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Saturday, May 19, 2012

ALLAH EXISTS WITHOUT A PLACE


Imam al-Hafidh al-Bayhaqi said in his book, Al-Asma'u was-Sifat, on page 400 [Kawthari edition]:
والذي روي في اّخر هذا الحديث إشارة إلى نفي المكان عن الله تعالى، وأن العبد أينما كان فهو في القرب والبعد من الله تعالى سواء، وأنه الظاهر فيصح إدراكه بالأدلة، الباطن فلا يصح إدراكه بالكون في مكان. واستدل بعض أصحابنا في نفي المكان عنه بقول النبي صلّى الله عليه و سلّم أنت الظاهر فليس فوقك شىء، وأنت الباطن فليس دونك شىء، وإذا لم يكن فوقه شىء ولا دونه شىء لم يكن في مكان
".... What was mentioned towards the end of the hadith is an indication of denying Allah has a place and denying the slave is alike to Allah, wherever he was, in proximity or remoteness. Allah, the Exalted, is adh-Dhahir--hence, it is valid to know about Him by proofs. Allah is al-Batin--hence, it is invalid that He would be in a place."

He also said:
"Some of our companions used as a proof to refute the place to Allah the saying of the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam : 'You are adh-Dhahir and there is nothing above You, and You are al-Batin and there is nothing underneath You.' Therefore, if there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, He is not in a place."
Similarly, regarding this same hadith [from Sahih Muslim]:
O Allah, You are the first: there is nothing before You; and You are the last: there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest (al-Zahir): there is nothing above You. You are the Hidden (al-Batin): there is nothing below You.
Al-Raghib al-Isfahani (d. 425 hegira) in his Mufradat al-Qur`an explained that Allah is the Manifest because His existence is intuitively evident to us through everything we see in the creation, while He is the Hidden because we can not comprehend the nature of His existence.
Mufradat al-Qur`an, (Damascus, Dar al-Qalam; and Beirut, Dar al Shamiyyah, 1992), p.131.
Imam Zayn ul-Abidin said:
وروى الحافظ اللغوي محمد مرتضى الزَّبيديُّ في شرح الإحياء بالإسناد المتصل أنالإمام عليًّا زين العابدين كان يقول: "سبحانك لا يحويك مكان" اهـ، وزين العابدين كان أفضل أهل البيت في زمانه
“Glory be to you who has no place”
[documented in Imam Murtada Zabidis’s sharh al ihya ulum ud deen, with a mutasil isnad]
In Al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq under the chapter heading:
في بيان الاصول التى اجتمعت عليها اهل السنة
Imam Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi says:
واجمعوا على انه لا يحويه مكان ولا يجرى عليه زمان خلاف قول من زعم من الشهاميةوالكرامية انه مماس لعرشه وقد قال امير المؤمنين على رضي الله عنه ان الله تعالى خلق العرش اظهارا لقدرته لا مكانا لذاته وقال ايضا قد كان ولا مكان وهو الآن على ما كان
Rough translation:
"Allah created al-'arsh as an indication of His Power and did not take it as a place for Himself. Allah existed eternally without a place, and He now is as He ever was" [i.e. without a place]
Hazrat Ali [RA] is reported to have said:
تفسير مدارك التنزيل وحقائق التأويل/ النسفي
قول علي رضي الله عنه: الاستواء غير مجهول والتكييف غير معقول والإيمان به واجب والسؤال عنه بدعة لأنه تعالى كان ولا مكان فهو على ما كان قبل خلق المكان لم يتغير عما كان.
Rough translation:
“ al-Istiwa is not unknown, and the modality is altogether inconceivable. To affirm it is obligatory and to ask questions about it is an innovation, this is because Allah was, when there was nothing, and He created place before there was a place, and He is in no need for a place ”.
Reported in Tafsir Madaarik al-Tanzeel wa Haqaa’iq al-Ta’weel by an-Nasafi, under surah Taha (20) ayat (5)
قال الإمام علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه :-" من زعم أن إلهنا محدود فقد جهل الخالق المعبود" ا.هـ رواه أبو نعيم في حلية الأولياء
Ali bin Abi Talib RA is also attributed by Hafidh Abu Nu'aym in his Hilyatul Awliya as saying:
Rrough translation:
" He who a claims that our Lord is limited is ignorant about the Creator who is worshipped ".
Imam Ash-Shaafi'i stated,
إنه تعالى كان ولا مكان فخلق المكان وهو على صفة الأزلية كما كان قبل خلقه المكان لا يجوز عليه التغيير في ذاته ولا التبديل في صفاته " اهـ. [إتحاف السادة المتقين (2/ 24]
"Verily, He the exalted was, without makaan (station or place). He created Makaan and He was upon His attribute of eternality just as He was before he created makaan. It is not permitted upon Him to change his essence or to change in His attributes."
[It-Haaf As-Saadah Al Muttaqeen 2/24]
Imaam Ibn Hibbaan in his Thiqaat says,
"الحمد لله الذي ليس له حد محدود فيحتوى، ولا له أجل معدود فيفنى، ولا يحيط به جوامع المكان ولا يشتمل عليه تواتر الزمان". الثقات (1/ 1)
He also stated in his Saheeh,
"كان- الله- ولا زمان ولا مكان"
"Allah was - without time and without makaan (station)."
وقال الشيخ الإمام أبو منصور عبد القاهر بن طاهر التميمي البغدادي الإسفراييني (429هـ) ما نصه : "وأجمعوا- أي أهل السنة- على أنه- أي الله- لا يحويه مكان ولا يجري عليه زمان " اهـ.
Ash-Shaykh Al Imaam Abu Mansur Abdul Qaahir ibn Taahir At-Tameemi Al Baghdaadi Al-Isfaraa-ini (died 429 AH) said, "They have consensus - meaning Ahlus Sunnah - upon the fact that Allah is not contained in a place (makaan) and time does not run upon him."
الفرق بين الفرق (ص/ 333)
وقال أبو محمد علي بن أحمد المعروف بابن حزم الأندلسي (456 هـ) : " وأنه تعالى لا في مكان ولا في زمان، بل هو تعالى خالق الأزمنة والأمكنة، قال تعالى: (وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيراً)(سورة الفرقان/2)، وقال (خلقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا)(سورة الفرقان/59)، والزمان والمكان هما مخلوقان، قد كان تعالى دونهما، والمكان إنما هوللاجسام"
Ibn Hazm Al Andalusi said, "And He ta'alaa is not in a place and is not in time..."
[كتابه علم الكلام: مسألة في نفي المكان عن الله تعالى (ص/ 65)]
Al Qaadhi Ash-Shaykh Abul Waleed Muhammad ibn Ahmad Qaadhi Al Jama'ah in Qurtubah (cordoba), well known as Ibn Rushd Al Jadd (the grandfather - this is not the author of Bidaayatul Mujtahid - it is his grandfather) Al Maaliki stated,
"ليس- الله- في مكان، فقد كان قبل أن يخلق المكان
"Allah is not in a place. He is as he was before he created 'place'.
This is mentioned by Ibn Al Haaj Al Maaliki in his Madkhal.

قال ابن حزم (وهو ممن يتكلم باسم السلف) قول تعالى يجب حمله على ظاهره ما لم يمنع من حمله على ظاهره نصّ آخر أو إجماع أو ضرورة حس, وقد علمنا أن كل ما كان في مكان, فإنه شاغل لذلك المكان ومالئ له ومتشكل بشلكه, ولا بدّ من أحد الأمرين ضرورة, وعلمنا أن ما كان في مكان فإنه متناه بتناهي مكانه وهو ذو جهات ست أو خمس متناهية في مكانه وهذه صفات الجسم اه ثم قال:إن الأمة أجمعت على أنه لا يدعو أحد فيقول يا مستو ارحمني, ولا يسمى ابنه عبد المستوي اه ثم قال إن معنى قوله تعالى على العرش استوى أنه فعل فعله في العرش وهو انتهاء خلقه إليه, فليس بعد العرش شيء, والعرش نهاية جرم المخلوقات الذي ليس خلفه خلاء ولا ملاء, ومن أنكر أن يكون للعالم نهاية من المساحة والزمان والمكان لحق بقول الدهرية, وفارق الإسلام اه ثم ردّ على القائلين بالمكان وختم كلامه بقوله فإنه لا يكون في مكان إلا ما كان جسما أو عرضا في جسم, هذا الذي لا يجوز سواه, ولا يتشكل في العقل والوهن غيره ألبتة, وإذا انتهى أن يكون الله عز وجل جسما أو عرضا, فقد انتهى أن يكون في مكان أصلا وبالله نتأيد اه فليعتبر بقول ابن حزم هذا أدعياء السلف من مشبّهة العصر. 3


Imam al-Kawthari RH says regarding Imam Ibn Hazm RH: Ibn Hazm (who was a person wont to speak in the name of the salaf) said: “One is required to take Allah’s word, exalted is He, literally as long as there is no text, or consensus, or empirical necessity, stops us from doing that. We know that everything that is in a place occupies that space and fills it and assumes its shape. One of the two things has to be. We know that whatever is in a place has to be limited by the limits of that place, as it has to be in limited by a finite limit in the six or five directions in its space, and these are the attributes of bodies.”
Then he said: “The ummah is agreed that no one should say ‘O, He who has ascended, have mercy on me’! just as no one should name his son ‘Slave of the One Who Ascended.’’
Then he said: “Truly, the meaning of His saying, exalted is He, ‘He made istiwà on the Throne’ is that He acted in some way on the Throne; namely, He ended His creation with it, for there is nothing after the Throne which is the end of creation; there is nothing after it, neither space, nor void. Anybody who denies that the creation has a finite limit in distance and time and space joins the materialists and leaves Islam.”
Then he refuted those who insist that Allah occupies space and he ended his discourse saying: “Nothing can be in space except what is a body or an accident [what occurs in a substance like heat, color and so on] in a body; there is no other possibility, for neither reason nor imagination can conceive of another possibility at all. Since it is concluded that Allah is neither a body nor an accident, it is concluded that He cannot occupy space absolutely. And Allah is our help.”
So let those claim to follow the salaf in our times likening Allah to His creatures consider carefully this proclamation of Ibn Hazm.
ALLAH HAS NO BODILY FORM
Bismillah, praise be to Allah the creator that has no beginning and no end, and does not resemble the creations and does not need any of the creations, we ask Allah to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and his kind Aal and companions, Thereafter
Know that all the Muslims of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama^ah unite on the same creed, believing in the oneness of Allah, and clearing Allah from resembling the creations or needing any of his creations. And based on that, the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah was clearing Allah from being in a place or having a body or form, Subhanahu wa Ta^ala.
Although Ash^aris (Such as Nawawiy, Ibn Hajar, Baqillaniy, Qurtubiy) were well known to have refuted the sects such as the Karamiah, Mu^tazilah, Jahmiyah, and Mushabbihah (Those who liken Allah to his creations), let it be clear that the creed of the Asharis is the creed of the Salaf and Khalaf scholars. Because Ash^aris deduced and summarized the creed of the Prophet and the companions with the textual and mental proofs.
Islam and the mind do not accept the claim that Allah is a body or has a place or position or direction. Because the one that has a body, or is in a place, or in a direction, is created, and Allah is the creator of the places, bodies and directions, and He does not need nor resemble any of his creations in anyway. So all the Sifat (attributes) of Allah which are numerous, are confirmed to Allah Subhanahu without resembling them to the creations in any way.
And based on that, the scholars reported that the Imams of the Four Schools of Ahlus-Sunnah have agreed to declare the one who attributes to Allah the body as a kafir.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said: "Whoever says that Allah is a body unlike the bodies have blasphemed (committed kufur)". This is because Allah is not a body, and is not like the creations in anyway.
Also the great Mufassir Ibn al-Jawziy al-Hanbaliy said in his book "Daf^ Shubah at-Tashbih" page 58: "The obligation upon us is to believe that the self of Allah ta^ala is not contained in a place, and He is not attributed with change nor movement".
And Ibn al-Jawziy also said: "Some people lied when they heard about the Sifat (attributes of Allah) and interpreted them according to the physical meanings, such as those who claimed that Allah literally descends from the sky and moves from one place to another. This is an ill understanding, because the one who moves would be from a place to a place, and that necessitates that the place is bigger than him and that requires movement, and all of that is impossible to be attributed to Allah the Exalted".
As known, Imam Ibn al-Jawziy is the great interpreter of al-Qur'an, and one of the great heads of the Hanbalis. In his book "Daf^ Shubah at-Tashbih" he refuted the Mushabbiha and Mujassimah that attributed themselves falsely to the Hanbali School. He also cleared Imam Ahmad and the Salaf from the beliefs of Tajsim (attributing a body to Allah) and Tashbih (likening Allah to his creations), and cleared Allah from the place, space, size, shape, limit, body, sitting, standing, settling, and other attributes of the creations.
Ibn Hajar al-Haitamiy also confirmed in his book "al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyah" page 144 that Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal clears Allah from being a body, or having a limit, size, shape, place or direction. He said: "The creed of the Imam of Alsunna Ahmad Bin Hanbal (Radiallahu ^Anhu) complies with the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama^ah in exceptionally clearing Allah completely from what the ungrateful wrongdoers did by attributing to Allah non befitting attributes such the direction and body and other attributes of imperfection, in fact any attribute that does not have complete perfection. And what became popular between the ignorant people who falsely claim to follow this great Imam (Ahmad bin Hanbal) al-Mujtahid, that he attributed the direction to Allah or such, this is a lie and a false accusation to him".
وقال الشيخ شهاب الدين أحمد بن محمد المعروف بابن حجر الهيتمي الأشعري (974 )هاما نصه (الفتاوى الحديثية (ص/ 144): "عقيدة إمام السُّنة أحمد بن حنبل رضي الله عنه موافقة لعقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة من المبالغة التامّة في تنزيه الله تعالى عما يقول الظالمون والجاحدون علوّا كبيرا من الجهة والجسمية وغيرهما من سائر سمات النقص، بل وعن كل وصف ليس فيه كمال مطلق، وما اشتهر بين جهلة المنسوبين إلى هذا الإمام الأعظم المجتهد من أنه قائل بشىء من الجهة أو نحوها فكذب وبهتان وافتراء عليه"ا.هـ
But the Mushabbihah (such as the Wahhabis or so-called Salafis) twist and fabricate lies and accuse the Salaf with beliefs that no Muslim says or accepts, such as the place or bodily parts to Allah. The creed of Salaf complies with the creed of Asharis.
Imam al-Baqillaniy (one of the great Asharis) said in his book al-'Insaf page 65: "And we do not say that the ^arsh (throne) is a place of settlement or rest for Allah, because Allah existed and there was no place, and when He created the place, He did not change". He also said: "Allah is clear from being in directions, or resembling the creations, and also He is not attributed with transformation or movement, nor with standing or sitting, because such attributes are of the creations, and Allah (the creator) is clear from that".
قال القاضي أبو بكر محمد الباقلاني المالكي الأشعري (403) ما نصه"ولا نقول إن العرش له- أي الله- قرار ولا مكان، لأن الله تعالى كان ولا مكان، فلما خلق المكان لم يتغير عما كان" اهـ. وقال أيضا ما نصه: "ويجب أن يعلم أن كل ما يدل على الحدوث أو على سمة النقص فالرب تعالى يتقدس عنه، فمن ذلك: أنه تعالى متقدس عن الاختصاصبالجهات، والاتصاف بصفات المحدثات، وكذلك لا يوصف بالتحول والانتقال، ولا القيام ولا القعود، ولأن هذه الصفات تدل على الحدوث، والله تعالى يتقدس عن ذلك" اهـ.
That's the creed of al-Baqillaniy who reported the creed of the Salaf and Khalaf, which is the creed of the Prophet and the companions.
* When al-Bulqiniy died, Abul Fadl at-Tamimi came to his funeral with bare feet, along with his brothers and friends and ordered to call out during his Janazah: "This is the Imam of Alsunna and the Religion, He is the Imam of the Muslims, He is the one that used to defend the Shari^a and refute those who oppose, He is the one who compiled seventy thousand letters refuting the atheists". And he remained in his mourning ^azza' for three days, and he used to visit his grave every Saturday".
Al-Hafidh Ibn Asakr reported from ad-Damghaniy that Imam Abul Hassan at-Tamimi al-Hanbaliy said to his companions "Stick with this man (al-Baqillaniy), for he is indispensable".
Imam al-Hafidh al-Iraqiy, and Imam al-Qurafiy, and Ibn Hajar al-Haitamiy, and Mulla Ali al-Qari, and Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthariy and others reported that the Imams of the Four Schools whom are the guide of the Ummah (Imam ash-Shafi^iy, Malik, Ahmad and Abu Hanfiah Radiallahu anhum) all declared those who attribute to Allah the direction or the body with kufur".
نقل الإمام الحافظ العراقي والإمام القرافي والشيخ ابن حجر الهيتمي وملا علي القاري ومحمد زاهد الكوثري وغيرهم عن الأئمة الأربعة هداة الأمة الشافعي ومالك وأحمد وأبي حنيفة رضي الله عنهم القول بتكفير القائلين بالجهة والتجسيم ".
This is the belief of all the Muslims. This is the belief of the Salaf, which is the belief of the Ash^aris despite the lies of the liars like the Mushabbihah. So in reality the Salaf were Ash^aries, and below is the proof that the Mushabbihah today such as the Wahhabis or falsely called salafis oppose the beliefs of the true Salaf.
Imam Ahmad Ibn Salamah, Abu Ja^far at­Tahawiyy, who was born in the year 237 after Hijrah, and was one of the Heads of Great Salaf wrote a book called Al-^Aqidah at­Tahawiyyah. He mentioned that the content of his book is an elucidation of the creed of Ahlus­-Sunnah wal Jama^ah, which is the creed of Imam Abu Hanifah, who died in the year 150 after al­Hijrah, and his two companions, Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi and Imam Muhammad Ibn al­Hasan ash-Shaybaniyy and others.
At-Tahawiy said in his book at-Tahawiyah: "Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs and instruments. The six directions do NOT contain Him--these are attributed to all created things."
Such is the saying of Imam Abu Ja’far who is among the heads of as-Salaf. He explicitly stated that Allah is clear of being contained by the six directions, that is he is confirming that Allah exists without a place. The six directions are above, below, in front of, behind, right, and left. So this is clear evidence that the Salaf cleared Allah from organs, bodily parts, place, direction, limits and al-Kayf (manners of beings).
