Belief in Allah (subhaanahu wa ta'aala)


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What is meant by the texts in which the Messenger of Allah disowned those who commit

Abu ‘Ubayd stated:

“This disowning does not mean that they no longer have anything to do with the Messenger of Allah :saw: and his religion. But in our opinion he is not one of those who obey the Messenger or follow his example or adhere to his laws (as required).”


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What is meant by the texts which state that some sins imply kufr and shirk

“With regard to the texts which state that some sins imply kufr and shirk, the way we understand them is not that those people become kaafir (disbelievers) and mushrikeen (polytheists) in such a way that they no longer have any eemaan at all. Rather, the way in which they are to be interpreted is that these sins are akin to the characteristics and ways of the kuffaar and mushrikeen. We find a similar amount of reports of these two types as we do of reports of the first two types.”

He explains that what is meant by the sins which are called kufr and shirk is “the characteristics of the mushrikeen and their names, ways, words and rulings, etc.”

In support of this view, he quoted the comment of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyAllahu anh) in his tafseer of the aayah,

...And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers – of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allah’s Laws).

(Qur’aan 5: 44)

Ibn ‘Abbaas (radhiyAllahu anh) said:

“This is not (the kind of) kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islam.”

Ataa’ said:

“It is a lesser form of kufr.”

Concerning the report narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas, the editor of the book said:

“This is narrated by Al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak via Taawoos, and he and Adh-Dhahabi classed it as saheeh.”

(Kitaab al-Eemaan by Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Sallaam, Pp. 94. Published in the anthology of Four Desertations – Arba’ Rasaa’il.)

Although judging by other than that which Allah has revealed is called kufr, it does not put a person beyond the pale of Islam. Eemaan is still present in this case, even though it is mixed with this sin. What is meant is the judging by other than that which Allah has revealed is the way of the kuffaar (disbelievers). Have you not heard the words of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala):

Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) Ignorance?...

(Qur’aan 5: 50)

Then he says: the way in which this was interpreted by the scholars of Tafseer is that whoever judges by other than that which Allah has revealed – and he is a Muslim – becomes thereby like the people of the Jaahiliyah, for it is to be understood that this is how the people of Jaahiliyah used to judge. This is like the hadeeth:

“Three things belong to the Jaahiliyah: slandering people’s lineage, wailing over the dead, and astrology.”

(This is a saheeh (authentic) hadeeth)

(Saheeh al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer, 1/583, hadeeth no. 3039, where the wording is: “Three actions of the people of the Jaahiliyah which the people of Islam will not mange to avoid: seeking rain through the stars (astrology), slandering people’s lineage, and wailing over the dead.” He attributed it to Bukhari in At-Taareekh, and to At-Tabaraani in Al-Kabeer, and Ahmad in Al-Musnad, and Ibn Hibbaan in his saheeh.)

Similarly there is a hadeeth that reads:

“The signs of the hypocrites are three: when he speaks, he lies; when he makes a promise, he breaks it; when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust.”

(Bukhari, 1/89, hadeeth no. 33; Muslim, 1/78, hadeeth no. 59.)

Abu ‘Ubayd said:

“These reports are not to be interpreted as meaning that the one who commits sin is to be labelled as belonging to the people of Jaahiliyah, a kaafir (disbeliever) or a hypocrite, when he believes in Allah and the Message sent by Him, and he fulfils the obligatory duties. What these reports mean is that these sins are part of the actions of the kuffaar (disbelievers) which are forbidden in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, so that the Muslims can avoid these things and steer clear of them, and not imitate the kuffaar in any of their attitudes or ways.”

He quoted the hadeeth:

“If a women puts on perfume then passes by people who can detect her fragrance, she is a zaaniyah (adulteress)”

(The editor of Kitaab al-Eemaan (p. 96) said: (this is a) saheeh hadeeth, narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibbaan and Al-Haakim in their Saheehs, from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari and attributed to the Prophet :saw:, where the wording is, “Any woman who puts on perfume and passes by people so that they can smell its fragrance, is a zaaniyah, and every eye is zaaniyah.” A similar report is narrated by Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi, who it as saheeh.)

Is this the kind of zina which incurs the prescribed punishment (hadd)?

Perhaps what Abu ‘Ubayd al-Qaasim ibn Sallaam meant when he said that “judging by other than that which Allah revealed is not kufr that puts a person beyond the pale of Islaam” and when a qaadi (Muslim judge) judges a particular case according to his own whims and desires, although he usually judges in accordance with the rulings of Allah.

With regard to ruling by the laws of the disbelievers, and applying them by force to the Islamic peoples, and opposing and fighting all those who call for the application of Islam – this nothing to do with Islam.

But no, by you Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make (O’ Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.

(Qur’aan 4: 65)


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5 – Scholars Methodology in Affirming Aqeedah

[See our book Asl al-I’tiqaad, in which this is discussed in detail]

Do we believe in the torment of the grave, the Cistern, the Balance and other matters of aqeedah? What makes us believe in that or deny it?

a -
The scholars of the righteous predecessors – Salaf – believed that it is obligatory for us to believe in everything that Allah or His Messenger :saw: have told us, and in what has reached us via a saheeh isnad, They did not distinguish between mutawaatir reports and aahaad reports as long as they were saheeh (sound), and they used both (types of report) to prove matters of aqeedah, without distinguishing between them.

[A mutawaatir hadith is one which is narrated by such a large number from the beginning of the isnad to the end that it would be impossible for them all to agree upon a lie. Aahaad reports are any that do not reach the degree of mutawaatir.]

Their basis for doing so was the general evidence which commands us to believe all that Allah and His Messenger :saw: tell us, and to obey them in all that they command, as in the aayaat (verses):

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision...

(Qur'aan 33: 36)

Say [O’ Muhammad]: “Obey Allah and the Messenger [Muhammad]...”

(Qur'aan 3: 32)

b -
A group that lacked the knowledge of differentiating between sound and
weak ahaadeeth argued using mawdoo (fabricated) and da’eef (weak) ahaadeeth as evidences.

[Mawdoo (fabricated) means false, i.e. a hadith in which the isnad contains liars, da’eef (weak) means a hadith which does not fulfil the conditions of being saheeh (sound).]

For example, the hadith:

“I reached my Lord on the night on which I was taken up to the heavens, and I saw my Lord, and between Him and me there was a visible barrier. I saw everything of Him, I saw even a crown of adorned with pearls.”

– This is a mawdoo hadith.

[Ash-Shawkaani, Al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo’ah fi’l-Ahaadeeth al Mawdoo’ah, 441.]

