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What is the Aqueedah Muslims should be following, as all the different groups claim they are Ahlu-Sunnah ?


Many people say that this group or other is on the true path, but how do we know which is the correct Aqueedah one should follow, as they all claim to be following Ahlu Sunnah yet they differ in how they view the attributes of Allah?


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً


It should be clear that the basic beliefs of a Muslim are those explained in the Quran and Hadith. This much all Muslims agree upon from Ahlu Sunnah wa al-Jamah. For example in this regard the famous and authenticated Hadith of Gibrail, is for the lay person, comprehensive regarding what all Muslims must believe in their faith, i.e. belief in; Allah, His Angels, His books, His messengers, The Last day, and to believe in divine destiny, both the good and the evil thereof.

However, as to matters of detailed Aqueedah such as the attributes of Allah and how they should be interpreted or not, this is a matter which Islamic scholars have discussed. In this regard if one is not a scholar, for example they have not studied the Islamic sciences such as Islamic jurisprudence, Hadith, Tafsir and the like and cannot perhaps even understand the Arabic language, then they must avoid delving into such intricate matters for the safety of their own faith.

Just as a person would not delve into medicine when he is not a qualified doctor, equally one should not delve into the Islamic science of Aqueedah, when one is not qualified to do so. Otherwise the consequences of erring in medicine and harming oneself are minor in comparison to erring in Aqueedah. The former could lead one to enter the grave, whereas a deviation in belief has even more severe consequences which go well beyond the grave.

Once a person has attained the qualifications to be an Islamic scholar, they can assess the matter for themselves and so will not need to ask questions in this regard. Until one attains the requisite qualifications of an Islamic scholar, one should suffice with the basic beliefs of the Quran and Hadith, as explained.

Indeed what we find from the first generations of Islam on their approach to Aqueedah is that, in spite of being unanimously agreed upon scholars of the Ummah, they did not wish to delve into such intricacies. Famously, Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) when asked about the Istiwa of Allah upon the Throne, he stated the following:

"The Istiwa is known, its modality is unknown, belief in it is wajib and to ask a question regarding it is a Bidah" (a reprehensible innovation).

There is a great lesson for us all in this very cautious and circumspect approach of Imam Malik in discussing the attributes of Allah. Even though he was an undisputed scholar of high rank and an Imam from the pious predecessors (Salaf), here he clearly, unequivocally and on purpose avoided discussion on such matters.

If a person of his piety, Taqwa and recognised knowledge, is giving a Fatwa, that one is not to ask questions in this regard, we should take heed.

This approach of Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) from the Salaf, is that which is held as the view of Ahlu Sunnah wa al- Jamah and one that all Muslims, both scholars and non-scholars, should both advocate and agree upon.

Islamic reference

217/8 :مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح

قال مالك رحمه الله وقد سئل عن قوله تعالى الرحمن على العرش استوى طه كيف استوى فأطرق مالك رأسه حتى علاه الرحضاء ثم قال الاستواء معلوم والكيف غير معقول والإيمان به واجب والسؤال عنه بدعة فرق بين المعنى المعلوم من هذه اللفظة وبين الكيف الذي لا يعقله البشر وهذا الجواب من مالك رحمه الله شاف عام في جميع مسائل الصفات من السمع والبصر والعلم والحياة والقدرة والإرادة والنزول والغضب والرحمة والضحك فمعانيها كلها معلومة وأما كيفيتها فغير معقولة إذ تعقل الكيف فرع العلم بكيفية الذات وكنهها فإذا كان ذلك غير معلوم فكيف يعقل لهم كيفية الصفات والعصمة النافعة من هذا الباب أن يصف الله بما وصف به نفسه ووصف به رسوله من غير تحريف ولا تعطيل ومن غير تكييف ولا تمثيل بل يثبت له الأسماء والصفات وينفي عنه مشابهة المخلوقات فيكون إثباتك منزها عن التشبيه ونفيك منزه عن التعطيل فمن نفى حقيقة الاستواء فهو معطل ومن شبهه باستواء المخلوقات على المخلوق فهو مشبه ومن قال هو استواء ليس كمثله شيء فهو الموحد المنزه اه كلامه وتبين مرامه وظهر أن معتقده موافق لأهل الحق من السلف وجمهور الخلف فالطعن التشنيع والتقبيح الفظيع غير موجه عليه ولا متوجه إليه فإن كلامه بعينه مطابق لما قاله الإمام الأعظم والمجتهد الأقدم في فقهه الأكبر ما نصه وله تعالى يد ووجه ونفس فما ذكر الله في القرآن من ذكر الوجه واليد والنفس فهو له صفات بلا كيف ...

And Allah Knows Best

Answered by FCB Fatwa Department