Slave of Ahlubait quotes:
وحدثني إبراهيم بن سعيد نا أبو توبة عن أبي إسحاق الفزاري قال:
كان أبو حنيفة يقول: إيمان إبليس وإيمان أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه واحد قال أبو بكر يا رب وقال إبليس يا رب
(Two chains) Abu Ishaq al Fazari says that Abu Hanifa use to say that faith of ibless and faith of abu bakar are one. Abu Bakar said: o God. and Ibless said: o God”
The statement provided by Abu Hanifa can be understood easily if one lets go of baseless preconceptions. Abu Hanifa is not referring to the common terminological meaning of the term “faith”. Today, when Muslims refer to “faith” we often say that faith is driven by the heart, the tongue, and the actions of the limbs. According to this interpretation, it would mean that Iblees and Abu Bakr were at the same level in all of these, which is an opinion that cannot be ascribed to Abu Hanifa except by a complete ignoramus.
The correct interpretation is that faith in this narration refers to “belief”. In other words, Abu Bakr’s belief in Allah is at the same level of Iblees, who has a greater belief in Allah than all mankind and Jinn, since he witnessed things that nobody witness and was present at the creation of Adam, and so on and so forth.
One may argue, “Why would Abu Hanifa use Iblees as an example, instead of Jibreel, or any other angel?” The answer may be to simply illustrate that belief does not necessitate good actions, or to demonstrate that belief is only rewarded with good actions accompanying it.