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The Aqeedah of the Salaf

The Aqeedah of the Salaf

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Published by Faheem Lea

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Published by: Faheem Lea on Nov 01, 2011
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11/01/2011

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[Dudes and dudettes of Bani Ummah.com/forum :p ..please bear in mind these are my notes, so they willhave some key flaws that are common to anything I do: spelling errors, lack or precision in wording, lack of clarity, general lack of organisation. So obviously attribute any errors to me, my language or myunderstanding, not the shuyukh. ..and make dua for me, my parents and all my family please! Do it now,before you start reading, thank you, jazakallah khair :D ]
The Aqeedah of the Salaf 
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari
Shaykh Zaheer: Introduction
Shaykh recounts of how as a child the very first Surah he was taught Surah Ikhlaas andthis is common. Later when he read more and learnt more and it occurred to him thatSurah Al Kawthar is the shortest so he asked his teacher why, and the ustad respondedthat Surah Ikhlaas is not taught first
 because of it’s size, but because of it’s
content
. It isnot for no reason that the prophet(saw) related in a hadith that it is equivalent to a third of the Quran. Many ulema opine that this is because the Quran can be divided into threebroad categories in terms of content. The first is to do with Aqeedah/belief/doctrine, thesecond is to do with hakaam/rules/commands/prohibitions and the third is the stories of the prophets.Shaykh relates that it is a fundamental principle in Islam, that you must believe correctlyand then do good. In the Quran wherever Allah(swt) has mentioned the believers he says
Those who believe
 
and
do good deeds.
etcIslam is to believe in certain things, and to disbelieve in certain other things. It is to docertain things, and to abstain from doing certain other things.
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
:Getting some perspective:Shaykh relates that the prophet(saw) made a dua:
Show us the truth and allow us tofollow it, show us falsehood and allow us to avoid it.
 Aqeedah Tahawiyya is widely considered one of the most important works onmainstream Sunni belief. It is an early text recording Islamic belief and some thatfollowed it were perhaps more organised and formalised, but the Aqeedah Tahawiyya
never lost it’s importance
after the emergence of them. There are many things whichdistinguish it from other works on aqeedah. It is praised as an extremely eloquent text andreads almost like po
etry, you could almost sing it because of it’s eloquent language.
Furthermore Imam At-Tahawi was of the salaf himself, but this is not why it is soimportant, the reason it is so important is
set out in it’s opening introduction an
d is thefact that it is an
“exposition of the beliefs of the people of the prophetic group
and themajority of the scholars
”.
It should be noted that though Imam Tahawi followed Imam
 
Abu Hanifah he did so as mujtahid in his own right, not as a mutaqalid,
he wasn’t just
any imam, he was a mujtahid.A bayan is that which manifests something and makes it clear, this is what Imam Tahawi
does with the beliefs of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’a. He identifies the key issues of Islamic
belief, clarifies and emphasizes them. This is what makes it so significant. Much latergreat Imams praised it, Shaykh al-
Kashmiri said it is the best text of belief of the Hanafi’s
even better than the texts narrated/authenticated as being of Imam Abu Hanifah himself.It is not an explanation of what Imam At-Tahawi feels, or his thoughts on aqeedah, ratherhe relates according to the school of the fuqaha of this community. It is a transmission of the understanding of the fuqaha/jurists of the community, Imam Abu Hanifah and othersbesides.The Islamic sciences, like fiqh, is not the fiqh that Imam Abu Hanifah came with andmade up, it is a
transmission
of a certain methodology and
understanding
in fiqh, that hegot from his teachers, from the sahabah and back to the prophet(saw). Shaykh Zahir Al-Kawthari remarked that almost anything that is an opinion of ibn Masud(ra), we find it isan opinion of the Hanafi madhab.Al Fiqh Al Abkar, an authentically established text of Imam Abu Hanifah on aqeedah hasmany similarities between it and the text of Imam At Tahawi, and this is no coincidence,because it is that which is being transmitted, amongst the aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah, takenfrom other jurists. So Imam Tahawi touches on things that are not necessarily mentionedby Imam Abu Hanifah but from others also, and things that are not necessarily said in theQuran or sunnah, but rather they are deduced from it from many sources therein
1
andrepresent the understanding of the majority of the scholars.Contents of the text:There are ten key principles, core concepts and they fall into three categories. Four of thekey principles relate to
our belief in Allah(swt) and His attributes
, three of the keyprinciples relate to
the characteristics of our belief 
, and the final three relate
to the wayof Ahlus Sunnah
.
Belief in Allah(swt) and His attributes:
1.
 
Understanding of God
. The basis of the belief is stated in the Quran, for exampleSurah Al-Ikhlaas. We have to be very careful about where we take our knowledgefrom, most importantly in our beliefs. A mistake in actions is not as serious as amistake in belief, our belief is the basis of our relationship with Allah(swt). A lotof people attack Ahlus Sunnah, they will say the definition of God of the Asharis
1
There are examples of this given later on in the notes. One being the Quran saying Allah(swt) is the Firstand the last, and the ulema deducing from this that Allah is beginningless and endless. This clears anyabsurd notion that before the First there was nothing or there was a beginning to the First [i.e. beginning toAllah(swt)].
 
and Maturidis is flawed. They will say it is a biddah to say Allah is the one who isno need of anything and everything is in absolute need of him. They will say thedefinition of Allah(swt) is the one who is worshipped. The latter definition is of course true but so is the former.The Jews of Madinah asked to be told about the Muslim belief about God, theprophet(saw) remained silent and waited for revelation. The prophet(saw) knewthe answer and was capable of answering but he waited for revelation from Allah
2
.This is when Surah Al Ikhlaas was r
evealed. “God is unique” “God is As Samad”
Samad refers to the Independent, the One who is turned to in need and Himself has no need. He is One, absolutely free of need of any other, and who all else arein need of. So the definition above is from the Quran. This is the Quranicdefinition of God and not a biddah as those attacking would say.The prophet(saw) said the greatest verse of the Quran is Ayatul Kursi. Allah,there is no God but Him, the Living, the Sustaining. Al Hayyu, Al Qayuum. Heneeds none to sustain Him and He sustains all else, so again this backs up thedefinitions basis in Quran.A key characteristic of a seeker of knowledge is that
we realise we don’t know
much
. Look carefully as to where you take your deen from as it is your life youare making transaction with.2.
 
Affirming and emphasizing Divine Transcendence
. “Th
ere is nothing like unto
Him.” This is a g
eneral negation of similitude between Allah(swt) and Hiscreation, some say an emphasis of this matter is against the way of salaf. Butreally this is the way of the salaf and Imam At Tahawi very emphaticallyemphasizes it.3.
 
Understanding Attributes of Allah
.4.
 
Understanding non-decisive verses of Quran.
mutashabiha.
The characterstic of our belief 
:1.
 
Uncreatedness of Quran
2.
 
Understanding Qada and Qadr
, Decree and Destiny3.
 
Basis of mention of the prophet(saw)
, ta’
dheem, veneration. A basis of deen isthe veneration of the signs of Allah, and the greatest is the prophet(saw) so it isessential to mention the prophet(saw) in the most honourable and respectful way.
The way of Ahlus Sunnah:
2
This is an example the Shaykh gave to show how we must be careful about how and what we say aboutAllah(swt), even Rasool Allah (saw) who is the best qualified and most knowledgeable and has the mostright to speak about Allah(swt), but even he was silent and waited for revelation.

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