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o W.M.Watt,


The historical background Some articles of belief and the relevant terms Note on literature Standard translations


Edinburgh University press Ltd 22 George Square, Edinburgh Set in Linotron Trump Medieval by Koinonia Ltd, Bury, and printed in Great Britain by Hartnolls Ltd, Bodmin


A CIP record for this book is

available from the British Library




7486 o52 3 (cased) 7486 O5l3 4 (paper)

Al-Qayrawanl Al-Ghazalt Al-Nasafi

The Testament of AbO Hantfa A Later anafite Creed



The Hanbalites Ahmad ibn anbal A Shorter Hanbalite Creed A Longer Hanbalite Creed


30 3 33

62 69




80 86




The historical


The creeds translated in this book, with the exception of the last, came from the main body of the Muslims, usually referred to as Sunnite (Sunni) Islam. About ninety per cent of the Muslims in the world today are Sunnites, and the other ten per cent are nearly all Sht'ites of three

di{ferent kinds. sunnite Islam is thus comparable to the undivided christian church of the first ten centuries, but there are also important differences. One is t[at there is nothing equivalent to the bishops and ecumenical councils of the Church, and thus no body to Sive creeds an official status such as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicen Creed have in Christendom. The Islamic creeds {ormulate the beliefs of an individual scholar or of groups of scholars. This structural difference probably came about because of the very different circumstances in which the early development of the two religions took place. For a century or more, the Christian comrnunity coniisted of a minority which had separated itself from its neighbours by its religious practice. It was there{ore natural for there to be a strong snse of ommunity in each loca1 congregation, and it was found helpful to have a bishop to lead the group and to maintain contact with other local groups. In early Islam, the situation was altogether different. After the Hijra (the migration of Muhammad {rom Mecca to Medinaf, the Ivluslims were a maiority and politically autonomous' Even if later in some of the conquered lands they were for a time a minority, they were still politically supreme. Because the Muslim had a political structure, no need was felt to have some "o*..r.r.rity further stnrcture to deal with purely religious matters. Indeed, Muslims have tended to hold that for them there was no separation between religion and politics. Nevertheless, the Islamic community did gradually develop ways of dealing with matters of belief. In the course of the first Islamic century/ it became customary for thos specially interested in their religion to take up a position in a mosque and discuss various ques*ho cared to listen to them. Such persons came to be tion-s with ".ry known as ulema ('ulama'l, that is, scholars or scholar-iurists' From such beginnings, more formal legal and theological schools developed. It should be emphasised that, in Islam, what Westerners would call legal matters take precedence, and that theology tends to be regarded as=a subdivision of law. It will be noticed that in the earlier creeds there are many articles which Christians would regard as belonging to



religious law and not to theological belief. It is thus inappropriate to

Muammad's cousin and son_in_law, should have been his immediate successor, and that he possessed a degree of charisma. Such persons may be regarded as the first Shi'ites, a term derived from the Arabic shl'at 'Ali, the party of 'Ah. othr Muslims, however, were critical of 'Ali, and some of these 'went out' (kharaii) or seceded from his army on one occasion, because they disagreed with certain decisions of his and insisted that 'there is no iudgement but God's' lla hukm illa Lilhdhl. By this they meant that decisions on legal and other religious matters should be based on the Qur'6n. Although the name of a large group of early sects, the Kharijites or Khawerii, is based on the action of these people, their insistence on reference to the Qur'dn did in fact become a central principle of Sunnite Islam, for it is opposed to any uncritical following of traditional Arab practice. In time, the scholars interestd in legal questions {ound that there were numerous points for which the Qur' n did not set forth any clear principles. To supplement the Qur'nn, they had recourse to the Sunna or standard practice of Muammad, and this recourse could be iusti_ fied by verses in the Qur'an which stated that he had been given divine wisdom (hikma| {4.Il3J cf . .ISI1 3.164, 6.|' The Sunna was known from l.adiths or anecdotes about something Muhammad had said or done, and of these there were thousands. (These were formerly called 'traditions', but this is now felt to be ambiguous and the Arabic word is retained.! Because many of the badrths were clear and precise, they were extensively used by the schools of law. It was also realised that hadiths could be invented, and steps were taken to establish which were sound and to exclude the false. Eventually, six large collections of sound hadiths were given something like canonical status. The iurist al-Shafi't (767_80| formulated a theory of the four roots of law (usu1 al-fiqhl as Qur'iin, Sunna, analogical reasoning lqiyasl and consensus (iima'1, and all the Sunnite schools accepted the first two. Although there was no authoritative body in Islam to give official decisions on legal and theological matters, Muslims showed considerable skill in reaching a common mind or consensus in these fields, and this justified al-Shafi'i's inclusion of consensus among the roots of law. This consensus also showed itself in the acceptance of four legal

more concerned with right conduct or orthopraxy than with right belief. I therefore speak of mainstream Islam or of the main body of Muslims, and by this mean the Sunnites. Theological discussions ar traced back to the caliphate of 'Ah 16564111, whom Sunnites consider the fourth of the 'Rightly-guided' (Rdshidunl caliphs. Some Muslims, however, thought that 'Ah,

use the word'orthodox'when speaking about Islam, since Muslims are

Muslim has, as it were, to belong to one of these, and personal affairs, such as the division of his estate among his heirs, are decided according to rules of his rite. The four rites are the anafit, Malikite, Shafi'ite and Hanbalite, named after Abu anifa, Malik ibn Anas (d.
Various events occurred during the first Islamic century which stimulated theological discussion. For a time, a small group o{ people referred to as Azraqites (Azariqa| after their leader Ibn al-Azraq asserted the principle that a Muslim who commits a great sin is thereby excluded from the community, and this meant that unless he went elsewhere he would be killed. The Azraqites seem to have livd after the fashion of a nomadic Arab tribe in the desert, so that the exclusion of' a great sinner was possible in a way that would not have ben possible in a large settled community. The principle is basd on the Qur'iinic statement that the great sinner is in Hell, and the Azraqites, regarding themselves as the only true Muslims and the 'people of Paradise', felt that this status was endangered by association with the 'people of Hell'. Latr writers on heresies counted the Azraqites as one of the groups forming the Kharijites; but other Khariiites, while accepting that the great sinner was destined for Hell, tried to find less extreme ways of dealing with such people. There was wide discussion of such problems among others than Kharijites, and in these discussions the term 'postponement/ (irla'l came to be used. It was probably originally applied to various political questions, but later it was linked with a Qur'Enic verse (9.106| which stated that the ultimate fate of sinners was 'postponed' for the decision of God; and it was held that rneantime other Muslims should treat them as believers. As will be seen from the creeds, the standard Sunnite view was that the great sinner is a believer. Those who believed in the doctrine oI iria'rvere often called Murji'a or lt{urji'ites by their opponents (from the participial form}, but this was a pejorative appellation very loosely used. When the writer on heresies, al_Shahrastni ( 1086-1 1 53 }, came to write about the Murii'a, he distinguished the Murji'a oi the Kharijites and the Murii'a of two other sects from the pure Murji'a; and then, because Abu Hantfa was often called a Murii'ite, he said he belonged to the Murji'a of the Sunna. The conclusion would sem to follow that the believers in 'postponement' did not constitute a cohesive sect but held different views on other matters; and that at least some of them represent a trend which made a significant contribution to later Sunnite doctrine. Because there was no body to decide authoritatively between sound
797|, al-Shafi'I and Anrad ibn-anbal.

schools or rites as equally valid. The word 'rite' is sometimes preferabl to 'school' as a translation of the Arabic madhhab, sinc each


l nE


l U^rv!

belief and heresy, such terms could be used peioratively in an imprecise sense in much the sam way as British conservatives apply the term 'reds' to any people with left-wing views' Abu anifa B.7eliwas one of a group of legal scholars working in Kufa, and aboui 7SZ he became their head. His original mind helped to give definition to their legal principles, so that they came to form a i"ia.ty accepted legal school br rite, named after him the anafites. Some of theie schoiars in Kufa were also interested in theology' It was possibly Abu antfa himself who defined faith ('} as combining ih" irrt"ll""tual acceptance of certain doctrines with the public profession of this, but he[d that works were not a part of faith. Faith was what mad a person a believer, a mu'min, bcause Imdn is the corresponding lt..t"l noun. This conception of faith was strongly opposed ai a slig tly later date by the Hanbalites, who insisted that works were includld in it, and that a person's faith could thus increase or decrease according to his works. The anbalites also criticised the use of some intellectual methods by the anafites. In the longer anbalite creed below, the various groups of people denounced as Murii'ites were probably all Hanafites. ' Anoiher theological point which was discussed tluring the Umayyad caliphate (66I-7501 was God's predetermination of .all h.t*"n actions. There are many statements to this and of "U ",r.rri. in the Qur'an. The pre-Islamic Arabs had believed that all that effect happened to them was determined by Time or Fate ldahr, zamdnl, and the Qur'an tended to speak in terms of this belief except that it replaJed Time by Cod. thus it is stated that God said that 'no misfortune was in the land or in yourselves but what was in a book before we (God} brought it about' |57.|, and Mutrammad is told to say that )nothing *ill b.f"ll us except what God has written for us' (9.51). The i."l great length with God's predetermination of events and "t To legitimate their rule, the Umayyads claimed {among "...J, of human ""t..that the caliphate had been bestowed on them by God; oth.t thingt) and a writJr critical of their policies alleged that they defended uniust actions by saying that they had been predetermined by God' Amoni the ofponents and critics of Umayyad rule were a number -are calld Qadarites. This term of opprobrium is of scholais who curious, for in fact they denied God's qadar or predetermination and insistei on human freedom, at least to the extent of regarding individuals as responsible for their acts. This again was not a closely-knit sect, because the Qadarites dif{ered in their views on other matters. when the umayyads were replaced by the 'Abbasids in 750, Qadarite doctrine became politically iirelevant since the 'Abbasids based their legitimacy more on Sht'ite ideas. Many of the Qadarites, however'

more of an organseem to have become Mu'tazilites, and these were believed in human responsibihty i,".1r".,. Because the Mu,tazilites Far oth., things, some later writers speak of them as Qadarites' half oJ the first "rnong from being opponents of ,tt. caliphs, however,. in the rn tne cenlury several Mu'tazilites had prominent posrtlons, ninth basis for a series of events and supplied the theological "-"ripir"lcame about then. which "o"ri his reign, the caliph al-Ma'mun (813-331 set
afoot what is known as the Inquis


the end'of

should ment that certain p.opt" i.t pttUtl" positions, such as iuclges' whi'e being th Word of tirat the Qur,en, ;;;il"6;';i"r, th"i. belief not, as might seem, a piece of theological 'Coa, *"r'"r"ated. fhls w"s

itio\ lmibna)' This

was the require'

h"ii-rplittirrg, but
""ftpfrt ."

iustify "r. n"ia set of idas' It was the ,t'i_' perio -"' caliphate. Shl'ism " for holding that the Qur'en ", il;;i ,;who procluced the arguments the implication was that, i{ it is created' it is not i, caliph''The "nd


.qustion' ideas "r, to be absolute monarchs, and the vaguely Shl'ite

i*po*'''t po


The 'Abbasid

their legitimacy supported this conception of the

"r"",.a, U" overririden by a divinely-inspired .,.rr,"ffy ir,re God' t"-"ty .ri"*, "nd ""r, ttt"t tttt Qur'an is the uncreated word of ;;;;;;ty altered; and from this it means that it is etemally true and cannot be the i"r]"*' that the final Jision on legal matters should be not in the of tfie authorised interpreters of ir, or tn. caliph l.,i i' those Qur'4n, that is, the scholar-jurists' the Most of tt o.. t"q"ii"i to m"k" a public profession. of exception -was createdness of the Qur'an did so. The outstanding of a legal Ail;Jiil Hanbal (iso_sssl, a prominent memberDespite theschool weak after him' ;;;;i which d"u.lop.J ,rt" iit" ""-ed however' it was eventually oiihe_Inquisition, ;,i";i; the policyprobably b"""tt" it was failing to achieve an abandoned about 850, the healing t*p;;;;p"rt or the underlying aim, namely' the doctrine of.rifts of th the commu"i v. rr'"'abndonment of within to an acceptance of cratedness of the Qur'an was tantamount """i.*as the religion of the caliphate' In all legal matters concernleft to il;;il;; ion of t e "itizens to oie another, the final sav.wasforeign as interpreters of the Qur'an, even though in
the scholar-jurists

poii"y and military

their own judgement. become tthorrgh iire main body of Muslims Tay 'be said to have only gradually-that they found a way of Sunnite at this p"rioJ, il*"t .r".lbirrs this fact. In tvtuhammarl;s time, they were most frequently *" U.lievers i[-i;*i"a"l,less often the Muslims (musliman]' ""ff"a the'community' lummal or the also be irt.y


the caliphs and govemors tended to rely on



People of the Qibla, that is, those facing Mecca in prayer' The shorter Hanbalite creed emphasises that it is stating the sunna which has to be followed. Al-Ash,air speaks of those who follow the Hadiths and the Sunna. The term'People of the adtths'is also used, though it does not occur in the creeds. Al-Ghazah speaks of the People of the Sunna. Al-Tabawi says his creed is that of the People of the Sunna and the Community liama'al, but by this he may have meant primarily the *"y have excluded the anbatites. Al_ijl has the same anafites "r'd phrase, but by his time it may have had a mor general meaning, as may also have been the case with the adf ective sunni. By about 1100 o, there was a considerable degree of mutual recognition by the various groups of Sunnites, and this was supported by the tendency towards consensus alreadY noted. Although Islam has tended to think of itself as intellectually selfsufficient, many Muslims in the period from 750 to 850 or 900 accepted a measure of Greek thought. This is not altogether surprising since in Iraq before the Muslim conquest there had been a system o{ Greek higher education, including various sciences, philosophy and above ali medicine. This was, of course, a result of the spread of Hellenistic culture in western Asia following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century nc. Doubtless some of the converts to Islam in this region had been educated in this way. Apart


intellectual basis for the Inquisition. AJter the abandonment of the Inquisition, the Mu'tazilites ceased to be important, but they main-

tained a theological school for a century or two. Dir6r's position was closr to Sunniim, but he was regarded as heretical on some points. Other scrolars of mainstream views also adopted Greek methods, but

little is known about them. It is this use of Greek methods which created what came to be the discipline of Kalam' A prominent part - though perhaps not so prominent as was.once thought - in theievelopment of Kalam was taken by a1-Ash'arr (873SiS)."A, a young man, he studied in the Mu'tazilite school in Basra, but about the'y""i9OO experienced a kind of conversion and gave up M.r,,""ili.* for a more or less anbalite doctrinal position. He did not, however, abandon the Greek methods he had learnt from his Muitazilite teacher, but employed these to defend the forms of doctrine he now accepted. ThJ pure anbalites, of course, would have
none of these rational arguments, but al-Ash'ari seems to have become part of a mainstream group already using them. while his contribution

io the formation of the discipline of of Kalam was important, it was

from these, however, many Muslims became interested in Greek thought. TLe caliphs were particularly interested in medicine, and untiiat least 870 had a Christian as court physician. The translation of Greek books into Arabic which had begun earlier was systematically organised by al-Ma'mnn when he established the House of Wisdom

probably not unique, but about a century later his name was given to ih" i*pt.r".rt r"hooiof Kalam which was then flourishing in Baghdad and continued to flourish for many centuries. The Ash.arites were not the only mutakallimnn or practitioners of Kalam. Many anafites (though probably not al-Tabawt to any extent}

(Bayt al-ikma} as a library and translation centre. Eventually, a very iarge number of Greek scientific and philosophical books were-availabl m Arabic translations. The contact with Greek thought affected Muslim thinking in two ways: it created the new discipline of Kalem, philosophical oirational theology; and it led to the appearance of a isti.'cii''" Arabic philosophy, which has an important place in the

history of world philosophy. hi' followers were known as the People of ReaAbi anIfa "''d and they also made use of analogical reasoning soned opinionlra'yl, by Greek lqiydsl, but it is not clear whether they had been influenced irro"sht. one of the first Muslim scholars to use essentially Greek meth;ds of argument was pirar ibn 'Amr, who flourished in the decades arounJthe year 800; and, about the same time, these methods were taken up by several of the group of Mu'tazilites. The latter held several heretical views such as the freedom of the human will and the createdness of the Qur'dn, and, as already noted, provided the

were also aitracted by Greek metlods, and there was a school in samarqand associated with the name of al-Maturidr (d. 9441. For long ho*"u.., this probably had no achievements comparableto those of the Ash,arites. Ash'arism was taught in various provincial centres as well as in Baghdad, and in the eleventh century there were -several important Asl,arites in Nishapur in eastern lran. Most Ash'arites weie Shafi,ite in law, but some were Malikit and a few were Hanafite. The anbalite legal sclrool was wholly opposed to Kalam' Apart from those who used Greek methods in theological discussions, there were some Muslirns who were more deeply attracted by .eek philosophy and began to write in Arabic on philosophical

*oik, h"u"


rhe irst important figure is al-Kindt (c' 80&-70), -who_se been described as producing 'Greek philosophy for
In other words, Greek philosophy of a Neoplatonic type was

combined with belief in God. A somewhat similar position was taken up by two later philosophers, al-Farabt (c. 875-950) and Ibn Slna, or i"".r.'" (980-1037l. Avicenna probably marks the heyday of Arabic philosophy, and it may have been declining- even before the criticism iii, Uy l-Cf, azelT at the "nd of the eleventh century. The greatest of the philosophers was Ibn Rushd or Averoes |LI6-98|, who was more

tsL.MIc cREEDs

to ,*..nry ".,.nrion to Islam, considerof these serious,-""*"tf,-ffi-ihorrght "T.lorr,."r, resurrection was restricted to the soul and did i""i"J"-irr. uoa, they held that God knows only universals, not particulars; "ot th.y denied the doctrine of creation by assertine the eternity "nd Neoplatonic .orr..piio., of ...r"rr.,ion."'*.rla - a view based on the "i,it. "' It is difficult to say how f", ,t i. by al-Ghazalt led to the demise of phirosoohv i. .rr. "ri.ique ,i" .cariphate, since it may have been in dec ne "."r."Ti"il;;f ir'.'#;; li al-chazah by Averroes, "l.."a|. the called The Inconsistency of t"iiriri"r", was probably little known except in the Wt'el_r'"j', io-".u.r, while attacking the philosophers, became an enthusial iJ;. philosophical disci_ plines, especially logic,.and .""";;;;;;,, further injection of Greek thought into-Kalam s"*" Jr ,it""."."r,," of this ca' be seen especially in the creed of al-sanusi. iti""t i'rt."r"gians became more interested in the ohirosophiJil; fiiloiosv ,t"., in the actuar doctrines; and it mav r'e.asked .h;;il;r";#"ias beneficial for Islamic theol ogy and did .,oi ."th", t"" J ;; ;i;;;f Al-Ghazah (1058-ilttl is someoil;; lt"gna tron. it is difficult to see in proper perspective. His importan". t p.or"iry il;^;;;;;;ff i; ", l0

these, al_Ghazali, decided to take steps to a'"l rir',l". orJbl"* -of private reading, B_y he managed to gain a very t"ll Farabi and Avicenna, ""a.iri"lrra'ila o, ,n" philosophy of al_ *ot. accurate account of their "na views. On this basis, he p.o"..d.J" to _"rii.l thoroughgoing critique of their views, which h" ;r';r;;;;;;"", of the philosophers. rn "" this' he showed that many of t'-i. logical precision which.they "rn'.*ii, .""r" far from havins the

effect on more educa,.g

Though these ohilosophers considered thems.elves Muslims, they produced no shori creeds, *a ,"*. askance bv the theologians-*h;"h"d "i-th.r, ur.*, were looked at thought after the first etablish-.";; i"ii lir,l. attention to Greek il;liscipline of Kalam' In the eleventh century, however, f.* tt.oiogians felt that the philoso_ phers' views and methodr'or "


of world.l*r, Latin they gave a sreat stimulus ""J;l;;ot ,ir"r, *".L. were translated into ," ii"."ot ical thinking in wesrern Europe. For a time]there was ;r;;p'i;;;n as the Latin Averroists. In contrast, there was a continuilig " i.ri.r"rt'i., philosophy i' the Islamic in Imdmi te


Aristotelian than a,Neoplatonist; but he lived in the Islamic (spain and North A'rica) West where ,h.r" i""riir.r. i",*"r, i" ot ii"i"orrr, and he had no successors. Avicenna and Averroes, how"u.r,
of an



st"'r,"'J."i"c i", il'i. i."i;'d ;; ;


1''rii'';;l';". iil;T

"rg.r*Jii"*.r. ir"ti", ".'""r.lri,*

":"': rng three

where he regarded at'.*


east and al-santrsi in.the *;"-d.'" 14g6l are reckoned as Ash'arites. As time y.rrt 9p fror.u"r, tir" theologians seem to have continued their practire of Kalam withoui calli"t;h;;;;. ,o."rrrcally Ash'arites. It is also impori""ii"titr. that in later centuries Hanbalite theology continuedro no.rrirf, _iit i" .pp";*;; ; ii;;*, and to show great vitarity. lt. *ort-ffi.o.r, ."o..r"ntative was Ibn Taymiyya (l263-I38),-but he a"* ment of his beliefs sufficientrv .h.;l;;;;"rusion ".',l."m to have left any state_ here. wahhabite theologv, which has an officiai ;;;"il;'iaudi Arabia, was largely inspired by Ibn Taymiyya. Finally, a word must be said about the development of Shl.ism. Until abou,t.the.vear 85e it.was probably il;; attitude of mind than anything else, and neople witir very rr"i*, iiews could be regarded as shr'ites' They were b.iierre.s i" ,tr" of the ruler, degree of charisma in th.,J";;;i;Ai:. "","""*yilntil about and also in a 824, there had ben some va*ue reco*nition of '' imms of the MuslimE though tr'"." "Ji'i' descendants as rightful J..' ,r* ..'.- to have been any serious plotting to overthrow it'.'utarl J.. "Irortty after 87 4,however, Imamite shr'ism was given *o.. J.ri.ri;; f;. It was a'eged that on the death "
set everything right in the world. "ndlt ro

i"n.'"iion *., prim.arily a professor of jurisprude"*. ---There has been rittle study of iri"*r" theology in the centuries since al-Ghazah. Avast amount of material for.,rJ r*ir..r..r*,iU mostly only in manuscripts' Some oi,t. -or" popurar creeds, such as that of al-Ijr (c. tzst-tassy, *.r. o' many times at Ereat length' The creed of Naim "or"-..rt.a J' .-"iior. from the Maturldite school i",tt" "lDI;"Jfi;'x' "" iil'A.h,".it. school seems to have continued in most of tn. pr.Jo_i"#ly """. Islamic lands; and al_Iji in the

the west' His account of Arabic Neoplatonism was translat.o ,r,,o Latin and had some. influence. Hi. i""o'"Jr, tuncy andthe critique of it by Averroes were rikewis" ,."".i"..J. il.?.o tual autobiography.callea rn" oiii"i"-r'1ro_*ror. a kind of intelrecEoor, anrl this makes attractive reading of a sort wiich ,| Westerners. e, ."r,rir, r,. has until recently been much "pp", *o.. ,,"AJ i" tf,. w.ri tir""" Muslim theologian. He has L;;;;ought of in the""rl,fr.. West as essentially a theologian with leaning. "1." to.,""ra. *yJ";r*;;;'f"* frr, -,rrJ contemporaries and for one o. t*o following


(ghaybal, was now immon"l,

of the eleveritl,-,-.* l"i,r*l;;;l_,, of ,Alr), I lanuary 874, the twelfth.imam, hi;; 'il;d gone into

(waktll who was stilr in touch with agent about 94O alt conrac.t,was fo.r,

it was still (and is still) believed that this imam will on. "irt."gh a.yr.iu*l""


a;".*;;;i*" time would retum to r"gil."ih, this imarnil;;;;,

,he death of the fourth


on or about


The Isma'Ilites take their name from Ismi'il, a son of the sixth imam of the Imamites, |a'far al-Sadiq {d. 7651, and claim that he was his father's rightful successor, and not another son, Mtsi, as the Imamites hold. A distinctive view is that there rnust b an actual visible imim. From 969 to 1171, an Isma'ilite dynasty, the Fatimids, ruled Egypt. In the course of history, there have been splits and regrouping. The most important body of Ismi'tlites today are the followers of the Aga Khan, and for them he is the {orty-ninth divinelyinspired imim. Another body of Sht'ites are the Zaydites, who hold that the true im6m is any descendant of 'Ali's sons al-asan and al-Husayn who has claimed the imamate and has a territory over which he rules. For a time, there were one or two small statelets under Zaydite rule. The Zaydttes were also active theologically, accepting some Mu'tazilite ideas, and a number of their books have been preserved. They are the smallest section of Shi'ism.

The declaration of the occultation of the twelfth imem was the basis of the Imamite form of Shi'sm, also known as Twelver Shl'ism (Ithna 'ashariwal.It led to a concentration of the hitherto rather fluid body of Shi'ite opinion and gave it a definite set of beliefs, which enabled it to be critical of the caliph and other authorities without being accused of plotting against them. The leaders of the Imemites were no longer the somewhat incompetent descendants of 'Ah, but men with considerable political understanding and influence. For some centuries after 940, the Imimites were uniformly quiescent and lived peaceably intermingled with Sunnites. The creed of 'Allama-iIilh (1250-1325} states the beliefs at this period. A change came about, however, in 1501, when Shah Ismd'il, who had established his rule over much of lran, made Imamism the official religion of his kingdom. Despite changes of dynasty and the expulsion of the last shah, Imamite Sh1'ism has remained the religion of Iran, and it also has some adherents in other parts of the Islamic world.

Some afticles of belief and the rclevant terms

The word 'faith' has been used to translate the Arabic verbal noun Imdn, although the corresponding participle mu'mintn has been translated 'believers'. The English word 'belief is not satisfactory

believer, whereas it is the confession of Islam, or else js1rm in the sense of 'submission (to Godl', which makes him a Muslim. It is likely that in Muhammad's lifetime and even afterwards his followers were known as mu'minin rather than muslimin, and so the caliph'IJmar called himselt amlr al-mu'minrn, traditionally translated as 'commander of the faithful'. There was some fiscussion in the theological schools about the relation of im dn to isldm. Sometimes they were held to be identical, but sometimes islAm was said to be restricted to outward adherence to the religion, whiler-mdn indicated a deeperinner commitment; and this view was said to be supported by a passage in the Qur'trn '49.I4f.1. Both these views are fottndln the creeds. Some of the earlier discussions are described in my Formative Period, pp. 1936, but the arguments were somewhat confused, and later creeds show little interest in the matter. The most important division of opinion among the scholars was over what may be called the intellectual and practical aspects of faith. Following AbIr anila, the Hanafites restricted faith to the intellectual aspect, and said it consisted of'professing with the tongue, counting true with the mind, and knowing with the heart' {see The Testament of Abu Hantfa {below}, SSl, 23}. It is further pointed out that the Hypocrites made public profession but did not inwardly believe. Th Hana{ite view is opposed by the Hanbalites, followed by al-Ash'arl and al-Qayrawanl. For them, faith is not merely outward profession along with inward belief, but also extemal works (A Shorter anbalite Creed $7; A Longer anbalite Creed, $1; Al-Ash'ari, $29|. Those who took this view also held that faith increases if a person acts in accordance with God's commands, but decreases if he is disobedient. The Hanafites, on the other hand, vigorously maintained that faith neither increases nor decreases; they presumably thought of faith as that which makes a person a member of the believing community, and he is either a member or not a member. The longer Hanbalite creed ($1)

because it places too much emphasis on the cognitive aspect/ and one cannot speak of 'a faithful'. Essentially, faith is what makes a irerson a


amounts to is that, when someone is "rr"..*inry,. asked *t'.tr'.. t .l' iii*., n. does not say,I am a believer,t"t ,f " longer anbalite creed commends ls irnru|,'arrsays "*" l.liever, if God wills,. The it is no more than a traditional pious practice and does not indicate'""a*ia-""Ji one's status as a believer. The Testament "i"r, of Abu H""tr"lsJi*rif"".

