Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 6 - Al-Izz Bin Abd Al-Salam's Refutation of a Claimed 'Bidah Hasanah' and Refutation of the Doubts of Contemporary Innovators
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, Editor in Bidah Hasanah
Topics: Bidah Hasanah Good Innovation Al-Izz Bin Abd Al-Salam
Introduction and Background
We have firmly established that the scholars distinguish between the linguistic usage of the term bidah (البدعة) and the Shariah usage of the term bidah, and we have also explained that whenever any Scholar has used the word bidah in a praiseworthy way, it is being used strictly in its linguistic sense and not the Shariah sense. This was established from Ibn Hajar (in this article) and likewise Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali.
We also clarified in the previous article, that there is absolutely nothing in al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam's classification of bidah into wajib (obligatory), mandub (recommended) and mubah (permissible) which allows or which shows that he intended it to allow innovation into matters of worship. For reminder's sake, we will repeat that here, because it is necessary for what is to follow in this article:
We also established in the previous article through five or six fatawa of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam, that there is strong indication of a general spirit that is different to what the innovators of today are upon, who wrongly use his classification of bidah to justify departure and opposition to the Sunnah and introduction of innovations which have no basis at all in the Shariah, or which have a basis but which differ in their details and particulars from what is in the Sunnah.
These innovators have a vague and generalized form of argument (after a wrong reading of this classification by the likes of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam) which is as follows:
If something has a foundation in the Shariah, then it is not counted as a blameworthy innovation but is a praiseworthy innovation.
In such a broad and vague way, these innnovators try to pull the wool over the eyes of many unsuspecting general Muslims who sincerely wish to follow the Messenger (alayhis salaam) but are drawn instead towards innovated matters for which Allah sent down no authority and which neither the Messenger nor his Companions practised. They make the above statement to appear as if it is in agreement with what certain Scholars have stated, but those Scholars do not in fact intend what these innovators intend.
The aim of this article then, by Allaah's permission, is to pound and smash this argument and what better way to do it than use the writings of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam himself! Abject humility for today's innovators who misuse his words and misrepresent his intent for their own falsehood!
So please sit back, watch decades of deception and treachery destroyed in less than ten minutes, by Allaah's permission. Enjoy and rejoice!
The Debates Between al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam and Ibn al-Salah Regarding the Innovated Salat al-Raghaa'ib
In the seventh century hijrah (after 600H) a written debate took place between al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam (d. 660H) and Ibn al-Salah (d. 643H). It is related that al-Izz, when he took occupation of leadership and giving sermons ended many of the innovations that the khatibs and common people were upon (Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyyah al-Kubra 5/80) and from those affairs was the prayer called Salat al-Ragha'ib, and he explained that it is an evil innovation.
This raises a very important and helpful situation which is that as there is a great dispute between the true followers of the Sunnah, the followers of the Righteous Salaf and those grave-worshipping Sufis of today [who make lip-service in their claim of following the Messenger (alayhis salaam)] about the understanding and application of term "bidah (البدعة)", then we find here a great acid test to find out the truth from the falsehood and the genuine from the fake. Since, these innovators claim attachment to al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam, and in particular his classification of bidah (into wajib, mandub, mubah), then what better way to distinguish between what he actually means by it and how todays innovators twist it except by taking an actual innovation he himself refuted so we can see his particular understanding and application of the word bidah in action in broad daylight, such that there can not be any dispute or argument thereafter at all.
So we have our acid-test kit ready, and we await for the great moment of truth. We advise all readers (those who have been misled or who hold on to doubts) to put aside all whims and desires and accept the truth when it becomes clear and to fear the perversion of the heart, for when one deliberately and obstinately rejects the truth which stares him in the face, Allaah causes his heart to become perverse and misguided and make him blind to the truth.
