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Uswat'ul Hasana

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AL-ISTITHNÂ IN ONE'S ÎMÂN
« on: 22.03.2016, 04:03:01 PM »
al-Istithna* in One’s Iman

Ibn Abi'l Izz al-Hanafi (731-792H)
Muhazzabu Sharh'il Aqidat'it Tahawiyyah


Quote
والإيمان‏:‏ هو الإقرار باللسان، والتصديق بالجنان
وجميع ما صح عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من الشرع والبيان كله‏ حق
والإيمان واحد، وأهله في أصله سواء، والتفاضل بينهم بالخشية والتقى، ومخالفة الهوى، وملازمة الأولى

Belief consists of affirmation lay the tongue and acceptance by the heart.
And the whole of what is proven from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) regarding the Shari'ah and the explanation (of the Qur'an and of Islam) is true.
Belief is, at base, the same for everyone, but the superiority of some over others in it is due to their fear and awareness of Allah, their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to Allah.

Regarding the statement: "I am a believer Inshallah (God willing)" there are three opinions; two extremes and one in the middle. Some say that one must say the words: "Inshallah (God willing)". Others say that it is forbidden to make such a statement. Others say it is allowed in some instances and prohibited in others. That is the soundest of the three opinions.

Those who say it is obligatory to say "Inshallah (God willing)" have two stances. First, Iman is what a person dies upon. A person is a Mu’min (believer) or a Kafir (disbeliever) in Allah’s sight according to his condition at death. Because of Allah’s foreknowledge, He knows in what state the person will die. What occurs before that is of no importance. So they say that Iman that is followed by infidelity is, in fact, no faith at all. It is like Salat (the prayer) that is invalidated before it is finished or the fast of a person who breaks his fast before sunset. The Kullabiyyah and others follow this argument.

According to them, Allah always loved those disbelievers that He knew would die as believers. The Companions, for example, were always beloved to Allah even before their conversions to Islam. Iblis and all of those who apostatized were always hated by Allah, even before their infidelity. This is not the statement of Salaf (elders). Those of them who did say that one should say "Inshallah (God willing)" did not use such an argument; it is clearly wrong. Allah says:


قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّهُ

"Say: If you truly love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you." (Al-i Imran 3/31)

Here He is stating that He will love them if they follow the Messenger. Hence, following the Messenger is a condition for His love. And the conditional result must come after the condition. There is other evidence as well.

A group of people went to an extreme on this point. They would begin to say "Inshallah (God willing)" for good deeds. They would say: "I prayed, Inshallah (God willing)" and so on, meaning it was accepted. Some of them even started saying it for everything. One would say: "This is an article of clothing, Inshallah (God willing)", "This is a rope, Inshallah (God willing)". If you tell them: "There is no doubt about that (being a rope)", they would say: "Yes, that is true. But if Allah wills to change it, He will change it!.."

Their second point is that absolute faith requires the servant to be doing everything Allah commands and avoiding everything He forbids. If a person says: "I am a Mu’min (believer)" then, in that sense, he is testifying about himself that he is one of the most pious people, who is doing everything he is commanded and abstaining from everything forbidden. He is saying he is from the devoted servants who are close to Allah. This is self-sanctification if that testimony is true. But he must also testify that he will be of Paradise if he dies in that state.

This was the stance of the majority of Salaf who used to include words "Inshallah (God willing)" when stating they were believers.
They would also permit not stating it in a different meaning, as we will mention Inshallah. They also stood for the permissibility of saying "Inshallah (God willing)" about something concerning which there is no doubt, based on the Ayah (verse):


لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُؤُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ

"You will indeed enter Masjid'al Haraam (the Inviolable Place of Worship), if Allah wills, secure." (al-Fath 48/27)

Similarly, when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) stopped in front of a graveyard, he said:


وَإِنَّا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ

"We, God willing, will join you." (Muslim, #249; Abu Dawud, #3237; Ibn Ma'ajah, #4306; Nasa’i, 1/94-95; Ahmad, Musnad, 2/300, 375, 408)

He (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said:


وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَخْشَاكُمْ لِلَّهِ وَأَعْلَمَكُمْ بِمَا أَتَّقِي

"I hope to be the most fearful of Allah of all of you." (Muslim, #1110; Abu Dawud, #2389; Ahmad, Musnad, 6/67,156, 245; Malik, Muwatta, 1/289) There are other examples too.

