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In the Name of Allh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

by Dr. Naasir al-'Aql

Translator: Ali al-Tamimi
Indeed all praise is for Allh. We praise Him; seek His aid; seek his forgiveness; and seek
refuge with Allh from the evil prompting of our souls and the bad consequences of our
actions. Whomsoever Allh guides, there is none to set him astray; and whomsoever
Allh sets astray, there is no guide for him. And I testify that none has the right to be
worshipped but Allh alone, He has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad is His Slave
and His Messenger.
This is a brief tract concerning the fundamentals of the Creed of the ahl al-Sunnah wa alJama'ah. It was prepared and published in response to many readers - students of
knowledge and average Muslims - who have expressed the need for a concise and clear
presentation of the fundamentals and rules of the Creed of the Salaf [Pious early
forefathers of Islam and their followers], while, at the same time, adhering - whenever
possible - to the wording employed by the shari'ah as handed down from the scholars of
the Salaf. For this reason, this discussion is free from the details, definitions, evidences,
personalities, quotes and footnotes that are often necessary in a work of this nature. For
the desire to achieve such an aim in a small paperback was not possible at this time.
Perhaps this work - Allh willing - may become the basis for a specialist to fill in the
gaps, thereby responding to the needs of those desiring more.
I have presented this work to his eminence Shaikh 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Nasir al-Barak, Dr.
Hamzah ibn Husayn al-Fi'r, and Dr. Safar ibn 'Abdul-Rahman al-Hawali. Each of them may Allh reward them - have added their suggestions. I ask Allh, Most High to make
this task pure for His Face and may He mention among His angels our Prophet
Muhammad - who was sent as a mercy to the worlds - his family, Companions, and all
those who have followed them, preserve them from any harm, and bless them.
Linguistically, the word `aqidah means, "to know, bind, fasten tightly, fortify, consolidate
and cement." By convention, the word `aqidah means, "a firm, unwavering belief which
is not open to any doubt with its beholder."
The Islamic Creed (`Aqidah)
The Islamic Creed therefore refers to a firm, unwavering faith (iman) in the following:
(1) Allh, Most High, and what is due to Him from tauhid in one's belief and worship and
obedience to Him.(2) His Angels,
(3) His Scriptures,
(4) His Messengers,
(5) The Last Day,
(6) Allh's Decree (qadr),
(7) What is confirmed from the remaining matters of the Unseen and reports concerning
the previous nations,
(8) All absolute issues - whether pertaining to matters of knowledge or action.

The Salaf
The Salaf are the initial era of the Muslim nation (ummah): the Companions of the
Prophet, their Followers, and the scolars of guidance among the initial three chosen
generations of this nation (ummah).
The appellation "Salafi", in reference to them, is designated upon all those who follow
them and traverse their path from the remaining eras of this nation.
Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah
Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah are all those who are upon that which the Prophet (peace
be upon him) and his Companions were uopn.
They are named "Ahl al-Sunnah" due to their adherence and following of the Sunnah of
the Prophet (Peace be upon him). They are named the "Jama'ah" because they are those
who have gathered upon the Truth and have not divided into sects in the religion among
themselves; they have gathered around the lawful rulers and have not revolted against
them; and they have followed that which the Salaf of this nation have unanimously
agreed upon. As they alone in exclusion to all others are the followers of the Sunnah of
the Messenger of Allh (peace be upon him), following his path, they are also known as
"ahl al-Hadith", "ahl al-Athar" and "ahl al-Ittiba".* ["The people who follow the hadith",
"The people who follow the narrated reports" and "the people who follow [the Prophet]"]
They are in this world "the Victorious Group" and in the hereafter "the Saved Sect".
I. The Methodology Employed by Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah in the Acquisition
and Derivation of Matters of Creed:
(1) The source upon which the creed is based is restricted solely to the Book of Allh
(the Qur'n), the authentic Sunnah of the Messenger of Allh (peace be upon him), and
the consensus (ijma') of the righteous salaf.
