ON THE JAHMIYYA [AND OTHER SUBSECTS OF THE MURJI'A]
- The Salihiyya have come to be so called for the simple reason that they profess the
theological doctrine of Abu'l-Husain as-Salihi. The latter used to state his doctrine in
the following terms: "Faith is knowledge [al-iman huwa'l-ma'rifa], while
unbelief is ignorance [wa'l-kufr huwa'l-jahl]." He declared that the
threefold repetition of this statement could never constitute unbelief [kufr],
even if the only person who ever expressed it should happen to be an unbeliever [kafir].
He also maintained that there is no religious duty ['ibada], with the exception
of faith alone.
- As for the Yunusiyya, their name and origin can be traced to Yunus al-Bari' [the
Innocent]. The latter used to state his doctrine in the following terms: "Faith is
knowledge, submissive obedience, and love for Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He)."
He declared that if any individual was found lacking in any of these virtues, that person
must be an unbeliever [kafir].
- As for the Shamiriyya, their name and origin can be traced to a man called Abu Shamir.
The latter used to state his doctrine in the following terms: "Faith is knowledge,
and submissive obedience, and love, and the affirmation that He is Unique [Wahid],
that there is nothing like unto Him. All of this taken together is what constitutes faith.
Abu Shamir also declared: "I would never refer to someone who had committed a major
sin [kabira] as an unrighteous person [fasiq] in the absolute sense. I
would always qualify my statement by saying that he is unrighteous in this or that
- As for the Yunaniyya, their name indicates that they can trace their origin to Greece [Yunan].
They maintained that faith is knowledge and the affirmation of belief in Allah and His
Messengers, and that if something does not make good sense to the logical mind, one should
not do it.
- As for the Najjariyya, their name and origin can be traced to a man called Hasan ibn
Muhammad ibn 'Abdi'llah an-Najjar [the Carpenter]. They have stated their doctrine in the
following terms: "Faith consists in the acknowledgment of Allah and His Messengers,
and of those obligations [fara'id] which have been accepted by general consensus
as religious duties prescribed by Him, in humble submission [khudu'] to Him, and
in the verbal affirmation of belief." It follows, therefore, that if a case ever
arises where a person is found to be ignorant of any element of this creed, and he is
confronted with the evidence, but still refuses to affirm the truth of it, that person
must be considered an unbeliever [kafir].
- As for the Ghailaniyya, their name and origin can be traced to a man called Ghailan [Abu
Marwan ad-Dimashqi]. They shared the general views of the Shamiriyya. They also maintained
that knowledge of the occurrence of things is necessary [al-'ilm bi-huduth al-ashya'
daruri], and that knowledge of the Divine Unity ['ilm at-tawhid] is
knowledge transmitted verbally. According to the account provided by Zurqan, Ghailan used
to state his doctrine in these terms: "Faith is affirmation of the truth by means of
the tongue; in other words, it is the expression of belief [tasdiq]."
- As for the Shabibiyya, they are the followers of a man called Muhammad ibn [Abi] Shabib
[al-Basri]. They professed the doctrine that faith is the acknowledgment of Allah and the
recognition of His Uniqueness. They rejected any ascription of human characteristics [tashbih]
to Him. Muhammad [ibn Abi Shabib] also maintained that faith [iman] had existed
within Iblis, and that he had only become an unbeliever because of his arrogant pride.
- As far as the Hanafiyya are concerned, they were a group among the followers of
Abu Hanifa an-Nu'man ibn Thabit. They professed the doctrine that faith is the recognition
and acknowledgment of Allah and His Messenger, and of everything, as a totality, that has
come to us from His presence. (According to information supplied by al-Barhuqi in his book
entitled Kitab ash-Shajara.)
- As for the Mu'adhiyya, their name and origin can be traced to a man called Mu'adh. The
latter used to state his doctrine in the following terms: "If a person is guilty of
failure to obey Allah, it may correctly be said of him that he has acted sinfully [fasaqa],
but he should not be called a sinner [fasiq]." He also maintained that the
sinner [fasiq] is neither the enemy of Allah ['aduwwu'llah] nor the
friend of Allah [waliyyu'llah].
- As for the Marisiyya, their name and origin can be traced to a man called Bishr
[al-Ghayyath] al-Marisi. They profess the doctrine that faith is the affirmation of belief
[al-iman huwa't-tasdiq], and that the affirmation of belief must be made both in
the heart and with the tongue. This doctrine was also professed by Ibn ar-Rawandi. He also
maintained that prostration [sujud] before the sun does not in itself constitute
unbelief [kufr], although it can be construed as a sign of unbelief.