The Shaikh: The Questioner says: Does Islam increase and decrease just as Imaan increases and decreases?
Answer: Yes, as indicated by the Hadith of Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiallahu anhumma) and others that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“The best Islaam is to feed the poor and tie the kinship…”
The Hadith of Abdullah ibn Salaam.
[Reported by Tirmidhi no. 2485 and graded Saheeh by Al-Albani in Saheeh Targheeb no. 616]
Also, it is reported from Ibn umar radiallahu anhumma something similar on the superiority of Islaam. The hadith of Ibn Umar radiallahu anhumma:
يا رسولَ اللهِ، أيُّ الإسلامِ أفضلُ ؟ قال : مَن سلِم المسلمونَ من لسانِه ويدِه
“Oh Messenger of Allah, which Islam is the best? He said: the one who the other Muslims are safe from his tongue and hand”.
[Reported by Imam al-Bukhari no. 11 and it is actually the hadith of Abu Musa al-‘Ashari radiallahu anhu]
Also the Hadith of Abu Barzah (radiallahu anhu) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
يَا مَعْشَرَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِلِسَانِهِ وَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الإِيمَانُ قَلْبَهُ لاَ تَغْتَابُوا الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُوا عَوْرَاتِهِمْ فَإِنَّهُ مَنِ اتَّبَعَ عَوْرَاتِهِمْ يَتَّبِعِ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ وَمَنْ يَتَّبِعِ اللَّهُ عَوْرَتَهُ يَفْضَحْهُ فِي بَيْتِهِ
O community of people, who believed by their tongue, and belief did not enter their hearts, do not back-bite Muslims, and do not search for their faults, for if anyone searches for their faults, Allah will search for his fault, and if Allah searches for the fault of anyone, He disgraces him in his house.
[Reported by Abu Dawood no. 4880 and graded Hasan Saheeh by Shaikh al-Albani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no. 4880]
Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmi rahimahullah was asked:
Interjector: That which we conclude is that Islam varies and that it has levels. However, does it increase and decrease like Imaan?
The Shaikh said: “Yes, no doubt it also increases and decreases”.
Interjector: Ihsan likewise?
Shaikh: “Ihsan is its ending”.
[Ajwibah an-Najmiyyah ‘An Asilah Abi Rawaaha al-Aqeediyyah wal-Fiqhiyyah (pg. 40)]
Faisal ibn Abdul Qaadir ibn Hassan