The hadith,

“Verily Allah sits on an arch between Paradise and Hell.”

This is da’eef.

[Ibid, 448]

It is essential to examine ahaadeeth before using them as evidence, whether they have to do with aqeedah or ahkaam (rulings), otherwise the result will be the attribution to the religion of Allah of things that are not part of it, and we will affirm matters of belief that are false.

Those who try to prove beliefs by using fabricated and weak ahaadeeth are like those who try to use myths, dreams and legends as evidence..

c -
A third group refused to use the transmitted reports, i.e. the texts of the Qur’an and ahaadeeth, as evidence in proving matters of aqeedah. They claimed that “the transmitted evidence did not reach the level of certainty that would inspire in us the required level of faith, so aqeedah cannot be confirmed thereby.”

[Shaltoot: Al-Islam Aqeedah wa Sharee’ah , Pp. 53.]

They explained why it does not reach the level of certainty by saying that “in the case of the transmitted evidence there it too much scope for too many things that would prevent this level of certainty.” [Same as above]

This view is clearly nonsense, and no great effort is required to refute it because it contradicts the consensus (ijmaa) of the ummah. If there is too much room for doubt with regard to the texts, then how about what people say? How come issues of faith cannot be proven by what Allah and His Messenger said? Glory be to You (O’ Allah)! This is a great lie (cf. Qur’an 24: 16).

d -
A fourth group rejected the idea of using saheeh aahaad ahaadeeth as evidence in matters of aqeedah. They refer only to the Qur’an and the mutawaatir ahdaadeeth, and they do not prove aqeedah from the Qur’an and mutawaatir ahaadeeth except when the text had a definitive meaning.

[By definitive evidence, they mean, the Qur’an and mutawaatir ahaadeeth.
By definitive evidence, they meant the text should not have a second possible meaning, or be open to interpretation. Thus they rejected the texts which state that the believers will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection. With regard to the ahaadeeth, even if they were definitive in meaning, they still claimed that they were aahaad ahaadeeth. With regard to the texts of the Qur’an, they are not definitive in meaning and they interpreted them differently. (See Shaltoot’s denial that people will see their Rabb, in his book Al-Islaam Aqeedah wa Sharee’ah, Pp. 57.]
If a text does not have a definitive meaning, then in their view it is not permissible to use it as evidence.

This was the view of the scholars of ilm al-kalaam in the past. Some scholars of usool followed them. This idea is widespread in our time, to the extent that the truth has almost been forgotten and people regard as strange those who follow it. The scholars of the past and the present have always explained how corrupt and dangerous this view is, and refuted the specious arguments of its proponents.


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Explanation of Their Specious Arguments

[See Al-Hadeeth Hujjah bi Nafsihi and Wujoob al-Akhdh bi Ahaadeeth al-Aahaad fi’l-Aqaa’id wa’l-Ahkaam, by Shaykh Naasiriddeen al-Albaani, and our book Asl al-I’tiqaad.]

We have noted that their argument is based on the claim that the reports used as evidence regarding matters ‘aqeedah should reach the level of certainty, and that if the meanings of the aahaad ahaadeeth, the texts of the Qur’aan and the mutawaatir ahaadeeth are not definitive, then they do not reach that level of certainty; rather they are conjecture, and conjecture cannot be used as evidence with regard to these matters because Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says:

...They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire,...

(Qur’aan 53: 23)


...They follow but a guess, and verily, guess is no substitute for the truth.

(Qur’aan 53: 28)

And there are other aayaat (verses) in which Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), condemns the mushrikeen (idolaters) for following conjecture.

Their use of these and similar aayaat as evidence may be rejected, because the kind of conjecture or guess referred to in the aayaat is not the conjecture that they are referring to. The texts that they refuse to accept as evidence concerning matters of ‘aqeedah reached a level of high probability, whereas the conjecture which Allah condemns in the aayah: ...They follow but a guess... (Qur’aan 53: 23) is the kind of doubt which is mere speculation and conjecture, but in An-Nihaayah, Al-Lisaan and other Arabic dictionaries it is stated that zann (translated as “guess” in the aayah quoted above) refers to “when you have doubts about something but you accept it and judge according to it.”

This is the zann or guess which Allah condemned on the part of the mushrikeen. What supports this view is the fact that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), said concerning them:

...They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.

(Qur’aan 6: 116)

So zann refers to conjecture which is mere speculation and guessing. If the zann for which the mushrikeen were condemned was high probability, then it would not be permitted to use the Qur’aan and ahaadeeth as evidence for rulings either, because Allah condemned the mushrikeen (idolaters) for following any kind of zann whatsoever. He did not condemn only zann in the case of beliefs and ignore the matter of rulings; in some aayaat (verses) He explains that the zann for which the mushrikeen are to be condemned includes their ideas about rulings too. Here is what Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says, on this matter:

Those who took partners (in worship) with Allah will say: ‘If Allah had willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, nor would our fathers...’

(Qur’aan 6: 148)

- this refers to belief or ‘aqeedah;

...And we would not have forbidden anything (against His Will)...

(Qur’aan 6: 148)

- this refers to rulings or hukm.

...Likewise belied those who were before them, (they argued falsely with Allah’s Messengers), till they tasted Our Wrath. Say: ‘Have you any knowledge (proof) that you can produce before us? Verily, you follow nothing but guess and you do nothing but lie.’

(Qur’aan 6: 148)

We do not accept what they say about the aahaad ahaadeeth not reaching the level of certainty. They do indeed reach that level. Siddeeq Hasan Khan said: “The dispute is with regard to aahaad reports for which there is no corroborating evidence and whether they constitute conjecture or certainty. In the case of aahaad reports for which there is corroborating evidence, there is no such dispute.

There is no dispute concerning aahaad reports where there is consensus (ijmaa’) that they should be acted upon, because this (ijmaa’) takes them to the level of certainty as it brings them to a point where they are known to be true. The same applies to aahaad reports which are accepted by the ummah, and followed according to the apparent meaning or an interpretation of their meaning, as is the case with the ahaadeeth in the Two Saheehs of Bukhari and Muslim.”

Al-‘Allaamah as-Safaareeni said in Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyah:

“If an aahaad report is well-known and widely accepted, suggests certainty, as if narrated by ‘Allaamah ibn Muflih and others from Ibn Ishaaq al-Asfaraayini and Ibn Foorak. It is also said that this brings it up to the level of being definite (definitely saheeh).”

Then he mentioned the view that if an aahaad report is not well known and widely accepted, this brings it to the level of probability (not certainty), because there is the possibility of confusion and error. But it is narrated that Imam al-Muwaffaq (Ibn Qudaamah), Ibn Hamdaan and At-Toofi concluded that such reports should reach the level of certainty if there is corroborating evidence.

Al’Allaamah ‘Alaa’ ad-Deen ‘Ali ibn Sulaymaan al-Mirdaawi said in Sharh at-Tahreer:

“This is a stronger, clear opinion and is correct.” He explained that corroborating evidence means “that one feels at ease with the aahaad reports just as one feels at ease with the mutawaatir reports, or something similar to that, to the extent that one has no doubts at all.”

He also stated that aahaad reports which are not well known and widely accepted may reach the level of certainty if it is narrated by one of the Imams whose scholarly pre-eminence and precise knowledge of ahaadeth is agreed upon.

He narrated from Al-Qaadi Abu Ya’laa, “This is the correct view (the view of the Hanbalis). Abu’l-Khattaab said, this is the apparent meaning of our companions’ view.”

As-Safaareeni mentioned that this was the view adopted by Ibn al-Zaa’ooni and Imam Taqiuddeen ibn Taymiya, then he said that this was the opinion of “the usooliyeen among the companions of Abu Haneefah, Ash-Shaafa’i and Ahmad – may Allah have mercy on them all – (who said that) if an aahaad report is accepted and followed by the ummah, then it reaches the level of certainty.”

Then he stated that those among the followers of the Aimmah (Imams),

(The founders of the schools of Islamic jurisprudence – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (may Allah be merciful to them all).

- who opposed this view were very few, and they were influenced by the scholars of ‘ilm al-kalaam. He said that among those who said that aahaad reports reach the level of certainty were “Abu Ishaaq and Abu at-Tayyib. This has been mentioned by ‘Abdul Wahhab and his colleagues among the Maalikis, and by As-Sarkhasi and his colleagues among the Hanafis.” He said: “This is the view of most of the fuqahaa’, scholars of hadeeth, the salaf and most of the Ash’aris and others.”

Ibn as-Salaah said:

“What is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim reaches the level of certainty, contrary to the opinion of those who deny that on the basis that it only reaches the level of probability. But they explain that the ummah has widely accepted these ahaadeeth because they have to act upon a hadeeth even if it reaches the level of probability only. He said: ‘but ahaadeeth which only reach the level of probability may be wrong.’”

Ibn as-Salaah said:

“I used to favour this view and thought that it was valid, then it became clear to me that what we referred to first was the correct view, because it is thought to be correct by one who is infallible and whose thoughts cannot be wrong, for the ummah (Muslim community) in its consensus is infallible and is protected from error.” Ibn as-Salaah meant that the ummah had agreed unanimously that the ahaadeeth of Bukhari and Muslim are authentic.

As-Safaareeni said:

“When Ibn Katheer examined the view of Ibn as-Salaah that what is narrated in As-Saheehayn (the two collections of sound ahaadeeth – Bukhari and Muslim) is definitely correct, he said: ‘I agree with what Ibn as-Salaah stated and pointed out.’”

Then he mentioned that Ibn Katheer saw some written statements of his shaykh. Ibn Taymiyah, the conclusion of which was that he stated that the ahaadeeth which were well known and widely accepted by the ummah and transmitted from many scholars were definitely sound. After mentioning some of their names, he (i.e., Ibn Taymiyah) said:

“This is the view of all the scholars of hadeeth and most of the salaf.”

(Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyah, Pp. 17)

The correct view
is that the saheeh aahaad ahaadeeth reach the level of certainty if they are supported by corroborating evidence, as we have narrated from a group of scholars. The ahaadeeth which were transmitted in the books of Sunnah and classed as saheeh (sound) by the scholars, with no doubts about their soundness and authenticity expressed by any of the scholars, reach the level of certainty by the consensus of the ummah that they are saheeh. This includes those ahaadeeth which were agreed upon by the two authors of the saheehs (i.e., Bukhari and Muslim), or which were narrated in either of the saheehayn, and about which no doubts were expressed by any scholars. The same applies to any other reports which are well known and widely accepted or have been narrated by one of the major celebrated scholars such as Maalik from Naafi’ from Ibn ‘Umar.

In conclusion:
the Sunni scholars accept the saheeh aahaad ahaadeeth concerning both ‘aqeedah and ahkaam, without differentiating between the two. This is indicated by the fact that the aaimmah (Imams) of the Ahl ass-Sunnah, such as Maalik, Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Nasaa’i, Ad-Daarimi and others, narrated in their compilations ahaadeeth which speak of ‘aqeedah, and that there are few mutawaatir reports among them. If they did not believe that such reports could be used as evidence, they would not have bothered to narrate them, examine them and record them. Whoever narrates anything other than that from them is lying about them, and it is not the issue whether the aahaad reports reached the level of high probability or certainty.

Those who say that these reports do not reach the level of certainty say that they can be accepted with regard to ‘aqeedah if they are proven sound. Even if they only reach the level of probability (in the view of some scholars), this does not mean that they are to be rejected if they talk about ‘aqeedah.

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr (may Allah have mercy on him), although he suggested that the aahaad reports do not reach the level of certainty, still believed that they should be accepted concerning matters of ‘aqeedah, just as they should be accepted concerning rulings (ahkaam). He attributed this view to Ahl as-Sunnah.

(Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, At-Tamheed, 1/7)


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Texts Which Indicate that Aahaad Reports are Sound Enough to be Used as Evidence

Many texts indicate that we should accept the aahaad ahaadeeth as evidence in proving matters of ‘aqeedah. Examples include the following:

a - The aayah (verse):

And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight (Jihad) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil).

(Qur’aan 9: 122)

This aayah (verse) urges the tribes, clans and people of various regions who are believers to send forth a party to get instructions in their religion, then they should go back to their people and warn them. The Arabic word taa’ifah (translated here as “a party”) may apply to one or more persons. Getting instruction in religion includes both ‘aqeedah (belief) and ahkaam (rulings); indeed, understanding of ‘aqeedah is more important that understanding the ahkaam. Hence Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote a small book about ‘aqeedah entitled: Al-Fiqh al-Akbar (The Great Fiqh). This aayah clearly indicates that we should accept the aahaad reports as evidence with regard to matters of ‘aqeedah, other it would not be permissible for the taa’ifah (a part of one or more persons) to warn the people.

b -
The aayah:

O’ you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it...

(Qur’aan 49: 6)

This proves that if one who is not a faasiq (liar) and is reliable and honest brings some information, then evidence has been established and it does not have to be checked; on the contrary, it is to be accepted straight away.

c -
The Sunnah explains the aayah:

...Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth...

(Qur’aan 9: 122)

Bukhari narrated in his saheeh that Maalik ibn al-Huwayrith said:

“We came to the Prophet :saw: and we were young men, close in age. We stayed with him for twenty days, and the Messenger of Allah was merciful and kind. When he sensed that we were missing our families, he asked us who we had left behind, and we told him.

He said,

‘Go back to your families and stay with them, and teach them and instruct them, and pray as you have seen me praying.’”

(Bukhari, 2/110, hadeeth no. 627; Muslim, 1/465, hadeeth no. 674. This version is narrated by Bukhari.)

He commanded each of these young men to teach their respective family members, and taching includes ‘aqeedah; indeed, ‘aqeedah is the first thing to be included in teaching. If aahaad reports cannot be used in establishing ‘aqeedah, there would have been no sense in this instruction to these young men.

d -
In Saheeh al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim it is also reported that the people of Yemen came to the Messenger of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and said:

“Send with us a man who can teach us the Sunnah and Islaam.”

He (the Prophet) took the hand of Abu ‘Ubaydah and said,

“This is the trustee of this ummah.”

(Muslim, 4/1888, hadeeth no. 2419. The hadeeth in Bukhari that he sent him to the people of Najraan. Bukhari, 7/93, hadeeth no. 3745; 13/232, hadeeth no. 7254)

If evidence could not be established by the report of one man, the Messenger :saw: would not have send Abu ‘Ubaydah to them on his own. The same could be said of other occasions when he :saw: sent others of his sahaabah (Companions) to various lands, such as when he sent ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with them all). Their ahaadeeth are recorded in saheehayn and elsewhere.

Undoubtedly what these men taught included ‘aqeedah. If they could not have established proof of ‘aqeedah and left the people with no excuse, the Messenger of Allah :saw: would not have sent them individually.

Imam ash-Shaafa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his book Ar-Risaalah:

“When he sent someone, then evidence was established for or against the people to whom he was sent by their knowing that what he told them was from the Messenger of Allah :saw:.”

(Ash-Shaafa’i: Ar-Risaalah, Pp. 412)


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Refuting the Argument of those Who say that Aahaad Ahaadeeth cannot be Used as Proof

The scholars refuted those who do not accept aahaad ahaadeeth as proof concerning matters of ‘aqeedah on several poins, such as:

a - The view that aahaad ahaadeeth cannot be used to prove matters of ‘aqeedah is an innovated and invented opinion which has no basis in shari’ah. Every such opinion is to be rejected.

b -
This opinion of theirs (that aahaad ahaadeeth cannot be used as evidence) is in itself ‘aqeedah (a belief). According to their own methodology, this belief requires definitive proof that it is forbidden to use the aahaad ahaadeeth as evidence concerning ‘aqeedah, and there is no such evidence.

c -
If there was any definitive proof that aahaad ahaadeeth cannot be used to prove matters of ‘aqeedah, the Companions (sahaabah) would have known this and would have stated it clearly, as would those of the righteous predecessors (salaf) who came after them.

d -
This view is contrary to the methodology followed by the sahaabah, one of whom would accept what another told him from the Messenger :saw: and would be certain about it. They would not reject what their brother told them on the grounds that the hadeeth that he was transmitting was an aahaad hadeeth.

e -
The evidence which indicates that it is obligatory to accept the evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah refers to both ‘aqeedah and ahkaam. There is nothing to support the idea of this evidence being acceptable only in the case of ahkaam and not ‘aqeedah if the reports are aahaad.

f -
Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), commanded His Messenger to convey the Message clearly. It is known that a clear message is the one in which proof is established so that what is being conveyed may be made known. If an aahaad report was not sufficient for the establishment of knowledge, then the message has not been conveyed. Proof can only be established when it reaches the level of certainty.

g -
The conclusion of this opinion is that we should not follow the aahaad reports with regard to ‘aqeedah at all after the time of the sahaabah (Companions) who heard them directly from the Prophet himself – because until they were compiled in written from, the ahaadeeth were only conveyed as aahaad reports, and those people whom the ahaadeeth reached as mutawaatir reports were few, and even fewer than a few. Even when those who did hear mutawaatir reports conveyed them to others, a given mutawaatir report would still not reach the level of certainty, because when this one person narrated it, it was an aahaad report.

h -
This view implies that we should not follow the aahaad ahaadeeth which speak of ‘aqeedah or actions, because if we reject them in the case of ‘aqeedah, how can we accept them in the case of ahkaam?

i -
The usooliyeen did not agree on this view – as Shaykh Shaltoot claims. Imam Maalik, Ash-Shaafa’i, the companions of Abu Haneefah, and Dawood ibn ‘Ali and his companions such as Ibn Hazm, stated that aahaad reports reach the level of certainty. This was also stated by Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali al-Karaabeesi, Al-Haarith ibn Asad al-Muhaasibi and Al-Qaadi Abu Ya’la among the Hanbalis.


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Beliefs Which are Proven by the Ahaadeeth

Before concluding this discussion, we will list the beliefs which are proven as per saheeh ahaadeeth (hadeeths):

a –
The Prophethood of Adam (aalayhis-salaam – peace be upon him) and other Prophets whose Prophethood is not confirmed in the Qur’aan.

b -
The superiority of our Prophet Muhammad :saw: over all other Prophets and Messengers.

c -
His major intercession in the arena of gathering (on the Day of Judgement).

d -
His intercession for members of his ummah who commit major sins.

e -
One of his miracles apart from the Qur’aan, is the splitting of the moon. Although this is mentioned in the Qur’aan, they interpret it in a manner
that contradicts the saheeh ahaadeeth which clearly state that the moon was split.

f -
The ahaadeeth which speak of the beginning of creation; the attributes of the angels and jinn; Paradise and Hell, and the fact that they are both created; and the fact that the Black Stone came from Paradise.

g -
Many of the unique attributes of the Prophet :saw:, which As-Suyooti compiled in his book Al-Khasaa’is al-Kubra, such as the fact that he entered Paradise and saw its people and what has been prepared for the pious there, and the fact that his qareen (jinn companion) became Muslim.

h -
Definitive statements that the ten who were given the glad tidings of Paradise (Al-‘Asharah al-Mubash-sharah) are indeed among the people of Paradise.

i -
Belief in the questioning of Munkar and Nakeer in the grave.

j -
Belief in the torment of the grave.

k -
Belief in the squeezing or compression of the grave.

l -
Belief in the double-panned Balance (in which people’s deeds will be weighed) on the Day of Resurrection.

