Saturday, September 20, 2014

Al-Bid’ah Explained

The following is the translation of a Question and Answer from the archives:

Al-Bid’ah is every action that the Shar’a did not bring i.e. it is every action that is in opposition to the Shar’a. It falls under the statement of the Messenger of Allah (saw): “Every (any) matter which our matter is not upon is rejected” and therefore everything that is contrary to the Shar’a is Bid’ah. However there are actions for which the Shar’a came with a general Daleel (evidence) and therefore what falls under it is not called a Bid’ah. This is like studying Chemistry which is included under the evidences of knowledge, or it is like travelling for pleasure, making the Mahr (dawry) ten chickens, making a Minaret for the Masjid, the man uncovering his head in public, and lighting the Masjid by electricity or chandeliers. All of this is not called Bid’ah and even if the Shar’a did not bring these matters or if they did not exist at the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw). This is because they fall under the general evidences (Adillah ‘Aammah) and because new events arise as do actions in various forms and varieties.

Therefore not every action which the Shar’a did not bring is considered to be Bid’ah nor is any action that did not exist at the time of the Messenger (saw) considered to be Bid’ah. Rather the Bid’ah is the action that contravenes what the Shar’a has brought and it does not apply to all of the actions but rather it is only applies upon the actions which the Shar’a has defined (and specified) its Kayfiyyah (manner of doing/performing it). In respect to these the Muslim is Mukallaf (legally entrusted/obliged) to undertake the action in accordance to the manner that the Shaar’i has brought. If he was to contravene and go against that then he would have performed Bid’ah and this is the meaning of the Bid’ah.

Through examination it is seen that the Shaar’i (i.e. the Qur’aan and the Sunnah) did not specify the manner of how to undertake the actions (the Kayfiyah) except in the ‘Ibaadaat with the exclusion of Al-Jihaad. As for other than the ‘Ibaadaat and Al-Jihaad (which is from the ‘Ibaadaat) then the Shaari’ did not define and specify the conducts and the contravention in respect to the conduct (At-Tasarruf) is not called Bid’ah but rather it is called Haraam or Makrooh in accordance to the Daleel (that specifies that). As for the contravention of the Fi’l (action) then this is what the naming of Bid’ah can be applied to.

Therefore the share and stock companies are not called Bid’ah even though they contravene the Shar’a (Islamic legislation) but rather they are called Haraam because they are not in line with the Shar’iyah evidences that deal with companies. Similarly fighting the disbelievers before conveying the Da’wah to them is not called Bid’ah but rather it is not permitted and not valid to fight them before conveying the Da’wah to them. So fighting and Tasarrufaat (conducts/behaviours) are not described as being Bid’ah because they are not Af’aal (actions) but rather Tasarrufaat. In respect to Al-Jihaad, then even if it includes actions (Af’aal), the Shar’a has however not brought a specific Kayfiyyah (manner of performing it) for it but rather only brought a command related to it. For this reason Bid’ah or the absence of Bid’ah is not associated with it.

As for the ‘Ibaadaat then the Shaari’ has brought s specific Kayfiyah (manner of performing it) that it has commanded and so the contravention of this Kayfiyah is Bid’ah and it is Haram. So for example the Shar’a has brought specific actions for the Adhaan and it made the Adhaan and ‘Ibaadah (act of worship). Therefore it is obligatory to adhere to and be restricted by the worded expressions that the Shar’a has brought. Bringing other wordings is Bid’ah and adding an extra wording and even if only one is Bid’ah. As such adding the wording: ‘Come to the best of actions’, or adding the Salawaat upon the Nabi (saw) at the end of the Adhaan, or stretching out a wording in the Adhaan or some of its letters in a way that takes it out of what was laid down in the Arabic language, is all Bid’ah. This is because it goes against what the Shar’a came with whilst it is obligatory to approach the wordings of the Adhaan and its letters in accordance to what the Shar’a came with. As for singing the words of the Adhaan then this is not called Bid’ah because the Shar’a did not come with a specific manner for how the sound should be, so that it can be said that it has gone against and contravened what the Shar’a has come with. Rather a forbiddance (Nahiy) has come in respect to some of the Kayfiyaat (manners of performance) like singing. Therefore the action that the Shar’a has forbidden is Haraam or Makrooh in accordance to the Daleel related to that action. For that reason it is not said that the sound of the Adhaan and its manner of performance are Bid’ah but rather adding to the wordings of the Adhaan is Bid’ah.

