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Questions about Islamic Beliefs - Aqeedah


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله و صلى الله وسلم على رسول الله

Praise be to Allah and may Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad It has been said :قيل


1.Q: What is the Personal Obligatory Knowledge of the Religion, Islam

A: The Personal Obligatory Knowledge of the Religion is the amount that one has to learn among the Knowledge of Belief, rules of purification (taharh), the prayer (salah), fasting, and judgments pertaining to dealings for the one who engages in transactions. Also among other issues one has to know about the sins of the heart, the organs, the tongue and the like. As well the one whom az-Zakah is obligatory has to know about the obvious judgments pertaining to az-Zakah and likewise those of Pilgrimage (Hajj) for the one who is able to perform it. The prophet, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم

Which means: Seeking the Personal Obligatory Knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim (narrated by al-Bayhaqiyy).

2.Q: Who is the accountable person (Mukallaf) who is obligated to embrace Islam and work according to its rules (Shari^ah)?

A: The accountable person (Mukallaf ) is the one who is pubescent , sane and has received the message of Islam. The male becomes pubescent when one of two things occurs: seeing the maniyy or reaching 15 lunar years of age. The female becomes pubescent when one of three things occurs: seeing the maniyy, menstrual bleeding or reaching 15 lunar years of age. Hence, the one who dies before becoming pubescent is not accountable. Also, the one whose insanity continues without interruption from the time before one is pubescent, until after that, and then dies as an insane is, hence not accountable. Moreover, if one did not hear the basis of the message that is, the rectification that no one is God except Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, is then not accountable. Allah said in Surat al Isra’ verse 15

(و ما كنا معذبين حتى نبعث رسولاً)which means: Allah shall not punish in the hereafter unless he reveals a massenger. The prophet, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

رفع القلم عن ثلاثٍ عن النائم حتى يستيقظ، و عن الصبى حتى يحتلم، و عن المجنون حتى يعقل

it means: The Pen has been lifted from writing the deeds of three: The one who is asleep until one wakes up, the child until he becomes pubescent and the crazy person until he becomes sane (narrated by Ahmad).

3.Q: What is the meaning of the saying of the author in his book the summary: :..and to comply with what is obligatory upon them of its rules.

A: It means to perform the obligations and avoid the prohibitions. The God-fearing slave is the one who has performed the obligations and avoided the prohibitions. If one dies in this state, he will be admitted to Paradise without torture.

4.Q: Speak about the highest and best obligations as decreed by Allah.

A: The highest and best obligation as decreed by Allah is: The Belief in Allah and his messenger. The prophet, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

أفضل الأعمال إيمان بالله و رسوله

This means: The best of deeds is to believe correctly in Allah and his messenger (narrated by al-Bukhariyy). Having the correct Belief is a condition for the acceptability of the good deeds. Hence, the one who does not believe in Allah and his messenger will never have any reward in the Hereafter. Allah said in Surat Ibrahim verse 18 which means: The deeds of those who blasphemed are like dust which was scattered by wind in a stormy day .

5.Q: Speak about the merit of the knowledge of Tawhid over other types of knowledge.

A: The knowledge of Tawhid has a privileged merit over other types of knowledge. This is because it relates to the most honored information. The high honor of the knowledge is due to the high status of the things one knows about. Since the knowledge of Tawhid conveys the knowledge about Allah, clears Allah of what is not befitting to Him and clears the prophets of what is not befitting to them, it is better than the knowledge of the rulings. Allah said in Surat Muhammad verse 19

( فاعلم أنه لا إله إلا الله و استغفر لذنبك )

which means know (be steadfast) O’ Muhammad that no one is God except Allah and ask Allah for forgiveness.

Imam Abu Hanifah said in his book “Al-Fiqh al-’Absat”: “Know that the knowledge of the essentials of the Religion is better than the knowledge of rulings.”

6.Q: Is it required for one to embrace Islam to utter the statement: Ashhadu alla-’ilaha illallah wa ashhadu anna Muhammada-r-Rasulullah?

