The Creed of al-Ṭaḥāwī | al-Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyah

Abū Ja’far al-Ṭaḥāwī
229 AH/843 CE
Tahā, Egypt
321 AH / 933 CE
The Creed of al-Ṭaḥāwī
al-Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyah

The Creed of al-Ṭaḥāwī | al-Aqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyah

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

This is a presentation narrated by Imām Abu Ja’far al-Ṭaḥāwī (may Allah’s mercies be upon him) on the exposition of the beliefs of “Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah

in accordance to the methodology of the Jurists of this religion:

- Abu Hanīfā Nu’man ibn Thābit al-Kūfī,
- Abu Yusuf Ya’qūb ibn Ibrahim al-Ansari and
- Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybānī,

may Allah be pleased with them all.

It includes their beliefs regarding the foundations of the religion upon which they base their worship of the Lord of the worlds.

Imām Abu Hanīfā stated and the other two aforementioned Imāms, May Allah shower them all with his mercies, assert too in accordance to his statement that:

We say believing in Allah’s oneness, by Allah’s help that:

1. Allah is one, without any partners.

2. Nothing is like Him.

3. Nothing can debilitate Him.

4. There is no god other than Him.

5. He is the Pre-existent without a beginning.

6. He is Eternal without end.

7. Neither perishes, nor ceases to exist.

8. Nothing will be, except what He wills.

9. Imaginations cannot attain Him, and comprehensions cannot perceive Him.

10. And creations do not bear any similarity to Him.

11. Alive never dies; all- sustaining, never sleeps.

He is a creator without any need to create, and He is a provider for His creations without any effort.

13. He seizes life without fear and resurrects without difficulty.

14. Just as He was possessed of His attributes prior to His creation (the existence), so He remains with the same attributes, without any increase in His attributes as a result of His creations coming into being.

15. As He was before the creation, qualified with His attributes, so He remains forever described by them.

16. It is not after bringing the creation into existence that He merits the name “the Creator” nor through originating His creations, He gained the name “the Originator”.

17. He possesses the quality of sovereignty with or without fief, and the quality of creativity with or without creation.

18. And while He is “the Resurrector of the Dead” after He resurrects them, He merits the same name before He even resurrect them.

Likewise, He merits the name “the Creator” before He even creates them.

19. This is because He is Omnipotent over everything.

Everything is dependent upon Him, and every affair is effortless for Him and He needs nothing, and “there is nothing like Him and He is the Hearer, the Seer.” (ash-Shūrā 42:11)

20. He created the creation with His knowledge.

21. He appointed measures for what He created.

22. He determined the span of their life.

23. Nothing of their actions was concealed from Him before He created them, and He knew what they would do before He created them.

24. He ordered them to obey Him and forbade them from disobeying Him.

25. All things happen in accordance with His determination and His will, and His will is fulfilled.

26. His servants are without volition except what He wills for them. Thus what He wills for them will be and what He does not will for them will not be.

27. He guides, protects and keeps safe from harm, whomever he wills by His grace; and He allows those He wills to go astray and abases them and afflicts them, by His justice.

28. All of them vacillate in His providence between His grace and His justice.

29. He transcends having opposites or equals.

30. None can ward off His decree or overrule His judgment or override His command.

31. We believe in all of this and are certain that all of it is from Him.

32. And we believe that Muhammad () is His chosen Servant and preeminent Prophet and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased.

33. And we believe that he is the Final of the Prophets.

34. And he is the paragon of all the god-fearing and the most honoured of all the messengers and the “Beloved” of the Lord of all worlds.

35. Any claim to prophet-hood after him is falsehood and deviation.

36. He is the one who has been sent to all the jinn and the whole of humanity with truth and guidance.

37. The Quran is the word of Allah. It emanated from Him without modality in expression. He sent it down to His Messenger as revelation.

38. The believers accept it from the Prophet, as absolute truth. They are certain that it is in reality, the word of Allah the Exalted. The word of Allah is not created as is the speech of human beings.

39. Thus, anyone who hears it and alleges that it is human speech has disbelieved.

40. For Allah has condemned, censures and promised him with an agonizing punishment, stating, exalted is He: “I will cast him into the Hell-Fire”. (al-Muddathir 74:26)

41. Because Allah threatened those who allege “This is just human speech” (74:25) with torment in the Hell-fire, we acknowledged and ascertained that it is the speech of the Creator of mankind and that it does not resemble the speech of mankind.

