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The Neo-Murji'ah (from the works of al-Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid, and Shaikh Al-Maqdisi)  

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Neo-Murji'ah
(from the works of al-Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid, and Shaikh Al-Maqdisi)
________________________________________
The Article consists of three parts:

Part 1- Similarities between the Murj'ah of the past and the Neo-Murj'ah
Part 2- The Position of Ahl-us-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah regarding Iman and Kufr
Part 3- The Types of Kufr
Part 4- The Types of Disbelivers
Part 1- Similarities between the Murj'ah of the past and the Neo-Murji'ah
The Murji’ah are three types:

1- Those who talked about Irjaa’ in Iman and Qadar (destiny) according to the way of Qadariyyah and Mu’tazilah
2- Those who talked about Irjaa’ in Iman and “Jabr” in actions—i.e. a man has no free well and he is forced to do what he is doing—according to the way of Jahmiyyah
3- The Third type is different from the Jabriyyah (From Jabr) and Qadariyyah. They are many groups: Yonusiyyah, Ghasaniyyah, Thawbaaniyyah, Toomniyyah, and Murisiyyah.

The Murji’ah are called Murj’ah because they make the actions (deeds) fall behind the faith (Iman). Irjaa’ means to delay.

The Murji’ah when they talk about Iman are of two parties:
1- Extreme Murji’ah (Al-Murji’ah al-Mutakallimoon)
2- The Jurist Murji’ah (Murji’at al-Fuqahaa’)

1-Al-Murji’ah al-Mutakallimoon

Jahm Ibn Safwan and those who followed him say: Iman is only what is affirmed and known by the heart. They don’t consider the actions of the heart from Iman. They thought that a man can be a total believer in his heart even if he curses Allah, his prophet, fights the Awliyaa’ of Allah, supports the enemies of Allah, destroys Masjids, humiliate the Qur’an and the believers, be generous with the kuffar…etc. They say that these are all sins that do not harm Iman in a man’s heart. They say he can do this and he is a inside (in heart) a believer in the sight of Allah. They say we only affirm the rules of disbelief in this life to the one who does all of the horrible actions mentioned above because these sayings and actions are a sign for his disbelief.

If you present to them the Quran, Sunnah and the consensus that a man who does these actions is a disbeliever because of made these actions above, they respond that these actions are a sign that there is no affirmation and knowledge in his heart. Disbelief to them is only one thing: Ignorance; belief to them is only one thing: knowledge; or the denial and affirmation of the heart. They differed in whether the affirmation of the heart is something different from knowledge or whether it is the same. Even though this definition of Iman is the worst, many of “al-Murji’ah al-Mutakallimoon” adopted it.

Many of the Salaf, like Wakee’ ibn al-Jarrah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abi Abaid, and others, declared those who define Iman the way of “al-Murji’ah al-Mutakallimoon” as disbelievers. These Scholars said that Satan is a disbeliever as stated in the Qur’an. The disbelief of Satan was because of his arrogance, and refusal to bow down to Adam, not because he denied a saying of Allah. The same is the case of Far’awn and his people. Allay says,

“And they belied them (those Ayat) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their own selves were convinced thereof” [27:14]

Moses Said also to Fir’awn,

"Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear” [17:102]

As you can see, Moses, the truthful says the above to Fir’awn, which is a proof that Fir’awn used to know that Allah reveals the signs, and yet he was from the most stubborn and transgressor individuals because of his corrupted will not because of his lack of knowledge. Allah Says,

“Verily, Fir'aun (Pharaoh) exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsidun (i.e. those who commit great sins and crimes, oppressors, tyrants, etc.).” [28:4]

The same is the situation of the Jews. Allah says about them,

“Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him as they recongise their sons.” [2:146]

Also the Polytheists,

“but it is the Verses (the Qur'an) of Allah that the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers) deny.” [6:33]

2-Murj’at al-Fuqahaa’

Murji’at al-Fuqahaa’ are those who say that Iman is the affirmation of the heart and the saying of the tongue. They don’t consider the deeds (actions) from Iman. Murji’at al-Fuqahaa used to be some jurists and worshippers from Kufa (a city in Iraq). They used to affirm that a person is not a Muslim unless he says the word of Iman (Shahadah) while he is able to do it unlike “Jahm Ibn Safwaan.” Murji’at al-Fuqahaa’ recognized that Satan, Fir’awn and the other disbelievers used to believe in their hearts that what the messengers are conveying is the truth.

However, if Murji’at al-Fuqahaa’ did not affirm that the actions of the hearts are from Iman, then their argument will be similar to what “Jahm Ibn Safwaan” said. Murji’at al-Fuqahaa’ denied that Iman increases and decreases because of the deeds. However, they used to say that Iman used to increase before the completion of the revelation; i.e. whenever Allah reveals a new verse then it is obligatory to affirm it, and this affirmation (Tasdeeq) is added to the previous affirmations of other verses. Thus, but the end of the revelation, Iman ceased to increase. After the revelation they used to say that the Iman of all the Muslims is the same; the Iman of the first generations like Abu Bakr and Umar is the same as the Iman of the most disobedient people like al-Hajjaj Abu Muslim al-Khurasani, and other then them.

