Monday, October 4, 2010

Principles of Islamic Faith (Al-`Aqidah Al-Wasitiyah) By: Sheikh Al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taimiyah

Principles of Islamic Faith (Al-`Aqidah Al-Wasitiyah)
By: Sheikh Al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taimiyah
Translated into English with Introduction and Commentary by: Assad Nimer Busool

Ibn Taimiyah
Taqi ud-Din Abu-l-'Abbas Ahmad Ibn 'Abd al-Halim Ibn 'Abd as-Salam Ibn Taimiyah al-Harrani al-
Hanbali, was born on Monday the 10th of Rabi' al-Awwal 66l H./22nd of January 1263 C.E. at
Harran. His father fled with his family from Harran to Damascus in the year 667 H./1268 C.E. out of
fear of the Tatars who invaded the land of Islam and were very close to Harran. In Damascus, the
center of Islamic studies at that time, Ahmad Ibn Taimiyah followed in the footsteps of his father
who was a scholar of Islamic studies by studying with the great scholars of his time, among them a
woman scholar by the name Zainab bint Makki who taught him hadith.
He completed his studies when he was a teenager and at age 19 he became a professor of Islamic
studies. Well versed in Qur'anic studies, Hadith, fiqh, theology, Arabic grammar and scholastic
theology, etc., he started giving fatwas on religious legal matters without following any of the
traditional legal schools, the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali. He defended the sound prophetic
traditions by arguments which, although taken from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, had hitherto been
unfamiliar to people of his time. The freedom of his polemics made him many enemies among the
scholars of the traditional Orthodox Schools, who falsely accused him, of all kinds of heretical
beliefs. Among them was the famous Muslim medieval traveler, Ibn Batutah, who visited Damascus
while Ibn Taimiyah was in jail. This did not hinder Ibn Batutah in testifying in his book that "he
witnessed Ibn Taimiyah on the pulpit saying, 'every night Allah descends to the lower heaven like
my descent', and he descended one step down the pulpit".1 From reading this 'aqidah we learn that
Ibn Taimiyah accepted the attributes of Allah without questioning (bi-la kaifa).2
He fought heretical innovations in religion which were wide spread during his time all over the
Muslim world, especially certain acts and beliefs of some Sufi orders, like saint worship and visiting
saints' tombs, and throwing themselves in the fire. His attack on the sufis caused him a lot of
trouble with the authorities whose leaders were under the influence of certain sufi leaders.
Ibn Taimiyah's fight was not limited to the sufis and the people who followed the heretical
innovations; in addition, he fought against the Tatars who attacked the Muslim world and almost
reached Damascus. The people of Syria sent him to Egypt to urge the Mamluke Sultan, the Sultan
of Egypt and Syria to lead his troops to Syria to save it from the invading Tatars. When he realized
that the Sultan was hesitant to do what he asked of him, he threatened the Sultan by saying: "If
you turn your back on Syria we will appoint a Sultan over it who can defend it and enjoy it at the
time of peace". He was present at the battle of Shaqhab near Damascus against the Tatars which
took place during the fasting month of Ramadan and gave a fatwa to the army to break their fast in
order to help them against their enemy, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did during
the battle of the liberation of Makkah. The Muslims won the battle against the Tatars and drove
them away from Damascus and all Syria. Ibn Taimiyah's courage was expressed when he went with
a delegation of 'ulama' to talk to Qazan the Khan of the Tatars to stop his attack on the Muslims.
Not one of the 'ulama' dared to say anything to him except Ibn Taimiyah who said: "You claim that
you are Muslim and you have with you mu'adhdhins, judges, Imam and sheikh but you invaded us
and reached our country for what? While your father and your grandfather, Hulago, were nonbelievers,
they did not attack the land of Islam, rather, they promised not to attack and they kept
their promise. But you promised and broke your promise."3
All this jihad against the enemies of Islam did not help Ibn Taimiyah with the 'ulama'. The
authorities put him in jail many times until he died in jail because of his daring and free progressive
opinions on many legal and social issues which angered his opponents, the followers of the
Orthodox Schools of law.
However when Ibn Taimiyah had the chance to punish his opponents among the 'ulama' who
caused him all kinds of trouble and put him in jail many times, he showed the utmost of
magnanimity and forgave them when the Sultan an-Nasir Qalawun gave him the chance to do so.
He said: "If you kill them you will never find 'ulama' like them." The Sultan said: "They harmed you
many times and wanted to kill you!" Ibn Taimiyah said: "Whoever harmed me is absolved, and who
harmed the cause of Allah and His Messenger, Allah will punish him."4
The Muslim historians, like adh-Dhahabi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn al-'Imad al-Hanbali and many others
praised Ibn Taimiyah and considered him one of the greatest scholars of Islam of all time.
Ibn Taimiyah died in jail in Damascus on the night of Sunday-Monday 20th Dhu-l-Qa'dah 728
H./26-27 September 1328 C.E.
The people of Damascus, who held him in great honor, gave him a splendid funeral and an
estimated 200,000 men and 15,000 women attended his funeral. He was buried at the Sufi
cemetery in Damascus5 where his mother was buried.
Ibn Taimiyah's Writings
In spite of all the turbulence in his life, as discussed earlier, Ibn Taimiyah was able to write many
books and pamphlets on all branches of Islamic knowledge. His pupil; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah,
compiled a list of the works of Ibn Taimiyah which contains 350 works. Here are some of them:
A: Qur'anic Studies and Tafsir:
1. al-Tabyan fi nuzul al-Qur'an.
2. Tafsir surat al-Nur.
3. Tafsir al-Mu'awidhatain (chapter 113 and 114).
4. Tafsir Surat al-Ikhlas (chapter 112)
5. Muqaddimah fi 'Usul al-Tafsir.
B: Fiqh (Islamic Law):
1. Majmu'at al-Fatawa al-Kubra. 5 volumes.
2. Majmu' Fatawa Ibn Taimiyah. 37 volumes.
3. al-Qawa'id al-Nuraniyah al-Fiqhiyah.
4. Kitab Manasik al-Hajj.
5. Risalah fi al-'Uqud al-Muharramah.
6. Kitab al-Farq al-Mubin baina al-Talaq wal-Yamin.
7. Kitab fi 'Usul al-Fiqh.
8. Risalah fi Raf al-Hanafi Yadaihi fi al-Salah.
9. Risalah fi Sujud al-Sahwu.
10. Mas'alat al-Half bil-Talaq.
C: Tasawwuf (Sufism):
1. al-Furqan baina Awliya' al-Rahman wa-Awliya' al- Shaitan.
2. Amrad al-Qulub wa-Shifa'uha.
3. al-Tuhfah al-'Iraqiyah fi A'mal al-Qulub.
4. al-'Ubudiyah.
5. al-Risalah al-Tadmuriyah.
6. Darajat al-Yaqin.
7. Bughyat al-Murtad (al-sab'iniyah).
8. Ibtal Wahdat al-Wujud.
9. al-Tawassul wal-Wasilah.
10. Risalah fi al-Sama' Wal-Raqs.
11. al-'Ibadat al-Shar'iyah.
D: 'Usul al-Din and 'Ilm al-Kalam:
1. Risalah fi 'Usul al-Din.
2. Risalah fi al-Ihtijaj bil-Qadar.
3. Jawab Ahl al-'Ilm wal-Iman.
4. al-Iklil fi al-Mutashabih wal-Ta'wil.
5. al-Risalah al-Madaniyah.
6. Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyah fi Naqd Kalam al-Shi'ah al-Qadariyah.
7. al-Muntaqa min Akhbar al-Mustafa.
8. Sharh al-'Aqidah al-Asfahaniyah.
9. Ma'arij al-Wusul ila Ma'rifat anna Usula al-Din wa-Futu'ahu qadd bayyanaha al-Rasul.
10. Aqwamu ma qila fi al-Mashi'ati wal-Hikinati wal-Qada'i wal-Qadari wal-Ta'lili wa-
Butlani al-Jabri wal- Ta'til.
11. Risalah fi al-Qada'i wal-Qadar.
12. Kitab al-Iman.
13. al-Furqan baina al-Haqqi wal-Batil.
14. al-Wasiyah al-Kubra.
15. Naqd Ta'sis al-Taqdis.
16. al-Radd 'ala al-Nusairiyah.
E: Al-Radd 'ala As-hab al-Milal: (Responding to other religion's followers):
1. al-Jawab al-Sahih li-man Baddala Dina al-Masih.
2. al-Radd 'ala al-Nasara.
3. Takhjil Ahl al-Injil.
4. al-Risalah al-Qubrusiyah.
5. Iqtida' al-Sirat al-Mustaqim Mukhalafat As-hab al-Jahim.
F: Al-Mantiq wal-Falsafah: (Logic and Philosophy):
1. al-Radd 'ala al-Mantiqiyyin.
2. al-Risalah al-Safadiyah.
3. Naqd al-Mantiq.
4. al-Risalah al-'Arshiyah.
G: Al-Akhlaq wal-Siyasah wal-Ijtima': (Manners, Administration and Sociology)
1. al-Hasanah wal-Sayyi'ah.
2. al-Wasiyah al-Jami'ah li-Khair al-Dunia wal-Akhirah.
3. Sharh Hadith "Innama al-A'malu bin-Niyyat".
4. al-Siyasah al-Shar'iyah fi Islah al-Ra'i wal-Ra'iyah.
5. al-Hisbah fi al-Islam.
6. al-Mazalim al-Mushtarakah.
7. al-Shatranj.
H: Hadith:
1. Ahadith al-Qussas
The Reason this Creed was Written
Ibn Taimiyah said:
"A Shafi'ite judge from Wasit (in Iraq) whose name is Radiy ad-Din al-Wasiti, visited me on his way
to Hajj (pilgrimage). This Sheikh was a man of goodness and faith. He complained to me of the
people's situation in that country (i.e., Iraq ) under the Tatars (Mongols) rule of ignorance,
injustice, and loss of faith and knowledge.
