Elucidations of "Aqeedahtu Tahawiyah" 1-2
Adapted from Lectures by Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril


Why do we use books? Because Aqeedah is a very tough topic, I was teaching it randomly in a way to draw interest. However, when we raise the level of materials, the "rumble in the jungle" approach is no longer effective. Meaning, going to a lecture here and there, or holding random classes here and there, without going through actual books from cover to cover no longer suffices for serious students. We needed to move to another level and using the method of studying one book at a time.

If you read the biographies of the previous Ulama and famous students of knowledge you always find that they studied such and such book with this scholar and such and such book with that scholar. So there were two things worthy of mention in their method of learning:
1. a scholar they learned from and
2. a book they read to him.

Why is studying one book at a time an advanced method and why is it important? It is common for a teacher to teach Aqeedah and for the student to comprehend it easily. However, it is just as common to find that when the student opens or reads books of previous scholars and are baffled by what the book is saying as if the student has never learned Aqeedah at all. Therefore, by sticking to a book at a time this confusion is eliminated and the student learns through the methods of scholars.

By pursuing this book cover to cover, you will nearly cover all aspects your need to know of Aqeedah. And, Allah knows best.

((The great scholar Hujjat al-lslam Abu Ja'far al-Warraq al-Tahawi al-Misri, may Allah have mercy on him, said: This is a presentation of the beliefs of ahl-al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah, according to the school of the jurists of this religion, Abu Hanifah an-Nu'man ibn Thabit al-Kufi, Abu Yusuf Ya'qub ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari and Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani, may Allah be pleased with them all, and what they believe regarding the fundamentals of the religion and their faith in the Lord of all the Worlds.))

Kinds of Knowledge:
1. Fiqh al Akbar:

This is the knowledge of Knowing Allah. It is also called usool al deen. This knowledge is the knowledge of the principles of Islam. It is the most honorable knowledge, and the most important knowledge that can enter your mind. This is acquired by knowing Allah with his names, attributes and actions. One will not see true happiness until his goal is to please His creator. That is the pleasure and happiness of this life.

Following the knowledge of Allah, his names and attributes, and actions are two additional types of knowledge; Fiqh al Asghar and Shoon Alma3ad.

2. Fiqh al Asghar:
This is acquired by knowing the path to Allah. This knowledge is subsidiary (foroo3) in matter. For instance, having the knowledge of shari'ah, knowing what is halal, haram, ordain prohibitions, and so on.

3. Shoon alma3ad:
This is knowledge of knowing the resort in the Hereafter; knowing what is awaiting those who follow in this path if they remain steadfast, and what punishment awaits them if they follow the stray path. This is knowledge of heaven, hell, sirat, the grave, questioning in grave, and so on.

All these 3 are clear in the Qur'an and Sunnah . Ibn al Qayyim (rahimahu Allah) said in Kafiyat Shafieh, "Knowledge is 3 and has no fourth."

The Importance of the Categories of Knowledge
1. These types of knowledge are the life of the soul.
A soul without these types of knowledge is a suffering soul. It will never get peace until it knows who its creator is, His names, attributes, and the realization that the soul loves Allah more than anything else, even more than himself, his wealth and children. Again, one will not see true happiness until his goal is to please His Creator. That is the pleasure and happiness of this life. If one wants that happiness he must run to that which pleases Allah. The only way to flee in that direction is to learn the deen of Allah, do what has been ordained, and keep away from the prohibitions. This is from attaining Fiqh al Akbar.

2. It is a mercy from Allah.
It is impossible for the human mind to be on the correct path without the knowledge and the details of Allah. It is impossible for minds to know all this by itself. As we know, His commands do not come from our minds but rather from the Qur'an and the Sunnah . How can a mind know there are heaven and hell, and a sirat to walk on? A mizan to weigh? A grave to be questioned in? Pleasure and torment of life after? ….etc. Our minds cannot possibly attain knowing Allah by mere conjecture, the "I think Allah is.." mentality. One must know Allah and then worship Allah in the manner that Allah himself describes to be worshipped.

And that is why it is from the mercy of Allah that He did not make us resort to our minds. He sent the messengers and books to teach us and tell us about Allah , thus guiding us to the good and prohibiting us from the bad.

"Mankind were one community and Allâh sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allâh by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allâh guides whom He wills to a Straight Path." (Al-Baqarah 2:213)

3. Realizing that the purpose of these types of knowledge is to follow them by action.
The most adherent in following up knowledge with actions are considered the most knowledgeable. That's why you see the messengers as the most adherent and following. From the messengers, the most adherent and following are 5 special messengers, two of which are Prophet Ibraheem (alayhi salam) and Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Of the two, the most special one is the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam).

After the prophets are the Sadiqoon, the first one being Abu Bakr (radhi Allahu anhu). After the Sadiqoon, there are the Martyrs who gave their souls for the sake of Allah.

From the general believers, there are 3 categories
1. Salihoon: They are the general believers (sabiq Khairat) who do what has been ordained by Allah and stays from prohibitions. They engage in the Sunan and leave the makrooh (undesired matters). They may even leave some mubah (doubtful permissible matters).
2. Muktasid/abrar: They are the ones who do the ordained and leave what is impermissible (haram). However, they could engage in what is makrooh and may leave nawafil.
3. Dhalim linafsih: They are the ones who do not commit shirk but engage in impermissible matters. They are in danger of a grave punishment and fire. They could be forgiven and or punished.
"Then We gave the Book the Qur'ân) for inheritance to such of Our slaves whom We chose (the followers of Muhammad SAW). Then of them are some who wrong their own selves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allâh's Leave, foremost in good deeds. That (inheritance of the Qur'ân), that is indeed a great grace." (Fatir 35:32)
After these categories are the mushrikeen and the kuffar.
The Study of Aqeedah

The Importance of Aqeedah
1- Aqeedah is the source and core of this religion.
2- It is the meaning of la ilaha illah Allah.
3- The first pillar of Islam

Knowing and having the true Aqeedah is important because if the basis of understanding Allah's religion is correct, the religion is accepted. Its opposite then follows. If one builds his aqeedah on a shaky or on wrong foundation, the entire entity will be weak and will not be accepted by Allah. This is precisely why scholars of prior times put extreme emphasis on this matter.

A Brief History of the Study of Aqeedah
The Sahabah had no doubt in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, nor did they have any hesitation in accepting them. They lived with the prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and they did not need the books and volumes to teach them the pure Aqeedah . Thus, their Aqeedah was pure.

The same was the situation surrounding their students, the tabi'een who learned from them, the Sahabah . There was no give and take in matters of Aqeedah since it was clear from the pure sources.

However, sects and disputes developed within the ummah when some whose Aqeedah was not firm in their hearts, who had deviant teachings, or who did not refer to Qur'an and Sunnah entered this religion.

At that point it became necessary for the Imam s of Islam to show the correct Aqeedah , write it and outline it. This is the origin of the books of Aqeedah . Scholars gave this matter much needed importance and emphasis. These books became references for those who come after them from the ummah until the Day of Judgment.

This is how Allah protected this religion, Allah sent to the ummah scholars who defended this Aqeedah refuting the deviance of deviant sects, a methodology to be inherited generation after generation.

Among them were the likes of the four Imam s; Imam Ahmad, Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafi'ee and Imam Malik. Likewise, there were those like Ibn al Mubarak, Ibn Rahawieh, and others who presented themselves to defend this Aqeedah and teaching it to the students.

The followers of the Imam s also paid close attention to this Aqeedah , studied and memorized it. They wrote plenty of original books and descriptions to previous Aqeedah books to show the path of the Qur'an and Sunnah. They refuted the deviant beliefs in the process. These are the scholars like Ishaq bin Rahwieh, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Bin Khuzaymah, Ibn Kutaibah. Among the tafseer scholars, there were Al-Tabari, Ibn Katheer, Baghawy, and others.

They wrote many books on Aqeedah some are;
1- Kitab al Sunnah from Ibn abi Asim
2- Kitab al Sunnah from Abdallah ibn Ahmad bin Hanbal
3- Kitab Al Sunnah from AlKhalal
4- Kitab Alshareeah from Ajoori

People came at a later time who tampered with matters of Aqeedah and declared that Allah cannot come down in the one third end of the night, or cannot be on top of seven skies.

