Skip to content

Difference between Pillars and Branches of Eemaan – Shaykh Fawzaan | Dawud Burbank

June 18, 2016

Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles
of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab [1115-1206 H]
Explained by Shaikh Saalih ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan haafidhahullaah

[Audio | English][Download Audio Mp3 Here]
[Download PDF]

The Pillars of Eemaan

Its pillars are six: to have eemaan in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to have eemaan in Pre-Decree, the good of it, and the bad of it.[43]

[43] Eemaan (true faith) is composed of pillars and branches, so what is the difference between these two?

The difference is that the pillars are essential. So, if one of them passes away, then eemaan itself passes away, because a thing will not be established except upon its supporting pillars. If a pillar from its pillars is missing, then it will not be realized and brought about. As for the branches, then they are things which complete and perfect it, eemaan does not pass away if something from them is omitted, rather they are things which complete it – either they are wajibaat (obligatory things) or mustahabbaat (recommended things). So, the obligatory things are for the obligatory completion of eemaan, and as for the recommended things, then they are for desirous completion of eemaan.

If a Muslim leaves something from the obligatory duties, or he does something from the forbidden things, then his eemaan will not pass away totally in the view of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah, rather, the obligatory perfection is missed out on. So, he will be deficient in eemaan or he will be a faasiq (sinful person), just as will be the case if he were to drink alcohol, steal, commit fornication, or do something from the major sins. This one will be a person who has done something forbidden, and who had committed a major sin. However, he does not become a disbeliever through that, and he does not depart from eemaan. Rather, he is a faasiq and the hadd (prescribed punishment) will be established upon him if the sin had a prescribed punishment. And likewise, whoever leaves an obligation such as abandoning being dutiful and righteous towards the parents, or maintaining ties of kinship, these are obligatory acts, so whoever abandons them, then his eemaan is deficient, and he is sinful because of his abandoning the obligatory duty. So, he will be a sinner either by abandoning something obligatory or by doing something forbidden and whichever is the case, he will not exit from eemaan, rather he will be a believer who is deficient in his eemaan.

This is the position of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah, contrary to the Khawaarij and the Mu`tazilah, who declare the person who commits a major sin to be a disbeliever. So, the Khawaarij declare him to be a kaafir and to have exited from the religion, and the Mu`tazilah declare that he has exited from the religion, however, they do not enter him into disbelief, rather, he is in a station in between the two stations; he is not a mu`min (believer) and he is not a kaafir (disbeliever). This is their position and it is an innovated position, it is contrary to the proofs and to what the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah are upon. And the reason in that [their erroneous conclusion] is they are falling short in the use of evidence since they take hold of the evidences containing textual threats, and they abandon the evidences of promise, such as His saying, He the Most High:

«Allaah does not forgive that anything be associated with Him, but He forgives whatever is less than that for whomever He wishes.» [4:48]

This is from the evidences of promises, it proves that the sinful person who does not reach the level of shirk and kufr, there is hope for him of forgiveness, and that he is open to receiving the threat and punishment.

If you take this along with His saying, He the Most High:

«Whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, then for him will be the Fire of Hell, they will dwell therein forever.» [72:23]

Whoever takes hold of what is apparent here will declare those who commit sins to be disbelievers unrestrictedly. But if he refers it back to his saying, He the Most High:

«Allaah does not forgive that anything be associated with Him, but He forgives whatever is less than that for whomever He wishes.» [4:48]

Then the truth will become clear to him, and that this person does not exit from the religion, rather he does have a threat of the fire. So, if Allaah wishes, He will forgive him, and if He wishes, He will punish him. He may receive expiating affairs which wipe away sins in this world, or he may receive punishment in the grave which wipes away these evil acts. And those expiating affairs which wipe away sins are many, such that he is tried with calamities, punishments in this world, or that he is punished in his grave, or otherwise that is put off until the Day of Resurrection, and then He is beneath Allaah’s Wish and Will. This is the position of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah, and this is difference between the branches and the pillars. So, whoever leaves something from the pillars, then he becomes a disbeliever. Whoever denies Tawheed and commits shirk along with Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, then he becomes a disbeliever because he has left the first pillar. And whoever denies any one of the Messengers, then he becomes a disbeliever because he has abandoned the pillars from the pillars of Islaam. Whoever denies the Angels, then he becomes a disbeliever and he exits from the religion, and whoever disbelieves in the Resurrection, Paradise, Fire, the Bridge of the Fire, the Balance, or anything which is established from the affairs of the Hereafter, then he becomes a disbeliever because of that. This is because he has denied a pillar from the pillars of eemaan. Likewise, whoever denies pre-decree (al-Qadar) and says: “Things just occur without prior ordainment and without pre-decree from Allaah, events just unexpectedly occur and happen,” as is said by the extremists from the Mu`tazilah – then he also becomes a disbeliever, because he has denied pre-decree.

But as for whoever leaves something from the branches, then this causes his eemaan to be deficient, either it will be a deficiency in the obligatory perfection or it will be a deficiency in the recommended perfection. However, he does not become a disbeliever on account of that.

SourceSharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]
Posted with the permission of Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah & Courtesy of

Reference: AbdurRahman.Org

Comments are closed.