Archive for June 25th, 2008

Some Sayings from the Salaf Concerning Allah سبحانه وتعالى ‘s

Attributes and their Ijmaa’ (Consensus) Concerning the

Falsehood of Ta’weel Part 3

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحت الله وبركاته

الحمد الله

(Continued from previous part) End of his words, may Allaah have mercy upon him. And Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-’Aleem Abul-Hammaam of Jaami’atul-Azhar said, after addressing the issue of

interpolating Istawaa (He ascended) to mean istawlaa (He conquered):

“… And from this is the danger of ta’weel (i.e. that it necessitates the consideration of Allaah and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم to have lied) and Ibn al-Qayyim explains that it (ta’weel) is more evil than ta’teel, which is merely, ‘denying the Divine Attributes and rejecting their being established with the Self of Allaah (Dhaat), the Most Perfect because it (ta’weel) contains both tashbeeh, ta’teel and also  playing and fooling with the texts as well as having a bad opinion of them. The Mu’attil (denier of the Attributes) and the Mu’awwil (one who interpolates them) have shared (with each other) in the denial of the realities of the Names and Attributes but the Mu’awwil has exceeded in his playing and fooling with the texts and having a bad opinion of them and also ascribing to the one who speaks with them — that he speaks with their apparent (meanings), that he is astray and leads others astray. Therefore, they have combined in (falling into) four dangers:

(i) Their belief that what is manifest and apparent from the words of Allaah and His Messenger is impossible and is falsehood, therefore they have understood them to be tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) from the very beginning.

(ii) They have denied the reality of their meanings on the basis that this is such an understanding that does not befit them and nor does it befit the Lord, the Most Perfect.

(iii) Ascribing to the speaker, the perfect in knowledge and elucidation (bayaan) and the perfect in giving advice, and that is Allaah, the Most Perfect, the opposite of elucidation (bayaan), guidance (hudaa) and giving direction (iirshad). This (i.e. resorting to ta’weel) necessitates that they are more knowledgeable than Him, more eloquent and clear (in speech) than Him and greater in giving advice to mankind.

(iv) Playing with the texts (of the Book and the Sunnah) and putting an end to their sanctity and sacredness.  Let alone:

(v) That the Mu’awwil (one who resorts to ta’weel) is not pleased with, for Allaah the Exalted, what the most knowledgeable of Him amongst the people, and he is the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم was pleased with for Him.

(vi) That this ta’weel, had Allaah desired it for Himself, then He would have ordered it in His Book or upon the tongue of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and then ta’weel of the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, would have been obligatory, a necessary part of the religion, the neglect of which would be forbidden and whoever abandoned it would have been sinful. And this is in addition to the fact that when Allah, the Most High, has not permitted it then doing it would he a mistake and it would be a manner that is blameworthy and forbidden, due to what it implies, (that is): its being a form of correcting and rectifying Allaah, the Most High, and His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم.

(vii) That the Mu’awwil of the Attributes of Allaah, in fleeing from tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) and fearing it, has been ignorant of a great reality and this is the impossibility of there being any likeness between the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, and the attributes of His servants since there can be no likeness between the Attributes of the Creator and the attributes of the creation ever. And this is due to the fact that Allaah has informed that there is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, and that He is Unique (Ahad) and that there is no equal to Him. And the Mu’awwil (in resorting to ta’weel) is a liar (kaadhib) since the reality differs from what he says in its entirety and is also a denier (mukadhdhib) because he has rejected Allaah with respect to His saying: “There is nothing like Him.”

And he is a pagan (mushrik) and a disbeliever (kaafir) due to associating some of the servants of Allaah with some of the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High.

(viii) That this Mu’awwd of the Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, in fleeing from tashbeeh and in fearing it, the mighty difference between the Attributes of the Creator, the Magnificent and Most High, and between the attributes of the weak and incapable servants has become hidden from him.

(ix) And ta’weel makes the texts (of the Book and the Sunnah) lose their characteristic reverence and prestige since this ta’weel has not depended upon an authentic text from the Sharee’ah and not a single one of the scholars of the Salaf have spoken with it.

(x) And likewise this ta’weel is in contradiction with the fact that Islam, being a practical religion, is compatible and in harmony with every age and era. And it also contradicts the fact that Allaah, the Most High, has described the Qur’aan as being a discourse (Hayaan), an explanation (tibyaan) for every single thing, and something made easy for remembrance, and in whose aayaat reflection and contemplation has been requested. And for this reason Abul-Qaasim ibn Mandah said in his hook ‘Ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahmiyyah,’ “To the Ashaabul-Hadeeth, ta’weel is a form of rejection (takdheeb).”

Taken from “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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Some Sayings from the Salaf Concerning Allah سبحانه وتعالى ‘s

Attributes and their Ijmaa’ (Consensus) Concerning the

Falsehood of Ta’weel Part 2

Imaam al-juwaynee (d. 438H) said, “Know, that for a brief period of time, I was confused about three matters:

(i) The issue of as-Sifaat (Allaah’s Attributes)

(ii) The issue of al-Fawqiyyah (Allah being above His creation)

(iii) The issue of al-Harf (the Word) and as-Sawt (the Voice) about the Glorious Qur’aan.

I used to be confused about the different sayings, which are found in the contemporary books with respect to these matters, (confused as to) whether ta’weel (manipulative distortion) and tahreef should be made of the Attributes. Whether to take them as they are and halt at their meanings, or whether to affirm them without ta’weel, ta’teel, tashbeeh or tamtheel. But I found in the texts of the Book of Allaah, Most High, and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, a great clarity about the reality of these Attributes, and likewise with respect to affirming al-’uluww (the highness of Allaah) a!-Fawqiyyah, al-Harf and as-Sawt. Then I found it in the books of the later Scholars, from the mutakallimoon (the People of theological rhetoric and innovated speech) their making of ta’weel (of Allaah’s Attribute) of al- Istiwaa (Allaah ascending above the creation) by saying that it meant qahr (His dominance) and isteelaa (His conquering); ta’weel of (Allaah’s Attribute) of an-Nuzool by saying that it meant His command descends; ta’weel of (the Attribute of) al- Yadain (the Hands of Allaah) to mean His Power or His Favour; and ta’weel of al-Qadam (the Foot of Allaah) to mean the fine reward with their Lord — and the likes of this. Along with this, I found that they claimed that the Speech of Allaah, tile Most High, meant a speech existent in His Self (qaa’im bidh-dhaat) with word, but not with Voice. They claimed that these words are a mode of expression from the meaning existing with Himself!

From those who held to these sayings were a group of people, who had high status in my heart, such as a group of Ash’aree Shaafi’ee Scholars — and I am upon the madhhab of ash–Shaafi’ee, may Allaah be pleased with him, knowing the obligation of my Religion and its rulings. So I found the likes of these great Shaikhs adhering to the likes of such statements, and they were my teachers, and I had complete faith in them, their nobility and their knowledge. However, despite all this, I found my heart having a hatred for such ta’weel such that I could not find any tranquility and peace with it. It caused my chest to feel constricted, rather than causing it to expand. And I used to fear affirming the Attributes of al-’uluww, al- Istiwaa and an-Nuzool, fearing that it would imply hasr (limiting and encompassing Allaah by His creation) and tashbeeh (resembling Allaah to His creation i.e., anthropomorphism). However, despite this, when I studied the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, I found in them texts pointing to the reality of these meanings. I found that the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم clarified that which came from his Lord, as well as describing Him with them. And know, without any doubt at all, that he صلى الله عليه و سلم used to have present in his noble gatherings the Scholar and the ignorant person, the one with sharp intelligence and the not so sharply intelligent, the Arab and the non-Arab. However, I did not find anything by which he followed up such texts with which he used to describe his Lord, neither with another text, nor with anything that would cause the meanings to be removed from their haqeeqah (real meaning) or cause ta’weel to be made of them; such as the ta’weel of my Shaikhs and Scholars from the mutakallimeen

(the People of theological rhetoric arid innovated speech). Such as their ta’teeel of al-Istiwaa to Isteelaa, and their ta’weel of an-Nuzoot (Allaah’s descending) to mean that His Command descends and other such things. And I did not find that he صلى الله عليه و سلم used to warn the people from having faith in what was apparent in his speech describing His Lord, whether it was concerning al-Fawqiyyah (Allaah being above His creation), or al-Yadain (the Hands of Allaah), or other than them. And there is nothing recorded from him which proves that these Attributes have another inner meaning, other than what is apparent from their meaning…”

Then Imaam al-Juwaynee, may Allaah have mercy upon him, mentions some aayaat and ahaadeeth concerning al-Fawqiyyah and al-Istiwaa, then he continues:

“So when we came to know this, and came to hold this as our ‘aqeedah (belief), we were then preserved from the doubts of ta’weel, the blindness of ta’teel (divesting Allaah totally or partially of His Attributes) and the foolishness of tashbeeh and tamtheel (likening Allaah to His creation). We then affirmed for Allaah the ‘Uluww (Highness) of our Lord, the Most Perfect, and His Fawqiyyah and that He ascended (istawaa) over His ‘Arsh (Throne) in a manner that befits His Majesty and Greatness.

So the truth is very clear in this and the chest will readily accept this, for indeed tathreef (distortion of the text) is rejected by the correct and sound intellect, such as tahreef of Istiwaa to Isteelaa (conquering) and other than this. Likewise wuqoof (affirming the wording of the Attributes, but halting at their meanings) is also blindness and ignorance, since we know that our Lord described Himself with these Attributes that we may come to know Him by them. So, in our knowing Him, we do not halt at affirming the wordings of the Attributes, whilst negating what is intended from their meanings. Since He did not describe Himself to us by these Attributes, except that we may affirm what He has described Himself with, not that we halt at them. Likewise tashbeeh and tamtheel are also foolishness and ignorance. Thus, the one whom Allaah, the Most High, causes to agree upon the affirmation (of His Attributes), without tahreef, takyeef and wuqoof, then he has indeed agreed upon what is intended for them, if He, the Most High, wishes.”

Then he, may Allah have mercy upon him, explains the reason why Ahlul Kalaam (the People of Theological Rhetoric and Innovated Speech) felt that they were forced to make ta’weel of Istiwaa to Isteelaa, so he said: ‘And Allaah expanded my chest about the state of those Shaikhs who made ta’weel of al-Istiwaa to Isteelaa … and it is my belief that they do not understand the Attributes of the Lord, the Most High, except with what befits the creation. Thus they do not understand al-Istiwaa of Allaah as it truly befits Him … so this is why they distort the words from its proper context and deny what Allaah has described Himself with. And we shall mention the explanation of that if Allah wills. And there is no doubt that we and they (i.e., the ‘Ashariyyah) agree upon affirming the Attributes of at-Hayaat (Life), as-Sam’ (Hearing), al-Basr (Seeing), al-Ilm (Knowledge), al-Qudrah (Power), al-Iraadah (Will) and al-Kalaam (Speech) of Allaah. And we certainly do not understand the Attribute of Life of Allaah to mean with the likes of such organs that are established in our bodies. Likewise, we do not understand the Hearing and the Seeing of Allaah to imply that there are limbs. So, just as they say, His Life is not like ours, nor is His Knowledge and Seeing, rather they are Attributes in a way that is befitting to Him, not befitting us.’ Then we, likewise, say, ‘His Attribute of Life is known but its kaifiyyah (the nature of how it is) is unknown. His Knowledge is known but its kaifiyyalt is not. Likewise, His Seeing and Hearing are known and there is no implication of there being organs and bodily-parts in any of this, rather all these Attributes are in a way that befit Him. Likewise is the case for His ‘Ayn (Eye), Fawqiyyah, Istiwaa and Nuzool. His Fawqiyyah is known, it is established just like the reality of His Hearing and the reality of His Seeing are also established. They are known but their kaifiyyah is not. Then, similarly, His Fawqiyyah is known and established in a way that befits Him, but the kaifiyyah is not. Likewise, His Istiwaa (Ascending) over the ‘Arsh (Throne) is known, but the kaifiyyah is not explained by implying movements or transmission which befit the creation, rather His Istiwaa is in a manner that befits His Greatness. Thus, His Attributes are known from the direction of sentence and affirmation, but are unknown from the perspective of how they are and setting limits. So the Believer is clear about the Attributes from one perspective and blind from the other. The Believer is clear from the perspective of affirmation and existence (of the Attributes) but blind from the perspective of their kaifiyyah and limits. And this is the way by affirming what Allaah, the Most High, has described Himself with, and by negating tahreef, tashbeeh and wuqoof. This is what the Lord, Most High, intends for us concerning His Attributes … that we recognise them, have eemaan in them being haqeeqah (real) and negate any tashbeeh to them, not to deny for Allaah His real Attributes by tahreef and ta’weel. Indeed, there is no difference between Allaah’s Attribute of al-Istiwaa and as-Sam’ and between His Attribute of an-Nuzool and al-Basr – since each occurs by a text.

So if they say to us about al-Istiwaa, ‘You have made tashbeeh!’ Then we reply to them about as-Sam’, ‘You have made tashbeeli and have described your Lord with organs!’ So if they say, ‘No organs and bodily parts, rather it is in a manner that befits Him.’ Then we reply about al-Istiwaa and al-Fawqiyyah, ‘There is no confinement nor limitation, rather it is in a manner that befits Him.’ So whatever is necessary concerning the Attributes of Life, Hearing, Seeing and Knowledge and not making any tashbeeh to them, then such is also necessitated regarding Allaah’s Attributes of Ascending, Descending, al-Yad (Hand), aI-Wajh (Face), al-Qadm (Foot), ad-Dahak (Laughing) and Ta’ajjul (Amazement). So just as they do not imply for Him any organs we do not imply for Him any limbs nor anything that befits the creation. And it is not from justice and fairness that they understand the Attributes of Ascending, Descending, Face and Hand to imply resemblance to the creation, and therefore they think that they must resort to ta’weel and tah’reef, (yet they do not do so for the other Attributes such as Life, Hearing and Seeing.) So those possessing justice and fairness will understand what we have said, have ‘aqeedah in it, accept our sincere advice and will take as the Deen of Allaah the affirmation of all His Attributes, negating from them any tashbeeh, ta’teel, ta’weel or wuqoof.

This is what Allaah intended from us concerning this. Since all these Attributes (that they affirm), and all the others (that they make ta’weel of) come from a single place, and that is the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Thus, when we affirm one set of Attributes without ta’wee!, but make ta’weel and tahreef for the others, then we are like those who believed in one part of the Book, but disbelieved in another part. And this is sufficient and clear, if Allaah, the Most High, wills.”

Taken from “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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Some Sayings from the Salaf Concerning Allah سبحانه وتعالى ‘s

Attributes and their Ijmaa’ (Consensus) Concerning the

Falsehood of Ta’weel Part 1

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحت الله وبركاته

الحمد الله

Al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H) said, “I asked az-Zuhree and Makhool about the aayaat pertaining to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah), so they said, ‘Leave them as they are.”

Al-Waleed ibn Muslim (d. 194H) said, “I asked Maalik, al- Awzaa’ee, Laytb ibn Sa’d and Sufyaan ath-Thawree, may Allaah have mercy upon them, concerning the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said, ‘Leave them as they are without asking ‘How?”

lmaam Ahmad (d. 2.41 1] said, “These ahaadeeth should he left as they are … ‘We affirm them and we do not make any similitude for them. This is what has been agreed upon by the scholars.”

Nu’aym ibn Hammaad (d. 228H) said, “Whoever makes tashbeeh (resemblance) of Allaah to his creation has committed kufr (disbelief). And whoever denies what Allaah has described Himself with has also committed kufr. Indeed, all that Allaah has described Himself with, or what His Messenger has described Him with — then there is no tashbeeh in it at all.”

Imaam at-Tirmidhee (d. 279H) said, “It has been stated by more than one person from the People of Knowledge about such ahaadeeth, that there is no tashbeeh (resemblance) to the Attributes of Allaah, and our Lord, the Blessed and Most High, descends to the lowest heaven every night. So they say, ‘Affirm these narrations, have eernaan (faith) in them, do not deny them, nor ask how.’ The likes of this has been related from Maalik ibn Anas, Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Ibn ‘Uyainah and ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, who all said about such ahaadeeth, ‘Leave them as they are, without asking how.’ Such is the saying of the People of Knowledge from the Ahlus-Sunnah wal- Jamaa’ah. However, the Jahmiyyah oppose these narrations and say, ‘This is tashbeeh!’ However, Allaah the Most High, has mentioned in various places in His Book, the Attribute of al-Yad (Hand), as-Sam’ (Hearing), and al-Basr (Seeing), but the Jahmiyyah make ta’weel of these aayaat, explaining them in a way other than how they are explained by the People of Knowledge. They (the Jahmiyyah) say, ‘Indeed, Allaah did not create Aadam with His own Hand,’ they say that Hand means the Power of Allaah.”

