The Muslim's Belief

Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-'Uthaimin

Translated by

Dr. Maneh Al-Johani

 

Table of Contents

Translator's Foreword

Preface of Shaykh Abd al Aziz Ibn Baz

Author's Introduction

Chapter I: Our Creed

Belief in Allah's Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes Allah's Will

Universal and Legal More of Allah's Attributes Describing Allah

by His Revelation.

Chapter II: The Qur'an and Sunnah

Sources of His Attributes Free From Contradictions.

Chapter III: Angels

Belief Angel's Functions.

Chapter IV: Allah's Books

Belief Books Known The Qur'an Is Protected from Change

Previous Scriptures Changed.

Chapter V: Messengers

Belief The First and Last Messengers The Best Messengers

Messengers are Human Beings Islam The Universal and Final

Message Rightly Guided Caliphs ~ The Prophet's Companions

Chapter VI: The Day of Judgment

Belief The Resurrection The Records and Scales The Prophet's

Intercession The Prophet's Pool The Straight Path Paradise and

Hell What Happens in the Grave

Chapter VII: Fate and the Divine Decree

Belief Levels of Belief Man's Free Will No Excuse for Sinners

Evil Not Attributable to Allah

Chapter VIII: Benefits

Virtues of Belief in Allah Virtues of Belief in Angels Virtues of

Belief in Books Virtues of Belief in Messengers Virtues of Belief

in Day of Judgment Virtues of Belief in Fate.

 

 

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

 

Preface of Shaykh Abd al Aziz Ibn Baz

Praise belongs to Allah alone; peace and blessing on the last Prophet, his

family and his Companions.

I was introduced to the valuable and concise treatise on the Muslim's belief

prepared by our brother, the great scholar Shaikh Muhammad As-Saleh al-Uthaimin.

I listened to it all and found that it covers the creed of the

Sunnites and the mainstream majority of the Muslims in the area of the

oneness of Allah, His attributes, the belief in the angels, the books and the

messengers, the Day of Judgment, and in the belief in fate and the divine

decree. He succeeded in collecting what the seeker of knowledge and every

Muslim needs for his belief in Allah, His angels, His scriptures, His

messengers, the Day of Judgment, and fate. He included in his treatise

useful information related to the Muslim's beliefs that are not readily

available in many of the books written on these topics. May Allah reward

the author, increase him in knowledge and guidance, and make this book

and his other books most useful. May Allah, the Hearer and the Close, bless

us and him and all our brothers and make us among those who are guiding

and rightly guided to call people to Allah with sure knowledge.

Dictated by 'Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, may Allah forgive him and shower peace

and blessing on our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions..

 

Translator's Foreword

I found this treatise of the Muslim's creed a concise and useful presentation of a very

important topic. The need for this treatise, especially among non-Arabic speaking readers,

cannot be overestimated. Therefore, I decided to translate it and make it accessible to

English readers.

I would like to draw the attention of the readers to the following points:

I gave the book the title THE MUSLIM'S BELIEF instead of the author's Aqidatu Ahl As

Sunnah wa al Jama'ah, which may be translated as The Creed of the People of the Sunnah

and Majority. I think my preference is justified by: a) The title I preferred is shorter; b) The

two titles have almost the same meaning; c) The original title contains some technical terms

that are not only difficult to translate, but also difficult to understand by many readers; and

d) The original title may antagonize some readers who are misinformed about the true

designations of the words in the original title.

I provided, in parentheses after every Qur'anic verse, the numbers of chapters and verses

quoted by the author without giving their proper reference. This I deemed useful for

readers who do not know the Qur'an by heart and who would like to check these verses.

Because the author, in most cases, quotes or paraphrases some of the prophetic traditions

without indicating them to the readers, I tried, whenever I could recognize these traditions,

to put them in quotations and to cite in parentheses the prophetic collections in which they

are reported. In most cases, I limited myself to the collections of Bukhari and Muslim

whenever the saying is quoted from them. If it is not in these two collections, I mention

one or two of the other collections that contain the quoted saying.

I provided the arrangement of the text into chapters and headlines for ease of reading and

understanding. I also provided a table of contents for ease of reference.

In translating the Qur'anic verses quoted in this treatise, I did not follow any specific

translation of the Qur'an. I benefited from more than one, but followed my own

preference.

It is my sincere desire and hope that this book would be of great help to those who consult

it. Please include in your prayer all those who contributed to its present shape.

Dr. Maneh Hammad al-Johani.

 

Author's Introduction

Praise be to the Lord of the universe who gives the best reward to the God-fearing

and the great loss to the transgressor. I bear witness that there is no

God but Allah; He has no partner and possesses real sovereignty. I bear

witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger; the seal of the

prophets and the leader of the God-fearing. May Allah bless him, his

family, his Companions, and those who follow them till the Day of

Judgment.

Allah has sent His messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, with the real

guidance and the true religion as a mercy to mankind, as a model for those

who do good, and as His argument against mankind. Through Muhammad

and what was revealed to him (the Qur'an and the Prophetic sayings), Allah

showed mankind all means of reforming itself and straightening its

religious and mundane affairs in sound beliefs, right conduct, fine morals,

and laudable manners. The Prophet, peace be upon him, "left his followers

on a clear straight path, only the doomed will deviate from it"(Ibn Majah

and Ahmad). His followers, the Companions, their followers, and those

who followed them faithfully are the best of mankind. They established his

law, upheld his way, and held fast to it as a belief and practice, a moral and

manner. Thus "they are considered the party who are victorious, on the

straight path, unharmed by those who are against them till the end of the

world" (Bukhari and Muslim).

