The Creed of al-Wasitiyyah by Shaykhu’l Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H)
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A translation of al-Aqidah al-Wasitiyyah
Written in response to a request from a Shafi`i Judge from Wasit, Iraq, ibn Taymiyyah penned this creed encapsulating the belief taught by the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him. In his own words, ‘This is (an exposition of) the belief of the saved group, those who are aided until the establishment of the Hour: Ahlu’l-Sunnah wa’l-Jama`ah.’
The tract is relatively brief but comprehensive, marked by its terse and precise statements. As one would expect of the author, the work draws heavily on the Qur’an and authentic hadiths of the Messenger peace and blessing be upon him. It commences by listing articles of belief concerning Allah, in particular His Names and Attributes and the principles which must be applied to understand them.
It then moves on to discuss topics such as the Qur’an, seeing Allah, the punishment of the grave, some of the descriptions of the Last Day and the events that will occur therein, the divine decree, faith and the Companions.
Of significant note is that the creed closes with a discussion about the moral conduct that a Muslim should adhere to; by this the author intended to show that the Islamic creed is not mere dogma but has a practical role, translating to qualities, characteristics and actions.
Shaykhu’l Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) was a leading Muslim scholar in the history of Islam and a Mujtahid in his own right. His breath of learning and depth of understanding was accepted by all of his peers and many of his biographers stated that he clearly suppressed the vast majority, if not all of the scholars of his time. He was a prolific writer and skilled orator. He was deeply religious and unwavering in his adherence to Islam and the Sunnah and repudiating all those that opposed it.