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Matters Of Iman & Irjaa (A New Answering & Complying) – Shaykh Ali Hasan Al-Halabi

A question was posed to me yesterday evening, Wednesday the 2nd of Rabee al-Awwal 1431AH after I had finished my lesson of fiqh, the explanation of Manhaj as-SaalikeenwaTawdeeh al Fiqh fi Deen by the ‘allaamah and Shaykh ‘AbdurRahmaan bin Naasir bin S’adi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, where some of the students of knowledge, may Allaah increase them in success asked about the matter of imaan and Irjaa and that which I have been accused of because of it.

I was astonished that some are still wading into and talking about this issue after all these years! After all those refutations and critiques! After much of what I have written, from treatises and books, especially my two books ‘Ar Rad al-Burhaani…’ and ‘At-Tanbeehaat al-Mutawaa’imah…’!

Less than 24 hours later, the early afternoon today Thursday the 3rd of Rabee al-Awwal 1431AH, a respected beloved scholar, may Allaah place blessings in his knowledge and actions, from RIyaadh the land of the two noble Harams, phoned me, requesting I write my clear belief in the matters related to imaan concisely as a rebuttal of some who have some troubles. I was happy with him and in this, so may Allaah reward him the best of rewards.

So I say, and Allaah is the One who Aids and upon him is reliance, answering the first and complying with the second:

I believe with truth and certainty, through knowledge, study, research and revision that:

1 – Imaan is speech, action and belief and that action is a foundation of imaan.

2 – It increases and decreases.

3 – It is of levels, namely pillars, obligatory components and recommended components.

4 – I do not use the terminology ‘condition’, ‘completion’, ‘correctness’, ‘type’, ‘foundation’, ‘branch’ or their like from the newly-introduced terminologies, through which differing and testing among AhlusSunnah have arisen, pleasing the people of desires, from the Khawaarij and their ilk.

I harmonise in this statement the valuable knowledge-based guidance given by our respected ustaath, the Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen, may Allaah have mercy upon him, just as I’ve said for a number of years and affirmed in my book ‘Ar-Rad al-BurhaanifilIntisaarlilImaam al-Albaani’, which I authored over eight years ago, and all praise is due to Allaah. In it, I sufficed with the texts of the Imaams of the Salaf-us-Saalih and their lofty assertation that Imaan is speech, action and belief, may Allaah have mercy upon them all. And the disbeliever is whomsoever Allaah and His messenger deem a disbeliever.

I concur with Shaykh al-Islaam IbnTaymiyyah’s statement in this matter that, ‘Imaan with Ahlus Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah is speech and action, as the Book and Sunnah have proven and the Salaf has consensus upon, as is stated in its place.

So speech is bearing witness to the truth of the messenger.

And action is bearing witness to the truth of that speech.

So if the slave does not have any action at all, they are not a believer [mu’min].

And the speech by which they would become a believer is a specified speech, which is the Shahaadataan.

And that action is the Salaah.’

5 – As for the view of the apostasy of the one who abandons the prayer, or their not apostating, it is from the Sunni matters of considered ijtihaad, under which both fall under the umbrella of AhlusSunnahwa’lJama’ah.

Both of these views have been reported as statements of the Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, the Imaam of AhlusSunnah, may Allaah have mercy upon him. Rather, the Imaam Ibn Qudaamah al-Muqdasi, the Shaykh of the Hanaabilah of his era supported, in al-Mughni, the reported statement of Imaam Ahmad, that they do not apostate.

I say this while emphasising, in all respects, the greatness of the prayer, its station and importance and that the one who leaves off it is under  the threat of the Fire, and what an evil abode.

So there is no harm, at all, upon those who consider in a knowledge-based way, in accordance to what is apparent to them from the proofs and evidences, which view is taken, even if those who oppose oppose. And Allaah will call them to account…

6 –  It is permissible to make an exception in imaan, upon the correctly intended true Salafi meaning, so as to avoid praising oneself by claiming to have completed imaan – not the act of doubting faith itself.

7 – Disbelief can occur through the tongue, the heart and the limbs.

8 – I do not restrict disbelief to a certain type of disbelief – it may be negating, stubbornness, hypocrisy, abandoning and doubting – as the Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned in his book Madaarij as-Saalikeen and I quoted in my book SayhatuNatheer about fifteen years ago.

And that which has been said by some of the people of knowledge of old and new that those who fall into disbelief by action [kufr ‘amali] does not apostate, their intent by this is minor kufr.

Their intent is not that one cannot disbelieve through action, as some have understood and censured. And being precise in terminology is the ASL.

9 – I believe that much of what has been warned against in the Book and Sunnah with the wording ‘disbelieved’ or ‘committed shirk’ enters under minor disbelief and minor shirk and does not take one outside the fold of the religion. And the ruling for that which is narrated that could be major disbelief is dependent upon the connected decisive evidences and how the scholars of the prophetic Sunnah have ruled.

10 – I am weary of, for my religion and belief, in keeping away from and avoiding wading into matters of takfeer, for indeed ‘Takfeer is not made by a possibility’, as Shaykh al-IslaamIbnTaymiyyah said, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

Rather, the foundation of this matter and its like, is that ‘None speak about it except the scholars from the people of understanding and those who have been granted understanding from Allaah, wisdom and decisive speech’, as the Shaykh ‘Abd al-Lateef bin ‘AbdirRahmaan bin Hassan aal Shaykh said, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

11 – Whosoever performs an action of disbelief or says a statement of disbelief, I do not rule upon them [with the ruling of disbelief] except if the conditions are met and the lack of preventative factors.

This does not prevent me ruling disbelief upon their action or statement (i.e. a person may have done an indiviudal particular action of kufr however the acutal person may still be ruled to be Muslim and not ruled to a kafir)

12 – What I deem the strongest opinion in the issue of excusing due to ignorance, from that which is apparent to me from the evidences, is exactly that which our ustaath, the Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen, may Allaah have mercy upon him, finished in some of his fataawa, when he said, ‘In summary, the ignorant is excused in that which they say or do, from that which could be disbelief. And that is with proofs from the Book and Sunnah and after considering the statements of the people of knowledge.’

Some of the people of knowledge have made an exception to this; that which is known in the religion by necessity, stating that the one who opposes such a thing is not excused.

And even if this, by its fundamental, is accepted, its application in practice is difficult to the extent that it may not be practicable. And that is due to differences in times, places and individuals – for that which is pure seeking nearness to Allaah in Tanta in Egypt is unadulterated Shirk in Najd in the lands of the Haramain.

Similarly, that which occurred in Najd before the advent of the da’wah of Muhammad bin ‘AbdilWahhaab, may Allaah have mercy upon him, is not like that which occurred after him and after the spread of his reviving call, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

So, the matter returns to what was first established, as it is more precise and pious.

13 – I deem most correct, in conformity to the Imaam of the da’wah of Tawheed Muhammad bin ‘abdilWahhaab, may Allaah have mercy upon him, his saying, ‘We do not deem as apostates those who worship the idol upon ‘Abdul Qaadir; the idol upon the grave of Ahmad Badawi, and their like due to their ignorance and the lack of those to advise them.’ This does not contradict the ruling that their action is disbelief but, as is repeated, disbelief does not fall upon all those who fall into it.

14 – Cursing Allaah and His messenger is greater Shirk and negates imaan from every angle. It takes the person who does it outside the fold of Islaam, if the considered conditions are met. And the claim that this has to be done deeming it to be permissible is a ‘rejected mistake and grave error’, as Shaykh al-Islaam stated.

15 – I do not declare disbelief upon those who rule by other than what Allaah has revealed, whether they are rulers or subjects, if they have simply not ruled by it. The apostating of such an individual goes back to their deeming it to be permissible and their belief, as the three Imaams of our age, Bin Baaz, al-Albaani and IbnUthaymeen determined, may Allaah have mercy upon them all.

And the lack of declaring them disbelievers does not necessitate, at all, diminishing the severity of their action, or the ruling applicable to them. How can this be the case when they have committed a great sin and dangerous crime? Just as it cannot be said to those who do not declare those who leave zakaah, Hajj or fasting to be apostates that they are belittling the ruling of those who leave zakaah, Hajj and fasting.

This is what I take my religion to be inwardly and outwardly.

It is was/is apparent to me through proofs, evidences, clarifications and explanations.

It is, in itself, the belief of our Imaams who have passed and our righteous predecessors.

And the matters stated that are from the affairs in which there are differences of opinion are to be referred to the saying of Allaah the High: {refer it to Allah and His Messenger} [an-Nisa: 59]; {Produce your proof if you are truthful} [al-Baqarah: 111]; {recommend one another to the truth} [al-Asr: 3]; {recommended one another to perseverance and patience, and (also) recommended one another to pity and compassion} [Al-Balad: 17].

And all that is related on me, or said to be what I say, or understood from my words that is different from this grounding, I am free from it and do not pardon at all those who ascribe me to other than this clear truth in which I believe – not in the dunyah or aakhirah.

And that which has occurred from my above speech that needs fine tuning or rephrasing, then this is the way of mankind and the nature of mankind.

I swear by Allaah that I do not intend to contradict the truth or try to please the creation.

As for those who wait in ambush and seek to ensnare, they do not have a remedy except Allaah, may he be glorified in His loftiness, the One who said, {Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful} [al-Fajr: 14].

And the believers are those who make excuses [for one another] and the hypocrites are those who cause others to stumble.

And Allaah is a witness to what I say and He is Sufficient for me and an excellent Protector and a guarantor of all that is beautiful.

And Allaah is the granter of success.

Translated by Akeel Ahmed
Ref: [Accessed the 10th of Muharram 1435AH, conforming to 14/11/13 CE]
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie

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