Friday, April 27, 2012

What is Taqleed? - Taqlid & the falsification of Islamic History

Ask the people of Remembrance if you know not.

What is Taqleed?

Taqlid or Ittiba' is Wajib (compulsory) upon Muslims:

Taqlid or Ittiba' is Wâjib (compulsory) upon Muslims. Yet there are many Muslims in the present age who have hardly heard of the words Taqlid or Ittiba'. Others who may have heard about it, do not fully comprehend its meaning. This has led to people even rejecting Taqlid – thereby rejecting a Wâjib. As a general rule, man is suspicious and afraid of that which he does not know. Therefore a proper understanding of the issue of Taqlîd or Ittibâ would dispel the ignorance surrounding it, Inshâ Allah.

Taqlid is a part of everyday life:

Taqlîd or Ittibâ in essence, simply refers to the practice of an unqualified, lay person (in a specific field of specialisation) submitting to and accepting the authority of an expert in that field, without demanding proof and justification for every view, opinion or verdict expressed by such an expert authority. This is a natural state of human existence, practised by millions of people worldwide in every facet of life. The simplest and most tangible example of Taqlîd or Ittibâ is that of a child learning his basic alphabets at school. Every child learning his alphabets is unconsciously practising Taqlîd. A learner driver taking instructions from a driving instructor is practising Taqlîd. People going to a specialist doctor for medical treatment and following his instructions is another glaring example of Taqlîd or Ittibâ. A lay person soliciting a legal opinion from an advocate or following the advice of a tax consultant is another common case of Taqlîd. A client at an engineering firm, asking for the engineer's advice on complex engineering calculations is yet another instance of Taqlîd or Ittibâ in action. The millions of 'facts' in the myriad of sciences such as astronomy, archaeology, etc. are all distinct examples of Taqlîd or Ittibâ Who ever questions the 'fact' or asks for proof that the sun is really 93 million miles away from the earth! It is taken for granted that this is the findings of the 'experts' in these fields and everyone simply accepts it as such. School teachers teach these to their pupils as 'gospel truth' and children learn and memorise these 'facts' with the hope of succeeding in their exams. There are countless such examples of Taqlîd or Ittibâ in everyday existence. It is quite clear from the above, that Taqlîd or Ittibâ is a natural way of life, and is not specific to Islam or Islamic Fiqh alone.

Taqlid is the easy option for ordinary people:

In the context of Islamic Fiqh or Law, Taqlîd or Ittibâ simply refers to accepting and following the verdicts of expert scholars of Islamic Fiqh in their exposition and interpretation of Islamic Law, without demanding from them an in-depth explanation of the intricate processes required in arriving at such a verdict, called Ijtihad. It simply means that ordinary folk do not have to do Ijtihâd, i.e. the intricate and complicated procedures involved in deriving Islamic rulings that scholars exercise when issuing a Fatwâ (legal verdict). The duty of ordinary people is to trustingly accept the authority of the learned scholars in this matter and act upon their verdicts.

In this sense, Taqlîd is a great blessing for common people, for it is beyond their capacity to understand the extremely complex and complicated mechanics of Ijtihâd. The ability to do Ijtihâd requires many long years of study and erudition and a great deal of exertion (Ijtihâd means to exert one self) in acquiring a mastery of various Islamic sciences, among other varying requirements.

Misunderstandings regarding Taqlid:

Recently, misunderstandings have arisen regarding the issue of Taqlîd. It has become a theme of major debate in many parts of the world among Muslims. This debate has naturally resulted in arguments being promulgated by both the protagonists and the antagonists of Taqlîd.

The best way of removing such misunderstanding is to view the original sources of Islam – the Qurân and Hadîth and the teachings of the learned elders of Islam on this subject. After a study of this subject, the correct interpretation and understanding of Taqlîd and Ittibâ would emerge. This would lead to a better understanding and analysis of the arguments and counter-arguments of protagonists and antagonists. (Elsewhere in this issue, check the article on Taqlîd and Ittibâ in the light of Qur'an and Hadith)

Shar'ee role of Taqleed:

The essence of guidance is derived from the Holy Qurãn - "Hudan li al-Nas" ("A Guidance for Mankind). But this guidance and its laws are based on fundamental principles, the details of which have been entrusted to and consigned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) in order to explain them to mankind.

For example, the Holy Qurãn says: "Aqimus-Salaat" ("establish prayer"). It does not define the method as to how the prayer should be established; how the various postures should be performed; the mode of recitation of Surah, etc. The complete method of prayer i.e. "Salaat" is explained by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).

"Wa 'Atuz-Zakat" ("And give charity"). Now the Zakaat amounts payable on gold, silver, cattle, land, produce, etc. are only known through the Ahadith and there is no mention of it in the Holy Qurãn.

"Wa Lillahi 'ala an-Nas Hij Al-baiti" ("It is obligatory on people to perform the Hajj of the House of Allah.) Here again, the method of Tawaf, the number of circumambulations, the details regarding Arafat, Mina, Muzdalifah, the stoning at the Jimar, etc. have all been explained by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).

Thus it becomes imperative to understand the Holy Qurãn in the light of the Ahadith even for major obligatory acts like Salaat, Zakat and Hajj without which it is impossible to act and understand the commands of the Holy Qurãn. The believers are commanded to attain guidance from the Holy Qurãn in accordance with the details explained by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). Therefore Allah specifies: "Whosoever obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah." This obedience to the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) would in reality be obedience to Allah Himself.

A direction from the Hadith informs us:

"Also perform your prayer just as you see me perform my prayer." (Bukhari Vol. 1, p. 1076)

It is not said: "Perform your prayer in the manner you may infer from the Holy Qurãn."

Hadith is divided into different categories:-

The sayings of the Holy prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam),

The acts and doings of the Holy prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam),

The sayings, acts and doings of others, approved by the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam).

All these categories of Ahadith give guidance to the Umma.


When the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was asked a question he answered and also counter-questioned the questioner, on a similar (analogical) matter, the answer of which was known to him. On the correct reply being given by the questioner, the Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) would say: "The question you had asked is in the same category as this answer of yours."

EXAMPLE: A lady once asked: "Hajj was obligatory on my mother but she passed away. Can I perform it on her behalf?" The Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) replied: "Yes, it would be accepted on her behalf. Tell me, if your mother had a debt would you pay it." She replied in the affirmative. Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: "Fulfill what is on her behalf. Certainly, the duty and right of Allah would be more acceptable." This kind of reasoning is called Qiyas, Ijtihaad, or Istimbat in Shari'a.

These are only used in Shari'a when the Qurãnic or Traditional directives are not specifically spelt out. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) sent Hadrat Mu'adh ibn Jabal (Radhiyallaahu Ánhu) as a Governor and Qaadhi to Yemen. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) gave to Hadrat Mu'adh many instructions and advices even while he held the reins and led the horse with Hadrat Mu'adh mounted on it. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) also asked: "By which law would you dispense justice." He replied: "By the Law of the Holy Qurãn."

"And if you do not find it (i.e. what you seek) in the Holy Qurãn."

He replied: "By the Prophetic Traditions."

"And if you do not find it in there also, then!"

He replied: "Then I would make Ijtihad." The Holy Prophet, (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) expressed his happiness with his reply and fully endorsed and supported his stand and thanked Allah for it. (Abu Daawud Vol 2. p. 149)

When after such an Ijtihad all the scholars agree to its conclusion, it is termed "Ijma", for it must be understood that Qiyas or Ijtihad does not prove an order or command; it only makes it evident and known. It was hidden in the Holy Qurãn or the Ahadith; the Mujtahid, by Dalalatan, 'Isharatan or Iqtdha'an, brought it in the open for the generality of people.

The person who does not have the power of Ijtihad is bound and compelled to follow a Mujtahid and this act of following a Mujtahid is termed Taqlid. The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) sent Hadrat Mu'adh ibn Jabal as Qadi so that people could act upon his instructions and guidance derived from the Holy Qurãn, the Ahadith and his Ijtihad. To accept all three would in reality be obedience to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) as mentioned in Mishkãt Sharif (p. 310). Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallaahu Ánhu) reported that the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, "Who has obeyed me, has obeyed Allah and who was disobedient to me has been disobedient to Allah and who obeyed the Amir was obedient to me and who was disobedient to the Amir has been disobedient to me."

Precepts, Propositions & their kinds:

Masa'il or precepts are of four kinds:-

1Clear instructions from the Holy Qurãn and Ahadith. No Qiyas is allowed nor Taqlid permissible. The order is to practice on the clear injunction.

2In such propositions where there are two injunctions, one earlier, and one later, and through historical evidence both renown, then the earlier proposition is abrogated (Mansukh), whilst the latter command is ordered. Here too Qiyas and Taqlid ~ not permitted.

3Those propositions that have two clear injunctions but it is not known which is earlier and which later, i.e. no historical evidence.

4Those propositions of which there exist no clear injunctions.

Propositions 1 (and 2) are clear. the last two (Propositions 3 and 4) need explanations. Since 3 and 4 are not clear, what must a person do? If he does not practice upon them, he is yet not allowed to go free. The Qurãnic verses state: "Is man under the notion that he will be left free?"'

"Do you think that you have been created in vain?" It is not so, you have to obey Allah's command every second. Now how are we going to obey when it is not known, which is abrogated and which is not. In the fourth kind of proposition when one has no knowledge what is he going to practice on? Allah says: "Do not practice on anything without knowledge:"

Thus the need of Qiyas and Ijtihad. In the third kind of proposition the need is to verify the clear injunction and in the fourth kind it is to find a clear order and command. This is a known fact that everybody does not have the ability or power to make Ijtihad and this verse also makes it clear.

Everybody makes claims of giving opinions but only that ruling is accepted which is in accordance with Shar'iah and of a Mujtahid. The verdict of a Muqallid will not be accepted. The Mujtahid makes Ijtihad while the Muqallid makes Taqlid. Even if the Mujtahid makes a mistake he is rewarded as mentioned in Bukhari, Vol. 1 p. I1092.

Here exists a doubt that there were many Mujtahids among the Sahaaba (Radhiyallaahu Ánhum), the Tabi'in and Tabi' Tibi'n; But only the 'I'ima 'Arba' i.e. Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imam Maalik, Imam Shaafi'i and Imam Ahmad (Rahmatullaahi Álayhim) are followed and Taqlid made of them. What Is wrong in following the Sahaaba (Radhiyallaahu Ánhum) whose virtues have been abundantly mentioned in the Holy Qurãn and the Ahadith?

There is no doubt that the Sahaaba (Radhiyallaahu Ánhum) have a far greater status and position than the I'ima Arba'a does not make Taqlid of any one of the I'ima Arba' ever thinking them to be greater than the Sahaaba but its simple reason is that for Taqlid it is necessary to know those injunctions in which Taqlid has to be made. The detailed knowledge which can be found in every section and chapter from Kitaab- at-Taharat to Kitab al-Fara'idh, whether it concerns acts of worship, or social and cultural aspects, in every department of knowledge, these were the first and only 'I'ima that gathered them all in every detail. They were schools of knowledge in their own right that codified knowledge in every field. We do not find such codification either of the Sahaaba or other Tabi'in. The only choice we have is to follow them. It must also be borne in mind that Allah had bestowed on them the perfection of knowledge of the Holy Qurãn and the Ahadith. It is said by Shah Waliullah (Rahmatullaahu Álayhi) in the commentary of Muwatta' Imaam Malik, p.6 that these four Imaams together have encompassed the entire knowledge of the Holy Qurãn and Ahaadith to such a degree that not a single Hadith which was reported by the Sahaaba was omitted by them.

Clarification is further required regarding another doubt in most minds: What is the necessity of making Taqlid of only one Imaam? One should be allowed to follow any of the four Imaams in the different Masa'il as was the method in the time of the Sahaaba and Tabi'in. Mazhab was not confined to a single Imam. Why must such concessions not be allowed in our times?

In the time of the Sahaaba, which was the best of times, there was no ulterior motives regarding religious questions. A question was asked to know the correct method and to practice on it. It was not asked for one's convenience as in later times. For example, A person with Wudhu touched his wife which according to the Shafi Mazhab nullifies Wudhu: Now when he is told to make Wudhu, he replies: "I make Taqlid of Imaam Abu Hanifah and it is not a breaker of Wudhu according to his Mazhab, therefore my Salaat will be valid."

Now this person vomits, which according to Hanafi Mazhab, breaks Wudhu. He is now told to make Wudhu. He replies: 'I make Taqlid of Imam Shafi'i; it is not a nullifier of Wudhu, therefore my Salaat is valid'. If this person (who has on the one hand, touched his spouse, and on the other hand, vomited) has to perform his Salaat with such a Wudhu, it would neither be correct by Imaam Abu Hanifah nor by Imam Shafi'i. In terminology this is known as Talfiq which is agreed upon unanimously to be void and not permitted. This is not Taqlid but following one's passions and desires for one's personal convenience which lead one astray. The necessity of following a Mazhab, Imam or Mujtahid is that one would not fall into the temptations of following one's own desires. The Holy Qurãn states:

'And do not follow desires. You would be led astray from the path of Allah." Thus the need of following only one Imam.

For centuries we have heard of great scholars, jurists, 'Ulama' and Auliya who had the treasures of knowledge, who were in their personal capacities libraries with encyclopedic knowledge. Their piety constituted perfect examples in emulation of the Sahaaba. Their entire life was spent in accordance with the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). They also followed the 'I'ima Arba'' and it would not be incorrect to say that it was because of this Taqlid that they attained the heights of perfection.

Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) is confined to the four schools. Those that do not confirm to any one of them are called Ahle Hadith or Ghair Muqallid.


