Speech and Action

The Aqeedah Of Imaam al-Bukhari Died 256H

Taken from the Book: The ‘Aqeedah Of Imaam al-Bukhari

Translated by

Abu ‘Iyaad Amjad ibn Muhammad Rafiq

Abu Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank


That the religion consists of (both) speech and action [4] and this is due to the saying of Allaah:

And they were commanded not but that they should worship Allaah, and make their worship exclusively for Him alone, being Hunafaa (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-us-Salaah) and give Zakaah and that is the right religion. al-Bayyinah (98):5


[4] The Murji’ah are a sect who uphold the belief of Irjaa’ – to hold that sins major or minor, do not affect faith and that faith neither increases nor decreases). The first to call to this belief was Gheelaan ibn Abee Gheelaan, the Qadariyy. He was executed in 105H.

They claim that actions are not part of faith, that people do not vary in faith, that faith does not increase or decrease and that one should declare himself a Believer without saying, ‘If Allaah wills.’

The Murji’ah are divided into three groups, as Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned:

(i) Those who claim that faith is a condition of the heart only.

(ii) Those who claim that faith is merely verbal affirmation (i.e. the Karraamiiyyah).

(iii) Those who claim that faith is only affirmation with the heart and tongue, but that action is necessary in addition to it.

Al-Laalikaa’ee (d. 418H) reports in his Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus- Sunnah (5/958) that ‘Abdur-Razzaaq (as-San’aanee) said, ‘I met sixty two Shaykhs, amongst them were: Ma’mar, al-Awzaa’ee, ath-Thawree, al-Waleed ibn Muhammad al-Qurashee, Yazeed ibn as-Saa’ib, Hammaad ibn Salamah, Hammaad ibn Zaid, Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah, Shu’ayb ibn Harh, Wakee’ ibn al-Jarraah, Maalik ibn Anas, Ibn Abee Laylaa, lsma’eel ibn Ayyaash, al-Waleed ibn Muslim and those I have not named, all of them saying, ‘Faith consists of speech and action, it increases and decreases.”

Al-Laalikaa’ee also reports in Sharah Usool I’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah (4/848) from Yahyaa ibn Saleem that he said, ‘I asked ten amongst the Fuqahaa about faith and they said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked Sufyaan ath-Thawree and he said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked Ibn Juraij and he said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthmaan and he said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked al-Muthnee ibn as- Sahaah and he said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked Naafi’ ibn Umar ibn Jameel and he said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked Muhammad ibn Muslim at-Taa’ifee and he said, ‘Speech and action.’ I asked Maalik ibn Anasand he said, ‘Speech and action,’ and I asked Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah and he said, ‘Speech and action.’

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan in his Sharh Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah (p. 135) says, ‘And his (Ibn Taymiyyah’s) saying, ‘And among the fundamentals of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah ..’ means the principles and rules upon which their creed is built, ‘…is that the religion…’ which is whatever Allaah has commanded, ‘…and faith…,’ which means belief, ‘…is speech and action: The speech of the heart and tongue and the action of the heart, the tongue and the limbs.’ This is the meaning of faith with Ahlus- Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. It is (both) speech and action. Speech is of two kinds: The speech of the heart and that is its belief (Itiqaad) and the speech of the tongue and that is speaking with the word of Islaam. And action is of two types: the action of the heart and that is the intention and sincerity and the action of the limbs such as prayer, Hajj and Jihaad.’

Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751H) said in Al-Madaarij (1/120-121), ‘The speech of the heart: It is belief in what Allaah, the Most Perfect, has informed about Himself, upon the tongue of His Messengers concerning His Names, His Attributes, His Actions, His Angels and the meeting with Him.

The speech of the tongue: It is to inform and convey about Allaah with that (i.e.. the above), to call to it, defend it, to explain the false innovations which oppose it, to perform His remembrance and to convey His orders.

The action of the heart: Such as love for Him, reliance upon Him, having fear and hope in Him, making the deen purely and sincerely for Him, having patience upon what He orders and prohibits, having patience with what He decrees and being pleased with it, having allegiance and enmity for His sake, humbling oneself in front of Him, having humility in front of Him, becoming tranquil with Him and other than this from among the actions of the heart whose obligation is more binding than (and precedes) the actions of the limbs. And (likewise) whose recommended actions are more loved by Allaah than the recommended actions of the limbs. And the actions of the limbs without the action of the heart is either
of no benefit at all or of little benefit.

The action of the limbs: Such as prayer and Jihaad, attending the Jumu’ah (the Friday Prayer) and congregational prayer, aiding those who are unable, displaying goodness to the creation and other such things.’

Hence, actions are from the reality of eemaan and Ahlus-Sunnah differ from the Murji’ah in the following matters:

1. That eemaan is both speech and action, in accordance with the explanations already preceded.

2. That eemaan increases and decreases.

3. That it is permissible to except oneself from having complete eemaan with the phrase, “If Allaah wills.”

4 That there is a link between the actions of the heart and the actions of the limbs, and their increase and decrease are tied together.

5. That kufr – the opposite of eemaan – occurs by belief, speech and action.

6 That kufr is of various types, such as juhood (rejection), takdheeb (repudiation), ‘inaad (stubborn opposition), shakk (doubt), i’raad (turning away), nifaaq (hypocrisy), istikbaar (arrogance) – and is not restricted to juhood or takdheeb.