42. Whoever describes Allah even with a single human quality, has blasphemed.

43. So whoever understands this, will take heed and refrain from such statements as those of disbelievers, and knows that Allah the Exalted in His attributes is utterly unlike human beings.

44. The Beatific Vision of Allah by the inhabitants of the Paradise, without their vision being encompassing and without a modality of this vision, is true, as the Book of our Lord has stated:

Faces on that Day are radiant, gazing at their Lord.” (al-Qiyāmah 75:22-23)

45. The explanation of this (verse) is as Allah knows it to be, and as he intended.

46. All that have been narrated about this (issue) from the Messenger of Allah and his Companions, May Allah be pleased with them all, in authentic Hadiths, is just as he said and they mean as Allah intended.

47. We do not delve into (such verses / hadiths) trying to interpret them in accord to our own opinions, nor do we let our imaginations fold them into their presumptions.

48. No one is safe in his religion unless he resigns himself completely to Allah the Exalted and Glorified, and to His Messenger May Allah bless him and grant him peace, and consigns the knowledge of what which is ambiguous to him, to the one who knows its meaning.

49. A man’s footing in Islam is not firm unless it is based on submission and surrender.

50. Thus anyone who craves the knowledge of that which is barred from him, and who is discontented with the limits of his understanding will be veiled from a pure unity, clear comprehension and correct faith by his own covetousness,

he will then sway between belief and disbelief, affirmation and denial, acceptance and rejection, doubtful and aimless, confused and deviant, being neither a submitting believer nor a resolute denier.

51. Belief of Beatific Vision of Allah by the People of Paradise is incorrect if he presumes it to be imaginary or interprets it to be a type of comprehension.

52. Since the interpretation of this vision or indeed the meaning of all subtle phenomena which are annexed to the realm of Lordship is leaving its interpretations and strictly adhering to the submission.

Upon this is based the religion of the Messengers, and the Sacred Laws of the prophets.

53. Whomsoever does not avoid negating or does not avoid likening (the attributes of Allah to humans) has deviated and has failed to acquire understanding of divine transcendence.

54. For indeed, undoubtedly, our Lord the Glorified and the Exalted, is only described with attributes of pure oneness and absolute uniqueness. No creation is in any way like Him.

55. He is transcendent beyond having limits, ends, organs, limbs or parts.

56. The 6 directions do not contain Him as they do created things.

57. The “Mi’rāj” (the ascension through the heavens and beyond) is true:

58. The Prophet was taken by night and ascended in person, while awake, to the heavens and from there to wherever Allah willed in celestial heights.

Allah honoured him with what he willed and revealed to him that which He revealed, “And his mind did not imagine what he saw” (al-Najm 53:11).

May Allah bless him and grant him peace in this world and the next.

59. The “al-Ḥawd”, the basin which Allah has honoured His prophet with as a solace for his Followers, is true.

60. The “Shifā’ah”, the prophet’s intercession which Allah has allocated for them, is true, as related in the traditions.

61. The pledge that Allah took from Adam () and his progeny is true.

62. Allah has always known the exact number of those who would enter the Paradise, and the exact number of those who would enter the Hellfire.

Nothing is added to this number, none will be decreased.

63. Likewise His knowledge includes all their actions, which He knew they would do.

64. Every person is facilitated to do that for which he was created.

The judgment of one’s actions will be dictated by one’s final deed.

66. Those that are saved are ultimately saved by Allah’s decision, just as those who are damned, are ultimately damned by Allah’s decision.

67. The essence of the divine decree is Allah’s secret in His creation. No distinguished angel and no prophetic Messenger have been given knowledge of it.

68. Delving and pondering into divine decree is a means to loss and descent into deprivation and a path to rebellion.

69. So beware and take every precaution, not to ponder, ideate and doubt in this matter,

because Allah the Exalted has concealed the knowledge of divine decree from His creations, and has forbidden them to desire it, as He the Exalted states in His Book,

He is not questioned about what He does, it is they who will be questioned”. (al-Anbiyā 21: 23)

Therefore, whoever asks: “Why has He done that?” has rejected the judgment of the Book, and anyone who rejects the judgment of the Book is among unbelievers!

70. The above is a summary of what one with an illuminated heart among those protected of Allah needs. And this is the rank of those deeply rooted in knowledge.

71. For there are 2 types of knowledge:

=> knowledge which is accessible to the creation, and
=> knowledge which is not accessible to the creation.

Denying the accessible knowledge is disbelief, and claiming the inaccessible knowledge is disbelief. Belief is not correct unless accessible knowledge is embraced and pursuing inaccessible is abandoned.

