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Innovations after the death of Holy Prophet(saww)

Source: http://www.answering-ansar.org/

If one analyses Islamic history objectively, to ascertain who is responsible for introducing "Evil Innovations" into the Deen, then the name Umar Ibne Al-Khattab comes to the top of the list. His contributions via "Evil Innovations" are immense. Let us quote here the viewpoint of Imam Ali(as) regarding these Bidahs of Umar.


Hizb at Tahir states in his book "Khilafah":

"... As for the appointment of the six people by 'Umar, it was a nomination to them by him upon the request of the Muslims. Then 'Abdul Rahman ibn 'Auf consulted the Muslims about whom they wanted from the six people. The majority wanted Ali(as) if he adhered to the practices of Abu Bakr and Umar, otherwise they wanted 'Uthman. When Ali(as) rejected to adhere to the practices (Sunnah/Bidah) of Abu Bakr and Umar, Abdul Rahman ibn Auf gave the pledge to Uthman and the people gave their pledge


More Sunni References:

  1. Al Bidayah wa al Nihaya Volume 7 page 146
  2. Sharh Fiqh Akbar page 66 "Fadail Naas badh ai Rasulullah"
  3. Iqd al Fareed Volume 2 page 213
  4. Tareekh Abu Fida Volume 1 page 166 Dhikr Maqaathil Umar
  5. Tareekh Khamees Volume 2 page 255
  6. Tareekh Tabari Volume 5 page 2793 Dhikr Sunnat Chapter 23
  7. Tareekh Kamil Volume 3 page 35 Dhikr Shura

Can anyone really understand this concept of khilafaath? It was so important that:

  • The Sheikhain ran towards Saqifa, abandoning the funeral of Rasulullah(saww).
  • The Sahaba whilst debating over the khilafath at Saqifa Bani Sa'ada abused and attacked one another
  • Abu Bakr sought to secure Imam Ali’s(as) bayya via duress and Umar threatened to set on fire the home of Sayyida Fatima(sa) with her family and eminent Sahaba inside if bayyah was not given.

Despite such importance, Imam Ali(as) turned his back on leadership as he refused to abide by the Bidah of Umar. Let's see some of the Evil Innovations of Umar, so that we can understand why Imam Ali(as) rejected the Caliphate as he refused to be bound by such innovations.

(1) Innovations in Islamic Sharia in dealing with Christians

The man who really turned Orthodox Islam into a Racist & xenophobic movement, that is seen/depicted today, was the Caliph Umar.

Many do not know that the vast bulk of Sunni Islamic rituals & beliefs were put into place by Caliph Umar, and that they were based on his (Umar) interpretations of the Qur'an and the Prophet's(saww) Sunnah.

When Umar made a peace treaty with the Christians of Syria, he offered them entirely new terms by drafting a document that sought to humiliate them. These new terms never existed during the life of Rasool Allah(saw). Sufyan Thawri, Tabari, Shibli Numani, Ibne Taymiyyah, Ibne Hazm and many more Ulama and Fuqaha of Ahle-Sunnah reported this peace of treaty in their works.

Let us see all these new terms closely.

  1. Christians should not hinder any Muslim from staying in their churches for three days during which they offer them food and serve the Muslims.
    Rasool Allah(saw) also made several pacts with Christians in his Life. Can Salafies show us any such term by Rasool Allah(saw) (i.e. he ordered the Christians to not to hinder any Muslim from staying in their churches for 2 days)?
  2. They ought to give them their seats if the Muslims wish to sit down.
  3. Christians should not resemble Muslims in anything, such as their dress, tiaras, turbans or shoes or parting of the hair. They must wear long hats.
  4. They should not ride a donkey with a saddle.
  5. They must shave their foreheads.
  6. They should not bury their dead next to Muslims and must not read loudly in their churches
  7. They should not mourn loudly over their dead

 Sunni References:

  • "Alfarooq" by Shibli Numani, part 2nd, page 288-291, published by Maktaba Rehmania, Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Ibne Taymiyyah in his Fatawa, vol. 28, page 652-654.
  • Ibne Hazm, in his Al-Muhalla ("The Sweetened",Vol. 4, part 7)

The Christian propaganda machine has done its by citing these innovations of Umar, as proof that Islam is an inhuman religion. It allows Muslims to humiliate the followers of other religions.

The reality is the Islam of Muhammad (saww) was aloof from these inhuman practices. Islam is a religion of kindness, pity and compassion. Non-Muslims have full rights to follow their religion and no one is allowed to humiliate them.

Unfortunately, all the Sunni Fuqaha have taken these shameful and humiliating innovations of Umar as part of their religion and made them the part of "Islamic Sharia". Instead of condemning these Sunnah (Bidahs) of Umar (which are totally contrary to the teachings of Islam), they praise Umar for these cruel innovations.

What Umar did, was a thing of the past. But who is more guilty "Today"?


