Ahl as-sunnat belief

Question: What are the conditions for having Ahl as-sunnat belief?
Some of the essential credal tenets of Ahl as-sunnat belief are as follows:
1. To believe in the six tenets of belief in the Âmantu. [To believe that khair (good) and sharr (evil) and all things are from Allahu ta’âlâ. Allahu ta’âlâ has bestowed irâda-i juz’iyya [partial will] upon people. For this reason, they are responsible for their sins.]

2. Acts of worship are not a part of îmân [belief]. That is, it is not permissible to call a Muslim who does not perform acts of worship and who commits sins a kâfir [disbeliever]. [Wahhâbîs say, “Acts of worship are a part of îmân. One who does not perform namâzes [ritual prayers] and who commits a harâm [prohibited act] is a kâfir.”]

3. A person either has îmân or not. Both together are not possible. There is not littleness or muchness in îmân. [What is little or much is îmân’s brightness and strength.]

4. The Qur’ân al-karîm is not a creature.

5- Allahu ta’âlâ is not with place. (Wahhâbîs say that Allah is in heaven or up on the ‘Arsh, which is an act of kufr [disbelief].)

6. You must not call the Ahl-i qibla a kâfir. [Wahhâbîs call everybody disbelievers except themselves.]

7. Questioning and torments in the grave are true.

8. Only Allahu ta’âlâ knows the ghayb. And if He wills, He lets the prophets and the awliyâ know it as well. [ghayb: the unseen. Things that are not communicated by Islam, by calculations or by experiments are called ghayb.]

9. Karâmats [wonders which Allaha ta’âlâ creates outside His law of causation through the hands of His dear born slaves] of the awliyâ are true.

All of the Ashâb-i kirâm [the blessed companions of our Prophet “alaihissalâm”] will enter Paradise. [Rafîdîs claim that the Ashâb-i kirâm, except five of them, are all kâfir. But in the 10th âyat of the Sûrat-ul-Hadîd of the Qur’ân al-karîm, it is declared that the abode of all of them will be Paradise.]

11. Hadrat Abû Bakr as-Siddîk “radîy-Allahu ta’âlâ ‘anh” is the highest of all the Ashâb-i kirâm.

12. The Mi’râj [Hadrat Muhammad’s ascent to the Heavens] was both a bodily and a spiritual ascent.

The time of death of a person who has been killed or who has committed suicide is the moment when that person has died.

14. Prophets do not commit sins.

15. To follow any of the four righteous madhhabs.

16. Of the prophets, the first one is Âdam (‘alaihissalâm), the last one is Muhammad (‘alaihissalâm). [Wahhâbîs deny the fact that Hadrat Âdam, Hadrat Shît and Hadrat Idrîs are prophets. They say that the first prophet is Hadrat Nûh. In addition, some groups who call their leaders rasûls [prophets] assert that a nabî will not come but a rasûl will come. For this reason, some zindiqs who name themselves rasûls have appeared.

[rasûl: a prophet who brought a new religion is called a “rasûl.” nabî:a prophet who did not bring a new religion but invited people to the previous one is called a “nabî.”]

17. To believe in the Shafâ’at [intercession], the Sirat Bridge, giving accounts of all deeds done in this world, and the Mîzân [it means “balance.” Our deeds will be weighed on the Mîzân. However, it does not resemble worldly balances].

18. The soul does not die. The souls of dead disbelievers and Muslims hear.

19. It is permissible to visit graves. Also, it is permissible to do istighâsa, that is, to go to visit the graves of the prophets and the awliyâ, to pray through their intercession, and to ask for their help. [However, Wahhâbîs consider it to be shirk (polytheism), so they call the Sunnîs and Shiites mushriks, that is, kâfirs.]

20. To believe in the harbingers and precedents of Doomsday, such as that ad-Dajjal and the beast called Dabbat-ul-ard will appear; Hadrat al-Mahdî will come; Hadrat ‘Îsâ will descend from the sky; the sun will rise in the west; and also to believe in the other harbingers that were communicated.

Hadrat Imâm-i A’zam stated, “It is necessary to believe in the harbingers and precedents of Doomsday without giving them a figurative sense” (Fiqh-i akbar).

The purport of a hadîth-i sharîf:
(The Doomsday will not take place until the sun rises in the west. At that time, all people will have îmân, but it will avail them nothing.) [Bukhârî, Muslim]

Interpreting “the sun’s rising in the west” as “The people in Europe will become Muslims” is contrary to the statement of Hadrat Imâm-i A’zam. None of the Islamic savants made ta’wîl. Did our Prophet, hâshâ, talk in riddles? In the same way, there have appeared people saying, “Salât [ritual prayer] is a supplication. There is no such thing as namâz.” In that case, there remains nothing in the name of religion. Besides, when the people in Europe become Muslims, why will îmân avail them nothing? The sun’s rising in the west is scientifically possible as well. It is not necessary to have recourse to a contrived interpretation lest disbelievers voice objections against it. Allahu ta’âlâ may disrupt the Earth’s usual orbit and create a new orbit for it. When its path is changed, then the sun will have risen in the west.