Taqlid & the falsification of Islamic History

Shaykh (Mufti) Mohammed Sajaad (HA)

Taqlid means following the legal opinions of a scholar without gaining knowledge of the detailed evidences for those opinions. A person is compelled to do this as he is not able to encompass the evidences to assert his own view on any particular detailed issue related to the Deen. This reliance upon a group of highly trained individuals is seen in every aspect of human life from when we wish to build an extension to our homes to when we wish to cure ourselves; we unquestioningly defer to the experts. The sick person never tries to diagnose himself, let alone be bold enough to prescribe using his own knowledge, the course of medicine he needs to take. Rather he sits humbly and accepts everything his doctor tells him and prescribes him. It would seem, Islam alone has been singled out as being that one thing that any person not only may exercise his mental abilities (however deficient they are) to determine its detailed teachings, but moreover it is said to be his duty.

It is an undisputed fact that Taqlid existed from the very beginning of Islam, as that is the normative procedure for learning. The Companions and Successors (Tabieen) of other Companions were compelled to do Taqlid of their seniors, those of the Companions and Successors who were not scholars, simply took the Deen from those who were scholars. Their basis for their doing Taqlid, apart from the obvious reason mentioned above, was the evidences that made it an obligation for them. Allah (SWT) said in the Holy Qur'an:

Ask the people of Remembrance if you know not (Sura al-Anbiya:7)

Elsewhere in the Holy Qur'an Allah (SWT) commanded the believers thus:

Obey Allah, the Messenger and those authorities amongst you.

Ibn Abbas (R.A.), Mujahid, and many authorities in Tafsir (Exegesis of the Holy Qur'an) stated "Those authorities amongst you" are the Islamic Jurists, see Tafsir Tabari and Al-Tafsir al-Kabir of Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi.

Amongst the many hadith that prove Taqlid is a hadith recorded in Sunnan Abu Daud, in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Verily the cure to not knowing is asking."

Taqlid in the age of the Sahabah

There are many examples in the hadith books where we find the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) doing Taqlid of other more learned Companions.

1.Abu Ayub al-Ansari (R.A.) was once on his way to Hajj and lost his camels he brought to be sacrificed (and by which a person comes out of Ihram). On the day of sacrifice he came to Umar and asked him what to do? Umar (R.A.) told him to do as those who perform Umrah do (that is to shave or cut their hair), and you will be out of Ihram. Then in the next year do Hajj and make the sacrifice. Note, here neither did Abu Ayub (R.A.) ask for proof nor was it given, a clear example of Taqlid (Muwatta Imam Malik).

2.Once Umar (R.A.) saw Talha (R.A.) wearing a coloured piece of cloth while he was in the state of Ihram (So long as the cloth is not scented such coloured sheets would be permitted for Ihram). Umar (R.A.) asked him the reason for wearing such sheets. Talha (R.A.) replied that the cloth was from a material which had not been scented. Umar (R.A.) said: "You are people who are followed by others. If an unknowing person saw this cloth, he would think Talha wore this cloth in Ihram (thus he would assume scented cloth is permitted). Refrain from using coloured sheets." (Muwatta)

This shows, that there is nothing essentially wrong with following scholars without evidence, rather it was always one of the ways the masses learnt their Deen as is shown by Umar's (R.A.) statement.

3.One of the \most obvious examples of Taqlid was that of when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) sent Muadh Ibn Jabal (R.A.) to Yemen as a teacher. Whilst in Yemen the people, took exclusively what he taught them as Deen, in old and new issues, which is but Taqlid. For example, he was asked concerning a man who had been survived by daughter and a sister only, how would his inheritance be distributed amongst them. He ruled that they should receive half each and he did this as a Mufti and without mentioning the proof for his view to the people for his opinion. (Sahih al-Bukhari).

4.We also find a clear example of Sahabah doing Taqlid Shakhsi (specific Taqlid). It is narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari from Ikrimah (R.A.) that the people of Medina asked Ibn Abbas (R.A.) concerning a woman who did Tawaf and then experienced her menstrual cycle (i.e. despite having Tawaf al-Wida upon her, is she permitted to return home or should she wait till her period passes?). Ibn Abbas (R.A.) replied: "She may return." The people said: "We will not accept your opinion over the opinion of Zayd (Ibn Thabit)." (Sahih al-Bukhari).

Two things become abundantly clear from this incident. The first is that the Medinans did Specific Taqlid (Taqlid Shakhsi) of Zayd Ibn Thabit (R.A.), and consequently they would not accept the opinions of another scholar from the Sahabah. Secondly, Ibn Abbas (R.A.) himself never blamed them for following his opinions exclusively.

It would be fair to say that up to the second century, two kinds of Taqlid were common in the Ummah, the non-specific kind (Taqlid ghayr Shakhsi) and specific Taqlid (Taqlid Shakhsi). Most muslims, when wanting to know Islam's ruling on an issue, would simply go to any scholar in the community who they considered an authority. But examples can be found, such as those mentioned above, where Muslims also did specific Taqlid of a particular Companion or Successor exclusively. Thus we learn from this that there is nothing essentially blameworthy with someone being a Hanafi or Maliki, for there were people who were Masudis (followers of the opinions of Ibn Masud), Muadhis, Abbasis, etc. only they did not go by those names.

One of the factors in the consolidation of Taqlid Shakhsi and the phasing out of the other kind of Taqlid was the emergence of four scholars who gained such recognition for their learning and piety that students and even other scholars flocked around them. All four were blessed with long lives such that they could encompass each and every chapter of legal rulings and importantly were undisputed Mujtahids. A mujtahid is a master scholar who has reached the highest and most difficult level of Ijtihad (Independent juridical reasoning). There are many kinds of lesser scholars; however the one who is permitted to exercise his Ijtihad in elaborating rulings is one who has spent many years acquiring the skills, primary religious sciences and auxiliary sciences enabling him to soundly interpret the Holy Texts and thus deserving of being considered an authority in the important matters of the Deen. Briefly, this entails Deep knowledge of the Arabic language; grammar, semantics and rhetoric.

Intimate knowledge of the Holy Qur'an, its well established Tafsir, verses that are abrogated and the occasions of revelation. Knowledge of the Hadith; having obtained the narrations from their narrators, to also know the state of the chain and its narrators. In this regard it was the view of Imam Ahmad that a person cannot be considered a Mujtahid until he has not memorised three hundred thousand hadith.

The students of these four Imams further elaborated their legal opinions, their principles (the tools of interpretation), and most importantly preserved them and then transmitted the scholar's school (Madhab) to the next generation. These four scholars were:

Imam Abu Hanifa (R.A.) - 80-150 A.H.
Imam Malik Ibn Anas (R.A.) - 93-179 A.H.
Imam Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafi (R.A.) - 150-204 A.H.
Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (R.A.) - 164-241 A.H.
If we take a snapshot of the Ummah by the end of the second century, we see Taqlid was of other than the above four sunni scholars and these four Imams. With time, the majority of people ended up doing Taqlid of these four schools. By virtue of them being fully formed, propagated, and codified, more and more scholars received training in these codified school. The Ummah's convergence upon the acceptance of these four schools was coincidental, and not divinely revealed. Having said this, the mercy that lay in the converging on the four for the Ummah is not hidden, and hence it was seen as divine intervention to ensure the preservation of the Deen, as Allah (SWT) had promised:

Indeed We who have revealed the Remembrance and it is for Us to preserve it (sura Al-Hijr:9)

This is not to say there have only ever been four scholars in the Ummah who had reached the high rank of Ijtihad. There were several others, but their schools did not receive that same kind of attention that these four Imams received, thus it is not actually possible to do Taqlid of them. They may have had a thriving circle of students once, but they, for whatever reason, did not fully document, codify or transmit the school. One may find some of their legal opinions have been persevered, but that is not sufficient to consider that school fit for Taqlid. Just to give one glaring danger inherent in permitting this, leaving aside the fact there are but a handful of their legal opinions that have come down to us, it is not known if that particular opinion was the final opinion of that scholar, or did he change his view in later life. For that would require commentaries written by his students, as well as a strong transmission of all his opinions. This problem is carefully taken care of in the four established schools.

Thus the four schools became to represent de facto Sunni Islam. Anyone who wished to seriously study Islamic law, as a beginner, was compelled, by virtue of the schools' undisputed academic prowess and chapter by chapter preservation, to align themselves with one of them.

It is for this reason that we have another inexplicable fact that non-Muqallids (those who deny Taqlid and consider it unlawful) try to avoid. That is the fact that the vast majority of sunni scholastic geniuses followed one of the four schools. For example ,the following is just a selection of unquestionable authorities in our Deen who were known to have adhered to one Madhab from the four:

Imam Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi (Shafi)
Imam Abu Jafar al-Tahavi (Hanafi)
Imam Fakr al-Din al-Razi (Shafi)
Imam Ibn abd al-Bar (Maliki)
Imam Abu Zakariyya al-Nawawi (Shafi)
Imam Abu Bakr Jassas (Hanafi)
Imam Ibn al-Hummam (Hanafi)
Imam Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi (Maliki)
Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (Shafi)
Imam Abu al-Abbas al-Qurtubi (Maliki)
Imam Badr al-Din al-Ayni (Hanafi)
Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (Shafi)
Certainly, there is a difference in the way the scholar follows (does Taqlid) of a school and how others do it. A true well-grounded scholar in the Islamic sciences can also and did look at the evidences and if he believed that other than what the school teaches was the true position then he would leave the school on that issue. For the masses however, this is beyond their capabilities usually and nor is it required of each believer to become an Alim or Mujtahid as that would have demanded for everyone to leave devotion to other important academic areas such as medicine, engineering etc, seeking a livelihood, but our merciful divine Shariah inherently does not demand of us things that are impossible, as Allah (SWT) says:

Allah does not burden a person with more than he can bear (sura Al-Baqara:286)

Hence their duty is to simply follow true scholars as ordered in the verse in Sura Al-Anbiya.

It is interesting to note that even though the likes of the scholars mentioned above did have a level of ijtihad, in their views they themselves did not feel themselves able to dispense with Taqlid of one of the four Imams they followed. The hadith collection Al-Jami' of Imam Tirmidhi is a testament to this. If a person, acquainted with the shafi school, goes through this book he will see that the hadith are brought in support of this school, as is plain to see from the chapter headings and Imam Tirmidhi's commentary.

In the second century there was a kind of consensus of the scholars that it was the interest of the Deen that for the layman, Taqlid be only done of the four schools. Having said this, a person was not restricted in who he asked for legal opinions from the four codified schools. This kind of non-specific Taqlid is known as "Taqlid ghayr Shaksi." Because of the general greater religiosity in those first generations a person would, even though he was not restricted by the scholars in whose Taqlid he did, seek out the most pious scholar and even if he ever gained more than one opinion, he would incline to side of precaution in the opinion he chose, and the threat of following desires was little.

Taqlid ghayr Shakhsi to Taqlid Shakhsi

The further we get away in time from the best of generations, in particular after the second century, as impiety and following desires become more common, the scholars become more unequivocal of the obligatoriness of following only one school for every Muslim. The historical facts make this abundantly clear and anyone who contends otherwise is frankly out of touch with the reality. He is neither aware of the countless illustrious jurists who have stated this view, he seems oblivious of the state of the people of that time let alone his own time. Thus the fact is that by the end of the second century, and also the end of the best of generations, there was shift in the attitude of the masses and personal desires started becoming prominent in the opinions being followed. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself had forewarned of this when he said, "then falsehood (kadhib) would become widespread." It was then the scholars unanimously agreed, that no longer will people be able to have the option to hand pick opinions, rather they must follow one school only whichever that maybe from the four. Imam Shah Waliullah, states:

After the second century adherence to specific schools appeared amongst the Muslims.... And this was the obligation at that time see Al-Insaf fi Bayan Asbab al-Ikhtilaf, p.70.

Shaikh Wahbah al-Zuhaili in Al-Fiqh al-Islami wa adillatuh, vol.1 p.94, however has stated that the position of the majority of scholars was that only Taqlid of any scholar is wajib (Taqlid ghayr Shakhsi), and only a few scholars held Taqlid to be wajib of a specific school (Taqlid Shakhsi).

This claim however not only conflicts with the patent need of the Deen and Ummah that lye in making Taqlid Shakhsi Wajib, it is also not corroborated by the facts, the most incontrovertible of which is the great number of jurists who stated this very view as we will be recorded below. On the other hand, Shaikh Wahbah supported his view by citing only two or three authors, which it is hard to see how constitute a majority?

To be sure the claim is an error, the argument presented by Shaikh Wahbah, that underlies this view, we see is also clearly flawed. The reasoning he gives for why specific Taqlid (Taqlid Shakhsi) cannot be wajib, in his own words is:

Allah only obligated following the scholars without specification of one and not another, He said: "Ask the people of Remembrance if you do not know" (Sura Anbiya:7) (Op.Cit).

The reality however is that in this verse Allah (SWT) made generic Taqlid obligatory or Taqlid in general (Jins of Taqlid or Mutlaq Taqlid). Now Taqlid in this general sense has under it two, call them, constituents or kinds or sub-categories (Anwa' or Afrad):

Taqlid ghayr Shakhsi (non-specific Taqlid of any scholar)
Taqlid Shakhsi (specific Taqlid of a particular scholar)
Thus it becomes apparent that Taqlid itself is an obligation (wajib), with all the kinds of Taqlid that come under it logically taking that ruling, as they are but kinds of the same thing. Though indeed there is a choice, in acting upon the Deen, which of the two kinds one practices.

