I. Al-Shâfi`î's definition of bid`a as either good or bad;
II. The division of bid`a into good and bad among Ahl al-Sunna and others.
A major contribution of Imâm al-Shâfi`î (ra) in the Foundations of Jurisprudence (us.ûl al-fiqh) is his division of innovation (al-bid`a) and innovated matters (al-muh.dathât) into “good” and “bad” depending on their conformity or non-conformity to the guidelines of the Religion. This is authentically narrated from al-Shâfi`î from two of his most prestigious students in the latter period of his life, the Egyptian h.adîth Masters H.armala ibn Yah.yâ al-Tujaybî and al-Rabî` ibn Sulaymân al-Murâdî:
H.armala said, “I heard al-Shâfi`î (ra) say:
He used as his proof the statement of `Umar ibn al-Khat.t.âb (ra) about the [congregational] supererogatory night prayers in the month of Ramad.ân: “What a fine innovation this is!” This shows that al-Shâfi`î never interpreted `Umar's words figuratively the way the "Salafi" over-interpreters (mu`attila) do.
Al-Rabî` said, “Al-Shâfi`î said to us:
'Innovated matters are of two kinds (al-muh.dathâtu min al-umûri d.arbân):
one is an innovation that contravenes (mâ uh.ditha yukhâlifu) something in the Qur'ân or the Sunna or a Companion-report (athar) or the Consensus (ijmâ`): that innovation is misguidance (fahâdhihi al-bid`atu d.alâla).
The other kind is the innovation of any and all good things (mâ uh.ditha min al-khayr) contravening none of the above, and this is a blameless innovation (wahâdhihi muh.dathatun ghayru madhmûma).
`Umar (ra) said, concerning the prayers of Ramad.ân: What a fine bid`a this is! meaning that it was innovated without having existed before and, even so, there was nothing in it that contradicted the above.'”
Thus al-Shâfi`î set forth the essential, indispensable criterion for the determination of true bid`a, as defined, among others, by Imâm al-Haytamî, Qâd.î Abû Bakr Ibn al-`Arabî, and Imâm al-Lacknawî respectively:
Consequently, it is not enough for something merely to be novel to be a bid`a; it must also contradict the Religion.
This is a clear-cut defense of the necessity and Sunna character of kalâm in the defense against innovators on the part of Imâm al-Bayhaqî. Something similar is reported from Ibn `Asâkir, Ibn al-S.alâh., al-Nawawî, Ibn al-Subkî, Ibn `âbidîn, and others of the great Imâms we cited [hier 3a 3b]
II. Division of Bid`a into Good and Bad
among Ahl al-Sunna and Others
H.ujjat al-Islâm al-Ghazzâlî said in his discussion of the adding of dots to the Qur'anic script:
The Qâd.î Abû Bakr Ibn al-`Arabî said in his discussion of bid`a:
Ibn H.azm al-Z.âhirî said:
Ibn al-Jawzî speaks in similar terms in the beginning of his Talbîs Iblîs:
The lexicographer Ibn al-Athîr said in his masterpiece, al-Nihâya fî Gharîb al-H.âdîth wal-Athar:
Shaykh al-Islâm, Sult.ân al-`Ulâmâ' Imâm al-`Izz Ibn `Abd al-Salâm similarly said:
Elsewhere he states that the categories of bid`a are five, identical to the jurists' classification of deeds:
“disliked” (makrûh), and
“indifferently permitted” (mubâh.).
Shaykh al-Islâm, Imâm al-Nawawî said:
“Innovation is divided into 'obligatory' (wâjiba), 'forbidden's (muh.arrama), 'recommended's (mandûba), 'offensive's (makrûha), and 'indifferent's (mubâh.a).
The way [to discriminate] in this is that the innovation be examined in the light of the regulations of the Law (qawâ`id al-sharî`a). If it falls under the regulations of obligatoriness (îjâb) then it is obligatory; under the regulations of prohibitiveness (tah.rîm) then it is prohibited; recommendability, then recommended; offensiveness, then offensive; indifference, then indifferent.”
The H.âfiz. Ibn H.ajar said:
Agreement formed in the Four Schools around the fivefold classification of bid`a as illustrated by the endorsement of the major later authorities in each School.
