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The Classical Works
  Kitab ul-Eemaan of al-Qaasim bin Sallaam (Chapter 1)
Author: Al-Qaasim bin Sallaam
Source: Eng. Trans. by Abu Rumaysah
Article ID : AQD040001  [22352]  
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We referred the matter to that which Allaah sent His Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) with and revealed in His Book. So we found that He made the commencement of faith to be the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except for Allaah and that Muhammad is His Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) . And the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) remained in Mecca after his Prophethood for ten years or ten odd years calling to this testification only, and at that time nothing else was prescribed to be part of faith, so the one who responded to this call was a believer and it was not necessary to call him anything else but a believer, and zakaah or fasting or the other regulations of the religion were not obligatory upon him. The scholars have explained this by saying that this leniency at that time was a Mercy and Kindness from Allaah to His Servants, because they had just come out of the Jaahiliyyah and it’s harshness and had He charged them with all of the obligations then their hearts would have become averse to the revelation and their bodies would have felt burdened. So He made the faith that was obligatory upon them at that time affirmation with the tongues only, and this is what made them to be believers during the whole of the Meccan period and ten odd months in Madeenah after the Hijrah.

Then, when the people had returned to Islaam and their desire for it became good and proper, Allaah increased for them in their faith that they change the prayer direction to the Ka’bah after they had been praying to Bail al-Maqdis, saying,

"Verily We have seen the turning of your face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall give you a Qiblah that you are pleased with, so turn your face in the direction of the Holy Mosque. And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction." [2:144].

Then He addressed them, when they were in Madeenah, by the appellation of faith that had previously been given them whenever He ordered them with something or forbade them from something. So He said, while commanding,

"O you who believe! Bow and prostrate" [22:77],

"O you who believe! When you intend to offer prayer, wash your faces, and your arms upto the elbows." [5:6].

He said, while prohibiting,

"O you who believe! Do not devour usury doubled and multiplied." [3:130].

"O you who believe! Kill not game while you are in a state of ihraam" [5:95].

So in every address that was directed to them after the hijrah containing a command or prohibition, He named them with this name (believers) due to their affirming the shahaadah alone - since at that time nothing else had been made obligatory for them. But afterwards, when the religious laws were revealed, these were made obligatory upon them in exactly the same way as the first obligation (of testifying to the shahaadah) was, this because they were all from Allaah (sent) by His Command and Obligation. So if they had refused to turn to the direction of the Ka`bah in their prayer and stuck to that faith [they had in the beginning of Islaam] whose appellation they were ascribed to, and they had stuck to the qiblah that they used to pray towards, then this would not have helped them at all, and they would have violated their affirmation of the shahaadah. This because the first obedience was not more deserving of the appellation of ‘faith’ then the second, so therefore when they responded to Allaah and His Messenger and accepted the (obligation of) prayer just as they had responded by affirming (the shahaadah) then all of this would now be included in the appellation ‘faith’ - due to the prayer being added to the affirmation.

And the proof that the prayer is a part of faith is the saying of Allaah, Azza wa Jall,

"And Allaah would never make your faith to be lost. Truly Allaah is full of Kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind" [2:143].

This verse was revealed concerning some of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) who turned towards the Qiblah while they were praying in the direction of Bait al-Maqdis, so the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) was asked about this and then this verse was revealed. {1} So what proof is needed after this to show that prayer is part of faith?

So they remained like this for a period of time and when they started going to prayer eagerly and their hearts found it easy, Allaah revealed the obligation of zakaah in their faith in addition to what had preceded, saying,

"Establish the prayer, and give the zakaah" [2:83, 110].

"Take sadaqah from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it." [9:103]. {2}

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