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

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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