These types of arguments come up when discussing the Mawlid with a Muslim who believes it is not an innovation. However, likewise we use taps and showers for wudhu and ghusl but 1400 years ago they used their hands, a cup out of a tumbler or bucket of water to make those ablutions. The way of doing them has not changed so it's not an innovation? Please answer the microphone question.

2 Answers 2


There are two kinds of innovations. Those in ibadah and those in normal life. Using a help to do the adhan is not innovation in ibadah. You do the adhan as usual, just you put something front of you to be heard better.

But some record the voice and play it in every adhan and I think, that's to avoid. Because a person self has to do it and while calling for adhan the muazzin has to perform different positions of the head and that's not given out of a tape. The sunnah is not fulfilled that moment. It's not forbidden to play it, but better do it self.

And Allah knows best.


The conditions of an innovation in the religion are:

  1. An act that is intended to get one closer to Allah (Arabic: عمل أريد به التقرب إلى الله),
  2. which the Prophet ﷺ and his rightly-guided caliphs did not do (Arabic: لم يفعله الرسول ولا الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين),
  3. while requirements existed (Arabic: مع وجود المقتضى), and
  4. there were no obstacles (Arabic: وعدم وجود مانع).

These conditions were established by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his book I'lām al-Muwaqqi'īn, Vol. 2, pp. 281-282, and Al-Shātibi in his book his book Al-I'tisām, Vol. 2 (all).

The consequences of deviating from what Allah has prescribed through the Prophet ﷺ are severe according to the Qur'an:

فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet's order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment.

Surat An-Nur 24:63

In other words, when it comes to acts of worship (the objective is getting closer to Allah), we have only one option: to follow. An innovation has been described by the Prophet ﷺ as an act that is newly invented; it does not belong to the religion:

وَشَرَّ الأُمُورِ مُحْدَثَاتُهَا وَكُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلاَلَةٌ وَكُلَّ ضَلاَلَةٍ فِي النَّارِ

The worst of things are those that are newly invented; every newly-invented thing is an innovation and every innovation is going astray, and every going astray is in the Fire.

Sunan an-Nasa'i, Book 19, Hadith 23

For an act to be part of the religion, it has to be authenticated as narrated in the following hadith:

عن عائشة، رضي الله عنها، قالت‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏‏من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد‏‏ ‏(‏‏متفق عليه‏‏‏)‏‏.‏ وفي رواية لمسلم:‏ ‏‏من عمل عملاً ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد‏‏‏.‏

'Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "If anyone introduces in our matter something which does not belong to it, will be rejected". The narration in Muslim says: "If anybody introduces a practice which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected".

Riyad as-Salihin, Book 1, Hadith 169

This was the Sunnah of the Prophet's companions, too. They strictly followed what the Prophet ﷺ taught them, and abandoned any act of worship otherwise. 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ūd said:

اتبعوا ولا تبتدعوا فقد كفيتم — عليكم بالأمر العتيق

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

Follow and do not innovate, for you have been sufficed — follow the old methods [those of the Prophet].

Hajjat an-Naby, pp. 101

Accordingly, this is what was reflected in all schools of jurisprudence. For instance, in his book Al-I'tisām (Arabic: الاعتصام), Al-Shatibi discussed innovations in religion in Vol. 1, pp. 61-67. Quoting what Imam Malik said:

قال ابن الماجشون: سمعت مالكا يقول من ابتدع في الإسلام بدعة يراها حسنة، زعم أن محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم خان الرسالة، لأن الله يقول اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم، فما لم يكن يومئذ دينا، فلا يكون اليوم دينا

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

['Abdul-Malik ibn 'Abdul-'Azīz] ibn al-Mājishūn said: "I heard Malik say whoever innovates in Islam an innovation that he sees as good, he but claims that Mohammad ﷺ betrayed conveying the message, for Allah says 'this day I have perfected for you your religion'. What was not religion then [during the days of the Prophet] is not religion now."

Al-I'tisām, Vol. 1, pp. 64-65

So, in light of the above, we can study the acts you gave as examples:

Is using a microphone speaker system for adhān an innovation? No.

