Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance PDF english islamic book

Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance PDF english islamic book

Every Religious Innovation is a Means of
Misguidance
كل بدعة في الدين ضلالة
Written by:
Dr. Abdurrahmaan al-Sheha
Translated by:
Abdurrahmaan Murad al-Kanadi
Revised by:
Osama Emara (Islamhouse.com)
Terminology used in this Book
(Taken from Sheik Mahmoud Murad’s book ‘Common
mistakes in Translation’)
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



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  1. Rubb: Some prefer to translate the term ‘Rubb’ into
    ‘Lord’. Besides the fact that the latter is a Biblical term
    referring to the alleged lordship of the slave of Allah,
    Prophet Jesus, the word ‘lord’ which is limited to
    ‘master’, ‘chief’, ‘proprietor’, or ‘ruler’, can never convey
    the conclusive signification of the term ‘Rubb’. Among
    other signification, the term ‘Rubb’ means, the Creator,
    the Fashioner, the Provider, the One upon Whom all
    creatures depend for their means of subsistence, and the
    One Who gives life and causes death.
  2. Deen: The word translated as religion is ‘Deen’, which
    in Arabic commonly refers to a way of life, which is both
    private and public. It is an inclusive term meaning: acts
    of worship, political practice, and a detailed code of
    conduct, including hygiene or etiquette matters.
  3. [] Sallallaaho ‘alaihi wa sallam. Some translate it as
    ‘peace be upon him’. This translation is incorrect; the
    correct translation is, ‘may Allah exalt his mention, and
    render him and his household safe and secure from every
    derogatory thing’.
    
    Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance


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All praise is due to Allah, Whose aid we implore, and Whose
forgiveness, guidance, and protection against our own evil
and sinful acts we seek. He whom Allah guides aright, none
can lead astray; and whom He leads astray, none can guide
aright. I testify that there is no true god worthy of being
worshipped except Allah alone Who has no partner, and I
testify that Muhammad  is the slave of Allah, and His
Messenger. May Allah exalt his mention and render him and
his household, his Companions, and those who follow their
way safe from every evil, and grant them security on the Day
of Resurrection.

Matters pertaining to Deen must be accepted without the
slightest doubt. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad ) gives
you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain
(from it) and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is severe in
punishment. (59:7)
One must follow the guidance of the Prophet  in these
matters, and should not make ‘ijtihaad’ (i.e. to exert his effort
to reach a ruling) in an issue that does not allow such. Allah,
the Exalted, says:
Say, “If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah
will love you, and forgive your sins. And Allah is OftForgiving, Most Merciful. (3:31)
One of the nullifiers of Iman (Faith) as stated by the Prophet
 is not following his guidance. The Prophet  said:
‘None of you will believe, until his desires are in
accordance with what I have been sent with.’ (Baihaqi)
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The Muslim is required to abstain from falsely alleging an
issue or matter as being part of the Deen; for this would indeed
lead one astray, and eventually lead him to Hell. The Prophet
 said:
‘Whoever innovates a matter in the Deen which is not from
it, it would be rejected.’ (Bukhari #2550)
Many who claim to be Muslims do acts of worship which
contradict the teachings of Islam, or they practice certain
innovated rites which have no basis in the Deen of Allah; they
follow their whims and desires. They are condemned by the
words of Allah, the Exalted:
Have you (O Muhammad) seen him who has taken as
his ilah (god) his own desire? Would you then be a wakil
(a disposer of his affairs or a watcher) over him? (25:43)
Were the danger of practicing these innovated rites isolated
to the individual practicing them alone, the matter would be
less dangerous, even though we do not acknowledge it. But in
reality, innovated practices negatively influence the general
assembly of Muslims, such that some would approve and
agree with the innovation ignorantly, or sympathize with the
one who practices it.
Innovated practices introduced in the Deen of Allah would
lead to the deterioration of Muslims, and would lead them
away from the Deen of Allah. Furthermore, innovated
practices would negatively influence non-Muslims; when they
see people who call themselves Muslims practice and observe
illogical practices and behave in an irrational manner which
contradict with the true spirit of Islam, it would dissuade them
from Islam, and they would regard Islam as any other religion
which is based on falsehood and illogical beliefs.
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People who practice innovations can be categorized into
three categories:
1st Category: People who observe innovated practices due to
their ignorance in matters of Deen. Islam does not excuse such
people, since the cure and solution of ignorance is asking. One
simply cannot observe practices according to his whims! Allah
says:
So ask the people of the Reminder [Scriptures – the
Torah, the Injeel (Gospel)] if you do not know (21:7)
People who observe innovations while blindly following
those before them are also included in this category. Allah
says:
And when it is said to them: “Follow that which Allah
has sent down” they say: “Nay, we shall follow that
which we found our fathers (following).” (Would they do
so) even if Shaitan invites them to the torment of the
Fire. (31:21)
Due to their observance of innovated practices which
contradict the Shari’ah (Islamic Jurisprudential Law) these
people are misguided; their observance of innovated practices
would not benefit them. Observing fewer acts of worship, in
accordance to the Sunnah of the Prophet  is better and more
rewarding for its doer than observing many innovated
practices. Allah says:
Laboring (hard in the worldly life by worshipping
others besides Allah) weary (in the Hereafter with
humility and disgrace). They will enter in the hot blazing
Fire. (3-4)
2nd Category: People who seek materialistic gain; they benefit
from the ignorance of people to attain their goals. These
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



