The Errors of the Murji'ah: Part 2 - Mere Belief (Tasdeeq) and Knowledge (Ilm) Do Not Constitute the Whole of Eemaan
Posted by Abu.Iyaad on Monday, August, 15 2011 and filed under Murji'ah
Key topics: Murji'ah


These are some more statements clarifying the errors of the Jahmiyyah and al-Ash'ari and those who followed him in restricting eemaan (faith) to either mere knowledge (ilm, ma'rifah) or tasdeeq (attestation) alone. Refer also to Part 1 in which Ibn Taymiyyah explains that in addition to tasdeeq and ilm, inqiyaad (inward compliance of the heart) constitutes the foundation (asl) of the eemaan (and to which external speech and action is fundamentally tied). In the statements below Ibn Taymiyyah is clarifying that eemaan extends beyond mere tasdeeq and ilm and incorporates other matters without which it cannot be valid or complete, and that the actions of the heart like love and compliance and veneration are implied and necessitated by tasdeeq and ilm.

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

Hence, the saying of the one who made mere ilm and tasdeeq in a servant to be what constitutes (the whole of) Eemaan, and that it necessitates (i.e. brings about by necessity) the actions of the heart, such that when these [actions of the heart] pass away, they indicate the passing away of the knowledge (in the heart, leading to ilm and takdheeb), then he is at the same level of the one who says, "Allaah's mere knowledge of the order and arrangement of the Universe necessarily brings about its existence, without any iraadah (desire) on His behalf". And this is similar to the saying of the Philosophers, that the happiness of a soul is in its mere knowledge of the realities (of life and the universe), but they did not join that with the love of Allaah, the Most High, and His worship, without which happiness cannot be complete. And it is also similar to the saying of those who say that the perfection of the body or the soul lies in love, but without any link to the desired movement (al-harakah al-iraadiyyah) that occurs on account of it (i.e. this love). And also like one who says that delight (ladhdhah, i.e. taste, feeling) is in the mere perception and feeling, and this is an error by agreement of all the intelligent, sensible ones. Rather there must be some agreement, concurrence (Arb., suitability, agreement, concord), and this harmony does not occur except with the love that exists between that which is perceived and felt, and the one who is perceiving it. And this love, and agreement and concord, is not the same thing as the actual perceiving and feeling of (that ladhdhah, i.e. taste, feeling). Kitaab ul-Eemaan (7/535).

He also said:

...thus, whoever made mere ilm and tasdeeq to be what brings about by necessity everything that enters into Eemaan, and everything that is labelled as Eemaan, then he has erred. Rather, both knowledge (ilm) and love (hubb) are required, and knowledge is a condition (shart) in loving the one that is loved, just like life (hayaat) is a condition (shart) for knowledge. However, the mere knowledge of something, and having tasdeeq in its establishment, does not necessitate having love for it - if there does not exist between the one who has this knowledge and between the object of this knowledge (i.e. that which is known), a meaning or a concept (ma'naa), on account of which the lover, loves for its sake. And for this reason a person will make tasdeeq in the establishment of many things and he will have knowledge of them, but he will hate them, such as when he has tasdeeq in the existence of the Shayaateen and the Kuffar, but he hates them. And tasdeeq, in and of itself, of the existence of something, does not necessarily bring about love of it. However Allaah, the Sublime, is deserving of being loved and worshipped, merely on account of His Self, and similarly that His Messenger is loved for His sake. And the hearts have a meaning or concept in them that requires love of Allaah and obedience to Him, just like they have within them a meaning or concept that requires knowledge of him and tasdeeq in him. Hence, whoever believed in Him (saddaqa bihi) and in His Messenger, and did not love Him or His Messenger, then he is not a believer until he has with him, alongside that (tasdeeq and ilm), love of Him and His Messenger. Kitaab ul-Eemaan (7/541).

Shaykh ul-Islaam said:

And what explains this is that it is known that knowing (ma'rifah) something that is loved requires its love (i.e. loving it), and knowing something that is venerated (mu'adhdham) requires venerating it (ta'dheem), and knowing that which is feared, requires fear of it. Thus, mere ilm and tasdeeq in Allaah and what He has of Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes bring about by necessity the love (mahabbah) of the heart for Him, venerating Him (ta'dheem) and fearing Him (khashyah). And that necessitates the iraadah (desire) for His obedience, and hatred of His disobedience. And a firm and resolute desire (al-iraadah al-jaazimah) alongside with ability (qudrah) necessitates the bringing about of what which is desired, and the existence of that which he has power over (i.e. to bring about). Hence, when the servant desires prayer (as-salaah) with a firm and resolute desire while having ability to perform it, then he will pray. And when he does not pray, whilst having the ability, this gives evidence to the weakness of his desire (iraadah). Kitaab ul-Eemaan (7/524-525).

And he said:

And the Eemaan that is in the heart is not Eemaan just by mere tasdeeq (alone) which has no action of the heart with it, and whatever (this tasdeeq) necessitates of love of Allaah and His Messenger and what is similar to that. Just like it cannot be Eemaan on account of mere speculation and desire (dhann and hawaa). Rather, the speech of the heart and its action are required for the asl, foundation of Eemaan. Kitaab ul-Eemaan (7/527).

And he also said:

And in summary, it is required for the Eemaan that is in the heart, that there be tasdeeq (assent) in Allaah and His Messenger, and love of Allaah and His Messenger, otherwise, the mere tasdeeq alongside hatred of Allaah and of His Messenger, and enmity to Allaah and His Messenger is not Eemaan by unanimous agreement of the Muslims. And mere tasdeeq and ilm themselves do not necessitate (i.e. bring about) love - unless the heart is free and safe from the barriers to it (saleeman min al-ma'aarid), such as jealousy (hasad) and pride (kibr). Kitaab ul-Eemaan (7/536).

And he also said:

Or it is said: There can be obtained in the heart ilm of the truth and tasdeeq in it, however, what is in the heart of jealousy and pride and what is similar to that prevents the submission (istislaam) and compliance (inqiyaad) and love (mahabbah) of the heart. And this is not like the case of having iraadah (desire) along with action ('amal). Because having the desire (iraadah) alongside the ability (qudrah) necessitates that which is desired. But as for ilm of the truth and tasdeeq of it, then alongside ability (qudrah) for the action, it does not necessitate that action. Rather, there must be alongside that (ilm and tasdeeq) the desire for the truth (iraadat ul-haqq) and love of it. Kitaab ul-Eemaan (7/535).