m -
Belief in As-Siraat (a bridge that crosses Hell).

n -
Belief in the Cistern of the Prophet :saw:, and that whoever drinks from it will never experience or suffer from thirst again.

o -
That seventy thousand of his :saw: ummah will enter Paradise without being brought to account.

p -
Belief in everything that has been narrated in saheeh ahaadeeth about the resurrection and gathering (for Judgement) that has not been mentioned in the Qur’aan.

q -
Belief in the Divine Will and Predestination (Al-Qadaa’ wa’l-Qadar), both good and bad, and that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), has written (decreed) for each person whether he is blessed (destined for Paradise) or doomed (destined for Hell), what his provision will be and how long he will live.

r -
Belief in the Pen which has written all things.

s -
Belief that those (Muslims) who commit major sins will not remain in Hell forever.

t -
Belief that the souls of the shuhadaa’ (martyrs for the cause of Allah) are in the forms of green birds in Paradise.

u -
Belief that Allah has forbidden the earth to consume the bodies of the Prophets.

v -
Belief that Allah has angels who travel about, conveying the salaams (greetings of peace) of his ummah to the Prophet :saw:.

w -
Belief in all the signs of the Hour such as the appearance of the Mahdi, the descent of ‘Eesa (Jesus) (aalayhis-salaam), the emergence of the Dajjaal (Pseudo-Christ), etc.Not all the evidence for these beliefs is in aahaad ahaadeeth; some of them are prove by mutawaatir ahaadeeth. But these people who do not not know the mutawaatir Sunnah and do not distinguish between mutawaatir and aahaad reports may reject all or most of these beliefs. Otherwise, the ahaadeeth about the emergence of the Dajjaal, the appearance of the Mahdi and descent of ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (aalayhis-salaam) are mutawaatir ahaadeeth as the scholars of hadeeth have stated clearly.

What is even worse is that they deny the beliefs which are narrated in the mutawaatir ahaadeeth, and even those that are narrated in the Qur’aan, on the basis that the meaning of these texts is not definitive as mentioned above. We have already referred to the view of Shaykh Shaltoot. Hence they did not believe that people will see their Lord on the Day of Resurrection, even though the Qur’aan states this quite clearly:

Some faces that Day shall be Naadirah (shining and radiant). Looking at their Lord (Allah).

(Qur’aan 75: 22-23)

And the ahaadeeth which mention that also reach the degree of being mutawaatir.

Abu’l Hasan al-Ash’ari launched an attack against the Mu’tazilah because of their rejection of the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which was in imitation of their leaders. He (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Those among the Mu’tazilah and Qadariyah who deviate from the truth have been led by their desires to imitate their leaders and predecessors. They interpret the Qur’aan according to their leaders’ opinions in a way for which they have no authority from Allah, they did not transmit any report from the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds, or from the earlier generations. They contradicted the reports of the sahaabah from the Prophet of Allah :saw: concerning the people seeing Allah with their own eyes, although reports on this came from various sources and the reports reach the level of being mutawaatir, coming one after another. They denied that the Prophet :saw: will intercede for sinners, and rejected the reports from the earlier generations concerning that. They denied the torment of the grave, and that the kuffaar – disbelievers – will be punished in their graves.”

(Al-Ibaanah ‘an Usool ad-Diyaanah, Pp. 6)

Elsewhere, Abu’l Hasan said:

“The Mu’tazilah denied the Cistern, and the Mu’tazilah denied the torment of the grave.”

(Ibid., Pp. 75)

Abu’l Hasan said in Maqaalaat al-Islamiyeen:

“They differed concerning the torment of the grave. Some denied it and some affirmed it. These were the Mu’tazilah and Khawaarij.”

(Maqaalaat al-Islamiyeen, Pp. 340)

He also said in his Maqaalaat (articles):

“They differed concerning the intercession of the Messenger of Allah :saw: and whether he would intercede for those who had committed major sins. The Mu’tazilah denied that and said it would not happen.”

(Ibid, Pp. 340)

He also mentioned in several places in his Maqaalaat that the Mu’tazilah denied that Allah has an Eye and a Hand, and they denied that people will see Him with their own eyes and that He will come on the Day of Resurrection and that He comes down to the lowest heaven. They believed that fussaaq (evildoers among the Muslims) will remain in Hell forever, and they held other beliefs which contradict the sunnah mutawaatir ahaadeeth and even the texts of the Qur’aan.

(Maqaalaat al-Islamiyeen, Pp. 157. 216, 195, 474)

Whoever denies these beliefs which were reported in saheeh ahaadeeth is following the path of the Mu’tazilah, not the path of Ahl as-Sunnah.

I have seen people of earlier and later generations stating that all the Signs of the Hour are narrated in aahaad ahaadeeth, so they reject them on that basis, and those that they think are mutawaatir they misinterpret.


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Ruling on Those who Deny that Which has been Proven in Aahaad Reports

Safaareeni narrated from Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh the view that those who reject the aahaad reports are kaafir (disbelievers). The correct view is that they are not kaafir. It seems that those who said that they are kaafir were thinking of the ahaadeeth which unanimously accepted by the ummah as being saheeh (sound).

Although we do not say that they are kaafir, we do say that those who reject the saheeh ahaadeeth of the Messenger :saw: and do not use them to prove matters of ‘aqeedah (belief) are clearly mistaken, and there is the fear that they may become misguided because of their rejection of these ahaadeeth, and Allah may punish them by sending them astray:

...And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad’s) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.

(Qur’aan 24: 63)


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The Correct Methodology

In this study we are adhering to what is stated in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Hence we must examine ‘aqeedah according to the methodology used in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and not go beyond this methodology. This is the way which revived the hearts of the earliest generations of this ummah.

This is the only way in which the ummah in its modern stage can reform itself. Imam Maalik – the Imam and scholar of Madeenah – spoke the truth when he said: “The last (generations) of this ummah will not be reformed by anything other than that which reformed its first (generations).”

We have already seen how the Qur’aanic methodology is distinct from philosophy in the way it discusses and confirms different issues of religion and belief. This distinction means that we must use the Qur’aanic methodology and none other.


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A matter which must be clarified: How can we use the Qur’aan to address those do not

Some of those who have some commitment to Islam say: How can we present the Qur’aan to those who do not believe in Allah? We have to address people nowadays with the logic of modern material, science and rational evidence, then if they are convinced of Islam, we will address them with the Qur’aan.

We say to these people: We ask you by Allah, how did Allah command His Messenger to warn with the Qur’aan the kuffaar who disbelieved in Allah, the Qur’aan and the Messenger?

