Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah

The ‘aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is the most dominant creed among Muslims worldwide

The term Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah originated from two words, namely Ahlus Sunnah and al-Jamaah,which indicates a group that adheres to the beliefs of Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam or following his way of life sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam and his Companions radiyAllaahu ‘anhum ajma’een especially the Rightly Guided Caliphs whom were groomed and trained by Rasulullah sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam himself.

The beliefs of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah encompasses Islamic teachings pertaining to ‘aqeedah, Sharee’ah, and akhlaaq, which was taught since the time of the Prophet sallAllahu’alayhi wasallam and his Companions. The term Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah was coined and concluded by the scholars from a hadeeth.

‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr radiyAllaahu ‘anhuma reported that the Messenger sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: ‘Verily, the Children of Israel had split into seventy-two sects and my ummah will split into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in Hellfire, except one group.’ They (the Companions) said: ‘Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?’ He (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: ‘(Those who follow) that which I and my companions follow.’ (at-Tirmidhi: hasan)

Based on the narration above, combined with various narrations having the same meaning, the scholars have concluded that the definition of those that strictly follow the sunnah of the Messenger and the Companions are referred as Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah.

Their ‘aqeedah is deeply rooted within the teachings brought by Rasulullah sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam and his Companions radiyAllaahu ‘anhum ajma’een. The ‘aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah is deemed as the teachings that is true, guided, safe, clear, and having no confusion within itself. On the contrary, all other teachings are colluded, misguided, and erroneous, prone to stray far beyond the teachings of alQur’an and as-Sunnah.

Among the characteristics of the creed of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah are:

  1. Firm belief and interpretation of Islamic rulings based on primary sources, namely alQur’an, as-Sunnah, ijmaa’, and qiyaas, without rejecting or reducing the role of any one of them.
  2. Firm adherence to Islamic teachings that include matters pertaining to imaan that is ‘aqeedah; Islam that is shara’; and ihsaan that is akhlaaq.
  3. Clinging onto al-Qur’an that was compiled by the Companions radiyAllaahu ‘anhum ajma’een especially that which is known as Mus-haf Uthmaani, and holding firm onto as-Sunnah especially ahaadeeth that was collected by the great imams such as Imam al-Bukhaari, Imam Muslim, Imam at-Tirmidhi, Imam Abu Dawood, Imam an-Nasaa’ie, Imam ibn Maajah, and others that are also recognized rahimahumullah.
  4. Believing that the Companions are all trustworthy and just without declaring any one of them as apostates, especially the Rightly Guided Caliphs, whom are Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattaab, ‘Uthmaan ibn ‘Affaan, and ‘Ali bin Abi Taalib radiyAllaahu ‘anhum ajma’een.
  5. To believe and have firm imaan upon Unseen matters, especially those that are affirmed by al-Qur’an and asSunnah, such as the torment of the grave, the reward of Paradise, the torment of Hellfire, and many more.
  6. Not easily and hastily declaring kufr upon the Muslims or ahlul Qiblah (those having Ka’bah as their qiblah) except with full knowledge, established proofs, and justice.
  7. Moderation in beliefs and practice, which is not being too extreme nor being negligent.

Resources on Aqidah

There are 2 main schools of aqidah in the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah i.e. Maturidi and Ash’ari. Hanafis mainly follow the Maturi school and Shafiis and Malikis follow the Ash’ari school. The two schools are very close that the Hanafis are also considered to follow the Asha’ri school. Righteous scholars in the past have documented invaluable evidence of the aqidah e.g. the book Umm al-Barahin was written by Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Sanusi al-Husayni al-Maliki on the Ash’ari aqidah. Imam Abu Ja’far at-Tahawi had explained in greater detail the aqidah of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah.  Sheikh Ahmad Marzuki al-Maliki explained the aqidah of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah through him poem “Aqidatul Awam” (The creed of the common people).

فَٱعۡلَمۡ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ
Meaning: Know (acquire the knowledge of) there is no god but Allah (Surah Muhammad:19)

The first obligation of a mukallaf is to learn about Allah. A mukallaf is one who meet all of the following criteria:

  1. sane
  2. reached the age of puberty
  3. has received the message of Islam

Pillars of Belief

  1. Belief in Allah
  2. Belief in Messengers
  3. Belief in the Books
  4. Belief in Angels
  5. Belief in the Hereafter
  6. Belief in Qada’ and Qadr (predestination)

Pillars of Islam

  1. Shahadah (testimony) that Allah is the one and only God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God
  2. Prayers 5 times daily
  3. Zakat
  4. Fasting in the month of Ramadan
  5. Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) for those who can afford it

Books on Aqidah

Ahl Al-Sunna the Ash'aris

Ahl Al-Sunna tha Ash’aris
The Testimony and Proofs of the Scholars

by Shaykh Hamad al-Sinan & Shaykh Fawzi al-‘Anjari

ISBN-10 9079294225 

A Critique of the Palmyran Creed

A Critique of the Palmyran Creed: Deconstructing Ibn Taymiyya’s Theology of Resemblence

by Shaykh Sa’id Foudah

ISBN-10: 9079294268

The Sanusi Creed

Ahl Al-Sunna tha Ash’aris
The Testimony and Proofs of the Scholars

by Shaykh Hamad al-Sinan & Shaykh Fawzi al-‘Anjari

ISBN-10 9079294225