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    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah (OP)




    Here is a list of the quotes mentioned in two articles taken from Islaam.net (Links: 1 & 2) in which are quoted the sayings of the Salaf regarding the Attributes of Allaah. Combined here are the quotes from the two articles. For the complete articles, the links are above.
    • al-Awzaa’ee (d. 157) said, "I asked az-Zuhree and Makhool about the Verses pertaining to the Attributes of Allaah, so they said, ‘leave them as they are’" [‘Sharh Usul I’tiqaad’ (3/430) with a hasan isnaad]
    • al-Waleed bin Muslim (d.194) said, " I asked Maalik, al-Awzaa’ee, Layth bin Sa’d and Sufyaan ath-Thawree, may Allaah have mercy upon them, concerning the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said: Leave them as they are without asking how" [‘al-Asmaa was Sifaat’ (pg.453) with a hasan isnaad]
    • Rabee’a ar-Ra’ee (d.136) said, "al-Istawaa (Allaah Rising over His Throne) is not unknown, and how (it occurs) is not comprehensible, and from Allaah is the Message, and upon the Messenger is to convey, and upon us is to affirm." [ ibid. (pg.516). Ibn Taymiyyah said in ‘al-Hamawiyyah’ (pg.80), "al-Khallaal narrated it with an isnaad all of whom are trustworthy."]
    • Sufyaan bin Uyaynah said, "everything that Allaah described Himself with in His Book then it’s recitation is it’s explanation, without asking how or likening". [Related in ‘Sharh Usul I’tiqaad’ (pg.736), ‘as-Sifaat’ of ad-Daaruqutnee (pg. 61), ‘Dham at-Ta’weel’ (pg. 17 no. 22) via a number of different routes.]
    • It is also narrated from him about the ahaadeeth concerning the Attributes that he said, "we narrate them as they came without asking how" [as-Sifaat’ (pg. 63) of ad-Daaruqutnee, ‘at-Tamheed’ of ibn Abdul Barr (7/147) with a saheeh sanad.]
    • Shareek bin Abdullaah said when told that some people rejected and abused the ahaadeeth concerning the Attributes, "the ones that came with these ahaadeeth are the ones that came with the Qur’aan, and that the prayers are five, and the Hajj to the House, and the Fast of Ramadaan. And we do not know Allaah except by these ahaadeeth." [‘as-Sunnah’ (1/273) of Imaam Abdullaah bin Ahmad, ‘ash-Sharee’ah’ (pg.306) of al-Aajurree with a saheeh sanad.]
    • Imaam Maalik said when replying to the one who asked, ‘how did Allaah make Istawaa?’, "al-Istawaa is Known, and how is unknown, to have faith in it is obligatory, and to question it is an innovation." Then he said to the questioner, "I do not think except that you are an innovator" and he ordered him to be expelled. [‘al-Asmaa was Sifaat’ (pg.516).]
    • He also said, "The Most Merciful Ascended as He Himself described, and it is not to be asked ‘How’ since that is unknown." [ibid (pg.516). Ibn Hajr says in ‘Fath’ (13/406) that it’s isnaad is hasan.]
    • Imaam Abu Haneefah said, "He is something (shay’un) but not like other things, and the meaning of Shay’un is affirmed without affirming a body, limbs or organs. And He has no limit and no partner or opposite, and no similitude. And He has a Hand, a Face and a Self. As for what is mentioned in the Qur’aan: the Face, the Hand, the Self (Nafs) then these are His Attributes without asking how. And it is not said that His Hand is His Power (Qudra) or Favour (Ni’ma) [Alee al-Qaaree says, commenting on this statement, "i.e. by way of ta’weel which was the way of some of the khalaf in contravention to the way of the salaf."]because this contains nullification of the Attribute, and this is the saying of the People of Qadr (Jabariyyah) and the Mu’tazila. Rather His Hand is His Attribute without asking how, and His Anger (Gadb) and Pleasure (Ridaa) are two Attributes without asking How." [‘Fiqh al-Akhbar’ (pp.36-37) with it’s commentary by Mulla Alee al-Qaaree. This is a book which is attributed to Abu Haneefah, but it seems that the strongest opinion amongst the Scholars of Hadeeth is that it is not affirmed to be from him, but from one the students of his students. Allaah the Most High knows best.]
    • Muhammad bin al-Hasan ash-Shaybaanee said "the Legal Jurists, from the east to the west, have all agreed to have faith in the Qur’aan and the Ahaadeeth that have come via trustworthy narrators from the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) concerning the Attributes without explanation [meaning the explanation of the Jahmiyyah who innovated explanations of the Attributes in opposition to that which the Sahaabah and the Taabi’een were upon in affirming them, as stated by ibn Taymiyyah in ‘al-Hamawiyyah’ (pg. 115)] and without description and without tashbeeh. So whosoever explains anything from them has left that which the Prophet (SAW) was upon and has split off from the Jamaa’ah (for they did not deny or explain, rather they believed in what was in the Book and Sunnah and then remained silent, so the one who says the saying of Jahm has split off from the Jamaa’ah) because he described Him with descriptions that are empty." [‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (no. 165), and the addition in brackets is from al-Laalikaa’ee.]
    • Imaam Ahmad said, "these ahaadeeth should be left as they are….we affirm them and do not make any similitude for them. This is what has been agreed upon by the scholars." [ ‘Munaaqib al-Ahmad’ (pp155-156) of ibn al-Jawzee]
    • Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee said, "to Allaah belong Names and Attributes that occur in His Book and His Prophet informed to the nation. It is not possible for anyone to refute/repel (radd) them. So the one who contradicts this after the evidence has been established against him then he is a kaafir, and as for before the establishment of the proof then he is excused due to ignorance, because the knowledge of that cannot be attained through the intellect. So we affirm these Attributes and we negate tashbeeh (likening Allaah to creation) as Allaah negated it by saying, ‘there is nothing like Him’" [ ‘Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa’ (10/80). adh-Dhahabee says, ‘reported by al-Hakkaaree and others with a chain of narrators containing trustworthy narrators as in ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 177). He also said, "I say: the censure of Kalaam and it’s people is common from ash-Shaafi’ee, and he was very stringent in following the narrations in usul and the furoo"]
    • And he said, "the belief that I am upon, and I saw Our Companions, the Ashaabul Hadeeth - like Maalik and Sufyaan and others - to be upon is: affirming the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And that Allaah is Over His Throne, above His Heaven (alaa Arshihi fee Samaa’ihi), He comes close to His Creation howsoever He Wills, and He Descends to the lowest heaven howsoever He Wills." [‘Awn al-Ma’bood’ (13/41), and ibn Abu Ya’la reports it in ‘Tabaqaat al-Hanaabilaa’ (1/283) with a chain of narration linked back to ash-Shaafi’ee.]
    • Ishaaq bin Raahawayah said, "indeed Allaah has described Himself in His Book with Attributes from which the creation is left in no need to describe Him with other than what He described Himself with. From amongst them, ‘Allaah will Come to them in the shades of clouds’ and His saying, ‘And you see the angels around the Throne, hymning the praises of their Lord’" [‘al-Arba’een fee Sifaat Allaah’ (no. 144) of adh-Dhahabee.]
    • Imaam at-Tirmidhee (d.279) said, "It has been stated by more than one person from the People of Knowledge about such ahaadeeth, that there is no tashbeeh to the Attributes of Allaah, and our Lord - the Blessed and Most High - Descends to the lowest heaven every night. So they say: affirm these narrations, have faith in them, do not deny them or ask how. The likes of this has been related from Maalik bin Anas, Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Ibn Uyaynah and Abdullaah bin al-Mubaarak, who all said about such ahaadeeth, ‘leave them as they are without asking how.’ Such is the saying of the People of Knowledge from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah. However the Jahmiyyah oppose these narrations and say: this is tashbeeh! However Allaah - the Most High - has mentioned in various places in His book, the Attribute of Hand (al-Yad), Hearing (as-Sam’), Seeing (al-Basr), but the Jahmiyyah make ta’weel of these Verses, explaining in a way, other than is explained by the People of Knowledge. They say: indeed Allaah did not create Aadam with His own Hand - they say that Hand means the Power of Allaah." [ ‘Sunan at-Tirmidhee’ (3/42)]
    • And Abu Ja’far at-Tirmidhee (d.295), when asked as to How Allaah keeps His Attribute of being above the creation if He Descends to the Lowest Heaven in the last third of the night, replied, "The Nuzool (Descent) is understood, but the how/nature is unknown, and faith in it is obligatory, and to question about it (i.e. how) is a bid’ah." [ ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 231). Al-Albaanee declared the sanad saheeh. Abu Ja’far was from the greatest scholars of his day and died in the year 295.]
    • Imaam Abu al-Qaasim Sa’d bin Alee az-Zanjaanee (d.471) [He is the trustworthy Haafidh, knowledgeable of the Sunnah. His biography can be seen in ‘Tadhkira al-Huffaadh’ and others] said, "you have asked me, may Allaah help you, to explain what is correct according to me from the madhhab of the salaf and the righteous khalaf to do with the Attributes of Allaah. So I reply with the reply of the faqeeh Abu al-Abbaas Ahmad bin Umar Suraij [He is the Imaam of the Shaafi’iyyah of his time and was regarded greater then the greatest of the Companions of Shaafi’ee even al-Mazanee. (Mukhtasar al-Uluw (pg. 227))] - for he was asked about this… ‘and it is authentic from all of the People of Religion (Diyaanah) and Sunnah till this day that it is obligatory upon all Muslims to have faith in all of the verses and authentic narrations from the Messenger of Allaah (SAW) as they occur, and that inquiring about their meanings is a bid’ah [ meaning those meanings other than their obvious meanings. This is the only way to understand this statement as it is the only way in which it conforms to what ibn Suraij writes at the end of his letter.] for example His saying, ‘the Most Merciful rose over the Throne’ ….our belief to do with the mutashaabiha (allegorical) verses is to accept them and not reject them. And neither to make ta’weel of [them with a differing explanation (to the clear meaning of the verse) or ta’weel of the opponents] (? Ta’weel al-Mukhaalifeen), and neither do we take them with the tashbeeh of the anthropomorphists…and we submit to the narration and verse literally as it was revealed. And we do not say (of them) with the ta’weel of the Mu’tazila, or the Asha’riyyah, or the Jahmiyyah, or the Mulahhida, or the Mujassima, or the Mushabbiha, or the Kiraamiyyah, or the Kayfiyyah. Rather we accept them without ta’weel, and we have faith in them without likening (Him to creation). And we say faith in them is obligatory, saying as they say is the Sunnah, and seeking ta’weel of them is a bid’ah.’" [ ‘Ijtimaa Juyush al-Islaamiyyah’ (pp. 170-174) of ibn al-Qayyim. ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pp. 226-227) of adh-Dhahabee, summarised and verified by al-Albaanee.]
    • Abu Ja’far ibn Abee Shaybah (d. 297) said, "then the ahaadeeth abound that He created the Throne, then He rose above it in Person, the He created the earth and the heavens…and He is Above the Throne in Person." [ ‘Kitaab al-Arsh’ (pg. 51) of ibn Abee Shaybah.]
    • al-Qayrawaanee (d.386) said, "...and He is over His Glorious Throne in Person and His Knowledge is in every place..." [ ‘al-Risaalah’ of al-Qayrawaanee (pg.5). He is the great Maalikee scholar credited with the title, ‘The Small Maalik’.]

    Al-Haafidh adh-Dhahabee
    says following up a similar statement from ibn Abee Zaid (one of the Imaams of the Maalikiyyah who died in the year 389H, quoting from his ‘Risaalah’ on the Maaliki madhab),
    "and the likes of this phrase (i.e. ‘in Person’) has preceded from Abu Ja’far ibn Abee Shaybah and Uthmaan bin Sa’eed ad-Daarimee, and likewise Yahya bin Ammaar, the preacher of Sijistaan, used it in his ‘Risaalah’, ….and likewise ibn Abdul Barr as will follow, and likewise the phrase of Shaykh al-Islaam Abu Ismaa’eel al-Ansaaree who said, ‘….that Allaah is above the Throne in Person’. And likewise al-Hasan al-Karjee ash-Shaafi’ee who said in this poem, ‘their belief is the Allaah is in Person over the Throne with His Knowledge of the Unseen’. And upon this poem is written, in the handwriting of al-Allaamah Taqee ad-Deen bin Salaah, ‘this is the belief of Ahlus Sunnah wal - Jamaa’ah.’ And likewise this phrase was used by Ahmad bin Thaabit at-Turkee, the haafidh. And Shaykh Abdul Qaadir al-Jeelee (or Jeelaanee), and the muftee Abd al-Azeez al-Qaheetee and a group (of scholars)… And all ibn Abee Zayd and the others meant (by this) was to distinguish between His being with us and His Being above the Throne. So He is, as He said, with us in Knowledge, and that He is over the Throne, as he notified us when He said, "the Most Merciful Rose over the Throne". And a group (jamaa’ah) of the People of Knowledge spoke the aforementioned word (in Person)……"
    [ Mukhtasar al-Uluw (pg.255-256).]

    al-Khattaabee (d.388) said,
    "As for what you have asked me with regards to the Attributes of Allaah and that which has come in the Book and the authentic Sunnah with regards to them - then indeed the madhab of the salaf was to affirm them and take them upon their obvious and literal meanings (alaa dhaahirihaa), and to negate tashbeeh and kayfiyyah from them."

    ["al-Gunya an Kalaam wa Ahlihi" of al-Khattaabee as quoted in ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’. Al-Khattaabee was one of the Shaafi’ee Imaams of his time, author of the famous commentary to Abu Dawood, ‘Mu’aalam as-Sunan’.]

    Adh-Dhahabee follows up this quote by saying,
    "and likewise this agreement of the salaf was quoted by al-Haafidh Abu Bakr al-Khateeb then al-Haafidh Abu al-Qaasim at-Taimee al-Asbahaanee and others."