72. We believe in the “Lawḥ & Qalam” the Tablet and the Pen and in all that is inscribed on the Tablet.

73. If even all creations were to unite together to remove from existence what Allah has written to exist on the Tablet, they would not be able to do so.

And if all creations were to unite together to bring something into existence which Allah had not written on it to exist, they would not be able to do so.

74. The Pen’s work is done writing down all that was, is and will be until the Day of Judgment.

75. Whatever has missed a person could not have afflicted him, and whatever afflicts him could not have missed him.

76. A servant of Allah is obliged to know that Allah’s eternal knowledge preceded everything in His creation.

77. And He has determined their measures exactly and decisively:

And there is none in His creation, either the heavens or the earth that can nullify it, overrule it, erase it, change it, detract it, add to it or subtract it in any way.

78. And nothing can come into existence but by His bringing it into existence. And this bringing into existence is not but beautiful and perfect.

79. The above mentioned is a fundamental part of doctrine of belief and a principal element of knowledge and profess of Allah’s oneness and sovereignty, as Allah the Exalted has stated in His Book:

and He has created everything and designed it in a perfect measure” (al-Furqān 25:2) And He has also said: “Allah’s command is always an ordained decree. " (al-Aḥzāb 33: 38)

80. So woe to anyone who on account of decree antagonizes with Allah and who in his desire to ponder in its depths, bringing forward a sick heart, delves into this matter.

And in his delusional attempt to seek a secret which is concealed in the realm of unseen, ends up in whatever he utters concerning this matter, just a wicked fabricator of lies.

81. The “Arsh and the Kursī”, the Throne and the Chair are true.

82. Yet He the Exalted and Sublime has no need for the “Throne” and whatever is beneath it.

He encompasses and transcends all things and whatever is above the “Throne”.

84. And He has rendered His creation incapable of His encompassment.

85. We assert with faith, conviction and resignation that Allah took “Ibrahim() as an intimate friend and that He spoke to “Musa” ().

86. We believe in the angels, and the Prophets, and the books which were revealed to the messengers, and we bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.

87. We term the people who face our “Qiblah” as Muslim Believers as long as they acknowledge, confirm and do not refute what the Prophet brought, stated and informed about.

88. We do not enter into speculations about Allah, nor do we allow any dispute about the religion of Allah.

89. We do not argue about the Quran, and we testify that it is the Word of the Lord of all Worlds

which the Trustworthy Spirit (Jibrā’īl) came down with, who taught it to the most honoured of all the Messengers, Muhammad () , may Allah bless him and his family and all his companions and grant them peace.

90. It is the Word of Allah the Exalted and no speech of any creation is comparable to it. We do not say that it was created.

91. And we do not go contrary to the majority of the Muslims.

92. We do not declare any of the people of our “Qiblah” to be unbeliever for a sin he has committed, as long as he does not believe it to be lawful.

93. Nor do we say that the sin committed by a sinner does not harm him.

As for the virtuous among believers, we hope that Allah will pardon them and grant them entrance into Paradise by His grace.

But we cannot be certain of this, nor can we testify that they will definitely be granted admittance into the Paradise.

94. As for the virtuous among believers, we hope that Allah will pardon them and grant them entrance into Paradise by His grace.

But we cannot be certain of this, nor can we testify that they will definitely be granted admittance into the Paradise.

We pray for forgiveness of the sinful among the believers, and although we fear for their salvation, yet nevertheless we are not in despair about them.

95. Assurance and despair both displace a person from the fold of the religion, yet the path of truth for the believers lies between the two.

96. A person does not lose his faith except by rejecting that which brought him into it.

97. Faith is affirmation by the tongue and conviction in the heart.

98. And whatever is revealed in the Quran and all that is verified from the Prophet () regarding the Sacred Law and its explanation is true.

99. Faith is one in reality and all the people of faith are the same in essence, yet the distinction of ranks among them is due to their level of the fear of Allah, opposition to desires and adherence to that which is most pleasing to Allah.

100. All believers are Friends of the Beneficent and the noblest of them to Allah are those who are the most obedient and who are adherent most to the Qur’an.

101. Faith is belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, the resurrection after death, and belief that the Decree, it’s good and evil, its sweetness and its bitterness all are from Allah, the Exalted.

102. We believe in all those said.

103. We do not distinguish between any of the messengers, and we acknowledge them all as true with whatever that they had brought.

