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Ramadan 2011 (Seeking The Truth)


The Concept of Bidah Part 1

The purpose of this topic is to clarify the general misunderstandings on the concept of Bidah (innovation) in Islam.

In the light of Prophetic Hadith:

“Wa sharrul Umoori Muhdathaatuhaa, Wa kulla Bid'atin dhaialah, wa kulla dhalatin fin-naar" Al-Hadith”.

Translation of the above Hadith: Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire. (Sahih Muslim)

Imam Shafi (R.A) explains the above Hadith; Kullu bid’atin dhaialah: "Every innovation is a misguidance" Doesn't the term "every" include all innovations?" Such an objection stems from the misinterpretation of the term kull ("every") in the Hadith to be all encompassing without exception, whereas in Arabic it may mean "Nearly all" or "the vast majority."

Any new innovation in Islam is Bidah, if it is against the teachings of Quran and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (S.A.W), especially if this new innovation demolishes the Sunnah of our Beloved Prophet (S.A.W).

"Whosoever introduces a new belief in our religion which contradicts with it, is rejected." (Miskhat Shareef)

There are other AHadith which are in favour of good innovations, such as; "He who sets a good precedent in Islam, there is reward for him for this (act of goodness) and a reward for him also who acts according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards and he who sets in Islam an evil precedent there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acts upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burdens."(Miskhat Shareef)

Some people say that to celebrate the Milad, offering Esaale Sawaab for the deceased, making Fatheha after the Janazah Salaah, etc. to be Bidah and in some cases as Haraam. They say these were not practised in the time of Rasoolullah (S.A.W).

We will now list a few things, which were not practiced during the blessed age of Rasoolullah (S.A.W) but were innovated afterwards and made part and parcel of Islam:

1. Construction of Madressas,
2. Dividing the Quran into thirty parts,
3. Printing the Holy Book and other religious books,
4. The compilation of I'lm-e-Hadith and Fiqh,
5. Adding first call to prayer on Friday
6. Taraveeh prayer with Jamaat, and so on ...

From the above list it can be recognised that not everything which was not done in the time of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) can be labelled as Bidah and to be classed as Haraam. If this is to be deduced then, are we saying that all that is around us today fall under this category.

If the answer is NO, then similarly we cannot label gatherings such as Milad-un-Nabi (S.A.W), Shab-e-Baraat, Shab-e-Meraj, Quran Khawani etc. as Bidah or Shirk.