    • Abu al-Qaasim al-Asfahaanee said, "then indeed our madhhab and the madhhab of the salaf was to affirm them (the Attributes) and to take them literally, and to negate kayfiyyah and tashbeeh from them…" [‘Ijtimaa al-Juyush al-Islaamiyyah’ (pg. 77)]
    • Abul Qaasim al-Andulisi (d.393) said, while commenting on the hadeeth of Descent, ".... And from the right of the words of Allaah is that they be taken upon their literal meaning ('alaa haqeeqatihi) until the ummah is agreed that what is meant is the metaphorical meaning when there is no way to follow what has been revealed to us from our Lord except in this way..." [‘Ijtimaa al-Juyush al-Islaamiyyah’ (pg. ) of ibn al-Qayyim. Abu al-Qaasim was one of the Maaliki Imaams of his time.]
    • Yahya bin Ammaar said (d.422), "He is in Person above the Throne, and His Knowledge encompasses everything." ["Risaalah" of Yahya bin Ammaar as quoted in ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluww’ (pg. 263). He was one of the great scholars of his time from whom Shaykh al-Islaam al-Ansaaree learnt hadeeth from.]
    • Al-Qaadir Billaahi (d.466), Ameer al-Mu’mineen said, "and every Attribute that He described Himself by, or His Messenger described Him by is a literal Attribute not metaphorical, and the Speech of Allaah is uncreated which He revealed to His Messenger." [‘Mukhtasar al-Uluww’ (pg. 259, 263) and he quotes it also as the saying of Abu Ahmad al-Qassaab (d.400) in his work on Aqueedah, upon which the people gathered, and any person who differed with it was ordered to repent. Al-Qaadir Billaah had a well known belief which was read in Baghdaad and witnessed by it’s scholars and Imaams, and the above statement occurs in it. His rule as Khaleefah lasted 41 years and 3 months.]

    Adh-Dhahabee
    after disagreeing with the usage of the word ‘literal’ says,
    "…despite the fact that this phrase has been used by a group (of scholars), and their intention by using it was that these Attributes are taken (as they come) and they are not to be subjected to tahreef or ta’weel just as they are not to be treated as metaphors. Allaah knows best."

    • Qaadee Abdul Wahhab (d.422) said, "the greatest of Ahlus Sunnah, may Allaah have mercy upon them, have made it clear that Allaah rose over His Throne in person." [‘Darran Ta’aarid al-Aqal bin Naql’ (pg. 203) of ibn Taymiyyah, ‘Sharh al-Asmaa al-Husna’ (pg. 225+) of al-Qurtubi. Qaadee Abdul Wahhab was the Imaam of the Maalikees in Iraaq.]
    • Abu Bakr Umar at-Talmankee (d.429) said, "The Muslims of Ahlus Sunnah have agreed that the meaning of His saying, "and He is with you wheresoever you are" and the likes of this in the Qur’aan mean His Knowledge, and that Allaah is above the Heavens in Person, having risen over the Throne as He wished. And Ahlus Sunnah said about His saying, "the Most Merciful Rose over the Throne": indeed the Istawaa of Allaah upon His Throne is taken literally, not metaphorically." [‘al-Wusool ilaa Ma’rifatil Usool’ of at-Talmankee. See ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 264). At-Talmankee was one of the great Maalikee Imaams and Huffaadh of his time in Andalus.]
    • Abu Nasr as-Sijzee (d.444) said, "our Imaams like Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Maalik, Hammaad bin Salma, Hammaad bin Zayd, Sufyaan bin Uyayna, al-Fudail, ibn al-Mubaarak, Ahmad, and Ishaaq are agreed that Allaah (SWT) is above the Throne in Person and His knowledge is in every place, and that He descends to the lowest heaven, and that He gets Angry, and is Pleased and Speaks with what He Wishes." [ ‘al-Ibaanah’ of as-Sijzee as quoted from in ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 266).]

    Adh-Dhahabee
    goes on to say,

    "these (narrations) that he quotes from them are famous and preserved, except for the word ‘in Person’, for it is from him which he attributes to them in meaning."
    • Ibn Abd al-Barr (d.463) said, "Ahlus Sunnah are agreed upon affirming the Attributes that occur in the Book and Sunnah, and to take them literally not metaphorically, except that they did not inquire into the nature (kayfiyyah) of any of them. However the Jahmiyyah and the Mu’tazila and the Khawaarij all deny them, and do not take them literally claiming that whosoever affirms them has made tashbeeh, and they claim that whosoever recites them (as they are) is a Mushabbih (one who does tashbeeh)." [‘at-Tamheed’ (7/145) of ibn Abdul Barr under the hadeeth of Nuzool. See also ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 268). Ibn Abdul Barr was from the greatest of Maaliki Imaams, given the title ‘Bukhaaree of the West’. Adh-Dhahabee said, following up the above quote, "it is rare that the eyes should see the likes of him".]
    • Al-Qaadee Abu Ya’laa (d.458) said, "it is not permissible to refute/reject these narrations, and neither to preoccupy oneself in making ta’weel of them. But it is obligatory to take them upon their obvious and literal meanings, and that they are Attributes of Allaah, Azza wa Jall, not resembling the attributes of the creation. …And the fact that the Sahaabah and those after them took them upon their obvious meanings and did not abandon them for ta’weel indicates the invalidity of ta’weel. So if ta’weel was permissible then they would have been the first to do it, due to their being in it the removal of tashbeeh " i.e. if you take the argument of the People of Ta’weel that they do it so as to absolve Allaah of anthropomorphism.[ ‘Ibtaal at-Ta’weel’ the famous work of Abu Ya’laa refuting ta’weel. He is the famous Hanbalee Imaam, Haafidh, and Faqeeh.]
    • Al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d.463) said, "as for the discussion concerning the Attributes then indeed the madhhab of the salaf pertaining to that which is reported in the authentic sunan, was to affirm them and leave them upon their literal meaning while negating the kayfiyyah and tashbeeh from them. And a group rejected them and nullified that which Allaah, the free from defect, had affirmed. And another group from those that affirmed them examined them and fell into a type of tashbeeh and takyeef, and the desired objective is to travel the middle path between these two matters for the religion of Allaah is between the two extremes. And the basis of this is that the discussion concerning the Attributes is a branch of the discussion concerning the Person of Allaah (dhaat) taking an identical path in both of them. So when it is known that affirming the Lord of the Universes is only affirming the existence not affirming the kayfiyyah, then likewise affirming the Attributes is affirming their existence not affirming limitation or takyeef.
      So when we say: Allaah, the Exalted has a Hand, and Hearing, and Seeing, then these are Attributes that Allaah has affirmed for Himself and we do not say: the meaning of hand is Power (Qudra) and neither do we say: the meaning of Hearing and Seeing is Knowledge and neither do we say that they are limbs/organs, and neither do we liken them to the hands, hearing, and seeing that are organs. Rather we say: what is obligatory is to affirm them because they are to be stopped at (in terms of kayfiyyah) and obligatory to negate tashbeeh from them due to the saying of Allaah, ‘there is nothing like Him, He is the Seeing and the Hearing’ and His saying, ‘there is nothing like Him’"
    [ ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 47+, pg. 272 for a more summarised quote) quoting from a work of al-Khateeb that is in manuscript ‘al-Kalaam alaa as-Sifaat’, see also ‘at-Tadhkira’ of adh-Dhahabee (3/1142) Al-Khateeb was the great Shaafi’ee Imaam known as the ‘Second Daaruqutnee’ and the likes of him was not seen after him in Baghdaad.]


    Adh-Dhahabee
    follows up this quote by saying,
    "and the meaning of ‘obvious and literal’ (dhaahirihaa) is that there is no hidden meaning to the words of the Book and the Sunnah other than what has been placed for it, as Maalik and others said, ‘al-Istawaa is known’. So likewise we say the same for Seeing, Hearing, Knowledge, Speech, Desire, Face etc. that these are things which are known, so they are not needing clarification or explanation, but the kayf (nature/how) of all of them is not known."

    • Abu al-Qaasim at-Taimee (d.535) said, "the Madhab of Maalik, ath-Thawree, al-Awzaa’ee, ash-Shaafi’ee, Hammaad bin Salma, Hammaad bin Zayd, Ahmad, Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattaan, Abdurrahmaan bin al-Mahdee, and Ishaaq bin Raahawaiyah was that the Attributes by which He described Himself, and His Messenger described Him with…are to be taken upon their well-known literal and obvious meanings without kayf or tashbeeh or ta’weel. Ibn Uyaynah said, ‘everything that Allaah has described Himself with, then it’s recitation is it’s tafseer (explanation).’ Meaning it is taken upon it’s obvious meaning, it is not permissible to change it to a metaphorical meaning by way of a type of ta’weel." [ ‘at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb’ of Abu al-Qaasim, see ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 282).]
    • Al-Qurtobee (d.671) said, "and not a single person from the righteous salaf rejected that His Istawaa upon His Throne was literal, and He specified the Throne because it is from the greatest of His creation. And they were ignorant of the kayfiyyah of His Istawaa…and Imaam Maalik said, ‘al-Istawaa is known’ meaning in the language, ‘and the nature is not know known, and to ask about (how) is a bid’ah’" [ ‘al-Jaami lil Ahkaam al-Qur’aan’ of al-Qurtobee under the verse ‘then He rose over His Throne’, see ‘Mukhtasar al-Uluw’ (pg. 286).]
    • as-Saaboonee (d.448) said, "Indeed the Ashaabul Hadeeth - may Allaah protect their lives and shower mercy upon those that have died - bear witness to the tawheed of Allaah and to the Messengership and Prophethood of His Messenger (SAW). They know their Lord - Mighty and Majestic - by the Attributes which He has spoken of in His Revelation, and by what He sent down, or testified to, by His Messenger (SAW)…They affirm for Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - what He Affirms for Himself in His Book, or upon the tongue of His Messenger (ASW). They do not believe in resembling His Attributes to the attributes of the creation. They say: indeed, He Created Aadam with His Own Hands, as He -the Most Perfect - textually stated, "O Iblees! What prevents you from prostrating to the one whom I created with My Own Hands." (38:75). So they do not distort the words from their context, by carrying the meaning of Two Hands to mean favour or Power - which is the tahreef of the Mu’tazila and the Jahmiyyah - may Allaah destroy them. They do not ask how the Attributes are, nor do they resemble them to His Creation…Allaah - the Most High - protected Ahlus Sunnah from such tahreef, takyeef and tashbeeh, and favoured them with knowledge and understanding." [ ‘Aqeedah as-Salaf Ashaabul Hadeeth’ (no.3) of as-Saaboonee.]
    • Ibn Qudaamah (d.620) said, "the way of the salaf is to have faith in the Names and Attributes of Allaah that He has described Himself with in His Revelation, or upon the tongue of His Messenger (SAW) without increasing nor decreasing upon it, nor exceeding the limits, nor explaining them (in the way of the Mu’tazila) nor making ta’weel of them in a way that opposes the literal meaning." [ ‘Dhamm at-Ta’weel’ (pg.11) of ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisee,]
    • Shaykh Abdul Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d.561) said, "it is essential to carry the Attribute of al-Istawaa upon it’s apparent sense - without ta’weel, and that He Ascended in Person over the Throne. Istawaa does not mean sitting or touching - as the Mujassima and Karraamiyyah say. Nor does it mean grandeur and highness - as the Ash’ariyyah say. Nor does it mean conquering and dominating as the Mu’tazila say. None of this is related in the Sharee’ah. Neither has this been related by any one of the Salaf as-Saalih and the Taabi’een. Nor from the Ashaabul Hadeeth. Rather it is related from them that they carried the meaning of Istawaa with it’s apparent meaning." [‘Gunya at-Taalibeen’ (1/50) of Abdul Qaadir al-Jeelaanee.]
    • The Reviver of the Sunnah, Abu Muhammad al-Baghawee said, "…The Finger is an Attribute from amongst the Attributes of Allaah, and likewise everything of this nature that occurs in the Book and Sunnah, for example the Face (Wajh), Eye (Ayn), Hand (Yad), Leg (Rijl), Coming (Ityaan and Majee), and the Descent to the Lowest Heaven, His Rising over His Throne, Laughter (Dahk), Joy (Farh)…so these and their likes are Attributes of Allaah in which it is obligatory to have faith in, and to leave them upon their literal meanings turning away from ta’weel and distancing from tashbeeh, with the belief that none of the Attributes of the Creator resemble anything from the attributes of the creation, just as His Self does not resemble the selves of the creation. Allaah said, ‘there is nothing like Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing’ And it was upon this that the salaf of this nation, and the scholars of the Sunnah were upon, they accepted them all with faith and stayed away from tamtheel and ta’weel. And they relegated the knowledge (of their kayfiyyah) to Allaah…" [‘al-Mu’jam al-Lateef’ (no.66) of adh-Dhahabee who quotes from him with his own chain of narration. See also ‘Sharh as-Sunnah’ (1/168+) of al-Baghawee.]
    • Imaam Abul Hasan al-Ash’aree said, "if it is asked: why do you deny that His saying, "Do they not see that We created for them what our Own Hands have created." (36:71) And His saying, "whom I created with My Own Hands" (38:75) are metaphorical? To him it is said: the ruling concerning the speech of Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - is that it is taken upon it’s clear (dhaahir) and literal (haqeeqah) meaning. Nothing is removed from it’s Dhaahir meaning to the metaphorical one, except with a proof….Likewise the saying of Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - : "Whom I created with My Own Hands" it’s dhaahir and haqeeqah meaning is affirming Two Hands of Allaah. So it is not permissible to alter it from the dhaahir meaning of Yadain to that which our opponents claim except with a proof….It is obligatory to affirm Two Hands for Allaah - the Most High - in it’s haqeeqah (literal) meaning, not with the meaning of two bounties (ni’matayn of Allaah)." [ ‘al-Ibaanah’ (pg. 133) of al-Ash’aree.]

    adh-Dhahabee says
    in his ‘Arba’een fee Sifaat Allaah’,
    "and it would be beyond ones ability to mention every Imaam who has words concerning the affirmation of Allaah’s Attributes, and if the opponent is not guided by those whom we mentioned saying: there is a consensus upon affirming them without ta’weel, or he does not believe him in his quote then Allaah will not guide such a person. And by Allaah there is no good in the one who rejects the likes of az-Zuhree, Makhool, al-Awzaa’ee, ath-Thawree, Layth bin Sa’d, Maalik, ibn Uyaynah, ibn al-Mubaarak, Muhammad bin al-Hasan, ash-Shaafi’ee, al-Humaidee, Abu Ubaid, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu Eesaa at-Tirmidhee, ibn Suraij, ibn Jareer at-Tabaree, ibn Khuzaimah, Zakariyyah as-Saajee, Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’aree, or rejects saying the likes of their saying in acknowledging the consensus on this like al-Khattaabee, Abu Bakr al-Ismaa’eelee, Abu al-Qaasim at-Tabaraanee, Abu Ahmad al-Aasaal….and Abdul Qaadir al-Jeelaanee…"

    Let us carefully consider the above narrations. Ibn Taymiyyah says,
    "So the saying of Rabee’ and Maalik, ‘al-Istawaa is not unknown….’ is in agreement to the saying of the others, ‘they left them as they are, without asking how’ for all they did was to negate the knowledge of the kayfiyyah, and they did not negate the actual Attribute. And if the people had believed in the mere words without understanding their meanings as was befitting to Allaah, then they would not have said, ‘the Istawaa is not unknown, and the how is not comprehensible’ and they would not have said, ‘they left them as they are without asking how’ for indeed the Istawaa in this case would not be known, rather unknown just as the huroof al-Mu’jam (like Alif Laam Meem). So there would be no need to negate the kayfiyyah to something which was not known or understood, rather it would be necessary to negate the knowledge of the kayfiyyah only when the Attribute has been affirmed (and understood)…

    Also their saying, ‘they left them as they are’ necessitates that (what the Attributes) indicated would remain as it were, and they came as words indicating a meaning, so if what they indicated was also to be negated then it would have been necessary to say, "they left the words (as they are) with the belief that the meaning was not known"…"
    [ ‘al-Hamawiyyah’ (pg.109)]

    So upon considering the above it becomes clear that if the Salaf had not understood the meaning of the Attributes, rather relegated the meanings to Allaah and just affirmed the wording (tafweed al-ma’naa) their would have been no conceivable need to negate the How/Nature (kayfiyyah) from the Attributes! Likewise the meaning of ‘reciting them is their explanation’ is that the clear meaning of what we recite is to be taken, and there is no need to delve into ta’weel or look for hidden and metaphorical meanings etc.

