Volume - IV / CHAPTER - 1 / LESSON NO: 6
HERESY AND MAJOR & MINOR SINS
Q 1. What is "Bid'at"?
A. "Bid'at" is that thing or deed which was not done during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet but was innovated later. "Bid'at" is of two kinds i.e. "Bid'at-e-Zalaalat" or "Bid'at-e-Saie-yah" (evil innovation) and "Bid'at-e-Mahmoodah" or "Bid'at-e-Hasanah" (good, virtuous innovation).
Q 2. What is "Bid'at-e-Saie-yah"?
A. "Bid'at-e-Saie-yah" is that innovation which is not proved by the Holy Qur-aan, Holy Prophet(Sunnah) and "Ijma-e-Ummah"(consensus of Muslim scholars) or belongs to such a thing that is forbidden by the Shari'ah.
Bid'at-e-Saie-yah (evil innovation) is either "Makrooh" (undersirable) or "Haraam" (unlawful) as the case may be.
Q 3. What is "Bid'at-e-Hasanah"?
A. Bid'at-e-Hasanah is that innovation which is proved by the Holy Qur-aan, Holy Prophet (Sunnah) and "Ijma-e-Ummah" or belongs to such a thing whose goodness or desirability is proved by the Shari'ah. Bid'at-e-Hasanah is "Mustahab" (desirable, commendable), Sunnat and even "Waajib" (essential) as the case may be.
Q 4. Is that thing Bid'at-e-Saie-yah or not which was innovated after "Sahaabah" and "Taaba'een"?
A. Declaring any innovation "Bid'at-e-Saie-yah" or Bid'at-e-Hasanah" does not depend on time but hinges to conformity and non-conformity of the newly invented thing with the Holy Qur-aan, Sunnah and Ijma-e-Ummah. The innovation which is consistant with Qur-aan-o-Sunnah is not at all Bid'at-e-Saie-yah regardless of time and age. During their (respective) times, "Sahaabah"(Holy Prophet's companions), "Taaba'een" (Successors to Companions) and "Taba1 Taaba'een" (Successors to Companions' Successors) forbade some of innovations and permitted certain of them.
Once Hadrat Farooque Azam (may Allah be pleased with him) said about "Taraawih"(special night prayers in the holy month of Ramadaan) "this is a good innovation", though Taraawih is "Sunnat-e-Muakkadah" (emphasised,regular Sunnah). Hadrat Abdullah bin M'aqal(may Allah be pleased with him) who once noticed his son reciting "Bismillahir Rahma-nir-Raheem" aloud in prayer said: O' my son!it is an innovation. Beware of innovations and avoid them.
It is clear by the given examples that these great personages measured every innovation by the yardstick of Shari'ah. They permitted only those innovations to stay which were in consonance with the teachings of Islaam and forbade those which were repugnant to Shari'ah.
The Holy Prophet has himself described the one as "innovator of Sunnah" who innovates a good or virtuous thing. This saying of the Holy Prophet permits "good and virtuous innovations". The innovator of virtuous thing whether it is about worship or manners will keep earning cumulative reward on being followed/practised by successive believers till the Doomsday.
However, every Tom, Dick or Harry can not innovate a certain thing and describe that as good innovation. It is an exclusive domain of Muslim scholars to innovate any good or virtuous thing i.e. "Bid'at-e-Hasanah" and allow its practice by believers in any age or time. The followers of such "Bid'at-e-Hasanah" will not be called "Bid'ati"(heretic) but "Sunni"(the followers of Sunnah).
Q 5. What is sin and how many kinds of it are there?
A. Disobeying Allah and His Prophet and not to follow the commands of Shari'ah are sin. The one who commits sin is called sinner. Sin distances believer from Allah Almighty, deprives him of blessings and renders him liable to be chastised. Sins are of two kinds i.e. minor and major.
Q 6. What is minor sin?
A. Minor sin is that one about which there is no "Wa'eed" (warning of dire consequences) i.e. no particular punishment has been defined by Islaam. Minor sins of a believer are vitiated/forgiven by the blessings of his worship, goodness, alms-giving, obedience to parents etc.
An "Hadees" to this effect says: Allah Almighty remits all the past and future sins of a believer from him who perfectly performs "Wudu"(ablution). In short, minor sin is forgiven even without begging forgiveness of Allah Almighty provided the delinquent believer does not insist on it. Insistance on minor sin turns it into major sin which is not absolved unless sincerely repented and Allah's forgiveness is sought.
