Islamic Belief By Imam Abu Jafar at-Tahawi
"Imam Tahawi’s al-[Aqidah, representative of the viewpoint of ahl-al-Sunnah wal-Jama‘ah, has long been the most widely acclaimed, and indeed indispensable, reference-work on Muslim beliefs. Being a text on Islamic doctrines, this work draws heavily on arguments set forth in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah. Likewise, the arguments advanced in refuting the views of sects that have deviated from the Sunnah are also taken from the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.
As regards the sects mentioned in this work, a study of Islamic history up to the time of Imam Tahawi would be helpful. Moreover, it contains references to views of the Shi‘ah, Khawarij and such mystics that had departed from the right path. There is an explicit reference in the work to the non-sensical controversy on khalq-al-Qur’an in the times of Ma’mun and some other ‘Abbasid Caliphs.
While the permanent relevance of the statements of belief in al-Aqidah is obvious, the historical weight of these statements can only be properly appreciated if the work is used as a study text under the guidance of some learned person able to highlight its arguments fully. Such a study will help one understand Islamic doctrines better and avoid deviations."