Explanation of the Pillars of Eemaan – Usool al-Thalaatha | Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Bismillaah

Sharh-ul-Usool ath-Thalaathah : Lessons 33 (Part C), 34 , 35, 36 (PartA)
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

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The Pillars of Eemaan

Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:   

قال : وأركانه ستة : أن تؤمن بالله ، وملائكته ، وكتبه ، ورسله ، واليوم الآخر ، وتؤمن بالقدر خيره وشره

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]


[43Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

[Note: Shaykh Fawzan covers Difference between Pillars and Branches of Eemaan  before explaining the Pillars]

His saying: «Its pillars are six» meaning: it supports which it is established upon, and if they are absent, then it will be absent, or if one of them is absent, then it will be absent.

They are six pillars, and they are:

The first one: «To have eemaan in Allaah.» So, the first pillar is having eemaan in Allaah, and it includes the three categories of Tawheed: Eemaan that Allaah the Perfect and Most High is One, Unique, Alone, the Perfect Lord and Master whom everything depends totally upon, Who has no Partner in His Lordship, nor in His Right to worship, nor in His Names and Attributes.

The second one: «Eemaan in the Angels»Malaa.ika‘ (angels) is the plural of malak (angel). Its origin in the language is mal.ak (ملأك), so it was then made easier to pronounce and was said as ‘malak.’ The angels are beings created by Allaah in the world of the ghayb (hidden and unseen). Allaah created them to worship Him, and to carry out His commands, He the Perfect and Most High, within His dominion. They are different types; every type has a duty which it is entrusted with and which it carries out. They do not disobey Allaah regarding that which He commands them, and they do whatever they are commanded. So, from them, there are those who are entrusted with the revelation, and he is Jibreel `alaihissalaam. He is the noblest one from the angels; he is ar-Roohul-Ameen (the Trustworthy Spirit) and he is described as Shadeedul-Quwaa (the Mighty in Strength). And from them, are those entrusted with bearing the Throne:

الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ

«Those who bear the Throne and those who are around it.» [40:7]

The Most High said,

وَالْمَلَكُ عَلَىٰ أَرْجَائِهَا ۚ وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَةٌ

«And the angels will be at its edges, and eight angels, will, on that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord.» [69:17]

The Throne is the most tremendous of the created things, and no one knows its greatness except for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. It will be carried by the angels – and this is a proof of the tremendous size of the angels, their great strength and their nature. He, the Most High said:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ جَاعِلِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُسُلًا أُولِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَىٰ وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ ۚ يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ مَا يَشَاءُ

«All praise is for Allaah, the Creator and Originator of the heavens and the earth, the One who made His angel messengers with wings, – two, three, and four. He increases in creation whatever He wishes.» [35:1]

So, from them are those who have six hundred wings, such as Jibreel `alaihissalaatu wasalaam. No one knows their tremendous size except for Allaah, the Perfect and Most High:

بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُّكْرَمُونَ – لَا يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُم بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ

«Rather, they are honoured servants. They do not proceed Him in speaking, and they act upon His commands.» [21:26-27]

From them are those who are entrusted with the rain-drops and the plants, and he is Mikaeel. And from them are those who are entrusted with blowing the horn, and he is Israafeel. He will blow the horn and everything will perish. He, the Most High said:

وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّهُ

«And the horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is upon the earth, will swoon (drop down dead) except whomever Allaah wishes.» [39:68]

Then it will be blown for a second time, and the souls will return to their bodies:

ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَىٰ فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنظُرُونَ

«Then it will be blown again and they will be standing, looking on» [39:68]

The souls will fly from the Qarn, which is the horn, back to their bodies, and they will enter into them and they will come to life by the Permission of Allaah, then they will proceed to the gathering place.

And from them are those who are entrusted with taking of the souls at the end of their lifespans, and he is Malak al-Mawt (the Angel of Death). He, the Most High, said:

قُلْ يَتَوَفَّاكُم مَّلَكُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِي وُكِّلَ بِكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ

«Say: The angel of death, who has been entrusted with you, will take your souls, then you will be returned to your Lord.» [32:11]

And he has with him assistance from the angels:

تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ

«Our Messengers (from the angels) take his soul, and they do not neglect their duty.» [6:61]

Meaning: they are the helpers for the angel of death.

And from them are those who are entrusted with the foetuses in the wombs. The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu`alaihiwasallam said:

» إن أحدكم يجمع خلقه في بطن أمه أربعين يوما نطفة ، ثم يكون علقة مثل ذلك ، ثم يكون مضغة مثل ذلك ، ثم يرسل إليه الملك «

«The creation of each one of you is brought together in the abdomen of his mother for forty days as a sperm drop, then he will be a clinging clot of blood for the like of that, then he will be a piece of flesh for the like of that, then the angel is sent to him

[Hadith Reported by al-Bukhaaree no. 3208 and Muslim no. 2643 from a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn Mas`ood, radiy Allaahu `anhu.]

And from them are those who are entrusted with recording the deeds of the descendents of Aadam. He, the Most High said:

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ  – كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ

«And there are watchers over you and there are honourable scribes writing down your deeds.» [82:10-11]

They stay with you throughout the night and the day.

He sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam said:

»يتعاقبون فيكم ملائكة بالليل ، وملائكة بالنهار «

«The angels of the night and the day come to you in succession

[Hadith Reported by al-Bukhaaree no. 555 and Muslim no. 632 from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyallaahu `anhu.]

And they gather together at the Fajr and `Asr prayer. They bear witness for those people who pray with Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. Therefore, He, the Most High said:

إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

«And the recitation of the Qur`aan in the Fajr prayer is witnessed.» [17:78]

Meaning: The angels attend it, the angels of the night and the angels of the day.

And from them are those who are entrusted with guarding the descendants of Aadam from disagreeable things; they guard them from calamities, from enemies, creatures; the wild animals, serpents or snakes, for as long as he lives, he has angels guarding him from dangerous things.

He may sleep between wild animals and snakes in open desert, (so) who repels the snakes, the wild animals and creatures from him? He has angels whom Allaah, He the Most High, has placed in their service. Allaah said with regard to them:

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ

«There are angels guarding him in succession, from in front of him and from behind him by the Command of Allaah.» [13:11]

Meaning: by the Command of Allaah, they guard the children of Aadam from disagreeable things and from dangers, until his lifespan draws to a close. So, when his lifespan comes to an end, they leave him. And that which Allaah has decreed to occur will occur, be it death or being stopped by something which leads to death.

And from them are angels who are entrusted with carrying out the commands in different areas of the heavens and the earth. No one knows them except for Allaah, the Perfect and Most High.

From them are angels who seek out the gatherings of remembrance of Allaah and they attend them, just as Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu`alaihiwasallam said:

»ما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله ، يتلون كتاب الله ، ويتدارسونه بينهم ، إلا نزلت  عليهم السكينة ، وغشيتهم الرحمة ، وحفتهم الملائكة«

«No people gather in a house from the houses of Allaah, reciting the Book of Allaah and studying it amongst them, except that (as-sakeenah) tranquility descends upon them, and mercy covers them, and the angels encircle them with their wings

[Hadith Reported by Muslim no. 2699 from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiy Allaahu `anhu]

There are angels who travel about upon the earth, seeking out the circles of the remembrance of Allaah and attending them.

[Hadith Reported by al-Bukhaaree no. 6408 from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyallaahu `anh.]

No one knows all about the angels, their types and characteristics except for Allaah. However, as for what occurs in the texts of the Qur`aan and the authentic ahaadeeth of the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam, then we affirm it, and we believe it as our aqeedah (creed and belief) ; and whatever has not been mentioned to us, then we withhold from it, and we do not delve into it, because this is from `ilmul-ghayb (the knowledge of the hidden and the unseen) which we do not enter into, except with a proof.

So, having eemaan in the angels is a pillar from the pillars of Islaam.

Whoever denies the angels and says: “There are no angels (in existence) because we do not see them,” then this person will be a disbeliever, an apostate and heretic, and Allaah’s refuge is sought. This is because he does not have eemaan in the ghayb.