Imam at-Tahawiy also said: "And whoever attributes to Allah any of the manners of beings is considered a blasphemer". This is the creed of the true Salafis and not the wahhabis.
In his book, Ihya'u Ulum ad-Din, Imam al-Ghazaliyy said:
"... places do not contain Allah, nor do the directions, earth, or heavens. He is attributed with an "istiwa'" over al-^arsh as He said in the Qur'an-with the meaning that He willed--and not as what people may delude. It is an istiwa' which is clear of touching, resting, holding, moving and containment.Al-^arsh does not carry Him, but rather al-^arsh and those that carry al-arsh are all carried by Allah with His Power and are subjugated to Him. He is above al-arsh and above the heavens and above everything--in status-- an aboveness that does not give Him proximity to al-^arsh or the heavens as it does not give Him farness from earth. He is higher in status than everything: higher in status than al-arsh and the heavens, as He is higher in status than earth and the rest of the creation."
Imam al-Ghazaliyy said: "Allah, the Exalted, existed eternally and there was no place. He is not a body, jawhar (atom), or property, and He is not on a place or in a place."
Shaykh Abdul-Ghaniyy an-Nabulsiyy said:
"He who believes that Allah filled the heavens and earth or that He is a body sitting above al-^arsh, is a kafir."
Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaniy (who is also an Ashari hafidh) said in his explanation of Sahih al-Bukhary (Fath al-Bari): "Attributing aboveness (Fawqiyah) to Allah is a matter of status, and the impossibility lies in it being physical." This means Allah exists without a place and is clear from being in a direction or place. And the "Fawqiyah" or aboveness when attributed to Allah it refers toabovness of status and greatness of Allah, the exalted. He is the creator Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala that does not need any of the creations in any way.
This is the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah, the Salaf, Khalaf, Ash^aris and Maturidis, which is the creed of the majority of the Muslim nation.
TAFSEER ON "ISTAWA"
“He (Allah Most High) then firmly established (istawa) Himself over the Throne” (Qur’an 7:54) means He firmly established Himself over the Kingly Throne and began decreeing orders (ahkams) in the heavens and the earth. In the tafsir (exegesis) of [the verse] “He then firmly established Himself over the Throne”, it is safer to adopt silence in agreement with the methodology of the salaf (pious predecessors) and that is also my view although the muta’akhirin (scholars of the later generations) have opened the doors for ta’wil (interpretation).
The ta’wil which has been done in this place is extremely latif (delicate), the gist of which is that [the act of] being seated on the throne is figuratively used to express the decreeing of orders and the administrating of affairs. Hence, it is said that following a certain king, such a person sat on the throne. This is even if he still has not had the opportunity to sit on the [physical] throne. The meaning of this statement is that after the king this person became ruler and took the administration of the kingdom in his hands. This same usage has been used in the Qur’an, where the intended meaning is that Allah Most High, having brought the heavens and the earth etc. into existence, began decreeing orders and administrating over affairs .
In another verse, istawa ‘ala al-’arsh is followed by [the words] yudabbir al-amr [he administers the affairs] , which can be considered the exegesis of istawa ‘ala al-’arsh which in turn corroborates this ta’wil. Furthermore, in this verse, istawa ‘ala al-’arsh is followed by the verse: “He covers the day with the night that pursues it swiftly. (He created) the sun and the moon and the stars, subjugated to His command. Lo! To Him alone belong the creation and the command. Glorious is Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Qur’an, 7:54). This expresses [the meaning of] administrating over affairs, after which no objection remains because Allah Most High is free from being seated on a throne.
The response to the doubt that arises from this verse is that istawa ‘ala al-’arsh has been used figuratively such that the intended meaning is of administrating over affairs because this is the meaning of being seated on a throne that is commonly understood. Consequently, where themuta’akhirin have introduced other ta’wils they have also given consideration to this [above mentioned] ta’wil. Insha’Allah (Allah willing), this is the most latif ta’wil.
AR RAHMAN ALA AL-ARSH ISTAWA
What the Hanafi Scholars Believed
Imam al-Qarafiyy, Imam as-Subkiyy, al-Hafidh al-^Iraqiyy, Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthariyy, Ibn Hajar al-Haytamiyy in Minhaj al-Qaweem and Mullah Ali al-Qari al-Hanafiyy in Sharh al-Mishqaat and others stated that Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ahmad, Shafi`iyy, al-Ashari and al-Baqilaniyy all made takfeer to the one who attributed to Allah a direction (place) or a bodily characteristic.
Know that most so-called Qur'an English Translations have mistakes that change the real meaning of the Qur'an such as the translations of "Yussuf Ali" or "Pickthal". For example when they translate or even comment on Ayah 5 from Surah Taha {Ar-Rahmanu ^Alal-^Arsh istawa} they translate it wrongly as [Allah sat on the throne] or they say [Allah established himself firmly on the throne] or they say [Allah settled or rested on the throne]. All this is not true, and is not a proper Tafsir/Interpratation to the Ayah.
Hence Surat Taha, ayah 5 الرحمن على العرش استوى} سورة طه ءاية} in the Qur'an, clearly does not mean that Allah sits on the throne or that Allah is firmly established on the throne. In the Arabic language, the word istawa has fifteen (15) different meanings, among of which are to sit, to subjugate, to protect, to conquer, and to preserve. Based on the unanimous agreement of Muslims in the creed, it is clear that it is blasphemous to apply the meaning 'to sit' to Allah. However the terms to preserve and to subjugate are in compliance with the Religion and the language. And those so-called translations of al-Quran that referred to the term "Istawa" to "Sits" or "Sat"or "Established himself firmly on the throne" contradict Arabic rules, and Islamic basis. Bewarned from such translations and such attribues, Allah is almighty clear from the sitting, movement, size, shape, form or change. Allah is great.
They should have translated the meanings of the verses of al-Qur'an such according to the interpratations of the great interpreters of the Qur'an such as the Tafsir of Imam al-Qurtubiy and At-Tabariy and Ibnul-Jawziy whom all said that Istawa when attributed to Allah means Qahar or to Subjugate. So the Ayah would mean as Qurtubiy said: "Ayah 5 of surat Taha means {Allah subjugates the throne}. And the throne was specified here because it's the largest of Allah's creations". Such interpretation gives perfection to Allah, that everything is under His control and power, where as attributing the sitting and the rest on the throne is likening Allah to the creations, and attributing weakness and tiredness to Him; and therefore is kufur to attribute to Allah.
Be warned from such misleading translations and keep hold on the belief that Allah does not need anything, and that He does not resemble any of His creations in any way, and that whatever you imagine in your minds Allah is different from it.
Imam Abu Ja^far at-Tahawiy said: "Whoever attributes to Allah any of the manners of beings has blasphemed" and he also said: "Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs and instruments. The six directions do NOT contain Him--these are attributed to all created things." This means Allah is not a body or an image, and that He exists without a begining and without a place.
Istawa (Establishment) and Nazul (Descent) of Alla
Existence of Allah is a widely discussed reality amongst people around the world (Muslims and non-Muslims alike), some deny it without proper investigation (i.e. atheists), many make co-sharers with Him (like Christians, Hindus etc), and many believe in His unity (oneness). However there are some who strictly but falsely claim to be protectors and right advocators of His Oneness (tawhid) like Jews and the so called “reformers of Islam” but if we take a close look at their beliefs we will find many similarities, for example seating the Lord on throne [Ibn Taymiyya said in his Fatawa: "The establishment of Allah over the Throne is real, and the servant's establishment over the ship is real (وللّه ـ تعالى ـ استواء على عرشه حقيقة، وللعبد استواء على الفلك حقيقة،) [Majmu` al-Fatawa, (5/199)], believing Him to have literal hands, feet, shins, eyes, etc…This is something which is main belief of Literalists and they propagate that Istawa al'al Arsh mentioned in Quran is to be taken literally, and the descent of Lord (ينزل ربنا) mentioned in hadith along with him being in the sky (fi al Sam'a) is also to be taken literally
They declare Ahlus Sunnah wal Jammah as people of Bidah because we give figurative explanation which suits Allah’s Majesty. Amongst the fundamental proofs which they cite are
1)  Hadith of the Slave girl
The Hadith of Muawiya ibn al-Hakam: He (the Holy Prophet) said: Bring her to me. So I brought her to him. He said to her: Where is Allah? She said: He is in the heaven(fi al sama') He said: Who am I? She said: Thou art the Messenger of Allah. He said: Grant her freedom, she is a believing woman. (Muslim: Book 4, Hadith# 1094)
From this hadith they conclusively derive that ALLAH is literally in the sky as it is approved by Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself thus they make it part of their aqida and whosoever differs to them becomes a bidati/Jahimi etc… However their reasoning is not only false but also idiotic. Let’s see how
a) First of all the hadith is only ahad (singular and cannot be used for aqida) with this chain of narrators
b) Secondly there are overwhelming Quranic ayahs and ahadith with multiple chains of narrators which if taken literally prove their understanding false therefore even if the classification of hadith as ahad is not accepted still the hadith cannot be taken literally at any cost. [Note: This rule will also apply to other verses and ahadith which salafis take literally too]
c) Third In Sharah of this hadith Imam an Nawawi (rah) the leading commentator of Sahih Muslim has given figurative explanation (according to Literalists the Ash'aris are Ahlul Bidah for giving figurative explanation, so this false fatwa of them applies on Imam Nawawi too, let alone Ibn Hajr al Asqalani and many other great scholars)
**Proof for (a) i.e. Hadith is ahad**
This version (where is Allah, in the sky) only comes from Muwaiya ibn al Hakam (ra) via the route of At'a bin Yassar thus is therefore ahad, It is fundamental principle that “AHAD NARRATIONS” cannot be taken as conclusive proof over “Aqida issues”
**Proof for (b) i.e. Ayahs and sahih ahadith which if taken literally will prove the above wording of hadith completely false**
Quran states: It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.(50:16)
Our dear Salafis turn towards figurative explanation of ALLAH's closeness and say He is close "By his knowledge only" and they run towards aqwaal of different ulama on this (i.e. hypocrisy in simple words)
Quran states: He is Allah in (fi) the heavens and "IN THE EARTH (وَفِى الارْضِ )"He knoweth both your secret and your utterance, and He knoweth what ye earn.(6:3)
“Fi” in Arabic literally means ''In'' and is used for both Heaven and Earth, The Literalists will die but never believe ALLAH to be literally in earth
Hadith in Sahih Bukhari states: Volume 1, Book 12, Number 720:
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet saw expectoration in the direction of the Qibla of the mosque while he was leading the prayer, and scratched it off. After finishing the prayer, he said, "Whenever any of you is in prayer he should know that Allah is in front of him.So none should spit in front of him in the prayer."
Note: Ibn Taymiyyah is known to have compared existance of Allah to that of "moon and sun" while explaining this hadith i.e Allah azza Wajjal is infront of us just like Sun and Moon come in-front of us (Audhobillah Min Dhalik)
Proof for (c) i.e. Sharah of Imam Nawawi (rah) on the same hadith
هذا الحديث من أحاديث الصفات , وفيها مذهبان تقدم ذكرهما مرات في كتاب الإيمان .أحدهما : الإيمان به من غير خوض في معناه , مع اعتقاد أن الله تعالى ليس كمثله شيء وتنزيهه عن سمات المخلوقات . والثاني تأويله بما يليق به , فمن قال بهذا قال : كان المراد امتحانها , هل هي موحدة تقر بأن الخالق المدبر الفعال هو الله وحده , وهو الذي إذا دعاه الداعي استقبل السماء كما إذا صلى المصلي استقبل الكعبة ؟ وليس ذلك ; لأنه منحصر في السماء كما أنه ليس منحصرا في جهة الكعبة , بل ذلك لأن السماء قبلة الداعين , كما أن الكعبة قبلة المصلين , أو هي من عبدة الأوثان العابدين للأوثان التي بين أيديهم , فلما قالت : في السماء , علم أنها موحدة وليست عابدة للأوثان.‏
Translation: This is one of the "hadiths of attributes" and there are two positions about it as it was mentioned in the book of faith, First: is to have faith in it "Without discussing its meaning, while believing of Allah Most High that "there is nothing whatsoever like unto Him"and that He is exalted above having any of the attributes of His creatures. ''The second is to FIGURATIVELY EXPLAIN IT" in a fitting way, scholars who hold this position adduce that the point of the hadith was to ''test the slave girl : Was she a monotheist"who affirmed that the Creator, the Disposer, the Doer, is Allah alone and that He is the one called upon when a person making supplication (du'a) faces the sky--just as those performing the prayer (salat) face the Kaaba, since the sky is the qibla of those who supplicate, as the Kaaba is the qibla of those who perform the prayer. or was she a worshipper of the idols which they placed in front of themselves? So when she said, In the sky, it was plain that she was not an idol worshipper(Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, Volume No.5, Page Nos. 19-20, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon)
Imam Nawawi (rah) continues and gives conclusive answer over this issue, he quotes Imam Qadhi Iyad (rah) [Also Quoted by Imam Jalal ud din Suyuti rah in his Sharah of Sunnan Nasa'i]
قال القاضي عياض : لا خلاف بين المسلمين قاطبة فقيههم ومحدثهم ومتكلمهم ونظارهم ومقلدهم أن الظواهر الواردة بذكر الله تعالى في السماء كقوله تعالى : { أأمنتم من في السماء أن يخسف بكم الأرض } ونحوه ليست على ظاهرها , بل متأولة عند جميعهم
Qadhi Iyaad (rah) said: There is no disagreement amongst Muslims whether between Fuqaha, or hadith scholars, the theologians, polemicists and ordinary Muslims who do taqlid, they all say that outward meaning of texts such as Allah is in the sky is not meant, for example the words of the Exalted: “Are you assured that He who is in the sky will not cause the earth to swallow you up? "THESE AND SIMILAR TEXTS CANNOT BE TAKEN LITERALLY, RATHER THEY ARE TO BE EXPLAINED WITH INTERPRETATION (I.E. TAWEEL) [ibid]
The same great Imam also says in his ''Majmu' sharh al Muhadhab''
The most well-known of the school of the theologians (mutakallimin) say that the divine attributes are interpreted figuratively according to what befits them.(Volume No. 1, Page No. 25)
Note: This is the same great Imam who is author of Kitaab al Adhkar which has been grossly tampered by salafis, I wonder which Islamic text have they spared.
The great Hanafi Imam, Mullah Ali Qari (rah) says in his magnificent Mirqaat Sharh al Mishqaat:
فقال لها أي للجارية رسول الله أين الله وفي رواية أين ربك أي أين مكان حكمه وأمره وظهور ملكه وقدرته فقالت في السماء قال القاضي هو على معنى الذي جاء أمره ونهيه من قبل السماء لم يرد به السؤال عن المكان فإنه منزه عنه كما هو منزه عن الزمان بل مراده من سؤاله إياها أن يعلم أنها موحدة أو مشركة لأن كفار العرب كانوا يعبدون الأصنام وكان لكل قوم منهم صنم مخصوص يكون فيما بينهم يعبدونه ويعظمونه ولعل سفهاءهم وجهلتهم كانوا لا يعرفون معبودا غيره فأراد أن يتعرف أنها ما تعبد فلما قالت في السماء وفي رواية أشارت إلى السماء فهم أنها موحدة يريد بذلك نفي الآلهة الأرضية التي هي الأصنام لا إثبات السماء مكانا له تعالى الله عما يقول الظالمون علوا كبيرا ولأنه لما كان مأمورا بأن يكلم الناس على قدر عقولهم ويهديهم إلى الحق على حسب فهمهمووجدها تعتقد أن المستحق للعبودية إله يدبر الأمر من السماء إلى الأرض لا الآلهة التي يعبدها المشركون قنع منها بذلك ولم يكلفها اعتقاد ما هو صرف التوحيد وحقيقة التنزيه وقيل معناه أن أمره ونهيه ورحمته ووحيه جاءت من السماء فهو كقوله تعالى أأمنتم من في السماء تبارك قيل وقد جاء في بعض الأحاديث أن هذه الجارية كانت خرساء ولهذا جوز الشافعي الأخرس في العتق فقوله فقالت في السماء بمعنى أشارت إلى السماء كما في رواية قال شارح الوقاية وجاز الأصم أي من يكون في أذنه وقرأ أما من لم يسمع أصلا فينبغي أن لا يجوز لأنه فائت جنس المنفعة فقال من أنا فقالت أنت رسول الله فقال رسولالله أعتقها أمر إجازة رواه مالك وفي رواية مسلم قال أي معاوية كانت لي جارية ترعى غنما قبل أحد بكسر القاف وفتح الباء أي جانبه وأحد بضمتين جبل معروف في المدينة والجوانية بتشديد الواو وموضع قريب أحد فأطلعت بتشديد الطاء أي أشرفت على الغنم ذات يوم أي يوما من الأيام أو نهارا وذات زائدة فإذا الذئب قد ذهب بشاة من غنمنا إذا للمفاجأة واللام في الذئب للعهدية الذهنية نحو قوله تعالى إذ هما في الغار التوبة وأنا رجل من بني آدم آسف بهمزة ممدودة وفتح سين أي أغضب كما يأسفون لكن أي وأردت أن أضربها ضربا شديدا على ما هو مقتضى الغضب لكن صككتها صكة أي لطمتها لطمة فأتيت رسول الله فعظم بالتشديد والفتح ذلك على أي كبر النبي ذلك الأمر أو الضرب عليوفي نسخة بالتخفيف والضم قلت وفي نسخة فقلت يا رسول الله أفلا أعتقها قال الطيبي رحمه الله فإن قلت كيف التوفيق بين الروايتين قلت الرواية الأولى متضم
من هذه اللطمة إعتاقها أفيكفيني إعتاقها للأمرين جميعا والرواية الثانية مطلقة تحتمل الأمرين والمطلق محمول على المقيد ومما يدل على أن السؤال ليس عن مجرد اللطمة سؤال النبي الجارية عن إيمانها ا ه والظاهر أن الإعتاق عن اللطمة مستحب فيندرج في ضمن الإعتاق الواجب فليس من باب تداخل الكفارة كما توهم قال آتيني بها الباء للتعدية أي احضر بها إلي فأتيته بها فقال لها أين الله أي أين المعبود المستحق الموصوف بصفات الكمال قالت في السماء أي كما في الأرض والإقتصار من باب الإكتفاء قال تعالى جل جلاله وهو الذي في السماء إله وفي الأرض إله الزخرف وقال الله عز وجل وهو الله في السموات وفي الأرض الأنعام ويمكن أن يكون الاقتصار لدفع توهم الشركة في العبودية ردا على عبدة الأصنام الأرضية قال من أنا قالت أنت رسول الله قال اعتقها فإنها مؤمنة أي بالله وبرسوله وبما جاء من عندهما وهذا يدل على قبول الإيمان الإجمالي ونفي التكليف الإستدلالي باب اللعان في المغرب لعنه لعنا ولاعنه ملاعنة ولعانا وتلاعنوا لعن بعضهم بعضا وأصله الطرد قال النووي رحمه الله إنما سمى لعانا لأن كلا من الزوجين يبعد عن صاحبه ويحرم النكاح بينهما على التأبيد واللعان عند جمهور أصحابنا يمين وقيل شهادة وقيل يمين فيها شوب شهادة وينبغي أن يكون بحضرة الإمام أو القاضي جمع من المسلمين وهو أحد أنواع التغليظ فإنه يغلظ بالزمان والمكان والجمع قال المحقق ابن الهمام هو مصدر لاعن سماعي لا قياسي والقياس الملاعنة وكثيرا من النحاة يجعلون الفعالوالمفاعلة مصدرين قياسيين لفاعل واللعن في اللغة الطرد والإبعاد وفي الفقه اسم يجري بين الزوجين من الشهادات بالألفاظ المعلومات سمى بذلك لوجود لفظ اللعن في الخامسة تسمية للكل باسم الجزء ولم يسم باسم من الغضب وهو أيضا موجود فيها لأنه في كلامها وذاك في كلامه وهو أسبق والسبق من أسباب الترجيح وشرطه قيام النكاح وسببه قذفه زوجته بما يوجب الحد في الأجنبية وحكمه حرمتها بعد التلاعن وأهله من كان أهلا للشهادة فإن اللعان شهادات مؤكدات بالإيمان عندنا وأما عند الشافعي فأيمان مؤكدات بالشهادات وهو الظاهر من قول مالك وأحمد وتمام تحقيقه في شرحه للهداية
Translation: In another version of the same adīth there is the wording: “Where is your Lord?” It means that where is His place of decision, and His order, and the place where His dominion and power are manifested. {She said: “In the sky”} Imam al-Qadi [‘Iyad] said: “The meaning is that His command and His prohibition comes from the direction of the sky. The Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] did not mean to ask her about the whereabouts of Allāh, since He transcends such an attribute as place, just as He transcends the attribute of time. Rather, the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] intended to find out by his question to her whether she was a monotheist declaring the uniqueness of Allah (muwahhidah), or whether she was a polytheist (mushrikah) because the Arabs were worshipping idols. Each clan amongst them had its special idol, which it worshipped and revered. Perhaps some of their ignorant and stupid people did not recognize any god whatsoever; therefore, the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] wanted to ascertain what she worshipped. So when she said “in the sky,” or, as in another version, she pointed to the sky, he [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] understood that she was a monotheist declaring the uniqueness of Allāh. In other words , he wanted to preclude the gods on earth; that is, the idols. He did not mean to imply that He occupies a place in the sky, far-removed is Allāh from what the transgressors ascribe to Him in their insolence. Moreover, the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] had been ordered to speak to the people according to the extent of their intelligence, and to guide them to the truth in way which was appropriate to their understanding.
