Why bid’a (innovation) is not allowed in Islam?
Why do we have to follow a specific way of worshipping God? What a question! God has the right to teach us how to worship Him. That’s why He is The Guide ‘Al-Hady’ and He knows best. Actually, It is mercy to show us the way and not leave us lost. There must be guidance. What’s the point of having a God if He is not going to guide us? And How is He our God if our own limited minds and whims and desires are better than His unlimited Knowledge in teaching us?
Bid’a (innovation) in worship is unlawful because some people can come up and say “let’s dance to increase in spirituality and connect with Allah” or “we don’t need to fast anymore. We don’t need to pray…etc.”. This is unlawful because you make up your own religion. You don’t follow God, you follow yourself.
Preserving Islam from corruption
So the prohibition of bid’a is to preserve the religion from being lost or manipulated or corrupted or fabricated. Also, no one will come up with worship better than what Allah Himself instructed.
If I want to call you to connect with you, you will give me your number. It’s wrong if I say, I don’t need you to give me your “correct” number. I’ll come up with my own creative number to connect with you. Well, you know best what your number is, and I can’t just call any number and claim it’s yours and is connecting with you! You know the best way to connect with you. So you give me that to make my life easier.
Similarly, Allah knows the best way to connect with Him. So if we want Him, we just follow His Guidance. Simple and straightforward : )
Are we restricted or our creativity stifled?
This doesn’t mean we are being restricted or our creativity stifled. No one says Islam doesn’t want us to be innovative and to push boundaries. Beyond our personal opinions and philosophies, see these facts:
Quoting National Geographic, “The growth of Islam in the seventh century sparked a golden age of scientific discovery. Muslim doctors pushed the boundaries of medical science into bold new places.” (1)
- The Guardian: The greatest scientific advances from the Muslim world. (2)
- Independent: How Islamic inventors changed the world. (3)
- CNN: Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world. (4)
Muslims have also excelled greatly in other areas, including the ingenuity of Islamic architecture.(5)
So be creative. Just don’t make up worship that Allah and His Messenger didn’t teach. A little bit of humility will take the soul a long way.
(1) How Early Islamic Science Advanced Medicine – National Geographic.
(2) The greatest scientific advances from the Muslim world –The Guardian.
(3) How Islamic inventors changed the world – Independent.
(4) Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world – CNN.
(5) Islamic architecture.