Is Iman a saying and action or only a saying devoid of action?
Discussing the issue of Al-Uluhiyyah (Allah's Exclusive Right to be worshipped) and the implications of La ilaha illa Allah (there is no god but Allah),
we come upon many books written by some Imams of Salaf (righteous predecessors) on the issue including Fath Al-Majid Sharh Kitab Al-Tawhid and Majmu`at Al-Tawhid by
Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab
and Shaykh Al-Islam
Ahmad ibn `Abdul-Halim ibn Taymiyyah
respectively, as well as the book entitled "Ma`rij Al-Qabul fi Sharh Sullam Al-Wusul" by Shaykh
The author of Fath Al-Majid cited the statement of
Muhammad ibn `Abdul-Wahhab
(may Allah be merciful to him) concerning the meaning of "La ilaha illa Allah." He states that it does not suffice to only utter Shahadah, rather the person should have knowledge about it. Along with the utterance, they must have knowledge about and act upon it. Moreover, they must disbelieve in whatever is worshipped beside Allah. This is based on the Hadith narrated by
(may Allah be merciful to him)
"Whoever professes that there is no god but Allah and denies everything worshipped other than Allah, their property and blood became inviolable...''
(Part No. 3; Page No. 248)
Meanwhile, the author of the book entitled "Wulatun la Qudah" focuses on the concept of uttering Shahadah neglecting what has been mentioned by Shaykh al-Islam and others (may Allah be merciful to them). Similarly, whoever studies the statements of the Salaf on Iman (faith) that it should be in both words and deeds, becomes confused when reading the claims of the contemporary scholars that Iman is a mere declaration not deeds.
Also, the person feels confused when reading the statements of the Salaf concerning the three articles of faith. They state that Iman should be declared by the tongue, practiced by the limbs, and believed by the heart. Having known what we mentioned above, please enlighten us regarding the correct view.
A: The sound view is the statement of
Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream). Iman must be uttered by the tongue, practiced by the limbs, and believed by the heart. Utterance of the tongue alone gives the right of applying the religious apparent rulings; washing, shrouding, and burying the dead in the Muslim cemeteries so long as there is nothing that renders him a disbeliever. With regard to Shahadah, it implies that none has the right to be worshiped except Allah. The mere declaration of Iman is not enough; the heart, the tongue, and the practices have to be performed to have true Iman. Allah says,
That is because Allâh — He is the Truth (the only True God of all that exists, Who has no partners or rivals with Him), and what they (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is Bâtil (falsehood).
(Refer to Surah al-Hajj). He (Glorified be He) further says,
And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)
(Part No. 3; Page No. 249) There are many other Ayahs conveying the same meanings.May Allah grant us success. May Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!