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people are the farthest from the Deen, and some even falsely
claim to be Muslims, when in fact, Islam is innocent of them!
They distort and mar the image of Islam with their innovated
practices. The Prophet  said about these people:
‘The worst slave is he who seeks worldly gain by
observing practices which should be done sincerely for the
sake of Allah; the worst slave is he who sticks to doubtful
issues and legalizes the unlawful.’ (Haakim #7885)
3rd Category: The enemies of Islam and those who try their
best to disseminate innovated religious practices in order to
divide the Muslim Ummah (nation). They devoutly support the
people of innovation financially and otherwise in order to
create new sects which differ with Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah
in terms of Aqeedah (creed) and methodology. With this the
enemies of Islam would achieve their goal; i.e. to keep
Muslims away from their Aqeedah and Deen with the slightest
loss.
Innovation in Deen is one of the methods Shaitan uses to lead
people astray. Ibn Abbas, with whom Allah is pleased, said
concerning the exegesis of the words of Allah:
You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave
Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr
(names of the idols) (71:23)
‘These are names of pious men from the people of Noah;
when they died, Shaitan encouraged them to erect figures in
their sitting places so that they could remember them, and
they named these figures by their names, and they were not
worshipped until these people passed away, and this was
forgotten.’ (Bukhari #4636)
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Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said0F
1:
‘Shaitan tries to destroy the son of Adam in one of seven
phases. Some of them are more intense than others. Shaitan
would not try to destroy him in the next phase until he fails to
destroy him in a previous one. These phases are:
1st Phase: The phase of disbelief in Allah, His Deen, His perfect
attributes, and in what the Prophet  informed us about, and
the fact that we will be resurrected. If Shaitan is successful in
misleading the slave in this phase, his enmity towards him
would diminish and he would take rest. If the slave succeeds,
and survives in this phase, Shaitan would try to destroy him in
the next phase.
2nd Phase: The phase of Bid’ah (religious innovation); whether
it pertains to believing in other than the truth which the
Messenger  was sent with or by worshipping other than
Allah; such as worshipping idols, and the like. Shaitan enjoys
that a person succumbs in this phase for Bid’ah conflicts with
the nature of the Deen and compels one to reject it.
Furthermore, the one who observes innovated religious
practices would not repent from his actions; rather, he would
invite people to his Bid’ah!
Observing innovated religious practices would compel one
to forge lies against Allah and speak without knowledge; thus
it openly clashes with the Sunnah. Observing minor Bid’ah
practices would lead one to observing major Bid’ah practices.
In this manner, a person would eventually exit the folds of
Islam.
Scholars and people of knowledge alone know the real
dangers of Bid’ah practices. If a person succeeds and survives
1 Madaarij as-Saalikeen pg. 254-256.
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in this phase by adhering to the Sunnah, and understanding its
texts as the Pious Predecessors understood them, Shaitan
would seek to destroy him in the next phase.
3rd Phase: The phase of major sins. If he is able to destroy the
slave in this phase, he would beautify the deed that he is
doing and probably compel him to say the following: ‘No sin
would harm the Tawheed (creedal belief) as no good deed
would benefit a man who has fallen into Shirk (associating
partners with Allah).’ If the person is successful and survives
this phase, Shaitan would seek to destroy him in the next
phase.
4th Phase: The phase of minor sins. Shaitan would compel a
person to belittle these sins, by whispering to him: ‘There is no
fear upon you as long as you keep away from major sins…do
you not know that the minor sins would be expiated by
staying away from major sins?’ Shaitan would convince him
that there is no harm in doing minor sins, until he regularly
practices it. The person who has done a major sin, and has
repented and is fearful of what he has done, would be better
off than him; for regularly doing a minor sin would change it
to a major sin! Constant repentance eliminates major sins; as
no minor sin remains as such when a person regularly does it.
The Prophet  said:
‘Beware of minor sins; its likeness is like a people who
stopped over in a valley, and the people spread out each
bringing a stick, until they made a fire and cooked their
bread. Whenever a person practices a minor sin regularly
it would destruct him.’ (Ahmed #22860)
If the slave succeeds and survives in this phase, by being
careful and repenting continuously to Allah, and observing
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



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righteous deeds, Shaitan would seek to destroy him in the next
phase.
5th Phase: The phase of indulging in lawful things within
which there is no sin upon its doer. Shaitan would busy a
person by compelling him to indulge excessively in lawful
things in order to keep him away from worshipping Allah; he
would then lead him to abandoning the Sunnah practices, and
later lead him to abandoning the obligatory practices. If the
slave succeeds and survives in this phase by understanding
the greatness of acts of worship, Shaitan would seek to destroy
him in the next phase.
6th Phase: The phase of busying the slave with deeds which are
lesser in reward. Shaitan would encourage the slave to observe
certain acts of worship and beautify them to him, and show
him the great reward of doing those acts of worship in order
to busy him with it and to keep him away from deeds which
are more beneficial. When Shaitan fails to mislead the slave
and deprive him from receiving any reward he tries to deprive
him from receiving the full reward. Therefore, he busies him
with the lesser rewarding deeds and keeps him away from the
greater rewarding deeds, and also keeps him away from the
most beloved deeds to Allah and busies him with lesser
beloved deeds to Allah.
7th Phase: If Shaitan fails in the above six phases, he would
resort to harming the person in any way possible; by
summoning his men and followers and riling them against
this individual. The Prophets and Messengers were not left
unharmed by this. One should bear patiently, for victory and
success are tied with patience.
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The worst thing that results from Bid’ah is forging lies
against the Prophet . This is a grave sin, the Prophet  said:
‘To forge a lie against me is not like forging a lie against
any person; whoever forges a lie against me, let him assure
his seat in Hell-Fire.’ (Bukhari 1229)
The great Companion, Abdullah b. Masood, with whom
Allah is pleased, said: ‘Follow the guidance of the Prophet 
and do not innovate, for you have been sufficed.’
How great are the words of Abdullah b. Masood, with
whom Allah is pleased. The intellectual should think about his
statement…indeed the authentically reported utterances,
actions and approvals of the Prophet  would suffice a person
in every way, and there would be no reason for him to resort
to any Bid’ah.
The Prophet  said:
‘A deed would be observed with zeal for a period of time.
So whoever observes my Sunnah zealously would be
guided, and whoever observes other than that would be
destroyed.’ (Ibn Khuzaimah 2105)
Abdurrahmaan b. Abdul-Kareem ash-Sheha
Riyadh, 11535
P.O. Box 59565
Email: [email protected]
http://www.islamland.org
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Is the Deen of Islam Complete?
It is known by necessity that the Deen of Islam is complete, as
Allah, the Exalted, says:
This day, I have perfected your Deen for you, completed
My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as
your Deen. (4:3)
It addresses every issue that concerns man in this life and in
the Hereafter, Allah says:
And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as
an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and
glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to
Allah as Muslims). (16:89)
Whatever aspect of Shari’ah that has not been clarified in the
first source of Islamic Law, which is the Qur’an, has been
clarified in the second source of Islamic Law, which is the
Sunnah. The Sunnah includes the Prophet’s utterances, actions
and approvals provided that it has been narrated to us with a
sound chain of narration. Allah says:
And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad)
the reminder and the advice (the Qur’an) that you may
explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and
that they may give thought. (16:44)
The Prophet  clarified and showed his Ummah every good
and warned them from every evil. The Prophet  said:
‘There was no Prophet before me, except that it was
incumbent upon him, to clarify to his Ummah the good that
he knew of, and warn them from the evil that he knew of.’
(Muslim)
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Whoever believes other than that would certainly have
disbelieved in the text of the Qur’an which was revealed to the
Prophet .
The innovator in Deen believes that the Deen of Allah is
incomplete, and indirectly he is saying that he is completing
the Deen of Allah with his innovation!
The innovator in Deen would in effect be blaming the
Prophet  for treachery because he did not convey the
Message which he was charged with. He would be indirectly
saying: ‘Islam is in need of this innovation, which the Prophet
was aloof of, therefore, I will complete the Deen with this
innovation!’
The Prophet  said:
‘I have left you on a clear path, its night is like its day, and
no one would stray from it except a person who would be
destructed.’ (Hakim)

