The Permanent Committee on Differentiating Between Aqidah and Manhaj

The Permanent Committee For Research and Verdicts was asked the following question pertaining to aqidah (creed) and manhaj (methodology) in fatwa no. 18870:

كثر الحديث في هذه الأيام عن الفرق بين العقيدة والمنهج، حتى بدأ الناس يقولون: فلان عقيدته عقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة أو ( السلفية )، ولكن ليس منهجه منهج أهل السنة والجماعة، فمثلا يقولون عن بعض من ينتسبون إلى جماعة التبليغ أو الإخوان المسلمين، أو عن بعض الجماعات الأخرى هذا الكلام. فهل هناك ضابط نعرف به منهج أهل السنة والجماعة أو السلفية؟ وهل يصح هذا التفريق بين العقيدة والمنهج؟

There has been much speech these days about the difference between aqidah (creed) and manhaj (methodology), until the people have begun to say, “So and so’s aqidah is the aqidah of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah” or of Salafiyyah, however his manhaj is not the manhaj of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. So for example, they say this speech about some of those ascribing to Jamaa’at ut-Tableegh, or al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen, or some of the other groups. So is there any principle by which can know the manhaj of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah or Salafiyyah. And is this separation between aqidah and manhaj correct?

To which they replied:

عقيدة المسلم ومنهجه شيء واحد، وهو ما يعتقده الإنسان في قلبه وينطق به بلسانه ويعمل به بجوارحه من وحدانية الله – سبحانه وتعالى- في الربوبية والإلهية والأسماء والصفات، وإفراده بالعبادة والتمسك بشريعته في القول والعمل والاعتقاد على ما جاء في كتاب الله وسنة رسوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم-، وسار عليه سلف الأمة وأئمتها، وبذلك يعلم أنه لا فرق بين العقيدة والمنهج، بل هما شيء واحد يجب أن يلتزمه المسلم ويستقيم عليه.

The aqidah of a Muslim and his manhaj are a single thing, and it is:

Whatever a person believes in his heart, and speak with by his tongue, and acts upon with his limbs (in relation to) the wahdaaniyyah (uniqueness) of Allaah, the Sublime and Exalted, in Ruboobiyyah (lordship over the universe), an Ilaahiyyah (right to be worshipped alone), and al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (names and attributes), and singling Him out in worship, and holding fast to His Sharee’ah in speech, action and belief, upon what has come in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) – and what the Salaf of this Ummah and its (leading) Imaams traversed upon.

And with that it is known that there is no difference between aqidah and manhaj, rather they are both a single thing, it is obligatory that a Muslim adhere to it, and remain steadfast upon it.

Source: Fataawaa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (2/40-41).

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