(FAQ) Act of Innovation (Bid’ah) by Muhammad Shaalih al Munajjid

The difference between setting an appointed time for lessons and setting an appointed time for qiyaam al-layl


We hope that you can advise us. Is setting an appointed time each week for giving religious lectures or holding study circles a form of reprehensible bid’ah (innovation), on the grounds that that seeking knowledge is a form of worship? The Messenger  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not set appointed times for this act of worship. Following on from that, if a group of brothers agree to meet in the mosque on a particular night each month to perform qiyaam al-layl, is that bid’ah? Please quote the evidence (daleel) (concerning that).

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked this question, and he replied as follows:

Setting aside a regular day for giving lectures or holding a study circle is not a reprehensible bid’ah. Rather it is permissible, as it is permissible to set aside a day in schools and institutes to study fiqh, tafseer, etc. Undoubtedly seeking Islamic knowledge is a form of worship but setting aside a particular day for it is something which is dictated by our circumstances. It is in our interests to set aside a specific day for that so that people will not be put in a difficult position. Seeking knowledge is not an act of worship which is linked to a specific time, rather it is to be done at times which are convenient. But if a special day is set aside and is regarded as being solely for seeking knowledge, then this is bid’ah.

With regard to a group agreeing to meet on a specific night for qiyaam al-layl, this is bid’ah, because it is not prescribed for a group to perform qiyaam al-layl together. But if this is done occasionally and unintentionally, as happened in the case of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him), this is OK.

From Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad Saalih ibn ‘Uthaymeen, Kitaab al-‘Ilm, prepared by Fahd ibn Naasir al-Sulaymaan, p. 208

13642

Offering gifts to some women on Christmas


There is a common practice here in the west, that at christmas time some non-muslims, young and old, get together and gather all of their names, put them in a hat and have all of the names mixed up, then each person choses the name of another person who they will give a gift to on christmas day.

This is called chris kringle.

This basic idea was taken on by a group of sisters last year and now they want to take this practise on this year also for the end of eid.  All that the practice consists of, is each sister randomly assigned another sister for whom she must buy a gift of a set value ($20

Some of the sisters invloved beleive that this practsie is tashabu of the kufar, is this correct?

Praise be to Allaah.

What some sisters have said to you, that this action is something that is not permitted, is correct, because it involves imitating the kuffaar in two ways.

Firstly it involves celebrating this festival, which is something that is haraam according to sharee’ah, including offering gifts on this festival.

Secondly, it involves imitating the kaafirs in these customs on the day of their celebration of that innovated festival.

In Islam we have only Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhaa. Any other festivals that have been innovated besides these two amount to nothing, especially if they are the religious festivals of other religions or groups that are beyond the pale of Islam.

Please see Question no. 947

This matter opens the door to bid’ah, and it comes under the general meaning of the words of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Sulh 2499; Muslim, 1718). And Allaah knows best.

 

Ruling on uttering the intention (niyyah) in acts of worship


Should a Muslim utter the intention (niyyah) when he starts to do an act of worship, such as saying, “I intend to do wudoo’”, “I intend to pray”, “I intend to fast” and so on?

Praise be to Allaah.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was asked about the intention when starting to do an act of worship such as praying etc., do we need to utter it verbally, such as saying, “I intend to pray, I intend to fast”?

He replied:

Praise be to Allaah.

The intention of purifying oneself by doing wudoo’ ghusl or tayammum, of praying, fasting, paying zakaah, offering kafaarah (expiation) and other acts of worship does not need to be uttered verbally, according to the consensus of the imaams of Islam. Rather the place of intention is the heart, according to the consensus among them. If a person utters something by mistake that goes against what is in his heart, then what counts is what he intended, not what he said.

No one has mentioned any difference of opinion concerning this matter, except that some of the later followers of al-Shaafa’i expressed approval of that, but some of the leaders of this madhhab said that this was wrong. But in the dispute among the scholars as to whether it is mustahabb to utter one’s intention, there are two points of view. Some of the companions of Abu Haneefah, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad said that it is mustahabb to utter the intention so as to make it stronger.

Some of the companions of Maalik, Ahmad and others said that it is not mustahabb to utter it, because that is a bid’ah (innovation). It was not narrated that the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his Sahaabah did it or that he commanded anyone among his ummah to utter the intention. That is not known from any of the Muslims. If that had been prescribed then the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions would not have neglected it, as it has to do with worship which the ummah does every day and night.

This is the more correct view. Indeed, uttering the intention is a of irrational thinking and falling short in religious commitment. In terms of falling short in religious commitment, that is because it is bid’ah (an innovation). In terms of irrational thinking, that is because it is like a person who wants to eat some food saying, “I intend to put my hand in this vessel, take out a morsel of food, put it in my mouth and chew it, then swallow it, and eat until I have had my fill.” This is sheer foolishness and ignorance.

Intention is connected to knowledge. If a person knows what he is doing then he has obviously made an intention. It cannot be imagined, if he knows what he wants to do, that he has not formed an intention. The imaams are agreed that speaking the intention out loud and repeating it is not prescribed in Islam, rather the person who has made this a habit should be disciplined and told not to worship Allaah by following bid’ah and not to disturb others by raising his voice. And Allaah knows best.

Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 1/214, 215


Does saying something that is bid’ah make one an innovator


If a scholar says something that is bid’ah or he agrees with those who follow bid’ah concerning a particular innovation, is he one of them?

Praise be to Allaah.

This question was put to Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), who said:

The question may be examined from two angles:

If a scholar says something which is bid’ah or follows the path of bid’ah with regard to a particular issue, is he counted as being one of them?

The answer is no, he is not counted as being one of them and is not to be described as such. If he agrees with them on one particular issue then he has agreed with them on that issue, but it is not correct to say that he is one of them in absolute terms.

For example, there may be someone who follows the madhhab of Ahmad (i.e., Hanbali) but with regard to a particular issue he follows the view of Imaam Maalik – is he to be counted as a Maaliki? No.

Similarly, if a faqeeh follows the madhhab of Abu Haneefah (i.e., Hanafi) but with regard to a particular issue he follows the madhhab of al-Shaafa’i, do we say that he is a Shaafa’i? No.

So if we see a scholar who is known to be sincere following something that is the view of the people of bid’ah, it is not correct for us to say that he is one of them or is following their way. Rather we should say that because we know that they are following the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and that they are sincere in advising people, if they err with regard to this issue, that error stems from ijtihaad, and the mujtahid in this ummah will have two rewards if he reaches the right conclusion, and if he makes a mistake then he will have one reward.

Whoever rejects the whole truth (to which that person is calling people) because of one mistaken word is misguided, especially if the thing that he thinks is a mistake is not actually a mistake. Some people, if anyone disagrees with them, say that he is mistaken. They may describe him as being mistaken or misguided, or even as being a kaafir – Allaah forbid. This is an extremely bad way of judging people. The one who regards people as being kaafirs for any reason or for any sin, is following a way that is even harsher than the way of the Khawaarij, because the Khawaarij used to regard the one who committed a major sin as being a kaafir, not just the one who committed any sin. So if there is anyone who regards the Muslims as kaafirs for any sin, then he is misguided and is going against the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and is more extreme than the Khawaarij whom ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib fought against. The Muslims differed as to whether they were to be regarded as kaafirs. Some described them as kaafirs (disbelievers) and some described them as evildoers and extreme wrongdoers. Does not Allaah say (interpretation of the meaning):

“If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do, We shall expiate from you your (small) sins, and admit you to a Noble Entrance (i.e. Paradise)”
[al-Nisaa’ 4:31]

By avoiding major sins, a person may be forgiven for minor sins, so long as he does not persist in those minor sins. But if he persists in them, then the scholars said that persisting in a minor sin makes that a major sin. No doubt the view of those who label people as kaafirs because of their sins is misguided, and the one who says that the Muslims should be regarded as kaafirs because of their sins should note that the Messenger SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever calls his brother a kaafir – when that is not the case – it will come back on him.” This is what the Messenger said, so even if that person is not regarded as a kaafir in this world, he may become a kaafir in the sight of Allaah.

Al-Liqaa’ al-Shahri, 15

14103Time of du’aa’ when breaking fast


The fasting person will have his prayer answered when he breaks his fast, so when should he make du’aa’ – before, during or after breaking the fast? Are there any du’aa’s which were narrated from the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or that you can recommend for this time?

Praise be to Allaah.

This question was put to Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), who said:

“Du’aa’ should be made before iftaar (breaking the fast), at Maghrib, because this combines weakness and humility, and because he is still fasting. All of these are means of having one’s du’aa’ answered.  After breaking the fast, one is relaxed and happy, and may become negligent. But there is a hadeeth from the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which, if it is saheeh, shows that the du’aa’ may be made after breaking the fast. It said: ‘Thirst has gone, the veins are moist, and the reward is assured, if Allaah wills.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 2066). This can only mean after breaking the fast. Similarly it was narrated that some of the Sahaabah said: “ O Allaah, for You I have fasted and with Your provision I have broken my fast.”

So you may pray to Allaah and say whatever du’aa’ you think is suitable.

Reference: al-Liqaa’ al-Shahri, 8

7505Salaat al-Naariyah


“Allahumma salli salaatan kaamilatan wasallim salaaman taamman ‘ala sayyidina muhammadin alladhi(allathi in some prose) tan’hil bihi il uq’ad، watatafarrij bih il karb،wataq’dhi bih il hawaa’ij، wa tanaal bih ir raghaa’ib، wa hasan al khawaayitam wa yastasq il ghamaam bi wajhih il kareem wa ‘ala ‘aalihi wa sah’bihi fee kulli lamhatin wa nafs”

The above recitation is called salaat un naaria in india and recited 4444 times whenever a calamity falls in a house  by bringing many students and the chief of a madhrasaa.

1.  What is the meaning of the above words and is there any shirk in the wordings?

2. People say if there is no shirk we can continue reciting because it is not harmful because it is a type of dhikr and it reminds them of allah and that we are doing some kind of additional dhikr to  bring us closer to allah and to removesome museebath.

3. What is the ruling on maulid recitation، is there any harm in reciting it periodically by calling some students of madhrasaa or imam of masjid.

Praise be to Allaah.

[The translation of these words is as follows:

“O Allaah, send perfect blessings and complete peace upon our master Muhammad by virtue of whom [as some of them say] all obstacles are removed, distress is relieved, needs are met, desires are fulfilled and a good end may be achieved and by virtue of whose noble face clouds may be sent, and [send blessings and peace] upon his family and companions with every breath and glance.”]

Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.

1.     The words of this innovated prayer are clear enough, but there is nothing wrong with explaining them further.

“obstacles are removed” means, a way out is found from whatever obstacles and difficult matters one is faced with.

The phrase may also mean “by virtue of whom anger is calmed.”

“distress is relieved” means anxiety and grief are taken away.

“needs are met” means one gets what one is trying to achieve.

“desires are fulfilled and a good end may be achieved” means his wishes are fulfilled whether that is in this world or in the Hereafter, one of which is that one meets a good end.

“by virtue of whose noble face clouds may be sent” means that he is asked to pray to Allaah to send rain.

2.     What some people have told you – that this prayer does not involve shirk and that it is permissible for you to continue to recite it – is wrong. This so-called prayer includes things which clearly go against Islam, such as the following:

(i)                It is supposed to be said at times of calamity. This is a contrived reason for an innovated act of worship.

(ii)              It is supposed to be recited a set number of times, 4444 times. This is a contrived amount for an innovated act of worship.

(iii)            It is supposed to be recited in a communal fashion. This is a contrived method for an innovated act of worship

(iv)            It contains phrases which go against Islam, which constitute shirk and which are an exaggeration about the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It attributes to him actions which cannot be attributed to anyone other than Allaah, such as meeting people’s needs, relieving distress, fulfilling their desires and granting a good end. Allaah commanded His Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“Say: ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path’”

[al-Jinn 72:21 – interpretation of the meaning]

(v)              It ignores what is taught in the sharee’ah, and makes up a contrived prayer and supplication. This implies that one is accusing the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) of failing to explain everything that the people need, and that one is trying to fill gaps in the sharee’ah.

