The Evil of Bid’at

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by Moulana Muhammad Badr-e-Aalam [ra]

“Whoever introduces a new thing in this affair (Religion) of ours which is not of it, is cursed.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)


Bid’at is a fatal and contagious disease, so those who are addicted to it should be avoided like patients of infectious disease. That is to say, we have to keep aloof from the gatherings of such people nor should we mix with them. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) on encountering them on the Day of Judgement will scold them by sayirig that those who tried to alter religion after my passing away and did spread Bid’at will better keep away from me now.

You find that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who is compassionate towards us even more than our parents, feels gravely disgusted by acts of Bid’at. The reason is that Bid’at presupposes that Islam was incomplete in some respect and that Bid’at has supplied the gap. In other words it means that there is need for some more Prophets after the passing away of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Such an attitude is directly opposed to our true belief as to the finality of his Prophethood.

Bid’at tends to affect not only the actions of a Muslim but also his faith; hence there is a danger in practising too much of Bid’at as the doer will meet an evil death. Ancient and latter day pious Muslims have concurrently stressed the need of avoiding Bid’at and those who are habituated to it. I am at one with those pious Muslims in admonishing my friends to be cautions in this respect. I pray to Allah that He may inspire us with love of Sunnah and hatred for Bid’at.

It should be remembered that as we are living in the final ages of the world we have to strive to protect our faith. We should not fall foul to hopeless bigots but should certainly try to bring around those who are disposed to listen to correct instruction with sincerity. Of course, it is incumbent on us to leave no stone unturned in conveying the message of Sunnat to the latter.


Due regard must always be paid to the rules laid down by Shariat under this heading. Firstly, no particular day of the year should be appointed for this purpose. Secondly, gatherings of friends and relations should not be considered as necessary. Each one may make his own arrangements according to his capacity in his own place. However, it is desirable that on the first occasion after death friends and relations may assemble together to recite the Holy Quran without any distribution of food etc. Such gatherings may not be called for as a rule in future.


We owe a sacred duty to Allah to desist from raising any equals with Him or His attributes (Sifaat) even if it be a saint or learned Alim.

Secondly, we owe a duty to the Holy Qur’an to obey its dictates by word and deed and to recite it punctually every day. Thirdly, we owe a duty to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to believe in him and be sure that no Prophet will be born after him and to obey his Shariat heart and soul while scrupulously avoiding all forms of Bid’at.


It has become difficult these days to distinguish Bid’aty from Sunni as everyone claims to be the latter. Hence in order to mark out a person who is addicted to Bid’at it would be necessary to examine the habits of his usual associates. If the latter are found to practise Bid’at without being frankly reprimanded by that person then it is a sure sign of the fact that he is of the same category as his close friends. Persons who perform patent rites of Bid’at such as MEELAD SHARIF, QIYAAM, (i.e. to stand up in feigned reverence during `Meelad’) and celebration of ANNUAL `URS’ (death anniversary of saints) must unconditionally be taken to belong to that group even though in other respects they may be observing Sunnat.

The Holy Quran has severely condemned the habit of being pliant in religious mattels. A reformer’s job does not lie in getting mixed up with ordinary people. If the people do not make the desired response it is better to leave them alone and to intimate to them one’s feeling of disgust over their condition. Hence a person who freely mixes with doers of Bid’at and they show no signs of change and both are happy with each other then that person belongs to the same category and his tall claims, if any, have no value altogether.

RASULULLAH (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) AVERSION TO BID’AT

It is mentioned in the traditions that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) once said, ‘O Aaisha, the people who brought about differences in religion are either followers of Bid’at or seekers after worldly pleasures. They even can not think of making penitence, I have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with me.’ It will not be an auspicious day when you find Soofis omitting to lend active support to virtue and to forbid the practice of vicious deeds. In other words, it will be an ominous day when Soofis will become pliant in religion.


Be careful and keep away from a person who is exercising the functions of a preceptor (Peer) but who in his actions habitually neglects the commandments of the Shari’ah. Beware, Beware, don’t go unto him – rather don’t live in a city in which such an impostor resides, lest in the contrary event your heart may soften towards him which will prove ultimately ruinous to you. I repeat, those who do not pay the respect which is due to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and light-heartedly disregard his Sunnah can never attain the rank of a true mystic (Aarif). Don’t be fascinated by his apparent self-renunciation, performance of spiritual feats, act of piety and resignation to Allah and talking about sublime things, as salvation entirely depends on strict obedience of Shari’ah and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). The mark of distinction between right and wrong is complete submission to the dictates of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mubaarak (RA) has affirmed, ‘Whosoever does not pay respect to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is deprived of his love of Sunnah. Whoever neglects Sunnah will become slack in the performance of obligatory duties and as a result of this he will have no intuition (Ma’arifat) left in him.’

‘O Lord, give us love of true faith and set it beautifully in our hearts and give us hatred of infidelity, transgression and sin. O Lord, include us among the righteous.’