I have enclosed some of the most reliable resources on Islam’s Creed, from the simple to the more complex.
He is one in being without partner, unique without peer, ultimate without opposite, alone without equal. He is one, preeternal, beginninglessly uncreate, everlastingly abiding, unceasingly existent, eternally limitless, the ever self-subsisting through whom all else subsists, ever enduring, without end. He is, was, and ever will be possessed of all attributes of majesty, unannihilated by dissolution or separation through the passage of eons or terminus of interims. He is the First and Last, the Outward and Inward, and He has knowledge of everything.
He is not a body with a form, or a limitary, quantitative substance, not resembling bodies in quantifiability or divisibility, or in being a substance or qualified by substance, or being an accident or qualified by accidents. He does not resemble anything that exists, nor anything that exists resemble Him. There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, nor is He like unto anything. He is not delimited by magnitude, contained by places, encompassed by directions, or bounded by heavens or earth. He is ‘ascendant over the Throne’ (mustawin, Koran 20:5) in the way He says and the meaning He intends, ‘ascendant’ in a manner transcending contact, settledness, position, indwelling, or movement. The Throne does not bear Him up, but is borne up by the subtlety of His infinite power, as are the angels who carry it, and all are powerless in His grasp. He is above the Throne, the heavens, and all else to the farthest reaches of the stars, with an aboveness that does not increase His nearness to the Throne or the heavens, or His distance from the earth and what lies beneath it. He is as exalted in degree above the Throne and the heavens as He is above the earth and its depths, though He is near to everything in existence, nearer to a servant than his own jugular vein, and is witness to everything. His nearness no more resembles the nearness of objects to one another than His entity resembles the entities of objects. He does not indwell in anything, nor anything indwell in Him. He is as exalted above containment in space as He is above confinement in time. He was, before creating time and space, and is now even as He was. He is distinguished from His creation by His attributes. There is nothing in His entity other than Him, nor is His entity in what is other than Him. He is beyond change and motion: events neither occur within Him nor changes befall Him. He remains in His attributes of majesty exalted above change, and in the attributes of His perfection beyond needing any increase in perfection. The existence of His entity is known by human reason, and in the afterlife is beheld by the eyesight of the righteous as a beatitude and favor, to consummate their perfect joy with the sight of His Noble Countenance.
His Life and Almighty Power
He Most High is living, almighty, overmastering, triumphant, unaffected by inability or weakness; unsusceptible to drowsiness, sleep, annihilation, or death; possessed of absolute sovereignty and might, of irresistible power and force. His is the majesty and sway, the creation and command. The heavens are enfolded in His right hand and all beings are powerless in His grasp. He alone creates, begins, gives existence, and originates. He creates all beings and their acts, ordains their sustenance and terms. Nothing possible is out of His grasp, the disposal of no matter is beyond His power. The number of things He can do is limitless, the amount He knows is infinite.
He knows all things knowable, encompassing all that takes place from the depths of the earth to the highest heaven. He knows without an atom’s weight in the earth or heavens escaping His knowledge. He knows the creeping of a black ant across a great stone on a lightless night, and the motion in the air of a particle of dust on a windy day. He knows the concealed and the yet more hidden, the buried recesses of hearts, the movement of thought, and the opacities of the inmost soul; with preeternal, beginningless knowledge that He has always possessed from the limitless reaches of past eternity, not with awareness originating within Him through being imparted or conveyed.
He Most High wills all that exists and directs all events. Nothing occurs in the physical or spiritual world, be it meager or much, little or great, good or evil, of benefit or detriment, faith or unbelief, knowledge or ignorance, triumph or ruin, increase or decrease, obedience or sin; save through His ordinance, apportionment, wisdom, and decision. What He wills is, and what He does not will is not. Neither sidelong glance nor passing thought is beyond His design. He originates all and returns it, does what He wills, and none can repulse His command. There is no rescinding His destiny, no flight for a servant from disobeying Him except through divinely given success therein and mercy, and no strength to obey Him save through His choice and decree. If all mankind, jinn, angels, and devils combined their efforts to move or to still a single particle of the universe without His will and choice, they would be unable to. His will, like His other attributes, exists in His entity and He ever possesses it. He has willed from preeternity the existence of all things at the times He has chosen. They occur at the times which He has destined from beginingless eternity, occurring neither before nor after, but taking place in accordance with His knowledge and will, without substitution or alteration. He directs events without successive thoughts or waiting for time to elapse, which is why nothing diverts Him from anything else.
