Category Archives: Abu Al Mundhir Ash Shanqiti

When the man of the house commits a sin, has he ruled by other than what Allah Revealed?

Question:

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa salam) said:

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته

{“All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible over their flock..”}

In this we can understand that a father is responsible for his family and he will be asked about them. Due to this, the neo-Murji’ah of today use this misconception against us that if the man of the house rules with something other than what Allah reveals, and starts to judge according to his desires, it means that he becomes an disbeliever just like the ruler who judges with something other than what Allah has revealed.

He says, for example, that we say that the ruler has changed the rule of law and exchanged it with something else, and the man of a house wants to divide his inheritance according to his desires, shave his beard, or commit other sins. By this they have rules with something other than what Allah has revealed and changed his laws and exchanged them with something else, and thus according to our stance has become a disbeliever. We ask our respected scholars to give us a response firm rooted in the Quran and Sunnah.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah. All praise is due to Allah, and may peace and blessings be on His Noble Prophet, and upon all his family and companions. To proceed:

Because these con-artists are unable to prove their stance with clear and evident proofs, they resort to this method of trying to distort concepts and play around with religious terminology. In this fallacious misconception, they have tried to generalize the concept of hukm (judgement, ruling), forcing it to include even a’maal (actions), so that there no longer remains any difference between judgement and actions! If we were to say this, it would mean that whoever committed any type of sin would become a disbeliever, because he has judged with other than what Allah has revealed. This is the exact ideology of the Khawaarij!

The Khawaarij, either due to their ignorance or their deviance, do not differentiate between the concepts of judgement and actions, and thus they declare anyone who commits sin as disbelievers, seeking evidence in the saying of Allah:

وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

{“Whoever does not judge and rule with what Allah has revealed, it is them who are the disbelievers.”} [al-Maidah 5:44]

As these people are like the Khawaarij in that that do not differentiate between the concepts of judgement and action, both of them have come to incorrect conclusions.

The conclusion drawn by the Khawaarij is that anyone who commits a sin is a disbeliever, because he has ruled with something other than what Allah has revealed, while the conclusion drawn by these others is that one who judges with other than what Allah has revealed is not a disbeliever, because he has committed a sin, and the creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah is that a person does not become a disbeliever by merely committing a sin! To clarify the misconception of the neo-Kharijites, we say that there is a difference between judging with other than what Allah has revealed and other sins about which there is no evidence to prove that it is disbelief. The first is considered disbelief which takes a person out of the fold of Islam due to the evidence found in this regard, while the second is not considered disbelief because there is no evidence to prove so.

Also, to be able to clearly differentiate between the concepts of judgement and action, we must exactly define what judgement is. Judgement is that one judges and rules between people by setting laws, and in matters of dispute and the affairs of the general masses by the rulers. Thus, the concept of judgement is limited to the actions of a judge, ruler which is enforced upon the general masses. The judgement mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah is only of this type, and this is been mentioned in over one hundred places in the Quran. The obligation of ruling with what Allah has revealed is addressed to the judge and the ruling Imam. It is not inclusive of the rest of the people. Thus, the ruling of the verse in Surah al-Maidah is not inclusive of them, because they are not being addressed in this obligation of judgement.

As for them seeking evidence in the hadeeth:

قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: كلكم راع وكلكم مسؤول عن رعيته

{“All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible over their flock..”}

It is nothing but more proof of their paying around with the textual evidence. Ibn-ul-Atheer said in explanation of this hadeeth: {“All of you are shepherds, and all of you are responsible over their flock. This means that they are entrusted guardians, and the flock are all those who fall under his guardianship.”} [An-Nihaayah fee Ghareeb Al-Aathaar, 2/581]

An-Nawawi said: {“The scholars have stated that the shepherd is the entrusted guardian who ensures the well-being of that which he has been tasked and those under his guardianship. It also means that he has been commanded with justice in regards to those under his guardianship and to do what is required to fulfill their best interests in this life and the next.”} [Sharh An-Nawawi alaa Muslim 12/213]

Ibn Battal said Al-Mulhib said: {“A slave entrusted with the wealth of his master. He is required protect what he has been entrusted like all other shepherds, and that he not do anything the majority of the time except by the permission of his master.”}. [Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhari by Ibn Battal 6/531]. The meaning of the hadeeth, thus, is that all people, whether the Imam, a man, a woman or slave, are required with that which they have been entrusted. This is the reason they have been compared with shepherds, while each has their own specific responsibility and rulings.

Ibn Hajar said Al-Khattabi said: {“The Imam and other men have both been called this term, described as shepherds, but their meanings are different. The flock of the Imam is the religion, by establishing the Hudood and being just in his rulings. The flock of a man is his family, running of their affairs and fulfilling their rights. The flock of the woman is to look after the affairs of the house, her children, her servants, remaining loyal to her husband in all this. The flock of the servant is to protect what he has been entrusted with and to fulfill what he has been tasked with.”} [Fath-ul-Bari 13/113]

The specific role of the Imam is judgement amongst his flock, and the specific task of the man of the house is to take care of his family, and the specific role of the woman is to take care of the house. Thus, we do not call the man of the house a ruler or judge, just like we do not call the ruler or judge the man of the house. With this, it should be clear that all of them are similar that they have been called shepherds, but each is different according to their tasks. And Allah knows best.

And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all that that exists.

Answered by Sheikh Abu al-Munthir as-Shinqitee.

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