THE WORDS OF IBN RAJAB & IBN HAJR REGARDING BIDAH/BIDAH HASANAH

Sufis claim in Islam there is such a thing called bidah hasanah (good innovations). They stated bidah hasanah is a bidah which does not contradict the Quran or Sunnah but came about after the prophet’s death. However Ibn Rajb and Ibn Hajr have clarified that all bidah is rejected and when salaf used the term bidah hasanah it was only linguistically. They never considered a bidah after the death of the prophet Mohammed to a bidah hasanah like Sufis; they would consider this bidah to be haraam (bidah sai’yya (offensive innovation)).

The salaf used to use the word bidah hasanah in reference to one of two circumstances

  1. When people in an area have forgotten a particular act of worship (sunnah) and then someone revives that sunnah this would be called a bidah hasanah.
  2. When people in a particular area where unaware of a particular act of worship (sunnah) and then they discover it and implement it or someone new to that area comes and introduces them to that particular sunnah, the salaf would class this as bidah hasanah.

In the above instances the people of these areas where unaware of a particular act of worship (sunnah) so to these people this sunnah would have seemed like a bidah linguistically. Linguistically bidah means something new. Also this bidah (act of worship) is something that is based upon the sunnah so it is hasan (good/praiseworthy). Therefore this act of worship would be called a bidah hasanah by the salaf. However as this act of worship has either a general or specific bases in the shariah (so was done in the lifetime of the prophet). Thus this act of worship is not a bidah sai’yya (blamworthy innovation) because a bidah sai’yyah according to the salaf is an act of worship which has no bases in the shariah; therefore a bidah sai’yyah is an act of worship done after the death of the prophet Mohammed.

Words Of Ibn Rajb And Ibn Hajr

al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab indicates in his ‘commentary of the hadeeth, whosoever introduces something in this affair of ours which is not part of it then it must be rejected.’

He said “And the hadeeth, ‘whosoever does an action which we have not commanded must be rejected’: “This hadeeth contains a great principle from amongst the principles if Islaam, for just as the hadeeth ‘indeed actions are by intentions’ is the scale (to judge the action in) it’s inward form this hadeeth is the scale (to the action in) it’s outward form. Just as any action that is not done seeking the Face of Allaah the Exalted does not bestow any reward upon the actor, similarly any action that has not been commanded by Allaah and His Messenger is rejected. And everyone that innovates in the religion that which Allaah and His Messenger have not given permission for, then it is nothing in the religion…

And this hadeeth in it’s wording indicates that every action that has not been commanded by the Legislator is rejected, and it’s understanding indicates that every action that has been commanded is not rejected. And the meaning of ‘his command’ here is ‘his religion and law’ as is the meaning of his saying in the other narration, ‘whosoever introduces something in this affair of ours which is not part of it must be rejected.’ Therefore the meaning is that who so evers action is outside the sharee’ah and not bound by the sharee’ah, is rejected. And his saying, ‘which we have not commanded’ indicates it is necessary for the actions of the actors to fall under the rules and regulations of the sharee’ah and that the rules of the Sharee’ah be the judge to command them or forbid them. So who so evers action falls under the rules and regulations of the sharee’ah, in agreement with them, then his action is accepted, and otherwise it is rejected…

and whosoever seeks to draw close to Allaah with an action that Allaah and His Messengersallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have not appointed as a means of drawing close to Allaah then his action is false and rejected…

And the Messenger sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saw a person standing in the sun, and so he inquired about him and it was said in reply, ‘he has taken an oath to stand and not to sit or take shade, and to fast.’ So the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered him to sit and seek the shade and to complete his fast. [Bukhaaree] So he sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not make his standing and exposure to the sun a means of getting close (to Allaah) such that it would require fulfilling the oath. And it is reported that this event occurred on the day of jumu’ah at time of hearing the khutbah of the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam while he was on the minbar. So this man made the oath to stand and not sit or seek the shade for as long as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave his sermon, in glorification/respect of listening to the sermon of the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and yet the Messenger sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not make this a means of getting close to Allaah that would require fulfillment of his oath. Despite the fact that standing is worship in other places such as prayer and adhaan and offering du’aa on ‘Arafah. And exposure to the sun is a means of getting closer to Allaah for the one in ihraam, so this indicates that everything that is a means of getting close to Allaah on a particular occasion is not a means of getting close on every occasion, rather one follows what occurs in the Sharee’ah in it’s correct place for everything.” [it is known in the sharee’ah that an oath which involves disobedience to Allaah does not require fulfillment].

Also al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalee says in Jaami’ul Uloom Wal Hikam (2/89) in commentary to the part of the hadeeth, “and beware of the newly invented matter.”
“His saying, ‘and beware of the newly invented matters [, and every bidah [innovation] is a misguidance’ [“Every innovation is misguidance and going astray” Reported by Abu Daawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and it is saheeh. Ibn Hajr authenticated it Takhreej Ahaadeeth Ibn ul-Haajib (1/137).], contains a warning to the ummah from following the newly invented innovations, and he stresed this by saying, ‘and every innovation is a misguidance’. And the meaning of bid’ah is everything that is newly invented that has no basis in the share’ah that would prove it. As for that which has a basis in the share’ah that would prove it, then this is not a bid’ah in the sharee’ah even if it be a bid’ah according to the language. And in the saheeh of Muslim from Jabir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) from the Prophet that he used to say in his sermons, ‘the best speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of matters are the newly invented matters and every bid’ah is a misguidance.’ And Imaam Ahmad reports from the report of Ghadeef Ibnul Haarith ash-Shimaalee, ‘Abdul Malk Ibn Marwaan sent (someone) to me and he said: Indeed we gather the people for two matters: raising the hands (for supplication) upon the minbar on the day of Jumu’ah and giving exhortations after the fajr and ‘asr prayers. So he said: As for these two matters, then they are examples of your innovations in my opinion and I will not accept anything of them from you because the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘A people do not introduce an innovation except that the likes of it is raised from the sunnah (ie. forgotten and neglected) and sticking to the sunnah is better than innovatig an innovation.’ And something similar is reported from Ibn ‘Umar.