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The ruling of adding something to the Deen which
is not legalized by Allah or the Prophet 
Allah, the Exalted, says:
Yes, but whoever submits himself to Allah and he is a
muhsin (good-doer) then his reward is with his Rubb
(Allah) on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
(2:112)
This means the one who sincerely observes practices for the
sake of Allah, and does them in accordance to the Sunnah of
the Prophet …they alone are the ones who would enter
Jannah (Heavenly Gardens).1F
2
Imam Ahmed, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated on
the authority of Abdullah b. Masood, with whom Allah is
pleased, that he said: ‘The Prophet  drew a line, and then
said: “This is the Path of Allah” and then he drew small lines
on the right and left of this line, and he said: “These are paths,
upon each path there is a Shaitan calling people.” He then
recited the words of Allah: And verily, this is My Straight
Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will
lead you from His Path. This He has ordained for you so that
you may become al-muttaqun (the pious). (Ibn Hibban #6)
The Prophet  also said:
‘Indeed the most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah,
and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad 
and the most evil of matters are the innovated ones, and
every (religious) innovation is a Bid’ah, and every Bid’ah is
a means of deviation, and every deviation would lead to
the Fire.’ (Ibn Khuzaimah #1785)
2 Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahman fi Tafseer Kalam al-Mannaan for Sheik asSa’di, may Allah have mercy on him.
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The danger and seriousness of talking without knowledge in
religious matters is very clear from the Qur’anic verses and
Prophetic Traditions. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And (all) the Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call
on Him by them, and leave the company of those who
belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His
Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.
(7:180)
Allah, the Exalted, also says:
And follow not that of which you have no knowledge.
Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all
those [one] will be questioned. (17:36)
Allah, the Exalted, also says:
Or have they partners with Allah (false gods) who have
instituted for them a Deen which Allah has not allowed.
(42:21)
Whoever innovates a religious rite or practice in the Deen of
Allah, while legalizing something illegal in Islam, or
illegalizing something legal, he would become a disbeliever if
he does not repent, as reported in the Hadeeth of the Prophet 
in which he explained the words of Allah:
They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their
monks to be their god besides Allah. (9:31)
He said:
‘Even though they did not worship them (openly) but they
would deem lawful whatever their rabbis and monks
made lawful, and deem unlawful whatever their rabbis
and monks deemed unlawful.’ (Tirmidthi #3095)
This stern warning encompasses those who follow them in
proclaiming things as lawful or unlawful when they are not.
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The scholar, Sheik Abdurrahman as-Sa’di, may Allah have
mercy on him, said: ‘They (i.e. rabbis and monks) would
legalize for their people laws and verbal statements which
belie the Deen of the Messengers, and people would follow
them. They would aggrandize their Sheiks, and pious people;
such that they would take them as gods besides Allah; people
would offer sacrificial animals, beseech and supplicate them.’2F
3

