التوحيد at-Tawhid

Author Topic: AL-ISTITHNÂ IN ONE'S ÎMÂN  (Read 542 times)

Uswat'ul Hasana

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« on: 22.03.2016, 04:03:01 PM »
al-Istithna* in One’s Iman

Ibn Abi'l Izz al-Hanafi (731-792H)
Muhazzabu Sharh'il Aqidat'it Tahawiyyah

والإيمان‏:‏ هو الإقرار باللسان، والتصديق بالجنان
وجميع ما صح عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من الشرع والبيان كله‏ حق
والإيمان واحد، وأهله في أصله سواء، والتفاضل بينهم بالخشية والتقى، ومخالفة الهوى، وملازمة الأولى

Belief consists of affirmation lay the tongue and acceptance by the heart.
And the whole of what is proven from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) regarding the Shari'ah and the explanation (of the Qur'an and of Islam) is true.
Belief is, at base, the same for everyone, but the superiority of some over others in it is due to their fear and awareness of Allah, their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to Allah.

Regarding the statement: "I am a believer Inshallah (God willing)" there are three opinions; two extremes and one in the middle. Some say that one must say the words: "Inshallah (God willing)". Others say that it is forbidden to make such a statement. Others say it is allowed in some instances and prohibited in others. That is the soundest of the three opinions.

Those who say it is obligatory to say "Inshallah (God willing)" have two stances. First, Iman is what a person dies upon. A person is a Mu’min (believer) or a Kafir (disbeliever) in Allah’s sight according to his condition at death. Because of Allah’s foreknowledge, He knows in what state the person will die. What occurs before that is of no importance. So they say that Iman that is followed by infidelity is, in fact, no faith at all. It is like Salat (the prayer) that is invalidated before it is finished or the fast of a person who breaks his fast before sunset. The Kullabiyyah and others follow this argument.

According to them, Allah always loved those disbelievers that He knew would die as believers. The Companions, for example, were always beloved to Allah even before their conversions to Islam. Iblis and all of those who apostatized were always hated by Allah, even before their infidelity. This is not the statement of Salaf (elders). Those of them who did say that one should say "Inshallah (God willing)" did not use such an argument; it is clearly wrong. Allah says:

قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ

"Say: If you truly love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you." (Al-i Imran 3/31)

Here He is stating that He will love them if they follow the Messenger. Hence, following the Messenger is a condition for His love. And the conditional result must come after the condition. There is other evidence as well.

A group of people went to an extreme on this point. They would begin to say "Inshallah (God willing)" for good deeds. They would say: "I prayed, Inshallah (God willing)" and so on, meaning it was accepted. Some of them even started saying it for everything. One would say: "This is an article of clothing, Inshallah (God willing)", "This is a rope, Inshallah (God willing)". If you tell them: "There is no doubt about that (being a rope)", they would say: "Yes, that is true. But if Allah wills to change it, He will change it!.."

Their second point is that absolute faith requires the servant to be doing everything Allah commands and avoiding everything He forbids. If a person says: "I am a Mu’min (believer)" then, in that sense, he is testifying about himself that he is one of the most pious people, who is doing everything he is commanded and abstaining from everything forbidden. He is saying he is from the devoted servants who are close to Allah. This is self-sanctification if that testimony is true. But he must also testify that he will be of Paradise if he dies in that state.

This was the stance of the majority of Salaf who used to include words "Inshallah (God willing)" when stating they were believers.
They would also permit not stating it in a different meaning, as we will mention Inshallah. They also stood for the permissibility of saying "Inshallah (God willing)" about something concerning which there is no doubt, based on the Ayah (verse):

لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُؤُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ

"You will indeed enter Masjid'al Haraam (the Inviolable Place of Worship), if Allah wills, secure." (al-Fath 48/27)

Similarly, when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) stopped in front of a graveyard, he said:

وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ

"We, God willing, will join you." (Muslim, #249; Abu Dawud, #3237; Ibn Ma'ajah, #4306; Nasa’i, 1/94-95; Ahmad, Musnad, 2/300, 375, 408)

He (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said:

وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَخْشَاكُمْ لِلَّهِ وَأَعْلَمَكُمْ بِمَا أَتَّقِي

"I hope to be the most fearful of Allah of all of you." (Muslim, #1110; Abu Dawud, #2389; Ahmad, Musnad, 6/67,156, 245; Malik, Muwatta, 1/289) There are other examples too.