...This Qur’aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach...

(Qur’aan 6: 19)

How did He command him to recite this Qur’aan to them? Did he not recite it to these stubborn disbelievers, and it moved them and stirred their hearts?

What effect did the verses of the Qur’aan have on Umayyah ibn Khalaf and Al-Waleed ibn ‘Utbah, and other, despite their extreme kufr (disbelief) and stubborn enmity?

It could be said that nowadays the Qur’aan is recited in all places and is even broadcast from London and Washington, yet the followers of Islam who recite the Qur’aan do not believe in what it says.

The response to these people is that the Arabs of the past would listen to what was recited to them and it would penetrate to the depths of their being, because they were Arabs who understood the meanings of the aayaat (verses), and there was no barrier between them and the words.

But nowadays there are barriers between the people and the Qur’aan, some of which have to do with language, and others have to do with the doubts that fill people’s minds and have virtually become unquestionable facts.

So the bearers of the Qur’aan nowadays have to explain the Qur’aan in a language that the people can understand. They have to put the people in touch with the Qur’aan, and the Qur’aan in touch with the people, by explaining its meanings to them, and renewing the meanings of this Book in their hearts, so that once again they will appreciate it and feel it... and its meanings will reach those who disbelieve it and deny it in this way. Thus the call will be given and it will leave no person with any excuse.

We have already explained that the Qur’aan contains evidence which addresses the mind and the heart; it is not merely telling stories or giving information.


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A Dubious Call: Bringing Religion Together

This is the right way: explaining the methodology which Allah has showed us in order to establish faith in people’s hearts and to adhere to it ourselves when calling, leading and teaching people.

The enemies of Allah and those among this ummah who have been deceived are trying to distort this methodology, by calling for all religion to come together. The have held conferences and seminars for this purpose.

Those Muslims who attended these conferences have made a big mistake, because they agreed to make Islam subject to examination at the same level as Judaism and Christianity.

We say that these people had an excuse if they went there in order to say to others what the Qur’aan says:

Say (O’ Muhammad): ‘O’ people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.’ Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’

(Qur’aan 3: 64)

They should explain the falsehood of these (other religions) in a way that is better, and show them the true religion, and establish proof against them, rather than pursuing friendship and turning a blind eye to their falsehood for the sake of being friendly.

Those who mix Islam with other religions, ways of thinking and philosophies make a mistake when they claim that they are trying to reconcile the texts of the Qur’aan to the beliefs of those other people in order to meet others halfway. Their claim is a lie and they have gone astray in their methodology. Islam is the religion of Allah which contraols life and living beings. It does not need to be reconciled with anything else. Other beliefs contain truth and falsehood, but Islam is entirely true, and our mission is to keep the Book of our Lord and His religion distinct.

...Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path...

(Qur’aan 2: 256)

- so that people may resort to it and find it pure and not mixed with anything else.

Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), has condemned this type of people who want to mix Islam with other religions and meet others halfway on the basis of reconciliation. He tells us that this is the action of the munaafiqeen (hypocrites):

And when it is said to them: ‘Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger (Muhammad),’ you (Muhammad) see the hypocrites turn away from you (Muhammad) with aversion. How then, when a catastrophe befalls them because of what their hands have sent forth, they come to you swearing by Allah, ‘We meant no more than goodwill and conciliation!’

(Qur’aan 4: 61-62)


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Belief in Allah

Introduction: The Importance of this Principle

The first principle of ‘aqeedah is belief in Allah. This is the most important principle of belief and action, and it is the focal point of Islam and the essence of the Qur’aan. We would not be exaggerating if we said that the whole of the Qur’aan speaks about this belief, because the Qur’aan either speaks directly about Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), and His Essence, Names, Attributes and actions, as in Aayaat al-Kursi and Soorah al-Ikhlaas.

Or it calls mankind to worship Him Alone, with no partner or associate, and to give up the worship of false gods – all of which has to do with telling about Allah, calling for the fulfilment of our duties toward Him and forbidding the direction of worship to anyone else.

Or it commands us to obey Him and forbids us to disobey Him, which are the obligations of faith.

Or it tells us about the people of faith and the honour that was bestowed upon them in this world, and how they are rewarded in the Hereafter. This is the reward of the people who believe in Allah.

Or it tells us about the kaafiroon – disbelievers – and how Allah humiliates them in this world, and what He will do to them in the Hereafter, in the abode of punishment. This is the punishment for turning away from belief.

So the entire Qur’aan speaks about belief in Allah. This explains why we find that Allah is mentioned in the Qur’aan, by one or another of His Names and Attributes, 10,062 times; on every page of the Qur’aan, He is mentioned approximately twenty times on a average.

We can say that belief in Allah, in relation to all the other principles and minor matters of faith is like the root of a tree in relation to its trunk and branches. It is the basis of all other principles, the foundation of the religion. The more a person has faith in Allah, the more he is progressing in Islam.


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Issues of Belief in Allah

The issues of this topic which the researcher must examine and discusses are as follows:

Firstly: He must examine the evidence that Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) exists, and refute the specious arugments that have been raised in this respect.

Secondly: He must know about Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), which is achieved is two ways in the Qur’aan:

1) Understanding the wonders in creation which point to the greatness of Allah’s power and the perfection of His creation.

2) Studying the aayaat (verses) of the Qur’aan which speak directly of Allah, His essence, His Names, His attributes and His actions.

Thirdly: He must affirm that Allah alone is the only One to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, and reject anything else that is worshipped instead of Him.

Fourthly: He should look at the history of belief in Divinity and examine what has been said on this topic.


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Chapter One - Evidence of the Existence of the Creator

1 – The First Proof: The Evidence of the Fitrah (Human Instinct)

Sound Human Instinct Bears Witness to the Existence of Allah Without (Any Need for Further) Evidence

The Qur’aan does not discuss at length the matter of proving the existence of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), because it states that sound human instinct, and minds that are not contaminated with the filth of shirk, affirm His existence (without any need for further evidence). Not only that, Tawheed or the affirmation of Divine Unity, is something which is natural and instinctive.

In the Qur’aan it says:

So set you (O’ Muhammad) your face towards the religion (of pure Islamic Monotheism) Haneef (worship none but Allah Alone). Allah’s Fitrah (i.e. Allah’s Islamic Monotheism) with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalq-illaah (i.e. the religion of Allah, Islamic Monotheism), that is the straight religion...

(Qur’aan 30: 30)

This fitrah is the thing which explains the phenomenon that has been noted by those who research the history of religions, that all nations whose history has been studied have adopted gods which they have turned to and venerated.