The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2550; Muslim, 1718).

According to a report narrated by Muslim (1718), he said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.”

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth represents one of the most important basic principles of Islam. It is like a yardstick for measuring the outward appearance of actions, just as the hadeeth ‘Actions are but by intentions’ is a yardstick for measuring the inward nature of actions. Just as actions which are not done for the sake of Allaah bring no reward to the one who does them, so too actions which are not done in accordance with the command of Allaah and His Messenger are rejected and thrown back at the one who does them. Everyone who innovates something in the religion for which Allaah and His Messenger have not granted permission, that action has nothing to do with the religion.”(Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/180)

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth is one of the most important basic principles of Islam and is one of the most comprehensive sayings of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is a clear rejection of bid’ah and innovations. The second report adds a further idea, which is that some people may persist in doing some innovated action (bid’ah) for which there is a precedent, and when the first report – ‘Whoever innovates anything…’ – is quoted as proof, such a person may say, ‘But I did not innovate anything. Then the second report – ‘Whoever does any action…’ – may be quoted, which clearly states that all innovated actions are rejected, whether the one who does them invented them or they were previously invented. This hadeeth is one of those which should be memorized and used in denouncing evil actions, and it should be propagated widely.”(Sharh Muslim, 12/16)

3.     With regard to celebrating the Mawlid (birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), doing this is bid’ah. If it was good, those who love the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) more than we do would have done it before us, i.e., the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. Most of what is recited on this occasion are weak or fabricated reports of the life of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and it involves exaggeration about our Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). There follow the comments of the scholars:

(a)     Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the one who completes the reading of the Qur’aan each year on the night of the birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – is that mustahabb or not?

He replied:

“Praise be to Allaah. For the people to come together to eat on the two Eids and the days of Tashreeq is Sunnah. This is one of the symbols of Islam which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set out for the Muslims. Helping the poor by giving them food during Ramadaan is also one of the ways of Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever gives a fasting person food to break his fast will have a reward like his.’ Giving poor Qur’aan-readers that which will help them to devote their time to the Qur’aan is a righteous deed at any time, and whoever helps them in this manner will have a share in the reward.

But taking as special occasions days which are not prescribed in Islam – such as one of the nights of Rabee’ al-Awwal which is called Laylat al-Mawlid (the night of the Prophet’s birthday), or some of the nights of Rajab, or the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, or the first Friday of Rajab, or the eighth of Shawwaal, which the ignorant call ‘Eid al-Abraar (the Feast of the Righteous)’ – these are bid’ahs which the salaf did not regard as mustahabb and they did not do these things. And Allaah knows best.”(al-Fataawa al-Kubraa, 4/415)

(b)    Ibn al-Haaj said:

“Some of them commit actions at this time which go against this meaning. When the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal begins, they hasten to indulge in idle entertainment, playing the daff (hand-drum) and reed flute, and other things as mentioned above.

Whoever wants to weep, let him weep for himself and for Islam, and how it and its people and those who follow the Sunnah have become alienated. If they simply wanted to sing songs and entertain themselves, I wish that they would limit themselves to that. But some of them try to follow proper etiquette, so they start the Mawlid with the recitation of Qur’aan. So they look for the one who can recite in the most melodious fashion and provoke enjoyment, and he reads ten aayahs. There are several things wrong with this:

v      the way in which the reciter reads in this manner which is condemned in sharee’ah, with a quavering tone like that of a singer. This has been discussed above.

v      This involves a lack of proper respect towards the Book of Allaah.

v      They read Qur’aan briefly before turning to what they really desire, which is to listen to the entertainment of the tambourine and reed-flute, and the singing and quavering tones of the singers, etc.

v      They show outwardly something different from that which is in their hearts. This is the essence of hypocrisy, whereby a person makes an outward display of something when deep inside he really means something else – this is wrong except in cases specifically exempted by sharee’ah. They start with Qur’aan recitation when the thoughts of some of them are really focused on the singing.

v      Some of them cut the recitation short, because they are thinking too much of the pleasure of that which comes after it, as mentioned above.

v      If the Qur’aan reading goes on for a long time, some of the audience begin to show signs of boredom, and they do not settle down until the entertainment they like begins. This is not what is meant by the description which Allaah gives of the humble believers, because they love to hear the words of the Lord, as He says in praise of them (interpretation of the meaning):

‘And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad), you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say: “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses”’[al-Maa’idah 5:83]

This is how Allaah describes those who listen to His words. But some of these people do the opposite of that. After listening to the word of their Lord, they get up to dance and celebrate and enjoy themselves in unseemly ways. “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return” [al-Baqarah 2:156 – interpretation of the meaning. This phrase is an expression of grief and sorrow] for the lack of shame for committing sins. They do the deeds of the Shaytaan and seek reward from the Lord of the Worlds, claiming that they are doing acts of worship and goodness. Would that only the lowest of people did that, but now this problem has become widespread and you see those who claim to have some knowledge and good deeds doing that, and even some of those who claim to be shaykhs, i.e., those who have followers. All of them are included in what is said above.

It is strange that they have been deceived by this trick of the accursed Shaytaan. Do you not see that a wine-drinker, when the wine first starts to take effect, he begins to move his head non-stop. When the effect becomes stronger, he loses his shame and dignity before those who are with him, and what he wants to conceal will be exposed to his companions. Look at this singer, may Allaah have mercy on you and us. When he starts to sing, you will see people who have dignity and respect, who appear decent and are followed by people of knowledge, falling silent when he starts to sing. Then they start to move their heads a little, exactly like wine-drinkers, as described above. Then when they really start to enjoy the entertainment, they lose their shyness and dignity, exactly like the wine-drinkers, so they get up and start to dance and shout and weep in a show of fake humility. They move in and out and raise their arms and heads towards the heavens as if receiving divine inspiration. They start to foam at the mouth and may even rend their garments and play with their beards.

This is obviously something to be denounced, because the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wasting money, and rending one’s garments is obviously included in that.

Secondly, this obviously goes beyond the limits of common sense, because they act like crazy people most of the time.”(al-Madkhal, 2/5-7)

(c)     The Standing Committee said:

“Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not permitted because it is an invented bid’ah (innovation) which was not done by the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by his rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashideen), or by the scholars of the best three generations [i.e., the first three generations of Islam].”

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/2)

(d)    Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked: is it permissible for the Muslims to hold celebrations in the mosque to commemorate the life of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the night of 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal, to celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), without taking that day off as an “Eid”? We are having some disputes concerning this. Some say that it is a bid’ah hasanah (“a good innovation”) and some say that it is not a good innovation.

He replied:

“The Muslims should not celebrate the birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether on the night of 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal or on any other date, just as they should not celebrate the birthday of anyone other than the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because celebrating birthdays is an innovation which has been introduced into the religion.  The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not celebrate his birthday during his lifetime, and he is the one who conveyed the religion and laws from Allaah. He did not enjoin that, and it was not done by his rightly guided successors or by any of his Companions or those who followed them in goodness during the best three generations. So it is known to be an innovation, and the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected’ (Saheeh – agreed upon). According to a report narrated by Muslim, which al-Bukhaari narrated in a mu’allaq majzoom report: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.”

Celebrating the Mawlid is not in accordance with the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather it is something which the people innovated and introduced into their religion during later centuries, so it is to be rejected. The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his khutbah (sermon) on Fridays: ‘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 is a going-astray.’ This was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. It was also narrated by al-Nasaa’i with a jayyid isnaad, adding the words, ‘and every going-astray leads to Hell.’

Instead of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we should study his seerah (biography) and the history of his life during the jaahiliyyah and Islam, in schools, mosques and elsewhere. That includes describing the circumstances of his birth and death, with no need to innovate celebrations which are not prescribed by Allaah or His Messenger, and for which there is no evidence in sharee’ah.

Allaah is the Source of Strength. We ask Allaah to grant guidance and strength to all the Muslims and to help them to follow the Sunnah and avoid bid’ah.”

(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/289)

And Allaah knows best.

10843

Detailed discussion of bid’ah and shirk


can we call people who do shirk and bid’ah muslims?

Praise be to Allaah.

This question involves two issues, bid’ah (innovation) and shirk (polytheism, association of others with Allaah).

A.  A- Bid’ah.

This issue may be divided into three topics:

Definition of bid’ah

Categories of bid’ah

Rulings on one who commits bid’ah – does that make him a kaafir or not?

1.    Definition of bid’ah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “According to sharee’ah, the definition is ‘Worshipping Allaah in ways that Allaah has not prescribed.’ If you wish you may say, ‘Worshipping Allaah in ways that are not those of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his rightly guided successors (al-khulafaa’ al-raashidoon).’”

The first definition is taken from the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

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

The second definition is taken from the hadeeth of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said:

“I urge you to adhere to my way (Sunnah) and the way of the rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashidoon) who come after me. Hold fast to it and bite onto it with your eyeteeth [i.e., cling firmly to it], and beware of newly-invented matters.”

So everyone who worships Allaah in a manner that Allaah has not prescribed or in a manner that is not in accordance with the way of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashidoon), is an innovator, whether that innovated worship has to do with the names and attributes of Allaah, or to do with His rulings and laws.

With regard to ordinary matters of habit and custom, these are not called bid’ah (innovation) in Islam, even though they may be described as such in linguistic terms. But they are not innovations in the religious sense, and these are not the things that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was warning us against.

And there is no such thing in Islam as bid’ah hasanah (good innovation).”

(Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 2, p. 291)

2. Categories of bid’ah

Bid’ah may be divided into two categories:

A.      bid’ah which constitutes kufr

B.       bid’ah which does not constitute kufr

If you ask, what is the definition of bid’ah which constitutes kufr and that which does not constitute kufr?

The answer is:

Shaykh Haafiz al-Hukami (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The kind of bid’ah which constitutes kufr is when one denies a matter on which there is scholarly consensus, which widely-known, and which no Muslim can have any excuse for not knowing, such as denying something that is obligatory, making something obligatory that is not obligatory, or making something haraam halaal, or making something halaal haraam; or believing some notion about Allaah, His Messenger and His Book when they are far above that, whether in terms of denial of affirmation  – because that means disbelieving in the Qur’aan and in the message with which Allaah sent His Messenger  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Examples include the bid’ah of the Jahamiyyah, who denied the attributes of Allaah; or the notion that the Qur’aan was created; or the notion that some of the attributes of Allaah were created; or the bid’ah of the Qadariyyah  who denied the knowledge and actions of Allaah; or the bid’ah of the Mujassimah who likened Allaah to His creation… etc.

The second category, bid’ah which does not constitute kufr, is defined as that which does not imply rejection of the Qur’aan or of anything with which Allaah sent His Messengers.

Examples include the Marwaani bid’ahs (which were denounced by the greatest Sahaabah who did not approve of them, although they did not denounce them as kaafirs or refuse to give them bay’ah because of that), such as delaying some of the prayers until the end of the due times, doing the Eid khutbah before the Eid prayer, delivering the khutbah whilst sitting down on Fridays, etc.

(Ma’aarij al-Qubool, 2/503-504)

3- The ruling on one who commits bid’ah – is he regarded as a kaafir or not?

The answer is that it depends.

If the bid’ah constitutes kufr, then the person is one of the following two types:

Either it is known that his intention is to destroy the foundations of Islam and make the Muslims doubt it. Such a person is definitely a kaafir; indeed, he is a stranger to Islam and is one of the enemies of the faith.

Or he is deceived and confused; he cannot be denounced as a kaafir until proof is established against him, fair and square.

If the bid’ah does not constitute kufr, then he should not be denounced as a kaafir. Rather, he remains a Muslim, but he has done a gravely evil action.

If you ask, how should we deal with those who commit bid’ah?

The answer is:

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “In both cases, we have to call these people – who claim to be Muslim but who commit acts of bid’ah which may constitute kufr or may be less than that – to the truth, by explaining the truth without being hostile or condemning what they are doing. But once we know that they are too arrogant to accept the truth – for Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning), ‘And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allaah, lest they insult Allaah wrongfully without knowledge.’ [al-An’aam 6:108] – if we find out that they are stubborn and arrogant, then we should point out their falsehood, because then pointing out their falsehood becomes an obligation upon us.

