Originally Posted by Ibn-Ahmed Herz
asalamu alaikum warahmatullah
None of the four fuqaha who literally affirmed hands for Allah did not consider the affirmation of the Attributes of Allah as "affirming body parts". Likewise when todays people who are labelled as "salafi" or who call themselves as such affirm what is to be affirmed based on what the pious ancestors affirmed
That debate is the present debate between "salafi" and between the majority of sunnis
this is an oxymoron. salafis don;t refute salafis or sunnis don;t refute sunnis.
If your talking about todays situation where people who are called "salafis" or any other name to imply degradation, and the talking points raised by these people in contradistinction to the alternative group which is known as ahlul-kalaam, and they are what many people call today as ash'aris and or maturidis, then this statement makes much more sense.
For us to say that allah has 2 "hands" is to say that allah is made up of parts and thus likens him to his creation
This was the fundamentals that came with kalam theology that helped formulate Ash'ari dogma.
According to the people of Islam and the Sunnah, What Allah reveals of Himself does not in any way imply explicitly nor implicitly to tashbeeh.
However, contrary to the people of Islam and the Sunnah was the opinion laid down by the Ash'aris who opined that believing in the Qur'an as is would necessitate kufr because the texts openly reveals tashbeeh of Allah and it has to be re-interpreted according to the Aristotelian dialectic (that makes the basis of Ash'ari theology).
The famous 9th-century Ash’arite theologian, as-Sanusi, states in his Umm al-Barahin that the Usool of Kufr are six. The sixth one he lists is “Adhering to the apparent meanings (zawahir) of the Book and the Sunnah alone in fundamentals of creed without comparing them with rational proofs and definitive shar’i principles
If the Divine Texts of the Book and Sunnah are not a source of guidance in fundamentals of creed yet rational proofs are, then why did Allah send us Prophets or reveal Books?!
He goes on to comment on this passage in Sharh Umm al-Barahin (pp. 317-318),
“Adhering to the apparent meanings of the Book and the Sunnah alone in the fundamentals of creed without evidence from reason is the cause (asl) of the deviation of the Hashawiyya (i.e. the Salaf and their followers). Thus, they espoused tashbih, tajsim, and jiha (direction; he means by that that they affirmed Allah’s Istiwa’ over His Throne), based on the verses ‘over the Throne He ascended’ [Ta-Ha:5], ‘Do you feel secure from He who is in heaven?’ [al-Mulk:16], ‘to that which I created with My Own Two Hands’ [Saad:75] and the like
Al-Sawi states similar in his commentary on al-Jalalayn (3/9), “… adhering to the apparent meanings of the Book and the Sunnah is from the Usool of Kufr
Al-Sanusi also states in Sharh al-Kubra,
“As for those who claim that the path from the beginning to know the truth is the Book and the Sunnah and all else is prohibited, then the response is that their authority is only known by way of rational consideration. Also, they contain many apparent meanings (zawahir) which if one were to believe them, he would be guilty of disbelief - according to some - and innovation
The commentator states (p. 82), “dhawaahir, meaning, issues which by their apparent meaning lead to corrupt beliefs, such as ‘the Most Merciful over the Throne ascended’ [Ta-Ha:5], ‘Allah’s Hand is over their hands’ [al-Fath:10]…”
This notion that the Divine Texts are misleading contradicts the Qur’an’s description of itself as “clear”, “explained in detail”, “guidance”, “healing”, “clarification”, and so forth
So this is what we have here. The reason why the groups of kalaam like the Ash'aris perceive everything that the people of Islam say as "anthropomorphic" is because they themselves have viewed what Allah has revealed is in its own merit, anthropomorphic. This then implicitly reveals that when Allah revealed the Qur'an, He revealed kufr and tashbeeh as opposed to guidance.
