Some Excerpts from Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar


Some Excerpts from Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar

The translation of some excerpts borrowed from the book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar by Hadrat Imam-i A’zam Abu Hanifah is as follows:

1. Iman means believing in Allah, His angels, His books, His prophets, resurrection after death, qadar and the fact that good and bad is from Allah, the settlement of accounts, the Scale (Mi’zan), Paradise and Hell, and knowing that all these are true.

2. Allah is one. He was not given birth to, nor does He give birth. There is nothing equal to Him. He does not resemble any of His creations. He forever existed without a beginning and will forever exist without end with His Names and Attributes, both relating to His Self and His actions. None of His Names and Attributes is of recent occurrence; they are all eternal, without a beginning. He is eternally all-knowing by His knowledge and eternally almighty by His power. He speaks by His speech. He is eternally the Creator by His creating and the Doer by His activity. The thing that is done is something created, but His doing is not created.

3. The essence of tahwid (belief in the oneness of Allah) is to believe in the six tenets of belief. The words yad, wajh, and nafs that are mentioned in the Qur’an are attributes without a “how” (modality). It cannot be interpreted as His hand, His power, or His blessing because such an interpretation would mean negation of an attribute.

[However, as the sects that deviated from the true path attributed organs and limbs (hands, face, etc.) to Allahu ta’ala similar to those of humans, Hadrat Imam-i Ghazali stated that it is permissible to interpret these words into different things by accepting them as they are.]

4. Allahu ta’ala will be seen in Paradise in the Hereafter.

5. All the names and attributes of Allahu ta’ala are equal in magnificence and excellence. There is no difference among them.

6. All of His attributes are unlike the attributes of creation. He hears, but it is dissimilar to our hearing. He is powerful, but it is dissimilar to our having power. We speak by means of organs and letters, but He speaks without organs and letters. Letters are a creation, but Allah’s speech (kalam) is not created.

7. The Qur’an al-karim is not a creation. All of what Allah mentioned in it about prophets, disbelievers, e.g., Pharaoh and Iblis, is the speech (kalam) of Allah. His speech is not created.

8. Allahu ta’ala brought into existence all the progeny of Adam (‘alaihis-salam) from his loins in the shape of humans, gave them intelligence, addressed them, commanded them to believe and forbade them from disbelief. They, on their part, confirmed that He is their Rabb. This is their iman (faith). People are born with an inherent disposition (fitrah) toward this. Thereafter, those who deviate into disbelief have changed and corrupted this disposition, whereas those who believe and confirm have shown tenacity and continuity in their disposition.

9. All prophets are clear of sins, whether minor or major, and detestable things. However, some insignificant lapses and errors occurred from them. [These insignificant lapses and errors are calleddhalla. Dhalla means being unable to find the most correct one among many truths.]

10. Miracles (mu’jizat) of the prophets and wonders (karamat) of theawliya’ are true.

11. The intercession (shafa’ah) of prophets is true. The intercession of our Master the Prophet will be for those who committed major sins.

12. It is an established fact that on the Day of Judgment deeds will be weighed on Mi’zan (the Scale) and that there will be Hawd [Pool] reserved for our Master the Prophet. It is a fact that there will be settlement of accounts among enemies on the Day of Judgment.

13. Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hell) exist today, and their existence will continue eternally.

14. We say nothing but good words about all of the companions of our Prophet. The best of people after prophets is Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and then the other three caliphs. [The superiority of the four caliphs to one another is in accordance with the sequence of their caliphates.]

15. Iman does not increase or decrease with respect to the tenets to be believed in. However, it increases or decreases with respect to certainty (yaqin) and confirmation.

16. Believers are equal in iman and tawhid, but they differ from one another in deeds.

[Iman is declaration by the tongue and confirmation by the heart. It does not increase or decrease. However, there may be an increase in its luster and strength. Deeds are not a part of iman, so a person committing sins must not be declared a disbeliever. Whereas iman is incumbent on every individual, every deed may not be incumbent on everyone. For example, a poor person not reaching the amount ofnisab (the border between richness and poverty prescribed by Islam) does not give the zakat of his/her property. A woman does not performsalat during menstruation and postnatal bleeding. However, it cannot be said that iman is not incumbent on a poor person or on a woman.]

17. Allahu ta’ala guides whomever He wills by His grace, and He misguides whomever He wills out of His justice.

The news of the Mi’raj is true. The emergence of the Dajjal and of Ya’jooj (Gog) and Majooj (Magog), the rising of the Sun from the west, the descending of Hadrat Isa (Jesus) from the sky, and all the other signs before Doomsday are true.

19. The questioning in the grave, the return of the soul to the body, and the torment in the grave for disbelievers and sinful Muslims are true.

According to the hadith explaining the permissibility of wiping (masah) over khuffs, the duration one can continuously wipe over them is one day plus one night for a settled person (muqim) and three days plus three nights for a traveler. Since this hadith is nearmutawatir, it is feared that a person who disbelieves it will become a disbeliever (kafir).

[hadith-i mutawatir: those hadiths that many Sahabis heard from the Messenger of Allah and which many other people heard from them, and which were written in a book not before having been heard always from many people who are not ever likely to have agreed on a lie. It is absolutely necessary to believe and to obey the hadiths that are mutawatir; a person who disbelieves them becomes a disbeliever.]

21. Learning how to perform acts of worship (ibadah) is better than many other branches of knowledge.

22. It is necessary not to call a Muslim who performs salat a disbeliever, not to deter anyone from iman, to enjoin ma’ruf (good) and to forbid munkar (evil), to believe in the fact that what was destinied for you [by Allahu ta’ala] will certainly reach you, not to severe ties with any of the As-hab-i kiram but to love all of them.

23. A sinful Muslim must not be called a disbeliever (kafir). We do not say that a Believer is not harmed by sins. If one who has committed major and minor sins, except disbelief, departs this life without repentance but as a Believer, one’s fate rests with the Will of Allah. If He wills, He will inflict torment on that person in Hell, or if He wills, He forgives and does not inflict any torment on him.

While Hadrat Imam-i A’zam was sitting with a group of scholars, a man came and asked, “If a Believer murders his father, then gets drunk by drinking wine, and then commits fornication, does he become a disbeliever?” Having heard this question, the scholars got angry with him and said, “Need you ask this? It goes without saying that he becomes a disbeliever.” But Hadrat Imam-i A’zam stated, “Even though he has commited major sins, he is still a Believer, for committing sins does not cause people to become disbelievers.”

Some other tenets of belief in our madhhab are as follows:

* Allah does not command His servants to perform things that are beyond their capabilities.

* The Devil cannot seize the iman from a Believer forcibly; however, if a Believer abandons iman, then the Devil grabs it.

* A person who departs this life as a disbeliever (kafir) will never be forgiven. He or she will stay in Hell eternally.

* The first of the prophets is Adam (‘alaihis-salam) and the last is Muhammad (‘alaihis-salam).

* A person cannot reach a stage where they are absolved of the observances of Islamic commandments and prohibitions. Everyone is obliged to perform acts of worship according to his/her capability.

* The time of death (ajal) of a person who has been killed or who has committed suicide is the moment this person has died. There is no death without an appointed time for it.

* When we make du’a (prayer, supplication) and give alms for the dead, they will get benefit from them.

* A wali (a dear slave of Allahu ta’ala) cannot reach the rank of a prophet.


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