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The Ash`arees
  The Attestation of Imaam Juwaynee for the Aqeedah of the Salaf
Source: Al-Ibanah Magazine
Article ID : AQD060006  [30073]  
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Imaam al-Juwaynee [1] (d. 438H) said: "Know, that for a brief period of time, I was confused about three matters:

[a] the issue of as-Sifaat (Allaah’s Attributes)
[b] the issue of al-Fawqiyyah (Allaah being above His creation)
[c] the issue of al-Harf (the Word) and as-Sawt (the Voice) about the Glorious Qur’aan.

I used to be confused about the different sayings - which are found in the contemporary books with respect to these matters - whether ta’weel (manipulative distortion) and tahreef should be made of the Attributes. Whether to take them as they are and halt at their meanings, or whether to affirm them without ta’weel, ta’teel, tashbeeh or tamtheel. But I found in the texts of the Book of Allaah - Most Hight - and the Sunnah of His Messenger , a great clarity about the reality of these Attributes, and likewise with respect to affirming al-uluww (the highness of Allaah) al-Fawqiyyah, al-Harf and as-Sawt.

Then I found in the books of the later Scholars - from the mutakallimoon (the People of theological rhetoric and innovated speech) their making of ta’weel (of Allaah’s Attribute) of al-Istiwaa (Allaah ascending above the creation) by saying that it meant qahr (His dominance) and isteelaa (His conquering); ta’weel of (Allaah’s Attribute) of an-Nuzool by saying that it meant His command descends; ta’weel of (the Attribute of) al-Yadain (the Hands of Allaah) to mean His Power or His Favour; and ta’weel of al-Qadam (the Foot of Allaah) to mean the fine reward with their Lord; and the likes of this. Along with this, I found that they claimed that the Speech of Allaah - the Most High - meant a speech existent in His Self (qaa’im bidh-dhaat) with word, but not with Voice. They claimed that these words are a mode of expression from the meaning existing with Himself!

From those who held to these sayings were a group of people, who had high status in my heart, such as a group of Ash’aree Shaafi’ee Scholars - and I am upon the madhhab of ash-Shaafi’ee - may Allaah be pleased with him - knowing the obligation of my Religion and its rulings. So I found the likes of these great Shaikhs adhering to the likes of such statements - and they were my teachers - and I had complete faith in them, their nobility and their knowledge. However, despite all this, I found my heart having a hatred for such ta’weel such that I could not find any tranquility and peace with it. It caused my chest to feel constricted, rather than causing it to expand…

And I used to fear affirming the Attributes of al-uluww, al-Istiwaa and an-Nuzool, fearing that it would imply hasr (limiting and encompassing Allaah by His creation) and tashbeeh (resembling Allaah to His creation i.e. anthropomorphism). However, despite this, when I studied the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger , I fond in them texts pointing to the reality of these meanings. I found that the Messenger clarified that which came from his Lord, as well as describing Him with them. And know - without any doubt at all - that he used to have present in his noble gatherings the Scholar and the ignorant person, the one with sharp intelligence and the not so sharply intelligent, the Arab and the non-Arab. However, I did not find anything by which he followed up such texts with which he used to describe his Lord - neither with another text, nor with anything that would cause the meanings to removed from their haqeeqah (real meaning) or cause ta’weel to be made of them; such as the ta’weel of my Shaikhs and Scholars from the mutakallimeen (the People of theological rhetoric and innovated speech) - such as their ta’weel of al-Istiwaa to isteelaa, and their ta’weel of an-Nuzool (Allaah’s descending) to mean that His Command descends; and other such things. And I did not find that he used to warn the people from having faith in what was apparent in his speech describing His Lord, whether it was concerning al-Fawqiyyah (Allaah being above His creation), or al-Yadain (the Hands of Allaah), or other than them. And there is nothing recorded from him which proves that these Attributes have another inner meaning, other than what is apparent from their meaning…"

Then Imaam al-Juwaynee - may Allaah have mercy upon him - mentions some aayaat and ahaadeeth concerning al-Fawqiyyah and al-Istiwaa, then he continues:

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