`Aqīdatut Tahāwiyyah – English Translation of the text

The Creed of at-Tahawi:
Concerning the Unity of Allah, and through His success, we declare the following:

1. Allah is One, without any partner.

2. There is nothing like Him.

3. Nothing incapacitates Him.

4. There is no deity worthy of worship, except Allah.

5. God is eternal without beginning. He is everlasting, without finality.

6. He neither perishes nor ends.

7. Nothing will be except that He Wills.

8. Human imagination cannot consptualise Him, nor can human undertaking grasp His Reality.

9. Nor does He resemble creation.

10. He is Living, never dying. He is all- sustaining, self- subsisting, never sleeping.

11. He is the Creator without the need to create, and the Provider without any stores of provision.

12. He takes life fearlessly, and resurrects effortlessly.

13. He was eternally existent with the same attributes even before His creation emerged.

14. The existence of His creation did not add any attribute to Him that was not already His from His firstness without beginning.

15. As He was in eternity attributed with qualities, so He remains forever described with the same attributes.

16. It is not after creating the creation that He merits the name “The Creator” [al-Khaliq], nor through originating His creatures that He merits the name “The Originator” [al-Baari].

17. For Him are the characteristics of Lordship without having anything that is lorded over, the characteristics of Creator without having creation.

18. Because He will resurrect the dead at resurrection after granting them life (ensoulment in the womb after 120 days), He merits the name The Reviver of the dead, now, before He wills to do so. Likewise, He merits the name “Creator” before actually bringing them into existence.

19. All this is true because He is Omnipotent and everything is dependent upon Him, and every affair is effortless for Him. He needs nothing and “There is nothing like Him, and yet He is all-Hearing, the all-Seeing”[42:11]

20. He created creation, in His Knowledge.

21. He measured out their lots.

22. He set for them their life- spans.

23. Nothing about them was concealed from Him before He created them, and He knew everything that they would do before. He actually created them.

24. He commanded them to obey Him and prohibited them from disobeying Him.

25. All things are in accordance with His determination and Will, and His Will is carried on.

26. His servants do not have independent will except contingently through Him. Thus whatever He Wills for them [to do themselves] occurs. If He does not Will it [for them], it will not be.

27. He guides, protects and keeps free of harm whomsoever He pleases by His Grace. Alternatively, He leaves astray, abandons and afflicts whomsoever He justly pleases. Wa mai-yahdillahu fala mudhillala; Wa mai-yudhlil fala haadi-ala.

28. All of them vascillate in His Will, varying between His Grace and His Justice.

29. He transcends all opposites and likeness.

30. None can thwart His decrees, overrule His judgment or overpower His affair.

31. We believe in all of this, and are certain that everything is from Him alone.

32. We Believe that Muhammad is His Chosen One [Abduhu al-Mustapha], His pre-eminent Prophet [Nabiyuhu al-Mujtaba] and His Messenger with whom He is well pleased [Rasooluhu al-Murtadha].

33. He is the last of the Prophets [khaatamal Ambiya], paragon of the pious [Imaam at-taqeeya], master of the Messengers [Sayyidul Mursaleen] and beloved of the Lord of the worlds [Habeeb ur-Rabbil ‘Aalameen].

34. Every claim to prophecy after him is a deviation and heresy.

35. He is the emissary of the Divine, sent to both the general unseen creation as well as all humanity with truth and guidance, light and radiance.

36. The Qur’an is Allah’s word, emanating from Him without explanation, revealed to His Messenger as a revelation. The Believers accept it as truth in accordance with that description. Moreover, they are certain it is literally the Word of Allah, The Transcendant.

37. It is eternal and uncreated unlike human speech.

38. Whoever hears it and considers it to be human speech has entered into disbelief. The proof for this is Allah’s Words in the Qur’an to those whom He rebuked, faulted and promised them the fire by saying, “I will cast them in Hell” [74:26]

39. Whoever describes Allah as having human qualities has fallen into disbelief. Whoever comprehends this, takes heed and restrains from saying anything similar to what the disbelievers say, knowing full well that His Attributes have no similarities in Creation.

40. It is a reality that the people of the Garden shall see Allah with neither enclosure nor mode. It is as the Book of Allah expresses, And faces on that day shall be radiant looking upon their Lord” [75:22-23]. The mode of an entity is what gives it form and recognition, e.g., colour green. The interpretation however, is in accordance with what Allah intended and knew of its meaning.

