Though the majority of writings authored by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen in issues of creed are explanations of the Imaams who passed before him, this book, al-Qawaa’idul-Muthlaa (Exemplary Principles), is an outstanding example of the Shaykh’s original authorship.
The author begins with the basic foundations of the Names of Allaah, establishing that all of them are beautiful and that they are either titles or descriptions. He also establishes that the Names of Allaah are not limited to a specific number as many imagine and he elaborates upon the various kinds of deviation from correct belief. In speaking about the principles of the Attributes, the author establishes that all of them are Attributes of perfection, that they are permanent and continuous and that knowledge of Allaah’s Attributes is more expansive than knowledge of His Names.
In the third section of the book, the author brings the principles with regards to the textual evidences for Allaah’s Names and Attributes. He establishes that the proofs for the Names and Attributes of Allaah are only taken from the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah, whilst keeping to the apparent meanings of the texts. Towards the end of the book, the author makes a definitive distinction between Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree and the deviant sect known as the Ash’ariyyah, along with detailed refutations of their famous arguments against Ahlus-Sunnah. The book concludes with a chapter dealing with the ruling upon the people of ta‘weel and an explanation of the ma’iyyah (i.e. Allaah being with the creation) of Allaah. As an added benefit, this translated version of the book includes the Arabic texts of some of the pivotal ahaadeeth and statements of the Salaf so that the reader may memorize them. Additionally, appendices have been added listing the various authentic Names and Attributes of Allaah with evidence for Name and Attribute from the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah. Lastly, it is useful to mention that this book has been widely acclaimed by the people of knowledge as a crucial text needed for understanding the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah in Tawheedul-Asmaa‘ was-Sifaat; and at the head of these people of knowledge who have commended this book is Shaykhul-Islaam ’Abdul-’Azeez Ibn Baaz – rahimahullaah.
Shaikhul-Islaam Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah ibn Baaz – Rahimahullaah – said
“I came across the valuable book written by the possessor of excellence, our brother, the Allaamah, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen concerning the Names and Attributes. He named it al-Qawaa’idul-Mathlaa fee Sifaatillaahi wa Asmaaihil-Husnaa. I have listened to its reading from beginning to end, and I have found it t be a magnificent book. It contains a clarification of the creed of the righteous Salaf concerning the Names and Attributes. Likewise, it includes great principles and collective benefits concerning the topic.”