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What is Bida (Innovation)?


Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Asalam alaikum

What i comment is that Adding some thing new in the "Qalma" (Shahada) i.e Shia added something new their Qalma is "Ash-hadu An la Illaha Illallah, Wa Ash-Hadu ana Mohammed Rasool Allah, Wa anna Ali'un Waliyahu, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, Mohammed is His Messenger and Ali is his "wali", guardian/etc"

So i say, this addition is Bidah What do u say??

 

Then this br replied and said:


My dear sister

Salams,

You said: it is BIDAH when you add something in Religion(ISLAM) that was not in it. You also said: a bidah is BIDAH......


If this is your criteria that each and every thing introduced to religion is Biddah... than how would you explain some of the following things that were introduced long after Peophet (SAWW) passed away. 


1-Adhan on loudspeaker, is that biddah?

2-Nikah on phone, is that biddah?

3-Zam Zam water in Masjid e Nabawi in Madinah, is that biddah?

4-"Sawaian" sweet dish on Eid day, is that biddah?

5-"As salato khairun min an naum" in morning Adhan, is that biddah?

6-Congressional prayers (Tarawih) in Ramadhan, is that biddah?


Were all these things practiced at the time of our beloved Prophet (SAWW)???????? If not, than are they all Biddah ????????


Dear Br inIslam Buhran

I ask you am i wrong? isn't that Qalma wrong isn't that Bidah, as they have added new in the Qalma???

How to reply this br in Islam i am confused,? does that mean there is right? the part they added??

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

What is Bida (Innovation)?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

It has been reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: Whoever introduces a bida (innovation) in this deen brought by me (saws), it will be rejected.

 

A bida or innovation is something which is added to the deen of Islam as was revealed to, and practiced by the Messenger of Allah (saws). It especially concerns the rites and rituals of worship, or any deed which was not performed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), but was added after his death. It also concerns any innovated deed which one does and believes that by doing this innovated deed, he is eligible to earn more reward from Allah Subhanah.

 

Ref: the Kalima:

There is absolutely no doubt that the last sentence of I declare that Ali is the Wali of Allah, was added to the kalima and the adhaan after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws). In fact, even when Imam Ali (r.a.) was the Khalifa and Ameer ul Mumineen, this sentence was not pronounced in the kalima or the adhaan. No Islamic scholar of any school of thought can claim that this sentence was pronounced in the kalima or the adhaan which was declared during the time of the Prophet (saws) and the Ameer ul Mumineen.

 


The declaration of the kalima and the adhaan are part of the deen of Islam, and Allah Himself has declared in the Glorious Quran that He has completed and perfected this deen in the aayah that was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (saws). Thus, nothing can be added or subtracted from the deen of Islam without the direct permission of Allah and His Messenger (saws). Whoever does so, will be following a bida or innovation, not the Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger (saws).

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Al Maidah verse 3:Today I (Allah) have perfected your deen for you and completed my Blessing on you and approved Islam as your way of life.

 

It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.

 

It has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) in another authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.

 

It is also a fact, and it is the belief of every believer, that Imam Ali (r.a.) is indeed the Wali (friend) of Allah. But to make this belief a declaration, and pronounce this declaration as part of the kalima or the adhaan is a clear and manifest innovation.

 

Bida is something that is added and believed to be part of the deen of Islam, when that particular act or deed was not performed by the Messenger of Allah (saws). Worship, and all the rites, rituals and declaration of worship were clearly laid out by the Messenger of Allah (saws); he himself performed them, and taught the believers how to perform them. No one, who was ever born on this planet earth, worshipped Allah Subhanah in a better manner than the person of the Messenger of Allah (saws). And it is our duty as believers, to follow exactly what the Messenger of Allah (saws) did in his worship, and leave alone whatever he did not include in the rites of worship. To add something to any rite of worship from our own self, over and above what was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws) is to imply that the worship of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was incomplete and he did not teach the believers the correct way to worship the Lord of the Worlds!!!!

 

Every act of worship was performed and approved by the Messenger of Allah (saws), and absolutely nothing can be added to it. But all the things, which did not form part of the deen, were left to the intelligence, discovery and invention of mankind. We can probably list thousands of things which we do today, which were not practiced by the Messenger of Allah (saws) in his life time, simply because those things were not yet discovered, or invented, or were not the norm! But each of them were not part of the deen of Islam. Nor was doing them considered a virtue, or abstaining from them considered a sin!

 

Example:

1. The mosques, houses, etc. built at the time of the Prophet were of mud, clay, and palm trees and leaves. Today, we pray in mosques made of bricks and mortar. This cannot be called an innovation because no believer believes that praying in a mosque of bricks and mortar earns a bigger reward than mosques built of mud and palm trees!

 

2. People at the time of the Prophet (saws) used to relieve themselves outdoors as it was not a norm to build toilets in the houses. But no believer believes that our relieving in the toilets of our houses earns a bigger reward or is a sin!

 

3. People used to travel on camels or horseback in the time of the Prophet (saws). But no believer believes that one earns a bigger or lesser reward on traveling in cars, planes, etc.

