The dangers of innovation and its evil effects
February 28 2020 01:12 AM

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A Bid’ah is anything that has no basis in the Qur’an, Sunnah or sayings of any of the companions.”
Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A Bid’ah is any form of worship that did not exist (at the time of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and his companions) then later it was innovated.”
Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “A Bid’ah is any form of worship which has no basis in the Shari’ah which would warrant its legislation.”
Ash-Shaatibi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “(A Bid’ah) is any matter which closely resembles the Shari’ah and is intended to be a way of worshipping Allah.”

General rules to recognise Bid’ah:
lAny act of worship based on a fabricated Hadith is a Bid’ah, like the prayer in the month of Rajab which is called the prayer of Raghaa’ib.
lAny act of worship which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did not perform, although there were no preventing factors, is a Bid’ah, like uttering the intention before beginning the prayer, calling Adhaan for any prayer other than the five obligatory ones or praying after finishing Sa’y between mount Safaa and Marwah.
lAny habitual act performed with the intention of pleasing Allah which Islam did not consider as an act of worship is a Bid’ah, such as for example: wearing coarse woollen clothes, continuous silence, refraining from eating bread or meat, not drinking cold water or standing in the sun.
lPerforming prohibited acts with the intention of pleasing Allah is a Bid’ah, such as singing songs about Him.
Moreover, all acts of worship must be performed in exactly the same manner as the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, did them. This cannot be achieved unless the following six conditions are fulfilled:
1. The act of worship must coincide with the Shari’ah in the reason for which it is done, or else it would be rejected. Therefore, celebrating Al-Mawlid is a Bid’ah because it is performed as a rewardable act, despite the fact that it has not been legislated.
2. The act of worship must coincide with the Shari’ah in its category. Therefore, it is not acceptable if a person were to slaughter a horse instead of a camel or goat as a sacrifice after Haj.
3. The act of worship must coincide with the Shari’ah in its quantity. Therefore, if somebody were to add two Rak’ah to the Dhuhr prayer, making a total of six Rak’ah instead of four, this would be unacceptable as it would not be coinciding with the Shari’ah in its quantity.
4. The act of worship must coincide with the Shari’ah in the manner in which it is performed. Therefore, if someone were to begin their wudoo’ by washing their feet instead of their hands, then this act would be unacceptable.
5. The act of worship must coincide with the Shari’ah in the timing of its performance. So, praying the Dhuhr prayer after sunset is unacceptable.
6. The act of worship must coincide with the Shari’ah in the place in which it is performed. Therefore, one cannot perform stand on a mountain other than ‘Arafah during Haj.

The dangers of Bid’ah and its evil effects:
* Bid’ah is a precursor to disbelief.
* Making unfounded statements on behalf of Allah.
* Correcting the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, or claiming that he had deficiencies.
* Dividing the Muslim nation.
* Abandoning the Sunnah.
* Igniting disputes among the Muslims.
* Accusing the Prophet of not completely conveying the message of Islam.
* Competing with the Prophets in their prophethood.
* Altering the religion.

Reasons behind innovations:
* Ignorance of the religion of Islam.
* Following ones whims.
* Clinging to doubts.
* The sole use of ration with no reference to the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
* Islamic scholars not fulfilling their expected role.
* Dependence on weak or fabricated Ahaadith.
* Extreme reactions to others errors.
* The failure to limit ones understanding of the Islamic texts to that of the companions of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
* Blind imitation of the masses.

Ways to eradicate Bid’ah:
* Warning against the dangers of Bid’ah and its evil effects.
* Calling people to adhere to the Qur’an and Sunnah, with the understanding of the Salaf.
* Distinguishing between weak and the authentic Ahaadith.
* Purifying the schools of jurisprudence from the innovation of fanaticism towards them.
* Spreading knowledge and correcting the peoples understanding of faith, worship and financial-transactions.
* Warning against and subduing the innovators.
* Receiving knowledge from the correct sources; i.e., the sincere guided Islamic scholars.

