Sunni Creeds

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Creeds of the Imams of Ahlus-Sunnah

The best of people are those of my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them” (Bukhari/Muslim)

  • Imam Abu Hanifah (d. 150 A.H.)
  • Imam al-Awza’i (d. 157 A.H.)
  • Imam Sufyan ath-Thawri (d. 161 A.H)
  • Imam Sufyan ibn ‘Uyainah (d. 197 A.H.)
  • Imam al-Humaydi (d. 219 A.H.)
  • Imam Abu Thawr ibn Khalid al-Kalbi (d. 240 A.H.)
  • Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 A.H.)
  • Imam al-Bukhari (d. 256 A.H.)
  • Imam Abu Zur’ah ar-Razi’i (d. 264 A.H.)
  • Imam Abu Hatim ar-Razi’i (d. 277 A.H.)
  • Imam Sahl ibn Abdullah at-Tustari (d. 283 A.H.)
  • Imam Abul Hassan al-Ash’ari (d. 324 A.H.)
  • Imam at-Tahawi (d. 331 A.H.)
  • Ibn Abi Zaid al-Qayrawani (d. 386 A.H.)
  • Imam Ibn Qudamah (d. 621 A.H.)

    Fiqhul Akbar
    by Imam Abu Hanifah (80 A.H-150 A.H.)
    An-Nu’man ibn Thabit at-Taymi Abu Hanifah at-Tabi’i (May Allah be pleased with him) said,The root of the affirmation of Allah’s unity, and that which is correct conviction, consists of this, that one says:

    1. I believe in Allah, and His angels, and His books, and His messengers, and resurrection after death, and that the good and evil of destiny are from Allah Most High. I believe too in the accounting and the scales, hell and paradise. All the foregoing is reality.

    2. Allah is One, not in a numerical sense, but in the sense that He has no partner – “Say: He is Allah, One; Allah the Eternally Subsistent and Besought; He begets not, nor was He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.” He resembles nothing among His creation, nor does anything among His creation resemble Him. He has been, unceasing, and He is, unceasing, with His names and attributes, both those relating to His Essence and those relating to His acts. As for those relating to His Essence, they are life, power, knowledge, speech, hearing, sight, and will. As for those relating to His acts, they are creativity, sustenance, originating and fashioning ex nihilo, making, and other active attributes.

    He has been, unceasing, and He is, unceasing, with His attributes and names; neither attribute nor name was created. He has always and unceasingly been a knower, by virtue of His knowledge, and His knowledge is a pre-eternal attribute. He has always and unceasingly been powerful, by virtue of His power, and His power is a pre-eternal attribute. He has always and unceasingly been speaking by virtue of His speech and His speech is a pre-eternal attribute. He has always and unceasingly been a creator, by virtue of His creativity, and His creativity is a pre-eternal attribute. He has always and unceasingly been an agent, by virtue of His activity, and His activity is a pre-eternal attribute; the object of His activity is creation, and His activity is uncreated. His attributes existed in pre-eternity, without being created or called into existence at a particular moment. Whoever says that they are created or summoned into existence at a particular moment, or is uncertain about the attributes and doubts them, is an unbeliever in Allah Almighty.

    3. The Qur’an is the Word of Allah Almighty, written on collections of leaves (masahif), preserved in men’s hearts, recited on men’s tongues, and sent down to the Prophet, upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings. Our uttering of the Qur’an is created, and our recitation of the Qur’an is created, but the Qur’an itself is uncreated.

    That which Allah Almighty mentions in the Qur’an as a narration from Moses and other of the prophets – peace and blessings be upon them – and also from the Pharaoh and Iblis, all of it is Allah’s word, and constitutes a report concerning them. Allah’s word is uncreated. It is the Qur’an which as the word of Allah Most High is uncreated, not their words, Moses, upon whom be peace, heard the Word of Allah Almighty, as Allah Almighty says: “Allah addressed Moses in speech.” Thus Allah Almighty was the speaker, and Moses, upon whom be peace, did not speak. Allah Most High was a creator in pre-eternity, even without having brought creation into existence: “there is naught like unto Him; He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” When Allah addressed Moses He did so with His word that was, like all of His attributes, an attribute existing from pre-eternity, unlike the attributes of created beings.

    4. Allah knows, but not as we know; He has power, but not as we have power; He sees, but not as we see; He hears, but not as we hear; and He speaks, but not as we speak. We speak by means of the speech organs and sounds, whereas Allah Most High speaks with neither organs nor sounds. Sounds are created, and the word of Allah Most High is uncreated. He is a thing, but unlike other things; by saying “thing,” we intend merely to affirm His reality. He has neither body nor substance, neither accidental property nor limit, neither opposite nor like nor similitude. He has a hand, a face, and a self (nafs); the mention that Allah most High has made of these in the Qur’an has the sense that these are among His attributes, and no question can be raised concerning their modality (bila kayf). It cannot be said that His hand represents His power or His bestowal of bounty, because such an interpretation would require a negation of an attribute. This is the path taken by the Qadarites and the Mu’tazilites (two theological sects in early Islam that deviated from the path of Ahl as-Sunna – trans.) Rather, His hand is an attribute, of unknowable modality, in the same way that His anger and pleasure are two attributes of unknowable modality Allah Most High created things out of nothing, and He had knowledge of them in pre-eternity, before their creation.

    5. He it is Who determined and predestined all things. Nothing exists in this world or hereafter except by His will, His knowledge, His determining and predestining, and except it be written on the Preserved Tablet (al-Lauh al-Mahfuz). He inscribed everything there in the sense of description, not that of foreordaining. Determining, predestining and will are pre-eternal attributes of unknowable modality. Allah Most High knows the non-existent, while in its state of non-existence, to be non-existent, and He knows too how it will be when He brings it forth into being. Allah Most High knows the existent, while in its state of existence, to be existent, and He knows too how will be its evanescence. Allah knows the one who is standing, and when he sits then Allah knows him to be sitting, without any change being produced thereby in Allah’s knowledge, or any new knowledge accruing to Him. For change and alteration occur only in created beings.

    6. Allah Most High created creation free of both belief and unbelief, and then He addressed His creation with commands and prohibitions. Some men disbelieved through active denial and rejection of the truth by virtue of being abandoned by Allah Most High. Others believed through active assent and affirmation, by virtue of the succour of Allah Most High. He brought forth the progeny of Adam, upon whom be peace, from his loins in the form of particles, and appointed for them an intelligence. He then addressed them and commanded them unto belief and forbade them disbelief. They assented to His dominicality, this being a form of belief appropriate to them, and thus it is that they are born in the possession of a primordial nature disposed to belief.

    Whoever disbelieves thereafter is therefore changing and altering that primordial nature, and whoever believes and assents is conforming and strengthening it. None of His creation has been constrained either to disbelieve or to believe; Allah created men not as believers or non-believers, but rather as persons. Belief and disbelief are acts of Allah’s worshippers. Allah Most High knows the unbeliever, in his state of unbelief, to be an unbeliever, and if he thereafter becomes a believer, then Allah knows him to be a believer in a state of belief, without any change occurring thereby in His knowledge or attributes.

    All deeds of Allah’s servants, both of commission and omission, are in truth acquired by them; Allah Most High is their creator. All of them take place by His will, knowledge, determining and predestining. Obligatory acts of obedience and worship take place by the command, love, satisfaction, knowledge, will, determining and predestining of Allah Most High, and all facts of sinful rebellion take place by His knowledge, determining, and predestining and will, but not by His love, satisfaction and command.

    7. The Prophets, peace and blessings be upon them, are free of all sins, major and minor, of unbelief, and of all that is repugnant. It may be, however, that they commit insignificant lapses and errors. Muhammad the Messenger of Allah – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him! – is His Prophet, His Bondsman, His Messenger and His Chosen One. He never worshipped idols, he never assigned partner to Allah, even for an instant, and he never committed a sin, major or minor.

    8. The most virtuous of all men after the Messenger of Allah, — may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him! – are Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him; then ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab; then ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan; then ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, may they all enjoy the pleasure of Allah Most High. They were all steadfast in the truth, with the truth, and we proclaim our allegiance to all of them. We make only good mention of all of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him!

    9. We do not proclaim any Muslim an unbeliever on account of any sin, however great, unless it be that he regards his sin as permissible. Nor does he forfeit the name of belief; we continue to call him a believer in essence. It is possible to be a sinful believer without being an unbeliever.

    The wiping of the feet when covered, by way of ablution, is a sunna (under conditions specified by the fuqaha). Tarawih prayer in the month of Ramadan is similarly a sunna. It is permissible to pray behind any believer, pious or sinful. We say neither that sins do not harm the believer, nor that they cause him to remain indefinitely in hell, even if he leaves the world in a state of sin.

    10. We do not say, like Murji’ites (an early theological school – trans.), that our good deeds are accepted by Allah, and our evil deeds forgiven by Him. Rather we say that the matter is to be clarified and expounded as follows: whoever performs a good deed in accordance with all requisite conditions, free of all corrupting deficiencies and nullifying concerns, and does not then cancel his deed with unbelief or apostasy at any time before his death, Allah Almighty will not cause his deed to be wasted; rather He will accept it and bestow reward for it. As for evil deeds – other than the assigning of partners to Allah and unbelief – for which the believer does not offer repentance before his death, the will of Allah Almighty may elect either to chastise their author or to forgive him, without chastising him in Hellfire. Hypocrisy and arrogance in any deed annul its reward.

    11. Miraculous signs (mu’jizat) bestowed on the Prophets are established as true, and so too ennobling wonders (karamat) made manifest through the saints (auliya). As for apparently miraculous and wondrous deeds performed by Allah’s enemies, like Iblis, the Pharaoh and the Dajjal, whatever is mentioned in tradition as having been performed by them in future, is neither miraculous nor wondrous. Rather it is a question of their needs being fulfilled by Allah Most High; this he does in order to lead them toward destruction and to chastise them, but they are deceived. They increase in rebelliousness and unbelief. All of the foregoing is possible and contingent on Allah’s will.

    12. Allah Most High was a Creator before He created, and a Provider before He bestowed provision. Allah Most High will be seen in the Hereafter, visible to the believers in Paradise with their corporeal vision. This we say without any implication of anthropomorphism, or any notion of quality or quantity, for there is not a fixed distance between Him and His creation (to permit any comparison).

    13. Belief means assent and affirmation. There is no increase of decrease with respect to the content of belief, whether for angels or men, but only with respect to degrees of certainty and affirmation. The believers are equal in what they believe and in their assertion of the divine unity, but enjoy differing degrees of excellence with respect to their deeds.

    Islam is surrender and submission to the commands of Allah Most High. There is a lexical distinction between belief (iman) and Islam, but there is no belief without Islam, and Islam cannot be conceived of without belief. They are like the outer and inner aspect of a thing (that is inseparable). Religion (din) is a name applied to both belief and Islam, and indeed to all divine codes.

    We know Allah as it is fitting for us to know Him through His description of himself in His Book, with all His attributes; but none is able to worship Allah Most High as He deserves to be worshipped and as is fitting for Him. Rather man worships Allah Most High in accordance with His Command, as promulgated in His Book and the Sunna of His Messenger. Although believers are equal insofar as they believe, they differ with respect to knowledge, certainty, reliance, love satisfaction, fear, hope.

    14. Allah Most High is both generous and just toward His bondsmen, bestowing on them in his liberality a reward far in excess of what they deserve. He requites them for their sins because of His justice, and forgives them because of His generosity. The intercession of the Prophets, upon whom be blessings and peace, is a reality, and in particular that of our Prophet – peace and blessings be upon him! – for sinful believers and for those who have committed major sins and are deserving of requital is a firmly established reality. The weighing of deeds in the balance on the Day of Resurrection is similarly a reality; the pool of the Prophet, upon whom be peace and blessings, is a reality; retribution among enemies on the Day of Resurrection through the redistribution of good deeds is a reality. If they have no good deeds, then the burden of evil deeds is redistributed; this too is a reality.

    Paradise and Hell are created and existing today, and shall never vanish. The houris shall never vanish, and the requital exacted by Allah Almighty and the reward bestowed by Him shall never cease.

    Allah Most High guides whomsoever he wills out of His generosity, and he leads astray whomsoever He wills out of His justice. Allah’s leading man astray consists of His abandoning him, and the meaning of Allah’s abandoning man is not impelling him to do that which is pleasing to Him. All this is determined by His justice.

    It is not permissible for us to say: “Satan steals belief from man with violence and coercion.” Rather we say: “Man himself abandons belief, and when he has abandoned it, then Satan snatches it from him.”

    The interrogation by Munkir and Nakir is a reality; the return of the spirit to the body in the tomb is a reality; the pressing in upon man of the tomb is a reality; Allah’s punishment of all unbelievers and some Muslims is a reality.

    All of the attributes of Allah Most High – may His name be glorified and his attributes be exalted! – may be mentioned by the ‘ulama in languages other than Arabic (here Persian in particular is mentioned, but the meaning is any non-Arabic tongue – trans.), with the exception of yad (hand). Thus we may say “the face of Allah,” may He be exalted and glorified, without any implication of anthropomorphism or of a particular modality.

    Closeness to Allah Most High and remoteness from Him do not refer to any spatial distance, great or small, nor do they refer to the nobility or humility or man in His sight. Rather the one obedient to Him is close to him, in indefinable fashion. Closeness, remoteness [or] approaching all, in fact refer to Allah’s action towards man (i.e., it is not man who in the strict sense defines relation to Allah; it is rather Allah who determines that relation). Proximity to Allah in Paradise and standing before Him are similarly realities of indefinable modality.

    The Qur’an was sent down to His Messenger, upon whom be blessings and peace, and it is that which is now inscribed on collections of leaves. The verses of the Qur’an, insofar as they are all the Word of Allah, are equal in excellence and magnificence; some, however, enjoy a special excellence by virtue of what they mention, or the fashion in which they mention it. The Throne Verse, for example, enjoys excellence on both counts: what it mentions – splendour, magnificence and other attributes of Allah – and the way in which it mentions it. Other verses have no excellence on account of what they mention – for example, those containing narratives of unbelievers – but only on account of the way in which they mention it. Similarly, all the names and attributes are equal in their magnificence and excellence; there is no difference among them.

    If someone experiences difficulty with the subtleties of the science of divine unity, it is incumbent upon him to believe (without further investigation) what is correct in the sight of Allah Most High until he finds a scholar to consult. He should not delay in seeking such a scholar, for hesitation and suspension of judgment may result in unbelief.

    The narration of the Mi’raj (by the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings) is true, and whoever rejects it is misguided and an innovator.

    The emergence of the Dajjal and of Gog and Magog is a reality; the rising of the sun in the West is a reality; the descent of Jesus (‘Isa), upon whom be peace, from the heavens is a reality; and all the other signs of the Day of Resurrection, as contained in authentic traditions, are also established reality.

    And Allah guides to his Path whomsoever He wills.

    (Translated from the text published in Hama, 1392/1972 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1392/1972      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1392/1972      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
    All phrases between round brackets were added by the translator.)

    The Creed of the Imam (d. 157H)
    ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Amr al-Awza’i

    Al-Hassan ib ‘Uthman informed us, saying:
    Ahmad ibn Hamdan informed us, saying:
    Bishr ibn Musa narrated to us, saying:
    Mu’awiyyah ibn ‘Amr narrated to us, saying:
    Abu Ishaq narrated to us, saying:

    “I asked al-Awzai’i and he replied,

    ‘Have patience upon the Sunnah and stop where the people (before you) stopped. Speak in (those matters in) which they spoke and hold back from what they held back. And tread upon the path of your salafus-salah for whatever sufficed them will suffice you.

    And the people of Sham used to be ignorant of this innovation, until one of the people of ‘Iraq threw it at them, from amongst those who entered into this innovation after their jurists (fuqaha) and scholars presented it to them. So he entered it into the hearts of a group from the people of Sham and then (they) declared it lawful upon their tongues (to hold and accept it), and what had inflicted others of difference and separation inflicted them.

    And I am not in despair that Allah will remove the evil of this innovation so that they become brothers (again) after the affection to separation in their religion and hatred.

