Episode 74: Bid’a/Innovation
There is probably no word more abused in our contemporary religious discourse than bid’a/innovation. Is there room in Islam for innovation, iteration, nuance, etc. in our expression of faith? Is there room for cultural interpretations of faith practices? I try to answer these questions and more in this episode.
“whoever invents something in this religion that is not from it, it is rejected.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
“every innovation is a bid’a and ever bid’s is in the hellfire.” (Muslim)
Understanding the Muslim Mind
If we could take all of Islamic intellectual history, what sort of patterns and principles could we deduce? More importantly, if we found someone who actually knew all this information, what would they look like, think like, talk like, etc.?
In The Clock of the Long Now, Stewart Brand argues that religion is one of the most durable institutions of civilization that helps ground us all in timeless values. In his concept of the forces of innovation (rapidly changing) and durability (slow changing) of civilization, religion would definitely be amongst the more slow adapting forces.MORE