“Badei’ (the Originator) of the heavens and the earth.” [Soorah Baqarah (2): 117]
This means that Allah created the heavens and the earth without precedence. He also said:
“Say (O Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam): I am not Bid’an (a new thing) among the Messengers.” [Soorah Ahqaf (46): 9]
This means: ‘I am not the first of Allah’s Prophets to His slaves, many (Prophets) preceded me.’ When it is said that a person has performed a Bid’ah, this means that he has innovated a new thing without precedence.
Bid’ahs in the matters of life, like the new scientific inventions are permissible because originally, what is a matter of life or habit is permissible. The prohibited Bid’ah is to innovate in the religion. This is because the religion is ‘Tawqifiyah’ which means that religion can only be revealed by Allah and He has completely revealed His religion. Consequently, there is no room for any innovation. As will be manifest and clear from the following text.
Allaah Alone has the right to tell us how to worship Him. Allah says: “Follow what has been sent down to you from your Lord (the Qur’aan and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhaamd (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam) and follow not any Auliya (protectors, or helper etc. who order you to associate partners in worship with Allah), besides Him (Allah)…” [Soorah Al-Aa’raf (7): 3]
From the Tafseer (explanation) of this verse, we learn that this verse is a definite statement, explaining the right of Allaah Alone; to reveal and command His slaves, the manners of worshipping Him. And how could it be otherwise, when the true meaning of ‘Ibaadah’ is to worship Allaah in the way, which pleases Him, not following one’s own desires. As is known from the following verse:
“And who is more astray then one who follows his own lust (desires) without the guidance from Allah (revelation)” [Soorah Al-Qasas (28): 50]
In regards to this Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said:
“I warn you of the newly invented matters (in the religion), and every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire” [An-Nasa’ee]
And he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) used to declare at the beginning of his lectures,
“….and the best speech is the Speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), and the worst of all affairs are the newly invented matters (in the religion)” [Saheeh Muslim]
And he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) also commanded us, to reject everything, which has no basis in the religion saying:
“Whosoever does an action, which we have not commanded then it must be rejected.” [Saheeh Muslim]
“Whosoever introduces into this religion of ours that which is not a part of it then it must be rejected” [Musnad Ahmad]
In this Hadeeth is a clear evidence that every action which is not legislated in the Sharee’ah must be rejected’ [Jaami al-Ulum of ibn Rajab 1/120]
Consequently, every Bid’ah, that is introduced in the religion has to be rejected as for the reason that only Allaah and His Messenger (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) have the right to legislate in the Sharee’ah.
The Deen is complete
Allaah says in the Qur’aan: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion” [Soorah Maidah (5): 4]
This verse embodies a clear statement that the religion has been completed and so has no need of addition and deletion, and our noble Messenger (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “There is nothing that Allaah ordered you with except that I have ordered you with it, and there is nothing that Allaah forbade you from except that I have forbidden you from it” [al-Bayhaqee and others]
And he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said, “There is nothing that will take you closer to Paradise but that I have enjoined it upon you, and there is nothing that will take you closer to Hell but that I have warned you from it” [Musnad ash-Shafi’e and others]
So, Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) fulfilled the trust placed upon him by Allaah completely, explaining the religion to the people in it’s inward and outward form, making clear the lawful from the prohibited, the encouraged from the discouraged, even to the extent that he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) taught us the manners of going to the toilet, the manners of having sex with our partners etc.
Allaah also says in His Book, “and We have sent down to you Book (the Qur’aan) as an exposition (explanation) of everything, a guidance, a mercy and a glad tiding for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah).” [Soorah al-Maidah (16): 89]
Hence, Qur’aan contains the explanation of the entire religious principles, tawheed in all it’s various categories, even to the extent that it teaches us the manners of sitting in circles, visiting other people’s houses, the correct clothing etc. …
In the light of what has preceded we can now give the formal Sharee’ah definition of bid’ah… “A newly invented way (in beliefs and actions) in the religion, in imitation of the Sharee’ah, by which nearness to Allaah is sought, not being supported by any authentic proof, neither in it’s foundations nor in the manner in which it is performed.” [al-I’tisaam 1/231 of ash-Shaatibee]
Reasons behind the Existence of Bid’ah
(a) IGNORANCE: 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.
(b) 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
(c) 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.
(d) 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]
Bid’ah – Corrupting the Sunnah
We are taught in the revelation that the Sunnah shall become corrupted and this corruption would become the norm (custom), so much so that the people who follow the Sunnah would become as strangers, and those who call to purifying the sunnah would be slandered and reviled (hated).
The Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “Islaam began as something strange, and it shall return as something strange as it began. So (radhi allahu anhu) give glad tidings to the strangers.” It was asked, “who are the strangers?” He replied, “Those that purify and correct what the people have corrupted of my sunnah” [Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer [6/202]
And what is this corruption, it is none other than innovation, introducing into the pure religion of Allaah, new ways of worshipping Him that He has not taught, blemishing His religion with one’s own whims and desires, something that Allaah Himself condemns:
“Or do they have partners with Allah, who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed.” [Soorah Ash-Shura (42): 21]
The Companion Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud (radhi allahu anhu) laments: “How will it be when the trials overcome you, in which the young grow old and the old grow senile. And the people take the Bid’ah as the sunnah, and when it changes they say: the sunnah has changed. “It was said: When will this be? O Abu Abdur Rahmaan!” He replied: When your speakers are many and your scholars are few, and the wealthy ones are plenty and the trustworthy ones are few.” [ad-Daarimee]
How true this statement is today, that the innovations have become so widespread in the religion that the people have taken them to be the Sunnah. And when the true scholar speaks out against these innovations, he is labelled as a ‘wahhabi’ by the people because to them it seems that he is changing the sunnah. To Allah, we complain of the ignorance of our times!
So, once this topic becomes clear, a truth that none can deny; that all these innovations in the religions are a clear denial of the above mentioned verses and ahaadeeth, for none were done by the Companions (radhi allahu anhu). And in what has preceded is ample evidence for any fair-minded Muslim that all Bid’ah is blameworthy, and in fact a major sin. But unfortunately, the Muslims are in such a state today that the Words of Allaah and His Messenger (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) are no longer enough to convince them and certain groups of people have come up with belief that has very frail grounds in the Sunnah. For example, the belief of ‘Bid’ah hasanah’, i.e. a good Bid’ah, meaning that a scholar can introduce a new action of worship in Islaam, which can be considered to be good as long it does not contradict any of the principles of Islaam. This belief is completely false and has no basis in the Qur’aan neither in the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam).
This issue has been discussed in details, under the title “The Arguments of the Misguided”
Shunning the Bid’ah – Adherence to the Sunnah
The cure for shunning these newly invented matters has been specified in the texts of Qur’aan and the Sunnah: Allah has revealed the religion of Islam unto Prophet Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), and made adherence to his way, the cure to misguidance:
“Say… ‘And Verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from this Path.’ [Soorah An’am (6): 153]
Allah also says in the Qur’aan: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have an excellent example to follow for him, who hopes in (the meeting with) Allaah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much” [ (33): 21]
Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “I have left behind me two things, if you cling to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah” [al-Haakim]
“…and you will live to see great difference, so cling to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs after me, even if it be with your teeth” [Bukhare]
Abdullaah ibn Mas’ud (radhi allahu anhu) said: “Follow the sunnah of Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) and do not innovate, for what you have been commanded is enough for you.” [Ad-Daarimee]
Hudhayfah bin al-Yaman (radhi allahu anhu) said, “every act of worship that the Companions did not do, do not do it” [Abu Dawood]
The Taabi’ee, the Imaam, az-Zuhree commented, “Clinging to the sunnah is to be saved” as Imaam Maalik (rahimahillah) said, ‘like the Ark of Noah’, he who embarked upon it was saved, and he who did not was destroyed.” [Ad-Daarimee]
Abu Aaliyah said, “Learn Islaam, then when you have learned Islaam, do not turn away from it to the right or to the left. But be upon the Straight Path and be upon the Sunnah of your Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) and that which his companions were upon…
And beware of these innovations because they cause enmity and hatred amongst you, but stick to the original state of affairs that was there before they divided.” [al-Hilya of Abu Nu’aym 2/218]
In these narrations is clear evidence that the way of salvation and safety is to closely follow the Sunnah of our Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), and not to deviate from his path, denying the guidance of others, not accepting a corrupted form of the Sunnah.
