The innovation of the Khawarij was because of incorrect understanding and absence of jurisprudence. They did not purposely intend to oppose the Qur’an, but understood from it what it did not intend. Hence, they assumed that it necessitated the excommunication of the sinners; because a believer according to them was someone who is noble and pious and they therefore assumed that whoever is not noble and pious is a disbeliever and will be doomed to Hell-fire forever.
That is why they said that ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, and whoever supported them were not believers due to them ruling with other than what Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala revealed. Their innovation was based on to premises:
Another of their innovations was that they excommunicated the perpetrators of major sins and averred that they will be doomed to Hell-fire forever. In this they went to very extreme limits. But that is not all, the greatest problem is that the perpetrator of a major sin according to them was not a fornicator, thief, a liar, or other sinners like them from the Ummah; rather ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, al Zubair, Talhah, Aisha, Abu Musa al Ash’ari, ‘Amr ibn al ’As, Muawiyah radiya Llahu `anhum and others like them from the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam were perpetrators of major sins, according to them.
Because of this extremism and being difficult in the Din, the Khawarij deviated from the truth. For in the Book of Allah there are verses which suggest non-eternity in Hell-fire due to a sin as long as it does not reach Shirk. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ
Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with him, but he forgives what is less than that for whom he wills.
And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
Say, “I my servants who have transgress against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is he who is forgiving and merciful.
Similarly, in the hadiths which are cited by al Bukhari and Muslims there are narrations which suggest that amongst the monotheist there will be those who will be punished in Hell-fire and subsequently they will be taken out from it group after group because of the intercession of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, the angels, and the believers. So much so that all the believers will be taken out therefrom and only those whom the Qur’an has withheld will remain, i.e. those who passed away upon Shirk.
Consider the following portion of lengthy narration narrated by al Bukhari:
حتى إذا فرغ الله من القضاء بين عباده وأراد أن يخرج من النار من أراد أن يخرج ممن كان يشهد أن لا إله إلا الله أمر الملائكة أن يخرجوهم فيعرفونهم بعلامة آثار السجود وحرم الله على النار أن تأكل من ابن آدم أثر السجود فيخرجونهم قد امتحشوا فيصب عليهم ماء يقال له ماء الحياة فينبتون نبات الحبة في حميل السيل
Then when Allah will have completed deciding between his bondsmen and will intend removing from Hell-fire those whom he will intend to remove from the people who testified that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah, he will order the angels to take them out. They will recognise them from the signs of prostration, for Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala will have made it forbidden upon the fire to eat the sign of prostration. They will then be removed therefrom after being completely burnt. Thereafter water which is called the water of life will be poured upon them and they will grow like how a seed grows on the bank of a rainwater stream.
Al Bukhari also narrates the following from ‘Imran ibn Hussain radiya Llahu `anhu from Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam:
يخرج قوم من النار بشفاعة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فيدخلون الجنة يسمون الجهنميين
A people will be taken out from Hell-fire through the intercession of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. They will enter Jannat and will be dubbed the Jahannamis.
Furthermore, whoever studies the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam will know that a consumer of wine, an adulterer, and a slanderer were not deemed renegades by Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam whom it was necessary to slay. In fact, the Qur’an and narrations transmitted through mass transmission from Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam establish that these people deserve punishments other than the punishment of a renegade. And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala has also made mention of the capital punishments for a slanderer, an adulterer, and a thief in the Qur’an.
This is something upon which the scholars of Islam concur due to drawing evidence from the text of the Qur’an and the categorically established practice of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam. Had they been disbelieving renegades, Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would have killed them. From this it is clear that the view of the Khawarij was flawed regarding the perpetrator of major sins.
‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu himself debunked the claims of the Khawarij in one of his sermons; he condemned them for excommunicating a perpetrator of major sins, advanced the practice of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam as evidence against them, and informed them that if such a person was a disbeliever Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam would not have performed their Janazah Salah and would not have allowed them to inherit, get married, and be entitled to a share from the booty.
Therefore, Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhuma would consider them to be the worst of humanity, because they went on to apply verses which were primarily revealed regarding the disbelievers and applied them to the Muslims.
Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari sums up the position of the Salaf, the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, stating that no one of the people of the Qiblah will be excommunicated, nor will they be doomed to Hell-fire for eternity, and that intercession will be accepted in their favour. Because it is narrated from Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam that the sinners will come out of Hell-fire.
Nonetheless, as a result of their innovative belief regarding a perpetrator of major sins and his eternity in the Hell-fire, the Khawarij went on to deny the intercession of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam for his Ummah on the Day of Judgement, in spite of the Sahih narrations which are transmitted with mass transmission in this regard; these narrations can be found in the books of theology, hadith, and jurisprudence.