The first one who declared a denial of Allah's attributes is Ja3d bin Dirham, he lived in the time of tab3een around the beginning of the 2nd century. He denied that Allah talked to Prophet Musa (alayhi salam). Thus, Khalid al Kusaray, the ameer of his town, killed him by a fatwa from the scholars of that time. He gave an eid khutbah and brought this man Ja3d chained. After the eid Khutbah, he told the people "Go sacrifice. You sacrifice, and I will sacrifice Ja3ed because he denies that Allah talked to Musa when Allah said: "Allah spoke directly unto Moses" 4:164

Some were affected by Ja3d bin Dirham. Among them is a man named Jahm bin safwan, who spread his belief and debated for it. He was later killed by the Ameer of khurasan.

The madhab of ta3teel was attributed to him. They were called Jahmiyyah. Jahm took from Ja3d before Ja3d died. Ja3d took from Aban bin Sam3an. Aban took from Taloot. Taloot took from Labeed bin Asam, the Jew who performed sorcery on the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Thus, the origin of tampering with attributes of Allah is of Jewish origins.

After many decades a man named Ahmad ibn Abi Du'ad, known to be a proponent for the Jahmiyyah, converted the 'Abbasid khalifah Ma'moon to this falsehood. Just within two hundred years after the hijrah, this Ma'moon began a ruthless persecution of the scholars of his time. He forced many of them to denounce the belief in the correct Aqeedah from the salaf. All were ordered to publicly denounce and those who resisted were tortured. One of those tortured was Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He was persecuted, jailed and tortured near death. It was one of the greatest trials of the Ummah which ended during the Khalifah of Mutawakkil.

Thereafter came the Mutakalimeen. They tried to combine between the mental acceptance and shari'ah. They were otherwise referred to by scholars as munafiqoon, hypocrites. The reason they are called munafiqoon is because a munafiq is one who wants to subject the commandments of Islam to his mental capabilities. By the same token, these mutakalimeen (proponents of philosophy) also claim they want combine philosophy and sharee3ah.

About them, Allah (azza wajal) said:
"But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission." 4:65

Abu Yusuf said "Whoever seeks Islam through mental rationalizing ends up a zindeeq." (A "Zindeeq " or the "Zandiqah " are similar to the hypocrites (Munaafiqeen) in that they show Islam on their outside while having disbelief (Kufr) upon their inside. The difference is that the Zindeeq will occasionally demonstrate actions or statements of disbelief but when he is approached, he denies that he has disbelieved and claims that he is upon Islam.

Abu Idris narrated, "People from the Zandiqah who had apostated, were brought to 'Ali. He questioned them yet they denied it so it (i.e. their disbelief) was clarified to them." He (i.e. Abu Idris) said, "So he killed them without giving them time to repent (i.e. return to Islam)." He (i.e. Abu Idris) said, "A man who was a Christian and became a Muslim but latter apostated, was later brought before him (i.e. 'Ali) so he questioned that man and found that this man admitted to what he had done therefore ('Ali) asked him to repent. It was said to him (i.e. 'Ali), 'Why did you ask him to repent but you didn't ask the others to repent?' He said, 'This one admitted what he had done but those others did not admit it and they even denied (their Kufr) until it had to be proven to them. So this is why I did not give them time to repent." And according to another narration, "Do you know why I asked the Christian to repent? I asked him to repent because he (openly) showed his religion but the Zandiqah - those, who required it to be proven to them, rejected (the charge). So I killed them because they denied it until it was proven to them." [Narrated by Ibn Taymiyyah in "As-Saram Al-Maslul 'ala Shatim Ar-Rasul ", Pg. 360]

Author of Aqeedahtu-Tahawiyah:
Among those who wrote on Aqeedah was Imam Abu ja3far Ahmad Bin Muhammad bin Salamah Alazdy Altahawy. He was a Hanafi in foroo3, and a salafy in usool. He is among the scholars of the 3rd hijra century in Egypt - born in a town called Taha where he is attributed to (tahawy). He was born approximately 236 A.H. and died 321A.H.

