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The Classical Works
  Aqeedatul-Waasitiyyah - The Text
Author: Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah
Source: Translated by Assas Nimer Busool
Article ID : AQD040003  [43202]  
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(The people of the Sunnah) accept what the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and the consensus brought them of the Sahabah's virtues and high ranks; So they prefer those who spent (their wealth) and fought before the victory -which is the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah*35 - over those who spent and fought after it. They prefer the Muhajirun (Immigrants) over the Ansar (Helpers). They believe that Allah said to the people of Badr - they were over three hundred-: "Do whatever you wish, I have already forgiven you." (Abu Dawud)

And "they believe that no one who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) under the tree36 will enter Hell" (Muslim), as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had declared; but that Allah was pleased with them and they with Him - and they were more than one thousand and four hundred.

They assign to Paradise whoever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) assigned there such as the ten**, and Thabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas, and others of amongst the Sahabah.

They accept what has been reported continuously from the Prince of the Believers, 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), and from others, that the best men of this 'Ummah after its Prophet are: Abu Bakr; then 'Umar; third, 'Uthman, and fourth, 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with them all). All Traditions have indicated, and all Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all) have agreed upon giving priority to 'Uthman out of regard for his allegiance (al-Bai'ah), although some of the people of the Sunnah are disputing over whether 'Uthman or 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with both of them) has the priority, after they (the people of the Sunnah) had agreed upon giving priority to Abu Bakr and 'Umar. Some people gave the priority to 'Uthman and kept silent and considered 'Ali to be the fourth. However, some people preferred 'Ali. And some remained neutral. But the people of the Sunnah settled on preferring 'Uthman, even though this matter - the matter of 'Uthman and 'Ali - is not of the fundamentals. The majority of the people of the Sunnah do not consider disagreeing in this matter as being misled. Rather, it is in the matter of the "Question of the Caliphate" where they consider the disagreeing person to be misled.

Ahl as-Sunnah believe that the Caliph after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is Abu Bakr; then 'Umar; then 'Uthman, then 'Ali, and that whoever contests the Caliphate of any one of these Imams is indeed more lost than an ass

Ahl as-Sunnah should not deal with what happened between the Sahabah of the disagreement, and they must say: Part of the Traditions which are narrated about their faults are untrue, and some of them added to or omitted from, or distorted; The part of them which is true, they are excused from, because either they expressed their personal opinion and were right, or they expressed their personal opinion and were wrong.

Ahl as-Sunnah do not think that each of the Sahabah is infallible of committing grave sins or light sins, but that they are liable to commit general offenses. Nevertheless, to them belongs priority in accepting Islam

and in doing good deeds which qualify them for forgiveness of what they may have committed, to the extent that their offenses are forgiven. The same offenses will not be forgiven of those who come after them because they (as-Sahabah) have a credit of good deeds which erase the bad deeds, a credit the generations after them do not have. It has been confirmed by the saying of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him):

"That they are the best of all generations," (al-Bukhari and Muslim) and: "That the pint of charity any one of them might have given is better than a pile of gold the size of Mount 'Uhud if it is given by anyone who comes after them." (al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, if anyone of them (as-Sahabah) committed any act of offense, without doubt he repented from it, or he did good deeds which wiped that offense from him, or he has been forgiven for the virtue of accepting Islam from its start or by intercession of Muhammad (peace be upon him) since they are deserving most his intercession, or a calamity inflicted upon him in this world which covered for that offense. But if this is the case in actual offenses, what about matters in which they were mujtahids (formulating independent decision in legal or theological matters)? If they were correct in their ijtihad they will receive double reward and if they missed they will receive one reward and the missing is forgiven for them.


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