Friday, November 26, 2010

Definition Of Islaam & Eemaan - By Shaik Al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وبعد

Islaam & Eemaan


The Sheikh, the Imaam, Mohammad Ibn Saalih al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

Islaam linguistically means “obedience” & “submission”

In Islaamic terminology it is when the servant submits and surrenders entirely to Allaah outwardly and inwardly, obeying His commands, and avoiding what He has forbidden. It includes all of the religion. Allaah said,

﴿وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الأِسْلاَمَ دِيناً﴾
“And have chosen for you Islam as your religion” [Surah Al-Ma’idah (5):3]

﴿إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلَـمُ﴾
“Truly, the religion with Allaah is Islam…”            [Surah Aali-Imran (3):19]

﴿وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلَـمِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ﴾
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him…” [Surah Aali-Imran (3):85]

As for Eemaan, it linguistically means to “believe”. In this meaning, Allaah said,

﴿وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَّنَا﴾
“…but you will never believe…” [Surah Yoosuf (12):17]

Islaamically, Eemaan is acceptance of the heart, which necessitates acceptance in statement and action. It is a belief, a statement, and an action – a belief of the heart, a statement of the tongue, and action of the heart and limbs.

The proof that all of this enters under the term Eemaan is the statement of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم:

"الإيمان أن تؤمن بالله وملائكته وكتبه ورسله واليوم الآخر وتؤمن بالقدر خيره وشره"
“Eemaan is that you affirm your faith in Allaah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree, its good and its evil.” [Sahih al-Bukhaaree Vol. 1 Hadith 47 & Sahih Muslim Hadith 1]

And his صلى الله عليه وسلم statement:

"الإيمان بضع وسبعون أو بضع وستون شعبة فأفضلها قول لا إله إلا الله وأدناها إماطة الأذى عن الطريق والحياء شعبة من الإيمان"
“Eemaan is made up of seventy parts, the highest of which is the statement, ‘La Ilaaha Illallaah’. The lowest part is to remove something harmful from the path, and shyness is a part of Eemaan.” [Sahih Muslim 35]

Eemaan in Allaah, His Angels, etc. is the belief of the heart.

The statement, “La ilaaha illallaah” is a statement of the tongue.

Removing something harmful from the path is an action of the limbs.

Shyness is an action of the heart.

With this, it is known that Eemaan includes the entire religion. So, there is no difference between it and Islaam. In this way, each one means the same as the other when used separately. However, when they appear together, Islaam is explained as an outward submission of the tongue and the actions of the limbs. It occurs from both, a believer with complete Eemaan, and a believer with weak Eemaan. Allaah said,

﴿قَالَتِ الاٌّعْرَابُ ءَامَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُواْ وَلَـكِن قُولُواْ أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الايمَـنُ فِى قُلُوبِكُمْ﴾
“The Bedouins say: "We believe.'' Say: "You do not believe. But say, `We have submitted,' for Faith has not yet entered your hearts.” [Surah Al-Hujuraat (49):14]

Based on this, even a hypocrite would be called a Muslim outwardly, yet remain a disbeliever inwardly.

Eemaan (when it comes together with Islaam) is explained as inward submission, which is the belief and acceptance of the heart and its action. This occurs only with a true believer, as Allaah said:

﴿إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُون - الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَوةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ - أُوْلـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقّاً﴾
“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith. And they put their trust in their Lord. Who perform the Salah and spend out of what We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth.” [Surah Al-Anfaal (8):2-4]

With this meaning, Eemaan is a higher level than Islaam. So, every believer (with Eemaan) is a Muslim (with Islaam), yet the opposite is not the case.1

            Deviated Groups and there refutations:

