A Summary of the Fundamentals of the Creed of Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama'ah

By Dr.Nasir ibn 'Abdul-Karim al-'Aql

Translation by Ali ibn Mehdi ibn Mutlak al-Timimi

Faith (Imaan):

(1) Faith consists of both statement and deed. It increases through acts of obedience and decreases through acts of disobedience. It consists of the statements of the heart and tongue, and the deeds performed by the heart, tongue and lips.
The statement of the heart is its beliefs and its confirming [those beliefs] as true.
The statement of the tongue is the acknowledgement of these beliefs.
The deeds of the heart are its surrendering to Allaah, its worship to Allaah alone, its submissiveness to Him, its love and desiring of righteous actions.
The deeds of the limbs is to do what Allaah has ordered and to forsake what Allaah has ordered and to forsake what He has prohibited.

(2) Whoever divorces actions from faith is a Murji'i. Whoever adds into faith what is not part of it is a heretic.

(3) The title of faith is not applied to those who do not acknowledge the two testimonies, nor is its ruling affirmed for those individuals in this world or the Hereafter.

(4) "Islaam" and "Imaan" are two terms employed by the shariah. Lying between these two terms is a shared meaning in one sense and specific meaning in another sense.
Ahl al-Qiblah ("Those who face the qiblah in their prayers") are to be called Muslims.

(5) The perpetrator of a grave sin (kabirah) does not step outside the fold of faith (i.e., he is not an infidel). In this world, he is to be called a believer possessing an incomplete faith. In the Hereafter, he stands under under Allaah's will, who may forgive him if He pleases or punish him if He pleases.

(6) One cannot unequivocally claim that any specific individual from ahl al-Qiblah is destined to Paradise or Hell except for those individuals concerning whom a specific text exists affirming such for him.

(7) The term "kufr" as employed by the wording of the shariah consists of two types: a greater "kufr" which expels one from the fold of Islaam and a lesser "kufr" which does not expel one from the fold of Islaam and is often referred to as kufr in deed (kufr 'amali) (as opposed to belief).

(8) To charge an individual as an infidel (kafir) is among the rulings of the shariah. Its underlying factors are therefore to be found in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah. It is therefore impermissible to charge a Muslim as an infidel (kafir) due to any of his statements or actions, unless there exists an evidence from the shariah which points to that constituting disbelief. Furthermore, the designation by the shariah upon any statement or action constituting disbelief does not necessitate the affirmation of its consequences (namely, that person being an infidel) in the right of any specific individual unless all the conditions for that ruling have been met and all impediments (such as ignorance and coercion) have been negated. Since charging a Muslim as an infidel (takfir) is among the most dangerous rulings of the shariah, caution and ascertainment is therefore required prior to ruling against someone with that.