The difference between 'Aqidah and Manhaj

Question:

There is a current debate about the difference between ‘Aqidah (creed) and Manhaj (methodology) and people have started to say that so-and-so adopts the ‘Aqidah of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) or the Salafiyyah (those following the way of the righteous predecessors) although their Manhaj is not that of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah. Similar words are said about some of the followers of Jama’at Tabligh, the Muslim Brotherhood, and some other groups. What differentiates between the Manhaj of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah and that of Salafiyyah? Is it correct to differentiate between ‘Aqidah and Manhaj?

Answer:

There is no difference between ‘Aqidah and Manhaj. Both terms refer to what a person believes in their hearts, confesses with their tongues, and acts accordingly with their bodily members. They encompass believing in the Oneness of Allah’s Lordship, Worship, His Names and Attributes, worshipping Him Alone, abiding by His Shari’ah (Islamic law) in words and deeds, and following the Qur’an and the Sunnah as adopted by the Salaf (righteous predecessors) and Imams (initiators of Schools of Jurisprudence). Accordingly, there is no difference between `Aqidah and Manhaj; they refer to the same thing which all Muslims must observe and hold fast to.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 15, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Al-Da'imah no. 18870-1
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal al-Shaykh , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Salih Fawzan , Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd