Innovation (bidat) in Islam

CHAPTER SEVEN

INNOVATION (BIDAT) IN ISLAM

THE MEANING OF INNOVATION AND ITS TYPES & LAWS

The literal meaning of ‘Bidat’ (Innovation) is a new thing. The Holy Quran states, “Say, “1 am not a new Rasool,” 7.2 ”The Creator of the heavens and earth,” 7.22 and “و رھبانیۃ ن ابتدعوا ھا ما کتبنھا علیھم”7.23.

The literal meaning of Bid at has been used in these verses (i.c. to create, to make new, etc). Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “Bidat is the action which has no past example.” 7.24 _ Mirqaat Sharah Mishkaat, Baabul-Itisaam bil-Kitaab was­Sunnah

It is now used in three meanings,

1. A new action that came to be after the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.

2. An action against the Sunnat which removes a Sunnat.

3. Bad or false beliefs (aqaaid) that came to be afterwards.

The first meaning of Bid at is divided into two categories,

1. Hasana (Good Innovation)

2. Sayyia (Bad Innovation)

The second and third meanings of innovation refer only to a Bad Innovation. The second meaning was meant by the pious when they said, “Every Innovation is Bad (Sayyia).” The third meaning is meant by the Hadith, “Every Innovation is a deviance.” Thus, the Ahadith and rulings of the Ulama are not in conflict.

According to the Shariah, Innovation (Bidat) refers to those beliefs or practices which were not prevalent in the visible lifetime of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and were produced afterwards. This results in Innovation within Shariah (Shar”i Bidat) to be of two types, Bidat-e-I’tiqaadi and Bidat-e-Amali.

Bidat-e-l’tiqaadi (Innovation in Belief) are those false beliefs that were produced in Islam after The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. The beliefs of Jews, Christians, fire- worshippers and polytheists are not Bidat-e-I’tiqaadi because they were found in his time, also, these beliefs are not considered to be Islamic beliefs according to the Christians, etc.

The beliefs of the Jabriya, Qadriya, Murjiya, Chakraalwi, Ghair-Muqallids and Deobandis are Bidat-e-I’tiqaadiya because they were made afterwards and these people consider them to be Islamic beliefs. Examples of this follow: The Deobandi belief that Allah عزوجل has power to speak lies, The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, is ignorant of Knowledge of the Unseen, thinking of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم in Salaah is worse than thinking of donkeys and mules in it, etc. These impure beliefs have been innovated from the Century A.H. Reference for this from Shaami has already been given in the introduction of this book. Now follows proof of the Good Innovation (Bidat-e-Hasana).

Allah عزوجل states,” وجعلنا فی قلوب الذین ابتدعوہ رافۃ و رحمۃ ط ورھبانیۃ ن ابتدعوا ھا ما کتبنھا علیھم الا ابتغائ رضوان اللہ فمار عواھا حق رعایتھا ” 7.25 He then says, ” فا تینا الذین امنوا منھم اجر ھم ” 7.26 This ayat proves that the Christians produced a Good Innovation, i.e. abstinence from the world. Allah عزوجل praised them for this and even rewarded them for it. Yes, He rebuked those who could not accomplish it. He then states, “فا تینا الذین امنوا منھم اجر ھم “7.27

Rebuke was not made for bringing about something new, but for not fulfilling it. We can deduce from this that the Good Innovation is something excellent and a means of reward. However, not keeping to it is bad. The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم states that continuance in something makes that affair the best. For this reason, Muslims should complete hosting Meelads, etc. regularly. Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is reported to have stated in a Hadith, “The person who invents in our deen a belief that is contrary to it is rejected (mardood).”7.28 – Mishkaat, Baabul-Itisaam

We have translated ‘Maa’ as belief because the deen constitutes of beliefs, Deeds (amal) are their supplement. A person who doesn’t perform namaaz is a sinner but not someone out of the deen or a Kaafir. Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the annotation of this Hadith, “و المعنی ان من احدث فی الاسلام رایا فھو مر دود علیہ مر دود علیہ اقول وصف امرنا بھذا اشارۃ الی امر الاسلام کمل “In other words, the belief invented in Islam contrary to it will have the person rejected. I say, “The description (wast) of ‘Haazal-Amr gestures that the affairs of Islam are complete.” – Mirqaatul­ Mafaateeh

This proves that Innovation (Bidat) has been asserted towards beliefs, Once, someone came to Hadrat Ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ and said, “[So-and-so] has sent you Salaam.” He replied, “I have information that he has become an Innovator (Bidati). If this is truly the case, do not convey my Salaam to him.” 7.30 ­Mishkaat, Baabu/-Imaan bil-Qadr

How did this person become an Innovator? Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “In my Ummat, there will be sinking in the earth, distortion of appearances and throwing of stones amongst the Qadriya people.” 7,31 -Ibid

We can deduce that the person who sent the Salaam was from the Qadriya (he rejected the concept of fate (taqdeerj).