A: This particular statement is not required by itself for embracing Islam. It is enough for one to utter a statement that gives its meaning. For example, one may say: La ilaha illallah Muhammad Rasulullah, (there is no God other than Allah Muhammad is the messenger of Allah) or La rabba illallah Muhammad nabiyyullah (No Lord other than Allah Muhammad is the prophet of Allah). One of these statements is sufficient for one to embrace Islam. However, the word “ashhadu” is better than other words, because its linguistic meaning includes the knowledge, belief and declaration. By using this word, the confirmation of the meaning is attained unlike other words.

7.Q: State the proof for the Existence of Allah

A: Allah exists without a doubt about his Existence. Allah said in Surat Ibrahim verse 10 ( أفى الله شك )

which means: There is no doubt about the Existence of Allah.

the existence of this world is a proof for the existence of Allah. It is intellectually invalid to accept the existence of an action without someone doing it as it is invalid to accept the existence of copying and writing without a copier and writer. Hence, this world by precedence has a Creator and this Creator is Allah the exalted.

Allah exists and is not similar to existing things. He exists without a manner of being and without place. Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa^iyy, said: “The ultimate knowledge about Allah is to believe with certitude in his Existence ta^ala without a manner of being and place.”

8.Q: What is the general meaning of ashhadu alla ilaha illallah?

A: The general meaning of ashhadu alla ilaha illallah is: I declare with my tongue and believe in my heart that no one deserves to be worship except Allah. That is, no one deserves to extremely subjugate one’s self to except Allah. This is the worship which if one practices to other than Allah, one becomes a mushrik (blasphemer). Worship is not just calling, asking another for help, or asking another for rescue as some people claimed. Imam Taqiyyu-d-din as-Subkiyy said: “Worship (al-^Ibadah) is the ultimate degree of submission and subjugation.”

9.Q: What is the meaning of one (Wahid ) when attributed to Allah?

A: The meaning of one (Wahid ) when attributed to Allah is that there is no partner to Allah in Godhood and that no one deserves to be worshiped other than Allah. Allah said in Surat Al-Baqarah verse 163

( و إلهكم إله واحد )

which means: Your God is One.

Imam Abu Hanifah said in “Al-Fiqh al-’Akbar”: “Allah is One not in the context of numbers, but rather in the context that there is no partner to Him.”

10.Q: What is the meaning of indivisible (Ahad)?

A: Some religious scholars said: its meaning is like the meaning of al-Wahid. Some others said: Al-’Ahad is the one who is not divisible. That is, Allah is not a body, because the intellect judges that a body accepts divisibility and Allah is not a body. Allah said in Surat Al-Ikhlas

قُلْ هُوَ اللهُ أَحَدٌ {1} اللهُ الصَّمَدُ {2} لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ {3} وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ {4}

The Meaning of Suratul-’Ikhlas

1. [0 Muhammad,] say that Allah is One without a partner to Him in the Self or attributes, and the One Who is indivisible (because He is not a body.)

2. All creations need Allah and He does not need any of, them. He is the One to Whom all resort in all types of adversities. He does not benefit from His creations and does not ward any harm off Himself by them.

3. Nothing was born out of Him; so no one inherits Him. He was not born; so no one shares property with Him. He is not the origin of anything and He did not originate from anything.

4. He has no equal in any way.

Allah said in dispraising the blasphemers in Surat az-Zukhruf verse 15

( و جعلوا له من عباده جزءاً )

which means: The blasphemers attributed to Allah parts among his creations.

Imam Abu al-Hasan al-’Ash^ariyy said in his book “An-Nawadir”: “Whoever believes that Allah is a body is not knowledgeable about his Lord and is a blasphemer.”

11.Q; What is the meaning of without a beginning (Awwal) and eternal (Qadim)?

A: The meaning of without a beginning (Awwal) is the One whose Existence has no beginning. Allah is the only one who is Awwal in this context. Allah said in Surat al-Hadid verse 3

( هو الأول و الآخر )

which means: Allah is the one who does not have a beginning and does not have an end for his Existence.

Along its meaning falls the meaning of eternal (Qadim) when attributed to Allah. The nation unanimously agreed on the validity of attributing the Qadim to Allah. Az-Zabidiyy conveyed this unanimous in his book Sharh Ihya’ ^Ulum ad-Din.

