Chapter 18: Prohibition of heresies in religion
allah, the exalted, says:
"so after the truth, what else can there be, save error?''. (10:32)
"we have neglected nothing in the book". (6:38)
"(and) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to allah and his messenger (pbuh)". (4:59)
"and verily, this is my straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from his path". (6:153)
"say (o muhammad (pbuh) to mankind): 'if you (really) love allah then follow me (i.e., accept islamic monotheism, follow the qur'an and the sunnah), allah will love you and forgive you your sins". (3:31)
169. `aishah (may allah be pleased with her) reported: messenger of allah (pbuh) said, "if anyone introduces in our matter something which does not belong to it, will be rejected".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
the narration in muslim says: "if anybody introduces a practice which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected".
commentary: this hadith lays down a very important principle. unfortunately, muslims have not attached any importance to this hadith and the principle given in it with the result that innovations in the deen have become so common that they have been taken for true deen; our people act upon them and are made to practice them. one reason for this is their lack of education and ignorance about deen. the second reason is their lack of understanding of the principle prescribed in this hadith although it is stated in very explicit terms.
the principle that we learn from this hadith is that every such action or activity is innovation which is done as a virtue and to gain the pleasure of allah but is not consonant with the teachings of the qur'an and sunnah, or which does not agree with the interpretation of the nuss (text) given by the companions of the prophet (pbuh) or their successors (tabi`un). the reason being that the period of the companions and the tabi`un is the khair-ul-qurun (the best of all generations). thus any action or activity that is deprived of the support of these generations falls in the category of heresies.
170. jabir (may allah be pleased with him) reported: whenever the messenger of allah (pbuh) delivered a khutbah, his eyes would become red, his tone loud and he showed anger as if he were warning us against an army. he (pbuh) would say, "the enemy is about to attack you in the morning and the enemy is advancing against you in the evening". he would further say, "i am sent with the final hour like these two fingers of mine.'' messenger of allah (pbuh) held up his index finger and the middle finger together to illustrate. he used to add: "to proceed, the best speech is the book of allah and the best guidance is the guidance of muhammad (pbuh), the worst practice is the introduction of new practices in islam and every bid`ah is a misguidance". he would also say, "i am, in respect of rights, nearer to every believer than his own self. he who leaves an estate, it belongs to his heirs, and he who leaves a debt, it is my responsibility to pay it off.'' [muslim]. same hadith as reported by `irbad bin sariyah (may allah be pleased with him) has already been recorded in the previous chapter regarding safeguarding the sunnah of the prophet (pbuh).
(see hadith number 158)
1. this hadith mentions the style of the speech of the prophet (pbuh). his auspicious presence is regarded in it as a sign of the nearness of the day of resurrection.
2. it emphasizes the importance of the qur'an and the sunnah and brings into focus the destruction caused by bid`ah in deen.
3. it clearly lays down that the orphans and the needy are the liability of the government/bait-ul-mal (public exchequer). the reason being that the caliphs were the successors of the prophet (pbuh) and the work which was done by him in his lifetime was after him their responsibility.
4. the rightful owners of the deceased are their heirs and none else.