Hadeeth Five: الحديث الخامسُ (Innovation)  

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Hadeeth Five explanation continued - part 2

Other 'Ulema has simply defined bid'ah as:
Introducing something in religion with the intention of reward; despite there being a need of it, it was not said by the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) nor was it confirmed by his in his time.

For those who would like to read further, they could read Al-'Itisaam of Imam Shatbee where this is discussed at much length.

Whenever we look at words, we can look at it from two angles, a) linguistically and b) technically.

A) Linguistically bid'ah means something new.
B) Technically it is that which comprises: 1. something not from the time of the Messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wa sallam), nor the khulafaa, nor the salaf, 2. something new introduced with the intention of reward and 3. it is something not based on any of the principles of the prophetic message.

Looking at the linguistic meaning, today, everything is a bid'ah. Like when we refer to terms such as mubah, makrooh, wajib etc. It is true, as in it's outward for it does not look like it fits in under the general prophetic tradition. An example could be writing a book, and to dedicate the reward to the deceased. In the Messenger's time, not much written work was carried out, but today these written works come under tableegh and preaching. Hence they do conform the Prophetic message.

Another example could be as some communities do a khatam of the Qur'aan. This is such that you do not consider it to be a sunnah, nor would you look down upon it. From both points of view, it can be understood that those that do participate must not look down upon others that do not do it, and those that do it must not consider it a part of the Prophetic message.

There are certain things a part of deen, although the form that they are carried out in may not be a part of deen, the issue is a still part of deen. With such issues one must not deem the form of it a part of deen, nor look down upon those who carry out the acts in such a manner.

Another important point to note is that bid'ah also comprises giving certain acts more or less importance than it deserves. An example of this is collective du'aa after salah. In the Qur'an we are commanded to remember Allah, do dhikr. Now, if one looks down upon those who do not make a collective du'aa, this is giving more importance to the issue than it deserves.

Many sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them all) introduced new acts they initiated new forms and states of various issues, they understood from the general permission of the Qur'an and sunnah that it is halaal, lawful for them to do so.

A final point to note from this hadeeth is to give more importance to an act than it deserves or to give it less importance than it deserves is also bid'ah. In the actual text of Imam Ibn Rajab's book many examples are mentioned of this, for example we have 3 rak'aah of maghrib salah. To now change that to four or decrease it to two will come under bid'ah.

In a nutshell, in we do acts, in accordance to the general rulings and guidance as laid down by the Qur'an and Sunnah, then insha'Allah those acts will be accepted and will be rewarded. If a certain form of an act is not as in the Qur'an and Sunnah, then as long as it is not thought to be a part of deen, and it does contradict the general Prophetic teachings and message, then with these acts also, we can be hopeful of reward.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 07, 2009 at Saturday, March 07, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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