All praise is due to Allaah blessings and salutations upon Muhammaad may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him and his entire household, we ask Allaah to grant mercy upon the sahabas of Muhammad(S.A.W), his followers up to the day of accountability, Ameen.
we started with the definition of tawheed on THIS THREAD, where we defined Tawheed linguistically and then the sharee'ah definition, whereby we mentioned three categories under the sharee'ah definition of tawheed, and we elaborated on these three categories, for those that have not seen the thread, please go and check it before you read this thread.
Insha Allaahu ta'ala we will give a chart today, its a hierarchy chart on eemaan, telling us what it comprises of and it pillars, but before that we have to explain what eemaan is so basically this lesson will help us to have a proper understanding of the definition and meaning of Eemaan. What is eemaan? How do we understand it? Etc.
"Eemaan consists of Speech and Action"
This is the saying of the Salaf regarding this topic, and this statement needs further clarification and explanation.
What is "Speech" and what is "Action"? What is meant by them? How did the Salaf explain this?
When we say eemaan is speech, we mean two things:
1) The speech of the heart
2) The speech of the tongue
When we say eemaan is action, we mean three things:
1) The actions of the heart
2) The actions of the tongue
3) The actions of the limbs
For this reason we find that the Scholars of the Salaf (such as Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Taymiyyah etc.) have statements similar to the following:
Eemaan is the speech of the heart and tongue, and the actions of the heart, tongue and limbs.
The following diagram should help us to see this more clearly
We will now explain precisely what each one is:
#As for the speech aspect of eemaan:
1) The speech of the heart: This actually refers to the belief of the heart with respect to Allaah and the other pillars of eemaan (such as the Angels, Books, Messengers, Qadr, the Last Day etc.). In other words it refers to the knowledge that the heart contains and its firm belief in this knowledge. So this would include Tawheed and its two categories of Ruboobiyyah and Asmaa was-Sifaat because both of these are related to knowledge. (The other category of Tawheed, al-Uloohiyyah will come later under the Action section).
2) The speech of the tongue: This refers to the tongues confirmation of what the heart contains. In other words the tongue professes what the heart contains. When a person says with his tongue; "I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, alone without any partners and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger" then he is confirming what is in his heart. So note how the speech of the tongue still relates to knowledge.
As a summary of this first section on Speech, we should notice that it relates to knowledge and the specific details of faith such as having the correct belief in Allaah, His Tawheed and the matters of the Unseen, such as Hellfire, Paradise, the Bridge over Hellfire etc. and the hearts belief and conviction in these things.
#As for the action part of eemaan:
1) The actions of the heart: This refers to the various states and feelings of the heart such as love, fear, hope, sincerity, reliance, submission etc. So you should now realise that the heart is firstly, a place of knowledge and belief (and this is its speech as discussed above) and it is also a place for these feelings and emotions which actually constitute its worship (and these are known as the actions of the heart). You should also now realise how Tawheed ul-Uloohiyyah comes under the actions aspect of eemaan. Because these acts of worship should only be for Allaah and for no one else.
2) The actions of the tongue: This refers to things such as dhikr (remembrance of Allaah), enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, seeking forgiveness from Allaah, etc. This is because these are acts of worship which are performed by the tongue. Notice how this also relates to Tawheed ul-Uloohiyyah because these actions should be for Allaah alone. And notice also, just like the heart, how the tongue has two roles; firstly, to affirm what is in the heart with respect to its belief, so the tongue says what is in the heart (i.e. its belief in Allaah etc.) and secondly to perform the various acts of worship which are specific to it such as remembrance of Allaah, enjoining good and forbidding evil, seeking forgiveness. So this is very similar to what we discussed for the speech of the heart and the actions of the heart.
3) The actions of the limbs: And this refers to doing all the commanded things and keeping away from all the forbidden things. And this refers to the physical acts of worship, such as prayer, fasting, giving zakah, performing pilgrimage, removing something harmful from the floor, not stealing, not cheating, not backbiting, not disobeying parents etc. and the other acts which are physical in nature. Notice how the actions of the limbs are also related to Tawheed ul-Uloohiyyah in that they should be performed for the sake of Allaah alone.
As a summary of this Action aspect of eemaan, we should realise that it relates to the actual acts of worship, whether internal or external, of the heart, tongue or limbs.
At this stage we should, inshaaallaah have a good understanding of the definition and meaning of eemaan. We should also be able to see how it relates to the three categories of Tawheed, two of which are related to Knowledge and Belief(i.e Tawheed Roobubiyyah and Tawheed Asma wa sifaat) and the third of which is related to Actions(Tawheed Uloohiyah).
