WHAT IS INNOVATION IN RELIGION (بدعة)
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على
سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
Life on the planet Earth is changing all the time. Life is an evolution in itself. Earlier, science was studied as one subject. Gradually, the subjects expanded into new fields and we came to know about major divisions of science. Firstly, it was sciences and applied sciences; then came technology, followed by physics, chemistry, biology; then came engineering physics, nuclear physics, applied physics, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, medical sciences, biomedical sciences, management sciences, human sciences, psychological sciences, engineering sciences, mobile engineering, telecommunications, aviation engineering, space engineering, computers, internet, artificial intelligence and so on. Each of the above subject is further divided into many new divisions and studied accordingly.
This is a natural evolution of science which took place during the life time of many of us. If scientist and technologists did not work in this evolution and creation of innovative things, we would not have seen the comforts of travel in space-age jets, fast trains, versatile cars/transportation vehicles, shipping, etc. We would not have witnessed the communication revolution of mobile phones, internet, artificial intelligence and many more.
Look at the development of science and technology in every field of human activity. In all these innovations, can anyone tell, has there been a change in the basic laws of science? Our answer will be an emphatic No. Laws of science remain the same but we develop new things making use of those basic laws.
The same thing applies in religious issues. Salafis, Wahhabis and their like minded groups want to freeze Islam within their illiterate arguments.
We have discussed the issue of innovation in this book in detail. We hope In Sha Allah, it will benefit many who have been misled by deviant sects.
In the times of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and his companions, Muslims looked upon, and acted on, religious issues in a composed format. As the time passed, the composed format of religion gradually developed into its detailed version.
We had Imams (scientists) of Ahadith who worked hard on this subject and developed the science of Hadith. Why we accept them as Imams and follow their books? Because we accept that this is a natural evolution of the subject of Hadith.
Are not they innovators? Indeed they are good innovators who have helped people understand Islamic issues. They have brought in front of us various shades of Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) traditions in a detailed and written format.
What has been proved from this?
Any thing (new skills or knowledge) that is based on the basic rules of the religion is acceptable, rather necessary.
It is in Hadith - The Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : He who sets a good precedent in Islam, there is a reward for him for this (act of goodness) and reward of that also who acted according to it subsequently, without any deduction from their rewards; and he who sets in Islam an evil precedent, there is upon him the burden of that, and the burden of him also who acted upon it subsequently, without any deduction from their burden. (Muslim Book 5, Muslim Book 34, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, etc.)
Similarly, the science of Exegesis of Quran developed. Earlier, we had Abdullah Bin Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) whose opinions on Quranic verses were available. Now we have many versatile Muslims who have written translations and exegesis of Quran. Many of these exegesis are useful and widely read by Muslims.
In the same way, the Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) was developed. As the time progressed, we had different Imams (scientists/Jurists) of Islamic Jurisprudence who served the nation during their life times. Out of the many Imams who have done research in this subject, four are widely accepted by Muslims as most authentic.
All Muslims who worked to develop Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh-e-Islami) are indeed good innovators because they developed the science of Islamic law. These Imams portray the development of Muslim society into this modern age. Without them, the Muslim nation would have remained frozen in history. They are scientists of their times and we should learn to respect them for their hard work.
In the same way, the ‘Science of Purification of Heart (Tazkia Nafs) was developed. Earlier, in Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and his companions’ time, it was in a composed format. People whose hearts were required to be purified belonged a small Arab region.
As Muslim areas expanded in the world, many nations came under the banner of Islam. These nations had strong history and culture of their own from thousands of years. Our Ulema and Sufi Shuyookh of Ihsan had the difficult task of purifying hearts of these multi-cultured new Muslims.
The scientists of Purification of hearts (Sufi Shaikhs of Ihsan) had to developed new ways and means to strengthen the believes of these new converts. As has been the case with other fields of religion, new techniques were developed in purifying the hearts of people to make them truthful Muslims.
The Sufis and Shuyookh of Ihsan conducted case studies on these new Muslim nations and as per their nature and cultural background, they adopted various ideas to bring these huge population into the Islamic fold. This way, the Sufi Shuyookh in various regions of the world became popular. The people who followed them in different regions of the world were identified with their names/silsilas.
