Creed of Ahlul-Hadeeth

Beliefs of Ahlul-Hadeeth

Beliefs of Ahlul-Hadeeth by Imam Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eeli Translater by Amr Jalal Abualrub


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The Fundamental Beliefs Held by Ahlul-Hadeeth
Know, may Allaah have mercy on us and you that the Math-hab of Ahlil-Hadeeth, the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah is acknowledgment of Allaah, His Angels, His books and His Messengers, and acceptance of what has been spoken of in the book of Allaah, and what been authenticated from the narrations from the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). There is no alteration of that which has been narrated from him and no room for rejection, since they were ordered with following the Book and Sunnah, and they are content with the guidance in them (the Book and Sunnah)

Adding the word “Sayyiduna” to Tashahhud or when sending Salāt on the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم

by Shaykh Mashur Hasan Salman

Shaikh Muhammad Jamālud Dīn Al-Qāsimī said:
‘The ‘Ulamah differed amongst themselves regarding the word “Sayyidunā” when sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Imām Ibn Hajar was asked regarding this point and he answered in a very convincing manner. The following paragraphs present the question and the answer.

The question: Is it an obligation in Salāt or outside Salāt that a muslim says the word “Sayyiduna” when sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) such as to say: “Allāh humma Sallī ‘Alā Sayyidinā Muhammad” or “‘Alā Sayyidil khalq” [the master of the creation] or should one only say: “Allahumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad”? which one is better??

The answer: ‘Indeed following the affirmed wording of [any] Thikr is better. Some falsely raised that the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) abandoned this word out of his humbleness, but muslims should say it. Were this hypothesis true, the Sahābah and Tābi’īn would have said it and nothing of such a thing was affirmed though many of them reported the Tashahhud. And also pay heed to the great eminent ‘Ālim Ash-Shāfi’i’s statement with which he commenced his book – to which all his followers adhere- he said: ‘Allāhumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad’.(1)

* Important Notes:
It is worth mentioning here the following points:

The first:
The hādīth that states: “Lā Tusayyidūnī Fī As-Salāt” [i.e. Never say “Master” in your Salāt] is a forged one, even the word “Tusayyidūnī” is linguistically incorrect; the proper derivation of the word should be “Tusawwidūnī” [i.e. call me master]. This hadīth is a forged one that has no basis whatsoever (2) regarding Isnād and Matn. were it authentic, we would have used it as a proof for the point under discussion.

The second:
Many Muslims mix the forms of Tashahhud and come up with a new one that runs as follows: ‘Allāhumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad Wa’alā ‘Āl: Muhammad, Kamā Sallayt ‘Alā Ibrāhīm Wa’alā ‘Āli Ibrāhīm. Fil ‘Ālamīn. Innaka Hamīdun Majīd’.
This new mixed wording of Tashahhud is illegal for any act of worship should be taken from the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), no more no less, and the previous wording of Tashahhud was not affirmed to be of the prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) Sunnah; on the contrary it is a mixture of two Sahr’ wordings.

The first: ‘Allāumma Salli ‘Alā Muhammad, Wa’alā(3) ‘Āli Muhammad, Kamā Sallaita ‘Alā Ibrāhīm Wa’alā ‘Āli Ibrāhīm. Innaka Hamidun Majīd. Allāhumma Bārik ‘Alā Muhammad Wa’alā ‘Āli Muhammad Kamā Bārakta ‘Alā Ibrāhīm Wa’alā ‘Āli Ibrāhīm. Innaka Hamīdun Majīd’.

The second: ‘Allahumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad {An – Naby Al-’Ummī} Wa’alā ‘Āli Muhammad, Kama Sallayta ‘Alā {‘Āli} Ibrāhīm, Wabārik ‘Alā Muhammad {An – Naby Al-’Ummi} Wa’alā ‘Āli Muhammad, Kamā Barakta ‘Alā ‘Āli Ibrāhīm. Fil ‘Ālamīn Innaka Hamīdun Majīd’.(4)

When a muslim recites one of the wordings of Tashahhud, he should stick to its wording, with no addition or omission, for Tashahhud is an act of worship that is taken from Shar’i texts that should never be changed.

Regretfully, many muslims of today abandoned the authentic wordings of Tashahhud and resorted to other ones, some of them even add statements to the original ones believing them to be more beneficial. Any muslim must be aware of such abandoning for indeed our prophet Muhammad’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) deeds are the most beneficial and most sublime to which we should all adhere especially sending Salāt on him (صلى الله عليه وسلم) with its precise wording. Both Tashahhud and sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are of the prescriptional acts [Tawqīfiyyah]; no one is allowed neither to add to nor omit a bit of them. The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) set certain wordings for them both to be followed by all muslims. So, be -my dear muslim brother- of those who follow [the Sunnah] and not of those who change and innovate new things in it.(5)

Adding the words “Bismillāh” to the beginning of Tashahhud and “As’alullāh Al-Jannah Wa’a’ūthu Billāhi Minan Nār” [I ask Allāh to admit me to Paradise. And I seek refuge with him from Hell] to its end is also a mistake done by some muslims.

Muslim said: ‘the wording of Tashahhud was related from the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) through many authentic narrations none of the following statements was affirmed to be mentioned in them at all’: ‘Bismillāh or Billāh in its beginning, As’alullāhal Jannah Wa ‘A’ūthu Billāhi Minan Nār at its end’.

The third:
Imām An-Nawawī said: ‘Scholars differed regarding the obligation of sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in the second Tashahhud in Salāt. Abū Hanīfah, Mālik and the Jumhūr held it to be a Sunnah that if not done, one’s Salāt is still valid, while Ash-Shāfi‘ī and Ahmad regarded it to be a Wājib that if not done, one’s Salāt is rendered invalid. This is also ‘Umar’s and his son’s opinion which Ash-Sha’bī shared with them. Some scholars stated that Ash-Shāfi‘ī contradicted the Ijmā’holding such an opinion. This is not true for it is Ash-Sha‘bī’s opinion -as narrated by Al-Baihaqī.

Considering it [i.e. sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)] as an
obligation is not clearly affirmed. Ash-Shāfi’iyyah scholars support their opinion with Abī Mas’ūd’s Al-Ansārī’s narration [who stated that] the Sahābah asked the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about the way they could send Salāt on him, to which he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) answered: ‘Say: Allahumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)… etc . ‘And this prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) order is an obligation that must be followed.

However, this narration is not clear cut regarding the point under discussion unless it is joined with the other one which states that the Sahābah asked the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) ‘what should we say when we send our Salāt on you in our Salāt ?’

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘Say: Allahumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)… etc’. the addition in this narration is authentic; narrated by the two great Imams Abū Hātim Ibn Hibbān Al-Bastī and Al-Hākim Abū ‘Abdillāh in their “Sahīhs” stating its authenticity. They both supported it with onther narration traced back to Fudālah Ibn ‘Ubaid to have said: ‘Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) once saw a man doing his Salāt. [when reaching Tashahhud, he started calling Allāh for his well affair], he neither praised Allāh nor glorified him, nor did he send his Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Seeing this, the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘He is hasty’. Then he called him and instructed him saying: ‘when you do your Salāt, start [your Du‘ā’] with praising and glorifying Allāh then send your Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and then call unto Allāh with that which your heart desires’.

Al-Hākim judged this Hadīth to be authentic for the conditions Muslim set for authentic narrations apply to it. Although these two narrations include acts that are not obligatory on the praying muslim such as sending one’s Salāt on the prophet’s ‘Āl [house hold] and his off spring and saying the Du‘ā’, one could – however- consider them as evidences [on the obligation of Tashahhud] for any order indicates that the thing ordered is an obligation. If parts of any order are not an obligation due to a certain evidence this does not entail that the other parts are not. Allāh knows best.

