The meaning of a good Bid`ah

Q 2: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Every innovated act is Bid`ah (innovation in Islam) and every Bid`ah is deviance and every deviance is in Hell. Is the act of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) when he gathered people to offer Salah Al-Tarawih (voluntary night prayer) in Ramadan behind one Imam a type of good Bid`ah? Is there a good and a bad Bid`ah?

A: The act of `Umar gathering people to perform Salah behind one Imam is an extension to the Prophet's Sunnah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did so during Ramadan when he offered Salah and people followed him, then in the second and the third night their number increased. The Prophet did not come out on the fourth night for fear that it would become obligatory on the Muslims. However, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed away, and with him the fear of this Salah becoming obligatory on the Muslims, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) decided to gather the people to offer Salah behind one Imam and revive this Sunnah. As for his saying "It is a fine Bid`ah" i.e. to revive Salah Al-Tarawih which the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed, this does not mean it was an innovation in Islam. (Part No. 2; Page No. 228) Scholars explain that Bid`ah in this context has a linguistic meaning which differs when used in legal terminology.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.