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ʿAqīdah (Arabic: عقيدة, plural Arabic: عقائد, ʿaqāʾid, also sometimes spelled Aqeeda, Aqidah or ʿAqīda) is an Islamic term meaning creed. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction. It is a branch of Islamic studies describing the beliefs of the Islamic faith.
Literally, the word ʿaqīdah is derived from the triconsonantal root ʿqd (ʿaqada), which means "to tie" or "knot".
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Hadith of Gabriel
- 3 Other tenants
- 4 Eschatology
- 5 Views specific to other Muslim schools
- 6 Literature pertaining to creed
- 7 Gallery
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
According to Muslim scholar Cyril Glasse, "systematic statements of belief became necessary, from early Islam on, initially to refute heresies, and later to distinguish points of view and to present them, as the divergences of schools of theology or opinion increased.
The "first" creed written as "a short answer to the pressing heresies of the time" is known as Fiqh Akbar and ascribed to Abū Ḥanīfa. Two well known creeds were the Fiqh Akbar II "representative" of the al-Ash'ari, and Fiqh Akbar III, "representative" of the Ash-Shafi'i. Al-Ghazali also had a ʿAqīdah. These creeds were more detailed than those described below.
Six articles of belief
The six articles of faith or belief, derived from the Quran and Sunnah (Arkan al-Imam). is accepted by all Muslims. While there are differences between Shias and Sunnis and other different schools or sects, concerning issues such as the attributes of God or about the purpose of angels, the six articles are not disputed.
The six Sunni articles of belief are:
- Belief in God (Allah), the one and only one worthy of all worship (tawhid).
- Belief in all the Prophets (nabi) and Messengers (rusul) sent by God
- Belief in the Angels (mala'ika).
- Belief in the Books (kutub) sent by God (including the Qurʾān).
- Belief in the Day of Judgment (qiyama) and in the Resurrection (life after death).
- Belief in Destiny (Fate) (qadar).
The first five are based on several Qurʾānic creeds:
- Whoever disbelieveth in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily wandered far stray (4:136)
- Who is an enemy of God, His Angels, His Messengers, Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! God is an enemy to the disbelievers (2:98)
- …righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the scripture and the prophets (2:177)
- …believer believe in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers (2:285)
The sixth point made it into the creed because of the first theological controversy in Islām. Although not connected with the sunni-shiʿi controversy about the succession, the majority of Twelfer Shiʿites do not stress God's limitless power (qadar), but rather is boundless justice ʿadl as the sixth point of believe – this does not mean that Sunnis deny his justice, or Shiʿites negate his power, just the emphasis is different.
In Sunni and Shia view, having Iman literally means to have belief in Six articles. However the importance of Iman relies heavily upon reasons. Islam explicitly asserts that belief should be maintained in that which can be proven using faculties of perception and conception.
Tawhid ("doctrine of Oneness") is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds that God (Allah) is one (wāḥid) and unique (āḥad), and the Only One worthy of Worship, differing from the Jew and Christian views, which direct acts of worship to Jesus, for example.
According to Islamic belief, Allah is the proper name of God, and humble submission to his will, divine ordinances and commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith. "He is the only God, creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind." "He is unique (wāḥid) and inherently one (aḥad), all-merciful and omnipotent." The Qur'an declares "the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures."
Hadith of Gabriel
The Hadith of Gabriel includes the Five Pillars of Islam (Tawhid, Salat, Sawm, Zakat, Hajj) in answer to the question, "O messenger of God, what is Islam?" This hadith is sometimes called the "truly first and most fundamental creed".
Salat, is the practice of formal worship in Islam. Its importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, with a few dispensations for those for whom it would be difficult. People who find it physically difficult can perform Salat in a way suitable for them. To perform valid Salat, Muslims must be in a state of ritual purity, which is mainly achieved by ritual ablution, (wuḍūʾ), according to prescribed procedures.
Sawm, is the word for fasting regulated by Islamic jurisprudence. In the terminology of Islamic law, sawm means to abstain from eating, drinking (including water) and sexual intercourse from dawn till dusk. The observance of sawm during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but is not confined to that month.
Zakāt, or alms-giving is the practice of charitable giving by Muslims based on accumulated wealth, and is obligatory for all who are able to do so. It is considered to be a personal responsibility for Muslims to ease economic hardship for others and eliminate inequality.
The Hajj, is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and the largest gathering of Muslims in the world every year. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, and a religious duty which must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so at least once in his or her lifetime.
In addition some Muslims include Jihad, Dawah as part of ʿAqīdah
Jihad, literally means to endeavor, strive, labor to apply oneself, to concentrate, to work hard, to accomplish. It could be used to refer to those who physically, mentally or economically serve in the way of Allah.
