Questions on `Aqida

Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad

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).

As `Umar said, such false muftis are the enemies of the Religion, misguided and misguiding, and their fatwas are null and void. And Ibn `Umar said: “Do not give any response except with the speaking Qur’an (biqur’anin natiqin) or a Sunna that has precedent (sunnatin madiya). If you do otherwise, you have perished and caused others to perish.” By “the speaking Qur’an” he means unambiguous and unabrogated. And Hudhayfa said: “Other than an Imam [i.e. the Sultan] or a governor, or a man who can tell [i.e. through knowledge of the Sunna] the abrogating verses of the Qur’an from the abrogated, anyone who gives fatwa is an overreaching fool.”

Calling scholars names

Question:

What is the ruling on the person that calls a respected scholars bad names?

Answer:

It varies from fisq to kufr, and our refuge is Allah Most High from the slips of the tongue and obduracy. Examples of bid`a are the excesses committed by Ibn Hazm in his disparagement of the Ulema in his banned book al-Fisal wa al-Nihal; al-Mawdudi against the Ulema; Sayyid Qutb against the Ulema; etc. This bid`a can become kufr when the Ulema as a whole are insulted, or compared to non-Muslims, such as in the statements: “What is this caste system of our Ulema?” or “The approach, methodology, and objectives of the Ulema have all now become invalid” – this is blatant kufr. Close to this also is the specific revilement of the Ash`ari and Maturidi Ulema – who form the massive majority of Ahl al-Sunna – in the books of al-Khajnadi, al-Albani, al-Tuwayjiri, al-Madkhali, and other Wahhabi / “Salafi” writers. The only exception is when the permitted discreditation of certain Ulema by the authorities has solid grounds in the Shari`a, such as the Ulema’s disparagement of Ibn Taymiyya and his followers in certain aspects of `aqida and fiqh, or the jarh of weak narrators, liars, and forgers in hadith. Detailed rulings that pertains to badmouthing the Ulema of Islam can be found in Damad Effendi’s Majma` al-Anhur (p. 695), Tahir al-Bukhari’s Khulasat al-Fatawa printed with al-Lacknawi’s Majmu`at al-Fatawa (Lahore ed. vol. 3-4 p. 388) and other Hanafi manuals.

Is our `aqida the same as that of the Sahaba?

Question:

What is the ruling on a person that says be aware that our aqeedah is different from the Sahabah because we did not have the Prophet (s), and because of fabrications in hadith, therefore we have to be careful what we take into aqeedah, so they say accept only mutawatir hadith?

Answer:

It is impermissible to say that the `aqida of Muslims today is different from that of the Sahaba but Ahl al-Sunna only admit mutawatir-rank evidence as a basis in defining Islamic `aqida. Only a handful of innovators such as Albani differed.

Non-scholar debating without sources

Question:

What is the ruling on a person that is not a scholar and has debates and while he is debating because he is not a scholar does not quote a scholar to support his views?

Answer:

He is a fasiq who is committing a sin and should fear for the light of his faith to be extinguished by wrangling and disputation. One with simple ignorance i.e. with no knowledge is usually less far from admitting his error than one with compounded ignorance, i.e. with some knowledge. The latter may slide down from being a fasiq to being a mubtadi`.

Protection of the Sunnah

Question:

Allah SWT says in the Quran to the nearest meaning that he has protected the Quran. Does that mean also the Hadith/Sunna

Answer:

Yes, because the Sunna is the guarantee that we understand the Qur’an correctly, not like those deviants who call themselves “Qur’an-only”, or extremist Shi`is who lie about the integrity of the Qur’an, or anthropomorphists, or philosophers, or modernists, all of whom do not understand the Qur’an because they have no knowledge of the Sunna. The Sunna is the “non-recited Revelation” (wahyun ghayr matluw) just as the Qur’an is the “recited Revelation” (wahyun matluw).

Does `aqida change over time?

Question:

Does OUR Aqeedah change from generation to generations because we have ahad hadith and mutawatir.

Answer:

No. Al-Hamdulillah, our `aida is that of the Prophet (saws) and the Congregation of the Companions without change, preserved until the end of time as Allah Most High has promised and as the Prophet (saws) guaranteed.

Can an ahad hadith be used for `Aqida?