    And if this (innovation) had been good, then you would not have been singled out with it instead of your salaf. For verily, no goodness was kept away from them and left concealed awaiting you as opposed to them, due to an excellence which you possess-since they are the Companions of His Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) whom He chose and amongst whom He sent the Messenger, as He described them, saying:

    “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against the disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure.” (al-Fath 48:29)

    Imam Lalaka’i’s Sharh Usulul ‘Itiqad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah 2/154-155

  • The Creed of the Imam
    Sufyan ibn Sa’id Ath-Thawri (D. 161H)

    Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn al-‘Abbas informed us, saying:
    Abdul-Fadl Shu’ayb ibn Muhammad ibn Rajiyan narrated us, saying:
    ‘Ali ibn Harb al-Mawsili narrated to us, in the year 257H, saying,

    “I said to Abu Abdullah Sufyan ibn Sa’id adh-Thawri,

    ‘Narrate to me a saying from the Sunnah by which Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, will benefit me, so that when I stand in front of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, and He asks me concerning it, saying, ‘From where did you take this?’ I will say, ‘O my Lord, Sufyan ath-Thawri narrated this saying to me and I took it from him…’ so that I am saved and (then) you are questioned for it.’

    So Sufyan said,

    ‘O Shu’ayb, this is an assurance and what (other) assurance (can be better than this)? Write…

    In the Name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

    The Qur’an is the Word of Allah. It is not created. It orignated from Him and to Him it will return. Whoever says other than this is a disbeliever.

    And Iman consists of speech, action and intention. It increases and deceases. It increases with acts of obedience and it deceases with acts of disobedience. No speech is accepted except with action and no speech and action are accepted except with intention, and no speech, action and intention are accepted unless they agree with the Sunnah.’

    So Shu’ayb said: I said, ‘O Abu Abdullah, and what is agreement with the Sunnah?’

    He said,

    ‘Giving precedence to the two Shaikhs, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. O Shu’ayb, what you have written will not benefit you until you put ‘Uthman and ‘Ali ahead of those who come after them.

    O Shu’ayb ibn Harb, what you have written for yourself will not benefit you until you do not testify for anyone that he is in Paradise or Hell-Fire…save the ten concerning whom the Messenger of Allah testified for, and all of them are from Quraish.

    O Shu’ayb ibn Harb, what you have written for yourself will not benefit you until you hold that wiping the khuffain is better to you than taking off when washing your feet.

    O Shu’ayb, what you have written will not benefit you until saying ‘Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim’ silently in the Prayer is more excellent to you than that you should say it out aloud.

    O Shu’ayb ibn Harb, that which you have written will not benefit you until you have faith in Devine Pre-determination (al-Qadr), its good and its evil, its sweetness and its bitterness. All of it is from Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.

    O Shu’ayb ibn Harb, by Allah, what the Qadariyah say is not what Allah says, or what the Angels say, or what the Prophets say, or what the People of Paradise say or what the People of Hell-fire say or what their brother, Iblis, may Allah curse him says.

    Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, said:

    “Have you see him who takes his own lust (hawa) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), sent him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?” (al-Jathiyah 45:23)

    And the Exalted said:

    “And you will not, unless it be that Allah Wills.” (at-Takwir 81:29)

    And the Angels said:

    “Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise. (al-Baqarah 2:32)

    And Musa said:

    “It is only Your Trial by which You lead astray whom You will, and keep guided whom You will.” (al-‘Araf 7:155)

    And Nuh said:

    “And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah’s Will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord and to Him you shall return.” (Hud 11:34)

    And Shu’ayb said:

    “And it is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge.” (al-‘Araf 7:89)

    And the People of Paradise say:

    “And the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!” (al-‘Araf 7:43)

    And the People of Hell-fire say:

    “Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people.” (al-Mu’minun 23: 106)

    And their brother, Iblis said:

    “O my Lord! Because you misled me.” (al-Hijr 15:39)

    … hold the necessity of patiently remaining under the flag (i.e. leadership of the ruler (sultan) whether he is an oppressor or just.’

    Shu’ayb said, ‘So I said to Sufyan, ‘O Abu ‘Abdullah, is that all of the prayers?”

    He replied, ‘No, but the Jumu’ah prayer and the prayer of the two ‘Eids. Pray these behind whomever you meet. But as for all of the prayers (i.e. the daily prayers) then you have a choice in that matter. Do not prayer except behind one in whom you can place your trust and whom you know to be from the People of the Sunnah and Jama’ah.

    O Shu’ayb ibn Harb, when you stand in front of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and He asks you about this saying, then say, ‘O my Lord, Sufyan ibn Sa’id ath-Thawri narrated this saying to me, then leave me to stand before my Lord, the Might and Majestic.'”

    Imam al-Lalika’i’s Sharh Usulul ‘Itiqad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah 1/151-154 and Imam adh-Dhahabi’s Tadhkiratul-Huffadh

    The Creed of the Imam
    Sufyan ibn ‘Uyainah (D. 197H)

    ’Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad at-Tawwaji informed us, saying: Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn ’Abbad at-Timar narrated to us, saying: ’Abdul-Aziz ibn Mu’awiyah narrated to us, saying: Muhammad ibn ’Abdul-Jabbar as-Silmi narrated to us, saying: Bikr ibn al-Faraj Abdul-’Ala narrated to us, saying, ”I heard Sufyan ibn ’Uyainah saying:

    The Sunnah consists of ten matters, in whoever these are found, he has completed the Sunnah and whoever leaves anything from then he has abandoned the Sunnah:

    1. Affirming the Divine Pre-determination
    2. Giving precedence to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar
    3. The Hawd (Pond-Lake)
    4. The Intercession
    5. The Scales (for weighing the deeds)
    6. The Bridge (over Hell-fire)
    7. That iman consists of both speech and action
    8. The Quran is the Speech of Allah
    9. The Punishment of the grave
    10. The Resurrection on the Day of Judgement

    And do not assert with certainty, the testimony for a Muslim (that he is in Paradise or Hell-fire).

    Imam al-Lalika’i ‘s Sharh Usulul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamas’ah 2/154-155

    Usool as-Sunnah – Humaydi (d. 219AH)
    Imam Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah ibn az-Zubair al-Humaydi (d. 219AH)

    Biography of the Author

    Name and Lineage:

    He is Abdullah ibn az-Zubair ibn ‘Eesa ibn ‘Ubaydullah ibn Usaamah, Abu Bakr, al-Qurashi al-Asadi al-Humaydi al-Makki, Shaykh of the Haram, and the author of al-Musnad.

    His Teachers:

    He narrated hadith from Fudayl ibn ‘Iyyad and Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah – and he did so with frequency and he excelled – and Wakee’ and ash-Shafi’ee, and others.

    His Students:

    Bukhari narrated the first hadith in his Saheeh from him. His students also include adh-Dhuhlee, Abu Zur’ah ar-Razi, Abu Haatim ar-Razee, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Idris al-Makki, his scribe, and many besides them.

    The Scholars’ Praise for Him:

    Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal said, “We consider Humaydi an imam.” Abu Hatim said, “The most reliable of people (in narrating) from ibn ‘Uyaynah is al-Humaydi. He is the head of his companions (students), and he is a reliable Imam.” Ya’qub al-Fasawee said, “We narrated from al-Humaydi and I did not meet anyone more sincere to Islam and its people than him.” Al-Haakim said, “When al-Bukhari would find a hadith with al-Humaydi, he would not go beyond it to others.” Harb al-Kirmani, al-Lalaka’i, ibn Taymiyyah, and others described him as an Imam in the Sunnah.

    His Writings

    The references for the biography of Imam al-Humaydi do not tell us the names of his works as they ought to, but of them, the following can be found:

    1. Al-Musnad
    2. Ar-Radd ‘Ala an-Nu’man (Refutation of an-Nu’man)
    3. At-Tafsir
    4. Ad-Dala’il (Signs)

    Text [The Foundations of the Sunnah]

    Bishr ibn Musa narrated to us, saying: al-Humaydi narrated to us, saying:

    [Belief in the Divine Decree]

    The sunnah, in our view: is that a man must believe in the Decree, the good of it and the bad of it, the sweetness of it, and the bitterness of it, and to know that what what befalls would not have missed him, and what missed him would never have touched him. And that all of that is decreed by Allah, ‘Azza wa Jall.

    [Belief is Speech and Action, It Increases and Decreases]

    And that belief (emaan) is speech and action. It increases and decreases. Speech does not benefit without action, nor do action or speech benefit without (proper) intention, nor do speech, action, or intention benefit except with the Sunnah.

    [Praising the Shabah, may Allah be pleased with them all]

    Invoking mercy upon all of the companions of Muhammad (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam), for Allah ‘Azza wa Jall said, “And those who come after them say Oh our Rabb, forgive our brethren they were our predecesors in faith” (Hashr: 10). Thus, one will not have belief except by seeking forgiveness for them. Whoever insults or belittles them or even a single one of them, then he is not upon the Sunnah. And he has no right in the fay’ (spoils). More than one has informed us: from Malik ibn Anas that he said, ” Allah Ta’ala, divided the fay’ between the poor emigrants, those who were driven out of their homes” and then said, “and those who come after them say oh our Lord forgive us and our brethren” (Hashr: 8-10). And whoever does not say this concerning them, then he is not from those for whom there is fay’.

    [The Quran is the Speech of Allah The Exalted]

    The Quran is the speech of Allah. I heard Sufyan [ibn Uyaynah] saying, “The Qur’an is the speech of Allah, and whoever says it is created is an innovator. And we have not heard anyone saying this.”

    [The View of Sufyan regarding Belief (Emaan)]

    I heard Sufyan saying, “Iman is speech and action, it increases and decreases.”

    His brother Ibrahim ibn Uyaynah said to him, “O Abu Muhammad, do not say that it decreases.” So he got mad and said, “Be quiet o fool, rather it decreases until there is nothing left of it.”
    [The Believers seeing their Lord on the Day of Judgement]
    And affirmation of ar-Ru’yah (seeing Allah) after death.

    [Affirming the Attributes]

    And (affirming) what is stated in the Quran and the Hadith such as: “The Jews say Allah’s Hand is tied up” (5:64). And such as, “And the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand” (39:67) And what is similar to this from the Qur’an and the Hadith. We do not add to it nor explain it. We stop where the Quran and Sunnah stop, and we say, “The Most Merciful rose over the Throne” (20:5). And whoever claims other than this is a Jahmi and a denier of Allah’s Attributes.

    [The difference between Ahlus Sunnah and the Khawarij]

    And that we do not say as the Khawaarij do, “Whoever commits a major sin has commited disbelief.” And we do not declare a person a disbeliever because of a sin that they commit. Kufr is only in abandonding the five concerning which Allah’s Messenger(sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam) said, “Islam is built upon five: Bearing witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger (sal-Allahu ‘alayhi was-Sallam), to establish prayer, to give zakat, to fast in Ramadan, and to make Hajj to the house (Ka’bah).”

    [When is the proof established on the one who leaves the pillars of Islam, or some of them?]

    As for three of them, then do not dispute the one who abandons them: 1) The one who does not give the testimony of faith, 2) nor does he pray, 3) nor does he fast for none of these are delayed from its time nor does it suffice one to make them up after deliberately neglecting to perform them at their time. As for zakah, whenever he gives it, it suffices him, while he is sinful in withholding it.

    And as for Hajj, then for whoever it is obligatory and he is capable of performing it, then it becomes binding on him, but it is not binding on him in that very year such that he is no other choice. Whenever, he performs it, then he has fulfilled it, and he is not sinful in delaying it as he would be in delaying zakah for zakah is the right of poor Muslims which he has withheld from them, and hence he is sinful until it reaches them. As for Hajj, it is between him and his Lord, whenever he performs it, it is fulfilled. If he dies while he is able to perform it without having performed Hajj, he asks to be returned to the Dunya to perform Hajj, and it is obligatory on his family to perform Hajj on his behalf, and we hope that would fulfill it on his behalf, as if he had a debt and it was repaid on his behalf after he died.

    [End of the risalah and all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.]

    The Creed of the Imam
    Abu Thawr ibn Khalid al-Kalbi (D. 240 A.H)

    Muhammad ibn Rizqullah informed us, saying: Ahmad ibn Hamdan informed us, saying: Abdul-Hasan Idris ibn ’Abdul Karim narrated to us, saying: “A man sent a letter to Abu Thawr Ibrahim ibn Kalid asking him about Iman – ‘What is it? Does it increase and decrease? Is it speech? Or speech and action? Or speech, belief (tasdiq) and action?’ So he replied:

    ‘Verily, it is belief (tasdiq) with the heart, affirmation with the tongue and action of limbs.’ And he asked him about the Qadariyah, ‘Who are they?’ So he said, ‘The Qadariyah are those who say Allah did not create the actions of the servants and that Allah did not decree acts of disobedience for the servants and that He did not create them (the acts of disobedience). Therefore these Qadariyah are not to be prayed behind, nor are their sick to be visited and nor are their funerals to be attended. Their repentance from this saying should be sought. If they repent (then so) and if not then their necks are to be struck.

    And you asked, ‘Is prayer to be performed behind the one who says the Quran is created?’ Such a one is a disbeliever on account of his saying, he is not to be prayed behind. And this is because the Quran is the Speech of Allah, Great is His praise, and there is no difference of opinion upon this amongst the People of Knowledge.

    And whoever says, ‘The Speech of Allah is created,’ then he has disbelieved and has claimed that something (new) occurred in Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, which did not (initially) exist.

    And you asked, ‘Does one of the people of Tawhid remain in the Fire forever?’ That which is with us is that we say, ‘The Muwahhid does not remain in the Fire.”

    Imam al-Lalika’i ’s Sharh Usulul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamas’ah 2/172

    Usul as-Sunnah
    The Foundations of the Sunnah
    by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (164 A.H.-241 A.H)

    Al-Qadi Abdul Husain Muhammad ibn Abi Ya’ala said: I read al-Mubarak saying to him: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Azji informed us: ‘Ali ibn Bushran informed us: ‘Uthaman, known as Ibnus-Samak, informed us: al-Hasan ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab narrated to us: ‘Abdus ibn Malik al-‘Attar narrated to me: I heard Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, saying:

    The Fundamental Principles of the Sunnah with us are:

    1. Holding fast to what the Companions of the Messenger of Allah were upon.

    2. Taking them [and their way] as a model to be followed.

    3. The abandonment of innovations, and every innovation is misguidance.

    4. The abandonment of controversies (khusoomaat).

    5. The abandonment of sitting with the people of Ahwa (desires).

    6. And the abandonment of quarrelling (miraa’i), argumentation (jidaal) and controversy (khusoomaat) in the religion.

    7. And the Sunnah with us are the aathar (narrations) of th Messenger of Allah.

    8. And the Sunnah explains and clarifies (tafassiru) the Qur’an.

    9. It is the guide to the Qur’an [containing evidences and indications as to its meanings and correct interpretations].

    10. There is no analogical reasoning (Qiyas) in the Sunnah and examples or likeness are not to be made for it.

    11. Nor is it grasped and comprehended by intellects or the desires.

    12. Rather [it consists of] following (Ittibaa’) [and depending upon] it and abandoning the hawa [desires].

    13. And it is from the binding and necessary Sunnah, [the Sunnah] which whoever
    leaves a single matter form it, has not accepted it [in its totality], has not believed in it and is not from its please.

    14. To have faith Qadar [the Divine Pre-decree], both its good and its evil.

    15. To affirm (at-tasdieeq) the ahadith related to it and to have Iman in them. It is not to be said, ‘Why?’ It is [but] attestations (tasdiq) [to the truthfulness of such ahadith] and having Iman in them.

    16. And whoever does not know the explanation (tafsir) of a hadith and [whose] intellect (‘aql) [does not have the capacity] to make him understand it, then that would be sufficient [i.e., to just merely affirm the ahadith and have faith in them] since [everything from the religion] has been perfect for him. And it is necessary for him to have faith in it and to submit to it, such as the hadith of the truthful, believed and whatever is similar to it in the matter of Qadar.

    17. And also like the hadith regarding the ru’yah (the believers seeing of Allah in the Hereafter), all of them, even if they disagree with people’s hearing and [even] if the one who is listening to them feels repelled by and is averse to them.

