Does everyone who goes against the Sunnah fall into bid‘ah (innovation)? Notes on the meaning of following

I have read many fatwa’s about innovation and my question is. If the prophet (peace be upon him) practiced something. Do we have to practise EXACTLY as he did it? If we dont do it EXACTLY then is it innovation? Because i’ve read a lot of the fatwa’s and in a lot of it many of the practices are considered BIDAH. For example the Prophet (Peace be Upon him) did emphasize on the virtue of Dua in congrenation. Now if its practised after fardh salaah why is it an innovation? Is the sunnah of the prophet subject to exactly the way he did, the time he did etc etc. If we do it at a different time is it innovation? say for example if its sunnah to read Surah Kahf on friday. Now if I read surah kahf every monday and tuesday, will it be considered a bidah? Im still making Ibadah. Why is it subject to TIME?.

Praise be to Allaah.


No doubt it is obligatory for the Muslim to be a follower of his Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in what he prescribed and it is not permissible for him to go against that or to introduce any innovation into the religion, because of the evidence that indicates that it is obligatory to follow and it is forbidden to introduce innovation. But it should be noted that differing from the way of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and falling into bid‘ah may mean one of two things:


introducing an act of worship for which there is no basis in Islam, such as touching graves and seeking help from their occupants. The scholars call this real innovation (al-bid‘ah al-haqeeqah). This is that which was not prescribed at all. Continue reading


Celebrating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj

What is the ruling on Celebrating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj, which is the twenty-seventh night of Rajab?.

Praise be to Allaah.

There is no doubt that the Isra’ and Mi’raaj (the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascent into heaven) are two great signs of Allaah which point to the truthfulness of the His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and the greatness of his status before Allaah. They are also signs of the great power of Allaah, and of His exalted position above His creation. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allaah) [above all that (evil) they associate with Him]

Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al‑Masjid Al‑Haraam (at Makkah) to Al‑Masjid Al‑Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All‑Hearer, the All‑Seer”

[al-Isra’ 17:1] Continue reading

Ruling on gathering to eat, offer condolences and recite Qur’aan together

The father of one of my friends has died and it was necessary to attend the dinner that they offered to the people present. Whilst we were waiting for the food to be served, some of the people present began to recite Qur’aan together, and I am aware that this is an innovation and that it is not proven from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him and his family). 
I wanted to object to this action but I was afraid of causing trouble and I did not have sufficient evidence.
Was I sinning by being present and listening to their recitation? 
Should I have objected to them, even if that was by saying that there is no proof of this from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)?.

Praise be to Allaah.


It is not permissible for the family of the deceased to make food and invite people to come and eat. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) forbade that. Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah said: We used to regard gathering with the family of the deceased and making food after the burial as coming under the same heading as wailing.. Narrated by Ahmad, 6866; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Talkhees Ahkaam al-Janaa’iz.

It is not permissible to go to these meals and gatherings; rather what must be done is to tell people not to do that and to explain to them that it is contrary to Islam.

With regard to reciting Qur’aan together, if the group starts to recite Qur’aan together in unison, this is another innovation; this was not narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or from any of his Companions. Continue reading

Ruling on reciting adhkaar out loud in unison

I have a question since I have been involved in some discussions with some brothers and we cant get along who is right. The question is about making dhikr in a loud voice in groups like some people do. Is this considered bidah?
They quote as evidence this hadith from Sahih Muslim which says: “the Prophet went out to a circle of his Companions and asked: “What made you sit here?” They said: “We are sitting here in order to remember / mention Allah (nadhkurullaha) and to glorify Him (wa nahmaduhu) because He guided us to the path of Islam and he conferred favours upon us.”
They say this hadith is evidence that the companions also did dhikr in a loud voice in group. Please give me an detailed answer with evidence because I am confused. And also, is it right that there are difference of opinion among the ‘ulama regarding this issue?.

Praise be to Allaah.


Dhikr in general, if it involves raising the voice and reciting in unison, is a bid‘ah (innovation) that has been introduced into the religion and was not the practice of the righteous early generations.

Ash-Shaatibi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If there is a text that encourages people to recite particular phrases of dhikr, and some people commit themselves to gathering to recite dhikr in unison, or at a certain time that is singled out from all other times, then we should note that although these phrases were referred to in a shar‘i text by way of encouraging people to say them, there is nothing in that to indicate this particular way and time of doing it. Rather in that text there may be something to indicate the contrary, because adhering to something that is not binding in Islam may give the impression that this is part of the religion, especially if it is done by leading figures who are regarded as setting examples in places where people gather, such as the mosque.  Continue reading

How Can We Distinguish Between “Sunnah” and Customary Practices Like the Wearing of the Turban

A matter is bothering me, that is, how to distinguish between following the Prophet’s (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) actions as a “Sunnah” and not following them because they are from his habits or customary practices. Examples of this would be the wearing of the turban or lengthening of the hair. It is known that the “Sunnah” refers to the sayings, actions or tacit approvals of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), so what is the gauge by which I measure? If we were to say that the action had to be accompanied by an order then it would be considered a verbal Sunnah (i.e. from the sayings). Kindly explain.

