10 Principles of Aqidah

10 Principles of ‘Aqīdah

Al-Mabādīy’at al-ʽAšharah are the ten fundamentals which every student should know before delving into a particular subject. This helps in knowing what it is about and what can be achieved from the subject.

Indeed the fundamentals of every science are ten:

The definition, the subject, and the fruits,

Its merit, relationship and founder,

The name, basis, and ruling of the lawgiver,

And the legal cases. Though some is sufficient

The one who obtains it all gains nobility.

  1. Definition
    Knowledge that relates to essential beliefs of a Muslims especially in regards to Allah ﷻ and His attributes.
  2. Subject
    The Essence of Allah ﷻ, which expounds upon what is necessary for Him, what is impossible for Him, and what is possible, and the same for the Messengers. And what is possible to lead one to the existence and presence of his Maker u and to super-rational matters (sam’iyat) in order to believe in them.
  3. Fruit
    The gnosis or true knowledge (ma’rifa) of Allah by definitive proofs as well as winning eternal felicity [in Paradise].
  4. Merit
    It is the noblest of sacred sciences by virtue of its ascription to the Essence of Allah Most High, the essence of His Messengers, and what relates to that.
  5. Relation to other disciplines
    It is indeed the foundational religious science, everything besides it is secondary. And it was well said by the one who proclaimed:

    O you who seeks to be nourished by knowledge
    Every knowledge is a servant to Islamic theology
    You seek knowledge of jurisprudence to know rulings
    Yet are heedless of the One who revealed the rulings

  6. Founder
    Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and those who follow him, and Abu al-Mansur al-Maturidi and those who follow him, meaning they codified Islamic theology in their books and refuted the obfuscations and heterodoxies of the Mu’tazilites as well as Greek theology.

    Otherwise, Islamic monotheism was brought by every Prophet.
  7. Name
    Al-Tawhid or monotheism, it is also called ‘ilm al Kalaam because the former scholars used to say in their research on this subject ‘there is much discussion about this…’ or because there was so much difference of opinion on issues of theology. ‘Aqīdah also comes from the root ‘to tie’ or ‘to knot’, essentially it is about affixing your beliefs like a tight knot.
  8. Sources
    ‘Aqīdah is derived from Quran and Sunnah. As well as using both rational and transmitted textual proofs
  9. Ruling
    It is an individual obligation (fard ‘ayn) upon every accountable soul, man or woman to know what we believe.
  10. Purpose
    Examining what is necessary, possible, and impossible in connection with Allah and His Messengers.

Foundational works in ‘Aqīdah:

  • Al-Fiqh al Akbar by Imam Abu Hanifa
  • Sharh al Aqaid, by Al-Taftazani
  • Fi ilm al Kalam, by Subhi
  • Aqidah al Tahwiyya
  • Umm al-Barahin by al-Sanusi
  • Qawa’id al-Aqa’id by al-Ghazali
  • al-Irshad by al-Juwayni
  • ‘Umdat al-Aqidah by al-Nasafi
  • Kitab al-Tawhid by al-Maturidi

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