After Shirk (polytheism), Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not condemn any other thing more than he did of Bid’ah and the Ahle Bid’ah. This is the reality that Bid’ah, changes the pattern and principles of Deen. Thereafter there remains no differentiation between original and fake, Haqq and baatil. The Qur`an-e-Hakeem spells out clearly that in principle there are two ways in which the Deen is destroyed; (1). Suppressing the Haqq and (2). Mixing of Haqq and baatil. It is in this mixing and entangling of the Haqq and baatil that people replace the Deen of Allaah Ta`ala with their own whims and desires. Every person makes a part of the Deen whatever his desires dictate to him, and he excludes from the Deen whatever he wishes. It will no longer remain the Deen of Allaah Ta`ala, rather it will become a child’s play (Naudhubillah!).
This point must also be kept in mind that the decision of whether any act is deserving of Thawaab (reward) or worthy of Athaab (punishment), is exclusively that of Allaah Ta`ala. The duty of reaching this information to the people and the masses was that of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). For a person to make a thing worthy of Thawaab or Athaab, according to his wishes, is like as though he is doing the work of Divinity (Naudhubillah!). Allaah Ta`ala had made Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) an excellent and perfect example for us to follow. He had also given us the Command to follow him. He did not leave us to follow our own whims and fancies. In this regard Allaah Ta`ala says:
“Indeed for you in Rasulullaah is an excellent example, for that person who desires Allaah and the Aakhiraat (Hereafter) and who remembers Allaah abundantly.” [Surah Ahzaab, Para 21, Ruku 2]
In this Aayat, Allaah Ta`ala had made the perfect human, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the perfect example for us to follow. He has advised us that peace and success in every sphere of our lives lies in following him and by following in his footsteps, we will save ourselves from all types of worries and grieves. In another Aayat, Allaah Ta`ala says:
“Say (O Nabi – sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)! If you love Allaah, then follow me, (then) Allaah will love you and He will forgive you your sins.” [Surah Aale Imraan, Para 3, Ruku 4]
This Aayat is clear proof that if any person or group today, claims to love their Creator, then it is imperative that they follow in the footsteps of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).
Sunnat is the name of this following of Nabi’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) excellent example, guidance and history. Bid’ah is the opposite of this.
Hadhrat Jaabir Bin Abdullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) says that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned in a loud voice at a Jumu’ah gathering, in the presence of thousands of people:
“Amma Ba`ad! Indeed the best of Speech is the Kitaab of Allaah! And the best of Hadya (Example and Guide) is the Hadya of Muhammadur Rasulullaah. The worst of things is innovations and every Bid’ah is deviation.” [Muslim, page 285, vol.1 / Mishkaat, page 27, vol.1]
In this Hadith, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned his Guidance and Seerat (teachings) in opposition to Bid’ah, and he made this very clear that whatever is innovated that is contrary to his Seerat, is Bid’ah and that every Bid’ah is deviation. Here also we learn that every innovation is not necessarily evil, otherwise the worldly inventions would also fall in this category. In fact only those innovations are evil that are contrary to the teachings of the Kitaabullaah and Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Therefore those things that are not contrary to the teachings of the Qur`an and Sunnah are not necessarily evil innovations and deviation. Allaah Ta`ala is not pleased with deviation, it for this reason that he sent so many Ambiyaa and Kitaabs and Scriptures in order to combat deviation. In this narration stated in Nisai, the following words also appear:
“And all deviation is in The Fire.” [Nisai, page 179, vol.1]
It is for this reason that Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Ahle Bid’ah are deserving of the curse of the entire universe. He prevented from rendering their praises and honouring them. He used to say that all their Ibaadat is useless, until such a time that they refrain from their Bid’ah. He also used to say that the Ahle Bid’ah are deprived from making Tawbah. May Allaah Ta`ala save us from this and from all other types of sin.
Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Madinah is Haram (sanctified) from (the place) ‘Ayr’ to (the place) ‘Thaur’. Hence whoever innovates anything (in the Deen) in between these places, or grants refuge to an innovator (Bid`ati), then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the entire mankind. No ‘Sarf ‘or ‘Adl’ (Fardh or Nafl Ibaadat) will be accepted from him.” [Mishkaat, page 238, vol.1 / Bukhaari, page 1084, vol. 2 / Muslim, page 144, vol.1]
In this Hadith the limits of the Haram for Madinah are only mentioned as a form of warning and reprimand, it is NOT as a reservation or limited, in that Bid’ah is only evil and bad in Madinah and not outside! That thing which is evil and a Bid’ah will be so in all places and times. Yes, the evil and sin of a Bid’ah will be intensified owing to the honour of a place or sanctity of the time. What can be a more severe statement and warning for the dishonour and disgrace of the Bid`ati than the words which emanated from the blessed lips of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? These narrations are sufficient to show the abomination and evil of Bid’ah. We will mention a few more narrations merely as further testification and for perusal:
“Hadhrat Abdullaah Bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) reports from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): ‘Allaah has refused to accept the deeds of a Bid`ati, until he refrains from his Bid’ah.’” [Ibn Majah, page 6]
Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) reports:
“Whoever innovates anything in it (Madinah Shareef) or he grants refuge to a Bid`ati, upon him is the curse of Allaah, His angels and all of mankind. Neither will ‘Sarf’ or ‘Adl’ (Nafl or Fardh acts) be accepted from him.” [Bukhaari, page 251, vol.1]
Bid’ah, wherever it occurs is still a Bid’ah. However, if it is perpetrated in Madinah, which is a sanctified place, then the gravity of the act is much worse and the sin will be greater.
Hadhrat Ebrahim Bin Maisara (rahmatullahi alaih) reports that Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Whoever grants respect and honour to a Bid`ati, indeed he has aided in the destruction of Islaam.” [Mishkaat, page 31, vol. 1]
It is for this reason that the Sahaabah had a great deal of dislike for Bid’ah. Once someone brought the salaams of another person to Hadhrat Abdullaah Bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), who commented:
“It has reached me that this person (who sent the salaams) has innovated something in the Deen. If indeed (this is true and) he has innovated (something in the Deen), then do not convey my salaams to him.” [Tirmidhi, page 38, vol.2 / Daarmi, page 59 / Abu Dawood, page 278, vol.2 / Ibn Majah, page 304 / Mishkaat, page 23, vol.1]
Hadhrat Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu) states:
“To be moderate in a Sunnat is better than to strive in a Bid’ah.” [Mustadrak, page 103, vol. 1]
Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Indeed Allaah has closed all the doors of Tawbah for the Bid`ati.” [Majma`us Zawaahid, page 189, vol.1]
From these narrations we note that Bid’ah is such an evil and detestable thing that any sensible person would do whatever he can in his ability to combat it. An effect of it is that it prevents one from seeking repentance from Allaah Ta`ala. From a logical point of view this also makes sense that if a person carries out a Bid’ah act and he deems it worthy of Thawaab, then why will he make Tawbah for it? Tawbah is made for sins and evil and not for ‘good’ acts. Nobody performs Salaat and keeps fast and thereafter says:
“O Allaah! Forgive my Salaat and fast.”
A Bid`ati has closed the doors of Tawbah upon himself by his thinking that his act is worthy of reward.
Hadhrat Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) reports that Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Whoever innovates in this matter of ours (the Deen), that which is not in it, indeed it is rejected.” [Bukhaari, page 371, vol.1 / Muslim, page 77, vol.2 / Abu Dawood, page 279, vol.2 / Ibn Majah, page 3]
It is important that we clarify and explain the words “in this matter of ours”, so that there is no misunderstanding. Haafidh Ibn Rajab Hambali (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“All those things that a person innovates into the Deen, which Allaah and His Rasul has not given permission to, does not have any part of the Deen.” [Jaamiul Uloom Wal Hakam, page 42]
He intended saying that not all innovations are rejected, only those that have something to do with the Deen. He also states that in some narrations the word ‘Deen’ appears in the place of “in this matter of ours”:
“And in the words of some of the narrations, it appears: ‘He who innovates in this Deen of ours, which is not from it, indeed it is rejected’”. [page 42]
If in some narrations made by the blessed tongue of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the words “this Deen of ours” comes in place of “In this matter of ours”, what further clarification is needed?
Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahmatullah alayh) mentions regarding “In this matter of ours”:
“It means: The matter of Deen” [Fathul Baari, page 321, vol.5]
That is, whoever innovates any new thing in this Deen of ours, it is rejected.
Allaamah Taftaazaani (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“Indeed this (sentence) means whoever makes in the Deen whatever is not part of it……” [Sharhul Maqaasid, page 271, vol.2]
Allaamah Azeezi (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“Whoever innovates in this matter of ours, that is, in the Deen of Islaam.” [As-Siraajul Muneer, page 320, vol.3]
From all these citations, this much is very clear that not all innovations are evil and rejected. Only those innovations which are deemed as part of the Deen or are left out of the Deen. This is not only restricted to the commentaries of the commentators of Hadith, but according to Ibn Rajab, it is actually the words that appears in some narrations. These narrations are proof that whatever innovations in the Deen the people have initiated, all of them are rejected and evil.
Hence, Moulana Kharram Ali Saheb Hanafi, translator of ‘Mushaariqil Anwaar’ writes:
“As many Bid`ahs the people have innovated that are contrary to the Shariah, according to this Hadith, are all rejected. There is no need to elaborate on the issue. For example, to build around the graves, to put a dome there, to illuminate it, to make Ta`ziyah, to celebrate the occasions of the pious people, to make “minnats” by using the names of the Auliyaa, to place flags as signs, etc. – all such actions are completely contrary to the Shariah. There is no basis for them in the Qur`aan, Sunnah, Ijma` or Qiyaas.” [Page. 10]
The Akaabireen Ulama of Deoband
From this Hadith (quoted above), even the Ulama of the Deoband have understood the words “in this matter of ours”, to mean ‘The Deen’. Hadhrat Moulana Khaleel Ahmed Sahaaranpuri (rahmatullahi alaih) writes: “The words ‘Fi Amrina Haza’ refers to the Deen.” [Bazlool Majhood, page 195]
Hadhrat Sheikhul Islaam Moulana Shabbir Ahmed Uthmaani (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“The meaning of ‘Amrid deen’ is as the Ulama have stated and explained.” [Fathul Mulhim, page 407, vol.2]
The belief of the Ulama of the Barelwi
The Tafseer of this Hadith has also been interpreted as “Amr-e-Deen”, by the Barelwi Ulama.
A famous Barelwi Aalim, Molvi Mohammed Saalih Saheb writes:
“The meaning of the word ‘Amr’ (in the Hadith) is Amr-e-Deen. The object is this that the matters of Deen, be they Ibadaat or Muaamalaat (dealings), which the Shariah has specified and clarified, to add to or subtract from them is a rejected act.” [Tuhfatul Ahbaab fi Tahqeeq Ithaal-e-Thawaab, page 117]
Molvi Abdus Samee’ Raam Puri writes:
“This Hadith is from the Saheehain. That is, whoever has taken into the Deen, such things which are not a part of the Deen, i.e. it is contrary to Qur`aan and Sunnah — such things are rejected.” [Anwaar-e-Saati`a, page 33]
The leader of the opposite party, Ahmed Raza Khan Barelwi writes, in trying to legalise (make Halaal) tobacco :
“Remains (this contention) that it is a Bid’ah. This is not a harmful thing that there is Bid’ah in food and drink. This is not part of the Deen. Therefore to classify it as Haraam will be a difficult task.” [Ahkaam-e-Shariah, vol.3, page 168]
Now you have heard it from the leader of the opposition, that Bid’ah are those rejected actions which are done whilst understanding them to be a part of the Deen. Those things which are not a part of (or connected to) the Deen, to classify them as Haraam will be a difficult task.
The definition of Bid`ah according to the Ulama of Lexicography
The respected readers have reached this conclusion that whatever is not authenticated from the Qur`an, Hadith, Ijma or Shar`i Qiyaas, or the action is contrary to the example set by Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) lifestyle and exemplar, and such actions are introduced into the Deen, then such actions are certainly classified as Bid’ah.
Now you should take cognisance of the definition of Bid’ah as made by the Ulama of lexicography:
The famous Imaam of lexicography, Abul Fatah Naasir Ibn Abdus Sayed Mutraazi Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“Al-Bid’ah is a noun which is derived from the word ‘Ibtidaa`-ul -Amr’, when an act is innovated or initiated. Just like the word ‘Ar-Raf`at’ which is derived from the word ‘Irtifaa`’, and also the word ‘Khalfat’ which is derived from the word ‘Ikhtilaaf’. But now (the word ‘Bid’ah’) has been taken to mean anything which adds or subtracts from the matters of Deen.” [Maghrib, vol.1, page 30]
Allaamah Fairuz Abaadi (rahmatullahi alaih) writes:
“Bid’ah, with a kasrah on the baa, (means) innovation in Deen after it has been perfected. Or it refers to those actions or desires which were innovated (into the Deen) after the demise of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).” [Qaamoos, page 4, vol.2]
Imaam Raaghib Asfahaani (rahmatullahi alaih) writes:
“Bid’ah in the Madhab is a word used for those actions and speech which are not in conformity with the Shariah, its example and principles.” [Mufradaatul Qur`aan, page 37]
Imaam Muhammad Bin Abi Bakr Bin Abdil Qaadir Raazi, writes:
“Al-Bid’ah – innovation in the Deen after its perfection.” [Mukhtaarus Sihaah, page 280]
Allaamah Abul Fadhl Muhammad Bin Umar Jamaal Al-Qurashi (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“Bid’ah are those new and innovated actions and customs which are introduced into the Deen after its perfection.” [Siraah, vol.2, page 301]
The famous Urdu dictionary, ‘Fairoozul Looghaat’, states:
“1: Bid’ah: To innovate a new action or custom into the Deen. A new way, mode or culture.
2: Hardness, oppression.
3. To fight, cause corruption, evil.” [page 194]
“Al-Bid’ah: To innovate a thing without an example. A new custom in the Deen. Such beliefs or actions whose source is not found in the first three eras, which were classified as being the best.” [Misbaahul Lughaat, page 27]
Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) states the literal definition of Bid’ah as follows:
“Any such action which is innovated without having a former base.”
The Shar`i meaning of Bid`ah Haafidh Badruddeen Aini Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“Al-Bid’ah are actually innovations of actions which were not prevalent during the time of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).” [Umdatul Qaari, page 356, vol. 5]
Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahmatullah alayh) states: “Bid’ah actually refers to those actions which are innovated without them having a previous example. According to the Shariah it is referred to as the opposite of the Sunnah, which is rejected.” [Fathul Baari, page 219, vol. 4]
Allaamah Murtadha Zubaidi Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“(The meaning of the Hadith) ‘All innovations are Bid’ah’ refers to all those things which are contrary to the principals of the Shariah and are not in conformity with the Sunnah.” [Taajul Uroos, vol. 5, page 271]
Haafidh Ibn Rajab (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“The object of (the word) Bid’ah is all those things which are innovated and they have no source in the Shariah which can prove them. However those things (innovations) which have some source in the Shariah, which can prove them, they are not regarded as ‘Bid’ah’ although they will be termed as ‘Bid’ah’ according to the literal definition.” [Jaamiul Uloom wal Hikam, page 193]
Allaamah Mu`een Bin Safi (rahmatullah alayh) has described Bid’ah in the very same words in “Sharah Arbaeen Nawawi”.
Haafidh Ibn Katheer states:
“The meaning of ‘Badee-us-Samaawaati’ is that Allaah Ta`ala ad created the heavens and the earth with His Perfect Power without there being any previous example or model. In the dictionary, every new thing is called a Bid’ah and Bid’ah is divided into two types: (1) Bid’ah-e-Shar`i, regarding which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Every new thing is a Bid’ah and every innovation (Bid’ah) is deviation.’ (2) Sometimes Bid’ah is literal, just like when Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) gathered the people for Taraaweeh Salaat, he said: ‘This is a good Bid’ah.’”
He writes further:
“And similarly, ever word and action which was not done before, is classified as a Bid’ah by the Arabs.” [Tafseer, page 161]
Allaamah Abu Is`haaq Gharnaati (rahmatullah alayh) defines Bid’ah-e-Shar`i as follows:
“This is such a method which is introduced into the Deen which is similar to the Shariah and whose following introduces excesses into the Ibaadat of Allaah Ta`ala.” [Al-I`tisaam, page 30], vol.1]
Molvi Abdus Samee`, reports that the Fuqahaa (rahmatullahi alaihim) have extracted the following meaning for Bid`ah-e-Sayyia, which he quotes for Allaamah Shaami (rahmatullah alayh) and other Muhaqqiqeen:
“(Bid`ah is such a thing) Which is invented contrary to the Haqq that Nabi ρ had taught. Or it is such an action or condition which (whilst resembling the Shariah) appears to be a good action and it is included into the Deen and made part of the Siraatul Mustaqeem.” [Anwaarus Saati`a, page 46]
This exact same text is quoted for the definition of Bid`ah-e-Sayyia and Bid`ah-e-Shariah in reputable Hanafi Fiqh Kitaabs such as Bahrur Raa`iq, Durrul Mukhtaar, etc.