    This understanding has also been endorsed by the great Shaafi’ee Imaam, al-Khattaabee (d.388) when he said,

    "The madhhab (way) of the scholars of the Salaf and their legal jurists was to leave the likes of these ahaadeeth (concerning the Attributes) upon their literal (dhaahir) meanings, and not to twist their meanings (laa yureeghu lahaa al-Ma’aanee) and neither to make ta’weel of them due to their knowledge that their limited knowledge was incapable of understanding them.

    Az-Za’faraanee reported from us from ibn Abee Khaythama from Abd al-Wahhaab bin Najda al-Hutee from Baqya from al-Awzaa’ee who said, ‘Makhool and az-Zuhree used to say: we leave these ahaadeeth as they came.’

    I say: this is from the knowledge that we have been ordered to believe in literally without attempting to uncover it’s hidden meanings, and it belongs to a host of the mutashaabiha (verses) that Allaah has mentioned in His Book, so He said,‘He is the One Who has sent to you the Book, in it are clear and unequivocal verses, and others are mutashaabiha (allegorical or open to a number of meanings)’. So from the clear and unequivocal verses arises a true understanding (of their content) and action, and from the mutashaabiha arises faith and knowledge in their literal meanings, and we leave the knowledge of it’s hidden meaning to Allaah, the Most Perfect…"

    [‘Mu’aalim as-Sunan’ (4/304 - Daar al-Kutub al-Ilmee) of al-Khattaabee under the chapter, "From the chapter concerning the Seeing (of Allaah in the Hereafter)" when he discusses the hadeeth of Descent.]

    Ibn Taymiyyah also says,
    "…as for the third group then they are the People of Ignorance and they are many from those who ascribe themselves to the Sunnah and following the salaf. They say: the Messenger (SAW) did not understand the meanings of what Allaah revealed to Him from the verses pertaining to the Sifaat, and neither did Jibreel or the Foremost Predecessors understand them. And they said the same thing for the Ahaadeeth concerning the Attributes - that nobody knew their meaning except Allaah….so these people think that they are following the verse "and none knows their explanation except Allaah"…..but they have not distinguished between the meaning of the words and their explanation and the explanation that Allaah is Alone in knowing. And they thought that the ta’weel mentioned in this verse is the ta’weel mentioned in the words of the later generations and they erred in this...and the explanation of the Attributes whose reality Allaah is Alone in knowing is the knowledge of the kayfiyyah which is unknown to us. So (for example) the Istawaa is known, it’s meaning is understood, and explained and translated in other languages, and this is the explanation that those firmly grounded in knowledge know, but as for the kayfiyyah of the Istawaa then this is the explanation that none but Allaah, the Exalted, knows."
    [ ‘al-Hamawiyyah’ (pg. 24+)]

    So when we come to realise that the Salaf understood the meanings of the Attributes and affirmed them it becomes necessary to also know that they did so while negating 4 matters:
    • Tashbeeh (likening Allaah to His Creation) and tajseem (likening Allaah to a body)
    • Takyeef (enquiring into the how or nature of the Attribute)
    • Tahreef (distorting the meaning of the Attribute) and tagyeer (changing the meaning of the Attribute) and ta’weel (figuratively interpreting the meaning of the Attribute)
    • Ta’teel (denying the Attributes)

    [ Consult: ‘as-Sunnah’ (1/264-307) of Imaam Abdullaah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal (d.290), ‘ash-Sharh wal Ibaanah’(pg. 187-192) of ibn Battah(d.387), ‘Aqueedah as-Salaf’ (pp. 4-7) of as-Saaboonee(d.449), ‘ar-Risaalah fee Ithbaat al-Istawaa’ of al-Juwainee(d.438 - more on this later), ‘Sharh Aqueedah at-Tahaawiyyah’ (pp. 162-366) of ibn Abee al-Izz al-Hanafee (d.792), ‘at-Tadmuriyyah’ of ibn Taymiyyah, ‘Dhamm at-Ta’weel’ of al-Maqdisee, ‘Aqaaweel ath-Thiqaat fee Ta’weel al-Asmaa was Sifaat’ of ibn Yusuf al-Karmee. ]
    Last edited by Ibn Abi Ahmed; 03-20-2007 at 03:53 PM.
    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Does the Ayah ‘And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.’ imply that Allah is everywhere?

    Allaamah Abdullah Rawpuree



    Does the Ayah ‘And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.’ imply that Allah is everywhere?

    {و نحن أقرب إليه من حبل الوريد}


    If Allah is omnipresent [in His essence] as He said in the Qur’an: ‘And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein,’[1][and as understood by many people] then how was the revelation sent to the messengers & prophets?



    Allah’s knowledge[2] & power[3] is everywhere and in every place; Allah, the Most Exalted, Himself is above His Arsh, separate from His creation in a manner that befits His majesty. With regards to the aforementioned Ayah, then the correct tafseer [explanation] according to the understanding of the Salaf [pious predecessors][4] is that it refers to the knowledge of Allah or to that of the angels of Allah that have been commanded by Him to record the actions of all human beings.[5]

    The following example is useful in illustrating that what is meant by ‘And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein,[6]’ actually refers to the angles. When it is said that so & so king or leader is at war with so and so king or leader, what is actually implied is that those who are fighting against each other in reality are the soldiers on the battle field and not the kings and leaders themselves.

    In the following Ayah, the recording angels which have been mentioned, have been commanded by Allah to record the actions and deeds of all human beings, so these angels are closer to each person then his or her own jugular vein.‘(Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and the one on his left (to note his or her action).’[7]

    And Allah knows best.

    Fataawaa Ahlil-Hadeeth, Book of Iman - Page 175

    Footnotes:

    [1] Surah 50 Qaf Ayah no: 16. [TN]

    [2] Refer to the saying of Imam Mãlik bin Anas [d.179 AH] ‘Indeed Allah is above the heavens & His knowledge is in every place. Narrated by Imam Abdullah bin Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal in ‘As-Sunnah page 5, & Imam Abu Dawud in ‘Masaail of Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal page 263. [TN]

    [3] It was said to Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal: Allah is above the seven heavens and above His Arsh, separate from His creation in a manner that befits His majesty and His power & knowledge is in every place. He replied: Yes. Allah is above His Arsh and nothing escapes His knowledge. Reported by Imam Al-Khalaal in ‘As-Sunnah’ and Imam Ibn Qayyim narrated it in ‘Ijtimaaul-Al-Juyoosh’ page 77. [TN]

    [4] Refer to the abridged edition of Tafseer Al-Baghawi [d.516 AH] by Dr Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Ali Zaid, printed by Darus-Salaam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Surah 50 Qaf Ayah no: 16, page 892: [‘what is meant by] We are nearer to you is: nearer to you by [Allah] having all the knowledge. [TN]

    [5] Refer to Bayaanu-Talbeesil- Al-Jahmiyyah of Sheikul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, Volume 5 page 315, printed by King Fahad Complex, Madinah, KSA, 1426 AH, edited by Dr. Sulaiman Al-Ghafees, in which Imam Ibn Taymiyyah has discussed in depth that either the meaning of And We are nearer to him then his jugular vein is either the knowledge of Allah or that of the Angles; and has reconciled both meanings in a beautiful manner and refuted all the objections and doubts that might arise or have risen from the people of innovation. [TN]

    [6] It has been narrated by Ibnul-Mundhir on the authority of Juwaibir who asked the student of Abdullah Ibn Abbas [may Allah be pleased with them both], Ad-Dahhaak regarding the saying of Allah ‘And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein’ Ad-Dahhaak replied: There is nothing more closer to the son of Adam then his jugular vein and Allah is nearer to him then that [by His knowledge]. Refer to Addurrul-Al-Manthoor Fee At-Tafseeri bil-Ma’thoor by Jalalud-Deen As-Suyutee [d. 911AH] Volume 7 page 517, printed by Darul-Ahyaa At-Turaath Al-Arabi first edition 1421 AH/2001 CE.

    [7] Surah 50 Qaf Ayah no: 17. [TN]

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Where is Allaah?


    Question: What is the ruling regarding those who say: "Indeed Allaah is not below and nor above, and nor to the right and nor to the left, and nor outside of this world and nor inside it, etc..."?

    Response: They are regarded as innovators (mubtadi'ah).

    And we believe that indeed Allaah has ascended over His 'Arsh (Mighty Throne), an ascension befitting His Majesty, as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala) says:

    {The Most Gracious (Allaah) rose over (Istawaa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)},

    [Soorah TaaHaa, Aayah 5]

    ...and we believe in His statement and disbelieve in the statement of the Mu'tazilah. And certainly, I advise the reading of "al-'Uloo lil-'Alee al-Ghaffaar" of Imaam ath-Thahabee and it's summary by Shaykh al-Albaanee.

    Shaykh Muqbil al-Waadi'ee
    Ijaabatus-Saa.il 'alaa Ahammil-Masaa.il - Question 152, Page 300

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    The creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah in regard to Allaah's Names and Attributes


    Question: What is the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah in regard to Allaah's Names and Attributes? And what is the difference between a Name and an Attribute? And does affirmation of a Name necessitate affirmation of an Attribute, and (likewise) does affrimation of an Attribute necessitate affirmation of a Name?

    Response: The creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah in regard to Allaah's Names and His Attributes is affriming that which Allaah has affirmed for himself from the Names and Attributes, without:

    1) tahreef (changing/distorting a Name and/or Attribute of Allaah to other than its true meaning, i.e. from Allaah to al-Laat, and al-'Azeez to al-'Uzzah);

    2) ta'teel (denying some or all of Allaah's Names and Attributes);

    3) takyeef (questioning as to "how" (Allaah's Name or Attribute is), i.e. How does Allaah descend, etc.?);

    4) tamtheel (to imply a similarity between Allaah's Names and Attributes and that of His creation).

    And the difference between a Name and an Attribute is that a Name is that which Allaah has named Himself by; and an Attribute is that which Allaah has described Himself by. And between them is a clear difference.

    So a Name is that which is considered a Name of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta'aala), (and that) which incorporates an Attribute.

    And affirmation of a Name necessitates affirmation of an Attribute. For example:

    al-Ghafoor (the Most Forgiving) is a Name, and (its affirmation) necessitates the (affirmation of the) Attribute of Maghfirah (Forgiveness);

    And ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful) is a Name and (its affirmation) necessitates the affirmation of ar-Rahmah (Mercy).

    And the affirmation of an Attribute does not necessitate the affirmation of a Name. For example: al-Kalaam (Speech) does not necessitate the affirmation of the Name al-Mutakallim (the Speaker) for Allaah.

    So, based upon this, the Names are more wider (in scope), since every Name encompasses an Attribute, however, every Attribute does not encompass a Name.

    Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen
    Fataawa Arkaan al-Islaam - Page 73, Fatwa No.30

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Allaah’s Ascension (al-Istiwaa’) over the Throne


    The Aayaat of the Qur’aan

    Allaah, the Most High, says:

    The Most Merciful ascended above the Throne.


    Soorah Taa-Haa (20):5

    Do you feel secure that He Who is above the heavens will not cause you to be swallowed up by the earth when it shakes (as an earthquake)? Or do you feel secure that He Who is above the heavens will not send against you a violent tornado? Then you shall know how (terrible) was My warning.


    Soorah al-Mulk (67):16-17

    The Ahaadeeth of the Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

    The Prophet (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked (the slave girl), “Where is Allaah?” She replied, “He is above the sky.” He (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked (her), “Who am I?” She said, “You are Allaah’s Messenger.” He (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said (to her master, “Free her, for she is a believer.” Reported by Muslim (1/537).

    Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree reports the Messenger of Allaah (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Do you not trust me and I am the trustworthy servant of Him who is above the sky. The news of heaven comes to me in the morning and in the evening.” Reported by al-Bukhaaree (8/67) and Muslim (2/742).

    The sayings of the Pious Predecessors

    Abu Bakr radhiyAllaahu ‘anhu

    ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, radhiyAllaahu ‘anhu, reports that when Allaah’s Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was taken, Abu Bakr, radhiyAllaahu ‘anhu, entered and kissed his (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) forehead and said, “May my father and mother be your ransom! You were good in life and in death.” And he said, “He who worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad has died. (But) he who worships Allaah, then Allaah is above the sky, He lives and does not die.” Reported by ad-Daarimee in ar-Radd ‘alal Jahmiyyah, with a hasan isnaad.

    Imaam Maalik, Imaam of Daaril-Hijrah (d.179H)

    ‘Abdullaah ibn Naafi’ reports that Maalik ibn Anas said, “Allaah is above the sky And His Knowledge is in every place, not being absent from anything.” Reported by ‘Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah (p.5), Abu Daawood in al-Masaa’il (p.263), al-Aujurree in ash-Sharee’ah (p.289) and al-Laalikaa’ee (1/92/2). Its isnaad is Saheeh.

    ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, Shaikh ul-Islaam (d.181H)

    ‘Alee ibn al-Hasan ibn Shaqeeq reports: I asked ‘Abdullaah ibn al-Mubaarak, “How are we to know our Lord?” He replied, “He is above the seventh heaven above his Throne. We do not say as the Jahmiyyah say, ‘He is here on the earth.’” So that was mentioned to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, so he said, ‘That is how it is with us.’
    Reported by ad-Daarimee in ar-Radd ‘alal-Mareesee (p.24 and 103) and ar-Radd ‘alal Jahmiyyah (p.50) and ‘Abdullaah ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah (p.7, 25, 35 and 72). Its isnaad is Saheeh.

    Imaam Muhammad ibn Idrees ash-Shaafi’ee (d.204H)

    Abu Thawr and Abu Shu’aib both report that ash-Shaafi’ee said, “The saying which I hold regarding the Sunnah and which I found those whom I have seen holding like Sufyaan, Maalik and others is the testification that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah, that Allaah is above His Throne over His heaven, He draws near to His creation as He wishes and descends to the lowest heaven as He wishes…” (Mukhtasar al-‘Uluww, no. 196).

    Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241H)

    It was said to Abu ‘Abdullaah (Imaam Ahmad), “Allaah is above the seventh heaven, over His Throne, separate from His creation. His Power and Knowledge are in every place?” He said, “Yes, He is above the Throne and His Knowledge is in every place.” Reported by al-Khallaal in al-Mukhtasar and its isnaad is Saheeh.

    These are just a few of the sayings of the scholars. Adh-Dhahabee has collected over two-hundred sayings of the early scholars in this regard in his book al-‘Uluww. In the English language, The Ever Merciful Istiwa Over the Throne by Shaikh ‘Abdullah as-Sabt deals with this subject in a methodological manner.

    Appendix 2, of the book ‘Explanation of the Creed’, Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    In the Name of Allah,

    On the Haqiqah & Dhahir

    The Attributes are to be taken upon their Haqiqah and according their Dhahir meaning ('ala'l-haqîqa wa-'ala'l-dhâhir)

    Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari (d.324), a theologian to whom many claim affiliation, believes that the Attributes are to be taken – as the Salaf opinioned – upon their literal, real meaning: ‘ala’l-haqîqah. And one should profess them as they are, according to its apparent sense: ‘ala dhâhir. The meaning of this terminology will reveal itself in the course of documenting the words of scholars who advocated this as their doctrine and that of the Salaf, the pious predecessors. Let us start with this Imam.

    Al-Ash’ari said in his book al-Risâlah ilâ Ahl al-Thagr, which he wrote to a community, the following under the subtitle ‘The Third Agreement [of the Salaf and the Khalaf from Ahl al-Sunnah]:

    “And their agreement necessitates in that matter (i.e. that of affirming the Attributes of Allah) an agreement in the reality of the Living, the Al-Power and the Al-Knower (haqîqat al-hayy al-qâdir al-‘âlim). And their agreement with regard to the reality (or actuality) of that (fi-haqîqat dhalik) does not necessitates Tashbîh (resemblance) between them. Do you not see that the Creator, the Mighty and Majestic, described that He is existent and described man by that which does not necessitates Tashbîh between them? And if it has agreed with regard to the reality of the existence and therefore its necessary that there is Tashbîh between them as a consequence of that, then it’s also necessary that there is Tashbîh between blackness and whiteness because they are two existents! Since its not necessary that there is Tashbîh between them – even if they have agreed upon the reality of existence – then it is [also] not necessary that to describe the Creator, the Mighty and Majestic, that He’s Alive, Knowing and Powerful and describing man likewise is [a form of] Tashbîh of them. Even if they have agreed upon that reality of theirs..”

    And he, rahimahullah, said in ‘The Fifth Agreement’:

    “They have agreed upon that His Attribute, the Mighty and Majestic, is not similar with the attributes of the contingent beings as His Soul is not similar to the souls of the contingent beings. And they have argued concerning that by the fact that if He, the Mighty and Majestic, had not these Attributes than He would not be described (mawsuf) by any thing in reality (fi’l-haqîqa), from the point that if one has no ‘life’ than he can not be ‘living’ and one who has no ‘knowledge’ than he can not be ‘knowledgeable’ in reality (fi’l-haqîqa), and one who has no ‘power’ than he can’t be ‘powerful’ in reality (fi’l-haqîqa); and likewise this condition counts for the rest of the Attributes. Don’t you see that who has no action is not active in reality (fi’l-haqîqa)? And one who has no righteousness is not righteous [in reality]? And one who has no speech is not a speaker in reality (fi’l-haqîqa)? And one who has no will in reality (fi’l-haqîqa) is not a willer? And whoever has been described by something of that with the absence of attributes, which necessitates these attributes to it, may not lay claim on that in reality (la-yakun mustahiqqan li-dhalik fi’l-haqîqa). Rather his ascription to it is figuratively or lied (majâzan aw kidhban)!”

    And he provides more evidence than this concerning the fact that the Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, are to be taken ‘ala’l-haqîqa – ending his epistle with:

    “And these principles (usûl) are the ones which the predecessors went upon, and they followed the judgment of the Book and the Sunnah by it, and the righteous Khalaf followed them in it in their merits.”

    [al-Ash’ari, Risalah ila Ahl al-Thagr, edited by Dr. Julaynid]

    Al-Ash’ari stated also elsewhere the doctrine of the Salaf and righteous Khalaf concerning the fact that we have to take the Speech of Allah in its apparent sense, namely in his popular book al-Ibânah ‘an Usûl al-Diyânah which is one of his last books. He said therein:

    “The Mighty Qur’an is [to be taken] in its apparent sense (fi dhâhirih). It is not for us to understand it not in its apparent sense (‘ala dhâhirih), but with proof. Otherwise it is to be understood according to its apparent meaning (‘ala dhâhirih).”

    [al-Ash’ari in al-Ibanah p.47 in the edition of ‘Abbas Sabbagh]

    He also said about the reality of Allah’s Speech, i.e. the Qur’an the following:

    “The Qur’an is preserved in our brests in reality (fi’l-haqîqa), written in our scripts in reality, recited by our tongues in reality, heard by us in reality.”

    From this we understand that Allah Spoke in reality, and that He possesses a Speech in reality.

    [al-Ash’ari in al-Ibanah p.86]

    And concerning the reality and apparentness of Allah’s Attribute of Two Hands al-Ash'ari says this:

    “They (i.e. the Ahl al-Sunnah) have agreed upon the invalidity of the opinion of whoever affirms for Allah [many] ‘Hands’. Since they have agreed upon the invalidity of the opinion of whosoever says that, it is obliged that Allah, the Exalted, mentioned ‘Hands’ which turns to the affirmation of Two Hands, cause the evidence indicates the correctness of the consensus. And if the consensus was correct it is obliged to return from His Saying ‘Hands’ to [the understanding of] Two Hands, cause the Qur’an is to be taken upon its apparent sense (‘ala dhâhir). It is not to be taken away from its apparent sense (dhâhirih), but with proof. So having found proof we have transferred the reference to ‘Hands’ from its apparentness to another apparent meaning. And it is obliged that the apparentness of the other must be in its real sense (‘ala haqîqatihi); it is not [allowed] to depart from it but by proof.”

    He said also in the course of this:

    “The rule with regard the Speech of Allah, the Exalted, is that it is to be taken according to its apparent meaning and real sense (hukm kalâm allâhi ta’âla an yakun ‘ala dhâhirihi wa-haqîqatihi). It is not allowed to taken something out from its apparent sense to a figurative sense, but by proof.”

    [al-Ash’ari in al-Ibanah p.105-106]

    Abu Sulayman al-Khattâbi (d.388), the Shafi’ite Scholar said:

    “This Hadith (i.e. the narration of the Attribute of al-Nuzûl) and what looks similar from the Narrations of the Attributes, then the Madhhab of the Salaf concerning them is to believe (al-imân) in them and to carry them upon their apparent meaning (‘ala dhâhirihâ) and negating the how-ness (al-kayfiyyati) from them.”

    [al-Bayhaqi in al-Asma' wa'l-Sifat p.445]

    And he said in his Ma’âlim al-Sunan, the Commentary of Sunan Abu Dawud:

    “The Madhhab of the scholars of the Salaf and the jurisprudents was to leave the likes of these narrations upon their apparent meaning (‘ala al-dhâhir) and not to twist their meanings (al-ma’âni), and neither to make Ta’wîl (allegorical interpretation) of them because their knowledge was one of limited knowledge, incapable of understanding them..[as some accused unjustly]"

    And says later,

    “[I say:] And this (i.e. the Attributes) is from the knowledge which we’ve been commanded to believe in according to its apparent sense (bi-dhâhir), not to lift up the curtain for [reaching] its hidden meaning. And it is from the ambiguous passages: Allah, the Exalted, mentioned in His Book, for He said {He is it Who revealed upon you the Book, from it the Clear Verses, they are the Mother of the Book, and other the Ambiguous Verses} the rest of the Ayat. The Muhkam of it is to know its real sense and to act [accordingly] (al-‘ilm al-haqîqi wa’l-‘amal) and the Mutashabih is to believe it and to have knowledge of its apparent sense (al-imân wa’l-‘ilm al-dhâhir) and to entrust its hidden sense (batin) to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.. and the saying in all of that with the scholars of the Salaf is what we’ve said.”

    [al-Khattabi in Ma’alim al-Sunan 4:304 and al-Bayhaqi in al-Asma' wa'l-Sifat p.446]

    He said something similar in another – lost – book of him, al-Ghunya ‘an al-Kalam wa-Ahlihi:

    “As for what you have asked me concerning the sayings on the Attributes and that which has come in the Book and the authentic Sunan with regards to them, then the Madhhab of the Salaf was to affirm them (ithbât) and take them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhiriha), and to negate Tashbîh and how-ness from them.”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.207]

    Al-Khattabi said also:

    “The principle is: every Attribute which the Book has come with or has been authenticated by consecutive reports or is transmitted by a single route, and it has a basis in the Book or it comes from one of its meanings, then we speak by it and take upon its apparent meaning (‘ala dhâhiriha) without asking how.”

    [al-Bayhaqi in al-Asma' wa'l-Sifat p.364]

    Abu Ahmad al-Qassab (d.400) said:

    “And we do not describe Him only by what He described Himself with, or by which His Prophet described Him, for it is an Attribute in reality (sifat haqîqati) not metaphorically.”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.260]

    Abu’l-Fadl Abd al-Wahid al-Tamimi (d.410), the Hanbalite jurisprudent and traditionist of Baghdad, authored a treatise in which he tried to present in his own words the doctrinal views of his Imam: Ahmad b. Hanbal. He said in with reference to the Attributes the following:

    “The Madhhab of Abu Abdallah Ahmad b. Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him, is that Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, has a Face unlike the formed forms and the limited substances (a’yân al-mukhattata); rather His Face is ascribed to Him by His saying {Everything shall perish except His Face}. And whosoever changes its meaning then he has deviated from it. And therefore for him the Face is a reality not in a figurative way (fi’l-haqîqa dûn al-majâz). And the Face of Allah stays forever, not disappearing, and a Attribute of Him not extinguishing. And whosoever claims that His Face is His Essence, then he is a heretic; whosoever changes its meaning (ma’nâ-h) then he has disbelieved. The meaning of Face is not ‘body’ for Him, nor ‘form’ or ‘limit’; whosoever say so has innovated.”

    [Abu’l-Fadl Abd al-Wahid b. Abd al-‘Aziz al-Tamimi in K. Al-I’tiqad al-Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal p.33]

    Abu ‘Umar al-Talamanki (d.429), the Imam of the Malikites and author of al-Wusul ila Ma’rifat al-Usul, said:

    “The [Muslims of the] Ahl al-Sunnah have agreed upon that He, the Exalted, Ascended upon His Throne in a real sense not figuratively (‘ala’l-haqîqa lâ ‘alâ’l-majâz).”

    [Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Ijtima’ p.58 and al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.264]

    Abu Nasr al-Sijzi (d.444), the Shafi’ite Scholar from Makkah, said something similar about the doctrines of the Ahl al-Sunnah:

    “The Imams have agreed upon the fact that the Attributes are not to be taken but according to Tawqif (i.e. halting were the Qur'an and the Sunnah halts). And likewise, explaining them is not allowed but by way of Tawqif. So the opinion of the Speculative Theologians (al-mutakallimun) in negation of the Attributes, or affirmation by reason only, or carrying them by way of interpretion (ta’wîl) which opposes the apparent meaning (aw hamlihâ ‘ala ta’wîl mukhâlif lil-dhâhir) [is not allowed either].”

    [Abu Nasr al-Sijzi, al-Risalah ila Ahl al-Zubayd fi’l-Radd ‘ala man Ankara al-Harf wa’l-Sawt p.24]

    The Qadi Abu Ya’la b. al-Farra’ al-Hanbali (d.458), the Imam of the Hanabilah in Baghdad of his time, said concerning this matter:

    “Know that it is not permitted to reject these reports [on the Attributes] as a community of the Mu’tazilah did, nor to preoccupy oneself by interpreting (ta’wîl) them as the Ash’ariyyah do! What is obligatory is to take them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhirihâ); and that they are Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, not resembling the ones which are described from the Creations; and not professing Tashbîh in them. Rather [profess in them] how it is transmitted on the authority of our Shaykh and Imam, Abu Abdallah Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Hanbal, and others from the Imams of the Ashab al-Hadith who said concerning these narrations: pass them on as they have come. So they carried them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhirihâ) with the belief that they are Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, which do not resemble the rest of the ones that are described.”

