Category Archives: Aqidah

al-Qadim as a Name of Allah

In his famous treatise on the Sunni creed, Imam al-Tahawi uses the word ‘al-Qadim’ to refer to Allah, meaning pre-existing or without beginning. This has attracted criticism by some contemporaries who deem such wording as baseless, with some even calling it a bid’a. Such a rash claim against as great a figure as al-Tahawi is harsh, considering the following:

In al-Hakim’s al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn we find al-Qadim listed as one of the Names of Allah (volume 1, page 239, hadith #42 in the 2014 Dar al-Ta’sil edition). Now then, all the narrators in this chain are used by al-Bukhari and Muslim, except for ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Husayn al-Turjuman, who is considered weak by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Yahya b. Ma’in, and Ibn ‘Adi.

Another narration is found in Sunan Abi Dawud (hadith #466 in Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut’s edition) whereby Allah’s Authoratative Power (Sultanih) is described as al-Qadim. Bear in mind that Allah’s Attributes are inseperable from His Essence.

In summary, condemning al-Tahawi, one of the great hadith scholars, for using a word to describe Allah that was in currency among hadith narrators, in light of the above, long before theologians exerted their influence on the sciences, is a harsh stance to take. Rather than deeming it a baseless innovation, the best stance would be that it is at least based on a weak hadith and can be used to describe one of Allah’s attributes. And Allah knows best!

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Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Aqidah


A Brief Guide to Studying Sunni Aqidah

Disclaimer: No polemics please in the comments. This is purely for academic interest.

The following guide gives a decent overview of the main works of the Sunni schools in ‘aqidah. They are by no means comprehensive, but are fairly representative of each school. One who reads further into ‘aqidah finds that within each school there are a number of internal differences, often historical but even at times contemporary.



  • Lam’at al-I’tiqad by Ibn Qudamah
  • Muqadimat al-Risalah by Ibn Abi Zayd
  • Bayan I’tiqad Ahl al-Sunnah by al-Tahawi


  • Sharh ‘Aqidah al-Tahawiyah by Ibn Abi al-‘Izz
  • ‘Aqidat al-Salaf wa Ashab al-Hadith by al-Sabuni
  • al-Shari’ah by al-Ajuri


  • Sharh Usul al-I’tiqad Ahl al-Sunnah by al-Lalika’i



  • Qawa’id al-Aqa’id by al-Ghazali
  • al-Kharidah al-Bahiyah by Ahmad al-Dardir
  • Jawharat al-Tawhid by al-Laqqani
  • Umm al-Barahin by al-Sanusi


  • Tuhfat al-Murid ‘ala Jawharat al-Tawhid by al-Bajuri
  • Tawali’ al-Anwar by al-Baydawi
  • al-I’tiqad by al-Bayhaqi


  • al-Irshad by al-Juwayni
  • al-Ibana by al-Ash’ari
  • al-Mujarrad by Ibn Furak
  • al-Tamhid by al-Baqillani



  • Bad’ al-Amali by al-Ushi
  • ‘Umdat al-Aqidah by al-Nasafi


  • Sharh ‘Aqidat al-Nasafi by al-Taftazani
  • al-Musayara by Ibn al-Human


  • Tabsirat al-Adillah by al-Makhluli
  • Kitab al-Tawhid by al-Maturidi

Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Aqidah