(Even the communists nowadays who wanted to free themselves from the worship of gods – as they claimed – worship the founder of their Party, so you see them passing by his preserved body in Red Square on the anniversary of his death, bowing their heads in humility. They have made him a god; instead of worshipping the Creator of man they worship a dead man, may they perish!

Comment added by the author in the new, revised edition): This is what I wrote fifteen years ago. A few years ago the guards of communism destroyed their own Party and cast aside their leaders and they threw out the body of their founder just as they threw out their beliefs and ideas.)

It may be said at this point, “If turning towards Allah is something natural, then people would not have worshipped different gods at different times.”

The answer is, that the fitrah (natural instinct) calls man to turn towards his Creator, but man is surrounded by many other influences which make him deviate towards the worship of other gods.

Parents, writers, teachers and others instil into children’s minds ideas which change and contaminate this fitrah, placing a veil over the fitrah so that they are not able to turn towards the truth.

The Messenger :saw: stated that what we have referred to here is true. Bukhari and Muslim narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radhiyAllahu anh) that the Messenger of Allah :saw: said:

“Every child is born in a state of fitrah, then his parents make him into a Jew or a Christian or a Magian.’”

(Bukhari, 3/245, hadeeth no. 1385; Muslim, 4/2047, hadeeth no. 2658)

- He did not say that they make him Muslim, because Islam is in accordance with the fitrah.

It may be said: “If we were to leave a child with no influences to affect is fitrah, would he turn out to be a monotheist, knowing his Lord?”

We say:

“If the devils among men leave him alone, and do not contaminate his fitrah”, but the devils among the jinn (shayaateen) will never leave him alone, as the Shaytaan made a vow that he would misguide the children of Adam:

(Iblees (Satan) said: ‘By Your Might, then I will surely, mislead them all, Except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism).’

(Qur’aan 38: 82-83)

The Shaytaan has been given the power to reach people’s hearts, as stated in the saheeh hadeeth:

“The Shaytaan flows in man like blood flows through his veins, and I fear that he may cast some evil – or he said, something – into both your hearts.”

(Muslim, 4/1712, hadeeth no. 2175)

The Qur’aan describes the Shaytaan, from whom we must seek refuge with Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), as one who,

...Whispers into the hearts of mankind.

(Qur’aan 114: 5)

It is also true that every person has a hidden mate (qareen) from among the jinn who urges and encourages him to do evil. In the Qur’aan it says:

His companion (Satan-devil) will say: ‘Our Lord! I did not push him to transgression, (in disbelief, oppression, and evil deeds), but he was himself in error far astray.’

(Qur’aan 50: 27)

No can be safe from this unless he turns to Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) for refuge.

Say: ‘I seek refuge with (Allah) the Lord of mankind, The King of mankind, The Ilaah (God) of mankind, From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allah). Who whispers into the hearts of mankind. Of jinn and men.’

(Qur’aan 114: 1-6)

The shayaateen among the jinn play a major role in corrupting and contaminating human nature. It is reported in Muslim from ‘Iyaad ibn Himaar that the Messenger of Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) addressed one day, and one of the things he said in his khutbah (address) was:

“My Lord has commanded me to teach you what you do not know of what He has taught me today: all the wealth that I have given to My slaves is halaal, and I created all of My slaves as haneefs (worshipping Allah Alone), then the shayaateen came to them and led them astray from their religion. They forbade them things that I had permitted for them, and commanded them to associate others in worship with Me for which I had not sent down any authority.”

(Muslim, 4/2197, hadeeth no. 2865)


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Calamities Purify the Essence of the Fitrah

It is often the case that the veils covering the fitrah and preventing it from seeing the truth will be removed when calamity strikes or problems arise for which no help is forthcoming from any human being and there is no means of saving oneself. How many atheists have acknowledged their Lord and turned to Him when overwhelmed with calamity, and how many mushrikeen (idolaters and polytheists) have made their devotion solely for Allah alone when disaster strikes?

...Till when you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein. Then they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him Alone, (saying): ‘If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly, be of the grateful.’

(Qur’aan 10: 22)

We have heard now airplane passengers turned to their Lord when their plane developed problems and started to shake and swing about in the air, and the pilot – let alone the passengers – was not able to do anything about it. Their atheism vanished and they were screaming prayers, and their hearts turned to their Lord in all sincerity. There was no room for shirk (polytheism) and atheism in the face of such a terrifying ordeal.


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The Mushrikeen (Polytheists – the Idolaters) to Whom the Messenger was Sent Acknowled

The Arabs whom the Messenger :saw: confronted acknowledged the existence of Allah and that He Alone is the Creator of the universe.
They also believed that He Alone was the Provider and that He alone could bring benefit or cause harm... but they worshipped others alongside Him, and they did not devote their worship to Him alone.

When the Qur’aan calls the mushrikeen to worship Allah Alone and to make their religion for Him Alone, it asks them Who the Creator and Soverign of the heavens and the earth is, for they knew that, and they never denied it:

And if you (O’ Muhammad) ask them: ‘Who has created the heavens and the earth,’ they will certainly say: ‘Allah’...

(Qur’aan 31: 25)

In Soorah al-Mu’minoon (the chapter: The Believers) it says:

Say: ‘Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know!’

They will say: ‘It is Allah’s!’ Say: ‘Will you not then remember?’

Say: ‘Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens, and (the) Lord of the Great Throne?’

They will say: ‘Allah.’ Say: ‘Will you not then fear Allah (believe in His Oneness, obey Him, believe in the Resurrection and the Recompense for every good or bad deed)?’

Say: ‘In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything (i.e. treasures of everything)? And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector (i.e. if Allah saves anyone, none can punish or harm him; and if Allah punishes or harms anyone, none can save him), if you know?’

They will say: ‘(All that belongs) to Allah.’ Say: ‘How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?’

(Qur’aan 23: 84-89)

It is well known that the Arabs used to venerate the Ka’bah and perform Hajj, and they had other acts of worship that they did.


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The Kufr (Disbelief) of People Nowadays is Greater

We should not have had to pause too long to prove the existence of Allah, because sound human nature bears witness to His existence. We hardly know of anyone in the past who denied the existence of the Creator; those that did were so few as to be hardly worth mentioning.

But deviation has reached its lowest point nowadays. We see people who have established states based on this principle, states whose inhabitants include millions of people.

This idea has spread everywhere, books have been written about it and it has developed a philosophy which is the subject of study. Its proponents have tried to make it a scientific methodology and have tried to bring forth proof to support it.

Because of this, we have no choice but to produce our own proof concerning this matter.


