Miscellaneous Answers on Customs, Traditions, Bid’ah

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Fatwas on Meelad, Moulood, Mawlid
(Maulana A S Desai)

Fatwas Related to 10th Muharram (Ashura)
(Maulana A S Desai)

Fatwas on Lailatul Baraat or the Night of 15th Sha’baan
(Maulana A S Desai)

Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani’s War Against Bid’ah Hasanah
(Compiled from various sources)

Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani and Shah Waliullah on Shirk Amongst the Muslims
(Compiled from various sources)

“Deobandi” Anniversary Ceremonies
(Compiled from various sources)

Loud Group Zikr – Bid’ah or Not?
(Maulana A S Desai)

The New Fast-Growing Breed of Bidati “Deobandis”
(Maulana A S Desai)


Q. Please comment on how our niyyat always seems to be motivated by customary practices and what conforms to that which we want to believe in, rather than purely for the pleasure of Allah (azza wa jal) and submitting completely to His Shari’ah.
A. Niyyat simply means intention. The Islamic meaning of niyyat i s explained by Qaadhi Baidhaawi as follows : “Focusing the heart on an action for obtaining Allah’s pleasure.” This beautiful intention is also termed Ikhlaas (sincerity – purely for the Sake of Allah Ta’ala). Minus this niyyat, good deeds are unacceptable. Hence, Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) said that more than the actual deed, strive for the acceptance of the deed. With taqwa and Ikhlaas even a small deed is not insignificant. It has considerable value. The slightest corruption in the niyyat ruins the ibaadat and renders it unacceptable. Such an action, regardless of its outward beauty has really no existence.

Nowadays, we ostensibly practise good deeds and we superficially adhere to the salient features of Islam. However, our motives are corrupt. Most of our actions are bereft of Ikhlaas. Our piety is a mere outward façade. It is devoid of reality. In our adoption of virtuous deeds and in our abstention from evil deeds, we are motivated by customary norms. We therefore, adhere to some good deeds, whilst we neglect other good deeds. Deeds which conform to habit and customary practices and which are considered respectable, we readily practise. On the contrary, such good deeds which are not customary and which may be viewed with disdain are abandoned. This attitude brings us within the scope of the Qur’aanic aayat: “What, do you believe in a portion of the Kitaab (Qur’aan), and you reject a portion of it?” This attitude is a mere outward show of piety. It is not genuine piety.

The analogy of our piety is like the outer peel or the shell without the inner fruit. This is the condition of our ibaadat. It has external form which is devoid of Ikhlaas. A man focusing his gaze on only the external form believes that he has attained piety. If we should reflect on our condition, we shall not fail to discern that the greater part of our deeds are contaminated with corrupt intentions. Love for fame, love for wealth, show, ostentation, lust, etc. contaminate our A’maal-e-Saalihah. We have become impervious, hence we do not understand our corruption. Nowadays lack of Ikhlaas is our greatest deficiency. Thus, all good deeds and knowledge are hollow and go wasted. Our deeds are without soul. We thus find that despite numerous and long discourses, our Deen and Imaan increasingly weaken by the day. The original power is in Ikhlaas.
Close Answer



Q. When someone dies in our family, members of the family congregate at the home of the deceased. A lady from the community is contracted to prepare the food for us. The food is not simple. Exotic Italian food, pasta, steak, salad, chicken, etc., etc. are the dishes. It is like Eid. Cakes and refreshments are also served. The mourners and sympathisers all join in the feast. This feasting continues for a couple of days, up to the 1st weekend. What is the view of the Shariah on this type of feasting?

A. This type of feasting and merrymaking on the occasion of death are most despicable and haraam. Such waste and frivolity, especially on death occasions have no place in Islam. These are bid’ah customs. It is not permissible to even eat this food. At most, some family members may prepare food for the bereaved inmates of the home only. Outsiders should not join in. No one should be invited. Death is not an occasion of feasting and merrymaking. It is a time to reflect and understand that tomorrow it is our turn to embark on this fateful journey into Barzakh.

About this haraam merrymaking function organized on death occasions, someone wrote:

“The Irish have a tradition called ‘WAKE’. They organize a party after the funeral to celebrate the life of the deceased. They tell stories and anecdotes about the deceased. Then they get drunk. Our society, I am sorry to say, seems to be re-modelling itself towards this Irish tradition……The cost of yesterday’s death-function meal was approximately R3,000.”

Indeed, all haraam customs are adopted from different kuffaar cultures.
Close Answer


Q. Ta’ziyah is said to be Sunnat. Should a female visit the bereaved relatives for Ta’ziyah if a group of people has gathered at the home of the mayyit? Nowadays Ta’ziyah has become a customary gathering where people eat and gossip. Purdah is not observed. Relatives and friends congregate at the home of the deceased and waste much time in worldly conversation. Will it be wrong to abstain from such gatherings?

A. It is not permissible to attend such gatherings. Ta’ziyah (offering condolence to the bereaved) is not a function. It is not permissible to organize meals for people who attend such gatherings. Both men and women should abstain from these bid’ah customs organized in the name of Ta’ziyah.


Q. Is it permissible according to the Shariah to visit the cemetery every Thursday night in groups and make dua with the Imaam leading?