Our reverend Shāfi‘ī scholars considered saying: as ‘Allāhumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad’ Wājib, while the rest of Tashahhud is Sunnah. There is an odd opinion that states the obligation of sending Salāt on the ‘Āl [house hold] but it is not strong enough to be taken into consideration. Allāh knows best’.(6)

[Commenting on An-Nawawi’s last point,] Al-’Amīr As-San’ānī said: ‘Sending one’s Salāt on the ‘Āl is not just recommended as An-Nawawī and others stated. On the contrary; sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is not complete unless a muslim recites the whole wording of it which includes the ‘Āl for [it is narrated that] the Sahābī asked the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) regarding how to send Salāt on him (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught him the whole wording that contains sending Salāt on both: the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his house hold.

Accordingly; whoever ignores the second part, has not fully complied with the prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) order, and so he has not actually sent Salāt on him (صلى الله عليه وسلم)’.(7)

Ibn Al-‘Arabī shared As-San’ānī his opinion considering sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as an obligation. He said: ‘Sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is an obligation to be done at least once in one’s life as agreed upon amongst scholars. As for doing it in Salāt itself, Muhammad Ibn Al-Mawwāz and Ash-Shāfi‘ī held it to be an obligation without which one’s Salāt is rendered invalid. Other ‘Ulamah held an opposite opinion; they held it to be a Sunnah. The soundest opinion is the former for it is supported by the hadīth in which the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) displayed the time and manner of sending Salāt on him.

Accordingly; this Salāt is an obligation regarding its time and manner’.(8)

Our Shaikh Al-‘Albānī shared Ibn Al-‘Arabi his opinion as stated in his “Sifat Salātun Naby”.(9) He mentioned Fudāla’s narration which An-Nawawī related- under the title ‘The obligation of Sending Salāt on the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)’ and then said: ‘It was narrated by Ahmad, Abū Dāwūd, Ibn Khuzaimah, Al-Hākim -who considered it as authentic and with which Ath-Thahabi agreed’.
Then he proceeded saying: ‘This hadīth states the obligation of
sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in this [second] Tashahhud due to the order included in it. Imām Ash-Shāfi‘ī and Ahmad in his latest views held this opinion as many Sahābah and others did before. Those who claim that Ash- Shāfi‘ī contradicted the Ijmā’has been unjust to him- as Al-Faqīh Al-Haithamī discussed in his “Ad-Durr
Al-Mandūd Fis Salati Was Salāmi ‘Ala Sāhib Al-Maqām Al-Mahmūd”.

The fourth:
Sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is not restricted to the second Tashahhud; it could be recited in the first one too.
Imām Ash-Shāfi‘ī stated in “Al-’Umm”: ‘The first and the second Tashahhud have the same wordings. By the word Tashahhud I mean reciting Tashahhud followed by sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) both must be recited’.(10)

It is not of Sunnah that one limits his Tashahhud to only saying
“Allāhumma Sallī ‘Alā Muhammad”, one must recite one of the affirmed wordings of Tashahhud completely- as was previously reported from Al-‘Amīr As-San’ānī. (11)

In addition to that, the authentic ahādīth indicate clearly that Du‘ā’ could be recited after reciting the first Tashahhud. One of these ahādīth is the one narrated by ‘Abdullāh Ibn Mas’ūd (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to have said: ‘We used to perform Salāt and know nothing to say after the first two Rak’ahs but Tasbīh, Takbīr and Tahmīd.

Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) indeed taught us all the good things to be said.
He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: ‘when you sit at the end of the second Rak’ah say: “Al- Tahiyyātu Lillahi Was Salawāt Wat Tayyibāt, As-Salāmu ‘Alaika Ayyuhan Naby Warahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh, As-Salāmu ‘Alainā Wa’alā Iba dillāhi As-Sālihīn. Ashhadu Anna Lā Ilaha Illā Allāh, Wa’anna Muhammadan ‘Abduhu Warasūluh”, then choose whatever you like of Du’ū’”.
(12)

The aforementioned hadīth states the legality of saying Du‘ā’ in the first Tashahhud. None of the ‘Ulamah held this opinion but Ibn Hazm- and he is right in doing so- although he depended on general texts which other ‘Ulamah could refute easily making use of specified ones. As for this hadīth, it is indeed a clear cut hadīth on the point under discussion. May Allāh have mercy on him who is just in all matters and follows the Sunnah. (13)

The fifth:
In case one’s Wudū’becomes invalid before Taslīm, one’s Salāt
is considered invalid- be it an obligatory or supererogatory one.(14)

_____________________________________________

(1) “Al-Fadlul Mubīn ‘Alā ‘Aqd Al-Jawharuth Thamīn” (p. 70). See also: “Sifat Salatun
Naby” (p. 188); Imām Al-‘Albānī reported Ibn Hajar’s words from a scripture
written by Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Al-Garābīlī (b. 790 – d. 835) and kept in Al-
Maktabah Ath- Thāhiriyyah, Syria.

(2) As As-Sakhāwī stated in “Al-’Asrār Al-Marfū‘ah” (no. 585) and “Al-Masnū‘ Fī
Ma‘rifat Al-Hadīth Al-Mawdū‘“ (no. 395).

(3) Important note: In his book “At-Tirah ‘Alā Al-Gurrah” (pp. 12- 4), Al-’Alūsī said that: it is wide spread amongst the Rāfidah not to separate between the word Muhammad and the word “’Āli” with the preposition “‘Alā” depending on a forged hadīth that says: ‘ whoever separates between me and my ’Āl [house hold] with the preposition “‘Alā” will never enjoy my intercession’. Many of the Shī‘ah themselves
stated that this hadīth is a forged onbe. Accordingly, Ahlus Sunnah must a bandon the Rafidah way and pronounce the word “‘Alā” [in their Tashahhud]. See: “Mu‘jam Al-Manāhī Al-Lafthiyyah” (p. 16).

(4) For more details on the narrations regarding the wordings of Tashahhud. See: “Sifat Salātun Naby” (pp. 178 – 81).

(5) See “Dalā’il Al-Khairāt” by: Khairud Dīn Wanlī (pp. 29 – 30).

(6) “Sharh Sahīh Muslim” by An-Nawawī (vol. 4 / p. 123), see also: “Fathul Bārī” (vol.11 / p. 163..).

(7) See: “Subulus Salām” (vol. 1 / p. 193). Al-Hādī, Al-Qāsim, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and some Shāfi‘ī scholars all held it an obligation to recite the full form of the Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) after reciting Tashahhud as stated in “Naylul Awtār” (vol. 2 / p. 324).
In “Al-Qawlul Badī‘“ (pp. 90 – 1), As- Sakhāwī related from Al-Baihaqi in his “Shu‘ab” from Abī Ishāq Al-Marwazi – a great Sahfi‘ī scholar – to have said: ‘ I believe that sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his ’Āl is an obligation in the last Tashahhud of Salāt. Al-Baihaqī commented: “The affirmed ahādīth that show the way of sending Salāt on the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are evidences on what he believed in”.
Then he [As-Sakhāwī] said: ‘Our shaikh -Ibn Hajar- said that what At-Tahāwī mentioned in his “Mushkil” indicates that Harmalah reported this from Ash- Shāfi‘ī’.

(8) See: “Ahkāmul Qur’ān” (vol. 3 / p. 1584) and “Al-Fathur Rabbanī” (vol. 4 / p. 28).

(9) (pp. 197- 8).

(10) Al-‘Umm (vol.1 / p. 102).

