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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Habib Kadhim As Saqqaf

The concept of Bidah (innovation) in the light of Quran and Sunna by Habib Kadhim As Saqqaf (Hadramaut, Yemen)

(May Allah subhanu wa ta'ala reward the donator)

Bismillah
Assalamu alaykum,

The concept of Bidah has preoccupied many Muslims and it has forced people away from the true etiquettes that Rasulullah S allallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam embodied.

Differences have been there from the time of Rasulullah S allallahu alaihi wa ahlihi and will always be there until end of time.

We should maintain high character and lofty mannerism in approaching differences.
Differences are practised by humankind generally and should not result in negative attitude and disrespect of other people.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi said differences within my Ummah community is a blessing.

We cannot assume that there is only one correct way of understanding.

An example from prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam

He Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi instructed a group of sahaba not to pray Asr until they reach Bani Khuraizah.

A group of sahabi’s didn't pray as they understood the literal sense whereas a group prayed on the way as they understood Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wanted them to hasten and not pray it in Madina. When they returned and this was narrated to Prophet S allallahu alaihi wa ahlihi , he did not negate either one of this groups. He ACCEPTED BOTH

Sahabi’s even differed amongst themselves but respected each others differences and didn't despise one group's action from another. Their hearts were together.

Another example

Arabic language- words/phrases have multiple meaning.
One word has more than 1 meaning
One phrase has multiple meanings

Imam Maliki/Shafii/Ahmad each looked and derived different understanding according to how they understood

Each would use evidences from the sunnah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi to support their understandings

But another scholar would not say the other is misguided/fasiq sect but will work on what he understands.

Scholars accept difference in opinions.

Arabic language opens doors to different understanding.
e.g the word fauq
In the arabic word has 13 meanings

example fauq: above
fauq: greater than (in a parable)
Fauq: extra (verse of inheritance)

Each scholar produces evidences from the Sunna based on understanding and prophetic light.

In the latter day period/now Muslims are preoccupied with innovation in an incorrect manner which results in negativism in their hearts and perspective towards someone else
if we go back to Quran and Sunna of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam and try to understand the word “innovation”,

TRUTH of the matter is clear

In a situation 1) know reality of matter
2) courage to stand on reality

Bidah- innovation
Means new inventions without previous example

Quran..... Badi us sama waliwal ard
Creator without any previous example

Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam , when he warned about innovation, he warned in a general manner
“Beware of every new innovation and is a misguidance”

The word every in Arabic carries the meaning majority and DOES NOT MEAN ALL.

The Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and his companions understood it as not in an absolute manner.

However people assume that the prophetic meaning is general and start to consider it to be a sinner.

In the Quran and Arabic language, the word every means majority of things

For example in the sirah about punishment of people of Hud the ayat stated .... will destroy everything.....but what was destroyed?

Were the houses only of the disbelievers destroyed or the mountains and surroundings as well?
No, just the houses were destroyed, but the verse of the Quran used the word “Kullu”

Another example

In the story about Queen of Sheeba accepting islam from Sayyidina Sulayman Alaihi salam, the rough meaning of the ayat stated that she was given everything
But Sayyidina Sulayman Alaihi salam had the ability to control jinn and understood the language of animals but she didn't receive such gift,
therefore, the word every here means many many great gift, more than any other would normally receive

Similarly the hadith of Sayyidina Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam means majority

If a person repeatedly listens to this hadith over and over again, he could mistakenly understand that everything that Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam did not do is wrong and will lead to Hell fire, but that is NOT SO.

The Sahaba (Radhi Allahu anhum) took the hadith from the mouth of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam and they also took the understanding of the hadith from him Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam but they also carried out innovations.

In Islam , any good practise which is followed, the innovator will receive reward for the practise and from all those who practise it after him without diminishing the rewards of those who do good (Hadith).

Therefore
(1) A person with an act of goodness even if Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam didn't do is considered praise worthy.

The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam and the Quran encourage in general all act of goodness

The Sahaba (May Allah be pleased with them) took the understanding and hadith from Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wassalam and continued doing good and they themselves did praiseworthy innovations, examples will be given later.


What are blame worthy innovations?

It is when a normal practise either daily or cultural is being incorporated to make it a religious practise.

Example from Imam Bukhari hadith

Abu Israil (R.A) A companion wanted to please Allah by way of an act of worship by not standing under a shade and vowed never to sit.

When Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam knew about this, he told the companions to tell this particular sahabi to stand in the shade and to sit down.
This is normal everyday recurrence that was tried to incorporated into a religious practise. This is a blameworthy innovation

Allah in Al-Quran instructed act of goodness and the Sahaba and the later generations did many acts of goodness that Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam never did.

An example

Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam sent a group of sahaba under the leadership of one companion. Through out their journey and stay this particular leader lead the prayers and always recited Surah Ikhlas in Every Salah. Yet there was NO instruction from The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam .

When they returned this was conveyed to Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam who questioned him why he did this. The sahabi said that it was because the Surah was about the description of the attributes of Allah Ar-Rahman The Most Merciful and the sahabah loved the surah because of this.

Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam said "Tell him his love will lead him to Jannah". Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam never said that this was blameworthy innovation but encouraged such act of goodness for the love of Allah.
This companion knew what was Biddah but he also knew this was an act of goodness.

Likewise it is recorded in Imam Bukhari's collection of hadith that one companion prayed behind the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam. Each time the Prophet came out of rukuh this sahabi would say "Hamdan Toyyiban Mubarakan Fi".
After the prayer the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam asked 3 times before the sahabi answered it was him who did the zikr.
Rasulullah said I only asked because I saw 30 angels competing to write down the reward of your Zikr.