Durr-e-Mukhtaar states, “Narnaaz performed behind an Innovator (Bidati) Imam is makrooh. Innovation (Bidat) is harboring that belief against the beliefs known from The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم.” 7.32 – Kitaabus-Salaah, Baabul-lmaamat

We ascertain from these extracts that Bidat applies to innovated as well as bad beliefs, and all of the strong warnings of punishment mentioned in the Ahadith concerning Innovation and Innovators are towards Bidat-e-I’tiqaadiya. The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم states, “He who shows respect to an Innovator (Bidati) has helped in decimating Islam {i.e. one who has the Bidat-e-I’tiqaadia).” Maulwi Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi writes, “The Innovation which such strong threats were made against is Innovation in Beliefs, e.g. the innovation of the Khaarijies and Shias.” Fataawa Rasheedta, Vol.1. Kitaabul-Bidat, Pg. 90

Bidat-e-Amali (Innovation in Practice) is every action and doing that was produced after the time of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, irrespective of whether it is religious (deeni) or worldly, during or after the time of the Sahaaba رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ Mirqaat states, “According to the Shariah, Innovation is an action or practice that was not present in the Noble Messenger’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم time.” 7.33 – Baabul-Itisaam

Under this very chapter, Ashiatul-Lam’aat states, “Any action that was created after the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is Bidat (Innovation).”

In both of these extracts, neither is there any restriction of a religious action nor was the era of the Sahaaba considered. Any practice that took place after the time of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, whether religious or worldly, is a Bidat, even if it occurred in the era of the Sahaaba. Yes, in general usage of speech, the innovations of the Sahaaba are called Sunnat-e-Sahaaba, not Bidat. This is usage. Otherwise, Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, himself said after fixing Taraweeh salaah with Jamaat, “This is indeed a very excellent innovation (Bidat).” 7.35 – Hadith Sharif, there are two categories of Innovation, Good and Bad (Bidat-e-Hasana & Bidat­e-Sayyia).

Bidat-e-Hasana is the innovation that doesn’t go against any Sunnat, e.g. gatherings of Meelad, Madrassahs, exotic and new foods, printing the Quran and religious books, etc.

Bidat-e-Sayyia is the innovation that is contrary to a Sunnat or ruins it, e.g, reading the Khutba of the luma and Eidain Salaah in a language other than Arabic (as the Sunnah is for it to be read in Arabic,. etc.)

Bidat-e-Hasana is permissible. Rather, it is preferable (mustahab) and even compulsory (Waajib) at times. A Bad Innovation is either Makrcoh-e-Tahrimi or Haraam. It can also be Makroohi-e-Tanzeehi. We shall discuss this categorization later on. Proof of both Good and Bad Innovations follow. Under the Hadith, “و کل بدعۃ ضلالۃ” Ashiatul-Lam’aat states, “The Innovation that is in conformity to the principles and laws (of the Shariah) and Sunnah and which Qiyaas is made with is known as Bidat-e-Hasana. Whatever is against the above is known is a deviant Innovation.” – Vol. 1, Baabul-Itisaam.


 

A Hadith states, “He who initiates a good practice in Islam receives its reward. The reward of those who act upon it will also be attained by the initiator, with none of their thawaab being decreased. He who initiates a bad practice in Islam accwnulates its sin and the sin of those who act upon it. Their sin will also not be lessened.” 7.38 – Miskhaat, Kitaabul-Ilm

We can deduce from this that inventing a good practice in Islam is a means of reward, and innovating a bad one causes sin to be accumulated.

Discussing the excellence of Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, the introduction of the book Shaami states, ”The Ulama state that the following Ahadith are from the laws of Islam: “He who invents a Bidat accumulates the sin of all those who act upon it. The person who brings out a Good Innovation attains the reward of all who act upon it until the Day of Qiyaamat.” 7.39

This also proves that a Good Innovation causes thawaab to be attained while a Bad Innovation is a sin.

Something that goes against a Sunnat is a Bad Innovation. This is proven by the following, “Any person who takes out a practice or opinion in our deen contrary to it is rejected.” .40 – Mishkaat, Baabul-Itisaam

“Contrary to it [i.e. the deen)” means against the deen, Therefore, Shaikh Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes in the commentary of this Hadith, “It refers to something that is against the deen or something which changes it.” Ashiatul-Lam’aat

Another Hadith states, “The Innovation produced by a nation causes the Sunnah of the same proportion to be lifted. Hence, holding on to the Sunnah is better than introducing an Innovation.” 7.42 – Mishkaat, Baabut-Itisaam, Section 3

Ashiatul-Lam’aat states in the annotation of this Hadith, “When bringing out an Innovation wipes out a Sunnah, then upholding the Sunnah will effectively erase the Innovation.”