A. It is permissible to visit the Qabrastaan (cemetery) on any day and at any time, but it is un-Islamic to establish any mode or form of practice not ordained by the Shariah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the noble Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) visited the graveyard, but did not do it in the manner you have described. To fix any special day for visiting the cemetery is wrong, for it will mean transgressing the Sunnah practice. Further, visiting the cemetery in organized groups and conducting the duas in any organized form not originating in the Sunnah is not a practice of Islam. Every new practice innovated and given the cloak of lbaadat is indeed an evil innovation since the new practice will displace the Sunnah practice. If we follow our own invented practice (like the practice you describe) of visiting the cemetery then we will most surely be displacing the practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) visited the cemetery on various days and occasions, not stipulating any particular day although it is of greater merit to visit the Qabrastaan on the great nights of Baraat (15th Night of Shabaan), Qadr and on the day of Friday. There is no stipulation that the dua or Qur`aan be recited in group-form. Everyone should recite of the Qur`aan and make dua as he pleases although it is of greater benefit to recite the first and the last Rukus of Surah Baqarah at the graveside. In short, the method of visiting the cemetery described by you is not sanctioned by the Shariah. You should therefore, abstain from participation in this innovated practice.


Q. Is it permissible to eat the food which is served at 40 day khatam functions?

A. It is not permissible to participate in these bid’ah functions nor is it permissible to eat such food of bid’ah.


Q. Why do we have to cover the mirrors in the house when there is a mayyit?

A. The practice of covering the mirrors in the house where there is a mayyit (death) is baseless. This is not an Islamic practice. There is no need to cover the mirrors.


Q. Is it a valid Islamic practice to cover mirrors when a Janaazah takes place?

A. Covering mirrors on the occasion of a janaazah is not an Islamic practice. Those who do so are practising bid’ah which apparently they borrowed from the Yahood.


Q. In the Musjid where I pray, every Friday night an announcement is made to recite Surah Ikhlaas 11 times for the dead. This practice is also done in the graveyard after burial. Is this a Sunnah practice?

A. This practice is not Sunnah. It is bid’ah. It is permissible to recite Surah Ikhlaas or any other Surah or any portion of the Qur’aan Majeed as much as one desires, and to supplicate to Allah Ta’ala to Bestow the thawaab (reward) to the deceased of one’s choice. But it is not permissible to fabricate a practice and to hoist it over the people as if it is an integral constituent of the Sunnah. Such addition to the Deen is termed bid’ah sayyiah (evil innovation).


Q. Is it permissible on certain occasions to lay “chaadar” (sheet) over the graves of saintly persons?

A. This is an un-Islamic practice which have no origin and no sanction whatsoever in Islam. It is a highly detestable custom which must he shunned. To place any “chaadar” over graves is an act which is Haraam.


Q. According to Hadhrat Mufti Shafi (rahmatullah alayh), burning incense in the Musjid is a Sunnat practice which should be revived, yet The Majlis has labelled it a bid’ah. Please comment on this conflict.

A. There is no conflict. When even a Sunnat which is not Muakkadah, becomes a salient feature of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah, then it becomes necessary to refrain from the Mustahab or Sunnat act. This is a well-known principle to the Ulama. Burning incense, especially on Friday night is an incumbent practice of the Ahl-e- Bid’ah. In a place where this practice is not a bid’ah, it will be appropriate to implement it.


Q. Is it Sunnat to burn lobaan or agar batti on specific days?

A. It is a practice of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah to burn lobaan and agarbatti on specific days, mostly on Thursdays. It is no Sunnat. It is bid’ah.


Q. What is the significance of burning lobaan when supplicating to Allah Ta’ala?

A. There is no significance in burning lobaan (incense) relative to supplicating to Allah Ta’ala. Lobaan is good for eliminating harmful germs. But it has no relationship with ibaadat or dua.


Q. Is burning lobaan in the house and Musjid Sunnat? If yes, are there specific days?

A. It is permissible to burn lobaan (incense) in the Musjid and the home. There is reference to it in the Hadith. However, since the people of bid’ah have made it a Waajib practice, we have discontinued it. It may be burnt on any day whether in the Musjid or in the house. But in places where burning lobaan in the Musjid has become a salient feature of the Grave-Worshippers, it should not be adopted.


Q. In the Musjids in Natal which I visited, the English lecture begins immediately after the first Athaan of Jumuah. If there is a nikah, this is performed after the lecture. The Sunnats are performed after the Nikah. Is this practice proper?

A. This is a new bid’ah. Bid’ah is not confined to meelad, qiyaam and urs. In our circles (Ahl-e-Deoband) too, acts of bid’ah are perpetrated. The lecture beginning immediately after the Athaan prevents people for engaging in Tahyatul Musjid and the Sunnatul Muakkadah Salaat. Custom constrains the arriving musallis to forego Tahyatul Musjid, and to delay the Sunnatul Muakkadah until after the lecture or the Nikah. This is a despicable bid’ah which interferes with the Salaat and its proper sequence. It disturbs many musallis who are forced to listen to the lecture when it is actually time for the Sunnat Salaat, and to sit through the Nikah ceremony against their wishes. This is not the time for the nikah ceremony which should be performed after the Sunnat and Nafl Salaat.