Those who forbid such a statement are all those who say that Iman is one entity. They will say: "I know that I am a believer in the same way what I know that I made the testimony. My statement: I am a believer is the same as my statement: I am a Muslim. The one who says: Inshallah, concerning his faith then has a doubt about it." They call such people doubters. They respond to the Ayah:


لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِن شَاء اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُؤُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ

"You will indeed enter Masjid'al Haraam (the Inviolable Place of Worship), if Allah wills, secure." (al-Fath 48/27) by saying that it refers to the feeling of security or fear. As for entering the House, there is no doubt about it. Or they say that all or some of them will enter it, as Allah knows that some of them will die.

There is some question, though, about those two responses. They end up in the position that they will enter in security, and He knows that. Therefore, there is no doubt about entering or about them being secure upon doing so. Nor is there any question about some or all of them entering the House because Allah knows which ones will do so, again, without any doubt. The statement: "Inshallah (God willing)", here is emphasis that they will enter, like the person who says about something he will definitely do: "By Allah, I will do it, Inshallah (God willing)". Here he does not say: "Inshallah (God willing)" out of any doubt but out of desire and resolve. But, in that case, one who does not fulfill what he stated does not break his oath because he did not clearly state he would do it.

There is another response that it is fairly acceptable. Allah made such a statement to teach us how to make statements about things that will happen in the future. But there is some question about whether that is what is meant by the Ayah, as the context does not point to it, but it may be considered something else the Ayah simply alludes to.

Zamakhshari responds with two other answers that are false. The first is that the angel or the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said it and the Qur’an confirmed it.

Those who allow the saying of "Inshallah (God willing)" as well as not saying it have the best evidence from the two groups. The best is the middle one. If the one who says "Inshallah (God willing)" has some doubt about Iman, it is not allowed to say it. This is agreed upon. But if he means that he is a believer from those believers that Allah has described in the Ayah:


إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَاناً وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقّاً لَّهُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

"For, Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His revelations rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord; who establish regular prayers and spend (freely) out of the gifts We have given them for sustenance. Such in truth are the Believers: They have grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness, and generous sustenance." (al-Anfal 8/2-4) or in the Ayah:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

"Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: such are the sincere ones." (al-Hujurat 49/15) then in that case, saying: "Inshallah (God willing)" meaning that he does not know what his end will be, or in reference to a command of Allah, without any doubt about his faith, then such a statement is permissible. This is as you can see, a strong position.


Quote
* al-Istithna refers to excepting oneself from having complete Iman, and it is when one says “I am a Believer, if Allah wills."
Shaykh’ul Islam Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:

وكل قول ينفرد به المتأخر عن المتقدمين، ولم يسبقه إليه أحد منهم، فإنه يكون خطأ كما قال الإمام أحمد بن حنبل‏‏

"All statements that had been said by the Mutaakhirrin (latter ones) differing from the Mutaqaddimin (predecessors) and that had not been previously mentioned by any other, is a mistake. As Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rahimahullah) said:

‏إياك أن تتكلم في مسألة ليس لك فيها إمام‏

"Refrain from speaking about a matter without an Imam!.." (Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majma’ul Fatawa, 21/291)

Izhâr'ud Dîn

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Re: AL-ISTITHNÂ IN ONE'S ÎMÂN
« Reply #1 on: 21.02.2019, 02:51:40 AM »
Abű’l Qâsim al-Asbahânî (457-535H)
al-Hujjah fî Bayân’il Mahajjah

Abű’l Qâsim al-Asbahânî (Rahimahullâh) said with regards to Istithnâ (excepting oneself from having perfect Îmân),

وَيكرهُ لمن حصل مِنْهُ الإِيمان أَن يَقُول: أَنا مُؤمن حَقًا وَمُؤمن عِنْد اللَّه وَلَكِن، يَقُول: أَنا مُؤمن أَرْجُو أَو مُؤمن إِن شَاءَ اللَّه، أَو يَقُول: آمَنت بِاللَّه وَمَلَائِكَته وَكتبه وَرُسُله، وَلَيْسَ هَذَا عَلَى طَرِيق الشَّك فِي إِيمانه، لكنه عَلَى معنى أَنه لَا يضْبط أَنه قد أَتَى بِجَمِيعِ مَا أَمر بِهِ، وَترك جَمِيع مَا نهي عَنهُ، خلافًا لقَوْل من قَالَ: إِذَا علم من نَفسه أَنه مُؤمن جَازَ أَن يَقُول: أَنا مُؤمن حَقًا.