“And whosoever does not contends with the Messenger after guidance has been made clear to him, and follows a way other than the way of the believers, We shall leave in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell, what an evil destination!” [Soorah an-Nisa (4): 115]
Arguments of the Misguided
Know, O noble reader! The saying that some Bid’ahs are good and that not every Bid’ah is a sin, rather some Bid’ahs are good is a clear misguidance. Every example that these misguided bring from the actions of the companions (radhi allahu anhu) to prove their belief of a ‘good innovation’, is invalid and it just shows their weak understanding of the Sunnah of Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), for all of these examples have a clear basis in the Sharee’ah, or occurred due to necessity, or from ijtihaad. Insha’allaah, we will mention a few of their arguments:
Initially, know that their saying is in opposition to the Hadeeth: “For every Bid’ah is a sin” [Abu Dawood]
The Prophet of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) clearly stated that all Bid’ahs are sins.
Ibn Rajab says regarding this issue: “The Prophet’s (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) saying: “every Bid’ah is a sin” is a unique way of speech that nothing (no Bid’ah) can escape. This is a major rule in this religion. It is similar to Prophet’s (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) saying: “Whoever innovates, in this religion of ours, whatever is not of it, is rejected.”
Whoever innovates a matter that has no basis in Islam, and introduced it to the religion, has sinned. The religion disowns whoever does that. This rule applies to all matters of belief, action, and saying, both in public or in secrecy.”
1.When Umar (radhi allahu anhu) was caliph, he collected the Muslims to pray in congregation for taraaweeh prayers and said, “what a good bid’ah this is” [Saheeh Bukhaaree]
Evidence is derived from this for ‘bid’ah hasanah’ (i.e. Good Bid’ah), but of course they have misunderstood the true intent of Umar (radhi allahu anhu), which can be clearly understood if one were to quote the context of this narration.
When the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) first prayed taraaweeh, the Muslims used to pray taraaweeh individually or in small groups, and then for three nights they prayed in one congregation behind the Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), and after this he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) stopped them from doing so by saying:
“”I feared that it would become obligatory upon you.” So after this again, the Muslims would pray individually or in small groups, and they remained like this throughout the rule of Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) and the beginning of the rule of Umar (radhi allahu anhu). Then Umar (radhi allahu anhu) came to the Mosque and saw the Muslims praying in small groups and so gathered them as one jama’ah to pray behind Ubayy bin Ka’b (radhi allahu anhu) and Tameem ad-Daaree (radhi allahu anhu) and stated the above phrase. [Reported in Bukhaaree, the Muwatta and others]
Firstly: How can the action of Umar (radhi allahu anhu) be considered to be new when the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) did it in his lifetime? Not only this but the Muslims were also in the habit of praying in small groups as well. Hence, the praying of taraaweeh in jamaa’ah was well established in the sunnah and the practice of the Sahaabah (radhi allahu anhu).
Secondly: The Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) gave the reason why he stopped the congregational prayer, for the revelation was still descending, and he feared that praying in obligation might become obligatory upon his nation, and that this might lead to be hard on them.
After the death of Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), the revelation ceased, and this fear was no longer present. Hence, Umar (radhi allahu anhu) re-established the congregation during his rule because he knew his action could not be made obligatory upon the ummah.
Thirdly: All the companions agreed to this action of Umar (radhi allahu anhu), there was a consensus (ijmaa) on this. And the scholars of ‘usul’ have stated that a consensus cannot occur except when there is a clear text for it in the Sharee’ah.
