The Sahabas and the Declaration of Faith Taken from “Al Wala’ Wa’a Bara’ According to the ‘aqeedah of the Salaf” by Muhammad Saeed Al Qahtani translated by:Omar Johnstone
The following account illustrates the companions understanding and experience of the kalima. In 170 AH someone asked Imam Sufiyan ibn ‘Uyaynah al- Hillali  about faith. He said:
“It is in both speech and action.”
“But does it increase and decrease?” asked the man.
“It increases as He wishes until no more of it than this remains,” and he held out his hand.
The man said,”So what should our attitude towards those among us who assert that it is speech and not action?”
“This is what the people used to say before the nature and limits of faith had been made clear. Of course Allah, Glorious and Mighty is He, sent his Prophet , may allah bless him and grant him peace, to all of humanity to tell them that there is No god but Allah and that he is the Messenger of Allah. Once they had accepted this , the security of their money and their lives was assured and they became accountable to Allah alone”
“When Allah was satisfied with their sincerity, He commanded his Prophet to order them to pray. He ordered them to do this and they did it. By Allah, if they had not done this their first act would not have helped them”
“When Allah was satisfied with the sincerity of their prayers . He told his prophet to order them to migrate to Madeenah. By Allah if they had not done this neither their first act nor their prayers would have helped them.”
“When ALllah was satisfied with the sincerity of their hearts in this. He commanded thim to return to Makkah to fight their fathers and brothers until these said the Word which they had said, established the same prayer and joined the same migration. He commanded them to do this and they did ti. One of them even came with the head of his father and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, here is the head of a leader of the disbelievers.’ By Allah, if they had not done this their first act, their prayers and their migration would not have helped them.”
“When Allah was satisfied with the sincerity of their hearts in this, He told His Messenger to order them to complete the rite of Tawwaf and to order shave their heads in humility, which they did . By Allah, if they had not done this their first act, their prayers, their migration, and their combat with their fathers would not have helped them.”
“When Allah was satisfied with teh sincerity of their hearts in this He told the Prophet , may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to take a part of thieir money by which to purigy themselves. He commanded them to do this and they did, givinb much and giving little.By Allah, if they had not done this their first act, their prayers, their combat with their fathers and their tawwaf would not have helped them.”
“When allah was satisfied with the sincerity of their hearts which were now in harmony with the nature and limits of faith, He said to them:
This day have I perfected you deen for you and have completed my blessings to you, And have choosed nor you as your deen al-Islam(5:3)
Imam Sufiyan continued:”Whoever abandoned any part of faith was a disbeliever as far as we were concerned. If this was from neglect we would correct him, but he would be lacking in our eyes. This is the Sunnah. Relate it on my Behalf to whoever may ask you about it.”
 107-198 AH; Imam Shafi’i said of him , “were it not for Imams Malik and ibn ‘Uyaynah, the learning of the Hijaz would have been lost.” Imam Ahmad said, “I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable in the Sunnah than Ibn ‘Uyaynah”
[2 ] There is an inconsistency in the account here . The text says “If they had not done this neither their first act nor their prayers would have helped them .” As Shaykh al Qahtani points out in a footnote, this wording is odd. Logically it should say “had they not done this their first act would not have helped them.” This alternative is more clear and
has been used above. The discrepancy is proably due to a scribe’s error. (Trans).