Shaykh Albani said, “That which I believe and worship Allah with is that there are both generalities (in similarity) and specific (aspects) between the Salafi manhaj and aqeedah.
Aqeedah is more specific than manhaj as all of you know.
Aqeedah has a link with what is called in the view of many of the Jurists the “knowledge of tawheed (i.e. knowledge about Allahs actions, mankinds obligation to worship Allah alone and knowing about Allah’s perfect and this is the chief and fundamental aspect of Islam.
However, manhaj is more vast than aqeedah or tawheed.
As for those who claim that there is a differentiation (between aqeedah and manhaj), then they desire by this to make it permissible for themselves to adopt ways and means in their dawah to Islam (i.e. in their manhaj) which the Salaf us-Salih (righteous predecessors) were not upon.
To say this in a different way, they consider that they have the liberty to adopt whatever ways and means (manhaj) they think will help them to convey (and actualise) Islam…
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, the Sunnah and what the Salaf us-Salih were upon with respect to objectives, goals and ways and means are sufficient for the Ummah (as a manhaj in dealing with all people in society – rulers, hypocrites, innovators, open sinners, kuffar (ahlu kitab and the mushrikeen in general), scholars, students of knowledge, lay people upon the sunnah etc).
However, the reason which leads some of the people to permit themselves to adopt these ways and means (which oppose the manhaj of the Salaf us-Salih), is…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.
We say, our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic has made removed us from having any need, by our Shariah (Islamic law), of this (incorrect and false) separation which has been explained (between aqeedah and manhaj by opposers to the manhaj of the Salaf us-Salih) and that we should be needy of the disbelievers and that we should take from their ways and means, which might be good for them, (but) only because they have no Shariah by which they guide themselves.
So for this reason we say that manhaj is more vast than aqeedah and tawheed, hence it is necessary to adhere to what the Salaf us-Salih were upon with respect to both these affairs; the one that is vast (manhaj) first and foremost and the one that is more narrow (tawheed), meaning aqeedah.” Ref: Al-Asaalah Magazine, Vol 22
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie