Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama’ah is composed of three groups (theologically)
The Athariyyah and their Imam is Ahmad ibn Hanbal (ra).
The Asha’riyyah and their Imam is Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’ari (ra).
The Maaturidiyyah and their Imam is Abu Mansoor Al-Maaturidi (ra).’
(Imam Saffirini al-Hanbali (ra)
Ahlus Sunnah. This is a broad straight path upon which there are different legitimate thoughts over which Allah knows best. Ahlus Sunnah is the main group of the Muslims, they follow the whole teaching of Islam as passed through authorized chains of transmission, originating with God, via Angel Gabriel and Muhammad (saws) and they follow the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah (The Holy Book and the Way of the Prophet (saws). The people of the majority stay with the Orthodox believing mainstream and follow the way upon which the great figures of Islam were on, such as…
the Holy Prophet (saws),
- Hadhrat Abu Bakr (raa),
- Hadhrat Umar al Khattab (raa),
- Hadhrat Uthman ibn Affan (raa),
- Hadhrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (raa),
- Imam Hassan al Basri (raa),
- Imam Zaid ibn Ali (raa),
- Imam Jafar as Sadq (raa),
- Imam Malik (raa),
- Imam Ashari (ra)
- Imam Maturidi (ra),
- Imam Tahawi (ra),
- Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani (ra),
- Imam Qurtubi (ra),
- Imam Saffirini al-Hanbali (ra),
- Bahauddin Naqshband (ra)
- Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (ra),
- Shah Waliullah (ra),
- Sheikh Uthman dan Dan Fodio (ra),
- Sheikh Muhammad Ali Sanusi (ra),
- Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (ra)
- and many, many, many others, both famous and less known…..
Ahlus Sunnah is the group of the vast majority of the historical and the modern Muslims, be they Maliki, Hanafi, Shafi or Hanbali in their school of the understanding of Divine Law. Most famous modern scholars are from Ahlus Sunnah, most modern Muslim groups represent Ahlus Sunnah and most Mosques are run by Ahlus Sunnah.
Some inspiring modern Sunni Figures
- Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah online
- Sheikh Abdul Hakim Murad online
- Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson online
- Sheikh Hakim Quick online
- Sheikh Seraj Wahhaj online
- Sheikh Muhammad Yacoubi online
- Sheikh Muhammad Said al Jamal online
Those who cause trouble between real Muslims should beware of the following…
…you will not enter Paradise until you submit, and you will not submit until you love one another;
greet each other with peace and you will love one another;
and beware of hatred, for it is the razor;
It doesn’t shaves hair, it shaves away the religion.
(Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 260)
Not Ahlus Sunnah but Muslim?
There are some Muslims who are not Sunnis but are essentially like Sunnis in nearly all respects. These include the moderates amongst the Zaydis and other Shiah who neither curse the blessed companions nor go to other extremes, the moderates amongst the Ibadites who avoid extremes in their religion and some other Muslims who are not Sunnis but are essentially like them. God knows best about them.
La Illaha Illalaah,
There is no God , but God ,
Muhammad is the Messenger of God .
Ash-Hadu an La Ilaha Illa’llah,
I bear witness that there is not God but God
wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadur Rasoolollah,
and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God .
The Islamic declarations of faith are known as Kalemas there are a number of them. Kalema Tamjeed, describes how God is pure and Holy, all praise is for Him, there is no God except God, God is Great, no one else except God is Almighty, superior and revered.
describes how there is no God other than God. He is One. He has no partner. He is Lord of existence and praiseworthy. He brings into being and causes death, He is Alive and shall never die. He is revered, the bestower and pardoner.
basically means the following; ‘I seek the forgiveness of God who is my preserver, for all of my sins, intentional or unintentional, secret or open, and beg pardon for my known and unknown sins. Truly He is the knower of the hidden things and the concealer of the defects, the pardoner of sins; and there is none so powerful and authoritative other than God. the Great and most venerable.’