وَالدَّلِيل عَلَى امْتنَاع الْقطع لنَفسِهِ وَدخُول الِاسْتِثْنَاء إِجماع السّلف، قيل لِابْنِ مَسْعُود - رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ -: إِن هَذَا يزْعم أَنه مُؤمن قَالَ: سلوه أَفِي الْجنَّة هُوَ أم فِي النَّار؟ . فَسَأَلُوهُ فَقَالَ: اللَّه أعلم. فَقَالَ لَهُ عَبْد اللَّهِ: فَهَلا وكلت الأولى، كَمَا وكلت الْآخِرَة.

وَلِأَنَّهُ قد ثَبت أَن الإِيمان جَمِيع الطَّاعَات وَترك الْمُحرمَات، وَهُوَ فِي الْحَال لَا يضْبط أَنه قد أدّى سَائِر مَا لزمَه، واجتنب كل مَا حرم عَلَيْهِ، وَإِنَّمَا يعلم ذَلِك فِي الثَّانِي، فَلَا يجوز أَن يعلم أَنه مُؤمن مُسْتَحقّ للثَّواب.

“And it is disliked for the one whom Îmân emanates from to say, “I am a true Mu’min (believer)!” and “I am a (true) Mu’min in the sight of Allâh.” Rather he should say, “I hope I am a Mu’min” or “I am a Mu’min if Allâh wills” or “I believe in Allâh, His Angels, Books, and His Messengers.” This is not a path upon Shakk (doubtfulness) in his Îmân, but it is upon the meaning that he has not mastered every single thing which he has been ordered and abandoned everything that he has been forbidden from, in opposition to the one who says, “When a person knows himself that he is a Mu’min believer, it is permissible for him to say: “I am a true believer!””

And the evidence for the impossibility of making this absolute claim (of perfect Îmân) and the necessity of making Istithnâ (exception) is the Ijmâ (consensus) of the Salaf. It was said to Ibnu Mas’űd (Radiyallâhu Anh), “This person claims that he is a believer!” He replied: “Ask him whether he is in Jannah (Paradise) or in the Nâr (fire, i.e. Hellfire)?” So they asked him and he replied: “Allâh knows best!” So Abdullâh (Ibnu Mas’űd) said to him, “If only you had entrusted the affair of the first (this life) as you have entrusted the affair of the Âkhirah (Hereafter) (to Allâh)!

And because it has already been established that Îmân is all of the acts of obedience and the abandonment of the prohibited matters, then in the situation a person has not mastered having fulfilled all that is binding upon him and has avoided all that has been prohibited to him. Therefore, it is not possible for him to know that he is a Mu’min (believer) who is deserving of the reward (Jannah).” (al-Hujjah fî Bayân’il Mahajjah 1/443-445)
Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah (Rahimahullâh) stated,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

"The Âlim (scholar) recognizes the Jâhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jâhil. The Jâhil does not recognize the Âlim since he has never been an Âlim." (Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majmű'ul Fatâwâ, 13/235)

Izhâr'ud Dîn

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Re: AL-ISTITHNÂ IN ONE'S ÎMÂN
« Reply #2 on: 04.09.2019, 04:08:50 AM »

"Know, may Allah have mercy upon us and you, that it is from the affair of Mu’minin (the believers) and from their characteristics, that Iman (faith) is found with them, and they are in constant fear for their Iman, and are severely cautious about their devotional actions. Hence, their hearts are in awe of the fear of losing this Iman. This awe has encompassed them, they do not know what Allah will do with them for the remainder of their lives, and so they are cautious of (false) self-praise, and they follow what they have been commanded by their Noble Master, when He says:

فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَى

“So do not purify yourselves, rather He is most aware of who truly has taqwaa (piety).” (an-Najm 53/32)

so they fear being overcome by the plot of Allah in dying upon an evil condition. They do not known in what condition they will be in the morning and nor the evening. What He (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has cautioned them from has made them inherit this awe in every step that they take:


وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

“And no soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die.” (Luqman 31/34)

Hence, they are in the state that He (subhanahu wa ta'ala) has described them with, when He said:


وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا آتَوا وَّقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ

“And those who give what they give (in charity) while their hearts are in awe, in that they will be returning to their Lord.” (al-Mu’minun 23/60)

Hence, they work righteous deeds, and fear losing these deeds. They also avoid the shameful and evil deeds, having great awe and fear of falling into them, and it is precisely this (i.e., this condition of the hearts of the believers) that the Sunnah has portrayed, from al-Mustafa (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam).

