In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Introduction to The Sound Creed
The sources of the Sound Islamic Creed can only be established through the Qur’aan and the [authentic] Sunnah. The creeds are two types – The creed revealed by Allaah and the creed initiated by the people. However, the sound and correct creed can only be from Allaah’s Wahi [the revelation sent down by Allaah in the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah]. Allaah [The Most High] informed us about Yoosuf [alayhis-salaam] that he said to his companions in the prison:
يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ; مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآَبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not. [Soorah Yoosuf: Ayah: 39-40]
Allaah (The Most High) said:
أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ اللَّاتَ وَالْعُزَّى (19) وَمَنَاةَ الثَّالِثَةَ الْأُخْرَى (20) أَلَكُمُ الذَّكَرُ وَلَهُ الْأُنْثَى (21) تِلْكَ إِذًا قِسْمَةٌ ضِيزَى (22) إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءٌ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآَبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهْوَى الْأَنْفُسُ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمُ الْهُدَى (23)
Have you then considered Al-Lat, and Al-‘Uzza (two idols of the pagan Arabs) And Manat (another idol of the pagan Arabs), the other third? Is it for you the males and for Him the females? That indeed is a division most unfair! They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. [Soorah Najm: 19-23]
Allaah (The Most High) said:
أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَنْ بِهِ اللَّهُ
Or have they partners with Allah (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed. [Soorah Ash-Shoorah: Ayah:21]
Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنْتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَكِنْ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ (52) صِرَاطِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ أَلَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الْأُمُورُ
And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Ruhan (an Inspiration, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’an) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e. Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism). [Soorah Ash-shoorah: ayah:52-53]
All these Aayaat demonstrate the fact that the sound Islamic creed can only be derived from the revelation [i.e. the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah].
The delegation of Abdul Qais:
The delegation said, “O Messenger of Allaah, we come to you from a far-off distance and there lives between you and us a tribe- the unbelievers of Mudar, and it is not possible for us to come to you except in the sacred months; so direct us to a clear command regarding which we are to inform others and by way of which we may enter paradise. He [Sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘I command you to do four things and forbid you from four things’, and he added, ‘I command you to have Eemaan in Allaah’, and then he [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] asked them, ‘Do you know what Imaan in Allaah is?’ They said, ‘Allaah and His Messenger know best’’. He said, ‘It is the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allaah….'” [Saheeh Muslim]
These people were Arabs and people of eloquence in their language, however when the Messenger asked them about Eemaan they replied, “Allaah and His Messenger know best”. This shows that the affairs of the creed and Eemaan are only established by way of the revelation. As for the people of bidah and evil desires, some of them derive their creed by way of the intellect, opinions, dreams, fables and beliefs they desire.
Principles We Must Establish In This Affair
The First Principle:
We believe that the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] has clarified all the affairs of the religion. He has clarified its fundamentals, subsidiary issues, beliefs and prescribed laws. Allaah [The Most High] said:[الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا – This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion]. [Soorah Al-Maa-idah: Ayah:3]
Therefore, when it is the case that the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] even explained- in detail- the etiquettes of using the toilet, then it is not possible that he would not have detailed the affairs of the creed, thus giving an allowance for others to come along and make up beliefs based on their intellects, opinions etc. Indeed, the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] has clarified all the Religion, its creed and laws.
The Second Principle
The Qur’aan and the [authentic] Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] are the sources of the religion, and every dispute between the Muslims is to be referred back to them. Allaah [The Most High] said: [فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّى يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا – But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad ) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission] [Soorah An-Nisaa: ayah:65]
Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُبِينًا
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.”[Soorah Al-Ahzaab: Ayah:36]
Allaah (The Most High) said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآَخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.’’ [Soorah An-Nisaa: Ayah: 59]
And referring back to Allaah is to refer to His Book [i.e. the Qur’aan] and referring to the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-asallam] is to refer to his [authentic] Sunnah. The one who does not do this; then indeed he has deviated from the straight path. Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [rahimahullaah] used to say often:
مَنْ فَارَقَ الدَّلِيل ضَلَّ السَّبِيل وَلَا دَلِيل إِلَّا بِمَا جَاءَ بِهِ الرَّسُول
Whoever opposes the proofs will be led away from the path, and there is no proof, except that which the Messenger came with.