If it was blameworthy innovation / bidah, Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam would have reprimanded it. But instead he did not and told about the rewards recorded by the angels.

Another example

One companion was going to be crucified, He asked if he could pray 2 rakaat sunnah before that. He said he did it short because he didn't want the enemy to think he was afraid, otherwise he would have made a longer prayer.

When this was revealed to the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam, he said that the companion had done a good practise and encouraged such prayer. He did not say that the companion did Biddah.



So we see that the sahabah who took the hadith and the understanding of the hadith from the mouth of the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam always did goodness within the Prophetic revelation.

But we don't see them doing extra rakaat of zuhr prayer, or fasting in Ramadhan for 32 days. They knew what the hadith meant.

During the reign of Sayyidina Abu Bakr Radhi Allahu Anhu many huffaz died during the battle of Yammamah. Sayyidina Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu was afraid that the Quran would be lost from the Ummah.
Sayyidina Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu and said that there is a need to compile the Quran into a book. Sayyidina Abu Bakr responded that Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam did not do that. Sayyidina Umar said, it is as act of goodness,

Similar incident and response with Sayyidina Uthman and Ubayy bin Kabb Radhi Allahu Anhum.
All the time Sayyidina Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu stressed that this was act of goodness.

Allah opened the heart of Sayyidina Abu Bakr Radhi Allahu Anhu to compile the Quran for future Ummah. It did not contradict the religion, but it facilitated people to worship Allah.

Masjid Nabawi originally was made of pebbles, palm leaves, bark of palm tree and the pulpit was from the palm tree. We have changed the Masjid but it is not a blameworthy innovation, but a good one.

Likewise the use of microphones during this lecture, Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam never used it. But it is an act of goodness that facilitates worship of Allah and conveyance of the message of the Deen.

The beauty of this Deen is that there are many general goodness in the Light of Islam.

Example

If a person decides to read Surah Ahl Imran after Fajr everyday, someone hears about it and ask why he is doing it when Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam never did it.

Actually there is no basis to object because Al-Quran is an intercessor for the person during yaumul Qiyamah. It is good to read Al-Quran. Maybe this person is not free to read Al-Quran at other times. The person who asks should facilitate act of goodness and active worship

Al-Quran, “Whatever the prophet (pbuh) gives you take it, whatever he forbid from doing, avoid it”.


The verse said whatever he forbid, it did not say whatever RasulullahSallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam did not do

Maybe sometimes what rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam did not do is not a practise of his people for example eating lizard. When he Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam was asked why he did not eat Lizard ,he said it is not a practise of my people, but he never stopped other people from doing it, he just didn’t desire it for himself.

Sayyidina Uthman bin Affan Radhi Allahu anhu, when he was the Amirul mu'minin he introduced 2 Azaans for Jumah prayers so that there is benefit for more time when he saw that there are many people who had to come for Friday Prayers.

Sayyidina Uthman Radhi Allahu Anhu also introduced Labbaika wa sa'daika instead of labbaik Allah only. What he did were act of goodness.

Any good action that is not done by Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam
if anyone say it is bid'ah and he means good innovation, he is correct.

If he means linguistically from the point of view of language, he is correct
If he says it is astray, for certain he himself is mistaken and should go back to understanding the Al-Quran and the Sunna

By the statement of Al-Quran and Sunna of Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam the person who thinks one is astray is wrong to make that statement.

Be reminded that a person who introduces good action will be rewarded for his action and will receive the reward of those who follow his good action without minimising the reward each individual receives.

The Imams of this Ummah were inspired by Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala to gather various Zikr’s and Dua’s of a certain amount and at certain times, and they noticed certain benefits and gather people to recite these Duas and Adkaar. These Imams were not contradicting the religion of Allah Subhanu wa Ta’ala.

For example

Sahih Bukhari, contains gatherings of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam. It puts things into order. From them derived book of knowledge, book of fasting, book of Hajj etc
Now we say it is authentic, but what is it?
It is the narration of Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam to facilitate the religion.

If Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam did an action only once, it is enough to instruct people to do that.

For example Abdullah bin Abbas said he knew the congregation prayers had finished when he hears zikr in a loud manner on his way to the masjid.


One who does not know should hold back and not condemn
Condemnation opens door to Shaytan.
One should Hold back even if he feels strongly he is right
Don't go against the mannerism of the Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa ahlihi wa salam. Condemnation is not the right way to correct any practise

Generations after generation for 600 to 700 years from East to West Muslims have done various kinds of practises. After generations and generations of people doing a particular practise, some people of the present time try to stop such practises. Centuries after centuries from east to West people including learned scholars have good practises. Only one scholar disagreed and thought people went astray and people nowadays start to take one scholar's opinion and behave in a certain manner.

Example

For centuries from the 13th Hijra Muslims used to pray 20 rakaah of taraweeh prayers, from Masjid Nabawi to Masjid ul-Haram and so on….

Suddenly now people are saying we should go back to do 8 Rakaah of Taraweeh.

Are they trying to imply that the Fuqaha/Muhadittin/Ulama of present days are misguided and hence people are also misguided.

Adorn one's self in Prophetic characteristics
Make dua that Allah show us the truth as it is
and Allah shows falsehood as false.


Any mistakes are from me and Habib Kadhim delivered a good speech and free from my mistakes. Forgive this effort of sharing the light towards a better understanding true Islam. May we all be guided.

wassalam

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:53 pm

    Salaam

    first time i read your blog, interesting article. I saw habib kazim in keighly I have to say it is such a shame that he can not speak english, the muslims of the UK could learn so much from a learned man like him.

    or we could all go learn arabic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Its not easy to master another language, so its time to learn arabic, then!

    ReplyDelete