The Grand List of Common Bidahs


  1. Saying Iqamah in the left ear of a new born. (The sunnah is to say the azaan in the right ear alone)
  2. Celebrating Shabe-ba’rat (15th of shaban)
  3. Celebrating the night of ascension (mi’raj) (27th of Rajab)
  4. Celebrating Mawlid (Birthday of the Prophet)
  5. Mourning on the 3rd, 10th, 40th and on the yearly death anniversary of the deceased
  6. Doing tasbeeh (Subhan Allah), tahleel (la ilaha ill lal la) and tamheed (Alhamduliah) on stone, pebbles or the likes and doing so in a group.
  7. Reciting quran for the sake of benefiting the deceased with the reward of what is recited. This includes reciting quran as group by hiring people or inviting relatives, blowing over the food after recitation, and sharing that food with people on the death anniversary of a person.
  8. Making group dua right after the funeral prayer.
  9. Praying four rakat before the fard of jummah prayers.
  10. Making group dua at the end of each salah. (We cannot find any reference where after each salah the Prophet would make a dua and the sahaba will repeat ameen after him. Post salah zikr and Individual duas are found in the authentic narrations)
  11. Making group chanting of kalmiatu ikhlas at the end of each salah. (sunnah is to say Allahu Akbar, Astagfurllah x 3, and other masnoon duas, including kalima on personal basis)
  12. Doing a total of three khutbahs for Jumma. One in urdu and two in Arabic.
  13. Celebrating Urs (yearly festival) of saints.
  14. Sacrificing animals in the name of saints.
  15. Praying or supplicating to the dead, the saints, or anyone else besides Allah. (This includes slogans like Ya Ali, Ya Hussain and the likes)
  16. Making up for missed salahs that were missed during the state of being a child or a non-muslim.
  17. Believing in or using lucky charms, amulets, and soothsayers (najomis).
  18. Saying out loud the intention for prayer.
  19. Making monuments on graves. Making solid graves (through brick and stones)
  20. Mourning the first ten days of Muharam by not having marriage ceremonies or by mourning the martyrs of Karbala.
  21. Doing a khutbah before eid prayers.
  22. Praying eid prayers in a manner not found in the ahadith.
  23. Believing that Allah is everywhere. (Numerous verses from the Quran and narrations from hadith clearly mention that Allah is above His throne. e-g, Surah Taha, Verse 5)
  24. Believing that Allah is without image and is formless and/or disbelieving in His attributes. (We find certain physical attributes of Allah in Quran and Sunnah. Those physical attributes are not like anything we can compare to and are such that they suite Him accordingly. For example, we know from Quran & Sunnah that Allah has  hands, eyes, shin but all of these cannot be compared to anything else that has been created.)
  25. Believing in the sufi methodology of tarikat, abdaals, and such. (These believes have no basis in sharia. search for ‘abdal’ on wikipedia for a general understanding of this concept)
  26. Shaking hands with the one on the left and right after finishing every salah.
  27. Kissing thumbs upon hearing the name of the Prophet (PBUH).
  28. Visiting shrines of the saints.
  29. Sending salam on the Prophet (PBUH) out loud and as a group after every salah, especially after salatul jummah like done by the Barelvi community.
  30. Wiping the hands on the back of the neck while doing ablution (wudu). (This practice cannot be found in the authentic ahadith)
  31. Looking up and pointing towards the sky while reciting the shahada (testimony of faith) after. completion of wudu. (only reciting the shahada is from the sunnah).
  32. praying salatul tasbeeh. (no authentic hadith talks about this kind of prayer)
  33. praying nawafil on eid day before eid prayers.
  34. Believing that there are Prophets or messengers after Muhammad (PBUH).
  35. Believing that saints, prophets, or other people share characteristics of Allah or have special independent powers from Allah. Such as believing that saints can give life, or that they hold keys to the material treasures of heaven and earth. This includes believing that the Prophet (PBUH) had complete and absolute Knowledge of the unseen.
  36. Belief that the Prophet was created from the Noor (light) of Allah.
  37. Believing that the whole world and everything in it was created for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). (Refer to Quran 51:56♦)
  38. Believing that those who achieve the high level of righteousness through piety (like saints) no longer need to follow the guidelines of the sharia.
  39. Exaggeration in praising of the good people.
  40. Reciting Naats (Nasheeds/Priases) of the Prophet (PBUH) by using musical instruments or techniques which resemble songs and music. This includes the field of Qawali as found abundantly in Indo-Pakistan region.
  41. Learning religion for the sole purpose of earning this world.
  42. The concept of taqleed. (choosing an imam and sticking with his rulings alone in all the matters of the deen)
  43. Separating religious matters from worldly matters like the Christian did with segregation of state and church.
  44. Indulging in magic, soothsayers, palmists, astrologists and numerologists, whether you believe them or not.
  45. Sending blessings on the Prophet (PBUH) out loud before making each azan.
  46. Asking some one else to do istikahra for oneself. Paying some one to do Istikhara.
  47. Washing the limbs more than three times during wudu (ablution).
  48. Believing that only a black sheep can be given as sadaqa (charity).
  49. Believing that black color is associated with mourning, bad news, and sadness.
  50. Believing that the Prophet (PBUH) is everywhere and/or that he attends certain gatherings of ‘remembrance’.
  51. Believing that talking during making wudu (ablution) or smiling/laughing while with wudu invalidates the ablution.
  52. Believing in the altered concept of tawassul. For example, making dua to Allah that he grants you something by the name of His Prophet (PBUH).