The speech of the first person who had proposed Irja’ was confined to deferring judgement regarding the combatants amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum to Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala. Thereafter the concept of Irja’ developed from specifically referring to the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum, as was the view of the early Murji’ah, to a more general meaning. It was thereafter used to refer to a perpetrator of major sins and a Fasiq (open transgressor), as was the view of the later people among them; they averred that it is possible that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala forgive a Fasiq just as it is equally possible that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala punish him, the reality of that is unknown but to Allah.
To further elaborate, when the Khawarij adopted a radical position in sounding warnings to the people, the Murji’ah adopted an extreme position in sounding glad tidings and deferring judgement regarding the sinners till the Day of Judgement coupled with consigning their matter to Allah; i.e. if he wants, he will forgive them and if he wants, he will punish them. Hence the crux of the belief of these people was that every perpetrator of major sins other than Shirk is under the will of Allah; if he wants, he can punish him and if he wants, he can forgive him. As for in this world, we definitively pass the ruling of Kufr regarding only those who ascribe partners to Allah, as for those beside them we establish for them the title of Iman.
However, they progressed further than that and broadened the definition of Iman to its furthest extent. Which means that they deemed Iman to be merely associated to the heart and that there are no clauses of fulfilling commandments and refraining from prohibitions that will be binding upon a person. This led them to aver that no vice is detrimental with Iman just as no virtue is beneficial with disbelief. This view of the Murji’ah is indeed condemnable. Some of them even went to the extent of saying that every Muslim, even though he dies upon sinning, will be from the people of Jannat and that he will never see the Hell-fire, for Hell-fire is only for the disbelievers.
A person who deliberates over this view of the Murji’ah will know that it is against what appears in the Qur’an, the Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam and the statements of the Salaf. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَا كُفْرَانَ لِسَعْيِهِ
So, whoever does righteous deeds while he is a believer, no denial will there be for his effort.
And he also says:
وَمَن يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِنًا قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّالِحَاتِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَاتُ الْعُلَى
But whoever comes to him as a believer, having done righteous deeds, for those will be the highest degrees.
This indicates that action is linked to Iman and that Iman is linked to action, each one of them is inseparable from the other.
And Abu Talib al Makki says:
لا إيمان لمن لا إسلام له، ولا إسلام لمن لا إيمان له، إذ لا يخلو المسلم من إيمان: به يصحح إسلامه ولا يخلو المؤمن من إسلام، به يحقق إيمانه من حيث اشتراط الله لأعمال الصالحة للإيمان، واشتراط الإيمان للأعمال الصالحة… فمن كان ظاهره أعمال الإسلام ولا يرجع إلى عقود الإيمان بالغيب؛ فهو منافق نفاقا ينقل عن الملة، ومن عنده الإيمان بالغيب ولا يعمل بأحكام الإيمان وشرائع الإسلام، فهو كافر كفرا لا يثبث معه توحيد.
There is no iman for a person who has no Islam (submission in action) and there is no Islam for a person who has no iman. For no Muslim can be without iman by way of which his Islam will be rectified, and no Mu’min is without Islam by way of which his iman can be firmly grounded. This is because Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala has made good actions a requisite for iman and has made iman a requisite for good actions. Hence, whoever’s outward is the actions of Islam, but he does not revert to the tenets of iman in the unseen, then he is a hypocrite whose hypocrisy will remove him from the religion; and whoever possesses iman in the unseen but does not practice upon the injunctions of iman and its rulings, then he is a disbeliever with whose disbelief Tawhid will not be established.
And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِيْ أُورِثْتُمُوْهَا بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُوْنَ
And that is Paradise which you are made to inherit for what you used to do.
Ibn Hajar says the following under this verse:
وقد نقل جماعة من المفسرين أن قوله: تعملون معناه تؤمنون
A group of the exegetes have reported that ‘what you used to do’ means ‘what you used to believe.’
And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ
And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith.
By Iman Salah is intended and Salah is an action.
And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
وَيَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالرَّسُولِ وَأَطَعْنَا ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّىٰ فَرِيقٌ مِّنْهُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ وَمَا أُولَٰئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِين
But they say, “We have believed in Allah and the Messenger and we obey,” then a party of them turns away after that. And those are not believers.
Ibn Taymiyyah states:
فعلم أن التولي ليس هو التكذيب، بل هو التولي عن الطاعة، فإن الناس عليهم أن يصدقوا الرسول فيما أخبر، ويطيعوه فيما أمر، وضد التصديق التكذيب، وضد الطاعة، التولي
So, it has become known that turning away is not belying, rather it is turning away from obedience. For it was the responsibility of the people to believe Rasul Allah salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam in that which he informed about and to obey him in that which he ordered. And the opposite of believing is belying and the opposite of obeying is turning away.