    18. Certainly, it is obligatory upon him to have faith in them and not to reject a single word from tاem nor from other [such] hadith which have been reported by reliable (ma’thur), trustworthy (thuqat) narrators.

    19. And that he does not argue (yakhaasim) with anyone, nor dispute (unaadhir) and nor should he learn [about how to make] argumentation (yata’allamal jidaal) [in such matters].

    20. For indeed, [the indulging in] theological rhetoric (kalam) in the matter of Qadr, the Ru’yah, the Qur’an and other issues are among the ways that are detested and which are forbidden.

    21. The one who does so, even if he reaches the truth with his words, is not from Ahlus-Sunnah, until he abandons [using] this mode of argumentation (jidal), [and until he] submits (usallim) and believes in the athar (the Prophetic Narrations and those of the Companions).

    22. And the Qur’an is the Word of Allah. It is not created (wa laysa bi-makhluq). And he should not be too weak to declare it is not created and that the Word of Allah (kalamullah) is not [something] distinct and separate from Him [i.e., an entity in itself] and that not a single thing from it is created.

    23. And beware of argumentation (munaadharah) with the one who innovates in this matter and says that his recitation of the Quran (bi-lafdhi ghayrihi) is created and such claims.

    24. And whoever hesitates (waqafa) in this matter and says, ‘I do not know whether it is created or not created. It is but the word of Allah.’ Then he is a person of innovation and he is just like the one who says, ‘It is created.’

    Indeed it is the Word of Allah and it is not created (laysa be-makhluqin).
    (This line isn’t in Imam al-Lalakai’s Sharh Usul lil ‘Itiqad)

    25. To have faith in the Ru’yah (that Allah will be seen) on the Day of Judgment as has been reported from the Prophet (saws) in the authentic ahadith.

    26. And that the Prophet (saws) saw His Lord since this has been transmitted from the Messenger of Allah and is correct and authentic.

    It has been reported by Qatadah from ‘Ikrimah from ibn ‘Abbas.

    And al-Hakam ibn Ibaan reported it from ‘Ikrimah from ibn Abbas.

    Also ‘Ali ibn Zaid reporte it from Yusuf ibn Mahraan from Ibn ‘Abbas.

    27. And the hadith, in our estimation, is to be taken by its apparent meaning (ala dhahirihi), as it has come from the Prophet (saws). And indulging in theological rhetoric (kalam) with respect to it is an innovation.

    But we have faith in it as it came, upon its apparent meaning (dhahiri) and we do not dispute (nu-naadhiru) with anyone regarding it.

    28. And having Iman in the balance (mizan) [the Weighing] on the Day of Judgment just as it has come [to us in the hadith], “A servant will be weighed on the Day of Judgment and he will not be equal in weight to the wing of a fly.”

    29. And the actions (a’maal) of the servants (‘ibaad) will be weighed just as has been reported in the narration. To have faith in it and to attest to its truthfulness and to turn away from whoever reject that and to abandon argumentation with him (mujaada latihi).

    30. And that Allah, [the blessed and Exalted], will speak to the servants on the Day of Judgment, without there being a translator between Him and them, to have faith in this and to attest to its truthfulness.

    31. To have faith in the Hawd (the pool) and that there is a pool for the Messegner of Allah (saws) on the Day of Judgment. His ummah will come to it [to drink] and its width is equal to the distance traveled in a month. Its drinking vessels equaling the number of stars in the sky [and this is] in accordance with the narrations that are authentic in this regard, from more than one aspect?

    32. To have faith in the Punishment of the Grave and that this ummah will be put to trial in their graves and will be quested about Iman and Islam. About who is his Lord? Who is his Prophet?

    33. And that Munkar and Nakir will come to him, [all of that] in whatever way Allah wills and in whatever way He desires. To have faith in that and to attest to its truthfulness.

    34. To have faith in the Intercession of the Prophet (saws) and [to have faith] that some people will be brought out of the Fire after they have been burnt therein and reduced to coal. [That] it will be ordered for them to be placed in a river by the door of Paradise, as has been reported in the narration, [all of that] however Allah wills and in whatever way Allah wills (kayfa shaa-‘a wa kamaa yashaa’u). Indeed, it is to have faith in it and to attest to its truthfulness.

    35. To have faith that the Masihhud-Dajjal is to come, there being written between his eyes, ‘Kafir.’ And [to have faith] in the hadith which have come [to us] regarding him. And to have faith that that will happen.

    36. And [to have faith] that ‘Isa [Ibn Maryam] will descend and will kill him a the gate of Ludd.

    37. And that faith consists of [both] speech and action, it increases and decreases as has been reported in the narrations, “The most complete of the believers with respect to faith is the best of t hem in his manners.”

    38. And whoever abandons the prayer then he has disbelieved. There is nothing from among the actions, the abandonment of which constitutes disbelief except for the prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever and Allah has made killing him permissible.

    39. And the best of this Ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr as-Sidiq then Umar ibn al-Khattab, then ‘Utham ibn Affan.

    40. We give precedence to those three just as the Companions of the Messenger of Allah gave precedence to them. They [the Companions] never differed in that.

    41. Then after those three, the five Companions of the Shura: Ali ibn Abi Talib, Az-Zubair, Talhah, Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, each of them was fitting and appropriate for the khilafah and each of them was an Imam (leader).

    42. In this regard we take the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar, ‘We used to consider, while the Messenger of Allah (saws) was alive and his Companions widespread: Abu Bakr [to be first], then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman – and then we remained quiet.’

    43. Then after the five companions of the shuraa are the people who fight in Badr from among the Ansar, from among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) [each one’s rank is] according to his migration and precedence [in the religion].

    44. Then the most superior of mankind after these: the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the generation in which he was sent. Everyone who accompanied him, whether for a year, a month, a day, an hour or [just merely] saw him, then he is from among the Companions. His companionship is according to the extent to which he accompanied him [and to the extend to which] he has precedence in being with him, heard from him and looked at him.

    45. So the closest of them in companionship to him are more excellent than the generation which did not see him, even if they met Allah with all the [good] actions. Despite that, those who accompanied the Prophet (saws), saw him and heard from him [are superior].

    46. And whoever saw him with his eyes, and believed in him, even if for an hour, is more excellent, on account of this companionship [with the Prophet (saws)], than the Tabi’in, even if they [the Tabi’in] did every action of goodness.

    47. And hearing and obeying the leader [a’immah], that the Amir ul-Mu’minin, whether righteous or sinful, from among those who come into power with the khilafah and with respect to whom the people have agreed and united themselves and are pleased with him.

    48. And also [hearing and obeying the one] who fought against the people with the sword ][i.e. conquered them] until he became the khalifah and was named the Amirul Mu’minin.

    49. Participation in battles along with the leaders [umaraa], be they righteous or sinful, is an everlasting affair up [i.e. always operative] until the Day of Judgment. It is never to be abandoned. [Likewise] the division of spoils of war and appointing the rulers [a’immah] to establish the prescribed punishments (hudud) are [both] everlasting. It is not permissible for anyone to rebuke them or to contend with them [i.e. the rulers].

    50. Also, handing over the charity to them [the Rulers] is permissible and always operative [in effect]. Whoever gives the charity to them then that will suffice him [i.e., his obligation will have been fulfilled], whether righteous or sinful.

    51. And performing the Jumu’ah prayer behind him [the Ruler] and behind whomever he appoints is [a] permissible and perfect [act] and [consists of] two raka’ahs. Whoever repeats them [after praying behind him] is an innovator, one who abandons the narrations and an opposer of the Sunnah. He receives nothing [of reward] from the excellence of his [attendance] of the Jumu’ah prayer, if he does not accept and hold that prayer is to be observed behind the leaders, whomever they may be, the righteous amongst them and the sinful amongst them.

    52. So the Sunnah is that he prays two raka’ah with them. [Whoever repeats them is an innovator], and that he acknowledges that they are perfect and complete, not having any doubt in his heart regarding that.

    53. And whoever revolts (kharaja) against a leader from among the leaders of the Muslims (imamin min a’immatil muslimin), after the people had agreed upon him and united themselves behind him (ijtamau’ alayhi), after they had affirmed the khilafah for him, in whatever way this khilafah may have been, by their pleasure and acceptance (bir-ridaa’) or by [his] force and domination (bil-ghalabati) [over them], then this revolter (khariji) has disobeyed the Muslims, and has contradicted (khaalafa) the narrations of the Messenger of Allah (saws). And if the one who revolted (khariju) against the ruler died he would have died the death of ignorance (jaahiliyyatan).

    54. And the killing of the one in power is not lawful, and nor is it permissible for anyone amongst the people to revolt against him. Whoever does that is an innovator, [and is] upon other than the Sunnah and the [correct] path.

    55. Fighting against the thieves and the revolters (khawarij) is permissible. That is, when they set upon a man with respect to his person and his wealth. It is then permissible for him to fight [and defend] himself and his property and to repel [the thieves and the revolters] from them both [i.e. himself and his property] with everything that is within his capacity.

    56. But it is not permissible for him, when they depart from him or abandon him, that he seeks them [i.e. to find them]. Nor should he follow their tracks and this is not [permissible] for anyone other than the Imam (leader) or those charged with authority over the Muslims.

    57. It is only for him to defend himself in his own place and he should intend, by his striving against them, that he will not kill anyone. But if he kills him whilst defending himself in the battle, then Allah will make the one killed far removed [from Himself and from any goodness]. And if he [himself] is killed in that state, whilst he is defending himself and his property, then I hope that it is martyrdom for him, as has occurred in the hadith.

    58. And all of the narrations in this regard have ordered with fighting him but did not order killing him, nor pursuing him and nor finishing him off should he fall to the ground or become wounded.

    59. And if he took him as a captive he should not kill him and should not carry out the prescribed punishment against him, but rather, he should raise his matter to whomever Allah has appointed and given authority so that he may judge in the matter.

    60. And we do not testify for anyone from the people of the qiblah, on account of an action that he has done, that he is in the Paradise or in the Hell-Fire. We have hope for the righteous one and we fear for him and we fear for the evil and sinful person and we hope in the mercy of Allah for him.

    61. And whoever meets Allah with a sin, which would necessitate the Fire for him, having repented, not returning back to it and [not] being insistent upon it then Allah, [the Mighty and Magnificent] will turn to him (in forgiveness). And Allah accepts repentance from His servant and forgives the evil actions.

    62. And whoever meets Him after having had the prescribed punishment meted out to him for that [particular] sin in this word, then that would be its expiation as occurs in the narration from the Messenger of Allah.

    63. And whoever meets him having persisted upon, and not repented from the sins which necessitate punishment, then his affair is with Allah [the Mighty and Magnificent] if He wills He will punish Him and if He wills He will forgive Him.

    64. And whoever meets Him as a disbeliever, He will punish him and will not forgive him.

    65. And stoning to death [which is true and correct] is the rightful due of the one who has fortified [himself/herself with marriage] but fornicates, either when he/she admits [to this act] or when the evidence is established against him/her.

    66. The Messenger of Allah (saws) stoned to death and the Rightly guided Leaders too, stoned to death.

    67. And whoever is disparages and degrades a single one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) or dislikes him on account of something that occurred from him, or mentions his shortcomings, then he is an innovator.

    68. [He remains as such] until he asks for Allah’s mercy for them, all of them and [until] his heart is sincere and good natured towards them.

    69. And hypocrisy – it is disbelief, that a person disbelieves in Allah and worships other than Him [inwardly], [but] he manifests Islam openly such as the hypocrites in the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws).

    70. And his (saws) saying, “In whomsoever there are three [characteristics] he is a hypocrite …” is an intensification [in expression] we report as it has come and we do not explain it.

    And [likewise] his saying, “Do not become disbelievers after me, [astray], striking the necks of each other.”

    And, “When two Muslims meet with their swords then [both] the killer and the killed are in the Fire.”

    And, “cursing a Muslim is wickedness and fighting against him is disbelief.”

    And, “Whoever says to his brother, ‘O Disbeliever,’ then it returns back to one of them.”

    And, “It is disbelief in Allah (kufrun billah), the one who denies his kinship, even if it is insignificant [i.e. remote].”

    And other ahadith such as these, among those which have been authenticated and preserved.

    71. We submit to it (nusallimu lahu), even if we do not know its explanation. We do not talk about it. We do not argue about it. And we do not explain these ahadith except with the like of what they [the hadith] have come with. We do not reject them except with the best amongst them.

    72. And Paradise and Hell-Fire are two created things. They have [already] been created as has come from the Messenger (saws) [in the hadith], “I entered Paradise and I saw a castle…”

    And, “I saw the pool (kawthur)…”

    And, “I looked into Hell-Fire and I saw that most of its inhabitants were women.”

    And, “I looked into the Fire and I saw such and such…”

    73. So whoever claims that they [Paradise and Hell-Fire] are not created then he is a denier of the Qur’an and the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and I do not consider that he believes in Paradise and Hell-Fire.

    74. And whoever dies from among the people of the qiblah as a muwahhid (one testifying to the unity and uniqueness of Allah in His Lordship, His right of worship and in His Names and Attributes) then prayer is performed over him and forgiveness is sought for him.

    75. Seeking forgiveness is not to be withheld from him [i.e. it should not be abandoned for him] and we do not abandon praying over him on account of a sin which he committed, regardless of whether it is a small or a big sin. His affair is with Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime.”

    Part Two
    The Sunnah Upon Which the Messenger (saws) Died

    Abul Husain Muhammad ibn Abi Ya’ala said: Al-Mubarak informed us, saying: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Azji informed us, saying Abu Bakr al-Mufid narrated to us: Al-Hasan ibn Ismai’l ar-Rabi’yy narrated to us, saying: Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the Imam of Ahlus-Sunnah, the one showing patience ay the time of severe trial said to me:

    Ninety men from among the Tabi’in, the scholars of the Muslims and the Salaf and the Jurist of the various cities are [unanimously] agreed that the Sunnah upon which the Messenger of Messenger (saws) died is:

    1. The first: Being pleased and content with the Qadaa (Ordainment of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and submitting to His command, having patience upon His ruling, taking that which He has commanded and refraining from that which He has forbidden.

    2. Having faith in Qadar, its good and its evil.

    3. Abandoning quarrelling (miraai’) and argumentation (jidaal) in the religion.

    4. Wiping of the khuffs [leader socks].

    5. Participating in the jihad with every khalifah, whether righteous or sinful.

    6. Performing [funeral] prayer over whomever dies from the people of the qiblah.

    7. That faith consists of speech and action, it increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience.

    8. That the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah [which was] revealed upon the heart of His Prophet Muhammad (saws). It is not created, in whatever fashion it is recited or rehearsed.

    9. Having patience under the banner of the one in authority, in whatever condition he may be in, just or unjust.

    10. That we do not set out [revolt] against the Rulers with the sword, even if they are unjust and oppressive.

    11. That we do not declare anyone from among the people of Tawhid a disbeliever even if they commit the major sins.

    12. Refraining from [talking about] whatever occurred between the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws).

    13. That the best of mankind after the Messenger of Allah (saws) are: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, the nephew of the Messenger of Allah (saws).

    14. Asking for Allah’s mercy for all of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws),and also for his (saws) offspring, his wives and his kinship through marriage, may the pleasure of Allah be upon them all.

    This is the Sunnah – stick fast to it and you will be safe.
    Taking it is guidance and abandoning it is going astray.

    (Reference: at-Tabaqatul Hanabilah, 1/130-132, in the biography of al-Hasan in Ismai’l ibn ar-Rab’iyy)

    Part Three
    The Description of the believers from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah

    Ahmad ibn ‘Ubaidullah al-‘Akbari narrated to us, saying Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Mahmud az-Zawzani informed us saying Abul Qasim Ibrahim ibn Muhammd ibn ‘Ali ibn ash-Shah, at-Tamimi, al-Marawradhi narrated to us, saying Abu Mu’adh ibn Abi Ismah narrated to us from ‘Askar as-Sawaf az-Zanjani al-Harwi, saying: Abu Mas’ud Sa’id ibn Khashnam ibn Muhammad as-Samarqandi, the mawla of Bani Hashim, narrated to us, saying: Muhammad ibn Yunus as-Sarkhasi informed us, saying: I heard Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal say…’ and then he mentioned it.