, Y"ry translated has been

and may be based on Qur'.nic u".r., ""'iy."nor"."i of *'hl"h speak oa (people| in {aith, (see Formatire rerioi, p'.-la, .ro,. 4s1. of the early scholars seem to haue p.a"tise

mentions ]as Murii'itef the view that faith may increase but not decrease; this view was held by the



"iio"la""rr, ,h"i."rirrg

as ,expressing

What this practice

d istithna,,which

greater detail, and it is not found in the later creeds. THE SHAHADA

some of the earlier creeds have a crause to the effect that faith is faith in God, His,angels, His books, Hi. *.rr."Sers, His predetermina_ tion of both good and evil, and sometimes various other points. This is a kind of prliminary statement of what th" cr"ed *'lrr ."i ;;;"*


of istithnd,, insists tfi"t




higher level than that of the chrisiian ; ;i; commonry designated by the word. Muhammadis "l'o."i.aloJl,lp'oprro,, in Arabic, but this is much less frequently used lv r".i#..'

The term commonly applied to Muammad by Musli ms, rasil Alldh, is translated ,Messenger of God,. In the past, the term ,apostle, has sometimes been used, it. -.""ittg.T;.omeone sent, is crose to "rr"d the Arabic. Muhammad,s.mission, h;;;;;;, is in , respects on a

Al-SanDsI bases the structure of his creed ".,a reference to it in $26.

rr.. may differ, but they are conceptions of "l.oo..hip' """"ri* one being. Moreover, there are Arabic-speaking |ews and Chiistia"' it.rJ .o -"'Jip_;i;;

tive conception of God;. but, wh,ile"their point is sound, this is not a satisfpctory way of making it. what tutu.lilm. *orship is not a conceD_ tion.but a being and thii being is .r.,r"ttv il^;# Abraham, whom |ews and Chrisiians

The transliterated form shahada has been retained for the Isramic profession of faith, namely, that ,theie is no deity but God; Muammad is the Messengei of ,deitr,-$, ,;;r. _Godj_-i-pr.r., because the Arabic j1a is"not id.oti""i '-in eain,,c"ai"ir,"'*r, related to it. When some Muslim, gi""it. transl"tion',tfr*. i, g3a but Allah', they are probably ,.yi"!-,o i'i "" ,t'", Islam has a distinc_

various ways, and also His otherness from human beings; but this needs no further comment. A word should be said, however, about the Muslim belief in eternity. The difficulty is that Arabic has no single word to represent 'eternity' and 'eternal, in English, that is, no ord to signify what stretches infinitely backwards in time and infinitely io.-""rar. wh"t goes back infinitely is called aza]I nd qadlm, which are translated

'monotheist'(Al-Ghazah, $23|. This last, of course, includes all believers in God. In some creeds, the oneness and uniqueness of God is elaborated in

,idolatry,-"rra tfr" p"r'ticiple _with God, has been translated mushrikan as 'idolaters'' The opposite of sirk is tawld, wtrictr is properly the assertion of the unity of God, but other transiations are sometimes more suitable. Its participlemuwahhidhas been translated

unforgivable sin is to 'ascribe partners lshuraka,l to God,. rh" sponding noun shirk, wtrich means the partnering of other supposed "oii.-

with the first clause of the shahada, the oneness of God is emphasised in all the creeds. It is also asserted that the only
In accordance



o'th" Sh"h.;;;j'#';

'existence' it has wuind and, kawn, but for ,non-existen ce, ,admi tot 'believer' it has mu'mrn but for )unbeliever' or ,infid er, kafir, tor 'impossibility' it has istihal_a but for ,possibility, iawdz or i*kan, withthe participles id'iz andmumkin. it is doubiful whether there is any difference between these two, but mumkin has been translated -'{actually} possible, to show that a different word is being,rr"J.--

It may also be noted at this point that Arabic has no negative prefix to indicate opposites and has to use entirely different *o. r. fhus, for

for the corresponding noun qidam. What has an infinite iuture is abadl or baqi' with the noun baqa, (originally ,remainiug,f; the translations 'everlasting, and ,existent to eteinity,'h"rr. b..r, i""d.

though qadtm normally means Tancient,. ,Being from eternity, i, ,rr"a

'existent from eternity' and'pre-eternal'

in this technical


coo,s TTnIBUTES AND NAMES Muslims commonly hold that ninety-nine'beautiful names, belong to God, mostly derived from the eur'in. In fact, even more are found. These are not listed in the creeds, though al-Ghazah *ro,. book

ing the attributes of God. Al_Sanusl (ss 5) makcs

forms' (ifat al'ma'anl, sif dt mtnawiyya|;the former ar";'';';Jb; nouns such as 'power, and ,sight, and the latter by the corresponding

ob.",rr" distinction between 'attributes of forms,'arid ,attributes pertainint to "r,

about them. The theologians, however, did spend some time discuss"


ISLAMIC CREEDS adiectives 'powerful'and ,seeing,. The translation ,attribute, has here been retained throughout tor sifa, though in the past ,quality, has sometimes been used. For the correspondingverb ittasafi, however, instead of a clumsy phrase with 'attribute', the translation ,is charac-


written there at God's command by the Pen lqalaml. One of the

matters that was specially predetermined was

of his death; v

terised by'has been preferred. The early theologians often singled out seven attributes for special consideration, namely power, knowledge, life, will, hearing, sight and speech; and these are listed in some of the creeds. A cliff-en*ce was sometimes drawn between attributes connected with God,s essence |dhdtiyy and those connected with His activity (fi,liyya|. With regard to the latter, it is insisted that the attribute belonged i; iod "ter.rilly, and not merely after He had exercised the activity; for example, Fie was a creator before He created the world. A prominent place was given to the attribute al-Razzeq, the provider of the susten ince lrizql which keeps every living thing alive; and it was held that, even when someone eats what is not lawful for him, perhaps because stolen, this is still the sustenance provided for him by God. since the attributes were expressed by terms also applicable to human beings, care was taken to maintain the othernes, oi cod fro.., everything human. Early discussions had been about whether the terms were to be understood literally or metaphorically, with the latter word taken in a somewhat rigid sense. It was probably Ahmad ibn anbal who tried to break the deadlock by saying they were to be taken bi-La kayf , 'without (asking) how,. In the translations, the term 'amodally' has been coined for this important conception. This is in line with the recognition by christian ihinkers that iruman language never applies precisely to God, and that he is only ,somethingflik"e, what we call Him. GoD,s oMNIPoTENCE AND HUMAN PREDESTINATIoN

Similarly, as already noted,

il if a person

person's rizq or sustenance was predeter-

was murdered,

person's aiaL, the date

it was at his


An attribute of God frequently mentioned in this connection is His qadar. The translation 'predetermination' has mostly been used, because the emphasis is on God's activity, whereas the alternative 'predestination' suggests rather the human angle. Along with God's qadar, His qada'or 'decree' is often mentioned, which amounts-to the

same thing. It is further held, however, that God not merely predeterrnines all human activity, but also creates it as it happens. This led to

a problem: if God creates the acts, how can they be said to be the person's acts? One answer is that, while God creates the acts, the person 'acquires' lkasabal them. There was much discussion at an early period of 'acquisition' (kasbl in this technical sense, but it is seldom mentioned in the creeds. What was widely held, however, was that God creates a human act by creating in the agent the power to act. In ordinary conversation the word qudra,'power', was doubtless used
of the human agent, but the theologians carefully avoided it, and spoke instead of the istia'a by which the agent was able to perform the act; this word comes from a root meaning'obey' and has here been trans-

lated'acting-power'. The mainstream theologians further maintained that God created the istild'a only at the time of the act, not beforehand.

Among the attributes of God is qudra,,power,,, so that he is qddir,

in English'omnipotence, and ,almighty,would be more

'powerful', and these translations have normally been used, although

assert the freedom of the human will. while the pre-Islamic arabs had been convinced that human life is controlled by an impersonal Time or Fate, mainstream Islam, following the eur'in, *"y b" said to have given this role to God. He is held to have predetermined every act of a person's lif before he was created. Sometimes these acts are said to be st down on the Preserved Table (Iawh mahffizl, and to have been

human life is described in considerable detail in some creeds, and was obviously much discussed by the scholars. The view taken in all the Sunnite creeds may be seen as a reiection of the Mu,tazilite attempt to

"o-rrrorriy used for what the Muslim scholars meant. God,s absolut control of ail

The modern Western reader sees a further problem here. If a person was bound to perforrn a sinful act and could not avoid it, why should he be punished? The Muslim theologians, however, firmly believed that, though the acts were predetermined and created by God, they were nevertheless the person's acts. The conception of 'acquisition' or asb had tried to deal with this problem. It was furthe held, however, that those predestined for a good life were helped by God, receiving His 'succour' |twflq|, so that acts of obedience were easier for them; they were also said to be guided by God. On the other hand, those predestined for an evjl life were said to be abandoned by God or led astray. Sometimes, but only sometimes, this succour or abandonment by God seems to follow on a good or bad decision by the person' Clearly, the mainstream Islamic theologians had failed to produce

an intellectual reconciliation of God's omnipotence with human responsibility. The Western Christian may feel that there was too little attempt to maintain in theory some degree of human freedom. Before he becomes too critical of Muslim thinking, however, he should ask whether the Christian West - at least at the popular level, but


j,:::;;; : ;. ;:; _, sf u, n would ;;;iT :mniPotence with l t",,...a.,l" j;fi;T"':i.:...",,T*{#*:ryi*:"'n:::t,l

:.."*E,:f ",,xi#:

u c c es


e conrrol of

human afiairs.

int erpre ta ti

to be one of God,s , cxcept that Speech is also held eternal -"r. "il"r"1" The Sunnite "arrit*._J" concerned to assert uncreatedness of "...a, the ' position i., opoo.1r!|| j" t" s h i i i. :,:,., ," u r,an

:Ty":f i$,":1;rTlJ,il#":,,#:::.*,*.1-.".,,:much,he




"..", o" ;i j::'



i'."': ffi

nate points. t, ;". paper and or.11u

i{'"*i",lffi 'ii:,i'."d;l':[i'j:*:1iff' j[i'

"tri ""J;i; r."lf-ulous r':#t^::T: that the Qur'an

T;'T,i"""''';;3;s,'#;i;i:,li.x1:H.;:rui authori
ty on the d ivi
riou s

iff :[.i : :9,,n. ;..''


* 3j

.'h :3[..*:1tj:






the Arz

.eternali;";;;::i#:?:'ii',"''a'"'."j'..*:1:^.:ff f Ti;r#:|

'iT'T rjJ

'}i"t"j*iffi :gl*;;**'itt#ll*im ;i'

Jx:,il :|''"""i"s

iil|*nh?Tl1'"{'i:itilTT j:|l"k'r';"'*;;;o

Il.-:: of God, ur, senser "^:* "' "* ,r,.

Jf ;:Tilff

.",ijuT itJr#iX"":"1X:1ot, Mulammad

^ ^


"' "

as the Mes-

mean that he was the

r"r11,itil-";i one. There were arso cases where there was no exact isntid,frrt _fr"rJ Jhe anecdote was a matter of common belief' so trt" *"sTe t*oossible that the large number of people invorved .""iJ ;il-h;"b"..r, *irt"Len; this type of
isna-ds for the same hadrthl

of a hadrth was to look at its r'snrid {rite."ilv '."pforJl;"*;t;ffi", transmitted along with the body of the hadtth'. in, ii i i i;'#;;"'" transmitted the anecdote; for example,;."ia of au thori ti es who ha d ^; tr'"i n_._"ra had heard from C that rvrrih"-*;J;;; ;;ff. ..,, and A, B and C had a' to be

which it is possible to_learn ,r'"-'""" of souncl hadtths from Muhammad. Deviation f.o*;il, or standard practice of of the and the Sunna as generally accepted _$ uii:'o;i"irovation,, eur,6n is tanta_ which mount to heresy; the participi"t imuxtdi,,,innovator,. The chief method of a"t.i-t"i;;;h; "o"'' ,ol.,a.,...

laws prophets except where it.*pri"irly "il;;,iJ';'he them; given to previous but he accepts the Torah, psalms and Gospel, ,fr".,Sf"3"}iit".d o.;'."-ably only in their o, ungorrupted form (gI0). While the eur'tn is the primary scripture for Islam, there is also a secondary type of scripture in ,h.'""1 ;;ns

the law given to MuhrmmiJ

t,r.lim. p.ofess to honour and accepr all the previous prophets. "i."a', oiisii"lly, it was supposed that the revelations to these pioph.t, *"'"'_l".i"ly the same as that to Muammad, and so wer acceptable to Muslims. A-fter a time, however, it came to be rearised tttnt trr"r.- *ere important differences between the eur'an and the l.-i.f, l"J christian scriprures; and, in the course of the first lrl"*t"...ii"o, nirittview that the [ewish^ana chrisij".i'."rrpr*... scholars eraborated the were largely corrupt. They based this view on verses in the eur?n, but these dealt only with minor matters (Earlv Islam,p.

God is held to p-roduce evidentiary-miracles (mu,iizdtlto confirm that those claimins pr'ory.,r'""J receiving revelations from Him. These evidentiary-miracl"., "'"'s.;uirr.ry happenings beyond the normal course of events which ".. beings' From rhem are.distinguiJ;;i. ";;;; be urought about by human which God produce. to r'o"o"i" ,'itie*"nder-miracle s rkaramdtl awtiya,".t i."il;"i c"al. As mentioned in some ortn"


last of the prophets , aftgy whom there would be no othe4 and this implies that Muhammad has ,rr. ri""i*"rd of God for humankind. AlGhazalr (g l 5 t goes .o r". *-ro-"ai ii*'lilr. prince of the human race,. Muhammad was also ,., o,t., propt.,. by his ascension into heaven. This is held to U.*.*i'"*jirr "lo* rfr. eur,An (l7.lf, and alidentirieJ ih;;;;;,i;" witb, the',,i,io.,



zz j_h;;. il;r'i,"




reliable persons' sometimes--rrr...iu.r. severar satisfactory





recognised scholar-jurists were entitled to state how the -il. general principles found in the eur'an and the sunna *.r" ,o applied in practice, and each ordinary Muslim had to f"ll";;;":;;i iurist. This was known as taqlld or the following of an .rr is insisted on in the longer anbalite creed ($l7|-in ""t'o-'lty,
of belief.

vaguer terms such as ,reports, |atha.

hadith was described as mutdwtfu, which has been translated as 'widely transmitted'. The creeds do-not distinguish -igt, have been expected between hadiths in the strict sense "r "r."iiyanecdotes of ". about Muhammad and the anecdotes about other M"rlir"r; il;;r;

I.55i lo.3, 19.87, o.lo9, 34.23|' The Qur'en does not name Muhammad as an intercessor, but, as can be seen from the creeds, it came to be generally held that he would intercede for the sinners of his community, and that these would leav Hell after being sufficiently
punished. One of the popular beliefs not mentioned in the Qur'an is that of the Punishment of the Tomb. 'lhe dead were thought to have some sort of



C_ompanions of Muammad is perhapspart of a deliberaie a;;;;;;. idealise the first quart r-cent,rry oi so of rshm. ;C;;;;;;;"i, technical term for all who had seen and known Muhammad, " -. "rra female. In the isndd of a fradith, the first reporter must, of cou..e, b. companion. The names of the companions and some a.t"it, " .lorrt them were carefully preserved, and there are biographi""iill;;;;' ot them with 1,000 or more entries. The legitimaC and order of the first four caliphs, Abu Bakr, .(Jmar, .Uthman and ,Ah, *fro *... companions, features in the creeds because it is a central point "if of belief for Sunnite Islam and a rejection of Sht.ite claims. ESCHATOLOGY

The insistence of the creeds that only good is to be spoken of the


The creeds contain

'fteflj h.1ve normally been used. A person,s fate is sometimes said to be oeclded by the book recording his acts |69.l9_3,84.7_I|. Sometimes the person's acts are said to be weighed in a balance Of .O_i, i.Si.i. This,judgement is the ,reckoning, (hisabl mentioned Lf in some of the creeds' Among the delights of paiadise for those assigned to it is the vision of God (75.3|. The Qur'an has no clear statement abotrt Muslrm slnners being rereased from Heil after a time, but it does speak of the possibility of intercession {srrald'af for them ty God,s p"r-i*rr"

trial, and assigned to paradise or Hell according ih.i, actions have been good or evil. The commonly-used terms are al_ianna,,tt. ", Sni_ ,the fire,, for which the translatio", ,p"i"ao"; l'a 19"1t Td al-nd,,

fudgement people will be raised from the dead, brought

discussions of the attributes of Gocl. rhe tartingpoint is, of course, the Qur'dn, which gives a prominent place to thJdoctrine'of tfr"i"rt fudgement. The main thought is that on the r"rt O"y

some of which are at. a much more popular level

number of articles about eschatorogical matters,

,fr.t ;;;-;ir. ".'b"ylf mf"i" C" f".


consciousness and to suffer punishment for sins; this sometimes followed on interrogation by two superhuman beings, Munkar and Nakir. The Hour (sA'a| is mentioned in the Qur'6n as a variant name for the Last Day, and there are several descriptions of the portents which will herald and accompany it, such as the blast of a trumpet lsur, naqfrrl and the disappearance of the world as we know it. The creeds say little about the end of the world, but mention other signs of the Hour {Al-Tahawr, $45; Al-Nasafi, $38}, such as the coming of the one-eyed Deiiel (a name derived from a Syriac word meaning 'deceiver'|. This was a powerful being who before the coming of the Hour would seduce and tyrannise much of the world, but would be defeated and killed by 'isa (fesus) descended from heaven. Many of the creeds speak of the Basin and the Bridge. The Bridge (qirAtf is stretched over hell, and is sharper than a sword and finer than a hair. All have to cross it; the wicked fall from it into Hell, but the upright are enabled to cross sa{ely. Then (at least according to AlChazali, S21) the upright come to the Basin (bawdl, a vast lake of sweet-tasting liquid from which they drink before entering Paradise, and never thirst again. fust how all these popular ideas relate to the basic Qur'anic description of the Last fudgement is far from clear, but their mention in the creeds suggests that they were widely believed in by ordinary


Note on literature
A fuller account of the course of Islamic theology will be found in my book 'Islcmic philosophy and Theology {enlargld edition, rai"r".gr, University Press, 1985); and a much f.,il., of the p.rioJ "."o,rrrt 950 in my The Formative period of Islamic fhought'lfdi"t"'.S1, 'rf'to University Press, 1973f. An important pioneer .,"". Dunca., -orl Black Macdonald,s Developmeni of Muslim Theology, Turirprri"iu and Constitutional Theory (New York, Scribner, ts6|iinthe Appendix to this volume there are translations of the creeds oi _ern.^.i

Standard translations
In the creeds, the aim has been to keep to the same English word for each Arabic technical term, and the chief standard translations are given here. Occasionally one of these may have seemed unsuitable in a particular context/ and a few slips may have been made. Brackets have been put round words for which there is no Arabic word, though the idea is implied. Ascriptions of praise have been omitted. A hyphen has sometimes been used to show that two English words translated one Arabic word.

'Allamah ... Tabataba'I, translated and edite<l by ^"a H".*i" Seyyid "'. (London, George Allen and Unwin, 197.5' For ttre lsma,rtite ,r'.." two translations by W. Ivanow: A Creed of the Fatimiar.'tS".rb";, ".. Qayyimah-Press, l93 f and True Meaning of ReligionUy Sfrifrat"; dtn Shah al-useyni (Bombay, 1933}. Other works referred to in the notes are: w-att, w.M., Muhmmd,s Mecca: History in the Quran (Eclin_ burgh University press, lggg). _ Watt, W, M., Early Islam: Collected, Atticles (Edinburgh University Press, l99lf.

les doctrines sociales et politiques de Takt-d-dtn Ah;;;-i'.i;;;;;, {-9"i'j, Institut Fran gais d'Archologie Orientale, us l 1, r"ieriJio'*s Ibn Taimrva. This is supplemented by his La piofession de foi diin Batrtra lDamascus, Institut Frangais, 195gf . English translations are availabre of some longer statements of shr-'ite belief. For the Imamites, there is A shtite cieedbyAsaf A. A. Fy-zee (London, Oxford University press, 1942) Snairi-irtr*'if

and summaries of some others, while the commentaries on these draw on his incomparable knowledge of the hadrth literature. - For Hanbalism, there is the seminal work of Henri Laoust, Essal sur

Ghazall al-Nasafr and al-Fadalr (d. l82t). (Al-Fadah *". "tpsyp;i." with philosophical interests similar to those or "" l,rt 1.c|lotar hrs c_reed was too long for incrusion here.) Arent "r_s"nii fan wensinck,s The Muslim Creed: its Genesis and Historicail Developmr", rc"*lri*" University Press, l93Z| contains translations of thiee Han;fi; ;;;;s


abadl existing to eternity, everlasting 'abd human being; but'abdu-hu His servant 'adm non-existence
appointed term 'arad, plural a'ra-d accident(sf

athar reported saying, report azall existent from eternity, pre-eternal

baqa' being to eternity; adiective baqi'

'ars throne


'dat essence
fardaniyya uniqueness

fand' passing away


fatla supererogatory


fartda obligatory

.ftisdb reckoning

badith originated; noun udutorigination haqlq real nature hawd basin

'ibad humanbeings ilad bringing into being i1dm inspiration lmdn f.aith
22 3



istitd'a acting-power istithna' expression of uncertainty ittagaf a characterised by

istighna' independence istihala impossibility

irada will



reasoned opinion

sustainer, (provider o{ sustenance- zql

ia' possible; noun iawdz possibility iawltar atom

r?/ir unbeliever; noun ulr unbelief kd'ina entity kaiam speech; but as philosophical theology is transliterated

aldt fotmalworship samad enduring shafa'a intercession shar'revelation

shirk idolatry
gi/a attribute

khalidnn everlastingly kar amdt wonder-miracles ftursi sedile

]wh mahfu7 preserved table


taklr/ imposition of duties tanzlh purity of conception taqdtr determination

t a

tavv'flq succour ta'iI denial (of attributesl tawbid assertion of oneness

taqlid following an authority shbih anthropomorphism

mud'siba settling of accounts, reckoning i izdt evidentiary-miracles mukallaf mature believer mu.k.hassis determinant mu'min believer mumkin actually-possible murakkab composite mustahrl impossible mut awdtfu widely transmitted

mawiud existent (thing) mithdq pledge

masdhif copies mashi'a will, volition

ma'id return mahall place mahall impossible mQ'nd, ma'int form(s| or meaning(s}

wahdaniyya unicity way revelation wdiib necessary; nounwuiib

zindtq dualist

qad'dectee qadar predetermination, predestination qadim existent from eternity; iloun qidam -pre-eternal, qiy am b i- naf si-hi self-subsistence qiyds analogical reasoning

The Creeds

The Hanbalites
The carer of Al.rmad ibn Hanbal (780_855l has been described in the Introduction, and something has been said about the distinctive anti-rationalist theological position of his followers. In lc Profession de foi d'Ibn Batta lDamascus, 1958) Henry Laoust called attention to six Hanbalite creeds which are reproduced in labaqat al-Handbila by Ibn AbI Ya'la (also known as Abu lusayn ibn al_Farra'} (Cairo 1952|' These creeds are incorporated in biographical notices of members of the school, most of whom are very obscure persons. Three are translated here, called by Laoust 'Aqtda V, II and I espectively. At a few points (indicated by ellipses), there have been brief omissions of difficult statements which did not seem to add anything to what was being

|a'far Mutrammad ibn'Awf, who claims that Ahmad dictated it to him (labaqat, i 311-31. Much of it deals with eschatological matters. The uncreatedness of the Qur'4n is asserted, but there is no Qur'en. It is insisted that faith (being a believer) includes actions as well as verbal profession, and may increase and decrease; this is the distinctive anbalite position in contrast to the anafites. The short creed which follows {labaqdt, i 130f.1 is primarily concerned with the practice of religion and not with belief about God. The longer creed(labaqdt, i 4_3ll was translated in abbreviated form inmy Fotmative Periodpp.29a|. While the asser_ tions of this creed are much the same as those of the other two, there are one or two points which suggest that it may have taken shape at a later date: it gives a fuller account of the discussions about the uncreatedness of the Qur'en; it has a more elaborate treatment of God's knowledge, power and other attributes; and

ibn anbal, since it occurs in the notice of Abu

The first creed here may contain the actual words of Alrmad

mention of the discussions about the 'utterance' |[af oI the


methods, analogical reasoning lqiyasl and reasoned opinion {ra'y}. The Hanbalite use of the names of sects has been mentioned above, and should be carefully noted. In the case of names such as Mu'tazila and Khawerij, the Hanbalites are in accord with standard Sunnite usage, as found in writers like al-shahrastani.

includes the specific reiection of two features of anafite



could obviously not be a heretic. The names ,yahmiyya, anJ '|ahmite' are used by anbalites for persons letleving i" ih; createdness of the eur'an, but there *", ,ro clearly d"fii.Jr."t oJ this name, and in other writers such persons are assigned to the Mu'tazila or other sects (Forrna tive beriod,, pp. f af _2, laS_
48; nf , art.

