دار التوحيد Dr'ul Tawhd


Izhr'ud Dn

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بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ وَحْدَهُ، وَالصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَى مَنْ لَا نَبِيَّ بَعْدَهُ، وَبَعْدُ

Condemning Bidah (Innovation) and the Mubtadin (Innovators)

Ibnul Jawz Rahimahullh[1]

26)   ’ishah (radiyAllhu anha) said: Allhs Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: Whoever innovates in this affair of ours (Islm) that which is not from it, will be rejected.[2]

27)   Abdullah Ibn Amr (radiyAllhu anhum) reported on the authority of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) that he said: Whoever rejects my Sunnah he is not from me.[3]

28)   'Abdul-Rahmn Ibn Amr al-Sulam and Hujr Ibn Hujr said: We came to Al-Irbd Ibn Sriyah (radiyAllhu anhu) who was among those about whom the following verse was revealed:

﴿وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ إِذَا مَا أَتَوْكَ لِتَحْمِلَهُمْ قُلْتَ لَا أَجِدُ مَا أَحْمِلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ.﴾
Nor [is there blame] upon those who, when they came to you that you might give them mounts, you said, I can find nothing for you to ride upon.[4]

We greeted him and said: We have come to see you to give healing and obtain benefit from you. Al-Irbd  (radiyAllhu anhu) said: One day Allhs Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) lead us in prayer, then face us and gave us a lengthy exhortation at which the eyes shed tears and the hearts were afraid. A man said: Messenger of Allh! It seems as if it is a farewell exhortation, so what instruction do you give us? He replied: I enjoin you to fear Allh, and to hear and obey even if it be an Abyssinian slave, for those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided Caliphs. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is a bid'ah, and every bidah is a form of misguidance.[5]

29)   Abdullh Ibn Masd (radiyAllhu anhu) said: Allhs Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: I will be the first among you to reach the hawd (water basin). Some men will be prevented from reaching the hawd. So I will say: O Lord! (They are) my followers Then it will be said: You know not what they have innovated (in the religion) after you.[6]

30)   Abdullh Ibn Muhairz said: The religion will vanish with one Sunnah at a time, just as a rope breaks one fiber at a time.[7]

31)   Mamar [Ibn Rshd] said: Tawss son was sitting with his son next to him when a Mutazilite came and began discussing an issue. Tawss son put his fingers in his ears and told his son: My son! Put your fingers in your ears so that you hear nothing of what he says, for the hearts are weak. He continued to tell his son: block, block (your ears) until the Mutazilite left.[8]

32)   Muhill al-Dabb said: A man used to frequently visit Ibrhm [al-Nakha] with us. Ibrhm learned that this man joined irj so he told him: When you leave this gathering, never come back.[9]

33)   Muhammad Ibn Dwd al-Huddn said: I told Sufyn Ibn Uyaynah: This man, Ibrhm Ibn Ab Yahy, discusses the issue of qadar (predestination). Sufyn replied: Let people know of his case, and ask your Lord for soundness (in religion).[10]

34)   Slih al-Murr said: A man visited Ibn Srn while I was present, he began discussing an issue related to qadar, Ibn Srn said, Either you leave or we leave.[11]

35)   Sallm Ibn Ab Mut said: A man of bidah asked Ayyb [al-Sakhtiyn] : May I have a word with you? He replied: No, not even half a word.[12]

36)   Ayyb al-Sakhtiyn said: An innovator does not increase in activity except that he becomes further from Allh (the Mighty and the Majestic).[13]

37)   Sufyan al-Thawr said: Bidah is more beloved to Ibls than a regular sin, because it is possible to repent from a regular sin, but not possible to repent from a bidah.[14]

38)   Mummal Ibn Isml said: I was present in Abdul-Azz Ibn Ab Rawds funeral. His body was set at the door of al-Saf and everyone lined up (to pray) when Sufyn al-Thawr came. Everyone said: Al-Thawr came, Al-Thawr came. So he passed through the ranks and passed by the body and did not pray (Janzah). This was because Abdul-Azz was accused of lrj.[15]

39)   Sufyn al-Thawr said: Whoever listens to an innovator, Allh will not make him benefit from what he had heard. As for whoever shakes the hand of an innovator, he loosens (the strands of) Islm one knot at a time.[16]

40)   Sad Ibn mir said: When Sulaymn al-Taym became ill (leading to death), he cried exhaustively. We asked: What is making you cry? Do you fear death? He said: No, but once I passed by a qadar (a person with deviant beliefs regarding predestination) so I greeted him. I fear that my Lord will hold me accountable for this.[17]

41)   Al-Fudayl Ibn Iyd said: Beware of whoever sits with an innovator.[18]

42)   Al-Fudayl Ibn Iyd said: Whoever loves an innovator then Allh will nullify his deeds, and will remove the light of Islm from his heart.[19]