(11) See: “Sifat- Salātun Naby” (p. 185).

(12) Narrated by Ahmad in “Al-Musnad” (vol. 1 / p.437), An-Nasā’ī in “Al-Mujtabā” (vol. 2 / p. 238) and At- Tabarānī in “Al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabīr” (vol. 10 / p. 57) (no.9912). Its chain of narrators is authentic- and considered connected according to the conditions set by Muslim- as is explained in “As- Silsilah As- Sahīhah” (no. 878).

(13) “Silsilat Al-’ahādīth As- Sahīhah” (vol. 2 / p. 567).

(14) “Fatāwā Ibn Taymiyyah” (vol. 22 / p. 613).

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Ruling on Celebrating the Middle of Sha’baan

Praise be to Allaah Who has perfected our religion for us, and has completed His Favour upon us. And blessings and peace be upon His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad, the Prophet of repentance and mercy.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meanings):

“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]

“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not ordained? [al-Shooraa 42:21]

In al-Saheehayn it is reported from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected.”

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his Friday khutbahs: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation (bid’ah) is a going-astray.”

And there are many aayaat and ahaadeeth which say similar things.

This clearly indicates that Allaah has perfected the religion of this ummah, and completed His favour upon them. He did not take the soul of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until he had conveyed the Message clearly and explained to the ummah everything that Allaah had prescribed for it of words and deeds. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that everything that people would innovate after he was gone, all the words and deeds that they would attribute to Islam, all of that would be thrown back on the one who invented it, even if his intention was good. The companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) knew this matter, as did the scholars of Islam after them. They denounced bid’ah and warned against it, as has been stated by all those who wrote books praising the Sunnah and denouncing bid’ah, such as Ibn Waddaah, al-Tartooshi, Ibn Shaamah and others.

Among the bid’ahs that have been invented by some people is celebrating the middle of Sha’baan (Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan), and singling out that day for fasting. There is no evidence (daleel) for that which can be regarded as reliable. Some da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth have been narrated concerning its virtues, but we cannot regard them as reliable. The reports which have been narrated concerning the virtues of prayer on this occasion are all mawdoo’ (fabricated),  as has been pointed out by many of the scholars. We will quote some of their comments below, in sha  Allaah.

Some reports have also been narrated on this matter from some of the salaf in Syria, and others. What the majority of scholars say is that celebrating this occasion is bid’ah, and that the ahaadeeth concerning the virtues of this occasion are all da’eef (weak), and some of them are mawdoo’ (fabricated) Among those who pointed this out was al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab, in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif, and others. The da’eef ahaadeeth concerning acts of worship can only be acted upon in the case of acts of worship which are proven by saheeh evidence. There is no saheeh basis for celebrating the middle of Sha’baan, so we cannot follow the da’eef ahaadeeth either.

This important principle was mentioned by Imaam Abu’l-‘Abbaas Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him).

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) were agreed that it is obligatory to refer matters concerning which the people dispute to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Whatever ruling both or one of them give is the sharee’ah which must be followed, and whatever goes against them must be rejected. Any acts of worship which are not mentioned in them are therefore bid’ah and it is not permissible to do them, let alone call others to do them or approve of them. As Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination [al-Nisaa’ 4:59]

“And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allaah (He is the ruling Judge)” [al-Shooraa 42:10]

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31]

“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission” [al-Nisaa’ 4:65]

And there are many similar aayaat which clearly state that matters of dispute are to be referred to the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and that their ruling is to be accepted. This is the requirement of faith and this is what is best for people in this world and in the next: “That is better and more suitable for final determination” [al-Nisaa’ 4:59 – interpretation of the meaning] means, in the Hereafter.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book Lataa’if al-Ma’aarif concerning this matter – after previously discussing it – “Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) was venerated by the Taabi’een among the people of al-Shaam, such as Khaalid ibn Mi’daan, Makhool, Luqmaan ibn ‘Aamir and others, who used to strive in worship on this night. The people took the idea of the virtue of this night and of venerating it from them. It was said that they heard of Israa’eeli reports (reports from Jewish sources) concerning that. Most of the scholars of the Hijaaz denounced that, including ‘Ataa’ and Ibn Abi Maleekah. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Zayd ibn Aslam narrated that view from the fuqahaa’ of Madeenah, and this was the view of the companions of Maalik and others. They said: this is all bid’ah… No comment from Imaam Ahmad concerning Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan is known of…  Concerning spending the night of the middle of Sha’baan in prayer, there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions…”

This is what was said by al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allaah be pleased with him). He clearly states that there is no sound report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) about Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan).

In every case where there is no sound shar’i evidence that a thing is prescribed in Islam, it is not permissible for the Muslim to innovate things in the religion of Allaah, whether these are individual acts or communal acts, whether he does them in secret or openly, because of the general meaning of the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Whoever does any action that is not a part of this matter of ours [Islam], will have it rejected.” And there are other daleels (evidence) which indicate that bid’ah is to be denounced and which warn against it.

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Tartooshi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, in his book al-Hawaadith wa’l-Bida’: “Ibn Waddaah narrated that Zayd ibn Aslam said: We never met anyone among our shaykhs and fuqahaa’ who paid any attention to Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan, or who paid any attention to the hadeeth of Makhool, or who thought that this night was any more special than other nights. It was said to Ibn Abi Maleekah that Ziyaad al-Numayri was saying that the reward of Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan was like the reward of Laylat al-Qadr. He said, If I heard him say that and I had a stick in my hand, I would hit him. Ziyaad was a story-teller.”

Al-‘Allaamah al-Shawkaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo’ah:

“The hadeeth: ‘O ‘Ali, whoever prays one hundred rak’ahs on Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan, reciting in each rak’ah the Opening of the Book [Soorat al-Faatihah] and Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad ten times, Allaah will meet all his needs…’ This is mawdoo’ (fabricated) [i.e., it is falsely attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]. Its wording clearly states the reward that the person who does this will attain, and no man who has any common sense can doubt that this is fabricated. Also, the men of its isnaad are majhool (unknown). It was also narrated via another isnaad, all of which is mawdoo’ (fabricated) and all of whose narrators are majhool (unknown).

In al-Mukhtasar he said: The hadeeth about the salaah for the middle of Sha’baan is false, and the hadeeth of ‘Ali narrated by Ibn Hibbaan – “ When it is the night of the middle of Sha’baan, spend that night in prayer and fast that day” – is da’eef (weak).

In al-La’aali’ he said, “One hundred rak’ahs in the middle of Sha’baan, reciting (Soorat) al-Ikhaas ten times in each… (this is) mawdoo’ (fabricated), and all its narrators in its three isnaads are majhool (unknown) and da’eef (weak). He said: and twelve rak’ahs, reciting al-Ikhlaas thirty times in each, this is mawdoo’; and fourteen (rak’ahs), this is mawdoo’.

A group of fuqahaa’ were deceived by this hadeeth, such as the author of al-Ihyaa’ and others, as were some of the mufassireen. The prayer of this night – the middle of Sha’baan – was described in different ways, all of which are false and fabricated.”

Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi said: “The hadeeth about the prayer during the night of the middle of Sha’baan is fabricated and is falsely attributed to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).”

Imaam al-Nawawi said in his book al-Majmoo’: “The prayer that is known as salaat al-raghaa’ib, which is twelve rak’ahs between Maghrib and ‘Ishaa’ on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, and the prayer of Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan, of one hundred rak’ahs – these two prayers are reprehensible bid’ahs. No one should be deceived by the fact that they are mentioned in the books Qoot al-Quloob and Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom al-Deen, or by the hadeeth which is mentioned in these two books. All of that is false. Nor should they be deceived by the fact that some of the imaams were confused about this matter and wrote a few pages stating that these prayers are mustahabb, for they were mistaken in that.”

