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Ibn Al-Qayyim: Innovations and Following Desires Are the Foundation of Every Evil

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Translated November 2019
Filed under Sects & Innovations

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) wrote:[1]

The intent is that He [the Sublime] combined between taking pleasure from one’s portion [of the world] and disputing with falsehood.

This is because corruption of religion occurs through either

a) believing falsehood and speaking with it, which is disputing, or
b) acting in opposition to truth and what is correct, and this is taking enjoyment with one’s portion [of the world].

The first are the innovations, and the second is following the [worldly] desire.

These two are the foundation of every evil, tribulation and trial.

Through these two the messengers were disbelieved in, the Lord was disobeyed, Hellfire was entered into, and punishments befell.

The first is from the angle of doubts (الشبهات), and the second is from the angle of desires (الشهوات).

For this reason, the Salaf say: “Beware of two types among the people: A person of desire [meaning, innovation] put to trial by his desire [in religious affairs] and a person of the world whose worldly portion has amazed him [leading him to neglect and disobedience].”


Truth is rejected through these two things, either by a doubt, such as those who reject a Creator through doubts of science and reason, or those who reject Tawḥīd, such as the polytheists and grave-worshippers, or those who reject Allāḥ’s Attributes through speculative philosophy, or those who reject affairs of the unseen due to rationalities—all of these pertain to doubts in relation to knowledge, involving reason and understanding.

Or it is rejected through desire, such as the wealthy and affluent who are diverted away from the truth and from the hereafter by their wealth and possessions, or those who pursue lusts and desires and revel in the worldly enjoyments such as wine, women and mansions and the likes, or those driven by power and authority, status, fame and recognition. So these are all worldly desires, which hinder people from accepting the truth.

And some of them, from the heads and elites of the people of disbelief, they deliberately hinder people from the truth, from Tawḥīd, Īmān and the path of the Messengers because it interferes with and diminishes their self-enrichment which occurs through their exploitation and enslavement of men. They extract out of them the fruits of their labour and goad them into servile obedience, profiting from their nation-destroying industries (such as usury, alcohol, gambling, illicit relationships).

Islām guides people away from these affairs, from enslavement and servitude to the self and its desires and from enslavement to them. So they malign it and its people.

The same can be said in matters of knowledge (the doubts), as it relates to what is between the Innovators and the People of the Sunnah, with whom lies the proof (ḥujjah) in all the various subject matters, in Tawḥīd, in the Ṣifāt, in al-Qadar, with respect to the Companions, the Rulers and so on. So they oppose the People of the Sunnah with doubts.

Arabic Text:

1. Iʿlām al-Muwaqqiʾīn (2/255).

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