Rafed English

Doctrine of bada'

Adopted from the book : "The Faith of Shi'a Islam" by : Allamah Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar"

The meaning of bada' for a man is this: the appearance (bada' literally means' appearance') of an idea about some action which the man did not have previously, in such a way that it changes his intention do to that action. That is to say that something happens which alters his understanding and knowledge about that action, so hat he conceives the intention for leaving the work after he had previously intended to do it. This is due to man's ignorance concerning what is of benefit to him, and because he comes to regret doing or having to do what he had intended to do.

Bada' in this sense is impossible for Allah, because ignorance and imperfection are the cause of it, and this is impossible for Allah. The Imamites do not believe in this. Imam Sadiq (a s) said:

Someone who suppose that bada' occurs to Allah about some matter, causing Him to regret, is considered by us to be an unbeliever in Allah. (kafir)
And he also said;

I will keep at a distance from me someone who supposes that bada' occurs to Allah about some matter which He had not realized previously.

Some traditions have related from our Imam which have caused people to suppose that we believe in bada' in the sense described above. For example, Imam Sadiq (a s) said:

There was no bada' for Allah like the bada' in the case of my son Isma'il.

Because of such traditions, some writers of certain Islamic sects have accused the Imamites of belief in bada' attacking our group and the way of the Household of the Prophet (ahl al-bayt), and using this supposed belief to denounce the Shi'a.

The correct aspect of this question is according to what revealed in His Book:

Allah blots out, and He establishes whatsoever He will; and with Him is the Essence of the Book (13; 39)

And the meaning of this is that Allah makes something appear on the tongue of the Prophet or his wali or in some other way according to the situation because of some benefit which calls for this revelation, then he abolishes that revelation so that it becomes other than what it was before, although Allah knew about this from the beginning. We can see an example of this in the incident of Isma'il when his father Ibrahim saw in his dream that he was slaughtering his son. The meaning if the saying of Imam Sadiq is that Allah has not revealed any matter as He had done in the case of Isma'il (the son of Imam Sadiq), by taking his life before He took his father's. This was so that people would understand that Isma'il was not the Imam, although it had appeared in the situation as if he were, because he was the eldest son.

And similar to this meaning of bada' is the abrogation of previous shara'i (pl. of shari'ah) by the arrival of the shari'ah of our prophet (as), and even the abrogation of some of th commandments which were brought by Muhammad (S.A.)

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