Al-Khattaabee (d. 338H) said, “The madhhab of the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) with regard to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah) is to affirm them as they are “alaa dhaahir’ (with their apparent meaning), negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them, nor takyeef (asking how they are).”

Imaam as-Saaboonee (d. 449H) said, “Indeed Ashaabul-Hadeeth (the Scholars of Hadeeth — those who hold fast to the Book and the Sunnah), may Allaah protect their lives and shower mercy upon those that have died, bear witness to the tawheed of Allaah and to the Messenger-ship and Prophet-hood of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. They know their Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, by the Attributes which He has spoken of in His Revelation, and by what He has sent down, or testified to, by His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم. They do not believe in tashbeeh (resemblance) of His Attributes with the attributes of the creation. They say, ‘Indeed, He created Aadam with His own Hands, as He, the Most Perfect, textually stated: “O Iblees! What prevented you from prostrating to one whom I have created with My Own (Two) Hands.’

So they do not distort the words from their (proper) context, by carrying the meaning of Yadain (the two Hands of Allaah) to mean ni’matain (two bounties) or quwwatain (two powers) – which is the tahreef (distortion) of the Mu’tazilah and the Jahmiyyah, may Allaah destroy them. They do not ask how these Attributes are, nor do they resemble them to His creation… Allaah, the Most High, protected Ahlus-Sunnah from such tahreef, takyeef and tashbeeh, and favoured them with knowledge and understanding.”

Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d. 458H) said, “The proof for the futility of ta’weel is that the Sahaabah, and those who followed them from the Taabi’een, understood them (the Attributes) ‘alaa dhaahir (upon their literal meaning), and they did not take recourse to ta’weel, nor did they move away from the dhaahir meaning. If ta’weel were permissible, then they would have preceded us in it…”

Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr (d. 463 H) said, “Ahlus-Sunnah are agreed in affirming all the Attributes of Allah which are related in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, having eemaan (faith) in them and understanding them ‘alal-haqeeqah. (in a real sense) not ‘alalmajaaz (metaphorically). How they are is not to be asked. However, the Jahmiyyah, the Mu’tazilah, and the Khawaarij all deny them and do not carry them ‘alal-haqeeqah; claiming that whoever affirms them has made tashbeeh (resemblance), and they claim that whoever recites them (as they are) is a mushabhih (a person doing tashbeeh).”

Ibn Qudaamah (d. 620fl) said, “The way of the Salaf is to have eemaan (faith) in the Names and Attributes of Allaah that He has described Himself with in His Revelation, or upon the tongue of His Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, without increasing nor decreasing in it, nor exceeding the limits, nor explaining them (i.e. like the Mu’tazilah), nor making ta’weel of them in a way that opposes the Dhahir (apparent) meaning.”

Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728H) said, “From eemaan (faith) in Allaah is eemaan in what He has described Himself with and what His Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم described Him with without tahreef (distortion) and ta’teel (denial and negation), and without takyeef (asking how) and tamtheel (likening them)…”

Taken from “Usool as Sunnah,” by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal رحمه الله

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Blessings of Seeking Knowledge

Blessings of Seeking Knowledge

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم

الحمد الله

Some ahadith/narrations regarding knowledge:

Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Verily people are going to come to you seeking knowledge, when you see them then tell them, ‘You are welcomed according to the testament of Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم’”

Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “The scholars are inheritors of the Prophets. When the Prophets died they did not leave dinar or dirham but they left behind knowledge and whoever takes from this, has indeed taken a big portion.”

Safwan رضي الله عنه once came to Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلمand said, “O’ Messenger of Allah, I only came to seek knowledge!” Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم replied, “Welcome the student of knowledge!”

Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said, “Allah سبحانه و تعالى hates all the scholars of this world and an ignorant of the hereafter.”

Hasan al Basri رحمه اللهinterpreted the du’a Rabbana Atina Fid Dunya Hasana as knowledge and worship, Wa Fil Aakhirah Hasana as Jannah

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