Similar to the Adhaan this applies to all of the remaining acts of ‘Ibaadah with the exception of Al-Jihaad. As for what has been commanded in a general manner (‘Aamm) like the Dhikr and Du’aa without Taqyeed (restriction) to a specific Kayfiyah then Bid’ah is not said in respect to them. Therefore the Du’aa of the Imaam on the day of ‘Eid in the Masjid or other than the Masjid, or the shaking hands those who have prayed amongst each other after the Salaah and their saying ‘Taqabballallah’ (May Allah accept it) or the one who says to the one who has performed Wudoo’ ‘Zamzam’, or making the Minbar of the Masjid more than three levels, or making it large, from wood or stone etc..., all of this and what is similar to this is not called Bid’ah because it all falls under the Du’aa and the Dhikr. It is included under the texts which have requested the Dhikr and the Du’aa because a specific Kayfiyah has not been specified for the Dhikr and the Du’aa. Similarly, what the Shar’a has brought in terms of types of Dhikr in respect to a specific timing or specific circumstance whilst not forbidding it in other than that time or circumstance, then performing it in other than that time or circumstance that the Shar’a has come with, is not Bid’ah. So Allah (swt) has commanded the Tasbeeh (to say Subhaanallah) before the rising of the sun and afters its setting, whilst doing it in the night or the middle of the day is not called Bid’ah.

If the Muslims make the Takbeer in ‘Eid ul-Fitr like they do it in ‘Eid ul-Adhaa then this is not called Bid’ah because the fact that the Messenger of Allah (saw) did not command it in the ‘Eid ul-Fitr does not mean that it has been forbidden. Making Takbeer in all times is permissible whilst in ‘Eid ul-Adhaa it has been reiterated because the command has come from it at that time. The collective Takbeer of the Muslims in the Masjid before the Salaah with raised voices whether in ‘Eid ul-Adhaa or ‘Eid ul-Fitr is not called Bid’ah because the Takbeer has not come with a specific Kayfiyah (manner of doing it) making it invalid or incorrect to undertake it in any other way apart from it alone. In addition the Messenger (saw) said: ‘ The Du’aa between the Adhaan and the Iqaamah is not rejected’ and the Messenger (saw) was asked about which Du’aa was heard the most and he said: ‘In the depths of the night and at the end of the obligatory prayers’. However this statement does not mean that what the people do after the Salaam of the Salaah in terms of staying to make Du’aa where the Imaam remains facing the Qiblah and those who have been led in prayer remaining behind them making Du’aa, can be called Bid’ah, using as an argument that this was not from the guidance of the Messenger (saw) and was not related from him. Because the Du’aa between the Adhaan and the Iqaamah is not rejected and because it is listened to the most in the depths of the night and the end of the obligatory prayers does not mean that it is not permissible for the Imaam and those following him to remain after the Salaah facing the Qiblah making one Du’aa after another. The meaning of Bid’ah means that it is not permissible and that it is Haraam, so how can the Du’aa in any form be considered as Bid’ah?

It is true that if a specific Kayfiyah had come for the Du’aa then going against that would be Bid’ah but this is not present in the like of this form. So for example it has been reported about the Messenger of Allah (saw) in the Hadeeth of al-Istisqaa (prayer for rainfall) and in other Ahaadeeth that he (saw) raised his hands in the Du’aa and the command to raise the hands in the Du’aa has been reported. This then represents a specific Kayfiyyah related to the Du’aa and the one who goes against it has performed Bid’ah. There are people who when they have finished the Du’aa then wipe their faces with their hands. This Kayfiyah (manner of doing an action) is therefore an addition to the action of the Messenger (saw) and there is no Saheeh Hadeeth to support it. It is therefore Bid’ah for the one who does not have a Saheeh Hadeeth in respect to it. However some of the ‘Ulamaa say that it is Sunnah using as evidence the Hadeeth recorded by At-Tirmidhi from ‘Umar (ra) who said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (saw) when he stretched out his hands in Du’aa would not return them until he had wiped his face with them’. They say that this Hadeeth has standing (or support) from that which Abu Daawood reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas (ra) amongst others, and collectively they said that the Hadeeth is Hasan (i.e. the Hadeeth by itself is not strong but by putting all of the weak Ahaadeeth together it raises the level to Hasan). Based upon that they deduced the permissibility of wiping the face with the hands upon completing the Du’aa. This therefore in their view would not be Bid’ah because they have a Shubhat ud-Daleel (semblance of an evidence). However those who do not consider these evidences to be Hasan because adding together a number of weak Ahaadeeth does not make the Hadeeth Hasan, would then view that wiping the face as being Bid’ah.

For example, raising the palm of the hands towards the sky in the Masjid and asking Allah for a matter or displaying them at the time of Isti’aadhah (A’oodhu Billahi Min Ash Shaytaan) or when making Du’aa for Allah to remove the trial, has been claimed to be Bid’ah by some. However the truth is that it is Sunnah due to what Muslim related from Anas (ra) that the Nabi (saw) made Du’aa for rainfall and pointed the back of his hands towards the sky and due to what Khilaad Bin As-Saa’ib related from his father that: ‘When the Messenger (saw) supplicated he would make the inside of his hands dace the sky and when he would seek refuge in Allah he would make the back of his hands face towards it’. This therefore is a Daleel for it being Sunnah and not Bid’ah. However if this was not done in this way by making all of one’s Du’aa’s with the palms of the hands facing the sky, the action would not be Bid’ah. However if there had not been a Hadeeth and he would have done it then his action in that case would be Bid’ah because he would have gone against and acted contrary to a Kayfiyah (manner of how an action is undertaken).

