Terminology used in this Book
(Taken from Sheik Mahmoud Murad's book 'Common mistakes in Translation')
- 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.
- 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.
- [s] Sal'lal'laaho a'laihi wa sal'lam. : 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'.
___________________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 Oft-Forgiving, 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)
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.
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 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 Ab'bas, 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)
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said (Madaarij as-Saalikeen pg. 254-256.): '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!
- 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)
- 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. 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)
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 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.
If the slave succeeds and survives in this phase, by being careful and repenting continuously to Allah, and observing righteous deeds, Shaitan would seek to destroy him in the next phase.
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)
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)Read More +
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)Read More +
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.'