(9). Now I will outline a few principles, which will assist in easily differentiating between Sunnat and Bid`ah. The mother of all principles is the one I have mentioned above, that to understand anything to be part of the Deen which was not practiced by the Salf-e-Saaliheen, is a Bid`ah. Now, we will list some corollary principles:
Firstly: The Shariah has stipulated certain acts for certain occasions. Now, if we, due to our own logic and desires, decide to enact a stipulated action on another occasion, then it will be a Bid`ah. For example, Durood Shareef is read in the last sitting (Tashahhud) of Salaat. Now, if we decide through our own „Ijtihaad‟ that since Durood Shareef is no bad thing, in fact, it is a good thing, there will be no harm if we will incorporate it in the first Tashahhud of Salaat. This „Ijtihaad‟ of ours will be incorrect and the recital of Durood Shareef in the fist Tashahhud will be regarded as a Bid`ah. The Fuqahaa have ruled that if a person mistakenly recites Durood Shareef in the first sitting, then if he only recited Allaahumma Salli Ala, it would not be necessary for him to make Sajdah-e-Sahw, but if he recited Ala Muhammed, then Sajdah-e-Sahw would be incumbent upon him. If he does not make Sajdah-e-Sahw, then his Salaat will have to be repeated.
Or for example, if a person makes this „Ijtihaad‟ that since As-Salaato Was Salaamu Alaika Yaa Rasulullaah is read at the blessed grave of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), he will recite the same whilst sitting in his house. This „Ijtihaad‟ of his is incorrect and will be termed a Bid`ah. The reason being that the Fuqahaa of the Ummat have stipulated this specific Durood for this specific occasion, and if its recital at any other occasion was permissible then the Shariah would have consented to it and the Salf-e-Saaliheen would have practiced upon it.
Another example of this is that once in the gathering of the Sahaabi, Hadhrat Saalim Bin Ubaid (radhiAllaahu anhu), a person sneezed and he said: “As-Salaamu Alaikum”. Hadhrat Saalim (radhiAllaahu anhu) said: “Upon you and your mother”. This person was astonished. Hadhrat Saalim (radhiAllaahu anhu) then said: “I have said exactly what I heard Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) saying on a similar occasion. Once in a gathering of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) a person sneezed and he said „As-Salaamu Alaikum‟, whereupon Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) said: „Upon you and your mother‟. Thereafter he said: „If any of you sneezes, then he should say „Alhamdulillah‟ and the person who hears this should reply with: „Yar Hamukallaah‟, whereupon the sneezer will say: „Yaghfirullahu Li Walakum‟.” [Mishkaat, page 406]
The object being that to veer away from the occasion which the Shariah has specified for saying As-Salaamu Alaikum and use it for another occasion is a Bid`ah. Another example of this is to say the Athaan at the graveside. Everyone is well aware that besides the five daily Salaat and Jumuah, to give the Athaan and Iqaamat for the two Eids, Salaat Kusoof and Khusoof (solar and lunar eclipses), Salaatul Istisqaa and Janaazah Salaat is incorrect. The Shariah has not specified this. Now if any person decides to make his own „Ijtihaad‟ that just as the Athaan is made for people to gather for the five daily Salaat, the same be done here. Hence, Athaan must be called out on these occasions also. Then this „Ijtihaad‟ of his will be completely wrong, because had the reasoning offered by his honourable brain been worthy of any notice, then the Shariah would have specified the Athaan for all these occasions as well.
Or for example, a person makes this „Ijtihaad‟ that because it is mentioned in a Hadith that shaitaan flees upon hearing the Athaan, so since it is important to keep shaitaan away from the deceased, we will give the Athaan at the graveside after the burial. Then this „Ijtihaad‟ will also be summarily dismissed and rejected. The reason being that firstly, shaitaan‟s enticement is only for before death, what work has shaitaan with a person who has already passed away?
