The fiqh decree of not knowing the evidences of the truths of belief

What is the fiqh decree of not knowing the evidences of the truths of belief?

Knowing the evidences of the truths of belief

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Shafii, Sufyan ath-Thawri and all of the other scholars, the belief of a person is sound even if it is without evidence. However, he is a sinner since he has abandoned seeking evidence. According to these scholars, it is wajib to know the evidences of belief and it is haram to abandon it.  

Imam Ashari goes further sand says, “The condition for the soundness of belief is to know all issues of belief through rational evidences.” Accordingly, a person who does not know the evidences of belief is not an absolute believer in the eye of Ashari. This person is not an unbeliever though he is not an absolute believer since he has what is opposite of unbelief. This person is a sinner since he has abandoned searching and demanding evidence. Imam Ashari goes on, “Such a person is like the other sinners - that is, like those who drink alcohol, gamble and commit other deeds. It is up to Allah how to treat them. If He wishes, He will forgive them and send to Paradise; if He wishes, He will punish them in accordance with their sins and then send to Paradise.”

According to the imams of three madhhabs, Imam Abu Hanifa, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Shafii, it is wajib to demand evidence and to know issues related to belief with their evidences. A person who does not know them is a believer but he is a sinner since he has abandoned seeking evidence. This is the view of the majority of the scholars. Imam Ashari accepts evidence as the condition for the soundness of belief and states that a person who does not know the truths of belief with their evidences is not an absolute believer.

Then, the first thing to do for a Muslim is to learn the evidences of the truths of belief, which are wajib, and to get rid of the attribute "sinner" given because of abandoning learning the evidences. It is necessary for a believer like performing prayers, fasting and sacrificing an animal. It is fard al-ayn, not fard al-kifayah.

In conclusion, we can say that it is wajib to know the truths of belief with the unanimous agreement of scholars and it is haram to abandon demanding evidence. Then, everybody understands that the statement, "There is no need for evidence; we have no doubt; therefore, we do not need evidence" is wrong and contrary to the spirit of Islam. Those who regard dealing with evidences as unnecessary should hear this.

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