  1. Is this an act of worship related to the religion? Yes.
  2. Did the Prophet ﷺ and his rightly-guided caliphs do so? No.
  3. Did the same requirements exist then as they exist now? Yes (to alert as many people as possible to prayers).
  4. Were there any obstacles that stopped the Prophet ﷺ and his companions from doing said act? Yes, microphones were not yet invented.

Likewise, the same applies to using taps or showers for wudū' or ghusl.

Is celebrating the birthday of the Prophet ﷺ an innovation? Yes.

  1. Is this an act of worship related to the religion? Yes.
  2. Did the Prophet ﷺ and his rightly-guided caliphs do so? No, not in the current fashion (the Prophet fasted Mondays, and no scholar ever said that those who fast Mondays are innovators).
  3. Did the same requirements exist then as they exist now? Yes, no difference.
  4. Were there any obstacles that stopped the Prophet ﷺ and his companions from doing said act? None, as basically similar celebrations to what takes place today, could have taken place then.

If the Prophet ﷺ did not celebrate his birthday (other than fasting on Mondays), then who ordained to them to celebrate otherwise:

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.

Surat Ash-Shuraa 42:21

Finally, one may ask what the harm is in doing so anyway. There is no better answer to this than the story of some of the Khawarij as narrated by Al-Hakam ibn al-Mubārak and documented by Al-Darimi in his Sunan about the story of Yahya al-Māzini and Abu Musa al-Ash'ari:

كُنَّا نَجْلِسُ عَلَى بَابِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَبْلَ صَلَاةِ الْغَدَاةِ، فَإِذَا خَرَجَ، مَشَيْنَا مَعَهُ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ، فَجَاءَنَا أَبُو مُوسَى الْأَشْعَرِيُّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ فَقَالَ: أَخَرَجَ إِلَيْكُمْ أَبُو عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ ؟ قُلْنَا: لَا، بَعْدُ، فَجَلَسَ مَعَنَا حَتَّى خَرَجَ، فَلَمَّا خَرَجَ، قُمْنَا إِلَيْهِ جَمِيعًا، فَقَالَ لَهُ أَبُو مُوسَى: يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ آنِفًا أَمْرًا أَنْكَرْتُهُ وَلَمْ أَرَ - وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ - إِلَّا خَيْرًا، قَالَ: فَمَا هُوَ؟ فَقَالَ: إِنْ عِشْتَ فَسَتَرَاهُ

— NOTE: My own translation, so treat with care:

We were sitting at the door of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ūd before the morning prayers so that when he exits, we would accompany him to the masjid. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari came and asked: "Did Aba 'Abdur-Rahmān [the nickname of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ūd] come out to you?" They said: "No, not yet." He sat with us until he came out. We then stood up, all of us, and Abu Musa told him: "I saw something in the masjid that I denied, although I did not see — Allah be praised — except what is good." Ibn Mas'ūd asked: "what is it?" He responded: "If you live, you will see for yourself."

قَالَ: رَأَيْتُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ قَوْمًا حِلَقًا جُلُوسًا يَنْتَظِرُونَ الصَّلَاةَ فِي كُلِّ حَلْقَةٍ رَجُلٌ، وَفِي أَيْدِيهِمْ حصًا، فَيَقُولُ: كَبِّرُوا مِائَةً، فَيُكَبِّرُونَ مِائَةً، فَيَقُولُ: هَلِّلُوا مِائَةً، فَيُهَلِّلُونَ مِائَةً، وَيَقُولُ: سَبِّحُوا مِائَةً، فَيُسَبِّحُونَ مِائَةً، قَالَ: فَمَاذَا قُلْتَ لَهُمْ ؟، قَالَ: مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ شَيْئًا انْتِظَارَ رَأْيِكَ أَوِ انْتظارَ أَمْرِكَ، قَالَ: أَفَلَا أَمَرْتَهُمْ أَنْ يَعُدُّوا سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ، وَضَمِنْتَ لَهُمْ أَنْ لَا يَضِيعَ مِنْ حَسَنَاتِهِمْ

He said: "I saw some people in the masjid sitting in circles, waiting to pray. In each circle, they had pebbles in their hands, and a man would say: "Say 100 takbirs." They then would do so. Then he would say: "Say 100 tahlils." They then would do so. Then he would say: "Say 100 tasbihs." They then would do so. Ibn Mas'ūd asked: "What did you tell them?" Abu Musa replied: "I did not tell them anything. I am waiting for your opinion or your command." Ibn Mas'ūd wondered: "Why did you not order them to count their sins, and guarantee to them that their good deeds would not be lost?"