Just as if a mother ordered her son to buy her "fruit," under this general term (Mutlaq) would come many kinds of fruits, for example apple, orange, pear etc. It would be true to say that the obligation applied to all these fruits, that there is a choice in which fruit he chooses is another issue. What matters is that he chooses any fruit, and whichever fruit the son chooses he'll have fulfilled his duty. But what cannot be said is that to buy apples on the one hand is obligatory, but as for oranges, that is just permissible (and to say unlawful is just absurd). To take another example, this time from the Deen, if someone broke an oath he would have to give the atonement (Kafaarah). The atonement for breaking an oath is Fard (Obligatory), however under this generic/general term or Mutlaq are three constituents/kinds (afrad): (1) Feeding the poor, (2) Clothing the poor, (3) Freeing a slave. Each one will take the ruling of the atonement, namely Fard, and what is Mubah or permissible is the choosing one any one of these three.

Thus the upshot of this discussion is that the verse in Sura Anbiya actually made both kinds of Taqlid wajib, and by an individual doing either one of the two, he would have fulfilled the obligation upon him. It was for this reason we find examples of both kinds of Taqlid being practised by the first generations as recorded above. As for why the scholars prohibited the option of Taqlid Ghayr Shakhsi, it was due to a change in the condition of the people, the juristic basis for which we will speak more on later.

The Majority of Ulema on Taqlid Shakhsi

In this section of the essay my primary concern was to bring such quotes from undisputed experts of the Deen showing Taqlid Shakhsi as an obligation had become the common view amongst scholars throughout most of Islamic History. Having said this, I have also taken the opportunity to add some other quotations, not specifically on Taqlid Shakhsi, in order to refute two other views being promoted today, which though marginal, their fallacy and heretical nature require exposing. The first view is that Taqlid, whatever kind it is, is unlawful and that rather it is the duty of every Muslim to derive for himself all the detailed rulings from the Holy Qur'an and Sunna. This view is held by groups known as the "Ahle-hadith" or "Salafis." One of the reasons, they succeed in getting people to believe such baseless and outlandish claims is they falsely give the impression this is also the view of most of the great Islamic scholars in the past. The actual position of the classical scholars of Islam, as proven by the quotes below, however is very different to this. Furthermore, it is quite startling that a scholar who they themselves rely upon greatly, namely the late Shaikh Salih bin Uthaymin, has stated unequivocally the non-scholar must do Taqlid of the scholars in his Al-Usul min 'ilm al-Usul. In his recorded lectures of the same text he says that for the average Muslim to try to delve into the Holy Qur'an and Sunna in order to deduct rulings is like a person who has not learnt swimming to swim in a sea. It will only lead to his destruction. His is the final quote in the selection.

The second view is less heretical and dangerous for at least it acknowledges the sacred Deen cannot be left in the hands of absolute infants in terms of Islamic learning. The holders of this view say it is permitted to follow any scholar, even if he be from other than the four schools. But of course the main intent behind the following texts is to show that the view of the vast majority of the Scholars of Ahl al-Sunna, was and is that Taqlid Shakhsi in particular is wajib. The scholars we mention are such authorities in the Sacred Knowledge of the Deen, that it is not unreasonable to assume that this ruling, that Taqlid shakhsi is obligatory, was also the view of their many eminent teachers, students and the whole school they belonged to.

Imam Ibn al-Hummam, author of many unique works in Jurisprudence and Doctrine records the view of the Hanafi scholars on Taqlid of a single Mujtahid in the commentary of Hidayah Fath al-Qadir:

(As for the layman) it is obligatory for him (Al-wajib alayh) to do Taqlid of a single Mujtahid....The jurists have stated that the one who switches from one Madhab to another by his Ijtihad and evidence is sinful deserving of being punished. Thus one who does so without Ijtihad and evidence is even more deserving. (vol.6 p.360)

Imam Nawawi writes in Al-Majmu' Sharh Al-Muhadhdhab:

The second view is it is obligatory (yalzimuhu) for him to follow one particular school, and that was the definitive position according to Imam Abul-Hassan (the father of Imam al-Haramayn Al-Juwayni). And this applies to everyone who has not reached the rank of Ijtihad of the jurists and scholars of other disciplines. The reasoning for this ruling is that if it was permitted to follow any school one wished it would lead to hand-picking the dispensations of the schools, following one's desires. He would be choosing between Halal and Haram, and obligatory and permissible. Ultimately that would lead to relinquishing oneself from the burden of responsibility. This is not the same as during the first generations, for the schools that were sufficient in terms of their rulings for newer issues, were neither codified or did they became popular. Thus on this basis it is obligatory for a person to strive in choosing a Madhab which alone he follows. (Vol.1 p.93)

Imam Sharani, an undisputed authority in the Shafi school writes in Al-Mizan al-Kubra:

...You (O student) have no excuse left for not doing Taqlid of any Madhab you wish from the schools of the four Imams, for they are all paths to Heaven.... (p.55 vol.1)

Shaikh Salih al-Sunusi writes in Fath al-'Alee al-Malik fil-Fatwa 'ala Madhab al-Imam Malik:

As for the scholar who has not reached the level of Ijtihad and the non-scholar, they must do Taqlid of the Mujtahid....And the most correct view is that it is obligatory (wajib) to adhere to a particular school from the four schools... (Section on Usul al-Fiqh p.40-41)

In Tuhfa al-Muhtaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj, Shaikh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Hajr al-Haytami writes:

The claim the layman has no Madhab is proscribed, rather it is necessary (yalzamuhu) for him to do Taqlid of a recognised school. (As for the claim: scholars did not obligate following one school), that was before the codification of the schools and their establishment. (Vol.12 p.491-Kitab al-Zakah)

In the famous 12 volume Maliki compendium of Fataawa, Al-Mi'yar al-Mu'rib an Fataawa ahl al-Ifriqiyya wa al-Andalus wa al-Maghrib, Imam Ahmad al-Wanshirisi records the Fatwa on Taqlid:

It is not permitted (laa yajoozu) for the follower of a scholar to choose the most pleasing to him of the schools and one that agrees the most with him. It is his duty to do Taqlid of the Imam whose school he believes to be right in comparison to the other schools. (vol.11 p.163-164)

The great authority in Usul Imam Aamidi writes in Al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam:

The layman and anyone who is not capable of Ijtihad, even if he has acquired mastery of some of the disciplines (Ulum) related to Ijtihad, is obligated (yalzimuh) with following the positions of the Mujtahid Imams and taking his juristic opinions and this is the view of the experts from the scholars of the principles (Al-Muhaqqiqin minnal-Usulyyin). It was the Mutazila of Baghdad who prohibited that except if the soundness of his Ijtihad becomes clear to him. (vol.4 p.278)

Imam Zahid al-Kawthari, Hanafi jurist and senior juridical advisor to the last Shaikh al-Islam of the Ottoman Empire, wrote in a impassioned article against the growing modern trend of non-Madhabism, entitled Al-Laa Madhabiyya Qantara al-Laa Deeniyya ("Non-Madhabism is a bridge to Non-religion"):

Those who call the masses to throwing away adhering to a madhab from the Madhabs of the followed Imams, whose lives we briefly mentioned in what has passed, will be of two groups; those who consider that all the derived opinions of the Mujtahid are right, such that it is permitted for the layman to follow any opinion of any Mujtahid, not restricting himself to the opinions of a single Mujtahid whom he selects to be followed, such thinking belongs to the Mutazila. The (second group) are the Sufis who consider the Mujtahids to be all right in the sense that they seek out the hardest opinions from their positions without confining themselves to following one Mujtahid. (Published in Maqalaat al-Kawthari, p.224-225)

Imam Al-Jalaal Shams al-Din al-Muhalli writes in the commentary of the Shafi text Jam' al-Jawami,':

And the soundest position (wal-Asahh) is that it is obligatory (yajibu) for the non-scholar/layman and other than him of those who have not reached the rank of Ijtihad, adherence of one particular school from the Madhabs of the Mujtahid Imams (iltizam Madhab Muayyan min madaahib al-Mujtahideen) that he beliefs to be preferable to another school or equal to it. (Kitab al-Ijtihad, p.93)

Imam Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, the Faqih of the 19th Century, writes in Fataawa Rashidyya:

When the corruption that comes from non-specific Taqlid is obvious, and no one will deny this provided he is fair, then when specific Taqlid is termed obligatory for other than itself (Wajib li-ghayrihi), and non-specific Taqld is termed unlawful, this will not be by mere opinion, rather it is by the command of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), for he commanded that removing corruption is an obligation upon every individual. (p.205)

Imam Abd al-Hay al-Lakhnawi writes in his Majmuat al-Fataawa, after mentioning the various views of the scholars on Taqlid:

On this subject the soundest view is that the laypeople will be prevented from such (choosing) of different opinions, especially the people of this time, for whom there is no cure but the following of a particular Madhab. If these people were allowed to choose between their Madhab and another, it would give rise to great tribulations. (vol.3 p.195)

Imam Rajab al-Hanbali writes in his book: "Refutation of anyone who follows other than the four schools":

...that is the Mujtahid, assuming his existence, his duty (Farduhu) is to follow what becomes apparent to him of the Truth. As for the non-Mujtahid his duty is Taqlid (p.6)

In the well known Maliki text Maraqi al-Saud, it is stated:

(Taqlid) is necessary (yalzimu) for other than the one who has achieved the rank of absolute ijtihad. Even if he is limited (mujtahid) who is unable (to perform absolute Ijtihad). (Point 957, p.39) He writes further on: "Every school from the schools of the (four) Mujtahids is a means that reaches one to Paradise."

In one of the most authoritative juristic commentaries of the Holy Qur'an, Al-Jami' li-ahkam al-Qar'an, by the scholar Imam Qurtubi, commenting on verse 7 in Sura Anbiya, he writes:

The scholars did not disagree that it is obligatory for the non-scholars (al-'Aamah) to do Taqlid of their scholars and they are meant in the verse: Ask the people of Remembrance if you do not know. And the scholars by consensus (Ajma'oo) stated it is necessary (laa budda) for he who is unable to see to do Taqlid of someone else who will tell him of the direction of the Qiblah, if it becomes difficult for him. Similarly, one who does no possess knowledge or insight of what the Deen teaches, then it is necessary (laa budda) for him to do Taqlid of that scholar who does. (p.181 vol.11)

The internationally renowned scholar Mufti Taqi Uthmani writes in his commentary on the Book: Al-Misbah fi Rasm al-Mufti wa Manaahij al-Ifta:

The sound view, and upon which are the majority of the scholars, is that it is obligatory (Yajibu) for all those who have not reached the rank of Ijtihad to adhere to a particular school from the four well known, codified and definitively transmitted schools. This is in order to regulate a person's actions and control his worldly dealings in a way that protects from confusion, errors and fulfils the compelling need. (vol.1, pp 251-252)

Shaikh Salih bin al-Uthaymin writes in his book Al-Usul min 'ilm al-Usul in the chapter on Taqlid:

Taqlid takes place in two places; the first is that the person doing Taqlid be a layman, incapable of discerning the ruling by himself, so his duty (Farduhu) is to do Taqlid due to the statement of Allah (SWT):

"Ask the people of Remembrance if you know not (Sura al-Nahl:43). (p.68)

Shaikh al-Uthaymin also outlines in the chapter preceding this one what is needed for a person to be fit to deduce rulings from the Sacred texts, in other words the Pre-requisites of Ijtihad. He records six conditions, the first of which is the condition of encompassing all the verses and ahadith on the subject. This would, at the very first hurdle, lose most of us who have not learnt, let alone mastered, the Arabic language. Translations can never convey the linguistic intricacies, rhetorical devices and semantic nuances of the original Arabic, and furthermore a vast number of the hadith have yet to be translated into English.

Juristic basis for Taqlid Shaksi alone being obligatory

It is important to elaborate in detail what led to the change in ruling from permissibility to asking any of the scholars of the four schools to following one school from the four exclusively? As already stated both kinds of Taqlid (non-specific of the four and specific) were obligatory for the layman. However the option was open to him of following one school, as some did, and if he was not particularly discerning as the average lay person is, he simply asked any scholar he considered to be a reliable scholar regardless of his school. The first kind of Taqlid however produced a danger which with the passing of time became more and more real. Namely, people would "shop" for opinions. They would ask different scholars and often would follow a scholar merely due to ease in that view and it according with his whim. The early blessed generations were largely saved from this. In fact all Muslim scholars by consensus consider it absolutely for forbidden for a person to want to do something and then look for justification through texts and opinions of the scholars. The Holy Qur'an itself condemns those who act in this way when it says:

Have you seen he who takes his desire as his god. (Al-Jaathiyah:23)

The great jurist of the Hanafi school, Imam Ibn Aabideen records the following eye-opening incident that shows us the gravity of this problem. There was a student of Imam Abu Hanifa who once approached the Ashab al-Hadith (those who clam to only follow hadith), for the hand of his daughter in marriage. The father in law to be refused, and said he would only marry her to him if he started raising his hands (raf' al-yadayn) in Salah, reciting behind the Imam and pronouncing the Ameen loudly. The student agreed and consequently was wed to his wife. When the hanafi jurist Abu Bakr al-Jawzajani was informed of this he replied: "As for the nikah it is sound, but I fear that he (the student) may have left the Deen because he left what he believed to be the truth for his personal desire."

Imam Shatibi amongst other jurists has explained the danger in leaving Fiqh unregulated further, saying; ultimately the very purpose of the Shariah which is Takleef, or charging people with duties and responsibilities and taking them away from merely following their desires, with all the corruption and harm this brings, would become defunct as lay people sought refuge in the weak opinions of inferior scholars or from within the other three schools.