Shaykh al-Imaam Abu Muhammad ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Ismaa’eel al-Maqdisi wrote a very valuable book proving that these (reports) are false, and he did a very good job. The scholars spoke at length about this matter, and if we were to quote all that we have read of what they have said about this matter, it would take far too long. Perhaps what we have already mentioned is sufficient to convince the seeker of truth.

From the aayahs, ahaadeeth and scholarly opinions quoted above, it is clear to the seeker of truth that celebrating the middle of Sha’baan by praying on that night or in any other way, or by singling out that day for fasting, is a bid’ah which is denounced by most of the scholars. It has no basis in the pure sharee’ah; rather it is one of the things that was innovated in Islam after the time of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). It is sufficient for the seeker of truth, in this case and in others, to know the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you…”[al-Maa’idah 5:3]

and other similar aayaat; and the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected”

and other similar ahaadeeth.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Do not single out the night of Jumu’ah for praying qiyaam and do not single out the day of Jumu’ah for fasting, unless is it part of the ongoing regular fast of any one of you.’”

If it were permissible to single out any night for special acts of worship, the night of Jumu’ah would be the most appropriate, because the day of Jumu’ah (Friday) is the best day upon which the sun rises, as is stated in the saheeh hadeeth narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Since the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against singling out that night for praying qiyaam, that indicates that it is even more prohibited to single out any other night for acts of worship, except where there is saheeh evidence to indicate that a particular night is to be singled out.

Because it is prescribed to spend the nights of Laylat al-Qadr and the other nights of Ramadaan in prayer, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) drew attention to that and urged his ummah to pray qiyaam during those nights. He also did that himself, as is indicated in al-Saheehayn, where it says that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam in Ramadaan out of faith and seeking reward, Allaah will forgive him his previous sins” and “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer  out of faith and seeking reward, Allaah will forgive him his previous sins.”

But if it were prescribed to single out the night of the middle of Sha’baan, or the night of the first Friday in Rajab, or the night of the Israa’ and Mi’raaj, for celebration or for any special acts of worship, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have taught his ummah to do that, and he would have done it himself. If anything of the sort had happened, his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) would have transmitted it to the ummah; they would not have concealed it from them, for they are the best of people and the most sincere, after the Prophets, may blessings and peace be upon them, and may Allaah be pleased with all the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Now we know from the words of the scholars quoted above that there is no report from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) concerning the virtue of the first night of Jumu’ah in Rajab, or the night of the middle of Sha’baan. So we know that celebrating these occasions is an innovation that has been introduced into Islam, and that singling out these occasions for acts of worship is a reprehensible bid’ah. The same applies to the twenty-seventh night of Rajab, which some people believe is the night of the Israa’ and Mi’raaj; it is not permissible to single this date out for acts of worship, or to celebrate this occasion, on the basis of the evidence (daleel) quoted above. This is the case if the exact date (of the Israa’ and Mi’raaj) is known, so how about the fact that the correct scholarly view is that its date is not known! The view that it is the night of the twenty-seventh of Rajab is a false view which has no basis in the saheeh ahaadeeth. He indeed spoke well who said: “The best of matters are those which follow the guided way of the salaf, and the most evil of matters are those which are newly-innovated.”

We ask Allaah to help us and all the Muslims adhere firmly to the Sunnah and to beware of everything that goes against it, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind.

May Allaah bless His slave and Messenger, our Prophet Muhammad, and all his family and companions.


Adapted from Majmoo’ Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, 2/882

Learning from Ash’ari shaykhs

Question:

We are students who are seeking knowledge. We study ‘aqeedah with some teachers who are teaching us Ash’ari ‘aqeedah. They interpret the hand of Allaah as meaning His power or His blessing, and His being above His throne (istiwaa’) as meaning His sovereignty, and so on. What is the ruling on studying with these teachers?

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

These people who interpret the Qur’aan in this manner, whether they are called Ash’aris or some other name, have gone astray from the path of the righteous salaf.

Not even one letter of what these people say in their misinterpretations has been narrated from the righteous salaf.

Let them bring one word from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or from Abu Bakr, or ‘Umar, or ‘Uthmaan, or ‘Ali, to say that they interpreted Allaah’s hand as meaning His power, or that they interpreted His being above the Throne (istiwaa’) as referring to His Sovereignty, or that they interpreted His Face as meaning reward, or that they interpreted His love as meaning reward, etc. Let them produce one word from them to show that they interpreted these aayahs and similar verses in the manner that these people interpret them. If they cannot produce any such thing, let it be said that either the righteous salaf, headed by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the leader of the pious, were unaware of the meaning of this tremendous ‘aqeedah (of Islam), or they did know it but they concealed the truth. But neither of these can be said of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or of any of the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs, or of his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). If that is the case then we have to follow their path (the path of the Prophet and the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs).

My advice to these people is to fear Allaah and to abandon what So and so said, and to come back to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the way of the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs who came after him. They should know that there will come a Day when they will return to Allaah, when they will not be able to use the opinion of So and so as evidence. By Allaah, So and so will not be able to help them on that Day. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) the Day (Allaah) will call to them, and say: ‘What answer gave you to the Messengers?’” [al-Qasas 28:65]

He did not say, Remember the Day when (Allaah) will call to them and say, ‘What answer gave you to So and so…?’

And Allaah says in His Book (interpretation of the meaning):

“So believe in Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad), who believes in Allaah and His Words, and follow him so that you may be guided” [al-A’raaf 7:158]

Allaah commanded us to believe in him and follow him. If this is the case then how can a person believe in Allaah and His Messenger in the true and complete sense, then turn away from the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the way in which he believed in his Lord, and misinterpret the way in which Allaah has described Himself in His Book or the way in which His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has described Him, simply because of illusions which they call rational thought?

I advise them to come back to Allaah and to abandon any other opinion, and follow what Allaah and His Messenger say, for if they die following that they will have died following the truth. But if they go against that then they are in grave danger and those whose opinions they are following will not protect them from Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“(Remember) the Day when every person will come up pleading for himself, and every one will be paid in full for what he did (good or evil, belief or disbelief in the life of this world) and they will not be dealt with unjustly” [al-Nahl 16:111]

I repeat this advice to every believer, to come back to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with regard to what he believes about his Lord and God, following the path of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the rightly guided khaleefahs who came after him, and the imams of the Muslims who led the people in following the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), without referring to rational thought, which is no more than an illusion, concerning issue that have to do with Allaah and His names and attributes.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah spoke well when he described the ahl al-kalaam (“Islamic” philosophers) as “having been given intelligence but not knowledge, and had having been given smartness but not sincerity.” So one has to deepen one’s knowledge on the basis of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). I ask Allaah to help us all to have faith and to cause us to meet Him when He is pleased with us, for He is Able to do all things. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

I call upon all seekers of knowledge to call their brothers to that which they have heard, for by Allaah it is the truth. Whoever claims to have truth other than this, we will accept it and adhere to it (if it can be proven to be true).

From Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, p. 226

Making Tasbeeh and Dua in Congregation while Disturbing those Praying

by Mashoor Salman

It is not from the Sunnah for people to sit together after the prayer in order to recite some remembrances (dhikr) or supplications (du’aa) – those that have been reported or those that have not been reported – by raising the voice and joining in unison. This act has become the normal custom in some lands, even to the point that this tradition has become accepted, by the people, as being one of the trademarks of the Religion. It is such that anyone who abandons it or forbids others from doing it is renounced, whereas renouncing that it be abandoned is what is truly evil.

