Abu Hasan al-'Ash'ari (rahimahullaah) said:
Praise be to Allaah the One, the almighty the glorious, the only one to whom unity is ascribed, the Magnified in praise, whom the attribute of Human beings do not adequately describe. He has neither adversary nor rival, and He is the creator and the restorer, "The Doer of what He wills"- [11:109] He is too exalted to possess consorts or children, too holy to associate with the genera of creation or things corrupt. He has not form capable of expression, nor is a definition of Him by means of a simile possible.
If anybody says to us, " You have denied the beliefs of the Mu`tazilah, the Qadariyyah, the Jahmiyyahh, the Haruriyyah the Rafidha and the Murji`a; now let us know the beliefs you hold and the religion you follow," the answer is:
The belief we hold and the religion we follow consists of:
Holding fast to the book of our Lord, to the Sunnah of our Prophet, and the traditions related on the authority of the Companions and the Successors and the Imaams1 of hadeeth - to that we hold firmly...
The essence of our belief is that we confess faith in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam)s, the revelation of Allaah, and what the trustworthy have handed down on the authority of Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), rejecting none of them.
We confess that Allaah is One - There is none worthy of worship but He - unique, eternal, possessing neither consort nor child;
and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), who He sent with the guidance and the real Religion;
and that Paradise is real and Hell is real ;
and that there is no doubt regarding the Coming Hour; and that Allaah will raise up all those who are in the graves ;
and that Allaah (istiwaa) His throne (as He has said, "The Merciful is (istiwaa)on the Throne" - [20:4] ) ;
and that He has a face (as He has said, "but the Face of thy Lord shall abide resplendent with majesty and glory" - [55:27] ) ;
And that He has two hands, bila kaifa (without asking how?) (as He has said " I have created with my two hands," - [38:75] and he has said, "nay! Outstretched are both His hands" - [5:69]);
and that He has an eye, without asking how (as He has said "under Our eyes it floated on" - [54:14] ),
and that anybody who thinks that the names of Allaah are other than He is in error;
and that Allaah has Knowledge (as He has said, in His knowledge He sent it down," - [4:164] ), and as He said, "And no female concieveth and bringeth forth without His knowledge" - [35:12] ),
we also assert that Allaah has hearing and sight, and we do not deny it as the Mu`tazila, the Jahmiyyah, and the Khaarijites deny it;
And we assert that Allaah has Prowess(Quwwah) (as He has said, " saw they not that Allaah Who created them was mightier than they in Prowess?" -[41:14] );
and we believe that the Word of Allaah is uncreated, and that He has created nothing without first saying to it, "Be!," And it is "as he has said, "Our word to a thing when we will it is but to say, 'Be!', and it is" - [16:42]),
and that there is no good or evil on earth save what Allaah wishes: and that things exist by Allaah's wish;
and that not a single person has the capacity to do anything until Allaah causes him to act,
and we are not independent of Allaah,
nor can we pass beyond the range of Allaah's knowledge;
and that there is no creator save Allaah, and the works of human beings are things created and decreed by Allaah (as He has said, "Allaah has created you and what you make" - [37:94]);
and that human beings have not the power to create anything, but are them selves created (as He has said, " Is there a creator other than Allaah?" - [35:3], and as He has said, "they create nothing, but are themselves created," - [16:20] and as he said, "Shall He who creates be as who creates not?," - [16:17] and as He has said, "were they created by nothing or were they themselves the creators?," - [52:35] for this is mentioned in Allaah's Book frequently);
and that Allaah favours the Believers by granting them obedience to Him, is gracious to them, considers them, does what is salutary for them, guides them;
whereas He causes the Disbelievers to stray, does not guide them, does not give them the grace to believe".
As the deviators and rebels think for if He were gracious to them and did what salutary for them they would be sound;
and if He guided them, they would be guided; as He has said, "He whom Allaah guides is the guided and they whom be misleads will be the lost" - [7:177],