As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 10


Misunderstandings in defining al-Ibadah

Category 2: Tawheed al-Uluhiyah
Chapter 5: Misunderstandings in defining al-Ibadah

Ibadah is Tawqeefiyah: Meaning nothing can be legislated concerning it except with a proof from the Book and the Sunnah and that which is not legislated by Allah is considered a rejected innovation as the Messenger of Allah (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) said, 'Whoever performs an action that is not ordered by us is rejected.' [Agreed upon] meaning the action is rejected and not accepted, rather it is written as a sin because it is disobedience and not obedience. The correct Manhaj of performing the legislated worships is moderation between being easy and lazy and harshness and extremism. Allah says to His Messenger, 'So stand you firm and straight as you are commanded and those (your companions) who turn in repentance (unto Allah) with you, and transgress not (Allah's legal limits).' [Soorah Hud (11): 112]

In this noble verse, the correct Manhaj to perform worship has been mentioned, which is to adhere to moderation, without negligence or extremism, according to the legislation, 'as you are commanded.' Then he reinforced this by His Saying, 'and transgress not (Allah's legal limits).' Transgression is to go beyond bounds due to harshness and stubbornness and this is exaggeration. When the Messenger of Allah (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) found out that three Companions, who considered their deeds insignificant, such that one of them said, ‘I will fast and not break my fast.’ And another said, ‘I will pray and not sleep.’ And the third said, ‘I will not marry women.’ The Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) said, ‘As for me then I fast and break my fast and I marry women, so whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.’ [Agreed upon]

There are two differing groups of people regarding the issue of beliefs:
The first group fell short in their understanding of Ibadah and became lenient in performing it until they cancelled out many forms of worship, and reduced the meaning of worship to certain actions, and some rituals that are performed in the mosques. According to them worship does not stretch over the house, office, workshop, streets, neither in their dealings, politics, in seeking judgment to their dispute, nor in any other aspect of life.

Yes, the mosque has a virtue, and it is obligatory to perform five daily prayers in it, but worship envelopes all aspects of a Muslim's life - inside the mosque and outside it.

The second group overstressed in implementing worship to the extent of exaggeration; they raised the Mustahabb (recommended) actions to the level of Wajib (obligatory), and prohibited some Mubah (permissible actions), and declared deviant and mistaken those people, who disagreed with their Manhaj (way) and proved their understanding to be incorrect.

And the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters.

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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