41. Everything that has come from the Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be bestowed upon him, in the authentic Traditions, is as he stated and its meaning is as he intended. We do not delve into these matters interpreting them according to our own opinions, nor do we conceptualise them according to our own desires.

42. Certainly, no one is safe in his religion other than the one who fully accepts what Allah and His Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be bestowed upon him, have given and refers what is ambiguous therein back to the One who knows it.

43. One’s Islam is not firmly established unless it is based on resignation and surrender. Allah says to those who believe, “O you who believe! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly…” [2:208]

44. Whoever desires that knowledge from which he is prevented and is not content with the limits of his understanding is, therefore, veiled by that very desire from pure Divinte Unity, Tawheed, unadulterated comprehension and sound faith. This causes one to waver between belief and disbelief, assertion and negation, confirming and denying, aimlessly lost, obsessively doubtful and sceptical, neither believing with conviction nor disbelieving with rejection. The constant query for Daleel, or constant, why not this way, etc.

45. The belief concerning the Beatific Vision of the people of the Abode of Peace is not sound if they consider it to be an imagined experience, or if they interpret it according to their limited understanding. Indeed, true understanding of the Beatific Vision or any meaning related to the attributes of Lordship, is in giving up interpretations and adhering to complete resignation about such matters. Upon this, rests the Deen of Muslims, and the various sacred laws of the prophets.

46. Whosoever denies Allah’s attributes or likens Allah to anything in his Creation, has erred and failed to reach transcendent understanding.

47. This is so because our Lord, The Majestic and Exalted, is qualified with Attributes of Oneness of Being, and qualities that are unique. Nothing in creation is in any sense like Him.

48. He is transcendent beyond limits, ends, supports, components, or instruments. The six directions do not surround Him as they do created things. Right, Left, Up, Down, Front, Behind.

49. The Night Ascension into Heaven, al- Mi’raaj, is real. The Prophet was taken during the night, al-Israa, and ascended in person while awake to the Celestial sphere, and from there upward to wherever Allah Willed. Allah honoured him as He intended and revealed to him that which He revealed. “The heart was not false in what it saw.”[53:11] May Allah bless His Beloved Messenger and grant him peace in this and the final abode.

50. The Pool (Hawdh) that Allah has bestowed upon the Prophet’s Ummah to quench their thirst is real.

51. The Prophet’s intercession, upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah, that he held in store for his Ummah on that Day is real.

52. The covenant that Allah took from Adam, upon whom be peace, and his progeny is real. Surah Aal-Imran [3:80] The covenant is that when Allah sends a Messenger with Message, then we shall believe in it. The progeny responded to Allah that we will follow and aid the Messenger.

53. Allah has known eternally the total number of those who will enter Garden and those who will enter the Fire. There will be no increase nor decrease in that number.

54. The same applies to all of their actions that He “knew, knows and will know” they would perform.

55. Every individual is facilitated to do that for which he was created.

56. One’s final deed determines the acceptance or rejection of his actions.

57. The eternally saved is the one who was saved by the Divine Decree, just as the damned is the one damned by the divine Decree.

58. The principal origin of the Divine Decree of Allah The Exalted, is His arena of Secrets within the creation. Neither any intimate aged nor any prophetic emissary has been privy to it.

59. Perusal of and reflection in such a matter, i.e., the Divine Decree, is a means of Spiritual Loss, a ladder to depression one walks down oneself, and a step towards transgression. Therefore take heed and beware of probing the Divine Decree, whether in thought, reflection or suggestion. Allah The Exalted, has concealed such knowledge of the Divine Decree from His Creation and prohibited them from seeking it. It is as the Exalted has said in his Book, “He is not asked about what He does, but they will be asked about what they do.” [21:23] Therefore anyone who asks, “Why has He done this?” has rejected the
judgment of the Book and verges amongst the disbelievers.

60. This is the sum of what one needs, whose heart is illuminated, as one of the protected friends of Allah The Exalted. In fact, this is the rank of those firmly rooted in knowledge.

61. This is because knowledge is of two types:

i) that which is accessible to His creatures
ii) that which is not accessible to His creatures

Thus, to deny accessible knowledge is disbelief, and to claim inaccessible knowledge is disbelief. True faith is not established until accessible knowledge is accepted and the pursuit of inaccessible knowledge is abandoned.

62. We believe in the Tablet (al-Lawh) and the Pen (al-Qalam), and all that the Pen has etched onto the Tablet.

63. This if all creation agreed to remove from existence something whose very existence Allah had inscribed in the Tablet, they could not do it. Likewise, had they agreed to bring about something that Allah The Exalted, had not inscribed in the Tablet, they could not. The pen’s ink has dried regarding what was, is and shall be until the Day of Resurrection.

64. Whatever a person has missed could not have happened to them and whatever has happened to them could not have missed them.

65. It is necessary for a devotee to know that Allah’s foreknowledge, preceded every existent thing in His creation. He then measured it out, exactly and decisively. There is none among His creatures in neither the heavens nor earth who can nullify it, overrule it, remove it, change it, detract from or add to it.

66. All of that is part of the Creed of faith (Aqeedatul Imaan) and foundation of true knowledge (Usool ul Ma’rifa), as well as the acknowledgement of Divine Oneness (Tawheed) and His Absolute Lordship. As Allah The Exalted, has said in His Book, “ He created everything and ordained for it decisively.” [25:2] And Allah The Exalted, says, “The Affair of Allah is decisively Ordained.” [33:38]

67. Therefore, woe unto those who becomes and adversary of Allah concerning what is ordained and conjures up a diseased heart to reflect upon such matters. He is, in his delusion, attempting to understand a concealed secret, wholly hidden in the unseen, only to end up in any remark he makes, a wicked forger of lies.

68. The Throne (‘Arsh), which in reality is the vastest of God’s creation, and the footstool (Kursi) which is a vast luminous creation in the presence of the Throne, are real and the nature of both of them is known to none except Allah.

69. Yet, Allah is in no need of the Throne or anything other than that.

70. He encompasses everything and yet transcends everything. He rendered His creation incapable of encompassing Him.

71. We also assert in completely good faith, conviction and acceptance that Allah befriended Ibrahim, upon him be peace, and spoke with Musa, upon who be peace.

72. We believe in the Angels, the Prophets and the Books that were revealed to the Messengers. We also bear witness that they were all following the manifest Truth.

73. We call those who face in our direction of prayer, believing Muslims, as long as they acknowledge all that the Beloved Prophet, upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah, brought, and confirm in truth all that he said and reported.

74. We do not speculate about Allah nor do we argue about Allah’s religion.

75. We do not argue with anyone concerning the nature of the Qur’an, but bear witness that it is the Word of Allah, revealed through the trustworthy spirit of Jibreel, upon whom be peace, who brought it to the Paragon of the Messengers,  Muhammad, upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah, and taught by Allah.

76. It is the Word of Allah, incomparable to human speech, nor do we say that it is created.

77. We do not differ from the majority of the Muslims, which is our protection.

78. We do not curse those who follow our direction of prayer for any wrong that they may have committed, as long as they do not consider it lawful.

79. Nor do we say that wrongs done by the faithful do them no harm.

80. We hopefully trust that Allah will pardon those among the believers who do good deeds and that He will admit them in Paradise through His Mercy. However, we do not guarantee that nor do we declare that they will enter Paradise. We ask for forgiveness for their sins and fear for their welfare, but we do not cause them to despair regarding their affair.

81. Certainty of salvation and despair of it are two paths that will lead one out of the Religion of Islam. For those who pray facing Makkah, the path of Truth lies between the two.

82. A believing servant does not lose their faith except by denying something that made them a believer in the first place.

83. Faith is an affirmation on the tongue accompanied by a conviction in the heart, that Allah is One and that Muhammad, and all the Prophets and Messengers before him are truthful.

84. And regarding all that Allah revealed in the Qur’an as well as the sound transmission from the Beloved Prophet, upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah, about the Sacred Law and its explanations- all of it is true.

85. Faith is one reality and at essence, all of its people are the same. Any disparity among them is a result of distinctions in knowledge, piety, struggle and adherence to propriety.

86. All of the believers are protected friends of the Merciful Allah. The noblest among according to Allah is the most obedient and adherent to the Qur’an.

87. Faith is belief in Allah, His Angels, his Revelations, his Messengers, The Last Day, Resurrection after Death and the Divine Decree, its benefit and harm, its sweetness and bitterness is from Allah, The Exalted.

88. We are believers in all of that. We do not distinguish among any of His Messengers, and we affirm all the revelations that they brought.

