Oasis of the Sunnah

• Is there such a thing as a Good Innovation? (First issue)

By: By: Shaikh and Mujahid `Abd al-Hamid bin Badis, ma - 2012-09-10

The Shaikh said in, “Al-Aathar”, 3/572, what follows,

            “Anyone who invents in the religion, and tries to get closer to Allah using ways that are not prescribed, it is as if he views that obeying Allah makes this Shari`ah deficient, so he is adding on to it; and that Muhammad was not guided to a certain way of getting close to Allah, but he knows it, and not Prophet Muhammad, or that Prophet Muhammad knew it but kept it a secret.  All of these beliefs destroy an individual, since that innovation is in fact prohibited.

            Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, said, as Ibn al-Majishun narrated from him, ‘Whoever innovates in the religion, while sees that this innovation is good has made the allegation that Muhammad betrayed the message, because Allah said, ‘This day, I have perfected your religion for you.’ [5:3]

            So whatever was not part of the religion then is not part of it today.’  This is a logical proof supported by the statement Imam Malik made, now we will mention what has been narrated.

            Imam Muslim collected a hadeeth from Jabir bin `Abdillah that Allah’s Messenger used to say in his sermons, ‘As to what follows, the best of speech is Allah’s Book, the best of guidance is that of Muhammad, the worst of matters are those newly invented, and every innovation is misguidance.

            Also in Sahih Muslim, Abu Hurairah is reported to have said, ‘Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Whoever calls to guidance will have the reward of all those who follow him, without decreasing from their rewards at all.  Also, whoever calls to misguidance will have the sins of all those who follow him without decreasing from their sins at all.

            The proof in these two texts is that the first mentioned the word Bid`ah and said of it that it is evil and misguidance, without mentioning any stipulation, and keeping the wording general.  [The second hadeeth] establishes that someone who follows or calls to misguidance is sinful.  Sinfulness is not associated with anything unless it is prohibited, so logically, it would mean that every innovation is misguidance, every person following misguidance is sinful, so every person following innovation is sinful, and since everything that a person sins doing is forbidden (haram) then every innovation is forbidden.”

            He, may Allah have mercy on him, also said in, Al-Athaar, 2/56, “Many of those who indulge in innovation – such as supplicating to the dead, pilgrimage to graves, placing candles on them, and sacrificing in their sake, hitting drums in the Masjid, and other innovations and falsehoods – rely on the hadeeth, ‘Actions are based on intentions.

            No, it is not in accordance with your desires, or the desires of the people of the book.  That is because all innovations fall under the category of actions which are contradictory to Islam, and these types of actions do not turn into good deeds by a mere intention.”


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