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The Methodology of the Salaf in Aqidah
  General Principles Regarding Allaah's Attributes
Author: Alawee ibn `Abdil-Qaadir as-Saqqaaf
Source: Sifaatullaah `Azza wa Jalla al-Waaridah fil-Kitaab was-Sunnah (trans. by Dawud Burbank)
Article ID : AQD030010  [46854]  
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The First Principle
"Affirmation of everything that Allaah affirmed for Himself in His Book, or which His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallaam, affirmed for Him. Without distorting (tahreef), without denial (ta'teel), and without saying how they are (takyeef) and without making any resemblance with the creation (tamtheel)."[1]

Since Allaah knows better about Himself than anyone else, and His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallaam, knows better than rest of creation about his Lord.

The Second Principle
"To deny for Allaah everything which He has denied for Himself in His Book, or which His Messenger denied for Him, whilst believing its fully perfect opposite is confirmed for Allaah, the Most High."[2]

Since Allaah knows better about Himself than His creation, and His Messenger out of all the people is the one who knows best about His Lord, so denying death for Him includes affirmation of His perfect Life, and denying oppression for Him includes affirmation of His perfect Justice, and denying sleep for Him includes affirmation of His perfect charge/control over everything.

The Third Principle
"The attributes of Allaah, the Might and Magnificent, are only to be spoken of in accordance with a text (tawfeeqiyyah). So nothing is affirmed for Him except that which Allaah affirmed for Himself (or which) was affirmed for Him by His Messenger, and nothing is denied for Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, except that which He denied for Himself, was was denied for Him by His Messenger, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallaam."[3]

Since there is no one who knows better about Allaah than Allaah, the Most High, (Himself), and there is no one of the creation who knows better about His Creator than Allaah's Messenger, sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallaam.

The Fourth Principle
"To halt with regard to vague terms which are not found to be affirmed or denied textually, in wording or meaning, so further explanation is sought. Then if something false is meant by it, then we declare Allaah free of that and reject it, and if something that is true and something that is not to be denied for Allaah, then it is accepted and the correct terminology as found in the text is to be made clear. And one should call for its usage in place of this vague and newly-introduced wording."[4]

An example of this is the term 'direction.' We halt, neither affirming or denying it, and we ask the one who says it, 'What do you mean by direction?' So if he says, 'I mean a place which contains Him.' Then we say, 'This is something false and Allaah is to be declared free from this, and we reject it.' But if he says, 'That He is unrestrictedly above.' Then we say, 'This is true it is not to be denied for Allaah,' and we accept the meaning from him, and we say, 'However, it is more fitting that you say, 'He is above the heavens,' or 'He is above,' as occurs in the authentic texts.' But as for the term 'direction' then it is vague and a novelty, so it is better to leave it.

The Fifth Principle
"Every attribute which is established by an authentic report definitely agrees with sound intellect."[5]

The Sixth Principle
"To cut off any hope of reaching the reality of 'how.' As He, the Most High, says:

And they will never compass anything of His knowledge.[6] [7]

The Seventh Principle
"The attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, are affirmed in detail/specifically, whereas denial is done generally."[8]

So detailed and specific affirmation is, for example, affirming Hearing and Seeing, and the rest of the attributes. As for generalised denial, then like denial of any likeness as in His saying:

There is nothing like unto Him.[9]

The Eighth Principle
"Every name confirmed for Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, is inclusive of an attribute, but the opposite is not the case."[10]

For example, Allaah's name ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful) incorporates the attribute of mercy, al-Kareem (The Munificent) incorporates the attribute of munificence and al-Lateef (the Most Gentle and the All-Perceiving) incorporates the attribute of gentleness and being all-perceiving and so on. However, as for His attributes, (such as) His Will, His Coming, His Ascending-then names are not to be derived from them such as, 'The One who Wills,' 'The Comer,' 'The One who Ascended,' etc.

The Ninth Principle
"The attributes of Allaah, the Most High, are perfect, containing no deficiency in any sense at all."[11]

The Tenth Principle
"Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Magnificent, are dhaatiyyah - those pertaining to His Self, and fi'liyyah - those pertaining to His actions, and there is no limit or end to His actions.

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