In Iraq, Shaikh Abdul Qader Jeelani, in Central Asia, Bahauddin Naqshband, in Easten Asia, Khaja Moinuddin Chishti, in Africa, Ali Bin Abdullah Abul Hasan Shazli and Shahabuddin Suharwardi and Ahmad Kabir Rafa’i, and in Europe Jalaluddin Maulana Room (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين) became popular. Are they innovators? Yes they are good innovators. They have helped Muslim nation to transform itself into the modern times. Without them, we would have remained frozen in the pages of history.
The nation which develops itself with time, remains alive. Those who do not want to adopt to the new environment by developing new skills, are left behind. Look at the impact these Shuyookh had on the history of Islam. We should learn to respect our elders and thank them for their extra-ordinary efforts in serving the nation rather than destroying their graves and try to eliminate their names from history.
The religion of Islam focuses more on human Self rather than human body. The human inner self is hidden, and our material body is visible.
What is faith? Can we (physically) see it? No. It is the attribute of Human Self (نفس). Can we show the face of belief? No. It is the attribute of our inner self, therefore it is hidden but it will remain with us in this world and in Hereafter.
Many things are related to our hearts which remain hidden from others. When someone lies, can it be seen from our eyes? No. We will have to feel that this man is lying. Tazkia Nafs is the science of heart. Without Tazkia Nafs, no one can have pure Iman. When peoples’ hearts are purified, they move up into the zone of Ihsan where, as per the Hadith of Ihsan, they can visualize their Sustainer.
The sciences of understanding of Quran, Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence and purification of heart (Tazkia Nafs) developed simultaneously. Many people participated in the development of these sciences. In Tazkia Nafs, many Shuyookh of Ihsan, Soufis came on Islamic horizon at different times during the history of Islam. These Shuyookh adopted different ways to cleanse people’s heart.
The Shuyookh of Ihsan, the truthful Sufis are the physicians of our Nufoos. Like a medical doctor is important to keep our body healthy, the Sufis are important to keep our Nufoos healthy. The truthful Sufis help us to keep the Muslim society spiritually healthy. If you brand them as wrongdoers and innovators, you are not doing any harm to them. Rather you are making the entire Muslim community sick. Remember sick nation is useless and is a burden on earth. Therefore, it is important that we do not neglect this area of Islamic activity. We should locate these truthful people in our society and train our people under their able guidance so that the Muslim nation could be kept spiritually healthy for generations to come.
Salafis/Deobandis and their like minded groups say that till the time of Companions of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), the religion was pure and after them innovations appeared.
Well, during Sahaba time the religion was in a compact format. Gradually many things, like Islamic fiqh and other subjects developed.
Their above statement is like some one saying that the compact basic science book that was studied a 100 years ago was pure and the following decades the new science subjects came up were all innovations. If someone says like this, what will be your reaction? You will laugh at him for this kind of crazy talk?
Life in itself is an evolution. When Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) appeared, the Islamic laws were made most comprehensive in the shape of Quran. Before that, the scriptures of other prophets did not contain so much details. The basics of Islam were completed during Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time.
It is in Quran – الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا [(O’Prophet ﷺ) This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.] (Al-Ma’ida – 3).
If a scientist tells us more details about the solar system and discovers new planets which were unknown to us, it will be treated as the development of science.
But if someone says that the Sun has hands and eyes and ears, but these are not visible and not similar to human beings, he will be treated as a innovator, liar, because he is reporting against the fact of the matter.
The same rules apply in religion. The basic faith of Islam is Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) is one, independent and everything else is dependent upon Him. He is free from the limitations of face, body, limbs and direction. If a group of people say that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has hands, eyes and face and other limitations, they will be treated as liars and will be counseled to change their attitude and come back to the truthful teachings of Islam. If they do not heed to the good counsel, they will see the consequence of their beliefs on the Day of Judgment.
Let us look at our living in the 21st Century and compare it with the living of human beings in 7th Century when Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) started spreading the message of Islam.
Today we use cars, bikes, buses for our travel. At that time people used to walk and some affluent men used to ride horses/Camels.
Today we use transportation vehicles as goods careers and at that time people used camels, carts for transportation of goods.
Now we travel from one continent to another in a matter of hours in speed jet airplanes. Then people needed several years to travel from one place to another.
Now, we have communication devices like phones, internet, news papers, electronic media/social media, etc. These things were not available then.
Now we live in high rise multi-storey buildings. Previously people lived in mud houses.
We have magnificent mosques and educational institutions for our religious studies, earlier these facilities were not available.
