So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet’s order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment. (Al-Noor 63)

Literally Bida’ is anything new. In context of religion Bida’ means any new act in Islam with the sense of holiness attached to it.

Bukhari reported in chapter  باب حرم المدينة :

حدثنا أبو النعمان حدثنا ثابت بن يزيد حدثنا عاصم أبو عبد الرحمن الأحول عن أنس رضي الله عنه
: عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال المدينة حرم من كذا إلى كذا . لا يقطع شجرها ولا يحدث فيها حدث من أحدث فيها حدثا فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين

Narrated Annas that Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: Al-Medinah is a holy sanctuary from  that place till that place. Do not cut its trees and do not innovate in it. Anyone who innovates here a new thing then may the curse of Allah, His Angels and all Humankind, be on him (innovator).

Bukhari also reported in chapter باب إذا اصطلحوا على صلح جور فالصلح مردود

حدثنا يعقوب حدثنا إبراهيم بن سعد عن أبيه عن القاسم بن محمد عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت
 قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم  من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد

Narrated Aisha that Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said:  One who innovates in this affair (religion),  which is not from it,  then it is rejected.

Umer said: What a nice Bida’?

It is reported in Bukhari chapter

وعن ابن شهاب عن عروة بن الزبير عن عبد الرحمن بن عبد القاري أنه قال
خرجت مع عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه ليلة في رمضان إلى المسجد فإذا الناس أوزاع متفرقون يصلي الرجل لنفسه ويصلي الرجل فيصلي بصلاته الرهط فقال عمر إني أرى لو جمعت هؤلاء على قارئ واحد لكان أمثل ثم عزم فجمعهم على أبي بن كعب ثم خرجت معه ليلة أخرى والناس يصلون بصلاة قارئهم قال عمر نعم البدعة هذه والتي ينامون عنها أفضل من التي يقومون يريد آخر الليل وكان الناس يقومون أوله

Abdur-Rehman bin Abdul Qari said: I went out  with Umer bin Khattab  in a night in Ramadan (and went) to Mosque (of Prophet) then (saw there) People were praying in scattered … Umer said:   if I make them  (to pray behind) on a single Qari  then that would be better then he decided that and made them  (agreed) on Ubayy Ibn Ka’b and then I went out with him the other night and people pray their Salat with (appointed) Qari (i.e. Ubbay) and Umer said Nice new thing this one ….

The context of this event is that the Prophet prayed Salat Al-Taraveh for some nights and then stopped and said that I was afraid that it would become necessary for you. After the death of Prophet, Umer started the traveh  in congregation again but that is not an innovation. And how could Umer would start something new,  when Prophet had already  warned his companions to not to innovate anything new in Islam.

It is reported in Bukhari chapter باب في الحوض

حدثني عمرو بن علي حدثنا محمد بن جعفر حدثنا شعبة عن المغيرة قال سمعت أبا وائل عن عبد الله رضي الله عنه
عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال  أنا فرطكم على الحوض وليرفعن رجال منكم ثم ليختلجن دوني فأقول يا رب أصحابي ؟ فيقال إنك لا تدري ما أحدثوا بعدك

Narrated  Abdullah  that Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: I would be at my Hauz and some of people among you moved up towards me and then would be taken away and I would say: O Lord these are my companions?  It would be said: You are unaware of what they have innovated after you.

Prophet has also said (Sahih Bukhari):

وشر الأمور محدثاتها

and the worst acts are the innovations

In Sahih Muslim it is reported that Prophet said:

وشر الأمور محدثاتها وكل بدعة ضلالة

The worst acts are the innovations and all new things are (leading towards) astray

It is reported in Musnad Ahmed that:

حدثنا عبد الله حدثني أبي قال قرأت على عبد الرحمن بن مهدي مالك عن نعيم بن عبد الله المجمر عن على بن يحيى الزرقي عن أبيه عن رفاعة بن رافع الزرقي قال : كنا نصلى يوما وراء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فلما رفع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رأسه من الركعة وقال سمع الله لمن حمده قال رجل وراءه ربنا لك الحمد حمدا كثيرا طيبا مباركا فيه فلما انصرف رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من المتكلم آنفا قال الرجل أنا يا رسول الله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لقد رأيت بضعة وثلاثين ملكا يبتدرونها أيهم يكتبها أولا

Narrated Rafaa’ bin Rafay that we prayed behind the  Messenger of Allah peace be upon him when he raised his head from Ruku and said Hears Allah one who prasied him, said a person behind O our Lord praise thee utmost praise, the good one, bountyful one when Prophet finished the prayer he said who was the sayer ?  A man said: I  am (the sayer), O Messenger of Allah. Prophet said: I saw thirty and similar Angels proceeding quickly to write these first.

It is extracted from this narration that Prophet had probably not commanded that and even then Allah liked these words.  But this is a sporadic event in Prophet’s lifetime and there are other events in Prophet’s lifetime which Prophet disliked.

حدثنا أبو معمر حدثنا عبد الوارث عن عبد العزيز بن صهيب عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال
: دخل النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فإذا حبل ممدود بين الساريتين فقال ( ما هذا الحبل ) . قالوا هذا حبل لزينب فإذا فترت تعلقت فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم  لا حلوه ليصل أحدكم نشاطه فإذا فتر فليقعد

Narrated Annas that Prophet peace be upon him entered the Mosque and saw a rope streched between the pillars . He inquired What is this rope? Said: It is the rope for Zaynab, when she feels tired,  she holds it.  Prophet said: Not good for anyone among you to pray with such activity, so when you  feel tired then sit.

Now the Prophet is not among us and we cannot innovate new things in religion based on any special event.

There is a long list of Innovations or Biddah in Islam. The worst of those is Tasawuff developed after 100 AH and onwards. A book on Tasawuff is added for the perusal of reader

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