Thus to prevent the doors of irreligion from opening the scholars concurred that it was now obligatory to follow one school whichever that be from those that had been thoroughly debated by the geniuses of the Ummah, documented and transmitted. There is no doubt that such lofty credentials belonged exclusively to the four schools.

It was only due to the dangers mentioned earlier that lay in allowing Taqlid ghar Shakhsi (non-specific Taqlid) that the scholars declared it unlawful. What was the legal evidence or basis by which they effectively declared something unlawful which was clearly permissible previously?

The jurists appreciate well that rulings change with time and there are many examples in the Shariah where something at one time was permitted, is made unlawful and vice versa in consideration of other greater principles of the Deen. Selling arms in an Islamic State is something permitted, however jurists declared selling arms unlawful at a time of civil war, as killing the life of a believer is from the gravest of sins whichever side he may be on. Another example is, the action of Uthman (R.A.) in standardising the recitation of the Holy Qur'an. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings upon him, prayed to Allah (SWT) for the Holy Qur'an to be revealed in seven independent dialects of the Arabs, so that it would be easy for them to recite. During the life of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) the various Arabs would recite it according to one of these dialects. Soon after the death of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) Islam had spread across to persia, asia and africa. With the spread of Islam also meant the new Muslims of these non-Arab lands would be learning and reciting the Book of Allah. It was at this time, during the Khilafah of the Khalif Uthman, that the existence of several dialects became a cause for confusion for these new Muslims. What had initially been for the purpose of facilitation and ease was becoming, in this new context, a means of difficulty and confusion. Thus Uthman (R.A.) declared the writing down, reciting and instruction of six dialects of the Holy Qur'an as unlawful and this was done in the presence of companions who concurred with him. Hence what was once permitted was made unlawful.

Similarly, when the jurists saw, with the variety of opinions existent in the community and the threat of following desires and irreligion, they made Taqlid of only the four schools obligatory. Then as moral uprightness became less and less amongst the masses and the tendency to follow one's desires in legal opinions increased, the ruling was given that Taqlid of only one school is permitted for the layman. This ruling was given on the basis of preventing the evil of following desires from coming into being, technically termed "Blocking the means" and in order to preserve the obligation of the duties and responsibilities believers have been charged with.

Some may bring a criticism here that, other jurists do not accept the juristic principle of blocking the means. The truth however is that all jurists have acknowledged this principle, even if they have done so using other names for it. Imam Shatibi in his Muwafaqat, vol. 4 p.66 quotes Imam Qarafi as saying that there is Ijma (Mujma' alayh) of the scholars on its acceptance. Imam Abu Zahra, in his Usul al-Fiqh, p.253, has confirmed it to be the view of all four schools. The reason for its general acceptance is that it is in reality a law based on common sense of looking to the end result of an action. If something is evil or unlawful then it is nonsensical to think there is nothing wrong with the presence of those things that directly lead to that evil. In fact, we see it in action in our daily lives, in every aspect of life. If we prevent our children from going out alone, though they may not understand this, it is not because stepping outside is in itself forbidden, rather it is due to the threat of being abducted etc. It is logical and obvious that things that lead to an unlawful also be forbidden.

Man-made laws are incapable of acknowledging this truth such that even though studies prove pornography leads to rape and other sexual offences, they do not even make a feeble attempt to curb it. The Divine law of Allah Almighty and Wise could never be so deficient and for which reason we see that many of the laws of the Islamic State are based upon it.

Another juristic principle similar to the "blocking the mean" principle, is the principle of "Acquiring of the means" by which an obligation can only be fulfilled. Usul books speak of this as Muqadimat al-wajib wajib or maa laa yutimmu al-wajib illa bihi fa huwa wajib. In this case some act needs to come into existence due to the command of Allah (SWT), however to achieve that act sometimes another thing maybe required, thus in order to fulfil the order the other thing will also become obligatory even when it has not been explicitly commanded by the Lawgiver.

An example of the latter principle (of acquiring the means) is the order in the Holy Qur'an to give Zakah. Now it is obvious a person will only be able to carry out this command properly, if he has the detailed knowledge of Zakah rules, what is Nisab, on what things must Zakah be given, what makes a person illegible to give Zakah and so on. Thus, though there is no text specifically making study of the rules of Zakah wajib, based on this juristic principle, it would be said that it is wajib for a Muslim to learn the fiqh of Zakah and even to attend a Zakah course teaching such a course, being held at a particular Institute in his locality.

Thus the unlawful consequence of people following their desires, a thing forbidden clearly in the Holy Qur'an, establishes the unlawfulness of unrestricted Taqlid or Taqlid ghayr shakhsi. Similarly, the obligation to preserve the Shariah from distortion and corruption, establishes the obligation of adherence to Taqlid Shakhsi. Furthermore, one will note, whereas in the case of other issues, their rulings are established by one of either of these two usuli principles, the necessity of Taqlid Shakshi is established by both principles.

There are other issues related to this topic deserving discussion, but are beyond the scope of the article, such as what are the conditions under which a Madhab is left and answering the evidences usually quoted against Taqlid. For these and other topics works that can be consulted are: Jawahir al-Fiqh by Mufti Muhammad Shafi, vol.1; Qawaid fi Ulum al-Fiqh by Shaikh Habib Ahmad al-Kairawani (punlished as an introduction to Imam Zafar Ahmad Uthmani's Iila al-Sunnan); Al-Kalam al-Mufid fi Ithbat al-Taqlid by Maulana Muhammad Sarfraz Khan Safdar; The legal Status of following a Madhab by Mufti Taqi Uthmani; Al-Laa Madhabiyya Akhtar Bida'h tuhaddi al-Shariat al-Islamiyya by Shaikh Ramadan al-Buti.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Islamic Scholars on Tassawuff

The following quotations of the scholars of Shariah regarding the precedence of the knowledge and science of Tasawwuf (Purification of the Self).

Imam Abu Hanifa (85 H. - 150 H)

"If it were not for two years, I would have perished." He said, "for two years I accompanied Sayyidina Ja'far as-Sadiq and I acquired the spiritual knowledge that made me a gnostic in the Way." [Ad-Durr al-Mukhtar, vol 1. p. 43]

Imam Malik (95 H. - 179 H.)

"whoever studies Jurisprudence [tafaqaha] and didn't study Sufism [tasawwaf] will be corrupted; and whoever studied Sufism and didn't study Jurisprudence will become a heretic; and whoever combined both will reach the Truth." ['Ali al-Adawi , vol. 2, p 195.]

Imam Shafi'i (150 - 205 AH.)

"I accompanied the Sufi people and I received from them three knowledges: to speak; how to treat people with leniency and a soft heart... and they... guided me in the ways of Sufism." [Kashf al-Khafa, 'Ajluni, vol. 1, p 341.]

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (164 - 241 AH.)

"O my son, you have to sit with the People of Sufism, because they are like a fountain of knowledge and they keep the Remembrance of Allah in their hearts. they are the ascetics and they have the most spiritual power." [Tanwir al-Qulub p. 405]

Imam Ghazzali (450 - 505 AH.)

"I knew verily that Sufis are the seekers in Allah's Way, and their conduct is the best conduct, and their way is the best way, and their manners are the most sanctified. They have cleaned their hearts from other than Allah and they have made them as pathways for rivers to run receiving knowledge of the Divine Presence." [al-Munqidh, p. 131].

Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi (544 - 606 AH)

"The way of Sufis for seeking Knowledge, is to disconnect themselves from this worldly life, and they keep themselves constantly busy with Dhikrullah, in all their actions and behaviors." ['Itiqadaat Furaq al-Muslimeen, p. 72, 73]

Imam Nawawi (620 - 676 AH.)

"The specifications of the Way of the Sufis are ... to keep the Presence of Allah in your heart in public and in private; to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) ... to be happy with what Allah gave you..." [in his Letters, (Maqasid at-tawhid), p. 20]

Ibn Taymiyya (661 - 728 AH)

"Tasawwuf has realities and states of experience which they talk about in their science. Some of it is that the Sufi is that one who purifies himself from anything which distracts him from the remembrance of Allah and who will be so filled up with knowledge of the heart and knowledge of the mind to the point that the value of gold and stones will be the same to him. And Tasawwuf is safeguarding the precious meanings and leaving behind the call to fame and vanity in order to reach the state of Truthfulness, because the best of humans after the Prophets-AS are the Siddiqeen, as Allah mentioned them in the verse:

"(And all who obey Allah and the Apostle) are in the company of those on whom is the grace of Allah: of the Prophets-AS, the sincere lovers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous; Ah! what a beautiful fellowship." (an-Nisa', 69,70)

"...some people criticised Sufiyya and Tasawwuf and they said they were innovators, out of the Sunnah, but the truth is they are striving in Allah's obedience [mujtahidin fi ta'at-illahi], as others of Allah's People strove in Allah's obedience. So from them you will find the Foremost in Nearness by virtue of his striving [as-saabiq ul-muqarrab bi hasab ijtihadihi]. And some of them are from the People of the Right hand [Ahl al-Yameen mentioned in Qur'an in Sura Waqi'ah], but slower in their progress.... And this is the origin of Tasawwuf. And after that origin, it has been spread and [tasha'abat wa tanawa'at] has its main line and its branches.  [Majmu'a Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya al-Kubra, Vol. 11, Book of Tasawwuf, p. 497].

"The miracles of saints are absolutely true and correct, by the acceptance of all Muslim scholars. And the Qur'an has pointed to it in different places, and the Hadith of the Prophet (s) has mentioned it, and whoever denies the miraculous power of saints are only people who are innovators and their followers." [al-Mukhtasar al-Fatawa, page 603]. Ibn Taymiyya says, "what is considered as a miracle for a saint is that sometimes the saint might hear something that others do not hear and they might see something that others do not see, while not in a sleeping state, but in a wakened state of vision. And he can know something that others cannot know, through revelation or inspiration [kashf and ilham]." [Majmu'a Fatawi Ibn Taymiyya, Vol. 11, p. 314].

Ibn Khaldun (733 - 808 AH.)

"The way of the Sufis is the way of the Salaf, the preceding Scholars between the Sahaba and Tabi'een of those who followed good guidance..." [Muqaddimat ibn al-Khaldun, p. 328]

Tajuddin as-Subki (727 - 771 AH.)

"May Allah praise them [the Sufis] and greet them and may Allah cause us to be with them in Paradise. Too many things havebeen said about them and too many ignorant people have said things which are not related to them. And the truth is that those people left the world and were busy with worship. ...They are the People of Allah, whose supplications and prayer Allah accepts and by means of whom Allah supports human beings" [Mu'eed an-Na'am p. 190, the chapter entitled Tasawwuf]

Jalaluddin as-Suyuti (849 - 911 AH.)

"At-Tasawwuf in itself is the best and most honorable knowledge. It explains how to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) and to put aside innovation." [Ta'yid al-Haqiqat al-'Aliyya,p 57]

Ibn Qayyim (691 - 751 AH.)

"We can witness the greatness of the People of Sufism, in the eyes of the earliest generations of Muslims by what has been mentioned by Sufyan ath-Thawri (d. 161 AH), one of the greatest imams of the second century and one of the foremost legal scholars. He said, "If it had not been for Abu Hisham as-Sufi (d. 115) I would never have perceived the action of the subtlest forms of hypocrisy in the self... Among the best of people is the Sufi learned in jurisprudence." [Manazil as-Sa'ireen.]

Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (1115 - 1201 AH.)

"My father Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab and I do not deny or criticize the science of Sufism, but on the contrary we support it, because it purifies the external and the internal of the hidden sins, which are related to the heart and to the outward form. Even though the individual might externally be on the right way, internally he might be on the wrong way. Sufism is necessary to correct it." [ad-Dia'at mukathaffa did ash-shaykh ibn Abdul Wahhab, p. 85]

Ibn 'Abidin (1198 - 1252 AH.)

"The Seekers in this Sufi Way don't hear except from the Divine Presence and they don't love any but Him. If they remember Him they cry, and if they thank Him they are happy; ... May Allah bless them." [Risa'il Ibn 'Abidin p. 172 & 173]

Muhammad 'Abduh (1265 - 1323 AH.)

"Tasawwuf appeared in the first century of Islam and it received a tremendous honor. It purified the self and straightened the conduct and gave knowledge to people from the Wisdom and Secrets of the Divine Presence." [Majallat al-Muslim, 6th ed. 1378 H, p. 24].

Maulana Abul Hasan 'Ali an-Nadawi (1331 AH b.)

"These Sufis were initiating people on Oneness and sincerity in following the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) and to repent from their sins and to be away from every disobedience of Allah 'Azza wa Jall. Their guides were encouraging them to move in the way of perfect Love to Allah 'Azza wa Jall. "...In Calcutta India, everyday more than 1000 people were taking initiation into Sufism. " the influence of these Sufi people, thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands in India found their Lord and reached a state of Perfection through the Islamic religion." [Muslims in India, p. 140-146]

Aqeedah Tahawiyyah- The Aqaid/beliefs of a Muslim

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of Allah-SWT, the Merciful, the Compassionate Praise be to Allah-SWT, Lord of all the worlds.

هَذا ما رَواهُ الإْمامُ أَبو جَعْفَرٍ الطَّحاوِيُّ في ذِكْرُ بَيانِ اعْتِقادِ أَهْلِ السُّــنَّةِ وَالجَماعَةِ عَلى مَذهَبِ فُقَهَاءِ المِلَّةِ أَبي حَنيفَةَ النُّعْمانِ بْنِ ثابـِتٍ الكُوفِيِّ، وَأَبي يُوسُفَ يَعْقُوبَ بْنِ إِبْراهيمَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، وَأَبي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الحَسَنِ الشَّيْبانِيِّ ـ رِضْوَانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَجْمَعين، وَمَا يَعْتَقِدُونَ مِنْ أُصُولِ الدِّينِ وَيَدِينُونَ بـِهِ لِرَبَّ العَالَمِينَ.