43)   Al-Fudayl Ibn Iyd said: If you see an innovator on a road, then take to a different road. None of the deeds of an innovator will be lifted (accepted) by Allh (the Mighty and the Majestic) , and whoever assists an innovator then he has aided in the destruction of Islm.[20]

44)   A man told al-Fudayl Ibn Iyd: Whoever gives his daughter or sister in marriage to a sinner then he has disowned her. So al-Fudayl said: Whoever gives his daughter or sister to an innovator then he has disowned her, and whoever sits with an innovator he will never be given wisdom, and if Allh (the Mighty and the Majestic) knows that a man hates an innovator then I hope that Allh will forgive him.[21]

’ishah (radiyAllhu anha) said: Allhs Messenger (Sallallhu Alayhi wa Sallam) said, Whoever gives respect to an innovator then he aided the destruction of Islm.[22]

46)   Muhamman Ibn Nasr al-Hrith said: Whoever listens to an innovator then he will be stripped of faultlessness (al-ismah) and he will be left unsupported (by Allh).[23]

47)   Al-Layth Ibn Sad said: If I were to see an innovator walk on water I would still not accept him. So al-Shfi said: Al-Layth did not go far enough. If I were to see an innovator walk on air I would not accept him.[24]

48)   Bishr Ibn al-Hrith said: The news of the death of that man called al-Murais came to me while I was in the market. Had it not been a place of fame (i.e. bring inappropriate to prostrate) I would have prostrated in thanks (to Allh). Praise be to Allh for his death. All of you say as I say.[25]

49)   Muhammad Ibn Sahl al-Bukhr said: We were visiting Al-Firyb so he began discussing (condemning) innovators. A man commented: It would be better for us if you narrated (hadth). So he became angry and replied: My discussion of innovators is more beloved to me than worshiping for sixty years.[26]
 1. Al-Hfiz, Abl-Faraj ibn al-Jawz, The Devils Deceptions, Dr as-Sunnah Publishers, p. 44-63.
 2. Bukhari 5/301/2697 and Muslim 3/1343/1 718.
 3. Bukhari reported it.
 4. Al-Tawbah (9) : 92.
 5. Tirmidhi, 5/43/2676.
 6. Bukhr, 11/566/6576 and Muslim, 4/1 796/2297.
 7. Abu Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 5/144.
 8. Abdul-Razzq in al-Musannaf, 11/1 25/20099.
 9. Al-Uqayl al-Duaf, 1 04/137.
 10. Al-Uqayl al-Duaf, 1 /163.
 11. Al-Drims Sunan, 1/81/401.
 12. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 3/9.
 13. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 3/9.
 14. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 7/26 (i.e. because the one who is innovating does not think it is bad).
 15. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 7/29.
 16. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 7/33.
 17. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 3/32.
 18. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 8/103.
 19. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 8/103.
 20. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 8/103.
 21. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 8/103.
 22. Ibn Hıbbn in al-Majrhn, 1/235.
 23. Ibn Battah in al-Ibnah, 2/459/434.
 24. Ab Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 9/116.
 25. Al-Khatb al-Baghdd in al-Trkh, 7/66.
 26. Reference not found.
Shaykhul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullh said,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

The lim (scholar) recognizes the Jhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jhil. The Jhil does not recognize the lim since he has never been an lim. (Majmul Fatw, 13/235)

Izhr'ud Dn

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Section One: What are the Definitions of Sunnah and Bidah?

If someone comments: you have praised the Sunnah and condemned bidah, so what are the definitions of Sunnah and bidah? We see those whom we claim to be innovators claim to be people of Sunnah.

My response would be:
The linguistic meaning of Sunnah is the path. No doubt that those who specialise in compiling narrations of the Prophet (Sallallāhu Alayhi wa Sallam) and the righteous predecessors) and following the traditions of Allāhs Messenger and his Companions are the people of Sunnah (Ahlul-Sunnah). This is because they adhere to the doctrine that was free from things newly invented, and innovations were only introduced after (the death) of Allāhs Messenger (Sallallāhu Alayhi wa Sallam) and his Companions.

Bidah, on the other hand, is defined as a practice that was not originally there, but later innovated (i.e. has no origin in Sharīah). Bidah mostly contradicts Sharīah because they imply that it is deficient and is in need of addition or subtraction.

If something was innovated without contradicting Sharīah, and did not imply its deficiency, then still most of the righteous predecessors (Salaf) disliked it. They used to turn away from every innovation even if it was (deemed) permissible. This is to ensure compliance with the rule of adherence (to the Sunnah and not to innovated matters).

When Abū Bakr and Umar asked Zayd Ibn Thābit (radiyAllāhu anhum) to compile the Qurān, he responded: How could you do something that Allāhs Messenger never did?!