Fourth: So how do we understand this statement of Umar (radhi allahu anhu), “what a good bid’ah this is” when the action that Umar (radhi allahu anhu) called a bid’ah was done by the Prophet r? Bid’ah here can only be understood in it’s linguistic sense and not in it’s Sharee’ah sense i.e. when Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said this, he did not mean it in the legal sense that we may understand it today. For how many are the words that mean one thing in the language, but another thing in the Sharee’ah! The linguistic sense is: something new, because praying in one congregation was not present in the rule of Abu Bakr (radhi allahu anhu) and the earlier period of his own rule.
Hence, Abu Yusuf (rahimahullah) said, “I asked Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) about the taraaweeh and what Umar (radhi allahu anhu) did and he replied, ‘the taraaweeh is a stressed sunnah, and Umar (radhi allahu anhu) did not do that from his own opinion, and neither was there in his action any innovation, and he did not enjoin it except that there was a foundation for it with him and authorization from the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam)…” [‘Sharh Mukhtaar’ as quoted from in ‘al-Ibdaa’ (pg. 80) of Shaykh Alee Mahfooz]
2.The hadeeth: “Whosoever starts in Islaam a good practice (sunnah), he gets the reward of it and the reward of all those, who act on it. And whosoever starts in Islaam an evil practice (sunnah), he gets the evil of it and the evil of all those, who act on it.” [Saheeh Muslim]
The evidence they derive from this hadeeth is that people can invent new practices in Islaam, either good or bad. But were they to take this hadeeth in it’s full context then it would not be possible to infer such a thing.
Imaam Muslim(rahimahullah) reported this story from Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah (radhi allahu anhu) who also narrated: “Some people came to Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) wearing woollen garments. He (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) saw that they were in bad shape and in desperate need, so he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) urged the people to give them charity. People were very slow to respond, and it could be seen on his face (that he was upset). Then a man of the Ansaar brought a package of silver, then another came, then after him another and another, and his face was filled with joy. He (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing in Islam, and others do likewise after him, there will be written for him a reward like that of those who followed him, without detracting it in the least from their reward. Whoever starts a bad thing in Islam, and others do likewise after him, there will be written for him a burden of sin like that of those who followed him, without detracting it in the least from their burden.” [Saheeh Muslim, no. 1017]
Firstly: The word ‘sunnah’ used in the hadeeth must be understood in it’s linguistic sense (i.e. practice) not it’s sharee’ah sense (i.e. the life example of Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam) because otherwise it would imply that there is something bad in the sunnah.
Secondly: The Companion (radhi allahu anhu) who gave charity, did not do anything new, for giving charity had been legislated from the very early days of Islaam as the Makkan surahs prove, rather he was simply implementing a previously legislated matter. So, the statement of the Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), ‘a good sunnah’ was said at a time when the people were reluctant to give charity, so one man gave it and then others followed him – i.e. he renewed a sunnah that was being neglected – this is the meaning of ‘good practice’ – renewing an existing sunnah.
Hence, we do not stick just to the specific occurrence in the hadeeth, but we generalize it’s intent as it’s wording is general and as is established in the ‘usul’. The intent of this hadeeth is renewing the Sunnah when it has been neglected. This is why the early scholars of Islaam included this hadeeth under the chapter ‘The reward of the one who renews the sunnah” [as done by the 4th century Imaam al-Laalikaa’ee in his encyclopedic work detailing the belief of Ahlus Sunnah, ‘Sharh Usul I’tiqaad Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah’]
Thirdly: The meaning of ‘bad sunnah’ is to be understood in the similar vein, i.e. the one who renews an evil act, will get it’s evil… Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) gave the example of the two sons of Adam (alaihi as-salaam), one killing the other, one who killed got the sin of his action as well the sin of all those who follow hi in killing; without their sins decreasing, an killing had been forbidden from the time of the first Prophet (alahi as-salaam) to the last r
Fourthly: The hadeeth uses the terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and from what has preceded, it is clear that Islaam has already defined in it’s totality all that it is good and bad, and if we were to say otherwise, we would then be accusing the religion of incompleteness and deficiency
Some Common Innovations
Imitating the Kuffar nowadays has resulted in many Bid’ah’s. Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “You will follow the ways of those who were before you. (Jews and Christians)”[At-Tirmidhee] Some common Bid’ah today in the Ummah are:
