Is there a difference between ‘Aqīdah (creed) and Manhaj (methodology)?
What’s correct is that Manhaj is broader than ‘Aqīdah from an angle.
And from another that Manhaj and ‘Aqīdah could be the same.
As for Manhaj being broader than ‘Aqīdah:
This is due to ‘Aqīdah when being used on its own, has come to mean:
(تصميم القلب الجازم الذي لا يعترف شك في المطالب الإلهية والنبوات والغيبيات)
“The certain firm belief in one’s heart which is not tainted with any doubt or uncertainty in that which is required in what relates to Allaah (i.e single Him out in Lordship, Worship, Names and Atributes) and Prophets and the Unseen.”
And what its categories are the six foundations of Eemaan.
And the Manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamā’ah is broader than ‘Aqeedah from this angle:
(بينهما عموم وخصوص المطلق)
So they are proper subsets.
Because what is intended with Manhaj is:
The path which is tread upon by Ahlussunnah wal Jamā’ah in all of the affairs of the religion:
In ‘Aqīdah, worship, fiqh (understanding), Da’wah (calling to Allah), behaviour…
And we come across some statement of some of the people of knowledge and guidance, declaring Manhaj and ‘Aqīdah to be one and the same.
And their approach in this is that they looked in the books authored on ‘Aqīdah, and found a number of it containing the categories of the six foundations of Ēmān, and likewise many other Imāms have added in it the way of Ahlussunnah wal Jamā’ah in regards to their calling to Allaah, and their behaviourisms, and their worship, and other than this as you can see in “Al-‘Aqīdah Al-Wāsitiyyah”.
Similarly in the fatwa of the “Standing Commitee” wherein the following is stated:
“The ‘Aqīdah of the Muslim and his Manhaj is the same thing, it’s what a person believes in his heart and speaks with on his tongue and acts out with his limbs, of singling out Allah, Exalted is He The Most High, in His Lordship, His Names & Attributes, singling Him out alone in worship, and holding onto His legislation, in statement, action, belief, upon that which has come in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger ﷺ, and that which the Salaf of this Ummah and their Imāms were upon.
With this you will know that there is no difference in ‘Aqeedah and Manhaj, and that it’s one and the same, and it’s a must that a person abides by it and is upright upon it.
The Standing Commitee of Knowledge-Based Research and Legal Rulings.
Bakar Abu Zayd
‘Abdullah Bin Ghudayaan.”
[End of speech]
Observe their approach in declaring Manhaj and ‘Aqīdah to be the same, it’s precisely what I have mentioned.
And this small explanation clarifies that there is no differing between the salafi people of knowledge in the subject of drawing a differentiation between the terminology of ‘Aqīdah and Manhaj, and between declaring them to be same, in light of what has preceded.
There is a big correlation between ‘Aqīdah and Manhaj; there is no straightness in ‘Aqīdah except through sound Salafi Manhaj.
And there is no straightness in Manhaj except through sound Salafi ‘Aqīdah.
Contrary to the people of desires and bigoted partisanship, they only intend with the differentiation between ‘Aqīdah and Manhaj a vindication of their Innovated path.
Whereby you find many of the Ikhwānl Muflisūn (Muslim Brotherhood) and the Qutbis and other than them, claim to have Salafi ‘Aqīdah, as for Manhaj then they take upon themselves an activistic political revolutionist approach.
So they say: we are Salafi in ‘Aqīdah and our Manhaj in approaching this era is Ikhwāni or other than this of words they use to describe their individual approaches.
And Rabee’ Al-Madkhali relayed from a Ikhwāni –and he is most knowledgeable of them as he was from them, and lately some remnants of this ideology has manifested in his Manhaj as you will find in his blood tainted fatawaa in the affair of Libya– the individual called ‘Abdul-‘Azīz Al-Jalīl, that he in his book “Waqafāt tarbawiyyah” (page 116) said:
“We want a methodology which is established upon the Salafi Manhaj but with a contemporary modern approach”
[End of speech]
Opposing with this the ‘Aqīdah of Ahlussunnah wal Jamā’ah and their Manhaj, whereby making revolting, going out of bounds in declaring Muslims to be disbelievers, embarking upon politics through democracy, and all the concessions this entails in affairs which are pivotal points of the ‘Aqīdah of Ahlussunnah in allegiance and disallegiance and other than this in order to reach rulership and those positions, as their Manhaj.
Whoever makes his approach that of Hizbiyyah (bigoted and partisan) his Manhaj, even if he claims to have a Salafi ‘Aqīdah.
His claim is a mere claim which lacks any implementation.
As Hizbiyyah damages a person ‘Aqīdah; due to opposing the foundation of the legislated allegiance and disallegiance, and the two are from the greatest of foundations of the ‘Aqīdah.
And the difference of this approach and that of the approach of the people of knowledge and Sunnah, in drawing a differentiation between ‘Aqīdah and Manhaj, are two different approaches.
And the distinction in the reality of the claimants is easy with the permission of Allah.
Allah, the Most High, said:
(وَٱلْبَلَدُ ٱلطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُۥ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِۦ ۖ وَٱلَّذِى خَبُثَ لَا يَخْرُجُ إِلَّا نَكِدًا)
“The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the Permission of its Lord, and that which is bad brings forth nothing but a little with difficulty.”
The Salafi is clear in his usage of his words and his implentation, due to him treading in all of his affairs in the light of the Book and the Sunnah, and the Manhaj of the Salaf.
And the Bid’ī even if he hid, his cover would be exposed when his words and implementation is looked at through the lens of the Book and the Sunnah, and the Manhaj of the Salaf.
And success is granted by Allah.
Shaykh Abu Hatim Yusuf Al-‘Inaabi Al-Jazaa’iree – may Allah preserve him.
30th, Rabee’ Al-Awwal, 1438H
Abu ‘Abdirrahman ‘Abdullaah bin Ahmed Ash-Shingaani