What is Salat al-Ragha'ib
This is an innovated form of prayer which involves many repetitions of certain Surahs (Surah al-Ikhlas and Surah al-Qadr) and certain remembrances in twelve rakahs at the end of which there are two prostrations (after the tasleem). It is supposed to be done on a Friday night, preferably in the month of Rajab, preferably when one has been fasting and performed just prior to breaking one's fast. This was being practised by the people in the time of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam, and it was found in popular books such as Iyha Ulum al-Din of al-Ghazali. So he wrote a tract in refutation of it. Ibn al-Salah had a different view and considered it an acceptable ibadah (act of worship) and so he wrote a defence of it by writing against al-Izz's tract. Al-Izz then wrote another response and refuted Ibn al-Salah. Now al-Izz was not the only one who rejected it, it was also rejected by Abu Shaamah Shihab al-Din al-Maqdisi (d. 665H), Abu al-Khair Qutb al-Din Muhammad al-Zubaydi (894H), Abu Bakr al-Turtushi, Ali bin Ibraheem al-Attaar, al-Nawawi, Ibn Taymiyyah, Zakariyaa al-Ansari and others.
This debate has been referred to bin al-Yaafi'ee in Mar'aat al-Janaan (5/144):
There occurred between him (al-Izz) adn the Shaikh of Dar al-Hadith, the Imaam Abu Amr bin al-Salah very severe, intense disputations about that (the prayer) and each of them wrote in refutation of the other. And the investigating (scholars) judged the position of the Imam Ibn Abd al-Salam to be correct, and they testified for him with manifestation of the truth and correctness in those [raging] wars and battles.
A manuscript of these written debates is present and dated 712H being written by Ahmad bin Yahya bin Basharah, they comprise of three tracts (al-Izz's first tract, then Ibn al-Salah's refutation, then al-Izz's counter refutation). The manuscript also contains a fatwa of al-Nawawi in this very matter. Al-Subki also cites the first tract of al-Izz in his Tabaqat al-Shafi'iyyah al-Kubraa (5/105-107) but it is deficient and not complete. These are pictures of the first title pages of the initial tract of al-Izz and the response by Ibn al-Salah.
The three tracts together are very valuable and should really be translated fully, however, because that is outside the scope of this article, we are going to make a summarization of the essential points, and where certain statements are crucial, we will translate them and refer to the relevant page number in the published version.
Al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam's First Tract
Before continuing, please remember that vague, deceptive slogan used by the innovators, "If something has a foundation in the Shariah, then it is not counted as a blameworthy innovation but is a praiseworthy innovation" in order to confuse and deceive the people, and watch it dissolve and disappear like salt in water, as you read on. Al-Izz begins (p. 3) by explaining that innovation is of three types:
This is the essence of the first tract of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam and we can make some quick observations and points here:
First: Destruction of the claim that the "good innovation (البدعة الحسنة)" intended by those Scholars who use this term refers to innovations in worship. Rather, they are referring only to affairs which come under al-maslahah al-mursalah - a matter of public interest, that is not specifically mentioned in the Shariah, but which is supported and comes under the general principles of the Shariah and its goals of preserving the five necessities (life, religion, intellect, wealth and lineage). Second: That those who employ this phrase, "good innovation (البدعة الحسنة)" to refer to an action which actually has a basis in the Shariah, like congregational tarawih prayer in the mosque, then they are using this phrase (good innovation) purely in its linguistic sense, and these affairs can never be called "good innovations (bidah hasanah)" from a Shariah point of view. Third: Proof that al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam is refuting what enters into a bidah idafiyyah (relative innovation), that which from one aspect has a basis in the Shariah but which from other aspects differs and opposes the Shariah in its details and particulars. To learn more about biday haqiqiyyah and bidah idafiyyah, read this article and this one. In fact, al-Izz applied the saying of the Messenger "The most evil of affairs are the newly-invented ones, and every innovation is miguidance" to this innovated prayer, despite it having a basis in the Shariah (in the sense that prayer itself is from the Shariah). Fourth: All of the above shows clearly that when al-Izz classifies bidah into wajib (obligatory), mandub (recommended) and mubah (permissible) he did not intend it in the way today's innovators have misappropriated it for their own ends. It looks like they have merely taken the wording of his classification, and thrown away the actual meaning and intent. Then through that mere wording, they have proceeded to deceive the common-folk. And they have done the same with the statements of al-Shafi'i, al-Nawawi, Ibn Hajar and others.
Ibn al-Salah's Refutation of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam
It is crucial for us to document Ibn al-Salah's rebuttal before we go on to mention al-Izz's counter-response, because it really helps us to drive the stake into the argument of the contemporary innovators. We will simply summarize the response as concisely as possible, but will document the crucial elements by direct citation.
