Imam Ash Shaafi’i ( may Allah have mercy upon him) said bid’ah is anything that has no basis on the Qur’an, sunnah (Hadith) or sayings of the companions.
Ibn Al- jawzi (may Allah have mercy upon hinm) A Bid’ah is any form of worship that did not exist at the time of the Prophet sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and his companions) then later it was innovated.
Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy up on him, said: “ A Bid’ah is any form of worship which has no basis in the Sharee’ah which would warrant its legislation.” also
Ash-Shaatibi, (may Allaah have mercy upon him), said: A Bid’ah is any matter which closely resembles the Sharee’ah and is intended to be a way of worshipping Allaah.”
Any act of worship which the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not perform, although there were no preventing factors is a Bid’ah.
Any habitual act performed with the intention of pleasing Allah which Islam did not consider as an act or worship is a Bid’ah, such as for example: condemning the sunnah, refraining from eating bread or meat, not drinking cold water or standing in the sun, celebrating Mawlid E.t.c
Celebrating Mawlid is an act of Bid’ah because it is performed as a rewardable act, despite the fact that it has not been legislated.
Bid’ah is a precursor to disbelief, Making unfounded statements on behalf of Allah. Correcting the Prophet (peace be upon him) claiming that he had deficiencies.
Dividing the Muslim nation. Abandoning the Sunnah, Igniting disputes among the Muslims or Accusing the Prophet of not completely conveying the message of Islam. Competing with the Prophets in their prophethood. Altering the religion.
Jareer Ibn Abdullaah Bujali (may Allah be please with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces a good practice in Islam will get the reward of performing it and that of all those who perform it until the Day of Resurrection; Whoever introduces a bad practice in Islam will get the punishment of performing it and that of all those who do it until the Day of Resurrection.”
Imaam AshShaatibi (Muslim), “may Allaah have mercy upon him” answered those who attempt to use this Hadeeth as evidence of the permissibility of innovating by saying: “Using this Hadeeth as an evidence (to innovate) implies that different evidences (Hadeeth) contradict one.
REASONS BEHIND INNOVATION
Ignorance of the religion of Islam, Following ones whims, Clinging to doubts, Qur’an The sole use of ration with no reference to the Islamic texts and Sunnah. Islamic Scholars not fulfilling their expected role, Dependence on weak or fabricated Extreme reactions to others errors. The failure to limit ones un Ahaadeeth, undererstanding of the Islamic texts to that of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), blind imitation of the masses. Not following the instructions of sincere scholars.
وَلَا تَكُونُوا۟ كَٱلَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا۟ وَٱخْتَلَفُوا۟ مِنۢ بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلْبَيِّنَٰتُ ۚ وَأُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌۭ
And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment.
AlQurtubi, Allaah have mercy upon him, said : may “This verse refers to the Jews and the Christians according to the majority of the scholars, but others have said that it refers to innovators within the Muslim nation.” Allaah says:
يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌۭ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌۭ ۚ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْوَدَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ أَكَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَٰنِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا۟ ٱلْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْفُرُونَ
On the Day [some] faces will turn white and [some] faces will turn black. As for those whose faces turn black, [to them it will be said], “Did you disbelieve after your belief? Then taste the punishment for what you used to reject.”
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be please with him) said concerning this verse: “The faces of the people who adhered to the Sunnah will turn white and bright, while the faces of the innovators will turn black and gloomy”. AlQurtubi, said: ” (may Allaah have mercy upon him) He who innovates or changes anything of the religion of Allah will be amongst the black faced.
Allaah says: وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَٰطِى مُسْتَقِيمًۭا فَٱتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا۟ ٱلسُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّىٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.
Mujaahid (may Allah have mercy upon him) said concerning this verse: “The other ways mentioned are desires and innovations.” Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) was asked about ‘the straight path’, he replied: “Muhammad (peace be upon him) left us standing at its beginning and it ends in Paradise. There are fast horses on its right and its left (indicating the speed with which they would lead one to Hell) with men inviting those who pass by (on the straight path) to come with them; so whoever responds to their invitation will be lead rapidly into the Hellfire, and whoever remains on the straight path will be lead to Paradise.”
Also in this hadeeth Anas Ibn Maalik, narrated that the Prophet said: (may Allah be pleased with him) Rosulullahi said “Allaah does not accept the repentance of an innovator until he abandons his innovation” (AtTabaraani & Bayhaqi).
Sufyaan (may Allah have mercy upon him) said: Thawri, “An innovation is dearer to Satan than a sin, for one can easily repent from a sin, but an innovation is not easily repented from (as an innovator thinks that he is on the correct path).”
Innovation can be prevent by Warning against the dangers of effects. Bid’ah and its evil Calling people to adhere to the Qur’an and with the understanding of the Salaf . . Sunnah ,
Distinguishing between weak and the authentic Hadeeth Purifying the schools of jurisprudence from the innovation of fanaticism towards them.
Spreading knowledge and correcting the peoples understanding of faith, worship and financial transactions.
Warning against and subduing the innovators.
Receiving knowledge from the correct sources; i.e the sincere guided Islamic scholars.
May almighty Allah in his abundant mercy guide us to the right path.
Source: Islam house and more