His Hearing and Sight
He Most High is all-hearing and all-seeing. He hears and sees, no sound however slight eluding His hearing, and no sight however minute escaping His vision. Distance does not obscure His hearing nor darkness hinder His vision. He sees without pupil or eyelids, and hears without ear canal or ears, just as He knows without a heart, seizes without limb, and creates without implement. His attributes no more resemble the attributes of His creatures than His entity resembles the entity of His creatures.
He Most High speaks, commands, forbids, promises, and warns with beginninglessly eternal speech that is an attribute of His entity, not resembling the speech of creatures in being a sound generated by the passage of air or impact of bodies nor in letters articulated by compressing the lips or moving the tongue. The Koran, Torah, Evangel, and Psalms are His Books, revealed to His messengers (upon whom be peace). The Koran is recited with tongues, written in books, and memorized in hearts despite being beginninglessly eternal, an attribute of the entity of Allah Most High, unsubject to disseverance and separation by conveyance to hearts or pages. Moses (Allah bless him and give him peace) heard the speech of Allah without sound or letter, just as the righteous see the entity of Allah Most High in the afterlife without substance or accident.
Since Allah possesses all of the above attributes, He is living, knowing, omnipotent, willing, hearing, seeing, and speaking by virtue of His life, power, knowledge, will, hearing, sight, and speech, not merely by virtue of His entity.
Everything besides Him Glorious and Exalted exists through His action, proceeding from His justice in the best, fullest, most perfect and equitable way. He is wise in His acts and just in His decrees. His justice is not comparable to the justice of His servants, since injustice may only be imagined from a servant through his disposal of what belongs to another, while this is inconceivable from Allah Most High, since nothing belongs to anyone besides Him that He should unjustly dispose of it.
Everything besides Him, be it human, jinn, angel, devil, heaven, earth, animal, vegetable, mineral, substance, accident, intelligible, or sensory, is contingent, and was brought into existence through His power after not being, created by Him after it was nothing. He alone existed in preeternity, and nothing else. He then originated creation, that His omnipotence might be manifest, His prior decree effected and His eternal word realized; not from needing or requiring anything in creation. Our origination, beginning, and responsibility are of Allah’s generosity, not because of their being obligatory for Him, and His blessings and benefaction exist because of His favor, not because of being due from Him. Everything that exists is indebted to Him for His generosity and goodness, His blessings and benevolence; for He is well able to pour all manner of torments upon His servants and try them with every variety of suffering and illness, and were He to do so, it would be just on His part and not wicked or unfair. He Mighty and Majestic rewards His servants, the believers, for their acts of obedience because of His generosity and in fulfillment of His word, not because of their deserving it or His owing it to them. He is not obliged to anyone to do anything, nor is injustice on His part conceivable, for He does not owe any rights to anyone. The obligation of men and jinn to perform acts of obedience is established by His having informed them of it upon the tongues of the prophets (upon whom be peace), and not by unaided human reason. He sent the prophets and manifested the truth of their messages by unmistakable, inimitable miracles. They have communicated His commands, prohibitions, promises, and warnings, and it is obligatory for mankind and jinn to believe in what they have conveyed.
The ‘Aqeeda of Imam at-Tahawi
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.
- We say about Allah’s unity believing by Allah’s help – that Allah is One, without any partners.
- There is nothing like Him.
- There is nothing that can overwhelm Him.
- There is no god other than Him.
- He is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end.
- He will never perish or come to an end.
- Nothing happens except what He wills.
- No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him.
- He is different from any created being.
- He is living and never dies and is eternally active and never sleeps.
- He creates without His being in need to do so and provides for His creation without any effort.
- He causes death with no fear and restores to life without difficulty.
- 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.
- 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’.
- He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation.
- 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.
- 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’. (al-Shura 42:11)
- He created creation with His knowledge.
- He appointed destinies for those He created.
- He allotted to them fixed life spans.
- Nothing about them was hidden from Him before He created them, and He knew everything that they would do before He created them.
- He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them to disobey Him.
- Everything happens according to His decree 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.