Narrations

1175- (Isnaad omitted) from Aishah (radiyallahu anha) who said: “I said: O Rasulullah, “Those who give what they give (in charity) while their hearts are in awe…”, this is a man who steals, fornicates and drinks alcohol? He (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: No o daughter of (Abu Bakr) as-Siddiq. But it is a man who fast, prays and gives in charity, but fears that it will not be accepted from him.”

So when this fear was bound to their hearts, it also made binding upon them to make the Istithnaa in their words, concerning the future of their deeds, hence it is from the characteristics of the people of knowledge and intellect that a man say: “I am a believer, Inshallah (if Allah wills).”

And this is not from the angle of being doubtful (in the basis of one’s Iman), and we seek refuge in Allah from having doubt in al-Iman, since Iman (faith) is Iqraar (affirmation) of Allah’s Rububiyyah (Lordship), submission to Him in Ubudiyyah (subservience, enslavement), and believing in everything He says or commands or forbids. But the one who doubts in any of that is a Kafir (disbeliever) no doubt. However, making the Istithnaa is correct and justified from two angles:

The first: To negate Tazkiyah (self-purification and praise), such that a person does not testify for his own soul the realities of Iman, and those matters which make up its perfection. For whoever declared these characteristics for himself, then he has testified Jannah (Paradise) for himself, and Allah’s pleasure and happiness with him, and whoever made this testimony for himself, then he is actually deserving of it’s exact opposite…

The second: And Istithnaa is also correct and justified from the perspective of what is yet to occur of one’s actions and of one’s condition at death, and of the remainder of one’s life. And what is meant is that: “I am a believer if Allah seals my life with the actions of the believers, and if I remain firm and amongst the people of Iman, in Allah’s view, and if the condition I am currently in of performing the actions of the believers, lasts and continues until I meet Allah. And I do not know will I actually wake up or enter the evening upon Iman or not?”

And this is precisely how Allah has actually conditioned His Prophet and the believers from amongst His servants, when He (Jalla Jalaluhu) said:


وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَيْءٍ إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ ذَلِكَ غَداً إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ

“And do not say about a matter, that I will do such and such tomorrow. Except by saying: If Allah wills.” (al-Kahf 18/23-24)

Hence, it is not permissible for you, if you are one who believes in Allah and whose knows that his heart is in the Hand of Allah, who turns it in whatever direction He wills, that you say, with firm resolution, and absolution: “I will enter the morning as a believer..." except while adding the Istithnaa to your words, so you say: “Inshallah (If Allah wills).” This is the from the characteristics of the sensible believers…

1181- (Isnaad omitted) from Abu Waa’il who said: "A man came to Abdullah (Ibn Mas’ud) and said: O Abu Abd'ur Rahman, I met a group of people and said to them: Who are you? and they replied: We are believers. So Abdullah (Ibn Mas'ud) said: Why did they not say: We are the people of Paradise?”

1182- (Isnaad omitted) that a man said in the presence of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu anh): “I am a believer. So it was said to Ibn Mas’ud: This person thinks he is a believer. He said: Ask him if he is in Paradise or Hellfire. So they asked him and he said: Allah knows best. So Abdullah said to him: If only you had entrusted the (judgment) in this life, as you have entrusted it for Akhirah (the next life).”

1187- (Isnaad omitted) from Ali ibn Bahr who said: “al-A’mash, Mansur, Mughirah, Layth, Ata ibnu’s Saa’ib, Ismail ibn Abi Khalid, Ammarah ibn’ul Qa’qaa, al-Ala ibnu’l Musayyib, Ibn Shabrimah, Sufyaan ath-Thawri, Abu Yahya, the companion of Hasan (al-Basri), and Hamzah az-Ziyaat used to say: We are believers, if Allah wills! and they used to criticize those who would not make this Istithnaa (exception)."

1188- al-Marwadhi said: “And I heard one of the Mashaayikh say: Have you heard Abd'ur Rahman ibn Mahdi say: Abandoning the Istithnaa is the foundation of al-Irjaa.”