    [Abu Ya’la b. al-Farra’, Ibtal al-Ta’wilat li-Akhbar al-Sifat p.43-44]

    Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr al-Numayri (d.463), the Malikite Hafidh of the Islamic West, said:

    “The Ahl al-Sunnah are agreed upon affirming the Attributes that occur in the Book and Sunnah, and to carry them in their real sense not figuratively (‘ala’l-haqîqa lâ ‘alâ’l-majâz), except that they did not inquire about the how-ness of anything of that. As for the Jahmiyyah, the Mu’tazilah and the Khawarij, all of them reject them. They do not carry anything from that upon its real sense (‘ala’l-haqîqah). They alleg that whosoever affirms them [upon its real sense] is a anthropomorphist!”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.268-269. The Hafidh al-Dhahabi commented upon this statement with: “By Allah, he spoke the truth! For whoever interprets all of the Attributes and carries what has come as a matter of figure of speech, then that denial reaches to the denial of God and comparing Him the non-existence!” Comments regarding the meaning of Haqiqa & Dhahir from him and his Shaykh will be followed upon later - Insha'Allah]]

    And Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said also in the course of commenting upon an Attribute:

    “As for their advocacy for figure of speech (al-majâz) concerning al-Istiwâ’ and their saying of Ta’wîl with regard to {Istawa} is Istawla, then there is no meaning in it cause it is not obvious (dhâhir) in the language. And the meaning of al-Istilâ’ in the language is ‘conquering’ (al-mughâlaba). And Allah, the Exalted, does not ‘conquer’ anyone [or anything] and He is the One, Self-sustaining (wâhid al-samad). And from the right of speech is to carry [speech] upon its real sense (‘ala’l-haqîqat) until the Ummah agrees that He intends by it the figurative sense (al-majâz), for there is no way to follow what has been revealed to us from our Lord, the Exalted, but accordingly. For the Speech of Allah, the Exalted, is directed to what is most famous and most apparent (al-ashhar wa’l-azhar) from its directions.”

    [Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Ijtima’ p.59]

    Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d.463) said in a Risalah of his wherein he answers questions concerning the controversy of the Attributes:

    “As for the speech with regards the Attributes, then what has been transmitted from it in the authentic Sunan then the Madhhab of the Salaf is: affirming them and leaving them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhawâhirihâ), while negating the how-ness and Tashbîh from them.”

    [al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, in his Risalah fi’l-Kalam ‘an al-Sifat: see also Mukhtasar al-‘Uluww p.272; it has been also quoted with approval by Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in Damm al-Ta’wil p.226]

    Abu Muhammad al-Baghawi (d.516), author of the Tafsir known as Ma’alim al-Tanzil commented after the verse {Then He Rose over the heaven}:

    “The first [what one must do] with regard of this Ayât and what falls in the same category is that a man must believe in its apparent meaning (bi-dhâhiriha), and to assign its [inner] knowledge [of the how-ness] to Allah; and [he must] believe that Allah is transcended from temporary things. Upon that the Imams of the Salaf and the Scholars of the Sunnah went before.”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.280]

    Abu’l-Wafa’ b. ‘Aqil al-Hanbali (d.513), one of the great Hanbalite Scholars, said:

    “The Ash’arites spoke by way of the Jahmiyyah with regard to the interpretation (ta’wîl) of the ambiguous (al-mutashabih), the carrying of narrations from its apparent meanings (sarf al-ahâdith ‘an dhâhirihâ) by way of opinion, and the judging of reason contrary to revelation, and that is a great danger..”

    [Ibn ‘Aqil, Radd ‘ala’l-Asha’irah al-‘Uzzal p.69]

    And Ibn ‘Aqil said:

    “The Madhhab of the Salaf and the Imams of the Khalaf is having faith in the Names and the Attributes by way of Tawqif: not taking them out of their apparent meanings (dhâhirihâ) to an interpretation (ta’wîl) through rational evidence and speculative indications..”

    [Ibn ‘Aqil, idem.]

    Abu’l-Qasim al-Taymi al-Isfahani (d.535) was asked about the Attributes of Allah, the Exalted. So this Shafi'ite Imam answered as follows:

    “The Madhhab of Malik, al-Thawri, al-Awza’i, al-Shafi’i, Hammad b. Salamah, Hammad b. Zayd, Ahmad, Yahya b. Sa’id al-Qattan, Abd al-Rahman b. Mahdi and Ishaq b. Rahawayh is that the Attributes of Allah, the ones by which he described His Self and by which His Messenger described Him with from the Hearing, the Seeing, the Face, the Two Hands and the rest of His descriptions, than they are to be taken upon their well known and famous apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhiriha al-ma’rûf al-mashhûr), without suggesting an how-ness for them and without Tashbîh and Ta’wîl. Ibn ‘Uyayna said: Everything by which Allah described Himself with then its recitation is its explanation (tafsir). [Abu’l-Qasim says then commenting upon Ibn ‘Uyayna’s saying] That is according to its apparent sense: it is not allowed to carry her to a figurative meaning (majâz) from the sorts of interpretation (ta’wil).”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.282]

    And he said also:

    “What has come concerning the Attributes in the Book of Allah, the Exalted, or what has been narrated by authentic chains of transmission, then the Madhhab of the Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon them, is to affirm them and the take them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhâhirihâ) and negating how-ness to them. Cause the speech with regards the Attributes is part of speech concerning the Essence (i.e. Allah); and the affirmation of the Essence is the affirmation of its existence, not its how-ness. Likewise is the affirmation of the Attributes. Upon this the Salaf altogether went before.”

    [Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in Damm al-Ta’wil p.237]

    Muwaffaq al-Din Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d.620), the Hanbalite Imam, declared in many of his writings the doctrine of the Salaf and the righteous Khalaf, that is: taking the Attributes upon its apparent meaning in reality. He described this as such:

    “The Madhhab of the Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon them, is to have faith in the Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, and His Names, the ones which He described Himself with in His Verses and His Revelation or upon the tongue of His Messenger, without addition upon that and neither deletion from that, nor to move them, without explanation (tafsir) for them or interpretation (ta’wil) which would oppose its apparent meaning (dhâhirihâ); and without assimilation (tashbîh) of the attributes of the created beings and likeness to the contingent things; rather passing them on as they have come (ammirrûhâ kamâ jâ’at).”

    [Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in Damm al-Ta’wil p.222]

    He said in a creed of his:

    “This and what looks like it (he means: the Attributes) what is authentic from its chain of transmission and the reliability of its transmitters we believe in and do not reject, nor deny or interpret by an interpretation which opposes its apparent meaning (dhâhirih).”

    [Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in al-Lum’at al-I’tiqad p.176]

    So from the above sayings of the scholars Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash’ari (d.324), Abu Sulayman al-Khattabi (d.388), Abu Ahmad al-Qassab (d.400), Abu’l-Fadl Abd al-Wahid al-Tamimi (d.410), Abu ‘Umar al-Talamanki (d.429), Abu Nasr al-Sijzi (d.444), Al-Qadi Abu Ya’la al-Farra’ (d.458), Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d.463), Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (d.463), Abu’l-Wafa b. ‘Aqil al-Baghdadi (d.513), Abu Muhammad al-Baghawi (d.516), Abu’l-Qasim al-Taymi (d.535) and Muwaffaq al-Din al-Maqdisi (d.620) we understand that the Madhhab of the Salaf al-Salih is to take the [Names and] Attributes according to their apparent sense and in reality.

    wa-Allahu A'lam.


    Taken from SunniPress.
    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    al-Dhahabi commented upon al-Qadi Abu Ya’la’s words were cited from the Ibtal al-Ta’wilat, saying:

    “The later-day theologians said a newly invented doctrine – I have not known anyone who preceded them in this – saying: ‘These Attributes are to be passed as they have come without interpreting them with the belief that its apparent meaning (dhahiriha) is not its intention (murad)!’ So understand from this that what is meant by the apparent sense (al-dhâhir) are two matters.

    One of it is: there is no Ta’wil for it except the signification of the communicator as the Salaf said: al-Istiwa’ ma’lum. And as Sufyan [b. ‘Uyayna] and other said: Its recitation is its explanation. Meaning: it is unequivocal clear in the language; it does not desire [any] Ta’wil and Tahrif [for its meaning is obvious]. This is the Madhhab of the Salaf, with also their agreement that it does not resembles the attributes of man from any direction. The Creator has none similar as Him, not in his Essence nor in His Attributes!

    The second: that the ‘apparent sense’ of it is that which cause problem in the imagination of the Attribute, as it cause problem in the dhuhn of the description of man, then this is not its intended meaning. For Allah, the Exalted, is Single and Always Existent (Samad), He has no equal!”


    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Muktasar p.270]


    Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d.241AH) said :

    "The hadeeth, in our estimation, is to be taken by its apparent (dhaahir) meaning, as it has come from the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam..."

    Usool as Sunnah no.27 of Imaam Ahmad

    Scholars are agreed upon that the Imam Ahmad took knowledge upon its dhâhir in general, and that connected with the subject of 'Aqidah in particular.

    Al-Khattaabee (d. 388H) said:

    "The madhhab of the Salaf with regard to the Sifaat is to affirm them as they are alaa dhaahir (with their apparent meaning), negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them, nor takyeef (asking how they are)."

    Al-Ghuniyah an Kalaam wa Ahlihi - as quoted in Mukhtasir al-Uluww (no.137).

    Qaadee Abu Ya'laa said:

    "It is not permissible to repel these narrations - as is the way of the group from the Mu'tazilah. Nor to become preoccupied with ta'weel - as is the way of the Ash'ariyyah. It is obligatory to carry them upon their dhaahir (apparent) meaning; and that the Attributes of Allaah do not resemble any one of His creation, nor do we have an aqeedah (belief) that there is any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them. Rather [we believe] in what has been reported from our Shaikh and our Imaam, Abu Abdullaah, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal, and others from the Scholars of Ashaabul-Hadeeth."

    Ibtaal ut-Ta'weelaat (p.4)

    Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d.463) said in a Risalah of his wherein he answers questions concerning the controversy of the Attributes:

    “As for the speech with regards the Attributes, then what has been transmitted from it in the authentic Sunan then the Madhhab of the Salaf is: affirming them and leaving them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhawahiriha), while negating the how-ness and Tashbih from them.”

    al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, in his Risalah fi’l-Kalam ‘an al-Sifat: see also Mukhtasar al-‘Uluww p.272; it has been also quoted with approval by Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in Damm al-Ta’wil p.226

    Abu’l-Qasim al-Taymi al-Isfahani (d.535) was asked about the Attributes of Allah, the Exalted. So he answered as follows:

    “The Madhhab of Malik, al-Thawri, al-Awza’I, al-Shafi’I, Hammad b. Salamah, Hammad b. Zayd, Ahmad, Yahya b. Sa’id al-Qattan, Abd al-Rahman b. Mahdi and Ishaq b. Rahawayh is that the Attributes of Allah, the ones by which he described His Self and by which His Messenger described Him with from the Hearing, the Seeing, the Face, the Two Hands and the rest of His descriptions, than they are to be taken upon their well known and famous apparent meanings, (‘ala dhahiriha al-ma’ruf al-mashhur) without suggesting an how-ness for them and without Tashbih and Ta’wil. Ibn ‘Uyayna said: Everything by which Allah described Himself with then its recitation is its explanation (tafsir). [Abu’l-Qasim says then commenting upon Ibn ‘Uyayna’s saying] That is according to its apparent sense: it is not allowed to carry her to a figurative meaning (majaz) from the sorts of interpretation (ta’wil).”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.282]

    And he said also:

    “What has come concerning the Attributes in the Book of Allah, the Exalted, or what has been narrated by authentic chains of transmission, then the Madhhab of the Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon them, is to affirm them and the take them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhaahirihaa) and negating how-ness to them. Cause the speech with regards the Attributes is part of speech concerning the Essence (i.e. Allah); and the affirmation of the Essence is the affirmation of its existence, not its how-ness. Likewise is the affirmation of the Attributes. Upon this the Salaf altogether went before.”

    [Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in Damm al-Ta’wil p.237]

    Muwaffaq al-Din Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi (d.620), the Hanbalite Imam, declared in many of his writings the doctrine of the Salaf and the righteous Khalaf, that is: taking the Attributes upon its apparent meaning in reality. He described this as such:

    “The Madhhab of the Salaf, may Allah have mercy upon them, is to have faith in the Attributes of Allah, the Exalted, and His Names, the ones which He described Himself with in His Verses and His Revelation or upon the tongue of His Messenger, without addition upon that and neither deletion from that, nor to move them, without explanation (tafsir) for them or interpretation (ta’wil) which would oppose its apparent meaning (dhaahirihaa); and without assimilation (tashbih) of the attributes of the created beings and likeness to the contingent things; rather passing them on as they have come (ammaruuhaa kamaa ja’at).”

    [Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in Damm al-Ta’wil p.222]

    He said in a creed of his:

    “This and what looks like it (he means: the Attributes) what is authentic from its chain of transmission and the reliability of its transmitters we believe in and do not reject, nor deny or interpret by an interpretation which opposes its apparent meaning (dhahirihi).”

    [Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi in al-Lum’at al-I’tiqad p.176]

    The Hafidh al-Dhahabi, the Shafi’ite Imam in Hadith, explained the meaning of ‘apparent sense’ and ‘reality’ in a few places. He said for instance commenting upon al-Khatib al-Baghdadi’s description of the doctrines of the Salaf, which reads,

    “As for the speech with regards the Attributes, then what has been transmitted from it in the authentic Sunan then the Madhhab of the Salaf is: affirming them and leaving them upon their apparent meanings (‘ala dhawâhiriha), while negating the how-ness and Tashbih from them..”

    Saying:

    “And something similar has been said by one of the scholars before. And this is what I’ve learned to be the Madhhab of the Salaf [concerning the Attributes]. And the meaning of ‘according to its apparent sense’ is: there is no hidden meaning to the words of the Book and the Sunnah but what has been established for it [by the language of the Arabs]. Just like Malik and others said: The Istiwa’ is known. Likewise the saying concerning the Hearing, the Seeing, the Knowledge, the Speech, the Will, the Face, and what is similar. These things are known, so there is no need for clarification and explanation [of their meanings]. But the how (al-kayf) for all of them is unknown to us. And Allah Knows best!”

    [al-Dhahabi in al-‘Uluww, see its Mukhtasar p.283]

    In his work Dham al-Ta’wil (Censure of Ta’wil), Ibn Qudama states:

    ومذهب السلف رحمة الله عليهم الإيمان بصفات الله تعالى وأسمائه التي وصف بها نفسه في آياته وتنزيله أو على لسان رسوله من غير زيادة عليها ولا نقص منها ولا تجاوز لها ولا تفسير ولا تأويل لها بما يخالف ظاهرها


    ‘The Madhab of the Salaf is to have Iman in the Attributes of Allah Ta’ala and His Names, with which He described Himself… without giving explanation, or a ta’wil that opposes its dhahir.

