We see that today an Islamic ruling is derived using a set of guidelines and scientific process. Each of the four schools may have different rules to derive a ruling , so can this intricate process be a Bidah motivated by the hadith of Hair splitting in religious issues? Are there any sects or schools of thought which consider fiqh to be Bidah?

  • 1
    Would there be a reason for it to be Bid'ah?
    – مجاهد
    Jun 19, 2013 at 13:32
  • The elaborate Fiqh system can lead to hair splitting. Like giving fiqh ruling for hypothetical cases as a pure academic interest
    – Islamic101
    Jun 19, 2013 at 15:17
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    What's so fundamentally wrong with ruling on hypothetical cases? And it is very intuitive that total abandoning of any guiding criteria for identification of Sharia rules will lead to mislead as there is an abundance of contradicting, unreliable or ambiguous hadiths.
    – infatuated
    Jun 5, 2014 at 6:20
  • To compare: English common law complex and contradictory, which is why in law, one learns how to argue by principles; there seems to be, prinae facie, considerable overlap... Sep 30, 2015 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


The Ahl-ul-Hadith movement of the 19th century, in the sub-continent, would qualify as a school of thought that comes very close to rejecting Fiqh. (Ahl-ul-Hadith not to be confused with primitive precursors to organized schools of Fiqh). Ahl-ul-Hadith do not ascribe to any school of Fiqh themselves and consider the association itself to be a Bida'h. One of their main theses is the absolute rejection of Taqlid, with an associated importance on deriving the rulings directly from sources. They are often compared to the now extinct Zahiri school of Fiqh but unlike the Zahiris the modern day Ahl-ul-Hadith don't consider Ijma to be a source.

Another school of thought are the Quranists. They reject the Hadith and tacitly the Sunnah as a source of guidance besides the Quran. Unlike Ahl-ul-Hadith, though, they are not particularly concerned with the concept of Bida'h.

Quranists are often classified as Modernists, though there are other modernists who accept Sunnah and Hadtih as source of legislation, while rejecting the organized schools of thought e.g. http://www.al-mawrid.org/


Very unlikely; no system of law can do without principles to guide judgement; and in Islam these principles are called Fiqh.

Bi'dah, is pejorative innovation in the Islamic Sciences; it can't be applied to the notion of Fiqh in toto.

(This doesn't mean to say that in day to day life, the 'Hadith of hair-splitting' won't be applied by the slightly over-zealous).

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