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Home / Aqeedah / “Is the one who leaves off all actions with the limbs a disbeliever?” Shaykh Ali Hasan al-Halabiحفظ الله

“Is the one who leaves off all actions with the limbs a disbeliever?” Shaykh Ali Hasan al-Halabiحفظ الله

Questioner:

Shaykh jazakAllaahu khayr, the first question is about the issue of eemaan. They say that the view of Ahl us-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah in the issue of eemaan is speech, action and belief and that the one who abandons actions completely is a disbeliever. The view of the Murji’at ul-Fuqahaa is that the one who abandons actions completely does not necessitate kufr rather it is fisq.

Answer from Shaykh Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:

Is the view of the Murji’ah that there is eemaan with fisq? The Murji’ah say that eemaan is complete, whether it increases or decreases eemaan is complete as eemaan according to them is a [only] a matter of the heart, so how can we affirm fisq for the Murji’ah? This is the first thing, the second matter is: are you able to imagine in the reality which is lived that there is a person whom you can judge as having abandoned actions completely? Are you able to imagine this? Such a situation in the reality of this worldly life is imaginary, it is impossible.

Even a person himself could do good and forget and there is a hadeeth on this: the Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wassallam) informed us about a man who will be asked by Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, “do you have any good?” The man will reply: “No my Lord. I do not have any good.” The Lord of the Worlds will say “Yes you indeed do. Did you not used to lend money to people and be patient with them.” the man will reply: “Yes I did.” Allaah will say to him: “Then I have forgiven you.” Now this hadeeth contains a proof that this man did not do any good actions except for one deed which was that he used to lend money to people and be patient with them. Was this an obligatory action or a recommended action?

Questioner: Mustahabb

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  do those who say talk about actions and their abandonment accept this hadeeth? Do they also affirm that a person is not deemed as a disbeliever if he abandons good action sand does not do any good deeds except for one which is a recommended action? Do they say this? They do not say this. I say in summary, and I have written more than 1500 pages on this! And you ask me in just five minutes?! I have written more than 1500 pages on this over the last 20 years. And without exaggeration I have spoken on this more than a hundred times! When we spoke about the issue of eemaan within the lessons on al-Iqnaa’ we discussed this in fifteen consecutive lessons.

With this I say that those who opened up this issue did not do so on its own merits rather they opened it due to the issue of abandoning the prayer. If this was not so, if you were to say to them: “we have a person who does all good deeds however he does not pray”, they would say to you “such a person is a disbeliever.” But you say the abandonment of action and this man does most actions after the prayer and you still say he is a disbeliever. For that reason, some of them contradict themselves and say: “if he abandons all actions and abandons the prayer” – and this contradiction has not been known of in the history of Islaam. By this he wants to turn away from the fact that if he is refuted on the issue of the abandonment of action he can say the prayer which is itself a part of action. This is a contradiction.

My dear brother, we say that all of these matters are far from knowledge, justice and the truth. we are with the Salaf us-Saalih as Imaam Ahmad said “whoever says eemaan increases and decreases has been free from Irjaa’” and in another narration “whoever says eemaan increases and decreases has left all Irjaa’.” These people do not differentiate between Irjaa’ and Rajaa, and they do not differentiate between worldly rulings and rulings of the hereafter, and they throw against the wall about five or six hadeeth which clearly mention the ruling on the one who “did not do any good action at all”. Some of them used to defend me in this issue in the past now have switched and have made the very issue in which they used to defend me on as a reason to criticise me?![1] So it is not on account of this issue which some of them are now criticising me rather it is due to the issue of Jarh wa’t-Tajreeh which they are far from and its true knowledge.

Another questioner: “Shaykh, what about the hadeeth of the bitaaqah?”

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  the hadeeth of bitaaqah is one of the proofs,[2] but the hadeeth of intercession and the like of such hadeeth are even clearer and franker. And as I said to you the amount which I have written, is it possible for me to summarise even ten pages within this sitting alone? This is not possible

Another questioner: “Our Shaykh, the hadeeth of intercession, some of the ’Ulama say that it is applied to the one who embraces Islaam yet does not do any action”

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  a person who embraces Islaam yet does not do any action, will go to Jahannam?! The hadeeth of the intercession is regarding the one who will be taken out of Jahannam, in the same hadeeth it says that he will be taken out of Jahannam! Is the one who does not do any good actions and was unable to do any actions and is thus excused by Allaah, from the people of Jahannam? This is of the clearest contradictions which I am aware of and I refuted this very weak doubt in my book Kalimatun Sawaa’.

