Faith is Two Faiths

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Faith is Two Faiths[1]

§         A faith that saves from perpetuity, i.e., that faith in which its companion came with the root of faith, but squandered its branch. And with this faith i.e., faith’s root, the monotheists will exit from the Fire. Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “[It is] known that certainly Paradise’s entry is deserved through the attestation with the heart along with the tongue’s testimony, and by them both, whoever will exit from the People of the Fire will exit and enter Paradise.”[2]

§         And a faith that saves from entry i.e., the Fire’s entry, i.e., the faith in which its companion came with faith’s root and its branch. So he came with the attestation and the confirmation, and he complied with what he was commanded with and avoided what he was prohibited from. ‘Allâmah[3] Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah—exalted is He—have mercy on him, said,

And the verse, with Allah’s praise, contains no vagueness.[4] Allah, glorified is He, mentioned the reward of whoever intended the wordly life and its adornment by his deed i.e., the Fire, and He informed of his deed’s futility and invalidity. So if what saves him is futile and invalid, nothing remains with him of what saves him. And if a faith by which he did not desire the wordly [life] and its adornment were with him, rather, he intended Allah and the Final Abode by it, this faith is not included in the deed that is futile and invalid, and his faith will save him from perpetuity in the Fire, even if he entered it by the futility of his deed through which is the absolute salvation.

And faith is two faiths: a faith that prevents the Fire’s entry, i.e., the faith [that] motivates that the deeds be for Allah, by which one seeks His face and His reward; and a faith that prevents from perpetuity in the Fire, even if something from it is with the hypocrite, otherise he would be from the People of Perpetuity.[5]

This resembles what Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, said about some of the people,

that faith is two classes. The first of them is the faith in Allah, i.e., the confirmation and the attestation of Him. The second is faith for Allah, i.e., the obedience and the compliance to His commands. The first faith’s antithesis is disbelief, and the second faith’s antithesis is immorality and it could be called disbelief, but it does not expel from the religion.[6]

According to this, then surely when the legal texts applied the name “faith” to the squandering Muslim, then indeed that is in consideration of the first faith, i.e., his faith’s root, and there is no indication in it of his faith’s perfection; and if faith is negated from him, then it is in consideration of the second, i.e., the obligatory faith’s branch, and there is no indication in it of its root’s negation.

So the first is like His statement, exalted is He, «And if two factions from the believers fought, then reconcile between them» (49:9), while the Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, says, «If two Muslims meet with their swords, then the killer and the killed are in the fire.»[7] So despite the Muslim’s killing his brother Muslim’s being from the causes of entering the Fire it is an evidence of faith’s diminishing although the Qur’an named them both believers, rather, it made them brothers in faith, just as in His statement, «Certainly the believers are brothers, so reconcile between your two brothers» (49:10).

The second is like His statement, exalted is He, «The beduoins said, “We believed.” Say, “You have not believed, but say, ‘we accept Islam,’ while faith has not yet entered your hearts» (49:13). Thus, He acknowledged Islam for them and negated faith from them, just as we clarified. Imam Ibn Hazm, may Allah have mercy on him, said,

Faith is a collective name [that] meets diverse meanings … so from those meanings is something disbelief is an opposite for; from them is what the immorality is an opposite for, not disbelief; and from them is what the abandonment is an opposite for, not disbelief, nor immorality.

As for the faith that disbelief is an opposite for, then it is the knot[8] with the heart and the confirmation with the tongue, because disbelief is an opposite for this faith.

As for the faith that immorality is an opposite for, not disbelief, then it is what is a [religious] duty from the deeds, for surely, leaving it is an opposite for the deed, and it is immorality, not disbelief.

And as for the faith that abandonment is an opposite for, then it is all of what is voluntary from the deeds, for surely leaving it is acting on it’s opposite, and it is not immorality, nor disbelief.[9]

With his words concerning the absolute and the restricted, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said,

Nine: Surely, from the examples of this principle are absolute faith and faith’s absolute. For absolute faith is only applied to the perfect, [for] the perfection [that is] commanded of, while faith’s absolute is applied to the deficient and the perfect. Due to this, the Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, negated the absolute faith from the fornicator, the drinker of the intoxicant, and the thief, while he did not negate faith’s absolute from them,

until he said, “And the intent is the difference between the absolute faith and faith’s absolute, for the absolute faith prevents the Fire’s entry while faith’s absolute prevents perpetuity in it.”[10]

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Endnotes:
[1] [t] az-Zahrânî, Ahmad bin Sâlih. Sharh Alfâdh as-Salaf wa Naqd Alfâdh al-Khalaf fî Haqîqah al-Îmân. Abu Dhabi, UAE: Dâr al-Imam Mâlik, 2005. pgs.93-96.

[2] Fat·h al-Bârî by Ibn Rajab, vol. 1, pg. 112.

[3] [t] Ar. ‘allâmah – great scholar, extremely learned. It is an honorific given to the most knowledgeable of Islamic scholars.

[4] He means His statement, exalted is He, «Whoever desired the worldly life and its adornment, We will fully repay them for their deeds in it, and in it they will not be deprived» (11:15).

[5] ‘Iddah asSâbirîn by Ibn al-Qayyim, pg. 207.

[6] Fat·h al-Bârî by Ibn Rajab, vol. 1, pg. 129.

[7] al-Bukhârî in [the Book of] Faith, Chapter «And if two factions from the believers fought, then reconcile between them» [from his Sahîh].

[8] [t] I.e., the attestation.

[9] al-Fasl, vol. 3, pg. 255.

[10] Badâ’i’ al-Fawâ’id, vol. 2, pgs. 307-310, summarized.

About Rasheed Gonzales
My name is Rasheed Gonzales. I’m a Muslim convert of Filipino descent. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I was guided to Islam through one of my younger brothers and a couple of friends, all of whom had converted to Islam sometime before me (may Allah reward them greatly). I am married with four children (and the praise is Allah’s) and also a volunteer for the Qur'an & Sunnah Society of Canada, based in Toronto.

One Response to Faith is Two Faiths

  1. Pingback: Is the Limbs’ Deed Included in Faith’s Root? « Rasheed Gonzales

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