(2) It is required to accept all which is authentic from the Sunnah of the Messenger of
Allh (peace be upon him) even when its mode of transmission is ahad or non-mutawatir.
(A mutawatir report is one which fulfills four conditions:
(i) It is reported by such a large number of narrators that under normal circumstances it
would be impossible for them to gather upon a lie;
(ii) that such a number exists throughout the chain of narration;
(iii) that the report is based upon something heard or seen, etc.;
(iv) that the narration necessitates knowledge by he who hears it.)
(3) The point of reference for understanding the Book of Allh and the Sunnah is those
texts (nusus) that clarify their meaning and the understanding of the righteous Salaf and
those scholars who have traversed upon their methodology.
This is to be followed by what is authentic from the language of the Arabs. One may not,
however, contradict what has been affirmed by the above due to mere linguistic
(4) The Prophet (peace be upon him) has explained all the fundamentals of the religion.
It is therefore impermissible for anyone to innovate something claiming that his
innovation is something from the religion.

(5) One must submit both inwardly and outwardly to Allh and His Messenger (peace be
upon him).
Therefore, one may not oppose anything from the Book of Allh, and the authentic
Sunnah by analogy (qiyas), sensation (dhawq) and unveiling (kashf) of a mystic, opinion
of a scholar (shaikh or imam), or anything similar.
(6) Sound reasoning is always in agreement with correct transmission of revelation. No
two absolute proofs among reason and revelation can ever contradict one another. When
contradiction is supposed between the two, one must put revelation first over reasoning.
(7) In matters of 'aqidah, it is required to adhere to the wording employed by the
shariah and to avoid all inovated wording. As for any equivocal non-shariah wording
which connotate both incorrect and correct meanings, one must inquire into the context
in which it was employed. That meaning which is then found to be true and correct is
affirmed, and that which is found to be false is negated.
(8) Infallibility from committing sin and error is only affirmed for the Prophet (peace be
upon him). The Muslim nation, as a whole, is also infallible from agreeing upon any
deviation. There is no infallibility for any single individual of the nation.
In those matters concerning which the scholars and others have differed, the reference is
the Book of Allh and the Sunnah - with the advancement of an excuse for the errant
among those scholars of the Muslim Nation exercising ijtihad (i.e., spending one's utmost
ability in trying to reach the judgement of the shariah in a particular issue).
(9) Existing among the Muslim Nation are those individuals who are spoken to and whom
recieve inspiration. Furthermore, the existence of a righteous dream is a reality and is
part of Prophethood. Similarly the existence of perspicacity (farasah) is a reality. When
found to be in agreement with the shariah, all of these matters are forms of miracles
(karamat) and glad tidings from Allh. They are not a source of 'aqidah or shariah
(10) To argue falsely in matters of religion is blameworthy. As for "arguing in a manner
which is best", this is allowed by the shariah.
Those matters where there exists an authentic prohibition from delving into, it is required
to comply with that prohibition.It is also required for a Muslim to refrain from speaking
about those matters of which he has no knowledge. He should instead resign knowledge
of that matter to Allh who knows all matters.
(11) When refuting, it is required to adhere to the methodology employed by the
Inspiration - as it is required to adhere to that same methodology in matters of beliefs
and when acknowledging those beliefs as true. One may therefore not refute a heresy
with another, nor may one face negligence with extremism or vice-versa.
(12) Every innovation in the religion is a bid'ah, and every bid'ah is a deviation, and
every deviation is in the Hell-Fire.
II. Tawheed in One's Belief and Knowledge:
(1) The foundation upon which faith in Allh's Names and attributes is based is to affirm
for Allh what He has affirmed for Himself or His Messenger (peace be upon him) has
affirmed for Him without likening His Names and Attributes to those of His creation
(tamthil) or saying how the modality of His Names and Attributes are takyif; and to
negate from Allh what He has negated from Himself or His Messenger (peace be upon

him) has negated from Him without distorting (tahrif) or negating (ta'til) the literal
meanings of His names and Attributes.