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-Sunna wa al-Jama`a, according to the school of the jurists of this religion, Abu Hanifa al-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-SWT be pleased with them all, and what they believe regarding the fundamentals of the religion and their faith in the Lord of the worlds.

نَقُولُ في تَوْحيدِ اللَّهِ مُعْتَقِدينَ، بـِتَوْفيقِ

We say about Allah-SWT's unity, believing by Allah-SWT's help that:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعالى وَاحِدٌ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ،

1. Allah-SWT is One, without any partners.

وَلا شَيْءَ مِثْلُهُ،

2. There is nothing like Him-SWT.

وَلا شَيْءَ يُعْجِزُهُ،

3. There is nothing that can overwhelm Him-SWT.

وَلا إِلهَ غَيْرُهُ،

4. There is no god other than Him-SWT.

قَدِيْمٌ بـِلا ابْتِدَاءٍ، دَائِمٌ بـِلا انْتِهَاءٍ،

5. He-SWT is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end.

لا يَفْنَى وَلا يَبـِيدُ،

6. He-SWT will never perish or come to an end.

وَلا يَكُونُ إِلا مَا يُرِيدُ،

7. Nothing happens except what He-SWT wills.

لا تَبْلُغُهُ الأَوْهامُ، وَلا تُدْرِكُهُ الأَفْهامُ،

8. No imagination can conceive of Him-SWT and no understanding can comprehend Him-SWT.

وَلا تُشْبـِهُهُ الأَنامُ

9. He-SWT is different from any created being.

حَيٌّ لا يَمُوتُ، قَيُّومٌ لا يَنامُ،

10. He-SWT is living and never dies and is eternally active and never sleeps.

خَالِقٌ بـِلا حَاجَةٍ، رَازِقٌ لَهُمْ بـِلا مُؤْنَةٍ،

11. He-SWT creates without His-SWT being in need to do so and provides for His-SWT creation without any effort.

مُمِيتٌ بـِلا مَخَافَةٍ، بَاعِثٌ بـِلا مَشَقَّةٍ.

12. He-SWT causes death with no fear and restores to life without difficulty.

مَازالَ بـِصِفَاتِهِ قَدِيماً قَبْلَ خَلْقِهِ. لَمْ يَزْدَدْ بـِكَوْنِهِمْ شَيْئاً لَمْ يَكُنْ قَبْلَهُمْ مِنْ صِفَاتِهِ، وَكَما كَانَ بـِصِفَاتِهِ أَزَلِيَّاً كَذلِكَ لا يَزَالُ عَلَيْهَا أَبَدِيَّاً.

13. He-SWT has always existed together with His-SWT attributes since before creation. Bringing creation into existence did not add anything to His-SWT attributes that was not already there. As He-SWT was, together with His-SWT attributes, in pre-eternity, so He-SWT will remain throughout endless time.

لَيْسَ مُنْذُ خَلَقَ الخَلْقَ اسْتَفَادَ اسْمَ الخَالِقِ، وَلا بـِإِحْدَاثِهِ البَرِيَّةَ اسْتَفَادَ اسْمَ البارِي

14. It was not only after the act of creation that He-SWT could be described as "the Creator" nor was it only by the act of origination that He-SWT could he described as "the Originator."

لَهُ مَعْنى الرُّبوبـِيَّةِ وَلا مَرْبوبٌ، وَمَعْنى الخَالِقِيَّةِ وَلا مَخْلوقٌ،

15. He-SWT was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of, and always the Creator even when there was no creation.

وَكَمَا أَنَّهُ مُحْيِـي المَوْتَى بَعْدَما أَحْيَاهُمْ، اسْتَحَقَّ هَذا الاسْمَ قَبْلَ إِحْيائِهِمْ، كَذلِكَ اسْتَحَقَّ اسْمَ الخَالِقِ قَبْلَ إِنْشَائِهِمْ،

16. In the same way that He-SWT is the "Bringer to life of the dead," after He-SWT has brought them to life a first time, and deserves this name before bringing them to life, so too He-SWT deserves the name of "Creator" before He-SWT has created them.

ذلِكَ بـِأَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيْرٌ، وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ إِلَيْهِ فَقِيرٌ، وَكُلُّ أَمْرٍ عَلَيْهِ يَسيرٌ، لا يَحْتَاجُ إِلَى شَيْءٍ
لـــَيْسَ كَمِثـــْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

17. This is because He-SWT has the power to do everything, everything is dependent on Him-SWT, everything is easy for Him-SWT, and He-SWT does not need anything. "There is nothing like Him-SWT and He-SWT is the Hearer, the Seer." (al-Shura 42:11)

خَلَقَ الخَلْقَ بـِعِلْمِهِ،

18. He-SWT created creation with His knowledge.

وَقَدَّرَ لَهُمْ أَقْداراً،

19. He-SWT appointed destinies for those He created.

وَضَرَبَ لَهُمْ آجالاً،

20. He-SWT allotted to them fixed life spans.

لَمْ يَخْفَ عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ مِنْ أَفْعَالِهِمْ قَبْلَ أَنْ خَلَقَهُمْ، وَعَلِمَ مَا هُمْ عَامِلُونَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَخْلُقَهُمْ،

21. Nothing about them was hidden from Him-SWT before He-SWT created them, and He-SWT knew everything that they would do before He-SWT created them.

وَأَمَرَهُمْ بـِطَاعَتِهِ وَنَهَاهُمْ عَنْ مَعْصِيَتِهِ،

22. He-SWT ordered them to obey Him-SWT and forbade them to disobey Him-SWT.

وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ يَجْرِي بـِقُدْرَتِهِ وَمَشِيئَتِهِ. وَمَشِيئَتُهُ تَنْفُذُ، وَلا مَشِيئَةَ لِلْعِبَادِ إِلاَّ مَا شَاءَ لَهُمْ، فَمَا شَاءَ لَهُمْ كَانَ وَمَا لَمْ يَشَأْ لَمْ يَكُنْ.

23. Everything happens according to His-SWT decree and will, and His-SWT will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He-SWT wills for them. What He-SWT wills for them occurs and what He-SWT does not will, does not occur.

يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَعْصِمُ وَيُعَافِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ فَضْلاً، وَيُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَخْذُلُ وَيَبْتَلِي عَدْلاً

24. He-SWT gives guidance to whomever He-SWT wills, and protects them, and keeps them safe from harm, out of His-SWT generosity; and He-SWT leads astray whomever He-SWT wills, and abases them, and afflicts them, out of His-SWT justice.

وَ کُلھم مُتَقلبونَ فِی مَشِیئتھ ، بَین فَضلھ وَعَدلھ

25. All of them are subject to His-SWT will either through His-SWT generosity or His-SWT justice.

وَهُوَ مُتَعَالٍ عَنِ الأَضْدَّاد وَالأَنْدَاد

26. He-SWT is Exalted beyond having opposites or equals.

لا رَادَّ لِقَضَائِهِ، وَلا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِ، وَلا غَالِبَ لأَمْرِهِ،

27. No one can ward off His-SWT decree or delay His-SWT command or overpower His-SWT affairs.

آمَنَّا بِذلِكَ كُلِّهِ، وَأَيْقَنَّا أَنَّ كُلاًّ مِنْ عِنْدِهِ.

28. We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him-SWT.

وَإِنَّ مُحَمَّداً صلى الله عليه وسلم عَبْدُهُ المُصْطَفَى، وَنَبـِيُّهُ المُجْتَبَى، وَرَسُولُهُ المُرْتَضَى،

29. And we are certain that Muhammad-SAAW (may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him peace) is His-SWT chosen Servant and selected Prophet and His-SWT Messenger-SAAW with whom He-SWT is well pleased,

خَاتِمُ الأَنْبـِيَاءِ وَإِمَامُ الأَتْقِياءِ، وَسَيِّدُ المُرْسَلِينَ، وَحَبـِيبُ رَبِّ العَالَمِينَ،

30. And that he-SAAW is the Seal of the Prophets-SAAW and the Imam of the godfearing and the most honored of all the Messengers-AS and the Beloved of the Lord of all the worlds.

وَكُلُّ دَعْوَةِ نُبُوَّةٍ بَعْدَ نُبُوَّتِهِ فَغَيٌّ وَهَوَى؛

31. Every claim to Prophet-hood after him-SAAW is falsehood and deceit.

وَهُوَ المَبْعُوثُ إِلى عَامَّةِ الجِنِّ وَكَافَّةِ الوَرَى، المَبْعُوثِ بـِالحَقِّ وَالهُدَى

32. He-SAAW is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and all mankind with truth and guidance and with light and illumination.

وَإِنَّ القُرْآنَ كَلامُ اللَّهِ تَعَالى، بَدَأَ بـِلا كَيْفِيَّةٍ قَوْلاً، وَأَنْزَلَهُ عَلَى نَبـِيِّهِ وَحْياً، وَصَدَّقَهُ المُؤْمِنُونَ عَلَى ذلِكَ حَقَّــاً، وَأَيْقَنُوا أَنَّهُ كَلامُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى بـِالحَقِيقَةِ. لَيْسَ بـِمَخْلُوقٍ كَكَلامِ البَرِيَّةِ، فَمَنْ سَمِعَهُ فَزَعَمَ أَنَّهُ كَلامُ البَشَرِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ، وَقَدْ ذمَّهُ اللَّهُ تَعالَى وَعَابَهُ، وَأَوْعَدَهُ عَذابَهُ، حَيْثُ قَالَ:
سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ
فَلَمَّا أَوْعَدَ اللَّهُ سَقَرَ لِمَنْ قَالَ:
إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا قَوْلُ الْبَشَرِ
عَلِمْنا أَنَّهُ قَوْلُ خَالِقِ البَشَرِ، وَلا يُشْبـِهُ قَوْلَ البَشَرِ،

33. The Qur'an is the word of Allah-SWT. It came from Him-SWT as speech without it being possible to say how. He-SWT sent it down on His-SWT Messenger-SAAW as revelation. The believers accept it, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is, in truth, the word of Allah-SWT. 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-SWT warns him and censures him and threatens him with Fire when He-SWT says, Exalted is He-SWT: "I will burn him in the Fire." (al-Muddaththir 74:26) When Allah-SWT threatens with the Fire those who say "This is just human speech" (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.

وَمَنْ وَصَفَ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى بـِمَعْنَىً مِنْ مَعَانِي البَشَرِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ، فَمَنْ أَبْصَرَ هَذا اعْتَبَرَ، وَعَنْ مِثْلِ قَوْلِ الكُفَّارِ انْزَجَرَ، وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى بـِصِفَاتِهِ لَيْسَ كَالبَشَرِ.

34. Anyone who describes Allah-SWT 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-SWT, in His-SWT attributes, is not like human beings.

وَالرُّؤْيَةُ حَقٌّ لأَهْلِ الجَنَّةِ بـِغَيْرِ إِحَاطَةٍ وَلا كَيْفِيَّةٍ، كَمَا نَطَقَ بـِهِ كِتَابُ رَبِّـنَا حَيْثُ قَالَ:
وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نــَّاضِرَةٌ - إِلَى رَبـِّها نَاظِرَةٌ
وَتَفْسِيرُهُ عَلَى مَا أَرَادَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى وَعَلِمَهُ، وَكُلُّ مَا جَاءَ فِي ذلِكَ مِنَ الحَدِيثِ الصَّحِيحِ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعَنْ أَصْحَابـِهِ رِضْوانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَجْمَعِينَ فَهُوَ كَمَا قَالَ، وَمَعْنَاهُ وَتَفْسِيرُهُ عَلَى مَا أَرَادَ، لا نَدْخُلُ فِي ذلِكَ مُتَأَوِّلِينَ بـِآرائِنَا وَلا مُتَوَهِّمِينَ بـِأَهْوَائِنا، فَإِنَّهُ مَا سَلِمَ فِي دِينِهِ إِلاَّ مَنْ سَلَّمَ لِلَّهِ تَعَالى وَلِرَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ; وَرَدَّ عِلْمَ مَا اشْتَبَهَ عَلَيْهِ إِلَى عَالِمِهِ،

35. The Seeing of Allah-SWT 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-Qiyama 75:22-3) The explanation of this is as Allah-SWT knows and wills. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Messenger-SAAW, may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him peace, in authentic traditions, is as he-SAAW said and means what he-SAAW 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-SWT, the Exalted and Glorified and to His-SWT Messenger-SAAW, may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him-SAAW peace, and leaves the knowledge of things that are ambiguous to the one who knows them.

وَلا يَثْبُتُ قَدَمُ الإِسْلامِ إِلاَّ عَلَى ظَهْرِ التَّسْليمِ وَالاسْتِسْلامِ، فَمَنْ رَامَ عِلْمَ مَا حُظِرَ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَمْ يَقْنَعْ بـِالتَّسْليمِ فَهْمُهُ، حَجَبَهُ مَرَامُهُ عَنْ خَالِصِ التَّوْحيدِ، وَصَافِي المَعْرِفَةِ، وَصَحِيحِ الإِيمَانِ، فَيَتَذبْذبُ بَيْنَ الكُفْرِ وَالإِيْمَانِ، وَالتَّكْذِيبِ، وَالإِقْرَارِ وَالإِنْكَارِ، مُوَسْوَسَاً تَائِهَاً، زَائِغَاً شَاكَّــاً، لاَ مُؤْمِنَاً مُصَدِّقاً، وَلاَ جَاحِداً مُكَذِّباً.

