بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the Name of Allah The most Gracious The Most Merciful
There is no doubt that the soundness of ‘Aqeedah (creed) is the most important thing and the greatest obligation.The ‘Aqeedah refers to all that a person believes for sure and adopts as a religion, whether evil or good, valid or corrupt. It is mandatory to adopt the sound ‘Aqeedah and perform the religious duties, since several creeds exist in the world and all of which are corrupt except for the ‘Aqeedah revealed in Allah’s (سبحانه و تعالى) Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Pure Islamic ‘Aqeedah is devoid of blemishes induced by Shirk (associating others in worship with Allah), acts of Bid’ah (innovation in religion) and sins. This is the true ‘Aqeedah revealed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah; it is Islam.
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said:Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam (Surah `ali-Imran 3:19).
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said:This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (Surah Al-Ma`ida 5:3).
Islam is the Religion of Allah. It is unacceptable for anyone to embrace any other religion. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) said: And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers (Surah `ali-Imran 3:85).
The paternal brothers have one father and different mothers, so are the prophets. They have one religion, which is the observance of Tawhid and devotion to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has made the Shari`ah much easier and relieving to this Ummah (nation of creed). e.g Tayammum (dry ablution) Allah said:...he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah’s Covenant with the children of Israel), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them(Surah Al-A’raf 7:157).
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said: I was sent with the lenient Hanifiyyah (i.e. the True Religion of Islam).
Islam is the submission to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and obedience to Him (سبحانه و تعالى) by singling Him out with worship, being devoted to him, and obeying Him and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). This is why it is called Islam, for Muslims submit themselves to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), single Him (سبحانه و تعالى) out with worship, abide by His (سبحانه و تعالى) Commands and avoid His (سبحانه و تعالى) Prohibitions.This is true Islam.
There are two types of blemishes: first type destroys and nullifies ‘Aqeedah, thus leads to Kufr (disbelief). The other weakens ‘Aqeedah.
What is a nullifier? A nullifier may be a saying or an act. It may be a belief or a doubt. A person may apostatize by a certain utterance he declares, a certain practice he does, conviction he believes in, or a doubt that he has. The nullifier that blemishes the ‘Aqeedah and spoils it comes from these four situations.
The apostate is the one who apostatizes after embracing Islam. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: Whoever (i.e amongst Muslims) discards their religion, kill them. Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih.
Nullifiers of Islam:
1) Verbal apostasy such as insulting Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). This act nullifies the Din (religion of Islam). Likewise, reviling, abasing, or defaming them. For example, saying that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is oppressive, miserly, poor, or that He (سبحانه و تعالى) is unaware of certain things, or does not consider some issues, for all these sayings, and the likes are forms of revilement and apostasy from Islam. Whoever claims that Zakah, Sawm of Ramadan, or Hajj – when having the ability to perform it – are not obligatory for people, will be a kafir by Ijma’. They should be ordered to repent; otherwise, they should be killed.
2) Practical apostasy includes acts like abandoning Salah; if a person abandons Salah while they admit its obligation, but still abandons it, this person will be a Murtad (apostate) according to the most correct opinion of scholars. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: The difference between us and them is Salah. Whoever abandons it becomes a kafir. Related by Imam Ahmad , Al-Tirmidhi , Al-Nasa`i and Ibn Majah with a Sahih.
Among the acts that lead a person to apostatize from Islam is to scorn the honorable Mus-haf by sitting on it out of disdain, intentionally staining it with impurities, or stepping on it, circumambulate the graves to draw nearer to their occupants or pray to them or to the Jinn, or to slaughter for anyone other than Allah (سبحانه و تعالى).
3) There is also the doctrinal apostasy: In this type, a person apostatizes by heart through belief without either pronouncing or acting. If a person, for instance, believes that Allah is poor, miserly or oppressive (سبحانه و تعالى), without pronouncing this, or acting accordingly, this will be Kufr as long as this is their ‘Aqeedah. This is according to the consensus of scholars.
