THE CONCEPT OF IRJA’ AND SHAFA’AH (UNDERSTANDING THEOLOGY LANGUAGE OF ABU HANIFAH)
Discourse on theology is always interesting to be a perennial prolonged study materials. This is concern to Harun Nasution said in the introduction to his book “Islamic Theology”, discussing the basic teaching of religion. Each person who wants to explore the ins and outs of religion intensely are required to study the theology in the religion, because it is only through the study domain, people will have a strong foundation that can be used as the world view of ‘tawhid’ so that they will not easily swayed by the changing times.
Islamic Theology has strong relationship with Islamic skisme that is different with Christian theology. Therefore, it can not be separated by the events of al-Fitnah al-Kubra with the murder of ‘Uthman. After the died of ‘Uthman, ‘Ali appeared to be a caliph supported by most Muslims, yet he was also challenged by people who were ambitious to become caliph and by people demanding a punishment of the killers of Uthman. As a result of ‘Ali policies which is deemed unsatisfactory the political opponents, civil war broke out among Muslim. ‘Ali troops who quantitatively had more military support, since the beginning, was predicted can beat their opponents who where quantitatively had less troops. Due to its position squeezed, ‘Amr bi. Al-‘As proposed to Mu’awiyah to instruct his troops carrying Mushaf al-Qur’an to lift it on the spear as a sign of peace.
The proponents of Ali, including the killer of ‘Uthman were very upset about Ali's decision of accepting the peace proposal. This was because the step of desertion by some of Ali troops, of course, was very detrimental to the proponents of Ali were still eager to continue the struggle a Mu’awiyah. Otherwise, it resulted to the benefit of the opponent. Since that moment, ‘Ali's proponent had to face two enemics at once, they were Mu awiyah and the groups that opposed him. Even at the end ‘Ali’s was killed at the hands of one of his former army name ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Muljam in the year 661 AD.
The arguments arised in this political field eventually led to the emergence of questions of theology. The question who was the believer and who was the unbeliever. In sense that one who was not coming out of Islam and that one who were still in Islam. People who commit major sins was also viewed as infidel. From this case, some various groups begin to emerge, such as Shi'ah, Khawarij, Murji'ah and Mu’tazilah.
The events that led to the birth of the group of Khawarij was arbitration (tahkim) which was done by ‘Ali in the battle of Sffin in 37 H/649 M. Previously, the Khawarij was the Shi’ah, the group of ‘Ali that were out because they were not in line with the decision of Ali. They thought that Ali had done a great sin, so he had become unbeliever. Meanwhile, Murji'ah group considered people who commit major sin were remain classified as believers. Then, Mu'tazilah under the influence of Wasil b. Ata' (80-131 H) viewed that people who commit major sin were not considered as unbeliever believer.
In addition, there are also two others streams in Islamic theology known as Qadariyah and Jabariyah. Qadariyah was initiated by Ma’bad al Juhani (d. 80 AH) and Ghaylan al-Dimasqi (Murji'ah leader) who believed that human have the freedom to will, while schools of Jabariyah posed by al-Ja’d b. Dirham, and it was broadcasted by Jahm b. Safyan (d. 131 H), believed that people have no power to do or to will.
Murji'ah and Mu tazilah as the neutral groups agreed and believed in free will. Free will bring up the question of the meaning of God's Attributes, then it turns to the question of tawhid. When tawhid raised the question of Khal al-Qur'an, then responsively, theology entered the formal legal territory statehood. This problem occurred during the reign of Amawiyah, and it came to the peak in the reign of Abbasid, the Caliph of al-Ma'mun (613-830).
One of the figures who could not escape and free himself from the discourse on the issues of Islamic theology was Abu Hanifah. His full name was al-Nu'man b. Thabit al-Taymi Abu Hanifah al-Kufi. He was known as a faqih of Iraq and ahl al-ray's priests. He was born in the city of Kufah in the 80 H/700 M and died 150H/767 M in Baghdad. Abu Hanifah descended from Persians. It was seen in the arrangement of his family tree as follows: b. Thabit b. al-Nu’man b. al-Marzubani.
Abu Hanifah was the rationalist faqih of Iraq, one of the imams of four Sunni madhhab and the foundation stone of Hanafi theology who began his intellectual life with a debate on theological issues. He wandered to Basrah - the center of theology school at the time - to explore ideas from different streams available. However, after learning and deepen their thoughts, he tended to leave the debate that seemed unuseful, and he switched to explore Fiqh that was considered more useful. But in reality, he could not free himself from theological issues as the environment required him to straighten out the problem arise.
Abu Hanifah wrote several works in the field of theology. Among his works that are very popular were al-Fiqh al-Akbar and its will ‘Wasiyah’ that the contain revolved almost entirely on matters of theological and dogmatic. (1) Through his work, he defined and described faith so complete, including knowledge of the Lord, public recognition on God, and knowledge of His apostles and recognition of what has been relationship them. The concepts of faith was related to man’s with God, but the most important thing was wha is the thing that makes a man as a permanent part of the believers eventhough man as he has sinned.
The concept of faith makes a person remain as member of Muslim community so that he has a hope to go to heaven eventhough perpetrator of sin. This concept is called irja’ which means giving hope. Through this concept, Abu Hanifah able to help cure moral anxiety caused by improper moral earnestness. Man will be responsible for the deeds done, and it is inivitable for the perpetrators of sin will go to hell, but when God calls, many sinners will be excluded from the hell because of the blessing (shafa’ah) of God's Apostle.