Furthermore, we too have noticed the evil of this bid’ah. After the lecture, the four raka’ts Sunnatul Muakkadah are performed with haste. While many people are still engaging in the Sunnats, the Imaam Sahib hastily mounts the mimbar for the khutbah. The khushu’ of musallis is ruined by the haste and the Imaam beginning the khutbah before they have completed. Their minds do not fully concentrate on the Salaat. Part of their mind is focused on hastily completing the Salaat before the Imaam mounts the mimbar. This bid’ah trend shouldbe incumbently abandoned. In many places it has assumed the form of hardcore bid’ah. The next generation will believe that this bid’ah order from the Athaan onwards is Waajib. In fact, even presently if someone performs Tahyatul Musjid or the Sunnatul Muakkadah while the lecture is being delivered, there are unfriendly frowns and glances. Everyone feels constrained by custom to abandon the Masnoon Salaat until the lecture has ended.
Close Answer


Q. In most Musjids there is a new trend on the Day of Jumuah. By custom, musallis are not allowed to perform the four raka’ts Sunnatul Muakkadah before the talk. After the talk, the entire congregation rises altogether and engage in the four raka’ts. A late-comer observing the scene, at a glance gains the impression that the Fardh Jamaa’t has commenced. Is this not a bid’ah?

A. Undoubtedly, it is a bid’ah. It is a new-fangled bid’ah. The primary objective for attending the Musjid on Jumuah and for the daily Salaat, is to perform Salaat. The bayaan is secondary. It is not permissible to interfere with the Sunnah method of performing the acts of ibaadat. When a person arrives at the Musjid, his first Waajib duty is to perform two raka’ts Tahyatul Musjid. Thereafter he has to engage in the four raka’ts Sunnatul Muakkadah. The practice which you have explained has displaced this Sunnah. Furthermore, after the bayaan, everyone rushes through the four raka’ts Sunnatul Muakkadah. In most Musjids, the Imaam makes haste to proceed to the mimbar even while many musallis are engaged in Salaat.

Those responsible for this custom bear the sin of the calamity of preventing people from the primary ibaadat of Salaat, and the Sunnatul Muakkadah of Tahyatul Musjid. They further, are guilty of preventing people from performing the four raka’ts Sunnatul Muakkadah in its proper time, and the proper time is not an orchestrated time – a time which has become fixed after the bayaan. With the passing of time, the next generation will believe that it is compulsory to delay the four raka’ts and perform it after the talk which itself has attained bid’ah proportions by virtue of it being regarded to be incumbent. Nowadays the talk too is considered to be a constituent of the Jumuah Salaat proceedings. Due to this custom, people feel pressurized to forgo Tahyatul Musjid and to delay the Sunnatul Muakkadah unnecessarily.

Even the bid’ah practices of the Ahl-e-Barelwi sect had begun innocently and with good intentions. But all acts initiated in conflict with the Sunnah develop into hardcore bid’ah irrespective of sincere and good intentions. People should not feel obliged to sit and listen to the talk on Jumuah. They should not abandon Tahyatul Musjid nor delay the four Raka’ts Sunnatul Muakkadah. The Ulama and Imaams of the Musaajid should take heed and refrain from initiating practices which will most assuredly develop into bid’ah. The argument of benefits should not be presented when the practice has neither origin nor sanction in the Sunnah. There are benefits in everything in this dunyah, good or bad. Nothing is devoid of benefit, even major sins have worldly benefits. The criterion is the Shariah. Its letter, form and spirit have to be zealously guarded by the Ulama.
Close Answer


Q. Is it haraam to a) squat to greet an elderly person? b) kneel down to apologise before an elderly person.

A. It is not permissible to squat when greeting, even if the one being greeted is an eldery or pious person. Islam does not teach this method of greeting.


Q. On the great Nights of Baraat, Rajab, Qadr and the two Eids we gather in our Jamaat Khaana to recite fifteen Paras khatam. After the recitation, sweetmeats are served. Is this correct?

A. This is not a Sunnah practice. It is a bida’ an innovation which people regard as an Islamic practice. It is necessary to discontinue this practice. The great Nights should be observed in the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his noble Sahaabah observed. There is no need for the Muslim community to add customs and practices into the Deen. The method of the Sahaabah is best for the attainment of the highest Thawaab.


Q. Is it permissible to celebrate birthday parties?

A. Celebration of birthday parties is a custom of the Kuffaar. It has no place in Islam. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “He who imitates a nation becomes one of them.” 


Q. When a child is born some people celebrate the occasion by placing sweets, etc. in a bowl in a special style with the name of the baby inside the bowl of sweets. These sweets are then distributed among relatives and friends so that they are informed of the baby’s name. Is this permissible?

A. This is an un-Islamic custom. It has no origin and no sanction in Islam. Muslims must refrain from practising such customs in conflict with the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).


Q. Is it Fardh, Sunnat, etc. for the lmaam to make faateha after every Sunnat and Nafl Namaaz with the Jamaat saying aloud Aameen?

A. It is neither Fardh nor Sunnat. In fact this practice is not permissible. This practice known as “faatehaa thaani” has been established as a compulsory practice by those who have strayed from the Sunnah. It is necessary to abstain from this practice. It is Sunnah to make Dua in congregation after every Fardh Salaat. To make Dua after Sunnat and Nafl Salaat is the choice of the individual. One is free to make any Dua at any time. But, it is not lawful to assign any Shar`i status (e.g. Fardh, Waajib, Sunnat, etc.) to an innovated practice.


Q. How is it to make dua in Sajdah, i.e. making a special prostration for the purpose of dua?

A. In privacy such Sajdah could be made. However, one should refrain from it in the Musjid. In Durrul Mukhtaar it is stated: “It is Makrooh (reprehensible) to make such a Sajdah after Salaat, for ignorant people will believe it to be Sunnat or even Waajib.”


