What the Sunni Muslims said regarding the one among the believers (in Islam) who commits a great sin

July 22, 2014

From “Al-Tamĥiid li-Qawaaˆid Al-Tawĥiid” by Abu Ath-Thanaa’ Maĥmuud ibn Zayd Al-Laamishiyy Al-Ĥanafiyy Al-Maaturiidiyy:

The Sunni Muslims said regarding the one among the believers (in Islam) who commits a great sin:

  1. This will be kufr (even in cases of small sins) in the following circumstances:
  2. If he judged it as permitted (and it is commonly known among scholars and lay people that it is forbidden and he is not like a new Muslim who has never heard of it being forbidden).
  3. If he did it in scorn to the one who forbade it (e. Aļļaah).
  4. If he did it for the purpose of rebelling against Aļļaah.

In these above cases he has committed kufr (i.e. become a non-Muslim – and must come back to Islam by uttering the creedal statement with the intention to clear himself of that kufr and come back to Islam).

  1. However, if he did a great sin due to (such things as) lust, laziness, anger, pride, or disdain (e.g. anger, pride or disdain towards other Muslims – NOT towards something holy, like the rules of Islam, or Angels, or Prophets, because that would be kufr), while also:
  2. fearing that Aļļaah might punish him for the sin, and yet
  3. hoping for Aļļaah’s mercy and forgiveness,

then he is called a sinful believer.

The judgment for this person is that if he repents (meeting all of the conditions of complete repentance), then he will be forgiven. However, if he dies before repenting, then it depends on what Aļļaah has willed for him: Aļļaah may forgive him by His grace and mercy, or accept the intercession of a prophet or waliyy among His pious worshippers, or He may torture him for his crime before entering him into Paradise.

(Note that the above position is in opposition to the khawaarijites and muˆtazilites. Both of these sects claimed that the one that commits a great sin, such as adultery, goes to Hell forever if he does not repent. The khawaarijites claimed this because they believe all sins, or great sins at least, to be kufr. The muˆtazilities claimed that committing a great sin puts one in a state between belief and kufr, but that this state means that one goes to Hell forever.)

at-tamhiid 1at-tamhiid 2

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Allaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation

August 12, 2012

Aļļaah is not attributed with attributes like those of creation. He must be attributed with non-resemblance to creation. This is the meaning of the statement in the Quran:

ليس كمثله شيء

Meaning: “He absolutely does not resemble anything at all in any way” (Asħ-Sħuuraa, 11)

Created things may differ from one another. However, their uniqueness towards one another is not like Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It must be understood that Aļļaah is not different from creation in the same way that created things differ from one another[1]. Otherwise He would resemble His creation in the attribute of non-resemblance to creation.

It becomes important then to have a look at how created things may achieve uniqueness from one another. For example, if two entities differ, this difference will be detectable through one of our five senses as follows:

1.            Eyes: color and shape

2.            Hearing: sound

3.            Touch: temperature, softness, wetness, heaviness

4.            Taste: sourness, bitterness, sweetness, and other qualities of taste.

5.            Smell: sharpness, mildness, and other qualities of smell.

Created uniqueness then, is through shape, color, sound and other physically tangible qualities as mentioned here[2]. There are also two other ways created things may differ from one another, even if they are identical in all of the senses mentioned above. Namely, they may differ in space and in time. There may even be other ways of created uniqueness, but that is not important here. What is important is the following:

Aļļaah’s attribute of non-resemblance to creation involves denying that He is something that has color, shape or any other physically tangible quality. It also involves denying that He is in space or time.


[2] Another way of saying this is that such qualities involve possibilities. That is, they are not necessarily the way they are in the mind’s eye; one could have imagined them to be different. This is true for all things that may change. Such things need specification of their aspects, such as: Which shape? What color? What sound? What place? At what time? Etc. This means that they need a Creator to bring them into existence according to specification. See also the article: Bodies have limits but not Allaah.


Important note on the evidences of the prophethood of Muĥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

August 25, 2010

In addition to his miracles, we get supporting evidences from the human perfection of the person of the Prophet himself; from both the perspective of insight and that of action. The greatest kind of insight is that of knowing Aļļaah, while the greatest kind of action is that of obeying Aļļaah. The greater one’s knowledge of Aļļaah and one’s obedience to Him, the more perfect one will be as a human being. We can also consider the level of strength of these two perspectives of human perfection. The first level would be to apply them to oneself. The higher level would be the strength to help others achieve high levels of insight and action.

Now, consider that at the time of the Prophet’s appearance, the world was full of blasphemy and vice of great varieties. As for the Jews, they had drowned in anthropomorphic beliefs, perverting the books brought by prophets, and even showing enmity towards some of them, like Jesus. The Christians, on the other hand, were fumbling in the fog of self contradictory superstitions, such as their beliefs in the trinity, the father and the son, along with the belief that creator and created are united. Others, like the Magians, were allowing men to marry their mothers, while the Arabs were busy with robbery, kidnapping and worshipping idols.

After the Prophet’s appearance (صلى الله عليه وسلم) these blasphemies and vices were replaced by the belief in the Oneneness of Aļļaah and obedience to Him at an unprecedented scale. This reversal from blasphemy and vice is the greatest achieved by any prophet in history, much greater than that of previous prophets, such as Moses or Jesus.

Look for example at his own people, the Arabs. Before his call they were split into tribes, clans and families with ongoing conflicts and enmity. After their embracement of Islam they became united to defend the Prophet and his teachings, emigrated from their lands, left their families and sacrificed their blood in his cause, making themselves targets for the blows of swords and the strikes of arrows. All this to strengthen the Prophet’s call, and nothing else. For he offered them no ease in this world, no riches as compensation, and no immediate benefits as incentive, no kingdom, no rule, no worldly titles. On the contrary, many spent their riches to support him and embraced poverty and a life of obeying orders.

This tells us, in addition to miracles, that the Prophet Muĥammad is not only a prophet, but the greatest prophet of all. He was supremely successful as a political leader and in his influence on the personalities of his followers. This influence and its intensity is still very evident today for anyone comparing Muslims and non-Muslims in terms of whom they are influenced by and to what extent.


Question: Can we say that we mainly use logic when it comes to belief (Aqeedah)?

July 19, 2010

I do not think that is precise. You need logic in all matters of belief and jurisprudence (fiqh). The question is where the most explicit and immediate premises come from; are they scriptural, or based on the nature of the world around us? In fiqh they are always scriptural, i.e. based on the judgments (orders/prohibitions, etc.) that they contain. In belief issues, however, they are sometimes based on the world around us. Why? Because the premises for relying on scriptures must be from something other than the scripture, to avoid circular reasoning[1].

This means that the proofs of Aļļaah’s existence, some of His attributes, and the miracles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and thus his prophethood (صلى الله عليه وسلم), have premises based on:

a) the essential nature of the world, such as the fact that it changes, and consists of parts that are intrinsically possible in existence, and therefore need a creator (see Foundations of The Religion."

b) on what is normally correlated, such as "touch fire -> get burned". It is through the normal we can recognize the extraordinary, i.e. miracles that prove prophethood. We know the splitting of the moon as a miracle of the Prophet Muĥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) because it never happened before or after him.

Note that the underlying premises (unlike the immediate and explicit) on any fiqh issue are not based on the scriptures, but also on these premises. This is because the establishment of the scriptures as being revealed from Aļļaah, and obligatory to follow, are based on these premises.

Logic is always needed, even if you are only dealing with proofs from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. This is because logic is about making precise definitions and constructing proofs, whether they be constructed from premises that are taken from the revealed scriptures or not.


[1] An example of this would be if someone said, "I pray because Aļļaah orders me to, because it says so in His book, and I know this book tells me what Aļļaah orders, because the book tells me it is." To get out of this line of reasoning, you need to prove by other means than the book’s instructions that the book is really from Aļļaah. To do this you need to prove that Aļļaah exists, and that miracles prove prophethood, and that is the role of Kalaam/Belief Science.