Da‘wah ("invitation") means the proselytizing or preaching of Islam. Da‘wah literally means "issuing a summon" or "making an invitation", being an active participle of a verb meaning variously "to summon" or "to invite". A Muslim who practices da‘wah, either as a religious worker or in a volunteer community effort, is called a dā‘ī (داعي plural du‘āh, gen: du‘āt دعاة).
A dā‘ī is thus a person who invites people to understand Islam through dialogue, not unlike the Islamic equivalent of a missionary inviting people to the faith, prayer and manner of Islamic life.
The central aspect of Athari theology is its definition of Tawhid, meaning literally unification or asserting the oneness of Allah (to be the only God who deserves to be worshiped in truth and confirming all attributes with which He has qualified Himself or that are attributed to Him by His Messenger), whereby it is divided into three tenets of theology;
- Tawhid al Rubu`biya - meaning Belief in the Oneness of the Lordship of Allah, where it is to believe that there is only one Lord for all the universe, its Creator, Organizer, Planner, Sustainer, and the Giver of security and so on that is Allah. In addition to declaring Allah to be One and Unique in His work being creation, sustenance, bringing to life and causing death and so on.
- Tawhid al `Uluhiyya - meaning Belief in the Oneness of the Worship of Allah, where it is to believe in total obedience to Allah, that none has the right to be worshiped (praying, invoking, asking for help (from the unseen), swearing, slaughtering sacrifices, giving charity, fasting, pilgrimage and so on) except Allah. In addition to declaring Allah as the Only God to whom all acts of worship must be dedicated, such as salat (prayers), Zakah, Saum (fasting), supplications, vowing and so on. This also includes emotions like love, trust, and fear all of which have degrees which should only be directed to Allah.
- Tawheed-al-Asma was-Sifaat - meaning Belief in the Oneness of the Names and the Attributes of Allah, being affirmation of all the Divine Names and Attributes of Allah in a manner that suits His Majesty, as mentioned in the Qu’ran and the Sunnah. This tenet is further divided into four aspects regarding the affirmation that it is without tashbih (establishing likeness), takyeef (speculating as to "how" they are manifested in the divine), ta'teel (negating/denying their apparent meaning) and ta'weel (giving it secondary/symbolic meaning which is different from the apparent meaning).
The Textualistists by reason of their conception of the divine Attributes, came to represent the divinity as a complex of names and qualifications alongside the divine essence itself. The Athari methodology of textual interpretation is to avoid delving into extensive theological speculation. With regard to their belief in Tawheed-al-Asma was-Sifaat, or Belief in the Oneness of the Names and the Attributes of Allah, they take a stance of affirmation of all the Divine Names and Attributes of Allah in a manner that suits His Majesty, as mentioned in the Qu’ran and the Sunnah. This tenet is further divided into four aspects regarding the affirmation that it is without tashbih (establishing likeness), takyeef (speculating as to "how" they are manifested in the divine), ta'teel (negating/denying their apparent meaning) and ta'weel (giving it secondary/symbolic meaning which is different from the apparent meaning). This is strongly opposed to the extremes of either speculative philosophy as was warned against by the Imams of the Salaf, chiefly Imam Al-Shafi'i and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, or of anthropomorphism which was strongly refuted by Ibn Taymiyyah in his monumental Al-Aqidah Al-Waasitiyyah who defined the aqeedah or 'creed' of the Salaf to be the balanced middle path far from the extremities of the various sects prevalent in the Muslim world.
Eschatology is literally understood as the last things or ultimate things and in Muslim theology, eschatology refers to the end of this world and what will happen in the next world or hereafter. Eschatology covers the death of human beings, their souls after their bodily death, the total destruction of this world, the resurrection of human souls, the final judgment of human deeds by Allāh after the resurrection, and the rewards and punishments for the believers and non-believers respectively. The places for the believers in the hereafter are known as Paradise and for the non-believers as Hell.
Views specific to other Muslim schools
In the history of Muslim theology, there have been theological schools among Muslims displaying both similarities and differences with each other in regard to beliefs.
Shiʿi beliefs and practices
Shiʿi Muslims hold that there are five articles of belief. Similar to the Sunnis, the Shiʿis do not believe in complete predestination, or complete free will. They believe that in human life there is a both free will and predestination.
Twelver's Roots of Religion (Uṣūl ad-Dīn)
- Tawhīd (Oneness): The Oneness of Allah.
- Adalah (Justice): The Justice of Allah.
- Nubuwwah (Prophethood): Allah has appointed perfect and infallible prophets and messengers to teach mankind the religion (i.e. a perfect system on how to live in "peace".)
- Imamah (Leadership): God has appointed specific leaders to lead and guide mankind — a prophet appoints a custodian of the religion before his demise.
- Qiyamah (The Day of Judgment): Allah will raise mankind for Judgment
The branch of Islam known as the Ismāʿīlīs is the second largest Shiʿi community. They observe the following pillars of Islam:
Literature pertaining to creed
Many Muslim scholars have attempted to explain Islamic creed in general, or specific aspects of aqidah. The following list contains some of the most well-known literature.