This narration and its annotation prove that a Bad Innovation is that which erases a Sunnah. Examples of this have already been given. Both Good and Bad Bidats should be properly understood and recognized.

TYPES OF INNOYATION (BIDAT) AND THEIR CATEGORIES

We already know that there are two types of Innovation, Good (Hasana) and Bad (Sayyia). It has been mentioned that a Good Innovation is of three kinds: permissible (jaaiz), preferable (mustahab) and compulsory (waajib).

There are two types of Bad Innovations (Bidat-e-Sayyia): the disliked (makrooh) and prohibited (haraam). Proof of this categorization follows,

“Innovation is sometimes,

1. Waajib – such as to attain the knowledge of Arabic grammar and syntax (nahw) and deduce principles of Fiqh.

2. Haraam – the Jadriyya sect (i.e. their beliefs).

3. Mustahab – to build quarters for travelers and Madrassahs, to read Tarawech salaah with general congregation (jamaat} and every other good thing that was unfound in previous times.

4. Makrooh – to decorate the Musjids extravagantly.

5. Permissible – to shake hands (musaafaha) after Fajr salaah and to prepare and improve in food and drink.” 7.44 – Mirqaa/, Baabul-Itisaam bil·Kitaab was-Sunnah

Allama Shaami writes, “Performing namaaz behind a follower or believer ora Haraarn innovation is makrooh (Note: what is meant here is prohibited dislike). Otherwise, Innovation is sometimes Waajib, e.g. learning Arabic grammar (nahw) and gathering proofs (of the Ahle-Sunnah); Mustahab, e.g. constructing traveler quarters and Madrassahs and instituting any good thing that was not present in past times; Makrooh, e.g. expensively adorning the musjids; Mubaah (allowed), e.g. dilation in tasty foods, drink and clothes. Jaame-Sagheer also states the same as above.” 7.45 – Raddul-Muhtaar, Kitaabus-Salaah, Baabul-lmaamat, Vol. 1

The five kinds of Innovation (Bidat) are clearly understood from these extracts. Thus, we come to know that every innovation is not Haraam. Rather, some are occasionally necessary, such as deducing principles of Fiqh, to gather and place i’raab (zabar, zero pesh) in the Holy Quran, printing it in modem times, making schedules for teaching, etc. in Madrassahs, etc.

CATEGORIES OF INNOVATION, THEIR SIGNS AND RECOGNITION

The definitions of the Bad and Good Innovation (Bidat-e-Sayyia and Hasana) have already been given (an Innovation that goes against Islam or erases a Sunnah is Sayyia, and that which is contrary to this is Hasana). Now follows the recognition of these given categories:

Permissible (Jaaiz) Innovation – Every new action that is not prohibited by the Shariah and is carried out without any intention of goodness, e.g. eating various types of food, etc. Reference for this from Mirqaat and Shaami has already been presented. There is no reward or punishment accumulated in these actions.

Preferred (Mustahab) Innovation new action that is not prohibited by the Shariah and which the general Muslim public deems to be a deed of reward,” that which a person completes with the intention of goodness, e.g. gatherings of Meelad and making the Fatiha of the pious, as the general Muslim public deems these actions to be of reward. The person who completes these actions will attain thawaab and the person who doesn’t will not be a sinner. Proof of this follows.

Mulla Ali Qaari رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes, “It has been narrated from Hadrat Ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ, “An action that is deemed to be good by Muslims is also good according to Allah عزوجل.

A marfoo Hadith states, “My Ummah will not agree upon deviance.” 7.46 ­Mirqaat; Baabul-Itisaam

Mishkaat Sharif records the following Hadith, “Actions are based on intentions and a person attains for whatever he intended.” 7.47

Durre-Mukhtaar states, “Mustahab is an action which the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم sometimes did and sometimes didn’t, or an action deemed to be good by the past Muslims.” 7.48 – Vol. 1, Discussion on the Preferred (mustahabaat) of Wudhu

Shaami states, Becaus food intentions make habits and actions to become acts of worship (ibaadat).,,74 – Vol. 5, Discussion on Qurbaani

The above is also said in Mirqaat, under the discussion of Niyyat.

These Ahadith and extracts of Fiqh prove that any permissible action that is completed with the intention of thawaab, or a deed deemed by Muslims to be full of reward, is also an action of thawaab in the sight of Allah عزوجل. So, whatever they testify to be good is acceptable and whatever they deem to be bad isn’t acceptable.

