Executive Summary

This course takes a critical look at what is deemed an innovation in Islam. It clarifies the definition of innovation and the difference between good and bad innovations. Then five cases of perceived innovation are considered and debunked, followed by five actual cases of innovation that Muslims must be wary of.

Course Summary

The term “innovation” has contemporarily been a controversial and typically negative term for Muslims. With lack of understanding, many haphazardly use the term incorrectly, leading to confusion for Muslims in general. This course seeks to clarify these confusions by taking a critical look at innovation in Islam.

It does so by analyzing the definition of the term “bid’ah” and clearing up what constitutes good innovation and bad innovation. Next there is a brief look at what the Prophet (saw) had to say about innovations in Islam. This is followed by an analysis and debunking of five actions that may be considered bad innovation by some. Finally, there is an analysis of five actions that are actually bad innovation that many people might not know of.

Course Outline

Part One: Innovation (Bid’ah) Defined

  • The problem with misinterpreting the words of the Prophet (saw)
  • Understanding the Prophet’s (saw) words regarding innovation
  • Clarifying good versus bad innovation in religion

Part Two: Five Innovations

  • Analysis of five misinterpreted actions that are thought to be innovation

Part Three: Five Very Real Innovations

  • Analysis of five actions that are true examples of innovation that Muslims should be wary of

Learning Outcomes

  • What is the meaning of bid’ah (innovation)?
  • what has the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) said about innovations?
  • What is the difference between a praiseworthy & blameworthy innovation?
  • What are some common examples of innovations that may be misunderstood, and how should we understand them.