(2) Among the Mâlikîs: al-T.urt.ûshî, Ibn al-H.âjj, al-Qarâfî, and al-Zurqânî, while al-Shât.ibî attempts a refutation and claims that the fivefold classification is “an invented matter without proof in the Law”!
(4) Reluctant acceptance among later H.anbalîs, who altered al-Shâfi`î and Ibn `Abd al-Salâm's terminology to read “lexical innovation” (bid`a lughawiyya) and “legal innovation” (bid`a shar`iyya), respectively - although inaccurately - matching al-Shâfi`î's “approved” and “abominable. This manner of splitting hairs has become the shibboleth of Wahhâbism in every micro-debate on bid`a although the correct way - as usual - is patently that of the Jumhûr.
Shaykh Muh.ammad Bakhît al-Mut.î`î said: “The legal bid`a is the one that is misguidance and condemned; as for the bid`a that the Ulema divided into obligatory and forbidden and so forth, such is the lexical bid`a which is more inclusive than the legal because the legal is only part of it.”
It is enough that a major Mujtahid Imâm of the Salaf said so on the basis of the Qur'ân and Sunna regardless of the argumentations of later centuries - whether from a would-be murajjih. like al-Shawkânî or a would-be censor like al-Shât.ibî - in light of the concurrence of the Jumhûr around al-Shâfi`î's explanation and the Divine and Prophetic injunctions to follow the path of the Believers and to stay with their greatest mass.
 Narrated from H.armala by Abû Nu`aym with his chain through Abû Bakr al-âjurrî in H.ilyat al-Awliyâ' (9:121 #13315=1985 ed. 9:113) and cited by Abû Shâma in al-Bâ`ith `alâ Inkâr al-Bida` wal-H.awâdith (Ryadh 1990 ed. p. 93), Ibn Rajab in Jâmi` al-`Ulûm wal-H.ikam (p. 267=Zuh.aylî ed. 2:52= Arna'ût. ed. 2:131 s.ah.îh.), Ibn H.ajar in Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 13:253), al-Turt.ûshî in al-H.awâdith wa al-Bida` (p. 158-159), and al-Shawkânî, al-Qawl al-Mufîd fî Adillat al-Ijtihâd wa al-Taqlîd (1347/1929 ed. p. 36). `Umar's report is narrated by Mâlik in al-Muwat.t.a' and al-Bukhârî in his S.ah.îh..
 Narrated from al-Rabî` by al-Bayhaqî in his Madkhal and Manâqib al-Shâfi`î (1:469) with a sound chain as stated by Ibn Taymiyya in his Dâr' Ta`ârud. al-`Aql wa al-Naql (p. 171) and through al-Bayhaqî by Ibn `Asâkir in Tabyîn Kadhib al-Muftarî (Kawtharî ed. p. 97). Cited by al-Dhahabî in the Siyar (8:408), Ibn Rajab in Jâmi` al-`Ulûm wal-H.ikam (p. 267=Zuh.aylî ed. 2:52-53=Arna'ût. ed. 2:131 s.ah.îh.), and Ibn H.ajar in Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 13:253).
 Narrated from Jarîr ibn `Abd Allâh al-Bajalî by Muslim, al-Tirmidhî, al-Nasâ'î, Ibn Mâjah, Ah.mad, and al-Dârimî. Also narrated with a similar wording from Abû Hurayra by Ibn Mâjah and Ah.mad; from Abû Juh.ayfa by Ibn Mâjah; and from Hudhayfa by Ah.mad.
 Narrated from al-`Irbâd. ibn Sâriya by al-Tirmidhî (h.asan s.ah.îh.), Abû Dâwûd, Ibn Mâjah, Ah.mad, al-Dârimî, Ibn H.ibbân (1:178-179 #5 s.ah.îh.), al-H.âkim (1:95-97=1990 ed. 1:174-177) - declaring it s.ah.îh. while al-Dhahabî confirmed it - and in al-Madkhal ilâ al-S.ah.îh. (p. 80-81), al-âjurrî in al-Sharî`a (p. 54-55 #79-82=p. 46 s.ah.îh.), Ibn Abî `âs.im in al-Sunna (p. 29 #54 s.ah.îh.), al-T.ah.âwî in Mushkil al-âthâr (2:69=3:221-224 #1185-1187 s.ah.îh.), Muh.ammad ibn Nas.r al-Marwazî in al-Sunna (p. 26-27 #69-72 s.ah.îh.), al-H.ârith ibn Abî Usâma in his Musnad (1:197-198), al-Rûyânî in his Musnad (1:439), Abû Nu`aym in H.ilyat al-Awliyâ' (1985 ed. 5:220-221, 10:115), al-T.abarânî in Musnad al-Shâmiyyîn (1:254, 1:402, 1:446, 2:197, 2:298) and al-Kabîr (18:245-257), al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (10:114), al-Madkhal (p. 115-116), al-I`tiqâd (p. 229), and Shu`ab al-�mân (6:67), al-Baghawî who declared it h.asan in Sharh. al-Sunna (1:205 #102 isnâd s.ah.îh.), Ibn al-Athîr in Jâmi` al-Us.ûl (1:187, 1:279), Ibn `Asâkir in al-Arba`în al-Buldâniyya (p. 121), Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhîd (21:278-279) and Jâmi` Bayân al-`Ilm (2:924 #1758) where he declared it s.ah.îh., and others.
 Ibn `Abd al-Salâm, al-Qawâ`id al-Kubrâ (2:337-339) cf. al-Nawawî in al-Adhkâr (Thaqâfiyya ed. p. 237) and Tahdhîb al-Asma' wal-Lughât (3:20-22), al-Shât.ibî in al-I`tis.âm (Beirut ed. 1:188), al-Kirmânî in al-Kawâkib al-Darârî (9:54), Ibn H.ajar in Fath. al-Bârî (13:253-254), al-Suyût.î, introduction to H.usn al-Maqs.id in al-H.âwî lil-Fatâwâ; al-Haytamî, Fatâwâ H.adîthiyya (p. 150), Ibn `âbidîn, Radd al-Muh.târ (1:376) etc.
 Al-Kirmânî, al-Kawâkib al-Darârî Sharh. S.ah.îh. al-Bukhârî (9:54), Ibn `âbidîn, H.âshiya (1:376, 1:560); al-Turkmânî, al-Luma` fîl-H.awâdith wal-Bida` (Stuttgart, 1986, 1:37); al-Tahânawî, Kashshâf Ist.ilâh.at al-Funûn (Beirut, 1966, 1:133-135); al-`Aynî, `Umdat al-Qârî in al-H.imyarî, al-Bid`at al-H.asana (p. 152-153).
 Al-T.urt.ûshî, Kitâb al-H.awâdith wa al-Bida` (p. 15, p. 158-159); Ibn al-H.ajj, Madkhal al-Shar` al-Sharîf (Cairo, 1336/1918 2:115); al-Qarâfî, al-Furûq (4:219) cf. al-Shât.ibî, al-I`tis.âm (1:188-191); al-Zurqânî, Sharh. al-Muwat.t.a' (1:238). Al-Shât.ibî's I`tis.âm was recirculated by two Wahhâbîs: Rashîd Rid.â then Salîm Hilâlî. A third Wahhâbî, Muh.ammad `Abd al-Salâm Khad.ir al-Shuqayrî - Rid.â's student - authored al-Sunan wal-Mubtada`ât al-Muta`alliqa bil-Adhkâr wal-S.alawât which he filled with unverifiable tales which he proceeds to denounce with much ado.
 Abû Shâma, al-Bâ`ith `alâ Inkâr al-Bida` wa al-H.awâdith (Riyad: Dâr al-Raya, 1990 p. 93, Cairo ed. p. 12-13) as well as those already mentioned. Note: “consensus” (ijmâ`) is more inclusive than “agreement” (ittifâq), and binding.
 Ibn Rajab, al-Jâmi` fîl-`Ulûm wal-H.ikam (2:50-53), and Ibn Taymiyya's section on bid`a in his Iqtid.â' al-S.irât. al-Mustaqîm Mukhâlafat As.h.âb al-Jah.îm. This is also the position of Ibn Kathîr: see his commentary of the verse: (The Originator of the heavens and the earth!) (2:117) in his Tafsîr. He followed in this his teacher Ibn Taymiyya.