The Balance of Ahlus Sunnah Regarding the Names and the Rulings - Shaykh Alee Naasir Al-Faqeehi
An Exclusive Translation for Sisters Upon Al-Istiqaamah
Shaykh Alee Naasir Al-Faqeehi (May Allaah have mercy upon him) said, "The balance of Ahlus Sunnah in relation to the names and the rulings are, that which is intended by names here, the names of the religion i.e. Mu'min (Believer), Muslim, Faasiq (Criminal), and Kaafir (Disbeliever). That which is intended by "the rulings" are the rulings of the individuals in the life of this world as well as in the Hereafter. This means the rulings of the individuals who have these names.
This matter, of the names and the rulings, were the first affair from the affairs of the fundamentals which differing took place amongst the different groups. This took place after the events and battles which happened between Alee ibn Abi Taalib and Mu'aawiyyaah (May Allaah be pleased with them both). Along with that, which came as a result (of what was mentioned) was the appearance of the Khawaarij who declared Muslims to be disbelievers because of the committing of sin, therefore making the one who has committed a major sin to be a Kaafir. Likewise, there was the appearance of the Raafidah (extreme Shia), Qadariyyaah, and Mu'tazilah. These people differed regarding the one who commits a major sin from amongst the Muslims and what he is to be named. Is he a Mu'min? Is he a Kaafir or Faasiq? What is his ruling in this wordly life based upon these names? What is his ruling in the Hereafter?
The groups have divided, in this affair, into two sides and a middle. The Khawaarij and the Mu'tazilah are on one side, although the Mu'tazilah oppose the Khawaarij regarding the naming of this person in this wordly life. Then you have the groups of the Murji'ah on the other side facing the previous mentioned groups. And what I mean is the pure Murji'ah. Then, there you have Ahlus Sunnah in the middle between the two sides.
This differing is based upon their differing in the definition of Eeman and its reality with each group from amongst them. Therefore, based upon this, it is good that we define Eemaan first and foremost.
The Definition of Eeman: The Shaykh said, “Firstly, with Ahlus Sunnah, the Khawaarij, and the Mu’tazilah all agree thatEeman is the belief of the heart, acknowledgment with the tongue, and actions of the limbs. The Khawaarij and the Mu’tazilahopposed Ahlus Sunnah with their statement: Eeman is one matter. It doesn’t divide into parts or portions. It is doing everything that is commanded and leaving off everything thing that is prohibited. It doesn’t increase nor decrease. Sins do not co-exist with Eeman, rather it negates it. So, if some of it (Eeman) leaves due to the committing of something from the acts of disobedience, all of it goes. Therefore, whoever commits a sin from the major sins, his Eeman leaves him and his blood and wealth becomes lawful. (These are the statements of the Khawaarij.)
However, what is this person named (from amongst these groups).
1. The Khawaarij have said: The one who is disobedient is a Kaafir in this world and in the hereafter. In this world, the persondoesn’t inherit, he’s not to be washed, prayed over, nor shrouded, and he is not to be buried in the graveyard of the Muslimeen. In the hereafter (they hold that) he will abide in the hell-fire forever.
2. The Mu’tazilah have said: The one who commits a major sin, we do not name him a believer nor do we name him a Kaafir. Rather, he is between two states. Shaykhul Islaam ibn Taymiyyah (May Allaah have mercy upon him) said, “This is a matter that is specific to the Mu’tazilah which they alone have said. As for the rest of their statement, then others share with them the same statements.”
So, based upon this, they (the Mu’tazilah) say that the ruling of this individual in this life is:
1. We (the Mu’tazilah) don’t name him a believer or a Kaafir. Rather, he is between two states. He left from the fold ofEeman, but he didn’t enter into the fold of Kufr. They name him a Faasiq (criminal).
2. His ruling in this life is the ruling of the Muslimoon in regards to the sacredness of the blood, property, honor and inheritance.
He is to be prayed over and buried in the graveyard of the Muslimoon. This is how the one who committed the major sin is dealt with in this life.
3. They (The Mu'tazilah) say the ruling of this individual in the hereafter is that he will abide in the hell-fire forever. His punishment will be less than that of the disbelievers in it. That which has been mentioned is based upon one of their five fundamental principles which is that it is the obligation of the threat of Allaah being carried out. This means that whoever has committed a major sin, it is obligatory upon Allaah to enter this person into the hell-fire. When he enters the hell-fire he will not come out. This is because they reject the narrations from the Messenger of Allaah (sallaallaahu alayhi wa sallaam) in the two authentic collections of ahadeeth and other than them concerning the established intercession. They reject these narrations, which have within them the clear proof of the disobedient sinner, and from amongst them is the monotheist being removed from the hell-fire.
Rather, there is within these narrations the removal of the one who has the smallest amount of Eeman in his heart.
4. As for the ruling of the Murji'ah, the people of neglect, they are of different groups. The origin that combines all of theMurj'iah, that which is due to it, they have been named that (ie. Murji'ah), is the removal of the actions from that which is named Eeman. They are divided into three groups. The group which concerns us in this research are the true, outright Murji'ah. They are the ones who say, "The acts of disobedience do not harm the faith of the person just as acts of obedience doesn't benefit the person as long as he is a disbeliever. The reason why they say this is because they define Eeman as merely being theacknowledgement of the heart. This is case with them even if it is not expressed verbally by the tongue. Therefore, as a result of that, the one who commits a major sin is considered a complete believer with them, as the committing of the major sins do not have a negative impact on the person's Eeman.
Source: Al Wasatiyyah wa Nadhul Ghuloo by Shaykh Alee Naasir Al-Faqeehi pgs. 22-24