Marşad (topic) 1: Preliminary Introductions to Kalaam Science

January 30, 2010

Maqşid (subject) 1: Definition of Kalaam Science

A science by which one is able to verify the truth of religious beliefs bringing proofs and refuting misconceptions. (Maw, 7).

Maqşid (subject) 2: Topic of Kalaam Science

Information that pertains to verifying religious beliefs, whether it be closely or remotely related (Maw, 7).

Maqşid (subject) 3: Benefit of Kalaam Science

Among the benefits are:

To climb from the rank of imitation to that of certainty.

To use proofs to guide those who seek guidance, and force concessions from the stubborn.

Protect the religion from those who try to undermine it.

To base all religious knowledge on it, as it is the foundation for all such knowledge.

To achieve correct intention and belief to serve as the bases for one’s religious works, such as prayer. (Maw, 7).

Maqşid (subject) 4: Status of Kalaam Science

It is the highest ranking science as its topic is the most important of all, and its proofs are the strongest, as they are based on undeniable premises and sound deductive reasoning, supported by narrational proofs. If we were to rank sciences it would be according to its importance and its proofs, and Kalaam science is the highest in both (Maw, 7).

Maqşid (subject) 5: Its subjects (problematics)

Its subjects are all intellectual judgments regarding religious matters, or what they depend on. (Maw, 7). Its principles are either clear by themselves, or clarified within it, and its does not depend on other sciences. It is therefore the absolute head of all sciences. (Maw, 7).

Maqşid (subject) 6: Its being named Kalaam or Speech Science

There are several opinions regarding this. One is that it was named after its most debated subject, namely Aļļaah’s attribute of Speech. Another is that it leads to an ability to speak and debate in its student. (Maw, 7-8). Yet another is that it was called Kalaam Science, or literally “Speech Science” since its subjects are the cause of so much speech and debate.

Note that (Maw) is short for Mawaaqif Fii ˆIlm Al-Kalaam, ˆAđudu-d-Diin Al-‘Iijiyy, and that the above is a partial translation of that book, along with other comments.


Al-ˆAqiidatu-l-Mursħidah

November 19, 2009

Ibn ˆAsaakir used to teach it. Ibn Tumart is said to be the author. As-Subkiyy narrated it in Ţabaqaat Asħ-Sħaafiˆiyyah Al-Kubraa, and said, “there is nothing in it that a Sunniyy would refute.” The following is a translation of that narration:

Know, may Aļļaah guide us and you, that it is obligatory upon every accountable person to know that Aļļaah is the only God of His dominion (i.e. the worlds which are everything other than Aļļaah).

اعلم أرشدنا الله وإياك أنه يجب على كل مكلفٍ أن يعلم أن الله عز وجل واحدٌ في مُلكِه

   

He created the entire world (everything other than Him), the upper and lower, the ˆArsħ and the Kursiyy, the heavens and earth, and what is in them and what is between them.

خلق العالم بأسرِه العُلوي والسُّفلي والعرش والكرسي والسموات والأرض وما فيهما وما بينهما

   

All creation is (in reality completely powerless and) subjugated by His Power. No particle moves except by His will (i.e. by His specification – and this includes all particles in a human being).

جميع الخلائق مقهورون بقدرته لا تتحرَّك ذرّة

   

There is no one and nothing that arranges or controls the affairs of the creation other than Him, and He does not have a partner in His absolute ownership (and control) of the worlds.

إلا بإذنه ليس معه مدبِّرٌ في الخلق ولا شريكٌ في الملك

   

He is attributed with beginningless and endless life (that does not involve a body or a soul or change or development. Rather we say He is alive because He is attributed with Will, Power and Knowledge, and His life is not like our life.) and self-existent (so He has no needs).

حيٌّ قيوم

   

Meaning: It is impossible that He should get sleepy or sleep.

{لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ -البقرة/255}

   

Meaning: He knows absolutely everything that is hidden (to His creation) and what is apparent.

{ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ – الأنعام/73 }

   

Meaning: Nothing is hidden from Him in the Earth or in the Sky.

{ لا يَخْفَى عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ – آل عمران/5 }

   

Meaning: He knows what is on land and what is in the sea. Not a leaf falls but by His knowledge. There is no seed in the earth and nothing moist, like water and greenery, and nothing dry, like stones and clay, except that He knows it and everything about it in all of its states, past, present and future, and it is written in a clear book.

{ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِنْ وَرَقَةٍ إِلاّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلا رَطْبٍ وَلا يَابِسٍ إِلاّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ – الأنعام/59 }

 

His Knowledge encompasses everything absolutely.

{ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا [الطلاق/12 }

   

He knows the count of all things.

{ وَأَحْصَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عَدَدًا – الجن/28}

   

He does whatever He wills.

{ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ – هود/107 }

   

He has the power to do whatever He wills.

قادرٌ على ما يشاءُ

   

He is the absolute owner of all the worlds (and everything in them) and He does not need anything (and everything needs Him).

له الملك والغناء

   

He is the possessor of absolute glory, (as He has the power to create anything, everything is subdued by Him without resistance and everything is known to Him) and He is attributed with everlastingness.

وله العز والبقاء

   

Rules and judgment belong to Him alone as does the decree for how things are to be.

وله الحكمُ والقضاء

   

He has the most beautiful namings (which are any meanings ascribed to Him).

وله الأسماءُ الحسنى

   

Nothing prevents what He has predestined, and nothing hinders what He gives.

لا دافِعَ لما قضى ولا مانع لما أعطى

   

He does in His kingdom whatever He wills. He rules His creation with whatever He wills.

يفعل في ملكه ما يريد ويحكم في خلقه بما يشاء

   

He does not hope for reward and does not fear punishment.

لا يرجو ثوابا ولا يخاف عقابا

   

There is no right on Him that is binding, and no one exercises rule over Him.

ليس عليه حقٌّ ولا عليه حكم

   

Every endowment from Him is due to His Generosity and every punishment from Him is just.

وكل نعمة منه فضلٌ وكل نقمة منه عدلٌ

   

He is not questioned about what He does, but they are questioned.

{ لا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ – الأنبياء/23}

   

He existed before the creation. He does not have a before or an after. He does not have an above or a below, a right or a left, an in front of or a behind, a whole or a part.

موجودٌ قبل الخلق ليس له قبلٌ ولا بعدٌ ولا فوق ولا تحتٌ ولا يمينٌ ولا شِمالٌ ولا أمامٌ ولا خَلفٌ ولا كلٌّ ولا بعضٌ

   

It must not be said: When was He? Or where was He (in place)? Or how is He? He existed without a place. He created the universe and willed for the existence of time. He is not bound to time and is not designated with place.

ولا يقال متى كان ولا أين كان ولا كيف كان ولا مكان كوَّن الأكوان ودبَّر الزمان لا يتقيد بالزمان ولا يتخصص بالمكان

   

His management of one matter does not distract Him from another.

ولا يشغله شأنٌ عن شأن

   

Delusions do not apply to Him, and He is not encompassed by the mind.

ولا يلحقه وهم

   

He is not grasped by the mind, and not known in particulars.

ولا يكتنفه عقل ولا يتخصص بالذهن

   

He is not represented in one’s self.

ولا يتمثل في النفس

   

He is not pictured in the imagination.

ولا يُتصوَّر في الوهم

   

He is not modulated in the mind.

ولا يتكيف في العقل

   

Imagination and thought do not reach Him.

لا تلحقه الأوهام والأفكار

   

Meaning: Absolutely nothing resembles Him, and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.

{ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ – الشورى/11 }


Video for the article for children

November 3, 2009

When teaching children using the article, For children: “How can we know that all other religions than Islam are incorrect when there are so many?” you can show the following video to illustrate: