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Innovations, Adhans, and Scholars

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is it a disliked or an innovation for a Muazzin (the call person who calls people to prayer) to say durud allowed in the words ‘as salmu alaika ya rasulallah’. This is often done in the indo-pak sub continent. The hanafi’s there have deemed it a disliked bidah.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

This is permitted according to the majority of the fuqaha, as explicitly stated by top scholars and reference works in Hanafi, Shafii, and Maliki fiqh.

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) instructed that we send blessings on him after the adhan. For the muezzin to do so aloud (a) in no way goes against the sunnah and (b) reminds others to perform this great sunnah. This is why the scholars determined that it is a praiseworthy innovation and accepted it, generation after generation, after this sunnah was being generally ignored.

As for saying “Ya Rasul Allah,” there is nothing wrong with this in itself. Rather, its permissibility is something established across the board by Sunni scholars, as Shaykh Gibril Haddad explained in his writings on the issue.

Even Deobandi scholars (such as Sh. Ashraf al-Tahanawi (Allah have mercy on him) in his Imdad al-Fatawa) explain that it is in itself permitted. As for the reasons that lead them to say that it should not be said, this is a point others differ with them about. But they do not discourage it because of inherit impermissibility or even dislikedness.

Ibn Abideen did no mention this method of durud or practise under the section of when and where to send durud. Neither do hanafi books of fiqh mention this. Just the wording of azan is mentioned, with durud said by the people afterwards (silently or loudly).

The ways of sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) are countless; the hadiths about sending blessings after the adhan do not limit it to a particular way, and nor do the fuqaha.

The hanafi scholars deemed it a bidah for saying azan at the grave-yard, because that its was not its place and not the practise of the salaf, the same thing is here – extra words have been added to the azan. Many people insist people to say durud out allowed if one will give the call prayer, otherwise he is often looked down upon, and it is even seen as a sunnah by some.

1. Innovations that have a basis in the Shariah and are a means to fulfill Shariah ends may be accepted by the scholars, after careful study.

2. Sending blessings out loud is like this, unlike saying the adhan at the grave, though even this is differed upon. (Many major fuqaha, including Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (Allah have mercy on him), in his brilliant Fatawa al-Ridawiyya, argue that it is permitted and even praiseworthy, though most works seem to indicate otherwise. It is a matter of difference of opinion.)

You may say it has been inherited or there’s a difference of opinion amongst scholars so we cant say anything, but what’s with this thing that if something gets started after the time of the salaf, many hundred of years later,6th 8th 11th etc if its done by some community or city or countries its becomes a everyday practise, and seen as a good innovation. And if scholars say its a good, it does not necessarily mean they are right and not wrong.

Sidi, Sunni scholars have the two Qur’anic characteristics of spiritual electhood (wilaya): faith and god-fearingness.

Their faith (iman) and god-fearingness (taqwa) make them very, very careful in dealing with issues of halal and haram. They do not answer new issues immediately: it is their way to study them very carefully, look at all their present and future implications, consult with other scholars, and generally take their time.

One sees this with major scholars: I used to go to Shaykh Adib al-Kallas’ house to study aqida and fiqh in Damascus. Every class, I would try to ask a ‘major’ question or two, given that Shaykh Adib is one of the top Hanafi scholars alive. To most questions, he would either give a cautious reply, or simply say, “This needs further investigation,” or, “I don’t have an explicit [fiqhi] text in mind about this matter right now.” Often, he would remember and answer the question in a later class…

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.