By suntou touray: any error in this short peice is mine and ask Allah's forgiveness.
Bidda means creating something without precedence. Imitating none muslims in religious matters. Birth days for instance. Any form of worship which the prophet Muhammad and his companions were not upon is bidda. Introducing group Qur’anic reading is one of those.
Everything in the world is good except where god forbid us indulging in. Allah provided us the ability to make things and benefit from them. In aspect of material matters, there is no bidda. In the shariah everything is haram, except there is an injunction which permits it. Modern technology is not bidda.
Bidda haqiqiya, means no evidence about a religious activity in sunnah. Example is making halal into haram, celebration of prophets birth day has no precedence in the time of the prophet and his companions.
Group qur’anic reading:
The reciters are paid for their efforts and therefore counter the verse that state that “...do not sell the verses for paltry price”. There is no record which indicates that the sahabas ever read the qur’an for anyone. The recitation may borders on Show off and pretentions. The recitation is not done purposely for reward since it was someone who prompted the activity for his/her benefit and in return for a favour ie financial payment .
Scholars also say, reading the qur’an over a dead person is bidda. The duaa of a child to his parent supersedes the duaa of every other person. The child share blood and love of his father or mother. The scholars say that, when a person dies all his actions are stop, no reward reaches him except three categories of actions, and among them is the praying of a child for his late parent. Why calling others who are not qualify to pray for him/her?
All introduction into the deen not found in the time of rasulula will be rejected. Group incantations are new innovation. The word the prophet use is ‘every’ innovation. Those who try to justify innovation turn to weak ahadith.
Islam distinguished itself from Christianity in that, no one can abrogate what Allah and his messenger has stipulated. St Paul in Christianity has nearly 70% influence of the current new testament of the bible. Making allowed what the old testament forbid, introducing the trinity and the believe in original sin etc. This are innovation which the Christians today allowed to take roots. The deification of Jesus was through innovations, the Qur’an made clear such dangers. The introduction of celibacy in cathotism is also an unnecessary burden that is beyond man’s nature. Because of this innovation, some priest commit create evils on young people under their care.
Among us today, the magals or gamos are strong occasions for strange religious activities. The supplications in the Qur’an and the found in the sunnah is clear and more recommended.
Abu Musa a sahaba show a group in the mosque counting the tasbe with stones, he ask Ibn Masoud about this, Ibn Masoud asked those group about their reasons, the group maintained that, they mean well. Ibn Masoud ban them doing it because it was opening door to bidda whilst there are thousand and one acts which they can do without inventing new things.
If people are allowed to celebrate the birth of the prophet what would stop them celebrating the birth day of their so-called saints and holy men? The excessive praising of the prophet was preached against why? Because the whole religion of Christianity ended up being about Jesus instead of his message. The prophet Muhammad always preach that muslims not to fall into such state. But unfortunately, the copying of Christian action in terms of birth days, saintifications, and monasticism as creep into some sufi Islam.
Those trying hard by doing bidda thinking they are gaining nearness to Allah are deceiving themselves. Imam malick said, “whatever was not deen at the time of the prophet cannot be deen today”. The new methods of decorating the mosque during birth day of the prophet is nothing but copying the Christ mass type. This muslims tend to think that, they love the prophet more than others. The decorating of graves and over attachment to it is bidda and shirk.
Scholars also state that Bidda is worst than a sin. A sinner may repent whilst one who commit bidda doesn’t accept his actions as forged will never repent.
Bidda is something which essence and action is found in the Qur’an and sunnah but the way it is carried out is no way similar to the way the prophet did it. An example is that, night prayer is a strong sunnah but over doing it is not recommended as it may affect people associated with the person. Omar Bun Katab (may Allah be please with him) once state “what a good bidda”. This statement was referring to an action which is superseded in Islam. He was a sahaba and khalifah who falls into the category of people that can recommend good action for social cohesion.
The hadith in Muslim which states that, whoever brought a good sunnah will be rewarded for it was in reference to charitable action, not a blanket every biddas today.
Dikr should conform to the qur’an and sunnah, we cannot just say, a certain act is intended for good and we continue to do it. The duaa book fortress of muslim contain lots of duaas.
As muslims, the strict monotheism is our hallmark. We should at all cost avoid going round circles to get to Allah. We don’t need anybody to intermediate between us and God. He hears us directly and rewards us according to our intentions and manners we do religious activities. The condition is that we pray the five daily salat, fast, give zaqah, attend pilgrimage and testfy to one God and the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Along with this is be modest, eat pure food, spread peace and the usual good things.
One can give charity, help the poor and needy, assist old people, take people for hajj, help the villagers, pay school fees for others and looking after ones own family properly and keep good relation with blood relations. These are all act of reward. Even marriage is an act that we get reward from. If one is not married and he/she commits fornication, he get sin, so by marrying you fulfil a right which protects you from sinning.
The over praising of certain families merely for being sheiks or teachers and holding them as wallis making annual gamos for them open doors to shirk and serious biddas. On a personal note, i have been to Gamos and seen the way people act in the graves of their saints. The sand is collected, people weep there, leave offerings etc. This is all bidda and shrik. That dead saint cannot do anything to harm or bless people. Why call on him in matters of need? Why not call on God the almighty? Our marabouts, serigns and chernos were mortal human beings who are not infallible. They have made some mistakes and have emotions like us. If they teach good things that conforms with the true Islam, we listen to them, but if the err or try to create unnecessary religious activity, we leave them to it.
I have also meet people who are equally disgusted with the attachment of unnecessary significance to so-called saints. Some old people make their children burry them in Touba after their death. How ignorant is this. What benefit would they gain from being buried in Touba? Can serign Bamba help them when he himself in under the mercy of God? People have also been visiting the Gunjure sea side for blessing from the footsteps of Sheik Omar Taal. How absurb! What benefit would that serve? Yet the Tijaniya sect scholars in the Gambia support this shirk. Who is Amadou Taal to warrant such veneration? Many look for heros in their tribe or clan, but saintifying them is beyond the acceptable level.
Islam is simple, easy to follow and understand. Believe in One God, avoid associating partners with him. Practice Islam as the prophet Muhammad and his companions did. Don’t seek salvation from any person or thing except Allah. Not Jesus, Amdou Tijani, Abdul Qadir, Serign Bamba, Bia Niass, malick Sy, Bu Kunta, Kan kalifa Jabbi, Sinmoto Kemo Sano, cherno Yaya and the many other servants of God. They are all incapable of providing salvation to human beings.
God does not wish us to be perfect. We are by nature bound to make mistakes, but we should rectify them and move on.
May Allah make religion easy for us to understand and practice.