The author of As-Sunan wal-Mubtadi’aat said: “Supplicating to Allah for forgiveness in congregation, in one unified voice, after finishing the prayer is an innovation. Likewise, their saying after the supplication: “O Most Merciful of those who show mercy, have mercy on us” (Yaa Arhamar-Raahimeen Arhamnaa) in congregation is an innovation. Connecting the optional prayer with the obligatory prayer without there being a period of division between the two is forbidden, as occurs in the hadeeth of Muslim. Reciting Al-Faatihahan extra time in honor of the Prophet is an innovation. The people’s gathering together, after the morning prayer is finished, in order to say: “O Allah, save me from the Hellfire” seven times is an innovation. Similarly, their adding after this: “… and from the torment of the Hellfire, by Your grace, O All-Mighty, O All-Forgiving” is an innovation.” [1]

Ash-Shaatibee (rahimahullah) said: “The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not used to say the supplication and the remembrances out loud immediately after prayer, all the time. Nor did he openly demonstrate doing it to the people, other than a time when it was done for the purpose of educating. This is because if he ha d done it and openly displayed it all of the time, it would have been from the Sunnah and the scholars would not have said that it is not from the Sunnah to do it, since its particularities, according to what they have stated, consist of its continuity and its being done out loud amidst the congregation of people. And it should not be said: ‘Had his supplication been done silently, it would not have been memorized from him’, for we will respond: ‘Whoever is accustomed to doing it silently, then it will definitely be exhibited from him, either because of its habit or because of his efforts to warn about its becoming obligatory.” [2]

This is as has been reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhari on Ibn ‘Abbaas that he (radyAllahu ‘anhu)) said: “Indeed, raising the voice whilst reciting dhikr, when the people would finish performing the congregational prayers, was done at the time of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).” [3]

Imaam An-Nawawee (rahimahullah) said: “Ash-Shaafi’ee understood this hadeeth to mean that they would raise their voices with it for a short period of time, for the purpose of honoring the attribute of dhikr. It did not mean that they would say it out loud all the time. The best opinion is that the Imaam and the ones following him in prayer should recite the dhikrin low voices (after prayer), unless there is aneed to educate others (by saying it loudly).” [4]

Ibn Bataal said: “It is stated in Al-‘Utbiyyahthat Maalik (rahimahullah) considered that to be an innovation.” [5]

Ash-Shaatibee (rahimahullah) said: “It is concluded that making du’aain the form of congregation, all the time, was not from the actions of the Messenger of Allah rnor from his statements or silent approvals.” [6]

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) said: “As for making du’aa (supplication) after finishing the prayer, whether facing the Qiblah or facing the followers in prayer, then this was not from his (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) guidance at all. Nor has this action been reported on him whether through a saheeh or hasan chain of narration. And as for specifying that to be done in the Fajr and ‘Asr prayers, then he never did this nor did any of his Khaleefahs. Nor did his ummah direct towards its implementation. Rather, it was s imply an opinion that was put into practice, by those that held that it was to take the place after the two prayers. And as for the supplications that are connected with the prayer, then indeed he (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say them while in his prayer and he commanded others to do that also. This is what is most befitting based on the condition of the one praying, for indeed when one prays, he is facing his Lord and conversing privately with Him, so long as he remains in prayer. But when he recites the tasleem, that private counsel comes to an end and his position of being in the presence of his Lord and his nearness to Him ceases. So how is it that he can abandon asking Him while he is in the state of private counsel with Him, nearness to Him and responsiveness, and then ask Him when he finishes from performing his prayer?! There is no doubt that the opposite of this condition is better for the one praying.” [7]

One should make Istighfaar (i.e. say Astaghfirullah) three times and then say the tasbeeh, the tahmeed, and the takbeer thirty three times each and then finish that with the tahleel, after the prayer. One should observe quietness in any state he is in after the prayer, such as standing, sitting or walking. And indeed, gathering to perform that (dhikr after prayer), participating in it and raising the voice out loud whilst doing it, are all innovations. The fact that it has become a habit seems insignificant to the people. And if anyone should call them to apply these similar characteristics to any other of the acts of worship, such as the prayer for entering the masjid (two raka’aat) for example, then they would renounce him, in the utmost manner. [8]
Also from its types is what has been innovated from making dhikr after each of the two Salaams at the end of the night prayer in Ramadaan, as well as doing it in a loud voice and in one unified rhythm. For indeed that is from the innovations.
——————————————————————————————————
Footnotes
1. As-Sunan wal-Mubtadi’aat (pg. 70)
2. Al-‘Itisaam (1/351)
3. Saheeh Al-Bukhari (no. 841) and Sunan Abu Dawood (no. 1002)
4. As is reported fromhim in Fath-ul-Baaree (2/326)
5. ibid
6. Al-‘Itisaam(1/352)
7. Al-‘Itisaam(1/352)
8. See Fataawaa Muhammad Rasheed Ridaa (4/1358-1359)

The Yearly Celebration of the Night of Isra’ and Mi’raj

by Shaykh Abdul-Azeez bin Abdullaah bin Baaz

All praise is for Allah; and salah and salaam upon the Messenger of Allah, his followers and his companions.

There is no doubt that the incident of Isra’ and Mi`raj is (from) among the great signs of Allah, indicates the truthfulness of His Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and the greatness of his position with Allah. It is also among the evidences showing the ability of Allah and it is proof that Allah is above all His creation. Allah has said:

Glorified (and exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a Journey by night from al-Masjid al-Haram (at Makkah) to the Farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, sigs, etc.) Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. [17:1]

It has been narrated from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), that Allah ascended him to the heavens through the seventh heaven. Therein His Lord spoke to him what He intended and obligated upon him from the five prayers. Allah initially obligated fifty prayers, however our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not cease to demand and ask ease from Him, until Allah made it five (in number). Hence there are five prayers obligated, but fifty in (number) reward; for every good action is equivalent to ten of its like. For Allah is all praise and thanks for all His blessings.

This date on ISRA’ and MI`RAJ occurred was not established in the authentic narrations [of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)], neither during the month of Rajab nor in any other month. All that has been mentioned concerning the date of occurence of al-Isra wal-Mi’raj is deemed among the scholars of hadith to be _unauthentic_. Belonging to Allah is a great Wisdom in causing the people to forget the date of its occurrence. However, even if its date was confirmed, it would nonetheless be _impermissible_ for the Muslims to distinguish that night from other nights by doing anything from among the acts of worship. Neither it would be permissible for them to celebrate it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions neither celebrated it nor did they distinguish it with any special acts of worship.

Should such a celebration of that Night be lawful, the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) would have clarified it to the people either by word or deed. And had such a thing occurred, it would have become known and common, and the companions would have transmitted it to us. The companions passed on from their Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) everything which Muslims are in need of. Never were they remiss or negligent with regard to religion. Indeed, they were the first to lead the way to every good. If the celebration of this night had been lawful, they would have been first to do it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also is the most sincere in guiding people. He most truly fulfilled his mission, and performed his noble duty. If the glorification and celebration of that night had something to do with Islam, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would never have neglected it nor concealed it. Since nothing about this was narrated from the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions, therefore glorification and celebration of that night was absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, as Allah has perfected for this nation its religion, completed His favor upon it and rebuked and refuted the innovators who introduce into the religion that which Allah has not allowed.

And Allah, said: This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. [5:3]

And Allah , has also said: Or have they partners with Allah who have made laws for them in religion that which Allah allowed not? And had it not been for a decisive word (gone forth already), the matter would have been judged between them. And verily for wrongdoers is a painful torment. [al-Shura, 21]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected. [al-Bukhari, Muslim]

In another wording reported by Muslim: He who does an act which our matter is not (in agreement) with will have it rejected.