He (سبحانه و تعالى) says:
And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), as it was to those before you: “If you join others in worship with Allâh, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.”(Surah Az-Zumar39:65).
Accordingly, whoever thinks or believes that it is permissible to worship an angel, prophet, tree, Jinn, or any other creatures other than Allah will be a Murtad.
4) Apostasy by doubt, it may take place when a person doubts whether or not Allah exists. He will be a kafir by doubt, if they doubt the Day of Resurrection, Jannah, or Nar, for example. In this case, they should be ordered to repent. If they repent, it will be alright; otherwise they should be killed for doubting something that is well-known and undeniable in religion by text and Ijma`.
Therefore, Iman must be attained with respect to all these things: Salah, Zakah, Sawm, and Hajj, for they are all true and obligatory upon Muslims with their Shar’iah (Islamically lawful) conditions.
The first section of the blemishes, which nullify Islam. Whoever commits any of the previously mentioned things will be a Murtad and should be ordered to repent; otherwise be killed.
The second type, refers to the existence of blemishes that are not acts of disbelief but weaken Iman and expose their doer to Allah’s (سبحانه و تعالى) Anger and punishment. The examples of this are numerous. For example, committing Zina (premarital sexual intercourse and/or adultery), if a person believes that it is Haram (prohibited) and commits it while knowing that this is an act of disobedience. This is not an act of disbelief but of disobedience. Iman will not be complete in this case, for this disobedience will blemish ‘Aqeedah without being considered Kufr. On the other hand, if a person believes that Zina is Halal (lawful), they will be a kafir. If a person claims that robbery and its like are Halal, they will be kafir, for deeming what is unlawful as lawful is Kufr i.e. disbelief. This also applies to the acts of Bid`ah, which are worse than sins; for they weaken Iman, but do not fall under Riddah as long as they do not involve Shirk. The Bid`ah of celebrating the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) birthday, where some people celebrate the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وسلم) birthday (peace be upon him) on the twelfth of Rabi’ II, but this act is a Bid`ah.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), his Sahabah, and the rightly guided Caliphs did not do it. It was not observed in the second and third century either. It is an invented Bid`ah.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said: Whoever introduces a practice that is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected (Agreed upon by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim) It means that it will not be accepted at all.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: There is no ‘Adwa (contagion, transmission of infectious disease without the permission of Allah), no Tiyarah (superstitious belief in bird omens), no Safar (the month of Safar was regarded as “unlucky” during the Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance), and no Hamah (refers to a Jahili Arab tradition described variously as: a worm which infests the grave of a murder victim until he is avenged; an owl; or the bones of a dead person turned into a bird that could fly)” (Agreed upon by Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
According to the narration of Muslim, the following is added: …nor is there a Naw’ (a star which sets at the rising of another) or Ghul (kinds of devils) The belief in `Adwa, Tiyarah, and adhering to Naw` or Ghul are all of the beliefs of the Jahiliyyah that blemish the Din. When some Arabs heard of the saying of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): There is no ‘Adwa (no contagious disease is conveyed without Allah’s permission), a man said, “O Messenger of Allah, how is it that when camels are on sand like beautiful deer, then a scabby camel comes and mixes with them, it causes them to be scabbed?” He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Who infected the first one?” i.e. who infected the first one with scab?.
Believing in bad omens and superstitions by what is heard or seen is an act of Jahiliyyah. They used to be pessimistic when they saw something that did not suit them such as a crow, black donkey, an animal that has its tail cut, or the like. They regard this as a bad omen out of their ignorance and deviation. Every act of worship that is induced by people and was not ordained or approved by the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is considered an act of Bid’ah, for the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: Whoever introduces a practice which is not authenticated by me, it is to be rejected And: Whoever does an act that is not part of our affair i.e. religion, will have it rejected.
Excerpts from Blemishes of ‘Aqeedah written by Shiekh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz bin baz (رحمه الله)