Note: When it comes to Bidah it is the ones who are involved in it that have to prove its authenticity from Quran or Sunnah, not the other way around. But if some persists, then my proof for classifying all the above as bidah is that we do not find any reference to these actions in the Quran or authentic sunnah.

If there is any error in the above list, then it is from me and the shaytaan. Please point out any errors and i will fix them inshalah. If i have left something out, please inform me so i may include it in the list. I ask Allah for forgiveness for the mistakes and sins that i know and for those that i do not know. And i ask Allah for guidance, mercy, faith, and compassion for myself and for the ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him)

[51:56] I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me alone.

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28 Responses to The Grand List of Common Bidahs

  1. Showket ahmad says:

    Should we pray both iqamah and adhan in the ear of new born baby. .

    • Only Adhan in the right ear is found in Sunnah. And Allah knows best

  2. Thank you for helping me to know some of the common bidahs in Islam, I pray that Allah grant you mercy in this world and the Akierah.
    May Allah show His Mercy upon the Muslims of the Umah of the Prophet Mohammad (PBH ).

  3. Ibrahim Bukar says:

    what of reciting the whole quran in group just to seek for Allah s help on something worldly?

    • I have not heard this one before but if you can find proof of doing this then please do share.

  4. nasirsarker says:

    Can u explain why it’s bid’ah
    “9: Praying four rakat before the fard of jummah prayers.”

  5. Juhayr Amanoddin says:

    Assalamoalaikum. So far I havent found any comments on your article. Only on the last part. The way you say inshalah, I think some says that the right way of writing in english is “In Shaa Allah”. Thats all, shukran for sharing.

  6. salim says:

    Great effort.Nice work.All are authentic.good job bro.when you say the truth people will brand you like wahbi. Don’t pay attention to this sort of remark.keep it up.

  7. awais says:

    السلام عليكم Excellent work Brother ( May Allah be please with you)

  8. sadia says:

    Assalam-o-alaikum, i liked your article a lot and agree that a Muslim must not follow invented traditions in the name of Islam. Please shed light on ‘talaq’e’tafweez’, the delegated right of divorce to his wife by a man. What does Islam say about this practice? Is it not bidah also? thankyou

    • Rehan says:

      This is a question that should be posted to a scholar who is trained in this matter, not to me. Jazakallahu khair for your feedback

  9. Yasin says:

    Jazak Allah khair may Allah reward your intension and Allah rewards those who do good.

  10. Mohsin Khan says:

    My Dear Brother,
    i like what you said, above all there is a very important topic that i want you to add in your list is that wishing jummah mubarik in our indo-pak region which is bidah. please add some line regarding this issue.

  11. Noufal says:

    Jazak Allah..very good brother..

  12. Mohd suhail says:

    great job.

    • Rehan says:

      Jazakallahu Khair

  13. Sameira says:

    Salaams is this list prepared from a wabis point of view? It was very useful to acknowledge some of these bidahs. What about celebrating Mother’s Day and other festivals… I b frank, and probably speak for most of the ummah, taking Mother’s Day as an example, I learnt it’s not a commercial festival in fact it’s a religious day (something to do the Christianity or geek methodology). However if we still show our love and affection to our mothers on that day and not imitate the festival customs would we still be commiting bidah? This is a serious issue with my inlaws where we debated that there’s nothing wrong in Mother’s Day we not doing it as a ritual according to the religion we just show affection and love to them other. U fortunately Ian very westernised, and I am guilty of joining in all kufr festivals, I participate in these events with the Intention I’m just meeting family and friends not actually celebrating the true customers of the event. Please enlighten me with your opinion. Thanks

    • Rehan says:

      First of all, sorry for a late reply.
      Second, i dont like to put on (or follow) titles so call it wahabi point of view or anything else.This list was prepared on the basis of authentic sources and using the methodology / understanding of what a sunnah is. In other words, If they Prophet (PBUH) did a religious act or ordered it then do it. If he did not then dont do it.
      Lastly, Prophet (PBUH) said to not imitate the non believers in their actions. Imitating non believers in religious actions was out of the question so it seems that the Prophet was prohibiting us from not following them in any ceremony or event which might not have anything to do with religion. Besides, if its a grey area, you should avoid it al together. That (according to the hadith) is better for your religion and honor.

  14. Naumaan Khan says:

    Can you simply explain point no. 23.

    • Rehan says:

      There are numerous verses in the Quran and many narrations from hadith which explicitly or implicitly state that Allah is above his creation and above the high throne. That is why our Prophet (PBUH) went upwards to meet him during the miraculous journey of ascension. The verse in the quran which says that wherever you turn, you will find the face of Allah is (according to my limited knowledge) taken out of context because the rest of the part of the verse says that Allah has knowledge over all. So, in terms of Allah’s knowledge, it encompasses everything and no where you turn can you avoid Allah … but in terms of physicality, then He almight is above His throne in a manner that suits his Majesty. And Allah knows best.

  15. Osman says:

    Who is this?! Are you a scholar and where is the source for every claim you made in the OP? Please do not delete my comment and ignore it, because that would be cowardly and sinful if you did.

    • Rehan says:

      im not a scholar. just a student of knowledge. My proof for all these is that we cannot find a single authentic hadith or narration of these things being practiced by our Prophet (PBUH) or by his companions. When it comes to bidah, the ahlul-bidah have to provide proof for that worship to be valid. not the other way around. keep an open mind and do some research. if i am wrong in something, i ask Allah for forgiveness and guidance. and now that i used to do many of these things myself too but when i did some research, i changed my ways.

      • rahil says:

        Asslamu Alikum Brot,
        I appreatiated ur listing on above common bidah’s practiced by Muslims knowingly or unknowingly.I am a kind of person who was a muqallid before and later, changed my ways to follow quran, authentic hadiths and livings of his sacred companions to implement in my daily life.
        As such above listed, i request you to please verify hadith about salathul tasbeeh since it has seen reported by Ibn Abbas(radiallahuanuhuma) but this hadith’s sawab(reward) for gaining in offering this salath is considered not authentic.but salath seems valid in it’s all forms.
        Please check and reply me..thankful and Jazakumullah Khair

      • Rehan says:

        Firstly, Sorry for the late reply.
        Second, I am not a scholar but my research has shown that salah tul tasbeeh is based on weak hadith. We cannot do acts of worship based on weak hadith. Because if the hadith is correct, you will be getting the reward of a nawfl prayer. But if the hadith is not authenticated, then you would be inventing a new form of prayer in islam and that is haram. So you are hanging between a nawfl and haram. Why take that risk?
        For more information, Please consult a website like http://www.islamqa.com or consult with a scholar who uses authentic hadith and narrations for explanations.

