Posted by: ali | April 11, 2008

“bidah” – real life examples

Funny that this came up today, considering I just wrote about the loose use of bidah less than 24 hours ago.

Quick review: Bidah is anything new that is added to Islam regarding religion.

So I went to the mosque today for Juma’ prayer, and for once I was actually there before the Khutbah started. The khatib came and started his khutbah, speaking about hadith and fiqh and mny other things.

But then he says

“Did you all know that there are many hadith within Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that came from Ahl Bidah?”

‘Ahl Bidah?’ I think to myself, who could be this ‘Ahl Bidah’ he is referring to? Especially considering how early in Islamic history these events occurred…

He continues

“So who is this ‘Ahl Bidah?'”


“The Shi’a and the Khawwarij”

I sit there in shock and disappointment. How can a khatib say such a thing on Juma’ prayer? Did he think before he spoke? What if there were Shi’a brothers and sisters there in the mosque?

I personally do not know much about the Khawwarij, but I will do some research before I comment on that part of the statement.

He then elaborates that a Shi’a is someone who believes that Ali (r) was supposed to be the first Khalifah of Islam as opposed to Abu Bakr (r). At least he got that part right.


So let’s do some anaylsis:

Ahl Bidah: ‘People of Bidah’

Shi’a: A group of Muslims who believe that Ali (r) was supposed to be the first Khalifah after the Prophet’s (s) death.

Taking a side on a political issue such as rightful succession is obviously not bidah, since this is not a matter of religion. Our religion is based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, both of which are completed with the death of the Prophet (s). So believing that Ali (r) was a rightful successor as opposed to Abu Bakr (r) is in no way a religious matter, and hence cannot be bidah.

I would have said something, but considering that the khatib even said such at thing in his khutbah indicates that I would have made no progress. But here is a perfect example of how the term ‘bidah’ can be used the wrong context.



  1. hey assalamu alaikum..

    I just thought I should mention that I love the fact that you’re doing this, but I should probably advise you to be mindful of what you say. I mean before making any rash conclusions, it is probably a good idea to research the topic to its maximum.

    Now I have done extensive research on Bid’ah. Keep in mind there are two types of Bid’ah. Bid’ah Hasanah, and Bid’ah Dalalah. There are certain innovations that are beneficial (Hasanah) whilst there are those that are harmful (Dalalah). It’s easy to say something is bid’ah bro, but I think you should consider the differences. For example, bid’ah is any innovation that wasn’t considered by the Prophet (S), not necessarily in regards to worship. One could argue that driving a car is bid’ah, bid’ah hasanah of course, because it allows you to drive to the mosque, to work, to earn money to provide for your family, etc. The Quran in book format is a Bid’ah. During the Prophet (S)’s time, there was no concept of the Qur’an in book format with Surahs and whatnot. It wasn’t til after his death that it was complied. Of course this is a bid’ah Hasanah as well. Therefore I just wanted to say that one shouldn’t jump to conclusions before using the term bid’ah. It should be classified before accepted. Jazakallah.

  2. Assalamu Alaikum,

    There is a LOT more to Shi’ism than simply the political question of Khilafa.

    That is the root, but the religion today has deviated more and more until expelling itself from Islam. Of course, many “Shi’as” don’t even know the extremities of Shi’ism and may still be Muslims.

    Info: [Check the articles section.]

  3. @muhammad

    If you are referring to the practices of many Shia, then you should also look at the practices of many Sunnis. Both groups have practices which would be considered bid’ah. I will be writing an entry soon regarding this very issue. Otherwise, do enlighten me as to what you are referring to.

    Furthermore, it is not a light matter to call people ‘kafir’ (which you are inferring by stating that they are ‘out of the scope of islam’, a hadith of the Prophet (s) states that ‘whoever calls a person a kafir is a kafir’

  4. But herein lies the difference:
    The IDEOLOGY of Ahl us-Sunnah is basically following the Qur’an and Sunnah, and just sticking with mainstream Islam. Sure, many people called Sunni will commit bid’ah.

    The IDEOLOGY of Shi’ism, however, is deep in bid’ah as you can see through many classical Shi’a texts. Similarly, many people called Shi’a might not be practicing this bid’a.

    I am not calling any person kafir; rather, I’m looking at certain ideologies and calling them kufr. That is much more objective.

    Oh, and most Shi’a scholars like to call Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman Hypocrites, which is a much worse crime, no?

    More detail:

  5. The Shi’a also follow the Qur’an and Sunnah. The only differences I can see are that they take their Imam’s word in very high regard, which they have a rationale for. Furthermore the site you gave is full of bias. I will write a post in the Shi’a soon inshallah. We can discuss further then.

    Honeslty it is quite sad that people spend so much time on this Sunni/Shi’a issue. They’ve made it more than it is.

  6. You said it yourself, they give heavy value to the Imam. This value in some cases surpasses the Prophets and sometimes even comes close to Allah’s. That, I believe, is straight up kufr.

    And that site gave a balanced answer, and in fact uses classical shia scholarly texts to back itself up..

    Anyway, I’ve debated this topic far too much with others to be able to do so again…

    So Assalamu alaikum, nice talking with you.

  7. Sunnis do the same, taking their mufti or maulana’s word with no question. Many times they contradict Sahih hadiths, so isnt that suprassing the Prophet (s)? Furthermore, I don’t recall Shi’as surpassing the Prophet (s) with their rulings. Why don’t you provide any examples?

    Suit yourself, there is no point in discussing when one’s mind is set.

  8. Sure, but like I said Shi’a DOCTRINE puts Imamah above Risalah at times, where as Sunni DOCTRINE does not put anything about the Sunnah.
    Shallow followers of either may not reflect what they call themselves, much like Christians are not very adherent to Christ at all.

    Sunn”ism” never deviated from what was mainstream Islam. Shia’s [as their name implies] did; it started out as a political break but it was soon tainted by Persian paganism [note: most Shia’s are of Persian origin] and other outside forces.

    Both Imams [in the actual sense of the word] Bukhari and Abu-Hanifah held the view that Shi’ism was not consistent with Islam.


    The context of the website may be biased, but its sources come directly from its opposition.

  10. Also, have you heard the hadith:

    It was narrated from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims).”

    Narrated by Abu Dawood (4597) and others; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim.

    Notice two crucial parts here:

    1. Only one of the numerous “Muslim” sects will be accepted into Jannah. The rest will be treated as Kuffar by Allah.

    2. The one “saved sect”, if you will, is identified as following the Sunnah and being the majority [jama’ah]. The full name of the “Sunni sect” is “Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jama’ah”, or “People of the Sunnah and Majority”. Indeed, they are the majority.

    Muhammad [peace be upon him] would never say something that would come to be false, so it is not possible that TWO sects are saved, or that the “right sect” is ever not a majority. Shias, may Allah guide them, are clearly different than the Sunnis and their name [“shiah” = “sect”] implies that they are a distinct sect apart from the main body of Muslims.

    I think I have exerted this point enough, now backing it up with a crucial aspect of the Sunnah.

  11. 🙂

    that was funny but sad too!

    ignorance big time

  12. […] The Middle Path […]

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