Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Admin | Views: 340100
Notes taken by Shamsul Islam from the lecture of Shaykh Dr Khalid Khan
Umar ibn Al Khattab رضي الله عنه narrated in the Hadeeth of Jibreel, that the Prophet ﷺ said:
O Muhammad, tell me about Islam, The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to perform the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.” Tell me about Emaan, he ﷺ said, “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.” Tell me about Ihsan, he (saw) said, “It is to worship Allah as though you are seeing Him, and while you see Him not truly He sees you.” He ﷺ said, “O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?” I said Allah and His Messenger know best. He ﷺ said, “It was Jibreel, who came to teach you your Deen.”Reported in Bukhari
The grades of Emaan and Islaam are derived from this fascinating Hadeeth of Jibreel, as he ﷺ said, “It was Jibreel, who came to teach you your Deen.” Reported in Bukhari
There is a clear grading between Emaan and Islaam and whoever says they are the same then they are mistaken. Some scholars have said it, and say Emaan and Islam are the same.
A great scholar by the name of Imam Ibn Hazm – al-Andalusi (rh) said, in his book Muhalla, “Emaan and Islam is the same thing.” And he brought evidences to prove his case. However, the great scholars of Islam have mistakes so we need to take their good and leave their mistakes.
It is clear that there is a kind of grading in the Hadeeth of Jibreel which comprises the Deen, so these are the three grades of the Deen.
1. The highest is Al-Ihsan, – Muhsin (he reaches a stage of Islam as if he is seeing him)
2. Its middle is Al-Emaan – Mu’min (includes Islam)
3. Its least is Al-Islam – Muslim (includes Emaan in the six pillars)
The Muhsin, Mu’min and Muslim are in grades, the Muhsin is the highest, the Mu’min is the middle and the one who is a Muslim is the lowest. Allah سبحانه و تعالى describes these three types of people in Surah al-Faatir,
“Then We caused to inherit the Book (Qur’an) those we have chosen of Our servants; and among them is he who wrongs himself, and among them is he who takes a medium course, and among them is he who is foremost in good deeds by permission of Allah.” [Faatir (35):32-35]
The Grades of the Ummah of Prophet ﷺ is the following:
– He who wrongs himself: meaning those who commit sins and persists in them is a Muslim
– He who takes a medium course: meaning those who perform the obligations and avoid the unlawful is a Mu’min
– He who is foremost in doing good deeds: meaning those who perform the obligations and supererogatory actions is a Muhsin
This ayah clearly derives that the Muslim, Mu’min and Muhsin are not the same. The grade of a person is dependant on whether he is a sinner, or he is consistent in doing good deeds and avoids evil, or he is foremost in good deeds and supererogatory acts. It is possible that one who wrongs himself (i.e. the Muslim) can reach the level of a Muhsin.
Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said:
“Verily the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam) men and women, the Mu’min (believers) men and women…” ( al-Ahzab (33 : 35)
In this ayah (verse) Allah سبحانه و تعالى mentions the Muslim and Mu’min together, indicating that there must be a difference between the two. Whenever there is a comparison between Muslim and Mu’min in a single text, then Emaan is higher in grades than Islam like in the Hadeeth Marfu’ which says,
“And which Islam is best?” The Prophet ﷺ replied:“Emaan.” Musnad Ahmed
Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said:
“Then We evacuated the Mu’mins (believers) who were therein, but We found not therein any but one Muslim household. And We left therein a sign for those who fear painful chastisement.” [(51): 35-37]
In the above ayah, Allah سبحانه و تعالى mentions that before He punished the people of Lut (as) the Mu’min’s were evacuated but did not find any but one Muslim household. So, is this proof that Mu’min and Muslim is the same thing? No, like we mentioned earlier that whenever the phrase Mu’min and Muslim are mentioned together in a single text then Mu’min is higher in grades than Muslim. Every Mu’min is a Muslim but not necessarily every Muslim is a Mu’min, and we explain this in further detail later on.
