A Bid'ah is
that innovation which came into practice after the blessed age of the
Prophet (salall laahu alaihi wasallam) be it worldly or religious. Some
people say that to celebrate the Meelad, Esaale Sawaab for the
deceased, making Fateha after the Janazah Salaah, etc. to be Bid’ah and
in some cases as Haraam. They say these were not practised in the time
of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).We will now list a few
things, which were not during the blessed age of Rasoolullah (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) but were innovated afterwards and made part and
parcel of religion:
a. Construction of Madressas,
b. Dividing the Quran into thirty parts,
c. Marking the expressions on the Holy Quran, viz. Fatha, Kasra, Dhamma (Zabbar, Zer, Pesh),
d. Printing the Holy Book and other religious books in the press,
e. The compilation of I'lm-e-Hadith and Fiqh,
f. To put down the Holy verses of the Quran in paper form, etc.
All the above-mentioned things are Bid’ahs, which were not in the
blessed age of Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) but are
considered religious. Those who say that Moulood and Fateha are Bid’ahs
because those religious affairs which were innovated after the blessed
age of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) should have a
look at the above list and show us which of these two things are not
included in the religion and which was there in the blessed age?
The Hadith: "Whosoever invents a new thing in our religion is rejected"
means that whoever innovates a new belief or whoever innovates a new
action which is in contradiction with the Kitaab and Sunnah will be
The books "Shaami" and "Mirqaat" say that Bid'ah is of five categories,
viz. Ja'iz, Waajib, Mustahab, Makruh and Haraam.
We will have to omit many things which are known to be part and parcel
of religion but were innovated after the blessed age of Rasoolullah
(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) such as the Masaa'ils of Fiqh, the four
Madhabs, viz. Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki, Hanbali; the Tariqas, viz.
Nashbandiyya, Qaderiyya, Chistiyya, Shuhruwardiyya, Alwiyya, etc.; the
denominations of the Sufiyya-Ikraam; the categorisation of the six
Kalimahs, Imaan-e-Mujmal, Imaan-e-Mufassal; the division of the Holy
Quran into 30 parts; the compilation of the knowledge of Hadith and the
categorisation of Hadiths, i.e. Sahih, Da'if, Hassan, Mu'addal, etc.;
the construction of madressa and arrangement of their syllabuses; and
to set a course for achieving the degree of Aalim and Qari and to
present certificates on the completion of the course to the respective
students, etc. will all be Haraam if we accept a statement that all
Bid'ahs are Haraam and there is nothing like Bid'ah-e-Hasana. In
fact, there is no act of Shari'ah or Tariqah, which is void of Bid'ah.
Then how much will you try to avoid such a Haraam (as you say) when it
is surrounding your whole religious activity. So, therefore, all
Bid'ahs are not Haraam but only those, which contradict with the Kitaab
Bid'ah Amali (innovated action) is classified in two:-
(praiseworthy innovation) is that action which does not contradict with
the Holy Quran and the Sunnah and was brought into practice after the
time of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) for example, to
construct religious institutions, to print the Holy Quran in the press,
to hold gatherings of Meelad, to eat nice food and to put on attractive
clothes, etc. Bid'ah-e-Hasana is not only permissible (Ja'iz) but at
times it can be appreciable (Mustahab) and even essential (Waajib).
innovation) is that action which was not in practice in the blessed age
of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and which
contradicts with the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, for example to say the
Khutba of Eid or Jum'a in a language other than Arabic, etc.
Bid'ah-e-Sai'iyya can be Makruh Tanzhi or Makruh Tahrimi or even Haraam.
Bid'ah-e-Hasana is further divided into three categories:-
Bid'ah Ja'iz (Permissable):
is that action which the Shari'ah prohibited and which is done without
expecting any reward or punishment for it. For example, partaking in a
variety of delicious dishes or wearing nice and attractive clothing,
Bid'ah Mustahab (appreciable):
is that act which is done with an anticipation for earning reward, for
example to celebrate the Meelad-un-Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
or to pray Fateha for the souls of deceased Muslims, etc. If is is done
with the intention of gaining rewards, he will gain reward for it, and
if one does not do it, he will not be reprimanded for it.
Bid'ah Waajib (essential):
is that new action which has not been prohibited in the Shari'ah but to
omit it will lead to critical complications in the religion. For
example, to put the expressions (I'raab) in the Holy Quran such as
Fatha, Kasra and Dhumma, to constuct madressas for teaching the Holy
Quran and Hadith and to learn and teach the knowledge of nahv (Arabic
syntax), etc. are all Bid'ah Wajib.
Offensive Bid'ah is categorised in two:-
Bid'ah Makruh (abominable):
is that innovation the performing of which will lead to the
annihilation of a Sunnah. If a Ghaiyr Mu'akkidah Sunnah is annihilated
then it is Makruh Tanzihi and if a Mu'akkidah Sunnah is annihilated
then it is Makruh Tahrimi. For example, to pray the Eid Khutba in a
language other than Arabic, etc. is Bid'ah Makruh Tahrimi.
Bid'ah Haraam (prohibited):
is that innovation which will lead to the annihilation of a Waajib. For
example, the introductions of beliefs which are in contradiction with
the Kitab and Sunnah, such as Qadriyya who believe, that man has got
all the power to do whatever he wishes, etc.
The first volume of "Ashi'atul Lam'aat" (Babul I'tisaam) says about
Bid'ah Hasana and Sai'iyya under the Hadith: "Every Bid'ah is a
delusion (misleading)" that any Bid’ah which is in accordance with the
principles, the canons of Islamic Law and the Sunnah and has been
deduced analogically from the Quran or Sunnah (through Qiyas) is
Bid'ah-e-Hasana and that which is in contrasts to the above definition
A Hadith in "Miskhat" under Babul-I'lm says: "He who sets a good
precedent in Islam, there is reward for him for this (act of goodness)
and a reward for him also who acts according to it subsequently,
without any deduction from their rewards and he who sets in Islam an
evil precedent there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of
him also who acts upon it subsequently, without any deduction from
their burdens." From this Hadith we see that to introduce a nice way in
Islam which is in accordance with the Holy Quran and Sunnah will induce
rewards and to do vice versa will provoke punishment.
In the preface of the book, "Shaami", under Faza'il Imam A'zam Abu Hanifa (alaihir rahmah),
it is written: "The scholars say these Ahadith are the canons of Islam
and that is whoever introduces a bad way in Islam, he will get the
burden of the sins of all those who act upon it and whoever introduces
a nice way he will get reward of all those who act upon it till the Day