Hanbalites regarded arl these views as heretical, but that the position of the main body of Sunnites, for who* A

They use ,Murii'ite,, however, for many different views held bv Abu Hantfa and various groups of his follow"r* il;-;;;

4. We

*", .roi H;;;i;


Ahmad ibn Hanbal or","rlJ,to" i. A hadith has come,from the Messenger of God in which he says:
'He who meets God rvith a sin (unrep-entedf will ;;;;;rfi;;'i; Hell; if he repents and does not persi_st (in the .i"), ;J;iiil.n.", "f towards him; and whoever meets God after paying penalty



come from the Messenger of God: ,If someone meets (God) persist_ ing in his sin and no-t repenting of it, then his i. f* ;;-(; decide); if He wills, He punishJs him, and if He *ns, "ff"i, H" p;;J;; him, provided h died adhering to Islam and the s;;;. ff'";;;; speaks ill of any of the Companions of the Messenger of Coa, o, detests him for something h has done, or mentions tis aEa., then he is an innovator, outwith the community until "uil he asks for (God'sJ mercy on all (the companionsf and until his heart i. ,o,,,rrJ towards them all. Hlryocrisy is unbelief in God, that is, ; aiJ;_ lieve in God and to serve other than God, while op;;t;;J*rg Islam; this is like the hypocrites in the lifetim" or tn" ri{.r.*;;; of God; whoever of them openly showed unbelief *r, kill;l.;-:. 2. He (Muhan_rmad) said: ,When two Muslims encounter one another with swords, {both| the killer and the one killed are *;. also said: 'The insulting- {or wounding) of a Muslim i, t."rrrgr.; sion, and the killing of him is unbelief.' He als. said: ,who"ever says to his brother, ,,O unbeliever,,, has made the *o.a t^" o] orr" of them., 3. These adt-ths are sound and preserved. We submit to them even if we do not know their interpretation. We do not discuss them or argue about them, and we do not interpret them, but *. ..i"," them as they have come {to us). We believe in them and Lrrorv tt they are true, as the Messenger of God said. We accept "i them and do not reiect them.

that sin in this world, that is his atonement.;





fahmiyya. He said: 'Do not perform the formal worship along with them or on their behalf.' 5. In one of the sound badtths about the Messenger of God, it is said: 'The Prophet has seen his Lord.' This is transmitted from the Messenger of God himself . . .. Belief in that and counting it true is obligatory. 6. The People of Paradise will see God with the eyes. 7. Human beings have their works weighed; of them are some for whom as compensation sin is not weighed. 8. God speaks to human beings, and there is no interpreter between Him and them. 9. The Messenger of God has a Basin, whose vessels are more in number than the stars in the sky. 10. Belief in the punishment of the tomb and the test of the tomb; the human being is asked about faith and Islam - who is his Lord, what is his religion and who is his prophet? And (belief in! Munkar
of the Prophet for a (group off people being brought out of Hell, and in the intercession of the intercessors. 12. Paradise and Hell are created. They have akeady been created, as comes in the report from the Messenger of God: 'I entered Paradise and I saw in it a castle', and: 'I saw al-Kawthar',r and: 'I came upon Hell and I saw its people'. He who supposes that (Paradise and Hell) have not been created is counting false the Messenger of God and the Qur'an; he will be asked to repent, and if he repents, (well and good|, but if not he is killed. 13. When there is no intercession remaining for someone, God says, 'I am the most Merciful', and He inserts His hand into Gehenna and takes out from it what only He can reckon; if He wills, He takes

do not abandon formal worship on behalf of any of the People of the Qibla because of a sin he has committed, small or great, unless he is one of the innovators whom the Prophet put out of Islam, namely the Qadariyya, the Murji'a, the Rafida and the

and Nakir. 1. Belief in the intercession

them all out. ... 14. We do not place anyone of the People of the Qibla in Paradise or in Hell, except those of whom the Messenger of God bore witness (that they are in) Paradise: Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Alt, !ala, al-Zubayr,'Abd-al-Rahman ibn 'Awf, Sa'd ibn Abt Waqqag, Sa'Id lbnZayd ibn'Amr ibn Nufayl. 15. Adam was created in the image of the Merciful,2 as comes in a report from the Messenger of God transmitted by Ibn '(Jmar. ... 16. Belief in the predetermination (by Godl, (both) of the good and of the evil.





7' Faith is speech and action (or worksf. It increases and decreases. decreases where works are few, and increase.

18. The Qur'an is the speech of God, uncreated. From wherever it is heard and recired, from that it begins and ro tt ii ;;;; ;;"k. 19. The best of the people after the il"rr.og", "t of God i. bJ s"ir, ,Umar, then_.Uthman,3 then then .i."l *ia t. jei'*"jrl"
anbal), 'o Abu'Abd-Allah, they say that you are uncertain about 'Uthmen., FIe said, ,By God, they lie about me. I related to them the hadtth of Ibn .Umar, ,,We were placing in order {of excellence) the Companions of the Messeng"' oi Godi*"'"y, l";i"r.;;;"" ,Uthmen; 'Umar, then and that reached th. froph"t, deny it.,, The Prophet did not say,,,After tt'.'" j""oi-". "J--il"-iia lot distinctions (in meritf between ,nyrr..,,No_one fr". prooii., respect of that. He who was uncerain about .Uthman ""y aia rro, place 'Ali fourth was going against the Sunna, O Abu ""a la,Iar., A SHoRTER ANBALITE CREED


13. The most excellent of the people after the Messenger of God were Abu Bakr, 'IJmar, 'Uthmen, 'Ali, the son of the uncle of the 14. The calling for mercy (from God} on the Companions of th Messenger of God, on his children, his wives and his sons-in-law.
Messenger of God.

This the Sunna which they consider obligatory and submit to; to accept it is guidance, to abandon it is error.


The Sunna observed by the Messenger of God up to l. Approval of the decree of God" submission tohis death. His orJ.rirrg 1o, commandf, patience under His judgement, acting in accordince with what He commanded and..frlirrirrg i."* #n"i

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Belief. in God,s predetermination (both) of what is good and of what is bad. Avoidance of dispute and argument in respect of religion. The moistening of the sandals.a The holy war with every caliph, (whether) upright or sinful. Formalworship on behalf of one of the leoplJor t'.qibh *ho
has died. and decreases by acts of disotedience.



A LoNcER ANBALITE CREED Faith is speech, action (or works) and intention, and holding to the Sunna. Faith increases and decreases. It is (right) to express uncertainty in respect of faith, but the expression of uncertainty is not (actual) doubt; it is only an old custom among scholars. If a man is asked, 'Are you a believer?', he says, 'I am a believer, if God wills', or, 'I am a believer, I hope', or, 'I believe in God, His angels, His books and His messengers'. He who supposes that faith is speech without works is a Murji'ite. He who supposes that faith is {only} speech and that works are legal matters is a Murii'ite. He who supposes that faith increases but does not decrease has adopted the view of the Murii'ites. He who does not recognise the expres-

sion of uncertainty in respect of faith is a Murii'ite. He who


8. The Qur'En is the speech of God, sent down on the heart prophet
Patience under the standard of the prince, and when he acts unjustly.

7. Faith is speech and action (or works); it increases by acts of obedience

Mubammad, not created, wherever it is read (or recitedl.



11. We do not declare one who asserts that (God) is one to be an unbeliever, even when he commits great sins. 12. We refrain from discussing what was disputed between the Companions of the Messenger of God.

[e rney are unlust.

do not.take up the sword against commanders, even when

gious truth) in the heart is beneficial, but does not speak of it (profess it openly|, is a lvlurii'ite. 2. The predetermination of everything (is from Godf, (both) of the good and the evil, of the little and the much, of what is outward and what is inward, of what is sweet and what is bitter, of what is liked and what is disliked, of what is fine and what is bad, of what is first and what is last. (It is) a decree He has decreed and a predetermination He has predetermined for {human beings}. Not one of them opposes God's will or does other than His decree; but all of them come to what He has created them for and fulfil what He has predetermined for them to do. This is justice on His part. Adultery, theft, wine-drinking, homicide, consuming unlawful wealth, idolatry and all sins {come about) by God's decree and predetermination, without any of the creatures having an argument against God, although He has a conclusive argument against His creatures. He is not questioned about what He does, but they are questioned. The knowledge of God is efficacious in respect of His creatures by a volition from Him. He has known the sin of Satan and the others who sin against Him - and He is being sinned

supposes that his faith is like the faith of Gabriel, Michael and the angels is a Murji'ite. FIe who supposes that knowledge (or reli-

against until the coming-of the Hour _ and He has created them for that' He knows the ob."dien.." of obedience and has created



who asserts God,s knowl"dg.

"ot"r"iull. tr'"tirlins a;;i;"" is not by (God,s| will in invot".dtt" i:. ,;;;;.rg tl,"t the one killed died at other than his appointed ,.._, than this? On the cont."ry "ii riat unbelief is clearer tt 1.u..ri)'*", t, Coa,, decree and by His will in respect ii. "t them, and (was) of what came "*","..''."jt, His arranging for "r lv ffi. I abouithem.ili,r,;;;"".adi*ir,,""iirT;::JTi::.r:T,yi:ii: "lout
His creating
If anyone supposes
(of those

supposes that stealing wine-drinking and consumine unlawful wealth are not ly tcoJiJl 4."*.'""a predeterminationl he is supposing that ttri. p.r*.r-i;;;;*f"r enough to be able to consum the sustenancJ of anothii io.''""l, Magian doctrine. on the *"u^i,)-ipJl*"j""r. ",iJ his (ownf sustenance, and God has decreed,fr"l'fr.'rfr""ii """'' eat it in the way in which he eats (sc. lawful o.

:|"j creatort and this is pure idolatry.

It anyone

'No', he has supposed

and producing a childl._ aia child, or was it established r;

that the will of human beings is more effective ifr"r, tt "' lt of God. And what -'^is greater lie against God a than ttrisi-- ". It anyone supposes that adultery is not by predetermination, he is asked, ,Do you see this

them for that. Everyon" j;;;;1"", "-r",i. he was created to do. and comes to what was decreed i".ii_ known Not one of them opposes Cod,, pr.J.iermination about him. ""a and His will. God is the doer or ruirat H" il;J;;;""r,a ,n" accomplisher of what He wills. If anyjne supposes that for His servants who sin against Him God wi[s.good ana beings will for themselies;iIil.;rio "mar"""., and that the human out what thev have wiiled, .h* ""r,,



co i,jii,'ti", H.


Hi. p*ri"ulino*l"aget,If he savs.

;iffi;i;h "J;i;;;";.'L""if,lii

result of adulterv should create this


5. (It

3. we do nor bear witness of any of


noble and good he has done ;ir;;;;;; h;il;h;;;;;il,:::: The caliphate is in ,,. is not (rightf Ior any oi til._p*pt.;;;;.il;ith remain (alivel. rt them about it. nor to rebel against them. We do *f.""*]jg" th" caliphate of any other than (euravsh) until ""a ,h" #t"h. aorr.. The /ihads

l.oii. of ,n. eitt" that he is don.-o, he has committed, unless there is a hadith ,rr",.";;#;* .]. fi;;;"* bear witness oi any on the people of the "lo,r, Qibla ,rt", rt. i. ir p*adise for somethins
in Hell for an evil he

His will {evenlof






;i;;, eurayrh."l;;;;;;"

{bf The punishment of the tomb is a reality; a person will be questioned about his religion and his Lord, and about paradise and Hell. Munkar and NakIr arc a realityi they are the two interrogators of the tomb. We ask God for steadfastness. {cf The Basin of Mulrammad is a reality; his community will go to drink there; there are vessels with which they will drink from"it. {df The Bridge is a reality. It is set stretching over Gehenna. People pass over it and Paradise is beyond it. We ask God for safety

greatest of liars.

you follow the report in respect of that and do not go against it. (a) The one-eyed Daijal will undoubtedly appear; he is the

omission of formal worship, the drinking of wine and similar things, or where there is an innovation such that the person holding it is assigned to unbelief and exclusion from Islam. Then

the Helper. is obligatory| to hold back from the people of the eibla and not declare any of them an unbeliever on account of sin, or exclude him from Islam for some act (of his!; but (it is not so) if there is a hadtth about that (point) and the radith has been related as it came (to you?) and you count it true and accept it as it was related, and know that it was as it was related. (This applies in cases of) the

is valid along with the imams, whether they act uprightly or sinfully; it is not invalidated either by the evil of the evildoer or by the justice of the fust. The Friday worship, the {celebration of the) two feasts and the pilgrimage {are to be observed} with the rulers, even if these are not upright, fust and pious. (Various taxesl/ the legal alms, the land-tax, the tithes and the {proportion of the) booty and spoils are to be paid to the commanders, whether they have dealt justly or evilly in respect of them. Him to whom God has entrusted your affairs is to be followed, and you are not to withdraw your hand from obeying him nor to rebel against him with the sword, until God makes for you an opening and an exit. Do not rebel against the authority, but listen and obey, and do not break your oath of allegiance. He who does that is an innovator, opposing and separating himself from the community. If the authority commands you to do what is a sin against God, you must certainly not obey him, but it is not for you to rebel against him or to deny him his right. I(eeping apart (from both sides) in civil strife is an ancient Sunna whose observance is obligatory. If you are made to suffer, set your self {?life} before your religion. In civil strife, do not give your assistance by hand or tongue, but withhold your hand, your tongue and your sympathy; and God is

(in crossing).

34 35


ISLAMIC CREEDS The Balanceis a,reaLity.In it are weighed good deeds and evil deeds, as God wills th"y.hol'rld b. *.r*n"d. (ff The Trumpet is a reality. Israfil ltoiu, o'it and created beings die. Then he blows on it a second blast and they are raised

THE HANBALITES depths of the seas. (He knows! the sprouting of every plant and tree, of every grain and vegetable, and the falling o{ every leaf. (He knowsf the number of every word, the number of every pebble and grain of sand and of dust, and the weights of the mountains, and the works of human beings and their reports and their breathing. He knows everything, and nothing is hidden from Him. He is on the Throne above the seventh heaven, and beneath Him are veils of light and fire and darkness and what He best knows. If any innovator and opponent tries to prove (the opposite| by God's words, 'We are nearer to him than his neck vein' (50.16), and 'He is with you wherever you are' (57.41, and 'There is no meeting of three except where He is the fourth ... and He is with thm wherever they are' (58.7|, and similar ambiguous {passages} of the Qur'6n, then say (in reply to him) that these mean {God's} knowledge; for God is on the Throne above the seventh and highest heaven, and separate from the creatures/ but there is no place to which His knowledge does not reach. God has a Throne, and the Throne has bearers carrying it. God is on the Throne, to which there is no limit; God knows best about


_ 7.

before the Lord of the Worlds f". ,fr. *"f."ning and the decree, and reylrd-and punishment, and paradis. n"a g.U. (s) The preserved ra'bte,1is From it the works of human beings are.copied "-.."iriyl. t". sir*-iii"ir formf because of the determinations and tr'. a."i.. ii.*y in it. (hf The pen




trumpet-blast or at any time, because G.od created them foiet.rnity, not to come to an end, and He did not *rit. (p."d"t.r-_irr"1 death for them. Whoever holds a contrary view is an innovator who has deviated from the true path.
and seven earths one below another. B",.Y::" ,r'" gi'"'i heaven was a distanc. or soo y""r.,;;"Jil;.."n and the lowest "arthany two heavens was a distance of 500 years. Thee *"' *",". above the highest heaven; and the Throne of the rercif"l was above the water. and God was on the Throne.;6 and the ilJ'l" He knows what is in-the seven lr."r."r'""a;il;il;J;i;?::l: earths and what is between them and what is ildJ;il g-irra what {Godl created seven heavens one above another,

world to come, not to this pr..."i.o,ii. ""a in. do not die at the comilrg oi art. Ho"iorlt'the

created, and also Hell and what is in it. God created ih# th_em. They wiil never come to an end, nor what is in them. If an innovator or a dualist ,'i* ,.'" ttt'. word,'Everything is perishing "pp".it.ii, oa,. g ambiguous.(p".r"g..1 of th" "*""p,'ffi.i"*, tZS. S i ;iilil; Q,r. ai,-tlr. (r.plyl to him is: everv_ thing for which God wrote (.". and perishing will perish, bul pa;"fise H.' were created to be etemal, nor to come to. an end ""i p..irlr. Th"tili;;;""rh;

(otherf peopre wiir be in ii.*tr*liisi;nd ".r";iii:il. for ever. These are the people of dolatry and counting f"i;;;l denial and unbelief in God. Death will be aor.,"*nf *-itf, o"'tt. day of resurrection between paradise and Hell. Paradise and what is in it have already

in it what (timel.God willed; ,'.y

sors' People will be taken out of}eil aftei entering it

people will be taken out-of

intercede for other people

-everything Intercession

is a rearity. with i and mentioned each

"""rained C;J;;ote the determinations

a reality. people


on the day of

," ,r,"i-iir.v ao .,oi-.rii., HAlty tfr. i"lercession of the "iii ""a interces-

"*pli"itly. ."*;;'.r-i; is





il ,h;;;;;;;ffii;;

p'"J.t.'-il,""*il; ;:?J




is in the

angry and displeased; He is merciful and pardons; He impoverishes and enriches and is inaccessible. He descends every night to the lowest heaven as He wills. 'There is nothing like Him, and He is the hearing and seeing (one|'(4.L1}. The hearts of human beings are between two of the fingers of the Merciful; He turns them as He wills, and bestows on (or holds back from! them what He wants. He created Adam by His hand in His image.T The heavens and the earth on the day of resurrection are in His hand. He places His foot in Hell and it shrinks (?1, and by His hand He takes from Hell a group of people. The people of Paradise look on His face and see Him; thus He honours them. He appears in glory to them, and makes gifts to them. Human beings appear before Hirn on the day of resurrection, and He Himself administers the reckoning; none other than He administers that. 10. The Qur'an is the Speech of God by which He speaks. It is not created. I{ anyone supposes the Qur'en to be created, he is a fahmite, an unbeliever. If anyone supposes that the Qur'an is the

speaks and considers (or observes|; He sees and laughs; He rejoices and loves and dislikes; He shows loathing and good pleasurer He is

God is hearing undoubtedly, and seeing undoubtedly. He is knowing and not ignorant, generous and not mean, forbearing and not hasty, remembering and not forgetting awake and not sleeping, near (with His favourf and not neglectful. He moves and

its limit.



ISLAMIC CREEDS Speech of God, but suspends judgement and does not say it is uncreated, this is worse than the view of the previous {person). If anyone supposes that our utterance of {the eur,an) or our reciting (or reading) of it is createdt while the eur,an is the Speech of God, he is a fahmite. He who does not declare all these people unbelievers is in a similar (position| to them. 11. visions from God are areality.when the recipient sees something in a dream which is not a iurnble, and tells it to a scholar truthfully, and the scholar interprets it by the correct principle without distortion, then the vision is arcality.In the case of the prophets, the vision was a revelation (from codf. what is greater ignot"rr." than to disparage visions and to suppose that they ... "r..roihi.rg. It has been related from the prophet that (he saidi that ,the vilion of the believer is a speech by which the Lord speaks to His servant, and that'vision is from God,. And in God is our succour. 12. There is a clear, established, obvious, well-known principle that the good qualities (or deeds| of the Companions of the Messenger of Go{ all of them together, are to be mentioned, and their ad qualities {or deedsf are not to be mentioned, nor the different views about which they disputed. If anyone insults the Companions of the Messenger of God or one of them, or reviles them or criticises them or discloses their defects or shames one of them he is an innovator and a Rafidite and a wicked ; . _ C;;;il; golrtrary, to love {the Companions) is a Sunna, and";";;. on their to pray behalf is a good work. To imitat them is a means bf access (to God|, and to accept the reports about them is meritorious. 13. The best of the community after the prophet is Abn Bakr, after Abu Bakr'lJmar, after'Umar.Uthman, after.Uthman.Ali, Some suspended juclgement about .Uthm6n. These (four| are the rightly and truly guided caliphs. After these four, the Companions o1 the Messenger of God are the best of the people. No-one may mention their evil qualities (or deeds} nor accuse one of them of omething shameful or of some defect. He who does this must be and punished by the authorities. They may not pardon "o..""t.J him, but must punish him and ask him to repent. If he repents, that is accepted from hiur. If he is fixed (in his false views), his punishment is renewed and he is imprisoned indefinitely, until he dies or goes back (to a correct belief). 14. (The true believerf recognises that the Arabs have rights and and precedence (in Islam), and he loves them.i (This is -excellence based) on a hadtth from th Messenger of God. He said, ito lou" them is faith, and to hate them is hypocrisy,. {The believer) does not follow the view of the Shu.ubites, or the corrupt (ideas) of the

'rHE HANllAl,l'l'Bs clients who

d<l not love the Arabs, and wh<l tlo not confcus tltctr excellence. Such (persons) are innovators, hypocrites and rlpprr

15. He who forbids earnings (or gains) and trading and 6ood forlrrs ol wealth is ignorant, erring and foolish. On the contrary, earnitll3s ttt lawful. God and His Messenger madc tltcrtr a (proper} ^y ^r" tawt"i. A man must strive to gain from His Lord's favour (what rs needed) for himself and his family. If he does not do that becatrsc he does not approve of earning (gain|, he is disobedient' Everyonc has a right to his (own) wealth which he has inherited or hits workecl ior, or which has been bequeathed to him, or which he has earned - contrary to what opposing theologians hold' 16. Religion is only the book o{ God, the reported sayings (of early Muslims), the standard practices {sunanl, and sound narrativcs from reliable persons about recognised, sound, valid reports (sc' badithl, where these confirm one another. That (all) goes bact trr the Meisenger of God, his companions, the Followers, the Followers of the Followers, and after them the recognised imams to the Sunna and {scholars} who are taken as exemplars holding keeping to the reported sayings, who do not recognise innovation rrot accused of falsehood or of divergence (? from the true

the earlier reliable imtms. 17. If anyone supposes that following an authority is not approved,ro and ihat his (own) religion is thus not the following of anyone, this is an immoral view in the sight of God and of His Messenger. (The person) only wants to invalidate the reported sayings, to i"mpalr knowledge of the Sunna, and to stand isolated in reasoned

"rrd "r. views). They are not upholders of analogical reasoning and-reasoned opinion, foi analogical reasoning in religion is worthless,. and reasoned opinion is the same and worse.e The upholders of reasoned opinion and analogical reasoning in religion are innovators and in error, except where there is a reported saying from any of, Kalam-, innovation and divergence (from received



I z

Al-Kawthar is usually held to be


a river of Paradise, and is sometimes regarded as the source of water of the Prophet's Basin'

that God had created Adam in His image, in line with the statements

.'" t'adIths in which

Muhammad was reported to have said

(1.27)' These are here accepted by-the Hanbalites. Eventually, however, the maiority of-Muslim. scholars, because of their belief in the absolute otherness of God, reiected the

in the book of Genesis

obvious interpretation of such hadiths, and found ingenious ways of



3 o

Islam, pp.94-lOOl.

making the word 'his, refer to someone other than God, (Watt, Early

'expenditure of eff ort'. Muammad ..'.po'i. J ;;;;; ;;;il. ordered to make war on-people trr.y s'"/;ir,...'i, God"'. This links up with the.o"""ptio'iol t't *".ij ""til """i.i iu, j. 'the rslam'and {h. " ". a!_islam,

was sufficient to moisten the sandals'in.t."J of ;;;i;i;t'i# f!.; completely (Wensinck, Muslim Cr""a. i Tiil The fihad is the ,holy war,, although it" -ira itself means onlv

So.*9 opponents of the Umayyads held rhat ,Uthmen was not a tme caliph, since he had commitied a great sin in not punishing a certain prominent person who had done wrong. Ahmad h; ff;;J;;; himself from any such view. see this minor point being given much prominence in ]Il.^._l.:*"'to rt f,ne creeds, but was a matter of dispute between the main b.d, ,,i the Sunnites on the one hand and ti''., x'a'iiii..'ffi",il ii':i;J.;i meant that, in the ablution. p..p"'"toryiolli-"l *o'sr'iol.-oi,e ii

The place of al-Ash'art (873)-935) in Islamic theology has been clescribed in the Introduction. Two versions are extant of his creed. One is in his Maqalat al-islamiyyin, ed. H. Ritter, Istanbul, 1929_30 , pp. 9O_7 . The other is included in his theological


the background. The Throne on which God is said to be seated is generally , word ku,rsi found in this article can ,;;;;;;, ,tfr.""1r,, arsh. Tbe i" iii" 'Throne. Verse, ,footstool,. "r The -|.255|, but it a_lso t."q'."tiy -"ans ,sedile, translation habeen adopted. 7 See note above. 8 Until the end of the Umayyad caliphate in 750, the Arabs were in a special position, since the'Muslim .o--""iiy was regarde<J as a federation of Arab tribes, and il;_A;;t r,"d to become clients (maw.d1i) of anAraL t'ite' rt"iiso, t'Jiu..,.r, the distinctiorr between and non-Arab gradually t"a.J r'. t "*"y. persian l"ns";;; "'"li,.'-"".T:tl:,::r,::.irtel:pt to upho_td the place of the tne lslamlc state |FoImative Period, p. l7f ^ Analogical reasoning (qiya-sf and reasoned .|. 9 opinion (ra,yf were promi_ nent in the methodology-of the school of du Hanii"' i'hil,-;;j th. developed discipline -of X"U-, **"--ifi"rfi opposed by the

harb|,but this conception and the

$h;;;;;rr)"6ar dar at_ a'tyti lii'aj'i.-'i*J""'iiy"i"

;; .,l,li jiilj


work, Al-Ibdna'an usttl aL-diydna, Hyderabad, 1903, pp. 9-13 (English translation by W. C. Klein, New Haven, 1940). The two versions are almost identical, except that one uses 'they' and the other 'we'. The translation here is of the first version, but any significant differences in the second version have been added in square brackets. The similarity with the anbalite creeds is obvious. The Hanbalite critique of rational methods is omitted, but there is no defence of Kalam as such.



. 3.

Hanbalites. Following an authority (taqlidlwas_generally regarded as proper attitude for the ordinary M,r.ii*. ri" ;;;;"; Irpposed the to use his own interpretations of texts.

\0. \7.

The sum of what is held by those following the l:adlths and the Sunna is the confession of God, His angels, His books, His messengers, what has come {as revelation} from God, and what trustworthy (persons) have related from the Messenger of God. They reject nothing of that. God is one deity, unique, eternal; there is no deity except Him; He has not taken to Himself consort or child. Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, [sent by Him with guidance and the relation of truthl. Paradise is a reality and Hell is a reality. The Hour is undoubtedly coming; and God will raise up those who are in the tombs. God is on His Throne; as He said: 'The Merciful on the throne is
seated' (20.5).


p. 10.

hands are spread out {in bounty)' (5.64). God has two eyes, (to be understood! amodally; as He said: 'Which sailed before Our eyes' (54.14). God has a face; as He said: 'the face of your Lord endures, full of maiesty and honour' (55.7|. The Names of God are not said to be other than God, as the Mu'tazila and the Khawarii a{firmed. They assert that God possesses knowledge; as He said: 'He sent ,4.1661, and 'No female conceives it down with His knowledge'

God has two hands, (to be understood) amodally;t as He said: ,38.7511, and: 'Nay, His two '(what) I created with my two hands'



12. 13.

and brings to birth la child).except with His knowledge, (35.1

AL _ s H.



God, that the evil actions of humantreii_s-. *",ir."!"1-i*"0 and the (goodlworks of human beings are created by Coa, lrra that human -, -ev, slt beings are t7, r1:r."blg to create anything. lr a. we hold that the ,and (we also holdl that human beings ar1u.1ab_le ;" created; as he said: ,Is there;r;;.;;;ther but are themsetves than God?,{3s.31; and: 'Those to whom ,t.y coa created nothins and are themselves c::^,:r!, ""li"p""rl 06.;6;';;;i,rs He who creat.s hJ who does not create?, they created ". from nothing, or are they ,1,. tee'er) This (thought) occurs 9.9",91.i;isijsl. frequently
has created you and

(perso;]il;;";l to be., before he (""tualtyiao-.-s j:"il':'J: rt, ;i,'#,i"J:li::;:: ,: knowledge o' to do 16. They assert th"t th.r. is"";;;;;#:xcept he will not clo. ",h' ;iliioTu'o*s
They hold that a


They hold that there is neither good nor evil except what God wills, and.tha, be by the will of God, He said: 'But you as *jii unless cod willslit|, (8t.zgh and, as the'irr ""t Mustims ,"i;;'6;;, God.wills .o*., ,o,b", and what He does not will ao"r,"oi'"o_e


They affirm that God has powe4 as He said: ,Did they not see created ,t'"'"



i"";,"t deny that


as do

*"' -ii'ri.".'iil;"

they in power?,

,ffi ;#;" 6',i'"

believe that they do nor control (thingsf l"".ii"i"i'., harmful for themselves except what God wills,is 0. They commit their affair to od and affirm rtr''1 H" fr", ."ja. all times and (their) want of Him in all circumstar"... -- --' "".j"1""1", L' They hold that the Qur'An is the speech of God [and that he who holds the creation oi the eur'an is "rrJ,'rr".""t"d, an unbeliever]. (In respect of| the discussion about suspenai"s i"ag.;."i-(", to whether the Qur'an is. created or not} oi utterance (of the eur'nn is createdf, they "m"r'oij'''s1i"il"'l consider thit he who holds the utterance (to be created| orwho suspends ludgement ion uncreatedness) is an-innovator. {Ourf utterance of'thJ qur,an is not said to be created, nor is it said to be uncreated. . They hold that will be seen by th. .y., on the day of
Messenger of Godl, but the unbelievers wilr norsee
resurrection, as the moon is seen on the night 'God when it i"f"ii. it believers will see Him [as stated in the " barths ."l"t"Ji.o,,, tir"

19. They

(They assert) that goodand evil are by Gocl,s decree and predetermination; and they believe in God,s decree pi"-J"i..*1""tion (bothf of th.e good and the evil, of the sweet;J;h;;i;;. ""a

hu-;;;.';;;;;:' ffi"i"._:.Tr;tlliJlji::,7:E;,
*lr:ir"" a.r,1;;.;


i-* neil, "]oi'*...