Secondly, had this reasoning been correct then it would have indeed occurred to Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah and the Taabieen. However, the giving of the Athaan at the graveside is not established by Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam (radhiAllaahu anhum) or the Tabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim). For this reason have the Fuqahaa of the Ahle Sunnat branded this act a Bid`ah. Allaamah Shaami (rahmatullahi alaih) writes under the section Baabul Athaan, that it is recorded in the footnote of Bahrur Raa`iq, that some Shaafis have proffered the giving of the Athaan on the occasion of death as being Mustahab citing as a proof the giving of the Athaan at the time of birth. However, Ibn Hajar (rahmatullahi alaih) has rejected this analogy. [Raddul Mukhtaar, page 385, vol.1]
He further states under the section of burial of the dead, that the author (of Durrul Mukhtaar) has sufficed upon only stating the Masnoon method of burial. This indicates towards this fact that to give the Athaan on the occasion of burial, as is in vogue nowadays, is NOT Masnoon. Ibn Hajar (rahmatullahi alaih) has clearly stated in his Fatwa that this act is a Bid`ah. [Ibid. page 235, vol.2]
Another example is the common practice of shaking hands after Salaat. The Shariah has specified Salaam and Musaafahah (shaking hands) for those who have come from outside. But, the futile act of those who are sitting in one gathering to suddenly make Musaafahah and Mu`aanaqah (embrace), was never practiced by the Salf-e- Saaliheen. It is unknown where the practice of the latter people sprung from of making Musaafahah after Fajr, Asr, two Eids and other Salaats. The Ulama of the Ahle Sunnat have clearly branded this act a Bid`ah. Sheikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaih) states in the commentary of Mishkaat under the section of Musaafahah: “This practice of some people making Musaafahah after the general Salaats and Jumuah Salaat is no Sunnat. It is a Bid`ah.” [Ash`atul Lam`aat, page 22, vol.4]
Allaamah Hadhrat Ali (radhiAllaahu anhu) Qaari (rahmatullahi alaih) states in the commentary of Mishkaat: “On this basis, some of our Ulama have stated this act to be Makrooh. In this case it is a contemptible Bid`ah.” [Footnote of Mishkaat, page 401]
Allaamah Ibn Aabideen Shaami (rahmatullahi alaih) states: “And some of our (Hanafi) Ulama and others have expressly stated the impermissibility of the customary Musaafahah after Salaat, notwithstanding the fact that Musaafahah is Sunnat. The reason for this impermissibility is nothing other than (the fact that) it is not reported as being an occasion for Musaafahah by the Salf-e- Saaliheen.)” [Raddul Mukhtaar, page235,vol.2]
I have outlined here just a few examples regarding this matter otherwise there are thousands of examples in front of me. The crux of the matter is that it is a Bid`ah to carry out an action at a time other than which the Shariah has specified.
Secondly: it is a Bid`ah to stipulate conditions for those things which the Shariah has left general. For example, the Shariah has not specified any particular occasion for visiting the graveyard. Now, to specify a particular time for visiting the grave of a Buzrug and to understand it as being necessary is a Bid`ah. Hadhrat Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaih) was asked whether it was correct to specify a day for visiting the graves or to go there on the day of Urs, which was held on a specific day? Hadhrat Shah Sahib (rahmatullahi alaih) replied: “To specify a particular day for visiting the graves is a Bid`ah, whilst actual visiting (of the graves) is permissible.
It was not a habit of the Salf-e-Saaliheen to specify a particular day. It is a Bid`ah for this reason that while in reality it is permissible but the specifying of a time is Bid`ah. An example of this is the making of Musaafahah after the Asr Salaat, which is a custom in certain areas. However there is no harm in making Dua for the deceased on the day of Urs, but to deem it as being necessary is a Bid`ah.” [Fataawa Azeezi, page 89, vol.1]
And nowadays with the nonsense that takes place at the Urs no rational and right-minded person will regard it as being permissible. Similarly the Shariah has not specified a particular occasion for conveying Isaal-e-Thawaab to Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), buzrugs and general Muslims. Whenever a person desires he may convey Isaal- e-Thawaab.
Therefore it is a Bid`ah to specify a particular time and a particular way and to understand it as being necessary.
