The Creed of Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani by Imam Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (d.389 AH)
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This is a translation of Muqaddimah al-Risalah ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani
The author was asked to write a short treatise on the fundamentals of belief and creed of Ahlu’l-Sunnah wa’l-Jama(ah’. This work was written in response to that request, wherein the author explains the obligatory aspects of Islam, those that should be pronounced by the tongue, believed in the heart, acted upon the limbs, and acts of Sunnah related to the foundations of faith.
This detailed work covers many aspects of Faith, Jurisprudence and Character. It commences with belief in Allah, His Names and Attributes and the applied principles in understanding them. It also discusses the Qur’an, seeing Allah, punishment of the grave and events that will occur therein, the Divine Decree, Companions of Allah’s Messenger and other important aspects of faith. He calls to following the way of the Salaf and adhering to the knowledge and guidance they left for the community.
Creed is not just mere code of belief but it has a practical role, which translates into qualities, characteristics and actions that every Muslim must adhere to and accompany. When writing this tract the author has kept the young and mature in mind, hence keeping the work very simple to read and understand - placing it deally as an educational textbook. Knowing the creed of Ahlu’l-Sunnah wa’l-Jama(ah is compulsory for every Muslim, learning and memorising it is also an important aspect of this pristine faith.
Imam Ibn Abi Zayd al-Qayrawani (d. 389H) was a leading Imam and an Islamic scholar from North Africa. He was an exegete and a jurist and was known as the ‘little Malik’ because of his vast knowledge and expertise in the Maliki school of fiqh. He authored over thirty works on various Islamic disciplines. Imam al-Dhahabi said of him, ‘He, may Allah have mercy on him, was upon the way of the pious predecessors concerning the fundamentals of Islam.’ He was very pious, deeply religious and steadfast in his adherence to the Sunnah.