    Mummad ibn Habib al-Andarani said, “I heard Ahmad ibn Hanbal saying:

    The description of the Believers from Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah [is]:

    1. Whoever testifies that there is none that has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without any partner and that Muhammad (saws) is His servant and Messenger.

    2. That he confirms everything that the Prophets and Messengers came with and that he believes in it resolutely, according to the apparent and manifest [meanings] (adhharu).

    3. That he never [has] doubts in his faith, and he never declares any of the people of Tawhid to be a disbeliever on account of a sin.

    4. That he consigns what is hidden from him from among the affairs to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and submits his affair to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and that he does not cut off Allah’s protection [of him] by sins.

    5. That he knows everything is by Allah’s preordainment and predestination, the good and the bad, all of it.

    6. He has hope for the doer of good from the Ummah of Muhammad (saws) and he fears for the doer of evil amongst them.

    7. That he does not place anyone from the Ummah of Muhammad in Paradise or Hell-Fire on account of a good that he earned or a sin that he earned until and unless Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, He is the one who places His creation wherever He wills [i.e. Paradise or Hell-Fire].

    8. That he knows the truth regarding the [position of the] salaf whom Allah chose to accompany His Prophet, and that he puts at the forefront [of them]: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthaman. And that he knows the truth regarding [the position of] ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Talhah, az-Zubair, ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Sa’id ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa’id ibn Zaid ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufail over all the other Companions. Since these nine are those who were with the Prophet (saws) on the mount of Hijra, when the Prophet (saws) said, “Be tranquil O Hira, there is upon you but a Prophet, a truthful one and a martyr.” And the Prophet was the tenth of them.

    9. That he asks for Allah’s Mercy for all of the Companions of Muhammad (saws), the young amongst them and the senior amongst them. That he talks about their virtues and their excellence and holds back from [talking about] that which occurred between them.

    10. That [he holds] the two ‘Iid prayers, the Fear prayers, the Jumu’ah prayer and the and the five daily congregational prayers to be performed along with every leader, whether righteous or sinful.

    11. That [he accepts] the [validity of] wiping over the kuffs (leather socks) during a journey and while present in ones residence.

    12. That [he accepts] the [validity ] of shortening the prayers during a journey.

    13. That the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah and His Revelations and it is not created.

    14. That faith consists of speech and action, it increases and decreases.

    15. That Jihad is always operative ever since Allah sent Muhammad (saws) till the last [small] group [of Muslims] fight the Dajjal, the injustice and oppression of a tyrant will not harm them.

    16. That selling and buying is lawful up until the Day of Judgment, in accordance with the judgment of the Book and the Sunnah.

    17. That takbir during the Funeral prayer is pronounces four times.

    18. That supplication is to be made for the Leaders of the Muslims, that they are corrected and reformed. That you do not take out your sword against them, that you do not fight in times of tribulations, but rather you stick to your home.

    19. Having faith in the Punishment of the Grave.

    20. Having faith in Munkar and Nakir.

    21. Having faith in the Hawd and the intercession.

    22. Having faith that the People of Paradise will see their Lord, the blessed and Exalted.

    23. Having faith that the Muwahhidun will be brought out from the Fire after they have been turned to coals in the manner (described in) the ahadith that have come from the Prophet (saws) regarding these issues. We believe in attesting to the truthfulness of such ahadith and we do not set examples for them.

    This is what the Scholars in all the horizons have agreed and united upon

    (Reference: at-Tabaqat al-Hanabilah, 1/294-295, in the biography of Muhammad ibn Habib al-Indirani. Also in 1/329-330 in the biography of Muhammad ibn Yunus as-Sarkhasi with another chain of narration.)

    Imaam al-Bukhari
    Al-Lalika’i (d. 418A.H.) said in his Sharh Usul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah (2/172)

    ‘The Creed of Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari and the group from the salaf about whom he narrates.’

    Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hafs al-Harwi said:
    Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Salamah narrated to us, saying:
    Abul-Husayn Muhammad ibn Imran ibn Musa al-Jarjani narrated to us saying:
    I heard Abu Muhammad ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur-Rahman al-Bukhari from ash-Shash saying:

    I heard ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari saying:

    Speech And Action

    That the religion consists of (both) speech and action an this is due to the saying of Allah:

    And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allâh, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give Zakât: and that is the right religion. (Surah al-Bayyinah 98:5)

    The Qur’an

    And the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, not being created due to His saying:

    Indeed your Lord is Allâh, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawâ (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command.

    Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il said: Ibn ‘Uyainah said, “So Allah made distinct the creation (khalq) from the command (amr) (in the remainder of the verse):

    Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)!

    The Qadar or Pre-Decree

    And that good and evil is by preordainment (qadar) of Allah due to His saying:

    Say: “I seek refuge with (Allâh) the Lord of the daybreak. From the evil of what He has created” (Surah al-Falaq 113:1-2)

    “While Allâh has created you and what you make!”
    (Surah as-Siffat 37:96)

    and due to His saying:

    “Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz).”
    (Surah al-Qamar 54:49)

    And none of them (the above mentioned people of knowledge) used to declare anyone from among the people of the qiblah a disbeliever on account of committing a sin, due to His saying:

    “Verily, Allâh forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:48 )

    The Companions And Their Honor

    And I saw amongst them anyone who would take something from (the honor of) the Companions of Muhammad (sallahu alayhi wa sallam). Aishah, radiyallahu anha, said, ‘They were commanded to seek forgiveness for them due to His saying:

    “And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.”
    (Surah al-Hashr 69:10)


    And they used to forbid innovations: whatever the messenger (sallahu alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions, radiyallahu anhum, were not upon due to His saying:

    “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. this Qur’ân), and be not divided among yourselves.” (Surah Aali ‘Imran 3:103)

    and due to His saying:

    “If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance”
    (Surah an-Nur)

    Following The Messenger sallahu alayhi wa sallam

    And the used to urge (people) to (follow) what the Messenger, sallahu allahi wa sallam, and his Companions, radiyallahu anhum, were upon due to His saying:

    “And verily, this (i.e. Allâh’s Commandments mentioned in the above two Verses 151 and 152) is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious – see V.2:2).” (Surah al-Anam 6:153)

    Dealing With The Rulers

    And that we do not contend with or attempt to take away the command from those assigned with it (i.e., the rulers) due to the saying of the Messenger, sallahu alayhi wa sallam, “There are three thins towards which the heart of a Muslim never shows hatred or rancor: Making ones action sincerely for the sake of Allah, giving obedience to the rulers (wulatul amr) and sticking to their group (jama’ah) for verily, their supplication encompasses those who are behind them (i.e. those whom they rue over). Then this is confirmed in His saying:

    “O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:59)

    And that the sword is not to be raised against (any of) the Ummah of Muhammad, sallahu alayhi wa sallam.

    And al-Fudayl said, ‘If I had a supplication that would be answered, I would no make it except fro the leader (imam) because when the leader becomes righteous, the towns and servants become safe and secure.’

    Ibn al-Mubarak said (in reference to the above saying of al-Fudayl), ‘O teacher of goodness, who would show boldness towards this besides you?’

    The End

    The Creed of the Two Imams
    Abu Zur’ah ar-Razi (d. 264 A.H) and
    Abu Hatim ar-Razi’I (d. 277 A.H)
    And others from the Early Muslims

    1. Muhammad ibn al-Mudhaffar al-Muqri informed us, saying: Al-Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Habsh al-Muqri narrated to us, saying: Abu Muhammad ’Abdur-Rahman ibn Abu Hatim said, “I asked my father and Abu Zu’rah about the madhahib of Ahlus-Sunnah about the Usul of the religion and what they found the Scholars to be upon in all the different regions, and what they themselves believed (as their creed) from all of that? They said:

    ‘We reached the Scholars in all the various regions, in the Hijaz, in ‘Iraq, in Sham and in Yemen, and it was from their madhhab (that): Iman consists of (both) speech and action. It increases and it decreases. And the Quran is the speech of Allah, it is not created in any of its different aspects. And the Divine Pre-determination, its good and its evil is from Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.

    And the best of this Ummah after its Prophet (saws) is Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, then ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, then ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, then ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon all of them. And they are the Rightly Guided Orthodox Caliphs. And then ten (Companions) which the Messenger of Allah (saws) named and testified for Paradise for them, in the manner that the Messenger of Allah (saws) testified, and his saying is the truth. And to ask for Allah’s mercy for all the Companions of Muhammad (saws) and to withhold from what (disputes) occurred between them. And that Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, is upon (‘ala) His Throne, distinct (baa’in) from His creation, just as He described Himself in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger, without asking ‘How?’ He has encompassed everything in His knowledge:

    There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Surah ash-Shura 42:11)

    And that He, the Blessed and Exalted, will be seen in the Hereafter. The People of Paradise will see Him with their eyes and will hear His words, however He wills (for that to happen) and as He wills.

    And Paradise and Hell-fire are true. They are both created and they will never perish. Paradise is a reward for his allies (awliya) and Hell-fire is a punishment for those disobedient to Him, except he to whom He, the Mighty and Majestic, shows Mercy. And the Bridge (over Hell-fire) is true. And the Mizan (Balance) is true. The two Scales in which the actions of the servants will be weighted, the good and the evil, are true. And he Hawd with which our Prophet (saws) has been honoured is true. And intercession is true. And the Resurrection after death is true.

    And the people who have committed major sins are under the will of Allah. And we do not declare any of the people of the qiblah to be disbelievers due to their sins, but we entrust the knowledge of the inner-condition to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.

    And we maintain the obligation of Jihad and Hajj with the Rulers of the Muslims in every age and era. And we do not hold rebelling against the Rulers and nor to engage in fighting during (times of) trial. We hear and obey the one to whom Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, has entrusted our affair. We do not raise a hand (against) obedience (to him) and we follow the Sunnah and the Jama’ah and we avoid deviation, splitting and differing. Jihad along with those appointed with authority amongst the leaders of the Muslims is always operative ever since Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, sent our Prophet (saws), up until the establishment of the Hour. There is nothing which cancels it. And likewise, Hajj and passing on the charities (due upon) livestock to those appointed with authority amongst the leaders of the Muslims.

    And the people are (treated as) believers (outwardly) with respect to the rulings (related to them) and their inheritance and we do not know how they (truly) are in the sight Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. So whoever says that he is ‘…a believer in truth…’ then he is an innovator and whoever says that he ‘…is a believer in the sight of Allah …’ then he is one of the liars. And whoever says that he ‘…truly believers in Allah …’ then he is correct.

    And the innovating Murji’ah are astray. And the innovating Qadariyah are astray. So the Rejector amongst them (the one who says) that Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, does not know what was not in existence before its existence, then he is a disbeliever. And that the Jahmiyah are disbelievers. And the Rafidah rejected Islam. And the Khawrij are those who leave the religion (murraaq).

    And whoever claims the Quran is created then he is a disbeliever in Allah, the Mighty, with the disbelief that ejects from the religion. And the one who doubts in the disbelief of such a person amongst those who understand (the affair), he too is a disbeliever. Whoever doubts in the Speech of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and withholds, doubting about it saying, I do not know whether it is created or not created, is a Jahmi. And whoever withholds (from expressing his stance) about the Quran out of ignorance, then he is taught and accused of innovation, but he is not to be declared a disbeliever. And whoever says, ‘My recitation of the Quran is created …’ or ‘The Quran with my utterance is created…’ then he is a Jahmi.’”

    Abu Muhammad said, “And I heard my father saying: ‘And the sign of the People of Innovation is reviling the people of the Narrations. And the sign of the Heretics (Zanadiqah) is calling the Ahlus-Sunnah ‘worthless ones’ and they desire to nullify the narrations.

    And the sign of the Jahmiyah is calling the Ahlus-Sunnah ‘Mushabbihah’ (those who liken Allah to His creation). And the sign of the Qadariyah is calling the People of the Narrations ‘Mujbirah’ (those who claim people have no free will and are compelled to act). And the sign of the Murji’ah is calling the Ahlus-Sunnah the Opposers and the Reductionist.

    And the sign of the Rafidah is calling the Ahlus-Sunnah ‘Nasibah’ (Those having a hatred for ‘Ali and his offspring). But no name befits the Ahlus-Sunnah save one, and it is impossible that all of these names bring them together.’”

    2. Abu Muhammad said, “And I heard my father and Abu Zur’ah commanding fleeing from the People of Deviation and Innovations, being very harsh in that with the most severe harshness. And they refuse the compilation of books with opinions, with other than narrations. And they forbade from sitting with the people of theological rhetoric and speculation (Ahlul-Kalam) and looking into the books of the philosophers (Mutakallimun) and they would both say, ‘The person of theological rhetoric will never prosper.’”

    Abu Muhammad said, “And I say that too.” And Abu ‘Ali ibn Habsh al-Muqri said, “And I say that.” And our Sheikh (Ibn al-Mudhaffar) said, “And I say that.” And our Shaikh, meaning the author, said, “And I say that.” And at-Tareetheetee said, “And I say that.” And our Sheikh, as-Silafi said, “And we say that.”

    3. And I found in some of the books of Abu Hatim Muhammad ibn Idris ibn al-Mundhir al-Handhali ar-Razi from what had been heard from him, saying: ‘Our Madhhab and that which we choose is following the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, the Tabi’in and those after them in goodness, abandoning looking at the places of the innovations, and holding fast to the madhhab of the people of Narrations such as, Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaq ibn Ibrahim (ar-Rahawaih), Abu ‘Ubaid al-Qasim ibn Sallam and ash-Shafi’i. And clinging to the Book and the Sunah and defending the Scholars who follow in the footsteps of the Salaf and adopting what the Ahlus-Sunnah in the various regions adopted, such as Malik ibn Anas in Madinah, al-Awza’i in Sham, al-Layth ibn Sa’d in Misr, Sufyan ath-Thawri and Hammad ibn Zaid in Iraq, with respect to the occurrences for which no narration can be found from the Prophet (saws), the Companions and the Tabi’in.

    And abandoning the opinion of the deceiving, surmising, cheating, lying, beautifiers of speech. And abandoning looking into the books of al-Karabis and avoiding whoever defends him from amongst his companions and who argues …. Such as Dawud al-Asbhahani, his likes and his followers.

    And the Quran is the Speech of Allah, His knowledge, His Names, His Attributes, His commands and His prohibitions – it is not created from any aspect whatsoever. And whoever claims it is created, made, then he is a disbeliever in Allah with a disbelief that ejects from the religion. And the one who doubts the disbelief of such a one, who understands (the affair) and is not ignorant, then he too is a disbeliever. And the Waqifah and the Lafdhiyah are Jahmiyah. Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad ibn Hanbal declared them to be Jahmiyah.

    And following the narrations from the Messenger of Allah (saws), from his Companions and the followers in goodness after them. And abandoning the speech of the philosophers (Mutakallimun), abandoning sitting with them, fleeing from them and abandoning sitting with the one who authors books with opinion, without (the use of the) Narrations.

    And our choice is that Iman is speech and action; affirmation by the tongue, belief with the heart and acting in accordance with the pillars such as the prayer, the zakah for the one who has possessions, Hajj for the one who finds a way towards it, fasting in the month of Ramadan and all of the obligatory duties of Allah which He made incumbent upon His servants. Acting upon them is from Iman. And Iman increases and decreases.

    And we believe in the Punishment of the Grave. And in the Hawd with which the Prophet (saws) has been honoured. And we believe in the Questioning in the Grave, and in the Noble Writing Angles. And in that intercession which the Prophet (saws) has been singled out with (amidst all the other prophets).

    And we ask Allah to have mercy upon all of the Companions of the Prophet (saws) and we do not revile a single one of them due to His saying, the Mighty and Majestic:

    And those who came after them say, “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” (Surah al-Hashr 59:10)

    And we believe that Allah is upon (‘ala) His Throne, distinct and separate (baa’in) from His creation:

    There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Surah ash-Shura 42:11)

    And we do not hold rebellion against the Rulers and nor do we fight in the (time of) trial. We hear and obey the one to whom Allah has entrusted our affair. And we hold the performance of prayer, Hajj and Jihad with the Rulers, as well as paying the charity due on livestock to them.

    And we believe in what has come in the authentic narrations that some people from the Muwahidin will be removed from the Hell-fire due to intercession.