The importance of seeking forgiveness
We should never lose hope or stop asking Allah The Almighty for forgiveness for our sins and mistakes. The importance of seeking forgiveness is shown to us in a narration of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ): “O people! Turn to Allah in repentance and seek His forgiveness, for surely I make repentance a hundred times every day.” Repentance is such a great act of worship that it can completely erase one’s sins altogether, as the Noble Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “One who repents from sins is like one without sin.”
When a person commits a sin and then sincerely turns to Allah The Almighty for forgiveness, he will find Allah The Almighty ready to accept his repentance and to forgive him, as this verse indicates (which means): {“And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself, but then seeks forgiveness from Allah, he will find Allah forgiving and merciful.”} [Qur’an, 4:110]
Everyone commits sins and mistakes, but Allah The Almighty is always willing to forgive and He always gives them a chance to repent and seek His forgiveness. A believer should never forget the fact that Allah The Almighty is All-Forgiving. If Allah The Almighty had willed, He could have held everyone accountable for his or her sins, but He has decreed that He shall allow His servants to seek His forgiveness and that He shall in fact forgive whomever and whatever He wills. In fact, Allah The Almighty commands His servants to seek His forgiveness in the verse (which means): {“And seek Allah’s forgiveness. Certainly, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”} [Qur’an, 73:20]
Repentance is an act of worship which purifies the soul and brings the slave closer to His Lord. It puts the heart at rest from guilt. It protects a believer from falling prey to desires and lusts and increases his faith.
Allah The Almighty then says in the Hadith Qudsi (sacred narration): O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring you forgiveness close to filling it.
Look at how great is the mercy, compassion and love of Allah The Almighty! The least Allah The Almighty asks for is that one not ascribe any partners and gods with Him, for, He is alone in His Sovereignty. After that if one commits sins and seeks sincere forgiveness, Allah The Almighty promises that He will forgive him and shower His mercy upon him.
However, one is not forgiven if he seeks repentance from Allah The Almighty at the time of death when he sees the angels or when the sun rises from the west at the approach of the Day of Judgment. This is confirmed by the following verse (which means): {And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says, Now I repent, nor of those who dies while they are disbelievers. For them, We have prepared a painful torment.} [Qur’an, 4:18]
Allah The Almighty also does not forgive the one who commits Shirk (polytheism), which is the association of partners with Allah The Almighty. Forgiveness will only come to those who die while adhering to Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) and avoiding any form of Shirk. This is stated in the following verses (what means):
{“Verily, Allah does not forgive that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgives whatever is less than that for whomever He wills. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has indeed invented a tremendous sin.”} [Qur’an, 4:48]
{Verily, Allah forgives not the setting up of partners with Him, but He forgives whom He pleases whatever is less than that. And whoever sets up partners with Allah has indeed strayed far away.} [Qur’an, 4:116]
We must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to forgive anyone who hurts us and disobeys us constantly as easily as Allah The Almighty is Able to forgive? Most probably, the answer would be no. However, our Creator is the Most Kind and He is the Most Perfect as stated in the verse (which means): {“Lo! Allah is a Lord of Kindness to mankind, but most of mankind give not thanks.”} [Qur’an, 2:143]

