What is the ruling on the following categorization of faith – is it correct or not? Faith is of five types: inherent faith, which is the faith of the angels; infallible faith, which is the faith of the Prophets; acceptable faith, which is the faith of the believers; rejected faith, which is the faith of the hypocrites; and uncertain faith, which is the faith of the innovators.”
Praise be to Allaah.
I say that this categorization is not correct, not from the point of view of the categorization itself, because it may be correct in principle and it may make sense. But it is not correct in and of itself, because Allaah has stated that the munaafiqeen do not have faith. Allaah says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):
“And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: ‘We believe in Allaah and the Last Day,’ while in fact they believe not”[al-Baqarah 2:8]
Faith is an inherent part of human nature, so long as there is nothing to prevent it or resist it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Every child is born in a state of fitrah [the natural state of man], then his parents make him into a Jew or a Christian or a Magian.” It is true that the angels do not disobey any command that Allaah gives to them, and it is true that the Prophets (peace be upon them) cannot apostatize after they have believed, but the second category is not correct, when it says that the angels have inherent faith and man does not. Man, as stated above, is created with an inherent belief in Allaah alone. It would be better for us to refer to the categorization of the righteous salaf, because this categorization is in accordance with the Qur’aan and Sunnah, because it is agreed upon by scholarly consensus. This view states that faith means speaking with one’s tongue, implementing the pillars or duties, and having belief in the heart.