Thanks to Allah, we are following their footsteps and are being guided by

their examples, which are supported by the Qur'an and the prophetic

traditions. We are saying this only as an announcement of Allah's blessings

and as a clarification of what every Muslim should believe. We pray to

Allah that He may keep us and our brothers on the straight path in this life

and in the hereafter. May He give us mercy, for He is the Giver.

Due to the importance of this topic and the difference of opinions about it,

I want to explain briefly our creed-the belief of the Sunnites and the

mainstream Muslims (Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah). This creed is the

belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Day of

Judgment, and fate, whether good or bad. I pray to Allah to make this

effort sincere for His sake, in agreement with His wish, and useful for His

people..

 

Chapter I

OUR CREED

 

Our creed is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers,

the Day of Judgment, and Fate whether good or bad.

Belief in Allah's Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes:

We believe in Allah's divinity; that is he is the Lord, the Creator, the

Sovereign, and the Manager of all affairs.

We believe in Allah's god ship; that is, He is the true God and every other

so-called deity is false.

We believe in His names and attributes, that is He has the most

magnificent names and the sublime perfect attributes.

We believe in His oneness in all of this, that is, He has no associate in His

divinity, His God ship, His names, or His attributes. Allah says in the

Qur'an: "He is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth and all that is in

between them, so worship Him and be patient in His worship; do you know

any equal to Him?" (19:65).

We believe that He is "Allah there is no God but He, the Living, the

Everlasting. Slumber does not seize Him, neither sleep; to Him belongs all

that is in the heavens and the Earth. Who is there that shall intercede with

Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is

behind them, and they do not encompass anything of His knowledge except

what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the Earth, the

preservation of them does not burden Him; He is the High, the Great"

(2:255).

We believe that "He is Allah, there is no god but He, the Knower of the

Unseen and the Visible. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. He is

Allah, there is no God but He, the King, the Holy One, the Source of Peace,

the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Almighty, the Subduer, the Sublime.

Glory be to Allah above what they associate with Him. He is Allah, the

Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. His are the most beautiful Names. All that

is in the heavens and the Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the Wise"

(59:22-4).. We believe that to Him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the

Earth: "He creates what He pleases. He gives, to whom He wills, females,

and He gives, to whom He wills, males, or He couples them, males and

females; and He makes whom He wills barren. Surely, He is the Knowing,

the Powerful" (42:49-50).

We believe that "there is nothing whatever like unto Him, He is the All-hearing,

the All-seeing. To Him belongs the keys of the Heavens and the

Earth. He enlarges and restricts provisions to whom He wills. Surely He

has knowledge of everything" (42:11-12).

We believe that "there is no creature that moves on the Earth but its

provision depends on Allah. He knows its dwelling and its resting place. All

is recorded in a clear book" (11:6).

We believe that "with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them

but He. He knows what is in land and sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it.

Not a grain in the deep darkness of the Earth, not a thing green or dry but

it is in a clear Book" (6 :5 9 ).

We believe that "Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour, sends down

rain, and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it shall earn

tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die. Surely, Allah is All-knowing,

All-aware" (31:34).

We believe that Allah speaks whatever He pleases whenever He pleases:

"And Allah spoke to Moses directly" (4:164); "And when Moses came at

Our appointed place, and his Lord spoke to him" (7:143 ); "We called to

him from the right side of the Mount (Sinai), and We brought him near in

communion" (19:52).

We believe that "if the ocean became ink for the words of my Lord, the

ocean would be finished before the words of my Lord came to an end"

(18:109); "And if all the trees that are in the earth were pens, and the ocean

(were ink), with seven oceans swelling it therefore, the words of Allah

would not be exhausted. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise" (31 :27).

We believe that Allah's words are the most truthful in conveying

information, the most just in ruling, and the fairest in conversation. He

said: "The word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice"

(6:115); "And who is more truthful in his word than Allah?" (4:87).. We believe that the Qur'an is Allah's word. He literally spoke it to

Gabriel, who conveyed it to the Prophet, peace be upon him: "Say (O

Muhammad) 'the Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in

truth"' (16:102); "Truly it is the revelation of the Lord of the world

brought down upon your heart by the Faithful Spirit so that you may be

one of the warners, in a clear Arabic tongue" (26:192-95).

We believe that Allah is well above His creatures in His Person and His

Attributes, because He says: "He is the High, the Great" (2:22); "He is

Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the All-aware" (6:18 ).

We believe that He "created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then

He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything" (10:3). His

"settling on the throne" means that He is sitting in person on His throne in a

way that is becoming to His majesty and greatness. Nobody except He

knows exactly how He is sitting.

We believe that He is with His creatures while He is still on His throne. He

knows their conditions, hears their sayings, sees their deeds, and manages

their affairs. He provides for the poor and the broken.

He gives sovereignty to whom He pleases and takes away sovereignty from

whom He pleases; He exalts whom He wills and He abases whom He wills.

In His hand is all good and He is powerful over everything. Whoever

possesses these qualities is literally with His creatures even if He is literally

above them on His throne. "There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him; He

is the All-hearing, the All-seeing" (42: 11).

We do not say, as do the Incarnationists among the Jahomites 1 and others,

that Allah is living with His creatures on Earth. We consider whoever says

this a non-believer or one who has strayed, for he attributed to Allah that

which does not become Him of defects.

