Religious Innovation

Since 2012-12-22




All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds; and may Allah send blessing and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his family and Companions. To go further:
Verily, religious innovation (Bid‘ah) is dearer to Iblis than sin, due to its aggravated filth and severe harm, which is public, and extends to include the whole ummah, unlike the sin which harms only the sinner himself who does not repent from it unless Allah Almighty wills.

The most dangerous religious innovations are those which lead to disbelief and result in apostasy, along with these theoretical and creedal (which pertain to indisputably established facts and beliefs): such religious innovations corrupt man's life system entirely. A mention may be made here of the creedal religious innovations of such sects as Khawarij, Rafidah, Qadariyyah, Jahmiyyah and Mu‘tazilah, which were formed into factions on the basis of religious innovations that rendered them out of the pale of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah.

Most of those sects, which had long been founded, still enjoy a strong existence and presence in the intellectual life in those days, in addition to many theories recently innovated, such as Communism, Socialism, Secularism, etc, no matter whether their fans gathered together in one faction, or stay remote in person, and cooperative and supportive in ideas and thoughts.

Among the evils and harms of religious innovations:

They are many, with some more evil than others. They include:
1- Religious innovations always change and alter religion, given that religion was completed and perfected by Allah Almighty as He said (what means): “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [Al-Maeda 5:3]

{الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِيناً} [المائدة: 3]
Transliteration: alyawma akmaltu lakum deenakum waatmamtu AAalaykum niAAmatee waradeetu lakumu alislama deenan

thus, that one regards correct a religious innovation means that he thinks religion is still incomplete, and needs to be perfected with the addition (of that innovation to it).

2- Religious innovations divide Muslims, and turn them into combating, if not fighting groups, as described by Allah Almighty in His statement (what means):
- “Every faction rejoicing in what it has.” [Al-Room 30 :32]

{كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ} [الروم: 32].
Transliteration: kullu hizbin bima ladayhim farihoona

- “And do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way.” [Al-Anaam 6: 153]
{وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ} [الأنعام: 153].
Transliteration: wala tattabiAAoo alssubula fatafarraqa bikum AAan sabeelihi

The way out is to hold fast by the book and the sunnah, as they were understood by the righteous predecessors of this ummah.

3- Religious innovations weaken one's adherence to the ordained sunan and acts of worship, as stated by a scholar: “No people make a religious innovation but that they will be deprived of a similar act of sunnah.” Man has a limited power, capacity and time, and if he spends that in the religious innovation, of a surety, he will have no power, nor capacity nor time to act upon religion and its related sunan.

4- His repentance will not be accepted (by Allah) until he repents first from his religious innovation, as stated in an authentic Hadith narrated by At-Tabarani in Al-Awsat and Al-Bayhaqi in Ash-Shu‘ab. [See As-Silsilah As-Sahihah: 1620] furthermore, the religious innovator always believes that he is on the right, and the others are on falsehood, as stated by Allah in His saying (what means): “Say, [O Muúammad], "Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds? [They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work."” [Al-Kahf 18:103-104]
{قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالاً الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعاً} [الكهف: 103-104].
Transliteration: Qul hal nunabbiokum bialakhsareena aAAmalan (103) Allatheena dalla saAAyuhum fee alhayati alddunya wahum yahsaboona annahum yuhsinoona sunAAan (104)

This is why he persists in his religious innovation, and hardly repents from it.

5- There is fear of Fitnah or punishment for him, as stated by Allah Almighty in His saying (what means): “So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet's order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment.” [An-Noor 24: 63]
{فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ} [النور: 63].
Transliteration: falyahthari allatheena yukhalifoona AAan amrihi an tuseebahum fitnatun aw yuseebahum AAathabun aleemun

6- His face will turn black in the Hereafter, as stated by Allah in His saying (what means): “On the Day [some] faces will turn white and [some] faces will turn black.” [Aal-i-Imraan 3: 106]
{يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ} [آل عمران: 106].
Transliteration: Yawma tabyaddu wujoohun wataswaddu wujoohun

According to
Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with both: “The faces of Ahlus-sunnah will turn white, while the faces of men of religious innovations will turn black.”

7- He is exposed to humiliation in this world, and incurs upon himself the wrath of Allah Almighty as He Almighty states (what means): “Indeed, those who took the calf [for worship] will obtain anger from their Lord and humiliation in the life of this world, and thus do We recompense the inventors [of falsehood].” [Al-Araaf 7: 152]
{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ سَيَنَالُهُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَذِلَّةٌ فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُفْتَرِينَ} [الأعراف: 152].
Transliteration: Inna allatheena ittakhathoo alAAijla sayanaluhum ghadabun min rabbihim wathillatun fee alhayati alddunya wakathalika najzee almuftareena

According to
Ash-Shatibi: “Allah Almighty said (what means): “and thus do We recompense the inventors [of falsehood].” [Al-Araaf 7: 152]
{وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُفْتَرِينَ} [الأعراف: 152]
Transliteration: wakathalika najzee almuftareena

it applies to them as well as to anyone like them, in so far as the religious innovations are but invention of falsehood about Allah.”
[Al-I‘tisam 1:266]

8- The religious innovator bears the sin of such as acts upon it until the Day of Judgment. In confirmation of that, He Almighty said (what means): “That they may bear their own burdens in full on the Day of Resurrection and some of the burdens of those whom they misguide without knowledge.” [An-Nahl 16: 25]
{لِيَحْمِلُواْ أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ} [النحل: 25].
Transliteration: Liyahmiloo awzarahum kamilatan yawma alqiyamati wamin awzari allatheena yudilloonahum bighayri AAilmin

unfortunately, in those days, religious innovations and innovated ideas find advocates who publicize them through different mass media, which they may possess. These mass media have been directed against Muslims, by publicizing and transmitting what harms them, and leaving what benefits them and serves their interest, concerning the strait religion and sunan handed down (from the Prophet).