12. Q: What is the meaning of the alive (al-Hayy) when attributed to Allah?

A: The meaning of the alive (al-Hayy) when attributed to Allah is that He is attributed with an eternal and everlasting Life which is not soul, flesh and blood. Allah said in Surat al-Baqarah verse 255

( الله لا إله إلا هو الحى القيوم )

which means: No one is God other than Allah who is al-Hayy and al-Qayyum. Allah also said in Surat al-Furqan verse 58

( و توكل على الحى الذى لا يموت )

which means: One should rely upon the one who is alive (al-Hayy) who does not die.

13.Q: What is the meaning of without an end (Qayyum) when attributed to Allah?

A: Some scholars said: the (Qayyum) is the one whose existence does not end. Others said: The (Qayyum) is the One who does not need anyone.

14.Q: What is the meaning of the everlasting (Da’im) when attributed to Allah?

A: The meaning of the (Da’im) when attributed to Allah is the One who does not annihilate and annihilation is intellectually impossible for him. No one is everlasting (Da’im) in this context other than Allah. There is no partner to Allah in everlastingness, because Allah is everlasting by Himself and he deserves this attribute by Himself, nothing else confirmed it to Allah. The everlastingness of other than Allah like Paradise and Hellfire does not pertain to themselves, rather Allah willed for them to be everlasting.

15.Q: What is the meaning of the creator (Khaliq)?

A: The meaning of the Creator (Khaliq) is the One who created and formed all the creations. That is, He brought them from non-existence to existence. Creating in this context may not be attributed to other than Allah. Allah ta^ala said in Surat Fatir verse 3

( هل من خالق غير الله )

which means: No one is the creator except Allah.

16.Q: What is the meaning of the sustainer (Raziq) when attributed to Allah?

A: The meaning of the sustainer (Raziq) is the one who brings sustenance to his slaves. Ar-rizq is what facilitates even though it may be prohibited. Allah ta^ala said in Surat Hud verse 6:

( و ما من دابة فى الأرض إلا على الله رزقها )

which means: Allah provides the sustenance to all what is on earth.

17.Q: What is the meaning of al-^Alim when attributed to Allah?

A: The meaning of al-^Alim is the one who is attributed with an eternal and everlasting Knowledge which does not change. Allah knows about everything before it happens. Allah said in Surat al-An^am verse 59:

(وعندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الغيب لا يعلمها إلا هو و يعلم ما فى البر و البحر وما تسقط من ورقة إلا يعلمها و لا حبةٍ فى ظلمات الأرض و لا رطبٍ و لا يابسٍ إلا فى كتابٍ مبين)

which means: Only Allah knows about all the unforeseen and what is in land and sea. No matter what a leaf may fall Allah knows about it. Any grain in the darkness of earth or a wet or dry thing all are registered in a Book.

18.Q: What is al-Qadir when attributed to Allah?

A: Al-Qadir when attributed to Allah means the one who is attributed with al-Qudrah (Power). Power is an eternal and everlasting Attribute by which Allah affects in all the mentally permissible things. That is, in all that which is by the judgment of the mind, is permissible to exist and to be annihilated. The Power of Allah is not related neither to the mentally necessary i.e. that which the mind does not conceive its non-existence nor to mentally impossible i.e. that which the mind does not conceive its existence. Allah said in Surat al-^Imran verse 29:

(و يعلم ما فى السماوات و ما فى الأرض و الله على كل شئ قدير)

which means: Allah knows what is in the heavens and earth and Allah has the Power over everything.

19.Q: Mention the categories of the mental judgments.

A: The mental judgment is divided into three categories: The necessary, the impossible and the permissible.

The mentally necessary: It is what the mind cannot conceive its non-existence. This refers to Allah and his Attributes [only].

The mentally impossible: It is what the mind cannot conceive its existence like the existence of a partner to Allah.

The mentally permissible: It is what the mind conceive its existence at one point of time and its non-existence at another point of time like the entire creations.

20.Q: What is the meaning of: “ Allah does whatever He wills “ ?