And Abu Bakr al Ajurri says:
واعلموا – رحمنا الله تعالى وإياكم – أني قد تصفحت القرآن فوجدت فيه ما ذكرته في ستة وخمسين موضعا من كتاب الله عز وجل: أن الله تبارك وتعالى لم يدخل المؤمنين الجنة بالإيمان وحده بل أدخلهم الجنة برحمته إياهم وبما وفقهم له من الإيمان به والعمل الصالح
Know, may Allah have mercy on us and on you, that after paging trough the Qur’an I have found what I mentioned in fifty-six places thereof. I found that Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala will not enter the believers into Jannat because of their iman alone, rather he will enter them into Jannat because of His mercy and because of the iman and the good actions which he inspired them to do.
And in the Sunnah also there are hadiths which establish the link of actions with Iman. Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
الإيمان بضع وسبعون أو بضع وستون شعبة فأفضلها قول لا إله إلا الله، وأدناها إماطة الأذى عن الطريق
Iman has seventy some odd, or sixty some odd, branches. The most virtuous of them is proclaiming La Ilah Ill Allah, and the lowest of them is removing something harmful from the path.
Some scholars have tried to enumerate these branches, but the essence of them all is the actions of the heart, the actions of the tongue, and the actions of the body.
Furthermore, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ’Aziz wrote the following to ‘Adi ibn ‘Adi, i.e. Ibn ‘Umairah al Kindi radiya Llahu `anhu, who was governor over the Arabian Peninsula:
إن للإيمان فرائض وشرائع وحدودا وسننا، فمن استكملها استكمل الإيمان، ومن لم يستكملها لم يستكمل الإيمان، فإن أعش فسأ بينها لكم حتى تعملوا بها، وإن أمت فما أنا على صحبتكم بحريص
Iman has incumbent obligations, other injunctions, boundaries, and preferable actions. Whoever completes all of them has completed Iman. If I live, I will expound upon them for you so that you practice upon them, and if I pass away then I have no yearning to be in your company.
Likewise, in the chapter of iman in Sahih al Bukhari there are several indications toward actions being part of iman. For example he says, “Sub-chapter regarding the one who says that iman is practice,” “Sub-chapter regarding Jihad being from iman,” “Sub-chapter regarding the fasting of Ramadan being from iman,” and “Sub-chapter regarding the most beloved of Din to Allah being the one which is practiced with consistency.” Ibn Hajar commenting upon this says:
مراد المصنف الاستدلال على أن الإيمان يطلق على الأعمال، لأن المراد بالدين هنا العمل، والدين الحقيقي هو الإسلام، والإسلام مرادف للإيمان، فيصح بهذا مقصوده
The intent of the author is to advance evidence to prove that the term iman at times is also used to refer to actions. Because the intended purport of ‘Din’ here is practice, and the real Din is Islam, and Islam is synonymous to iman. Thus, his intent can be correctly established.
And al Lalika’i narrates with a sound chain from al Bukhari that he said:
لقيت أكثر من ألف رجل من العلماء بالأمصار فما رأيت أحدا منهم يختلف في أن الإيمان قول وعمل، يزيد وينقص
I met more than a thousand men of the scholars in various cities and I did not see any of them differ in that iman is confession and practice and that it increases and decreases.
Also, it is narrated from Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam that he said:
لكل قول حقيقة
Every statement has a reality.
And Abu ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Barr has cited the unanimity of the Ummah upon this. He says:
أجمع أهل الفقه والحديث على أن الإيمان قول وعمل
The scholars of jurisprudence and hadith concur that iman is confession and practice.
And Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:
و قدر أن قوما قالوا للنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نحن نؤمن بما جئتنا به بقلوبنا من غير شك ; ونقر بألسنتنا بالشهادتين إلا أنا لا نطيعك في شيء مما أمرت به ونهيت عنه فلا نصلي ولا نصوم ولا نحج ولا نصدق الحديث ولا نؤدي الأمانة ولا نفي بالعهد ولا نصل الرحم ولا نفعل شيئا من الخير الذي أمرت به ونشرب الخمر ; وننكح ذوات المحارم بالزنا الظاهر…هل كان يتوهم عاقل أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لهم : أنتم مؤمنون كاملو الإيمان وأنتم من أهل شفاعتي يوم القيامة ويرجى لكم ألا يدخل أحد منكم النار بل كل مسلم يعلم بالاضطرار أنه يقول لهم : أنتم أكفر الناس بما جئت به ويضرب رقابهم إن لم يتوبوا من ذلك
If it is hypothesised that a people said to Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, “We believe in what you have brought to us with our hearts without doubt, and we confess with our tongues as well. But we do not obey you in anything that you have ordained or prohibited. So we do not perform Salah, fast, or perform Hajj; we do not speak the truth, upkeep our trust, fulfil our covenants, foster family ties, and we do not do any good that you have ordered to do; we also drink wine, and commit incest… would it be envisioned that his reply would be, “You are believers with complete iman, you are the people of my intercession of the Day of Judgement, and it is hoped that none of you will enter Hell-fire.” Instead every Muslim necessarily knows that he would say to them, “You are the greatest disbelievers of what I have brought,” and he would decapitate them if they did not repent.
In conclusion, the true standard for passing a decision regarding any situation is the standard of the first century and the reality of the pious Salaf before the Ummah got embroiled in bickering in the time which followed after the Fitnah. That standard is that the reality of iman is a compound reality which comprises of both confession and practice, just as the reality of a human comprises of the body and the soul. This is something agreed upon by the Salaf. It is something that is categorically supported by the Shar’i texts and is sufficiently substantiated by rational and revelation based evidences. Only an innovator who deviated from the path, ignored the suggestions of the texts of revelation and the evidences of disposition and reason, and reverted to the assumptions of the philosophers, and in who the misconceptions of the theologians were deeply embedded, has opposed and diverged in this matter.
The reality is that this virus of Irja’ which crept into the Islamic thought many centuries ago, in fact since the initial days of Islam, and which was always accompanied by grave inconsistencies, had an evil impact upon the Ummah in the past and in the present. Those who restricted iman to confession and did not make it inclusive of practice are the people who have left this historical ill effect which has contributed to the confusion which our current generations are suffering from since the advent of secularism and its ideological war against the lands of the Muslims, their Shari’ah, their ideology and their systems.
The Saba’iyyah are the ancestors of the Shia. The greatest evidence to prove this is that the beliefs of the Shia are harmonious with some of the ideas and beliefs proposed by ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, like believing in the Wasiyyah (immediate appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu, his Raj’ah (his return), Bada’ (otherwise occurring to Allah), the reviling of the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum and disassociation from them, and extremism regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu.
Likewise, some individuals of the Shia were also affiliated to the Saba’iyyah, like Jabir al Ju’fi whom Ibn Hibban has considered to be from the Saba’iyyah. Al Dhahabi says:
من إكابر علماء الشيعة
From the senior scholars of the Shia.
Ibn Hajar has also considered him among the Rafidah.
Another example is Muhammad ibn al Sa’ib al Kalbi whom Ibn Khallikan and al Dhahabi have considered to be from the Saba’iyyah, and the scholars of impugning narrators and approving them have considered to be from the extremist Shia.
Similarly, there are many historical texts that suggest that Ibn Saba’ was the founding father of Shi’ism. Al Asfarayini says the ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ was from the extremist Rafidah and al Dhahabi has reported the same as well. Ibn Taymiyyah unveils the reason for this connection, he says:
إن أول من ابتدع الرفض والقول بالنص على علي وعصمته كان منافقا زنديقا أراد فساد دين الإسلام
The first person to invent Rafd and idea of the emphatic appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and his infallibility was a hypocrite and heretic who intended destroying the Din of Islam.
He also says:
إن مبدأ الرفض إنما كان من الزنديق عبد الله بن سبأ
The inception of Rafd was at the hands of the heretic Ibn Saba’.
Moving on, one of the innovations of the Shia is reviling the Sahabah and denigrating them. In fact, excommunicating them has become one of the fundamental and essential components of their Din. The rationale their advance for this is that they claim that Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum opposed the alleged emphatic appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu as the immediate Imam. Hence, they excommunicate the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum due to them not pledging to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu and they disassociate from them, with the exception of the a few individuals.
Al Kashshi allegedly narrates from Abu Jafar Muhammad al Baqir that he said:
كان الناس أهل الردة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا ثلاثة، فقلت: ومن الثلاثة؟ فقال: المقداد بن الأسود وأبو ذر الغفاري وسلمان الفارسي.
“The people apostatized after Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam besides three individuals.”
I asked, “Who are the three?”
He said, “Al Miqdad ibn al Aswad, Abu Dhar, and Salman al Farisi.”
He also says:
ويروى عن أبي جعفر أنه قال: المهاجرون والأنصار ذهبوا إلا-وأشار بيده-ثلاثة.
And it is narrated from Abu Jafar that he said, “The Muhajirin and the Ansar all left besides” he indicated with his hand “Three.”
In this belief of theirs they have opposed the absolute texts of the Qur’an, and the Prophetic Sunnah which declare the purity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum, their integrity, their merit, and their nobility. They have also violated the consensus of those whose consensus counts in the Ummah regarding this matter, who aver that it is from the theological principles of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.