Al-Mawlid – Celebrating the Prophet’s (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) birthday The practice of celebrating al-Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday) on the 12th day of Rabee’ al-Awwal each Hijri year, has no basis in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, rather this celebration is an imitation of the Christians, resembling their celebration of Prophet Jesus’s (alahi as-salaam) birthday, invented in the 4th century of Hijrah through the Shites This practice is known and performed as a sign of one’s love for the Messenger of Allah (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam). Although, the Qur’aan has enlightened the issue of loving and establishing the love of the Messenger (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) in a differing way: Allah says: “Say (O Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
This verse clarifies the fact that the love of the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) is merely a claim unless the proof of sincerity is exposed, which is to submit and abide to the laws and commands of Allah, revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam). In accordance to the above mentioned verse, one who claims to loves the Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), then it is for him to obey his (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) commands and follow his (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) Sunnah, for Allah says: “whatsoever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it” [(59): 7]
And according to the Sunnah of Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), exaggerating his (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) position in calling upon him as is done in these celebrations is not only against his saying but indeed Shirk. Allah says: “ invoke not anyone along with Allaah.” [(72): 18]
And he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “Do not exaggerate about me, as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say “the slave and Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallm)” [Bukhari]
Celebrating al-Mawlid even if it does not hold calling upon the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) and other sorts of sins; like the mingling of men and women, singing, narrating poems about the Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), which contain undeserved praise of the Prophet etc… is an innovation, since this practice as mentioned earlier is not a part of the religion, neither Prophet Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), nor his Companions (radhi allahu anhu) are known to have commemorated this celebration. Rather, when Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) was asked about fasting on Mondays, he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which, I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” [Saheeh Muslim]
Consequently, one who claims to love the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) and truly thankful to Allah, then according to what has preceded, he must celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) as he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) himself did.
Revering (Tabarruk) from certain places or personal effects Tabarruk means to ask for blessing, by means of which a thing is preserved and protected and increases in goodness. Tabarruk can be asked to Allah Alone, for He is the One who sends down the Barakah and preserves it. Companions (radhi allahu anhu) of Prophet (radhi allahu anhu) used to seek Barakah of Allah by the hairs of Prophet Muhammad (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam), and his personal effects. This special status is only for the Prophet and only during his lifetime. After his death, none of his companions (radhi allahu anhu) carried out such practice, to seek Barakah from certain places, people or thing is prohibited and considered Shirk. To believe that Barakah can be reached if one visits or touches certain thing, place or people, or Allah grants Barakah if one visiting some certain thing, place or people is a way to Shirk. From these are hanging, kissing or wearing certain Qur’aanic verses for Barakah, using charms amulets etc..
Bid’ah in Matters of Worship The religion of Islam is ‘Tawqifiyah’. No worship can be enacted that has no proof in the religion, as the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said: “Whoever does what is not of our matter then it is rejected.” [Muslim]
From the many Bid’ah in worship are the following: To converse the Niyyah (intention). It is a very common practice to converse the niyyah in preparation for prayer, like the saying “I intend to pray for Allah such and such rakah…” This act is a Bid’ah, for intention is a matter of the heart and not the tongue and moreover it has no proof from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Rather, Allah says: “Say: ‘Will you inform Allah about your religion? While Allah knows all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth and Allah is all-Aware of everything.” [(49): 16]
A type of Bid’ah in worship is to recite Fatihah in times of celebration or death, hiring people to recite the Qur’aan if death comes to someone, celebrating Israa wa Al-Miraj (ascension of Prophet (sallallhu alahi wa-sallam) and Hijrah. Also from these is to perform Umrah specifically in the lunar month of Rajab, Rajab is an ordinary month, there are no special Umrah, prayer or fast in this month, also form these is to specify prayer during the middle night of Sha’baan and to fast during the 15th of this month. Major Bid’ah are building monuments on graves, making graves as mosques, and visiting graves for Baraqah. All these celebrations are not valid in the Shar’iah