Questioner: Our Shaykh, there is a narration in Bukhaaree about the last one to be taken out of the Hellfire will be known by the marks of prostration, is this not a proof Shaykh that such a person did not do any action except for sujood or any action yet is still taken out of the Fire.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  the answer to this is no, because another hadeeth indicates this hadeeth. This person was taken out as “he was of those who used to pray with you” so he was taken out. Then Allaah will say “take out this one” and so on and then finally “take out the one who did not do any actions at all”. Those who used to pray and prostrate yet are in the Hellfire are the first batch of people as Allaah knows about them not the people as how would they know who did or did not pray except with Allaah’s inspiration to them?

Questioner: “Shaykh what is the difference between Shart Sihhah and Shart Kamaal?”

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  the terms ‘Shart Sihhah’ and ‘Shart Kamaal’ are not relayed in the texts of the Book and Sunnah. A ‘Shart’ [condition] is that which is outside of the essence of action and we agree that actions are from the essence of eemaan so if we were to use the term ‘Shart’ we have made action from outside of eemaan, and this would be a contradiction. For this reason, those who say that action is ‘Shart us-Sihhah’, and I do not want to commnt here on those who say that actions are ‘Shart ul-Kamaal’, we ask them, after excusing them for using the term ‘Shart’, “are all actions Shart us-Sihhah?” What will he say in response to this? He will respond “no.” so then we ask: “what actions therefore are deemed as ‘Shart us-Sihhah’?”

Questioner: Salaah and its pillars?

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  but does he make takfeer of the person if he does not pay the Zakaah?

Questioner: no

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  so then we have gone back to the main issue…

Questioner: but what of those who say that the one who has abandoned the prayer is not to be made takfeer of, and says that takfeer is to be made of the one who abandons actions totally.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  this is a contradiction!

Questioner: how is it a contradiction?

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  how can one say that the one who abandons the prayer is not to be made takfeer of while the one who abandons actions in totality is?!

Questioner: in totality though?

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  in totality, now ‘in totality’ therefore he does not pray.

Questioner: yes that’s right, he does not pray.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  so we ask him: what is the proof that the one who has abandoned action is not to have takfeer made of him?

Questioner: there is Ijmaa’ from the Salaf on this.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  such an Ijmaa’ is incorrect.

Questioner: Naafi’ the freed slave of Ibn ’Umar was asked about men who acknowledge the obligations yet do not act by them and he said “they have disbelieved”.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  do the words “they have disbelieved” when applied, always indicate major kufr?

Questioner: but this is apparent in the narration.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  this is apparent in the text yet we have Mutawaatir narrations which mention “the one who does not do any good at all”, so how are we to understand this apparent text? We therefore understand this is a kufr which does not expel one from the religion. With the proof that do you think that a person who does not do any good and the Prophet (sal) said: “without any actions that they deed or put forth.” This is more severe in its negation [of action], the narration of Aboo Sa’eed in the Two Saheehs.

Questioner: our Shaykh, Shaykhs Bin Baaz and ’Uthaymeen transmitted, as did Ibn taymiyyah based on what I’ve read, that there is an Ijmaa’ on this though.

Shaykh ’Ali: as for Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah then he does not mention this, so this is incorrect. Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in more than one book discusses the prayer, and the likes, then the combination between not making takfeer for the abandonment of the prayer and takfeer for abandoning action – is imaginary and does not exist as I said at the start. Bring me one person who does not make takfeer on account of abandoning the prayer yet makes takfeer on account of abandoning action. Such does not exist except in the mind! So if the issue is in the mind then abandoning action in totality is itself something in the mind. Tell me: are you able to judge a person who has lived for 40, 50, 60 or 70 years that he has abandoned actions in totality?

Questioner: what if he himself says “I have not done anything [i.e. good deeds]”.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  are you able to verify this?

Questioner: no!

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  so we have returned back to the very issue of it being in the mind. The daleel is clear I have mentioned the hadeeth to you, wherein the man is before his Lord at a point where he is truthful and attentive and he himself says “I have not done any good” but Allaah reminds him that indeed he has done some good and that there will be no oppression this day.

Questioner: what of Shaykh Bin Baaz and’Uthaymeen’s transmission of an Ijmaa’?

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  there is no Ijmaa’ as there is a difference on the issue, so the one who claims there is an Ijmaa’ is incorrect. If you mention the Ijmaa’ of Bin Baaz then we also have the Ijmaa’ of al-Albaanee, or the different view of al-Albaanee.

Questioner: who says this from the Salaf?

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  a difference is present my kind brother, and moreover when we research the issue we do so based on the daleel which is apparent and strong. So now, give me one daleel which contradicts “he did not do any actions at all”? There is none. What is strange is that some ’Ulama say the prayer specifies this hadeeth, I saw this from a senior scholar whom I honour and respect. I saw these words are incorrect because the ruling on the prayer is in this worldly life whereas the ruling on the one who did not do any actions is a ruling in the Hereafter.

Also, the ruling on the prayer is general while that of the Hereafter is specific, as the ruling is connected to reward whereas the ruling connected to the prayer is out of tarheeb, promising and threatening. I ask you a question, without us referring to the hadeeth of the one who did not do any good deeds, as it has led to dispute without right. What about the hadeeth of the one who does not have an atom’s weight of eemaan being taken out of the fire? Does anyone doubt this? Good, is the prayer an atom’s weight of eemaan, the prayer is the greatest of action. Do you think that the greatest action is equal in the heart to an atom’s weight after the Shahaadatayn? The greatest action of the limbs is the prayer. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ’alayhi wassallam) said: “The one who had in his heart an atom’s weight of eemaan will be taken out of the fire.”[3] An atom’s weight, so for sure the person does not pray, as all actions which he does apparently has to have its similitude in the heart, so when on prays his heart has to have its like. So I ask you a question: does the Munaafiq pray or not?

Questioner: he prays

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  is it performed with eemaan in the heart?

Questioner: no.

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  good, the bakheel, does he pay the Zakaah?

Questioner: no

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  yet is it not possible that he has eemaan in the heart?

Questioner: yes

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  therefore, eemaan in the heart can exist with deficient action, but it is not possible for there to be action with deficient heart. This is what Shaykh ul-Islaam states however via another method when he says: “whoever believes in an action but does not do it has come with a part of action.” This is because action is speech and action, if he is deficinent in action but has acknowledgement in belief he has come with a part of action however the opposite is unacceptable as it is Nifaaq. A person has action yet without eemaan to compliment it, this is the reason for the kufr of the Munaafiq. Is this clear?

Questioner: clear, but there are some words from Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah wherein he states that the one who acknowledges the Shahaadatayn but sits for a long period without doing any actions then there is no doubt that he has not…

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee:  look, reading Ibn Taymiyyah needs to be very precise and if we do not bring the book and read it word-for-word it is inappropriate [to refer to him], also it is inadequate as when Ibn Taymiyyah discusses eemaan he refers to ‘eemaan kaamil’, ‘eemaan waajib’ and ‘eemaan saheeh’, so if his words are not explained with detail word-by-word it is inadequate [to try to utilise them as proofs]. Pay attention, if you have memorised the text in question [from Ibn Taymiyyah] then we can bring the book here and read through it, as for merely saying “Ibn Taymiyyah said” then this is inadequate as Ibn Taymiyyah is very precise as are his expressions. Those who try to bring the proof for the term ‘Jins ul-‘Amal’ try to use Ibn Taymiyyah’s words for this, even though the intent that Ibn Taymiyyah is not at all what they try to use as a proof. Ibn Taymiyyah said: “the termination of the genus of action along with affirmation of complete eemaan is the view of the Murji’ah” – and this is 100% correct, this is the view of the Murji’ah and a saying of major misguidance.

Then let me ask you another question: say for instance that there are two men. One is an ideologue and the other follows this ideologue and implements his misguidance. The ideologue is a Murji’ee who says evil actions have no effect as eemaan is in the heart, have any’Ulama from Ahl us-Sunnah made takfeer of the Murji’ah? Defintly not, and Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah states: “the one who ascribes to Imaam Ahmad takfeer of the Murji’ah has certainly erred”, their views are misguidance but not disbelief. So with regards to these two men and the main ideologue, so what about the one who blindly follows him? we do not make takfeer of the ideologue so we do not make takfeer of him. as I said we have written over 1000 pages and more on this! All what we have discussed here right now is very summarised.

Questioner: our Shaykh, can you possibly indicate to us the names of these books [which you have written on this subject]?

Shaykh ’Ali bin Hasan al-Halabee al-Atharee: one book suffices you from all which I have written and that is: at-Tanbeehaat al-Mutawaa’imah which is 670 pages and alhamdulillaah it has been printed three times over the last 12 years not just today.[4]



[1] TN: this is indeed true, those who used to defend Shaykh Ali Hasan to the hilt on this issue and translate all of his material, and even exclaim “the Allaamah Ali al-Halabee has responded to the Lajnah and we wait for the Lajnah to correct its mistake”, have now begun to say that he has Irjaa’?! As a result they include among those Shaykhs who criticise Shaykh Ali, Shaykhs who disagreed with Shaykh Ali on the issue of eemaan – which they used to back him to the hilt on!

[2] Hadeeth of al-Bitaaqah from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas who said, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah will separate a man belonging to my ummah in the presence of all creatures and will spread ninety-nine scrolls for him, each scroll extending as far as the eye can see. Then He will say, ‘Do you object to anything in this? Have my scribes who keep note wronged you?’ He will say, ‘No, my Lord.’ He will ask him, ‘Do you have any excuse?’ He will say, ‘No my Lord.’ Allaah will say, ‘On the contrary, you have with Us a good deed, and you will not be wronged this Day.’ A slip of paper will then be brought out, on which are the words ‘Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger).’ Allaah will say, ‘Bring your weight (i.e., the scrolls).’ The man will say, ‘O Lord, what is this slip of paper in comparison to these scrolls?’ And He will reply, ‘You will not be wronged.’ The scrolls will then be put in one side of the Balance and the slip of paper in the other, and the scrolls will become light and the slip of paper heavy, for nothing could compare in weight to the name of Allaah.” (Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2127)

[3] This hadeeth of Aboo Sa’eed in the Book of Eemaan in Bukhaaree stated that those people would have been charred by the fire and will thus be taken to the River of Haya [or Hayaat] and then they will be revived like a grain which gros by the bank of a flood channel.

The hadeeth of Aboo Sa’eed in the Book of Sunnah in Bukhaaree states that Allaah will Say: “Bring forth those who have a deenaar’s weight of eemaan, then bring forth those who half a deenaar’s weight of eemaan and then bring forth those who have an atom’s weight of eemaan.”

The hadeeth of Ma’bad ibn Hilaal al-’Anzee in the Book of Tawheed of Bukhaaree, Allaah will Say to the Prophet on the Day of Judgement: “Go and take out all those who have the equivalent of an atom’s weight of eemaan in their hearts.” And Allaah will Say: “even the lightest atom’s weight of eemaan, take them out.”

[4] The 2003 edition was a devastating 610 page refutation of Muhammad bin Sālim ad-Dawsarī entitled at-Tanbihāt al-Mutawā’imah fī Nusrat il-Haqq “il-Ajwibat il-Mutalā’imah ’alā Fatwā al-Lajnat id-Dā’imah”: Wa Naqd ’ala Aghāleet wa Mughālatāt “Raf’ ul-Lā’imah”, bi’t-Tab’a al-awwal wa’th-Thāniyah (Cairo: Dār ul-Manhaj, 1424 AH/2003).

Shaykh ’Ali supplicated against ad-Dawsarī, author of Raf’ ul-Lā’imah ’an Fatwa al-Lajnat id-Dā’imah, for his lies and accusations and thus ad-Dawsaree’s condition was later exposed in the form of his affiliations, subsequent arrest and lack of any credible academic works since. Muhammad bin Sālim ad-Dawsarī was able to manipulate a number of ’Ulama to write introductions to his works against Shaykh ’Ali Hasan al-Halabī al-Atharī. Yet Shaykh ’Ali Hasan brought clear closure to Dawsarī’s agenda with his devastating 610 page refutation.

 

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