The Book:
Aqeedahtu Tahawiyah is a simple book. It is very simple in the principles of Islam. It has 7 descriptions that scholars after him wrote. However, nearly all of them have major mistakes or questionable matters with the exception of the description of Ali bin Ali bin Abi al 'Iz alHanafi (rahimahu Allah) who was among the scholars of the 8th century. This description is mostly widely known as Sarh Altahawiyyah. His purpose for the book of explanation was to describe Aqeedah according to Ahlus Sunnah in opposition to the previous interpretations of this book before him, as he stated.
He was a student of Ibn katheer and a supporter of the works of Ibn Taimiyyah and Ibn al Qayyim. He relied heavily on their works but did not attribute their quotes to them when he used it, reason being- during his time people probably hated the names (Ibn Taimiyyah and Ibn al Qayyim). People would not accept the truth simply because of those names. Consequently, he used their quotes without using their names.

Both the author of this book as well as the best describer of this work were Hanafi Scholars.

The scholars of Aqeedah gave this book special attention. Generation after generation they paid close attention to learning and teaching this book until it became one of the best references of Aqeedah .

As Imam Tahawi stated, he wrote it according to Ahlus Sunnah according to the Hanafi madhab, and from the first of the Imams, Imam Abu Hanifah, who met the tabi'een and learned from them.

The Aqeedah of Abu Hanifah is the same as that of his two friends Abu Yusuf, and Muhammad Alshaibany and the big scholars of Hanafi madhab in previous times. Their Aqeedah was in fact the Aqeedah of the Sahabah , which remains to be a blow to some present day Hanafis who take his Fiqh yet leave his Aqeedah, in the same manner that followers of other madhabs do. It is only correct to state that if the present day followers of a madhab were true followers of their original scholars then they should also follow them in the principles of Aqeedah.

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1. We say about Allah's unity believing by Allah's help - that Allah is One, without any partners.

Tawheed literally means one. In a shari'ah definition it means having one lord in your 3ibadah and leaving the worship of anyone or anything other than Him. Allah creates and no one other than him creates. He is the planner of the universe. He is the only one who brings life and death.

There are three categories of tawheed. These are based on the salaf's strenuous efforts of studying the Qur'an and Sunnah which lead them to 3 categories of tawheed. You must perfect all these three categories of tawheed.

Tawheed Al ruboobiyyah (lordship)
Pertains to:
You believe His is one in his actions.
He is the only creator.
He is the provider.
He brings life.
He brings death.
He brings the rain.
Allah is the creator of all that.

Most of the universe by fitrah agree to this even the mushrikoon, yet its not enough.
Even though the mushrikeen believed in this, it is not enough.

Even though it is by fitrah, some groups denied this. Their fitrah became tainted. And went against the great vast majority of the world who believe in Allah.

There are 4 categories who disbelieve in this fitrah of belief in Allah.
1. From those groups are what are called (dahriyoon)
They believe the world maintains itself.
Allah says: "And they say: There is naught but our life of the world; we die and we live, and naught destroyeth us save time; when they have no knowledge whatsoever of (all) that; they do but guess." (45:24)

Among this category are like atheists or communist who say: "There is no god and life is materialistic."

Ibn al Qayyim said these are two categories:
a- who believe Allah created the universe and the univserse got out of hand that it burned or destroyed Allah.
b- Another is that believe this world created itself by itself.

2. Another groups is (tabae3yoon)
This is referring to those who believe that nature created everything. Nature to them has two meanings:
Things like physical things such as trees were created by trees, flowers were created by flowers, the sky created the sky…etc
However, we know that nothing can create itself. Zero only produces and results in zero. Some naturalists do not attribute it to characteristics of the same creation but rather to external characteristics like heat, cold, solid, liquid…etc However, if the matter itself cannot create itself like the first opinion, how can an attribute or character create it?