With regard to boycotting them, that depends upon the bid’ah. If it is a bid’ah which constitutes kufr, then it is obligatory to boycott the person who does it. If it is of a lesser degree than that, then it is essential to examine the situation further. If something may be achieved by boycotting the person, then we do it; if no purpose will be served by it, or if it will only make him more disobedient and arrogant, then we should avoid doing that, because whatever serves no purpose, it is better not to do it. And also in principle it is haraam to boycott a believer, because the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘It is not permissible for a man to forsake [not speak to] his brother for more than three [days].’”

(Adapted from Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 2, p. 293)

B. Shirk, its types and the definition of each

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

Shirk is of two types, major shirk which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, and lessershirk.”

The first type, major shirk, is “Every type of shirk which the Lawgiver described as such and which puts a person beyond the pale of his religion” – such as devoting any kind of act of worship which should be for Allaah to someone other than Allaah, such as praying to anyone other than Allaah, fasting for anyone other than Allaah or offering a sacrifice to anyone other than Allaah. It is also a form of major shirk to offer supplication (du’aa’) to anyone other than Allaah, such as calling upon the occupant of a grave or calling upon one who is absent to help one in some way in which no one is able to help except Allaah.

The second type is minor shirk, which means every kind of speech or action that Islam describes as shirk, but it does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam – such as swearing an oath by something other than Allaah, because the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that whoever swears an oath by something other than Allaah is guilty of kufr or shirk.”

The one who swears an oath by something other than Allaah but does not believe that anyone other than Allaah has the same greatness as Allah, is a mushrik who is guilty of lesser shirk, regardless of whether the one by whom he swore is venerated by people or not. It is not permissible to swear by the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or by the president, or by the Ka’bah, or by Jibreel, because this is shirk, but it is minorshirk which does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam.

Another type of minor shirk is showing off, which means that a person does something so that people will see it, not for the sake of Allaah.

The ways in which showing off may cancel out acts of worship are either of the following:

The first is when it is applies to an act of worship from the outset, i.e., the person is not doing that action for any reason other than showing off. In this case, the action is invalid and is rejected, because of the hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah which was attributed to the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), which says that Allaah said, “I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.”

(Narrated by Muslim, Kitaab al-Zuhd, no. 2985)

The second is when the showing off happens later on during the act of worship, i.e., the action is originally for Allaah, then showing off creeps into it. This may be one of two cases:

The first is when the person resists it – this does not harm him.

For example, a man has prayed a rak’ah, then some people come along during his second rak’ah and it occurs to him to make the rukoo’ or sujood longer, or makes himself weep, and so on. If he resists that, it does not harm him, because he is striving against this idea. But if he goes along with that, then every action which stemmed from showing off is invalid, such as if he made his standing or prostration long, or he made himself weep – all of those actions will be cancelled out. But does this invalidation extend to the entire act of worship or not?

We say that either of the following must apply:

Either the end of his act of worship was connected to the beginning (with no pause); so if the end of it is invalidated then all of it is invalidated.

This is the case with the prayer – the last part of it cannot be invalidated without the first part also being invalidated, so the whole prayer is invalid.

Or if the beginning of the action is separate from the end of it, then the first part is valid but the latter part is not. Whatever came before the showing off is valid, and what came after it is not valid.

An example of that is a man who has a hundred riyals, and gives fifty of them in charity for the sake of Allaah with a sound intention, then he gives fifty in charity for the purpose of showing off. The first fifty are accepted, and the second fifty are not accepted, because the latter is separate from the former.”

Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, and al-Qawl al-Mufeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed, vol. 1, p. 114, 1st edition

9055

Celebrations commemorating some of the scholars


What is the ruling on celebrations held in commemoration of one hundred days or forty days since the death of one of the scholars?

Praise be to Allaah.

Among the innovated matters that have appeared in some Muslim societies are celebrations to commemorate some of the dead, especially the scholars. These celebrations take place on the anniversary of the death of the person who is being commemorated, and they may take place a year or more after his death.

These celebrations vary from one person to another. If he was one of the common people or one of those who was thought to have knowledge even though he was ignorant, on the fortieth day after his death, his family commemorate his death, calling it “al-arba’een” (forty). They bring people together in a special tent or in the house of the deceased, and they bring Qur’aan-readers to recite Qur’aan, and they prepare a meal like a wedding feast, and they adorn the place with lights and comfortable furnishings. They go to great expense, and their purpose in doing this is to show off. No doubt this is haraam, because it involves wasting the money of the deceased for no legitimate purpose. It beings no benefit to the deceased himself and results in loss for his family. This is the case if there is no one among the heirs who is too young to be in charge of the money, so what do you think if there is someone like that among them! They may even finance that by means of a loan which involves riba(interest) – we seek refuge with Allaah from His Wrath. (al-Ibdaa’, p. 228)

Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:  “One of the things that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught was to offer condolences to the family of the bereaved, but it is not part of his teachings to gather together to mourn and read Qur’aan for him (the deceased), whether that is at the grave or elsewhere. All of that is bid’ah and a reprehensible innovation.” (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/527)

‘Ali Mahfooz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “What people do nowadays of offering food to the people who come to offer their condolences, and going to great expense on the nights of mourning, and subsequent occasions such as Friday nights and the forty-day anniversary of the death (al-arba’een), all of that is reprehensible bid’ah which goes against the practice of the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the righteous salaf after him.” (al-Ibdaa’, p. 230).

This celebration or commemoration is an innovation and a bid’ah, which was not narrated from the Messenger  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) or the righteous salaf (may Allaah have mercy on them). The Sunnah in this case is to make food for the family of the deceased and to send it to them, not for them to have to make food and invite people to come and eat it. When news of the death of Ja’far ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Make food for the family of Ja’far, because there has come to them that which will preoccupy them.” (Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad, 1/205. Also narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, 3/497, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, hadeeth no. 3132. Also narrated by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 2/234, Abwaab al-Janaa’iz, hadeeth no. 1003; he said it is a hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, 1/514, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, hadeeth no 1610. Also narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 1/372, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz; he said, it is a hadeeth whose isnaad is saheeh although they (al-Bukhaari and Muslim) did not narrate it, and al-Dhahabi agreed with him in his Talkhees).

Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah al-Bajali said: “We used to consider gathering with the family of the deceased and making food to be a form of wailing.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, 1/514, Kitaab al-Janaa’iz, hadeeth no. 1612. Al-Busayri said in Zawaa’id Ibn Maajah (2/35): “This is a saheeh isnaad; the men of the first isnaad are according to the conditions of al-Bukhaari, and the men of the second isnaad are according to the conditions of Muslim.”)

But if the person whose death is being commemorated was one of the scholars, on the anniversary of his death, one or two years later, then they hold special celebrations. A group of researchers agree to write about his life and character, or his method of writing, and everything that has to do with him, then they present that research on that day, and publish his books, or the most important and most famous of them, and they are distributed in the marketplaces to keep his memory alive, or so they say, and to make known the efforts he made to spread and publish knowledge and so on.

If he was a king, ruler or president, this occasion is celebrated and the most senior of those who are present speak of his legacy and work in government, and some books about him may be published on this occasion. Some people may go to his grave and recite wird over it, or recite al-Faatihah for his soul, All of that is bid’ah for which Allaah has not revealed any authority.

There is nothing inherently wrong with publishing the books of a scholar, or writing his biography or writing about his methodology, or printing his books. These things should be done if he deserves that. But that should not be done specifically at a certain time, or be accompanied by celebrations, festivals and speeches etc. The same applies to kings and rulers.

Celebrations held to commemorate the death of scholars, rulers and some common folk are an innovation, and that is sufficient to condemn them.

There was no one who had more knowledge than the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and there was no one whose way of calling others to Islam was better. No one had a nobler status or a higher rank than he did  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for he is the best of all creation. But despite that the Sahaabah did not commemorate his death, even though no person has ever been more dearly loved than the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was loved by the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) or the Taabi’een or the righteous salaf (may Allaah have mercy on them). If there had been any good in doing so, they would have done it before us.

Respecting the scholars is not done by holding celebrations in their memory; it is done by striving to benefit from the things they have written, by publishing and reading and commenting etc.

This applies if they are deserving of that, by virtue of their having lived according to the way of the righteous salaf, and kept away from the way of the deviant sects or the influence of the west, etc.

The memory and narrations of the scholars of the righteous salaf and those who came after them, and the knowledge that they presented to the people, have been preserved. The scholar may have died and departed from this world, but his knowledge remains and is passed down by the people from one generation to the next.

Because of the benefit that people gain from their knowledge, they pray for mercy for them and pray that they may be rewarded. This is the greatest way in which their memory can be kept alive.

But organizing celebrations in their memory, or seeking blessing by visiting the places where they lived and taught, and their relics, or circumambulating their graves – all of that is bid’ah, some of which may even reach the degree of shirk. We seek refuge with Allaah from that.

If these scholars, whose memories are celebrated and from whom people seek blessing by visiting the places where they lived and taught, were alive, they would denounce these things that are being done.

But some people have been misled by their own whims and desires and by the Shaytaan, and by those who advocate bid’ah for worldly purposes or to gain leadership over the people. So they have slipped in the maze of bid’ah from which there is no escape apart from returning to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and adhering to them, and to that on which the scholars of this ummah are agreed, and giving up all newly-invented innovations which are evil in and of themselves and which lead to even greater evils and disasters.

We ask Allaah to guide us and them to the Straight Path, the path of those with whom Allaah is pleased, the Prophets, the Siddeeqeen, the martyrs and the righteous. May He keep us far away from the path of those with whom He is angry and those who have gone astray, for He is Able to do all things.

Al-Bida’ al-Hawliyyah li Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Ahmad al-Tuwayjri, p. 350 

12364

The bid’ah of superstition about getting married in Shawwaal


Is what people say about avoiding getting married in Shawwaal correct?

Praise be to Allaah.

Ibn al-Mundhir said: “Shawwaal is one of the well known names of months, the name of the month which follows Ramadaan and is the first of the months of Hajj.”

It was said that it was called after the drying up of the camels’ milk (tashweel), when it becomes scanty. This is what happens to the camels when the heat becomes intense and there are no longer any dates on the palm trees… The Arabs were superstitious about getting married at that time, and they would say that the bride would keep away from her groom like the female camel when she has been impregnated and lifted (shaalat) her tail. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) declared their superstition to be false. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married me in Shawwaal and consummated the marriage with me in Shawwaal, and which of his wives was more favoured by him than me?”

(Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/54; this version narrated by him. Also narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, 2/1039, Kitaab al-Nikaah, hadeeth no. 1423. Also narrated al-Tirmidhi in hisSunan, 2/277, Abwaab al-Nikaah, hadeeth no. 1099; he said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by al-Nasaa’i in his Sunan, 6/70, Kitaab al-NikaahBaab al-Tazweej fi Shawwaal. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, 1/641, Kitaab al-Nikaah, hadeeth no. 1990. (Lisaan al-‘Arab, 11/277, heading Shawwaal).

The reason why the Arabs of the Jaahiliyyah were so superstitious about marrying during Shawwaal was that they believed that a woman would keep away from her husband like the she-camel that has lifted (shawwalat) its tail after being impregnated keeps away from the he-camel.

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The fact that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) consummated his marriage with ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) during Shawwaal was a refutation of the notions that some people held, that it was disliked to consummate a marriage between the two Eids, lest that lead to separation of the spouses. But that was a false notion.” (al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah, 3/253)

Being superstitious about getting married in Shawwaal is the matter of falsehood, because superstition in general is part of the “evil omen” (tiyarah) that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade when he said, “There is no contagion and no evil omen.” (Sharh Saheeh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 14/219, 218). And he  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

Said, “Tiyarah (believing in evil omens) is shirk.”

