Types of Bidah

There are in essence two types of Bidah


  • Haqeeqiyah (Clear Innovation)


  • Idaafiyyah (Relative Innovation)


Haqeeqiyyah (Clear Innovation)

This type of bidah is not found in the Quran or the Sunnah and nowhere in the Sharia. This bidah, therefore, has no association with Islam, it is not of Islam and is therefore rejected.


Idaafiyyah (Relative Innovation)

This type of Bidah is related to obtaining nearness to Allah subhana wa taala, however, what occurs is that existing forms of worship are changed or amended and added to by certain innovative measures, thus altering it to a form not found in the Shariah.


These are innovations occur in certain aspects;

  • numbers – al-Kam
  • form – al-kaif
  • types – al-jins
  • cause/reasoning – al-sabab
  • place – al-makan
  • time – al-zaman


  • Numbers – al-Kam; this is an instance where the number in an act of worship is altered, as compared to what has been revealed in order to worship


  • Form – al kayf; this is an instance where the act or form of worship is changed in opposition to what has been revealed. Examples of these are found by the methods of performing adhkar, dua, etc. by those who have made changes to what has been revealed.


  • Types –  al jins; this is an instance where an act of worship requires sacrificing of a specific animal but the type of animal is changed by those who innovate such change.


  • Cause / Reason – al sabab; this is an instance where an act of worship is done for incorrect reasoning or cause. Examples could include; Performing an act of salah for the incorrect reasoning, performing wudhu when ghusl is required.


  • Place – al makan; this is an instance where an act of worship is performed at a place that is not prescribed in Islam. These could vary; making tawaaf around a place other than al Kaaba, performing safa-saee at a place other than safa wal marwa, etc.


  • Time – al-zaman; this is an instance where an act of worship is performed outside its legislated time frame.


The aspect of Idaafiyyah is problematic for many as it does not appear at face value to be a bidah as it is a mixture of truth(i.e what has been revealed) and what is false (innovated and added to the truth or amended).

This is compounded by the aspect of bidah hasanah – good bidah, which we know is non-existent in the book Quran and Sunnah.

For purposes of ease and understanding; the first three generations are the template for the understanding of the deen and the practices of the deen. What was not practiced by the first three generations should not be practiced by the Muslims today.

The success of the Muslim lies in implementing what gave the first three generations of success; Quran and Sunnah (Authentic Ahadith / Fiqh).


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  • Imam Al Shatibee – Al Istisaam