Does faith increase and decrease according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah?

Does faith increase and decrease according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah?
What is the definition of eemaan (faith) according to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah? Does it increase and decrease?


Praise be to Allaah. 

to Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, eemaan (faith) is “belief in the heart,
words on the tongue and actions of the body.” This includes three things:

Belief in the heart

Words on the tongue

Actions of the body 

As this is the case, then it will increase and decrease.
That is because the degree of belief in the heart differs from one person
to another. Believing  in what someone tells you is not the same
as believing something that you see with your own eyes. Believing in
what one person tells you is not the same as believing what two people
tell you, and so on. Hence Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) said:

“ ‘My Lord! Show me how You give life
to the dead.’ He (Allaah) said: ‘Do you not believe?’ He [Ibraaheem
(Abraham)] said: ‘Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith’” [al-Baqarah

Eemaan may increase with regard to belief, contentment
and tranquillity in the heart. A person may experience that in himself
when he attends gatherings of dhikr where he hears a lesson. Remembering
Paradise and Hell increases eemaan to the point where it as if you can
see them with your own eyes. But when a person is negligent and leaves
those gatherings, this certain faith is reduced in his heart.  

Eemaan in the sense of words may increase
similarly. Whoever remembers Allaah a few times is not like one who
remembers Him one hundred times. The latter is far better in eemaan.

the one who does an act of worship in a perfect manner will have more
faith than one who does it in an imperfect manner.

same applies to righteous deeds. If a person does good deeds physically
more than another, the one who does more will have more eemaan than
the one who does less. This is stated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah – I
mean the fact that eemaan may increase and decrease. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning):

We have fixed their number (19) only as a trial for the disbelievers,
in order that the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) may
arrive at a certainty [that this Qur’aan is the truth as it agrees with
their Books regarding the number (19) which is written in the Tawraat
(Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] and that the believers may increase
in Faith [al-Muddaththir 74:31]

whenever there comes down a Soorah, some of them (hypocrites) say: “Which
of you has had his Faith increased by it?” As for those who believe,
it has increased their Faith, and they rejoice.

But as for those in whose hearts is
a disease (of doubt, disbelief and hypocrisy), it will add suspicion
and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while
they are disbelievers [al-Tawbah 9:124-125] 

According to a saheeh hadeeth, the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said: “I have never seen any women lacking in reason and
faith who have a more negative impact on the mind of a serious man than

Thus eemaan increases and decreases.