Question:

Does any scholar ever say that we can not take into aqeedah an ahad hadith?

Answer:

Most of the Fuqaha’ and Ahl al-Hadith say it from the time of the Salaf to ours with the exception of the likes of Ibn al-Qayyim and al-Albani. This does not mean that one is free to reject any and all lone-narrator reports as not binding! On the contrary, as we said, they are binding, but are not retained to define the `aqda of every Muslim for to deny any aspect of the latter is kufr whereas as we said the denial of any ahad hadith is only fisq.

Calling a Muslim ‘kafir’

Question:

What is the ruling on a Muslim that calls another Muslim kafir and publishes it?

Answer:

Ibn `Abidin in his Rasa’il (2:291 Sall al-Husam al-Hindi) said that a Muslim who unjustly calls another Muslim kafir commits kufr if he really considers him kafir but not if he only intents to insult him. In the latter case he only commits fisq. We seek refuge in Allah from the accusations of the ignorant and the fitan of our times.

Is wiping over khuffs a tenet of faith?

Question:

What is the ruling on a person that does not believe in wiping over the leather socks as a practice of the Prophet (s) and is it part of `Aqeedah - tenets of Faith?

Answer:

He is a person of innovation and one should not pray behind him due to his belief that wiping over the khuffs is not a Sunna; however, there is no consensus that it is part of `aqida to believe in its Sunna character, hence Imam Abu Hanifa only said: “I FEAR disbelief (kufr) for one who denies it,” i.e. it may lead him to kufr without consisting in kufr by itself. And Allah knows best.

`Aqida and tasdiq

Question:

Is there a difference between AQEEDAH AND TASDEEQ, believing  and trusting; meaning that belief is 100% but trusting is not?

Answer:

`Aqida is the general term for belief, of which tasdeeq is a part. But tasdeeq is not just “trusting”: it means confirmation i.e. with the tongue. One definition of iman goes: “`aqd bil-qalb wa tasdiq bil-lisan wal-`amal bil-arkan” i.e. conviction in the heart; confirmation with the tongue; and deeds with the limbs. However, there is Consensus that the most essential part and the indispensable foundation of Islamic belief is conviction in the heart. Yet the latter is not sufficient to be considered a Muslim and confirmation must be added. Then confirmation becomes insufficient and deeds must join it. In this respect there is a difference between `aqd, tasdeeq, and `amal, all of which form belief. Similarly in the hadith of Gibril a difference is made between iman and islam although in a different context one never goes without the other.

Do some matters make one a fasiq?

Question:

Are there matters in Aqeedah that does not make one kafir but Fasiq?

Answer:

Plenty of matters, although they are more properly called bid`a which is worse than fisq. This is the case of the beliefs held by most of the seventy-two sects that are in the Fire. For example, not believing in the life of the grave; or not believing that our Prophet (saws) is alive in his grave and returning our Salam [e.g. Albani]; or believing that Allah Most High is actually on top of the seventh heaven, sitting on a Throne although this may be kufr (cf. Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq 5:129-130); or, as held by the Shi`is that the Qur’an is created and that there is no such thing as the vision of Allah Most High in the Hereafter; or that for a Muslim to commit a grave sin is kufr; or that Allah is “like a king who is unable to contravene the law of his kingdom and needs a good reason to allow his minister to intercede for a thief” as in the chapter on Intercession in the book Taqwiyat al-Iman; or that Prophets are “only human beings like you and me” and that their `Isma – immunity to sin – is sometimes suspended, as held by al-Mawdudi.

Following only one school of fiqh

Question:

If one follows a school of fiqh does he have to follow it in every matter;  if he does not, is he a person of bidah?

Answer:

No to both questions. For example, Shafi`is in Hajj routinely follow the other Schools in the matter of non-cancellation of wudu’ upon skin contact with the other sex. However, one may not follow two different Schools inside one and the same type of worship, for example, if in the latter case a Shafi`i does not renew his wudu’ and decides to follow the Hanafi ruling in the matter, then has a nosebleed, he cannot then decide to follow the Shafi`i ruling that his wudu’ is still valid. One way or the other his wudu’ is cancelled.

And Allah knows best.

“Muhammad is the noblest of the Arabs and `Ajam.
Muhammad is the best of those who trod the earth.”
(Al-Busiri)


Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions


© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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