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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  [17802]  
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Then there are the well-known ahaadeeth mentioning the completeness of faith wherein he (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) asked, "which creation is the greatest with respect to faith?" It was said: the Angels. Then it was said: us O Messenger of Allaah. So he said, "rather a nation that will come after you" {16}and he mentioned their characteristics. And from these is his saying, "indeed the believer with the most complete faith is the best of them in character." {17} And likewise his saying, "a man will not have complete faith until he leaves lying in jest, and arguing even if he be in the truth." {18} And a similar hadeeth is reported from Umar bin al-Khattaab and ibn Umar. And more clear than this is the hadeeth of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) pertaining to the intercession wherein he said, "so the one whose heart contains a barley grains weight, and a wheat grains weight, and an atoms weight of faith will be removed from Hell." {19} And from them is the hadeeth when he was asked about whispering, to which he replied, "that is the pure and unadulterated faith." {20} And likewise the hadeeth of Alee (AS), "indeed faith starts as a white spot in the heart, so each time faith increases, the white spot increases in magnitude." {21}

There are a great number of narrations concerning this whose mention will lengthen the discussion that serve to clarify to you the correlation of faith in the heart with actions, and all of them, or most of them, stress that righteous actions are from faith. {22} So how is it possible to oppose these by way of falsification or rejection?!

And from those things that testify to the truth of it's correlation with actions is the saying of Allaah,

"The believers are only those whose hearts tremble when Allaah is mentioned, and when His verses are recited they increase them in faith, and upon their Lord they put their trust" (6:2) to his saying, "they are in truth the believers." (6:3) {23}

So Allaah did not give faith a reality except with action upon these conditions (mentioned in the verse). And the one who thinks that merely a saying makes one a true and complete believer even if there is no action (accompanying the saying) is one who is opposing the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah.

And from those things that clarify the differing levels of faith in the heart is His saying,

"O you who believe! When the believing women come to you as fugitives, test them. Allaah Knows best their faith, then if you ascertain that they are true believers." (60:10)

Do you not see that here there is a level less than the complete level [in that Allaah has addressed the believers to test other believers] And likewise His saying,

"O you who believe! Believe in Allaah and His Messenger." (4:136)

So if this was not a command to increase in ones faith then there would be no meaning in ordering the believers to believe in Allaah and His Messenger. Then He also says,

"Alif Laam Meem. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: 'we believe' and will not be tested? And We tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make it known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make it known (the falsehood of) those who are liars." (29:1-3)

"Of mankind there are some who say: 'we believe in Allaah' but if they are made to suffer for the sake of Allaah they consider the trial of mankind as Allaah's Punishment." (29:10)

"And that Allaah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers." (3:141)

So do you not see Allaah trying the believers to attest their saying with action and not being Pleased with their merely affirming (the shahaadah) without accompanying it with action? So what is there to be followed after the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) , and the guidance of the Salaf after him - those who are our role-models and Imaams?!

So what have the scholars stated about this matter which we have declared to be the Sunnah? It is none other than that we have stated in this book of ours - that faith consists of intention, saying and action together, and that it has levels some above others, and that it's first and highest level is the testification with the tongue as the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) said in the hadeeth in which he made faith to have seventy and odd branches. So if someone were to articulate this shahaadah and accept that which has come from Allaah, the appellation of faith becomes incumbent upon him due to his entering it, and as he increases in obedience and taqwa to Allaah - his faith increases.

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