradicts teaching of Islam and every innovation which is composed of polytheistic, sinful, activities is [evil, reprehensible, blameworthy, erroneous, and] misguiding innovation. Reward is not based on the name of innovation but based on what it is composed of. Praiseworthy innovations are composed of Islamicly sanctioned activities such as Dua (i.e. supplication), Nawafil (i.e. optional prayers), Tilawah (i.e. recitation of Quran), Sadqah (i.e. optional charity), Bayanaat (i.e. speeches), and distribution of food to poor, family and friends. These are practices which are Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) hence reward is guaranteed. Engaging in these Sunnahs under a new name (i.e. Urs, Milad, and Khatam) does not make the practice of them a sinful activity.

      Q11: You have restricted the application of every invention is innovation [and] every innovation is misguidance, in context of blameworthy innovation. Is there any evidence for this interpretation of Hadith?

      Answer: The evidence for this Takhsees/interpretation is found in another Hadith where 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] In another Hadith the word innovation (i.e. bidda) is used: "And whoever introduces an 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] Based on these Ahadith it is clear that Islam recognises blameworthy innovations/practices. Hence in the Hadith of every invention is innovation, every innovation is misguidance, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was stating about innovations which are Dhalalah/Say’yah. Only reprehensible innovations which are composed of Shirki/Kufri or sinful activities can earn displeasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and take the practitioner to hellfire.

      Q12: Is there evidence for the concept of ‘good innovation’ in religion of Islam?

      Answer: It has been narrated that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said:  "Whoever introduces a good Sunnah (i.e. practice) that is followed, he will receive its reward and a reward equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their reward in their slightest.” [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H203/209] In the Hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is reported to have explicitly stated that one who introduces good Sunnah into religion of Islam, hadith: “He who introduced some good Sunnah (i.e. 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.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Note that in the above two Ahadith word Sunnah has been used but the meaning in context is obvious of innovation. To put it simply the Hadith means; he who introduced some good innovation into religion of Islam then the innovator and the followers would earn equal reward without their rewards being diminished in any way. There is Hadith in which Hazrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) gathered the companions under leadership of one Qari and remarked this was an excellent innovation: "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying individually, or a man (i.e. Imam) praying with a small group behind him. So Umar said, in my opinion I would better collect these [people] under the leadership of one Qari. 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: هَذِهِ الْبِدْعَةُ نِعْمَ عُمَرُ قَالَ (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] This statement of Hazrat Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) goes to establish that religion of Islam has place for praiseworthy innovations on basis of which he declared his innovation as excellent.

      Q13: Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) stated regarding newly invented innovations: « من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو ردٌّ» Translation: "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) that is not part of it, will have it rejected." [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] In another Hadith it is stated: « وَمَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ » Translation: “He who does an act which we (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) have not commanded, will have it rejected (by Allah).” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] It is apparent from both these Ahadith that all ‘praiseworthy’ innovated practices will be rejected by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) yet you say they will be rewarded. Could you explain this contradiction?

      Answer: You have misunderstood the Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Suppose Yoga is made part of Islam as means of worshipping Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Would this be valid form of worship in religion of Islam? Will Yoga be accepted by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and rewarded? Yoga is not Islamicly accepted mode of worship nor it was sanctioned by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and whosoever worships Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) employing it, will have his worship rejected. Rejected on the basis that Yoga is not from the Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) nor it is from commandments of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Regarding which is not from commandments of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) nor from not his Sunnahs, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has said: “He who does an act which we (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) have not commanded, will have it rejected (by Allah).” [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4267] "Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) that is not part of it, will have it rejected." [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] Now coming to the praiseworthy innovated practices, as stated earlier are composed of acts of worship such as performing of optional prayers, recitation of Quran, supplication, and fasting. In addition, they consist of acts of charity, distribution of food, and are educational. All this is established from the Quran and Hadith, and many are Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) hence they will not be rejected and will be rewarded because these are good deeds. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says: “Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward.” [Ref: 17:9] “They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous.” [Ref: 3:114] The Saliheen (i.e. righteous) are told of good return from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala): “Those who have believed and done righteous deeds - a good state is theirs and a good return.” [Ref: 13:29] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states those who do good Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will not darken their faces nor they will be humiliated and they are people of paradise: “For them who have done good is the best [reward] and extra. No darkness will cover their faces, nor humiliation. Those are companions of paradise; they will abide therein eternally.” [Ref: 10:26] The reward on good deeds is promised by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and he has promised entry into paradise for those who do good. The innovations which are composed of acts of worship, charity, Islamic education are good deeds and will be rewarded and will be accepted in light of Quranic teaching.

      Q14: If one abstains from praiseworthy innovated practices is one sinful?