Hadhrat Shah Abdul Azeez Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaih) was asked whether it was correct to prepare food as Isaal-e-Thawaab in Rabiul Awwal on the occasion of the demise of Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and in Muharram for Hadhrat Hussein (radhiAllaahu anhu) and other Ahle Bait. He replied: “For this act it is a Bid`ah to specify a certain day and month. Yes, if an action is done at a time when maximum reward is reaped, for example, during the month of Ramadhaan, a believer‟s actions are multiplied seventy times. Then there will be no harm (to make Isaal-e-Thawaab), because Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) had encouraged it (i.e. to do good actions in this month). According to Hadhrat Ali (radhiAllaahu anhu) those things which Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) had not encouraged or specified a time for, are vain and futile acts, and such acts are contrary to the Sunnat of Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam). Those things which are contrary to the Sunnat are Haraam. If anyone desires he may give charity secretly on any day he wishes. So that there is no name and fame involved.” [Fataawa Azeezi, page 93]
Based on this rule the Ulama of the Ahle Sunnat have branded the acts of teeja, saatwa, nowa, chaaliswa as Bid`ah.
Sheikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehlwi (rahmatullahi alaih) states in Sharhe Safar –e-Sa`aadet: “It was not the habit of our beloved Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) to gather (the people) for the deceased except for the (Janaazah) Salaat, and to recite Qur`aan Majeed, to make Khatam, neither at the graveside nor any other place. All these acts are Bid`ah and Makrooh. Yes, to make Ta`ziyat, console the bereaved, to exhort them with patience, are Sunnat and Mustahab acts. But the acts of gathering on the third day and other frivolities, and to make use of the wealth of the deceased the right of orphans without bequest are all Haraam and Bid`ah.” [page 273]
From this we understand that the custom of Rasme Qul which takes place in our areas where people gather and make khatam and enact other customs are all against the Shariah and Bid`ah. Without doubt it is correct to convey Isaal-e- Thawaab to the deceased by means of Thikr, Tasbeeh, Tilaawat, Durood Shareef and charity. But to gather at the house of the deceased and to eat food which is prepared with his wealth and to feed others are contrary to the Shariah.
Hadhrat Qaadhi Thanaaullaah Paani Pati (rahmatullahi alaih) mentioned in his Final Bequest: “After my demise worldly customs such as Daswah, Beeswah, Shashma`ee, etc must NOT be carried out, because Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) has not made bereaving permissible for more than three days, in fact, it is Haraam.” [Maala Budda Minh, page 160]
Allaamah Shaami (rahmatullahi alaih) states in the footnote of Fathul Qadeer: “It is nor permissible for the bereaved to entertain (i.e. invite others for meals). Because indeed this (entertainment – inviting for meals) is done during times of happiness and not on the occasion of grief and sorrow. This is a deplorable Bid`ah. It is reported by Imaan Ahmed and Ibn Majah in an authentic narration from Jareer Bin Abdullaah who said: „We used to regard the gathering at the house of the deceased and the preparation of food as Nauhah (customary lamentation).” [Raddul Mukhtaar, page 240, vol. 2]
Allaamah Shaami (rahmatullahi alaih) also states in Fataawa Bazaaziya : “It is Makrooh to prepare food on the first day, the third day, after a week, to take food to the grave, to make arrangements and invite others for Tilaawat of Qur`aan Majeed, to make Khatam, recital of Surah An`aam or Ikhlaas, etc. It is Makrooh to gather and feed pious people and Qaaris for recitation of Qur`aan Majeed.” Further on he states: “According to us and the Shaafis, this act is Makrooh (-e-Tahrimi), especially when amongst the inheritors there are minor children and persons who are not present. Besides this, there are may other distasteful events that take place at these occasions, for example many candles and lamps are lit, drums are played, women and beardless boys are gathered, money is paid for the recital of the Qur`aan Majeed, etc., etc. All such things occur in these times. There is absolutely no doubt that these things are Haraam and Baatil.” [Ibid.]
Thirdly, it is incumbent to carry out an act of Ibaadat in the way prescribed by the Shariah. It is Haraam and Bid`ah to veer from and change this prescribed way. For example, the Shariah has stipulated that the Qiraat of the daytime Salaat be read softly and that the nighttime, Jumuah and Eid Salaats be read in a loud voice. Now if a person out of enthusiasm decides to perform Zuhr and Asr with loud Qiraat then this act is a Bid`ah and impermissible. Or for example, in the loud Salaats SubhaanakAllaahumma and A`uzu Billaah are read softly. Now if a person decides to read these loudly then it will be impermissible. The son of Hadhrat Abdullaah Bin Mughaffal (radhiAllaahu anhu) once asked him if it was permissible to recite Bismillaah loudly before reciting Surah Faatihah in Salaat. He replied: “Son! This is a Bid`ah. I performed Salaat behind Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiAllaahu anhu) and Hadhrat Umar (radhiAllaahu anhu), and I have not seen any of them recite Bismillaah loudly.”
