Hadith 5: Innovation

A clear distinction should be made about the actions of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] - whether they were done only from time to time or whether they were done continuously on regular basis. For example, some of the nawafil are things which he would do from time to time. We should observe this. E.g. Certain Surahs being recited on certain days - it is narrated that the Prophet, would sometimes recite Surah As-Sajdah (32) and Surah AI-Insan (76) on Fridays. But some Muslims would recite these two Surahs every Friday. We should be aware of this because if we do something regularly people will think that it is wajib even though it is not. If the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] did something only from time to time, then we too should do it from time to time, especially when we do it in congregation.

As it has been mentioned above, the actions of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] were done for different purposes. There were actions which he would do [not for the purpose of ibadah [worship]]. There are things he, would do because of the custom of that time. These actions were not done by the Prophet for the purpose of ibadah. We too should not do these actions for ibadah our intentions should match the intentions of the Prophet because for the purpose of ibadah. Turban, at the time of the Prophet was worn because it was the custom then. Some hadiths mention the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] using a stick. Again this was not done for the purpose of ibadah.

We should not follow these examples of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] for the purpose of ibadah.

How do we differentiate between the actions of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] which were done for the purpose of ibadah and those which were not?

The scholars say if the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] commanded us to do an action or commanded us not to do something, then this is considered an ibadah. Or if the Prophet mentioned that the doer will receive certain rewards if an action is done, then it is an ibadah, or if the failure for doing a certain action would result in punishment, then the action is an ibadah. This issue of introducing something which doesn't belong to the Shariah is associated with the concept that Islam is a complete religion [Surah AI-Ma'idah (5): ayat 3]:  

"Today have I perfected your religion for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that Islam shall be your Religion." 

Since it is complete, there is no need for additions or deletions to the religion. Therefore to introduce some new matter into Islam or to delete/omit something from it is an affront to Allaah and the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him].

 

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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