Iman is: Action, statement, and intention-so it is belief in the heart, assent upon the tongue, and actions of the limbs.
The belief in the insides or the heart is: its statement and action. So the statement of the heart is its awareness, or its knowledge and affirmation. From its actions: pleasure, submission, love, compliance, humble contentment and its likes.
The statement is: the statement of the heart and the tongue.
The action is: the action of the heart and the bodily limbs. Confirmation [belief] occurs in the heart, the tongue, and the bodily limbs.
Iman increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience. It possesses branches as the Truthful and believed one informed: its highest part is La Ilaha Illa Allah and its smallest part is removing the harmful thing from the path. It has many bonds. The strongest of them is: Love for the sake of Allah and hatred for the sake of Allah, and allegiance for the sake of Allah and disavowal for the sake of Allah.
And from its branches is that which is the basis of Iman in which Iman itself is removed and negated upon its removal-such as the branches of Tawhid (La Ilaha Illa Allah), Salah, and its likes- of which the Legislator [Allah] textually stated the removal of Iman and its negation upon the abandonment [of those matters].
And from it there is what is from the obligations of Iman, in which the obligatory Iman is negated due to its removal; such as; Loving for the sake of Allah, hating for the sake of Allah, for ones neighbor to feel safe from his harm [evil], and other such matters in which a person gets a sin for leaving off.
Similarly from it is the abandonment of the forbidden things, such as; fornication, drinking alcohol, and theft. The one who commits that does not disbelieve, nor is the basis of Iman removed from him. On the contrary, that decreases his obligatory Iman-thereby he is not from the believers who deserve the unrestricted promise [of reward], and [being of those] that are safe from the threat.
From the branches of Iman is that which is from the completion of the recommended Iman, such as; removing the harmful thing from the path, general kindness and its likes from that which is from the recommended Iman - hence, the one who is deficient in it does not accrue sin.
Having said that, Iman has a root that, without which, Iman is not valid. It has [that which is] obligatory and complete, and that which is recommended and complete. Every negation of Iman that appears in the textual evidence of the legislation, then what is intended by it is either negating the basis of Iman - in which in that case, the person [described with it] would be a Kafir, such as in the words of the Most High:
“And no, by your Lord, they will not believe until they make you the judge in that which arises between them [of disputes, etc] then thereafter not finding within themselves any discomfort from what you have judged, and submit in full willing submission.”[Surah An-Nisa, 65]
[It is either that], or what is intended by it is the negation of the obligatory Iman; meaning the obligatory and complete-and this person will be a sinner and corrupt one, such as in the statement of the Prophet alayhis salatu was-salam:
“He whose neighbor does not feel safe from his evil will not enter Paradise.”
Or his statement:
“The fornicator does not fornicate while he is a believer...” the Hadith.
“None of you truly believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
That is because the negation of Iman is [in] the context of threat, and the threat [of punishment] does not appear except for the one who committed a forbidden act or abandoned an obligation. That [negation of Iman] is either concerning that which is from the basis of Iman, or from the obligatory Iman. The separation and distinction between the two indications-namely; is it a proof of Kufr (the negation of the basis of Iman), or a proof of corruption [Fisq] (the negation of the obligatory Iman - this separation and distinction is completed by divertive evidences that are known from the texts themselves, or from other texts from the Legislator [Allah]
And whoever negated his Iman by anything of the nullifiers of Iman and disbelieved, then he will not be benefited by the remaining branches of Iman with him-if that is to be found. Whoever is deficient in the obligatory Iman, then he is subject to the will of Allah. If He wills, He may punish him, and if He wills, He may forgive him-as long as the basis of Iman is with him.
Hence, in the area of Allah’s threat, we do not incline towards the Murji’ah or the Khawarij - just as we do not incline, in the area of the terms of Iman and Din, towards the Haruriyyah [the extreme Khawarij], the Mu’tazilah, the Murji’ah or the Jahmiyyah.
From the fruits of this area: Covetousness in obedience and rushing to righteous action, racing to good in order for our Iman to remain on the increase, as well as constantly guarding the basis of Iman and sheltering it, for indeed, it is the capitol and the firmest handhold of salvation.
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