An appropriate discussion on this can be seen in my book, Shaane­Habibur-Rahman, and a brief insight in this book under the discussion of the Urs of the Saints.

Waajib Innovation – A new action that is not prohibited by the Shariah and, by leaving it out, the deen becomes impaired, e.g. adding the zabar, zer and pesh of The Holy Quran, building Madrassahs of the deen, learning Arabic grammar (nahw), etc. Reference to this has already been given.

Makrooh Innovation – A new action through whose completion a Sunnah is missed. If the Sunnah missed is a Ghair-Muakida Sunnah, the innovation is Makrooh-e- Tanzeehi. If it is a Muakida Sunnah, then the innovation is Makrooh­e-Tahrirni. Examples and references for this have already been given.

Haraam Innovation – An Innovation that causes a Waajib to be abandoned (i.e. it erases one).


Durre-Mukhtaar, Baabul-Azaan, states that reciting Salaam after the Azaan was introduced in 781 AH but this is a Good Innovation (Bidat-e-Hasana). Under his, the book Shaami states in the discussion of Azaan in a troop, “This proves that whatever admirable gractice becomes current amongst Muslims leads to thawaab being attained.” 7.0

We now demonstrate that no act of worship (ibaadat) is free from a Good Bidat.

Imaan – Every Muslim, even children, learn and memorize the Imaan-e-Mujmal and Imaan-e-Mufasal. These categorizations of Imaan as well as both of their names are Innovations. Their prevalence in the the Quroon-e-Thalaatha (times of Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and the two generations after him, ie. The Sahaaba and Taba’een) are unfound.

Kalima – All Muslims learn and memorize the six Kalimas. These, along with their number, progression (i.e. the first, second, etc.) and names are all Innovations. These things were not found in the time of The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and two generations after him.

Quran – Dividing the Holy. Quran into 30 chapters, appointing Rukus in it, placing zabar, zer and pesh, binding and printing it by press are all Innovations. Such things were also not prevalent in the Quroon-e-Thalaatha.

Hadith – This includes gathering the Hadith in book form, relating their Chains of Narration, criticizing the integrity (Isnaad) of the Narrations, categorizing them to be Sahih, Hasan, Zaeef, Mudlas, etc, appointing the rank of acceptance to them (i.e. Sahih first, then Hasan, then Zaeef) and emplacing rules on them (i.e. Halaal and Haraam things will be deduced from Sahih Ahadith. Zaeef Ahadith are accepted in Fadhaail, etc.). In short, the entire science of Hadith is an Innovation. The era of the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and two generations after him do not mention such things.

Usoole-Hadith (Principles of Hadith) – Science is completely Innovated. Even its name is a Bidat, and so are all of its rules and guidelines.

Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) – Today, Islam is based on this knowledge, which is an Innovation from the beginning until the end. The time of The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and the two generations after him don’t mention it.

Usoole-Fiqh & Usoole-Kalaam (principles of Scholastic Theology) – These two Sciences are also Innovations, and so are their rules and guidelines.

Namaaz – To say the intention of namaaz by mouth is an Innovation and is unfound in the Quroon-e- Thalaatha, and so is it to be constant in 20 Rakaats of Taraweeh during Ramadaan. Even Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ said, concerning Taraweeh, ‘This is a good Innovation.”

Fasting – Saying the dua “Allahuma laka sumtu and “Allahuma Asooma laka at the time the lftaar and Sehri respectively are all Innovations.

Zakaat – Giving out Zakaat in today’s currency of coins and notes is an Innovation. Coins and notes with pictures and designs were not available in the time of The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلمand the two generations after him and neither were acts of worship such as Zakaat fulfilled with such currency. To deduce Fitrah of grains in the form of present coins is also an Innovation.

Hajj – To travel by car, train, bus and airplane to perform Hajj or going to Arafat by cars and taxis are all Innovations. These forms of transport were not used in previous times and Hajj was not completed with their usage.

Tareeqat – Approximately all practices and rules of Tareeqat and Tasawwuf (Spiritualism) are Innovations: Muraaqabah, Tasawur-e-Shaikh, the different fonns of Zikr, etc. The Quroon-e-Thalaatha does not directly refer to these things.

The Four Silsilas (Spiritual Cbains or Orders) – Both the Shariah and the Tareeqah have four major Silsilas each, i.e. Hanafi, Shafee, Maliki and Hanbali (related to the Shariah) and Qadiri, Chishti, Naqshbandi and Suharwardi (related to the Tareeqah). All of these are Innovations. Some of their names are not even in Arabic (Chishti and Naqshbandi). No Sahaabi or Tahi’een was a Hanafi or Qadiri.

Now, the question the Deobandis need to answer is, can they claim to be alive on the deen and reject the above Innovations? When even the Kalima and Inman are comprised of Innovations, how can they save themselves from it?