1) The Murji`ah hold the view that Eemaan is nothing but to profess it with the heart only. The Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah believe that recognition and acceptance by the heart only is not sufficient to consider one a believer. There must be, besides recognition and acceptance, an affirmation with the tongue. Pharaoh and his people knew that Musa and Haroon عليهم السلام were telling the truth, but Pharaoh and his people were disbelievers. Allaah tells us what Musa عليه السلام told Pharaoh:

﴿لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَآ أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاءِ إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ﴾
"Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth.” [Surah Al Israa’ (17): 102]

And Allaah says:

﴿وَجَحَدُواْ بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَآ أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْماً وَعُلُوّاً فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ﴾
“And they denied them (those Ayât) wrongfully and arrogantly, even though their own selves were convinced thereof [i.e. those (Ayât) are from Allaah, and Mûsâ (Moses) is the Messenger of Allaah in truth, but they disliked to obey Mûsâ (Moses), and hated to believe in his Message of Monotheism]. So, see what was the end of the Mufsidûn (disbelievers, evildoers, liars and disobedient to Allaah).” [Surah An-Naml (27):14]

The people of the Book (Jews and Christians) recognize Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم as a Prophet but they did not believe in him; Allaah said,

﴿الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ﴾
“Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him (Muhammad [sal-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] or the Ka'bah at Makkah) as they recognize their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it – [i.e. the qualities of Muhammad [sal-Allaahu 'alayhi wa sallam] which are written in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injîl (Gospel)].” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2): 146]

2) The Karaamiyyah holds the view that Eemaan is the proclamation by the tongue only. The Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah disagree saying that anyone affirms with his tongue outwardly, but disbelieves in his heart is not a believer. These are the hypocrites whom Allaah has informed us are subject to more severe punishment than the ordinary disbelievers and who are in the lowest level of fire.

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الأْخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾
“And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: "We believe in Allaah and the Last Day," while in fact they believe not.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2): 8]

﴿إِذَا جَآءَكَ الْمُنَـفِقُونَ قَالُواْ نَشْهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ لَكَـذِبُونَ﴾
When the hypocrites come to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allaah." Allaah knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and Allaah bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed.” [Surah Al-Munaafiqoon (63): 1]

3) The Mu`tazilah & The Khawaarij, these two groups hold the view that Eemaan is actions, affirmation and the belief. The difference between the Mu`tazilah, the Khawaarij and Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah is that the Mu`tazilah and the Khawaarij make the actions a “condition for the correctness of Eemaan” (شرطاً في صِحَّةِ الإيمان) (i.e. i. if you have good actions then only you have Eemaan. ii. If you have no actions you have no Eemaan. iii. A person who commits major sin goes out of Islaam. iv. They intend by it that a person will have a complete Eemaan like that of Jibreel and Mohammad عليهم السلام or he will have no Eemaan).

The Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah hold the view that actions are a “condition for the perfection of Eemaan” (شرطاً في كَمَالِ الإيمان), that Eemaan increases with good deeds and decreases with bad deeds.2

            Eemaan Increases and Decreases:

The Sheikh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

From the base beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah is that Eemaan increases and decreases. Both, the Qur’aan and Sunnah prove this.

From the Qur’aan is Allaah’ statement,

﴿إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ﴾
The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'ân) are recited to them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone);” [Surah Al-Anfal (8): 2]

﴿هُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِى قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِيَزْدَادُواْ إِيمَـناً مَّعَ إِيمَـنِهِمْ﴾
“He it is Who sent down As-Sakînah (calmness and tranquillity) into the hearts of the believers, that they may grow more in Faith along with their (present) Faith. And to Allaah belong the hosts of the heavens and the earth, and Allaah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.” [Surah Al-Fath (48):4]

﴿وَمَا زَادَهُمْ إِلاَّ إِيمَانًا وَتَسْلِيماً﴾
“And when the believers saw Al-Ahzâb (the Confederates), they said: "This is what Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) had promised us; and Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) had spoken the truth." And it only added to their Faith and to their submissiveness (to Allaah).” [Surah Al-Ahzab (33): 22]

From the proofs of the Sunnah is the saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم,

"ما رأيت من ناقصات عـقـل ودين أذهب للب الرجل الحازم من إحداكن"
I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion – perhaps deterring a determined, wise man – than one of you.” [Sahih Bukhari Vol 1. hadith 301 & Sahih Muslim 80]

Within the Aayaat is the proof of the increasing of Eemaan, and in the Hadeeth is the proof of decreasing in religion.