Q. Is the customary Urs permissible?

A. “Urs” was never practiced by any of the Sahaabah or the great Fuqahaa and Muhadditheen. Our forms of Ibaadat or worship should be maintained unadulterated and strictly in conformity with the form and method shown to us by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his illustrious Sahaabah. The main and prime purpose of Islam is to teach mankind the way to obtain Allah Ta`ala’s pleasure. And, this Pleasure is obtained by way of the IBAADAT taught to us by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is therefore of paramount importance that we do not divert from the lbaadat practices commanded by Islam. To depart from the customary Ibaadat practices of the Sahaabah is opening the doorway to “Dalaal” (going astray). “Urs” is not and never was a practice of the Sunnah. It is a custom which is foreign to the Qur`aan, foreign to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), foreign to the Sahaabah, foreign to the great Fuqahaa (Jurists) and Muhadditheen of Islam. In short, the customary “Urs” has no origin and no sanction in the Shariah of Islam.

This practice of “Urs” has been accorded the status of lbaadat by the perpetrators of this un-Islamic custom. But to do so is to cast aside the clear warning of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to abstain from the introduction of “worship” practices and customs alien to Islam unfounded in the Qur`aan and Ahadith. Our lbaadat must be maintained as simple as possible and as pure as possible. This is the only way to adhere to the Sunnah. Muslims must avoid and shun participation in this practice which most assuredly invites the displeasure of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Wrath of Allah Ta`ala.


Q. It is customary to invite people for a feast to the home of the dead person. After he/she (the dead) has been buried. Is this permissible?

A. It is not permissible. This custom is a Bidat-e-sayyiah (an evil innovation). It is a custom innovated by wrongdoers and given religious sanction by them. They have exceeded the bounds in this custom and have thus strayed from the right path. It is necessary to abstain from indulgence in this un-Islamic custom.


Q. Is it permissible to kiss the grave of a saint or of ones parents?

A. It is not permissible.


Q. Is it allowed to undertake a Minnat (Vow) on the names of saints, etc.?

A. It is Haraam to make “Minnat” (Vow to fulfill a certain Ibaadat or good act if a certain wish or due is granted) to saints and anyone else besides Allah Ta`ala. The “Minnat” is a Vow which can only be made unto Allah Ta`ala. To make “Minnat” in the names of saints, etc. is an act of Shirk.


Q. On marriage occasions, when opening a new business and moving into a new house, people recite Khatam of the Qur’aan Shareef. Collective Dua is then made. Thereafter refreshments are served. Is this a Sunnah practice?

A. It is a bid’ah practice. Such ceremonies and serving of refreshments on the occasions mentioned in the question are innovations. Participation in these customs of bid’ah is not permissible.


Q. Some people believe that it is necessary to slaughter a sheep and to distribute the meat to the poor for gaining shifa (cure) from sickness. Is there a basis in the Shariah for this belief?

A. This practice is bid’ah. For shifa it is permissible to give Sadqah. Charity of any kind may be given to the poor. But to confine it to slaughtering an animal is bid’ah.


Q. Is it permissible to visit the mazaars (tombs) of the Auliya to make dua?

A. In view of the bid’ah and shirk prevailing at the mausolea of the Auliya, it is not permissible to go there. People make tawaaf of the graves. They supplicate to the graves. They kiss the graves and even make sajdah. You can make dua from your home. The dua is heard and accepted by Allah Ta’ala from wherever you may be.


Q. While cutting my finger nails on Friday during the day time, I was told that it is better to cut the nails during the night time. Is this correct?

A. There is no special merit in cutting the nails during the night time. It is only permissible.


Q. What is the Shariah's view about the custom of distributing haleem at Musjids in Ramadhan? The following things take place in this custom: * Women join the que with non-mahram men to collect haleem (type of soup). * Men dish out the food for women. * The street or location where the haleem is collected is full of men and women who mingle and associate with one another freely. * It has become an occasion for boys and girls to meet and converse openly in public.

A. Since there are many evils which accompany this custom, it is not permissible to serve haleem to the public in this manner. This custom has now become haraam on account of the acts of immorality associated with it.


Q. Is it permissible to distribute sweetmeats amongs friends and relatives when a baby is born?

A. This custom is not permissible. It is not Sunnat to do so. People have introduced this custom. It is not permissible to adhere to such practices which the Shariah has not ordered.


Q. What makes shaking of hands on Eid Days bid'ah?

A. Why would two people who proceed together in the same vehicle to the Musallaa (Eidgah) for Salaat refrain from hand-shaking when they leave their home, but as soon as the Eid Salaat is over, they shake hands? Why did they not shake hands at home before leaving? Why do they not shake hands in the vehicle while riding to the Eidgah? Why do they not shake hands when they arrive at the Eidgah? Why do they delay their hand-shaking for after the Eid Salaat? Where did they acquire this practice from? From the Sahaabah? From the Taabieen? From Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? Why did these great personalities not shake hands on this occasion? These questions cannot be fobbed off by saying that hand-shaking is Sunnat. We all know that Salaat is Fardh and Sunnat. But performing Salaat at sunrise is haraam. Performing Salaat in conflict with the teachings and practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is bid’ah and Haraam. In the same way, shaking hands and developing it into a peculiar and a stupid custom is bid’ah. It is not permissible to shake hands on Eid days after Salaat. It is a baseless custom which has no origin in the Sunnah.