It is reported in the Sunan of Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi that al-`Irbad ibn Sariyah said, “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. We said, “O Messenger of Allah, it is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us.” He (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “I counsel you to fear Allah and to give absolute obedience even if a slave becomes your leader. Verily, he among you who lives (long) will see great controversy, so you must keep to my Sunnah and that to the rightly guided (in beliefs and actions) Caliphs after me; cling to them stubbornly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is going astray and every going astray is in hte Hell-Fire.”

The narrations of such meaning are numerous. And indeed it has been confirmed that the Companions of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as well as the early generations of pious scholars who followed, cautioned and warned against heresies and innovations. These warnings were not mentioned by them except for the fact that innnovations are unnecessary additions to the religion. Innovations are something new to Islam which Allah has not given permission for. Also in performing these affairs, a resemblance of the enemies of Allah (from the Jews and Christians) occurs; in that, they added and innovated in hteir religions something that they had no permission from Allah. In addition, any innovation in the religion is implied by the person performing it that Islam is incomplete and has faults because by innovating and adding to Islam one accuses Islam of not being complete. This, of course, is well known to contain a great deal of gross corruption, vile actions, and a contradiction to the saying of Allah: This day, I have perfected your religion for you… as it is also an obvious contrast to the traditions of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) that caution and warn against innovations.

I hope that what was mentioned from the evidences is sufficient and convincing enough for the seeker of the truth in rejecting this innovation (bid`ah) of celebrating the night of Isra’ wal Mi`raj and warning against it because it has nothing to do in anyway with the religion of Islam

Since Allah has obligated to give Muslims sincere advice, to elucidate the Divine laws for them, and has forbidden concealing knowledge, I felt it necessary to call to attention my Muslim brothers against this innovation (bid`ah) which has spread throughout many cities so much so taht the people thought it to be part of Islam.

Allah is responsible to correct the affairs of all the Muslims and grant them success in comprehending the religion and to give us, along with them, success in holding firm to the truth, ascertaining it, and leaving what opposes it; for Allah is Capable over all. May Allah bless and be merciful upon His Slave and Worshipper and Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), his followers, and his companions.

A Clarification of Doubts Regarding Innovation

Shaykh Saalih ibn al-Fawzan al-Fawzan
From ‘Kitaabut-Tawheed’

AN INTRODUCTION TO INNOVATION IN THE LANGUAGE

It is a valid form of innovation, it is an invention without a preceding likeness. And from it is the statement of Allaah the Exalted, “Inventor of the Heavens and the Earth” [Sooratul Baqarah 2:117] That is, the Innovator of those two things on other than a preceding likeness. The statement of the Exalted, “Say, I am not a new one from amongst the messengers” [Sooratul Ahqaaf: 9]

That is, ‘I am not the first who came with a message from Allaah to the slaves, rather there have preceded before me, many from amongst the messengers.’ And it can be said, ‘So and so innovated (ibtada’a) an innovation (bid’ah), meaning that he invented a way not having a predecessor for it.

Innovating is divided into two:

A. Innovating in ‘aadaat (customs/habits/culture etc.): such as inventing innovations of speech, and this is permissible (mubaah), because the basic principle regarding ‘aadaat (customs) is one of permissibility (ibaahah).

B. And innovating in the religion, then this is prohibited because the basic principle regarding it is one of Tawaquf (restriction to authentic texts). He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever invents (ahdatha) in this matter of ours what is not from it, then it is rejected.” [Bukhaaree, Muslim] And in a narration, “Whoever performs an action not in accordance with our matter, then it is rejected.” [Saheeh Muslim]

THE INNOVATION IN RELIGION IS OF TWO TYPES:

The First Type: Innovation in statements of belief, such as the sayings of the Jahmiyyah, and the Mu’tazilah, and the Raafidhah, and the generally known misguided sects and their beliefs.

The Second Type: Innovation in the acts of worship; Such as worshipping Allaah with an act of worship which is not legislated. And it has divisions:

The first division: It has no origin (asl) in worship, rather it is a newly invented form of worship having no origin in the law (Shar’); Such as inventing prayer not legislated, or fasts not having a Sharee’ah legislated origin, or days of celebration such as the celebration of birthdays, and other than that.

The second division: What exists from additions in the legislated worship, like if one were to add a fifth raka’ah in the Noon (Dhuhr) prayer, or the afternoon (‘Asr) prayer for example.

The third division: What exists in the characteristics of carrying out legislated worship. To perform it on a manner not legislated; such as carrying out legislated remembrances (Adhkaar singular: Dhikr) in simultaneous and melodious voices, and such as being extreme on oneself in worship to the point of leaving from the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The fourth division: What exists from specification of a time for legislated worship which was not specified by the law (shar’) such as specifying the middle night of Sha’abaan and it’s day for fasting and prayer. So verily fasting and praying have a basis in the Religion, but specifying them to a time from amongst the times is in need of a proof.

THE RULING ON INNOVATION IN THE RELIGION, WITH ALL OF ITS TYPES:

Every innovation in the religion is forbidden, and a misguidance because of the statement of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam “And beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented thing is an innovation, and every innovation is a misguidance.” [Abu Daawood, and Tirmidthee who said, ‘Hasan Saheeh’] And his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “Whoever invents in this affair of ours what is not from it, then it is rejected.”[Agreed Upon] And in a narration,“Whoever performs an action not in accordance with our affair, then it is rejected.” [Saheeh Muslim] So these two hadeeths show that all newly invented things in the Religion are innovations, and every innovation is a rejected misguidance, [1] and the meaning of that is that innovation in belief and worship is forbidden. However, it’s prohibition is according to the degree in the type of innovation, and from it is evident disbelief such as circumambulation around the graves in order to get closer to it’s inhabitants, and offering sacrifices and vows to them and supplicating to their inhabitants, and seeking rescue with them. And such as the extremist statements of the Jahmiyyah and the Mu’tazilah. And from it is what is a means of shirk such as erecting the graves, and praying and supplicating to them. And from it is what is disobedience in creed such as the innovation of the limbs by the Qadariyyah, and the Murji’ah in their statements and belief in opposition to the proofs of the Sharee’ah. And from it is sexual abstinence and fasting established in the sun, and castration with the intention of cutting off all desires [see al I’itisaam of ash-Shaatibee (2/37)]

WARNING:

Whoever divides innovation [in the religion] into good innovation (bid’ah hasanah), and sinful innovation (bid’ah sayyi’ah), then he has committed wrong, and has opposed his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “Every innovation is a misguidance.” because the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ruled that innovation – all of it – is misguidance,[2] and this says that not all innovation is misguidance, rather there is good innovation. Al Haafidh Ibn Rajab said in his commentary to al Arba’een: ‘So his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement,“Every innovation is misguidance” is from the all encompassing word, not excluding from it anything. And it is the greatest principle from the principles of the Religion. And it is associated with his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement, “Whoever invents in this affair of ours, what is not from it, then it is rejected.” So whoever invents things and attributes them to the religion, and it does not have an origin in the religion to return to, then it is misguidance, and the Religion is free from those things. And equal to that are matters of beliefs, or actions, or statements whether hidden, or manifest.’ [end] [Jaami’ul ‘Uloom Wal Hikam, p. 233] [3]

And there is not a proof for them that there is good innovation, except for the statement of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu regarding the taraaweeh prayer, “What a good innovation this is!”(ni’imatul bida’atu hadhihi).