Kalema Radd e Kufr,
basically means the following; ‘Oh God! I seek your protection from that I should assign any partner to you, and seek forgiveness and repent: and I am disgusted by Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (wrongly associating things with God ) and by lies and slander, and by innovations and abuses, and by false accusations and every sin. And I have accepted Islam and put faith in it and declare that there is none worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad (may God bless him and give him peace) is the Prophet of God’.
When God decreed the Creation He made a pledge
writing in His book which is laid down with Him;
‘My mercy prevails over my wrath.’
(in Muslim, Bukhari, Nasa’i & Ibn Majah)
1. God is One, without any partners.
2. There is nothing like Him.
3. There is nothing that can overwhelm Him.
4. There is no god other than Him.
5. He is Eternal without a beginning and enduring without an end.
6. He shall never perish or come to an end.
7. Nothing happens except that which He wills.
8. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him
9. He is different from any (all) created being.
10. He is living and never dies, and is eternally active and never sleeping.
11. He creates without being in need to do so and provides for His creation with total ease.
12. He causes death without fear and restores to life without difficulty.
13. He always existed together with His attributes since before the creation. Bringing the creation into existence didn’t add anything to His attributes that wasn’t already there. As He was (together with His attributes) in pre-eternity so He shall be throughout the endless continuation of time.
14. It was not just after creation that He could be called “the Creator” nor was it only by the act of origination that He could be called “the Originator.”
15. He was always the Lord even when there was nothing to be Lord of and was always the Creator even before the creation.
16. In the same way that He is the ‘Bringer to life of the dead’, after He has brought them to life a first time and deserves this name before bringing them to life, so too He deserves the name of ‘Creator‘ even before He has created them.
17. This is because He has the power to do everything, everything is dependent on Him, everything is easy for Him, and He does not need anything. ‘There is nothing like Him and He is the Hearer, the Seer.’ (42:11)
18. He created the creation with His knowledge.
19. He appointed the destinies for those He created. (yet they still have a type of non-absolute free will, however the choices they make will always be in accordance with their destiny, yet these were still the choices that they freely made)
20. He allotted to them fixed spans of life.
21. Nothing about them was hidden from Him before He created them and He knew all that they would do before He created them.
22. He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them to disobey Him.
23. Everything happens according to His degree and will and His will is accomplished. The only will that people have is what He wills for them. What He wills for them occurs and what He does not will (to happen) does not happen.
24. He gives guidance to whomever He wills and protects them and keeps them safe from harms out of His generosity and He leads astray whomever He wills, abasing them, and afflicts them out of His justice. (those who do good deeds and avoid evil are the ones who are likely to receive God’s guidance and grace)
25. All of them are subject to His will either through His generosity or His justice.
26. He is Exalted beyond having opposites or equals
27. No one can ward off His decree, delay His command or overpower His affairs.
28. We believe in all of this and are certain that everything comes from Him.
29. And we are certain that Prophet Muhammad (saws) (the last of around 124,000 Prophets (as) is His chosen Servant and elect Prophet and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased,
30. And that he is the Seal of the Prophets (this means that there shall be no Prophet after him) and the Imam of the God fearing and the most honoured of all the messengers and the Beloved of the Lord of all worlds.
31. Every claim to Prophethood after Him is falsehood and deception.
32. He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn (a semi-material species with choices for good or ill like the human beings) and humankind with truth and guidance, light and illumination.
33. The Holy Qur’an is the word of God. It came from Him as speech without it being possible to say how. He sent it down to the Holy Prophet (saws) through Revelation. The believers accept it as absolute truth. They are certain it is the word of God. It is not created as the speech of human beings is and anyone who hears it and claims that it is (mere) human speech has become a disbeliever. God warns him and censures him, warns him of the hellfire when He says Exalted is He: ‘I shall burn him in the hellfire.’ (74:26). When God threatens with the hellfire those who say ‘This is just human speech‘ (74:25) we know for certain that it is the Speech of the Creator of humankind and that it is totally unlike the speech of human beings.
34. Anyone who describes God as being in any way the same as a human being has become a disbeliever. All those who grasp this shall take heed and refrain from saying things such as the unbelievers say, and they shall know that He in His attributes is not like human beings.
35. The Seeing of God by the People of the Garden is true, but without their vision being all-encompassing and without the manner of their vision being known. As the Holy Qur’an has described: ‘Faces on that Day radiant, looking at their Lord.’ (75:22-3) The explanation of this verse is as God knows and as He wills. Everything that has come down to us about this from the Holy Prophet (saws) by authentic narrations is as he said and means what he intended it to. We don’t delve into that or try to interpret what it means according to our own opinions or by letting our (limited) imaginations have free reign. No one is safe in his religion unless he surrenders himself completely to God (who is) the Exalted and Glorified and to His Messenger (the Holy Prophet (saws), and leaves the knowledge of such ambiguous things to the one who knows them.
36. A man’s Islam is not safe unless it is based on submission and surrender to God (the Merciful and Compassionate). Anyone who desires to know that which is beyond his capacity to know, and whose mind is not happy with surrender (to God) shall find his desires veil him from a pure understanding of God ‘s true Unity, from clear knowledge and from correct belief, and (shall find) that he veers between disbelief and belief, between confirmation and denial and between acceptance and rejection. He shall be subject to (satanic) whispering and shall find himself confused and suffering from doubts, being neither an accepting believer (in comfort) nor a denying rejector.
37. Belief of a man in the seeing of God by the People of the Garden is mistaken if he tries to imagine what it is like or interprets it according to his own (limited) understanding, as the interpretation of this seeing or of the meaning of any of the subtle phenomena that are in the realm of Lordship is to be done by avoiding its interpretation and by strictly adhering to the submission. This is the way of the (guided) Muslims. Anyone who does not guard himself against either negating the attributes of God and against likening God to something else has gone astray and has failed to understand God ‘s glory. Our Lord (Glorified and the Exalted be He) can only possibly be described in terms of oneness and absolute singularity and no creation is like Him in any way.
38. He is beyond having limits placed on Him and beyond being restricted or having parts or limbs. He is not contained by the six directions like all the created things/beings/objects are.
39. Al-Miraj (the Holy Ascent of the Prophet (saws) through the Heavens) occurred. The Prophet (saws) was taken by night and ascended in his bodily whilst awake, up through the heavens, to whatever heights God willed for him. God ennobled him in the way that He ennobled him and revealed to him what He revealed to him, ‘and his heart was not mistaken about what it saw’ (53:11). God blessed him and granted him peace in this world and the next one.
40. Al-Hawd, the Pool that God has granted the Prophet as an honour to quench the thirst of his Community on the Day of Judgement, is real.
41. Al-Shafa`a (the intercession that is stored up for believers) is true as is related in the narrations.
42. The covenant that God made with Adam and his offspring is real.
43. God knew, before the existence of time, the exact number of those who would enter the Garden of Paradise and the exact number of those who would enter the hellfire. This number shall neither be increased nor decreased. (God knew the choices that people would make, either for good or ill, before they were even born)
44. The same applies to all actions done by people, that are done exactly as God knew they would be done. All are eased towards that (path) they were created for and it is the action with that a man’s life is sealed which dictates his end. Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of God and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of God. (yet God forces no one to do anything wretched – they choose to do these things with their wills – Allah forces none to a bad end)
45. The exact nature of the Divine Decree is God’s secret in His creation, and no Angel near the Throne nor a Prophet (as) sent with a message has been given knowledge of it. Delving into it and reflecting too much about it (the Divine Decree) only leads to destruction and loss and results in rebelliousness. So be extremely careful about thinking and reflecting on this matter or letting doubts about it assail you (as it is a matter not easily understood by the majority of human minds), because God has kept knowledge of the Divine Decree away from human beings and forbidden them to inquire about it, declaring in His Book, ‘He is not asked about what He does, but they are asked’ (21: 23). Therefore those who asks: ‘Why did God do that?‘ have gone against a judgement of the Holy Book, and anyone who goes against a judgement of the Holy Book is a disbeliever.
46. This in sum is what those of God ‘s Friends with enlightened hearts need to know and constitutes the degree of those firmly endowed with knowledge. For there are two types of knowledge, knowledge that is accessible to created beings and knowledge that is not accessible to them. Denying the knowledge that is accessible is disbelief and claiming the knowledge that is inaccessible is (a type of) disbelief. Belief can only be firm when accessible knowledge is accepted and the inaccessible is not sought.
47. We believe in al-Lawh (the Divine Tablet) and al-Qalam (the Divine Pen) and in everything written on the former. Even if all created beings were to gather together to make something fail to exist, if its existence God was written on the Tablet, they would not be able to do so. And if all created beings were to gather together to make something exist that God had not written on it then they would be unable to do so. The Pen has dried having written down all that shall be in existence until the Day of Judgement. Whatever a person has not had he would have never got and whatever he gets he would have never missed.
48. It is necessary for the servant (of God) to know that God already knows everything that is going to happen in His creation and has decreed it in a detailed and decisive way. There is nothing that He has created in either the heavens or the earth that can contradict it or add to it or erase it or alter it or decrease it or increase it, in any way. This is a fundamental aspect of faith and a necessary element of all knowledge and recognition of God ‘s oneness and Lordship. As God says in His Book: ‘He created everything and decreed it in a detailed way.’ (25: 2) And He also says: ‘God ‘s command is always a decided decree.’ (33: 38) So woe be to anyone who argues with God concerning the Divine Decree and who, with a sickness in his heart, starts to delve into this matter. In his deluded attempt to investigate the unseen things he is seeking a secret that can never be uncovered (by him) and he ends up an evil-doer, who tells only lies.
49. Al Arsh (the Divine Throne) and the Kursi (the Divine Chair) are real.
50. He (Allah) is independent of the Divine Throne and that which is beneath it.
51. He (Allah) encompasses all things and that which is above it and what He has created is incapable of encompassing Him.
52. We say with faith, acceptance and submission that God took Abraham as an intimate friend
53. We believe in the Angels, and the Prophets and the books that were revealed to the Prophet (as) and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.
54. We call the people of our Qibla Muslims and believers as long as they acknowledge what the Holy Prophet (saws) brought and accept as true everything that he said and told us about.
55. We don’t enter into vain talk about God neither do we allow any disputes about the religion of God .
56. We don’t argue about the Holy Qur’an and we bear witness that it is the speech of the Lord of all Worlds that the Trustworthy Spirit (Angel Gabriel (as) came down with it and taught the most honoured of all the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad (saws). It is the speech of God and no speech of any created being is comparable to it. We don’t say that it was created and we don’t go against the main community of the Muslims regarding it.
57. We don’t consider any of the people of our Qibla to be unbelievers because of any wrong action they have done, as long as they don’t consider that action to have been lawful.
58. Nor do we say that the wrong action of a man who has belief doesn’t have a harming effect upon him.
59. We hope that God shall pardon (and have mercy upon) the people of right action among the believers and grant them entrance into the Garden (of Paradise) through His mercy. Yet we cannot be certain of this and we cannot bear witness that it shall definitely happen and that they shall be in the Garden (of Paradise). We ask forgiveness for the people of wrong action among the believers and, although we worry for them we are not in despair about them (we hope for the best).
60. Certainty and despair both remove one from the religion. The path of truth for the People of the Qibla lies between these two (in moderation).
61. A person does not step out or belief except by disavowing what brought him into it.
62. Belief consists of affirmation by the tongue and acceptance by the heart
63. And the whole of what is proven from the Prophet, upon him be peace, regarding the Divine Law and the explanation (of the Qur’an and of Islam) is true.
64. Belief is, at base, the same for everyone, but the superiority of some over others in it is due to their fear and
awareness of God , their opposition to their desires, and their choosing what is more pleasing to God .
65. All the believers are Friends of God and the noblest of them in the sight of God are those who are the most obedient and who most closely follow the Qur’an.