- 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.
- All of them are subject to His will between either His generosity or His justice.
- He is exalted beyond having opposites or equals.
- No one can ward off His decree or put back His command or overpower His affairs.
- We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him.
- 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.
- Every claim to prophethood after Him is falsehood and deceit.
- He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and all mankind with truth and guidance and with light and illumination.
- 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.
- 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.
- `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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Al-Shifa’ah, (the intercession, which is stored up for Muslims), is true, as related in the (consistent and confirmed) Ahadith.
- The covenant `which Allah made with Adam and his offspring’ is true.
- Allah knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of those who would enter the Garden and the exact number of those who would enter the Fire. This number will neither be increaser nor decreased.
- The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done. Everyone is cased 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It is necessary for the servant to know that Allah already knows everything that is going to happen in His creation and 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 decreed it in a detailed way’. (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.
- Al-‘Arsh (the Throne) and al-Kursi (the Chair) are true.
- He is independent of the Throne and what is beneath it.
- He encompasses everything and is above it, and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him.
- We say with belief, acceptance and submission that Allah took Ibrahim as an intimate friend and that He spoke directly to Musa.
- 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.
- 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.
- We do not enter into vain talk about Allah nor do we allow any dispute about the religion Of Allah.
- 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.
- We do not consider any of the people of our qiblah to he unbelievers because of any wrong action they have done, as long as they do not consider that action to have been lawful.
- Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief does not have a harmful effect on him.
- 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.
- 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).
- A person does not step out or belief except by disavowing what brought him into it.
- Belief consists of affirmation by the tongue and acceptance by the heart.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Those of the Ummah 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’ (al-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.
- 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.
- 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 kufr (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.
- 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.
- 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 their right guidance and pardon from their wrongs.
- We follow the Sunnah of the Prophet and the Jama’ah of the Muslims, and avoid deviation, differences and divisions.
- We love the people of justice and trustworthiness, and hate the people of injustice and treachery.
- When our knowledge about something is unclear, we say: `Allah knows best’.
- 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.
- 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.
- We believe in Kiraman Katibin (the noble angels) who write down our actions for Allah has appointed them over us as two guardians.
- We believe in the Angel of Death who is charged with taking the spirits of all the worlds.
- 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.
- The grave is either one of the meadows of the Garden or one of the pits of the Fire.
- 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).
- 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.
- Good and evil have both been decreed for people.
- 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 Shariah. Allah the Exalted says:
`Allah does not charge a person except according to his ability’. (al-Baqarah 2: 286)
- People’s actions are created by Allah but earned by people.
- 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.
- 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 he asked.’ (al-Anbiya’ 21: 23)
- There is benefit for dead people in the supplication and alms-giving of the living.
- Allah responds to people’s supplications and gives them what they ask for.
- 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.
- Allah is angered and can be pleased but not in the same way as any creature.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 he. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We believe in what we know of Karamat, the marvels of the awliya’ and in authentic stories about them from trustworthy sources.
- 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.
- 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.
- We agree that holding together is the true and right path and that separation is deviation and torment.
- 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-Maidah 5:3)
- Islam lies between going to excess and falling short, between Tashbih (likening of Allah’s attributes to anything else), and Tatil (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).
- 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 Foundations of Orthodox Beliefs
By Hujjat al-Islam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazzali
Translated by Abdullah bin Hamid Ali
With the Name of Allah, All-Compassionate, All-Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, The Initiator, The Repeater, The Doer of whatever He wants, The Possessor of the Glorious Throne and the Powerful Grasp, The One who Guides the best of all slaves to the Guided Approach and the Correct Path, The One who confers blessing upon them after the testimony of God’s unity by securing their beliefs from the darkness-es of things that cause doubt and fluctuation, The One who leads them to follow His messenger ‘The Chosen One’ and to follow in the footsteps of his most noble Companions who have been granted the distinguished honor of being aided and guided aright, The One who becomes manifest to them in His being and His actions with His beautiful descriptions that none grasp save he who lends an ear and is witness, The One who makes them cognizant of the fact that He, in His essence, is one without a partner, unique without a likeness, permanent with no opposite, individual with no rival, and that He is one and ancient in spite of not being a first of anything, infinite without a beginning, persisting in existence while not being the last of anything, forever with no end, Self-Subsisting without interruption, Enduring without elapse. He has always and will always be described with the ascriptions of majesty. It will never be ordained for Him to be terminated or set apart by the lapsing of infinite time and the concluding of life spans. Rather, He is the First, The Last, The Open, and The Hidden. And He has knowledge of every thing.