 

There are literally thousands of things which are different in the way we live our lives today, as compared to the times of the Prophet (saws). But they do not form part of the deen! Anything that is added to the deen of Islam, its rites, its rituals, its worship, etc. will be considered a bida and must be immediately rejected by the believers!

 

Now to address the specific questions of the brother:

1-Adhan on loudspeaker, is that biddah?

The loudspeaker cannot be considered a bida, simply because this technology did not exist in the time of the Prophet (saws)! But there is no believer who believes that announcing the adhaan on the loudspeaker will earn him a better reward than without, or that the adhaan is incomplete if not announced on the loudspeaker. The adhaan is part of the deen, not the loudspeaker! Thus if one changes the adhaan, it will be an innovation!

 

2-Nikah on phone, is that biddah?

Again, same conditions as the loudspeaker applies, as the phones were not invented during the time of the Prophet (saws). The nikaah is part of the deen of Islam, not the telephone! Thus if anyone changes the rite or ritual of nikaah itself, that would be an innovation.

 

3-Zam Zam water in Masjid e Nabawi in Madinah, is that biddah?

The zam-zam water can be transported and consumed anywhere and if there are ways to transport this water to every corner of the world, there is absolutely no harm in drinking it anywhere. The drinking of the zam-zam water is part of the deen; not the place where one drinks it!

If someone takes water from any other well or spring in the world, and treats it like zam-zam, then it would be a bida! Or, if someone believes that drinking zam-zam water is better in Medina than any other place in the world, then it can be termed bida!

 

4-"Sawaian" sweet dish on Eid day, is that biddah?

The making or eating of sawaian is part of the Indo-Pak culture and is not part of the deen of Islam. No believer believes that eating sawaian on the Day of Eid earns him an extra reward from Allah Subhanah! Yes, if someone believes that eating sawaian earns him extra reward, or not eating it on the Day of Eid is a sin, then it can be called a bida! Eid is part of Islam, not the eating of sawaian!

But if someone starts celebrating every 25th December as the Day of Eid, that would be considered a bida!

 

5-"As salato khairun min an naum" in morning Adhan, is that biddah?

There is an authentic narration related from Hadrat Bilaal that this sentence of The Prayer is better than sleep was added and pronounced during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (saws). If this narration is taken, then obviously, it is following the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws), and not an innovation.

 

There is also a narration which states that this sentence was added during the lifetime of Hadrat Umar (r.a.). Even if this is believed, it cannot be considered a bida, as the Messenger of Allah (saws) commanded that it is incumbent upon the believers to follow his (saws) Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Khalifas; and they are Abu Baqr, Umar, Uthmaan, Ali, and Hasan ibn Ali.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4590 Narrated by Irbad ibn Sariyah

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said: You must follow my Sunnah and that of the Rightly-Guided Khalifas.

 

Besides, even if we accept the narration that Hadrat Umar (r.a.) introduced this phrase in the adhaan, there were literally thousands of the noble companions of the Prophet (saws) alive at that time and none of them objected to it. Among them were Uthmaan, Ali, Ammar bin Yasir, Salman al Farsi, etc. And also, when Hadrat Imam Ali ibn Abi Taalib (r.a.) became the Ameer ul Mumineen, he did not change the adhaan that was pronounced for the fajr prayer, and the phrase of As Salaato Khairun minan naum was declared even in his time.

 

6-Congressional prayers (Tarawih) in Ramadhan, is that biddah?

The Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan cannot be considered a biddah, simply because the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself led the Taraweeh prayers in his own lifetime in congregation for three nights and only stopped praying them in congregation because he feared that they would be made obligatory on the believers. After the death of the Prophet (saws), Hadrat Umar (r.a.) saw the believers praying separately, and since there was no fear of anything becoming obligatory as the Revelations were completed during the lifetime of the Prophet (saws), he re-introduced the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).

 

Also, there were thousands of the noble companions of the Prophet (saws) alive at this time and no one objected to this Sunnah being re-introduced; and the likes of Umar, Uthmaan, Ali, Ammar, etc. joined and prayed the Taraweeh prayers in congregation again. And when Hadrat Imam Ali (r.a.) was appointed the Ameer ul Mumineen, he did not stop the congregational praying of Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan, but rather he himself prayed the Taraweeh in congregation.

 

Yes, what is indeed bidah, is the adhoc number of washeqs that some sects in Islam pray on the appointed nights, and the gaal lotawanu which the sect has introduced after the washeq of the 23rd night of Ramadan. There is absolutely no evidence that these rites of worship were ever done by the Messenger of Allah (saws)! Never did the Messenger of Allah (saws), his noble companions, or his chaste and noble ahle-bayt ever do the rite of sajdah whereby they rested their face on the right/left cheek, rather than the forehead! This is a manifest bidah and innovation in the deen of Islam, whereby something that was never done by the Messenger of Allah (saws) and/or his noble companions, is introduced into the deen of Islam after his death!

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your Brother in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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