Those who forbid such a statement are all those who say that Iman is one entity. They will say: "I know that I am a believer in the same way what I know that I made the testimony. My statement: I am a believer is the same as my statement: I am a Muslim. The one who says: Inshallah, concerning his faith then has a doubt about it." They call such people doubters. They respond to the Ayah:

لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُؤُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ

"You will indeed enter Masjid'al Haraam (the Inviolable Place of Worship), if Allah wills, secure." (al-Fath 48/27) by saying that it refers to the feeling of security or fear. As for entering the House, there is no doubt about it. Or they say that all or some of them will enter it, as Allah knows that some of them will die.

There is some question, though, about those two responses. They end up in the position that they will enter in security, and He knows that. Therefore, there is no doubt about entering or about them being secure upon doing so. Nor is there any question about some or all of them entering the House because Allah knows which ones will do so, again, without any doubt. The statement: "Inshallah (God willing)", here is emphasis that they will enter, like the person who says about something he will definitely do: "By Allah, I will do it, Inshallah (God willing)". Here he does not say: "Inshallah (God willing)" out of any doubt but out of desire and resolve. But, in that case, one who does not fulfill what he stated does not break his oath because he did not clearly state he would do it.

There is another response that it is fairly acceptable. Allah made such a statement to teach us how to make statements about things that will happen in the future. But there is some question about whether that is what is meant by the Ayah, as the context does not point to it, but it may be considered something else the Ayah simply alludes to.

Zamakhshari responds with two other answers that are false. The first is that the angel or the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said it and the Qur’an confirmed it.

Those who allow the saying of "Inshallah (God willing)" as well as not saying it have the best evidence from the two groups. The best is the middle one. If the one who says "Inshallah (God willing)" has some doubt about Iman, it is not allowed to say it. This is agreed upon. But if he means that he is a believer from those believers that Allah has described in the Ayah:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَاناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقّاً لَّهُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

"For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His revelations rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord; who establish regular prayers and spend (freely) out of the gifts We have given them for sustenance. Such in truth are the Believers: They have grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness, and generous sustenance." (al-Anfal 8/2-4) or in the Ayah:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

"Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: such are the sincere ones." (al-Hujurat 49/15) then in that case, saying: "Inshallah (God willing)" meaning that he does not know what his end will be, or in reference to a command of Allah, without any doubt about his faith, then such a statement is permissible. This is as you can see, a strong position.

* al-Istithna refers to excepting oneself from having complete Iman, and it is when one says “I am a Believer, if Allah wills."
Shaykh’ul Islam Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

وكل قول ينفرد به المتأخر عن المتقدمين، ولم يسبقه إليه أحد منهم، فإنه يكون خطأ كما قال الإمام أحمد بن حنبل‏‏

"All statements that had been said by the Mutaakhirrin (latter ones) differing from the Mutaqaddimin (predecessors) and that had not been previously mentioned by any other, is a mistake. As Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) said:

‏إياك أن تتكلم في مسألة ليس لك فيها إمام‏

"Refrain from speaking about a matter without an Imam!.." (Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majma’ul Fatawa, 21/291)

Asad'us Sunnah

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« Reply #1 on: 21.02.2019, 02:51:40 AM »
Abű’l Qâsim al-Asbahânî (457-535H)
al-Hujjah fî Bayân’il Mahajjah

Abű’l Qâsim al-Asbahânî (Rahimahullâh) said with regards to Istithnâ (excepting oneself from having perfect Îmân),