He is not a composite body of material form, and not an indivisible body of determined scope and limit.
He is not like physical bodies, not in scope nor in the susceptibility of division.
He is not an indivisible body, and indivisible bodies do not take up place in Him. And [He is] not an attribute, nor do attributes take up place in Him. Rather, He is not like anything in existence. And nothing in existence is equal to Him. There is nothing like unto Him. And He is not like any thing.
Measurement does not define Him. Places do not encompass Him. The directions do not surround Him. Nor do the Earths and the Heavens embrace Him.
He is mounted on the Throne in the manner that He said and with the meaning that He intended, a form of mounting that is cleared of physical contact, establishment, fastening, incarnation, and changing location. The Throne does not carry Him. Rather, The Throne and its bearers are carried by the subtlety of His power and subdued in His grip. He is above the Throne and Heaven, and above every thing down to the farthest reaches of the Earthly soil, a type of ‘above-ness’ that does not increase Him in closeness to the Throne and Heaven, just as it doesn’t increase Him in remoteness from the Earth and the soil. Rather, He is elevated in grades beyond the Throne and Heaven, just as He is elevated in grades beyond the Earth and the soil. And He is in spite of that close to every thing in existence. He is closer to the slave than the jugular vein, and He is witness to everything, in such that His closeness is not like the closeness of physical objects, just as His essence is not like the essence of physical objects.
He does not take up place in anything, and no thing takes up place in Him. High is He beyond there being a place that encompasses Him, just as He is too holy to have time set limits on Him. Rather, He was before He created time and place. And He is still now upon what He was upon then.
He is essentially apart from His creation with His attributes. Nothing other than Him is in His essence. And His essence is not in any other than Him.
He is exonerated from alternation and the changing of location. Things that emerge from non-existence do not take up place in Him, and accidents do not afflict Him. Rather, He is incessantly in the ascriptions of His majesty innocent of coming to an end, and in the attributes of His perfection without need of having more added to His perfect state.
He in His essence is known to exist through reason, He is seen in essence with the eyes as a favor from Him and an act of kindness to the righteous in the Abode of Permanence, and as a completion of the bliss by [the blessing of them] looking at His noble face.
[Life and Power]
He is Living, Powerful, Omnipotent, Subduing. Neither negligence nor impotence afflicts Him. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. And neither extinction nor death comes to Him.
He is The Owner of the Earthly and Heavenly kingdoms, and of Might and Prideful Greatness. His is the authority, subjugation, the creation, and the command. The Heavens are all folded in His hand. And all creatures are subdued in His grip.
He is the Unaided in creation and invention, and the sole performer of creation and innovation. He created the creation and their deeds. He determined the measure of their sustenance and their life spans. Nothing that is within the means of doing escapes His grip. And the managing of all affairs does not slip away from His power. Things within His capacity of doing are innumerable. And the things known by Him are without limit.
He is knowing of all things known, all-encompassing of what occurs in the limits of the Earths up to the highest of the heavens.
He is Knowledgeable. The weight of an atom in the Earth or in Heaven does not slip His knowledge. Rather, He even knows of the creeping of the black ant on the massive boulder in the dark night. And He perceives the movement of the atoms in the midst of the air. And He knows what is kept secret and what is even more concealed. And He is acquainted with the suggestions of hearts, the movements of thoughts, and of hidden secrets with a beginning-less eternal knowledge by which He has always been characterized for all eternity, not by a renewed knowledge that occurs in His essence through incarnation and transference.
He wills all things that happen, manages all emergent things. So no few or many, small or large, good or evil, benefit or harm, faith or unbelief, knowledge or ignorance, gain or loss, increase or decrease, obedience or disobedience occurs without His foreknowledge, ordainment, wisdom, or will. So whatever He wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not. Neither the turn of a glance nor and unexpected thought escapes His will. Rather, He is the Beginner and Repeater, The Doer of whatever He pleases. None can put back His judgment. None can amend what He has decreed. And the slave has no way of fleeing from disobeying Him lest it be by His grace and mercy. And he has no power to obey Him lest it be by His will and desire. So were men, Jinn, angels, and devils to unite in order to make one atom in the universe to move or to stop its movement without His desire and will, they would not be able to do so.
