Ahlus Sunnah: There Is No Bid’ah Hasanah (Good Bid’ah)


Sufis claim that there is a thing in Islam called bid’ah hasanah i.e. ‘good bid’ah’. However, this is wrong. The scholars of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah do not believe in bid’ah hasanah, they believe all bid’ah is haram.

Statements On Ahlu Bid’ah By The Scholars Of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah

1) Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.161H) said:

“Innovation is more beloved to Iblees than sin, since a sin may be repented from but innovation is not repented from.” [Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee no. 238]

2) Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H) said:

“That a person meets Allaah with every sin except shirk is better than meeting Him upon any one of the innovated beliefs.” [Reported by al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad pg.158]

3) Ibraaheem bin Maysarah (d.132H) said:

“Whoever honours an innovator has aided in the destruction of Islam.” [Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee (1/139)]

4) Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d.161 H) said,

“Whoever listens to an innovator has left the protection of Allaah, and is entrusted with the innovation.” [Reported by Aboo Nu’aym in Al-Hilyah, 7/26 and Ibn Battah, no. 444]

5) Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d. 187H) said,

“Whoever sits with a person of innovation, then beware of him and whoever sits with a person of innovation has not been given wisdom. I love that there was a fort of iron between me and a person of innovation. That I eat with a Jew and a Christian is more beloved to me than that I eat with a person of Innovation.” [Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee]

6) Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (d.187H) said,

“Do not sit with a person of innovation. Allaah has rendered his actions futile and has taken the light of Islaam from his heart.” He also said, “Do not feel safe about your deen with a person of innovation. Do not consult him in your affairs and do not sit with him, for whoever sits with a person of innovation Allaah will make him inherit blindness.” And he said, “Verily, Allaah has angels who look for the gatherings in which remembrance is made, so look and see with whom is your sitting. Let it not be with a person of innovation for Allaah does not look at them. And a sign of hypocrisy is that a man stands and sits with a person of innovation.” [Sharh Usoolul-I’tiqaad of al-Laalikaa’ee no. 263-265]

7. Hishaam said:

al-Hasan [al-Basree] and Muhammad bin Seereen used to both say: ‘Do not sit with the people of ahwaa’* and do not argue with them and do not listen from them.” [Al-Ibaanah of Ibn Battah #395]

8) Aboo Qilaabah said:

“Do not sit with the people of ahwaa’*, and do not argue with them, for verily I do not feel safe that they will immerse you in their misguidance or confuse you in that which you already know.” [Al-Ibaanah #369]

9) Ibraaheem an-Nakha’ee said:

“Do not sit with the people of ahwaa’*, for verily their gatherings cause the light of Eemaan to go from the hearts, and strip the beauty from the faces, and cause hatred to be inherited in the hearts of the believers.” [Al-Ibaanah #375]

10) Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee said:

“Aboo Qilaabah said to me: ‘O Ayyoob! Memorize from me four (things): Do not speak regarding the Qur’aan with your opinion, and beware of (speaking about) al-Qadr, and if the Companions of Muhammad are mentioned then withhold, and do not give the people of ahwaa* your hearing so they cast into it what they wish.” [Al-Ibaanah #397]

11) Ahmad bin Abeel-Hawaaree said that ‘Abdullaah binul-Busree said to him:

“The Sunnah with us is not that you refute ahlul-ahwaa’*, but the Sunnah with us is that you do not speak to anyone from amongst them.” [Al-Ibaanah #478]

12) Salaam bin Abee Mutee’ said:

“A man from ahlul-bid’ah said to Ayyoob [as-Sakhtiyaanee d.131H]: ‘O Abaa Bakr! Can I ask you about a word?’ [Salaam] said: “So I saw him indicate with his hand and he was saying: ‘Not even half a word, not even half a word!’” [Al-Ibaanah of Ibn Battah [d.387H], #482]

13) Muhammad bin Seereen, if he heard speech from a person of bid’ah, he would put his fingers in his ears, then he said:

“If is not halaal for me to speak to him until he stands up [and leaves] his place.” [Al-Ibaanah #484]

14) Muslim bin Yasaar said:

“Do not open up your hearing to a person of bid’ah, so he pours inside it what you don’t have the ability to take out of your heart.” [Al-Ibaanah #436]

15) ath-Thawree [d.161H] said:

“Whoever lends his hearing to a person of bid’ah has gone out from the protection of Allah and is entrusted to himself.” [Al-Ibaanah #444]

16) al-Imaam As-Saaboonee [d.449H]:

“And along with that, they were agreed upon subduing ahlul-bid’ah by debasing them, degrading them, keeping them far away, being distant from them and from accompanying them and living with them, and upon seeking nearness to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Taýaala) by avoiding and abandoning them.”[Aqeedatus-Salaf Ashaabul-Hadeeth (pg. 114)]

17) al-Imaam al-Aajurree mentioned in his Akhlaaqul-’Ulamaa’:

“Because from the characteristics of the ‘Aalim al-Aaqil (interllectual scholar) is that he doesn’t sit with ahlul-ahwaa*, and doesn’t debate with them” [Akhlaaqul-’Ulamaa’]

18) Abool-Jawzaa’ said:

“For apes and pigs to live next door to me in a house is more beloved to me than there live next door to me a man from ahlul-ahwaa*”. [Al-Ibaanah #466]

19) Thaabit bin ‘Ajlaan said:

“I met Anas bin Maalik, and Ibn Musayyib, and al-Hasan al-Basree, Sa’eed bin Jubayr, ash-Sha’bee, Ibraaheem an- Nakha’ee, ‘Ataa’ bin Abee Rabaah, Taawoos, Mujaahid, ‘Abdullaah bin Abee Maleekah, and az-Zuhree, Makhool, al-Qaasim Abaa ‘Abdir- Rahmaan, ‘Ataa’ al-Khuraasaanee, Thaabit al-Banaanee, al-Hakim bin Utaybah, Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee, Hamaad, Muhammad bin Seereen and Abaa ‘Aamir – and he had reached Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq and Yazeed ar-Raqaashee and Sulaymaan bin Moosaa, all of them ordering me to adhere to the (Ahlus Sunnah Wal) Jamaah, and forbidding me from the people of ahwaa’*.” [Al-Ma’rifatu wat-Taareekh of al-Fasuwee (3/491-492)]

*Ahlu Ahwaa (the people of desirers) is another name for Ahlu Bid’ah (the people of innovation).

My personal take from all this is that, yes, the righteous scholars agree that there is no such thing as good bid’ah; we should definitely avoid gatherings where bid’ah is being taught or celebrated. But at the same time, the scholars also taught us the importance of akhlaq towards one another, because keeping ties and being ihsan especially towards the believers are some of the commandments from Allah SWT.

Hence, if we are able to advise our family, friends and community against bid’ah matters, and they accept it – alhamdulillah. But if they do not, it is still NOT an excuse to cut off relationships with them.

May Allah SWT grant us hikmah.