The Reason Al-’Aqidah Al-Wasitiyah Was Written
Ibn Taimiyah said:
"A Shafi'ite judge from Wasit (in Iraq) whose name is Radiy ad-Din al-Wasiti, visited me on his way to Hajj (pilgrimage). This Sheikh was a man of goodness and faith. He complained to me of the people's situation in that country (i.e., Iraq ) under the Tatars (Mongols) rule of ignorance, injustice, and loss of faith and knowledge.
He asked me to write him an 'Aqidah (creed) as a reference to him and his family. But I declined saying: Many creeds have been written. Refer to the scholars of the Sunnah. However, he persisted in his request, saying: I do not want any creed but one you write. So I wrote this one for him while I was sitting one afternoon.
Many copies of it are dispersed throughout Egypt, Iraq and other provinces.'
(Majmu' Fatawa Ibn Taimiyah, VIII, p.164)
Source: Extracted from a longer note in http://salafipublications.com/sps/sp.cfm?subsecID=AQD04&articleID=AQD040003&articlePages=2