Every text proving the increase of Eemaan also includes a proof for its decrease and vice-versa, because they are both connected. It is not logical that one could be present without the other.

It has been confirmed that the Companions used to say this; it is not known that one of them opposed this belief. The Salaf were agreed upon this. Ibn `Abdul-Bar said, “As for Eemaan increasing and decreasing, the people of the narrations and the scholars of Fatawaa in all the lands held this belief.”3

            Deviated Groups and there refutations:

The Sheikh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

1) The Murji`ah who say that Eemaan is nothing but to profess it with the heart. They claim this acceptance of the heart never wavers, so according to them, the wicked and just are both at the same level of Eemaan, concluding that the Eemaan of the Prophets and the common Muslims is the same.

2) Those who follow only the texts of threats and warnings from the Mu`tazilah and the Khawaarij. They expel Muslims who commit major sins entirely from any association with Eemaan. They say that Eemaan is either completely present or completely nonexistent, and they deny that one person could be at a higher level than another.

Both of these groups are refuted by legislative proofs (from the Qur’aan and Sunnah) and the intellectual one.

As for the legislative proofs, some texts proving the increasing and decreasing of Eemaan have already preceded.

As for the intellectual proofs, we say to the Murji`ah that their statement of Eemaan being merely acceptance of the heart, never wavering or changing, then this is disproved by what has already been mentioned It is contrary to what the Qur’aan and Sunnah establish of statements and actions all entering into Eemaan.

In addition, their statement that the acceptance of the heart never changes is contrary to the senses. It is known to everyone that conviction of the heart is only based upon knowledge, and no doubt, knowledge varies depending upon its sources. The information relayed by one person is not as trustworthy as if it were relayed by two and likewise. Furthermore, whatever knowledge people gain by hearing of any matter is in no way comparable to actually witnessing it. So certainty is of varying levels as is well known, even a single person may find himself at some times and situation stronger in certainty than at other times.

Thus, we wonder how it is correct to rationally assume two men could be exactly equal: one remaining constant upon obedience to Allaah, avoiding disobeying Him; when a notion to sin occurs to him, he immediately gives it up and repents to Allaah. And the other wasting all chances to carry out what Allaah forbids him, yet not perpetrating deeds which take him into disbelief – how could these two be equal in Eemaan?

To those who only focus on the texts of threats, warnings and punishments, we say their statement that one who commits a major sin leaves Eemaan totally; this is in contradiction to what the Qur’aan and Sunnah prove. If this is clear, how could we conclude that two people are exactly equal when one fulfills his obligation seeking Allaah’s reward and avoids sins, the other oppresses himself by doing what Allaah forbids him to do, and he leaves his obligations, although not committing act that cause him to disbelieve?

Assuming we say that a Muslim who commits major sins does in fact leave Eemaan, yet how could we say two people are the same in Eemaan, one seeking the reward of Allaah, and the other from those foremost in doing righteous deeds by Allaah’s help?4

1.      Explanation of a summary of al-`Aqeedatul-Hamawiyyah of Ibn Taymiyyah by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saleh al-`Uthaymeen.
2.      Adopted from Book of Eemaan of Ibn Taymiyyah.
3.      Explanation of a summary of al-`Aqeedatul-Hamawiyyah of Ibn Taymiyyah by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saleh al-`Uthaymeen.
4.      Explanation of a summary of al-`Aqeedatul-Hamawiyyah of Ibn Taymiyyah by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saleh al-`Uthaymeen.

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