The meaning of 'Newly invented things'


What are the “Newly invented things” (mentioned in a Hadith)?


The Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Beware of newly invented things (in religion)1 includes all things which people have introduced into the Islamic religion. They are the acts of Bid’ah (innovation in religion) in creed, worship, and all things that are neither mentioned in the Qur’an nor in the authentically reported Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him); however, people have taken them as religious rites in worshipping Allah. They claim that it is valid to do this but it is not. Rather, these acts are rejected innovations such as invoking the righteous dead or absent people beside Allah; taking graves as Masjids (mosques) and circumambulating them; seeking the help of the dead, claiming that they are intermediaries to Allah in fulfilling needs and relieving distress; taking birthdays of the prophets and righteous people as festivals in which they offer what they call sacrifices that are only dedicated to the night, day, or the month of the birthday, and a host of other acts of Bid’ah and superstitions that are neither revealed by Allah nor authentically reported in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). In light of this, it becomes clear that some of these innovations are acts of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), such as seeking the help of the dead and vowing to them. However, other acts, such as building and establishing Masjids on graves, are Bid`ah but not Shirk, unless they exceed reasonable limits that may render them Shirk.

  1. Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on Al-Sunnah, no. 4607; Al-Darimy, Introduction, no. 95.