Worldly affairs – Today, there are many things that have been invented but were non-existent in the Khairul-Quroon (Best Period of Time). However, worldly life without these things is difficult. Every person is forced to use them, e.g. trains, cars, airplanes, ships, envelopes, phones, radios, etc. All of them and their usage are Innovations but every category of people unceremoniously use them.

Deobandis and Wahabis! Can you lead your worldly lives without these Good Innovations? Definitely not!

One once, a Maulwi Sahib went to perform a person’s Nikah. When he reached the place, he saw that the bridegroom was wearing a garland (sehra) and immediately, he said, “Sehra is Bidat, Shirk and Haraam. Neither did The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم use it nor did any of the Sahaaba, Taba’een or Taba-Taba’een. Where is it written that a sehra should be worn at such an occasion?” After hearing this, the people removed it from him.

After the Nikah, the father of the bridegroom took out a Rs. l00 note and gave it to the Maulwi. He took it, but while stashing it in his pocket, his hand was grabbed by the bridegroom who asked, “Maulwi Sahib! Taking money after performing Nikah is Bidat, Shirk and Haraam. Neither did the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم take such money nor did any of the Sahaaba, Taba’een or Taba-Taba’een. Where is it written that fees for Nikah should be given?” The Maulwi replied, “This money is for a happy occasion,” which caused the bridegroom to say, “The garland was also for a joyous occasion.” The Maulwi’s face turned red with embarrassment.

This is Innovation according to such people.

OBJECTIONS & ANSWERS

TO THIS DEFENITION OF BIDAT AND ITS CATEGORIZATION

We defined Innovation in Practice (Bidat-e-Amali) as the following, “Whatever action, worldly or religious, that was innovated after the time of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, whether in the time of the Sahaaba or after it, is Bidat.’ There are two famous objections to this:

OBJECTION 1: Only the religious action that was invented after the Holy Prophet’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم time is known as Innovation (Bid at). New worldly actions and inventions aren’t. Thus, gatherings of Meelad, etc. are Bidats while the telephone, cars, etc. are not, because the Hadith states, “Any new affair in our deen invented by a person is rejected.” 7.50. ‘Amri naa’ in the Hadith explains that worldly inventions are not Bidat and no Bidat is Good (Hasana). All are Haraam. The Hadith states, “Any new affair is rejected.”

Answer – To emplace the restriction of a religious action is only on your part and is contrary to the Sahih Ahadith and rulings of the Ulama and Muhadditheen. The Hadith states, “Every new work is an Innovation (Bidat).’ 7.51 – Mishkaat, Baabul-Itisaam

There is no limitation of religious or worldly here. We have already presented the extracts from Ashiatul-Lam’aat and Mirqaat wherein it is stated that there is no restriction of a deeni work. We have also produced extracts from Mirqaat and Shaami in the first chapter of this discussion in which the authors of these works have included good food and clothes, etc.


 

Amongst the Permissible Innovation. These things are all worldly related but were included. Thus, to emplace such a restriction is incorrect. Hypothetically, even if it is accepted that there is a limitation of a religious work in Innovation, a religious work is only that action through which thawaab is attained. Mustahab, Nafil, Waajib and Fardh acts are all regligious works because a person completes them for reward, and any worldly work done with the intention of goodness causes thawaab to be attained. The Ahadith state, “Meeting your Muslim brother cheerfully carries with it the reward of Sadaqah; Nurturing your children brings reward if done with the intention of Goodness; Even the morsel of food with which you feed your spouse is reward.”7.52.

Thus, every worldly action of a Muslim is a religious work. Now answer the question: Is feeding people palau (a rise dish) with a good intention Innovation or not? Also, placing the restriction of regligious work is not beneficial to you as well, because the Mzdrassah of Deoband, its timetable and syllabus of Hadith, giving a salary to the teachers of the institution, coordinating holidays and examinations, placing zabar, zer and pesh in the Holy Quran, printing Bukhari Sharif and the Holy Quran, making the Khatme-Bukhari at the time of any problem (as practiced by Darul Uloom Deoband), etc, are all religious works and Innovation. None of these things occurred in the time of The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Answer: Are these things Halaal or Haraam? What did Meelad and Fatiha ever do to you that you deem them to be Haraam “because they weren’t in the time of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم “? They are deemed as Haraam but the abovementioned things are all Halaal?

In my debate with Maulwi Thanaullah Amritsari, I challenged him and his fraternity of “Scholars” to define only four things correctly and in such a manner that no objection can be raised. The four were: Innovation (bidat), Polytheism (shirk), Religion (deen) and Worship (ibaadat). Ifhe could do this, I would grant him any reward he wished from me.