3 Ibid
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What is Bid’ah?
In order to understand the meaning of Bid’ah, we must know
what Sunnah implies.
Imam Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
‘Sunnah is a followed path; it includes what the Prophet  and
his rightly-guided Caliphs adhered to from creedal beliefs,
observance of practices, and sayings…this is the complete
Sunnah.’3F
4
Observing and adhering to the Sunnah, whether in creedal
beliefs, actions or sayings is incumbent, Allah says:
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad ) you
have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the
meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers
Allah much. (33:21)
The Prophet  also stressed the importance of observing his
Sunnah. He said:
‘I advise you to fear Allah, and to listen and obey, even if
an Abyssinian slave has authority over you, for indeed
those of you who live shall witness many differences, so
adhere to my Sunnah, and to the Sunnah of the rightly
guided Caliphs who come after me. Adhere strictly to it.
Bite on it with your molars. Beware of innovations. Every
(religious) innovation is a deviation and every deviation
leads to Hell-Fire.’ (Ibn Hibban #5)
Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said:4F
5
Muhammad  was sent to man and Jinn at large, to clarify
matters that pertain to Deen, such as creedal beliefs, aims of
Shari’ah and the like. No Aqeedah (creedal belief) would be
4 Jami’ al-Uloom wal-Hikam 1/120.
5 Fatawa al-Kubra pg. 178-179
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accepted except his Aqeedah, and no Shari’ah would be
accepted, except his Shari’ah. No one would attain nearness to
Allah, His pleasure, and Jannah, except by submitting and
completely following him in his sayings, actions, and creedal
beliefs, while believing in matters that pertain to the unseen
world, and observing acts of worship and abstaining from
sinful acts.’
Allah, the Exalted, says:
No doubt! Verily, the auliya’ of Allah [i.e. those who
believe in the Oneness of Allah and fear Allah much
(abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he
has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds
of good deeds which He has ordained)] no fear shall
come upon them nor shall they grieve. (10:62)
Allah, the Exalted, says:
O mankind! We have created you from a male and a
female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you
may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of
you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e.
one of the Muttaqun (pious).] Verily, Allah is AllKnowing, All- Aware. (49:13)
Taqwa (i.e. piety) is achieved when man observes acts of
worship, in accordance to the Sunnah, while hoping for the
reward of Allah, and renounces disobedience to Allah in
accordance to the Sunnah, and is fearful of Allah’s punishment.
A Wali (pious person) would not attain nearness to Allah
unless he observes the Fard (compulsory) acts and duties, and
also observes the Nafl (supererogatory) acts. Allah says:
‘The most beloved thing with which My slave comes
nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My
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slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing
Nawafil (supererogatory acts) till I love him…’ (Bukhari)
Bid’ah: (linguistically) refers to an innovation, novelty;
anything originated, or innovated which did not exist before.
Allah, the Exalted, says:
The Badee’5F
6 of the heavens and the earth. When He
decrees a matter, He only says to it: “Be!” – And it is.
(2:117)
Sheik Abdurrahmaan as-Sa’di, may Allah have mercy on
him, said: ‘(Ba’dee) i.e. its Originator and Creator, such that He
created them perfectly.’6F
7
Allah also says:
Say (O Muhammad): “I am no new Messenger.” (46:9)
Meaning: I am not the first who came with a message from
Allah to mankind; rather, I am preceded by many Messengers.
And when it is said, ‘So and so innovated a bid’ah’, it means
that he has initiated a method preceded by none before.
‘Bid’ah can be categorized into two categories:
1st Category: Religious Bid’ah (innovation). This includes
innovations in the Deen of Allah, which belie the guidance of
our Prophet  and the path of the Pious Predecessors,
whether it concerns creedal issues, or acts of worship. This
type of Bid’ah is deemed unlawful by Qur’anic texts. Allah
says:
And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger
(Muhammad ) after the right path has been shown
6 Taken from the root word abda’a, i.e. to originate.
7 Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahman fi Tafseer Kalam al-Mannaan for Sheik asSa’di, may Allah have mercy on him; pg. 725.
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clearly to him and follows other than the believers’ way.
We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn
him in Hell – what an evil destination! (4:115)
The Prophet  said:
‘All of my Ummah would enter Jannah, except him who
refuses to enter it.’ It was said: ‘Who would refuse to enter
it?’ He said: ‘Whoever obeys me would enter Jannah, and
whoever disobeys me has refused to enter it.’ (Bukhari #6851)
Sheik Islam b. Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him,
said: ‘That is why Allah, the Exalted, has ordered us to say in
each prayer: ‘O Allah guide us to the straight path. The path of
those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the path)
of those who earned Your Anger nor of those who went
astray. Those who earned the anger of Allah are the ones who
know the truth and oppose it, and those who went astray are
those who worship Allah without knowledge, while knowing
that it opposes the Book of Allah and the Sunnah.’7F
8
Religious Innovations can be categorized into three
categories:
a. Bid’ah which is tantamount to disbelief, which would take
one out of the folds of Islam; such Bid’ah pertains to creedal
issues, such as one who offers sacrificial animals to other than
Allah, and one who circumambulates a grave, and one who
beseeches and seeks help of other than Allah in matters that
they cannot help. Allah says:
Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, my Salah (Prayer) my
sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Rubb
of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). (6:162)
8 Fatawa al-Kubra pg. 194
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b. Bid’ah which is not tantamount to disbelief, but leads to
disbelief; such as building structures on graves, and praying
and making Du’aa (supplication) near it. That is why the
Prophet  forbade his Ummah to frequently visit his grave, for
the fear that it would be worshipped to the exclusion of Allah.
The Prophet  said:
‘Do not make your homes like graves (by not offering acts
of worship in them) and do not frequently visit my grave
and (do not burden yourselves by visiting me; rather) exalt
my mention, for it would reach me wherever you are.’ (Abu
Dawood #2042)
c. Bid’ah which are equal to sinful acts; such as celibacy, i.e.
to avoid marriage and to fast the days continuously and to
pray throughout the nights. Anas, with whom Allah is
pleased, reported that the Prophet  said: ‘Three people came
to the houses of the Prophet’s wives  and asked about his
worship. When they were told, they considered it as too little,
and said: ‘We are unlike the Messenger of Allah; Allah has
forgiven his past and future sins! One of them said: ‘As for me,
I shall never marry.’ The other said: ‘I shall fast and not break
my fast.’ The other said: ‘I shall pray the night prayer
continuously.’ When the Prophet  heard this, he called them
and said:
‘Are you the ones who said this? Indeed I am the most
god-fearing of you and pious, but I pray and sleep, fast
and break it, and marry women, so whoever does not want
my Sunnah, he is not from me.’ (Bukhari #4776)
From this it is clear that whoever worships Allah in a
manner that is not legalized by Allah or His Messenger  or
practiced by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, then this person is
an innovator, for the Prophet  said:
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



21
‘I advise you to fear Allah, and to listen and obey, even if
an Abyssinian slave has authority over you, for indeed
those of you who live long shall witness great variance, so
adhere to my Sunnah, and to the Sunnah of the Rightly
Guided Caliphs who came after me. Adhere to it strictly.
Beware of innovations for every (religious) innovation is a
deviation and every deviation leads to Hell-Fire.’ (Ibn
Hibban #5)
2nd Category: Worldly innovations, which have no relation to
the Deen, such as inventions and the like. It is not called
‘Bid’ah’, even though it is considered as such from a linguistic
perspective. The Prophet  did not warn and caution people
from this type of ‘Bid’ah’. All customs, worldly affairs and
transactions are lawful, as long as there are no proofs that
point to its prohibition. This category is not considered a
‘religious innovation’ because they are not considered as acts
of worship.

Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



22
The Stance of Shari’ah regarding Religious
Innovations
One should know that the second Testimony of Faith,
‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah’, requires the person to
obey him, and believe in what he has informed us about and
to stay away from that which he has forbidden. It also requires
that a person worship Allah in the allowed and sanctioned
manner, not in a way he desires or wishes.
It is a must upon the person to reject every religious
innovation. Allah says:
Let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad)
commandment (among the sects) beware, lest some
Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing,
overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful
torment be inflicted on them. (24:63)
The Prophet  said:
‘He who innovates a thing in our Deen, it shall be rejected.’
(Bukhari #2550)
Hudhaifah b. al-Yamaan, with whom Allah is pleased, said:
‘People were asking the Messenger of Allah  about
goodness and good things, and I was asking him about
evil, for the fear that I would witness such things. I said: ‘O
Messenger of Allah, we in the past were living in
ignorance, and Allah guided us with this goodness, so will
there be evil after this goodness?’ He said: ‘yes’, I said: ‘Is
there goodness after that evil?’ He said: ‘yes, with some
trials and tribulations.’ I said: ‘What sort of trials and
tribulations?’ He said: ‘People who follow other than my
Sunnah, and guidance, you will be familiar with some of
the practices which they practice, and you will be
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



23
unfamiliar with some others.’ I asked him, ‘Is there any evil
after that goodness?’ He said: ‘yes, callers to the gates of
Hell-Fire, whoever answers them would be thrown in.’ I
said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what should I do, if I witness
this?’ He said: ‘Stick to the general assembly of Muslims
and their Imam.’ I said: ‘What should I do if there is no
general assembly of Muslims, nor is there any Imam?’ He
said: ‘Forsake all the parties and groups, even if you hang
on to a branch of a tree until death overcomes you.’ (Bukhari

3411)

Abdullah b. Masood, with whom Allah is pleased, said that
the Messenger of Allah  said:
‘I will be the first near the Hawd8F
9, and people will be
brought forth and they will be prevented from drinking,
and I would say: ‘My Rubb, my Companions!’ It would be
said: ‘You do not know what they did after you.’ (Bukhari

6205)