And as for what has occurred from some of the Salaf in their declaring some bid’ahs to be good then this is regards to bid’ah in it’s linguistic meaning not it’s sharee’ah meaning, and from these is the saying of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu when he gathered the people for the standing of Ramadhaan behind one Imaam. He gives reasons as to why this is so, but these have already been mentioned in other articles, and some of them above, so I will not repeat them] And from them: the adhaan for jumu’ah that was increased on by ‘Uthmaan due to the need of the people.and it is reported from ibn Umar that he said this was a bid’ah. And maybe he meant what his father meant concerning the standing during the month of Ramadhaan. And from them: collecting the mushaf as one book and the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to command that the revelation be written and there is no difference in this between writing separately or as one collection, rather one collection has more benefit…[mentioning more examples]…

And Abu Nu’aym reports with a chain of narration from Ibraaheem Ibn Junayd who said: I heard ash-Shaafi’ee saying: ‘bid’ah is of two types..’ And he depended upon the saying of ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu, ‘what a good bid’ah this is’ and the meaning of ash-Shaafi’ee (rahimahullaah) is as we have mentioned previously: that the foundation for the blameworthy bid’ah is that which does not have a basis in the sharee’ah that can be referred to – and this is a bid’ah in the convention of the sharee’ah. As for the praiseworthy bid’ah then that is what agrees with the sunnah – meaning that is has a basis in the sunnah that can be referred to, and this is a ‘bid’ah’ in it’s linguistic meaning not in it’s sharee’ah meaning due to it’s conforming with the sunnah. And another statement has been reported from ash-Shaafi’ee that explains this, and that is: ‘newly invented matters are of two types.'”

Plus Ibn Hajar in ‘Fath (13/314+) Kitaabul-I’tisaam, Chapter: Following The Sunan of The Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. “His saying, ‘and the worst of matters are the newly invented matters.’ [in the saheeh Muslim from Jabir said that the Prophet used to say in his sermons (speechs), ‘the best speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of matters are the newly invented [muhadathaat] matters and every bid’ah is a misguidance.’]…muhadathaat means the newly invented matters that have no basis in the sharee’ah, and they are called according to the convention of the sharee’ah ‘bid’ah’, and that which has a basis in the sharee’ah that would prove it then it is not a bid’ah. So bid’ah in the convention of the sharee’ah is blameworthy in contravention to the language, for linguistically every thing that is newly invented, be it blameworthy or praiseworthy, is called bid’ah…                                                            

and ash-Shaafi’ee said, ‘bid’ah is of two types..’ Reported by Abu Nu’aym via the route of Ibraaheem Ibn Junayd, and there occurs from ash-Shaafi’ee also what is reported by al-Bayhaqee in his ‘Manaaqib’, ‘the newly invented matters are of two types.’ [the full statement of Imam Shaafi’ee is “’Innovation is of two types: Bidah Hasanah (praiseworthy innovation) and Bidah Say’iah (blameworthy innovation), and anything that disagrees with the Sunnah is blameworthy.”]

And some of the scholars divided bid’ah into the five categories of ahkaam and this is clear. And it is established from Ibn Mas’ood that he said, ‘indeed you have matured upon the fitrah, but indeed you shall innovate, and things shall be innovated for you, so when you see the innovations then stick to the original guidance’…

And Imaam Ahmad reported with a good sanad from Ghadeef Ibnul-Haarith who said, ‘al-Malik Ibn Marwaan sent (someone) to me and he said: indeed we gather the people for two matters: raising the hands (for du’aa) upon the minbar on the day of jumu’ah, and giving exhortations after the fajr and ‘asr prayers. So he said: as for these two, then they are examples of your innovations in my opinion and I will not accept anything of them from you because the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘a people do not introduce an innovation except that a sunnah the likes of it is raised (i.e. forgotten and neglected)’ and sticking to the sunnah is better then introducing a bid’ah’, so if this was the answer of this sahaabee concerning a matter that has a basis in the religion, then what do you think the case would be concerning a matter that has no basis in the religion? And how about when it includes things that contradict the sunnah?..

and this matter (of giving exhortations) was present during the time of the Prophet sallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but it was not done constantly like the jumu’ah khutbah rather it was done as the need dictated. And as for his saying in the hadeeth of al-Irbaadh, ‘indeed every bid’ah is a misguidance’ after saying, ‘and beware of the newly invented matters’ proves that newly invented matters are called bid’ah. And his saying, ‘and indeed every bid’ah is misguidance’ is a complete sharee’ah principle both in wording and understanding. As for in wording then it is as if it is said, ‘the ruling of such and such is that it is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is a misguidance’ and so it would not be from the sharee’ah because the sharee’ah, in it’s totality, is guidance…

and the meaning of his words ‘every bid’ah is a misguidance’ is that which has been introduced that has no evidence in either a specific or general way…Ibn ‘Abdis Salaam said at the end of ‘al-Qawaa’id’: bid’ah is of five classifications [mentioning the five and some examples of them].”

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About Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTATIONS OF THE SUFI CREED, REFUTING SPECIFIC BIDAHS (INNOVATIONS) and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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