Ibn Abil Izz Al-Hanafi [rahimahullaah] said:
كَيْفَ يُرَام الْوُصُول إِلَى عِلْمِ الْأُصُولِ بِغيْرِ مَا جَاءَ بِهِ الرَّسُول
How can one aim at reaching knowledge of the fundamental principles of the (religion) with other than what the Messenger brought?!
The Third Principle:
A Muslim is not to put himself forward before Allaah and His Messenger. He is not to speak about the Religion without knowledge from Allaah and His Messenger, because that is one of the greatest sins and crimes. Allaah [The Most High] said: [يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ – O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger (), and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing]. [Soorah Al-Hujuraat: Ayah:1]
This means: Neither speak [about the religion] until Allaah and His Messenger have spoken, nor act in the name of the religion until you are commanded- whether in affairs related to creed, acts of worship or affairs related to knowledge of the religion.
Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا
And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah). [Soorah Al-Israa: Ayah:36]
The Fourth Principle:
Our understanding of the Qur’aan and the [authentic] Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] has to be agree in agreement with the understanding of the Salaf [i.e. the pious predecessors]. They possessed the most pious of hearts and purest souls; they were the ones who received the religion directly from the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam], transmitted it to the Ummah as they heard it and fulfilled its requirements. Indeed, Allaah selected them to be the companions of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and carriers of His religion; Allaah was pleased with them and they were pleased with Allaah; Allaah sent down tranquillity upon them and granted them piety. Therefore, it is obligated on us to understand the religion in the manner in which they understood it, and t not permissible for anyone to come along and say, “They [i.e. the companions of Muhammad] were men and we are men [i.e. intending to abandon their way]”. If someone says this, then indeed he is a person of misguidance, and because of this reason, Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا – And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad ) after the right path has been shown clearly to him and follows other than the believers’ way. We shall keep him in the path he has chosen and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination]. [Soorah An-Nisaa: Ayah:115]
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ذَلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success. [Soorah At-Tawbah: Ayah: 100]
This is the aim: We follow them exactly (in faith) and we follow their path. The closer a person is in following them, then the closer is he to guidance. In an authentic hadeeth, the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ”The best of people are those living in my generation, then those who come after them, and those after them….’’
The Fifth Principle:
It is obligated on a person who has been granted this favour [i.e. adherence to the Qur’aan, the authentic Sunnah and the path of the companions] that he remains steadfast upon it- steadfast upon it by way of knowledge, creed and action until Allaah takes his soul. Allaah said: [ فَٱسۡتَقِمۡ كَمَآ أُمِرۡتَ – So stand (ask Allah to make) you (Muhammad) firm and straight (on the religion of Islamic Monotheism) as you are commanded]. [Soorah hood: Ayah:112]
Steadfastness can only fulfilled through that which Allaah has revealed. Allaah [The Most High] said:[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ – Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is (only) Allah,” and thereafter Istaqamu (i.e. stood firm and straight on the Islamic Faith of Monotheism by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden and by performing all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained), on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve]. [Soorah Al-ahqaah: Ayah:13]
Allaah [The Most High] said: [إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ – Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone),” and then they Istaqamu , on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!].[Soorah Fussilat: Ayah:30]
This steadfastness is sought from a slave of Allaah- steadfastness upon the [sound] creed, righteous action and deeds that draws him close to Allaah until Allaah takes away his soul. Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ – And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)]. [Soorah al-Hijr: Ayah:99]
And Allaah [The Most High] said: [يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah]. [Soorah Aala Imraan: Ayah: 102]
And one of the tremendous supplications is that which has been reported by Ibn Abee Shaybah that Abu Dardaa [radiyallaahu-anhu] used to supplicate:
أَسْأَلُكَ إيمَانًا دَائِمًا وَعِلْمًا نَافِعًا وَهَدْيًا قَيِّمًا
O Allaah! I ask you for abiding Eemaan, beneficial knowledge and upright guidance.
Mu’aawiyyah Ibn Qurra [rahimahullaah] transmitted this narration from Abu Dardaa [radiyallaahu-anhu] and then said: ”Because there is Eemaan that is not abiding, knowledge that is not beneficial and guidance that is not upright.” Therefore, a Muslim must ask Allaah for these (things) and he should employ the means to attaining them, as the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: “Be eager for what is of benefit to you and place your reliance upon Allaah”.
The Sixth Principle:
And after being steadfastness upon the [sound creed, the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the way of the pious predecessors], one must call to it. Allaah [The Most High] said:
إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
By Al-‘Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.). [Soorah al-Asr]
One has to propagate the sound path and the religion based on what Allaah makes easy for him to propagate. The Messenger [sallal-laahu-alahi-wasallam] said to Ali [radiyallaahu-anhu], “By Allaah, for Allah to guide one man by you is better for you than red camels.” The Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) also said: “Whoever calls to guidance, he will be rewarded, and (also) receive reward equal to those who follow him, without their rewards being reduced in the least.” The Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) also said: ”The one who guides to good is like the doer of that deed itself”. [Ref 1]
Distinguishing Signs of The Sound Islamic Creed
The sound Islamic Creed is based on the Qur’aan and the [authentic] Sunnah as opposed to the other creeds. The sources of the other creeds differ and you’ll find them being in opposition to each other- filled with contradictions and diverse orientations. As for the person who has been blessed with the sound Islamic creed, he is saved from all of this.
The sound Islamic creed is the creed that agrees with Fitrah [natural disposition of (human beings)] and sound intellect. Allaah [The Most High] said:
فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of pure Islamic Monotheism Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone) Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism), with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq-illah (i.e. the Religion of Allah Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion, but most of men know not. [Soorah Ar-Rum: Ayah: 30]
The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “Every newly born child is born in a state of fitrah [i.e. upon a natural inclination to worship Allaah (alone)], and it is his parents who make him into a Jew, a Christian or fire-worshipper……”
The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said that Allaah said: “Indeed, I created my servants as Hunafaa [i.e. inclined towards monotheism and distanced from polytheism], but the devils divert them from their true religion [of Islamic monotheism]”.
When a person of sound intellect is introduced to the sound Islamic creed and its evidences, he will not oppose it. He will know that it does not contradict sound intellect. It was said to one of the Arabs, “How do you know that the Messenger of Allaah [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] is truthful? He replied, ‘I have not found him command something, except that it is commanded by the sound intellect; and I have not found him prohibit something, except that it is prohibited by the sound intellect'”.
This shows that those who nurture the people upon the sound Islamic creed are the callers to that which agrees with the natural disposition and sound intellect, as opposed to the false creeds because they are in opposition to the natural disposition and sound intellect. Those who call to false creeds utilise lies, deceit, fables, dreams etc…. to spread those false and deviated creeds.
The false creeds and their adherents contradict each other, but as for the sound Islamic creed, its people do not contradict one another. Allaah [The Most High] said:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآَنَ وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا
Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many contradictions. [Soorah An-Nisaa: Ayah: 82]
Allaah [The Most High] said: [لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنْزِيلٌ مِنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ – Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allah)]. [Soorah Fussilat: Ayah: 42]
The sound Islamic creed founded upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah is free from falsehood. Falsehood cannot approach it because it is founded upon a pure source. As for the other creeds, they are based on contradictions and differences;
يُؤۡفَكُ عَنۡهُ مَنۡ أُفِكَ
إِنَّكُمۡ لَفِى قَوۡلٍ۬ مُّخۡتَلِفٍ۬ ]
And certainly, you (i.e. people of false creeds) have different ideas (about Muhammad and the Qur’an). Turned aside therefrom (i.e. from Muhammad and the Qur’an) is he who is turned aside (by the Decree and Preordainment of Allaah)]
The sound Islamic creed is clear and there are no obscurities in it, as opposed to the creed of the falsifiers. Its fundamental principles and evidences are clear, as opposed to the other creeds. For example one of the people of philosophical rhetoric wrote a very abstruse treatise on the knowledge of the existence of Allaah and then said, “None will comprehend it, except someone who is firmly grounded in knowledge”. Ibn Abil Izz Al-Hanafi (rahimahullaah) said that one of the philosophers said, “I spent all night looking at the evidences of the philosophers till morning came, but I could not understand anything”.
