He Is Asking About Al-'Aqeedah Al-Tahhaawiyyah (Basic Tenets Of Faith Named After Imam al-Tahhaawi)?
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al-'Aqeedah al-Tahhaawiyyah? What is it about?
Praise be to Allaah.
al-Tahhaawiyyah is a book dealing with 'aqeedah (basic
tenets of faith) which was written by Imam al-Tahhaawi
and named after him. Discussing this 'aqeedah means
that we must look at it from a number of angles.
The author is the imam, muhaddith and faqeeh Abu
Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Salaamah al-Tahhaawi –
who is named after a village in Upper Egypt – he
studied with many Shaykhs and learned from them and
benefited from them, and he listed their number as
three hundred Shaykhs.
He was praised by more than one of the scholars:
Ibn Yoonus said: al-Tahhaawi was trustworthy, sincere,
a faqeeh and a man of wisdom, and after him there was
no one else like him.
Al-Dhahabi said: the faqeeh, muhaddith, haafiz, one of
the prominent scholars, and he was trustworthy,
sincere, a faqeeh and a man of wisdom.
Ibn Katheer said: He was one of the trustworthy,
sincere and a haafiz.
He wrote books which were well-written, comprehensive
and of great value, among which was his great book
Ma'aani al-Athaar, which contains research on fiqh
accompanied by evidence and discussion of
controversial matters, and pointing to which view is
more correct. His books also include Mushkil al-Athaar
He died (may Allaah have mercy on him) in 321 AH and
was buried in Egypt, in al-Quraafah.
See his biography in Siyar A'laam al-Nubala'
(15/33-37) and al-Bidaayah wa'l-Nihaayah (11/174).
This 'Aqeedah which was written by al-Tahhaawi
mentions a number of the beliefs of the righteous
salaf and those who followed them of Ahl al-Sunnah
wa'l-Jamaa'ah, which was approved by the imams of the
Hanafis – as al-Tahhaawi followed the madhhab of Abu
Haneefah. He explained in his introduction his aims in
doing that, and said:
"This is an explanation of the 'aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah
wa'l-Jamaa'ah according to the view of the fuqaha' of
this madhhab: Abu Haneefah al-Nu'maan ibn Thaabit al-Kufi,
Abu Yoosuf Ya'qoob ibn Ibraaheem al-Ansaari, and Abu 'Abd-Allaah
Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybaani, may Allaah be
pleased with them all, and the beliefs concerning the
fundamentals of Islam, on the basis of which they
submit to the Lord of the Worlds." End quote.
Then he mentioned these basic beliefs, and the total
number of things he mentioned was 105 things believed
by Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah in general.
He started by explaining the Oneness of Allaah, may He
be exalted, and said a little about the attributes of
His Lordship (sifaat ruboobiyyatihi), such as His
being alive and self-sufficient, and His being the
Creator and Provider, and he affirmed the attributes
of perfection without discussing how or likening Him
to any of His creation, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): "There is nothing
like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer" [al-Shoora
42:11]. Then he followed that with a discussion of the
obligation to believe in the Prophethood of Muhammad
(Peace And Blessings Of Allaah Be Upon Him) and that
he was sent to all people. Then he spoke of the Holy
Qur'aan, stating that it is the word of Allaah and not
created, and he affirmed that the believers will see
Allaah in the Hereafter. Then he mentioned some
matters of the unseen in which Ahl al-Sunnah believe,
such as the Cistern (al-hawd), intercession, the
Throne and the Footstool (al-Kursiy). Then he
mentioned the pillars of belief in al-qada' wa'l-qadar
(the Divine will and decree) and what Ahl al-Sunnah
wa'l-Jamaa'ah believe about this topic. Then he went
on to define faith and its pillars, and explained that
faith may increase and decrease, and he explained the
view of Ahl al-Sunnah in contrast to the views of the
Khawaarij and Murji'ah. He also described what
Ahl-al-Sunnah believe with regard to the noble
Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and that
loving them is part of Islam, faith and ihsaan, and
that hating them is kufr, hypocrisy and sin. Then he
mentioned some of the portents of the Hour and what
will happen on the Day of Resurrection, then he ended
his essay with an discussion of how this religion is
the middle path, between exaggeration and falling
It is a book of 'aqeedah that is easy to read and
clear in meaning. It is comprehensive and brief. It
sums up the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah
and, for the most part, includes matters on which
there is scholarly consensus and agreement.
Many scholars have written commentaries on this 'Aqeedah
and explained its words and meanings. One of the most
famous of them is Ibn Abi'l-'Izz al-Hanafi, who wrote
a lengthy commentary on it; among later scholars,
Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez ibn Baaz and Shaykh Muhammad
Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on
them) wrote commentaries on it, as did Shaykh Safar
ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Hawaali (may Allaah preserve
him). The one who wants to understand more of the
meanings of al-Tahhaawiyyah can refer to these
'Aqeedah al-Tahhaawi discusses matters in brief and
general terms, but what made it very famous and
popular among the Salafis in particular is the
commentary which was written by Shaykh Ibn Abi'l-'Izz
al-Hanafi (may Allaah have mercy on him), which is the
most important and most detailed of its commentaries.
He based his commentary on the books of Ahl al-Sunnah,
especially the books of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah
(may Allaah have mercy on him) and his student Ibn al-Qayyim
(may Allaah have mercy on him).
Despite what we have referred to of the good features
of this 'Aqeedah and its commentary by Ibn Abi'l-'Izz,
it also contains a number of issues which were
criticized, because they go against what the salaf
believed, such as his saying, when defining faith:
"Faith is affirming with the tongue and believing in
the heart," because limiting it to that is the view of
the Murji'i fuqaha' who excluded physical actions from
the definition of faith. The same applies to what he
said after that, "Faith is one and the same, and
believers are equal with regard to the foundation of
It also includes some general phrases that may be
understood incorrectly, and are most often used by
innovators to mean things that are contrary to the
beliefs of the righteous salaf, such as his saying,
"exalted be He above limits and boundaries" and
"exalted be He above having faculties and parts" and
"He is not subject to directions and dimensions which
are attributes of created beings." Such phrases are
used by those who misinterpret the attributes of
Allaah (al-mu'attilah) to deny what is affirmed in the
Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger of the
sublime attributes of Allaah that befit His
perfection, may He be glorified and exalted, such as
His Countenance, hands and eyes. They call them
faculties and parts, and deny that Allaah possesses
Another example is His being above His creation, and
His rising above His Throne in His heaven. They call
this "directions and location" and deny that it
applies to Allaah, may He be exalted.
Because of that, it is important for the seeker of
knowledge to pay attention to learning this 'Aqeedah
from a scholar of Ahl al-Sunnah who can explain it,
such as Ibn Abi'l-'Izz among classical scholars and
from contemporary scholars who have written brief
commentaries on it, as we have referred to above.
There are many audio commentaries on this book, such
as the commentary by Shaykh Saalih Aal al-Shaykh, and
the commentary by Shaykh Yoosuf al-Ghufays, and
Shaykh Safar al-Hawaali (may Allaah preserve him) has
commented at length on the commentary of Ibn
Abi'l-'Izz; you may refer to it on his website.
And Allaah knows best.