Allh has said, "Nothing is as His likeness and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing."
This means faith in the literal meanings of those texts which mention Allh's Names and
Attributes and what they point to in meaning.
(2) Likening Allh's Names and Attributes with those of His creation (tamthil) and denial
of His Names and Attributes (ta'til) constitutes disbelief (kufr).
As for distortion of the literal meanings of His Names and Attributes (tahrif) - which some
of the heretics call ta'wil - some forms constitute kufr, like the metaphorical
interpretations of the Batiniyah, while other forms constitute heresy (bid'ah), like the
metaphorical interpretations of those who negate Allh's attributes. And yet other forms
occur by mistake.
(3) The beliefs in a single universal existence identified with Allh (wahdat al-wujud),
Allh's incarnation (hulul) into or His unifying (ittihad) with any of His creatures are all
beliefs that constitute kufr, expelling one from the Nation of Islam.
(4) A general faith in the existence of the Noble Angels is required.
A specific faith, according to the extent of one's knowledge, in the names, attributes,
actions of those Angels concerning which evidence has been authentic is also required.
(5) Faith in all the Scriptures sent down by Allh is required. Faith that the Noble Qur'n
is the best of all Scriptures, and has abrogated all the Scriptures sent down before it is
required. Faith in the occurence of distortion to the text and meanings of all the
Scriptures sent down prior to the Qur'n is required. For these reasons, it is required
solely to follow the Qur'n in exclusion to all previous Scriptures.
(6) Faith in all of Allh's Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all) is required.
Faith that they are the best of mankind is required. Whoever claims other than that is an
infidel (kafir). It is required to specifically have faith in whoever the evidence is authentic
in identifying as being a Prophet or Messenger. As for the remaining Prophets and
Messengers; it is required to have a general faith in their existence. Faith that
Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the best among all the Prophets and Messengers, the
last of them, and that Allh has sent them to all of mankind is required.
(7) Faith in the termination of revelation (wahi) after the Prophet (peace be upon him)
and that he is the Seal and Final Prophet and Messenger is required. Whoever believes
other than that has disbelieved.
(8) Faith in the occurrence of the Last Day, all the reports transmitted in the Book of
Allh and the Sunnah concerning that Day, and what will proceed it among the various
Signs and conditions heralding its approached is required.
(9) Faith in what Allh has decreed, the good and evil outcome thereof, is required.
Namely this includes faith that Allh knew what would occur before it came into
existence, that He has written that in the Preserved Tablet, that what Allh wills is and
what He does not will is not and will never be, thus nothing occurs except by His will,
that Allh is capable of everything, and that He is the Creator of everything, the Doer of
what He pleases.

(10) Faith, without allegorical interpretation (ta'wil), in the matters of the Unseen which
have been authenticated by evidence, such as the Throne, the Footstool, the Garden, the
Fire, the Pleasure and Punishment in the Grave, the Bridge, the Balance and all other
matters of the Unseen is a must.
(11) Faith, as its details have been mentioned in the authentic evidence, in the
intercession of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the intercession of the other
Prophets, the Angels, the righteous, and others on the Day of Resurrection is required.
(12) It is true that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection in
Paradise and while standing on the plains on the land of gathering. Whoever rejects its
occurrence in the Hereafter is astray.
It is impossible to see Allh in this world.
(13) The existence of miracles (karamat) by those near to Allh (awliya') and the
righteous is a reality. The mere occurrence of an extraordinary incident is not necessarily
indicative of an occurrence of a miracle. Rather such an event might have occurred as a
deluding by Allh of that individual into destruction or by the abilities of the devils and
sorcerers. The standard for distinguishing between all of that is whether that incident and
individual is in agreement or not with the Book and the Sunnah.
(14) All the believers are among those near to Allh (awliya'). Every believer possesses
a degree of nearness to Allh in accordance to the level of faith.