50) Abdullāh Ibn Abī Salamah said: Sad Ibn Mālik heard a man saying: I am answering your call O Lord of the ways of ascent. So Sad commented: We did not used to say this at the time of Allāhs Messenger.[1]

51) Abūl-Bukhturī said: A man told Abdullāh Ibn Masūd that a group of people used to gather in the masjid after sunset, and one of them says: Say Allāhu Akbar this many times, say: Subhan Allāh this many times, say: -AlHamdu li Allāh this many times. Ibn Masūd replied: Next time you see them doing this let me know of their gathering. So he came to their gathering and when he heard what they  were saying, he stood up -and he was a hot tempered man - and said: 'I am Abdullāh Ibn Masūd, by the only One worthy of worship, you have come up with a bidah out of transgression, and you (seem to think) that you have excelled over Muhammads (Sallallāhu Alayhi wa Sallam) Companions in knowledge. Amr Ibn Utbah replied: I seek Allāhs forgiveness. Ibn Masūd said: 'Stick to the pathway (the Sunnah). If you go right or left you will become grievously misguided.[2]

52) Muhammad Ibn Awn said: We were visiting with Ibrāhīm Al-Nakhai when a man came saying: Abū Imrān! Pray to Allāh to cure my illness. We noticed that he (Ibrāhīm) disliked this request very much, to the point that we could tell this from his appearance. He then talked about the Sunnah, and encouraged adherence to it, and gave examples of what people had innovated. He disliked it, and elaborated on it.[3]

53) Muhammad Ibn Zabbān said: People of hadīth visited DhūlNūn and asked him to talk to them about inspirations and whispers. He replied: I do not discuss such things because they are innovated. Ask me about something pertaining to prayer or hadīth. And Muhammad said: Dhūl-Nūn noticed that I was wearing red leather socks. He said: take them off my son as it is a form of attention seeking, Allāhs Messenger never wore such things, he only used to wear leather socks that were black and plain.[4]

Section Two: [The Salaf used to Avoid All Bidah]

We have demonstrated that the Salaf used to avoid all bidah, even if they were not harmful in order to avoid innovating that which was not (from the Sunnah). However, the Salaf did not see harm in practicing some innovations that did not contradict Sharīah, and did not imply its deficiency. For example, it was reported that people used to pray (tarāwīh) individually, and sometimes a group of people would pray behind someone who was praying by himself. Later on, Umar gathered them to pray behind Ubay Ibn Kab. When he saw them doing this he said: What a good bidah this is.[5]

Also, al-Hasan said: Story telling is a bidah, but a good bidah. Many brothers have benefited and many prayers were answered.[6]

Umar did what he did because prayer in congregation is prescribed by Sharīah. And al-Hasan said what he said about storytelling because admonition is prescribed by Sharīah. If the innovated matter could be referred to a prescribed principle it becomes unworthy of condemnation.

On the other hand, if a bidah is considered a fulfiller (to Sharīah) then it would imply that Sharīah is deficient. If the bidah contradicts (Sharīah), then the matter is even worse.

It becomes clear through what we have mentioned, that the people of Sunnah are the ones who follow, and people of bidah are those who come up with something that was not there before, and has no basis. This is why they hide behind their bidah, while people of Sunnah never hide their doctrine. Their speech is obvious, their doctrine is clear, and the end (success) will be theirs.

54) Al-Mughīrah Ibn Shubah (radiyAllāhu anhu) said: Allāhs Messenger (Sallallāhu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: A group from my nation will always be victorious over people, until Allāhs order comes while they are in the state of victory. It was reported in both Sahīhs.[7]

55) Thawbān (radiyAllāhu anhu) said: Allāhs Messenger (Sallallāhu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: "A group from my nation will always be on the truth and victorious, they will never be harmed by those who go against them until Allāhs order comes.[8]

Muāwiyah, Jābir Ibn Abdullāh and Qurrah (radiyAllāhu anhum) reported hadīths with the same meaning on the authority of the Prophet (Sallallāhu Alayhi wa Sallam).

56) Alī Ibn al-Madīnī said: They (the group mentioned in the previous hadīth) are the people of hadīth (Ashāb ul-Sunnah).[9]
 1. Ahmads Musnad, 1/172.
 2. Al-Dārimis Sunan, 1/60/210.
 3. Ibn Sad in his Tabaqāt, 6/276.
 4. Abū Nuaym in al-Hilyah, 9/363.
 5. Bukhārī, 4/250/1201.
 6. Ibn Al-Jawzī in al-Qussās wal-Mudhakkirīn, 172/11.
 7. Bukhārī, 6/632/3640 and Muslim, 3/1523/1921.
 8. Muslim, 3/1524/1923.
 9. Tirmidhī, 4/438.
Shaykhul Islm Ibnu Taymiyyah Rahimahullh said,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

The lim (scholar) recognizes the Jhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jhil. The Jhil does not recognize the lim since he has never been an lim. (Majmul Fatw, 13/235)


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