36. 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-SWT'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 whispering and find himself confused and full of doubt, being neither an accepting believer nor a denying rejector.

وَلا يَصِحُّ الإِيمَانُ بـِالرُّؤْيَةِ لأَهْلِ دَارِ السَّلامِ لِمَنْ اعْتَبَرَهَا مِنْهُمْ بـِوَهْمٍ، أَوْ تَأَوَّلَهَا بـِفَهْمٍ، إِذا كَانَ تَأْوِيلُ الرُّؤْيَةِ وَتَأْوِيلُ كُلِّ مَعْنىً يُضَافُ إِلَى الرُّبُوبـِيَّةِ تَرْكَ التَأْويلِ وَلُزُومَ التَّسْلِيمِ، وَعَلَيْهِ دِينُ المُرْسَلينَ وَشَرَائِعُ النَّبـِيِّـينَ. وَمَنْ لَمْ يَتَوَقَّ النَّفْيَ وَالتَّشْبيهِ زَلَّ، وَلَمْ يُصِبِ التَّنْزِيهَ؛ فَإِنَّ رَبَّنا جَلَّ وَعَلا مَوْصُوفٌ بـِصِفَاتِ الوَحْدَانِيَّةِ، مَنْعُوتٌ بـِنُعُوتِ الفَرْدَانِيَّةِ، لَيْسَ بـِمَعْناهُ أَحَدٌ مِنَ البَرِيَّةِ،

37. Belief of a man in the seeing of Allah-SWT 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. Anyone who does not guard himself against negating the attributes of Allah-SWT, or likening Allah-SWT to something else, has gone astray and has failed to understand Allah-SWT'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-SWT.

تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنِ الحُدُودِ وَالغَاياتِ، وَالأَرْكانِ وَالأَدَواتِ، لا تَحْوِيهِ الجِهَاتُ السِّتُّ كَسَائِرِ المُبْتَدَعاتِ.

38. He-SWT is beyond having limits placed on Him-SWT, or being restricted, or having parts or limbs. Nor is He-SWT contained by the six directions as all created things are.

وَالمِعْرَاجُ حَقٌّ. وَقَدْ أُسْرِيَ بـِالنَّبـِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَعُرِجَ بـِشَخْصِهِ فِي الْيَقَظَةِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، ثُمَّ إِلَى حَيْثُ شَاءَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى مِنَ العُلَى، وَأَكْرَمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بـِمَا شَاءَ،
فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى (مَا کذب الفواد ما رای) فصلی اللھ علیھ وسلم فِی الاخرۃ والاولی

39. Al-Mi`raj (the Ascent through the heavens) is true. The Prophet-SAAW, may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him-SAAW peace, was taken by night and ascended in his bodily form, while awake, through the heavens, to whatever heights Allah-SWT willed for him-SAAW. Allah-SWT ennobled him-SAAW in the way that He-SWT ennobled him-SAAW and revealed to him-SAAW what He-SWT revealed to him-SAAW, "and his-SAAW heart was not mistaken about what it saw" (al-Najm 53:11). Allah-SWT blessed him-SAAW and granted him-SAAW peace in this world and the next.

وَالْحَوْضُ الَّذِيْ أَكْرَمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بـِهِ غِيَاثَاً لأُمَّتِهِ حَقٌّ

40. Al-Hawd, the Pool which Allah-SWT has granted the Prophet-SAAW as an honour to quench the thirst of his-SAAW Community on the Day of Judgement, is true.

وَالشَّفَاعَةُ الَّتِي ادَّخَرَهَا اللَّهُ لَهُمْ كَمَا رُوِيَ فِيْ الأَخْبَارِ

41. Al-Shafa`a, the intercession which is stored up for Muslims, is true, as related in the hadiths.

وَالْمِيْثَاقُ الَّذِيْ أَخَذهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى مِنْ آدَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَذُرِّيَّتِهِ حَقٌّ.

42. The covenant which Allah-SWT made with Adam-AS and his offspring is true.

وَقَدْ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِيْمَا لَمْ يَزَلْ عَدَدَ مَنْ يَدْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ، وَيَدْخُلِ النَّارَ جُمْلَةً وَاحِدَةً، لا يُزَادُ فِيْ ذلِكَ العَدَدِ وَلا يَنْقُصُ مِنْهُ؛

43. Allah-SWT 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.

وَكَذلِكَ أَفْعَالَهُمْ، فِيْمَا عَلِمَ مِنْهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ يَفْعَلُونَهُ. وَكُلٌّ مُيَسَّرٌ لِمَا خُلِقَ لَهُ. ۔ وَالاعمال بالخواتیم۔ والسعید من سعد بقضاءاللھ ، الشقی من شقی بقضاءاللھ

44. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah-SWT knew they would be done. Everyone is eased towards 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-SWT, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah-SWT.

وَأَصْلُ الْقَدَرِ سِرُّ اللَّهِ فِي خَلْقِهِ، لَمْ يَطَّلِعْ عَلَى ذلِكَ مَلَكٌ مُقَرَّبٌ، وَلا نَبـِيٌّ مُرْسَلٌ. وَالتَّعَمُّقُ وَالنَّظَرُ فِيْ ذلِكَ ذرِيْعَةُ الخِذلانِ، وَسُلَّمُ الْحِرْمَانِ، وَدَرَجَةُ الطُّغْيَانِ. فَالْحَذَرَ كُلَّ الْحَذَرِ مِنْ ذلِكَ نَظَراً أَوْ فِكْراً أَوْ وَسْوَسَةً؛ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَىْ طَوَىْ عِلْمَ الْقَدَرِ عَنْ أَنَامِهِ، وَنَهَاهُمْ عَنْ مَرَامِهِ، كَما قالَ في كِتابـِهِ:
لاَ يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يـَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يـُسْأَلــُوْنَ
. فَمَنْ سَأَلَ: لِمَ فَعَلَ؟ فَقَدْ رَدَّ حُكْمَ كِتابِ اللَّهِ، وَمَنْ رَدَّ حُكْمَ كِتابِ اللَّهِ تَعالى كَانَ مِنَ الكافِرينَ.

45. The exact nature of the decree is Allah-SWT's secret in His-SWT creation, and no angel-AS near the Throne, nor Prophet-AS 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-SWT 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).

Therefore, anyone who questions: "Why did Allah-SWT do that?" has gone against a judgement of the Book, and anyone who goes against a judgement of the Book is an unbeliever.

فَهذا جُمْلَةُ ما يَحْتاجُ إِلَيْهِ مَنْ هُوَ مُنَوَّرٌ قَلْبُهُ مِنْ أَوْلِياءِ اللَّهِ تَعالى، وَهِيَ دَرَجَةُ الرَّاسِخينَ في العِلْمِ؛ لأَنَّ العِلْمَ عِلْمانِ:
عِلْمٌ في الخَلْقِ مَوْجودٌ، وَعِلْمٌ في الخَلْقِ مَفْقودٌ؛ فَإِنْكارُ العِلْمِ المَوْجودِ كُفْرٌ، وَادِّعاءُ العِلْمِ المَفْقودِ كُفْرٌ.
وَلا يَصِحُّ الإِيمانُ إِلاَّ بـِقَبولِ العِلْمِ المَوْجودِ، وَتَرْكِ طَلَبِ العِلْمِ المَفْقودِ.

46. This in sum is what those of Allah-SWT's Friends (Aulia) with enlightened hearts (glowing/illuminated 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 the inaccessible is not sought after.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بـِاللَّوْحِ، وَالقَلَمِ، بـِجَميعِ ما فيهِ قَدْ رُقِمَ. فَلَوِ اجْتَمَعَ الْخَلْقُ كُلُّهُمْ عَلى شَيْءٍ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ فيهِ أَنَّهُ كائِنٌ لِيَجْعَلوهُ غَيْرَ كائِنٍ لَمْ يَقْدِروا عَلَيْهِ. جَفَّ القَلَمُ بـِما هُوَ كائِنٌ إِلى يَوْمِ القِيامَةِ. وَما أَخْطَـأَ العَبْدَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُصيبَهُ، وَما أَصابَهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُخْطِئَهُ.

 47. We believe in al-Lawh (the Tablet) and al-Qalam (the Pen) and in everything written on the former. Even if all created beings were to gather together to make something fail to exist, whose existence Allah-SWT 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-SWT 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.

وَعَلى العَبْدِ أَنْ يَعْلَمَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ سَبَقَ عِلْمُهُ في كُلِّ شَيْءٍ كائِنٍ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ، وَقَدَّرَ ذلِكَ بـِمَشيئَتِهِ تَقْديراً مُحْكَماً مُبْرَماً، لَيْسَ فيهِ ناقِضٌ وَلا مُعَقِّبٌ، وَلا مُزيلٌ وَلا مُغَـيِّرٌ، وَلا مُحَوِّلٌ، وَلا زَائِدٌ وَلا ناقِصٌ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ في سَماواتِهِ وَأَرْضِهِ. وَذلِكَ مِنْ عَقْدِ الإِيمانِ وَأُصولِ المَعْرِفَةِ، وَالاعْتِرافِ بـِتَوْحيدِ اللَّهِ وَرُبوبـِيَّتِهِ؛ كَما قالَ تَعالى في كِتابـِهِ العَزيزِ:
وَخَلَقَ كــُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تــَقْدِيــْرَاً
وَقالَ تَعالى:
وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللهِ قَدَرَاً مَقْدُورَاً
. فَوَيْلٌ لِمَنْ صارَ لَهُ اللَّهُ في القَدَرِ خَصيماً، وَأَحْضَرَ لِلنَّظَرِ فيهِ قَلْباً سَقيماً، لَقَدِ الْتَمَسَ بـِوَهْمِهِ في مَحْضَ الْغَيْبِ سِرَّاً كَتيماً، وَعادَ بـِما قَال فيهِ أَفَّـاكاً أَثيماً.

48. It is necessary for the servant to know that Allah-SWT already knows everything that is going to happen in His-SWT creation and has decreed it in a detailed and decisive way. There is nothing that He-SWT 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-SWT's oneness and Lordship. As Allah-SWT says in His Book: "He-SWT created everything and decreed it in a detailed way." (al-Furqan 25: 2) And He-SWT also says: "Allah-SWT's command is always a decided decree." (al-Ahzab 33: 38) So woe to anyone who argues with Allah-SWT concerning the decree and who, with a sick heart, starts delving into this matter. 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.

وَالعَرْشُ وَالكُرْسِيُّ حَقٌّ

49. Al-`Arsh (the Throne) and al-Kursi (the Chair) are true.

وَهُوَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مُسْتَغْنٍ عَنِ العَرْشِ وَما دونَهُ،

50. He-SWT is independent of the Throne and that which is beneath it.

مُحيطٌ بـِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَبـِما فَوْقَهُ، قَدْ أَعْجَزَ عَنِ الإِحاطَةِ خَلْقَهُ.

51. He-SWT encompasses all things and that which is above it, and what He-SWT has created is incapable of encompassing Him-SWT.

وَنَقولُ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ اتَّخَذ َ إِبْراهيمَ خَليلاً، وَكَلَّمَ موسى تَكْليماً، إِيماناً وَتَصْديقاً وَتَسْليماً.

52. We say with belief, acceptance and submission that Allah took Ibrahim-AS as an intimate friend and that He spoke directly to Musa-AS.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بـِالمَلائِكَةِ وَالنَّبـِيِّـينَ، وَالكُتُبِ المُنْزَلَةِ عَلى المُرْسَلينَ. وَنَشْهَدُ أَنَّهُم كانوا عَلى الحَقِّ المُبينِ.

53. We believe in the angels-AS, and the Prophets-AS, and the books which were revealed to the messengers-AS, and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.

وَنُسَمِّي أَهْلَ قِبْلَتِنا مُسْلِمينَ مُؤْمِنينَ ما دامُوا بـِما جاءَ بـِهِ النَّبـِيُّ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاةُ وَالسَّلامُ مُعْتَرِفينَ، وَلَهُ بـِكُلِّ ما قالَ وَأَخْبَرَ مُصَدِّقينَ غَيْرَ مُكَذبِّينَ.

54. We call the people of our qibla Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Prophet-SAAW, may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him peace, brought, and accept as true everything that he-SAAW said and told us about.

وَلا نَخوضُ في اللَّهِ،  وَلا نُماري في دينِ اللَّهِ تَعالى.

55. We do not enter into vain talk about Allah-SWT  nor do we allow any dispute about the religion of Allah-SWT.

وَلا نُجادِلُ في القُرْآنِ؛ وَنَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ كَلامُ رَبِّ العالَمينَ، نَزَلَ بـِهِ الرُّوحُ الأَمينُ، فَعَلَّمَهُ سَيِّدَ المُرْسَلينَ، مُحَمَّداً صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلى آلِهِ وَصَحْبـِهِ أَجْمَعينَ. وَكلامُ اللَّهِ تَعالى لا يُساويهِ شَيْءٌ مِنْ كَلامِ المَخْلوقينَ. وَلا نَقولُ بـِخَلْقِ القُرْآنِ؛ وَلا نُخالِفُ جَماعَةَ المُسْلِمينَ.

56. 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-AS, Muhammad-SAAW, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. It is the speech of Allah-SWT 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 Congregation (jama`a) of the Muslims regarding it.

ولا نكفرأحداً من أهل القبلة بذنب ، ما لم يستحله

57. 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.

ولا نَقولُ: لا يَضُرُّ مَعَ الإِسْلامِ ذنْبٌ لِمَنْ عَمِلَهُ؛

58. Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief does not have a harmful effect on him.