Q. Zaid says that the customary Eid Day greeting of 'Eid Mubaarak' is perfectly permissible. He cites this permissibility from Fataawa Rahimiyyah where it is said in response to a question: 'It is permissible. Words such as 'May Allah accept from us and from you'; 'Eid Mubaarak', etc. are permissible.' However Bakr disagrees. He avers that the greeting of 'Eid Mubaarak' in our society is considered incumbent and necessary on the Day of Eid. Omission of it is viewed with disdain. It is therefore bid'ah in our society. He therefore advises other statements of dua, What is the Shariah's view in this regard?

A. There is no act/practice of the Mu’min which may be viewed in isolation of the Sunnah regardless of Fiqhi (juridical) classifications and technicalities. It is imperative to view every act in the light of the Sunnah, especially when it assumes religious hues. An act or statement may he initially perfectly legitimate, beautiful and acceptable, but if it is elevated to a pedestal superseding its Shar’i classification and status, it degenerates into bid’ah (evil and prohibited innovation). In fact, this degeneration into the confines of bid’ah is not restricted to permissible (Mubah) acts Even acts of the Sunnah will be classified ‘bid’ah’ on the basis of external corruptive factors which eliminate or alter its true Shar’i status. This is an acknowledged principle of the Shariah which all Ulama are supposed to know and understand.

Thus, for the acquisition of a Shar’i ruling it is not sufficient to take into account only the innocence and beauty of the act/statement. Its relationship with the Sunnah has to be incumbency taken into consideration. ‘Eid Mubaarak’ is an innocent and a beautiful statement of greeting or congratulation. Despite its initial beauty, this term has become cloaked with incumbency. It is regarded to be an essential practice to be discharged on the Day of Eid. In fact many people will commence with: ‘Eid Mubaarak’ instead of the Masnoon Salaam. This statement has assumed an incumbent status which even overshadows the Masnoon Salaam. Furthermore it never was the Sunnah of the Sahaabah to greet with this term. Why then is there such emphasis on this practice?

The very emphasis according to a practice which has no origin in the Sunnah betrays the bid’ah of the custom. Also revealing its bid’ah category, is the time allocated for its discharge. Several person travel in the same vehicle towards the Eidgah/Musiid for the Eid Salaat. No one exclaims ‘Eid Mubaarak’, However, immediately on the termination of the Eid Salaat and Khutbah, the ‘Eid Mubaarak’ custom is set in motion. Similarly, when leaving home for the Eid Salaat the housefolk are not offered this greeting. But on return from the Eidgah, the ‘Eid Mubaarak’ custom is initiated. This is evidence for the existence of a custom accorded Deeni significance and accompanied by its own conditions – time and manner of acquittal-.Those who do not engage in this custom are frowned on.

The custom has thus transcended its Shar’i status and has entered into the confines of bid’ah It is a practice to be discarded. As for the permissibility mentioned in Fataawa Rahimiyyah, the honourable Hadhrat Mufti Sahib’s focus was only on the; meaning of the words or the literal meaning which is undoubtedly beautiful. He did not apply the requisite Shar’i principles for his response. On the very same page where the fatwa of permissibility of ‘Eid Mubaarak’ appears, the honourable Mufti Sahib (rahmatullah alayh) has on the basis of the relevant Shar’i principle, proscribed even an established authentic practice of the Sunnah, namely, Musaafahah (Hand-Shaking) on specific occasions such as when sighting the new moon, and elsewhere specifically on the Day of Eid after Salaat. He describes such specification as baseless, without evidence.

It would have been proper for the honourable Mufti Saheb to have applied the self-same principle on the basis of which he outlawed Musaafahah, to likewise proscribe the greeting of ‘Eid Mubaarak’. The application of the Shar’i principle to ‘Eid Mubaarak’ has greater validity than its application to Musaafahah in view of the latter having a basis in the Sunnah while the former (i.e. ‘Eid Mubaarak’) is devoid of any such basis. Bakr too is in error regarding his advice to mention some other dua.

Just as ‘Eid Mubaarak’ has degenerated into a bid’ah, so too, will any other form of greeting and supplication assume bid’ah proportions if it becomes customary. The only correct attitude is to refrain from introducing any practice which has no origin and substantiation in the Sunnah of the Sahaabah. Anyone is free to say any words of affection and offer any dua without developing it into a custom which may be understood by others as a Masnoon act.
Close Answer


Q. Is it Sunnat to wish people ‘Jumuah Mubarak’ on Fridays?

A. There is no Masnoon practice of wishing people on Jumuah. This is a baseless practice.


Q. What is the status of ‘Jumuah Mubarak’ messages which people nowadays send to one another?

A. The Jumuah Mubaarak messages are bid’ah. It is not permissible to initiate such futile practices which eventually will assume the form of hardcore bid’ah. The only greeting Islam has is ‘Assalamu Aalaikum’.


Q. After which Surah in the 30th Juz is it Mustahab to recite `Lailaha illallaahu wallaahu akbar'?

A. We are not aware of this. This is the first time we have heard that reciting tahleel is Mustahab after a certain Surah in the 30th Juz. We have never read of this anywhere nor did any of our Asaatizah ever teach us about this. Nevertheless, no one can claim to know everything. Perhaps someone else can enlighten us on this question. Until we find something concrete, we cannot comment.