Another of their innovations is their belief in Bada’, Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala is completely above what they say. Bada’ means for such a matter to occur to Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala after him having previously been unaware of it that necessitates him changing his decree. Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari says:
لا على معنى النسخ، ولكن على أنه لم يكن في الوقت الأول عالما بما يحدث له
Not the same as abrogation, but rather in the sense that at the first instance he was unaware of what was going to happen.
Al Kulayni, the supreme scholar of the Shia hadith legacy, has established a chapter in his book al Kafi, one of their canonical books which is the equivalent of the Sahih al Bukhari of the Ahlus Sunnah, a chapter titled al Bada’. In this chapter he has cited multiple narrations from their infallible Imams, as they allege. One such narration is the following:
عن الريان بن الصلت قال: سمعت الرضي (علي بن موسى الإمام الثامن عندهم) يقول: ما بعث الله نبيا قط إلا بتحريم الخمر وإن يقر لله البداء.
Al Rayyan ibn al Salt said, “I heard al Radi (the eighth Imam according to them) saying, “Allah has never sent a Nabi, but with the prohibition of wine and that he acknowledge Bada’ for Allah.”
It is without doubt that this belief necessitates the possibility of ignorance, erring, and forgetting for Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala. This is a false belief which is debunked by the Shar’i texts. Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala describes himself saying:
هُوَ الله الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ
He is Allah, other than who there is no deity, knower of the unseen and the witnessed.
And he describes His All Encompassing knowledge saying:
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
And with him are the keys of the unseen, none knows them except him. And he knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that he knows it. And not grain is there within the darknesses of, and not moist of dry (thing) but that it is in a clear record.
And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says via the tongue of Musa `alayh al Salam:
لَّا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنسَى
My Lord neither errs not forgets.
And in Sahih Muslim the following is narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu `anhuma from Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam:
كتب الله مقادير الخلائق قبل أن يخلق السماوات والأرض بخمسين ألف سنة ، قال : وعرشه على الماء
Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala wrote the destinies of the creation fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens the earth. And He said, “Then his throne was on water.”
Likewise, another of their innovations is their extremist conception of their Imams whom they accord a rank higher than that of the Prophets `alayhim al Salam. They believe that they are infallible, that that they know the deeds of people and their lifespans, and that they have knowledge of the unseen. In this regard they have narrated the following false narration which is attributed to ‘Ali radiya Llahu `anhu via the transmission of Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar from Abu ‘Abdullah (Jafar al Sadiq):
أنا قسيم الله بين الجنة والنار… ولقد أقرت لي جميع الملائكة والروح والرسل بمثل ما أقروا لمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم… ولقد أعطيت، ما سبقني إليها أحد من قبلي، علمت المنايا والبلايا والأنساب وفصل الخطاب، فلم يفتني ما سبقني ولم يعزب عنى ما غاب عني.
I am the counterpart of Allah in deciding between Jannat and Hell-fire… All the angels, the Holy Spirit, and the Prophets have conceded for me what they conceded for Muhammad salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam… I have been granted that which no one before me was granted; I have been given the knowledge of deaths, calamities, lineages, and decisive speech. Hence, what preceded me has not missed me and what was absent from me did not disappear from me.
Contrast this with what Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says in the Qur’an:
قُلْ لا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ فِي السَّماواتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللهُ
Say, “None in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala similarly ordered Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam to proclaim that he did not possess knowledge of the unseen in the following verse:
قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللهُ. وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ إِنْ أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Say, “I hold not for myself (the power of) benefit or harm, except what Allah has willed. And if I knew the unseen, I could have acquired much wealth, and no harm would have touched me. I am not but a warner and a bringer of glad tidings to a people who believe.”
And Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says the following regarding the hypocrites whilst addressing Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam:
وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ
And among those who are around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and also from the people of Madinah. They have accustomed to hypocrisy. You (o Muhammad) do not know them, but we know them. We will punish them twice (in this world); then they will be returned to a great punishment.
The Negative Outcomes which came about because Theological Differences
Debates between various sects within the realm of what is known is ‘Ilm al Kalam (Islamic theology) opened the doors of dialogue and debating. This exhausted the Muslims and ensnared them in an unabating cycle of arguing, theoretical debate, and it caused them to become distant from productive work.
As such the theoretical angle was blown out of proportion to the detriment of the practical angle which the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum emphasised upon. They were the ones who understood the spirit of the message and deeply fathomed Islam, owing to which their hearts opened up to practice and were satisfied with constraining themselves from delving into the ambiguous texts, and the verses of the Qur’an and the hadith which concern the attributes of Allah. And in doing so, they preserved the pristineness of the faith and its radiance.