III. Tawheed in [One's] Intent and Aim (Tawheed al-Uluhiyah)
(1) Allh is One, Alone. He has no partner in His Actions (rububiyah) and right of
worship (uluhiyah) or equal in His Names and Attributes. He is the Lord of the Worlds
who alone deserves all forms of worship.
(2) To direct any act of worship to other than Allh - such as invocation, seeking help,
seeking aid, vowing, slaughtering, reliance and trust, fear, hope, love, and similar acts is shirk (idolatry) no matter to whom that worship is directed to - be he an angel, a sent
prophet, a righteous slave of Allh or any other.
(3) Among the fundamentals upon which worship (ibadah) is based is that Allh is to be
worshipped out of love, fear and hope. To worship Allh out of any single aspect of these
in exclusion to the other aspects is a deviation. Indeed some scholars have said,
"Whoever worships Allh by his love of Allh alone is a hypocrite (zindiq); whoever
worships Allh out of fear of His Punshment alone is a Haruri [A group of Khwawaarij who
were extremists]; and whoever worships Allh out of hope of His Mercy alone is a Murji'i
[A heretical group that believed that a person's actions could not harm him once he had
(4) Submission to, pleasure with, and absolute obedience are to be given only to Allh
and His Messenger.
Faith that Allh is alone Judge is part of faith that He alone is Lord and He alone is to be
worshipped. He has no partner in His Judgement or His Command. To legislate by what
Allh has not permitted, to judge by laws devised by men and men who rule by such
laws (taghut), to follow other than the shariah of Muhammad (peace be upon him) or to
replace any of the shariah is all disbelief.

(5) To judge by other than what Allh has sent down is greater kufr (kufr akbar), and at
times is a kufr less than actual kufr (kufr duna kufr). An example of the former is to
adhere to or permit judgement by a shariah other than Allh's. An example of the latter
is to turn away from Allh's shariah in a specific incident due to one's desires, yet with
one's overall adherence to the shariah.
(6) To divide the religion into an esoteric reality (haqiqah) to which the select distinguish
themselves by adhering to in exclusion to the general body of Muslims and an exoteric
shariah to which the general body of Muslims must adhere to in exclusion to the elite or
to divorce politics or other matters from the religion is all falsehood.
Indeed whatever opposes the shariah, be it an esoteric reality, politics or other than that,
is either disbelief (kufr) or deviation depending upon the extent to which it is at variance
with the shariah.
(7) None knows the Unseen but Allh. The belief that anyone but Allh knows the
Unseen constitutes disbelief - with our faith that Allh has manifested some matters of
the Unseen to His Messengers.
(8) To believe in the truthfulness of the predictions of an astrologer or soothsayer is
disbelief (kufr). To merely approach and question him concerning the future is a grave
(9) The means of approach to Allh (al-wasilah), which we have been ordered in the
Qur'n to seek, is to draw close to Allh by the various acts of obedience legislated by
the shariah. Drawing near to Allh (al-tawassul) is of three types:
(a) A manner legislated by the shariah: Namely, to invoke Allh by calling upon His
Names and mentioning His attributes, or by mentioning one's righteous deeds, or by
mentioning the invocation of a righteous living person on one's behalf.
(b) A manner which constitues heresy (bidah): Namely to draw near to Allh by any
means not mentioned in the shariah, like invoking Allh by the persons of the Prophets
and righteous, their positions with Him, their right upon Him, or any manner similar to
(c) A manner which constitues shirk: Namely, to take the dead as intermediaries
between oneself and Allh in worship, by praying to them, calling upon them in seeking
the resolution of ones need's, seeking thier assistance and similar acts.