And likewise, the person who interprets the angels away and says: “The angels are just abstract things and not bodily beings; they are just thoughts or promptings which occur to a person. If they are good promptings, then they are angels, and if they are evil promptings, then they are devils,” this is a saying involving apostasy, and Allaah’s refuge is sought.

Unfortunately, this is found in Tafseerul-Manaar, it was quoted by Muhammad Rasheed Ridaa from his Shaykh Muhammad `Abdah. This is speech of the philosophers and it is baatil (false and futile). Whoever truly holds this as his creed and belief, he is a disbeliever. However, we hope that he was just quoting it, and he did not believe it, however, he quoted it without criticism, and that is dangerous. This is false and futile speech, and it is disbelief in the angels. We ask Allaah for safety and security.

So a person should not enter with his own intellect and thinking into this, nor should he quote anything from the philosophers and heretics with regard to anything from the affairs of the religion and the matters of `ilmul-ghayb. Rather, he should rely upon the Book and the Sunnah. This is what is obligatory. And he mentions in Tafseerul-Manaar that he was quoting from the book Ihyaa Uloom ad-Deen of al-Ghazaalee, and Allaah knows best. And the book Ihyaa Uloom ad-Deen of al-Ghazaalee contains terrible and calamitous things, and it contains some things from good and benefits, however, it contains a great deal of matters which can cause destruction, and it contains a great deal of poison. It is a book which is mixed up, its evil is more than its good. So therefore, it is not befitting that the beginner or the common person should look into it, unless he has the knowledge and ability to distinguish between the truth and falsehood.

And the angels are not abstract things as is said, rather, the angels have bodies and forms, they can take on different forms which Allaah gives them the ability to take on. Therefore, Jibreel `alaihis-salaam came to the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam in the form of a man. So, Allaah gives them the ability to take forms for the benefit of the descendants of Aadam, because the descendants of Aadam are not able to see the angels in the form upon which Allaah created them. So, he came to the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam in the form of a man out of kindness to the sons of Aadam. And they are not seen in their true forms and realities, except at the time of punishment. He, the Most High said:

يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَا بُشْرَىٰ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُجْرِمِينَ

«On the Day when they will see the angels, there will be no glad tidings on that Day for the criminals.» [25:22]

At death, the person will see them, he will see the angels of death, however, in this world and once he is alive, he does not see them because he is not able to see them. Allaah created them from light and He created the devils from Fire, just as occurs in the Qur`aan, and He created Aadam from earth, so Allaah has full ability over everything.

And the disbelievers believed that the angels are the daughters of Allaah. He the Most High said:

وَجَعَلُوا الْمَلَائِكَةَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ إِنَاثًا ۚ أَشَهِدُوا خَلْقَهُمْ ۚ سَتُكْتَبُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ وَيُسْأَلُونَ

«And they made the angels, who are servants of the Most Merciful, females. Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be written and they will be questioned about it.» [43:19]

The third one: «Eemaan in his books» They are the Books which Allaah sent down to the Messengers for the guidance of mankind. We have eemaan that they are the speech of Allaah in reality, and we have eemaan in whatever Allaah named from them and in whatever He has not named. Allaah named to us from them the Tauraat, the Injeel, the Tremendous Qur`aan, the Zaboor, and the Scripture given to Ibraaheem and Moosaa. We have eemaan in them and we have eemaan in those that Allaah did not name to us from them.

So, eemaan in the previous scriptures is eemaan in general terms, whereas eemaan in the Qur`aan is eemaan in the details of everything contained in it. This is because it is our Book and was sent down to our Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam. Whoever denies one aayah or one letter from its letters, then he is a kaafir and a murtad (apostate) who has left Islaam.