    And we say, ‘We are believers in Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.’ And Sufyan ath-Thawri hated that it should be said, ‘A believer in truth in the sight of Allah,’ and ‘One complete in his faith,’ and this too is the saying of al-Awza’i.

    And the sign of the People of Innovation is reviling the People of Narrations. And the sign of the Jahmiyah is calling the Ahlus-Sunnah ‘Mushabbihah’ and ‘Nabitah.’ And a sign of the Heretics (Zanadiqah) is that they call the people of the Narrations ‘Hashawiyah’ (worthless ones), and they desire to nullify the narrations from the Messenger (saws).

    May Allah grant us and every believer success in that which He loves and is pleased with of speech and action and may Allah send prayers and peace upon Muhammad and his family.

    The Creed of the Imam
    Shal ibn ‘Abdullah at-Tustari (d. 283 A.H.)

    Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Harasat an-Najirami informed us, reading it to us, saying: I heard Abul-Qasim ’Abdul-Jabbar ibn Shiraz ibn Yazid al-’Abdi, the companion of Shl ibn ’Abdullah, saying, ”I heard Sahl ibn ’Abdullah saying, and it was said to him, ’When does a man know that he is upon the Sunnah and the Jama’ah?’ He said:

    ‘When he knows of ten qualities from himself:

    He does not abandon the Jama’ah.
    He does not revile the Companions of the Prophet (saws).
    He does not come out against this Ummah with the sword.
    He does not reject the Divine Pre-determination.
    He does not doubt Iman.
    He does not conjecture about the religion.
    He does not abandon (funeral) prayer over the one from the people of the qiblah who dies upon sin.
    He does not abandon wiping over the kuffain (leather socks).
    He does not abandon the Jama’ah (or Jum’uah) behind every Ruler, whether oppressive or just.

    Imam al-Lalika’i ’s Sharh Usulul I’tiqad Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah 2/182-183

    Creed of the Imam
    Abul Hassan al-Ash’ari (d. 324 A.H.)

    Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari (May Allah’s Mercy be upon him) said,

    “This is a quotation of the summarisation of the saying of Ashabul-Hadith (the People of Hadith) and the Ahlus-Sunnah:

    Affirming (faith) in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers, and whatever has come from Allah and what has been reported by reliable, trustworthy (narrators) from the Messenger of Allah. They do not reject anything from that.

    And that Allah, free from all imperfection, is one, unique ilah (deity), who is Samad (Self-Sufficient, Eternal). There is none worthy of worship except Him (alone). He did not take for himself either a spouse or a son.

    And that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. And that Paradise and Hell-fire are true. That the Hour is coming, there being no doubt about it. And that Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.

    And that Allah, the Sublime and Exalted, is upon (‘ala) His Throne as He said:

    “Ar-Rahman ascended (istawa) over the Throne” (Surah Ta Ha 20:5)

    And that He has Two Hands, without asking how (they are), as He said:

    “I created you with My Two Hands”

    “Nay, both His Hands are outstretched” (Surah al-Ma’idah 5:64)

    And that He has Two Eyes, without asking how (they are), as He said:

    “Floating under our Eyes” (Surah Qamar 54:14)

    And that He has a Face, as He said:

    “And the Face of Your Lord, full of Majesty and Honor, will abide forever” (Surah ar-Rahman 55:27)

    And about the Names of Allah, it is not to be said that they refer to (something) other than Allah, as Mu’tazilah and the Khawarij say.

    And they affirm that Allah, free from imperfection, has Knowledge, as He said:

    “He revealed it (the Qur’an) with His Knowledge” (Surah an-Nisa 4:166)


    “And no female conceives or gives birth except with His Knowledge” (Surah Fatir 35:11)

    And they establish both Hearing and Seeing (for Him) and they do not negate that from Allah, as do the Mu’tazilah.

    And they say: Nothing of good or evil occurs in the earth except by the Will of Allah. And that things occur by the Will (Mashi’ah) of Allah, as He, the Mighty and Majestic said:

    “And you do not will except as He Wills” (Surah at-Takwir 81:29)

    And as the Muslims say, ‘Whatever Allah Wills happens and whatever He does not Will does not happen.’ And they say, ‘No-one has the capacity to do something before He does it, or (no one has the capacity to do something) when Allah’s Knowledge is that he will not do it.’

    And they affirm that there is no creator except Allah and that the sinful actions of the servants are created by Allah, and that (all) the actions of the servants are created by Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and that the servants are not able to create anything.

    And that Allah, free from all imperfection, grants the Muslim success in obeying Him (but) deserts and abandons the disbelievers. He is kind to the Believers, aids them, improves their condition and guides them. He is not kind to the disbelievers, nor does He improve their condition, nor guide them and if He had improved their condition, they would have been righteous and if He had guided them, they would have been guided.

    And that Allah, free from all imperfections, is able to correct the disbelievers, to be compassionate to them so that they become Believers, but He does not wish to correct the disbelievers and to be compassionate to them so that they become Believers, and desires that they be (and remain) disbelievers as He knew it (from His preceding knowledge). So He abandons them, misguides them and seals their hearts.

    That both good and evil are from the ordainment (qada) of Allah and His Pre-Decree (qadar). They believe in the Ordainment and Pre-determination of Allah, its good, its evil, its sweetness and its bitterness. And they believer that they are not capable of bringing about any benefit or harm for themselves, except as He wills, as He said. And (so) they submit their affair to Allah, free from all imperfection, and they affirm (their) need of Allah at all times and their poverty towards Allah in all circumstances.

    And they affirm that iman consists of speech and action, it increases and decreases and nor do they say (about iman) that it is ‘created’ or ‘not created’.

    And they say, “The Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, it is not created.”

    And whoever says that his recitation of the Qur’an is created or withholds from making his stance clear (by saying ‘created’ or ‘not created’) is an innovator in their estimation. And it is not to be said that ones utterance of the Qur’an is created or not created. And they believe in the ahadith which have come from the Messenger, “Verily, Allah, free from all imperfection, descends to the lowest heaven and says, ‘Is there anyone who seeks forgiveness?”’ as the hadith has come from the Messenger.

    And they affirm that Allah, free from all imperfection, will come on the Day of Judgment, as He said: “And your Lord shall come, and the angels rank upon rank.” (Surah Fajr 89:22)

    And that Allah draws near to His creation however He wills as He said:

    “And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge)” (Surah Qaf 50:16)

    And the Paradise and Hell-fire are both created and will not perish. And they hold that Allah, free from all imperfection, will be seen, by the eyes (absar) on the Day of Judgment, just as the Believers see the full moon on a clear night. But the disbelievers will not see him because they are veiled from Allah. Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, said:

    “Nay! Surely, they (i.e., the evil-doers) will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day” (Surah 83:15)

    And that Moses, upon him be peace, asked Allah, free from all imperfections, to see Him in this life and that Allah, free from all imperfections, revealed Himself to a mountain and made it turn to dust-and by this He informed Moses that he cannot see him in this word, but will see Him in the Hereafter.

    And they hold (the necessity of) following the salaf from the Scholars of the religion. They do not innovate into the religion, that for which Allah has not given permission. And they hold the avoidance of every caller to innovation.

    So this is a summarisation of what they command, employ and deem, (to be correct). And everything that has been mentioned from their saying, we say likewise and we adopt it. And our success is but by Allah, He suffices us and is the best Disposer of affairs. From Him we seek aid, upon Him we place our trust and to Him is our return.”


    Aqidah at-Tahawi
    by Imam Ja’far at-Tahawi (229 A.H. – 331 A.H.)

    The great scholar Hujjat al-lslam Abu Ja’far al-Warraq al-Tahawi al-Misri, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

    This is a presentation of the beliefs of ahl-al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, according to the school of the jurists of this religion, Abu Hanifah an-Nu’man ibn Thabit al-Kufi, Abu Yusuf Ya’qub ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari and Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, may Allah be pleased with them all, and what they believe regarding the fundamentals of the religion and their faith in the Lord of all the Worlds.

    1. We say about Allah’s unity believing by Allah’s help – that Allah is One, without any partners.
    2. There is nothing like Him.
    3. There is nothing that can overwhelm Him.
    4. There is no god other than Him.
    5. He is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end.
    6. He will never perish or come to an end.
    7. Nothing happens except what He wills.
    8. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him.
    9. He is different from any created being.
    10. He is living and never dies and is eternally active and never sleeps.
    11. He creates without His being in need to do so and provides for His creation without any effort.
    12. He causes death with no fear and restores to life without difficulty.
    13. He has always existed together with His attributes since before creation. Bringing creation into existence did not add anything to His attributes that was not already there. As He was, together with His attributes, in pre-eternity, so He will remain throughout endless time.
    14. It was not only after the act of creation that He could be described as ‘the Creator’ nor was it only by the act of origination that He could he described as ‘the Originator’.
    15. He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation.
    16. In the same way that He is the ‘Bringer to life of the dead’, after He has brought them to life a first time, and deserves this name before bringing them to life, so too He deserves the name of ‘Creator’ before He has created them.
    17. This is because He has the power to do everything, everything is dependent on Him, everything is easy for Him, and He does not need anything.

      ‘There is nothing like Him and He is the Hearer, the Seer’. (Ash-Shura 42:11)

    18. He created creation with His knowledge.
    19. He appointed destinies for those He created.
    20. He allotted to them fixed life spans.
    21. Nothing about them was hidden from Him before He created them, and He knew everything that they would do before He created them.
    22. He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them to disobey Him.
    23. Everything happens according to His degree and will, and His will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He wills for them. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will, does not occur.
    24. He gives guidance to whoever He wills, and protects them, and keeps them safe from harm, out of His generosity; and He leads astray whoever He wills, and abases them, and afflicts them, out of His justice.
    25. All of them are subject to His will between either His generosity or His justice.
    26. He is exalted beyond having opposites or equals.
    27. No one can ward off His decree or put back His command or overpower His affairs.
    28. We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him.
    29. And we are certain that Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is His chosen servant and selected Prophet and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased. And that he is the seal of the prophets and the Imam of the godfearing and the most honoured of all the messengers and the beloved of the Lord of all the Worlds.
    30. Every claim to prophethood after him is falsehood and deceit.
    31. He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and all mankind with truth and guidance and with light and illumination.
    32. The Qur’an is the word of Allah. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down on His Messenger as revelation. The believers accept it, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah. It is not created, as is the speech of human beings, and anyone who hears it and claims that it is human speech has become an unbeliever. Allah warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He says, Exalted is He:

      ‘I will burn him in the Fire.’ (Al-Muddaththir 74: 26)

      When Allah threatens with the Fire those who say

      ‘This is just human speech’ (Al-Muddaththir 74: 25)

      we know for certain that it is the speech of the Creator of mankind and that it is totally unlike the speech of mankind.

    33. Anyone who describes Allah as being in any way the same as a human being has become an unbeliever. All those who grasp this will take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they will know that He, in His attributes, is not like human beings.
    34. ‘The Seeing of Allah by the People of the Garden’ is true, without their vision being all-encompassing and without the manner of their vision being known. As the Book of our Lord has expressed it:

      ‘Faces on that Day radiant, looking at their Lord’. (Al-Qiyamah 75: 22-3)

      The explanation of this is as Allah knows and wills. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in authentic traditions, is as he said and means what he intended. We do not delve into that, trying to interpret it according to our own opinions or letting our imaginations have free rein. No one is safe in his religion unless he surrenders himself completely to Allah, the Exalted and Glorified and to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and leaves the knowledge of things that are ambiguous to the one who knows them.

    35. A man’s Islam is not secure unless it is based on submission and surrender. Anyone who desires to know things which it is beyond his capacity to know, and whose intellect is not content with surrender, will find that his desire veils him from a pure understanding of Allah’s true unity, clear knowledge and correct belief, and that he veers between disbelief and belief, confirmation and denial and acceptance and rejection. He will be subject to whisperings and find himself confused and full of doubt, being neither an accepting believer nor a denying rejector.
    36. Belief of a man in the ‘seeing of Allah by the people of the Garden is not correct if he imagines what it is like, or interprets it according to his own understanding since the interpretation of this seeing’ or indeed, the meaning of any of the subtle phenomena which are in the realm of Lordship, is by avoiding its interpretation and strictly adhering to the submission. This is the din of Muslims. Anyone who does not guard himself against negating the attributes of Allah, or likening Allah to something else, has gone astray and has failed to understand Allah’s Glory, because our lord, the Glorified and the Exalted, can only possibly be described in terms of Oneness and Absolute Singularity and no creation is in any way like Him.
    37. He is beyond having limits placed on Him, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He contained by the six directions as all created things are.
    38. Al-Mi’raj (the Ascent through the heavens) is true. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was taken by night and ascended in his bodily form, while awake, through the heavens, to whatever heights Allah willed for him. Allah ennobled him in the way that He ennobled him and revealed to him what He revealed to him,

      ‘And his heart was not mistaken about what it saw’ (Al-Najm 53: 11).

      Allah blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next.

    39. Al-Hawd, (the Pool which Allah will grant the Prophet as an honour to quench the thirst of His Ummah on the Day Of Judgement), is true.
    40. Al-Shifa’ah, (the intercession, which is stored up for Muslims), is true, as related in the (consistent and confirmed) Ahadith.
    41. The covenant ‘which Allah made with Adam and his offspring’ is true.
    42. Allah knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of thosc who would enter the Garden and the exact number of those who would enter the Fire. This number will neither be increased nor decreased.
    43. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done. Everyone is eased to what he was created for and it is the action with which a man’s life is sealed which dictates his fate. Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah.
    44. The exact nature of the decree is Allah’s secret in His creation, and no angel near the Throne, nor Prophet sent with a message, has been given knowledge of it. Delving into it and reflecting too much about it only leads to destruction and loss, and results in rebelliousness. So be extremely careful about thinking and reflecting on this matter or letting doubts about it assail you, because Allah has kept knowledge of the decree away from human beings, and forbidden them to enquire about it, saying in His Book,

      ‘He is not asked about what He does but they are asked’. (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 23)

      So anyone who asks: ‘Why did Allah do that?’ has gone against a judgement of the Book, and anyone who goes against a judgement of the Book is an unbeliever.

    45. This in sum is what those of Allah’s friends with enlightened hearts need to know and constitutes the degree of those firmly endowed with knowledge. For there are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge which is accessible to created beings, and knowledge which is not accessible to created beings. Denying the knowledge which is accessible is disbelief, and claiming the knowledge which is inaccessible is disbelief. Belief can only be firm when accessible knowledge is accepted and inaccessible knowledge is not sought after.
    46. We believe in al-Lawh (the Tablet) and al-Qalam (the Pen) and in everything written on it. Even if all created beings were to gather together to make something fail to exist, whose existence Allah had written on the Tablet, they would not be able to do so. And if all created beings were to gather together to make something exist which Allah had not written on it, they would not be able to do so. The Pen has dried having written down all that will be in existence until the Day of Judgement. Whatever a person has missed he would have never got it, and whatever one gets, he would have never missed it.
    47. It is necessary for the servant to know that Allah already knows everything that is going to happen in His creation and has decreed it in a detailed and decisive way. There is nothing that He has created in either the heavens or the earth that can contradict it, or add to it, or erase it, or change it, or decrease it, or increase it in any way. This is a fundamental aspect of belief and a necessary element of all knowledge and recognition of Allah’s oneness and Lordship. As Allah says in His Book:

      ‘He created everything and ordered them in due proportions’. (Al-Furqan 25: 2)

      And He also says:

      ‘Allah’s command is always a decided decree’. (al-Ahzab 33: 38)

      So woe to anyone who argues with Allah concerning the decree and who, with a sick heart, starts delving into this matter. In his delusory attempt to investigate the Unseen, he is seeking a secret that can never be uncovered, and he ends up an evil-doer, telling nothing but lies.