(Narrated by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad, 1/440. Also narrated by Abu Dawood in his Sunan, 4/230, Kitaab al-Tibb, hadeeth no. 3910). Also narrated by al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan, 3/84, 85,Abwaab al-Siyar, hadeeth no. 1663; he said, it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. Also narrated by Ibn Maajah in his Sunan, 2/1170, Kitaab al-Tibb, hadeeth no. 3538. Also narrated by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak, 1/17, 18, Kitaab al-Eemaan; he said it is a hadeeth whose isnaad issaheeh and its narrators are thiqah, although they [al-Bukhaari and Muslim] did not narrate it; al-Dhahabi agreed with him in his Talkhees).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her): “This indicates that it is mustahabb to get married and to consummate the marriage in Shawwaal. Our companions [fellow-scholars] have stated that this is mustahabb, quoting this hadeeth as evidence for that.”

By saying this, ‘Aa’ishah was aiming to refute the ignorant belief of the Jaahiliyyah, and what some of the common folk still believe today, that it is makrooh to get married or to consummate the marriage in Shawwaal. This is false and there is no basis for this belief. It is one of the leftovers of the Jaahiliyyah, when they used to be superstitious about that because of the connations of the name of Shawwaal which related to the drying up of the camel’s milk and the lifting of its tail…”

(Sharh Saheeh Muslim li’l-Nawawi, 9/209)

al-Bida’ al-Hawliyyah by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Ahmad al-Tuwayjri, p. 348-349

12366

The bid’ah of Eid al-Abraar (the “festival of the righteous”)


What is the ruling on Eid al-Abraar which is celebrated in Shawwaal every year?

Praise be to Allaah.

One of the innovated things that happen in Shawwaal is the bid’ah (innovation) of “Eid al-Abraar” (the “festival of the righteous”), which is on the eighth day of Shawwaal.

After the people have completed the fast of Ramadaan, and they broke their fast on the first day of Shawwaal – the day of Eid al-Fitr – they start to fast the first six days of Shawwaal, and on the eighth day they celebrate an “eid” which they call Eid al-Abraar.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “With regard to celebrating occasions which are not prescribed in sharee’ah – such as some nights in Rabee’ al-Awwal which are called ‘Mawlid’, or some nights in Rajab, or the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, or the first Friday in Rajab, or the eighth of Shawwaal which the ignorant call Eid al-Abraar – these are innovations which were not approved of by the salaf and they did not do these things. And Allaah knows best.” (Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, 25/298)

He also said: “With regard to the eighth of Shawwaal, it is not an Eid, neither for the righteous nor for the evil. It is not permissible for anyone to take it as an Eid or to do any of the things connected with celebrations on that day.” (al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 199)

The celebrations of this “eid” take place in one of the famous mosques, where men and women mix freely, shake hands with one another and utter words of Jaahiliyyah when they shake hands.  Then after that they go and make some foods especially for this occasion.” (al-Sunan wa’l-Mubtada’aat by al-Shuqayri, p. 166)

Al-Bida’ al-Hawliyyah by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Ahmad al-Tuwayjri, p. 350

8596

False belief that reading Qur’aan remains suspended if the reward for reading is not given to the deceased


I have heard that when we finish reading one entire Qur’an  we are supposed to say a dua so that the reward of the recitaion reaches deceased Muslims .And if we dont do this then the Qur’an is left ‘hanging ‘ between the earth and sky and the reward for its recitation is reduced .’Baksh ‘ is the word in Urdu for this, I don’t know what it is in English or Arabic . Does this have any truth in it?

Praise be to Allaah.

This is not correct at all; in fact it is one of the innovations (bid’ah) of which we must beware .

Shaykh Sa’d al-Humayd  

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it” [Faatir 35:10] 

So our reading Qur’aan, if it is done for the sake of Allaah and from a pious heart, is accepted and ascends to Allaah, It is not detained between the heavens and the earth. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Allaah accepts only from those who are Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)” [al-Maa’idah 5:27]

Part of being pious is avoiding bid’ah and shunning false beliefs which are based on ignorance. The commonly held belief that the reward for reading Qur’aan reaches the dead cannot be taken as definitive. The evidence (daleel) of sharee’ah does not indicate that, so giving the reward for reading Qur’aan to the deceased is not an action that is prescribed by sharee’ah. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

9485Attending a feast for a child’s birthday and eating that food


Muslims in this region are celebrating naming ceremony for babies and doing maulid or salatun naaria and the give food to the guests.  some of us say that we will not come to eat that food because the whole gathering is a bid’a but we participate in that gathering so that the people dont get offended.  but the people who r conducting this celebration  r saying we hav made food only for the guest and has no relevance to maulid. and also they force us to eat.  is it allowed to eat if they force us and they asking daleel bas to why we r refusing to eat. pls explain with proof in hadeeth that what we r doing is correct or not as we r not able to give concrete evidence

Praise be to Allaah.

Celebrating birthdays is an innovation in the religion of Allaah, and it is not permissible to do this. It is not permissible to eat the food that has been prepared for this occasion. Their claim that the food for the birthday celebration is for the guests does not make it excusable to eat it. Hospitality is subject to its own rulings, and matters are judged according to the intentions behind them. It is very clear that the food is being prepared for this innovated occasion, and eating this food is one of the things that helps them to persist in doing this. It is a kind of co-operation in sin and transgression. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Help you one another in Al Birr and At Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr

With regard to al-salaah al-naariyah, this is one of the innovated Sufi prayers; it is not permissible to attend those gatherings or to take part in them.

11739

Dividing the religion into basic matters (usool) and minor issues (furoo’)


Is it correct to regard the basic matters (usool) of religion as purely theoretical, and the minor issues (furoo’) as purely practical?

Praise be to Allaah.

The basic matters (usool) of religion are not purely theoretical, and there is no separation between belief and practice in Islam. There is nothing in the Qur’aan or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to suggest that the basic matters have to do only with beliefs and that the minor issues have to do only with practice. This separation originated with the Mu’tazilah, who are the ones who separated the basic matters and minor principles in this manner.

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ghunaymaan

11086

Fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj and the day of Shab-e-baraath


Is the following bid’ah?

1. praying more than 8 rak’ats in taraweeh?

2. fasting on the supposed day of mi’raj( for one who believes that that day is the day of mi’raj and for one who is sure that there is no specific date mentioned in hadeeth but he fasts on that day for the sake of Allah?)

3. fasting on the supposed day of shab’e baraath?

4. is it not bid’ah if some says that they are fasting it as a nafil fasting on the day of shab’e baraath?

some muslim brothers say that the extra prayers we pray after 8 rakat in taraweeh and the fasting on various days such as shabe baraath and mi’raj and meelad un nabi are not bid’ah, because these form of worship is taught to us by prophet(saw) and what is wrong in praying or fasting on any day (other than forbidden days and times).what is the ruling?

4.praying salat tasbeeh nafil? (100 times surat al ikhlas in every rakat)

Praise be to Allaah.

1 – Praying more than 8 rak’ahs in Taraaweeh is not considered to be bid’ah, on the condition that one does not single out certain nights for increasing the number, such as the last ten nights. The number of raka’hs during the last ten nights should be the same as the number during the other nights. The last ten nights should be characterized by making the rak’ahs longer.

2 – Fasting on the day which one believes to be the day of the Mi’raaj is not permissible, and comes under the heading of bid’ah. Even if a person is not sure, but he fasts this day for the sake of being on the safe side, it is as if he is saying, ‘If it is really the day of the Mi’raaj, then I will have fasted it, and if it is not, it will still be a good action that I have done, and if I will not be rewarded for it then I will not be punished.’ This attitude means that a person is committing bid’ah, and he is a sinner who deserves to be punished. But if his fast is not because it is the day of the Mi’raaj, but is rather because it is his habit to fast alternate days, or to fast Mondays and Thursdays, and that happens to coincide with the day known as the day of the Mi’raaj, there is nothing wrong with him fasting it with that intention, i.e., the intention of fasting on Monday or Thursday, or a day on which he usually fasts.

3 – What we have said about fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj also applies to fasting on the day of Shab-e-baraath. If any Muslim says that fasting on the day of the Mi’raaj or on the day of Shab-e-baraath is not bid’ah because the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us these acts of worship, so what is wrong with fasting any day apart from the days on which it is haraam to fast? Our response to that is:

If the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us these acts of worship, then where is the evidence (daleel) for singling out the day of the Mi’raaj or any other day for fasting? If there were any evidence that it is prescribed to fast on these two days, no one would be able to say that fasting on these days is bid’ah. But what is apparent is that those who say this mean that fasting is an act of worship in general terms, so that if he fasts he has done an act of worship for which he will be rewarded, so long as it is not on one of the days when fasting is not allowed, such as on Eid. This would be correct if the person who is fasting did not single out a day which he believes is a day of virtue, such as the day of the Mi’raaj or the day of Shab-e-baraath. What makes this the matter of bid’ah is the fact that one is singling out these days. If there was any virtue in fasting these two days, the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have fasted them, and he would have urged us to fast them. It is known that the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah were more keen to do good than we are; if they had known that there was any virtue in fasting these two days, they would have fasted them. Since we find no reports to that effect from them, we know that this is an innovated bid’ah, and the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not a part of this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected,” i.e., it will be thrown back on the one who does it. Fasting these two days is an action which we find no report of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoining, so it is to be rejected.

4 – The “salat tasbeeh nafil” is to be regarded in the same way as the matter discussed above, in the fullest sense. Acts of worship that have no evidence (daleel) to support them are to be rejected. It has not been proven in the Book of Allaah or in the Sunnah of His Chosen Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that there is any prayer in which “Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad” is to be recited 100 times, so doing that is an innovated bid’ah for which the one who does it will be punished. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Sa’d al-Humayd

8907Laylat al-Nusf min Sha’baan (the middle of Sha’baan) should not be singled out for worship


I read in a book that fasting on the middle of Sha’baan is a kind of bid’ah, but in another book I read that one of the days on which it is mustahabb to fast is the middle of Sha’baan… what is the definitive ruling on this?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is no saheeh marfoo’ report that speaks of the virtue of the middle of Sha’baan that may be followed, not even  in the chapters on al-Fadaa’il (chapters on virtues in books of hadeeth etc.). Some maqtoo’ reports (reports whose isnaads do not go back further than the Taabi’een) have been narrated from some of the Taabi’een, and there are some ahaadeeth, the best of which are mawdoo’ (fabricated) or da’eef jiddan (very weak). These reports became very well known in some countries which were overwhelmed by ignorance; these reports suggest that people’s lifespans are written on that day or that it is decided on that day who is to die in the coming year. On this basis, it is not prescribed to spend this night in prayer or to fast on this day, or to single it out for certain acts of worship. One should not be deceived by the large numbers of ignorant people who do these things. And Allaah knows best.

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen.

If a person wants to pray qiyaam on this night as he does on other nights – without doing anything extra or singling this night out for anything – then that is OK. The same applies if he fasts the day of the fifteenth of Sha’baan because it happens to be one of the ayyaam al-beed, along with the fourteenth and thirteenth of the month, or because it happens to be a Monday or Thursday. If the fifteenth (of Sha’baan) coincides with a Monday or Thursday, there is nothing wrong with that (fasting on that day), so long as he is not seeking extra reward that has not been proven (in the saheeh texts). And Allaah knows best.

10070

Celebrating innovated festivals


What is the shar’i ruling on celebrating festivals such as the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), children’s birthdays, Mother’s Day, Tree Week and national holidays?

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: ‘Eid (festival) is the name given to something which returns (ya’ood), and is used to describe gatherings which happen repeatedly, on a yearly, monthly or weekly basis, etc. So an ‘eid includes a number of things, such as a day which comes regularly, e.g., ‘Eid al-Fitr and Friday; gatherings on that day; and actions such as acts of worship and customs which are done on that day.