Previously we read Quran which was hand written, now it is printed and is available online.
Previously people used to drink water from small wells. Now people use purified sea water for drinking.
You talk of anything from then and now, everything has changed. All these changes are essentially required innovations for our survival on this planet. We have not broken any religious or natural laws for this development.
The basic laws of nature were known to us in composed format earlier. Now they are known to us in expanded format. Similarly, the composed laws of religion of Islam also developed into their detailed version.
Some people think that every thing new is an innovation. They try to drag people back by 1400 years into History and want us to do things in the same way as people did at that time. How could this be possible?
They say only beating of tamborene (Duf) is allowed in Islam as this instrument was used during Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time. The music instruments now available were not there in Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time. At that time, 'Duf' was allowed. Then why not ‘Dhol’ and ‘Drum’ is allowed now because these are the developed version of the old 'duf'.
They should think these things coolly and question themselves how come they are living in high rise buildings now when during Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time no one lived like that. When someone talks about these simple logical things, they start branding him as innovator.
We cannot explain to people who do not want to understand simple things and behave irrationally. Before talking of innovations, they should first cleanse themselves from the modern living in real terms. They should destroy everything that has been built in the name of development and start living in mud houses as people lived during the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Why don’t they follow the Salaf in everything they did?
Apparently they did not understand the basics of the religion. They got misled by reading books independently and they lead others to believe in their misconceptions about Islam.
What is innovation in Religion? If some one goes against the fact of the matter and says something which is contrary to the basic beliefs of Islam, it will be treated as innovation.
Like Salafis/Wahhabis say that Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) has hands, eyes, but how they are is not known to people. This kind of statements are against the fact of the matter, therefore are innovation in the religion. Well, it is more than innovation, it is Shirk and hypocrisy.
Differences of opinions are common in Muslim Community. There was no opposition to the earlier four Imams of Fiqh even though they differed with each other in many issues. What was the reason that the entire Muslim community stood unequivocally against Ibn Taymiyyah when he introduced new faith and rejected all Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence?
Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) had given Ibn Taymiyyah with exceptional memory and a good analytical mind. When we look at his biography written by his followers, we realize that he did not like, to sit as an obedient student in front of expert sheikhs of his time.
To become an expert in Shariah, you need to spend considerable time in the company of able Shuyookh to understand the fine tuning of that subject. Ibn Taymiyyah was a zealous young man. He read many books, memorized them all, including Quran and Hadith books and before he could complete his teens (19 years), he thought himself to be a scholar in various Islamic subjects. Since he had an exceptional memory and argumentative power, he considered it was sufficient.
When scholars of his time drew his attention that what he deduced by his independent study was wrong, he should have headed to their call and tried to discipline himself for a few more years and spent some time with variety of experts and listen to their arguments with a positive mind frame. He did not do all that. He preferred to face them head on with his self acquired knowledge. If he had allowed himself to be polished with the attention of the Shaikhs of Ihsan of his time, he could have been very useful to Muslims. He used his expertise to make people believe his way of thinking. He did mesmerized crowds with his argumentative skills and encyclopedic knowledge. But he remained aloof from the intrinsic spirit of Islam and became head of a deviant sect.
He suffered for his new beliefs through out his life as he was imprisoned several times during his life time and in the end he died in Jail on Sunday, 26th September, 1328 AD at the age of 65. But by that time he had implanted the seed of a new sect. This seed was provided with water and manure by many people, primarily by his student Ibn Al-Qayyim ( 1292 - 1350) and later by his dedicated follower Ibn Abdul Wahhab (1703–1792). The seed has now grown into a massive banyan tree.
The doors of deducing rules as per new requirements of times is generally an ongoing process. The subject is very vast, therefore we will describe it briefly here.
There are 4 types of people associated with Islamic Jurisprudence.
The Absolute Interpreter (Mujhtahid-e-Mutlaq) - He is a person of Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence. His approach of deducing things and reasoning is exclusive. The 4 Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence, Hanafi, Shafe’i, Maliki and Hanbali are covered in this category.
The Interpreter of the School of Thought ( Mujhtahid fil mazhab) - He is greatly influenced by his Imam/Shaikh. At times he differs from his Shaikh in principles; though it happens very rarely. In related issues, he deduces things as per his interpretations. He can find solutions to any new thing faced by the people. He considers minutely on Hadiths and if some Hadith is proves closer to the issue, he gives edicts differing with his Shaikh.