    48. Al-‘Arsh (the Throne) and al-Kursi (the Chair) are true.
    49. He is independent of the Throne and what is beneath it.
    50. He encompasses everything and is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him.
    51. We say with belief, acceptance and submission that Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend and that He spoke directly to Musa.
    52. We believe in the angels, and the prophets, and the books which were revealed to the messengers, and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.
    53. We call the people of our qiblah Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, brought, and accept as true everything that he said and told us about.
    54. We do not enter into vain talk about Allah nor do we allow any dispute about the religion of Allah.
    55. We do not argue about the Qur’an and we bear witness that it is the speech of the Lord of all the Worlds which the Trustworthy Spirit came down with and taught the most honoured of all the Messengers, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It is the speech of Allah and no speech of any created being is comparable to it. We do not say that it was created and we do not go against the Jama’ah of the Muslims regarding it.
    56. We do not consider any of the people of our qiblah to be unbelievers because of any wrong action they have done, as long as they do not consider that action to have been lawful.
    57. Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief does not have a harmful effect on him.
    58. We hope that Allah will pardon the people of right action among the believers and grant them entrance into the Garden through His mercy, but we cannot be certain of this, and we cannot bear witness that it will definitely happen and that they will be in the Garden. We ask forgiveness for the people of wrong action among the believers and, although we are afraid for them, we are not in despair about them.
    59. Certainty and despair both remove one from the religion, but the path of truth for the people of the qiblah lies between the two (e.g. a person must fear and be conscious of Allah’s reckoning as well as be hopeful of Allah’s mercy).
    60. A person does not step out of belief except by disavowing what brought him into it.
    61. Belief consists of affirmation by the tongue and acceptance by the heart.
    62. And the whole of what is proven from the Prophet, upon him be peace, regarding the Shari’ah and the explanation (of the Qur’an and of Islam) is true.
    63. Belief is, at base, the same for everyone, but the superiority of some over others in it is due to their fear and awareness of Allah, their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to Allah.
    64. All the believers are ‘friends’ of Allah and the noblest of them in the sight of Allah are those who are the most obedient and who most closely follow the Qur’an.
    65. Belief consists of belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and belief that the Decree – both the good of it and the evil of it, the sweet of it and the bitter or it – is all from Allah.
    66. We believe in all these things. We do not make any distinction between any of the messengers, we accept as true what all of them brought.
    67. Those of the Urnmah of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who have committed grave sins will be in the Fire, but not forever, provided they die and meet Allah as believers affirming His unity even if they have not repented. They are subject to His will and judgement. If He wants, He will forgive them and pardon them out of His generosity, as is mentionied in the Qur’an when He says:

      ‘And He forgives anything less than that (shirk) to whoever He wills’ (An-Nisa’ 4: 116)

      and if He wants, He will punish them in the Fire out of His justice and then bring them out of the Fire through His mercy, and for the intercession of those who were obedient to Him, and send them to the Garden. This is because Allah is the Protector of those who recognize Him and will not treat them in the Next World in the same way as He treats those who deny Him and who are bereft of His guidance and have failed to obtain His protection. O Allah, You are the Protector of Islam and its people; make us firm in Islam until the day we meet You.

    68. We agree with doing the prayer behind any of the people of the qiblah whether right-acting or wrong-acting, and doing the funeral prayer over any of them when they die.
    69. We do not say that any of them will categorically go to either the Garden or the Fire, and we do not accuse any of them of kutr (disbelief), shirk (associating partners with Allah), or nifaq (hypocrisy), as long as they have not openly demonstrated any of those things. We leave their secrets to Allah.
    70. We do not agree with killing any of the Ummah of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, unless it is obligatory by Shari’ah to do so.
    71. We do not recognize rebellion against our Imam or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil on them, nor do we withdraw from following them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to Allah, The Glorified, and therefore obligatory as long as they do not order to commit sins. We pray for them right guidance and pardon from their wrongs.
    72. We follow the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Jama’ah of the Muslims, and avoid deviation, differences and divisions.
    73. We love the people of justice and trustworthiness, and hate the people of injustice and treachery.
    74. When our knowledge about something is unclear, we say: ‘Allah knows best’.
    75. We agree with wiping over leather socks (in Wudu) whether on a journey or otherwise, just as has come in the (consistent and confirmed) ahadith.
    76. Hajj and jihad under the leadership of those in charge of the Muslims, whether they are right or wrong-acting, are continuing obligations until the Last Hour comes. Nothing can annul or controvert them.
    77. We believe in Kiraman Katibin (the noble angels) who write down our actions for Allah has appointed them over us as two guardians.
    78. We believe in the Angel of Death who is charged with taking the spirits of all the worlds.
    79. We believe in the punishment in the grave for those who deserve it, and in the questioning in the grave by Munkar and Nakir about one’s Lord, one’s religion and one’s prophet, as has come down in ahadith from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and in reports from the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all.
    80. The grave is either one of the meadows of the Garden or one of the pits of the Fire.
    81. We believe in being brought back to life after death and in being recompensed for our actions on the Day of Judgement, and al-‘Ard, having been shown them and al-Hisab, brought to account for them. And Qira’at al-Kitab, reading the book, and the reward or punishments and in al-Sirat (the Bridge) and al-Mizan (the Balance).
    82. The Garden and the Fire are created things that never come to an end and we believe that Allah created them before the rest of creation and then created people to inhabit each of them. Whoever He wills goes to the Garden out of His Bounty and whoever He wills goes to the Fire through His justice. Everybody acts in accordance with what is destined for him and goes towards what he has been created for.
    83. Good and evil have both been decreed for people.
    84. The capability in terms of Tawfiq (Divine Grace and Favour) which makes an action certain to occur cannot be ascribed to a created being. This capability is integral with action, whereas the capability of an action in terms of having the necessary health, and ability, being in a position to act and having the necessary means, exists in a person before the action. It is this type of capability which is the object of the dictates of Shari’ah. Allah the Exalted says:

      ‘Allah does not charge a person except according to his ability’.(Al-Baqarah 2: 286)

    85. People’s actions are created by Allah but earned by people .
    86. Allah, the Exalted, has only charged people with what they are able to do and people are only capable to do what Allah has favoured them. This is the explanation of the phrase: ‘There is no power and no strength except by Allah.’ We add to this that there is no stratagem or way by which anyone can avoid or escape disobedience to Allah except with Allah’s help; nor does anyone have the strength to put obedience to Allah into practice and remain firm in it, except if Allah makes it possible for them to do so.
    87. Everything happens according to Allah’s will, knowledge, predestination and decree. His will overpowers all other wills and His decree overpowers all stratagems. He does whatever He wills and He is never unjust. He is exalted in His purity above any evil or perdition and He is perfect far beyond any fault or flaw.

      ‘He will not be asked about what He does but they will be asked.’ (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 23)

    88. There is benefit for dead people in the supplication and alms-giving of the living.
    89. Allah responds to people’s supplications and gives them what they ask for.
    90. Allah has absolute control over everything and nothing has any control over Him. Nothing can be independent of Allah even for the blinking of an eye, and whoever considers himself independent of Allah for the blinking of an eye is guilty of unbelief and becomes one of the people of perdition.
    91. Allah is angered and can be pleased but not in the same way as any creature.
    92. We love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah but we do not go to excess in our love for any one individual among them nor do we disown any one of them. We hate anyone who hates them or does not speak well of them and we only speak well of them. Love of them is a part of Islam, part of belief and part of excellent behaviour, while hatred of them is unbelief, hypocrisy and rebelliousness.
    93. We confirm that, after the death of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, the caliphate went first to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, thus proving his excellence and superiority over the rest of the Muslims; then to ‘Umar ibn alKhattab, may Allah be pleased with him; then to ‘Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him; and then to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him. These are the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and upright leaders.
    94. We bear witness that the ten who were named by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and who were promised the Garden by him, will be in the Garden, as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, whose word is truth, bore witness that they would be. The ten are: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Talhah, Zubayr, Sa’d, Sa’id, ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf and Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah whose title was the trustee of this Ummah, may Allah be pleased with all of them.
    95. Anyone who speaks well of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and his wives and offspring, who are all pure and untainted by any impurity, is free from the accusation of hypocrisy.
    96. The learned men of the first community and those who followed in their footsteps – the people of virtue, the narrators of the Ahadith, the jurists and analysts- they must only be spoken about in the best way and anyone who says anything bad about them is not on the right path.
    97. We do not prefer any of the saintly men among the Ummah over any of the Prophets but rather we say that any one of the Prophets is better than all the awliya’ put together.
    98. We believe in what we know of Karamat, the marvels of the awliya’ and in authentic stories about them from trustworthy sources.
    99. We believe in the signs of the Hour such as the appearance of the Dajjal and the descent of ‘Isa ibn Maryam, peace be upon him, from heaven and we believe in the rising of the sun from where it sets and in the emergence of the Beast from the earth.
    100. We do not accept as true what soothsayers and fortune-tellers say, nor do we accept the claims of those who affirm anything which goes against the Book, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslim Ummah.
    101. We agree that holding together is the true and right path and that separation is deviation and torment.
    102. There is only one religion of Allah in the heavens and the earth and that is the religion of Islam. Allah says:

      ‘Surely religion in the sight of Allah is Islam’. (Al ‘Imran 3: 19)

      And He also says:

      ‘I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you’. (Al-Maeda 5: 3)

    103. Islam lies between going to excess and falling short, between Tashbih (likening of Allah’s attributes to anything else), and Ta’til (denying Allah’s attributes), between fatalism and refusing decree as proceeding from Allah and between certainty (without being conscious of Allah’s reckoning) and despair (of Allah’s mercy).
    104. This is our religion and it is what we believe in, both inwardly and outwardly, and we renounce any connection, before Allah, with anyone who goes against what we have said and made clear.

    We ask Allah to make us firm in our belief and seal our lives with it and to protect us from variant ideas, scattering opinions and evil schools of view such as those of the Mushabbihah, the Mu’tazilah, the Jahmiyyah the Jabriyah, the Qadriyah and others like them who go against the Sunnah and Jama’ah and have allied themselves with error. We renounce any connection with them and in our opinion they are in error and on the path of destruction.

    We ask Allah to protect us from all falsehood and we ask His Grace and Favour to do all good

The Creed of the Imam
Ibn Abi Zaid al-Qayrawani (d. 386H)
His Belief and Methodology
The Introduction to the Risalah of Ibn Abi Zaid al-Qarawani

”Chapter: The Obligatory Religious Matters that the Tongues Speak with and which the Hearts hold on to.

From this is having faith with the heart and professing with the tongue that: Allah is one ilah (i.e. an object of worship), there being no other ilah besides him. He has none that resembles Him. He has no equal, no son, no father, no (female) companion and no partner. There is no beginning to His eternity (Awaliyyah) and there is no end to His eternity (Akhiriyyah). The tre nature of His Attribute cannot be reached by those who describe and nor can His affair be comprehended by the thinkers.

The thinkers reflect about His signs or verses but they should not reflect over the nature of His Essence (dhat) and they encompass nothing of His knowledge except what He wills:

“His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great” (al-Baqarah 2:55)

The ‘Alim (The Knower), Al-Khabir (All-Aware), Al-Mudabbir (The Controller of all affairs), Al-Qadir (The Able), Al-Basir (All-Seeing), Al-‘Aliyy (the Most High), Al-Kabir (The Great).

And that He is above (fawqa) His Throne with His Essence (dhat) yet He is in every place with His knowledge. He created man and he knows what his soul whispers to him, and He is closer to him than the jugular vein (with His knowledge). Not a leaf falls except that He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.

He ascended (istawa) over the Throne, and He encompasses the dominion (of the heavens and the earth) and to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names and the Most Lofty Attributes. He did not cease having all of His Attributes and Names. Exalted is He from that His Attributes should be created and that His Names should be newly invented.

He spoke to Musa with His (own) Speech which is a characteristic of His Essence (dhaat) and is not a created thing from amongst His creation. And He revealed Himself to the Mountain which shattered to dust on account of His Grandeur.

And that the Qur’an is the Speech of Allah, it is not created such that it perishes and nor is it a characteristic of (someone) created, so that it is (eventually) exhausted.

And having faith in the Divine Pre-determination, its good and its evil, its sweetness and its bitterness.   And all of that has been pre-decreed by our Lord, and the decrees of the creation are in His Hand, their source is His Ordainment (Qada).

He knew every single thing before its occurrence, and so (this knowledge) proceeded into His Pre-determination. No word or action occurs from His servant except that He ordained (it) and His knowledge preceded it:

“Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kin and the Courteous (to His salves) All-Aware (of everything)” (Mulk 67:14)

He leads astray whom He wills so that He abandons him due to His justice and He guides whom He wills so that He grants him success due to His country. What has preceded in His knowledge and His Pre-determination is made easy for everyone, whether happy or wretched, due to Allah’s facilitating that for him.

Exalted is He from that there should be in His dominion that which He does not desire, or that anyone should be free (of need) from Him-the Creator of every single thing. Indeed, He is the Lord of all the servants, the Lord of their actions and the Determiner of their movements and their life-spans, the Sender of the Messengers to them for the establishing of the proof against them.

Then he completed and sealed the Messengership, the Warnership and the Prophethood by Muhammad, His Prophet (saws). So he made him the last of the Messengers, a bringer of good tidings and a warner, a caller unto Allah by His permission and a (blazing) lamp, spreading light. And He revealed upon him His Wise Book, legislated His upright religion and guided by it (to) the Straight Path.

And that the Hour is coming, there being no doubt about its (occurrence). And that Allah will resurrect whoever dies-just as He began (their creation) will they return.

And that Allah, free from all imperfections, will multiply the good deeds of His Believing Servants and will pardon them with (their) repentance from the major sins. He will forgive them the minor sins due to their keeping away from major sins. Whoever does not repent from the major sins, Allah will place him under His Will:

“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases” (an-Nisa 4:48)

And whomsoever Allah punishes with His Fire, He will remove him from it due to his iman and will enter him into His Paradise:

“So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom )or small ant), shall see it” (Zalzalah 99:8)

Due to the intercession of the Prophet (saws), those for whom intercession has been granted, amongst the people who have committed major sins from his Ummah, will be brought out of the Fire.

And that Allah, free from all imperfections, has created Paradise and has prepared it as an everlasting abode for His Allies (Awliya). He will honor them in Paradise by allowing them to see His Face.

And this is (the Paradise) from which Adam, His Prophet and His Vicegerent, came down from to His Earth, due to what had preceded from His preceding knowledge. And He created the Fire and prepared it as an everlasting abode for the ones who disbelieved and the ones who deny and deviate from His Ayat, His Books and His Messengers and He will make them veiled from seeing Him.

And that Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, will come on the Day of Judgment. And likewise the Angels, rank upon rank, for the trial and calling to account of the nations. And the Scales will be set up for weighing the deeds of the Servants:

“Then, those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, they are the successful” (al-Mu’minun 23:102)

And they will be given their scrolls (in the manner necessitated) by their actions. So whoever is given his book in his right hand will receive an easy reckoning and whoever is given his book behind his back then they will taste the Blazing Fire.

And that the Sirat (Bridge over Hell-fire) is true. The Servants will pass over it in accordance with their actions. Those who will be saved will vary as to how quickly they will be delivered from the Fire of Hell (by passing over the bridge). And the actions of another people will cause them ruin (by causing them to fall into the Hell-fire).

And having faith in the Hawd (Pool) of Allah’s Messenger (saws), his Ummah will pass by it. Whoever drinks from it will never be touched by thirst and those who changed and modified (the religion) will be chased away from it.

And that iman is speech with the tongue, sincerity of the heart and actions of the limbs. It increases with an increase in actions and decreases with a decrease in them. Therefor (it is)by actions that there is deficiency and increase in iman. And the speech of iman is not complete except with action, and there is no speech nor action except by intention, and there is no speech, action and intention unless it conforms with the Sunnah.

And that no-one from the people of the qiblah is to be declared a disbeliever on account of a sin. And that the Martyrs are alive with their Lord, being provided for. And the souls of the People of Happiness (i.e. the inhabitants of Paradise) remain in a state of bliss until the Day they are raised. And the souls of the People of Misery (i.e. the inhabitants of Hell-fire) are punished till the Day of Reckoning.

And that the Believers will be put to trial in their graves and will be questioned:

“Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter” (Ibrahim 14:27)

And that there are Angels (appointed to watch) over the Servants, who write down their deeds. And nothing of (the actions of the Servants) remains hidden from the knowledge of their Lord. And that the Angel of Death takes the souls by the permission of his Lord.

