Does Eemaan Increase and Decrease?
By: Ubaidullah Ebrahim
There are two views concerning it, but both views are basically saying the same thing just using different words.
Imaam Abu Haneefah Rahimahullaah says: Laa Yazeedu wa Laa Yanqusu – It does not increase nor does it decrease.
Imaam Bukhaari Rahimahullaah and the majority of the other A`immah Rahimahumullaah says: Yazeedu wa Yanqusu – It increases and decreases.
We both agree that there is a specific amount of Eemaan that every person must have in order to be a Muslim.
It is not possible for a person to say I half believe in Allaah, you either believe in Allaah or you don`t, there`s no half ways about it.
The view of Imaam Abu Haneefah Rahimahullaah is that Eemaan is something you either have or you don`t have (as mentioned above), therefore Eemaan doesn`t increase or decrease, but it is the quality of your Eemaan which increases and decreases.
The view of the other A`immah Rahimahumullaah is that Eemaan does increase, that specific required amount is called Eemaan, and what increases upon that is also called Eemaan.
Take for example a candle and a bushfire, both have that specific required amount which qualifies it to be called “fire”, but their qualities – or if you prefer to say their “magnitude” are different, the heat, size, smoke, etc given off by the bushfire is much more than the candle.
Yet if you said The fire increased, it would be saying the same as the above example, because a persons mind will already understand that the fire will have stronger heat, more smoke etc.
The same applies to the two views, both views basically say the same thing, but just in different words.
This is what I have been taught, and Allaah knows best.
Yawm al-Jumu`ah 24th Safar 1430
Friday 20th February 2009