What is Bada?

19/08/2010 12:12


My question is : What is Bada ? Do the shia's believe in the doctrine of Bada ?



wa alaykum al salam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

Al-Bida has two meanings in the Arabic language:
The first meaning is “Appearance after hiding.” For example, you say “bada” the gates of the city, or the gates of the city had appeared. The second meaning is the “origination of the new idea.” For example, you say “bada” for him a matter, or he got a new idea in a matter. [Mukhtar Al-Sahhah 7/2278, Lisan Al-Arab 14/66, and Majma’a Al-Bahrain 1/45]

The two meanings are reported in the Quran and are attributed to humans. For the first meaning of the word, Allah says, “Whether ye bida “show” what is in your minds or conceal it, Allah calleth you to account for it.” [Al-Baqarah, 284] And the second meaning is when Allah says, “Then it occurred to the men after they had seen the Signs, (that it was best) to imprison him for a time.” [Yousef, 35]

These two meanings – appearance after hiding and the origination of the new idea – must be preceded by ignorance and followed by knowledge. Both of these two meanings are not applicable to Allah. It is of great kufur (disbelief) to attribute such meanings to Allah. Therefore, whoever attributes bida to Allah is a kafir because he called Allah an ignorant.

The idea of bida is clearly presented in the corrupted Torah. In Genesis, chapter 6, verse 5, “But the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made mankind on the earth, and he felt highly offended. So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…”

Shia’s books do not say that Allah knew something He did not know before. Shia means that Allah made up a new matter for the people. We say that out of fairness and Ahl Al-Sunnah are, as Ibn Taymiha said, “the fairest people towards their enemies.”

However, what Ahl Al-Sunnah disagree with the Shia is that the Shia use a phrase “bida” that means nothing in Arabic but attributing ignorance to Allah. Therefore, we excuse the scholars who reviled the Shias for saying that because the true meaning of “bida” is attribution of ignorance to Allah, even if the Shia did not really mean it.

Al-Bida is one of the tenets of faith for the Shia. Many Shia scholars talked about Al-Bida in “Aqeedah” (tenets of faith) books. Some of these scholars are Ibn Babaweeh Al-Qummi in “Kitab Al-Tawheed,” and “Al-E’tiqadat”; Al-Kulayni in Al-Kafi; and Al-Majlisi in Bihar Al-Anwar.

The theory of Al-Imamah lead to the invention of Al-Bida. The Shia invented Al-bida to save their theory in Al-Imamah from collapsing. Many Shia narrations in the time of Jaffar Al-Saddiq reported from Al-Saddiq himself that the next Imam would be Isma’eel, the eldest son of Al-Saddiq. However, something happened that was not supposed to happen: Isma’eel died before his father did. This really hurt the Shia and the biggest split in Shiasim had just occurred. A huge sect of Shia insisted that Isma’eel was the next Imam, and they are the Isma’eeli Shia. The other sect of Shiasim (the twelver shia), who believed that Mousa the son of Al-Saddiq is the next Imam, claimed that bida happened to Allah. The twelver Shia attributed to Al-Saddiq that he said, “It had never appeared to Allah as it appeared in Isma’eel my son. Allah had taken him away before me so that we may know he is not the next Imam after me.” [Kitab Al-Tawheed, Ibn Babaweeh Al-Qummi, p.336, and Al-Kafi, vol.1, p.327]

Therefore, the Shia are saying that Allah told the people that Isma’eel is the next Imam, then he told them that Mousa is the next Imam. The same thing happened with Al-Hadi (the tenth Imam for the twelver Shias). Al-Hadi had announced that his son, Muhamed, was to be the next Imam. Nevertheless, Muhamed died before his father did. Hence, Al-Hadi gave the next leadership to his other son Al-Hasan Al-Askari and said, “O’ son, thank Allah, for He made a new decision about you.” [Al-Kafi, vol.1, p.326-327. Basa’er Al-Darajat by Al-Saffar, p.473. Al-Irshad by Al-Mufeed p.337. Al-Ghaybah by Al-Tusi, p.122]

And as happened with the Isma’eeli Shia, some of Al-Hadi’s supporters refused to acknowledge the death of Muhamed the son of Al-Hadi and insisted that Muhamed is still alive but in hide. Moreover, they interpreted the announcement of Al-Hadi as a taqqiyah and a cover for the truth.

All this discrepancy pushed the Shias to adopt the idea of bida to help the Imamah theory, especially that the Shia claim that the Prophet peace be upon him had named the twelve Shia Imams by their names.

Another reason that provoked the Shias into adopting bida is their belief that their Imams know the unknown. Therefore, if some Shia narrations claim that certain things would happen, and they did not happen, then the Shia could claim that it was because of Bida!

Al-Majlisi says in Bihar Al-Anwar that Abu Jaffar said, “O’ Abu Hamzah, if we told you something, and then another thing happened, then Allah does as he desires. And if we told you something today, and then we tell you the opposite tomorrow, then Allah deletes what He wishes, and confirms what He wishes.” [Bihar Al-Anwar by Al-Majlisi, vol.4, p.119. Tafseer Al-Ayashi, vol.2, p.217. Al-Burhan fi Tafseer Al-Quran, vol.2, p.299]

wa alaykum al salam



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