So when the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] found that she believed that the one who deserves to be worshipped is the God who implements His purpose from the sky to the earth, not the gods which the pagans worshipped, he was satisfied with that much from her, and he [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam] did not charge her with sheer unity (Sirf al-tauīd )–the principle of transcendence (aqīqat al-tanzīh) Some [of the ulamā’] have said that the meaning is that His order and prohibition, His mercy and revelation comes from the sky. In that case, this hadīth is similar [in its implications] to His word [sallallahu alayhi wa sallam]: “Do you feel secure from Him who is in the sky…?” Furthermore, in some other [authentic] versions of this adīth it comes that this girl was dumb, and for that reason [Imām] al-Shafi‘ī [d. 204 / 820; Cairo] permitted the freeing of a slave even if he is dumb. In such case, the words in the adīth “She said, ‘In the sky.’” mean that she pointed to the sky [since she could not speak, obviously; and this is just what has come expressly in another version of the adīth: “She pointed to the sky.”] [Mullah Ali Qari in Mirqat Sharh al Mishqaat, Volume No. 6, Page nos. 452-453, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon]
Now let's turn towards the Second fundamental proof which Literalists use to justify their anthropomorphism and fool innocent Muslims in believing that Allah is an entity which literally comes down to lowest heaven in the last part of night (Naudhobillah), the hadith which they cite is this
2) The Hadith of Descent
Book 004, Number 1656: (Sahih Muslim)
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?
Before Sharah of this hadith is given, one has to understand that Allah is closest to believers not only in the last part of night but everytime! However He has stressed upon being very close at last part of the night so that Muslims strive to do more Ibadah and wake up for Him. Similar metaphorical example is also given in a sahih hadith al Qudsi that If we walk towards Him, He runs towards us! This however does not mean that Allah is actually/literally running towards us.
Mullah Ali Qari (rah) said of this hadith:
You know that Imam Malik and al-Awazai, who are among the greatest of the early Muslims, both gave detailed figurative interpretations to the hadith, Another of them was Jafar al-Sadiq. Indeed a whole group of them [the early Muslims], as well as later scholars, said that whoever believes Allah to be in a particular physical direction is an unbeliever, as al-Iraqi has explicitly stated, saying that this was the position of Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi'i, al-Ashari, and al- Baqillani (Mirqat al-mafatih: sharh Mishkat al-masabih. 5 vols. Cairo 1309/1892. Reprint. Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, n.d., 2.137)
In Sharah of this hadith Imam Nawawi (rah) also quotes Imam Malik (rah) and Awazai (rah) the great Imams of our Islaaf who proved that such hadiths should be ''figuratively'' interpreted. Imam Nawawi (rah) said:
تأويل مالك بن أنس وغيره معناه تنزل رحمته وأمره وملائكته، كما قال: فعل السلطان: كذا إذا فعله أتباعه بأمره. والثاني: أنه على إِلاستعارة ومعناه الإقبال على الداعين بالإجابة واللطف والله أعلم
Translation: Imam Malik bin Anas (rah) and others (including Imam Awzai) interpreted it by saying : ["your Lord descends"] means "His mercy, command, and angels descend," just as it is said, "The sultan did such-and-such," when his followers did it at his command.تنزل رحمته وأمره وملائكته كما يقال : فعل السلطان كذا إذا فعله أتباعه بأمره) The second is that it is a ''METAPHOR (الاستعارة )"signifying [Allah's] concern for those making supplication, by answering them and kindness toward them (Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi, Volume No. 6, Page No.31, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon).
No acceptance by Imam Nawawi that Allah literally comes down (Naudhobillah) to the lowest heaven as falsely asserted by salafis.
Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) says of this Hadith in his Fath al Bari
قوله : ( ينزل ربنا إلى السماء الدنيا ) ‏
استدل به من أثبت الجهة وقال : هي جهة العلو , وأنكر ذلك الجمهور لأن القول بذلك يفضي إلى التحيز تعالى الله عن ذلك .
Translation: Those who ''assert direction'' for Allah have used this hadith as proof that He is in the direction of above-ness (uluww). The vast majority of the scholars reject this, because saying such leads to establishing boundaries for Him and Allah is exalted above that.[Fath ul Bari Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari, Volume No.3, Page No. 338 - Dar ul Fikr]
Ibn Baz the famous Salafi scholar gave a weird explanation to Imam Ibn Hajr’s quote by saying:
ذلك الجمهور قال العلامة بن باز حفظه الله مراده بالجمهور أهل الكلام وأما أهل السنة وهم الصحابة رضي الله عنهم ومن تبعهم بإحسان فإنهم يثبتون لله الجهة وهي جهة العلو ويؤمنون بأنه سبحانه فوق العرش بلا
تمثيلولاتكييف والأدلة على ذلك من الكتاب والسنة أكثر من أن تحصر فتنبه واحذر والله أعلم
Translation: Ibn Baz says: What he means by "the vast majority of the scholars" is the vast majority of the scholars of kalam. As for Ahl al-Sunna -- and these are the Companions and those who followed them in excellence – they assert a direction for Allah, and that is the direction of elevation,believing that the Exalted is above the Throne without giving an example and without entering into modality. The proofs from the Qur'an and the Sunna for this are innumerable, so take heed and beware. And Allah knows best. [Fath ul Bari with forgeries added by Bin Baaz, Published by Maktaba al Asriyyah, Beirut, Lebanon]
Audhobillah min Dhalik, However let's see forward in the same passage what Imam Ibn Hajr has actually said and who he has quoted to conclude this issue, he has given detailed figurative explanation in light of other ahadith that it refers to Allah “Sending down (yunzilu) mercy and angel rather than He descending himself (yanzilu) and nowhere has he said that Ahlus Sunnah, companions and Islaaf pointed direction towards Allah.
Imam Ibn Hajr writes:
فمنهم من حمله على ظاهره وحقيقته وهم المشبهة تعالى الله عن قولهم
Translation: Some say that the ''Literal meaning is meant in true sense'':these are the Mushabbiha and Allah is exalted above what they say.
Then he also wrote:
ومنهم من أجراه على ما ورد مؤمنا به على طريق الإجمال منزها الله تعالى عن الكيفية والتشبيه وهم جمهور السلف , ونقله البيهقي وغيره عن الأئمة الأربعة والسفيانين والحمادين والأوزاعي والليث وغيرهم
Translation: Some have taken them as they have come, believing in them without specificity, declaring Allah to be transcendent above modality(kayfiyya) and likeness to creation (tashbih): these are the vast majority of the Salaf. That position is reported by Bayhaqi and others from the Four Imams, Sufyan ibn `Uyayna, Sufyan al-Thawri, Hammad ibn Salama, Hammad ibn Zayd, al-Awza`i, al-Layth, and others.
Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) continues
وقال ابن العربي : حكي عن المبتدعة رد هذه الأحاديث , وعن السلف إمرارها , وعن قوم تأويلها وبه أقول . فأما قوله ينزل فهو راجع إلى أفعاله لا إلى ذاته , بل ذلك عبارة عن ملكه الذي ينزل بأمره ونهيه , والنزول كما يكون في الأجسام يكون في المعاني , فإن حملته في الحديث على الحسي فتلك صفة الملك المبعوث بذلك , وإن حملته على المعنوي بمعنى أنه لم يفعل ثم فعل فيسمى ذلك نزولا عن مرتبة إلى مرتبة , فهي عربية صحيحة انتهى . والحاصل أنه تأوله بوجهين : إما بأن المعنى ينزل أمره أو الملك بأمره , وإما بأنه استعارة بمعنى التلطف بالداعين والإجابة لهم ونحوه
Translation: Imam (Abu Bakr) Ibn al-`Arabi (rah) said: "It is reported that the innovators have rejected these hadiths, the Salaf let them pass as they came, and others interpreted them, and my position is the last one. The saying: "He descends" refers to His acts not His essence, indeed it is an expression for His angels who descend with His command and His prohibition. And just as descent can concern bodies, it can also concern ideas or spiritual notions (ma`ani). If one takes the hadith to refer to a physical occurrence, then descent would be the attribute of the angel sent to carry out an order. If one takes it to refer to a spiritual occurrence, that is, first He did not act, then He acted: this would be called a descent from one rank to another, and this is a sound Arabic meaning." In sum it is interpreted in two ways: the first is: His command or His angel descends; the second is: it is a metaphor for His regard for supplicants, His answering them, and so forth.
وقد حكى أبو بكر بن فورك أن بعض المشايخ ضبطه بضم أوله على حذف المفعول أيينزل ملكا , ويقويه ما رواه النسائي من طريق الأغر عن أبي هريرة وأبي سعيد بلفظ " إن الله يمهل حتى يمضي شطر الليل , ثم يأمر مناديا يقول : هل من داع فيستجاب له " الحديث . وفي حديث عثمان بن أبي العاص " ينادي مناد هل من داع يستجاب له " الحديث . قال القرطبي : وبهذا يرتفع الإشكال , ولا يعكر عليه ما في رواية رفاعة الجهني " ينزل الله إلى السماء الدنيا فيقول : لا أسأل عن عبادي غيري " لأنه ليس في ذلك ما يدفع التأويل المذكور
Translation: Abu Bakr ibn Furak said: Some of the masters have read it yunzilu (He sends down) instead of yanzilu (He descends), that is: He sends down an angel. This is strengthened by Nisa'i's narration through al-Aghurr from Abu Hurayra and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri: "Allah waits until the first part of the night is over, then He orders a herald to say: Is there anyone supplicating so that he may be answered?..."There is also the hadith of `Uthman ibn Abi al-`As: "The gates of heaven are opened in the middle of the night and a herald calls out: Is there anyone supplicating so that he may be answered?..." Al-Qurtubi said: "This clears all ambiguity, and there is no interference by the narration of Rufa`at al-Jahni whereby "Allah descends to the nearest heaven and says: No-one other than I asks about My servants" for there is nothing in this which precludes the above-mentioned interpretation. [Fath ul Bari, 3:339 - Dar ul Fikr]
وقال البيضاوي : ولما ثبت بالقواطع أنه سبحانه منزه عن الجسمية والتحيز امتنع عليه النزول على معنى الانتقال من موضع إلى موضع أخفض منه , فالمراد نور رحمته , أي ينتقل من مقتضى صفة الجلال التي تقتضي الغضب والانتقام إلى مقتضى صفة الإكرام التي تقتضي الرأفة والرحمة
Translation: Al-Baydawi said:"Since it is established with decisive proofs that the Exalted is transcendent above having a body or being circumscribed by boundaries, it is forbidden to attribute to Him descent in the sense of displacement from one place to another place lower than it. What is meant is the light of His mercy: that is, He moves from what is pursuant to the attribute of Majesty entailing wrath and punishment, to what is pursuant to the attribute of Generosity entailing kindness and mercy.""[ibid]
Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) also states in his Fath al Bari that:
قال ابن المنير : جميع الأحاديث في هذه الترجمة مطابقة لها إلا حديث ابن عباس فليس فيه إلا قوله " رب العرش " ومطابقته والله أعلم من جهة أنه نبه على بطلان قول من أثبت الجهة أخذا من قوله ( ذي المعارج ) ففهم أن العلو الفوقي مضاف إلى الله تعالى , فبين المصنف أن الجهة التي يصدق عليها أنها سماء والجهة التي يصدق عليها أنها عرش كل منهما مخلوق مربوب محدث , وقد كان الله قبل ذلك وغيره , فحدثت هذه الأمكنة , وقدمه يحيل وصفه بالتحيز فيها والله أعلم
Translation: And by including the hadith of Ibn `Abbas containing the words: "Lord of the mighty Throne" into this chapter, Bukhari warned those that might predicate spatial elevation to Allah (`uluw fawqi) that both the direction in which the heaven is believed to be and that in which the Throne is believed to be are created, lorded over, and brought into existence by Allah Who existed before all that and before everything else. Thus these places were created, and his existence, being eternal without beginning, precludes reference to him as being bounded by them. And Allah knows best.
Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani (rah) explains in his Fath al Bari again
وقيل مناسبة التسبيح في الأماكن المنخفضة من جهة أن التسبيح هو التنزيه فناسب تنزيه الله عن صفات الانخفاض كما ناسب تكبيره عند الأماكن المرتفعة , ولا يلزم من كون جهتي العلو والسفل محال على الله أن لا يوصف بالعلو لأن وصفه بالعلو من جهة المعنى والمستحيل كون ذلك من جهة الحس
Translation: The reality that the two directions of "above" and "below" are impossible for Allah but it does not mean that he cannot be described with the attribute of elevation (`uluw), for such description is only to denote highness, not that of sensory perception (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-bari 6:240 - Kitab ul Jihad, Published by Dar ul Fikr)
3) The Book over the throne
Volume 9, Book 93, Number 643: (Sahih Bukhari)
Narrated Abu Huraira:


I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Before Allah created the creations, He wrote a Book (wherein He has written): My Mercy has preceded my Anger." and that (Book) is written with Him over the Throne."
First of all ''With him'' refers to position of rank and definitely not location, because locations can never apply to him, if directed towards him then it contradicts the clear message in Surat al Ikhlaas and verses like "there is nothing whatsoever like unto Him" (Qur'an 42:11)
Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani (rah) explains in his Fath al Bari
إذا حملوه , وإن كان حامل العرش وحامل حملته هو الله , وليس قولنا إن الله على العرش أي مماس له أو متمكن فيه أو متحيز في جهة من جهاته بل هو خبر جاء به التوقيف , فقلنا له به ونفينا عنه التكييف إذ ليس كمثله شيء وبالله التوفيق . وقوله " فوق عرشه " صفة الكتاب , وقيل إن فوق هنا بمعنى دون , كما جاء في قوله تعالى ( بعوضة فما فوقها ) وهو بعيد , وقال ابن أبي جمرة يؤخذ من كون الكتاب المذكور فوق العرش أن الحكمة اقتضت أن يكون العرش حاملا لما شاء الله من أثر حكمة الله وقدرته وغامض غيبه ليستأثر هو بذلك من طريق العلم والإحاطة , فيكون من أكبر الأدلة على انفراده بعلم الغيب , قال : وقد يكون ذلك تفسيرا لقوله ( الرحمن على العرش استوى ) أي ما شاءه من قدرتهوهو كتابه الذي وضعه فوق العرش
Translation: When we say: "Allah is above the Throne" (Allah `ala al-`arsh),it does not mean that He is touching it or that He is located on it or bounded by a certain side of the Throne. Rather, it is a report which is transmitted as is, and so we repeat it while at the same time negating any modality for there is nothing like Him whatsoever, and from Him is all success.As for "over His throne" (in the hadith) it refers to the Book. Some have taken it in the sense of "upwards from His Throne," as in Allah's saying: "a gnat, or anything above it" (2:26), but this is far-fetched. Ibn Abu Jamra (d. 695) said: "It may be said from the fact that the Book is mentioned as being "above the Throne" that the divine wisdom has decreed for the Throne to carry whatever Allah wishes of the record of His judgment, power, and the absolute unseen known of Him alone, so as to signify the exclusivity of His encompassing knowledge regarding these matters, making the Throne one of the greatest signs of the exclusivity of His knowledge of the Unseen. This could explain the verse al-rahmanu `al al-`arshi istawa as referring to whatever Allah wills of His power, which is the Book He has placed above His Throne." [Fath ul Bari, 15:371 - Dar ul Fikr]
Now these were the proofs in light of leading Commentators of Bukhari and Muslim (i.e. Imam Ibn Hajr al Asqalani - Rahimuhullah and Imam Nawawi - Rahimuhullah), plus the greatest Seerah Author i.e. Imam Qadhi Iyaad (rah), The expert in theology/hadith i.e. Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Arabi (rah) and many others!.