We believe in what His Messenger told us, that He descends to the near

sky before the last third of every night and says: "Who prays to Me and I

1 The Jahomites, known in Arabic as al-Jahmiyyah, were members of a sect

named after Jahm bin Safwan (executed 128 AH). He was one of the first

Muslims to deny the attrributes of Allah and to say that Allah is

everywhere..will answer his prayers? Who asks Me and I will give him? Who asks My

forgiveness and I will forgive him?" (Bukhari and Muslim).2

We believe that He will come on the Day of Judgment to judge among His

people because He said: "No indeed! When the Earth is crushed to powder,

and your Lord comes down with the angels in rows after rows, and Hell is

brought out that day. On that day man will remember, but what will

remembrance avail him?" (89:21-23).

We believe that he is the Doer of what He wills.

Allah's Will: Universal and Legal:

We believe that His will is of two kinds: a) Universal will, through which

His intention is carried out. It is not necessary that what is carried out is

liked by Him. This type of will means permission, as Allah said: "Had

Allah willed, they would not have fought one against the other, but Allah

does whatever He desires," (2:253) and "If Allah desires to lead you astray,

He is your Lord" (11:34), and b) Legal will, which does not necessarily

entail the execution of His desire. His will, in this case, cannot be but what

He likes, as He said: "Allah wants to forgive you" (4:27).

We believe that His universal and legal wills are part of His wisdom.

Every thing He performs in the universe or requires legally from His

creatures is for a good reason and according to His wisdom, whether we

grasp it or not: "Is not Allah the best of Judges?" (95:8); "And who is

better than Allah in judgment for a people who have firm faith" (5:50).

We believe that Allah loves His select servants and that they love Him:

"Say if you love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you" (3:31); "Allah

will bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him" (5:54);

"Allah loves the steadfast" (3:146); "And act justly, surely, Allah loves the

just" (49:9); and "Do good; Allah loves those who do good" (5:93).

We believe that Allah likes what He prescribed of good deeds and sayings

and He dislikes what He prohibited of bad deeds and sayings: "If you

disbelieve, surely Allah does not need you, yet He does not like disbelief

for His servants; if you are thankful, this pleases Him"(39:7); and "But

2 Some versions of this hadith mention the last third of the night, while

others mention the last half or after the first third. It is reported by the six

major books of hadith, with the exception of that of al Nasati..Allah disliked their marching forth. So He kept them back, and it was said

to them: 'Stay with the weaklings"(9: 46).

We believe that Allah is pleased with those who believe in Him and do

good deeds: "Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with

Him. That is for him who fears his Lord" (98:8).

We believe that Allah is angry with those who deserve His anger among

the non-believers and others: "And those who think evil thoughts of Allah,

against them shall be the evil turn of fortune. Allah is angry with them"

(48:6); " But whoever opens his heart to disbelief, on them is Allah's

wrath and they shall have a severe punishment" (16:106).

 

More of Allah's Attributes:

We believe that Allah has a glorious and dignified face: "There will

remain the face of your Lord, majestic and splendid" (55:27).

We believe that Allah has two generous hands: "No, both His hands are

wide open; He spends how He pleases" (5:64); "They do not esteem Allah

with the esteem that is due to Him. The whole Earth will be His handful on

the Day of Resurrection, and the Heavens will be rolled up in His right

hand. Glory be to Him and exalted is He above that which they associate

with Him" (39:67).

We believe that Allah possesses two real eyes, because He said: "And

build the ark under Our eyes as We reveal" (11:37). The Prophet, peace be

upon him, said: "His veil is light. Had He removed it, the sublimity of His

countenance would have burnt all that His sight reached" (Muslim and Ibn

Majah). The Sunnites unanimously have agreed that He has two eyes. This

is supported by the Prophet's saying about the Dajjal (the anti-Christ) that

"he is one-eyed and your Lord is not one-eyed" (Bukhari and Muslim).

We believe that "vision cannot perceive Him, but He perceives all vision.

He is the Incomprehensible, the All-aware" (6:103).

We believe that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of

Resurrection: "Upon that day some faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their

Lord" (75:22-3).

We believe that Allah has no equal because His Attributes are perfect:

"There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him. He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing"

(42:11).. We believe that "no slumber or sleep seizes Him" (2:255), because His life

is perfect and eternal.

We believe that He does not do injustice to anybody, because His fairness

is perfect.

We believe that He is not unaware of his servants' deeds, because He has

perfect supervision and comprehensive knowledge.

We believe that He is capable of doing anything in the Heavens or in the

Earth, because of His perfect knowledge and power: "Indeed His command,

when He desires a thing, is only to say to it 'Be' and it is" (36: 82).

We believe that He is free from weariness and weakness, because of His

infinite power: "Surely, We created the Heavens and the Earth and all that

is between them in six days, and no weariness touched Us" (50: 38).

 

Describing Allah by His Revelation:

We believe in all that He assigned to Himself or what His Messenger

described Him with, of names and attributes. However, we reject two

concepts: 1) To say or believe that Allah's attributes are similar to those of

his creatures; and 2) To say or believe that Allah's attributes are like such

and such.

We negate all what He negated about Himself or what His Messenger

negated about Him. We believe that negation implies the affirmation of its

perfect opposite. We do not discuss what He or His Messenger did not

mention about Him.

We believe that following this approach is a must, because what Allah

affirmed or negated concerning Himself is a statement He made about

Himself. He knows Himself best. His words are most just and trustful, and

people cannot know everything about Him. What Allah's Messenger

affirmed or negated about Him is a statement that he made about Allah.

Besides knowing Allah better than anyone, he is the most truthful, sincere,

and eloquent among people. Thus, in what Allah said and what His Prophet

said concerning His names and attributes is the truth, knowledge, and

clarification. Therefore, we have no excuse to reject or even hesitate in

accepting it..