A: The meaning of: “ Allah does whatever he wills “ is that Allah has the Power to create what He eternally preordained by His Will. Nothing makes Allah powerless from doing that, nothing prevents Him from doing that, and He does not need the assistance of others. Allah said in Surat Hud verse 107:

( و لو شاء الله ما اقتتلوا و لكن الله يفعل ما يريد )

which means: Had Allah willed, they would not have fought one another, however, Allah does whatever He willed.

21.Q: Give a brief explanation of the statement: “ Whatever Allah willed to be shall be and whatever Allah did not will to be shall not be “.

A: This statement means that all what Allah willed to exist must exist in the time that Allah willed for it to exist. This equally includes the good, evil, obedience, disobedience, blasphemy and belief. What Allah did not will for it to exist shall not come into existence. It will not happen and will not occur.

The Will of Allah is eternal, everlasting and does not change. The above statement is taken from the sayings of the prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. Abu Dawud narrated in his book “as-Sunan” that the prophet taught this statement to his daughter:

ما شاء الله كان و ما لم يشأ لم يكن

“ Whatever Allah willed to be shall be and whatever Allah did not will to be shall not be “.

22.Q: What is the meaning of la hawla wala quwata illa bil-lah?

A: The meaning of la hawla wala quwata illa billah is: No one can evade sinning without the protection of Allah and no one has the strength to obey Allah without the help of Allah. Abu Ya^la narrated the explanation of this statement from the messenger of Allah, salla-l-lahu ^alayhi wa sallam. It was confirmed that the prophet urged to say it.

23.Q: Allah is attributed with all proper perfection. Why was the word “perfection” restricted with saying “proper”?

A: This statement was restricted with saying “proper” because perfection is either a perfection attributable to Allah and to other than Allah like knowledge or perfection that is attributable to other than Allah but not a perfection attributable to Allah like the soundness of the mind. An attribute may be a praise to Allah and dispraise when attributed to humans- like the attribute al-Jabbar. Al-Jabbar is a praise when attributed to Allah and is a belittlement when attributed to the humans. ( The meaning of al-Jabbar, when attributed to Allah, is the One whom hands do not reach Him and for Whom nothing happens in his dominion except what he willed ).

24.Q: Speak about clearing Allah of imperfections.

A: Allah is attributed with all proper perfection. He is clear of any imperfection. That is, He is clear of all that which do not befit Him such as ignorance, powerlessness, place, space, color and limit. Imam Abu Ja^far at-Tahawiyy who died 322 A.H. said: “Allah is clear of boundaries, extremes, sides, organs and instruments. The six directions do not contain Him unlike the case of all the created things “. Mentally speaking, it means Allah is not limited. Hence, He is clear of sitting, because the one who is attributed with sitting has to be limited. Imam ^Aliyy, MAY Allah raise his rank said: “Allah created the throne (ceiling of paradise: al-^Arsh) to show his Power and did not take it as a place for Himself”. Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadiyy mentioned that statement in his book “Al-Farq Bayna-l-Firaq” after he had conveyed the consensus about clearing Allah of places and limits.

25.Q: What is the meaning of Allah’s saying: ليس كمثله شئ

A: It means Allah is not similar to any of the gentle, dense, upper (in the skies) or lower (in earth and below it) things. Allah ta^ala said in Surat al-Ikhlas verse 4:

( و لم يكن له كفواً أحد )

which means: Allah has no similar in any way. That is, there is no similar to Allah in any respect. Imam Dhu-n-Nun al-Misriyy, said: “Whatever you imagine in your mind, Allah is different from it”. Imam at-Tahawiyy said in his book of “Al-^Aqidah”: “The one who attributes to Allah a sense of mankind is a blasphemer.”

26.Q: Speak about Allah’s Attributes of Hearing and Sight.

A: Allah said in Surat ash-Shura verse 11:

( ليس كمثله شئ و هو السميع البصير )

which means: Nothing is similar to Allah and He is attributed with Hearing and Sight.

Allah attributed to Himself that there is not anything similar to Him and that He is attributed with Hearing and Sight. In the verse Allah firstly negated that He is similar to any created thing in any way, and then Attributed hearing and sight to Himself. This shows that the Hearing of Allah is not similar to the hearing of the creations and His Sight is not similar to the sight of the creations. Also, all the Attributes of Allah are not similar to the attributes of Allah’s creations. Allah Hears all the hearable things without the need for an ear or any other instrument. He Sees all the seeable things without the need to a pupil or a ray of light.

27.Q: Speak about the saying of the author: “Allah exists without a beginning and everything else exists with a beginning. He is the creator and everything else is a creation”

A: One must believe Allah is the only One who is eternal (Qadim) Who does not have a beginning to His existence and every thing else is a creation. Every creation that exists, be it among entities or deeds, from the fine dust to Ceiling of Paradise (^Arsh), and every movement, rest, intention and thought of the slaves is created by Allah. Hence, no one other than Allah -- be it nature or reason -- creates any thing. Things become existent by Allah’s eternal Will, Power and Knowledge as mentioned in al-Qur’an in Surat al-Furqan verse 2:

( و خلق كل شئ )

which means: Allah created everything. Imam an-Nasafiyy said: “If a person hit glass with a stone and broke it, then the acts of hitting and breaking and the state of being broken were created by Allah.”

28.Q: Speak about the Attribute of Speech (Kalam) of Allah ta^ala.

A: Imam Abu Hanifah, may Allah raise his rank said in his book “Al-Fiqh al-’Absat”: “Allah speaks not like our speech. We speak by instruments from the [vocal] exits and [by] letters, whereas Allah’s speech (Kalam) is without an instrument and a letter.”

Hence, Allah has speech (Kalam) which is not similar to our speech. His speech (Kalam) does not have a beginning and an end. Silence or interruption do not occur on his speech (Kalam), because it is not a letter or a sound; but it is an Attribute of Allah which is not similar to the speech of the creations. Allah said in Surat an-Nisa’ verse 164:

( و كلم الله موسى تكليماً )

which means: Musa heard the speech (Kalam) of Allah.

29.Q: Speak about the saying of the author: “...because He, the exalted (subhanah), is unlike all the creations in the Self (Dhat), Attributes and Actions.”

A: Allah is not similar to any of the creations in Self, Attributes and Actions. That is, his Self (Dhat) is not similar to the selves of the creations. His Attributes are not similar to the attributes of the creations, and his Actions are not similar to the actions of the creations. The Action of Allah is eternal and everlasting, whereas what is done is a creation. Allah ta^ala said in Surat an-Nahl verse 60:

( و لله المثل الأعلى )

which means: Allah is attributed with the perfect Attributes that are not similar to the attributes of others. Imam Abu Hanifah, and al-Bukhariyy, may Allah’s mercy be on them said: “His Action (i.e., Allah’s Action) is an Attribute of His (Self) which is eternal and what is done is a creation.”

30.Q: What is the meaning of the saying of the author: “ Subhanahu wa ta^ala

A: The meaning of subhanahu is clearing Allah; that is, I clear Allah of imperfections. The meaning of “ta^ala” is emphasizing that: Allah is clear of all imperfection.

31.Q: The scholars said that it is an obligation to know thirteen Attributes of Allah. What are these Attributes?

A: The one who is accountable has to personally know thirteen Attributes of Allah which have been mentioned repeatedly in the Qur’an either explicitly or implicitly.

These are: 1. Existence (al-Wujud), 2. Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah), 3. Eternity (al-Qidam), 4. Existence without an end (al-Baqa’), 5. Non-Neediness of others (al-Qiyam bin-Nafs), 6. Power (al-Qudrah), 7. Will (al-’Iradah), 8. Knowledge (al-^Ilm), Hearing (as-Sam^), 10. Sight (al-Basar), 11. Life (al-Hayah), 12. Speech (Al-Kalam without sound, letters, words, or languages), and 13. Non-Resemblance to creations (clear of being similar to the creation).

32.Q: Speak about the eternity of the Attributes of Allah.

A: The self of Allah is confirmed without a doubt to be eternal, then his Attributes have to be eternal. This is so, because the one whose attributes are created, one’s self has to be created too. Imam Abu Hanifah, said in “al-Fiqh al-’Absat”: “Allah’s Attributes are not created and were not proceeded by non-existence. Changes in states happen to created things. The one who says Attributes of Allah are created, or doubts or hesitates about them is a blasphemer”.