بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Subhan Allah, it’s amazing. I’ve noticed that when topics like “dawah” or “hijab” or “Hajj” or “Ramadan” or “the biography of the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam)”, are discussed, many people flock to listen.
However, when the topic is aqeedah (creed) then………most of the people vanish.
And why is that, I wonder? The most important thing that a Muslim needs to have is the correct aqeedah. Everything else (ibaadah, good manners, etc) follows after that.
I’ve mentioned the importance of tawheed and aqeedah before and I’ll do so again.
[Note: Tawheed means “worshipping Allah alone” whereas Aqeedah is something that one firmly believes in and follows. So, our aqeedah is the aqeedah of tawheed.
Aqeedah is more general than tawheed. You can read a short explanation of this issue here.]
This is what Imam As-Saadi (rahimahullah) had to say about tawheed:
“There is nothing that produces such good results nor holds such a variety of virtues like tawheed”. [For more virtues of tawheed, you may refer to the article where this quote was taken from.]
Tawheed has different branches. One of those is the tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes.
As the scholars pointed out, the greatness of a subject depends on the greatness of its subject matter.
What does the tawheed of Allah’s Names and Attributes discuss? Well, it talks about Allah’s Beautiful Names and His Attributes which means that it is talking about Allah Himself.
Is there a subject matter greater than this? No.
Therefore, this is the greatest subject.
Also, one should realise that they cannot get close to Allah without knowing anything about Him! The more one knows about Allah’s Names and His Attributes, the more that they will love and obey Him.
So, if someone is interested in studying this subject, what should he/she do?
Well, the first thing to do is to make sure that you learn it from a person with proper aqeedah, because if you don’t, you’re finished. Your aqeedah will be in tatters if you ever study this great subject with any of the people of innovation.
Also, one should know that this field talks about two matters: 1) Allah’s Names and 2) His Attributes so one should study both matters.
A point of caution: This is not an easy subject although it is a very important one. So be patient, strive hard, and ask Allah to make it easy for you.
For those who might want to learn more about Allah’s Attributes, I would encourage them to read Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s (rahimahullah) explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah.
Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah is a book written by the amazing scholar Ibn Taimiyyah (rahimahullah) (he was the teacher of Imams Ibn Kathir and Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahumullah)) and it basically focus on the Attributes of Allah and what the Quran and the Sunnah say about them.
Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen was an awesome scholar, maasahaa Allah, who died about 10 years ago. He had a really wonderful way of explaining things so all the hard stuff looks easy.
I read Volume 1 of the translation of his book (the explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah) and I loved it. Why?
– Well, it’s about my favourite subject (tawheed)
– He makes it so easy and tries to give many examples so that a person can understand the concept.
– His tafsir.
I know, you might be like “Tafsir? Isn’t that an explanation of the Quran? What does that have to do with a book on Aqeedah?”
Well, because a vast majority of the book are ayaat (verses) from the Quran and because he explains each of them, this book really ends up doubling as a book of tafsir.
[And Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen’s tafsir is another story. I need to write another post just to tell you how much I love reading his tafsir.]
– The heart softeners.
You know, there is nothing as heart softening as tawheed.
In this explanation, Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen keeps talking about “behavioural aspects” meaning how the knowledge of such and such attribute must make us behave. So, rather than being a technical book on tawheed, his explanation is very practical and useful for daily life.
So, am I going to link to this explanation? No, because it’s not online (not that I know of).
There is a summarised translation of this explanation online but it seems to be a quarter of the original size.
How can you get your hands on the two volume copy? Well, Darussalam is the one that published this book so you may it buy from them.
This is what the book looks like: http://store.dar-us-salam.com/nw/242.html
Just a few points:
1) Darussalam has another explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah as well. That is a small book but the one that I’m talking about is much more detailed.
2) For those of you who might want to buy the Arabic copy and live in Dubai, I’d advise you to buy it from Al-Furqan bookstore. That’s where I bought my Arabic copy from and it’s a wonderful edition.
3) Would I recommend this book to complete beginners? Well, no. I think one should have some background of tawheed otherwise they might get a bit confused.
4) The book doesn’t just talk about Allah’s Attributes. There’s loads of other stuff mentioned there as well.
5) I’m not too good with book reviews but I hope that the post encourages you to read this book!
6)Yes, yes, yes. Anyone who knows me personally can borrow my Arabic or English copies, insha-Allah.