He asked me to write him an 'Aqidah (creed) as a reference to him and his family. But I declined
saying: Many creeds have been written. Refer to the scholars of the Sunnah. However, he persisted
in his request, saying: I do not want any creed but one you write. So I wrote this one for him while
I was sitting one afternoon.
Many copies of it are dispersed throughout Egypt, Iraq and other provinces. (Majmu' Fatawa Ibn
Taimiyah, VIII, p.164)
1-Ibn Batutah - Rihiah, vol.1,p.110,fn.1.
2- See page 21 of this book.
3-Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Vol.7, Part 14, pp.91-92
4-Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, vol.7, part 14, p.56.
5- For description of Ibn Taimiyah's funeral see Ibn Kathir; pp.141-145.
Al-'Aqidah Al-Wasitiyah
In the name of Allah the Compassionate, the Merciful1 The praise belongs to Allah2 Who sent His
Messenger3 with guidance and the religion of truth (i.e., Islam) making it incumbent on all
religions. Allah is the best of witnesses4, and I testify that there is no god but Allah alone and that
He has no partner5; I admit and believe in the oneness of Allah. And I testify that Muhammad is
His servant and Messenger6; May Allah greatly bless him, his family, and his companions.
This is the belief of the saved group7, the victorious ones to the Day of Judgment, the people of
the Sunnah and the Jama'ah8 (i.e., The belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the
resurrection after death, the belief in Divine Decree (qadar), be it good or bad)9.
Part of the belief in Allah is the belief in how He has described Himself in His Book (the Qur'an) and
in how His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) has described Him. Believe without
distorting or denying and without questioning or shaping; Rather, believe in Allah, The Exalted:
"There is none like Him; He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer." (ash-Shura 42/11)
Do not deny Him the way He has described Himself; Do not change words from their context; Do
not disbelieve the names of Allah and His Signs; Do not exemplify His Attributes with the attributes
of His creatures because Allah, The Exalted, has no likeness: There is none comparable to Him;
There is none equal to Him; The Exalted, the Supreme, is not measured by His creatures; Indeed,
He best knows Himself and others; He is All-Truthful; and His Speech prevails over the speech of
His creatures.
Moreover, His messengers are truthful and thus speak the truth. This is opposite to those who
speak about Him what they themselves know not. About this, The Exalted, The Supreme has said:
"Glorified be your lord, the Lord of Majesty, from that which (the unbelievers)
attribute (unto Him). And peace be upon the messengers. And praise be to
Allah the Lord the Universe." (as Saffat 37/180-182).
He glorified Himself with what the opponents of the messengers said of Him; And He greeted the
messengers because what they said was free from defect.
He (the Glory is His) combined what He described Himself as between negation and affirmation10.
Consequently, the people of the Sunnah and Jama'ah must not deviate from what the messengers
brought forth; verily, it is the right path, the path of those upon whom Allah bestowed His grace,
the path of the prophets, saints, martyrs, and righteous people.
Allah's Names and Attributes in the Qur'an
Chapter One
The following is included in this idea of how Allah describes Himself in Surat al-Ikhlas, (chapter 112)
which equals a third of the Qur'an11, where He says:
"Say He is Allah The One, Allah The Eternal. He never begot, nor was begotten.
There is none comparable to Him."
And He described Himself in the greatest Ayah (verse) in His Book (i.e., Ayat al-Kursi):
"Allah, there is no god save Him, The Living, The Eternal. Neither slumber nor
sleep overtake Him. Unto Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the
earth. Who is he who intercedes with Him except by His permission? He knows
that which is before them and that which is behind them, while they
encompass nothing of His Knowledge except what He wills. His seat (kursi)
contains the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them.
He is The Sublime, The Great." (al-Baqarah 2/255)
Therefore, Allah protects whoever reads this Ayah at night and no devil can get close to him until
morning. Allah has also said:
"Depend on The Living One, He Who will never die." (al-Furqan 25/58).
And He, the Glorified, has said:
"He is The First (al-Awwal) and The Last (al-Akhir), The Outward (as-Zahir)
and The Inward (al-Batin)12; He is The Knower of All Things." (al-Hadid 57/3)
"He knows that which goes down into the earth and that which comes out
from it, and that which descends from the heavens and that which ascends
into it. He is The Merciful, The Forgiving." (Saba' 34/2)
"With Him are the keys of the unknown (mafatih al-ghaib), none but He knows
them. He knows what is in the land and the sea; not a leaf falls but He knows
it; not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is
recorded) in a clear record." (al-An'am 6/59)
He has said:
"No female conceives or gives birth except with His Knowledge." (Fatir 35/11)
And He has said:
"That you may know that Allah is able to do all things, and that Allah knows all
things." (at-Talaq 65/12)
And He has said:
"Indeed, Allah is the One Who gives livelihood, The Lord of Unbreakable
Might." (adh-Dhariyaat 51/58)
Hearing, Seeing:
And He has said:
"Nothing is like Him; and He is The Hearer, The Seer." (ash-Shura 42/11)
And He has said:
"Lo! Comely is this which Allah admonishes you to be. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer,
Seer." (an-Nissa' 4/58)
And He has said:
"If only, when you entered your garden, you had said: That which Allah wills
is; There is no strength save in Allah." (al-Kahf 18/39)
And He has said:
"If Allah had so willed it, those who followed after them would not have fought
one with the other after clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed,
some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it,
they would not have fought one with the other; But Allah does what He
wills." (al-Baqarah 2/253)
And He has said:
"The beast of cattle is made lawful unto you [for food], except that which is
announced unto you [herein], hunting being unlawful when you are on
pilgrimage; Indeed, Allah ordains that which He wills." (al-Ma'idah 5/1)
And He has said:
"Of whomsoever it is Allah's will to guide, his heart He expands into Islam;
And of whomsoever it is His will to send astray, his heart He made closed and
narrow as if he were engaged in sheer ascent." (al-An'am 6/125)
He has said:
"And do good; Indeed, Allah loves those who do good." (al-Baqarah 2/195)
And He has said:
"Act equitably; Indeed, Allah loves the equitable." (al-Hujurat 49/9)
And He has said:
"So long as they are true to you, be true to them; Indeed, Allah loves those
who keep their duty." (at-Tawbah 9/7)
And He has said:
"Truly, Allah loves those who repent, and loves those who care for
cleanliness." (al-Baqarah 2/222)
And He has said:
"Say, [O Muhammad, to mankind]: If you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love
you." (Al'Imran 3/31)
And He has said:
"Allah will redeem a people whom He loves, and who love Him." (al-Ma'idah
And He has said:
"Indeed, Allah loves those who fight in ranks for His cause, as if they were a
solid structure." (as-Saff 61/4)
And He has said:
"He is The Forgiving, The Loving." (al-Buruj 85/14)
And His saying:
"In the name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful."
He has said:
"Our Lord! You comprehended all things in mercy and Knowledge." (al-Mu'min
And He has said:
"He is Merciful to the believers." (al-Ahzab 33/43)
And He has said:
"My Mercy has embraced all things." (al-A'raf 7/156)
And He has said:
"Your Lord has prescribed for Himself Mercy." (al-An'am 6/54)
And He has said:
"He is The Forgiving, The Merciful." (Yunus 10/107)
And He has said:
"Allah is better [than any one] at guarding, and He is The Most Merciful of
those who show mercy." (Yusuf 12/64)
Pleasure and Anger:
He has said:
"Allah takes pleasure in them and they in Him." (al-Ma'idah 5/119)
And He has said:
"Whoever slays a believer intentionally, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah's
wrath is against him and He has cursed him." (an-Nissa' 4/93)
And He has said:
"That will come to be because they followed that which angered Allah, and
shunned that which pleases Him." (Muhammad 47/28)
And He has said:
"When they angered Us, We punished them." (az-Zakhruf 43/55)
And He has said:
"But Allah was adverse to their being sent forth and held them back." (at-
Tawbah 9/46)
And He has said:
"It is most hateful in the Sight of Allah that you say that which you do
not." (as-Saff 61/3)
He has said:
"Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with the
angels? Then the case will have been already judged." (al-Baqarah 2/210)
And He has said:
"Are they waiting to see if the angels come to them? Or your Lord [Himself]?
Or some of the Signs of your Lord? That Day Signs of your Lord will come." (al-
An'am 6/158)
And He has said:
"Nay! When the earth is pounded to powder, then your Lord will come and the
angels will come rank upon rank." (al-Fajr 89/21-22)
And He has said:
"A day will come when the heaven and the clouds will be rent asunder and the
angels will be sent down in a grand descent." (al-Furqan 25/25)
Face and Hand:
He has said:
"Only the Face of your Lord of Might and Glory will remain." (ar-Rahman
And He has said:
"Everything will perish save His Face." (al-Qasas 28/88)
And He has said:
"What kept you (Iblis) from falling prostrate before that which I have created
with My Hands." (Sad 38/75)
And He has said:
"The Jews said: Allah's Hand is tied.' May their hands be tied and may they be
accursed for the [blasphemy] they utter. Rather, both His Hands are widely
outstretched; He gives and spends as He pleases." (al-Ma'idah 5/64)
He has said:
"Wait patiently for the Command of your Lord, [O Muhammad], for verily you
are in Our Eyes." (at-Tur 52/48)
And He has said:
"We carried him [Nuh] on an [ark] made of planks and nails; It floats under
Our Eyes, as a reward for him who was rejected." (al-Qamar 54/13-14)
And He said:
"I have maintained you [Musa] with My Love that you might be reared under
My Eye." (Ta Ha 20/39)
He has said:
"Allah has indeed heard her who argued with you [O Muhammad] concerning
her husband, and who complained unto Allah; Allah hears the argument
between both of you; Indeed, Allah is Hearer,Seer." (al-Mujadalah 58/1)
And He has said:
"Verily, Allah heard the saying of those [the Jews] who said: Allah is poor and
we are rich." (Al'Imran 3/181)
And He has said:
"Do they think that We do not hear their secrets and their private counsels?
Indeed [We do], and Our Messengers are by them to record all." (az-Zakhruf
Seeing and Hearing:
He has said:
"Indeed, I will be with you [Musa and Harun], Hearing and Seeing." (Ta Ha
And He has said:
"Is he then unaware that Allah sees?" (al-'Alaq 96/14)
And He has said:
"Who Sees you when you stand up [to pray]? And [sees] your movements
among those who fall prostrate [in worship]? Indeed, He, and only He, is The
Hearer, The Knower." (ash-Shu'ara' 26/218-220)
And He has said:
"Say [unto them]: Act! Allah will see your actions, and [so will] His Messenger
and the Believers." (at-Tawbah 9/105)
Power of Planning: He has said:
"He is, in His Power, Supreme." (ar-Ra'd 13/13)
And He has said:
"They [the unbelievers] plotted and planned, and Allah planned too; Allah is
The Best of Planners." (Al-'Imran 3/54)
And He has said:
"So they devised a plot: and We devised a plot while they perceived not." (an-
Naml 27/50)
And He has said:
"Indeed, they devise a plot [against you O Muhammad] and I devise a plot
[against them]." (at-Tariq 86/15-16)
He has said:
"If you do good openly or conceal it, or if you forgive evil, indeed, Allah is
Forgiving and Powerful." (an-Nissa' 4/149)
And He has said:
"Let them forgive and disregard [the transgressions of others]. Do you not
wish that Allah forgive you? Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." (an-Nur 24/22)
He has said:
"And the might belongs to Allah and to His Messenger." (al-Munafiqun 63/8)
And He has said about Iblis (the Satan):
"[Iblis] said: Then by Your might, I will lead all of them astray'." (Sad 38/82)
And He has said:
"Blessed be the Name of your Lord, Full of Majesty, and Honor." (ar-Rahman
He has said:
"Therefore, worship you Him and be you steadfast in His Service; Do you know
of anyone who can be named along with Him?" (Maryam 19/65)
And He has said:
"There is none comparable to Him." (al-Ikhlas 112/4)
And He has said:
"Do not set up rivals to Allah when you know [The Truth]." (al-Baqarah 2/22)
And he has said:
"Yet there are some people who take (idols as] rivals to Allah, loving them
with a love like (that which is the due) of Allah (only), but those who believe
overflow in their love of Allah." (al-Baqarah 2/165)
And He has said:
"Say: Praise be to Allah, Who begets no son, Who has no partner in [His]
dominion and Who [needs] none to protect Him from humiliation;' And Magnify
Him with all magnificence." (al-Isra' 17/111)
And He has said:
"All that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth glorifies Allah; To Him
belongs Dominion; To Him belongs Praise; He is Able to do all things." (at-
Taghabun 64/1)
And He has said:
"Blessed is He Who sent down the Criterion [al-Furqan] to His Servant
[Muhammad], that He may warn all creatures. He to Whom belongs the
dominion of the heavens and the earth, no son has He begotten; Nor has He
any partner in His Dominion. It is He Who created all things and ordered them
in due proportions." (al-Furqan 25/1-2)
And He has said:
"Allah did not beget a son; Nor is there any god along with Him; Otherwise
each god would have taken away what he had created and some of them
would have lorded over others. May Allah, Be Glorified above all that they
allege. He knows what is hidden and what is exposed. May He Be Exalted over
all that they ascribe as partners [to Him]." (al-Mu'minun 23/91-92)
And He has said:
"Do not invent similitudes for Allah; Indeed, Allah knows and you know
not." (an-Nahl 16/74)
And He has said:
"Say: My Lord forbids only indecencies whether open or secret, sin and
wrongful oppression. You're associating with Allah that for which no
Revelation has been given, and you're saying things about Allah of which you
have no knowledge." (al-A'raf 7/33)
Settling on the Throne:
(Al-Istiwa' A'la Al-'Arsh)
He has said:
"The Beneficent One, Who is Settled on the Throne (al-Arsh)." and "Then He
Mounted the Throne."
Allah repeated this theme six times in the Qur'an.
He has said:
"Verily! Your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days;
Then He Mounted the Throne." (al-A'raf 7/54)
And He has said:
"Verily! Your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six days;
Then He Established Himself on the Throne." (Yunus 10/3)
And He has said:
"Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that you can see; Then
He Mounted the Throne." (ar-Ra'd 13/2)
And He has said:
"The Beneficent One, Who is Established on the Throne." (Ta Ha 20/5)
And He has said:
"Then He Mounted the Throne, The Beneficent One." (al-Furqan 25/59)
And He has said:
"Allah created the heavens, the earth and all that is between them in six days;
Then He Mounted the Throne." (as-Sajdah 32/4)
And He said:
"He it is Who created the heavens and earth in six days; Then He Mounted the
Throne."13 (al-Hadid 57/4)
And He has said:
"Behold! Allah has said; 'Oh Jesus! I am taking you and raising you up to
Me." (Al'Imran 3/55)
And He has said:
"Rather, Allah raised him up to Him." (An-Nissa' 4/158)
And He has said:
"To Him good words ascend, and He elevates the pious deed."14 (Fatir 35/10)
And He has said:
"O Haman! Build me a tower, that I may reach the roads, - the roads of
heavens, and that I may climb up to the God of Moses, though verily I think he
[Moses] is a liar." (Ghafir 40/36-37)
And He has said:
"Do you feel secure that He Who is in Heaven will not cause you to be
swallowed up by the earth when it shakes? Or do you feel secure that He Who
is in Heaven will not send against you a wind casting down pebbles from the
sky? That is that you may know the manner of My Warning." (al-Mulk 67/16-
And He has said:
"He created the heavens and the earth in six days; Then He Mounted the
Throne. He knows all that enters the earth and all that emerges there from and
all that comes down from the sky and all that ascends therein; He is with you
wherever you may be. And Allah is Seer of what you do." (al-Hadid 57/4)
And He has said:
"There is no secret conference of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He
is their sixth, nor of less or more but He is with them wherever they be: And
afterward, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did.
Indeed, Allah is Knower of All Things." (al-Mujadalah 58/7)
And He has said addressing Abu Bakr in the cave during the Hijrah:
"Grieve not. Indeed, Allah is with us." (at-Tawbah 9/40)
And He has said:
"Indeed, I will be with you, Hearing and Seeing." (Ta Ha 20/46)
And He has said:
"Indeed, Allah is with those who protect themselves and with those who do
good." (an-Nahl 16/128)
And He has said:
"Be patient and persevering, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.15
(al-Anfal 8/46)
And He has said:
"How often a small company overcame a big one by Allah's Help! Allah is with
those who steadfastly persevere." (al-Baqarah 2/249)
He has said:
"Whose words (Hadith) can be truer than Allah's?" (an-Nissa' 4/87)
And He has said:
"Whose utterance (Qil) can be truer than Allah's?" (an-Nissa' 4/122)
And He has said:
"When Allah said (qala): O Jesus, son of Mary" (al-Ma'idah 5/116)
And He has said:
"Perfected is the Word (kalimatu) of your Lord in Truth and Justice." (al-An'am
And He has said:
"To Moses Allah spoke (kallama) directly." (an-Nissa' 4/164)
And He has said:
"And of whom (messengers) there are some unto whom Allah spoke
(kallama)." (al-Baqarah 2/253)
And He has said:
"When Moses came to Our appointed place, and his Lord spoke (kallama) unto
him." (al-A'raf 7/143)
And He has said addressing Musa:
"We called him (nadainahu) from the right side of [Mount] at-Tur and made him
draw near to Us for communion." (Maryam 19/52)
And He has said:
" When your Lord called (nada) Moses: Go unto the wrong-doing folk'." (ash-
Shu'ara' 26/10)
And He has said:
"And their Lord called both of them (nadahuma) [Adam and Hawwa']: Did not
forbid you That Tree, and tell you (wa-aqul): Lo! Satan is an open enemy to
you?" (al-A'raf 7/22)
And He said:
"On The Day He will call unto them (yunadihim) and say: Where are My
partners who you fabricated?" (al-Qasas 28/62)
And He has said:
"On The Day He will call unto them (yunadihim) and say: What answer gave
you to the messengers?" (al-Qasas 28/65)
And He has said:
"If anyone of the pagans seeks your protection, grant it to him so that he may
hear the Words (kalam) of Allah." (at-Tawbah 9/6)
And He has said;
"A party of them used to listen to the Words (kalam) of Allah, then used to
distort it knowingly after they understood it." (al-Baqarah 2/75)
And He has said :
"They wish to change God's Words (kalam); Say: You shall not follow us.' Thus
Allah said (qala) before hand." (al-Fath 48/15)
And He has said:
"Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord; None can
change His Words (kalimatihi)." (al-Kahf 18/27)
And He has said:
"Verily this Qur'an narrates (yaqussu) unto the Children of Israel most of the
matters which they dispute." (an-Naml 27/76)
And He has said:
"This is a Blessed Book (kitabun mubarakun) which We have sent down." (al-
An'am 6/92)
And He has said:
"Had We send down this Qur'an on to a mountain, verily you would have seen it
humbled and rent asunder for fear of Allah." (al-Hashr 59/21)
And He has said:
"When We substitute one Verse (Ayah) for another and Allah knows best what
He reveals-they say: You are but a fabricator; But most of them know not. Say:
The Trustworthy Spirit (i.e., Gabriel) has brought it (The Qur'an) from your
Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as Guidance and
Good Tidings for Muslims. We know well that they say: It is a man who teaches
him; The language of him they falsely point to is notably foreign, while this is
Arabic, pure and clear." (an-Nahl 16/101-103)
Looking at Allah:
He has said:
"Some faces, That Day, will beam (in brightness and beauty), looking toward
their Lord." (al-Qiyamah 75/22-23)
And He has said:
"(Relaxing) on couches looking (at their Lord)." (al-Mutaffifin 83/35)
See Tafsir Ibn Kathir, for support of my translation of this verse. (The Translator)
And He has said:
"For those who do good, is the best (reward given) and more* (thereto).
(Yunus 10/26)
And He has said:
"There they have all they desire; And there is still more with Us." (Qaf 50/35)
And the Qur'an is full of Verses which deal with this topic; Whoever studies the Qur'an carefully
searching for guidance from it, the truthful path will be clear to him.
*According to some interpretations: "They See Allah's face."
Allah's Names and Attributes in the Sunnah
Chapter Two
The Sunnah16 of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) interprets the Qur'an and clarifies it,
and leads to it, and expresses its meaning. We must accept and believe in the sound Ahadith in
which the Messenger (peace be upon him) described his Lord, The Almighty, The Exalted,17 such as
the hadith:
"Our Lord descends during the last third of each night to the lower heaven, and says: 'Is
there anyone who calls on Me that I may respond to him? Is there anyone who asks Me
that I may give unto him? Is there anyone who requests My Forgiveness that I may
forgive him?"' (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"Indeed, Allah is happier with the repentance of his 'abd (worshipper) than any one of
you is with finding his lost riding camel." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"Allah laughs about two men who kill each other but both enter paradise18." (Agreed
upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"Allah marvels about the despair of His creatures ('ibad), while the changing of their
situation from bad to good is very near, He looks at you, and you are very desperate, so
He keeps laughing, because He knows that your relief is very close." (Its isnad is good;
reported by AhmadIbn Hanbal and others)
And the hadith:
"(On the Day of Judgment) when a group of unbelievers is thrown into Hell, Hell asks for
more until the Lord Almighty puts His foot into it; then it folds up saying: Enough,
enough'." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"Allah The Exalted, says: 'Adam!' And Adam answers: 'Here I am, at Your service!' Then
a voice calls: 'Verily! Allah orders you to send a delegate from your offspring to
Hell'." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"Allah will talk to each person directly without a mediator between them." (Agreed upon
it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on curing the ill:
"Our Lord Allah Who is in heaven, may Your name be sanctified, Your law is in heaven
and on earth; As Your Mercy is in heaven so make Your Mercy on earth. Forgive our
faults and our sins. You are the Lord of the good people, bestow some of Your Mercy,
and some of Your Cure on this pain that the sick may be cured." (This hadith has good
isnad, reported by Abu Dawud and others)
And the hadith:
"Do you not trust me, while I have the trust of Him Who is in Heaven?" (Sound hadith;
reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"The Throne is above the water, and Allah is on the Throne; He knows what you are up
to." (Good hadith, reported by Abu Dawud and others.)
And the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the maid:
"Where is Allah?" And she answering: "In heaven." And he saying: "Who am I?" And
she saying: "You are the Messenger of Allah." And he saying "Free her; She is a
believer." (Muslim)
And the hadith:
"When any one of you stands up for prayer, you must not spit in front of you nor to
your right, because Allah is in front to you; But you may spit to your left, or under your
foot." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the hadith:
"My Lord! The Lord of the Seven Heavens, and The Lord of the great Throne, our Lord
and The Lord of all, The Creator of plants and trees, The Revealer of the Tawrah (Old
Testament), the Injil (New Testament) and the Qur'an: I seek refuge in You from the
evil of myself and from the evil of all creatures; You are The First; Nothing is before
You. You are The Last; Nothing is after You. You are the Outward; Nothing is over You.
You are the Inward; Nothing is inside of You. Help me to pay my debt and keep poverty
from me." (Muslim)
And the saying (of the Prophet, peace be upon him), when his companions raised up their voices in
invocation (Dhikr):
"0 people, restrain yourselves. Indeed, you are not calling One Who is deaf or absent;
Rather, you are calling a Hearer, One very close by; The One Who you are calling is
closer to each one of you, closer even than the neck of your riding animal." (Agreed
upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And the saying (of the Prophet, peace be upon him):
"You will see your Lord as you see the full moon; Nothing will impair your view of Him;
And if you are able to keep the dawn prayers and the mid afternoon prayers, do
it." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And many more of these ahadith in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) relates of his
Lord whatever he relates.
The Saved Group (al-firqah an-najiyah), The people of the Sunnah and the Community believe
these things, as they believe what Allah revealed in His Precious Book (i.e., the Qur'an); (They
believe) without distorting or denying and without asking how (takyif) or shaping (tamthil); Rather,
they comprise the center of the groups of the Ummah (the Muslim nation), as the Ummah
comprises the center of all nations.
With regard to the Attributes of Allah, The Glorified, The Exalted, they comprise the center between
the denying Jahmiyah19 and the people who shape and create likenesses (ahl at-tamthil almushabbihah);
And they comprise the center between the Qadariyah20 and the Jabriyah21 with
regard to [the acts of Allah the Exalted], and between the Murji'ah22 and the Wa'idiyah23 of the
Qadariyah and others without regard to [Allah's threat], and between the Haruriyah24 and the
Mu'tazilah25 and between the Murji'ah and the Jahmiyah with regard to [the names of faith and
religion], and between the Rawafid26 and the Khawarij27 with regard to the (Prophet's
Allah is Above Everything
What we mentioned of belief in Allah included belief in what Allah has revealed in His Book (the
Qur'an), and what has been continuously reported from His Messenger (peace be upon him), and
what the early generation of the Ummah unanimously agreed upon: That Allah, The Glorified, is
above His heavens on His Throne, exalted above His creatures, and that He, The Glorified, is with
them wherever they be and knows whatever they do. He summed it up in His saying:
"He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six days; Then He
Settled on the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out
of it and what descends from heavens and what ascends into it; He is with you
wherever you are; Allah sees all what you do." (al-Hadid 57/4)
His saying "He is with you" does not mean that He is commingled with the creatures: The language
does not indicate this and it is against what the early generation of the Ummah agreed upon, and
contrary to Allah's creation of all things; For example, the moon is one of Allah's Signs to be found
amongst the smallest of his creatures; It is placed in the skies where it is at the same time with
both the traveler and the non-traveller, wherever they are; and He, The Glorified, is on the Throne,
watching over His creatures, ruling over them; This is, as well as other Signs of His Lordship.
All that Allah The Glorified mentioned-that He is on the Throne (al-'Arsh) and that He is with us-true
in itself does not warrant distortion but should be protected from false conjectures, such as thinking
that the apparent meaning of His saying "In Heavens" means that heavens contain Him. This is
invalid according to the consensus of all the people of knowledge and faith.
"Indeed, His Seat (Kursi) encompasses heavens and earth, and it is He Who
holds heavens and earth so they do not perish and He Who holds heaven so
that it not fall on earth except by His Permission. "It is among His Signs that
heaven and earth stand fast by His Order." (ar-Rum 30/25)
The Closeness of Allah to His 'Ibad
Included in this is the belief that He is very close to His creatures, responding, as He has summed it
up in His saying:
"If My 'ibad (worshipers) ask you about Me; (say that) I am very close,
answering the caller when he calls on Me." (al-Baqarah 2/186)
And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to his Companions when they raised their voices in
invocation of Allah:
"0 people! Restrain yourselves. Verily, you are not calling One Who is deaf or absent,
the One you call is nearer to each of you than is the neck of your riding animal."
What has been revealed in the Book (i.e.,the Qur'an) and in the Sunnah - of His Closeness and His
Concomitance - does not contradict what has been told of His Exaltation and Highness. Indeed,
Glory be to Him, there is none like Him in all His Attributes, and He is High in His Nearness and
Near in His Highness.
The Qur'an is the Word of Allah
Part of the belief in Allah and His Books28 is the belief that the Qur'an is Allah's Word revealed, not
created29, that in Him it originated and unto Him it returns, that Allah truly uttered it, that this
Qur'an which He revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) is truly the Word of Allah not the
word of any other, that it is not allowable to say it is a narrative of the Word of Allah or an
interpretation of it. That if the people read it or write it in books does not mean it is not the true
Word of Allah, The Exalted, because speech is attributed to the one who spoke it initially, not to the
one who narrated it. It is the Word of Allah, its letters and its meaning. The Word of Allah is not the
words only, without meaning, and not the meaning only, without words.
Seeing Allah on the Day of Judgment
What we referred to of belief in Him, in His Books, and in His Messengers includes also belief that
those who believe will see Him with their eyes, just as they see the sun on a day free of clouds;
Just as they see the full moon without obstacle, they will see Him, The Glorified, while they are in
the Courts of Judgment; And they will see Him after entering Paradise. This is as Allah, The
Glorified, The Exalted, wills.
Belief in the Hereafter
Chapter Three
The Trial of the Grave and Resurrection
The belief in the Last Day is a belief in all that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told of what will
happen after death, belief in the grave trial, in the grave punishment and in the grave delight.
As for the trial, people will be tried in their graves30 Every one will be asked: "Who is your God?
What is your religion? Who is your Prophet?" Allah will affirm the believers with the true words in
this life and in the Hereafter, so the believers will say: Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and
Muhammad (peace be upon him) is my Prophet."
But the doubtful will say: "What? What? I don't know. I heard the people say something, so I said
it." Thence will he be beaten with an iron bar until he sends out a loud scream which all but human
beings will hear, because if they would hear it, they would faint.
This trial will be followed either by delight or punishment, until the Big Resurrection (al-Qiyamah al
Kubra) will take place. The souls will be returned to their bodies and the Resurrection, which Allah
has told of in His Book (the Qur'an) and through His Prophet, and about which all Muslims agree,
will occur. The people, naked, barefoot, uncircumcised31, will rise from their graves to face The
Lord of The Universe, while the sun moves nearer to them and their own sweat overwhelms them.
Then the scales will be set so that people's deeds may be weighed.
"Those whose scales are heavy (with good deeds) will be successful and those
whose scales are light (lacking sufficient good deeds), will lose their souls
eternally to Hell." (al-Mu'minun 23/102-103)
The Records of the People's Deeds
The records will be distributed-the records of deeds. Some will receive theirs in their right hands,
and some in their left or behind their backs32.
For The Glorified, The Exalted, has said:
"Every person is held responsible for his [or her] deeds. On the Day of
Resurrection We shall bring out for him a scroll which he will see spread open.
(He will be ordered): Read your own record; It is sufficient that you judge
yourself today." (al-Isra' 17/13-14)
Allah will remind the people of their deeds, talk privately to His faithful 'abd (worshipper) and
remind him of all his faults. So it has been described in the Book (the Qur'an) and in the Sunnah.