Moreover, the statement of the Ash'ari mutakalim, as-Sanusi, as we can easily see and understand from his language, is that people who merely believe the Qur'an as is, are guilty of kufr, and that the only way to escape this kufr is to understand the Qur'an from the route of what he calls "rational proofs", which in reality is Aristotelian dialectic.
What is going on is an incorrect literal ijtihad of some ayaats which is leading to contradictions between ijma'a (concensus). For example here is a tafsir of an ayaat from 2 scholars of ahlus sunnah wa jama3.
there is no ijtihaad in Aqeedah. Aqeedah or Islamic doctrine, anything with the ghayb is based on its own nature being tawqeefiyyah i.e. revealed in nature, and not tawfeeqiyyah i.e. arrived at by our own self.
And the heaven, We built it with might (Our hands), and indeed We are powerful (one says āda’l-rajulu or ya’īdu, to mean, ‘he is strong’; and awsa‘a’l-rajulu, to mean, ‘he has become capable [dhū sa‘a] and strong’). Jalalayn.
(We have built) created (the heaven with might, and We it is who make the vast extent (thereof)) as We will; it is also said that this means: we expand the provision thereof.
Tafsir Ibn Abbas R.A.
Because the people of Islam and the Sunnah believe in their book and the reports upon their "dhawaahir" meaning, then it becomes a must to slightly explain the term "dhawaahir" so that people do not make mistakes such as this.
the term "dhaahir" (dhawaahir in plural form) is to be translated in the english language as "apparent/obvious" and many people commonly mistake it for "literal".
Ibn Qudama al-Hanbali says in Dham al-Ta’wil:
فإن قيل فقد تأولتم آيات وأخبارا فقلتم في قوله تعالى ( وهو معكم أين ما كنتم ) أي بالعلم ونحو هذا من الآيات والأخبار فيلزمكم ما لزمنا
قلنا نحن لم نتأول شيئا وحمل هذه اللفظات على هذه المعاني ليس بتأويل لأن التأويل صرف اللفظ عن ظاهره وهذه المعاني هي الظاهر من هذه الألفاظ بدليل أنه المتبادر إلى الأفهام منها وظاهر اللفظ هو ما يسبق إلى الفهم منه حقيقة كان أو مجازا
‘If it is said: ‘You made ta’wil of verses and reports, for instance, you said with respect to Allah’s statement: ‘He is with you wherever you are’, meaning: with His knowledge, and the like of these verses and reports, and therefore, your arguments are as much applicable to you as us.
We say: We did not make ta’wil of anything, for to hold such texts in these meanings is not at all ta’wil, because ta’wil is to change the meaning of a word from its dhahir, and what we say here is the dhahir of the wording, that is, what comes first to the mind from that text, irrespective of whether it is haqiqa or majaz.’
Imaam adh-Dhahabi says in al-‘Uluw:
“The latter ones from the speculative theologians (ahl al-nadhar) invented a new belief, I do not know of anyone preceding them in that. They said: ‘These attributes are passed on as they have come and not interpreted (la tu’awwal), while believing that the apparent meaning is not intended (dhahiruha ghayr murad).’
This follows that the apparent meaning (dhahir) could mean two things:
First; that it has no interpretation (ta’wil) except the meaning of the text (dilalat al-khitab), as the Salaf said: ‘The rising (al-Istiwa) is known’, or as Sufyan and others said: ‘Its recitation is in fact its interpretation (tafseer)’ – meaning, it is obvious and clear in the language, such that one should not opt for interpretation (ta’wil) or distortion (tahrif). This is the Madhab of the Salaf, while they all agree that they do not resemble the attributes of human beings in any way. For the Bari has no likeness, neither in His essence, nor in His attributes.
Second; that the literal meaning (dhahir) is what comes to imagination from the attribute, just like an image that is formed in one’s mind of a human attribute. This is certainly not intended, for Allah is single and self-sufficient who has no likeness. Even if He has multiple attributes, they all are true, however, they have no resemblance or likeness”
These two statements are mountainess in the implication of their speech.
