Allah says follow Quran & Messenger Teachings, prohibits innovations (Bidah) into religion
The commands mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah to follow the laws of Allah and His Messenger, and the prohibitions on introducing innovations (bidah) into the religion are quite clear.
Definition of Bidah: ((Linguistically bid'ah (innovation) means 'a newly invented matter'. The Sharee'ah definition of bid'ah is: "A newly invented way [beliefs or action] in the religion, in imitation of the Sharee'ah (prescribed Law), by which nearness to Allaah is sought, [but] not being supported by any authentic proof - neither in its foundations, nor in the manner in which it is performed. Imaam ash-Shaatibee (rahima-hullaah) in al-I'tisaam of ash-Shaatibee (1/37)
What is allowed is Innovations(Bidah) in worldly matters, such as science, medicine and technology, printing press, aircraft, computers etc because it involves matters of life.
The bid’ah or innovation prohibited is in matters of religion, and this is the bid’ah which are focussing here. Example of how to identify Bidah in religion: Apart from Zuhr, Asr and Isha which is 4 rakah( units) we offer 2 and 4 farz rakah (units) of Fajr and Maghrib respectively, if someone tries to unify number of rakah for all prayers as 4 (4 rakah each for Fajr, Zohr, Asr, Magrhib and Isha), then this is what is called Bidah in religion and canno't be incorporated in Islam nor will it be accepted, simply b'coz this practice in Islam was never done by Prophet(pbuh), nor was it done by 4 great Khalifas or the 1st three generations (sahabas, tabein, tabe-tabein). Opening the door to bid'ah leads to changing the deen (religion) and opens the way for personal whims and opinions, because every innovator implies that what he is introducing is something good, so whose opinion are we supposed to follow, and which of them should we take as a leader? When a person innovates something and adds to the deen something that does not belong to it, he is implying a number of bad things, for example: That the religion is lacking, that Allaah did not complete and perfect it, and that there is room for improvement. This clearly contradicts the statement in the Qur'aan "… This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…" [al-Maa'idah 5:3]. Some examples of bidah in religion currently practiced and should be avoided by us are celebration of Mawlid (Milad), having 786 as Bismilllah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem, celebration of Non-Muslim festivals etc.
1) Allah says in Quran:"Say (O Muhammad to mankind): 'If you (really) love Allâh, then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur'ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins'." [Âl 'Imrân 3:31]
2) "Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Quran and Prophet Muhammad's Sunnah), and follow not any Awliya' (protectors and helpers who order you to associate partners in worship with Allâh), besides Him (Allâh). Little do you remember!" [Quran al-A'râf 7:3]
3) One day as The Prophet (s) sat with his companions, he drew a straight line in the dirt, he then drew a series of line branching off from either side of it. When the companions aasked him what it meant, ... he recited the following verse: "And verily, this is my straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His (Allah's) path." [al-A'nâm 6:153] (Reported by Ibn Masood and collected by Nasai, Ahmad, and Darimi)
4) And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said: "The most truthful of speech is the Book of Allâh and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the most evil of things are those which are newly-invented." And he (peace and blessings of Allâh be upon him) said: "Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islâm), that is not part of it will have it rejected." (Narrated by al-Bukhârî, no. 2697; Muslim, Book 004, Number 1885, 1886 & 1887).
5) According to a version narrated by Muslim, "Whoever doe anything that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islâm), will have it rejected."
6) Ibn e umar r.a said: Every innovation is an astray even if people understands it good.
ابن عمر- رضي الله عنه - : " كل بدعة ضلالة وإن رآها الناس حسنة " وسنده صحيح كما قال الألباني في تخريج اصلاح المساجد ص.
( Related by Ad-Darimee, Abu Shamaah (no. 39), Ibn Nasr in as-Sunnah (no. 82), al-Laalikaa’ee in Sharh Usoolul-Ftiqaad (no. 126) & Sharh I’tiqad Ahl as-Sunnah (1/92), and by al-Bayhaqee in al-Madkhal (no. 191). Its authentic; Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz (258) and Islah al-Masajid (13). Salim Al-Hilaali said: “Its isnaad (chain of narration) is as authentic as the sun!")