As opposed to the people of philosophers who because of their arguments and Byzantine dialogues—which concerned researching and investigating areas which are beyond the scope of the mind—destroyed the clarity of the faith and the transparency of the ideology. Their efforts did not produce any positive result other than inducing division, disputes, and shattering of the Islamic edifice because of inessential knowledge.
This is why Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam have prohibited us from delving into, discussing, and arguing about the verses pertaining to Allah at which it is necessary to stop, and which one is required to believe without ascribing modality, rendering useless, assigning similarity and distorting.
Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala says:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book – and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord.” And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.
And al Bukhari has narrated the following from Aisha radiya Llahu `anha. She says that Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
فإذا رأيتم الذين يتبعون ما تشابه منه فأولئك الذين سمى الله فاحذروهم
When you see those, who delve into what is ambiguous thereof, they are the people Allah has defined, so avoid them.
Majority of the scholars from the Sahabah radiya Llahu `anhum, their successors, and the prominent members of the Salaf have condemned engaging in Kalam, have warned against it, and against associating with those who engage in it.
‘Umar radiya Llahu `anhu is reported to have said:
سيأتي أناس سيجادلونكم بشبهات القرآن، خذوهم بالسنن؛ فإن أصحاب السنن أعلم بكتاب الله
There will come a people who will argue with you using the ambiguous aspects of the Qur’an. So, grip them with the teachings of Nabi salla Llahu `alayhi wa sallam, for those who are knowledgeable in the Sunnah know the Book of Allah better.
And it is narrated from Sufyan al Thawri that he said:
إياك والأهواء، إياك والخصومة، وإياك والسلطان
Avoid deviant ideas, avoid arguing, and avoid visiting the ruler.
And al Hassan al Basri is reported to have said:
إنما أهلكتهم العجمة- المتكلمين- فحرفوا على حساب هواهم
The non-Arabs theologians have destroyed them, for they distorted based on their leanings.
And when Abu Hanifah was asked about it, he said:
عليك بالأثر وطريقة السلف وإياك وكل محدثة
Hold on to the Sunnah and the way of the Salaf. And stay away from what has been invented, for every invention is an innovation.
And Malik says:
من طلب الدين بالكلام تزندق
Whoever seeks to understand Din through Kalam will become a heretic.
And Ahmed ibn Hambal said:
أئمة الكلام زنادقة
The scholars of Kalam are heretics.
And al Shafi’i is reported to have said:
يا أبا موسى –يونس بن عبد الأعلى- لأن يلقى الله العبد بكل ذنب ما خلا الشرك بالله خير من أن يلقاه بشيء من الكلام
O Abu Musa (Yunus ibn ‘Abdul A’la)! For a person to meet Allah with every sin other than Shirk is better for him than meeting Allah with something of Kalam.
He has also said:
ما جهل الناس واختلفوا إلا لتركهم لسان العرب وميلهم إلى لسان أرسطاطاليس
The people did not become ignorant and dispute but because of leaving the language of the Arabs and inclining to the language of Aristotle.
And he has also said:
حكمي في أهل الكلام أن يضربوا بالجريد ويحملوا على الإبل ويطاف بهم في العشائر والقبائل وينادى عليهم: هذا جزاء من ترك الكتاب والسنة وأقبل على الكلام.
My verdict regarding the people of Kalam is that they should be hit with palm branches, be carried upon camels, made to go around households and tribes, and it should be announced, “This is the punishment of the one who abandons the Qur’an and the Sunnah and engages in Kalam.”
And Abu ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Barr says:
أجمع أهل الفقه والآثار في جميع الأمصار أن أهل الكلام أهل بدع وزيغ ولا يعدون عند الجميع، في جميع الأمصار، في طبقات العلماء. وإنما العلماء أهل الأثر والفقه فيه، ويتفاضلون فيه بالإتقان والميز والفهم.
The Jurist and hadith scholars in all the cities unanimously agree that the people of Kalam are people of innovation and deviance. They are not considered according to all from the class of the scholars. For the scholars are only the people of hadith and understanding thereof, and they differ therein in terms of perfection, distinction, and understanding.
And the following is reported from Junaid:
أقل ما في الكلام سقوط هيبة الرب من القلب، والقلب إذا تعرى من الهيبة عري من الإيمان.
The least harm of Kalam is forfeiting the awe of Allah from the heart, and when the heart is void of awe it eventually becomes void of iman.
And Abu al Ma’ali al Juwayni would say to his students:
لا تشتغلوا بالكلام، فلو عرفت أن الكلام يبلغ بي ما بلغ ما تشاغلت به
Do not busy yourselves in Kalam, for if I had known that Kalam would make me reach the extent I reached I would not have engaged in it.
