The additional text in italics after each point is a summary of the words of Ibn Taymiyyah in his Majmoo' al-Fataawaa
1. Everything which is in accord with the Book
and the Authentic Sunnah is accepted by them and everything which is in
opposition to it is treated as false by them.
The first thing which distinguishes the Ahl
us-Sunnah wal- Jamaa'ah from all those besides them is the methodology with
which they acquire their sciences (of the Deen) and the source of the Truth from
which they derive their beliefs, concepts, acions of worship, dealings (with the
people), their mode of conduct and their manners. The source of Knowledge and
Truth in all the various branches of knowledge with the Ahl us-Sunnah is the
Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . No words other than the
words of Allaah come first and no guidance other that the guidance of the
Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) comes first.
2. There is no one who is free from making
mistakes (in the Deen) except the Messenger of Allaah
The Ahl us-Sunnah do not regard anyone as being safe
from error as regards the Deen except the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . The scholars are not
free from making mistakes but rather the words of everyone can either be
accepted or rejected except those of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) . Therefore the words
and statements of the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah by necessity follow or are
in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and do not precede or go
ahead of it.
3. The Ijmaa' (concensus) of the Salaf us-Saalih
(Pious Predecessors) is regarded as a Sharee'ah proof which is necessary to hold
on to for those who come after them.
And the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah believe that the
most knowledgeable of the creation as regards the Deen of Allaah after the
Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are the Companions (ra) and the Salaf us-Saalih. Whatever they
united/agreed upon from any of the affairs or matters of the Deen is free from
being wrong and it is not [permissible] for anyone to leave it. Their Ijmaa is a
Sharee'ah proof which it is obligatory to hold on to for those who come after
them. All those who stick to their Ijmaa are [therefore] those who adhere
strictly to their Jamaa'ah (group).
4. They do not accept or affirm any speech or
Ijtihaad (Jurisprudence) except after having thrown it against these three
sources: The Book, the Authentic Sunnah and Ijmaa' of the Salaf.
The Ahl us-Sunnah hold on to the [Sunnah] which the
Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) came with and adhere to the [Jamaa'ah] of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and
they are the Companions (ra) and whoever follows their way and adopts their
methodology. They do not accept any Ijtihaad or any speech regardless of whom it
comes from except after having referred it to the Book, the Authentic Sunnah and
the Ijmaa of the Salaf.
5. They do not contradict the Qur'aan or the
Sunnah with their 'Aql (Intellect) or opinions or analogies.
And (therefore) the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah do
not rely upon, follow or cling except to the knowledge and the practise of the
Salaf us-Saalih and whoever takes from them, sticks to their jamaa'ah and
travels upon their trail and binds (and restricts) himself to their
principles/foundations. And this is because the Companions (ra) learnt the
tafseer (explanation) of the Qur'an and the Hadeeth from the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ,
then taught it to the Taabi'een but did not put themselves before Allaah and His
Messenger with an opinion, ones taste, ones intellect, sudden enlightenment
(like that of the soofees) or other such things.
6. The Jamaa'ah (The Group that is united upon
the Truth, which the Messenger (sallallaahu-alaihi-wasallam) came with, in terms
of speech and action) is the means of Deliverance in this life and in the
The Ahl us-Sunnah therefore, hold fast to the
Jamaa'ah of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) turning away from the places of separation and
difference, clinging tightly to the totality of the Book, the Sunnah and Ijmaa
(unanimous agreement of the companions), whilst being far from the places of
obscurity and unclarity (in the Book and the Sunnah) which separates and divides
the united. And (this is because) the Jamaa'ah in (their estimation) is the
means of Deliverance in this life and the Hereafter.
7. They do not make obligatory the acquaintance
with a particular type of knowledge upon he who is incapable and which is
befitting for the capable person only.
And the Ahl us-Sunnah believe in what the Prophet
(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) came with in its entirety, however, they differentiate between the one who
is capable and the one who is not with regards to knowing what the Messenger
(sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) came with in a detailed way. And this is a mighty principle: many trials
have befallen (the Ummah) due to absence of its understanding.
Peace and Blessings upon the Messenger of Allaah, upon his Companions (ra) and all those who follow in their footsteps until the Day of Resurrection.