All Alems and Fakihs of this religion share the same opinion that Iman (faith) is useless if ‘Aqida’ is not correct. Therefore it is beyond doubt that this ‘Aqida’ is of utmost importance since if it is not correct, Iman itself loses value. The basis for all acts of Ebadat, worship – e.g.–Salah, Saom, Hajj, Zakah and hundreds of other Ebadats – is faith, Iman. So what do we bring faith on? Faith on Allah, His Messengers, His Malaeks/Angels, faith on the Day of Judgment, on heaven, hell and destiny. If the basis, the very foundation of this faith is faulty, naturally or consequently, all acts of faith are rendered useless as well. So what is this all–important ‘Aqida’ – which if incorrect, can cause Iman/faith and all acts of faith to become void, useless?
Aqida is the comprehensive concept regarding any matter or issue. Comprehensive concept about any matter or issue, big or small, what its use or application are – is Aqida about that particular matter, which if incorrect renders that issue or matter useless. Allah has prescribed a complete code of life through His Nabis and Rasuls, but to what end? Has He revealed this Deen, this way of life without any definite purpose? Absolutely not, He certainly has purpose for all this. However, if we do not understand this purpose or make incorrect interpretations of it, this Deen, will in turn become incapacitated. This is the reason for which all Fakihs and Imams opine that without the correct Aqida, Iman and all related acts of faith are fruitless. Let me give an example, suppose someone presents a car to you, let’s take the car to be Islam, a gift from the Almighty to mankind. Along with the car, the bestower provided a maintenance book for its proper care – which in this case would be the Qur’an and Sahih Hadis. What is the purpose of a car? It is to take its passenger from one place to another. This is the actual purpose of a car; this is what it has been created for. At the same time, the car is fitted with comfortable seats for passengers, equipped with radio/CD players for them to listen to news and songs and it is polished to a glossy finish to look beautiful. The maintenance book provided with the car will inform you what type petrol/octane to use, what number mobile your car needs and the which places you need to oil for the smooth running of your vehicle. For the exterior to look clean and beautiful, it is detailed how to touch up the paint jobs when and where needed. However, the first and foremost job of your car is to take you from point A to point B, this is what it has been manufactured for.
All other necessary information provided in the maintenance book are supplementary and complimentary factors of your car. Yet, if you are not aware of the work your car is supposed to do, it would be a total waste to gift it to you. The purpose of your car is to take you from Dhaka to Chittagong, Sylhet, Rongpur or anywhere else you might want to visit. However, if you are not aware of its function, how would you use it? At the sight of its comfortable sitting arrangement, you might think it is made to lounge out in comfort. Or you might get the idea that it was made to sit comfortably and listen to songs and watch DVDs in style.
If that is how one puts their car to use, then the Aqida is wrong. The purpose of presenting you with the car is lost. If you follow the maintenance book to the letter, use the same mobile/oil as is recommended in the maintenance book, polish it to a sheen, check the air in the tires regularly, yet do not drive it, understand the purpose of the car, all efforts are lost. Not only that, another major error is committed in the process. You would be upsetting the order of priority also. Then, the comfortable seats of the car, the radio, CD player and outward gloss of your car would become more importance than the engine. The topsy–turvy in priority will cause highly important issues to become issues of low priority or be omitted altogether whereas matters that are of low importance would become highly important, all prevalent topics. This is the reason why all Alems, Fakihs and Imams are unanimous on their opinion that if Aqida, the comprehensive concept is incorrect or incomplete, Iman and all related worship or Ebadat are meaningless.
Yet this is what has happened to this Muslim population. We have long since forgotten the true Aqida, purpose of the Deen, the way of life sent by Allah and now are at the state similar to the owner of the car who has no idea about the purpose, utility of his vehicle. Like him, we take great care of the appearance of the car, according to the maintenance book, e.g. the Qur’an and the Hadis yet we do not drive it, it lays rotting in the garage for the sole reason that we do have a clear understanding of its purpose, what we know of it is, are also distorted and wrong. This has resulted in a complete topsy–turvy in the order of importance.