104. Those of the Community of Muhammad () who have committed “Dire Sins” will not be in the Hellfire forever, as long as they died and meet Allah as knowing believers affirming His oneness, even if they had not repented.

105. They are subject to His will and judgment. If He pleases, He will forgive them and pardon them by His grace, as is mentioned in His Noble Qur’an when He says:

Surely, Allah does not forgive that a partner is ascribed to Him, and forgives anything short of that for whomsoever He wills” (al-Nisā 4: 116).

And if He pleases, He will punish them in the Hellfire by His justice and then bring them out of it by His mercy, and by the intercession of those who are granted so among His obedient servants, and then sends them to Paradise.

106. This is because Allah is the Protector of those who acknowledge Him:

He will not treat them in both worlds the same as He treats those who deny Him, who are devoid of His guidance and have parted from His protection.

O Allah, the Protector of Islam and its people; make us firm in Islam until the day we meet You in that state.

107. We deem permissible the congregational prayer behind any of the People of the “Qiblah” whether pious or sinful and we pray over those amongst them who died.

108. We do not specify about any of them to be either in the Paradise or the Hellfire and do not accuse any of them of “Kufr, Shirk and Nifāq” as long as they have not openly demonstrated any of those.

We leave their inner states to Allah the Exalted.

109. We do not deem the “Capital Punishment” permissible against any of the Community of Muhammad () unless it is legislated upon him.

110. We do not permit rebellion against our leaders or those in charge of our public affairs even if they do injustice. We also do not pray for evil to befall them, nor do we withdraw allegiance from their obedience.

We hold that our civic duty to them is a part of our obedience to Allah the Exalted and therefore legally binding on us, as long as they do not order us to commit misdeed.

We pray for their righteousness and ask Allah for their pardon.

111. We follow the “Sunnah” and the Majority of the scholars.

We avoid isolated opinions, disharmony and sectarianism.

We love the people of justice and trustworthiness, and loathe those who are tyrant and treacherous.

113. In the matters that their knowledge is ambiguous to us, we assert that “Allah knows best.”

114. We believe that wiping over leather foot-coverings (in ablution) whether residing or traveling is permissible, just as narrated in the (multiply-transmitted) hadiths.

115. Hajj and Jihad are continuous obligations under the leadership of legitimate Muslim rulers, whether they are pious or misdoer until the arrival of the Last Hour. Nothing can abolish or revoke them.

116. We believe in the noble angelic scribes whom Allah has appointed as guardians over us.

117. We believe in the Angel of Death who is in charge of seizing the souls of all in the world.

118. We believe in the punishment of the grave for those who earn it.

119. We believe in the questioning of the deceased in his grave by “Munkar” and “Nakīr” about his Lord, his religion and his prophet, as narrated in the hadiths from the Messenger of Allah and from the Companions, May Allah be pleased with them all.

120. One’s grave is either an orchard of the gardens of the Paradise, or a pit from the pits of the Hellfire.

121. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, the re-compensation of the deeds in the Day of Judgment, the presentation (of one’s entire acts), the accountability, the recital of the Book (of one’s records), the reward, the punishment, and the Bridge (over the Hellfire).

122. We believe in the “Mīzan”, the Scale upon which the deeds of the Muslims, good or evil, obedient and disobedient are weighed.

123. The Paradise and the Hellfire are created realms that will never perish, nor come to an end.

124. We believe that Allah the Exalted, created Paradise and Hellfire before other creations. He then created inhabitants for them both. He grants admittance in paradise to whomever He wills by His grace, and He condemns whoever He wills to the Hellfire by His justice.

125. Everybody acts in accordance with what he is destined for, and moves towards the purpose he is created for.

126. Good and evil have both been determined for people.

127. The (divine) enablement that an act requires to occur cannot be ascribed to a created being. This enablement is simultaneous with the act.

As for the (material) capability that results to an act, like health, capacity, being in a position to act, and having the necessary means; this capability exists in a person before the action.

It is this type of capability that legal and moral obligations are pending on, and this is what Allah the Exalted says: “Allah does not obligate a person beyond his capacity.” (al-Baqara 2: 286).

128. People’s actions are Allah’s creation, yet people’s acquisitions.

129. Allah, the Exalted, has only obliged people with what they are capable to do, and people are only capable of doing what He has obliged them to do. This is the explanation of the phrase:

There is no power and no strength except by Allah.”

130. We assert that no one can strategize, move, or avoid an act of disobedience to Allah except with Allah’s providence,

and we also assert that no one has the ability to initiate an act of obedience to Allah and be steadfast upon it, except by Allah’s the Exalted providence.