وَيكرهُ لمن حصل مِنْهُ الإِيمان أَن يَقُول: أَنا مُؤمن حَقًا وَمُؤمن عِنْد اللَّه وَلَكِن، يَقُول: أَنا مُؤمن أَرْجُو أَو مُؤمن إِن شَاءَ اللَّه، أَو يَقُول: آمَنت بِاللَّه وَمَلَائِكَته وَكتبه وَرُسُله، وَلَيْسَ هَذَا عَلَى طَرِيق الشَّك فِي إِيمانه، لكنه عَلَى معنى أَنه لَا يضْبط أَنه قد أَتَى بِجَمِيعِ مَا أَمر بِهِ، وَترك جَمِيع مَا نهي عَنهُ، خلافًا لقَوْل من قَالَ: إِذَا علم من نَفسه أَنه مُؤمن جَازَ أَن يَقُول: أَنا مُؤمن حَقًا.

وَالدَّلِيل عَلَى امْتنَاع الْقطع لنَفسِهِ وَدخُول الِاسْتِثْنَاء إِجماع السّلف، قيل لِابْنِ مَسْعُود - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ -: إِن هَذَا يزْعم أَنه مُؤمن قَالَ: سلوه أَفِي الْجنَّة هُوَ أم فِي النَّار؟ . فَسَأَلُوهُ فَقَالَ: اللَّه أعلم. فَقَالَ لَهُ عَبْد اللَّهِ: فَهَلا وكلت الأولى، كَمَا وكلت الْآخِرَة.

وَلِأَنَّهُ قد ثَبت أَن الإِيمان جَمِيع الطَّاعَات وَترك الْمُحرمَات، وَهُوَ فِي الْحَال لَا يضْبط أَنه قد أدّى سَائِر مَا لزمَه، واجتنب كل مَا حرم عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنَّمَا يعلم ذَلِك فِي الثَّانِي، فَلَا يجوز أَن يعلم أَنه مُؤمن مُسْتَحقّ للثَّواب.

“And it is disliked for the one whom Îmân emanates from to say, “I am a true Mu’min (believer)!” and “I am a (true) Mu’min in the sight of Allâh.” Rather he should say, “I hope I am a Mu’min” or “I am a Mu’min if Allâh wills” or “I believe in Allâh, His Angels, Books, and His Messengers.” This is not a path upon Shakk (doubtfulness) in his Îmân, but it is upon the meaning that he has not mastered every single thing which he has been ordered and abandoned everything that he has been forbidden from, in opposition to the one who says, “When a person knows himself that he is a Mu’min believer, it is permissible for him to say: “I am a true believer!””

And the evidence for the impossibility of making this absolute claim (of perfect Îmân) and the necessity of making Istithnâ (exception) is the Ijmâ (consensus) of the Salaf. It was said to Ibnu Mas’űd (Radiyallâhu Anh), “This person claims that he is a believer!” He replied: “Ask him whether he is in Jannah (Paradise) or in the Nâr (fire, i.e. Hellfire)?” So they asked him and he replied: “Allâh knows best!” So Abdullâh (Ibnu Mas’űd) said to him, “If only you had entrusted the affair of the first (this life) as you have entrusted the affair of the Âkhirah (Hereafter) (to Allâh)!

And because it has already been established that Îmân is all of the acts of obedience and the abandonment of the prohibited matters, then in the situation a person has not mastered having fulfilled all that is binding upon him and has avoided all that has been prohibited to him. Therefore, it is not possible for him to know that he is a Mu’min (believer) who is deserving of the reward (Jannah).” (al-Hujjah fî Bayân’il Mahajjah 1/443-445)
Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah (Rahimahullâh) stated,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

"The Âlim (scholar) recognizes the Jâhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jâhil. The Jâhil does not recognize the Âlim since he has never been an Âlim." (Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majmű'ul Fatâwâ, 13/235)


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