ثُمَّ مَضَى وَمَضَيْنَا مَعَهُ حَتَّى أَتَى حَلْقَةً مِنْ تِلْكَ الْحِلَقِ، فَوَقَفَ عَلَيْهِمْ، فَقَالَ: مَا هَذَا الَّذِي أَرَاكُمْ تَصْنَعُونَ؟ قَالُوا: يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ حصًا نَعُدُّ بِهِ التَّكْبِيرَ وَالتَّهْلِيلَ وَالتَّسْبِيحَ، قَالَ: فَعُدُّوا سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ، فَأَنَا ضَامِنٌ أَنْ لَا يَضِيعَ مِنْ حَسَنَاتِكُمْ شَيْءٌ، وَيْحَكُمْ يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ، مَا أَسْرَعَ هَلَكَتَكُمْ هَؤُلَاءِ صَحَابَةُ نَبِيِّكُمْ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مُتَوَافِرُونَ، وَهَذِهِ ثِيَابُهُ لَمْ تَبْلَ، وَآنِيَتُهُ لَمْ تُكْسَرْ، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، إِنَّكُمْ لَعَلَى مِلَّةٍ هِيَ أَهْدَى مِنْ مِلَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أوْ مُفْتَتِحُو بَابِ ضَلَالَةٍ، قَالُوا: وَاللَّهِ يَا أَبَا عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، مَا أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْخَيْرَ. قَالَ: وَكَمْ مِنْ مُرِيدٍ لِلْخَيْرِ لَنْ يُصِيبَهُ، إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَدَّثَنَا أَنَّ قَوْمًا يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ لَا يُجَاوِزُ تَرَاقِيَهُمْ، وَايْمُ اللَّهِ مَا أَدْرِي لَعَلَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ مِنْكُمْ

He then left, and we followed him until he got to one of those circles. He then stopped and asked: "What is it that I see you doing?" They responded: "O' Aba Abdur-Rahmān, these are pebbles with which we count our takbirs, tahlils and tasbihs." He said: "Then count your sins [with the pebbles], for I can guarantee that you will not lose any of your good deeds. Woe to you, O' nation of Mohammad. How quick is your demise? These are his companions still alive around you, and those are his clothes still not worn out, and his pottery still unbroken. With whom my soul is in His hand, you are more guided in your religion than the guidance of Mohammad ﷺ, or you are opening the doors of going astray." They said: "By Allah, O' Aba Abdur-Rahmān, we only wanted what is good." He responded: "And how many of those who aim for what is good miss it? The Prophet ﷺ told us about a group of people that recite the Qur'an but it does not reach their tracheas. By Allah, I do not know if most of you are from this group."

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ، فَقَالَ عَمْرُو بْنُ سَلَمَةَ: رَأَيْنَا عَامَّةَ أُولَئِكَ الْحِلَقِ يُطَاعِنُونَا يَوْمَ النَّهْرَوَانِ مَعَ الْخَوَارِجِ "

He then turned away from them. 'Amr ibn Salama said: "We saw most of those who were in those circles fighting us on the day of Nahrawan with the khawarij.

It matters not if the intention is good and the action is bad, as it matters not if the intention is bad and the action is good. Both do not count as good deeds. A good deed must be for the sake of Allah alone and must be done in a manner that pleases Him.

  • Did the Prophet saws fast to celebrate his birthday? Because on the 2 Eids it's haraam to fast. (However Fridays are Eids and we can fast but not without a consecutive day before or after).
    – user25344
    Dec 5, 2017 at 7:15
  • It cannot be said with certainty that the Prophet fasted Mondays as a form of celebration. This is the maximum anyone claiming that one should celebrate the Prophet's birthday can go. Fasting on the *first day of the two Eids is a different matter. You may wish to post another question about the two Eids.
    – III-AK-III
    Dec 5, 2017 at 12:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .