Author: Shaikh Muhammad Bin Salih Al Uthaimeen
Translator: Faisal Shafeeq
About the Book: The Pristine beliefs of the early Muslims are preserved in this vitally important masterpiece written by one of the most outstanding scholars of our time. Seven clear principles and their evidence from the book and the sunnah guide the reader through the confusion and false claims of the ignorant to the clarity of belief in Allah’s Names accomplished by the righteous early scholars of Islam. Though the majority of writings authored by Imam Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen in issues of creed are explanations of the Imams who passed before him, this book, al-Qawaa’idul-Muthlaa (Exemplary Principles), is an outstanding example of the Shaykh’s original authorship. The author begins with the basic foundations of the Names of Allah, establishing that all of them are beautiful and that they are either titles or descriptions. He also establishes that the Names of Allah are not limited to a specific number as many imagine and he elaborates upon the various kinds of deviation from correct belief. In speaking about the principles of the Attributes, the author establishes that all of them are Attributes of perfection, which they are permanent and continuous and that knowledge of Allah’s Attributes is more expansive than knowledge of His Names.
In the third section of the book, the author brings the principles with regards to the textual evidences for Allah’s Names and Attributes. He establishes that the proofs for the Names and Attributes of Allah are only taken from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, whilst keeping to the apparent meanings of the texts. Towards the end of the book, the author makes a definitive distinction between Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree and the deviant sect known as the Ash’ariyyah, along with detailed refutations of their famous arguments against Ahlus-Sunnah. The book concludes with a chapter dealing with the ruling upon the people of ta’weel and an explanation of the ma’iyyah (i.e. Allah being with the creation) of Allaah. As an added benefit, this translated version of the book includes the Arabic texts of some of the pivotal ahaadeeth and statements of the Salaf so that the reader may memorize them. Additionally, appendices have been added listing the various authentic Names and Attributes of Allah with evidence for Name and Attribute from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
Lastly, it is useful to mention that this book has been widely acclaimed by the people of knowledge as a crucial text needed for understanding the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah in Tawheedul-Asmaa’ was-Sifaat; and at the head of these people of knowledge who have commended this book is Shaykhul-Islaam ‘Abdul-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz rahimahullaah. Shaikhul-Islaam Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah ibn Baaz Rahimahullaah said: ‘I came across the valuable book written by the possessor of excellence, our brother, the Allaamah, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen concerning the Names and Attributes. He named it al-Qawaa’idul-Mathlaa fee Sifaatillaahi wa Asmaaihil-Husnaa. I have listened to its reading from beginning to end, and I have found it t be a magnificent book. It contains a clarification of the creed of the righteous Salaf concerning the Names and Attributes. Likewise, it includes great principles and collective benefits concerning the topic.