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Sunday, July 19, 2009

WHAT DOES BID’AT MEAN?

Those beliefs, words, actions, manners and customs which did not exist during the time of our Prophet or during the times of his four Khalifas, but which were made up, invented later in the din are called bid’at [1]. It is bid’at to make up all these under the name of the din and worship, while saying about the things which the din holds important, “They are outside of the din, they do not concern the din.” Some of the bid’ats are disbelief. Some others are grave sins. One of these bid’ats is to read (or recite) Qur’an al-karim or to say the adhan (call for prayer) through loud-speakers or radios.



It is written in the explanation of the hundred and eighty-sixth letter of the Arabic and Persian versions of the book Maktubat, “Most Islamic savants classified the bid’ats in deeds into two groups: Those renovations and reforms that were not against the Sunnat [2], i. e. , those that had an origin in the first century, were called bid’at-i hasana. And those that had no origin were called bid’at-i sayyia. However, Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani would not smear the ones with origin with the name bid’at. So he called them sunnat-i hasana. Examples of these are performing the Mawlid and building minarets and tombs. He gave the name bid’at only to those without an origin. Wahhabis called these bid’at-i hasanas bid’at-i sayyia, too. They said that sunnat-i hasanas also were shirk (polytheism). On the other hand, ignorant men of religion called most of the bid’at-i sayyias bid’at-i hasana, and thus caused these atrocious bid’ats to become widespread. In censuring bid’ats, Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani is not against the Islamic savants, but he is against the ignorant men of religion.”


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GLOSSARY

[1] bid’at: (pl. bida’) heresy; false, disliked belief or practice that did not exist in the four sources of Islam but which has been introduced later as an Islamic belief or ‘ibada in expectation of thawab (blessings) ; heresy.

[2] sunnat: act, thing that was, though not commanded by Allahu ta’ala, done and liked by the Prophet (‘alaihi ‘s-salam) as an ‘ibada.

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