“And do not be a Murji, one who plays games with his religion. Surely, the Murji is joking with the religion (i.e. not taking it seriously)” (Al Haa’iyah by Ibn Abi Dawud)
The Murji’ah are the opposite to the Khawarij. They have been given this name of Al-Murji’ah (from the Arabic word Al-Irja) which means to defer (to impede, or hold back), because they deferred actions from being from al-Imaan. They asserted that actions are not included in Faith. So if a person believed with his heart and did not perform any actions, not offering the prayer, giving the charity, and not carrying out the obligations or even refraining from the prohibitions, according to the Murji’ah he is a believer with complete faith! This is a false methodology; it contains within it a total denial and rejection of the righteous actions and their significance.
“And do not be a murji, one who plays games with his religion”: this is because the methodology of al-Irja is a form of playing with the religion. According to them a slave is a believer even though he does not perform any deeds, even if he abandoned the prayer, fasting, charity, and the Hajj. It could be the case that he does not perform any good deeds his entire life, and even if he committed every sin! This is a false methodology.
Due to this, the wicked disobedient sinners are pleased with this methodology; it supports them and suits them well. Meaning they can do as they wish and according to the Murji’ah they remain upon their faith which does not fluctuate with sins and obedience. As a result the people of desires. sin, and wickedness are very pleased with this methodology, it is built upon taking the religion as amusement and play and dissolving oneself from it in totality.
“Surely, the Murji is joking with the religion”: meaning the Murji does not take his religion seriously. He denies commandments and prohibitions; according to their methodology there is no need for commands and prohibitions. This is no doubt playing with the religion of Allah, the Mighty and Glorious.
[Taken from The Explanation of Al-Ha’iyah Explained by Shaykh Fawzaan]