The Sufficiency of Those Who Are Guided Aright
This concise but comprehensive work of the science of theology was written by one of Africa’s greatest scholar/warriors – Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye’, may Allah benefit us by his baraka. Scholars from all over the world have written copiously about his outstanding life and achievements, therefore, there is no need to discuss that in detail here.
The Kifaayat ‘l-Muhtadeen encompasses that part of the religious sciences that the Shehu called the foundation of the religion (usuul ‘d-deen) or theology. The Shehu delineated the importance of this science by establishing that it is the first of the obligatory sciences that every responsible person (mukallaf) is necessary to know. The Shehu, may Allah be merciful to him said further in his Fat’hu ‘l-Basaa’ir regarding the division of this science, “Realize that the science of divine unity (fann’t-tawheed) is divided into two divisions:  the foundations of the religion (usuul’d-deen); and  the science of scholastic theology (`ilm’l-kalaam).
Usul ‘d-deen is apart of the individual obligations (furuud’l-`ayaan) while the sci ence of scholastic theology (`ilm’l-kalaam) is apart of the collective obligations (furuud’l-kifaaya)…Strictly speaking, the second division is not called usul ‘d-deen. It is named the science of scholastic theology (`ilm’l-kalaam). When the first division (usul ‘d-deen) is united with the establishment of rational proofs (nasbu’l-adaalat’l-`aqliyyat) along with the elucidating the variants of the teachings of the people of innovation (aqwaal ahli’l-bid`a) and the philosophers – then that is also scholastic theology. If not, then the science of the foundatio ns of the religion (usul ‘d-deen), its divine, its prophetic and its after-life are well established in the Mighty Qur’an. It has also been established by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in his sunna as we have clearly demonstrated in our books called Mirat ‘t-Tulaab and Umdat ‘l-Ulama.
Probably the most important reason that the Shehu composed this work and others like it, was as Muhammad Bello said:
“Among them was the faction about whom al-Hassan al-Yusi spoke. They are a faction, who study the ideas from the instigation of some Imams regarding the speculative arguments in the science of tawheed. They caution people from being ignorant of this and castigate people for having affiliation (taqleed) with the scholars in that. They go around questioning people about their beliefs (`aqeeda). They hold them responsible for giving the correct answers and then endeavor to explain the correct answers.
Sometimes the people being questioned stumble in their inability to express what is on their hearts. Sometimes their tongues are befuddled from the perplexity of the expressions of tawheed. Sometimes they are ignorant of some of what is objectionable in the realm of beliefs (al-`aqeeda). In any case these amateurs in knowledge regard them as infringing the boundaries of tawheed. And when they are not blaming them, they spread the idea that the common people are ignorant and disbelievers.
They then spread the idea that corruption has occurred in the beliefs of the people (`aqaa’id ‘n-naas). They set out to teach the doctrine of beliefs to the common people utilizing the language and technical terminology established and created by their faction, based upon the perimeters established in the books of the theologians (al-mutakallimun).
They also spread the idea among the people that whoever is not preoccupied with the science of tawheed in accordance with the manner in which they teach it, then that person is a disbeliever. They also spread the idea that the sacrificed meats of the common Muslim are not to be eaten, nor are they to be married, out of fear that they will be among those who do not know the science of tawheed.
They do not stop there, rather after having brought shame upon the common Muslims, Allah afflicted them with trying to bring shame upon the elite among the scholars of the Muslims, as well. Their false condemnations include the jurists of their times among the people of knowledge and religion. Among these whom they condemn are among the scholars who are rightly guided.
However they accuse them of being a ‘deviant’ (dalaal), even though they may not claim that the common people are in error. The tribulations of this faction ignited and started a fire that caused the smoke of their ignorance to accumulate until it had almost engulfed the entire region of the bilad ‘s-sudan. Then the Shehu arose against them and Allah extinguished the fires of their tribulation by means of him. By means of the illumination of the Shehu, Allah exposed the darkness of their smoke. The Shehu showed the falsity of their school of thought (madh’hab) and uprooted the tree of their errors from the earth until their ideology became obscured.
He produced many treatise refuting them which amounted to more than fifty works. There occurred many conflicts between him and them, where it was witnessed that he successfully refuted them in the best manner.He was able to unveil the path of truth and reality in the science of Divine Unity. And all praises are due to Allah for that.”
Clearly, the situation in the western and central Bilad’s-Sudan was as it is today. The description of the problem that Muhammad Bello delineated above is as though he were talking about some of the Najdi factions today, who are spread out throughout the earth, like a Rabbanical Pharasees causing fitna, riding the horse of petrol-dollars, while holding the shield of CIA logistical intelligence. We seek refuge with Allah ta`ala from the recurrence of fitna and intolerance.
Thus, we see the importance of the work of the Shehu in our times. This text, like most of the works of the Shehu is very concise. For being succinct is an obligation in this age. This is especially true an age where the resolution and concern of the people is inept; they have become completely preoccupied with the affairs of their livelihood and its objectives and they have turned themselves totally towards this world’s life and its embellishments. They have thrown the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know. As the poet said:
“As if between the pilgrims and Safa there was no Intimacy and as if the night conversant made no gentle converse in Mecca they are sleep to the aims of knowledge never to awaken their awakening will only be at the time of the Tremendous Address!”
Or as another poet said so beautifully:
“This is the time about which we were warned In the words of Ka`b and in the words of Ibn Mas`ud. When falsehood persists and no one speaks to rebuke, When no one will cry for the dead nor be happy about a new born. In this age the truth has been rejected all together while injustice and immorality in these times are not rejected.”
We at the Sankore’ Institute hope that this text will benefit you in these Last Days and Times, and clarify what is essential for the responsible Muslim to know from the science of at-tawheed without falling into extremes.
SIIASI has combined the Arabic and English with the Spanish translation by Alymah Ramos and the French translation by Dylia Camara.
Shaykh Muhammad Shareef