Moulana Sakhaawat Ali Saheb Al-Hanafi Jonpuri (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“Bid`ah comprises all such actions, whether they be regarding Aqeedah of the Deen or harm or benefit for the Aakhirat (Hereafter), which were not authenticated or practiced by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhuma)” [Risaalat Taqwa, page 9]
The famous Muhaqqiq Aalim Molvi Muhammad Saalih Saheb, from the opposition camp writes:
“The Shar`i definition of Bid`ah refers to those things which are regarded as being part of the Deen but have no Shar`i proof to back them up. Neither from the Qur`aan Majeed nor the Ahaadith, nor the Ijma` of the Mujtahiddeen nor from Qiyaas.” [Tuhfatul Ahbaab, page 98]
The Akaabireen of the Ulama-e-Deoband
The Akaabireen of the Ulama of Deoband totally follow and rely on the research of the Salf-e-Saaliheen with regard to Ittibaa-e-Sunnat. As with other Masaa`il, they follow the definition of Bid`ah of the Salf. In this regard, Moulana Kareem Bakhsh Saheb, writes:
“According to the definition of the Shariah, Bid`ah are all such actions of the Deen which the majority of the Ahle Haqq of the first three eras have not accepted. Or it was regarded as being contrary to the Deen during these pure eras. Or it is such acts which were initiated after these eras and they are such acts which are not necessary yet are regarded as being necessary, alternatively they are necessary acts which are not regarded as being necessary.” [Haqeeqatul Imaan, page 38]
Hadhrat Moulana Shabbir Ahmad Saheb (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“Bid`ah is a term referred to all such acts which are not found in the Qur`aan Majeed, Sunnat or those eras which have been testified to as being the best. It is those acts which are regarded as being part of Deen and (thought to be) liable for reward.” [Hamaail Shareef, page 702]
Hadhrat Allaamah Mufti (rahmatullah alayh) states:
Kifaayatullaah Saheb “Bid`ah are all those acts which are not established from the origins of the Shariah. That is, they are not found in the Qur`aan Majeed, the Sunnat and they were not practiced by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhum) or the Taabieen (rahmatullah alauhim). And they are such acts which are practiced or omitted regarding them to be a part of the Shariah.” [Taleemul Islaam, part 4, page 27]
Beloved readers! You have ascertained from all the above discussion the strong viewpoints and concrete views of not only the Ulama of Deoband, but also those of Barelwis and other Ulama who are accepted and respected by both these groups, that Bid`ah are all those actions, beliefs or conditions which are contrary to the Qur`an Majeed, Sunnat or Qiyaas-e-Shar`i. You have also read the text from Allaamah Ibn Katheer (rahmatullah alayh) that “All those words and actions which are not established from the Sahaabah are Bid`ah.”
Keeping all the above in mind, now reflect upon the following words of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan:
“To stipulate the condition of it being of a Deeni nature is only from their side. This (view) is contrary to the authentic Ahaadith, statements of the Ulama and Fuqahaa and the Muhadditheen. It is stated in the Hadith: ‘All innovations are Bid`ah’. There is no conditions stated here of it (innovations) being of a Deeni or fundamental nature. Also, we have quoted the texts of Ash`atul Lam`aat and Mirqaat. There is no condition placed of it being of a Deeni nature.” [Jaa`al Haqq Wa Zahaqal Baatil, page 212]
He states further:
“From these two texts (Ash`atul Lam`aat and Mirqaat) we neither see the condition of it being of a Deeni nature nor does it refer to the era of the Sahaabah. Whatever the act may be, whether it is of a Deeni or fundamental nature, whether it was initiated after Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), either during the era of the Sahaabah or after them, is termed a Bid`ah.” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 206]
This claim of Mufti Saheb is based on pure ignorance, because firstly, we have cited the complete texts which define that the Shar`i Bid`ah which is accursed and rejected does have the stipulation and condition of it being of a Deeni nature. In fact, one narration even has the words, “Fi Deenina” (in our Deen).
Secondly, even if we assume that the texts of Ash`atul Lam`aat and Mirqaat do not stipulate the condition of it being of a Deeni nature and it does not mention the era of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (ridhwanallahu anhum), this does not exclude the fact that it is mentioned in any other text.
Let us show Mufti Saheb the condition of it being of a Deeni nature in Ash`atul Lam`aat and Mirqaat. The narration of Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) where he did not reply to the Salaam of a Bid`ati was cited previously. In commentary of the words “Balaghani Qad Ahdatha” in this narration, Allaamah Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“That is, he has innovated and started a new thing in the Deen, which is not of it.” [Mirqaat, page 23, vol.1] Sheikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaihi) states on page 102, vol. 1 of Ash`atul Lam`aat that the innovations are of a Deeni nature.
There we see the condition of the innovations being of a Deeni nature coming from the texts of Ash`atul Lam`aat and Mirqaat. Now we need to ask Mufti Saheb, as to who is to stipulate the condition of it being of a Deeni from their side and who is contradicting the authentic Ahaadith and the statements of the Ulama, Fuqahaa and Muhadditheen? Similarly, he should refer to the commentary of these two personalities of the narrations of “(binding) Upon you is my Sunnat and the Sunnat of the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen” and “That upon which I am and my Companions”. Judging from their commentaries is the actions of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhuma) Sunnat or Bid`ah? The text of Ash`atul Lam`aat has been previously mentioned that the Ijtihaad and Qiyaas of the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen are also regarded as part of the Sunnat. Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan is now clandestinely implying that the actions of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhum) were also Bid`ah.
It is strange and perplexing that our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned the actions of the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen as being Sunnat and he has made the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (alayhim ar ridhwan) a model of emulation and he has advised the Ummat to follow in their footsteps, and yet Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan states: “ either during the era of the Sahaabah or after them, is termed a Bid`ah.”
Thirdly, the statement of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan that: “To stipulate the condition of it being of a Deeni nature is only from their side. This (view) is contrary to the authentic Ahaadith, statements of the Ulama and Fuqahaa and the Muhadditheen” is a great slander and a blatant lie! It will not be found in the statements of any reputable Imaam, Faqeeh, Muhaddith or Aalim wherein the definition of an evil Bid`ah or a Bid`ah-e-Shar`i precludes the condition of it being of a Deeni nature.
The text from Imaam Maalik’s Al-I`tisaam has been quoted where he states the condition: “Innovation in Islaam”. The texts of other Ulama, Fuqahaa and Muhadditheen also quoted, bear similar import.
The same applies for the definitions of Bid`ah which have been quoted from the dictionaries. It has also been explained that the meaning of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) words: “All innovations are Bid`ah”, clearly indicate and imply Bid`ah-e-Shar`i in the explanation of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who referred to it regarding the Kitaab and Sunnat. It has also been stated whilst quoting the texts of Allaamah Ibn Katheer and Zubaidi (rahmatullah alayhima) that it refers to Shar`i Bid`ah and not Bid`ah in the literal sense. It is now unnecessary that we quote anything further, nevertheless, for the benefit of Mufti Saheb, we will mention a few others:
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) states in commenting on the Aayat: “Fa Laa Taq`udu Ma`ahum…”: “Included under this Aayat are all those innovations in the Deen and every Bid`ah until the Day of Qiyaamah.” [Khaazin, page 509, vol.1]
Mufti Saheb must now muster the courage to ask this master of Tafseer and high-ranking Sahaabi: “Why have you added this condition of ‘In the Deen’ from your side? Bid`ah refers to every new thing, be it Deeni or worldly.”
Hadhrat Hassaan Taabiee (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“No nation innovates a Bid`ah in their Deen, except that Allaah Ta`ala deprives them (removes from them) one Sunnat equal to it, whereto they will never return until the Day of Qiyaamah.” [Daarmi page 26, Mishkaat, page 31]
Hadhrat Hassaan (rahmatullah alayh) also adds the condition of “In their Deen”. He compares Sunnat to Bid`ah implying that if Sunnat is a Deeni work, then Bid`ah is also a term attributed to a Deeni work. In fact, Hadhrat Ghadeef Bin Haarith reports from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):
“He says that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘No nation innovates a Bid`ah, except that a Sunnat equal to it is removed from them. To hold on fast to a Sunnat is better than innovating a Bid`ah.” [Musnad Ahmad, page 105, vol.4, Mishkaat, page 31]
Our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has also compared Sunnat to Bid`ah. If a Sunnat is a Deeni work, then Bid`ah is also a Deeni work. If Bid`ah refers to a worldly matter, as Mufti Saheb deviously avers, then this comparison would not be valid. Hence, why would a Sunnat be lifted away with the innovation of a Bid`ah?
Allaamah Sa`adud Deen Taftaazaani (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“Indeed an accursed Bid`ah is that innovation in the Deen which was not prevalent in the era of the Sahaabah or Taabieen and it has no Shar`i proof to substantiate it.” [Sharhul Maqaasid, page 271, vol.2]
Allaamah Abdul Azeez Farhaarwi (rahmatullah alayh), in refuting Bid`ah, states:
“It (Bid`ah) are all those things which have been innovated into the Deen after the era of the Sahaabah, without having Shar`i basis.” [Bazaas, page 21]
This much becomes evidently clear that the Bid`ah which is rebuked is — not according to Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan every new Deeni or worldly thing — in fact, it is every innovation in the Deen. This is the Bid`ah which is Haraam. As for those Bid`ahs of things which are of a worldly nature, to establish them as being Haraam would be, in the words of Mufti Khaan Saheb Barelwi, a difficult issue.
As you note, since the time of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) right upto Molvi Ahmad Raza Khaan Barelwi, everyone defined a Bid`ah to be an innovation in the Deen. But Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan Saheb avers that that condition of it being of a Deeni nature is incorrect. Subhaanallaah!
The crux is that an accursed Bid`ah is only those things which are deemed liable for Thawaab and regarded as part of the Deen. There is consensus amongst the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhuma), the Taabieen and Salf-Saaliheen (rahmatullahi alayhim) on the censuring of this. In this regard, Allaamah Shaatbi (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“The Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhuma), Taabieen, Tabe-Taabieen and other Salf-e-Saaliheen (rahmatullah alayhim) unanimously rebuke and censure this type of Bid`ah.” [Al-I`tisaam, page 181, vol.1]
The condition of it being of a Deeni nature is present. Worldly matters are definitely not included in such Bid`ahs. In fact, this much may even be said that this (worldly matters) cannot even be classified as being Makrooh, leave alone Haraam. If you do not accept our statement, then take note of what Sheikhul Islaam, Ibn Daqeequl Eid (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“If we consider those innovations which are of a worldly nature, then they are not equal or comparable to those innovations which are of a Deeni nature. It is as though those innovations which are related to worldly matters are not Makrooh, in fact, it can safely be claimed that many of them are not in the least bit Makrooh. When we consider those innovations which are related to corollary Deeni matters, they are not equal or comparable to those innovations which are related to principles of belief (Aqaa`id).” [Ahkaamul Ahkaam, page 51, vol.1]
Understand this text well and you will note that there are Bid`ahs in beliefs and in actions. There are Bid`ahs in worldly matters and Deeni matters. However, the innovations in worldly matters are neither Haraam nor accursed. In fact, they cannot even be classified as Makrooh. Those who include worldly matters under the definition of Bid`ah are plain ignorant. We do not say this. Consider this statement of the author of Anwaar-e-Saati`a:
“From amongst the ignoramuses are those who include everything which was not prevalent during the era of the Sahaabah as being an accursed Bid`ah, even though there is no proof for its being a detestable act. They (the ignoramuses) back their claim with the words of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): ‘Save yourselves from new innovations’. These ignorant ones do not understand that this Hadith refers to the inclusion of innovations in the Deen of those things which are not a part of it.” [Page 34]
Refer to all the above citations, and then reflect at the intellectual research of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan. He states:
“Nowadays, many a things that are in existence and have been invented were unheard of during the best of eras, and without which life would be difficult. Every person is constrained to use them. Trains, motorcars, aeroplanes, ships, horse and trailer, etc., etc. And then we have letters, envelopes, telephones, radio, loudspeakers, etc. All these things and their usage are Bid`ah. Yet, persons from every sector of the community make use of them. Tell us, will the Deobandis and Wahhabis manage to pass through life without these Bid`ah-e-Hasanas? Definitely not!” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 211]
The definitions of Bid`ah-e-Hasana and Bid`ah-e-Sayyia will follow later on. But, after reflection of the above quotation, Mufti Saheb must hide his face in his collar and take proper stock of himself and confess as to whose claim it is that every new invention is a Bid`ah. Is it his claim or that of the Deobandis and Wahhabis?
Beloved readers! Consider well what meaning Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan extracts from the Hadith “Whoever innovates into this matter (Deen) of ours which is not of it, is rejected.” He states:
“That person who innovates into this Deen of ours any belief which is contrary to the Deen is rejected. We have taken the meaning of (the Arabic word) “Ma” to be Aqaa`id (beliefs) because Deen is another word for Aqaa`id. Actions are corollaries.” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 204/5]
Mufti Saheb must be asked as to why he had on his own side and contrary to the authentic Ahaadith and the statements of the Ulama, Fuqahaa and Muhadditheen included the condition of Deen? Since, according to his own words, this condition of Deen was not made in Ash`atul Lam`aat and Mirqaat. Explain to us this also your statement that “Deen is another word for Aqaa`id. Actions are corollaries”. Without doubt, Salaat, fasting, Hajj, Zakaat, Jihaad, etc. are corollaries as far as Aqaa`id is concerned. But each one on their place also forms an integral part of Islaam and are amongst the principles of the Deen. In the Qur`an Majeed and the Ahaadith, the word Deen is clearly applied to matters such as Salaat, Jihaad, etc. Many other examples can also be cited in substantiation of our point, but we will suffice on this. The crux of the matter is that whether it be regarding Aqaa`id or actions, Bid`ah can be found in all of them.
The fabrication of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan
Mufti Saheb has restricted the word “Ma” to Aqaa`id only. He says in this regard: “It has been established that Bid`ah refers to Aqeedah” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 205]. He states further on:
“The severe warnings that appears in the Ahaadith for Bid`ah and the Bid`atees refers only to Bid`ah-e-Aqeedah. It appears in a Hadith that the person who honours the Bid`ati has assisted in the destruction of Deen. It appears in the Fatwa regarding the perpetrator of a Bid`ah-e-I`tiqaadia in Fataawa Rasheedia, vol. 1, Kitaabul Bid`aat, page 90, that the Bid`ah wherein severe warning has been given against is with regard to those Bid`ahs in Aqaa`id. Like that of the Bid`ah of the Rawaafidh and Khawaarij.” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 205]
Without doubt, the severe warning has been given for Bid`ahs regarding Aqaa`id, but Mufti Saheb must show us whether the issue concerning Ilm-e-Ghaib, Haazir-o-Naazir and Mukhtaar-e-Kul are all Masaa`il of Aqaa`id or not? Has severe warnings been given for such matters or not? Such beliefs were never present during the best of eras. How can it be that severe warning has been given for Bid`ah relating to Aqaa`id but with regard to corollary and other Masaa`il, the term Bid`ah does not even apply and no warning has been given for them? References have been sufficiently cited which show that Bid`ah applies to beliefs and actions. The citations of Hafiz Ibn Katheer, Allaamah Shaami and other Muhaqqiqeen etc. have the conditions of beliefs, actions and conditions.
Hafiz Ibn Rajab states:
“Whoever innovates a thing and relates it to the Deen, whilst it is not a part of the Deen, then this is clear deviation. The Deen is free from such innovations. It is irrelevant whether this innovation relates to beliefs, actions or statements. As for the statements of some of the Salf which are amongst the good innovations. Such (statements) fall under the category of Bid`ah literally and not in terms of the Shariah.” [Jaamiul Uloom Wal Hikam, page 193]
Sheikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayh) states on page 94 of Maktoobaat that whatever changes that are contrary to the Sunnat of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are a deviated Bid`ah and rejected. From this we ascertain that every new thing, be it Deeni or Dunyawi, is not necessarily rejected. The second thing that can be gleaned from his text is that it is necessary to follow the Sunnat in so far as Ibaadaat, Aadaat and beliefs. To oppose this is a Bid`ah and rejected. The third thing from this text is that the words “Every innovation is deviation” does not included every new thing, as Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan has indicated. In fact, according to the words of Hadhrat Sheikh Saheb (rahmatullah alayh) the import of the Hadith is Bid`ah-e-Shar`i. The fourth thing is that a Bid`ati is deprived of the Noor of Wilaayat. The Noor of Wilaayat is only attained by following the Sunnat of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and a Bid`ati is completely deprived thereof.
A doubt and its clarification
It is possible that Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan Saheb may aver: “I did not mean that the condition of Deen does not appear in this Hadith, I meant that the issue of a Deeni thing has been placed by them.”
An answer to this is that both these conditions are present in the above-mentioned citations. The condition of Deen and that of action. This has come to light (from the above discussions) that any new innovation in the Deen, whether it be in relation to beliefs or actions, is rejected and baatil. The Hadith “Whoever innovates into this matter (Deen) of ours which is not of it, is rejected” is general.