Q. What is the significance of kissing one's thumbs and rubbing it on the eyes when Rasulullah's name is recited during the Athaan?

A. This is a bid’ah act. Some weak and fabricated narrations have been advanced by the Ahl-e-Bid’ah to substantiate this practice. If this practice was Sunnah as the Ahl-e-Bid’ah claim, the Fuqaha would have included it among the Aadaab (Etiquettes) of the Athaan. But none of the authorities of the Shariah nor their authentic works make any reference to this practice.


Q. In some quarters there is the custom of people gathering to recite Surah Yaaseen 41 times. Thereafter a dua is made. This is done specially when a calamity befalls. Is this based on the Sunnat?

A. No, it is not based on the Sunnat. The most efficacious way is to adhere to the methods of the Sunnah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that Dua is readily acceptable after Fardh Salaat, at the time of Tahajjud, after the four raka’ts Sunnats of Zuhr and on other auspicious occasions. Since people are not contented with the methods of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), they diverge into other paths. They cling to a practice which perhaps some buzrug had initiated with his mureedeen for some specific reason. They accord greater preference to such practices than to the Sunnat of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). They imply a vote of no confidence in the methods of the Sunnah. What hope can there be of acceptance of dua which pushes aside the Masnoon tareeqah? The Qur’aan Majeed says: ‘And, only the people of intelligence take lesson.’


Q. It is mentioned in the Hadith that when Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had completed hifz of Surah Baqarah, he sacrificed a camel out of happiness. On the basis of this will it be permissible to serve food when making khatam of the Qur’aan Shareef?

A. The act of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) is not a basis for any of the customs in vogue among people. Hadhrat Umar’s act was not in fulfillment of a custom. It was done spontaneously as a result of his happiness when he had accomplished the hifz of Surah Baqarah in eight years. He did not organize a party nor was his act an ostentatious gathering of waste such as the jalsahs of the present day.

If a person wishes to gain thawaab and give Sadqah to the poor in gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for the Ni’mat of Hifz, he is free to do so. But what is the need to organize a party, have speeches, sing songs, invite wealthy and bloated people to participate, etc., etc. Such gatherings are far—very far—from the simple act of Sadqah of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). There is no resemblance between the extravagant parties of show (riyaa) and Hadhrat Umar’s simple deed of Sadqah. By all means give Sadqah in abundance and unostentatiously. There is no need for publicity and advertisement. There is no need to feed people who eat five times a day. The nafs presents deceptive arguments to substantiate bid’ah and shaitaaniyat.

Numerable Sahaabah made hifz of the Qur’aan Shareef. Did anyone of them organize a jalsah, a party or any type of gathering? Did anyone of them follow the act of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)? Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a Haafiz of the Qur’aan. Did he repeat his performance of sacrificing a camel when he completed hifz of the Qur’aan? Did he invite people to a feast? Did he organize a jalsah?

The sacrificing of a camel by Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a personal preference in a moment of extreme delight. It never was the intention to initiate a custom, hence no one ever followed him in this act. If there was a need for feasting and merrymaking on the occasion of a khatam, then such practices would have gained prominence during the Khairul Quroon. Hifz of the Qur’aan is not something new or peculiar to this age. Personal preferences of the Sahaabah were not transformed into regular customs to be observed by the Ummah.

At most it can be said that it is good to give Sadqah as an expression of gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for a ni’mat. But giving Sadqah is in many forms. No particular form may be established as a custom to be observed with incumbency, ostentation, waste, riya and pride which grace the jalsahs, gatherings and so-called Deeni ceremonies of our times. And, if someone is over-eager in the desire to emulate Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), then when he completes the Hifz of Surah Baqarah let him sacrifice a camel or its value in money. Let him give this amount in Sadqah to the poor and refrain from any jalsah when he completes Hifz. He will then have some resemblance with this Sunnat which was the peculiarity of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) alone.
Close Answer


Q. If rice is thrown for good luck at a Muslim wedding, what happens to one’s Imaan?

A. To do so is haraam. This is a custom of the idolaters. It is not permissible to follow the customs and practices of the kuffaar. Nevertheless, one remains a Muslim.


Q. In your issue Vol. 18 No. 12 you have described as bid’ah the practice of Imaams making a bayaan or tafseer immediately after the Fardh Salaat. I am one such Imaam in a Musjid where our seniors want it that way. I am at a loss. So, my question is: Is it better for me to resign my position or follow my employer’s instruction because I understand that it is not such a very serious issue. Your advice will be very helpful.

A. The fact that you have described a bid’ah ‘not such a very serious issue’ reveals that you have Not understood the meaning and the vile consequences of bid’ah. Assuming that it is not a ‘very serious issue’, then too, according to the Hadith the one who regards sin lightly is like one who thinks lightly of Allah Ta’ala. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) warned that we should not minimize such sins which people regard as ‘little sins’.

All sins are great and evil, and what is regarded as ‘little’ ultimately develops into what every Tom, Dick and Harry acknowledges is ‘gigantic’ sin. It does not require colossal intelligence, deep insight and the knowledge of a genius to understand that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah, the Taabi-een, the Tabe Taabieen and the Fuqaha of all ages, performed the Sunan-e-Rawaatib (the Sunnats after the Fardh) immediately after the Fardh Salaat. There was no activity, Deeni or worldly, interspersing between the Fardh and Sunnat Salaat.

