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: Principles and Methodology for the ‘Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah

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    : Principles and Methodology for the ‘Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    As a result of much confusion surrounding the aqeedah of a Muslim, I thought it would be beneficial and play as a reminder to both myself and those who read this, as to the correct Islaamic creed InshaAllaah ta'aala.

    There will be two threads to explain the understanding behind the creed, whereby the second one will concentrate on the principles and methodology and will be submitted in consecutive posts on the same thread.

    Principles and Methodology for the Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaaah (part 1 of 2)

    Sources for the Aqeedah [1]

    The aqeedah (belief) has two fundamental sources, they are:

    1) The Book of Allaah the Most High (i.e. the Noble Quraan);
    2) What is authentic from Allaahs Messenger salallaahu alaihi wa sallam, since the Messenger salallaahu alaihi wa sallam does not speak from desires, rather his words are revelation sent down.

    And the Ijmaa (consensus) of the Pious Predecessors (whom the Sahaaba - radhiAllaahu anum - were the first and foremost of): A source based upon the Book and the Sunnah. [2] (In other words, basing our understanding of the Qur'aan and the Sunnah upon that of the Companions ("The best of mankind") and those who did likewise.

    As regards the uncorrupted fitrah (natural state) and the sound and correct aql (intellect) then it should be agreed (by the Pious Predecessors) in conformation to the Quraan and the Sunnah thereby arriving to the general principles of aqeedah, but not its details. So the sound and correct aql and fitrah affirm Allaahs existence and that He is Most Great and that it is essential to obey and to worship Him, and that He has the Attributes of Greatness and Majesty. Likewise, the sound aql and the uncorrupted fitrah realise the necessity of there being Prophets and the sending of Messengers, and that there has to be Ressurection and requital of actions etc. in general, but without the specifics and details.

    However, as for other matters and the rest of the matters of the Ghayb (Unseen), then there is no way to find them out in detail, except by way of the Book and the Sunnah (the Revelation), otherwise it would not be from the Unseen.

    And contradiction between a clear text of the Book and the Sunnah and sound and correct aql cannot be imagined and is infact an impossibility. So if there appears to be a contradiction between the two then the Revelation is given precedence and is decisive [3] since it comes from the one who is infallible salallaahu alaihi wa sallam, whereas the aql (intellect) of a person like ourselves is not infallible. Indeed, the aql is the deficient perception of humans, and it is open to misconception, error, forgetfulness, desires, ignorance and inability thus it is certainly deficient.


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    1. From Mubaahith fee Aqeedah Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaaah (p.28)
    2. Refer to Al-Itisaam of ash-Shaatibee
    3. Refer to Sharhul-Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah (pp.140-141) of Ibn Abil- Izz al-Hanafee. And refer also to Dar Taaarudil-Aql maan-Naql (1/88-280) of Ibn Taymiyyah and indeed, refer to the whole book as it is very beneficial in this matter.