Likewise, whoever believes in a part of the Qur`aan and disbelieves in a part, then he is a kaafir, and one who believes in some of the scriptures and disbelieves in some, then he is a kaafir. Whoever says: “I believe in the Qur`aan, but I do not believe in the Tauraat and the Injeel,” then he is a kaafir.  Or says: “I believe in the Tauraat and the Injeel, but I do not believe in the Zaboor which was sent to Daawood `alaihissalaam,” then he is a kaafir. He, the Most High, said:

وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا

«And We gave the Zaboor to Daawood.» [4:163]

Or one who denies the scriptures of Ibraaheem, then he is a kaafir, because he has denied the truth of that which Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, said. He is denying His Messengers, so therefore, he is a kaafir, because he has denied a pillar from the pillars of eemaan. 

The fourth one: «Eemaan in his Messengers» Having eemaan in all of the Messengers, from the first of them to the last of them, those whom Allaah has named from them and those He did not name.  We have eemaan in all of them, and that they are Messengers of Allaah in truth. They came with the Message and they conveyed it to their nations. So, whoever disbelieves in a single Prophet, then he is a disbeliever in all of the Messengers, because of His saying, the Most High:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يُفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن يَتَّخِذُوا بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ حَقًّا ۚ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُّهِينًا  وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ أُولَٰئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

«Those who disbelieve in Allaah and His Messengers and wish to make a distinction between believing in Allaah and His Messengers. They say: “We believe in some of them and we disbelieve in some,” and they wish to take a path in between. They are the disbelievers in truth. And We have prepared a humiliating punishment for the disbelievers. And those who truly believe in Allaah and His Messengers and do not differentiate in believing in any of them, to them He will soon give their rewards. And Allaah has always been One who Forgives Extensively and Bestows Mercy.» [4:150-152]

Therefore disbelieving in a single Prophet or a single Messenger is to disbelieve in all of them. He said:

كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

«The people of Nooh rejected the Messengers.» [26:105]

Even though they only rejected Nooh, their denial of Nooh became a denial of the rest of the Messengers. Likewise, whoever disbelieves in `Eesaa and Muhammad, such as the Jews, or whoever disbelieves in Muhammad, such as the Christians, then he is a disbeliever in all of them. There must be eemaan in all of the Messengers `alaihumusalaatu wasalaam, those whom Allaah has named from them and those He has not named.

Allaah has named some of them as occurs in Sooratul-An`aam:

وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَا آتَيْنَاهَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ ۚ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ كُلًّا هَدَيْنَا ۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَارُونَ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلْيَاسَ ۖ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّالِحِينَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطًا ۚ وَكُلًّا فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

«And that was Our Proof which We gave to Ibraaheem against his people. We raise in degrees whomever We wish. Indeed, your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. And We bestowed upon him Is-haaq and Yaqoob, We guided them all, and Nooh, We guided before, and from his descendants were Daawood, Sulayman, Ayyoob, Yusuf, Moosaa, and Haaroon. Likewise shall We reward the doers of good. And Zakariyyah, and Yahyaa, and Ilyaas, all of them were from the righteous. And Ismaa`eel, and al-Yas`aa, and Yoonus and Loot, all of them We gave excellence over the people of the world.» [6:83-86]

He mentioned a number of them together in these aayahs and in other aayahs. So, we have eemaan in those whom Allaah has named from them and we have eemaan in those whom Allaah has not named from them.

The fifth one: «The Last Day» Eemaan in the Last Day is the fifth pillar. The Last Day – what is meant by it is Yawm al-Qiyaamah (the Day of Resurrection). It is called the Last Day because it comes after the Yawm al-Awal (the First Day), and that is the Day of this world. This world is the First Day, and the Resurrection is the Last Day. Having eemaan in the Last Day is to have eemaan in whatever will occur after death from the punishment of the grave and its bliss and the questioning of the two Angels in the grave. Everything that will occur after the grave is a part of eemaan in the Last Day, likewise, eemaan in al-Ba`th (dead being brought to life), an-Nushoor (Resurrection), al-Mahshara (the Gathering Place), al-Hisaab (Reckoning), Waznul-A`maal (Weighing of the Deeds), asSiraat (Bridge over the Hell-Fire), al-Mizaan (the Balance upon which the good and bad deeds will be weighed), and al-Jannah (Paradise) and an-Naar (Fire). So the details of what will occur on the Last Day, we have eemaan in it – in general and with the specifics – beginning with death right until the inhabitants of Paradise settle in Paradise and the inhabitants of the Fire are in the Fire. Everything which is authentic in that regard, we have eemaan in it. We do not have any doubt at all about anything from it. Whoever doubts about anything from it, then he is a kaafir and a murtad upon Islaam – everything to which the term the Last Day applies and what is contained in it. 

The sixth pillar: «And to have eemaan in pre-decree, the good of it, and the bad of it.» You have eemaan that whatever occurs from this creation, from good or evil, from disbelief or true faith, from blessings or punishments, from ease or hardship, from sickness or health, from life or death – everything occurs in this creation is pre-decreed. It does not just occur like that. It is not just a matter which happens on its own, meaning: it just initially comes about, not being pre-decreed. So, you have eemaan that it all comes about with the decree and ordainment of Allaah. And you have eemaan that whatever befalls you would not have missed you and whatever missed you was not going to come upon you, and that this was by the ordainment of Allaah and His pre-decree. He, the Most High, said:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ

«No calamity befalls on the earth nor in yourselves except that it was already written in a Book, before We created it. That is easy for Allaah.» [57:22]

This is eemaan with the pre-decree. 

Eemaan in pre-decree includes four levels, whoever does not have eemaan in all of them is not a believer in pre-decree.

The first level: Knowledge that Allaah has known everything, always. He knows what occurs, whatever has occurred and whatever will occur without end. So, Allaah knew it always before it was and before it occurred. He, the Perfect and Most High, knew it with His Eternal Knowledge – which is His Attribute – has always been and will be forever. This is the level of knowledge, whoever denies it is a kaafir. 

The second level: The level of writing down in the Lawh al-Mahfoodh (the Preserved Tablet). And it is that Allaah wrote down everything in the Preserved Tablet. Nothing occurs except that it was written down in the Preserved Tablet. There is nothing that occurs and it is not written there, therefore He, the Most High, said:

مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ

«No calamity befalls on the earth nor in yourselves except that it was already written in a Book.» [57:22]

Meaning: the Preserved Tablet. Allaah wrote in it the decreed measures of everything. Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu`alaihi wa sallam said:

» أول ما خلق الله القلم ، قال : اكتب ، قال : وما أكتب ؟ قال : اكتب ما هو كائن إلى يوم القيامة «

«The first thing that Allaah created was the pen.
He said: “Write.”
It said: “And what shall I write?”
He said: “Write whatever will occur until the Day of Resurrection.”»

[Hadith Reported by Aboo Daawood no. 3800, at-Tirmithee no. 2155 from a hadeeth of `Ubaadah ibn asSaamit, radiy Allaahu `anhu.] [Declared authentic by Shaykh al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah)].

So, whoever denies the writing and says: “Allaah knows everything, however He did not write anything down in the Preserved Tablet,” this person is a kaafir and an apostate who has left the religion of Islaam. 

The third level: Allaah’s Mashee.ah (Will) which is in effect. It is that Allaah, the Perfect, wishes a thing and wills it to occur. So, there is nothing that occurs except that Allaah wished and willed it to occur just as it is in the Preserved Tablet and just as He knew it, He the Perfect and Most High. He wills everything to occur at its time. He wills everything to occur at a certain time. Nothing occurs without the will of Allaah or without His wish. So, whoever says: “Things occur without Allaah wishing them to or without Allaah’s willing them to,” then he is a kaafir. 

The fourth level: The level of creating and bringing it into exist. Allaah created it everything. When He wishes and wills it, He, the Perfect and Most High, creates it and brings it about. So everything is something created by Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, and it is from the creation of Allaah. It is an action done by the servants and something earned by them [meaning deeds].

So these four levels, there must be eemaan in them, otherwise the person will not be a believer in pre-decree, the level of knowledge, writing, wish and will, and creation and the bringing into existence. It is essential to have eemaan in all of these. Whoever denies anything from them, then he is a kaafir and an apostate who has left the religion of Islaam, because he has denied a pillar from the pillars of eemaan, and it is eemaan in the pre-decree.


The Proof for the Pillars of Eemaan 

Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:   

والدليل على هذه الأركان الستة قوله تعالى :

The proof for these six pillars is His saying He, the Most High:

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالْكِتَابِ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ

«And righteousness is not that you turn your faces towards the East or the West; but rather, righteousness is the righteousness of those who have eemaan (truly believe) in Allaah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Books, and the Prophets.» [2:177]  [44]


[44] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

The Shaykh having explained these pillars mentions the proof from the Qur`aan and Sunnah, because any matter from the matters of the religion, of worship, `aqeedah and the matters of legislated rulings, require a daleel (proof). If it does not have a proof, it will not be saheeh (correct). So, the Shaykh having mentioned the six pillars of eemaan, he mentions their proof from the Qur`aan firstly and then from the Sunnah.

From the Qur`aan is His saying, He the Most High:

.. لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ

« And righteousness is not that you turn your faces » [2:177]

Al-Birr (righteousness) is the doing of good which draws one closer to Allaah and leads to His Paradise. So, all actions of good are from al-birr. Al-Birr is a general word which covers all types of good and all types of acts of obedience. They all enter under the title of birr and under the title of taqwaa (dutifulness to Allaah).So, al-birr and taqwaa are comprehensive terms which gather all the characteristics of good.

His saying, He the Most High:

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ

« And righteousness is not that you turn your faces towards the East or the West. » [2:177]

This is a refutation of the Jews who criticized the changing of the Qiblah (direction of the prayer) from Jerusalem to the honored Ka`bah. They criticized this and denied it along with their knowledge that they knew that it was true. However, they denied it as a case of obstinate rejection, haughtiness and envy towards the Prophet sallallaahu`alaihi was allam and towards this nation.

Allaah, the Most High, says: It is not righteousness that you turn your faces in a certain direction from the directions without a command from Allaah. But rather, righteousness is obedience to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. If He commands you with a command, it is obligatory upon you to comply with it. This is righteousness. So, if He commands you to face Jerusalem, then righteousness at that time is to face the direction of Jerusalem, because it was obedience to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. Then, when He commands you to face the Ka`bah, righteousness is to face the Ka`bah. So, righteousness goes along with the command of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High.

You are slaves. It is obligatory upon you to comply. If Allaah commands you to face a certain direction, it is obligatory upon you to comply. But as for clinging in a bigoted manner to one certain direction, saying: “It is not correct except to face it,” then the meaning of this is the following of desires and tribalism. Whereas the true servant goes along with the commands of Allaah wherever they go. He does not raise any objection to the command of Allaah, since facing a direction after it has been abrogated will not be obedience to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. So, acting upon that which has been abrogated and leaving that which abrogates is not obedience to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, rather it is just obedience to desires and tribalism. So, righteousness is connected to obedience to Allaah; in whichever directions He turns you, you turn in that direction if you are true in your servitude to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.

… لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ 

«And righteousness is not that you turn your faces towards the East or the West; but rather, righteousness is the righteousness of those who have eemaan (truly believe) in Allaah …» [2:177]


Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab (rahimahullaah) said:   

ودليل القدر قوله تعالى:

And the proof for pre-decree is His Saying, He the Most High:

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ

«We have created all things in accordance with a predetermined measure.» [54:49] [45]


[45] Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan’s Explanation :

The proof for the sixth pillar from the pillars of eemaan is His saying, He the Most High:

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ

«We have created all things in accordance with a predetermined measure.» [54:49]

Meaning: Everything which Allaah created is predetermined in His Knowledge, His Writing, His Wish and Will, He the Perfect and Most High. It is not something which spontaneously occurs or something accidental, rather it is something preceded with the Knowledge of Allaah, written in the Preserved Tablet, and something preceded in the Wish and Will of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High.

Sharh-ul-Usool-ith-Thalaathah. Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah. Translated by  Daawood  Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

Listen to the Full Audio Series:
Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank

Book Study Resources – Three Fundamental Principles

Related Links:

https://abdurrahman.org/belief/imaan-faith-pillars