The Muslim’s Belief (Chapter 1) – Sheikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-‘Uthaimin
By Shaikh Muhammad as-Saleh Al-‘Uthaimin & Translated by Dr. Maneh Al-Johani
CHAPTER 1: OUR CREED
Our creed is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and Fate whether good or bad.
Belief in Allah’s Lordship, Oneness, and Attributes:
We believe in Allah’s divinity; that is he is the Lord, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Manager of all affairs.
We believe in Allah’s god ship; that is, He is the true God and every other so-called deity is false.
We believe in His names and attributes, that is He has the most magnificent names and the sublime perfect attributes.
We believe in His oneness in all of this, that is, He has no associate in His divinity, His God ship, His names, or His attributes. Allah says in the Qur’an: “He is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth and all that is in between them, so worship Him and be patient in His worship; do you know any equal to Him?” (19:65).
We believe that He is “Allah there is no God but He, the Living, the Everlasting. Slumber does not seize Him, neither sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the Earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass anything of His knowledge except what He wills. His throne extends over the heavens and the Earth, the preservation of them does not burden Him; He is the High, the Great” (2:255).
We believe that “He is Allah, there is no god but He, the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. He is Allah, there is no God but He, the King, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Almighty, the Subduer, the Sublime. Glory be to Allah above what they associate with Him. He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Shaper. His are the most beautiful Names. All that is in the heavens and the Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the Wise” (59:22-4). ¥ We believe that to Him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth: “He creates what He pleases. He gives, to whom He wills, females, and He gives, to whom He wills, males, or He couples them, males and females; and He makes whom He wills barren. Surely, He is the Knowing, the Powerful” (42:49-50).
We believe that “there is nothing whatever like unto Him, He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing. To Him belongs the keys of the Heavens and the Earth. He enlarges and restricts provisions to whom He wills. Surely He has knowledge of everything” (42:11-12).
We believe that “there is no creature that moves on the Earth but its provision depends on Allah. He knows its dwelling and its resting place. All is recorded in a clear book” (11:6).
We believe that “with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them but He. He knows what is in land and sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. Not a grain in the deep darkness of the Earth, not a thing green or dry but it is in a clear Book” (6 :5 9 ).
We believe that “Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour, sends down rain, and knows what is in the wombs. No soul knows what it shall earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it shall die. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-aware” (31:34).
We believe that Allah speaks whatever He pleases whenever He pleases: “And Allah spoke to Moses directly” (4:164); “And when Moses came at Our appointed place, and his Lord spoke to him” (7:143 ); “We called to him from the right side of the Mount (Sinai), and We brought him near in communion” (19:52).
We believe that “if the ocean became ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be finished before the words of my Lord came to an end” (18:109); “And if all the trees that are in the earth were pens, and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans swelling it therefore, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely, Allah is Mighty, Wise” (31 :27).
We believe that Allah’s words are the most truthful in conveying information, the most just in ruling, and the fairest in conversation. He said: “The word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice” (6:115); “And who is more truthful in his word than Allah?” (4:87).
We believe that the Qur’an is Allah’s word. He literally spoke it to Gabriel, who conveyed it to the Prophet, peace be upon him: “Say (O Muhammad) ‘the Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth”‘ (16:102); “Truly it is the revelation of the Lord of the world brought down upon your heart by the Faithful Spirit so that you may be one of the warners, in a clear Arabic tongue” (26:192-95).
We believe that Allah is well above His creatures in His Person and His Attributes, because He says: “He is the High, the Great” (2:22); “He is Supreme over His servants, and He is the Wise, the All-aware” (6:18 ).
We believe that He “created the Heavens and the Earth in six days, then He settled Himself on the throne; He manages everything” (10:3). His “settling on the throne” means that He is sitting in person on His throne in a way that is becoming to His majesty and greatness. Nobody except He knows exactly how He is sitting.
We believe that He is with His creatures while He is still on His throne. He knows their conditions, hears their sayings, sees their deeds, and manages their affairs. He provides for the poor and the broken.
He gives sovereignty to whom He pleases and takes away sovereignty from whom He pleases; He exalts whom He wills and He abases whom He wills. In His hand is all good and He is powerful over everything. Whoever possesses these qualities is literally with His creatures even if He is literally above them on His throne. “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him; He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing” (42: 11).
We do not say, as do the Incarnationists among the Jahomites and others, that Allah is living with His creatures on Earth. We consider whoever says this a non-believer or one who has strayed, for he attributed to Allah that which does not become Him of defects.
We believe in what His Messenger told us, that He descends to the near sky before the last third of every night and says: “Who prays to Me and I will answer his prayers? Who asks Me and I will give him? Who asks My forgiveness and I will forgive him?” (Bukhari and Muslim).
We believe that He will come on the Day of Judgment to judge among His people because He said: “No indeed! When the Earth is crushed to powder, and your Lord comes down with the angels in rows after rows, and Hell is brought out that day. On that day man will remember, but what will remembrance avail him?” (89:21-23).