Abdullah b. Abbas, with whom Allah is pleased, said that
the Messenger of Allah  said:
‘Allah will not accept the deeds of a man of Bid’ah until he
abandons the Bid’ah he practices.’ (Ibn Majah #50)
The Prophet  has informed us that there would be great
Fitan (trials and tribulations) that would occur after him. The
way a person would safeguard himself from these Fitan is by
adhering to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His
Messenger . A person would not safeguard himself by
innovating matters in the Deen!
9 The pool which Allah granted the Prophet ; whoever drinks from
it once, will never feel thirsty thereafter.
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



24
Ali, with whom Allah is pleased, said that the Prophet 
said:
‘There will be Fitnah.’ I said: ‘How can one safeguard
himself from it?’ He said: ‘The Book of Allah contains the
stories of those before you, and news of future happenings,
and how people should judge among themselves, and it is
the criterion; any ruler that casts it aside, Allah would
humble him and break his pride. Whoever seeks guidance
from other than it, Allah would lead him astray, and it is
the firm ‘rope’ of Allah, and it is the decisive reminder, and
the Straight Path. One would not be lead astray by his
whims when following it, nor would its recitation bring up
any doubts, its wonders cease not to exist, the scholars do
not have enough of it; it caused the Jinn to ponder and ask:
Indeed we have heard an amazing Qur’an, which calls
to the guidance. Whoever speaks it would have spoken
the truth, and whoever acts upon it, would receive a
reward, and whoever rules by it, would have observed
justice, and whoever calls to it, would be guided to the
Straight Path.’ (Tirmidthi #2906)

Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



25
Statements of Scholars who condemned Bid’ah
practices
Umar b. al-Khattaab, with whom Allah is pleased, said:
‘Beware of people who stick to their opinions (and disregard
textual proofs) for they are the enemies of the Sunnah; they
could not learn, memorize and understand the Hadeeth, so
they stuck to their opinions, and lead themselves and others
astray.’9F
10
Ibn Abbaas, with whom Allah is pleased, said about the
words of Allah:
A day faces would be brightened and darkened, as for those
whom their faces will be brightened… They are AhlusSunnah wal-Jama’ah, and the people of knowledge as for those
whom their faces will be darkened they are the people of
Bid’ah and misguidance.’10F
11
Umar b. Abdul-Aziz, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
‘The Messenger of Allah  established Sunnah practices, and
his rightly guided Caliphs revived Sunnah practices.
Observing these practices would point to the veracity of one’s
belief in the Book of Allah, and one’s complete will to obey
Allah, and one’s strength in the Deen of Allah. No one can
distort or change these Sunnah practices, nor observe anything
which opposes it. Whoever observes these practices would be
guided aright, and whoever seeks the victory of Allah through
it, would become victorious, and whoever opposes and belies
it, and follows a path other than that of the believers, Allah
10 Fath al-Bari 13/302
11 Usool al-I’tiqaad 1/72
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



26
would keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in
Hell, and what an evil abode it is.’1F
12
Al-Fudail b. ‘Iyaad, may Allah have mercy on him, said: ‘If
you see a man of Bid’ah walking on a road, take another road.
No deed of a man of Bid’ah will be accepted by Allah, and
whoever helps a man of Bid’ah, would have certainly helped in
destroying Islam.12F
13
Sufyan ath-Thauri, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
‘Iblees rejoices when a person observes Bid’ah, more than
when he commits sinful acts; for the expiation of a sin is to
repent to Allah, while the Bid’ah is not expiated by
repentance.’13F
14
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said: ‘If
the heart is busied with Bid’ah practices, that person would
abandon Sunnah practices.’14F
15

12 Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/159
13 Talbees Iblees pg. 14
14 Ibid.
15 Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/213
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



27
Proofs used by some to support their devious
practices
1st Proof: Some who have little knowledge in Shari’ah claim
that the words of the Prophet :
ن سن في لإسلام نة سنة له أجرها وأجر من عمل با بعده من غير أن ينقص من
أجورهم شيء، ومن سن فيالإسلا نة سيئة ان عليه وزرها ووزر من عمل با من بعده من
غير أن ينقص من أوزارهم شيء
Meaning: Whoever revives a good Sunnah in Islam, he
would receive its reward and the reward of those who practice
it; while the rewards of those who practice it would not be
lessened. Whoever innovates a practice in Islam, he would
receive its sin and the sin of those who practice it, while the
sins of those who practice it would not be lessened.’ (Muslim

1017)

Refutation: The Prophet  said: ‘Every Bid’ah is a means of
deviation.’ It is impossible that the Prophet  utters a tradition
which contradicts another. The scholars are unanimous on this
matter.
To clarify this further, the Prophet  said: ‘Whoever revives
a good Sunnah practice in Islam…’ Bid’ah practices are not part
of Islam! Furthermore, the Prophet  described the Sunnah as
‘good’; whereas, Bid’ah cannot be described as such. There is
also a difference between ‘reviving a Sunnah practice’ and
‘initiating and establishing a false Bid’ah practice’!
The meaning of this narration is further clarified in the
reason of the Hadeeth, which is as follows: a group of destitute
people came to the Prophet ; so he  called people to give
them whatever they could afford. A man from the Ansar came
to the Prophet  holding a pouch full of silver which was
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



28
quite heavy, and he placed it in front of the Messenger . The
Prophet  was extremely happy, and said:
‘Whoever revives a good Sunnah practice in Islam would
receive its reward and the reward of those who practice it
until the Day of Resurrection…’ (Ahmed #18367)
Example: If a scholar goes to a country where Qur’an or the
Sunnah of the Prophet  is not taught and he sits in the Masjid
and teaches people the Qur’an and Sunnah, or sends teachers
to that country to teach its people, this would be considered
reviving a Sunnah act.
Also, if a person goes to a country where people shave off or
shorten their beards, and he orders people to grow their
beards, he would have revived the Sunnah in this regard. He
would receive the reward equal to the reward of those who
were guided through his efforts.
The Messenger of Allah  said:
‘Trim the mustaches, and grow the beards, and differ from
the polytheists.’ (Agreed Upon)
When a person grows his beard and calls others to grow
their beards and they listen to him, he would have revived the
Sunnah in this regard. The above mentioned Hadeeth does not
refer to one who innovates religious matters, for every
religious innovation is a means of deviation. The Prophet 
said:
‘Beware of innovated matters in Deen, for every innovated
rite is a Bid’ah, and every Bid’ah is a means of
misguidance.’ (Tirmidhi #2600)
2nd Proof: The words of Umar b. al-Khattaab, with whom
Allah is pleased:
نعمت البدعةهذه
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



