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Misconceptions About the Scholars of the Salaf
  Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen on the Accusation of Irjaa' Against Imaam al-Albani
Source: Recorded Discussion (trans. A. Iyaad)
Article ID : MSC060001  


Imaam al-Albani, may Allaah have mercy upon him said, "And Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah has explained the perspective from which faith, Imaan, consists of actions, and that it increases and decreases - [his discussion] needing no further elaboration - in his book 'al-Imaan'. So the one who requires more detail can refer back to it. I say: This is what I used to write for more than twenty years, affirming the madhhab of the Salaf and the aqidah of Ahl us-Sunnah - and all praise is due to Allaah - in the issues pertaining to Imaan, and then there come - in the present times - reckless ignoramuses, who are but young newcomers accusing us of Irjaa!! To Allaah is the complaint of the evil that they are upon, [the evil] of ignorance, misguidance and scum..."

Some Question and Answers with Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen on 30th April 2000 [1]:

Question: "The questioner asks that some people say that Shaikh al-Albani – rahimahullaah – his position on the issues of Imaan is that of the Murji’ah. What is your view on this?"

Answer: The Shaikh paused for a while, remaining silent and then replied, "…I say, just as one who has preceded has said: "Al-Albani is a scholar, a muhaddith, a jurist – even if he is greater in being a muhaddith than a jurist – and I do not know of any of his statements which indicate Irjaa, ever. However, it is those who want to perform takfir of people, they are the ones who accuse him and those like him of being Murji’ah, and this action of theirs is by way of ascribing evil names [to him]. I testify for Shaikh al-Albani – may Allaah have mercy upon him – with uprightness, (istiqaamah), a sound creed, and good intention… "

Question: "A person says ‘Laa ilaaha ilallaaha’ sincerely from his heart, having belief in that (musaddiqan), showing submission (mustasliman) and compliance (munqaadan), however, he does not perform with his limbs a single action of goodness despite having the ability to do so. Is he under the will, mashee’ah of Allaah, or is he a disbeliever, kafir?

Answer: "I say, and all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all the Worlds, that if he does not pray, then he is a disbeliever, even if he says, ‘Laa ilaaha illallaaha’. If he was truthful in his utterance of ‘Laa ilaaha illallaaha’, being sincere to it, by Allaah he would have not left the prayer. This is because prayer is the connection between Allaah Azzawajall and a person. And in the evidences that have come in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, the correct view (concerning them), and the consensus of the Companions which has been quoted by more than one authority, there is what indicates that the one who leaves the prayer is a disbeliever, who will abide in Hellfire forever, and He will not be subject to Allaah’s will. And when we say this, we are not saying something which is meaningless or empty. We say this because it is what is clearly indicated and meant by the words of Allaah and the words of His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and the statements of the Companions in which their consensus has been narrated.

‘Abdullaah bin Shaqiq, said, ‘The Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) did not used to consider the abandonment of any action to constitute disbelief except the prayer.’ Also Ibn Raahawaih – may Allaah have mercy upon him - who is a well known Imaam, quoted the consensus of the Companions concerning the disbelief of the one who abandoned the prayer.

As for the remainder of the actions, then if a person abandons them, then he will be under the will of Allaah. Meaning, if he was not to give zakaah for example, then he will be under the will of Allaah, because when the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) mentioned the punishment for the one who withholds the zakaah, he said, ‘Then he will see his path, either to Paradise or to Hellfire’, and it is known that if he was a disbeliever, there would not be a path to Paradise for him. And fasting and Hajj are likewise, whoever abandons them does not disbelieve, and he is under the will of Allaah, however he is the most sinful of people." End of the Shaikh’s reply.

Question: "Is there a difference of opinion amongst Ahl us-Sunnah concerning the ruling upon such a man [i.e. the one who abandoned the prayer], bearing in mind the ruling upon the one who abandons the four pillars (of action), and the difference of opinion concerning it?

Answer: "I am not able to deal comprehensively with the difference of opinion on this issue. However it is obligatory for us to know that [the ruling of] disbelief is a Shar’iah ruling and cannot be derived except from the Shari’ah, and the principle concerning Muslims is that Islam is affirmed for them until some evidence indicates that they have left it. And hastily rushing towards takfir is very, very, very dangerous. To such an extent that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, cautioning against takfir, "Whoever ascribes disbelief to someone or says to him ‘O enemy of Allaah’ and he is not actually like that, then it will fall back upon him’, i.e. it will return upon the one who made this claim."

Question: "The difference that exists on the issue of the ruling upon the one who abandons the prayers, is it one that is amongst Ahl us-Sunnah themselves (i.e. does not expel one from the ranks of Ahl us-Sunnah), or one that is outside of that?"

Answer: "Yes, it is a difference that is within Ahl us-Sunnah. The Ahl us-Sunnah differ amongst themselves concerning this, just like they have differed concerning the obligation of wudhoo’ after eating the meat of the camel ."

Question: "Are the actions of the limbs a condition for the proof of the basis, asl, and correctness, sihhah, of Imaan or are they a condition for the perfection, kamaal of the Imaan that is obligatory?

Answer: "This varies. The one who abandons the prayer, for example, is a disbeliever, since the prayer is one of the necessary requirements of Imaan. But I advise my brothers to abandon these matters and investigating into them, but that they should return to what the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them all, were upon. The Salaf us-Salih did not used to know about the likes of these matters. A believer is the one whom Allaah and His Messenger has made a believer and a disbeliever is one whom Allaah and His Messenger have made a disbeliever. Finish." End of questions and answers from Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen.

Question: "When we are in a town in which the people of knowledge therein give the verdict that the person who abandons the prayer is not a disbeliever with the major kufr, so if such a one dies in this town, do the people leave washing him and praying upon him and should they stop him from being buried in the graveyard of the Muslims in that town and has he died as a Muslim because he was blindly-followin the scholars of his town?

Answer: As for the one who believes he is a disbeliever, then yes, he does not pray over him. But as for the one who does not believe this, then let him pray over him and this is the way he should look at this difference (of opinion in this matter).

Question: "The questioner quotes the words of Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and requires further clarity about it: [Shaikh ul-Islaam said]: From its various elements [i.e. from the elements of Imaan, those that constitute Imaan] are those which if they are not present will reduce it [from being] most perfect, and those which will cause it to fall short of perfection – and this is abandoning the obligatory duties and falling into the forbidden matters. And from it [i.e. the various elements of Imaan] is that which will cause its basis (rukn) to be impaired, and that is the abandoning of belief (i’tiqad) and speech (qawl)"

Answer: "Where is the problem in it?"

Questioner: "The brother requires further clarification about these words."

Answer: This is clear. From Imaan is that which if it is abandoned is kufr, such as when one rejects one of the pillars of Imaan (i.e. belief in Allaah, the Angels, the Books, the Messengers etc), this is kufr and also from Imaan is that which constitutes the perfection (of Imaan) such as in his saying (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), "None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself". The intent here is "perfection of Imaan". There can also be from Imaan, that which is desireable (mustahabb). The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has also informed about the deficiency found in women with respect to their intellect and religion and he made the cause of the deficiency in their deen to be the leaving of prayer when they are in the period of menstruation, despite the fact this is not from the women's choosing. Hence, this is a deficiency in the perfection (of Imaan)."


[1] Cassette Recording: Questions from Qatar on the Issues of Imaan and the Accusation of Irjaa Against Imaam al-Albani, 25th Muharram 1421

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