Author: Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Qari
Source: Aqeedah (Matters of Faith) First…If They But Knew
The Messenger (Salallahu alayhi wa Salam) informed Mu’adh bin Jabal (radi’Allahu anhu), when he was going to the land of Yemen, “You are going to a people from the People of the Book. Let the first thing that you call them to be the worship of Allaah. If they acknowledge Allaah, then inform them that Allaah has obligated upon them five prayers during their days and nights.” [al-Bukhaaree, Muslim]
This hadith is clear. It does not require much of an explanation. The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wa Salam) applied this principle in his practical calling to Islam. He (Salallahu alayhi wa Salam) stayed in Makkah for thirteen years to each the people eemaan and to educate his Companions on this point and to correct the beliefs of the people. That is the pattern upon which the Companions were brought up.
Jundub Ibn Abdullaah al-Bajaly (radi’Allahu anhu) said, “We learned eemaan (faith) and then we learned the Qur’aan and it increased our eemaan.”
Abdullaah ibn Umar (radi’Allahu anhu) said, “We lived during an instant of time in which one of us would receive faith first before receiving the Qur’aan and when the surahs were revealed we would learn what they permitted and what they prohibited and what they forbade and what they ordered and what should be the stance towards them. But I have seen many men from whom one is given the Qur’aan before eemaan and he reads it from the opening of the Book to its closing and he does not know what it orders and what it forbids and what should be his stance towards it. He is like someone who is just throwing out dates [i.e., he does not get any benefit from his recital].”
That is the manner in which the Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wa Salam) brought up his companions: Eemaan first and then the Qur’aan. This is similar to what Imaam Abu Hanifa pointed out: Understanding in the religion first (i.e. tawheed) and then understanding in the science (i.e. the sharee’ah).
The beliefs must be corrected first, then follows all of the other aspects of the religion.
And Imaam ash-Shafi’ee said, “That a servant meets allaah with every sin except Shirk is better say than meeting Him upon any of the innovated beliefs.”
al-Aqeedah linguistically is derived from the term aqada. In Arabic, one states, “Aqada the rope” when the rope is tied firmly. And, “Aqada the sale” or “He settled the sale” when the person ratifies and contracts a sale or agreement. And Allaah says in the Qur’aan,
“And as for those whom your right hands have made a covenant (Ar.,aqadat)” [al-Nisa 33]. And Allaah also says,
“But He will take you to task for the oaths which you swear in earnest (Ar., aqadtum)” [al-Maida, 89] which means asserted and adhered to, as proven in the verse,
“And break not oaths after the assertion of them” [an-Nahl, 91]. If one says, “Aqadtu such and such,” it means his heart is firm upon such and such.
Therefore, al-aqidah or al-itiqad according to the scholars of Islam is: The firm creed that one’s heart is fixed upon without any wavering or doubt. It excludes any supposition, doubt or suspicion.
As Salam alaykum wa Rahmat’Allahi wa Barakatuhu dear members of this group: please do not forget that any comments, questions and even constructive criticism may be directly directed at brother Mohamed Riswan or myself (through a private message). While we are not scholars of Islam, we will strive to provide feedback, insha’Allah, from those who have been endowed with deep-rooted knowledge of Islam. We thank you very much for your interest in the Religion of Allah, and pray that Allah brings us, and you closer to Him thereby. Ameen