Q. What is innovation in the religion (Islam)? By: Mohamed Riswan.

A. An innovation in matters of faith is anything not based on evidence from Islamic Law (Shari’ah).

Allah said in rebuke of the innovations of the idolaters:

“Or have they partners with Allah (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed…” [Noble Qur’an 42:21]

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever adds some new things to our matters (religion Islam) which was not part of it, it will be rejected” (that is, it will not be accepted by Allah). [Bukhari and Muslim]

There are many different types of Bid’ah (innovations), among them are:

i) (Mukaffarah): Innovations which are rejection of faith of Islam: Such as praying to the dead or those who are not present and seeking their help, such as invoking them by saying, “O so-and-so help me.”

ii) (Mahrramah): Forbidden invocations: Such as asking Allah’s favor through the intercession of deceased saints, praying at graveside or taking oaths there, and building tombs over them.

iii) (Makruhah): Disapproved innovations: Such as praying Zuhr (the noon prayer) after praying Jumu’ah, praying aloud for blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) after the call to prayer etc.

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