The word “Ma” includes beliefs, actions, statements and desires, as has been borne out by the discussion. Therefore to limit it only to Aqaa`id (beliefs) as has Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan, is baatil. In fact, in another context, this Hadith clearly includes the word “Amal” (action). Hadhrat Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) reports that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Whoever carries out an action which is not from our matter (Deen), it is rejected.” [Bukhari, page 1092, vol. 2 / Muslim, page 77, vol. 1 / Masnad Ahmad, page 140, vol.6]
From this authentic narration we can clearly see that Bid`ah is not only relating to beliefs, in fact, it relates also to actions. It is apparent from the words of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that for whatever work there is no authentication and there is no seal on it, then that action is rejected and baatil.
Note what emanates from the words of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan. He states:
“The Shar`i meaning of Bid`ah is those beliefs and actions which were not present in the external form during the era of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . They were innovated later on. The result is this that Bid`ah-e-Shar`i is of two types: Bid`ah-e-I`tiqaadi and Bid`ah-e-Amali.” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 204]
This then is exactly what we have been saying all along, that there are two types of Bid`ah, Bid`ah-e-I`tiqaadi and Bid`ah-e-Amali. Warnings have been sounded against both of them (in the Ahaadith). There is a difference however that the warnings against Bid`ah-e-I`tiqaadi are more severe. But the fact still remains that warnings do exist for both of them.
Another glaring error of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan
“If we assume that the condition for a Deeni work exists for Bid`ah, then a Deeni work will be defined as that action wherein one anticipates reward…..Also whatever worldly action a person does with good intentions, he also received reward for it…..Therefore every worldly act of a Muslim is a Deeni one also. Now tell us, is it a Bid`ah to feed Pilou (rice dish) to someone with a good intention or not?” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 212]
The wisdom behind specifying Palou is better known to Mufti Saheb himself. The secret as to why he is advocating and encouraging the feeding of Palou is known to him. Why did he not specify general eating? Mufti Saheb must tell us if he ever came across the word “Mubaah” (permissible) in any Fiqh Kitaab? If he does not have any other Kitaab at his disposal then he should refer at least to Khulaasaa-e-Keidaani. If he does not have access to this, then at least he should refer to Anwaar-e-Saatia, wherefrom he took random excerpts and compiled his Jaa`al Haqq. Therein it is stated:
“And some Mubaah (permissibilities), that is, there doing warrants neither reward nor punishment.” [Anwaar-e-Saatia, page 47]
There are some actions of the Muslim which warrants no reward or punishment. In fact, Mufti Saheb has himself in substantiation of a certain matter clearly stated that in Mubaah there is no relation with reward [see Jaa`al Haqq, page 305].
What more proof does Mufti Saheb need over this??
A basic error of the Ahle Bid`ah
Other Ahle Bid`ah, especially Molvi Abdus Samee` and Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan, are guilty of the error of claiming that the import of the words “Laisa Minhu” (is not from it) are those beliefs and actions which are contrary to the Sunnat and the Deen. They take the meaning of ‘being contrary’ to be whatever Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has not issued an explicit prohibition against. They aver that all those matters whereupon Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) remained silent are not regarded as an innovation or Bid`ah. And even if it can be categorized as a Bid`ah then it would be a Bid`ah-e-Hasana.
In this regard, Molvi Abdus Samee` states:
“Thus all the Ahle Islaam must know that whatever the commentators have written under the Hadith ‘Whoever carries out an action which is not from our matter (Deen)’, does not mean to exclude everything that is contrary to the Kitaab and Sunnat. Everything is not bad. The clear meaning of this is that whatever the Qur`aan and Hadith have explicitly prohibited is evil. Those things regarding which an explicit prohibition exists, their innovation is rejected.” [Anwaarus Saatia, page 37]
Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan states: “If actions are included then the import of ‘which is not from our matter (Deen)’ are those actions which are contrary to the Qur`aan and Sunnat.” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 213]
ANSWER: This is the clear exposition and import of this ignorant and inane error: Firstly, the words of the Hadith had just passed now, where Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) states, “Whoever carries out an action which is not from our matter (Deen)”, that is, those things which have not been established from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are rejected. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not say that those things are rejected which have been prohibited by him. There is a massive difference between the two.
Secondly, those things which have the explicit prohibition of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are forbidden. So how can these things even be considered as innovations and inventions? Why would it then be necessary to differentiate between Bid`ah and innovations, whereas Bid`ah and innovations are separate entities from prohibitions, as has been established from the authentic narrations and the consensus of the Ummat.
Thirdly, if Bid`ah and innovations are those things which have been explicitly prohibited in the Ahaadith, then how come there are two types of Bid`ahs – Hasanah and Sayyia? Can it ever be possible that after Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had issued an explicit prohibition on a certain thing, there still remains the possibility of it being Hasan (good)? After an explicit prohibition, could not the Ulama of the Ummat understand that the lowest degree of a prohibition of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is Karaahat (detestment). How then could they formulate rulings of Waajib, permissible, Haraam, Makrooh and Mubaah for Bid`ah? [See Sharah of Muslim by Nawawi, page 285, vol.1]
Fourthly, to aver that the exclusion of those things which have not been prohibited in the Qur`an Majeed and Sunnat and that these things are not bad is also an ignorant and baseless claim. It is also in clear contradiction of the Muhadditheen-e-E`zaam and Fuqahaa-e-Kiraam (rahmatullahi alaihim). The Ulama have written that just as one gains proximity and the Pleasure of Allaah Ta`ala by practicing on the necessary Commands, so too does he attain this by obeying Allaah Ta`ala regarding on those things where there is lenience on the Shariah. And also, just as Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) doing a certain act is Sunnat, his abstaining from an act is also a Sunnat. Hence, to leave out an act which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left out is a Sunnat and to oppose that act would be a Bid`ah.
Hadhrat Mullah Ali Qaari and Sheikh Abdul Haqq Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayhim) present a Hadith thus:
“Just as Allaah Ta`ala loves that his Commands be obeyed, He also loves that His leniencies be adhered to.” [Mirqaat, page 15, vol.2 / Ash`atul Lam`aat, page 128, vol.1]
Also, Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullah alayh) states in commentary of the first Hadith in Mishkaat:
“Just as one follows in a certain action, so too does one follow in the non-execution of an act. So if one is punctual on an act which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not do, he is a Bid`ati.” [Mirqaat, page 41, vol.1]
At this juncture Sheikh Muhaddith Abdul Haqq Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaihi) states:
“Just as how to follow an act is Waajib, similarly, to leave out an act (which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left out) is also included as subservience. So whoever is punctual on an act which Nabi ρ did not do is a Bid`ati. This is what the Muhadditheen have mentioned.” [Ash`atul Lam`aat, page 20, vol.1]
The very same explanation is also mentioned in Mazaahire-Haqq on page 19, vol.1.
It is stated in the Sharah of Musnad Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullahi alaihi):
“Ittibaa` (following) – just as it exists in an action it also exists in not carrying out an action. Hence, if a person practices with regularity on an action which Nabi ρ did not do, he would be regarded as a Bid`ati. The reason being that Nabi ρ said: ‘The person who carries out an action which is not amongst our matters, is rejected’.”
Imaam Allamah Sayyid Jamaaluddin Muhaddith (rahmatullahi alayh) states:
“To leave out those things which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left out is a Sunnat just as to do an action which Nabi ρρρρ did is a Sunnat.” [Al-Junnah, page 143]
From the above it is established that it is a Sunnat to leave out those acts which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left out, notwithstanding the ability and reasons for its execution being present during that era, just as it is a Sunnat to carry out that act which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) carried out. The person who does not practice on this Sunnat of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is, according to the Muhadditheen, a Bid`ati. This is exactly what we are saying – that all the acts which are perpetrated by the Ahle Bid`ah were possible to have been carried out during the time of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), i.e. if Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhum) wished to do these acts they could have done so, but Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not carry them out. For us to leave out these acts is also an act of Sunnat and to oppose this (i.e. to carry them out) is a Bid`ah.
Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) cautioned against making Saja` (speak in rhyming tones) during dua, because Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not make Saja`. [Bukhari, page 938, vol.2]
Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) mentions:
“Your raising the hands more than what Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) raised his is a Bid`ah, that is above the chest.” [Musnad Ahmad, page 6, vol.2]
Hadhrat Ammarah (radhiyallahu anhu) severely reprimanded Bishr Bin Marwaan when he saw the latter lifting his hands whilst on the Mimbar. He said:
“May Allaah Ta`ala destroy these two hands. I never saw Nabi ρ lifting his hands except to lift his forefinger.” [Muslim, page 287, vol.1]
You will note that three very high-ranking Sahaabah-e-Kiraam displayed such resentment at acts which were not carried out by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) prohibited the making of Saja` during dua based solely on the fact that it was never done by Nabi ρρρρ or his Companions. Although dua is such an effective and important act of Ibaadat, but the making of Saja` in dua was discouraged merely because neither Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor his Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (alayhim ar ridhwan) did it. Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) stated the act of lifting the hands higher than the chest when making dua as being a Bid`ah simply because when Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made dua he did not lift his hands higher than his Mubarak chest. Hadhrat Ammarah (radhiyallahu anhu) cursed Bishr Bin Marwaan because he exceeded in the lifting of his hands whilst on the Mimbar more than what Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would.
Consider well how these pious personalities regarded even the slightest change in the Sunnah practice as being Bid`ah, and they prohibited from it.
Allaamah Sayyidud Deen Kaashghazi Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“To perform more than 8 Rakaats (Nafl Salaat) at night and more than 4 Rakaats during the day is Makrooh by consensus.” [Muniyatul Musallah, page 102]
It is mentioned in Nahrul Faa`iq that it is Makrooh-e-Tahrimi. The Ulama of the Ahnaaf have stated the reason for this to be the non-existence of any narration to corroborate it. Allaamah Alaa`ud Deen Abu Bakr Bin Mas`ood Al-Kaasaani Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) states, whilst substantiating from other Fuqahaa:
“It is Makrooh because to exceed upon this has not been seen from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).” [Badaa`i Wa Sanaa`i, page 295, vol.1]
The author of Hidaaya writes:
“The proof for its prohibition is that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not exceed this (amount of Rakaats). If it was not Makrooh then Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would have increased on this to demonstrate the permissibility.” [Page 127, vol.1]
It is stated in Fataawa Kabeeri, Durrul Mukhtaar, Fataawa Ajeeb, Fataawa Ebrahim Shaahi and Kanzul Ubbaad:
“It is Makrooh to make dua in Ramadhaan at the time of making Khatam of Qur`aan, in such a way that dua is made in a gathering and collectively. This is so because it has never been reported such from Nabi ρρρρ or his Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)” [From Junna, page 142]
You may have noticed that the Fuqahaa-e-Kiraam (rahmatullah alayhim) have made the non-action of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (alayhim ar ridhwaan) as a proof (for omitting of an act). Hereunder are a few more examples:
Imaamul Muhaqqiq Al Mudaqqiq Ali Bin Abi Bakr Hanafi, the author of Hidaaya states:
“It is Makrooh to increase more than two Rakaats of Nafl (Sunnat) Salaat of Fajr after dawn sets in, because Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not increase on this, notwithstanding his love for Salaat.” [Hidaaya, page 70, vol.1]
As you may see that the Ulama have extracted the ruling of Karaahat (detestment) for an act which was not carried out by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Besides this view of the author of Hidayah, there is no other proof for the omission of Nafl Salaat other than the two Rakaats Sunnat at the time of Fajr. If the Hadith “There is no Salaat after the rising of Dawn except two Rakaats” which appears in Nisbur Ra`ya on page 255, vol.1, is proven to be authentic, then it will be a case of Noorun Ala Noor (light on light), where the statement and action of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) both substantiate one another.
At another juncture the Author of Hidaaya states:
“There is no Khubah on the occasion of Kusoof (solar eclipse), because it has not been reported such from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).” [Hidaayah, page 156, vol.1]
Notice that the author of Hidaaya reports a non-action by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as a proof in the Shariah. He does not mention that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited it, hence it is a forbidden act.
He states in another place:
“There is no Nafl Salaat prior to the Eid Salaat, because Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not do so, notwithstanding his love for Salaat. Then it is said (by some) that this prohibition only applies to the Eid-Gah. It is also said that this (prohibition) applies to both the Eid-Gah and out of the Eid-Gah, because Nabi ρ neither performed (Nafl) Salaat at the EidGah or out of the Eid-Gah.” [Page 153, vol.1]
You have noticed (again) that the author of Hidaaya has proven the impermissibility of an action due to Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) not executing the act. To present a Hadith that clearly prohibits the performance of Nafl Salaat prior to Eid Salaat at the Eid-Gah or out, will be a difficult task.
According to the author of Anwaarus Saati`a and Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan, such an act should not be Makrooh or incorrect, because there is no explicit prohibition reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)!.
Allamah Ebrahim Halbi Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) has stated that Salaat-e-Raghaaib (special Salaat performed during the month of Rajab) is Makrooh and a Bid`ah based on the following:
“Because indeed it has not been reported such (that they performed such a Salaat) from the Sahaabah, Taabieen or those following them.” [Kabeeri, page 433]
The famous Hanafi Imaam Ahmad Bin Muhammad, who is one of the most senior of the Fuqahaa, states regarding his research of a particular Mas`alah:
“It is a Bid`ah because it has not been reported such from the Sahaabah or the Taabieen.” [Al-Waaqi`aat]
Which Muslim is unaware of one of the most authentic Hanafi Fiqh Kitaabs, Fatawaa Aalimgiri and Muheet? Therein it is clearly written:
“The recitation of Surah Kaafiroon until the end continuously is Makrooh, because it is a Bid`ah and it has not been reported from the Sahaabah or the Taabieen.” [Aalimgiri, page 264, vol.4]
There is no authentic narration which has been reported wherein Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has prohibited the performance of Salaat-e Raghaaib or the prohibition of the recitation of Surah Kaafiroon until the end continuously.
However the Ulama of the Ahnaaf have stated it as being Makrooh and a Bid`ah. As a proof they have only cited this much that such acts are not reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam or the Taabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim). Even though an explicit prohibition does not exist for these acts.
According to the self-made and fabricated principle of Molvi Abdus Samee` and Co. Such acts are not supposed to be Bid`ah or Makrooh, because there exists no explicit prohibition on them by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .
Now people such as Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan profess to accept the Fuqahaa of the Ahnaaf and they are supposed to be Hanafis themselves, yet they practice differently.
From the above texts we note that the Fuqaha regard an act as being a Bid`ah merely on the basis that it was not practiced by the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam or the Tabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim).
In Bahaar-e-Shariat, vol. 4, page 32, it is stated that the act of some people who perform Nafl Salaat in congregation on the night of Baraat is Makrooh and a Bid`ah. The Hadith which is presented by some in substantiation of this act is classified as Maudooh (fabricated) by the Muhadditheen.
The difference between Bid`ah-e-Hasan and Bid`ah-eSayyia
It is imperative that we differentiate and explain Bid`ah-e-Hasana and Bid`ah-e-Sayyia so as to clarify the issue with those who are unaware of the difference and so that they are not left in trepidation regarding the two.
There are two types of Bid`ah – lexicographic Bid`ah and Shar`i Bid`ah. Lexicographic Bid`ah is the term given to all things which are newly invented, which came into being after the demise of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . This includes Ibaadat and Aadat (habitual things). These are divided into five categories: Waajib, Mandoob, Haraam, Makrooh and Mubaah.
Shar`i Bid`ah includes all those innovations which came into being after the three best eras and upon which there is no consent from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) by way of word, action, clearly or by indication. This is that Bid`ah which is classified under Bid`ah-e-Dhalaalah, Bid`ah-e-Qabeehah and Bid`ah-e-Sayyia. The Ulama have dilated upon this.
“Bid`ah is of two types: one is a lexicographic Bid`ah and the other is a Shar`i Bid`ah. Lexicographically, Bid`ah is every new invention which includes Ibaadaat and Aadaat. This Bid`ah is further divided into five categories. The second type is that Bid`ah which increases (or decreases) in any revealed Deeni matter after the passing of the three best era. This increase is devoid of consent from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). There is no consent from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on these actions, neither by way of word, action, explicit or by indication. This is the meaning of Bid`ah-e-Dhalaalat” [Tarweejul Jinaan / Junna page 161]
For a more detailed explanation on Bid`ah-e-Hasana and Bid`ah-e-Sayyia refer to Irshaadus Saari, vol.3, page 344, Umdatul Qaari, page 356, vol.5, Nawawi Sharh Muslim, page 285, vol.1 and Mudkhal, page 257, vol.2.
Haafidh Ibn Hajar (rahmatullah alayh) writes:
“The crux of the matter is this that if Bid`ah has an acceptable proof in the Shariah, then it would be classified as a Bid`ah-e-Hasana. If the Bid`ah has an unacceptable proof then it would be classified as Bid`ah-e-Qabeehah. Otherwise it would be Mubaah. Bid`ah is divided into five categories.” [Fathul Baari, page 219, vol.4]
A similar explanation is given in Allamah Aini’s Umdatul Qaari. Refer to page 356, vol.5.