“And which Islam is best?” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Emaan.” Musnad Ahmed
A Muslim to reach the level of a Mu’min requires actions of good deeds and to refrain from evil, whereas the Murji’yah say otherwise and state that every Muslim is guaranteed to be a Mu’min in the sight of Allah, which is incorrect. Abu Na’eem narrated from Sufyaan Ath-Thawree (rh) that he said:
“…We say that we are Mu’minoon (only with) approval (i.e. by saying Inshaa’ Allah) and they (the Murji’yah) say that we are (guaranteed) Mu’minoon in the sight of Allah.” (“Yilyaat Al-‘Awliyah, Vol 7/29)
Therefore, everyone in Islam (Muslim) is not necessarily in Emaan (Mu’min) but when he reaches Emaan (Mu’min), Islam is automatically there, and in the same way, when he has reached Ihsan (Muhsin) then Emaan (includes Islam) is already there.
So we say, the one who is in Islam is a Muslim, the one who is in Emaan is a Mu’min and the one who is in Ihsan is a Muhsin. Every Muhsin who has reached the stage of Ihsan is a Mu’min, and everyone who is a Mu’min is a Muslim, but not necessarily every Muslim is a Mu’min and not necessarily every Mu’min is a Muhsin.
The Prophet ﷺ said,
“When a person commits zina (fornication), Emaan (faith) leaves him, until it is like a cloud over his head.” Sunan Abu Dawud – authentic according to Albaani
The Emaan leaving a person who sins is proof that not everyone who is Muslim is a Mu’min. The Emaan leaving him stipulates that there is a distinction between Emaan (which includes Islam) and Islam (which includes the 6 pillars of Emaan). The leaving of Emaan does not mean he has become a disbeliever because Major sin does not take someone out of the fold of Islam. The Khawarij, a deviant sect, use this evidence to kill those who commit Major sin, and these people are deviant and not from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.
The Prophet ﷺ said,
“None of you (truly) believe (have Emaan) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Bukhari
Again, this is stating when he loves for his brother what he loves for himself then he has reached the stage of Emaan (Mu’min).
Allah سبحانه و تعالى Said:
“Look how we favored (in provision) some of you over others but the Hereafter is greater on degrees (of difference) and greater in distinction.” [al-Israa’: 21]
Allah سبحانه و تعالى describes in the hereafter that some will be of greater grades and distinctions, indicating again that there are grades in people.
Let’s look to another Hadeeth to further explain the grades of the Deen.
Once a man came to the Prophet ﷺ and asked: “What is Islam?” The Prophet ﷺ answered him: “To submit your heart to Allah and for the people to be safe from your tongue and your hand.” The man then asked: “And which Islam is best?” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Emaan.” The man then asked: “So what is Emaan?” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “To believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and resurrection after death.” Then the man asked: “Which deeds are best?” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Emigration (Hijrah).” The man asked: “What is emigration.” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “To part with evil.” The man asked: “So which emigration is best?” The Prophet ﷺ replied: “Jihad in Allah’s cause.” Musnad Ahmad
This Hadeeth points towards ranks/level in the Deen, the lowest rank is Islam and what’s higher than Islam is Emaan, then Hijrah, and finally Jihad in the path of Allah.
The best Islam is to reach Emaan
The best Emaan is to reach Hijrah
The best Hijrah is to reach Jihad in the path of Allah
This Hadeeth also indicates that Islam consists of not only tongue and limbs but also the heart, and to reach this level is the minimum requirement of a Muslim, as once you enter into Islam it automatically includes Emaan in the six pillars. Then when one reaches Emaan, he has reached the level of a Mu’min and this level consists of leaving sin and doing good deeds.
The one who has reached the stage of Hijrah has Emaan, and the one who has reached the stage of Jihad must have reached the stage of Hijrah because he cannot do Jihad without Hijrah. The one who has reached the stage of Jihad (struggle) has reached the highest grade of the Deen.
To perform Jihad (struggle) is the topmost part of the Deen and there is no-one higher and equal to him. The Prophet ﷺ said,
“…Then shall I tell you of the peak of the matter, its pillar and its topmost matter? I said, ‘Yes’, O Messenger of Allah. He ﷺ said, “The peak of the matter is Islam; the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is Jihad…” Tirmidhi
If Allah makes you stand up you will never fall, and if he lets you fall and leaves you to yourself, you will always fall.
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