We would like to conclude with the explanation of Imam Bukhari (Rahimuhullah) himself on "WAJH (FACE)" of Allah, according to Salafis all such attributes are to be taken literally and giving Taweel on any of them makes the person as Jahimi, now let us see if Salafis are true to their words.
FATWA
From the Fatwas of the scholars of Azhar regarding the one who believes that Allah enters creations or is in a material direction.
(ARABIC & ENGLISH)
الترجمة الانجليزية اضغط هنا
Fatwa of the scholars of Azhar on the one who believes that Allah settles in created things or that He has a direction.
من فتاوى علماء الأزهر الشريف في معتقد الحلول والجهة الحسية
قال الإمام العلامة المحدث المجدد أبو محمد محمود بن محمد بن أحمد بن خطاب السبكي الأزهري مؤسس الجمعية الشرعية بمصر وصاحب ( المنهل العذب المورود شرح سنن أبي داود ) المتوفى سنة 1352هـ رحمه الله تعالى قال في كتابه [ إتحاف الكائنات ببيان مذهب السلف والخلف في المتشابهات .. ] ص : 2 :
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، المنـزه عن صفات المخلوقين ، كالجهة والجسمية والمكان والفوقية ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد ، الذي جاء بمحو الشرك والإلحاد وأمرنا بتنزيه الله تعالى عن صفات العباد ، والنـزل عليه ( قل هو الله أحد ، الله الصمد ، لم يلد ولم يولد ، ولم يكن له كفوا أحد ) وقوله : ( ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير ) وعلى آله وصحبه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين .
أما بعد ) فيقول : محمود بن محمد بن أحمد خطاب السبكي : قد سألني بعض الراغبين في معرفة عقائد الدين ، والوقوف على مذهب السلف والخلف في المتشابه من الآيات والأحاديث بما نصه :
]نص سؤال السائل :  [
ما قول السادة العلماء حفظهم الله تعالى فيمن يعتقد أن الله عز وجل له جهة !! وأنه جالس على العرش في مكان مخصوص !! ويقول : ذلك هو عقيدة السلف !! ويحمل الناس على أن يعتقدوا هذا الاعتقاد ويقول لهم من لم يعتقد ذلك يكون كافرا !! مستدلا بقوله تعالى : ( الرحمن على العرش استوى ) وقوله عز وجل : ( ءأمنتم من في السماء ) أهذا الاعتقاد صحيح أم باطل ؟؟؟ وعلى كونه باطلا أيكفر ذلك القائل باعتقاده المذكور ويبطل كل عمله من صلاة وصيام وغير ذلك من الأعمال الدينية وتبين منه زوجه ؟؟؟ وإن مات على هذه الحال قبل أن يتوب لا يغسل ولا يصلى عليه ولا يدفن في مقابر المسلمين ؟؟؟ وهل مَنْ صَدّقَه في ذلك الاعتقاد يكون كافرا مثله ؟؟ وما قولكم فيما يقوله بعض الناس من أن القول بنفي الجهات الست عن الله تعالى باطل لأنه يلزم عليه نفي وجود الله تعالى ؟؟؟ أفيدونا مأجورين مع بيان مذهب السلف والخلف في هاتين الآيتين ونحوهما من الآيات المتشابهات كـ( إليه يصعد الكلم الطيب ) وأحاديث الصفات كحديث ( ينـزل ربنا إلى السماء الدنيا ) وحديث البجارية بيانا شافيا مع ذكر أقوال علماء التفسير والحديث والفقه والتوحيد مع الإيضاح الكامل لتنقطع ألسنة المجازفين الذين يشبهون الله تعالى بخلقه ويعتقدون أن ما ذهب إليه علماء الخلف من التأويل كفر زاعمين أنه مذهب الجهمية الكفرة ، وأشاعوا ذلك بين العوام !! جزاكم الله تعالى عن الدين وأهله أحسن الجزاء .
نص جواب الإمام أبي محمد محمود خطاب السبكي رحمه الله :  [
فأجبت بعون الله تعالى فقلت :
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم ، الحمد لله الهادي إلى الصواب ، والصلاة والسلام على من أوتي الحكمة وفصل الخطاب ، وعلى آله وأصحابه الذين هداهم الله ورزقهم التوفيق والسداد ، أما بعد :
فالحكم أن هذا الاعتقاد باطل ومعتقده كافر بإجماع من يعتد به من علماء المسلمين ، والدليل العقلي على ذلك : قدم الله تعالى ومخالفته للحوادث ، والنقلي قال تعالى : ( ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير )
فكل من اعتقد أنه تعالى حل في مكان أو اتصل به أو بشيء من الحوادث كالعرش أوالكرسي أو السماء أو الأرض أو غير ذلك فهو كافر قطعا ، ويبطل جميع عمله من صلاة وصيام وحج وغير ذلك ، وتبين منه زوجه وعليه أن يتوب فورا ، وإذا مات على هذا الاعتقاد ـ والعياذ بالله تعالى ـ لا يغسل ولا يصلى عليه ولا يدفن في مقابر المسلمين ، ومثله في ذلك كله من صدقه في اعتقاده أعاذنا الله تعالى من شرور أنفسنا وسيئات أعمالنا. وأما حمله الناس على أن يعتقدوا هذا الاعتقاد المكفر وقوله لهم من لم يعتقد ذلك يكون كافرا !! فهو كفر وبهتان عظيم ، واستدلاله على زعمه الباطل بهاتين الآيتين ونحوهما أن الله عز وجل يحل في عرشه أو يجلس عليه أو يحل في سماء أو نحو ذلك مما تزعمه تلك الشرذمة ، مع أن كلام الله غير مخلوق وهو من صفات الله تعالى القديمة الموجودة قبل وجود العرش والسماوات ، فالله تعالى موصوف بأنه استوى على العرش قبل وجود العرش ، وهل كان جالسا ـ على زعمهم ـ على العرش المعدوم قبل وجوده ؟؟!! وهل جل جلاله في السماء قبل خلق السماء ؟؟!! هذا مما لا يتوهمه عاقل ، وهل العقل يصدق بحلول القديم في شيء من الحوادث ؟؟!! فإنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون ، وعلى الجملة فهذا القائل المجازف وأمثاله قد ادعوا ما لا يقبل الثبوت لا عقلا ولا نقلا ، وقد كفروا وهم يحسبون أنهم يحسنون  صنعا ، والطامة الكبرى التي نـزلت بهؤلاء دعواهم أنهم ( سلفيون ) !!!!! ، وهم عن سبيل الحق زائغون ، وعلى خيار المسلمين يعيبون ، فلا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم .
وأما مذهب السلف والخلف بالنسبة للآيات والأحاديث المتشابهة فقد اتفق الكل على أن الله تعالى منـزه عن صفات الحوادث ، فليس له عز وجل مكان في العرش ولا في السماء ولا في غيرهما ، ولا يتصف بالحلول في شيء من الحوادث ، ولا بالاتصال بشيء منها ، ولا بالتحول والانتقال ونحوهما من صفات الحوادث ، بل هو سبحانه وتعالى على ما كان عليه قبل خلق العرش والكرسي والسماوات وغيرها من الحوادث ، ( قال الحافظ في الفتح) : )) اتفق الفقهاء كلهم من المشرق إلى المغرب على الإيمان بالقرآن والأحاديث التي جاءت بها الثقات عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم في صفة الرب من غير تشبيه ولا تفسير )) اهـ .
وإنما اختلفوا في بيان المعنى المراد من هذه الآيات والأحاديث ، فالسلف رضي الله عنهم يؤمنون بها كما وردت معتقدين أنها مصروفة عن ظاهرها لقوله تعالى : ( ليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير ) ويفوضون علم المراد منها إلى الله تعالى لقوله : ( وما يعلم تأويله إلا الله ) فيقولون في آية ( الرحمن على العرش استوى ) استوى استواء يليق به لا يعلمه إلا هو عز وجل ، وفي آية ( ءأمنتم من في السماء ) نؤمن بها على المعنى الذي أراده سبحانه وتعالى مع كمال التنـزيه عن صفات الحوادث والحلول ويقولون في آية ( يد الله فوق أيديهم ) له يد لا كأيدينا ولا يعلمها إلا هو تعالى ، وهكذا في سائر الآيات المتشابهة ، قال الإمام الجليل السلفي ابن كثير في الجزء الثالث من تفسيره صفحة 488 ما نصه :
(( وأما قوله تعالى : ( ثم استوى على العرش ) فللناس في هذا المقام مقالات كثيرة جدا ليس هذا موضع بسطها ، وإنما نسلك في هذا المقام مذهب السلف الصالح مالك والأوزاعي والثوري والليث بن سعد والشافعي وأحمد بن حنبل وإسحق بن راهويه وغيرهم من أئمة المسلمين قديما وحديثا وهو إمرارها كما جاءت من غير تكييف ولا تشبيه ولا تعطيل ، والظاهر المتبادر إلى أذهان المشبهين منفي عن الله تعالى ، فإن الله لا يشبهه شيء من خلقه وليس كمثله شيء وهو السميع البصير ، بل الأمر كما قال الأئمة منهم نعيم بن حماد الخزاعي شيخ البخاري قال : من شبه الله بخلقه كفر ومن جحد ما وصف الله به نفسه فقد كفر وليس فيما وصف الله به نفسه ولا رسوله تشبيه ، فمن أثبت لله تعالى ما وردت به الآيات الصريحة والأخبار الصحيحة على الوجه الذي يليق بجلال الله تعالى ونفى عن الله النقائص فقد سلك سبيل الهدى )) اهـ .
ونحوه في سائر تفاسير الأئمة المحققين ، ويقولون في حديث ( ينـزول ربنا إلى سماء الدنيا ) ينـزل نزولا يليق به لا يعلمه إلا هو تعالى ، وأما حديث الجارية وهو ما أخرجه مسلم وأبو داود في باب نسخ الكلام في الصلاة من طريق معاوية بن الحكم ، وفيه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال للجارية : ( أين الله ؟ ) قالت : ( في السماء ) قال : ( من أنا ؟ ) قالت : ( أنت رسول الله ) قال أعتقها فإنها مؤمنة ، فيقولون فيه ما قالوه في آية ( ءأمنتم من في السماء ) وهكذا سائر أحاديث الصفات المتشابهة ، واستدلوا على ذلك بقول الله عز وجل ( هو الذي أنزل عليك الكتاب منه آيات محكمات هن أم الكتاب وأخر متشابهات ، فأما الذين في قلوبهم زيغ فيتبعون ما تشابه منه ابتغاء الفتنة وابتغاء تأويله ، وما يعلم تأويله إلا الله ) قالوا الوقف هنا تام ، وأما الراسخون في العلم إلخ فكلام مستأنف لبيان أن أكابر ذوي العلم مصدقون بثبوت المتشابه في القرآن .
وأما الخلف رحمهم الله تعالى فيقولون في هذه الآيات والأحاديث هي معروفة المعنى ، فمعنى ( الرحمن على العرش استوى ) استولى بالقهر والتصرف ، ومعنى ( ءأمنتم من في السماء ) من في السماء عذابه أو سلطانه ومصدر أمره ، أو هو كناية عن تعظيم الله تعالى بوصفه بالعلو والعظمة ، وتنـزيهه عن السفل والتحت لا أنه سبحانه وتعالى حال فيها !! لأن الحلول من صفات الأجسام وأمارات الحدوث والله منـزه عن ذلك ، ومعنى ( ينـزل ربنا إلى سماء الدنيا ) ينـزل رسوله أو رحمته ، وأما إقرار الرسول صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم الجارية على إشارتها نحو السماء فاكتفاء منها بما يدل على عدم شركها لتعتق ، لأنه بإشارتها إلى السماء علم أنها ليست ممن يعبد الأصنام التي في الأرض ، وهكذا في سائر الآيات والأحاديث بناء منهم على كون الوقف في الآية الشريفة على قوله تعالى ( والراسخون في العلم ) مستدلين على ذلك بكون القرآن عربيا ، ولغة العرب ناطقة بتلك المعاني ، والفضل الزائد للسلف .
فمن نسب إلى علماء السلف أو الخلف شيئا خلاف ذلك فهو ضال مضل ، ومن قال إن مذهب
علماء الخلف هو مذهب الجهمية فهو مفتر كذاب ، فإن الجهمية أتباع جهم بن صفوان الذي قال بالإجبار والاضطرار إلى الأعمال ، وأنكر الاستطاعات كلها ، وزعم أن الجنة والنار تبيدان وتفنيان ، وزعم أن الإيمان هو المعرفة بالله فقط ، وأن الكفر هو الجهل به فقط ، وقال لا فعل ولا عمل لأحد غير الله تعالى ، وإنما تنسب الأعمال إلى المخلوقين على المجاز ، كما يقال زالت الشمس ودارت الرحى من غير أن يكونا فاعلين أو مستطيعين لما وصفتا به ، وزعم أيضا أن علم الله تعالى حادث ، وامتنع من وصف الله تعالى بأنه شيء حي أوعالم أو مريد ، وقال لا أصفه بوصف يجوز إطلاقه على غيره كشيء موجود وحي وعالم ومريد ونحو ذلك ، ووصفه بأنه قادر وموجد وفاعل وخالق ومحيي ومميت ، لأن هذه الأوصاف
مختصة به وحده ، وقال بحدوث كلام الله تعالى كما قالته القدرية ، ولم يسم الله تعالى متكلما به ، وأكفره أصحابنا في جميع ضلالاته وأكفرته القدرية في قوله بأن الله تعالى خالق أفعال العباد ، فاتفق أصناف الأمة على تكفيره انتهى من ( الفرق بين الفرق ) للإمام أبي منصور عبدالقاهر بن طاهر البغدادي صفحة تسع وتسعين ومائة ، ومنه تعلم أن علماء الخلف برآء من هذا المذهب ومن أهله .
وأما ما قيل من أنه يلزم من نفي الجهات الست عن الله نفي وجوده !! فهو قول باطل بالبداهة لما هو معلوم من أن الله عز وجل كان موجودا قبل وجود الجهات الست المذكورة ، وهي فوق وتحت وأمام وخلف ويمين وشمال ، بل كان موجودا قبل وجود العالم كله بإجماع السابقين واللاحقين ، فكيف يتوهم من عنده أدنى شائبة عقل أنه يلزم من نفي تلك الجهات عنه سبحانه وتعالى نفي وجوده جل وعلا ؟؟!! وكيف يتصور أن الله عز وجل القديم يتوقف وجوده على وجود بعض الحوادث أو كل الحوادث التي خلقها ؟؟!! سبحانك هذا بهتان عظيم ، كيف وقد قال جمع من السلف والخلف إن من اعتقد أن الله في جهة فهو كافر كما صرح به العراقي ، وبه قال أبو حنيفة ومالك والشافعي وأبو الحسن الأشعري والباقلاني ، ذكره العلامة ملا علي قاري في ( شرح المشكاة ) من الجزء الثاني صفحة 137 ، قال الله تعالى : ( فإنها لا تعمى الأبصار ولكن تعمى القلوب التي في الصدور ) وقال تعالى : ( ومن لم يجعل الله له نورا فما له من نور ) نسأل الله تعالى أن يهدينا جميعا إلى الطريق المستقيم ويحول بيننا وبين نزعات الشيطان الرجيم ، والصلاة والسلام على خاتم النبيين وعلى من كان بهديه من العاملين .
هذا وقد عرضت هذه الإجابة على جمع من أفاضل علماء الأزهر فأقروها وكتبوا عليها أسماءهم وهم أصحاب الفضيلة :
الشيخ محمد النجدي شيخ السادة الشافعية ،
والشيخ محمد سبيع الذهبي شيخ السادة الحنابلة ،
والشيخ محمد العزبي رزق المدرس بالقسم العالي ،
والشيخ عبدالحميد عمار المدرس بالقسم العالي ،
والشيخ علي النحراوي المدرس بالقسم العالي ،
والشيخ دسوقي عبدالله العربي من هيئة كبار العلماء ،
والشيخ علي محفوظ المدرس بقسم التخصص بالأزهر ،
والشيخ إبراهيم عيارة الدلجموني المدرس بقسم التخصص بالأزهر ،
والشيخ محمد عليان من كبار علماء الأزهر ،
والشيخ أحمد مكي المدرس بقسم التخصص بالأزهر ،
والشيخ محمد حسين حمدان ..
انتهت الفتوى .
الترجمة الانجليزيةاضغط هنا
Fatwa of the scholars of Azhar on the one who believes that Allah settles in created things...
The imam and great scholar, the muhaddith, The Renewer of the Religion, Abu Muhammad, Mahmud Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Khitaab, Al-Subkiyy, Al-Azhariyy, the founder of the Association of Islamic Law in Egypt, the author of Al-Manhal Al-^Athb Al-Mawruud Sharh Sunan Abiy Daawuud (an explanation of Abu Daawuud), who died 1352 h., may God have mercy upon him, said in his book "Ithaf Al-Kaa’inaat bi-Bayaan Mathhab Al-Salaf wa Al-Khalaf Fi Al-Mutashaabihaat", page 2:
Praise to the Lord of the Worlds, who is clear of the attributes of creation, like direction and body and place and physical highness, and may God raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad, who wiped out shirk and blasphemy and ordered us to believe that Allah is clear of created attributes and revealed to him in the Koran what means that Allah is one, doesn’t have a partner or parts, that He does not need anything or anyone, does not beget and was not begotten and that He has no equal, and also revealed to him what means that Allah does not resemble anything and that He hears and sees everything. May Allah also raise the rank of the Prophet’s companions and all those who imitated his ways.