Now this much remains to be explained, that what is acceptable in the Shariah and what is unacceptable in the Shariah. Hadhrat Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullahi alaihi) states:
“Bid`ah is of two types. That Bid`ah which contradicts the Kitaab (Qur`aan Majeed), Sunnah, Ijma or Athar of a Sahaabi. This is Bid`ah-e-Dhalaalah. That Bid`ah which does not contradict anything of these, this is a Hasan Bid`ah, in accordance to the words of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu): ‘This is a good Bid`ah’” [Minhaajus Sunnah, page 128, vol.2]
The entire discussion on the above has already been placed before the readers, that just as there exists opposition to words, there exists opposition to action as well. That action which Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) left out notwithstanding the conditions and ability being in existence during his era and that the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiyallahu anhum) and Taabieen also left out is undoubtedly a Bid`ah and deviation. This is so because it is in contradiction to the Kitaab, Sunnat, Ijma of the best of eras and Qiyaas. If there exists a little proof for it, then sometimes it may be a good action, whereupon reward is due and sometimes it is merely a permissible action which warrants neither reward nor sin.
The summary of the discussion of Qiyaas in Majaalis-e-Abrar and the above-mentioned texts, results in the definition of Bid`ah-e-Hasan and Bid`ah-e-Sayyia is as follows:
Bid`ah-e-Hasan is that action whose prevention was removed after the demise of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . Or its conditions and ability of execution came into existence after Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . Some proof for its execution can be found in Kitaabullaah, Sunnat, Ijma or Qiyaas. This is known as Bid`ah-e-Hasana or in other words it is also regarded as lexicographic Bid`ah, which is not rejected or accursed. The texts of Allaamah Ibn Rajab etc. has already been quoted which adds more light on the subject.
As for that action, which could have been executed during the era of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) but he did not carry it out and the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (ridhwaanallahu anhum), Taabieen and Tabe Taabieen, notwithstanding their extreme love and affection for Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also did not carry out this action, then such actions are called Bid`ah-e-Qabeeha, Bid`ah-e-Sayyia and Bid`ah-e-Shar`iah. Besides this, the Ijtihaad of a non-Mujtahid, especially in our times, is definitely not classified as Bid`ah-e-Hasana. In this regard the Fuqahaa-e-Kiraam (rahmatullah alayhim) have stated:
“It is stated in Nisaabul Fiqh that Bid`ah-e-Hasana are those actions which the Aimmah-e-Mujtahiddeen have classified as Bid`ah-e-Hasana. If any person in our era classifies anything as Bid`ah-e-Hasana then this is contrary to the Haqq, because it is stated in Musaffa that all Bid`ah in our era are deviation.” [Fatawaa Jaamiur Riwaayat and Junna, page 60]
From this text we clearly see that Bid`ah-e-Hasana is only that which the Aimmah-e-Mujtahiddeen have classified as such. Ijtihaad and Qiyaas are only permissible in those issues and Masaa`il regarding which no Qur`anic or Ahaadith texts exist, and the conditions and possibility of their execution did not exist during the time of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the best of eras, in fact, it (conditions and possibilities of execution) came into existence only after these eras. If any person in this present age classifies any new action as a Bid`ah-e-Hasana, then his claim would be totally rejected and discounted. This is that Bid`ah regarding which Mujaddid Alfe Thaani (rahmatullah alayh) stated:
“How can those things which are rejected ever be regarded as Hasan and good?” [Maktoobaat, part 3, page 72]
The claim of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan
Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan has classified all Bid`ah-e-Sayyia as Bid`ah-e-Hasana and has quoted as proof Mirqaat and Ash`atul Lam`aat. He proudly avers: “No Deobandi, Ghair Muqallid or Shirk and Bid`ah perpetrator, in the entire world, can ever define these four things (Bid`ah, Shirk, Deen and Ibaadat) in such a way so as to save his creed. Today also, we make an open challenge to all Deobandis and Ghair Muqallids that they present such a clear and authentic definition which classifies Mehfil-e-Meelaad as Haraam.” [Jaa`al Haqq, page 213]
It has already been explained that it is a Sunnat to do an act or leave out that act which was accordingly done in the best of eras, notwithstanding the conditions and possibility of their execution existing during that time. To oppose a Sunnat is a Bid`ah and deviation. Mufti Saheb must tell us who during the best of eras celebrated Meelad? The definition of Bid`ah has been given in detail in this treatise and the definitions of Shirk, Ibaadat and Deen have all been given in other Kitaabs.
A glance at the proofs which have been cited to substantiate and give permissibility to the various Bid’ahs
Some persons of the Ahle Bid’ah, specifically Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan, write after quoting the Aayaat, “O You who believe! Ask not about things which …” and “Say (O Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), ‘I find not in that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden…”, “Allaah Ta`ala also states, ‘Say (O Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam!) ‘Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allaah, which He has produced for His slaves, and Tayyibaat (Halaal) of food..’. From these Aayaat we ascertain that if there is no proof for a thing being Haraam, then it is Halaal and not Haraam. These people establish Haraam by it…” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 219]
These Aayaat can certainly not be used to prove bid’ah as is being done by the Ahle Bid’ah. It is clearly incorrect to extract permissibility for the evil acts from such Aayaat.
Is there initial permissibility in a thing? Most of the perpetrators of bid’ah incorrectly clutch at these Aayaat as proof for their innovations and aver that since there is initial permissibility of all things, hence their actions are also permissible. Based on this erroneous assumption of theirs they base many/all of their bid’ahs.
Molvi Abdus Samee Saheb, cites a few Ahaadith and writes that from these Ahaadith the Ulama have extracted a great principle, that there is initial permissibility in all things. [Anwaarus Saat`ia, page 36]
Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan Saheb writes, “What do those who label every bid’ah as Haraam have to say about the general rule which states, ‘The original (ruling) of every thing, is permissibility.’” He states further, citing from Shaami, “The preferred view is that the original (ruling) is permissibility according to the majority amongst the Hanafis and Shaafis.” [Jaa-al Haqq, page 318]
According to some Muhaqqiqeen there is no general ruling for this. It should also be taken into consideration that every bid’ah is not Haraam, some are Makrooh. We have to firstly see what the meaning of initial permissibility entails, and what light is shed thereupon by the Ahaadith. We should also see if this ruling is unanimous amongst the Fuqahaa or if any differences exist amongst them. Also, which group leans to the preferred view. Or whether this difference existed in former times or only in recent.
We will firstly list the narration of Hadhrat Abdullaah ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), “Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Issues are divided into three parts; one is that which is clearly on the truth, you should follow it; second is that whose deviation is clear, save yourself from it; and lastly is that wherein there is doubt, that you should entrust to Allaah.” [Ahmad / Mishkaat, vol. 1, page 31]
From the last portion of this Hadith we glean that if there is doubt or uncertainty in an unclear matter, then such issues should be entrusted unto Allaah Ta`ala and we should maintain silence on it. It should not be that we legitimise the issue.
Allaamah Tayyibi Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 743 A.H.] stated, “As for that thing whose ruling is not known in the Shariah, no comment should be made on it and it should be entrusted to Allaah.” Hadhrat Sheikh Abdul Haqq Saheb (rahmatullah alayh) states in commentary of “And entrust it unto Allaah Ta`ala”, “Then you must pass the matter to Allaah Ta`ala, and not comment on it.” [Ash-`atul Lam`aat, vol. 1, page 97]
From this Hadith and commentaries thereof, we realise that no comment be made on such issues regarding which there is no Shar`i ruling. Such matters must be entrusted unto Allaah Ta`ala and we should not understand it to be permissible and give a ruling as such.
The narration of Hadhrat Abu Tha`laba Al-Khushni (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 75 A.H.] also indicate towards this maintaining of silence (reservation). He states that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Allaah Ta`ala had specified certain Faraaidh, so do not destroy them. He has made certain things Haraam, so do not betray them. He has specified certain limits, so do not transgress them. Certain things, without having forgotten, Allaah Ta`ala has maintained silence regarding them, so do not discuss them.” [Daar Qutni / Mishkaat, vol. 1, page 32]
This narration also indicates towards maintaining of silence (tawaqquf – reservation), as is apparent. The famous, Imaam Allamah Alauddeen Muhammad bin Ali Al-Khaskafi Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 1088 A.H.] writes, “The correct and triumphant view is that the original ruling in all things is tawaqquf.” [Durrul Mukhtaar, vol. 1, page 20]
In the commentary of Durrul Mukhtaar, Tawaali`ul Anwaar, it is stated at this juncture, “In support of that view which has the strongest proofs, it is that there is tawaqquf in the initial (ruling) of all things. Therefore the permissibility of permissible things is not known, except through the statement or action of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam.”
Also at this juncture, a similar comment is stated in Tahtaawi, in the footnote of Durrul Mukhtaar.
It is stated in Ta`liqaat-e-Sharah Manaar, “Our companions have stated that the initial (ruling) in this matter is tawaqquf…This is the most correct view in my opinion in this chapter, because in those matters which the Shariah has maintained silence, the most cautious and safest avenue is to practice tawaqquf. This is also the math-hab (way) of Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and other senior Sahaabah (radhiallahu anhum ajmaeen). The correct view is that the initial ruling of Hurmat (impermissibility) is applicable to all actions. This is the view of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), the Ahle Bait and the Ahle Kufa. This is also the view of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh).” [Extracted from Al-Junna, page 165]
Now consider this text. The view of many senior Sahaabah is that tawaqquf be exercised as an original ruling in matters wherein the Shariah has maintained silence and then according to other great Sahaabah, like Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and also Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh), the initial ruling is to be regarded to be one of Hurmat.
Sheikh Ahmad Mullah Jeeyoon Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 1130 A.H.] writes, “The initial ruling in things is permissibility, as is the view of one group. However, the jamhoor (majority) are opposed to this view. They are of the opinion that the initial ruling in anything is Hurmat. Imaam Shaafi (rahmatullah alayh) states that there is nevertheless, Hurmat, initially in any thing.” [Tafseer Ahmadi, page 6]
The famous Muhaqqiq Aalim Muhibbullaah Bahaari Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 1109 A.H.] writes, “Ibaahat (permissibility) is a Shar`i ruling and it is a proclamation for the Shariah where the choice to do or not to do has been granted (by the Shariah).” [Musallimuth Thuboot, page 45]
Allamah Ibn Rushd (rahmatullah alayh) states, “Mubaah is the choice to do or not to do.” [Hidaayatul Mujtahid, vol. 1, page 4]
Mullah Mubeen states in the commentary of Musallim, “Mubaah is in reality the Shariah’s way of granting the choice between executing and not executing an action.”
Imaam Muhammad bin Muhammad Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 505 A.H.] writes, “The definition of Mubaah is that there is permission from Allaah Ta`ala to carry out an action or to abandon it. This excludes any censure or praise for the one who executes it and censure or praise for the one who does not execute it.” [Al-Mustasfa, vol. 1, page 66]
From all the above text we see that Mubaah is also a Shar`i hukm which gives one the choice to carry out or abandon an act. No act is granted the status of being Mubaah without the express statement or action of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Although some have stated that the initial ruling in a thing is Ibaahat, the majority oppose this view. The express view of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), the Ahle Bait, the Fuqahaa and Muhadditheen of Kufa (rahmatullah alayhim), especially Imaams Abu Hanifah and Shaafi (rahmatullah alayhima) is that there is initially Hurmat in a thing. The rest of the majority opine that (at least) there is Tawaqquf.
In fact, the author of Durrul Mukhtaar has explicitly stated, “The most authentic view of the Ahle Sunnah is that there is tawaqquf (as the initial ruling) in all things, and the ruling of Ibaahat is the view of the Mu`tazilahs.” [Durrul Mukhtaar, vol. 1, page 345]
Mufti Saheb should have asked the meaning of this text from someone else, at least. He should contemplate over the fact that whose view is it that there is initially Ibaahat in things. Since there is no consensus on the asl, how then will be permissible to open the doors of Qiyaas and base the perpetrations of bid’ah thereupon? As for those Ulama who opine for Ibaahat, they also differentiate between factors of material and spiritual. Mullah Muhibbullah Saheb (rahmatullah alayh) states in his great and in-depth work, “However, as for the difference of opinion that exists amongst the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat that there is Ibaahat in the initial of everything and action, as is the view of the majority of Hanafis and Shaafi’is, or whether there is prohibition (in the initial of every action), as other Ulama opine, the conciliatory path between these views is as Imaam Sadrul Islaam has stated that there is initial Ibaahat in material and monetary issues, but in spiritual matters, precaution and prohibition is the Initial (ruling).” [Musallimuth Thuboot, page 22]
From this text we realise that the difference of opinion between the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat is not restricted to only Ibaahat and Tawaqquf, it extends to the difference between Ibaahat and precaution/ prohibition. If the one group opine that the initial ruling in things is Ibaahat, then the other say there is prohibition. Imaam Sadrul Islaam, clears this mist for us and explains that the Ibaahat is in matters pertaining to wealth and material things, whereas the prohibition and precaution apply to matters pertaining to the spiritual self.
Secondly, as for those who opine that the asl in everything is Ibaahat, we gather that their import in this view is that this applies to matters of habit and external issues and not to matters of Ibaadat.
They accept this view insofar as social etiquette is concerned and not to Ibaadaat. If this was not the case, then every person could them initiate new acts of Ibaadat and rule that it would be permissible. For example, let us assume that some bid’ah-loving person decides to introduce a sixth Salaat for the day, and also that in every Rakaat of this Salaat he says there should be two rukus and four sajdahs each. So now, do we grant acceptability to this new idea based on the view that there is Ibaahat in every asl? In short, to extend and apply this rule of Ibaahat in asl to acts of Ibaadat is sheer ignorance.
Allamah Abu Is`haq Shaatbi Gharnaati (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 790 A.H.] writes, “It is incorrect to aver that in acts of Ibaadat there is a difference of opinion. (It cannot be argued whether) There is in (an act of Ibaadat) asl Ibaahat or asl prohibition. The reason being that in acts of Ibaadat, The Shaari’ had stipulated and decreed them. If we assume that a person introduces a sixth Salaat (for the day), then we cannot say that based on the asl of acts being permissible, this is also acceptable, and that a sane person has the right to introduce such (things in the Shariah). This will be absolutely baatil.” [Al-I`tisaam, vol. 1, page 301]
Allamah Abdur Rahmaan bin Ahmad bin Rajab AlHambali (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 795 A.H.] writes, “If any person adds to a Mashroo’ (Shar`i prescribed) act that which is not Mashroo’, will be rejected. There will be no reward for this addition and sometimes it so happens that because of this addition the actual act is nullified. For example, if a person adds a rakaat to a Salaat. Sometimes it so happens that the act in itself is not rendered baatil, like if a person makes wudhu four times (in succession), however, there will be no reward for this.” [Jaamiul Uloom wal Hikam, page 43]
From this we understand that if the commission or omission of any act is prescribed in the Shariah, then to add or subtract to it according to one’s own whims and fancies is rejected. Sometimes, due to this addition the actual act is rendered completely null and void. Besides being rejected, there is no reward for such additions or subtractions. This is not regarded as a means of gaining proximity or as an ibaadat.
Thirdly, this difference between the Fuqahaa regarding asl Ibaahat, tawaqquf or prohibition in things refers to matters which existed before the advent and coming of the Shariah. That is, before Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was sent with the Message.
One group opine Ibaahat in all things and the other precaution or Tawaqquf (excluding of course kufr, which has remained Haraam through all ages). In other words this difference of opinion is regarding matters which prevailed prior to the advent of the Shariah and not after. After the Shariah had been established this question does not even arise as to whether there is Ibaahat, prohibition, precaution or Tawaqquf, because every act should remain and is within the confines of the Shariah. There is absolutely no scope to increase or decrease in any Shar`i ruling. Hence, the issue of Ibaahat-e-asli does not benefit the pernicious intentions of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan Saheb and others.
Allamah Abdul Ali Bahrul Uloom Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 1225 A.H.] writes, “By studying the statements of the Ulama-e-Kiraam we realise that this difference pertains to the time prior to the advent of the Shariah.”
After discussing this mas`alah in detail, he states further, “After researching this matter we realise that this difference pertains to the era of fitrah (initial stages), where due to the shortcomings of the former peoples the Shariah was declining. The result was that those people who came after the Shariah was totally destroyed, where they had no realisation of the laws and rules of the Shariah, this ignorance created a reason that every action was regarded as being (initially) permissible. That is, they would not be punished because of executing the act or for abandoning it, as is the ruling with all Mubaah acts. This is the maslak of the majority Hanafis and Shaafis…And this issue (i.e. the view of Ibaahat-e-asliya refers to the era prior to our Shariah, which was the era of fitrah. There was no real harm in this, and it excluded kufr, which remained Haraam in all eras and times.” [Fawaatihur Rahmoot, vol. 1, page 49, 50]
It is apparent from this text that the preferred view of the majority Hanafis and Shaafis is that Ibaahat-e-Asli regards the era prior to the advent of the Shariah. They most certainly do not opine this view to be applicable, after the Shariah had been revealed. This is clear and apparent as is gleaned from many Kitaabs, like Badaaius Sanaa’i, that this difference existed regarding the era prior to the Shariah. The specific words, “prior to the Shariah” and “prior to Nabuwwat” are to be taken into account.
Summary: Ibaahat-e-Asli being applicable to all things is not the unanimous view of the Fuqaha-e-kiraam, in fact according to the author of Durrul Mukhtaar this is the view of the Mu’tazilahs, and not the Ahle Sunnah. Many Ulama amongst the Ahle Sunnah have opted for Tawaqquf , precaution and Hurmat. And this also is not applicable to Ibaadaat, only to Ma’mulaat. Also the view of Ibaahat-e-Asli only refers to the era prior to the Shariah and not after. Therefore to use this as a proof to substantiate the vile perpetrations of bid’ah, as is being done by the likes of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan Saheb etc. is treason to the Deen of Islaam. May Allah Ta`ala save every Muslim from this.
