Bidat (bidah or biddat) means innovation.
These days both shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat) are being used interchangeably with the underlying intention being to misguide Muslims. I deem it important and appropriate to first explain bidat at this point but before I do so, allow me to explain to you
How the labels of shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat) are being generally used.
Thousands of preachers, imams, scholars, and writers are members of powerful religious organizations which have flooded the world with calls of shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat) and continuously beat the drum of shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat).
This particular kind of rhetoric is widespread and can be easily observed wherever you go, whenever you listen to their speeches, and whichever imam you pray behind, especially during the Friday sermons. No matter which one of their books you pick to read, each and every member of this group, intentionally and as part of a larger agenda, only discuss shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat).
This constant repetition makes them seem deaf, dumb and blind, or perhaps acting in line of an agenda‐driven policy of preaching nothing else from the Quran and Sunnah. They create confusion and fear, and misguide simple and less‐knowledgeable Muslims by taking shirk and bidat out of well‐defined contexts. If such Muslims wish to save themselves from the grave sin of labeling other believing Muslims as mushrik and bidatti (one who commits bidah), it would serve them best to first learn the true meaning of shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat), and simply leave tradition practicing Muslims alone. Allah states about Himself in the holy Qur’an that:
He is the Innovator and it is He Who has innovated the heavens and the earth.
Meaning of bidat in Islam(bidah or biddat):
Bidat (bidah) means to innovate something that did not exist before. Bidat (or biddat) in Din‐e‐Islam means the innovation of a deed or practice that did not exist at the time of the Prophet Muhammad or the doing of something of which he did not explicitly approve. There are innumerable and essential things in Islam that were innovated afterwards which did not exist at the time of the Prophet Muhammad so can all of them be deemed as Misguidance and heretical? If that’s the case then Islam would cease to exist. For example, at the time of the Prophet the holy Quran was not written or printed or beautifully bound; diacritical marks within the Quranic text were not placed, masajid were not built as they are today or decorated with wall‐to‐wall carpeting; there were no loudspeakers, no fans or air conditioners, and definitely no free distribution of literature about shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat).
Last but not least, there were no handsome salaries for imams, particularly those who only talk about shirk and bidat (bidah or biddat), in fact, such agenda‐driven imams did not even exist at that time.
Is every innovation is a misguidance?
“…wa kulla bidahtin dalalah, kulla dalalatin fin‐nar”
(every innovation is a misguidance) ♥⇒ Al‐Hadith, Sahih Muslim
Its simply means that any new idea, action, or practice innovated and included in the belief system of Islam is misguidance and results in ultimate failure. If within the basic framework of Islam as established by Allah, and His beloved Prophet [PBUH], an act or practice is included for Muslims to advance in their religion, provided that act or practice does not violate any commandment of Allah and/or Sunnah of the Prophet [PBUH] and does not deviate a Muslim from the path of the Prophet [PBUH] and of his Companions, it is not a [ bidat in dalalah ] (heretical innovation).
The real bidat (bidah or bidatti):
All innovations are not [ bidat in dalalah ] but the bidat (bidah or biddat) of labeling righteous Muslims mushrik and bidati is certainly and truly a bidat (bidah or biddat). If the claim that hundreds of millions of Muslims are mushrik and bidatti is true then why not bar them from the Hajj pilgrimage and Umrah? Attacking the tombs and shrines of the Awliya Allah (pious saints; “friends of Allah”) and of other pious Muslims is nothing but personal hatred and jealousy against righteous Muslims who departed this world with their faith intact. This only unveils that those who constantly speak of bidat (bidah or biddat) are the true enemies of Islam and they are the real bidatti.