Response to: “Faith of abu bakar and faith of satan are one” – abu hanifa

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The following is a response to Slave of Ahlubait’s “Faith of abu bakar and faith of satan are one: abu hanifa”. The article can be found on his blog and the wilayat website here and here.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Salaam.

    I want to know what is difference between Faith and Belief? Aren’t both the same thing?

    Iblees according to some narrations (don’t know about their authenticity) and bible wanted to become god. Didn’t iblees know that there cannot be and never will be any god besides ALLAH (SWT).

    • Faith is more general than belief. I don’t know about the narrations you speak of.

      Iblees has solid belief in the existence of God because he spoke to Him. Abu Bakr’s belief in God is like that of Iblees so it is as if He has absolute certainty and that is a great virtue.

      • I still didn’t understand how Faith is different from Belief. Looking at your original article and your answer in comment section, correct me if I am wrong, I get the idea that you are saying Belief means to believe something without acting and Faith means to believe something with acting on it.

        For e.g. A person says if he jumps from a building GOD will save him but does not jump from the building to prove his claim as he is scared that GOD might not save him and he would die – this is Belief.

        On the other hand, a person says if he jumps from a building GOD will save him and does jump from the building to prove his claim as he does believe that GOD will save him and not let him die – this is Faith.

        Secondly, why would Abu Hanifa compare the Belief of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (r.a) with ibless? If by belief Abu Hanifa meant the belief in Existence of GOD then why not say that Belief of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (r.a) was like Belief of Nabi Musa (a.s) who was Kaleem-ULLAH or like Prophet Khidr (a.s)?

        And lastly, could you let me know the Arabic word for the word “Faith” as the Arabic word for the word “Belief” is “Emaan” so that it could be easy to distinguish.

        • They’re all called “Imaan” in Arabic, according to Muslim sects and even Christians “Imaan” is different levels and some scholars will differentiate between the kinds of “Imaan” such as Imaan Tahqiqi, Imaan Mustawda`, Imaan Fitri, Imaan Mayyit etc… So a lot of scholars differentiate between the different types of “belief”. In English, some choose to differentiate between belief and faith.

          As for why Iblees was chosen, it’s because what Iblees witnessed in his life is far greater than what all other humans witnessed.

        • as the article mentions, it illustrates that even though iblees believes and knows with great certainty the truth, iblees does not act upon it, so both Abu Bakr r.a. and iblees believe in Allah with utmost certainty in that respect they are same, but the actions of the two are completely different, thus proper actions are important and mere belief is not enough

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