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Number of posts : 951
Registration date : 2006-10-07

PostSubject: WHAT IS EEMAN? Part 1   Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:27 am


This article
is a part of the AHYA Multi-Media's Distance Learning Course, which will be
published soon.

From As-Sunnah
Bimonthly Islamic Newsletter

When it comes
to a concept from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, there has always been two
approaches to determine its correct meaning. These steps help distinguish
between the correct Islamic concept and the later innovated views.

  • The first
    approach is to discover the meaning from the Qur'aan and the teachings of
    Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), as he passed on to his

  • The second
    approach is to discover the linguistic meaning based on assumption without
    first referring to the explanation given by Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu
    alaihe wa-sallam). This latter approach is that of the heretical groups.

al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) writes in Kitaab al-Imaan:

"One must
understand that if any term is found in the Qur'aan and the Hadeeth, and its
explanation is known and its meaning is made clear by the Prophet (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam), then there is no need to use any linguistic meanings as

The words
Salaah, Zakat, Siyaam (fasting), Hajj are found in the words of Allah and His
Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). The same is true for the word Khamr
(intoxicants) and others. From him (Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihe
wa-sallam)), one knows their meanings. If anyone wants to explain such terms
in a way, other than how the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) explained
it, such an explanation will not be accepted… The terms Imaan, Islam, Nifaaq
(hypocrisy) and Kufr are more important than these terms.

The Prophet (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) explained the meanings of these terms in such a way that it
is not necessary to look for their linguistic origins or how they were used by
the pre-Islamic Arabs and so forth. Therefore, it is a must that while trying
to determine the meanings of such terms, one looks at how Allah and His
Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) explained them. Their explanation is
clear and sufficient… the heretics have been misled on this matter.

They turn
away from this method. Instead, they begin to explain the religion of Islam
based on some premises that they believe to be sound, either concerning
linguistic meaning or rational thought. They do not ponder or consider the
explanation of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). Every
premise that goes against the explanation given by Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) is certainly misguidance." [Shaikh al-Islam Taymiyyah,
Kitaab al-Imaan (Beirut al-Maktab al-Islami, 1988) p. 271]

Eeman is explicitly described in the famous hadeeth of Jibreel (alaihis-salaam),
when he (alaihis-salaam) asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe
wa-sallam): "What is Eeman?" He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) replied:
"Eeman is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the
Last Day and to believe in the Predestination; the good and the bad."
al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Ibn Abbas (radhiallahu
anhu) said: 'When the delegation of Abd al-Qais came to the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), he commanded them to believe in Allah and
asked: "Do you know what is Eeman?" They replied: 'Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) knows best.' He (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) then answered:
"It includes bearing witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) is the Messenger of Allah, to establish Prayer,
pay Zakaat, fast in the month of Ramadaan, and give one-fifth of the
war-booty." [Abu Dawood 3/ 4660 and at-Tirmidhee]

All the matters of belief relating to Allah, the Day of Judgment and other
matters of the unseen originate from these six fundamentals, so "Give glad
tidings to those who believe and do good deeds, for them will be Gardens
through which rivers flow…" [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 25]


Eeman is a
combination of Belief and Actions.
The earlier scholars summed up these
two components in their saying: "Eeman is Statement and Action." [See al-Laalakai
v.1, p.176]

here includes both; statements of the heart and statement of the tongue
(Verbal Confessing) and Action include both, actions of the heart and actions
of the body. These two components are broken down into three essential parts
for better understanding: -

  • Belief of
    the Heart.

  • Confession
    by the Tongue

  • Actions of
    the Body.

(a) Belief
of the Heart:
is the root of Eeman. If the belief of the heart is not firm and correct then
no other deed or action can be perfect. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu
alaihe wa-sallam) said: "There is a lump of flesh in the body. When it is
sound, the whole body is sound; but when it goes wrong, the whole body goes
wrong (as a result). It is the heart!!" [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Belief in the
heart constitutes of two parts: -

(a) Statement
of the Heart, i.e. Tasdeeq (Affirmation) made up of Recognition, Knowledge and
Affirmation of Allah and His Commands.

(B) Actions
of the Heart i.e. Inqiyaad (Submission) made up of Acceptance and Submission
to Allah and His Commands.

The first
aspect of Recognition and Knowledge is ingrained in the human nature (i.e.
Fitrah Natural Instinct). The second aspect of Submission requires to be
implied. Therefore, the main message of all the Messengers of Allah (alaihis-salaam)
and their dispute with the disbelievers was specifically the second aspect;
i.e. 'Submission to the Commands of Allah.'

Allah says:
"And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a
(proclaiming): "Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid
[Soorah an-Nahl (16): 36]

It was
difficult for the disbelievers to accept and submit to the Commands of Allah
because they lacked the love for the Truth.

Allah says:
"…he brought them the Truth, but most of them are averse (unwilling,
opposed) to the Truth."
[(23): 70]

And: "It
is not you (O Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam)) that they deny, but it
is the signs of Allah that the wrongdoers deny."
[Soorah al-An'aam: 33]

But "If
you ask them (the disbelievers) who created them, they will surely say:
"Allah" How then are they turned away (from His worship)?"
[(43): 87]

Thus, in
general, the truth of Allah's Oneness (Allah's Lordship) is clear to all, but
they do not accept and submit to the Commands of Allah, which Allah refers as
Truth in the verse. This is one of the major aspects that distinguish Mumin
(believer) from Mushrikeen (non-believers).

There is no worthy of worship exept ALLAH and Mohammed is his messenger
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