Can we practice on things which the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not participate in?
The common slogan by modern salafi’s, which I am sure most Muslims are familiar with, “The Prophet did not do it, why are you doing it?” hinting that the act is a detestable or forbidden one bringing about the Wrath of Allah.
Of the more common practises they abhore are the regular Thursday evening Dhikrs kept up in as a tradition.
To counter this, we hardly require an explanation as there are authentic hadith’s to encourage dhikr and dua’s on this particular night.
Thursday nights – Proof for keeping Thursday evenings lively with Dhikr and Dua
Abu Ayyub Sulayman, the mawla of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, said, “Abu Hurayra came to us on a Thursday evening, the night before Jumu’a. He said, ‘Every individual who severs ties of kinship is constricted when he leaves us. No one left until he had said that three times. Then a young man went to one of his paternal aunts with whom he had severed ties two years previously. He went to her and she asked him, ‘Nephew! What has brought you?’ He replied, ‘I heard Abu Hurayra say such-and-such.’ She said, ‘Go back to him and ask him why he said that.’ Abu Hurayra said, ‘I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, “The actions of the children of Adam are presented before Allah Almighty on Thursday evening, the night before Jumu’a. He does not accept the actions of someone who has severed ties of kinship.”‘“
Source: Al-Adab al-Mufrad Al-Bukhari, Section, Ties of Kinshipby Imam Bukhari, hadith 61
Examples of certain things which the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not participate it and at the same time did not prohibit
1. The Prophet’s (peace be upon him) non-performance does not indicate impermissibility [at-tark la yaqtadi at-tahrim]. The agreed-upon hadith of Khalid ibn Walid eating a lizard after the Prophet (peace be upon him) abstained serves as ample proof to establish this point. “
Usually when you hear the common salafis give their lectures and the topic of bid’ah comes up.. They usually say “Show me the hadith for this / that” ..
Here follows the some narrations as recorded in the Muwatta of Imam Malik:
Malik related to me from Ibn Shihab from Abu Umama ibn Sahl ibn Hunayf from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas that Khalid ibn al-Walid ibn al-Mughira entered the house of Maymuna, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he was brought a roasted lizard. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stretched out his hand toward it. One of the women who was in Maymuna’s house said, “Tell the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, what he is about to eat.” Someone said, “It is a lizard, Muhammad.” He drew back his hand. Khalid asked, “Is it haram, Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, but there were none in my father’s land and I find that I dislike them.”
Khalid added, “I chewed and ate it while the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was looking.“
[Bukhari and Muslim]
11 Malik related to me from ‘Abdullah ibn Dinar from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that a man called the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, “Messenger of Allah, what do you think about lizards?” The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “I do not eat them and I do not forbid them.”
Source: Al-Muwatta’ of Imam Malik by Imam Malik ibn Anas Section 54.4 Eating Lizards
Introducing a good practice
There are a great number of hadiths, most of them in the rigorously authenticated (sahih) collections, showing that many of the prophetic Companions initiated new acts, forms of invocation (dhikr), supplications (dua), and so on, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had never previously done or ordered to be done. Rather, the Companions did them because of their inference and conviction that such acts were of the good that Islam and the Prophet of Islam came with and in general terms urged the like of to be done, in accordance with the word of Allah Most High in Surah al-Hajj,
“And do the good, that haply you may succeed” (Qur’an 22:77),
and the hadith of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace),
“He who inaugurates a good sunna in Islam earns the reward of it and all who perform it after him without diminishing their own rewards in the slightest.”
Here are some examples:
Bukhari and Muslim relate from Abu Hurayra (Allah be well pleased with him) that at the dawn prayer the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to Bilal, “Bilal, tell me which of your acts in Islam you are most hopeful about, for I have heard the footfall of your sandals in paradise“, and he replied, “I have done nothing I am more hopeful about than the fact that I do not perform ablution at any time of the night or day without praying with that ablution whatever has been destined for me to pray.”
Ibn Hajar Asqalani says in Fath al-Bari that the hadith shows it is permissible to use personal reasoning (ijtihad) in choosing times for acts of worship, for Bilal reached the conclusions he mentioned by his own inference, and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) confirmed him therein.
Similar to this is the hadith in Bukhari about Khubayb (who asked to pray two rakas before being executed by idolaters in Mecca) who was the first to establish the sunna of two rak’as for those who are steadfast in going to their death. These hadiths are explicit evidence that Bilal and Khubayb used their own personal reasoning (ijtihad) in choosing the times of acts of worship, without any previous command or precedent from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) other than the general demand to perform the prayer.
(2) Bukhari and Muslim relate that Rifa’a ibn Rafi said, “When we were praying behind the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and he raised his head from bowing and said , “Allah hears whoever praises Him”, a man behind him said, “Our Lord, Yours is the praise, abundantly, wholesomely, and blessedly therein.” When he rose to leave, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) asked “who said it”, and when the man replied that it was he, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “I saw thirty-odd angels each striving to be the one to write it.” Ibn Hajar says in Fath al-Bari that the hadith indicates the permissibility of initiating new expressions of dhikr in the prayer other than the ones related through hadith texts, as long as they do not contradict those conveyed by the hadith [since the above words were a mere enhancement and addendum to the known, sunna dhikr].
What about the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance leads to the fire’’?
Scholars agree that this particular hadith refers to innovations specifically in Aqida [Beliefs] and not in Fiqh. For difference of opinion in Fiqh matters and how this is seen as a mercy, see these links https://islamictext.wordpress.com/disagreement-is-a-source-of-mercy/ & https://islamictext.wordpress.com/difference-of-opinion-is-a-mercy-by-muhammad-allie-khalfe/
To be continued…