 

Chapter II

THE QUR'AN AND THE SUNNAH

 

Sources of His Attributes:

All that we have mentioned about Allah's attributes, whether briefly or in

detail and affirmatively or negatively, is based on the book of our Lord

(the Qur'an) and the traditions of our Prophet. It also agrees with the

practice of the previous generations of Muslims and the rightly guided

scholars who came after them.

We believe it is obligatory to take the texts of the Qur'an and the

prophetic traditions conceding Allah's attributes at their face value and to

interpret them in a way that is suitable to Almighty Allah. We reject the

practice of those who twist the meanings of these texts and understand them

in a way that was not intended by Allah and His messenger.

We also reject the practice of those who make them devoid of their

meanings as conveyed by Allah and His Messenger. Finally, we reject the

approach of those who exaggerate, who gave them a physical interpretation

that makes Allah similar to some of His creatures.

Free from Contradictions:

We know for sure that what is revealed in Allah's book and in the

traditions of His Messenger is the truth. It does not contain any

contradiction: "Do they not ponder over the Qur'an? If it had been from

other than Allah, surely they would have found in it a lot of differences"

(4: 82).

Contradictions in statements falsify them. It is impossible for there to be a

contradiction in any statement revealed by Allah and said by His

Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims that there are

contradictions in the Qur'an, the prophetic traditions, or between the two

must have wicked intentions and a misguided heart. He should repent and

quit his sin. If someone imagines that there are some contradictions in the

Qur'an, the sayings of the Prophet, or between these two, this must be a

result of his little knowledge, inadequate understanding, or lack of deep

thinking. Therefore, he should seek knowledge and do his best to reflect

upon matters until the truth is clear to him. If, after all of these efforts, the.truth is not clear to him, he should leave the whole matter to the One who

knows it and should quit his imagination. He should say, as do those who

are firmly rooted in knowledge: "We believe in it, all is from our Lord"

(3:7). He must know that there are neither contradictions nor differences in

the Qur'an, the Sunnah, or between the two..

 

Chapter III

 

ANGELS

Belief in Angels:

We believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are

"honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they act only by

His command" (21:26). Allah created them, and they worship and obey

Him. Those who are in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do

they weary" (21:19).

Angels are concealed from us, so we cannot see them. Allah may show

them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his

real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari and

Muslim). Gabriel took the form of a handsome human being who met

Mary and engaged in conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while

he was among his Companions in the appearance of an unknown man who

did not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes, and very

black hair. He sat facing the Prophet, his knees to the Prophet's knees,

peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and talked with

the Prophet. The Prophet later told his Companions that the man they saw

was Gabriel (Bukhari and Muslim).

 

Angels' Functions:

We believe that the angels are assigned certain functions. Among the

angels is Gabriel, who is entrusted with revelation. He brings it down from

Allah to whomever He wishes among His prophets and messengers.

Among them is Michael, who is in charge of rain and the growth of

plants; Israfil, who is in charge of blowing the horn at the time of thunder-bolting

and the resurrection; the Angel of Death, who takes away people's

souls at the time of death. Among the angels is the one who is in charge of

mountains; and Malik, the keeper of Hell.

Some angels are in charge of embryos in wombs, others are responsible

for protecting human beings, and others are busy recording men's deeds:

there are two angels for every person, "when the two angels receive (his

deeds), one sitting on the right and one on the left, not a word he utters but.by him is an observer ready" (50:18). Some other angels are in charge of

questioning the dead after he is placed in his last abode. Two angels come

to him and ask him about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet. There

"Allah confirms those who believe with the firm saying, in the present life

and the hereafter, and Allah leads astray the evildoers and Allah does what

He wills" (14:27).

Some angels are in charge of the dwellers of Paradise: "The angels enter

to them from every gate, saying: 'Peace be upon you for that you were

patient. How excellent is your final home"' (13:24).

The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that "seventy thousand angels

enter or pray in the populous house in heaven every day. They never come

back to it as long as they live" (because their turn will never come)

(Bukhari and Muslim)..

 

Chapter IV

ALLAH'S BOOKS

Belief in Allah's Books:

We believe that Allah revealed books to His messengers as proof against

mankind and a guidance for the righteous workers. They purified and

taught them wisdom by these books.

We believe that Allah sent down a book with every messenger, because

He says: "Indeed We sent down Our messengers with the clear signs, and

We sent down with them the book and the balance, so that people may

uphold justice" (57:25).

Books Known:

Among the books that were revealed, we know:

I ) The Torah, which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is

the greatest among the Israelites' books: "Surely, We sent down the

Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been

judged by the prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the

rabbis and the doctors of law, because they were entrusted the

protection of Allah's book and were witnesses thereto" (5:44).

2) The Gospel, which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It

is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it: "And we gave

him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the

Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing"

(5:46); "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were

forbidden to you" (3:50).

3) The Psalms, which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him.

4) The Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them.

5) The Glorious Qur'an, which was revealed to His Prophet

Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. It is "a guidance to the people

and clear signs of guidance and the criterion between right and

wrong" (2:185)..

 

The Qur'an Is Protected from Change:

The Qur'an is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as a

guardian over it." Thus, by means of the Qur'an, Allah abrogated all the

previous revealed books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any

play or mischievous distortion: "Indeed, We sent down the message and We

will guard it" (15:9), for the Qur'an is a proof against mankind till the Day

of Judgment.

