i have been specking to some salafi brothers lately we were discussing the topic of iman. my question is: is iman with action and belief or just to believe and what do the hanafi school say? e.g. if i commit an act of kufr and die am i a disbeliever or a sinner?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
According to the Ahlus Sunnah, there are three elements which could constitute Iman.
1. Firmly believing with ones heart (Tasdeeq bil Qalb).
2. Verbally proclaiming ones believe (Iqrar bil Lisan).
3. Practical implementation on the dictates of Iman (Aamal).
Our illustrious Ulama differ as to which of these three are essential for Iman. Some hold that believing by heart is sufficient to render a person as a believer. Therefore, if a person believes in his heart but does not proclaim his faith, he will still be considered as a believer. Others add verbal proclamation together with believe i.e if a person believes by heart but does not proclaim his believe such a person will not be considered as a believer. Some scholars mention that believe by heart is the main part of Iman and proclamation is for implementing the worldly related laws (example if he passes away, he will be buried in a Muslim cemetery). Practical implementation on the dictates of Iman is for the completion of Iman. That is a person cannot be perfect in his faith unless he acts in accordance with his faith. However, if he does not act in accordance with his faith, he will still be considered a believer but not a complete believer. The Fuqaha believe that Iman is Tasdeeq bil Qalb (firm believe) coupled with Iqrar bil Lisan (verbal proclamation). Aamal also plays an important role in completing a person’s Iman. Some acts are compulsory which is imperative to carry out, others are wajib whilst others are sunnah or nafl. Carrying out these acts will gain a person immense reward in this world and the hereafter, whilst leaving them out will be a means of a person’s destruction. However, doing the prohibited or leaving out what needs to be done will not cause a person to leave the fold of Islam.
Besides the Ahlus Sunnah, there are also many other views. Some say Iman is mere knowledge of faith. Others opine that Iman is mere proclamation. Others believe that action is an essential part of Iman. That is if a person does not comply to the dictates of shariah, he falls out of the fold of Iman. All these are incorrect.
فتح الباري – ابن حجر – (ج 1 / ص 40) احياء التراث العربي
فالسلف قالوا هو اعتقاد بالقلب ونطق باللسان وعمل بالأركان وأرادوا بذلك أن الأعمال شرط في كماله ومن هنا نشا لهم القول بالزياده والنقص كما سيأتي والمرجئة قالوا هو اعتقاد ونطق فقط والكراميه قالوا هو نطق فقط والمعتزله قالوا هو العمل والنطق والاعتقاد والفارق بينهم وبين السلف إنهم جعلوا الأعمال شرطا في صحته والسلف جعلوها شرطا في كماله وهذا كله كما قلنا بالنظر إلى ما عند الله تعالى أما بالنظر إلى ما عندنا فالإيمان هو الإقرار
عمدة القاري شرح صحيح البخاري – (1 / 103) رشيديه
والفرقة الثالثة قالوا أن الإيمان عمل القلب واللسان معا
And Allah knows best
Ml. Ishaq E. Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah