In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
The following statement was posted by the Turkish Newspaper Daily Sabah [may Allaah direct its Muslim journalists to every good, repel every evil from them and guide them to the authentic Sunnah, and also guide its Non-Muslim journalists to Islaam and the Sunnah] Aameen. Title: Muslims around the world observe holy night of Laylat al-Raghaib:
First, we remind our Turkish Muslim brothers at Daily Sabah about some few principles related to worship in Islaam.
Al-Allaamah Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbaad [may Allaah preserve him] said:
Al-Ibaadah [Worship]: It is a comprehensive term for everything that Allaah loves and is pleased with, including statements and deeds, apparent [i.e. physical actions of the limbs] and unapparent [beliefs concealed in the heart]. This is the best of what has been stated regarding the definition of worship.
Worship has great importance because Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] created the Khalq [Mankind and Jinn], sent the Messengers and revealed the Books in order to command them to worship Him and forbid them from worshipping others besides Him. Allaah [Glorified Be He] said: [وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ ٱلۡجِنَّ وَٱلۡإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُونِ – And I (Allah) created not the Jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” Meaning: Allaah created them in order to command them to worship Him (alone) and forbid them from disobeying Him. Allaah [Glorified be He] said:
[وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِى ڪُلِّ أُمَّةٍ۬ رَّسُولاً أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَۖ – And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah). [16:36]
Allaah [Glorified Be He] said: [وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ – And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaaha illaa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allah), so worship Me (Alone and none else)]. [21:25]
Two conditions must be fulfilled in order for an act of worship to be accepted; the first of the two conditions is that the act of worship must be done sincerely for Allaah, and secondly the act of worship must be in agreement with the Sunnah of the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]. The act of worship has to be done sincerely for the sake of Allaah (alone) and none else is to be associated as a partner with Allaah in worship. [Likewise] the act of worship must be done in conformity with what the Messenger came with [i.e. the Qur’aan and the Sunnah].
This is what the Shahaadah (لا إله إلا الله محمدا رسول الله) necessitates; because (لا إله إلا الله) necessitates that acts of worship must be carried out sincerely for the sake of Allaah alone. And (محمدا رسول الله) necessitates that acts of worship must be carried out in conformity with what was revealed to the noble Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]. Therefore, Allaah is not to be worshipped with bidah, newly invented matters in Religion and evil acts, for which Allaah [The Most High] has sent down no authority; rather acts of worship must be in conformity with the Sunnah of the noble Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam].
If any of these two conditions or both of them are not fulfilled, then indeed the act of worship will be rejected by Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic]. Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَقَدِمۡنَآ إِلَىٰ مَا عَمِلُواْ مِنۡ عَمَلٍ۬ فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ هَبَآءً۬ مَّنثُورً
And We shall turn to whatever deeds they disbelievers, polytheists] did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust] [Soorah Al-Furqaan. Ayah 23]
And the noble Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said:
مَنْ أَحْدَثَ فِي أَمْرِنَا هَذَا مَا لَيْسَ مِنْهُ فَهُوَ رَدٌ
He who innovates something in this matter of ours [i.e., Islam] that is not of it will have it rejected [by Allah].”[Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. Number 2697] [Saheeh Muslim. Number 1718]
And in another wording of this hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim the Prophet said:
مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَد
He who does an act (of worship) which we have not commanded (i.e. not commanded by the Prophet), will have it rejected.
And he [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said:
فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ فَسَيَرَى اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا، فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيينَ، عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ، وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الْأُمُورِ؛ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ
Verily he lives long among you will see a lot of differing, so you must keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the Khulafaa ar-Rashideen [the rightly guided caliphs]. Adhere to it with your molar teeth (i.e. adhere to it firmly). And beware of newly invented matters [in the religion], for every newly invented matter [in the religion] is a bidah [innovation in the religion], and every bidah is misguidance. [Abu Dawood. Number 4607] [Tirmidhee. Number 2676]
The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] clarified – in the hadeeth about the seventy three sects amongst whom seventy-two sects will enter the hell fire and one sect will be saved-that the saved sect are those who adhere to the path him and his noble companions adhered to.
Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah] said: “The latter part of this Ummah [i.e. those who will come after the Salaf] will not be rectified except by way of that which rectified it’s earlier part [i.e. the Salaf].’’ And he [rahimahullaah) said: ‘’Whoever innovates a bidah in Islaam and considers it to be something good, then indeed he has claimed that Muhammad betrayed the Risaalah (i.e. the message he was entrusted with); because Allaah said: ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِينَكُمۡ – This day, I have perfected your religion for you]. Therefore, what was not part of the religion at that time [i.e. during the time of the Messenger] cannot be part of the religion today (i.e. after his departure from this world).” [Al-Itisaam of Imaam Shaatibee 1/28]
It is not enough for a person to say: “I am going to do this act of worship even though it was not (performed by) the Prophet because my intention is pure and good.” The evidence (against this statement) is that when it reached the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] that a man amongst his noble companions slaughtered the Eed sacrifice before the Eed Salaah, he [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said to him: شَاتُكَ شَاةُ لَحْمٍ– “Your (slaughtered sheep was just mutton (not a sacrifice).”[Saheeh Bukhaari. Number: 5556]; meaning: It is not considered Eed sacrifice because it was not carried out in conformity with my Sunnah. Therefore, what is in conformity with the Sunnah is that the Eed sacrifice is done after the Eed Salaah; but as for sacrificing before the Salaah, then indeed it is outside its specified time and will not be regarded as (Eed sacrifice).