- al-ʿAqīdah aṭ-Ṭaḥāwiyya or "The Fundamentals of Islamic Creed by the Imām aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī. This has been accepted by almost all Sunnī Muslims (Atharis, Ashʿarīs, Māturīdīs). Several mainstream Sunni scholars have written about the Tahawiyya creed, including Ibn Abī 'l-ʿIzz and that by the late Saudi Mufti ʿAbdullāh Ibn Bāz.
- al-ʿAqīdah al-Wāsiṭiyyah or "The Fundamentals of Islamic Creed as given to the people of Wāsiṭ, Iraq" by Ibn Taymiya.
- Sharh as Sunnah or the Explanation of the Sunna by Al-Barbahaaree. Lists approximately 170 points pertaining to the fundamentals of Aqidah.
- Khalq Af'aal al-Ibad (The Creation of the acts of Servants) by Bukhari. It shows the opinion of early scholars (Salaf) but it does not cover all topics.
- Lum'at-ul-'Itiqaad by Ibn Qudamah. Details the creed of the early Imams of the Sunni Muslims and one of the key works in Athari creed.
- al-Uloow by al-Dhahabī. Details the opinions of early scholars on matters of creed.
- Ibaanah by Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari. Accepted by Atharis and early Ash'aris.
- Tahāfut al-Falāsifah or "The Incoherence of the Philosophers" by Imam al-Ghazali. An Ash'ari refutation of Greek philosophy.
- "Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani on the Creed of Najm al-Din al-Nasafi
- Shiʿite Islam Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-Ṭabāṭabāʾī: translated by Hossein Nasr; (also reprinted under the title Shi'a.)"
- Root and Branches of Faith by Maqbul Hussein Rahim
- Shi'ism Doctrines, Thought and Spirituality by Hossein Nasr
"Book of Wisdom" based on Islamic Theology by Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi (died 1166)
“Safeguards of Transmission” by Ubayd Allāh ibn Masūd ibn Mahmud ibn Ahmad al-Mahbūbī (died 1346).
- Glasse, Cyril (2001). New Encyclopedia of Islam (Revised Edition ed.). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 105.
- Abu Hanifah An-Nu^man. "Al- Fiqh Al-Akbar". aicp.org. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
- Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar II With Commentary by Al-Ninowy
- Joel Beversluis (ed.). Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and .... New World Library. pp. 68–9.
- Farāhī, Majmū‘ah Tafāsīr, 2nd ed. (Faran Foundation, 1998), 347.
- Frederick M. Denny, An Introduction to Islam, 3rd ed., p. 405
- Khalid Mahmood Shaikh
- Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah (1991). Tariq al-hijratayn wa-bab al-sa'adatayn. Dar al-Hadith (1991). p. 30.
- al-Hanafi, Imam Ibn Abil-'Izz. Sharh At Tahawiyya. p. 76.
- al-Safarayni, Muhamad bin Ahmad. Lawami' al-anwar al-Bahiyah. Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah. p. 1/128.
- Abd al-Wahhab, ibn Abd Allah, Ibn, Sulayman (1999). Taysir al-'Aziz al-Hamid fi sharh kitab al-Tawhid. 'Alam al-Kutub. pp. 17–19.
- Corbin (1993), p. 115
- Ibn Abil-'Izz. Sharh al 'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah of Ibn Abil-'Izz, (p. 75); Sharhus-Sunnah (1/218) of Imaam al-Baghawee. "My ruling regarding the people of kalam is that they should be beaten with palm leaves and shoes and be paraded amongst the kinsfolk and the tribes with it being announced; This is the reward of the one who abandons the Book (Qur'aan) and the Sunnah and turns to theological rhetoric (kalaam)."
- Ibn Taymiyyah. Sharh-Al-Aqeedat-Il-Wasitiyah. Dar us Salam Publications. "The followers of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama'ah occupy a moderate position between the Ahlut Ta'teel (Jahmiyyah) and Ahlut Tamtheel (Mushabbiha), and are moderate between the Jabariyah sect and the Qadariyah sect regarding the Acts of Allah, and are moderate about the Promises of Allah between the Murji'ah and the Wa'eediyah sects among Qadariyah and are moderate on matters of the Faith and names of the religion between the Harooriyah and Mu'tazilah, and between the Murji'ah and Jahmiyah and are moderate regarding the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, between the Raafidah and the Khawarij."
- Nader El-Bizri, ‘God: essence and attributes’, in The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic theology, ed. Tim Winter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 121-140
- "Islamic Belief (Al-'Aqida)". Islamicweb.com. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "Aqeedatul-Waasitiyyah – The Text". Salafi Publications. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- Six Articles of Islamic Faith A description of the Six Articles of Islamic faith.[dead link] Error 404: Not found
- Exhaustive Books & Articles on Aqeedah
- The development of Aqeedah.