_"L" tt ,rnf"il;;.r. show favour to them so. that-,h -;;;;r"" sound and not to " believers; (on the contrary) He willed that they .h;;l'd UJ".r.,l"ti"r,.rs as He knew (thev would bef, and He ab j;;Jffi;j'.".r,,h.astray and put a seal on their hearts.

but He willed not to

God guides is guided {aright), while those.whom C"j-.."i.'rstray are indeed the losers, (7.178)1. c"d- do.; h;yil;il: make the unbetievers sound and to show favour.o ,r'.*_'o ,i"irr'i"."-";Ji."'..;

"r hey assert that God helps (or succoursf Him and abandons ,h.'ilb;ti;;;;;" the,believers in obeying .no*. ravour to the believers' has compassio'orr,ir-.-r.r] *#J, tr.- sound (personsl and guides them, but He d"", ;;;;i;;i)"uorr. ro the unbetievers ormake them sound*.ijii. _"a. the (latter)sound. they woutd be sound H. *ra.a them, they woul be guided (aright);

in the Book

(i"?;;I,;;ii t"J H" ."ii, HJff"";

Moses asked God for the vision (of Himj in this iir", c"a appeared to the mountain and levelled it, thus ""Jirr"i, *f"i_i"SiM";l that he would not see Him in this life but would r.. HI* irrit life to come.2 " 3' They do not declare any of the people of the Qibla an unbeliever because of a sin which he_corrrmits, such as ir'*. similar great sins, tT.lo ,!: Khawarii, *ho "a"i,", ""a thereby unbelieversl. [But (they) ao hoid that "r.".tih;ii;;;;. he *h;;;;;;" great sin, such as adultery, theft and the like, and at tfr. ."_" time.declares it permissible and does not believe it to l" L.tia den, is an unbeliever.l 24. Faith, according to them, is faith in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, andinthe predeterminarion tli coal "fll"iiil the good and the evil, the sweet and the bittel'aJ(f"i,h'ijr;, what missed them could not have hit them and that ;il;h;, them could not have missed them. Islam is bearing *itrr... iilt there is no deity except God, and that Muam*"i i' ,il M;; se.ger of God, in accordance with what has come in the hadtths. Islam in their view is other than faith. 25. They assert that God is the changer of hearts, lthat hearts are between two of His fingers, as is stated in haditils ."l"t"J o* the Messenger of Godl.

from their Lord'they.will be veiled, (83.15,.

they will be veiled from God. God has said: ,N"y, but-on ,fr", a"y

Hi;; l;.

iir'.y '"rJl-,t'",



26. 7.

Theyassert the intercession









[35a. We hold that the imamafter the Messenger of God was Abu Bakr al-Siddiq,

then 'Uthman, then .Ali; and they ;iil;ilse were the rightly and truly_guided caliphs, ,'." *o.i;;;;il";; of all the people after the prophet. and that God magnifi"d th;

about) ""a-rfr.yi..p andih",,,:ir"f;E;'til;;'n; about) what was disputed between them, (both| ,fr"l..'rJr-JJ,L. r."".". of them. They set in the foremost (pil;' lo n"ii',nen ,tJmar,

their merits,

ends with rhelv1e.r""g"i oic.a. rfr"y a" or,Why?,, because that is in-"ou",io.r. ""i *y'H:T1' that rney hotd God did not command evil, but forbade it and commanded good; and that He did noi of evil, even though He willed it, "pprou. They recogrrise the virtu of the predecessors whom God chose fo the companionshio of His prophet;

(personsJ, iust {person)fr"; 1o1hr ot transmission)

an of '",o".,."r'iol their religion about which,tt'.'t";ui;'8u. over that in "rgu*..r, and disagree; (that is) because of their (o*"1 soundly-related (reportsf and of what has "!".pi"*. "f related come in the accounts

:::::::: uncreated. created or ""i.."," They hold that the Names of God are God. They do not bear witness of Hell lU.irrg ;"rt"inf sinner, nor do they iudge that paradisellJ..r,"inl for any great tor anymono_ theist, until it comes a6out that C"Jfrrlpf*ed them where He willed. They say that 1!;,{fai, "* ["..pte) belongs to God; if,He wills, He punishes them, and if H. *ilt'., He forgives them. that (by reason ftlr i5!e".e will bringout oi tlr" i.ri*...ion of the Messenger of God) God a group of the,rir"_ii?lr, according to what has been i"l"t.a r'"- ,i. l"ssenger of God. They disapprove of disputation and qu".r"iiiis about religion, of over predestination, ;l;;;nf,
by trust-

*1*1?:.:lL,.1i:',!".,""a"gi"i#"'a'##iil; jii,h is sp ee ch ; a ;,il


n:: |d{ 3f's'"a't sinners' of hi. "o*-'"Gi,l jl",:.1: iIH :':::l ,:^t l,t*1il ;;il#t {is a rearity), that l53::::l..: ?:tr'"t tt'" n.ig" i.;;;t,y, l''"illllJill1j j:*l'"'_"'tlil:1;cf]; j"L_.ffi ;ilti'Jffi T:"i:: *';:


the Messenger of God, and that



they a"

"; ir,"t it "?




was) 'Umar ibn al-Khattab; then ,Uthm6n ibn ,Affan, whose murderers, we hold, killed him unjustly and wrongfuliy; then 'Ali ibn Abi ralib. These were the imdms after the tvlessenger of God, and their caliphate was ,the caliphate of prophecy,.] 36. They count true the hadiths which have comelrom the M"...rr_ ger of God (stating) that God descends to the lowest heaven and says: 'Is there anyone who asks forgiveness?, 37. They hold closely to the Book and the Sunna; as God said: ,And if you dispute about anything, refer it to God and the Messenger, (a.59). They think it proper to follow the ancient imams of the religion, and not to introduce {as an innovation) into their religion what God has not permitted. [37a. We rely, in that about which we disagree, on the Book of God, the Sunna of His Prophet, and the Consensus of the Muslims, and what accords with that. we do not introduce any innovation into the religion of God which He has not permitted, nor do we say against God what we do not know.] 38. They assert that God will come on the day of resurrection; as He said: 'And your Lord will come and the angels, rank on rank,



until (the chain

They think it proper (to worshipf behind every imam, upright

They affirm the moistening of the sandals as a Sunna, thnk ".r a joumey. They affirm the duty of fihad against the polytheists from the tirne of God's sending of His prophet until the last band which fights the Daijal and aftr that. They think it proper to pray for the welfare of the imams of the Muslims, not to rebel against them with the sworiJ, and not to fight-in civil strife; [and to call him erring who approves of rebellion against them when they clearly ceaie to act uprightlyl. They count true the appearance of the Daijal and the iitti"g ot

lengths (distant| or nearer, (SB.8f.l].

(They assert| that God draws near to His creation as He wills; as He said: 'For We are nearer to him than his neck vein, (S0.i6), [and: 'Then he drew near and came down till he was two bow_

that'Abd_Allah ibn'tJmar used to worship behind al_aijai]'3

and sinful, on feast-days, Fridays and assemblies; [as it

i. ,iULa


it proper (both) at home and on


44. 45.

the Muslims chose him for the imamate, iust as trr" r....r'ger of God had chosen him to lead the'orm ;;;.hip;;"?,"r'", him the ,caliph, of the Messe"g", oroJ.,", they all called

dered him victorious ou",




by him and ren-


(the imam


him by'ise ibn Maryam. They believe in Munkar and Nakrr [and their interrogation of in the tombsl, in the ascension of Muhammad to-heaven; and in visions during sleep. [We hold that many a vision seen during sleep is genuine, and we acknowledge that it has an




48. 49.

mfT.rJ [and that God benefits them therebyl. They think it proper to pray ovei all who die of the people of the Qibla,.both the upright and the,i""";;;;;;;o accept bequests trom them, They assert that paradise and Hell are (alreadylcreated. (They-assertf that he who dies di.r that likewise he who is killed is kiileJ "t'hir;iioi.rt"a term, and ir'ipp"i"ted term.

(They believe) that prayer for the Muslim dead and (the giving of) alms on their behalf aftertheir death reach them;

t sH'nl



whether lawful or uilawful,' lT11,^ beings. ""


fahmiyya: as



will do, what will them, what has been wi"ll be; ""J*fr", been.l -- '----/ 4'v 'r what will not be would have been if iihad ""jf"f."ilr"* [55b. We believe in obedience ," *"irnr*l - -_ i., (prudent) counsel_ ling of th Muslims.l ""a 56. We think it prope to endure patiently God,s judgement, to hold fast to what God has command.a, to .Jain from what God has forbidden,

[55a. We assert that God knows what human beings

regarding the children of polytheists is that God will kindle a fire for them in tbe next mlia -lr t'". ."y i" ir'.*' 'Rush into it blindly', as that has ao*" trr. rriariir.i" 55. God knows what human beings comeao, andnhas written _il that will be; (all) affairs are in t . fr"na of Coa. -that


The Sunna is not abrogated by the eur,dn. r he treatment of children (who die) is for God (to decidef; if He wills, He punishes them, and lf He wll He-Jo", ,o them what He proposes.

the hearts of the people,"" of the people, [*rl"::,t" (1r4.4-611. "nd It is impossible for God to mark out the upright by signs which appear for them.

yhoT' "r""t'"' T::,il,:-j""P: and: ,From-the (2.?7s); 1 l",:'i... """'ni;ffi ;' ilili evil of the luiking whtisperer, who ::::!'


to people, makes them doubt, antl renders them 3-,i", to mad; [contrary rv the vlew of the Mu.tazii" ____, r_v4-!-s^, r.L vrsw ur ure rvru.tazlla and the

"ria,fr.l"h_i;;;; usury will not-artse (at the judgeJh.:.1"*pt

They think it proper to shun all those who summon to innovation/ to be diligent in reciting the, in writing the reports (such as I'adithsf, and reflecting on jurisprud.rr"l.,o *hii.1"i the same timef being in humble, submissive a"d of gooa character, being generous in well-doing, refraini"g i.o* -oi"i i""".ingl injury, abstaining from backbiting, slander and being temperate in food and drink. "l"a ""f"*iy, This is the sum of what they command and observe and think proper. {For our partl all that we have mentioned of wtr"t th"f hold we (also) hold and formally adopt. We have no ..,""orr. except God. He is our sufficiency and the best of Guardians. To Him do we call for help, in Him do we trust, and to Him is the
(finalf return.

and being unduly proud.

factional spirit, boasting, acting insolently, disparaging people,


I 2

3 4

Diligence in reflecting on regal *.it..r could perhaps be a reference to .Kalam. Legal matters include theology, '""d th. *;;d-;;;:;;. 'reflecting; or reflective thought,, i, u..i'i"-"I-iii'Sz'i;; -.";i";;i methods in general.

sins and shortcomings of the Umayyads.

exemplary Muslim of his generation. t-Ha|fa| was_a Umayyad8ovemor in the is here ,t ",ast, 'who

Moses in Sinai asked to see Go and was told to observe God then revealed His glory to ihe mountain, and it was .;;;-l.t.i; shattered. From this, Moserea]ised tt'"t t'" life but only in the world to come. "ouia ";j;;; 'Abd Allah ibn ,(Jmar,ason of the caliph.Umar, was regarded as an

see Introduction, p. 16. 19,.,h: meaning of What is said here about Moses refers to a eui,inic verse (2.1431.


a;d;#. ";iffii:
p;;;;f'i "'*c;;;h;

'"g"i.a ".


to be sincere in (orre;sl *orLr, counsel to the Muslims. ""; ;;;;;;; They practise the,worship of God along with the worshippers, the giving of good .ou.,..I to the .omriunity of the Muslims. the avoiding of sreat sins, adultery. ;;;;k;;; f"lri'i,'rilffiJ



Him, and He requires nothing. There is nothing like Him, and He

{]-Tahawi (d. 9331 was a Hanafite who lived mainly in Egypt. The translation is made from a text of the cred publishJd'in Aleppo in 134411925. _Tabawt seems to have been fairly conservative in his views.

3. He created the creatures by His knowledge, and measured to them their measures. He fixed for them appointed terms (of life). Even before His creatfng of them, nothing of their acts was hidden from

is the hearing, the seeing one.

Him; He knew what they would do before He created them. He commanded them to obey Him, and forbade them to disobey Him.

The f:'llorring is an exposition of the creed of the people of the Sunna and the community according to the school of the lurists of the religious body, Abu anifa al-Nu'men ibn Thabit al_Kufi, Abil Yusuf Ya'qrib ibn Ibrahrm al-Ansa and Abu'Abd-Alreh Muhammad iln alHasan al-shaybanr. This is what they believe of the fundamental principles of religion and what they observe in serving the rord of the woiilr.

A1l things come about by His power and His volition. People have no volition except what He wills for them. Whatever He wills for them comes about, and whatever He does not will does not come about. Of His grace He guides whom He wills, protects whom He wills (from sin), preserves whom He wills; of His iustice He leads astray whom He wills, abandons and tries whom He wills; all of

them vary in His will between His grace and His justice. None opposes His decree, none disputes His iudgement, none prevails in His affairs. We believe in all that and we are certain that all is from
4. (We assert) that Muhammad is

1. We assert the unity


into being. That is because He has power orr"r" things, and all things are in need of Him. F'ery ilfair is easy foi "li
{creatures} 48

(of creatures); by their coming into existence he did not increase in any point that was not previously included among His attributes (sc. He was always Creator|. As He was with His"attribute, f.o* eternity, so He will always be with them to eternity. It is not (merelyf since the creating of creatures that He obtained the name of Creator; it is not by His originating of the created world that he obtained the name of woild-malier. He has the character of Lordship where there is nothing lorded ou. *a ,r'. character of Creator where there is no create thing. As H" i"si'"' of life to the dead (at resurrection) after He has givJn Lfe (at birt so He deserves this name (of Life-giverf before His giving of life to them, iust as He deserves the name of Creator befoie Hii bringing

existent nor cease to exist. Nothing exists except what He wills. Imagination does not reach Him, and undersianding does not comprehend Him. He is living, He does not die; upstinding, He does not sleep; creator, without any need; giver of ."r,."i""., without (?receiving| any provision, giver of-death, without any fear (of retaliationf; restorer to life, -itho,rt any difficulty. with His attributes He existed always from etemity before His creation

-Him Him. He is existent from etemity, without beginning; He is enduring to eternity, without end. He does not" beco e non-

one. He has no partner, nothing is like Him; nothing resembles him. Nothing renders impotent. There is no d-eity except

of God, believing by God,s succour that God is

His chosen servantf His selected prophet, His approved messenge4 the seal of the prophets, the im m of the pious, the beloved of the Lord of the Worlds. Every claim to prophethood after his prophethood is deception and vanity. He is the one sent to the generality of the jinn and the entirety of humankind, the one sent with truth and guidance, with light and radiance. 5. (We assert) that the Qur'an is the Speech of Cod; it proceeded from Him amodally as words; He sent it down upon His servant by revelation; the believers truly counted it true in accordance with that (description); they were certain that it was truly the Speech of God. It is not created like the speech of the creature. Whoever hears it and considers it human speech is an unbeliever, and God has blamed him and accused him and threatened him with Saqar (Hell), where He said: 'I shall cause him to roast in Saqar' |74.6|, and God threatened with Saqar those who said, 'This is nothing but human speech' (74.251. (Because of this) we know and are certain that it is the speech of the Creator of humankind, and that human speech does not resemble it. Whoever attributes to God any of the characteristics belonging to humanity is an unbeliever. Whoever sees this (point and is convinced of it) takes heed, is


warned off speaking like the unbelievers, and knows that God with His attributes is not as humanity. The vision {of God) is a reality for the people of Paradise, without comprehension or modality (sc. without our comprehending it or knowing its precise manner|. (It is) as the book of God expresses it,


AL-TAAwI 12. The Pledge2 which God took from Adam and his seed is areality. 13. God has known eternally the total number of those whowill enter paradise and of those who will enter Hell; there will be no increase in that number and no diminution from it. Similarly, (He knows| their acts in that He knows what they will do; and every one has made easy for him that for which he was created. Works are judged by the last ones. The happy person is he whom God,s deciee makes h"ppy, the miserabl person is he who is miserable by God's decree. 14. The principle of predetermination (or predestination| is God,s secret in respect of creatures. No angel of the nearer presence, no prophet sent {by God) has apprehended that. profound study and reflection about that is a means to being abandoned (by God), a ladder to misfortune, and a step towards rebellion (against God). The truly cautious man (avoids this) by thought or reflection or suggestion. God has concealed the knowledge of predestination from His creatures and excluded them from His intention as He said: 'He is not questioned about what He does, but they are questioned' (11.231. Whoever asks why He did (something| has reieited 15. This is the sum of what is required by the saints of God whose hearts are enlightened. This is the rank of those who are advanced in knowledge. For knowledge is twofold: existent knowledge about the creation and lost (or non-existent) knowledge about the creation. To reject the existent knowledge and to claim to have the non-existent is unbelief. Faith is only established where the existent knowledge is accepted and the search for the non-existent 16. We believe in the Table and the pen and all that (the penf wrote upon (the Table|. If all creatures agreed about a thing of which God had written (on the Table) that it exists, {and purposed} to make it non-existent, they would not be able for that; and if all creatures agreed about a thing which God had not written on (the Table as existing), {and purposed} to make it existent, they would not be able for that. The Pen has become d.y by (writingf what exists 17. What missed a person could not have hit him, and what hit a person could not have missed him. people ought to know that God had previous knowledge of every existent in His creation, and by His will predetermined that (existent| carefully and finally, (in such a way) that in (His creationf in heaven and earth there is no contradiction, no repetition, no mistake, no change, no alteration, no deficiency and no excess. That belongs to faith and to the
abandoned. the iudgernent of scripture and become one of the unbelievers.


what is inaccessible to his knowredge and is .rot ,"tirii"d-*irt .rr. submission of his understanding, is'by his ,l"slre pr.clud"J?.;", sincere confession of the unity of Coj, f.o_ pl'r.e i""*l.Ag. *a from sound faith; he wavers between unbelieiand, l.?*.." counting true and counting false, between confessing;J J";ying; he is perplexed, bewildered, isolated, lort, .r"ith& Ui."i", and counting true nor denying and counting ialse. B"li"i i;-;ir. vision (of God) for the peopre oithe House of eace ir the case of the one who expresses iiaccording "oiro"nil" ," f"""y'""a interprets it by surmise/ since to interet vision ind ,o ir't..pi., every characteristic attached to the Lordship (is unbeliei;;;4" path of true belief is) to abandon interpretation and to cling to

knew' Every sound hadlth ,.po.t"jf.orr' the tvtesseng.i i, as he said, and its meaning is what he intended. "}"a We (refrain from| introducing anything (false)into that by interpreting it according to our own ideas or imagining it to be ,J orlr f"";.. only he is safe in his religion who submits i" C"J """orirrg Hi, messenger and refers back the knowledge of ""J what i. aoJ,i"i ," the knower of it (sc. does not interpret l""t n"i knows the interpretation). "a-iT' ".'ry"a Entry into Islam is established only with outward submission and resignation (of oneself- to Godf. !vho"u". cresires L""*"'"f

!|si' looking to their Lord, (75.2L}; and the interpretation of this according to what coa irrt.rraJ".ra -is,

'Faces on that day


furity of rr.;fo, our Lord is characterised by the attributes'of onenes's "o.r".pti;; ;h; propetiesmembers, instruments; the six directions do not ""ar, "i.-""r., rii. * they do all creatures. """ 9. The Ascension of Muammad is a reality' The Prophet was taken by night bodily and awake to heaven ."i tt." to-it l;;;i;; high God willed. God honoured-him as He willed ,r;;;i;e;; ", (him) what He revealed; the heart did ""d noi count false what it saw, (53.10f.). God blessed him in the latter (future)life i. trr. ro.-... 10. The Basin, whereby God honoured (Muammad1 ".ra ,orrr"" oi water for his people, is a reality. ". " i l. The intercession *|i" He hakept in store for them is a reality, as it is narrated in the hadiths.

messengers (by God|. He.who does not guard (both) against denial (of God,s attibutes} and assimilation (of them to t *"" attributes, phism) is mistaken and has-not attained ".;";h;;;;;;of uniqueness; none of the creation has what

submission (to


. In that is the religio" of tt o..

;;; ;,

teristic of Him. God is exalted above limits,



until the day of resurrection.





principles of knowledge and to the acknowledgement of the oneness and Lordship of God; as God has said in His glorious book: 'and-He created everything and predetermined it, |i5'|t and also: 'And the aff.air of God was a predetermination predetermined,
Woe to whoever becomes opposed to God about p..d".ti-


glorious book. He is independent of the Throne and what is below it; He comprehends everything above it, and has made His creation unable to comprehend (that). 19. we say that God took Abraham as a friend3 and addressed Moses

nation, and brings an unsound heart to reflect upon ii! By his wrong idea of searching out the unseen he has sought a secret concealed, and by what he said about it has become a wicked liar The Throne and the Sedile are a reality, as God made clear in His

Merciful; the noblest of them in God's sight is the one who is most obedient and who follows the Qur'in most closely.s 4. Faith is faith in God, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day and God's predetermination of the good and the bad, of the sweet and the bitter. We believe in all that. We do not distinguish between His messengers but count all of them true in





Prophet brought, and to count true all he said o, '"pt.d. We-do not engage in discussion about God and we do not argue violently about (our| religion. we do not dispute about the qurin, but we know that it is the Speech of the Loid of the World *ith it the Faithful spirita came down and taught it to the prince of the first and the last, Mul.rammad. It is the-speech of od, no ".rd speech of the creatures equals it. we do not say it is created, and we do not oppose the community of the Muslims. . We do not consider as an unbeliever any of the people of the Qibla by reason of a sin, so long as he does not consider ii lawful. We ao not say: Where rhere is faith a sin does not harm the doer. We hope for Paradise for the believers who do good, but ve are .ro, of it, and do not bear-witness to them (as having attained "".i"i.' it|. We seek forgiveness for their evil deeds and we fearlor them, but we do not despair of them. certainty (of paradise) and despair both turn people away from the religion, and the way of truth for the people of the Qibla lies between them. A person does not depart from faith except by the denial of what caused him to enter ii. 23. Faith is confessing with the tongue a'd counting true with the heart that all that God has sent down in the eur'an and all that is correctly (reported) from the Messenger of God, (bothf of revealed truth and of explanation - that all that is a reality. raith is one and its people in principle are equal; but one is superior to another truly in piety, in opposition to desire and in adherence to what is worthier. The believers, all of them, are friends {saints} of the

20. we believe in the angels and the prophets and the books sent down to the messengers; and we bear * that they followed the clear truth. we call those who have our eibla ivluslims 1".,a1 believers, so long as they continue to acknowledg" *h"i ih.



protection. O God, Potector of Islam and its people, cause us to hold firmly to Islam until we meet Thee so (sc. as Muslims). 6. We approve of formal worship behind any of the people of the Qibla, (whether) upright or sinful, and on behalf of those of them who have died. We do not assign any of them to Paradise or Hell, and we do not bear witness against them of unbelief or idolatry or hypocrisy, so long as nothing of that is clearly evident in them, but we leave their secret hearts to God. 7. We do not approve of the sword against any of the community of Muammad, except him against whom the sword is obligatory. We do not approve of going out in {rebellion) against our imtrms and the administrators of our affairs, even although they act wrongfully towards us, and we do not summon (others to rebel) against them and do not withdraw a hand from obeying them. We consider that obedience to them in (their) iudging and administer-

who are destitute of His guidance and have not received His

respect of (the revelations| they brought. Those who commit great sins are in Hell, but not everlastingly if, when they died, they were monotheists, even though after they met God they did not repent and acknowledge (their sins). They are in (the sphere of) God's will and judgement; if He wills, He pardons and forgives them out of His grace; as God has said: 'God does not forgive being given a partner (sc. polytheism), but forgives what is less than that to whom H wills' (4'48, 116|.If He wills, out of His justice He punishes them in hell to the measure of their offence; then in His mercy; and at the intercession of the intercessors among the people obeying Him, He removes them from Hell and raises them to His Paradise. That is because God is the guardian of those who acknowledge Him and does not set them in (? the lower of) the two mansions, like the people denying Him

28. We follow the Sunna and the Community, and we avoid

unorthodoxy, disagreement and sectarianism. We love the people of iustice and fidelity, and we loathe the people of wrongdoing and treachery. We say, where we have no certain knowledge of something, that God knows best.

ing of affairs belongs to obedience to God as something prescribed by God; and we pray lor soundness and pardon for them.


IsLMIc cREEDs 29. We approve the moistening of the sandals both in journeying and at home, as is found in rep rts.