As for non-believers, they will not be reminded in the manner of the one whose good deeds and bad
deeds are balanced, because they will have no good deeds. Rather their (evil) deeds will be
counted, verified and presented so that they admit to them, and will be punished for them.
Al-Hawd (The Prophet's Pool)
In the Court of Judgment is the Prophet's Pool (Hawd) with its water whiter than milk and sweeter
than honey, its drinking vessels as numerous as the stars, and its length a (travel for) a month and
its width a (travel for) a month. Whoever drinks from it will never thirst.
As-Sirat (The Bridge Over Hell)
The Sirat is stretched over Hell. It is the bridge between Paradise and Hell. People cross it in
accordance with their deeds. Some cross as quickly as the eye winks; Some cross as if a flash of
lightening; Some cross as if wind; Some cross as a noble horse would; Some cross as a camel rider
might; Some cross it running, some walking; Some cross it crawling; And some are snatched and
thrown into Hell. The bridge has hooks to snatch the people according to their deeds. Whoever
passes over it enters Paradise. If they cross the Sirat, they will be halted over a bridge between
Paradise and Hell to settle accounts between themselves; If they are cleared and purified, they are
permitted to enter Paradise.
Ash-Shafa'ah (The Prophets Intercession)
The first to knock at the gate of Paradise will be Muhammad (peace be upon him); And the first
Ummah to enter Paradise will be his Ummah.
And he (Muhammad) (peace be upon him) has three intercessions to perform on the Day of
His first intercession will be on behalf of the people still held for judgment, after all Prophets, Adam,
Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, the son of Mary, have passed over intercession and it reaches
him (Muhammad).
His second intercession will be on behalf of the people of Paradise in order that they may enter it.
These two intercessions are unique to him.
His third intercession is to be on behalf of those who warrant Fire. This intercession is for him
(Muhammad), for all prophets and saints and for others, so that they may intercede on behalf of
those who deserve Fire, preventing them from entering it, and on behalf of those who have entered
into the Fire, taking them from it. Allah, The Exalted, out of His Generosity and Mercy, sends some
people out from the Fire without intercession. Space will be left unfilled in Paradise, so Allah will
create more people for it, and bring them into it.
The Hereafter includes judgment, reward, punishment, Paradise and Hell. These are mentioned in
detail in the Revealed Books from heavens, in the tradition of the prophets, and in the inherited
knowledge from Muhammad (peace be upon him) what is sufficient and satisfactory (in this
regard), and whoever wishes to seek it can find it.
Al-Qadar (Divine Decree)
The Saved Group-the people of the Sunnah and of the Community- believe in Qadar (Divine
Decree) whether good or bad. Belief that fate has two parts, each part includes two things: The first
part is belief that Allah ,The Exalted, knows what the creatures will do in accordance with His
Ancient Knowledge, which He described as being of Eternity; He has known all their states of
obedience and disobedience, all their sustenance and their life span.
Allah wrote in al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet) the fate of creatures:
"The first thing He created is the pen (al-qalam), He said to it: 'Write'. It said:
'What shall I write?' He said: 'Write what will take place until the Day of
Judgment.' Whatever is to strike a human being will never miss him, and
whatever is to miss him will never strike him. The pens had been dried and the
scrolls had been folded as Allah, The Glorified, The Exalted, said: "Did you not
know that Allah knows (all) what in heaven and earth? Verily, all put down in a
record. Indeed, that is very easy of Allah." (al-Hajj 22/70)
And He said:
"No disaster befalls earth but it is in a record before We created it. Indeed, it is
easy of Allah." (al-Hadid 57/22)
This predestination which belongs to His Knowledge-may He be Glorified-is in some places
summarized and in others detailed. He has written in the Pre- served Tablet whatever He has
willed: When He creates the body of the fetus and before blowing the soul into it, He sends an
angel to it and orders him to write four words, his livelihood, his life span, his deeds, and if he is
happy or miserable and so forth. This kind of predestination was rejected by extremist Qadariyah of
the past. But these days very few reject it.
The second step is the executed Will of Allah and His Inclusive Ability. The belief in that whatever
Allah wills, will come to pass and whatever He does not will, will never occur, that whatever motion
or silence is in heaven or earth is by the will of Allah, The Glorified. Nothing takes place in His
dominion except what He wills, and He, The Glorified, The Exalted, is capable of all that exists and
all that does not exist.
There is no creature on earth or in heaven except Allah The Glorified, is his Creator. There is no
creator beside Him and there is no Lord other than Him.
With all that, He ordered the creatures to obey Him and His messengers, and He forbade them to
disobey Him.
He, The Glorified, loves the pious, the doers of good and the just. He is pleased with those who
believe and do good deeds; He does not like unbelievers; He is displeased with transgressors; He
does not ordain immorality; He does not wish disbelief for His creatures; And He does not like
Creatures are the performers in reality, but Allah is the Creator of their deeds; The 'abd (human
being) is the believer and the unbeliever, the righteous and the wicked, the praying and the fasting;
The 'ibad (human beings) have power over their actions and they have their own will; But Allah is
their Creator and the Creator of their power and their will, as He, The Exalted, has said:
"To whomever of you wills it, follow the Straight Path. You have no will unless
Allah ,The Lord of the Universe, so wills." (at-Takwir 81/28-29)
This degree of predestination is rejected by most of the Qadariyah - those whom the Prophet
(peace be upon him) called the Fire Worshipers (Majus) of this Ummah (Islam). Others who affirm
this Attribute of Allah exaggerate it to the extent of stripping the human being of his power and his
choice, taking the wisdom and advantage from Allah's acts and rules.
Iman (Faith)
Among the fundamentals of the people of the Sunnah is that religion and faith are utterance and
action - the utterance of the heart and the tongue and the action of the heart, the tongue and the
limbs - and that faith increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience.
In spite of this, Ahl al-Qiblah (Muslims) are not to be considered unbelievers as a result of their
committing faults and sins (Ma'asi and Kaba'ir) as the khawarij consider them. Rather, brotherhood
in faith remains firm despite faults, just as Allah, The Exalted, has said in the punishment Verse:
"If the heir of a murdered person forgives his brother (in faith)33, it is
preferred that he follow his forgiveness with leniency (in collecting the bloodmoney"
34 (al-Baqarah 2/178)
And He has said:
"If two groups of believers fight each other, try to make peace between them.
However, if one of them attacks the other (and refuses to make peace), fight
the attackers until they return to the Ordinance of Allah; Then, if they return,
make peace between them justly, and act equitably. Indeed, Allah loves the
equitable. Believers are indeed brothers, therefore make peace between your
brothers." (al-Hujurat 49/9)
The people of the Sunnah do not completely strip the Muslim transgressor from the faith. And they
do not believe that he will stay in Hell forever as the Mu'tazilah claim. Rather (they believe that) the
transgressor enters under the name of the faith just as Allah has said:
"And liberate a slave who is a believer."(an-Nissa' 4/92).
He may not enter under the name of absolute faith as Allah, The Exalted, has said:
"Indeed, the believers are those whose hearts, when Allah is mentioned (in
their presence), fill with piety, and whose faith, when His Words are recited to
them, increases." (al-Anfal 8/2).
As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"The adulterer is stripped of faith while committing adultery, the thief is stripped of faith
while stealing, the drinker is stripped of faith while he is drinking and anybody who puts
a show of greatness to attract the people's eyes is stripped of faith." (al-Bukhari and
And it is said: He is a believer with incomplete faith; Or he is a believer by his faith and
transgressor by his sin. So he is not given absolutely the name (of faith), nor is he stripped
completely of the name.
Ahl Al-Bait, 'Ummahat Al-Mu'minin and As-Sahabah
Chapter Four
(The Prophet's Family, The Prophet's Wives and the Companions of the Prophet)
As-Sahabah (The Prophets Companions)
Among the fundamentals of the people of the Sunnah and the community is purity of heart and
tongue toward the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) just as Allah has
described them:
"Those who came after them (the Sahabah) say: 'Our Lord forgive us. Forgive our
brethren who preceded us in faith. Purify our hearts of any rancor toward the
believers. Our Lord, You are Gentle, Compassionate." (al-Hashr 59/l0)
Obey the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
"Do not revile my companions. By (Allah) in Whose Hand my soul is!, if any one of you
spends gold (piled up) like (mount) 'Uhud it will not equal a pint of any one of them, nor
its half." (al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu-Dawud, at-Tirmidhi Ibn Majah, Ibn Hanbal)
(The people of the Sunnah) accept what the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the consensus brought them
of the Sahabah's virtues and high ranks; So they prefer those who spent (their wealth) and fought
before the victory -which is the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah*35 - over those who spent and fought after
it. They prefer the Muhajirun (Immigrants) over the Ansar (Helpers). They believe that Allah said to
the people of Badr - they were over three hundred-: "Do whatever you wish, I have already forgiven
you." (Abu Dawud)
And "they believe that no one who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) under the
tree36 will enter Hell" (Muslim), as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had declared; but that Allah
was pleased with them and they with Him - and they were more than one thousand and four
They assign to Paradise whoever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) assigned there such
as the ten**, and Thabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas, and others of amongst the Sahabah.
They accept what has been reported continuously from the Prince of the Believers, 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib
(may Allah be pleased with him), and from others, that the best men of this 'Ummah after its
Prophet are: Abu Bakr; then 'Umar; third, 'Uthman, and fourth, 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be
pleased with them all). All Traditions have indicated, and all Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with
them all) have agreed upon giving priority to 'Uthman out of regard for his allegiance (al-Bai'ah),
although some of the people of the Sunnah are disputing over whether 'Uthman or 'Ali (may Allah
be pleased with both of them) has the priority, after they (the people of the Sunnah) had agreed
upon giving priority to Abu Bakr and 'Umar. Some people gave the priority to 'Uthman and kept
silent and considered 'Ali to be the fourth. However, some people preferred 'Ali. And some remained
neutral. But the people of the Sunnah settled on preferring 'Uthman, even though this matter - the
matter of 'Uthman and 'Ali - is not of the fundamentals. The majority of the people of the Sunnah do
not consider disagreeing in this matter as being misled. Rather, it is in the matter of the "Question
of the Caliphate" where they consider the disagreeing person to be misled.