According to Ahlu-Sunnah, the meaning of dhaahir is what is most obvious of the meaning of any phrase or construction of words i.e. what comes first to mind. This is essential to understand because in this definition, this can include a literal interpretation OR a metaphorical interpretation.
So what this means is that we, as the people of the sunnah believe that some ayaah by its apparent meaning reveals a metaphorical meaning as the most obvious meaning of the ayaah.
Thus, when people quote an ayaah like for example
"nay, both of His Hands are Outstretched"
Then the obviously apparent meaning of this ayaah as understood by those who are charged with "anthropomorphism" is that it means with regards to His unlimited bounty and it has nothing to do with His Actual Hands
Likewise, another ayaah for example
"And His Hands are over their hands"
this was revealed when the companions took the covenant and oath to the Messenger of Allah alaihi salatu salam. The apparent and obvious meaning by those who are carged with "anthropomorphism" is that it pertains to Allah's being united with them and not that He actual put His Hands literally above their hands.
So this should kill the idea that the people of the Sunnah are "literalists" as is the charge by the ash'aris against them.
However, the verse that you quoted does not even pertain to the Sifaat.
And the heaven, We built it with might (Our hands), and indeed We are powerful (one says āda’l-rajulu or ya’īdu, to mean, ‘he is strong’; and awsa‘a’l-rajulu, to mean, ‘he has become capable [dhū sa‘a] and strong’). Jalalayn
Let us look at what is being stated in Arabic
وَالسَّمَاءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ
The basic root of the term used by allah is "bil-Aydin" i.e. "with power"
from "aada, yu'aadu, aydin
Shaykh Yusuf Muhammad Siddique said,
"and the ta'weel of one who says: 'What is intended by Yad is power is not correct since it is not correct for the saying of Allaah: '....to one who I created with My Two Hands...' to mean: 'with My Power' when Hand has been mentioned in the dual. And if that had been correct then Iblees would have said: 'and You created me also with Your Power, so he (Adam) has no superiority over me in that.' However, Iblees, along with his disbelief, is more knowledgeable of his Lord than the Jahmiyyah."
[Source: 'Daqaa'iq Aqeedah inda A'immatul Arba'ah' (pg. 11-12)]
What everyone must realize is that the Mu'tazila used the very same verse above as a proof for ta'weel, saying, "'the sky we built with Aydin'. Al-Aydee means power (quwwa), and hence it is necessary that the meaning of 'My Two Hands' be: My Two Powers"
Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'aree replied to this ta'weel saying,
"it is said to them that this ta'weel is wrong (faasid) from many perspectives the last of which is that 'al-Aydee' is not the plural of yad (hand) because the plural of yad which is used to mean ni'ma (favour) is 'Ayaadee' and all that Allaah said was 'to the one who I created with My Two Hands (bi yaday)' so it is false that the meaning of His saying, 'with My Two Hands' be the meaning of His saying, 'we built it with Power'.
[Source: al-Ibaanah' (pg.134)]
On this tangent, I have to end with the statement of Imaam of the Imaams, Ibn Khuzayma who said
"‘Some of the Jahmites claimed the meaning of the saying: ‘Allah Created Adam with His Two Hands’, i.e. with His power. Hence, they claimed that al-Yad (hand) refers to al-Quwwah (power), and this is also from changing (the wording/meanings). This is also ignorance of the Arabic language. For power is called ‘al-Ayd’ in the language of the Arabs, and not ‘al-Yad’ (a hand). Therefore, the one who cannot differentiate between ‘al-Yad’ and ‘al-Ayd’, he is more in need of education and enrollment in a school, than seeking leadership or a theological debate
[Source: Kitaabu-Tawheed page 87]
So we need to be careful and be weary of whom we seek information of Islamic doctrine from because the Qur'an and the Sunnah is to be viewed as the best of this nation have viewed of it and not as the disciples of Aristotle have viewed the Qur'an and Sunnah, wa billaahi tawfeeq