Secondly: any of these things which are intended as rituals or acts of worship aimed at drawing closer to Allaah or glorifying Him in order to earn reward, or which involve imitating the people of Jaahiliyyah or any other groups of kaafirs, is a prohibited bid’ah, an innovation which comes under the general meaning of the hadeeth: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

Examples of that include Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophet’s birthday), Mother’s Day and national holidays, because in the first case there are innovated acts of worship which Allaah has not prescribed, and because it involves imitation of the Christians and other kaafirs. And in the second and third cases there is imitation of the kuffaar. But in cases where the intention is to organize work to serve the interests of the ummah and to put its affairs straight, or to organize programs of study, or to bring employees together for work purposes etc., which in and of themselves do not involve acts of worship and glorification, then these are a kind of benign innovation which do not come under the meaning of the hadeeth, “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it will have it rejected.” So there is nothing wrong with such things, indeed they are allowed by sharee’ah.

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/59

11999

Saying “ ‘Ali karrama Allaah wajhahu (Ali, may Allaah honour his face)”


 How correct is it to say, “ ‘Ali karrama Allaah wajhahu (Ali, may Allaah honour his face)”?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is no basis for saying this specifically for ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him). It is an example of the exaggeration of the Shi’a.

May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/69

12010

Celebrating a child’s twenty-first birthday


Here in South Africa, when a young man or young woman reaches the age of twenty-one, people celebrate it, read Qur’aan and cook various kinds of food. They gather together and give a key to the young person who has reached the age of 21. Are these things permitted inIslam?

Praise be to Allaah.

What you have mentioned about celebrating and reciting Qur’aan when a young man or woman reaches the age of twenty-one has no basis in sharee’ah. It is bid’ah and a kind of imitating the Christians around you. It was proven in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.” (Narrated by Muslim and by Ahmad in al-Musnad). And Abu Dawood narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/58

10888

Does saying “Innahu ‘ala raj’ihi la qaadir (Verily, (Allaah) is Able to bring him back)” help to bring back something that has been lost?


If a person loses something, and says “Innahu ‘ala raj’ihi la qaadir (Verily, (Allaah) is Able to bring him back)” [al-Taariq 86:6 – interpretation of the meaning] 200 times, will that bring back what he has lost, or not?

Praise be to Allaah.

This is not reported in the Book of Allaah or in the saheeh Sunnah of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is not one of the usual means of finding things that have been lost. It comes under the heading of using the Qur’aan for purposes other than that for which it was revealed. It also involves specifying a certain number, which is something that is a tawqeefi matter (i.e., it can only be known through revelation) and cannot be known through ijtihaad or reason. Using this method is bid’ah (reprehensible innovation), and it was reported that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

11669

Going to visit places and mosques in which the Prophet prayed


I see some people when they visit Madeenah, going to the seven mosques in addition to al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) and Masjid Quba’. In al-Taa’if they make sure that they visit Masjid ‘Addaas, and they want to visit mosques in Makkah in order to pray there. What is the ruling on this?

Praise be to Allaah.

Travelling to visit al-Masjid al-Nabawi is an action which is prescribed in sharee’ah as indicated by the hadeeth of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “No journey should be made to visit mosques except for  three: this mosque of mine [in Madeenah], al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah] and al-Masjid al-Aqsa [in al-Quds/Jerusalem]. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim; this version narrated by Muslim). Prayer in (al-Masjid al-Nabawi) is better than a thousand prayers anywhere else, apart from al-Masjid al-Haraam.

Other places which it is prescribed to visit without travelling expressly for that purpose are the grave of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the graves of his two companions [Abu Bakr and ‘Umar], the graves of the people of al-Baqee’ [the cemetery of Madeenah], the graves of the martyrs of Uhud, and finally, the mosque of Quba’.

With regard to visiting those graves, this is implied in the general meaning of the hadeeth of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “I used to forbid you to visit graves but now visit them.”

Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “It is also mustahabb (recommended) to visit the graves of the people of al-Baqee’ and the martyrs of Uhud, to pray for them and ask for forgiveness for them, because the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do this, but this is prescribed for all the Muslim graves.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 17/470)

The evidence for visiting the Mosque of Quba’ is the hadeeth narrated in al-Saheehayn from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to come to Quba’ riding and walking.” According to another report: “and he would pray two rak’ahs there.” (narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said, “Whoever purifies himself in his house then comes to the mosque of Quba’ and prays there, he will have a reward like that for ‘Umrah.” (Narrated by Ahmad, al-Nasaa’i, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim. Al-Haakim classed it as saheeh and al-Dhahabi agreed with him. Also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani inSaheeh al-Jaami’, 6154)

With regard to visiting other mosques and historical sites and claiming that they are “places which a person should visit”, there is no basis for doing this, and they should not be visited for the following reasons:

1-                  There is no shar’i evidence to suggest that these mosques should be singled out for visits, as there is in the case of Masjid Quba’. As is well known, acts of worship should be based on following (the Sunnah), not on innovations.

2-                  The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the most keen of all people to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). None of them are known to have visited those mosques and historical sites. If this were a good thing they would have been the first ones to do it.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, ‘Ali and all the predecessors of the Muhaajiroon and Ansaar used to travel from Madeenah to Makkah to perform Hajj and ‘Umrah, or for other purposes, and none of them said that he was keen to pray in the places where the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had prayed. It is known that if this had been mustahabb in their view, they would have been the first ones to do it, for they had more knowledge of the Sunnah and followed it more closely than anyone else.” (Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 2/748).

3-                  Visits to these places should be disallowed as a preventative measure. This is indicated by the actions of the righteous salaf, above all the rightly-guided khaleefah ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him). It was narrated that al-Ma’roor ibn Suwayd (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “We went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab and we came across a mosque on our route. The people rushed to pray in that mosque, and ‘Umar said, ‘What is the matter with them?’ They said, ‘This is a mosque in which the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed.’ ‘Umar said: ‘O people, those who came before you were destroyed because they followed such (practices) until they made them places of worship. Whoever happens to be there at the time of prayer, let him pray there, and whoever is not there at the time of prayer, let him continue his journey.’” (Narrated by Ibn Waddah in his book al-Bida’ wa’l-Nahiy ‘anhaa; classed as saheeh by Ibn Taymiyah in al-Majmoo’, 1/281).

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, commenting on this story, “The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had not singled out that place for prayer; he prayed there only because he happened to be staying there. Hence ‘Umar thought that imitating him outwardly without having the same reason for doing so did not count as following the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Singling out that place for prayer was like the innovations of the People of the Book which had led to their doom, so he forbade the Muslims to imitate them in this manner. The one who did that was imitating the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in outward appearances, but he was imitating the Jews and Christians in his intention, which is the action of the heart. The action of the heart is what counts, because following in one’s intention is more serious than following in outward appearances.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 1/281)

In another example, it is narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) heard that some people were visiting the tree under which the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had accepted the bay’ah of people, so he commanded that it should be cut down.” (Narrated by Ibn Waddaah in his book al-Bida’ wa’l-Nahiy ‘anhaa, and by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 2/375. Its isnaad was classed as saheeh by Ibn Hajar inFath al-Baari, 7/448.Al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: the men of its isnaad are thiqaat).

Ibn Waddaah al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Maalik ibn Anas and other scholars of Madeenah regarded it as makrooh to go to those mosques and historical sites connected to the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), apart from Quba’ and Uhud.” (al-Bida’ wa’l-Nahiy ‘anhaa, p. 43). What is meant by Uhud is visiting the graves of the martyrs of Uhud.

Shaykh al-Islam (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Hence the scholars of the salaf among the people of Madeenah and elsewhere did not regard it as mustahabb to set out to visit any places in and around Madeenah after the Mosque of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), apart from the mosque of Quba’, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not specify any mosque to be visited apart from that.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 17/469).

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after mentioning the places which it is prescribed to visit in Madeenah: “With regard to the seven mosques, Masjid al-Qiblatayn (the Mosque of the Two Qiblahs), and other places which some authors who wrote about the rituals of Hajj include among the places to be visited, there is no basis for doing that, and there is no evidence for doing so. What is prescribed for the believer at all times is to follow [the Sunnah], not to innovate.” (Fataawa Islamiyyah, 2/313)

The prominent scholar Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him) said: “There are no places in Madeenah to be visited apart from these: al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the grave of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), al-Baqee’, the martyrs of Uhud, and the Mosque of Quba’. As for other sites, there is no basis for visiting them.” (Fiqh al-‘Ibaadaat, p. 405)

Some may think that as long as one does not believe that these places hold any special virtue, that justifies visiting them or other historical places. This idea is unacceptable, for the following reasons:

Firstly: the righteous salaf (may Allaah have mercy on them) forbade going to these places in absolute terms, without going into detail.

Secondly: going to these places and singling them out to visit because they are in the vicinity of Madeenah which witnessed the dawn of the Islamic call or because some battles happened there, proves that one believes in their virtue. If one did not hold such a belief, there would be no motive for visiting these places.

Thirdly: if we accept, for the sake of argument, that a person does not believe in their virtue, visiting them is still a means that may lead to that and to doing things that are not prescribed. Taking preventative measures is one of the things prescribed by sharee’ah, as is well known. Al-‘Allaamah Ibn al-Qayyim – may Allaah have mercy on him – gave ninety-nine examples illustrating this principle, and after giving the ninety-ninth example he said: “Taking preventative means is one-quarter of responsibility, for there are commands and prohibitions. The commands are of two types, one of which is the end in itself and the other is the means to that end. And prohibitions are of two types, the thing that is prohibited because it is evil in and of itself, and the means that lead to that evil. So preventing the means that lead to that which is haraam is one quarter of the religion.” (I’laam al-Muwaqqi’een, 3/143)

Fourthly: It gives wrong ideas to ignorant people; when they see many people visiting those mosques and historical sites, they will think that this is an action which is prescribed in Islam.

Fifthly: Going to extremes in that matter and calling for visits to historical sites such as Mount Uhud and Jabal al-Noor for leisure purposes is one of the means that lead to shirk. The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas issued a fatwa (No. 5303) stating that it is not allowed to climb up to the Cave of Hiraa’ for that reason. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek.

Al-Da’wah magazine, issue #1754, p. 55

12032Celebrating completing the Qur’aan (khatm al-Qur’aan)


Some women, when they finish learning the Qur’aan by heart from their shaykhah, organize a simple celebration in which they read from the end of  the Mus-haf and immediately add something from the beginning (al-Faatihah and five aayaat of al-Baqarah) so that their reading will not cease. What is the ruling on that?

Praise be to Allaah.

Praise be to Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah.

Celebrating the completion of memorizing the Qur’aan is not Sunnah, because nothing of that nature was narrated from the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from any of his Sahaabah. Doing this on the grounds that it is part of religion is bid’ah. But people do it as a customary expression of joy for the blessing of having memorized Qur’aan, like celebrations for the return of one who has been away, or for finding work, or for moving to a new home. If the celebration for completing the Qur’aan is of this nature, then there is nothing wrong with it. If a passage from the Qur’aan is recited, from the beginning or the end, without having to recite a specific soorah or recite in a particular way such as joining the end to the beginning, then this is fine, because reciting from Qur’aan is the best thing that can be done in a gathering and it is a reminder for those who are present. With regard to making du’aa’ when completing the recitation of the Qur’aan, it was reported with a saheeh isnaad from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that when he completed the Qur’aan, he would gather his family together and make du’aa’ with them. If the reader makes du’aa’ when he completes the Qur’aan, and those who are present say “Ameen” to his du’aa’, this is fine.

With regard to calling the teacher “shaykhah” , there is nothing wrong with this. Now you know, may Allaah bless you, that there is no reason not to have the celebration you have described. There is no need to read from the end of the Mus-haf and then join it to the beginning. Doing something in this manner requires evidence (daleel), because reading Qur’aan is an act of worship, and acts of worship must be done only in the manner in which the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did them, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allaah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day, and remembers Allaah much” [al-Ahzaab 33:21]

 Written by Shaykh ‘Abd-Al-Rahmaan al-Barraak

There is a hadeeth about the person who stops for a rest immediately carrying on, which was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) from Ibn ‘Abbaas. According to this hadeeth, a man said, “O Messenger of Allaah, which deed is most beloved to Allaah? He said, “Al-haal al-murtahil.” The man said, ‘What is al-haal al-murtahil?” He said, “The one who starts from the beginning of the Qur’aan until he reaches the end, and when he stops for a rest, he immediately carries on.”