His will is standing with His essence among the totality of His attributes. He has always been described in that way as having it, as one who desires in His pre-eternity the existence of things in their respective times that He has determined. Then they existed in their times just as He intended in His pre-eternity with nothing appearing [to Him] before or after [another]. Rather, they happened according to His knowledge and will without substitution or change [of any plan]. He managed the affairs, not by the sequencing of one thought after another, and not through the deliberation of time. For that reason, no affair preoccupies Him from another affair.
[Hearing and Seeing]
He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. He hears and sees. Nothing heard escapes His hearing no matter how subtle. And nothing seen is hidden from his vision no matter how minute. Distance does not hamper His hearing. And darkness does not repel His vision. He sees without a pupil or eyelids. And He hears without ear-canals or ears. Likewise, He knows without a heart, He seizes without an extremity, and He creates without an implement, because His attributes do not resemble the attributes of the creation. Likewise, His essence does not resemble the essences of the creation.
He is Speaking, Commanding, Forbidding, Promising, and Threatening with a beginning-less eternal speech standing with His essence. It does not resemble the speech of the creation. So it is not a voice that occurs through the escaping of air or the trembling of throats, and not a letter that is cut off with the closing of a lip or the movement of a tongue.
The Qur’an, the Taurah, The Gospel, and the Psalms are His books revealed to His messengers (ahs). And the Qur’an is recited with tongues, written in pages, protected in hearts, and in spite of that it is beginning-less standing with the essence of Allah (t). It is unsusceptible to separation and dispersion by being transferred to hearts and pages.
And Moses (as) heard the speech of Allah without sound and without letter, just as the devout will see the essence of Allah (t) in the Hereafter as something other than a material body or an accident.
And since He has such attributes, He is Living, Knowing, Powerful, Willful, Hearing, Seeing, Speaking, with life, power, knowledge, will, hearing, sight, and speech, not merely by the essence.
There is nothing in existence other than Him except that it emerges from non-existence by His doing and is a profusion of His justice, in the best, most perfect, most complete, and most just of ways.
He is All-Wise in His actions, Fair in His decrees. His justice is not to be analogized with the justice of slaves, since injustice is imagined from the slave by his meddling in the dominion of another, while injustice is not imagined from Allah . For surely, He does not encounter another’s dominion in a way that would make His meddling in it an act of injustice. For everything other than Him of men, Jinn, angels, devils, heavens, Earths, animals, plants, inanimate things, material objects, accidents, things perceived with the mind and with the senses is emergent from non-existence. He invented it with His power after non-existence and brought it into being after it had been nothing, whereas He had been in pre-eternity existing by His self and there had been no other along with Him. Then, He brought forth the creation as a manifestation of His power, a realization of His prior intent, and because of what was true of His word in pre-eternity, not for need or necessity of doing it.
He confers the bounty of creation, invention, and legal obligation, not out of obligation [on Himself], and [willfully and] copiously gives blessing and betterment, not because of being obliged to do so. His is the bounty, the good treatment, the blessing, and the bestowing of favor, since He was capable of pouring over His slaves all forms of chastisement and of trying them with different forms of agony and suffering. And if He had done that, it would have been justice from Him. And it would not have been something disgusting or an act of injustice.
He rewards His believing slaves for acts of obedience by virtue of the generosity and the promise, not by virtue of entitlement or Him being obliged to do so, whereas no act is compulsory upon Him for anyone. And injustice is not imagined from Him. And no right is compulsory upon Him for anyone.
His right in acts of obedience is compulsory on the creation by reason of Him making it compulsory on the tongues of His prophets , not merely by reason. Rather, He dispatched the messengers and manifested their truthfulness by way of the clear miracles. Then they conveyed His command, His prohibition, His promise, and His threat. Then it was compulsory on the creation to attest to what they brought.