29
Meaning: ‘What a good Bid’ah this is!’
Refutation: Umar, with whom Allah is pleased, said these
words when he gathered the people in Taraweeh (Night
Prayer) under one Imam. He meant the linguistic, not the legal
sense of the word.
Keep in mind that Taraweeh prayer has an origin in the
Shari’ah! Umar, with whom Allah is pleased, did not innovate
it; rather, he revived the Sunnah of the Prophet .
The Prophet  prayed it with the Companions for three
nights and then he stopped praying it in congregation, because
he feared that it would become obligatory on his Ummah. He
said:
‘I fear that it will become incumbent upon you, and you
would not be able to do it.’ (Bukhari #1908)
The Companions, with whom Allah is pleased, prayed
Taraweeh during the Prophet’s lifetime, and continued doing so
after his death. They would pray together in groups in the
Prophet’s Masjid.
Umar, with whom Allah is pleased, gathered people under
one Imam, for what the Prophet  had feared would no
longer come to pass. The Shari’ah was completed with his
death; thus, nothing could be added to it, and that is why he
said: ‘What a good Bid’ah this is!’

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30
Our Stance from People of Bid’ah
Allah, the Exalted, says:
Say (O Muhammad) to these idolaters: follow what has
been sent down unto you from your Rubb, and follow
not any Auliya’ (protectors and helpers, etc.) besides
Him. (7:3)
The man of Bid’ah
The person of Bid’ah can be categorized according to the
Bid’ah practice which he observes into one of two categories:
1st category: The one who observes an innovation or devious
practice due to his ignorance, and it has not spread amongst
people. This person should be taught and the truth made clear
to him that his actions and deeds oppose the Shari’ah.
2nd category: The one who observes an innovation or devious
practice because he is following his whims and desires. This
person should be reminded of the stern punishment of Allah,
and the truth should be made clear to him in a wise and
appropriate manner. If he refuses to accept the truth, and
adamantly persists and chooses to practice his Bid’ah; people
should be cautioned and warned about this man and his
devious Bid’ah practices, so that they would avoid it.
The act of Bid’ah
The Bid’ah practice itself may reach the level of kufr; in the
case where it does reach the level of Kufr (disbelief), then it is a
must upon people to boycott that person after he has been
given sincere advice and has refused to accept it.
If the Bid’ah practice is not tantamount to Kufr and
boycotting him would cause him to return to the Sunnah he
should be boycotted. But if doing so would not benefit then he
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



31
should not be boycotted, since boycotting him would cause
him to stray farther from the Sunnah. He should be given
sincere counseling and advice in a wise and beautiful manner.
The Prophet  said:
‘It is not lawful for a Muslim to boycott his brother for
more than three days.’ (Bukhari #5718)
The Pious Predecessors, with whom Allah is pleased, would
clarify and refute every Bid’ah in light of the Qur’an and
Sunnah. This is not a duty confined to the scholars alone;
rather it is a duty upon every Muslim who witnesses an
innovation in the Deen of Allah, which has no basis in the
Shari’ah. If the individual can clarify the truth, he should do so,
otherwise he should refer the matter to the scholars, who
would clarify this matter to the people, and eliminate the
‘proofs’ used by the people of bid’ah to support their
innovations.

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32
Reasons for the spread of Bid’ah
*Not applying the Shari’ah of Allah, and being content with
other than it. Allah says:
O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the
Messenger (Muhammad ) and those of you (Muslims)
who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything
amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger
() if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is
better and more suitable for final determination. (4:59)
*Not applying the Sunnah of the Prophet  and abandoning
it. The more a person strays away from the observance of
Sunnah practices, the closer he would be to the Bid’ah. The
Sunnah of the Prophet  is rich with his actions, statements
and approvals. There is no need for a person to resort to
applying Bid’ah practices. The Prophet  said:
‘I have indeed left two things with which you will not go
astray; the Book of Allah, and My Sunnah; they will not
part until I meet them at the Hawd.’ (Haakim #319)
*Not applying or pondering the meanings of the Qur’an, and
using it as a means of attaining blessings; and abandoning the
remembrance of Allah, and not wanting to educate oneself in
matters of Deen. Allah, the Exalted, says:
And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the
remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allah) (i.e. this
Qur’an and worship of Allah) We appoint for him
Shaitan (Satan – devil) to be a qarin (an intimate
companion) to him. (43:36)
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



33
*Rejecting the truth, and not accepting it, Allah says:
And when it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by
arrogance to (more) crime. So enough for him is Hell, and
worst indeed is that place to rest! (2:206)
*Appointing pseudo-scholars. The Prophet  said:
‘Allah does not remove knowledge by snatching it from his
slaves. He does so, by collecting scholars (by death) until
when no scholar is left, people will take for themselves
ignorant leaders who will be consulted, and they will issue
Fatawa (religious verdicts) without knowledge, and will
misguide people and they themselves will be misguided.’
(Bukhari #100)
*Seeking knowledge from books alone and not attending the
sessions of scholars. It has been said: ‘Whoever’s ‘Sheik’ is his
book (i.e. he depends solely on books to gain knowledge) his
errors would be more than his accuracies.
One should abstain from reading books which raise doubtful
points. Umar b. al-Khattaab, with whom Allah is pleased, was
reading a letter which he had received from some of the
People of the Book, and the Prophet  was angry and said:
‘Are you uncertain about it (i.e. the Deen) O son of
Khattaab? By the One in Whose hand is my life, I have
brought to you the Shari’ah which is clear-cut and chaste.
Do not ask them about anything; for they may inform you
with the truth and you would disbelieve it, or they would
inform you with falsehood and you would believe it. By
the One in Whose hand is my life, were Musa  alive he
would have no choice but to follow me.’ (Ahmed #15195)
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



34
*Not spreading sound knowledge; such that the scholars
would remain aloof from people, silent and not convey the
knowledge that they have. Allah, the Exalted, says:
Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences
and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We
have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are
the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.
Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and
openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I
will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who
accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. (2:159-160)
*Extremism and fanaticism in Deen. This is one of the
reasons why Bid’ah and Shirk (polytheism) spread among
people. The Prophet  said:
‘Beware of extremism in Deen, for indeed those before you
were destroyed due to their extremism in Deen.’ (Ibn
Hibban #3871)
*Depending on the intellect to deduce rulings in matters of
Deen. Allah, the Exalted says:
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and
His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should
have any reservation in their decision. And whoever
disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed
strayed in a plain error. (33:36)
*Following one’s whims and desires, Allah says:
Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain
desires) as his ilah (god) and Allah knowing (him as
such) left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his
heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide
him after Allah? Will you not then remember? (45:23)
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