Important Note: Be aware that using the terminologies Speech of the Heart, Speech of the Tongue, Actions of the Heart etc. is to help us to understand the solid principles and concepts that are found in the Quraan and the Sunnah. And by using these terminologies we have not innovated any principle or concept into the religion. Rather these terms are simply identifying and labelling the actuals and principles and concepts found in the Quraan and the Sunnah, to help us to understand them easily. So dont be fooled by the meanderings of the foolish!
Now we will move onto another related issue to further increase our understanding.
If we have understood that eemaan consists of these five things(i.e. The speech of the heart, the speech of the tongue, the actions of the heart, the actions of the tongue, the actions of the limbs)
Then we should realise that is possible for eemaan to "increase and decrease" and that for any Muslim or Believer, it will not remain constant. This is because, from year to year, or month to month, or week to week, or day to day, or hour to hour or even minute to minute, a persons strength of belief changes, his feelings of love, fear and hope decrease or increase, his level of sincerity to Allaah changes, how much he remembers Allaah, seeks his forgiveness or enjoins good and forbade evil changes, how perfect he performed his prayers, how many voluntary good deeds he did, all of this changes and therefore a persons eemaan will always be "increasing or decreasing." It will be increasing or decreasing for numerous reasons and factors. For example, a persons success or failure in facing the trials that Allaah has decreed for him A persons persistence or abstinence from sins and other forbidden actions, and so on.
For this reason we will go back and revise our statement so it now becomes:
Eemaan Consists of Speech and Action, it increases with (acts of) obedience and it decreases with (acts of) disobedience
And this what the Salaf used to say.
Now we shall mention some proofs for all of this - and this is the way of the Salaf - to always mention the proofs and to stick to the Quraan, the Sunnah and the Aathaar (sayings) of the Companions and of the two generations after them.
The Speech of the Heart:
When the hypocrites come to you (O Muhammad SAW), they say: "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allâh." Allâh knows that you are indeed His Messenger and Allâh bears witness that the hypocrites are liars indeed. [Munaafiqoon 63:1]
Here the hypocrites are treated as liars, even though they expressed with their tongues their testification that Muhammad is indeed the Messenger of Allaah. When someone testifies to something then there must be two conditions present:
a) The hearts firm knowledge of, belief, and certainty in that for which it is testifying,
b) The tongues expression of that which the heart is certain of.
So the hypocrites were liars because their tongues uttered something different to that which their hearts contain. Another proof for the Speech of the Heart is the saying of Allaah,
They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to Faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allâh has full knowledge of what they conceal [Quraan 3:167]
So what we understand as Speech of the Heart is explained in the Quraan
The Speech of the Tongue:
Both of the above two verses are also an indication of the requirement of the Speech of the Tongue.
The Actions of the Heart, Tongue and Limbs:
The Quraan is overwhelming with descriptions of the acts of worship, whether related to the Heart, Tongue or Limbs and the purpose here is to be brief and not prolong the discussion. See for yourself how Allaah describes, the love, fear and hope of the believers, their enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, their remembrance of Him and seeking forgiveness from Him and also their physical exertion in worshipping Him, such as constancy in prayer, fasting, etc.
Eemaan Increases and Decreases
From the Quraan:
The believers are only those who, when Allâh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'ân) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone) [Surah Anfaal 8:2]
This is one of many verses mentioning the increase in eemaan. Others are 74:31, 48:4, 3:173, 9:124
From the Sunnah:
The hadeeth: "The most perfect of people with respect to his eemaan, is the best of them in his manners." (Bazzaar, all of its narrators are reliable and al-Haithamee mentioned it in Majmoo az-Zawaaid)
And the hadeeth: "Whoever loves for Allaah (alone), hates for Allaah (alone), gives for Allaah (alone) and withholds for Allaah (alone), then he has perfected eemaan." (Abu Daawood - saheeh).
These two hadeeth show that eemaan can be complete or incomplete and therefore it can go up (in order to be complete) and it can go down (so that it is incomplete). Notice how the first hadeeth contains actions of the tongue and actions of the limbs (speaking and behving well with people) and how the second hadeeth contains both actions of the heart (loving and hating) and actions of the limbs (giving and withholding).
The hadeeth: "Eemaan consists of seventy-odd branches, the highest of which is to testify None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and the lowest of which is to remove something harmful from the floor, and modesty is a part of eemaan." (sahih Bukhari)
Did you notice how this hadeeth contains "speech" and "action"? It mentions the testification None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah which is the speech of the heart and the speech of the tongue (To testify to something means to have firm knowledge of it - which is in the heart - and to believe that this knowledge is true and correct, and then also to speak with it so that you are testifying to it). And it mentions some actions, one which is to do with the limbs (removing something harmful from the floor) and one which is to do with the heart (modesty).
So this is proof, from the Quraan, Sunnah, that eemaan increases and decreases.
Insha Allaah this much is sufficient for a good understanding of this topic
here is the chart I talked about earlier on;
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