[Meaning of the Second Declaration, which is The Bearing Witness for the Messenger to the Office of Holy Messenger]
He sent the unlettered Prophet of the Quraysh, Muhammad , with His message to all of the Arabs, the non-Arabs, the Jinn, and Men. And with his divinely revealed law (shariah), he abrogated all divinely revealed laws except for what he affirmed of them. And He made him superior to all the prophets, made him the master of all mortal beings, and He denied the perfect state of faith from the testimony to God’s unity, which is the saying “There is no God except Allah” as long as the testimony to the messenger, which is “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” is not annexed with it. Then He obliged the creation to attest to his truthfulness in all of what informed of from the affairs of this world and the Hereafter.
He will not accept the faith of any slave until he believes in what he informs of to come after death. The first of it is the questioning of Munkar and Nakir. And they are two horrifying and terrifying individuals who will sit the slave up straight in his grave – soul and body, and then ask him about God’s unity and the station of God’s messenger. They will say, “Who is your Lord? What is your religion? And who is your Prophet?” And they are the Two Disturbers of the grave (fattana al-qabr). And their questioning is the first trial after death.
One is to believe in the punishment of the grave, and that it is real. And the ruling of it is justice on the body and spirit according to how He pleases.
One is to believe in the Scale possessing two plates and a tongue. And its description in massiveness is that it is like the levels of the Heavens and the Earth. The deeds are weighed in it by the power of Allah . And the cymbal on that day will be equal to the weights of the atoms or mustard-seeds to realize the completeness of justice. And the record books of the good deeds will be placed in a beautiful form in the plate of the ‘light.’ And the scale will be weighed down according to the degrees of them in Allah’s sight by His grace. And the record books of the bad deeds will be cast in an ugly form into the plate of ‘darkness’. Then the scale will become light in weight by Allah’s justice.
One is to believe that the Sirat is real. And it is a bridge extending over the back of Hell, sharper than a sword and finer than a hair. The feet of the unbelievers slip on it by Allah’s judgment , and it makes them fall into the Fire. But the feet of the believers will be firmly planted upon it by Allah’s grace. And they will be steered into the Abode of Permanence.
One is to believe in the Pool (Hawd) that is visited for drinking, the Pool of Muhammad . The believers drink from it before entering the Garden and after passing over the Bridge. Whoever drinks from it one drink will not thirst thereafter ever again. Its width is a month’s journey. Its water is whiter than buttermilk and sweeter than honey. Around it are jugs whose numbers are as many as the stars in the sky. In it are two gutters that pour into it from Al-Kauthar.
One is to believe in the Reckoning and the Disparity between people in its regard in that some will have a discussion about the Reckoning, others will be exempted from [any discussion about] it, and some will enter the Garden without a Reckoning: They are Those Who Are Drawn Near (al-Muqarrabun). Then Allah will ask whomever He pleases of the Prophets about conveying the message and whomever He pleases of the unbelievers about belying the messengers. And He will ask the heretics about the Sunnah. And He will ask the Muslims about deeds.
One is to believe in the Removal of those who worship Allah alone (al-Muwahhidun) from the Fire after the exaction of vengeance [from them] until no person who worships Allah alone remains in the Fire by Allah’s grace . So no one who worships Allah alone will dwell eternally in the Fire.
One is to believe in the Intercession of the Prophets, then the learned, then the martyrs, and then the [common] believers according to his status and rank with Allah . And those of the believers who remain and have no intercessor will be brought out by Allah’s grace . So no believer will dwell eternally in the Fire. Rather, those who had an atom’s weight of faith in his heart will be brought out.
One is to believe in the Superiority of the [Prophet’s] Companions and their order [in superiority].
One is to believe that the best of people after the Prophet is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, and then ‘Ali .
And one is to think good of all of the Companions and extol them, just as Allah and His messenger extolled all of them.
So all of that is from what the reports have mentioned and the transmissions have testified to. So whoever believes all of that while being certain of it, he is one of the People of the Truth and the Clannish Tribe of the Sunnah, and he has defected from the Delegation of Misguidance and the Party of Heresy.
So we ask Allah for the perfect state of certainty and the good state of firm footing for us and for all of the Muslims by His mercy. Surely He is the most merciful of those who show mercy. And may Allah bless our master, Muhammad, as well as every divinely chosen slave.
The Complex Form: the ‘Aqeeda of Ahlus-Sunnah wa al-Jama’a by Imam Lalka-i