35
*Blindly following men’s opinions and imitating people in
matters of Deen, while this is not based on knowledge and
proper guidance, and not referring these issues to the Book of
Allah, and the Sunnah of his Prophet . Allah says:
When it is said to them: “Follow what Allah has sent
down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found
our fathers following.” (Would they do that!) Even
though their fathers did not understand anything nor
were they guided? (2:170)
*Befriending evil people and keeping evil company. Allah
says:
And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite
at his hands, and he will say: “Oh! Would that I had
taken a path with the Messenger (Muhammad ). “Ah!
Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a
friend! “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this
Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Shaitan (Satan) is
ever a deserter to man in the hour of need. (25:27-29)
*Not ordering with the good and forbidding evil. Allah says:
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to
all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic
Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and
forbidding Al-munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all
that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the
successful. (3:104)
The Prophet  said:
‘No Prophet was commissioned among previous nations
except that he had helpers and aids, and companions who
would apply that Prophet’s Sunnah. After them came a
people whose statements were contrary to their actions,
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



36
and whose actions were contrary to their commands. So
whoever fights them with his hands, he is a believer, and
whoever fights them with his tongue, he is a believer, and
whoever fights them with his heart, he is a believer, and
there is no Iman beyond that.’ (Muslim #50)
*Following dubious texts in the Shari’ah, which the general
public does not understand. Allah says:
It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad ) the
Book (this Qur’an). In it are Verses that are entirely clear,
they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the
Verses of al-ahkam (commandments, etc.), al-fara’id
(obligatory duties) and al-hudud (legal laws for the
punishment of thieves, adulterers, etc.)]; and others not
entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a
deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not
entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and
trials, etc.), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but
none knows its hidden meanings save Allah. And those
who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe
in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from
our Rubb.” And none receive admonition except men of
understanding. (3:7)
*Leniency in the issue of al-Wala and al-Bara (loving and
hating for the sake of Allah). It includes loving the enemies of
Allah for this love would lead to emulating them. Abu Waqid
al-Laithi, with whom Allah is pleased, said:
‘When the Prophet  conquered Makkah, we went out
with him (before the battle with the tribe of Hawazin) until
we passed by a lote-tree called ‘Dhat Anwaat’ which the
unbelievers were beseeching and calling upon. We said: ‘O
Messenger of Allah, assign for us ‘Dhat Anwaat’ as they
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



37
have! The Messenger of Allah  said: ‘Allah is the
Greatest! The Children of Israel asked Musa, ‘Assign for us
a god similar to theirs! Indeed you are a people who know
not.’ Thereafter, the Messenger of Allah  said: ‘Indeed
you will emulate and follow those before you.’ (Ibn Hibban

6702)

*Exerting effort to reach a ruling or conclusion in issues
which do not require such, and deducing issues from textual
proofs which are not relevant. It should also be known that
there are Hadeeth which are not authentic, as there are
fabricated traditions, which one should be aware of and
should not spread around, nor use as proof in any issue.
There are also the weak Hadeeth. Some scholars legalized
using these Hadeeth to encourage people to do virtuous deeds,
as long as these Hadeeth do not contradict authentic Hadeeth.
But these weak Hadeeth cannot be used in establishing acts of
worship. Acts of worship are established through authentic
Hadeeth which have been authentically narrated from the
Prophet .

Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



38
Conditions for the Acceptance of Good Deeds
The deeds of slaves will not be accepted unless two
conditions are met:
1st Condition: Sincerity, i.e. the deeds must be done sincerely
for the sake of Allah. Allah says:
And they were commanded not but that they should
worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone
(abstaining from ascribing partners to Him) and perform
As-Salat and give Zakat: and that is the right Deen.
(98:5)
Allah, the Exalted, says in the Hadeeth Qudsi15F
16:
‘I have no need for partners. Whoever does a deed while
associating partners with Me, I would leave him and his
Shirk.’ (Muslim #2985)
2nd Condition: To follow the example of the Prophet ; i.e. to
observe the act of worship the way he did. This condition
would not be correct unless six things are considered:
a. Reason for the act of worship: If a person worships Allah
for a certain reason which is not recognized in the Shari’ah, his
action would be considered as a rejected Bid’ah.
Example: Some people observe certain acts of worship
during the 27th night of Rajab. They claim that the Prophet 
was taken on the Night Journey in this night. Night prayer is a
valid act of worship, but the reason it is initiated during this
night is not acknowledged in Shari’ah. With this point, one can
clearly differentiate between Bid’ah and Sunnah acts.
b. Its type: The act of worship should agree with the Shari’ah
in its type. If a person worships Allah by an act of worship
16 Hadeeth Qudsi: Its meaning is from Allah, whereas its words are
from the Prophet .
Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance



39
which is not acknowledged in the Shari’ah it would not be
acceptable.
Example: If a person slaughters a horse as a sacrificial
animal during the month of Dhul-Hijjah (12th month in the
Islamic calendar). This person’s sacrificial animal would not be
accepted because he belied the Shari’ah in this point, since
sacrificial animals can only be a camel, cattle, goat or sheep.
c. Its steps: If a person wants to perform a prayer while
considering it an obligatory prayer, it would not be accepted
since the obligatory prayers are known in the Shari’ah.
Likewise, if a person prays Dhuhr prayer five units, his prayer
would not be accepted.
d. Its method: If a person makes wudhu and washes his feet
first and then wipes his head, we say that his wudhu is null
and void, since one must make wudhu in sequence.
e. Its time: If a person sacrifices his sacrificial animal in the
first days of Dhul-Hijjah his sacrifice would not be accepted
since he did not do it in the appropriate time.
f. Its place: If a person makes I’tikaaf in other than a Masjid,
his I’tikaaf would not be correct since it should be done in a
Masjid.16F
17