The Interpreter of Preference (Saheb-e-Tarjeeh) - He gives preference in the sayings of various Imams in a specific issue. As he has less strength of distinguishing things as compared to the above interpreters, he gives preference to one saying from among the sayings of the above interpreters.
The Jurisprudential Counselor (Mufti) - Muftis deduce things from the books of Islamic Jurisprudence. As a matter of fact they are only narrators. Their individual effort is only to the extent that they go through the books and bring out the answer in a given issue.
The essential requirements of Jurisprudential doctors are; they should be well versed with ancient and modern Arabic phraseology, its grammar, syntax, philology, idiomatic usage and rhetoric. In addition, they should have the knowledge of Quran, its exegesis and the principles of exegesis. The knowledge of Hadith, its principles and encyclopedic classification of narrators is a requirement. The knowledge of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and its principles are required. They need to know logic, the issues related with consensus of Muslims opinion and the differences of opinions between Imams of various fields. They should know the circumstances and issues of their times, the law of the country and general public trend in Muslim society. But most important of all is the requirement that they should thoroughly know the spiritual requirements of Islam, should have purified their hearts under eminent Shaikhs of Ihsan and should be trained in all the above subjects under able scholars of their times by spending decades in their company to learn the complexities of these subjects.
Following of four Jurisprudential Imams is not their personal emulation (taqleed). They are accepted teachers of Muslims in the area of Islamic Jurisprudence. The question here is not blind emulation (taqleed), rather it is the matter of trust Muslims have in these great Imams.
It is in Quran - لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ [ Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is an exemplary model (for all of you).] (Al-Ahzab – 21).
What is the meaning of this verse? Simply follow the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in whatever he does. Who will follow the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)? The one who has complete trust in him. They hypocrites in Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time did not follow him because they lacked the requirement of trust in him.
After Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), people trusted the rightful Caliphs and followed them.
After the companions, people followed the Ta’abaeen (first generation followers of the companions of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ) because they trusted in their sincerity and knowledge. Then came the time of Taba-taba’een (the followers of Ta'abaeen) and people followed them. Then came the times of Imams of various Islamic subjects. This period was followed by the Shaikhs of Ihsan or truthful Sufis. People followed all these spiritual leaders because they had trust in them.
Every time, every period in Islamic history we do have rightful people who can be followed. These virtuous Nufoos are there in every place and every time.
If the requirement of following was not to be there, then in the presence of Quran, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) would not have asked people to follow the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in whatever he did. It is not blind following, rather it is the trust in a knowledgeable individual which helps us overcome our day to day problems in religious life.
Why do we go to Muftis for their edicts in certain issues? It is because we trust them for their knowledge and their sincerity in religion. If this following is removed from society, how will we deal with various issues? We believed in all Imams of Hadith. This is the reason we follow the Hadiths mentioned in their books. First we need to have trust in Imam Bukhari, then we will believe in the Hadith mentioned in his book. This way, are not we following Imam Bukhari?
Muslims follow all venerable Imams, Shaikhs of Ihsan, truthful legendary Sufis, As-hab-e-Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in all their actions. This is the foundation on which the building of Islam rests. If you remove this foundation and ask people to go back to the books of Hadith and Quran on their own and lead the life of a Muslim; will it be possible? No, we will lose the track. We will be mislead and go astray.
If you do not study a subject under the able and experienced teacher, there is every possibility that you will be misled. This is what has happened with Salafis. They thought, by reading books they can emulate and follow As-habe-Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). It is not possible. They were misled from the Quran and Hadith because they interpreted these books as per their limited understanding.
We have famous Salafi/Ahle Hadith scholars in our times also who have studied Quran and Hadith on their own and have memorized hundreds of books. Their talks and logical explanations look impressive on the face. They are big crowd pullers. They have learnt the art of debates and arguments. They mesmerize people from their photo finish memory. But, alas, they have been completely misled in their basic faith.
They use their skills in misguiding thousands of people. They seemed to have ignored the fact that the study of Shariah cannot be undertaken without the help of reliable Islamic teachers. Shariah cannot be perfected without practice and close contact with the experts. This is the reason they could not understand the wisdom of the four Imams of Islamic Fiqh and rejected them en masse.