131. Everything happens according to Allah’s will, knowledge, decree and design.

132. His will supersedes all other wills and His decree overpowers all stratagems.

133. He does what He wills, yet He is never unjust.

134. He is exalted in His purity beyond any evil or affliction; He is transcendent beyond any flaw or imperfection:

He is not questioned about what He does but it is they who will be questioned.” (al-Anbiyā 21: 23)

135. In the prayers of the living and in their charitable giving for those who have died, there is benefit for the dead.

136. Allah the Exalted responds to the prayers and fulfils the needs.

137. He dominates everything and nothing dominates Him.

138. Nothing can be independent of Allah even for the blinking of an eye,

and whoever imagines himself independent of Allah for the blinking of an eye, has blasphemed and has become among the dwellers of perdition.

139. Allah has wrath and pleasure but not like any creature.

140. We assert that we love the Companions of Allah’s Messenger. We do not however go to extreme in our love for anyone among them; nor do we disclaim from any of them.

We loathe those who despise them. We only speak well of them. We behold loving them as a part of religion, faith and spiritual excellence. Likewise we hold hating them as blasphemy, damnation, hypocrisy and transgression.

141. We assert the caliphate after the demise of Allah’s Messenger (),

first for “Abu Bakr as-Ṣiddīq” in accord with his pre-eminence and precedence over the entire Muslim Ummah; then for “Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb”; then for “Uthmān ibn Affān” and then for “Alī ibn Abi Tālib”; may Allah be well pleased with all of them.

They are the Guiding Caliphs and the Guided leaders who ruled with righteousness and by it established justice.

142. We testify that the 10 whom Allah’s Messenger has named and designated to be in Paradise, are in Paradise, as the Messenger of Allah whose word is truth, testified that they would be.

Those 10 are:

Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmān, Alī, Talhā, Zubayr, Sa’d, Sa’īd, Abdur-Rahmān ibn Awf and Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrāḥ whose title was the Trustee of this community, may Allah be pleased with all of them.

143. Anyone who speaks well of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah and his virtuous wives and purified descendants, is absolved of hypocrisy.

144. The pious scholars of the Predecessors, the Companions and those who immediately followed them and those people who came after them;

the people of spiritual excellence, the narrators of hadith, the paragons of jurisprudence, and the scholars of theology,

- they must be mentioned in the best manner and anyone who speaks ill of them, is deviated from the right path.

145. We do not prefer any of the saintly men over any of the Prophets, but we assert that one prophet is better than all the saints.

146. We believe in the miracles of the saints that have been conveyed and verified to us by trustworthy sources.

147. We believe in the signs of the End of Time, including the emergence of Dajjāl the Anti-Christ, the descent of Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus) () from heavens,

and we also believe in the rising of the sun from where it sets, and in the appearance of the Beast of Earth from its designated location.

148. We refute the words of soothsayers and the utterance of fortune-tellers.

149. We also reject anyone who claims anything contrary to the Book, the Sunnah and the consensus of the scholars of this Ummah.

150. We believe that “mainstream body of Islam” is right and correct and schism is deviation and a path to perdition.

151. The religion of Allah in the heavens and the earth is just one, and that is the religion of Islam (submission), as Allah the Exalted says:

Verily the only religion with Allah is Islam.” (Al Imran 3: 19)

And He the Exalted also states:
anyone who seeks a religion other that Islam, it will not be accepted from him”.

And finally He says:
I am pleased with Islam as a religion for you.” (al-Māʼida 5: 3)

152. Islam lies between extremism and negligence.

153. And lies between likening of Allah’s attributes to creation and divesting Allah of attributes.

154. And it is between determinism and freewill.

155. And it is between assurance of salvation, and despair from Allah’s mercy.

156. This is our religion and our creed, both in public and private, and we absolve before Allah of anyone who opposes what we have mentioned and made clear.

157. We ask Allah to make us firm in our belief and seal our lives with it, and to protect and preserve us from heresies, scattering devious opinions and perverse doctrines such as those

- who compare Allah to creation (al-Mushabbihah),
- the extreme rationalists (al-Mu’tazilah), 
- those who deny the attributes of Allah (al-Jahmīyah),
- the fatalists (al-Jabrīyah),
- the deniers of providence (al-Qadarīyah)

- and others like them who opposed the “Sunna and the Jamā’ah” and have allied themselves with deviation and misguidance. We renounce them. They in our opinion have gone astray and are on a path of destruction.

Allah knows best. To Him is our departure and final return.