3-Irjaa’ in our Time

Irjaa’ in our time is wide spread whether amongst the common people or those who work for Islam and Dawah.

• The Irjaa amongst the common people is well known: “Iman is in the heart,” they don’t pay attention to the deeds rather they ignore and belittle the actions of the limbs by making excuses that the Iman of the heart and the pure intention is all that matters.
• The Irjaa’ of those who work for islam and Dawah is not in the definition of Iman. They define Iman a good definition as a name. They say Iman is the saying of the tongue, belief of the heart, actions of the limbs. They say Iman is by sayings and actions, and this is the correct definition of Iman amongst the people of Ahl-us-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah.

` However, when it comes to applying this definition especially about the matters that negates Iman, it appears clearly that the “actions of the limbs” that they affirmed in the definition of Iman is not applied.

Yes, most of them say that Iman increases by the good deeds and decreases by the bad deeds exactly as Ahlus-Sunnah affirm. However, sins to them only decrease Iman, but never negate Iman, except in one situation: if there is rejection, Istihlaal, or belief in the heart, irregardless of how great is that sin or deed. They say that eventhough the prophet clarified and said, “Iman is seventy and something branches, the best of these branches is the declaration of “La ilaha illa Allah”, and the lowest of these branches is removing harmful objects from the road; Hayaa’ (Modesty) is (also) a part of Iman.” Reported by Muslim and others.

Thus not all the branches of Iman are the same. The branch of “Laa Ilaha Illa Allah” is not the same as Hayaa’ or removing harmful objects form the road. The absence of some of these branches can decrease Iman like Hayaa’, and the absence of some of these brances can negate Iman like the declaration of “Laa Ilaha Illa Allah.”

The Khwaarij and those who followed them from the extreme Takfeeris make the absence of any branch of the branches of Iman as a negation of Iman. The Neo-Murji’ah say, as a reaction for the action of the Khwaarij, that the absence of all of the branches of Iman cause a decrease in Iman only. They don’t consider any of these branches as something that negates Iman except if there is Istihlaal, Juhood or belief. Both, the Khwaarij and the Neo-Murji’ah are upon Misguidance.
________________________________________
2- The Position of Ahl-us-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah regarding Iman and Kuffr

The people of truth, those of the Saved sect and the victorious group, are in the middle in the matters of Iman and Kuffr. Some of the branches of Iman to them affect the perfection of Iman, and do not negate Iman. These branches are of two parts:

• Branches that are from the perfection of the “Mustahab” (preferable) Iman
• Branches that are from the perfection of the “Waajib” (obligatory) Iman

Also some of the branches of Iman negate Iman and wipe it out.

Thus, the branches of Iman to Ahl-us-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah is of three parts

• Branches that are from the perfection of the “Mustahab” (preferable) Iman. These branches are the deeds recommended by Islam, but are not obligatory.
• Branches that are from the perfection of the “Waaijb” (obligatory) Iman. These branches are the deeds obligated by Islam.
• Branches that negate Iman and wipe it out completely

The people of Ahl-us-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah do not classify a deed to be from that part or the other except by a proof from the Qur’aan or Sunnah,

"Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us.” [2:32]

The closest to the Neo-Murji’ah in matters of Iman and Kuffr are the Murisiyyah Murji’ah: the Murji’ah of Baghdad. The Murisiyyah are the followers of Bishr ibn Ghayyath al-Murisi. He used to say that Iman is affirmation of the heart and the toungue altogether, and Kuffr is the rejection and denial. That’s why they claimed that bowing down for an idol is not a disbelief, but a sign for disbelief.

The Neo-Murji’ah don’t consider any deed as a deed that negates Islam by itself. They say it has to be accompanied by Istihlaal, Jihood, or belief, this is the Kuffr according to them. Wether this Kuffr is the Kuffr is cursing Allah, bowing down to an idol, legislating with Allah, ridiculing the Deen of Allah, all of these actions are not actions of disbelief by themselves, but they say that these actions are a sign that the doer believes in Kuffr. Kuffr is his belief, his denial, or his Istihlaal (not the action itself). Therefore, the Neo-Murji’ah opened a great door for evil against the Muslims. Many of those disbelievers, atheists, hypocrates and Zanadeeq started attacking the Deen of Allah with ease and confort. The Neo-Murji’ah make excuses for the Tawaagheet and the apostates. They argue in defense of the Tawagheet and the Apostates with some doubts that the Tawahggt themselves never thought of, or heart of. Those Tawagheet never found sincere soldiers to defend them and protect their falsehood similar to the Neo-Murji’ah.

That is why some of the Salaf said about Irjaa’: “It is a religion that pleases the Kings,” and some of them said, “We fear their Fitnah (Murji’ah) more than the Fitnah of the Khwaarij.” They used to say “Khwaarij are less in evil that the Murji’ah,” which is a true statement. The initial reason for the extremism of the Khwaarij was their anger for the boundaries of Allah as they claim. The Murji’ah, however, their way encourage the people to exceed the boundaries of Allah, the orders and the commands of Allah, and to open the doors of apostasy to make it easy for the disbelievers, and apostates (to make excuses for themselves, and continue in their evil.”

