What is Bidat in Islam and What are the types of Bidat

The literary meaning of "Bid'at" (in the dictionary) is "innovation; novelty." In the following lines we see where in the Holy Quran this word has been used, and the meaning with which it is associated:

Says the Holy Quran:
Qul ma kuntu midu'a minar Rusuli

"Say I am no Bringer of New Fangled Doctrine among the Apostles." (XLVI: 9)
and it says:

Bari'us samawaati wal ard

"The Originator of the Heavens and the Earth." (II: 117)

and it says:

Warahbaaniyatan ibtadaooha ma katabnaha alaikum

"But monasticism (which) they invented - We ordained  it not for them." (LVII: 27)

In these Ayahs from the Holy Quran the word Bid'at has been used in it's literary meaning. It's definition in the technical language of the Shari'at is different. In the Holy Quran it has been used to mean "to invent" and "to create a new thing", whereas it's technical meaning is as written in the book Mirqat (under Babul I'tisaam bil Kitaab was-Sunnah) - "that belief or action which was not in practice during the blessed age of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) but was introduced after him."

From this we see that Bid'at is of two kinds:-

Bid'at I'tiqaadi (innovation in belief)

Bid'at Amali (innovation in action)


Now let us see the difference between Bid'at I'tiqaadi and Bid'at Amali.


Is that new belief (which is in contradiction with the Holy Quran and Sunnah) which found its way into Islam after the blessed age of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Christianity, Judaism, Zoroasterism and Polytheism are not Bid'at I'tiqaadi as these beliefs were in practice before and during the blessed time and also because they do not claim themselves to be Muslims whereas the Jabriyya, Qadriyya, Batiniyya, Bahaaism, Qadyanism, etc. are Bid'at I'tiqaadi (innovations in belief) because they come into being after the blessed age and also came themselves to be Muslims.


Is that action which came into practice after the blessed period of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) be it secular or religious, in the eye of the Sahaaba-Kiraam or after it. Mirqat Babul-I'tisaam says, "In the Shari'at, Bid'at is that innovation which was not there in the blessed age of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)." The book, Ashi'atul Lam'at under the same chapter says, "Bid'at is that which came into being after the blessed period of Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)."

So from the above definitions of Bid'at we see that a Bid'at Amali (innovated action) can be religious or secular but it has to be after the blessed period of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and i.e. even that action which was introduced into Islam in the age of the respected Sahaba will be considered a Bid'at.

NOTE: If the innovation was brought into practice in the age of the Sahaba then we should not call it Bid'at but Sunnat of the Sahaba as it is respectful to call it so, though it is Bid'at-e-Hasana. Because the word Bid'at is mostly understood to mean Bid'at-e-Sai'yya (vile innovation).

Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) in the time of his Caliphate, called the people to perform Tarawih prayers in congregation (Jamaat), whereas it used to be prayed individually in the time of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and commented on seeing the Jamaat, "This is a very nice Bid'at."  Bid'at Amali (innovated action) is classified in two:-

Bid'at-e-Hasana (praiseworthy innovation)

Bid'at-e-Sai'yya (offensive innovation)

1 comment:

  1. Al-Hadith (Sahih Muslim). Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire.

    there is no good or bad innovation .innovation is innovation. We should strive to live according to what is mentioned in the quran and the sunnah of the prophet (saws)