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And cause not corruption upon the earth
All praise is due to Allah, may His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! Fear Allah, always be conscious of Him and:
“Fear a day when no father will avail his son, nor will a son avail his father at all. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth, so let not the worldly life delude you and be not deceived about Allah by the Deceiver (i.e. Satan).” (Luqmaan: 33).
Allah, the Almighty has created this earth by His Mercy and Favour which He bestowed upon His creatures in a perfect manner for their utilisation. He sent His Messengers and revealed His books that contain clear evidences and guidance to mankind. He guarantees for them the means that will lead to their prosperity in this life and the next by His truthful and unfailing promise. It is by following these guidelines that humanity will become perfectly reformed. In reality there is no other way of reformation except for the complete and comprehensive one that is brought by this religion in all areas belief and law.
Little wonder then that the corruption caused upon the earth after it has been reformed is regarded by Allah as being the worst of all crimes for it is tantamount to challenging Allah and His Messenger and waging war on them. It is an attack on the strong pillars upon which the belief and firm constitution of the Muslim nation are built and on which its moral structure stands. The perpetrators of such mischief are guilty not only of their own crimes, but also of laying a bad precedence for others to follow – what an evil practice and ugly path!
There are many ways of spreading corruption upon the earth, the worst of them being the association of partners with Allah in worship by attributing the rights that are exclusively His to others. This is indeed a great injustice; Allah tells us of Luqmaan’s admonition to his son with that which translates as: “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with Him] is great injustice” (Luqmaan: 13).
The greatest crime that people can commit against themselves and the greatest self-harm that they can accomplish is by committing shirk, or associating partners with Allah in worship. By doing this, they equate Allah, who is the Creator, the Omnipotent and the All-Provider, with a weak and limited creature. That is why the perpetrator of shirk is likened to a person who falls from the top of a high cliff to the ground far below. Allah says that which translates as: “And he who associates with Allah - it is though he had fallen from the sky and was snatched by the birds or the wind carried him down into a remote place.” (Al-Hajj: 31).
What corruption upon the earth is greater than that of one who calls others beside Allah who can neither benefit nor harm anything?
Committing different types of sins are also an act of causing corruption on the earth. The most grievous of these sins are the destructive ones which Allah and His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, threaten the perpetrators of with a severe punishment. Some of them are: Practising magic, committing murder, making interest-based transactions, usurping the property of orphans, fleeing from a battle with disbelievers, falsely accusing innocent believing women with fornication, mistreating one’s parents, bearing false witness, adultery and fornication, drinking alcohol and taking narcotics, stealing, severing bonds of kinship, etc.
These sins destroy man and turn him into an obedient servant of Satan, who will then lead him to all evils and blind him from seeing the truth and receiving guidance. Satan will also make his evil deeds fair seeming to him so much so that he will actually view the evil and corruption that he does as good deeds; just like the hypocrites whom Allah describes in His Book when he says that which translates as: “And when it is said to them, ‘Do not cause corruption on the earth,’ the say, ‘We are but reformers’. Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive (it) not.” (Al-Baqarah: 11-12).
Another clear act of corruption and mischief on the earth today is the merciless transgression, injustice, killings and destruction that the Jews are perpetrating in the holy land of Al-Quds, or Jerusalem. They kill innocent people, expel them from their land and besiege them without even showing mercy to the elderly or infants. We are not surprised by this, for it is just one of a series of oppressive and arrogant acts of corruption that they are taking part in.
Environmental pollution with its widespread destruction is another form of causing corruption upon the earth in modern times. This pollution has caused immense and unnecessary damage to human beings, animals, plants and aquatic creatures. This harm is caused by man’s selfish desire to hasten productivity and is a result of his selfish materialism and his craving for wealth which knows no limit.
We must realise and acknowledge that all this corruption occurs upon the earth as a result of mankind’s evil deeds. Allah says that which translates as: “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He [i.e. Allah] may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [i.e refrain]” (Ar-Room: 41).
It must then be an indisputable fact that the remedy lies at the hands of the people, for Allah will never improve the condition of a people while they are not changing their behaviour. The condition of people will only change for the better when they repent, return to their Lord, seek His pleasure, worship Him as He should be worshipped, fully submit themselves to Him, judge by His law and be pleased with it. They may of course take advantage of whatever Allah facilitates of means of power, progress and prosperity that He has made abundant on the earth. Allah says that which translates to: “And cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation. And invoke Him in fear and aspiration. Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.” (Al-A’raaf: 56).
Brothers in faith! Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim said while commenting on this verse: “Indeed worshipping others beside Allah, calling unto others beside Him and associating partners with Him in worship are the greatest forms of corruption that man can commit. In fact, associating partners with Allah and disobeying Him are at the head of all forms of corruption.
“The earth can never be in order, nor can its inhabitants live in peace unless all acts of worship are done for the sake of Allah alone and performed in accordance with the example laid down by His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. If people begin to enjoin disobedience to Allah, then they must not be followed or obeyed, for Allah put this earth in order through His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and His religion; Allah enjoins belief in His oneness and orders that He be worshipped alone; He forbids committing corruption upon the earth by ascribing partners to Him and disobeying His Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
“When one reflects on the current condition of the world, he will observe that in every place where peace, tranquillity and law and order are enjoyed, this is only as a result of the people there having belief in the unity of Allah, worshipping Him alone and following His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. On the other hand, one will notice that afflictions, tribulations, drought, oppression and all other evils that people suffer from are the result of disobeying Allah’s Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and associating partners with Allah in worship. Whoever ponders carefully over their own condition and that of other peoples, will see that matters are as described above. And there is no power except with Allah, the Most High, the Magnificent”.
Therefore fellow Muslims, fear Allah and be among the righteous; by doing this you will earn the pleasure of your Lord and will be in His sight among the successful and victorious. (Khutbah by Shaykh Usaamah al-Khayyaat)

Are there special merits specific to Rajab?
What is special about the month of Rajab? How authentic are the Hadiths stating that actions are raised to Allah in this month?
Answer: Rajab is one of the sacred months about which Allah Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, the number of months with Allah is 12  [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred.} [Qur’an 9: 36]
Rajab, which is called ‘Rajab The Single’, does not occur in sequence with the other three months that come in succession of one another (Thul-Qa‘dah – Thul-Hijjah - Muharram). Rajab is also called “Rajab of Mudhar” because the tribe of Mudhar used to venerate and respect it so much. It is narrated on the authority of Abu Bakrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said:
“Time has turned back to the same as it was on the day when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is 12 months, of which four months are sacred, three thereof come consecutively and these are Thul-Qa’dah, Thul-Hijjah and Muharram. Then, the fourth month is Rajab of Mudhar, which comes between Jumadah and Sha’ban. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
In pre-Islamic era of ignorance, people used to offer sacrifices during this month as an act of worship towards their idols. This type of sacrifice was called “‘Ateerah”. When Islam came, it cancelled such a practice. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “No Fara’, No ‘Ateerah!” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Also, there is no authentic evidence to support the observance of specific acts of worship in the month of Rajab, as believed by some people.
Shaykhul Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: “There is no authentic statement by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, about the virtue of worship in Rajab. Rather, most of the Hadiths in this regard are false.” Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, says, “There is no authentic Hadith that can be used as evidence of a special merit of the month of Rajab, of fasting it, of fasting certain days thereof, or of offering Qiyam (voluntary night prayer) prayer on a certain night thereof.”
However, there is nothing wrong if a Muslim, during Rajab, observes the fasts that he regularly observes during other months. Examples include Mondays, Thursdays, the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month, and the habit of fasting every other day, provided that this is not done in this month in specific.
Allah Knows best.

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