66. Belief consists of belief in God, His Angels, His Holy Books, His blessed Messengers (as), the Last Day (Day of Judgement) and belief that the Divine Decree, both the good and the evil of it and the sweet and the bitter or it, all of it is from God .
67. We believe in all these things. We don’t make any distinction between any of the Prophet (as) – we accept as true what each of them brought.
68. Those of the Ummah of Muhammad (saws) who have committed grave sins shall go to the hellfire (unless they are saved by intercession) but not forever, provided they die and meet God as believers affirming His unity – even if they have not repented. They are subject to His (God’s) will and judgement. If He wants to He shall forgive them and pardon them through His generosity as is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an when He says ‘And He forgives anything less than that to whomever He wills‘ (4: 116). If He wants He shall punish them in the hellfire out of His Justice and then bring them out of the Fire through His Mercy and for the intercession of those who were obedient to Him and send them to the Garden. This is because God is the Protector of those who recognize Him and He will not treat them in the hereafter in the same way as He treats those who reject Him, those who are bereft of His guidance and have failed to obtain His protection. ‘O God , You are the Protector of Islam and its people; make us firm in Islam until the day we meet You’.
(Those people who are not of the ones who accept Islam, but who were ignorant of what Islam is, or were not called to Islam cannot be classed as the ‘rejectors of faith’ because they were not called to it. Many eminent Sunni scholars have explained that this group should not be seen as people of the hellfire, rather they may be seen as people whom God may show Mercy to, possibly as people of al-Araf or possibly as people He will give the choice of faith or disbelief too on the Day of Judgement. further reading)
69. We agree with doing the Salaah prayer behind any of the People of the Qibla whether rightful or wrongful and with doing the funeral prayer over all of them when they die.
70. We don’t say that any of the people of the Qibla shall definitely go to either the Garden (Paradise) or the hellfire and we don’t accuse any of them of disbelief or of associating partners with God or of hypocrisy as long as they haven’t openly shown these things (we leave their secrets to God).
71. We don’t agree with killing any of the Community of Muhammad (saws) unless it is obligated by Divine Law. (it is also forbidden to kill other people for no reason)
72. We don’t accept rebellion against our Imam or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil on them, nor do we withdraw from following them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to God , the Glorified, and therefore obligatory as long as they don’t order to commit sins. We pray for their right guidance and ask for pardon for their wrongs. (this prevents troublesome rebelliousness among citizens)
73. We follow the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and the Community of the Muslims and we avoid deviation (from this), differences and (unnecessary and harmful) divisions.
74. We love the people of justice and trustworthiness and hate the people of injustice and untrustworthiness.
75. When our knowledge about something is uncertain we say ‘God knows best.’ (This reminds us that whilst we may not know something He does and it also prevents us from making our uncertainties be taken as certainties by others)
76. We agree with wiping over leather socks (is permissible during ablution) whether it is on a journey or otherwise, in accordance with the narrations.
77. Hajj and jihad under the leadership of those in charge of the Muslims, whether they are right or wrong-acting, are continuing obligations until the Last Hour comes. Nothing can annul or controvert them.
78. We believe in the noble Angels who write down our actions, for God has appointed them over us as two guardians.
79. We believe in the Angel of Death who is in charge of taking the spirits of all the worlds.
80. We believe in the punishment in the grave for those who deserve it, and in the questioning in the grave by Munkar and Nakir about one’s Lord, one’s religion and one’s prophet, as has come down in the narrations from the Messenger of God , may God bless him and grant him peace, and in reports from the Companions, may God be pleased with them all.
81. The grave is either one of the meadows of the Garden or one of the pits of the Fire.
82. We believe in being brought back to life after death and in being recompensed for our actions on the Day of Judgement, and the exhibition of works, and the reckoning, and the reading of the book, and the reward or punishments, and the Bridge, and the Balance; and the deeds of the Muslims, good evil obedient and disobedient are weighed by it.