Ahl as-Sunnah believe that the Caliph after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is Abu
Bakr; then 'Umar; then 'Uthman, then 'Ali, and that whoever contests the Caliphate of any one of
these Imams is indeed more lost than an ass
Ahl as-Sunnah should not deal with what happened between the Sahabah of the disagreement, and
they must say: Part of the Traditions which are narrated about their faults are untrue, and some of
them added to or omitted from, or distorted; The part of them which is true, they are excused
from, because either they expressed their personal opinion and were right, or they expressed their
personal opinion and were wrong.
Ahl as-Sunnah do not think that each of the Sahabah is infallible of committing grave sins or light
sins, but that they are liable to commit general offenses. Nevertheless, to them belongs priority in
accepting Islam
and in doing good deeds which qualify them for forgiveness of what they may have committed, to
the extent that their offenses are forgiven. The same offenses will not be forgiven of those who
come after them because they (as-Sahabah) have a credit of good deeds which erase the bad
deeds, a credit the generations after them do not have. It has been confirmed by the saying of the
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him):
"That they are the best of all generations," (al-Bukhari and Muslim) and: "That the pint
of charity any one of them might have given is better than a pile of gold the size of
Mount 'Uhud if it is given by anyone who comes after them." (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Moreover, if anyone of them (as-Sahabah) committed any act of offense, without doubt he
repented from it, or he did good deeds which wiped that offense from him, or he has been forgiven
for the virtue of accepting Islam from its start or by intercession of Muhammad (peace be upon
him) since they are deserving most his intercession, or a calamity inflicted upon him in this world
which covered for that offense. But if this is the case in actual offenses, what about matters in
which they were mujtahids (formulating independent decision in legal or theological matters)? If
they were correct in their ijtihad they will receive double reward and if they missed they will receive
one reward and the missing is forgiven for them.
Furthermore, the objectionable amount of their deeds is negligible in comparison to their virtues,
their merit is in belief in Allah and His Messenger, the jihad in His Path, the Hijrah (emigration) from
Makkah to al-Madinah, the support for the Prophet and the faith, the valuable knowledge and the
good deeds. Whoever studies the life of the Sahabah objectively, with insight and with what Allah
bestowed upon them of virtues, will no doubt discover that they are the best of all people after the
Prophet (peace be upon him), that there never was and never will be their like and that indeed they
are the choicest of the generations of the 'Ummah which is in itself the best of all nations and the
most honorable in the eyes of Allah ,The Exalted.
Ahl Al-Bait (The Prophets Family)
Ahl as-Sunnah should love the Prophet's family, give them support, and honor the Prophet's will in
regard to them, as he said at Ghadir al-Khum: "I ask you by Allah to take care of my family I ask
you by Allah to take care of my family." (Muslim)
[The Prophet] (peace be upon him) said to his uncle al-Abbas when he complained to him that
some men of Quraysh resent Banu Hashim (the Prophet's clan):
"By (Allah) in Whose Hands my soul is! They will never be believers until they love you
for the sake of my relationship to you." (Reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and others)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Indeed, Allah chose the sons of isma'il, and from them He chose Kinanah, and from
Kinanah He chose Quraish, and from Quraish he chose Banu Hashim, and from Banu
Hashim He chose me." (Reported by Muslim and Ibn Hanbal)
'Ummahat Al-Mu'minin (The Prophets Wives)
[Ahl as-Sunnah] should give support to the wives of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him),
the Mothers of the Believers, and they should believe that they will be his wives in the Hereafter,
especially Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) the mother of most of his children, and the first
person to believe in him and give him support, and he respected her very highly.
And [A'ishah], as-Siddiqah, the daughter of [Abu Bakr] as-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with her
and her father), of whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"A'ishah's superiority over women is like the superiority of ath-Tharid (a dish of sopped
bread, meat and broth) over the rest of the food." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
[Ahl as-Sunnah] should forsake the Rawafid doctrine, those who hate the Prophet's Companions and
revile them.
They should forsake the Nawasib37 doctrine (those who harm the Prophet's Family verbally or
Karamat Al-Awliya' (The Miracles of the Saints)
Among the fundamentals of the people of the Sunnah and the Community is the belief in the
miracles of the saints (Karamat al- Awliya): Allah created supernatural acts through them in all
aspects of life, revelations (Mukashafat), power, and impressions. This is known of ancient nations
in Surat al-Kahf (chapter 18) and in other Qur'anic chapters and is known of the early men of this
'Ummah amongst the Sahabah and the Tabi'un and amongst the rest of the generations of this
'Ummah. It will be with them to the Day of Resurrection.
* Some traditionalists believe the victory (al-Fat-h) is the liberation of Makkah. (See
Tafsir Ibn Kathir, VIII, pp.37-39 in his commentary on verse 10 of Suratal-Hadid 57.)
**They are: Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali, Talhah, Az-Zubair, Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas,
Sa'idibn Zayd, 'Abd ar-Rahman Ibn 'Awf and Abu 'Ubaidah Ibn al-Jarrah.
The Path of Ahl As-Sunnah Wal-Jama'ah
Chapter Five
The path of the people of the Sunnah and the Jama'ah is following the Prophet's Tradition both
inwardly and outwardly, and following the foot- steps of the early Muslims, both the Muhajirun
(Emigrants) and the Ansar (Helpers), and following the Prophet's recommendation:
"Hold on to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me. Hold on
to it firmly. And beware of heretical innovations (bida') because each heretical
innovation (bid'ah) is a falsehood and each false- hood is a deviation from the right
path." (Reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi who said it is a good
and sound hadith, and Ibn Majah)
The people of the Sunnah know that the most truthful words are Allah's Words over the words of all
people, and they put the guidance of Muhammad (peace be upon him) ahead of the guidance of all
people. Because of all this they are called the People of the Book and the Sunnah. They are called
the People of the Community because community means unity and its opposite is disunity. The
term Jama'ah became a name for the unified people themselves and al-Ijma' (consensus) is the
third pillar on which people depend for 'ilm (knowledge) and din (faith).
By these three pillars (Qur'an, Sunnah, and Ijma') is measured all that people follow of inward or
outward words and acts which have any relation to din (faith) and to the controlled ijma' of the
righteous ancestors since after them the disagreement increased, and the 'Ummah dispersed.
Brotherhood Among Muslims
Chapter Six
By these fundamentals, then, they bid good deeds and forbid objectionable deeds in accordance
with what the Shari'ah ordains. And they believe in practicing Hajj (pilgrimage) and Jihad (struggle
for the cause of Allah), in attending Friday communal prayers and the holidays with the leaders, be
they pious or wicked, and in observing the community prayers. They believe in advising the
'Ummah, and they indoctrinate themselves with the Prophet's saying:
"A believer is for a believer just as all the parts of an edifice support each
other." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) intermixed his fingers while saying this.
And [they indoctrinate themselves with] the saying of [the Prophet] (peace be upon
him): "The example of the believers in their affection and compassion and benevolence
is like the body; If one part of it becomes ill the whole body comes to its aid with fever
and sleeplessness." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
[Ahl as-Sunnah] bid people persevere when calamity strikes, and are thankful in the time of life's
ease, and are accepting in the fulfillment of Allah's Irreversible Decree. They call on people to
practice noble manners and good deeds, and to indoctrinate themselves with the Prophet's saying:
"A perfect faith belongs to a believer with good manners." (Reported by Ibn Hanbal and
at-Tirmidhi who said it is good and sound hadith)
[Ahl as-Sunnah] urge people to mend the relations with those who have broken with them, to give
to those who have deprived them, and to forgive those who have done injustice to them. They
order people to keep filial piety, to be good to other relatives, to be good neighbors, to treat
orphans, wayfarers and the poor kindly and to be gentle and humane to the slave. They forbid
bragging, arrogance and transgression. They prevent people from feeling superior over others,
rightly or wrongly. And they bid people use high manners and prohibit them from pursuing trifles.
All that they say or do of the above, or of other than it, in all of it they follow the Book (The Qur'an
and the Sunnah. Their "path" is the religion of Islam, for which Allah sent Muhammad (peace be
upon him).
But for all this, the Prophet (peace be upon him) foretold:
"That his 'Ummah will split into seventy-three factions, all of them in Hell except one:
The Jama'ah (the Community)." (Reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal)
And (the Prophet) (peace be upon him) said in another hadith:
"They are those who will follow what I am and what my companions are today." (at-
Those referred to in this saying, those who hold firmly to pure, unadulterated Islam, became the
people of the Sunnah and the Jama'ah. Amongst them are the Siddiqs, the martyrs, the righteous,
included in them are the cairns of guidance, the lamps for darkness, the masters of memorable
merits, the ever-remembered virtues; Among them are the Abdal38 the Imams about whose
judgment and understanding all Muslims agree. These are the victorious ones about whom the
Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"A group of my 'Ummah will continue to follow the truth prominently. Whoever betrays
them or opposes them can never harm them to the Day of Judgment." (al-Bukhari and
Thus, we ask Allah ,The Great "to make us part of them, and not to let our hearts swerve after He
has guided us and to bestow on us Mercy from Him. Indeed, He is, The Generous. Allah knows
May Allah's many blessings and greetings be upon Muhammad, his family, and his companions.
Al-'Aqidah Al-Wasitiyah Footnotes
1. The scholars differed in regard to the "Basmalah"; is it a verse (ayah) of each chapter (Surah) it
opens?, or is it a separate verse which was revealed to separate between the chapters?, and to be
blessed by starting the reading with it; the second opinion is the preferable one. And they agreed
that it is a part of a verse in Surat an-Naml (27/30), and to abandon it at the beginning of Surat
Bara'ah or (at-Tawbah/9), because it is considered as one chapter with Surat al-Anfal/8.