Or for example, the Ahaadith Shareef specify numerous Duas and Thikrs to be recited after the completion of Salaat, but our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) never recited these in a loud voice. In fact, each person recited them individually. From this we understand that the Shariah has intended this method for these Duas and Thikrs, and the Ummat has been instructed likewise. Contrary to this, you may have noticed that in some Masaajid people sway their heads from side to side and recite the Kalimah Shareef in loud voices. This method is Bid`ah because it is in opposition to the method of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) and the Shariah.
Fourthly, it is a Bid`ah to perform those Ibaadaat in a congregational form which the Shariah has specified to be individually performed. For example, the Fardh Salaat is read in a congregation and the Shariah has intended it to be performed congregationally. However the Shariah has specified the Nafl Salaat be performed individually. It is for this reason that our Fuqahaa have said that it is Makrooh and Bid`ah to perform Nafl Salaat in congregation.
Allaamah Shaami (rahmatullahi alaih) states: “It is for this reason that the Ulama have prohibited the performance of congregational Nafl Salaat, as has been initiated by some worshippers, because it has not been narrated to be performed in this fashion on these particular nights. Even though Salaat on its own is a commendable and virtuous act.” [Raddul Mukhtaar, page 235, vol. 2]
From this we understand the ruling of performing congregational Salaat on the nights of Baraat, Mi`raj and Qadr. Or for example, the Shariah has stipulated that the Dua after a congregational Ibaadat (Salaat) be made congregationally, and the dua after an individually performed Ibaadat be made individually. Therefore it has not been reported from Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) or the Tabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim) that they made congregational Dua after Sunnat or Nafl Salaat. Therefore the custom which is prevalent in our midst where the congregation wait for the Imaam after their Sunnat and Nafl Salaat for him to make a Dua whereupon the people will say Aameen is incorrect. There will be no harm if this is done very rarely where the people wait for a pious person, so as to join him in Dua. But to make this a habit is Bid`ah.
Or for example, the Shariah has not stipulated that Thikr, Tasbeeh, Durood Shareef etc. be read congregationally. In fact, whatever a person can read individually he should do so. Now to gather for performing these Thikrs is a Bid`ah.
Citing from Muheet, Fataawa Aalimgiri states: “The recitation of Surah Kaafiroon until the end in congregational form is Makrooh because it is a Bid`ah. This act has neither been reported from the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) nor the Tabieen.” [Page 217]
Fataawa Bazaaziya states, citing from Fataawa Qaazi Khaan: “It is Haraam to raise the voice in Thikr. It has been authentically reported from Ibn Mas`ood (radhiAllaahu anhu) that he heard a group of people who were gathered in the Masjid reciting Kalimah Tayyibah and Durood Shareef in a loud voice. He approached them and said: „we have not seen this during the era of Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam). I do not regard you except as Bid`atees. He continuously repeated this until he expelled them from the Masjid.” [Page 378, vol. 6]
From this we understand that the practice which is in vogue nowadays where people recite in loud voices Kalimah Tayyibah and Durood and salaam in the Masaajid, is a Bid`ah. It is incumbent to cleanse the Masaajid from these innovations.
Or for example, the Shariah has stipulated a specific method for the performance of Janaazah Salaat. However, it has not taught us to make a congregational dua after the Janaazah Salaat neither has this been the practice of our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) or the Taabieen (rahmatullahi alaihim.). For this reason, it is a Bid`ah to make a congregational dua after the Janaazah Salaat and to deem it a Sunnat. If someone wants to make a dua after the Janaazah Salaat, then immediately after the Salaat, without any delay, the bier has to be lifted and taken away. During this procedure each person can make an individual dua.If the desire is to make dua then, at the graveside one may make abundant dua.