Previous Scriptures Changed:

The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period. Their use ended

with the revelation of the Qur'an, which abrogated them and exposed their

distortions and changes. That is why they were not protected from

corruption. They underwent distortion, addition, and omission: "Some of

the Jews pervert words from their meanings" (4:46); "So woe to those who

write the Book with their hands, and then say: 'This is from Allah,' that

they may sell it for a little price. So woe to them for what their hands have

written, and woe to them for their earnings" (2:79); "Say, who sent down

the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to people? You put it

into sheets of paper showing some of them and concealing much" (6:91);

"And there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book,

that you may think it is a part of the Book but it is not part of the Book.

And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they tell a lie

against Allah and they know it. It is not for any human being to whom

Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophet hood to say to men

'Worship me instead of Allah"' (3:79); "People of the Book! Our

Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many things you have

been concealing of the Book and forgiving you of much. A light has come

to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He will guide whoever

follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings them forth from

darkness into the light by His will" (5:15-16)..

 

Chapter V

 

MESSENGERS

Belief in Messengers:

We believe that Allah has sent to His people messengers who were

"bringing good tidings and warning, so that mankind might have no

argument against Allah after the Messengers. Allah is All-mighty, All-wise"

(4: 165).

The First and Last Messengers:

We believe that the first among the messengers is Noah and the last is

Muhammad, peace be upon them all: "We revealed to you as We revealed

to Noah and the prophets after him" (4: 163); and "Muhammad is not the

father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the

Prophets" (33:40).

The Best Messengers:

We believe that the best among the messengers is Muhammad, then

Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus, son of Mary. It is they who are meant

by the following Qur'anic verse: "And when We took a compact from the

prophets, and from you, and from Noah, and Abraham, then Moses, and

Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn compact" (33:7).

We believe that Muhammad's message, peace be upon him, includes all

the merits of the messages of those dignified messengers, because Allah

says: "He ordained for you what He enjoined on Noah and what He

revealed to you and what He enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus;

namely, establish this faith and be united in it" (42:13).

Messengers Are Human Beings:

We believe that all messengers are created human beings who have none

of the divine qualities of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, said about Noah, who

was the first among them: "I do not say to you, 'I possess the treasures of

Allah.' I do not know the unseen, and I do not say 'I am an angel"' (11:31)

Allah directed Muhammad, who is the last among them, to say: "I do not

say to you I possess the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, and I.do not say to you I am an angel" (6:50); and to say that "I have no power to

bring profit or hurt for myself, but only as Allah wills" (7:188); and: "I

have no power to hurt or benefit you. Say none can protect me from Allah,

nor can I find any refuge besides Him" (72:91-2).

We believe that the messengers are among Allah's servants. He blessed

them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of

praising and honoring them. He says about Noah, the first among them:

"You are the descendants of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a

truly thankful servant" (17:3).

Allah said about the last among them, Muhammad, peace be upon him:

"Blessed be He who sent down the Qur'an to His servant, that he may warn

mankind" (25:1). As for some other messengers, he said: "And mention

Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might and vision" (38:45);

"And remember Our servant David, who was a mighty and penitent man"

(38: 17); "And to David, We gave Solomon, he was an excellent and

penitent servant" (38:30).

Allah said about Jesus, son of Mary: "He is only a servant whom We

blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel" (43: 59).

We believe that Allah concluded all messages with the message of

Muhammad, peace be upon him, to all people, because He said: "Say, 'O

mankind, I am Allah's Messenger to you all. To him belongs the Kingdom

of the Heavens and the Earth; there is no god but He. He ordains life and

death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet who

believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may be rightly

guided"' (7:158).

Islam: The Universal and Final Message:

We believe that the Shari'ah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon

him, is the religion of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants. He

does not accept any other religion from anyone, for He, the Exalted, said:

"Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam" (3:19), "Today I have

perfected your religion for you and I have completed My favor upon you,

and I have chosen Islam to be your religion" (5:3), and "Whoever desires a

religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from Him, and in the

Hereafter he will be among the losers" (3:85).. It is our opinion that whoever claims that any religion other than Islam is

acceptable, such as Judaism, Christianity and so forth, is a non believer. He

should be asked to repent.

It is also our opinion that whoever rejects the universal message of

Muhammad, peace be upon him, rejects the message of all messengers,

even if he claims that he believes and follows His Messenger. Allah, the

Exalted, said: "Noah's people rejected the Messengers" (26:105). Thus,

Allah considered them as rejecting all of the messengers despite the fact

that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also clear from the

following verses: "Those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers, and

wish to make division between Allah and His Messengers, and say: 'We

believe in some and disbelieve in others,' wishing to take a midway course.

Those indeed are the unbelievers, and We have prepared for the

unbelievers a humiliating punishment"(4:150-51).

We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah's Messenger,

peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophet hood after him, or believes in

anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever and one who rejects Allah, His

Messenger, and the Muslims' consensus.

The Rightly Guided Caliphs:

We believe that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has rightly guided

successors who carried out his Sunnah in spreading knowledge calling to

Islam, and managing the Muslims' affairs. We believe that the best among

them and the most entitled to the caliphate was Abu Bakr as Siddiq, then

'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, then 'Uthman Ibn Affan and then 'All Ibn Abi

Talib, may Allah be pleased with them all. Thus their succession to the

caliphate was according to their virtues. Allah, the Exalted, who possesses

infinite wisdom, would not appoint a ruler over the best of generations

unless he was the most superior among them and had the best claim to

caliphate.

We believe that the inferior among those rightly guided companions can

be superior in a specific virtue to those who were better than him but that

he does not deserve absolute superiority, for the elements constituting

superiority are varied and numerous.

We believe that the Muslim Ummah is the best among nations, and Allah,

the Dignified and Exalted, has blessed it, because He said: "You are the best

nation ever brought forth for mankind, enjoining what is right and

forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah".