30. The pilgrimage and the jihal ,*o duties which are to be performed along with tt or" ".. of it i*a*. of the Muslims in authority, *nol:: " t o. ,i.rrr.rr, i".ra ,n., i",i.rl "nrrqt until the day
the of ;"rt f"rr;;l;", not 3l' i!.T,lnd in iustice " cribi',-""a-ir'", We believe the noble
of resurrection; the evil oi an evildoer""",i"J" cancel does not

35. Everything comes about by the will, knowledge, decree ancl prede_ termination oi God. His will is stronger th"tt uis volition "ll -illr, than all volitions. His decree is stronger than all jevices. Only what He wills comes about. God ctoeJwhat He wills, H" l. never a wrongdoer.. He is too holy to experience evil or "rJ trial, free 36.
frorn all shame and ugliness. 'He is not questioned about what He does, but they are questioned, (ZL.ZSl. In the prayer and alms of the living, tirere is a benefit for the dead. God answers prayers and satisfies needs. He rules everything, but

is entrusted of) seizing tt. ,o"1. ""g"i'of oTjieople in) the worlds. 3' We believe in the punisim"n, .r ir'" i"Lb, and in delight there for whoever is worthy,of it. We-b.1i.""'i" the interrogation by Munkar and Nakrr of the dead p";;; frr. ,.r"lli"rrTil, ,";, his religion and his n1on1.t, iiti.l.l ..1*"d in the reports from theMessenger of cod ". ni' "-;;;;;;' The tomb is one of the gardens of paradise or "i'a one of tt e pi't. 33' we believe in the resurrection after oiHell. death and

with (the task

watchers ov { us; we believe r"


death who

diminish them. God has made them

37. God is angered and pleased, not as one of His creatures. 38' we love the companions of the Messenger of God. we do not love
any one of them specially, and we do noidissociate ourselves from any of them. We hate him who hates them and speaks o,fr.i ifr"" good,of them; we speak onlygood of them. Lovinj them is religion and faith a'd well-doing; hatred of them is unbellf hyp;;;;y

nothing rules over Him. Nothing is independent of rii- rJi tn. twinkling of an eye; whoever fancies he can be indepenclenr of Him for the twinklir:g of an eye is an unbeliever, o.r. oith. p.opf. of perdition.

of His 34. Everyone does what he was made ready for, and moves towards what he was created for. Good ;;rl ;; determined for human beings' The acting-power.through ";J *'i"r'_*. ; ;;k;'_o;;,;;t

creation (of the worldf, and (thenl created fo. .""fr-oiiiem ""a a people,.some He willed for paradise out of His gr;"E ;il"me He willed for Hell out justice.

and Hell are (alreadyf created, exist' God created paradise

" the reckoning, in the .""dr.,g "f reward and punishment, in the Bridge

of (a person,s) works. on tt


;;k iJ*.ri_? j#Jlll" ,i'. s"I""i.. i"r"i,r'. ""a ;iii;er disappear or cease to "";H.ii-r"}.re the


in the recompensing ,"r"i.."rlorr, in the scrutiny and

and presumption. ""d 39' The cpliphate, after the Messenger of God, was settled first on Abu Bakr al-giddrq, giving him precidence and setting f.i* the community; then on 'Umar ibn al-Khatab; th*en on "il"".-"ff ,Uthman ibn'Affan; then on'Ah ibn Abi Tarib. These are the trgtttly-gui;.a

40' we love the ten whom the Messenger of God named

of paradise. We bearwitness tha,t they are in paradise,

caliphs, the well-directed imams.

and assured

power save with God, makes any scheme or God's assistance, and in that without God,s

is the interpretation oi tt'"

1"i;;;r"Jj only what they can compass, and they compass only what He imposes on them. That
the High, the ilIighty,. It means ifr", movement or shift .o aml.y^"J*',l'""i ""-.".

o. ,ff,h* hand, the acting-power, insofar "lo.rg;itr, "l,r iti"pe.rds on soundness rof body), capability, strength, "s exists before the act' with this "b..r". "rrd {-.";i"g) it sion (of such mattersf, since,'". e;Ji; connected the discussaid: ,God does not impose {dutiesf on a soul beyond i" fZ:S61. H""r"; acts are the creation of God and the ""p"tll,y, of the human ,Jq,ri.i,io., beings. God-imposes o'r th.*

as the.succour {from God) whicf, terised as possessing, comes to u"


may not be charac_



is no might and no

th"t ,ro-o.r.l"o

"i.ii.",f, il;;;;;;;;,

?r? the trusty ones of this community.6 41. Whoever speaks well of the Companions of the Messenger of God, of his wives pure from stain, and of his descendants, frle fro* ail filth, is clear of hypocrisy. The ancient doctors of earlier and later generations and those who came after them, who (studied) hadrths and reports and who (studiedf law and reflecrive it spoken of except for what is noble; whoever speaks .uli ""gfr., tt .* i. ni "i. ""i not on the (true| way. 42. We do not set any one of the saints above any ofthe prophets, but y9 s"y, 'One prophet is rnore excellent than all the saintsi we believe in (the saints,f wonder-miracles that h".,re com" ao'o,r, knowledge and have been soundly reportecl ty t*.i*; *"

the r'itness of the Messenger of God and his word *hi"h """ordl.rg i' t-'ti'. They are: AbD Bakr, .IJmar, ,Uthman, .Ali, !ala, at-zutayr,-'a, Sa'id, 'Abd al-RamAn ibn .Awf, Abu, .Ubayd


a 1bn al-|arr:a[.'ih"y


of isa ibn Maryam, iire rising of the sun in the west, and the coming forth of the Beast of the earth from his lair. 44. We do not give credence to diviners or sorcerers, or to anyone who makes claims contrary to the Book, the Sunna and the .o.rr..rr,r. of the community. 45. We consider {the main body of) the community as true and cor_ rect, and the sect as deviation and punishm"ni. th" religion of God in heaven and earth is one, namely, Islam. (God) saldl ,Reli_ gion in God's sight is Islam, (3.19|; and also:,he who desires a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him, andin the world to come he will be among the losers;, ti {3.g5); and also: have chosen Islam as a religion for you, (S.Bl. It iies bet*ee'excess and deficiency, between anthropomorphism and denial {of God,s attributes|, between absolute determinism and (human) power, between assurance and despair.
This is our religion and our creed, openly and secretly, and we are clear towarcls God from everyone who opposes whai we have said in our exposition. we ask God to establish us in it, to seal our

43. We believe in the signs of the

the Dajfal, the descent {rom heaven

H<rur, (srch as) the coming forth of

The Testament of Abu anlfa

mous work from his school, and is probably not earlier than g50 in view of various discussions to which it refers. The text used is

Tbe Testatnent lwasiyya) ascribed to Abu Hantfa is an anony-


found along with a commentary published in Hyderabad in \3lll903. There is a translation in A. J. Wensinck,s Mus]im Creed, pp. I24-3I, and his numbering of articles has been
Faith is professing with the tongue, counting true with the mind and knowing with the heart. pro{essing alone is not faith, because, if that was faith then all the hypocrites would be believers. Similarly, knowledge alone is not faith, because, if that was faith, then all the people of the Book would be believers.r God said about the hypocrites: 'God bears witness that the hypocrites are lying,
(68.1|; and


possession of it, and to guard us from differing fancies, deviant opinions and corrupt doctrines, such as (those off the Mushabbiha, the |ahmiyya, thelabriyya, the eadariyya and others *fro oppor. the community and league themselves with the om these we are clear, and in our eyes they are erring and p"iirhi.rg. And with God is protection.
NOTES I Purity of conception has been adopted as a translation oI tanzih. rt

God said about the people of the Book: ,Those to *ioWe have given the Book know it as they know their sons,(2.146;




2 3

The pledge refers to eut'anic verse {T .l7Ll. God brought the whole 1 proge-ny of Adam before Him and made them acknowTeOg. tlr"iHe was their Lord, so that they could not plead ignoranc" o" ifr. O"y oi


means acceptance of God,s attributes while avoiding anthropomor_

a ]he Faithful Spirit is Gabriel; but 'manners' (kayfiyyatl of revelation.

spoken of as God's friend in the gible: 2 Chronicles zo |ames2.3.

fJt" ay.'1T (4.125) says that God took Abraham as a friend lKhajtll. lhough Christians are-mostly unaware of the fact, Abraham is


l, {'iii ii.ti,

decreases. Its decrease can only be conceived by an increase of unbelief, and its increase can on be conceived by a decrease of unbelief; and how is it possible that one person at one time should be (both) a believer and an unbeliever? 3. The believer is truly a believer, and the unbeliever is truly an unbeliever. There is no doubt about (a person,s! faith, just th.r" ", is no doubt about (a person's) unbelief, because of {God,s) word: 'These are truly believers, and these are truly unbelievers, (4.150)., 4. Those o{ the community of Muhammad who sin are all believers and not unbelievers. 5. Works (action) are other than faith, and faith is other than works. The proof of this is that at many times the believer is exempted from works, but it is not possible to say that he is exempted from faith. Thus God exempts women menstruating or in labour from formalr'orship, but it is not possible to say thai He has exempted

2. Faith neither increases nor







this was only one of several

This article expresses the Hanafite view which excludes works. It is speak of all believers as ,friends, |awliy,d,| il;;i"; awliya'is usually restricted to,saints, as in $42. ' "f The names are in fuller form in the shorter lanbalite creed, $l4' 56

man', but it is not possible to say/ ,Faith is not incumbent on the poor man'.

It is possible too to say, 'Almsgiving is not incumbent on the poor

them from faith and has ordered them to give up faith. The lawgiver has said to (such a woman), ,Give up fasting and fulfil it later', but it is not possible to say, ,Give up faith and later fulfil it,.



We assert that the predetermination (both) of the good and of the bad is entirely from God. If someone supposes that the predetermination of good and bad is from other than God, he would be an unbeliever in God, and his assertion that (God) is one would be

7. We assert that works are of three (kinds): obligatory, supererogatory and sinful. Obligatory (works) are in accordance with God's command, His will, His love, His good pleasure, His decree, His predetermination, His creation, His iudgement, His knowledge, His succour and His writing on the preserved Table. Sinful {works} are in accordance not with God,s command bur with His will, not with His love but with His decree, not with His good pleasure but with His predetermination and His creation, not with His succour but with His abandonment and His knowledge, not with His approval {?)3 but with His writing on the


8. W assert that God has seated Himself on the Throne without

settled on it. He keeps the Throne and what is other than the Throne without any need {for Him to do this}. If He had such a need, He would not have had power for bringing the world into existence and for ordering it, iust as the created beings (have no such power). If He had a need to sit and to be settled (on the Throne}, where was God bfore the creation of the Throne? May
there being any necessity for Hirn (to do so), and without His being

Preserved Table.


He, but is His attribute in reality. It is written in the copies,

God be elevated far above (all thatf . We assert that the Qur'in is the Speech of God, uncreated, and His revelation and His sending down. It is not He and not other than

recited by the tongues/ remembered in the breasts, but not inhering in them. The ink, paper and writing are created, because they uncreated, because the writing, the letters,. the words and the signs {or verses) are an indication of the Qur'tn (on account of) the human beings' need for them. The Speech of God subsists in His essence/ and its meaning is understood by these things. He who says that the Speech of God is created is an unbeliever in God the Mighty. God is worshipped, but does not cease to be as He was; and His speech is recited, written and remembered without being separated from Him.a 10. We assert that the most excellent of this community after our prophet Muhammad is Abu Bakr al-Siddlq, then ,LJmar, then 'Uthmin, then'Ali. (This is because of God,s word): ,Those who go before, those who go before, these are the ones brought near in

are the works of human beings; but the speech of God is

(is based on what) is near to being a widely-transmitted report. The shortening (of the formal-worshipland the breaking o{ the fast are allowable for those travelling by a text of scripture; as (God) said: 'When you go about on the land, no fault rests on you if you shorten the formal worship'(4.1011, and as He said in respect of fasting: 'He of you who is sick or on a iourney, (let him fast the same| number of other days' {2.184f.). 17. We assert that God ordered the Pen to write. The Pen said, 'What shall I write, O Lord?' God said, 'Write what is happening until the day of resurrection'; as He said: 'Everything they did is in the books, and evcry small and great (sinl is written down' (54.52f.).s 18. We assert that the punishment of the tomb undoubtedly exists.

people, fear your Lord' 4.I j 2.I,32.33|, that is to say, 'o believers, obey; O unbelievers, have faith; and O hypocrites, be sincere,. 15. We assert that acting_power come to be along with the act, not before the act and not after the act. If it existd before the act, then the person would be independent of God at the time of his need (to actf, and this is contrary to the assertion of scripture, where (God| says: 'He is the,rich and you are the poor' (47.381. If it was after the act, that would be impossible, for it would be the occurrence of an act without acting-power. The creature has no ability for an act, except when the acting-power (received) from God accompanies (the act). 16. We assert that the moistening of the sandals is obligatory for one remaining (at home| for a night and a day and for one travelling for three days and nights. (This is| because a hadlth in this sense has been recorded. He who denies this is in danger of unbelief, since it

belief) and his knowledge is created. Since the one acting is created, it is all the more (true) that his acts are created. 12. We assert that God created the creatures and that they had no ability, because they were weak and impotent, and God is their creator and sustainer, as He said: 'God created you, then sustained you, then causes you to die, ten makes you alive (again)' (30.401. 13. Financial gain is lawful and the acquiring of wealth is lawful, but the acquiring of wealth from what is unlawful is unlawful. 14. People are in three classes: the believer sincere in his faith; the unbeliever upholding his unbelief; and the hypocrite dissembling his hypocrisy. God has prescribed works for the believer, faith for the unbeliever, and sincerity for the hypocrite; as He said: ,O


gardens o{ delight'(56.10-121. Each one who goes before (or is earlier as caliph) is more excellent, and every pious believer loves them, and every base hypocrite hates them. We assert that the human being with his acts, his profession (of


19. we assert that the interrogation by Munkar and Nakir is a reality, because of tradiths which have been transmitted. 0. Paradise and Hell ate a reality, and they are now {already) created. They will not become non-existent nor will the people in'them; as (Godf said in respect of the believers: ,(paradise)-is piepared fo. ih; pious'{3.133f; and in respecr of the unbelievers: ,(Hef) is prepared

THE TESTAMENT oF ABo ANiFA The article seems to speak of books in which God's predeterminaQayrawani, S28. tion of all acts is written, whereas the Qur'lnic verses speak rather of

books written as records of what has been done; cf. $22 and A1-

for the unbelievers' |.4J 3.l31|. He created them forrewar and punishment. 2r. We assert that the Balance_ is a reality; as ,We appoint {God) said:
2. We assert that the reading of the book (recording one,s deeds) on the day of resurrection is a reality; as (God) said:7Read yo". you yourself are sufficient today (to statel the account against you,

iust balances for the day of resurrection/ lZI.4Tl.


requital, reward and the paying of dues; says: ,'God will ", 1Coa1 raise up those in the tombs, (Z2.Zf. 4. We assert that the meeting of God with the People of Paradise is a reality, (but it is to be understoodf amodally, .roi i., anthropomorphic {terms), and not as being in a (particular) direction. 25. The intercession of our prophet Mulamma<l is a reality for all the of Paradise, even for him who had committed a great sin. _P-eople 26. we assert that after the great Khadlja, 'A'isha is the mosiexcellent of the women of the world. she is the mother of the b.Ii.".r., t .ft purg frgm adultery and free from what the Rawafid ."y 1"""rr.irig her). whoever bears witness against her of adultery ir rri*r.iitt ! child of adultery. 7. We assert that the People of Paradise are in Paradise everlastingly
respect of the believers: 'These are the peopleof paradise and are in it everlastingly,; and in respect of the unbelievers: ,These are the People of Hell and are in ii everlastingly, (.8,8l, .t;.J. --NOTES 1 The Qur'nnic reference to the people of the Book is obscure, but
There is here a reiection of the practice of istithna,,,expression of uncertainty', accepted by the Hanbalites. 3 'PProval'renders ma'rifa, where the text is probably corruDt. 4 'lhis creed has no mention of the ,utteran ce, (iaf zl of ihe eui,an, but ,indication, ('aallilii speaks of what people hear as an ot;t.I" tf,. i"1.i runth century, other thinkers held somewhat similar views; cf. Formative Period, p. 284.

as revelation.

3. We assert that cod will bring these souls (back} to life after death and will raise themup on a day whose length is 50,000 y."*, fo,


and the People of Hell

in Hell everlastingly; as (Godf ,"iJ'in

seems to mean that they have no difficulty in recognising revelation




A Later anafite Creed

;i l


iii ill



al-Ash'arI). The discussion of the attributes of God ..rgg"r,, this creed is somewhat later than the Testamem.

ible, because he failed to appr-eciat. ih" diff.r..,"" i.i tt. definition of faith between the iianafites and the Ha"t"ii,., t"J

also is by an anonymous Hanafite author. Wensinck,s suggestion (.!usl!m Creed, p. 49l that it might be by al-Ash,".ii' ;;;;;:

This is the creed called by Wensinck A/ _Fikh al_Akbar IL There is a text {with commentary) in the Hyderabad volume wt ich contains th Testament, and this has been used here. This creeJ





are: creating, making provision for (sustaining!, pioducing, inltiai'_ ing, making and other attributes of action. (c) He always has been and always will be with His attributes and His names. No attribute or name is originated. He has from eternity been knowing by His knowledge, Hi, k""*;i;; attribute from eternity; h1s also belnf "rrj powerful ly Hir'p"*"., lfte and his power is an atrribute from lik.*ir; .;."Li;;;; His speech, and His speech is an "terniiy; from .,.irriiy, -if, attribuie creating by His creativity, and His creativity is an attribut" fro* etemity; also acting by His (power off action and His fp"*., action is an attribute from eternity. "ii (d.) The-one acting is God, and the (power off action is His attribute from etemity; the result of is createcl, but the

His names and attributes, both those "nd belonging to His essence and those belonging to His activity. {bf Those belonging to His essence are: life, power, knowledge, speech, hearing, seeing and will; those belonging to His actirity

""a "ll "r" God is one, not in the sense of number, but in the sense of having no partner. .He has not begotten (a child), ;;;;;; H" Himself begotten' There is no-one hte Him; He doe ,'ot ."..-bi. anything of His creation nor does of His ;;;;"", resemble Him. He always has been ".rythirrg alw"y, will be, with ali

both good and evil, the reckoning (oi human deeds "termination on Day), the Balance, and paradise H.n, and that

gers, the resurrection after death, the

The root of the assertion of (God's) unity and of sound berief is that one must say: ,I believe in God, His angels, His books, ffi,


by God of



it. i"ri

"rr-d speech of God reporting about them. The speech of God is uncreated, but the speech of Moses and of t-he others of the creatures is created; the eur'en as the speech of God is from eternity, but not their speech. Moses heard the speech of God, as in the verse, 'God spoke with Moses, |4.16|. God was sp""ki.rg before He spoke to Moses, iust as He was creating from etemity before He created creation. when He spoke to Mosis, He spoke to him with His speech which is His attribute from eternity. (cf All His attributes are different from the attributes oi created beings. He knows, but not as our knowledge is; He is powerful, but not as our power is; He sees, but not as our sight is; He speaks not as our speech is; and He hears not as our hearing is. We speak by means of organs and letters, but God speaks wiihout u'g".'' letters. Letters are created, but the.p."ih of God is uncrlated."'r 4. God is a thing, not as the {otherf things. The meaning of ,thing, is what is established. (God is) without body, withou"t substaicel and without accident. He has no limit, no opposite, no rival, none similar to Hirn. He has a hand, a face and a self (or soul),r as he mentioned irr the eur'dn. When God mentions in the euian Uis face, His hand and His sel these are His attribute' lt i' not said that His hand is FIis power or His grace,"-oa"tty. that because would abolish the artribute; such is the view of the badariyya ancr

the Qur'in is uncreated. (b| What God mentions in the eur'An (as a report about| Moses and the other prophets, and (about) pharaoh S"t"rr, is all the

action of God is uncreated. His attributes are from etemity, not originated and not created. Whoever says they o, "r" "r""#d originated, or who is uncertain {suspends iudgementf or doubts these two (points|, is an unbelievr in God.' (a| The Qur'en is the Speech of God, written in the copies/ remem_ bered (preserved) in the hearts, recited by the tongues, and sent down (from God! to the prophet. Our utierance oithe'eur,en is created, our writing of it is created, our reciting of it is created, but


writing of it on the preserved Table; but His writing of it is

descriptive and not decisive. His decree, His predetermintion and

attributes. God has created the things not from any (pre-existentf thing. God was from eternity knowing about the thlngs before their'existence. He it was who predetermined the things and decreed them. Nothing exists in this world or the world to come except by His will, His knowledge, His decree, His predetermination and His

amodally, and His anger and His good pleasure are two amodal

the Mu'tazila. On the contrary, His hand is His aiiribute





prophet, His chosen and elect. He did not serve idols, nor was he at any time an idolater, even for a moment. He never committed any sin, small or great. 10. The most excellent of persons after the Messenger of God is Abu Bakr al-Siddlq, then'Umar ibn-al-Khattab al-Faruq, then'Uthman ibn-'Affan (he of the two lights|, then'Ali al-Murtada. We adhere to all of these. We name all the Companions of the Messenger of God only by way of praise.

knowledge and nothing new in His knowledge; but the ctange and the difference are originated in the created beings. 6. (a} God created th created beings free from r'''"f and belief. Then He addressed them, giving them orders and prohibitions. Then certain of them disbelieved; their denial and reiection of the truth was by God,s abandoning them. Certain of them believed, (showing thisf by their action, their affirmation and their counting true; and (this was) by God,s succour and His help. (bf God took the posterity of Adam2 from his loins and endowed them with intellect. Then He addressed them, commanding them to believe and to abstain from unbelief. They then acknowTedged His lordship, and this was faith (belief) on their part. In tiis religious state, people are bom. Whoever afterwards became an unbeliever deviated from this and changed, while whoever afterwads believed and counted true remained and continued in it. (c| God did not compel any of His creatures to be unbelivers or believrs. He did not create them either as believers or as unbe_ lievers, but as individuals, and faith and unbelief are the acts of human beings. The person who tums to faith (from unbelieff God knows as an unbliever in the state of his unbelief; and if he afterwards tums to faith, God knows him as a believerin his state of faith, and God loves him; but there is no change in God,s knowledge or His attribute. {dl All the acts of human beings - their movements as well as their resting - are truly their own acquisition; but God creates them and they all com about by His will, knowiedge, predetermi-

standing in the state of his standing as standing, and, whenie sits, He knows him as sitting, although there is no change in His

His will are His attributes from eternity amodally. God knows the (currently) non-existent in its state of non-existence as non_ existent; and He knows how it will be when He causes it to be. He knows the existent in its state of existence as existent, and He knows the manner of its coming to exist. God knows (the personf

We declare no Muslim an unbeliever on account of sin, even a great one, provided he does not declare it lawful. We do not exclucle him from {the sphere of} faith, but say he is truly a believer; he maybe a believer of bad conduct, but he is not an

I. The moistening of the sandals is commendable. The additional acts of formal worship (during Ramadan) are commendable. 13. Formal worship is valid behind any believer, whether he is upright or sinful.

t4. We do not say that sins will do no harm to the believer, nor do we say that he will not ente( Hell, nor do we say that, though he was

7. All acts of obedience are obligatory because of God,s command, desire, approval, knowledge, will , decree and predetermination. All acts of disobedience come about through His knowledge, decree, predetermination and will, but not according to His desiie,

nation and decree.

it is free from any blame which miSht impair it, and not (subsequently! nullifying it by unbelief, apostasy or bad morals, but dying a believer, then God will not overlook it, but will accept it from him and reward him for it. As for evil deeds, apart from idolatry or unbelief, if he who commits them dies as a believer but without repenting, he will be dependent on God's will; if He wills He punishes him in Hell, and if He wills He forgives him without punishing him in arry way in Hell. a.t is mixed with ostentation,3 its reward is thereby for15. if ^ny feited, and similarly if it is mixed with vainglory. 16. The signs of the prophets and the wonder-miracles of the saints are real. As for those {unusual acts) performed by God's enemies, such as Satan, Pharaoh and the Daijal, which according to reports have taken place or will take place, we do not call them signs or

deeds are accepted and our sins forgiven. We do say, however, that, when a person performs a good deed, fulfilling all its conditions so

sinful, he will remain there eternally, provided he left this world as a believer. We do not say, as do the Murii'ites, that our good


approval or command. All the prophets are immune from sins, both small and great, and from unbelief and shameful deeds, but they may stumbl or make

9. Mul.rammad is God,s beloved, His servant, His messenger, His



wonder-miracles, but only the fulfilment of their wants. God fulfils the wants of His enemies, deluding them in this world and punishing them in the world to come; and thus they are betrayed and increase in error and unbelief. All these {acts) are actuallypossible and possible. God will be seen in the world to come. The believers will see Him




of Prophet on behalf of believers who have committed sins, even great sins and deserved punishment, is certainly real. 21. The weighing of (a person,s) works (oia"t.l i' trr. n"l"n"e on the day of resurrection is real. The Basin of the prophet is real The settling of accounts between adversaries on the day of resurrection is real. If they have no good works, ,h" *.;;g;i; have suffered from others a.. and this is real. " Paradise and Hell are created and already .*i.r, at *ill never cease to exist. The black-eyed (houris) "y wili never die.' Punishment and reward by God are unceasing. 22. Out of grace God guides whoever ff.rliir, and out of justice He leads,astray whoever He wills. His leading abandoning (of a personf; and that "rt;t;;;;"H;; to His not guiding that person towards deeds_pleasing to "*o""r, Himself. This is l"J,l". part/ as is. His punishment of those "i r]' abandonecl ;n {?previous) sin. we may not say that satan depriv", ,rr. "";";;;; l"ri"r"r.i

assertion of God,s unity but they differ iniespect ; being higher (than others) Islam is submission to and compriance with the commands of God. Language distinguishes faith and islam, l'i,r'.*l''""'i,r, without Islam, and Islam is not found *irhor'r, f"i,fr.* as back andtelly (outward and inner). ,nelisionl '-' c-overing faith, Islam and all the commandme'nts {dinilr;';;* ril i; 19' we have a true knowledge of God acHe "i d"scrrb.. gir*.li'i'rri, book, with all Hi.s a t trib]utes. Nomay,-fro*"rr;; ;;;;i;..*. God as is fitting for Him. A person serves Him (as best fr. according to the commands He has given in His book and in ""nl the Sunna of His messenger. All the believers are equal in knowledge, subjective certainty, trust, love, inner quiet, fear, hope and fai th aiii.' * *i", beyond faith.a '. God acts generously towards human beings and also acts iustly. ^ out of generosity He gives a reward ------ ' --, 'l ,," ilstice He punishes for sin. Out of grace He forgives. 20' The intercession of the propherr ir"r."i. rn. irri"r"...ion (our)

will be no dit"n""tetween Him an<l His creatures. 18. Faith consists in professing {publicly) ana t*;li" in. mindf. The faith of the_ peopie of paradise "o,,g and of ;;il;J;; ;", increas or decrease. rhi believers are equal in faith

in Paradise with their bodily eyes, not anthropomorphically but amodally' There


3- The interrogation of the dead in the tomb by Munkar and Naktr is

i" iir. ""a ;;i..,-;;*.

come about in the case of all the unbelievers, and may come about in the case of some sinful believers. 4. It is permissible to follow scholars in expressing the attributes of God in Persian, except in the case of God's hand. It is permissible to say ruyi khuday (the face of God) not anthropomorphically but 25. God's being near or far is not to be understood in the sense of a shorter or longer distance, but in respect of {a person's} being honoured or not honoured. The obedient (person| is near God ainodally and the disobedient (person) is far from Him amodally. Nearness, distance and coming closer apply to a person's intimate relation with God, as does God's being near in Paradise, and

real. The reuniting of the body with the spirit in the tomb is real. The pressure and the punishment of the tomb is real, and will



person's standing before Him; all are to be understood amodally. 6. The Qur'an rvas revealed to the Messenger of God, and is written in the copies. The verses of the Qur'an, being the Speech of God, are all equal in excellence and greatness. Some, however, are superior (to others) for (purposes) of recitation or in respect of thir contents. Such is the verse of the Throne |2.55|, because it expresses God's maiesty, greatness and (otherf attributes; and thus it combines excellence for recitation with excellnce of content.

his faith; but we sav that " deprives him of it.



