Question: “There is (one) here who is lax concerning the importance of ‘Aqīdah (creed) and he is of the opinion that Eemān (faith) is sufficient (for him). Do you have any clarification concerning the importance of ‘Aqīdah for the Muslim and how it reflects on his life, on his relationship with the (Muslim) society (as a whole) and with the non-Muslims?”
'Allāmah Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān حفظه الله: “In the name of Allāh, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. All praise is due to Allāh, the Lord of the all that exists. And may the peace and blessings be upon our Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and his companions. To proceed:
The correctness of ‘Aqīdah is the (most) fundamental principle. This is because bearing witness that Lā Ilāha Illallāh Wa Anna Muhammaddan Rasūl Allāh (there is no deity worthy of worship except Allāh and that Muhammad is His Messenger), is the first pillar of Islām. And the Messengers called firstly, to the correction of the ‘Aqīdah because all acts of worship and behavior depends on it and without the correct ‘Aqīdah, there is no benefit from (these) deeds.
The Most High said: ‘But if they had joined in worship others with Allāh, all that they used to do would have been of no benefit to them.’ • [al-An’ām (6):88]
And their deeds became invalid.
And Allāh سبحانه وتعالى said: ‘Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allāh, then Allāh has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Dhālimūn (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.’ • [al-Mā`idah (5):72]
And the Most High said: ‘And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), as it was to those (Allāh’s Messengers) before you: If you join others in worship with Allāh, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.’ • [az-Zumar (39):65]
From these texts and other than them, it is clear that the correction of the ‘Aqīdah is from the important (affairs) and at the forefront of the Da’wah. And the first (affair) to establish for the Da’wah is the correction of ‘Aqīdah. And the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم remained in Makkah for thirteen years after his mission began, calling the people to the correction of the ‘Aqīdah and to at-Tawhīd. And the Farā`id (obligatory acts of worship) were not revealed to him except in Madīnah.
Yes, and the Salāt (prayer) was made obligatory upon him in Makkah before the Hijrah and the rest of the Sharī’ah was imposed on him after the Hijrah. From this we have evidence that deeds are not accepted except after the correction of the ‘Aqīdah.
And this is for the one who says: That the Eemān is sufficient without having interest for the ‘Aqīdah.
This is contradictory because Eemān is not Eemān except if the ‘Aqīdah is correct. And if the ‘Aqīdah is not correct, then there is no Eemān, and (there is) no Dīn (religion).”
● [فتاوى السياسة الشرعية]