But this hadeeth is da’eef (weak), as al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) says after he quotes it: this is a ghareeb (strange) hadeeth which we only know from Ibn ‘Abbaas with this isnaad, and this isnaad is not strong.

Hence Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-I’laam (p.289, part2), after he mentioned this hadeeth: Some of them understood from this that when a person has finished reading the whole Qur’aan, he should then read al-Faatihah and three verses of Soorat al-Baqarah, because he stopped when he completed it, and he continued when he started again. But none of the Sahaabah or Taabi’een did this, and none of the imaams regarded it as mustahabb (encouraged). What is referred to in the hadeeth is when a person returns from one military campaign and immediately joins another, or every time he completes one good deed, he starts another which he  completes as he did the first one. But what some readers do is not what was meant in the hadeeth at all. And Allaah is the source of strength.


7277What is the definition of bid’ah? What is the ruling on doing more rak’ahs in Taraaweeh?


can you kindly define and provide examples of bid’ah ? This is a issue that is very confusing. Is it a bid’ah to pray more than 8 Rak’ahs for taraweeh since our Prophet never performed it ?

Praise be to Allaah.

The root of the word bid’ah in Arabic means initiating something without any precedent. For example, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“The Originator of the heavens and the earth…” [al-Baqarah 2:117]

In the terminology of sharee’ah, bid’ah means something that has been introduced into the religion of Allaah that has no general or specific basis to support it.

For example, the innovated adhkaar (dhikr) such as saying the name of Allaah on its own (“Allaah…Allaah… Allaah”) or the pronoun (“Hu… Hu… Hu…”, meaning “He… He… He…”). This is a new thing that has been innovated in the religion, intended as worship of Allaah, but there is no evidence for this, either specific or general… so it is bid’ah.

With regard to praying more than 8 rak’ahs in Taraweeh, the Sunnah as reported in the saheeh ahaadeeth, and as the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did regularly, is to pray eleven rak’ahs at night. He used to pray eight rak’ahs (saying Tasleem after each two rak’ahs in most cases), ending with two rak’ahs of shaf’ and one rak’ah of witr.

He sometimes prayed thirteen rak’ahs, as was narrated in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah and Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both). Doing more than this is permitted, but it is not Sunnah. What indicates that it is permissible is the saheeh hadeeth in which the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Night prayer is two by two” – meaning two rak’ahs by two rak’ahs; he did not limit it to a set number. And Allaah knows best.

7051

Gathering to eat and celebrate on the last day of Sha’baan


Some families get together on the last night of Sha’baan and make food, and some of their elders recite poems for this occasion. What is the ruling on this getting together to eat?

Praise be to Allaah.

We put this question to Sahykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, who replied as follows:

I think that this is closer to bid’ah (innovation), and it should be disallowed rather than permitted, because it is being taken as an “Eid” (regular celebration). If it happened only once, then it is OK.

Our response is: we do not allow it.

And Allaah knows best.

1505

They get together and each person reads one juz’; will this be considered as a khutmah (complete reading of the Qur’aan) for all of them?


There are people who sit together to read the Qur’aan quietly. Each individual reads one juz’ (part) of the Qur’aan, claiming that the entire Qur’aan will have been read in this gathering. Is this permissible or is it counted as being bid’ah (innovation)?

Praise be to Allaah.

In my opinion the action mentioned is not permissible, and I do not recall anything of this kind being reported from the Salaf. A person will only be rewarded for what he himself reads or listens to in order to benefit from it. But if another person reads and he does not listen, the reward for that will go to the person who read it. These people are not considered to have completed the whole Qur’aan; but if each person has read a juz’ he will be rewarded for that. But they should not do this; either one person should read and the others listen, or each person should read by himself without making a connection between his reading and that of the others.

Al-Lu’lu’ al-Makeen min Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Jibreen, p. 50

6745

Sufi formulas and bid’ah


In your ‘Innovations’ sections, you say it’s bidah to recite, say a 100 times or something, suras hoping for reward. After reading a Sufi book by Hakim Moinuddin Chishti called ‘Sufi Healing”, I saw that it justified using such formulas by saying that the formulas and other things had been inspired by Allah through dreams or etc. to certain Muslims who were very close to Allah. Would this make it a part of Shariah? How can we know that they are being truthful? Is this acceptable in Islam?

Praise be to Allaah.

1. Allaah described His awliyaa’ (close friends) as having two characteristics: Eemaan (faith) and Taqwa (piety, awareness of Allaah). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“No doubt! Verily, the Awliyaa’ of Allaah [i.e., those who believe in the Oneness of Allaah and fear Allaah much and love Allaah much], nor fear shall be upon them nor shall they grieve, – those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah) and used to fear Allaah much” [Yoonus 10:62-63]

2. The true awliyaa’ of Allaah do not go against what the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against innovated matters in religion, because Allaah has perfected His religion and completed His favour upon His slaves. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“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].

The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.”

3. Therefore one can distinguish between the walee (close friend) of Allaah and the walee of the Shaytaan, by looking at the person’s character, behaviour and religious commitment – does he pray regularly in jamaa’ah in the mosque, for example? Does he avoid wrongfully consuming people’s property? Does he avoid going against Islam by either adding or taking away anything? And so on…

4. It is not permissible for a Muslim to innovate any dhikr to recite regularly or to tell others to do so – such as awraad/wird, ma’thooraat or du’aas. The adhkaar that were reported in the saheeh Sunnah are sufficient for this, otherwise a person is an innovator or one who calls others to bid’ah. The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not a part of it, will have it rejected.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhaari, 2550; Muslim, 1718). According to a report narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected.”

Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“This hadeeth represents one of the most important principles in Islam. It is like a scale against which the external appearances of deeds are measured, just as the hadeeth “Actions are but by intention” is the scale against which the inner motivations of actions are measured. Just as every deed which is not done for the sake of Allaah will bring no reward for the one who does it, so also every deed which is not in accordance with the way of Allaah and His Messenger will be rejected and thrown back at the one who does it. Anyone who innovates new things in the religion and does things for which Allaah and His Messenger have not granted permission, this is not a part of the religion at all.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/180).

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“This hadeeth is one of the most important basic principles of Islam, and it is one of the most concise and comprehensive sayings of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It clearly states that innovations and newly invented matters will be rejected. The second report adds another idea, which is that some of those who follow the innovations of others may become stubborn when they are presented with the evidence of the first report which says, “Whoever innovates something…” They may say, “I am not innovating anything”. But he may in this case be presented with the evidence of the second report, which says, “Whoever does any action…” This clearly shows that all innovated actions will be rejected, whether the one who does them innovates them himself or is following someone else who innovated it… This hadeeth is one that should be learned by heart and used to denounce evil actions and be spread as evidence so that all people may use it.” (Sharh Muslim, 12/16).

5. Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“No doubt adhkaar and du’aa’s are among the best forms of worship, and worship is one of the matters in which there is no room for personal opinions – we have to follow what the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did and taught, not our own whims and desires or innovations. The du’aa’s and adhkaar of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) are the best that anyone could find. The one who follows this way will be safe and sound, and the benefits and positive results that he will gain are beyond description. Any other du’aa’s and adhkaar may be haraam or they may be makrooh; they may involve shirk even though most people do not realize that – the details of this would take too long to explain here.

No one has the right to teach the people any kinds of du’aa’s or adhkaar apart from those that are mentioned in the Sunnah, or to make it a kind of regular worship which he expects the people to do regularly as they do the five daily prayers – this is the innovation in religion which Allaah does not allow… As for adopting a wird or regularly reciting a dhikr that is not prescribed in sharee’ah, this is one of the things that is not allowed. The du’aa’s and adhkaar prescribed by sharee’ah are the best that anyone could ever hope to find, and no one ignores them in favour of newly-invented, innovated adhkaar except one who is ignorant, negligent or a wrongdoer.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 22/510-511).

And Allaah knows best.

4039

Ruling on reciting the Qur’aan collectively


What is the ruling on reciting the Qur’aan collectively in the mosque?

Praise be to Allaah.

The question is somewhat vague. If what is meant is that they recite it all together, in unison, pausing and stopping at the same time, then this is not prescribed in Islam and at the very least it is makrooh (disliked), because it is not reported that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his Companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did any such thing. But if this is done for the purpose of teaching, we hope that there is nothing wrong with it. If what is meant is that the people gather to recite Qur’aan in order to memorize and learn it, and each one recites whilst the others listen, or each one reads to himself – not in unison with the others – then this is permissible because it was reported that the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No group of people gathers in one of the houses of Allaah to recite the Book of Allaah and study it together, but tranquillity descends upon them, the angels surround them, mercy comes down upon them, and Allaah mentions them to those who are with Him.” (Reported by Muslim).

Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (from the Fatwas of the Standing Committee).

2915

What is the ruling on hanging up aayaat for protection?


IS it proper to hang Quranic verses from the wall to
1. protect one from evil things
2. beautify the room with divine words
3. with the intention that it will gain me rewards
May allah rewad u.

Praise be to Allaah.

The ruling on placing the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’aan) in cars to ward off the evil eye and for protection from danger is a bid’ah. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) never carried the Mus-haf to ward off danger or the evil eye. If it is bid’ah, then we should remember that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every bid’ah is a going-astray and every going-astray will lead to Hell.” (Telephone conversation with Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen) (al-Bida’ wa’l-Muhdathaat wa maa laa aslun lahu, p. 259).

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was also asked the following question: “Some people hang up aayaat of the Qur’aan and ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the rooms of their homes or in restaurants or offices. In some hospitals and doctors’ offices they hang the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me” [al-Shu’ara’ 26:80], and so on. Is this considered to be the use of amulets which is forbidden in sharee’ah, knowing that the intention behind it is to seek blessings and ward off the shayaateen, or to remind the forgetful and warn the negligent? Is it like using amulets to put the Mus-haf in one’s car in order to seek blessings?”

His Eminence replied as follows:

“If the intention is as described, to remind people and teach them something beneficial, then there is no harm in that. But if they believe that it is a protection against the shayaateen or jinn, then I know of no basis for this. By the same token, there is no basis for putting the Mus-haf in one’s car to protect it, and doing so is not allowed, but if a person puts it in his car so that he can read it sometimes or so that some of his passengers can read it, then this is good and there is nothing wrong with it. And Allaah is the Source of strength.

(Fatawa Islamiyyah, 4/29). (Shaykh Ibn Baaz may Allah have mercy on him)

3927Ruling on Reciting the Names of Allaah in certain combinations


Number of people tell me if you say so-and-so X amount of times then you will get such and such reward e.g. reciting the 99 names of Allah in certain combnations and quantities will do certain things .

Praise be to Allaah.

This question was answered for us by Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Munayyi’, who said:

“This is not permissible, and if he believes in it, it is bid’ah.”

Every dhikr that involves reciting a certain number of times, or in a certain place, or at a certain time, or in a certain manner, that is not prescribed in sharee’ah, is bid’ah. With regard to the Most Beautiful Names of Allaah, the way to use these in worship is to call upon Allaah by these Names, as He says (interpretation of the meaning), “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them…” [al-A’raaf 7:180]. Merely reciting them in certain combinations is not a prescribed form of worship. And Allaah knows best.


 

3466
Ruling on reading Qur’aan collectively


What is the ruling on reading Qur’aan collectively in the mosque?

Praise be to Allaah.

The question is somewhat vague, but if what is meant is that they read it together in unison, pausing and stopping at the same places, then this is not prescribed by Islam and at the very least is makrooh (disliked) because it is not reported that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or his Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did such a thing. If, however, it is done for the purpose of learning, then there should be nothing wrong with it. If what is meant is that they gather to read Qur’an in order to learn it and memorize it, and one of them reads whilst the others listen, or each one reads to himself quietly, and not in unison with the others, then this is allowed because it is proven that the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No people gather together in one of the houses of Allaah and read the Book of Allaah, studying it together, but tranquillity descends upon them, the angels surround them and mercy covers them, and Allaah mentions them to those who are with Him.” (Reported by Muslim).

Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah: Fataawa Islamiyah, part 4.

3219Does Islam tell us to recite al-Faatihah one hundred times when asking Allaah for something?


Assalamu-Alaikum,

I am looking for a reference to performing Al Fatiha 100 times asking Allah (swt) for a big blessing. Does anyone know of a Hadith mentioning this?

Assalamu-Alaikum

Praise be to Allaah.

There is no saheeh evidence (daleel) to indicate that we should recite al-Faatihah one hundred times when asking Allaah for anything, so it is not permissible to do this. You must follow the Sunnah and call on Allaah by His names and attributes, as he says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (all) the Most beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them…” [al-A’raaf 7:180]. As regards Soorat al-Faatihah, it is the greatest soorah of the Qur’aan, so recite it whenever you wish, without specifying a certain number of times or a certain way of reciting it that has no basis in Islam. May Allaah help us and you to do all good.

2260Kissing the Mus-haf, kissing one’s fingers and swaying whilst reciting Qur’an


My questions relate to Bida’a. At the Mosque I attend I see brothers performing actions which I think are Bida’a but require confirmation with sources. I would like to try correct these practices, Inshallah with Hickma, if there are incorrect.

1. Blowing on fingers and wiping eyes with thumbs after making Dua’a.

2. Always ending Dua’a with Al-Fatiha.

3. Kissing the Qu’ran when picking it up and before putting it down.

4. Swaying while sitting in Salat or reading Qu’ran.

Praise be to Allaah.

Any act of worship must be based on evidence (daleel) from the Qur’aan or saheeh Sunnah. One of the principles of this religion is that Allaah cannot be worshipped except in the ways that He has prescribed, and He cannot be worshipped in innovated ways (bid’ah). The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not part of it, will have it rejected,” i.e., his deed will be unacceptable to Allaah. There is no evidence in either the Qur’aan or Sunnah for ending du’aas with al-Faatihah. Similarly, there is no evidence for blowing onto one’s fingers and wiping the eyes with them after making du’aa’. Al-Shuqayri (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned the bid’ah of kissing the thumbnails and wiping the eyes with them after making du’aa’ following salaah, or bunching the fingertips together and touching them to the eyes after prayer, and reciting certain things whilst doing so; he said that these are silly innovations. (Al-Sunan wa’l-Mubtada’aat, p. 71). With regard to the question of kissing the Mus-haf (copy of the Arabic text of the Qur’aan), the Fatwa Standing Committee (al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Iftaa) answered a question on this matter with the following fatwa: “We know of no basis for kissing the Qur’aan.” In another response to a similar question, they said: “We know of no evidence that prescribes kissing the Qur’aan, which was revealed to be recited, respected, understood and acted upon.” (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, no. 4172)

In Al-Aadaab al-Shar’iyyah (2/273, Al-Risaalah edition), Ibn Muflih says:

“It was reported that he (Imaam Ahmad) did not give an opinion [??] on this matter (kissing the Qur’aan) and touching it to one’s forehead and eyes.”

Al-Qaadi said in al-Jaami’ al-Kabeer: “He did not give an opinion on that, although it contains an element of respect and honour, because in the case of deeds intended to draw closer to Allaah, if there is no comparable precedent in the Sunnah, then it is better not to do it. Do you not remember when ‘Umar saw the Black Stone, he said: ‘You cannot do any harm or any good. If it were not for the fact that the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) kissed you, I would not kiss you.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 1597; Muslim, 1270).

As for swaying when reciting Qur’aan or praying, this is habit of the Jews in their worship, so the Muslim should not do it deliberately. (See Bida’ al-Qurra’ by Bakr Abu Zayd, p. 57). One of the ways of wisdom (hikmah) in da’wah and combatting wrongdoing, to which you refer in your question, is to ask people for the evidence for what they are doing, because it is not permissible to worship in ways for which there is no evidence, as we have pointed out above. The burden of proof rests on the person who is doing the deed, not on the one who is seeking to correct him. May Allaah give us and you the strength to do good. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

2237
Reading Soorat Yaa-Seen in congregation on Friday nights


Is it forbidden in Islam to read the Sura Yaseen on Friday nights in a congregational manner in the mosque?

Praise be to Allaah.

Reading the Qur’aan brings a great reward. Allaah will multiply the reward for every letter of every aayah in any soorah that is read, as the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reads one letter of the Book of Allaah will have one hasanah(reward) for doing so, and every hasanah will be multiplied by 10. I do not say that ‘Alif, laam, meem’ is one letter, but ‘Alif’ is a letter, ‘laam’ is a letter and ‘meem’ is a letter.’” (Reported and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi, 2835).

He  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Read the Qur’aan, for it will come on the Day of Resurrection interceding for its companions (i.e., those who read it)…” (Reported by Muslim, 1337)

This reward will only be for the one who reads it sincerely, following the Sunnah. But the one who innovates in his readings (whether it be in the way he reads, the position he adopts when reading, the number of times he reads or the times when he reads) will not earn the reward, rather his deeds will be rejected and thrown back at him, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected.” (Reported by Muslim, 3242). According to another report, he said: “Whoever does something that is not a part of this matter of ours, will have it rejected.” (Reported by Muslim, 3243)

Because a specific time – Friday night – is being allocated and the reading is being done in congregation although no saheeh evidence to that effect has been reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), this action is bid’ah and is not prescribed or allowed by sharee’ah. It should therefore be avoided. We ask Allaah to guide us all to the truth and help us to follow the Sunnah. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

1196
Is Muhammad  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) created from light? What is wrong with celebrating his birthday?


In our locality there are people who hold celebrations of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) every year. They think that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not like the rest of mankind, but that he is light from the Light of Allaah Himself, that he is present and watching in every place, and that he himself attends every gathering held to celebrate his birthday, he hears what the people say about him, and he is there with them. For that reason they stand up and say in unison: “Yaa Nabi-Allaah, yaa Rasool-Allaah, yaa Habeeb-Allaah, salaam ‘alayka (O Prophet of Allaah, O Messenger of Allaah, O Beloved of Allaah, peace be upon you).” They call out to him as if he were present and ask for his help and support. What is the Islamic ruling on this? Is it correct or not? Is it sunnah, bid’ah, or what?

Praise be to Allaah alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger and his family and companions.

Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is an innovation (bid’ah) which goes against the guidance of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and of the Rightly Guided Khaleefahs (al-khulafaa’ al-raashidoon) and the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. It is proven that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does anything that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), will have it rejected.” (For more details, please see Question #249).

Believing that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not like the rest of humanity, and that he is light from the Light of Allaah Himself is not a correct belief, because it contradicts the Qur’aan. Allaah has stated that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is human, and has explained what makes the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) different from the rest of mankind. He said (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your God is One God (Allaah). So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” [al-Kahf 18:110]

Mankind, human beings, are created, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him He created his wife (Hawwa/Eve), and from them both He created many men and women…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:1]

“O mankind, if you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily! We have created you from dust, then from a nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge)…” [al-Hajj 22:5]

“O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner, – and as one who invites to Allaah by His leave, and as a lamp spreading light.” [al-Ahzaab 33:45-46]

In contrast, Allaah is the First, and He has no beginning, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him), and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of every thing.” [al-Hadeed 57:3]

Allaah called His Prophet “light” and a “lamp spreading light” because of the guidance and light with which Allaah sent him, with which Allaah guides all those who answer his call (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… Indeed, there has come to you a light (Prophet Muhammad  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) and a plain Book (this Qur’aan).” [al-Maa’idah 5:15]

Saying that he is present and watching in every place, that he is himself present at every gathering to celebrate his birthday, and that he hears what the people present are saying, is all false. There is no basis for this in either the Qur’aan or the Sunnah.

Calling on him and seeking his help and support is a form of major shirk which is not permitted, whether one is calling on the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or on any other created being, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… so invoke not anyone along with Allaah.” [al-Junn 72:18]

“And whoever invokes (or worships) besides Allaah, any other god of whom he has no proof, then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely! Al-kaafiroon (the disbelievers) will not be successful.” [al-Mu’minoon 23:117]

(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/4)

The Muslim should follow, not innovate. He should believe in Allaah alone, call on Him alone and seek His help alone. He should not call on or seek the help of anyone else. The consequences of shirk are devastating, as it will wipe out all a person’s good deeds and lead to his doom in Hell. Bid’ah is a serious matter, which will cause a person’s deeds to be thrown back at him, not accepted. The Muslim should love, respect, honour and obey the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and give his words precedence over the words of any other human being, but it is not permitted to exaggerate about him, or to raise his status above that which has been bestowed upon him by Allaah, or to call on him instead of Allaah, because this is a violation of the rights of Allaah, and involves directing acts of worship to someone other than Allaah, when they should only be directed towards Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted. We ask Allaah to help us to do that which will please Him and to avoid that which will earn His wrath, and to help us to love Him and His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad. And Allaah knows best.

249
Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophet’s birthday)


Why some people accept and some unaccept the celebration of the prophet (  )? What is your opinion?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace). He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari). What has been reported is that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration. He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood).

Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the people who loved the Prophet most. Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that ‘Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or ‘Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that ‘Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this? No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.

Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi’i, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good? By Allaah, no! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth: “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi). The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.

Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?! What the Qur’aan tells us is that love of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31-32]

The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger. Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that. The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought. The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree. He said: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).

We ask Allaah to protect us from bid’ah and to bless us by helping us to follow. Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

2209
Is saying “Sadaqa Allaahu al-‘Azeem” after reciting from Qur’an bid’ah?


Is saying Sadaqaallahu Al Azim after reciting or quoting from the Qur’an an innovation, and if it is, how was it introduced?

Praise be to Allaah.

Many people have the habit of ending a recitation from the Qur’aan with the words “Sadaqa Allaahu al-‘Azeem (Almighty Allaah has spoken the truth),” but this has no basis in Islam because the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do it, nor was it the custom of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and it was unknown among the Taabi’een (the generation after the Sahaabah). This custom arose in later times because some reciters would say these words, on the basis of the aayah: “Say: Allaah has spoken the truth” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:95 – interpretation of the meaning], and people liked this. But this istihsaan (being liked) should be rejected, because if this was really something good, the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een – the salaf or first and best generations of the ummah – would not have neglected to do it.

The aayah “Say: Allaah has spoken the truth” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:95 – interpretation of the meaning) does not mean that these words should be said at the end of any reading or recitation. If that were the case, He would have said, “When you finish reading, say ‘Allaah has spoken the truth,’” just as He said (interpretation of the meaning): “So when you want to recite the Qur’aan, seek refuge with Allaah from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).” [al-Nahl 16:98]

The aayah which the innovators use to support their practice of saying “Sadaqa Allaah” after reciting Qur’aan was actually revealed in the context of confirming what was said about how all food had been lawful to Bani Isra’eel except what Isra’eel had made unlawful for himself. Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): “… Say (O Muhammad): ‘Bring here the Tawraat (Torah) and recite it, if you are truthful.’ Then, after that, whosoever shall invent a lie against Allaah, such shall indeed be the zaalimoon (disbelievers). Say (O Muhammad), ‘Allaah has spoken the truth; follow the religion of Ibraaheem (Islamic monotheism, i.e., he used to worship Allaah alone), and he was not of al-mushrikeen (polytheists).” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:93-95]

If this aayah meant that these words should be said after reciting from the Qur’aan, the first one to know and do this would have been the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Because this is not the case, we know that this is not what was meant.

In conclusion, therefore, saying “Sadaqa Allaahu al-‘Azeem” after reciting Qur’aan is an innovation, and the Muslim should not say it.

But believing that Allaah has spoken the truth is obligatory, and whoever disbelieves or doubts the truth of what Allaah has said is a kaafir who is outside of the pale of Islam. We seek refuge with Allaah from that.

