Islamic Ruling on Innovations

  • Publish date:01/02/2010
  • Section:Fatwas
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Question
This is to express my deep unrest, unhappiness and sadness because the heads of deviations and innovations are actively working openly and freely in and outside the Muslim world, getting away with their destructive work against true Islam and no one is stopping them!1. What is the rule of Islam on them? 2. Why don't the governments of Muslim countries, stop them, declare them officially, Islamically illegal, educate them, first, discipline them, try them in justice, arrest them and jail them if necessary, like the Ulama (Muslim scholars) did with "El Hallaaj" in Baghdad? As the scholars declared him a Kafir he was punished! Why don't these governments, their religious institutions and infrastructures, and their scholars defend and protect the authentic Aqeedah of Islam and state in their constitution that it is illegal to distort the true Aqeedah of Ahl al Sunnah? They have all the power and the means! If they don't or are careless, then, who is going to defend, preserve and protect the authentic Aqeedah of Islam? They (especially their Ulama) will be responsible before Allah on the Day of Judgement!

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.
 
The heresy in Islam means all those acts which are not proved from the Prophet Muhammad , sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). The dangers of heresy are very great. Innovating means legislating something in Islam, which is the absolute right of Allah. Allah Says (what means): {Or have they partners [i.e. other deities] who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word (1319), it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.}[Quran 42:21] The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "If somebody tries to introduce into this faith of ours (Islam) something which is not a part of it, is to be rejected (and that person is) condemned". [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
It is also narrated from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) that he said: "You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided Caliphs. Hold on to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error". [Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmithi and Ibn Majah with a sound chain]. All kinds of innovations are nothing but evils, if those persons who introduce an innovation or practice it do not repent before their death then they will go to Hell.
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Of all matters the worst are innovations, and everything new is an innovation, and every innovation is a deviation, and every deviation leads to Hell-fire". [An-nasaa’ii]. Innovation is a deviation for the one who introduces it and also for the one who follows it. Indeed innovations are more likable to the Satan than the disobedience of Allah. An innovator believes that he is on the true path so he never repents from his innovations rather he believes that those who teach him Sunnah are deviants. The popularity of innovations among Muslims is clear evidence that the Muslims have strayed far from Islam.
Allah Says (what means): {And, [moreover] this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [others] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.} [Quran 6:153]. Innovations are of two kinds. Some innovations reach the level of Kufr (disbelief) and the one who practices them is no longer Muslim such as the one who claims that Quran has been changed or that the Quran is not the word of Allah, etc.
The other innovations are less serious although they are sins. Thus the one who practices them is considered a Muslim even though he commits sin. An example of the second kind of innovation is fasting the first day of Sha'ban every year, etc. Working hard to disprove innovations is a communal obligation on the Muslim Ummah. If someone carries out this job then other Muslims would be excused from this obligation. If no one carries out the job all Muslims who are capable to do this job would bear the sin of ignoring this responsibility.
No doubt, two categories of the Muslim Ummah (Society) are more responsible for this task than other Muslims, namely Muslim rulers and the Muslim scholars. Unfortunately, the majority of the Muslim rulers have given up this task while some of the Muslim scholars are still doing it with a very good impact on the Muslims. Their efforts are blessed and we hope these Ulama will continue to implement their obligations completely.
Allah Knows best.

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