Difference between creed and faith
Fatwa No: 319723

  • Fatwa Date:26-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 17, 1437
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Question

assalaamu alaykum. I sent this question before I think, but it was not answered properly as you reffered me to another fatwa. Are creed and faith the same? I hear some people say no and some say yes; it looks the same to me, so what is the right view?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Whoever examines the scholars' statements and their usage of the terms ʻaqeedah (creed) and eemaan (faith) realizes that the term ʻaqeedah is used by scholars to refer to the beliefs held by the heart, i.e. the deeds of the heart and what it believes in. The term eemaan includes the beliefs held in the heart and the deeds carried out by the body parts. Hence, the term eemaan is more comprehensive, and the term ʻaqeedah is more specific. Shaykh Ibn ʻUthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

According to Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaaʻah, the term eemaan incorporates the term ʻaqeedah and includes both words and deeds. It includes the beliefs held by the heart, the deeds of the heart, the words uttered by the tongue, and the deeds carried out by the body parts. Saying La ilaaha illa Allaah (no deity is worthy of worship except Allaah) is a word uttered by the tongue, removing a harmful thing from the road is a deed carried out by the body parts, hayaa' (bashfulness and modesty) is a deed of the heart, and the belief in the angels and divine scriptures is a belief in the heart. According to Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaaʻah, eemaan includes all these four categories: beliefs held by the heart, deeds carried out by the heart, words uttered by the tongue, and deeds carried out by the body parts.

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also wrote:

Eemaan includes all deeds and is not specific to ʻaqeedah; the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, 'Faith consists of more than sixty branches (or he said: more than seventy branches), the highest of which is saying La ilaaha illa Allaah and the least of which is removing something harmful from the road; and hayaa' is a branch of faith.' Saying La ilaaha illa Allaah is a word uttered by the tongue, removing a harmful thing from the road is a deed carried out by the body parts, and hayaa' is a deed of the heart.

Allaah knows best.

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