Is there something like ‘good Bidah’ and ‘bad Bidah’ as some scholars allege?.Can u explain this hadith which makes reference to ‘good Bidah’!!?.
…. On that, ‘Umar remarked, ‘What an excellent Bid’ah (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)” (Taraweeh Prayer, Bukhari).
Also please explain why the arrangement of congregation Taraweeh Prayer by Umar(ra) and an additional Azan during Juma’ah by Uthman(ra) are not Bidahs?.
The word Bid`ah as a term of the Islamic literature, implies making an unsubstantiated and unauthorized addition to the corpus of Islam, which is the same as what you have explained as ‘innovation in religion’. Keeping this explanation in perspective, it should be clear that, when used as a term, there is no such thing as ‘a good bid`ah‘, as no unsubstantiated and unauthorized addition to the corpus of Islam – or an innovation in religion – is even acceptable, let alone ‘good’.
However, in its literal sense, the word ‘Bid`ah‘ is used simply to imply ‘beginning’, ‘starting’, ‘initiation’ etc. Used in its literal sense, a number of things may be considered as ‘good’.
In my opinion, the word ‘Bid`ah‘, in the referred statement of the second caliph, has been used in its literal sense, rather than as a term.
In the second part of your question, you have asked about my opinion regarding the status of the ‘extra’ Adan for the Friday congregation, which was initiated by the third caliph and that of the congregation for Taraweeh prayers, which was initiated by Hadrat Omar (ra).
For my opinion regarding the Friday Adan, I would request you to kindly refer to one of my earlier responses to a related question titled “How Many Adhan Should be Recited Before Jum`ah?“.
As for the initiation of the Taraweeh congregation, it is clear that, if required, congregations can be organized for supererogatory prayers. This point is substantiated by some incidents during the time of the Prophet (pbuh). Obviously, when it is established that supererogatory prayers can be offered in congregation, then organizing any one or the other supererogatory prayers in a congregation cannot be termed as unauthenticated. Keeping in mind the above clarification as well as the fact that the Tahajjud prayers were offered quite regularly by the Prophet (pbuh) during his life, we can now easily understand that Omar’s organization of the said supererogatory prayers in a congregation cannot be termed as an unauthenticated addition to the corpus of Islam.
I hope this helps.
November 25, 2001