(10) The existence of barakah (the affirmation, increase, and continuance of much good)
in an object occurs from Allh. He selects whom He wants among His creatures with what
He wants from that. One may not, therefore, affirm the existence of barakah [in some
object or person] except with an evidence confirming that. It is found at certain times
(like "The Night of Power"), places (like the three mosques), objects (like the Zamzam
well), actions (every righteous action is blessed) and individuals (like the persons of the
It is impermissible to seek the barakah of any individual, by their bodies or relics, except
that of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for there exists no evidence to the existence of
barakah with any specific individual in this nation besides him. To seek barakah through
him has ceased after his death (peace be upon him) and the disappearance of his relics.

(11) Seeking barakah is among the matters established by the shariah alone (tawqif). It
is therefore impermissible to seek barakah except in that which the evidence is
(12) Three types of actions occur by the visitors to graves:
(a) Actions which are legislated by the shariah: Namely, to visit the graves with the
intent of remembering the Hereafter, greeting and praying for the dead.
(b) Actions which constitute heresy (bidah): Namely any action which negates the
perfection of (Tawheed) and is in and of itself a means leading to shirk. For example, to
seek to worship and draw near to Allh at the graves of the righteous, to seek the
barakah of the dead, to offer the rewards of one's good deeds to the dead, to set out and
journey to the graves of the righteous or any similar act which its prohibition is confirmed
or has no basis in the shariah.
(c) Actions which constitute shirk and negate one's Tawheed: Namely, to direct any act
of worship to the dead, by praying to them, seeking their assistance, circumambulating
thier graves, slaughtering and vowing to them, etc.
(13) Means carry the ruling of their aims. It is therefore required to forbid any means
which leads to shirk in the worship of Allh or to a heresy in the religion. For every
innovation is a heresy (bidah) and every heresy is a deviation.
IV. Faith (Iman):
(1) Faith consists of both statement and deed. It increases through acts of obedience
and decreases through acts of disobedience. It consists of the statements of the heart
and tongue, and the deeds performed by the heart, tongue and lips.
The statement of the heart is its beliefs and its confirming [those beliefs] as true.
The statement of the tongue is the acknowledgement of these beliefs.
The deeds of the heart are its surrendering to Allh, its worship to Allh alone, its
submissiveness to Him, its love and desiring of righteous actions.
The deeds of the limbs is to do what Allh has ordered and to forsake what Allh has
ordered and to forsake what He has prohibited.
(2) Whoever divorces actions from faith is a Murji'i. Whoever adds into faith what is not
part of it is a heretic.
(3) The title of faith is not applied to those who do not acknowledge the two testimonies,
nor is its ruling affirmed for those individuals in this world or the Hereafter.
(4) "Islam" and "Iman" are two terms employed by the shariah. Lying between these
two terms is a shared meaning in one sense and specific meaning in another sense.
Ahl al-Qiblah ("Those who face the qiblah in their prayers") are to be called Muslims.
(5) The perpetrator of a grave sin (kabirah) does not step outside the fold of faith (i.e.,
he is not an infidel). In this world, he is to be called a believer possessing an incomplete
faith. In the Hereafter, he stands under under Allh's will, who may forgive him if He
pleases or punish him if He pleases.

(6) One cannot unequivocally claim that any specific individual from ahl al-Qiblah is
destined to Paradise or Hell except for those individuals concerning whom a specific text
exists affirming such for him.
(7) The term "kufr" as employed by the wording of the shariah consists of two types: a
greater "kufr" which expels one from the fold of Islam and a lesser "kufr" which does not
expel one from the fold of Islam and is often referred to as kufr in deed (kufr 'amali) (as
opposed to belief).
(8) To charge an individual as an infidel (kafir) is among the rulings of the shariah. Its
underlying factors are therefore to be found in the Book of Allh and the Sunnah. It is
therefore impermissible to charge a Muslim as an infidel (kafir) due to any of his
statements or actions, unless there exists an evidence from the shariah which points to
that constituting disbelief.