;phis faith and then Satan

speaking of unbelievers, since those mentioned, the unbelievers, have no excellence. Similarly, all God's names and attributes are equal in greatness and excellence, without diffrence. 7. Qesim, Tehir and Ibrahtm were sons of the Messenger of God. Faima, Ruqayya, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum were all daughters of the Messenger of God. 28. When a person is uncertain about any detail of the knowledge of God's unity, it is his duty for the time being to keep to what is sound in God's view. When he finds a scholar, he must consult him. He may not postpone the search (for a scholar|. He is not excused for suspending judgement (in the matterl, but becomes an unbeliever by his suspension of judgement. 9. The report of the ascension {o{ Muhammad) is real, and whoever rejects it is an innovator and erring. The appearance of the Dajial, and of Yejui and Majui, the rising of the sun from the west, the descent of isa from heaven and other signs of the Day of Resurrection, as described in sound adtths, are real and will come about. God guides whom He wills to the straight path.

Other (versesf are excellent only for recitation such as those


The translation here of iawhar as 'substance' has support from the commentarf; but cf. 'Allama-i-Hilli, 'God's negative attributes', $2. The Arabic nafs has been translated 'self', although 'soul' is also possible. It is not clear what precisely the author of the creed

Ibn Abi Zayd aI'Qayrawanl (c. 98-96| was a celebrated Malikite -;rr.irt *t oiived mostly in Cairouan.-This creed constitutes the ii'rt chapter of a treatieon Melikite law known as the Risdl'. It has been translated from the text in Ibn Abt zayd al-Qayrawenl, ia Risa|a, edited and translated (into French} by Lon Bercher' gi.'', til. rhe position expressed in the creed is roughly that of the anbalites'

What is said about the posterity of Adam is a reference to the Qur' nic verce 7 'l7, as in Al-Jahawi, $ 12. The word fitra has been
Creed, p. 14f.


translated'religious state'; there were discussions as to whether it meant Islam or a kind of natural religion; cf. Wensinck, Muslim

3 4

Wensinck's interpretation has been followed here, although riya-', translated'ostentation' can also mean 'hypocrisy'. Wensinck compares the New Testament iniunction not to do one's good deeds so as
to be seen of men. What is'beyond faith'is presumably works. Wensinck's translation seems to be mistaken.

to be faithlbehef! in the heart and utterance by the tongue God is one deiiy; there is no deity except Him; He has no like ,tt", nor similar, no child nor parent, and no spouse nor partner' He is first without any beginning and last without any end'. Theprofundity of His attributes is beyond (human) characterisa_ tionj His affair is not comprehended by (human) reflection. (Human) reflection learns (somethingt from His signs, but it-does not reflect on the nature of His essence, and does not comprehend anything of His knowledge except what He wills' s' coa,' Ttrone'and Sedile extend over the heavns and the earth, and the keeping of these two is not difficult for Him' . coa i' trre riigtr, the Mighty, the Knowing, the We11_in{ormed, the Disposer, thJ Powerful, the Hearing, the Seeing, the High, the

1. There is

The necessary matters of religious (doctrine) which are to be uttered by the tongues and believd in the hearts'

5. God is


6. God cieated humankind; He knows what (evil suggestionsl (a -' p"i.o"'tl soul whispers to him; He is nearer to him than his neck
7. Not a leaf falls but God knows it; there is no seed in the darkness of ,n" earth, and no plant Sreen or withered, but it is in a clear 8. a;J is 9. book.
seated on the Throne; He has possession of {or preserves} the kingdom (? the material world). To Godielong the most beautiful names and the highest attributes; He is unce"singly (characterised) by all His attributs and His names. He is too totL*. for His attributes to be created and His names originated. 69

above His glorious Throne by His essence, and He is in every Place bY His knowledge.




10. God His speech, which is an attribute of His essence/ not one of His creatures. He appeared to the mouniain, and it became levelled at FIis malestJ. t t. The eur'6n is the speech G;J;;;l', a created thing so as to perish, nor the a-tlrilut9 of9f "ot so as to cease. l2' (There must be) faith {belief|".."t.ailing " ;;l;j;'l predetermination, the good and the bad oi it, ;i ;irl; ;t and the bitter of it, {both) all of that has been predete.-i".a uy-oj ou. r".a. The determinations (measuresf of things i" Hi. h"r,a,lira "r. His decree. He knows-_ev".ytfri"S ,n.,, have their source in its proceeds according to His piedeti_i"",io.r. coming to be, and it There is no word nor act from human biings 1", H" fr".-a-."reed it and foreknown it. Does He not know those He h"r;;;t.d, He who is rhe Gracious and the Well-informed? l3' In His justice, God leads astray whom He wills and abandons him, and by His grace He guides *ir";H; *itt, assists him. Thus (the way)is made ".rd c.Jt .p".*on for each to (reachr the misery or happiness. already (rix.j }o' ni-l i"oa;. i;d.*_ ledge and predetermination. 14' He is too subrime for there to be in His rearm what He does not will, for there to be.anyone i"d. ;;;; of Him, or for there to be a creator of anvthing other than
sers to them for the establishing of ;;;or "nd they have known. God,. "s.i"riii.; i;;."il;, 15. Further, God sealed "o_*"'nJ "ijl'i.ol.y.a1. 1or,"o"r"**"* warner and prophet with Muhamm"d'Hrs .if*! of *""., p,rophet, making him the last of the messengers, a preacher (of good news|, a warner and summoner to God by His,permission,'.nj He sent down His wise book, ^,hl;;;i;;;;;h* religion in its steadfastness, aria-,frr"rgh'iri- He made plain His ty"fri?"'He gulded (peoplef in the straight path. I . The Hour is undoubtedly coming, and God will raise up the dead; as He first created them, so *iil;h;;;;*. l7' God has multiplied' gooj ,r'i"s. f";;irl'J*"r,,., the believers, on (their) repentance h-as. forgiu;n-ih.i, gri"t .uil-aoings, and has pardoned their sright fault"s on , ,r'*i"s from the great sins; did not rJp"n. or tr,. gr.;i.i.,JH" r., on the way to whai ir'1'T

AL.QAYRAWANT atom's weight of good sees it' (99.7f . 20. Through the intercession of the Prophet, God takes out from Hell him for whom (the prophetf intercedes of the great sinners of his 1' God has (already! created Paradise and has prepared it as an everlasting abode for His friends,3 and has honoured them in it with the vision of His noble face. From Paradise He sent down Adam, His prophet and caliph (vicegerent), to His earth in accordance with what was already (fixedl in His foreknowledge. He has (already! created Hell and prepared it as an everlasting abode for him who has disbelieved in Him and deviated from His signs, His books and His messengers. Such (people) He has veiled from the
. God of his faith and brings into His Paradise; 'and whoever has done an


movements and their anggilted t"rmr,

.";-irl";h;;;; human beings, ttte roia or th.i, wo.ks,'it,. pr"a"a.rminer of their "f





6. 7.

18. God does not pardon the givin6 of partners to Himself (or idolatry), but He pardons what is f"r, tfr'"" il"i'i" in"* He wills. 19' Him whom God has punished in ri.


out from it because

will come on the day of resurrection, with the angels in ranks, for the inspection of the peoples and the reckoning with them for reward and punishment. The Balances are placed to weigh the works of human beings; 'those whose balances are heavy are the successful' |3.Io|. (People} will be given the record of their works; 'He who is given his book in his right hand shall assuredly be reckoned with easily ... but he who is given his book behind his back . .. those will roast in ablaz' |83. 7 , 8, L0, I|. The Bridge is a reality. Human beings pass over it according to the measure of their works. Those being saved move over it with great speed and escape the fire of Gehenna. A group are thrown to perdition ii'r that by their works. (There must be) belief in the Basirl of the Messenger of God. To it his community come to drink, and he who has drunk of it will not thirst {again); but he who has changed and altered (his beliefs}will be iepelled from it. Faith is speech with the tongue, sincere devotion in the heart and works with the limbs. It increases with the increase of works, and decreases with their decrease, so that works bring about decrease or increase {of faith}. The profession (speaking} of faith is perfected only by works, profession and works only by intention, and profession, works and intention only by conformity with the Sunna. None of the people of the Qibla becomes an unbeliever through sin. The martyrs are alive with their Lord, receiving sustenance. The spirits of the people of happiness (who will go to Paradise) remain in enjoyment until the day they are raised up, but the spirits of the people of misery {who will go to Hell} are being punished until the Day of )udgement. The believers are examined in their tombs and

vision of Himself.


ISLAMIC CREEDS interrogated; God confirms in the present life and in the world to come those who believe (in Himf with a firm speech. 28. Over human beings are guardians writing down their works. Nothing of these escapes the knorvledge of their Lord. The angel of death takes away the spirits by the permission of his Lord. 9. The best of generations is the generation who saw the Messenger of God and believed in him. Next are those who followed thelm, and next are those who followed these. The most excellent of the Companions {of Muhammad) are the rightly and truly guided caliphs, Abu Bakr, then'Umar, then .Uthman, then .eli. fet not any of the Companions of the Messenger be mentioned except most honourably and without reference to what was disputed among them. They, above other people, deserve to have the best construction put upon (their conduct) and to have the best views attributed to them. 30. obedience (is owed) to the imems of the Musli'rs, both those who administer their affairs and their scholars. (It is a dutyf to follow the-sound_ancient (authorities), to imitate the (examplesI they left, argument in {matters of) religion, and to avoid all heretical innovations. God's blessing on our master Muhammad, His prophet, and on his family,.his wives and his progen); may He prei.*e them all. NOTES l 'Throne'{'ars) has been inserted here. It is not in the printed text, butis required by the dual in the following clause; and iiis i"i.i

There is a fairly full account of al-Ghazah in the Introduction. The creed transiated here (which was previously translatedby D' book of B. Macdonald inhis Developmentl isfound in the second Sciences (of which there is a comThe Revival of the Religious The |i"i. t'"'''t"tion by Nabih Amin Faris, ThereFoundtions of the are many editions Articles of Faitlt,Ashraf, Lahore, 1963)' -ii this creed was intended ii" a"rir||ibva,|.It is thought that for learning by heart by young Muslims, and it explains many points in greater detail than the others' pillars tained) in the two words of the shahada, which is one of the of Islam.
Praise belongs to God ...



An exposition of the creed of the People of the Sunna


and to ask pardon for them: and also to avoid diputation anj

l. God is the witiess who makes known to {His chosen people) that in His essence He is one, without partner, alone and without any iil.l-""a"ti"g and without opposite, unique and without equal' C. i, o.r", prJ-eternal with no iirst (state), from eternity without

2 3

For the mountain/ see Al-Ash,art, $22 and note. God's awliyd'or ,friends, here appear to be all the believers who enter Paradise, and not ,saints, in a restricted sense (which is a common meaning of the word).

in the creed.


beginning, iontinuing in existence with no end (state), remaining to?t"t"iiy without termination, stable and not cut short, lasting without being interrupted. He has not ceased, and will not cease' by qualitiesr of majesty' He is unaffected by to b. "h"r""ierised i"*i"g away and separation through the interruption ofisenduring the first [""-,C""a ih".l"p.ittg of appointed terms'-Rather, Heis knowing extemal and the intemal, and He and the last, the

e' -

about everything. Cod is not'a body shaped nor a substance delimited and determinate. He does not resemble bodies either in being determinate or ilb"i"g susceptible of division. He is not a substance, and sub,t"rr"er"do ,roi irrh"." in Him; and He is not an accident, and accidents do not inhere in Him. He does not resemble any existing thing, and no existing thing resembles Him' Nothing is like Him' Tl" is not like anything' Measure does not limit Him, and "nd boundaries do not contain Him. oa i' seated on the Throne in the manner He stated, and with'the ot

*"""1"g He willed for 'sitting'. He is,not to be described as tou"hi"i (it) or as being settled (on it) or being placed or inhering


away (from ltl. The Throne does not bear Him' but the






Rather, He is exalted by degrees from the Throne and the il."".". iust as He is exalted by degrees from the earth and the ground. Despite that, He is near to every existent thing, and He is niarer to a human being than his neck vein (S.l Over everything He is a ). witness, since His nearness does not resemble the neiness of bodies, iust as His essence does not resemble the essence of bodies. 4. God does not inhere in anything, and nothing inheres in Him. He is exalted above being contained by space, and too holy to be bounded by time; on the contrary, He existed before He created time and space. He now has (the attributesf by which He was {previously characterised), and is distinguished from His by His attributes. There is not in His "."",.r.., what is other than "r..rr". He, nor in what is other than He is there (?anything of) His essence. He is exalted above change (of state) and movement. originated things do not inhere (or subsist) in Him, and accidental (events) do not befall Him. Rather, H does not ceasei through the qualities of His majesty He is beyond cessation, and throuih the require) any further increase of per{ection. "oi 5. God in His essence is known by reason to exist. His essence is seen by the eyes in the enduring abode, as a favour from Him anJ a grace, to the upright; and He completes His favour by (givingf sight of His noble counrenance. 6. God is living, powerful, cornpelling, constraining. Shortcoming and impotence do not befall Him. Slumber and sliep ,lo ,rot trkE hold ofHim. Passing away and death do not happen io Hlm. He is king of the, worlds, the visible and the invisible, porr"rro, of strength and might. He has authority and sovereig.rty. Hi, it is to create and to command. The heavens are folded in His right hand, and created things are secgrely held in His grasp. He is alone in creating and producing He is unique in bringing into existence and innovating. He created the creatures an t eir *orkr, determined their sustenance and their appointed terms. N"irri"g "nJ determjned escapes His grasp. The changes of things ,oi "." outwith His power. The things that He has determinJcannot be numbered, and the things that He knows are infinite. 7. God is knowing of all objects of knowledge, and comprehending of

Throne and its bearcrs are borne by the grace of His power and subdued by His handgrasp. He is above thhrone th" h""rr"., and everything to the bounds of the earth, and He is ""a above in a way which does not bring Him nearer to the Throne and the h."rr"r, it does not take Him further from the earth and the grounJ. ".

all that happens from the bounds of earth to the highest heaven' He is knowing (in such awayl that not the weight of an atom in heaven or earth is outwith His knowledge. Indeed, He knows the creeping of the black ant on the hard rock in a dark night, He

p"t".iu"t the movement of the mote in the air, He knows what is


secret and what is concealed, and is aware of the suggestions of the minds, the movements of the thoughts, and what is hidden in the hearts; and (He does this| by a knowledge pre-etemal and without beginning, with which He has not ceased to be characterised from not by a knowledge which is originated, renewed the ages of "g.t, and produced in His essence by inherence and change. God is willing existent things and arranging originated things' In

the visible and invisible worlds there is nothing little or much, small or great, good or bad, helpful or harmful, faith or unbelief,

attributes of, His perfection He is independent of 1o. doJ.

knowledge or ignorance, increase or decrease, obedience or disobedience, except by His decree and predetermination, His wisdom and His will. What He wills comes about, and what He does not will does not come about. Not the glance of an eye nor a sudden thought goes beyond His will. He is the one who begins (things| and restores, the one effecting what He wills. None opposes His command, and none repeats His decree. The human being cannot escape disobeying Him except by His succour and His mercy, and has no power to obey Him except by His will and His volition' If humankind, the iinn, the angels and the demons united to cause a single atom in the world to move/ or to cause it to rest, apart from

thoughts and awaiting a time, and so one matter does not keep Him from (doingl another. 9. God is hearing and seeing. He hears and sees, and nothing audible is beyond His hearing, even if it is hidden, and nothing visible is absent from His sight even if it is very small. Distance does not veil His hearing, and darkness does not repel His sight' He sees without eyeball or eyelid, and hears without earhole or ears, just as He knows without a heart, overwhelms without a

His volition and will, they would be unable for that. FIis will subsists in His essence beside all His attributes, and thus He has not ceased to be characterised as willing from all eternity the existence of things at the time He determined for them. They come into existence at their (proper| times as He willed from all eternity, neither too early nor too late. They occur in accordance with His knowledge and His will without change or alteration. He orders the aftairs, but not (as human beings do! by arranging

limb and creates without an instrument' (This is| because His

attributes do not resemble the attributes of created beings, fust


as His essence does not resemble the essence of created beings. 10. God is speaking, (and in His speech) He commands, forbids, promises and threatens. He does this by speech which is pre_


made distinct by joining the lips or moving the tongue. The Qur'an, the Torah, the Gospel and the psalms are God,s books
tongues, written in the copies, and remembered in the hearts; but despite this it is from eternity subsisting in God,s essence, and it does not suffer division and separation by being transferre to the hearts and pages. Moses heard the speech of God without sound or letter, iust as the upright see the essence of God in the world to come without substance or accident.
{and He is sucht by having Life,

eternal and from eternity, subsisting in His essence. The speech o{ created beings does not resemble it. It is not a sound produced by the emission of air or the closing of the throat; and it is not letters

something foul or wrong. He rewards His servants, the believers, for their acts of obedience; (and He does so) in accordance with His

has power to inflict various kinds of punishment on human beings, and to try them with various forms of pain and illness. If He did that, it would be iustice on His part, and it would not be
kindness and His promise, not on the basis of their rights (or deserts| or of an obligation to them. No act on behalf of anyone is obligatory for Him, and wrongdoing on His part is inconceivable, while no-one has any binding right against Him.
God's right to acts of obedience is an obligation for created beings, because He made it so by the tongues of His prophets dnd by pure reason. Moreover, in sending prophets He showed their truthful-

sent down to His messengers. The eur'An

is recited by


11. Since God has these attributes, He is living, knowing, powerful,

Knowledge, Power, Will, Hearing, Sight and Speech, not bt His mere essence (apart from these attributes|. 12. There is no existent apaft from God except what is originated by His act and proceeds from His justice; (and thatlis the finest, most perfect, most complete and most iust of manners. He is wise in His acts and just in His decrees. His justice is not analogous to the iustice of human beings, since wrong doing is conceivable for the human, being when he is dealing with the property of others; but wrongdoing from God is inconceivable, since He does not encounter property belonging to another, such that His dealing with it would be wrongdoing. What is apart from God - human beings, angels, demons, . jinn,inanimate objects,the heaven and the earth, animals, plants substance and accident, what is perieived ".tq and what is sensed - all this is originated. By His power, God brought it into being after its non-existence, and made it omething after it had been nothing, since from eternity He alone was existent and there ras nothing along with Him. A{ter that, He originated creation as a manifestation of His power and a realisation of what He had previously willed, and of what from eternity had been truly His word. (He did this| not because of any lack of ii or need for it. 13. God showed favour (to His creatures| by creating them, bringing them into and imposing laws on them, though there wai n necessity (to do this); and He showed generosity by doing good to them and helping them, though He was not obliged {to do so). His it is to favour, to benefit, to be gracious, to bestow gifts, since He

willing, hearing, seeing, speaking;

prophets, and made him prince of the human race. The faith (consisting) of witness to the unity (of God) in the phrase'there is no deity except God' He declared to be incomplete where it was not accompanied by the witness to the Messenger in the phrase 'Muhammad is the Messenger of God'. r6. God made it compulsory for created beings ttr count (Muammad} true in all that was reported from him about the affairs of this world and the world to come. (In particular!, the faith of a human being is not acceptable until he believes in what (Mubammadl
17. The first of (such matters|

ness by clear evidentiary miracles; and they communicated His commands, prohibitions, promises and threats. It is obligatory for human beings to count true what they brought. 15. The second word (of the Shahada) is to bear witness to the messengership of the rnessenger. God sent the illiterate2 prophet of Quraysh, Muammad, with His message to the totality of Arabs and non-Arabs, of jinn and humankind. He abrogated by (Mubammad's) law the laws (of previous prophets), except what He confirmed of them. He set (Muhammad| above the other

reported about (conditions) after death.

is the interrogation by Munkar and Nakir. These are two awe-inspiring and terrifying beings who make the human person sit up in his grave with both spirit and
body and question him about his assertion of (God's) unity and the

messengership (of Mul.rammad). They say, 'Who was your Lord? What was your religion? Who was your prophetl' They are the two examiners in the grave, and their interrogation is the first test after death. 18. (The person of faithf should also believe in the punishment o{ the tomb, that it is a reality and that its judgement is just for body and spirit according to what God willed. 19. He should also believe in the Balance with its two pans and its

ISLAMIC CREEDS rongue. To characterise its size, it is like the (differentj layers of the heavens and the earth. In it *.igt,.d .il ;;;k;l;;;;." b.eingsf bv the power of God. rn. "r" -"igli. t"r.aTtr,"t al;;ilil""" the weight of an_ atom or a mustard .".d to ;J;.;il;i*irr"" God,s iustice. The pages "r {recording)go;d d."dr;ill;J;il;;" fine form in the pan oiligLt, and ,t-" fi"il"". " will be weighed down by them according to th"e measui" iir.i, degrees in God,s sight, (and this "f AI"-GHAZALi Prophet was Abt Bakr, then.{Jmar, then.Uthman, then.Ah. He should tave a high opinion of all the Companions, and should praise them as God and his messengers praise lthemj.

deeds will be thrown in a fou] form into" tlre'n"" justice they will have little *"igl,ti;ihe a"'r."..', ""aJrt"o,, Balance. 20. He should also believe ttat thJSridgeis a reality. It is a bridge stretched over the back of Gehenn"l rh..p". ,nil ; ,_".a )"a finer than a hair,. On it the f..t;J-;il.'urrU.ti.u".r-riin lr^


happen_) by

His sr""., ,t.p.ges with evil

l. He

about their counting false of the messengers. He wilr ask the i""or"io.r-"il"r, the Sunna, and the believers abou.irfr.iri 23' He should also believe that monotheirir "",r. *t'be taken out of Hell after punishment.,As a result, ly,n. g."". of God no monotheist in Gehenna ,,o'*o'Jtireist will b.;;;d;;_;iy "r,a fl!;i:"* 4. He should also believe in the intercession of the prophets, then of the scholars, then of the matyrs, ,r'.".Jtr'. according to his digrity and tris iank ";#; ii;;;;;; rnihe sight of God. He who remains of the believers without an intercessor w'l be taken out by God,s grace. No believer *ill b;;;;;]artingty in Hell, but will be taken out from it provided tt .r. i, weight of faith in his heart. "r, "tom,s 25' He should also holdthe superiority of the companions and their high rank, and also that the -o., .*".1i.* of the people after the

22. He should also believe in the neckonirrg, the differences of people in respect of it; one wilr ".ra i" be t ,rr. .".r.".r"s one will be treated lenien-tly in it, "iJ-pi.rr.a ani one will enter paradise without a reckoning. (The laiter) ,t *. brought C"a *iff ask whom He wills.of the prophets "r. "."r. tt the message, and.whom Hl wills oiii. "forltr.rrrt.lievers " ""_*""j"",** "i

should also believe in the n"sin_to1Jnich (people)go down, the Basin of Muhammad. The believers drink f.;;l;ilf";;;#", Paradise and after crossing the Bridge. Who.u.r it will never thirst again. Its breJdth is a r"k.;;;;kl;;_ month,s journey. Its water is whiter than milk and sweeter ,fr"" fr"""y."d;;i;;. vessels whose number is as that of the stars in heaven. In it are two p_ipes which pour luater into it from al-Kawthar.3

b_elievers are kept steady on it

judgement and

bri'g them down ,o-H"ll, but the feet of "a,, the


All that is of what has been handed down in reports {hadithf and witnessed to by transmittd statements. He who believes all that with certainty is of the people of Truth and the Company of the Sunna, and has kept clear of the band of error and t^he party oI innovation. We ask God that we ourselves and all the believers may have perfect certainty and sure, sound steadfastness in religion, through His mercy who is the most Merciful. God bless our prince Muhammad and every chosen servant {of God}.



with the standard M'slim interpretation of the qur;anic word. western fairly however, that whi-th. q,lr'arr (7.Ii.i ::l:Y':":,:. ,the ummi caled Muhammad ,certain, prophet, it originally meant ,the gentile

The Arabic ummi has here been translated 'illiterate' in accordance

'attributes'. Whether there is any diifeience is noi occurs in $4.

The'word'qualities'is here used to translate nu.f. It was previouslv Wensinck to rranslate s/ar, which i" ifri. tooL'J;il;;l


Al-Kawthar is usually considered a river of paradise; cf. Ahmad ibn anbal,6l2.

(or non-|ewish) prophet'; cf .

tlihammaa,s u"eici,_vs.


AL.NAS AFI substances (or individuals) and accidents. Substances are what is self-subsistent. A substance is either composite, that is, a body, or non-composite, such as the atom, which is the part which cannot be furthei divided. The accident is what is not self-subsistent but is originated in the bodies and atoms, such as colours, physical

school of al-Maturtdi, and rnay have lived mostly in Simarqand. This short creed became very popular, and there *.r. rn"rry
been made from the text containe d in The pillar of the Creed

Naim al_Din Abu afs al_Nasafi (1068-1142) belonged to the

commentaries and supercommentaries. The translation has

. .

The Originator of the world is God. He is the One, the Pre-eternal, the Living, the Powerful, the Knowing, the Wishing (or Willing),

states/2 tastes and smells.

mentary on the Creed of Islam, Columbia University press, New York, 1950.

edited by W. Cureton, London, lg43, in conjunction with thai contained in a cairo edition of the commentary by al-Taftazant (d. c. 13891, dated 1358/1939. Some slight differences between the two texts have been neglected. Theireed was translated by D. B. Macdonald in his Development, pp.30g_15, and there is a translation of al-Taftazan1,s commentaryby E. E. Elder, A Com_


lisred (or fixed}, and that knowledge of them is really (inowledge). (This isf contrary to the view of the Sophists.r 2. The causes of knowledge for created beings are three: the sound senses/ true report and reason. The senses are {ive: hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch; by each sense, information is give; ab"oui (the,class of objectsf for which it is appointed. True rep rt is of two kinds. One of these is the widely-liansmitted report, that is, a report established by the tongues of (many| people, whose agree_ ment on a falsehood is inconceivable. This is bound to gilve a necessary knowledge, such as the knowledge of former kings in past times and of distant lands. The second kind is the repoit of the messenger (who has been) attested by an evidentiary miracle {about what has come to him by revelation). This is bound to give report) resembles in certainty and fixity knowledge necessarily established (such as sense-knowledge and that from-widely-transmitted reports). Reason, again, is also a cause of knowledge. What is established by immediate intuition is necessary, ,r"h as the knowledge that every thing is greater than its p"rt. Wh"t is estab_ lished by inference is acquired knowledge. Inspiration is not one of the causes of the knowing of the ,o.r.drr.r. {or truth} of a thing in the view of the people of Truth.

1. ]he People of Truth say that the real natures of things are


deductive knowledge. The knowledge established by (suci

3. The world with all its parts is originated, since it (consists


characterised by quidditt' nor by quality. He is not located in a place, nor does time pass over (or affect) Him. Nothing resembles Him. Nothing is outwith His knowledge and power. 5. God has pre-eternal attributes subsisting in His essence. They are ttot other than He. They are: Knowledge, Power, Life, not He "ttd Strength, Hearing, Sight, Will, Volition, Activity, Creativity, Provision of sustenance (for creatures| and Speech. 6. God is speaking with a Speech which is a pre-eternal attribute for Him, and which is not of the class of letters and sounds' It is an attribute which excludes silence and defect. God speaks with this (or {attribute), commanding, prohibiting and making statements reporting). 7. The Qur'en is the Speech of God, uncreated. It is written in the copies, remembered in the hearts, recited by the tongues' heard by the ears; but it does not inhere in these. 8. Causing-to-be is a pre-eternal attribute of God. It is His causingto-be oi the world and all its parts, not from eternity but at the time of its coming into existence in accordance with His knowledge and His will. (The attribute of causing to be| is other than what has been caused to be in our view. 9. lVill is a pre-eternal attribute of God subsisting in His essence. 10. By reason, the vision of God (in Paradise) is possible; and by transmitted (reports) it is necessary that He should be seen. A proof based on oral (material) has been handed down showing that it is necessary that the believers should see God in the world to come. He is not seen in a place, nor in any direction from (the person| facing Him, nor by the coming together of light rays, nor with a fixed distance between the person seeing and God. 11. God is the creator of all the acts of human beings, whether (actslof unbelief or faith, of obedience or disobedience. All these acts are by His will and volition, by His iudgement, His decreeing and His

the Willing. He is neither accident nor body nor atom. He is neither formed nor limited nor multiple. He has neither portions nor parts, and He is not composite. He is not finite. He is not

determining. Human beings {perform) acts of choice for which




punished. The good in them is with God,s i" th._-i...rot with His good pleasure. 12. The acting-power ti" p."pl"i.'.ir,. ,io.,g ,"itt, the act (not before itl. It is the reality of ,it" n"#* ilr *ii"l, the act comes to be. This name {acting-nower) is used -h;;-;it. causes, instruments and limbs {involved jn the ."ry person,sf being genuinely "r".or'rrri.'iA liable (to obey the l"*l a.p.nJ. ;;il, acting_power, a person is not liable for (carrying o,rq *t., i. ,roa *irfrin his capacity. 13. The pain existingin "lpe.son1-;;;il; a resurt of human beating, and the broken (condilionl .i ; ;i;;i,er a human (act of I breaking,
good pleasure, and the bad

they are rewarded

21. The happy one sometimes becomes miserable and the miserable one happy, but the change is in (the human experience) of happiness and misery, not in the making happy and the making in God or in His attributes.

Islam are one (or the samef. Where a person counts true and confesses, it is propei for him to say,I am truly a believer,, and he does not have to say,I am a believer if God wills,.

miserable, for these are attributes of God, and there is no change

22. In the sending of messengers (by God|, there is wisdom. God has
sent to humanity messengers who are human to bring good news, to wam and to make clear to people what they ne"Jlto know) about the affairs of the secular world and of religion. He confirmed {their genuineness) as messenges by evidentiary miracles, (that is, happenings) which are contrary to the natural order. The'first of the prophets is Adam and the last of them is Muhammad. A


function in the creating "." these. of "lf "i."i.Jir

one killed dies at fri,

and similar things,


The person has no

unlawful (r:g-d]ir (nevertheless)sustenance from God. Everyone receives in fu'his-own sustenance. ."rt.,ir.r l.*i"r.-,,"i#li. ,, is inconceivable that a person eat his sustenance, or that his sustenance .,."rJl" ''."]J"", {,.o-"or'. .lr". 16. God leads astray_wh"I.r:;:ll; ""r* ;ilides whom He wills.It is not obligatory for God to do the l7' The punisrrment i" ttr" to*rJJr il"J i;, a human being. believers, and the bliss i" ,t ""la]"rr.r, and for some ,o_ilii,t people, sinfur are in accordance with God,s " " 9w|"dse a"arl11 The intirrog"ii* ly Munkar and Nakir is established-b, o-"f, 1...a on o."i?..ii;r;,. The raising of the dead i".'"l".'.. is a reaiitv. The l. Book (recording a person,s deeds) i .."jiry The interrog"rio.,lly Cod) is a reality. The Basin ir-"-.*ii,r. " The,Bridge is a reality. Paradise is a reality and Hell i, ."lii,y, and they are (alreadyf created and existent. They are " and their people will no, p"r. "r.rl"rri"i ""d ;-iil "";;!T"Tl;,, ! r . great sin does not exclude the believing "*"y.-"""', person from faith and place him in unberief (ttr"t ir,-J-o.l *"r.. him an unbelieverf. God does not forgive .". "", b* iorgives to whom He wi's "-;;;"., -rt", ir i.i.',rt'"n that of sma' and sreat sins. The punishing of a small sin isl"'.jir.lL' ,"li. forgiving of a great sin,provided irrl'i, the considering lawful (of what is forbiddenf,'f;,,""h ".a lawful is unbelief. 19' The intercesslon of ti," the rite is estabrished for the case of those committing great sins. Those believers who commit great sins do not .emaii Ju"ii"J.rgly in Hell. 20. Faith is the counting true of .fr"t t" has brought from God {as reveration)-and the "r.rrenge.1




term. The appointed term is






;;;;;;fi, *..r.ilJJil.

themselves, but faith

"";i;il;";r it. works increase in ".ith;;il;;;il: ;, decreases. Faith and


He has made clear His commands and His prohibitions, His promise and His threat. 25. The Ascension of the Messenger of God is a reality, {that isf, when, while awake, he (was taken| bodily to heaven a.rd th"n to what (place) on high God willed. 26. The wonder-miracles of the saints are a reality. The wondermiracle appears for the saint as something contrary to the natural order, such as travelling a great distance in a short time, the appearance of food, drink and clothing when they are needed, walking on water or in the air, the speaking of inanimate objects and of animals, the warding-off of threatened injury, the guarding of an anxious person from his enemies, and other (similad things. Such (an occurrence) is (at the same time) an evidentiary-miraJle supporting the messenge to one of whose community the wonder-miracle has occurred; for it shows that he is (truly) a saint,

messengers): 'Of some of them We have told you the storiei, and of some We have not told you the stories, (40.T9|, When the number (of prophets and messengersf is stated, there is no security against some being included among them who are not of them, and some being excluded from them who are of them. All were reporting and conveying messages from God, and r_er truthful and sincere. The most excellent of the prophets is Muhammad. 23. The angels are servants of God fulfilling His command. They are not characterised by masculinity or femininity 24. God has books which He has sent down to His prophets. In them

statement of their number has been handed down in some but it is preferable that there should be no limit of number in naming (them). God has said {referring to previous

ISLAMIC CREEDS since (a person) will not become a saint unless he counts true his religion, and his religion is the confession that his messenger is most excellent of human ity after our prophet is Abu Bakr al_ Siddtq, then 'Umar al-Faruq, then .Uthman Dhu'l-nurayn, then 'Ah al-Murtada. The caliphate was in this order, and {lasted) thirty years. AJter that, the form of rule was kingly and princely. 28. The Muslims must have an imim (leader), who will see to the enforcing of their iudgements, the carrying-out of their punishments, the defence of their frontiers, the equipping of their armies, the receiving of their alms, the controlling of violent men, thieves and highwaymen, the maintaining (of worship| on Fridays and festivals, the settling of the disputes which occur between people, the receiving of evidence regarding legal rights, the arranging of marriages for male and female minors who have no guardians, and the dividing of the spoils (of war|. Further, the imim must be seen (publicly and recognised as imam), not hidden nor (merely) expected. He must be of the tribe of euraysh and not of any other; but he is not restricted to the clan of BanD Heshim or the descend7



. The

{indeed) a messenger.

35. To despair of God is unbelief, and to feel secure from God's a diviner reports {punishment) is unbelief. To count true what 36. The non-existents is not a thing. 37. In the prayer of the living for the dead, and in almsgiving,for them, there is benefit for the dead. God answers prayers and supplies 38. What the Prophet reported of the signs of the Hour, such as the appearance of-the Oailal and of the beast o{ the earth and of Ya'iui r"';o1, and the coming_down of 'isa from heaven, and the ".rd of the sun in the west - all this is reality' rising 39. The interpreter (of texts) may sometimes be mistaken and someneeds.

about the unseen is unbelief.

times be correct (in his interpretationsl' 40. The messengers of the human race are more excellent than the messengers of the angels, the messengers of the angels are more excllerit than the genira1ity of tlre hum anrace, and the generality more excellent than the generality of the of the huma., ,"""


preserved from error, nor that he be the most excellent of the people of his time; but it is a condition that he should be of those who have full and complete authority, and an administrator with power to enforce the judgements, to preserve the frontiers of the sphere of Islam, and to ensure justice for the one wronged against the one wronging him. He is not to be removed from thi imamate because of transgressing (the divine law| or acting unjustly. 29. Formal worship is permitted behind any (leader), upright or sinful, and there may be formal worship on behalf of anyone, upright or

ants of 'Ah. It is not a condition {of his imamate} that he be


see Wensinck, Mus]im Creed, p' 51f' The 'physical states' lakwanl,are union, separation, movement, rest', 3'Quiddiiy' represents the Arabic m,a-' iyy a arrd' quality' kayfiyy a i tor the laiter, 'manner, is also possible. What precisely the author meant is not


ior the Sophists,


5 The mention of 'bliss in the tomb' seems an innovation' e rr'i. is an implicit rejection of the anbalite view of istithnd" expression of uncertaintv. 7 ih; ;il;p]; of interior meaning' lahl a|'batinl are usuallv called
Bafiniyya; see EI2, s.v. The Arabic for'non-existent' is ma'dttm'


is best, is a]-aslah ' For the discussions about this term, see



30. Only good should be spoken of the Companions (of Mul,ammad). 31. We bear witness that Paradise is (promised) to the ten to whom the
journey and when at home. 33. We do not prohibit wine mad from dates. 34. The saint does not reach the level of the prophets. The {ordinary) person does not come to a position where (God's| commands and prohibitions and the scriptural texts in their external sense are no longer applicable to him. To turn from these to the interpretations of the people of intemal meaningsT is heresy. To reject the scriptural texts is unbelief. To regard sin as lawful is unbelief, to *"k" light {of sin} is unbelief, and contempt for the law is unbelief.


32. We approve of the moistening of the sandals both when on

Prophet announced this.




l2gl-l3SSl was a member of the Ash.arite *r,.," i.J;;;; ,. have spent the ii*:t_:l,h..l:g.y life. clostng years of his 1l"sEa", The short monly known as the 'Adudiyy", ".".a L.r" translated is com_ been written in manv p"rt, ""J""*irr".rr,".i". on it have of ih. r.l"rnJ*"rld. The translation is based o'' -".ru"i']t *y p"'..'.i"" on an edition, published in" cairo i" Iazalo "nd s;;i;iD"_;nr,s commentary
together with two suDercomm ntaries.
'Adud, al-D-rn al_Iir (c.

7. God is not a substance nor an accident nor a body. 8. {Godf is not in any place or in any direction; H. may not
pointed to as being here or there.

9. Movement and change of position rnay not be predicated of (Godf . 10. God is seen by the believers of the day of resurrection but without being opposite (to them! or confronting (them| or (being in any) direction (from themf. 11. what God willed came to be, and what He did not will did not come to be. Unbelief and sins (in human beings| are by (God,sf
12. :d is rich (and independent);3 He has 5'o .'."d of anything. 13. There is no judge over (God!; and nothing is obligatory fo"r Him, neither (showing) grace, nor (doing what isf the best, nor indemnifying for sufferings, nor rewarding (for obediencet, nor punishing for sin. on the contrary, if He rewards, it is by Hrs free iir,, He punishes, it is by His justice. From Him is nothing bad;'and in ""Jit respect of what He does or what He iudges, neit er evil nor injustice is predicated of Him. He does what He wills, and iudges
as He pleases. His activity has no aima (moving Him io 1lii. ""tj. He who) administers judgement with regard to what Fie'has created and commanded, (but He does so) out of free grace and mercy. There is no judge eycept Him. Reason has no {lower of)



creating and by His willing but not with His approval.

Al-I|f is lengthy theological work calleJ -;i"rr;;;, also known for a which with the commentary on it ty"1_y.,;;.;;;iiJf;.rlarge together volumes; more than half of ttti. d.rt. wiJh';ilJJiJophicar preriminaries, but nothing of these appears in the creed.



The Prophet said. ,My community will be divided into seventy_ three sects, ail of ihem,in Hell .* .;;';;;,. He was asked who these (the savedf were. Th:9e, h; ielieve as I myself and my Companions believ- Thefoilo; articles of belief of th_e salvation-qivjn_s sect, who ,t.'.i.nrlt"r, 1th"y are what was agreed on byf the earrl (authorir"iit.i-rt;t.h-schorars "'" and the Imdms of the Muslims and the p;;;1. Sunna and the Community.t "?ir,.

;; ;h. ;;;;;"

I$:::lj:::::T:Tg, Reflective thought with

ohli oat^^,

i::':.1!:"'.:".1'jl"s1:ll::"'".;.;i;;il,.*:i;;:#:"1;'# lmm :n*i:'-'T:: :::',-* " *n;;;;;fi : ffi ;:::: ii: i; thought on His .....,".. il.r; ;;:fj i# X:i:':iiil ;jtective He.

" Ii*::l*iii11y:,*h" il, l;;?;;

attained, and there is no nee :i,:ff :::_y_;:::i:,:11,8f





"i"* """':*

and is capable of becomins lrun-exrstentnon_existent. ;;i;;;,,;;::i;"""6 to.{acquiring) knowIedge

,:.riili;i1'f fo, t.""tr...

"ail; ffi;;,i:'""Ji;r"..i:

eterni ry. He has never

seeln& and He is free from all the,t.*1,,.r-?^r deffuiency e.attributes of )^r:^:^_ 5.


l.'"***"":::Y:{::''.',-;ili""";,i'""Jf '"":''"|'l willing of.all things :j'fi *l':ii1'"il]':':]^Yl,ffi ;IililLx--n::ff i::l:



the attributes of perfection and is free


jln.':::T_'l1'l'-,;l;il;;;;;;""']li|Til; sists in His essence; He is not S:,tin,::1.i1:,.i:,i"!pq;$ffi ;ffi ;:ii,'fl ,",1,r,,,0


"""i*aiir' il;i'';;:#,.

judging what things are good and what bad, and whether action is an occasion for reward or for punishment. The good"n what is revelation declares good; the bad is what revelationeclares bad. The (human| act has no quality, real or relativ in relation to which it is good or bad. otherwise the matter wo,tid b. otherwise. 14. God is not divided into parts or portions. He has no limit and no end; His attributes are- one by essence, but infinite in respect of what is con'ected with them (such as obiects of knowredge and will). What actually exists of the objects of {God,s} power a-re few out of many; it is for Him to make increases or decreises in respect of what He has created. 15. G,od has angels possessing wings, twos, threes, fours. Of them are fibrtl, Mlka'tl, Israftl, ,Izra,il. each one of them has a place well_ known. They do not disobey God in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.s 16. The Qur'en is the Speech of God, uncreated. It is written in the copies, recited by the tongues, and remembered in the breasts; what is written is other than the writing, what is recited is othr than the reciting and what is remembered is other than the remembering. 17. The names of God are by prescription.




will be the requital ancl the settling of accounts. The Bridge (or Pathf is a reality; the Balance is a reality; and the creation (already) of Paradise and Hell. 19. Everlastingly abiding in Paradise are the people of paradise, and in Hell the unbeliever. The Muslim who has committed a great sin does not abide everlastingly in Hell, but finally goes to Paradise. The forgiving of small and great sins without repentance is possible {for God). Intercession is a reality in the case of those to whom the Merciful has granted it. The intercession of the Messenger of God is for those of his community who have (committed) great sins; he intercedes on their behalf and his

18. The Retum (to lifef is a reality; the bodies will be gathered together, and the spirits will be restored to them; and in this (statef 26.

is the heretic but not an unbeliever, one (such heretical doctrine)

(attribution of) corporeality (to God)'

malter! of grace and not of obligation' character zZ. ii" ."ioi"i"g o{ what is right ii in accordance with {the if what is commanded is obligatory' of! what is commanded; thus

il;;;;;rrc" i.'oblig"tory, iut

-. (for God) the acceptance of

it is


it is laudable' (the ioi"i"g of it) is obligatory, while if being obligatory or j"udable. The condition (of it "t L"l"i"t"gl is


2L. The sending of messengers (by God), from Adam to our prophet, with evidentiary-miracles (to confirm their claimsf is a reality.
higher angels, and the generality of men are superior to the gener-

20. The punishment of the tomb is a reality; the interrogation by Munkar and Nakir is a reality.
Muhammad is the seal of the prophets; there is no prophet after him. The prophets are preserved from sin; they are supeiior to the

request is not refused.

laudabletoenioinwhatisright}isthatitshouldnotleadtostrife tn"t compliance (wittithe iniunction| should be thought "rrJ probable. Prying curiosity is not permitted'7 '-m"y .a you in these sound doctrines' and grant that "rtJuti't' and approves' you do what He loves



3 '


eouivalent to the Sunnites'


,people of the sunna and the

community, liama'al is here roughly

. The men of the Pledge of Good Pleasure6 and the men of Badr are

ality of angels.

4 '

23. The wonder-miracles of the saints are a reality; thereby God honours whom He n'ills and marks out by His mercy whom He
4. The Imam after the Prophet was Abu_Bakr al_Siddiq; his imimate was by consensus, as the Messenger of God did not nominate anyone (as imam). Then came'Umar al-Faruq, then .Uthman Dhu NDrayn, then 'Alt al-Murtada, (their! excellence is in this order; the meaning of excellence is that one has a greater reward from
God, not that one has more knowledge or is of nobler birth (or the

of the people of Paradise.

s "

i" erabic be-tween the ideas of 'rich' and There is a close ""t-""t"i"" d.",;. rr'J*""r.r'y p.'.o" i. r'." rrom want and thus independil; ent and self-sufficient' no aims' The point It seems strange .ft"i-C"a should be said to have hoped for but being an aim is ;;; ;; .t':", r* " h;;; inappiopriate forsomethingsimilar view is God' A l"Jtttit it ;;;;;"t."1i.4 in illt, 'God's found in Sanlisl, '' il tr't l"'"tt'ii'g is contradicted fustice', $4. brought ii lti".iiit belief, Gabriel (fibril) is the angel who with him.the Qur'anto Israfll is ;;. "n,i luri"r''.r'ivriLiitl is. ass ciated brought some formthe i'i; of t"i'it-tit" t"ia to.have angel of ,..t.r""iio'i, 'Izr'il is Gabriel brought the Quf'an' insoiration ao r"r'"-'n"J Lefore


6 ih" i;l'Jg"

25. Unbelief is the absence of faith. We do not declare any of the people of the Qibla an unbeliever except where he denies the Maker who is (all-lpowerful, (effectively| willing and (all-)knowing, or (where he) associates (others with Godf, or reiects the ptophethood {of Mulrammadf, or reiects (the evidence} by which the coming of Muhammad is necessarily known, or rejects a matter on which there has been definite agreement, such as the five pillars of Islam, or considers forbidden (things) permitted. In respect of {doctrines) other than these, he who holds them is a


z '

the angel of death. the expedition of Good pleasure refers to an incident during critical i" o ^'_*r'"n the situation looked the death,for the of al-udaybiy' ornot Muslims. ]t is vari;Jy escribed as a pledge to fight to was thought tnat entry io i1"", ot to do whatever Muhammad ordered' It pledge' or merely by to Paradise *.t gJ"i""*a-ty tt1"i"g taken this battle of Badr' having fought atihe what ii *"''a1" b" i;;;;b;;t on all Muslims to enioin or comand wa-'\-nahv'an ;; ilit;;;d t. r".uiJ*t'"f it *to"g lal-amr bi''I-ma'ru1

tnls was to De "l avoided wiong, but there were discussions about how po"ti".. See also Hilli, 'The lmimate', $2 and note' carried out in ""t""i

#''i"'l,-.r'"i;;, i;v'"


that other people',did9!1^"ld


AL. SAN[T SI of forms', namely, (vii! power and (viiit will, which both relate to all actually possible things; (ix) knowledge, which relates to all

al_SanDsr- (d. 1490) was born in Tlemsen and spent most of his hr. th"r" studying in Algiers. He is reckoned an Ash.arite in trreology,

Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn yusul

l4g or t".

necessary, possible and and impossible things; (xl life,.which does not relate to anything; {xi} hearing and (xii} sight, which both relate to all existents; and (xiii! speech, which is without letter or sound and relates to everything to which knowledge relates.

sophy is obvious.

Egyptian edition dated l343ll94. Heading n""" l.." 'an added to show the structure of the creed. rhe inte"restl;Hiil:

was also interested in strfism. The creed "n; here translated, commonly known as al-sanusiyya, was widely krro*r, i" N" h;;l West Africa. The translation is based on ih. text reproduced in -i;6i;; the margin of the Commentary on the creed by

Next there are seven attributes called 'attributes pertaining to His being powerful, willing, knowing, living, hearing, seeing, speak{orms',r inseparable from the previous seven, namely; {xiv-xx)

ing. The Impossible



In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate! praise belongs to God. Blessings and peace ,'po',

tt. ;'';il;;;f ;.

1. Rational iudgement comprises three parts; necessity, impossibil_ ity and-possibility.-The-necessary is that whose cannot be conceived in the reason. The impossible """_.1iri.""" is ttrai-whose existence cannot be conceived in the reason. The possibl" i, ;h;;


What is impossible in respect of God are twenty attributes, the opposites of the first twenty. (The first are:! (i! non-existence; (ii! having an origin in time; {iii} passing into non-existencer {iv} resemblance to originated things, {either) by His being a body, that is, by His high essence taking a finite part of the void, or by being an accident subsisting in a body, or by being in some direction in respect of body, or by Himself possessing direction, or by being bound to a place or time, or by having His high essence characterised by originated {qualities), or by being characterised by smallness or greatness, or by being characterised by aims in His acts and


'|lo* impossible and what is possible. It is likewise r"""rr"ry ,h;;' h; "' should have similar knowledge in r"spect of tfr. &;.

reason. "r.-bott, ".".pt"Ut" It is necessary according to revelation that every mature believer should i-" regard io our Patron *r' i. necessary,

whose existence and non_exisr"rr".


what is

The Necessary

His having of a substrate or of a "o oerermrnant; thLa-1, uniqueness, that is, (the (vi) His fact thatf there is no se.cond to Him, (either| in respect of His essence or of His at_ tributes or of His acts. Of these six ,t e first, pertains to the self, while the other ",",". five are negative. "*i.r"""., 4. Next there are necessary for Him seven attribuls called ,attributes


necessary in respect God of comprises twenty attributes. first six are;) (if existence; (ii) betng irirnJternity; (iiif being to eternity; (iv) His otherness from ori2fnated things,'(;til-;".lf_

[fat-is (The


Likewise it is impossible for Him to be other than (v) self-subsistent, (either! by being an attribute subsistent in a substrate, or by requiring a determinant. 8. Likewise it is impossible for Him not to be (vil one, {either) by being composite in His essence, or because there is something which resembles Him in respect of His essence or of His attributes, or because in existence along with Him there is something possessing causal efficacy. 9. Likewise it is irnpossible that He should be (vii) impotent with regard to anything actually possible; or {viii} that anything in the world should be brought to exist, while He does not will its existence, that is, in tire absence of His will for it, or when He is forgetful or neglectful, or throuSh the causal (activity of things| or their natural (workings). Likewise impossible for Him is (ix) igno7.

rance, or what amounts to that, about anything whatever, and also (x! death, {xi) deafness, (xii} blindness, and {xiii) dumbness. The opposites o{ the attributes pertaining to forms (xiv-xxf are obvious from these.


7'he Possible



10. What is possible in respect of God is the doing or leaving undone

of every actually possible act.

17. The proof of the necessity of God being characterised by power (or




The proof of God's existence (i) is the originated character of the world, since, if the worldrad no originatoibut originatJ ia'.u, that would imply that of two equal thingst one, ihough the other, should yet preponderate overlt without "q""f-ao that- is impossible. The proof of the originated character "i".r.., "rra of the

just been proved? 14' The proof of the necessity of God's otherness (iv) from originated things is that, if He resembled any of them, He would lik*e them be originated; and that is impossible. l5' The proof of the necessity oJ God', serf-subsistence (v) is this. If God required a substrate, then He would be an attribut;;;il"; attribute is characterised (either) by attributer of for-. oi ry attributes pertaining to forms. our patron i. terised by attributes of these two types, therefore H" i. "h".";".".r."rity ;;;; attribute. Again, if He required a deteiminant, He would be origi nated. But how can.that_be, seeing that the proof has l"!., given of the necessity of His being from eteinity and "lr""ay His belng to eternity? 16. The proof of the necessity of the uniqueness (vi| of God is this. If he is not unique, it would be implie that nothing or tr'. * exists; (that isf because of the impiication of His i-i",.""" *rr.r. He is not unique.

circle or an infinite regress.3 "i"ir". 13. The proof that being to etemity {iiif is necess ary ror God is that, if it r4/ere actually possible that non-existence should be .tt"ch.i'tu Him, then being from etemity would be denied of Him. i;; H;, existence would tlren be possible and not necessary, and th existence of what is possible can only be originated. Bui how can tlratte, seeing that the necessity of od,s b_ing from ;;;;y h;'

existence to existence and from existence to non-existence. 12. The proof that being from eternity (iif is necessary for God is rhat, if He did not exist from etemity, thenHe would t" ;"a so would require an originator, and this would impiy a "ri**",.d,

the accidents is the observaiion of their cLanging r.o,'

movement/ rest and so on. what is inseparable from an originated thing is itself originated. The proof of the originated chara'cter of

is that it is

inseparable from originated a"cidents,-tike


omnipotence), will, knowledge and life (vii-x) is that, if any of these was absent from Him, then none of the originated things would exist. 18. The proof of the necessity of God having hearing, sight and speech (xixiii| is Scripture, Sunna and consensus. Moreover, if He is not characterised by these, it would be implied that He is characterised by their oppoites, but these (opposites) are de{ects, and in respect o{ God de{iciency is impossible. 19. The proof that the doing of things actually possible or the leaving of them undone is possible for God is that, if any of them were rationally necessary for God or rationally impossible, then the actually possible would have ben turned into {eitherl the neces_ sary or the impossible; and that is contrary to reason.

The Necessary, the ImpossibLe nd the Possibhe


As for the Messengers (of God), there is necessary {or them:

21. Impossible for them are the opposites of these attributes, namely: (i| lying; (ii) disloyalty (or treachery) by doing something (either) strictly forbidden (by God) or disapproved of (by Him!; and (iii) the concealing of anything they have been ordered to communicate to

truthfulness, (ii| trustworthiness, and (iii) the communicating of what they were ordered to communicate to people.


. Possible for them is (the experiencing of) those human accidents, such as illness and the like, which do not lead to any deficiency in

their high station.


The proof of the necessity of their truthfulness (iI is that, if they did not speak truth, it would be implied that God was lying in His report of how He asserted their truthfulness; (this He did) by the evidentiary miracle which was tantamount to His saying, My servant has spoken truly in all his communications from Me. The proof of the necessity of their trustworthiness (ii) is that, if 4. they acted disloyally by doing (either) what is strictly forbidden or disapproved of, then what is forbidden or disapproved of would be turned into (an act of| obedience in their case, because God has commanded us to imitate them in what they say and do, and God does not command the doing of what is forbidden or disapproved of. This very {argument} is also the proof of the necessity of the third (attribute).