We believe that he is the Doer of what He wills.
Allah’s Will is Universal and Legal:
We believe that His will is of two kinds: a) Universal will, through which His intention is carried out. It is not necessary that what is carried out is liked by Him. This type of will means permission, as Allah said: “Had Allah willed, they would not have fought one against the other, but Allah does whatever He desires,” (2:253) and “If Allah desires to lead you astray, He is your Lord” (11:34), and b) Legal will, which does not necessarily entail the execution of His desire. His will, in this case, cannot be but what He likes, as He said: “Allah wants to forgive you” (4:27).
We believe that His universal and legal wills are part of His wisdom. Every thing He performs in the universe or requires legally from His creatures is for a good reason and according to His wisdom, whether we grasp it or not: “Is not Allah the best of Judges?” (95:8); “And who is better than Allah in judgment for a people who have firm faith” (5:50).
We believe that Allah loves His select servants and that they love Him: “Say if you love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you” (3:31); “Allah will bring a people whom He will love and who will love Him” (5:54); “Allah loves the steadfast” (3:146); “And act justly, surely, Allah loves the just” (49:9); and “Do good; Allah loves those who do good” (5:93).
We believe that Allah likes what He prescribed of good deeds and sayings and He dislikes what He prohibited of bad deeds and sayings: “If you disbelieve, surely Allah does not need you, yet He does not like disbelief for His servants; if you are thankful, this pleases Him”(39:7); and “But Allah disliked their marching forth. So He kept them back, and it was said to them: ‘Stay with the weaklings”(9: 46).
We believe that Allah is pleased with those who believe in Him and do good deeds: “Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord” (98:8).
We believe that Allah is angry with those who deserve His anger among the non-believers and others: “And those who think evil thoughts of Allah, against them shall be the evil turn of fortune. Allah is angry with them” (48:6); ” But whoever opens his heart to disbelief, on them is Allah’s wrath and they shall have a severe punishment” (16:106).
More of Allah’s Attributes:
We believe that Allah has a glorious and dignified face: “There will remain the face of your Lord, majestic and splendid” (55:27).
We believe that Allah has two generous hands: “No, both His hands are wide open; He spends how He pleases” (5:64); “They do not esteem Allah with the esteem that is due to Him. The whole Earth will be His handful on the Day of Resurrection, and the Heavens will be rolled up in His right hand. Glory be to Him and exalted is He above that which they associate with Him” (39:67).
We believe that Allah possesses two real eyes, because He said: “And build the ark under Our eyes as We reveal” (11:37). The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “His veil is light. Had He removed it, the sublimity of His countenance would have burnt all that His sight reached” (Muslim and Ibn Majah). The Sunnites unanimously have agreed that He has two eyes. This is supported by the Prophet’s saying about the Dajjal (the anti-Christ) that “he is one-eyed and your Lord is not one-eyed” (Bukhari and Muslim).
We believe that “vision cannot perceive Him, but He perceives all vision. He is the Incomprehensible, the All-aware” (6:103).
We believe that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection: “Upon that day some faces shall be radiant, gazing upon their Lord” (75:22-3).
We believe that Allah has no equal because His Attributes are perfect: “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him. He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing” (42:11). We believe that “no slumber or sleep seizes Him” (2:255), because His life is perfect and eternal.
We believe that He does not do injustice to anybody, because His fairness is perfect.
We believe that He is not unaware of his servants’ deeds, because He has perfect supervision and comprehensive knowledge.
We believe that He is capable of doing anything in the Heavens or in the Earth, because of His perfect knowledge and power: “Indeed His command, when He desires a thing, is only to say to it ‘Be’ and it is” (36: 82).
We believe that He is free from weariness and weakness, because of His infinite power: “Surely, We created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is between them in six days, and no weariness touched Us” (50: 38).
Describing Allah by His Revelation:
We believe in all that He assigned to Himself or what His Messenger described Him with, of names and attributes. However, we reject two concepts: 1) To say or believe that Allah’s attributes are similar to those of his creatures; and 2) To say or believe that Allah’s attributes are like such and such.
We negate all what He negated about Himself or what His Messenger negated about Him. We believe that negation implies the affirmation of its perfect opposite. We do not discuss what He or His Messenger did not mention about Him.
We believe that following this approach is a must, because what Allah affirmed or negated concerning Himself is a statement He made about Himself. He knows Himself best. His words are most just and trustful, and people cannot know everything about Him. What Allah’s Messenger affirmed or negated about Him is a statement that he made about Allah. Besides knowing Allah better than anyone, he is the most truthful, sincere, and eloquent among people. Thus, in what Allah said and what His Prophet said concerning His names and attributes is the truth, knowledge, and clarification. Therefore, we have no excuse to reject or even hesitate in accepting it.
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