7) Prophet (saw) said: "...Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray is in Hell-fire." [Wa sharrul Umoori Muhdathaatuhaa, Wa kulla Bid'atin dhaialah, wa kulla dhalatin fin-naar"] (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)
8) Abdullaah Ibn Masood (ra) - said: "Follow and do not innovate, for indeed you have been sufficed, and every innovation is misguidance." (Saheeh. Reported in Ahmad in Az-Zuhd p. 162, Ad-Daarimee (no. 211), Al-Bayhaqee in Madkhal (no. 204), Wakee' in Az-Zuhd (no. 315), Ibnut-Tararaanee in As-Sunnah (no. 104), Ibn Nasr in As-Sunnah (p. 23) and by Mujaahid in As-Sab'ah (p. 46))
9) Ibn 'Abbaas(radhi-yallaahu 'anhumaa) said:((Indeed the most detestable of things to Allaah are the innovations)).al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa (4/316)
10) Sufyaan ath-Thowree (rahima-hullaah) mentions:((Innovation is more beloved to Iblees than sin, since a sin may be repented from but innovation is not repented from)). al-Laalikaa'ee – Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah (no. 238)
11) al-Fudayl bin 'Iyaad (rahima-hullaah) mentions:((I met the best of people, all of them people of the Sunnah and they used to forbid from accompanying the people of innovation)).al-Laalikaa'ee – Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah (no.267)
12) al-Hasan al-Basree (rahima-hullaah) mentions:((Do not sit with the people of innovation and desires, nor argue with them, nor listen to them)).Sunan ad-Daarimee (1/121)
13) Ibraaheem ibn Maysarah (rahima-hullaah) mentions: ((Whoever honours an innovator has aided in the destruction of Islaam)).al-Laalikaa'ee – Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah (1/139)
14) Sufyaan ath-Thowree (rahima-hullaah) mentions: ((Whoever listens to an innovator has left the protection of Allaah and is entrusted with the innovation)). Abu Nu'aym in al-Hilyah (7/26) and Ibn Battah (no.444)
15) Imaam al-Barbahaaree (rahima-hullaah) mentions: ((The innovators are like scorpions. They bury their heads and bodies in the sand and leave their tails out. When they get the chance they sting; the same with the innovators who conceal themselves amongst the people, when they are able, they do what they desire)). Reported in ((Tabaqaatul-Hanaabilah)) – Volume 2, Page 44 and ((Manhajul-Ahmad)) Sharhus-Sunnah – Imaam al-Barbahaaree
16) Abu Haatim (rahima-hullaah) said: ((A sign of the people of innovation is their battling against the people of Narrations)). Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah – al-Laalikaa'ee – Volume 1, Page 179
17) as-Saffaareenee (rahima-hullaah) said: ((And we are not focusing on mentioning the virtues of the people of Hadeeth, for indeed their virtues are well known and their merits are many. So whoever belittles them, then he is despicable and lowly. And whoever hates them, then he is from the backward party of the Devil)). Lawaa.ihul-Anwaar – Volume 2, Page 355
18) Imaam Abu 'Uthmaan as-Saaboonee (rahima-hullaah) said: ((The signs of the people of innovation are clear and obvious. The most apparent of their signs is their severe enmity for those who carry the reports of the Prophet)). The 'Aqeedah of the (Pious) Predecessors – Page 101
19) Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-Qaasim related to us, saying: Ahmad ibn al-Hasan narrated to us saying: Sulaymaan ibn al-Ash'ath narrated to us, saying: 'Abdullaah ibn Chubbi al-Anteeq narrated to us, saying: Yaws ibn Asbaat narrated to us, saying: I heard Muhammad ibn an-Nadr al-Haarithee say: ((Whoever listens to a person of innovation – and knows that he is a person of innovation – then protection is taken away from him, and he is left to himself)). al-Imaam al-Haafiz Abul-Qaasim Habatullaah ibn al-Hasan ibn Mansoor at-Tabaree al-Laalikaa'ee (d.418 A.H.) reports in his "Sharh Usool I'tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah" – Volume 1 Pages 135-136 No. 252 Source . Also read detailed 'commandments of Imams of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamah on Bidah: http://www.islamicboard.com/methodology/5074-general-article-commandments-imams-ahl-sunnah.html
20) Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee (rahima-hullaah) said: The Sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) reach, as well as escape from every one of us. So whenever I voice my opinion, or formulate a principle, where something contrary to my view exists on the authority of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), then the correct view is what the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) has said, and it (that) is my view. Related by Haakim with a continuous sanad up to Shaafi'i, as in Taareekh Damishq of Ibn 'Asaakir (15/1/3), I'laam al-Muwaqqi'een (2/363, 364) & Eeqaaz (p. 100)
We ask Allaah to save us from the misguidance of personal whims and from all trials whether they are open or secret. And Allaah knows best.
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