What is the Difference Between Creed & Methodology?

Shaikh ‘Ubaid bin ‘Abdillah al-Jâbirî explained,

Creed (‘aqîdah) is what is obligated upon the person of his belief regarding Allah, might and sublime is He, regarding what came from Him and what His messengers came with. The support and gist of that is the six pillars of faith, which are: i) faith in Allah, ii) His angels, iii) His books, iv) His messengers, and v) the Last Day, and vi) faith in Predestination, its good and its evil. Then what follows that is from what is obligated upon the Muslim of his belief and that it is real and true; from the news of the Unseen such as the occurances of tribulation which the Prophet, may Allah send salutations and peace upon him, informed of; or such as the news of those who passed from the Prophets and Messengers, whether what is from them (i.e., the news) is in the Book or the Sunnah; the conditions of the Barzakh from the comfort and punishment of the grave; and what will happen during the Great Standing from the establishment of the Pool, the Scale, the Bridge and other than that.

As for methodology (manhaj), it is the establishment of the religion’s foundations and branches. Methodology is the way by which the person establishes the religion’s foundations and branches. Thus, if this way was in agreement with the Book, the Sunnah, and the conduct of the Righteous Predecessors, then it is a true methodology. And if it was contradictory to that, then it is a corrupt methodology. Islam is brought together by these two: i) validity of belief and ii) the correctness and straightness of methodology. One of them cannot be separated from the other. Thus, whose methodology is corrupted, then be confident that this emanates from the corruption of his creed. So if his creed is upright according to the correct aspect, the methodology will be upright due to that.

The Khawârij’s methodology is corrupt because of the corruption of their creed, because they believed in the lawfulness of the blood of the People of Grave Sins; thus, they permitted killing and fighting them, as well as rebelling against the disobedient and sinful rulers; they made lawful the wealth and the blood, and those from the People of Knowledge who said that they (i.e., the Khawârij) were disbeliever said so due to this.

Source: al-Îdâh wal-Bayân fî Kashf Ba’d Tarâ’iq Firqah al-Ikhwân, side 1. Tasjîlât Ibn Rajab as-Salafiyyah, via Maghrawi.net.

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About Rasheed Gonzales
My name is Rasheed Gonzales. I’m a Muslim convert of Filipino descent. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I was guided to Islam through one of my younger brothers and a couple of friends, all of whom had converted to Islam sometime before me (may Allah reward them greatly). I am married with four children (and the praise is Allah’s) and also a volunteer for the Qur'an & Sunnah Society of Canada, based in Toronto.

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