Abul-Hasan al-Ash ‘ari stated:
This is a list of the beliefs to which the followers of the Hadith and the Sunnah adhere:
1– Belief in Allah, His angels and His Messengers, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
2– That Paradise is true and Hell is true, that the Hour will undoubtedly come, and that Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.
3– Allah is above His Throne as He says: ~The Most Merciful rose over the Throne. (Qur’an 20: 5)
4– He has two hands, but we do not discuss how, as He says: ~I have created with Both My Hands.~ (Qur’an 38: 75)
5– He has two eyes, but we do not discuss how, as He says: ~Sailing under Our Eyes.~ (Qur’an 54: 14)
6– He has a Face, as He says: ~And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honour) (Qur’an 55: 27)
7– The names of Allah cannot be said to be something other than Allah, as the Mu’tazilites and Khawarij say.
8– They affirmed that Allah is All-Knowing, as He says: ~He has sent it down with His Knowledge) (Qur’an 4: 166) and: ~And no female conceives or gives birth except with His Knowledge. (Qur’an 35: 11)
9– They affirm that Allah can hear and see, and they do not deny that as the Mu’tazilites do.
10– They affirm that Allah has power or strength, as He says: ~Did they not consider that Allah Who created them was greater than them in strengths (Qur’an 41: 15)
11- They say that nothing happens on earth, good or evil, except what Allah wills.
12– Things happen by the will of Allah, as He says: ~And you do not will except that Allah wills. (Qur’an 81: 29) And as the Muslims say: What Allah wills happens and what He does not will does not happen.
13– They say that no one can do anything that Allah knows he is not going to do.
14– They affirm that there is no creator except Allah, and that people’s bad deeds are created by Allah and that people’s actions are created by Allah, and that people are not able to create anything.
15– They say that the Qur’an is the word of Allah and is not created.
16– Whoever suggests that the uttered words of the Qur’an are created is an innovator in their view. It should not be said that the uttered words of the Qur’ an are created or not created.
17– They believe that Allah will be seen in a literal sense on the Day of Resurrection as the moon is seen on the night when it is full. The believers will see Him but the disbelievers will not see Him because they will be veiled from seeing Him. Allah says: ~No! Indeed, they [evil doers] will be veiled from seeing their Lord that Day) (Qur’an 83: 15). Moses asked Allah to let him see Him in this world, and Allah appeared to the mountain and made it collapse to dust (Qur’an 7: 143), so He showed him that he could not see Him in this world but he will see Him in the Hereafter.
18– They do not regard any Muslim as a disbeliever if he commits sin such as fornication, stealing and other major sins; they are believers even though they have committed major sins.
19– In their view, faith means believing in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the divine decree both good and bad, sweet and bitter, and that what has missed them would never have befallen them and what has befallen them would never have missed them.
20– Islam means bearing witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, according to what it says in the Hadith, and in their view Islam is something different from iman (faith, belief).
21– They affirm that Allah is the Controller of the hearts.
22– They affirm the intercession of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and that it will be for those members of his Ummah who commit major sins; they affirm the torment of the grave, and that the cistern is true, the sirat is true and the Resurrection after death is true.
23– The Reckoning by Allah of His slaves is true and the standing before Allah (on the Day of Resurrection) is true.
24– They affirm that faith is both words and deeds; it may increase and decrease. They do not say that faith is created or not created.
25– They believe that the names of Allah are Allah.
26– They do not testify that anyone who commits a major sin will be in Hell, and they do not affirm that any individual among those who profess Islamic monotheism will be in Paradise. Rather Allah will put them wherever He wills. They believe that the matter is up to Allah: if He wills He will punish them and if He wills He will forgive them. They believe that Allah will bring some of those who profess tawheed out of Hell, according to what is mentioned in the reports from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
27- They denounce arguments about religion and disputes about the divine decree, and what the argumentative debate about with regard to religious matters. They accept the sound reports which were transmitted by trustworthy narrators going all the way back to the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and they do not ask how or why, because that is innovation.
28– They believe that Allah did not enjoin evil; rather He forbade it and enjoined good. He does not approve of evil even though He wills it.
29– They acknowledge the rights of those whom Allah chose to accompany His Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam); they recognize their virtues and refrain from discussing the disputes that arose among them.
30– They give precedence to Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).
31– They affirm that they are the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the best of all people after the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
32– They believe in the hadiths which came from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) including: «Allah descends to the lowest heaven and says: Is there anyone who will ask forgiveness?» as the hadith came from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
33– They adhere to the Qur’ an and Sunnah as Allah says: ~And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and His Messenger. (Qur’an 4: 59)
34– They believe in following the early generation of imams who did not introduce any innovation into their religion for which Allah did not give permission.
35– They affirm that Allah will come on the Day of Resurrection as He says: ~And your Lord comes, and the angels rank upon rank.} (Qur’an 89: 22)
36– And that Allah draws near to His creation however He wills, as He says: ~And We are closer to him than his jugular vein [by Our Knowledge]. (Qur’an 50: 16)
37– They believe in offering Eid and congregational prayers behind any ruler, good or bad.
38- They affirm that wiping over the socks is Sunnah and is valid whether one is travelling or not.
39– They affirm that engaging in jihad against the polytheists is obligatory, from the time Allah sent His Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) until the last group fights the false Messiah and after that.
40– They believe that supplication should be said asking for the Muslim leaders to be guided aright, and that they should not rebel against them with the sword, and that they should not fight at times of fitnah.
41– They believe that the Dajjal will emerge and that ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary) will kill him.
42– They believe in Munkar and Nakeer, and in the miraculous ascent [of Prophet Muhammed (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) to heaven], and in the visions seen in dreams.
43– And (they believe that) the benefit of supplication for deceased Muslims and charity given on their behalf after death will reach them.
44– They believe that there are practitioners of witchcraft in the world, and that the practitioner of witchcraft is a disbeliever as Allah says, and that magic or witchcraft exists in this world.
45– They believe in offering the funeral prayer for any Muslim who dies, whether he was righteous or otherwise, and that they may be inherited from.
46– They affirm that Paradise and Hell are created entities.
47– They affirm that everyone who dies, dies at his appointed time, and everyone who is killed, is killed at his appointed time.
48– They affirm that provision comes from Allah, Who gives provision to His slaves, whether it is halal or haram.
49– The devil whispers to people and instils doubt and confusion.
50– It may so happen that Allah chooses to single out some of the righteous for signs that appear at their hands.
51– The Sunnah does not abrogate the Qur’an.
52– With regard to children who die, it is up to Allah: if He wills He will punish them and if He wills He do whatever He wants with them.
53– Allah knows what His slaves will do and has decreed that it will happen, and all things are in the hands of Allah.
54– They believe in patience in adhering to < what Allah has enjoined and refraining from what He has forbidden; sincerity (towards Allah) in actions; sincerity towards the Muslims; worshipping Allah alongside those who worship Him; avoiding major sins, fornication, false speech, minor sins, pride, arrogance, looking down on people and self-admiration.
55– They believe in shunning everyone who promotes innovation.
56– They believe in occupying oneself with reading the Qur’ an, studying reports of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), acquiring knowledge and studying fiqh with humility and a good attitude, doing favours, refraining from causing harm, refraining from backbiting, gossip and troublemaking, and checking on food and drink.
57– This is a summary of what they enjoin, do and believe. Everything that has been mentioned of their beliefs we believe and follow also, and we have no help but that of Allah; He is sufficient for us and is the best disposer of affairs; His help we seek and in Him we put our trust and to Him is the final destiny.
[al-Khamees, Muhammad, I’tiqad Ahl as-Sunnah As-hab al-Hadeeth Sharh jumlah ma Hakahu ‘anhum Abul-Hasan aI-Ash ‘ari wa Qarraruhu fee Maqalatihi, p. 11-171. Dr. al-Khamees undertook a study of these basic principles.]