Will you mention the basic principles of Ahl as-Sunnah?

The Details of the Question

- What are the criteria for a Muslim to be Ahl as-Sunnah?
- How do we know that a person has left the Ahl as-Sunnah?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Ahl as-Sunnah is a term that means “those who adopt the path followed by the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions related to the fundamental issues of the religion”.

Ahl al-Bid’ah is a phrase meaning “groups that emerged after the Age of Bliss and that adopted certain faiths and deeds that are not based on any religious evidence”.

It is possible to summarize the basic features of Ahl al-Bid’ah in four points.

1. Not being familiar with the spirit of the nass (verses of the Quran and sound hadiths) and the basic orientations of Islam, or being under the influence of foreign cultures and interpreting nass based on distant interpretations.

In addition, it is also considered within this feature to be stuck with the outward meaning of some verses and hence hadiths, without considering the Quran’s unique style and logic, and the features of the Arabic language, and to make the preconceived and subjective views dominant in the interpretation of the nass.

Ghazzali, who aimed to draw these two extreme views, which can be summarized as “blind allegiance to nass or mind” to the moderate line, wrote the book named “al-Iqtisad fil-Itiqad “.

2. Not having good intentions about the Companions, who constituted the first generation of Islam in terms of both belief and practice, and who passed the last divine religion on to the next generations in terms of thought and action, and not valuing their narrations, understanding and practices, especially concerning religion.

3. Assuming a negative attitude against the verbal and actual sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). Those who reject some hadiths that they cannot reconcile with their own views though they are compatible with the general character of the Quran and the basic orientations of Islam on the grounds that they are not mutawatir, and those who fabricate hadiths to support their madhhab views or those who narrate such hadiths are also included in this group.

4. Breaking away from the religious understanding of the majority (jama’ah, jumhur al-muslimin) that formed beginning from the Companions, accusing the opposing groups of unbelief with minority psychology, and regarding the basic decrees of the religion as debatable.

If the basic principles of Ahl as-Sunnah are known, it will be easier to understand on what issues those who do not comply with it differ from the Ahl as-Sunnah.

The basic views of Ahl as-Sunnah and the indications showing that a person is not from Ahl al-Bid’ah can be briefly summarized as follows:

1. Allah exists and is one.

2. There are angels.

3. The (divine) books are true.

4. The Quran is the word of Allah; the Quran is a miracle.

5. Prophets are messengers of Allah; prophethood is true.

6. Muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of Allah. Muhammad is the last prophet.

7. Resurrection is true. There is resurrection after death.

8. Paradise and Hell have been created and are eternal.

9. Qadar (destiny) exists.

10. It is Allah who creates good and evil.

11. Allah knows the future.

12. Hadith-sunnah is a source of the religion. Hadith-sunnah is Allah’s approval.

13. Companions are the most virtuous people after the prophets.

14. There madhhabs and they are true.

15. A person who commits a major sin does not become an unbeliever.

16. He who dies as a believer will not remain in Hell forever.

17. There are miracles and they are true.

18. There are karamahs and they are true.

19. Ru’yah (Seeing Allah) is true and it will happen.

20. There is intercession and it is true.

21. Paradise is grace and Hell is justice.

22. There is life in the grave and it is true.

23. The miracle of Miraj (ascension) is true.

24. There are signs of Doomsday.

25. The prayer of the living for the dead is true.

26. Wiping over khuffs is true.

27. A person who says I am a Muslim cannot be called an unbeliever.

28. Muta marriage is haram.

29. Allah is free from space and time.

30. Only Allah knows ghayb (the unseen/unknown), and if He wishes, He can inform His prophets and saints about it.

31. The spirit does not die. The spirits of the dead unbelievers and Muslims hear.

32. Visiting graves is permissible.

33. Tawassul is permissible.

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