How to identify innovations?
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:
About wat u said about not worshipping in the day of SHAB_E_MIRAJ,
and any other nights The "Salafis" try to prevent the people from
treating the night of isra' and mi`raj on 27 Rajab and the night of mid-Sha`ban
(laylat al-bara'a) as special.
They claim that honoring these nights are innovations that must not be allowed. Yet practically all Muslims hold these two nights in high reverence and consider it good, not blameworthy, to celebrate or commemorate them through gathering, feeding the people, reciting Qur'an and Sira, reading hadith, performing supererogatory prayers etc. I hope i do not sound rude in any way when i say this but by quoting a few quotes from the qu'raan for example "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."
will lead us to belive that we shouldnt worship on that day? How is this quote relevant to Shab-r Miraaj or other dayz such as Shab_e_raat? Are u trying to
show that this quote means dayz like the ones i have mentioned?.Okay then well this quote also includes all the other dayz we celebrate
(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.)
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.
Beloved and dear Sister in Islam, to answer your question first we must try and determine what exactly is bida or innovation in the deen.
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 (Mohamed (saws)), it will be rejected.
Sahih Muslim Hadith 1885 Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah
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.
If anything is considered part of the deen of Islam, then it is our belief as believers that it was revealed by Allah Subhanah and practiced by the Messenger of Allah (saws). It is also our belief as believers, that there is no man who ever walked on this planet earth who worshipped and obeyed Allah Subhanah better than the Noble Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws).
Thus the way or criterion to determine whether a deed is an innovation in the deen or not, one must seek the guidance from the Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws). If any particular deed which is considered part of the deen of Islam is not endorsed by either of these two sources, then it will be declared an innovation or bida, and should be immediately rejected by the believers.
Q-1: How is this quote relevant to Shab-r Miraaj or other dayz such as Shab_e_raat? Are u trying to show that this quote means dayz like the ones i have mentioned?.
If one applies the same criteria as listed above to determine whether the celebration of Shabe-Mairaaj is an innovation in the deen or not, one will be able to get the correct answer.
Question: Did the Messenger of Allah (saws) ever celebrate and commemorate the Night of Ascension in the years he lived after the Israa-wal-Mairaaj?
Question: Did the Messenger of Allah (saws) declare that his companions celebrate this night in commemoration of his ascension to the heavens on Shabe-Mairaaj every year?
Question: In the years after the Night of Mairaaj, did the Messenger of Allah (saws) and his noble companions ever celebrate or commemorate the (particular) night through gathering, feeding the people, reciting Qur'an and Sira, reading hadith, performing supererogatory prayers etc.
Question: Did the Messenger of Allah (saws) and his noble companions ever do anything special on the anniversary of this Night in the years after the Mairaaj?
Beloved and dear Sister in Islam, when the Messenger of Allah (saws) did not command the believers to celebrate this night; and when the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself did not celebrate or commemorate the anniversary of this night; nor is there anything in the Sunnah or the Seerah which demonstrates that the Messenger of Allah (saws) and his noble companions ever commemorated or celebrated the anniversary of this night by gathering the believers, or feeding the people on the anniversary of this night, or a special recitation of the Glorious Quran on the anniversary of this night, or the performing of any special supererogatory prayers on the anniversary of this night, etc.; then why do some people insist on celebrating and commemorating this night???
Do these people who insist on celebrating and commemorating this night know the deen better than the Messenger of Allah (saws)? Do these people fear and love Allah Subhanah more than the Messenger of Allah (saws)? Do these people think that they can worship Allah Subhanah better than the Messenger of Allah (saws)?
Some simple people look at a part of the celebration and determine whether it is a part of the deen or not, and thus make their decision! They determine the validity of their deed on the fact that the believers are being gathered, or that the Glorious Quran is being recited, or that the hadith and the Seerah are being read, or that the poor are being fed, or that supererogatory prayers are being performed, etc! Little do they realize that as good and great these deeds are in their essence, and as much as they are part of the deen; the root cause of their whole celebration, the commemoration of this night, is not a part of the deen brought by Prophet Mohamed (saws); and thus the whole celebration becomes an innovation, and as the Prophet Mohamed (saws) said The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.
One may gather as many believers on any night of the year one wants, and recite the Glorious Quran as much as one wishes, and read and learn from the hadith and Seerah as much as one wishes, and feed as many poor and needy as one likes, and pray as many supererogatory prayers as one wantson any night of the year, and it will be considered a good deed in Islam.
But to make a consensus amongst themselves and determine a particular night as a blessed and holy night when the Messenger of Allah (saws) has not endorsed it as holy and sacred; and to include it as a ritual and rite in the deen of Islam when the Messenger of Allah (saws) has not included it; that is what makes the commemoration and celebration of the particular night an innovation in the deen of Islam!
In our humble opinion, the real criminals and the culprits are the professional moulvis and the unscrupulous imaams who fervently propagate the celebrations and commemorations of these un-endorsed days and nights in the name of Islam! They propagate the celebrations and commemorations of these unendorsed days and nights so that they are honored with the best seats in the house on this day; they get to eat the best foods and fruits on this day; they get a few dollars for reciting their duas and supplications and chants on this day; etc.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verses 34-35: O you who believe! There are indeed many among the priests and the holy men who devour the wealth of others by evil means, and debar the people from the Way of Allah. Give them the good news of a painful torment, who hoard up gold and silver and do not expend these in the Way of Allah. The Day shall surely come when the same gold and silver shall be heated in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their bodies and their backs. (And it will be said): Here is that treasure you had hoarded up for yourselves! Taste now the evil of your hoarded treasure!
As innocent and harmless the commemorations of these nights sound, in time these celebrations and rites and rituals become so far spread and so engrained in the religious culture,, that they look like they are a critical part of the deen! Just look around us and see the un-endorsed commemorations of the month of Muharram and Aashoora, or the celebrations on the night of Mairaaj, or the rituals and rites included in our marriages, or the birth of our children, or when one moves into a new house or office, or the death of our loved ones, etc. and see how religiously people follow these customs in the name of Islam!
And soon the beautiful and simple deen of Islam looses its simplicity and beauty, and becomes to look like a hotch-potch ad-hoc way of life full of rites, rituals, and customs!
Allah and His Messenger (saws) have endorsed the two Eids and the day of Jumuaa (Friday) as the days of gathering and celebration for the believers. Thus it does not behove the believers, who sincerely believe in Allah and the Last Day, to invent or add or subtract anything from this simple and beautiful way of life called Islam.
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4515 Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib
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.
May Allah Subhanah give you and us and all the true believers the wisdom to differentiate between the Truth of Islam and the innovations which have been unfortunately thrust into this beautiful and simple deen called Al-Islam; and may Allah Subhanah give you and us and all the believers the courage and the patience to reject any and all these innovations which are not specifically endorsed by Allah and His Messenger (saws). Ameen.
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), he can be assured of being led astray.
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,