  16. Tehreem says, ….yess but saying that Believing that Allah is everywhere is a bidah, i mean does it say anywhere that it is,
    so beliveing that He is everywhere is like beliveing that He knows everything everywhere
    even tho yeah His Throne is in the Heavens but He’s God so He’s everhwere too, cuz saying that He’s not, isnt it liek doubting that He doesn’t know everything

    okay i wuld prolly get a 0 on communication here, but it’s hard to explain…. 😐

    Mohammad Rehan says……. ok…after my third read… i did kinda get what you are getting at… so heres my attempt at explaining.
    allah himself says that he is above the heavens upon his throne, and the prophet clearly preached that, and the sahaba clearly understood that…. then came the sufis who preached that Allah is everywhere and within the hearts and this caused many sufis to claim that they had become one with Allah (who was in their heart) and had become ALlah… many sufis books uptill today mention this form of shirk (calling themselves Allah) as great pride because of this bidah they introduced that Allah is everywhere… think about it logically too, Is it honorable to think that Allah is in those places even where a decent human does not like to be at…? Allah is pure and above all that they associate with him… yes, he knows everything and his knowledge reaches everywhere, and that is easy for us to believe … u r in canada but can be fully aware of whats going on in pakistan… so physically u r not here but ur knowledge is such absolute and complete that u know everything that goes on in pakistan… we only repeat what we find in ahadith and do not go into what has been withheld from us… for example, many people who are influenced by greeks and their philosophy would try to capture muslims with paradoxes like… if allah can do everything, can he create a stone that he himself cant lift? we as muslims do not need to get into these things coz they will mess our believes bcz logic can only lead u to a certain point…after which there is revelation… we are followers and not innovators…. i will try to share a link on which you can do some more reading on this issue for further clarification

    http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/whereallah.htm

  17. Hassan Tufail says:

    More explanation on making dua after prayer….

    • i have added on that point within the parenthesis

  18. Abdul Wahab says Rehan can u plz explain more abt 22,23,35 and 1 . JazakALLAH

    Tehreem Tu-fail ‘Zhasmartcookie’ says ….waiit wait wait
    1? but why…

    Tehreem Tu-fail ‘Zhasmartcookie’ says and howcome belieiving that Allah is everywhere a bidah?(22)
    and i need the aunthentic source for 28
    and whats wrong with looking up while saying shahada,….

    Mohammad Rehan says, i have updated the article considering the above questions… plz check the article again to find your answers inshalah

    @Tehreem, looking up to the sky is wrong bcz Prophet did not do so… and the people who look up while saying shahada say that it is must to look up otherwise its like it doesnt count

    believing that allah is everywhere is a sufi aqeedah. we have a hadith (i think from bukhari) where some people told the Prophet that a certain woman is insane…so the prophet wanted to know about her eman, he asked her, where is allah…so the woman pointed towards the sky, and then the prophet asked and who am i? so the woman gestured (or said) ‘Prophet of ALlah’ so the prophet said, she is a believer….besides in the quran there are various verses which say that Allah is above his throne… and thats exactly where the prophet went to during his miraj (accession)

    there is a verse that people use to claim that Allah is everywhere… but they dont mention the complete verse… that verse is (surah hadid, verse 4)

    ‘He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. And Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.’

    on the other hand, we have numerous verses in the quran that clearly say that ‘He who is in the heavens’, ‘He who is above the throne’, “good deeds are RAISED UP to him’ “He who is above the heavens’….. i think i made my point

    the barelvi community, after jumma prayers, all stand together in a group and sing naat or send salah on the prophet as a group. this form of worship (as a group and to always do this after jumma) cannot be found in any hadith… so if a form of worship cannot be found in authentic hadith or practice of the sahaba, then we cannot do that….again, the proof of action lies with ahlul-bidah… not us….and Allah knows best…keep in mind, sending salam on the prophet is an order of Allah… but we should follow that command as the companions did… they sent salah on the prophet on a personal basis and without fixing a particular time or place for it…hope it is clear

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