This is similar to what Imam Abu Hanifa pointed out: Understanding in the religion first i. The beliefs must be corrected first, then follows all of the other aspects of the religion. Al-Aqeeda linguistically is derived from the term aqada. In Arabic, one states, "Aqada the rope" when the rope is tied firmly.
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He lived at a time when both the direct and indirect disciples of the Four Imams of law were teaching and practicing. This period was the greatest age of Hadith and fiqh studies, and Imam Tahawi studied with all the living authorities of the day. This led him to devote his whole attention to studying the Hanafi works and he eventually joined the Hanafi school.
He now stands out not only as a prominent follower of that Hanafi school but, in view of his vast erudition and remarkable powers of assimilation, as one of its leading scholars. Being a text on Islamic doctrine, this work sums up the arguments set forth in those two sources to define sound belief, and likewise, the arguments advanced in refuting the views of sects that have deviated from the Sunna.
As regards the sects mentioned in this work, familiarity with Islamic history up to the time of Imam Tahawi would be quite helpful. It also contains allusions to other views considered unorthodox and deviant from the way of Ahl al-Sunna. And may Allah grant us a true understanding of faith and count us among those described by the Prophet as the Saved Group.
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. He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation. 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. 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 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.
He gives guidance to whomever He wills, and protects them, and keeps them safe from harm, out of His generosity; and He leads astray whomever He wills, and abases them, and afflicts them, out of His justice. All of them are subject to His will either through His generosity or His justice.
He is Exalted beyond having opposites or equals. No one can ward off His decree or delay His command or overpower His affairs. We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him. And that he is the Seal of the Prophets and the Imam of the godfearing and the most honored of all the messengers and the Beloved of the Lord of all the worlds. Every claim to Prophet-hood 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.
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. 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. 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. He will he 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 religion of Muslims.
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.
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 blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next.
Al-Hawd, the Pool which Allah has granted the Prophet as an honour to quench the thirst of his Community on the Day of Judgement, is true. 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 increased nor decreased. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done.
Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah. Delving into it and reflecting too much about it only leads to destruction and loss, and results in rebelliousness.
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 the inaccessible is not sought after. We believe in al-Lawh the Tablet and al-Qalam the Pen and in everything written on the former. 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, and whatever he gets he would have never missed. 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. In his deluded 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. He is independent of the Throne and that which is beneath it. He encompasses all things and that which 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 qibla 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. It is the speech of Allah and no speech of any created being is comparable to it.
We do not consider any of the people of our qibla to be 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 Qibla lies between the two. 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. 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.
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 of 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 Community 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. This is because Allah is the Protector of those who recognize Him and will not treat them in the hereafter in the same way as He treats those who deny Him, who are bereft of His guidance and have failed to obtain His protection.
We agree with doing the prayer behind any of the People of the Qibla whether rightful or wrongful, 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.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. No understanding can fully comprehend Him. As His attributes were before creation, so will they continue forever. Every matter is easy for Him.
Aqeedah Tahawiyyah - Online Event
Aqeedah Tahawiyyah - A Book Of Islamic Belief