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Reasons behind the Existence of Bid’ah


Whenever people separate from the True Message, knowledge will decrease and ignorance will flourish. The Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) informed us about this adversity when he said: “Whoever lives (long) will witness many differences.” [Abu Dawood]

 And he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) also said: “Allah does not erase knowledge (from earth) by erasing knowledge from slaves (hearts). Rather, He erases knowledge through the death of scholars. When He leaves (earth) without scholars, people will take the ignorant as leaders (and scholars). They (the ignorant) will be asked and then give fatawah without knowledge. Then, they will be lead, and will lead astray.” [Ahmad]

People of knowledge are those who fight against Bid'ahs. When knowledge and scholars disappear from earth, then Bid'ah will see the light. Bid'ah will then appear and spread.

Following one’s own Desires

Whoever shuns the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, and follows his own desires, then pertaining him Allah says: “But if they answer you not (O Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) (i.e. do not believe in your teachings of Islamic Monotheism, nor follow you), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray then one who follows his own lust (desires) without the guidance from Allah (revelation)" [Soorah Al-Qasas (28): 50]

“Have you seen him who takes his own desires as his god, and Allah knowing (him as such) left him astray, sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah.” [Soorah Al-Jathiyah (45): 23]

So, following one’s own desires leads one to straying away from the Straight Path and indulging in evil innovation

Blind Following

“When it is said to them: 'Follow peoples opinion blindly prevents one from following the Straight path. Allah said what translated means: “Follow what Allah has sent down.” They say: “Nay! We shall follow what we found our fathers following. Even though their fathers did not understand anything, nor were they guided.” [Soorah al-Baqarah(2): 170]

This is the case today with those who blindly follow a Madh-hab. If they are called to following the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, leaving their traditions, what opposes them, they claim to follow their own Madh-hab, scholars, fathers or grandfathers, which leads them to indulge in many evil affairs known as rituals and traditions, originated from the worst of affairs; Bid’ahs resulting to the final abode in Hellfire.

Imitating the Kuffar

Imitating the Kuffar is what befalls one most in Bid'ahs, because actions of the Kuffar are built only upon corruption and misguidance.

Abu Waqid Al-Laithi (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “We were still new Muslims when we went to the battle of Hunain with the Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam). We found that the Mushrikeen had a tree, called ‘That Anwar’, which they revered and on which they hanged their weapons on. When we passed by a similar Sidrah we said: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), make for us ‘That Anwar’ as they  have.. Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “Allahu Akbar! It is the Sunnan (traditions of the Mushrikeen). You said by He Who has my soul in His Hand, what the children of Israel said to Moses: “Make for us gods as they have gods. He said: 'Verily! You are a people who know not.” [7:138] and he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: You will follow the traditions of those before you (Jews and Christians)”  [at-Tirmidhee]

In this hadeeth, we find that imitating the Kuffar (non-believers) is what drove Jews  (before them), and some of the companions (radhi allahu anhu), to ask for this ugly matter. They wanted gods to worship and revere other than Allah. This is the case with the majority of Muslims today, imitating the disbelievers, which is an opening to ruthless Bid'ahs in Islam.

Bid’ah is more Beloved to Shaytaan than Sinning

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (rahimahullah) said: "Innovations are more beloved to Shaytaan than sin. Since a sin may be repented from but an innovation is not repented”         [Sharh Usul I'tiqaad of al-Laalikaa'ee (d.414) no.238]

This is because the innovator believes that he is doing something good and therefore sees no need to repent.

He also said, "…so cling to the original state of affairs" [al-Hilya 6/376] meaning stick to the way of Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) and  Companions

Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) said, "Stick to the narrations and the way of the salaf, and beware of the newly invented matters for all of it is innovation" 

[Sawnul Muntaq of as-Suyutee pg.32]

Imaam Maalik (rahimahullah) said, "He, who innovates an innovation in Islaam regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) has betrayed his trust to deliver the message as Allaah says: "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion” [Soorah Al-Maidah (5): 4] [al-I'tisaam]

Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullah) said, "The fundamental principles of the sunnah with us are…avoiding innovations and every innovation is misguidance" [Usul as-Sunnah of Imaam Ahmad pg.1]

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