If a person says “Allaah has spoken the truth” on certain occasions, such as when something He has foretold comes to pass, affirming the truth of what He has said, then this is permissible, because something similar has been reported in the Sunnah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was giving a speech, and al-Hasan and al-Husayn came along, so he came down from the minbar, picked them up and put them in from of him, then he said: “Indeed Allaah has spoken the truth: ‘Your wealth and your children are only a trial…’ [al-Taghaabun 64:15 – interpretation of the meaning].”

(Izaalat al-sitaar ‘an al-jawaab al-mukhtaar by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 79-80).

205
There is no such thing as bid’ah hasanah in Islam


Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem,

as salaamu ‘alaykum,

I have read a number of refutations written by the ash’areeyah/soofiyah regarding the concept “bid’ah hasanah” – they justify this concept by the narration in Bukhaaree’s saheeh when the sahabi said “Rabbanaa lakal hamd hamdan katheeran tayyiban mubaarakan fih” when coming out of rukoo’ and rasulullah (  ) approved. They say Ibn Hajr was of this opinion and supported this view. Also they quote Ibn Hajr as condemning Ibn Taymiyyah as “a slave who is leading others astray.” Any comments on this?

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon his truthful Prophet.

Firstly, how can there be any such thing as bid’ah hasanah (“good innovation”) when the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every bid’ah is a going astray and every going astray is in Hell-fire”.  So, if anyone says that there is such a thing as bid’ah hasanah, he can only be insisting on going against the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Secondly, saying “al-hamdu Lillaah… (praise be to Allaah…) when coming out of rukoo’ is a well-known phrase of dhikr which is proven in sound ahaadeeth reported from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). All that this Sahaabi did was to come up with a new phrase expressing praise to Allaah. How can this be used as evidence to support innovations in worship and dhikr that have no basis in the sources of Islam?

Thirdly, what this Sahaabi did cannot be taken as evidence in and of itself. It was not even considered to have been a correct action until after the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had approved it, and not before. So we say to them (the supporters of bid’ah hasanah): the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is no longer with us and we have no way of knowing whether the Revelation approves of your innovations or not.

Fourthly, if we accept the use of this report as evidence, it is still no more than an isolated incident which cannot be generalized, whereas the hadeeth “every bid’ah is a going astray” is clearly a general statement. It is a well-known principle among the ‘ulamaa’ (scholars) that what is stated clearly takes precedence over what is merely implied.

Fifthly, how can we know what is good or not with our limited minds alone and without the input of Revelation? Is there not the possibility of differences of opinion? What one person sees as good will be seen differently by another, so what would the standard be? Whose reasoning could we rely on or refer to? Would this not be confusion, even anarchy itself?

Sixthly (which confirms the third point made above), when the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) approved of an act of worship or a dhikr (remembrance of Allaah) on the part of one of his Sahaabah, it would thus become a part of sharee’ah and hence be regarded as a sunnah hasanah. But with the death of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the ceasing of Revelation, how can we know whether innovated acts of worship or dhikr are correct or would be approved? We have no way of knowing, so we should limit ourselves only to the forms of worship that have been narrated in sound reports.

The great scholar al-Haafiz ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) narrated many comments by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah in Fath al-Baari; he agreed with some and disagreed with others. This is the business of the scholars: they discuss and debate with one another, with the aim of reaching the truth – which may lie with the one who is disagreeing or with the one whose opinion is being criticized. As for the unpleasant comment quoted in the question, from what we know of Ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) and his good manners, fear of Allaah, awareness of the value of knowledge and respect for the scholars, we are sure that this comment is a fabrication. May Allaah forgive all the scholars and reward them for their efforts and concern.


864
Bid’ah Hasanah (“Good Innovations”)


As Salaam Alaikum Wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatu

I have a question in the area of what is and isn’t Bidaa. Over and over again I hear people terming certain actions as Bidaa. I am however confused. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there a hadith by Prophet Muhammed (SAW) that says that anyone who introduces a new helpful hadith will be rewarded. If this is true, then why are all new inovations frowned upon. Jazak Allah Khul Khayer.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly, we should know what “bid’ah” means according to Islamic teaching.

It is defined as: any invented way in religion that is aimed at worshipping or drawing closer to Allaah. This means anything that is not referred to specifically in Sharee’ah, and for which there is no evidence (daleel) in the Qur’aan or Sunnah, and which was not known at the time of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions. At the same time, it is quite obvious that this definition of religious inventions or innovations, which are condemned, does not include worldly inventions [such as cars and washing machines, etc. – Translator].

If your confusion has to do with an apparent contradiction between the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah and the hadeeth narrated by Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah, then let us examine these two reports and find out what they mean:

Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah al-Bajali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed by others, will bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in any way.'” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2675. He said, This is a saheeh hasan hadeeth)

There is a story behind this hadeeth, which will explain what “whoever starts a good thing” means. Imaam Muslim reported this story from Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah, who also narrated the hadeeth itself. He said: “Some people from the Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), wearing woollen garments. He saw that they were in bad shape and in desperate need, so he urged the people to give them charity. They people were very slow to respond, and it could be seen in his face (that he was upset). Then a man of the Ansaar brought a package of silver, then another came, and another and another, and his face was filled with joy. The Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing in Islam, and others do likewise after him, there will be written for him a reward like that of those who followed him, without it detracting in the least from their reward. Whoever starts a bad thing in Islam, and others do likewise after him, there will be written for him a burden of sin like that of those whofollowed him, without it detracting in the least from their burden.'” (Reported by Muslim, no. 1017)

Further explanation may be found in a report recorded by al-Nisaa’i, also from Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: “We were with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) early one day, when some people who werealmost naked (not dressed properly) and barefoot, with their swords by their sides, came to him. Most, if not all of them, were of (the tribe of) Mudar. The Messenger’s face changed when he saw how poor they were (i.e., he became upset). He went into (his house), then he came out and ordered Bilaal to give the call to prayer. He led the people in prayer, then he addressed them, saying: ‘O people, “be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both he created many men and women, and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cutthe relations of) the wombs (kinship)” [al-Nisaa’ 4:1].

Fear Allaah, and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow…” [al-Hashr 59:18].

Let a man give charity from his dinars, his dirhams, his clothing, his wheat or his dates – even if it is only half a date.’ A man from the Ansaar brought a package which he could hardlycarry in his hand, then another and another came, until there were two piles, of food and clothing, and I saw the face of the Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) beaming with joy. The Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing in Islam will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward, and whoever starts a bad thing in Islam will have to bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who followed him, without it detracting in the least from their burden. (Reported by al-Nisaa’i in al-Mujtaba: Kitaab al-Zakaat, Bab al-Tahreed ‘ala al-Sadaqah).

From the context of the story, it is clear that what is meant by the words “whoever starts a good thing (sunnah hasanah) in Islam” means: Whoever revives a part of the Sunnah of theProphet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or teaches it to others, or commands others to follow it, or acts according to it so that others see him or hear about it and follow his example. This is also indicated by the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: “A man came to the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he urged the people to give him charity. A man said: ‘I have such-and-such,’ and there was no person left in the gathering who did not give something in charity to him, whether it was a large amount or a little. The Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever starts something good, and others follow his lead, will have a complete reward and a reward like that of those who followed him, without it detracting in the least from their reward. Whoever starts something bad, and others follow his lead, will bear a complete burden of sin, and a burden like that of those who followed him, without it detracting in the least from their burden. (Reported by Ibn Maaajah in al-Sunan, no. 204)

It should be clear from the above, with no room for doubt, that the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not allowing innovation in matters of deen (religion), nor was he opening the door to what some people call “bid’ah hasanah,” for the followingreasons:

The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated repeatedly that: “Every newly-invented thing is a bid’ah (innovation), every bid’ah is a going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i in al-Sunan, Salaat al-‘Eedayn, Baab kayfa al-Khutbah). Reports with the same meaning were narrated via Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) by Ahmad, via al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah by Abu Dawud and via Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) by Ibn Maajah.

The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, when beginning a khutbah (sermon): “… The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst of things are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going astray…” (reported by Muslim, no. 867)

If every bid’ah is a going astray, how can some people then say that there is such a thing in Islam as “bid’ah hasanah”? By Allaah, this is an obvious contradiction of the statement and warning of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated that whoever innovates something new in the deen (religion) will have his deed rejected, and Allaah will not accept it, as is stated in the hadeeth narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), who said: “The Messenger of Allaah  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours that is not a part of it will have it rejected.'” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, no. 2697). How can anybody then say that bid’ah is acceptable and it is permitted to follow it?

When a person innovates something and adds to the deen something that does not belong to it, he is implying a number of bad things, each worse than the last, for example:

That the religion is lacking, that Allaah did not complete and perfect it, and that there is room for improvement. This clearly contradicts the statement in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): “… 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]

That the religion remained imperfect from the time of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until the time when this innovator came along and completed it with his own ideas.

That the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was “guilty” of either of two things: either he was ignorant of this “good innovation,” or he knew about it but concealed it, thus letting his ummah down by not conveying it.

That the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), his Companions and the righteous salaf (early generations) missed out on the reward of this “good innovation” – until this innovator came along and earned it for himself, despite the fact that he should say to himself, “If it was truly good, they would have been the first to do it.”

Opening the door to bid’ah leads to changing the deen (religion) and opens the way for personal whims and opinions, because every innovator implies that what he is introducing is something good, so whose opinion are we supposed to follow, and which of them should we take as a leader?

Following bid’ah leads to the cancelling out of sunnah practices and the ways of the salaf. Real life bears witness that whenever a bid’ah is followed, a sunnah practice dies out; the reverse is also true.

We ask Allaah to save us from the misguidance of personal whims and from all trials whether they are open or secret. And Allaah knows best.


Reading Quran for a Deceased Person


Is setting a date to meet and read the entire Qur’aan for a deceased person and to pray for him, and doing this every year a bid‘ah.?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is no indication in either the Qur’aan or the Sunnah that would prescribe the actions described in the question. Based on this fact, these actions are bid‘ah(a reprehensible innovation) which is not permitted; we should avoid it and warn others not to do it. The Messenger of Allaah  (Peace & Blessings of Allaah be upon Him) used to say in his khutbahs (sermons): “The truest of speech is the Book of Allaah, the best guidance is that ofMuhammad and the worst of things are those which are newly invented. Every newly-invented thing is a bid‘ah, every bid‘ah is a going astray, and every going astray will end in the Fire of Hell.” (Reported by al-Nisaa’i, may Allaah have mercy on him, in al-Sunan, Kitaab salaat al-‘eidayn, no. 1560).

It is permissible to pray for the deceased, without arranging a formal gathering, and without setting a specific date for doing so. We ask Allaah to help us and you to do that which He loves and which will please Him. Allaah knows best.


Reciting verses of the Qur’aan a specific number of times and with a specific intention


Assalam o Alaikum

I want to ask that , Is it right if somebody recite some Quranic aya for a specific purpose like for example If I read the one of the name of Allah for 99 times and after I make a Dua that May Allah fulfill my that wish. And its just begging from Allah with no shirk.

Please answer me

Jazakallah

Allaah has said (interpretation of the meaning):

“Unto Allaah belong the beautiful names. Pray to (and ask of) Him using them.”

As part of the prayer to Allaah using His names, we call on him by saying, “O Merciful, have mercy on me; O Forgiver, forgive my sins; O Provider, provide for me,” etc.

However, to read a specific verse a certain number of times (whether 99 times or whatever else) without any valid documented evidence is a bida’ah (an unacceptable act of innovation in religious practices) that is not permissible. Such acts invent a way to worship Allaah which was not revealed or taught by Islam. The Prophet  (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever innovates in our religion a new act (of worship) then his act is rejected” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Fath al-Baari No. 2697.)

The best guidance is that of the Prophet  . There is no allowance for innovation in the religion of Allaah. Is it possible for us to discover new things in our religion that the Prophet didn’t know? Indeed, it is incumbent upon us to read the Koran in the way the Prophet read it, we need to pray in the way he prayed, and glorify Allaah’s name in the way the Prophet  has been validly reported to have done.

Only Allaah is the one who provides success, and He is the one who guides to the right path.

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