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What are the Different Classes of Believers?


Essential Q & A Concerning the Foundations of Imaan and Obstacles in the Path of ImaanBy: Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa'dee (Rahimahullah)

What are the Different Classes of Believers?
Question 9 - Pgs. 31-32


There are 3 main types of believers:
*(footnotes in italics)

This chapter is an explanation of Allah's Statement {Surah Faatir 35:32}: 



ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ وَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَاتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

"Then We caused Our chosen servants to inherit the Book.  Among them are self-oppressors, among them are frugal o­nes, and from them are those who rush forth to perfom good deeds, by the Permission of Allah."
The author's reference to the 3 levels of believers found in this Verse is similar to Ibn Katheer's own explanation of it, and it is in accordance with what has been said by Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas'ood, and others from the Companions, {May Allah be pleased with them.}  Ibn Abbas {radiallahu anhu} said, "They are the Ummah (Nation) of Muhammad {alayhee salatul wasalaam}, the o­nes whom Allah caused to inherit all the books that He sent down.  The oppressive o­ne will be forgiven, the frugal o­ne will be given an easy reckoning, and the o­ne who rushed forth (to do good deeds) will enter Paradise with no reckoning." {Tafseer al-Qur'an al-'Atheem, 6/546}

This chapter serves to further clarify the falsehood of the beliefs of the Murji'ah and Khawaarij, and builds upon the previous 2 chapters. It refutes the Murji'ah since Allah has described the believers as being three distinctly different levels, destroying their false claim that Imaan is o­nly o­ne level.  If Imaan is o­nly o­ne level, then how can it be that some believers are considered self-oppressors, and others are frugal, and others are those who rush forth to do good deeds? It is also a further refutation of the Khawaarij, since Allah has described some of the believers as being oppressors, and this oppression did not take them outside of the fold of Islaam.

1)  Saabiqoon ilal-Khayraat - Those who rush to do good deeds:Those who rush to do good deeds are those who perform both the obligatory and recommended deeds, while avoiding both the prohibited and disliked affairs.

2) Muqtasidoon - Those who are frugal and selective:The frugal o­nes are those who restrict themselves to performing o­nly those deeds that are obligatory, while avoiding o­nly the prohibited affairs *(footnotes in italics).

(i.e., Meaning that they fall into disliked affairs and leave off recommended deeds.)


3) Thaalimoon li-Anfusihim - Those who oppress themselves:Those who oppress themselves are those who mix good deeds with the bad o­nes.   *(footnotes in italics)

*(Meaning that they fall into prohibited affairs and leave off obligations.  In his Tafseer (6/546), Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) said, explaining these three categories of believers: "The self-oppressor falls short of performing his obligations and falls into some prohibited things.  The frugal o­ne performs his obligations and stays away from prohibited things, however he tends to abandon some of the recommended deeds and falls into some disliked things.  The o­ne who rushes to do good deeds performs both obligatory and recommended deeds, while staying away from both disliked and prohibited things.

Source: http://www.calgaryislam.com/articles/islaamic2/tazkiyah/322-what-are-the-different-classes-of-believers.html

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