But more than 14 centuries after the completion and perfection of Islam, and while the Pattern of life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah is fresh and glaring in front of us, we find seniors inventing new practices. Regardless of the logic of the benefits they may perceive in this new interruption between Fardh and Sunnat Salaat, the bottom line is the fact that it is a practice alien to the Sunnah. As such it must be abandoned. This should be adequate to debunk your ‘not so very serious’ idea. Whether you should resign or not, is left to you. We refrain from advising you on this aspect.

An interruption between the Sunnat and Fardh Salaat is a serious issue which no longer concerns even the Ulama. If after the two Sunnats of Fajr and after the four Sunnats of Zuhr, one engages in any worldly act, then the Sunnats should be repeated. If after the Fardh Salaat the musallis engages in some conversation thereby delaying the immediate performance of the Sunnat Salaat, then according to some Fuqaha, the Sunnatul Muakkadah Salaat is lost. There is no way of compensating for it other than Istighfaar.

Another view is that while the Sunnatul Muakkadhah is valid, the thawaab is substantially reduced. Thus, according to both views there is substantial damage to the Salaat as a consequence of an interruption not sanctioned by the Sunnah. According to the Fuqaha, this damage to the Salaat is the consequence of every act which negates the Tahreemah (i.e. the Salaat), and is not confined to worldly acts. Just as reciting from the Qur’aan Majeed naatharah (i.e. looking in the Mushaf – copy of the Qur’aan) negates Salaat, and just as doing kitaab-reading during Salaat invalidates Salaat, so too do these acts of virtue negate the Sunnat-e-Muakkadah Salaat according to one view, and according to the other view, reduces the thawaab. Precisely for this reason, that is, to avoid an interruption, it is not permissible for the Imaam to engage in a long dua after such Fardh Salaat followed by Sunnatul Muakkadah (i.e. Zuhr, Maghrib and Isha). The Fuqaha have categorically prohibited this.

Furthermore, the Fuqaha have ruled that even Aayatul Kursi, Tahmeed and Tahmeed (and any form of Thikr) should be delayed until after the Sunnatul Muakkadah. The interruption which is validated by the Shariah is only a Dua equal in length to the usual “Allahumma Antas salaam……..” The Fuqaha base this on the narration of Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anhua). As for the other athkaar narrated in the Ahaadith, the Fuqaha have adequately explained these. It is not proper and not permissible for us Muqallideen to look beyond the confines of the Rulings of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.

Some Fuqaha have said: “To commence the Sunnats immediately after the Fardh is Masnoon.” The Masnoon interruption of the short Dua does not affect the Ittisaal (or immediate adjoining). If the Sunnatul Muakkadah is performed after auraad and athkaar, then while the Sunnats will be discharged, it will not be in accordance with the Sunnah since the Sunnah time adjoins the Fardh Salaat. However, in one view, the Sunnatul Muakkadah is irreparably eliminated. Now that you have understood the emphasis which the Shariah places on Ittisaal (immediate adjoining) between Fardh and Sunnat Salaat, you will, if you are unbiased and in search of the Haqq, better understand the prohibition of interrupting this Ittisaal with Kitaab-reading. While there is no compensation for this Ittisaal if lost, there is a compensation for the kitaabreading. It could be delayed until after the musallis have comfortably completed their Salaat which is the primary obligation when visiting the Musjid.
Close Answer


Q. In our Musjid a few brothers sit after Fajr to read a Hadith and then recite Surah Yaaseen collectively. Is this permissible?

A. It is Sunnat to recite Surah Yaaseen after Fajr Salaat. If by collectively you mean that they recite in unison or in chorus, then such recitation is bid’ah and not permissible. If they recite individually, then it is permissible, in fact meritorious.


Q. There is a custom called ‘First Eid’. If a person dies during the course of the year, then on the first Eid thereafter, it is considered necessary to visit the house of the deceased and offer ‘faatihah’. Is there any substantiation in the Shariah for this practice?

A. The ‘first eid’ custom is a bid’ah custom. It is not permissible to participate in it.


Q. The Imaam of the Musjid announced that a khatam would take place after Ishaa Salaat in the Musjid for the thawaab of some deceased. Is this a Sunnah practice?

A. It is a bid’ah practice. It is not permissible to participate in such public practices which have no origin in the Sunnah. As time advances, these practices develop into incorrigible bid’ah in the same way as the practices of the grave-worshippers have become bid’ah and shirk. Shaitaan is a cunning and a subtle teacher. He adorns practices with hues of ’ibaadat’ to entrap even learned men.


Q. Some people claim that sweeping the house at night brings ill-luck. Is this true?

A. There is no substantiation in the Shariah for this claim. It is permissible to sweep at night.


Q. A Maulana has been employed to be the Imaam of a Musjid. After one and half years he suddenly started holding the Asaa during the Jumuah khutbah.

A. Holding the asaa for the Jumuah khutbah is an incumbent characteristic of the people of Bid’ah. They consider the asaa to be Waajib, hence it is bid’ah. The Maulana Saheb must have been influenced by some miscreants to adopt the way of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah.


Q. On marriage occasions, when opening a new business and moving into a new house, people recite Khatam of the Qur’aan Shareef. Collective Dua is then made. Thereafter refreshments are served. Is this a Sunnah practice?

A. It is a bid’ah practice. Such ceremonies and serving of refreshments on the occasions mentioned in the question are innovations. Participation in these customs of bid’ah is not permissible.


