Question: Is there a difference between the Aqeedah and the Manhaj?
Answer: The Manhaaj is more general [and or broader] than the Aqeedah;
◾The Manhaaj is in the Aqeedah [beliefs] and in the Sulook [mannerism] and in the Akhlaaq [morals] and in the Mu’a3malaat [mutual relations and business transactions] in the life of every Muslim and in every field in which the Muslim traverses is called the Manhaj.
◾As for Aqeedah, then what is intended by it, is the foundation of Imaan [what the Muslim believes] and the meaning of the Shahadatain [Testification] and that which it comprises of and this is what is meant by Aqeedah.
Imaam al-Albaani was asked,
“Some of the youth differentiate between the aqidah of the Salaf and the manhaj of the Salaf so you see some of them upon the aqidah of the Salaf yet they allow themselves to work with some of the methodologies that exist today, even though there maybe what opposes the manhaj of the Salaf within them in terms of practice. So is there a binding link between the aqidah and manhaj of the Salaf in the practical implementation of the Salafi manhaj?”
The Shaikh replied in powerful and revealing words: That which I believe and worship Allaah with is that there are both generalities (in similarity) and specific (aspects) between the Salafi manhaj and aqidah. Aqidah is more specific than manhaj as all of you know. Aqidah has a link with what is called in the view of many of the Jurists the “knowledge of tawhid”, and this is the chief and fundamental aspect of Islaam. However, manhaj is more vast than aqidah or tawhid.
For example, open demonstrations and rallies in order to force the rulers to turn their attention to what the society complains about and similar matters. So we say that what has come in the Book and the Sunnah and what the Salaf us-Salih were upon with respect to objectives, goals and ways and means are sufficient for the Ummah. However, the reason which leads some of the people to permit themselves to adopt these ways and means, in fact it is correct for me to say that they permit themselves to blindly-follow the disbelievers in the ways that they have adopted in order to actualise what they call either democracy or social justice and other such words which have no reality to them. So they I mean these Muslims permit themselves to blindly follow the disbelievers in these ways and means.
Shaykh Taraheeb ad-Dosri hafidhahullah was asked, “How should we respond to one who says, “As long as our Aqeedah is the same(muslims), we should unite and work together without being on the same Manhaj.”
The Shaykh said that this is an incorrect matter. The Aqeedah and the Manhaj are one thing. He whose Manhaj is correct then his Aqeedah is correct.