On permitting that which [Allâh] forbade (Istiḥlāl)


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In the Name of Allah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

Šayḫ ul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allāh have mercy on him – said:

“Indeed when a servant commits a sin, with the conviction that Allāh has forbidden it, and submits himself to what Allāh has decreed to be prohibited (Ḥarām) or permitted (Ḥalāl), he is not a disbeliever. But when he believes that Allāh has not forbidden it or he believes that He forbidden it but he refuses to accept this ban, and he refuses to obey this and to submit himself [to what Allāh has decreed], then he is a denier, or he is a stubborn. This is why they (i.e. the scholars) say: " Whoever transgresses [Allah's limits] by pride, like Iblīs, is a disbeliever according to the unanimous view of scholars." As the one who disobeys by temptation, he isn’t a disbeliever according to the people of the Sunnah, but according to the Kharijites he is. As the one who disobeys by pride, even if he believes that Allāh is actually his Lord, well his stubbornness and his opposition deny this recognition.And the proof of this is that anyone who commits a ban making it lawful, is a disbeliever according to the unanimity. Indeed, he who doesn’t believe in the prohibition of what the Qur’ān prohibits, has no faith in the Qur'ān, even if legalizes the prohibition without committing it. Allowing what [Allâh] forbade is the fact to believe that Allāh has permitted the prohibition or otherwise the fact to not believe that Allāh has prohibited it. And this is the domain of faith in the Lordship [Rubūbiyya] and of faith in the Prophecy, and it is a mere unfounded negation. And sometimes, it is to know that Allāh has prohibited it, and that the Messenger – peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him – only forbade what Allāh forbids, but refusing to adhere to this prohibition, and to oppose to The One who has banned this prohibition, this is far worse denial than the previous case. This can appear despite the knowledge that someone who doesn’t submit himself to this prohibition, will be punished and chastised by Allāh. This refusal and this evasion can either be the cause of a problem in the faith in the wisdom of Allāh Who ordered the prohibition, or in the faith of His Almightiness, which leads to disbelieving in one of the Attributes of Allāh. Or it may come from a person who knows and believes in all this, but he performs this prohibition by revolt or by following blindly his grills, and in reality is this disbelief, because he admits all that Allāh and his Messenger – peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him – have announced, and he believes that all this is true, and he believes in all that what a believer believes, but he doesn't like it and hates it. And this makes him angry, because this opposes to his will and his desires. He says, "I don’t accept this, and I don’t agree with it and I hate the truth and I turn away from it." And this is different from the first case. The status of disbelief of such a person is inevitably known in Islām and the Qur’ān is filled with this kind of category of anathema (Takfīr) and his punishment is even worse.”

[Source: Kitāb aṣ-Ṣārim al-maslūl ʿalá šātim ar-Rasūl, p. 521-522]
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