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

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

Translation by Ali ibn Mehdi ibn Mutlak al-Timimi

The Most Important Qualities and Distinguishing Characteristics of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'aah

Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'aah are the "Saved Sect" in the Hereafter and the "Victorious Group" in this world.
Despite the disparity which exists between them, they possess certain qualities and characteristics which distinguish them from all others. These include:

(1) They attach importance to the Book of Allaah by their memorization, recitation, and explanation of the Qur'aan and to the Prophetic Narration by their knowledge of them, their comprehension of their meanings, and their distinguishing between the authentic from the weak among the narration. For both the Book of Allaah and the Prophetic hadeeth are the source for the acquisition of the Creed and the Law. Furthermore, they follow up their knowledge with action in accordance to their knowledge.

(2) They enter completely into the religion. They have faith in all of the Scripture. They therefore believe in those texts which mention Allaah's promise of reward, as well as those which mention His threat of punishment. And they believe in those texts which affirm Allaah's Attributes and those which negate any resemblance to His creation. They join between faith in Allaah's decree (qadr) and affirming the possession of a desire, will and action for the slave of Allaah. They also gather between knowledge and action, the qualities of strength and mercy, taking the necessary measures and renouncing the world (zuhd).

(3) They adhere to the Sunnah and repudiate all heresy. They spurn sectarianism and any disagreement in matters of religion.

(4) They follow the guidance of the trustworthy scholars - namely, the Companions of the Prophet and all those who traveled upon their path - in matters of belief, action and in the manner of calling others to Allaah. They remain clear from those who are at variance to the path of the Companions of the Prophet.

(5) They adhere to a median position. They, therefore, adhere in matters of belief to a median position between the sects at either end. While in acts of worship and their conduct, they adhere to a median position between the extremists and the negligent.

(6) They strive to gather the word of the Muslims upon the truth, to unify their ranks upon tawheed and obedience to the Prophet (al-ittiba'), and to eliminate all causes leading to argument and difference between them. From this standpoint, they do not distinguish themselves from the rest of the Muslim nation, in the fundamentals of the religion, with any name other than that of "al-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah". Nor do they befriend or show enmity towards anyone due to any other bond other than that of Islaam and the Sunnah.

(7) They call others to Allaah, command good and prohibit evil, wage jihad, revive the Sunnah, act to renew the religion, establish Allaah's shariah and Rule, in all matters, minor or major.

(8) They have equity and justice in dealing with others. Hence they observe the right of Allaah in dealing with people, not self desires or the desires of their group. For this reason, they do not exploit or wrong others, or belittle those who deserve esteem no matter what they may be.

(9) Notwithstanding the great distances between their lands and times, they possess a conformity in understanding and similarity in position. This is from the fruits of their possessing a single source for their religion and a single methodology for its acquisition.

(10) They show kindness, mercy and good character towards all people.

(11) They show sincerity (nasihah) to Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, the leaders and general body of the Muslims.

(12) They show concern with the affairs of the Muslims, aid them, discharge their rights and prevent any injury from reaching them.