 

The Prophet's Companions:

We believe that the best among the Muslim Ummah are the Prophet's

Companions, then their followers, and then those who followed them.

We also believe that a group of this Ummah will always remain

victorious on the right path, unharmed by those who let them down or

those who oppose them, until the Day of Judgment.

We believe that the disputes that took place among the Prophet's

Companions were the result of sincere interpretations that they worked

hard to reach. Whoever was right among them will be rewarded twice, and

whoever was wrong among them will be rewarded once and his mistake

will be forgiven.

It is our opinion that we should stop talking about their mistakes and

mention what they deserve of beautiful praise. We should purify our hearts

from hatred and malice against any of them, because Allah said about them:

"They are not equal: those among you who spent and who fought before

the conquest of Makkah. Those are higher in rank than those who spent and

fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised a great reward" (57:10).

And Allah said about us: "And those who came after them say: 'Our Lord,

forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not put in our

hearts any malice against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are the

most Kind, Most Merciful"' (59:10)..

 

Chapter VI

THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

Belief in the Day of Judgment:

We believe in the Final Day, which is the Day of Judgment, when people

will be resurrected and then told to remain in the abode of enjoyment or in

the abode of severe punishment.

The Resurrection:

We believe in the resurrection, which is Allah's bringing to life all those

who have died, and when Israfil shall blow the horn for the second time:

"And the trumpet shall be blown, and all who are in the heavens and who

are in the Earth shall fall down fainting, except those that Allah shall spare.

Then, it shall be blown again and they shall rise gazing around them"

(39:68). People will arise from their graves, answering the call of the Lord

of the universe. They will be barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised: "As

We started the first creation, so We shall bring it back again. This is a

promise from Us, so We shall assuredly fulfill it" (21: 104).

The Records and Scales:

We believe in the records of deeds that will be given to people in their

right hands or behind their backs, in the left hands: "As for him who is

given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning

and he will return to his family rejoicing. But as for him who is given his

book behind his back, he shall call for destruction on himself and will burn

in a blazing fire" (84:7-12); "Every man's work We have fastened on his

own neck, and on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a book

which he will see spread open, saying: 'Read your own book! Enough for

you this day that your own soul should call you to account"' (17:13-14).

We believe that scales of deeds will be set up on the Day of Judgment, and

that no soul shall be wronged: "Whoever has done an atom's weight of

good shall see it" (99:7-8); "Those whose scales are heavy, they are the

successful; but those whose scales are light, they are the ones who have lost

their souls in Hell dwelling forever. The fire will burn their faces, and

there they will be gloomy with lips displaced" (23: 102-4); and "He that

does a good deed shall be rewarded ten times the like of it, and he that does.evil shall only be rewarded the like of it, and they shall not be wronged"

(6:160).

The Prophet's Intercession:

We believe in the special great intercession of the Prophet Muhammad,

peace be upon him. He will plead with Allah, after His permission and on

behalf of mankind, to judge among His servants when they suffer from

worries and troubles that they cannot bear. They will go to Adam, then to

Noah, then to Abraham, then to Moses, then to Jesus, and finally to Prophet

Muhammad, peace be upon him.

We believe in the intercession that concerns some believers who were to

be taken out from the fire. This mediation is granted to the Prophet

Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to others among the prophets, the

believers, and the angels.

We believe also that Allah will save from hell some of the believers

without the intercession of any one, but by His grace and mercy.

The Prophet's Pool:

We believe in the pool of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the water of

which is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey and better in fragrance

than musk. Each of its length and width is the distance of a month's travel.

Its glasses are as stars in beauty and number. The believers among the

Prophet's followers come to take from this great cistern a drink after

which they will never be thirsty.

The Straight Path:

We believe in the straight path (sirat) set up over hell. People pass over it

according to their deeds: the first of them as fast as lighting, then as fast as

wind, then as fast as birds, and then as fast as a running man. The Prophet

will be standing on the path, saying: "Lord, Save! Save!," as some people's

deeds will fall short. Some of them will come crawling. At both sides of

the path there are hooks designed to take whom Allah wills: some are saved

but bruised; others are thrown into hell. (Bukhari and Muslim).

We believe in all that is mentioned in the Qur'an or the prophetic sayings

concerning that day and its horrors, may Allah save us from them.. We believe in the intercession (Shafa'ah) of Prophet Muhammad, peace

be upon him, for the people of paradise to enter therein. This intercession

is exclusively limited to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Paradise and Hell:

We believe in paradise and hell. Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which

Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. No eye has ever seen, no

ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever thought of the

blessings that they will enjoy there: "No soul knows what comfort is kept

hidden for them, as a reward for their deeds" (32:17). Hell is the abode of

punishment that Allah has prepared for the unbelievers and the evildoers.

The torture and horror in it cannot be imagined: "Surely, We have

prepared for the evildoers a fire, whose pavilion encompasses them. If they

call for help, they will be helped with water like molten copper which will

scald their faces. How dreadful a drink and how evil a resting place!"

(18:29).

Both paradise and hell exist now and will never perish: "Whoever

believes in Allah and does righteousness, He will admit him to gardens

beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever. Allah had indeed

made for him an excellent provision" (65-11); "Certainly, Allah has cursed

the unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire to dwell therein

forever, they shall find neither protector nor helper. On the day when their

faces are turned about in the fire they shall say: 'Would that we had obeyed

Allah and obeyed the Messenger!"' (33: 64-6).

