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The Murji`ah
  Shaikh ul-Islam on the Increase and Decrease of Iman
Author: Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah
Source: Kitab ul-Iman (trans. S. Ahmed Tel)
Article ID : GSC050001  [39072]  
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And in the hadith of [Abu Bakr] al-Siddiq, narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and others from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), he said: "Ask Allah for good health and certainty. Besides certainty one can be given nothing better than good health. Therefore, ask Allah for them." Hence, certainty in times of calamity and holding firmly to the belief that calamities happen with Allah's knowledge and permission, produces tranquility and peace in the heart, and reliance on Allah. This is the most perfect Iman in Allah's predestination of both good and evil, as illustrated in Allah's saying: "No kind of calamity can occur, except with the permission of Allah: and if anyone believes in Allah, He [Allah] guides his heart the right way..." (64:11). said: "Ibn Masud narrated: 'He is a man who when a calamity befalls him, knows that it happens with Allah's knowledge and permission, feels content, and accepts it."' Allah's saying: "Allah guides his heart the right way," refers to the increase of his Iman, as illustrated in the following saying of Allah. Allah says:

"But to those who receive Guidance, He increases the [light of] Guidance…". (47:17). Allah also says: They were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in Guidance" (18:13).

The term "belief," of all the terms mentioned in the Quran, is the one most frequently used in a muqayyad, conditioned, sense. When used in this manner, it does not include everything that Allah commands. However, when Iman is used in an absolute sense it encompasses [all] of those attributes or actions that are necessarily associated with it and the perfection of all that has been commanded. Allah says: "Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees. And such of you as believe and spend, theirs will be a great reward. And what is wrong with you is that you believe not in Allah! While the Messenger invites you to believe in your Lord has indeed taken your covenant, if you are real believers. It is He Who sends down His Manifest Verses to His Slave [Muhammad] that He may bring you out from darkness to light. . ." (57:7-9). Toward the end of the same chapter He also says: "Oh, you who believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger [Muhammad], He will give you a double portion of His Mercy, and He will give you Light by which you shall walk [straight], and He will forgive you. And Allah is All Forgiving, Most Merciful" (57:28).

Some Qur'anic interpreters explain the first verse as being addressed to the Quraysh tribe, and the second verse as being addressed to the Jews and Christians. However, this cannot be the case, for Allah never addresses unbelievers as: "Oh, you who believe." After this Allah says: "So that the people of the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] may know that they have no power whatsoever over the Grace of Allah…." (57:29). It is agreed that this chapter of the Quran is among those revealed during the time when the Prophet was in Madinah; hence, it was not used to address the polytheists in Makkah. Allah says, "And what is the matter with you that you believe not in Allah! While the Messenger [Muhammad] invites you to believe in your Lord, and He has indeed taken your covenant, if you are real believers" (57:8). It is clear that this verse is not addressed to an unbeliever. Moreover, no covenant had been made with the unbelievers in Makkah, but rather with the believers who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet. All the Muslims who emigrated [to Madinah] acknowledged the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as their leader, as did his Supporters on the night of al-Aqabah. However, the Prophet simply called them to realize and perfect their belief by performing those actions required of them both outwardly and inwardly, just as we ask Allah in every prayer we pray to guide us along the Straight Path. And although Allah guides believers to acknowledge [the truth of] the Prophet's message as a whole, the detailed guidance in all that they say and do has not yet been realized. However, all this specific, detailed guidance is now a part of the belief that believers are commanded to have, and through it Allah brings them out of darkness into light.

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