What is Aqīdah
al Aqīdah (Arabic: عقيدة) linguistically is derived from the term aqada. In Arabic, one states, “Aqada the rope” when the rope is tied firmly. And, “Aqada the sale” or “He settled the sale” when the person ratifies and contracts a sale or agreement. And Allāh says in the Qur’ān,
“And as for those whom your right hands have made a covenant (Ar., aqadat)”
[Sūrah Al Nisā V. 33]
And Allāh also says,
“But He will take you to task for the oaths which you swear in earnest (Ar., aqadtum) [Sūrah Al-Mā’ida V. 89]
which means asserted and adhered to, as proven in the verse,
“And break not oaths after the assertion of them”
[Sūrah An Nahl V. 91].
If one says, “Aqadtu such and such,” it means his heart is firm upon such and such.
Therefore, al Aqīdah or al Itiqād according to the scholars of Islām is:
The firm creed that one’s heart is fixed upon without any wavering or doubt. It excludes any supposition, doubt or suspicion.
Imām Abū Hanīfa called this great subject al Fiqh al Akbar (The Greater Understanding) and the understanding of the religion. He called the science of law (Ar., Sharī’ah) the understanding of the science. Many scholars of Islam use the word tawhīd for all matters that a person must believe in. This is because the most important of these matters is the basic tawhīd that is contained in the phrase, “There is none worthy of worship except Allāh.” Other schoalrs from the salaf and the first 200-300 years after hijrah have called Aqīdah with other names such as Al Eemān, Ash Sharī‘ah , As Sunnah, and Al Mahhajah. The primary term used by the Qur’ān is Eemān. The chronology and list of the Books of Aqīdah has been listed in another post.
May the Peace and Blessings of Allāh be upon the Prophet, his family, and companions.