We confirm paradise to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an or the

prophetic traditions either by name or description. Among those who are

granted paradise and mentioned by name are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman,

'All and others who were specified by the Prophet, peace be upon him

(Bukhari and Muslim). Among those whom we confirm to enter paradise

because they fit the description are the faithful and the pious.

We likewise confirm hell to whom it is confirmed in the Qur'an and the

sayings of the Prophet, whether in name or description. Among those who

are mentioned by name to be in hell are Abu Lahab, 'Amr Ibn Luhai al-Khuza'i,

and others (Bukhari and Muslim). Confirmation of hell that is

based on description includes every unbeliever, polytheist, or hypocrite..

 

What Happens in the Grave:

We believe in the Trial of the Grave, which involves questioning the

deceased person in his grave about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet.

There "Allah confirms those who believe with a firm saying, in the present

life and the hereafter" (14:27). The believer will say: "Allah is my Lord,

Islam is my religion, and Muhammad is my prophet." The unbeliever or

the hypocrite will say: "I do not know. I heard the people saying something

and I said it."

We believe in the comfort of the grave for the believers: "Those whose

lives the angels take in state of purity, saying 'peace be on you; enter

paradise for what you were doing' (16:32).

We believe in the punishment of the grave for the transgressing

unbelievers: "If you could only see when the evildoers are in the agonies of

death and the angels are stretching out their hands, saying, 'Give up your

souls! Today you shall be rewarded with the punishment of humiliation for

what you used to say untrue about Allah, and for scornfully rejecting His

signs"' (6:93). The sayings of the Prophet are numerous and well-known in

this area. A Muslim must believe in all that is reported in the Qur'an and

the prophetic traditions concerning the unseen matters. He should not

contradict it by his worldly experience, because the affairs of the hereafter

cannot be measured by the affairs of this life. The difference between them

is very great. Allah is the source of help..

 

Chapter VII

FATE AND THE DIVINE DECREE

Belief:

We believe in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah has measured and

ordained for all creatures according to His previous knowledge and as

deemed suitable by His wisdom.

Levels of Belief:

Belief in Fate has four levels:

1) Knowledge: We believe that Allah, may He be exalted, knows

everything. He knows what has happened and what will happen and

how it will happen. His knowledge is eternal. He does not acquire a

new knowledge nor does he forget what He knows.

2) Recording: We believe that Allah has recorded in the secured

tablet (al Lowh al Mahfuz) whatever is going to happen until the Day

of Judgment: "Did you not know that Allah knows all that is in

heaven and Earth? Surely that is in a book. Surely that for Allah is

an easy matter" (22:70).

3) Will: We believe that Allah has willed everything in heaven and

Earth. Nothing happens except by His will. Whatever He wills will

take place, and whatever He does not will not take place.

4) Creation: We believe that "Allah is the Creator of all things; He is

the Guardian over all things, and to Him belong the keys of the

heavens and the Earth" (39:62-3). This level includes whatever Allah

Himself does and whatever His creatures do. Thus each saying, deed,

or omission of the people is known to Allah, Who has recorded,

willed, and created them: "To those among you who will to be

upright. But you shall not will except as Allah wills, the Lord of the

Worlds" (81:2829); "And had Allah willed they would not have

fought one against the other; but Allah does whatever He desires"

(2:253); "Had Allah willed, they would not have done so, but leave

them alone and their false inventions" (6:137); and "And Allah

created you and what you do" (37:96)..

 

Man's Free Will:

We believe, however, that Allah has granted man a power and a free will

by which he performs his actions. That man's deeds are done by his power

and free will can be proven by the following points:

1) Allah says: "So approach your fields (wives) when and how you will"

(2:223); and "Had they desired to go forth, they would have made some

preparation for it" (9:46). In these verses, Allah affirmed for man "a going

forth" by his will and "a preparation" by his desire.

2) Directing man to do or not to do. If man has no free will and power,

these directions mean that Allah is asking man to do that which he cannot

do. This proposition is rejected by Allah's wisdom, mercy and truthful

statement: "Allah does not charge a soul beyond its capacity" (2:286).

3) Praising the virtuous for his deeds and blaming the evildoer for his

actions and rewarding each of them with what he deserves. If the action is

not done by the individual's free will, then praising the virtuous is a joke

and punishing the evildoer is an injustice, and Allah is, of course, far from

joking and being unjust.

4) Allah has sent messengers who are "bearing good tidings, and warning,

so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the

messengers" (4:165). If the individual's action is not performed by his free

will, his argument is not invalidated by the sending of messengers.

5) Every doer of actions feels that he does or does not do a thing without

any coercion. He stands up and sits, comes in and goes out, travels and stays

by his own free will without feeling anybody forcing him to be any of

these actions. In fact, he clearly distinguishes between doing something of

his own free will and someone else forcing him to do that action. The

Islamic law also wisely distinguishes between these states of affairs. It does

not punish a wrongdoer for an action done under compulsion.

No Excuse for Sinners:

We believe that the sinner has no excuse in Allah's divine decree, because

he commits his sin by his free will, without knowing that Allah has decreed

for him, for no one knows Allah's decree before it takes place: "No soul

knows what it will earn tomorrow" (31:34). How can it be possible, then,

to present an excuse that is not known to the person who is advancing it

when he commits his offense? Allah invalidated this type of argument by.saying: "The idolaters will say 'Had Allah willed, we would not have been

idolaters, neither our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything.' So

did the people before them cry lies until they tasted our might. Say: 'Have

you any proofs that you can show us? You follow nothing but assumption,

and you are Lying"' (6:148). We say to the sinner who is using divine

decree as an excuse: 'Why did you not perform deeds of obedience,

assuming that Allah has decreed them upon you, since you did not know the

difference between good deeds and sins? That is why, when Prophet

Muhammad told his Companions that everyone's position in paradise or

hell has been assigned, they said: 'Should not we rely on this and stop

working?' He said: 'No, work and everyone will be directed to what he is

created for"' (Bukhari and Muslim).

