Innovation in Hadith
Satan and his devotees and followers invented and offered new methods in the different branches of Islam in every age and every country, and tried their best to deflect people from the ways brought by Holy Prophet The Holy Prophet had already warned the ummah against these mischiefs. It is reported from Hazrat Ayesha that he said: -"Whoever innovates anything in this our religion that is not there in it is apostate."
Similarly, it is reported from Hazrat Jabir that the Holy Prophet (giving a sermon) said "After divine praise, the best utterance is Allah's oration, i.e., the Book of Allah and the best way is that of Sunnah, and the worst affairs are those that have been innovated and every innovation is deviation."
It says in another Hadith that the Holy Prophet said: "Amongst people, three men are most odious in Allah's sight: (1) One who commits a sin inside the Haram; and(2) one who searches the ways of Ignorance in Islam; and (3) one who is bloodthirsty, i.e. one who wants to shed someone's blood unnecessarily.
Mark the severity of the commination in this Hadith that one who leaves the way of Islam and adopts another way is odious in Allah's sight.
Similarly, Hazrat Miqdam says: - “One day the Holy Prophet led us in prayer. Then he sat facing towards us gave a very energetic sermon which brought tears to eyes and caused hearts to palpitate. A man said: "0 Apostle of Allah! It seems as if this sermon is from one who is to say farewell. Please therefore give us advice." He said, ‘I advise you to fear Allah and to hear and obey even if your imam be a Negro slave. (I am saying this) for the reason that he who lives after my passing away will see many dissensions. So stick to my sunnahs and the sunnahs of the well-guided successors, and conform to the sunnahs staunchly; grasp them with your teeth and prevent yourselves from all new things, for every new thing (in religion) is an innovation and every innovation is deviation."
Similarly, the Holy Prophet has said, "A time will come upon my ummah, even as a time had come on the Bani-Israel; fully equal, as alike as one Shoe is to another. Even as one who is equal to the other (of the pair); so much so that if anyone from amongst the Israelites had committed adultery openly, there will be such a man in my ummah also who will do likewise. And the Bani Israil branched into 72 sects and mine will divide into 73 sects all of which, except one, will go to Hell." The Companions asked, "Which is the sect, O Apostle of Allah"! He said: "That one which will be upon my and my Companions' path." Hence the holy Companions' way which is in fact the Holy Prophet's way and should be grasped firmly. From the holy Companions this way was taken by the Followers (Tabi'in) and from them by the Followers-on (Ta 'ba Tab 'in), and through them, has reached us, stage by stage, in a secure, well-preserved form.