A lot of scholars, Imams and knowledge students, in the old and modern times, did their best, through writing and authorship, in reply to those (religious innovators), by refuting their malicious allegations and striking (each false) argument with (a sound) argument.

Deviations based on religious innovations are often malicious allegations; and malicious allegations are like infections which should be prevented, by avoiding their people, gatherings and circles. Verily (hearts are weak, and malicious allegations are like hooks."

It is due on a sunni Muslim not to make his heart a residence for malicious allegations, nor a comforter for them to repose, as Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said to his disciple Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon them, by way of advice: "Make not your heart susceptible to desires and malicious allegations like a piece of sponge, lest it would absorb and leak nothing other than them. But rather make it like a glass, so that the malicious allegations would pass by its surface, and never reside in it. that is because it would be too pure to see them, and too strong to avert them. But if you make your heart absorb all malicious allegation coming upon you, it would turn into a residence for them to abide" or similar words.

On the other hand, it should be known that those harms are not specific to some apart from others: they involve anyone, no matter how perfect his knowledge and how enlightened his insight might be, as confirmed by the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: «If anyone of you hears about Ad-Dajjal, let him keep away from him, for by Allah, anyone might go to him, thinking himself a believer, and (would not leave him until) he follows him, due to the malicious allegations with which he would be sent.» [Ahmad and Abu Dawud]
من سمع بالدجال فليَنأَ عنه، فوالله إنّ الرجل ليأتيه وهو يحسب أنه مؤمن، فيتبعه مما يبعث به الشبهات» رواه الامام أحمد وأبوداود
This is common to all the people, and none should indulge in that.

Among the deviant sects, a mention may be made of Al-Jahmiyyah, Al-Mu‘tazilah, Al-Asha‘irah and their likes, who distort Allah's beautiful Names and attributes. They distort the names and attributes mentioned in the Holy Qur'an and the Prophetic sunnah, change and reject their correct meanings, and give them false meanings which have no grounds in the Qur'an and sunnah, nor were they known to the righteous predecessors of this ummah, nor to the rightly-guided Imams.

A mention also may be made of the grave-worshipping Sufis (who believe that the dead has the power to help): they call for seeking relief of the graves and their inhabitants, asking them to fulfill the needs and remove disasters, offering sacrifices to them, making vows to them, swearing by them, to the end of such polytheistic things.

From among the straying sects, a mention may be also made of the Khawarij, who regard Muslims as disbelievers, make lawful their blood, and rebel against the rulers.

They resume their activities in those days, and revolt against the people, causing mischief on the land, by killing, destruction, demolition and rendering them homeless. They respect not the ties either of kinship or of covenant in a Believing man and woman, be he old or young, child or aged. their slogan is: "Let it be (ruined) upon me and my enemies", regardless of the price to be paid or the loss to be born. There is neither strength nor power but with Allah! We all belong to Allah, and to Him we all shall return.

1- He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, prophesies of their emergence: It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said: The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: «Towards the last portion of this time there will appear some young foolish people who will use (in their claim) the best speech of all people (The Qur'an). They will recite the Qur’an, though it will not go beyond their collar-bones (because They will have practically no belief). They will abandon Islam as an arrow goes out through the game. So wherever you meet them, kill them, for he who kills them shall get a reward from Allah.» [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; and this is the wording of Ibn Majah]
«يخرج في آخر الزمان قوم أحداث الأسنان، سفهاء الأحلام، يقولون من خير قول الناس، يقرءون القرآن، لا يجاوز تراقيهم، يمرقون من الإسلام كما يمرق السهم من الرمية، فمن لقيهم فليقتلهم، فإن في قتلهم أجر عند الله لمن قتلهم»
according to another version: «They are the worst to be killed under the shade of the sky; and the best one to be killed is he whom they kill.»
«شر قتلى تحت أديم السماء، خير قتلى من قتلوه».

2- He, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, tells about their repeated rebellion and that every time they rebel, their roots are cut off: It is narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both, that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam,said: «There will appear a (group of) youths, who will recite the Qur’an, even though it will not go beyond their collar-bones: every time a pact of them will emerge, they will be cut off.» [Reported by: Ibn Majah]
«ينشأ نشء يقرءون القرآن لا يجاوز تراقيهم، كلما خرج قرن قطع».رواه ابن ماجة

Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both, told: I heard the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, saying the statement:«Every time a pact of them will come out, they will be cut off” more than twenty times “until Ad-Dajjal will appear in a great multitude of them (to deceive the people).» [Ibn Majah, and authenticated by Al-Albani]
«كلما خرج قرن قطع أكثر من عشرين مرة، حتى يخرج في عراضهم الدجال». رواه ابن ماجه وصححه الألباني.

The days confirm this fact, and with Allah is the decision, in the past as well as in the future.
O Allah! Keep us, our families, children, beloved, and brothers in (the religion of) Islam, in whichever state we are, and make neither an enemy nor an envier rejoice over our misfortune. O Allah! We ask You (to provide us) from all good whose treasures are in your Hand, and we seek refuge with You from all evil whose treasures are in Your Hand.



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