We say to the sinner who is trying to find an excuse in the divine decree:

"Suppose you want to travel to Makkah. There are two roads that may take

you there. You are told by a truthful person that one of these roads is

dangerous and difficult, the other is easy and safe. You will take the second

one. You will not take the first road and say it is decreed upon me. If you

did, people would consider you crazy."

We may also say to him: "If you are offered two jobs, one of which has a

higher salary, you will certainly take the one with the higher salary. Why

do you choose what is lower in the hereafter and use the divine decree as

an excuse?"

We may further say to him: "We see you when you are afflicted with a

disease, you knock at every physician's door looking for treatment and

bearing whatever pain that may result from surgical operations and the

bitterness of medicine. Why do not you do the same when your heart is

spiritually sick with sins?"

Evil Not Attributed to Allah:

We believe that evil should not be attributed to Allah, due to His perfect

mercy and wisdom. The Prophet said: "And evil is not attributable to You"

(Muslim). Thus Allah's decree by itself has no evil whatsoever, because it

is coming from mercy and wisdom. Evil may, however, result from some

of His decrees, because the Prophet said in the supplication for gunut which

he taught to al-Hasan: "And protect us from the evil of what You decreed"

(Tirmidhi and others). Here, the Prophet attributed evil to what He

decreed. Despite this, evil in His decree is not pure evil. It is rather evil in

one respect and good in another, or it is evil in one case and good in

another. Thus corruption in the land resulting from drought, disease, poverty, and fear is evil, but it is good in another respect. Allah, the

Exalted said: "Corruption has appeared on the land and sea for what men's

hands have earned. Allah has ordained this for men, so that they may taste

24

some of what they have done, in order that they may turn back (from

evil)" (30:41). Cutting off the thief's hand or stoning the adulterer is an

evil thing for the thief and the adulterer, but it is good for them in one

respect, because it is a purification for them so that the punishment of this

life and the hereafter are not combined for them. These punishments are

good in another respect: their application protects property, honor, and

relationships..

 

Chapter VIII

 

BENEFITS

This sublime belief, which includes those great principles, bears numerous

and useful types of fruits for whoever believes in it.

Virtues of Belief in Allah:

Belief in Allah, His names, and His attributes instills in the individual the

love and glorification of Allah that result in his performing Allah's

instructions and avoiding His prohibitions. These are the means of

achieving ultimate happiness in this life and the hereafter for both the

individual and the society: "Whoever, male or female, does righteous deed,

while believing, We shall assuredly grant him a goodly life, and We shall

reward them according to the best of their deeds" (16:97).

Virtues of Belief in the Angels:

Appreciating the dignity of Allah, His might, and His sovereignty.

Gratitude toward Allah because He puts some of the angels in charge of

His servants, recording their deeds and other things that benefit them.

Love and admiration for the angels because of what they are doing,

namely, worshipping Allah in the best possible manner and praying for the

believers.

Virtues of Belief in the Books:

Appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people in that He sent down

a book to every nation for its guidance.

Appreciating Allah's wisdom, for He revealed in these books to every

nation that which suits them. The glorious Qur'an is the final book and it is

suitable to all people at all times until the Day of Judgment.

Showing gratitude for Allah's mercy in revealing these books..

Virtues of Belief in the Messengers:

Appreciating Allah's mercy and care for His people for sending them

those great messengers to guide them to the straight path. Thanking Allah

for this great favor.

Loving and respecting the prophets and praising them in what they

deserve, because they are Allah's messengers and His choice among His

people. They worshipped Allah according to the best of their ability,

conveyed His message to mankind, gave sincere advice to the people, and

bore patiently whatever hurt they received.

Virtues of Belief in the Day of Judgment:

Endeavor to obey Allah to get the reward of that day and to avoid any

disobedience to him for fear of His punishment.

A consolation for the believer for whatever he misses of worldly

enjoyment by what he hopes to gain of blessings and reward of the

hereafter.

Virtues of Belief in Fate and the Divine Decree:

Dependence on Allah when doing any action, because both the cause and

effect are the result of Allah's decree.

Ease of mind and comfort, because when the individual knows that

everything is by Allah's decree and that mishaps are going to take place

anyway, his soul will be at ease and his heart will be satisfied with Allah's

decree. No one has a more comfortable life, worry-free soul, and stronger

confidence than a believer in fate.

Freedom from arrogance when a goal is achieved, because this is a

blessing from Allah through what He decreed of the causes of good and

success. The individual should thank Allah for that and free himself from

arrogance.

Freedom from worry and boredom in case of failure or mishap, because

that is by Allah's decree, the One who possesses the heavens and the Earth.

Since that is going to happen anyway, the individual should be patient and

hope for the reward from Allah. Allah points to the last two virtues in the

following verse: "No misfortune can happen on earth or in yourselves but

is recorded in a decree before We bring it into existence, that is really easy.for Allah; that you may not grieve for what escapes you, nor rejoice in

what has come to you. Allah does not love any vainglorious boaster"

(57:22-3).

We pray to Allah, the Exalted, to reward us for this belief, to realize for us

its fruits, to increase our blessings, to keep us on the right path to which He

has guided us, and to bestow on us a blessing from Him. He is indeed the

Giver. Praise and gratitude be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace

and blessings be on Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and

those who rightly follow them.

 

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