Question: What are the conditions for having Ahl as-sunnat belief?
Some of the essential credal tenets of Ahl as-sunnat belief are as follows:
1. To believe in the six tenets of belief in the Āmantu. [To believe that khair (good) and sharr (evil) and all things are from Allahu taālā. Allahu taālā has bestowed irāda-i juziyya [partial will] upon people. For this reason, they are responsible for their sins.]
2. Acts of worship are not a part of īmān [belief]. That is, it is not permissible to call a Muslim who does not perform acts of worship and who commits sins a kāfir [disbeliever]. [Wahhābīs say, Acts of worship are a part of īmān. One who does not perform namāzes [ritual prayers] and who commits a harām [prohibited act] is a kāfir.]
3. A person either has īmān or not. Both together are not possible. There is not littleness or muchness in īmān. [What is little or much is īmāns brightness and strength.]
4. The Qurān al-karīm is not a creature.
5- Allahu taālā is not with place. (Wahhābīs say that Allah is in heaven or up on the Arsh, which is an act of kufr [disbelief].)
6. You must not call the Ahl-i qibla a kāfir. [Wahhābīs call everybody disbelievers except themselves.]
7. Questioning and torments in the grave are true.
8. Only Allahu taālā knows the ghayb. And if He wills, He lets the prophets and the awliyā know it as well. [ghayb: the unseen. Things that are not communicated by Islam, by calculations or by experiments are called ghayb.]
9. Karāmats [wonders which Allaha taālā creates outside His law of causation through the hands of His dear born slaves] of the awliyā are true.
10. All of the Ashāb-i kirām [the blessed companions of our Prophet alaihissalām] will enter Paradise. [Rafīdīs claim that the Ashāb-i kirām, except five of them, are all kāfir. But in the 10th āyat of the Sūrat-ul-Hadīd of the Qurān al-karīm, it is declared that the abode of all of them will be Paradise.]
11. Hadrat Abū Bakr as-Siddīk radīy-Allahu taālā anh is the highest of all the Ashāb-i kirām.
12. The Mirāj [Hadrat Muhammads ascent to the Heavens] was both a bodily and a spiritual ascent.
13. The time of death of a person who has been killed or who has committed suicide is the moment when that person has died.
14. Prophets do not commit sins.
15. To follow any of the four righteous madhhabs.
16. Of the prophets, the first one is Ādam (alaihissalām), the last one is Muhammad (alaihissalām). [Wahhābīs deny the fact that Hadrat Ādam, Hadrat Shīt and Hadrat Idrīs are prophets. They say that the first prophet is Hadrat Nūh. In addition, some groups who call their leaders rasūls [prophets] assert that a nabī will not come but a rasūl will come. For this reason, some zindiqs who name themselves rasūls have appeared.
[rasūl: a prophet who brought a new religion is called a rasūl. nabī: a prophet who did not bring a new religion but invited people to the previous one is called a nabī.]
17. To believe in the Shafāat [intercession], the Sirat Bridge, giving accounts of all deeds done in this world, and the Mīzān [it means balance. Our deeds will be weighed on the Mīzān. However, it does not resemble worldly balances].
18. The soul does not die. The souls of dead disbelievers and Muslims hear.
19. It is permissible to visit graves. Also, it is permissible to do istighāsa, that is, to go to visit the graves of the prophets and the awliyā, to pray through their intercession, and to ask for their help. [However, Wahhābīs consider it to be shirk (polytheism), so they call the Sunnīs and Shiites mushriks, that is, kāfirs.]
20. To believe in the harbingers and precedents of Doomsday, such as that ad-Dajjal and the beast called Dabbat-ul-ard will appear; Hadrat al-Mahdī will come; Hadrat Īsā will descend from the sky; the sun will rise in the west; and also to believe in the other harbingers that were communicated.
Hadrat Imām-i Azam stated, It is necessary to believe in the harbingers and precedents of Doomsday without giving them a figurative sense (Fiqh-i akbar).
The purport of a hadīth-i sharīf:
(The Doomsday will not take place until the sun rises in the west. At that time, all people will have īmān, but it will avail them nothing.) [Bukhārī, Muslim]
Interpreting the suns rising in the west as The people in Europe will become Muslims is contrary to the statement of Hadrat Imām-i Azam. None of the Islamic savants made tawīl. Did our Prophet, hāshā, talk in riddles? In the same way, there have appeared people saying, Salāt [ritual prayer] is a supplication. There is no such thing as namāz. In that case, there remains nothing in the name of religion. Besides, when the people in Europe become Muslims, why will īmān avail them nothing? The suns rising in the west is scientifically possible as well. It is not necessary to have recourse to a contrived interpretation lest disbelievers voice objections against it. Allahu taālā may disrupt the Earths usual orbit and create a new orbit for it. When its path is changed, then the sun will have risen in the west.