After that, Mahmud Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Khitaab, Al-Subkiyy says:
The question asked:
Some of those who desire knowledge about the beliefs of the religion and to stand firm in the school of the salaf and khalaf with regard to the hadiths and aayaat that do not have a clear or well known meaning (called mutashaabihaat in Arabic) asked as follows:
What is the saying of the scholars, may Allah protect them, regarding the one who believes that God has a physical direction, and that He sits on the throne in a special place and says, “this is the belief of the salaf!” promotes this idea, and accuses those who deny this of blasphemy. All this while pointing to the 2 aayahs:
"الرحمن على العرش استوى and ""ءأمنتم من في السماء "
(If someone translated them literally, they would say “The Merciful established on the throne” and “Do you feel safe from who is in the sky?”. In the first case one should know that istawa has some 14 different meanings in Arabic (not just to establish), and that the meaning of ^Arsh is something the scholars disagreed upon. The second Aayah is said to refer to the angels, because the sky is their abode. In other words, there is nothing which says that these two Aayas must be taken literally.)
Is this a valid or an invalid belief? If invalid, does the one who says so commit blasphemy so that all his previous works are annulled, such as prayer, fasting and other religious activities and is his marriage contract invalidated? If he dies in this state, before repenting, is he not washed and prayed for and buried in the graveyards of the muslims? Is the one who believed that what this one is saying is true, also a non-muslim, like him? What is your saying about what some people say that denying that Allah is attributed with the six directions (i.e. up, down, front, back and the two sides) is wrong, and that it entails denying His existence? Let us benefit from your showing of what the mathhab of the salaf and the khalaf in these two aayas, and other aayas, such as
"إليه يصعد الكلم الطيب"
(If translated literally, it would say “to Him ascend the good words.”) and the hadith
"ينـزل ربنا إلى السماء الدنيا
(If translated literally, it would say “He descends to the sky of the world.”) with a complete and satisfactory explanation.
Include the sayings of the scholars of hadith, Quran-explanation, fiqh and tawheed, and clarify completely, so that the tongues of those who speak thoughtlessly are silenced - those who liken Allah to His creation and believe that what the khalaf scholars did in terms of ta'weel (interpreting figuratively) is blasphemy, while claiming that this is the way of the Jahmiyyah, the blasphemous sect, and spread this rumor among the common people. May Allah reward you!
The Answer of The Imam Abu Muhammad Mahmud Khitaab Al-Subkiyy
The answer of the Imam Abu Muhammad Mahmud Khitaab Al-Subkiyy: So I answered, by Allah's help, and said: In the name of Allah, the one who is merciful to muslims and non-muslims in this life, but only to muslims in the next. Praise to Allah, the Creator of true guidance, and may Allah raise the rank of the one who was given wisdom and clear speech, and of those who support him and his companions, whom Allah guided and gave success and steadfastness. After saying that, the judgment is that this belief is invalid, and the one who believes it is a non-Muslim by the consensus of those who count among the scholars.
The proof in terms of reasoning
The proof of reasoning for this is that Allah's existence is eternal without a beginning, and does not resemble anything that has a beginning.
The proof in terms of Quran and Hadith
In terms of what has been related, the proof is "He does not resemble anything, and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing." (meaning of suurah 42, 11). (What Al-Subkiy has mentioned is enough for the sound minded, because Islam does not teach something contradictory - all its teachings are harmonious in meaning. However, in order to bring Hadiths as well as Quran and logical reasoning, he might have added that Al-Bayhaqiyy, Muslim and others, related the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam: "You are adh-Dhahir,hence there is nothing above You, and You are al-Batin, hence there is nothing underneath You." Then Al-Bayhaqiyy said (in his book "Al-Asmaa' wa as-Sifaat"): "If there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, then He is not in a place.")
The consequence of these proofs for the one who believes something contradictory to them
Accordingly, anyone that believes that Allah settled in a place, or was in contact with it or anything else that has a beginning, such as the ^Arsh (sometimes translated as "throne" - it is a creation with 4 legs, and is like the Kaabah for the Angles), or the Kursiyy (sometimes translated as "chair"), or the sky, or the earth, or anything else - he is a blasphemer absolutely and without a doubt. All his religious works are invalid, such as prayer, fasting and Hajj, and his wife is separated, and he must repent immediately. If he dies with this belief, then he is not washed, not prayed for, and he is not buried in the graveyard of the muslims. In addition, all those who believed that his belief is the truth take this same judgment. May Allah protect us from the evils of our selves and the liability of our bad deeds.
As for such a person's encouragement of others to have such blasphemous beliefs, and his telling them that the one who does not have it is a blasphemer; this (activity of his) is (another) blasphemy and an abhorrent lie with the intent to spread deviance. As for him taking as evidence, according to his invalid claim, the two aayas mentioned, and their likes, to show that Allah settles on the ^arsh, or sits on it, or descends in the sky or the like, as this group of people claims... They do this despite the fact that Allah's attribute of speech (which the revealed book of the Quran refers to) is not created, and it is one of the eternal attributes of Allah that existed before the ^Arsh or the sky, so Allah is attributed with "^ala al-^arsh istawa" before the ^arsh existed. Moreover, was He sitting, according to them, on the non existing ^arsh before it existed???!! Was He (according to them) in the sky before it existed???!!
(The revealed book of the Quran refers to Allah's attribute of speech (which does not have a beginning, or an end, and does not change - as is true for all of His attributes), just as the word "Allah" refers to the Creator and is not Him Himself. Words, languages, letters and sounds are all obviously created things - if someone is in doubt, let them say "bism-i-llaah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Rahiim" without a beginning or an end! The word "Quran" in Arabic may refer to Allah's eternal attribute of speech or to the book. It is kufr to say that the Quran is created if one means Allah's attribute. It is a sin (but not kufr) to say so if one is referring to the book, because it is inappropriate and a bid^ah.)
These (sorts of claims) are something a rational being does not even hesitate about. Does sound reason accept that something eternal settles in something that has a beginning? Verily we are Allah's creation and we will return to be judged by Him! In summary, this careless person and his likes have claimed something that cannot be verified; neither by reason, nor by what has been related. They have committed blasphemy, and they think they have done something good! And the greatest calamity that they are struck by is that they claim to be salafis, while they are deviants from the true path, and disgracing the best among the muslims. There is no power or ability other than what Allah creates!
(Subki's saying that this belief "cannot be verified neither by reason, nor by what has been related" needs some explanation. In terms of reason it is clear, because Allah is eternal, and directions are not, as Subki has already pointed out. For more details, you may read the article Foundations of the Religion. The scholars all agreed that all Hadith and Quran sayings must be understood by their apparent meaning, with two exceptions only:
The first exception is if taking it literally would lead to the absurd, i.e. it is self contradictory, such as saying "a square circle" or "the part is larger than the whole." Saying that Allah is actually in a geographical direction leads to saying either that directions are eternal or that Allah changed from being without direction to having a direction. This cannot be, because direction is an attribute of space, and space is attributed with change, therefore it must be a creation. Moreover, it cannot be that Allah changes, because that would mean He needs a creator. For more on this, see the above article link. The second exception is if there are other hadiths and Quranic sayings that contradict the literal meaning. In this case there are many texts that contradicts the claim that Allah is in a direction, among them: "He does not resemble anything," as Subki mentioned.)
The Salaf's way of dealing with mutashaabihaat
Concerning the way of the salaf (the scholars of the first 3 centuries) and khalaf (scholars after the salaf) in dealing with the aayahs and hadiths that do not have only one possible or well-known meaning: they all agreed that Allah is clear of and above the attributes of whatever has a beginning. Therefore, He does not have a place for Him on the Arsh or the sky or anywhere else. He is also not attributed with settling in or on anything that has a beginning, and not with transformation or movement or the like. Rather, He is as he was before the existence of the Arsh or the Kursi or the skies and other things that have a beginning. The Haafith (ibn Hajar al-Asqalani) said in al-Fath (Fath-ul-Baariy - the explanation of al-Bukhaariy): "the Fuqahaa' (fiqh scholars) all agreed, from east to west, upon the belief in the Quran and the hadiths that trustworthy people related from the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank) about the attributes of Allah, without likening them to creation or explanation."
They only disagreed on the matter of explaining the meaning of these aayahs, so the salaf (i.e. most of them) believe in them as they were related and that they are not literally meant, because of the saying of Allah which means, "He does not resemble anything and He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing", and leave the meaning be, due to the saying of Allah that means: "and noone knows their meaning except Allah" (suurah 3, 5 – more details later).
Accordingly, they say regarding the Aayah "Al-Rahman ^alaa al-^Arsh istawa" (if literally translated it would say “He established on the throne”), that He "istawa" in a sense that befits Him, and only He knows it, and regarding the aayah "'a 'amintum man fii al-samaa'" (if literally translated it would say: “Do You feel safe from who is in the sky?”) that we believe in it and the meaning that Allah gave it, while clearing Him of the attributes of whatever has a beginning and of settling (in a place.) They also say about the Aayah "yad-ullahi fawqa aydiyhim" (if literally translated it would say: “His hand is above their hands”) that He has a "yad" not like our yad (i.e. our hand), and only Allah knows it. This was their way in dealing with these aayahs that do not have only a single possible meaning or only one famous meaning.
A saying of Ibn Kathir and Nu^aym Ibn Hammaad about mutashaabihaat
The great salafi (i.e. that he was like the salaf in his ways, not that this is a mathhab) Imam Ibn Kathiir said: "As for the saying of Allah "thumma istawa ^alaa al-^arsh" (if someone translated it literally he would say "then He ascended the throne"), there are so very many sayings about this that this is not the place to mention them all, and we will rather take the way of the pious salaf, Malik, al-Awzaa^iy, Al-Thawriy, Al-Layth ibn Sa^d, Al-Shaafi3iy, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq in Raahwayh and other imams, new and old, which is to pass by them without giving them a how, or a likeness, or deny them. As for the apparent literal meanings that come to the minds of those who liken Allah to His creation; those are rejected, because He does not resemble anything, and there is nothing like Him, and he is All-Seeing, All-Hearing. Rather, it is like what the imams said, among them Nu^aym Ibn Hammaad Al-Khuzaa^iyy, the sheikh of Al-Bukhaariyy: "The one who likens Allah to His creation has committed blasphemy, and the one who denies what Allah has attributed to Himself has also committed blasphemy. There is no (meaning of) likening (to the creation) in any of what Allah has attributed to Himself or what the Prophet attributed to Him. So the one who affirms what has been related in plain aayahs and authentic hadiths in a way that is befitting with Allah' greatness, and denies that Allah has any flaws; he has taken the path of guidance." The like of the above is to be found in all tafseer books of the masterful imams.
Examples of how the Salaf dealt with mutashaabihaat
They say about the hadith (which if translated literally, would say that) "our Lord descends to the sky of the world," that this has a meaning that befits Allah, and that only Allah knows it. Then there is another hadith, the Hadith of the slave girl related by Muslim and Abu Daawood where it is mentioned that the Prophet said to her: "aina Allah? and she said "fii as-samaa'" (which if translated literally, would be said to mean "where is Allah" and that she said " in the sky") and that he said "who am I?" and she answered "you are the Messenger of Allah." Then he said "free her, for she is a believer." This hadith is handled with the same approach as the aayah "'a 'amintum man fii as-samaa'" and likewise all other such hadiths and aayahs. They took this approach because of the aayah:
"هو الذي أنزل عليك الكتاب منه آيات محكمات هن أم الكتاب وأخر متشابهات ، فأما الذين في قلوبهم زيغ فيتبعون ما تشابه منه ابتغاء الفتنة وابتغاء تأويله ، وما يعلم تأويله إلا الله والراسخون في العلم يقولون ءامنا به كل من عند ربنا وما يذّكّر إلا أولوا الألباب"
(This Aayah (suurah3, 5) means that: Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad some Aayahs –called muhkamaat (محكمات) - that have only one meaning according to the Arabic language or only one famous meaning, such as those prescribing halaal and haraam, and other aayahs – called mutashaabihaat (متشابهات) - that do not. Those with deviance in their hearts will emphasize the latter kind of aayahs in order to spread deviance (i.e. by contradicting the meaning of the muhkamaat) through pretending that they are only explaining the meaning. Only Allah knows their meaning, and the very knowledgeable say “we believe in them, they are all from Our Lord”, and only the sound minded take heed and ponder this.)
The salaf (i.e. the salaf in general, not all of them) said there is a full stop in the aayah after, "only Allah knows their meaning." As for the "steadfast in knowledge" mentioned after this in the Quran; this is the beginning of a new sentence (i.e. they do not know the meaning) to show that the great scholars believe in these aayahs, (i.e. without assigning a particular meaning.)
Regarding the Khalaf (scholars after the 3rd century); they say (i.e. it is more prevalent among them to say) that these aayahs and hadiths have a known meaning, so the meaning of "istawa" is "control", and the meaning of "man fii as-samaa'" (if literally translated it would say "who is in the sky") is that it is a figure of speech referring to His punishment, authority and orders, or it is simply a figurative way of praising Allah by attributing to him above-ness and greatness, and clearing him of lowliness or below-ness, NOT that He settles in it. This is because settlement is an attribute of bodies and signifies having a beginning, and Allah is clear of that. (Also, understanding it literally contradicts aayah 93 of surat Maryam, which means: "All those in the heavens and earth must come to Allah as a slave." It is possible also that the word "who" is referring to the angels, because the sky is their abode. Finally, the sky is below the ^arsh...
The meaning of (literally translated) "descending" in the hadith is that His Messenger or His Mercy descends. (The hadith attributes the so called "descending" to the last 3rd of the night, and since it is always the last 3rd of the night somewhere on earth, we know that the meaning is NOT that Allah is moving from one place to another.) As for the Prophet's approval of the slave-girl's hint towards the sky; this was a concise way from her of showing that she was not associating partners with Allah, because it was thereby known that she did not worship the idols on earth. (Also, some scholars said the hadith has weaknesses in its text, because Abd-ur-Razzaaq related it as without any mention of the words "aina?" or "fii as-samaa'".)
This is the way of the khalaf in all aayahs and hadiths of this kind, based on their saying that the full stop in the aayah about the aayahs that do not have a single possible, or well known, meaning comes after ""only Allah knows their meaning and those steadfast in knowledge," i.e. the steadfast in knowledge knows their meaning. Their proof is that the Quran is in Arabic, and this Arabic uses these expressions. However, the weightiest opinion is that of the salaf. (Note: he means of course that the majority of the salaf take this approach to this aayah, not absolutely all, since this would be consensus (ijmaa^.))
The one who attributes to the salaf or khalaf other than this is a deviant and a deviator.  The one who claims that the way of the khalaf is the way of the Jahmiyyah is a transgressor and a liar, because the Jahmiyyah are the followers of Jahm Ibn Safwaan, who said that humans are forced to do what they do and denied all ability to humans, and claimed that Paradise and Hell will end. He also claimed that belief is only knowledge of Allah, whereas blasphemy is not knowing Him. He said that noone does anything except Allah, and that humans are said to have actions only as a figure of speech, in the same way one says that "the sun passed its zenith" or the "mill turned," without any actual real action or ability from them. He also claimed that Allah’s knowledge has a beginning, and prevented people from saying that Allah is attributed with life, knowledge or will. He said "I don't attribute to Him an adjective that can be used for others, such as existing, alive, willing and such," and accepted to say that He has power, brings into existence, acts, creates, gives life and death, because only He has these attributes. He also claimed that Allah's attribute of speech has a beginning, as the Qadariyyah sect did, and refused to say that Allah speaks. Our companions said he was a blasphemer for all his deviances, and the Qadariyyah said he was an infidel for his claim that Allah creates the acts of humans, so all the nation said that he was a Kaafir. Here ends the quote (i.e. the above description of the Jahmiyyah) from the book "Al-Farq Baina Al-Firaq", written by the Imam Abu Mansuur ^Abd-ul-Qaadir Ibn Taahir Al-Baghdaadiyy, page 199. From this you know that the scholars of the Khalaf are free from the this sect and its claims.
As for the idea that denying that Allah is attributed with any of the six directions is a denial of His existence, this is obviously invalid since Allah existed before they existed, namely up, down, front, back, left and right. Rather, He existed before the world as a whole by consensus of ancient and later scholars. How then does someone that has even a tiny mind picture that clearing Him of being attributed with these 6 directions is the same as denying His existence??!! How can it be imagined that the Eternal Allah's existence depends on some things that have a beginning, or all of those that He created??!! You (Oh Allah) are clear of all imperfection!
This is a great lie! How (could it not be), when a number of the salaf and the khalaf have plainly stated that the one who believes that Allah is in a direction (i.e. up) is a blasphemer, as was stated by Al-Baghdadiyy. This was also the saying of Abu Hanifa, Malik, Al-Shaafi^iyy, Abu Hasan Al-Ash^ariyy and Al-Baaqillaaniyy, as mentioned by the great scholar Mullaa Aliyy Qaariy in "Sharh al-Mishkaat" in the second volume on page 137. Allah said (what means that) real blindness is not that of the eyes, but that of the heart (suurah 22, 46.) and that if Allah has not created the light of guidance in someone's heart, then he will never be guided (suurah 24, 40.) We ask Allah to guide us all on the straight path and block the misguidance of the cursed Satan, and to raise the rank of The Last Of The Prophets, and whoever follows him in his works.
After writing this, I have shown this answer to a number of honorable scholars of Azhar University, and they have agreed and signed it, and they are the following distinguished companions of ours:
Sheikh Muhammad Najdi, the sheikh of the Shaafi^i followers.
Sheikh Muhammad Sabii^ Al-Dhahabi, the sheikh of the Hanbaliyy followers.
Sheikh Muhammad Al-^Azbi Rizq, the lecturer in the higher section.
Sheikh Abd-ul-Hamiid ^Ammaar, the lecturer in the higher section.
Sheikh Ali Al-Nahraawi, the lecturer in the higher section.
Sheikh Dusuuqi Abdullah Al-Arabi, from the Council of the Great Scholars.
Sheikh Muhammad Al-^Azbi Rizq, the lecturer in the higher section.
Sheikh Ali Mahfuuth, the lecturer in specialization section of Azhar.
Sheikh Ibrahim ^Iiaarah Al-Daljamuuni , the lecturer in specialization section of Azhar.
Sheikh Muhammad ^Alyaan, from great scholars of Azhar.
Sheikh Ahmad Makki, the lecturer in specialization section of Azhar.
Sheikh Muhammad Husain Hamdaan.
The Hanbali Proofs in Clearing Allah from Being a Body or Contained in a Place or Direction
Bismillah, praise be to Allah the creator that has no beginning and no end, and does not resemble the creations and does not need any of the creations, we ask Allah to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and his kind Aal and companions, Thereafter
Know that all the Muslims of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama^ah unite on the same creed, believing in the oneness of Allah, and clearing Allah from resembling the creations or needing any of his creations. And based on that, the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah was clearing Allah from being in a place or having a body or form, Subhanahu wa Ta^ala.
Although Ash^aris (Such as Nawawiy, Ibn Hajar, Baqillaniy, Qurtubiy) were well known to have refuted the sects such as the Karamiah, Mu^tazilah, Jahmiyah, and Mushabbihah (Those who liken Allah to his creations), let it be clear that the creed of the Asharis is the creed of the Salaf and Khalaf scholars. Because Ash^aris deduced and summarized the creed of the Prophet and the companions with the textual and mental proofs.
Islam and the mind do not accept the claim that Allah is a body or has a place or position or direction. Because the one that has a body, or is in a place, or in a direction, is created, and Allah is the creator of the places, bodies and directions, and He does not need nor resemble any of his creations in anyway. So all the Sifat (attributes) of Allah which are numerous, are confirmed to Allah Subhanahu without resembling them to the creations in any way.
And based on that, the scholars reported that the Imams of the Four Schools of Ahlus-Sunnah have agreed to declare the one who attributes to Allah the body as a kafir.
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said: "Whoever says that Allah is a body unlike the bodies have blasphemed (committed kufur)". This is because Allah is not a body, and is not like the creations in anyway.
Also the great Mufassir Ibn al-Jawziy al-Hanbaliy said in his book "Daf^ Shubah at-Tashbih" page 58: "The obligation upon us is to believe that the self of Allah ta^ala is not contained in a place, and He is not attributed with change nor movement".
And Ibn al-Jawziy also said: "Some people lied when they heard about the Sifat (attributes of Allah) and interpreted them according to the physical meanings, such as those who claimed that Allah literally descends from the sky and moves from one place to another. This is an ill understanding, because the one who moves would be from a place to a place, and that necessitates that the place is bigger than him and that requires movement, and all of that is impossible to be attributed to Allah the Exalted".
As known, Imam Ibn al-Jawziy is the great interpreter of al-Qur'an, and one of the great heads of the Hanbalis. In his book "Daf^ Shubah at-Tashbih" he refuted the Mushabbiha and Mujassimah that attributed themselves falsely to the Hanbali School. He also cleared Imam Ahmad and the Salaf from the beliefs of Tajsim (attributing a body to Allah) and Tashbih (likening Allah to his creations), and cleared Allah from the place, space, size, shape, limit, body, sitting, standing, settling, and other attributes of the creations.
Ibn Hajar al-Haitamiy also confirmed in his book "al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyah" page 144 that Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal clears Allah from being a body, or having a limit, size, shape, place or direction. He said: "The creed of the Imam of Alsunna Ahmad Bin Hanbal (Radiallahu ^Anhu) complies with the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama^ah in exceptionally clearing Allah completely from what the ungrateful wrongdoers did by attributing to Allah non befitting attributes such the direction and body and other attributes of imperfection, in fact any attribute that does not have complete perfection. And what became popular between the ignorant people who falsely claim to follow this great Imam (Ahmad bin Hanbal) al-Mujtahid, that he attributed the direction to Allah or such, this is a lie and a false accusation to him".
وقال الشيخ شهاب الدين أحمد بن محمد المعروف بابن حجر الهيتمي الأشعري (974 )هاما نصه (الفتاوى الحديثية (ص/ 144): "عقيدة إمام السُّنة أحمد بن حنبل رضي الله عنه موافقة لعقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة من المبالغة التامّة في تنزيه الله تعالى عما يقول الظالمون والجاحدون علوّا كبيرا من الجهة والجسمية وغيرهما من سائر سمات النقص، بل وعن كل وصف ليس فيه كمال مطلق، وما اشتهر بين جهلة المنسوبين إلى هذا الإمام الأعظم المجتهد من أنه قائل بشىء من الجهة أو نحوها فكذب وبهتان وافتراء عليه"ا.هـ
But the Mushabbihah (such as the Wahhabis or so-called Salafis) twist and fabricate lies and accuse the Salaf with beliefs that no Muslim says or accepts, such as the place or bodily parts to Allah. The creed of Salaf complies with the creed of Asharis.
Imam al-Baqillaniy (one of the great Asharis) said in his book al-'Insaf page 65: "And we do not say that the ^arsh (throne) is a place of settlement or rest for Allah, because Allah existed and there was no place, and when He created the place, He did not change". He also said: "Allah is clear from being in directions, or resembling the creations, and also He is not attributed with transformation or movement, nor with standing or sitting, because such attributes are of the creations, and Allah (the creator) is clear from that".
قال القاضي أبو بكر محمد الباقلاني المالكي الأشعري (403) ما نصه"ولا نقول إن العرش له- أي الله- قرار ولا مكان، لأن الله تعالى كان ولا مكان، فلما خلق المكان لم يتغير عما كان" اهـ. وقال أيضا ما نصه: "ويجب أن يعلم أن كل ما يدل على الحدوث أو على سمة النقص فالرب تعالى يتقدس عنه، فمن ذلك: أنه تعالى متقدس عن الاختصاصبالجهات، والاتصاف بصفات المحدثات، وكذلك لا يوصف بالتحول والانتقال، ولا القيام ولا القعود، ولأن هذه الصفات تدل على الحدوث، والله تعالى يتقدس عن ذلك" اهـ.
That's the creed of al-Baqillaniy who reported the creed of the Salaf and Khalaf, which is the creed of the Prophet and the companions.
* When al-Bulqiniy died, Abul Fadl at-Tamimi came to his funeral with bare feet, along with his brothers and friends and ordered to call out during his Janazah: "This is the Imam of Alsunna and the Religion, He is the Imam of the Muslims, He is the one that used to defend the Shari^a and refute those who oppose, He is the one who compiled seventy thousand letters refuting the atheists". And he remained in his mourning ^azza' for three days, and he used to visit his grave every Saturday".
Al-Hafidh Ibn ^asakr reported from ad-Damghaniy that Imam Abul Hassan at-Tamimi al-Hanbaliy said to his companions "Stick with this man (al-Baqillaniy), for he is indispensable".
Imam al-Hafidh al-^Iraqiy, and Imam al-Qurafiy, and Ibn Hajar al-Haitamiy, and Mulla ^Ali al-Qari, and Muhammad Zahid al-Kawthariy and others reported that the Imams of the Four Schools whom are the guide of the Ummah (Imam ash-Shafi^iy, Malik, Ahmad and Abu Hanfiah Radiallahu ^anhum) all declared those who attribute to Allah the direction or the body with kufur".
نقل الإمام الحافظ العراقي والإمام القرافي والشيخ ابن حجر الهيتمي وملا علي القاري ومحمد زاهد الكوثري وغيرهم عن الأئمة الأربعة هداة الأمة الشافعي ومالك وأحمد وأبي حنيفة رضي الله عنهم القول بتكفير القائلين بالجهة والتجسيم ".
This is the belief of all the Muslims. This is the belief of the Salaf, which is the belief of the Ash^aris despite the lies of the liars like the Mushabbihah. So in reality the Salaf were Ash^aries, and below is the proof that the Mushabbihah today such as the Wahhabis or falsely called salafis oppose the beliefs of the true Salaf.
Imam Ahmad Ibn Salamah, Abu Ja^far at­Tahawiyy, who was born in the year 237 after Hijrah, and was one of the Heads of Great Salaf wrote a book called Al-^Aqidah at­Tahawiyyah. He mentioned that the content of his book is an elucidation of the creed of Ahlus­-Sunnah wal Jama^ah, which is the creed of Imam Abu Hanifah, who died in the year 150 after al­Hijrah, and his two companions, Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi and Imam Muhammad Ibn al­Hasan ash-Shaybaniyy and others.
At-Tahawiy said in his book at-Tahawiyah: "Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs and instruments. The six directions do NOT contain Him--these are attributed to all created things."
Such is the saying of Imam Abu Ja^far who is among the heads of as-Salaf. He explicitly stated that Allah is clear of being contained by the six directions, that is he is confirming that Allah exists without a place. The six directions are above, below, in front of, behind, right, and left. So this is clear evidence that the Salaf cleared Allah from organs, bodily parts, place, direction, limits and al-Kayf (manners of beings).
Imam at-Tahawiy also said: "And whoever attributes to Allah any of the manners of beings is considered a blasphemer". This is the creed of the true Salafis and not the wahhabis.
In his book, Ihya'u ^Ulum ad-Din, Imam al-Ghazaliyy said:
"... places do not contain Allah, nor do the directions, earth, or heavens. He is attributed with an "istiwa'" over al-^arsh as He said in the Qur'an--with the meaning that He willed--and not as what people may delude. It is an istiwa' which is clear of touching, resting, holding, moving and containment.Al-^arsh does not carry Him, but rather al-^arsh and those that carry al-^arsh are all carried by Allah with His Power and are subjugated to Him. He is above al-^arsh and above the heavens and above everything--in status--an aboveness that does not give Him proximity to al-^arsh or the heavens as it does not give Him farness from earth. He is higher in status than everything: higher in status than al-^arsh and the heavens, as He is higher in status than earth and the rest of the creation."
Imam al-Ghazaliyy said: " Allah, the Exalted, existed eternally and there was no place. He is not a body, jawhar (atom), or property, and He is not on a place or in a place."
Shaykh ^Abdul-Ghaniyy an-Nabulsiyy said:
"He who believes that Allah filled the heavens and earth or that He is a body sitting above al-^arsh, is a kafir."
Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniy (who is also an Ash^ari hafidh) said in his explanation of Sahih al-Bukhary (Fath al-Bari): "Attributing aboveness (Fawqiyah) to Allah is a matter of status, and the impossibility lies in it being physical." This means Allah exists without a place and is clear from being in a direction or place. And the "Fawqiyah" or aboveness when attributed to Allah it refers to abovness of status and greatness of Allah, the exalted. He is the creator Subhanahu Wa Ta^ala that does not need any of the creations in any way.
This is the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah, the Salaf, Khalaf, Ash^aris and Maturidis, which is the creed of the majority of the Muslim nation.
Allah exists without being in a place or a direction, and He knows best.
ALLAH EXISTS WITHOUT A PLACE
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. To Allah belong the endowments, befitting perfection, and commendations. We ask Allah to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad , and to protect his nation from what he fears for it. Thereafter:
The belief that Allahta^ala, exists without a place is the creed of the Messenger of Allah, the Companions, and those who graciously followed them, and it shall so be until the Day of Judgment. The proof of this precious statement is what Allah said in the Qur'an, in Surat ash-Shura,ayah 11:
قال الله تعالى: ) لَيْسَ كمثلهِ شىءٌ وهوَ السَّميعُ البصيرُ( [سورة الشورى]
which means: <Allah whatsoever, and He has the attributes of Hearing and Seeing.>> This ayah absolutely clearsAllah of resembling the creations. It comprises that Allahta^ala, is absolutely different from the creations in the Self, Attributes, and Actions. Hence, it shows that Allahta^ala, exists without a place, because whatever exists in a place is, by nature, i.e., composed of particles, i.e., it is a body, occupying a space. Allahta^ala, is clear of occupying spaces.
Al-Bukhariyy, al-Bayhaqiyy and Ibnul-Jarud related that the Messenger ofAllah, said:
روى البخارىُّ والبيهقىُّ وابنُ الجارود أن رسولَ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:
"كان الله ولم يَكُنْ شَىءٌ غَيْرُهُ".
which means: << Allah existed eternally and nothing else existed.>> Thishadith proves that only Allah existed without a beginning, i.e., before creating any of the creation. There was nothing with Allah: no place, no space, no sky, no Earth, no light, and no darkness. It is determined in the rules of the Religion and the judgments of the sound mind that Allah, the Exalted, does not change. Hence, it is impossible that after having been existing without a place, Allah will change and dwell in a place, because this is a development. The development is a sign of needing others, and the one who needs others is not God.
Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadiyy related in his book, Al-Farqu Baynal-Firaq, that Imam ^Aliyy, the fourth of the caliphs, may Allah reward his deeds, said:
نقل الإمامُ أبو منصور البغدادىُّ في كتابه "الفَرْقُ بينَ الفِرَقِ" أن الإمامَ علىَّ بنَ أبِى طالب رضى الله عنه قال: "كان الله ولا مكان، وهو الآن على ما عليه كان".
which means: << Allah existed eternally and there was no place, and He now is as He was. [i.e., without a place]>>
Imam Abu Hanifah, who is one of the authorities of Salaf, said in his bookAl-Fiqh al-Absat: << Allah existed eternally and there was no place. He existed before creating the creation. He existed, and there was no place, creation, or thing. He is the Creator of everything.>>
Imam Hafidh al-Bayhaqiyy said in his book, Al-Asma'u was-Sifat, on page 400: <<...What was mentioned towards the end of the hadith is an evidence for negating that Allah has a place and negating that the slave is alike to Allah . Allah, the Exalted, is adh-Dhahir (الظاهر) . Hence, it is valid to know about Him by proofs. Allah is al-Batin (الباطن). Hence, it is invalid that He dwells in a place.>> Al-Bayhaqiyy also said: <Allah, the saying of the Prophet,
: <adh-Dhahir (الظاهر) and there is nothing above You, and You areal-Batin (الباطن) and there is nothing underneath You." Therefore, if there is nothing above Him and nothing underneath Him, He is not in a place."
Imam Ahmad Ibn Salamah, Abu Ja^far at-Tahawiyy, who was born in the year 237 after Hijrah, wrote a very famous book called al-^Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah. He mentioned that the content of his book is an explantion of the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama^ah, which is the creed of ImamAbu Hanifah, who died in the year 150 after Hijrah, and his two companions, Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi and Imam Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan ash-Shaybaniyy and others. He said in his book:
قال الإمامُ أَبو جَعْفَرِ الطَّحَاوِىُّ السَّلَفىُّ: "تَعَالى عن الحُدُودِ والغَاياتِ والأَركانِ والأَعضَاء والأَدَوَاتِ. لا تَحوِيهِ الجِهَاتُ السّتُّ كَسَائِرِ المُبْتَدَعَاتِ".
which means: << Allah is supremely clear of all boundaries, extremes, sides, organs, and instruments. The six directions do not contain Him, for these are attributed to all created things.>> Such is the saying of ImamAbu Ja^far who is among the heads of SalafAbu Ja^far explicitly stated that Allah is clear of being contained by the six directions. The six directions are above, below, ahead, behind, right, and left.
The linguist and scholar of HadithImam Muhammad Murtada az-Zabidiyy, narrated by a continuous chain from himself back to Imam Zayn al-^Abidin^Aliyy Ibn al-Husayn Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib, (who was among the best of Salaf, who earned the title of as-Sajjad, i.e., the one who prays a lot), that Zayn al-^Abidin, in his treatise as-Sahifah as-Sajjadiyyah, said aboutAllah:
روى المحدثُ اللغوىُّ الإمامُ محمد مرتضَى الزَّبيدىُّ بالإسناد المتصل منه إلى الإمام زين العابدين رضى الله عنه وهو من رءوس السَّلف والمعروف بالسَّجَّاد، قال في رسالته المشهورة بالصَّحيفة السَّجَّاديَّة: "سبحانك أنتَ الله الذى لا يحويك مكان".
which means: <Allah, You are clear of all imperfection. You are Allah, the One Who no place contains You.>> He also said:
قال الإمام زينُ العابدين علىُّ بنُ الحسين: "سبحانك أنتَ الله الذى لستَ بمحدود"
which means: <Allah, You are clear of all imperfection. You are Allah, the One Who is not within boundaries.>>
In the explanation of Al-Bukhariyy in the chapter on Al-JihadHafidh IbnHajar al-^Asqalaniyy said: "The fact that the two directions above and below are impossible to be attributes of Allah, does not necessitate thatAllah would not be attributed with aboveness, because attributing aboveness to Allah is a matter of status and the impossibility lies in it being physical.>>
The Hanafiyy scholar Zaynud-Din Ibn Nujaym, in his book Al-Bahrur-Ra'iq, on page 129 said: <Allah to do a doing which has no wisdom commits blasphemy. Moreover, he commits blasphemy by affirming a place to Allah, the Exalted.>>
Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa^iyy al-Kabir, who lived around the year 600 afterHijrah, said:
قال الإمامُ أحمدُ الرفاعىُّ الكبير: "غايةُ المعرفةِ بالله الإيقانُ بوجوده تعالى بِلا كيفٍ ولا مكانٍ"
which means: <Allah is to be certain thatAllah exists without a how or a place. Imam Muhammad Ibn Hibah al-Makkiyy, wrote a book called Hada'iqul-Fusul wa Jawahirul-^Uqul. It came to be known as Al-^Aqidatus-Salahiyyah, after he gave it as a gift to SultanSalahud- Din al-Ayyubiyy, who ordered that this book be taught to the children in schools and broadcast from the top of minarets. In his book he said:
قال الإمامُ محمدُ بنُ هِبَةَ المكّىُّ فى قصيدته "حدائقُ الفُصُولِ وجواهرُ العُقُول"
المعروفةِ أيضًا باسم "العقيدة الصَّلاحية":
"قد كان موجودا ولا مكانا
وحكمُه الآن على ما كانَا"
Which means: << Allah existed eternally and there was no place, and the judgment about His existence now is that He is as He was [i.e., without a place]>>.
Imam Ja^far as-Sadiq said: <Allah is in something or on something or from something commits shirk (blasphemy). Because, if He was in something, He would be contained, and if He was on something, He would be carried, and if He was from something, He would be a creature.
Shaykh ^Abdul-Ghaniyy an-Nabulusiyy said: <Allahfills the heavens and Earth or that He is a body sitting above the ^Arsh(ceiling of Paradise; throne) is a kafir.>>
Imam Fakhrud-Din Ibn ^Asakir said in his ^AqidahAllah existed before the creation. He does not have a before or an after, an above or a below, a right or a left, an ahead or a behind, a whole or a part. It must not be said: When was He, Where was He, or how was He? Allah exists without a place. He created the universe and willed for the existence of time. He is not bound by time or designated with place.>>
Imam Abu Sulayman al-Khattabiyy said: <>, and <> does not apply to Allah or His Attributes.>>
Know beyond doubt that the question <> (kayf:كيف:) does not apply to Allah. <> is a question related to shapes, bodies, places, depths, and dimensions. Allah is clear of all such attributes. Also be firm that it is invalid to say about Allah <<... but we do not know how>>, because in essence, it falsely indicates that Allah has a color, shape, dimensions, body and place, but one is simply ignorant of its <>.
Imam al-Ghazaliyy said: << Allah, the Exalted, existed eternally and there was no place. He is not a body, jawhar (minute indivisible particle), or bodily property, and He is not on a place or in a place.>>
All of these sayings show that attributing the physical aboveness and the place to Allah is contrary to the Qur'anHadithIjma^, and intellectual proof. The intellectual proof that Allah exists without a place lies in the fact that God has the attributes of perfection. Needing others is not an attribute of perfection. The one who occupies place needs that place. The one who needs others (whether it is a place or any other creation) is not God. Moreover, as the mind determines that Allah existed without a place before creating places. The mind also determines that after Allah created the places, He still exists without a place.
The scholars, like Imam Ahmad ar-Rifa^iyy, determined that lifting the hands and the faces towards the sky when performing du^a' (supplication) is because the heavens are the qiblah of du^a' just as the Ka^bah is theQiblah of Salah. From the heavens, the mercies and blessings of Allahdescend.
Hence, it is clear for the one who seeks the truth that the saying that Allahexists without a place is what complies with the Qur'anHadithIjma^, and criteria of the sound intellect. Be firm and certain that before creating places, Allah, Who created everything (places and everything else), existed without a place, and after creating places, Allah still exists without a place.
Since we have determined that the creed of the Muslims is that Allah exists without a place and that the question "how" does not apply to Allah, it is clear to us that the ^Arsh (Throne), which is the largest of all the creations and the ceiling of Paradise, is not a place for Allah, the Exalted.
Imam Abu Mansur al-Baghdadiyy related that Imam ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph, said:
نَقَلَ الإمامُ أبو مَنْصورِ البغدادىُّ أنَّ الإمام علىّ بنَ أبى طالب رضى الله عنه قال: "إنَّ الله تَعَالى خَلَقَ العَرْشَ إظْهَارًا لِقُدْرَتِهِ وَلم يَتَّخِذُهُ مَكانًا لِذَاتِهِ"
which means: <<Allah created the ^Arsh as an indication of His Power and did not take it as a place for Himself.>>
Imam Abu Hanifah said in his book, al-Wasiyyah,: <<...and He is the Preserver of the ^Arsh and everything else, without needing them, for had He been in need, He would not have the power to create, manage, and preserve the world. Moreover, had He been in a place needing to sit and rest, before creating the ^Arsh, where was Allah?>> That is, the question <Allah >> would have applied to Him, which is impossible.
Also, in his book, Al-Fiqh al-AbsatImam Abu Hanifah said: <<Allah existed eternally and there was no place; He existed before creating the creation. He existed and there was not a place, creation, or thing; and He is the Creator of everything. He who says ‘I do not know if my Lord is in the heavens or on Earth', is a kafir. Also is a kafir whoever says that `He is on the ^Arsh, and I do not know whether the ^Arsh is in the heaven or on Earth.'>>
Consequently, Imam Ahmad declared whoever says these last two phrases that is a kafir, because they contain attributing a direction, boundary, and place to Allah. Everything that has a direction and boundary is by necessity in need of a Creator. Thus, it is not the intention of Imam Abu Hanifah to prove that the heaven and ^Arsh are places for Allah, as those who likenAllah to the creation claim. This is by virtue of the aforementioned saying of the Imam: <^Arsh where was Allah?>>, which is clear in negating that Allahhas a direction or a place.
In his book, Ihya'u ^Ulumid-Din, Imam al-Ghazaliyy said: <<...places do not contain Him [Allah], nor do the directions, Earth, or heavens. He is attributed with an istiwa' (استواء) over the ^Arsh as He said in the Qur'an, with the meaning that He willed and not as what people may delude. It is anistiwa’ (استواء) which is clear of touching, resting, holding, moving, and containment. The ^Arsh does not carry Him, but rather the ^Arsh and those who carry it are all carried by Allah's Power, and they are subjugated to Him. He is above the ^Arsh, the heavens, and everything in status, with an aboveness that does not give Him proximity to the ^Arsh or the heavens as it does not give Him farness from Earth. He is higher in status than everything: higher in status than the ^Arsh and the heavens, as He is higher in status than Earth and the rest of the creation.>>
Shaykh ^Abdul-Ghaniyy an-Nabulusiyy said: <Allahfilled the heavens and Earth or that He is a body sitting above the ^Arsh, is a kafir.>> Ayah 93 of Surat Maryam:
قال الله تعالى: )إن كلُّ مَن فى السمواتِ والأرضِ إلا ءاتِى الرحمنِ عبدًا( [سورة مريم]
means: <Allah as slaves.>> In this Tafsir (book of explaining the Qur'an), Imam ar-Raziyysaid: <ayah that everything that existed in the heavens and Earth is a slave of Allah (i.e., owned by and subjugating toAllah) and since it is obligatory that Allah is clear of being owned, thus He is clear of being in a place or direction, or on the ^Arsh or Kursiyy.>>
Hence, ayah 5 of Surat Taha, in the Qur'an:
قال الله تعالى: )الرَّحمنُ على العرشِ استوى( [سورة طه]
clearly does not mean that Allah sits on the ^Arsh or that Allah is firmly established on the ^Arsh. In the Arabic language, the word istawa (استوى) has fifteen (15) different meanings, among which are to sit, subjugate, protect, conquer, and preserve. Based on what we have covered so far, it is obvious that it is blasphemous to apply the meaning <> to Allah. However, the terms to preserve and to subjugate are in compliance with the Religion and the Arabic language.
Imam Hafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hambaliyy explained the meaning of istiwa'(استواء) as istila' (استيلاء), which means subjugating. That is, Allah attributed Himself with subjugating the ^Arsh in eternity (the status of existing without a beginning, that is, before creating the creation). Since the ^Arsh, the largest creation of Allah, is subjugated to Allah, then everything else which is smaller than the ^Arsh is under the control of Allah.
It was affirmed about Imam Malik Ibn Anas, may Allah reward his deeds, in what al-Bayhaqiyy related with a sound chain from the route of ^Abdullah Ibn Wahb, that <Malik's when a man entered and said, <Abu ^Abdillah, (meaning Imam Malik), ar-Rahmanu ^alal-^Arsh istawa, how did He istawa?>> Malik looked down dismayed and he lifted his head and said <<^alal ^Arsh istawa as He attributed to Himself. It is invalid to say how, and `how' does not apply to Him. I see that you are an innovator. Order him out.>> Hence, the saying of Imam Malik, <<`How' does not apply to Him,>> means that His istiwa' over the ^Arsh is without a how, i.e., it is not with a body, place, shape, or form like sitting, touching, suspending above, and the like.
Hence, there is no basis for the saying of those who liken Allah to the creation, which they falsely attribute to Imam Malik, that istiwa' is known and the how of it is unknown. This saying of theirs is invalid, because sitting, no matter how it is, will be by organs and body parts that fold. Moreover, the statement claiming that Imam Malik attributed a <> to Allah is a fabrication.
Imam al-Lalika'iyy narrated about Umm Salamah and Rabi^ah Ibn Abi^Abdir-Rahman:
رَوَى اللالِكائىُّ عن أم سَلَمَة ورَبيعةَ بن أبِى عبد الرحمن: "الاستواءُ غيرُ مجهول والكيف غيرُ معقولٍ"
which means: <istiwa' (استواء) is not unknown, because it is mentioned in the Qur'an. The kayf (كيف), that is, its how is inconceivable, because its applicability to Allah is impossible.>> Hence, the hadiths and theayahs that attribute aboveness to Allah, refer to the aboveness of status and not the aboveness of place, distance, direction, touching, or suspending.
In Surat al-An^am ayah 61Allah said:
قال الله تعالى: )وهو القاهرُ فوقَ عبادهُ( [سورة الأنعام]
which means: <Allah] is the One Who subjugates His slaves>>. Hence the term fawq used in this ayah refers to subjugation and not to a place or a direction.
Beware of what appeared in the so-called Translation of the Qur'an by Yusuf Ali and the so-called revised version issued and printed by King Fahd HolyQur'an Printing Complex in al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, where on page 879, in interpreting ayah 5 in Surat Taha:
قال الله تعالى: )الرحمن على العرش استوى( [سورة طه]
they say: <> and in the footnote they explicitey say: <>
Similarly, be aware of all the other parts of this book which liken Allah to His creation, like on page 1799 where in ayah 42 of Surat al-Qalam:
قال الله تعالى: )يومَ يُكشفُ عن ساق( [سورة القلم]
They attribute a shin to Allah, while the term <<saq>> (ساق) in this verse means <>. Hence the ayah means The Judgment Day will be a day of anguish and hardship for the blasphemers. On page 1015 in interpreting Surat an-Nurayah 35:
قال الله تعالى: )الله نور السمواتِ والأرض( [سورة النور]
They say Allah is the light and in the footnote they say explicitey: We can only think of Allah in terms of our phenomenal experience. Allah cannot be imagined. This verse means that Allah is the Creator of the light of guidance for the inhabitants of the heavens and the believing inhabitants of Earth, as was explained by Abdullah Ibn Abbas.
Another translation of the Qur'an was published also by King Fahd Printing Complex under the name of The Noble Qur'an. The two translators followed the methodology of the mushabbihah in translating the meanings of themutashabih verses. They attribute to Allah different bodily parts (see page 81, footnote V3:73).
The mushabbihah are those who liken Allah to the creation; they believeAllah resembles the creation. They attribute to Allah places, directions, shapes, and bodies, and they try to camouflage it by saying: However, we do not know how His place is, or how His sitting is, or how His face is, or how His shin is, or how His light is. All of that does not clear them of blasphemy, because Allah is not composed of body parts and does not resemble the creation in any way whatsoever.
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds, the One Who is clear of resembling the creation, all nonbefitting attributes, and all that which the blasphemers unrightfully say about Him.
Allah Knows Best
THE "HAND" OF ALLAH
by GF Haddad - Rajab 1423
"I heard Mâlik [ibn Anas] say: 'Whoever recites (the Hand of Allâh) (3:73, 5:64, 48:10, 57:29) and indicates his hand, or recites (the Eye of Allâh) (cf. 20:39, 11:37, 23:27, 52:48, 54:14) and indicates that organ of his: let it be cut off to discipline him concerning the Sacredness and Transcendence beyond what he has compared Him to, and above his own comparison to Him. Both his life and the limb he compared to Allâh are cut off." Ibn Wahb.1
Ibn `Asâkir wrote:
The Mu`tazila said: He has a "hand" (yad) but His "hand" is his power (qudra) and favor (ni`ma), while His "face" (wajh) is His existence. The H.ashwiyya said: His hand is a limb (jârih.a), and His face has a form (s.ûra).2 Al-Ash`arî took the middle road and said: His hand is an Attribute and His face is an Attribute, just like His hearing and His sight.3
The Salaf and later scholars interpreted the Hand of Allâh (swt) in various ways depending, among other factors whether the singular or the plural is used.

Concerning the verse { We have built the heaven with (Our) hands }(51:47), al-T.abarî narrated in his Tafsîr that Ibn `Abbâs said: "It means: with strength." He reports an identical position from Mujâhid, Qatâda, Mans.ûr, Ibn Zayd, and Sufyân al-Thawrî. This is also Imâm al-Ash`arîs explanation a reported by Ibn Fûrâk in the latters recension of Ash`arîs school.4

However, al-Ash`arî in al-Ibâna and his student Ibn Khafîf pointed out the difference between the plural hands (aydin) on the one hand, and the singular and dual on the other.5 The tawîl of the Salaf with regard to the plural hands is based on the lexical possibility of the meaning of al-yad among the Arabs as signifiying strength (al-quwwa). Thus the same verse (51:47) is cited in al-Zabîdîs massive Arabic dictionary as an illustration that "hands" means "strength."6 This is also the interpretation retained by al-Nawawî in his commentary on Muslims S.ah.îh. and other later Ash`arîs. It is confirmed by the verse: (Make mention of our bondmen, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, men of parts [literally "of two hands"] and vision) (38:45) meaning men possessing strength.
It also means ownership (al-mulk) as He said: (Lo! the bounty is in the hand of Allâh) (3:73).
According to some scholars it also means favor (al-ni`ma), as it is said: "So-and-so has a hand over so-and-so," to mean that he owes him a favor.

It also means a kind of link, as Allâh said: (Or he agrees to forego it in whose hand is the marriage tie) (2:237).
Other meanings are generosity, kindness, and mercy. Dr. al-Bût.î wrote: "The hand of Allâh (swt) is His strength in His saying: (The hand of Allâh is over their hand) (48:10) and His generosity in His saying: (Nay, both His hands are spread wide, and He bestows as He wills) (5:64)."7
Imâm al-Bayhaqî said in his masterpiece al-Asmâ wal-S.ifât:
Some of the keenest scholars have said that the Right (al-yamîn) signifies the Hand (al-yad), and the Palm (al-kaff) likewise, in the sense that the hand for Allâh is an Attribute, not a limb.8 Thus every passage that mentions it in the Book and the authentic Sunna carries a meaning in connection with the object of mention such as folding up, taking, seizing, spreading, sweeping, accepting, giving, and other acts connecting the personal Attributes to what those attributes entail, without touch nor contact. There is never in all this any likeness between Allâh and creation whatsoever. Others have said that the handful (al-qabd.a) [in the verse (The whole earth is His handful on the Day of Resurrection) (39:67)] may be by means of a limb - exalted is Allâh beyond that! - while others said that it may mean dominion (al-mulk) and power (al-qudra).. . . as in His saying: (From among those whom your right hands possess) (30:28) which signifies property. It was also said that by the verse (And the heavens are rolled in His right hand) (39:67) is meant that the heavens are bound to disappear according to his oath. That is, He swore an oath to abolish them. . .
About the Prophet’s hadîth: "No one spends something good in charity - and Allâh accepts nothing but good - except the Merciful takes it with His right hand (yamînih), if only a date; it increases in the palm of the Merciful (kaff al-Rah.mân) until it exceeds the size of a mountain, just as one of you makes his parcel of land productive."9 His saying "The Mercifuls palm" (kaff) means His dominion and sovereignty according to the keenest scholars.10
Al-Mâzarî said: "This h.adîth and its likes are only expressions that follow their usage so that they would understand his [the Prophets] meaning, so it metaphorically refers (kannâ) to the acceptance of alms as the right hand and to its reward as its increase." `Iyâd. said something similar, both as reported by Ibn H.ajar.11
Al-Bayhaqî continues:
About the h.adîth whereby a Jew ( or: one of the rabbis ) said to the Prophet : "Allâh places the heavens on a finger, the earths on a finger, the trees on a finger, the undersoil on a finger, and all creatures on a finger." Hearing this, the Prophet  smiled until his molar teeth showed. A version in the two S.ah.îh.s specifies: "he smiled in confirmation of the rabbis words." Then he said: {And they esteem not Allâh as He has the right to be esteemed} (39:67).12 Abû Sulaymân al-Khat.t.âbî said:
The Jews are anthropomorphists, and they claim that part of the revealed Torah consists in expressions that support anthropomorphism. However, the Muslims do not accept such expressions among their doctrines. It is established that the Prophet  said: "Whatever the People of the Book narrate to you, neither believe nor disbelieve them, but say:
{We believe in Allâh and whatever was revealed to us} (2:136)."13
The Prophet  is the most apt of all creation to have applied this command in the above report. The proof for the veracity of this fact is that he did not utter a single word to confirm nor deny it. All that he let show was a smile, which in one case expresses approval, in another, surprise and disapproval. Then he recited the verse which may apply to either case, but there is no mention of fingers in the verse. As for the words of one of the narrators – “in confirmation of the rabbi’s words” – they are pure speculation, and the matter of this supposed confirmation remains a weak view for what he let show does not explicitly disclose one view over the other ... To adduce a proof from smiling or laughter in such a tremendous instance is therefore not allowed in the presence of two conflicting interpretations for the evidence.14

About the Prophet’s  h.adîth"There is no heart except it lies between the two fingers of the Merciful. If He wishes, He will set it aright; and if He wishes, He will lead it astray."15 It means that the hearts are under his power and dominion. They were mentioned specifically because Allâh Almighty has made the heart the seat of passing thoughts, will, resolutions and intentions, which are all the introductories of actions. Then He made all the limbs dependent on the heart in their motions and stillness, thereby showing that our actions are all measured out by Allâh and created, and that nothing happens without His will.
The Prophet  exemplified for His Companions the Divine pre-eternal power with the illustration clearest to their own understandings,16 for none has more power over something than when he has it between his fingers. It may also mean the two favors of benefit and protection, or the two traces of Divine favor and justice.
