Ahl al-Sunna and Contrary Opinions

Ahl al-Sunna wa ’l-Jamāʿa and Contrary Opinions

The creed of ahl al-Sunna wa ’l-Jamāʿa is explicitly stated in the defining text of Imām Abū Jaʿfar al-Ṭaḥāwī (d.321/933) known as al-ʿAqīda al-Ṭaḥāwiyya. The vast majority of Muslims hold this creed and regard it as fully representative of their beliefs founded on the Qur’ān and Sunna. Thus in the introductory paragraph of this text it states:

“This is the exposition of the creed of ahl al-Sunna wa ’l-Jamāʿa according to the understanding of the Muslim jurists [fuqhā al-milla]...”

This agreed upon text then proceeds to list 130 points of belief that all Muslims are required to believe in to hold correct Islamic creed. However, the question does arise as to what is to be said with reference to those who differ on any one point, such as those who deny, for example, the belief in:

1. The punishment of the grave - ʿadhāb al-qabr

[Point 99 of al-ʿAqīda al-Ṭaḥāwiyya]


2. The descent of Jesus peace be upon him - nuzūl ʿīsā

[Point 125 of al-ʿAqīda al-Ṭaḥāwiyya]

In this respect the unanimous ruling and position of ahl al-Sunna wa ’l-Jamāʿa for rejecting these and other such points of belief listed explicitly in  al-ʿAqīda al-Ṭaḥāwiyya, is that which is also stated in al-ʿAqīda al-Ṭaḥāwiyya at point number 130:

“This is our religion [dīn] and our creed [ʿaqīda] in public and in private. We absolve ourselves [naḥnu burā’a ] before Allāh of anyone who opposes what we have stated and clarified here. We ask Allāh for firmness in faith, that He seal our lives with it, and that He protect and preserve us from any heresies, variant and baseless opinions, and corrupt doctrines, such as those of the al-Jahamiyya, al-Jabariyya, al-Qadariyya and other than them from among those who oppose the Sunna and the Jamāʿa and who ally themselves with misguidance [al-alala]. We are completely absolved from them, for us they are astray and ruined [nanu minhum burā’a wa hum ʿindnā ḍullāl wa ardiyā] and protection and success is from Allāh alone.”

Fiqh Council Birmingham Resource Library Articles © 2018