The word "aqeeda" (عقيدة) comes from the same root as 'aqd (عقد) meaning to tie or knot. 'Aqd also refers to a contract, a binding obligation.

Aqeeda is our bond to Allahﷻ but also to ahl us-sunnah, just as the link to the mother and father links brothers and sisters.

Beyond this, it is an obligation to act, like a contract. To affirm the aqeeda of ahl us-sunnah means to carry the obligation to act in accordance with it, and belief is by actions, not only words, and both are important.

Yet there are some who will affirm that belief...

/2 by actions, but will focus almost all of their energy on speech, while hardly considering actions.

We may all have deficits in our knowledge and understanding, and these deficits may lead to mistakes. But these mistakes may be erased by means of acts of obedience.

Someone may have a superior understanding of aqeeda and be able to articulate it and eloquently refute those with flaws in their understanding, but their knowledge does not manifest in their actions, or their aqeeda is much less manifest in their actions than their words.

By the same token, someone's speech and understanding may be replete with mistakes and deficits, but their actions still manifest correct aqeeda because of the soundness of their fitra.

If aqeeda becomes an excessively intellectual exercise, the people will distance...

...themselves from those who manifest sound belief in actions while having deficits in their speech, while drawing close to those who have correct speech but have deficits in their actions.

Likewise, if we judge people solely by their actions, we will incline towards...

...those whose actions support the religion, but who have deficits in their speech.

In reality, both of these need each other - men of action and men of knowledge need to support and inspire each other, and the ideal is to manifest both action and knowledge.

Someone once said "A society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its wars fought by fools and its thinking done by cowards."

Some of the salaf, when confronted with differences of opinion, would consult with the people of ribat, knowing that Allah...

...guides those who fight in His path. At the same time, they did not leave off consulting the scholars who dedicated themselves to knowledge and rarely or never saw battles.

We live in an era where struggle in the path of Allah the Exalted is an individual responsibility.

If we cannot fight such that we shed the blood of the enemy and have our own blood shed in the process, then it is upon us to struggle to remove the impediments preventing us from doing so.

From these impediments is lack of connection between the mujahideen and the ulema.

In some cases this separation is caused by the imprisonment in scholars, and in other cases by the brashness of the youth.

Whatever the case, we have to strive to build this bond. Those who are seeking knowledge must seek to connect with the mujahideen through du'a...

...and to support them materially and with advice and encouragement, and those who Allah has honored by allowing them to enter the lands of ribat must seek the advice of the people of knowledge, and inform them about their realities.

From both sides there must be...

...abundant mercy and respect and love, accompanied with the knowledge that we all have weakness and deficiency and that we need each other.

Arrogance is the original root of kufr, and it is also the cause of division among the Muslims.

The Prophet ﷺ said...

...that the believer is the mirror of the believer, and he ﷺ said that the religion is advice.

It's through our connection with each other that we can know our deficits and be corrected, and arrogance strangles this process of rectification.

The Prophet ﷺ said that...

...whoever has a mustard's grain of arrogance in their heart will not smell the fragrance of jannah.

So who wants to see the ummah unified should cultivate humility within himself, and this means being patient with advice and accepting it.

Bilal bin S'ad, rahimullah, is reported to have said: "A brother who, whenever you meet him, points out to you one of your faults is better for you than a brother who, whenever you meet him, puts a dinar in your hand."

So whether our weakness is in terms of knowledge...

...or action, we should seek out those qualified and willing to give us advice, and accept the advice with humility and patience. Likewise, we should strive to inform the people of knowledge as to our condition so that they can better advise and seek the answers to...

...our concerns in the course of their research.

Correct aqeeda is not just a checklist, where checking every box guarantees you a place in the saved sect. Rather, it is a process of connection, of internalizing and implementing the beliefs transmitted to Rasulullah ﷺ...

/18 Allah and preserved by the righteous ulema, and this process is continuous.

Correct belief is embodied in connection to the Muslims, as the Prophet ﷺ said: "You will not have faith until you love each other."

Humility and appreciating advice are key to forming...

...these bonds, so we should not feel safe or superior to others just because we verbally affirm a set of precepts. Even when it comes to correcting our brothers in matters of aqeeda, if we approach them with an attitude of humility, and manifest belief in actions...

/20 is much more likely that the advice will be accepted.

May Allah grant us right belief and guide us to right action, and guide us to form bonds with one another on the basis of correct aqeeda, and make these bonds a means of purifying the ummah of innovation and...

...misconceptions and misunderstanding. May Allah cause us to love each other for His sake, and to be patient with each other's flaws and mistakes, and to be patient with and grateful for those who make us aware of our own flaws and mistakes.

والحمدلله رب العالمين


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