[This article was published in the 18th issue of Nida'ul Islam
magazine (), April - May 1997]

Refuting Al-Murji'ah's Proofs

Once the first article about Al-Murji'ah was released, the Editor received many questions from the readers requesting more information and clarification which we shall address in this part with Allah's Help and Grace.

The Origins of the Disagreement

The disagreements within all sects and their deviation from the right path lies behind the fact that they have not committed their minds to the essence of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as taught by the Prophet (s.a.w.) to his Companions and their followers, may Allah be pleased with them. Instead, they committed themselves to their o wn understanding. Hence, the first signs of deviation began with the meaning of faith (Eeman) and its definition. Regarding this matter, people split into two main groups which believe:

A- Eeman is one entity that cannot be portioned.

B- Eeman is something that can be portioned.

Those who said that Eeman is one entity and that it does not increase nor decrease are Al-Murji'ah, who differed between themselves about the reality of Eeman. Some of their dominations, known as Al-Jahmiyah (attributed to Jahm), declared that it is enough to know Allah in your heart, and hence all people are faithful, except someone who says that he does not know Allah. By this illogical argument they judged that Christians, hypocrites, Jews and other Kafirs to be all people of faith.

Another domination, led by Muhammad Bin Karam and his friends, claimed that Eeman is only a matter of confession by the tongue, even if the person was Kafir in his heart; he is a believer and will still end up in Heaven.

Others of Al-Murji'ah said that Eeman is knowledge in the heart and confession by the tongue. So, if a person knows his religion in his heart and testifies this by his tongue, then he is a Muslim who accomplished Eeman and Islam, and deeds cannot be classified as Eeman, rather they are the codes of Eeman. This was said by Hammad and his student Imam Al-Nu'man Bin Thabit and most of his friends. This last group consists of what we call the Faqih's Murji'ah (Faqih is someone with juridical knowledge).

Maqeedah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: "Those who said that Eeman can be portioned, can decrease and increase, and that it is a matter of deeds and sayings are the consensus Muslim scholars Faqihs (Jurists), Muhadithun (Hadith narrators) and eminent Imams, such as Malik, Al-Shafi'i, Ah mad Bin Hanbal, Al-Bukhari, Ibn Al-Mubarak, all the scholars of Hadith and tradition and those who followed the path of as-Salaf as-Saleh (the Righteous Predecessors)" . He added that when they (i.e. the Murji'ah) left out the deeds and did not include them as part of the Eeman, the rest of the Muslims labeled them as Murji'ah". (Please refer to the previous article, issue 17, P18-19 for the definition of Al-Murji'ah)

Refuting Al-Murji'ah's Proofs

They say that they can prove their claims by the Prophet's Hadiths (s.a.w) that aspire Eeman, such as his saying: "Whoever says 'there is no god but Allah with sincerity in his heart' will enter Paradise", "Whoever prays the two cold times (i.e. Fajr and Isha') will enter Paradise" . Such Hadiths are very much mentioned by them in order to lessen the fear of wrong doing and the slipping into bad deeds.

It was mentioned in the last article that it is appropriate to note the Hadiths that the Khawarej had adhered to, in order to refute al-Murji'ah' s proofs. Such Hadiths that talk of Allah's warnings. This is also a misleading argument because it leads to harm being inflicted upon the people due to their lack of knowledge in their God and His religion. Examples of such Hadiths are: "Whoever breaks relatives' ties will not enter Paradise", "Insulting a Muslim is a crime and fighting him is Kufur", "Whoever cheats us is not from amongst us", "Whoever swears by other than Allah is Mushrik" and "He has no Eeman who commits adultery during the act, and he has no Eeman who drinks alcohol, during drinking".

So, dear brother -may Allah guide you-, if you examine Al-Murji'ah's proofs you will note the weakness of the proofs of Al-Khawarej, and if you examine Al-Khawarej's proofs you will note how weak the proofs of Al-Murji'ah are. An d then you will conclude that both sects are not following the path of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Companions'. You should also note that we are convinced that the above mentioned Hadiths are genuine authentic Hadiths, but the people of Bid'ah (innovatio n) have dealt with these Hadiths according to their own desires. A man of truth and Eeman is that who deals with the religion as a whole as was revealed by Allah without any differentiation between His Verses nor the Prophet's Hadiths. Since the Verses an d the Hadiths were revealed from the same source and the same and only God, Allah, the All-Wise All-Knowledgeable, all praise be to Him.

The other argument which they use to justify their claim is a proof in the Arabic language. Al-Ash'ariyah, the Matordiyah and others on this side, have said that the Qur'an was revealed in Arabic and they claim that in the Arabic language the word Eeman ( faith) means believing in or acknowledging, and Eeman is also acknowledging Allah's Oneness and this has nothing to do wit h deeds and actions. They further added that if deeds are part of the Eeman, therefore if someone had left some deeds then he had left the Eeman and became Kafir.

Imam Ibn Hazm, a great Muslim scholar, had mentioned that: "Eeman in the (Arabic) language is believing in and acknowledging and this alone negates the claims of Al-Ash'ariyah and Al-Jahmiyah. The claim that Eeman in the language with which the Qur'an was revealed is believing by the heart only is utterly unfounded. Believing by the heart merely w ithout confessing by the tongue was never called Eeman in the language of the Arabs. And no Arab has ever said that believing in something by the heart less the tongue is Eeman. Also, no Arab has ever said that confessing by the tongue without the heart i s Eeman. In the Arabic language, Eeman is confessing by the tongue and believing by the heart".

What was quoted from Ibn Hazm disproves the claim of Al-Jahmiyah and Al-Ash'ariyah about Eeman and the language.

Now we move to address the Matoridiah who say th at Eeman is both acknowledging by the heart and the tongue, supporting this by the linguistic meaning as well. We say to them that their argument in language is unfounded and untrue, because language necessitates that whoever confesses to something is oug ht to believe in it. They all acknowledge the term Eeman but do not assign it to anyone who believes but instead they tend to limit its usage to certain features excluding the others like believing in Allah and His Messenger, the Qur'an, resurrection, Hea ven and Hell, Praying and Zakah. All these which the Muslims have all agreed that whoever disbelieves in any of them is not a believer.

If they claim that they are obliged to do so due to the teaching of the religion, then we tell them: do not adhere to the linguistical proof where the Shari' a has changed a certain term.

If they say that according to our saying it is then necessitated that if someone loses part of his Eeman then he will end up losing all of his Eeman and will be a Kafir, we tell them: this is utterly wrong because you will be contradicting Allah and His Prophet (s.a.w.).

It is concluded then that terms like Eeman and Kufur are religious ones that could neither be confirmed nor denied of anyone except with a proof. With this all of their claims are dropped down meaningless.

The Proofs of Ahlus-Sunnah

We now would like to mention some of the solid proofs of the people of the truth, Ahlu-Sunnah Wal-Jama'ah:

Allah says: "He it is Who sent down calmness and tranquillity into the hearts of the believers that they may grow more in Faith along with their Faith" [48 - 4].

"As for those who believe, it has increased their Faith" [9 - 124].

"Those unto whom the people said: 'Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore fear them, but it only increased them in Faith'". [3 - 173].

The Prophet (s.a.w.) says: "Eeman is seventy and some parts, the highest of which is (to declare that) there is no God worthy of worship but Allah, and the lowest of which is cleaning the road of harmful objects".

"Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart - and that is the weakest of Eeman."

The above mentioned Noble Verses show us that Eeman increases and the opposite is true. Therefore, good deeds increase Eeman and forsaking good deeds or doing bad deeds decreases Eeman. This fact is witnessed very clearly in every day life and everyone of us can sense it. Once we do what we are commanded by Allah, we sense the pleasure of Eeman, and if we do a bad thing we feel a lessening of Eeman. This is recognised by the average person, needless to mention the scholars.

The interpretation of the Verse "And Allah would never make your Eeman (prayers) to be lost" is that it was revealed in relation to the prayers the Companions had performed at the time when the Qiblah was towards Jerusalem; there, Allah has regarded the prayer to be Eeman, simply because it is part of the Eeman, and from the Arabic le xical principle, part of the thing may be called the whole thing itself. An example of this is the Verse "They thrust their fingers in their ears" (and it is obvious that only one finger can be thrusted into each ear, and the word "fingers" is the translation of the Arabic word "Asabi'ahum" which means three or more fingers). Furthermore, the Prophet (s.a.w.) had called modesty as part of the Eeman, the same is true with cleaning the harm off the road and preventing evil in all the foretold measures. These Verses and Hadiths are as clear and obvious as the sun at the midday. And so is the true religion, very clear and simple.

In conclusion, the Bid'ah of Irjaa' school is one of the most dangerous innovations that conquered the Muslim Nation and created changes; its example is one of which, when spreading among people, a Sunnah of the Prophet's would disappear. This innovation will change the features of the Right Path in the spirits and souls of the people and would damage the true picture of Religion.

Theref ore, the preachers of Islam ought to shake the dust of laziness and fight all innovations, the apparent ones and the hidden ones. They should acknowledge and learn the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.), as his guidance is the best, and all roads to Allah ar e closed but through Muhammad (s.a.w.). This Bid'ah has affected the process of calling to Allah and people got confused as Muslims and Kafirs were tangled together and the right and wrong doers mingled. This has led to weakening the principle of loyalty and getting away from Kufur. It has also weakened the prevention of wrong doing and consequently led to shaking the foundations of the Muslim nation.

So, may we all go back to the Right Path.

We end this article by reminding the reader with Allah's Saying: "Whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord". [18 - 110]

By Sheikh Muhammad Al-Qurashi

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