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2 – The Second Proof: This Universe Must Have A Creator

The Qur’aan offers the disbelievers and deniers proof which rational minds have no option but to affirm and which no sound mind can possibly reject. Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), says:

Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief.

(Qur’aan 52: 35-36)

The Qur’aan says to them: “You exist, and you cannot deny this”;

- the heavens and the earth exist, beyond any doubt. It is simply common sense, to the rational mind, that the things which exist must have a cause for their existence. The camel herder in the desert knows this.

He says,

“Camel dung indicates the presence of a camel and footsteps indicate that someone walked here. So the heavens with their stars and the earth with its mountains and valleys must indicate the existence of the All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

The great scientists who research into life and living beings also know this.

What is referred to in this aayah is know to the scientists as the law of cause and effect. This law states that a (possible) thing cannot happen by itself without another thing (causing it), because it does not possess in itself the power to exist by itself, and it cannot by itself cause something else to exist, for it cannot give to others that which it does not itself possess.


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Let Us Give an Example to Explain This Law More Clearly

A few years ago, the sands in the Rub’ al-Khaali desert (the Empty Quarter) were blown away by a windstorm to reveal the ruins of a city that had been covered by the sands. Scientists began to examine the contents of the city to try to determine the period in which it had been built. Nobody among the archaeologists or others even suggested that this city could have appeared as a result of the natural actions of the wind, rain, heat and cold, and not by the actions of man.

If anyone had suggested such a thing, people would have regarded him crazy and would have taken pity on him. So how about if someone had said that this city was formed by the air from nothing in the far distant past, then it settled on the earth? This suggestion is no less strange than the previous, in fact it is far stranger.

Why? Because nothing cannot create something, which is simply the matter of common sense, and a thing cannot create itself.

According to the way we know the city, there has to be someone who brought it into existence. What we see tells us something about the people who made it. The city must have been made by intelligent people who were skilled in construction and planning.

If we see a person going from the bottom of a building to the top, we see nothing strange in that, because a person has the ability to do that. But if we see that a rock which was in the courtyard of the building has moved to the top of the building, we will be certain that it did not move by itself. There has to have been someone who picked it up and moved it, because a rock does not have the ability to move or climb.

It is strange that people are certain that the city could not have come into existence without a creator, and that it could not have built itself, and they are certain that the rock must have had someone who would take it up to the top of the building, but there are those among them who insist that this universe came into being without a creator, even though the structure of the universe is far more complex.

The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind;...

(Qur’aan 40: 57)

But when these deniers are confronted with scientific logic that addresses their reason, they have to either accept it or stubbornly reject it.

This is the evidence with which the scholars of Islam are still confronting the deniers. One of the scholars was approached by some of these heretics who deny the Creator. He asked:

What would you say about a man who tells you, I have seen a ship laden with cargo, filled with goods, in the middle of the ocean, being buffeted by waves and winds, yet, despite all that, it is sailing smoothly and following a straight course, with no sailors controlling or steering it. Is this reasonable to believe?

They said,

“This is irrational.”

The scholar said:

“SubhaanAllah! If it is not rationally possible for a ship to sail smoothly across the sea without any sailors or crew, then how is it possible for this world, with all its different forces and factors, with its vastness and huge variety, to exist without a Creator or Keeper?”

They all wept and said, you have spoken the truth, and they repented.

This law, which is rationally acceptable, is what is referred to in the aayah:

Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators?

(Qur’aan 52: 35)

This is evidence which forces rational minds to accept that there is a Creator Who is to be worshipped. The aayah is worded in such an eloquent and moving way that anyone who hears it will be moved deeply.

Bukhari narrated in his Saheeh that Jubayr ibn Mut’im said:

“I heard the Messenger of Allah :saw: reciting Soorah at-Toor in Maghrib (prayer). When he reached this passage –

‘Were they created by nothing? Or were they themselves the creators?

Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm

Or are with them the treasures of your Lord? Or are they the tyrants with the authority to do as they like?’

(Qur’aan 52: 35-37)

- my heart almost began to soar.”

(Bukhari, 8/603, hadeeth no. 4854)

Al-Bayhaqi said that the Abu Sulaymaan al-Khattaabi said:

“The reason why he was so moved when he heard these aayaat was because he understood the aayaat so well and because what he learned from the strong evidence contained therein touched his sensitive nature, and with his intelligence he understood it...”

With regard to the meaning of the aayah (verse),

Were they created by nothing?... (Qur’aan 52: 35),

Al-Khattaabi said:

“Or were they brought into being without a creator? That could not happen, because the creation must inevitably be connected to the Creator. There has to have been a Creator. If they deny the Divine Creator, but they could not have come into being without a creator creating them, then did they create themselves? That is an even more fallacious argument, because if something does not exist, how can it be described as having power, and how could it create anything? How could it do anything? If these two arguments are refuted, then it is established that they have a Creator, so let them believe in Him.

Then Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) says: Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm Belief. (Qur’aan 52: 36)

This is something which they cannot lay any claim to. Thus they are defeated (in argument) and proof is established against them.”

The point of what Al-Khattaabi said about that to which the kuffaar could not lay any claim in to put an end to this argument and dispute, because there could be some arrogant person who says “I created myself,” just as one of his ilk who came before him claimed to have the power over life and death:

Have you not looked at him who dispute with Ibraheem (Abraham) about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Ibraheem said (to him): ‘My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death.’ He said, ‘I give life and cause death.’...

(Qur’aan 2: 258)

What was Ibraheem’s response? He replied with another question which exposed the tyrant’s incapability and proved him to be a liar:

...Ibraheem (Abraham) said, ‘Verily, Allah bring the sun from the east; then bring it you from the west.’...

(Qur’aan 2: 258)

The result of that was:

...So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people, who are Zaalimoon (wrongdoers).

(Qur’aan 2: 258)

Let us suppose someone said, “I created myself.” Can he claim that he created the heavens and the earth? If nothing did not create the heavens and the earth, and if the heavens and the earth did not create themselves, and if these people cannot claim that they created all of that, then there must inevitable be a Creator Who created all of that, and this Creator is Allah, Glorified be He and Exalted.


Staff member
The attitude of the empirical sciences towards this law

Human power and the nature of created beings is incapable of listing all the stages of cause and effect and tracing its sequence back, step by step, until it reaches the beginning of the universe. Hence the empirical sciences have no hope of finding out the origin of things. These sciences expressed refraining from such attempt. All that they have been able to do is to trace a few steps behind them, leaving everything beyond that to the realm of the unseen, concerning which scholars and ignorant people are on equal footing.