1189- (Isnaad omitted) al-Fadal ibn Ziyaad narrated to us: “I heard Abu Abdullah (i.e., Ahmad ibn Hanbal) say: I never met any of our associates except that they would make al-Istithna (i.e., except themselves from having perfect, complete Iman), and Yahya said: Sufyan use to hate to say: I am a believer.”

1190- (Isnaad omitted) Sufyan said: “The people are considered believers to us (i.e., outwardly) with respect to legal rulings and the laws of inheritance, and we hope that it is actually like that with Allah, and we do not know what is (the reality of) our condition in the sight of Allah.”

So this is the way of the believers, and the way of the intelligent ones from amongst the scholars, that they adhere to al-Istithna, and Khawf (fear) and Rajaa (hope). They do not know their state is with Allah, and nor the status of their actions, whether they are accepted or rejected. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) said:


إِنَّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللّهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

“Indeed, Allah accepts from the Muttaqin (the pious).” (al-Ma’idah 5/27)

And He informed about His righteous servant, Sulayman (alayhi salam) concerning his own matter:


فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكاً مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَى وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحاً تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ

[“And he said: So he (Sulayman) smiled, amused at her speech and said: My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.” (an-Naml 27/19)

So have you not observed how he asked Allah to be pleased with him on account of righteous action, since he knew that actions, in and of themselves are not beneficial, even if they appear to be righteous, unless Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) is pleased with them and accepts them.

So is it then permissible for anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day to be resolute that his righteous actions are actually from good and commendable actions, in their entirety and that they are all actions that Allah is pleased with, and are pure, and are accepted by Him?

There is no one who is able to be resolute and certain about this, except an ignoramus who is deceived concerning Allah, and we seek refuge in Allah from being deceived concerning Allah, and in persisting upon disobedience of Allah.

Do you not see, may Allah have mercy upon you, at a man from amongst the Muslims, who has just performed prayer, has completed and perfected it, and he may even have performed it in Jama’ah, and upon its proper time, and had perfected his ablution for it, and then when it is said to him: “Have you prayed? he says: I have prayed, if Allah accepts it." And likewise, a people who fast the month of Ramadaan, and then they say at its end: "We have fasted, if Allah has accepted it from us." And likewise a people who departs from Hajj, after having completed it and Umrah, and also having completed all of the rituals of Hajj, so when you ask him about his Hajj, he says: “We have indeed performed Hajj, and nothing has been left out, except Allah’s acceptance of it from us." and similarly, the people meet each other at the end of the month of Ramadaan, and they say to each other: “May Allah accept from us and you.”

This is how the Sunnah of the Muslims passed by, and this is how their habits remained, and those who came after them took it from those before them. And no one opposes this Istithnaa in Iman and refuses to accept it, except a vile, straying Murji whose heart Shaytan (Satan) has deceived, and we seek refuge in Allah from him.

1191- (Isnaad omitted) Abu Nasr Asmah narrated to us: “I heard Abu Abdullah saying: Sulayman ibn Harb used to carry this (i.e., the Istithnaa) upon (Allah’s) acceptance. They used to say: We act, but we do not know whether it is accepted or not.”

1196- (Isnaad omitted) Hammad ibn Zayd informed us, saying: “I heard Hisham mentioning: Hasan (al-Basri) and Muhammad (Ibn Sirin) use to be extremely fearful of saying: "Mu’min” and would instead say “Muslim”.”

1199- (Isnaad omitted) Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Haani al-Athram said: “I heard Abu Abdullah (i.e., Ahmad ibn Hanbal) being asked about al-Istithna when he would say: Iman is Qawl (speech) and Amal (action), it increases and decreases. So he would make Istithnaa out of fear and out of caution, and it was not as they would say due to doubt, but it was action for which he would make Istithnaa (i.e., the exception).” (al-Ibânah, 2/862-876)
Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah (Rahimahullâh) stated,

والعالم يعرف الجاهل؛ لأنه كان جاهلا، والجاهل لا يعرف العالم لأنه لم يكن عالما

"The Âlim (scholar) recognizes the Jâhil (ignorant) since he was once a Jâhil. The Jâhil does not recognize the Âlim since he has never been an Âlim." (Shaykh'ul Islâm Ibnu Taymiyyah, Majmű'ul Fatâwâ, 13/235)

 

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