83. The Garden and the hellfire are created things that are perpetual and we believe that God created them before the rest of creation and then created people to inhabit each of them. Whoever He wills goes to the Garden out of His bounty and whoever He wills goes to the hellfire through His justice (after choosing a life of evil with their ‘free will’). Everybody acts in accordance with what is destined for him and goes towards what he has been created for.
84. Good and evil have both been decreed for people. (outside of time)
85. The capability in terms of Divine Grace and favour that makes an action certain to occur cannot be ascribed to a created being. This capability is integral with action, whereas the capability of an action in terms of having the necessary health and ability, being in a position to act, and having the necessary means, exists in a person before the action. It is this type of capability that is the object of the dictates of the Divine Law. God the Exalted says: ‘God does not charge a person except according to his ability.’ (2: 286) (hence people with truly low capacity are charged with very little)
86. People’s deeds are created by God but earned by people. (Peoples choices using ‘free will’ are totally in harmony with God’s Divine Decree)
87. God the Exalted only charges the people with what they are able to do. People are only capable of doing what God has granted them to do. This explanation the phrase ‘There is no power and no strength except by God .’ We add to this that there is no plan or way by which any creature can avoid or escape disobedience to God except through God ‘s assistance, neither does anyone have the strength to be obedient to God and remain firm in obedience unless God makes it possible for them to do so.
88. All things happen according to God ‘s Will, His Knowledge, His Predestination and Decree. His Divine Will overpowers all other wills and His Divine Decree overpowers all plans. He does what He wills and He is never unjust. He is exalted in His purity and above any evil or perdition. He is perfect far beyond having any fault or flaw. ‘He shall not be asked about what He does, but they shall be asked.’ (21: 23)
89. There is a benefit for the people of the grave in the supplication and charitable giving of the living (the prayers for them and the charity done on their behalf).
90. God responds to people when they ask from him in prayer and He gives them what they ask for.
91. God has absolute (total) control over everything (this includes everything and anything in creation from the biggest to the smallest things and all processes that we describe as cause and effect and all patterns that we call physical laws) and nothing has any control over Him. Nothing can function independently of God even for the blinking of an eye and whoever considers themselves to be independent of God even for the blinking of an eye is guilty of disbelief and of the disbelievers.
92. God becomes angered and He becomes pleased but these are not in the same way as any creature (becomes angered of pleased).
93. We love the blessed Companions of the Messenger of God but we don’t go to excess in our love for any one of them and neither do we disown any of them. We hate those who hate them and those who speak ill of them and we only speak of them (our Prophets (as) well. Love for them (our Prophets (as) is a part of submission to God, a part of faith and part of good behavior. Hatred of them is disbelief, hypocrisy and rebelliousness.
94. We confirm that, after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (saws) the Amirate went first to Abu Bakr al Siddiq then to Umar ibn al Khattab, then to Uthman ibn Affan and then to Ali ibn Abi Talib, may God be pleased with all of them. These four are our Rightly-Guided Caliphs of the Muslims and they were our upright leaders.
95. We bear witness that the ten who were named by the Holy Prophet (saws) as promised the Garden shall be in the Garden as the Messenger (saws) whose word is truth bore witness that they would be. These blessed individuals are Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubayr, Sa’d, Said, Abdul-Rahman ibn `Awf, and Abu Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah, may God be pleased with all of them.
96. Anyone (Muslim) who speaks well of the blessed Companions of the Last Messenger of God (saws) and well of his wives and offspring, who are pure and untainted by impurity, is free from the accusation of hypocrisy.
97. The learned men of the Predecessors, both the first community and those who immediately followed: the people of virtue, the narrators of hadith, the jurists, and the analysts, they must only be spoken of in the best way, and anyone who says anything bad about them is not on the right path.
98. We don’t prefer any of the saintly men from among the believers over any of the Prophets, rather we assert that every one of the Prophets is better than all the special friends combined.
99. We believe in what we know of the marvels of the special friends of God and in the authentic narrations about them that come from trustworthy sources.