      Answer: The innovated practices such as celebration of birthday of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), wide range of Esal Al Sawab (i.e. sending of reward) practices, under various names/labels, all are optional. If one does not take part in them there is no blame of sin upon an individual.

      Q15: If one believes the indicated innovated practices are reprehensible is this sinful?

      Answer: Islam judges based on content and not on the label. These practices are made up of worship, charity and various other Sunnahs. Therefore to consider these practices sinful/blameworthy is to consider the Islamic acts of worship, charity and Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) as sinful/blameworthy. If one consider these innovated practices reprehensible/sinful due to his ignorance and lack of knowledge, without understanding what the implications of his belief are then one is heretic. If one fully understands the implications of his belief and deems the entire praiseworthy innovation as blameworthy/sinful. Including name and the components which make praiseworthy innovation as whole, such as acts of worship, charity and Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then the person is guilty of disbelief, which invalidates belief in Islam.

      Q16: Salafism judges on label and based on the contents of practice. Both the name and components of practice have to be explicitly stated for it to be permissible. Hence if the name of practice is not found in the Quran and Hadith then according to Salafi methodology the practice is [reprehensible] innovation. How do you respond to this line of argument?

      Answer: Technically permissibility is not judged on explicit mention of name and methodology of an innovated practice. Explicit name and methodology of a practice is requested when one has to establish if a practice is Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) or not. Anyone asking for explicit evidence of name as well as methodology of an innovated practice to establish permissibility is foolish and unqualified to issue a judgment on aspects related to Islam. If permissibility is established based on name and the content then note that name of Sahih of Imam Bukhari (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala) has not been mentioned in Quran or in any Hadith and nor there is any explicit named reference for any other Hadith book. Should we prohibit the reading of Ahadith books because these collections are [reprehensible] innovations and warn people against reading these Ahadith books just on the basis that names of these Ahadith collections have not been stated in Ahadith of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? [3] The label in Islam is not essential for establishing permissibility but the components which make a practice are essential for permissibility. Moving on, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states in Quran regarding the Christian monks that they invented monasticism: “Then We sent following their footsteps Our messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy, and monasticism which they innovated We did not prescribe it for them except [that they did so] seeking the approval of Allah. But they did not observe it with due observance. So We gave the ones who believed among them their reward, but many of them are defiantly disobedient.” [Ref: 57:27] Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) goes on to state, the monks invented it to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) but they did not act upon their innovation as they should have. From among those who practiced monasticism and believed in the message of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) were rewarded by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). This interpretation is supported by Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (radiallah ta’ala anhu): “(Then We caused Our messengers) one after the other (to follow in their footsteps) to follow Noah and Abraham from their respective offspring; (and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow) these Messengers, (and gave him the Gospel, and placed compassion and mercy) towards each other (in the hearts of those who followed him). (But monasticism they invented) they built monasteries and cloisters to escape the sedition of Paul, the Jew. (We ordained it not for them) We did not enjoin monasticism upon them. (Only seeking Allah's pleasure) they did not invent it except to seek Allah's good pleasure, (and) had We enjoined it upon them (they observed it not with right observance) they would not have given it its right due. (So We give those of them who believe) among the monks (their reward) double for their faith and worship; these are the ones who did not contravene against the religion of Jesus. 24 among these were in the Yemen and when they heard of the Prophet (pbuh) they believed in him and joined his religion, (but many of them) of the monks (are evil-livers) disbelievers, these are the ones who went against the religion of Jesus.” [Ref: Tafsir Ibn Abbas, 57:27] This goes on to establish that the name and the practice of monasticism was innovated by the followers of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) but Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) still rewarded those who engaged in monasticism and still believed in teaching of Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam). Here we have approval of a practice which was not taught by Prophet Isa (alayhis salaam) with name or by method and yet those who adhered to it were rewarded. So based on this precedent we can judge that teaching of a practice by name is not fundamental to establish legitimacy. The verse establishes that if a practice (i.e. monasticism) is not taught [by name or methodology] neither prohibited [by name or methodology] and it is invented to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and observed correctly the reward will be granted by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

      Q17: Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated the religion of Islam has been completed: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Ref: 5:3] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has stated: "Whoever innovates something in this matter (i.e. religion) of ours (i.e. Allah and RasoolAllah) that is not part of it, will have it rejected." [Ref: Muslim, B18, H4266] The religion of Islam has been perfected and this means nothing else is required for guidance other than what is revealed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has informed that innovation would be rejected. Considering this evidence, how can it be correct to believe that one can introduce a practice into Islam which would be rewarded?