Pay attention now, this is where it get's interesting:
We can now make summary points and observations here:
First: His acknowledgement that the ahaadeeth with respect to this prayer (Salat al-Ragha'ib) are weak or fabricated (he tends to the latter view). Second: His use of non-specific generalized texts that speak of the virtues of prayer as evidence for a specific act of worship with specific details and particulars having no mention in the Shariah, and declaring it to be mustahabb on account of those general texts. Third: His claim that this newly-introduced act goes back to an act of worship which has a basis (asl) and support in the Shariah. Fourth: Ibn al-Salah is a great scholar and we excuse him for the mistakes in this regard because this matter became confusing for him, and it may have been the case that since the people were attached to this worship, if they were to be discouraged from it they would lose a significant attachment to the religion, and Allaah knows best. In any case, of utmost importance to us, is the arguments he used to defend this practice, which are echoed in the arguments of today's innovators.
This now leads us to the counter-response of al-Izz bin Abd al-Salaam, and here we will see the deceptions and frauds of todays innovators pounded back into the dust from whence they came, and of no avail is it to them to rely purely upon the wording and labelling of al-Izz's classification of bidah (into wajib, mandub and mubah) whilst throwing away or concealing the intended meaning and intent of al-Izz.
Al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam's Counter-Response
Please take a seat and watch as the fraud of the likes of GF Haddad, Faqir, your Abu Layths, your Kellers and others from the generality of the innovators is laid bare and buried beneath the ocean, walhamdulillaah. So here is al-Izz's counter response, we will summarize it and any crucial parts will be documented:
COMMENT: Allahu Akbar! You have to truly appreciate what has happened here.
As your GF Haddads, Kellers, Abu Layths, Faqirs, Naruijis and others slowly hurtle back to the earth with their doubts, lies and frauds, sent into orbit (in another galaxy that is), we'll explain it to you:
It has become clear that what al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam refers to as al-bidah al-hasanah is whatever is in agreement with the Sunnah in its foundation and its details, and this shows that al-Izz rejects the bidah idafiyyah (that which has a foundation in the Shariah from one aspect, but opposes it in others). What these people have been doing for time is deceiving the common folk by the mere fact that these scholars have used these terms, but without them being honest and explaining exactly what these Scholars mean by these terms and phrases. That can only be known when we look at their speech where they are refuting an instance of an innovation they consider to be evil and rejected. This then allows us to truly understand what they mean and what they do not mean by the terms and phrases they have employed.
COMMENT: This "Wahhabi"! Where is he getting all these answers to reject bidah?! Yes, please tell us when you find your answer! What you have just read in the quote is another fatal strike upon the doubts of today's innovators, because it shows that just because an act of worship has a foundation in the Shariah, it does not mean one is free to perform it in ways (with additions and specifications) which are opposed to the way it has come in the Shariah. Note that is exactly the understanding of Imaam al-Shafi'i. Al-Bayhaqi relates in Manaqib al-Shafi'i (1/469) with his isnad that Imam al-Shafi'i said:
المحدثات من الأمور ضربان: أحدهما ما أحدث مما يخالف كتابا أو سنة أو أثرا أو إجماعا، فهذه البدعة الضلالة، والثانية: ما أحدث من الخير لا خلاف فيه لواحد من هذا، وهذه محدثة غير مذمومة
The newly-invented matters are of two types: The first of them is that which has been introduced from that which opposes [something from] the book, or [something from] the sunnah, or a narration, or [a matter of] consensus. This is the misguided innovation. And the second is that which has been introduced of goodness and there is no opposition to anyone of these things [qur'an, sunnah, athar, ijmaa']. This is the newly-invented matter which is not blameworthy.