They do not say openly that they reject all 4 Imams, they say that they will follow the Imam only when his saying is in accordance with Hadith books. Meaning, they are the judge of those famous Imams and with limited, unskilled knowledge acquired by their self study, they will judge the scholars and teachers of Ummah? This shows their distrust in them. What an illiteracy is this?
Salafis, Deobandis and their like minded groups confuse innocent Muslims by misquoting the following Hadith.
(ii) It is in Hadith - Jabir b. Abdullah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said: When Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) delivered the sermon, his eyes became red, his voice rose and his anger increased so that he was like one giving a warning against the enemy and saying : 'The enemy has made a morning attack on you and in the evening too.' He would also say : 'The last Hour and I have been sent like these two.' and he would join his forefinger and middle finger; and would further say : 'The best of the speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). And the most evil affairs are their innovations and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell fire. (Muslim, Book 4, Hadith #1885).
Watch the wordings of the above Hadith, 'And most evil affairs are their innovations and every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell Fire.'
Salafis/Deobandis and their like minded groups confuse innocent Muslims saying that every thing new is innovation and every innovation is misguidance. The above Hadith is talking about "evil issues" (شَرُّ الْأُمُورِ), meaning evil deeds which are referred to as "Biddah". The Hadith is not talking about virtuous deeds which are based on Quran and Sunnah and which are not to be treated as "Biddah".
The Hadith of Jabir (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated by Imam Muslim states - the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : 'Whoever introduces some good practice in Islam will have the reward of it, as well as the reward of those who act on it after him, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.
Good innovations ( البدعة الحسنة ) introduced by Sahabah were allowed by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) during his life time.
It is in Hadith - Mu’adh Ibn Jabal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said: “We were performing Salah when a man arrived who had missed part of the Salah. The person next to him indicated to him : ‘You missed such-and-such’ so he performed it.” He said : “We were between bowing and prostrating and standing and sitting. So I came and had missed part of the Salah. It was indicated to me what I had missed.” I said : “I do not find him in any state except that I am in that state. So I was with them in the state which I found them upon. Then when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) completed, I stood and prayed.” The Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) faced the people and said : “Who said such-and-such?” They replied : “Mu’adh ibn Jabal.” So he said: “Mu’adh has initiated a (new) practice for you so follow him in it. If any of you comes and has missed something of the Salah, then let him pray with the Imam. Then when the Imam completes (the Salah) let him perform that which he missed out.” (Abu Dawood, Ahmad, and Ibn Abi Shaibah related this Hadith with a sound and continuous chain.)
It is in Hadith - Sa’id Ibn al-Musayyib narrated that Bilal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) came to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to call him to the Salah of Fajr. It was said to him: “He is sleeping.” He replied : “Salah is better than sleep ( الصلاة خير من النوم ), Salah is better than sleep ( الصلاة خير من النوم ).” The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said to Bilal (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : “How excellent this is! Include it in your Adhan.” So it became established as part of the adhan of Fajr. (Al-Hidaya, Vol. 1, Sunan Ibn Majah) There are similar Ahadith in this context in Nasai, Abu Dawood, at-Tahaawi, Daaraqutni, Ibn Khuzaima, Sunan Baihaqi, etc.)
Some people say that this phrase was added in Fajr Azan by Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). This is not a correct understanding. They have misunderstood the wording of a Hadith in some Ahadith books. Let us read the wording of that Hadith.
It is in Hadith - اِن المؤذن جاء الي عمربن الخطاب يؤذنه لصلاة الصبح فوجده نائماً فقال: الصلاة خير من النوم فأمره أن يجعلها في نداء الصبح. [ The azan reciter went to Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) informing him the Fajr prayer time, He found Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) asleep, so he shouted "Assalatu Khairum Minan Naum". Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), ordered to include it in the Azan. (Muatta, Imam Malik)
Read the wordings of the Hadith. The person shouted on the house of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) 'as-Salatu khairun min an-Naum'. What Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) told him was 'include that phrase in Azan al-Fajr and do not use it independently to wake people. The utterance of Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) has been misunderstood by some people. What Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said to that person was 'keep that phrase included in Azan al-Fajr' and do not use it to wake up people for Fajr prayer. Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) did not like a phrase of Azan to be used to wake people in their houses individually.
As this phrase was already part of Azan al-Fajr, from the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), where was the need for Hadhrat Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) to tell him to include it in Azan al-Fajr?