The sound Islamic creed unites the hearts and prevents hatred and rancour between the people; rather it even unites creatures that are different from one another. For example, look at the bond between the angels and the pious people amongst the children of Aadam! Allaah said:
الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ
Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord and believe in Him (i.e. believe in the oneness of Allaah) and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!’’ [Soorah Ghaafir: Ayah: 7]. So they (i.e. the angels) supplicate and ask Allaah to forgive the believers, and this bond between them and the believers is due to the sound Islamic creed they share.
Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنْفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ – And He has united their (i.e. believers’) hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise]. [Soorah Al-Anfaal: Ayah: 63]
It is Allaah Who unites (the hearts of the) believers through the sound Islamic creed and this is why Allaah (The Most High) said: [إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ – The believers are nothing else than brothers (in Islamic religion)]. [Soorah Al-Hujuraat: Ayah: 10]
As for the bond you find between the people of corrupt creeds, they are all disconnected. Allaah (The Most High) said:[إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ – When those who were followed, disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them]. [Soorah Al-Baqarah: Ayah: 166]
Allaah (The Most High) said:[الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ – Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al-Muttaqun ([the pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].
The sound Islamic creed gives one’s heart peace and tranquillity. Allaah (The Most High) said: [مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُمْ بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ – Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)]. [Soorah An-Nahl: Ayah: 97]
A good life is dependent upon Eemaan and righteous actions. Allaah (The Most High) said:
طه (1) مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآَنَ لِتَشْقَى (2) إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِمَنْ يَخْشَى
Ta-Ha. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] We have not sent down the Qur’an unto you (O Muhammad) to cause you distress. [Soorah Taahaa: Ayah:1-2]
Allaah (The Most High) said: [الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ – Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest]. [Soorah Ar-Radd: Ayah:28]
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said: The hearts were created to be upon Tawheed, but when they abandon what they were created for, they become confused and bewildered. The heart’s need of Tawheed and remembrance of Allaah is like a fish’s need for water. A fish dies when deprived of water and likewise the heart dies when deprived of Tawheed and remembrance of Allaah.
The sound Islamic creed is a creed of uprightness and justice- neither going beyond bounds nor falling short, as opposed to the other creeds. There is not an affair in the religion- be it the beliefs, acts of worship and its laws- except that the people are divided into three categories in that regard; [a]The Extremists [b]Those who fall short and [c]Those who remain upon uprightness and justice upon the sound creed-those who cling to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. [Ref2]
The (sound) creed in the Religion is like the roots of a tree and the foundation of a building. And just as a tree cannot stand (firm) except by way of its roots and a building cannot stand (firm) except by way of its foundation, likewise the Religion cannot be established except by way of (sound) Eemaan and Sound Creed. A person without sound creed is similar to a body without a soul. Allaah (The Most High) said: [أَوَمَنْ كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَنْ مَثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ – Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair-seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do]. [Soorah Al-An-aam: Ayah: 122]
Allaah (The Most High) said: [يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُم – O you who believe! Answer Allah (by obeying Him) and (His) Messenger when he (Muhammad) calls you to that which will give you life] [Soorah Al-Anfaal: Ayah: 24]
This is why Allaah called the revelation ‘Rooh’. Allaah said:
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنْتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَكِنْ جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ نَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ صِرَاطِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ أَلَا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَصِيرُ الْأُمُورُ
And thus We have sent to you (O Muhammad) Roohan (an Inspiration, and a Mercy) of Our Command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith? But We have made it (this Qur’an) a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our slaves We will. And verily, you (O Muhammad) are indeed guiding (mankind) to the Straight Path (i.e. Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism).” [Soorah Ash-Shoorah: Ayah: 52-53]
And why did Allaah (The Most High) call it Rooh? It is because the real life of the hearts cannot exist, except by way of the revelation, and the sound creed is the greatest affair in the revelation. Allaah (The Most High) said: [أَتَى أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (1) يُنَزِّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ بِالرُّوحِ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ أَنْ أَنْذِرُوا أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاتَّقُونِ – The Event (the Hour or the punishment of disbelievers and polytheists or the Islamic laws or commandments), ordained by Allah will come to pass, so seek not to hasten it. Glorified and Exalted be He above all that they associate as partners with Him. He sends down the angels with inspiration of His Command to whom of His slaves He pleases (saying): “Warn mankind that La ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I), so fear Me (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds)]. [Soorah Nahl:Aayaat: 1-2]
This (i.e. the sound creed, Tawheed, sincerity in worship) are the greatest affair in the revelation.