Proving a bid’ah with the Hadith
“He who initiates a virtuous act…”, and its reply:
Many bid’ah lovers quote this Hadith in substantiation of their vile perpetrations, therefore it is appropriate that we proffer a suitable reply. The words of the Hadith are as follows: “Whoever initiates in Islaam a virtuous act, and it is carried out after him (his demise), then it is recorded for him the reward of the executers, without their rewards being diminished in the least.” [Muslim Shareef, vol. 2, page 341]
It is absolutely baatil and spurious to use this Hadith to substantiate bid’ah. Firstly, it is apparent from the narrations of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) –see Mishkaat vol. 1 page 30—Hadhrat Abdullaah ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu( –see Mishkaat vol.1 page 30—and Hadhrat Ghadeef bin Haarith Ath Thamaali (radhiyallahu anhu) —see Mishkaat vol.1 page 31—that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said “He who holds on fast to my Sunnat…” and he said “he who holds on fast to a good act”, these narrations indicate that it is the duty of the Ummat to tread the Sunnah and hold on fast to it.
Secondly, it is also narrated in the same narration, “Whosoever makes a call to guidance”, [Muslim Shareef, vol. 2 page 341 / Ibn Majah page19 / Majmaus Zawaaid vol. 1 page 168]. Through another chain, this same narration goes as follows,
“Whoever livens a Sunnat from amongst my Sunnats, which has died after me…” [Ibn Majah page 19 / Tirmidhi vol. 2 page 92 / Mishkaat vol. 1 page 30].
In another narration it is stated, “Whosoever livens a Sunnat from amongst my Sunnats, and the people practice upon it…” [Ibn Majah page 19]
In another narration, “That person who treads a good path…” [Ibn Majah page 19]
In another narration it is stated, “Whoever teaches someone knowledge, then for him is the reward of the one who practices it, without any decrease in the reward of the executer.” [Ibn Majah, page 21]
All these narrations are explanations and clarifications of the one brief narration, that the import is not to initiate an act, rather to call towards it, educate regarding it, enliven it, practice upon it and to call others towards practicing it. To take the meaning of this narration as initiating a Sunnat, is incorrect, and is in contrary to these narrations.
And thirdly, the import of this Hadith is that the thing which has proof in the Shariah, be it dalaalatun (direct) or ishaaratan (indirect), then there would be reward in its implementation. And also, this should be such an act whose causative factor and proposer was not present during the Khairul Quroon and only came into existence thereafter.
It should also be such that it falls within the ambit of the four proofs of the Shariah (Adillah-e-Arba`a). The condition of the act being hasana (good) is also coupled with the narration and according to the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, no act can be classified as either good or bad, unless it is established so by the Shariah. The Shariah has cut bid’ah in its roots, so wherefrom can its goodness and benefit be established? In essence to prove bid’ah with this narration is crass ignorance and an open rebellious act against the Shariah.
Yet Another error of Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan Saheb and his ilk
Most of the Ahle Bid’ah quote one Hadith in substantiation of their accretions, just as Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khaan had done. He writes, “Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Whatever the Muslims regard as good, Allah Ta`ala also regards as good.’” [Jaaal Haqq, page 301]
Keeping this narration in front of him, he says with reference to all bid’ahs that since the general Muslim public regard them as good, therefore Allaah Ta`ala also regards them likewise, therefore there will be no punishment or sin in executing them.
There are a number of necessary pointers to consider in the discussion of this Hadith. The first point is that although some Fuqahaa have classified this Hadith as Marfoo’, it is not so. In fact, it is Mouqoof on Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu). In this regard, Allamah Jamaaluddeen Az Zaila’ee Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away761 A.H.] writes, “I have not found it except to be Mouqoof on Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu).” [Nasbur Ra`ya, vol. 4, page 133]
The famous Muhaddith Allamah Imaam Silaahuddeen Abu Saeed Alaa`i (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away741 A.H.] states, “I have not found it (this Hadith) Marfoo’ in any of the Hadith kitaabs nor with a weak sanad, even after a detailed and exhaustive search and questioning. However it is Mouqoof on the statement of Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu).” [Fathul Mulhim, vol. 2, page 409]
There is no doubt that the statement of a Sahaabi, especially one of the calibre of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu), is very reliable and weighty. However, insofar as the categorisation of the Ahaadith is concerned and in Usool-e-Hadith, the difference between marfoo’ and Mouqoof, is something which we cannot simply ignore. The status of a marfoo’ Hadith from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is certainly not the statement of any Sahaabi, albeit (the latter) correct.
Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahmatullah alayh), mentions after citing this Mouqoof statement of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu), “(Its) sanad is Saheeh.” [Bidaya wan Nihaya, vol. 10, page 328]
The second point is what exactly is meant by ‘Muslims’? If the alif and laam in the word ‘Muslimoon’ were for jins (to denote the entire Ummat), then every one of the 73 sects of this Ummat will be successful, because each one of them believes their actions and deeds to be good, and it would also conflict with the Hadith of “that upon which I and my Companions are.” If the alif and laam were to denote istighraak, that whatever the entire Ummat regard as good then Allaah Ta`ala also regards that as good, this would imply Ijma of the Ummat. What doubt is there in Ijma of the Ummat being good?? This view would not suit the Ahle Bid’ah, because their bid’ahs were not present during the Khairul Quroon, hence there is no complete consensus of the Muslim Ummah. And if alif and laam were to denote one special group amongst the Ummat, who if they deem an act to be good then Allaah Ta`ala also regards it good, then this group has to be of a high calibre. In that case, according to the Hadith of “that upon which I and my Companions are”, this would refer to the Sahaabah. In this case, it would be correct, because whatever the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhuma) regarded as good, was indeed good. If we view this narration of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhoyallahu anhu) in conjunction with other narrations of his, we will note that by the use of the ‘Muslimoon’ he refers to the Sahaabah.
Imaam Abu Dawood Tayaalisi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 204 A.H.] has reported this narration in the following words,
“Indeed Allaah Ta`ala looked into the hearts of His servants and in accordance to His knowledge He chose Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and sent him with His Message, then He looked into the hearts the people after him and He chose for him his Companions, and made them helpers in His Deen and the ambassadors of His Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . Whatever the Muslims deem good, it is good in the Sight of Allaah Ta`ala, and whatever they deem evil is likewise according to Allaah Ta`ala.” [Tayaalisi, page 33] (More or less the same words appear in Musnad Ahmad / Zaila’i, vol. 4, page 13 / Diraayat, page 306]
Imaam Abu Abdullaah Al-Haakim (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 405 A.H.], reports this narration with an authentic sanad (authenticated by both Imaam Haakim and Allamah Dhahabi), in the following way, “Whatever the Muslims see as good, it is in the Sight of Allaah good and whatever the Muslims see as evil, it is in the Sight of Allaah evil, and the entire group of Sahaabah appointed Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) as Khalifah (since they deemed it as good, hence Allaah Ta`ala regarded it likewise).” [Al Mustadrak, vol. 3, page 78]
From these narrations we see that according to Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu) the word ‘Muslimoon’ refers to the Sahaabah (ridhwanallahu anhum). In fact, it clearly specifies that it refers to the Sahaabah.
“It is reported that Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said, ‘Whosoever wishes to follow the Sunnat, then he should follow in the footsteps of those who had passed away, because those who are still alive are not immune from fitnahs. They (those whom you should follow) are the Companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), who were the most virtuous of this Ummat. Their hearts were the most pure, their knowledge most deep and they were most informal (free from excesses and pomp). Allaah Ta`ala had chosen them to be the companions of His Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam( and to establish His Deen. Recognise their virtue, follow in their footsteps and hold on, to the best of your ability, to their character and way of life. They were Straight Guided Path.” [Mishkaat, vol. 1, page 32]
This narration is explicit in the fact that Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu) regards the word ‘Muslimoon’ to mean the Sahaabah. On the one hand, Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas`ood (radhiyallahu anhu) emphasised and encouraged following in the footsteps of the Sahaabah and warned against innovating acts contrary to their way.
“Follow in our footsteps, and do not innovate because you have been sufficed (with the perfect Deen).” [Al I’tisaam, vol. 1, page 54]
On the other hand, he ejected from the Masjid some persons who had innovated a loud Thikr program there (this narration will appear in detail, later on, In sha Allah Ta’ala). On that occasion, he did not categorise the action of these people under the narration of “that which the Muslims see as good…”, because it conflicted with the way of the Sahaabah.
The third point is that since it has now been established that the word ‘Muslimoon’ in this narration refers to the Sahaabah (alayhim ar ridhwan) , and that whatever they deem as good, Allaah Ta`ala also regards as good and whatever they deem evil, Allaah Ta`ala also regards likewise. There can be no difference from the Ahle Bid’ah that most if not all, the innovations which they so rigidly adhere to, are not established from the Sahaabah. If these actions were any good in their opinion, then they would most certainly not have passed them by, and if they were not evil in their opinion, then they would certainly not have omitted their execution. Their knowledge was also very deep and expansive, and they also had profound love for Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).
They had great fear for Allaah Ta`ala and immense concern for the Aakhirah. Hence, if they deemed an act to be evil and they did not carry it out, then certainly that thing is evil and detested in the Sight of Allah Ta`ala. This narration is in fact a strong proof against the perpetration of bid’ah, and not one in their favour! This will be discerned by those whom Allaah Ta`ala had bestowed the good fortune to understand and follow the Sunnah.
It is a bid’ah for anyone to specify (their own) time and conditions in acts of Ibaadat
It is not necessary that a thing which is evil from its inception only be termed a bid’ah. In fact, to add conditions, to change the form or stipulate a specific time for any important act of obedience and Ibaadat which the Shariah has left general, is also regarded as a bid’ah in Shar`i terminology. This is detested in Islamic Shariah.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah τ [passed away 58 A.H.] reports from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), “Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Do not specify the nights of Jumuah for Qiyaam (Nafl Salaats) over the other nights and do not specify the day of Jumuah for (optional) fasting over the other days, unless it falls in the normal fasting (pattern) of any of you.’” [Muslim Shareef, vol. 1, page 361]
From this narration we realise that the day of Jumuah enjoys special virtue owing to the Salaat of Jumuah, so because of this virtue it is not permissible to specify the nights of Jumuah for extra Salaat or the day for fasting.
Allamah Abu Is`haq Shaatbi (rahmatullah alayh) writes, in refuting and contesting bid’ah, “And it is the making incumbent of the specific manner and form of these bid’ahs, like the manner of having a congregational session where Thikr is made in unison…and amongst them (bid’ahs) is the stipulating of specific times for certain acts of Ibaadat, whose specification is not made by the Shariah.” [Al-I’tisaam, vol. 1, page 34]
At another juncture he states, “If the Shariah has encouraged a certain act, like Thikrullaah, and then a certain segment of the Ummah decides to specify this Thikrullaah to be made in congregation and recited in unison, or they stipulate a special and specific time for its execution, then this encouragement of the Shariah in no way can be used to prove this stipulation and specification, in fact, this (stipulating of conditions) is contrary to the Shariah.” [Al-I’tisaam, vol. 1, page 335]
Haafidh Ibn Daqeequl Eid writes, “These stipulations of time, condition, manner or method require a definite proof that will make it being Mustahab in that way. This is the correct path.”
Further he states, “Because certainly to rule its being Mustahab in this particular fashion requires a specific proof from the Shariah, which is imperative.”
He states further in refutation of a Shiah celebration, “That third Eid which the Rawaafidh have initiated which they call Eid-e-Ghadeer, the congregating for it, establishing it as a sign of the Deen and holding it on a specific time in a particular manner, are all not established in the Shariah. And closer to this, if there is any form of ibaadat which is established in the Shariah to be performed in a specific way, and if some people initiate some changes therein and include this as an integral part of it, then this will be grossly incorrect, because in acts of ibaadat, the prescribed manner should be in force, and without it (changes) being sourced from the foundation (i.e. from Nabi ρ and the Sahaabah τ), it will not be acceptable.” [Ahkaamul Ahkaam, vol. 1, page 51]
Whilst explaining regarding people gathering in the Masjid and making Thikr in a specific manner and form, the author of Majaalisul Abraar, quoted a narration of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) (which will be cited later in its context, In sha-Allaah Ta`ala), he states, “This is what every person should be called (i.e. a bid’ati) who introduces into physical acts of ibaadat such things which were not present during the time of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum).” [Majaalisul Abraar, page 133]
The reason for this is that the Deen is altered with this change in (original) form, and this is what is known as Tahreef-e-Deen. Hadhrat Shah Waliullaah Saheb, in discussing Tahreef-e-Deen states, “And amongst the reasons is that doggedness is maintained. The reality of it is that such difficult ibaadat are opted from which the Shariah has not given a ruling. For example, if a person keeps continuous fast, remains constantly in Qiyaam or abandons marriage. Or a person remains so firm and steadfast on Sunnat and Mustahab acts as is done to Waajib acts…when such a dogmatic and severe person becomes the teacher or leader of a group or nation, then the people (his students or followers) begin to think that his (dogged and severe) actions are part of and encouraged by the Shariah. This was the ailment suffered by the Jewish and Christian Sufis.” [Hujjatullaah lil Baalighah, vol. 1, page 120]
This is the reason why the divine laws were not left to the discretion of man. He has been made subservient in matters of ibaadaat and muamalaat, and also in matters of leadership and government, so that his whims, desires and fancies have no play in the Deen of Allaah Ta`ala.
Allamah Ibn Khaldun (rahmatullah alayh) states, “The Shariah of Islaam has come for his purpose that all conditions of man, (be they) ibaadat or muamalaat, even governmental administration, which is a natural social issue, are all firmly in line with (and in accordance to) the Deen. Man has been encouraged to keep in line with the Deen so that all his matters be governed by the Deen.” [Muqaddamah, page 190]
The famous Faqeeh, Abu Hanifah II, Allamah Zainul Abideen ibn Nujaim Al-Misri Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) writes, “Because the Thikr of Allaah Ta’ala, when it is specified for a particular time and not in any other time, or a condition is specified for the Thikr (which is not stipulated in the Deen), then this is not part of the Shariah, because the Shariah has not made these stipulations and conditions, hence it is contrary to the Shariah.” [Bahrur Raa`iq, vol. 2, page 159]
Allamah is telling us that even a meritorious act like Thikrullaah, which is a great ibaadat, but if the Shariah has not limited it to a specific time or stipulated that it be recited loudly or softly, or individually or in unison, or in any specific and particular manner, then to specify these limitations and conditions is contrary to the Shariah. This is, in fact, changing the Shariah (Tahreef-e-Deen), because the Shariah has not stipulated it such.
Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thaani (rahmatullah alayh) states, “It is the habit of this faqeer not to stipulate any particular day over others unless it is granted preference by Shaari’, like Jumuah and Ramadhaan are given preference by Shaari’.” [Maktoobaat, part 4, page 67]
From this discussion it is crystal clear that if the Shariah has not specified a certain night or day for an ibaadat, or it has not specified any Thikr to be performed in a particular manner or condition, then it will be an act of bid’ah to specify any of this which is not done by the Shariah.
The ruling regarding the specification of any particular condition or manner which was specified by the Sahaabah (alayhim ar ridhwan)
People may present the most advanced philosophical views, great observations, flowery poetry, etc., etc. but the thing which not every person can present all the time, is perfect obedience and following of the Rasul (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In the heat of the moment, it will be simple for a person to offer his life, but it is virtually impossible for a person to follow the Sunnat of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and tread the Straight Path his entire life, without flinching, in every condition and state. This is the most difficult test. The entire group of Sahaabah have alighted successfully from this daunting task of perfect obedience. The Sahaabah have demonstrated the perfect life of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to the entire Ummat, in excellent form. They have shown every aspect of his perfect lifestyle, for mankind to follow.
Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu):
The crux of a narration of Hadhrat Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is that once he passed a group of persons who were sitting in the Masjid and engaged in congregational Thikr. One of them was saying, “Recite Allaahu Akbar 100 times”, the complying group all then engaged in reciting the Takbeer using some pebbles. Thereafter he would say, “Recite Laa Ilaaha Illallaahu 100 times”, and they would all recite 100 times Tahleel. Finally he would say, “Recite Subhaanallaah 100 times”, and they would all comply. Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) asked them, “What are you reciting using these pebbles?” To which they replied, “We are reciting Takbeer, Tahleel and Tasbeeh.” He exclaimed, “Count your sins on these pebbles! I take responsibility that none of your good deeds are destroyed. Woe unto you, O Ummat of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . How swift are you paving your destruction. The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhuma) are still many amongst you, and the blessed clothing of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has not yet even decayed or his utensils broken…and you people have opened the doors of destruction (and bid’ah).” [Musnad Daarimi, page 38 – with an authentic sanad]
Allamah Qaadhi Ibrahim Saheb (rahmatullah alayh), reports Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood’s (radhiyallahu anhu) narrations in the following words, “I am Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood! I take an oath on that Being besides Whom there is no deity, you have indeed brought a dark bid’ah or are you more learned than the Companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam?” [Majaalis Abraar, page 133]
Sheikhul Islaam, Ibn Daqeeq (rahmatullah alayh), reports his narrations as follows, “He (Ibn Mas’ood radhiyallahu anhu) said, ‘When you see them, then inform me.’ He (reporter of the narration) said, ‘I informed him.’ Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) came with a cloth covering his head. He said, ‘Whosoever recognises me, knows me and for those who do not, I am Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood. Do you people think that you are more learned than Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah…??
