Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance

Written by:

Dr. Abdurrahmaan al-Sheha

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. [e] 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'.

   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 e 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 e) 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 e 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 e is not following his guidance. The Prophet e 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 e 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 e 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 e 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) 

     Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said[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 e 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 e 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 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 e 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 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.

   The worst thing that results from Bid'ah is forging lies against the Prophet e. This is a grave sin, the Prophet e 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 e 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 e would suffice a person in every way, and there would be no reason for him to resort to any Bid'ah.

   The Prophet e 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

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 e clarified and showed his Ummah every good and warned them from every evil. The Prophet e 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)

   Whoever believes other than that would certainly have disbelieved in the text of the Qur'an which was revealed to the Prophet e.

   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 e 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 e 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)

 The ruling of adding something to the Deen which is not legalized by Allah or the Prophet e

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 e…they alone are the ones who would enter Jannah (Heavenly Gardens).[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 e 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 e also said:

'Indeed the most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad e 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)

   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 e  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.

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.'[3]

 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 e and his rightly-guided Caliphs adhered to from creedal beliefs, observance of practices, and sayings…this is the complete Sunnah.'[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 e) 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 e 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:[5] Muhammad e 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 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 All-Knowing, 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 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'[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.'[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 e 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 e) after the right path has been shown 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  e 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.'[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)

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 e forbade his Ummah to frequently visit his grave, for the fear that it would be worshipped to the exclusion of Allah. The Prophet e 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 e said: 'Three people came to the houses of the Prophet's wives e 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 e 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 e or practiced by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, then this person is an innovator, for the Prophet e 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 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 e 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.  

 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 e 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 e 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 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 e said:

'I will be the first near the Hawd[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 e 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 e 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 e. A person would not safeguard himself by innovating matters in the Deen!

Ali, with whom Allah is pleased, said that the Prophet e 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)    

 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.'[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 Ahlus-Sunnah 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.'[11]

Umar b. Abdul-Aziz, may Allah have mercy on him, said: 'The Messenger of Allah e 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 would keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell, and what an evil abode it is.'[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.[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.'[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.'[15]

 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 e:

من سن في الإسلام سنة حسنة فله أجرها وأجر من عمل بها بعده من غير أن ينقص من أجورهم شيء، ومن سن في الإسلام سنة سيئة كان عليه وزرها ووزر من عمل بها 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 e said: 'Every Bid'ah is a means of deviation.' It is impossible that the Prophet e utters a tradition which contradicts another. The scholars are unanimous on this matter.

To clarify this further, the Prophet e said: 'Whoever revives a good Sunnah practice in Islam…' Bid'ah practices are not part of Islam! Furthermore, the Prophet e 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 e; so he e called people to give them whatever they could afford. A man from the Ansar came to the Prophet e holding a pouch full of silver which was quite heavy, and he placed it in front of the Messenger e. The Prophet e 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 e 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 e 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 e  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 البدعة هذه

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 e.

The Prophet e 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 e 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!'

 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 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 e 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.

 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 e) and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (e) 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 e 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 e is rich with his actions, statements and approvals. There is no need for a person to resort to applying Bid'ah practices. The Prophet e 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)

*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 e 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 e 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 e alive he would have no choice but to follow me.'   (Ahmed #15195)

*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 e 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)

*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 e. 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 e). "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 e 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, 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 e) 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 e 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 have! The Messenger of Allah e 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 e 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 e.

 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 Qudsi[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 e; 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 e 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 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.[17]

 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 e 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 e 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 e.

The Prophet e  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 e. 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.

 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 e 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 e 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 e 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 e 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 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 e  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 e:

'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 e 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 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.

 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 e 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.

b. Rulings; i.e. it would then mean that the act is endorsed by the Sunnah.  

20. Taraweeh: Night prayers, which are prayed during Ramadhan.

21. Taqwah: Piety.

22. Ummah: Nation.

23. Wali: The pious, god-fearing, upright Muslim, who is mindful of Allah, observes acts of worship, and abstains from the unlawful. 



[1] Madaarij as-Saalikeen pg. 254-256.

[2] Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahman fi Tafseer Kalam al-Mannaan for Sheik as-Sa'di, may Allah have mercy on him.

[3]  Ibid

[4]  Jami' al-Uloom wal-Hikam 1/120.

[5] Fatawa al-Kubra pg. 178-179

[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 as-Sa'di, may Allah have mercy on him; pg. 725.

[8]  Fatawa al-Kubra pg. 194

[9]  The pool which Allah granted the Prophet e; whoever drinks from it once, will never feel thirsty thereafter.

[10]  Fath al-Bari 13/302

[11]  Usool al-I'tiqaad 1/72

[12] Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/159

[13] Talbees Iblees pg. 14

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/213

[16] Hadeeth Qudsi: Its meaning is from Allah, whereas its words are from the Prophet e.

[17] Al-Ibdaa' fi Kamaal ash-Shar' for Sheik Muhammad b. Uthaimin.