[This article was published in the 17th issue of Nida'ul Islam
magazine (), February - March 1997]


Al-Murji'ah Sect,
Its History and Beliefs

The nation of Islam in the past had always rejected the Bid'a (the unfounded innovation) and had always fought against it; thus it stayed on the right path and its light remained shinning. Then the nation became lazy and careless to fight Bid'a and its in novator. This has happened when the religious subconscious weakened and at the same period when Bid'a started spreading and finding its way and to have followers and supporters. Bid'a emerged fast to the point where it competed against the true religion and Sunnah. The situation started to deteriorate to the point where, if Bidaa was being fought, many would claim that the true Sunnah is at risk. Among the many misguided factions is "al-Murji'ah" (literally the delayers). What does this term mean and how did it start?


From the linguistic view; Murji'ah comes from Irjaa' which was mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as in the following verse: "You have a hope from Allah that for which they hope not" [4:105]. This verse was explained by Imam Ibn Katheer as follows: "both you and the Kafireen will suffer, but you hope for the forgiveness of Allah, His victory and His support, as on the other hand the Kafireen do not hope for anything of that. Hence, yo u ought to be more forthcoming and more persistent towards Jihad".

In another verse Allah (s.w.t.) says: "What is the matter with you, you hope not for reward from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness" [71:13]. Allah is asking us why we do not fear Him and believe in Him as being God Almighty and fear His punishment.

Also, in another verse Allah (s.w.t.) says: "They said put him and his brother off (for a while) and send callers to the cities" [7:111]. The theme needed in this verse is putting off.

Therefore, from the linguistic point of view and as mentioned in the abo ve verses, the meaning of al-Murji'ah (this misguided faction) is putting off all deeds and actions and isolating these deeds from Faith. By this they have given hope for all ill-doers that their bad deeds are not in conflict with their Faith.

One of Al-Murji'ah's most prominent figure once said that their faith is as good as that of Gabriel, the Prophet (s.a.w), Abu Bakr and Omar. The conclusion as believed by Al-Murji'ah is that the deeds and the faith are not related whatsoever and that deed s have no effect on faith neither positively nor negatively.

The roots Of Al-Murji'ah

The movement of Al-Murji'ah started with the appearance of the Khawarej and the Shiats. The Khawarej claimed that all the Sahabah are Kafirs, while some Shiats claimed that Othman, Mo' aweya, Aaisha and many others, are Kafirs; and at the same time they g ave Ali a status much higher than any human. In between these two positions a third group emerged claiming not to abide to either side by putting off any judgment on either side. This group is definitely in contradiction with the righteous position which believe in and respect all companions of the prophet (s.a.w.).

The first to proclaim Irjaa' is Bathr Bin Abdullah Alhamadani. This man was put down by the people of his time and they never returned his salaam. Then the Bida'a of Irjaa' appeared largely in all Koofa (Iraq) and it was represented by people like Mohammad Bin Karram.

Origins Of al-Murji'ah

With the appearance of many factions of Al-Murji'ah, big differences in their beliefs emerged as well. An example of these factions is Aljabria who believe that humans have no will; while on the other hand in the field of the Names and Qualities of Allah (Al Asmaa wa As- Sifat) they negate all the qualities and some of them believe in the termination of Heaven and Hell, and others have dropped so low in their beliefs by judging Allah and negated all the Names and disqualified all the Qualities of Allah pretending to Honour Allah Almighty. But all of them meet and agree on the one thing and that represented in their belief, that faith does not increase or decrease and they all agree that deeds do not affect the faith in anyway and that nothing hurts whether it is a large sin or a small one. With these believes they have led the nation into the Devil's road.

Signs Of Irjaa In The Nation

The misguided people nowadays in particular and in other times in general have made use of Al-Murji'ah's beliefs. In the name of faith and religion they have blessed the deeds of the Kafirs and the deeds of the dictators. On the other hand, when it comes to the true and faithful people of the Sunnah, they are very severe and very cruel to the point where they call such good people as Kafirs; while at the same time, they affirm the faith of the dictators. Such a ctions are merely a result of an ill-fated misguidance, and this is Jahm Bin Safwan telling us that knowing Allah and His prophet (s.a.w.), is enough to confirm one's faith and to assert Heaven to that person after death.

Al-Murji'ah's Negative Effects

A) On the faith: They put people under Allah's curse by them disregarding the Qur'an and the Sunnah and the path of the companions. This in turn will keep them away from Allah's blessing and mercy.

B) On morals and behaviour: Al-Murji'ah have misled the people by telling them that all deeds are not important for them to enter Heaven and that the worst of the people will be alongside the most believing in Heaven. This concept led to the loss of morals and values; it also led t o ridiculing Allah's religion. There fore, this loss of values have subsequently led the people to slowly pull away from their religion, while at the same time making them believe that they will enter Heaven along the best of the companions.

C) On the religious guidelines : They claimed Islam for someone that has been qualified as being Kafir by Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.). They also allowed him to marry a Muslim woman, when in the true religion it is a corrupted marriage.

Henceforth, you will realise that when Al-Murji'ah's scholars saw h ow corrupt their beliefs were, they created ways to name and classify people as Kafirs. Such characteristic is not known among the Sunni people. And in order for them not to appear lenient with religiously uncommitted people they agreed with the Sunni peo ple in calling someone as Kafir if he deserves this qualification but in a tricky way. For example, they have agreed with Sunnah people that whoever insults Allah, His prophet or the Qur'an is Kafir; but they didn't call him Kafir because of his deed, which took him out of Islam, but rather because this deed has shown that he has no faith and belief in his heart and consequently he is Kafir. The religion and the human mind are both in conflict with what these Murji'ah are claiming. Furthermore, the mind cou ld very easily rule that a person is a believer but with no faith and Allah (s.w.t.) says in witness to this "And they know him as they know their children" [2:46]. In another verse Allah says: "It is not you that they deny, but it is the Verses of Allah that the wrong doers deny" [6:33].

And to shed more light on what has been discussed we quote what Sheikh Ul-Islam Ibn Taymeeya says about the Murji'ah "Those who say what Jahm and Al Salhi say that insulting Allah or His Prophet or talk of the trinity is not a blasphemy in the heart but r ather an indication of blasphemy, and that the insulator is knowledgeable of Allah and His Oneness and that he is a believer. To these people, when you prove to these people by the Qur'an or Sunnah or what has been agreed up on by the scholars that this insultor has committed an act of blasphemy they react by saying that faith requires none of that; these people are very much misguided" (Al-Fatawa).

Al Murji'ah's Proofs

Al-Murji'ah have invented proofs to fit their beliefs, as is the norm with the people of innovation who usually invent the Bid'ah and then look for proofs to support it. And this misguided way contradicts the correct way of seeking the truth, as those who are seeking the truth should be objective and sincere in their research, rather than upholding the innovation then searching for supporting proofs.

However, committing yourself to Ahlu-Sunnah and Jama' a and their beliefs is the best and the only way to get Allah's rewards and His Paradise. So, stick to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His prophet and this will keep you away from any wrong-doing an d from Allah's punishment and you will be able to look at Allah in His Heaven in the Hereafter which is the eternal pleasure.

By Sheikh Muhammad Al-Qurashi


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