Proof From the Prophet, Companions, the Salaf and the Scholars That the Bid'ah Idafiyyah (Despite Having a Basis in the Shariah) Is Rejected: Part 5 - Al-Nawawi Refuting Bidah Related to Prostration|
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Tuesday, July, 26 2011 and filed under Foundations
Key topics: Bidah Haqiqiyyah Bidah Idafiyyah Al-Nawawi
The grave-worshippers and innovators from the Sufis and other than them attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the common folk by deceiving them about numerous statements which have come from the Scholars which appear to legitimize what is referred to as "bid'ah hasanah" (good innovation). The statements they quote come from Imaam al-Shafi'ee (see here), or al-Nawawi (see here) or al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam (see here, here, and here) and others. The crux of the matter is that some of the Scholars have used the word bid'ah in a broader linguistic sense to refer to actions which either have a specific foundation in the Shari'ah (tarawih prayer in congregation, and established acts of goodness such as giving charity) or are matters of public interest that relate to ways and means (wasaa'il) through which beneficial interests are realized and maintained. All of this is different to maqaasid (goals, objectives) which is the case in the innovations in worship (ibaadaat), which are sought in and of themselves. To give an example, the compilation of the Qur'an is not an end sought in itself but as a means to preserve the religion, and whilst there is no specific injunction about putting the Qur'an into a single book, there is a non-specific broad support for it by the fact that preservation of the religion is obligatory and since this cannot be achieved except through preserving the Qur'an, putting the Qur'an into a single book is obligatory (upon the reasoning of those Scholars). This is a matter of public interest to enable the preservation of one of the five necessities, in this case, religion (the others being life, intellect, wealth and lineage). So these matters in reality do not come under the definition of bid'ah as it has come in the Shari'ah, but enter into the wider linguistic meaning. This is preciesly what al-Shafi'ee (and others) intended as is explained and proven in this series. What we aim to do in this series is to provide evidences and examples that demolish the argument of the innovators that "what they are doing of innovations in worship have a basis in the Shari'ah" and therefore cannot be shown rejection. This is gross deception and they are in reality confusing between bidah idafiyyah (condemned in the Shariah) and matters that have been labelled bidah from a purely linguistic perspective - to have more clarity on this, see the comphrehensive diagram in this article. Once it is clear that these Scholars speak of "praiseworthy bidah" and some of them enter bidah into the rulings of wajib, mandub and mustahabb only from the angle of excluding these matters from being wrongly included within the bidah that is blameworthy in the Shariah, we see that they are subsequently in complete agreement with all the other Scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah that bidah in worship (as in that by which nearness to Allaah is sought) is absolutely prohibited and is repugnant and evil and all innovation (as intended by the Shariah) is misguidance. This is made clear by all the quotes in this series inshaa'Allaah from the Messenger (alayhis salaam), the Companions, the Salaf, and the Scholars in general.
Quotes from Shafi'i Jurists
We have some valuable quotes in some of the more lengthy articles dealing with the academic fraud of todays Innovators in trying to twist the statements of al-Shafi'i and some of the later Shafi'ite jurists such as al-Nawawi and al-Izz bin Abd al-Salam to justify innovations in worship in a broad sense. Because these are important quotes and are buried in long articles, we are going to isolate them and give them their own separate article for easy reference and linking purposes. At the same time it should be pointed out that whilst there is agreement between the general tone and spirit in the rejection by these scholars of innovations in worship and between what the Salaf were upon of the same, because of their particular orientation in understanding this matter, some of these jurists may have allowed certain affairs which the Salaf never allowed and which the Salaf would have treated as blameworthy innovations.
Imam al-Nawawi's Refutation of A Bid'ah Pertaining to Prostration
Imam al-Nawawi wrote in his book al-Majmu Sharh al-Muhadhdhab (Maktabah al-Irshad, Jeddah, 3/565):
(Subsidiary Issue:) If a person humbled himself to Allaah, the Exalted, and sought nearness to Him through an (isolated) prostration (sajdah) without any reason necessitating that a prostration of gratefulness be made (to Allah), then it has two positions, Imam al-Haramayn (al-Juwayni) and others have cited it. The first, that it is permissible, this was said by the author of al-Taqrib, and [the second] and most sound of them both is that it is not permissible. This view was validated by Imam al-Haramayn and others, and the Shaykh, Abu Hamid (al-Ghazali) held this definitively. Imam al-Haramayn said:
This is another example of where the true and real purpose of the Shafi'ite jurists behind their understanding of bidah (innovation) upon its linguistic definition becomes clear, and by which they never, ever intended what todays Innovators have twisted it for, to justify innovations in worship. Their real intent has been made sufficiently clear in this series of articles which you can refer to for further elaboration and this diagram is useful as quick reference point. The point we wish to make here is that an isolated prostration is not permitted except in two situations, a) prostrating due to reciting a verse of prostration (sujud al-tilawah) and b) prostrating out of gratefulness (sujud al-shukr). Any other prostration for whatever reason outside of these two reasons are unlawful and are innovations. This because worship (ibaadah) even if it has a basis in the Shariah in its foundation (as in the act in itself), it must also agree with the Shariah in its details and particulars, and these may include at least one of the following (as examples):