as-salamu alaykum to all
There has been alot of posts concerning the word Bid'ah which I think needs some closer some of us do not understand the word and its implications into matters of law it has been made into a very lose word that muslims just throw around.
without understanding matters of law and practice and that is a big problem
but insha Allah I will try and bring to light some closesure to this hot topic
Bid'ah - Innovation in Islam
Wa sharrul Umoori Muhdathaatuhaa, Wa kulla Bid'atin dhaialah, wa kulla dhalatin fin-naar" Al-Hadith (Sahih Muslim). Translation of the above Hadith: Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire.
IMAM SHAFI'S EXPLANATION OF THE ABOVE HADITH:
Kullu bida'tin daiala: "Every innovation is a misguidance"? Doesn't the term "every" include all innovations?" Such an objection stems from the misinterpretation of the term kull ("every") in the Hadith to be all encompassing without exception, whereas in Arabic it may mean "Nearly all" or "the vast majority." This is how al-Shafi'i understood it or else he would have never allowed for any innovation whatsoever to be considered good, and he is considered a hujja or "Proof," that is, reference without peer for questions regarding the Arabic language. The stylistic figure of meaning the part by the whole, or nechdoche in English is in Arabic: 'abbara 'an al-kathratf bi at-kulliyya. This is illustrated by the use of kull in the following verse 46:25 of the Quran in a selective or partial sense not a universal sense:
"Destroying all things by commandment of its Lord. And morning found them so that naught could be seen save their dwellings". Thus, the dwellings were not destroyed although "all" things had been destroyed. "All" here means specifically the lives of the unbelievers of 'Ad and their properties except their houses.
ARE THERE GOOD OR BAD INNOVATIONS IN ISLAM?
Prophetic saying as stated in Sahih Muslim is known even to common Muslims, let alone scholars: "He who inaugurates a good practice (sanna fil-islam sunnatun hasana) in Islam earns the reward of it, and of all who perform it after him, without diminishing their own rewards in the least. " Tirmizi, Page 92.
Imam Nawawi said in Sahih Muslim (6-21):
"The Prophet's saying 'every innovation is a general-particular and it is a reference to most innovations. The linguists say, 'Innovation is any act done without a previous pattern, and it is of five different kinds."' Imam Nawawi also said in Tahzeeb al Asma'wal Sifaat, "Innovation in religious law is to originate anything which did not exist during the time of the Prophet, and it is divided into good and bad." He also said, "al-muhdathat (pi. for muhdatha) is to originate something that has no roots in religious law. In the tradition of religious law, it is called innovation, and if it has an origin within the religious law, then it is not innovation. Innovation in religious law is disagreeable, unlike in the language where everything that has been originated without a previous pattern is called innovation regardless of whether it is good or bad."
Sheikh al-Islam lbn Hajar Al Asqalani, the commentator on al-Bukhari, said, "Anything that did not exist during the Prophet's time is called innovation, but some are good while others are not."
Abu Na'eem, narrated from Ibrahim al-Junaid, said, "I heard Ash-Shafi'i saying, 'Innovation is of two types: praiseworthy innovation and blameworthy innovation, and anything that disagrees with the Sunnah is blameworthy."
Imam al Bayhaqi narrated in Manaqib Ash-Shafi'i that he said, "Innovations are of two types: that which contradicts the Quran, the Sunnah, or unanimous agreement of the Muslims is an innovation of deception, while a good innovation does not contradict any of these things."
now we all can agree on these points insha Allah but we must remeber that the Qur'an was sent to our Prophet not all at once but over time which mean that some saying of the Prophet and the Almighty were abrogated
and this must be understood and this is where the science of usul come in
as well as tafsir.
let me give you some examples from the hadith collections of Imam bukhari and Muslim of acts that the companion have done where i know that no one
would charge them with bid'ah.
Bukhari and Muslim relate from Abu Hurayra(ra) that at the dawn prayer
the Prophet(saw) said to Bilal,"Bilal. tell me which of your acts on Islam
you are most hopeful about,for I have heard the footfall of your sandanls in
paradise,"and he replied,"I have done nothing I am more hopeful about
than the fact that I do not perform ablution at any time of the night or day
without praying with that ablutio whatever has been destined for me to pray.
Ibn Hajar says in Fath al Bari that,"the hadth shows it is permissible to use
personal reasoning in choseing times for acts of worship,for Bilal reached
the conclusions he mentioned by his own inference,and the Prophet(saw)
confirmed him therein,"
similar to this is the hadith in Bukhari about KHubayb(ra)(who asked to pray
two raka's before being executed by idolators in Mecca) who was the first
to establish the sunna of two raka's for those who are steadfast in going
to thier death.
these hadiths are explicit evidence that Bilal and Khubayb(ra) used thier
own personal reasoning in choseing the times of acts of worship,without
any previous command or precedent from the Prophet(saw) other than
the general demand to perform the prayer,
Bukhari and Muslim relate that Rifa'a ibn Rafi said,"when we were praying behind the Prophet(saw) and he raised his head from bowing and said,"ALLah hears whoever prasies him,'a man behind him said "our Lord,yours is the praise,abundantly, wholesomely,and blessedly therein
When he rose to leave,the Prophet(saw)asked who said it,and and when
the man replied that it was he,the Prophet(saw)said,"I saw thirthy-odd
angels each striving to be the one to write it down,
Ibn Hajar says that the hadith"indicates the permissibility of initiating new
expreesions of dhikr in the prayer other than the ones related through
hadit texts,as long as they do not contradict those conveyed by the hadith