89. We believe that the people of mortal sins from among the community of Muhammad, upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah, will go to Hell, unless otherwise pardoned by Allah, but will not abide there forever as long as they died monotheists. This includes those who had not repented but died knowing Allah’s Oneness and believing in Him. They are considered to be in His Providence and judgment. If Allah chooses, He forgives and pardons them through His Grace, as He mentioned in His Book, ‘Surely, Allah does not forgive idolatry, but He forgives anything else to whom He pleases” [4:48]. If He chooses, He punishes them in the Fire with His Justice, and then He removes them through His Grace and the intercessions of those among His obedient servants. Then, He enters them into His Paradise.

90. All of this is because Allah protects those who are acquainted with Him and does not treat them in either of the two abodes (this world and the next) as He does those who deny Him, who are destitute of His Guidance and bereft of His protection.

91. O Allah, Protector of Islam and its adherents, root us firmly in submission to Your Will until we meet in that State.

92. We consider the formal prayer behind anyone who faces Makkah in prayer to be sound for the followers, whether the one leading is morally upright or immoral, as well as the funeral prayer over any of those who pray towards our Qibla when they die.

93. We do not declare any of them to be in Paradise nor do we condemn any of them to Hell. Nor do we accuse any of disbelief, idolatry or hypocrisy as long as nothing of that is clearly evident from them. We leave the judgment of their intentions to Allah The Exalted.

94. We do not accept the sword’s coercive power against anyone from the Prophet Muhammad’s community, may Allah’s blessings be upon him, unless it is an obligation of penal law.

95. We do not accept any rebellion against our leaders or the administrators of our public affairs, even if they are oppressive. We take proper steps to remove the oppression. Nor do we wish evil for them or invoke curses upon them. Nor do we withdraw from obeying them. In fact, we consider obedience to them to be part of obeying God, The Mighty The Majestic, as long as they do not command us to a morally wrong act. We pray for their moral probity and forgiveness for their wrong.

96. We adhere to the Prophetic Way and the majority of the Scholars. We avoid isolated views, disagreements and sectarianism.

97. We love just and trustworthy people and we loathe oppressive and treacherous people.

98. We say, ultimately, Allah knows best,” where decisive knowledge about a matter is not clear to us.

99. We consider the dispensation of wiping over the khuff at home or journey to be sound, as related in authentic reports.

100. Hajj and Jihad, carried out under legitimate Muslim rulers, are continuously binding upon Muslims until the end of time. Neither of them can be nullified or rescinded.

101. We believe in the noble recorders of our deeds, the Angels Kiramil-Kaatibeen. Allah has assigned them to us as guardians.

102. We believe in the Angel of Death Malikil-Maut, who is entrusted with seizing the souls of all sentient life.

103. And in the punishment of the grave for anyone deserving it, we also believe in the questioning in the grave by Munkar and Nakir about one’s Lord, one’s Deen and One’s Prophet, just as it had been reported in sound transmissions from the Prophet himself, upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah, and his Companions.

104. The grave is either a meadow of Paradise or a pit of Hellfire.

105. We believe in the resurrection of the dead Ba’ath, recompense of deeds on the Day of Resurrection Jaza’il a’maali Yaumil qiyamah, review of one’s entire life ‘aradh, reckoning Hisaab, reading one’s own book of deeds qira’atul Kitaab, reward Thwaab and punishment ‘Iqaab of the Hereafter, The Bridge over Hell Siraat, and the Scales Mizaan over which actions will be weighed.

106. Paradise and Hell are both created; they will never perish nor seize to exist.

107. Allah The Exalted created Paradise and Hell before creating the world. Allah then created people fro both abodes. He delivers to Paradise whoever He Wills out of His grace and condemns to Hell whoever He wills out of His Justice.

108. All will act in accordance with their purpose, and are moving inevitably toward that for which they were created.

109. Benefit and harm Khair wa Sharr are determined by Allah.

110. The ability that an act necessarily needs to be completed is only possible through the Divine, which cannot in any way be attributed to a created thing, and this Divine permission accompanies the action. As for the ability that is a result of health, physical strength, capacity and the soundness of instruments and means, all of this is before the act itself and upon these things rests the human responsibility according to the Sacred Law, as Allah says, “Allah does not require of a soul any
more than it is capable of,” [2:286]

111. Human actions are created by Allah, but they are acquired by His servants and thus they are responsible for them.

112. Allah has not required of them more than what they can bear. And they can only bear what He requires of them, and this is the explanation of “There is no strength or power except with Allah The Exalted The Mighty.” We assert that no one has a clever plan, motion or diversion that can avert him from disobeying Allah except by Allah’s Grace. Moreover, no one can be steadfast in Allah’s obedience and persevere as such except with success from Allah.

