What Are the Virtues of Studying Aqida?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahman al-Kharsa


What are the virtues of studying Aqida?


Praise belongs to Allah

Aqida is the foundation upon which the religion of Islam is built. It is the source from which both legislation and morality spring. Religion organizes all aspects of human life, whether individual, familial, or societal.

Allah (Most High) says, “Say, ‘Surely my prayer, my worship, my life, and my death are all for Allah—Lord of all worlds. He has no partner. So I am commanded, and so I am the first to submit.’” (Quran, 6:162-163)

Our master, the Messenger of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him), paid great attention to Aqida during the Meccan period of his mission. During this time, there was no practical legislation regarding actions like prayer or prohibitions like the prohibition of alcohol.

Rather, the focus of Islam during this extended period was on correcting beliefs about the Creator of the universe, negating any partners attributed to Him, and directing hearts toward their Maker, Glorious, and Exalted is He. The importance of Aqida can be summarized as follows:

1. Aqida as a Path to Reforming Oneself and the Universe

The reformation of societies is linked to the reformation of individuals, which is achieved by following a sound framework of understanding. Correct Aqida guides behavior, regulates actions, and refines minds. Thus, Aqida is the path to societal reform, and, subsequently, the reform of the entire universe.

2. Aqida as a Condition for the Acceptance of Deeds

In the Noble Quran, Aqida is often expressed with the term ‘Iman,’ which is considered the foundation and essence for the acceptance of deeds by Allah (Most High).

Allah says, “Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ ‘I am only a man like you, ˹but˺ it has been revealed to me that your God is only One God. So whoever hopes for the meeting with their Lord, let them do good deeds and associate none in the worship of their Lord.’” (Quran, 18:110).

Also, “As for those who believe and do good, We certainly never deny the reward of those who are best in deeds.” (Quran, 18:30). Such themes are abundant in the Glorious Quran.

3. Aqida Helps Man Understand Himself and His Lord

Through Aqida, the reality of man is unveiled, making him aware of his status as a weak creation brought into existence by Allah, the Almighty, and Firm, who created him, fashioned him, and endowed him with hearing and sight. Man, in every moment and breath, is in need of this Mighty God, depending on the continuous divine sustenance, expressed as divine blessings.

Allah says, “If you tried to count Allah’s blessings, you would never be able to number them. Surely Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Quran, 16:18). Through Aqida, man understands who he is, who created him, why he was created, where he came from, and his ultimate destiny.

He finds answers to these questions in this faith alone. When man knows himself, he knows his Lord, thus truly turning to Him, standing at His door, and singling Him out in worship and devotion.

4. Aqida Acquaints Man with the Universe Around Him

It encourages reflection on the universe and the signs of Allah evident in everything, as stated, “There are ˹countless˺ signs on earth for those with sure faith, as there are within yourselves. Can you not see?” (Quran, 51:21). One can observe how the universe operates on the most precise system and the most accurate coordination, where creatures do not collide with each other, and the planets do not intersect in their paths.

Allah says, “There is also a sign for them in the night: We strip from it daylight, then—behold!—they are in darkness. The sun travels for its fixed term. That is the design of the Almighty, All-Knowing. As for the moon, We have ordained ˹precise˺ phases for it, until it ends up like an old, curved palm stalk. It is not for the sun to catch up with the moon, nor does the night outrun the day. Each is traveling in an orbit of their own.” (Quran, 36:37-40). There are many such verses in this regard.

5. Aqida Makes Man Aware of His Destiny

Man transitions from this worldly life to the hereafter through death, settles in the world of Barzakh as decreed by Allah, and then emerges to meet the Lord of the worlds on the Day of Resurrection. His deeds are weighed on the scales. He crosses the Sirat, and faces various scenarios on the Day of Judgment, until he eventually resides in either Paradise or Hell. All this knowledge is accessible through the study of Aqida.

For all these reasons – and many other benefits and virtues associated with learning and teaching Aqida – the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) emphasized its foundation and instilled it in people from a young age. Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that he was a young boy when the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) once made him ride behind him and said:

“O young boy, I shall teach you some words: Be mindful of Allah, and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the people were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted, and the pages have dried.”

In another narration: “Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Come to know Allah in times of ease, and He will recognize you in times of distress. Know that what missed you could not have hit you, and what hit you could not have missed you. Know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.” (Tirmidhi, Ahmad)

Thus, we should all be keen on studying Aqida, deeply understanding it, familiarizing ourselves with Allah’s signs in nature and Sacred Law, to be well-informed and sincerely turn to the Creator, Glorious and Exalted is He.

Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Kharsa is a Syrian scholar who was born in Damascus in 1971. He obtained his degree in the Arabic Language from the University of Damascus. He received his Islamic education from some of the most prominent scholars of Sham, including Shaykh Abdul Rahman al-Shaghouri, Shaykh Taj al-Din al-Kittani, Shaykh Muhammad Karim Rajeh, Shaykh Bashir al-Bari, Shaykh Ibrahim al-Hindi, Shaykh Hisham al-Salahi, among others.

He memorized the Holy Quran and studied the ten Qira’at (recitations) through the paths of the Shatibiyya and Durra under Shaykh Muhammad Haytham Minini and Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Kurdi.

Shaykh al-Kharsa has taught at Al-Azhar University in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. He established Quranic centers in several areas in Lebanon and manages a Quranic center in Istanbul, where he is involved in Quran memorization programs and delivers public and private lessons.

He teaches in the Ijaza system at Dar al-Fuqaha in Turkey. His work also includes scholarly research, particularly in verifying texts within the Hanafi school. Notably, he has done the tahqiq of renowned works such as “Tanwir al-Absar” and “Jami‘ al-Bihar” by Imam al-Tumurtashi. May Allah preserve him and continue to make his efforts fruitful.