100. We believe in the Signs of the Hour such as the appearance of the Antichrist and the descent of Jesus son of Maryam from Heaven, may peace and blessings be upon them both, and we believe in the rising of the sun from the West and in the emergence of the (mysterious) Beast from the earth.
101. We don’t accept what soothsayers and fortune-tellers say, neither do we accept the claims of those who go against the Holy Book, the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) and the consensus of the Muslim Ummah.
102. We agree that the holding together (of the believers) is the true and correct path and that separation of them is a deviation and torment.
103. There is only one (true) religion of God in the heavens and the earth and that is the religion of Islam (which means submission to the One True God). God says: ‘Surely religion in the sight of God is Islam.‘ (3: 19). He also says: ‘I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you.’ (5: 3)
104. Islam lies between extremism and falling short, between the likening of God ‘s attributes to creation (tashbih) and divesting God of attributes (ta`til), between determinism and freewill, between total sureness (of our good hereafter) and despair (of it). (Sadly many modern Muslims have fallen into either tashbih or ta’til)
105. This is our religion and what we believe in inwardly and outwardly and we renounce any connection before God with anyone who goes against what we have said and clearly expressed. (this is especially pertinent to the avoiding of misguided sects and misguided teachers, it does not refer to family members to whom this may apply as keeping the ties of family, and fulfilling duties to relatives is part of the religion etc. Muslims should treat non-Muslims in the best of ways as was exemplified with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) who was a beacon of tolerance and forgiveness, one who helped both Muslims and non-Muslims whom he came across)
Supplicating to other than God and using an non-living Intermediary
Asking for supernatural help (istigatha) from other than God is forbidden in Islam. God is the only one who can help us, no one else can help us save by the will of God. We ask only from God, not from deceased saints or others. We visit the graves to pray for the deceased we do not to ask from them even if they were of an exalted rank. Even if we have a vision of a deceased friend of Allah then we should be extremely careful not to fall into incorrect ways. Ask from Allah, this is the safe view in Islam. The view of great figures such as Imam ul Hind Shah Waliullah (ra), (one of the greatest Sufis and thinkers that India ever produced).
Using an intermediary (tawassul) is something a little like asking from other than God, but it is something different. This is when we make a supplication (Du’a) to God, but ask for it to be answered through the intercession of a good deed that we have done ( which is considered permissible) or the good will He holds for a particular pious person, such as the Holy Prophet (saws) – such supplications must be directed towards Allah.
Innovations in Divine Religion
Bidah is the word that describes all innovations in Islam. Bid’ah are the innovations in Islam and that related to Islam. There is much scholarly dispute as to what exactly constitutes a Bid’ah and there is a wide range of opinions on the subject. It is good to avoid any problematic Bid’ah, but the issue of what is a problematic innovation in Islam is disagreed upon by the scholars. Wise Muslims also avoid all unnecessary and unfruitful innovations in religion as through them we may loose parts of the Sunnah and through them we may even establish false pseudo-Muslim sects.
The Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace) warned that people introducing things to the practice of Islam will be responsible for them. Bid’ah that do not claim to be part of the Sunnah may be innocuous but Bid’ah that claim to be part of the religion itself are harmful. This type of Bid’ah may be classed as Bid’ah Mufassaqah – a thing that makes the innovator/practitioner sinful.
According to some scholars certain religious innovations may even amount to Bid’ah Mukaffarah – innovations which render the practitioner a non-Muslim until they repent and disavow them. It is of great importance for Muslims to retain their religion in its pristine form, as it was when it was revealed and as it was during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (may God bless him and give him peace). However, Bidah may be separated into Bid’ah hasanah, which are good innovations which arise in accordance with the need to apply Islam to various circumstances and ignorant Bid’ah which are enacted for ignorant or misguided goals, under the influence of Satan, in which people may try to alter the basic practices of the religion or add new practices claiming them to be equal to the genuine practices of Islam, extremist ideologies are usually dominated by negative and destructive Bid’ahs of one sort or another (including those groups who constantly accuse others of Bi’dah). Wise people choose a school of thought based upon their intellect and intuition and avoid causing mischief.