Q: Please comment on the Hadith mentioned below, as it is controversial among the students of knowledge. I would like you to explain it in writing, so that they can all read the explanation and correct this misconception. The Hadith states:
Jabir ibn `Abdullah
(may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that
Whenever Allah's Messenger (peace he upon him) delivered a Khutbah (sermon), his eyes would become red, his tone loud, and his anger increased as if he were warning against an attacking army, saying: "The enemy is about to strike in the morning and is advancing against you in the evening." He would also say: "The last Hour and I have been sent like these two"; he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say: "The best of speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of guidance is that given by Muhammad (peace be upon him). The most evil affairs are novelties; and every Bid`ah leads to misguidance." Then, he would say: "I should be dearer to Muslims than themselves. If a person leaves behind property, it will be for their families. If a person dies while in debt or leaves children (in need), the responsibility (of paying their debt and bringing up their children) lies on me."
It is mentioned in the Hadith that
every Bid`ah leads to misguidance.
I oppose Bid`ah, and I refute it with the authentic Sunnah. Thus, I am asking that you explain this Hadith in order to clarify the linguistic and the Shar'i definition of Bid`ah, so that I might not renounce something which is not a Bid`ah.Some Fuqaha' (Muslim jurists) said that
there are five rulings on Bid`ah. Is there any evidence for this?
They claim that it may be Wajib (obligatory), Mubah (permissible), Makruh (disliked), Mandub (commendable), or Haram (prohibited). Please, your honor, explain this in detail, as the students of knowledge have greatly disagreed on the meaning of "every Bid`ah leads to misguidance". They say that the word "every" makes it all-inclusive, unless it is followed by (Part No. 2; Page No. 456) an exception.
also narrated a lengthy Hadith in which a part of it reads,
Hold fast to my Sunnah and the examples of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold to them fast. Avoid novelties (in religion), for every novelty is a Bid`ah, and every Bid`ah leads to misguidance.
It is narrated in the exact wording: "every novelty is a Bid`ah". I hope Your honor that you will settle this problematic issue for me, which no one else has been able to.
this Shari`ah is fully established by Allah, and needs no human to complete it, as Allah states,
This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion.
(Surah Al-Ma'idah, 5: 3).
the fundamental rule on the acts of 'Ibadah (worship) is that it is Tawqifiyyah (bound by a religious text and not subject to personal opinion). Whoever claims that an 'Ibadah is legitimate should provide evidence to support it; otherwise, it is rejected. It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stated,
Whoever introduces something into this affair of ours which is not of, it will be rejected.
In another narration,
Whoever performs any act which is not in accordance with our command, it is to be rejected.
as for the meaning of Bid`ah (innovation in religion), linguistically it means creating something new, with no previous example to follow; while in Shari`ah it means innovating a form of verbal, practical, or creedal `Ibadah which is not legislated by Allah (Praised and Exalted be He). Every Bid`ah leads to misguidance, according to what the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated. (Part No. 2; Page No. 457)
as for dividing Bid`ah in religion into five categories, this is groundless in Shari`ah. We recommend that you refer to the book entitled "Al-I'tisam" by Al-Shatibi, where he speaks about Bida' in an incomparable way; "Al-Sunan wal-Mubtada'at", "Al-Ibda' fi Madarr Al-Ibtida'", and "Tanbih Al-Ghafilin" by Al-Nahhas; "Zad Al-Mi'ad" by the great scholar
Ibn Al-Qayyim, and "Iqtida' Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqim" by the Sheikh of Islam
the word "every" does not denote exclusion, but inclusion as stated in the science of Usul-ul-Fiqh (principles of Islamic jurisprudence).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.