Furthermore, the designation by the shariah upon any statement or action constituting
disbelief does not necessitate the affirmation of its consequences (namely, that person
being an infidel) in the right of any specific individual unless all the conditions for that
ruling have been met and all impediments (such as ignorance and coercion) have been
negated. Since charging a Muslim as an infidel (takfir) is among the most dangerous
rulings of the shariah, caution and ascertainment is therefore required prior to ruling
against someone with that.
The Qur'n and Allh's Attribute of Speech
(1) The Qur'n is the literal speech of Allh in both its wording and meanings. It was
sent down and is uncreated. From Allh it has proceeded and before the Day of
Judgement it will be raised from the earth and returned to Him. It is an irreproducible
miracle indicative of the truthfulness of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Its
text and meaning is preserved from any corruption until the Day of Resurrection.
(2) Allh speaks what he wills, when He wills, and in the manner He wills. His speech
occuring through letters and with a Voice is a reality. We do not possess knowledge of
the modality of His Speech nor do we delve into that.
(3) The statements that Allh's Speech consisits of the meanings of the Qur'n in
exclusion to its wording, that the Qur'n is only a reflex (hikayah or 'ibarah) of Allh's
Speech, that the Qur'n is Allh's Speech only in a figurative sense, that the Qur'n is an
outpouring from the Active Intellect (fayd) or statements that resemble those are all
deviations and, at times, disbelief.
(4) Whoever denies anything of the Qur'n or claims that deletion, addition or corruption
of its text has occured is an infidel.
(5) It is required to explain the Qur'n in accordance with the recognized methodology of
the Salaf (i.e., by the Qur'n and Sunnah, then by the statements of the Prophet's
Companions, and then by the statements of their followers). It is impermissible to
explain the Qur'n by sheer opinion, as such is speaking about Allh without knowledge.
To explain the Qur'n by the allegorical esoteric interpretations of the Batiniyah or in a
similar manner is disbelief.
Allh's Decree and Foremeasurement (Qadr):
(1) Among the pillars of faith is faith in what Allh has decreed, the good and evil
outcome thereof. This is inclusive of faith in the following matters:

Faith in all the texts mentioning qadr. Faith in four levels of Allh's decree (qadr):
(i) Allh's semptineral knowledge,
(ii) Allh's writing in the Preserved Tablet all that will occur until the day of judgement,
(iii) Allh's all-Embracing Will, and
(iv) Allh's creating everything.
Faith that there is none who can repel Allh's Decree or amend His Judgement is also a
(2) Allh's intending and commanding something something as mentioned in the Book
and Sunnah is two types:
(a) a creative (qadri kawni) Intent and Command, meaning He has willed such a thing
into being;
(b) a religious (shari') Intent and Command, which necessitates Allh's loving
compliance to what He has intended and commanded, but not necessarily His willing such
into being.
While a created being does possess both an intent and a will, his intent and will is
subordinate to the Intent and Will of the Creator.
(3) Guiding and setting astray the slaves is in Allh's Hand alone. There are those whom
Allh has guided, by His Merit towards them, and those who deserve to be set astray, by
His justice with them.
(4) Both the slaves and their acts are creations of Allh, Whom there is no Creator
besides Him. Allh is therefore the Author of the acts of man and they are the literal
performers of their deeds.
(5) Affirmation that Allh's actions are due to a Wisdom. Affirmation of the effects of
causes existing by the Will of Allh.
(6) The life-spans of all men are written and the amount of their sustenance
apportioned. Happiness or sorrow in the Hereafter has been written upon mankind before
they were created.
(7) While one may justify the occurence of catastrophes and pangs by Allh's decree
(qadr), it is however impermissible to justify one's faults and sins by Allh's decree
(qadr). Rather one must repent from his faults and sins and the perpetrator of that sin is
to be blamed for his act.
(8) To turn towards, rely and trust solely upon causes is shirk in one's Tawheed; to turn
away in totality from taking the proper causes by claiming to rely and trust solely upon
Allh is to belittle the shariah; to deny the effects of causes opposes both the shariah and
reason. Reliance and trust upon Allh (tawakkul) does not negate embracing the proper
causes necessary.