3. Another group went against fitrah by saying that life was created by coincidence.
Elements and matters gathered and brought the world and life together with no creator. This is analogous to saying a printing shop exploded and the letters came one after another, and each letter fell into a specific spot forming sentences, forming an authored book. We know this is an impossibility, but this is how they believe the world was created. How can one say that about the universe, the seasons, the snow the rain, the trees, life and death?

4. Fer3nyoon
He denied Allah. They know Allah in their internal souls but deny it publicly.

General Reply to these types of disbelievers
A General reply to all of them is a debate between Abu Hanifah and other individuals who disbelieved in Allah.

Abu Hanifah said before the debate (interpretation the dialogue), "I want to tell you about a story. " They said, "What??" He said, "A ship in dijlah river came to shore with no captain and carried the equipment from the first shore and took it by itself to the other shore days and days away then it took its merchandise off with no captain." They said, "It is impossible, no one can believe this. A ship with no captain cannot do all that. No way." Abu Hanifah said, "If that's impossible in one ship how can u say this about the universe runs without a sustainer - Allah?" They were stunned and the debate ended before it started.

Some did not disbeelive in this tawheed but did shirk in it.
1. Majoos -- The majoos claim there are 2 lords (brightness and darkness) one for the good things and one for the bad things.

2. The Christians -- They believe Allah is three.

3. Altharieh -- The ones who think the sun and moon and stars have an effect in some things.

4. Alqadariyyah-- That humans create good and bad so he can deserve the reward for good he does and punishment he does. In order for him to be punished he must have created his own actions.

5. Mushrikeen -- Some polytheists claim their lords can bring good and bad. Like the soul of one who died can bring good or bad or respond in itself.

Even though in these categories they may not believe them to be equal to Allah- they are still considered mushrikeen as they associate partners with Allah.

Look at the kings in this world they cannot get along, not even that, look at two leaders of a corruption. Thus, it makes it ridiculous to believe there is more than one Allah, the Omniponent. If there was more than one God, three things would happen:
One would be more supreme than the other, each take a part of the world, or there would be a third God who would be above the two.

"Had there been other than one good they would have been corrupted."

Tawheed Ulohiyyah (one in worship)
Pertains to:
Allah is the only one worthy of worshipping.
You fear him.
You have your hope in him.
You leave that which he refrained you from doing.

This is where most people in the world have gone astray. While the kuffar believe that there is Allah, they do not believe He is the one worthy of worship alone.

The Prophet (sallallahu alalyhi wa sallam) remained 13 years giving dawah about this. Nooh 950 years calling to tawheed. All they did was mock him. In fact the grandparents used to tell their grandchildren to disbelieve in Nooh.

Tawheed Asma and Sifat (names and attributes)
Pertains to:
Attributing to Allah what he and his messenger attributed to him of names and attributes. Denying from him that which he and his messenger denied. We only attribute to Allah what is in the Qur'an and Sunnah .

Those who deny this tawheed, ALMUATILAH, comes in 3 groups

1. The likes of the Quraysh who denied the name of Allah - ArRahman
In the treaty of Hudaybiyah the Quraysh refused the name ArRahman. They said we only know Rahman al Yamamah who was Musailimah. Thus, Allah placed upon him "the liar" everytime his name is mentioned.

2. The Jahmiyyah, the first who corrupted this area by denying sama3, basar, 3lm, and the names. The Jahmiyyah in general denied all of the names and attributes of Allah. Consequently this lead them to believe that we will not see Allah in the life after, that Alla is not above His Throne, that Allah does not have the attribute of kalam (speech), the attributes of yadd ('Hand') and wajh ('face'), etc.. In Kitab AlSunnah by AlKhallal there's a narration of Imam Ahmad stating that the Jahmiyyah are all disbelievers. "They should be forced to repent, and if they do not do so, then they should be killed!"