Some Virtues of the Sound Creed
The sound creed is the basis upon which the Religion of Allaah is built. This is manifested in the parable in the Ayah:
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ تُؤْتِي
أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). Giving its fruit at all times, by the Leave of its Lord and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.” [Soorah Ibraaheem: Aayaat: 24-25]
“Whose (i.e. this tree) roots are firmly fixed and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high)”. The firmness of these roots are [the sound Creed, sound Eemaan and Sincerity in worshipping Allaah alone], and thereafter, the branches are made strong and the fruits are produced. “Its roots are firmly fixed”; and what is well known is that a tree cannot be of benefit when its roots are not firmly fixed; so if the roots are firm, the branches will be strong and the fruits are produced. This is a parable in explanation of the Religion of Islaam and the status of the sound creed in the Religion.
And if you wish to know the status of the sound creed in the Religion of Allaah, then look at the date palm tree because the Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said that the goodly tree which has been compared to the believer is the date palm tree. Ibn Umar (radiyallaahu-anhumaa) narrated: While we were with the Messenger of Allaah (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam), he said: ‘’Inform me of a tree which resembles a Muslim man. Its leaves do not fall and it does not, and does not, and does not; and it gives its fruits every now and then.’’ It came to my mind that such a tree must be the date palm, but seeing Abu Bakr and Umar saying nothing, I disliked to speak. So when they did not say anything, the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: ‘’It is the date-palm tree’’………[Al-Bukhaari: Vol 6: Number: 4698]
This (hadeeth) shows the nobility of this tree amongst other trees, because Allaah specified it and compared it to the believer. The date-palm tree has roots which are firmly fixed and deeply rooted, and it seeks after water by way of which it is given life. And whenever there is water, its roots seek after it; likewise the heart of the believer seeks after Allaah’s revelation by way of which it is given life. Allaah (The Most High) said:
أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَنْ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآَيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) to be affected by Allah’s Reminder (this Qur’an), and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before (i.e. Jews and Christians), and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah). Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its death! Indeed We have made clear the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to you, if you but understand.” [Soorah Al-Hadeed: Ayah:16]
Allaah revives the dead earth by way of water; so just as a tree is given life by way of water and dies when deprived of water; likewise, the hearts cannot be alive, except by way of the revelation. And if (the hearts) are deprived of the revelation, they become dead. And that is why whenever a person is distanced from the revelation, he comes closer to death (i.e. his heart comes closer to corruption), and whenever he comes closer to the revelation, his heart is given life (i.e. obedience to Allaah, worshipping Allaah alone, distanced from sin etc) in accordance with his closeness to the revelation. [Ref 3]
[Ref 1: Source: Madkhal Li-Diraasati Aqeedah Al-Islaamiyyah: lesson:2′ by Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (may Allaah preserve him)]
[Ref 2]: [Source: Al-Madkhal Li-Diraasah Al-Aqeedah Al-Islaamiyyah: Lesson 1 of Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr (may Allaah preserve him)]
[Ref 3: Source: Al-Madkhal Lidiraasat Aqeedah Al-Islaamiyyah’ by Shaikh Abdur-Razzaaq Al-Badr ‘ lesson 3..Abridged and Extracted benefits]