The Pillars of Kufr (Disbelief) – Imam Ibn al Qayyim
Bismillaah hir Rahman nir Raheem. Alhumdulillahi Rabbil Aalameen
Wa sallallahu ala Muhammadin wa ala aalihi wa sahbihi wa sallam
The pillars of Kufr are four, they are
- Haughtiness and disdainfullnes : This prevents the person from submission i.e. yielding.
- Envy (Al Hasad) : This prevents him from accepting the naseehah i.e. the advice and from exerting it.
- Anger (Al Ghadab) : This prevents him from being just.
- Lusts : This prevents him from giving himself to worship.
If the pillar of false pride and haughtiness is demolished, then submission will become easy for him. If the pillar of envy is demolished, then it becomes easier for him to accept advice and to offer it. If the pillar of anger is demolished, it becomes easy for him to be just and humble. If the pillar of lust is demolished, it becomes easy for him to be patient and ready for worship.
The demolishing of mountains is much more easier than demolishing these four pillars for the one who is afflicted with it, specially if they are entrenched in him and became as a firmed attribute, because no action can be upright with the presence of these pillars and no soul can be sanctified and purified having these established in it and whenever the person wants to exert himself to do or to act, these four pillars come and corrupt his work. And all other defects originate from these four and if these four are established in the heart it will make him see falsehood in the form of the truth and truth in the form of falsehood and good in the form of wrong and wrong in the form of good and it will make this life grow nearer to him and make the hereafter far removed from him.
If you contemplate the Kufr of the nations before, you will see that the Kufr of the nations originated from these four pillars and upon these four pillars the punishment will befall. The intensity of the punishment and it’s severity will depend upon how these four and entrenched. So whoever opens for himself these four pillars is indeed has opened all the doors of evil, sooner or later and whoever has closed the doors of these then he indeed has closed all the doors of evil because these four prevents submissiveness, sincerity, repentance and longing and turning to Allah, acceptance of the truth, the advice to the Muslims, humbleness to Allah and to his creation. This is what these four pillars can do.
The origin of these four pillars is from man’s ignorance concerning his Lord and ignorance concerning himself. Had he known of his Lord qualified with the most perfect and magnificent attributes and had he known himself qualified with all forms of defects, he wouldn’t be haughty, angry, envious of others because envy in fact is one form of opposition to Allah because he dislikes the favour and blessing of Allah which he bestowed upon his slave while Allah loves that. Not only that, he likes that it to be rifted from his brother and Allah does not like that. So he is opposing Allah in his pre-decree and what Allah loves and his honour and that is why Iblees (Satan) is enemy because his sin was due to haughtiness, arrogance and envy.
How can these be removed?
These two qualities, knowing Allah and Tawheed, and content with him and pleased with him and turning to him, takes away these two qualities of haughtiness and envy and taking anger away by knowing oneself that the self does not deserve all that so that to be angry for it and to avenge for its all sake. In this case this will prompt it to be contempt once this is taken out. Otherwise then this will be preference for the self over its creator and originator. The greatest thing to repel this defect is to train the self to get angry for Allah’s sake and whatever at any time enters the self this type of anger for Allah’s sake, there will exit the anger for its self and the opposite is true. As to the lust, its cure, its healing is in the correct knowledge. Yielding to the self’s lust deprives it from the correct knowledge and putting it on a diet in that respect puts it on the linkage with the correct knowledge. The more you are open the door for lusts, the more you are trying to deprive the self from the correct knowledge and the more you close it, the more you will be linked to the correct knowledge.
Anger is like the wild animal. If its owner releases it, it starts by eating him up first. Lust is like the fire when the person ignites it it begins by burning him there in first. Al-Kibr, haughtiness, false pride, arrogance is like confronting the king regarding the king’s possession and kingdom, if he does not destroy you he will expel you. Envy is like opposing someone who is more powerful and more stronger than you.
This is based on Imam Ibn Al Qayim’s (rahimahAllah) specification of these four pillars of Kufr.
Transcribed by brother AbdulRazak bin AbdulAleem for AbdurRahman.org, May Allah reward him, ameen.
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