The Creed of Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee (d. 371H) And Refutation of the Ash'ariyyah Jahmiyyah: Eemaan is Speech and Action, It Increases and Decreases, and the Believers Excel Over Each Other With Respect to Their Eemaan
Monday, December 14 2009 - by Abu.Iyaad
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I'tiqaad Ahl is-Sunnah

The Book "I'tiqaad Ahl is-Sunnah" (manuscript copy sample, first page, to the right) is authentically ascribed to Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee, and it has been mentioned by Abu Uthmaan as-Saaboonee (d. 449H) in his book "Aqeedat us-Salaf wa Ashaabil-Hadeeth", and likewise by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali in "Jaami al-Uloom wal-Hikam", referring to it as "the risaalah of Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee to the people of the mountain." The book has a connected chain of narration to its author and it has been narrated with its chain by Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi in "Dhamm ut-Ta'weel", ad-Dhahabi in "al-Uluww", and in "Tadhkirat ul-Huffaadh" and "Siyar". And in his book "al-Arba'een Fee Sifaati Rabbil-Aalameen", adh-Dhahabee says, "And this creed (al-mu'taqad), we have heard this from him with a saheeh isnaad (authentic chain of narration)" (p. 118). The book also has three hearings (samaa') in the years 574H, 617H, and 667H, the details of which are found in the manuscripts. So the book is firmly established and corroborated as being the work of Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee. In these articles we will be quoting from the tahqeeq of Jamaal Azzoon, first edition, 1999, Dar Ibn Hazm.

Brief Note Regarding Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee and the Contemporary Jahmiyyah Parading Under the Label of "Ash'ariyyah"

We see these spurious, fraudulent lists of so called "Ash'ari" Scholars being circulated and spread on blogs and websites, with an impressive array of names mentioned therein, and Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee's name is often found in these lists. This is one of the greatest of frauds being perpetrated by the Jahmite Machinery that has taken on the label of "Ash'ariyyah" in the 20th and 21st century. Whilst this is not the place to digress away from the subject of this article, let it be known that Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee was a Salafi, Sunni, Athari (all synonymous terms representing only one approach and one aqidah) and his creed is in opposition to the Jahmiyyah Ash'ariyyah. He affirmed Allaah's Uluww, with His Essence, affirmed the attributes of Face, Hands, Eyes, and affirms that the Names of Allaah are not created (unlike the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah - see here), and affirmed that this Qur'an present with us is uncreated, and opposes the Lafdhiyyah Jahmiyyah (i.e. Ash'ariyyah) who say that al-lafdh al-maqroo' is created (see here). And he opposed the Jahmiyyah and Ash'ariyyah on the subject of Eemaan, affirming that it is belief and action, that it increases and decreases. And further he affirms the Nuzool, without takyeef or ta'weel or tafweed, on account of it being reported in the authentic narrations. Inshaa'Allaah these details of belief from Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee will be the subject of this series of articles. We demand the contemporary Jahmiyyah to abide by the criterion laid out in this article when imputing Ash'ariyyah to any Scholar.

Eemaan is Speech and Action, It Increases and Decreases, and the Believers Excel Over Each Other With Respect to Their Eemaan - In Opposition to the Ash'ariyyah Who Are Upon the Deen of the Jahmiyyah With Respect to Eemaan

Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee said:

And they [Ahl us-Sunnah] say: Certainly, Eemaan (faith) is speech (qawl) and action ('amal) and acquaintance [ma'rifah, meaning belief, knowledge]. It increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience. He whose obedience increases is more abundant in Eemaan (faith) than the one who is less than him in obedience.

In this brief statement Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee has summarized the usool (foundations) of Ahl us-Sunnah regarding Eemaan, that it is belief and action in the heart, statement of the tongue and action of the limbs. That it increases with obedience and decreases with disobedience. And that the Believers excel over each other with respect to the levels of their Eemaan.

Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee is upon the way of all of the Salaf regarding the issues of eeeman and has opposed the Jahmiyyah and Ash'ariyyah who share with each other that Eemaan is merely ma'rifah (knowledge) or tasdeeq (assent), in the heart only. The claim that Eemaan is tasdeeq (assent of the heart) only is the standard Ash'arite doctrine which the bulk of the Ash'arites settled upon.

And likewise al-Ismaa'eelee opposed the Karraamiyyah who say Eemaan is the speech of the tongue only (the testification).

And he also opposes the Murji'at ul-Fuquhaa who said Eemaan is belief and speech only and that actions do not enter into the reality of Eemaan, but are the outward fruits of Eemaan that merely indicate the inward Eemaan (but without being from its essence and reality).

So it is clear that Abu Bakr al-Ismaa'eelee, walhamdulillaah, is Sunni, Salaf, Athari in his creed.

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