Salamu Alaikum shaikh could you briefly explain the meaning of :
Umar ibn al Khattabs statement: what a wonderful Bidah
Imam Shafi’is view regarding Bidah Hasanah
and the relation between the two statements
Bid’ah literally means innovation and in Shariah it refers to the innovation in religion. The Nabee of Allaah ﷺis reported as having said, “Whosoever innovates a good path gets its rewards and the rewards of those who follow this, and whoever innovates a wrong path gets its sin and the sin of those who follow it” He is also reported to have said, “Whoever innovates a thing in the religion which is not from the religion, is rejected.”
Based on the above-stated Ahadith, Fuqaha mention that the innovation in religion is Bid’ah while the innovation for the religion is not Bid’ah but desirable. Any invented act or path in the religion that is followed for the same purpose as Shariah is supposed to be followed while it has no basis in the religion such as Azaan and Iqaamah for Eidain, performing optional prayers in congregation and so on are Bid’ah. But the innovation made for strengthening the teachings of Islaam such as compiling the Glorious Qur’an, Ahadith, the books of Fiqh and translating the Glorious Qur’an and the Ahadith etc are not Bid’ah but desirable. This is what Imaam Shafi regarded as Bid’ah Hasanah as per the literal meaning and the same is meant by the statement of Ibn Khattaab. Otherwise, in reality all the types of Shar’i Bid’ah are Bid’ah and rejected.