Islamic content encyclopedia

كتاب الإيمان

The Book of Imān (Faith) which Allah has made obligatory on His servants, based on the Noble Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah.

Written by

Professor Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Suhaim

Dr. Sami ibn Muhammad al-Khalil

(It is a book that comprises all the fundamentals and key issues related to creed. It links issues of creed to the Noble Qur’an and the pure Sunnah. It also presents the principles of creed in a brief and comprehensive manner, using simple phrases and clarifying creedal issues. The book is free from theological and philosophical topics.)


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, Who revealed the Book to His servant and made in it no crookedness. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, alone, with no partner; to Him belongs the dominion and all praise, and He is Able to do all things; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger and the one entrusted with His revelation.

To proceed; the science of creed is the noblest and most sublime of all sciences, for it speaks about the noblest One - Allah Almighty - and the noblest objective, i.e. belief in Him and His Oneness, and the noblest outcome, which is to see the Almighty Lord in the abode of bliss, follow the noble Prophet, and adhere to the straight path. Hence, we wanted to author a book that comprises the issues of creed and from which we derive guidance from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), away from the newly- introduced theological terms, definitions, pillars, and conditions. We present the book for the benefit of everyone: the knowledgeable and the seekers of knowledge in universities and elsewhere, as well as ordinary Muslims.

The reason behind authoring this book:

Our righteous predecessors made great efforts in clarifying the correct creed, explaining the opposite creed, and responding to opponents. This book aims at making the books of our predecessors clearer and easier to understand for the seekers of knowledge and ordinary Muslims. We have collected creedal issues in one comprehensive book and restricted the content to affirming the sound creed, without engaging in responses to the incorrect ones. We have also been keen to write the book in simple and clear words, and arrange it in a good objective order. By this, we hope to achieve two goals: helping make the writings of the earlier scholars clearer and easier to understand, and fulfilling a key need in the creedal library, namely providing a book easy in wording and comprising all issues related to the creed.

Our approach in authoring the book:

We present the Qur'anic verses and Hadīths related to any of the creedal issues and derive our approach in this book from them.

We review all the topics in the books on creed, including the isnāds (chains of transmission), matns (texts), and the sharhs (commentaries) on matns. This is to make sure that the creed we have derived from the verses and Hadīths comprises the information written down by the authors of the books of creed.

If a creedal issue occurs in the noble Qur’an or the Sunnah in one certain way, we cite only one or two proofs mentioning this issue. Yet, if a creedal issue is mentioned in the Qur’an or the Sunnah in various ways, like the attribute of speech, exaltedness, the hand, the believers seeing their Lord during the tumult of the Day of Judgment and in Paradise, we are committed to cite the proof for every way in which it is mentioned, and we do not have to include all relevant texts.

We may be obliged to include some aspects related to one issue in one chapter and then repeat and complete them in another chapter. For example, we cited the texts on creating the angels in the chapter of creation and then talked about them again in the book of belief in angels. Likewise, we cited in the chapter of belief in the existence of Allah some verses pointing to His existence, and these same verses may appear in the chapter of lordship, given the similarity of the topics. In the chapter of belief in the existence of Allah, the purpose is to present the proofs for the existence of our Lord, which atheists deny. Meanwhile, in the chapter of lordship, the purpose is to establish the lordship that entails Allah's divinity, over which polytheists argue. We may also cite a certain verse or Hadīth in more than one place, depending on the relevant perspective and need.

When needed, we may report the statements of earlier scholars that clarify the intended meaning of a certain verse or Hadīth, only taking what reveals the correct opinion, without mentioning misconceptions or opposing views, lest a learner may be affected by misconceptions or satiated with the opposing views before this knowledge can take hold in his heart and mind. We hope this will protect the reader - by Allah's permission - from lapses in this area, for it is subject to well-known creedal differences, like the issues of Allah's attributes, destiny, etc.

We deliberately avoided newly-introduced theological definitions and terms for which Allah Almighty has sent down no authority.

We have made the book in the form of books and chapters, like the writings of the earlier authors of Shar‘i books. We did not use contemporary classifications: topics and subjects. We have arranged the book according to the fundamentals of faith. Ibn Abi al-‘Izz al-Hanafi said: "The best way of arranging a book on the fundamentals of religion is the order of the Prophet's response to Jibrīl (Gabriel) (peace be upon him) when he asked him about Imān (faith), as he said: "To believe in Allah, His angels..." So, we should start by addressing Allah's oneness and attributes and the related issues, and then the angels, and so on." [Sharh Al-‘Aqīdah At-Tahāwiyyah (2/689)]

Ahead of every book, we have written a summary listing the topics addressed therein, without proofs.

As for the Hadīths, we have put a brief takhrīj thereof, beginning with the six books of Hadīths in their well-known order and then adopting the order based on the date of death. For our desire to make the book small in size, we have included the takhrīj only, without commentaries on the Hadīths, except in rare cases.

The merits of this book:

It links creedal issues to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Thus, it becomes clear to the seeker of knowledge where these issues are derived from.

It encompasses the main creedal issues related to all chapters of the creed.

It is keen to establish and explain the creed in a brief, comprehensive, simple, and clear way. This makes it easier for readers to understand.

The book is free from theological and philosophical topics, and it employs simple and easy phrases, avoiding the terms used in some of the books of creed, after some writers appeared to be affected by their personal inclinations.

We do not claim that we have fully addressed all creedal issues, but we did our best in this, and we look forward to every enrichment to this book or rectification or amendment thereof, so that we can apply this to its subsequent editions. It is enough that we have gone to the spring of revelation and derived therefrom the topics related to the noblest of all knowledge and presented them to the seekers of this field of knowledge, citing a verse or a Hadīth or both in relation to every topic. We implore Allah Almighty to make this work sincerely done for His sake and compliant with the Sunnah of His Prophet-His close friend, and the one entrusted with His revelation (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him), and to render it useful for His servants and a witness for us on the Day we will meet Him!

We give all thanks to Allah, Exalted be He, for facilitating this knowledge for us and employing us for serving His religion and presenting and explaining the issues related to the pillars of faith, along with the relevant proofs from the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

We also thank all those who have been good to us, most notably our parents. O Allah, forgive them, show mercy upon them, and give them the best reward for their care of us!

And we thank those virtuous people who reviewed the book and kindly presented comments and feedback on it. They are His Eminence Prince Dr. Saud bin Salman bin Muhammad Al Saud, the associate professor of creed at Kind Saud University, His Eminence Dr. Sahl bin Rifā‘ al-‘Utaybi, the associate professor of creed at Kind Saud University, and Professor ‘Abdulaziz bin Ahmad al-Humaydi, the professor of creed at Umm Al-Qura University, who said the following about this book: "This blessed book is a great gift from Allah to the two noble Sheikhs and a treasure of reward He has stored for them. He guided them to its idea and plan and enabled them to compile and write it, so that it will present the objectives of the divine message and the fundamentals of the religion from its very root and source, i.e., the Qur’an and the Sunnah. I claim that this type of book was a duty on Ahl-us-Sunnah, and Allah enabled the two noble Sheikhs to fulfill it." The list also includes Professor Abdullah bin Salih al-Barrak, the professor of creed at Kind Saud University, and Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Anqari, the associate professor of creed at King Saud University. May Allah give them the best reward, on our behalf and on behalf of knowledge and its people, for their sincere advice and wise input!

Praise be to Allah, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad and all his family members and Companions!


Dhul-Hijjah 8

1439 A.H.