And they also say, ‘Verily there were things invented, and they were not objected to by the Salaf, like the collection of the Qur’aan into one book, and the writing of the Hadeeth, and recording them.’ So the answer to these is that these are matters which have an origin in the law (shar’), so they are not newly invented. And the statement of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu “What a good innovation”, he desires the linguistic innovation, and not the religious innovation (al bida’atush Shar’iyyah). So whatever has an origin in the law, returns to it. If it is said that it is an innovation, then it is an innovation in language, and not in Islamic Law. So the religious innovation is what does not have an origin for it to return to. So the collecting of the Qur’aan into one book has for it an origin in the law to return to, because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had commanded the recording of the Qur’aan, but it was written scattered so the Companions collected it into one book for it’s protection. Indeed the Prophet prayed taraaweeh with his Companions radiallaahu ‘anhu nightly, and they had preferable fear about it in the appointment [of an Imaam], and the continuing of the Companions (r) in praying in separate groups in the lifetime of the Prophet and after his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing, up until ‘Umar Ibnul Khattab united them on one Imaam like how they used to be behind the Prophet (sallalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and this is not an innovation in the Religion. And the writing of the Hadeeth also has an origin for it in the Law. Indeed the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded the writing of some hadeeths for some of his Companionsradiallaahu ‘anhu, so as to study that from it. [4]

And there was warning against writing it on regular paper according to his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam advice fearing that there would get mixed with the Qur’aan, that which was not from it. So when the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, this warning was done away with – because the Qur’aan was completed, and vowelized before his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passing. So the Muslims recorded the hadeeth after that, preserving it from destruction. And may Allah reward Islaam and the Muslims with good when they preserve the Book of their Lord, and the Sunnah of their Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from destruction, and the mockery of the scornful. [5]


Footnotes:

[1] Many of the people of innovation say that the word ‘kullu’ in the hadeeth about innovated matters does not mean everything, al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee says in Jaami’ul Uloom Wal Hikam (2/89) in commentary to the part of the hadeeth, “and beware of the newly invented matter.”

“His saying, ‘and beware of the newly invented matters, and every bid’ah is a misguidance’ contains a warning to the ummah from following the newly invented innovations, and he stressed this by saying, ‘and every innovation is a misguidance’. And the meaning of bid’ah is everything that is newly invented that has no basis in the sharee’ah that would prove it. As for that which has a basis in the share’ah that would prove it then this is not a bid’ah in the sharee’ah even if it be a bid’ah according to the language. And in the saheeh of Muslim from Jaabir radiallaahu ‘anhu from the Prophet that he used to say in his sermons, ‘the best speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of matters are the newly invented matters and every bid’ah is a misguidance.’. And Imaam Ahmad reports from the report of Ghadeef Ibnul Haarith ash-Shimaalee, ‘Abdul Malk Ibn Marwaan sent (someone) to me and he said: Indeed we gather the people for two matters: raising the hands (for supplication) upon the minbar on the day of Jumu’ah and giving exhortations after the fajr and ‘asr prayers. So he said: As for these two matters, then they are examples of your innovations in my opinion and I will not accept anything of them from you because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘A people do not introduce an innovation except that the likes of it is raised from the sunnah (ie. forgotten and neglected) and sticking to the sunnah is better than innovating an innovation.’ And something similar is reported from Ibn ‘Umar. And as for what has occurred from some of the salaf in their declaring some bid’ahs to be good then this is regards to bid’ah in it’s linguistic meaning not it’s sharee’ah meaning, and from these is the saying of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu when he gathered the people for the standing of Ramadhaan behind one Imaam.[he gives reasons as to why this is so, but these have already been mentioned in other articles, and some of them above, so I will not repeat them]

And from them: the adhaan for jumu’ah that was increased on by ‘Uthmaan due to the need of the people, and it is reported from ibn Umar that he said this was a bid’ah. And maybe he meant what his father meant concerning the standing during the month of Ramadhaan. And from them: collecting the mushaf as one book, and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to command that the revelation be written and there is no difference in this between writing separately or as one collection, rather one collection has more benefit …. [mentioning more examples] ….

And Abu Nu’aym reports with a chain of narration from Ibraaheem Ibn Junayd who said: I heard ash-Shaafi’ee saying: ‘bid’ah is of two types ….’ And he depended upon the saying of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu, ‘what a good bid’ah this is’ and the meaning of ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullaah) is as we have mentioned previously: that the foundation for the blameworthy bid’ah is that which does not have a basis in the sharee’ah that can be referred to – and this is a bid’ah in the convention of the sharee’ah. As for the praiseworthy bid’ah then that is what agrees with the sunnah – meaning that is has a basis in the sunnah that can be referred to, and this is a ‘bid’ah’ in it’s linguistic meaning not in it’s sharee’ah meaning due to it’s conforming with the sunnah. And another statement has been reported from ash-Shaafi’ee that explains this, and that is: ‘newly invented matters are of two types.'”

[2] The alleged statement of Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee is another ploy used by the people of bid’ah to try to legislate their innovations into the complete and perfected Religion of Allaah. Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee says, “those who seek to make innovations good and acceptable claim that Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – agrees to the concept of ‘good innovations’ – and they have taken it by what has been attributed to him – may Allaah have mercy upon him – regarding innovation: ‘innovated matters are of two classes: that which is innovated and is contrary to the Book, or the Sunnah, or a narration, or ijmaa – then this is an innovation of misguidance, and: those good things which are innovated that do not contradict any of these – then this is a novelty which is not blameworthy. And ‘Umar said concerning the night-prayer in Ramadhaan: ‘what a good innovation this is’ meaning something new not previously present, and if done does not rebut anything which existed before.” [Reported by al-Bayhaqee in ‘Manaaqibush Shaafi’ee (1/469) from ar-Rabee’ Ibn Sulaymaan. I say: it’s chain of narration contains Muhammad Ibn Moosaa al-Fadl and I do not find a biography for him.]

And it is reported with the wording: “Innovation is of two types: praiseworthy innovation and blameworthy innovation. So whatever agrees with the sunnah is praiseworthy, and whatever contradicts the sunnah is blameworthy.” And he used as evidence the saying of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu – about night prayer in Ramadhaan: ‘what a good innovation this is’ [reported by Abu Nu’aym in ‘Hilyatul Awliyaa’ (9/113) from Hurmulah Ibn Yahyaa. I say: it’s chain of narration contains Abdullaah Ibn Muhammad al-Atshee, who is mentioned by al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee in his ‘Taareekh’ and by as-Sam’aanee in ‘al-Insaab’ but they mention no jarh or ta’deel of them]

a) The saying of ash-Shaafi’ee – even if authentic – cannot be used to oppose or particularize the generality of the hadeeth of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, since ash-Shaafi’ee himself – rahimahullaah – is reported by his students to have said that the saying of a solitary companion is not a proof, and it is not obligatory for those after him to follow him [as in ‘Takhreej Furoo alaa al-‘Usul’ of az-Zanjaanee (pg. 179) with the checking of Muhammad Adeeb as-Saalih, ‘Mu’assatur Risaalah’] And this is what the verifying scholar Ibnul-Qayyim affirmed in his ‘I’ilaam al-Muwaqqi’een’ (4/121-123) So how can the saying of ash-Shaafi’ee be a proof if the saying of a companion is not a proof?!

b) How can ash-Shaafi’ee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – be one of those who agree to ‘good innovations’ whilst he said the famous saying: ‘whosoever declares something good has made it part of the sharee’ah,’ and he said in Ar-Risaalah (pg.507), ‘declaring things good (istihsaan) is a form of exercising desires’ Therefore anyone who wants to explain the words of ash-Shaafi’ee – may Allaah have mercy upon him – then let him do so within the rules and fundamentals of ash-Shaafi’ee – which necessitate understanding his principles – this is something applicable in every branch of knowledge – so he who is ignorant of the terminologies of their specialists will be ignorant of the meaning of their sayings – and will incorrectly explain their meaning, and here is an example to show what we mean:

i) The wording ‘agreed upon’ with the scholars of hadeeth means that which was reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim, however according to Abu Baraaqaat ‘Abdus Salaam Ibn Taymiyyah, the author of ‘Muntaqal Akhbaar’, it means that which is reported by Ahmad, Bukhaaree and Muslim.” [al-Bid’ah’ (pp 63-66)] Even if this statement was authentic, it’s meaning would be that of linguistic bid’ah as was stated by Ibn Rajab, and as we will further clarify in the next note on al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar.