a. The first group of Jahmiyyah claimed that if we approve these then that is imitating the creator to creations so we just deny it. This can cause you to deny the existence of Allah. He can exist in your mind but in reality if you deny his attributes he is not really in existence. However, this concept is from falsehood. For instance, a desk. If it has no length and no wood and no corners and its not here and its not on the earth and in the world and not out of the world, then where does it exist? Thus, people who believe in this really believe that Allah who exists in their minds only. Some of the Jahmiyyah who deny the names and attributes reached people to the point of claming that Allah is in everything (Itihadiyah) and everything is in Allah (Hulool). Ibn Arabi was one of them. This concept is dangerous. From here we learn an important lesson. This concept caused them to believe that the pharaoh was right when he said he is Allah, because Allah is in everything and he did not say anything wrong.

b. The second group of Jahmiyyah deny both the affirmation and negation of Allah's attributes. So for instance, they say Allah is not in the universe and not out of the universe. Allah is not connected to the universe and he is not suspended of the universe. He is not above the universe and under it. That is the peak of denying Allah. Al Razi is the latest of asha3rah among those who said this.

Both groups are kuffar. Ibn al Qayyim said 500 scholars declared they are kuffar. Ibn Taymiyyah, in his books, narrated the quotes of scholars saying they are kafir. Ibn al Mubarak said we can quote Jews and Christians, BUT not the Jahmiyyah. Some scholars said there is a difference between their belief and the ignorant people.

3. Mu3tazilah
While the Jahmiyyah deny Allah's names and attributes, the Mu3tazilah deny Allah's attributes. The Mu3tazilah were a group that tried to merge Greek philosophy with Islam. They say Allah is All-hearing but has no hearing faculties, Allah is All-Seeing but has no seeing faculties. They abandoned Hassan al Basri's lessons by saying that tawheed is to deny the attributes of Allah. They consider Ahlus Sunnah who say Allah is above the throne is a kafer because they say Ahlus Sunnah places Allah in certain place. When asked, "Where is Allah?" They say Allah is in the universe. When asked what Istawa means, they say Allah is supreme over it by his power. The reason they deny the attributes is because they believe that if Allah has attributes it is like giving Allah a physical format.

We reply to this by saying: Denying the attributes of Allah for that reason precludes to denying the names of Allah as well, and the result is the same.

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2. There is nothing like Him.


"Naught is as His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer." 42:11
"And there is none comparable unto Him." 114:2
"And do not set up rivals to Allah when ye know (better)." 2:22 (Meaning Allah has no likes or anyone comparable to him.)
"Knowest thou one that can be named along with Him?" 19:65 (Meaning is there someone or something similar to Allah?)

There is none close or similar to Allah. We therefore believe in that which Allah attributes to Himself. It necessitates that we likewise believe in what his messenger attributed to him. We do not compare (tashbeeh) it to any of his creations, nor say its like any of his creations (Tamtheel).

It is essential to comprehend the names and attributes of Allah in full meaning. Although we may claim there is nothing like Allah, we must be aware of what brings people astray falsely denying His attributes. Deviant sects went astray by claiming if we give him these attributes then He is like His creations. However, they fail to realize that when it is firm in your belief that there is none like Allah because Allah describes Himself as such, then that area of doubt in believing in the attributes of Allah becomes clear.

This is a reply to those who are (mushabiha) who claim Allah is like his creations, who do not distinguish between the creator and his creation. On the otherhand, there are those (mu3atilah) who went to an extreme. Though they declare that Allah is not like His creation, they likewise deny Allah's attributes or even his names in an effort to stay away from imitating Allah to His creations.

Both (mu3atilah) and (Mushabiha) went to two radical extremes. Mu3atilah went to an extreme trying to stay away from imitating Allah to his creations and Mushabiha went to an extreme in approving the attributes.

Ahlus Sunnah came in the middle saying we believe what Allah attributes to himself in a way that best suits Him with no comparison or imitation to his creation, nor with denial of those attributes.

A reply to those who imitate allah to his creations (tashbeeh): "Naught is as His likeness;." 42:11

A reply for those who deny his attributes: "and He is the Hearer, the Seer"

Its said:
"Those who deny the attributes worship nothing.
Those who compare Allah attributes to creations worship a statue
And a true muwahid worship Allah Allah, the eternally Besought of all."

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Last updated: January 20, 2003

Elucidcations on Aqeedahtu Tahawiyah 1-2 | 3-4



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