25. The proof of the possibility of human accidents happening to them (iv) is the observing of these actually happening to the Messengers. (This may come about) either to increase their re-

ward, or to give a rule (to other peoplel, or to clraw (peoplel away from (worldly things|, or to show (people| how little value these have in the sight of God, and that He does not approve of them by way of reward for His prophets and saints in respect of what they have experienced of such (accidents). The Shahada

32' --


t '{

26. The (essential) meanings of all these articles of belief are brought together in the words, 'There is no deity except God; Muhammad


27. (This is because) the meaning of Divinity is the independence of the Divine from everything apart from Himself and the need for Him that everything apart from Him has; and the meaning of 'There is no deity except God'is that except God there is nothing
28. God's independence of everything apart from Himself necessitates for Him: existence, being from eternity, being to eternity,
(which is) independent of everything apart from itself and (which is) needed by everything other than itself.

is the Messenger of God'.

of all {or Him} also necessitates that God should be for, if along with Him there was a Scond in Divinity' ""iq"", would be in need of Him, since the impotence oJ both ;Jhi He is the one worrld ihen be implied. How can that be, seeing that from Him are in need? of whom all apart eS. Also derived irom that (need of all for Him! is the originated o{ it was character of the world in its entilety/ since, if anythins be independent of God' How can lty, that thing would {.o* apart "t..t ,tt",-U., ,""irrg that Hels the one of whom necessarily all Him are in need? from

be' seeing that and nothing would be in need of Him' How can that all apart from Him are in need? He is the oie of Whom

hJ (need

nator or a substrate or someone to keep defects from Him. 9' There is further derived from that (independence} the exemption from having aims in His acts and iudgements. Otherwise it would be implied that He is in need of vhat rvill achieve His aim. How can that be, seeing that He in His wealth is independent of all

otherness from originated beings, self-subsistence and exemption from de{ects. There is also included in (independence) the necessity that God should have hearing, sight and speech. If (all) these attributes were not necessary for Him, He would requlre an origi-

34.Alsoderivedfromthat(need)isthe(assertion}thatnoentityhas causal efficacy in {producing) any result' Otherwise it would can "rry beimplied that that result is independent of our Patron' How t", seeing that He is the one of whom all apart from Him are itr"i in need, altogether and in every instance? by SS. ihis is ihe ca"se if you suppose ih"t "tt entity has causal-efficacy -yo.t..tppot" that it has this efficacyby a power ltr rr.trrre. But if ihat cod has made in it,'as many ignorant people imagine' then ,ft", i. impossible also, since then our- Patron in bringing into that is existence certain acts would be in need of a means; and

false ln view of what you know of His necessarily being ent of everything apart from Himself'a deity 36. It has now'b."o.rre clear to you that the words 'There is iro --"*".paGod'includethethreepartsofwhatitisnecessaryforthe (three) mature believer to know in respect of our Patron' These necessary in respeci of God, what is impossible and are: what is what is possible. includes 37. When we say 'Muhammad is the Messenger of God" that and in the angels and in th,e heavenly belief in the other prophets tne books and the Last Day, since Mubammad came contrrnlng of all that. truth of the 3S. F;;; this is derived the necessity of the truthfulness -{or them of lying' Otherwise fuf.t*"gers and the impossibility who ,tt"y *.""fa not be trustworthy messengers {rom our Patron secret. knows things (any of) all eq. ihe." is deiived also the impossibility of (their) doing -- ' they are ::".t :' te.acp'e3lte ihirrg, to be abstained from, tecause in alJ those by tti'eir words and deeds and silence. It is implied that our deeds) there is nothing con:'rary to the command of "ia' ""a cratures and b",rorr, who chosethem (the prophets) above all His




apart from Himself? From that (independence) also it is derived that there is no necessity for God {either) to do any of the things actually possible or to leave any undone. If any of these things, such as giving a reward, was rationally necessary for Him, then He would be in need of that thing in order to realise His aim perfectly; for, in respect of God, nothing is necessary except what is perfection for Him. How (can there be such a necessity of acting) seeing that He in His wealth is independent of all apart from Himself? The need for Him of everything apart from Him necessitates that God should have life and all of {the attributes of} power, will and knowledge. If any of these were absent from I{im, it would not be




actually possible that any of the originated things should exist,


entrusted them with the secret of His inspiration'




40. Again there is derived form that (clause) the possibility of human
accidents befalling them, since that does noiimpair their character of messenger and their high station with God; on the contrary, these help to raise that.

The standard logical fallacies of vicious circles

Imilmate', $2.

{dawr} and infinite regress (tasalsul) are apparently sufficiently well-known to-require no

eiplanation. Cf.'Hilh,-'fuhat is necessarily existent in itself', and'The

41. It has thus become clear to you how the two clauses of the Shahada, although they contain only a few letters, include all the articles of belief that itis necessery for a mature believer to know, both in respect of God and in respect of His Messengers. (They achieve this) by combining brevity ancl compreh..rsiuJn"r., .. *" 42. Revelation has made it (the shahada) an expression of the Islam there is in the heart; a'd no-one's belief is acceptable r' ii. The- reasonable person, then, should it "*""pt f.eq,'rerrt, '.*..rrb". while bringing to mind the articles of berief it contains, .o ,rt"l
wonders. have explained.

This appea'rs to be a denial of the view found in several earlier creeds that God brings about human acts by creating an acting-power (isdta'd) in the agent.

these and their meaning'are mingled with his flesh his btoo; "nd for, iJ God will, he will see in them an infinity of ,.c..ts



loved ones at death to utter the words of the shahad",*ing iis meaning. God bless our prince Muhammad as often as the mindful remember him and the heedless fail to remember him. God be pleased with all the companions of the Messenger of God and with those who follow afterihem in good works unt"il the Day of fudgement. Peace be upon the Messengers. praise belongs to the Lord of the Worlds. NOTES

Now from God is succour. There is no Lord except Him, and no deity apart form Him. we ask Him that He would make usand our

ma'nd,here translated,form,, oftenhas the sense of ,*.""i"g,. ill.;i;; not.cleat what the precise difference is between mumkindtndia.lzat'' both ot which mean ,possible,; perhaps the obiects of God's po*", will are actually and. physicalry^possi^ble, wheieas tr,. "., t".*ledge are theoretically possible. To show that different words "i are beins used, 'actually possibler is used to translate iiii. The argument here is somewhat mysterious ^"^t it is realised that until the two equal things are existence and non-existence. If the -o.ld orinlnated of itself, this woultl mean that existence had preponderated ov"er non-existence without any cause. 96

It is.not.clear why a distinction is made between 'attributes of forms, and 'attributes pertaining to forms, lsifat al-ma.ani, sif dt ma.nawiv!al, the_former are expressed by nouns,'ihe l"tt.' ty .ai..ti;;;.





b-ut later moved to Iran, where he "o.,u..t.J,h; ii.i'#;i; ruler ljeytii to Imdmite shi'ism' The creed rt"r.1t"".r"'r'J'iJlo."

'Altema_i_HittrJl..:"g: Hiila (rzso_tLzsl;was born at Hilla, an important shl,ite centre 1f near nt a"a,

we seek.

iallacy,, for all the links in ,rrl,r"r"i"'Jrr"." i" ,ir."r*ollrrbilityof existing of themselver rrt.y "riJ must be beyond themselves, and this "".i1 "".r.. ot existence which l.-th. X""..sary, which is what
this chain must be things possibr., " God,s positive ttributes, which are eight

case there is a vicious circle, which is a (logicalf f.allacy.(In the second case) where the cause is another p"*ir'i" j,ning), there is an infinitJ regress (or chain), which is als.o jlogi""U

the main Arabic technical termsrave l..r, irr-"iu-J.d either in the translation of the creed o' i'' t'"t oiti'-.

comprehensible, especially ,r'. assumes much b-a:k{ound "'

p.."r.n,"rion of their posi_ tion' Apart from the-disri"",ir" ii'"irine of the imamate, its position approaches ,'"t olin" rur]ri", since no er"ni" r:Tt w_as revision of that in A/- auu",l-aiatiinor,translated """".Jii.,1-i:r,ffffiHT#t,X,: Miller' London, noyal siati; #il;1'28' Miller,s by W. McE. translation keeps crosely to

Imdmites, and is



recognised by

1. God is powerful and freely-acting.2 The world is originated, because it is a body, "rra.u..y ffi is inseparable from origi_
follows {from the
nated (thingsf, namely, movement nbth these o.igi_ nated, because both. require something "rrd-r"rr. ;;;;.d;; ;;. "r. r, oiiil inseparable from originated (thingsj


nowl.. ro.,u.rately,


and is sometimes barelv

is very succinct an commentary.


fi ::i''l,Tl,'.*iij,','*:'r::t{;ni'iiH jltr,]:T things of which it is not possible r"'. lr*lim to be ignorant, since "",

The scholars all God,of rli'p"'"i".{1^ii:'}:itTf Him and of what is tmpossi6lei;;il; '",,?#:l"3':ii*:Ji1*i,1


2. God is knowing since His

power is universal.

"* The relation of His essence ,o

of power. What makes tt

namely God, the powerful and'freel-y-6s11ng. world| was a {mechanical) 1d-r,oirr."ty_""tirrs):';i;" necessarilv its effect would ""ur" not continu" (,o ceased|' That would imply either,t'",,r'. "*irti"ii.ii iir"a worta wa;;;;;;ik" its cause|, or that God {its caus"y *", origi"ated; and both (these conclusions,| are false. God's power i, with all obicts




that it

"iigi""*a. h;;;;;;r, If the;;l;;;i.



"o.r.r."t"a ,r."j Hi. p-o*". i. (theirf possibility. ifiiis, is equal, and so His "ii



What is necessarily existent in itself We say of every obiect of tfiolqht that its *r,".r". is either in itself or is possibl. i" itr.i? orlr r*.itit" in itserf. necessary doubt that here (in the There is no universer

acts are well-ordered and perfect, and everyone who so acts.mustte knowing. His knowlJdg;-i.,"*nected with everu o}ject of L"o.l;;;; l"""'r. 3ii.." knowledge are equally related ,o Hi-]H. "ii "r is also living, and all -living things truly know their obiects oi k.rowtedge. Thus he must have knowledge, since ott..*i.. H" *""ia is S".{ living. Because He is powerful anJ tnowing, he must also be living.

Ui""L-i ;;,iril;

,t...rr'.]o*ething which necessarily

itsel that is what we seek; possibte, then it woutd

Now (on the one r'""ar ir.r,i,

ff;liifl;#**i[*n**[]ffilx#; ;".# il1H::t,:',i:',i:"""::.".i'-',ti.

!"il"" somethins .;J;ii;'h;;r:'J1, n".rol if it is rn the firsi existence.



5. God is"perceiving, because He is living and therefore truly per_ ceives.3 This is proved in the eur,irr, it must be asserted (perception)belongs
God is pre-etemal and Jxistent from eternity, and arso everlasting and existent to etemity. (This isf b;;;

ing (agency), and that is the will; ;il"1."'t;;;;;;G;ff;; commands and prohibitions, and i'.'" ,.q,rire will for them or against them.

{one who willsf and reiecting (one who wills 9gd something should not be)' (This isf particularising of an act to come about at one time and!."""*-,-tt. not anothei requires a particularis_






He is the necessarily




existent. Non-existence, whether prior to existence or following upon existence, is impossible for Him. God is speaking, as all agree. By speech is meant letters and sound which are audible and possess order, and (so| for God to .peak ing means that He brings speech into existence in some bod1,. fhe account given by the Ash.arites is contrary to reason.a God is truthful. A lie is necessarily evil, and God is far removed from evil, because it is impossible for him to have any ilp";f* tion. God's negative attributes, which are seven
If he were, he

God's lustice
Reason necessarily iudges what actions are good, such as returning something entrusted (to one), treating kindly, and truth{ulness which is profitable, and also (judges) what actions are bad, such as iniustice and a harmful lie. Those who deny all systems of revelation, like the Malahida and the philosophers of India, iudge good and bad in this way (by reason}. Moeover, if (good an<l evil) are not affirmed by reason, they would be denied by tradition, because the evil of lying would not be affirmed in the case of th author of revelation.s . We act by choice. This must be so because (1) there is a necessary difference between a person falling from a roof and going down from it by a ladder; otherwise the imposing of duties on us would be impossible and there would be no sin. (It must also be so| because (2) of the evil of God's creating an act in us and then punishing us for it; and (3) because of tradition. 3. It is impossible that God should do evil, because the knowledge he

1. God is not composite.

2. He

what is in need is (only| possible.

would be in need of parts, and


4. The vision

5. God has p9 partner. (This is) because oitradition,'

(or seeing) of God is impossible. (This is) because everything that is seen is in a direction (from it. it l, either opposite to him or in a comparable relation. "1.*"r1; If Cod'*.." seen, He would be a body, which is impossible. In God,s word to Moses, 'You shall not see Me, (T.I4gl, thi negative {lanf is eternal.

He would need a place (that is, would be lacking something); and also because, since a body cannot be separatej fto- origT;arca things, He would be an originated thing, and that is i*p;;.rbil. He.cannot be in a place, for then He -o,rld be in need of it; nor in a direction, for then He would be in need of it. Likewis., ;i;;r;; and pain are not ascribed to Him, because He cannoi have a {bodilyf constitution. He does not unite with what is oth"ith"r, Himsel because uniting is altogether impossible for Him. God is not a locus for originated things (sc. accidents), because he cannot be acted upon by anything other and h"u" imperfection. ""rr.rot ".rf

is not a body nor an accident nor an atom,s because, if He were,




knowledge, and so on, He would have n-eed of thaii"r" tp"-*, .,".1 among His attributes, and His existence would only bi porribl".' God is independent and not in need. (This isf because iri, t"i"s necessarily existent apart from anything else requires His having nJ need of anything else, whereas all othei things are in need of Him.

one another, and the orderly existence (of the created *o.lJj would be destroyed. (It is alsof because He would then have to be composite, since two beings sharing necessary existence would (eachf require something to distinguish them. God has no forms or states.T (This is because! if His being powerful were du-e to His power, and His being knowing were J,r. to Hi.

because (if there were a partneri, the two would be in conflict ""J wi-th


has of evil holds Him back from it. Also He has no motive for doing evil, since the motive would be either need, which is (something! He cannot have, or else the wisdom (of the evil actf which does not exist. Moreover, 7t it were possible for evil to proceed from God, the proof of revelation to prophets would be impossible. (It may also be said that) the will to do evil is impossible for God, because {such a will) is itself evil. God acts with an aim.e (This is because| the Qur'itn teaches this, and also because to deny this would imply (that the act| is vain; and that is evil. The aim of God is not to harm the person but to benefit him. For this (reason! there must be an imposition of duties; and this is the commissioning by God, obliging {persons} to engage firstly and knowingly in (acts) involving labour. (If there were no imposition of dutiesl God would be inciting to evil by creating {in people) the passions and the desire for evil and hatred
of good; (to counter these) there must be a restraint, and that is the

cause it makes (people) aware of reward, which is deserved benefit joined with being honoured and respected. This (reward) is impossible without a previous (imposition of duties!. 5. Kindness is incumbent on God. Kindness (or favour) is what leads the creature towards obedience and keeps him from disobedience. It is not an aspect of empowering (him) and does not 8o so far as

imposition of duties. Knowledge (?of blame and praise) is not sufficient because it is easy (to bearl the blame (incurred) in attaining a desired object. The imposition of duties is good, be-

{of Godl in (kindness).riG.:g,in$:lri;!;";;:#(:Xil-"fi

compelling {him). The aim

do it without tlr"

,ALLAMA-I-HILLt The Imdmate


lj['#"tT'."':if *t#ji,:l-x":ili;t1,.,Tlr:ji: the sufferins be in excess


La".*ro"r, 0..1".., this to be evil. compensatin*,. "i_, ""j from God isincumb t :oT: to a person benefit, l,rt *i tfto,r-J; ;;: i:'::,1':mpensatorv (act) is a deserved

perform easily'.then' contradicting His own 'i

will not

filh;"ffJ; ".'';. il;;'::]l':h

i:H:?i:l;: i,.ip.i* .'t i"h (Hef, the Willer, ""t "a"j"."ll,* it, He "an




*i:,:j:l:liffitri*,"'::""i:':T:.,"r"f romGodwithoutthe


Also, uutres imposed on people would be evil;'and 2. He was immune fr Immunityfrom sin is a ,t o'r, il'a# T:'.::" hidden kindness

he is.truthful, since

the multitide *iri'"" i;i: ?:'Y"n 'his '{i$ and the praising of God bv pebbies in his hanJ. n];';r'd*,,t^".:d, miracles .... than can be numbered of a great

#{*ff,fr .'1'J#i|*,.'.',:*mi*',',l'''m'";

,;'1'.'"1:iffi:if :J

our Piophet, Mulrammad ibn ;abd-lah ibn

1i"lrig"l,i',# thai is f"ip"*iii..

("rd,;;;i;;:il111 to be a prophet. --o.. vutln

prophet's word.

il"J1*5"."jn1,*ii::i,il.*hT;ff 'y;3ij: j:lfr : the powe, ,o Jo Jo. p""J,_o*i.;;n

ij'ft"i,lj, *".'"-i}"Jas no confidence in the r'i. piJb'.,i";;J::" would rn be worthless; that is impossible.

imam would be needed (to correct himf, and this would lJJ;;;; infinite regress, which is impossible. iso, if the i*a* a sin and people had to disapprove of him (because ""*-i".i ;i; n; would lose his prace in theii hearts, and his p""iri""r"l-iil,"al would be worthless. Again, if the imem were not immune from sin, (the duty of ordinary Iuslims) of commanding tr'" g""J forbidding'' the evilriould lapse, and that is impossible. ""J Moreove as guardian of the law the im6m must be immune r'o'..irr, so that the law is preserved from addition or deletion. C"a Ji (referring to possible leaders}: ,My covenant dos not i""i"a. t'. evildoers' {2. I l8l. 3. The imim must be designated. Immunity from sin is in the heart and only God sees it; and so the designation of the imam *;; b; made by someone rvho knows he has this immunity, or he must bring about an evidentiary miracle to prove his truthiuln;.- 4. The imam must be the most excellent of the people, t."""r. of

1. The imamate is the position of had in religious and worldly matters as deputy (or agentf of the prophet. "R.".o. ,rr"*, l" necessity. The imamate is a kindness from God, for, rt." p"opi. have a head and a true guide whom they obey,'wh; ,T. oppressed on the. oppressor/ and restrain. th. ";;;;:; opp."rr;; fr;; oppressing, then they are in a healthy condition,roi one. It was shown above that kindness is incumbent "o ""ro""a on God. 2' The im6m must be immune from sin. otherwise tt.r. *a b" an infinite re'ress. An imm is needed for the o1h" oppressor from oppressing and the avenging of '.'r."i"i"g th. oppi.!.;; the oppresso4 but, if the imam w"re not iirmune frorn-s^in another

"r_u,l.""'1'."olTi*li,"'TT:-;1n"r-i;ii,;*"*ff j whose ? -past life various great things had been observed. and ._;l; tns and (other) hateful , Ihe prophet 4.
a better (pesonl " Thg prophet -"., m}"..5*Ti.rro- ,"ui any baseness in t1trng male ancestry his a.5"".i.,"^,"J^],::"I ancestry. H. ..,u.t ". free from;]iea;;:il

^ 3ld ,J. He was immune


5. The imam after the Messenger of Codls ,Ali ibn Abi-Talib. His d-esignation by the prophet iJound in widely_trans*ir,.a."p*ir.
needed him in the mutual cursing.12 Further, since the imam must be immune from sin, and by gene-ral agreement no other claimant of the imamate was sin,:Alt is ,Ali
of iis time ;;J*g;; God's word, ,ourselves and yourelves, (3.61); and the P'"ph;;

what has been said above about the prophet.

He was the most excellent of the people

must b11!e mostexcellent of.the people of Both reason and tradition a..l"r. .ril or an inferiorhis time. precedence over to have




'.'i"v. l j. n,. ;: *" ;H:,H.; l..'oli ffi: l: "


n ': j:Jl*


is th.e best-judge of you all,, and iudgement requires tcnowleage. Finally, 'Ah is more ascetic than an-yone erse and aiuoi".Jii. world three times. The proofs of 'Alt's imamate are innumerable. The imims after .Alt were (in succession|: r'i'

the imim. is aiso the most knowing, for the Companions consulted hi* rh;i; problems but he did not consult any of them; "b";; tfr" p."pt .i*ia,;air

'." "l-H"."

ISLAMIC CREEDS then al-usayn, then'Ah ibn al-usayn then Muhammad ibn'Ali al-Baqir, then |a'far ibn Muhammad al_$adiq, then Mus ibn }a'far al-Ke7tm, then'Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, then Muhammad ibn'Ah allaw-ad, then 'Ah ibn Muhammad al-Hadr, then al-Hasan ibn 'Alt al-'Askari, then Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, the Lord of the Age. because of the preceding proofs.


s ihr;"Ji'"r,i*i,i'

general and is not resThe word sfiar' here must mean revelation in p' Me9c 64' Malahida is the tricted to l"g"I m"tt.'.jl t' iiini^^'a's ;ilJJ;;;rd, whici' """ mean'heretic" but probably means'athei.y hil though without any precise reference' laterSunnites that God has no ir'.

(They are imams) because each designated his successor, and

article properly' for he aim. Miller,"t"rn i i"* ""i"tttodthe is used for the commistranslates ba'th as 't.tpo"tlUitity'' The word iJ "7' t""'t"ted as 'commissioning' in the sioning of a proprr",, law, and so to


Bridge, the Balance, the speaking of the members {of the body), and the opening of the books.t3 These things are possible, and the Truthful One has informed us of them, and so they must be acknowledged. Also there are reward and punishment. The explanation of these which has been transmitted is based on revelation. The commanding of good and forbidding of evil (is incumbent on each Muslim), provided that in doing so he knows what is good and what is evil. This applies to what has yet to happen, because to command or forbid what is past is nonsense. (The benefit envisaged) should have some (good) effect and not to damage. NOTES

Eschatology The Muslims are agreed that there must be a bodily retum. If there were no return, the imposition of duties would be evil. It is possible {according to reasonf, and, since the Truthful One {Muhammad) has said that it is certain, it is real. There are verses which teach this and deny him who rejects it. The resurrection of all to whom compensation must be given or who must give compensation is necessary by reason. The return of all others is necessary by tradition. All that the Prophet taught must be acknowledged, namely, the

l0 The ideas about ".-p""r"ii""'here and in $7 appear to be peculiar Shi'ism. the evil (al'amr bi:ll l ih. ;tty of commanding the good.and forbiddine ',i'^it'*"7'ko'f is a duty o{ o"rdinarv Muslims {and ma 'ruf wa:l-nahy hat'e thoughtl; cf' $7 and not specially ut tt. i*ait,'';Miiiilt"*t'io

",,fl'o -"".",i ctalar." tt'. "i[*".y accept a degree of responsibilitv'

Muslim to fulfil the

he cannot {act)' and "pp";;;;-fii; action if he can, b;^; ;;til;I;Jmonition w-here of hi' h'"'t' (lbn Taimiya' p' 55| i""ry'ty ,r'" ri'* i"t."iio"' associated with the 12 The'mutual cursing"i;;;;i; l '"f"" totu"ttts with" 3.ot.'l-i'__'"y'' tt'"t' jf someone disputes Godl Qur'anic the L""*l"Ji. *hi"it h"t..o*e to him {from Muhammad about ;;ii e';; the curseof God on himself and his il:li;'ilff; ;;h effective' Muhammad is they familv if^h;; are lyini' rttit *ttitt""ght to be to this mutual of ;_;; ."i8.e';6;i;;; .""d"i. _Christians al_

iii, sz. Henri Laoust wrote about it as tollows: of the'iust mean/ that ... ih" The Muslim "o*-unityevil' lal-amr Each "o**,'''i. the which 'enioint ,h;;;i"""d-i;tbiJt his'sphere all that' in ""1' member of th. .o"im"t'.-'iiiy is bound to correct totttt"ry to the Law' by his effective of influcnce,


i'"i:. h:;;"h ."'.i"g, ""i" Hasan and al-Husayn. - -iAli'. world

;'"ii'Ali, Fati-"

13 '"

is re{ers to a story arbout him. The world divorcing of the of a beautiful girl, and then he is to have come to said divorce' said to have pronounced the threefold Iormula.of ;il; h"; h;;' been.substituted for Miller's 'flying 'h. text' .?1h""il;k;?.h;1"rt*;;"rJ'""- to be due to an e'or in the


their children

ilil i;-,h;i;'"o


2 3 4 5 6 7

The logical fallacies mentioned here, vicious circle and infinite regress (the latter also in'The Imlimate', $2|, also occur in Al-Sanusl, $12. The combination of freely-acting(mukhtarl with powerful as an attribute of God is surprising. It seems to point to a contrast with the mechanical or physical cause (mrllib); but the background of thought behind all this is not obvious. What Sunnites keep separate as hearing and seeing are here united under the term'perceiving' (mudrikl.

since there appears standard work.

a t"

reference to such a phenomenon in any

What is here called the Ash'arite view is that of all mainstream 'body'(iisml. This &ffers from the Sunnite view that God will be seen in paradise. It is not clear what is meant by 'lorms'lma'dni) and,states, lahwdll.

Sunnites. 'Atom' here translates iawhar, but it is not stated how it dif{ers from

Since the creed has spoken of God's knowledge, it perhaps means that attributes such as this have no hypostatic quality.





FIIlrvr I il llt-\^LA\fE.E


Hanafites, 54,-8_9, Ig,29,48, Abraham,'52,'6n. 63_8 a-b) Iii i z, ibi ; "o"' ^E: ', l-i, 3 8, +, 55, 5 8, 65,' ^"o ^'3:7,', AbD Hanifa, S_0, S, ta, 80,40n.,48, Ib_n Taymiyya, I
'Abbesids, 6_7.

Punishment of the Tomb, 2l, Blt AS,

44, 54,
59 | 67

, 8, 88

Shahada, 14-15, 73, 77, 94-6 Shu'ubites, 38, 40n.

Qadariyya, Qadarites, 6, 31, 56, 68 al_Qayrawdnl, 13, 69_7 Quraysh, 34, 84 Rafida, Rawafid, Rafidites, 31, 38, 60 reasoned opinion, 8,29,89, 40n. al-Santrsl, l0-1, 15, 90-7 Satan, 46,65-6 al-Shafi't, Shafi'ites,

al-fahawl 8-9, 19, 48-5 Throne (of God|, 36-7 , 4Ar, 41, SZ,
59, 67,


""'"*dr:!;llistitli'a|, 17, 42, o*^'r';'||il3,*rr', 56n',



59, i,i;i]l]iffii, *

38l, 43, 50, 60, 66,

Sedile,36, 4on.,5,69

Umayyads, 6, 47n. 'Uthman, caliph, 20,31-3, 38, 40n., 44, 55, 59, 65,72,79, 94, gg Zaydites, l

'Uma caliph, o, 3l-3, 38, 44, 55, 58, 65,7,79,84,88






attnbutes ofGod, l5_1

""."jl 9-lb awliya',


:3;!? y,|',;)7
S n.,


Khariiites, "l-X*a1]

L:f"?,fl;]''l i e3i:,i, 4 l, 4 n' xni*iiil s' 29 Aon


po3 5, 9, 69

56, 60, 62, T 1, 7T_g, g2_ 8, 104 Basin, 2J, 3l , 35, 89n., 44, SO, 66, 71,


r-i|*J"}: Malikites,




78, BZ,88, IO4

Maturtdites, e, I I, 80

Christians, 14, 19

ffi i'r';.?J 1l", ?: |: f: :o


45, 56, 65, 67, Bs

etemity, 15, 92 expression-of uncertainty [istithna,l, 14,33,5t,

0n., 8.i



'a!f,,, *


Mu' tazila, Mu.tazil ites.

7 29,4r-2, ou, ur,'rr-n,", ,u'


S6n.. g7

Neoplatonism, 9_l
Pen, 17,36, 51. 59 Pilgrimage, 54








predetermination (by Godf, 17,

58, 63,70. 7s' Preserved Table, t6, 36,51,63