Having trust in Allah عزوجل , I say that no Deobandi, Ghair-Muqallid (refuter of the Four Imams رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ ) or person who throws around the words “Bidet” and “Shirk” can define these four things while also saving their muzhab from any criticism due to these definitions.

Even today, every Deobandi and Ghair-Muqallid is challenged to define these four things, showing how Meelad gatherings become Haraam while taking out the magazine “Qaasim” and “Ahle-Hadith” remains Halaal; how asking the Friends of Allah عزوجل for help is polytheism (shirk) but asking from the police is completely in accordance to the laws of Islam. Insha-Allah they will not (and never will) be able to define these things in such a manner. Thus, they should make tauba from this baseless muzhab of theirs and enter the Ahle-Sunnah wal-Jamaat. May Allah عزوجل grant them the ability to do so.

With regards to the Hadith that you presented, we have already submitted that ‘Maa’ can refer to either beliefs or, if to deeds, then by ‘Laisa minhoo’ it refers to those deeds and actions which are contrary to the deen or Sunnah. We have already presented the reference for this.

Saying that every Innovation is Haraam and that there is no such thing as Good Innovation is contrary to the presented Hadith which states, “He who invents a good practice is worthy of reward and he who invents a bad practice is worthy of punishment.” Extracts of Shaami, Ashiatul-Lam’aat and Mirqaat which state that there are five types of Innovation (Mubah, Waajib, Mustahab, Makrooh and Haraam) have already been given. So, if it is accepted that every Innovation is Haraam, you should do away with Madrassahs because they are included here.

Also, Fiqhi laws and practices of the Sufiya that originated after the Khairul ­Quroon (era of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and two generations after him) will all become Haraam. All things mentioned above (e.g. Imaane-Mujmal and Mufassal, the gathering of Hadith into book form, criticizing their Chain of Narrators, etc) will all become Bidat because they all originated after the time of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and even the Sahaaba. No Deobandi can show proof of these things in the Quran and Hadith. In short, there is no practice of the Shariah and Tareeqah that doesn’t include Innovation (Bidal).

Maulwi Ismail Dehlwi writes, “Also, regarding the elders of Tareeqah, though they strived in fixing Azkaar, Muraaqabat, Riyaazat and Mujaahidat (practices of Tareeqah) which form the base of Sainthood (Wilaayat), they also acted upon knowing that there are appropriate practices for every time and that the method of Riyaazat would be different according to every era.” – Siraate-Mustaqeem, Pg. 7

This quote proves that the practices of Tasawwuf (Islamic spiritualism) are the inventions of the Sufiya, are changed according to every time and era and are permissible. In fact, the path of Sulook (practical Tareeqah) is treaded upon with only these, so now what happened to the rule that “every new thing is Haraam”? In the end, we have to conclude that the action which goes against the Sunnah is bad and all others which don’t are good and acceptable.

OBJECTION 2: We (i.e. the opposition] also say that the action or deed introduced during the time of The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم, Sahaaba, Taba’een or Taba- Taba’een is not included in Innovation. The deed invented after these times will be and are therefore impermissible and Haraam (the innovations of the Sahaaba, Taba’een and Taba-Taba’een are Sunnat).

1. The Ahaditb state, “My Sunnab and that of the Rtghtly-Gulded Khulafaa is obligatory upon you. Hold onto these Sunuahs carefully.” 7.53 _ Mishkaat, Baabul-Itisaam

The Hadith bas classified” the actions of the Khulafaa to be Sunnab and has stressed observing them. Thus, we deduce that their inventions and innovations are not Bidat.

2. “The most excellent of my Ummah is {those of} my time, then the time after and then the time after. From then onwards, a people shall emerge who will travel giving testimony without being made witnesses and be distrustful. They will not be dependable.” 7.54­Mislrkaat, Baabu Fadhaailis-Sahaaba.

We know from this tbat there are three eras which are times of goodness (Le. the time of the Sahaaba, Taba’eeo and Taba-Taba’een), After these will the age of wickedness emerge. So, whatever originates in the era of goodness is acceptable {l.e. it is Sunnab) and whatever is invented in the time of wickedness is bad (t.e. it is Bidat).

3. “My Urnmah will be divided into 73 sects. Every sect besides one will be .lahanuamis.” When it was asked, “Ya Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم! Who is the one group?” he refslied, “The group that is on my path and the path of my Sahaaba,” 7. 5 _ Mishkaar, Baabul-Itisaam.

This proves that following the Sahaaba is the path to Jannat. Thus, their inventions cannot be labeled “Bidat”,

4. “My Sahaaba are like stars. You will attain salvation by following anyone of them.” 7.56 – Mishkaat, Baabu Fadhaailis-Sahaaba.

