“Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah” of Al-Imaam al-Laalikaa’ee (d. 418H)
This is one of classical and epic compilations that comprises the detailed creed of the Salaf. In this article we want to provide some information about the book and the veracity of its ascription to its author, Imaam al-Laalikaa’ee. Refer to Vol 1, of the printed Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, Daar Tayyibah lin-Nashr wat-Tawzee’, 6th Edition, 1420H, Riyadh, KSA.
The scholars have referred to this work plentifully throughout the ages with various titles. We will list the titles here and the scholars who quoted them:
- As-Sunnah: Al-Haafidh al-Maqdisee in his ‘Aqeedah, p. 42; Ibn Taymiyyah inal-Fataawa 5/24; Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah 12/24; As-Suyootee in Miftaahul-Jannah fil-Ihtijaaj bis-Sunnah 41,44,46; Ibn Hajar inFathul-Baaree 1/47; Mar’ee ibn Yoosuf al-Hanbalee in Aqaweel ath-Thiqaat fi Ta’weel al-Asmaa was-Sifaat, a-4, Manuscript.
- Sharh as-Sunnah: Al-Khateeb in Tareekh Baghdaad 14/70; Ibn al-‘Imaad inShadharaat adh-Dhahab 3/211; Az-Zarkalee in al-I’laam 9/57.
- Sharh I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah: Adh-Dhahabee in al-‘Uluww lil-‘Aliyy il-Ghaffaar 177.
- Usool as-Sunnah: Ibn Taymiyyah in al-Hamawiyyatul-Kubraa, incl. ar-Rasaa’il al-Kubraa 1/446 and al-Furqaan 1/37.
- Sharh Hujaj Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah: Abu Shaamah inal-Baa’ith ‘alaa Inkaaril-Hawaadith 10-11.
- Hujaj Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah: Barw Kilmaan in Tareekh al-Adab al-‘Arabee 3/306.
- As-Sunan: Al-Maqdisee in his ‘Aqeedah 34; Ibn Taymiyyah in al-Fataawa2/52,53.
Verification of the Book and it’s Authorship
The ‘ulamaa throughout the ages have quoted from this book showing their reliance upon it’s contents. From them we have:
- Ibn al-Jawzee (d. 597H) in Talbees Iblees (12, 13, 17, 18, 19) wherein he quotes from the book as As-Sunnah without mentioning the authors name.
- Abdul-Ghanee al-Maqdisee (d. 600H) in ‘Aqeedatul-Maqdisee (33-34).
- Abu Muhammad Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Ismaa’eel, famously known as Abu Shaamah (d. 665H) in al-Baa’ith ‘alaa Inkaaril-Hawaadith (10-11).
- Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) in al-Hamawiyyatul-Kubraa (1/446) and al-Fatawaa (5: 24,50; 6: 53)
- Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafee (d. 746H) in Sharhut-Tahaawiyyah (277), al-Maktabah al-Islaamee print.
- Adh-Dhahabee (d. 748H) in at-Tadhkirah (1: 206-207) and al-‘Uluww lil-‘Aliyyil-Ghaffaar (177).
- Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalaanee (d. 852H) in Fathul-Baaree (13/406, 407).
- As-Suyootee (d. 911H) quoted the work plentifully in ad-Durr al-Manthoor, see for example (3/37).
- Mar’ee ibn Yoosuf al-Hanbalee (d. 1032H) in Aqaweel ath-Thiqaat fi Ta’weel al-Asmaa was-Sifaat (a-4, manuscript).
- Muhammad ibn Ahmad as-Safaareenee (d. 1188H) in Lawaami’ al-Anwaar al-Bahiyyah, see for example (1:199).
There are five manuscripts. One of them is complete in two volumes; the rest of the copies are deficient, only the first volume being complete. The remaining four manuscripts complete each other in terms of content. The available manuscripts are as follows:
First: Leipzig University Library in (East) Germany; This is complete in terms of content; 572 pages, each page has approximately 28 lines; the final chapter is the ‘Miracles of the Awliyaa’ which comprises 85 pages; the text is readable.
Second: Dhaahiriyyah Library, Damascus, Syria; dated as 671 after Hijrah; it is available and quoted from; the writing is readable in places and difficult in places.
Third: Maktabah Ridaa, Parampur, India. The copier of the manuscript was not a scholar and thus contains errors in the handwriting and copying.
There are three further manuscripts present at Dhaahiriyyah Library, Damascus, Syria – one of them being a summarized version.
For a more detailed discussion regarding these manuscripts, see vol 1, pages 149-169 of Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahlis-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, Daar Tayyibah lin-Nashr wat-Tawzee’, 6th Edition, 1420H, Riyadh, KSA.
Scans of the Manuscripts
A scan of the first page from al-Maktabah adh-Dhaahiriyyah (Alif and baa):
A scan of the final page from al-Maktabah adh-Dhaahiriyyah and the first page of the Indian manuscript:
All in all this is one of the greatest works compiled in ‘aqeedah, a tremendous reference for the student of knowledge and the seeker of truth. May Allaah shower his mercy upon Imaam al-Laalikaa’ee (d. 418H) for his service to Islaam and the Sunnah in compiling the ijmaa’ of the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and those who came after them, Ameen.