وَنَرْجو لِلْمُحْسِنينَ مِنَ المُؤْمِنينَ، وَلا نَأْمَنُ عَلَيْهِمْ، وَلا نَشْهَدُ لَهُمْ بالجَنَّةِ، وَنَسْتَغْفِرُ لِمُسيئِهمْ. وَنَخافُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا نُقَنِّطُهُمْ.

59. We hope that Allah-SWT  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.

وَالأَمْنُ وَالإِياسُ يَنْقُلانِ عَنِ المِلَّةِ؛ وَسَبيلُ الحَقِّ بَيْنَهُما لأَهْلِ القِبْلَةِ،

60. Certainty and despair both remove one from the religion, but the path of truth for the People of the Qibla lies between the two.

وَلا يَخْرُجُ العَبْدُ مِنَ الإِيمانِ إِلاَّ بِجُحودِ ما أَدْخَلَهُ فيهِ.

61. A person does not step out or belief except by disavowing what brought him into it.

وَالإِيمانُ هُوَ الإِقْرارُ بِاللِّسانِ وَالتَّصْديقُ بِالجَنانِ،

62. Belief consists of affirmation by the tongue and acceptance by the heart.

وَأَنَّ جَميعَ ما أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ في القُرْآنِ، وَجَميعَ ما صَحَّ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنَ الشَّرْعِ وَالبَيانِ كُلُّهُ حَقٌّ.

63. And the whole of what is proven from the Prophet-SAAW, upon him be peace, regarding the Shari`a and the explanation (of the Qur'an and of Islam) is true.

وَالایمان واحد واھلھ فَی اصلھ سواء۔ والتفاضل بینھم بالتقوی ومخالفۃ الھوی و ملازمۃ الاولی

64. 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-SWT , their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to Allah-SWT .

وَالمُؤْمِنونَ كُلُّهُمْ أَوْلِياءُ الرَّحْمنِ، وَأَكْرَمُهُمْ أَطْوَعُهُمْ وَأَتْبَعُهُمْ لِلْقُرْآنِ

65. All the believers are Friends of Allah-SWT  and the noblest of them in the sight of Allah-SWT  are those who are the most obedient and who most closely follow the Qur'an.

وَالإِيمانُ: هُوَ الإِيمانُ باللَّهِ وَمَلائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبهِ وُرُسُلِهِ وَاليَوْمِ الآخِرِ، وَالبَعْثِ بَعْدَ المَوْتِ، وَالقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ؛ وَحُلْوُهِ وَمُرُّهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ تَعالى.

66. Belief consists of belief in Allah-SWT , His angels-AS, His books, His Messengers-AS, 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-SWT .

وَنَحْنُ مُؤْمِنونَ بذلِكَ كُلِّهِ، وَلا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ رُسُلِهِ، وَنُصَدِّقُهُمْ كُلَّهُمْ عَلى ما جاءوا بهِ.

67. We believe in all these things. We do not make any distinction between any of the Messengers-AS, we accept as true what all of them brought.

وَأَهْلُ الكَبائِرِ مْنْ أُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم في النَّارِ لا يُخَلَّدونَ إِذا ماتوا، وَهُمْ مُوْحِّدونَ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكونُوا تائِبينَ بَعْدَ أَنْ لَقُوا اللَّهَ عارِفينَ مُؤْمِنينَ، وَهُمْ في مَشيئَتِهِ وُحْكْمِهِ إِنْ شاءَ غَفَرَ لَهُمْ، وَعَفا عَنْهُمْ بفَضْلِهِ، كَما قالَ تَعالى في كِتابهِ العَزيزِ: إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَغْفِرُ أَنْ يُشْرَكَ بهِ وَيغْفِرُ مَا دُوْنَ ذلكَ لِمَنْ يشَاءُ
وَإِنْ شاءَ عَذبَّهُمْ في النَّارِ بقَدْرِ جنايَتِهِمْ بعَدْلِهِ، ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنْها برَحْمَتِهِ وَشَفاعَةِ الشَّافِعينَ مِنْ أَهْلِ طاعَتِهِ، ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُهُمْ إِلى جَنَّتِهِ، وَذلِكَ بأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلى أَهْلِ مَعْرِفِتِهِ، وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْهُمْ في الدَّارَيْنِ كَأَهْل نُكْرَتِهِ الَّذينَ خابُوا مِنْ هِدايَتِهِ، وَلَمْ يَنالُوا مِنْ وِلايَتِهِ. اللَّهُمَّ يا وَلِيَّ الإِسْلامِ وَأَهْلِهِ مَسِّكْنا بالإِسْلامِ حَتَّى نَلْقاكَ بهِ.

68. Those of the Community of Muhammad-SAAW, 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-SWT as believers affirming His-SWT unity even if they have not repented. They are subject to His-SWT will and judgement.

If He-SWT wants, He-SWT will forgive them and pardon them out of His-SWT generosity, as is mentioned in the Qur'an when He-SWT says: "And He-SWT forgives anything less than that (shirk) to whomever He-SWT wills" (al-Nisa' 4: 116); if He-SWT wants, He-SWT will punish them in the Fire out of His-SWT justice, and then bring them out of the Fire through His-SWT mercy, and for the intercession of those who were obedient to Him-SWT, and send them to the Garden.

This is because Allah-SWT is the Protector of those who recognize Him-SWT and will not treat them in the hereafter in the same way as He-SWT treats those who deny Him-SWT, who are bereft of His-SWT guidance and have failed to obtain His-SWT protection. O Allah-SWT, You-SWT are the Protector-SWT of Islam and its people; make us firm in Islam until the day we meet You-SWT.

ونری الصلاۃ خلف کل بر وفاجر من اھل القبلۃ ، ونصلی من مات منھم

69. 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.

ولا ننزل احداً منھم جنۃ ولا ناراً ، ولا نشھد علیھم بکفر ولا شرک ولا نفاق مالم یظھر منھم من ذلک شیء ، و نذر سراءرھم الی اللہ تعالی

70. 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-SWT), or nifaq (hypocrisy), as long as they have not openly demonstrated any of those things. We leave their secrets to Allah-SWT.

ولا نری السیف علی احداً من امۃ محمد الا من وجب علیھ السیف

71. We do not agree with killing any of the Community of Muhammad-SAAW, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, unless it is obligatory by Shari`a to do so.

ولا نری الخروج علی ائمتنا و ولاۃ امورنا وان جاروا ولا ندعو علی احداً منھم ، ولا ننزع یدا من طاعتھم من طاعۃ فریضۃ مالم یامروا بمعصیۃ وندعو لھم بالصلاح والمعافاۃ

72. We do not accept 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-SWT, the Glorified, and therefore obligatory as long as they do not order to commit sins. We pray for their right guidance and ask for pardon for their wrongs.

وَنَتَّبعُ السُّنَّةَ وَالجَماعَةَ، وَنَجْتَنِبُ الشُّذوذ َ وَالخِلافَ وَالفُرْقَةَ

73. We follow the Sunna of the Prophet-SAAW and the Congregation of the Muslims (Khair-ul-Quroon), and avoid deviation, differences and divisions.

وَنُحِبُّ أَهْلَ العَدْلِ وَالأَمانَةِ، وَنُبْغِضُ أَهْلَ الجَوْرِ وَالخِيانَةِ

74. We love the people of justice and trustworthiness, and hate the people of injustice and treachery.

ونقول اللھ اعلم فیما اشتبھ علینا علمھ

75. When our knowledge about something is unclear, we say: "Allah-SWT knows best."

وَنَرى المَسْحَ عَلى الخُفَّيْنِ في السَّفَرِ وَالحَضَرِ، كَما جاءَ في الأَثَرِ

76. We agree with wiping over leather socks (in ablution) whether on a journey or otherwise, just as has come in the hadiths.

وَالحَجُّ وَالجهادُ فَرْضانِ ماضِيانِ مَعَ أُوْلي الأَمْرِ مِنْ أَئِمَّةِ المُسْلِمينَ بَرِّهِمْ وَفاجرِهِمْ لا يُبْطِلُهُما شَيْءٌ، وَلا يَنْقُضُهُما.

77. 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.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بالكِرامِ الكاتِبينَ، وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ جَعَلَهُمْ حافِظينَ

78. We believe in the the noble angels-AS who write down our actions, for Allah-SWT has appointed them over us as two guardians.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بمَلَكَ المَوْتِ المُوَكَّلِ بقَبْضِ أَرْواحِ العالَمينَ.

79. We believe in the Angel-AS of Death who is in charge of taking the spirits of all the worlds.

وَبعذابِ القَبْرِ لِمَنْ كانَ لَهُ أَهْلاً.
وَبسُؤالِ مُنْكَرٍ وَنَكيرٍ لِلمَيِّتِ في قَبْرِهِ عَنْ رَبِّهِ وَدينِهِ وَنَبيِّهِ، عَلى ما جاءَتْ بهِ الأَخْبارُ عَنْ رَسولِ رَبهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، وَعَنِ الصَّحابَةِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ أَجْمَعينَ.

80. 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 the hadiths from the Messenger-SAAW of Allah-SWT, may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him peace, and in reports from the Companions-RAU, may Allah-SWT be pleased with them all.

وَالقَبْرُ رَوْضَةٌ مِنْ رِياضِ الجَنَّةِ أَوْ حُفْرَةٌ مِنْ حُفَرِ النَّارِ.

81. The grave is either one of the meadows of the Garden or one of the pits of the Fire.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بالبَعْثِ وَبجزاءِ الأَعْمالِ يَوْمَ القِيامَةِ، وَالعَرْضِ وَالحِسابِ، وَقِراءَةِ الكِتابِ، وَالثَّوابِ وَالعِقابِ، وَالصِّراطِ.
وَالميزانِ يُوزَنُ بهِ أَعْمالُ المُؤْمِنينَ مِنْ الخَيْرِ وَالشَّرِّ وَالطَّاعَةِ وَالمَعْصِيَةِ.

82. We believe in being brought back to life after death and in being recompensed for our actions on the Day of Judgement, and the exhibition of works, and the reckoning, and the reading of the book, and the reward or punishments, and the Bridge, and the Balance; and the deeds of the Muslims, good evil obedient and disobedient are weighed by it.

وَالجَنَّةُ وَالنَّارُ مَخْلوقَتانِ لا يَفْنَيانِ، وَلا يَبيدانِ.
وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعالى خَلَقَ الجَنَّةَ وَالنَّارَ، وَخَلَقَ لَهُما أَهْلاً.
فَمَنْ شاءَ إِلى الجَنَّةِ أَدْخَلَهُ فَضْلاً مِنْهُ، وَمَنْ شاءَ مِنْهُمْ إِلى النَّارِ أَدْخَلَهُ عَدْلاً مِنْهُ.
وَكُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ لِما قَدْ فُرِغَ مِنْهُ، وَصائِرٌ إِلى ما خُلِقَ لَهُ.

83. The Garden and the Fire are created things that never come to an end and we believe that Allah-SWT created them before the rest of creation and then created people to inhabit each of them. Whoever He-SWT wills goes to the Garden out of His-SWT bounty and whoever He-SWT wills goes to the Fire through His-SWT justice. Everybody acts in accordance with what is destined for him and goes towards what he has been created for.

وَالخَيْرُ وَالشَّرُ مُقَدَّرانِ عَلى العِبادِ،

84. Good and evil have both been decreed for people.

وَالاسْتِطاعَةُ الَّتي يَجبُ بها الفِعْلُ مِنْ نَحْوِ التَّوْفيقِ الَّذي لا يَجُوزُ أَنْ يُوْصَفَ المَخْلوقُ بها تَكونُ مَعَ الفِعْلِ، وَأَمَّا الاسْتِطاعَةُ مِنَ الصِّحْةِ وَالْوُسْعِ وَالتَّمَكُّنِ، وَسلامَةِ الآلاتِ فَهِيَ قَبْلَ الفِعْلِ، وَبها يَتَعَلَّقُ الخِطابُ، وَهُوَ كَما قالَ اللَّهُ تَعالى:
لاَ يكَلفُ الْلَّهُ نفْسَاً إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا

85. The capability in terms of divine grace and favor 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 the Shari`a. Allah-SWT the Exalted says: "Allah-SWT does not charge a person except according to his ability." (al-Baqara 2: 286)

وَأَفْعالُ العِبادِ هِيَ بخَلْقِ اللَّهِ تَعالى وَكَسْبٍ مِنَ العِبادِ.

86. People's actions are created by Allah-SWT but earned by people .

ولم يكلفهم الله تعالى إلا ما يطيقون ، ولا يطيقون إلا ماكلفهم . وهو تفسير لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله ، نقول : لا حيلة لأحد ، [ ولا تحول لأحد ] ، ولا حركة لأحد عن معصية الله ، الا بمعونة الله ، ولا قوة لأحد على إقامة طاعة الله والثبات عليها إلا بتوفيق الله .

87. Allah-SWT, the Exalted, has only charged people with what they are able to do and people are only capable of doing what Allah-SWT has granted them to do. This is the explanation of the phrase: "There is no power and no strength except by Allah-SWT." We add to this that there is no stratagem or way by which anyone can avoid or escape disobedience to Allah except with Allah-SWT's help; nor does anyone have the strength to put obedience to Allah-SWT into practice and remain firm in it, except if Allah-SWT makes it possible for him to do so.

وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ يَجْري بمَشيئَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَعِلْمِهِ وَقَضائِهِ وَقَدَرَهِ.
غَلَبَتْ مَشيئَتُهُ المَشيئاتِ كُلَّها، وَغَلَبَ قَضاؤُهُ الحِيَلَ كُلَّها، يَفْعَلُ ما شاءَ وَهُوَ غَيْرُ ظالِمٍ أَبَداً.
تَقَدَّسَ عَنْ كُلِّ سُوءٍ، وَتَنَزَّهَ عَنْ كُلِّ عَيْبٍ وَشَيْنٍ،
( لاَ يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يسْأَلوْنَ )

88. Everything happens according to Allah-SWT's will, knowledge, predestination and decree. His-SWT will overpowers all other wills and His-SWT decree overpowers all stratagems. He-SWT does whatever He-SWT wills and He-SWT is never unjust. He-SWT is exalted in His-SWT purity above any evil or perdition and He-SWT is perfect far beyond any fault or flaw. "He-SWT will not be asked about what He-SWT does, but they will be asked." (al-Anbiya' 21: 23)

وَفي دُعاءِ الأَحْياءِ للأَمْواتِ وَصَدَقَتَهِمْ مَنْفَعَةٌ لِلأَمْواتِ

89. There is benefit for dead people in the supplication and alms-giving of the living.

وَاللَّهُ تَعالى يَسْتَجيبُ الدَّعَواتِ، وَيَقْضي الحاجاتِ،

90. Allah-SWT responds to people's supplications and gives them what they ask for.

وَيَمْلِكُ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ، وَلا يَمْلِكُهُ شَيْءٌ
وَلا يُسْتَغْنى عَنِ اللَّهِ تَعالى طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ، وَمَنِ اسْتَغْنَى عَنِ اللَّهِ طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ، وَصارَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الخُسْرانِ.

91. Allah-SWT has absolute control over everything and nothing has any control over Him-SWT. Nothing can be independent of Allah-SWT even for the blinking of an eye, and whoever considers himself independent of Allah-SWT for the blinking of an eye is guilty of disbelief and becomes one of the people of perdition.

وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعالى يَغْضَبُ وَيَرْضَى لا كَأَحَدٍ مِنَ الوَرَى

92. Allah-SWT is angered and He-SWT is pleased but not in the same way as any creature.

وَنُحِبُ أَصْحابَ النَّبيِّ وَلا نُفَرِّطُ في حُبِ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ، وَلا نَتَبَرَّأُ مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ. وَنُبْغِضُ مَنْ يُبْغِضُهُمْ، وَبغَيْرِ الْحَقِ لا نَذكُرُهُمْ؛ وَنَرى حُبَّهُمْ ديناً وَإِيماناً وَإِحْساناً، وَبُغْضَهُمْ كُفْراً وَشِقاقاً وَنِفاقاً وَطُغْياناً.

93. We love the Companions_RAU of the Messenger-SAAW of Allah-SWT 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 behavior, while hatred of them is disbelief, hypocrisy and rebellion.

وَنُثْبتُ الخِلافَةَ بَعْدَ النَّبيِّ أَوَّلاً لأَبي بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ تَفْضيلاً وَتَقْديماً عَلَى جَميعِ الأُمَّةِ، ثُمَّ لِعُمَرَ بْنِ الخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، ثُمَّ لِعُثْمانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، ثُمَّ لِعَلِيٍّ بْنِ أَبي طالِبٍ رِضْوانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَجْمَعينَ. وَهُمُ الخُلَفاءُ الرَّاشِدونَ، وَالأَئِمَّةُ المَهْدِيُّونَ، الَّذينَ قَضَوْا بالحَقِّ وَكانُوا بهِ يَعْدِلونَ.

94. We confirm that, after the death of Allah-SWT's Messenger-SAAW, peace be upon him, the caliphate went first to Abu Bakr al-Siddiq-RAU, thus proving his excellence and superiority over the rest of the Muslims; then to `Umar ibn al-Khattab-RAU; then to `Uthman-RAU; and then to `Ali-RAU ibn Abi Talib; may Allah be well pleased with all of them. These are the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and upright leaders.

وَإِنَّ العَشَرَةَ الَّذينَ سَمَّاهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ . نَشْهَدُ لَهُمْ بالجَنَّةِ كَما شَهِدَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ. وَقَوْلُهُ الحَقِّ، وَهُمْ: أَبو بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرُ وَعُثْمانُ وَعَلِيٌ وَطَلْحَةُ وَالزُّبَيْرُ وَسَعْدٌ وَسَعيدٌ وَعَبْدُ الرَّحْمنِ بْنُ عَوْفٍ وَأَبو عُبَيْدَةَ بْنُ الجَرَّاحِ، وَهُوَ أَمينُ هذِهِ الأُمَّةِ رِضْوانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَجْمَعينَ.

95. We bear witness that the ten who were named by the Messenger-SAAW of Allah-SWT, may Allah-SWT bless him and grant him peace, and who were promised the Garden by him-SAAW, will be in the Garden, as the Messenger-SAAW of Allah-SWT, peace be upon him, whose word is truth, bore witness that they would be. The ten are: Abu Bakr-RAU, `Umar-RAU, `Uthman-RAU, `Ali-RAU, Talha-RAU, Zubayr-RAU, Sa`d-RAU, Sa`id-RAU, `Abd al-Rahman-RAU ibn `Awf, and Abu `Ubayda-RAU ibn al-Jarrah whose title was the Trustee of this Community, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنَ القَوْلَ في أَصْحابِ النَّبيِّ وَأِزْوَاجهِ وَذرِّيَّاتِهِ فَقَدْ بَرِئَ مِنَ النِّفاقِ

96. Anyone who speaks well of the Companions of the Messenger-SAAW of Allah-SWT, may Allah-SWT bless him-SAAW and grant him-SAAW peace, and his-SAAW wives and offspring, who are all pure and untainted by any impurity, is free from the accusation of hypocrisy.

وَعُلَماءُ السَّلَفِ مِنَ الصَّالِحينَ وَالتَّابعينَ وَمَنْ بَعْدَهُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الخَيْرِ وَالأَثَرِ، وَأَهْلِ الفِقْهِ وَالنَّظَرِ، لا يُذكَرُونَ إِلاَّ بالجَميلِ، وَمَنْ ذكَرَهُمْ بسوءٍ فَهُوَ عَلى غَيْرِ السَّبيلِ.

97. The learned men of the Predecessors, both the first community and those who immediately followed (Khair-ul-Quroon: Sahabah, Tabaee, Taba Tabaeen): the people of virtue, the narrators of hadith, the jurists, and the analysts-- they must only be spoken of in the best way, and anyone who says anything bad about them is not on the right path.

وَلا نُفَضِّلُ أَحَداً مِنَ الأَوْلِياءِ عَلى أَحَدٍ مِنَ الأَنْبياءِ. وَنَقولُ: نَبيٌّ واحِدٌ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ جَميعِ الأَوْلِياءِ،

98. We do not prefer any of the saintly men among the Community over any of the Prophets-AS but rather we say that any one of the Prophets-AS is better than all the Awliya' put together.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بما جاءَ مِنْ كَراماتِهِمْ، وَصَحَّ عَنِ الثِّقاتِ مِنْ رِوايَتِهِمْ

99. We believe in what we know of the karamat or marvels of the Awliya' and in the authentic stories about them from trustworthy sources.

وَنُؤْمِنُ بأَشْراطِ السَّاعَةِ مِنْها: خُروجُ الدَّجَّالِ، وَنُزولُ عيسى عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مِنَ السَّماءِ، وَبطُلوعِ الشَّمْسِ مِنْ مَغْرِبها، وَخُروجِ دَابَّةِ الأَرْضِ مِنْ مَوْضِعِها.

100. We believe in the signs of the Hour such as the appearance of the Antichrist (dajjal) and the descent of `Isa ibn Maryam-AS, 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.

وَلا نُصَدِّقُ كاهِناً وَلا عَرَّافاً، وَلا مَنْ يَدَّعي شَيْئاً بخِلافِ الكِتابِ وَالسُّنَّةِ وَإِجْماعِ الأُمَّةِ.

101. 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 Sunna, and the consensus of the Muslim Community (Khair-ul-Quroon, Fuqaha, the learned scholars, and Aulia).

وَنَرى الجَماعَةَ حَقَّاً وَصَواباً، وَالفُرْقَةَ زَيْغاً وَعَذاباً.

102. We agree that holding together is the true and right path and that separation is deviation and torment.

وَدِينُ اللَّهِ في السَّماءِ وَالأَرْضِ واحِدٌ وَهُوَ دِينُ الإِسْلامِ، كَما قالَ اللَّه تَعالى:
إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ الْلَّهِ الإِسْلامُ
، وَقالَ تَعالى:
وَمَنْ يبْتغِ غَيْرَ الإِسْلامِ دِينَاً فَلَنْ يقْبَلَ مِنْهُ
، وَقالَ تَعالى:
وَرَضِيْتُ لكُمُ الإِسْلامَ دِينَاً

103. There is only one religion of Allah-SWT in the heavens and the earth and that is the religion of Islam ("submission"). Allah-SWT says: "Surely religion in the sight of Allah-SWT is Islam." (Al `Imran 3: 19) And He-SWT also says: "I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you." (al-Ma'ida 5: 3)

وَهُوَ بَيْنَ الغُلُوِّ وَالتَّقْصيرِ، وَالتَّشْبيهِ وَالتَّعْطيلِ، وَالجَبْرِ وَالقَدَرِ، وَالأَمْنِ وَاليَأْسِ.

104. Islam lies between going to excess and falling short, between the likening of Allah-SWT's attributes to creation (tashbih) and divesting Allah-SWT of attributes (ta`til), between determinism and freewill, and between sureness and despair.

فَهذا دِينُنا وَاعْتِقادُنا، ظاهِراً وَباطِناً.
وَنَحْنُ نَبْرَأُ إِلى اللَّهِ تَعالى مِمَّنْ خالَفَ الَّذي ذكَرْناهُ، وَبَيَّناهُ.

105. This is our religion and it is what we believe in, both inwardly and outwardly, and we renounce any connection, before Allah-SWT, 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; who go against the Sunna and Jama`a 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.

Imam Abu Ja`far al-Tahawi:

Imam Abu Ja`far al-Tahawi (239-321) can be said to represent the creed of both Ash`aris and Maturidis, especially the latter, as he was also following the Hanafi madhhab. We have therefore chosen to include the entire translated text of his Statement of Islamic Doctrine commonly known as the `aqida tahawiyya. This text, representative of the viewpoint of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a, has long been the most widely acclaimed, and indeed indispensable, reference work on Muslim beliefs, of which the text below is a complete English translation.

Imam Abu Ja`far Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Azdi, known as Imam Tahawi after his birthplace in Egypt, is among the most outstanding authorities of the Islamic world on hadith and jurisprudence (fiqh). 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. Al-Badr al-`Ayni said that when Ahmad died, Tahawi was 12; when Bukhari died, he was 27; when Muslim died, he was 32; when Ibn Majah died, he was 44; when Abu Dawud died, he was 46; when Tirmidhi died, he was fifty; when Nisa'i died, he was 74. Kawthari relates this and adds the consensus of scholars that Tahawi allied in himself completion in the two knowledges of hadith and fiqh, a consensus that included, among others, al-`Ayni and al-Dhahabi, with Ibn Taymiyya singling himself out in his opinion that Tahawi was not very knowledgeable in hadith. This is flatly contradicted by Ibn Kathir who says in his notice on Tahawi in al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya: "He is one of the trustworthy narrators of established reliability, and one of the massive memorizers of hadith." Kawthari calls Ibn Taymiyya's verdict "another one of his random speculations" and states: "No-one disregards Tahawi's knowledge of the defective hadith except someone whose own defects have no remedy, and may Allah protect us from such."

Tahawi began his studies with his maternal uncle Isma`il ibn Yahya al-Muzani, a leading disciple of Imam Shafi`i. However, Tahawi felt instinctively drawn to the corpus of Imam Abu Hanifa's works. Indeed, he had seen his uncle and teacher turning to the works of Hanafi scholars to resolve thorny issues of fiqh, drawing heavily on the writings of Abu Hanifa's two leading companions, Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani and Abu Yusuf, who had codified Hanafi fiqh. 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. His monumental scholarly works, such as Sharh ma`ani al-athar and Mushkil al-athar, are encyclopedic in scope and have long been regarded as indispensable for training students of fiqh. He was in fact a mujtahid across the board and was thoroughly familiar with the fiqh of all four schools, as stated by Ibn `Abd al-Barr and related by Kawthari, and as shown by Tahawi's own work on comparative law entitled Ikhtilaf al-fuqaha'.

Tahawi's "Doctrine" (al-`Aqida), though small in size, is a basic text for all times, listing what a Muslim must know and believe and inwardly comprehend. There is consensus among the Companions, the Successors and all the leading Islamic authorities such as the four Imams and their authoritative followers on the doctrines enumerated in this work, which are entirely derived from the undisputed primary sources of Religion, the Holy Qur'an and the confirmed Hadith. 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. More or less veiled references to sects such as the Mu`tazila, the Jahmiyya, the Karramiyya, the Qadariyya, and the Jabariyya are found in the work. It also contains allusions to other views considered unorthodox and deviant from the way of Ahl al-Sunna. There is an explicit reference in the work to the controversy on the creation of the Qu'ran in the times of al-Ma'mun and others.

While the permanent relevance of the statements of belief in the `Aqida are obvious, the historical weight and point of certain of these statements can be properly appreciated only if the work is used as a text for study under the guidance of some learned person able to elucidate its arguments fully, with reference to the intellectual and historical background of the sects refuted in the work. Since the present book is intended exactly as one such aid towards understanding the details of Islamic belief with clarity, it is hoped that the quotation of the entire text of Tahawi's "Doctrine," which we consider as the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a, will be of benefit to the reader. And may Allah grant us a true understanding of faith and count us among those described by the Prophet as the Saved Group.