Date : 16-02-2010

Question :

What is the Irja` creed and is it correct?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


Irja` creed is a false conviction since it claims that Faith (Iman) is restricted to belief not deeds. Based on this, there is no difference between good and bad, obedient and disobedient people, a person who abides by Allah's Shari`ah and the Fasiq (someone flagrantly violating Islamic law) who abandons His Commands and Prohibitions since deeds do not violate Iman as they claim. They also claim that the person who abides by Allah`s Shariah and the fasiq will have the same rank in Jannah.

The followers of this creed have different factions and views that can be reviewed in Kotob al-milal wa-al-nihal: Books of Religious and Philosophical Sects.

In this regard, the view of Ahl-ul-Sunnah Wal-Jama`ah (those adhering to the Sunnah and the Muslim main body) comes between that of the Murji`ah  and Muʿtazila . 

Ibn Asaker said: "The Murji`ah said that whoever sincerely believed in Allah once can`t be regarded as Kafir (Disbeliever) nor Mortad (apostate) and isn`t called to account for committing a major sin." {Tabyeen Kazib Al-Moftari, pp.1515}.

The Mu`tazila said that the believer who commits a major sin will abide in Hellfire for a hundred years.

However, Abul Hasan Al-`Ash`ari  took an intermediary position where he said that Allah Has the final Say as regards the believer who commits major sin: Allah May Forgive him, if He wants, or Punish him first, then Admit him to Jannah. Even when Allah Punishes him, he will not be kept in Hell forever."

All the above are rules regarding the Hereafter. As for the rules in the life of this world, there are two views:

Al-Khawarij said that the person who committed major sin is considered a disbeliever, so he is to be treated as other disbelievers; particularly when it comes to the public affairs of the state; therefore, the followers of this sect have always revolted against their rulers.

As for the Maturdiah, `Asha`irah, Hanabilah, Mu`tazila and Murji`ah, they stated that a believer who commits major sin isn`t tagged with disbelief; consequently, his marriage contract isn`t dissolved; however, he is punished by the ruler for his sin and his testimony isn`t accepted. As for his taking charge of a public position, this is valid until those who have the authority to do so remove him. It is well known that this is done to preserve the stability of people`s life and public affairs. However, if it is ruled that every sinner is to be removed from his position and that his prayer and guardianship are false, this will wreak havoc. Accordingly, when Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal  was severely punished by the Caliph, he didn`t rule to remove the latter from his position. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.


[1] Murjiʾah, (Arabic: “Those Who Postpone”) , English Murjites, one of the earliest Islamic sects to believe in the postponement (irjāʾ) of judgment on committers of serious sins, recognizing God alone as being able to decide whether or not a Muslim had lost his faith.

[1] Muʿtazila, also called Ahl al-ʿAdl wa al-Tawḥīd, is an Islamic group that appeared in early Islāmic history in the dispute over Alī's leadership of the Muslim community after the death of the third caliph, Uthman

[1] Al-Ashʿarī was an Arab Sunni Muslim scholastic theologian and eponymous founder of Ashʿarism or Asharite theology. Al-Ashʿarī was notable for taking an intermediary position between the two diametrically opposed schools of theological thought prevalent at the time.

[1] The Kharijites, also called al-Shurat, were an Islamic sect which emerged during the First Muslim Civil War. They were former supporters of Caliph Ali who had rebelled in protest at his acceptance of arbitration talks with his challenger Mu'awiya to settle the dispute between the two at the Battle of Siffin in 657.

[1] Due to his refusal to accept Mu'tazilite authority, ibn Hanbal was imprisoned in Baghdad throughout the reign of al-Ma'mun. In an incident during the rule of al-Ma'mun's successor, al-Mu'tasim, ibn Hanbal was flogged to unconsciousness.