Q. Is there a Sunnat custom when moving into a new house or shop?

A. There is no Sunnat custom for such occasions.


Q. Is Musjid-opening ceremonies based in the Sunnah?

Such ceremonies are based in bid’ah, show, and pride. Shaitaan knows how to deviate and ruin people via activities painted with religious hues. All these ceremonies are the products of the nafs. The ‘opening ceremony’ of a Musjid is the first performance of Salaat therein.


Q. What is the basis for putting beads around the arms of a baby?

A. There is no basis for this bid’ah custom.


Q. What is the Sunnat method of the ceremony for naming the child on the 7th day?

A. There is no Sunnat ceremony for this occasion. All ceremonies for naming the baby are bid’ah. On the seventh day the baby should simply be called by a name. Functions and feasting are innovations which have no basis in the Sunnah.


Q. Is it true that clapping hands and whistling are from Shaitaan?

A. These are shaitaani acts. According to the Qur’aan the prayers of pagans consisted of whistling and clapping hands around their idols.


Q. Some people, after shaking hands, place the palm of their right hand on their breast. Is this Sunnat?

A. No, it is not Sunnat. It is a strange custom which has no origin in Islam.


Q. The imaam who visted us in prison told me to pray as follows: 'Ya Abdul Qaadir Jilaani! Ask Allah to fulfil my duas.' I felt very uncomfortable. Before I do so I decided to find out if this is valid. Please advise me.

A. The imaam who visited you is a Bid’ati (a man of innovation). There are numerous members of the Bid’ah cult in South Africa. He had asked you to indulge in shirk (associating partners with Allah Ta’ala). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Sin is what agitates your conscience.’ Because the man tried to trap you into committing shirk, you felt uncomfortable. The natural attitude of Imaan is to repel shirk. You should never heed the evil teachings of bid’ah and shirk of this ‘imaam’. A Muslim directs his dua to only Allah Ta’ala. No one can grant wishes and prayers besides Allah Ta’ala. Beware of these deviated persons of Bid’ah who worship the graves of the saints.


Q. Is it Sunnat to fast on the 27th of Rajab and to congregate in the Musjid for Nafl Salaat, Tilaawat, lectures, etc. on the 27th night?

A. It is not Sunnat. It is bid’ah. There is no basis in the Sunnah for fasting on 27th Rajab and for special congregational acts on this night.


Q. Is it necessary to make khatam of the Qur’aan Shareef on the 27th night of Ramadhaan in Taraaweeh?

A. Khatam of the Qur’aan should nowadays not be on the 27th night because it has become a bid’ah. People believe that it is incumbent to make khatam on the 27th. Khatam could be made on any night.


Q. In a chain letter doing its rounds, a dua called Dua Nur is mentioned. It is said that if copies are not made and circulated, a calamity will befall one, and one will be deprived of Rasulullah’s shafa’at (intercession) on the Day of Qiyaamah. Please comment. How authentic is this Dua?

A. As long as there is no authentic reference for duas, etc., one should not follow and adopt it. Anyone can compile duas, etc. The claim that those who do not distribute ‘this dua’ will be deprived of Rasulullah’s shafa’at is utterly baseless. It is a lie uttered in the name of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The intercession of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will be for all those who practise the Sunnah. Instead of reciting this unsubstantiated dua, recite Durood Shareef in abundance, and make Tilaawat of the Qur’aan Majeed. Those who shun the Sunnah, will be deprived of Rasulullah’s intercession. One should not disseminate unauthenticated material. Ignore all these chain letters.


Q. The Salafis are saying that there are words of shirk in Qasidah Burdah, hence it is not permissible to recite it. The virtues narrated of this Qasidah are also said to be spurious. In some khaanqas they have special sessions for reciting Qasidah Burdah. Please comment.

A. Qasidah Burdah is a qaseedah (song/poetry) in which the author expresses his spiritual love for Allah Ta’ala and His Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Qasidah Burdah is not a thikr or an act of Ibaadat. It has no Shar’i significance. It is just a qaseedah as are all other good qaseedahs/nazams. The words quoted by you are not shirk. The supplication is directed to Allah Ta’ala. The word: ‘Rabbi’ means: ‘O My Rabb!’. The khanaqas where Qasidah Burdah o r o the r q ase edahs are systematically sung are in error. They have lost the Path of Islaah. They are unaware of the goals of a Khaanqah, hence they indulge in trivialities which ultimately culminate into hard-core bid’ah. Instead of reciting the Qasidah as an act of ‘ibaadat’, they should rather recite the Qur’aan Majeed or engage in Durood or any other form of real Thikrullaah.


Q. Does the ‘gadad’ or ‘khadad’ practice in vogue in the Cape have any origin in the Sunnah?

A. The practice of khadad or gadat is bid’ah. There is no origin and no permission for it in the Sunnah


Q. Please explain the practice of Niyaaz which is given in the name of Ghaus-e-Paak.

A. There is no practice such as ‘niyaaz’ in Islam. It is an innovation which has no origin in Islam. It is a stupid bid’ah. Ghaus-e-Paak refers to Hadhrat Sayyid Abdul Qaadir Jilaani (rahmatullah alayh) who was one of Islam’s greatest Auliya. The Ahl-e- Bid’ah – the Qabar Puja (Graveworshipping) sect have fabricated many false stories about Hadhrat Abdul Qaadir Jeelaani (rahmatullah alayh) .


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