I had a feeling that Bidaat are increasing day by day and no one seems to be doing anything about it. Does it mean that the silent majority (say 98%) will be ruled by the 2% innovators. Is it not a duty of the majority to speak up and show the errors in introducing Bidaat? Specially, is it not a matter of concern that Bidaat in Ibadaat borders on Shirk (an unforgivable sin in the eyes of Allah)? I feel innovations in adopting technology or science for the health and comfort of human beings is fine. Examples are surgery, medicines, transport facilities and rockets, education, A/Cs, Refrigerators etc., are all Allah’s blessings on humanity. However, introducing special prayers, Zikr, Salaams in a particular way (not as described by the Prophet SAWS himself) are things which should be strictly avoided. I found the following practices in the masjid which were disturbing. The elderly among this group bring in a few from the younger generation who think the new practices are getting them closer and closer to Jannah.
- Offering Salaam after Jumuah prayers and standing while doing so. This group seems to be getting increasingly aggressive by starting the Salaam before other Musallis finish their Sunnah prayers. They obstruct Musallis who wish to meet the Imam,
- Turning towards Madinah while doing Salam and offering Duas and using words such as “Mushkil Kusha”
- Reciting Ayat-e-Kareema on Thursdays and Fridays in a small group on pebbles or tamarind seeds.
- Reciting Fateha (Rabbana Taqabbal min al Fateha) after all congregational prayers.
- Kissing thumbnails when hearing Prophet SAW’s name
- Touching Janimaz after prayers with hands and touching eyes / lips.
- Standing for Qiyam only after hearing Hayya Al Salat and performing No:5 causing gaps in the saf. This happens even when they see the Imam standing from the commencement of Qamat.
It is a very difficult task to have a reasoned debate on these issues as people who innovate are adamant and believe in Mureeds and Murshads. They take offence when asked questions about their practices. Even educated people fall prey to these practices. People who raise an issue are treated like destabilizing influences or the guilty. They are called Salafis, Wahabis, Ahle Hadith etc., They pose as if they are the victims of discrimination. Is it the recurrence of the times of Jahiliyya and installing ideological idols and images and splitting the Ummah into thousands of sects and groups. I find there are many balanced people who are also disturbed but prefer to remain silent. I think getting together an effective group of mature and learned men and make them speak up and correct the people who are into Bidaat is the recommended way.
Shab-e- Qadr programme & Bidaat
Some mention has to be made of the Shab-e-Qadr program, as it ended in a pretty bizarre fashion. Shab-e-Qadr programme was highlighted by a guest speaker. The program started after a rescheduled Isha and the masjid was packed with devotees. With a short Qiraat by Hafez Munawwar saheb, the guest speaker started of. He spoke for an hour and in a very loud and harsh tone. When he upped his pitch, I was reminded of this Ayat.
And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” Surah Luqman 31:19 SAHIH INTERNATIONAL
His theme was for all Muslims to fast without fail and also accord same status as Ramadan to months like Rajab and Shaban. He said Ramadan was the month of Ummah whereas Allah says in Quran that it is His month. He exhorted people to equate these months with Ramadan and continue fasting for four months. He narrated two more questionable stories which need to be mentioned here. ( Please note these are quotes from the speaker which are unverified and most likely fabricated)
He says once when Hazrat Umar (r.a.) was passing by Jannatul Baqi in Medina, he heard wailing from one of the graves as if he is being beaten by a group of people. He looked around and found a grave which was the source of these screams. The grave belonged to a Sahabi. Hazrat Umar (r.a.) prayed to Allah to show him what is happening in the grave and Allah opened the grave. He was being punished by a number of angels. Hazrat Umar (r.a.) asked the Sahabi what sin he committed to deserve such punishment in the grave itself. He said he cannot speak till the punishment stops temporarily and asked Hazrat Umar (r.a.) to pray to Allah for relief. He did so and Allah stopped the punishment. The Sahabi then said he was devoted to prayers in Jamaat without fail, did zikr, fasted and did all other important ibadaat. He missed a day’s fast and that is why he was being punished. ( Please note these are quotes from the speaker which are unverified and most likely fabricated)
He then narrated an episode of Moosa A.S. who was asked by Allah if he wanted to see a miracle of Allah. Allah asked him to strike his staff against a rocky hillock which split showing another small hillock of increasing brightness and beauty. Allah asked him to strike again and more beautiful rocks as of Gold appeared underneath. This happened ten times and then Moosa AS saw a beautiful silkworm happily living under all these rocks reportedly for 450 years. Moosa AS asked Allah how this worm could be fed its sustenance under ten layers of rocks. Allah said He is Khaliq and can feed anything anywhere. ( Please note these are quotes from the speaker which are unverified and most likely fabricated. Perhaps there is real version which may be different)
Immediately after an hour long lecture, he started Salam and everybody stood up. He did it so well that nobody had any option to withdraw and had to join in. We had to stand still till the Salaam was over. The Salam included a long duwa with all the people standing. He turned towards Madinah and a few people followed him. It looked like Shirk. He also used words like Mushkil Kusha referring to Prophet Mohamed SAW. Later I accosted a gentleman who turned towards Madinah and asked him why he did so. He replied that the guest speaker also did it and I can go and ask him for an explanation.
The next 15 minutes were tense as Imam saheb was very upset and he was joined by an angry Professor Mateen. They went to the speaker and objected to his depicting a Sahabi as being tortured whereas we believe that all Sahabis (people who saw Prophet SAW after accepting Islam) are of the highest caliber among Muslims and will enter Jannah. They also objected to the Moosa AS episode as well as equating three more months with Ramadan. They asked the speaker for references from Quran and Hadith. The speaker said they can go to Jamia Nizamia Hyderabad and get the stories verified. Imam saheb said he was the one who was narrating these stories and he should give proper references. The matter is under inquiry by Imam saheb and Mateen.
The whole episode left a bad taste and it seems the same guest speaker was invited earlier too. He looked like a Bidati and commercial type of speaker who would aim to arouse people with concocted stories. I am waiting for feedback on the veracity of these stories and the background of this gentlemen. It is now one year and I am waiting)
May Allah guide us all to the right path and give us knowledge that benefits and saves us from knowledge that doesn’t benefit. Ameen.