21. Allahu taālā will be seen in the Hereafter.
22. Disbelievers will stay in Hell eternally and their torments will not be diminished. Moreover, they will be increased gradually.
23. It is permissible to make masah over masts.
[masah: rubbing ones wet hands on ones masts (waterproof shoes covering the part of the foot which is fard to wash in ablution).]
24. It is not permissible to rebel against the sultān.
(All abovementioned pieces of information are quoted from the books Fiqh-i akbar, Nuhbat-ul-laāli, R. Nāsihīn, Maktūbat-i Rabbānī, F. Fawāid.)
The only group to be saved from Hell
Question: I have grown up being bereft of religious knowledge. I want to learn my religion correctly, so I have bought many books. However, there are many opposing pieces of information in the books. In the same way, the translations of the Qurān are different from each other. It is not possible for me to find the right path by myself. I asked some same questions to different men of religion, but all their answers were different. If I die before learning my religion correctly, will I be excused? Or will I be responsible for what I know incorrectly?
Many people are asking the same or similar questions. Every sect, every group says that it is the one that is on the right way. Hadrat Imām-i Rabbānī declares:
A hadīth declares that Muslims will fragment into seventy three groups. Each of these seventy-three groups claims to obey the Sharīat. Each group says that it is the one that will be saved from Hell. It is declared in the fifty-third āyat of Sūrat-ul-Muminūn and in the thirty-second āyat of Sūrat-ur-Rūm: Each party rejoices in that which is with itself.
However, among these various groups, the sign, the symptom of the one that will be saved is given by our Prophet sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam as follows:
(Those who are in this group are those who follow the way which I and my Sahāba follow.) [Tirmudhī]
After mentioning himself, the owner of the Sharīat did not need to mention the Sahāba ridwānullāhi taālā alaihim ajmaīn; yet his mentioning them may come to mean: My way is the way which my Sahāba follow. The way to salvation is the only way which my Sahāba follow. Those who follow the way of the Sahāba alaihimurridwān are no doubt the group of the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamāat. The group that will be saved from Hell is only this one. (First Volume, 80th Letter)
Today many people say that they are Ahl as-sunnat. Therefore, it is necessary to know the tenets of Ahl as-sunnat belief. After knowing them, it is not difficult to find the truth.
What does Allah does not forgive shirk mean?
Question: It is said that Allah forgives all sins. However, it is said to be written in the Qurān that He will not forgive shirk, which is the gravest sin. Could you explain this matter?
We have to rectify our itiqād [belief]. Hadrat Imām-i Rabbāni states:
It is impossible to escape torment in the Hereafter if there is a fluctuation in the creed and īmān. If the itiqād is correct, but if there is slackness in deeds and worships [in performing acts of worship and abstaining from harāms], it may be forgiven with repentance, or maybe without repentance. If one is not forgiven, even if one enters Hell, one will be saved in the end. The chief and main requirement is correcting ones itiqād. (First Volume, 193rd Letter)
Again Hadrat Imām-i Rabbānī states:
Each Muslim has to learn Ahl as-sunnat belief and correct his/her īmān accordingly. It is a heart-killing poison to set the heart on those evil, corrupt creeds and beliefs disagreeing with the belief written in the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants. It takes one to eternal torment. If there is slackness in deeds and worships, it may be forgiven. But being slack in belief will never be forgiven. Allahu taālā declares:
([In the Hereafter] Allah shall never forgive shirk [disbelief, corrupt belief]. He shall forgive all the other sins of those people whom He likes.) [Sūrat-un-Nisā 48]
Then you have to correct your itiqād before you die. (Second Volume, 67th Letter)
As is seen, a person who dies in a state of shirk, that is, kufr [disbelief] will stay in Hell eternally. However, if people who have committed an act of shirk [disbelief] repent in this world, that is, before dying, they are forgiven.
If kāfirs repent of their disbelief, they become pure and sinless Muslims. In the same way, if a Muslim regrets and makes repentance after becoming a kafīr by doing an action which is a sign of disbelief, (s)he becomes a Muslim again. To make repentance, it does not suffice only to say the (special expression termed) Kalima-i shahādat. It is necessary to repent and renounce the deed that caused disbelief. The statement Allah does not forgive shirk is misunderstood. People who have died in a state of disbelief are not forgiven. But if people who have done acts that cause disbelief many times make repentance before dying, then they are forgiven.