2. Al-Hamdu Lil-Lahi (all the praise belongs to Allah): It was reported from the Prophet (peace be
upon him) that he said:
"Every talk which does not open with praising Allah and asking mercy for me is
incomplete and has no blessing." (ar-Rahawi) The same thing was reported about the
Basmalah. (Ibn Hibban)
3. The Messenger is a man who received a Revelation of Shari'ah (religion and law), and was
ordered by God to announce it, however, if he received a revelation and wasn't ordered to
announce it, then he is only a prophet and not a messenger.
4. The (Shahadah) of Allah, the Exalted, is implemented by His Word and His Action, and His
Support for His Messenger by victory, miracles, and various proofs that what he brought forth is the
Pure Truth.
5. La ilaha illa Allah (There is no god but Allah) is the formula of Tawhid (Oneness) which all
Messengers (peace be upon them all) agreed upon, rather it is the essence of their messages, and
every Messenger made it the opening of his message and its pillar, as our Prophet (peace be upon
him) said:
"I was ordered to fight people until they say La ilaha illa Allah, and if they say it, then
they protect their blood and their property from me except for its dues, and Allah, The
Almighty, The Supreme, will judge them." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
6. And making the shahadah (testimony) for the Messenger (peace be upon him) of the Risalah
(Message) and the 'Ubudiyah (Servitude to Allah and worshiping Him) connected with the
Testimony of the Oneness of Allah, to indicate that both of them must be mentioned together, and
no one of them takes the place of the other, for this they were connected in adhan (the call for
prayers) and at-tashahhud (the testimony). Some people interpreted the verse,
"And We exalted your name." (al-Inshirah 94/4) as: "Whenever I am
mentioned you will be mentioned with Me."
And He combined for him (the Prophet) the two tides, namely that of the Messenger-ship and the
Servitude, because they are the highest of which any human being could be described. The
Servitude or the worship is the reason for which Allah made the creations, as He said:
"I created the jinn and humankind only that they should worship Me." (adhDhariyat,
So the perfection of the creature is in accomplishing that goal, and the more the human being
increases his accomplishment of the servitude, the more he increases his perfection and makes his
status higher, for this Allah mentioned His Prophet with the title 'Abd (slave, servant, worshipper)
during his highest and noblest situations like al-Isra' (the night journey from Makkah to al-Quds).
Also, in the sound hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Do not praise me as the Christians praised The Son of Mary (Jesus), indeed, I am only
a human being, so, say; 'The 'Abd of Allah and His Messenger'."
7. The Saved Group is the victorious one according to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon
"A band of my 'Ummah shall stick to truth and will stay victorious, and will not be
harmed by whoever betrays them until the Day of Judgment" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
And his saying:
"This 'Ummah will be divided into 73 divisions, all of them will go to Hell except one,
which follows what I and my Companions are today." (at-Tirmidhi)
8. The Sunnah means the way which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions lived
and behaved before the rise of the heretical innovations.
9. These six articles are the pillars of the faith, and every true believer must accept all of them
according to the guidance of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and whoever rejects any article of them is
not considered a true believer. Those pillars are mentioned in the story of Gabriel when he came to
the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a bedouin to ask him about Islam and Iman (faith) and Ihsan
(worshiping Allah as if we see Him, since we do not see Him, He sees us): the Prophet said:
"To believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and to believe in the
Resurrection after death, and the Qadar (Divine Decree) whether it is good or bad. The
Books are the revealed ones from the heavens to the Messengers, of which are known
to us are: The Scrolls of Abraham (Suhuf Ibrahim), The Old Testament (at-Tawrah),
The New Qur'an Testament (al-Injil, the Zabur (the Psalms of David), and the Qur'an,
the Last Revelation. "
The Messengers: only twenty-five of them are mentioned in the Qur'an, as for the rest, we should
believe in them without bothering ourselves in counting them, or knowing their names, because this
is what Allah kept for Himself as He said in the Qur'an
"Verily We sent Messengers before you, among them those of whom We have
told you, and some of whom We have not told you." (Ghafir or al-Mu'min
10. The negation is two kinds: general and specific. The general is to remove from Allah all that
negates His Perfectness from defects and bad qualities, as He said: "There is nothing like Him."
and "Do you know any similar to Him?" "Praise Allah of what they describe Him." The
specific is to glorify Allah from having a father, or son, or wife, or partner, or equal, or ignorance, or
weakness, or confusion, or forgetfulness, or slumber, or sleep, or falsehood and playfulness. All
these negations are not required for their own, but at the same time to confirm their contrast, so,
the negation of the partner and the equal is to confirm His absolute greatness, and so on.
Affirmation is also of two kinds: general and specific. The general is to affirm His Absolute
Perfectness, and the Absolute Praiseworthiness, and Absolute Glory, and so forth, as Allah said:
"Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds" (al-Fatihah 1/1) and "Allah's is the
Sublime Similitude." (an -Nahl 16/60).
The specific affirmation includes each name or attribute which has been mentioned in the Qur'an
and the Sunnah, and they are very numerous, which makes it very difficult to enumerate here, but
one can find them all over the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
11. This Surah (chapter) is given special status because it contains what no other chapters of the
Qur'an contain, therefore, it has been called al- Ikhlas (the purity of faith) because it purified the
faith from the blemish of paganism. Al-Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reported in his Musnad from
'Ubayy Ibn Ka'b (may Allah be pleased with him), the reason for its revelation was that the nonbelievers
said: "Muhammad tell us the genealogy of your God, so, Allah, The Blessed, The Exalted
revealed: 'Say: He is Allah The One, Allah The Eternal..." It has been confirmed in the Sahih (the
Sound Book of Hadith) that it is equal to a third of the Qur'an, but the scholars disputed over the
interpretation of this saying, the most acceptable interpretation is what Sheikh al-Islam (i.e.,Ibn
Taimiyah) narrated from Abu al- 'Abbas which is summed up as follows: The Qur'an contains three
basic objectives:
A. The ordinance which include the rules and the practical regulations which are the
subject of Fiqh and Morality.
B. The stories and the accounts which contain the situation of the Messengers (peace be
upon them all) with their nations, and the kinds of punishments which are inflicted on
the non-believers; and the reward and the threat, and the details of the reward and the
punishment in the Hereafter.
C. The Tawhid (the Oneness of God), and what people should know of Allah and His
Names and Attributes, and this is considered the noblest of the three kinds.
Since Surat al-Ikhlas contained the essence of this kind of knowledge, generally speaking, it is
proper to say it is equal to a third of the Qur'an. The same could be said about Ayat al-Kursi in
which Allah informed us about Himself, that He is the One in His Lordship, which means no other
deity should be worshiped beside Him.
12. These four names deal with encompassment; His Name "The First" indicates His infinitely preexistence
and eternity; and His Name "The Last" indicates His immortality and everlastingness; and
His Name "The Outward" indicates His highness and greatness by the fact that He encompasses
everything; and His Name "The Inward" indicates His closeness and being with and within
13. Istawa 'ala al-Arsh (He Established Himself on, or Mounted The Throne). This issue must be
accepted as al-Imam Malik said:
"The mounting is known, but "how" is unknown. "In other words, one must accept the
fact that Allah Mounted the Throne without questioning how. Because it is better for a
Muslim to spend his or her time thinking about improving the Muslims' and all
humanity's situation than to waste the time in debating issues without answers. There
are certain issues of the faith only Allah, The Exalted, knows their answers, so let us
leave these issues to Him".
14. These verses indicate Allah's Highness over His creatures, therefore everything should be raised
up to Him.
15. From these verses we learn that Allah is with us all the time, watching over our deeds and
hearing our thoughts. If we remember this fact all the time, we will be better human beings, and
we will be careful about our acts and behavior.
16. The Sunnah is the second source which Muslims must turn to in all their daily affairs after the
Qur'an. Allah, The Exalted, confirmed that in the Qur'an as He said:
"Allah revealed unto you (Muhammad) the Scripture and Wisdom, and taught
you that which you knew not." (an-Nissa' 4/113)
The Wisdom here referred to, means the Sunnah.
And He said:
"Our Lord! And raise up in their (the Arabs) midst a messenger from among
them who shall recite unto them Your Revelations, and shall instruct them in
the Scripture and in Wisdom..." (al-Baqarah 2/129)
And He said instructing the wives of His Prophet:
"And learn that which is recited in your houses of the Revelations of Allah and
Wisdom." (al-Ahzab 33/34).
And Allah, The Praiseworthy said:
"And whatsoever the Messenger allows you to do, do it. And whatsoever he
forbids, abstain (from it.)" (al-Hashr 59/7).
The Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
"I was given the Qur'an and its equal in addition to it." (Abu Dawud)
From all this one can learn that the rule of the Sunnah is almost equal to the rule of the Qur'an in
affirming the faith and the practices of Islam, indeed the Sunnah is a clarification to the Qur'an and
an explanation of its general concepts, as Allah, The Exalted said:
"And We have revealed unto you the Remembrance (adh- Dhikr) that you may
explain to mankind that which has been revealed for them." (an-Nahl 16/44)
Remembering all this no one is allowed to reject the sound Sunnah on the pretext that it is not
authentic, or we accept only what is mentioned in the Qur'an. If this claim is true, then those
people should not pray because the acts and the performance of prayers are not mentioned in the
Qur'an, the same is true about the rites of pilgrimage, ablution, and many daily performances which
are mentioned in the Qur'an in general terms only. Moreover, we should not exaggerate in
allegorical interpretations of the Sunnah, and try to philosophize it, because the Prophet (peace be
upon him) did not intend that, rather he spoke in clear simple terms in order for people to be able
to understand him, and be right in practicing their faith. It is true that some hooks of Sunnah and
Hadith contain fabricated stories and sayings but this should not obstruct us from seeing The Truth
and finding it in the many collections which do contain sound and authentic hadiths and stories,
because the scholars of Sunnah and Hadith, such as al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhi, an
Nassa'i and many others cleared the matter for us hundreds of years ago, may Allah reward them
the best of rewards in the Hereafter.
