What is Aqeedah?

The term Aqeedah, which also can be written as Aqidah or Aqeeda, comes from the Arabic language, which litteraly means creed. There are many groups in Islam whom have different understandings of creed.

Aqeedah contains all matters related to what is Emaan (Belief) and what is Kufr (Disbelief). A Muslim must follow the creed of the Prophet and his companions, of which there is no difference of opinion.

The Islamic faith consists of several topics, including the practice of Tawheed, the five pillars of Islam and the six pillars of Eman.

The creed (belief) of every Muslim should come from the Prophet and his Companions. Wondering what your Aqeedah is? You can get a good idea of this.

  1. Importance of Aqeedah
  2. Correct Aqeedah
  3. Books of Aqeedah

Importance of Aqeedah

Any person who adheres to Islam wants to be on the correct Aqeedah. Unfortunately, this is not the reality, especially at a time when the sects are many.

The aim is to refer back to how the pious predecessors in Islam understood it. How did they understand the subject of Emaan? How did they deal with it?

Allah warns in the Quran of division in religion. It is a bad thing to adhere to any other creed than what is correct.

And hold fast to the rope of Allah (Quran & Sunnah) all of you, and let there be no division among you.
Surah Aali-'Imraan vers 103

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Benu Israel split into 72 sects, and my Ummah will split into 73 sects. They are all in the fire except one." He (Abdullah bin 'Amr) asked: "And who is that O Messenger of Allah?" He (ﷺ) said: "Whoever follows me and my companions." Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2641
Tirmidhi graded it as Hasan.

There are many groups that ascribe to the correct understanding of Aqeedah. Groups like the Asha'ira, Murji'ah, Khawarij and more. The objective of a Muslim is to move away from all those groups, and to stick to the understanding of the Prophet and his companions. That understanding has been related through books and statements of the Pious Predecessors (Salaf Saliheen).

Correct Aqeedah

Now it is important to know what is the correct Aqeedah in Islam. Because there are so many different sects, it can be difficult to know which one is correct.

The Muslims are commanded with regard to Aqeedah and Fiqh to follow the Prophet and his Companions. They are the sources when it comes to understanding Islam.

Aqeedah includes practicing Tawheed, submitting to the five pillars of Islam and believing in the six pillars of Eman. Having the correct Aqeedah consists for a large part of practicing Tawheed.

You can acquire knowledge of Aqeedah through lessons and books, but it is also possible with the help of the internet. Look below for a brief description of the correct Aqeedah.

1. Correct practise of Tawheed

The Oneness of Allah is the foundation within Aqeedah. It is therefore essential to first understand and implement this properly.

Allah has created the Fitrah (natural disposition) in everyone so that we may recognize the Oneness of Allah. It is therefore not knowledge that you need to acquire, because the natural predisposition already consists it. It only has to be put into practise.

How to practise Tawheed

The practice of Tawheed consists of several components. First of all, the forms of Tawheed (three categories). In addition, it consists of rejecting Shirk and its followers. Excommunication of anyone who commits major Shirk is essential.

Tawheed categories

In order to maintain the correct Aqeedah, a person must surrender to the Oneness of Allah. He is One in His Lordship and no one has the power over the creation but Him. He is One in the right to be worshiped. And He has Names and Attributes that is unique to Him alone.

Shirk dangers

From our natural predispositions we know that to worship another besides Allah is idolatry. This is basic knowledge given to everyone.

Associating partners with Allah is major Shirk. No one can be ignorant of it, because everyone has been given that knowledge by Allah.

Takfir obligation

Does a person perform major Shirk, such as worshiping a statue? Then every Muslim should excommunicate this person. Judging is done on the observable.

A person cannot be a Muslim without making Takfir. Distinction between Muslim and Kafir must be made. Takfir is a big part in practicing the correct Aqeedah.

2. Belief in the six pillars of Eman

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Eman means that you believe in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Judgment and in the Divine Decree (Qadr) in good and evil." [Sahih Muslim 8a]

Faith in these matters is essential in Islam. It is considered disbelief to leave out any one of the pillars of Eman. Belief in Allah is tied to His Oneness (Tawheed).

3. Submitting to the five pillars of Islam

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Islam is founded on five (pillars): witnessing that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger (Shahadatayn), the establishment of five obligatory prayers (Salaat), payment of Zakat, pilgrimage to the House (Hajj) and the fast of Ramadan (Sawm)." (Sahih Muslim 16c)

In keeping the correct Aqeedah, submission to the five pillars is essential. Deliberately letting go of a pillar is bound to disbelief.

4. Knowledge of the sects and their excommunication

Knowledge on this subject from Aqeedah is additional. It is not compulsory knowledge to be a Muslim. It does, however, play as extra knowledge that the Muslim can use to strengthen his religion.

There are different sects that ascribe to Islam. Examples of these are the sects: Murji'ah, Khawarij, Jahmiyyah, Qadariyyah etc. The aim is to return to how the pious predecessors (Salafu Saliheen) dealt with those sects.

In this matter of Aqeedah you learn the groups and their characteristics. The pious predecessors have further explained this in their books.

Books of Aqeedah

Would you like to expand your knowledge by reading more about it? Currently there are several books on Aqeedah. These books are mainly in Arabic. So it is a good option for the Arabic speakers to read these books.

Examples of books by the Salaf Saliheen
  • Kitaab Al-Emaan of Abu 'Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Salaam
  • Kitaab Al-Emaan of Ibn Abi Shaybah
  • Usool Sunnah of Ahmad ibn Hanbal
  • Khalq Af'al al-'Ibaad of Bukhari
  • As-Sunnah of Abu Bakr al-Athram
  • As-Sunnah of Abdullah ibn Ahmad
  • As-Sunnah of Abu Bakr al-Khallal

Yet it is difficult to read these books without understanding Arabic. Fortunately, it is therefore also possible to obtain translations on the internet.

There are pages that share quotes from the pious predecessors, where you can quickly gain knowledge about Aqeedah. We also aim to provide this for you on this website.

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

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