The first type al-Shafi'i is speaking of refers to that which opposes the Shariah and Salat al-Ragha'ib would come under it just as anything else which opposes the Shariah in its details would come under it even if it has support in its basis, foundation as is clear. And as for the second type, al-Shafi'i is speaking of the maslahah mursalah (such as compiling the Qur'an, and laying down foundations of fiqh, and being concerned with Arabic, and preservation of hadeeth, and building schools and hospices and so on), and these are the affairs that al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam says are obligatory or recommended in his particular classification of bidah. And all of this has nothing to do with innovation into matters of worship, which by now should be absolutely clear to the reader. This explains perfectly and fully exactly what is meant by these Scholars in their usage of the terms "praiseworthy bidah (البدعة المحمودة)" and "blameworthy bidah (البدعة المذمومة)"
It's time to clean up the debris:
First: al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam has shown rejection against an innovation in his time upon the same usool (foundations) that Ahl al-Sunnah show rejection against all innovations which may have a basis in their foundations in the Shariah, but which opposes the Shariah in the details and particulars, this is what is called bidah idafiyyah (relative innovation). Second: He refuted the arguments of Ibn al-Salah, which are the very arguments used today and which are, very ironically, justified by todays innovators because they claim that certain scholars have spoken of "good bidah (bidah hasanah)" or "praiseworthy bidah (bidah mahmudah)" - terms they clearly have not understood in the least. Third: A very clear explanation of exactly what al-Izz means by "bidah hasanah" and it is not what today's innovators claim it is, rather he is speaking about one of two things, either that which is in agreement with the Shariah having a specific evidence for it (like the congregational tarawih prayer) or that which is a maslahah mursalah, such as compiling the Qur'an and the various sciences which developed afterwards which became means (wasaa'il) through which the religion is preserved, and matters of public interest like schools, hospices and so on.
An important note is due here which is that someone might say and ask: How come al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam and indeed others, may have spoken or acted upon other affairs which are innovations according to you, and yet here you are using their words to clarify what was meant by them when they speak of "good innovation" or "praiseworthy innovation"? And the answer is that the basis of innovations can be weak or fabricated hadeeths which some Scholars may have taken to be authentic as a result of which they are mistaken in that regard, and had they known or come to the conviction that it is a baseless hadith they would not have acted upon that action. Then there could be other reasons too, and it is possible that a Scholar show rejection against innovations, yet still be upon innovations himself in other areas. So the fact there may be found that which is considered innovation in our view with some of these scholars - which has its own particular explanation - does not change the correctness of everything which has preceded, and we are simply pointing out the truth that is evident from a Scholar's speech and writing - even if he may have errors elsewhere, and the truth is the lost property of a believer. Further, these scholars in themselves are not the reference point, rather it is the Book and the Sunnah and all their views and opinions are judged by the Book and the Sunnah, so what agrees with them, is accepted and what disagrees with them is rejected. And what we have presented here from al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam, conforms to what is in the Book and the Sunnah and what the Companions and the Salaf were upon with respect to the understanding and application of the word bidah (البدعة) in its Shariah sense.
One of the great doubts and arguments of the innovators has been dismantled, destroyed and relegated to the dustbin of history, and it is not possible for anyone to continue to use this doubt except out of hypocrisy and wilful opposition and disdain of the Sunnah. Next, we will dismantle and destroy their use of the speech of Imaam al-Nawawi (rahimahullaah), by Allaah's aid and permission.
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- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 8 - Imam Al-Nawawi's Refutation of Contemporary Innovators Trying to Justify Bidah Hasanah in Matters of Worship
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 7 - A Diagrammatical Representation of the True and Real Intent of the Shafi'ite Jurists and Unveiling the Deception of the Contemporary Innovators
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 6 - Al-Izz Bin Abd Al-Salam's Refutation of a Claimed 'Bidah Hasanah' and Refutation of the Doubts of Contemporary Innovators
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 5 - Al-Izz Bin Abd Al-Salam on Adherence to the Sunnah and Avoiding Innovation in Worship
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 4 - Al-Izz Bin Abd Al-Salam's Classification of Bid'ah
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 3 - the Statements of Imaam Al-Shafi'i
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 2 - Understanding Matters of Public Interest (Al-Masalih Al-Mursalah)
- Refuting the Notion of Bid'ah Hasanah (Good Innovation) in Worship: Part 1 - Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani on the Usage of the Word Bid'ah in Its Linguistic Sense
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|al-fakihani al-izz bin abd al-salam al-masalih al-mursalah al-maslahah al-mursalah al-mawlid al-nabawi al-mawlid-al-nabawi al-nawawi al-shaatibee al-shafi'i al-shatibi baatiniyyah bidah haqiqiyyah bidah hasanah bidah idafiyyah fatimids funerals good innovation hajj ibn hajar mawlid misbahah mother's day niyaahah niyyah prayer public interest qur'an rosary beads shaking hands shiah sunnah hasanah tabarruk talbiyyah tasbeeh beads ubaydiyyah |