The Meaning of al-Aqeedah,
and an explanation of its importance
in view of the fact that it is the foundation
upon which the entire structure of the Deen (religion) stands.
The Linguistic Meaning of Aqeedah: It (the word Aqeedah) is derived from al-Aqad,
which is to 'tie something (firmly)', and 'I'taqadtu such and such, means, I
tied my heart and mind to it.
'Al-Aqeedah' is what a person takes as a religion. It is said, 'he has a good
Aqeedah' meaning, 'protected from doubts.
Aqeedah is an action of the heart, which is to believe and affirm something in
The Meaning of Aqeedah in the Sharee'ah: It is the belief in Allah, His Angels,
His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and belief in al-Qadar (Predestination)
- its good and evil. These are called the Pillars of Eeman (faith).
The Sharee'ah is divided into two parts; Beliefs and Actions
Beliefs are issues, which are not related to how an act is performed, like
belief in the Rububiyah (Lordship) of Allah, the obligation to worship Him
(alone), and the belief in the rest of the aforementioned pillars of Eeman.
These are called Asliyah - the basic foundation.
Actions are issues related to how actions are performed like Salaat (prayer),
Zakaat (charity) and Sawm (fasting) and other rulings with regards to actions.
These are termed as Far'eyyah - the branches, because their soundness or
corruption is based upon the beliefs.
Thus, the Correct Aqeedah (belief) is the foundation upon which the religion is
based and with it, the actions are set aright, as the Most High, said, 'So,
whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and
associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.' [Soorah al-Kahf (18):
And indeed, it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad), as it was to those (i.e.,
Prophets) before you, 'If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely
(all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.'
[Soorah az-Zumar (39): 65]
'So, worship Allah (alone) by performing religious deeds sincerely for His sake.
Surely, the religion is for Allah only.' [Soorah az-Zumar (39): 2-3]
These verses, and the numerous narrations that have been related concerning
their meaning confirm that actions are not accepted unless they are free from
Shirk (polytheism). Therefore, it was the main concern of the Messengers (alaihimus-salaam)
to rectify the beliefs first and thus, the first thing, they called their
nations to, was the sole worship of Allah and abandonment of worship to anything
other than Him. As He, the Most High, says, 'And verily, We have sent among
every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming), 'Worship Allah
(Alone), and avoid the Taghoot (everything that is worshiped other than Allah).'
[Soorah An-Nahl (16): 36]
The first thing that every Prophet addressed his people with was,
Allah! You have no other Ilah (deity worthy of being worshiped) but Him.'
[Soorah al-A'raf (7): 59, 65, 73, 85]. It was said by Nuh (alaihis-salaam), Hood
(alaihis-salaam), Saleh (alaihis-salaam), Suhaib (alaihis-salaam) and all the other Prophets
(alaihis-salaam) to their nations.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) stayed in Mecca for thirteen years, after (he was
bestowed with) Prophet-hood, calling people to Tawheed, and rectifying their
Aqeedah, because it is the foundation upon which the entire structure of the
The Duaat (callers to the religion of Allah) and those who seek to guide others
in every age have followed the example of the Messengers and the Prophets, who
initiated their call with Tawheed and correction of Aqeedah and subsequently,
they would focus upon the remaining commandments of the Deen (religion).