Extremism in Takfeer – Principle Nine

Study Notes
Abu Saifillah Abdul Qadir


This is to believe that Eemaan consists of belief, sayings and actions.  It is broken down into the following detail; sayings and actions of the heart, sayings and actions of the tongue, and actions of the outwardly manifested limbs. 

The Linguistically Meaning Of Eemaan Is Tasdeeq

Tasdeeq or ‘trust’ or ‘belief’ as the brothers of Yusuf (alayhis-salaam) said:

قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَاعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لِّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ

They said: “O our father!  We went racing with one another, and left Yûsuf by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.”
[Yusuf (12):17]

Meaning ‘trustful’.  It opposite is denial

The Technical Meaning Of Eemaan

It is belief in the messenger in all that he informed us of from Allaah and to follow this with outwardly actions (ie the pillars of Islam) and with sayings of the tongue.


When we look into the definition of Eemaan according to the Sharī ‘ah we find it is: A saying of the heart and tongue, actions of the heart and tongue and limbs.

Sayings of the heart

This is trusting in, and accepting, what is in the heart is manifest in the speech, as Allaah said:

وَالَّذِي جَاء بِالصِّدْقِ وَصَدَّقَ بِهِ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

And he (Muhammad (Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)) who has brought the truth (this Qur’aan and Islamic Monotheism) and (those who) believed therein (i.e. the true believers of Islâmic Monotheism), those are Al- Muttaqûn (the pious and righteous persons).”[Az-Zumar (39):33]


Actions of the heart

This is the intention, sincerity, love, fear, reliance as Allaah says

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’aan) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).”
[Al-Anfaal (8):2]

Sayings of the tongue

This is in pronouncing the shahadah and attesting to all it necessitates. As Allaah said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

“Verily, those who say: ‘Our Lord is (only) Allaah,’ and thereafter Istaqaamoo (i.e. stood firm and straight on the Islamic Faith of Monotheism by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allaah has forbidden and by performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

[Al-Ahqaaf (46):13]


Actions of the tongue and body limbs

These are actions of the tongue which cannot be performed except by using the tongue alone like recitation of the Qur’aan, adhkaar (remembrances) and actions of the body limbs are those which cannot be performed except by using the body limbs alone like standing in prayer, rukoo, sajood as Allaah states:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ

“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allaah (this Qur’aan), and perform As-­Salaat, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, hope for a (sure) trade­gain that will never perish. [Faatir (35):29]

 So the heart has sayings and an action, the tongue has sayings and actions, and the body limbs have actions all of which compromise Eemaan.

The differences amongst the people in what constitutes Eemaan.

Ibn Abi Izza (rahimahullaah) who explained Aqeedah at Tahaaweeyah said the people have differed in what they believed constitutes Eemaan to be.  So Maalik, Shafi’ee, Ahmed, Awzaa’ee, Ishaaq bin Rahweeyah and all the rest of the people of hadīth and people of Madīnah (may Allaah have mercy on them all) went to the opinion that Eemaan constituted of belief in the heart, attesting that with the tongue and action of the body limbs. [Aqeedah Tahaaweeyah p373 – 374]

Some scholars went to the opinion that ‘attesting to it with the tongue’ is an extra pillar of Eemaan.  From them was Abu Mansoor al Maatureedi and he narrates from Abu Haneefah.

  1. The Karaamiyah[1] went to the opinion that Eemaan was ‘attesting with the tongue only’.  This necessitates that the hypocrite is a believer with complete Eemaan.
  1. Jaham ibn Safwan and the Qadariyah went to the opinion that Eemaan was ‘awareness (knowledge) in the heart only’ and this opinion is far more corrupt than that of the Karaamiyah.  This opinion necessitates that Fir’aun and his people were believers because they knew the truthfulness of Musa and Haroon yet they did not believe in them.  Allaah said about them:

قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاء إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا فِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا

“He [Moosaa] said: “Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidences i.e. proofs of Allâh’s Oneness and His Omnipotence, etc.).  And I think you are, indeed, O Fir’aun (Pharaoh) doomed to destruction (away from all good)!” [Al-Israa’ (17):102]

And His saying:

وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَعُلُوًّا فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

“And they belied them (those Ayât) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof [i.e. those (Ayât) are from Allaah, and Mûsa is the Messenger of Allaah in truth, but they disliked to obey Moosaa, and hated to believe in his Message of Monotheism].  So see what was the end of the Mufsidûn (disbelievers, disobedient to Allaah, evil-doers, liars).

[An-Naml (27):14]

 Also, the people of the book knew the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as they knew their own children yet they still did not believe.

Further, Abu Taalib would be a believer accordingly because he knew the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) very well.

Even worse Iblees himself would be a believer with complete Eemaan according to Jahm bin Safwaan, for he was not ignorant about his lord either.  Allaah confirms this from his saying:

قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

“He [Iblees (Satan)] said: “O my Lord!  Give me then respite till the Day they (the dead) will be resurrected.

[Al-Hijr (15):36]

And His saying:

قَالَ رَبِّ بِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأُزَيِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

“He [Iblees (Satan)] said: “O my Lord!  Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all.”

[Al-Hijr (15):39]

So Eemaan with Jaham bin Safwan is knowledge of the lord of the worlds, and Kufr would be simply ignorance of him.  Upon this belief there is not a complete disbeliever in this earth, because no one is ignorant to the Creator of the worlds.

  1. Ibn Raawandi and those who followed him from the Mutazalite and other than them said that ‘Eemaan was only belief’, with this definition all the jews would be believers as they believed in the message of Mohammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) but they arrogantly rejected it so Allaah negated Eemaan from them.
  1. The Murjiyah[2] and the Karaamiyah[3] say: ‘Eemaan is attesting with the tongue without belief in the heart.’  Upon this the hypocrites are believers, and Allaah said about them: “And never (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave.  Certainly they disbelieved in Allaah and His Messenger, and died while they were Fâsiqûn (rebellious, – disobedient to Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)).” [At-Taubah (9):84]
  1. Others of the Murjiyah said Eemaan is ‘belief in the heart and attesting with the tongue’ but they negate actions of the bodily limbs here, they remove the hadith of Jibraeel which explains the pillars of Islam.[4]
  1. The Khawaarij and many others who followed them said Eemaan was ‘obedience to Allaah in the obligations and voluntary deeds’.[5]

[1] An offshoot group from the murjiyah

[2] This is just one type of the murjiyah not all of them or most of them.

[3] Mentioned in point 1 above

[4] And this is the type of Muriyah belief  the Takfeeri people claim we hold (Salafis)

[5] No doubt complete Eemaan includes all of this obligatory and volutary deeds however the position of this group is that if a Muslim fell short in any of this he becomes a disbeliever.

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