What is the objective of studying Aqīdah ? And what is the objective of studying Tawḥīd ?
Shaykh Muhammad Amān al-Jāmī:
The objective is that the worshiper becomes knowledgeable about his Lord, his Creator, The Patron of the blessings he receives.
By way of what does a worshiper come to know about his Lord? Is it that he sees Him? Allāh – The Most High, void of all defects – is not visible in this world, in this abode, He is not visible. Meaning: seeing Allāh is not impossible, however it is not going to happen. It has never happened, and will never happen due to the inability of humans to withstand a manifestation of The Lord ﷻ in this abode. This is what Allāh ordained. For that reason, when Mūsā requested to see his Lord, Allāh put his request on hold so that Mūsā could witness what happens to the mountain. If the mountain can remain stationary in its place and not collapse into dust, then Mūsā will be able to see Allāh. But if the mountain cannot withstand the manifestation, then Mūsā will most definitely be unable to withstand it. Inevitably the mountain was unable to withstand the manifestation of Allāh. [Q 7:143] doctrine
At this point, it became clear to Mūsā that although seeing Allāh is possible and also permitted intellectually and religiously, it is not going to happen in this world due to an impediment – That impediment being the weakness of human capacity in this abode; and that being the case, Mūsā submitted to this fact.
In the night of the miraculous journey and ascension, when the Prophet ﷺ descended and returned from that long journey – a long but short journey. Long in terms of the distance, short in terms of the Prophet’s return because he ﷺ returned to Makkah in the same night. Immediately after returning from his long journey, the Prophet ﷺ was asked: “Did you see your Lord?” He ﷺ replied: “Light was what I saw”. “His screen is light”.
Therefore, the more accurate of the two opinions is that the Prophet ﷺ never saw his Lord ﷻ on that night with the eyes in his head, even though he saw Him ﷻ with his heart. Rather, the Prophet ﷺ mentioned at the end of the story about the Anti-Christ (Dajjāl): “Verily you will never see your Lord until you die.” “Know that you will never see your Lord until you die.” using the word: لَنْ (lan). Regarding: لَنْ some scholars of the Arabic language say that it means: ‘never’. As for in the hereafter, the worshippers will see their Lord twice. The first occasion will be while standing awaiting Judgment.
Regarding this sighting, the people of knowledge differ: Is it exclusively for the believers? Or is it that the disbelievers and hypocrites see Him, and then The Lord of all the worlds will screen Himself from them so as to punish, chastise and insult them. This is one opinion. The other opinion is that they will not see Him ﷻ. As for the second occasion, it is in the abode of nobility, in paradise. That sighting is exclusively for the Awliyā of Allāh, the believers. The believers will see their Lord ﷻ just as they see a full moon, and just as they see the sun without clouds obstructing their vision – An actual sighting wherein they will not crowd each other nor be harmed by the congestion of people. Every individual will be raising his head, stationed in his place looking at his Lord ﷻ above him. Allāh ﷻ will convey Salām to them from above them and become manifest to them, and then address them:
“Peace onto you – a word from The Ever Merciful Lord” [Q 36:58].
Such is the situation in that abode.
So, if we cannot see our Lord ﷻ in this abode, then by way of what do we come to know of our Lord? We know Allāh ﷻ by way of His signs which are virtually articulating (that He exists). By way of His universal signs, as the universe in its entirety is a sign that indicates to the existence of The Lord ﷻ. In everything there is a sign that indicates that He ﷻ is One. In everything there is a sign that proves that He is One. But before we believe in His oneness, ability and knowledge, we must believe in his existence. Your very existence is proof that Allāh exists. If you do not doubt your own existence – does anyone actually doubt his own existence?! It is not permitted intellectually or religiously for anyone to doubt the existence of The Lord, The Most High, void of all defects.
“Were they created by nothing, or are they the creators of themselves?” [Q 52:35]
Where did you come from?! Did you create yourself?! Impossible! Were you created without a creator?! Impossible!
The third (and only other) possibility is that you have a creator, and that Creator is absolutely different from you in every aspect – a Creator that is able to do all things. The proof of that is He Originated this universe without there being a previous likeness of it. He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. This action of originating from nothing is proof of firstly: The existence of The Lord ﷻ. Secondly: His absolutely spectacular ability. Therefore, The Creator is not like the creation, He is different from the creation in the reality, and nature of His essence. No one knows how He really is except He ﷻ. He is different from the creation with regards to His ability due to the fact that the ability of the creation is created, it came into being after not existing.
Allāh is The One who endowed you with this ability, so it is binding that you know He possesses an ability that is far superior to your ability, because He is The One who endowed you with your ability.
Therefore, this action of Originating and bringing creation into existence, along with the fact that He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, proves the existence of The Lord ﷻ – an existence that is real, such that it is not permitted intellectually, religiously or innately for anyone to doubt the existence of The Lord, unless he doubts the existence of himself. Allāh exists because you exist, because you are an indication, because you are a sign proving the existence of Allāh ﷻ. Certainly He is able to do all things and is the Creator of everything. That proves His absolutely spectacular ability.
The specific allocation of things in creation indicates to His intention and knowledge that encompasses all things.
The meaning of specific allocation: to specifically allocate to everything and every individual a particular attribute or disposition. E.g. Zayd is a scholar and Amr is ignorant, Bakr is rich and Khālid is poor, and so on. Specific allocation of each worshipper with an attribute and disposition. This Specific allocation is proof of Allāh’s intention and knowledge. His knowledge encompasses everything.
Therefore, we use as proof the fact that we exist and have attributes, and also the existence of The Lord’s creation and His design of it to prove the existence of The Lord and that He is described with attributes of unique perfection. The attributes of The Lord ﷻ are all the epitome of perfection. This is how we believe in The Lord, The One absolutely void of all defects and limitations, The Most High.