This applies similarly to all that the Shar’a has brought in terms of types of Dhikr and Du’aa for that which a specific Kayfiyah to perform it has been explained. So it is not said to the one who approaches it by way of any Kayfiyah that he deems fit that it is Bid’ah, whether it came in absolute (mutlaq) texts or specific times or circumstances, because the request to perform Dhikr has come in a general (’Aamm) form. The fact that he (saw) praised it in certain circumstances and reiterated or affirmed it in other circumstances does not mean that this represents a Kayfiyah for it. However if a specific Kayfiyah came for the Du’aa or Dhikr, that Kayfiyah is then adhered to and if it was contravened then its contravention would be Bid’ah. For example the Messenger of Allah (saw) raised his hands to the sky when making Du’aa to the extent that his armpits were visible. This then is a Kayfiyah so if someone raises his hands when making Du’aa he must raise them in the way that the Messenger (saw) raised them and if he contravened that it would be Bid’ah. However if he made Du’aa and did not raise his hands he would not have done Bid’ah because he would not have contravened the Kayfiyah rather he would not have done it. Not doing it is not Bid’ah but rather doing it in opposition to the Shar’iyah Kayfiyah is what is considered to be Bid’ah.

All of this is in relation to the ‘Ibaadaat (acts of worship). As for that which does not fall under the category of the ‘Ibaadaat like for example building a Minaret of the Masjid, setting up loudspeakers and lighting up the Minaret on the night of Jumu’ah amongst similar matters, are not considered Bid’ah because they do not go against and contravene a specific Kayfiyah that the Shar’a has come with. Finally Bid’ah is Bid’ah and as such there is no such thing as a bad Bid’ah and good Bid’ah (Hasanah).

Questions and answer about Bid’ah (following on from the above article):

The following sentence was not clear in the subject of Bid’ah: ‘As for singing the words of the Adhaan then this is not called Bid’ah because the Shar’a did not come with a specific manner for how the sound should be, so that it can be said that it has gone against and contravened what the Shar’a has come with. Rather a forbiddance (Nahiy) has come in respect to some of the Kayfiyaat (manners of performance) like singing. Therefore the action that the Shar’a has forbidden is Haraam or Makrooh in accordance to the Daleel related to that action’.
These sentences state that singing is not called Bid’ah and it is also stated that a forbiddance has come in respect to singing. Please explain these sentences and explain clearly the Hukm of singing and its reality.

1) In relation to what was mentioned in the answer to the question about Bid’ah, then what was intended in the sentence is that: If the Shar’a has come with a specific Kayfiyah like raising the hands at the time of Du’aa in a specific manner (Kayfiyah), then go against that would be Bid’ah. However if the Shar’a came with a Nahi (forbiddance) in respect to a specific Kayfiyah then its contravention would not fall under the word Bid’ah but rather it would be viewed in accordance to the forbiddance in terms of it being Makrooh or Haraam. Therefore the Tarteel (melodious) recitation of the Qur’aan in any manner is permissible because the Shar’a did not specify a Kayfiyah but rather requested the Tarteel. However Ahaadeeth have come that forbid singing in respect to the Qur’aan i.e. using the style of singing such as reciting the Aayaat with melodies and tunes which are similar to a certain style of singing like the Hijaaz Kaar style for example. If this was done it would fall within the category of singing and under the forbiddance (Nahi). This is like what Ash-Sheikh Mustafaa Isma’eel (famous Egyptian Qaari) amongst others used to do sometimes when he would recite in accordance to the Hijaaz Kaar style.

2) Not available.

3) Question: In the answer to question number 6 from the answer to questions about Bid’ah the following was mentioned:
However considering sleeping through at the time of the Subh (fajr) prayer and leaving it in a virtually permanent manner is not befitting for the Muslim. This is because, even if the Shar’a did not make upon him in the Daleel Al-‘Aamm (The general evidence), the Messenger (saw) nevertheless was strict upon the (performance) of the Subh prayer’.
What is not clear is the sentence: ‘Even if the Shar’a did not make upon him in the Daleel Al-‘Aamm (The general evidence)’. It appears to me that this sentence is not complete and some words are missing from it?

Answer: As for the sentence then there is no doubt that a word is missing so place the word that should be clearly apparent which is ‘It did not place a sin (Ithm) upon him’ referring to the Hadeeth of the one who forgets the prayer or sleeps through it. This indicates that the one who left the Salaah due to being asleep has no sin and it is enough for him to perform the Qadaa. However in another Hadeeth which stated in meaning that the Messenger of Allah (saw) went to ‘Ali’s house and found him still sleeping with Faatimah and then asked them: Have you both not prayed Subh or are you still sleeping?’ ‘Ali (ra) replied: ‘We are in the hands of Allah’. The Messenger (saw) then began to strike his thigh with his hand whilst he turned to go and said:

وَكَانَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَكْثَرَ شَيْءٍ جَدَلًا

But man is ever more quarrelsome than anything (Al-Kahf 54).

He then repeated this as he left ‘Ali’s house.

This indicates that he did not approve of the sleeping and that he did not approve of any argument about it.

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