You have indeed come up with a great bid’ah or have you exceeded the Sahaabah (ridhwanallahu anhum) of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in virtue?’ Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu) anhu criticised this act in the strongest and severest terms, notwithstanding the great significance of Thikrullaah.” [Ahkaamul Ahkaam, vol. 1, page 52]
The objective of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) was to demonstrate that, although these forms of Thikr were very virtuous and recommended in the Deen, this particular form and manner which these people were practicing was alien to the way of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum).
This form and manner of recitation was in fact innovated by these people, hence it was a deviated bid’ah. It was, according to him a ‘dark bid’ah’ and a ‘great bid’ah’.
According to Imaam Ibn Daqeequl Eid (rahmatullah alayh), this particular form was not amongst the accepted forms of Thikr known to Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu).
The opposite party (Ahle Shirk Wal Bid’ah Qabr Pujaris) also accept this narration (as being authentic).
Molvi Abdus Samee’ writes, “Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) has censured a group of people making loud Thikr, and labelled their act a bid’ah. This narration is listed in the Books of Fiqh and Hadith.” [Anwaarus Saati’a, page 24]
He states elsewhere, “The word ص appears in the narration, which refers to a story-teller who used to narrate stories in the evenings. During his story-telling session he would tell the people to say such and such (incite them to chorus?). This incident reached the ears of Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood, who went there. He chastised this person and told him that he had initiated a bid’ah. It is clear that this chastisement was not due to the new manner initiated, but rather because of his telling stories in congregation although Thikrullaah would also occasionally take place there. The Sahaabah would eject such person from the Masjid, who would narrate baseless stories therein.” Anwaarus Saati’a, page 38]
In principle, Molvi Samee’ had accepted this narration as being authentic. However, his interpretation that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had ejected them from the Masjid because of their story-telling, and his proving this using the word ص as a basis, is baatil and weak.
Firstly, the narration which led him off the track is the following one, “A story-teller, who used to sit at nights and tell the people, ‘Say this and say that.’” [Ahkaamul Ahkaam, vol. 1, page 52]
This narration and its wording make it crystal clear that this story-teller used to incite the people, and he would show them this manner of saying such and such. This narration in no way, not even by indication, suggests that futile and useless narrations were being spoken there, and that these people would engage in Thikrullaah in between the talks. However, this much is established from this narration that whatever this person would incite the others to say, they would comply.
Secondly, we have established from an authentic narration in Musnad Daarimi that he would instruct the congregation to recite 100 times each Takbeer, Tahleel and Tasbeeh, and that they would comply. It was this congregational form of Thikr which disturbed Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu), which he subsequently labelled a dark and deviated bid’ah. The statement of the author of Anwaarus Saati’a, “It is clear that this chastisement was not due to the new manner initiated,” is his own concocted understanding and not even worth any consideration. The following appears in Musnad Daarmi, “He (Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) came and stood by them, and asked, ‘What is this I see you people doing?’ They replied, ‘O Abu Abdur Rahmaan (this was his title), we are counting on these pebbles (the recitation of) Takbeer, Tahleel and Tasbeeh.’ To this he said, ‘You are counting your sins!’” [Musnad Daarimi, page 8]
Consider the actual situation! Can the author of Anwaarus Saati’a, in an unbiased reply, say that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) labelled the story-telling a great bid’ah or the congregational recitation of Takbeer, Tahleel and Tasbeeh? Was he opposed to this new-fangled manner or to the listening of stories? Was not Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) referring to their congregational recitation of Takbeer, Tahleel and Tasbeeh when he told them that they should count their sins on those pebbles, and then he labelled their actions as a great bid’ah? Or was he referring to them counting their stories on the pebbles?
In short, this interpretation of the author of Anwaarus Saati’a is plain drivel and rejected. The comments of Sheikhul Islaam Ibn Daqeequl Eid (rahmatullah alayh) and Qaadhi Ibrahim (rahmatullah alayh) indicate clearly that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) objected to the congregational manner of this Thikr program and it was this which he labelled a great and dark bid’ah.
Thirdly, the word ص in the Arabic dictionary refers to a person who delivers sermons. It is a general term referring to good or bad sermons. Yes, the generally-accepted meaning of this word is ‘story-teller’, be it good or bad stories. It is strange reasoning to specify the meaning of ص as only story-teller and that too, one who narrates untrue stories. Had the author of Anwaarus Saati’a only considered the words from the Qur`aan Majeed, etc., then he would not have faulted so badly.
Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) and the audible (loud) recitation of Durood Shareef in the Masjid.
The recitation of Durood Shareef is a great and virtuous act of Ibaadat, but recited individually and softly. The famous Faqeeh, Allamah Muhammad bin Muhammad Al Khawaarzami, famously known as Bazaazi Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 827 A.H.], the author of Bazaaziya, discussing loud Thikr, states, “From Fataawa Qaadhi (it is established that) it (loud Thikr) is Haraam, as authenticated by (the narration of) Ibn Mas’ood τ, when he ejected a group of people from the Masjid who were reciting Tahleel and Durood Shareef upon Nabi ρ, loudly. He said to them, ‘I do not regard you except as Mubtadi’een (bid’atis).’” [Shaami, vol. 2, page 350 / Fataawa Bazaaziya, vol. 3, page 375]
Just look at the change of scenario today — The person who does not join in the loud recitation of Durood Shareef in the Masjid is ejected by the Ahle Bid’ah.
On the contrary, Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) had ejected the group of loud Thikr-makers from the Masjid and told them that in his opinion they are bid’atis. The group of detractors should take heed and lesson from this authentic narration.
Our noble readers have just read and noted the valued opinion and verdict of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu). Now take a look-see at what the Qabr Pujari fanatic Molvi Muhammad Umar Icharwee says, “The Wahaabis and Deobandis claim that it is bid’ah to recite Durood Shareef loudly in congregation after Salaat and they decry the reciters thereof. The Durood Shareef is necessarily recited loudly after the Fardh Salaat in the Musaajid of the Ahnaaf. You should now take stock of your actions and classify yourself as a Wahaabi or a Hanafi.” [Miqyaas Hanafiyat, page 219]
Molvi Muhammad Umar, keeping the fear of Allaah Ta`ala, the reality of the grave and Aakhirah in front of him, must consider the decision of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) and decide whether he is a Sunni or Bid’ati.
Do only the Deobandis say that loud recitation of Durood Shareef in the Masjid is a bid’ah or does Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) also say the same? Let him come to his senses and reply fairly. Mere lip-service alone does not make one a Hanafi.
This narration is also authentic according to the Qabr Pujari group. Molvi Abdus Samee’ writes, “It is stated in Hamawi from Fataawa Qaadhi, ‘Loud thikr is Haraam. It has indeed been authenticated from Ibn Mas’ood τ that he heard about a group who were congregating in the Masjid to recite Tahleel and Durood upon Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in a loud voice. He went to them and said, ‘This was not done during the era of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . I do not see you except as Mubtadieen.’ He continued chastising them until he ejected them from the Masjid. It is established from the narrations that Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) did not merely eject these people because of their innovation, but also due to the fact that they performed Thikr loudly, which was contrary to the manner shown by Rasulullaah ρ. And this is exactly what we are saying that the innovation which is contrary to a Shar`i prescribed way is prohibited.” [Anwaarus Saati’a, page 38-39]
In short, Allamah Qaadhi, Imaam Bazaazi, Allamah Shaami and Allamah Hamawi (rahmatullah alayhim), each one of these great personalities have authenticated this narration of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu). Even the author of Anwaarus Saati`a has reported it so. If Imaam Suyuti (rahmatullah alayh) was unaware of the sanad of this narration, as is reported in Sabaahatul Fikr, page 68, then this does not mean that this narration is not authentic. As for the view of the author of Tafseer Roohul Bayaan that this narration is a lie and concoction, his opinion is not even worth considering. He classifies weak and concocted narrations as authentic and authentic Ahaadith as weak. Besides that, the classification of Ahaadith is not his au fait. This is the speciality and job of the Muhadditheen and Fuqahaa. The author of Roohul Bayaan is a Mufassir with a sufi disposition. He has included everything, be it authenticated or not, in his work [See Ikseer, page 82].
And that which he has said that this (censure and prohibition) was not due to the innovated method, is incorrect, because the very words of Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) negates this view, “This was not done during the era of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .” This statement of his is clear nass proof that this innovated method of Thikr recitation was not prevalent during the era of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). He did not say that this specific method was prohibited. Leaving aside this established proof from Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu amhu), the prohibition of loud Thikr which appears in the Qur`aan Majeed and Ahaadith, as quoted by the author of Anwaarus Saati’a, page 38, “And call unto your Rabb with humility and softly” (Aayat), and “Have mercy on your souls, verily you are not calling one who is deaf or absent” (Hadith), he states, “Some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu an understood from this that loud Thikr is prohibited. Based on this, Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood prevented people (from making loud Thikr)…”
Whatever else his view may be, the author of Anwaarus Saati’a has conceded that Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhoyallahu anhu) regarded the loud recitation of Thikr and Durood Shareef as being contrary to the way of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). If only the Ahle Bid’ah take some lesson from this.
As for the statement of Hadhrat Abu Waail Taabi’ee (rahmatullah alayh), which is extracted from Imaam Ahmad’s Kitaab Az-Zuhd, wherein he says, “These people thought that Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood rashiyallagu anhu prohibited from making Thikr. I would sometimes go and sit in the company of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood radhiyallahu anhu, and used to find him engaged in Thikr.”
This is most certainly not a proof or reply to Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) preventing from loud Thikr. The bone of contention here is not whether Thikr is permissible or not. The recitation of Thikrullaah is established from the Qur`an Majeed, authentic Ahaadith and Ijma of the Ummah. It is a great act of ibaadat and obedience. The question is whether this form of congregational Thikr, and that too, made loudly in a Masjid, and to recite Durood Shareef in this particular fashion — Is all this established from Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) or has he forbidden this and labelled it a bid’ah? It is clearly discerned from these Ahaadith that such acts are bid’ah and the perpetrators thereof are bid’atees.
This was so intolerable to the Sahaabi that he ejected these people from the Masjid. The opposition should state fairly if we are Wahaabis because of our revulsion to loud Thikr and Durood in the Masjid, or is Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) also to share in this fatwa of theirs? They should consider well their stance.
The status of Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) in Nabi’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) opinion
It is a fact beyond question and reproach that, after Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , the best of this Ummat are the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum). They are the guides of this Ummat. However, there are some amongst them who are more superior to the others, and Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is amongst the senior Sahaabah. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) held him in such high esteem that he said, “That which Ibn Mas’ood likes for you, I also like for you and am pleased with it.” [Mustadrak, vol. 3, page 319]
He also said, “That thing which Ibn Mas’ood does not like for you, I also dislike it for you.” [Al-Isti`aab, vol. 1, page 359]
Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) stated that Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) was even more learned and knowledgeable in the Qur`aan Majeed (Tafseer) than the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen. [Sharh Muslim, vol. 2, page 293]
You can now see for yourself who is the most senior mufassir amongst the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhuma), and also upon whom Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had the greatest reliance. He is the same one who has called the perpetrators of loud Thikr and Durood in the Masjid bid’atees, and he disliked their action. Since he did not like this act of theirs, then according to the words of the Hadith, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also dislikes such deeds. Whosoever desires may now follow in his footsteps, or whoever else he wishes.
Making loud Thikr in total isolation or in order to teach others, is another matter altogether.
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)
Hadhrat Mujaahid (rahmatullah alayh) states that he and Hadhrat Urwah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu anhu) entered the Masjid, when Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was sitting by the room of Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) and the people were performing Salaatud Duhaa in the Masjid. We asked him regarding their Salaat, to which he replied, ‘(It is a) Bid’ah’.” [Bukhaari, vol. 1, page 238 / Muslim, vol. 1, page 409]
The (validity) of Salaatul Chaasht (Duhaa) has been reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) via numerous Sahaabah (ridhwanallahu anhum), through authentic asaaneed. However during the era of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) this Salaat was not performed in congregational form or especially in the Masjid. It would be performed wherever one was. This is a Nafl Salaat, and it is more virtuous to perform Nafl Salaat in the home than Masjid. When Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saw the people performing this Salaat in the Masjid and also in this particular fashion, he called it a bid’ah. In commenting on this narration, Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) states, “The meaning of this (Ibn Umar’s statement) is because of their making it apparent in the Masjid and in congregation. This is a bid’ah, not that the Salaatud Duhaa itself is bid’ah.” [Sharah Muslim, vol. 1, page 409]
The virtue of Tahajjud Salaat has been greatly emphasised in the Ahaadith. It has also been reported in authentic Ahaadith that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed Tahajjud Salaat in congregation. However, if even this act is exceeded beyond the necessary then it is Makrooh. In this regard, Mujaddid Alf Thaani (rahmatullah alayh), in refuting a certain group, states, “They perform Tahajjud Salaat in congregation, where people from all sides gather to perform it with specific purpose and intent. This act is Makrooh, to the level of Tahreemi. One group of the Fuqahaa have said that the condition of calling to and making special arrangements for congregation (for Nafl Salaat) is Makrooh. They have also stated that the congregational Nafl Salaat be performed in one corner of the Masjid. They have also stipulated that the congregation of more than three persons (for such Salaats) is Makrooh.” [Maktoobaat, part 3, page 10]
Imaam Ibn Daqeequl Eid (rahmatullah alayh) states, “Can you not see that Ibn Umar (radhiallahu anhu) mentioned regarding Salaatud Duhaa that it is bid’ah, because in his opinion its proof was not established, and he did not deem it as being classified as a regular Salaat, which is specific to a certain time. Similarly, he regarded the Qunoot which was being recited in his era by the people as a bid’ah, because he did not deem it as being classified as a dua. Similarly, it is reported by Tirmidhi from Abdullaah bin Maghfal (radhiyallahu anhu) who told his son to save himself from innovation regarding the loud recitation of Bismillah, as he did not deem it as being sufficiently proven.” [Ahkamul Ahkaam, vol.1, page 53]
It is well known that Salaat itself, Qunoot and the recitation of Bismillah are most virtuous, but since it was not proven to be executed in a specific manner, time or form, personalities such as Hadhrat Ibn Umar and Ibn Maghfal (radhiyallahu anhu) labelled them as bid’ah and exhorted abstention from them (in these unproven forms). Although it is Sunnat to make Musaafaha (shake hands) and Muaanaqah (embrace), but since its execution is not established after every Salaat and specifically after Jumuah Salaat, it will be bid’ah to do it on these occasions. This occasion for Musaafaha has been refuted in many kitaabs, like Ar-Tarsheeh of Allamah Teebi, Multaqit, Idaahul Mutaalib, Khulaasatul Fiqh, Kaafi, Fataawa Ebrahim Shaami, Naasiri, Haashiyatul Masaabih, Majaalisul Abraar, Madkhal, Fataawa Ibn Hajar, etc. [See Al-Junna, page 130 – 146]
Allamah Teebi (rahmatullah alayh) states, “Musaafaha after Salaat is Makrooh, under all conditions, because it is amongst the sunnats of the Rawaafidh. This is also the ruling regarding Muaanaqah.” [Al-Junna, page 130]
As for Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) who stated in Kitaabul Athkaar that this Musaafaha is fine, has erred. Mullah Ali Qaari and Ibn Ameer Al-Haaj (rahmatullah alayhima) have refuted this view of Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) and established that this practice is bid’ah. Allamah Shaatbi (rahmatullah alayh) states, “There is no proof in the Shariah which indicates towards these specific times (for Musaafaha). In fact, it is Makrooh.” [Al-I’tisaam, vol. 1, page 280]
From these texts we establish that a specific issue cannot be proven using a general ruling, until a specific exception can be found to establish it. No one has the right in the Shariah to make khaas an aam proof, in accordance to his own fancy. To make a Mutlaq into Muqayyid or aam (general) into khaas (specific) (without Shar`i evidence) are all what are regarded as alteration in the Deen. This is what Imaam Gharnaati (rahmatullah alayh) has to say, “To make Mutlaq (general) into Muqayyid (specific), when this taqyeed (making Muqayyid) has not been established in the Shariah is to introduce one’s own opinion in the Deen.” [Al-I’tisaam, vol. 1, page 284]
When there is ample proof from the Shariah which is present (to prove an issue), and then for one to make Qiyaas (on this same issue) is a great disservice to the Deen. This crime is aggravated especially when the person making this ijtihaad or Qiyaas is not even qualified to do so. Allaah Ta`ala states:
“And do not speak what your tongues blurt (that) this is Halaal and this is Haraam, that you fabricate lies against Allaah.” [Surah An-Nahl]
Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahmatullah alayh) writes in commentary of this Aayat, “And included in this (Aayat) is every person who innovates a bid’ah, without substantiating with Shar`i proof, or he makes Halaal something which Allaah Ta`ala had made Haraam or he makes Haraam a thing which Allaah Ta`ala had made Halaal, merely to suit his own whims and fancies.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer, vol. 2, page 590]
Allamah Aaloosi (rahmatullah alayh) writes in the Tafseer of this Aayat that the view of Imaam Askari (rahmatullah alayh) is quite correct that you should not declare anything as Halaal or Haraam which is not established from Allaah Ta`ala or His Rasul (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , otherwise you will become a fabricator against Allaah Ta`ala. “Because the basis of Halaal and Haraam lies only with the Order of Allaah Ta`ala.” [Roohul Ma’aani, vol. 14, page 248]
This then is the condition of our present-day bid’atis, in that they hasten to prove everything with their deficient intellect. They waylay and mislead themselves and their followers by making concocted interpretations of nusoos-e-qat’I (clear categorical text) and authentic Ahaadith. They aim to destroy the Sunnah with their bid’ah. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Soon your matters will be turned around by some men, after me, they will annihilate the Sunnat with bid’ah.” [Ibn Majah, page 211]
This is the ailment of the Ahlush-Shirk Wal Bid’ah Qabr Pujaris that they give vent to their desires and intellect in every issue. They ask, “What is wrong with this??” “What sin or fault is there in this??” “What harm is there in this??” “This is also permissible!” “This is Mustahab!” “This is worthy of Thawaab”, etc., etc. They have not understood the reality. A thing may be permissible, but it becomes impermissible by attaching conditions to it. Just see, to recite Qur`an Majeed is rewarding, but we are prohibited from performing it in ruku and Sajdah [see Muslim Shareef, vol. 1, page 191]
It is permissible to make Nikah with a Ghair-Mahram woman, but on the condition that one is not already married to her sister, aunt or niece. It is permissible for a man to cohabitate with his wife, on condition that she is not menstruating. Wheat, Rice etc. is Halaal to consume, but becomes Haraam if it is stolen. How much more must we continue in explaining this rule?? In short, the Ahle Bid’ah make this principle and fatal error of establishing specific acts by using general rulings.
