Questioner: In addition to the brother’s question, if the Imaam has some form of shirk, like making amulets or making fun of the Prophet’s Sunnah صلى الله عليه وسلم like the beard or shortening the thawb and so on …
Al-Albaani: Yaa Akhi, the issue of the beard and other such issues, that sin is on him, but as for shirk then that is the dangerous thing, but we, Ahlus-Sunnah, have to know that not everyone who falls into shirk has the ruling of being a mushrik applied to him, and that is because shirk is divided into [differing] categories, two of which concern us now: shirk [which one believes] from the heart [shirk qalbee], and spoken shirk [shirk lafdhi].
So if a Muslim who prays and fasts falls into spoken shirk, this spoken shirk may reflect shirk of the heart and [yet] it may not. So it is not allowed to judge this person who has committed shirk in a statement to say that he is a mushrik at heart except after having asked him about it in detail and sought clarification from him.
So if we were to assume that his shirk is from the first type, then he is a Muslim, who has for him and against him whatever we [as Muslims] have for us and against us. And maybe you have heard the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وآله سلم saying to that man who heard one of his sermons and, wanting to express his obedience to him, said, ‘Whatever Allaah and you have willed!’ So he عليه السلام said, ‘Have you made me a partner of Allaah’s? Say, ‘Whatever Allaah Alone has willed.’’
So this is shirk, but spoken. He should have said, ‘Whatever Allaah willed and then you willed,’ but he made a mistake and said, ‘Whatever Allaah and you have willed!’ and so made the Prophet a partner by making him a peer of his Lord.
Also from this type is that a man from his Companions صلى الله عليه وآله سلم saw a dream in which he was walking in some of Medinah’s alleyways when he met a Jew, and so said to him, ‘How excellent a people you would be if only you never committed shirk with Allaah by saying, ‘Uzair is the son of Allaah.’ So the Jew said, ‘How excellent a people you would be if only you never committed shirk with Allaah by saying, ‘Whatever Allaah and Muhammad have willed!’
Then he went on a little and met a Christian, and so said to him, ‘How excellent a people you would be if only you never committed shirk with Allaah by saying, ‘Jesus is the son of Allaah.’ So the Christian said, ‘How excellent a people you would be if only you never committed shirk with Allaah by saying, ‘Whatever Allaah and Muhammad have willed!’
In the morning he went to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and told him about his dream, so he said, ‘Have you related it to anyone?’ He said no and so the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام delivered a sermon to the people, saying, ‘O People! Oftentimes I would hear one of you say, ‘Whatever Allaah and Muhammad have willed!’ Verily, do not say, ‘Whatever Allaah and Muhammad have willed!’ but say, ‘Whatever Allaah Alone has willed …’ and in another narration [there occurs], ‘… whatever Allaah has willed and then you willed.’
So if the shirk of this person who you say is a mushrik is spoken, then he is a Muslim, and if it is revealed that his shirk is from the heart, then, too, we are not allowed to rush into declaring him to be a disbeliever as long as he testifies that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah except after the proof is established against him. If it is and he still persists on his shirk and misguidance then he is cast aside.
Without such a clarification it is not allowed to declare to be a disbeliever a Muslim who testifies that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah let alone one who prays the five daily prayers and leads the Muslims in that.
So we must pay heed to this detail.
Do you have anything else?
Questioner: And if he makes amulets?
Al-Albaani: It’s a mistake, O brother, this is a mistake, but we say that you must differentiate between disbelief in action [kufr amali] and disbelief that one actually believes in [kufr I’tiqadi], spoken disbelief and disbelief of the heart. [Making amulets] is haraam there is no doubt in that, but it is not allowed to declare him to be a disbeliever based only on these actions [i.e., without establishing the proof against him as the Shaikh mentioned above].
Questioner [asking a question on a different topic now]: After the tarawih prayer I heard them say, ‘Subhaanal-Malikil-Quddoos.’ Has this been reported from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم?
Al-Albaani: Yes. This is an authentic Sunnah reported in Sunan an-Nisaa’i with an authentic chain of narration.
Questioner: May Allaah reward you with good.
Al-Albaani: And it is obligatory on us to revive these Sunnahs by virtue of the fact of the many things which are said in various countries and each country has its own customs and habits, the people have killed off the Sunnah.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 574.