Know that guidance in belief in God and His prophets is not like guidance in what is legislated as to acts. And how does this disturb you? You call a man a true believer for what he believes, and God calls him so in His Book; and you call a man ignorant for what he does not know of the laws. He needs only to learn that of which he is ignorant. Shall one who errs in knowledge of God and His prophets be as one who errs about what people learn when they are already true believers? — “The Epistle of Abu Hanifa to Uthman al-Batti”


Abu Hanifa (699–767) was an Islamic scholar, imam, and founder of the Sunni Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence. As evinced in his epistle to Uthman al-Batti, Hanifa aroused some controversy in his approach to resolving the tension between faith and law (works) in Islam, claiming that judgment was to be deferred to God for those Muslims who claimed the faith but acted contrary to it.

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