'Thum washeq an 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:
In the Name of Allah Subhanahu, I praise Allah and bear witness that it is only Allah Subhanahu Who is worthy of worship. I further bear
witness that Muhammad (SAWS) is Allah's true Prophet and Messenger. The noble Ahle Bayt, Aimmat Tahereen and Doat Mutlaqeen
are the Recipients of the true knowledge of Deen-e-Islam.
Some time back one of our brothers/sisters asked a question on Shabe-Baraat. I read with interest your response which in a nutshell
was based on the premise that our beloved Prophet (SAWS) did not observe this night in any special way. Yet it is common knowledge that in the Bohra calendar the Shabe-Baraat, which falls on the eve of 15th of Shabaan every year, has a remarkable significance in that special prayers, otherwise called the "thambyo washek", are held.
Let us put aside your view of "innovation" and look at the matter from prayer point of view. You agree with the fact that Allah Subhanahu made the five daily prayers 'fardh' on the Muslim Ummah. And in this connection the Glorious Qur'an is replete with the command to Muslims to establish regular prayers.
However, you will also agree that Allah Subhanahu in his immeasurable magnanimity has bestowed the bounty of additional prayers (Tahajud) on his Muslim slaves. This is evident Surah 17 - Bani
Taking cue from these two enlightening verses I should like to pose these 2 questions:
What better way is there to celebrate Allah Suhanahu's praises and magnify his glory than prayers?
What do we invoke of and beseech from Allah Taala while reciting the Shabe -Baraat and other additional prayers that you term as 'innovations?
Fourteen times in each of the surah's of the washek rakats we thank the All Wise, All Knowing Allah Subhanahu, praise Him and seek His help and blessings.
While it may have been narrated that Rasulullah (SAWS) did not celebrate the occasion of Shabe-Baraat with any special deeds it is authentically narrated that the Holy Prophet (SAWS) always prayed Tahajud and at times for whole nights. A mukhlis therefore, once asked him, "O' Rasulullah (SAWS), why do you pray so hard yet Allah Subhanahu has forgiven you all your sins?" And he replied, "Why shouldn't I pray?" "Shouldn't I thank my Creator always for bestowing His gracious bounties on me?"
It is highly unlikely that Allah Subhanahu, the Most Merciful, will consider these tahajud prayers as innovations on the day of Judgement.
Over to you with kind regards.
(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.)
Thum washeq an 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.
My beloved brother, you are absolutely right that one of the best ways to worship and praise our Merciful Lord is through the act of Islamic prayers. But we must also understand that no person who ever walked on this planet earth worshipped Allah Subhnah better than the person of the Last Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws). The All Knowing, All Wise, Allah appointed Prophet Mohamed (saws) as His Last and Final Messenger, and guided him to do, and teach the believers how to worship their Lord, how to pray, how to fast, how to perform the pilgrimage, and how to live a life acceptable to their Creator. If there was a better way to worship Allah Subhanah, the noble Prophet of Allah (saws) would have done it and taught it to the believers!
Man was not given the permission by Allah that he himself create his own rites and rituals, for the worship and Praise of Allah Subhanah. No man has a right to change, create, add, or subtract from the rites of worship that were taught to the believers by the Messenger of Allah (saws).
One cannot add to the two rakahs of the obligatory fajr prayers, and say that praying four rakahs is better than praying just two! Or say that praying fourteen obligatory prayers is better than praying just five! Or say that fasting 24 hours is better than fasting from dawn to dusk! Similarly, it is not correct to say that praying Surah Fateha seven times in each rakah (as is done is the thumm-washeq) is better than praying it once in each rakah!! Just as one cannot change the format of any of the above forms of worship, similarly one cannot create or invent a new way to pray in the actual rites of prayer. A believer is not allowed to invent his own form of worship and praise his Lord in a manner which was never done by the Prophet (saws), otherwise it would imply that one is more God-fearing, or has more knowledge than the Prophet himself!!!
The time, way and format of all the five obligatory prayers were fixed, prayed, and taught to the believers by the Messenger of Allah (saws).
For all the non-obligatory or voluntary prayers, wherever the Messenger of Allah (saws) fixed the number of rakahs and the time, we may follow his Sunnah and pray like he did. And wherever the Messenger of Allah (saws) did not fix the time and number, we have absolutely no right to fix the time, number of rakahs, or fix a particular date to these prayers. If one does so, he would be inventing or following an innovation or bidah, rather than following the Sunnah or Way of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
There is absolutely no evidence in the authentic traditions that the Messenger of Allah (saws) ever prayed the thumm-washeq in the manner prayed by one of the sects of Islam today! The way it is prayed has absolutely no basis from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws); thus it has to be termed as an innovation.
What if one starts praying the thumm-washeq every 15th Rajab, or 15th Muharram, or 15th Ramadan, or maybe the 15th or 17th or 19th of every month as he pleases? Would that be right, more righteous and more acceptable to the Creator?
If everyone starts inventing his own ways to worship his Creator in the deen of Islam, then the deen of Islam will not be the obedience and the following of the commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws); but would become a deen beyond recognition where everyone just does whatever he wants!!!! One may pray in the manner the Prophet (saws) prayed all night if he wills, on any of the nights of the year and Allah will reward the believer for worshipping and praising Him in the manner taught to the believers by the Messenger of Allah (saws).
But to choose one particular night at will, and invent a particular number of rakahs at will, and to repeat each surah for a particular number of times in each rakah at will. Without having any basis for any of the above innovations from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), would make it a clear and manifest innovation or bidah, which is absolutely hated and abhorred by Allah Subhanah in the deen of Islam!
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.
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.
Your Statement: While it may have been narrated that Rasulullah (SAWS) did not celebrate the occasion of Shabe-Baraat with any special deeds
Thus brother, if you yourself are convinced that the Prophet of Allah (saws) did not celebrate the occasion of Shabe-e-Baraat with any special deeds or prayers; then it does not behove the believers to innovate and start celebrating this night with any special deeds or prayers of their own invention! That would make it a manifest bidah or innovation in the deen of Islam.
Your Statement: it is authentically narrated that the Holy Prophet (SAWS) always prayed Tahajud and at times for whole nights. A mukhlis therefore, once asked him, "O' Rasulullah (SAWS), why do you pray so hard yet Allah Subhanahu has forgiven you all your sins?" And he replied, "Why shouldn't I pray?" "Shouldn't I thank my Creator always for bestowing His gracious bounties on me?"
The above hadith is indeed accurate and authentic, and recorded by almost all the recorders of ahadiths. And just for information sake, the mukhlis who narrated the above hadith and recorded by the recorders of hadith, is none other than one of the chaste wives of the Messenger of Allah (saws), Hadrat Aisha binte Siddiq.
Your Statement: It is highly unlikely that Allah Subhanahu, the Most Merciful, will consider these tahajud prayers as innovations on the day of Judgement.
If the tahajjud or night prayers are prayed in the manner prayed by the Messenger of Allah (saws),then indeed the believer who prays them, will be rewarded handsomely by the Lord of the Worlds on the Day of Judgment. But if one invents his own way of worshipping Allah, without any guidance or basis from the acts or Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), then they will be answerable to the Creator for inventing or following an innovation in the deen of Islam.
Our choice is to either follow the Sunnah, or follow an innovation in Islam. And it is expected that a believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day would opt to follow the Sunnah, and abstain from the innovations in the deen of Islam.
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,