    Ibn Qudama then explains exactly what the Salaf meant when they negated the ‘meaning’:

    وعلموا أن المتكلم بها صادق لا شك في صدقه فصدقوه ولم يعلموا حقيقة معناها فسكتوا عما لم يعلموه


    ‘[The Salaf] knew that the one who conveyed to us [the information about Allah’s Attributes] is truthful, with no doubt in his truthfulness. Hence, they believed him, without knowing the reality of the meaning, and remained silent over that which they did not know.’

    Hence, Ibn Qudama declares that the Salaf made tafwidh of the reality of the meaning, and not the dhahir itself.

    In the same book he quotes the statement al-Hafidh Abu Bakr al-Tayyib in his support, without showing any discontent or disagreement:

    أما الكلام في الصفات فإن ما روي منها في السنن الصحاح مذهب السلف رضي الله عنهم إثباتها وإجراؤها على ظاهرها


    ‘As for the subject of Allah’s Attributes, then whatever has been narrated in the authentic collections of Sunan, the Madhab of the Salaf is to affirm them and accept the dhahir of it.’

    Another equally important point to note is that when the Salaf said: ‘transmit these narrations as they have been narrated’, they did not at all mean negating the dhahir of those traditions. Rather, ‘transmitting them as they have come’, while negating the dhahir, was a relatively new phenomenon, at least according to al-Dhahabi who says in his book al-‘Uluw: ‘The latter ones from Ahl al-Nadhar (people of Kalam), came up with a newly invented belief. I do not know of anyone who preceded them in that. They said: These Attributes are to be accepted as they are, and not made ta’wil of, while believing that dhahir is not the intent.’

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728), the Imam of the Ahl al-Sunnah, said on the meaning of the term dhâhir:

    “If a speaker says: the apparent sense (dhâhir) of the texts is its intended meaning (murad) or its apparent sense is not its intended meaning. Then one says [to him]:

    The word al-dhâhir contains ambiguity (ijmâl) and homonymy (ishtirâk). If the speaker used to believe that ‘its apparent sense’ means resemblance (al-tamthil) to the attributes of created beings or what is particular to them, then there is no doubt that this is not what is intended [by the Ahl al-Sunnah]. But the Salaf and the Imams were not calling this ‘its apparent sense’, nor were they pleased to have the ‘apparent sense’ (dhâhir) of the Qur’an and the Hadith as Kufr or Batil. Allah, Exonerated and Exalted is He, is Most Knowledgeable and Most Wise than that His Speech, which He ascribed to His Self, does not manifest from Him but what is unbelief (kufr) and misguidance (dalâl)!

    Those who make ‘its apparent sense’ (dhâhirihâ) as such are mistaken from two perspectives: some make the repugnant meaning (al-ma’na al-fâsid) the apparent sense of the word (dhâhir al-lafz), until they make it in need of a Ta’wil which opposes the apparent sense – and it is not as such; some renounce the true meaning (al-ma’na al-haqq), that is the one which is the apparent sense of the word, under the impression that it is Bâtil.

    (As for the first) as they have said concerning His saying "My slave, I was hungry but you haven’t fed Me" of the Hadith. And in the other narration [which says] "The Black Stone is the right hand of Allah on earth; whosoever shakes his hand it or kisses it is as if he shaked Allah and kissed His right hand". And his saying "The hearts of the servants are between the Two Fingers of the Fingers of the Most Merciful", they said: ‘It is known that there are no Fingers of al-Haqq (i.e. Allah) in our hearts.’

    One says to them: If you gave the Texts their due right from the perspective of what it signifies then you would have known that they do not point to [something] but the truth.

    As for [the first of] his saying "The Black Stone is the right hand of Allah on earth; whoever gives his hand or kisses it is as if he shaked Allah or kissed His right hand" it is clear in this that the Black Stone is not an Attribute of Allah nor is it His Right Hand itself, cause he said, ‘..the right hand of Allah on earth..”, and he said, ‘..whoever received and kisses his hand is as if he shaked Allah and kissed His right hand..’, and it is known that the resembled thing is not the resembled one itself! So in the Hadith itself there is a clarification that recipient is not the one giving his hand to Allah and that it is not the Right Hand itself. Then how can one make its apparent sense Kufr because it is in need of Ta’wil? With [the knowledge of the fact] that this narration is but known from Ibn ‘Abbas [and not from the Qur’an or Sunnah]!?!

    As for the other narration, then it is in the Sahih with an explanation: ‘Allah says, My slave! I was hungry but you haven’t fed Me. So he will say: Lord! How can I feed You when You are the Lord of the Worlds? So He will say: Have you not known that My slave so-and-so felt hungry, so if you fed him then you would have found that with Me. My slave! I was sick but you have not healed Me! So he will say: Lord! How can I heal You when Thou are the Lord of the Worlds? So He will say: Have you not known that My slave so-and-so was sick, so if you healed him then you would have found Me with him.’ And this is clear with regard the fact that Allah, the Exonerated is He, does not get sick or feel hungry! On the contrary, His slave got sick and His slave felt hungry. So He made his hunger His’ and his sickness His’ in explanation so that when you feed him you will find that with Me and if you heal him you will find with Him. So there does not remain in the Hadith a word (lafz) which is in need of Ta’wil!

    As for his saying: ‘The hearts of the servants are between the Two Fingers of the Fingers of the Al-Merciful’. Then it is not in its apparent sense (dhâhir) [obvious] that the heart [of a man] is connected to the Fingers, nor in touch of them and not that it is in its inside. And there is not in the saying of this speaker ‘between two hands’ (bayn yaday) what would make it actual to one’s two hands! And if one says ‘the supplied clouds (al-sahâb al-musakhkhar) between the heaven and earth’ then it would not follow from that that it is in touch with the heaven and the earth; and examples of these are many.”


    [Ibn Taymiyyah in R. al-Tadmuriyyah p.47-49]
    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Written by Br Abuz Zubair, regarding Imaam Ahmad and Tafwidh:

    Again, as is the case with Ibn Qudama, the narrations from Imam Ahmad where he affirms the dhahir of the wording are numerous.

    In fact, anyone who has read about the mihna (trial) of Imam Ahmad knows that he insisted on saying, not only that the Quran is the Speech of Allah, but also that it is not created. Whereas a mufawwidh would not go beyond saying: Kalam Allah, while denying the dhahir, and not delving into whether or not it is created.

    Moreover, ‘Abdullah narrates in his Sunnah, that those who simply said, ‘The Quran is Kalam Allah’, without saying, ‘it is not created’, Imam Ahmad regarded them to be Jahmis!

    Abu Dawud also narrated that Imam Ahmad was asked: Does any one have excuse to say that ‘[the Quran is] the Speech of Allah’, and then remain silent? Imam Ahmad said: Why would he remain silent? If it wasn’t for what the people have fallen into (i.e. the belief of the creation of the Quran), he may have remained silent. But since they (the Jahmis) have already spoken (that it is created), why would they (Ahl al-Sunnah) not speak?!

    This is an important statement because Imam Ahmad states that if it wasn’t for the fact that the Jahmiyya denied the dhahir, that the Quran is literally the Speech of Allah, one may have an excuse for simply stopping at: ‘Kalam Allah’, without adding ‘not created’. But when the Jahmis denied the dhahir, Imam Ahmad obliged the Sunnis to use the terms and phrase not mentioned in the Quran to emphasise the literal meaning of the texts, that the Quran is literally the word of Allah, and not His creation.

    How can then, he be a mufawwidfh?

    How about Imam Ahmad affirming that Allah literally Speaks with a Sound and numerous narrations, such as the one I quoted previously: ‘Abd Allah says in his book al-Sunnah: I asked my father about a people who say: When Allah spoke to Musa, He did not speak with a sound. My father [Ahmad] replied: In fact, your Lord spoke with a sound, for we narrate these Ahadeeth as they have reached us.

    Al-Khallal narrates in his Sunnah, that Imam Ahmad was asked:
    Allah Ta’ala is above (fawq) the seventh heaven, upon His Throne, separate from His creation, while His power and knowledge are everywhere? He replied: Yes. He is upon the Throne, and nothing escapes His knowledge.

    Al-Khallal also reports that Imam Ahmad was asked about someone who says: Allah is not above His Throne, to which he replied: Their entire statement revolves around Kufr.

    He then quotes Imam Ahmad from his Sunnah: He is upon His Throne, above the seventh heaven.

    In these narrations, it is obvious to anyone that Imam Ahmad articulated the dhahir of the texts in his own words, and that is only possible, if Imam Ahmad affirms the literal/dhahir of the texts.

    The narrations are too many to quote, while the claim is too weak to refute, but I guess the point is clear to all.

    The question then may arise that why did Imam Ahmad negate the ma’na/meaning?

    A possible explanation could be that Imam Ahmad must have heard of Jahmis saying: Allah Rose over the throne; meaning: took control.

    Naturally, Imam Ahmad’s response would be: ‘Allah Rose over the throne, without any meaning or tafsir’, intending by that, any meaning or tafsir that negates its dhahir.

    Whatever the case, what is crystal clear from Imam Ahmad’s narrations is that he definitely affirmed the dhahir, and that no one can deny.

    Also, I remind you of the quote from al-Dhahabi’s al-‘Uluw, that to negate the dhahir of the text (tafwidh, the Ash’ari way), was a relatively new phenomenon, invented by the latter mutakallimun.
    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah



    Allaah says:
    And Fir'aun (Pharaoh) said: "O Haman! Build me a tower that I may arrive at the ways, The ways of the heavens, and I may look upon the Ilah (God) of Musa (Moses) but verily, I think him to be a liar." Thus it was made fair-seeming, in Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) eyes, the evil of his deeds, and he was hindered from the (Right) Path, and the plot of Fir'aun (Pharaoh) led to nothing but loss and destruction (for him).
    Qur'an 40: 36-37

    Imam al-Tabari (d 310) said, in his Tafseer of these verses:
    “Meaning: That perhaps I (pharaoh) may reach the gates of heavens, the gates that would allow me to see the God of Moses; for I believe Moses to be a liar with respect to what he says and claims; that he has a Lord in the heavens who sent him
    Tafseer al-Tabari 24/64
    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Do not argue with your Lord on behalf of your soul, rather argue with your soul on behalf of your Lord.” - Dhul-Nun

    "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness." - Victor Frankl

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    The Qadi Abu Yusuf

    Imam Abu Yusuf al-Qadi said:

    "Allah Ordered us to declare Him One and al-Tawhid is not subjected to analogy (al-qiyâs), cause analogy is applicable to something that has a likeness or similarity. And Allah has no like nor one similar {Blessed is Allah, the best of Creators} [Surah al-Mu’minun:14].." until he, rahimahullah, says: "and how can one perceive Him by analogy while He, the Exalted, is the Creator of the creation as opposed to the creation [itself]?! Nothing is like Him, the Blessed and Exalted."

    [Source: Abu’l-Qasim al-Taymi, al-Hujjah fi Bayân al-Mahajjah 1:113]

    Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Shaybani

    Imam Muhammad b. al-Hasan said:

    "The jurisprudents have agreed altogether, from the East till the West, for having belief in the Qur'an and the traditions which have come through the reliable ones on the authority of the Messenger of Allah - peace be upon him - concerning the Attribute of the Lord, 'azza wa-jall, without explanation (tafsir), description (wasaf) and comparison (tashbih). Whoever explains today something from that (i.e. the Attributes), then he has left from what the Prophet - peace be upon him - was upon and split off the community. For they have not described nor interpreted, but [they have] believed what's in the Book and the Sunnah and then became silent. So whoever speaks by Jahm's speech, then he has splitt the community for he described Him with an attribute of nothingness (bi-sifat lâ shay)."

    [Source: al-Lalika'i, Sharh Usul 3:432-433 (older edition); Ibn Qudamah, Damm al-Ta'wil p.225; al-Dhahabi, al-'Uluww p.113]

    'Amr b. Wahb said: I heard Shaddad b. Hakîm mention from Muhammad b. al-Hasan concerning the narrations that Allah Descends to the lowest heaven and the likes from these reports:

    "These narrations have been transmitted by reliable people, so we transmit and believe in them, and do not interpret them." (fa-nahnu narwîhâ wa-mu'min bihâ wa-lâ nufassiruhâ)

    [Source: al-Lalika'i, Sharh Usul al-I'tiqad no.741 (=3:92 in new edition); Ibn Qudamah, Ithbat Sifat al-'Uluww p.128; al-Dhahabi, al-'Uluww p.113]

    Waki' b. al-Jarrâh

    'Abbas al-Dûri said: I heard Yahya b. Ma'in say: I was a witness when Zakariya b. 'Adi asked Waki' b. al-Jarrah saying:

    O Abu Sufyan [i.e. Waki']! [These narrations] i.e. such as 'The Footstool is the place of the Two Foots', so he said:

    "We saw Isma'il b. Abi Khalid, Sufyan [al-Thawri] and Mis'ar report these narrations [concerning the Attributes] and they have interpreted nothing [what contains in these narrations]." (yuhaddithûna hadha’l-ahâdith wa-lâ yufassirûna shay’an)


    [Source: Ibn Ma'in, al-Tarikh no.2543 (in the transmission of al-Dûri); al-Dulabi, al-Kunâ wa'l-Asmâ' 1:199-200; al-Daraqutni, al-Sifat p.69; Ibn Mandah, Kitab al-Tawhid p.211; Abu Ya'la b. al-Farrâ', al-Ibtal al-Ta'wilat p.46 (quoting al-Daraqutni's al-Sifat); Ibn Qudamah, Damm al-Ta'wil p.232; al-Bayhaqi, al-Asma wa'l-Sifat 2:197 (p.366)]

    Imam Waki’ b. al-Jarrah said:

    "We submit our self to these narrations [of the Attributes] as they have came (naslimu hadhah al-ahadith kamâ jâ’at), and we do not say: ‘How is that?’ nor ‘Why is that?’ (wa-lâ naqûl kay kadha wa-lâ lam kadha), for example with respect to the narration of Ibn Ma’sud ‘Allah will carry the heavens upon a Finger and the mountains upon a Finger’ and the narration on the authority of the Prophet – peace be upon him – wherein he said ‘The heart of a man is between Two Fingers of the Fingers of the Merciful’ and similar of these narrations."

    [Source: Abdallah b. Ahmad, Kitab al-Sunnah p.55]

    Imam Waki’ b. al-Jarrâh said:

    "Whoever seeks Hadith as it has come (kamâ jâ’a) then he is a adherent of the Sunnah, and whoever seeks it to enforce his opinion by it [by manupilation] then he is an adherent of Bid’ah."

    [Source: Abdallah al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalam 2:269-270]

    'Uthman b. Sa'id al-Darimi

    Imam ‘Uthman b. Sa’id al-Dârimî said:

    "We do not ascribe a howness to these Attributes, nor belie or interpret these." (lâ nukayyifu’l-sifât wa-lâ nukadhibu wa-lâ nufassiruhâ)

    [Source: Abdallah al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalâm wa-Ahlih 4:343]

    ‘Uthman b. Sa’id al-Darimi said:

    "For these ahâdith, all of them and most of them, have been narrated concerning the Ru’yat (i.e. the seeing of Allah). While asserting them as truth (‘ala tasdiqihâ) and believing them (al-imân bihâ) such have we seen the people of understanding and vision of our teachers (Ahl al-Fiqh wa’l-Basar). And the Muslims of old and new have always transmitted them and believed in them, not repulsing them nor rejecting them. And whosoever rejects them from the people of deviation they ascribe to him misguidance.."

    [Source: al-Darimi, Radd ‘ala’l-Jahmiyyah p.122]

    And Imam al-Darimi said:

    "If the Book [of Allah], the saying of the Messenger and the consensus of the Ummah unite then there stays nothing with it for the Muta’awwil (interpreter) a Ta’wil (interpretation), except for the arrogant or rejecter.."

    [Source: ibid. p.122-123]

    Imam al-Darimi said:

    "These narrations have come all of them and most of them concerning the Descend of the Lord, the Blessed and Exalted, in these places. While asserting them as truth and having belief in them such have we seen the people of understanding and vision of our teachers. None of them has rejected them and nobody prevents its transmission, until this ‘asâbat unveiled and questioned the narrations of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, by rejecting them.."

    [Source: al-Darimi, Radd ‘ala’l-Jahmiyyah p.93]

    Sharik b. 'Abdallah

    Imam Abu Dawud al-Sijistani said:

    "Sufyan al-Thawri, Shu’ba [b. al-Hajjaj], Hammad b. Zayd, Hammad b. Salamah, Sharik [b. Abdallah], and Abu ‘Awana use not to limit, assimilate or compare [Allah’s Attributes] (laa yuhadduuna wa-laa yushabbihuuna wa-laa yumathiluuna); they would transmit the narration without saying ‘how’. And if they were asked they would answer by reports (athar)." Abu Dawud said: "And this is our saying."

    [Source: al-Bayhaqi, al-Asma’ wa’l-Sifat p.425]


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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Abu'l-Hasan al-Karaji (458-532) is Muhammad b. Abd al-Malik b. Umar b. Muhammad al-Makki, the Shafi'ite jurisprudent. He was born in 458 and heard Hadith from Makki b. 'Illân al-Karaji, Abu'l-Qasim al-Razzâz, Abu 'Ali Muhammad b. Sa'id b. Nabhân al-Kâtib, Ábu'l-Hasan b. al-'Allâf and others, and he studied Fiqh funder Abu Mansur al-Isbahani. Ibn al-Sam'ani, Abu Musa al-Madini and others related from him. He was an Imam, pious and authority in Tafsir, Hadith and the Shafi'ite Madhhab of Fiqh. He died in 532, rahimahullah.

    Abu'l-Hasan al-Karaji stated:

    "The Shafi'ite Imams have not ceased disdaining and detesting that they should be ascribed to al-Ashari. They disassociate themselves from that which al-Ash'ari built his Madhhab upon. They forbid their associates and beloved ones from approaching it, as I have heard from a number of the Shaykhs and Imams.

    From them is the Hafidh al-Mu'tamin b. Ahmad b. 'Ali al-Sâji, all saying: We've heard from a community of trustworthy Shaykhs, saying:

    The Shaykh Abu Hamid Ahmad b. Abi Tahir al-Isfara'ini, Imam of the A'immah, the one whose knowledge and students spread over the earth, when he sought the Friday Prayer from a part of al-Karkh to the Jami' of al-Mansûr, he would enter the Ribat known by al-Rûzi, next to the Jami'. And he would accept whom attends and say:

    'Be witnesses of me that the Qur'an is Allah's Speech, uncreated, just as Ahmad b. Hanbal said; not as al-Baqillani says it!'

    That recurred much from him at Friday Prayers. Consequently he was spoken to concerning that, so he answered:

    'Until it is spread among the [general] people and among the people of righteousness, and it is rumored in the lands: I am free of that which they are upon - i.e. the Ash'arites - and free of the Madhhab of Abu Bakr al-Baqillani. For a group of foreign aspiring jurists enter upon al-Baqillani in secret, covertly! They read up to him, then they are attracted by his Madhhab. So when they return to their lands they show their innovation, without doubt. So the one who assumes will think that they learned it from me and that I've said it?! But I am free of al-Baqillani's Madhhab and creed!'"


    Abu'l-Hasan al-Karaji said also:

    "I heard my Shaykh, the Imam Abu Mansur the Jurist from Isfahan say: I heard our Shaykh, the Imam Abu Bakr al-Râdhaqâni say:

    I was in the class of the Shaykh Abu Hamid al-Isfara'ini and he was prohibiting his associates from Kalâm and from entering upon al-Baqillani. Consequently it reached him that a small group of students of his entered upon him, undercover, to study Kalâm. He suspected that I was with them and from them - and he mentioned the story in the end: The Shaykh Abu Hamid said to me:

    'O my son! It reached me that you entered upon this man, i.e. al-Baqillani. O you and he! He is an innovator! He calls people to misguidance! And if [you do] not [heed my warning], then do not attend my assembly.'

    I said: I seek refuge with Allah from what is said! And seek repentance from Him. And be witnesses of me that I do not enter upon him!'"


    Abu'l-Hasan al-Karaji said also:

    "I heard the jurist Abu Mansur Sa'd b. 'Ali al-'Ijli say: I heard a part of the Shaykhs and Imams of Baghdad - I think the Shaykh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi is one of them - say:

    'Abu Bakr al-Baqillani used to exit the public bath veiled, afraid of the Shaykh Abu Hamid al-Isfara'ini.'"


    al-Karaji again:

    "I've been informed by a group of trustworthy scholars through writing - from them the Qadi Abu Mansur al-Ya'qubi - on the authority of the Imam Abdallah b. Muhammad b. 'Ali, who said: I heard Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad b. al-Husayn say: I've found Abu Hamid al-Isfara'ini, Abu al-Tayyib al-Su'luki, Abu Bakr al-Qaffâl al-Marwazi and Abu Mansur al-Hakim upon a repudiation of Kalâm and its people.."

    al-Karaji said:

    "The severity of the Shaikh against the Ahl al-Kalâm is well known, to the point that he even made a distinction between the principles of the jurisprudence (usul fiqh) of al-Shafi'i and the principles (usul) of al-Ash'ari. Notes upon this were added by Abu Bakr al-Râdhaqâni and it is with me. He was followed in this by the Shaikh Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi in his two books: al-Luma' and al-Tabsirah. To the extent that if a saying of al-Ash'ari agreed with one view from our companions he made distinction and said: 'It is the saying of some of our associates, and the Ash'ariyyah said it too', and he did not include them amongst the companions of al-Shafi'i. They disdained and avoided them and their Madhhab in the principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh), not to mention with regard to the principles of the religion (usul al-din)!"

    al-Karaji said:

    "Whoever says: 'I'm a Shafi'ite in jurisprudence and Ash'arite in creed', we say to him, 'This is from the things that are contradictory, nay rather from the things that are rejected, whence al-Shafi'i was not an Ash'arite in creed'!"

    [Source: refer to Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Tis'iniyyah and Dar' al-Ta'arrud; al-Ansari, Damm al-Kalâm wa-Ahlih; Ibn al-Mabrid, Jam' al-Juyush and others]

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    [1:22AM, 08/05/2016] Saleem Khan: Imam Fahr ad-Deen al-Razi (544-606/1150-1210) said in his "Tafseer al-Kabeer" (7:54):

    أما قوله تعالى: { ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ } فاعلم أنه لا يمكن أن يكون المراد منه كونه مستقراً على العرش ويدل على فساده وجوه عقلية، ووجوه نقلية.

    "Concerning the words of Allah Ta'ala "then istawa on the 'Arsh", you should know, that it is not possible for them to mean "established on the 'Arsh". And both: the logic and the texts of Quran and Sunnah - indicate that this meaning is a unacceptable".
    Hafidh Abu Nu'aym al-Asbahani (336-430) in "Hilyat al-awliya" told [us] the story that happened with Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi (died in 258):

    أخبرنا عبد الواحد بن بكر ، حدثني أحمد بن محمد بن علي البردعي ، ثنا طاهر بن إسماعيل الرازي قال : قيل ليحيى بن معاذ : أخبرني عن الله ما هو ؟ قال : إله واحد ، قال : كيف هو ؟ قال : ملك قادر ؟ قال : أين هو ؟ قال : بالمرصاد ، قال : ليس عن هذا أسألك. قال يحيى : فذاك صفة المخلوق فأما صفة الخالق فقد أخبرتك.

    'Abd al-Wahid ibn Bakr narrated us: Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ali al-Barda'i narrated me: Tahir ibn Isma'il al-Razi narrated us:

    "Yahya ibn Mu'adh was told: "Tell me about Allah. Who is He?" Yahya said: "The One God". He asked: "How is He?" He said: "The Almighty Lord". He asked: "Where is He?" He said: "Indeed, your Lord is in observation"(1). He said: "I didn't ask you about that!" Yahya said: "What you wanted to ask about is attributes of creatures. What concerns the attributes of the Creator, I have told you already"".

    [Hafidh Abu Nu'aym narrated the story in "Hilyat"; Hafidh Ibn al-Jawzi narrated it in "Sifa al-Safwa".]

    (1) Tafseer Ibn Katheer:

    وقوله : ( إن ربك لبالمرصاد ) قال ابن عباس : يسمع ويرى . يعني : يرصد خلقه فيما يعملون

    "And the words of Allah: "Indeed, your Lord is in observation", - Ibn 'Abbas said: "He hears and sees", - it means: "He watches over His creations in what they do"".
    Hafidh Abu Nu'aym al-Asbahani (336-430) narrated in "Hilyat al-Awliya" the verses of the great pious predecessor and zahid Dhul-Nun al-Misri (179-245 h), who took knowledge from such imams as Malik, Layth ibn Sa'd, Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah, Al-Fudhayl ibn Iyad and others:

    أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ الْبَغْدَادِيُّ، - فِي كِتَابِهِ وَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ - وَحَدَّثَنِي عَنْهُ عُثْمَانُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْعُثْمَانِيُّ، قَالَ: أَنْشِدْنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ هَاشِمٍ لِذِي النُّونِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمِصْرِيِّ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى:
    رَبِّ تَعَالَى فَلَا شَيْءَ يُحِيطُ بِهِ ... وَهُوَ الْمُحِيطُ بِنَا فِي كُلِّ مُرْتَصَدِ
    لَا الْأَيْنَ وَالْحَيْثُ وَالْكَيْفُ يُدْرِكُهُ ... وَلَا يُحَدُّ بِمِقْدَارٍ وَلَا أَمَدِ
    وَكَيْفَ يُدْرِكُهُ حَدُّ وَلَمْ تَرَهُ عَيْنٌ ... وَلَيْسَ لَهُ فِي الْمِثْلِ مِنْ أَحَدِ
    أَمْ كَيْفَ يَبْلُغُهُ وَهْمٌ بِلَا شَبَهٍ ... وَقَدْ تَعَالَى عَنِ الْأَشْبَاهِ وَالْوَلَدِ

    Abu Bakr ibn Ahmad al-Baghdadi narrated - in his book, and I saw it, -and Uthman ibn Muhammad al-Uthmani narrated me from him, he said: "Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Malik ibn Hisham read to me the verse by Dhul-Nun ibn Ibrahim al-Misri, rahimahullah:

    The Exalted Lord, nothing encompasses Him,
    But He encompasses us in everything, watching.

    "Where", "to where", "how" don't find Him
    And don't restrict Him to size or limit.

    And how can a borderline encompass Him, when the eye can't see Him
    And there is no one like Him?

    Or how can He be understood by the imagination without comparison?
    Verily, He is High (and free) from any resemblance and children».

    [Abu Nu'aym, «Hilyat al-Awliya», 9/388]
    Imam Isma'il ibn Yahya al-Muzani (died in 264 Hijri), one of the closest students of Imam al-Shafi'i, denied in his epistle "tamtheel" (full resemblance) and "tashbeeh" (partial resemblance) in reference to Allah:

    الْوَاحِد الصَّمد الَّذِي لَيْسَ لَهُ صَاحِبَة وَلَا ولد جلّ عَن المثيل فَلَا شَبيه لَهُ وَلَا عديل السَّمِيع الْبَصِير الْعَلِيم الْخَبِير المنيع الرفيع

    "[He is] One, Self-Sufficient, Who has no partner and no child. He is High above having someone like Him, and there is no one who resembles Him, and there is no one equal to Him. He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, All-Knowing, Wise, Almighty, Most High".

    And then he said:

    وكلمات الله وقدرة الله ونعته وَصِفَاته كاملات غير مخلوقات دائمات أزليات وَلَيْسَت بمحدثات فتبيد وَلَا كَانَ رَبنَا نَاقِصا فيزيد جلت صِفَاته عَن شبه صِفَات المخلوقين وَقصرت عَنهُ فطن الواصفين

    "The words of Allah, His Power, His qualities and attributes are perfect and not created. They are permanent and ever being, they are not created and not disappearing. And our Lord wasn't imperfect in order to become complete after. His qualities and attributes are free from resembling qualities and attributes of creatures. The imagination of those who describe can't describe Him".

    [«Sharh Sunnah», p. 79]
    The famous Imam and grammarian in Arabic language, Abu Ali al-Marzuki (died in 421 Hijri), wrote:

    تعالى لا تحويه الأماكن ولا تحيط به الأقطار والجوانب

    "The Exalted [God] is not encompassed by places, and also He is not encompassed by sides and borders".

    [«Al-Azminat wa al-Amkinat», p. 77; Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyya: 1417/1997]
    Imam 'Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani (126-211 Hijri) narrated in his Tafseer:

    نا جعفر بن سليمان عن عوف عن الحسن قال: سأل أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم النبي فقالوا : أين ربنا؟ فأنزل الله: (وإذا سألك عبادي عني فإني قريب أجيب دعوة الداعي إذا دعان) الآية.

