ʿaqīdah

Islamic belief and creed.

Beyond Words

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Mention what you will of the greatness of Allāh, but Allāh is greater than anything you say. And mention what you will of the Fire, but it is more severe than anything you say. And mention what you will of Paradise, but it is better than anything you say.

Abū Bakr Al-Daynūrī, Al-Mujālasah wa Jawāhir Al-‘Ilm article 853.

The Humble Heretic

‘Alī b. Abī Khālid – Allāh have mercy on him – reports:

I once said to Aḥmad, “This shaykh – referring to an older man who was with us – is my neighbor. I told him not to keep the company of a certain person, and he would like to hear what you have to say about him: I am referring to Ḥārith Al-Qaṣīr (Al-Ḥārith Al-Muḥāsibī). Many years ago, you saw me with him and told me not to sit with him nor speak with him. I have not spoken to him since that time. This shaykh, however, does sit with him. So what do you say?”

I saw Aḥmad go red with anger, his eyes bulging; I had never before seen him like this. He started to say, “Him! May Allāh do such-and-such to him! Only those well-informed of him know what he really is, only those who really know him know what he is. Al-Mughāzilī, Ya’qūb and so-and-so sat with him, and he caused them to adopt the views of Jahm (Ibn Ṣafwān, leader of the Jahmites). They were destroyed because of him.”

The old man said, “But Abū ‘Abdillāh, he reports ḥadīth, and he is mild and humble; he has done such-and-such [good works].” Abū ‘Abdillāh (Imām Aḥmad) became angry and began repeating, “Let not his humility and softness deceive you”. He also said, “Do not be fooled by his bowed head, he is an evil man; only those well-informed of him through experience know him. Do not speak to him – with all disrespect to him. Are you going to sit with everyone who narrates from Allāh’s Messenger – may the praise and peace of Allāh be upon him – though he be a heretic (mubtadi’)? No, with all disrespect.”

Ṭabaqāt Al-Ḥanābilah, article 325.

Asking for less refutation [signs of Ahl Al-Bidah]

It is reported from Al-‘Abbās b. Al-Walīd that ‘Uqbah said:

I was once with Arṭa’ah b. Al-Mundhir when one of the people in the gathering said, “What do you say about a man who sits with the followers of the Sunnah and mixes with them, but when the followers of Bid’ah are mentioned he says, ‘Spare us from mentioning them, do not talk about them?’” Arṭa’ah said, “He is one of them, do not let him confuse you about his condition.” I felt this was strange, so I went to Al-Awzā’ī – and he used to clarify these matters when they came to him. He said, “Arṭa’ah is right, the matter is as he said; this person forbids talking about [Ahl Al-Bid’ah], so how can [people] be on guard against them if they are not exposed?”

Ibn ‘Asākir, Tārīkh Dimishq 8:15.

Opinionated Enemies of the Sunnah

‘Umar b. Al-Khattāb – Allāh be pleased with him – said:

Verily, the followers of opinion are the enemies of the Sunan (the teachings of Allāh’s Messenger as passed down in hadith): they were unable to preserve them and their meanings escaped them, and when asked [questions] they were too embarrassed to say ‘We don’t know,’ so they opposed the Sunan with their opinions.

Ibn Abī Zamanīn, Uūl Al-Sunnah article 8; Al-Lālakā`ī, Shar Uūl I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah article 201 et al.

The Four Eyes

It is reported that Khālid b. Ma’dān – Allāh have mercy on him – said:

There is not a person except he has four eyes: two in his head with which he sees the matters of this worldly life, and two in his heart with which he looks to the matters of the hereafter. So if Allāh wants good for his servant, He opens his heart’s eyes, and so he perceives what he has been promised in the unseen world. Thus he is saved from the unseen [punishment] through the unseen [reward for the obedient].

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 4: 543