The Concept of Bid'a in the Islamic Shari'a
[A5] Paperback Booklet - 10 pages,
by Nu Ha Mim Keller.
Published by Muslim Academic Trust,
Cambridge, UK. Description :
There are few topics that generate as much controversy today in Islam as what is sunnah
and what is bid'a
or reprehensible innovation, perhaps because of the times Muslims live in today and the challenges they face. Without a doubt, one of the greatest events in impact upon Muslims in the last thousand years is the end of the Islamic caliphate at the first of this century.
' Beware of matters newly begun, for every matter newly begun is innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in hell.'
point is that scholars say that the above hadith
does not refer to all new things without restriction, but only to those which nothing in Sacred Law attests to the validity of. The use of the word every in the hadith
does not indicate an absolute generalization, for there are many examples of similar generalizations in the Qur'an and sunnah
that are not applicable without restriction, but rather are qualified by restrictions found in other primary textual evidence.
point is that the sunnah
and way of the Beloved Prophet, May Allah bless him and give him peace
, was to accept new acts initiated in Islam that were of the good and did not conflict with established principles of Sacred Law, and to reject things that were otherwise.
And our third
and last point is that new matters in Islam may not be rejected merely because they did not exist in the first century, but must be evaluated and judged according to the comprehensive methodology of Sacred Law, by virtue of which it is and remains the final and universal moral code for all peoples until the end of time.
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