    "Ja'far ibn Sulayman narrated us from 'Auf from al-Hasan, who said:

    "The companions asked The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him: "Where is our Lord?" And then Allah sent down the ayah: "And when My servants ask you about Me, I am indeed near. I answer the prayer of the supplicant when he calls" (2:186)".

    [«Tafseer al-Quran li 'Abd al-Razzaq al-San'ani», 1/73; Riyadh: Maktabah al-Rushd: 1410/1989]
    Imam Abu Bakr ibn al-'Arabi al-Maliki (468-543 Hijri) said in his Sharh to "Muwatta" of Imam Malik:

    كما قال مالك وغيره من العلماء: ان الاستواء معلومٌ، يعني أنّه قد وَرَدَ في اللُّغَةِ، واَلْكَيْفيَّةَ الّتي أراد اللهُ ممّا يجوزُ عليه من معاني الاستواء مجهولةٌ، فمن يقدر أنّ يعيِّنَها؟ والسُّؤالُ عنه بِدْعَة؛ لأنّ الاشتغال به قد ينشىء طلبًا للمُتَشَابِه ابتغاءَ الفتنة. فيتحصَّل لك من كلام إمام المسلمين مالك؛ أنّ الاستواء معلومٌ، وأنّ ما لا يجوز على الله منه غير معقولٍ وغير متعيَّنٍ. وقد حَصَلَ لك التَّوحيد والإيمان بِنَفْيِ التَّشَبيه والمُحَالِ على اللهِ

    "...As Imam Malik and other scholars said, that the word "al-istawa" is known, meaning, that it is known in the language, but what Allah meant by it and what meaning exactly from the meanings, that are possible in regard to Him, it has, - that is unknown, so who can distinguish between these meanings? To ask about it is innovation, because this question leads to the likening (tashbeeh) with the intention to start fitnah. So you should understand from the words of the Imam of the Muslims, Imam Malik, that the word "al-istawa" is known and the meanings, that are impossible in regard to Allah, are rationally unacceptable and uncertain. And it's the way to Tawheed and Iman - by rejecting the likening (tashbeeh) and the absurd statements in regard to Allah".
    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah The Creed of Imam Ahmad

    Imam 'Abd al-Wahid al-Tamimi al-Hanbali (341-410 Hijri/952-1019 Miladi) and Hafeedh Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Bayhaqi (384-458 Hijri/994-1066 Miladi) narrated in "Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad", that Imam Ahmad had blamed those, who had said: "Allah is a body (jism)", - by saying:

    وأنكر على من يقول بالجسم وقال إن الأسماء مأخوذة بالشريعة واللغة وأهل اللغة وضعوا هذا الاسم على كل ذي طول وعرض وسمك وتركيب وصورة وتأليف والله تعالى خارج عن ذلك كله فلم يجز أن يسمى جسما لخروجه عن معنى الجسمية ولم يجىء في الشريعة ذلك فبطل

    "The names of the things are taken from the Shari'ah and the Arabic language. The native Arabic speakers used this word ("jism") to name everything, that had a height and a longitude, that consisted of parts, that had a form and a composition, while Allah is free from all that, and that's the reason, why we can't call Him a body. It's because His attributes are free from everything, that the word "body" means. This idea about Allah (that He is a body) is not narrated in the Shari'ah, and because of that it is refuted".

    ['Abd al-Wahid al-Tamimi, "I'tiqad Ahmad ibn Hanbal", p. 45; al-Bayhaqi, "Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad"]


    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah The Lies about Imam al-Ash'ari

    Imam of Ahl al-Sunnah, Abu Bakr ibn Furak al-Asbahani (died in 406 Hijri) said in his book "Mujarrad Maqalat al-Ash'ari", that one of the reasons to write this book was the fact, that some people had thought, that Imam al-Ash'ari had believed in some wrong ideas, that, in reality, he hadn't believed in:

    اعلم أنا لما وجدنا ما جمعه هذا الرجل قد ‏انتشر في البلدان واغتر به من لا يعرف حقيقة المذهب وأصول قواعده، فيتوهم أن ما حكاه كما حكاه، وأن ‏أصول المذهب على قدر ما جمعه ورواه، وجب أن نكشف عن خطأه في ذلك لنبين فساد ما قاله ولا يغتر ‏الجاهلون ولا يشمت المخالفون

    "You should know, that, when I discovered, that what he (one liar) had collected - it had become known in the cities and had deceived those, who had not known his madhhab and the foundations of his rules truly, and they (the people) had thought, that he had said the truth, and (they) had believed the madhhab (of al-Ash'ari) to be exactly like he had told them, - it became necessary to demonstrate the falsehood of this to explain his lies, so that the men without any knowledge would not be deceived by it and the opponents (of Ahl al-Sunnah) would not gloat".

    [The quote was taken from the collections of the answers of Shaykh Sa'eed Foudah to the students of the "Rayaheen", p. 53]


    The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah Imam Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi al-Maliki (died in 790 Hijri/1388 Miladi) said:

    قوله تعالى يخافون ربهم من فوقهم [ النحل : 50 ] أأمنتم من في السماء [ تبارك : 16 ] وأشباه ذلك ، إنما جرى على معتادهم في اتخاذ الآلهة في الأرض ، وإن كانوا مقرين بإلهية الواحد الحق ; فجاءت الآيات بتعيين الفوق وتخصيصه تنبيها على نفي ما ادعوه في الأرض ; فلا يكون فيه دليل على إثبات جهة

    «The words of Allah Most High "they are afraid of their Lord, Who is above them" (16:50) and "Are you safe from Him, Who is in the sky?" (67:16) and similar. They (the Arabs) made it a habit to take a god on the earth, even if they declared, that there is One God. So these verses indicate the "above" (fawq) to explain, that He is not on the earth. And nothing here can be used as an argument, that Allah has a direction (jeehah)».

    [Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi, «Al-Muwafaqat», 4/154]

    Imam Taj al-Deen al-Subki (717-771 Hijri/1318-1370 Miladi) said:

    وما كان أَبُو الْحَسَن إلا شيخ السنة وناصر الحديث ، وقامع المعتزلة والمجسمة وغيرهم ، وما المجسمة إلا أعداء دين اللَّه ، وأهل حديث رسول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

    «Abu al-Hasan is nothing but a Shaykh al-Sunnah and an ally of the hadeeth. And he blacks the Mu'tazilah, the Mujassimah and others out. As for the Mujassimah, they are nothing but enemies of the religion of Allah and the people of the hadeeth».

    [«Tabaqat al-Shafi'iya al-Kubra», 3/299]

    Imam Abu Bakr ibn Tayyib al-Baqillani al-Maliki (338-403 Hijri/950-1013 Miladi) said:

    والتوحيد له هو: الإقرار بأنه ثابت موجود، وإله واحد فرد معبود، ليس كمثله شيء

    «The tawheed is a recognition, that Allah exists and doesn't change, that He is the only God, Who is worth worshipping, and that there is nothing like Him».

    [«Al-Insaf», p. 17]

    [7:23PM, 22/04/2016] Saleem Khan: اعلم أن جماعة كثيرة من السلف كانوا يثبتون الله تعالى صفاته أزلية من العلم، والقدرة، والحياة، والإراد والسمع، والبصر، والكلام، والجلال، والإكرام، والجود، والإنعام، والعزة، والعظمة، ولا يفرقون بين صفات الذات وصفات الفعل بل يسوقون الكلام سوقا واحدا، وكذلك يثبتون صفات خبرية مثل اليدين، والوجه ولا يؤولون ذلك إلا أنهم يقولون: هذه الصفات قد وردت في الشرع، فنسميها صفات خبرية. ولما كانت المعتزلة ينفون الصفات والسلف يثبتون، سمي السلف صفاتية والمعتزلة معطلة.
    فبالغ بعض السلف في إثبات الصفات إلى حد التشبيه بصفات المحدثات، واقتصر بعضهم على صفات دلت الأفعال عليها وما ورد به الخبر؛ فافترقوا فرقتين:
    فمنهم من أوله على وجه يحتمل اللفظ ذلك.
    ومنهم من توقف في التأويل، وقال: عرفنا بمقتضى العقل أن الله تعالى ليس كمثله شيء، فلا يشبه شيئا من المخلوقات ولا يشبه شيء منها، وقطعنا بذلك؛ إلا أن لا نعرف معنى اللفظ الوارد فيه، مثل قوله تعالى: {الرَّحْمَنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى} ومثل قوله: {خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ} ومثل قوله: {وَجَاءَ رَبُّكَ} إلى غير ذلك. ولسنا مكلفين بمعرفة تفسير هذه الآيات وتأويلها، بل التكليف قد ورد بالاعتقاد بأنه لا شريك له، وليس كمثله شيء، وذلك قد أثبتناه يقينا.
    ثم إن جماعة من المتأخرين زادوا على ما قاله السلف؛ فقالوا لابد من إجرائها على ظاهرها، فوقعوا في التشبيه الصرف، وذلك على خلاف ما اعتقده السلف. ولقد كان التشبيه صرفا خالصا في اليهود، لا في كلهم بل في القرائين منهم، إذ وجدوا في التوراة ألفاظا كثيرة تدل على ذلك.
    ثم الشيعة في هذه الشريعة وقعوا في غلو وتقصير، أما الغلو فتشبيه بعض أئمتهم بالإله تعالى وتقدس، وأما التقصير فتشبيه الإله بواحد من الخلق. ولما ظهرت المعتزلة والمتكلمون من السلف رجعت بعض الروافض عن الغلو والتقصير، ووقعت في الاعتزال وتخطت جماعة من السلف إلى التفسير الظاهر فوقعت في التشبيه.
    وأما السلف الذين لم يتعرضوا للتأويل، ولا تهدفوا للتشبيه فمنهم: مالك بن أنس رضي الله عنهما؛ إذ قال: الاستواء معلوم، والكيفية مجهولة، والإيمان به واجب، والسؤال عنه بدعة. ومثل أحمد بن حنبل رحمه الله، وسفيان الثوري، وداود بن علي الأصفهاني، ومن تابعهم.
    حتى انتهى الزمان إلى عبد الله بن سعيد الكلابي، وأبي العباس القلانسي، والحارث بن أسد المحاسبي، وهؤلاء كانوا من جملة السلف إلا أنهم باشروا علم الكلام، وأيدوا عقائد السلف بحجج كلامية، وبراهين أصولية، وصنف بعضهم ودرس بعض حتى جرى بين أبي الحسن الأشعري وبين أستاذه مناظرة في مسائل من مسائل الصلاح والأصلح فتخاصما، وانحاز الأشعري إلى هذه الطائفة، فأيد مقالتهم بمناهج كلامية، وصار ذلك مذهبا لأهل السنة والجماعة، وانتقلت سمة الصفاتية إلى الأشعرية. ولما كانت المشبهة والكرامية من مثبتي الصفات عددناهم فرقتين من جملة الصفاتية


    الملل والنحل
    [8:33AM, 25/04/2016] Saleem Khan: قال حجة الإسلام عَلَمُ العلماء أبو حامد الغزالي في كتابه فضائح الباطنية (ص: 155):

    (وَنحن نعلم انه لَو صرح مُصَرح فِيمَا بَين الصَّحَابَة بِأَن الله تَعَالَى:
    - لَا يحويه مَكَان
    - وَلَا يحده زمَان
    - وَلَا يُمَاس جسما
    - وَلَا ينْفَصل عَنهُ بمسافة مقدرَة وَغير مقدرَة
    - وَلَا يعرض لَهُ انْتِقَال وجيئة وَذَهَاب وَحُضُور وأفول،
    - وَأَنه يَسْتَحِيل أَن يكون من الآفلين والمنتقلين والمتمكنين
    ألى غير ذَلِك من نفي صِفَات التَّشْبِيه لرأوا ذَلِك عين التَّوْحِيد والتنزيل).
    [1:28AM, 08/05/2016] Saleem Khan: ٢١٥ - (٤٨٢) وَحَدَّثَنَا هَارُونُ بْنُ مَعْرُوفٍ، وَعَمْرُو بْنُ سَوَّادٍ، قَالَا: حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ وَهْبٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْحَارِثِ، عَنْ عُمَارَةَ بْنِ غَزِيَّةَ، عَنْ سُمَيٍّ مَوْلَى أَبِي بَكْرٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا صَالِحٍ ذَكْوَانَ يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ، وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ، فَأَكْثِرُوا الدُّعَاءَ»

    If Allah is on the Arsh,
    In qiyam he should be Aqrab.
    It's from sahih Muslim
    [1:32AM, 08/05/2016] Saleem Khan: البعض يسأل عن (عقيدة أهل الأثر) هل هي عقيدة تختلف عن عقيدة أهل السنة الأشاعرة

    الجواب:

    لا تخالف عقيدة أهل السنة بل هي هي ... وإنما اختلفت الطرائق، فطريقة أهل الأثر التنزيه والإمساك عن التفاصيل خشية الكلام بالظن في مسائل العقيدة

    ومذهب السادة الأِشاعرة أعلام السنة وهداة الحق أنه لا يكفي السكوت بعد ظهور البدع وانتشارها

    فهو اختلاف مواقف لا حقائق

    وعقيدة أهل الأثر تختلف تماما عن عقيدة المجسمة والمشبهة

    والله أعلم
    [1:38AM, 08/05/2016] Saleem Khan: One question for the mujassima. If you believe in hadeeth nuzool in its actual meaning then how is it that during every portion of the day the third portion of the night is taking place. So where is Allah Ta'ala on the arsh or in the first heaven?????
    If you say just accept it even though it doesn't make sense then thats takleef ma la yutaaq. How can u expect a non muslim to accept if yiur aqeeda goes against aqal.....
    Remember there's a difference between beyond aqal and against aqal....Allah Ta'ala is beyond aqal not against it. ....otherwise imaan would be takleef ma la yutaaq

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Also If that is the aqeeda of the first three generations then why hasn't imam tahawi mentikned it in his aqeedah tahawiyya when he is saying this is the aqeeda of imam abu hanifa and his two students imam abu yusuf and imam muhammad?
    He clearly rejects مكان and جهة in tahawiyya

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    According to Al Nabi Al Ahmadz SAW , Laa illaa Aallah is the best of Al Dzikir to Aallah SWT .

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Jazak Aallah Khair Katsiir .

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    Re: The Position of the Salaf Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

    Beneficial thread. JazakumAllahu khayran.


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