Posted: 03/06/2012 22:12
Aqeeda - Belief and Action
The Meaning of al-Aqeedah,
and an explanation of its importance
We have provided few Video Links of the Scholars at the end which shall help you in understanding "Aqeeda"
The Linguistic Meaning of Aqeedah: It (the word Aqeedah) is derived from al-Aqad, which is to 'tie something (firmly)', and 'I'taqadtu such and such,� means,� I tied my heart and mind to it.�
'Al-Aqeedah' is what a person takes as a religion. It is said, 'he has a good Aqeedah' meaning, 'protected from doubts.�
Aqeedah is an action of the heart, which is to believe and affirm something in the heart.
The Meaning of Aqeedah in the Sharee'ah: It is the belief in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and belief in al-Qadar (Predestination) - its good and evil. These are called the Pillars of Eeman (faith).
The Sharee'ah is divided into two parts; Beliefs and Actions
Beliefs are issues, which are not related to how an act is performed, like belief in the Rububiyah (Lordship) of Allah, the obligation to worship Him (alone), and the belief in the rest of the aforementioned pillars of Eeman. These are called Asliyah - the basic foundation.
Actions are issues related to how actions are performed like Salaat (prayer), Zakaat (charity) and Sawm (fasting) and other rulings with regards to actions. These are termed as Far'eyyah - the branches, because their soundness or corruption is based upon the beliefs.
Thus, the Correct Aqeedah (belief) is the foundation upon which the religion is based and with it, the actions are set aright, as the Most High, said, 'So, whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.' [Soorah al-Kahf (18): 110]
�And indeed, it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (i.e., Prophets) before you, 'If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.' [Soorah az-Zumar (39): 65]
'So, worship Allah (alone) by performing religious deeds sincerely for His sake. Surely, the religion is for Allah only.' [Soorah az-Zumar (39): 2-3]
These verses, and the numerous narrations that have been related concerning their meaning confirm that actions are not accepted unless they are free from Shirk (polytheism). Therefore, it was the main concern of the Messengers (alaihimus-salaam) to rectify the beliefs first and thus, the first thing, they called their nations to, was the sole worship of Allah and abandonment of worship to anything other than Him. As He, the Most High, says, 'And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming), 'Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid the Taghoot (everything that is worshiped other than Allah).' [Soorah An-Nahl (16): 36]
The first thing that every Prophet addressed his people with was, 'Worship Allah! You have no other Ilah (deity worthy of being worshiped) but Him.' [Soorah al-A'raf (7): 59, 65, 73, 85]. It was said by Nuh (alaihis-salaam), Hood (alaihis-salaam), Saleh (alaihis-salaam), Suhaib (alaihis-salaam) and all the other Prophets (alaihis-salaam) to their nations.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, after (he was bestowed with) Prophet-hood, calling people to Tawheed, and rectifying their Aqeedah, because it is the foundation upon which the entire structure of the Deen stands.
The Dayee (callers to the religion of Allah) and those who seek to guide others in every age have followed the example of the Messengers and the Prophets, who initiated their call with Tawheed and correction of Aqeedah and subsequently, they would focus upon the remaining commandments of the Deen (religion).
"Aqeedah (Matters of Faith)...First...If They But Knew"
That is the manner in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) brought up his companions: Iman first and then the Quran. This is similar to what Imam Abu Hanifa pointed out: Understanding in the religion first (i.e. tauheed) and then understanding in the science (i.e. the shariah).
The beliefs must be corrected first, then follows all of the other aspects of the religion.
...And Imam Ash-Shafi`i said, "That a servant meets Allaah with every sin except Shirk is better say than meeting Him upon any of the innovated beliefs."
... Al-Aqeeda linguistically is derived from the term aqada. In Arabic, one states, "Aqada the rope" when the rope is tied firmly. And, "Aqada the sale" or "He settled the sale" when the person ratifies and contracts a sale or agreement. And Allah says in the Quran, "And as for those whom your right hands have made a covenant (Ar., aqadat)" [Al-Nisa 33].
And Allah also says, "But He will take you to task for the oaths which you swear in earnest (Ar., aqadtum) [Al-Maida, 89]
which means asserted and adhered to, as proven in the verse, "And break not oaths after the assertion of them" [An-Nahl, 91].
If one says, "Aqadtu such and such," it means his heart is firm upon such and such.
Therefore, al-aqeeda or al-itiqad according to the scholars of Islam is: The firm creed that one's heart is fixed upon without any wavering or doubt. It excludes any supposition, doubt or suspicion.
Imam Abu Hanifa called this great subject al-Fiqh al-Akbar ("The Greater Understanding") and the understanding of the religion. He called the science of law (Ar., shariah) the understanding of the science. Many scholars of Islam use the word tauheed for all matters that a person must believe in. This is because the most important of these matters is the basic tauheed that is contained in the phrase, "There is none worthy of worship except Allah."