Praise be to Allaah.


The “Sunnah” is what has been established from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him) of his sayings, actions or tacit approvals.

The basic principle with regards to his sayings is that they are for legislation. This is because he is conveying (this message) on behalf of His Lord, and he was sent as a guide for the creation, and he was ordered to inform and clarify matters for the people, as Allah says (what means): “And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them” (16:44) and He said (what means): “O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message.” (5:67) Continue reading

Will the person who is suffering from depression be held accountable for what he says?

If a person has depression and psychological problems as a result of the pressures of life, will he be held accountable for what he says to himself, not out loud in front of people; rather he talks to himself under his breath and that may include – Allah forbid – reviling the divine decree and saying bad things about the Most Merciful, even if he regrets what he said later on but he cannot cope with the pressure ?.

Praise be to Allaah.

By the His mercy Allah, may He be exalted, does not bring a person to account for whispers in the heart (waswaas) and passing thoughts, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, will forgive my ummah for whatever crosses their minds so long as they do not act upon it or speak of it.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5269) and Muslim (127).  Continue reading

His mother will be angry if he does not celebrate Mother’s Day

I have a friend from one of the Arab countries, and in that country Mother’s Day is an official holiday, which he celebrates with his brothers and sisters because of their mother. Now he wants to stop doing that, but his mother will be angry because she has become accustomed to this thing and it has become a tradition in their country. He is afraid that his mother will be angry with him and will bear a grudge against him until she dies not pleased with him. He has tried to convince her that it is haraam and why, but she is not convinced because of the atmosphere in their country. What should he do? Please advise us, may Allaah bless you.

Praise be to Allaah.

Celebrating Mother’s Day is an innovated matter which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not do. It is also an imitation of the kuffaar from whom we have been commanded to differ. Hence it is not permissible to celebrate it or to obey one’s mother in that, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no obedience if it involves sin; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7257; Muslim, 1840.  Continue reading

Is it Sunnah to wear green clothes?

Ive seen few Islamic sects, always wearing green turban and white clothes, or all green clothes, stating it as to be following Sunnah of Prophet Sallalahualayhi wassalm. What is the context behind it?.

Praise be to Allaah.


The basic principle with regard to clothing is that it is permissible and the Muslim may wear whatever colour of clothing he likes, except that which was forbidden by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), which is red and yellow. The best colour that a man may wear is white, because of the hadeeth narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Wear white garments, for they are among the best of your garments, and shroud your dead in them.” Continue reading

Family gatherings on the Prophet’s birthday and ‘Ashoora’

Is it permissible to have family gatherings – among brothers and cousins – and to eat together on special occasions and Eids (by special occasions I mean the Prophet’s birthday, ‘Ashoora’ etc)? What is the ruling on one who does that? And what about gatherings after someone had memorized or completed the Qur’aan?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Undoubtedly exchanging visits and getting together with brothers, cousins and relatives on the Eids that are prescribed in Islam (namely Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha), and on happy occasions, is something that brings happiness and increases love and strengthens the bonds between relatives. But what happens in many of these family gatherings, such as mixing between men and women, even if they are relatives and cousins, are bad customs that go against the teachings of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which enjoin lowering the gaze and forbid wanton display, being alone with a member of the opposite sex (khulwah), shaking hands with non-mahram women, and all the things that lead to fitnah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against the dangers of taking matters lightly with relatives. He said: “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the Ansaar said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about the in-law?” He said: “The in-law is death.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4934; Muslim, 2172. Al-Layth ibn Sa’d said: The in-law is the brother and similar relatives of the husband, his cousin and so on. It was also narrated by Muslim. (See question no. 1200 for more discussion on the issue of mixing).  Continue reading

Eating food that is distributed on the Prophet’s Birthday (Mawlid)

Is it permissible to eat food that is distributed on the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Some people quote as evidence the idea that because Abu Lahb set free a slave woman on the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), Allaah reduced the torment for him on that day.

Praise be to Allaah.


There is no festival in Islamic sharee’ah that is called “The Prophet’s Birthday”. Neither the Sahaabah nor the Taabi’een nor the four imams nor anyone else recognized such a day as part of their religion. Rather this festival was introduced by some ignorant Baatini innovators, then the people began to follow this innovation but the imams have denounced it in every time and place.

We have discussed the objections to this innovation in detail on our site, in the answers to questions no. 10070, 13810 and 70317Continue reading