17. In regard to the Attributes of Allah, one cannot help it but to think about it since there is a lot of
argument and debate and disagreement around them, to the extent that some people reject them
completely, while others treat them as bodily attributes and give them shape, like "Allah's Face". or
"Allah's Eyes", or "Allah's Hand", etc. I believe that these Attributes should be explained
allegorically, without shaping or rejecting, in other words, as they mean in regard to power,
protection and watching and hearing without asking "how". The idea behind mentioning these
Attributes is to make our limited minds comprehend Allah and relate to Him, otherwise how do we
expect Allah to describe Himself to us?
18. The meaning of this hadith is that a believer goes to war with unbelievers, and a non-believer
kills the believer Muslim so he enters Paradise because of him losing his life for the sake of Allah,
however, after that the non-believer accepts Islam and becomes a believer then dies as a true
believer, and he in turn enters Paradise, so the killer and the killed enter Paradise. This indicates to
us the Mercy, Favor and Generosity of Allah to His creatures.
19. The Jahmis are the followers of Jahm Ibn Safwan Abu Muhriz, a (mawla) client of Banu Rasib,
called at-Tirmidhi by some and as-Samarqandi by others, a Muslim theologian, who attached
himself to al-Harith Ibn Suraij, the "man with the black banner", during the rising in Khurasan
towards the end of the 'Umayyad period and was therefore put to death in 128 H./745-6 C.E. by
Salm Ibn Ahwaz. As a theologian he occupies an independent position in as much as he agreed with
the Murji'ah on the one hand in teaching that belief is an affair of the heart, and with the Mu'tazilah
in denying the anthropomorphic attributes of God, but on the other hand he was one of the
strongest defenders of Jabr. He only allowed that Allah is All-Powerful and the Creator because
these are the things which can not be predicated of any created being. He further denied the
eternity of Paradise and Hell. His followers called jahmiyah after him, survived down to the fifth
century of the Hijrah/eleventh century C.E., around Tirmidh but then adopted the doctrines of the
20. Qadariyah (Qadaris) is a Muslim sect which believes that man produced his own actions, which
meant that they make man (khaliq al-af'al) creator of actions, thus giving Allah a partner in
21. Jabriyah is the name given to those who, in opposition to the Qadariyah, deny the freedom of
the will, and on this point make no distinction between man and inanimate nature, in as much as
his actions are subordinate to the compulsion (jabr) of God. The most prominent champion of this
view is Jahm Ibn Safwan and many other small sects.
22. Murji'ah is the name of one of the early sects of Islam, the extreme opponents of the Khawarij.
The latter thought that a Muslim by committing a mortal sin becomes kafir. The Murji'ah, on the
other hand, were of the opinion that a Muslim does not lose his faith through sin. This doctrine led
them to a far-reaching quietism in politics; according to their doctrine, the Imam who was guilty of
mortal sins did not cease to be a Muslim and must be obeyed. The Salah (prayers) performed
behind him was valid.
23. Al-Wa'idiyah believe that Allah logically must punish the disobedient as He must reward the
obedient, therefore, according to them, if a person committed a major sin and died before
repenting, Allah must not forgive him. This doctrine conflicts with the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
24. Al-Haruriyah is a branch of the Khawarij, the earliest of the religious sects of Islam, whose
importance lies particularly, from the point of view of the development of dogma, in the formulation
of questions relative to the theory of the Caliphate and to justifications by faith or by work.
The Origin Of the Khawarij Movement:
The occasion for the schism was given by the proposal presented to 'Ali by Mu'awiyah during the
battle of Siffin (Safar, 37 H./July, 657 C.E.) to settle the differences by referring it to two arbitrators
who would pronounce judgment according to the Qur'an, while the majority of 'Ali's army readily
adopted this proposal, one group of warriors, mainly of the tribe of Tamim, vigorously protested
against the setting up of a human tribunal above the Divine Word. Loudly protesting that judgment
belongs to Allah alone" (La hukma illa lil-Lahi), they left the army, and withdrawing to the village of
Harura', not far from Kufah, they elected as their chief an obscure soldier 'AbdAllah Ibn Wahb ar-
Rasibi. These first dissenters took the name al-Haruriyah or al-Muhakkimah.
25. Al-Mu'tazilah is the name of the great theological school which created the speculative
dogmation of Islam. The Mu'tazilis are those who profess the doctrine of i'tizal, i.e., the doctrine of
(al-manzilah baina al-manzilatain), or the state intermediate between belief and unbelief, the
fundamental doctrine of the school. The name "Mu'tazilah" is derived from a schism which took
place in the circle of al-Hasan al-Basfi: after laying down their doctrine of (al-manzilah baina almanzilatain),
Wasil Ibn 'Ata' and 'Amr Ibn 'Ubaid are said to have separated (i'tazala) from al-
Hasan's circle to found an independent school. Some modern scholars believe that the Mu'tazilah
had a political origin started at the time of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, when a group of Muslims stayed
neutral in the fight between 'Ali on the one side and Talhah, az-Zubair and 'A'ishah on the other, as
the third (neutral) group was described in the historical chronicles as: (i'taaalu) moved away from
the fighting.
Part of their theological doctrine was that the Qur'an was created. This belief caused a lot of debate
and argument among the Muslim theologians in the medieval times and the main proponents of this
doctrine was the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun and his brother al-Mu'tasim, and its main opponent was
the famous Muslim jurist Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.
26. Rawafid or Rafidah is one of the names given to the Shi'ah. Al-Ash'ari explains this
denomination as those who rejected the caliphate of Aba Bakr and 'Umar:
27. al-Khawarij-See al-Haruriyah.
28. Allah's Books are: The Books which He revealed, namely; The Old Testament (at-Tawrah), The
New Testament (al-Injil) and the Qur'an.
29. Here Ibn Taimiyah is responding to the Mu'tazilah who claimed that the Qur'an is created.
30. According to the Muslim faith, when a dead person is buried in his or her grave two angels, one
called Munkar and the other called Nakir; examine and if necessary punish him or her in the tomb.
To the examination in the tomb the infidels and the faithful, the righteous as well as the sinners are
liable. They are set upright in their tombs and must answer certain questions. The righteous faithful
will answer them properly, thereupon they will be left alone until the Day of Resurrection. The
sinners and the infidels, on the other hand will not have satisfactory answers at hand.
Consequently, the angels will beat them severely.
31. Uncircumcised means that people will be resurrected as they were created the first time, as
Allah, The Exalted said:
"Now have you come unto Us solitary as We did create you at the first..." (al-
An'am 6/94)
32. The believers and the righteous will receive their record of deeds in their right hand, but the
infidels and the sinners will receive their records in their left hand or behind their backs.
33. Here means the murderer.
34. If the heir of the murdered person forgives the murderer by not executing him for committing
the murder, rather he accepts the blood- money, in this case Allah recommended that the forgiving
person should continue to be magnanimous and not to ask the blood-money in harsh and rough
terms, and to wait if the murderer cannot afford it right away. At the same time, Allah commands
the murderer to pay the blood-money without reducing the requested amount and without very
much delay.
35-36. In the year 628 C.E., the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led a band of believers
to perform 'umrah (smaller pilgrimage) to Makkah, but the non-believers of Makkah prevented him
and his followers from entering Makkah by blocking their way with a large army at a place called al
Hudaibiyah located nine miles out of Makkah. As a result, a war almost broke out between the two
parties, but negotiations took place instead. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent 'Uthman (may
Allah be pleased with him) to Makkah to represent him at the negotiations, but he did not return for
three days and rumors reached the Prophet and his followers that 'Uthman was killed by the
Makkans. Although unprepared for battle, the Prophet could not leave the Makkans unpunished for
their treacherous act. So, he assembled his followers and, standing under a large tree, they pledged
allegiance to him to fight the Makkans. Therefore, Allah praised them in the Qur'an:
"Lo! Those who swear allegiance unto you (Muhammad), swear allegiance only unto
Allah. The Hand of Allah is above their hands..."(al-Fat-h 48/10)
In the same chapter, verse 18, Allah expressed His pleasure with the believers who pledged
allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) under the tree in Hudaibiyah, He said
: "Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto you
beneath the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down peace of
reassurance on them, and has rewarded them with a near victory."
37. Nawasib is a group of people who do not like 'Ali or his family; they are the counterpart of the
38. Al-Abdal certain righteous persons, of whom the world is never destitute; when one dies, Allah
substituting another in his place. Certain persons by means of whom Allah rules the earth;
consisting of seventy men, according to their assertion, of whom the earth is never destitute; forty
of whom are in Syria, and thirty in the other countries; none of them dying without another's
supplying his place, from the rest of mankind; and therefore they are named Abdal.
Wa-ahhira da'wana: "Al-Hamdu lil-Lahi Rabbi al-'Alamin, was-salatu was- salamu 'ala
ashrafl al-mursalin, Sayyidina Muhammad, wa-'ala alihi wa-sahbihi ajma'in wa-man
walahum ila yawmi ad-din. Allahumma ighfir li wa-li- walidayya, wa-arhamhuma ha-ma
rabbayani saghiran."
About the Translator
Dr. Assad Nimer Busool was born in Reina, Nazareth, Palestine. He received his Bachelor and
Masters degrees in Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He
received a Masters degree in Library Science, and a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the
University of California, Berkeley, California.
He has taught Arabic and Islam at San Diego State University, San Diego, California and the
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Currently he is a Professor and Chairman of the Department
of Arabic Studies at the American Islamic College, Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Busool is a prolific writer and has published books, articles, and short stories in English, Arabic
and Hebrew. Among his writings are:
1) Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani - Forty Hadith, (translation into English)
2) Al-Mundhiri - Forty Hadith, (translation into English)
3) Shapes and Forms of Arabic Letters, (3rd printing)
4) Games of the Children of Palestine, (in Arabic)
5) Ibn Taimiyah. al-'Aqidah al-Wasitiyah. (translation into English with introduction and
commentary, 2nd edition)
6) The Role of The Qur'an and the Sunnah in Reviving the Muslim 'Ummah, (in Arabic)
7) Good Neighbors and Other Moral Stories, (adapted from Classic Arabic and translated
into English)
8)Islamic Fundamentalism
9) Islam's Relationship to Christianity and Judaism
10) The Proper Pronunciation of The Language of The Qur'an


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