113. Everything is confluent with the Will of Allah The Exalted, his Knowledge, Judgment and Decree.

114. Allah’s Will overcomes all other wills. His Decree overcomes all clever plans to avoid it.

115. Allah does whatever He pleases and He is never unjust.

116. Holy is He beyond any evil and adversity, and transcendent is He above any blemish or perversity. “He is not asked about what He does, but they will be asked.” [21:23]

117. There is benefit for the dead in the supplication and charitable acts of the living.

118. Allah The Exalted answers supplications and fulfils needs.

119. He possesses everything and nothing possesses Him.

120. There is no freedom from Allah, The Exalted, even for the blink of an eyelid. Indeed, one who thinks that he is free from Allah for even a moment has disbelieved and is counted among people of eternal loss.

121. Allah has Wrath and Pleasure but not as an emotion like His creation.

122. We love Allah’s Messenger’s Companions, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, and may Allah be pleased with his Companions. However, we do not exceed in our love for any particular one of them. Nor do we dissociate ourselves from any of them. We loath those who loathe them, and speak ill of them. We only speak well of them. Having love for them is Deen and Faith, and spiritual excellence. Likewise, hating them is disbelief, hypocrisy and extremism.

123. We assert that the first Caliphate after the deat of the Messenger was that of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, due to his pre-eminence and precedence over the entire community. He was rightly followed by ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, then Uthmaan bin Affan, then ‘Ali bin abu Talib, may Allah be pleased with them all. They are the guiding and Guided Caliphs.

124. We bear witness that the ten men whom the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, named and to whom he gave joyful news of their place in Paradise are, just as the Messenger said. The Prophet’s words are true and the ten are as follows:

i) Abu Bakr al Siddiq
ii) Umar bin al-Khattab
iii) Uthmaan bin Affaan
iv) Ali bin abu Talib
v) Talhah bin ‘Ubaydallah
vi) Al-Zubayr bin al-‘Awwaam
vii) Sa’d bin abi Waqqaas
viii) Sa’id bin Zayd
ix) Abd al-Rahmaan bin ‘Awf
x) Abu ‘Ubaydah bin al- Jarrah

The trustees of the Community, may Allah be pleased with them all.

125. Whoever speaks well of the Prophet’s Companions, his chaste wives and his purified progeny, is free from hypocrisy.

126. Pious scholars of the past and those who follow in their path, the people of goodness and tradition, the people of jurisprudence and profound scholarship, should only be mentioned in the best of manners. Anyone who speaks ill of them has deviated from the True Path.

127. We do not prefer any saint to a Prophet, peace be upon them all. Indeed we assert, “One prophet is better than all of the saints together.”

128. We also believe in reports of miracles at the hands of saints, as well as sound transmissions of such miracles from trustworthy sources.

129. We believe in the signs of the imminent Hour, including the False Messiah, the descent of Isaa ibn Maryam, upon whom be peace, from the celestial sphere. We also believe in the rising of the sun from the west and the emergence of the Beast of the earth from its appointed place.

130. We do not believe the tales of soothsayers, astrologers, diviners and fortune tellers of any kind.

131. Nor do we believe anyone who claims anything that contradicts the Book, the Prophetic Way or the consensus of the community of Islam.

132. We consider the majority of scholars and what they have agreed upon to be true and correct and any sectarianism is split into deviation and retribution for deviating.

133. The Deen of Allah in both the Heaven and the earth is one religion. It is the religion of Islam, submitting to Allah. Allah The Exalted says, “Surely the religion with allah is Islam.” [3:19]. The Exalted also states, “He who any other way save Islam, it will never be accepted from him…”[3:85] Finally The Exalted says, ‘I am pleased with Islam as your religion.” [5:3]

134. Islam is between the two extremes of too much and too little, between anthropomorphism and pure transcendence, between absolute determinism and absolute free will, between assurance of the hereafter and despair of Allah’s grace.

135. This is our religion, our Deen, our creed publicly and privately. We absolve ourselves before Allah, of anyone who opposes what we have mentioned and clarified here.

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