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The Ash`arees
  Affirmation of the Attribute of Face for Allaah
Author: Abu Iyaad
Article ID : AQD060004  [36779]  
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FIVE: Concerning the interpretation that Face refers to His Essence (Dhaat). Then if it is meant by this that it refers to His Essence while at the same time affirming a Face for him, then this is acceptable. For Face is an attribute of His Essence and it is not something created or separate from Him. Hence, if everything will perish save His Face, then it is understood from this that His Dhaat will not perish either, it will remain and this is because Face is an Attribute of the Essence, not created and separate from it. However if it is meant that it refers to His Essence while at the same time denying the attribute of Face for Him, then this is falsehood as has been made clear from the above. And based upon this we can understand the statements of those scholars who explain that Face refers to His Essence in certain verses of the Qur’aan. So there is no contradiction between what they say and between the fact that Allaah has an Attribute of Face.

Ibn Hajar in Fath ul-Bari, in explanation of the verse "Everything shall perish except His Face" [28:88], explains the statement of Imaam Bukhaaree in his Kitaabut Tafseer of his Saheeh, "… except His Face, except His dominion, (illaa mulkahu)" saying,

"In the narration of an-Nasafi there occurs ‘Ma’mar said’ and then he mentioned the above. This Ma’mar is Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al-Muthnaa, and these are his words taken from his book ‘Majaaz ul-Qur’aan’, however with the wording ‘except He’. At-Tabari has quoted the same from some of the linguists and al-Faraa mentioned the same. Ibn at-Teen and Abu ‘Ubaidah said, ‘except His Face, meaning His Majesty’. And it has been said ‘except He alone’, as you say ‘May Allaah ennoble your face’ meaning ‘may Allaah ennoble you’."

So here, some of the scholars are of the opinion that Face here refers to the Essence, and there is no problem with this as has proceeded and nor does it negate the Attribute of Face for Allaah.

Now in case anyone tries to argue (in the favour of ta’wil) using this statement of Imaam Bukhaaree, which at best is indecisive, then what would be his reply to the fact that Imaam Bukhaaree affirms the Attribute of Face in his Kitaab ut-Taweed at the end of his Saheeh, also called ar-Raddu ‘alal-Jahmiyyah (Refutation of the Jahmiyyah), using as evidence the very same verse as above [28:88]!!!

Chapter: The Statement of Allaah, "Everything shall perish save His Face".

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullaah, "When this verse, ‘Say (O Muhammad) He has power to send punishment on you from above’ [6:65], was revealed, the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘I seek refuge with Your Face’. Allaah revealed, ‘Or from underneath your feet’ [6:65], the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘I seek refuge with Your Face’. Then Allaah revealed ‘Or to cover you with confusion or party strife!’ [6:65], then the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallaam) said, ‘This is easier’."

And here Imaam Bukhaaree affirms, without doubt, the Attribute of Face, just as he brought narrations in affirmation of Hand, Eyes, Self (Nafs), His Speech, His being above the Throne and many of the other attributes that the Jahmiyyah denied. So this puts an end to the argument adduced from his Kitaab ut-Tafseer.

In addition, the arguments presented above would also apply. Try imposing these such isolated explanations that you use for denying the Attribute of Face to all those occurrences of the mention of the Face in the Book and the Sunnah and see where that leads you?! Inconsistency and mere falsehood!!

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