21. Allahu ta’âlâ will be seen in the Hereafter.

22. Disbelievers will stay in Hell eternally and their torments will not be diminished. Moreover, they will be increased gradually.

23. It is permissible to make masah over masts.
[masah: rubbing one’s wet hands on one’s masts (waterproof shoes covering the part of the foot which is fard to wash in ablution).]

24. It is not permissible to rebel against the sultân.

(All abovementioned pieces of information are quoted from the booksFiqh-i akbar, Nuhbat-ul-laâli, R. Nâsihîn, Maktûbat-i Rabbânî, F. Fawâid.)

The only group to be saved from Hell
I have grown up being bereft of religious knowledge. I want to learn my religion correctly, so I have bought many books. However, there are many opposing pieces of information in the books. In the same way, the translations of the Qur’ân are different from each other. It is not possible for me to find the right path by myself. I asked some same questions to different men of religion, but all their answers were different. If I die before learning my religion correctly, will I be excused? Or will I be responsible for what I know incorrectly?
Many people are asking the same or similar questions. Every sect, every group says that it is the one that is on the right way. HadratImâm-i Rabbânî declares:
A hadîth declares that Muslims will fragment into seventy three groups. Each of these seventy-three groups claims to obey the Sharî’at. Each group says that it is the one that will be saved from Hell. It is declared in the fifty-third âyat of Sûrat-ul-Mu’minûn and in the thirty-second âyat of Sûrat-ur-Rûm: “Each party rejoices in that which is with itself.”

However, among these various groups, the sign, the symptom of the one that will be saved is given by our Prophet “sall-Allahu ’alaihi wa sallam” as follows:
(Those who are in this group are those who follow the way which I and my Sahâba follow.) [Tirmudhî]

After mentioning himself, the owner of the Sharî’at did not need to mention the Sahâba “ridwânullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în”; yet his mentioning them may come to mean: “My way is the way which my Sahâba follow. The way to salvation is the only way which my Sahâba follow.” Those who follow the way of the Sahâba “alaihimurridwân” are no doubt the group of the Ahl as-sunnat wa-l-jamâ’at. The group that will be saved from Hell is only this one. (First Volume, 80th Letter)

Today many people say that they are Ahl as-sunnat. Therefore, it is necessary to know the tenets of Ahl as-sunnat belief. After knowing them, it is not difficult to find the truth.

What does “Allah does not forgive shirk” mean?
It is said that Allah forgives all sins. However, it is said to be written in the Qur’ân that He will not forgive shirk, which is the gravest sin. Could you explain this matter?
We have to rectify our i’tiqâd [belief]. Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbâni states:
It is impossible to escape torment in the Hereafter if there is a fluctuation in the creed and îmân. If the i’tiqâd is correct, but if there is slackness in deeds and worships [in performing acts of worship and abstaining from harâms], it may be forgiven with repentance, or maybe without repentance. If one is not forgiven, even if one enters Hell, one will be saved in the end. The chief and main requirement is correcting one’s i’tiqâd. (First Volume, 193rd Letter)

Again Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî states:
Each Muslim has to learn Ahl as-sunnat belief and correct his/her îmân accordingly. It is a heart-killing poison to set the heart on those evil, corrupt creeds and beliefs disagreeing with the belief written in the books of the Ahl as-sunnat savants. It takes one to eternal torment. If there is slackness in deeds and worships, it may be forgiven. But being slack in belief will never be forgiven. Allahu ta’âlâ declares:
([In the Hereafter] Allah shall never forgive shirk [disbelief, corrupt belief]. He shall forgive all the other sins of those people whom He likes.) [Sûrat-un-Nisâ 48]

Then you have to correct your i’tiqâd before you die. (Second Volume, 67th Letter)

As is seen, a person who dies in a state of shirk, that is, kufr [disbelief] will stay in Hell eternally. However, if people who have committed an act of shirk [disbelief] repent in this world, that is, before dying, they are forgiven.

If kâfirs repent of their disbelief, they become pure and sinless Muslims. In the same way, if a Muslim regrets and makes repentance after becoming a kafîr by doing an action which is a sign of disbelief, (s)he becomes a Muslim again. To make repentance, it does not suffice only to say the (special expression termed) Kalima-i shahâdat. It is necessary to repent and renounce the deed that caused disbelief. The statement “Allah does not forgive shirk” is misunderstood. People who have died in a state of disbelief are not forgiven. But if people who have done acts that cause disbelief many times make repentance before dying, then they are forgiven.