It is in Hadith - Abdur Rahman bin Abdul Qari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, "I went out in the company of Umar bin al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) one night in Ramadhan 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. So, Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) said, "In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (reciter) (ie., let them pray in congregation)". So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka'b (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) . Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) remarked "What an Excellent Biddah ( البدعة الحسنة ) 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 (Bukhari).
It is in Hadith - Rifa’ah bin Rafi’ (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated: “We were praying one day behind the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). When he raised his head from Ruku’ he said : ‘Allah listens to the one who praises Him ( سَمِعَ الله لِمَنْ حَمِدَه ).’ So a man behind him said : ‘Our Lord to You is all praise - many, good and blessed praise ( رَبَّنَا وَ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ ).’ Then when he completed (the Salah) the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : "Who is the one who said that?" The man replied: "I". He (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : "I saw more than thirty angels rushing to see which of them would write it down first." (Bukhari)
Ibn Hajr said in Al-Fath al-Bari : "It is inferred from the above Hadith the permissibility of doing Dhikr during Salah. "
It is in Hadith - Ikrimah reported from Ibn ‘Abbas ( رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ ) that the Apostle of Allah ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) said to Abbas Ibn Abdul Mutalib (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) : O'Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) "O'Uncle, shall I not give you, shall I not present to you, shall I not donate to you, shall I not tell you ten things which, if you do, Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) will forgive your first and last sins, past and present sins, intentional and unintentional sins, private and public sins? The ten actions are : Pray four rak'at, reciting this Tasbih -سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا اله إلا الله و الله اكبر [Glory to Allah; all Praise is for Allah; there is no God except Allah; and Allah is the greatest.] seventy five times in each rakah.
If you can pray Salat at-Tasbih ( صلاة التسبيح ) once a day, do so. If you cannot, then (pray) once every Friday. If you cannot do that, then (pray it) once a year. And if you cannot do that, then (pray it at least) once in your life time."
[References - (i) Abu Dawud, (ii) Ibn Majah, (iii) Tabarani. (iv) Imam Tirmidhi said many ‘Ulama, like Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak accepted the virtue of Salat al-Tasbih. (Al-Tirmidhi vol 2, pg 348), (v) Imam Bayhaqi stated that ‘Salat at-Tasbih was the practice of ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak and many pious predecessors of various eras ( Shu’b al-Imam vol 1, pg 427). (vi) Ibn Khuzaimah mentioned it in his Sahih. (vii) Mundhiri stated that this Hadith has been related through many chains and from a number of companions; the best of them is the one from ‘Ikrimah. (viii) Many other scholars like Hafez Abu Bakr al-‘Ajari, Abu Muhammad ‘Abdurrahim al-Misri, and Abu al-Hassan al-Maqdisi graded this Hadith as Sahih. (ix) Ibn al-Mubarak stated - Salat at-tasbih is a greatly desired act and it is important that one should punctually observe and never neglect it. (x) Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said this Hadith is Sahih. (xi) It is meritorious, said Shami, vol 2, pg 27. (xii) Suyuti mentioned that over 20 great Muhaddithin have accepted this Hadith's authenticity which include Abu-Sa’eed al-Sam’ani, Khatib al-Baghdadi, Hafiz ibn-Mandah, al-Bayhaqi, al-Subki, Nawawi, ibn al-Salah, Abu-Musa al-Madini, al-Ala’i, Sirajuddin al-Bulqini, Zarkashi and others (al-Lal al-Masnu’ah vol 2, pg 40) (xiii) Muhadidithin like Imam al-Darani, Abu-Musa al-Madini, Ibn Mandah, Ibn Nasiruddin al-Dimishqi, Suyyuti, Ibn Tulun and others have written articles on the authenticity of this Hadith (xiv) Many books of Hanafi Fiqh have endorsed this Hadith's authenticity. (Rad al-Mukhtar vol 2, pg 27). (xv) Many Shafi’i Jurists like Imam Mahalli, Imam Juwayni, Imam al-Haramayn, Imam Ghazali, Imam Rafi’i and others have endorsed this Hadith as authentic, (Al-La-ali vol 2, pg 43; al-Adhkar of Imam Nawawi pg 242) ]
The above Hadith confirms that repetitive Dhikr/Tasbih during Salah is a virtuous deed which brings abundance of rewards from Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ).
The actions done differently which are not based on basic rules of Islam are indeed evil innovations (البدعة السيئة) and these are forbidden in Islam.