17 Al-Ibdaa’ fi Kamaal ash-Shar’ for Sheik Muhammad b. Uthaimin.
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Dangers of Bid’ah
There is immense danger in observing acts of Bid’ah; the
enemies of Islam would attack Islam and Muslims through it.
So every Muslim should be cautious so that he would not be
used as a tool to harm the Deen or Muslims in any manner.
Furthermore, a Muslim should not cover up or hide a man of
Bid’ah.
The enemies of Islam have been able to divide the Muslims
with these devious acts of Bid’ah. Whenever an act of Bid’ah
becomes widespread, an act of Sunnah would be abandoned
by people…eventually the observance of Bid’ah practices
would lead to one’s abandonment of the Deen of Allah! The
Prophet  said:
‘My Ummah will be divided into seventy three sects, the
sect with the most adherents would be a sect whose people
give precedence to their intellects and draw analogies to
claim the lawful unlawful and the unlawful lawful.’
(Haakim #8325)
Therefore a person should make sure that all acts of worship
he wants to observe do not belie the Shari’ah. Whatever is
congruent with it should be accepted; and whatever is not
should be rejected. The Prophet  said:
‘I have left with you two things…you would not go astray
on account of them. The Book of Allah and my Sunnah,
they would not part until they gather with me at my Hawd
on the Day of Resurrection.’ (Haakim #319)
In order for a person to safeguard himself he should refrain
from doing whatever belies the Book of Allah and the Sunnah
of His Messenger .
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The Prophet  said:
‘To forge a lie against me is not like forging a lie against
anyone else; whoever forges a lie against me, let him
assure his seat in Hell.’ (Muslim # 4)
Whoever wants to be successful, and hopes for the reward of
Allah, he should follow the example of the Prophet . Allah,
the Exalted, says:
Say, if you love Allah, then follow me and Allah will
love you and forgive you your sins, and indeed Allah is
all forgiving and merciful. (3:31)
A person should not emulate or follow any other individual
for they are not infallible; they make mistakes, and have
worldly desires and may follow their whims.

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Warning and Admonition
Abdullah ibn ad-Dailami said:
‘It has reached me that the Deen would fragment and
become lost by abandoning the Sunnah. People would
abandon Sunnah practice after Sunnah practice, just as a
rope would become weaker and weaker.’ (Ad-Darimi #98)
Each one of us should adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet 
and try his best to disseminate it amongst people and to apply
it. Goodness can only be anticipated when one applies the
Sunnah of the Prophet  whether the Sunnah be an utterance
or action, and when he casts aside all innovated acts in the
Deen of Allah. It is also a must upon each of us, if he hears
something which opposes the Shari’ah to give sincere
counseling and advice, and clarify it so that he can have the
great honor of defending the Deen of Allah. The Prophet 
said:
‘Convey from me even one ayat (verse) and there is no sin
upon you if you relate the stories of the Children of Israel;
and whoever forges a lie against me, let him assure his seat
in the Hell.’ (Bukhari #3274)
Eliminating Bid’ah is a collective duty upon the community.
The Prophet  said:
‘Whoever of you sees a wrong, let him change it with his
hand, but if he cannot then let him do so by his tongue, but
if he cannot then let him abhor it in his heart, and that is
the weakest branch of Iman.’ (Muslim #49)
A person should give Da’wah and call to the path of Allah as
mentioned in the words of Allah:
Invite to the way of your Rubb with wisdom and fair
preaching and argue with them in a way that is better.
Truly, your Rubb knows best who has gone astray from
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43
His path, and He is fully aware of those who are guided.
(16:125)
Religious matters should not be taken for granted from
every preacher and person who claims to have knowledge and
understanding. The Deen should be taken from those who are
trustworthy in their Deen, knowledge and piety. The Prophet
 said:
‘Indeed the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets. The
Prophets did not leave behind a Dinar or Dirham, rather
they left behind knowledge, so whoever takes it and learns
it, would have taken a grand, hefty share.’ (Ibn Hibban #88)
We should be mindful of the words of the Prophet :
‘Whoever calls to guidance, he would receive reward equal
to the rewards of those who followed him, while their
rewards would not be decreased. And whoever calls to a
misguidance, he would receive sin equal to the sins of
those who followed him, while their sins would not be
decreased.’ (Muslim # 2674)
Also whoever guides people to an evil -Bid’ah is a type of
evil- he would receive its sin and the sin of those who follow
it. The Prophet  said:
‘Indeed the most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah,
and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad,
and the most evil of matters are the innovated ones, and
every innovation (in the Deen) is a misguidance and every
misguidance would lead to Hell.’ (Ibn Khuzaimah #1785)
As mentioned above, danger and seriousness of innovating
matters in the Deen of Allah is apparent, so whoever wants to
practice an action, he should take note as to whether this
action is endorsed by the Shari’ah. If it is, then he should put it
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into practice and guide people to it; but if it belies the Shari’ah
then he should abandon that action and warn people against
it.

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Glossary

  1. Aqeedah: Creed.
  2. Bid’ah: An innovation or novelty; in this book it refers to
    religious innovations.
  3. Dinar & Dirham: A type of money.
  4. Fareedah: An obligatory act of worship.
  5. Fitnah: Trial, strife and tribulation.
  6. Hadeeth: Prophetic Tradition.
  7. Hawd: The Pool which Allah, the Exalted, has granted our
    Prophet  on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever drinks from it
    once, would never feel thirsty again.
  8. Hudood: Castigatory punishments in Islam.
  9. Hukm: Ruling.
  10. Ijtihaad: In general, it is the exertion of effort. In this book
    it refers to exertion of one’s effort to reach a ruling in an issue.
  11. I’tikaaf: In general, it refers to seclusion. I’tikaaf is an act of
    worship whereby the person secludes himself in the Masjid
    and worships Allah.
  12. Iman: Belief.
  13. Jannah: This is the Heavenly Abode or Heavenly Gardens
    which Allah grants the pious slaves in the Hereafter. It is
    mistranslated as ‘Paradise’.
  14. Kufr: Disbelief.
  15. Nafl: Supererogatory acts of worship.
  16. Shaitan: Satan.
  17. Shari’ah: Islamic Jurisprudential Law.
  18. Shirk: Associating partners with Allah.
  19. Sunnah: Has more than one meaning. It may refer to:
    a. Prophetic Traditions.
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b. Rulings; i.e. it would then mean that the act is
endorsed by the Sunnah.

  1. Taraweeh: Night prayers, which are prayed during
    Ramadhan.
  2. Taqwah: Piety.
  3. Ummah: Nation.
  4. Wali: The pious, god-fearing, upright Muslim, who is
    mindful of Allah, observes acts of worship, and abstains from
    the unlawful.
    
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Table of Contents

  1. Terminology 2
  2. Introduction 3
  3. Is the Deen of Islam complete? 11
  4. The ruling of adding something to the Deen 13
  5. What is Bid’ah? 16
  6. Categories of Bid’ah 18
  7. Religious innovations 19
  8. Stance of Shari’ah regarding religious innovations 22
  9. Statements of scholars who condemned Bid’ah 25
  10. Proofs used by some to support their Bid’ah 27
  11. Our stance from people of Bid’ah 30
  12. Reasons for the spread of Bid’ah 32
  13. Conditions for the acceptance of Good deeds 38
  14. Dangers of Bid’ah 40
  15. Warning and Admonition 42
  16. Glossary 45
    