      Answer: Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has stated: “He who introduced some good Sunnah (i.e. 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.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466] Therefore one cannot negate the permissibility of reward worthy innovations into Islam and to negate it is heretical and an innovation. Indeed the religion of Islam has been perfected and completed. One must understand that religion of Islam was perfected and completed with the Hadith which states an individual who introduces into Islam a good Sunnah will earn equal reward to those who follow his innovation. The perfection of Islam is not harmed by introduction of good Sunnahs into Islam and if it was affected in any way then the Messenger of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would not have stated contrary to it. Innovations are recognized as later additions and it known that they were/are not part fundamental Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught in his life time. It is also understood that these are not compulsory nor Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

      Q18: Now question is, why are they said to be part of Islam when it is given that they are not part of [fundamental teaching of] Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught?

      Answer: Answer to this question has got to do with [logical] semantics therefore it is important one understands the forthcoming point properly. In Arabic language if something (i.e. y) attaches to a part then y would be referred as the part with which it is attached. As an example, Arabs say, his head turned grey, and by this the implied meaning is, his hair turned grey. Even Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) used this method. A sign of judgment day is that thigh/leg would speak to a person. Note: the mobile phone is placed in trouser pockets hence it refers to it. Wahhabi sect’s true followers known as ISIS have called their Khariji state as an Islamic state. Question is why have they named it Islamic state? Did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) label it ISIS in His book? Or did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) permit the bloodshed, rape, pillage and destruction of lands of Muslims in His book? Or did Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) appoint Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi as Khalifah in His book? So why is it labelled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? What is Islamic about it? A supporter of these people would argue it is called Islamic because it is based on precepts of Islam. [4] Demonstration of this principle is also obvious in regards to Qadiyanism also known as Ahmadiyyah. Qadiyaniyyah believe in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (lanatulillah) as Prophet and therefore are out of fold of Islam. Technically Qadiyanism is an independent religion. Yet they are counted amongst the deviants sects of Islam and example of this is at IslamQA Wahhabi website. From these examples we have a principle, y which is connected to or based on z is considered part of z. Using the principle we come to understanding that, innovations are said to be part of Islam because they are based on teaching of Islam and connected to teaching of Islam due to practices which make up an innovation. Hence it is clear that praiseworthy innovations are not part of fundamental Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught but are said to be part of Islam because the foundation of activities is from Islam. Hence these innovated practices do not go against the belief that Islam is perfected and completed.

      Q19: And what need is there for [praiseworthy] innovations when all that we need to enter paradise is what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught?

      Answer: It must be said that the book of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is enough for guidance and success in this earthly life and in hereafter.

      Q20: So then there is no need for [praiseworthy] innovations, is it?

      Answer: Note, all praiseworthy innovations are composed of Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are an example of good deed which he has set to follow, and evidence of this is: "Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah, a good example [of deeds] has been set for the one who seeks Allah, and the Last Day, and [for one who] thinks constantly about Allah." [Ref: 33:21] Emulating Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) itself is a good deed and Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are good deeds with which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is pleased with. Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has stated that Muslims should do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, evidence of it is this: “Narrated Aisha: The Prophet said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news, because one's good deeds will not make him enter Paradise." [Ref: Bukhari, B76, H474] Also in another Hadith he instructed to do good deeds within ones capacity because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) rewards without tiring, and following Hadith is evidence: “Do [good] deeds within your capacity because Allah never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds." [Ref: Bukhari, B21, H251] Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) are part of praiseworthy innovations and his Sunnahs are examples of good deeds, and we are instructed to do good deeds. There is no fundamental need for praiseworthy innovations but these innovations serve an important purpose and that is of accumulating good deeds.

      Q21: Is there a Shar’ri obligation to act on these [praiseworthy] innovations?

      Answer: There is absolutely no Shar’ri obligation upon any Muslim to take part in praiseworthy innovations. These praiseworthy innovations are optional practices if practiced then praiseworthy innovations bring reward if avoided bring no blame.

      Q22: So when there is no need for praiseworthy innovations, nor there is any Shar’ri obligation to act on them, and we can go to paradise without engaging in these [praiseworthy] innovations then why should we create them and why would Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) create room for[praiseworthy] innovations?

      Answer: I will begin by answering your last question first. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and his beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) were aware that no religion remains pure and eventually the teachings of Prophets are distorted as time progresses. As such principles were introduced into Islam and part of these principles is principle of good innovation in Islam being rewarded, and bad innovations being sinful. Based on which his followers can take part in reward worthy practices that emerge after him and discard the sinful innovations. Coming to your first question, even though Muslims do recognize the concept of introducing praiseworthy innovations into Islam yet we do not introduce praiseworthy innovations into Islam at will. If we acted on the principle as given by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) then there would have been countless praiseworthy innovations composed of Sunnahs of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). So even we the Muslims recognize the need to holding to Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught in his life time and understand there is no need for praiseworthy innovations. Incase a praiseworthy innovation is introduced we judge based on the principle which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught and as a matter of principle we do not reject praiseworthy innovations because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told of reward for engaging in them. In short, we should not introduce praiseworthy innovations and our focus should be the fundamental Islam which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught. If a praiseworthy innovations is introduced then as Muslims we should not oppose it because as told by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), it is reward worthy.