Of the h.adîth of the Rabbi, Shaykh al-Islâm al-Nawawî said: "This is among the h.adîths of the Divine Attributes. We already mentioned the two schools on this. One school gives an explanation and the other refrains from giving an explanation together with belief in it and the conviction that the outward sense is not meant. According to those who gave an explanation, they interpret the fingers here to power and strength. That is, He created them in all their vastness without the least fatigue nor weariness. People speak of the fingers in this context for exaggeration and deprecation. For example, they say: 'With one finger I can kill X.' Meaning, it requires no effort on my part. It was also said that the finger of one of His creatures may be meant. This is not impossible. In any case, the hand as limb is precluded [for Allâh]. As for the narrators words, 'the Messenger of Allâh smiled in surprise (ta`ajjuban) at what the rabbi had said and in confirmation (tas.dîqan) of his words then he said:
And they esteem not Allâh as He has the right to be esteemed}:
the apparent meaning here is that the Prophet  confirmed the rabbis words that Allâh (swt) seizes the heavens and the earth and all creatures with the fingers, then he recited the verse that indicates something like what he had just said. Al-Qâd.î said that one of the Scholars of kalâm [al-Khat.t.âbî] said: `His smiling  and his surprise and recitation of the verse do not constitute a confirmation for the rabbi but rather a refutation of what he said, disapproval, and surprise at his wrong belief. For the Jews are anthropomorphists and he [the Prophet ] understood this from him. As for the words “in confirmation of him,” they are an interpolation on the part of the narrator according to his understanding.’ But the first explanation is stronger.”18

These interpretations are all acceptable and they do not imply the slightest denial of any of the Divine Attributes on which there is consensus. We should nevertheless obligatorily believe that the word yad (hand) does not mean an organ as we know it, in accordance with the verse: {There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him} (42:11) and that the word yad does not imply a resemblance to creatures. Hence, Ibn H.ajars statement: "The elite of the mutakallimûn said:
'He knows not Allâh, who attributes Him resemblance to His creation, or attributes a hand to Him, or a son."19
Contrary to this, the doctrine of the Literalists consists in attributing an actual hand to the Creator. Thus Bin Baz charges al-Qâd.î `Iyâd. and Ibn H.ajar with abandoning the way of Ahl al-Sunna for stating that the Hand of Allâh does not pertain to a bodily appendage.20 This is similar to the pretext of the anthropomorphist who said: "We expelled Ibn H.ibbân from Sijistân for his lack of Religion: he used to say that Allâh is not limited."
As for the saying reported from the Prophet : "The Black Stone is the right hand of Allâh,"21 if established as true, then it is interpreted figuratively according to the doctrinal necessity that Allâh is neither spatially confined anywhere nor divisible, and the fact that the senses witness that the Black Stone is not really the right hand of Allâh. Therefore, the h.adîth is taken variously to mean prosperity, blessing, acceptance, and the context of the Muslims pledge of loyalty to their Creator. Yet Ibn Rajab relates that Ibn al-Fa`ûs al-H.anbalî (d. 521) would say: "The Black Stone is the Right Hand of Allâh in reality (h.aqîqatan)," for which he was nicknamed "The Stony" (al-H.ajarî).22 Ibn Fûrâk writes that he embarked on a study of kalâm because of this h.adîth.23 Ibn Qutayba said that it was actually a saying of Ibn `Abbâs, and he relates a saying of `Âisha )#  that the Black Stone is the depository of the covenant of human souls with Allâh on the Day of Promise (alastu bi rabbikum). He interprets the Black Stone as representing the place where one declares ones pledge of fidelity to the Sovereign.24 Ibn H.ajar cites al-Khat.t.âbîs and al-Muh.ibb al-T.abarîs similar interpretations.25 Al-Qurt.ubî said: "It means that the Black Stone has the standing (manzila) of the Right Hand of Allâh"? metaphorically speaking."26
Another h.adîth brought up by the anthropomorphists is the narration of Abû Hurayra that "The Prophet  recited the verse (Lo! Allâh commands you that you restore deposits to their owners, and, if you judge between mankind, that you judge justly. Lo! excellent is this which Allâh admonishes you. Lo! Allâh is ever Hearer, Seer) (4:58) whereupon he e placed his thumb on his ear and his index finger on his eye."27 This h.adîth must be read together with Ibn H.ibbâns commentary:
By placing his fingers on his ear and eye the Prophet  wanted to let people know that Allâh Almighty does not hear by means of the ear that has an auditory meatus and curves, nor does He see with the eye that has eyelids, a pupil, and a white part. Highly exalted is our Lord above any likeness with His creatures in any way whatsoever! Rather, He hears and sees without organ (âla) in any way He wishes.28
Al-Bayhaqî said of the same h.adîth:
What is meant by the gesture narrated in this report is the verification that Allâh is described as possessing hearing and sight. He therefore pointed to the two places of hearing and sight in us to affirm that Allâh possesses the Attributes of hearing and sight.29
Ibn `Abd al-Salâm gave the following fatwâ concerning the interpretation of yad:
Q. What is the meaning of the Prophets e saying: "The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the Merciful, He turns it over as He wishes"? Does one contravene his obligation if he says: "I do not say anything concerning the verses and the h.adîths on the Attributes. Rather I hold the same belief concerning them as the Pious Salaf held. To speak about them is an innovation (bid`a), and I let them pass according to their external sense,” or is interpretation necessary?
A. The meaning of the Prophet’s  saying, “The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the Merciful” is that Allâh exerts His custody over it with His power and determination as He wills, changing it from disbelief to belief and from obedience to disobedience or the reverse.
It is like His saying: (Blessed is He in Whose hand is the dominion) (67:1) and: (O Prophet! Say unto those captives who are in your hands) (8:70). It is understood that the captives were not left in the physical hands of the Muslims but that they were subdued and conquered by them. The same applies to the expressions: “Specific and non-specific matters are in the hand of so-and-so,” and “The slaves and the animals are in the hand of so-and-so.” It is understood that all these mean that they are in his control (istîlâ) and disposal and not in his physical hand. Similarly the saying of Allâh: (Or he agrees to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie) (2:237). The marriage tie is not in his physical hand, but the hand is only an expression of his empowerment and his ability to dispose of the matter.
For one to say: “I believe in this matter what the Salaf believed” is a lie. How does he believe what he has no idea about, and the meaning of which he does not know?
Nor is speaking about the meaning a reprehensible innovation, but rather an obligatory excellent innovation (bid`a h.asana wâjiba), whenever something dubious appears. The only reason the Salaf kept away from such discourse is that in their time no one construed the words of Allâh and those of His Prophet to mean what it is not permissible to construe them to mean. If any such dubiousness had appeared in their time they would have shown it to be a lie and rejected it strenuously! Thus did the Companions and the Salaf refute the Qadariyya when the latter brought out their innovation, although they did not use to address such matters before the Qadariyya appeared on the scene. Nor did they reply to the individuals who mentioned them. Nor did any of the Companions relate any of it from the Prophet since there was no need for it. And Allâh knows best."30
The Mâturîdî position is comprehensively stated by Fakhr al-Islâm al-Pazdawi (d. 482):
For us [Mâturîdîs], (those who are firmly grounded in knowledge) (3:7) have no share in the knowledge of the ambiguous content of Qurân (al-mutashâbih) other than pure acquiescence (al-taslîm), believing in the real nature of the meaning (h.aqqiyyat al-murâd) in the Divine presence and that the pause at His saying: (None knows its explanation save Allâh) (3:7) is required (waqf wâjib). The People of Belief belong to one of two levels in knowledge: some over-zealously demand that it be read without pause - those are tested with a form of ignorance - and some demand the pause - those are honored with a form of knowledge"?. An example of the ambiguous verses are the individual letters that open certain suras. Another example is the affirmation of the vision of Allâh (swt) with the sight of the eyes in reality in the hereafter, according to the explicit text of the Qurân: (On that day will faces be resplendent, looking towards their Lord) (75:22-23). For He exists with the Attribute of perfection, and the fact that He can be seen both by Himself and others, is among the characteristics of perfection; moreover, the believer is apt to receive such bestowal of the Divine gift. However, the affirmation of direction is precluded (ithbât al-jiha mumtani`). It follows that the description of the vision is among the ambiguities, ans so it is obligatory to acquiesce to it while believing in its reality. Similarly, the affirmation of the Hand and the Face are real (ithbât al-yad wal-wajh h.aqq) in our School, known in its principle but ambiguous in its description (ma`lûmun bi as.lihi mutashâbihun bi was.fihi). It will not be permitted to invalidate the principle on the grounds that one is unable to comprehend the description. The Mu`tazila went astray only in this respect, for they rejected the principles because of their ignorance of the Attributes and became nullifiers-of-the-Attributes (mu`at.t.ila).”31
Allâh knows best.
Notes:
[1] In Ibn al-`Arabî al-Mâlikî, Ah.kâm al-Qur'ân (4:1740).
[2] This is the “Salafî” position as stated by `Abd Allâh al-H.âshidî, who openly attributes form and shape to Allâh in his comments on al-Bayhaqî's al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (2:60): “As for our Lord, we affirm that He possesses a form (sûra)” and (2:67) “As for us we affirm a form (sûra) for Allâh unlike forms.” Rather, as the first line in Ibn `Abd al-Salâm's Mulh.a states, “He is not a body endowed with form.” Note that the Karrâmiyya said: “Allâh is a body unlike bodies.” Al-Dhahabî, Siyar (10:10). Worse yet is the citation of the Torah's verse “We shall create man in our image and likeness” by the anthropomorphist author of `Aqîdat Ahl al-?mân fî Khalqi ?dama `alâ S.ûrat al-Rah.mân! (“The Doctrine of the Believers Concerning the Creation of ?dam in the Image of the Merciful”). The pure Sunnî position is: “Allâh is described with the Attribute of Face and that of Hand, together with the upholding of His Transcendence (tanzîh) above having a form (s.ûra) and a limb (jârih.a).” `Ala' al-Dîn al-Bukhârî (d. 730) in his commentary on al-Pazdawi's Us.ûl entitled Kashf al-Asrâr (1:60). Al-Bayhaqî states the Sunnî position thus: “It is impermissible that the Creator be attributed form (s.ûra), nor does He possess form, because form is variegated (mukhtalifa) and appearances are mutually contrasted (al-hay'ât mutad.âd.d.a). Because of their mutual contrast He cannot be described as having them in general; likewise, he cannot be described as having one of them in particular.” Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 289; H.âshidî ed. 2:60). Cf. Ibn al-Jawzî in Daf` Shibah al-Tashbîh (1998 al-Kawtharî repr. p. 35): “Know that it is obligatory upon every Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Muslim" to firmly hold that it is impermissible to attribute to Allâh (swt) form (sûra), which consists in physiognomy (hay'a) and combination (ta'lîf).”
[3] Ibn `Asâkir, Tabyîn (p. 150-151).
[4] Abû Bakr ibn Fûrâk, Mujarrad Maqâlât al-Ash`arî (Beirut, 1987) p. 44.
[5] See Ibn Khafîf's al-`Aqîda al-S.ah.îh.a §28.
[6] Tâj al-`Arûs (10:417).
[7] Al-Bût.î, al-Salafiyya (p. 132-133). For “Hands” = kindness, mercy, generosity, etc. see al-Qârî, Mirqât al-Mafâtîh. (1892 ed. 2:137, 1994 ed. 3:302) and al-Nawawî, Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim, h.adîth “Then He stretches out both hands, saying: `Who shall loan One Who is neither indigent nor inequitable?'” This phrase concludes the h.adîth of descent in one of Muslim's narrations.
[8] Cf. Imâm Mâlik as narrated by Ibn Wahb in this Appendix.
[9] Narrated from Abû Hurayra (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Abû Hurayra" by Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Muslim" , Ah.mad, al-Nasâ'î, Ibn Mâjah, and al-Tirmidhî who said it is h.asan s.ah.îh..
[10] Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 330-331; H.âshidî ed. 2:159-160).
[11] In Fath. al-Bârî (3:280).
[12] Narrated from Ibn Mas`ûd by al-Bukhârî, Muslim, al-Tirmidhî, and Ah.mad (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Muslim".
[13] Narrated from Abû Hurayra (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Abû Hurayra" by al-Bukhârî. The complete narration states: “The People of the Book would read the Torah in Hebrew and explain it in Hebrew to the People of Islâm, whereupon the Prophet xxs said: `Neither believe nor disbelieve the People of the Book, but say: (We believe in Allâh and whatever was revealed to us) (2:136).
[14] Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 334-338; H.âshidî ed. 2:169-170). Al-Qurt.ubî also explained the Prophet's xxs smile here to mean disapproval in light of the verse that follows it and rejected the phrase “in confirmation of the rabbi's words” as an narrator's interpolation. Cf. Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 336) and Fath. al-Bârî (13:398) for both al-Khat.t.âbî and al-Qurt.ubî's explanations. This is also al-Qâd.î `Iyâd.'s position as mentioned by al-Nawawî in Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Muslim" and it is confirmed by another narration connected with the revelation of verse 39:67. Al-Mubârakfûrî typically voices the opposite opinion in Tuh.fat al-Ah.wadhî and cites Ibn Khuzayma's (d. 311) vituperation in his al-Tawh.îd that whoever claims the Prophet xxs smiled in lieu of explicitly upbraiding, does not deserve to be called Muslim. This shows that the interpretation of the smile as meaning disapproval existed among the Salaf and long before al-Khat.t.âbî.
[15] Narrated from `Abd Allâh ibn `Amr by Muslim and Ah.mad (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Muslim" , from Anas by al-Tirmidhî (h.asan s.ah.îh.) and Ibn Mâjah, and from al-Nawwâs ibn Sam`ân al-Kilâbî by Ah.mad, al-Nasâ'î, Ibn Mâjah, Ibn H.ibbân, al-H.âkim, and others, all with sound chains. Al-H.âkim declared the h.adîth sound and al-Dhahabî concurred. The continuation of the h.adîth states that the Prophet xxs used to say: “O Transformer of hearts! Make firm our hearts in Your Religion,” and that he also said: “And the balance is in the hand of the Merciful, He elevates a people while he abases others, and so until the Day of Resurrection.”
[16] This is also al-Wâh.idî's (d. 468) explanation in his Asbâb al-Nuzûl (p. 312 #774).
[17] Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 341; H.âshidî ed. 2:174).
[18] Al-Nawawî (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Nawawî" , Sharh. S.ah.îh. Muslim (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Muslim" (17:129-131).
[19] Ibn H.ajar, Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 3:361 #1425).
[20] Ibn H.ajar, Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 3:361 n.; 1989 ed. 3:357 n.)
[21] Narrated from Ibn `Abbâs, Jâbir, Anas, and others by Ibn Abî `Umar (rad.i-Allahu `anhu) "Umar" al-Ma`danî in his Musnad, al-T.abarânî, al-Suyût.î in his Jâmi` al-Saghîr (1:516 #3804-3805), Ibn `Asâkir in Târîkh Dimashq (15:90- 92), al-Khat.îb in Târîkh Baghdâd (6:328), and others. It is considered forged by Ibn al-Jawzî and Ibn `Adî (al-Kâmil 1:342). Cf. al-Ah.dab, Zawâ'id Târîkh Baghdâd (5:321-323 #949). However, al-`Ajlûnî stated that it is s.ah.îh. as a halted report from Ibn `Abbâs as narrated by al-Qud.â`î with the wording: “The Corner [of the Black Stone] (al-rukn) is the Right Hand of Allâh on earth ... ,” and declared it h.asan as a h.adîth of the Prophet xxs. Ibn Qutayba in Ta'wîl Mukhtalif al-H.adîth (1972 ed. p. 215=1995 ed. p. 198, 262) said that it was a saying of Ibn `Abbâs and relates a saying of `Âisha (rad.i-Allahu `anha) `Âisha "that the Black Stone is the depository of the covenant of human souls with Allâh (swt) on the Day of Promise (alastu bi rabbikum). Its mention in the Reliance of the Traveller (p. 853b) as “narrated by al-H.âkim, who declared it s.ah.îh., from `Abd Allâh ibn `Amr,” is incorrect. Note: An authentic narration states that the Black Stone shall appear with two eyes and a tongue on the Day of Resurrection. Narrated by al-Tirmidhî, Ibn Mâjah, Ah.mad, al-Dârimî, Ibn H.ibbân (#3711-3712), and others.
[22] Ibn Rajab, Dhayl T.abaqât al-H.anâbila (1:173-174 #74).
[23] As related by Ibn al-Subkî in T.abaqât al-Shâfi`iyya (4:129).
[24] Ibn Qutayba, Ta'wîl Mukhtalif al-H.adîth (1972 ed. p. 215; 1995 ed. p. 198, 262).
[25] In Fath. al-Bârî (1959 ed. 3:463 #1520).
[26] In al-Asnâ fî Sharh. Asmâ' Allâh al-H.usnâ (2:90-91).
[27] Narrated by Abû Dâwûd, Ibn H.ibbân (1:498 #265) with a sound chain, his shaykh Ibn Khuzayma in al-Tawh.îd, al-H.âkim (1:24), al-Lâlikâ'î in Sharh. I`tiqâd Ahl al-Sunna (3:410 #788) and al-Bayhaqî in al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât. Al-Kawtharî comments (Asmâ' p. 179 n. 2): “This h.adîth is narrated only through [H.armala ibn `Imrân al-Tujîbî] al-H.âjib, and if it were considered authentic among the people of Madîna, the Imâm of the Abode of Emigration would not have shown the greatest severity in prohibiting this gesture, as in al-Qâd.î `Iyâd.'s al-Shifâ'.” (See above, n. NOTEREF _Ref439133760 \h 1.) Al-H.âshidî, quoting this comment, alters it to read (Asmâ' 1:463 n.): “This h.adîth is narrated only through al-H.âjib, although it is authentic ...”!
[28] Ibn H.ibbân (1:498 #265).
[29] Al-Asmâ' wal-S.ifât (Kawtharî ed. p. 179-180; H.âshidî ed. 1:462-463).
[30] Al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salâm, Fatâwâ (p. 55-57) and al-Fatâwâ al-Maws.iliyya (p. 45-47).
[31] Al-Pazdawi in `Ala' al-Dîn al-Bukhârî's commentary on al-Pazdawi's Us.ûl entitled Kashf al-Asrâr (1:55-60). `Ala' al-Dîn al-Bukhârî comments: (1:60) “By saying: `For us,' the Shaykh shunned the position of those who say: `Allâh is not to be described as possessing a face and hands, rather, what is meant by the face is contentment (al-ridâ) or the Essence (al-dhât) and the like; and what is meant by the hand is power or favor and the like.' The Shaykh therefore said: Rather, Allâh is described with the Attribute of Face and that of Hand, together with the upholding of His Transcendence (tanzîh) above having a form (s.ûra) and a limb (jârih.a).... Similarly with the affirmation of modality (ithbât al-kayfiyya): its description is ambiguous, therefore it is obligatory to acquiesce to it, firmly believing in its reality without busying oneself with interpretation.”
1st Link
http://es.scribd.com/doc/20797696/the-hadith-of-the-slave-girl-and-istawa
2nd Link
http://yusuftracyal-ashrafiyyah.webs.com/tahawiyyahonistawa.htm

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