An error of the author of Anwaarus Saati’a
Molvi Abdus Samee’ cites from Zurqaani, Ibn Abi Shaiba, Abdur Razzaaq, Fat-hul Baari, etc., and states that it has been established from authentic sources that Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) has labelled Chaasht Salaat as a bid’ah-e-hasana, hence his refutation (of this Salaat) will not benefit those who prevent it. He states further, “Hence those who claim bid’ah have been proven and those who prevent have been refuted.” [Page 40]
It appears however that the moron author of Anwaarus Saati’a has not reflected over the matter, because then he would not have blundered so. The narration of Hadhrat Mujaahid (rahmatullah alayh) which is reported in Bukhaari and Muslim Shareef, does not deal with question as to whether Chaasht Salaat is bid’ah or Sunnah, bid’ah-e-hasana or bid’ah-e-sayyi’a. This much is mentioned therein that the questioners enquired from Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the Salaat which the people were performing in congregation in the Masjid. They wanted to know about the status and ruling regarding the manner of performance. I reply to this question, Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said that it is a bid’ah. He did not add the definition of ‘hasana’ to his statement. When one merely uses the term ‘bid’ah’, then bid’ah-e-sayyi’a is meant. Yes, if he mentioned that the actual Chaasht Salaat was a bid’ah-e-hasana, then this would have been a different matter altogether. In short, confirmation is one thing and refutation another. In the end, the author of Anwaarus Saati’a concedes, “And some Ulama have opined that he did not object to the Salaat itself, because according to him it was a good bid’ah and virtuous. How could he object to it? In fact, if he did object, then it was because the people had gathered in the Masjid to perform this Salaat, with the same etiquette as they would for a Fardh Salaat, and this is contrary to the norm.” [Anwaarus Saati’a, page 40]
This much we can say is that if the Shariah has not stipulated any specific manner and form for an act of ibaadat, and the Shariah has left it general, then it is a bid’ah to grant undue consideration to it. Hadhrat Naafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 117 A.H.] narrates, “A man sneezed nearby Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) and said, ‘Alhamdulillahi wa Salaamu ala Rasulillaah.’ Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) commented, ‘I also accept ‘Alhamdulillaah’ (that all praise is due to Allaah Ta`ala) and ‘Salaam ala Rasulillaah’ (Peace upon Rasulullaah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but this is not the way Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught us. On this occasion (of sneezing) he taught us to say, ‘Alhamdulillaahi ala kulli Haal.’” [Tirmidhi, vol. 2, page 98 / Mishkaat Shareef, vol. 2, page 406]
It is established from authentic Ahaadith that the one who sneezes should say, “Alhamdulillaah”. The Ahaadith do not advocate that salaam also be conveyed to Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on this occasion. Ask Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) why he prevented the recitation of Durood and salaam and what difficulty did the words ‘Salaam ala Rasulillaah’ cause to him? Is it a sin to send salaam to Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ? Only the ‘Wahaabis’ prevent from Durood and salaam on such inappropriate occasions, have you now joined their ranks? He was a staunch follower of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . He was well aware of the occasions when to recite Thikr, Durood and salaam. This is the reason why he prevented from it (since the occasion did not call for it).
Molvi Abdus Samee’ (mis)interprets this narration of Ibn Umar (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) thus, “It is stated in Kitaabuz Zabaa’i in Durrul Mukhtaar, ‘On two occasions it (Durood) is not uttered; at the time of sneezing and slaughtering.’ Hence the salaam upon Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was mentioned on an occasion of prohibition. Why then would he not prohibit on this appropriate occasion? Even we would prevent from a prohibited thing.” [Anwaarus Saati’a, page 152]
In passing, let us consider the status of this narration (quoted in the text above) – (Ahmad Raza Khaan states that this Hadith unauthentic). We are saying that the prohibition of Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was not because of this narration (that Durood is prohibited on two occasions), because he did not say that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prevented from the mentioning of his blessed name on the occasion of sneezing, therefore he is reproaching this person. In fact, he stated expressly that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught them that on this occasion one should only say, ‘Alhamdulillaah’. He deemed it impermissible to add anything extra to what was taught by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This narration proves that it is impermissible to add anything extra to any issue which is established is the Shariah. Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) did not object to this person’s statement because of the Hadith, “On two occasions it (Durood) is not uttered..” as is claimed by Abdus Samee’ Rampuri.
A person once sneezed nearby Hadhrat Saalim bin Ubaid (radhiyallahu anhu) and said, “Assalaamualaikum.” Saalim said to him, “On you and your mother.” The man was affronted, and Hadhrat Saalim commented, “Indeed I do not say except what Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said (i.e. on the occasion of sneezing).” [Tirmidhi Shareef, vol. 2, page 98 / Abu Dawood, vol. 2, page 320 / Mishkaat, vol. 2, page 406 / Muwaariduz Zamaan, page 479]
Abdus Samee`, made an appropriate comment after citing this narration by stating, “The objection was made due to the fact that this person veered away from the specific Shar`i stipulated words of ‘Alhamdulillah’ and recited something else in its place. This was an innovation and changing the Deen.” [Anwaarus Saatia, page 152]
This is precisely what we are saying that whatever the pristine Shariah has kept in place should remain so. Neither should Mutlaq be made Muqayyid nor vice versa. Aam should not be made Khaas nor Khaas Aam. That which has not been decreed as congregational should not be executed thus and that which the Shariah has not ordered to be made audibly should not be recited audibly. That which has not been specified to a special time should not be done so, because this will constitute a change and alteration in the Shariah. In other words this is a bid’ah, from which the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama’ah is pure.
Hadhrat Mujaahid (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 102AH] said that once he entered a Masjid together with Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in order to perform Salaat. The Athaan had already been given. A person began making Tathweeb (i.e. calling out ‘Salaat, Salaat’, thereby calling the people to Salaat). Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallah anhu) commented, ‘Are you mad? Was the call to Salaat which was incorporated in the Athaan insufficient?’. Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) said to Mujaahid (rahmatullah alayh), ‘Take me away from here, surely this is a bid’ah.’ [Abu Dawood, vol.1, page 79]
Hadhrat Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu amhu) left that Masjid and did not perform Salaat there. It is reported in another narration that he said, ‘Take me away from this innovation.’ He did not perform his Salaat there. [Tirmidhi Shareef, vol.1, page 28]
Towards the end of his life, Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) sight was failing, hence he said to his guide to take him away from there. You have noticed how much of detestation Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had for bid’ah that he did not even remain behind in the Masjid, where it was being perpetrated, to perform his Salaat. In today’s time, we would offer many excuses and reasons for staying on, whereas these luminaries were the stars of this Ummat and the actual fountainheads of this Ummat. Imaam Nawawi (rahmatullah alayh) states in Sharh Muhazzab, “It has been reported that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) once saw a Muatthin making Tathweeb in Esha Salaat, and he exclaimed, ‘Remove this bida’ti from the Masjid!’ A similar incident is reported about Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).” [Bahrur Raa`iq, page 261, vol. 1]
Allamah Gharnaati (rahmatullah alayh) writes that amongst the acts of innovations (bid’ahs) which the Salf-e-Saaliheen have rejected is Tathweeb. [Al-I’tisaam, page 114, vol. 2]
That Tathweeb which is mentioned in the Kitaabs of Fiqh refers to making those occupied in (intense Deeni) issues, like the Qaadhi, etc. aware of the impending Salaat. It does not refer to recitation of any Durood Shareef or to the loud repetition of the words of the Muath-thin.
Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)
The following narration has been reported regarding Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) (passed away 40 A.H.), “A man intended to perform some (nafl) Salaat on the day of Eid, prior to the Eid Salaat (at the Eid Gah). Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) prevented him. The man said, ‘O Ameerul Mumineen, I am indeed aware that Allaah Ta`ala does not punish for (performing) Salaat! Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) retorted by saying, ‘And indeed I am aware that Allaah Ta`ala does not reward for any action unless it was executed by Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or which He has ordained or encouraged. (Therefore) Your Salaat is futile and futility is Haraam. It is very possible that Allaah Ta`ala will punish you for it, because you have acted contrary to (the Sunnat of) Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .’” [Sharah Majma’ Bahrain, also in Junna, page 165 / Nazmul Bayaan, page 73]
Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) has demonstrated that since the performance of (Nafl) Salaat prior to the Eid Salaat was not reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), neither has he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) encouraged this by word or action, hence its execution is an act of ‘abath (futility), which is Haraam. It is also very possible that Allaah Ta`ala punishes for the act of even Salaat, which is the most dear act of Ibaadat to Him, if it is done contrary to the way and action of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , and which he has also never advocated or encouraged. We shudder to imagine what sort of fatwas and epithets the muftis of today would hurl upon Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) for having prevented an act of Salaat! May Allaah Ta`ala save us all.
The author of Anwaarus Saati’a accepts this narration in principle, but he fathoms an interpretation for it. In this regard he writes, “It is apparent that this prevention was not solely based on the fact that such a Salaat at this time was not reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , and that if it is not reported then it is branded a bid’ah as the people of the opposite camp aver. In fact, the prevention of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was a strong proof, which the Ulama of Ahnaaf adhere to, that there is a clear prohibition in this regard by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . It is stated in Sharah Majma’ that it has been reported that indeed Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘There is no Salaat on the days of Eid, before the Imaam.’ This is precisely our claim, that innovation of such a thing is prohibited which is in clear conflict to an order or prohibition of the Shariah.” [Anwaarus Saati’a, page 39]
The author of Anwaarus Saati`a has at least conceded to the fact that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) had prevented a man from performing Nafl Salaat prior to the Eid Salaat. However, his proving that this prevention of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was due to the narration reported in Sharah Majma’, where Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) forbade the performance, is incorrect. The question here is not what the proof of the Ahnaaf is for not performing Nafl Salaat prior to Eid Salaat or whether this prohibition is owing to Nabi’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) explicit prohibition or his non-execution of it, or also whether this narration is authentic or not. The point here is that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), upon preventing the man from performing the Salaat, specifically mentioned his proof and reasoning. The author if Anwaarus Saati’a has not pondered and reflected upon this issue properly. Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) only stated this, in negating the man’s action, “And indeed I am aware that Allaah Ta`ala does not reward for any action unless it was executed by Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or which He has ordained or encouraged.”
This statement of Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) is in absolutely no need of further dilation or analysis. This statement is a clear and unambiguous proof that Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) had prevented the man from performing Salaat, because in his opinion such an act (Nafl Salaat prior to Eid Salaat) was not reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , or that there was no clear encouragement for it by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .
The ‘logic’ of the author of Anwaarus Saati’a is indeed astounding! He has not considered the matter properly and opted to use the proof of the ‘neighbour instead of the one in the house’.
Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu)
Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) once saw Hadhrat Ta`oos Taabi’e (rahmatullah alayh) performing Salaat after Asr Salaat and prevented him. (This narration clearly states that this was only a two rakaat Salaat). Hadhrat Ta’oos (rahmatullah alayh) presented some interpretation for the prohibition of Salaat after Asr. Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) retorted sternly, “I do not know whether there is punishment or reward (for such a Salaat), because Allaah Ta`ala states, ‘It is not appropriate for a believing man or woman, when Allaah and His Rasul have decreed a matter, that they have a choice in it.’” [Mustadrak, page 110, vol. 1]
In this narration, although Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) prevented and cautioned Hadhrat Taa’oos (rahmatullah alayh) based on the prohibition of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , nevertheless as mentioned previously, just as it is sinful to oppose the prohibition of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), so too is there no reward for acting contrary to the Sunnat of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In fact, that too is a sin. You have noticed here that Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) had said that Hadhrat Taa’oos (rahmatullah alayh) is to be liable for punishment for acting contrary to the Sunnat.
Hadhrat Sa’eed bin Musayyib (radhiyallahu anhu)
In this regard there appears a narration of a man who normally performed two Rakaats after the Asr Salaat asking Hadhrat Sa’eed bin Musayyib (radhiyallahu anhu), “O Abu Muhammad! Will Allaah Ta`ala punish me for my (this) Salaat? He replied, ‘No, but He will punish you for acting contrary to the Sunnat.’” [Musnad Daarimi, page 62]
Here, Hadhrat Sa’eed bin Musayyib (radhiyallahu anhu) makes clear that whilst Allaah Ta`ala will not punish for the performance of any Salaat, owing to it being a great act of ibaadat, nevertheless, He will most certainly punish for its execution which is contrary to the Sunnat of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam.
Hadhrat Uthmaan bin Abil ‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu)
Someone once invited Hadhrat Uthmaan bin Abil ‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu) [passed away 55 A.H.] to a circumcision ceremony, which he clearly turned down. When he was asked the reason for refusing this invitation, he replied in no uncertain terms, “Indeed we never attended circumcisions (ceremonies) during the era of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , neither were we invited to such.” [Musnad Ahmad, page 217, vol. 4]
Hadhrat Uthmaan Bin Abil ‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu) also employs the same ruling that since it was not the custom to celebrate and offer meals for circumcision; hence he did not participate in such activities. He did not say that his non-participation is due to the fact that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) forbade such participation. You have seen that great Sahaabah like Hadhrat Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood, Hadhrat Ibn Umar, Hadhrat Ali, Hadhrat Uthmaan bin Abil ‘Aas (radhoyallahu anhum), etc. forbade participation and execution of great acts of Ibaadat like Salaat, Zikr, etc. to be performed in a specific manner and form with regularity due to the fact that this was not the manner of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , neither were such acts encouraged by him, nor were they enacted during his noble era. Therefore such acts are branded as bid’ah. This is not just a common bid’ah, it is a great, dark and deviant bid’ah. May Allah Ta`ala save us.
According to Allaah Ta`ala and His Rasul (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) only those acts of Ibaadat are acceptable which are executed with sincerity and in accordance to the Sunnah, even though such acts may be small. However, those acts are regarded as futile even though they display a mountainous façade and are carried out without sincerity or in imitation of the Sunnah. Such acts are devoid of life and soul. Hadhrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anhu) once mentioned that Hadhrat Abdurrahman bin Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) did not have any children. Someone in the household commented that if a child is born to him then they will slaughter a camel (for Aqeeqah). Hadhrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “No, the Sunnat practice is more virtuous, where two goats/sheep are slaughtered for a boy and one for a girl.” [Mustadrak, page 238, vol.4]
If one compares the value and meat derived from a camel to that of two goats/sheep, then the difference is apparent, notwithstanding this, Hadhrat Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anhu) gave preference to that which is Sunnat. In other words, the value of a Sunnat far outweighs any perceived worldly benefit. Nevertheless, the majority have also consented to the slaughtering of a cow or camel for Aqeeqah.
Some Aqli proofs in refutation of Bid`ah
Every government has formulated a set of rules to govern its subjects and all aspects of their lives. Obedience to these rules and laws are necessary upon all subjects and no government tolerates disobedience. If a citizen of Pakistan has to decide to introduce the use of British, Indian or any other country’s currency, then the government of Pakistan will haul him to court and file a case against him. If a Pakistani soldier has to report for duty in an American or any other country’s uniform, then his fate is known to all. Leave alone this soldier donning the uniform of a foreign country, even if he wears the uniform of a train or bus conductor, we all know what his fate will be.