________________________________________

3- The Types of Kuffr (Arranged according to the way mentioned by the Allaamah Bakr Abu Zaid in his book: Dar’ Alfitnah)

The Types of Kuffr (disbelief) are as follows:

• Kuffr of denial. Allah says, “Those who deny Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and the Meeting in the Hereafter (Day of Resurrection,), vain are their deeds. Do they expect to be rewarded with anything except what they used to do?” [7:147]

• Kuffr of those who ridicule Allah, his prophet, his Deen, Allah says about them: “If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say: "Was it at Allah (عز و جل), and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?" Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed. If We pardon some of you, We will punish others amongst you because they were Mujrimun (disbelievers, polytheists, sinners, criminals, etc.).” [9:65,66]

• Kuffr of those who curse Allah, his prophet, his Deen. The curse negates the obligatory glorification for Allah, His Prophet, His Deen. Allah says: “And whosoever honours the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart.” [22:32]

• Kuffr of rejection, arrogance, refusal to obey Allah as Allah says about Satan: “he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers.” [2:34] This type of Kuffr is the common amongst the kuffr of the enemies of the messengers.

• Kuffr of turning away from the religion of Allah. Allah says: “But those who disbelieve turn away from that whereof they are warned.” [46:3]

• The verbal Kuffr, as Allah says: ““If you ask them (about this), they declare: "We were only talking idly and joking." Say: "Was it at Allah (عز و جل), and His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and His Messenger that you were mocking?" Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after you had believed.” [9:65,66]. Allah also says: “but really they said the word of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islam” [9:74] when they said, “If we return to Al-Madinah, indeed the more honourable will expel therefrom the meaner.” [63:8] From this type of kuffr is what the hypocrites said in the Battle of Tabook: “We have not seen something similar to our reciters—they mean the Prophet and his companions—they have big stomachs, liars, and cowards. From the verbal kuffr is calling upon other than Allah and seeking refuge from the dead.

• Kuffr by actions, Allah says: “Say (O Muhammad): "Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).” [6:162,163]. Therefore prostrating to other than Allah, slaughtering to other than Allah, is shirk and disbelief in Allah. From the Kuffr by actions “Kuffr alfi’li” is Magic. Allah says: “Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic” [2:102] Because Magic involves using the Jinn, getting connected with them, the claim of knowing the unseen and sharing the knowledge of the unseen with Allah, Allah says, “indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter.” [2:102]. The scholars classified Magic under “tawheed” under the types of Kuffr because magic involves Shirk and Kuffr and to warn from it, and to clarify that Magic is one of the nullifications of Tawheed (monotheism).

• Kuffr of the heart and doubt. Allah says: “Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and afterward doubt not but strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allah. Those! They are the truthful.” [49:15] Allah also says: “It is only those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and whose hearts are in doubt that ask your leave (to be exempted from Jihad). So in their doubts they waver.” [9:45] Allah also says: “And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief) unjust to himself. He said: "I think not that this will ever perish. "And I think not the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him." His companion said to him, during the talk with him: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam), then out of Nutfah (mixed semen drops of male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man?” [18:35-37]

All of the above have been declared as disbelievers by Allah and his prophet after they were believers because of some sayings and actions that they have done even if they did not believe in them by their hearts, unlike the way of the deviant Murji’ah. We seek refuge of Allah from the claim of the Murji’ah.

We have to know also that takfeer al’ayn (declaring an individual as kaafir) who has done some of the above nullifications of Islam depends upon the conditions and nullifications of Takfeer.

The above destroys the shortcomings and the exaggerations of the Madhab of Irjaa’

________________________________________

4- Types of Disbelievers (Continue from Allamah Bakr Abu Zaid's Book "Dar' Alfitnah.")

A Muslim should not try to avoid making takfeer upon whom Allah and his prophet made takfeer of because in doing so you belie Allah and his Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa sallam)

The Disbelievers are of two types:

The first type are the Original disbelievers who did not enter Islam which the Prophet Muhammad came with from the beginning like the Jews, Chrisitans, Pagans, Idol worshippers...etc. From those whom Allah says about them,

"Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyahwith willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." [9:29]

Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity)." [5:73]

Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and among Al-Mushrikun,were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. [98:1]

Verily, those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers and wish to make distinction between Allah and His Messengers (by believing in Allah and disbelieving in His Messengers) saying, "We believe in some but reject others," and wish to adopt a way in between. They are in truth disbelievers. And We have prepared for the [4:150,151]

Those are origianl disbelievers. We do not differentiate when we declare them as disbelievers between the individule or the group, between the living or the dead as it was indicated by the Quran and Sunnah

This type of disbelievers should be fought against until they enter Islam or pay the Jizyah.

The second type are the Muslims who apostated by falling into one of the "Types of Kuffr" as indicated in part 3 of this Article.

However, We have to know also that takfeer al’ayn (declaring an individual as kaafir) who has done some of the above nullifications of Islam (mentioned in part 3) depends upon the conditions and nullifications of Takfeer.

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