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Regarding the Fundamentals of Islamic Belief

By Mawlana Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Binnauri

Translated by Saad Khan

When stating the necessary fundamentals of Islamic belief, scholars of the ummah usually mention a few examples in their books. A misunderstanding that occurs in the minds of some readers is that they think the necessary fundamentals are limited to just these examples and there is nothing more. This is even though the intent of these scholars is to merely present a few examples, not to shorten, restrict or limit [the necessary fundamentals]. To remove this misunderstanding, we have compiled [a list of] some of the fundamentals of religion in one place which can be obtained by cursory effort. From this concise list it will become self-evident that the purpose [of the scholars] was to show examples. The purpose was not to compile a complete list.

The examples below can be found in the books of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), usul al-fiqh (principles of Islamic jurisprudence), kalam (theology) and usul al-hadith (principles of hadith).

[It is necessary for a believer to affirm the following:]

(1) Knowledge of Allah Most High,
(2) His ambient power (qudrah),
(3) His perfect will,
(4) His attribute of speech (kalam),
(5) The Qur’an,
(6) Qur’an is preeternally existent,
(7) Attributes of Allah are preeternal,
(8) Universe is originated (hadith),
(9) Resurrection of the physical body [not just the soul],
(10) Punishment of the grave,
(11) Reward and punishment in the hereafter,
(12) The beatific vision of Allah in the hereafter,
(13) The great intercession,
(14) Existence of the pool of Al-Kawthar,
(15) Existence of Angels,
(16) Existence of the two angels known as the honorable recorders (kiraman katibin),
(17) Finality of the Prophethood,
(18) Belief that Prophethood is gifted and not acquired,
(19) Prohibition of uttering obscenities against the Companions (muhajirin or ansar),
(20) Love for Ahl al-Bayt,
(21) Caliphate of Shaykhayn (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them both),
(22) Obligation of the five salahs,
(23) Number of rak’ahs in salah,
(24) Number of prostrations in salah,
(25) Fasts of Ramadan,
(26) Zakah,
(27) Measurements used for calculating zakah,
(28) Hajj,
(29) The stay in Arafat [during Hajj],
(30) Number of circumambulations [of the Ka’ba] in tawaf,
(31) Jihad,
(32) Facing the Ka’bah in salah,
(33) Friday salah,
(34) Congregational salah,
(35) Adhan,
(36) The two ‘Ids,
(37) Permissibility of wiping over leather socks [in wudu],
(38) Prohibition of abusing any of the Prophets,
(39) Prohibition of abusing Shaykhayn,
(40) Rejection of jism (body) for Allah,
(41) Rejection of divine indwelling (hulul),
(42) Prohibition of considering unmarriageable kin (mahrams) permissible [for marriage],
(43) Stoning (rajm) of the adulterer,
(44) Prohibition of [wearing] silk for men,
(45) Permissibility of buying and selling,
(46) Bathing after ritual impurity,
(47) Prohibition of marrying one’s mother,
(48) Prohibition of marrying one’s daughters,
(49) Prohibition of marrying one’s mahrams,
(50) Prohibition of alcohol and
(51) Prohibition of gambling.

At this time 51 examples have been presented and from this it must have occurred to the reader that some matters towards which one hardly pays attention are also part of the fundamentals of religion.

Now, at the end of this discussion we will present a statement of Muhaqqiq al-Hind Shah ‘Abd al-Aziz al-Dahlawi (may Allah have mercy on him). The entire statement can be found in Ikfar al-Mulhidin [of Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri]. The general rule regarding the fundamentals of religion will become lucid after this [statement] insha’Allah

Shah ‘Abd al-’Aziz al-Dahlawi said: “Fundamentals of religion are of three types. (1) The first type is that which is proven from clear verses of the Qur’an such as the prohibition of marriage with one’s own mother or daughter. (2) The second type is that which is proven from al-sunnah al-mutawatirah (mass-transmitted narrations) — regardless if the mass-transmission was in letter or in spirit — in belief or in actions, in fara’id (obligatory acts) or in nawafil (supererogatory acts). (3) The third type is that which is established with absolute consensus (ijma’ qat’i) such as the caliphates of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and Sayyiduna ‘Umar al-Faruq (may Allah be pleased with them both).  There is no doubt that if one denies any of these [three types] then this person’s belief on the Qur’an and the Prophets is not correct.”

(Excerpt from ‘Aqidah Nuzul al-Masih, p.25-26)

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