Chapter 19: Heretics doing desirable or undesirable deeds
allah, the exalted, says:
"and those who say: `our rubb! bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the muttaqun (the pious)". (25:74)
"and we made them leaders, guiding (mankind) by our command". (21:73)
171. jarir bin `abdullah (may allah be pleased with him) reported: we were with messenger of allah (pbuh) shortly after dawn when there came to him some people clad in woollen rags, or covered with sleeveless blankets; and with swords hanging down from their necks. most of them rather, all of them, belonged to the mudar tribe. the face of the prophet (pbuh) changed when he saw them starving. then he went into his house and came out; then he commanded bilal (may allah be pleased with him) to proclaim adhan (call to prayers). so he proclaimed adhan and recited iqamah and the prophet (pbuh) led the salat. then he delivered a khutbah saying, "o mankind! be dutiful to your rubb, who created you from a single person (adam), and from him (adam) he created his wife (eve), and from them both he created many men and women; and fear allah through whom you demand your (natural) rights, and do not sever the relations of kinship. surely, allah is ever an all-watcher over you.'' (4:1) he also recited the ayah which is in the end of surat al-hashr: "o you who believe! fear allah and keep your duty to him. and let every one look what he has sent forth for the tomorrow". (59:18). thereafter, every man gave in charity dinar, dirham, clothes, measure-fulls of wheat and measure-fulls of dates till he said: "(give in charity) be it half a date". then a man of the ansar came with a bag which was difficult for him to hold in his hand. thereafter, the people came successively (with charity) till i saw two heaps of food and clothes. i noticed that the face of messenger of allah (pbuh) was glowing like that of the bright moon or glittering gold. then he (pbuh) said, "whosoever introduces a good practice in islam, there is for him its reward and the reward of those who act upon it after him without anything being diminished from their rewards. and whosoever introduces an evil practice in islam, will shoulder its sin and the sins of all those who will act upon it, without diminishing in any way their burden"
1. some people try to deduce a proof for good innovations from the words: "mun sana' fi al- islam sunah hasanah". whosoever introduces a good practice in islam.
thus they classify innovations bid`ah into two categories, namely good innovations and bad innovations. but this is wrong. no innovation can be good. it is always bad because it amounts to inventing shar`iah which no one has the right to do. constitution of shar`iah is the exclusive right of allah alone. it is he who constitutes the shar`iah and it is on his behest that his prophets convey it to the people. not to speak of scholars and others.
2. what this hadith makes abundantly clear is that anyone who tries to find new ways and means to preach and practice islamic shar`iah, which are later on adopted by other people also, would not only get the reward of doing so but he will also be rewarded for the endeavours of those who will after him continue them and perform good deeds. but anything of which we do not find any trace in shar`iah is bad. it cannot be good in any case, no matter what means are adopted for this purpose.
3. other benefits of this hadith are self-evident and do not need further elaboration.
172. ibn mas`ud (may allah be pleased with him) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, "the first son of adam* takes a share of the guilt of every one who murders another wrongfully because he was the initiator of committing murder".
[al-bukhari and muslim].
* the son of adam in the hadith is said to be qabil. allah tells us about his story in surat al-ma'idah (the table spread with food). verses 27-31.
commentary: this hadith gives us an idea how serious is the crime of initiating an evil which is followed by others. one who initiates an evil would be sinful for all those who follow him in that crime till the day of resurrection. the safest course, therefore, is that one should abstain from heresy and stick to obedience only.