In essence whatever uniform is stipulated by the governing body of any sector, becomes necessary for all the employees in that department to dress accordingly. A person travelling on a train cannot use any other ticket besides the stipulated train ticket as his pass and he cannot gain entry if the price is 20 rupees with a 10 rupee ticket. If the relevant authorities will take objection to such impudence, what anger will there not be if the Path of Allaah Ta`ala and His Rasul (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is substituted and altered? Allaah Ta`ala has set a certain standard for our deeds and measure for our actions. He has given us the model to follow in our lives, which is none other than the lifestyle of our beloved Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The Sahaabah radhiyallahu anhum), Tabieen and Tabe Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim) were paragons of this model. Every other way and means which conflicts with the ‘uniform’ and pattern shown to us by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , is rejected and an anti-thesis to our success and salvation.
In summary, no government has left its subjects to follow their desires and fancies in matters decreed by the state, just as we do not allow our workers and servants to act as they please, whilst in our employ, so too will any act which conflicts to the Deen and the Sunnat not be accepted from us.
This brief outline is sufficient for us to understand the correct position and difference between the Sunnat and bid`ah. Yes, as for those who will not accept, volumes upon volumes will not be sufficient (to convince them). If the Sunnat (which includes the statements and actions of Nabi sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), is kept in its pristine purity, then it will remain that invaluable gem, whose worth will never be exceeded by this entire world and whatever it contains.
Is there any benefit in bid’ah which is substantiated by proofs??
There may be in this world such a thing which, notwithstanding its harms, does not contain any benefit. The Qur`an Majeed mentioned regarding great evils of alcohol and gambling, “There is in both of them great sin and (some) benefit for man.” [Surah Baqarah, Ruku 27]
We accept that there is sin in these acts, but in the same verse, Allaah Ta`ala also states their having some benefits. However, these little benefits do not outweigh the great harms they present, and these harms render such acts Haraam and impermissible for all time. In fact, they are amongst the greatest of harms.
Whenever any group had introduced even the worst of bid`ahs, even they had extolled some or the other benefit or goodness for it. They may have also presented some or the other proofs in the name of love for Allaah Ta`ala, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or some pious personality or the other. By the use of some well-known personality they have indulged many people in this practice.
Even the Arab Mushriks had substantiated their totally evil act of idol-worship by averring that it was a means of gaining proximity to Allaah Ta`ala. In this regard, Allaah Ta`ala states in the Qur`an Majeed, “We (the Mushriks) do not worship them (idols) except that they bring us closer to Allaah.” [Surah Zumar, Ruku 1]
At another juncture, Allaah Ta`ala says that the Mushrikeen say, “These (their idols) are our intercessors by Allaah.” [Surah Yunus, Ruku 2]
See, even the Mushrikeen have satiated their conscience and substantiated their vile act of idol worship with some ‘valid’ proof. And then these same Mushrikeen, in the name of the creed of Ibraheem (alayhissalaam), have introduced the utterly vile and lewd innovation of making Tawaaf of the Kaabah Shareef whilst totally naked. Even their womenfolk would make Tawaaf with only a scant piece of cloth, barely covering their private parts.
An excuse is even cited by them for this extremely vile act, that since they commit countless sins in their normal clothing, how then can they make Tawaaf of Allaah Ta`ala’s Pure House in those same clothing?? They also aver that by donning clothing, they resemble worldly people and that this is unsuitable for one making Tawaaf, since it conflicts with the honour and sanctity of Allaah Ta`ala’s House. We note in no uncertain terms what Allaah Ta`ala and His Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say regarding this warped ‘Tasawwuf’ of the Mushrikeen. We also know that after the occasion of the Conquest of Makkah in 8 A.H. on the occasion of Hajj, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) proclaimed that no one is allowed to make Tawaaf naked. [Bukhaari, vol. 1, page 220]
This is how Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) terminated a bid’ah which lasted centuries.
Hadhrat Umar bin Abdil Azeez (rahmatullah alayh) has mentioned, “Amma Ba`ad, I advise you with fear for Allaah Ta’ala, moderation in executing deeds, following the Sunnat of His Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , abandoning that which the innovators introduced after the Sunnat. What a felony is it not to introduce a bid`ah in the presence of a Sunnat? Hold on firmly to the Sunnat, because it is a protection and fortress for you, by the order of Allaah Ta`ala. Know! No nation introduces any bid`ah except that a proof (against) or experience of it has passed before. Indeed the Sunnat was introduced by such a personality who discerned its opposite factors, considered them and opted against them. You should also content yourself with those things which the nation (Sahaabah) were pleased with, because they were aware and had insight. They stayed away from bid’ah. They were on the highest pedestal. Therefore if you believe that guidance lies in that which you practice, then it implies that you have surpassed them in excellence.” [Abu Dawood, page 277, vol. 2]
Hadhrat Umar bin Abdul Azeez (rahmatullah alayh) makes abundantly clear that the Sunnat is that Path which was demonstrated to us by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah. That which conflicts the Sunnat, which is bid’ah, had also passed their gazes and attentions, but they opted not to practice upon it. Whatever proofs the Ahle Bid’ah present to substantiate their innovations, had also existed during those eras, but none of those in that illustrious era had ever opted to practice these accretions. How is it that today, we substantiate bid’ah practices with those proofs which were never opted for during that era, notwithstanding those personalities being aware of them? We should like for ourselves that which they preferred. They were the virtuous ones who were rightly guided. If these innovations are koshered and accepted today, then it implies that we are more pious, intelligent and rightly guided than those personalities (i.e. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah).
Allaamah Shaatbi (rahmatullah alayh) states, “You will not find any innovator who lays claim to being connected to the Deen, but he will present some or the other Shar`i ‘proof’ to substantiate his act, and in this way will he concoct according to his desires and whims.” [Al-I`tisaam, vol. 1, page 171]
Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf Thaani (rahmatullah alayh) states, “Because every bid`atee (innovator) and deviate substantiates his concocted belief from the Kitaab and Sunnah, in accordance to his concocted desire.” [Maktoobaat, part three, page 8, Maktoob 193]
From these texts we establish that every innovator and deviate who lays claim to being connected to the Deen-e-Islaam, takes consolation in proving and substantiating his innovation with some spurious proof which he concocts from the Shariah. However, his misuse of the Qur`an Majeed and Sunnah to mislead the masses is a crime. Neither is his understanding correct nor is the proof which he fraudulently presents. These very same proofs which he presents were there and available to the Sahaabah, Tabieen and Tabe Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim ajmaeen), but none of them ever practiced that which these deviates do. These customs were never practiced by these luminaries. How then can their baatil beliefs and evil innovations be accepted and established today?
Hadhrat Umar bin Abdul Azeez (rahmatullah alayh), mentioned the following in refutation of those who denied the existence of taqdeer, “They (the Sahaabah τ, Tabieen and Salf-e-Saaliheen), have also recited these Aayaat which you recite, but they have understood its meaning and import whilst you have not. Notwithstanding their recitation of all these Aayaat, they accepted the concept of taqdeer.” [Abu Dawood, vol.2, page 278]
The import of this statement is crystal clear in that if the meaning of these Aayaat which they present to substantiate their negation of Taqdeer is as they claim, then these very Aayaat were also available to the personalities of the best of eras. How then is it possible that they did not understand the meaning to be such? Can it be said that you are on Haqq and they (Sahaabah , etc.) on baatil?
Hadhrat Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 1239 A.H.] stated, “The yardstick and criterion for differentiating between Haqq and baatil is the understanding, logic and comprehension of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) and Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim). Whatever this group deduced and understood from the acts and statements of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , as long as it cannot be disproved, is waajibul qubool (necessary to follow)…If a bid`atee has adopted any understanding which is contrary to that found in the best of eras, then this understanding of his needs to be inspected. If his specific understanding is in conflict with a Qat`i (absolute) proof from nusoos or Ijma, then this bid`atee will be classified as a kaafir. If this understanding of the bid`atee is in conflict with a zanni proof, which is close to certainty, like Akhbaar-e-Mashhoor or Ijma-e-Urfi, then such a bid`atee will be classified as a deviate and not kaafir.” [Fataawa Azeezi, vol. 1, page 156]
The following salient points are deduced from the above texts:
1. A bid`atee or deviate does not merely make a claim without presenting some or the other proof to substantiate.
2. The proof that they present is not merely based on logic, but they present from Qur`an and Ahaadith.
3. However, their understanding of the Qur`an Majeed and Ahaadith is flawed.
4. The reason is that the very same Qur`an Majeed and Ahaadith which they present as proof, was also available to the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), Tabieen and Salf-e-Saliheen (rahmatullah alayhim) and none of them understood or interpreted as the people of Bid`ah do.
5. The proper and authentic interpretation of the Qur`an Majeed and Ahaadith is that which the Sahaabah and Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim) presented.
5. If the proof presented by the Bid`atee is contrary to Daleel-e-Qat’i, then he is a kaafir, but if it contradicts Daleel-e-Zanni, then he is a bid`atee and deviate. In fact, Shah Waliullah (rahmatullah alayh) states that if a person is unfamiliar with the language in which the Qur`an Majeed was revealed or similarly if he is not au fait with the Tafseer of Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah and Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim), then it is Haraam for such a person to even delve into the science of tafseer, in the first place. He states, “I am of the view that it is Haraam for that person to delve into the science of Tafseer if he is unfamiliar with the language in which the Qur`aan Majeed was revealed, and if he is unwary of the concepts of Shaan-e-Nuzool, naasikh and mansookh, which were all reported from Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , the Sahaabah and Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim).” [Hujjatullah Baalighah, vol. 1, page 172]
The support which the Ahle Bid`ah eke out for their practices, is not only not to be found in Tafseer or the lives of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (alayhim ar ridhwan), it contradicts all this.
Even if they do present anything from the tafseer or Sunnah, then it is either concocted or some very rare and unique report, which they found somewhere. If they do present some authentic or reliable Tafseer or statement, then its meaning and import is misunderstood by them, and presented falsely.
Imaam Suyooti (rahmatullah alayh) states, “The various sects amongst the Ahle Bid`ah who have based their spurious beliefs on their weak and whimsical understanding of the Qur`an Majeed, do not find a corresponding view amongst those of the Sahaabah, Tabieen and Salf-e-Saaliheen (rahmatullah alayhim).” “The summary of this is that whoever chooses the opposite view of that which is presented by the Sahaabah and Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim) is in grave error, in fact he is a bid’ati, because the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) and Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim) understood the Tafseer of the Qur`an Majeed and its meanings best. They have understood it as it ought to be, just as it was revealed to Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) .” [Tafseer Itqaan, vol.2, page 178]
This is a sign of an erroneous creed which is based on false and unsubstantiated narrations. If the Ahle-Bid’ah understood only this principle, they would have saved themselves from the evil in which they wallow.
What is to be done if there is doubt as to whether a thing is Sunnah or Bid’ah??
All praise is due to Allaah Ta`ala that in the aforegoing para’s the reality and difference between Sunnah and Bid’ah was clarified. However if we assume that a doubt does surface regarding an issue and the laymen cannot distinguish between Sunnah and Bid’ah then the obvious and safest path would be to abandon this act and not approach it. If there is a doubt as to whether a thing is bid’ah, Sunnah, Mustahab or permissible then the safest path is to abandon it altogether. There is consensus amongst the Ulama that this is the safest path to tread. In this regard Hadhrat Wabista bin Ma’bad (radhiyallahu anhu) reports from Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , “A sin is that which agitates your nafs and places your heart in doubt. Even though people (even ‘muftis’) give you a ruling.” [Ahmed/Darmi/Mishkaat, vol.1, page 242]
Hadhrat Attiyah Assa’di (radhiyallahu anhu) states, “Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘None of you will ever reach the state of piety, until such time that he abandons those things in which there is no harm, because then he will become a means to those things in which there is harm.’” [Tirmidhi / Ibn Majah / Mishkaat, vol. 1, page 242]
Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to Hadhrat Mua’dh when he deputed him as a governor to Yemen, “… Without having knowledge, you should never make any decision or ruling. If you are presented with any issue wherein there is doubt, then do not decide until the matter becomes clear or you have written to me.” [Ibn Majah, page 6]
Hadhrat Nu`maan bin Basheer (radhiyallahu anhu) [passed away 64 A.H.] reports that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Halaal is clear and Haraam is clear. Between these two there are things which are doubtful, of which many people are unaware. The person who saves himself from these doubtful things has saved his Deen and honour and whosoever indulges in them, then (it is as if) he has indulged in Haraam. Just like the animal that grazes on the edge of the pasture, soon it will trespass.” [Bukhaari, vol. 1, page 13 / Ibn Majah, page 296]
It is crystal clear from these narrations that the only saviour of one’s Imaan and honour insofar as matters of doubt are concerned is to abandon them and not involve oneself in them. One should not destroy one’s everlasting existence by indulging in doubtful acts. One should especially save oneself from indulging in acts which lead to kufr, bid`ah and deviation. In fact, Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has expressly stated that one should avoid doubtful things. In this regard, Hadhrat Hasan bin Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) [passed away 50 A.H.] stated that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Leave that in which there is doubt for that wherein there is no doubt, because in goodness there is contentment and in evil, doubt.” [Mustadrak, vol. 2, page 12]
This Hadith also makes it abundantly clear that it is necessary to abandon all such things wherein there is doubt.
The entire life of our beloved Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is before us, wherein there is not the slightest scope of doubt (i.e. everything is clear). Following the Sunnah lifestyle is sufficient to grant us peace ad contentment. Acting to its contrary leads to darkness and deviation.
It is clearly stated in one Hadith that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) loved beginning things from his right. With regard to this, Hadhrat Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “None of you should leave any portion of his Salaat for shaitaan. Upon completing your Salaat on your left, do not make it binding upon yourself to turn around (only) to the right, because I witnessed Rasulullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also turning to his left side.” [Agreed Upon Mishkaat, vol. 1, page 78]
In commenting on this Hadith, the famous Muhaqqiq, Allamah Muhammad Taahir Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 986 A.H.] stated, “That person who insists upon a Mandoob or Mustahab act such that he makes it binding and never wavers from it, then it is as though shaitaan has placed him on the road of deviation. What is the condition of that person who persists on bid`ah and evil.” [Majma`ul Bahaar, vol. 244]
The same views are shared by Allamah Teebi Al-Hanafi [passed away 743 A.H.] in the Sharh of Mishkaat and Hadhrat Mullah Ali Qaari (rahmatullah alayhima) in Mirkaat [page 353, vol. 2], which clearly proves that whosoever persists on Mandoob or Mustahab, such that they never practice against it, are under shaitaan’s influence, and he shares a part of their deed. Allamah Barkali Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) [passed away 981 A.H.] writes, “Know that to execute an act of Bid`ah is worse than omitting a Sunnah. The proof is that the Fuqahaa (rahmatullah alayh) have stated that if a doubt occurs between any act being either Sunnah or Bid`ah, then it is necessary to omit such an act.”
It is stated in Fatawa Aalamgiri, “That which hangs between (being) Sunnah or Bid`ah must be abandoned.” [Aalamgiri, vol. 1, page 179]
Allamah Shaami (rahmatullah alayh) states, “If any issue hinges between being (either) Sunnah or bid`ah, then to abandon a Sunnah is preferable to executing a bid`ah.” [Shaami, vol. 1, page 200]
Qaadhi Ebrahim Saheb Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) states, “That thing in which there is a doubt between it being either a Sunnah or bid`ah, should be abandoned, because it is necessary to abandon bid`ah and it is not incumbent to practice upon a Sunnah.” [Nafaaisul Azhaar, Tarjuma Majaalisul Abraar, page 129]
In fact, Allamah Ibn Nujaim Al-Hanafi (rahmatullah alayh) writes, “It is necessary to abandon that Waajib act, just as is with a Sunnah, if there appears a doubt between it and a bid`ah.” [Bahrur Raa`iq, vol. 2, page 165]
This text makes it abundantly clear that if by executing an act from the angle of it being a Sunnah, but a bid’ah necessarily results from it, then it becomes necessary to abandon that act altogether. That Sunnah will be omitted because it gives rise to a bid’ah. Leave alone Sunnah acts, if this applies to even Waajib acts, then they too should be abandoned. This is done so as not to spread and propagate a bid’ah. Bid`ahs are so abhorred in Islam that they are not be offered any leeway at all. In order to prevent a bid’ah from being propagated and spread, Sunnah, Mustahab and even Waajib acts are sacrificed!
O readers! If you understand properly the meaning of obedience to Allaah Ta`ala and if you love Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , then there is only one path to follow — that is the Sunnah of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) , and to tread the footsteps of the Sahaabah, Tabieen and Tabe Tabieen (rahmatullah alayhim).
Adopt those beliefs and practices which they adhered to. It should not be that you are as the words of Hadhrat Abdullaah ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) state (which in reality are the words of Nabi sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), that you gather in the Masjid and are deprived of Imaan, “Such a time will dawn on people where they will gather in the Musaajid, whilst they are devoid of Imaan.” [Mustadrak, vol. 4, page 443]
This is that very same Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) who walked out of a Masjid because they practiced tathweeb. In summary, even the smallest of acts is beneficial if executed with sincerity and in accordance to the Sunnah. On the other hand, even the greatest of deeds which is carried out whilst the heart accommodates shirk and bid’ah, means nothing in the Sight of Allaah Ta`ala.
May Allaah Ta`ala grant us all sincerity of intentions and proper following of the Sunnah. Aameen!