And al Dhahabi is reported to have said:
من أمعن النظر في علم الكلام إلا وأداه اجتهاده إلى القول بما يخالف محض السنة، ولهذا ذم علماء السلف النظر في علم الأوائل، فإن علم الكلام مولد من علم الحكماء الدهرية
Whoever deeply ponders into the science of Kalam his analyses will always lead him to say something which is contrary to the pristine Sunnah. And that is why the scholars of the Salaf have condemned studying the sciences of the ancient people, for the science of Kalam is born from the science of the atheist philosophers.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 13/30-32.
 Al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 1/157; Ibn Hazm: al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Nihal, 2/113.
 Surah al Nisa’’: 48.
 Surah al Zumar: 53.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 7/203, chapter of Riqaq (narrations that soften the heart).
 Ibid, 7/203.
 Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, 2/306.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 8/51, chapter regarding seeking repentance from the renegades.
 Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari: al Ibanah ‘an Usul al Diyanah, p. 98.
 Al Shahrastani: al Milal wa al Nihal, 1/139.
 Ibn Hazm: al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Nihal, 1/115.
 Surah al Ambiya’: 94.
 Surah Taha: 75.
 Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn ‘Atiyyah al Harithi, Abu Talib al Makki. He grew up and gained acclaim in Makkah. He was from the advisors and ascetics. Al ’Utayqi says regarding him, “He was a pious person who exerted himself in worship. He has written a few books, al Khatib says, “He wrote a book called Qut al Qulub, as per the jargon of the Sufis. Therein he has made mention of many reprehensible things regarding the attributes of Allah.” And Abu Tahir al ’Allaf says, “Abu Talib would advise the people In Baghdad and he would mix up his speech.” He passed away in 386 A.H/994 A.D. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 3/9; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 3/655.
 Kitab al Iman of Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 316.
 Surah al Zukhruf: 72.
 Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 1/77.
 Surah al Baqarah: 143.
 See: Sahih al Bukhari, 1/95, chapter of Iman.
 Surah al Nur: 47.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: al Iman, p. 136-137.
 Al Ajurri: al Shari’ah, p. 122.
 Sahih Muslim, 2/6, chapter of Iman.
 Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 1/52.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 1/8, chapter of iman.
 Ibid, 1/12.
 Ibid, 1/14.
 Ibid, 1/16.
 Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 1/101.
 Al Lalika’i: Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah, 1/173. From him Ibn Hajar has cited this in Fath 1/47.
 Ibn Hajar has cited it in al Isabah, 1/289, and has said, “Al Tabarani has narrated it via the transmission of Sa’id ibn Abi Hilal, Ibn Mandah via the transmission of Sulaiman ibn Sa’d, ‘Abdur Razzaq in his Musannaf, and Ibn al Mubarak in al Zuhd.
 Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: al Tamhid Lima fi al Muwatta’ min al Asanid, 9/238.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: al Iman, p. 272.
 See: al Ash’ari: al Maqalat; al Malati: al Tanbih wa al Radd ‘ala Ahl al Bida’ wa al Ahwa’; al Baghdadi: al Farq bayn al Firaq; Ibn Hazm: al Fisal fi al Milal wa al Nihal; and compare what appears in these books to what comes in their books like: al Kulaini: al Kafi; al Mufid: Awa’il al Maqalat, al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah, etc.
 Ibn Hibban: al Majruhin, 1/208.
 Al Dhahabi: al Kashif, 1/208.
 Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 2/49.
 Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 4/3100; al Dhahabi: al Mizan, 3/558.
 Ibn Hajar: al Tahdhib, 9/180.
 Al Asfarayini: al Tabsir fi al Din, p. 108.
 Al Dhahabi: al Mughni fi al Du’afa’, 1/339.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah, 3/261.
 Ibn Taymiyyah: al Fatawa, 28/483.
 Al Kashshi: al Rijal, p. 12.
 Ibid. p 13
 Al Shahrastani: al Milal wa al Nihal, 1/148.
 Al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 2/162.
 Muhammad ibn Yaqub ibn Ishaq, Abu Jafar al Kulayni (attributed to Kulayn in Ray). He was from the jurists and the hadith scholars of the Imamiyyah. He was the leading scholar of the Shia in Baghdad.
 Ibn Hajar has said, “He is truthful, and the problem is with those who narrate from him.” He passed away 203 A.H/818 A.D. See: al Taqrib, 2/45.
 Al Kulayni: al Kafi, 1/148, chapter of Tawhid: sub-chapter regarding Bada’. Some of his books are: al Kafi fi Usul al Fiqh, and al Rijal. He died in 329 A.H/941 A.D. See: Ibn al Athir: al Lubab, 3/108; al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 15/280; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, 5/433.
 Surah al Hashr: 22.
 Surah al An’am: 59.
 Surah Taha: 53.
 Sahih Muslim, 16/203, chapter of Qadr.
 Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar al Ju’fi, one of those who is suspected of holding extreme leanings and embracing the ideology of the Khattabiyyah. Al Najashi has said about him, “A person with a corrupt religion and inconsistent narrations who should not be bothered about. It is said that he was a Khattabi. Jafar al Sadiq attributed Kufr and Shirk to him and prevented from narrating from him.” See: al Kashshi: al Rijal, p. 272; al Najashi: al Rijal, p. 295; ‘Abdur Rahman al Zar’i: Rijal al Shia fi al Mizan, p. 96.
 Al Kulayni: al Kafi, 1/223.
 Surah al Naml: 65.
 Surah al A’raf: 188.
 Surah al Tawbah: 101.
 Attributed to Jahm ibn Safwan who was from the innovators who held anomalous views and emerged toward the end of the era of the Banu Umayyah. This was the time when innovations came to the fore and the mother sects diversified into more sects. The scholars have gathered a lot regarding him, all of it is condemning him and excommunicating him. To the extent that al Bukhari did not consider his sect to be from the sect of the people of the Qiblah. He says, “I deliberated over the speech of the Jews, the Christians, and the Fire worshippers, and I did not find anyone more deviant in their disbelief than them. I consider the person who does not consider them to be disbelievers ignorant, with the exception of those who are unaware of their beliefs” (Khalq Af’al al ’Ibad, p. 33). One of his innovations was that iman is all about recognition and has nothing to do with confession with the tongue and practice with the limbs (See: al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 1/312). This is like the view of the Heretics influenced by philosophy according to who iman does not exceed the theoretical acknowledgement of the existence of Allah. Another of his innovations was the denial of the attributes of Allah, to the extent that Ta’til has been attributed to him (rendering the attributes of Allah useless). And also believing that the Qur’an is created, believing in the perishing of Jannat and Hell-fire, and that Allah only comes to possess knowledge of something after it happens (see: al Ash’ari: al Maqalat, 1/312; al Baghdadi: al Farq bayn al Firaq, 199-200).
Ibn Abi Hatim has narrated via the transmission of Salih ibn Ahmed ibn Hanbal that he said, “I read in the files of Hisham ibn ‘Abdul Malik to his governor in Khurasan Nasr ibn Yasar the following, “A person of the atheists and heretics by the name Jahm ibn Safwan has emerged in your region. If you get hold of him kill him.” See: Abu Zaid ‘Abdur Rahman al Nutayfi: Nazr al Akyas fi al Radd ‘ala Jahmiyyah al Bayda’ wa al Fas.
 The stance of the Qadariyyah is made of two things: denying the foreknowledge of Allah subhanahu wa ta `ala regarding occurring events (Sahih Muslim with the commentary of al Nawawi, 1/156), and their belief that man is the creator of his own actions (Ibn Hajar: al Fath, 1/119.
 Al Dhahabi: al Muntaqa, p. 503.
 Surah Al ‘Imran: 7.
 Sahih al Bukhari, 5/166, chapter of Tafsir.
 A form of Islamic theology used to explain the origins of faith and basis of religion by logical reasoning (rational proof and evidence) instead of relying on revealed texts.
 Al Lalika’i: I’tiqat Ahlus Sunnah, 1/123.
 Ibid. 1/123.
 Al Suyuti: Sawn al Mantuq wa al Kalam ‘an Fan al Mantiq wa al Kalam, p. 22; Yahya al Ghazzawi: Fasl al Kalam fi Dham ‘Ilm al Kalam, p. 97, he states that al Bukhari has narrated this in his al Tarikh al Kabir.
 Al Suyuti: Sawn al Mantuq, p. 60-61.
 Ibid. 57.
 Ibid. 150.
 Ibid. 65-66.
 Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Jami’ Bayan al ’Ilm wa Fadlih, 2/95.
 Junaid ibn Muhammad ibn al Junaid al Baghdadi al Khazzaz (a silk maker), Abu al Qasim. He was a scholar, an ascetic, and a virtuous person. Ibn al Athir has said the following regarding him, “The Imam of the world in his time, and the scholars have considered him to be the leading scholar of the Sufi school due to his Sufism being governed by the laws of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and due to him being saved from evil beliefs. He was protected from the misconceptions of the extremists, and from anything that could necessitate the reprehension of the Shari’ah.” And one of his contemporaries says, “My eyes did not see anyone like him. The scribes would attend his gatherings to record his words, the poets due to his eloquence, and the theologians because of his knowledge.” He has written several booklets regarding Tawhid and Tasawwuf. He passed away in 289 A.H/911 A.D. See: al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, 7/241; Ibn al Athir: al Kamil, 8/62; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, 1/373.
 Al Suyuti: Sawn al Mantuq, p. 74.
 Ibid, p. 184.
 Ibid, p. 19.