      Q23: Coming to those [praiseworthy] innovations which have been passed on by our ancestors such as celebrating the birthday of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Why is so much emphasis put on these [praiseworthy] innovations?

      Answer: The Khawarij oppose the Muslims because they deem the praiseworthy innovations to be reprehensible innovations and tell Muslims that if they engage in the praiseworthy innovations they will burn in hell. Yet Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has told of equal reward for the one who introduces and those who follow his footsteps. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [Ref: 3:110] One can forbid wrong in three ways, use physical force, speak out against it, or declare it in heart to be wrong. Note, the Khawarij prohibit praiseworthy innovations and declare them as sinful and this is wrong because they oppose what Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) taught.[5] We are obliged by the verse of Quran to forbid the Khawarij from declaring something good to be sinful. So we the Muslims speak out against the heretical methodology of Khawarij and their heretical understandings. Sign of best nation from mankind is that they enjoin what is good and we also partake in the right/good innovations because taking part in such innovations also a form of opposition to the Khawarij.

      Q24: How can the dispute about [praiseworthy] innovations be resolved in your understanding?

      Answer: Idealistic absolute reconciliation is not possible between the Muslims and Khawarij due to fundamental differences in methodology. If Khawarij accept that the words of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) have jawami al kalim (i.e. short phrase bearing widest meanings) nature and if their understanding of Ahadith on subject of innovation is corrected then the dispute with Khawarij can be resolved in favor of Muslims.

      Q25: You don’t believe the definitions of innovation have something to do with the differences?

      Answer: The Muslims divide innovation into two major categories: praiseworthy and blameworthy. Praiseworthy is which is based on teaching of Quran and Sunnah, and blameworthy is which contradicts the teaching of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Muslim scholars also purposed the definition of innovation which now is bench mark of Khawarij. In this methodology of innovation anything which is not supported from teaching of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with explicit or implied evidence was an innovation. Note in their terminology when a practice is declared as an innovation, it means reprehensible innovation, and praiseworthy innovations were declared as Sunnahs in this methodology.[6] The Khawarij removed condition of implicit evidence (i.e. Ijthadi evidence) and made explicit evidence as the criteria for judging permissibility especially against Muslims. Therefore with minor adjustments this definition can be reconciled with Islamic methodology but in Khariji belief system there is no room for introducing good Sunnah into Islam hence the definition will not be altered to conform to definition of early Islamic scholarship. The difference in definitions of innovations by itself is really significant. The understanding of Ahadith relating to subject of innovation is cause of these definitions and depending on how Ahadith are understood the definition and principles surrounding are derived. So for correct definition the proper understanding of Ahadith relating to subject of innovation is fundamental requirement.

      Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
      Muhammed Ali Razavi

      Footnotes:

      - [1] “Jabir b. Abdullah said: When Allah's Messenger (may peace he upon him) delivered the sermon, his eyes became red, his voice rose, and his anger increased so that he was like one giving a warning against the enemy and saying: "The enemy has made a morning attack on you and in the evening too." He would also say: "The Last Hour and I have been sent like these two." And he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say: "The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad. And the most evil affairs are their innovations; and every innovation is misguidance." He would further say: I am more dear to a Muslim even than his self; and he who left behind property that is for his family; and he who dies under debt or leaves children (in helplessness), the responsibility (of paying his debt and bringing up his children) lies on me." [Ref: Muslim, B4, H1885]

      - [2] "And whoever introduces an 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]

      - [3] Please note, permissibility is stated to be only established if name and content both are stated if one of the two is missing then according to Salafi methodology the innovated practice is [reprehensible] innovation.

      - [4] Note, these people have nothing do with religion of Islam. Wahhabi’s are all upon the methodology of Khawarij and about Khawarij Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said they are people of Kufr.

      - [5] “That is because they opposed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever opposes Allah - then indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” [Ref: 59:4] “Do they not know that whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger - that for him is the fire of Hell, wherein he will abide eternally? That is the great disgrace.” [Ref: 9:63]

      - [6] Not Sunnah in meaning of Sunnah of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) but Sunnah in meaning of good reward worthy Sunnah: “He who introduced some good Sunnah (i.e. 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.” [Ref: Muslim, B34, H6466]