1)Christians? (Who use propaganda to stoke anti Muslim feelings Islam by citing these Fatwas)


2)The Fuqaha of Ahle Sunnah? (Who have taken these cruel innovations as part of their religion)

(2)  Innovating in relation to the laws on divorce
Allah (swt) has told very clearly in "Sura Talaq", the way of giving divorce:

O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods. And fear Allah your Lord, and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by Allah, and anyone who transgresses the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his (own) soul, thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation.

Thus when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice and establish the evidence before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out,
Al-Qur'an Surah 65, Ayah 1-2 (Translation by Yusuf Ali)

There have been several innovations made by Umar in the Shar'i practice of issuing divorce.

Umar innovated and changed the ruling of Rasool Allah's by treating three pronounced divorces at one and same time as one

Let us see the testimony of Ibn Abbas that Umar changed the Islamic Shar'ia by introducing a new law:

Abu al-Sahba' said to Ibn 'Abbas: Enlighten us with your information whether the three divorces (pronounced at one and the same time) were not treated as one during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr. He said: It was in fact so, but when during the caliphate of 'Umar (Allah be pleased with him) people began to pronounce divorce frequently, he allowed them to do so (to treat pronouncements of three divorces in a single breath as one).
Sahih Muslim, Book 009, Number 3493

Ibn 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported that the (pronouncement) of three divorces during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and that of Abu Bakr and two years of the caliphate of Umar (Allah be pleased with him) (was treated) as one. But Umar b. Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) said: Verily the people have begun to hasten in the matter in which they are required to observe respite. So if we had imposed this upon them, and he imposed it upon them.
Sahih Muslim, Book 009, Number 3491

Abu Sahba' said to Ibn 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with them): Do you know that three (divorces) were treated as one during the lifetime of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him), and that of Abu Bakr, and during three (years) of the caliphate of Umar (Allah be pleased with him)? Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) said: Yes.
Sahih Muslim, Book 009, Number 3492

(3) Innovation of initiating the Tarawih Prayer

Offered in congregation (Jama'at) during Ramadhan. Usually starts after Isha prayers.
Tarawih is a bidah in the following sense

  1. Rasool Allah(saww) never offered any such (20 or 8 rakah) prayers after Isha prayer. What he offered (and people joined behind him for 3 nights) was night prayer (i.e. Tahajjud prayer which is offered after midnight). So, what is known as Tarawih nowadays (i.e. 20 or 8 rakat prayer after Isha prayer), had never been a Sunnah of Rasool Allah(saww).
  2. Tarawih is not in harmony with the principles of Islam. Rasool Allah(saww) gave clear orders that NON COMPULSORY CONGREGATIONAL PRAYERS should be offered individually in the homes. But contrary to the orders of Rasool Allah(saww) Umar collected the people in mosque, and started offering non-compulsory congregational prayer in congregation.

Holy Prophet(saww) got angry with the people who insisted on him offering Tarawih prayers (in congregation)

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:

Allah's Apostle made a small room (with a palm leaf mat). Allah's Apostle came out (of his house) and prayed in it. Some men came and joined him in his prayer. Then again the next night they came for the prayer, but Allah's Apostle delayed and did not come out to them. So they raised their voices and knocked the door with small stones (to draw his attention). He came out to them in a state of ANGER, saying, "You are still insisting (on your deed, i.e. Tarawih prayer in the mosque) that I thought that this prayer (Tarawih) might become obligatory on you. So you people, offer this prayer at your homes, for the best prayer of a person is the one which he offers at home, except the compulsory (congregational) prayer."
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 134

The people would pray individually (not like in Tarawih) during Prophet[saww]'s time

Narrated 'Urwa:
That he was informed by 'Aisha, "Allah's Apostle went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah's Apostle came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the Morning Prayer. When the Morning Prayer was finished he recited Tashah-hud and (addressing the people) said, "Amma ba'du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer (Qiyam) should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on." So, Allah's Apostle died and the situation remained like that (i.e. people prayed individually). "
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 229

Umar initiated Tarawih

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, "Allah's Apostle died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of 'Umar's Caliphate." 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Abdul Qari said, "I went out in the company of 'Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, 'Umar said, 'in my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)'. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, 'Umar remarked, 'what an excellent Bid'a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.' He meant the prayer in the last part of the night(Tahajjut). (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night."
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 227

Are there any Ahadith in which Prophet(saww) encouraged Tarawih? No, there is not even a single hadith to this effect.
Why did Umar gather people in the mosque for Jam'at (congregation) to carry out NON COMPULSORY and NON CONGREGATIONAL Prayer? Is it not a clear violation of the orders of Rasool Allah(saww)? Anything that is not in harmony with the principles of religion, constitutes innovation of Dhalalah (misguidance).
 (4) Innovation in the Adhan of Fajr

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that the muadhdhin came to Umar ibn al-Khattab to call him to the subh prayer and found him sleeping, so he said, "Prayer is better than sleep," and Umar ordered him to put that in the adhan for subh.
Mawatta of Malik, Book 3, Number 3.1.8