Some Questions about Bid'ah

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Q.) What is the real meaning of Bid'ah?

A.) Bid'ah is an Arabic word meaning innovation. According to Shari'ah, to include anything in Islam which was not present at the time of Rasulullah, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and the Sahabah, Radi-Allahu anhum, and regard such inclusion as a compulsory component (Fardh-waajib) of Islam. For example, the syllabus taught to children in a Maktab to enable them to read the Qur'an is permissible. To regard the syllabus as a compulsory component of Deen is Bid'ah. If anything that is permissible but projected as compulsory in Shari'ah is Bid'ah as that projects a distorted vision of Shari'ah. It is imperative to preserve the prestine purity of Shari'ah by condemning every act of Bid'ah. And Allah Taala Knows Best.


Q.) Here in our country, when Eid prayers are offered people embrace (moa'anika) and greet each other by saying "eid mubarak" etc. What does Shariah say about that? Did the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, or his companions do this sort of thing after Eid prayers? If not, then should this be called Bid'ah?

A.) Greeting one another and making Mu'aanaka was common among the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum. However, the Mo'aanaka should not be regarded as a compulsory act of that day.