[3] The shaykh, Saalih al-Fawzan quoted from al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab, so it would be useful to quote the full discussion: al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab said in commentary of the hadeeth, whosoever introduces something in this affair of ours which is not part of it then it must be rejected.’ And the hadeeth, ‘whosoever does an action which we have not commanded must be rejected.’

“This hadeeth contains a great principle from amongst the principles if Islaam, for just as the hadeeth ‘indeed actions are by intentions’ is the scale (to judge the action in) it’s inward form this hadeeth is the scale (to the action in) it’s outward form. Just as any action that is not done seeking the Face of Allaah the Exalted does not bestow any reward upon the actor, similarly any action that has not been commanded by Allaah and His Messenger is rejected. And everyone that innovates in the religion that which Allaah and His Messenger have not given permission for, then it is nothing in the religion … And this hadeeth in it’s wording indicates that every action that has not been commanded by the Legislator is rejected, and it’s understanding indicates that every action that has been commanded is not rejected. And the meaning of ‘his command’ here is ‘his religion and law’ as is the meaning of his saying in the other narration, ‘whosoever introduces something in this affair of ours which is not part of it must be rejected.’

Therefore the meaning is that whosoevers action is outside the sharee’ah and not bound by the sharee’ah, is rejected. And his saying, ‘which we have not commanded’ indicates it is necessary for the actions of the actors to fall under the rules and regulations of the sharee’ah and that the rules of the Sharee’ah be the judge to command them or forbid them. So whosoevers action falls under the rules and regulations of the sharee’ah, in agreement with them, then his action is accepted, and otherwise it is rejected …and whosoever seeks to draw close to Allaah with an action that Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have not appointed as a means of drawing close to Allaah then his action is false and rejected …

And the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw a person standing in the sun, and so he inquired about him and it was said in reply, ‘he has taken an oath to stand and not to sit or take shade, and to fast.’ So the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered him to sit and seek the shade and to complete his fast. [Bukhaaree] So he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not make his standing and exposure to the sun a means of getting close (to Allaah) such that it would require fulfilling the oath. And it is reported that this event occurred on the day of jumu’ah at time of hearing the khutbah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while he was on the minbar. So this man made the oath to stand and not sit or seek the shade for as long as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave his sermon, in glorification/respect of listening to the sermon of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and yet the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not make this a means of getting close to Allaah that would require fulfillment of his oath. Despite the fact that standing is worship in other places such as prayer and adhaan and offering du’aa on ‘Arafah. And exposure to the sun is a means of getting closer to Allaah for the one in ihraam, so this indicates that everything that is a means of getting close to Allaah on a particular occasion is not a means of getting close on every occasion, rather one follows what occurs in the Sharee’ah in it’s correct place for everything.” [it is known in the sharee’ah that an oath which involves disobedience to Allaah does not require fulfillment]

[4] As for the deception of the people of bid’ah in saying that the collection of the ahaadeeth of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as an innovation, then this is simply not true.

From Abu Qabeel who said: We were with ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr Ibnul ‘Aas and he was asked which city will be conquered first Constantinople or Rome? So ‘Abdullaah called for a sealed trunk and he said: Take out a book from it. Then ‘Abdullaah said: Whilst we were with the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam writing. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked: Which city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Rome? So Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The city of Heraclius will be conquered first” meaning Constantinople. [Related by Ahmad (2/176), ad-Daarimee (1/126) and al Haakim (3/422)] So this narration shows that some of the Companions did write the hadeeths of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his presence.

[5] Ibn Hajar on bid’ah as in ‘Fath (13/314+) Kitaabul-I’tisaam, Chapter: Following The Sunan of The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. “His saying, ‘and the worst of matters are the newly invented matters.’, and muhadathaat means the newly invented matters that have no basis in the sharee’ah, and the are called according to the convention of the sharee’ah ‘bid’ah’, and that which has a basis in the sharee’ah that would prove it then it is not a bid’ah. So bid’ah in the convention of the sharee’ah is blameworthy in contravention to the language, for linguistically every thing that is newly invented, be it blameworthy or praiseworthy, is called bid’ah …and ash-Shaafi’ee said, ‘bid’ah is of two types …’ Reported by Abu Nu’aym via the route of Ibraaheem Ibn Junayd, and there occurs from ash-Shaafi’ee also what is reported by al-Bayhaqee in his ‘Manaaqib’, ‘the newly invented matters are of two types.’ end. And some of the scholars divided bid’ah into the five categories of ahkaam and this is clear. And it is established from Ibn Mas’ood that he said, ‘indeed you have matured upon the fitrah, but indeed you shall innovate, and things shall be innovated for you, so when you see the innovations then stick to the original guidance’ …And Imaam Ahmad reported with a good sanad from Ghadeef Ibnul-Haarith who said, ‘al-Malik Ibn Marwaan sent (someone) to me and he said: indeed we gather the people for two matters: raising the hands (for du’aa) upon the minbar on the day of jumu’ah, and giving exhortations after the fajr and ‘asr prayers. So he said: as for these two, then they are examples of your innovations in my opinion and I will not accept anything of them from you because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘a people do not introduce an innovation except that a sunnah the likes of it is raised (i.e. forgotten and neglected)’ and sticking to the sunnah is better then introducing a bid’ah’ so if this was the answer of this sahaabee concerning a matter that has a basis in the religion, then what do you think the case would be concerning a matter that has no basis in the religion? And how about when it includes things that contradict the sunnah? … and this matter (of giving exhortations) was present during the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but it was not done constantly like the jumu’ah khutbah rather it was done as the need dictated. And as for his saying in the hadeeth of al-Irbaadh, ‘indeed every bid’ah is a misguidance’ after saying, ‘and beware of the newly invented matters’ proves that newly invented matters are called bid’ah. And his saying, ‘and indeed every bid’ah is misguidance’ is a complete sharee’ah principle both in wording and understanding. As for in wording then it is as if it is said, ‘the ruling of such and such is that it is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is a misguidance’ and so it would not be from the sharee’ah because the sharee’ah, in it’s totality, is guidance …and the meaning of his words ‘every bid’ah is a misguidance’ is that which has been introduced that has no evidence in either a specific or general way ….Ibn ‘Abdis Salaam said at the end of ‘al-Qawaa’id’: bid’ah is of five classifications.[mentioning the five and some examples of them]” [End of Ibn Hajar’s words]

There are some points to be recognized here:

1. Ibn Hajars quoting from Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee after making clear that in the language bid’ah is of two types but in the Sharee’ah it is only one.

2. Indicating that he understands the statement ‘praiseworthy bid’ah’ in the linguistic sense as did Ibn Rajab.

3. His quoting Ibn ‘Abdis Salaam in his classifying bid’ah into 5 categories but he himself saying, ‘and the meaning of his words ‘every bid’ah is a misguidance’ is that which has been introduced that has no evidence in either a specific or general way’ and other similar statements.

And Verily Allaah the Exalted Knows Best