Q 7. What is major sin?
A. Major sin is that one about which there is "Wa'eed" (warning of dire consequences) i.e. Islaam has warned believers of severe punishment. A believer can not rid himself of major sins unless he sincerely repents and begs forgiveness of Allah Almighty.
Q 8. Which are major sins?
A. Some of major sins which have been defined by "Qur-
aan-o-Hadees" are: unjust killing, theft, usurpation of orphan's property(right), teasing parents, indulgence in interest, drinking wine, false witness, non-observance of "Saum-o-Salaat"(fasts and prayer), non-payment of "Zakaat"(poor due), swearing false oath, less weighing and less measuring, unjust fighting with believers, accepting or offering bribe, sneaking against a believer before the rulers, backbiting against believers, forgetting the Holy Qur-aan committed to memory, disgracing Muslim scholars, despondency about Allah's mercy(forgiveness), fearlessness of Allah's wrath, extravagance, wasting money and time in sport and other frivolities, shaving the beard and committing suicide.
Q 9. Is he Muslim who commits major sins?
A. A believer who commits major sins will definitely be entered into heavens either by the grace of Allah Almighty or by the intercession of the Holy Prophet or after having served the term of his punishment and then he will never come out from it i.e. the paradise will be his permanent abode.
Q10. How will the major sins be forgiven?
A. There are two kinds of major sins i.e. non-observance of "Huqooq-ullah"(duties towards Allah) and violation of "Huqooq-ul-'Ibaad"(human rights). The major sins concerning non-observance of "Huqooq-ullah" like non-offering any time's obligatory prayer or non-observance of any day's fast may be forgiven by Allah, the Most Forgiving, provided that the delinquent believer sincerely repents and seeks His forgiveness and also resolutely determines to improve himself and not to repeat the major sins. He ought to make up for the missed "Fard" (obligatory) and "Waajib"(essential) prayers and fasts if he owes to.
Contrary to this, the major sins relating to "Huqooq-ul-'Ibaad" like one hurts anybody's faith, grace, life, property or even the heart(for example he abuses, beats or speaks ill of someone) back-bites, thieves or snatches or robs him of his belonging/property or takes money or anything in bribe, in interest or wins in gambling will not be forgiven by Allah Almighty despite the fact He is the Owner of our life, property and rights and can pardon us, but this is the rule of His Divine Court that forgiveness is not granted to the oppressor until and unless the oppressed forgives him. Allah Almighty has empowered us regarding "Huqooq-ul'Ibaad" whose violation will not be absolved until we forgive the violator and the aggrieved pardons us in case we have violated the other's rights.
Q11. What is meant by "Taubah"(begging forgiveness of Allah) and how is it sought?
A. "Taubah" means to turn towards Allah in penitence or to beg Allah's forgiveness for one's sins. Three factors are sine qua non for "Taubah" i.e. to acknowledge sins the one has committed, to repent and to resolve to avoid them and compensation for sins like "Qaza, Qada" i.e. missed,omitted prayers are must to be offered.
One should not be despondent about the grace and mercy of Allah Almighty Who is the Most Forgiving and Merciful. Procrastination in seeking forgiveness of Allah is unbecoming of a believer and also death keeps no calender so it must be hurried.
One should, while making "Du'aa"(supplication), include all believers in it to ensure its acceptance by the means of any "loved ones" of Allah, if he is not himself deserving.
A "Hadees" in this regard says: the one who seeks forgiveness of Allah for all male and female believers, will keep earning "Du'aa" of all posterity of Prophet Adam untill his death. The "Du'aa"(supplication) which is made in the company of or through or at the shrines of saints(loved ones) of Allah is not turned down but definitely answered particularly made through the agency of Allah's Beloved Prophet Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa(may Allah's choicest blessings & peace be upon him). The Holy Qur-aan to this effect says: "and if when they oppress their souls, then O' beloved(Muhammad)! they should come to you and then seek forgiveness of Allah and should the Messenger intercede for them, then they will certainly find Allah, the Most Relenting, the Most Merciful" (Al-Nisa:64).
The pious companions of the Holy Prophet used to visit the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet for the fullfilment of their needs and "Adiyah[pl.of Du'aa] (supplications).
Making "Du'aa" through the "loved ones" of Allah is proved by the Prophet Adam since he had sought forgiveness of Allah for his lapse by the means of Allah's Darling Elect Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa (may Allah's choicest blessings & peace be upon him). His "Du'aa" was immediately answered.