This means, the Creator of the Heavens and Earth (out of nothing). This example is to reflect that there are no inherent, negative connotations in its normal usage. However, as a technical and legal word it refers to an addition to the religion that was not known or practiced at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.).
It should also be noted that socially, the word bid’ah has developed into an Muslim epithet which typically expresses a nominal heresy. However, if we look to the primary source of knowledge in the Qur’an we can see that there is in fact permissible bid’ah as well as impermissible bid’ah.
God makes mention of this in chapter 57, suratul-hadid, verse 16 saying: “But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of Allah; but that they did not foster as they should have done. Yet we bestowed, on those among them who believed, their (due) reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors.” (57:027)
This verse tells us that the followers of Jesus Isa (a.s.) instituted monasticism after he-left the Earth as a new practice, a bid’ah. God does not condemn it, but we were instructed that they did not cultivate what they should have. Dr. Zahid Iqbal suggests that this is a clear testament that contains an implied permission granted for this new practice (bid’ah), though they failed in its proper care.
Also, I recall a sahih hadith which narrated by Abu Huraira, where he says that after the Prophets death (s.a.w.s.), during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of ‘Umar’s bin al-Khattab’s Caliphate (r.a.) that one would find people praying in different groups. Moreover, Abdur Rahman bin Abdul Qari said, “I went out in the company of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups.
A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. Therefore, ‘Umar said, ‘in my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)’. Therefore, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka’b.
Then on another night, I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their recite. On that, ‘Umar remarked, ‘what an excellent Bid’a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.’ He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night.”
Therefore, it should be noted that there are in fact permissible and impermissible bid’ah in Islam. Nevertheless, who determines what a permissible bid’ah is? For example, are the secular courts of the Muslim world bid’ah? Likewise, are there components of government that rule the Muslim world in way that are a bid’ah?
What I am questioning here is possibility of impermissible bid’ah in government. However, in order to assess this someone from an authoritative legal position has to define what a permissible and an impermissible bid’ah. But can this be done with the Gate of jihad closed? So let’s examine more closely authority in Islam.