بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah The most Gracious The Most Merciful
The Second Fundamental Principle
From the fundamental principles of Ahl as-Sunnah (the people of the sunnah) is that Imaan (faith) comprises of speech, action and belief; it increases with the obedience of Allah and it decreases with disobedience.
Imaan is not merely speech and action without belief, as this is the faith of they hypocrites.
Likewise, it is not only knowledge of Allah without speech and action because this is the faith of the disbelieving rejecters. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said,
“And they belied them (those Ayât) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof…” (Surah an-Naml 27:14)
And Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said,
“We know indeed the grief which their words cause you (O Muhammad SAW): it is not you that they deny, but it is the Verses (the Qur’ân) of Allâh that the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers) deny.” (Surah al-An’am 6:33)
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said,
And ‘Ad and Thamûd (people)! And indeed (their destruction) is clearly apparent to you from their (ruined) dwellings. Shaitân (Satan) made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and turned them away from the (Right) Path, though they were intelligent. (Surah al-‘Ankabut 29:38)
Imaan is not only belief or speech and belief without actions because this is the faith of the Murji`ah. Allah refers to actions as Imaan in many places in the Qur`an. Allah said,
“The believers are only those who, when Allâh is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’ân) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).
“Who perform As-Salât (IqâmatasSalât) and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth…” (Surah al-Anfal 8:2-4)
And Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said,
“And Allah would never make your faith (Prayers) to be lost (i.e. your Prayers offered towards Jerusalem).” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:143)
Meaning your Prayers observed towards bayt al-Maqdis in Jerusalem. So Allah has termed the Prayer as Imaan in this ayah.
The Third Fundamental Principle
From the fundamental principles of Ahl as-Sunnah (the people of the sunnah) is that they do not declare any of the Muslims to be disbelievers unless they commit an action which is a nullifier from those things that nullify Islam.
As for major sins that are lesser than Shirk and where there is no evidence to prove the disbelief of the one who commits them, such as abandoning the Prayer out of laziness (of which there is proof for its disbelief), then Ahl as-Sunnah do not declare the perpetrator of the major sins to be disbelievers. Rather they judge him to be sinful and deficient in faith.
If they do not repent then their affair lies with Allah. If Allah wills He will forgive them and if Allah wills He will punish them but they will not remain in the Hell-fire forever. Allah said,
“Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases…” (Surah al-Nisaa` 4:48)
Thus belief of Ahl as-Sunnah in this matter is the middle path between the belief of the Khawaarij who declare anyone who commits a major sin even if it is lesser than Shirk to be a disbeliever and the belief of the Murji`ah who say that the one who commits a major sin is a believer with perfect faith and they state that disobedience does not harm faith just like obedience does not benefit (in the presence) disbelief.
The Fourth Fundamental Principle
From the fundamental principles of Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah (those who adhere to the Sunnah and the congregation) is the obligation of obeying the Muslim leaders as long as they do not command with something that involves disobedience to Allah. If they command with disobedience, then it is impermissible to obey them in this unlawful matter but it is still compulsory to obey them in other affairs which are lawful. This is (their position), in accordance to the saying of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى),
“O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority…” (Surah an-Nisa` 4:59)
And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said,
“I advise you with the fear of Allah and to hear and obey even if a slave was in authority over you.” (Related by Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi who said the hadith is hasan sahi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad in al musnad and al darimi. It was authenticated by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah.
Ahl as-Sunnah believe that disobeying the Muslim ruler is to disobey the Messenger, as he said,
“Whoever obeys the ruler has obeyed me and whoever disobeys the ruler has disobeyed me” (Sahih al-bukhari, Muslim, an-Nisa`I, Ibn Majah and Ahmad in al-Musnad.
They hold that the Prayer is to be performed behind them, and that Jihad is established with them.
They supplicate for the well-being and uprightness of the Muslim leaders, and they sincerely advise them.
The Fifth Fundamental Principle
From the fundamental princples of Ahl as-Sunnah is the impermissibility of rebelling against the Muslim leaders if they commit a wrongful act which is lesser than disbelief cut to the Prophet’s command to obey them in that which is lawful, as long as they do not fall into clear disbelief
This is in opposition to the belief of the Mu’tazilah who make it compulsory to rebel against the Muslim rulers if they commit any of the Major sins, even if it is not disbelief. They consider this to be enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.
The truth of the matter is this behaviour of the Mu’tazilah is from the greatest of evils as in ends in terrible perils, chaos, corruption, division and empowerment of the enemies.