This also proves that following the Companions of Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم is a means of salvation. Therefore, their invented actions are not “Bidat” because Bidat is deviance.

Answer – This is a deceiving question. With reference to Mirqaat and Ashiatul­ Lam’aat, we have already proven that Innovation (Bidat) is the action that originated ·after The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم. Neither are the Sahaaba nor the Taba’een mentioned in them. Also, after ordering the performance of Taraweeh in congregation during his Khilaafat, Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ said upon seeing its jamaat, “This is an excellent Innovation (Bidat).” 7.56a – Mishkaat, Baabu Qiyaami Shahri-Ramadaan

Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ himself called his blessed action a Bidat! With reference to Mirqaat, we have already proven in the first chapter that the jamaat of Taraweeh is a Mustahab (preferred) Innovation; meaning, Taraweeh salaah is sunnat and to formally perform it in jamaat is a Bidat-e-Hasana. The author of Mirqaat classified the action of Hadrat Umar رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to be a Bidat. When Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ ordered Hadrat Zaid ibn Thaabit رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ to gather the Holy Quran, the latter submitted, “Why do you do something which The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم8 didn’t do?” Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ replied, “This is a good work.” _ Bukhari, Vol. 2, Kitaabul-Fadhaailil-Quran, Baabu Jammail-Quran


In other words, Hadrat Zaid ibn Thaabit رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ submitted to Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ “Gathering the Holy Quran is an Innovation (Bidat), why do you introduce this?” He replied, “It is a Bidat but a Bidat-e-Hasana (i.e. a Good Innovation).” This proves that the actions of the Sahaaba are Bidat-e-Hasana.

Answers to the proofs of the opposition follow:

1. The sayings and actions of the Sahaaba have been called Sunnat according to the literal meaning of the word (i.e.”O Muslims! Follow my methods and the methods of my Khulafaa.” We have already presented the following Hadith in the first chapter.

“من سن فی الاسلام سنۃ حسنۃ فلہ اجرھا، ومن سن فی الاسلام سنۃ سیئۃ

In this Hadith, Sunnat means manner. The Holy Quran states,” سنۃ من قد ار سلنا من رسلنا و لا تجد لسنتنا تحویلا” – Surah !sraa, Verse 77

Allah عزوجل also states, “سنۃ اللہ التی قد خلت” – Surah Fath, Verse 23

Sunnat in these ayats and Ahadith do not refer to the Sumat of Shariah that is in opposition to Innovation. Rather, it refers to method. Hence, ‘Sunnatullah’ means method of Allah عزوجل, etc.

Discussing ‘Fa alaikum bisunnati’, Shaikh Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ writes under this Hadith, “The Sunnats of the Khulafaa-e-Raashideen are actually prophetic Sunnahs that did not become famous in the time of The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم They found widespread usage in the times of the Khulafaa and are thus associated to them.” – Ashiatul-Lam ‘aat

This proves that the Sunnats of the Khulafaa are truly the Prophet’s صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم Sunnats, but they made them popular amongst the people. The Commentators of the Holy Quran and Jurists (Fuqahaa) state that the commands of the Khulafaa are joined to the Sunnat (i.e. they are not Sunnats but have been joined towards them). If their invented works were Sunnat, what need was there for “joining”? Noorul­ Anwaar states, “If the sayings of a Sahaabi are about rational things, they are connected to Deduction (Qiyaas). If they are about incomprehensible things, they are joined to the Sunnat.”7.59

If every saying and action of a Sahaabi was Sunnat, what meaning does “adjoined towards the Sunnat or Qiyaas” have? Under this Hadith, Shaikh Abdul-Haqq رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ also writes, “Every order the Khulafaa issued, even if it was through their own Deduction and Ijtihaad, fits the prophetic Sunnats. The word “Innovation (Bidat)” cannot be applied to it.” – Ashiatul-Lam ‘aat

These extracts clearly prove that the Sunnat of the four Khalifas means literal Sunnat and is adjoined to the Shariah Sunnat. Out of respect, they are not to be called Bidat, because “Bidat” generally applies to Bad Innovations.

2. The meaning of the Hadith cited in the objection is that goodness and virtue will be more in these three times and wickedness will gain prominence after. It doesn’t mean that whatever action or work invented in these three times by anyone becomes a Sunnah. Where does it say this? If that was the case, what about the deviant sects (Jabriya and Qadriya) which were innovated in the time of the Taba’een? It was also during these times that the martyrdom of Imam Husain رضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہ occurred and the infamous oppression of Hajaj Allah عزوجل Forbid! Will such actions also be called Sunnah?!

3. From both cited Ahadith, it is established that being the slaves of the Sahaaba and following them is a means of salvation. Going contrary to or opposing them is a means of deviance. This is absolutely correct and every Muslim has Imaan on it. However, where does this stipulate that their every action is a Sunnah of Shariah? Good Innovations (Bidat-e­-Hasana) are also necessary to be followed. The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم has said,

“Follow the major congregation, and whoever separates himself from them has separated himself towards Jahannam.” 7.61 – Mishkaat, Baabul ­Itisaam

It has also been said, “Whatever is deemed to be good by Muslims is good in the sight of Allah عزوجل. He who has separated himself a hand’s length from the congregation of Muslims has removed the rope of Islam from around his neck.” 7.62 _ Hadith Sharif

The Holy Quran states, “And a path separate from the path of the Muslims was treaded upon. We shall leave him in his condition and put him into Hell.” 7,63_ Surah Nisaa, Verse 115

This verse and Ahadith confirm that it is necessary on every person to remain with the congregation of Muslims in Beliefs (aqaaid) and Practices (a’maal). Opposition to them is the path of Jahannam. However, this doesn’t mean that innovations of the Muslims are not counted as Innovations and are all taken to be Sunnah. They are Innovations but good ones (Bidat-e-Hasana), just as how the inventions of the Pious Predecessors are called Sunnat-e-Salaf Here, the word Sunnat refers to its literal meaning (i.e. an approved and liked religious practice).

Concerning those individuals who deem every Bidat (i.e. every new thing) to be Haraam, what do they assert to the following general rule, “The nature of all things is permissibility?” 7.64 In other words, everything is permissible and allowed. Yes, if the Shariah prohibits a certain thing, only then is it Haraam and impermissible.

Impermissibility is proven from prohibition on part of the Shariah, not by something merely being new. This rule is deduced from the Quran, Ahadith and rulings of the Fuqahaa. Almost every person who calls himself a Muqallid (Hanafi, Shafi, etc.) cannot reject it. The Holy Quran states, “O Mu’mins! Do not ask about things which, if opened, will be disliked by you. If they are asked about at the time of the Quean being revealed, they will be disclosed.’ Allah عزوجل has already forgiven them:,7.6 – Surah Maida, Verse 101

This proves that whatever has not been explained to be either Halaal or Haraam falls under the category of forgiven things. That’s why, after mentioning the women with whom Nikah is prohibited, the Ho?; Quran states, “All other women besides them are Halaal for you (to marry),” .66 and “Those things which are Haraam upon you have been elucidated clearly.” 7.67 In other words, there is no need to explain Halaal things as all things are permissible. Yes, there are some things which are impermissible and have been explained to be so. The rest are Halaal. Rasoolullah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم states, “Halaa! is that which Allah عزوجل has made permissible in His Book, and Haraam is that which Allah عزوجل has made impermissible in His Book. Whatever He remained silent on is forgiven.” 7.68 _ Mishkaat, Kitaabul-Atimaa, Baabu Adaabit-Ta ‘aam, Section 2

It is known from this Hadith that there are three categories of things,

I. Things which are explicitly mentioned in the Holy Quran as Halaal.

2. Things which are explicitly mentioned in the Holy Quran as Haraam.

3. Things which the Holy Quran has remained silent about. These are forgiven.

Discussing the definition of Sunnat, the book Shaami states, “According to the majority of the Hanafi and Shafee scholars, the rule is that permissibility is the nature of things.” 7.69 – Vol.1, Kitaabut-Tahaarat

In the commentary of the above ayat, Tafseer Khaazin, Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan, Tafseer Khazaainul-Irfaan, etc. all clarify that the nature of every thing is permissibility. Impermissibility will be proven by prohibition. So, questioning the Ahle-Sunnah in the following manner, “Where is it written that hosting Meelad Sharif is permissible?” or, “When did The Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم , Sahaaba, Taba’een or Taba-Taba’een every commemorate such things?” is only deceit. Rather, we should in turn ask such people, “Where is it written that to commemorate Meelad Sharif is Haraam? When Allah عزوجل and His Rasool صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم do not prohibit it and its impermissibility is not proven from any proof, which proof do you use to justify it so? Not having proof against Meelad Sharif is, in fact, a sign that it is permissible.”

Allah عزوجل states, “قل لا اجد فیھا او حی الی محرما علی طاعم یطعمہ الا ان یکون میتۃ ” 7.70 and“قل من حرم زینۃ اللہ التی اخرج لعبادہ و الطیبت من الرزق الآیۃ ” 7.71 These ayats confirm that the lack of any proof of prohibition is a proof itself that it is Halaa1. Unfortunately, dissenters declare prohibition for all of these things. Tell us, where is it written that Madrassahs should be established or that the Sahaaba or Taba’een built such places?” Just as how these things are allowed, so too is Meelad, etc. allowed.

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