Al-Haafidh said in Fat-hul Baaree (10/17): “Shaikh Abu Muhammad Bin Abu Hamzah said: This hadeeth (establishes the fact that) if an action (i.e. an act of worship) is done with a sincere intention, it is still not (considered) righteous unless it is in conformity with the legislated divine revelation. [An Excerpt from أثر العبادات في حياة المسلم pages: 1-2]
Second, what do the scholars of Islam say about this so-called Laylatul Raghaa’ib?
Imaam An-Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The well-known Salaah (prayer) that is known as Salaatul Raghaa’ib [the Raghaa’ib prayer] – which consists of twelve Rak’ats and is performed between Maghrib and Isha on the night before the first Friday in the month of Rajab and the hundred Rak’ats performed on the night of the 15th of Shabaan – are two religious innovations. They are repugnant and evil [i.e. becauae they are not from the acts of worship legislated in the Islamic legislation] and one should neither be deceived due to their mention in the book Quwwatul Quloob and Ihyaa Uloom Ad-Deen nor due to their mention in narrations, because all of that Iis false. And do not be deceived by some of those people to whom the ruling regarding these prayers is ambiguous (or doubtful), so he judged them to be recommended, because indeed they are mistaken. Shaikhul Islaam Abu Muhammad Abdur Rahmaan Bin Ismaa’eel Al-Maqdisee has written a precious book showing the falsity of these prayers and he did well. [Al-Majmoo 3/548]
Ibn Al-Haaj Al-Maalikee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “One of the religious innovations that has been initiated in this noble month of Rajab is the prayer of Raghaa’ib on the night before the first day of Jumu’ah in the central mosques and the other mosques, so the people gather in some of the central mosques and the other mosques in the various regions to perform this religious innovation. They openly perform it in congregation and behind an Imaam in the mosques were the five daily prayers are performed as if it is a prayer that has been legislated in Islaam. But this prayer – according to the judgement in Imaam Maalik’s school of jurisprudence- is forbidden, because indeed those who came before us (i.e. the Prophet’s companions) never did so and all good is found in following them [may Allaah be pleased with them]”. [Al-Madkhal 1/294]
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Neither Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] performed this prayer nor anyone amongst the Sahaabah (i.e. the companions of Allaah’s Messenger), neither the Taabi’een (i.e. the second generaation who adhered to the path of the Sahaabah) nor the Imaams of the Muslims. Neither did Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] show a desire for it nor did any of the pious predecessors, nor the Imaams of Islaam and nor did they mention specific virtues for this night. The narrations that have been transmitted and attributed to Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] are a lie and fabrication based on the consensus of those who are specialists in this field [of hadeeth science]. This is why the Muhaqqi’qeen scholars [i.e. those scholars who are firmly grounded in a subject matter of the religion, who study the difference of opinion or differing in a subject matter, gather the proofs, examine the proofs in depth and compare them. Then they mention the affair that is established based on sound proof, clarify why those proofs are the strong ones, its different types and why that which opposes is weak or fabricated] have stated that this affair [i.e. these innovated acts during Rajab and Shaban] are forbidden and not recommended”. [Al-Fataawa Al-kubraa 2/262]
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said, “As for establishing prayer – in congregation – with a specific number of Rak’ats and a determined type of recitation in a specific time, such as these prayers that are being enquired about – the Salaatul Raghaa’ib during the night before the first Jumu’ah of Rajab, the Al-Fiyah (1) in the beginning of Rajab and the middle of Shabaan, the 27th night in the month of Rajab and other than them, this is not legislated based on the consensus of the Imaams of Islaam, as it has been established from the Imaams of the religion who are considered to be reliable in religious affairs and are people of sound and precise understanding. The likes of this prayer is not initiated except by an ignoranus – an innovator in religious affairs and opening the door to it necessitates an alteration of the sound and legislated acts of worship and rites, and thus one receives a share of (deeds of those) who legislate that which Allaah has not legislated. [Al-Fataawaa Al-Kubraa 2/239]
NB: The Al-Fiyah: This innovated prayer and what is similar to it is well-known to some of us who were upon the innovated Soofi paths. It is performed by some people on Shabaan 15th. They either perform 100 Rak’ats and in every Rak’ah Surah Al-Ikhaas is recited 10 times or they perform 10 Rak’ats and Surah Al-Ikhlaas is recited a 100 times in every Rak’ah.
Finally, we conclude with a statement of Imaam Maalik and Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have upon them and all the scholars of Islaam] which have already been quoted earlier. Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah] said: “The latter part of this Ummah [i.e. those who will come after the Salaf] will not be rectified except by way of that which rectified it’s earlier part [i.e. the Salaf].’’ And he [rahimahullaah) said: ‘’Whoever innovates a bidah in Islaam and considers it to be something good, then indeed he has claimed that Muhammad betrayed the Risaalah (i.e. the message he was entrusted with); because Allaah said: ٱلۡيَوۡمَ أَكۡمَلۡتُ لَكُمۡ دِينَكُمۡ – This day, I have perfected your religion for you]. Therefore, what was not part of the religion at that time [i.e. during the time of the Messenger] cannot be part of the religion today (i.e. after his departure from this world).” [Al-Itisaam of Imaam Shaatibee 1/28]
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: The likes of this prayer is not initiated except by an ignoramus – an innovator in religious affairs, and opening the door to it necessitates an alteration of the sound and legislated acts of worship and rites, and thus one receives a share of (the deeds of those) who legislate that which Allaah has not legislated. [Al-Fataawaa Al-Kubraa 2/239]
May Allaah open our hearts to that which is correct, grant us the desire to seek knowledge from its sound sources, even that is little, bless us with sincerity and the ability to act Aameen. And Allaah knows best.