The Muslim Community (Jama'ah) and Its Leadership (Imamah)
(1) The meaning of Community in this context is the Companions of the Prophet (peace
be upon him) and their followers until the Day of Resurrection who have held to their
way. They are the "Saved Sect". Whoever adheres to their methodology is from the
community (jama'ah), even if he has erred in some specific issues.

(2) It is impermissible to divide into sects in the religion or to cause discord between the
Muslims. In those matters in which Muslims differ, it is required to refer to the Book of
Allh, the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him) and that which the righteous
Salaf followed.
(3) Whoever steps outside of the community (jama'ah) is required to be advised, invited
and argued with "in a manner which is best", and to have the evidence established
against him. If he repents, fine; otherwise, he is to be punished according to what he
deserves according to the shariah.
(4) It is required to hold the general body of Muslims responsible for the established
meanings of the Book of Allh, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Salaf. It is
impermissible to test the general body of the Muslims with subtle matters and profound
meanings of the religion.
(5) The general rule concerning all Muslims is taht they possess both good intent and
sound belief until the opposite manifests. The general rule is to construe their words in
the best manner. However, whoever manifests his resistance to the truth and evil intent,
it is impermissible to bend over backwards to find a sound explanation for his words and
(6) The Muslim sects (ahl al-Qiblah) which stand outside the fold of the Sunnah are all
threatened with destruction in this world and punishment in the Hereafter.
With the exception of he among them who inwardly is an infidel, the ruling concerning
any particular individual among them is similar to those who stand under the threat of
Allh's punishment.
However, the followers of those pseudo-Muslim sects which stand outside the fold of
Islam are, in general, to be considered infidels. The ruling concerning any individual
among them is like that of the apostates.
(7) The Friday and Congregational prayers are among the greatest outward symbols of
Islam. The prayer performed behind a Muslim whose true nature is hidden is valid. Not to
pray behind him claiming ignorance of his true nature is a heresy.
(8) When one is able to pray behind someone else, it is impermissible to pray behind
someone who openly manifests heresy or impiety. If prayer behind such an individual
does occur, it is valid and the performer of that prayer has sinned, unless he intended by
praying behind such an individual to restrain a greater evil. However, if one cannot find
any individual to pray behind except one who is similar or more evil, under such
circumstances it becomes permissible to pray behind such individuals.
It is impermissible under any circumstance to forsake the congregational and Friday
prayers. It is impermissible under all circumstances to pray behind someone judged to be
an infidel.
(9) Leadership of the Muslims (al-imamah) is decided by either the consensus of the
Muslim nation or by the oath of allegiance given by those among the Muslim nation who
possess the right to place or remove a ruler (ahl al-hall wa al-`aqd).
It is similarly required to obey, in what constitutes obedience to Allh, and give advice to
whoever seizes power by force, gathering the Muslim nation behind him. It is forbidden
under all circumstances to revolt against the ruler unless he openly manifests his
disbelief (kufr) concerning which there is evidence from Allh.

(10) It is required to perform prayer, pilgrimage and jihad with the leaders of the
Muslims even when they are tyrannical.
(11) It is forbidden for the Muslims to fight between themselves out of wordly
motivations or jahiliyah partisian pride. Such actions are among the greatest of sins.
It is however permissible to fight the heretics, those who revolt against the ruler and
their likes when one cannot stop them with lesser measures. While at other times it
becomes required to fight these groups. This is determined according to the benefits
acheived and the situation at hand.
(12) All the noble Companions of the Prophet are trustworthy (`adul). They arthe best of
this Muslim nation. To testify to their faith and their merit over the rest of the Muslim
nation is an absolute fundamental point known by necessity to be part of the religion. To
love them is religion and faith while to hate them is disbelief and hypocrisy. It is required
to refrain from entering into what befell them of arguments and to forsake delving into
that topic which diminishes their standing.
