Questions on `Aqida

Is `aqida the differentiator between Muslim and kafir?

Question

What is the criteria laid for AQEEDAH: is aqeedah the differentiator between a Muslim and kafir, and if one does not consider the world of grave as reality what is the ruling on that person because he thinks that its not 100% sure?

Answer

The differentiator is that whoever unambiguously denies an aspect of the Religion that is obligatorily known – e.g. denying the fact that praying five times a day is obligatory – is considered a disbeliever. One who does not consider the life in the grave a reality is a Mu`tazili, and/or Shi`i, and/or belonging to one of the philosophical or other multifarious non-Sunni sects in Islam whose belief varies from bid`a to kufr although on that very point they are considered Muslim.

Can `aqida be based on single-narrator narrations (ahad hadith)

Question:

Can one take into its Aqeedah narrations from ahad hadith,

Answer:

The vast majority of the Scholars consider that sound (sahih) ahad hadiths are obligatory to practice and believe without the incurring of disbelief (kufr) but only sin (fisq) for whoever denies their validity, and the ruling of kufr applies only to mutawatir narrations such as the Qur’an and non-ahad hadiths. However, the collective weight of certain ahad hadiths whose meaning – short of their actual chains – has tawatur status, dictates that they be included in `aqida, this being the case of many of the narrations pertaining to the afterlife although those of the punishment in the grave are mutawatir.

Belief in da`if hadith

Question:

As far as I know we have to believe 100% in every ahadith transmitted to us even though it is daeef, because daeef implies to the isnad not to the matan, doubting could mean that one is doubting the words of the Prophet (s), but if one does not believe in it 100% what is the ruling on him?

Answer:

Not only is there no sin in not believing 100% in the attribution of a da`if hadith to the Prophet (saws), but it is a pre-condition for our use of the da`if hadith that we should not positively attribute it to the Prophet (saws). Furthermore, da`if can apply to the isnad; it can apply to the matn; and it can apply to both at once. We have to believe 100% and practice everything that comes to us from the Prophet (saws) through tawatur such as the rulings of the Qur’an and those of mutawatir hadiths as well as the Consensus of the Companions. Whatever is not of that level has a different status.

Blind belief

Question:

Can one have blind belief in Allah SWT meaning that they can not prove it rationally or logically, if so please provide references?

Answer:

Proving one’s belief rationally or logically is a contradiction, as belief is by definition in what lies beyond the probative power of reason and logic. However, if you mean by “blind belief” ignorance of its proofs – or most of its proofs – in the Shari`a, then that is the position of the “general public” (`awamm) of the Muslims and belief is not harmed by it, although it is probably incomplete or weak and definitely more vulnerable than the belief of the `Alim. Hence Allah Most High orders us to seek strong and discerning faith with the command “Know / Learn / Understand / Realize that there is no God except ALLAH”.  Similarly the responsibility of the `Alim is greater and his sin weightier. May Allah forgive all and guide all.

Can a non-scholar issue a fatwa?

Question:

What is the ruling on the person that is not a scholar issuing fatwas?

Answer:

This is impermissible and haram unless he is merely reporting the fatwa of a qualified scholar, which itself is allowed only on condition that he does so without changing the context or wording of what he is transmitting. Otherwise, “Whoever gives fatwa without knowledge, the angels of the heaven and the earth curse him” as reported from the Prophet (saws) by Ibn `Asakir (al-Suyuti, Haba’ik p. 187 #694).

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