Another false & baseless justification by deviants for innovating in the deen is the statement of Umar (radiallahuanihu) “What an excellent innovation is this?”. Umar never innovated in the deen; rather he revived an abandoned Sunnah of the prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam). Tap link for proof. Why did ‘Umar (radiallahuanihu) call uniting the people in praying Taraweeh behind one imam an innovation (bid‘ah)?

In his life time, the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) never allowed innovations in matters of deen (religion), nor was he opening the door to what some people call “bid’ah hasanah,” Here are a few examples of how he blocked it. Ibn Abbaas narrated: While the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) was delivering a speech there was a man who was standing. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) asked about him and they said that it was Abu Israaeel who had taken a vow to stand in the sun and not to sit, nor seek shade, nor speak and he also vowed to fast. The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) then said, “Order him to speak, seek shade and sit. And let him continue his fast.” al-lsaabah, vol. 8, p. 160 and vol. 11, p. 12. The prophet stopped & removed the innovated parts of this man’s actions with which he was intending to get closer to Allah but kept the legislated part; fasting.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that a group of three people came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) and asked about his acts of worship. When they were told of his actions, it was as is if they considered them little. They then said, “Where are we with respect to the Prophet ? Verily, Allah has forgiven for him his past and later sins.” One of them then said, “As for me, I shall pray the whole night long.” Another said, “I shall fast continuously without breaking my fast.” The third said, “I shall remain away from women and will never marry.” The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) then came and said, “By Allah, I am most fearful of Allah and most conscious of Him. However, I fast and break my fast, pray and sleep and I marry women. Whoever turns away from my way of life is not from me.” “Bukhari”. The prophet stopped the innovations in the religion with which these young men were trying to get closer to Allah & limited it to what is legislated in the deen.

Scholars have classified Bid’ah and have ruled as follows:

  1. (Al-bid‘ah al-haqeeqah): introducing an act of worship for which there is no basis in Islam, such as touching graves & seeking help from their occupants. The scholars call this real innovation. This is that which was not prescribed at all.
  2. (Al-bid‘ah al-idaafiyyah); the act of worship may be originally prescribed in Islam, and what is contrary to the sunnah may have to do with attaching it to another act of worship where it is not prescribed, defining a certain time or place for it, or a certain number of times it is to be repeated, or the manner in which it is to be done or the reason for which it is to be done. This is called innovation by addition; it is not bid‘ah unless it is prescribed, done regularly & repeatedly. If it is done only once or twice without adhering to that, then it is not bid‘ah, such as if people pray qiyaam (night prayer) in congregation (jamaa‘ah) on some occasion, without thinking that there is any particular virtue in doing so.

Hence ash-Shatibi (may Allah have mercy on him) said, discussing the “innovation by addition”: The word bid‘ah refers to an invented way of doing something in Islam that is similar to what is prescribed, of which the intention is to go to extremes in worshipping Allah, may He be glorified. That includes regularly adhering to certain manners and forms of worship, such as reciting dhikr (remembrance of Allah) together in unison, taking the birthday of the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) as an Eid (festival), and so on. It also includes adhering to specific acts of worship at specific times that were not defined as such in sharee‘ah (Islamic law), such as always fasting on the fifteenth of Sha‘ban (an-nusf min Sha‘ban) and spending that night in prayer (qiyam).End quote from al-I‘tisam, 1/37-39. Other bid’ah practices which are not legislated include; making a fixed habit of raising the hands after every salah to make a dua individually or in unison with the Imam & wiping the face or body with it, kissing the thumbs & rubbing the eyes with it after every salah & after the mention of the name of the prophet(Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam).Placing the right palm over the forehead after every salah & saying “Ya Qawiyu” 3times, compulsorily rocking back & forth while reading the Quran or making adhkar, closing eyes in prayer. Etc

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