Fundamentals of the Sunnah
Bishr bin Moosaa narrated to us, saying: Al-Humaydee narrated to us, saying:
[Faith in the Divine Pre-Decree]
1. The Sunnah, in our view, is that: A man believes in Al-Qadar (the Divine Pre-Decree) – the good and the evil, as well as the sweet and the bitter of it. And that a he knows that what befalls him from (Allaah’s) Decree will never miss him, and that what is not decreed for him will never befall him. And he must believe that all of this is an ordainment from Allaah.
[Faith is Speech and Action, and it Increases and Decreases]
2. Eemaan (Faith) is speech and action. It increases and decreases. And no statement will be of benefit unless it is accompanied by an action, neither will a statement or an action be of benefit without the intention, and neither a statement, action or the intention will be of benefit in the absence of (one abiding by) the Sunnah.
[Praise for the Companions]
3. Asking Allaah to bestow His mercy on all of the Companions of Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This is since Allaah said: “And those who came after them (i.e. after the Companions) say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who have preceded us in Faith. And do not put in our hearts any hatred for those who have believed. Our Lord, you are indeed full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hashr: 10]
One can never believe unless he asks Allaah’s forgiveness for them. So whoever reviles them or belittles them or even just one from among them, then he is not upon the Sunnah and he has no right to the (war) booty. We have been informed about this by several sources that Maalik bin Anas (rahimahullaah) said: “Allaah has divided the war-booty amongst ‘the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their property…’ up to where He said:‘…And those who came after them, say: ‘Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers.’ [Surah Al-Hashr: 8-10] So whoever does not say this for them, he is not from those whom Allaah has given a portion of the war-booty to.”
[The Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah]
4. The Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah. I heard Sufyaan (bin ‘Uyainah) say: “The Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah. And whoever says that it is created, is an innovator. We did not hear anyone (from the Salaf) saying this.”
[The Statement of Sufyaan regarding Faith]
5. And I heard Sufyaan say: “Eemaan (Faith) is speech and action; it increases and decreases.”
So his brother, Ibraaheem bin ‘Uyainah, said to him: “O Abu Muhammad, we don’t hold that it decreases.” So Sufyaan became angry and said: “Be quiet, child.” - to the point that nothing else came out from him.
[The Believers will see their Lord on the Day of Judgement]
6. An affirmation that the believers will see Allaah after death.
[Confirming Allaah’s Attributes]
7. As for what is stated in the Qur’aan and the Hadeeth, such as: “The Jews say: ‘Allaah’s Hand is tied up.’ May their hands be tied up” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 64] and such as: “The heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand” [Surah Az-Zumar: 67] as well as whatever resembles that from the Qur’aan and the Hadeeth, we do not exceed beyond that nor do we interpret it. Rather, we stop at where the Qur’aan and the Sunnah stopped at, and we say: “The Most Merciful (Allaah) rose over His Throne.” [Surah TaHa: 5] Whoever claims something other than this is a Mu’attil (denier of Allaah’s Attributes), a Jahmee. 
[The Difference between Ahlus-Sunnah and the Khawaarij]
8. We do not say as the Khawaarij say: “Whoever commits a major sin has disbelieved.” We do not deem a Muslim to be a disbeliever due to any of the sins. Rather, disbelief (only) lies in the abandonment of the five (pillars of Islaam), about which Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Islaam is built upon five things: Testifying that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; (2) Establishing the Prayer; (3) Giving the Zakaat; (4) Fasting in Ramadaan; (5) and Making the Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Allaah’s house (Ka’bah).”
[When does the Proof become established on one who abandons all or some of the Pillars of Islaam?]
9. As for three of these pillars, then there is no difference between the one who abandons any of them. They are not saying the testimony of Faith, not praying and not fasting. This is because he is delaying part of these pillars from their proper times. And whoever makes them up after having neglected them intentionally from their proper times will not be rewarded.
And as for Zakaat, when one does not give it, it will be held against him, and count as a sin because of his holding it back.
As for Hajj, then whoever is obligated to go on it and has the means to perform it, then he must go. But it is not obligatory for him to perform it every year in the case that he has already performed it. When he performs the Hajj, he is considered as having performed it and he is not counted as a sinner if he delays it, as is the case with the person who is sinful by delaying the Zakaat. This is because Zakaat is a right of the needy Muslims, whom he has withheld it from. So if he performs the Hajj, then he has fulfilled its obligation. And if he dies, whilst he was present and able to perform the Hajj but didn’t do it, he will be asked to return to the worldly life (so he can perform it). His family members are obligated to perform the Hajj on his behalf, and we hope that if they do this, it will be counted as if he had performed it, in the same manner as if he had a debt, which was repaid after his death.
[This ends the treatise, all praise be to Allaah, Lord of the Worlds]
 Translator’s Note: This refers to the war booty achieved from the battle against the Jews of Banu An-Nadeer. Commencing from the sixth ayah of Surah Al-Hashr, Allaah clarifies who is entitled to this war booty, up until the tenth ayah, which mentions those who come after the Muhaajireen (emigrants) and the Ansaar (Muslim residents of Madeenah), i.e. the Companions. So whoever amongst “those who came after them” does not perform what is indicated in this ayah (10) of asking forgiveness for the Sahaabah, then he has no right to the war-booty.
 Translator’s Note: Imaam Ibn Al-‘Uthaimeen said about the Jahmiyyah: “They attribute themselves to Al-Jahm bin Safwaan who was killed by Saalim or Salim bin Ahwaz in the year 121H. Their views on the Attributes of Allaah consist of ta'teel (denial) and nafee (negation). Regarding Al-Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree), they hold the opinion that mankind is coerced to do deeds (al-jabr). Their view on Eemaan is that of Irjaa, which means that they believe Eemaan is merely the confirmation of the heart, and that statements and actions are not part of Eemaan. So according to them, someone who commits a major sin is a believer with complete Eemaan (i.e. Eemaan does not increase or decrease). So they are the Mu'atazilah, Jabariyyah and Murji’ah all in one and they are divided into many sects.” [Sharh Lum’at-ul-‘Itiqaad]