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©Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

The reason why teachers of Qur'ān and Sunnah are the best among the people is obvious. Each time their students recite and teach others, they get rewards even if they are no more alive. As long as the chain of learning continues, the teachers will be rewarded. 

This is also applicable to those who teach people other beneficial knowledge (e.g. Science and Technology). If you teach people something that they use to make money to take good care of themselves, family and relatives, you will be rewarded even if you are paid for the service. However, it is important to always purify our intentions. One of the reasons why many people would lose their good deeds on the Day of Judgement is when if those deeds are not purified solely for Allāh.

On the other hand, anyone who promotes a sin or an innovation (bid'ah) will always get his share of the evil except he repents sincerely.

The noble Companion, Jareer bin Abdullah رضي الله عنه reported that the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

مَنْ سَنَّ فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً فَعُمِلَ بِهَا بَعْدَهُ كُتِبَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ مَنْ عَمِلَ بِهَا وَلاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أُجُورِهِمْ شَىْءٌ وَمَنْ سَنَّ فِي الإِسْلاَمِ سُنَّةً سَيِّئَةً فَعُمِلَ بِهَا بَعْدَهُ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِ مِثْلُ وِزْرِ مَنْ عَمِلَ بِهَا وَلاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَوْزَارِهِمْ شَىْءٌ ‏

He who introduced some good practice in Islām which was followed after him (by people) he would be assured of reward like one who followed it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect. And he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which had been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without their's being diminished in any respect. [Saheeh Muslim, 6975]

It is astonishing how the people bid'ah twist this Hadith to mean that they can introduce whatever they like in the religion of Allāh in as as it is good in their thought. Unfortunately, this is not the true meaning of this Hadith. In order to know "good practice" as mentioned in the Hadith, we must be guided by the texts of Qur'ān and Sunnah. This Hadith doesn't mean we can just wake and do whatever we like in the name of Islām as many people are doing today.

The scholars have explained many times that what is meant by introducing something good in the Hadith is not to be bringing up bid'ah (innovations in acts of worship) into the religion because this is harām (prohibited). The instruction of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is for us not to innovate in religious affairs. Every innovation in the content of the religion is misguidance. What is meant in the hadith is to revive the forgotten or neglected Sunan, manifest them with our hearts, words and appearance, strive upon them, aid them (e.g. with modern technology), promote them (e.g with modern media), guard them, defend them, and call to them with wisdom without tampering with its originality. Even from the incident that led to the Hadith, it is clear that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم did not intend to permit people to introduce anything they like in the affairs of religion. Not even the Companions رضي الله عنهم are permitted to innovate in the religion of Allāh, let alone a Sheikh. Anything that is to be introduced must pass the validity tests of either the Qur'ān or Sunnah or both.

Consequently, fabricating a nāfilah in a way that is not known to Qur'ān, Sunnah and the Sohābah رضي الله عنهم is a great evil. On the other hand, the use of microphone for the purpose of calling prayers in the Mosque is praiseworthy. It is an innovation in worldly affairs that aids the Sunnah (Islām). It is just like going to hajj through any modern technology (they replace the old means of transportation). They do not tamper with the originality of hajj exercise. They are waseelah (means) and not the end. Innovations in the content of religion (bid'ah) is condemned. But innovations that aid the Sunnah (Islām) without tampering with its content (Masālih ul Mursalah) are praiseworthy. I just hope those who confuse these two matters can now understand.

Regarding the argument of those who divide bid'ah into "bid'atun hasanah" (good innovation) and "bid'atun sayi'ah" (sinful innovation), this division has no basis in Islām because the text is clear that all bid'ah is misguidance. In his explanation of Sharh us Sunnah, Sheikh Fawzān حفظه الله said there is no good in bid'ah because the relevant Hadith says "all bid'ah (in religious affairs) are misguidance". 

Similarly, In Al-I'tisām, Al Imām As-shātibi رحمه الله said a bid'ah can only fall into harām (prohibition) or makrūh (disliked). Then there are bid'ah that constitute kufr (disbelief) and there bid'ah that are categorised as ma'siyah (sinful). No bid'ah in religious affairs falls under wajib (obligation), mubāh (permissibility) or Mandūb (recommendation) [See Al-I'tisām, 2/353-355].

According to Sheikh Al-Albāni رحمه الله, when 'Umar رضي الله عنه said "what a good innovation!" concerning the Tarāweeh prayer he initiated under one Imām, he was only speaking from a linguistic sense. He didn't mean the exercise was an innovation in the technical sense of it. This should be well understood. [See Salāt at-Tarāweeh p. 50]. More so, Umar رضي الله عنه was a Rightly Guided Caliph who was very conscious of not falling into bid'ah and all the Companions رضي الله عنهم agreed with him on this practice.

May Allāh guide us aright

1 comment:

  1. Jazākumullahu khairan Sheikh! May Allah preserve you upon me and you upon the Sunnah. There is nothing good as following the dictates of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Apart from the fact that it awakens the zeal to increase our iman, it makes us free from shubuaat and blind-following. May Allah strengthen me and you sir.


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