The best among them were Abu Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman, then Ali. They are the
rightly guided succesors to the Prophet (peace be upon him). The right of each of them
to Successorship was as the historical order.
(13) From the religion is to love and support the Family of the Household of the
Messenger of Allh (peace be upon him), to glorify the standing and recognize the merit
of his wives, who are the Mothers of the Faithful, to love the leaders among the Salaf,
the scholars of the Sunnah and those who follow them, and to steer clear from the
heretics and thier desires.
(14) To wage jihad in the path of Allh is the apex of Islam. It will remain lawful until
the establishment of the Hour.
(15) To command good (al-ma'ruf) and forbid evil (al-munkar) is among the greatest
outward symbols of Islam. It is among the causes which preserves the Muslim
community. Such an act is required according to one's ability and by taking into
consideration the benefits achieved by that act.
The Most Important Qualities and Distinguishing Charateristics of the Ahl alSunnah wa al-Jama'ah
Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah are the "Saved Sect" in the Hereafter and the "Victorious
Despite the disparity which exists between them, they possess certain qualities and
characteristics which distinguish them from all others. These include:
(1) They attach importance to the Book of Allh by their memorization, recitation, and
explanation of the Qur'n and to the Prophetic Narrations by their knowledge of them,
their comprehension of their meanings, and their distinguishing between the authentic
from the weak among the narrations. For both the Book of Allh and the Prophetic hadith
are the source for the acquisition of the Creed and the Law. Furthermore, they follow up
their knowledge with action in accordance to their knowledge.
(2) They enter completely into the religion. They have faith in all of the Scripture. They
therefore believe in those texts which mention Allh's promise of reward, as well as those
which mention His threat of punishment. And they believe in those texts which affirm
Allh's Attributes and those which negate any resemblance to His creation. They join

between faith in Allh's decree (qadr) and affirming the possession of a desire, will and
action for the slave of Allh. They also gather between knowledge and action, the
qualities of strength and mercy, taking the necessary measures and renouncing the world
(3) They adhere to the Sunnah and repudiate all heresy. They spurn sectarianism and
any disagreement in matters of religion.
(4) They follow the guidance of the trustworthy scholars - namely, the Companions of
the Prophet (peace be upon him) and all those who travelled upon their path - in matters
of belief, action and in the manner of calling others to Allh. They remain clear from
those who are at variance to the path of the Companions of the Prophet.
(5) They adhere to a median position. They, therefore, adhere in matters of belief to a
median position between the sects at either end. While in acts of worship and their
conduct, they adhere to a median position between the extremists and the negligent.
(6) They strive to gather the word of the Muslims upon the truth, to unify their ranks
upon Tawheed and obedience to the Prophet (al-ittiba'), and to eliminate all causes
leading to argument and difference between them.
From this standpoint, they do not distinguish themselves from the rest of the Muslim
nation, in the fundamentals of the religion, with any name other than that of "al-Sunnah
wa al-Jama'ah". Nor do they befriend or show enmity towards anyone due to any other
bond other than that of Islam and the Sunnah.
(7) They call others to Allh, command good and prohibit evil, wage jihad, revive the
Sunnah, act to renew the religion, establish Allh's shariah and Rule, in all matters,
minor or major.
(8) They have equity and justice in dealing with others. Hence they observe the right of
Allh in dealing with people, not self desires or the desires of their group. For this reason,
they do not exploit or wrong others, or belittle those who deserve esteem no matter what
they may be.
(9) Notwithstanding the great distances between their lands and times, they possess a
conformity in understanding and similarity in position. This is from the fruits of their
possessing a single source for their religion and a single methodology for its aquisition.
(10) They show kindness, mercy and good character towards all people.
(11) They show sincerity (nasihah) to Allh, His Book, His Messenger, the leaders and
general body of the Muslims.
(12) They show concern with the affairs of the Muslims, aid them, discharge their rights
and prevent any injury from reaching them.
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