And that the best of generations are those who saw the Messenger of Allah (saws) and believed in him, then those who follow them. And that the best amongst the companions are the Rightly Guided Caliphs, Abu Bakr, then ‘ Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with them all. And that none of the companions of the Messenger (saws) are to be mentioned except with the best of remembrances.

And to withhold from whatever (disputes) occurred amongst them, and that they are the most-deserving of people of having excuses sought for them and that they are thought of in the best of ways.

And giving obedience to the Leaders (A’immah) of the Muslims, from amongst those in authority over their affairs (Wullat) and their scholars, adhering to the Pious Predecessors, following in their footsteps and seeking forgiveness for them. And abandoning controversy and argumentation in the religion and to abandon everything that the innovators have invented (into the religion).

And may Allah send prayers over our leader Muhammad, His Prophet, and upon his family, his wives, his progeny ad grant them the best of salutations.

The Luminous Creed
by Ibn Qudaama al-Maqdisi (541 A.H.-621 A.H.)

Ibn Qudama – may Allah be merciful with him – has said:

1. All praise belongs to Allah who is the object of praise in every tongue and the object of worship during every time. He whom no place is vacant from His knowledge nor does one affair occupy Him from another. He is sublime from having any resemblance or rival and He is far-removed from having a wife or children. His ruling is enforced among all His slaves. Minds cannot liken Him by reflection nor can hearts fancy Him by imagination. “Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-hearing, the Allseeing.” (42: 1 I ) Unto Him belong the most beautiful names and most exalted attributes. “The Allmerciful mounted upon the Throne; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and all that is underneath the soil. Be thou loud in thy speech, yet He knows the secret and that yet more hidden.” (20:5-7) He has encompassed everything [by His] knowledge; He has subdued everything with [His] might and judgment; and He has spread over everything [with His] mercy and knowledge. “He knows what is before them and behind them, and they comprehend Him not in knowledge.” (20:110)

Allah’s Attributes

1. He is to be described by what He has described Himself by in His Great Scripture and upon the tongue of His Noble Prophet.

2. All what is mentioned in the Qur’an or is authentically reported upon “the Chosen One” (al-Mustafa) – ‘alayhis-salam – from among the attributes of al-Rahman, it is incumbent [upon us]:

to believe in [that report]
to receive it with submission and acceptance
and to forsake resisting it by (i) rejection, (ii) allegorically interpretation (at-ta’wil, or by resembling (at-tashbih) or likening (at-tamthil) [the attribute to that of His creation].

3. Whatever of [these reports that we find] difficult [to comprehend] it is required to affirm its wording and to forsake delving into its meaning. We [rather] entrust knowledge of its reality to He who has spoken it and we place the responsibility [of our faith in it] upon he who transmitted it. Thereby following the way of those firmly grounded in knowledge whom Allah has praised in His Clear Scripture by His statement – subhanahu wa ta’ala, “An those firmly rooted in knowledge say, `We believe in it; all is from our Lord.”‘ (3:7) While He has said in condemnation of those who seek the interpretation (at-ta’wil) of the ambiguous (mutashabih) of His revelation: “As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part, desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only Allah.” So He made seeking its interpretation an indication of perversity [of the heart] and He linked it in its condemnation with seeking dissension (fitna). He then veiled them from that which they sought and He cut off their hope [of ever reaching that] by His statement – subhanahu, “And none knows its interpretation, save only Allah.”

4. Imam Abu `Abdullah Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal – may Allah be pleased with him – has said regarding the Prophet’s statements – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam- that Allah descends to the lowest heaven, that Allah will be seen on the day of Resurrection, and what resembles such statements. “We have faith and believe in them without [saying] how [is their modality] or [interpreting their] meaning. We do not reject any of [these reports]. We know that what the Messenger came with is the truth. We do not reject what the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – has brought. Nor do we describe Allah with more than what He has described Himself without [ascribing to Him] a limit or an end. ‘Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.’ (42:1 1). We say as He has said and we describe Him as He has described Himself. We do not transgress that. The descriptions of men do not reach Him. We believe in the whole of the Qur’an – its definitive (mukham) and its equivocal (mutashabih). We do not separate from Him any of His attributes due to the protests of anyone. We do not transgress the Qur’an and the hadith. Nor do we know the reality of [these attributes] except by believing the Messenger – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – and affirming the Qur’an.”

5. Imam Abu `Abdullah Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i- may Allah be pleased with him – has said, “I believe in Allah and what has been brought from Allah as Allah intended. And I believe in Allah’s messenger and what has been brought by Allah’s messenger as the Allah’s messenger.”

6. Upon these [principles] the Salaf and the scholars among the Khalaf – may Allah be pleased with them – have proceeded. For they are all in agreement that we must acknowledge, pass over, and affirm what had been reported in Allah’s Scripture and His Messenger’s Sunna concerning the [Divine Attributes] without attempting to allegorically interpret it.

7. We have been commanded to follow their footsteps and to be guided by their beacons. We have been forewarned from all innovations. We have been informed that (every innovation] is among the deviations. For the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – has said “You must therefore follow my Sunna and that of [my] rightly-guided successors. Hold to it and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is error.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi, ad-Darimi]

8. `Abdullah b. Mas`ud – may Allah be pleased with him – has said, “Follow and do not innovate. For you have been given what is sufficient.”

9. While `Umar b. `Abdul-`Aziz – may Allah be pleased with him – has said words to the effect: “Stop where the people [before you] stopped. For they have stopped upon knowledge. And they have out of sure sightedness restrained themselves [from going less or further]. Had there been something more to reveal they would have been more able. And had there been some merit they would have been more deserving. If you were to say, `It was introduced after them.’ No one introduced anything but he who opposed their guidance and sought other than their Sunna. They described of it what brings cure and spoke regarding it what suffices. He who does more than them is an extremist and he who does less is negligent. A group of people have done less then them so they are negligent and another group exceeded them and so they are extremists. They are between that upon a straight guidance.”

10. Imam Abu `Amr al-Awza`ee – may Allah be pleased with him – has said, “It is for you to follow the footsteps of those who have gone before even if the people reject you. And beware of the opinions of men even if it is beautified before you by speech.”

11. And Muhammad b. `Abdur-Rahman al-Adrami said to a man who spoke an innovation and called others to it, “Did Allah’s messenger – sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – know it? Did Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, or `Ali? Or is it that they did not know about such things?” The man replied, “They did not know about such things.” Al-Adrami replied, “Something which they knew not, you know?” The man replied, “I now say, `They knew of these things.”‘ Al-Adrami replied, “Did it not suffice them not to speak about these things or call people to it?” The man replied, “Yes. It would have sufficed them.” Al-Adrami replied, “Something which sufficed Allah’s Messenger and his successors does not suffice you?” The man did not know what to say. The Caliph, who was present, then said, “May Allah not suffice he who is not sufficed by what suffices them.”

12. In such manner, he who is not sufficed with what sufficed Allah’s Messenger – sallalluhu ‘alayhi wa sallam – his companions, their followers in good, the scholars after them, and those firmly rooted in knowledge – namely, reciting the ayat and reading the reports that mention [Allah’s attributes] and then passing them as they came – then may Allah not suffice him.

Examples of Allah’s Attributes

13. Among the ayat that mention Allah’s attributes is Allah’s statement – ‘azza wa jalla – “… yet still abides the Face of thy Lord, majestic, splendid.” (55:27)

14. And His Statement – subhanahu wa ta`ala – “Nay, but His hands are outspread.” (5:64)

15. And His Statement – ta`ala – informing us that Jesus – `alayhi wa sallam – said, “…, knowing what is within myself, and I know not what is within Thy self.” (5:116)

16. And His Statement – subhanahu – “… and thy Lord comes, …” (89:22)

17. And His Statement – ta’ala – “What do they look for, but that Allah shall come to them …” (2:210)

18. And His Statement – ta’ala – “Allah being well-pleased with them and they well-pleased with Him.” (5:119)

19. And His Statement – ta’ala – “… a people He loves, and who love Him, …” (5:54)

20. And His Statement – ta’ala – regarding the infidels “Allah is wroth with them, …” (48:6)

21. And His Statement – ta’ala – “…”

22. And His Statement – ta’ala – “… but Allah was averse that they should be aroused, …” (9:46)

23. From the sunna the Prophet’s statement – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – “Our Lord – tabaraka wa ta`ala – descends every night to the heaven above the earth …”

24. And his statement, “Your Lord is amazed at a youth that does not possess any desires.”

25. And his statement, “Allah will laugh at two men one killed the other, yet both of them will enter Paradise …”

26. So these reports and what resembles it from those reports in which its chain of narration (sanad) is sound and its narrators have been graded trustworthy, we believe i these reports and do not reject or deny them. Nor do we explain them in a manner that differs with its apparent meaning (dhahir). Nor do we resemble them with the attributes or qualities of the creatures. We know that Allah – subhunuhu wa ta`ala – has no resemblance nor pear. “Like Him there is naught. And He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.” (42: 1 1 ) So everything that is imagined in one’s mind or passes upon one’s heart; verily Allah – ta`ala – is different than that.

Allah’s Transcendence

27. Among [the ayat that mention Allah’s attributes] is Allah’s statement – ta`ala, “The All-merciful mounted upon the Throne.” (20:5) And His Statement – ta’ala, “Do you feel secure that He who is in the heaven … ?” (67:16)

28. And [among the hadith that mention Allah’s attributes] is the Prophet’s statement – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Our Lord Allah! Who is in Heaven. Hallowed be Thy name (ism).” And he said to the slave-girl, “Where is Allah?” She replied, “In heaven.” He [then] said, “Set her free for she is a believer.” This is reported by Malik b. Anas, Muslim, and others among the scholars. And the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said to Husain, “How many [gods] do you worship.” He replied, “Six on earth and one in heaven.” The Prophet then said, “Whom do you worship for your needs and when you are in fear?” He replied, “The one in heaven.” The Prophet then said, “Leave the six [on earth] and worship [only] the one in heaven and I will teach you two prayers.” He became a Muslim. And the Prophet – sallallahu `adayhi wa sallam – taught him [to pray], “O Allah inspire me with my guidance and preserve me from the evils of my soul.”

29. And among that which has been reported in the previous scriptures regarding the signs of the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – and his companions is that prostrate on the earth and claim that their God is in heaven above.

30. While Abu Dawud reports in his Sunan that the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – said that “between each heaven is a distance of such and such.” Abu Dawud related the narration until the Prophet’s statement, “And above that is the Throne and Allah – subhanahu – is above that.” This [hadith] and its likes is among that which the Salaf agreed to transmit and accept. They did not turn to these reports that they may reject, [allegorically] interpret, resemble or liken.

31. Imam Malik b. Anas – may Allah be merciful with him – was asked, “O Abu `Abdullah! `The All merciful mounted upon the Throne.’ (20:5) How did He mount the Throne?” [Malik] replied, “Mounting is not unknown [in meaning], how is incomprehensible, to believe [that Allah mounted the Throne] is required, to ask about it is a heresy.” He then ordered that the man be expelled [from the Prophet’s mosque.]

Allah’s Speech

32. Among Allah’s attributes – ta’ala – is that He is a speaker with an eternal speech (kalam qadim). His speech is heard from Him by whom He pleases of His creation. Moses – ‘alayhis-salam – heard His Speech directly from Him without any intermediary, as did Gabriel – `alayhis-salam – and [likewise] whomever else He permits among His angels and His messengers.

33. [And among Allah’s attributes is that] He – subhanahu – will directly speak to the believers in the Hereafter and they will speak to Him. He will also permit them [to visit Him] and they will visit Him.

34. [37] Allah – ta’ala – has said, “And unto Moses Allah spoke directly.” (4:164) And He – subhanahu – has said, “Moses I have chosen thee above all men for My messages and My utterance.” (7:144) And He – subhanahu – has said “And those Messengers, some We have preferred above others.” (2:253) And He – subhanahu – has said, “It belongs not to any mortal that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation, or fiom behind a veil.” (42:51) And He – subhanahu – has said, “When he came to it, a voice cried, `Moses, I am thy Lord’.” (20:12-13) And He – subhanahu – has said, “Verily I am Allah; there is no god but I; therefore worship Me.” (20:14) It is impermissible for anyone but Allah to say such.

35. `Abdullah b. Mas`ud – may Allah be pleased with him – has said: “When Allah speaks the inspiration the inhabitants of heaven hear His voice.” This having been narrated upon the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam.

36. While `Abdullah b. Anis reported that the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – said: “Allah will gather the creation on the Day of Resurrection barefooted, uncircumcised, naked and free from all bodily defects. He will call them out with a voice that will be heard from afar as it will be heard from near, saying, “I am the King, I am the Judge.”” The scholars have reported this and al-Bukhari cited this as evidence.

37. It is mentioned in some [Israelite] reports that on the night Moses – `alayhis-salam – saw the fire it frightened him. So His Lord called out, “O Moses.” Comforted by the voice, [Moses] quickly responded, “I am in your presence, I am in your presence. I hear your voice but do not see your place. Where are You?” The voice said, “I am above you, in front of you, on your right and on your left.” Moses realized that such a description does not befit anyone except Allah – ta`ala. Moses then said, “Like such you are my God. Am I hearing your own words or that of your messenger?” Allah said, “Rather it is my own words Moses!”

The Qur’an is Allah’s Literal Words

38. Of Allah’s Speech is the Great Qur’an. It is Allah’s clear scripture, unbreakable cable, and straight path. [It is] the sending down of the Lord of all beings. It was sent down with the “Trustworthy Spirit” upon the heart of the Master of the Messengers in a clear Arabic tongue. [It was] sent down and it is uncreated. From Him it began and unto Him it will return.

39. lt [consists of] unequivocal suwar, clear ayat, letters and words. Whoever reads it and expresses it clearly, he will receive for each letter ten blessings. It has a beginning and an end, parts (ajza’) and sections (ab’ad). lt is recited by the tongues [of men], memorized in [their] breasts, heard by [their] ears, and written in the scriptures. Within it is definitive (muhkim) and equivocal (mutashabih) and abrogated (nasikh) and abrogating (mansukh), exclusive (khass) and general (‘am), commands and prohibitions. “Falsehood comes not to it from before it nor from behind it; a sending down from One All-wise, All-laudable.” (41 :42) And His Statement – ta`ala, “Say: `If men and jinn banded together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they would never produce its like, not though they backed one another.'” (17:88)

40. And this [Qur’an] is the Arabic scripture regarding which the infidels remarked, “We will not believe in this Qur’an.” (34:41) While others said, “This is nothing but mortal speech.” (74:25) So Allah – subhanahu – responded, “I shall surely roast him in Sagar.” (74:26) While still others claimed that [the Qur’an] was [only] poetry, so Allah said: “We have not taught him poetry; it is not seemly for him. It is only a Remembrance and a Clear Qur’an.” (36:69) When Allah negated that it was poetry, confirming that it is a reading, there was not an argument left for the intelligent regarding the Qur’an that it is this Arabic Book, which consists of words, letters, and ayat. For what is not [composed] in such a manner none would call poetry.

41. And [Allah]- `azza wa jalla – said, “And if you are in doubt concerning that We have sent down on our servant, then bring a sura like it, and call your witnesses, apart from Allah, …” (2:23) It is impermissible that [Atlah] would challenge them to bring forth a like to which that they did not know or is comprehend what it is.

42. And [Allah] – ta`ala – said, “And when Our signs are recited to them, clear signs, those who look not to encounter Us say, `Bring a Qur’an other than this, or alter it.’ Say: `It is not for me to alter it of my own accord.'” (10: 1 5) He confirmed that the Qur’an is those very ayat that are recited upon them.

43. And [Allah] – ta`ala – said, “Nay; rather it is signs, clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge.” (29:49) And He – ta`ala – said after He swore upon it, “It is surely a noble Qur’an in a hidden book none but the purified shall touch.” (57:77-79)

44. And [Allah] – ta`ala – said, “Kaf. Ha’. Ya’. Ain. Sad.” (19:1) “Ha’. Mim. ‘Ain. Sad Qaf.” (42:1) He has opened nineteen suwar with these detached letters. While the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – has said, “Whoever recites the Qur’an and expresses it clearly, he has with every letter [recited] from it ten good deeds; and whoever recites it and misprounces it he has with each letter [recited] a good deed.” And he – ‘alayhis-salatu was-salam – has said, “Recite the Qur’an before a people appear who will prop up its letters like an arrow, it will not pass their throats. They will hasten in seeking its reward [in this world] and not defer that [for the next life].” Abu Bakr and `Umar – may Allah be pleased with them both – have both said, “To express the Qur’an clearly is more beloved to us than to memorize some of its letters”. While `Ali has said, “Whoever disbelieves in a single letter of the Qur’an has disbelieved in its entirety.” The Muslims have agreed to the number of the suwar in the Qur’an, ayat, words, and letters. Nor is there any difference between the Muslims that whoever denies any sura, ayat, word or letter of the Qur’an agreed upon is an infidel (kafir). In this there lies an unequivocal proof that the Qur’an consists of letters.

The Believers will see their Lord in the Hereafter

45. In the Hereafter, the believers will see their Lord by their eyes. They will visit Him. He will speak to them and they will speak to Him.

46. Allah – ta’ala – has said, “Upon that day faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord.” (75:22-23) And He – ta`ala – has said, “No indeed; but upon that day they shall be veiled from their Lord …” (83: 15) Since Allah veiled those [who are] in the state of His displeasure from seeing Him, it indicated that the Faithful [who are] in the state of [His] Pleasure shall see Him. Otherwise there would have be no difference between them.

47. The Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – has said, “Indeed you shall see your Lord, as you see this moon. You will not have to crowd together to see Him.” This is an authentic narration, agreed upon by [al-Bukhari and Muslim] The comparison here is in the [act of] seeing and not the [object] seen. For indeed Allah – ta’ala – has no resemblance nor similar.

Allah’s Devine Decree and Foremeasurement

48. Among the Attributes of Allah – ta’ala – is that He is the “Performer of what He desires.” (85:) Nothing comes into existence but by His desire, nor does anything escape from His will. There is nothing in the world [that] escapes from His measuring, nor emanates but under His direction. Nor is there an escape [for anything] from what has been fore measured, nor go beyond what has been penned in the Written Tablet.

49. He willed what the world did. Had He shielded them [from sin], they would not have opposed Him; and had He willed that they all obey Him, they would have obeyed Him.

50. [53] He created the creation and their deeds and fore measured their sustenance and life-spans.

51. [54] He guides whomever He wills by His. Allah – ta`ala – has said, “He shall not be questioned as to what He does, but they shall be questioned.” (21 :23) He – ta`ala – has said, “Surely We have created everything in measure.” (54:49) Allah – ta`ala – has said, “And He created every thing, then I he ordained it very exactly.” (25:2) And He – ta`ala – has said, “No affliction befalls in the earth or in yourselves, but it is in a Book, before we create it …” (57:22) And He – ta`ala – has said, “Whomsoever Allah desires to guide, He expands his breast to Islam; whomsoever He desires to lead astray, He makes His breast narrow, tight …” (6:125)

52. [55] While Ibn `Umar reports that Gabriel – `alayhis-salam – asked the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi was-sallam – “What is faith (al-iman)?” The Prophet replied, “To believe in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His messengers, the Last Day and in [Allah`s] decree (qadr), the good and evil [consequences] thereof.” Gabriel replied, “You have spoken truthfully” This has been reported by Muslim. And the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi was-sallam – has said, “I believe in [Allah’s] decree (qadr), the good and evil [consequences] thereof and the sweet and bitter [beginnings] thereof.” And among the prayers of the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi was-sallam – that he taught al-Hasan b. `Ali to pray with during the qunut of the witr prayer, “And protect me from the evil [consequences] of what You have decreed.”

53. We do not claim Allah’s decree and foremeasurement as an argument for us in forsaking His commands and committing His prohibitions. Rather it is required that we believe and know that Allah has an evidence against us by sending down the Scriptures and sending the Messengers. Allah – ta’ala – has said, “… so that mankind might have no argument against Allah, after the Messengers.” (4:165)

54. We know that Allah – subhanahu wa ta’ala – did not command or prohibit except one capable of doing and forsaking. And we know that He did not compel anyone upon an act of disobedience or forced Him to leave an act of obedience. Allah – ta`ala – has said, “Allah charges no soul save to its capacity…” (2:286) And Allah – ta’ala – has said, “So fear Allah as far as your are able …” (64: 16) And Allah – ta`ala – has said, “Today each soul shall be recompensed for that it has earned; no wrong today.” (40:17)

55. [These ayat] indicate that the slave possesses both deed and acquisition [of such by his choice] and that he will be recompensed by reward for that which is good of that and by punishment for that which is evil of that. And this occurs by Allah’s decree and foremeasurement.

Faith Consists of Both Word and Deed

56. Faith (iman) is words [uttered] by the tongue, deeds [performed] by the limbs, and beliefs [held] by the heart. It increases with acts of obedience and decreases with acts of disobedience.

57. Allah – ta`ala – has said: “They were commanded only to worship Allah, making their religion His sincerely, men of pure faith, and to perform the prayer and pay the alms – and that is the religion of the True.” (98:5) Hence worship of Allah – ta`ala, purity of the heart, the establishment of prayer, and the giving of the charity were all rendered from the religion (ad-din).

58. The Messenger of Allah – sallallahu `alayhi was-sallam – has said: “Faith (al-iman) [consists of] seventy-odd branches. The highest is the testimony that there is no god but Allah and the lowest is the removal of a harmful object from the road.” Hence both word and deed has been made part of faith.

59. Allah – ta’ala – has said: “… them it has increased in belief …” (9:124) And He has said: “That they may add faith to their faith …” (48:4)

60. While the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – has said: “Whoever said, `There is no god but Allah’ and has in his heart [faith] the weight of a wheat grain, or a mustard seed, or a small ant, he will [eventually] come out of the [Hell] Fire.” Therefore he made [faith] degrees of superiority.

Faith in all What the Prophet – sallallah ‘alaihi wa sallam – has informed

61. It is required to have faith in all what the Messenger has informed about, and has been authentically transmitted upon him; concerning that which we have witnessed or is hidden from us. We know that all what he has informed us of is real and true, whether we comprehend or ignorant of and we have not been exposed to its real meaning like the hadith on the isra’ and mi’raj. This incident occurred while he was awake and was not dream, for the Quraysh rejected [its occurrence] and found that to be farfetched. They, however, would not reject dreams.

62. Another example is that of the Angel of Death, when he came to Moses to seize his soul, Moses plucked out his eye. The Angel of Death returned to his Lord, Who returned his eye to him.

63. Other examples are the signs [heralding the approach] of the Hour [of Judgment], like the appearance of the Anti-Christ (ad Dajjal), the descent of Jesus the son of Mary – ‘alayhis-salam – who will slay the Anti-Christ, the appearance of Gog and Magog, the appearance of the Beast, the rising of the sun from the West, and similar narrations that have been confirmed upon [the Prophet].

The Last Day

64. The torment and pleasure occurring [to the deceased] in the grave is true. The Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi was-sallam – sought refuge [with Allah] from that [punishment] and commanded each of us [to seek refuge from that] in every prayer. The trial of the grave is true, and the questioning of Munkar and Nakir is true.

65. The resurrection after death is true. It will occur after Israfil – ‘alayhis-salam – blows into the Trumpet. “… then behold, they are from their tombs unto their Lord sliding down.” (36:51)

66. Humanity will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection barefoot, naked, uncircumcised, and without bodily defect. They will remain standing in the stand of the Resurrection until their prophet – Muhammad – intercedes for them [with Allah]. Allah – tabaraka wa ta`ala – will then reckon them. The balances will be erected. The records spread. The pages of deeds will fly to [people’s] right and left hands. “Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family joyfully. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for destruction and he shall roast at a Blaze.” (84:7-12)

67. The balance has two pans and a tongue in which deeds will be weighed. “Then he whose scales are heavy-they are the prosperers, and he whose scales are light-they have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever.” (23:102-103)

68. Belonging to our Prophet on [the plains of] the Resurrection – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – is a basin. Its waters are whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. Its jugs are equal to the number of stars in the heavens. Whoever drinks from it once will never thirst after that forever.

69. The bridge [lying over Hell] is true. The righteous will cross over it, while the immoral will slip [and fall off into Hell].

70. Our Prophet will intercede on behalf of those from his community (umma) who enter Hell from those who have committed major sins. They will leave Hell by his intercession after they have been burned therein and have become blackened coal. They will enter Paradise by his intercession. Belonging to the other prophets, as well as, the believers and the angels are intercessions. [However] Allah – ta`ala – has said, “… and they intercede not save for him whom He is well-pleased, and they tremble in awe of Him.” The infidel will not be availed by the intercession of any who intercede.

71. Paradise and Hell are two creations never ceasing [to exit]. Paradise is the abode of those near to Him (awliya’), while Hell is a punishment for His enemies. The inhabitants of Paradise will be therein forever. “But the evildoers dwell forever in the chastisement of Hell that is not abated for them and therein they are sore confounded.” (43:75) Death will [then] be brought in the form of a beautiful ram and will be slaughtered between Paradise and Hell. It will then be said, “O inhabitants of paradise! Eternity and no death. O inhabitants of hell! Eternity and no death.”

Muhummad is the Seal of the Prophets

72. Muhammad – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – is Allah’s messenger, the seal of the prophets, and the master of the messengers.

73. The faith of a slave is invalid until he has faith in his Message and testifies to his Prophethood.

74. Humanity will not be judged on the Day of Judgment except after his intercession. Nor will any religious community (umma) enter Paradise except after his community (umma). He is the Possessor of the banner of praise; the praised station; and the visited pond. He is the leader (imam) of the Prophets, their Preacher, and the Possessor of their Intercession. His community (umma) is the best of communities and his companions are the best of the companions of any prophet.

The Prophet’s Companions and Family

75. The best of this community (umma) is Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, then `Umar al-Faruq, then `Uthman dhun-Nurayn, then `Ali al-Murtada – may Allah be pleased with them all. As evidenced by what is narrated upon `Abdullah b. `Umar – may Allah be pleased with them both – who said, “We would say – while the Prophet was alive – [the best of this community is] Abu Bakr, then `Umar, then `Uthman, then `Ali. This would then reach the Prophet and he would not reject that.” It has been authentically narrated upon `Ali that he said: “The best of the community (umma) after its Prophet is Abu Bakr and then `Umar. And if you wish I will name the third.” Abu Darda’ relates upon that the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – has said, “The sun has not risen nor set upon anyone – apart from the prophets or the messengers-better than Abu Bakr.”

76. Abu Bakr is the most deserving of Allah’s creation for the successorship (khilafa) due to his merit and proceeding others [to Islam]; and due to the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – putting forward Abu Bakr to lead the companions in prayer. This is also evidenced by the consensus of the companions in giving the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr [after the Prophet’s death]. Allah would not gather them upon a deviation.

77. After Abu Bakr, `Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – is then the [next] most deserving to leadership of the community. This is due to his merit [over all the rest of the Companion] and Abu Bakr choosing him [as his successor].

78. `Umar is then followed by `Uthman who was selected by the members of the council [for leadership after `Umar].

79. `Uthman is then followed by `Ali due to his merit [over all the rest of the Companions] and the consensus of the latter’s contemporaries [in choosing him for leadership].

80. These four men are [his] rightly-guided in belief and conduct successors, concerning whom the Prophet – ‘alayhis-salam – has said, “It is incumbent upon you to adhere to my Sunna and the Sunnah of [my] rightly-guided in belief and conduct successors after me. Hold fast to this with all your might.” The Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – also said: “Successorship [upon the model of prophethood] will last after me for only thirty years.” The last of [the thirty years] was [during the caliphate of] `Ali – may Allah be pleased with him.

81. We testifty to “the ten” being in Paradise, as the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – testificd that for them, saying: “Abu Bakr is in Paradise; `Umar is in Paradise; `Uthman is in Paradise; `Ali is in Paradise; Talhah is in Paradise; al-Zubayr is in Paradise; Sa`d is in Paradise; Sa`id is in Paradise; `Abdur-Rahman b. `Awf is in Paradise; and Abu `Ubaydah b. al-Jarrah is in Paradise.” All to whom the Prophet has testified for them being in Paradise, we testify such for him. Like the Prophet’s statement, “Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two masters of the youth of Paradise.” Likewise the Prophet’s statement to Thabit b. Qays b. Shammas that he was among the inhabitants of Paradise.

82. We do not judge anyone of the ahl al-qibla to be in Paradise or in Hell except for those whom the Messenger – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam judged such for. However, we hope for the doers of good and we fear for those who have done evil.

83. We do not impute unbelief to anyone of the ahl al-qibla due to a sin and we do not expel him from [the fold of] Islam due to an act.

84. We do hold that the hajj and jihad remain with obedience to every imam, righteous or wicked. To pray jumu’a behind them is permissible. Anas has said, the Prophet – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – has said, “Three matters pertain to the root of faith (al-iman): (1) To withhold from shedding the blood of whomever say `there is no god but Allah (la ilaha illla Ilah).’ We neither declare him an infidel because of a sin, nor excommunicate him from Islam because of an action. (2) Jihad continues from the time Allah sent me till the last of this community (umma) fights the Anti-Christ (ad-Dajjal). It is not nullified by the tyranny of the tyrant or the justice of the just ruler. (3) And faith in [Allah’s] decrees (al-qadar).” Reported by Abu Dawud.

85. From the Sunna:

to support and love the companions of the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam
to mention their fine qualities
to seek [Allah’s] mercy for them
to seek forgiveness for them
to withhold from mentioning their faults and what befall them from dispute
to believe in their merit and to recognize their precedence [over all this community]

86. Allah – ta`ala – has said: “And those who came after them, they say, `Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers, who preceded us in belief. And put Thou not into our hearts any rancour towards those who believe.” (59:11) And Allah – ta`ala – has said: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers. Merciful one to another.” (48:29) And the Prophet – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – has said, “Do not revile my companions, for if one of you contributed as much gold as Uhud it would not amount to as much as the mudd of one of them, or half of it.”

87. From the Sunna is to pray to Allah that He be pleased with the pure, unsullied wives of the Messenger of Allah – sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The best of them is Khadija b. al-Khuwailid and `A’isha as Siddiqa b. as-Siddiq whom Allah cleared in His scripture. She is the Prophet’s wife – sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – in this world and in the hereafter. Whoever accuses her of what Allah has cleared her, he has disbelieved in Allah, the Great.

88. And Mu`awiya is the maternal uncle (khal) of the believers. He was a scribe of the revelation and is one of the leaders (khulafa’) of the Muslims.

The Muslim Ruler

89. From the Sunna is to hear and obey the leaders of the Muslims and the commanders of the faithful, the righteous and the immoral among them, so long as they do not command in the disobedience of Allah. For there is no obedience to anyone in the disobedience of Allah.

90. Whoever assumes the Caliphate and the people gather around him and are
pleased with him, or [takes control] by the sword, until he becomes the
Caliph and is called the “Commander of the Faithful”, obedience to him is
obligatory, disobedience to him is forbidden, as is to revolt against him and
to split the ranks of the Muslims.

The Heretics

91. From the Sunna is to migrate and separate one’s self from the heretics and to leave all debate and argument in religion, and to abandon investigating the books of heresy, and listening to their words.

92. Every innovation in the religion is a heresy (bid’a).

93. All those branded with other than Islam and the Sunna are heretics, like the Rafida, the Qadriya, the Murji’a, the Mu`tazila, the Karramiya, the Kullabiya, and their likes. These are sects of deviation [from the truth] and groups of heresies. We seek refuge with Allah from them.

The Four Imams

94. As for adherence to a religious scholar (imam) in the secondary matters of the religion, like “the four groups,” such is not blameworthy. For their differences in these secondary matters [of the religion] is a mercy from Allah. They are praised in their differences, rewarded for their opinions. The differences [between them] being a wide mercy, while their agreement an unequivocal proof.


95. We ask Allah – by His Mercy and Merit – to protect us from [all] heresies and trials, to give us life upon lslam and the Sunna, and to make us among those who follow the Messenger of Allah in life and to be gathered in his troop after death. Amen.

96. This is the conclusion of the creed. And all praise belongs to Allah and may He extol our Master, Muhammad, his family, and his companions; and may He greet them with an exceeding salutation.